at the hands of

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at the hands of

Due to the actions of. At least her first loss came at the hands of a very formidable opponent.
See also: hand, of

at the hands of someone

or

at someone's hands

COMMON If someone experiences a particular kind of treatment, especially unpleasant treatment, at the hands of a person or organization or at someone's hands, they receive it from them. After their 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Vitesse Arnhem, United may find morale a problem. She spoke of the humiliation she endured at the hands of the police.
See also: hand, of, someone

at the hands of somebody

,

at somebody’s ˈhands

(written) if you experience something at the hands of somebody, they are the cause of it: So far hundreds of innocent civilians have died at the hands of the terrorists.
See also: hand, of, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
Pressure on the group is showing no sign of easing since chief executive Tony Hayward's mauling at the hands of US politicians last week.
RELATIVES wept yesterday at the state funeral of an Italian secret service agent - as a row rumbled on over his death at the hands of US troops as he escorted a hostage to freedom.
This culminated, in my opinion, with the deaths of two fellow detainees at the hands of US military personnel, to which I myself was partially witness.
The shopkeeper from Birmingham claims he has been tortured, threatened with death, stripped and paraded in front of cameras and partially witnessed the deaths of two inmates at the hands of US guards.
But considering this point and the probable reaction after the event in which Japan possibly loses its first soldier in action in 50 years, Japan MUST consider the following: If the Japanese troops suffer their first loss at the hands of US (yes, US) "friendly fire"--what will happen?