have (one's) hands full(redirected from they have their hands full)
have (one's) hands full
To be busy or completely occupied with dealing with something. I have my hands full with all these meetings today, so can I call you back tomorrow? Paula has her hands full with those kids.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have one's hands full (with someone or something)
Fig. to be busy or totally occupied with someone or something. I have my hands full with my three children. You have your hands full with managing the store.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
have one's hands full
Be extremely busy, as in With the new baby she really has her hands full. [Second half of 1400s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
have your hands full
COMMON If you have your hands full, you are very busy. She's doing fine. Got her hands full with the kids, of course. The federal government will obviously have its hands full trying to enforce environmental laws while keeping residents happy. Note: You can also say that someone's hands are full. He's managing all three projects so his hands are full. Note: You often use these expressions to show that someone has many responsibilities or jobs, and does not have enough time for any more.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
have your ˈhands fullbe very busy: I’ve got my hands full looking after four children. ♢ You look as if you’ve got your hands full today. Would you like me to help you? OPPOSITE: have time on your hands
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
have one's hands full, to
To be completely occupied or very busy, to have more than enough to do. This expression dates from the fifteenth century or earlier. It appears in Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur: “Ye shalle have bothe your handes ful of me.” See also plate, to have a lot/enough on one's.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer