dirty (one's) hands

(redirected from dirtying our hands)

dirty (one's) hands

To partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. The public can't be allowed to think that I, a senate hopeful, would ever dirty my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
See also: dirty, hand

dirty one's hands

Also, get one's hands dirty or soil one's hands. Do something shameful or illegal. For example, He refused to dirty his hands and give jobs to the big campaign donors, or Getting one's hands dirty by lying to the boss will be severely punished, or She would not soil her hands by cheating. This expression is a metaphor for literally defiling or soiling oneself. [Mid-1600s]
See also: dirty, hand
References in periodicals archive ?
If some countries would feel the discomfort from the humanitarian situation due to al-Assad's massacres and wish to wash their hands at the expense of dirtying our hands with a humiliating position, you will hear us say no five times rather than three.
This generation may be lost, but only by dirtying our hands and getting down to the nitty-gritty of lining up with the country's working stiffs will there be any hope for the future.
And so he has regularly resolved his novels by pointing to their contrivance, by identifying the reader's complicity in his fictions, and by directing us to act upon this complicity by dirtying our hands in whatever work we can do.