[shuhv-uh l-foo l]

noun, plural shov·el·fuls.

the amount held by a shovel.

Origin of shovelful

First recorded in 1525–35; shovel + -ful

Usage note

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

Examples from the Web for shovelful

Historical Examples of shovelful

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

  • "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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper