to wash your hands of

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - wash your hands of

"to wash your hands of"

to stop being involved with or responsible for


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - wash your hands of

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Is Joan still working with Roger on his accounting project?

Colleague 2:  No.  She washed her hands of it.

Colleague 1:  Why is that?

Colleague 2:  Apparently, Roger was not following generally accepted accounting practices and Joan thinks there will be trouble so she has disassociated herself entirely from the project.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - wash your hands of

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I just can't keep working with you on this.

Friend 2:  Why not?

Friend 1:  Because you are so very disorganized and are causing me extra work and I am just not interested in the frustration. I quit.

Friend 2:  Just like that? You are washing your hands of it?

Friend 1:  Good luck and goodbye.

to wash your hands of - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   685   click for frequency by country

to wash your hands of - Gerund Form:

Washing his hands of the whole affair, he walked away permanently.

to wash your hands of - Examples:

1)  By standing behind such social systems and institutions, individuals can wash their hands of any personal responsibility for the conditions which oppress the masses.

2)  However, we will not sit by and allow the responsible parties to wash their hands of their obligations under the act.

3)  This has allowed the participants in parts of the overall project to wash their hands of responsibility for parts they are not party to.

4)  "but society is sexist/ racist/ whatever" as an excuse to wash their hands of their responsibility as organisations, to promote decency within their organisations.

5)  Republicans have completely washed their hands of any role and any responsibility for America's ever-increasing red tape ...

6)  Also, the FCC washed their hands of determining legality, that is the job of the courts alone.

7)  The company washed their hands of the contract and walked away. 

8)  The government and police have washed their hands of this matter: nobody seems to want to offend the tribe but ...

9)  Now, I wash my hands of responsibility for any part in this mishap.

10)  But now I don't care -- I wash my hands of it completely.

11)  OK, I wash my hands of you, you're on your own.

12)  ... would never be able to get me on biological treatments, and I felt he washed his hands of me, and referred me on to the pain clinic, ...

13)  According to the original judge, the agent washed his hands of all responsibility to his client... he failed to advise the purchaser ...

14)  As Malcolm reflected on life beyond politics, Dan Miller washed his hands of the whole affair.

15)  He took a job in America and washed his hands of any parental responsibilities (child support).

16)  Back out totally and wash your hands of the mess.

17)  ... is just too stubborn to deal with on any level, it's time to wash your hands of them; they've already got issues that have nothing to do ...

18)  But I guess it's easy to wash your hands of other people's problems when you can arrange for a private doctor ...

19)  With this in mind, I would suggest you just wash your hands of this matter as Barry will not listen to you.

20)  ... they're unethical, and therefore extend the stain to US operators, do you wash your hands of any guilt?