Definition of at hand in English:

at hand


  • 1Close by.

    ‘a mortar burst close at hand’
    • ‘She likes the cafe and restaurant scene, but she especially loves the proximity of the great outdoors so close at hand.’
    • ‘It's beside rivers and numerous streams close at hand for fishing for trout.’
    • ‘Close at hand there is a table-tomb with an inscription which could still be read at the turn of the 20th century.’
    • ‘No sound at all and you'd better curl yourself into a closet or head for a cellar if there's one close at hand.’
    • ‘The M50 is also close at hand, and there are several primary and secondary schools within the vicinity.’
    • ‘There is a good selection of shops, restaurants and bars close at hand and the city centre is within walking distance.’
    • ‘The action is close at hand with heavy shelling and night bombing.’
    • ‘‘A lot of our biggest customers are based in the north and we needed to be close at hand,’ he said.’
    • ‘While visiting Motorola in Cork last week, I learned that help was at hand - Motowifi is close by.’
    • ‘Quanta's efficiency is helped by its system of maintaining clusters of component suppliers close at hand.’
    1. 1.1Readily accessible when needed.
      ‘doctors can have vaccines at hand to immunize any child who comes for treatment’
      • ‘It makes me want to gouge out my eyes with whatever office implements I have close at hand.’
      • ‘The information was readily at hand and easily retrievable.’
      • ‘So you can put your passport and boarding card in there, conveniently at hand at all times.’
      • ‘If it is an important call, make sure to make a list of all the things you want to say and keep it close at hand and then tick off each item as you progress.’
      • ‘I have a whole lot of little yellow slips of paper close at hand at all times.’
      • ‘Bags are a girl's best friend, allowing women to keep their must-have possessions close at hand.’
      • ‘The notional addressee is likely to want to use materials readily at hand to make essentially the same thing as is disclosed in the prior art.’
      • ‘She has at hand the most current available data on plants, insects, and diseases.’
      • ‘Measure the brandy, sherry and cream and have everything close at hand.’
      • ‘It is also illegal to serve them more alcohol in that condition - and particularly as they have glass readily at hand.’
      readily available, available, handy, to hand, near at hand, within reach, accessible, ready, close, close by, near, nearby, at the ready, at one's fingertips, at one's disposal, convenient
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    2. 1.2Close in time; about to happen.
      ‘a breakthrough in combating the disease may be at hand’
      • ‘For Toly Kouroumalis, who counts the author as an inspiration, chaos always seems close at hand.’
      • ‘And it does seem sometimes that no matter how well things are going heartache is often very close at hand as well.’
      • ‘Some long-awaited good news on Laybourne Lakes, Hessay, is at hand.’
      • ‘Why bother to curb your appetite with a cure so close at hand?’
      • ‘They can only watch it end in the disaster which appears so close at hand.’
      • ‘And the technology and the means of making that a reality is close at hand.’
      • ‘The day when Sinn Féin TDs hold government office in a coalition government is probably close at hand.’
      • ‘I have decided to take today off, a very arrogant attitude, you might say, with public exams so close at hand.’
      • ‘Thanking the protective services for their quick response, Aboud said he hoped that success was close at hand.’
      • ‘The current relative quiet on the Israeli-Palestinian front shouldn't lull anyone into believing that peace is at hand.’
      imminent, close at hand, approaching, forthcoming, coming, coming soon, about to happen, nearly on us, just around the corner, on the horizon
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