\ 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

Dance historians are fond of proclaiming that dance, alone among the Western arts, is passed down hand to hand, like folk arts in traditional societies. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "Can Modern Dance Be Preserved?," 24 June 2019 By 1907, the gorgeous new Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece was passing from hand to hand. James Grant, WSJ, "‘American Default’ Review: A New Deal for Gold," 28 May 2018 The punishment should be delivered hand to hand, there should not be any delays and the cases should not go on for years. Manveena Suri, CNN, "India's problem with rape: Do women feel safe?," 8 May 2018 Crystal Cirque du Soleil presents its latest contemporary circus arts marvel, this time featuring ice skating alongside more traditional acrobatics such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 1," 29 Mar. 2018 For women, the third degree test was a 10 man kumite (hand to hand fighting), but Shihan completed a 30 man kumite, which is the male testing requirement. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 13 Mar. 2018 The cars face opposite directions, and the drivers do the transaction hand to hand, window to window. Alaska Dispatch News, "Appetite for fentanyl grows in the U.S.," 25 Oct. 2017 Captain Taylor, therefore, determined to attack the Englishmen in open boats and board and capture her by a hand to hand fight. Nancy Stearns Theiss, The Courier-Journal, "Zachary Taylor's family roots run deep in Kentucky | Oldham history," 23 Dec. 2017 The cars face opposite directions, and the drivers do the transaction hand to hand, window to window. Alaska Dispatch News, "Appetite for fentanyl grows in the U.S.," 25 Oct. 2017

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

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hand-to-hand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hand-to-hand

Spanish Central: Translation of hand-to-hand

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

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