American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The terminal part of the human arm located below the forearm, used for grasping and holding and consisting of the wrist, palm, four fingers, and an opposable thumb.
- n. A homologous or similar part in other animals, as the terminal part of the forelimb in certain vertebrates.
- n. A unit of length equal to 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), used especially to specify the height of a horse.
- n. Something suggesting the shape or function of the human hand, especially:
- n. Any of the rotating pointers used as indexes on the face of a mechanical clock.
- n. A pointer, as on a gauge or dial.
- n. Printing See index.
- n. Lateral direction indicated according to the way in which one is facing: at my right hand.
- n. A style or individual sample of writing.
- n. A signature: put my hand to the contract.
- n. A round of applause to signify approval.
- n. Physical assistance; help: gave me a hand with the bags.
- n. Sports A handball in soccer.
- n. Games The cards held in a card game by a given player at any time.
- n. Games The number of cards dealt each player; the deal.
- n. Games A player or participant in a card game: We need a fourth hand for bridge.
- n. Games A portion or section of a game during which all the cards dealt out are played: a hand of poker.
- n. One who performs manual labor: a factory hand.
- n. One who is part of a group or crew: the ship's hands.
- n. A participant in an activity, often one who specializes in a particular activity or pursuit: an old hand at labor negotiations.
- n. The degree of immediacy of a source of information; degree of reliability: heard the scandalous tale at third hand.
- n. The strength or force of one's position: negotiated from a strong hand.
- n. Possession, ownership, or keeping. Often used in the plural: The books should be in your hands by noon.
- n. Power; jurisdiction; care: The defendant's fate is in the hands of the jury. Dinner is in the chef's hands.
- n. Involvement or participation: "In all this was evident the hand of the counterrevolutionaries” ( John Reed).
- n. An influence or effect: The manager had a hand in all major decisions.
- n. Evidence of craft or artistic skill: can see the hand of a genius even in the lighter poems.
- n. An aptitude or ability: I tried my hand at decorating.
- n. The aesthetic feel or tactile quality of something, such as a fabric, textile, or carpeting, that indicates its fineness, texture, and durability.
- n. A manner or way of performing something: a light hand with makeup.
- n. Permission or a promise, especially a pledge to wed.
- n. A commitment or agreement, especially when sealed by a handshake; one's word: You have my hand on that.
- v. To give or pass with or as if with the hands; transmit: Hand me your keys.
- v. To aid, direct, or conduct with the hands: The usher handed the patron to a reserved seat.
- v. Nautical To roll up and secure (a sail); furl.
- v. Sports To give (the ball) directly to a teammate, as in football. Often used with off.
- v. Sports To carry, strike, or propel (the ball) with the hand or arm in violation of the rules in soccer.
- v. Sports To make a handoff, as in football. Often used with off.
- hand down To bequeath to one's heirs.
- hand down To make and pronounce (an official decision, especially a court verdict).
- hand on To turn over to another.
- hand out To distribute freely; disseminate.
- hand out To administer or deal out.
- hand over To release or relinquish to another.
- hand up To deliver (an indictment) to a higher judicial authority.
- idiom. at hand Close by; near.
- idiom. at hand Soon in time; imminent: Retribution is at hand.
- idiom. hand By or through the agency of: favors he received at the hands of his uncle.
- idiom. by hand By using the hands; manually.
- idiom. get To get possessioon of; acquire or obtain.
- idiom. hand and foot With concerted, never-ending effort: had to wait on them hand and foot.
- idiom. in On intimate terms or in close association: "The folklore of American academia says that publishing and teaching go hand in glove” ( Edward B. Fiske).
- idiom. hand in hand In cooperation; jointly.
- idiom. hand it to Informal To give credit to: You've got to hand it to her; she knows what she's doing.
- idiom. hand over fist At a tremendous rate: made money hand over fist.
- idiom. hands down With no trouble; easily.
- idiom. hands down Indisputably; unquestionably.
- idiom. in hand In one's possession: arrived with the contract in hand.
- idiom. in hand Under control: kept the tense situation in hand.
