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[lap-foo l] /ˈlæp fʊl/
noun, plural lapfuls.
as much as the lap can hold.
Origin of lapful
First recorded in 1605-15; lap1 + -ful
Usage note
See -ful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lapful
Historical Examples
  • Blanche sprang forward, dropping, as she went, her lapful of gatherings.


    Janet Milne Rae
  • She went; and she shed a lapful of tears when she came home.

  • Lets see it, Betty, suggested Doris, who with a lapful of her own valentines was sitting near.

    Betty Lee, Senior

    Harriet Pyne Grove
  • Did he seem dejected, Catherine would steal out and spend a week's income on the lapful of toys which she brought home.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Zephyrus had a lapful of flowers,204 and was the one wind sent to play among children.

  • In the next room Mammy Riah was rocking back and forth upon the hearth, crooning to herself while she carded a lapful of wool.

    The Battle Ground Ellen Glasgow
  • When the clock struck five, Mrs. Williams rose hurriedly from her chair and gathered up the lapful of mending.

    Clover and Blue Grass Eliza Calvert Hall
  • The sly Saxon entered into an odd transaction; the Thuringian gave him in exchange for his gold, a lapful of soil.

    Legal Lore Various
  • Maria was leaning forward also, over her lapful of carnations which John Sargent had presented to her.

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • They dared not ask Mira again about their lost friends; and even the lapful of kittens palled at last on Dot.

Word Origin and History for lapful

1610s, from lap (n.) + -ful.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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