have a handle on
- (idiomatic) To understand or grasp.
- To work efficiently, it's important to have a handle on the procedures involved.
- (idiomatic) To be in control of, to have power over.
2003, Tony Hillerman, The Sinister Pig, ↑ISBN, page 36:
- But the other three problems had all grown out of assigning jobs to people he had no handle on.
2011, H. Henrietta Stockel, Drumbeats from Mescalero, ↑ISBN, page 82:
- We don't have to report to them anymore, but they still have a handle on our Justice Department and the police.