hand·​out | \ ˈhand-ˌau̇t How to pronounce handout (audio) \

Definition of handout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a portion of food, clothing, or money given to or as if to a beggar
2 : a folder or circular of information for free distribution
3 : a prepared statement released to the news media

hand out

handed out; handing out; hands out

Definition of hand out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give without charge
b : to give freely
2 : administer handed out a severe punishment

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Examples of handout in a Sentence

Noun He sat on the sidewalk asking for a handout. The family wasn't interested in government handouts. The handouts had all the major points of his speech outlined on them. Verb no system yet in place for handing out room assignments
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the run-up to the vote, PiS courted voters with a combination of big handouts and social conservatism. The Economist, "Poland’s ruling populists win again," 17 Oct. 2019 The donations of Berkshire Hathaway stock are going Buffett’s own foundation and those of his three children, but his biggest handout is to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. SFChronicle.com, "RealReal stock fades a bit; Kardashian backs off on Kimono," 1 July 2019 Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po revealed the measures in a speech on Wednesday, announcing that each adult permanent resident in the city would receive a handout of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars, about $1,280. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Live updates: Coronavirus fears push Asian markets lower as outbreak spreads," 26 Feb. 2020 Opponents say the benefits of such incentives are inflated and amount to handouts for large companies. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "How much did his government pay for Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’? One man’s search for answers ends," 29 Aug. 2019 Representative Matt Gaetz started circulating a handout Tuesday night explaining his Medical Cannabis Research Act, with Goodlatte listed as a co-sponsor. Billy House, Bloomberg.com, "Medical Marijuana Bill Gains Backing of Key Republican in House," 25 Apr. 2018 Those handouts triggered a public spat between the union and supporters of Bernie Sanders in recent days, whose healthcare platform is defined by his single-payer healthcare proposal. Alexander Tin, CBS News, "Culinary Union announces it will not endorse a candidate before Nevada caucuses," 13 Feb. 2020 Locally in Tulsa, organizations working with the Zomi and the Burmese communities plan to get out the word about the ban through handouts at churches and schools. NBC News, "In Oklahoma, a Myanmar refugee community worries about Trump's expanded travel ban," 10 Feb. 2020 Whatever form the next settlement takes, palliative handouts to the aggrieved won’t suffice. Samuel Hammond, National Review, "The Return of Class Conflict," 6 Feb. 2020

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


1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for handout

Time Traveler

The first known use of handout was in 1648

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Statistics for handout

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handout. Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for handout


How to pronounce hand out (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of handout

: something (such as food, clothing, or money) that is given to someone who is poor
: a document that is given to people


hand·​out | \ ˈhand-ˌau̇t How to pronounce handout (audio) \

Kids Definition of handout

: something (as food, clothing, or money) given to a poor person

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More from Merriam-Webster on handout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handout

Spanish Central: Translation of handout

Nglish: Translation of handout for Spanish Speakers

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