Handful definition

hăndfo͝ol
Frequency:
A small, undefined number or quantity.

Only a handful of people on the street.

noun
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(informal) As much as one is able to manage; someone or something hard to manage.
noun
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(informal) One that is difficult to control or handle.

The hyperactive toddler is a real handful.

noun
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A relatively small number or amount.

A mere handful of people.

noun
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The amount that a hand can hold.
noun
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As much or as many as the hand will hold.
noun
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The definition of a handful is defined as a small amount or the amount of something that would fit in your hand.

An example of a handful is the number of people in the audience for the local music show.

An example of a handful is the amount of peanuts that fit in your hand when you reach into a bowl.

noun
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Something which can only be managed with difficulty.

Those twins are a real handful to look after.

noun
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As much as the hand will grasp or contain. - Joseph Addison.
noun
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Handful is defined as much as you can handle of something.

An example of a handful is a small child who is overactive.

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A small quantity, usually approximately equal to five, the number of fingers on a hand.

This handful of men were tied to very hard duty. - Fuller.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
handful
Plural:
handfuls, handsful

Origin of handful

  • From Middle English, from Old English handful (“handful”), from Proto-Germanic *handfullą, *handfullō, *handfulljô (“handful”), from Proto-Germanic *handuz (“hand”), *fullaz (“full”), equivalent to hand +‎ full (“fullness, plenty”). Cognate with West Frisian hânfol (“handful”), Dutch handvol (“handful”), Danish håndfuld (“handful”), Swedish handfull (“handfull”), Icelandic handfylli (“handful”).

    From Wiktionary