throw in one's hand


Give up, abandon, as in I'm through trying to assemble it; I'm throwing in my hand. This expression comes from card games such as poker, where it is used to retire from the game. Its figurative use dates from the 1920s.

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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.