Definition of in hand in US English:

in hand


  • 1Receiving or requiring immediate attention.

    ‘he threw himself into the work in hand’
    • ‘To explain this, it is necessary to underline the fact that the degree of political control over operations will vary according to the task in hand.’
    • ‘If it took this defeat to refocus attention to the matter in hand then it might prove to be no bad thing.’
    • ‘I told the sound guy that I didn't want to be miked up today; this was too important an outing for me and I needed nothing to divert my attention from the job in hand.’
    • ‘The goal forced Univ to reassess the task in hand and they did so well, immediately playing the kind of hockey which had been characteristic of their campaign thus far.’
    • ‘That is not to say that every aspect of formal logic must have an immediate application to the problems in hand.’
    • ‘It did seem very appropriate to the situation in hand.’
    • ‘But during the long days at sea, the men and women on board keep busy with a wide range of activities and exercises quite apart from the immediate task in hand.’
    • ‘The club's Bulgarian midfielder Stilian Petrov insists, however, that concentrating on the tasks immediately in hand will not prove difficult.’
    • ‘It will be apparent, however, that the balance between such considerations will vary with the situation in hand and with the interpretation of the statute.’
    • ‘I reply, still quite shocked by the situation in hand.’
    being dealt with, receiving attention, being attended to, under way
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    1. 1.1 In progress.
      ‘negotiations are now well in hand’
      • ‘The building of the extra gullies was well in hand, and considerable progress had been made with the pitching of the surface of the roadway.’
  • 2Ready for use if required; in reserve.

    ‘he had $1,000 of borrowed cash in hand’
    • ‘To do this it has to progress up the non-league pyramid, and steps are now in hand to begin the complete enclosure of the Sandgate playing area.’
    • ‘With my excuse firmly in hand, I refocused my attention on what Wei was saying.’
    • ‘Plans were in hand to receive her helicopters and the doctors and nurses for her two operating theatres and 36 bed hospital.’
    • ‘Isis had her staff in hand, ready to do whatever was needed.’
    • ‘The sale price is a multiple of less than four times pre-tax profits at the company which has €4.2m cash in hand and no bank loans or overdrafts.’
    • ‘The second day, after a call from my new friend Steve and a complicated process of money being wired to the local consulate I faced the city with cash in hand, which is necessary to do any place justice.’
    • ‘And if legal action against the Bank of England is successful, the islands will emerge from the BCCI disaster with cash in hand.’
    • ‘The company has investments of €667,734 and cash in hand at the bank of €1.4m, the figures show.’
    • ‘The company had cash in hand of €1.2m at the end of 2002 and retained profits of €1,888,358.’
    • ‘With $105m cash in hand, however, Stewart is far from worried.’
    available for use, ready, available, put by
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  • 3Under one's control.

    ‘the police had the situation well in hand’
    • ‘The men were too drunk to scatter very far and the situation was back in hand very quickly.’
    • ‘We were in front today and I had it all in hand; we were controlling the pace, the bike was going well and then something totally unexpected happens.’
    • ‘Airport bosses are unaware of the reasons behind the captain's delay but insist that air traffic control had the incident in hand.’
    • ‘If Clark is someone who will make a good president, he'll get this situation in hand.’
    • ‘Could they possibly already know everything they needed to know, and were no longer interested as long as the situation stayed well in hand?’
    • ‘At this time of the year, the garden seems to need constant tweaking and small attentions to detail in order to keep it in hand.’
    • ‘The situation thus in hand, she then raised the bow and let fly an arrow.’
    • ‘So I do trust his judgment, and I'm sure he's got the situation well in hand.’
    • ‘Since you now have the situation well in hand I will leave you until next month.’
    • ‘Bali is still worth a visit after the boom tragedy, because the situation is well in hand now.’
    1. 3.1 (of land) farmed directly by its owner and not let to tenants.
      • ‘The rest of the land is in hand and farmed by Aubourn; this year's crop is wheat.’
      • ‘The more farms in hand, the more subsidy - so vacated farms were invariably taken over by existing farmers.’