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handle - definition and synonyms


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verb handle pronunciation in British 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. a.
      to be responsible for doing a particular job or piece of work
      Inspector Dawkin will be handling this case.
      Publicity is being handled by an outside agency.
    2. b.
      to be able to deal successfully with a large amount of work or information
      The newer computers can handle massive amounts of data.
      The helpline handles 100 calls an hour.
    3. c.
      to deal with the people or goods that pass through an airport, port, or other centre
      The depot handles over two million tonnes of freight a week.
    4. d.
      to deal successfully with a person who is likely to become angry or upset
      All the staff are trained to handle difficult customers.
  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.
  3. 4
    [transitive] to buy and sell goods, especially illegally
    handle stolen goods: He denied burglary but admitted handling stolen goods.


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