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lap of the gods, in the

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Beyond one's control, in the hands of providence. For example, She's done what she can to expedite matters; now it's in the lap of the gods. This expression is a translation from Homer's Iliad, in which Automedon, the charioteer of Achilles and Patroclos, said the battle's outcome was “in the lap of the gods.” Lap of the gods has also been translated as knees of the gods.

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

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