- the cards dealt to or held by each player at one time.
- the person holding the cards.
- a single part of a game, in which all the cards dealt at one time are played.
- the position of the hinges of a door, in terms of right and left, as seen from outside the building, room, closet, etc., to which the doorway leads.
- the position of the hinges of a casement sash, in terms of right and left, from inside the window.
verb (used with object)
- to take in or furl (a sail).
- to haul on or otherwise handle.
- to deliver (the decision of a court): The jury handed down a verdict of guilty.
- to transmit from one to another, especially to bequeath to posterity: The ring had been handed down from her grandmother.
- to deliver into the custody of another: Hand your wallet over now!
- to surrender control of: He handed over his business to his children.
- within reach; nearby; close by.
- near in time; soon.
- ready for use: We keep a supply of canned goods at hand.
- to come within one's reach or notice: He was moved to tears when his father's old journal came to hand.
- to be received; arrive: The spring stock came to hand last week.
- so as to hinder movement: They tied him hand and foot.
- slavishly and continually: Cinderella had to wait on her stepsisters hand and foot.
- with one's hand enclasped in that of another person.
- closely associated; concurrently; conjointly: Doctors and nurses work hand in hand to save lives.
- effortlessly; easily: He won the championship hands down.
- indisputably; incontestably: It was hands down the best race I've ever seen.
- under control: He kept the situation well in hand.
- in one's possession: cash in hand.
- in the process of consideration or settlement: regarding the matter in hand.
- to obtain; acquire: I wish I could lay my hands on a good used piano.
- to seize, especially in order to punish: He wanted to lay his hands on the person who had backed into his car.
- to impose the hands in a ceremonial fashion, as in ordination: The bishop laid hands on the candidates.
- out of one's charge or care: Now, with their children grown and off their hands, they will be free to travel.
- successfully completed; finished: The lawyer planned a vacation as soon as the case was off his hands.
- by everyone; universally: It was decided on all hands to take an excursion.
- on every side; all around: piercing glances on all hands.
- in one's possession; at one's disposal: cash on hand.
- about to occur; imminent: A change of government may be on hand.
- present: There were not enough members on hand to constitute a quorum.
- beyond control: to let one's temper get out of hand.
- without delay; at once: The crisis obliged him to act out of hand.
- no longer in process; finished: The case has been out of hand for some time.
- without consideration or deliberation: to reject a proposal out of hand.
- to be unenthusiastic or unappreciative; fail to applaud: It was a lively show, but the audience sat on its hands.
- to take no action; be passive or hesitant: While he was being beaten, the others sat on their hands.
- to undertake responsibility for; assume charge: When both parents died, an uncle took the youngster in hand.
- to deal with; treat of: We'll take the matter in hand at the next meeting.
- within reach; accessible or nearby.
- into one's possession: A search of the attic brought some valuable antiques to hand.
- with severity; oppressively: The law will punish offenders with a heavy hand.
- in a clumsy manner; awkwardly; gracelessly: The play was directed with a heavy hand.
Origin of hand
British Dictionary definitions for at hand (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for at hand (2 of 2)
- the prehensile part of the body at the end of the arm, consisting of a thumb, four fingers, and a palm
- the bones of this partRelated adjective: manual
- the cards dealt to one or all players in one round of a card game
- a player holding such cards
- one round of a card game
- by manual rather than mechanical means
- by messenger or personallythe letter was delivered by hand
- in povertyliving from hand to mouth
- without preparation or planning
- together; jointly
- clasping each other's hands
- in possession
- under control
- receiving attention or being acted on
- available for use; in reserve
- with deferred paymenthe works a week in hand
- beyond control
- without reservation or deeper examinationhe condemned him out of hand
- to sign (a document)
- to start (a task or undertaking)
- of or involving the handa hand grenade
- made to be carried in or worn on the handhand luggage
- operated by handa hand drill
Word Origin for hand
Word Origin and History for at hand (1 of 2)
Old English hond, hand "hand; side; power, control, possession," from Proto-Germanic *khanduz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch, German hand, Old Norse hönd, Gothic handus). The original Old English plural handa was superseded in Middle English by handen, later hands.
