• synonyms


[man-han-dl, man-han-dl]
See more synonyms for manhandle on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), man·han·dled, man·han·dling.
  1. to handle roughly.
  2. to move by human strength, without the use of mechanical appliances.
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Origin of manhandle

1425–75; late Middle English. See man1, handle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for manhandle

Historical Examples

  • You're going to open your mouth and tell me what you mean, if I have to manhandle you.

    The Brand of Silence

    Harrington Strong

  • You can manhandle me, but you can't make me turn against Sidney Prale.

    The Brand of Silence

    Harrington Strong

  • If you have touched a button and called some fool clerk, I'll manhandle you!

    The Brand of Silence

    Harrington Strong

  • The only way he could stop her would be with violence, and he didn't want to manhandle her.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • But it never pays to manhandle that particular brand of tippler.

    Parrot & Co.

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for manhandle


verb (tr)
  1. to handle or push (someone) about roughly
  2. to move or do by manpower rather than by machinery
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Word Origin

C19: from man + handle; sense 1 perhaps also influenced by Devon dialect manangle to mangle
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 manhandle


mid-15c., "wield a tool," also, late 15c., "to attack (an enemy)," from man (n.) + handle (v.). Nautical meaning "to move by force of men" (without levers or tackle) is attested from 1834, and is the source of the slang meaning "to handle roughly" (1865).

[T]he two Canalers rushed into the uproar, and sought to drag their man out of it toward the forecastle. Others of the sailors joined with them in this attempt, and a twisted turmoil ensued; while standing out of harm's way, the valiant captain danced up and down with a whale-pike, calling upon his officers to manhandle that atrocious scoundrel, and smoke him along to the quarter-deck. [Melville, "The Town-Ho's Story," "Harper's" magazine, October 1851]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper