handle

noun
han·​dle | \ ˈhan-dᵊl How to pronounce handle (audio) \

Definition of handle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part that is designed especially to be grasped by the hand
2 : something that resembles a handle
3a : title sense 4 a royal handle
b : name also : nickname went by his childhood handle
4 : hand sense 11c 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
off the handle
: into a state of sudden and violent anger usually used with fly seemed ready to fly off the handle

handle

verb
handled; handling\ ˈhan(d)-​liŋ How to pronounce handling (audio) , ˈhan-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of handle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from handle

Noun

handled \ ˈhan-​dᵊld How to pronounce handled (audio) \ adjective
handleless \ ˈhan-​dᵊl-​(l)əs How to pronounce handleless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

handleable \ ˈhan-​dᵊl-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce handleable (audio) \ adjective

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her handle on Instagram (which, let’s face it, is the only place that counts) now reads Christina Anstead. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Christina El Moussa Has Officially Changed Her Name to Christina Anstead," 10 Jan. 2019 Little Kaavia James even has her own Instagram handle. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "2018 Really Blessed Us With Some Cute Celebrity Babies," 30 Dec. 2018 This nonstick frying pan will serve one or two people just fine thanks to its lightweight design and foldable handle. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 But Fultz is shown throwing down dunks and working on his handle in a different gym than Embiid later in the day. Ej Smith, Philly.com, "Video: Joel Embiid takes on Jayson Tatum and Mo Bamba, Markelle Fultz practices with Drew Hanlen," 11 July 2018 No individual media figure has embraced this basketball social media cottage industry than Rob Perez, more commonly known by his Twitter handle, @World_Wide_Wob. Kirk A. Bado, azcentral, "NBA Summer League bets on importance of engaging off the court," 11 July 2018 Hannah-Jones, whose 75,000 Twitter followers see her handle as Ida Bae Wells, also worked to create the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Journalism, designed to increase and elevate investigative work by people of color. Peter Slevin, chicagotribune.com, "'You can’t just gloss over this history': The movement to honor Ida B. Wells gains momentum," 18 June 2018 Furthermore, officials say, the track’s ability to raise purses is restricted by its handle, its schedule and its contractual agreements. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "The big payout isn't always money in the Kentucky Derby, it's glory," 5 May 2018 Enter below, and earn a second entry for sharing on your personal Twitter handle. Daily Intelligencer, "Win a Spot in This Perfect NYC Workspace," 25 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here’s some information on how to handle chemotherapy side effects. 3. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Are My Options for Ovarian Cancer Treatment?," 13 Dec. 2018 Fans have been freaking out since the news broke Tuesday afternoon, and Kylie apparently doesn't know how to handle the situation. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Are Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods Living Together? Here's What We Know," 20 Feb. 2019 These objects are just consistently inspiring to look at, handle, and think about. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "The Museum of Modern Art's Upcoming 'Value of Good Design' Exhibit is Not One to Miss," 7 Feb. 2019 Further, instructions for handling require precautionary measures for handling chemicals and suggest wearing protective respiration gear, gloves, and safety glasses. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Teenagers in Indonesia Are Reportedly Boiling Menstrual Pads to Get High," 15 Nov. 2018 Kelsey’s naivety in handling the incident puts her in peril when Claire convinces her to take down the Vice President by falsely linking him to Tom’s death, an event that Claire herself caused. Lonnie Firestone, Glamour, "House of Cards' Final Season Is About Women Gaining Power—at the Expense of Other Women," 10 Nov. 2018 To handle fear in the moment, one tactic worth trying is to mentally bring yourself to the present when your concerns start to take over, Zucker suggests. Korin Miller, SELF, "Pregnancy After Miscarriage: Why I Can't Shake the Fear of Another Pregnancy Loss," 15 Feb. 2019 Whilst the bawling politicians send Britain hurtling towards a no-deal crash-out from Europe at the end of March, the U.K. government is surreptitiously hiring crisis-emergency personnel to handle the unplanned-for chaos. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019 The big airports envisioned for lots of A380 traffic, like Dubai, Singapore and London, added gate infrastructure to handle the bigger planes. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Airports Worried the A380 Was Too Big. Turns Out, That Wasn’t the Problem.," 14 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of handle

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

History and Etymology for handle

Noun and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about handle

Statistics for handle

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for handle

handle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of handle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part of something that is designed to be held by your hand

handle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of handle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to touch, feel, hold, or move (something) with your hand
: to manage or control (something) with your hands
: to do the work required for (something)

handle

noun
han·​dle | \ ˈhan-dəl How to pronounce handle (audio) \

Kids Definition of handle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part by which something (as a dish or tool) is picked up or held

Other Words from handle

handled \ -​dəld \ adjective a short-handled broom

handle

verb
handled; handling

Kids Definition of handle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to touch, feel, hold, or move with the hand Please don't handle the merchandise.
2 : to manage or control especially with the hands He knows how to handle a motorcycle.
3 : manage sense 1, direct His wife handles the money.
4 : to deal with or act on Firing—the final step in the process … —was handled well by no man.— Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard
5 : to deal or trade in This store handles electronics.
6 : to put up with I can't handle this heat.

Other Words from handle

handler \ ˈhand-​lər \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on handle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handle

Spanish Central: Translation of handle

Nglish: Translation of handle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on handle

What made you want to look up handle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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