When you manhandle something, you pick it up, push it, or pull it roughly. You might gasp watching movers manhandle your fragile furniture as they load it into a moving van.

You can manhandle things, and you can also manhandle people, shoving or grabbing them. If security workers at the airport manhandle a little old lady, nearby passengers will probably speak up in her defense. This current meaning arose in the late nineteenth century — earlier, manhandle meant "attack an enemy," and before that, "wield a tool."

Definitions of manhandle

v handle roughly

“I was manhandled by the police”
Type of:
handle, palm
touch, lift, or hold with the hands

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