Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To touch, lift, or hold with the hands.
  • intransitive verb To operate with the hands; manipulate.
  • intransitive verb To deal with or have responsibility for; conduct.
  • intransitive verb To cope with or dispose of.
  • intransitive verb To direct, execute, or dispose of.
  • intransitive verb To manage, administer to, or represent.
  • intransitive verb To deal or trade in the purchase or sale of.
  • intransitive verb To act or function in a given way while in operation.
  • noun A part that is designed to be held or operated with the hand.
  • noun A means of understanding or control.
  • noun Slang A person's name.
  • noun An alternate name or nickname, especially one chosen for self-identification on online forums or citizens band radio.
  • noun Games The total amount of money bet on an event or over a set period of time.
  • idiom (handle (oneself)) To conduct oneself in a specified manner.
  • idiom (handle (oneself)) To be able to defend oneself or fend for oneself.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The feel or touch of goods handled.
  • noun That part of a thing which is intended to be grasped by the hand in using or moving it.
  • noun That by means of which anything is done; the instrument of effecting a purpose: said of a person or thing.
  • noun In botany, in the Characeæ, same as manubrium.
  • To touch or feel with the hand; use the hand or hands upon.
  • To manage by hand; use or wield with manual skill; ply; manipulate; act upon or control by the hand: as, to handle one's colors; to handle the reins.
  • In general, to manage; direct; control; hold or keep in hand: as, to handle a fish when hooked; to handle a dog in the field; to handle troops in battle.
  • To act upon or toward; use in some way (with regard to conduct); treat; deal with.
  • To treat of; discourse upon; expound, as a topic.
  • To make use of; be concerned with; have to do with.
  • To trade or deal in; buy and sell: as, to handle stationery, stocks, or real estate.
  • [⟨ handle, n.] To furnish with a handle or handles: as, to handle a teacup.
  • To use the hands; act or work by means of the hands.
  • To act or give a result of any kind when handled.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That part of vessels, instruments, etc., which is held in the hand when used or moved, as the haft of a sword, the knob of a door, the bail of a kettle, etc.
  • noun That of which use is made; the instrument for effecting a purpose; a tool.
  • noun to furnish an occasion or means.
  • transitive verb To touch; to feel with the hand; to use or hold with the hand.
  • transitive verb To manage in using, as a spade or a musket; to wield; often, to manage skillfully.
  • transitive verb To accustom to the hand; to work upon, or take care of, with the hands.
  • transitive verb To receive and transfer; to have pass through one's hands; hence, to buy and sell.
  • transitive verb To deal with; to make a business of.
  • transitive verb To treat; to use, well or ill.
  • transitive verb To manage; to control; to practice skill upon.
  • transitive verb To use or manage in writing or speaking; to treat, as a theme, an argument, or an objection.
  • transitive verb [Colloq.] See under Glove.
  • intransitive verb To use the hands.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To use the hands.
  • verb To touch; to feel with the hand.
  • verb To use or hold with the hand.
  • verb To manage in using, as a spade or a musket; to wield; often, to manage skillfully.
  • verb To accustom to the hand; to work upon, or take care of, with the hands.
  • verb To receive and transfer; to have pass through one's hands; hence, to buy and sell; as, a merchant handles a variety of goods, or a large stock

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English handelen, from Old English handlian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English handlen, from Old English handlian ("to handle, feel, deal with, discuss"), from Proto-Germanic *handlōnan (“to take, grip, feel”), equivalent to hand +‎ -le. Cognate with West Frisian hanneljen, hanljen ("to handle, treat"), Dutch handelen ("to handle, deal, act, negotiate"), German handeln ("to act, trade, negotiate, behave"), Swedish handla ("to buy, trade, deal"), Icelandic höndla ("to handle").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English handel, handle, from Old English handle ("a handle"), from handlian ("to handle, feel, deal with, discuss"). See verb below. Cognate with Danish handel ("a handle").

Examples

  • Turning the handle is a bit boring but it takes the slog out of simple stuff like this.

    Hurrah for new toys!

  • What ends up happening as you turn the handle is the line winds on in one short stroke, then one long based on the angle you set the spool.

    Weird Reels & ICAST Beer Blasts

  • You can sponsor someone as long as it's not "Will in Seattle" or whatever his handle is these days.

    Reporting 101 « PubliCola

  • Turning the handle is a bit boring but it takes the slog out of simple stuff like this.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • It's rare that you see a title handle material like this with sensitivity, care and respect, and Gearbox does a great job of taking this serious and life changing condition that affects many soldiers and depicting it realistically.

    IGN PS3

  • I'm not sure, but I think the term "handle" comes from the CB radio days of the seventies.

    What's in a name?

  • I got my LJ handle from a method I used in order to deal with stress at work.

    It's like this pretty much all the time.

  • A big kid in coveralls stood in the doorway unscrewing a long handle from a roller.

    Better Days

  • The bolt handle is beginning to show wear and the BDL stock with fine figure has seen hard times before I bought it and put it on the 700.

    All About Rifle Abuse*

  • It was a black umbrella, and had a small rod at the end where the handle is with a skull on it.

    SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles - Part 616

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • See prochlorococcus.

    June 14, 2008

  • Citation (in the sense of "name") on panderism.

    October 8, 2008

  • My 20s and 30s USA friends refer to a 1.75 liter bottle of spirits as a [handle}, probably because that size bottle usually has a handle, and smaller sized bottles of spirits do not.

    January 2, 2012