Definition of HAND


HAND

That part of the human body at the end of the arm.


2. Formerly the hand was considered as the symbol of good faith, and some
contracts derive their names from the fact that the hand was used in making
them; as handsale, (q. v.) mandatum, (q. v.) which comes from manu dat.
The hand is still used for various legal or forensic purposes. When a
person is accused of a crime and he is arraigned, and he is asked to hold
up his right hand; and when one is sworn as a witness, he is required to
lay his right hand on the Bible, or to hold it up.


3. Hand is also the name of a measure of length used in ascertaining the
height of horses. It is four inches long. See Measure: Ell.


4. In a figurative sense, by hand is understood a particular form of
writing; as if B writes a good hand. Various kinds of hand have been used,
as, the secretary hand, the Roman hand, the court hand, &c. Wills and
contracts may be written in any of these, or any other which is
intelligible.


Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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