Dictionary: HAM'OUS – HAND'CLOTH

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HAM'OUS, a. [L. hamus, a hook; Celtic, cam, crooked.]

Hooked; having the end hooked or curved; a term of botany. Lee. Martyn.

HAM'PER, n. [contracted from hanaper, or from hand pannier.]

  1. A large basket for conveying things to market, &c.
  2. Fetters, or some instrument that shackles. W. Browne. [This signification and that of the verb following indicate that this word is from hanaper, and that the latter is from the sense of interweaving twigs.]

HAM'PER, v.t. [See the Noun.]

  1. To shackle; to entangle; hence, to impede in motion or progress, or to render progress difficult. A lion hampered in a net. L'Estrange. They hamper and entangle our souls, and hinder their flight upward. Tillotson.
  2. To insnare; to inveigle; to catch with allurements. Shak.
  3. To tangle; to render complicated. Blackmore.
  4. To perplex; to embarrass. Hampered by the laws. Butler.


Shackled; entangled; insnared; perplexed.


Shackling; entangling; perplexing.

HAM'STER, n. [G. hamster; Russ. chomiak.]

A species of rat, the Mus ericetus, or German marmot. This rat is of the size of the water rat, but is of a browner color, and its belly and legs of a dirty yellow. It is remarkable for two bags, like those of a baboon, on each side of the jaw, under the skin, in which it conveys grain, peas and acorns to its winter residence. Encyc. Goldsmith.


The tendons of the ham. Wiseman.

HAM'STRING, v.t. [pret. and pp. hamstrung or hamstringed.]

To cut the tendons of the ham, and thus to lame or disable. Dryden.


Cutting the tendons of the ham and thus disabling.


Disabled by having the tendons of the ham cut.

HAN, v.t. [for have, in the plural.]


HAN'A-PER, n. [Norm. hanap, a cup, a hamper; Sax. hnæp, G. napf, D. nap, Fr. hanap, Arm. hanaff, It. nappo, a bowl or cup. These seem to be all the same word, yet I see not how a cup and a basket should have the same name, unless the vessel was originally made of bark, and so tight as to hold liquors.]

The hanaper was used in early days by the kings of England, for holding and carrying with them their money, as they journeyed from place to place. It was a kind of basket, like the fiscus, and hence came to be considered as the king's treasury. Hence, the clerk or warden of the hanaper, is an officer who receives the fees due to the king for seals of charters, patents, commissions, and writs. There is also an officer who is controller of the hanaper. This word therefore answered to the modern exchequer. – Spelman.

HANCE, or HAUNCE, v.t. [For Enhance. Obs. See Enhance.]

HAN'CES, n. [plur. L. ansa.]

  1. In architecture, the ends of elliptical arches, which are the arches of smaller circles than the scheme or middle part of the arch. – Harris.
  2. In a ship, falls of the fife-rails placed on balusters on the poop and quarter-deck down to the gangway. – Harris.

HAND, n. [Sax. hand, hond; G. and D. hand; Dan. haand; Sw. hand. This word may be connected in origin with Sax. hentan, to follow, to take or seize, Gr. χανδανω, L. hendo, in prehendo; but from its derivatives, handy, handsome, it would appear to proceed from a root signifying to be strong, right, straight, which would give the sense of fitness and of beauty. Chaucer has hende, hendy, civil, courteous.]

