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hand - definition and synonyms


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noun hand pronunciation in American English /hænd/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable] the part of your body at the end of each arm that you use for picking up and holding things
    Mrs. Bennet put her hands over her ears to shut out the noise.
    have/hold something in your hand: He was holding a cup of coffee in his left hand.
    hold someone’s hand: He sat by the bed and held her hand.
    take someone by the hand: George took her by the hand and helped her out of the car.
    hold hands (=hold each other’s hands): The park was full of young couples holding hands.
    hand in hand (=holding each other’s hand): They walked along the cliff top hand in hand.
    shake hands: The two men introduced themselves and shook hands.
  2. 2
    [singular] help
    give someone a hand (=help someone): Can you give me a hand with these boxes?
    like/want/need a hand: Do you need a hand with the dusting?
    lend a hand (=help): Lydia said she would lend a hand (=help) with the costumes.
    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    [singular] if people give someone a hand, they clap their hands to show that they have enjoyed a performance
    a big hand for someone: A big hand for the band, ladies and gentlemen!
    give someone a big hand: Let’s give the children a big hand.
  4. 6
    [singular] informal the advantages you have that give you a chance to be successful in a particular situation
    play your hand (=use your advantages): Everything depends on how the company plays its hand.
    See also show1
  5. 8
    [countable] mainly literary someones handwriting



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