from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The ever-present, oppressive influence of past events: "Psychotherapy explores the ways in which the past has shaped people, and how its dead hand continues to deform their lives” ( James S. Gordon).
- n. Mortmain.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. a hand that can not alienate, as of a person civilly dead.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as mortmain.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. real property held inalienably (as by an ecclesiastical corporation)
- n. the oppressive influence of past events or decisions
Middle English dede hond, translation of Old French mortemain or Medieval Latin manus mortua, mortmain.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)