To put the last hand to
Hand 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 monkeys, and the corresponding part in many other animals; manus; paw. See {Manus}. [1913 Webster]

2. That which resembles, or to some extent performs the office of, a human hand; as: (a) A limb of certain animals, as the foot of a hawk, or any one of the four extremities of a monkey. (b) An index or pointer on a dial; as, the hour or minute hand of a clock. [1913 Webster]

3. A measure equal to a hand's breadth, -- four inches; a palm. Chiefly used in measuring the height of horses. [1913 Webster]

4. Side; part; direction, either right or left. [1913 Webster]

On this hand and that hand, were hangings. --Ex. xxxviii. 15. [1913 Webster]

The Protestants were then on the winning hand. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill; dexterity. [1913 Webster]

He had a great mind to try his hand at a Spectator. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

6. Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence, manner of performance. [1913 Webster]

To change the hand in carrying on the war. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand. --Judges vi. 36. [1913 Webster]

7. An agent; a servant, or laborer; a workman, trained or competent for special service or duty; a performer more or less skillful; as, a deck hand; a farm hand; an old hand at speaking. [1913 Webster]

A dictionary containing a natural history requires too many hands, as well as too much time, ever to be hoped for. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

I was always reckoned a lively hand at a simile. --Hazlitt. [1913 Webster]

8. Handwriting; style of penmanship; as, a good, bad, or running hand. Hence, a signature. [1913 Webster]

I say she never did invent this letter; This is a man's invention and his hand. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Some writs require a judge's hand. --Burril. [1913 Webster]

9. Personal possession; ownership; hence, control; direction; management; -- usually in the plural. ``Receiving in hand one year's tribute.'' --Knolles. [1913 Webster]

Albinus . . . found means to keep in his hands the government of Britain. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

10. Agency in transmission from one person to another; as, to buy at first hand, that is, from the producer, or when new; at second hand, that is, when no longer in the producer's hand, or when not new. [1913 Webster]

11. Rate; price. [Obs.] ``Business is bought at a dear hand, where there is small dispatch.'' --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

12. That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once; as: (a) (Card Playing) The quota of cards received from the dealer. (b) (Tobacco Manuf.) A bundle of tobacco leaves tied together. [1913 Webster]

13. (Firearms) The small part of a gunstock near the lock, which is grasped by the hand in taking aim. [1913 Webster]

Note: Hand is used figuratively for a large variety of acts or things, in the doing, or making, or use of which the hand is in some way employed or concerned; also, as a symbol to denote various qualities or conditions, as: (a) Activity; operation; work; -- in distinction from the head, which implies thought, and the heart, which implies affection. ``His hand will be against every man.'' --Gen. xvi. 12. (b) Power; might; supremacy; -- often in the Scriptures. ``With a mighty hand . . . will I rule over you.'' --Ezek. xx. 33. (c) Fraternal feeling; as, to give, or take, the hand; to give the right hand. (d) Contract; -- commonly of marriage; as, to ask the hand; to pledge the hand. [1913 Webster]

Note: Hand is often used adjectively or in compounds (with or without the hyphen), signifying performed by the hand; as, hand blow or hand-blow, hand gripe or hand-gripe: used by, or designed for, the hand; as, hand ball or handball, hand bow, hand fetter, hand grenade or hand-grenade, handgun or hand gun, handloom or hand loom, handmill or hand organ or handorgan, handsaw or hand saw, hand-weapon: measured or regulated by the hand; as, handbreadth or hand's breadth, hand gallop or hand-gallop. Most of the words in the following paragraph are written either as two words or in combination. [1913 Webster]

{Hand bag}, a satchel; a small bag for carrying books, papers, parcels, etc.

{Hand basket}, a small or portable basket.

{Hand bell}, a small bell rung by the hand; a table bell. --Bacon.

{Hand bill}, a small pruning hook. See 4th {Bill}.

{Hand car}. See under {Car}.

{Hand director} (Mus.), an instrument to aid in forming a good position of the hands and arms when playing on the piano; a hand guide.

{Hand drop}. See {Wrist drop}.

{Hand gallop}. See under {Gallop}.

{Hand gear} (Mach.), apparatus by means of which a machine, or parts of a machine, usually operated by other power, may be operated by hand.

{Hand glass}. (a) A glass or small glazed frame, for the protection of plants. (b) A small mirror with a handle.

{Hand guide}. Same as {Hand director} (above).

{Hand language}, the art of conversing by the hands, esp. as practiced by the deaf and dumb; dactylology.

{Hand lathe}. See under {Lathe}.

{Hand money}, money paid in hand to bind a contract; earnest money.

{Hand organ} (Mus.), a barrel organ, operated by a crank turned by hand.

{Hand plant}. (Bot.) Same as {Hand tree} (below). -- {Hand rail}, a rail, as in staircases, to hold by. --Gwilt.

{Hand sail}, a sail managed by the hand. --Sir W. Temple.

{Hand screen}, a small screen to be held in the hand.

{Hand screw}, a small jack for raising heavy timbers or weights; (Carp.) a screw clamp.

{Hand staff} (pl. {Hand staves}), a javelin. --Ezek. xxxix. 9.

{Hand stamp}, a small stamp for dating, addressing, or canceling papers, envelopes, etc.

{Hand tree} (Bot.), a lofty tree found in Mexico ({Cheirostemon platanoides}), having red flowers whose stamens unite in the form of a hand.

{Hand vise}, a small vise held in the hand in doing small work. --Moxon.

{Hand work}, or {Handwork}, work done with the hands, as distinguished from work done by a machine; handiwork.

{All hands}, everybody; all parties.

