[hand-boo k]


a book of instruction or guidance, as for an occupation; manual: a handbook of radio.
a guidebook for travelers: a handbook of Italy.
a reference book in a particular field: a medical handbook.
a scholarly book on a specific subject, often consisting of separate essays or articles: a handbook of lectures on criticism.

Origin of handbook

translation of German Handbuch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for handbook

Contemporary Examples of handbook

Historical Examples of handbook

  • As far as possible mere matters of opinion have been excluded from this handbook.


    Thomas Roger Smith

  • At all events here it is—this program or handbook of the beliefs for a people.

  • Well, it's loitering in a gambling resort and playing the handbook.

    Spring Street

    James H. Richardson

  • "So the Handbook tacticians knew what they were about," Stryker said minutes later.

    Control Group

    Roger Dee

  • For details as to these matters, see my Handbook of Astronomy, 4th ed., vol.

    The Story of Eclipses

    George Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for handbook



a reference book listing brief facts on a subject or place or directions for maintenance or repair, as of a cara tourists' handbook
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 handbook

Old English handboc; see hand (n.) + book (N.). It translates Latin manualis, and was displaced in Middle English by manual (from French), and later in part by enchiridion (from Greek). Reintroduced 1814, but execrated through much of 19c. as "that very ugly and very unnecessary word" [Trench].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper