I'm looking for a singular word (not plural) that can be used to represent both of a person's hands (or all fingers and/or toes). Does such a word exist?

  • There's more than one of them, how can there be a singular word for them? Maybe a full complement of fingers and toes. (complement is singular)
    – Jim
    May 28, 2014 at 3:43
  • 1
    – ermanen
    May 28, 2014 at 3:52
  • 1
    In these cases it really helps to provide the sentence you want to write where this word will be used (use \_\_\_\_\_ to show a blank), so that people aren't guessing.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 27, 2014 at 6:47

3 Answers 3


The OP asked:

a word (not plural) that can be used to represent both of a person's hands

Without further clarification, we do not know if the word required is an adjective or a noun, nor how it will be used. If the OP is looking for a word that represents "both hands" then hands is the ideal word. In extremely rare cases do people have more than two hands.

If instead the OP is looking for an anatomically correct word then I would suggest its latin name manūs, but how many people would recognize that word? By the way, the singular form is manus.

Next, I could suggest the easily-understood word appendage but used in the singular it means one appendage, appendages would therefore seem to be the most logical choice. On the other hand, legs happen to be appendages too, so that brings us back to square one. I'm going to stick out my neck and say that such a word does not exist.

(Apologies for resorting to cheap puns but they were supplicating me)

In alternative, if the OP is looking for an expression which involves both hands I offer the following:


able to use the right and left hands equally well. (of an implement) designed to be used by left-handed and right-handed people with equal ease.

Ambidexterity Wiki

Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages (such as the hands). It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are uncommon, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous [...]
The word "ambidextrous" is derived from the Latin roots ambi-, meaning "both", and dexter, meaning "right" or "favorable". Thus, "ambidextrous" is literally "both right" or "both favorable".

Prehensility Wiki

Prehensility is the quality of an appendage or organ that has adapted for grasping or holding. The word is derived from the Latin term prehendere, meaning "to grasp."

  • I think you're right; no such word exists. For context, I am designing an API for software. Since an API should be designed for people to use (not computers), I was looking for a word to describe the object to represent. So it would need to be a noun, but one does not exist. Thanks.
    – joelsand
    Jun 27, 2014 at 14:56
  • @joelsand well I'm sorry you didn't find the word you were looking for, nevertheless you ought to edit your question and include the context. Perhaps another developer/programmer had a similar problem to yours and now has the solution at his fingertips ;-)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 27, 2014 at 15:01

Bimanous: Having two hands; two-handed. [1913 Webster]

Pentadactyl: having five digits on each hand or foot

pentadactylate adj./ pentadactylism, n.


Besides its currently common meaning, the word digital means

of or relating to a finger or fingers

In some dictionaries, digital is defined to relate to toes as well.

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