from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A homologous or similar part in other animals, as the terminal part of the forelimb in certain vertebrates.
  • noun A unit of length equal to 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), used especially to specify the height of a horse.
  • noun Something suggesting the shape or function of the human hand, especially.
  • noun Any of the rotating pointers used as indexes on the face of a mechanical clock.
  • noun A pointer, as on a gauge or dial.
  • noun Lateral direction indicated according to the way in which one is facing.
  • noun A style or individual sample of writing.
  • noun A signature.
  • noun A round of applause to signify approval.
  • noun Physical assistance; help.
  • noun Sports A hand ball in soccer.
  • noun The cards held in a card game by a given player at any time.
  • noun The number of cards dealt each player; the deal.
  • noun A player or participant in a card game.
  • noun A portion or section of a game during which all the cards dealt out are played.
  • noun One who performs manual labor.
  • noun One who is part of a group or crew.
  • noun A participant in an activity, often one who specializes in a particular activity or pursuit.
  • noun The degree of immediacy of a source of information; degree of reliability.
  • noun The strength or force of one's position.
  • noun Possession, ownership, or keeping.
  • noun Power; jurisdiction; care.
  • noun Involvement or participation.
  • noun An influence or effect.
  • noun Evidence of craft or artistic skill.
  • noun An aptitude or ability.
  • noun The aesthetic feel or tactile quality of something, such as a fabric, textile, or carpeting, that indicates its fineness, texture, and durability.
  • noun A manner or way of performing something.
  • noun Permission or a promise, especially a pledge to wed.
  • noun A commitment or agreement, especially when sealed by a handshake; one's word.
  • intransitive verb To give or pass with or as if with the hands; transmit.
  • intransitive verb To aid, direct, or conduct with the hands.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To roll up and secure (a sail); furl.
  • intransitive verb To give (the ball) directly to a teammate, as in football. Often used with off.
  • intransitive verb To carry, strike, or propel (the ball) with the hand or arm in violation of the rules in soccer.
  • intransitive verb To make a handoff, as in football. Often used with off.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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').


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  • And in a cryptic academic hand:

    '"Iuppiter ex alto periuria ridet amantumn" 15s 6d.'

    - Peter Reading, '"Iuppiter ex alto periuria ridet amantumn" 15s 6d.', from Nothing for Anyone, 1977

    June 26, 2008

  • from God, rod

    July 23, 2009

  • After awhile you learn

    the subtle difference between

    holding a hand and chaining a soul ...

    - Veronica A. Shoffstall, 'You Learn'.

    July 26, 2009