  1. In man, the extremity of the arm, consisting of the palm and fingers, connected with the arm at the wrist; the part with which we hold and use any instrument.
  2. In falconry, the foot of a hawk; and in the manege, the fore-foot of a horse.
  3. A measure of four inches; a palm; applied chiefly to horses; as, a horse 14 hands high.
  4. Side; part; right or left; as, on the one hand or the other. This is admitted on all hands, that is, on all sides, or by all parties.
  5. Act; deed; performance; external action; that is, the effect for the cause, the hand being the instrument of action. Thou sawest the contradiction between my head and hand. – King Charles.
  6. Power of performance; skill. A friend of mine has a very fine hand on the violin. – Addison. He had a mind to try his hand at a Spectator. – Addison.
  7. Power of making or producing. An intelligent being coming out of the hands of infinite perfection. – Cheyne.
  8. Manner of acting or performance; as, he changed his hand. – Dryden.
  9. Agency; part in performing or executing. Punish every man who had a hand in the mischief. We see the hand of God in this event.
  10. Conveyance; agency in transmitting.
  11. Possession; power. The estate is in the hands of the owner. The papers are in my hands.
  12. The cards held at a game; hence, a game.
  13. That which performs the office of the hand or of a finger in pointing; as, the hand of a clock; the hour hand, and the minute hand.
  14. A person; an agent; a man employed in agency or service. The mason employs twenty hands.
  15. Form of writing; style of penmanship; as, a good hand; a bad hand; a fine hand.
  16. Agency; service; ministry. – Ex. iv. Lev. viii.
  17. In Scripture, the hand of God, is his eternal purpose and executive power. – Acts iv.
  18. The providential bounty of God. – Ps. civ.
  19. The power of God exerted in judgments or mercies, in punishing or defending. – Judges ii. Ps. xxxii.
  20. The spirit of God; divine influence. – 1 Kings xviii.
  21. The favor of God, or his support. – Neh. ii. Luke i. At hand, near; either present and within reach, or not far distant. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet. – Shak. #2. Near in time; not distant. The day of Christ is at hand. – 2 Thess. ii. By hand, with the hands, in distinction from the instrumentality of tools, engines or animals; as, to weed a garden by hand; to lift, draw or carry by hand. In hand, present payment; in respect to the receiver. Receiving in hand one year's tribute. – Knolles. #2. In the state of execution. I have a great work in hand. At my hand, at his hand, &c., denote from the person or being. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? – Job ii. On hand, in present possession; as, he has a supply of goods on hand. #2. Under one's care or management. Jupiter had a farm on his hands. – L'Estrange. Off hand. without delay, hesitation or difficulty; immediately; dextrously; without previous preparation. Out of hand, ready payment; with regard to the payer. Let not the wages of any man tarry with thee; but give it him out of hand. – Tobit. #2. At once; directly. To his hand, to my hand, &c., in readiness; already prepared; ready to be received. The work is made to his hands. – Locke. Under his hand, under her hand, &c., with the proper writing or signature of the name. This deed is executed under the hand and seal of the owner. Hand over head, negligently; rashly; without seeing what one does. [Little used.] – Bacon. Hand over hand, by passing the hands alternately one before or above another, as to climb hand over hand; also, rapidly, as, to come up with a chase hand over hand; used by seamen. – Mar. Dict. Hand to hand, in close union; close fight. – Dryden. But from hand to hand, is from one person to another. Hand in hand, in union; conjointly; unitedly. – Swift. To join hand in hand, is to unite efforts and act in concert. Hand in hand, fit; pat; suitable. – Shak. Hand to mouth. To live from hand to mouth, is to obtain food and other necessaries, as want requires, without making previous provision, or having an abundant previous supply. To bear in hand, to keep in expectation; to elude. [Not used.] – Shak. To bear a hand, to hasten; a seaman's phrase. To be hand and glove, to be intimate and familiar, as friends or associates. To set the hand to, to engage in; to undertake. That the Lord thy God may bless thee, in all thou settest thine hand to. – Deut. xxiii. To take in hand, to attempt; to undertake. – Luke i. Also, to seize and deal with. To have a hand in, to be concerned in; to have a part or concern in doing; to have an agency in. South. To put the last hand or finishing hand to, to complete; to perfect; to make the fast corrections, or give the final polish. To change hands, to change sides; to shift. Butler. Hand, in the sense of rate, price, terms, conditions, as used by Bacon, Taylor, &c., is obsolete; as, “to buy at a dear hand;” “accept the mystery, but at no hand wrest it by pride or ignorance.” So in the sense of advantage, gain, superiority, as used by Hayward; and in that of competition, content, as used by Shakspeare. To get hand, to gain influence, is obsolete. A heavy hand, severity or oppression. A light hand, gentleness; moderation. A strict hand, severe discipline; rigorous government. Hands off. A vulgar phrase for keep off, forbear. To pour water on the hands, in the phraseology of the Scriptures, is to serve or minister to. 2 Kings iii. To wash the hands, to profess innocence. Matth. xxvii. To kiss the hand, imports adoration. Job xxxi. To lean on the hand, imports familiarity. 2 Kings v. To strike hands, to make a contract, or to become surety for another's debt or good behavior. Prov. xvii. Putting the hand under the thigh, was an ancient ceremony used in swearing. To give the hand, is to make a covenant with one, or to unite with him in design. 2 Kings x. The stretching out of the hand, denotes an exertion of power. But, The stretching out of the hand to God, imports earnest prayer or solemn dedication of one's self to him. Ps. lxviii. and cxlii. The lifting of the hand, was used in affirmation and swearing, and in prayer imported a solemn wishing of blessings from God. Gen. xiv. Lev. xix. To lift the hand against a superior, to rebel. 2 Sam. xx. To put forth the hand against one, to kill him. 1 Sam. xxiv. To put one's hand to a neighbor's goods, to steal them. Ex. xxii. To lay hands on in anger, to assault or seize, or to smite. Ex. xxiv. Is. xi. To lay the hand on the mouth, imports silence. Job xl. The laying on of hands, was also a ceremony used in consecrating one to office. Num. xxvii. 1 Tim. iv. It was also used in blessing persons. Mark x. Hiding the hand in the bosom, denotes idleness; inactivity; sluggishness. Prov. xix. The clapping of hands denotes joy and rejoicing. But in some instances, contempt or derision, or joy at the calamities of others. Ps. xlvii. Ezek. xxv. A station at the right hand is honorable, and denotes favor, approbation, or honor. A station on the left hand is less honorable. Matth. xx. God's standing at the right hand of men, imports his regard for them, and his readiness to defend and assist them. Ps. xvi. Satan's standing at the right hand of men, imports his readiness to accuse them, or to hinder or torment them. Zech. iii. Clean hands, denotes innocence and a blameless and holy life. Ps. xxiv. A slack hand, denotes idleness; carelessness; sloth. Prov. x. The right hand, denotes power; strength. Ex. xv.

HAND, v.t.

  1. To give or transmit with the hand. Hand me a book.
  2. To lead, guide and lift with the hand; to conduct. Locke.
  3. To manage; as, I hand my oar. Prior.
  4. To seize; to lay hands on. [Not used.] Shak.
  5. In seamanship, to furl; to wrap or roll a sail close to the yard, stay or mast, and fasten it with gaskets. Mar. Dict. To hand down, to transmit in succession, as from father to son, or from predecessor to successor. Fables are handed down from age to age.


An ancient game with a ball. Brand.


A barrow or vehicle borne by the hands of men, and without a wheel. Mortimer.


A small or portable basket. Mortimer.


A small bell rung by the hand; a table bell. Bacon.

HAND'BLOW, n. [hand and blow.]

A blow or stroke with the hand.


A bow managed by the hand.


A bow used by the hand. [1841 Addenda only.]


A space equal to the breadth of the hand; a palm. – Ex. xxv.


A handkerchief.