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See also: openhanded


Alternative forms[edit]


open +‎ handed


open-handed (comparative more open-handed, superlative most open-handed)

  1. Done with the hand open rather than clenched
    • 2007, American Sport Education Program, Coaching Youth Volleyball, →ISBN:
      Hitters use the open-handed tip to try to softly place the ball over the blockers or into other open areas of the opponent's court.
    • 2012, Virginia Volterra & Carol J. Erting, From Gesture to Language in Hearing and Deaf Children, →ISBN:
      Visual gaze toward the mother was present with the children's earliest gestures, but only in those cases where the gesture was itself directed toward the mother, such as extending objects toward the mother or open-handed reaching or pointing toward objects held by the mother.
    • 2014, Kathleen Conlon, Different Ways of Dancing, →ISBN:
      And there were other words that stung his ears like hail: 'Slut! Bitch! Whore!' each accompanied by a noise: the open-handed slap that sounded like the tearing ofcalico, the dull thud followed by a gasp as a bunched fist slammed into yielding flesh, the reedy shriek and the gurgling sob -- and eventually the whistling breaths as Jessie climbed the stairs and shouted until she made herself heard that if they didn't stop their racket right this minute then she'd be calling the bobbies.
  2. Liberal and generous.
    • 1844, Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit:
      'No, no,' said the undertaker; 'not an open-handed gentleman in general, by any means. There you mistake him; but an afflicted gentleman, an affectionate gentleman, who knows what it is in the power of money to do, in giving him relief, and in testifying his love and veneration for the departed.'
    • 1929, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, When the World Screamed[1]:
      "I'll do the old gorilla the justice to say that he is open-handed with money."
  3. Frank, honest, and tolerant.
    • 2012, Theodore Ayrault Dodge, Gustavus Adolphus, →ISBN:
      Despite Gustavus' open-handed dealing, many princes of Europe did not trust him.
  4. Characterized by looseness and fullness.
    • 2011, Faith Mortimer, The Assassins' Village:
      She sat there for more than three hours, as sheet after sheet became covered with her open-handed writing.


open-handed (comparative more open-handed, superlative most open-handed)

  1. With an open hand or hands.
    • 1884, Owahyah, Birch Bark Legends of Niagara, →ISBN:
      Winding their way to the land of snow and ice they saw approaching a band of warriors covered with emblems of peace,and, leaving their stony weapons in care of the younger braves, they walked open-handed to meet the strangers.
    • 2014, Ian Ross, War at the Edge of the World, →ISBN:
      Open-handed, he walked steadily down the slope, stepping over the crumpled bodies on the blood-damp grass.
    • 2001, Vincent O'Sullivan, Let the River Stand, →ISBN:
      She had brought her hand across to lie open-handed on his chest.
  2. Generously.
    • 1876, Thomas Curson Hansard, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, page 28:
      The money here was given open-handed, and Parliament was not to be informed what was to be done with it.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of open-hand