hand·​held ˈhan(d)-ˌheld How to pronounce handheld (audio)
: held in the hand
especially : designed to be operated while being held in the hand
handheld computers
handheld noun

Examples of handheld in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Given that the Go 4 can be used as a handheld tablet for much of the day, any savings here will have benefits throughout the working day. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Even technically, the film appears to be haphazardly assembled, with shaky handheld photography and editing that seems too truncated (the running time without credits is just over 80 minutes). Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2024 Or try this best-selling handheld vacuum that’ll make cleaning car seats and couch cushions a breeze. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 Find it on Amazon This Shower Head For The Ultimate Shower Experience Turn an ordinary shower into a luxurious experience with this Shower Head that comes with a handheld shower wand, a flexible hose, a smooth 3-way diverter, and an adjustable extension arm. Micaela Arnett, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 Finish each handheld treat with a drizzle of honey and vanilla whipped cream and serve in a short Mason jar ($11 for 12, Target). Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Feb. 2024 Every state has its own rules for cell phone use, and many have banned handheld phone use, phone use by teen or novice drivers, and text messaging. Rena Behar, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 For a handheld option, consider a cryotherapy face mask (clean it well afterward). Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 7 Feb. 2024 Early on in this diverting comic whodunnit — whose humor and theatricality are, admittedly, writ large — Smalls (a vibrant Debora Crabbe) demonstrates how to use a handheld cooling accessory as a weapon. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'handheld.' 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

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of handheld was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near handheld

Cite this Entry

“Handheld.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handheld. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


hand·​held -ˌheld How to pronounce handheld (audio)
: held in the hand
especially : designed to be used while being held in the hand
a handheld computer
handheld noun

More from Merriam-Webster on handheld

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!