- 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.
- a first installment of payment.
- the initial experience of anything; first encounter with or use of something taken as a token of what will follow; foretaste.
- to give a handsel to.
- to inaugurate auspiciously.
- to use, try, or experience for the first time.
Origin of handsel
Related Words for handselallowance, alms, award, benefaction, benefit, bequest, bestowal, bonus, boon, bounty, charity, contribution, courtesy, dispensation, donation, endowment, favor, grant, gratuity, hand
Examples from the Web for handsel
Historical Examples of handsel
"And here's a handsel to cross his palm," added Harry, passing the piper something invisible.The Incendiary
W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
A bareheaded lassie, hoping to be handsel, threw down twopence, and asked tape at three yards for a halfpenny.The Life of Mansie Wauch
David Macbeth Moir
He would instantly give him a 'handsel' of harrying to stay his proud stomach.Border Ghost Stories
- a gift for good luck at the beginning of a new year, new venture, etc
- to give a handsel to (a person)
- to begin (a venture) with ceremony; inaugurate