Learner's definition of HAND
1 a : the body part at the end of your arm that includes your fingers and thumb
b — used in some phrases to refer to a person
These gloves will keep your hands warm.
She put her hands over her eyes.
He sat quietly with his hands folded in his lap.
I'm afraid this job will need more than one pair of hands. [=more than one person]
It's a big job, but many hands make light work. [=if many people work on it, it will be easier to do]
2 hands [plural] : power, possession, or control 3 [singular] : physical help : assistance in doing something — often + with 4 [count] : a long, thin part that points to a number on a clock or dial 5 [noncount], somewhat old-fashioned : a promise of marriage
He asked for her hand (in marriage). [=he asked her to marry him]
She offered her hand in marriage to him. [=she said that she would marry him]
She gave him her hand in marriage. [=she married him]
6 [singular] : the act of hitting your hands together to show approval, appreciation, etc. : the act of applauding
7 a : the cards that are held by a player in a card game — often used figuratively
The program is designed to help children who have been dealt a cruel hand in life. [=children who have suffered or had bad things happen to them]
Even her critics say her chances of succeeding are great since she has been dealt such a strong hand. [=she is in a strong position]
b : a single round of play in a card game
— see also overplay your hand at overplay
8 a : a hired worker b : a member of a ship's crew — usually plural 9 [count] : someone who performs or produces something (such as a work of art) — usually singular 10 [singular] : a particular way or style of doing or handling something
The hand of a master is evident in these sculptures. [=these sculptures were obviously done by a very skillful artist]
He runs the business with a firm hand.
a cook who has a heavy hand with the salt [=who uses too much salt]
11 [singular], old-fashioned : the way a person's writing looks : a type of handwriting 12 [count] : a unit of measure equal to 4 inches (about 10.16 centimeters) and used especially to measure the height of horses
a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
: close in distance or time
at the hand(s) of
: by or through the action of (someone or something)
2 : from one person directly to another
by the hand
: by holding someone's hand — sometimes used figuratively
eat out of someone's hand
fall into the wrong hands
get/lay your hands on
: to find, get, or control (someone or something)
I'm still trying to lay my hands on my car keys.
He couldn't wait to get his hands on her money.
Wait until I get my hands on you. [=you will be in trouble when I catch you]
good with your hands
: skillful at things that require the use of your hands
hand and foot
1 — used to describe someone whose hands and feet are tied to prevent escape or movement 2
◊ To wait on someone hand and foot is to provide everything that someone needs or wants.
hand in hand
1 : holding hands : grasping another person's hand 2 — used to say that two people or things are very closely connected or related
In a film, the images and sounds go hand in hand.
The chef works hand in hand [=very closely] with a nutritionist.
hand over fistinformal
— used to say that someone is earning or losing money very quickly or in large amounts
hands are tied
◊ If your hands are tied you cannot do anything about a situation because you do not have the power to act freely.
I'd like to help you, but my hands are tied.
The judge says her hands are tied because the law requires a harsh sentence in such cases.
— used as a command to tell someone not to touch something
hand to mouth
: without much money : in poverty
hat in hand(US)or Britishcap in hand
: asking or begging for something in a respectful way
have a hand in
: to be involved in (something)
have someone in the palm of your hand
hold handsorhold someone's hand
1 : to hold a person's hand in one of your hands for a period of time 2 : to guide someone through a process by carefully explaining each step
in good/safe hands
: being taken care of very well
With her in charge, the office is in good hands. [=she will do the job well]
You're in safe hands with us. [=you will be safe with us]
1 : in your possession or control
◊ To take someone in hand is to begin to guide or direct someone who has been behaving badly.
2 chiefly British : available for use
keep your hand ininformal
: to continue to be involved in some activity
keep/get your hands off (of)
: to not touch (something) — often used figuratively
know (something) like the back of your hand
lay a hand on
: to touch or harm (someone)
off your hands
: no longer in your possession or no longer your responsibility
If you don't want those golf clubs anymore, I'll be glad to take them off your hands. [=I'll be glad to take them]
She's trying to find a way to get some of that extra work off her hands.
2 : present and available to do something
on the one hand, on the other hand
— used to introduce statements that describe two different or opposite ideas, people, etc.
On the one hand, I think the price is fair, but on the other (hand), I really can't afford to spend that much money.
He's a good guy. His brother, on the other hand, is a very selfish man.
on your hands
— used to say that you have something or are responsible for something
— see also blood on your hands at blood
on your hands and knees
: with your hands and knees on the ground : in a crawling position
out of hand
1 : very quickly without serious thought
out of your hands
— used to say that you cannot control something
play into someone's hands
safe pair of handsBritish
: someone who can be trusted with responsibility or a job
take (something) into your (own) hands
: to take control of something
The judge had no sympathy for people who insisted on taking the law into their own hands. [=trying to punish criminals themselves instead of allowing the legal system to do it]
After months of waiting for something to happen, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
try your hand
: to try to do something — usually + at
turn your hand to
: to begin doing (something) usually in a skillful way : to start (a new activity, field of study, etc.)
with your bare hands
: using only your hands and no tools or weapons
hands; handed; handing
hands; handed; handing
Learner's definition of HAND
: to give (something) to someone using your hands
hand back[phrasal verb]
hand (something) back or hand back (something)
: to return (something) by handing it to someone
hand down[phrasal verb]
hand (something) down or hand down (something)
1 : to pass (something) from a person who is older (such as a parent) to a person who is younger (such as a child) 2 chiefly US, law : to form and express (a decision or opinion) in writing
hand in[phrasal verb]
hand (something) in or hand in (something)
: to give (something) to a person who will review or accept it
hand it toinformal
: to give credit to (someone) for doing something
hand off[phrasal verb]
hand (something) offUS or hand off (something)
: to give (something) to another person
hand on[phrasal verb]
hand (something) onformal or hand on (something)
: to pass (something) from one person to another
hand out[phrasal verb]
hand (something) out or hand out (something)
: to give (something) to several or many people
They will hand out [=distribute] copies of the newsletter today.
He's always handing out advice to the people he works with.
She handed flyers out at the grocery store.
hand over[phrasal verb]
hand (someone or something) over or hand over (someone or something)
: to give up control or possession of (something or someone)