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[hand-ler] /ˈhænd lər/
a person or thing that handles.
Boxing. a person who assists in the training of a fighter or is the fighter's second during a fight.
a person who exhibits a dog in a bench show or field trial.
Origin of handler
1350-1400; Middle English. See handle, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for handler
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Millionaire and handler withdrew a few steps from father and daughter and dog.

    Frank of Freedom Hill Samuel A. Derieux
  • He was already beginning to show his natural fitness as a handler of weapons.

    The Story of the Outlaw Emerson Hough
  • When with the gambler, or the roue, he was equally at home—a debauchee, or a handler of cards.

    Ellen Walton Alvin Addison
  • "There's a certain advantage to this," he said as he moved the handler delicately.

    Pandemic Jesse Franklin Bone
  • Nor shall such owner or handler move more than three feet from the post until his dog shall have completed the trial.

    Lad: A Dog Albert Payson Terhune
British Dictionary definitions for handler


a person, esp a police officer, in charge of a specially trained dog
a person who handles some specified thing: a baggage handler
a person who holds or incites a dog, gamecock, etc, esp in a race or contest
the trainer or second of a boxer


Daniel. born 1970, US writer for older children, best known for the macabre humour of his A Series of Unfortunate Events, a sequence of books written in the persona of Lemony Snicket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for handler

late 14c., "one who handles" anything, agent noun from handle (v.). Specific sense of "one engaged in trade" is from 1690s; that of "prizefighter's assistant" (1916) was earlier used in reference to dogfights and cockfights (1825).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for handler



A person who seconds, supports, advises, etc, a principal: Bush and his political handlers believe, as Reagan did, that the way to the people's heart is paved with unshucked corn

Related Terms


[1950+ Prizefighting; the term was used of those who handled gamecocks, dogs, etc, by 1825]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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