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hand·​out ˈhand-ˌau̇t How to pronounce handout (audio)
: a portion of food, clothing, or money given to or as if to a beggar
: a folder or circular of information for free distribution
: a prepared statement released to the news media

hand out

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handed out; handing out; hands out

transitive verb

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
That’s a definition of health from a handout from the Global Scrub Choir and the WHO. Joan Michelson, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 In this handout photo provided by the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, musician Darius Rucker is seen in a police booking photo after being arrested on misdemeanor drug charges on February 1 in Williamson County, Tennessee. Jamiel Lynch, CNN, 1 Feb. 2024 This handout photo from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department shows Brian David Mitchell March 12, 2003, in Salt Lake City. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 28 Jan. 2024 Others argue that aid that might appear to be a handout to Ukraine is actually enhancing national security by creating thousands of defense sector jobs and strengthening the U.S. defense industry – which some claim had lost capacity over recent years to respond to multiplying military threats. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Dec. 2023 Yet other states have recognized that this new handout will see spiraling enrollment and mounting red ink. Tarren Bragdon, National Review, 23 Jan. 2024 While Musk has generally blamed the West’s unwillingness to work longer hours on workers’ sheer laziness, the BIS has blamed the phenomenon on COVID handouts. Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 5 Dec. 2023 His handout contained a few quotations clarifying the point. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2023 Sometimes travelers feel pressured to take a tour, go to a club, or accept a handout from someone on the street who then strikes up a conversation. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 24 Dec. 2023
On the heels of its season four finale, the premium cable network has handed out a fifth-season renewal for the anthology. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2024 Jaquez has already established himself as one of the NBA’s top rookies this season after the Heat selected him with the 18th overall pick in last year’s draft, winning two of the first three Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month awards handed out this season. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 18 Feb. 2024 The only way Krell could locate the child was by searching through all the identification numbers issued to people who were picked up by the Border Patrol on the day the mother and son arrived, and track down the ones handed out just before and after Patricia got hers. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 In 2023, Delta handed out over 1.5 million cards, according to a spokesperson. Rachel Ventresca, Fortune, 16 Feb. 2024 All national parks hand out maps and literature warning park guests not to approach or feed wildlife. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 Last month, the company handed out £125 ($157.87) store credit vouchers to everyone who bought a Pixel 8 directly from Google. Janhoi McGregor, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Quartz’s Laura Bratton lists the organizations that have handed out pink slips since January. 5 great stories from elsewhere 💌 Inbox hysteria. Susan Howson, Quartz, 11 Feb. 2024 Earthshot is planning to run for 10 years, handing out more than $50 million in prizes in that time. Simon Perry, Peoplemag, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

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


1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of handout was in 1648

Dictionary Entries Near handout

Cite this Entry

“Handout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handout. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


hand·​out ˈhan-ˌdau̇t How to pronounce handout (audio)
: food, clothing, or money given to a beggar
: an information sheet for free distribution
: a prepared statement released to the press

More from Merriam-Webster on handout

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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