wring (one's) hands

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Related to wring hands: hand down, hands are tied

wring (one's) hands

To display one's worries about something but not act to address it. We must not just wring our hands about this famine. We must act to help those who are starving.
See also: hand, wring

wring your hands

show great distress.
See also: hand, wring

ˌwring your ˈhands

twist and rub your hands together because you are very worried, upset or anxious: He stood there, wringing his hands in despair.It’s no use just wringing our hands — we must do something. ▶ ˈhand-wringing noun: No amount of hand-wringing can change the situation.
See also: hand, wring
References in periodicals archive ?
It is far easier to wring hands about the whip than it is to say we want it; we want it to be used efficiently, and we only want to have its inefficient, incompetent or brutal use curtailed.
Michael Foley Romford, Essex WHILE Western leaders dither and wring hands, innocent people in Syria are being slaughtered by Assad's despicable regime.