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handle - definition and synonyms


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verb handle pronunciation in American English /ˈhænd(ə)l/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlehandling
past tensehandled
past participlehandled
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to take action in order to deal with a difficult situation

    The government was criticized for the way it handled the crisis.

    handle something well:

    Congratulations! You handled that really well.

    badly/poorly handled:

    We felt that the dispute was badly handled.

    1. c.
      to deal with the people or goods that pass through an airport, port, or other center

      The depot handles over two million tons of freight a week.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to touch or hold someone or something
    handle something with care:

    All chemicals must be handled with care.

    handle someone roughly:

    Some prisoners complained that they’d been roughly handled.


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