• WordNet 3.6
    • n handhold an appendage to hold onto
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n handhold Hold or grasp with the hand. Compare foothold, 1.
    • n handhold The handle of an anglers' rod, formed by that part of the butt which is just above the reel: it is often wrapped with velvet, ratan, or cord.
    • n handhold In car-building, an iron bar firmly fixed to the side or end of a freight-car to assist trainmen in boarding it; a grab-iron.
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In literature:

Once more he appraised the grass, crooked his knee, rested his hands lightly on the two short, upraised handholds.
"Greener Than You Think" by Ward Moore
The detective held on to the handholds tightly while the brief but violent winds buffeted him.
"Anything You Can Do ..." by Gordon Randall Garrett
And, let me tell you, there wasn't any local of the Handholders' Union on the Siwash Campus.
"At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch
It looks pretty steep, but it also seems rough enough to offer plenty of handholds.
"The Judas Valley" by Gerald Vance
Clinging hard to his handhold, he lowered himself to feel for a softer spot.
"Prescott of Saskatchewan" by Harold Bindloss
Not a handhold anywhere to the puzzle.
"The Pagan Madonna" by Harold MacGrath
The bridge was no more than a ribbon of plastic with handholds at each side; it swayed gently in the breeze.
"Starman's Quest" by Robert Silverberg
As a preliminary he stepped back, and, gazing upwards, went over the climb in his mind, carefully noting every step, every handhold.
"The Sign of the Spider" by Bertram Mitford
Under every carefully worked out step there was solid stone, for every handhold there was a firm stake set.
"Tharon of Lost Valley" by Vingie E. Roe
The rock jutted into the river, and rose sheer from it; neither foothold nor handhold was offered.
"Billy Topsail & Company" by Norman Duncan

In news:

Astronauts can move massive objects, it is true, but only through considerable exertion, and only if they have a firm footing and adequate handholds.
He needs the tight handhold because he's often dangling by just a few fingers, death or injury close by.