I put two or three corns in my mouth, liked it, stole a handful, went into my chamber, chewed it, and for two months after never failed taking toll of every pennyworth of oatmeal that came into the house. - Joseph Addison, The Spectator, Vol. VI
1631, [Francis Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries.[…], 3rd edition, London: […]VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee[…], OCLC1044372886:
Knap the tongs together about a handful from the bottom.
1985, Rodger Bradley, Amtrak: The US National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Blandford Press, page 92:
The names of a number of the most famous North American railroads could be found in the north-east; Pennsylvania, New York Central, Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, and the Norfolk & Western, to name but a handful.
A group or number of things; a bunch.
1866, Emma Jane Worboise, Sir Julian's Wife, page 89:
But, aunt, she must have had some kind of education, her accent was so pure, her English so unfaulty. The other girl dropped her h's by handfuls, and made some very wild confusion in her native etymology.
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