a. A game that is played, often on a four-walled court, by two or more players who alternately hit a small rubber ball against the front wall with the hand, with play stopping if the ball bounces twice on the floor or does not reach the front wall.
b. The ball used in this game.
2. Team handball.
3. often hand ball A violation of the rules in soccer in which a player other than the goalie inside the penalty area carries, strikes, or propels the ball with the hand or arm. A hand ball is usually called when the hand or arm is away from the body and touches the ball.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.