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From Middle English handcrafte, handecraft, hond-craft, from Old English handcræft, equivalent to hand +‎ craft. Cognate with Dutch handkracht, German Handkraft.


handcraft (plural handcrafts)

  1. handicraft
  2. (obsolete) The class of subjects for study that rely upon experimentation and observation.
    • 1895, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, Proceedings of the Annual Convention - Issues 8-12, page 78:
      These are, in redecraft, the English language and literature, mathematics, psychology; in handcraft, the physical sciences, physics, chemistry, biology; with regular and ample laboratory work in each.
    • 1897, Daniel Coit Gilman, A Study in Black and White, page 8:
      Accordingly, that institution or school is best which enforces habits of order, attention, obedience, discrimination, memory ; which then secures skill in handcraft and redecraft, and likewise shows how these habits and this skill may be applied in useful avocations.



handcraft (third-person singular simple present handcrafts, present participle handcrafting, simple past and past participle handcrafted)

  1. To engage in handcraft or handicraft.


Related terms[edit]