verb (used with object), han·dled, han·dling.

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.

Nearby words

  1. handism,
  2. handiwork,
  3. handkerchief,
  4. handkerchief table,
  5. handlanger,
  6. handle to one's name,
  7. handle with gloves,
  8. handlebar,
  9. handlebar moustache,
  10. handlebars


    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

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for handleless

British Dictionary definitions for handleless



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

Word Origin and History for handleless
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with handleless


In addition to the idioms beginning with handle

  • handle to one's name
  • handle with gloves

also see:

  • 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.