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 The iconic handshake required the 11-year-old star to jump, bump hips and remember a series of hand movements along with her scene partner. Alexia Fernández, PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2021 And, perhaps underscoring a far different mood than last year, the budget deal did not end with just the typical handshake. New York Times, 30 June 2021 Not everyone is happy that the handshake is making its way back. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, 29 June 2021 First, become comfortable asking about others' comfort levels directly, before going in for that handshake or hug. Megan Ranney And Elizabeth Stuart, CNN, 11 June 2021 Reed buried the putt and walked over to Karain, who greeted him with a handshake and fist bump. BostonGlobe.com, 22 May 2021 My fellow counselors and I would typically offer them a choice: Hug, handshake or high five? Time, 24 June 2021 So when the game ended, George embraced Clippers owner Steve Ballmer with a hug, a handshake and a few laughs. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 17 June 2021 Reed buried the putt and walked over to Karain, who greeted him with a handshake and fist bump. BostonGlobe.com, 22 May 2021

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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The first known use of handshake was in 1802

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Handshake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handshake. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on handshake

Nglish: Translation of handshake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handshake for Arabic Speakers


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