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


The Texas Panhandle is the northernmost part of the state.


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

Richardson, and a Central Florida strike team, drove to the panhandle to assist in cleanup, however transport to the Pensacola Bay area became extremely difficult because of a quarter mile of bridge that had collapsed in the bay. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "‘Nightmare scenario’: 15 years since Florida was beaten, bruised by 4 hurricanes in 6 weeks," 22 Aug. 2019 Meteorologists issued extreme heat advisories stretching from the East Coast through the panhandle of Texas and the Midwest. Ali Watkins, New York Times, "Heat Wave in New York: 50,000 Con Edison Customers Lose Power," 21 July 2019 The strandings in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida have been declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) by NOAA. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "More than 260 dolphins found stranded along the Gulf Coast since February. Scientists aren't sure why.," 16 June 2019 Briles starred while playing for his father at a high school near the state’s panhandle. Los Angeles Times, "Worthy of a second chance? Art Briles coaching high schoolers after sexual assault scandal," 1 Sep. 2019 Alaska Airlines confirmed that flights 64 and 65 had lightning strikes from storms that moved through the northern panhandle and also knocked out power in Juneau. Joe Viechnicki, Anchorage Daily News, "Lightning strikes Alaska Airlines jets in Southeast," 28 Aug. 2019 Eleven panhandle Waffle House store managers turned off the lights of their 24-hour, hash brown diner establishments and locked the doors. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "‘Smothered, covered and recover’ - be like the Waffle House jump team, when prepping for a hurricane," 5 Aug. 2019 Extreme heat blanketed much of the continent, stretching as far as the Great Lakes and the Texas panhandle. New York Times, "Heat Wave NYC: Live Updates as Dangerous Temperatures Arrive," 20 July 2019 In 1904, crews of men from both the U.S. and Canada started work on the panhandle of Southeast Alaska. Anchorage Daily News, "The thin line between Alaska and Canada," 13 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Brendan Reilly, 42nd, had regular contact with the owners, warning that alcohol sales, loitering and panhandling were creating crime problems in the area. William Lee,, "7-Eleven settles in death of hotel worker knocked down and then run over outside Near North store," 5 Sep. 2019 Once out of the jail Brenden struggled at times, and in 2017, he was issued a ticket for panhandling in Steelyard Commons. Adam Ferrise,, "Mother of man who died of suicide in Cuyahoga County Jail: “They failed him”," 15 Aug. 2019 Mississippi Jackson: The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi is asking 16 cities to eliminate local laws that penalize panhandling. USA TODAY, "Barbie, Tupac, scorpions and Red Vines: News from around our 50 states," 19 July 2019 In the fall of 2010, Ellis was arrested for panhandling with a cardboard sign on the side of the highway. J.d. Crowe |,, "Alabama’s homeless veterans: Marine vet beats alcohol and cancer," 9 July 2019 Most nights, Jeremias Ortiz has to shoo away homeless people who sleep and panhandle outside his restaurant, El Salvadoreño in Duarte. Alexa Díaz,, "Rise in homeless numbers prompts outrage and alarm across L.A. County," 5 June 2019 After 6 years of panhandling on the Drag, David Carter has been readmitted to @UTAustin and will resume his degree this week. Ali Gostanian, NBC News, "Formerly homeless man readmitted to University of Texas after leaving school in 1975," 5 June 2019 The proposal is similar to an ordinance passed two years ago in Lexington, which was passed after the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down an anti-panhandling ordinance, arguing the practice is constitutionally protected free speech. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "If you panhandle or jaywalk, a proposed Louisville road safety ordinance could mean a fine," 5 Sep. 2018 In July 2017, following a series of court rulings that found anti-panhandling laws elsewhere in the nation to be unconstitutional, Orlando overturned its 2000 ordinance that limited solicitation to a series of boxes outlined in blue paint. Kate Santich,, "Downtown Orlando panhandling soaring, leaders say," 9 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near panhandle

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Statistics for panhandle

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for panhandle

The first known use of panhandle was in 1846

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More Definitions for panhandle



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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with panhandle

Comments on panhandle

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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