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1. The ever-present, oppressive influence of past events: "Psychotherapy explores the ways in which the past has shaped people, and how its dead hand continues to deform their lives" (James S. Gordon).
[Middle English dede hond, translation of Old French mortemain or Medieval Latin manus mortua, mortmain.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. an oppressive or discouraging influence or factor: the dead hand of centralized control.
2. (Law) law a less common word for mortmain
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. the condition of lands or tenements held without right of alienation, as by an ecclesiastical corporation.
2. the perpetual holding of land, esp. by a corporation or charitable trust.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, translation of Medieval Latin mortua manus dead hand]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||dead hand - real property held inalienably (as by an ecclesiastical corporation)|
corp, corporation - a business firm whose articles of incorporation have been approved in some state
|2.||dead hand - the oppressive influence of past events or decisions|
influence - a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc; "used her parents' influence to get the job"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.