hand·​set | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌset How to pronounce handset (audio) \

Definition of handset

: a combined telephone transmitter and receiver mounted on a handheld device

Examples of handset in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Someone stepping up to a kettle can tap a smartphone against a sensor, or use the handset’s camera to scan a code. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Salvation Army rolls out Google, Apple Pay donations at red kettles," 26 Nov. 2019 This is necessary even though watchOS 6 supports all Watch models now because watchOS 6 only works with iPhones that can run iOS 13, but some users are on older handsets. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple releases macOS Catalina 10.15.1 and watchOS 6.1," 30 Oct. 2019 Kenya was also cited for making internet access available for millions of its citizens by eliminating a tax on handsets. Kieron Monks, CNN, "Africans face most expensive internet charges in the world, new report says," 22 Oct. 2019 European regulators have also fined Google to the tune of $5 billion for tactics involving Android, finding that Google forced handset makers to install Google apps, thereby increasing its reach. CBS News, "48 U.S. states launch antitrust investigation into Google," 9 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, Apple’s older iPhones will still be available but at a lower price — the iPhone 8 will start at $449, and the iPhone XR will go for $599, a solid deal for a still-perfectly-fine handset. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "How to Decide Between Apple's New iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max," 11 Dec. 2018 Qualcomm historically has licensed patents by charging device makers a percentage of the sales price up to $400 on handsets. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Qualcomm Suffers Setback in Antitrust Battle," 6 Nov. 2018 All about that hinge But even with low-end specs and an outrageous price tag, the Motorola razr is definitely an interesting handset. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "The new Motorola razr preys on your 2004 nostalgia (and 2019 FOMO) with a $1,500 folding clamshell," 14 Nov. 2019 The transition from handset juggernaut to invisible technological unguent was not without casualties. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Nokia’s collapse turned a sleepy town in Finland into an internet wonderland," 29 Oct. 2019

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

1901, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for handset

Time Traveler

The first known use of handset was in 1901

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Statistics for handset

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Handset.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handsets. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for handset


How to pronounce handset (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of handset

: the part of a telephone that you hold near your ear and mouth for listening and speaking

More from Merriam-Webster on handset

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handset

Nglish: Translation of handset for Spanish Speakers

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