dead hand definition

  • noun:
    • 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).
    • Mortmain.
    • identical to mortmain.
    • genuine residential property held inalienably (as by an ecclesiastical corporation)
    • the oppressive influence of past events or decisions
  • adjective:
    • a hand that will perhaps not alienate, at the time of a person civilly lifeless.

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