Definition of have clean hands in US English:

have clean hands


  • Be uninvolved and blameless with regard to an immoral act.

    ‘no one involved in the conflict has clean hands’
    • ‘We are the only party that can come along and say we have clean hands.’
    • ‘The truth is that politicians do not have clean hands to deal with it.’
    • ‘I don't think many people have clean hands when it comes to bullying, and nor should we pretend to.’
    • ‘No region of the world has been spared it and very few people have clean hands.’
    • ‘Neither side, however, can claim to have clean hands.’
    • ‘Perhaps she had forgotten that if you are going to preach, it is as well to have clean hands.’
    • ‘Real institutions, real governments, and real leaders will never have clean hands in a dirty world.’
    • ‘As a society, I would love to think that we are humble, righteous, and that our hands are clean.’
    • ‘But there are questions about the loyalty and integrity of this intelligence service that, after all, does not have clean hands.’
    • ‘If the applicant is seeking an equitable remedy it must come to court with clean hands and reveal the state of its financial house.’