get/have a handle on somebody/something

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get a handle on

see under get a fix on.
See also: get, handle, on

get a handle on something

INFORMAL
COMMON If you get a handle on a subject or problem, you understand it and know how to deal with it. When you have got a handle on your anxiety you can begin to control it. Note: You can also say that someone has a handle on a subject or problem to mean that they understand it and know how to deal with it. We don't really have a handle on why some people survive for longer periods than others.
See also: get, handle, on, something

get a handle on

find a means of understanding, controlling, or approaching a person or situation.
2000 Farm Chemicals Getting a handle on what that profitability is can be challenging unless you are willing to do some specific cost tracking on your site-specific investment.
See also: get, handle, on

get/have a handle on somebody/something

(informal) become/be familiar with and so understand somebody/something: I can’t really get a handle on the situation here. What’s happening?