hand·​ball | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌbȯl How to pronounce handball (audio) \

Definition of handball

1 : a game played in a walled court or against a single wall or board by two or four players who use their hands to strike the ball
2 : a small rubber ball used in handball

Examples of handball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The dispute centers on a city lot in Echo Park that is currently being leased by a nonprofit, El Centro del Pueblo, for recreational space, including basketball and handball courts. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, "An L.A. politician wants homeless housing on an Echo Park lot. His colleague calls it ‘Trumpian’," 8 Sep. 2019 Tijuana’s Diego Braghieri had been whistled for a handball in the penalty area. Ivan Orozco, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Torres helps Xolos rally to beat Cruz Azul," 28 Aug. 2019 Wilfredo Perez, 29, ran ice cubes across his hands between games at handball courts in Coney Island. Ali Watkins, New York Times, "Heat Wave in New York: 50,000 Con Edison Customers Lose Power," 21 July 2019 The scene there was repeated at every table: Brazil’s men’s handball team chowed on cebiche before a match; Panama’s golf team put its clubs aside to taste lomo saltado. Washington Post, "Peruvian cuisine: the beloved star at Lima’s Pan Am Games," 16 Aug. 2019 Gil scored for the eighth time, placing a penalty kick into the upper left corner of the net following a VAR review of a Jhegson Mendez handball. Frank Dell’apa, BostonGlobe.com, "Revolution run unbeaten streak to 11 games," 27 July 2019 The new arena, which also can double as a volleyball and handball stadium, is to be the centerpiece of Diamniadio Industrial City. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "The N.B.A. Is Pushing Into Africa. Can It Compete With Soccer?," 23 July 2019 Nine minutes after Jamaica repelled a brief El Salvadorian onslaught that featured back-to-back shots and shouts for a handball foul, Jamaican defender Damion Lowe ventured into the box but was dispossessed. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Jamaica, El Salvador play to scoreless draw in Gold Cup," 21 June 2019 However, after a lengthy VAR check, the referee ruled that Díaz had committed a handball and the goal was dismissed. SI.com, "Copa América Roundup: Argentina Squeak Through to the Next Round as Colombia Finish Unbeaten," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handball.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of handball

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about handball

Statistics for handball

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handball

The first known use of handball was in 1704

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for handball



English Language Learners Definition of handball

: a game for two or four players who use their hands to hit a ball against a wall
: the ball used in handball


hand·​ball | \ ˈhand-ˌbȯl How to pronounce handball (audio) \

Kids Definition of handball

: a game played by hitting a small ball against a wall or board with the hand

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on handball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handball

Spanish Central: Translation of handball

Nglish: Translation of handball for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about handball

Comments on handball

What made you want to look up handball? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!