Definition of show of hands in English:

show of hands

Pronunciation /ˌSHō əv ˈhandz/ /ˌʃoʊ əv ˈhændz/


  • The raising of hands among a group of people to indicate a vote for or against something, with numbers typically being estimated rather than counted.

    ‘a show of hands suggested he has little support’
    • ‘A union motion calling for the policy to be scrapped was clearly carried on a show of hands.’
    • ‘After a while, they switched to voting by a show of hands.’
    • ‘Each meeting ended with a vote by a show of hands.’
    • ‘To cheers in the hall it was carried on a show of hands.’
    • ‘The show of hands will be followed by a poll, where this is required or appropriate.’
    • ‘The vote was done by written ballot because some felt it would be intimidating to do it by a show of hands, with people looking to see who voted in what way.’
    • ‘The proposals were strongly endorsed in a show of hands shortly before midnight, following a four-hour meeting of the pilots at Dublin Airport.’
    • ‘By a show of hands, who here honestly believes that it will be finished in March?’
    • ‘There was no show of hands for or against the proposals.’
    • ‘All other resolutions were approved overwhelmingly on a show of hands.’
    • ‘In a show of hands, the majority of residents at the meeting indicated they were not in favour of a northern route.’