handsome (adj.) Look up handsome at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, handsom "easy to handle, ready at hand," from hand (n.) + -some (1). Sense extended to "fit, appropriate" (1550s, implied in handsomely), then "having fine form, good-looking, agreeable to the eye" (1580s). Meaning "generous, on a liberal scale" (of rewards, etc.) first recorded 1680s.
[Americans] use the word "handsome" much more extensively than we do: saying that Webster made a handsome speech in the Senate: that a lady talks handsomely, (eloquently:) that a book sells handsomely. A gentleman asked me on the Catskill Mountain, whether I thought the sun handsomer there than at New York. [Harriet Martineau, "Society in America," 1837]
Related: Handsomeness. For sense development, compare pretty (adj.). Similar formation in Dutch handzaam "tractable, serviceable."
handsomely (adv.) Look up handsomely at Dictionary.com
1540s, "conveniently," from handsome + -ly (2). Meaning "attractively" is from 1610s; "liberally, generously" from 1735.
handstand (n.) Look up handstand at Dictionary.com
also hand-stand, 1897 as an athletic feat, from hand (n.) + stand (n.).
handwork (n.) Look up handwork at Dictionary.com
also hand-work, "work done by hand,", Old English handweorc; see hand (n.) + work (n.).
handwriting (n.) Look up handwriting at Dictionary.com
also hand-writing, "writing with the hand; form of writing peculiar to a person," early 15c., from hand (n.) + writing, translating Latin manuscriptum and equivalent to Greek kheirographia. Earlier was simply hand (n.) "handwriting, style of writing;" and Old English had handgewrit "handwriting; a writing."
An ordinary note in his [Horace Greeley's] handwriting is said to have been used for a long time as a railroad pass, then as a servant's recommendation, and finally taken to a drug-store as a doctor's prescription. ["Frank Leslie's Magazine," August 1884]
handy (adj.) Look up handy at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "skilled with the hands" (implied in surnames), from hand (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "conveniently accessible" is from 1640s.
handyman (n.) Look up handyman at Dictionary.com
also handy-man, "man employed to do various types of work," by 1843, from handy + man (n.). Gradually developed from the sense of "man who is capable at all sorts of work."
A handy man is so practised in the regulation of the little utilities of the house he inhabits, that by a slight touch here and there--a screw turned here and a screw loosened there, and a nail driven in time--he keeps all working smoothly, and averts those domestic catastrophes and break-downs of which Punch makes so much capital in his pictures. [Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Arthur's Home Magazine, August 1869]
hang (n.) Look up hang at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "a sling," from hang (v.). Meaning "a curtain" is from c. 1500; that of "the way in which a thing (especially cloth) hangs" is from 1797. To get the hang of (something) "become capable" is from 1834, American English, perhaps originally in reference to a certain tool or feat, but, if so, its origin has been forgotten. It doesn't seem to have been originally associated with drapery or any other special use of hang; the connecting notion might be "general bent or tendency."
'To get the hang of a thing,' is to get the knack, or habitual facility of doing it well. A low expression frequently heard among us. In the Craven Dialect of England is the word hank, a habit; from which this word hang may perhaps be derived. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," New York, 1848]
hang (v.) Look up hang at Dictionary.com
a fusion of Old English hon "suspend" (transitive, class VII strong verb; past tense heng, past participle hangen), and Old English hangian "be suspended" (intransitive, weak, past tense hangode); also probably influenced by Old Norse hengja "suspend," and hanga "be suspended." All from Proto-Germanic *hanhan (transitive), *hangen (intransitive) "to hang" (cognates: Old Frisian hangia, Dutch hangen, German hängen), from PIE *konk- "to hang" (cognates: Gothic hahan, Hittite gang- "to hang," Sanskrit sankate "wavers," Latin cunctari "to delay;" see also second element in Stonehenge).

As a method of execution, in late Old English (but originally specifically of crucifixion). Meaning "to come to a standstill" (especially in hung jury) is from 1848, American English. Hung emerged as past participle 16c. in northern England dialect, and hanged endured only in legal language (which tends to be conservative) in reference to capital punishment and in metaphors extended from it (I'll be hanged).

