\ 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 There, building projects don’t just transfer from hand to hand. Serenity Gibbons, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Being a coastal grandmother means wearing loose, breathable fabrics and doing strength training by shifting a full glass of Sauvignon Blanc from hand to hand. Glamour, 26 Apr. 2022 Pick the dough up and pass it gently from hand to hand. Carlo Mirarchi, Robb Report, 30 Nov. 2021 The most magical thing is the way the books were passed from hand to hand amongst kids, and adults sort of didn’t know anything about it. Staff And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2021 Passglas, which means ‘the glass that passes from hand to hand’ was an after-dinner game where the drinker’s task was to slurp precisely the right amount, right up to the marked circle. Marisel Salazar, Robb Report, 27 Oct. 2021 In poker, each player has to act in the now and change plans and strategies from hand to hand, competition to competition and day to day. Johan Hajji, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Coming up for us, hand to hand combat at 35,000 feet. NBC News, 20 Aug. 2021 Sadly, after having gone from hand to hand and being protected that entire time, at this last moment the secret was revealed. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 16 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near hand-to-hand



hand to hand

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Cite this Entry

“Hand-to-hand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hand-to-hand. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hand-to-hand


\ 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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