• "I shook hands with the three in turn."
    "I shook hands with the three in turn."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v hand guide or conduct or usher somewhere "hand the elderly lady into the taxi"
    • v hand place into the hands or custody of "hand me the spoon, please","Turn the files over to me, please","He turned over the prisoner to his lawyers"
    • n hand physical assistance "give me a hand with the chores"
    • n hand terminal part of the forelimb in certain vertebrates (e.g. apes or kangaroos) "the kangaroo's forearms seem undeveloped but the powerful five-fingered hands are skilled at feinting and clouting"- Springfield (Mass.) Union"
    • n hand a rotating pointer on the face of a timepiece "the big hand counts the minutes"
    • n hand the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb "he had the hands of a surgeon","he extended his mitt"
    • n hand ability "he wanted to try his hand at singing"
    • n hand one of two sides of an issue "on the one hand..., but on the other hand..."
    • n hand something written by hand "she recognized his handwriting","his hand was illegible"
    • n hand a round of applause to signify approval "give the little lady a great big hand"
    • n hand the cards held in a card game by a given player at any given time "I didn't hold a good hand all evening","he kept trying to see my hand"
    • n hand a position given by its location to the side of an object "objections were voiced on every hand"
    • n hand a card player in a game of bridge "we need a 4th hand for bridge"
    • n hand a member of the crew of a ship "all hands on deck"
    • n hand a hired laborer on a farm or ranch "the hired hand fixed the railing","a ranch hand"
    • n hand a unit of length equal to 4 inches; used in measuring horses "the horse stood 20 hands"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Deerslayer in the Hands of the Indians The Deerslayer in the Hands of the Indians
Hand Shingle-Machine Hand Shingle-Machine
Willie looks out of the window, leaning on his hands on the ledge Willie looks out of the window, leaning on his hands on the ledge
Tom handing a bouquet to Polly Tom handing a bouquet to Polly
When Dad Put his Hand on Her Shoulder and Petted It 276 When Dad Put his Hand on Her Shoulder and Petted It 276

