hand·​shake ˈhan(d)-ˌshāk How to pronounce handshake (audio)
: a clasping usually of right hands by two people (as in greeting or farewell)

Examples of handshake in a Sentence

She greeted him with a handshake. He has a firm handshake.
Recent Examples on the Web Throughout the morning, Paz makes a point of greeting drivers and vendors by name, usually with handshakes that end in hugs. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2024 Hollywood has been more generous with his famous handshake (which indicates a phenomenal bake). Antonia Debianchi, Peoplemag, 23 May 2024 Auburn is where Otto once had a walnut farm and Burger King restaurants, the eateries full of his memorabilia and his assuring smile and firm handshake as a hands-on owner in the 1980s. Joe Davidson, Sacramento Bee, 20 May 2024 No secret agreements with favor seekers, no back alley handshakes to foment deals that smell of personal agendas. Patrick Wallis, Baltimore Sun, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for handshake 

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

1802, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of handshake was in 1802

Dictionary Entries Near handshake

Cite this Entry

“Handshake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handshake. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


hand·​shake -ˌshāk How to pronounce handshake (audio)
: a clasping of hands by two people especially in greeting or farewell

More from Merriam-Webster on handshake

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