hand

noun, often attributive
\ ˈhand How to pronounce hand (audio) \

Definition of hand

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in humans) as a grasping organ : the body part at the end of the arm of a human, ape, or monkey holding a pair of scissors in his hand She put her hands over her eyes.
(2) : the forelimb segment (such 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: such as
(1) : the hind foot of an ape
(2) : the chela of a crustacean
c : something resembling a hand: such as
(1) : an indicator or pointer on a dial the hands of a clock
(2) : a character ☞ used to direct particular attention (as to a note or paragraph) : fist, index
(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
2a : 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
3a : 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 He asked for her hand in marriage.
5a : style of penmanship : handwriting wrote in a fancy hand
b : signature
6a : 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 a horse that is 15 hands high
8a : assistance or aid especially involving physical effort lend a hand
b : participation, interest had no hand in the decision
c : a round of applause Let's give them a big hand.
9a(1) : a player in a card game or board game
(2) : the cards or pieces held by a player studied her hand
b : a single round in a game lost the first hand but won the next two
c : the force or solidity of one's position (as in negotiations) trying to strengthen their hand
10a : 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 a great hand at carpentry
e : a specialist or veteran in a usually designated activity or region a Latin America hand
11a : handiwork, doings the hand of vandals
b : style of execution : workmanship the hand of a master
c : the feel of or tactile reaction to something (such as silk or leather)
12 : a punch made with a specified hand knocked him out with a good right hand
at hand
1 : near in time or place : within reach use whatever ingredients are at hand
2 : currently receiving or deserving attention the business at hand
at the hands of or less commonly at the hand of
: by or through the action of suffering at the hands of a cruel dictator
by hand
1 : with the hands or a hand-worked implement (such as a tool or pen) rather than with a machine
2 : from one individual directly to another deliver the document by hand
in hand
1 : in one's possession or control had matters well in hand with money in hand
2 : in preparation a new play in hand
3 : under consideration took the matter in hand
on all hands or on every hand
: everywhere could hear scurrying noises on all hands
on hand
1 : in present possession or readily available kept supplies on hand
2 : about to appear : pending There was trouble on hand.
3 : in attendance : present A priest was on hand to console them.
on one's hands
: in one's possession or care too much time on my hands
out of hand
1 : without delay or deliberation also : in a summary or peremptory manner rejected the plan out of hand
2 : done with : finished
3 : out of control They let the situation get out of hand.
4 : with the hands fruit eaten out of hand
to hand
1 : into possession the letter … has come to hand— George Washington
2 : within reach weapons ready to hand

hand

adverb

Definition of hand (Entry 2 of 4)

: with the hands rather than by machine hand stitched

hand

verb
handed; handing; hands

Definition of hand (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a obsolete : to touch or manage with the hands also : to deal with
b : furl hand the sail
2 : to lead, guide, or assist with the hand hand a lady into a bus
3a : to give, pass, or transmit with the hand hand a letter to her
b : to present or provide with handed him a surprise
hand it to
: to give credit to : concede the excellence of I have to hand it to him. He did a wonderful job.

Hand

biographical name
\ ˈhand How to pronounce Hand (audio) \

Definition of Hand (Entry 4 of 4)

(Billings) Learned 1872–1961 American jurist

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Synonyms & Antonyms for hand

Synonyms: Noun

angle, aspect, facet, phase, side

Synonyms: Verb

deliver, feed, furnish, give, hand over, provide, supply

Antonyms: Verb

hold (back), keep (back), reserve, retain, withhold

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Examples of hand in a Sentence

Noun

These gloves will keep your hands warm. She put her hands over her eyes. He sat quietly with his hands folded in his lap. Do you need a hand?

