: put in use by one person or group after being used, discarded, or handed down by another
hand-me-down clothes
hand-me-down anecdotes
: ready-made and usually cheap and shoddy
hand-me-down noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The hand-me-down equipment helps explain the haunting notes in kare kare, a Filipino stew that’s thick with peanut sauce, tinted with annatto oil and bulked up with vegetables, on my visit, Chinese long beans and okra. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Any dad trying to parent well in 2023 knows that a hand-me-down set of wooden blocks and a rubber ball are going to last kids only so long. Paul Kita, Men's Health, 9 May 2023 Oregon has a long history of moderate Republicanism, a hand-me-down from those New England settlers who brought place names like Salem and Portland. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2023 Orthopedic beds, which provide therapeutic benefits for dogs with joint pain and muscle stiffness, are terrific but often pricey; a hand-me-down baby mattress can be a more affordable option. Melanie D.g. Kaplan, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2023 That hand-me-down at a Texas Goodwill that turned out to be a first-century Roman artwork likely looted during World War II will soon go home to Germany. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Apr. 2023 Don’t be afraid to paint things white—new pieces, heirlooms, hand-me-downs. Eleni N. Gage, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Apr. 2023 Nwora's two months with the Pacers are a shining example of just how valuable someone else's hand-me-downs can be. Dustin Dopirak, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Apr. 2023 This is the tradition that Hsieh decided to mine, a sort of hand-me-down from his father and grandmother. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hand-me-down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hand-me-down was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near hand-me-down

Cite this Entry

“Hand-me-down.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hand-me-down. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: put in use by one person or group after being used, discarded, or handed down by another
hand-me-down noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hand-me-down

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