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  2  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Handsel  \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. 
  Our  present  tears  here  not  our  present  laughter, 
  Are  but  the  handsels  of  our  joys  hereafter. 
  2.  Price;  payment.  [Obs.]  --Spenser. 
  {Handsel  Monday},  the  first  Monday  of  the  new  year,  when 
  handsels  or  presents  are  given  to  servants,  children,  etc 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Handsel  \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.