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 The company still has about $2.27 billion in remaining debt, according to the handout. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "When SPACs Come Calling, 5 Things a Startup CFO Needs to Know," 29 Mar. 2021 As the city faces another surge in coronavirus cases, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said on Sunday the government will give a HK$5,000 ($645) handout to anyone in the city who tests positive to encourage people to undergo testing. Nectar Gan, Shanshan Wang And Shawn Deng, CNN, "Shanghai airport momentarily descends into chaos after workers test positive for Covid-19," 23 Nov. 2020 Download a handout provided by the webinar sponsor, BD Biosciences, here. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "STAT Webinar: Future directions for cancer immunotherapy," 24 Mar. 2021 PeachCare feels less like taking the kind of government handout that’s been demonized by politicians. Benjamin Mazer, Wired, "There Should Be a Nobel Prize for Vaccine Logistics," 6 Jan. 2021 In other words, repealing the estate tax would be a massive handout to rich families, enabling them to concentrate their wealth to an extent the Founding Fathers found inimical to society. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Countering Dem relief package, GOP proposes a huge giveaway to the rich," 10 Mar. 2021 President Biden’s proposal to cancel student debt is a regressive handout that fails to hold accountable the true perpetrators of the debt crisis: the universities. WSJ, "Canceling Student Debt: Is $10,000 Too Much or Not Enough?," 2 Mar. 2021 The Marshall Plan for Moms campaign isn't asking for a handout. Star Tribune, "Help needed for moms pushed out the workforce by pandemic," 7 Feb. 2021 As debate unfolded in the Senate, Republican lawmakers denounced the proposal as an unfair handout to people in the country illegally. Washington Post, "Maryland passed the nation’s largest tax credit for the poor. Democrats want it for noncitizens, too.," 20 Feb. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Handout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handout. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for handout



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

More from Merriam-Webster on handout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handout

Nglish: Translation of handout for Spanish Speakers

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