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noun han·dle \ˈhan-dəl\

Simple Definition of handle

  • : a part of something that is designed to be held by your hand

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of handle

  1. 1 :  a part that is designed especially to be grasped by the hand

  2. 2 :  something that resembles a handle

  3. 3 a :  title 8 b :  name; also :  nickname

  4. 4 :  hand 11c

  5. 5 :  the total amount of money bet on a race, game, or event

  6. 6 :  a means of understanding or controlling <can't quite get a handle on things>

handled play \-dəld\ adjective
handleless play \-dəl-(l)əs\ adjective
off the handle
  1. :  into a state of sudden and violent anger —usually used with fly

Examples of handle in a sentence

  1. He held the shovel by the handle.

  2. The handles on the bag were torn.

Origin of handle

Middle English handel, from Old English handle; akin to Old English hand

First Known Use: before 12th century



verb han·dle

Simple Definition of handle

  • : to touch, feel, hold, or move (something) with your hand

  • : to manage or control (something) with your hands

  • : to do the work required for (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of handle

handledhandling play \ˈhan(d)-liŋ, ˈhan-dəl-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to try or examine (as by touching, feeling, or moving) with the hand <handle silk to judge its weight> b :  to manage with the hands <handle a horse>

  3. 2 a :  to deal with in writing or speaking or in the plastic arts b :  to have overall responsibility for supervising or directing :  manage <a lawyer handles all my affairs> c :  to train and act as second for (a boxer) d :  to put up with :  stand <can't handle the heat>

  4. 3 :  to act on or perform a required function with regard to <handle the day's mail>

  5. 4 :  to engage in the buying, selling, or distributing of (a commodity)

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to act, behave, or respond in a certain way when handled or directed <a car that handles well>

handleable play \-dəl-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of handle in a sentence

  1. Handle the fruit carefully or it will bruise.

  2. The baked potatoes were too hot to handle with our bare hands.

  3. He knows how to handle a motorcycle.

  4. He handles his motorcycle well.

  5. She learned how to handle a weapon.

  6. She handles all the bookkeeping.

  7. The system is handled by the main computer.

  8. She's proven that she can handle anything.

  9. The airport handles both passenger and cargo flights.

  10. She couldn't handle being away from her children for more than a couple of days.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of handle

before 12th century

HANDLE Defined for Kids



noun han·dle \ˈhan-dəl\

Definition of handle for Students

  1. :  the part by which something (as a dish or tool) is picked up or held

handled \-dəld\ adjective <a short-handled broom>



verb han·dle

Definition of handle for Students


  1. 1 :  to touch, feel, hold, or move with the hand <Please don't handle the merchandise.>

  2. 2 :  to manage or control especially with the hands <He knows how to handle a motorcycle.>

  3. 3 :  manage 1, direct <His wife handles the money.>

  4. 4 :  to deal with or act on <Firing—the final step in the process … —was handled well by no man. — Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard>

  5. 5 :  to deal or trade in <This store handles electronics.>

  6. 6 :  to put up with <I can't handle this heat.>

handler \ˈhand-lər\ noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up handle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to expose to danger or risk

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