/hænd / (say hand)

1. (in humans) the terminal, prehensile part of the arm, consisting of the palm and five digits.
2. the corresponding part of the forelimb in any of the higher vertebrates.
3. the terminal part of any limb when prehensile, as the hind foot of a monkey, the chela of a crustacean, or (in falconry) the foot of a hawk.
4. something resembling a hand in shape or function: the hands of a clock.
5. a symbol used in writing or printing to draw attention to something.
6. a person employed in manual labour; worker; labourer: a factory hand.
7. a person who does a specified thing: a book by several hands.
8. a member of a ship's crew: all hands on deck.
9. (often plural) possession or power; control, custody, or care: to have someone's fate in one's hands.
10. agency; active cooperation in doing something: a helping hand.
11. side: on every hand.
12. a side of a subject, question, etc.: on the other hand.
13. a source, as of information or of supply: at first hand.
14. style of handwriting.
15. a person's handwriting.
16. skill; execution; touch: a painting that shows a master's hand.
17. a person, with reference to action, ability, or skill: a poor hand at writing letters.
18. a pledge of marriage.
19. a linear measure in the imperial system, used in giving the height of horses, etc., equal to four inches or 0.1016 m (approx. 10 cm).
20. Cards
a. the cards dealt to or held by each player at one time.
b. the person holding the cards.
c. a single part of a game, in which all the cards dealt at one time are played.
21. Squash the time for which a player is hand-in.
22. skill or knack at manipulating the reins.
23. a bundle or bunch of various fruit, leaves, etc., as a cluster of bananas or tobacco leaves tied together.
24. a round or outburst of applause for a performer: to get a hand.
25. what is left from a pork forequarter after the removal of the foreloin: pork hand.
verb (t)
26. to deliver or pass with the hand.
27. to help or conduct with the hand.
28. Nautical to furl, as a sail.
29. of or belonging to the hand.
30. done or made by hand.
31. that may be carried in, or worn on, the hand.
32. operated by hand.
33. a firm hand, strict control.
34. a free hand, freedom to act as desired.
35. a heavy hand, severity or oppression.
36. a high hand, dictatorial manner or arbitrary conduct.
37. at hand,
a. within reach; nearby.
b. near in time.
c. ready for use.
38. at the hand (or hands) of, from the action or agency of.
39. bear a hand, to give assistance.
40. by hand, by the use of the hands (as opposed to any other means): to make pottery by hand.
41. change hands, to pass from one owner to another.
42. come to hand, to be received; come within one's reach.
43. declare one's hand, to reveal one's intentions or circumstances.
44. eat out of someone's hand, to be uncritically compliant and trusting of another, often in a servile or sycophantic manner.
45. force someone's hand, to compel someone to act prematurely or against their better judgement.
46. from hand to hand, from one person to another.
47. from hand to mouth,
a. eating at once whatever one gets.
b. with attention to immediate wants only.
48. get one's hand in, to develop a skill through practice.
49. get one's hands dirty, to become involved in an unpleasant or distasteful but necessary procedure.
50. get one's hands off it, Colloquial to stop being unrealistic. {Phrase Origin: from the notion that one is behaving like a wanker}
51. give a hand, to help; assist.
52. give one's hand on, to vouch for.
53. hand down,
a. to deliver (the decision of a court).
b. to transmit from the higher to the lower, in space or time: to hand a legend down to posterity.
54. hand in, to present for acceptance.
55. hand in glove, (sometimes followed by with) on very intimate terms; in league.
56. hand in hand,
a. with hands mutually clasped.
b. conjointly or concurrently.
57. hand it to, Colloquial to give due credit to.
58. hand on, to pass on; transmit.
59. hand off, Rugby Football to thrust off (an opponent who is tackling).
60. hand over,
a. to deliver into another's keeping.
b. to give up or yield control of.
61. hand over fist,
a. easily.
b. in large quantities: to make money hand over fist.
{Phrase Origin: originally a nautical expression referring to the most efficient way to let out or pull in a rope by using alternate hands}
62. hand out, to distribute.
63. hands and heels, Horseracing without the use of a whip.
64. hands down,
a. totally; completely; easily: to win hands down. {Phrase Origin: from racing, referring to the practice of a jockey who is confident of winning, relaxing his grip on the reins as the horse approaches the winning post}
b. without a doubt: she is hands down the best teacher I have ever had.
