Handsel Definition

handseled, handseling, handselled, handselling, handsels
A present for good luck, as at the new year or on the launching of a new business.
Webster's New World
The first money taken in by a new business or on any day of business.
Webster's New World
A first payment or first installment.
Webster's New World
The first use or specimen of anything, regarded as a token of what is to follow.
Webster's New World
A specimen or foretaste of what is to come.
American Heritage
To give a handsel to.
Webster's New World
To begin or launch with ceremony and gifts.
Webster's New World
To use, do, etc. for the first time.
Webster's New World

Origin of Handsel

  • Middle English hanselle from Old English handselen a handing over (hand hand) (selen gift) and from Old Norse handsal legal transfer (hand hand) (sal a giving)

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

  • Old English handselen, or Old Norse handsal. See sell, sale.

    From Wiktionary

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