• synonyms

arms race


competition between countries to achieve superiority in quantity and quality of military arms.


race-baitingRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.

Nearby words

armpit, armrest, arms, arms and the man, arms control, arms race, arms, coat of, arms-length, armscye, armstand dive, armstrong

Origin of arms race

First recorded in 1935–40 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for arms race

arms race


the continuing competitive attempt by two or more nations each to have available to it more and more powerful weapons than the other(s)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for arms race

arms race


1930, in reference to naval build-ups, from arms (see arm (n.2)) + race (n.1). First used in British English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper