Definition of wring one's hands in US English:

wring one's hands


  • Clasp and twist one's hands together as a gesture of great distress, especially when one is powerless to change the situation.

    • ‘She wrung her hands together while she nervously scanned the room for Devin.’
    • ‘She wrung her own tiny hands, peering up and down the street for any more sign of the shiny officers.’
    • ‘This needs real leadership from the international community to avoid a situation where everyone's just wringing their hands and watching the situation get worse and worse.’
    • ‘Most of the passengers had moved as far away from him as possible and one lady kept glancing at him and wringing her hands together.’
    • ‘Angelos glimpsed at Evelyn, who was suddenly looking nervous as she wrung her hands together and intently stared at the yellowing linoleum flooring.’
    • ‘I wrung my hands together and buried my face into my hands.’
    • ‘He was on the verge of tears, and he wrung his hands together worriedly.’
    • ‘Bernie wrung his hands together nervously as he sat at Duncan's desk.’
    • ‘Still, I'm perfectly willing to spend the first few days of the month wringing my hands over the situation.’
    • ‘She wrung her hands together as she struggled with how to announce the news.’