Teen slang sense of "spend time" first recorded 1951; hang around "idle, loiter" is from 1828, American English; also compare hang out. To hang back "be reluctant to proceed" is from 1580s; phrase hang an arse "hesitate, hold back" is from 1590s. Verbal phrase hang fire (1781) originally was used of guns that were slow in communicating the fire through the vent to the charge. To let it all hang out "be relaxed and uninhibited" is from 1967.
hang in (v.) Look up hang in at Dictionary.com
"persist through adversity," 1969, usually with there; see hang (v.) + in (adv.).
hang on (v.) Look up hang on at Dictionary.com
1860, "to remain clinging," 1860, especially "cling fondly to" (1871); see hang (v.) + on (adv.). As a command to be patient, wait a minute, from 1936, originally in telephone conversations.
hang out (v.) Look up hang out at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, intransitive (as of the tongue, from the mouth); transitive use by 1560s; see hang (v.) + out (adv.). Colloquial meaning "to be found" is recorded from 1811, "in allusion to the custom of hanging out a sign or 'shingle' to indicate one's shop and business" [Century Dictionary]. As a noun (often hangout) "residence, lodging" attested from 1893; earlier "a feast" (1852, American English).
hang up (v.) Look up hang up at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "suspend (something) so that it is supported only from above;" see hang (v.) + up (adv.); telephone sense by 1911. The noun hang-up "psychological fixation" is first attested 1959, from notion of being suspended in one place.
hang-dog (adj.) Look up hang-dog at Dictionary.com
also hangdog, 1670s, apparently "befitting a hang-dog," that is, a despicable, degraded fellow, so called either from being fit only to hang a dog (with construction as in cutthroat, daredevil) or of being a low person (i.e. dog) fit only for hanging. The noun, however, is attested only from 1680s.
hang-glider (n.) Look up hang-glider at Dictionary.com
type of engineless flying machine, 1930, popular as a recreation from 1971; see hang (v.) + glider. Hang-gliding (n.) is from 1971; hang-glide (v.) is from 1986.
hangar (n.) Look up hangar at Dictionary.com
1852, "shed for carriages," from French hangar "shed," which is of uncertain origin. Probably from Middle French hanghart (14c.), which is perhaps an alteration of Middle Dutch *ham-gaerd "enclosure near a house" [Barnhart, Watkins], from a Proto-Germanic compound *haimgardaz of the elements that make home (n.) and yard (n.1). Or the Middle French word might be from Medieval Latin angarium "shed in which horses are shod" [Gamillscheg, Klein]. Sense of "covered shed for airplanes" first recorded in English 1902, from French use in that sense.
hanged (adj.) Look up hanged at Dictionary.com
"put to death by hanging," late 15c., past participle of hang (v.). As an expletive, from 1887.
hanger (n.) Look up hanger at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "one who hangs (something)," especially "executioner," later also "one who chooses pictures for an exhibition;" agent noun from hang (v.). Meaning "something that is suspended" is late 15c. Meaning "thing from which something is hung" is from 1690s. Meaning "loop or strap in a garment for hanging on a peg" is from 1680s; of wood or wire coat or dress hangers from 1873. Hanger-on is from 1540s.
hanging (n.) Look up hanging at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "act of putting to death on the gallows," verbal noun from hang (v.). Meaning "piece of drapery on the wall of a room" is late 15c. Hangings "curtains, tapestry" is from 1640s.
hanging (adj.) Look up hanging at Dictionary.com
late 12c., present participle adjective from hang (v.). Hanging gardens (of Babylon), one of the wonders of the world, is Latin pensiles horti, Greek kremastoi kepoi. Hanging judge first recorded 1848.
hangman (n.) Look up hangman at Dictionary.com
public executioner, mid-14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), from hang (v.) + man (n.). As the name of a spelling game, by 1951. Hangestere "female executioner" is found mid-15c.
hangnail (n.) Look up hangnail at Dictionary.com
also hang-nail, 1670s, probably folk etymology alteration (as if from hang (v.) + (finger) nail) of Middle English agnail, angnail, from Old English agnail, angnail "a corn on the foot," perhaps literally a "painful spike" (in the flesh), from Proto-Germanic *ang- "compressed, hard, painful" (from PIE *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful;" see anger) + Old English nægl "spike" (see nail (n.)). Compare Old English angnes "anxiety, trouble, pain, fear," angset "eruption, pustule."
hangover (n.) Look up hangover at Dictionary.com
also hang-over, 1894, "a survival, a thing left over from before," from hang (v.) + over. Meaning "after-effect of excessive drinking" is attested by 1902, American English, on notion of something left over from the night before.
hank (n.) Look up hank at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "a loop of rope" (in nautical use), probably from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse hönk "a hank, coil," hanki "a clasp (of a chest);" ultimately related to hang (v.). From 1550s as a length of yarn or thread.
hanker (v.) Look up hanker at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "linger in expectation;" 1640s, "have a longing or craving for," of unknown origin. Probably from Flemish hankeren, related to Dutch hunkeren "to hanker, to long for," which is perhaps an intensive or frequentative of Middle Dutch hangen "to hang" (see hang (v.)). If so, the notion is of "lingering about" with longing or craving. Compare English hang (v.) in hang on (someone's) every word. Related: Hankered; hankering.
hankering (n.) Look up hankering at Dictionary.com
"mental craving," 1660s, verbal noun from hanker.
hanky-panky (n.) Look up hanky-panky at Dictionary.com
also hanky panky, 1841, "trickery," British slang, possibly a variant of hoky-poky "deception, fraud," altered from hocus-pocus.
Hannah Look up Hannah at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, biblical mother of the prophet Samuel, from Hebrew, literally "graciousness," from stem of hanan "he was gracious, showed favor."
Hannibal Look up Hannibal at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, name of the Carthaginian general (c. 247-183 B.C.E.) who hounded Rome in the 2nd Punic War, from Punic (Semitic) Hannibha'al, literally "my favor is with Baal;" first element related to Hebrew hanan "he was gracious, showed favor" (see Hannah); for second element see Baal.
Hanoi Look up Hanoi at Dictionary.com
city in northern Vietnam, from Vietnamese Hà Nôi, literally "River Inside," from "river" + nôi "inside." So called in reference to its situation in a bend of the Red River. Known 18c. as Dong Kinh "Eastern Capital," which was corrupted by Europeans into Tonkin, Tonquin, and that name was used in the French colonial period to refer to the entire region and extended to the gulf to the east.
Hanoverian (adj.) Look up Hanoverian at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to or connected with the former electorate of Hanover in northern Germany, from the German city of Hanover (German Hannover), literally "on the high ridge," from Middle Low German hoch "high" + over, cognate with Old English ofer "flat-topped ridge." The modern royal family of Great Britain is descended from Electoress Sophia of Hannover, grand-daughter of James I of England, whose heirs received the British crown in 1701 (nearer heirs being set aside as Roman Catholics). The first was George I. They were joint rulers of Britain and Hannover until the accession of Victoria (1837) who was excluded from Hannover by Salic Law. Hanover in English also was a euphemism for "Hell."
Hans Look up Hans at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, a familiar shortening of German and Dutch Johannes (see John). Used figuratively for "a German" or "a Dutchman" from 1560s.
Hanse (n.) Look up Hanse at Dictionary.com
also Hansa, medieval merchants' guild, late 12c. in Anglo-Latin, via Old French hanse and Medieval Latin hansa, both from Middle Low German hanse "fellowship, merchants' guild," from Old High German hansa "military troop, band, company." This is related to Gothic hansa "troop, company, multitude," Old English hos "attendants, retinue." A member was a Hansard. Compare Hanseatic.
Hanseatic (adj.) Look up Hanseatic at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Hanseatic League, medieval confederation of North German towns for the protection of commerce, from Medieval Latin Hanseaticus, from Middle Low German hanse "fellowship, merchants' guild" (see Hanse). Its origin traditionally is dated from the compact between Hamburg and Lübeck in 1241; the assembly last met in 1669. Compare hanshus "guild hall" (12c.).
hansom (n.) Look up hansom at Dictionary.com
"two-wheeled, two-person cab or carriage with the driver's seat above and behind," 1847, from James A. Hansom (1803-1882), English architect who designed such a vehicle c. 1834. The surname is from 17c., originally a nickname, handsome.
Hanukkah Look up Hanukkah at Dictionary.com
see Chanukah.
hap (n.) Look up hap at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "chance, a person's luck, fortune, fate;" also "unforeseen occurrence," from Old Norse happ "chance, good luck," from Proto-Germanic *hap- (source of Old English gehæp "convenient, fit"), from PIE *kob- "to suit, fit, succeed" (cognates: Sanskrit kob "good omen; congratulations, good wishes," Old Irish cob "victory," Norwegian heppa "lucky, favorable, propitious," Old Church Slavonic kobu "fate, foreboding, omen"). Meaning "good fortune" in English is from early 13c. Old Norse seems to have had the word only in positive senses.
hap (v.) Look up hap at Dictionary.com
"to come to pass, be the case," c. 1300, from hap (n.) "chance, fortune, luck, fate," or from Old English hæppan.
hapax legomenon (n.) Look up hapax legomenon at Dictionary.com
(plural legomena), "word occurring only once," Greek, literally "once said," from hapax "once only" + legomenon, neuter passive present participle of legein "to say."
haphazard (adj.) Look up haphazard at Dictionary.com
"characterized by randomness, chance, accidental," 1670s, from noun meaning "a chance, accident" (1570s), from hap (n.) "chance, luck" + hazard (n.) "risk, danger, peril." Related: Haphazardly.
hapless (adj.) Look up hapless at Dictionary.com
"unfortunate, luckless," c. 1400, from hap (n.) in the sense "good luck" + -less. Related: Haplessly; haplessness.
haplo- Look up haplo- at Dictionary.com
before vowels hapl-, word-forming element meaning "simple, single; simply, once," from comb. form of Greek haploos, haplous "single, simple" (as opposed to "compound"); "natural, plain," from PIE compound *sm-plo-, from *sem- (1) "one; as one; together with" (see same) + *-plo- "-fold."
haplography (n.) Look up haplography at Dictionary.com
"scribal error of writing only once a letter that should have been written twice," 1884; see haplo- + -graphy.
haploid (adj.) Look up haploid at Dictionary.com
"having a single set of unpaired chromosomes," 1908, from German haploid (Strasburger, 1905), from Greek haploos "single, simple" (see haplo-) + -ploid, from comb. form of ploos "fold" (see fold (v.)) + -oid.
haplology (n.) Look up haplology at Dictionary.com
1893; see haplo- + -logy.
haply (adv.) Look up haply at Dictionary.com
"by chance; perhaps," late 14c., hapliche, from hap + -ly (2).
happen (v.) Look up happen at Dictionary.com
late 14c., happenen, "to come to pass, occur, come about, be the case," literally "occur by hap, have the (good or bad) fortune (to do, be, etc.);" extension (with verb-formative -n) of the more common hap (v.). Old English used gelimpan, gesceon, and Middle English also had befall. In Middle English fel it hap meant "it happened." Related: Happened; happening. Phrase happens to be as an assertive way to say "is" is from 1707.
happening (n.) Look up happening at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "chance, luck," verbal noun from happen (v.); meaning "an occurrence" is 1550s. Sense of "spontaneous event or display" is from 1959 in the argot of artists. Happenings "events" was noted by Fowler as a vogue word from c. 1905.
happening (adj.) Look up happening at Dictionary.com
1520s, "occurring," present participle adjective from happen (v.). Compare incident.
happenstance (n.) Look up happenstance at Dictionary.com
1855, from happening + ending from circumstance.