- n. & v.
1 a the end part of the human arm beyond the wrist, including the fingers and thumb. b in other primates, the end part of a forelimb, also used as a foot.
2 a (often in pl.) control, management, custody, disposal (is in good hands). b agency or influence (suffered at their hands). c a share in an action; active support.
3 a thing compared with a hand or its functions, esp. the pointer of a clock or watch.
4 the right or left side or direction relative to a person or thing.
5 a a skill, esp. in something practical (a hand for making pastry). b a person skilful in some respect.
6 a person who does or makes something, esp. distinctively (a picture by the same hand).
7 an individual's writing or the style of this; a signature (a legible hand; in one's own hand; witness the hand of ...).
8 a person etc. as the source of information etc. (at first hand).
9 a pledge of marriage.
10 a person as a source of manual labour esp. in a factory, on a farm, or on board ship.
11 a the playing-cards dealt to a player. b the player holding these. c a round of play.
12 colloq. applause (got a big hand).
13 the unit of measure of a horse's height, equal to 4 inches (10.16 cm).
14 a forehock of pork.
15 a bunch of bananas.
16 (attrib.) a operated or held in the hand (hand-drill; hand-luggage). b done by hand and not by machine (hand-knitted).
1 (foll. by in, to, over, etc.) deliver; transfer by hand or otherwise.
2 convey verbally (handed me a lot of abuse).
3 colloq. give away too readily (handed them the advantage).
Phrases and idioms:
1 the entire crew of a ship.
2 the entire workforce.
1 close by.
2 about to happen.
1 by a person and not a machine.
2 delivered privately and not by the public post. from hand to mouth satisfying only one's immediate needs (also attrib.: a hand-to-mouth existence). get (or have or keep) one's hand in become (or be or remain) practised in something. give (or lend) a hand assist in an action or enterprise. hand and foot completely; satisfying all demands (waited on them hand and foot). hand cream an emollient for the hands.
1 pass the ownership or use of to another.
2 a transmit (a decision) from a higher court etc. b US express (an opinion or verdict). hand-grenade see GRENADE. hand in glove in collusion or association. hand in hand in close association. hand it to colloq. acknowledge the merit of (a person). hand-me-down an article of clothing etc. passed on from another person. hand off Rugby Football push off (a tackling opponent) with the hand. hand on pass (a thing) to the next in a series or succession.
1 serve, distribute.
2 award, allocate (the judges handed out stiff sentences).
1 something given free to a needy person.
2 a statement given to the press etc. hand over deliver; surrender possession of. hand-over n. the act or an instance of handing over. hand-over-fist colloq. with rapid progress. hand-pick choose carefully or personally. hand-picked carefully or personally chosen. hand round distribute. hands down (esp. of winning) with no difficulty.
1 a warning not to touch or interfere with something.
2 Computing etc. not requiring manual use of controls. hands on Computing of or requiring personal operation at a keyboard. hands up! an instruction to raise one's hands in surrender or to signify assent or participation. hand-to-hand (of fighting) at close quarters. have (or take) a hand in share or take part in. have one's hands full be fully occupied. have one's hands tied colloq. be unable to act. hold one's hand = stay one's hand (see HAND).
1 receiving attention.
2 in reserve; at one's disposal.
3 under one's control. lay (or put) one's hands on see LAY(1). off one's hands no longer one's responsibility. on every hand (or all hands) to or from all directions. on hand available. on one's hands resting on one as a responsibility. on the one (or the other) hand from one (or another) point of view.
out of hand
1 out of control.
2 peremptorily (refused out of hand). put (or set) one's hand to start work on; engage in. stay one's hand archaic or literary refrain from action.
1 within easy reach.
2 (of a letter) received. turn one's hand to undertake (as a new activity).
handed adj. handless adj.
Etymology: OE hand, hond
Useful english dictionary. 2012.