manhandle mid-15c., "wield a tool," also, late 15c., "to attack (an enemy)," from MAN (Cf. man) (n.) + HANDLE (Cf. handle) (v.). Nautical meaning "to move by force of men" (without levers or tackle) is attested from 1834, and is the source of the slang meaning "to handle roughly" (1865).
[T]he two Canalers rushed into the uproar, and sought to drag their man out of it toward the forecastle. Others of the sailors joined with them in this attempt, and a twisted turmoil ensued; while standing out of harm's way, the valiant captain danced up and down with a whale-pike, calling upon his officers to manhandle that atrocious scoundrel, and smoke him along to the quarter-deck. [Melville, "The Town-Ho's Story," "Harper's" magazine, October 1851]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Manhandle — Man*han dle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. { handled}; p. pr. & vb. n. { handling}.] 1. To move, or manage, by human force without mechanical aid; as, to manhandle a cannon. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 2. To handle roughly; as, the captive was manhandled.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • manhandle — index abuse (misuse), abuse (victimize), ill use, mishandle (maltreat), mistreat, persecute …   Law dictionary

  • manhandle — ► VERB 1) move (a heavy object) with effort. 2) handle roughly by dragging or pushing …   English terms dictionary

  • manhandle — [man′han΄dəl] vt. manhandled, manhandling 1. to move or do by human strength only, without mechanical aids 2. to handle roughly …   English World dictionary

  • manhandle — verb (T) 1 to push or handle someone roughly: manhandle sb into/through etc: The police manhandled him into the car. 2 to move a heavy object using force: manhandle sth up/into etc: We managed to manhandle the piano up the stairs …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • manhandle — UK [ˈmænˌhænd(ə)l] / US verb [transitive] Word forms manhandle : present tense I/you/we/they manhandle he/she/it manhandles present participle manhandling past tense manhandled past participle manhandled 1) to touch, push, or pull someone in a… …   English dictionary

  • manhandle — man|han|dle [ˈmænhændl] v [T] 1.) to push or handle someone roughly manhandle sb into/through etc sth ▪ It had ended with Tony physically manhandling her out of the house. 2.) to move a heavy object using force manhandle sth into/on to/across etc …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • manhandle — verb a) To move something heavy without aid of levers, pulleys or machine Please try not to manhandle the box containing my favorite vase. b) To assault or beat up a person …   Wiktionary

  • manhandle — man|han|dle [ mæn,hændl ] verb transitive 1. ) to touch, push, or pull someone in a rough way 2. ) manhandle into/onto/down etc. to move something large and heavy without using machines or equipment: They manhandled the table onto the truck …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • manhandle — [[t]mæ̱nhænd(ə)l[/t]] manhandles, manhandling, manhandled 1) VERB If someone is manhandled, they are physically held or pushed, for example when they are being taken somewhere. [be V ed] Foreign journalists were manhandled by armed police, and… …   English dictionary

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