To have one's handful
handful hand"ful (h[a^]nd"f[.u]l), n.; pl. {handfuls} (h[a^]nd"f[.u]lz). [AS. handfull.] 1. As much as the hand will grasp or contain. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

2. A hand's breadth; four inches. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Knap the tongs together about a handful from the bottom. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

3. A small quantity or number. [1913 Webster]

This handful of men were tied to very hard duty. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

4. A person, task, or situation, which is the most that one can manage; as, my two-year-old is a handful. [PJC]

{To have one's handful}, to have one's hands full; to have all one can do. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

They had their handful to defend themselves from firing. --Sir. W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • handful — hand ful (h[a^]nd f[.u]l), n.; pl. {handfuls} (h[a^]nd f[.u]lz). [AS. handfull.] 1. As much as the hand will grasp or contain. Addison. [1913 Webster] 2. A hand s breadth; four inches. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Knap the tongs together about a handful …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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