Pronunciation: (hand),[key] —n. 1. the terminal, prehensile part of the upper limb in humans and other primates, consisting of the wrist, metacarpal area, fingers, and thumb.
2. the corresponding part of the forelimb in any of the higher vertebrates.
3. a terminal prehensile part, as the chela of a crustacean, or, in falconry, the foot of a falcon.
4. something resembling a hand in shape or function, as various types of pointers: the hands of a clock. 5. index (def. 8).
6. a person employed in manual labor or for general duties; worker; laborer: a factory hand; a ranch hand. 7. a person who performs or is capable of performing a specific work, skill, or action: a real hand at geometry. 8. skill; workmanship; characteristic touch: a painting that shows a master's hand. 9. a person, with reference to ability or skill: He was a poor hand at running a business. 10. a member of a ship's crew: All hands on deck! 11. Often, hands. possession or power; control, custody, or care: to have someone's fate in one's hands. 12. a position, esp. one of control, used for bargaining, negotiating, etc.: an action to strengthen one's hand. 13. means, agency; instrumentality: death by his own hand. 14. assistance; aid; active participation or cooperation: Give me a hand with this ladder. 15. side; direction: no traffic on either hand of the road. 16. style of handwriting; penmanship: She wrote in a beautiful hand. 17. a person's signature: to set one's hand to a document. 18. a round or outburst of applause for a performer: to get a hand. 19. a promise or pledge, as of marriage: He asked for her hand in marriage. 20. a linear measure equal to 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), used esp. in determining the height of horses.
21. 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.
22. Roman Law.manus (def. 2).
23. hands,Manège.skill at manipulating the reins of a horse: To ride well, one must have good hands. 24. a bunch, cluster, or bundle of various leaves, fruit, etc., as a bundle of tobacco leaves tied together or a cluster of bananas.
25. Mach.the deviation of a thread or tooth from the axial direction of a screw or gear, as seen from one end looking away toward the other.
26. Building Trades. a. the position of the hinges of a door, in terms of right and left, as seen from outside the building, room, closet, etc., to which the doorway leads.
b. the position of the hinges of a casement sash, in terms of right and left, from inside the window.
27. Also called handle. the fabric properties that can be sensed by touching the material, as resilience, smoothness, or body: the smooth hand of satin. 28. Archaic.a person considered as a source, as of information or of supply.
29. at first hand, firsthand (def. 1).
30. at hand, a. within reach; nearby; close by.
b. near in time; soon.
c. ready for use: We keep a supply of canned goods at hand. 31. at second hand, See second hand (def. 3).
32. at the hand or hands of, by the action of; through the agency of: They suffered at the hands of their stepfather. 33. by hand, by using the hands, as opposed to machines; manually: lace made by hand. 34. change hands, to pass from one owner to another; change possession: The property has changed hands several times in recent years. 35. come to hand, a. to come within one's reach or notice.
b. to be received; arrive: The spring stock came to hand last week. 36. eat out of one's hand, to be totally submissive to another; be very attentive or servile: That spoiled brat has her parents eating out of her hand. 37. force one's hand, to prompt a person to take immediate action or to reveal his or her intentions: The criticism forced the governor's hand so that he had to declare his support of the tax bill. 38. from hand to hand, from one person to another; through successive ownership or possession: The legendary jewel went from hand to hand. 39. from hand to mouth, improvidently; precariously; with nothing in reserve: They looked forward to a time when they would no longer have to live from hand to mouth. 40. give one's hand on or upon, to give one's word; seal a bargain by or as if by shaking hands: He said the goods would be delivered within a month and gave them his hand on it. 41. hand and foot, a. so as to hinder movement: They tied him hand and foot. b. slavishly and continually: Cinderella had to wait on her stepsisters hand and foot. 42. hand and glove, very intimately associated: Several high-ranking diplomats were found to be hand and glove with enemy agents.Also,hand in glove. 43. hand in hand, a. with one's hand enclasped in that of another person.
b. closely associated; concurrently; conjointly: Doctors and nurses work hand in hand to save lives. 44. hand over fist, speedily; increasingly: He owns a chain of restaurants and makes money hand over fist. 45. hands down, a. effortlessly; easily: He won the championship hands down. b. indisputably; incontestably: It was hands down the best race I've ever seen. 46. hands off! don't touch, strike, or interfere! keep away from!: Hands off my stereo! 47. hands up! hold your hands above your head! give up!
