take somebody/something in hand

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take someone in hand

Fig. to take control of someone; to assume the responsibility of guiding someone. Someone is going to have to take Tim in hand and help him out. Alice decided that she would take the new worker in hand.
See also: hand, take

take in hand

Deal with, assume control of, as in He's going to take their debts in hand and see if they need to declare bankruptcy, or Once the new teacher takes them in hand this class will do much better. [c. 1300] Also see in hand, def. 2.
See also: hand, take

ˌtake somebody/something in ˈhand

begin to control or look after somebody/something, especially in order to make improvements in their behaviour, their performance, etc: That child is very badly behaved; someone should take her in hand.The new manager hopes to take the organization in hand, because in recent months it has been in chaos.