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

Teen Vogue: Congrats on your handbag launch in Bergdorf’s US market launch! Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, "How Hanako Maeda Is Using Her Japanese Culture To Influence Her Designs," 9 Apr. 2019 Hermès, the French luxury label known for its intimidatingly formal boutiques and customers who yearn to pay five figures or more for its Birkin handbags, also wants to be known for fanny packs and shops that are warm and inviting. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Hermès, Artisan of the Birkin Bag, Rolls Out a Fanny Pack," 3 Apr. 2019 One of her shoes had fallen off, and the contents of her two pink Hermès handbags lay scattered seemingly haphazardly around her. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "The #FallingStars challenge highlights extreme wealth — and extreme inequality," 26 Oct. 2018 Even shoppers at the brand’s Fifth Avenue store in New York must have their handbags and luggage sent offsite for repair. Candice Baker Yacono, latimes.com, "Louis Vuitton South Coast Plaza reopens with store-exclusive merchandise," 12 July 2018 Roughly 70 percent of StockX's merchandise is currently sneakers, followed by about 20 percent streetwear and about 5 percent watches and handbags. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Fast-growing Detroit startup StockX sniffs out fake sneakers," 9 July 2018 The website Dragon-click.com still displays more than 3,400 products ranging from whiskey to clothing and shoes to bicycles, furniture, watches and handbags. David Lyons, Sun-Sentinel.com, "SEC alleges Parkland couple's online shopping business committed stock fraud," 12 June 2018 Jennifer Coolidge Breaking down after a breakup, Jennifer Coolidge plays would-be designer Victoria, who throws a party to launch her new handbags. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "The 20 biggest 'Sex and the City' celebrity cameos you might have missed," 6 June 2018 She and her husband Andy built a fashion empire around her signature handbags, counting celebrities like actress Ellie Kemper among her clientele. CBS News, "Details emerge about Kate Spade's suicide note, personal struggles," 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

13 Apr 2019

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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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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