throw the book at

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

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.
  3. Used other than as an idiom: see throw,‎ the,‎ book,‎ at.