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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 (one's) neck

To strangle someone. The phrase is used as a threat, but never refers to actually strangling someone. I'll wring your neck the next time you talk to me like that, you hear me? That's the second time this week he's eaten my lunch. I ought to wring his neck!
See also: neck, wring

wring (something) out of (someone or something)

1. Literally, to squeeze or twist wet fabric in an attempt to dry it. Be sure to wring the excess water out of that blanket before you hang it on the clothesline.
2. By extension, to pressure or otherwise convince someone to do what one wants. That guy's easily intimidated, so I'm confident you'll be able to wring some details out of him.
See also: of, out, wring

be wringing (one's) hands

To display one's worries about something but not act to address it. Why are you wringing your hands about this? It's really not a big deal.
See also: hand, wring

wring (one's) withers

To force an emotional or conscientious response from someone. Another film blatantly crafted to wring our withers ahead of awards season, it's heavy-handed stance on morality and conscience end up coming off as cheap and cynical.
See also: withers, wring

wring something from something

 and wring something out of something
to remove liquid from something by squeezing or twisting. She wrung the water from the cloth and wiped up the rest of the spill. Alice wrung the water out of the washcloth.
See also: wring

wring something out

to squeeze or twist something dry of liquid. He wrung the rag out and wiped up more of the spilled milk. Liz wrung out the rag and wiped up more of the spilled milk.
See also: out, wring

wring something out of someone

to pressure someone into telling something. The police will wring the truth out of her. After a lot of questioning, they wrung the information out of Fred.
See also: of, out, wring

be wringing your hands

COMMON If someone is wringing their hands, they are expressing sadness or regret about a bad situation, but are not taking any action to deal with it. He accused the Government of wringing its hands and doing nothing as the country's jobless figures increased. Note: When someone behaves like this, you can call it hand-wringing or wringing of hands. Condolences and hand-wringing are not enough. I expect there'll be shock, horror and wringing of hands. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval. Note: If you wring something, you squeeze or twist it.
See also: hand, wring

wring someone's neck

If you say that you would like to wring someone's neck you mean that you are very angry with them. I'll wring his neck if I catch him! I could wring her neck the way I'm feeling at the moment. Note: To wring something means to twist it and squeeze it.
See also: neck, wring

wring someone's withers

stir someone's emotions or conscience.
This phrase is taken from Hamlet. In the play-within-the-play scene, Hamlet remarks ironically that there is no need for King Claudius, his usurping uncle, to feel troubled by the plot, remarking: ‘let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung’. The withers are the bony ridge between the shoulders of a horse which is liable to be chafed by an ill-fitting saddle.
See also: withers, 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

ˌwring somebody’s ˈneck

(spoken, informal) used as an expression of anger or as a threat: If I find the person who did this, I’ll wring his neck!
If you wring a bird’s neck, you twist it in order to kill the bird.
See also: neck, wring

wring from

1. To extract some liquid by twisting and compressing something: I wrung the water from the cloth and laid it out to dry.
2. To obtain or extract some information by applying force or pressure to someone: My mother finally wrung the truth from us, and we told her everything.
See also: wring

wring out

1. To twist, squeeze, or compress something, especially so as to extract liquid: I wrung out the wet towel. Wring the clothes out before you hang them on the line.
2. To extract some liquid by twisting or compressing something: Wring out the suds from the dishcloth when you're done washing the dishes. She twisted her hair to wring the rain out of it.
3. To obtain or extract some information by applying force or pressure to someone; extort something from someone: We can wring out the story from him if we question him long enough. The prosecutor wrung the truth out of the reluctant witness.
See also: out, wring
References in periodicals archive ?
4 : to affect as if by wringing <The bad news wrung our hearts.
Agnes de Mille's 1928 solo Debut at the Opera, a trifle reconstructed by Janet Eilber and set to Delibes's music, was wrung for comedy by veteran Trock Ida Nevasayneva (Paul Ghiselin) in a Degasesque saffron tutu.
WELL, now we know what the Queen did with that bird whose neck she wrung yesterday.
The onlooker said: "It was obviously not the first time she had wrung the neck of a pheasant.
It's always there - a half-millionth part of every block - every time it's used, even when a block is measured alone, wrung against an optical flat.
The tactics used by Acacia/Veritec are similar to those used by the Lemelson Partnership in its infamous licensing campaign that successfully wrung over $1.
Freed from keeping rhythm in a band with an overachieving rhythm section, he unleashed scorching riffs and wrung beautiful, pained melody from his blood-red Stratocaster.
Kopf, partnered here by Chittenden and Thompson, wrung every slinky nuance from this beguiling combination; she has never looked better.
Never in a blue moon could Mike Myers have wrung a laugh out of a pet counselor advising the distraught owner of a seal who refuses to juggle.
The same hypocrites who closed Mission Canyon and other landfills wrung their hands in agony Tuesday over how diesel garbage trucks poison the air they and their constituents breathe.
Realtor Nancy Starczyk, president of the Santa Clarita unit, said the maximum number of sales may have been wrung out of the market.
But as Barkley wrung his hands and others hailed the progress, perhaps Lakers coach Del Harris had the best perspective on the news.