Meaning of HAND in English


I. ˈhand, -aa(ə)- noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hand, hond; akin to Old High German hant hand, Old Norse hönd, Gothic handus



(1) : the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in man) as a grasping organ being made up of wrist, metacarpus, terminal fingers, and opposable thumb or of these parts excluding the wrist and exhibiting unusual mobility and flexibility both of the digits and the whole organ

(2) : the segment of the forelimb of a vertebrate above the fishes that corresponds to the hand (as the pinion of a bird) irrespective of its form or functional specialization

a kangaroo's forearms seem undeveloped, but the powerful five-fingered hands are skilled at feinting and clouting — Springfield (Massachusetts) Union

b. : a part serving the function of or resembling a hand: as

(1) : the hind foot of an ape

(2) : the chela of a crustacean

(3) : the tarsus of either forelimb of an insect (as a fly)

c. : something resembling a hand in appearance, shape, function, or use or suggesting the fingers of a hand in shape, arrangement, or number: as

(1) : an indicator or pointer on a dial

the hands of a clock

(2) : a stylized figure of a hand with forefinger extended to point a direction or call attention to something ; specifically : index 9

(3) : five articles (as oranges) of the same kind sold together

(4) : a bunch of 8 to 20 bananas attached together on their stem

(5) : a palmate form of gingerroot

(6) : a bunch of large leaves tied together usually with another leaf ; especially : a bunch of 5 to 20 uniform leaves of tobacco tied together by a tie leaf at the butt end of the leaves


a. : personal possession — usually used in plural

anxious not to let the property get out of his hands


(1) : control , direction , supervision

guided the proceedings from the front row with a very helpful hand — Sidney (Australia) Bulletin

— usually used in plural

kept the management of the firm in his own hands

the reception was already in the hands of the florists and caterers

(2) : right or privilege in controlling or directioning

allowed the teacher a free hand in her treatment of the children


a. : side , direction

armed men were running and fighting on either hand

b. : one of two sides of an issue or argument : one of two or more aspects of a subject or matter of consideration

on the one hand we can appeal for peace, or on the other declare war

on the one hand I should like to give the child a great deal of freedom but on the other hand I don't want him totally out of my control


(1) : the manner of twisting or going round whether right-handed or left-handed

the hand of a spiral

a right- hand screw

(2) : the characteristic of a door determining whether it opens to the right or to the left as viewed from the outside (as of a cupboard or closet) or from the inside (as of a room) with door opening away — compare left-hand , left-hand reverse bevel , right-hand , right-hand reverse bevel

(3) : the characteristic of a hinge determining whether it is to be fitted to a right-handed or left-handed door — compare left-hand , right-hand

(4) : the characteristic of a lock determining whether it throws to the right or left — compare left-hand , right-hand


a. : a pledge or indication of agreement or of satisfaction with terms (as of a contract)

without further talk he gave me his hand on the deal and we closed it

b. : a pledge of betrothal or bestowal in marriage

asked the man for his daughter's hand

5. hands plural : skill in handling the reins in horsemanship

he didn't ride well, he hadn't good hands — H.G.Wells


a. : style of penmanship : handwriting

a handsome hand

a crabbed hand

left behind her twenty-six volumes written in her own hand — Elizabeth Bowen

in the cuneiform hand — J.H.Breasted

b. : signature

some writs require a judge's hand


a. : skill , ability

wished to try his hand at painting

the comedienne tries her hand at singing and dancing … for the first time — Theatre Arts

b. : an instrumental part

several men had a hand in the crime

letting private industry have a bigger hand in developing nuclear energy — Wall Street Journal

8. : a unit of measure equal to 4 inches used especially for the height of horses — compare handbreadth


a. : assistance or aid especially involving physical effort

gave the old man a hand with his heavy bundles

b. : participation , interest , concern

a project in which several people had a hand

took a hand in planning the new curriculum

c. : a round of applause

won a good hand for his acting

gave the singer quite a hand



(1) : a player in a card game or board game

(2) : the cards or pieces held by a player after a deal or distribution

(3) : a set of cards or pieces in a player's possession at any point during a game

(4) : the period of a game during which all cards or pieces distributed at one time are played

(5) : a portion of undealt cards available for play in solitaire

b. : the force or solidity of one's position usually as a negotiator against an opposing force

these developments greatly strengthened the hand of union policymakers — Collier's Year Book

— often used in plural


a. : one who performs or executes a particular work

two portraits by the same hand

essays by various hands in praise of her work — Collier's Year Book


(1) : one employed at manual labor or general tasks

a ranch hand

(2) : worker , employee

business was so successful the company soon was employing over a hundred hands

c. : a member of a ship's crew

all hands on deck

d. : one relatively skilled in or disposed to perform a particular action or engage in a particular pursuit

quite a hand at figures

a great hand at carpentry

e. : a specialist in a usually designated activity or region

a Latin America hand

— compare old hand

12. archaic : one that is a source of information


a. archaic : a touch or stroke especially of a brush on a painting

b. : handiwork

the destruction showed the hand of vandals

c. : style of execution : workmanship

the very brushstrokes showed the hand of a master

: manner of handling : touch

in all the masques and pageants … his hand was heavy and his invention flat — Francis Hackett

treated the child with a light hand

14. : the pawl that rotates the cylinder of a revolver

15. dialect : the near horse

16. dialect Britain : a locality or neighborhood

he comes from over near Kendal hand

17. or hand game : a gambling game played by American Indians consisting of guessing the whereabouts of pieces of bone or other small objects which are passed rapidly from hand to hand


[translation of Latin manus ]

: manus 2

19. : a turn of play in which there is an opportunity to score in a game : inning

20. : the feel of cloth or leather or tactile reaction to its textural qualities of smoothness, flexibility, softness

the warm, dry, luxurious hand of silk — Collier's Year Book

21. also hand cheese : any of several cheeses of a kind originally molded by hand

- at close hand

- at first hand

- at hand

- at second hand

- at the hands of

- at third hand

- by hand

- for one's own hand

- from hand to hand

- from hand to mouth

- in hand

- into hand

- lift a hand

- of all hands

- off one's hands

- of one's hands

- on all hands

- on every hand

- on hand

- on one's hands

- out of hand

- put one's hand on

- put one's hand to

- to hand

- to one's hand

- under the hand of

- with a heavy hand

- with clean hands

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )


a. obsolete : to manage with the hands : manipulate ; also : to lay hands on

b. : furl

handed the mainsail — Thomas Horgan

2. : to lead, guide, or assist with the hand : conduct

hand a lady into a bus

handed herself along the life line and followed her shipmates to the poop — Roland Barker

3. : to give, pass, or transmit with the hand

hand a person a letter

4. : to make (one's way) by means of or by swinging with the hands

an animal that hands its way through the trees — Weston La Barre

5. : to compel a person to submit to : administer forcefully to a person

the smaller boy handed the bully a terrible beating

intransitive verb

: to hand a sail

- hand it to

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.