show one's hand, to(redirected from to show one's hand)
show one's hand
Fig. to reveal one's intentions to someone. (From card games.) I don't know whether Jim is intending to marry Jane or not. He's not one to show his hand. If you want to get a raise, don't show the boss your hand too soon.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
show one's hand
Reveal one's plans, intentions, or resources, especially when they were previously hidden. For example, We have to be careful not to show our hand to our competitors. The hand here refers to a hand of cards, and showing them means turning them face up. [Late 1800s]
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.
show (one's) hand
1. Games To display one's cards with faces up.
2. To state one's intentions or reveal one's resources, especially when previously hidden.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
show one's hand, to
To reveal one’s true motives or intentions. This term, like laying one’s cards on the table, comes from card-playing. Edmund Campion used a version of it in 1581: “I would I might be suffered to shewe my cardes” (Conferences Held in the Tower of London with Ed. Campion, Jesuit, cited by OED). A variant is to tip one’s hand, of the same provenance. The Economist used it on November 17, 1979: “Mr Hunt will not tip his hand on the price at which he will buy more bullion.”
See also: show
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer