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

  • n. A linear measurement approximating the width of the palm of the hand, from 2 1/2 to 4 inches (6.25 to 10 centimeters).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A space equal to the breadth of the hand; a palm - Exodus 37:12

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A space equal to the breadth of the hand; a palm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A space equal to the breadth of the hand; a palm: a unit of length in many metrical systems; especially, in books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one fourth of a philosophical foot, equal to about 2.45 English inches. Also called hand's-breadth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any unit of length based on the breadth of the human hand


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • She replied, “[...] [During intercourse] he uncovers a handbreadth and covers a handbreadth, and it is as though he was urged on by a demon.”

    Modesty and Sexuality in Halakhic Literature.

  • Men are asked to refrain from reading the Shema in the presence of a woman who has a single handbreadth exposed.

    Modesty and Sexuality in Halakhic Literature.

  • Beyond my argument of precision, another person left a comment on the post giving the calculation that shows that even if one takes the measurements given as being more precise than their stated precision, one comes out with a correct and very precise result if one takes into account the handbreadth thickness of the bath.

    Waldo Jaquith - Pi is exactly three!

  • Although there were several doors, if one opened them one only found oneself standing in front of a dark, smooth rock-face, scarcely a handbreadth beyond the threshold and extending vertically upwards and horizontally on both sides, seemingly without any end.

    Kafka and the Coincidence of Opposites

  • Also he made thereunto a border of an handbreadth round about; and made a crown of gold for the border thereof round about.

    Probably Just One Of Those Funny Coincidences

  • It was a breathtaking display of skill, his chariot wheel missing the pole by no more than a handbreadth.

    Shield of Thunder

  • The youngster seemed to have grown a handbreadth since she had seen him last.

    Shield of Thunder

  • She stood up in the handbreadth of dryness under the rustic porch.

    Lady Chatterley's Lover

  • She followed him into the scullery, and combed her hair before the handbreadth of mirror by the back door.

    Lady Chatterley's Lover

  • It was marked with narrow white bands across the body, exactly like those of the koodoo, and had a black patch of more than a handbreadth on the outer side of the fore-arm.

    Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa


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