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To dismiss out of hand

Posted by ESC on June 23, 2006

In Reply to: To dismiss out of hand posted by stan on June 23, 2006

: can anyone help me with the meaning and origins of the prase "to dismiss out of hand " ?

I found an entry in a reference. Gives the meaning but not a clear origin on this particular use of "out of hand."

OUT OF HAND -- "If you reject an offer or idea 'out of hand,' you do so without hesitation. However, this phrase has several different meanings, the oldest of them being 'out of control,' from the days when failure to keep a firm grip on the reins would result in a team of horses being 'out of hand.'" From Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). Page 433.

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