1 (C) the part at the end of a person's arm, including the fingers and thumb, used to pick up or keep hold of things: He held the pencil in his right hand. | Go wash your hands. | hold hands: They kissed and held hands. | take sb by the hand (=hold sb's hand in order to take them somewhere): Marika took the child by the hand and led her away.
2 hand in hand holding each other's hand, especially to show love: They strolled hand in hand through the flower garden.
3 right-handed/left-handed using the right hand for most actions rather than the left, or the left hand rather than the right: a left-handed tennis player
4 right/left hander a player who uses mainly the right hand or mainly the left hand
5 a hand help with something you are doing, especially something that involves physical work: give/lend sb a hand: It's really heavy - can you give me a hand? | need a hand: Tell me if you need a hand.
—see help 1
6 WORKER (C) someone who does physical work on a farm, in a factory etc
7 not do a hand's turn BrE informal to do no work at all: He never does a hand's turn to help me.
8 a dab hand someone who is very good at doing something: She's a dab hand at making pastry.
9 good with your hands skilful at making things
10 turn your hand to to start doing something new or practising a new skill: Larry can turn his hand to anything.
11 keep your hand in to keep practising something so you do not lose your skill: You should work part-time, just to keep your hand in.
12 in the hands of/in sb's hands controlled by someone: The area is already in rebel hands.
13 a firm hand strict control of someone: That child is a little monster. She obviously needs a firm hand.
14 get out of hand to become impossible to control: Deal with the problem before it gets completely out of hand.
15 take sb/sth in hand to bring someone or something under control: It's time these young offenders were taken in hand.
16 in hand being dealt with: Don't worry - all the arrangements are in hand. | have sth in hand: Give them a call to let them know we have the matter in hand.
17 have a hand in to influence or be involved in something: I suspect John had a hand in this.
18 in the hands of/in sb's hands being dealt with by someone: The whole affair is now in the hands of the police.
19 in good/safe/capable hands being dealt with or looked after by someone who can be trusted: We left the project in the capable hands of our deputy manager.
20 off your hands if something or someone is off your hands, you are not responsible for them any more: We have more free time now the kids are off our hands.
21 have sth/sb on your hands to have a difficult job, problem, or responsibility that you must deal with: They'll have a battle on their hands if they try to build a road here.
22 at hand formal near in time or space: The great day was almost at hand. | near/close at hand: There are shops and buses close at hand.
23 have/keep sth to hand to have or keep something where you can easily reach it
24 on hand close by and ready when needed: The nurse will be on hand if you need her.
25 first hand/at first hand by direct personal experience: She stayed there to experience village life at first hand. | first hand eyewitness accounts of the riot
26 at second/third/fourth hand passed from the first person who actually saw or heard something to a second, third, or fourth person: I may have the story wrong as I heard it at second hand.
—see also: second hand
27 by hand
a) by a person, not a machine: Every buttonhole is made by hand.
b) delivered from one person to another, not sent through the post
28 go hand in hand to be closely connected: High unemployment and high crime often go hand in hand.
29 get your hands on
a) to obtain something: They all want to get their hands on my money.
b) to catch someone you are angry with: Wait until I get my hands on her, she's borrowed my best skirt.
30 lay your hands on to find or obtain something: I'll bring some tapes if I can lay my hands on them.
31 have time on your hands to have a lot of time because you have no work to do
32 have your hands full to be very busy or too busy: I'm sorry I can't help - I have my hands full with problems at home.
33 out of hand if you refuse something out of hand, you refuse immediately and completely
34 hand in glove closely connected with someone, especially in a bad or illegal activity: They suspect the politicians are hand in glove with the Mafia.
35 right/left hand side the side on your right or left: Keep to the left hand side of the road.
36 on the one hand...on the other hand used when comparing different or opposite facts or ideas: On the one hand I want to sell the house, but on the other hand I can't bear the thought of moving.
37 make/lose/spend hand over fist informal to gain, lose, or spend money very quickly and in large amounts
38 give sb a (big) hand to clap 1 (1) loudly in order to show your approval of a performer or speaker
a) (C) a set of playing cards held by one person in a game: a winning hand
b) a game of cards: We played a couple of hands of poker.
40 ON A CLOCK (C) a long, thin piece of metal that points at the numbers on a clock: the hour hand
41 time/money in hand time or money that is available to be used: We still have a couple of weeks in hand before the deadline.
42 at the hands of if you suffer at the hands of someone, they treat you badly: They suffered terribly at the hands of the secret police.
43 tie/bind sb hand and foot
a) to tie someone's hands and feet
b) to severely restrict someone's freedom to make decisions: We're bound hand and foot by all these safety regulations.
44 sb's hand (in marriage) old-fashioned permission or agreement for a man to marry a particular woman: He asked for her hand in marriage.
45 WRITING (singular) the way you write; handwriting: a letter written in a neat hand
46 HORSE (C) a unit for measuring the height of a horse, equal to about 10 centimetres
—see also: freehand, hands­on, hands up, be an old hand at old (31), bite the hand that feeds you bite 1 (14), force sb's hand force 2 (6), overplay your hand overplay (2), shake hands (with) shake 1 (5), wash your hands of wash 1 (5), win hands down win 1 (1) 2 verb (T)
1 to pass something to someone else: hand sb sth: Can you hand me that book, please? | hand sth to sb: She handed her ticket to the ticket collector.
2 you have to hand it to sb spoken used to say that you admire someone: You have to hand it to her. She's really made a success of that company.
hand sth around also hand sth round BrE phrasal verb (T) to offer something to all the people in a group: She was busy handing around cups of coffee. hand sth back phrasal verb (T)
1 to pass something back to someone: Kurt examined the document and handed it back to her.
2 to give something back to someone it used to belong to: The land was handed back to its original owner.
hand sth down phrasal verb (T)
1 to give or leave something to people who are younger than you or live after you: stories that were handed down from generation to generation | a ring which was handed down from her grandmother
—see also: hand­me­down
2 to pass something to someone who is below you: The truck driver handed down her rucksack.
3 hand down a decision/ruling/sentence etc to officially announce a decision, a punishment etc
hand sth in phrasal verb (T) to give something to a person in authority: Hand your papers in at the end of the exam. hand sth on phrasal verb (T) to give something you have finished dealing with to someone who is waiting for it hand sth out phrasal verb (T)
1 to give something to each member of a group of people; distribute: Could you start handing these books out.
2 hand out advice to give advice, even if people do not want to hear it
—see also: handout hand over phrasal verb
1 (transitive hand someone/something over) to give someone or something to someone else to take care of or to control: The resistance fighters agreed to hand over the hostages.
2 (intransitive, transitive hand something over) to give power or responsibility to someone else: The captain was unwilling to hand over the command of his ship. | Before handing over to Jim, I'd like to thank you all for your support.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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