handful


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

hand·ful

 (hănd′fo͝ol′)
n. pl. hand·fuls
1. The amount that a hand can hold.
2. A small, undefined number or quantity: only a handful of people on the street.
3. Informal One that is difficult to control or handle: The hyperactive toddler is a real handful.

handful

(ˈhændfʊl)
n, pl -fuls
1. the amount or number that can be held in the hand
2. a small number or quantity
3. informal a person or thing difficult to manage or control

hand•ful

(ˈhænd fʊl)

n., pl. -fuls.
1. the quantity or amount that the hand can hold.
2. a small amount or quantity.
3. Informal. a person or thing that is as much as one can manage or control.
[before 900]

Handful

 a quantity that would fill a hand; a small company or number—Wilkes.
Examples: handful of days, 1633; of men, 1525; of straw, 1489; of wit, 1536; of words, 1876.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.handful - a small number or amounthandful - a small number or amount; "only a handful of responses were received"
small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity - an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
2.handful - the quantity that can be held in the hand
containerful - the quantity that a container will hold

handful

1.
noun few, sprinkling, small amount, small quantity, smattering, small number a handful of potential investors
few a lot, scores, loads (informal), crowd, masses (informal), plenty, stacks, mob, heaps, horde, large quantity, large number
1. nuisance, bother, pest, pain in the neck (informal), pain in the backside (informal) Zara can be a handful sometimes.
Translations
حَفْنَهشَخْص صَعْب السَّيْطَرَة عليهعَدَد قَليل
hrsthrstkapěkné kvítkorarášek
håndfuld
kourallinen
maréknyi
handfyllilítilræîi; fáeinar sálirsem lætur illa aî stjórn
hrsťhŕstkapekný kvietokšibal
peščicaprgišče
handfull
avuçbir avuççok az sayıdaele avuca sığmaz

handful

[ˈhændfʊl] N (= quantity) → manojo m, puñado m; (= small number) → puñado m
a handful of peopleun puñado de gente
that child's a real handfulese niño es muy travieso

handful

[ˈhændfʊl] n
(= small number) a handful of [+ people] → une poignée de, un petit nombre de; [+ places, buildings] → quelques
There was only a handful of people at the concert → Il n'y avait qu'une poignée de gens au concert.
a handful of times → à quelques rares occasions
(= contents of the hand) → poignée f
a handful of soil → une poignée de terre
(= nuisance)
She's quite a handful → Elle n'est pas de tout repos.hand grenade ngrenade f

handful

n
Hand fvoll; (of hair, fur)Büschel nt; a handful of soileine Handvoll Erde; by the handful, in handfulshändeweise; (hair, fur) → büschelweise
(= small number)Hand fvoll
(fig) those children are a handfuldie Kinder können einen ganz schön in Trab halten; his new girl’s quite a handful (hum)an seiner neuen Freundin ist ganz hübsch was dran (inf)

handful

[ˈhændfʊl] n (quantity) → manciata, pugno
a handful of people → uno sparuto gruppo di persone
that child's a real handful (fam) → quel bambino è proprio un terremoto

