—n. 1. a part of a thing made specifically to be grasped or held by the hand.
2. that which may be held, seized, grasped, or taken advantage of in effecting a purpose: The clue was a handle for solving the mystery. 3. Slang. a. a person's name, esp. the given name.
b. a person's alias, nickname, or code name.
c. a name or term by which something is known, described, or explained.
4. the total amount wagered on an event, series of events, or for an entire season or seasons, as at a gambling casino or in horse racing: The track handle for the day was over a million dollars. 5. the total amount of money taken in by a business concern on one transaction, sale, event, or series of transactions, or during a specific period, esp. by a theater, nightclub, sports arena, resort hotel, or the like.
6. hand (def. 27).
7. Informal.a way of getting ahead or gaining an advantage: The manufacturer regards the new appliance as its handle on the Christmas market. 8. fly off the handle,Informal.to become very agitated or angry, esp. without warning or adequate reason: I can't imagine why he flew off the handle like that. 9. get or have a handle on, to acquire an understanding or knowledge of: Can you get a handle on what your new boss expects?
—v.t. 1. to touch, pick up, carry, or feel with the hand or hands; use the hands on; take hold of.
2. to manage, deal with, or be responsible for: My wife handles the household accounts. This computer handles all our billing. 3. to use or employ, esp. in a particular manner; manipulate: to handle color expertly in painting. 4. to manage, direct, train, or control: to handle troops. 5. to deal with (a subject, theme, argument, etc.): The poem handled the problem of instinct versus intellect. 6. to deal with or treat in a particular way: to handle a person with tact. 7. to deal or trade in: to handle dry goods.
—v.i. to behave or perform in a particular way when handled, directed, managed, etc.: The troops handled well. The jet was handling poorly.