The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Hand \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 monkeys, and the corresponding part in many other
animals; manus; paw. See Manus.
2. That which resembles, or to some extent performs the
office of, a human hand; as:
(a) A limb of certain animals, as the foot of a hawk, or
any one of the four extremities of a monkey.
(b) An index or pointer on a dial; as, the hour or minute
hand of a clock.
3. A measure equal to a hand's breadth, -- four inches; a
palm. Chiefly used in measuring the height of horses.
4. Side; part; direction, either right or left.
On this hand and that hand, were hangings. --Ex.
The Protestants were then on the winning hand.
5. Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill;
He had a great mind to try his hand at a Spectator.
6. 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. --Judges vi.
7. 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
A dictionary containing a natural history requires
too many hands, as well as too much time, ever to be
hoped for. --Locke.
I was always reckoned a lively hand at a simile.
8. 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. --Shak.
Some writs require a judge's hand. --Burril.
9. Personal possession; ownership; hence, control; direction;
management; -- usually in the plural. "Receiving in hand
one year's tribute." --Knolles.
Albinus . . . found means to keep in his hands the
government of Britain. --Milton.
10. 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.
11. Rate; price. [Obs.] "Business is bought at a dear hand,
where there is small dispatch." --Bacon.
12. That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once; as:
(a) (Card Playing) The quota of cards received from the
(b) (Tobacco Manuf.) A bundle of tobacco leaves tied
13. (Firearms) The small part of a gunstock near the lock,
which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.
Note: Hand is used figuratively for a large variety of acts
or things, in the doing, or making, or use of which the
hand is in some way employed or concerned; also, as a
symbol to denote various qualities or conditions, as:
(a) Activity; operation; work; -- in distinction from the
head, which implies thought, and the heart, which
implies affection. "His hand will be against every
man." --Gen. xvi. 12.
(b) Power; might; supremacy; -- often in the Scriptures.
"With a mighty hand . . . will I rule over you."
--Ezek. xx. 33.
(c) Fraternal feeling; as, to give, or take, the hand; to
give the right hand.
(d) Contract; -- commonly of marriage; as, to ask the
hand; to pledge the hand.
Note: Hand is often used adjectively or in compounds (with or
without the hyphen), signifying performed by the hand;
as, hand blow or hand-blow, hand gripe or hand-gripe:
used by, or designed for, the hand; as, hand ball or
handball, hand bow, hand fetter, hand grenade or
hand-grenade, handgun or hand gun, handloom or hand
loom, handmill or hand organ or handorgan, handsaw or
hand saw, hand-weapon: measured or regulated by the
hand; as, handbreadth or hand's breadth, hand gallop or
hand-gallop. Most of the words in the following
paragraph are written either as two words or in
Hand bag, a satchel; a small bag for carrying books,
papers, parcels, etc.
Hand basket, a small or portable basket.
Hand bell, a small bell rung by the hand; a table bell.
Hand bill, a small pruning hook. See 4th Bill.
Hand car. See under Car.
Hand director (Mus.), an instrument to aid in forming a
good position of the hands and arms when playing on the
piano; a hand guide.
Hand drop. See Wrist drop.
Hand gallop. See under Gallop.
Hand gear (Mach.), apparatus by means of which a machine,
or parts of a machine, usually operated by other power,
may be operated by hand.
(a) A glass or small glazed frame, for the protection of
(b) A small mirror with a handle.
Hand guide. Same as Hand director (above).
Hand language, the art of conversing by the hands, esp. as
practiced by the deaf and dumb; dactylology.
Hand lathe. See under Lathe.
Hand money, money paid in hand to bind a contract; earnest
Hand organ (Mus.), a barrel organ, operated by a crank
turned by hand.
Hand plant. (Bot.) Same as Hand tree (below). -- Hand
rail, a rail, as in staircases, to hold by. --Gwilt.
Hand sail, a sail managed by the hand. --Sir W. Temple.
