throw the book at

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Verb[edit]

throw the book at

  1. (transitive, idiomatic, informal) To charge with or convict of as many crimes as possible.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic, informal) To apply the harshest possible punishment to.
    • 1926, Will James, Cowboys north and south‎, page 95:
      The judge, not weeping any, throws the book at him, which means he gives Bob the limit.