hand·​shake | \ˈhan(d)-ˌshāk \

Definition of handshake 

: 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

He was greeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin with a big smile and a high-five that turned into a handshake. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Saudi Prince Gets High-Five From Putin at G-20 Summit," 30 Nov. 2018 And William got a handshake from this adorable tiny fan. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Adorably Met Kids at Coach Core in Essex," 30 Oct. 2018 The volunteers are not allowed to touch their clients other than a handshake. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis attorney returns from border with stories she could not 'fathom'," 12 July 2018 Watt gave a handshake to Hinch before embracing each of the three players and posing for a picture with the group. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "J.J. Watt presents Astros with their All-Star jerseys," 12 July 2018 Last years’ visit to Brussels also produced the famous mano a mano handshake between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron. Washington Post, "Friend or foe at NATO? Who knows when Trump comes to dinner," 10 July 2018 Alton Strupp, Louisville Courier Journal Just days before their contracts with Dean Foods run out, nine Kentucky dairy farmers met with an Ohio co-op, and made a handshake deal to sell their milk. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "As Dean Milk contract ends, some farmers pick up a last-minute hope," 29 June 2018 The meeting would come after a handshake between the pair at 9 a.m. SGT (9 p.m. EDT Monday), the AP reported. Michelle Ewing, ajc, "North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un plan to meet alone, plus translators, official says," 11 June 2018 CORVALLIS - On Thursday night at Gill Coliseum after No. 14 Arizona came back to beat Oregon State in overtime, competing coaches Sean Miller and Wayne Tinkle exchanged handshakes before leaving the court. Danny Moran, OregonLive.com, "As FBI investigation consumes college basketball, Wayne Tinkle to focus on 'doing things the way we're doing them'," 25 Feb. 2018

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

1802, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for handshake

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for handshake

The first known use of handshake was in 1802

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More Definitions for handshake



English Language Learners Definition of handshake

: the act of grasping someone's right hand with your right hand and moving it up and down : the act of shaking hands; also : the manner in which a person shakes hands


hand·​shake | \ˈhand-ˌshāk \

Kids Definition of handshake

: a clasping of hands by two people (as in greeting)

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More from Merriam-Webster on handshake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handshake

Spanish Central: Translation of handshake

Nglish: Translation of handshake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handshake for Arabic Speakers

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