han·​dling | \ ˈhan(d)-liŋ How to pronounce handling (audio) , ˈhan-dᵊl-iŋ\

Definition of handling

1a : the action of one that handles something
b : a process by which something is handled in a commercial transaction especially : the packaging and shipping of an object or material (as to a consumer)
2 : the manner in which something is treated (as in a musical, literary, or art work)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of handling in a Sentence

These items require careful handling. There are additional charges for shipping and handling. The car's handling was smooth.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The man was charged with improper handling of a firearm, driving with an expired plate, driving under suspension and for not wearing a seat belt. cleveland.com, "Man, 50, arrested for arranging sexual meet-up with boy, 15: Solon Police Blotter," 12 July 2019 Top Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates had demanded that Acosta resign over his handling of the agreement, which a federal judge has said violated federal law because Acosta did not notify Epstein’s victims of the arrangement. Darlene Superville And Jill Colvin, Time, "Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta Resigns After Criticism of Epstein Plea Deal," 12 July 2019 Charles is a member of the opposition party that has taken issue with the majority party’s handling of the situation. NBC News, "Trinidad criticized for lack of action as Venezuelan migrants flee to the island nation," 10 July 2019 This would interfere greatly with the Board's handling of the functions, operations, and supervision of the university. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Wayne State: We don't have to meet in public, so suit against us should be tossed," 9 July 2019 In addition to the failures with notifications from other states, the Massachusetts RMV also showed a more specific lapse with its handling of commercial driver's licenses. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "In wake of deadly N.H. biker crash, thousands of out-of-state traffic notices found untouched in bins," 2 July 2019 And Damon Joy was not only impressed with T-Pain's handling of his hits, but also his finesse, likening the rapper and singer to a gazelle. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From Lizzo to Lonely Island, here's the best and worst of Summerfest 2019 in Milwaukee so far," 1 July 2019 At least one campaign took issue with NBC’s handling of the event. Tarini Parti And Eliza Collins, WSJ, "Offstage in Miami, Democratic Candidates Search for Spotlight," 27 June 2019 Many participants in that protest were also expressing frustration with the government's handling of an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and its effect on the economy, as well as a host of minor scandals. James Griffiths, CNN, "Hong Kong's protest movement was on life support. Then the government revived it," 10 June 2019

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about handling

Statistics for handling

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handling

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for handling



English Language Learners Definition of handling

: the act of touching, feeling, holding, or moving something
: the way that someone deals with a person, event, situation, etc.
: the act or process of packing and shipping something to someone (such as a customer)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on handling

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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