[ahrm-foo l]

noun, plural arm·fuls.

as much as a person can hold or carry in an arm or both arms.
Informal. a girl or woman with a well-rounded figure.
Informal. an obstreperous child; handful.

Origin of armful

First recorded in 1570–80; arm1 + -ful

Usage note

1. See -ful. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for armful

Historical Examples of armful

  • She was at the stove, where an armful of kindling had been set off to take the chill out of the house.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Gilbert took an armful of shirts from the chest of drawers and dropped them into the trunk.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Wentworth reentered, followed by the Earl's valet carrying an armful of garments.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • It had been Luke who received the armful of flowers sent anonymously.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley

  • She had forgotten to bring in an armful from the pile over by the sugar-boiler.

    The House in the Water

    Charles G. D. Roberts

British Dictionary definitions for armful


noun plural -fuls

the amount that can be held by one or both arms
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