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drop the gloves

1. In ice hockey, to engage in or prepare for a fistfight, i.e., by discarding one's gloves immediately beforehand. In an effort to keep this game under control, referees are getting in between players, warning them not to drop their gloves. With tension rising between them all night, the two players dropped the gloves as soon as the whistle blew.
2. By extension, to engage in or prepare for any fight, dispute, or confrontation in which the participants' actions or sentiments are unrestrained or unmitigated. The two presidential candidates dropped their gloves at the debate last night. A spokeswoman said the video game company was prepared to drop the gloves to combat online piracy.
See also: drop, glove

idiot gloves

Mittens or gloves that are attached to one's sleeves by a length of yarn or string so as to prevent their being lost. I always hated the idiot gloves my mom made me wear when I was a kid. They made me feel like such a dope!
See also: glove, idiot

an iron hand in a velvet glove

A person who has a gentle, sweet, or unassuming appearance or disposition, but who in reality is particularly severe, forceful, or uncompromising. Tom is in for it now with his wife. She might seem like a nice lady to us, but she's an iron hand in a velvet glove when they're at home. The new leader of the country rose to power by promises of democracy and equality to its citizens, but, as his despotic intentions came to light, he soon proved an iron hand in a velvet glove.
See also: glove, hand, iron, velvet

glove money

dated A monetary tip (with the purported intention of helping the servant who receives it to buy gloves). Be sure to give the maid glove money before you leave the estate.
See also: glove, money

kid gloves

A metaphor for very gentle care, often to the point of coddling. Kid gloves are very soft leather gloves, typically made from the skin of a young goat (a "kid"). Used in the phrase "treat (someone) with kid gloves" and similar variations. I can't stand the way my family always treats my younger brother with kid gloves, trying to protect him from every little thing! We'll need to handle the merger with kid gloves—both clients are extremely sensitive.
See also: glove, kid

hang up

1. verb To disconnect a phone call. The term is often used to mean to end the call in the middle of the conversation, but it can also mean to disconnect the call when it is finished. Don't you dare hang up on me, I'm not done issuing my complaint! I can't hear you anymore, it must be a bad signal. I'm going to hang up now, so call me back if you can hear this.
2. noun (usually hyphenated) A disconnected phone call. The phone's been ringing all day, but it's just been a bunch of hang-ups. I think someone's pranking us.
3. noun (usually hyphenated) An impediment of some kind, usually an emotional or psychological insecurity, that prevents a person from making progress in a situation. Jeff's personal hang-up is that he always felt like his parents supported his brother more than they supported him.
See also: hang, up

an iron fist in a velvet glove

A person who has a gentle, sweet, or unassuming appearance or disposition, but who in reality is particularly severe, forceful, and uncompromising. Tom is in for it now with his wife. She might seem like a nice lady to us, but she's an iron fist in a velvet glove. The new leader of the country rose to power by promises of democracy and equality to its citizens, but as his despotic intentions came to light he soon proved to be an iron fist in a velvet glove.
See also: fist, glove, iron, velvet

cat in gloves catches no mice

Prov. Sometimes you cannot get what you want by being careful and polite. Jill: I've hinted to Mary several times that I need her to pay me the money she owes, but she just ignores me. Jane: A cat in gloves catches no mice, Jill. Tell her bluntly that you need the money.
See also: cat, catch, glove, mice

fit like a glove

Fig. to fit very well; to fit snugly. My new shoes fit like a glove. My new coat is a little tight. It fits like a glove.
See also: fit, glove, like

gloves are off

Fig. There is going to be a serious dispute. (As if boxers had removed their gloves in order to inflict more damage. See also take the gloves off.) Bob got mad and yelled, "Ok, the gloves are off!" and started cussing and pounding the table.
See also: glove, off

hand in glove (with someone)

Fig. very close to someone. John is really hand in glove with Sally. The teacher and the principal work hand in glove.
See also: glove, hand

handle someone with kid gloves

Fig. to be very careful with a touchy person. Bill has become so sensitive. You really have to handle him with kid gloves. You don't have to handle me with kid gloves. I can take it.
See also: glove, handle, kid

hang something up

to return the telephone receiver to its cradle. (See also hang it up.) Please hang this up when I pick up the other phone. Please hang up the phone.
See also: hang, up

hang up

1. [for a machine or a computer] to grind to a halt; to stop because of some internal complication. Our computer hung up right in the middle of printing the report. I was afraid that my computer would hang up permanently.
2. to replace the telephone receiver after a call; to terminate a telephone call. I said good-bye and hung up. Please hang up and place your call again.
See also: hang, up

