from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Interchange of blows in a hand-to-hand encounter. See sword-play.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The referee didn't see the hand-play, allowed the goal and Argentina went on to win the Cup.

    Lubomir Kavalek: The Hand of God in Chess?

  • In the van were strife and stubborn hand-play, warriors valiant in the weapon-struggle, fearless fighters, bloody wounds and clash of helmets, onrush of a battle-host, as Judah's sons advanced.

    Codex Junius 11

  • And when these war-wolves had journeyed nigh unto the camp, the son of Terah, wise of heart, bespake his captains (great was his need that they should wage grim war on either flank, and hard hand-play against the foe) and said that easily the Holy, Everlasting Lord could speed their fortunes in the spear-strife.

    Codex Junius 11

  • Thus the spear becomes 'the slaughter-shaft'; fighting 'hand-play'; the sword 'the leavings of the hammer' (or 'of the anvil'); and a ship 'the foamy-necked floater.'

    A History of English Literature

  • He burnt Wilton and Sarum, and then sailed round to Norwich, where Ulfkytel, of East Anglia, gave him "the hardest hand-play" that he had ever known in England.

    Early Britain Anglo-Saxon Britain

  • This is no gentle labour, but "hard hand-play," like that in the battle of the olden time sung by the Saxon poet.

    Nature Near London

  • But tell me, fair Sir, have ye any deeming of where thou mayst get thee more folk who be not afraid of the hard hand-play?

    The Well at the World's End: a tale

  • For the good town is gathering a gallant host of men; and we shall look to thee to do well in the hard hand-play, whenso that befalleth.

    The Well at the World's End: a tale

  • Then as his mind pictured him amongst the foe, it made therewith another picture of the slender warrior Sun-beam caught in the tangle of battle, and longing for him and calling for him amidst the hard hand-play.

    The Roots of the Mountains; Wherein Is Told Somewhat of the Lives of the Men of Burgdale

  • But the folk in the hall were so eager that they stood on the benches and the boards, and craned over each other's shoulders, so that they might lose no whit of the hand-play.

    The Story of the Glittering Plain; or, the land of Living Men


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