close to one's adversary; at close quarters: hand-to-hand combat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use hand-to-hand in a sentence
One had fought hand-to-hand combat and earned a Purple Heart in Korea.How I’ll End the War: The Trip Over to Afghanistan | Nick Willard | April 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
hand-to-hand in an apartment with an Edith Piaf song in the background.‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Premiere Wows (and Puzzles) Us | Allen Barra, Margaret Barra | September 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Once, Usama bin Zaid overcame an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat.
Guys, it distinctly says “tickle me” Elmo, not “hand-to-hand combat over me” Elmo.Eight Biggest Elmo Scandals: Kevin Clash, Katy Perry & More (VIDEO) | Kevin Fallon | November 14, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
But his sexual deviance, sporadic drug addiction, and overreliance on hand-to-hand combat may not hold up to scrutiny.10 Fictional Replacements for CIA Chief David Petraeus | Ben Teitelbaum, Laura Colarusso | November 10, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
They held the compound against repeated assaults, and lost several men in hand-to-hand fighting.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
Now came a hand-to-hand struggle which looked as if it must end in the death of Smith and perhaps of several of his assailants.Overland | John William De Forest
Men on each side now rushed to board the enemy's ship, and there was a hand-to-hand fight at the bulwarks of the two ships.Stories of Our Naval Heroes | Various
A bloody hand-to-hand encounter took place under the arch that joined the two towers on either side of the gate.The Pilgrim's Shell or Fergan the Quarryman | Eugne Sue
As this night might see rousing hand-to-hand work with rioters the swords might have their place.Uncle Sam's Boys as Lieutenants | H. Irving Hancock
British Dictionary definitions for hand-to-hand
at close quarters: they fought hand-to-hand
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with hand-to-hand
In close combat; also, at close quarters. For example, If the enemy came any closer they would soon be fighting hand to hand. This expression, dating from about 1400, is usually restricted to military contexts but occasionally sees more general use.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.