From Middle English hond, hand, from Old English hand (“hand, side (in defining position), power, control, possession, charge, agency, person regarded as holder or receiver of something”), from Proto-Germanic *handuz (“hand”) (compare Dutch, Norwegian Nynorsk, Swedish hand, German Hand, West Frisian hân), of uncertain origin. Perhaps compare Old Swedish hinna (“to gain”), Gothic ???-?????? (fra-hinþan, “to take captive, capture”); and Latvian sīts (“hunting spear”), Ancient Greek κεντέω (kentéō, “prick”), Albanian çandër (“pitchfork, prop”).
hand (plural hands)
- The part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in a human, and the corresponding part in many other animals.
- That which resembles, or to some extent performs the office of, a human hand.
- A limb of certain animals, such as the foot of a hawk, or any one of the four extremities of a monkey.
- An index or pointer on a dial; such as the hour and minute hands on the face of an analog clock, which are used to indicate the time of day.
- In linear measurement:
- (chiefly in measuring the height of horses) Four inches, a hand's breadth.
- (obsolete) Three inches.
- A side; part, camp; direction, either right or left.
- Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill; dexterity.
- An agent; a servant, or manual laborer, especially in compounds; a workman, trained or competent for special service or duty; a performer more or less skillful.
- An instance of helping.
- Handwriting; style of penmanship.
- A person's autograph or signature.
- Personal possession; ownership.
- (usually in the plural, hands) Management, domain, control.
- That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once.
- (card games) The set of cards held by a player.
- A round of a card game.
- (tobacco manufacturing) A bundle of tobacco leaves tied together.
- (collective) The collective noun for a bunch of bananas.
- (historical) A Native American gambling game, involving guessing the whereabouts of bits of ivory or similar, which are passed rapidly from hand to hand.
- (firearms) The small part of a gunstock near the lock, which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.
- A whole rhizome of ginger.
- The feel of a fabric; the impression or quality of the fabric as judged qualitatively by the sense of touch.
- (archaic) Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence, manner of performance.
- (archaic) Agency in transmission from one person to another.
- (obsolete) Rate; price.
hand (third-person singular simple present hands, present participle handing, simple past and past participle handed)
- (transitive) To give, pass, or transmit with the hand, literally or figuratively.
- (transitive) To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct.
- (transitive, obsolete) To manage.
- (transitive, obsolete) To seize; to lay hands on.
- (transitive, rare) To pledge by the hand; to handfast.
- (transitive, nautical, said of a sail) To furl.
- (intransitive, obsolete) To cooperate.