[ handz-awf, -of ]
See synonyms for hands-off on Thesaurus.com
  1. characterized by nonintervention or noninterference: the new hands-off foreign policy.

  2. remote or unfriendly; estranging: a truculent, hands-off manner toward strangers.

Origin of hands-off

First recorded in 1860–65

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hands-off in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hands-off


  1. (of a machine, device, etc) without need of manual operation

  2. denoting a policy, etc, of deliberate noninvolvement: a hands-off strategy towards industry

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with hands-off


An order to stop touching or interfering with something, as in Hands off the cake, children! This idiom is also put as keep one's hands off, as in She knew she had to keep her hands off so he could learn to tie his shoes by himself. [Mid-1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.