hand·​bag | \ˈhan(d)-ˌbag \

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

For its part, StockX takes a cut of every sale: 9.5% on sneakers and streetwear, 9.9% on any watch sale and 14.5% for any handbag sale. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "This Website Is the Stock Market for Nikes and Rolexes," 26 Nov. 2018 Princess Diana did it back in the '80s, Princess Anne has reworn nearly 40-year-old outfits, and the Queen holds onto vintage handbags for decades. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Almost No One Realized Meghan Markle Wore a Repeat Outfit This Weekend," 23 Oct. 2018 One of Coach's capsule-collection designers apparently wants to see the famous pattern on more than just handbags and footwear, though, sending a model down a London Fashion Week runway with the Coach logo dyed into a buzzcut. Marci Robin, Allure, "Model Finn Buchanan Wore a Coach-Logo Buzzcut on the Matty Bovan Runway," 15 Sep. 2018 The designer used her iconic aesthetic to craft clothing, home accessories, and, perhaps most famously, handbags. refinery29.com, "Celebrities React To Kate Spade's Death," 5 June 2018 The Duchess of Cambridge wore a lilac A-line Emilia Wickstead dress and a crocodile Aspinal of London handbag. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears an Emilia Wickstead Dress to the Global Mental Health Summit with Prince William," 9 Oct. 2018 An Idea Emerges Monica Zwirner and Lucy Wallace Eustice launched their handbag brand, MZ Wallace, in 2000 with a mission to provide high-quality accessories for women. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Show You "Give a Damn" With This New Bag Benefitting She Should Run," 5 Oct. 2018 Retailers from luggage maker Samsonite International SA to handbag seller Steven Madden Ltd. have said they will be forced to raise prices for American buyers. Daniela Wei, The Seattle Times, "Winners and losers from Trump’s tariffs," 18 Sep. 2018 Inside was a custom Balenciaga handbag printed with images of dollar bills. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "McDonald's Hash Browns and Bacon Donuts: See All the Food at Khloé Kardashian's Birthday Bash," 28 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

7 Dec 2018

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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 \

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).


having a pattern of small flowers

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