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The word "handle" can be used as a verb or as a noun.

When it’s a noun, this word describes that part of a device, a tool, or a machine where the hands are placed in order to operate it:

You hold this basket by the handle.

Use the handle on a pot to avoid burning your hand.

  • Make sure you have a firm grip on the handle when you use a hammer.
  • The handle on my briefcase broke, so I had to buy a new one.
  • Vanessa broke the handle on her tennis racket.

He’s holding the axe by the handle.

The handle on her tennis racket is made of leather.

When you use "handle" as a verb, it means to manage or take care of a situation:

  • Is he able to handle the responsibilities in his new job?
  • Our supervisor does a good job of handling difficult customers.
  • Do you know how to handle a snowmobile?
  • Sheila’s new car handles well when she’s on the highway.
  • Kevin can’t handle the pressure at work any longer.
  • Can you handle working under pressure?
  • I can’t handle this!

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This page was first published on January 26, 2012.



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