Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


wash hands of

wash your hands of


  • abandon taking responsibility for someone or something
  • to bring all involvement with someone or something to an end


  1. That job did no good to me. I washed my hands of it few months back and joined another one.
  2. Before being reported as a scam, he used to brag about this project. Now the minister has washed his hands of the project in front of the media.
  3. Your brother has taken care of you during your youth. You must not wash your hands of him during his difficult times.
  4. What future is this country going to witness when each individual here is in the habit of washing their hands of the work they do.
  5. He couldn’t wait to wash his hands of the project when it went into trouble.

This phrase has been originally referred to the biblical description of Pontius Pilate, who, when he was forced to convict Jesus to death, sent for a bowl of water and as a ritual washed his hands before the people as an indication that he was innocent of ‘this just person’ (Matthew 27:24).

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