handful

[hand-fool]
noun, plural handfuls.
1.
the quantity or amount that the hand can hold: a handful of coins.
2.
a small amount, number, or quantity: a handful of men.
3.
Informal. a person or thing that is as much as one can manage or control: The baby's tantrums made him a handful.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English, Old English. See hand, -ful


See -ful.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

handful definition


  1. n.
    a difficult thing or person. : Little Jimmy is a handful.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
She starts by taking a small handful of fluff, which she molds into a starter
  ball.
If all but a small handful of scientists agree with a particular conclusion, it
  is because that is what the evidence indicates.
Traditionally dolphin hunts have been isolated to a handful of small fishing
  towns, where dolphin meat is well liked.
It depicts a queen grasping a handful of small, doomed captives.
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