from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of handfast.
  • n. The ceremony in which people handfast.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Betrothal or provisional marriage by joining hands. See handfast, v., 3.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • If you wish to offer your guests a deeper explanation of the spiritual significance of your ritual, programs distributed at the handfasting are the place to do so (as are websites, if you choose to have one for your handfasting).

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  • Bergen did an admirable job of bringing the era alive (although I did have to look up what "handfasting" was); it just seemed odd that a group of 14th century Roman Catholics would abandon almost all the trappings of their worship. [more ...]

    April Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog Tour: The Begotten

  • It was not uncommon to see trial marriages called "handfasting" in parts of Britain and Scotland.


  • But this "handfasting" was going to be in name only, no matter what Valyn thought.

    The Elvenbane

  • The 'handfasting' thus concluded, 'Ye hae forgot the bride ale!' cried many voices.

    Border Ghost Stories

  • In Scotland there was indeed a sort of trial marriage, known as "handfasting," by which the parties might live together for a year and a day and then continue as married or separate.

    The Age of the Reformation

  • "handfasting" signals to your guests that your event will have a Pagan theme, but if you want to be sure that they understand this, you may wish to include some elegant Pagan symbolism in your design, as well.

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  • Shakespeare was not only the upstairs lodger in the Mountjoy's house; he also "perswaded" Belott to marry Mary and officiated at their handfasting ceremony a few weeks before their church marriage.

    Supreme Court Meme

  • He looked down at his right hand, held palm up, so that the mark of the handfasting cut—healed now to only a thin pink line—showed plain.

    Dark Moon of Avalon

  • Isolde opened her hand and looked down at the cleanly healed scar of the handfasting across her palm.

    Dark Moon of Avalon


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  • Handfasting is a term used in Wicca/Witchcraft to refer to the rite of marriage. It is a pagan custom to bind together the hand of each of the marrying partners with a length of cord or a sash. This symbolizes the joining of the two as one.

    See also jumping the broom

    February 18, 2008