Found 2 items, similar to dead hand.
English → English
Definition: dead hand
n 1: real property held inalienably (as by an ecclesiastical
corporation) [syn: mortmain
2: the oppressive influence of past events of decisions [syn: dead hand of the past
English → English
Definition: Dead hand
(d[e^]d), a. [OE. ded, dead, deed, AS. de['a]d; akin
to OS. d[=o]d, D. dood, G. todt, tot, Icel. dau[eth]r, Sw. &
Dan. d["o]d, Goth. daubs; prop. p. p. of an old verb meaning
to die. See Die
, and cf. Death
1. Deprived of life; -- opposed to alive
reduced to that state of a being in which the organs of
motion and life have irrevocably ceased to perform their
functions; as, a dead tree; a dead man. “The queen, my
lord, is dead.”
The crew, all except himself, were dead of hunger.
Seek him with candle, bring him dead or living.
2. Destitute of life; inanimate; as, dead matter.
3. Resembling death in appearance or quality; without show of
life; deathlike; as, a dead sleep.
4. Still as death; motionless; inactive; useless; as, dead
calm; a dead load or weight.
5. So constructed as not to transmit sound; soundless; as, a
6. Unproductive; bringing no gain; unprofitable; as, dead
capital; dead stock in trade.
7. Lacking spirit; dull; lusterless; cheerless; as, dead eye;
dead fire; dead color, etc.
8. Monotonous or unvaried; as, a dead level or pain; a dead
wall. “The ground is a dead flat.”
9. Sure as death; unerring; fixed; complete; as, a dead shot;
a dead certainty.
I had them a dead bargain. --Goldsmith.
10. Bringing death; deadly. --Shak.
11. Wanting in religious spirit and vitality; as, dead faith;
dead works. “Dead in trespasses.”
--Eph. ii. 1.
(a) Flat; without gloss; -- said of painting which has
been applied purposely to have this effect.
(b) Not brilliant; not rich; thus, brown is a dead color,
as compared with crimson.
13. (Law) Cut off from the rights of a citizen; deprived of
the power of enjoying the rights of property; as, one
banished or becoming a monk is civilly dead.
14. (Mach.) Not imparting motion or power; as, the dead
spindle of a lathe, etc. See Spindle
15. (Elec.) Carrying no current, or producing no useful
effect; -- said of a conductor in a dynamo or motor, also
of a telegraph wire which has no instrument attached and,
therefore, is not in use.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
16. Out of play; regarded as out of the game; -- said of a
ball, a piece, or a player under certain conditions in
cricket, baseball, checkers, and some other games.
[In golf], a ball is said to lie dead when it lies
so near the hole that the player is certain to hole
it in the next stroke. --Encyc. of
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
(Naut.), directly ahead; -- said of a ship or
any object, esp. of the wind when blowing from that point
toward which a vessel would go.
(Mil.), an angle or space which can not be seen
or defended from behind the parapet.
, either of two wooden or iron blocks intended to
serve instead of buffers at the end of a freight car.
(Naut.), no wind at all.
, or Dead point
(Mach.), either of two points
in the orbit of a crank, at which the crank and connecting
rod lie a straight line. It corresponds to the end of a
stroke; as, A and B are dead centers of the crank
mechanism in which the crank C drives, or is driven by,
the lever L.
(Paint.), a color which has no gloss upon it.
(Oil paint.), the layer of colors, the
preparation for what is to follow. In modern painting this
is usually in monochrome.
(Shipbuilding), a storm shutter fitted to the
outside of the quarter-gallery door.
(Naut.), the widest or midship frame.
(Mar. Law), a sum of money paid by a person
who charters a whole vessel but fails to make out a full
cargo. The payment is made for the unoccupied capacity.
(Mining), the portion of a vein in which there
is no ore.
, a hand that can not alienate, as of a person
civilly dead. “Serfs held in dead hand.”
(Naut.), a rough block of wood used as an anchor
, a heat or course between two or more race
horses, boats, etc., in which they come out exactly equal,
so that neither wins.
, an expression applied to a debt for wages paid
in advance. [Law]
, a language which is no longer spoken or in
common use by a people, and is known only in writings, as
the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
(Mach.), a solid covering over a part of a fire
grate, to prevent the entrance of air through that part.
, a mortgage. See Mortgage
. (Mach.) See Dead center
(Naut.), the method of determining the place
of a ship from a record kept of the courses sailed as
given by compass, and the distance made on each course as
found by log, with allowance for leeway, etc., without the
aid of celestial observations.
, the transverse upward curvature of a vessel's
, an elliptical line drawn on the sheer plan to
determine the sweep of the floorheads throughout the
. See under Apple
. See under Set
(a) An unerring marksman.
(b) A shot certain to be made.
, the finest cut made; -- said of files.
(Arch.), a blank wall unbroken by windows or
(Naut.), the eddy water closing in under a
ship's stern when sailing.
(a) A heavy or oppressive burden. --Dryden.
(b) (Shipping) A ship's lading, when it consists of heavy
goods; or, the heaviest part of a ship's cargo.
(c) (Railroad) The weight of rolling stock, the live
weight being the load. --Knight.
(Naut.), a wind directly ahead, or opposed to the
To be dead
, to die. [Obs.]
I deme thee, thou must algate be dead. --Chaucer.
Syn: Inanimate; deceased; extinct. See Lifeless