Definition of all hands in English:

all hands

noun

  • 1Nautical
    Nautical. The full complement of sailors belonging to the crew of a ship.

  • 2informal Informal. In extended use: all the members of a party, especially when collectively engaged in work; everyone.

Phrases

  • all hands to the pump

    • historical An order to every member of a ship's crew to pump water from the ship in an emergency. Now chiefly historical.

    • historical Figurative. Used to indicate (the need for) intense or urgent activity or effort by all the members of a party, or by a large number of people, especially in an emergency.

  • all hands to the pump

    • historical An order to every member of a ship's crew to pump water from the ship in an emergency. Now chiefly historical.

    • historical Figurative. Used to indicate (the need for) intense or urgent activity or effort by all the members of a party, or by a large number of people, especially in an emergency.

  • all hands on deck

    • figurative Figurative. Used to indicate (the need for) the immediate involvement or efforts of all the members of a party, or of a large number of people, especially in an emergency.

    • figurative An order to every member of a ship's crew to report to the deck immediately, usually in an emergency.

  • all hands on deck

    • figurative Figurative. Used to indicate (the need for) the immediate involvement or efforts of all the members of a party, or of a large number of people, especially in an emergency.

    • figurative An order to every member of a ship's crew to report to the deck immediately, usually in an emergency.

  • all hands and the cook

    • Originally US: every member of a ship's crew without exception; (also in extended use) all the members of a party, with no exception; a large number of people.

Origin

Late 16th century; earliest use found in Henry Smith (c1560–1591), Church of England clergyman. From all + the plural of hand.

Pronunciation

all hands

/ˌɔːl ˈhan(d)z/