English [ edit ]
Alternative forms [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
, from Middle English 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 Saterland Frisian ( Hondful “ handful ”), West Frisian ( hânfol “ handful ”), Dutch ( handvol “ handful ”), Danish ( håndfuld “ handful ”), Swedish ( handfull “ handful ”), Icelandic ( handfylli “ handful ”).
Pronunciation [ edit ]
IPA (: key) /ˈhæn(d)fʊl/, /ˈhæn(d)f(ə)l/
handful ( plural handfuls or ) handsful
The amount that a
hand will grasp or contain.
(Can we find and add a quotation of Joseph Addison to this entry?)
( obsolete ) A hand's breadth; four inches.
Knap the tongs together about a handful from the bottom. - Francis Bacon A small quantity, usually approximately equal to five.
This handful of men were tied to very hard duty. - Fuller Something which can only be
managed with difficulty.
Those twins are a real handful to look after.
Synonyms [ edit ]
Derived terms [ edit ]
To have one's handful: (Obsolete): to have one's hands full; to have all one can do.
They had their handful to defend themselves from firing. - Sir Walter Raleigh
Related terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
amount held in hand
гр́ст ( m gŕst) Maori:
, kutanga kapuranga Norwegian:
håndfull , m handfull m Nynorsk:
handfull f Polish:
garść (pl) f Portuguese:
punhado (pt) , m mancheia (pt) f Romanian:
pumn , n mănunchi (ro) n Russian:
горсть (ru) ( f gorstʹ), при́горшня (ru) ( f prígoršnja), жме́ня (ru) ( f žménja) Scots:
, haundfu , luiffu nievefu Scottish Gaelic:
làn cròige f Shan:
( ယွပ်း jɔp4) Slovak:
hrsť , f hŕstka f Sorbian:
gjarsć f Spanish:
manojo (es) , m puñado (es) m Swedish:
handfull (sv) , c näve (sv) c Telugu:
చేరెడు ( (te) cēreḍu) Thai:
( หยิบมือเดียว yib mue diew) ( figurative, idiomatic ) Ukrainian:
жме́ня ( f žménja) Zulu:
isandla (zu) class , 7/ 8 ukhweshe (zu) class 11/ 10
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked