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Noun handful has 2 senses


handfuln. [AS. handfull.].
  •  As much as the hand will grasp or contain.  Addison.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A hand's breadth; four inches.  [1913 Webster]
    "Knap the tongs together about a handful from the bottom."  [1913 Webster]
  •  A small quantity or number.  [1913 Webster]
    "This handful of men were tied to very hard duty."  [1913 Webster]
  •  A person, task, or situation, which is the most that one can manage; as, my two-year-old is a handful.  [PJC]
    "They had their handful to defend themselves from firing."  [1913 Webster]
To have one's handful, to have one's hands full; to have all one can do. [Obs.]


handful, n. (pl. -fuls)
1 a quantity that fills the hand.
2 a small number or amount.
3 colloq. a troublesome person or task.



Augean task, Herculean task, a few, ace, atom, backbreaker, ballbuster, bit, bitch, bother, chore, couple, dab, dead lift, dole, dot, dram, dribble, driblet, dwarf, farthing, few, fistful, fleck, flyspeck, fragment, gobbet, grain, granule, groat, hair, hard job, hard pull, heavy sledding, iota, jot, large order, limited number, little, little bit, man-sized job, minim, minimum, minutiae, mischief-maker, mite, modicum, molecule, mote, nuisance, nutshell, only a few, ounce, particle, pebble, piddling few, piddling number, pinch, pittance, point, rough go, scattering, scruple, small number, smatter, smattering, smidgen, smitch, spatter, spattering, speck, spoonful, spot, sprinkling, tall order, thimbleful, tiny bit, tittle, too few, tough job, tough proposition, trickle, trifling amount, trivia, troublemaker, uphill work, whit




N quantity, magnitude, size, amplitude, magnitude, mass, amount, sum, quantum, measure, substance, strength, force, mathematics, mathesis, category, general conception, universal predicament, armful, handful, mouthful, spoonful, capful, stock, batch, lot, dose, yaffle, quantitative, some, any, aught, more or less, a few, to the tune of, all of, a full, the sum of, fully, exactly, precisely.


N smallness, littleness, tenuity, paucity, fewness, meanness, insignificance (unimportance), mediocrity, moderation, small quantity, modicum, trace, hint, minimum, vanishing point, material point, atom, particle, molecule, corpuscle, point, speck, dot, mote, jot, iota, ace, minutiae, details, look, thought, idea, soupcon, dab, dight, whit, tittle, shade, shadow, spark, scintilla, gleam, touch, cast, grain, scruple, granule, globule, minim, sup, sip, sop, spice, drop, droplet, sprinkling, dash, morceau, screed, smack, tinge, tincture, inch, patch, scantling, tatter, cantlet, flitter, gobbet, mite, bit, morsel, crumb, seed, fritter, shive, snip, snippet, snick, snack, snatch, slip, scrag, chip, chipping, shiver, sliver, driblet, clipping, paring, shaving, hair, nutshell, thimbleful, spoonful, handful, capful, mouthful, fragment, fraction, drop in the ocean, animalcule, trifle, mere nothing, next to nothing, hardly anything, just enough to swear by, the shadow of a shade, finiteness, finite quantity, small, little, diminutive, minute, fine, inconsiderable, paltry, faint, slender, light, slight, scanty, scant, limited, meager, sparing, few, low, so-so, middling, tolerable, no great shakes, below par, under par, below the mark, at a low ebb, halfway, moderate, modest, tender, subtle, inappreciable, evanescent, infinitesimal, homeopathic, very small, atomic, corpuscular, microscopic, molecular, subatomic, mere, simple, sheer, stark, bare, near run, dull, petty, shallow, stolid, ungifted, unintelligent, to a small extent, on a small scale, a little bit, a wee bit, slightly, imperceptibly, miserably, wretchedly, insufficiently, imperfectly, faintly, passably, pretty well, well enough, partially, in part, in a certain degree, to a certain degree, to a certain extent, comparatively, some, rather in some degree, in some measure, something, somewhat, simply, only, purely, merely, at least, at the least, at most, at the most, ever so little, as little as may be, tant soit peu, in ever so small a degree, thus far, pro tanto, within bounds, in a manner, after a fashion, so to speak, almost, nearly, well-nigh, short of, not quite, all but, near upon, close upon, peu s'en faut, near the mark, within an ace of, within an inch of, on the brink of, scarcely, hardly, barely, only just, no more than, about, thereabouts, somewhere about, nearly, say, be the same, be little more or less, no ways, no way, no wise, not at all, not in the least, not a bit, not a bit of it, not a whit, not a jot, not a shadow, in no wise, in no respect, by no means, by no manner of means, on no account, at no hand, dare pondus idonea fumo, magno conatu magnas nugas, small sands the mountain, moments make the year.


N fewness, paucity, small number, small quantity, rarity, infrequency, handful, maniple, minority, exiguity, reduction, weeding, elimination, sarculation, decimation, eradication, few, scant, scanty, thin, rare, scattered, thinly scattered, spotty, few and far between, exiguous, infrequent, rari nantes, hardly any, scarcely any, to be counted on one's fingers, reduced, unrepeated, rarely, here and there.

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