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See more synonyms for handhold on Thesaurus.com
  1. a grip with the hand or hands.
  2. something to grip or take hold of, as a support or handle.
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Origin of handhold

First recorded in 1635–45; hand + hold1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for handhold

grasp, restraint, constraint, clamp, hold, hook, cincture, coercion, enclosure, fixing, ligature, gripe, grapple, lug, clench, brace, duress, clinch, tenure, snatch

Examples from the Web for handhold

Historical Examples of handhold

  • The reaction of the motion brought him slowly but surely to a handhold in the wall.

    Islands of Space

    John W Campbell

  • I leaned as far back as I could, and felt about for a handhold.

  • Except on the very edge of the abyss there was scarcely a handhold.

    Prester John

    John Buchan

  • Then he had to snatch for a handhold as the spider-machine lunged into a dead run.

    World of the Drone

    Robert Abernathy

  • He clutched the handhold and rolled backward, as he had seen the men do.

    The Small World of M-75

    Ed M. Clinton, Jr.

British Dictionary definitions for handhold


  1. an object, crevice, etc, that can be used as a grip or support, as in climbing
  2. a grip or secure hold with the hand or hands
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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 handhold


1640s, from hand (n.) + hold (n.1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper