hand·ball | \ˈhan(d)-ˌbȯl \

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

That chance came only minutes after Mexico dodged a penalty kick being awarded to Sweden when a video assistant referee review ruled Javier Hernandez had not committed a handball. Kyle Hightower, chicagotribune.com, "Sweden rout Mexico, both advance to Round of 16," 27 June 2018 The game is a sort of simplified version of football, and is purely an Anglo-Saxon sport, like curling or handball. John Kelly, Washington Post, "We may be champions now, but ice hockey got off to a rough start in Washington," 11 June 2018 For instance, what constitutes handball is clearly outlined, but how it is interpreted when assessing in-game scenarios is unique to the individual. SI.com, "Why VAR is a Step in the Right Direction for Football Despite the Continued Scrutiny," 12 July 2018 Russia had a free kick from just outside the right corner of the penalty area after Josip Pivaric’s silly handball. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Russia Finally Falls, Leaving a Trail of Admirers and Doubters," 8 July 2018 One of his current projects is developing a TV series about a former handball champion, a fallen national hero who returns as a coach—of the women’s team. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "Under the Tree," 6 July 2018 Luis Suarez, 2010 – Another South American -- this time Uruguayan Luis Suarez -- another handball. CNN, "World Cup 2018: Every matchup and kickoff time listed," 13 June 2018 Portland also had some bad luck in the game as Kansas City's Gerso Fernandes was not getting called for a handball in the box in the first half after knocking down a free kick from Diego Valeri with his arm. Jamie Goldberg, OregonLive.com, "Portland Timbers play Sporting Kansas City to scoreless draw, extend unbeaten streak to 8 games," 9 June 2018 Referees and video officials have consistently penalized handballs in the box at this World Cup. Fox News, "Russia stuns Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarterfinals," 1 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of handball

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for handball

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for handball

The first known use of handball was in 1704

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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 \

Kids Definition of handball

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

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