Handfast definition

hăndfăst
A handclasp used to signify a pledge, such as a contract or marriage.
noun
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A firm hold, as with the hands.
noun
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A contract, esp. of marriage or betrothal, confirmed by a handclasp.
noun
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Betrothed or married.
adjective
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To betroth or marry by joining hands.
verb
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(obsolete) A hold, grasp; custody, power of confining or keeping.

noun
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(obsolete) A contract, agreement, covenant; specifically betrothal, espousal.
noun
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To pledge; to bind.
verb
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(Wicca) To betroth by joining hands, in order to allow cohabitation before the celebration of marriage; to marry provisionally.
verb
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(obsolete) Fast by contract; betrothed by joining hands.

adjective
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(rare) Strong; steadfast.
adjective
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Origin of handfast

  • From Middle English hondfast past participle of hondfesten to betroth from Old Norse handfesta to strike a bargain, pledge hönd hand festa to fasten, fix, affirm past- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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).

    From Wiktionary

  • German Handfest, itself from Hand 'hand' + fest 'firm, strong'.

    From Wiktionary