{At all hands}, {On all hands}, on all sides; from every direction; generally.

{At any hand}, {At no hand}, in any (or no) way or direction; on any account; on no account. ``And therefore at no hand consisting with the safety and interests of humility.'' --Jer. Taylor.

{At first hand}, {At second hand}. See def. 10 (above).

{At hand}. (a) Near in time or place; either present and within reach, or not far distant. ``Your husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet.'' --Shak. (b) Under the hand or bridle. [Obs.] ``Horses hot at hand.'' --Shak.

{At the hand of}, by the act of; as a gift from. ``Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?'' --Job ii. 10.

{Bridle hand}. See under {Bridle}.

{By hand}, with the hands, in distinction from instrumentality of tools, engines, or animals; as, to weed a garden by hand; to lift, draw, or carry by hand.

{Clean hands}, freedom from guilt, esp. from the guilt of dishonesty in money matters, or of bribe taking. ``He that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.'' --Job xvii. 9.

{From hand to hand}, from one person to another.

{Hand in hand}. (a) In union; conjointly; unitedly. --Swift. (b) Just; fair; equitable.

As fair and as good, a kind of hand in hand comparison. --Shak.

{Hand over hand}, {Hand over fist}, by passing the hands alternately one before or above another; as, to climb hand over hand; also, rapidly; as, to come up with a chase hand over hand.

{Hand over head}, negligently; rashly; without seeing what one does. [Obs.] --Bacon.

{Hand running}, consecutively; as, he won ten times hand running.

{Hands off!} keep off! forbear! no interference or meddling!

{Hand to hand}, in close union; in close fight; as, a hand to hand contest. --Dryden.

{Heavy hand}, severity or oppression.

{In hand}. (a) Paid down. ``A considerable reward in hand, and . . . a far greater reward hereafter.'' --Tillotson. (b) In preparation; taking place. --Chaucer. ``Revels . . . in hand.'' --Shak. (c) Under consideration, or in the course of transaction; as, he has the business in hand.

{In one's hand} or {In one's hands}. (a) In one's possession or keeping. (b) At one's risk, or peril; as, I took my life in my hand.

{Laying on of hands}, a form used in consecrating to office, in the rite of confirmation, and in blessing persons.

{Light hand}, gentleness; moderation.

{Note of hand}, a promissory note.

{Off hand}, {Out of hand}, forthwith; without delay, hesitation, or difficulty; promptly. ``She causeth them to be hanged up out of hand.'' --Spenser.

{Off one's hands}, out of one's possession or care.

{On hand}, in present possession; as, he has a supply of goods on hand.

{On one's hands}, in one's possession care, or management.

{Putting the hand under the thigh}, an ancient Jewish ceremony used in swearing.

{Right hand}, the place of honor, power, and strength.

{Slack hand}, idleness; carelessness; inefficiency; sloth.

{Strict hand}, severe discipline; rigorous government.

{To bear a hand} (Naut.), to give help quickly; to hasten.

{To bear in hand}, to keep in expectation with false pretenses. [Obs.] --Shak.

{To be hand and glove with} or {To be hand in glove with}. See under {Glove}.

{To be on the mending hand}, to be convalescent or improving.

{To bring up by hand}, to feed (an infant) without suckling it.

{To change hand}. See {Change}.

{To change hands}, to change sides, or change owners. --Hudibras.

{To clap the hands}, to express joy or applause, as by striking the palms of the hands together.

{To come to hand}, to be received; to be taken into possession; as, the letter came to hand yesterday.

{To get hand}, to gain influence. [Obs.]

Appetites have . . . got such a hand over them. --Baxter.

{To get one's hand in}, to make a beginning in a certain work; to become accustomed to a particular business.

{To have a hand in}, to be concerned in; to have a part or concern in doing; to have an agency or be employed in.

{To have in hand}. (a) To have in one's power or control. --Chaucer. (b) To be engaged upon or occupied with.

{To have one's hands full}, to have in hand all that one can do, or more than can be done conveniently; to be pressed with labor or engagements; to be surrounded with difficulties.

{To have the (higher) upper hand}, or {To get the (higher) upper hand}, to have, or get, the better of another person or thing.

{To his hand}, {To my hand}, etc., in readiness; already prepared. ``The work is made to his hands.'' --Locke.

{To hold hand}, to compete successfully or on even conditions. [Obs.] --Shak.

{To lay hands on}, to seize; to assault.

{To lend a hand}, to give assistance.

{To lift the hand against}, or {To put forth the hand against}, to attack; to oppose; to kill.

{To live from hand to mouth}, to obtain food and other necessaries as want compels, without previous provision.

{To make one's hand}, to gain advantage or profit.

{To put the hand unto}, to steal. --Ex. xxii. 8.

{To put the last hand to}, or {To put the finishing hand to}, to make the last corrections in; to complete; to perfect.

{To set the hand to}, to engage in; to undertake.

That the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to. --Deut. xxiii. 20.

{To stand one in hand}, to concern or affect one.

{To strike hands}, to make a contract, or to become surety for another's debt or good behavior.

{To take in hand}. (a) To attempt or undertake. (b) To seize and deal with; as, he took him in hand.

{To wash the hands of}, to disclaim or renounce interest in, or responsibility for, a person or action; as, to wash one's hands of a business. --Matt. xxvii. 24.

{Under the hand of}, authenticated by the handwriting or signature of; as, the deed is executed under the hand and seal of the owner. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To put the finishing hand to — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To put the hand unto — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To put forth the hand against — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hand to hand — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To be on the mending hand — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To bring up by hand — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To clap the hands — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To get one's hand in — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To get the higher upper hand — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To have the higher upper hand — Hand 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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