arm and a leg

noun (1)

Definition of arm and a leg

 (Entry 1 of 7)

: an exorbitant price

arma virumque cano

Latin quotation from Virgil
ar·​ma vi·​rum·​que ca·​no | \ ˈär-mə-vi-ˈru̇m-kwā-ˈkä-nō How to pronounce arma virumque cano (audio) \

Definition of arma virumque cano (Entry 2 of 7)

: I sing of arms and the man [Aeneas]

cedant arma togae

Latin phrase
ce·​dant ar·​ma to·​gae | \ ˈkā-ˌdänt-ˌär-mə-ˈtō-ˌgī How to pronounce cedant arma togae (audio) \

Definition of cedant arma togae (Entry 3 of 7)

: let arms yield to the toga : let military power give way to civil power motto of Wyoming

inter arma silent leges

Latin quotation based on Cicero
in·​ter ar·​ma si·​lent le·​ges | \ ˌin-ter-ˈär-mä-ˌsi-ˌlent-ˈlā-ˌgās How to pronounce inter arma silent leges (audio) \

Definition of inter arma silent leges (Entry 4 of 7)

: amid arms, the laws are silent : in time of war, the laws are disregarded

silent leges inter arma

Latin quotation from Cicero
si·​lent le·​ges in·​ter ar·​ma | \ ˌsi-ˌlent-ˈlā-ˌgās-ˌin-ter-ˈär-mä How to pronounce silent leges inter arma (audio) \

Definition of silent leges inter arma (Entry 5 of 7)

an arm and a leg

noun (2)

Definition of an arm and a leg (Entry 6 of 7)

: a very large amount of money It's a reliable car, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

cost an arm and a leg


Definition of cost an arm and a leg (Entry 7 of 7)

: to be too expensive I want a new car that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Examples of arm and a leg in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Anker Wirefree Earbuds for $50 ($10 off): Wireless earbuds don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Wired Staff, WIRED, "16 Killer Deals on iPad, Galaxy S10E, TV Speakers, and More," 8 June 2019 Let’s look at ways to get better seats for free, or at least without paying an arm and a leg. Rick Seaney, Fox News, "How to snag a better airline seat without paying too much more (if anything)," 6 Aug. 2018 Instead, he was faced with paying an arm and a leg to buy a battery from the manufacturer. Gautam Srikishan, The Verge, "Anker CEO Steven Yang is all in on USB-C," 6 Nov. 2018 Still, some aren't exactly thrilled at the prospect of paying an arm and a leg to see Michelle Obama's toned arms IRL. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "Michelle Obama Is Selling Out Arenas for Her Book Tour—and Tickets Cost as Much as $3,000," 22 Sep. 2018 Finally, one thing about college that won't cost an arm and a leg. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "E5 College Sweatshirts Are 50% off on Amazon Right Now," 10 Aug. 2018 The 7 Best Moisturizers for $20 or Less Don't spend an arm and a leg trying to keep your face hydrated. Adam Hurly, GQ, "The 7 Best Moisturizers for $20 or Less," 4 June 2018 There's a reason real leather can cost you an arm and a leg. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make Leather," 2 Aug. 2016 Bothe-Napa Valley State Park Who said Wine Country accommodations have to cost an arm and a leg? Jeanne Cooper, San Francisco Chronicle, "Top 10 California parks: Spend the night, but ditch the tent," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arm and a leg.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arm and a leg

Noun (1)

1924, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for arm and a leg

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for arm and a leg

The first known use of arm and a leg was in 1924

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What made you want to look up arm and a leg? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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