Close at hand
Near at hand
Meaning of Idiom ‘At Hand’
1. To be at hand means to be nearby; within easy reach and ready to use. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013., 2McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002
Examples Of Use
“The first step to any project is to make sure all your tools are close at hand.”
“The advantage of living in the city is that everything you need is near at hand.”
“The preacher is very fire and brimstone. He’s always saying the end times are at hand.”
The reference here is fairly clear, alluding to being able to reach out and touch something. The first use dates from the 1300s. The second use dates from at least the 1600s and appears in the King James Bible, such as Matthew 4:17:
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The reference is to the coming of the kingdom of heaven, rather than to any sense of nearness.
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More Idioms Starting with A
More Body Part Idioms
More Hand Idioms
- Secondhand (Second-hand, second hand)
- Firsthand (first-hand, first hand)
- Old Hand, an
- Have Someone in the Palm of One’s Hand
- On Hand
Sources [ + ]
|1, 3.||↲||Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.|
|2.||↲||McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002|