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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 periodicals archive ?
After handing down the minimum life term, Mr Justice McCloskey warned Shaw that even when she has served the four years, it will be up to the Life review Commissioners and the Secretary of State when, or even if, she should be released and under what licence terms.
At almost the same time, in Hull, Judge Michael Mettyear was handing down eight years apiece to a couple of drunk boy racers who killed four girls while dangerously driving.
But he would have been very touched to have seen the master classes presented today--`his' dancers handing down their knowledge to a new generation of dancers.