Hand screen, a small screen to be held in the hand.
Hand screw, a small jack for raising heavy timbers or
weights; (Carp.) a screw clamp.
Hand staff (pl. Hand staves), a javelin. --Ezek. xxxix.
Hand stamp, a small stamp for dating, addressing, or
canceling papers, envelopes, etc.
Hand tree (Bot.), a lofty tree found in Mexico
(Cheirostemon platanoides), having red flowers whose
stamens unite in the form of a hand.
Hand vise, a small vise held in the hand in doing small
Hand work, or Handwork, work done with the hands, as
distinguished from work done by a machine; handiwork.
All hands, everybody; all parties.
At all hands, On all hands, on all sides; from every
At any hand, At no hand, in any (or no) way or direction;
on any account; on no account. "And therefore at no hand
consisting with the safety and interests of humility."
At first hand, At second hand. See def. 10 (above).
(a) Near in time or place; either present and within
reach, or not far distant. "Your husband is at hand;
I hear his trumpet." --Shak.
(b) Under the hand or bridle. [Obs.] "Horses hot at
At the hand of, by the act of; as a gift from. "Shall we
receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive
evil?" --Job ii. 10.
Bridle hand. See under Bridle.
By hand, with the hands, in distinction from
instrumentality of tools, engines, or animals; as, to weed
a garden by hand; to lift, draw, or carry by hand.
Clean hands, freedom from guilt, esp. from the guilt of
dishonesty in money matters, or of bribe taking. "He that
hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger." --Job
From hand to hand, from one person to another.
Hand in hand.
(a) In union; conjointly; unitedly. --Swift.
(b) Just; fair; equitable.
As fair and as good, a kind of hand in hand
Hand over hand, Hand over fist, by passing the hands
alternately one before or above another; as, to climb hand
over hand; also, rapidly; as, to come up with a chase hand
Hand over head, negligently; rashly; without seeing what
one does. [Obs.] --Bacon.
Hand running, consecutively; as, he won ten times hand
Hands off! keep off! forbear! no interference or meddling!
Hand to hand, in close union; in close fight; as, a hand to
hand contest. --Dryden.
Heavy hand, severity or oppression.
(a) Paid down. "A considerable reward in hand, and . . .
a far greater reward hereafter." --Tillotson.
(b) In preparation; taking place. --Chaucer. "Revels . .
. in hand." --Shak.
(c) Under consideration, or in the course of transaction;
as, he has the business in hand.
In one's hand or In one's hands.
(a) In one's possession or keeping.
(b) At one's risk, or peril; as, I took my life in my
Laying on of hands, a form used in consecrating to office,
in the rite of confirmation, and in blessing persons.
Light hand, gentleness; moderation.
Note of hand, a promissory note.
Off hand, Out of hand, forthwith; without delay,
hesitation, or difficulty; promptly. "She causeth them to
be hanged up out of hand." --Spenser.
Off one's hands, out of one's possession or care.
On hand, in present possession; as, he has a supply of
goods on hand.
On one's hands, in one's possession care, or management.
Putting the hand under the thigh, an ancient Jewish
ceremony used in swearing.
Right hand, the place of honor, power, and strength.
Slack hand, idleness; carelessness; inefficiency; sloth.
Strict hand, severe discipline; rigorous government.
To bear a hand (Naut.), to give help quickly; to hasten.
To bear in hand, to keep in expectation with false
pretenses. [Obs.] --Shak.
To be hand and glove with or To be hand in glove with.
See under Glove.
To be on the mending hand, to be convalescent or improving.
To bring up by hand, to feed (an infant) without suckling
To change hand. See Change.
To change hands, to change sides, or change owners.
To clap the hands, to express joy or applause, as by
striking the palms of the hands together.
To come to hand, to be received; to be taken into
possession; as, the letter came to hand yesterday.
To get hand, to gain influence. [Obs.]
Appetites have . . . got such a hand over them.
To get one's hand in, to make a beginning in a certain
work; to become accustomed to a particular business.
To have a hand in, to be concerned in; to have a part or
concern in doing; to have an agency or be employed in.
To have in hand.
(a) To have in one's power or control. --Chaucer.
(b) To be engaged upon or occupied with.
To have one's hands full, to have in hand all that one can
do, or more than can be done conveniently; to be pressed
with labor or engagements; to be surrounded with
To have the (higher) upper hand, or To get the (higher)
upper hand, to have, or get, the better of another person or
To his hand, To my hand, etc., in readiness; already
prepared. "The work is made to his hands." --Locke.
To hold hand, to compete successfully or on even
conditions. [Obs.] --Shak.
To lay hands on, to seize; to assault.
To lend a hand, to give assistance.
To lift the hand against, or To put forth the hand
against, to attack; to oppose; to kill.
To live from hand to mouth, to obtain food and other
necessaries as want compels, without previous provision.
To make one's hand, to gain advantage or profit.
To put the hand unto, to steal. --Ex. xxii. 8.
To put the last hand to or To put the finishing hand to,
to make the last corrections in; to complete; to perfect.
To set the hand to, to engage in; to undertake.
That the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that
thou settest thine hand to. --Deut. xxiii.
To stand one in hand, to concern or affect one.
To strike hands, to make a contract, or to become surety
for another's debt or good behavior.
To take in hand.
(a) To attempt or undertake.
(b) To seize and deal with; as, he took him in hand.
To wash the hands of, to disclaim or renounce interest in,
or responsibility for, a person or action; as, to wash
one's hands of a business. --Matt. xxvii. 24.
Under the hand of, authenticated by the handwriting or
signature of; as, the deed is executed under the hand and
seal of the owner.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Take \Take\, v. t. [imp. Took (t[oo^]k); p. p. Taken
(t[=a]k'n); p. pr. & vb. n. Taking.] [Icel. taka; akin to
Sw. taga, Dan. tage, Goth. t[=e]kan to touch; of uncertain
1. In an active sense; To lay hold of; to seize with the
hands, or otherwise; to grasp; to get into one's hold or
possession; to procure; to seize and carry away; to
convey. Hence, specifically:
(a) To obtain possession of by force or artifice; to get
the custody or control of; to reduce into subjection
to one's power or will; to capture; to seize; to make
prisoner; as, to take an army, a city, or a ship;
also, to come upon or befall; to fasten on; to attack;
to seize; -- said of a disease, misfortune, or the
This man was taken of the Jews. --Acts xxiii.
Men in their loose, unguarded hours they take;
Not that themselves are wise, but others weak.
They that come abroad after these showers are
commonly taken with sickness. --Bacon.
There he blasts the tree and takes the cattle
And makes milch kine yield blood. --Shak.
(b) To gain or secure the interest or affection of; to
captivate; to engage; to interest; to charm.
Neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
Cleombroutus was so taken with this prospect,
that he had no patience. --Wake.
I know not why, but there was a something in
those half-seen features, -- a charm in the very
shadow that hung over their imagined beauty, --
which took me more than all the outshining
loveliness of her companions. --Moore.
(c) To make selection of; to choose; also, to turn to; to
have recourse to; as, to take the road to the right.
Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my
son. And Jonathan was taken. --1 Sam. xiv.
The violence of storming is the course which God
is forced to take for the destroying . . . of
(d) To employ; to use; to occupy; hence, to demand; to
require; as, it takes so much cloth to make a coat; it
takes five hours to get to Boston from New York by
This man always takes time . . . before he
passes his judgments. --I. Watts.
(e) To form a likeness of; to copy; to delineate; to
picture; as, to take a picture of a person.
Beauty alone could beauty take so right.
(f) To draw; to deduce; to derive. [R.]
The firm belief of a future judgment is the most
forcible motive to a good life, because taken
from this consideration of the most lasting
happiness and misery. --Tillotson.
