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right hand

the hand that is on the right side, or the side opposite that where the heart is.
the right side, as of a person, especially this side considered as the side of precedence or courtesy.
a position of honor or special trust.
an extremely efficient or reliable person or, sometimes, tool, especially a person considered as one's assistant.
Origin of right hand
before 1000; Middle English; Old English


[rahyt-hand] /ˈraɪtˈhænd/
on the right.
of, for, or with the right hand.
most reliable, valuable, or useful, as a helper or assistant.
Also, right-handed. Building Trades.
  1. (of a door) having the hinges on the right when seen from the exterior of the building, room, closet, etc., to which the doorway leads.
  2. (of a casement sash) having the hinges on the right when seen from inside the window.
adj. use of right hand Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for right-hand
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The editor's eye glanced at the second right-hand drawer of his desk.

  • "The right-hand side is the starboard side," repeated several of the boys.

    The Boat Club Oliver Optic
  • Footsteps shook the zinc sheets that covered it, moving between the right-hand side of the house and the edge of the skylight.

    The Golden Triangle Maurice Leblanc
  • Half fearfully he glanced towards the door on the right-hand side.

    The New Tenant E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • There was still one more mistake to make, however, and she promptly made it, attempting to pass through the right-hand swing-door.

    The Guests Of Hercules C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for right-hand


adjective (prenominal)
of, relating to, located on, or moving towards the right: a right-hand bend, this car has right-hand drive
for use by the right hand; right-handed
right-hand man, one's most valuable assistant or supporter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for right-hand

right hand


Old English rihthand; see right (adj.2) + hand (n.). Figurative for "indispensable person," 1520s; right-hand man first attested 1660s. Right-handed attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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