[ man-han-dl, man-han-dl ]
/ ˈmænˌhæn dl, mænˈhæn dl /

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

to handle roughly.
to move by human strength, without the use of mechanical appliances.

Nearby words

  1. mangrove snapper,
  2. mangrove swamp,
  3. mangrum,
  4. mangulate,
  5. mangy,
  6. manhattan,
  7. manhattan beach,
  8. manhattan clam chowder,
  9. manhattan district,
  10. manhattan project

Origin of manhandle

1425–75; late Middle English. See man1, handle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for manhandle

British Dictionary definitions for manhandle


/ (ˈmænˌhændəl, ˌmænˈhændəl) /

verb (tr)

to handle or push (someone) about roughly
to move or do by manpower rather than by machinery

Word Origin for manhandle

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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper