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 panhandle (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 panhandle (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 From the panhandle to the Rio Grande Valley and from El Paso to Beaumont, the visitors come. James Barragán, Dallas News, "‘Interaction is not happening’: Groups say access to Texas lawmakers more difficult during COVID-19," 26 Apr. 2021 The state has so far confirmed cases of virus strains from the United Kingdom, California and Brazil, mostly concentrated in the northern part of the state and eastern panhandle. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Jill Biden, Gay Men’s Chorus, eel fishery: News from around our 50 states," 23 Apr. 2021 The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for most of the state, a high wind warning in parts of the Western panhandle, and gale warnings or small craft advisories over the water. Colin Campbell,, "Maryland weather: High winds, warm temperatures in the forecast across the region Friday," 26 Mar. 2021 Cape San Blas along Florida's panhandle is for you. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "10 U.S. Destinations That Are About to See a Spring/Summer Travel Boom, According to Airbnb," 24 Mar. 2021 Wrapped by panoramas of rolling green, the quiet escape is tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains on the sliver of Western Maryland's panhandle that separates Pennsylvania from West Virginia. Marisa Spyker, Southern Living, "Frostburg, Maryland, Is the Sleepy Mountain Escape We All Need Right Now," 8 Mar. 2021 Florida’s dense swamps and oak hammocks combine with pasture ground to create ideal turkey habitat—namely, for the coveted Osceola subspecies that inhabits only the counties south of the panhandle. Josh Dahlke, Outdoor Life, "The Best States to Hunt Early Season Turkeys," 4 Mar. 2021 Swells are expected to spread north along portions of the west coast of Florida peninsula and the coast of the Florida panhandle on Tuesday, and reach the northern and northwest Gulf Coast by Wednesday. Carlie Wells,, "Laura expected to strengthen to Category 3 hurricane in Gulf of Mexico: See track," 25 Aug. 2020 Strong storms are expected this weekend in the South, with flooding rain, large hail and gusty winds in the forecast from southern Texas to the Florida panhandle. Hope Osemwenkhae, ABC News, "Severe weather brings major flash flooding to South this weekend," 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "This is what Indianapolis offered in incentives to host the NCAA tournament," 18 Mar. 2021 City outreach workers found most people who panhandle are experiencing homelessness. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, "‘Beyond problematic’: Panhandling needs more enforcement in Dallas, some council members say," 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, "‘Beyond problematic’: Panhandling needs more enforcement in Dallas, some council members say," 3 Feb. 2021 Montgomery has agreed to halt its practice of arresting or ticketing people who panhandle. Connor Sheets |, al, "Montgomery to stop arresting, ticketing homeless people for panhandling," 24 Nov. 2020 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

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Panhandle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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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