Definition of handfast in English:


Line breaks: hand|fast
Pronunciation: /ˈhan(d)fɑːst


[with object]
Engage (someone) to be married: she was handfasted to my older brother Lewis they had been handfasted when they were but twelve years old
More example sentences
  • Despite his doubts, when Gemma faces deceipt and danger, Drummond handfasts with her.
  • I have a wonderful man who loves me, and we were handfasted this past Summer.
  • Let those who would love one another, and would be as one and bear child, be handfasted.


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An engagement or marriage contract: the only thing that can undo a handfast is a lack of love
More example sentences
  • Handfasts were common in Tudor England.
  • In the Lake District in the sixteenth century a handfast was supposed to last no longer than a year and a day.
  • He was the offspring of a handfast union.


late Old English: from Old Norse handfesta 'strike a bargain by joining hands'.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards