hamadryad (n.) Look up hamadryad at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Greek hamadryas (plural hamadryades) "wood-nymph," fabled to die with her tree, from hama "together" (see same) + drus (genitive dryos) "tree."
hamartia (n.) Look up hamartia at Dictionary.com
Greek, literally "fault, failure, guilt," from hamartanein "to fail of one's purpose; to err, sin," originally "to miss the mark."
hamartiology (n.) Look up hamartiology at Dictionary.com
"that part of theology which deals with sin," 1875, from Greek hamartia "sin" (see hamartia) + -ology.
hambone (n.) Look up hambone at Dictionary.com
1855, "bone of a ham," from ham (n.1) + bone (n.). Meaning "inferior actor or performer" is from 1893, an elaboration of ham (n.2).
Hamburg Look up Hamburg at Dictionary.com
German city, the -burg is German Burg "fort," in reference to the moated castle built there c.825; the first element is perhaps Old High German hamma "ham, back of the knee" in a transferred sense of "bend, angle," with reference to its position on a river bend promontory, or Middle High German hamme "enclosed area of pastureland."
hamburger (n.) Look up hamburger at Dictionary.com
1610s, "native of Hamburg;" the meat product so called from 1884, hamburg steak, named for the German city of Hamburg, though no certain connection has ever been put forth, and there may not be one unless it be that Hamburg was a major port of departure for German immigrants to United States. Meaning "a sandwich consisting of a bun and a patty of grilled hamburger meat" attested by 1912. Shortened form burger attested from 1939; beefburger was attempted 1940, in an attempt to make the main ingredient more explicit, after the -burger had taken on a life of its own as a suffix (compare cheeseburger, first attested 1938).
Hamiltonian Look up Hamiltonian at Dictionary.com
1797, follower of, or characteristic of, U.S. politician Alexander Hamilton (d.1804).
Hamite Look up Hamite at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Ham (see Hamitic) + -ite (1).
Hamitic Look up Hamitic at Dictionary.com
language group that included ancient Egyptian, Berber, Galla, etc.; 1842, from Ham, second son of Noah (Gen. ix:18-19).
hamlet (n.) Look up hamlet at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French hamelet, diminutive of hamel "village," itself a diminutive of ham "village," from Frankish *haim or some other Germanic source (see home (n.)); for ending, see -let. Especially a village without a church.
hammer (n.) Look up hammer at Dictionary.com
Old English hamor "hammer," from Proto-Germanic *hamaraz (cognates: Old Saxon hamur, Middle Dutch, Dutch hamer, Old High German hamar, German Hammer). The Old Norse cognate hamarr meant "stone, crag" (it's common in English place names), and suggests an original sense of the Germanic words as "tool with a stone head," from PIE *akmen "stone, sharp stone used as a tool" (cognates: Old Church Slavonic kamy, Russian kameni "stone"), from root *ak- "sharp" (see acme). Hammer and sickle as an emblem of Soviet communism attested from 1921, symbolizing industrial and agricultural labor.
hammer (v.) Look up hammer at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from hammer (n.). Meaning "to work (something) out laboriously" recorded from 1580s. Meaning "to defeat heavily" is from 1948. Related: Hammered; hammering. Hammered as a slang synonym for "drunk" attested by 1986.
hammerhead (adj.) Look up hammerhead at Dictionary.com
also hammer-head, 1796 in reference to a kind of shark (hammer-headed is from 1773), from hammer (n.) + head (n.). So called for its broad, transverse head.
hammock (n.) Look up hammock at Dictionary.com
1650s, alteration of hamaca (1550s), from Spanish hamaca, from Arawakan (Haiti) word apparently meaning "fish nets" (compare Yukuna hamaca, Taino amaca).
