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arms race

competition between countries to achieve superiority in quantity and quality of military arms.
Origin of arms race
1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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