• synonyms


  1. Usually handlebars.
    1. the curved steering bar of a bicycle, motorcycle, etc., placed in front of the rider and gripped by the hands.
    2. handlebar moustache.
  2. a bar or rod, usually of metal and having a handle at one end, used for handling, guiding, or maneuvering some object.
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Origin of handlebar

First recorded in 1885–90; handle + bar1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for handlebars

Historical Examples

  • “It was this that made it possible;” and he patted the handlebars of the motorcycle.

    Bert Wilson's Twin Cylinder Racer

    J. W. Duffield

  • I find it easier to grasp the handlebars with the palms of my hands alone.

  • Clip took the canteen and hung the strap over his handlebars.

    Motor Matt's "Century" Run

    Stanley R. Matthews

  • Why don't you take me for a ride on the handlebars of your new motorcycle sometime?

    Plowing On Sunday

    Sterling North

  • Stoop they did, bending low over the handlebars of their bicycles.

    Frank Merriwell's Alarm

    Burt L. Standish

British Dictionary definitions for handlebars


pl n
  1. (sometimes singular) a metal tube having its ends curved to form handles, used for steering a bicycle, motorcycle, etc
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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 handlebars



also handle-bar, 1867 in reference to bicycles, from handle (n.) + bar (n.1). Of mustaches, first recorded 1933.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper