play the hand one is dealt

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

play the hand one is dealt

  1. (idiomatic) To use the resources which one actually has available; to operate realistically, within the limits of one's circumstances.
    • 1919, William MacLeod Raine, Oh, You Tex, ch. 6:
      "Don't you care. Play the hand that's dealt you and let the boss worry."
    • 1992 Oct. 1, Timothy W. Smith, "When the Going Gets Good, Jets Go Bad," New York Times (retrieved 9 April 2013):
      "We have the players we have and I've got to play the hand dealt," Coslet said. "We are limited in what we can do."
    • 2001 June 24, Martha Duffy, "Take This Job and Love It," Time:
      "I am a great believer in self-management, that you must survive and find a way to play the hand you are dealt."
    • 2012 January 2, Alex Spillius, "Mitt Romney: a safe pair of hands?," The Telegraph (UK) (retrieved 9 April 2013):
      There were mainstream candidates who seemed stronger than Mr Romney. . . . But the party must play the hand it is dealt, which appears to be Mr Romney.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Many alternative forms, too numerous to list, are used.