\ ˈhan(d)-tə-ˈhand How to pronounce hand-to-hand (audio) , ˈhan-də- \

Definition of hand-to-hand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving physical contact or close enough range for physical contact hand-to-hand fighting

hand to hand


Definition of hand to hand (Entry 2 of 2)

: at very close range

Examples of hand-to-hand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The footage shown Wednesday inside the Senate chamber was graphic: rioters in hand to hand combat with Capitol Police for hours, attacking with bear spray, metal poles, hockey sticks, Trump campaign flags and other makeshift weapons. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 11 Feb. 2021 Coronavirus has fueled concerns about exchanging currency from hand to hand. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2020 Electronic payment can also help a patient avoid ATM fees and touching cash that has been passed from hand to hand. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Sep. 2020 Gang Unit Officers conducting surveillance in Avondale observed the occupants of a black Kia involved in a hand to hand drug transaction. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 28 Aug. 2020 Officers observed the driver making hand to hand transactions Thursday and called for a marked police vehicle to stop the driver and arrest him, the release states. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 10 July 2020 The fighting was brutal, hand to hand, and the British paratroopers were overrun. National Geographic, 6 May 2020 No collection baskets may be passed from hand to hand; consider a monitored collection point (i.e. an usher monitoring a single basket near the main doors of the church) to minimize contact. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, 8 May 2020 Employees are disinfecting more than 8,000 train cars and 5,000 buses nightly, requiring rear door boarding on buses by passengers, and eliminated hand to hand cash transactions on buses and at train stops. Fox News, 15 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hand-to-hand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hand-to-hand


1833, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hand-to-hand

Time Traveler

The first known use of hand-to-hand was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hand-to-hand

Cite this Entry

“Hand-to-hand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hand-to-hand. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hand-to-hand



English Language Learners Definition of hand-to-hand

: involving physical contact between people


\ ˌhan-tə-ˈhand \

Kids Definition of hand-to-hand

: involving bodily contact hand-to-hand combat

More from Merriam-Webster on hand-to-hand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hand-to-hand

Nglish: Translation of hand-to-hand for Spanish Speakers


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