shake hands

Idioms & Phrases

shake hands

  1. Also, . Clasp another's hand in greeting, farewell, or congratulation or as a sign of friendship or goodwill. For example, Stop fighting, boys; shake hands and be done with it, or You won first prize? Let me shake your hand. [Early 1500s]

  2. shake hands on. Confirm a promise or bargain, as in We didn't sign a contract; we simply shook hands on our agreement. [Early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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