wring (one's) hands

(redirected from wring their hands)

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 ?
Unfortunately, they then wring their hands in pain in their realisation that this cannot be done and roll over in defeatism stating : "But I'm afraid myself and Dean will have to dream on as the current crop of politicians we have to do what they want and not what we want.
Yet the reaction of the leading powers has been to stand on the sidelines and pathetically wring their hands.
Whilst the vast legion of "bleeding hearts" will wring their hands, I think we should tell these families, behave or find somewhere else, as they are no doubt living at public expenditure.
The chattering classes wring their hands in anguish.
Meanwhile, they all wring their hands with grief over the closure of Corus on Teesside, where the Labour vote is guaranteed, but do nothing to prevent it.
This Government just wring their hands, have a another review, then say they find no evidence of collaboration between the companies and we have to shoulder the increases.
Some people wring their hands and worry what would happen to Barton if football turned its back on him.
Libertarians certainly have been known to criticize and ridicule moralists even when they aren't calling for government coercion--for instance, when they wring their hands over the loss of cultural constraints on sexuality.
During the post-mortem after November's election debacle--at which Republican bigwigs gathered to wring their hands and point fingers--Sununu brought his audience down memory lane by pontificating on education funding-related issues and condescendingly "lecturing" anyone who dared disagree with him.
Everything about it is designed to shock, from the brilliant light falling on the huddled prisoners, the pitiful way they cover their faces or wring their hands, and the pungent smears of blood on the ground, to the nearness of the executioners' muzzles to their victims.
As ordinary citizens wring their hands over global warming from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, scientists are wringing new chemical insights from the usually gaseous compound.
media wring their hands about the growing theocracy in Iran, they seldom recognize the sanctioned brutality routinely directed toward homosexuals.
Yet today's Democrats do no more than wring their hands and say, "Of course we aren't organized.
Every time the public gets outraged over a gang shooting of an innocent victim, politicians wring their hands, make a lot of promises and ultimately do nothing.
Typically, underwriters are squeezed between the marketing department's claim that they are too conservative and too much business goes to competitors, and the tendency of management to wring their hands when there is a "blip" in mortality.