Handsel Hand"sel (h[a^]nd"s[e^]l), n. [Written also {hansel}.] [OE. handsal, hansal, hansel, AS. handselena giving into hands, or more prob. fr. Icel. handsal; hand hand + sal sale, bargain; akin to AS. sellan to give, deliver. See {Sell}, {Sale}. ] 1. A sale, gift, or delivery into the hand of another; especially, a sale, gift, delivery, or using which is the first of a series, and regarded as an omen for the rest; a first installment; an earnest; as the first money received for the sale of goods in the morning, the first money taken at a shop newly opened, the first present sent to a young woman on her wedding day, etc. [1913 Webster]

Their first good handsel of breath in this world. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

Our present tears here, not our present laughter, Are but the handsels of our joys hereafter. --Herrick. [1913 Webster]

2. Price; payment. [Obs.] --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

{Handsel Monday}, the first Monday of the new year, when handsels or presents are given to servants, children, etc. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Handsel — Hand sel, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Handseled} or {Handselled} (h[a^]nd s[e^]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Handseling} or {Handselling}.] [Written also hansel.] [OE handsellen, hansellen; cf. Icel. hadsala, handselja. See {Handsel}, n.] 1. To give a handsel… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • handsel — [hand′səl, han′səl] n. [ME handsel < OE (rare) handselen, a giving into hand & ON handsal, sealing of a bargain by a handclasp (transl. of L mancipatio: see EMANCIPATION), both < hand + IE base of SELL] 1. a present for good luck, as at the …   English World dictionary

  • handsel — I noun deposit, down payment, earnest money, first installment, first payment, first receipts, installment, payment, security, stake money II index binder, bounty, grant, largess (gift) …   Law dictionary

  • handsel — /han seuhl/, n., v., handseled, handseling or (esp. Brit.) handselled, handselling. n. 1. a gift or token for good luck or as an expression of good wishes, as at the beginning of the new year or when entering upon a new situation or enterprise. 2 …   Universalium

  • handsel — I. noun Etymology: Middle English hansell Date: 14th century 1. a gift made as a token of good wishes or luck especially at the beginning of a new year 2. something received first (as in a day of trading) and taken to be a token of good luck 3. a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • handsel — 1. noun /ˈhandsəl/ a) A gift given at New Year, or at the start of some enterprise or new situation, meant to ensure good luck. b) The first installment, or first payment of money in a day or series. 2. verb /ˈhandsəl/ a) To give a handsel to …   Wiktionary

  • handsel — I. n. [Written also Hansel.] Earnest, first receipts, first fruits, first gift, beginning of fortune, gift with promise. II. v. a. [Written also Hansel.] 1. Give a handsel or earnest to. 2. Use for the first time, do for the first time …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • handsel — hand•sel [[t]ˈhæn səl[/t]] n. v. seled, sel•ing (esp. brit.) selled, sel•ling. 1) a gift or token for good luck, as at the new year or when entering upon a new enterprise 2) the initial experience of anything; foretaste 3) a first installment of… …   From formal English to slang

  • handsel — /ˈhænsəl/ (say hansuhl) noun 1. a gift or token for good luck or as an expression of good wishes, as at the beginning of the new year, or at entering upon a new state, situation, or enterprise. 2. a first instalment of payment. 3. the first use… …   Australian English dictionary

  • handsel —   n. gift, especially at New Year; first money taken at shop; earnest money; v.t. give handsel; inaugurate with gift, etc.; attempt for first time.    ♦ handseller, n. cheap jack …   Dictionary of difficult words

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