Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To touch, lift, or hold with the hands.
  • transitive v. To operate with the hands; manipulate.
  • transitive v. To deal with or have responsibility for; conduct: handles matters of corporate law.
  • transitive v. To cope with or dispose of: handles problems efficiently.
  • transitive v. To direct, execute, or dispose of: handle an investment.
  • transitive v. To manage, administer to, or represent: handle a boxer.
  • transitive v. To deal or trade in the purchase or sale of: a branch office that handles grain exports.
  • intransitive v. To act or function in a given way while in operation: a car that handles well in the snow.
  • n. A part that is designed to be held or operated with the hand.
  • n. An opportunity or a means for achieving a purpose.
  • n. Understanding or control: has a handle on the situation.
  • n. Slang A person's name.
  • n. Games The total amount of money bet on an event or over a set period of time.
  • idiom get Informal To achieve an understanding of: I was finally able to get a handle on the true nature of the problem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A part of an object 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.
  • n. That of which use is made; an instrument for effecting a purpose (either literally or figuratively); a tool.
  • n. A 10 fl oz (285 ml) glass of beer in the Northern Territory. See also pot, middy for other regional variations.
  • n. a 1.75-liter (half-gallon) bottle of alcohol
  • n. A reference to an object or structure that can be stored in a variable.
  • n. The gross amount of wagering within a given period of time or for a given event at one of more establishments.
  • n. (rare) (Newfoundland-and-Labrador) A point: an extremity of land.
  • n. The tactile qualities of a fabric, e.g., softness, firmness, elasticity, fineness, resilience, and other qualities perceived by touch.
  • n. A topological space homeomorphic to a ball but viewed as a product of two lower-dimensional balls.
  • v. To use the hands.
  • v. To touch; to feel with the hand.
  • v. To use or hold with the hand.
  • v. To manage in using, as a spade or a musket; to wield; often, to manage skillfully.
  • v. To accustom to the hand; to work upon, or take care of, with the hands.
  • v. 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
  • v. To deal with; to make a business of.
  • v. To treat; to use, well or ill.
  • v. To manage; to control; to practice skill upon.
  • v. To use or manage in writing or speaking; to treat, as a theme, an argument, or an objection.
  • v. To touch the ball with the hand or arm; to commit handball.
  • n. A name, nickname or pseudonym.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To touch; to feel with the hand; to use or hold with the hand.
  • transitive v. To manage in using, as a spade or a musket; to wield; often, to manage skillfully.
  • transitive v. To accustom to the hand; to work upon, or take care of, with the hands.
  • transitive v. To receive and transfer; to have pass through one's hands; hence, to buy and sell.
  • transitive v. To deal with; to make a business of.
  • transitive v. To treat; to use, well or ill.
  • transitive v. To manage; to control; to practice skill upon.
  • transitive v. To use or manage in writing or speaking; to treat, as a theme, an argument, or an objection.
  • intransitive v. To use the hands.
  • n. 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.
  • n. That of which use is made; the instrument for effecting a purpose; a tool.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. That part of a thing which is intended to be grasped by the hand in using or moving it.
  • n. That by means of which anything is done; the instrument of effecting a purpose: said of a person or thing.
  • n. In botany, in the Characeæ, same as manubrium.
  • n. The feel or touch of goods handled.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. interact in a certain way
  • v. handle effectively
  • v. act on verbally or in some form of artistic expression
  • v. touch, lift, or hold with the hands
  • n. the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it
  • v. be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
  • v. show and train

Etymologies

Middle English handelen, from Old English handlian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)
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"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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

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

    October 8, 2008

  • See prochlorococcus.

    June 14, 2008