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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The chance cuneiform of fallen branches on a lawn, the handlike wave of a wind-agitated fern--we walk around blind to these messages, our eyes clouded by conditioning.
As morning sunlight was cast on the garden wall, project leader Mark Olly spotted the handlike print.
Frankenthaler says, a shade disingenuously, that she only meant to contrast straight and curved lines, and "A single straight vertical line followed by the two circles becomes '100."' But "100" is a leximorph: Only someone afflicted with aphasia (or a computer programmed in shape recognition) could see it as a straight line followed by two circles, for the same reason that anyone not so afflicted (or programmed) will see the handlike shape as a hand.