throw up one's hands

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throw up one's hands (third-person singular simple present throws up one's hands, present participle throwing up one's hands, simple past threw up one's hands, past participle thrown up one's hands)

  1. (intransitive) To cease an attempt because it is perceived as doomed.
    • 1884, Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1987 Scholastic Paperbacks ed., →ISBN, page 283,
      I see it warn't a bit of use to try to go ahead—I'd got to throw up my hands.
    • 2001, James Patterson, Cradle and All, Warner Books, →ISBN, page 58,
      I wanted to throw up my hands and say, "Thanks. See ya." But I couldn't walk away.
    • 2007 August 22, Oliver Rist, "Does Vista suck?", InfoWorld [1],
      So to us, the question isn't just "Does Vista suck?" but "Does Vista suck enough that businesses of any size should simply throw up their hands and migrate over to something else?"