hand

I [[t]hæ̱nd[/t]] NOUN USES AND PHRASES
hands
(Please look at category 56 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.)
1) N-COUNT Your hands are the parts of your body at the end of your arms. Each hand has four fingers and a thumb.

I put my hand into my pocket and pulled out the letter...

Sylvia, camera in hand, asked, `Where do we go first?'

2) N-SING: with poss The hand of someone or something is their influence in an event or situation.

The hand of the military authorities can be seen in the entire electoral process...

The study will strengthen the hand of congressmen who want stricter enforcement of the 14-year-old Act.

3) N-PLURAL: usu in/into N If you say that something is in a particular person's hands, you mean that they are looking after it, own it, or are responsible for it.

I feel that possibly the majority of these dogs are in the wrong hands...

He is leaving his north London business in the hands of a colleague...

We're in safe hands...

The Government is openly encouraging the transfer of one of our greatest public buildings into private hands.

4) N-SING: a N, oft N with n If you ask someone for a hand with something, you are asking them to help you in what you are doing.

I could see you'd want a hand with the children...

Come and give me a hand in the garden...

We gave him a hand bringing it back.

5) N-COUNT: usu with supp A hand is someone, usually a man, who does hard physical work, for example in a factory or on a farm, as part of a group of people who all do similar work.

He now works as a farm hand...

He met mill hands, miners and farm labourers.

6) N-SING: a N If someone asks an audience to give someone a hand, they are asking the audience to clap loudly, usually before or after that person performs.

Let's give e̱m a big hand.

7) N-COUNT: usu sing, poss N, oft N in n If a man asks for a woman's hand in marriage, he asks her or her parents for permission to marry her. [OLD-FASHIONED]

He came to ask Usha's father for her hand in marriage.

8) N-COUNT In a game of cards, your hand is the set of cards that you are holding in your hand at a particular time or the cards that are dealt to you at the beginning of the game.

He carefully inspected his hand.

9) N-COUNT: usu num N A hand is a measurement of four inches, which is used for measuring the height of a horse from its front feet to its shoulders.

I had a very good 14.2 hands pony, called Brandy.

10) N-COUNT The hands of a clock or watch are the thin pieces of metal or plastic that indicate what time it is.
11) N-SING: usu poss N Your hand is the style in which you write with a pen or pencil. [LITERARY]

The manuscripts were written in the composer's own hand.

Syn:
12) PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR If something is at hand, near at hand, or close at hand, it is very near in place or time.

Having the right equipment at hand will be enormously helpful...

Realizing that his retirement was near at hand, he looked for some additional income.

Syn:
to hand
13) PHR-PREP: PREP n If someone experiences a particular kind of treatment, especially unpleasant treatment, at the hands of a person or organization, they receive it from them.

The civilian population were suffering greatly at the hands of the security forces.

14) PHRASE: PHR after v If you do something by hand, you do it using your hands rather than a machine.

Each pleat was stitched in place by hand.

Syn:
manually
15) PHRASE: V inflects When something changes hands, its ownership changes, usually because it is sold to someone else.

The firm has changed hands many times over the years.

16) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you have someone eating out of your hand, they are completely under your control.

Parker could have customers eating out of his hand.

17) PHRASE: usu -ed PHR If someone is bound hand and foot, both their hands and both their feet are tied together.
18) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you force someone's hand, you force them to act sooner than they want to, or to act in public when they would prefer to keep their actions secret.

He blamed the press for forcing his hand.

19) PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR with n If you have your hands full with something, you are very busy because of it.

She had her hands full with new arrivals.

20) PHRASE: PHR after v If someone gives you a free hand, they give you the freedom to use your own judgement and to do exactly as you wish.

He gave Stephanie a free hand in the decoration.

21) PHRASE: PHR after v If you say that someone is making or losing money hand over fist, you mean that they are getting or losing a lot of money very quickly.
22) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you get your hands on something or lay your hands on something, you manage to find it or obtain it, usually after some difficulty. [INFORMAL]

Patty began reading everything she could get her hands on.

