wring (one's) hands

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Related to wringing hands: Rett syndrome

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 ?
At a point, wringing hands and moralizing is not an asset but an impediment.
Wringing hands and taking surveys will not solve the problem.
Be it haggling over the price of a new car or wringing hands over a multi-million dollar corporate deal, a scientifically-based system exists behind reaching an ethical and profitable agreement.
Afterwards Remy went all Edith Piaf, sounding like the French songbird whose famous warble 'Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien' became an anthem for wringing hands.
A desperate figure stands rigid, listening to a violin solo on an old gramophone - her wringing hands and twisted expression the only indications of her internal upheaval.
Players shifted nervously from foot to foot, wringing hands and chomping on lower lips.
And it's clear from Angela's shy stance and wringing hands that she is overwhelmed.
She was sitting on the end of the volleyball bench at UC Santa Barbara, a walk-on uncomfortably wringing hands she had once used as a top-flight outside hitter at Ukiah High.
Rather than wringing hands over it, the film, if not its characters, stoically accepts the inevitability of missed connections at the end of the 20th century.