from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wave of the hand.
  • n. A glib statement or explanation that glosses over important details.
  • v. To explain something superficially, skipping over important details, perhaps appealing to intuition instead.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Of course, you can always handwave away anything that doesn't meet your definition of "major".

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • Your middle ear is the same thing – a group of similar structures arranged to imply progression with no real mechanism – other than the handwave "variation and selection" to connect them.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • A sudden handwave caught my attention as Charlie gestured me over to her table.

    Brush of Darkness

  • No amount of complaining about the president lacking “political courage” can handwave away the fact that it is illegal for the president to bring the former prisoners here.

    Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » 3/4

  • That is not, however, a small political issue that you can handwave away as no big deal.

    Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » 3/4

  • I'm not being pedantic here: dismissing entire cultures with a magnificent handwave as "barbaric" reduces the notion of "culture" to a handful of abhorrent practices carried out by some members of the culture in question.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • So you see why it pisses me off when people try to call rape solely a women's issue, or handwave away the experiences of male survivors.

    Valentines, part the first

  • I understand they had a science consultant to handwave something plausible, and I read an article about this, and still thought it was totally dumb.

    MIND MELD: What Are The Most Realistic (and the Most Ridiculous) Uses of Science in SciFi Film and TV?

  • But mangling extant science to force a plot point is another matter, as is using “sciency” terms to handwave.

    BOOK VIEW CAFE BLOG » Yes, Things Were Different Then

  • And that brings us to the point that Egnor continues to either ignore or handwave his way past. 20 years ago, there were virtually no widespread strains of staphylococcus that were resistant to multiple antibiotics. 10 years ago, multiply resistant strains were becoming common – but staph infections that were resistant to methicillin and vancomycin were quite rare.

    A Review of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed


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