Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > iv. Hand

 iii. Hand.v. Hand. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
iv. Hand
(preceded by a preposition).   1
   AT HAND. Conveniently near. “Near at hand,” quite close by. In French, “A la main.   2
   BEFOREHAND. Sooner, before it happened.   3
   BEHINDHAND. Not in time, not up to date.   4
   BY THE HAND OF GOD.Accdit divintus.   5
   FROM HAND TO HAND. From one person to another.   6
   IN HAND. Under control, in possession; under progress, as “Avoir la main à l’œuvre.   7
“Keep him well in hand.”
“I have some in hand, and more in expectation.”
“I have a new book or picture in hand.”
   A bird in the hand. (See BIRD.)   8
   OFF HAND. At once; without stopping.   9
   Off one’s hands. No longer under one’s responsibilities; able to maintain oneself.   10
   OUT OF HAND. At once, over.   11
“We will proclaim you out of hand.”
Shakespeare: 3 Henry VI., iv. 7.
“And, were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.”
Shakespeare: 2 Henry IV., iii. 1.
   WITH A HIGH HAND. Imperiously, arrogantly. In French, “Faire quelque chose haut la main.   12

 iii. Hand.v. Hand. 


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