Definition of handcart in US English:



  • A small cart pushed or drawn by hand.

    • ‘Some groups who could not afford wagons pulled two-wheeled handcarts.’
    • ‘In the unusually quiet bazaar, merchants sell fruit from handcarts or cheap Chinese electronic gadgets in tiny shops.’
    • ‘An injured man covered in a red blanket, his face blank in trauma, was wheeled in a rough-hewn handcart toward the hospital, as a crowd followed along, shouting.’
    • ‘In a bid to capitalise on the booming business, roadside vendors have branched out to every nook and corner with handcarts piled high.’
    • ‘Off a lane where market traders push rickety handcarts toward the bazaar, steps lead into the courtyard of a Shia religious school.’
    • ‘As I left, one of the three men pushing a gigantic handcart motioned for me to help them hoist it up a curb.’
    • ‘At another level, people who once made a meagre living from tiny businesses have been warned by those who took them over in the chaos following the intense period of violence against any attempt to reclaim their handcarts or petty shops.’
    • ‘For instance, large number of watermelons, mangoes and other summer fruits began appearing on handcarts in residential colonies and markets.’
    • ‘But that afternoon an army of more than 50 men began scraping the snow and ice into heaps that were removed in wheel-barrows, handcarts and small wagons and dumped on the track bordering the pitch.’
    • ‘On the day of the switch, they formed a procession, piled all their goods on wheelbarrows and handcarts, and returned to Pavement where they set up their stalls.’
    • ‘Visitors can see bridal chambers and kitchens and try their hand on one-wheel handcarts, at milling and at the spinning wheel.’
    • ‘You cannot even open the doors of your car as you are surrounded by rickshaws, handcarts, cyclists, and pedestrians, etc.’
    • ‘Survivors pushed handcarts carrying their injured relatives, desperately seeking medical help.’
    • ‘Their tools were jacks, picks, crowbars, wheelbarrows and handcarts.’
    • ‘And so, pushing his handcart with a hessian sack or two on it, he would set off for Fluke Hall which was by the shore and was a journey of at least three miles.’
    • ‘There was one particular boy who sang songs from Tamil films and rushed away at the stroke of four because he had to help his parents who made a living pulling heavily loaded handcarts.’
    • ‘Today's modern carts come in different forms; barrow, hand truck, wagon, wheelbarrow, push cart, handbarrow, handcart or gurney.’
    • ‘And the extras start moving - walking, chatting, pushing handcarts.’
    • ‘After putting on makeup, Chen was carried onto a handcart.’
    • ‘A woman pushes a handcart in the water, which has inundated half of the wheels, in this file photo from last year.’
    pushcart, trolley, barrow, wheelbarrow
    View synonyms


  • go to hell in a handcart

    • informal Deteriorate rapidly.

      ‘he believes that English society has gone to hell in a handcart’
      • ‘My short-term memory's gone to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘We should feel ashamed about our willingness to see the bad in everything, to glory in the awfulness of others and to worry that we are all going to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘The film festival dawned bright and sunny and then quickly went to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘If there's one thing the furore has demonstrated, it's that education policy in this country is going to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘I don't think it proves that we're all going to hell in a handcart, but I do think our debt can't go on growing at the rate that it has been.’
      • ‘In the next month I will know whether my life is getting on track or going to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘He's the one who can get us out of the situation we're in today, because this country is going to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘This past year it's never been more obvious that the world is going to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘The middle class is the engine of every country's economy, and if you lose it, you go to hell in a handcart.’
      • ‘The economy is going to hell in a handcart.’