hand

(hӕnd) noun
1. the part of the body at the end of the arm.
2. a pointer on a clock, watch etc. Clocks usually have an hour hand and a minute hand.
3. a person employed as a helper, crew member etc. a farm hand; All hands on deck!
4. help; assistance. Can I lend a hand?; Give me a hand with this box, please.
5. a set of playing-cards dealt to a person. I had a very good hand so I thought I had a chance of winning.
6. a measure (approximately centimetres) used for measuring the height of horses. a horse of 14 hands.
7. handwriting. written in a neat hand.
verb
(often with back, ~down, ~up etc).
1. to give (something) to someone by hand. I handed him the book; He handed it back to me; I'll go up the ladder, and you can hand the tools up to me.
2. to pass, transfer etc into another's care etc. That is the end of my report from Paris. I'll now hand you back to Fred Smith in the television studio in London.
ˈhandful noun
1. as much as can be held in one hand. a handful of sweets.
2. a small number. Only a handful of people came to the meeting.
3. a person etc difficult to control. Her three children are a (bit of a) handful.
ˈhandbag noun
(American usually purse) a small bag carried by women, for personal belongings.
ˈhandbill noun
a small printed notice.
ˈhandbook noun
a small book giving information about (how to do) something. a handbook of European birds; a bicycle-repair handbook.
ˈhandbrake noun
(in a car, bus etc) a brake operated by the driver's hand.
ˈhandcuff verb
to put handcuffs on (a person). The police handcuffed the criminal.
ˈhandcuffs noun plural
steel rings, joined by a short chain, put round the wrists of prisoners. a pair of handcuffs.
ˈhand-lens noun
a magnifying-glass held in the hand.
ˌhandˈmade adjective
made with a person's hands or with tools held in the hands, rather than by machines. hand-made furniture.
hand-ˈoperated adjective
hand-operated switches.
ˈhand-outhand outbelowˌhand-ˈpicked adjective
chosen very carefully. a hand-picked team of workers.
ˈhandshake noun
the act of grasping (a person's) hand eg as a greeting.
ˈhandstand noun
the gymnastic act of balancing one's body upright in the air with one's hands on the ground.
ˈhandwriting noun
1. writing with a pen or pencil. Today we will practise handwriting.
2. the way in which a person writes. Your handwriting is terrible!
ˈhandwritten adjective
The letter was handwritten, not typed.
at hand
1. (with close or near) near. The bus station is close at hand.
2. available. Help is at hand.
at the hands of
from, or by the action of. He received very rough treatment at the hands of the terrorists.
be hand in glove (with someone)
to be very closely associated with someone, especially for a bad purpose.
by hand
1. with a person's hand or tools held in the hands, rather than with machinery. furniture made by hand.
2. not by post but by a messenger etc. This parcel was delivered by hand.
fall into the hands (of someone)
to be caught, found, captured etc by someone. He fell into the hands of bandits; The documents fell into the wrong hands (= were found, captured etc by someone who was not supposed to see them).
force someone's hand
to force someone to do something either which he does not want to do or sooner than he wants to do it.
get one's hands on
1. to catch. If I ever get my hands on him, I'll make him sorry for what he did!
2. to get or obtain. I'd love to get my hands on a car like that.
give/lend a helping hand
to help or assist. I'm always ready to give/lend a helping hand.
hand down
to pass on from one generation to the next. These customs have been handed down from father to son since the Middle Ages.
hand in
to give or bring to a person, place etc. The teacher told the children to hand in their exercise-books.
hand in hand
with one person holding the hand of another. The boy and girl were walking along hand in hand; Poverty and crime go hand in hand.
hand on
to give to someone. When you have finished reading these notes, hand them on to me.
hand out
to give to several people; to distribute. The teacher handed out books to all the pupils; They were handing out leaflets in the street.
hand-out noun
a leaflet.
handout noun
1. a leaflet or a copy of a piece of paper with information given to students in class, distributed at a meeting etc. You'll find the diagram on page four of your handout.
2. money, clothes etc given to a very poor person or a beggar.
hand over
to give or pass; to surrender. We know you have the jewels, so hand them over; They handed the thief over to the police.
hand over fist
in large amounts, usually quickly. He's making money hand over fist.
hands down
very easily. You'll win hands down.
hands off!
do not touch!.
hands-on adjective
practical; involving active participation. hands-on experience with computers.
hands up!
raise your hands above your head. `Hands up!' shouted the gunman.
hand to hand with one individual fighting another at close quarters: The soldiers fought the enemy hand to hand; () adjective (etc)
hand-to-hand fighting.
have a hand in (something)
to be one of the people who have caused, done etc (something). Did you have a hand in the building of this boat / in the success of the project?
have/get/gain the upper hand
to (begin to) win, beat the enemy etc. The enemy made a fierce attack but failed to get the upper hand.
hold hands (with someone)
to be hand in hand with someone. The boy and girl walked along holding hands (with each other).
in good hands
receiving care and attention. The patient is in good hands.
in hand
1. not used etc; remaining. We still have $10 in hand.
2. being dealt with. We have received your complaint and the matter is now in hand.
in the hands of
being dealt with by. This matter is now in the hands of my solicitor.
keep one's hand in
to remain good or skilful at doing something by doing it occasionally. I still sometimes play a game of billiards, just to keep my hand in.
off one's hands
no longer needing to be looked after etc. You'll be glad to get the children off your hands for a couple of weeks.
on hand
near; present; ready for use etc. We always keep some candles on hand in case there's a power failure.
(on the one hand) … on the other hand
an expression used to introduce two opposing parts of an argument etc. (On the one hand) we could stay and help you, but on the other hand, it might be better if we went to help him instead.
out of hand
unable to be controlled. The angry crowd was getting out of hand.
shake hands with (someone) / shake someone's hand
to grasp a person's (usually right) hand, in one's own (usually right) hand, as a form of greeting, as a sign of agreement etc.
a show of hands
at a meeting, debate etc, a vote expressed by people raising their hands.
take in hand
to look after, discipline or train.
to hand
here; easily reached. All the tools you need are to hand.

handful

n. puñado, manojo.
References in classic literature ?
Up went a handful of soft snow, and the head turned at once, showing a face which lost its listless look in a minute, as the big eyes brightened and the mouth began to smile.
Sometimes, in a playful mood, old Doctor Reefy took from his pockets a handful of the paper balls and threw them at the nursery man.
I caught a handful of whiskers and pulled, shouting something.
It was then she mended and washed her handful of clothes, scoured her house, and did her baking.
They had recently seen a chosen army from that country, which, reverencing as a mother, they had blindly believed invincible--an army led by a chief who had been selected from a crowd of trained warriors, for his rare military endowments, disgracefully routed by a handful of French and Indians, and only saved from annihilation by the coolness and spirit of a Virginian boy, whose riper fame has since diffused itself, with the steady influence of moral truth, to the uttermost confines of Christendom.
Harrod's fort was then defended by only sixty-five men, and Boonsborough by twenty-two, there being no more forts or white men in the country, except at the Falls, a considerable distance from these, and all taken collectively, were but a handful to the numerous warriors that were every where dispersed through the country, intent upon doing all the mischief that savage barbarity could invent.
In her bewilderment, she offered him first a wooden dragoon, and next a handful of marbles; neither of which being adapted to his else omnivorous appetite, she hastily held out her whole remaining stock of natural history in gingerbread, and huddled the small customer out of the shop.
It had, indeed, a very cheery aspect, the walls being overspread with a kind of stucco, in which fragments of broken glass were plentifully intermixed; so that, when the sunshine fell aslant-wise over the front of the edifice, it glittered and sparkled as if diamonds had been flung against it by the double handful.
No; it was a big, ugly, antique, but convenient house, embodying a few features of a building still older, half-replaced and half-utilized, in which I had the fancy of our being almost as lost as a handful of passengers in a great drifting ship.
First he takes about a double handful of shavings out of his grego pocket, and places them carefully before the idol; then laying a bit of ship biscuit on top and applying the flame from the lamp, he kindled the shavings into a sacrificial blaze.
At the high end the skull forms a crater to bed that part of the mass; while under the long floor of this crater -- in another cavity seldom exceeding ten inches in length and as many in depth --reposes the mere handful of this monster's brain.
First came a stout puffy gentleman with a carpet bag; he wanted to go to the Bishopsgate station; then we were called by a party who wished to be taken to the Regent's Park; and next we were wanted in a side street where a timid, anxious old lady was waiting to be taken to the bank; there we had to stop to take her back again, and just as we had set her down a red-faced gentleman, with a handful of papers, came running up out of breath, and before Jerry could get down he had opened the door, popped himself in, and called out, "Bow Street Police Station, quick