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Hand over Hand

What Does "Hand over Hand" Mean?

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"Hand over hand" is an English idiom. It means "with a series of motions or actions in which one hand alternately moves in front of the other, typically used to describe a method of climbing or pulling."

Examples in Sentences

Here are three examples of the idiom "hand over hand" used in a sentence:
  • The rock climber ascended the steep cliff hand over hand, gripping the protruding rocks and ledges with precision.
  • To hoist the heavy cargo onto the ship, the crew members worked hand over hand, using a pulley system.
  • The child practised swimming by moving his arms hand over hand in the pool, gradually improving his technique.
meaning for hand over hand

What Is an Idiom?

An idiom is a commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal meaning of its words. In other words, if you were to translate "Hand over Hand" word for word, there is no guarantee the translation would help you to understand the meaning.

An idiom often includes a cultural or historical context that makes it difficult for non-native English speakers to understand. A phrase is classified as an idiom when a direct translation of the words does not reveal the meaning. Most idioms rely on shared knowledge or experiences known only to a specific community.

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