hang up

 (on someone or something)
1. and hang up (in someone's ear) to end a telephone call by returning the receiver to the cradle while the other party is still talking. She hung up on me! I had to hang up on all that rude talk.
2. to give up on someone or something; to quit dealing with someone or something. Finally, I had to hang up on Jeff. I can't depend on him for anything. We hung up on them because we knew we couldn't make a deal.
See also: hang, up

rule with a velvet glove

Fig. to rule in a very gentle way. She rules with a velvet glove, but she gets things done, nonetheless. He may appear to rule with a velvet glove, but he is really quite cruel.
See also: glove, rule, velvet

take one's gloves off

Fig. to stop being calm or civil and show an intention of winning a dispute by any means. (As if boxers were to remove their gloves in order to inflict more damage. See also The gloves are off.) Both of them took their gloves off and really began arguing.
See also: glove, off, take

fit (you) like a glove

to be perfectly suited to you My wife bought me a custom-made fishing rod, and it fits like a glove.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of fit like a glove (to fit your body perfectly)
See also: fit, glove, like

take the gloves off

to argue or compete without controlling your actions or feelings If they're willing to take their gloves off, US peanut producers could compete with anyone in the world.
Usage notes: also used in the form with the gloves off: In this fearless essay, she goes at some respected poets with the gloves off.
See also: glove, off, take

work hand in glove with somebody/something

to do something in close combination with someone or something else The computer chips are designed to work hand in glove with this new microprocessor.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form go hand in glove (to be closely related): Researchers believe that mental well-being and physical strength go hand in glove.
See also: glove, hand, work

hang up

to end a telephone connection I can't think of his name, but it'll come to me as soon as we hang up.
See also: hang, up

treat somebody with kid gloves

also handle somebody with kid gloves
to deal with someone very gently or carefully While he treated writers with kid gloves, he was unpleasant to everyone else.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of kid gloves (gloves made of very soft, smooth leather)
See also: glove, kid, treat

fit (somebody) like a glove

if a piece of clothing fits someone like a glove, it fits their body perfectly My new jeans contain Lycra so they fit like a glove.
See also: fit, glove, like

the gloves are off

if the gloves are off in an argument or competition, the people involved have started to argue or compete in a more determined or unpleasant way She gave a second interview later that year but this time the gloves were off. Her ex-boss, she said, was 'a tyrant and a fraud'.
See also: glove, off

hand in glove

  (British, American & Australian) also hand and glove (American)
if one person or organization is working hand in glove with another, they are working together, often to do something dishonest It was rumoured at the time that some of the gangs were working hand in glove with the police.
See also: glove, hand

an iron fist/hand in a velvet glove

something that you say when you are describing someone who seems to be gentle but is in fact severe and firm To enforce each new law the president uses persuasion first, and then force - the iron hand in the velvet glove.
See also: fist, glove, iron, velvet

handle/treat somebody with kid gloves

to be very polite or kind to someone who is important or easily upset because you do not want to make them angry or upset
Usage notes: Kid gloves are gloves made from very soft leather which would feel very soft if someone touched you with them.
Linda can be a very difficult woman - you've really got to handle her with kid gloves.
See also: glove, handle, kid

fit like a glove

Be the right size and well suited; also, be in conformity with. For example, That position fits him like a glove. Tobias Smollett used this simile, rather incongruously, in Humphry Clinker (1771): "The boots ... fitted me like a glove." [Second half of 1700s] Also see to a T.
See also: fit, glove, like

hand in glove

On intimate terms, in close association, as in The internist is hand in glove with the surgeon, so you'd better get a second opinion. This metaphoric expression for a close fit was already included in John Ray's 1678 collection of proverbs, when it was put hand and glove.
See also: glove, hand

handle with gloves

Also, handle with kid gloves. Treat with great or very gently, as in She has a terrible temper, so try to handle her with kid gloves. This usage probably alludes to the antonym, handle without gloves, meaning "to treat harshly." Gloves made of kidskin, the hide of a young goat, are soft and pliable, whence the transfer to delicate treatment. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: glove, handle