Syn:
get hold of
23) PHRASE: usu PHR with n If you work hand in glove with someone, you work very closely with them.

The UN inspectors work hand in glove with the western intelligence agencies.

24) PHRASE: usu PHR after v, PHR with cl If two people are hand in hand, they are holding each other's nearest hand, usually while they are walking or sitting together. People often do this to show their affection for each other.

I saw them making their way, hand in hand, down the path.

25) PHRASE: usu PHR after v, v-link PHR, oft PHR with n If two things go hand in hand, they are closely connected and cannot be considered separately from each other.

For us, research and teaching go hand in hand...

Hand in hand with the police inquiries the government has also announced a full investigation.

26) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you have a hand in something such as an event or activity, you are involved in it.

He thanked all who had a hand in his release.

27) PHRASE: usu with PHR (disapproval) If you say that someone such as the ruler of a country treats people with a heavy hand, you are criticizing them because they are very strict and severe with them.

Henry and Richard both ruled with a heavy hand.

28) PHR-RECIP: V inflects, pl-n PHR, PHR with n If two people are holding hands, they are holding each other's nearest hand, usually while they are walking or sitting together. People often do this to show their affection for each other.

She approached a young couple holding hands on a bench.

29) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you ask someone to hold your hand at an event that you are worried about, you ask them to support you by being there with you. [INFORMAL]

I don't need anyone to hold my hand.

30) PHRASE: n PHR In a competition, if someone has games or matches in hand, they have more games or matches left to play than their opponent and therefore have the possibility of scoring more points. [BRIT]

Wales are three points behind Romania in the group but have a game in hand.

31) PHRASE: usu with amount PHR If you have time or money in hand, you have more time or money than you need. [BRIT]

Hughes finished with 15 seconds in hand.

32) PHRASE: n PHR, v-link PHR The job or problem in hand is the job or problem that you are dealing with at the moment.

The business in hand was approaching some kind of climax.

33) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR after v If a situation is in hand, it is under control.

The Olympic organisers say that matters are well in hand.

34) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you do something to keep your hand in, you practise a skill or hobby occasionally in order to remain fairly good at it. [INFORMAL]

He still plays keyboards for a local band to keep his hand in.

35) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR after v If you are on your hands and knees, your knees and feet and the palms of your hands are touching the ground.

Chris crawled on his hands and knees out onto the highway.

Syn:
on all fours
36) PHRASE: V inflects If you lend someone a hand, you help them.

I'd be glad to lend a hand.

37) PHRASE: V inflects If someone lives hand to mouth or lives from hand to mouth, they have hardly enough food or money to live on.
See also hand-to-mouth
38) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you tell someone to keep their hands off something or to take their hands off it, you are telling them in a rather aggressive way not to touch it or interfere with it.

Keep your hands off my milk.

39) PHRASE: usu with brd-neg, PHR after v If you do not know something off hand, you do not know it without having to ask anyone else or look it up in a book. [SPOKEN]

I can't think of any off hand.

40) PHRASE: PHR after v If you have a problem or responsibility on your hands, you have to deal with it. If it is off your hands, you no longer have to deal with it.

They now have yet another drug problem on their hands...

She would like the worry of dealing with her affairs taken off her hands.

41) PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR If someone or something is on hand, they are near and able to be used if they are needed.

The Bridal Department will have experts on hand to give you all the help and advice you need...

There was simply no cash on hand to meet the cost of food.

Syn:
42) PHRASE: PHR with cl You use on the one hand to introduce the first of two contrasting points, facts, or ways of looking at something. It is always followed later by on the other hand or `on the other'.

On the one hand, if the body doesn't have enough cholesterol, we would not be able to survive. On the other hand, if the body has too much cholesterol, the excess begins to line the arteries.

43) PHRASE You use on the other hand to introduce the second of two contrasting points, facts, or ways of looking at something.

