|on hand||I something, such as supplies or people, are on hand, they are present or readily available.|
Extra pillows and blankets are on hand if needed.
|hand in glove||Two or more people who are in collusion, or work in close association, are said to be hand in glove.|
After the match, it was discovered that he was hand in glove with the referee.
|hand in hand||If two or more things go hand in hand, they are associated or often happen at the same time.|
In big cities, poverty and violence often go hand in hand.
|hand it to someone||If you hand it to someone, you admit, perhaps unwillingly, that they deserve credit or praise for their achievements.|
You’ve got to hand it to Sophie. She may be a snob, but her presentations are always excellent.
|hand on a platter/plate||If someone get something easily, without having to make an effort to obtain it, it is handed to them on a platter.|
He was appointed sales director in his father’s company. The job was handed to him on a platter.
|bite the hand that feeds you||If you bite the hand that feeds you, you are unfriendly or do harm to someone who is kind to you.|
If you say bad things about the person who gives you a job, you bite the hand that feeds you.
|(at) first hand||If you experience something yourself directly, without any intermediairy, you experience it (at) first hand.|
Getting to see the performance (at) first hand is much better than watching it on television.
|force someone’s hand||If you force someone’s hand, you make them do something unwillingly or sooner than planned.|
The interviewer forced Brad’s hand and made him reveal his relocation plans.
|free hand||If you have a free hand, you have permission to make your own decisions, especially in a job.|
My boss gave me a free hand in the choice of agent.
|get out of hand||If a person or situation gets out of hand, they cannot be controlled any longer.|
During the student demonstration, things got out of hand and several shop windows were broken.
|heavy hand||Dealing with or treating people with a heavy hand means acting with discipline and severity, with little or no sensitivity.|
He ran the juvenile deliiquent centre with a heavy hand.
|iron hand/fist in a velvet glove||This expression is used to describe someone who, behind an appearance of gentleness, is inflexible and determined.|
To impose the necessary reforms, the leader used persuasion followed by force – an iron hand in a velvet glove.
|left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing||To say that ‘the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing’means that within a group or organization, communication is so bad that one person doesn’t know what another person is doing.|
|like the back of one’s hand||If you know something like the back of your hand, you are very familiar with it and know it in detail.|
Of course I won’t get lost. I know London like the back of my hand!
|live from hand to mouth||If you live from hand to mouth, you don’t have any money to save because whatever you earn is spent on food and other essentials.|
Most families in that area live from hand to mouth.
|overplay your hand||If you overplay your hand, you are overconfident and spoil your chances of success by trying to obtain too much.|
Sam is hoping for a bonus for his good results, but he may be overplaying his hand if he asks for a promotion.
|upper hand||If a person or organization gets or gains the upper hand, they take control over a situation.|
The authorities claim to have the upper hand in the fight against drinking and driving.
|one hand washes the other (and together they wash the face)||This expression means that when people cooperate and work well together, there is a better chance of a achieving results.|
|hands full||If you have your hands full, you are very busy or have a lot to do.|
Jenny has her hands full looking after three young children.
|(all) hands on deck||When there is a need for all hands on deck, everyone must help, especially if there’s a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time.|
As the opening day approached, it was all hands on deck to have everything ready in time.
|the devil makes work for idle hands||This expression means that people who do not have enough to do are often tempted to do something wrong.|
It’s not good for kids to have nothing to do at the week-end; the devil makes work for idle hands!
|get your hands dirty||If you get your hands dirty in your job, you become involved in all aspects of it, including work that is physical, unpleasant or less interesting.|
His willingness to get his hands dirty won the respect and approval of the whole team.
|in safe hands||If something is in safe hands, it is being looked after by a reliable person or organization, and is therefore at no risk.|
I’ll look after Jamie while you go shopping. Don’ worry – he’ll be in safe hands.
|hands tied||If a person has their hands tied, something such as an agreement or a rule is preventing them from doing what they would like to do.|
Mark deserves to earn more, but the manager’s hands are tied by the recent salary agreement.
|play into someone’s hands||If you play into someone’s hands, you do exactly what your opponent or enemy wants you to do, so that they gain an advantage over you.|
When the leaders of the protest movement became violent, they played right into the hands of the police.
|a show of hands||A show of hands is a method of voting where people give their opinion by raising a hand.|
How many people agree? Could we have a show of hands please?
|take the law into your own hands||If, instead of calling the police, you act personally against someone who has done something wrong, you take the law into your own hands.|
Instead of calling the police, he took the law into his own hands and confronted the youth who had stolen his son’s scooter.
|wash your hands of||If you wash your hands of a problem or situation, you refuse to deal with it any longer.|
You can’t just wash your hands of David’s behaviour. He’s your son!