Definition of handball in US English:



  • 1A game similar to squash in which a ball is hit with the hand in a walled court.

    • ‘James wiped the sweat off of his face and sat down against the handball court wall.’
    • ‘Parents are reminded that the club can provide excellent and varied recreational outlets for birthday parties, such as basketball, indoor football, handball and racquetball.’
    • ‘It provides a wide range of recreational outlets for all age groups in the area, including racquetball, handball, indoor football, badminton, squash and cuili.’
    • ‘We kicked some rocks around, played a game of handball and headed to my house for an early afternoon swim, forgetting all about our gang plan.’
    • ‘The club invites the public to come along and see the refurbished main hall and the racquetball, handball and squash courts.’
    • ‘We played handball against the wall that had NO BALL PLAYING spray painted across its surface.’
    • ‘Next to the basketball courts there was a handball wall that was rarely used except for graffiti.’
    • ‘I don't know why, as they maintained they had no shoes, they were often so hungry that they ate raw turnip and their only entertainment was playing handball against a wall.’
    • ‘For higher risk sports - such as basketball, racquetball and handball - Boldt recommends sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses.’
    • ‘Across from the little dead end road was a park, with the multicolor jungle gym sets, along with a small basketball court, and a 2 sided handball court.’
    • ‘In addition to the gym and sauna are all the old favourites squash, handball, racquetball, basketball, badminton and indoor soccer.’
    • ‘I sat on the pavement by the music wing to catch a little sunshine, and to look out to the school's handball court.’
    • ‘Lindsay hugged the handball court wall with his back.’
    • ‘Those who wish to book the main hall, handball/racketball court and Games room can do so now.’
    • ‘While the youngsters played handball against the gable wall, held boxing matches in a nearby field or tied up a couple of old socks as a football.’
    • ‘Minority sports like racquetball, handball and volleyball don't enjoy wide media coverage, nor do the players enjoy widespread attention or recognition.’
    1. 1.1 A team game similar to soccer in which the ball is thrown or hit with the hands rather than kicked.
      • ‘The highest incidence is seen in adolescents playing pivoting sports such as football, basketball, and team handball.’
      • ‘Practice and preparation is well underway for the Easter events - basketball, Olympic handball and soccer.’
      • ‘Visitors to the site will be enlivened by compulsive news about European handball, volleyball and water polo, as well as being enticed into buying wardrobes.’
      • ‘No data are available on the return rate after an ACL injury among elite athletes in a pivoting sport such as team handball.’
      • ‘Nah, I always cry when Slovenia beats Denmark in team handball.’
      • ‘By January 1885 they have a full set of rules for their, as it were three big games: hurling, Gaelic football and handball.’
      • ‘The children will play a variety of sports including hockey, basketball, rounders, Olympic handball, Gaelic football and table tennis.’
      • ‘They ran themselves into the ground playing Olympic handball, rounders, football and hurling and competing in the athletic events.’
      • ‘Mary Lyons takes part in the model making competitions and two Olympic handball teams from the area compete in the All - Ireland finals.’
      • ‘The title of the game would suggest that Gaelic Games: Hurling may soon follow but we may be a while waiting for ladies football, camogie, handball or rounders.’
      • ‘The opening of the new 40 x 20 handball court has been a major boost to local hand-ball and there is considerable upsurge in youngsters participating.’
      • ‘Some fans surprised themselves by learning to love such offbeat sports as badminton and handball.’
      • ‘Numerous venues lie idle, including the Helliniko Olympic complex, which was the site for baseball, basketball, kayaking, fencing, handball, hockey and softball.’
      • ‘Three Olympic handball courts will be in use, on the main pitch at the Showgrounds, well-known home of Sligo Rovers FC.’
      • ‘Phase one will consist of the out door courts that will facilitate Olympic handball, netball, volleyball tennis and beach volleyball.’
      • ‘The time sheet is open to all who have worn the Green and Red of Mayo at football, hurling, ladies football, camogie or handball.’
      • ‘They will spend half a day at a time in the Arena learning less mainstream sports such as martial arts, gymnastics, handball and basketball.’
      • ‘When Matthews first competed in a Paralympics it was in the Netherlands in 1980 as part of a three-man Great Britain team playing goalball, a cross between football and handball using a ball fitted with a bell.’
      • ‘I played cricket, handball, football, basketball, tennis at any time I could get a chance and I liked reading fiction from the school library more than I liked reading text books.’
      • ‘Martin put up a good show in the first game, but Sean Ryan playing in his home court played handball out of the top drawer to win the first 21-14.’
    2. 1.2 The ball used in games of handball.
      • ‘What he saw was that of a girl leaping high in the air reaching for a handball.’
      • ‘A blocked handball right on the edge of the box by an East Belfast player was followed by a blatant trip as Ian Smith threatened to burst past the penalty spot.’
      • ‘And Toby McGrath slips a handball to Matthew Clucas in the Fremantle derby.’
  • 2Soccer
    Touching of the ball with the hand or arm, constituting a foul.

    ‘a penalty for handball’
    count noun ‘a blatant handball’
    • ‘He pulled up Simon Francis for a handball but rather than talking to him he was actually looking for Jason.’
    • ‘Ks still tried to get an equaliser and there was a big shout for handball against Mangdoza from Lee's free kick.’
    • ‘Andy Scott was penalised for handball and Mike Kewley's kick was hard and low - but Speare pushed the ball onto the post and the defence did the rest.’
    • ‘Although there wasn't much reaction on the field, did the team feel the handball non-call against Germany was a poor one?’
    • ‘I may or may not be the only person who distinctly remembers Winter signalling that a push had been committed by Gallas rather than a handball, but perhaps I am just nit-picking.’
    • ‘Manchester City's goal keeper Carlo Nash will miss the game against Chelsea next month after being sent off for deliberate handball in the reserve-team game with Everton.’