Well, all right, hospitals lose money. But, on the other hand, if people are healthy, don't think of it as losing money; think of it as saving lives.

44) PHRASE: v-link PHR If a person or a situation gets out of hand, you are no longer able to control them.

His drinking had got out of hand.

45) PHRASE: PHR after v If you dismiss or reject something out of hand, you do so immediately and do not consider believing or accepting it.

I initially dismissed the idea out of hand.

Syn:
out of control
46) PHRASE: V inflects If you play into someone's hands, you do something which they want you to do and which places you in their power. [JOURNALISM]

He is playing into the hands of racists.

47) PHRASE: V and N inflect If you show your hand, you show how much power you have and the way you intend to act.

Doyle showed his hand by attacking after just four laps in the 43-lap race.

48) PHRASE: V inflects If you take something or someone in hand, you take control or responsibility over them, especially in order to improve them.

I hope that Parliament will soon take it in hand...

He had thought her worth taking in hand.

49) PHRASE: V inflects If someone throws up their hands, they express their anger, frustration, or disgust when a situation becomes so bad that they can no longer accept it.

She threw up her hands in despair...

Or are they just going to throw up their hands and say you're asking too much?

50) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that your hands are tied, you mean that something is preventing you from acting in the way that you want to.

Politicians are always saying that they want to help us but their hands are tied...

Her hands were tied by the way that the US constitution is structured.

51) PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR If you have something to hand or near to hand, you have it with you or near you, ready to use when needed.

You may want to keep this brochure safe, so you have it to hand whenever you may need it.

Syn:
at hand
52) PHRASE: V and N inflect, usu PHR at n/-ing If you try your hand at an activity, you attempt to do it, usually for the first time.

After he left school, he tried his hand at a variety of jobs - bricklayer, cinema usher, coal man.

Syn:
have a go
53) PHRASE: V and N inflect, PHR n If you turn your hand to something such as a practical activity, you learn about it and do it for the first time.

...a person who can turn his hand to anything.

54) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you wash your hands of someone or something, you refuse to be involved with them any more or to take responsibility for them.

He seems to have washed his hands of the job.

55) PHRASE: V inflects If you win hands down, you win very easily.
56) with one's bare handssee bare
to overplay one's handsee overplay
to shake someone's handsee shake
to shake handssee shake
II [[t]hæ̱nd[/t]] VERB USES
♦♦
hands, handing, handed
1) VERB If you hand something to someone, you pass it to them.

[V n n] He handed me a little rectangle of white paper...

[V n to n] He took a thick envelope from an inside pocket and handed it to me.

2) PHRASE (approval) You say things such as `You have to hand it to her' or `You've got to hand it to them' when you admire someone for their skills or achievements and you think they deserve a lot of praise. [INFORMAL]

You've got to hand it to Melissa, she certainly gets around.

Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hand — (h[a^]nd), n. [AS. hand, hond; akin to D., G., & Sw. hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. h[ o]nd, Goth. handus, and perh. to Goth. hin[thorn]an to seize (in comp.). Cf. {Hunt}.] 1. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in man and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hand — (h[a^]nd), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Handed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Handing}.] 1. To give, pass, or transmit with the hand; as, he handed them the letter. [1913 Webster] 2. To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct; as, to hand a lady into a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hand — (h[a^]nd), n. 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. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hand — Hand, v. i. To co[ o]perate. [Obs.] Massinger. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hand — I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German hant hand Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in humans) as a grasping organ (2)… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hand ax — noun Date: 13th century 1. a short handled ax intended for use with one hand 2. a prehistoric stone tool having one end pointed for cutting and the other end rounded for holding in the hand …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hand in — transitive verb Date: 1837 submit 2 < hand in your homework > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hand on — transitive verb Date: 1865 hand down …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hand it to — phrasal to give credit to ; concede the excellence of …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hand up — transitive verb Date: 1970 of a jury to deliver (an indictment) to a judge or higher judicial authority …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Hand — biographical name (Billings) Learned 1872 1961 American jurist …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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