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on one's hands

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1

In one's possession or care, often as a responsibility, as in As long as she had three children on her hands she couldn't get very much accomplished, or They had two houses on their hands because they hadn't sold the first before having to move. This term was first recorded in 1528. For the antonym, see .

2

time on one's hands. Time in which one has nothing necessary to do, free time, as in She has a lot of time on her hands now that the kids have moved out. Also see in one's hands.

QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use on one's hands in a sentence

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