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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 ?
There is so much to do about the play for Christmas night," said Jo, marching up and down, with her hands behind her back, and her nose in the air.
As for George Willard, he had many times wanted to ask about the hands.
His hands released her as he uttered this cry, and went up to his white hair, which they tore in a frenzy.
She withdrew her hands and went out of the room, and Mr.
The blow that shore the hand from off this arm was aimed at thy head, O King; I stayed it with my naked arm.
With these I came on deck, put down my own stock behind the rudder head and well out of the coxswain's reach, went forward to the water-breaker, and had a good deep drink of water, and then, and not till then, gave Hands the brandy.
Some could hardly drag themselves along; others, from habit, with stooping bodies and outstretched hands, looked for doors to shut.
Hearing this the priest bade him think of the welfare of his soul rather than of the cravings of the body, and in all earnestness implore God's pardon for his sins and for his rash resolve; to which Basilio replied that he was determined not to confess unless Quiteria first gave him her hand in marriage, for that happiness would compose his mind and give him courage to make his confession.
The dead jeddak's hands and head were removed to be added to the ornaments of his conqueror, and then his women cremated what remained, amid wild and terrible laughter.
There was never a day when, if you had said to me, `Jekyll, my life, my honour, my reason, depend upon you,' I would not have sacrificed my left hand to help you.
See that you fall not into the hands of your foes as men caught in the meshes of a net, and they sack your fair city forthwith.
Herewith he hands a letter, closely written in somewhat pale ink but in a neat round hand, to the ironmaster, who reads as follows: