To wash the hands of

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To wash the hands of See under Hand.
    • To wash the hands of to disclaim or renounce interest in, or responsibility for, a person or action; as, to wash one's hands of a business.
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Usage

In literature:

If a person wishes to succeed in love, let him wash his hands and keep some of the ashes in them, and then everybody will love him.
"Welsh Folk-Lore a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales" by Elias Owen
Supposing he entered the wrong one and found himself compelled to purchase a roll of muslin or a wash-hand-stand?
"The Right Stuff" by Ian Hay
The Chinese really knew just what a wash was capable of, and confined themselves to the majesty of the limitations at hand.
"Adventures in the Arts" by Marsden Hartley
Both ministers, in secret letters to Scotland, washed their hands of the blood of Mary.
"Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth" by Lucy Aikin
On the larboard hand the ice pressed close against the vessel's side, some pieces rising to the height of her wash-streak.
"The Frozen Pirate" by W. Clark Russell
When Marcus went upstairs to wash his hands, whistling the air of "My old Dutch," she knew he was quite as much excited as she was.
"Doctor Luttrell's First Patient" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
One of the servants appeared, with half-washed face, but clean hands, and a moustache burned to a stubble.
"The Queen's Scarlet" by George Manville Fenn
Every actual need of the day is provided for inside, even to the washing of face and hands (price 2d.).
"Glances at Europe" by Horace Greeley
I believe he considers it a sacrifice to mamma's sense of propriety when he washes his hands after coming in from the home farm.
"Vixen, Volume I." by M. E. Braddon
When the trial was over he bade one wife to bring water to wash the captive's hands, another a bunch of feathers to dry them upon.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8" by Various
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In poetry:

Thou Rome, whose policie we know,
the Lord of lyfe did kill:
Thou Rome, with Pilate wilt wash handes,
yet blood of Saints to spill.
"A description of olde Rome" by Roger Cotton
Ay, with red cautery and a burning brand
Purge thou the leprous leaven of the land;
Take to thee fire, and iron in thine hand,
Till blood and tears have washed the soiled limbs white.
"A Year's Burden -- 1870" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Then the King said, "John, I give you Braehead farm as it stands,
On condition you provide a towel and basin of water to wash my hands,
If ever I chance to come your way.
Then John said, "Thanks to your Majesty, I'll willingly obey."
"An Adventure in the Life of King James V of Scotland" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

It's one of the most time-honored steps to good health: washing your hands.
1.1 This test method is designed to determine the activity of food-handler hand washes against transient bacterial flora on the hands.
The importance of washing your hands to prevent the spread of germs.
Wash hands for at least 20 seconds and use soap and running water to lather and rinse the palms, backs of hands, between fingers, under fingernails and around wrists.
Developed to conserve water, energy and labor, it reduces the incidence of injury associated with hand washing bulk containers.
An outbreak of an unusual form of yeast infection in an intensive care ward for newborns has been traced to the failure by medical staff members to wash their hands after playing with their dogs.
(Sept 13, 2007) When the axe slipped this morning I went quickly inside Washed away the blood to see the damage And studied the back of my hand.
Water also needs to be contained in order to make the hand washing of intimates and other lightweight clothing a viable option.
But a manager didn't want to talk about things like the lack of hand washing.
It seems that just about every restaurant these days has signs posted urging employees and patrons alike to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs and sickness.
A surgeon washes his hands before starting procedures to clean the wound of an amputee patient with MRSA at Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin hospital ( Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters ).
Health experts stress the importance of washing hands after handling chickens to reduce salmonella risks.
Besides frequent hand washing, health experts also recommend adherence to a highly nutritious diet, exercise and sufficient amounts of sleep to strengthen the immune system.
The easiest way to stem the spread of infection is also the most obvious: wash your hands.
It's probably related to the phrase 'to wash your hands of it.
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In science:

While none of these scenarios require GUTs, those that involve the out-of equilibrium decay of either fermions, scalars or condensates must have the mass scale of the right-handed neutrino between 109 and about 1011 GeV, to avoid washing out the baryon asymmetry later and to be produced after inflation respectively.
Supersymmetric "Solutions" to Cosmological Problems: Baryogenesis and Dark Matter
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