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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English hand-gripe, from Old English handgripe (handgrip), from Proto-Germanic *handugripiz (handgrip), equivalent to hand +‎ grip. Cognate with Dutch handgreep (handgrip, grasp), German Handgriff (handgrip, grasp, handle, hilt), Danish håndgreb (handgrip), Swedish håndgrepp (handgrip, handle, hilt).


handgrip (plural handgrips)

  1. A handle.
    • 2005, Shirley Duglin Kennedy, The Savvy Guide to Motorcycles[1], ISBN 0790613166, page 30:
      On a motorcycle, you work the clutch by squeezing a lever on your left handgrip, and you operate the shift lever with your left foot.
  2. A covering (often rubber or foam) on a handle, designed to allow the user a more comfortable or more secure hold on the handle.
    • 1994, Verolyn Bolander, Karen Creason Sorensen, Joan Luckmann, Sorensen and Luckmann's basic nursing: a psychophysiologic approach[2], ISBN 0721640133, page 837:
      Each cane consists of three parts: (1) the handle (which may or may not be covered by a rubber handgrip), (2) the shaft, and (3) the base (which is usually ...
  3. A handshake; a way of gripping hands with another person.
    • 1988 March 11, Cecil Adams, “The Straight Dope”, in Chicago Reader[3]:
      There are also "secret" signs and handgrips, which initiates are never supposed to reveal lest they suffer a fate worse than death.
  4. The ability of a person (or other animal with hands) to grip something with a hand.
    • 1988, M.J. Viljoen, L.R. Uys, General nursing: a medical and surgical textbook, Part 1[4], ISBN 0798619120, page 138:
      The patient's handgrip is also tested for muscle strength.


Usage notes[edit]

The two word term hand grip is also used instead, particularly when referring to the ability of a person to grip an object with his or her hand.

    • 1991, Raoul Tubiana, “The Hand”, in Science[5], volume 5, page 542:
      There is a severe loss of hand grip in patients with higher lesions ...

Related terms[edit]