- a firm hold, as with the hands
- a contract, esp. of marriage or betrothal, confirmed by a handclasp
Origin of handfast; from handfastthe
Origin of handfastME handfasten < OE handfæstan, to make fast, ratify & < ON handfesta: see hand & fasten
Origin of handfastFrom Middle English hondfast, past participle of hondfesten, to betroth, from Old Norse handfesta, to strike a bargain, pledge : h&odie;nd, hand + festa, to fasten, fix, affirm; see past- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present handfasts, present participle handfasting, simple past and past participle handfasted)
- (obsolete) Fast by contract; betrothed by joining hands.
Middle English hondfast, past participle of hondfesten 'to betroth', from Old Norse handfesta 'to strike a bargain, pledge', itself from hönd 'hand' + festa 'to fasten, fix, affirm' (compare see past- in Indo-European roots).
(comparative more handfast, superlative most handfast)
- (rare) Strong; steadfast.