Definition of left-handed in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌleftˈhandəd/


1(Of a person) using the left hand more naturally than the right: a left-handed batter
More example sentences
  • It's one thing to be able to draw a gun, but it's another thing to be able to do it with your left hand if you're not left-handed.
  • One thing I can't do is forge his signature, largely because he's left-handed and I'm not.
  • He didn't understand why everyone was so interested to see him write, and the judge pointed out that he was left-handed.
informal southpaw
1.1(Of a tool or item of equipment) made to be used with the left hand: left-handed golf clubs
More example sentences
  • At the time of writing, there are very few left-handed instruments being stocked in York.
  • Now the interesting bit is that the left-handed ones have hooks, and the right-handed ones have ridges.
  • Even though I grew up in Canada, where there are more left-handed golfers than in the States, left-handed equipment wasn't readily available.
1.2Made or performed with the left hand: my left-handed scrawl
More example sentences
  • He wasn't at all strong at left-handed techniques, whereas Keziah had been told from a very early age that there were no lefts and rights in fighting.
2Turning to the left; toward the left, in particular.
2.1(Of a screw) advanced by turning counterclockwise.
Example sentences
  • The screw arm has right-handed threads on one side of the brass wheel and left-handed threads on the other.
2.2 Biology (Of a spiral shell or helix) sinistral.
Example sentences
  • Recent structural experiments have suggested that the domain may also contain left-handed polyproline helices.
  • In fact, a wide range of structural proteins have coils in which two or three helices are wound around each other to form a left-handed superhelix conformation.
  • It customarily refers to the number of monomers in one turn of actin's left-handed helix.
2.3(Of a racecourse) turning counterclockwise.
Example sentences
  • It is a left-handed, wide track suited to powerful gallopers and is seen as being flat and fair.
  • We are hoping that he will be happier at Cheltenham with its left-handed track and a bigger hill.
  • A left-handed track, it is situated on the Welsh side of the border with England.
3Perverse: we take a left-handed pleasure in our errors
3.1(Especially of a compliment) ambiguous.
Example sentences
  • It may seem a left-handed compliment to say The Industry Standard was by far the best and most professional of this lot, but I mean it sincerely.
  • There is nothing Mosley takes for granted about Wright, giving what might be a left-handed compliment in saying Winky sometimes fights to the level of his competition.
  • What I just said could be considered a left-handed compliment.
backhanded, ambiguous, equivocal, double-edged;
dubious, ironic, sardonic, insincere, hypocritical


With the left hand: a significant number play the game left-handed
More example sentences
  • Schaffer had Murray hit left-handed every other day before home games for about three weeks.
  • Michael twisted painfully out of the way and swung his sword left-handed in an awkward but powerful arc.
  • He bowled the following season left-handed and even bowled three regionals as a lefty, but had no luck.





Pronunciation: /ˌleftˈhandədnəs/
Example sentences
  • Researchers have posed various theories about the causes of left-handedness.
  • Right- or left-handedness then develops, with the dominant hand achieving better fine motor skills and greater strength.
  • Having written about left-handedness in the past, I knew that in less enlightened times left-handed infants were often forced to use their right.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: left-hand·ed

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.