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arms race

noun
1.
competition between countries to achieve superiority in quantity and quality of military arms.
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
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Word Origin and History for arms-race

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
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