hand·​bag | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌbag How to pronounce handbag (audio) \

Definition of handbag

1 : suitcase
2 : a bag held in the hand or hung from a shoulder strap and used for carrying small personal articles and money

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Synonyms for handbag


carry-on, carryall, grip, holdall [chiefly British], portmanteau, suitcase, traveling bag, wallet

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Examples of handbag in a Sentence

flies only with a handbag so he doesn't have to check his luggage her handbag is just big enough to hold her favorite photos and wallet

Recent Examples on the Web

That was the beginning of a lot of social media posts yesterday as word got out that the iconic designer, known for her line of sleek, colorful handbags, had died. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things for June 6: Primaries, Guatemala volcano, EU same-sex couples, Kate Spade," 6 June 2018 Coach's latest sale has 30 percent off shoes, watches, wallets, handbags, and more with the code MOM19. Glamour, "Coach Is Having an Amazing Sale—Right In Time For Mother's Day," 9 May 2019 Kylie has worn the brand before; Jacquemus is known for their somewhat-outrageous accessories, including tiny handbags, giant hats and now, straw purses! Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Wears a Head-to-Toe Jacquemus Look on Vacation," 30 Mar. 2019 Neiman Marcus Group Ltd is taking a minority stake in Fashionphile LLC, an online seller of preowned designer handbags and accessories, according to company executives. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Neiman Marcus Pushes Into Growing Market for ‘Preloved’ Handbags," 17 Apr. 2019 These Aldo pieces are available exclusively at Addition Elle; pricing for footwear ranges from $45 to $100; handbags are between $35 and $60. Glamour, "This New Aldo Shoe Collection Is Specifically for Plus-Size Shoppers," 26 Mar. 2019 If one of the designer's stunning runway looks isn't on your budget, the store carries a range of playful graphic t-shirts, handbags and accessories, and fragrances that boast affordable price tags. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside Christian Siriano's Ultra-Glam, Ultra-Dreamy New York Concept Store," 4 Oct. 2018 Kate and Andy were married in 1994, one year after founding her eponymous brand, famous for its handbags and accessories. Eli Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Kate Spade dealt with depression and anxiety, her husband said. Her death 'was a complete shock.'," 7 June 2018 Banish thoughts of traditional garage sales filled with Grandma’s costume jewelry and musty sweaters: The monthlong pop-up is an offshoot of their Chicago flagship store, specializing in ultra high-end clothing, shoes, handbags, and accessories. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Nothing like your grandma’s garage sale," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handbag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of handbag

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near handbag


hand ax

hand back


hand baggage



Statistics for handbag

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handbag

The first known use of handbag was in 1859

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More Definitions for handbag



English Language Learners Definition of handbag

: a woman's small bag or purse used for carrying personal things and money


hand·​bag | \ ˈhand-ˌbag How to pronounce handbag (audio) \

Kids Definition of handbag

: a bag used for carrying money and small personal articles

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More from Merriam-Webster on handbag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handbag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handbag

Spanish Central: Translation of handbag

Nglish: Translation of handbag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handbag for Arabic Speakers

Comments on handbag

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


showing courage and determination

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