Verb

was happy to hand her grandmother's cookie recipes to the parish ladies to put in their cookbook the clerk handed her the receipt
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The scarf is made to the highest standards—the hems of the scarf are hand rolled, not machine stitched. The Reader's Catalog, "Shakespeare Love Silk Chiffon Scarf," 17 June 2019 The key roles and the ensemble work together like a dream under the guiding hand of Pierre-Jacques Brault. cleveland.com, "Mamma Mia! energy captivates Regina Hall: Sun Messages," 16 June 2019 But one variable that’s too often lost amid public hand wringing over test scores and new standards is arguably the most vital: the fallible humans charged with imparting an appetite and appreciation for learning. Quanta Magazine, "The Art of Teaching Math and Science," 16 June 2019 Arnie’s was renamed Boogie Nights last year when the club changed hands, sources said. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Son of Harvey cop shot security guards, patron before being killed, sheriff's investigation finds," 14 June 2019 At the time in Denver, hundreds of gay men were being arrested for indecent behavior for holding hands, dancing together or cross-dressing. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "On 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the Denver LGBTQ community reflects on the moment that “blew open the doors”," 14 June 2019 Warren swept in shortly after 1 p.m., wearing a forest-green cardigan, and worked her way around the room, shaking hands and patting backs. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All?," 14 June 2019 At one point during the outing, Jack hurried ahead of the group while Edoardo held hands with both sisters, showing off their close bond. PEOPLE.com, "A Royal First! Princess Beatrice Brought Boyfriend Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi to Dad's Palace Event," 13 June 2019 Legg shares were up 26 cents in midday trading Tuesday, changing hands at $37.25 each. The Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Legg Mason will advise funds sold in Mexico through new partnership," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Some, such as mathematician Katherine Johnson—who hand-calculated the details of the trajectory of the flight that would make Glenn the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962—stayed behind the scenes. National Geographic, "Countdown to a new era inSpace," 17 June 2019 Inside, tables are lit with candles and strewn with flowers hand-dipped in wax. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How Sackler Became the Most Toxic Name in Philanthropy," 16 May 2019 The chief pollinators of the lettuce garden that the farming pioneer Frank Bienkowski planted more than 200 years ago, the bees go hand-in-hand with the fresh produce offered on the menu throughout the summer season. Discover Magazine, "One-on-One with Executive Chef Kevin Erving," 6 July 2018 Gulluni said although investigators had been hand-digging through areas of the property Friday morning, no other remains have been recovered. Jerome Campbell, Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Police discover three bodies at Springfield home," 1 June 2018 The intelligence community's credibility just got a big boost, too An effort to undermine the broader intelligence community goes hand-in-hand with Trump and his allies' assessment that Russia was indifferent about who became president. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "The Russia report Trump likes best just took a big credibility hit," 16 May 2018 Belmont Books, which opened in June 2017, plays host to local authors hand-selling their own favorites, as well as scavenger hunts, tours, and more. BostonGlobe.com, "Five things to do the week of April 23-29," 20 Apr. 2018 The former director of admissions and vice provost who hand-delivered the acceptance letter for his son during a football game. Mark Zeigler, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Is the day nearing when Michigan will properly acknowledge Steve Fisher?," 1 Apr. 2018 The Braves' successes go hand-in-hand with the Phillies' failures. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Blowing Up Small Sample Sizes, Heroic Homer Feats and Establishing an All-MLB Team," 2 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Suburban voters revolted against President Trump in the 2018 midterm elections, handing Democrats seven governorships and more than 300 state legislative seats, as well as control of the U.S. House. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "For Democratic state leaders, taxing the rich carries risks for suburban strategy," 18 June 2019 Voters went to the polls Tuesday deeply frustrated with the political system and handed Republicans a decisive victory. James Freeman, WSJ, "We Blamed George W. Bush," 17 June 2019 And hand-wringing about his health and the possible long-term pratfalls doesn’t change the core truth at the base of this deal: The Sharks had to pay Karlsson this much or lose him forever. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: What Erik Karlsson’s mega contract means for the Sharks," 17 June 2019 Sunday, Koepka, coming off the second green, walked to the ropes and handed a ball to a little girl. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Tiger Woods wins again — in the gallery’s hearts," 16 June 2019 In effect the policy creates a knob, which can be twiddled between a redistribution of capital and control, all the way to handing the means of production to workers wholesale (as was Mr Meidner’s original intention, until ABBA intervened). The Economist, "The winner (no longer) takes it all," 15 June 2019 Then, as needed, either hand supplement with hose watering to each rootball every several days, or increase the run time of the soakers. oregonlive.com, "Am I watering my new arborvitae correctly? Ask an Expert," 15 June 2019 The offense made baserunning errors and handed away scoring chances. Brody Miller, nola.com, "Looking back and forward to see where LSU baseball stands in 2020," 11 June 2019 Dumbbell Overhead Press Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, with arms bent slightly and hands slightly wider than shoulders, palms facing body. Rozalynn S. Frazier, Health.com, "This 30-Day Arms Challenge Will Transform Your Upper Body In Just 4 Weeks," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hand

Noun, Adverb, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German hant hand

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Learn More about hand

Dictionary Entries near hand

hanch

Hancock

hancockite

hand

Hand

hand's turn

hand-adz

Statistics for hand

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hand

The first known use of hand was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for hand

hand

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the body part at the end of your arm that includes your fingers and thumb
used in some phrases to refer to a person
: power, possession, or control

hand

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hand (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give (something) to someone using your hands

hand

noun
\ ˈhand How to pronounce hand (audio) \

Kids Definition of hand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the body part at the end of the human arm that includes the fingers and thumb
2 : a bodily structure (as the hind foot of an ape) like the human hand in function or form
3 : a pointer on a clock or watch
4 : help entry 2 sense 1, assistance I gave her a hand loading the truck.
5 : control entry 2 sense 1 The fort is in the hands of the enemy.
6 : one side of a problem On the one hand we could stay. On the other hand we could go.
7 : an outburst of applause Give them a hand.
8 : the cards held by a player in a card game
9 : a hired worker : laborer
10 : a promise of marriage
12 : ability sense 1 I tried my hand at painting.
13 : a unit of measure equal to four inches (about ten centimeters) The horse is 15 hands high.
14 : a part or share in doing something She had a hand in the crime.
at hand
: near in time or place The hour is at hand.
by hand
: without the use of automation : using the hands The stone was carved by hand.
in hand
: in someone's possession or control Map in hand, he's ready to go. I've got the situation well in hand.
on hand
1 : available for use Keep some extra batteries on hand.
2 : present entry 3 sense 2 Please be on hand when the guests arrive.
out of hand
: out of control The party got out of hand.

hand

verb
handed; handing

Kids Definition of hand (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give or pass with the hand Please hand me the knife.

hand

noun, often attributive
\ ˈhand How to pronounce hand (audio) \

Medical Definition of hand

1a(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 especially : the hind foot of an ape
c : something resembling a hand especially : an indicator or pointer on a dial
2 : a unit of measure equal to 4 inches or 10.2 centimeters used especially for the height of horses

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More from Merriam-Webster on hand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hand

Spanish Central: Translation of hand

Nglish: Translation of hand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hand for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hand

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