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handsel

[han-suh l] /ˈhæn səl/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a first installment of payment.
3.
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), handseled, handseling or (especially British) handselled, handselling.
4.
to give a handsel to.
5.
to inaugurate auspiciously.
6.
to use, try, or experience for the first time.
Also, hansel.
Origin
1050
before 1050; Middle English handselne good-luck token, good-will gift, Old English handselen manumission, literally, hand-gift (see hand, sell); cognate with Danish handsel, earnest money
Related forms
unhandseled, adjective
unhandselled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for handselling

handsel

/ˈhænsəl/
noun
1.
a gift for good luck at the beginning of a new year, new venture, etc
verb (transitive) -sels, -selling, -selled (US) -sels, -seling, -seled
2.
to give a handsel to (a person)
3.
to begin (a venture) with ceremony; inaugurate
Word Origin
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
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