One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Undertake to control or reform someone.
control, have authority over, be in charge of, direct, preside over, lead, dominate, masterView synonyms
- ‘It can only lead to trouble unless someone takes him in hand.’
- ‘He could take her in hand - ensuring that she finds a flattering wardrobe, fashionable hair and a smart social circle which will elevate her status.’
- ‘Does The Age have someone who'll basically take Andrew in hand and say, ‘Look, I'll be your eyes and ears, if you like’?’
- ‘Sunil Gavaskar once wrote of how, as a boy, he was taken in hand by the legendary Bombay coach Vasu Paranjype.’
- ‘From the first time I ever met Richard, several years ago, he struck me as the kind of guy who probably needed a good woman to take him in hand, and sort him out.’
- ‘Then Old Trafford manager Mike Watkinson took him in hand, working on his technique, and last summer he was the talk of every county dressing-room.’
- ‘But all I really want them to do is to take me in hand - to quietly and firmly and with tremendous affection tell me that I've done enough, that I can stop now.’
- ‘Camilla announced one evening to her gang in the lounge that she was very sorry for George, and she thought he needed someone to take him in hand (whatever that might imply).’
- ‘I suppose your mother who was alerted at that stage was more capable of taking you in hand because the situation around her wasn't as toxic as it is now?’
- ‘If she is not taken in hand and directed on the right lines, hers could be a talent that is, wasted in the desert air.’
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