unclean handsnoun plural
Legal Definition of unclean hands
: an equitable doctrine: a complainant will be denied relief if he or she has engaged in misconduct (as acting in bad faith) directly relating to the complaint also : the condition of having engaged in such misconduct and being barred from equitable relief may not be invoked by a plaintiff with unclean hands — Royal Sch. Labs., Inc. v. Town of Watertown, 358 F.2d 813 (1966)
Note: Unclean hands on the part of the plaintiff is often pleaded as an affirmative defense by the defendant.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
- Where Does 'Run-of-the-Mill' Come From?
- The Provenance of 'Providence'
- The Good, The Bad, & The Semantically Imprecise - 8/16/19
- Lovelock to Trichologist: 8 Words About Hair
Ask the Editors
- On Contractions of Multiple Words
- A Look at Uncommon Onomatopoeia
- Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
- Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz Take the quiz
- Obscure Shapes Take the quiz
- Name That Thing Take the quiz
- Syn City Play the game