Dictionary.com

handfast

[ hand-fast, -fahst ]
/ ˈhændˌfæst, -ˌfɑst /
Save This Word!

noun

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

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for handfast

British Dictionary definitions for handfast

handfast
/ (ˈhændˌfɑːst) archaic /

noun

an agreement, esp of marriage, confirmed by a handshake
a firm grip

verb (tr)

to betroth or marry (two persons or another person) by joining the hands
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
See Today's Synonym