synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of handle in English

English Online Dictionary. What means handle‎? What does handle mean?

  • IPA(key): /ˈhæn.dl̩/
    • (/æ/ raising) IPA(key): /ˈhɛən.dl̩/
  • Hyphenation: han‧dle
  • Rhymes: -ændəl

From Middle English handel, handle, from Old English handle (a handle), from handlian (to handle, feel, deal with, discuss). See verb below. Cognate with Danish handel (a handle).

handle (plural handles)

  1. The part of an object which is (designed to be) held in the hand when used or moved.
  2. An instrument for effecting a purpose (either literally or figuratively); a tool, or an opportunity or pretext.
  3. (gambling) The gross amount of wagering within a given period of time or for a given event at one of more establishments.
  4. (textiles) The tactile qualities of a fabric, e.g., softness, firmness, elasticity, fineness, resilience, and other qualities perceived by touch.
  5. (slang) A name or nickname, especially as an identifier over the radio or Internet.
    Coordinate terms: alias, call sign, pseudonym
  6. (slang) A title attached to one's name, such as Doctor or Colonel.
  7. (computing) A reference to an object or structure that can be stored in a variable.
  8. (UK, informal) A traditional dimpled glass with a handle, for serving a pint of beer.
    Synonym: jug
  9. (Australia, chiefly Northern Territory, New Zealand) A 10 fluid ounce (285 mL) glass of beer.
  10. (US) A half-gallon (1.75-liter) bottle of alcohol.
  11. (geography, Newfoundland and Labrador, rare) A point, an extremity of land.
  12. (topology) A topological space homeomorphic to a ball but viewed as a product of two lower-dimensional balls.
  13. (algebraic geometry) The smooth, irreducible subcurve of a comb which connects to each of the other components in exactly one point.
  14. (slang) A person's nose.
  • (285 mL glass of beer): pot (Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania), middy (Australia), schooner (South Australia)
  • (half-gallon of alcohol): sixty/sixty-sixer (Canada)
  • (part of an object held in the hand when used or moved): bail (bucket, kettle, pitcher), haft (tool, weapon), hilt (sword), knob, stail (tool), stilt (plough)
  • give a handle
  • Japanese: ハンドル (handoru)
    • Hokkien: 捍多路 (hăn-tó͘-luh)
    • Sakizaya: handulu

From Middle English handlen, from Old English handlian (to handle, feel, deal with, discuss), from Proto-West Germanic *handulōn, from Proto-Germanic *handulōną (to take, grip, feel), equivalent to hand +‎ -le. Cognate with West Frisian handelje, hanneljen, hanljen (to handle, treat), Dutch handelen (to handle, deal, act, negotiate), German handeln (to act, trade, negotiate, behave), Swedish handla (to buy, trade, deal), Icelandic höndla (to handle).

handle (third-person singular simple present handles, present participle handling, simple past and past participle handled)

  1. (transitive) To touch; to feel or hold with the hand(s).
  2. (transitive, rare) To accustom to the hand; to take care of with the hands.
  3. (transitive) To manage, use, or wield with the hands.
  4. (transitive) To manage, control, or direct.
  5. (transitive) To treat, to deal with (in a specified way).
  6. (transitive) To deal with (a subject, argument, topic, or theme) in speaking, in writing, or in art.
  7. (transitive) To receive and transfer; to have pass through one's hands; hence, to buy and sell.
  8. (transitive, rare) To be concerned with; to be an expert in.
  9. (transitive) To put up with; to endure (and continue to function).
  10. (intransitive) To use the hands.
  11. (soccer, intransitive) To illegally touch the ball with the hand or arm; to commit handball.
  12. (intransitive) To behave in a particular way when handled (managed, controlled, directed).
  • hand
  • Dutch: handelen
  • German: händeln, handeln
  • Dahlen, Handel


  1. (Uri) to stroke the teats of a dairy cow until they fill with milk
  • Abegg, Emil, (1911) Die Mundart von Urseren (Beiträge zur Schweizerdeutschen Grammatik. IV.) [The Dialect of Urseren], Frauenfeld, Switzerland: Huber & Co.

From Old Norse handla, hǫndla, from hǫnd (hand). In the sense trade influenced by from Middle Low German handelen and German handeln.

  • IPA(key): /hanlə/, [ˈhanlə]

handle (imperative handl, infinitive at handle, present tense handler, past tense handlede, perfect tense har handlet)

  1. act (to do something)
  2. trade, shop


  1. inflection of handeln:
    1. first-person singular present
    2. singular imperative
    3. first/third-person singular subjunctive I

From Old Norse handla and German handeln.

handle (imperative handl or handle, present tense handler, passive handles, simple past and past participle handla or handlet, present participle handlende)

  1. to act (do something)
  2. to deal, trade, to do business
  3. to shop (visit shops)
  • forhandle
  • handletur
  • handling
  • “handle” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
  • handla

From Old Norse handla and German handeln.

handle (present tense handlar, past tense handla, past participle handla, passive infinitive handlast, present participle handlande, imperative handle/handl)

  1. to act (do something)
  2. to deal, trade, to do business
  3. to shop (visit shops)
  • forhandle
  • handletur
  • handling
  • “handle” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
  • handele

From Proto-West Germanic *handulā, from *handulōn (to handle), equivalent to handlian +‎ -e.

  • IPA(key): /ˈxɑnd.le/, [ˈhɑnd.le]

handle f

  1. handle
  • sulhhandle
  • hand
  • *handla
  • handlian
  • handlung
  • Middle English: handel, hondel
    • English: handle
      • Dutch: hendel
    • Scots: handil, handill, handle

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