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Polar bears are left handed
    • Hand A bundle of tobacco leaves tied together.
    • n Hand hănd A gambling game played by American Indians, consisting of guessing the whereabouts of bits of ivory or the like, which are passed rapidly from hand to hand.
    • Hand A limb of certain animals, as the foot of a hawk, or any one of the four extremities of a monkey.
    • Hand A measure equal to a hand's breadth, -- four inches; a palm. Chiefly used in measuring the height of horses.
    • Hand Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence, manner of performance. "To change the hand in carrying on the war.""Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand ."
    • Hand Agency in transmission from one person to another; as, to buy at first hand, that is, from the producer, or when new; at second hand, that is, when no longer in the producer's hand, or when not new.
    • Hand An agent; a servant, or laborer; a workman, trained or competent for special service or duty; a performer more or less skillful; as, a deck hand; a farm hand; an old hand at speaking. "A dictionary containing a natural history requires too many hands , as well as too much time, ever to be hoped for.""I was always reckoned a lively hand at a simile."
    • Hand An index or pointer on a dial; as, the hour or minute hand of a clock.
    • Hand Handwriting; style of penmanship; as, a good, bad, or running hand . Hence, a signature. "I say she never did invent this letter;
      This is a man's invention and his hand ."
      "Some writs require a judge's hand ."
    • Hand Personal possession; ownership; hence, control; direction; management; -- usually in the plural. "Receiving in hand one year's tribute.""Albinus . . . found means to keep in his hands the government of Britain."
    • Hand Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill; dexterity. "He had a great mind to try his hand at a Spectator."
    • Hand Rate; price. "Business is bought at a dear hand , where there is small dispatch."
    • Hand Side; part; direction, either right or left. "On this hand and that hand , were hangings.""The Protestants were then on the winning hand ."
    • Hand That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in man and monkeys, and the corresponding part in many other animals; manus; paw. See Manus.
    • Hand That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once
    • Hand That which resembles, or to some extent performs the office of, a human hand
    • Hand The quota of cards received from the dealer.
    • Hand (Firearms) The small part of a gunstock near the lock, which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.
    • v. i Hand To coöperate.
    • Hand (Naut) To furl; -- said of a sail.
    • Hand To give, pass, or transmit with the hand; as, he handed them the letter.
    • Hand To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct; as, to hand a lady into a carriage.
    • Hand To manage; as, I hand my oar.
    • Hand To pledge by the hand; to handfast.
    • Hand To seize; to lay hands on.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Between 12%-15% of the population is left-handed
    • n hand The end of the arm or fore limb from the wrist outward, consisting of the palm, fingers, and thumb, and fitted for grasping objects. The perfect development of the hand is found only in man; but other animals, as monkeys, mice, squirrels, opossums, and other mammals, possess prehensile paws, or hands in a broad sense of the word. In man the fore limb is entirely withdrawn from the offices of support and locomotion, at least in adult life, and is devoted to the function of prehension, for which it is perfectly adapted by the mobility of all the digits, as well as by their respective difference in total length and in the length of their joints, and especially by the great freedom of the thumb, which can be perfectly apposed to the fingers collectively or to any one of them. Another important point in the perfection of a hand is its capability of complete pronation and supination, a movement of rotation following the motion of the radius about the ulna, by which the palm may be brought uppermost, when the hand is supine, or turned downward, when the hand is prone. None of the pronator or supinator muscles actually reach the hand, which simply carries out the movement of the radius. In the human hand there are 27 bones, namely, 8 carpals or wrist-bones proper, 5 metacarpals, and 14 phalanges, 3 to each of the four fingers and 2 to the thumb. The muscles which actuate the hand are numerous: they consist of several carpal extensors and flexors; several “long” common and special extensors and flexors of the digits, those of the thumb being most numerous and highly specialized; and certain “short” muscles confined to the palm, as those of the base of the thumb. (See cut under muscle.) In most mammals which have hands in this sense the structure and composition of parts are similar, the anatomical differences being slight in comparison with the degrees of physiological adaptation to prehension, or functional efficiency.
    • n hand In anatomy, technically, the terminal segment of the fore limb of any vertebrate above fishes, consisting of three divisions, the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges; the manus: the correlative of the pes of the hind limb. In this sense the term hand is used irrespective of modifications in structure or function. See manus, and cut under pinion.
    • n hand The end of any limb which grasps, holds, or clings, as the hind foot of a monkey, a bat, an opossum, etc. Specifically — In falconry, the foot of a hawk.
    • n hand A measure of four inches; a palm: used chiefly in measuring the height of horses: as, a horse 14 hands high.
    • n hand Side; part; direction, to either right or left: used both literally and figuratively: as, on the one hand or the other.
    • n hand The mode of using the hand; touch; hence, skill in doing something with the hands, as controlling a horse by drawing upon the bit with the reins.
    • n hand Performance; handiwork; workmanship.
    • n hand Manner of acting or performance; mode of action.
    • n hand Agency; part in performing or executing; active coöperation in doing something.
    • n hand Possession; power; rule; control; authority: commonly in the plural.
    • n hand In card-playing: The cards held by a single player.
    • n hand A single round at a game, in which all the cards dealt at one time are played.
    • n hand One of the players. In whist the eldest hand or elder hand is the player sitting next the dealer in the order in which the cards are dealt; the second hand is the one playing next after the leader in any trick; the third hand is the one after him; and the fourth hand is the last of all.
    • n hand A game at cards.
    • n hand In heraldry, the representation of a human hand, usually couped at the wrist. The blazon always specifies dexter or sinister, appaumée or reversed. Compare badge of Ulster, under badge, and see cut under appaumée.
    • n hand Something resembling the hand in shape or appearance, as in having five or more divisions (fingers), or in use, as in pointing, etc. Specifically — A palmate form of ginger. See the quotation.
    • n hand One of the groups, formed of one or two rows of the fruit arranged athwart the main stem of the bunch, into which a bunch of bananas or plantains naturally divides. A hand may contain from 8 to 20 separate fruits.
    • n hand A bundle or head of tobacco-leaves tied together, without being stripped from the stem.
    • n hand Five things sold together, as five oranges or five herrings.
    • n hand A figure like a hand used on sign-posts, etc., to indicate direction, or in print (as ) to call attention to a particular sentence or paragraph; an index.
    • n hand An index of a clock, watch, or dial of any kind, pointing out its divisions; a pointer: as, the hour- and minute-hands of a clock.
    • n hand One who is engaged in some particular manual employment, as in a factory or on a ship; a workman or workwoman.
    • n hand A person as acting in any way or doing any specified thing: as, a good hand at a bargain; all hands gave assistance.
    • n hand Style of penmanship; handwriting; chirography.
    • n hand A sign-manual; a signature.
    • n hand Terms; conditions; rate; price.
    • n hand A round of applause: as, he did not get a hand to-night.
    • n hand Pledge of marriage made by or for a woman; betrothal or bestowment in marriage.
    • n hand In some uses, a handle. See handle.
    • n hand A shoulder of pork.
    • n hand In Anglo-Saxon history, protection conferred by one in power or by the general community.
    • n hand [Hand is much used in composition, in reference to something made or done or to be managed or worked by hand, as hand-barrow, hand-bell, hand-loom, hand-saw, etc., or to that which is at hand, as handmaid, etc.]
    • n hand Near in time; not distant.
    • n hand In the state of preparation or execution; under examination, attention, etc.
    • n hand Accustomed to use the hands, especially in boxing or fighting.
    • n hand By every one.
    • n hand Under consideration; in intention; on foot.
    • n hand Off one's hands; done; ended.
    • n hand To be occupied with.
    • n hand To be in practice or skilled in any matter: as, he will do it well as soon as his hand is in.
    • n hand to have to do with; be occupied with or engaged in.
    • n hand To keep in a state of uncertainty; toy with; keep in expectation; amuse with the view of gaining some advantage.
    • n hand To bless, heal, ordain, etc., by the imposition of hands.
    • n hand To assist with; lend a hand to.
    • n hand To make another's cause one's own; join interests.
    • n hand To seize or consider and deal with: as, to take one's case in hand.
    • hand To give or transmit by means of the hand.
    • hand To lead, guide, or help with the hand; conduct: as, to hand a lady to a carriage.
    • hand To manage with the hand or hands; manipulate; handle.
    • hand To seize; lay hands on.
    • hand Nautical, to furl, as a sail.
    • hand To pledge by the hand; handfast.
    • hand To go hand in hand; coöperate.
    • hand Nautical, to ship as one of a crew; be or become a hand before the mast.
    • n hand One who, in the early days of Australian history, had been a convict.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Stewardesses is one of the longest words typed with only the left hand
    • n Hand hand the extremity of the arm below the wrist: that which does the duty of a hand by pointing, as the hand of a clock: the fore-foot of a horse: a measure of four inches: an agent or workman:
    • v.t Hand to give with the hand: to lead or conduct:
    • adj Hand bound, espoused: tight-fisted
    • n Hand hand (pl.) work-people in a factory: performance, agency, co-operation: power or manner of performing: skill: possession: style of handwriting, sign-manual: side: direction: the set of cards held by a single player at whist, &c.: a single round at a game
    • v.t Hand (naut.) to furl, as sails
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.”
  • Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
    “Not without a shudder may the human hand reach into the mysterious urn of destiny.”
  • Lord Burleigh
    Lord Burleigh
    “Win hearts, and you have hands and purses.”
  • Irish Toast
    Irish Toast
    “In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Seek the friend who's hand helped you and tell them what they mean to you.”
  • Swami Ramdas
    Swami Ramdas
    “Place yourself as an instrument in the hands of God, who does his own work in his own way.”


Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades - (USA) Used in response to someone saying "almost" in a win/lose situation. The full expression is "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." An alternate form puts "and flinging shit from a shovel" at the end.
Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is a proverb meaning that it is better to have something that is certain than take a risk to get more, where you might lose everything.
Catch someone red-handed - If someone is caught red-handed, they are found doing something wrong or illegal.
Caught with your hand in the cookie jar - (USA) If someone is caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar, he or she is caught doing something wrong.
Clean hands - Someone with clean hands, or who keeps their hands clean, is not involved in illegal or immoral activities.
Close at hand - If something is close at hand, it is nearby or conveniently located.
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades - This phrase is used to say that if you come close to success without succeeding, it is not good enough
Devil finds work for idle hands - When people say that the devil finds work for idle hands, they mean that if people don't have anything to do with their time, they are more likely to get involved in trouble and criminality.
Don't bite the hand that feeds - When someone says this to you, they are trying to tell you not to act against those on whom you depend.
Get your hands dirty - If you get your hands dirty, you become involved in something where the realities might compromise your principles. It can also mean that a person is not just stuck in an ivory tower dictating strategy, but is prepared to put in the effort and hard work to make the details actually happen.
Give a big hand - Applaud by clapping hands. 'Let's give all the contestents a big hand.'
Give me a hand - If someone gives you a hand, they help you.
Go hand in hand - If things go hand in hand, they are associated and go together.
Good hand - If you are a good hand at something, you do it well.
Hand in glove - If people are hand in glove, they have an extremely close relationship.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. hand, hond,; akin to D., G., & Sw. hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. hönd, Goth. handus, and perh. to Goth. hinþan, to seize (in comp.). Cf. Hunt


In literature:

You've handed me the sort of happiness that makes a feller feel like getting onto his hands and knees and thanking God for.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
When Stuart entered she dropped her father's hand, started toward him with her lips parted in a joyous smile and extended both hands.
"The Root of Evil" by Thomas Dixon
Hand in hand they went cautiously along the passage and up the stairs.
"The Northern Iron" by George A. Birmingham
His left hand forsook his tousled hair and fell to his side.
"The Rich Little Poor Boy" by Eleanor Gates
Then with fury he snapped his jaws upon the hand, and Tyr's hand, the swordsman's hand, was torn off.
"The Children of Odin" by Padraic Colum
Mayo pulled in his rope hand over hand with frantic haste.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
Then she and he devoted themselves to a hand-to-hand fight with the epidemic.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Your right hand does not know what your left hand is doing.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
Thus they threw dust into each other's eyes, and walked hand in hand on the edge of a precipice.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
This time the bell is passed simply from hand to hand in front of the body instead of overhead.
"Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium" by Jessie H. Bancroft

In poetry:

It pulses not so joyous
As when you stood with me,
And hand in hand we listened
To that low melody.
"An Old Memory" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
An' Peace is walkin' hand in hand
Wi' t' suther wind—
A Peace sae rare, nobbut on moors
Thoo'll hope to finnd;
"October Moors (For Pauline Clough Young)" by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe
The soft, white hand, that tenderly
My own hand seemed to woo;
All, all your magic spells were vain,
My torpor to subdue.
"The Resurrection" by Count Giacomo Leopardi
Festus, let my hand—
This hand, lie in your own, my own true friend!
Aprile! Hand in hand with you, Aprile!
"Paracelsus: Part V: Paracelsus Attains" by Robert Browning
Robin and she went hand in hand,
Weeping all the way,
Until they came where the lord of that land
Dumb in his cold bed lay.
"Robin Hood, A Child." by James Henry Leigh Hunt
Sweet summer time, true age of gold,
When hand-in-hand we went
Slow by the quickening shrubs, intent
To see the buds unfold:
"Recollections" by Denis Florence MacCarthy

In news:

Students at Trinity Catholic School are once again making hands for "Touch a Hand, Touch a Heart," a project sponsored by the Fundraising Committee for the benefit of the Massena Neighborhood Center's Christmas program.
Soup and cold weather, just go hand-in-hand.
Trash doesn't fall from the sky, it falls from human hands, and human hands have the power to stop it.
You might think those two things — GPS and broadband — would go hand-in-hand rather than be competing interests.
Graceful withdrawal after hand-to-hand political combat .
Aguilera and a handful of rockers were on hand for 'Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together ,' which aired on Friday night (Nov.
For many corporate AV users, and the content creators who support them, the choice among today's unprecedented array of display tools goes hand in hand with a commitment to a specific level of image resolution.
The list of twentieth-century composers who contributed left-hand piano concertos reads like a Who's Who of modern music and includes Maurice Ravel, whose Piano Concerto for the Left Hand is the most famous work in this repertoire.
My crew and I used to hand-nail framing hardware, but as codes changed and we had to install more and more of the stuff, it became impractical to nail by hand.
A new study shows that high fructose corn syrup consumption rates go hand in hand with higher prevalence of Type 2 diabetes.
After Hand had defeated WIndsor 23-6 for the Class L championship, coach Steve Filippone handed the game ball to defensive coordinator Dave Mastroianni.
Three-wheel hand cycles allow athletes to lean forward while pumping the wheels with their hands.
Sign-up starts at 10-11 am, and the group leaves at 11 am Trophies for Best and Worst Hand will be handed out.
And like chronic pain, chronic itch appears to go hand in hand with depression .
Through Dec 9, South Lake Tahoe police will be looking to hand out tickets to drivers using hand-held cell phones or texting, according to a statement this week.

In science:

This relation is a compact expression of chiral symmetry, i.e. of the fact that right-handed and left-handed quarks can be rotated independently.
Random Matrix Theory and Chiral Symmetry in QCD
On one hand it shows strong clustering like regular graphs and on the other hand it shows very small average shortest path between any two nodes like random graphs.
Random spread on the family of small-world networks
Let XL and XR be the term on the left-hand side and the term on the right-hand side of (3.16).
Generalized vertex algebras generated by parafermion-like vertex operators
On the other hand, one readily verifies that Corollary 3.4 also holds under the conditional law P[·|nN (x) = n], for any finite n, with the same right hand side V (x, α).
Fluctuations of the free energy in the REM and the p-spin SK models
The left hand side in (3.14) is independent of the point q , and so the right hand side is also; therefore Ω is well-defined.
Hamiltonian symplectomorphisms and the Berry phase