handle

1 of 2

noun

han·​dle ˈhan-dᵊl How to pronounce handle (audio)
1
: a part that is designed especially to be grasped by the hand
2
: something that resembles a handle
3
a
: title sense 4
a royal handle
b
: name
also : nickname
went by his childhood handle
4
: hand sense 9c
the smooth handle of silk
5
: the total amount of money bet on a race, game, or event
6
: a means of understanding or controlling
can't quite get a handle on things
handled adjective
handleless adjective

handle

2 of 2

verb

handled; handling ˈhan(d)-liŋ How to pronounce handle (audio)
ˈhan-dᵊl-iŋ

transitive verb

1
a
: to try or examine (as by touching, feeling, or moving) with the hand
handle silk to judge its weight
b
: to manage with the hands
handle a horse
2
a
: to deal with in writing or speaking or in the plastic arts
He handles the topic briefly in his book.
b
: to have overall responsibility for supervising or directing : manage
a lawyer handles all my affairs
c
: to train and act as the assistant for (a boxer)
handles featherweight boxers
d
: to put up with : stand
can't handle the heat
3
: to act on or perform a required function with regard to
handle the day's mail
4
: to engage in the buying, selling, or distributing of (a commodity)

intransitive verb

: to act, behave, or respond in a certain way when handled or directed
a car that handles well
handleable adjective
Phrases
off the handle
: into a state of sudden and violent anger
usually used with fly
seemed ready to fly off the handle

Examples of handle in a Sentence

Noun He held the shovel by the handle. The handles on the bag were torn. Verb Handle the fruit carefully or it will bruise. The baked potatoes were too hot to handle with our bare hands. He knows how to handle a motorcycle. He handles his motorcycle well. She learned how to handle a weapon. She handles all the bookkeeping. The system is handled by the main computer. She's proven that she can handle anything. The airport handles both passenger and cargo flights. She couldn't handle being away from her children for more than a couple of days.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The steamer measures about 11 inches high by 6 inches wide, and has a large handle, according to the notice. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2024 Plus, the long handle reaches high places without needing to bend or strain. Camryn Rabideau, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2024 Advance Democracy researchers identified an account on X with the handle @alohatiger11, a reference to the Clemson University mascot which Bolling has expressed support for on his public Facebook page. David Gilbert, WIRED, 3 Apr. 2024 The vibe outside is more unified and streamlined than before, with conventional door handles replaced by flush grips that extend and retract automatically. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 2 Apr. 2024 The tests themselves look like plastic pregnancy tests, with long handles for gripping and positioning the test correctly in the urine stream. Sarah Bradley, Parents, 30 Mar. 2024 The electric scrubber's handle is designed with rubber grips, which increased our comfort while using it. Nicole Pyles, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Mar. 2024 What is the carry-on size restriction for United? Carry-on bags can measure no more than 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high, including handles and wheels. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 26 Mar. 2024 What's more, the cushioned handle and 360-degree spinner wheels make pushing and pulling very comfortable. Theresa Holland, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2024
Verb
Lucinda Prain handled the deal for Casarotto alongside Raffaella De Angelis who spearheaded the literary acquisition for Fremantle, overseen by Fremantle Global Drama CEO Christian Vesper and Global Drama COO Seb Shorr. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Apr. 2024 Post production for the pic will be handled at Tunnel Post in Santa Monica. Ed Meza, Variety, 8 Apr. 2024 While Mendota Mental Health Institute serves people in a variety of circumstances, Sand Ridge handles a much more specific population. Journal Sentinel, 8 Apr. 2024 Steve Lopez: Benny Wasserman handled the heat — in life and in the batting cage. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 In addition to supporting his presidential campaign, contributions will also be directed into a political action committee handling most of Mr. Trump's legal bills. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, 6 Apr. 2024 The Traffic Investigation Unit is handling the case. Harriet Ramos, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 6 Apr. 2024 Baltimore’s port handles more cars and farm equipment than any other similar facility in the country, and the disaster has created logistical problems up and down the East Coast. Lea Skene, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2024 Samara handles everything needed to get their backyard homes up and running, from permits to site preparation to installation. David Caraccio, Sacramento Bee, 5 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'handle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English handel, from Old English handle; akin to Old English hand

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of handle was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near handle

Cite this Entry

“Handle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handle. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

handle

1 of 2 noun
han·​dle ˈhan-dᵊl How to pronounce handle (audio)
1
: a part that is designed to be grasped by the hand
2
handled adjective

handle

2 of 2 verb
handled; handling ˈhan-(d)liŋ How to pronounce handle (audio)
-dᵊl-iŋ
1
a
: to touch, feel, hold, or move with the hand
b
: to manage with the hands
handle a horse
2
a
: to deal with or act on
handle a problem
b
: control entry 1 sense 1b, direct
an accountant handles my financial concerns
c
: to put up with : stand
can't handle the heat
3
: to deal or trade in
a store that handles rugs
4
: to act, behave, or respond in a certain way when managed or directed
a car that handles well
handler
ˈhan-(d)lər
-dᵊl-ər
noun

More from Merriam-Webster on handle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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