hand


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HAND. That part of the human body at the end of the arm.
     2. Formerly the hand was considered as the symbol of good faith, and some contracts derive their names from the fact that the hand was used in making them; as handsale, (q.v.) mandatum, (q.v.) which comes from a mandata. The hand is still used for various legal or forensic purposes. When a person is accused of a crime and he is arraigned, and he is asked to hold up his right hand; and when one is sworn as a witness, he is required to lay his right hand on the Bible, or to hold it up.
     3. Hand is also the name of a measure of length used in ascertaining the height of horses. It is four inches long. See Measure: Ell.
     4. In a figurative sense, by hand is understood a particular form of writing; as if B writes a good hand. Various kinds of hand have been used, as, the secretary hand, the Roman hand, the court hand, &c. Wills and contracts may be written in any of these, or any other which is intelligible.

References in classic literature ?
Round shoulders had Jo, big hands and feet, a flyaway look to her clothes, and the uncomfortable appearance of a girl who was rapidly shooting up into a woman and didn't like it.
Now that he had no work to hold, he laid the knuckles of the right hand in the hollow of the left, and then the knuckles of the left hand in the hollow of the right, and then passed a hand across his bearded chin, and so on in regular changes, without a moment's intermission.
Her entrapped hand was on the table, but she had already put her other hand behind her waist.
Bring the boy here; thou shalt bid him farewell, then thou shalt slay him with thine own hand ere thou thyself art slain; it will be good sport to see.
But it tires the hand unnecessarily," whispered Raoul.
At once all assailed Quiteria and pressed her, some with prayers, and others with tears, and others with persuasive arguments, to give her hand to poor Basilio; but she, harder than marble and more unmoved than any statue, seemed unable or unwilling to utter a word, nor would she have given any reply had not the priest bade her decide quickly what she meant to do, as Basilio now had his soul at his teeth, and there was no time for hesitation.
By the dead hands at my throat but he shall die, Bar Comas.
At midnight, then, I have to ask you to be alone in your consulting room, to admit with your own hand into the house a man who will present himself in my name, and to place in his hands the drawer that you will have brought with you from my cabinet.
He rushed across the plain like a winter torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dykes, no walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with rain from heaven, but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and lays many a field waste that many a strong man's hand has reclaimed--even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven in rout by the son of Tydeus, and many though they were, they dared not abide his onslaught.
Then he wistfully asks, with his hand on his brother's, "Would you mind mentioning that, brother, to your wife and family?
Anna Mikhaylovna touched Pierre's hand and said, "Come.
When Kearns laid down his hand it showed a bobtail flush, while Harnish's hand proved that he had had the nerve to call on a pair of tens.