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

Claims for a penalty were dismissed by referee Ruddy Buquet, whose video assistants either did not spot the infraction or deemed it an accidental handball. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Fabregas almost creates winner as Monaco draws at Marseille," 13 Jan. 2019 The handball team has gained the gold medal two times. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Coach Who Can Explain Croatia’s World Cup Success," 14 July 2018 Artem Dzyuba equalised with a penalty shortly before half-time after Spain defender Gerard Pique was punished for a handball. Martyn Wood, chicagotribune.com, "Cherchesov: Russia win over Spain 'is only the beginning'," 1 July 2018 José Pekerman’s side recovered nicely after a disastrous first few minutes of the tournament, in which a Carlos Sanchez received a red card for a handball and Japan converted the ensuing penalty. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Weekend Read: A Case for All 16 Teams to Win the World Cup, Reflecting on Tyler Hilinski and More," 29 June 2018 The event was held on Pier 2, in a grand tent perched behind the basketball and handball courts. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Rose Byrne, Marcus Wainwright, and More Celebrate Brooklyn Bridge Park," 5 Oct. 2018 But South Sudan's government already struggles to support existing teams including ones for soccer, basketball and handball, said Josseline Samson Apaya, acting director general for sports in the ministry of sports, culture and youth. Sam Mednick, Fox News, "War-torn South Sudan launches youth rugby league for peace," 28 Sep. 2018 The 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was called for a handball following a video review. BostonGlobe.com, "Australia gets crucial draw with Denmark," 21 June 2018 Roma's pressure did bring a win on the night as Nainggolan smashed in a late drive and then a penalty after a baffling handball decision against Klavan. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Liverpool Stumbles at Roma But Finishes Job to Reach Champions League Final," 2 May 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

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for handball

The first known use of handball was in 1704

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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

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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

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