Hand"sel (?), n. [Written also hansel.] [OE. handsal, hansal, hansel, AS. handslena 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 on 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.

Their first good handsel of breath in this world. Fuller.

Our present tears here, not our present laughter, Are but the handsels of our joys hereafter. Herrick.

2.

Price; payment.

[Obs.]

Spenser.

Handsel Monday, the first Monday of the new year, when handsels or presents are given to servants, children, etc.

 

© Webster 1913.


Hand"sel, v. t. [imp. & p. p. HandseledHandseled (); p. pr. & vb. n. HandselingHandselling.] [Written also hansel.] [OE handsellen, hansellen;cf. Isel. hadsala, handselja. See Handsel, n.]

1.

To give a handsel to.

2.

To use or do for the first time, esp. so as to make fortunate or unfortunate; to try experimentally.

No contrivance of our body, but some good man in Scripture hath handseled it with prayer. Fuller.

 

© Webster 1913.

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