hands down

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Etymology 1[edit]

The origin of this colloquialism seems to have its roots in mid-19th century horseracing. When a horse jockey is nearing the finish line far ahead of the competition, "with victory certain", he could drop his hands, relaxing his hold on the reins, and "still win the race". By the late 19th century the phrase was being used in non-racing contexts to mean 'with no trouble at all.'[1]


hands down (comparative more hands down, superlative most hands down)

  1. (idiomatic) without much effort; easily
  2. (idiomatic) by a large margin (in a game or contest)
  3. (idiomatic) without question; undoubtedly
    That is a rather difficult task, hands down.
  4. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see hands,‎ down.

Etymology 2[edit]

See hand down


hands down

  1. third-person singular simple present indicative of hand down


  1. ^ The Word Detective, (Issue of January 15,2002)[1].