Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[glad-hand] /ˈglædˌhænd/ Informal.
verb (used with object)
to greet warmly.
to greet in an insincerely effusive manner.
verb (used without object)
to greet others with enthusiasm, especially feigned enthusiasm:
The candidate spent weeks glad-handing around the state.
Origin of glad-hand
First recorded in 1900-05
Related forms
glad-hander, noun

glad hand

noun, Informal.
a hearty welcome or enthusiastic reception, especially one that is effusive or hypocritical:
Visiting dignitaries were being given the glad hand.
First recorded in 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for glad-hand
Historical Examples
  • He certainly was a glad-hand artist, which is what a bank president has to be today—he's got to be a speaker and a handshaker.

    The Man Next Door

    Emerson Hough
British Dictionary definitions for glad-hand

glad hand

  1. a welcoming hand
  2. a welcome
(transitive) to welcome by or as if by offering a hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for glad-hand

glad hand


1895, in verbal phrase to give the glad hand "extend a welcome." As a verb, attested from 1903 (also gladhand). Often used cynically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for glad-hand



Effusive and warm; cordial: He gave me that glad-hand business


: After glad-handing the local dignitaries, he heads for the fence (1903+)

Related Terms

give someone the glad hand

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with glad-hand

glad hand

A warm and hearty but often insincere welcome or greeting, as in Politicians are apt to give the glad hand to one and all. [ ; late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for glad-hand

Difficulty index for glad-hand

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for glad

Scrabble Words With Friends