Definition of single-handed in English:


(also singlehanded)

adverb & adjective

  • 1Done without help from anyone else.

    as adverb ‘sailing single-handed round the world’
    as adjective ‘a single-handed crusade’
    • ‘He has had plenty of time to prepare it and has won two races in it, including the Transat, the gruelling 2,800-mile single-handed transatlantic race, during the summer.’
    • ‘Out of the current five yacht races that circumnavigate the globe, only Around Alone and the non-stop Vendee Globe are single-handed.’
    • ‘Her own mother, bringing two children up single-handed after the war after her second husband was killed in the fighting, had a ‘rotten, rough time’.’
    • ‘They could not believe that any sane man would take on a multinational corporation almost single-handed, let alone succeed?’
    • ‘The 16-year-old was told on his arrival that despite being the youngest person to sail the Atlantic single-handed, he would have to work hard to catch up on school work.’
    • ‘Most notable of all, he has, almost single-handed, tamed the once all-powerful military and established civilian supremacy in the government.’
    • ‘Commenting on the honour, he said: ‘This has not been done single-handed.’’
    • ‘It was the single-handed effort of this man which took Kathaprasangam, which once was a prominent part of the temple festival itinerary, to the mainstream of Kerala culture.’
    • ‘Her almost single-handed campaign to remind Penang's 1.2 million dwellers of their unique architectural heritage has resulted in her fascinating book ‘Streets of George Town’.’
    • ‘I left with no doubt in my mind at all that this was a man who, single-handed, changed the course of popular music forever.’
    • ‘The defining image of the movie showed actor Gary Lewis struggling under the weight of his beloved ma's coffin which he tries to carry single-handed from the hearse to the grave.’
    • ‘He handed in several references praising her as a mother and a person, and said she had been taking medication since last summer for depression caused by the strain of bringing up her children single-handed.’
    • ‘It was only when I was about 17 that I realised that all the books I had were about single-handed sailing.’
    • ‘And since the late 1990s, she seems to have been pursuing a single-handed crusade to save the diva from extinction.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the Lib Dems will take single-handed control of the council's all-powerful executive after Labour and Tories rejected a power-sharing offer.’
    • ‘She is portrayed as a single-handed crusader in the fight against drugs.’
    • ‘At just 27 she has already been hailed as a sporting legend having pitted herself against the elements to become the fastest Briton ever to sail single-handed around the globe in the famous Vendee Globe challenge.’
    • ‘At the same time it would be apt to remember and raise a glass to previous world-rounders who have achieved the same single-handed feat, albeit slower, without the daily security of satellite navigation systems.’
    • ‘How can he possibly fend for himself at all, let alone manage quite literally single-handed for 30 years?’
    • ‘The authors said concern about single-handed doctors had long been expressed but ‘we have found no evidence in this study that single-handed general practitioners are under-performing clinically’.’
    by oneself, alone, on one's own, solo, unaided, unassisted, without help, by one's own efforts, independently
    View synonyms
  • 2Done or designed to be used with one hand.

    as adverb ‘the tool is easy to use single-handed’
    as adjective ‘a single-handed axe’
    • ‘But he was offered a job back at his old firm and gradually learnt how to use adaptive technologies such as single-handed keyboards, tracking balls and IBM's voice-recognition software.’
    • ‘She still generates enormous force, but what is most attractive about her game is the subtly of stroke, particularly that classical single-handed backhand.’
    • ‘The code will recommend practices such as a maximum breaking strain of line, hook size of no more than 14, and the use of a single-handed rod.’
    • ‘Carrying it across the room, he opened the window single-handed (easier said then done).’
    • ‘The 23-year-old from San Diego, California, has struggled to hit those heights since, but her single-handed backhand is regarded among her peers as one of the best in women's tennis.’