• synonyms


[shuhv-uh l-foo l]
noun, plural shov·el·fuls.
  1. the amount held by a shovel.
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Origin of shovelful

First recorded in 1525–35; shovel + -ful

Usage note

See -ful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shovelful

Historical Examples

  • One of the peasants was throwing the first shovelful of earth into the cavity.

    Abbe Mouret's Transgression

    Emile Zola

  • "The wind was driving the snow in upon us by the shovelful," he explained.

    Fort Amity

    Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • The sweat was rolling off him, and I was damnin' him with every shovelful.

    "Run To Seed"

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • "It was like a shovelful of burning coals inside me," he asserted.

  • Half a shovelful of this he placed in a tin dish, which he half-filled with water.

Word Origin and History for shovelful


1530s, from shovel (n.) + -ful.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper