Definition of handed-down in English:



  • Passed on to a later generation or age.

    ‘handed-down family recipes’
    • ‘He was without personal vanity, surprising the Heythrop hunt by turning out in a yellow cardigan and his colleagues by wearing handed-down clothes and his son's shoes.’
    • ‘As for beauty, granny had to depend on handed-down tips and recipes made from easily obtainable ingredients.’
    • ‘Any children I should manage to have, once I get over thinking that only happens to other people, will grow up without the age-old, handed-down domestic myths and traditions that have passed between women of previous generations, because I don't have any to pass down.’
    • ‘The Hebrews must certainly have encountered them, and learned the handed-down traditions of early Mesopotamia, the myths and tales.’
    • ‘History is an elusive thing, and as those of us relativists who have a streak of sympathy for postmodernism would contend, history is just words anyway; bits and pieces of old documents, handed-down stories, the odd footprint here or there.’
    • ‘Mrs. Joyce's handed-down straw hat lifted off my head as we left the parking lot.’
    • ‘For a would-be writer to discover that writing poems can be exciting, that poetry's possibilities are limitless rather than the opposite (as the handed-down conventions too often suggest) is a heady experience.’
    • ‘Without handed-down prejudices, children will behave in a spirit of complete even-handedness.’