hang up

1. Suspend on a hook or hanger, as in Let me hang up your coat for you. [c. 1300]
2. Also, hang up on. Replace a telephone receiver in its cradle; end a phone conversation. For example, She hung up the phone, or He hung up on her. [Early 1900s]
3. Delay or hinder; also, become halted or snagged, as in Budget problems hung up the project for months, or Traffic was hung up for miles. [Second half of 1800s]
4. Have or cause to have emotional difficulties, as in Being robbed at gunpoint can hang one up for years to come. [Slang; early 1900s]
5. hung up on. Obsessed with, as in For years the FBI was hung up on Communist spies. [First half of 1900s]
6. hang up one's sword or gloves or fiddle . Quit, retire, as in He's hanging up his sword next year and moving to Florida. The noun in these expressions refers to the profession one is leaving- sword for the military, gloves for boxing, and fiddle for music-but they all are used quite loosely as well, as in the example.
7. hang up one's hat. Settle somewhere, reside, as in "Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentleman could wish to hang up his hat in" (Anthony Trollope, The Warden, 1855).
See also: hang, up

iron hand

Rigorous control, as in He ruled the company with an iron hand. This usage is sometimes put as iron hand in a velvet glove, meaning "firm but seemingly gentle control," as in She runs the town with an iron hand in a velvet glove. [c. 1700]
See also: hand, iron

with the gloves off

With or ready to dispense rough treatment, as in Prepared to oppose the council, the mayor marched into the meeting with the gloves off . This idiom alludes to old-style boxing, when gloves were not used. [Early 1800s]
See also: glove, off

hang up

1. To suspend something on a hook or hanger: Please hang your jacket up in the closet. I hung up my bathrobe on the hook.
2. To replace a telephone receiver on its base or cradle: I hung up the phone and returned to my chores. Will you hang that phone up and get back to your homework?
3. To end a telephone conversation: I said goodbye to my mother and hung up.
4. To delay or impede something; hinder something: Budget problems hung up the project for months. Squabbling hung the contract talks up for weeks.
5. To become snagged or hindered: The fishing line hung up on a rock.
6. To stop doing or participating in some activity: They are planning to hang up their law practice after 40 years. Trying to find your keys in the snow is a lost cause—you might as well hang it up.
7. Slang To have emotional difficulties or inhibitions. Used passively: If you weren't so hung up about your job, you'd be more fun to be around.
8. Slang To be obsessed or consumed with something. Used passively: I'm still hung up on that sale I missed last week.
See also: hang, up


mod. suiting one another naturally. These two go hand-in-glove.

hang up

1. n. a problem or concern; an obsession. (Usually hang-up.) She’s got some serious hang-ups about cats.
2. in. to say no; to cancel out of something. If you don’t want to do it, just hang up. I’ll understand.
See also: hang, up

with kid gloves

Tactfully and cautiously: had to handle the temperamental artist with kid gloves.
See also: glove, kid
References in classic literature ?
Yes, indeed, I've noticed that when a man hauls on a kid glove like he was dragging a cat out of an ash hole by the tail, he understands putting on kid gloves; he's had ex--"
I made another effort and tore the glove from the base of the thumb into the palm of the hand--and tried to hide the rent.
But this time, she noticed, the heel of his glove was pressed against Ponta's mouth and chin, and at the second "Break
But it was not, and Polly's fun cost more than the price of gloves and bonnet, for, having nibbled at forbidden fruit, she had to pay the penalty.
Let 's go and do it again to-morrow," said Tom, holding the hand from which he had helped to pull a refractory glove.
The moody man-servant, with his monstrous black gloves, was almost a nightmare; Royce, the secretary, was solid enough, a big bull of a man, in tweeds, with a short beard; but the straw-coloured beard was startlingly salted with grey like the tweeds, and the broad forehead was barred with premature wrinkles.
You know that pasty-faced servant in the black gloves who stopped the train?
I have nothing more to say,' returned Mrs Wilfer, with a meek renunciatory action of her gloves.
The good lady waved her gloves in a sense of the impossibility of saying more, and tied the pocket- handkerchief over her head in a tighter knot under her chin.
Albert Malvoisin, still holding Rebecca's glove in his hand, was speaking to Bois-Guilbert very earnestly, but in a low voice.
He will he doth, most Reverend Father,'' said Malvoisin, slipping the glove under his own mantle.
Only his hands, with which he kept his coat-skirts down round Nikita's sides, and his legs which the wind kept uncovering, began to freeze, especially his right hand which had no glove.
A buzz of excitement went up from the knot of squires as Alleyne, his gentle nature turned by this causeless attack into fiery resolution, dashed his glove with all his strength into the sneering face of his antagonist.
Let him pick up his glove and say that he has done amiss.
All the three buttons buttoned up without tearing on the long glove that covered her hand without concealing its lines.