Found 1 items, similar to Off hand.
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Definition: Off hand
(h[a^]nd), n. [AS. hand, hond; akin to D., G., & Sw.
hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. h["o]nd, Goth. handus, and
perh. to Goth. hin[thorn]an to seize (in comp.). Cf. Hunt
1. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in
man and monkeys, and the corresponding part in many other
animals; manus; paw. See Manus
2. That which resembles, or to some extent performs the
office of, a human hand; as:
(a) A limb of certain animals, as the foot of a hawk, or
any one of the four extremities of a monkey.
(b) An index or pointer on a dial; as, the hour or minute
hand of a clock.
3. A measure equal to a hand's breadth, -- four inches; a
palm. Chiefly used in measuring the height of horses.
4. Side; part; direction, either right or left.
On this hand and that hand, were hangings. --Ex.
The Protestants were then on the winning hand.
5. Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill;
He had a great mind to try his hand at a Spectator.
6. Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence,
manner of performance.
To change the hand in carrying on the war.
Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my
hand. --Judges vi.
7. An agent; a servant, or laborer; a workman, trained or
competent for special service or duty; a performer more or
less skillful; as, a deck hand; a farm hand; an old hand
A dictionary containing a natural history requires
too many hands, as well as too much time, ever to be
hoped for. --Locke.
I was always reckoned a lively hand at a simile.
8. Handwriting; style of penmanship; as, a good, bad, or
running hand. Hence, a signature.
I say she never did invent this letter;
This is a man's invention and his hand. --Shak.
Some writs require a judge's hand. --Burril.
9. Personal possession; ownership; hence, control; direction;
management; -- usually in the plural. “Receiving in hand
one year's tribute.”
Albinus . . . found means to keep in his hands the
government of Britain. --Milton.
10. Agency in transmission from one person to another; as, to
buy at first hand, that is, from the producer, or when
new; at second hand, that is, when no longer in the
producer's hand, or when not new.
11. Rate; price. [Obs.] “Business is bought at a dear hand,
where there is small dispatch.”
12. That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once; as:
(a) (Card Playing) The quota of cards received from the
(b) (Tobacco Manuf.) A bundle of tobacco leaves tied
13. (Firearms) The small part of a gunstock near the lock,
which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.
Note: Hand is used figuratively for a large variety of acts
or things, in the doing, or making, or use of which the
hand is in some way employed or concerned; also, as a
symbol to denote various qualities or conditions, as:
(a) Activity; operation; work; -- in distinction from the
head, which implies thought, and the heart, which
implies affection. “His hand will be against every
--Gen. xvi. 12.
(b) Power; might; supremacy; -- often in the Scriptures.
“With a mighty hand . . . will I rule over you.”
--Ezek. xx. 33.
(c) Fraternal feeling; as, to give, or take, the hand; to
give the right hand.
(d) Contract; -- commonly of marriage; as, to ask the
hand; to pledge the hand.
Note: Hand is often used adjectively or in compounds (with or
without the hyphen), signifying performed by the hand;
as, hand blow or hand-blow, hand gripe or hand-gripe:
used by, or designed for, the hand; as, hand ball or
handball, hand bow, hand fetter, hand grenade or
hand-grenade, handgun or hand gun, handloom or hand
loom, handmill or hand organ or handorgan, handsaw or
hand saw, hand-weapon: measured or regulated by the
hand; as, handbreadth or hand's breadth, hand gallop or
hand-gallop. Most of the words in the following
paragraph are written either as two words or in
, a satchel; a small bag for carrying books,
papers, parcels, etc.
, a small or portable basket.
, a small bell rung by the hand; a table bell.
, a small pruning hook. See 4th Bill
. See under Car
(Mus.), an instrument to aid in forming a
good position of the hands and arms when playing on the
piano; a hand guide.
. See Wrist drop
. See under Gallop
(Mach.), apparatus by means of which a machine,
or parts of a machine, usually operated by other power,
may be operated by hand.
(a) A glass or small glazed frame, for the protection of
(b) A small mirror with a handle.
. Same as Hand director
, the art of conversing by the hands, esp. as
practiced by the deaf and dumb; dactylology.
. See under Lathe
, money paid in hand to bind a contract; earnest
(Mus.), a barrel organ, operated by a crank
turned by hand.
. (Bot.) Same as Hand tree
(below). -- Hand rail
, a rail, as in staircases, to hold by. --Gwilt.
, a sail managed by the hand. --Sir W. Temple.
, a small screen to be held in the hand.
, a small jack for raising heavy timbers or
weights; (Carp.) a screw clamp.
(pl. Hand staves
), a javelin. --Ezek. xxxix.
, a small stamp for dating, addressing, or
canceling papers, envelopes, etc.
(Bot.), a lofty tree found in Mexico
), having red flowers whose
stamens unite in the form of a hand.
, a small vise held in the hand in doing small
, or Handwork
, work done with the hands, as
distinguished from work done by a machine; handiwork.
, everybody; all parties.
At all hands
, On all hands
, on all sides; from every
At any hand
, At no hand
, in any (or no) way or direction;
on any account; on no account. “And therefore at no hand
consisting with the safety and interests of humility.”
