hand-wring·​ing ˈhand-ˌriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce hand-wringing (audio)
: an overwrought expression of concern or guilt
handwringer noun

Examples of hand-wringing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since last Monday, when Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III had been diagnosed with cancer, the seventy-five-year-old monarch has been the subject of both hand-wringing concern and frenzied speculation. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 12 Feb. 2024 Today, that hand-wringing delay has been nearly eliminated. Katie Palmer, STAT, 1 Dec. 2023 The combination of the new stadium, hand-wringing fans and — worst of all — disinterested indifference in the community has ripple effects beyond one locker room. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Nov. 2023 Both episodes benefit from a curiosity about human nature that goes beyond hand-wringing monologues about our capacity for greed or complacency, and an affection for people in all our absurd and messy glory. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Mar. 2023 For all the hand-wringing Kidd does about getting his team back together, Doncic has played in 57 of 69 games. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 14 Mar. 2023 The other involves hand-wringing and whining about their (purportedly) ruinous tax bills. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 7 Mar. 2023 For all the hand-wringing the NBA has done about players coming straight out of high school, the track record is good. Christopher L. Gasper, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Feb. 2023 After the hand-wringing and tapdancing that would follow, perhaps the adults in our government, if there are any, will have the guts to start talking about a plan before the 11th hour. WSJ, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hand-wringing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hand-wringing was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near hand-wringing

Cite this Entry

“Hand-wringing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hand-wringing. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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