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

Additionally, after meandering for a few days, the system is projected to head inland, drenching the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia. Gene Norman, CNN, "Tropical system may be forming in the Gulf," 7 July 2019 Floridians have had plenty of insurance issues, including last year’s devastation by Hurricane Michael, a category five storm that slammed the panhandle. Johnny Diaz,, "What is Florida’s most Googled financial topic?," 24 June 2019 His persona, fake tan and all, seems to fit in with the panhandle spirit, and his weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago for golf and schmoozing have become de rigueur. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Florida is ground zero for Donald Trump’s re-election," 18 June 2019 James grew up on a farm in the panhandle of Texas, one of six children, all but one of them boys. Karina Bland, azcentral, "His father wouldn't talk about D-Day. The son had to know the story," 16 June 2019 But this spring, two of the biggest drives in history are being conducted in the wilderness of Idaho’s panhandle. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 Rainfall totals of between 5 and 10 inches, with up to 15 inches, are possible from eastern Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida panhandle, the NWS said. Anchorage Daily News, "Storm Alberto closes in on Florida, Alabama and Mississippi," 27 May 2018 Conditions are even worse in the Four Corners region and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. The drought has contributed to numerous wildfires. Fox News, "After brief relief, forecasts indicate drought will continue," 23 Apr. 2018 The story is rooted in the roads, roadside motels, small towns, and landscapes of the Texas panhandle and far West. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "In Randy Kennedy’s Presidio, a Startling Road Trip Thriller Full of Twists and Turns," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Almost every day for the past six years, students at the University of Texas at Austin would see David Carter panhandling near campus. Robyn Merrett,, "Homeless Texas Man Returns to College to Finish Degree Over 40 Years After Dropping Out," 5 June 2019 With frustration over homelessness, panhandling and public drinking simmering in Midtown Anchorage, some of the district’s business owners are in disagreement over the city’s response to the problem. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Midtown business owners table anti-homelessness resolution," 27 June 2019 Childress panhandled to get money for accommodation and food. Christopher Harress |,, "Second woman sought in bizarre alleged kidnapping of homeless Mobile woman’s baby," 14 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 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 The specialists approached a man on West End Avenue and 79th Street, who was rolling up his sleeping bag before panhandling. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "In the Heat, New York City Tries to Move the Homeless Off the Streets," 7 Aug. 2018 That fact-finding will help everyone better understand what issues like panhandling are tied, and how greatly, to PADS Lake County, Cunningham said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Waukegan partners with Lake County Coalition for Homeless in wake of PADS Lake County complaints," 10 June 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

12 Jul 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

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