be wringing (one's) hands

(redirected from are wringing their hands)

be wringing (one's) hands

To be displaying one's worries about something (without acting to address it). You're wringing your hands about this when you should be taking some action to stop it.
See also: hand, wring

be wringing your hands

COMMON If someone is wringing their hands, they are expressing sadness or regret about a bad situation, but are not taking any action to deal with it. He accused the Government of wringing its hands and doing nothing as the country's jobless figures increased. Note: When someone behaves like this, you can call it hand-wringing or wringing of hands. Condolences and hand-wringing are not enough. I expect there'll be shock, horror and wringing of hands. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval. Note: If you wring something, you squeeze or twist it.
See also: hand, wring
References in periodicals archive ?
The mayor, city council, borough presidents and other assorted "leaders" are wringing their hands with dire predictions of the end of the middle class in our city.