Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

hand

 - definitions and thesaurus
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun hand pronunciation in British English /hænd/
Word Forms
Close
singularhand
pluralhands
  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 mug of coffee in his left hand.

    hold someone’s hand:

    He sat by the bed and held her hand.

    hold hands (=hold each other’s hands):

    The park was full of young couples holding hands.

    take someone by the hand:

    George took her by the hand and helped her out of the car.

    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. 3
    [singular] help
    give someone a hand (=help someone):

    Can you give me a hand with these boxes?

    like/want/need a hand:

    Would you like a hand with the cleaning up?

    lend a hand (=help):

    Lydia lent a hand (=helped) with the costumes.

  3. 4
    [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. 9
    [countable] mainly literary someones handwriting

    The manuscript was written in the author’s own hand.

phrases

SOLE

… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

ruck

a fight

Open Dictionary

bankster

a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog