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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


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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)

Example Sentences

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
Voters in Florida’s First Congressional District, in the westernmost part of the state’s panhandle, seemed largely unfazed by all the stories about him. Glenn Thrush, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2023 Cady said the storm is set to track through Louisiana through the evening, then across Mississippi and Alabama before arriving at the eastward tip of the Florida panhandle about midnight. Matthew Cappucci, Ben Brasch And Scott Dance, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Jan. 2023 Heading into the evening, the weather service said parts of the Florida panhandle, and the southeast of Alabama and Georgia were under tornado watches through 9 p.m. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2023 In 2009, Skelly set out to connect the wind farms of the Oklahoma panhandle with transmission lines in Tennessee. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 21 Sep. 2022 The ecosystem of the high desert around Boise is radically different from the timbered, mountainous terrain of the northern panhandle, the part of Idaho that, on a map, resembles the barrel of a gun. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 The winter storm treated some residents of the Florida panhandle to rare snow flurries yesterday, but the system brought much more dangerous conditions to southwest Florida, where at least two tornadoes destroyed at least 28 homes in Lee County. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 17 Jan. 2022 The second area of interest is a low pressure area moving from the Caribbean and developing in the southwestern portion of the Gulf around June 17 before impacting the Louisiana Gulf Coast line and the western tip of Florida’s panhandle. Joe Mario Pedersen,, 1 June 2021 As the sun sets Thursday, the severe threats will diminish as the line of storms moves into eastern Alabama, western Georgia and the Florida panhandle. Monica Garrett, CNN, 15 Feb. 2023
The lawsuit cites city presentations and council members’ public statements among arguments that Dallas’ median ban targets people who panhandle. Dallas News, 14 Dec. 2022 The interaction proved to be inspirational for all participants, who afterward set up their boxes and started to panhandle on the corners. John Benson, cleveland, 21 Feb. 2022 Keith Smith implored city leaders to protect other families from the men and women who panhandle for money on the streets of Baltimore. Tim Prudente,, 2 Dec. 2021 Krivonishchenko was briefly detained by police for playing his mandolin and pretending to panhandle in the train station. Douglas Preston, The New Yorker, 10 May 2021 The department has also spent nearly $8,000 on the city's Keys to Work program, which taps people experiencing homelessness or those who panhandle to clean up litter, to clean up around NCAA locations. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Mar. 2021 City outreach workers found most people who panhandle are experiencing homelessness. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, 3 Feb. 2021 Council member Casey Thomas said the city has to find different solutions to address why people panhandle. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, 3 Feb. 2021 Montgomery has agreed to halt its practice of arresting or ticketing people who panhandle. Connor Sheets |, al, 24 Nov. 2020 See More

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.

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 24 Mar. 2023.

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
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