Definition of dead hand
1 : mortmain 1
2 : the oppressive influence of the past
Did You Know?
Does "dead hand" make you picture a pale dismembered hand creeping slowly toward its next unsuspecting victim? If so, you're in for a surprise - but not a scary one. "Dead hand" is a literal translation of the etymology of an older English word, "mortmain," which comes from the Old French words morte (meaning "dead") and "main" (meaning "hand"). In very unspooky terms, the words describe property that is left to a company, church, or charity in perpetuity. The "oppressive past influence" sense of both "mortmain" and "dead hand" developed from the idea of the dead exercising posthumous control over their property by dictating how it must be used after they die.
First Known Use of dead hand
Rhymes with dead hand
armband, at hand, backhand, backland, badland, bandstand, barehand, benchland, blackland, brass band, broadband, brushland, bushland, cabstand, cloudland, coastland, co-brand, command, cowhand, crash-land, cropland, crown land, deckhand, demand, disband, dockhand, dockland, downland, dreamland, dryland, duneland, expand, farmhand, farmland, fenland, field hand, filmland, firebrand, firsthand, flatland, forehand, four-hand, free hand, freehand, gangland, glad-hand, Gotland, grandstand, grassland, handstand, hardstand, hatband, headband, headstand, heartland, heathland, home stand, hour hand, Iceland, in hand, inkstand, inland, iron hand, jack stand, jug band, kickstand, Kokand, Lapland, left-hand, longhand, lymph gland, mainland, marshland, misbrand, newsstand, nightstand, northland, noseband, off-brand, offhand, oil gland, old hand, on hand, outland, outstand, parkland, passband, pineland, playland, proband, Queensland, quicksand, rangeland, remand, repand, Rhineland, ribband, right-hand, rimland, ring stand, roband, salt gland, scabland, screenland, scrubland, seastrand, shorthand, sideband, southland, spaceband, stagehand, steel band, summand, swampland, sweatband, sweat gland, tar sand, Thailand, thirdhand, tideland, trainband, unhand, unmanned, waistband, washstand, watchband, wave band, wetland, whip hand, wildland, withstand, wristband, X band
Legal Definition of dead hand
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