Definition of change hands in US English:

change hands


  • 1(of a business or building) pass to a different owner.

    • ‘In the 1930s Sundrum was sold again and converted into a first-class hotel, changing hands in the mid 1980s when various owners came and went, until 1991 when Salopian Estates stepped in.’
    • ‘The six-storey building is also about to change hands.’
    • ‘Staff at the Lane Ends pub said the premises were about to change hands and the prospective owners had promised to deal with the rubbish.’
    • ‘The Finborough public house, home to Steam Industry these many years, has changed hands and the new owners have assured that the theatre will remain.’
    • ‘May I point out that none of the houses overlooking the cricket pitch has changed hands since the buildings were completed.’
    • ‘Even before the building changed hands, Anita had had to work full-time at a local shop just to cover her housing costs.’
    • ‘Then the place changed hands, from one American owner to another, received a lick and a polish and the Mexican menu was revamped.’
    • ‘Apparently it changed hands last year, but the new owners have been making changes gradually, only changing the name in recent months.’
    • ‘Speculation behind the identity of the buyers had been rife following a flurry of deals last week that saw ownership of the building change hands twice in a matter of hours.’
    • ‘The woodland has changed hands and the new owner is planning to fence it off, thereby denying me access to my club.’
    1. 1.1 (of money or a marketable commodity) pass to another person during a business transaction.
      ‘no money has changed hands’
      • ‘So if no product or service exists, and only money is changing hands, head for the door.’
      • ‘It doesn't take a genius, however, to figure out that a large sum of money changed hands.’
      • ‘Little stones and big sums of money traditionally change hands here on the basis of trust.’
      • ‘But to me it looks like a straightforward transfer of assets between two spouses where no money changes hands.’
      • ‘And many crooks prefer dealing with the big places, where the sheer volume of money changing hands covers their tracks.’
      • ‘And a lot of that money changes hands online through credit cards with banks handling those transactions.’
      • ‘What's more, independent assessors must verify progress on these improvements before money changes hands.’
      • ‘A little sunlight filtered through the front door, but no money would change hands now.’
      • ‘In a paper on the proposed extension of shop trading hours, Mr Tembo said one of the factors that account for growth in an economy is the rate at which money changes hands in the economy.’
      • ‘No money changes hands until a company says it actually wants the product.’