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 ?
Not one of them claimed the pot, and not one of them called the size of his hand. Simultaneously and in silence they faced their cards on the table, while a general tiptoeing and craning of necks took place among the onlookers.
Pendleton says it takes a woman's hand and heart to make a home, does he?" he asked evasively.
His free hand went to my throat, and in that moment I knew the bitterest foretaste of death earned by one's own idiocy.
Her entrapped hand was on the table, but she had already put her other hand behind her waist.
"By the dead hands at my throat but he shall die, Bar Comas.
With her hands hanging exhausted on the quilt, looking extraordinarily lovely and serene, she looked at him in silence and tried to smile, and could not.
'If I were to try my hand,' says Edwin, with a boyish boastfulness getting up in him, 'on a portrait of Miss Landless--in earnest, mind you; in earnest--you should see what I could do!'
Raoul did so; but, as he did not lift his hand in front of his eyes, ready to fire, the Persian told him to resume that attitude and to continue it, whatever happened.
I have had a pattern in my hand." He glanced at the shoe with some little passing touch of pride.
Its radiant face looked down smiling on me; it beckoned with its little hand, and floated on again, leading me as the Star led the Eastern sages in the olden time.
The bottle fell from his dead hand upon the yams without breaking, although the remnant of its contents gurgled gently out upon the deck.
"This, my father, that I may bid farewell to my son; he is a little child, so high, O King," and he held his hand above his knee.