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Black Hand

Italian La Mano Nera. any of various secret criminal groups organized in Italy and operating in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing blackmail and violence.
an anarchistic society in Spain, suppressed in 1883.
a nationalistic society in Serbia, suppressed in 1914.
Related forms
Blackhander, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Black Hand
Historical Examples
  • He made a snatch at the biscuit, but down came the spoon on his Black Hand.

    King o' the Beach George Manville Fenn
  • How would you like to tackle a bit of Black Hand investigation?

    The Young Railroaders

    Francis Lovell Coombs
  • He's a foreigner, you know; maybe he b'longs to the Black Hand.

    Much Ado About Peter Jean Webster
  • Much like a Black Hand design as illustrated in the evening papers.

    Ashton Kirk, Secret Agent John T. McIntyre
  • It fluttered once, not markedly, then a Black Hand withdrew it.

  • When he recognized the mother, he stopped and smiled and stroked his beard with his Black Hand.


    Maksim Gorky
  • "I had a message from the Black Hand," said the resident of Graftburg.

    Toaster's Handbook Peggy Edmund and Harold W. Williams, compilers
  • What does the Black Hand on each of the air gauges indicate?

  • "Go 'way, go 'way," said Madge, taking the reins from his Black Hand.

    In Old Kentucky

    Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey
  • Val clapped his Black Hand over her mouth and turned to Charity.

    Ralestone Luck Andre Norton
British Dictionary definitions for Black Hand

Black Hand

a group of Sicilian blackmailers and terrorists formed in the 1870s and operating in the US in the early 20th century
(in 19th-century Spain) an organization of anarchists
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Black Hand

Italian immigrant secret society in U.S., 1904; earlier a Spanish anarchist society, both from the warning mark they displayed to potential victims.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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