Hammond Look up Hammond at Dictionary.com
type of electric organ favored by 1960s rock bands, trademark name (1935), invented 1929 by U.S. inventor and clockmaker Laurens Hammond (1895-1973).
hamper (v.) Look up hamper at Dictionary.com
late 14c., hampren "to surround, imprison, confine," also "to pack in a container," of unknown origin, possibly from hamper (n.1), or somehow connected to Middle English hamelian "to maim." Related: Hampered; hampering.
hamper (n.1) Look up hamper at Dictionary.com
"large basket," early 14c., contraction of Anglo-French hanaper (Anglo-Latin hanepario), from Old French hanepier "case for holding a large goblet or cup;" in medical use "skull," also "helmet; armored leather cap," from hanap "goblet," from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cognates: Old Saxon hnapp "cup, bowl;" Old High German hnapf, German Napf, Old English hnæpp). The word also meant (15c.) "the department of Chancery into which fees were paid for sealing and enrolling charters, etc." The first -a- may be a French attempt to render Germanic hn- into an acceptable Romanic form.
hamper (n.2) Look up hamper at Dictionary.com
1835, "things important for a ship but in the way at certain times" (Klein's definition), from French hamper "to impede." Hence top hamper, originally "upper masts, spars, rigging, etc. of a sailing ship."
Hampshire Look up Hampshire at Dictionary.com
reduced from Old English Hamtunscir; named for the city of Southampton, which originally was simply Hamtun. Norman scribes mangled the county name to Hauntunescire, later Hantescire, hence the abbrev. Hants.
hamster (n.) Look up hamster at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from German Hamster, from Middle High German hamastra "hamster," probably from Old Church Slavonic chomestoru "hamster" (the animal is native to southeastern Europe), perhaps a blend of Russian chomiak and Lithuanian staras, both meaning "hamster." The older English name for it was German rat.
hamstring (v.) Look up hamstring at Dictionary.com
1640s, "to disable, render useless," a figurative verbal extension from the noun hamstring "tendon at the back of the knee" (1560s), from ham "bend of the knee" (see ham (n.1)) + string (n.). Cutting this would render a person or animal lame. Related: Hamstrung.
[I]n hamstring, -string is not the verb string; we do not string the ham, but do something to the tendon called the hamstring; the verb, that is, is made not from the two words ham & string, but from the noun hamstring. It must therefore make hamstringed. [Fowler]
Han Look up Han at Dictionary.com
Chinese dynasty, 206 B.C.E.-220 C.E., its rule marked by prosperity, military success, and the introduction of Buddhism.
hand (n.) Look up hand at Dictionary.com
Old English hond, hand "hand; side; power, control, possession," from Proto-Germanic *handuz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch, German hand, Old Norse hönd, Gothic handus), of uncertain origin. The original Old English plural handa was superseded in Middle English by handen, later hands.

Meaning "person who does something with his hands" is from 1580s, hence "hired workman" (1630s) and "sailor in a ship's crew" (1660s). Clock and watch sense is from 1570s. Meaning "round of applause" is from 1838. The linear measure of 4 inches (originally 3) is from 1560s, now used only in giving the height of horses. The meaning "playing cards held in one player's hand" is from 1620s; that of "a round at a card game" is from 1620s.

First hand, second hand, etc. (mid-15c.) are from the notion of something being passed down from hand to hand. Out of hand (1590s) is opposite of in hand "under control" (c. 1200). Hand over fist (1825) is suggestive of sailors and fishermen hauling in nets. Hand jive is from 1958. To win something hands down (1855) is from horse racing, from a jockey's gesture of letting the reins go loose in an easy victory.
The Two Thousand Guinea Stakes was not the best contested one that it has been our fortune to assist at. ... [T]hey were won by Meteor, with Scott for his rider; who went by the post with his hands down, the easiest of all easy half-lengths. Wiseacre certainly did the best in his power to spoil his position, and Misdeal was at one time a little vexatious. ["The Sportsman," report from April 26, 1840]
To hand it to (someone) "acknowledge someone's ability" is slang from c.1906. Phrase on the one hand ... on the other hand is recorded from 1630s, a figurative use of the physical sense of hand in reference to position on one side or the other side of the body (as in the lefthand side), which goes back to Old English Hands up! as a command from a policeman, robber, etc., is from 1873. Hand-to-mouth is from c. 1500. Hand-in-hand attested from c. 1500 as "with hands clasped;" figurative sense of "concurrently" recorded from 1570s.
hand (v.) Look up hand at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "take charge of, seize," from hand (n.). Meaning "to pass (something to someone)" is from 1640s. Related: Handed; handing.
hand job (n.) Look up hand job at Dictionary.com
1940s, from hand (n.) + job.
hand of glory (n.) Look up hand of glory at Dictionary.com
1707, originally a piece of mandrake root, translation of French maindeglorie, from a corruption of Latin mandragora "mandrake" (see mandrake). The dead man's hand charm is described from mid-15c., but not by this name.
