To handle something is to control it, the way an elephant handler might handle an elephant, or the way you would use a handle to lift a suitcase. If you're panicking, a friend might suggest you "get a handle on yourself."

How to get a handle on the word handle? Start with the thumb. Much like the word “thimble” is derived from “thumb,” “handle” essentially refers to an object held "in hand," or placed under your control. Handle can also have a more abstract meaning, such as understanding or grasping a concept. You should be able to handle geometry before you start trig, right? A handle is also slang for a nickname. "What's your handle?" is another way of saying "What's your name?"

Definitions of handle
  1. verb
    touch, lift, or hold with the hands
    “Don't handle the merchandise”
    synonyms: palm
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    catch or pick up (balls) in baseball or cricket
    handle clumsily
    hold something in one's hands and move it
    handle roughly
    lay hands on
    manage with the hands
    manipulate the mouse of a computer
    fiddle with, twiddle
    manipulate, as in a nervous or unconscious manner
    manage, wield
    handle effectively
    control, operate
    handle and cause to function
    knead, massage, rub down
    manually manipulate (someone's body), usually for medicinal or relaxation purposes
    knead, work
    make uniform
    mix, ruffle, shuffle
    mix so as to make a random order or arrangement
    fiddle, monkey, tamper
    play around with or alter or falsify, usually secretively or dishonestly
    diddle, fiddle, play, toy
    manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
    type of:
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
  2. verb
    manage or wield effectively
    synonyms: manage, wield
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    wield vigorously
    operate like a pump; move up and down, like a handle or a pedal
    sweep, swing, swing out
    make a big sweeping gesture or movement
    give a spurt of fuel to
    type of:
    hold something in one's hands and move it
  3. verb
    be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
    “This blender can't handle nuts”
    synonyms: care, deal, manage
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    administer, administrate
    work in an administrative capacity; supervise or be in charge of
    organise, organize
    cause to be structured or ordered or operating according to some principle or idea
    cause to operate or function
    come to grips, get to grips
    deal with (a problem or a subject)
    dispose of
    deal with or settle
    mind, take care
    be in charge of or deal with
    bring into common action, movement, or condition
    deal with simultaneously
    deal with in a routine way
    misconduct, mishandle, mismanage
    manage badly or incompetently
    be in charge of
    carry on, conduct, deal
    direct the course of; manage or control
    deal with; usually used with a form of negation
    organize and oversee items in a collection or exhibit
    plan, manage, or direct with subtle and skillful maneuvering
    arrange, order, put, set up
    arrange thoughts, ideas, or temporal events
    give, have, hold, make, throw
    organize or be responsible for
    rationalise, rationalize
    structure and run according to rational or scientific principles in order to achieve desired results
    administer a pontifical office
    territorialise, territorialize
    organize as a territory
    reorganise, reorganize, shake up
    organize anew
    collectivise, collectivize
    bring under collective control; of farms and industrial enterprises
    manage or run
    guide, steer
    be a guiding or motivating force or drive
    head, lead
    be in charge of
    manage, oversee, superintend, supervise
    watch and direct
    operate, run
    direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.
    carry on illegal business activities involving crime
    direct the taking of
    type of:
    command, control
    exercise authoritative control or power over
  4. verb
    interact in a certain way
    Handle the press reporters gently”
    synonyms: do by, treat
    regard or consider in a specific way
    address, cover, deal, plow, treat
    act on verbally or in some form of artistic expression
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    bemock, mock
    treat with contempt
    cut, disregard, ignore, snub
    refuse to acknowledge
    treat unjustly; do wrong to
    handle with kid gloves
    handle with great care and sensitivity
    treat as a criminal
    treat carefully
    handle roughly
    ride roughshod, run roughshod
    treat inconsiderately or harshly
    treat snobbishly, put in one's place
    treat in a rough or boisterous manner
    brutalise, brutalize
    treat brutally
    do well by
    treat with respect and consideration
    gloss over, skate over, skimp over, slur over, smooth over
    treat hurriedly or avoid dealing with properly
    abuse, ill-treat, ill-use, maltreat, mistreat, step
    treat badly
    baby, cocker, coddle, cosset, featherbed, indulge, mollycoddle, pamper, spoil
    treat with excessive indulgence
    bait, cod, rag, rally, razz, ride, tantalise, tantalize, taunt, tease, twit
    harass with persistent criticism or carping
    blackguard, guy, jest at, laugh at, make fun, poke fun, rib, ridicule, roast
    subject to laughter or ridicule
    treat or speak of with contempt
    infringe on the rights of
    kick around
    treat badly; abuse
    treat harshly or unfairly
    victimise, victimize
    make a victim of
    type of:
    act together or towards others or with others
  5. verb
    show and train
    “The prize-winning poodle was handled by Mrs. Priscilla Prescott”
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    type of:
    control, keep in line, manipulate
    control (others or oneself) or influence skillfully, usually to one's advantage
  6. verb
    act on verbally or in some form of artistic expression
    synonyms: address, cover, deal, plow, treat
    do by, treat
    interact in a certain way
    comprehend, cover, embrace, encompass
    include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory
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    theologise, theologize
    treat from a theological viewpoint or render theological in character
    discourse, discuss, talk about
    consider or examine in speech or writing
    talk at great length about something of one's interest
    talk shop
    discuss matters that are related to work
    type of:
    broach, initiate, moot
    bring up a topic for discussion
  7. noun
    the appendage to an object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it
    “he grabbed the hammer by the handle
    synonyms: grip, handgrip, hold
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    ax handle, axe handle
    the handle of an ax
    broom handle, broomstick
    the handle of a broom
    the stock or handle of a whip
    haft, helve
    the handle of a weapon or tool
    the handle of a sword or dagger
    hoe handle
    the handle of a hoe
    a round handle
    mop handle
    the handle of a mop
    the handle of a pan
    pommel, saddlebow
    handgrip formed by the raised front part of a saddle
    a handgrip that a gymnast uses when performing exercises on a pommel horse
    rake handle
    the handle of a rake
    the handle end of some implements or tools
    gunstock, stock
    the handle of a handgun or the butt end of a rifle or shotgun or part of the support of a machine gun or artillery gun
    basket hilt
    a hilt with a basket-shaped guard for the hand
    bitstock, brace
    a carpenter's tool having a crank handle for turning and a socket to hold a bit for boring
    butt, butt end
    thick end of the handle
    doorhandle, doorknob
    a knob used to release the catch when opening a door (often called `doorhandle' in Great Britain)
    horn, saddle horn
    a high pommel of a Western saddle (usually metal covered with leather)
    pistol grip
    a handle (as of a gun or saw) shaped like the butt of a pistol
    (music) a knob on an organ that is pulled to change the sound quality from the organ pipes
    type of:
    a part that is joined to something larger
Word Family

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