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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A handful.

2. A division of the roman army numbering sixty men exclusive of officers, any small body of soldiers; a company.

3. Originally, a napkin; later, an ornamental band or scarf worn upon the left arm as a part of the vestments of a priest in the roman Catholic Church. It is sometimes worn in the english Church service.

Origin: L. Manipulus, maniplus, a handful, a certain number of soldiers; manus hand _ root of plere to fill, plenus full: cf. F.maniple. See manual, and full.