hansel

[ han-suh l ]
/ ˈhæn səl /

noun, verb (used with object), han·seled, han·sel·ing or (especially British) han·selled, han·sel·ling.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Definition for hansel (2 of 2)

handsel

or han·sel

[ han-suh l ]
/ ˈhæn səl /

noun

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.

verb (used with object), hand·seled, hand·sel·ing or (especially British) hand·selled, hand·sel·ling.

to give a handsel to.
to inaugurate auspiciously.
to use, try, or experience for the first time.

Origin of handsel

before 1050; Middle English handselne good-luck token, good-will gift, Old English handselen manumission, literally, hand-gift (see hand, sell1); cognate with Danish handsel, earnest money

OTHER WORDS FROM handsel

un·hand·seled, adjectiveun·hand·selled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hansel

British Dictionary definitions for hansel (1 of 2)

hansel
/ (ˈhænsəl) /

noun, verb

a variant spelling of handsel

British Dictionary definitions for hansel (2 of 2)

handsel

hansel

archaic, or dialect

noun

a gift for good luck at the beginning of a new year, new venture, etc

verb -sels, -selling or -selled or US -sels, -seling or -seled (tr)

to give a handsel to (a person)
to begin (a venture) with ceremony; inaugurate

Word Origin for handsel

Old English handselen delivery into the hand; related to Old Norse handsal promise sealed with a handshake, Swedish handsöl gratuity; see hand, sell
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