I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German hant hand Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in humans) as a grasping organ (2) the forelimb segment (as the terminal section of a bird's wing) of a vertebrate higher than the fishes that corresponds to the hand irrespective of its form or functional specialization 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 c. something resembling a hand: as (1) an indicator or pointer on a dial <
the hands of a clock
(2) index 5 (3) a cluster of bananas developed from a single flower group (4) a branched rootstock of ginger (5) a bunch of large leaves (as of tobacco) tied together usually with another leaf 2. a. personal possession — usually used in plural <
the documents fell into the hands of the enemy
b. control, supervision — usually used in plural <
left the matter in her hands
3. a. side, direction <
men fighting on either hand
b. one of two sides or aspects of an issue or argument <
on the one hand we can appeal for peace, and on the other, declare war
4. a pledge especially of betrothal or bestowal in marriage 5. a. style of penmanship ; handwriting <
wrote in a fancy hand
b. signature 6. a. skill, ability <
tried her hand at sailing
b. an instrumental part <
had a hand in the victory
7. a unit of measure equal to 4 inches (10.2 centimeters) used especially for the height of horses 8. a. assistance or aid especially involving physical effort <
lend a hand
b. participation, interest <
had no hand in the decision
c. a round of applause 9. a. (1) a player in a card game or board game (2) the cards or pieces held by a player b. a single round in a game c. the force or solidity of one's position (as in negotiations) <
trying to strengthen their hand
10. a. a person who performs or executes a particular work <
two portraits by the same hand
b. (1) a person employed at manual labor or general tasks <
a ranch hand
(2) worker, employee <
employed over a hundred hands
c. a member of a ship's crew <
all hands on deck
d. a person skilled in a particular action or pursuit e. a specialist or veteran in a usually designated activity or region <
a China hand
11. a. handiwork, doings b. style of execution ; workmanship <
the hand of a master
c. the feel of or tactile reaction to something (as silk or leather) 12. a punch made with a specified hand <
knocked him out with a good right hand
II. adverb Date: before 12th century with the hands rather than by machine III. transitive verb Date: 15th century 1. a. obsolete to touch or manage with the hands; also to deal with b. furl 2. to lead, guide, or assist with the hand <
hand a lady into a bus
3. a. to give, pass, or transmit with the hand <
hand a letter to her
b. to present or provide with <
handed him a surprise

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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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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  • Hand — (Schönheitspflege). Es ist längst anerkannt, daß zarte Hände und Arme zu den vorzüglichsten Erfordernissen weiblicher Schönheit gehören, und glücklicher Weise sind die Mittel, sie zu erlangen, die unschuldigsten unter allen Toilettenkünsten. Wem… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

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