At first hand
, At second hand
. See def. 10 (above).
(a) Near in time or place; either present and within
reach, or not far distant. “Your husband is at hand;
I hear his trumpet.”
(b) Under the hand or bridle. [Obs.] “Horses hot at
At the hand of
, by the act of; as a gift from. “Shall we
receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive
--Job ii. 10.
. See under Bridle
, with the hands, in distinction from
instrumentality of tools, engines, or animals; as, to weed
a garden by hand; to lift, draw, or carry by hand.
, freedom from guilt, esp. from the guilt of
dishonesty in money matters, or of bribe taking. “He that
hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.”
From hand to hand
, from one person to another.
Hand in hand
(a) In union; conjointly; unitedly. --Swift.
(b) Just; fair; equitable.
As fair and as good, a kind of hand in hand
Hand over hand
, Hand over fist
, by passing the hands
alternately one before or above another; as, to climb hand
over hand; also, rapidly; as, to come up with a chase hand
Hand over head
, negligently; rashly; without seeing what
one does. [Obs.] --Bacon.
, consecutively; as, he won ten times hand
keep off! forbear! no interference or meddling!
Hand to hand
, in close union; in close fight; as, a hand to
hand contest. --Dryden.
, severity or oppression.
(a) Paid down. “A considerable reward in hand, and . . .
a far greater reward hereafter.”
(b) In preparation; taking place. --Chaucer. “Revels . .
. in hand.”
(c) Under consideration, or in the course of transaction;
as, he has the business in hand.
In one's hand
or In one's hands
(a) In one's possession or keeping.
(b) At one's risk, or peril; as, I took my life in my
Laying on of hands
, a form used in consecrating to office,
in the rite of confirmation, and in blessing persons.
, gentleness; moderation.
Note of hand
, a promissory note.
, Out of hand
, forthwith; without delay,
hesitation, or difficulty; promptly. “She causeth them to
be hanged up out of hand.”
Off one's hands
, out of one's possession or care.
, in present possession; as, he has a supply of
goods on hand.
On one's hands
, in one's possession care, or management.
Putting the hand under the thigh
, an ancient Jewish
ceremony used in swearing.
, the place of honor, power, and strength.
, idleness; carelessness; inefficiency; sloth.
, severe discipline; rigorous government.
To bear a hand
(Naut.), to give help quickly; to hasten.
To bear in hand
, to keep in expectation with false
pretenses. [Obs.] --Shak.
To be hand and glove with
or To be hand in glove with
See under Glove
To be on the mending hand
, to be convalescent or improving.
To bring up by hand
, to feed (an infant) without suckling
To change hand
. See Change
To change hands
, to change sides, or change owners.
To clap the hands
, to express joy or applause, as by
striking the palms of the hands together.
To come to hand
, to be received; to be taken into
possession; as, the letter came to hand yesterday.
To get hand
, to gain influence. [Obs.]
Appetites have . . . got such a hand over them.
To get one's hand in
, to make a beginning in a certain
work; to become accustomed to a particular business.
To have a hand in
, to be concerned in; to have a part or
concern in doing; to have an agency or be employed in.
To have in hand
(a) To have in one's power or control. --Chaucer.
(b) To be engaged upon or occupied with.
To have one's hands full
, to have in hand all that one can
do, or more than can be done conveniently; to be pressed
with labor or engagements; to be surrounded with
To have the (higher) upper hand
, or To get the (higher) upper hand
, to have, or get, the better of another person or
To his hand
, To my hand
, etc., in readiness; already
prepared. “The work is made to his hands.”
To hold hand
, to compete successfully or on even
conditions. [Obs.] --Shak.
To lay hands on
, to seize; to assault.
To lend a hand
, to give assistance.
To lift the hand against
, or To put forth the hand against
, to attack; to oppose; to kill.
To live from hand to mouth
, to obtain food and other
necessaries as want compels, without previous provision.
To make one's hand
, to gain advantage or profit.
To put the hand unto
, to steal. --Ex. xxii. 8.
To put the last hand to
, or To put the finishing hand to
to make the last corrections in; to complete; to perfect.
To set the hand to
, to engage in; to undertake.
That the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that
thou settest thine hand to. --Deut. xxiii.
To stand one in hand
, to concern or affect one.
To strike hands
, to make a contract, or to become surety
for another's debt or good behavior.
To take in hand
(a) To attempt or undertake.
(b) To seize and deal with; as, he took him in hand.
To wash the hands of
, to disclaim or renounce interest in,
or responsibility for, a person or action; as, to wash
one's hands of a business. --Matt. xxvii. 24.
Under the hand of
, authenticated by the handwriting or
signature of; as, the deed is executed under the hand and
seal of the owner.
Not on; away from; as, to be off one's legs or off the bed;
two miles off the shore. --Addison.
. See Offhand
(Football), out of play; -- said when a player has got in
front of the ball in a scrimmage, or when the ball
has been last touched by one of his own side
To be off color
(a) to be of a wrong color.
(b) to be mildly obscene.
To be off one's food
or To be off one's feed
to have no appetite; to be eating less than usual.