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HAND'FUL, n. As much as the hand will grasp or contain.
noun (plural handfuls; also handsful) Date: before 12th century
n. (pl. -fuls) 1 a quantity that fills the hand. 2 a small number or amount. 3 colloq. a troublesome person or task.
Handful Hand"ful, n.; pl. Hand flus. [AS. handfull.] 1. As much as the hand will grasp or contain. --Addison. 2. A hand's breadth; four inches. [Obs.] Knap the tongs together about a handful from the bottom. --Bacon. 3. A small quantity. This handful of men were tied to very hard duty. --Fuller. To have one's handful, to have one's hands full; to have all one can do. [Obs.] They had their handful to defend themselves from firing. --Sir. W. Raleigh.
(handfuls) 1. A handful of people or things is a small number of them. He surveyed the handful of customers at the bar... N-SING: usu N of n 2. A handful of something is the amount of it that you can hold in your hand. She scooped up a handful of sand and let it trickle through her fingers. N-COUNT: usu N of n 3. If you say that someone, especially a child, is a handful, you mean that they are difficult to control. (INFORMAL) Zara can be a handful sometimes. N-SING
hand'-fool: There are five words in Hebrew used to indicate what may be held in the hand, either closed or open.
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