dirty (one's) hands

(redirected from dirtying their hands)

dirty (one's) hands

To partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. The public can't be allowed to think that I, a senate hopeful, would ever dirty my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
See also: dirty, hand

dirty one's hands

Also, get one's hands dirty or soil one's hands. Do something shameful or illegal. For example, He refused to dirty his hands and give jobs to the big campaign donors, or Getting one's hands dirty by lying to the boss will be severely punished, or She would not soil her hands by cheating. This expression is a metaphor for literally defiling or soiling oneself. [Mid-1600s]
See also: dirty, hand
References in periodicals archive ?
Are we to sacrifice every last thrill our great game has to offer in the interests of protecting the blue chip clubs for a star studded finale that spares them dirtying their hands among the lower orders along the way?
They're afraid of dirtying their hands or they are just simply ignorant and disrespectful to others and the maintenance staff?
On the contrary, dirtying their hands, they read Houellebecq closely, attentive in particular to his manipulation of voice and tone, and his talent for delineating a cultural situation by means of the organization of its defining materials, whether inherited from the nineteenth century or announcing the twenty-first.
Libertarians tend to eschew Hamilton and his Yankee ilk, like Morris, for dirtying their hands actually trying to erect the economic groundwork of the richest nation in the known universe.
Universities felt that working with industry would be dirtying their hands.