throw (one's) hands up

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throw (one's) hands up

To express or indicate that one gives up or submits to futility or failure. (Not necessarily done by literally putting one's hands in the air.) I'm ready to throw my hands up after trying to train this unruly puppy. Don't just throw your hands up and quit—keep trying!
See also: hand, throw, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throw one's hands up (in despair)

 
1. Lit. to make a gesture of throwing up one's hands indicating futility, despair, finality, etc. He threw his hands up in despair and walked away. She threw up her hands and fled.
2. Fig. to give up in despair. John threw his hands up in despair because they wouldn't let him see his brother in the hospital. Don't give up! Don't just throw up your hands!
See also: hand, throw, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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