• synonyms


[hou-zuh l]Archaic.
  1. the Eucharist.
  2. the act of administering or receiving the Eucharist.
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verb (used with object), hou·seled, hou·sel·ing or (especially British) hou·selled, hou·sel·ling.
  1. to administer the Eucharist to.
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Origin of housel

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English hūsl the Eucharist, probably orig. offering; cognate with Old Norse hūsl, Gothic hunsl sacrifice, offering; (v.) Middle English houselen, Old English hūslian, derivative of the noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for housel

Historical Examples

  • I pray you let me go upon my way, for there are those whom I would shrive and housel.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • For they shrive them and housel them evermore once or twice in the week.

  • As he arose from the slab, a bird in housel for the night flew out of the box.

  • In this life we require bread, and instruction, and partaking of the housel.

  • We were wedded out of hand by the priest that had been sent for to housel him, and in our true names.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for housel


  1. a medieval name for Eucharist
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verb -sels, -selling or -selled or US -sels, -seling or -seled
  1. (tr) to give the Eucharist to (someone)
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Word Origin

Old English hūsl; related to Gothic hunsl sacrifice, Old Norse hūsl
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