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Meaning of HANDSEL

 
Webster's 1913 Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
  1. \Hand"sel\, n. [Written also {hansel}.] [OE. handsal,
    hansal, hansel, AS. hands?lena giving into hands, or more
    prob. fr. Icel. handsal; hand hand + sal sale, bargain; akin
    to AS. sellan to give, deliver. See {Sell}, {Sale}. ]
    1. A sale, gift, or delivery into the hand of another;
       especially, a sale, gift, delivery, or using which is the
       first of a series, and regarded as on omen for the rest; a
       first installment; an earnest; as the first money received
       for the sale of goods in the morning, the first money
       taken at a shop newly opened, the first present sent to a
       young woman on her wedding day, etc.
    
             Their first good handsel of breath in this world.
                                                   --Fuller.
    
             Our present tears here, not our present laughter,
             Are but the handsels of our joys hereafter.
                                                   --Herrick.
    
    2. Price; payment. [Obs.] --Spenser.
    
    {Handsel Monday}, the first Monday of the new year, when
       handsels or presents are given to servants, children, etc.
    
    
  2. \Hand"sel\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Handseled} or
    {Handseled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Handseling} or {Handselling}.]
    [Written also hansel.] [OE handsellen, hansellen; cf. Icel.
    hadsala, handselja. See {Handsel}, n.]
    1. To give a handsel to.
    
    2. To use or do for the first time, esp. so as to make
       fortunate or unfortunate; to try experimentally.
    
             No contrivance of our body, but some good man in
             Scripture hath handseled it with prayer. --Fuller.
    
    
 

 

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