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.