Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
handbag (plural handbags)
- (mainly Commonwealth) A small bag used by women (or sometimes by men) for carrying various small personal items.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
- Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, with something of the stately pose which Richter has given his Queen Louise on the stairway, and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
- (uncountable) An anthemic subgenre of house music of the late 1980s, often with booming vocals.
small bag used by women
- (UK, transitive, humorous) Figuratively, to hit with a handbag; to attack verbally or subject to criticism (used originally of Margaret Thatcher).