- idiom. in hand Under consideration: gave her attention to the matter in hand.
- idiom. in hand In preparation or process: With the work finally in hand, we began to see progress.
- idiom. in hand Sports Remaining to be played by one team but not by another: Their team is ahead in the standings, but our team has two games in hand.
- idiom. off (one's) hands No longer under one's jurisdiction, within one's responsibility, or in one's care: We finally got that project off our hands.
- idiom. on hand Present; available: Are there enough people on hand to hold a meeting?
- idiom. on hand About to happen; imminent; What is on hand for this evening?
- idiom. on In one's possession, often as an imposed responsibility or burden: Now they have the grandchildren on their hands.
- idiom. on the one hand As one point of view; from one standpoint.
- idiom. on the other hand As another point of view; from another standpoint.
- idiom. out of hand Out of control: Employee absenteeism has gotten out of hand.
- idiom. out of hand At once; immediately.
- idiom. out of hand Over and done with; finished.
- idiom. out of hand Uncalled for or improper; indiscreet.
- idiom. to hand Nearby.
- idiom. to hand In one's possession.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The end of the arm or fore limb from the wrist outward, consisting of the palm, fingers, and thumb, and fitted for grasping objects. The perfect development of the hand is found only in man; but other animals, as monkeys, mice, squirrels, opossums, and other mammals, possess prehensile paws, or hands in a broad sense of the word. In man the fore limb is entirely withdrawn from the offices of support and locomotion, at least in adult life, and is devoted to the function of prehension, for which it is perfectly adapted by the mobility of all the digits, as well as by their respective difference in total length and in the length of their joints, and especially by the great freedom of the thumb, which can be perfectly apposed to the fingers collectively or to any one of them. Another important point in the perfection of a hand is its capability of complete pronation and supination, a movement of rotation following the motion of the radius about the ulna, by which the palm may be brought uppermost, when the hand is supine, or turned downward, when the hand is prone. None of the pronator or supinator muscles actually reach the hand, which simply carries out the movement of the radius. In the human hand there are 27 bones, namely, 8 carpals or wrist-bones proper, 5 metacarpals, and 14 phalanges, 3 to each of the four fingers and 2 to the thumb. The muscles which actuate the hand are numerous: they consist of several carpal extensors and flexors; several “long” common and special extensors and flexors of the digits, those of the thumb being most numerous and highly specialized; and certain “short” muscles confined to the palm, as those of the base of the thumb. (See cut under
muscle.) In most mammals which have hands in this sense the structure and composition of parts are similar, the anatomical differences being slight in comparison with the degrees of physiological adaptation to prehension, or functional efficiency.
- n. In anatomy, technically, the terminal segment of the fore limb of any vertebrate above fishes, consisting of three divisions, the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges; the manus: the correlative of the pes of the hind limb. In this sense the term hand is used irrespective of modifications in structure or function. See manus, and cut under pinion.
- n. The end of any limb which grasps, holds, or clings, as the hind foot of a monkey, a bat, an opossum, etc. Specifically — In falconry, the foot of a hawk.
- n. A measure of four inches; a palm: used chiefly in measuring the height of horses: as, a horse 14 hands high.
- n. Side; part; direction, to either right or left: used both literally and figuratively: as, on the one hand or the other.
- n. The mode of using the hand; touch; hence, skill in doing something with the hands, as controlling a horse by drawing upon the bit with the reins.
- n. Performance; handiwork; workmanship.
- n. Manner of acting or performance; mode of action.
- n. Agency; part in performing or executing; active coöperation in doing something.
- n. Possession; power; rule; control; authority: commonly in the plural.
- n. In card-playing: The cards held by a single player.
- n. A single round at a game, in which all the cards dealt at one time are played.
- n. One of the players. In whist the eldest hand or elder hand is the player sitting next the dealer in the order in which the cards are dealt; the second hand is the one playing next after the leader in any trick; the third hand is the one after him; and the fourth hand is the last of all.
- n. A game at cards.