48. hand to hand, in direct combat; at close quarters: The troops fought hand to hand. 49. have a hand in, to have a share in; participate in: It is impossible that she could have had a hand in this notorious crime. 50. have one's hands full, to have a large or excessive amount of work to handle; be constantly busy: The personnel department has its hands full trying to process the growing number of applications. 51. hold hands, to join hands with another person as a token of affection: They have been seen holding hands in public. 52. in hand, a. under control: He kept the situation well in hand. b. in one's possession: cash in hand. c. in the process of consideration or settlement: regarding the matter in hand. 53. join hands, to unite in a common cause; combine: The democracies must join hands in order to survive. 54. keep one's hand in, to continue to practice: He turned the business over to his sons, but he keeps his hand in it. I just play enough golf to keep my hand in. 55. lay one's hands on, a. to obtain; acquire: I wish I could lay my hands on a good used piano. b. to seize, esp. in order to punish: He wanted to lay his hands on the person who had backed into his car. c. to impose the hands in a ceremonial fashion, as in ordination: The bishop laid hands on the candidates. 56. lend or give a hand, to lend assistance; help out: Lend a hand and we'll finish the job in no time. 57. lift a hand, to exert any effort: She wouldn't lift a hand to help anyone.Also,lift a finger. 58. off one's hands, a. out of one's charge or care: Now, with their children grown and off their hands, they will be free to travel. b. successfully completed; finished: The lawyer planned a vacation as soon as the case was off his hands. 59. on all hands, a. by everyone; universally: It was decided on all hands to take an excursion. b. on every side; all around: piercing glances on all hands.Also,on every hand. 60. on hand, a. in one's possession; at one's disposal: cash on hand. b. about to occur; imminent: A change of government may be on hand. c. present: There were not enough members on hand to constitute a quorum. 61. on or upon one's hands, under one's care or management; as one's responsibility: He was left with a large surplus on his hands. 62. on the other hand, from another side or aspect; conversely: Itwas an unfortunate experience, but, on the other hand, one can learn from one's mistakes. 63. out of hand, a. beyond control: to let one's temper get out of hand. b. without delay; at once: The crisis obliged him to act out of hand. c. no longer in process; finished: The case has been out of hand for some time. d. without consideration or deliberation: to reject a proposal out of hand. 64. shake hands, to clasp another's hand in greeting, congratulation, or agreement: They shook hands on the proposed partnership. 65. show one's hand, to disclose or display one's true intentions or motives: The impending revolution forced him to show his hand. 66. sit on one's hands, a. to be unenthusiastic or unappreciative; fail to applaud: It was a lively show, but the audience sat on its hands. b. to take no action; be passive or hesitant: While he was being beaten, the others sat on their hands. 67. take a hand in, to take part in; participate in: If the strike continues, the government will have to take a hand in the negotiations. 68. take in hand, a. to undertake responsibility for; assume charge: When both parents died, an uncle took the youngster in hand. b. to deal with; treat of: We'll take the matter in hand at the next meeting. 69. throw up one's hands, to admit one's inadequacy, exasperation, or failure; despair: When the general received reports of an enemy build-up, he threw up his hands. 70. tie one's hands, to render one powerless to act; thwart: The provisions of the will tied his hands.Also,have one's hands tied. 71. tip one's hand, to reveal one's plans or intentions before the propitious time.
72. to hand, a. within reach; accessible or nearby.
b. into one's possession: A search of the attic brought some valuable antiques to hand. 73. try one's hand (at), to test one's skill or aptitude for: After becoming a successful painter, he decided to try his hand at sculpture. 74. turn or put one's hand to, to set to work at; busy oneself with: He turned his hand successfully to gardening. 75. wash one's hands of, to disclaim any further responsibility for; renounce interest in or support of: I washed my hands of the entire affair. 76. with a heavy hand, a. with severity; oppressively: The law will punish offenders with a heavy hand. b. in a clumsy manner; awkwardly; gracelessly: The play was directed with a heavy hand. 77. with a high hand, in an arrogant or dictatorial manner; arbitrarily: He ran the organization with a high hand.
—v.t. 1. to deliver or pass with or as if with the hand.
2. to help, assist, guide, etc., with the hand: He handed the elderly woman across the street. 3. Naut. a. to take in or furl (a sail).
b. to haul on or otherwise handle.
4. hand down, a. to deliver (the decision of a court): The jury handed down a verdict of guilty. b. to transmit from one to another, esp. to bequeath to posterity: The ring had been handed down from her grandmother. 5. hand in, to submit; present for acceptance: She handed in her term paper after the deadline. 6. hand in one's checks,Chiefly Brit.See cash (def. 7).
7. hand it to,Informal.to give just credit to; pay respect to: You have to hand it to her for getting the work out. 8. hand off,Football.to hand the ball to a member of one's team in the course of a play.
9. hand on, to transmit; pass on to a successor, posterity, etc.: The silver service was handed on to the eldest daughter of the family. 10. hand out, to give or distribute; pass out: People were handing out leaflets on every corner. 11. hand over, a. to deliver into the custody of another.
b. to surrender control of: He handed over his business to his children.
—adj. 1. of, belonging to, using, or used by the hand.
2. made by hand.
3. carried in or worn on the hand.
4. operated by hand; manual.
Pronunciation: (hand),[key] —n. Lear•ned Pronunciation: (lûr'nid),[key] 1872–1961, U.S. jurist.