throw the book at

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This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


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.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see throw,‎ the,‎ book,‎ at.