(g) To assume; to adopt; to acquire, as shape; to permit
to one's self; to indulge or engage in; to yield to;
to have or feel; to enjoy or experience, as rest,
revenge, delight, shame; to form and adopt, as a
resolution; -- used in general senses, limited by a
following complement, in many idiomatic phrases; as,
to take a resolution; I take the liberty to say.
(h) To lead; to conduct; as, to take a child to church.
(i) To carry; to convey; to deliver to another; to hand
over; as, he took the book to the bindery; he took a
dictionary with him.
He took me certain gold, I wot it well.
(k) To remove; to withdraw; to deduct; -- with from; as,
to take the breath from one; to take two from four.
2. In a somewhat passive sense, to receive; to bear; to
endure; to acknowledge; to accept. Specifically:
(a) To accept, as something offered; to receive; not to
refuse or reject; to admit.
Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a
murderer. --Num. xxxv.
Let not a widow be taken into the number under
threescore. --1 Tim. v.
(b) To receive as something to be eaten or drunk; to
partake of; to swallow; as, to take food or wine.
(c) Not to refuse or balk at; to undertake readily; to
clear; as, to take a hedge or fence.
(d) To bear without ill humor or resentment; to submit to;
to tolerate; to endure; as, to take a joke; he will
take an affront from no man.
(e) To admit, as, something presented to the mind; not to
dispute; to allow; to accept; to receive in thought;
to entertain in opinion; to understand; to interpret;
to regard or look upon; to consider; to suppose; as,
to take a thing for granted; this I take to be man's
motive; to take men for spies.
You take me right. --Bacon.
Charity, taken in its largest extent, is nothing
else but the science love of God and our
[He] took that for virtue and affection which
was nothing but vice in a disguise. --South.
You'd doubt his sex, and take him for a girl.
(f) To accept the word or offer of; to receive and accept;
to bear; to submit to; to enter into agreement with;
-- used in general senses; as, to take a form or
I take thee at thy word. --Rowe.
Yet thy moist clay is pliant to command; . . .
Not take the mold. --Dryden.
3. To make a picture, photograph, or the like, of; as, to
take a group or a scene. [Colloq.]
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
4. To give or deliver (a blow to); to strike; hit; as, he
took me in the face; he took me a blow on the head. [Obs.
exc. Slang or Dial.]
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
To be taken aback, To take advantage of, To take air,
etc. See under Aback, Advantage, etc.
To take aim, to direct the eye or weapon; to aim.
To take along, to carry, lead, or convey.
To take arms, to commence war or hostilities.
To take away, to carry off; to remove; to cause deprivation
of; to do away with; as, a bill for taking away the votes
of bishops. "By your own law, I take your life away."
To take breath, to stop, as from labor, in order to breathe
or rest; to recruit or refresh one's self.
To take care, to exercise care or vigilance; to be
solicitous. "Doth God take care for oxen?" --1 Cor. ix. 9.
To take care of, to have the charge or care of; to care
for; to superintend or oversee.
To take down.
(a) To reduce; to bring down, as from a high, or higher,
place; as, to take down a book; hence, to bring lower;
to depress; to abase or humble; as, to take down
pride, or the proud. "I never attempted to be impudent
yet, that I was not taken down." --Goldsmith.
(b) To swallow; as, to take down a potion.
(c) To pull down; to pull to pieces; as, to take down a
house or a scaffold.
(d) To record; to write down; as, to take down a man's
words at the time he utters them.
To take effect, To take fire. See under Effect, and
To take ground to the right or To take ground to the left
(Mil.), to extend the line to the right or left; to move,
as troops, to the right or left.
To take heart, to gain confidence or courage; to be
To take heed, to be careful or cautious. "Take heed what
doom against yourself you give." --Dryden.
To take heed to, to attend with care, as, take heed to thy
To take hold of, to seize; to fix on.
To take horse, to mount and ride a horse.
To take in.
(a) To inclose; to fence.
(b) To encompass or embrace; to comprise; to comprehend.
(c) To draw into a smaller compass; to contract; to brail
or furl; as, to take in sail.
(d) To cheat; to circumvent; to gull; to deceive.
(e) To admit; to receive; as, a leaky vessel will take in
(f) To win by conquest. [Obs.]
For now Troy's broad-wayed town
He shall take in. --Chapman.
(g) To receive into the mind or understanding. "Some
bright genius can take in a long train of
propositions." --I. Watts.
(h) To receive regularly, as a periodical work or
newspaper; to take. [Eng.]
To take in hand. See under Hand.
To take in vain, to employ or utter as in an oath. "Thou
shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."
--Ex. xx. 7.
To take issue. See under Issue.
To take leave. See Leave, n., 2.
To take a newspaper, magazine, or the like, to receive it
regularly, as on paying the price of subscription.
To take notice, to observe, or to observe with particular
To take notice of. See under Notice.
To take oath, to swear with solemnity, or in a judicial
To take on, to assume; to take upon one's self; as, to take
on a character or responsibility.
To take one's own course, to act one's pleasure; to pursue
the measures of one's own choice.
To take order for. See under Order.
To take order with, to check; to hinder; to repress. [Obs.]
To take orders.
(a) To receive directions or commands.
(b) (Eccl.) To enter some grade of the ministry. See
Order, n., 10.
To take out.
(a) To remove from within a place; to separate; to deduct.
(b) To draw out; to remove; to clear or cleanse from; as,
to take out a stain or spot from cloth.
(c) To produce for one's self; as, to take out a patent.
To take up.
(a) To lift; to raise. --Hood.
(b) To buy or borrow; as, to take up goods to a large
amount; to take up money at the bank.
(c) To begin; as, to take up a lamentation. --Ezek. xix.
(d) To gather together; to bind up; to fasten or to
replace; as, to take up raveled stitches; specifically
(Surg.), to fasten with a ligature.
(e) To engross; to employ; to occupy or fill; as, to take
up the time; to take up a great deal of room.
(f) To take permanently. "Arnobius asserts that men of the
finest parts . . . took up their rest in the Christian
(g) To seize; to catch; to arrest; as, to take up a thief;
to take up vagabonds.
(h) To admit; to believe; to receive. [Obs.]
The ancients took up experiments upon credit.
(i) To answer by reproof; to reprimand; to berate.
One of his relations took him up roundly.
(k) To begin where another left off; to keep up in
continuous succession; to take up (a topic, an
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale. --Addison.
(l) To assume; to adopt as one's own; to carry on or
manage; as, to take up the quarrels of our neighbors;
to take up current opinions. "They take up our old
trade of conquering." --Dryden.
(m) To comprise; to include. "The noble poem of Palemon
and Arcite . . . takes up seven years." --Dryden.
(n) To receive, accept, or adopt for the purpose of
assisting; to espouse the cause of; to favor. --Ps.
(o) To collect; to exact, as a tax; to levy; as, to take
up a contribution. "Take up commodities upon our
(p) To pay and receive; as, to take up a note at the bank.
(q) (Mach.) To remove, as by an adjustment of parts; as,
to take up lost motion, as in a bearing; also, to make
tight, as by winding, or drawing; as, to take up slack
thread in sewing.
(r) To make up; to compose; to settle; as, to take up a
quarrel. [Obs.] --Shak. -- (s) To accept from someone,
as a wager or a challenge; as, J. took M. up on his
To take up arms. Same as To take arms, above.
To take upon one's self.
(a) To assume; to undertake; as, he takes upon himself to
assert that the fact is capable of proof.
(b) To appropriate to one's self; to allow to be imputed
to, or inflicted upon, one's self; as, to take upon
one's self a punishment.
To take up the gauntlet. See under Gauntlet.