raise one's hand

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raise one's hand (third-person singular simple present raises one's hand, present participle raising one's hand, simple past and past participle raised one's hand)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see raise,‎ hand.
    She raised her hand to touch his face.
  2. To use the gesture (either literally or figuratively) in order:
    1. To volunteer.
      The sergeant asked for someone to cross the minefield, and Private Muggins raised his hand.
      • 2010, Michael J. Goodspeed, Our Only Shield: A Novel of the Second World War[1], page 143:
        Which of you speaks German?” The prisoners looked warily at each other. None of the others moved. Saul, sensing opportunity, raised his hand. “Good, come forward, stand aside here,”
    2. To vote; to indicate agreement or approval.
      • 2010, Lori La Forgia, Everybody Has A Story, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 34:
        Kevin pounded his fists into the desk and started crying. “You just hate me,” he wailed. Mrs. Pascual put her book down and said to her class, “Please raise your hand if you think that I hate Kevin.”
      • 2013, Paul K. Chappell, The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World[2], Easton Studio Press, →ISBN:
        To demonstrate how much the students had in common despite their different political views, I said, “Raise your hand if you want America to be less safe and less secure. Raise your hand if you want terrorism to increase. Raise your hand if you want the American economy to collapse. Raise your hand if you want government waste [in spending]. Raise your hand if you want unnecessarily high taxes. Raise your hand if you want innocent people to die. Raise your hand if you want a worse future for you and your children.” None raised their hands.
      • 2015, S. Thomas Valentine, Questions of the Soul: Sermons from the 2014 Festival of Young Preachers[3], Chalice Press, →ISBN:
        Raise your hand if you absolutely love spiders. Raise your hand if your favorite thing is snakes. Raise your hand if you enjoy being in an enclosed space. Raise your hand if you look forward to receiving vaccinations. Raise your hand if you adore germs.
      "Who wants more money?" asked the trade union boss. All the men raised their hands.
    3. To ask a question or make a request.
      The President said that he would now take questions, and several reporters raised their hands.
      Little Timmy raised his hand to go to the toilet.
  3. (often with 'against' or 'to') To assault physically, notionally with the hand or fist.
    A man should not raise his hand against his wife.

Related terms[edit]