[ hand-fast, -fahst ]

  1. Archaic. a covenant or contract, especially a betrothal, usually completed by a handclasp.

Origin of handfast

1150–1200; Middle English (past participle), earlier handfest<Scandinavian; compare Old Norse handfestr, past participle of handfesta to betroth with a joining of hands, equivalent to handhand + festa to betroth, literally, make fast, fasten

Words Nearby handfast

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How to use handfast in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for handfast


/ (ˈhændˌfɑːst) archaic /

  1. an agreement, esp of marriage, confirmed by a handshake

  2. a firm grip

  1. to betroth or marry (two persons or another person) by joining the hands

  2. to grip with the hand

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012