Hand: Words To Improve Your Vocabulary


Hand as we all know it, is the part of our human arm. Although by now we have realised that certain words in English are not used in black and white, they often have a deeper meaning. For example, to lend a hand means to help someone in something. Here the meaning of the hand wasn’t limited to just an organ it was extended to an action. Similarly something that is a handful could mean something that takes extreme efforts and time. For e.g.: A handful bunch of kids. That is why we have discussed how the word ‘Hand’ can be used providing different connotations each time:

The human organ at the end of an arm.


Singular word for phalanges is phalanx which means a bone of the finger or toe.

For e.g.: He broke his phalanges of his left hand in a bike accident. 

There are 56 phalanges in the human body.


To hold firmly

For e.g.: He grasped onto my waist because he was scared of the ride.

Grasp the bottle.


The hand and the feet.

For e.g.: The frostbite occurs in the extremities.

The tingling sensation began in the extremities.


Hand is often used to describe or define someone who helps. It could refer to the action of helping someone as well.


A skilled craftsmen or an inventor

For e.g.: “Her upper arms were seized in an iron grip”

“His grip weakened as he was tired.” 


A worker in skilled trade and one who usually makes things by hand.

For e.g.: “The artisan can cut stones into various shapes”.

“The experienced artisan would pass on the tricks of the trade to the apprentice”


Someone who is skilled at making things by hand.

For e.g.: “If you don’t know, the craftsperson can usually offer advice and suggestions.”

“The glass craftsperson felt that her own work might change as a result of the project.”


Unskilled or casual laborer.

For e.g.: “Being a roustabout was rated the worst”

“I’m only fit for a roustabout.”


A required or a natural skill at doing something.

For e.g.: “He has an unerring knack of saying the wrong thing”

 “Some people seem to have a knack for making money”.


Someone who assists or supports during hard times.

For e.g.: “Another big succor truck is helping”

“I had the fortune to succor”


A help, usually of a practical nature.

For e.g.: “The aid allocation for Pakistan was still under review”

“Romania badly needs aid to modernise its outmoded industries”


A small bag used by women to carry personal items or belongings:


To clutch can mean either to hold tightly or could even refer to women’s small purse.

For e.g.: “A drowning man will clutch at a straw.”

“He lost his clutch on the rope and fell”


To take or keep strong hold of something.

For e.g.: “Hold the microphone in a firm grip and keep it still”

“Her upper arms were seized in an iron grip”


A hiker’s bag with shoulder straps and pockets. Smaller version of a rucksack.

For e.g.: “He cinched the belt of his knapsack around his shoulders”

“He had a knapsack over his shoulder”


A large travelling bag.

For e.g.: “Her shabby appearance and the battered portmanteau”

“The portmanteau can’t be found”


A women’s small bag usually decorated with embroidery.

For e.g.: “The black reticule sagged under the weight of shapeless objects”

“He watched her open the reticule”


Hand over

To handover something means, to give back or return something.


To give up power or territory

For e.g.: “The General had promised to cede power by January”

“The Supreme Soviet voted to cede responsibility for the budget to the government.”


To deliver to someone, could be through a public carrier or personally.

For e.g.: “


To provide or distribute

For e.g.: “Let’s dispense with the formalities, shall we?”

“Their role was to dispense even-handed justice”


To assign an inferior rank or position.

For e.g.: “Women tended to be relegated to typing and filing jobs”

“She resigned when she was relegated to a desk job”


Voluntarily cease to give up claim or power.

For e.g.: “No one wants to relinquish power once they have it”

“They will never voluntarily relinquish their independence”


To refrain from using or insisting on a claim or a right.

For e.g.: “We have decided to waive the age – limit for applicants in your case.”

“He didn’t waive his right in this matter”

Hand out

It refers to giving something to others.


To confer or present

For e.g.: “You should bestow more time to work and less to daydreaming”

“They avoided our glances as if we might bestow the evil eye”


Something that spreads widely.

For e.g.: “The agency would collect and disseminate information”

“They use the press to disseminate right – wing views”


To pay out.

For e.g.: “Salaries were disbursed by the paymaster’s office”

“He disbursed the flowers to the pupils”

Dish out

To give something freely

For e.g.: “Paul still tends to dish out unwanted advice.”

“They dish out clean towels on Monday”

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