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.

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 get a handle on

handle

/ (ˈhændəl) /

noun

verb (mainly tr)

Derived Forms

handleable, 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

Idioms and Phrases with get a handle on (1 of 2)

get a handle on


see under get a fix on.

Idioms and Phrases with get a handle on (2 of 2)

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.