- accomplished or done by one person alone: a single-handed victory; single-handed sailing.
- by one's own effort; unaided.
- by oneself; alone; without aid: He built the garage single-handed.
Origin of single-handed
First recorded in 1700–10
- to sail (a craft) without help from others.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for single-handed
The book is a manifesto—a single-handed attempt to galvanize the world to take to the streets.Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ Will Change Nothing
November 17, 2014
Johnson, I thank you; you did all you could to save my ship, but single-handed you could not resist.The Field of Ice
"It is a wonderful piece of single-handed bookkeeping," he said to Roden.Roden's Corner
Henry Seton Merriman
The effort was too great for him single-handed, and one of his assistants came to his aid.The Law-Breakers
Whatever was to be done he must do single-handed—and there was nothing he could do!Two Thousand Miles Below
Charles Willard Diffin
I went at them single-handed; I went down all alone into the ring, and have they beaten me?Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2)
Charles James Lever
- unaided or working alonea single-handed crossing of the Atlantic
- having or operated by one hand or one person only
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 single-handed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper