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1. verb To distribute something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hand" and "out." Volunteers will come around and hand out pamphlets before the lecture.
2. verb To provide or share something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "hand" and "out." When do you think the boss will hand out a decision on this issue?
3. noun A paper or papers that are to be distributed to a group. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. Volunteers will come around with hand-outs before the lecture begins.
4. noun Something given as aid to a person in need. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. Ever since I lost my job, I've had to rely on hand-outs from the government.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hand something out(to someone)
1. to give something out to someone. The judge was known for handing heavy fines out. She handed out large fines to everyone.
2. to pass something, usually papers, out to people. The teacher handed the tests out to the students. Please hand out these papers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Distribute, as in The teacher handed out the test papers. [Late 1800s] For a synonym, see pass out, def. 1.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To distribute something freely; disseminate something: He handed out flyers in the street all morning. I gave the flyers to the volunteer and told her to hand them out quickly.
2. To administer or mete something: It seemed like the jury handed out an arbitrary verdict. The judge is known for handing tough sentences out to juvenile offenders.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. n. a gift of money, food, or other goods to a needy person. (Often in the negative, as in the examples.) Give him a handout and send him on his way.
2. n. an informational sheet of paper “handed out” to people. As you can see on your handout, 40 percent of those who started never finished.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.