pan·​han·​dle | \ ˈpan-ˌhan-dᵊl How to pronounce panhandle (audio) \

Definition of panhandle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a narrow projection of a larger territory (such as a state) the Oklahoma Panhandle


panhandled; panhandling\ ˈpan-​ˌhan(d)-​liŋ How to pronounce panhandling (audio) , -​ˌhan-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of panhandle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

1 : to accost on the street and beg from
2 : to get by panhandling

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Other Words from panhandle


panhandler \ ˈpan-​ˌhan(d)-​lər How to pronounce panhandler (audio) , -​ˌhan-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hurricane Zeta is forecast to pass over the Yucatan Peninsula and into Gulf of Mexico Thursday on a path for the northern U.S. Gulf Coast, possibly including the Florida panhandle. Aric Chokey,, "MAP: Here’s the latest forecast track of Hurricane Zeta," 26 Oct. 2020 Forecasters said there is an increasing risk of storm surge, heavy rainfall, damaging winds and tornadoes from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. Carlie Wells,, "Tropical Storm Zeta near hurricane strength as it heads for Gulf of Mexico: See track," 26 Oct. 2020 Hurricane Zeta formed southeast of Cancun, Mexico, on Monday and the National Hurricane Center is warning residents along the U.S. Gulf coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle to prepare for yet another hurricane landfall. Robin Webb,, "Hurricane Zeta forms along a track toward storm-weary U.S. Gulf coast," 26 Oct. 2020 Louisiana and Florida' panhandle downgrading from a hurricane back into a tropical storm status. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Tropical Storm Zeta projected to become Category 1 hurricane moving toward Mexico, could affect Florida later this week," 26 Oct. 2020 Last month, Hurricane Sally demonstrated how unpredictable big storms can be: Gulf residents were on high alert as far west as New Orleans, but Sally ended up making landfall in Alabama — and causing severe damage to the Florida panhandle. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "In the Path of Six Major Storms Since June, Louisiana Braces for Delta," 8 Oct. 2020 As for Delta, the storm is predicted to make landfall as a hurricane anywhere between the upper Texas coast to the Florida panhandle late Friday or early Saturday. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Galveston, Bolivar could experience 'minor' coastal flooding from Hurricane Delta," 6 Oct. 2020 While forecasters are unsure exactly where and when Delta could hit, areas from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle could see dangerous conditions. Alex Connor, USA TODAY, "Trump card pulled on stimulus bill," 6 Oct. 2020 Widespread rainfall totals along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the panhandle of Florida are forecast to be between 6 to 10 inches; however, some cities could see up to 2 feet of rainfall. Allison Chinchar And Haley Brink, CNN, "5 tropical cyclones are in the Atlantic at the same time for only the second time in history," 14 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb People will not be allowed to panhandle within 50 feet of a business or public monument, and e-cigarette and tobacco stores will have to pay greater fines for selling to underage customers starting July 1. Anne Snabes, The Indianapolis Star, "New driver safety and tobacco use laws go into effect July 1. Here's what you need to know.," 1 July 2020 Meanwhile, residents continued to wander in and out, even panhandling among the sick patients waiting outside the hospital. Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, "“Did I Mess This Up?” A Father Dying From Coronavirus, a Distraught Daughter and a Midnight Rescue.," 25 Apr. 2020 Gone are the buskers promoting shows, the panhandling costumed characters, the Naked Cowboy and the fake monks and the school groups and the selfie sticks. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "Frequently Asked Questions and Advice," 11 Apr. 2020 Consider: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department enforced existing state law on panhandling fewer than 10 times last year, according to spokeswoman Aliya Wishner. Amelia Pak-harvey, Indianapolis Star, "Proposed restrictions on panhandling are controversial. But would they make a difference?," 1 Mar. 2020 Mobile passed a panhandling law in 2010 that states panhandling is only allowed outside of a popular downtown area. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "Alabama police chief apologizes for 'insensitive' viral photo of officers holding 'homeless quilt'," 31 Dec. 2019 Police arrested her on charges of panhandling and engaging in conduct that implies threat of injury. Fox News, "Florida begger charged with threatening to beat up woman who wouldn't give her $1," 28 Oct. 2019 In the sunshine outside the gas station on the corner of East 15th Avenue and Ingra Street, Duane Cullum, 63, panhandled from drivers stopped at the red light. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage homeless services brace for spread of coronavirus," 13 Mar. 2020 But groups striving to boost downtown Indianapolis development supported the change at Wednesday's committee meeting, noting that panhandling drives away business. Amelia Pak-harvey, Indianapolis Star, "Proposed restrictions on panhandling are controversial. But would they make a difference?," 1 Mar. 2020

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


1846, in the meaning defined above


1890, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for panhandle


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

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Time Traveler for panhandle

Time Traveler

The first known use of panhandle was in 1846

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Statistics for panhandle

Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Panhandle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for panhandle


How to pronounce panhandle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of panhandle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : a part of a land area (such as a state) that is narrow and sticks out from a larger area



English Language Learners Definition of panhandle (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US : to ask strangers for money in a public place (such as on a sidewalk)

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