hand-basket (n.) Look up hand-basket at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from hand (n.) + basket.
hand-car (n.) Look up hand-car at Dictionary.com
1846 in railroading sense, from hand (n.) + car.
hand-grenade (n.) Look up hand-grenade at Dictionary.com
1660s, from hand (n.) + grenade, which at that time referred to any explosive missile.
hand-made (adj.) Look up hand-made at Dictionary.com
also handmade, 1610s, from hand (n.) + made.
hand-me-down (adj.) Look up hand-me-down at Dictionary.com
as a modifier, attested by 1826.
hand-out (n.) Look up hand-out at Dictionary.com
also handout, hand out, "alms or food given to a beggar," 1882, hobo slang, from hand (v.) + out (adv.). Meaning "distributed printed informational matter" is from 1927.
hand-spike (n.) Look up hand-spike at Dictionary.com
also handspike, 1610s, from hand (n.) + spike (n.).
hand-written (adj.) Look up hand-written at Dictionary.com
also handwritten, 1745, from hand (n.) + written. As a verb, hand-write is recorded from 1878, probably a back-formation.
handbag (n.) Look up handbag at Dictionary.com
also hand-bag, 1854, from hand (n.) + bag (n.).
handball (n.) Look up handball at Dictionary.com
also hand-ball, 1630s as a type of ball; 1885 as a game, from hand (n.) + ball (n.1).
handbell (n.) Look up handbell at Dictionary.com
Old English handbelle; see hand (n.) + bell (n.).
handbill (n.) Look up handbill at Dictionary.com
1753, from hand (n.) + bill (n.1).
handbook (n.) Look up handbook at Dictionary.com
Old English handboc; see hand (n.) + book (N.). It translates Latin manualis, and was displaced in Middle English by manual (from French), and later in part by enchiridion (from Greek). Reintroduced 1814, but execrated through much of 19c. as "that very ugly and very unnecessary word" [Trench].
handcraft (n.) Look up handcraft at Dictionary.com
Old English handcræft "manual skill, power of the hand; handicraft;" see handicraft.
handcuff (n.) Look up handcuff at Dictionary.com
1640s as a decorative addition to a sleeve; 1690s as a type of restraining device, from hand (n.) + cuff (n.). Old English had hondcops "a pair of hand cuffs," but the modern word is a re-invention. The verb is first attested 1720. Related: Handcuffed; handcuffing.
handfast (v.) Look up handfast at Dictionary.com
"betroth, bind in wedlock," mid-12c., from Old English handfæsten, from hand (n.) + fast (see fasten). Related: Handfasted; handfasting.
handful (n.) Look up handful at Dictionary.com
Old English handful; see hand (n.) + -ful. Originally the quality that can be held in a hand; also a medieval linear measurement of four inches. Meaning "a small portion or part" is from c. 1400. Figurative meaning "as much as one can manage" is from 1755.
handgrip (n.) Look up handgrip at Dictionary.com
Old English handgripe; see hand (n.) + grip (n.).
handgun (n.) Look up handgun at Dictionary.com
1680s, from hand (n.) + gun (n.).
handhold (n.) Look up handhold at Dictionary.com
1640s, from hand (n.) + hold (n.1).
handicap (n.) Look up handicap at Dictionary.com
1650s, from hand in cap, a game whereby two bettors would engage a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands -- hands full meaning that they accepted the odds and the bet was on, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. If both agreed either on forfeiting or going ahead with the wager, then the umpire kept the money as payment. The custom, though not the name, is attested from 14c. ("Piers Plowman").

Reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890. The main modern sense, "disability," is the last to develop, early 20c.
handicap (v.) Look up handicap at Dictionary.com
"equalize chances of competitors," 1852, but implied in the horse-race sense from mid-18c., from handicap (n.). Meaning "put at a disadvantage" is from 1864. Earliest verbal sense, now obsolete, was "to gain as in a wagering game" (1640s). Related: Handicapped; handicapping.
handicapped (adj.) Look up handicapped at Dictionary.com
"disabled," 1915, past participle adjective from handicap (v.). Originally especially of children. Meaning "handicapped persons generally" is attested by 1958.
handicraft (n.) Look up handicraft at Dictionary.com
Old English handcræft "skill of the hand," from hand (n.) + craft (n.). Later hændecraft (c. 1200), perhaps from influence of handiwork.