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sully (one's) hands

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

sully your hands

If someone sullies their hands by doing something, they do something unpleasant or wrong. He had no intention of sullying his hands by playing politics. He would not sully his hands in trade. Note: To sully something means to stain it.
See also: hand, sully
References in periodicals archive ?
Sully resident Steven Oaten said: "It impacts on the local football teams who need to use the pitches after they have been churned up - especially the one at the rear of Sully school that still bears the scars.
Sully should be more flamboyant for the film to make sense -- the kind of ageing swashbuckler who'd pull a reckless stunt like pointing the plane at the river.
In a tweet, Vox Cinemas Oman said on Sunday that the trailer for Sully was filmed using IMAX cameras and will be seen in Oman beginning September 8.
Sully at the Westboro District Court arraignment, said the girls told his client they were 23 and 26.
Sully would follow the example of earlier American captains and traders by entering this hospitable society through marriage.
The final's most contentious moment saw Sully awarded a penalty when referee Bryn Markham Jones decided Hotspur defender Rory Courlander had used an elbow to stave off Long as he shepherded the ball out for a goal-kick.
The game turned again as David Hanson scored, followed by captain Ike Attah, and the speedy Pierre Sully closed the game up.
Vince and the men screamed and beat the machine with shovels to alert the oblivious Sully of the flaming and thrashing hose.
Billy Crystal is great in freeflowing gag form, while John Goodman makes sure Sully is actually just the cute and fuzzy creature that Boo suspects he is.
six-foot film star Mike and his pal Sully from the hit movie Monsters Inc.
MIKE and Sully of Monsters Inc fame took a break from scaring youngsters to greet Nuneaton children.
In "Nobody's Fool," Paul Newman seems so much at home as Sully, a construction worker in the upstate New York town of North Bath, that one could easily forget he's acting.
Sully Primary won the Girls Schools Football Champions Cup at the Vale Sports Arena.