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See also: Handball and hand ball



A woman playing handball
(photograph: Armin Kübelbeck)
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From hand +‎ ball.



handball (countable and uncountable, plural handballs)

  1. (uncountable) A team sport where two teams of seven players each (six players and a goalkeeper) pass and bounce a ball trying to throw it in the goal of the opposing team.
  2. (countable) The medium-sized inflated ball used in this sport.
  3. (countable, soccer) The offence of touching the ball with the hands.
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      It was a dramatic finish to an absorbing, fast-paced game but Blackburn will be deeply unhappy with referee Anthony Taylor as Nzonzi's handball was harsh.
  4. (uncountable, US, Ireland) A sport in which players alternately strike the ball against a wall with their hand. Irish and American variants have slightly different rules.
  5. (countable, US) The small rubber ball used in this sport.
  6. (countable, Australian Rules Football) An act of passing a football by holding it with one hand and hitting it with the other.





handball (third-person singular simple present handballs, present participle handballing, simple past and past participle handballed)

  1. To manually load or unload a container, trailer, or to otherwise manually move bulk goods (often on pallets) from one type of transport receptacle to another.
  2. (soccer) To illegally touch the ball with the hand or arm.
    If the defender handballs in the penalty area, a penalty is awarded.
  3. (Australian Rules Football) To (legally) pass a football by holding it with one hand and hitting it with the other.
    • 2001, Jerry R. Thomas, Alan G. Launder, Jack K. Nelson, Play Practice: The Games Approach to Teaching and Coaching Sports, page 111,
      Meanwhile, you can introduce the basic concept of Aussie rules through a game like lineball, a lead-up game introduced in the basketball section of chapter 10, but with the ball handballed, not thrown.
    • 2005, Andrew McLeod, Trevor D. Jaques, Australian Football: Steps to Success, page 9,
      An obvious way in which football has changed over the last decade or two has been in the use of handballing.
    • 2009, John P. Devaney, Full Points Footy: Encyclopedia of Australian Football Clubs, page 246,
      On only 8 occasions during the entire match did players who had marked the ball decide not to walk slowly and purposefully back and take their kick, but instead play on by handballing to a team mate.
  4. (sexuality, slang) To insert a hand into someone's anus.




Borrowed from German Handball (handball), from Hand (hand) +‎ Ball (ball), literally “hand ball”.



handball m (plural handballs)

  1. handball (sport)


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