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

  • adj. Working or done without help; unassisted.
  • adj. Intended for use with one hand.
  • adj. Having or using only one hand.
  • adv. In a single-handed manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Without help from others; unassisted.
  • adj. Using only one hand.
  • adj. Designed for only one hand.
  • adv. In a single-handed manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having but one hand, or one workman; also, alone; unassisted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having only one hand.
  • Working without the aid of other hands or workmen; acting alone; unassisted.
  • Capable of being used, managed, or executed with one hand or by one person: as, a single-handed fishing-rod; a single-handed undertaking.

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

  • adj. without help from others
  • adj. unsupported by other people
  • adv. without assistance


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • No one like Rambo is going to help Americans discover the fate of missing soldiers in Southeast Asia and popular movies portraying such single-handed heroics are a disservice to the country, according to a former prisoner of war.

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  • I am hopeful that China will emerge as a partner to the U.S. on such issues as terrorism, disaster relief, and nation-building, but we should be aware that as we have made economic choices to pursue these objectives in an almost single-handed fashion, we now find our economy exposed to a trading partner whose interests may differ from ours.

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  • Her radical approach to community relations led to the implementation of a stable unity government in Zimbabwe, and she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her single-handed resolution of the conflict in Sudan.

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  • During her 'gap year', as she described it, she found time to row single-handed around the world backwards, and also carried out the first solo trek by a woman to both Poles, in doing so beating Sir Ranulph Fiennes 'long-standing speed record.

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  • Brother Kevin slammed a barely believable 113 runs off 63 balls, the fastest century in a World Cup, to win the England game almost single-handed.

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  • Yet the hardness was there, and it was what enabled him to run his ketch single-handed and to wring a livelihood out of the fighting Solomons.

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  • Each mark represented a violent death -- of an insect, for the place swarmed with vermin, a plague with which no person could cope single-handed.


  • Men were occupied with their own pressing needs, nor did they approve of women playing, single-handed, the odds of the arctic winter.


  • But he went among them single-handed, his bearing being a delicious composite of humility, familiarity, sang-froid, and insolence.

    The Sun of the Wolf

  • He wasn't afraid of anything that walked on four legs; and I've seen him march, single-handed into a strange team, without any provocation whatever, and put the kibosh on the whole outfit.

    That Spot


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