hand·​shake | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌshāk How to pronounce handshake (audio) \

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

Negotiations kick off this week with handshake ceremonies hosted by one of the largest US unions and car manufacturers employing almost 150,000 members. Gabrielle Coppola, BostonGlobe.com, "Car plant closings, corruption color Detroit Three-UAW talks," 15 July 2019 Maybe Trump’s handshake with Kim Jong-un on North Korean soil will help bring that about. Justin D. Shapiro, National Review, "In Defense of Diplomacy with Despots, from 1776 to Today," 2 July 2019 After a handshake and exchange of words at the net with Williams, Gauff knelt by her sideline chair and tears welled in her eyes. Howard Fendrich, Twin Cities, "Coco Gauff, just 15, shocks 5-time champ Venus Williams at Wimbledon," 2 July 2019 After a handshake and exchange of words at the net with Williams, Gauff knelt by her sideline chair and tears welled in her eyes. Staff And Wire Report, sun-sentinel.com, "Delray Beach 15-year-old Coco Gauff upsets Venus Williams at Wimbledon; Boca’s Naomi Osaka falls in first round," 1 July 2019 Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell touched on softer corporate investment in his remarks last week — and that troubling trend is unlikely to be reversed by a round of handshakes in front of news cameras, analysts said. NBC News, "Trump-Xi trade announcement gives market 'breathing room' — for now," 1 July 2019 After Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez with a 101-mile-per-hour fastball, his teammates converged in the infield for their usual victory handshake line. James Wagner, New York Times, "Yankees Leave London With ‘Eye-Opening’ Wins Over Red Sox," 30 June 2019 All sides had apparently agreed on a handshake deal to spend $2 trillion on roads and bridges. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "In search of the Democratic Party's fighting spirit," 20 June 2019 People think that a Mary Boone story suggests malfeasance in the art market but actually, most dealers still do their business by handshake deals, and abide by them. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Why the Art Market Will Soon See the First Billion Dollar Sale," 19 June 2019

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

18 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce handshake (audio) \

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

Comments on handshake

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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