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  1. an acrobatic feat in which one starts from a standing position and wheels the body forward or backward in a complete circle, landing first on the hands and then on the feet, without contact by the rest of the body.
verb (used without object), hand·sprang, hand·sprung, hand·springing.
  1. to perform a handspring.
Compare somersault.

Origin of handspring

First recorded in 1870–75; hand + spring
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for handspring

Historical Examples

  • Papa did his best to be dignified and not turn a handspring or shout for joy.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • He hastened to meet us, arriving in the whirl and blur of a handspring.

  • "All right," shouted Little White Bear, turning a handspring.

  • Bunny was to make believe he couldn't turn a handspring very well, and Mart would then take the center of the stage.

  • "I'm goin' to the Surgeon an' git an excuse," said Gleason, who had sprained his wrist a trifle in turning a handspring.

British Dictionary definitions for handspring


  1. a gymnastic feat in which a person starts from a standing position and leaps forwards or backwards into a handstand and then onto his feet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012