Definition of by hand in English:

by hand


  • 1By a person and not a machine.

    ‘the crop has to be harvested by hand’
    • ‘Incisions made by hand or machine have carved out this unique landscape for centuries.’
    • ‘Otherwise it will be cast aside to be sorted by hand, as the machine operates on county names.’
    • ‘Use strips of ribbon or braid to make a family monogram, or embroider it by hand or machine.’
    • ‘It was a slow process because voting used paper ballots, which were counted by hand.’
    • ‘The boot shop has about 25 workers who produce boots by hand for the communities.’
    • ‘In those days it was all done by hand and I'm not sure that anything was computerized.’
    • ‘We don't have to wash the clothes by hand or mend the holes in our shoes.’
    • ‘It takes a day to sew each accessory; the gloves, ears, masks, are all sewn by hand.’
    • ‘He glued the wood to the deck's sides, then drew and painted wings, finally cutting them out by hand.’
    • ‘It's not that long ago that cows were being milked by hand, now they're being milked by computer.’
    manually, with one's hands, using one's hands, not by machine, not mechanically, freehand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of mail) delivered in person rather than posted.
      ‘he drafted a statement and sent it by hand’
      • ‘It is not specifically stated that it must be in writing, but this is implied by the fact that it is to be given either by post or delivery by hand.’
      • ‘If you cannot find a post box you can deliver your entry by hand to the Weekender at Bridge Street, Sligo.’
      • ‘Election chiefs in Oldham and Tameside organised teams of volunteer council workers to deliver the papers by hand.’
      • ‘And if they can write, get them to write a letter of apology and deliver it by hand to these unfortunate residents.’
      • ‘Staff reverted to sending important information by telephone, fax or in some cases even delivering it by hand.’
      • ‘I had intended to have it delivered by hand but, because it was confidential, I thought it was better to post it.’
      • ‘We refused and stressed that out of respect for the thousands who had signed it, we would only deliver it by hand.’
      • ‘Another is reported to be delivering ballot packs by hand after production delays.’
      • ‘The solution to their problems arrived in the form of a letter, and an anonymous letter delivered by hand in the dead of night at that.’
      • ‘Guster has a letter from Lady Dedlock, which she has been asked to deliver by hand.’