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[sing-guh l-han-did] /ˈsɪŋ gəlˈhæn dɪd/
accomplished or done by one person alone:
a single-handed victory; single-handed sailing.
by one's own effort; unaided.
by oneself; alone; without aid:
He built the garage single-handed.
Origin of single-handed
Related forms
single-handedness, noun


[sing-guh l-hand] /ˈsɪŋ gəlˈhænd/
verb (used with object)
to sail (a craft) without help from others.
Related forms
single-hander, noun
single-handing, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for single-handed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some of these single-handed combats against odds are worthy subjects for an air saga, each to its individual self.

    Air Men o' War Boyd Cable
  • single-handed, it would be an unequal contest between you and him.

    The Blonde Lady Maurice Leblanc
  • He valiantly proclaimed his intention, so soon as he did understand, of taking Robin Hood single-handed.

    Robin Hood Paul Creswick
  • The great ram came on for a single-handed contest with the fleet.

  • The French Emperor was not so infatuated as to court the risk of making war on Prussia single-handed if he could avoid it.

    The Liberation of Italy Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco
  • He was the only dog I ever knew who was a match for a red stag, single-handed.

    Anecdotes of Dogs Edward Jesse
  • If he is a credit to that uniform he may, single-handed, disperse a mob.

  • But to bend a topsail, single-handed, was a much more difficult job.

    The Castaways Harry Collingwood
  • Don Jacinto has taken to enterprising abroad, single-handed, and accomplishing marvelous and audacious feats.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
British Dictionary definitions for single-handed


adjective, adverb
unaided or working alone: a single-handed crossing of the Atlantic
having or operated by one hand or one person only
Derived Forms
single-handedly, adverb
single-handedness, noun
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 single-handed

1709, "done alone," from single (adj.) + handed. Meaning "using one hand only" is from 1844. Related: Single-handedly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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