1 of 2


pan·​han·​dle ˈpan-ˌhan-dᵊl How to pronounce panhandle (audio)
: a narrow projection of a larger territory (such as a state)
the Oklahoma Panhandle


2 of 2


panhandled; panhandling ˈpan-ˌhan(d)-liŋ How to pronounce panhandle (audio)

intransitive verb

: to stop people on the street and ask for food or money : beg

transitive verb

: to accost on the street and beg from
: to get by panhandling
ˈpan-ˌhan(d)-lər How to pronounce panhandle (audio)

Examples of panhandle in a Sentence

Noun The Texas Panhandle is the northernmost part of the state. Verb He panhandled for his bus fare. There is a law against panhandling in the subway.
Recent Examples on the Web
One day, perhaps, the residents of Banner County, Neb. — a rural county in that state’s panhandle — might wake up and suddenly feel generous. Philip Bump, Washington Post, 21 June 2024 Butler, 27, and Kelley, 39, were traveling from Hugoton, Kansas, through the panhandle to pick up Butler’s two children for a birthday party. Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News, 21 May 2024
The calls were for various reasons, including theft, panhandling, and loitering. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 17 June 2024 The Texas County Sheriff’s Office asked for state help, and the OSBI found their vehicle abandoned on a rural highway in the Oklahoma panhandle about 11 miles south of Elkhart, Kansas, which abuts the state line about 260 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. Theresa Braine, New York Daily News, 14 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for panhandle 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'panhandle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



back-formation from panhandler, probably from panhandle, noun; from the extended forearm

First Known Use


1846, in the meaning defined above


1890, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of panhandle was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near panhandle

Cite this Entry

“Panhandle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
pan·​han·​dle ˈpan-ˌhan-dᵊl How to pronounce panhandle (audio)
: a narrow strip of territory that extends from a larger territory (as a state)
the Texas Panhandle


2 of 2 verb
panhandled; panhandling
: to beg for money on the street
-(d)lər How to pronounce panhandle (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!