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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English handles, equivalent to hand +‎ -less. Cognate with German handlos (handless), Icelandic handlauss (handless).


handless (not comparable)

  1. Without a hand.

Etymology 2[edit]

From handleless, by haplology, under the influence of etymology 1 above.


handless (not comparable)

  1. Without a handle.
    • 1812, John Galt, Voyages and travels in the years 1809, 1810, and 1811[1], page 106:
      She gave him a few coppers from the handless jug.
    • 1836, The Metropolitan, Volume 15, page 148:
      One battered, spoutless, handless, japanned-in jug, that did not contain water, for it leaked.
    • 2003, Manners... More than Etiquette, page 91:
      Chinese soup is sipped in a handless cup (Chinese soup bowl) with its own soupspoon.
    • 2006, Elsieferne V. Stout, Dundy County Babe[2], page 44:
      The leftover dough from the loaves would be rolled out with a handless, wooden, rolling pin.