25+ Useful Idioms with Hand You Should Know

Learn useful idioms with Hand in English with meaning and examples.

List of common idioms with Hand in English.

At hand/handy

  • Meaning: Nearby
  • Example: I like to keep my vocabulary at hand.

By hand

  • Meaning: Made by a person and not a machine
  • Example: The fabric was painted by hand.

On 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.

First hand

  • Meaning: To experience something yourself
  • Example: I never knew how hard it was to play the guitar, until I tried it first-hand.

Second 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?

Hands down

  • 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

Idioms with Hand

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.

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