65. hands off, (an exclamation barring someone from approaching, touching, or taking hold of someone or something.)
66. hands up, (an exclamation demanding that someone raise their hands above their head as a sign of surrender.)
67. hand to hand, in close combat; at close quarters.
68. have a hand in, to have a part or concern in doing.
69. have one's hands full, to be fully occupied.
70. have one's hand in, to have achieved skill through practice.
71. hold the hand out, Colloquial
a. to exploit the benefits given out by the government and other welfare organisations.
b. to demand bribe money.
72. in good hands, in the care of someone trustworthy.
73. in hand,
a. under control.
b. in immediate possession: cash in hand.
c. in process: keep to the matter in hand.
d. Croquet (of a ball) after roquet has been made until croquet has been taken.
74. in (or into) the hands of, in (or into) the care, control or supervision of.
75. keep one's hand in, to keep in practice.
76. keep one's hands off, to refrain from taking possession of something.
77. lay hands on,
a. to assault; to beat up.
b. to lay one's hands on the head of (a person) as part of a ritual.
78. lay one's hands on, Colloquial to obtain.
79. off one's hands, out of one's responsible charge or care.
80. on every hand, all around; everywhere.
81. on hand,
a. in immediate possession: cash on hand.
b. before someone for attention.
c. present.
82. on one's hands, in one's care: he was left with his sister's children on his hands.
83. on one's own hands, Australian History (of a convict) working for his or her own profit as against working for the government or for a settler: female prisoners allowed to be on their own hands must have a ticket of leave.
84. out of hand,
a. beyond control: to let one's temper get out of hand.
b. at once; without delay.
85. out of one's hands, out of one's control or care.
86. play into the hands of, to act, without full realisation, against one's best interest and in the interest of (an enemy or potential opponent).
87. shake hands, to clasp another's right hand as a salutation, in closing a bargain, etc.
88. show of hands, a voting procedure by which a motion is passed or lost on the basis of an estimate of the number of hands raised.
89. show one's hand, to reveal one's attitudes, plans, opinions, etc., intentionally or not.
90. take a hand in, to have a part or concern in doing.
91. take in hand,
a. to assume responsibility for.
b. to subject to vigorous discipline.
92. take off someone's hands, to remove from someone's responsibility.
93. the upper hand, a position of marked superiority; whip hand.
94. throw in one's hand, to give up; stop doing something; surrender.
95. to hand,
a. within reach; at hand.
b. into one's immediate possession.
96. try one's hand, (sometimes followed by at) to make an attempt, especially for the first time.
97. turn one's hand to, to turn one's energies to; set to work at.
98. wait on someone hand and foot, attend to someone's every need; shower attention upon someone.
99. wash one's hands of, to have nothing more to do with. {Phrase Origin: from the New Testament (Matthew 27:24); from the actions of Pontius Pilate who, having given the people the chance of releasing Christ, `saw that he could prevail nothing … took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person.'}
{Middle English and Old English}

Australian English dictionary. 2014.


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  • Hand — (h[a^]nd), n. [AS. hand, hond; akin to D., G., & Sw. hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. h[ o]nd, Goth. handus, and perh. to Goth. hin[thorn]an to seize (in comp.). Cf. {Hunt}.] 1. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in man and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Hand — Hand: Die gemeingerm. Körperteilbezeichnung mhd., ahd. hant, got. handus, engl. hand, schwed. hand gehört wahrscheinlich als ablautende Substantivbildung zu der Sippe von got. hinÞan »fangen, greifen« und bedeutet demnach eigentlich »Greiferin,… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Hand — (h[a^]nd), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Handed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Handing}.] 1. To give, pass, or transmit with the hand; as, he handed them the letter. [1913 Webster] 2. To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct; as, to hand a lady into a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hand — Sf std. (8. Jh.), mhd. hant, ahd. hant, as. hand Stammwort. Aus g. * handu f. Hand , auch in gt. handus, anord. ho̧nd, ae. hond, afr. hand, hond. Herkunft umstritten. Denkbar ist ein Anschluß an g. * henþ a Vst. fangen, ergreifen in gt.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

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