from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A woman's purse.
- n. A piece of small hand luggage.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small bag used by women (or sometimes by men) for carrying various small personal items.
- n. An anthemic subgenre of house music of the late 1980s, often with booming vocals.
- v. (transitive, humorous) Figuratively, to hit with a handbag; to attack verbally or subject to criticism (used originally of Margaret Thatcher).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a satchel; a small bag for carrying books, papers, parcels, etc.
- n. a small bag usually made of cloth, leather or a similar imitation material, and often having a strap to permit carrying it by slinging it over a shoulder, used by women to carry money and small personal items or accessories.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A bag for small articles, carried in the hand in traveling or shopping.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women)
Jenny, on the term handbag versus purse or bag, you might be interested in this.
Why are my novels in alphabetical order, when my handbag is a disaster zone?
The purse or handbag is much more than a holder for necessities.
Before opening her eyes she feels to make sure her handbag is still buttoned safely within her overcoat.
Though a trendy handbag is a fun choice for, say, an evening out, an everyday bag that meets your everyday needs is a wardrobe must.
Though a trendy handbag is a fun choice for, say, an evening out, an everyday bag that meets your everyday needs is a wardrobe must
Tomas Maier, the creative director for Italy's Bottega Veneta, has come up with the antithesis of the fashion-label handbag: a seamless, logo-free limited-edition tote.
It was just the sort of thing she would have tucked away in some pocket of the enormous holdall she called her handbag, that held everything from her purse and essential papers like ration-book and identity card, along with her pills and her spectacles and her knitting and her prayer book, and other necessities of her life.
The thief, from the northern region of Liguria, stole a handbag from a Korean family when they were not paying attention.
She once escaped death after being seized by soldiers who claimed that a tape in her handbag was a smuggled taperecording of Patrice Lumumba, one of the Congo's new leaders, who was then in jail, calling on his people to rise up.