wash one's hands

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v wash one's hands to absolve oneself of responsibility or future blame "I wash my hands of this"
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Wash one's hands (of) to disclaim the responsibility for anything (Matt. xxvii. 24)
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hand; in all Teut. tongues, perh. rel. to Goth. hinthan, to seize.

Usage

In literature:

The girl's methods were simple and so organized as to make one hand wash the other.
"What Diantha Did" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Is it quite impossible to wash one's hands in, and drink from, the same vessel?
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4" by Charles Dudley Warner
No refuse was allowed to be cast into a river, nor was it even lawful to wash one's hands in one.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 3. (of 7): Media" by George Rawlinson
The water drained from potatoes was next used to wash one's face or hands or dishes; then it went into the scrub bucket.
"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl
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
Life is too short to be always washing one's hands.
"Joel: A Boy of Galilee" by Annie Fellows Johnston
He asks if one's hands cannot be as well washed in a clay basin as in a silver one.
"The Catholic World; Volume I, Issues 1-6" by E. Rameur
Washing one's hands of the guilt of others is a way of sharing guilt so far as it encourages in others a vicious way of action.
"Human Nature and Conduct" by John Dewey
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In news:

It's one of the most time-honored steps to good health: washing your hands.
INDIANAPOLIS — One of central Indiana's largest dry cleaning companies recently washed its hands of perchloroethylene, the dry cleaning chemical at the heart of about 170 cleaner site cleanups statewide.
Campaign and Wrigley's Gum aren't the only ones washing their hands of Chris Brown.
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