[ han-dl ]
/ ˈhæn dl /
a part of a thing made specifically to be grasped or held by the hand.
that which may be held, seized, grasped, or taken advantage of in effecting a purpose: The clue was a handle for solving the mystery.
- a person's name, especially the given name.
- a person's alias, nickname, or code name.
- a username, as on a social media website: What's your Twitter handle?
- a name or term by which something is known, described, or explained.
the total amount wagered on an event, series of events, or for an entire season or seasons, as at a gambling casino or in horse racing: The track handle for the day was over a million dollars.
the total amount of money taken in by a business concern on one transaction, sale, event, or series of transactions, or during a specific period, especially by a theater, nightclub, sports arena, resort hotel, or the like.
Informal. a way of getting ahead or gaining an advantage: The manufacturer regards the new appliance as its handle on the Christmas market.
verb (used with object), han·dled, han·dling.
to touch, pick up, carry, or feel with the hand or hands; use the hands on; take hold of.
to manage, deal with, or be responsible for: My wife handles the household accounts. This computer handles all our billing.
to use or employ, especially in a particular manner; manipulate: to handle color expertly in painting.
to manage, direct, train, or control: to handle troops.
to deal with (a subject, theme, argument, etc.): The poem handled the problem of instinct versus intellect.
to deal with or treat in a particular way: to handle a person with tact.
to deal or trade in: to handle dry goods.
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.
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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
han·dle·a·ble, adjectivehan·dle·a·bil·i·ty, nounhan·dle·less, adjectiveo·ver·han·dle, verb (used with object), o·ver·han·dled, o·ver·han·dling.
pre·han·dle, verb (used with object), pre·han·dled, pre·han·dling.re·han·dle, verb (used with object), re·han·dled, re·han·dling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for get a handle on
/ (ˈhændəl) /
the part of a utensil, drawer, etc, designed to be held in order to move, use, or pick up the object
NZ a glass beer mug with a handle
slang a person's name or title
a CB radio slang name for call sign
an opportunity, reason, or excuse for doing somethinghis background served as a handle for their mockery
the quality, as of textiles, perceived by touching or feeling
the total amount of a bet on a horse race or similar event
fly off the handle informal to become suddenly extremely angry
verb (mainly tr)
to pick up and hold, move, or touch with the hands
to operate or employ using the handsthe boy handled the reins well
to have power or control overmy wife handles my investments
to manage successfullya secretary must be able to handle clients
to discuss (a theme, subject, etc)
to deal with or treat in a specified wayI was handled with great tact
to trade or deal in (specified merchandise)
(intr) to react or respond in a specified way to operation or controlthe car handles well on bends
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
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)
In addition to the idioms beginning with handle
- handle to one's name
- handle with gloves
- 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.