- n. In heraldry, the representation of a human hand, usually couped at the wrist. The blazon always specifies dexter or sinister, appaumée or reversed. Compare
badge of Ulster, under badge, and see cut under appaumée.
- n. Something resembling the hand in shape or appearance, as in having five or more divisions (fingers), or in use, as in pointing, etc. Specifically — A palmate form of ginger. See the quotation.
- n. One of the groups, formed of one or two rows of the fruit arranged athwart the main stem of the bunch, into which a bunch of bananas or plantains naturally divides. A hand may contain from 8 to 20 separate fruits.
- n. A bundle or head of tobacco-leaves tied together, without being stripped from the stem.
- n. Five things sold together, as five oranges or five herrings.
- n. A figure like a hand used on sign-posts, etc., to indicate direction, or in print (as ) to call attention to a particular sentence or paragraph; an index.
- n. An index of a clock, watch, or dial of any kind, pointing out its divisions; a pointer: as, the hour- and minute-hands of a clock.
- n. One who is engaged in some particular manual employment, as in a factory or on a ship; a workman or workwoman.
- n. A person as acting in any way or doing any specified thing: as, a good hand at a bargain; all hands gave assistance.
- n. Style of penmanship; handwriting; chirography.
- n. A sign-manual; a signature.
- n. Terms; conditions; rate; price.
- n. A round of applause: as, he did not get a hand to-night.
- n. Pledge of marriage made by or for a woman; betrothal or bestowment in marriage.
- n. In some uses, a handle. See handle.
- n. A shoulder of pork.
- n. In Anglo-Saxon history, protection conferred by one in power or by the general community.
- n. [Hand is much used in composition, in reference to something made or done or to be managed or worked by hand, as hand-barrow, hand-bell, hand-loom, hand-saw, etc., or to that which is at hand, as handmaid, etc.]
- n. Near in time; not distant.
- n. In the state of preparation or execution; under examination, attention, etc.
- n. Accustomed to use the hands, especially in boxing or fighting.
- n. By every one.
- n. Under consideration; in intention; on foot.
- n. Off one's hands; done; ended.
- n. To be occupied with.
- n. To be in practice or skilled in any matter: as, he will do it well as soon as his hand is in.
- n. to have to do with; be occupied with or engaged in.
- n. To keep in a state of uncertainty; toy with; keep in expectation; amuse with the view of gaining some advantage.
- n. To bless, heal, ordain, etc., by the imposition of hands.
- n. To assist with; lend a hand to.
- n. To make another's cause one's own; join interests.
- n. To seize or consider and deal with: as, to take one's case in hand.
- To give or transmit by means of the hand.
- To lead, guide, or help with the hand; conduct: as, to hand a lady to a carriage.
- To manage with the hand or hands; manipulate; handle.
- To seize; lay hands on.
- Nautical, to furl, as a sail.
- To pledge by the hand; handfast.
- To go hand in hand; coöperate.
- Nautical, to ship as one of a crew; be or become a hand before the mast.
- n. One who, in the early days of Australian history, had been a convict.
- n. The part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in a human, and the corresponding part in many other animals.
- n. That which resembles, or to some extent performs the office of, a human hand; as.
- n. In linear measurement:
- n. A side; part, camp; direction, either right or left.
- n. Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill; dexterity.
- n. A point of view.
- n. archaic Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence, manner of performance.
- n. An agent; a servant, or manual laborer, especially in compounds; a workman, trained or competent for special service or duty; a performer more or less skillful; as.
- n. An instance of helping.
- n. Handwriting; style of penmanship.
- n. A person's signature.
- n. Personal possession; ownership.
- n. usually plural Management, domain, control.
- n. That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once.
- n. Applause.
- n. archaic Agency in transmission from one person to another.
- n. The feel of a fabric; the impression or quality of the fabric as judged qualitatively by the sense of touch.
- n. obsolete Rate; price.
- n. firearms The small part of a gunstock near the lock, which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.
- v. transitive To give, pass, or transmit with the hand.
- v. transitive To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct.
- v. transitive, obsolete To manage.
- v. transitive, obsolete To seize; to lay hands on.
