Learn useful idioms with Hand in English with meaning and examples.
List of common idioms with Hand in English.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 At hand/handy
- 2 By hand
- 3 On hand
- 4 Out of hand
- 5 Put your hand in your pocket
- 6 First hand
- 7 Second hand
- 8 On the one hand…On the other hand
- 9 Know like the back of your hand
- 10 Give a hand/ lend a hand
- 11 Hands down
- 12 Force someone’s hand
- 13 Get your hands dirty
- 14 Hand something up
- 15 Have (someone’s) blood on (one’s) hands
- 16 Heavy-handed
- 17 Underhanded
- 18 Hold/put your hands up
- 19 In somebody’s capable, safe, etc. hands
- 20 In the hands of somebody, in somebody’s hands
- 21 In safe hands, in the safe hands of somebody
- 22 Keep your hand in
- 23 Take your courage in both hands
- 24 Take the law into your own hands
- 25 Take your life in your hands
- 26 Turn your hand to something
- 27 Wait on somebody hand and foot
- 28 Wash your hands of somebody/something
- Meaning: Nearby
- Example: I like to keep my vocabulary at hand.
- Meaning: Made by a person and not a machine
- Example: The fabric was painted by hand.
- Meaning: Present, available
- Example: Are there enough people on hand to hold a meeting?
Out of hand
- Meaning: Out of control
- Example: Employee absenteeism has gotten out of hand.
Put your hand in your pocket
- Meaning: (British English) to spend money or give it to somebody
- Example: I’ve heard he doesn’t like putting his hand in his pocket.
- Meaning: To experience something yourself
- Example: I never knew how hard it was to play the guitar, until I tried it first-hand.
- Meaning: Not from the original source/ used object
- Example: Tom advised him not to buy the second hand car.
On the one hand…On the other hand
- Meaning: Compare two aspects of a situation
- Example: On the one hand she is beautiful, from another hand she talks too much.
Know like the back of your hand
- Meaning: Very well
- Example: She’ll give you the name of a place to stay – she knows the area like the back of her hand.
Give a hand/ lend a hand
- Meaning: To help somebody physically
- Example: Could you lend me a hand with this piano?
- Meaning: Obviously, without a doubt/easily, decisively
- Example: Tom was hands-down the best student at the university.
Force someone’s hand
- Meaning: Compel them to act prematurely or involuntarily
- Example: They decided to strike to force the management’s hand.
Get your hands dirty
- Meaning: To engage in a important activity that may not be pleasant
- Example: He’s not frightened of getting his hands dirty.
Hand something up
- Meaning: To present it to a higher authority, such as grand jury to a judge
- Example: Please hand up this coffee to Carl.
Have (someone’s) blood on (one’s) hands
- Meaning: To be the cause of (someone’s) death; to bear the guilt or responsibility of (someone’s) death or injury
- Example: The police now have blood on their hands after their crack down on protesters turned violent.
- Meaning: Using too much of something in a way that can cause damage
- Example: Don’t be too heavy-handed with the salt.
- Meaning: To be deceitful
- Example: I promise you there’s nothing underhand about this agreement.
Useful Idioms with Hand in English
Hold/put your hands up
- Meaning: To admit that you have made a mistake or are responsible for something bad
- Example: I have to hold my hands up and admit that some of the problems have been all my own fault.
In somebody’s capable, safe, etc. hands
- Meaning: Being taken care of or dealt with by somebody that you think you can rely on
- Example: Can I leave these queries in your capable hands?
In the hands of somebody, in somebody’s hands
- Meaning: Being taken care of or controlled by somebody
- Example: The matter is now in the hands of my lawyer.
In safe hands, in the safe hands of somebody
- Meaning: Being taken care of well by somebody
- Example: Their problem was in the safe hands of the experts.
Keep your hand in
- Meaning: To occasionally do something that you used to do a lot so that you do not lose your skill at it
- Example: She retired last year but still teaches the odd class to keep her hand in.
Take your courage in both hands
- Meaning: To make yourself do something that you are afraid of
- Example: Taking her courage in both hands, she opened the door and walked in.
Take the law into your own hands
- Meaning: To do something illegal in order to punish somebody for doing something wrong, instead of letting the police deal with them
- Example: After a series of burglaries in the area, the police are worried that residents might take the law into their own hands.
Take your life in your hands
- Meaning: To risk being killed
- Example: You take your life in your hands just crossing the road here.
Turn your hand to something
- Meaning: To start doing something or be able to do something, especially when you do it well
- Example: Jim can turn his hand to most jobs around the house.
Wait on somebody hand and foot
- Meaning: To take care of somebody’s needs so well that they do not have to do anything for themselves
- Example: He seems to expect me to wait on him hand and foot.
Wash your hands of somebody/something
- Meaning: To refuse to be responsible for or involved with somebody/something
- Example: I’ve washed my hands of the whole sordid business.
Above is a list of most common idioms with Hand you should learn to enlarge your vocabulary in English.