arms race

Origin of arms race

First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for arms race

arms race

noun
  1. 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
n.

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