- v. transitive, rare To pledge by the hand; to handfast.
- v. transitive, nautical To furl.
- v. intransitive, obsolete To cooperate.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in man and monkeys, and the corresponding part in many other animals; manus; paw. See manus.
- n. That which resembles, or to some extent performs the office of, a human hand.
- n. A limb of certain animals, as the foot of a hawk, or any one of the four extremities of a monkey.
- n. An index or pointer on a dial.
- n. A measure equal to a hand's breadth, -- four inches; a palm. Chiefly used in measuring the height of horses.
- n. Side; part; direction, either right or left.
- n. Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill; dexterity.
- n. Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence, manner of performance.
- n. An agent; a servant, or laborer; a workman, trained or competent for special service or duty; a performer more or less skillful
- n. Handwriting; style of penmanship. Hence, a signature.
- n. Personal possession; ownership; hence, control; direction; management; -- usually in the plural.
- n. Agency in transmission from one person to another.
- n. obsolete Rate; price.
- n. That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once.
- n. (Card Playing) The quota of cards received from the dealer.
- n. (Tobacco Manuf.) A bundle of tobacco leaves tied together.
- n. (Firearms) The small part of a gunstock near the lock, which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.
- n. A gambling game played by American Indians, consisting of guessing the whereabouts of bits of ivory or the like, which are passed rapidly from hand to hand.
- v. To give, pass, or transmit with the hand.
- v. To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct.
- v. obsolete To manage.
- v. obsolete To seize; to lay hands on.
- v. rare To pledge by the hand; to handfast.
- v. (Naut.) To furl; -- said of a sail.
- v. obsolete To coöperate.
- v. place into the hands or custody of
- n. something written by hand
- n. a hired laborer on a farm or ranch
- n. a card player in a game of bridge
- n. ability.
- n. the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb
- n. terminal part of the forelimb in certain vertebrates (e.g. apes or kangaroos)
- n. a position given by its location to the side of an object
- v. guide or conduct or usher somewhere
- n. a rotating pointer on the face of a timepiece
- n. the cards held in a card game by a given player at any given time
- n. a round of applause to signify approval
- n. a unit of length equal to 4 inches; used in measuring horses
- n. one of two sides of an issue
- n. physical assistance
- n. a member of the crew of a ship
- From Middle English, from Old English hand ("hand, side (in defining position), power, control, possession, charge, agency, person regarded as holder or receiver of something"), from Proto-Germanic *handuz (“hand”) (compare Dutch, Swedish hand, German Hand, West Frisian hân), from Proto-Germanic *hinþanan (compare Old Swedish hinna 'to gain', Gothic frahinþan 'to take captive, capture'), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱent-, *ḱemt- 'to grasp' (compare Latvian sīts 'hunting spear', Ancient Greek κεντέω ("prick"), Albanian çandër 'pitchfork, prop'). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“On the one hand, there\'s Obama\'s \ "open hand\" approach that rewards the unclenched fist with a handshake.”
““Raise your hand if you thought that Tigh and Adama were going to kiss each other when they were hugging over the death of Liam.” *raises hand* That had me hysterically laughing in my hotel room.”
“So I introduced myself and shook his hand * sniffs hand* and he actually repeated my name * sigh* and I thought I really was going to faint!”
“Which is, I think, appropriate to think about here in this town — because here, the highest hopes of mankind work hand in hand with the deepest cynicism of man.”
“Her head and throat and stomach and her hand, her hand, _her hand_ hurt.”
“The man is to receive the ring from the priest with the three principal fingers of the right hand; and then, holding the _right hand_ of the bride with his own left hand, he shall say, "With this ring," &c.”
“Thus: -- sē miscet virīs, _he mingles with the men_; contendis Homērō, _you contend with Homer_; dextrae dextram jungere, _to clasp hand with hand_.”
“I can say that I've never had a moment's uneasiness by (_beating her knee with her hand, stick in left hand_) telling the truth.”
“If, on the other hand -- pshaw! there _is no other hand_ in such a case.”
“-- Comp.nom. sg. sīo swīðre hand (_the right hand_),”
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