a grip with the hand or hands.
something to grip or take hold of, as a support or handle.

Origin of handhold

First recorded in 1635–45; hand + hold1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper