- handfull (archaic)
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 Saterland Frisian Hondful (“handful”), West Frisian hânfol (“handful”), Dutch handvol (“handful”), Danish håndfuld (“handful”), Swedish handfull (“handful”), Icelandic handfylli (“handful”).
- The amount that a hand will grasp or contain.
- 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
- (obsolete) A hand's breadth; four inches.
- Francis Bacon
- Knap the tongs together about a handful from the bottom.
- Francis Bacon
- A small number, usually approximately five.
- This handful of men were tied to very hard duty.
- Something which can only be managed with difficulty.
- Those twins are a real handful to look after.
- 2008, Dog Fancy (volume 39, issue 11, page 76)
- Many times dogs are surrendered for reasons such as changes in the family unit, a death in the family, no time to care for a dog, or because that cute little puppy is now a 100 lb untrained handful.
- 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
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.