be wringing (one's) hands

(redirected from be 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 ?
But none of Sunderland's did, and it shows incredible hypocrisy to be wringing their hands and coming out with these sorts of comments about Sunderland's future now that it is politically expedient, rather than back when they could have made a difference.
Whoever does get the contract will be wringing their hands with glee - no wonder.
On Thursday they will be wringing their hands in despair.'