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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The ban on short-term vacation rentals in some Florida panhandle counties was lifted Tuesday after a lockdown of nearly two months. Christopher Harress |, al, "Ban on Florida vacation rentals lifted in some Gulf Coast counties; New Yorkers remain banned," 19 May 2020 Additionally, in Botswana, the group’s Elephant Express buses will be on the road along the panhandle of the Okavango Delta offering access to clinics to people who would not otherwise be able to pass through dangerous elephant corridors. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Hotels Opened Right Before a Pandemic—Here's How They're Giving Back," 14 May 2020 Governor Jim Justice said a patient in the state’s panhandle has been diagnosed., "Australia Curbs Travel; U.S. Cases in 50 States: Virus Update," 10 May 2020 While the region does not have very many patients — there have been about 50 cases in the panhandle — some medical workers said that may be because of limited testing; there could well be more undetected cases. Mike Baker, New York Times, "A ‘Liberty’ Rebellion in Idaho Threatens to Undermine Coronavirus Orders," 7 Apr. 2020 The state has recorded two deaths — one in southwestern Lee County, and one in Santa Rosa County in the panhandle. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "Coronavirus a threat to Florida’s tourism, elderly population," 10 Mar. 2020 Dubbed the 412 Fire, the blaze in the state's panhandle is 50% contained, said Michelle Finch-Walker with the Oklahoma Forestry Services, meaning half of the fire is surrounded by barriers that keep it from spreading at those points. Theresa Waldrop And Shawn Nottingham, CNN, "Oklahoma wildfire burns through more than 29,000 acres," 8 Mar. 2020 Trombello was involved in a head-on collision in the Florida panhandle. Christopher Harress |, al, "This love story between a man and his cat began with a hiss and ended in Alabama," 14 Feb. 2020 Gaetz was cited in 2008 for suspicion of driving under the influence after he was pulled over for speeding while driving home from a nightclub in Florida's panhandle. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Gaetz brought up Hunter Biden's substance abuse issues at impeachment but it backfired," 13 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Watch Howard and the other vets tell their stories on the video: In the fall of 2010, Ellis was arrested for panhandling with a cardboard sign on the side of the highway. J.d. Crowe |, al, "Alabama’s homeless veterans: Marine vet beats alcohol and cancer," 9 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about panhandle

Time Traveler for panhandle

Time Traveler

The first known use of panhandle was in 1846

See more words from the same year

Statistics for panhandle

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Panhandle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on panhandle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with panhandle

Comments on panhandle

What made you want to look up panhandle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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