with the left hand: He writes left-handed.
toward the left hand; in a counterclockwise direction: The strands of the rope are laid left-handed.

Origin of left-handed

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at left1, handed
Related formsleft-hand·ed·ly, adverbleft-hand·ed·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for left-handed

Contemporary Examples of left-handed

Historical Examples of left-handed

  • It was the elder Dumas who said, "Truth is liable to be left-handed in history."

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • Indeed my innermost feeling, now, is that "The Return" is a left-handed production.

    Tales of Unrest

    Joseph Conrad

  • Only one, I remember, noticed that I was shot by a left-handed man.

  • “I never knew before that you were left-handed,” he returned evasively.

    Whispering Smith

    Frank H. Spearman

  • If our friend is left-handed, he'll be inconvenienced for a day or two.

    The Lure of the Mask

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for left-handed



using the left hand with greater ease than the right
performed with the left hand
designed or adapted for use by the left hand
worn on the left hand
awkward or clumsy
ironically ambiguousa left-handed compliment
turning from right to left; anticlockwise
law another term for morganatic


with the left hand
Derived Formsleft-handedly, adverbleft-handedness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for left-handed

late 14c., of persons; 1650s of tools, etc., from left (adj.) + handed. In 15c. it also could mean "maimed." Sense of "underhanded" is from early 17c., as in left-handed compliment (1787, also attested 1855 in pugilism slang for "a punch with the left fist"), as is that of "illicit" (e.g. left-handed marriage). Related: Left-handedly; left-handedness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

left-handed in Medicine



Using the left hand more skillfully or easily than the right.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.