Pronunciation: (han'sul), [key]
—n., v., -seled, -sel•ing or (esp. Brit.) -selled, -sel•ling.
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.
1. to give a handsel to.
2. to inaugurate auspiciously.
3. to use, try, or experience for the first time. Also,hansel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.