(noun, verb)


1. (obsolete) A lucky omen.

2. A gift given at New Year, or at the start of some enterprise or new situation, meant to ensure good luck.

3. The first installment, or first payment of money in a day or series.

4. (obsolete) price; payment


1. (transitive) To give a handsel to.

2. (transitive) To inaugurate by means of some ceremony; to break in.

3. (transitive) To use or do for the first time, especially so as to make fortunate or unfortunate; to try experimentally.