ASL Dictionary Letter M

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Up Machine
(engine, motor)
With the knuckles of both hands interlocked, the hands pivot up and down, imitating the meshing of gears.
Up Mail
The right thumb is placed on the tongue, and is then pressed into the open left palm.
Up Mail
The right thumbtip is licked and placed against the upturned left palm. The right hand, palm out and fingers touching thumb, is then thrown forward, opening into the '5' position, palm out.
Up Maintain The 'K' hands are crossed, the right above the left, little finger edges down. In this position the hands are moved up and down a short distance.
Up Make
(create, produce)
The right 'S' hand, palm facing left, is placed on top of its left counterpart, whose palm faces right. The hands are twisted back and forth, a striking each other slightly after each twist.
Up Make love The 'S' hands, palms facing, are crossed at the wrist. They swing up and down while the wrists remain in contact.
Up Male
Move the right hand to the forehead as though grabbing an imaginary cap brim between the fingers and thumb, then move it forward a short distance.
Up Manage The 'A' hands, palms facing, move alternately back and forth, as if grasping and manipulating reins. The left 'A' hand, still in position, swings over so that its palm now faces down. The right hand opens to the '5' position, palm down, and swings over the left which moves slightly to the right.
Up Many The upturned 'S' hands are thrown up, opening into the '5' position, palms up. This may be repeated.
Up Marble The signer uses the thumb to flick a marble ball forward. The action is repeated. This sign is used for both the ball and stone used in building and sculpture.
Up Marriage The hands are clasped together, the right on top of the left.
Up Mature The index finger edge of the right 'M' hand, palm facing down, moves up the outstretched upright left palm.
Up Maximum Both hands, in the 'M' position, are held palms down, fingertips touching. The right hand rises above the left.
Up May
(maybe, might, possibly, perhaps, probably)
The upturned open hands move alternately up and down.
Up May
(can, capable, possible)
Both 'A' hands, held palms down, move down in unison a short distance before the chest.
Up May
(allow, grant, let, permit)
Both hands, palms facing and fingers pointing away from the body, are held at chest level, almost a foot apart. With an upward movement, using their wrists as pivots, the hands sweep up until the fingers point almost straight up.
Up Mayonnaise The downturned right 'M' hand "spreads" the mayonnaise on the upturned left palm.
Up Me The signer points to himself.
Up Meal
(eat, feed, food)
The closed right hand goes through the natural motion of placing food in the mouth. This movement is repeated.
Up Mean
Both 'A' or 'X' hands are held before the chest, the right above the left. The right hand strikes down and out, hitting the left thumb and knuckles with force.
Up Mean
(intend, purpose, significance)
The right index finger touches the middle of the forehead. The tips of the right 'V' hand, palm down, are then thrust into the upturned left palm. The right 'V' hand is then re-thrust into the upturned left palm, with right palm now facing the body.
Up Meantime Both 'D' hands, palms down, move forward in unison, away from the body. They may move straight forward or may follow a slight upward arc.
Up Meat The right index finger and thumb squeeze the fleshy part of the open left hand, between thumb and index finger.
Up Medicine The ball of the middle fingertip of the right '5' hand describes a small counterclockwise circle in the upturned left palm.
Up Meet Both 'D' hands, palms facing each other, are brought together.
Up Meeting
Both '5' hands, palms facing, are held with fingers pointing out from the body. With a sweeping motion they are brought in toward the chest, and all fingertips come together. This is repeated.
Up Melt The thumbs rub slowly across the fingertips of the upturned hands, from the little fingers to the index fingers, and then continue to the 'A' position, palms up.
Up Member The right 'M' hand, palm facing the body and fingers pointing left, moves from the left shoulder to the right.
Up Memorial The right 'M' hand, positioned near the right temple, moves straight back over the shoulder.
Up Memorize The open right hand is placed on the forehead. Then as it is removed straight forward, it is clenched into a fist.
Up Mend The right 'S' hand, palm facing left, is placed on top of its left counterpart, whose palm faced right. The hands are twisted back and forth, striking each other slightly after each twist.
Up Me too The right 'Y' hand, palm facing left, is moved alternately toward and away from the body.
Up Microphone The signer mimes holding a microphone in front of the face.
Up Middle The downturned right fingers describe a small clockwise circle and come to rest in the center of the upturned left palm.
Up Midnight The right 'B' hand is held fingers pointing straight down and palm facing left. The left hand, representing the horizon, is held open and fingers together, palm down, its little finger edge resting against the right arm near the crook of the elbow.
Up Milk Both hands, alternately grasping and releasing imaginary teats, move alternately up and down before the body.
Up Minute The right 'D' hand is held with its index finger edge against the palm of the left '5' hand, which faces right. The right index finger moves forward in a short arc.
Up Missing The extended right index finger strikes against the downturned middle finger of the left hand, which is held with palm down and other fingers pointing right.
Up Mistake The right 'Y' hand, palm facing body, is brought up to the chin.
Up Misunderstand The right 'V' hand is positioned with index and middle fingers touching the right side of the forehead. The hand swings around so that the palm now faces out, with the two fingers still on the forehead.
Up Mix
(noun & verb)
The downturned right hand is positioned above the upturned left. The fingers of both are curved. Both hands move in opposite horizontal circles.
Up Modern With both hands held palm up before the body, the right hand sweeps in an arc into the left, and continues up a bit.
Up Money
The thumb rubs over the index and middle fingers of the upturned hand, as if fingering money.
Up Month The extended right index finger moves down along the upturned, extended left index finger.
Up Moon The right 'C' hand indicates the face of the moon.
Up More Touch the fingertips of both 'and' hands before the chest with palms facing down.
Up Morning The little finger edge of the left hand rests in the crook of the right elbow. The left arm, held horizontally, represents the horizon. The open right hand, fingers together and pointing up, with palm facing the body, rises slowly to an almost upright angle.
Up Mother
The thumb of the right '5' hand rests on the right cheek or the right chin.
Up Move The downturned hands, fingers touching their respective thumbs, move in unison from left to right.

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ASL Numbers 1-10 | ASL Alphabet

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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Many of these definitions are from the "American Sign Language Concise Dictionary" Copyright © 1994 by Martin L.A. Sternberg
Hand signs from the ASL Fingerspell (amslan) font.
Special thanks to the creators of the Michigan State University ASL Browser Web Site for providing the animated signs.