wash one's hands of

wash one's hands of

Refuse to accept responsibility for; abandon or renounce. For example, I've done all I can for him, and now I'm washing my hands of him. This expression alludes to Pontius Pilate's washing his hands before having Jesus put to death, saying "I am innocent of the blood of this just person" (Matthew 27:24).
See also: hand, of, wash
References in periodicals archive ?
The public hearings have meant that it is now impossible to dismiss the past and wash one's hands of responsibility.
Another common expression is to wash one's hands of a matter.
For example, consider the thought, effort, and number of words required to convey the ideas implied by such expressions as wolf in sheep's clothing, wash one's hands of a matter, or killed with kindness.