And clenched their terrible arms?
Literally: cut – tooth – dominate / obstruct – arm
Alternately: Convulsive rage (or frustration, or other negative emotion). Grinding the teeth and clenching the arms against one’s body. Being so worked up that you don’t know what to do with yourself. Note that the negative emotions can come from either internal sources (regret) or external (anger, impatience).
Notes: On its own, 切歯 can also mean “incisor” (i.e. “cutting tooth.”).
This compound may be written with 扼 replaced by its older, unsimplified form, 搤, without any change in meaning or pronunciation.
This phrase comes to us from our friend, the Records of the Grand Historian. (Japanese 『史記』 = Shiki).