throw up one's hands, to

throw up one's hands

Indicate or express utter hopelessness. For example, Jim was getting nowhere so he threw up his hands and abandoned the argument. This idiom alludes to a traditional gesture for giving up.
See also: hand, throw, up

throw up (one's) hands

To indicate or express utter hopelessness: He threw up his hands and abandoned the argument.
See also: hand, throw, up

throw up one's hands, to

To express despair, frustration, or exasperation. Although this gesture must be very old indeed, the expression appeared in print only from the late nineteenth century. George M. Fenn used it in The Double Knot (1890): “The woman threw up her hands and reeled.”
See also: throw, up
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