hat in hand

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Adverb[edit]

hat in hand (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) With humility; in an apologetic or self-effacing fashion.
    • 1849, Herman Melville, chapter 61, in Redburn: His First Voyage:
      Hat in hand, the sailors stood deferentially in a semicircle before him.
    • 1915, John Buchan, chapter 5, in Salute to Adventurers:
      "D'you think the proud English corporations are going to let you inside? Not them. The most you'll get will be the scraps that fall from their table, my poor Lazarus, and for these you'll have to go hat in hand to Dives."
    • 2015 Oct. 5, James Kanter and Tim Arango, "Turkish Leader Says E.U. Should Do More About Syria," New York Times (retrieved 7 Oct 2015):
      Turkish leaders are accustomed to visiting Europe with hat in hand, seeking to make compromises.

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