Meaning "person who does something with his hands" is from 1580s, hence "hired workman" (1630s) and "sailor in a ship's crew" (1660s). Clock and watch sense is from 1570s. Meaning "round of applause" is from 1838. The linear measure of 4 inches (originally 3) is from 1560s, now used only in giving the height of horses. The meaning "playing cards held in one player's hand" is from 1620s; that of "a round at a card game" is from 1620s.
First hand, second hand, etc. (mid-15c.) are from the notion of something being passed down from hand to hand. Out of hand (1590s) is opposite of in hand "under control" (c.1200). Hand over fist (1825) is suggestive of sailors and fishermen hauling in nets. Hand jive is from 1958. To win something hands down (1855) is from horse racing, from a jockey's gesture of letting the reins go loose in an easy victory.
The Two Thousand Guinea Stakes was not the best contested one that it has been our fortune to assist at. ... [T]hey were won by Meteor, with Scott for his rider; who went by the post with his hands down, the easiest of all easy half-lengths. Wiseacre certainly did the best in his power to spoil his position, and Misdeal was at one time a little vexatious. ["The Sportsman," report from April 26, 1840]
To hand it to (someone) "acknowledge someone's ability" is slang from c.1906. Phrase on the one hand ... on the other hand is recorded from 1630s, a figurative use of the physical sense of hand in reference to position on one side or the other side of the body (as in the lefthand side), which goes back to Old English Hands up! as a command from a policeman, robber, etc., is from 1873. Hand-to-mouth is from c.1500. Hand-in-hand attested from c.1500 as "with hands clasped;" figurative sense of "concurrently" recorded from 1570s.
Word Origin and History for at hand (1 of 2)
c.1400, "take charge of, seize," from hand (n.). Meaning "to pass (something to someone)" is from 1640s. Related: Handed; handing.
Medicine definitions for at hand
Idioms and Phrases with at hand (1 of 2)
Also, close or near at hand. Within easy reach, nearby, as in I like to keep my tools close at hand. [1300s]
Also, on hand. Nearby in time, soon, as in The day of judgment is at hand, or A change of administration is on hand. Also see on hand.
Idioms and Phrases with at hand (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with hand
- hand and foot
- hand down
- hand in glove
- hand in hand
- hand in the till, with one's
- hand it to
- handle to one's name
- handle with gloves
- hand on
- hand out
- hand over
- hand over fist
- hand over hand
- hands are tied
- hands down
- hands off
- hands up
- hand to hand
- hand to mouth, from
- hand to on a silver platter
- at first hand
- at hand
- at second hand
- at the hand of
- back of one's hand
- bare hands
- bird in the hand
- bite the hand that feeds you
- bound hand and foot
- by hand
- catch red-handed
- change hands
- clean hands
- cold hands, warm heart
- deal in (one a hand)
- dirty one's hands
- eat out of someone's hand
- feed (hand) someone a line
- force someone's hand
- free hand
- from hand to hand
- give a hand
- glad hand
- grease someone's palm (hand)
- hang heavy on one's hands
- hat in hand
- have a hand in
- have one's hands full
- heavy hand
- helping hand
- in good hands
- in hand
- in one's hands
- in the hands of
- iron hand
- keep one's hand in
- know like a book (the back of one's hand)
- lay hands on
- left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing
- left-handed compliment
- lend a hand
- many hands make light work
- off one's hands
- on a platter, hand
- on hand
- on one's hands
- on the one hand
- on the other hand
- out of control (hand)
- out of hand
- play into the hands of
- putty in someone's hands
- raise a hand against
- right-hand man
- rub one's hands
- shake hands
- show of hands
- show one's hand
- sit on one's hands
- sleight of hand
- take in hand
- take into one's hands
- take one's life (in one's hands)
- take the law into one's hands
- throw in one's hand
- throw up one's hands
- tie one's hands
- time on one's hands
- tip one's hand
- to hand
- try one's hand
- turn one's hand to
- upper hand
- wait on hand and foot
- wash one's hands of
- with one arm (hand) tied