Definition of -ful in English:

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1(Forming adjectives from nouns) full of: sorrowful
1.1Having the qualities of: masterful
2Forming adjectives from adjectives or from Latin stems with little change of sense: grateful
3(Forming adjectives from verbs) apt to; able to; accustomed to: forgetful watchful
4 (plural -fuls) Forming nouns denoting the amount needed to fill the specified container, holder, etc. bucketful handful


The combining form -ful is used to form nouns meaning ‘the amount needed to fill’ ( cupful, spoonful, etc.). The plural form of such words is cupfuls, spoonfuls, etc. Three cups full would denote the individual cups rather than a quantity measured in cups: on the sill were three cups full of milk; add three cupfuls of milk to the batter.


From full1.

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