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[hand-out] /ˈhændˌaʊt/
noun, Informal.
a portion of food or the like given to a needy person, as a beggar.
any printed, typed, mimeographed, or photocopied copy of information, as a speech, policy statement, or fact sheet given to reporters, attendees at a meeting, or the like.
anything given away for nothing, as a free sample of a product by an advertiser.
Origin of handout
1825-35; 1940-45 for def 2; noun use of verb phrase hand out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for handout
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All at once I was hungry enough to have gone and asked for a handout.

  • If I had the coin, wouldn't I give them a handout of fresh air and milk?

    Just Around the Corner Fannie Hurst
  • It appears like I'm givin' all I've got for a handout at the kitchen door of the big company.

    The Quickening Francis Lynde
  • He had not been expecting any handout, so he was not disappointed.

    Skookum Chuck Fables Skookum Chuck (pseud for R.D. Cumming)
  • Maybe we asks fer a handout now and then; but that ain't our reg'lar way.

    The Oakdale Affair Edgar Rice Burroughs
Slang definitions & phrases for handout



  1. Food, money, or other donations received or given •Nearly always with the implication that the giver is overgenerous or self-interested, and the recipient undeserving: Damn hippies lived on food stamps and other bleeding heart handouts (1882+ Hoboes)
  2. A leaflet or flyer passed out on the streets
  3. An official press release or communique´: The newspaperman's slightly derogatory slang term for the news release is ''handout'' (1941+)
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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