[noun hand-set; verb, adjective hand-set, -set]


Also called French telephone. a telephone having a mouthpiece and earpiece mounted at opposite ends of a handle.

verb (used with object), hand·set, hand·set·ting.

to set (type) by hand.


(of type) set by hand.
(of a publication) printed directly from type set by hand.

Origin of handset

First recorded in 1915–20; hand + set
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for handset

television, telephone, radio, bug, headphone, transceiver

Examples from the Web for handset

Contemporary Examples of handset

Historical Examples of handset

  • He lifted the handset from its cradle and dialed the operator.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • Another man quickly picked up a handset and spoke briefly into it.

    The Best Made Plans

    Everett B. Cole

British Dictionary definitions for handset



a telephone mouthpiece and earpiece mounted so that they can be held simultaneously to mouth and ear
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