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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Dead hand   /dɛd hænd/   Listen
Dead hand

Real property held inalienably (as by an ecclesiastical corporation).  Synonym: mortmain.
The oppressive influence of past events or decisions.  Synonyms: dead hand of the past, mortmain.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Dead hand" Quotes from Famous Books

... days' work. He had a programme of action for the Sabbath. Church, social work, business, were to him very much one thing; all in need of organization to get results. He had no use for the idle church and less for what he called "the dead hand"—referring to the influence of his old adversary, Dr. Carman, who thought it presumption in a wealthy pork-packer to regard himself as a ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... As the dead hand relaxed its grasp upon Tara's wrist the girl leaped forward, without a backward glance, to Gahan's side. His left arm encircled her, nor did she draw away, as with ready sword the Gatholian awaited Fate's next decree. Before them Tara's deliverer was wiping the ...
— The Chessmen of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... cause of trouble. In that religious atmosphere of Venice, monastic orders of every sort grew luxuriantly, not only absorbing more and more land to be held by the dead hand, thus escaping the public burdens, but ever absorbing more and more men and women, and thus depriving the state of any healthy and normal service from them. Here, too, the Senate thought it best to interpose a check: it insisted that all new structures for religious orders must be authorized ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II • Andrew Dickson White

... who journeyed even until the Arabian mountain. For seven long years did they pray before the shrine of the Queen Virgin and Martyr, and also did they implore her to vouchsafe to grant them some token of her favor; and, at length, one of her fingers suddenly disjointed itself from the dead hand of the corpse.—"This gift," as the legend tells, "they received devoutly, and with it they returned to their monastery at Rouen."—Never was a miracle less miraculous; and it is fortunately now of little consequence to inquire whether the mouldering relic enriched ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. I. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... principles were illustrated by half a dozen volumes upon the "Effects of Alcohol," including "Scriptural Testimony against Wine;" and a work or two upon the Tariff Question recalled many a Tribune editorial penned by the dear, dead hand. ...
— The Story of a Summer - Or, Journal Leaves from Chappaqua • Cecilia Cleveland

... the group in time and space. Through contacts of historical continuity, the life of society extends backward to prehistoric eras. More potent over group behavior than contemporary discovery and invention is the control exerted by the "dead hand of the past" through the inertia of folkways and mores, through the revival of memories and sentiments and through the persistence of tradition and culture. Contacts of mobility, on the other hand, define the ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... died, Don Pedro had the body of his murdered wife lifted out of the grave, decked in regal apparel, seated on the throne beside him, and he compelled all the courtiers to do homage to her and kiss her dead hand, vowing as much honor should be shown her as if she had lived to be queen. This ceremony ended, the lady's corpse was laid in a tomb, over which her mourning husband erected a beautiful monument. Then, hearing his wife's slayers had ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... a people it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life in a new continent. We are the heirs of the ages, and yet we have had to pay few of the penalties which in old countries are exacted by the dead hand of a bygone civilization. We have not been obliged to fight for our existence against any alien race; and yet our life has called for the vigor and effort without which the manlier and hardier virtues ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

Words linked to "Dead hand" :   realty, real property, corporation, immovable, real estate, influence, corp

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