handle

[ han-dl ]
/ ˈhæn dl /

noun

verb (used with object), han·dled, han·dling.

verb (used without object), han·dled, han·dling.

to behave or perform in a particular way when handled, directed, managed, etc.: The troops handled well. The jet was handling poorly.

Nearby words

  1. handism,
  2. handiwork,
  3. handkerchief,
  4. handkerchief table,
  5. handlanger,
  6. handle to one's name,
  7. handle with gloves,
  8. handlebar,
  9. handlebar moustache,
  10. handlebars

Idioms

    fly off the handle, Informal. to become very agitated or angry, especially without warning or adequate reason: I can't imagine why he flew off the handle like that.
    get/have a handle on, to acquire an understanding or knowledge of: Can you get a handle on what your new boss expects?

Origin of handle

before 900; (noun) Middle English handel, Old English hand(e)le, derivative of hand; (verb) Middle English handelen, Old English handlian (cognate with German handlen, Old Norse hǫndla to seize), derivative of the noun

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for fly off the handle

handle

/ (ˈhændəl) /

noun

verb (mainly tr)

Derived Formshandleable, adjectivehandled, adjectivehandleless, adjective

Word Origin for handle

Old English; related to Old Saxon handlon (vb), Old High German hantilla towel

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

Word Origin and History for fly off the handle
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for fly off the handle

fly off the handle

To become suddenly enraged: “When Jack's father found out about the car, he really flew off the handle.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with fly off the handle

fly off the handle

Lose one's temper, as in Tom flies off the handle at the slightest setback. This metaphoric expression alludes to the loosened head of a hammer flying off after a blow. [Early 1800s]

handle

In addition to the idioms beginning with handle

  • handle to one's name
  • handle with gloves

also see:

  • fly off the handle
  • get a fix (handle) on
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.