hand·book | \ˈhan(d)-ˌbu̇k \

Definition of handbook 

1a : a book capable of being conveniently carried as a ready reference : manual

b : a concise reference book covering a particular subject

2a : a bookmaker's book of bets

b : a place where bookmaking is carried on

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Synonyms for handbook


manual, primer, text, textbook

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Examples of handbook in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hillis’s slim handbook aimed to convince her reader that, with a stiff upper lip and a healthy dose of economic self-indulgence, being an unpaired woman could be not just tolerable but liberating. Ashley Fetters, Curbed, "Living alone and liking it," 20 June 2018 The 2017 Tiger Band handbook and syllabus explains this further. Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com, "LSU Golden Girls, Colorguard are only Tiger Band members with weight restrictions," 9 May 2018 Executive director Bill Gaine countered that there is an icon in the handbook on transgender athletes, but agreed that the language could be clarified. Nate Weitzer, BostonGlobe.com, "Nobles boys’ lacrosse remains in title hunt," 24 May 2018 The reports said the police had confiscated an Islamic State flag and a handbook on terrorist operations. Joe Cochrane, New York Times, "Indonesia Sword Attack on Police Follows String of Deadly Bombings," 16 May 2018 Often, employee handbooks are designed solely to address problems between coworkers, Hewka said. Allison Steele, Philly.com, "Jury orders man who injured Scarpetta waitress to pay $3 million," 26 June 2018 Around 28,000 students sat for the test for September 2017 admission, according to an exam handbook with practice tests that is available online. Chris Fuchs /, NBC News, "Plan to diversify New York's top high schools divides Asian-American groups," 18 June 2018 The association publishes a handbook of psychiatric diseases called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM. Melissa Healy, Washington Post, "World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease. Why American psychiatrists don’t," 2 July 2018 The association publishes a handbook of psychiatric diseases called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, also known as the DSM. Melissa Healy, ajc, "World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handbook.' 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 handbook

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for handbook

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handbook

The first known use of handbook was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for handbook



English Language Learners Definition of handbook

: a small book that gives useful information about a particular subject


hand·book | \ˈhand-ˌbu̇k \

Kids Definition of handbook

: a book of facts usually about one subject

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