arms race

arms race

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

Origin:
1935–40

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Collins
World English Dictionary
arms race
 
n
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

arms race
1936, from arms (see arm (2)) + race. First used in British Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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