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

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: Noun According to one handout, the wipes are a fabric, not paper. cleveland, 28 Apr. 2022 Governor Hochul is spearheading the handout project. The Editors, National Review, 23 Apr. 2022 In a seven-page handout that included photos of himself, his siblings and his three children, Wright highlighted his different achievements. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 19 Apr. 2022 Harry Edward Greenwell had extensive criminal history Greenwell's criminal history was detailed in a handout given to reporters by police. Sarah Nelson, The Courier-Journal, 6 Apr. 2022 Greenwell's criminal history was detailed in a handout given to reporters by police. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Apr. 2022 The policy using tax dollars to subsidize car registration holders essentially allocates a handout being paid by everyone else. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Apr. 2022 Both events followed a chaotic gas handout last Thursday when hundreds of motorists besieged a West Side gas station, causing traffic jams and unmanageable crowds in pursuit of $50 in free gas donated by Wilson. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, 21 Mar. 2022 Civilians gather outside a residential building damaged by shelling in Kyiv, in this handout picture released Friday. NBC News, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near handout

hand organ


hand out

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Statistics for handout

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Handout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handout. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for handout


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

Nglish: Translation of handout for Spanish Speakers


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