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 ?
(Or wringing hands over the suffering of middle class parents who must educate their children.) Everyone knows the drill and, even so, before we know it we'll all be falling into line with one pre-manufactured view or another.
Merely wringing hands over compressed margins, by contrast, is a passive response that will only hasten the insolvency of a chain's pharmacy operation, maintains Cuti.
"It's easier not to commit themselves to something they may not understand or be able to do." She suggests training staff to redirect a resident appropriately and to identify nonverbal cues, such as pulling on pants, wringing hands, or moaning.
At a point, wringing hands and moralizing is not an asset but an impediment.
Wringing hands and taking surveys will not solve the problem.
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.
Wringing hands, sincere gestures and an actual tear glinting in the eye; wiped away a moment later, replaced by cheesy Archie Andrews grin, with a triumphant wave in response to the continuing false applause.
And it's clear from Angela's shy stance and wringing hands that she is overwhelmed.