throw (one's) arms up in despair

throw (one's) arms up in despair

1. To make a gesture physically indicating one's despair and disbelief (about something.) We threw our arms up in despair after they told us that our appointment had been rescheduled again for a third time. The computer crashed for the third time that day, and I threw my arms up in despair.
2. To express or indicate that one gives up or submits to futility or failure. (Not necessarily done by literally putting one's arms in the air.) The student threw his arms up in despair, claiming that the math problems were impossible to solve. Don't just throw your arms up in despair—keep trying.
See also: arm, despair, throw, up