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


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.


no system yet in place for handing out room assignments
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The cost of each class is $45 and includes art supplies, handouts, snacks and something to sip — wine or sparkling water. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rotary volunteers at Stand Down San Diego," 29 Aug. 2019 At the capitol in Boise, Redman circulated a handout that included a picture of a severed hand and a man kneeling to be beheaded, offered as portrayals of the threat Sharia poses to Western society. USA Today, "These copycat bills on Sharia law and terrorism have no effect. So why do states keep passing them?," 18 July 2019 Not one is on welfare nor ever has been, not one expected a government handout. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: College for all? Wake up, America," 14 July 2019 William was not forgiven, however, to the extent of a handout. National Geographic, "Jane Goodall’s original tale of chimpanzees still astonishes today," 17 Apr. 2019 The actual jacket handout is going to make for a dramatic episode, that's for sure. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "Why The Abby Lee Miller 'Dance Moms' Jackets Are Such A Big Deal," 14 Aug. 2019 Methodist also did not respond to multiple questions about the discounting program referenced by the handout at Methodist South. Wendi C. Thomas, ProPublica, "This Memphis Hospital System Flouts IRS Rules by Not Publicly Posting Financial Assistance Policies," 27 June 2019 The Senate Republican conference on Thursday adopted a permanent ban on such parochial handouts, an effort led by Nebraska’s Ben Sasse. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Stick a Fork in Senate Pork," 23 May 2019 Migrants gather daily beneath shade trees in Tapachula’s central plaza, waiting for food handouts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "At Mexico’s southern border, migrants feel the pinch of a crackdown spurred by U.S.," 13 June 2019

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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Statistics for handout

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handout

The first known use of handout was in 1648

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handout

Spanish Central: Translation of handout

Nglish: Translation of handout for Spanish Speakers

Comments on handout

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


recurring in steady succession

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