Meaning of wash one's hands of in English:

wash one's hands of

See synonyms for wash one's hands of


  • Disclaim responsibility for.

    ‘the social services washed their hands of his daughter’
    • ‘He washed his hands of any responsibility, skillfully uncoupling the role of the executive from execution.’
    • ‘It was a show they had virtually washed their hands of and abandoned, but one which they didn't actually realise was, in itself, a sensation.’
    • ‘By this time the American representatives of the governing body had washed their hands of all responsibility and even stopped attending board meetings.’
    • ‘But in recent interviews, he has tried to wash his hands of any responsibility for that mistake.’
    • ‘As an executive who is responsible for financial affairs, he should not be washing his hands of the matter in such a way.’
    • ‘They're washing their hands of the problem but also guaranteeing the landlords get their revenues, which are, of course, a form of tax revenue.’
    • ‘And she is angry that a town whose residents often complain about teenagers behaving badly are contemplating washing their hands of a scheme which is tackling the problem.’
    • ‘The Conservatives, on the other hand, believe sprawl is a provincial and municipal issue, and are washing their hands of it.’
    • ‘We need to find the right balance between so-called ‘nannying’ and simply washing our hands of our people's health.’
    • ‘Structural injustice occurs when we let the system oppress the poor and the defenseless by washing our hands of the matter or simply walking away from the victims.’
    disown, disclaim, renounce, reject, abjure, forswear, disavow, have nothing to do with, have done with, be finished with, be through with, give up on, turn one's back on, cast aside, end relations with, abandon
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    Originally with biblical allusion to Matt. 27:24.