wassail

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v wassail propose a toast to "Let us toast the birthday girl!","Let's drink to the New Year"
    • v wassail celebrate noisily, often indulging in drinking; engage in uproarious festivities "The members of the wedding party made merry all night","Let's whoop it up--the boss is gone!"
    • n wassail a punch made of sweetened ale or wine heated with spices and roasted apples; especially at Christmas
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Wassail A festive or drinking song or glee. "Have you done your wassail ! 'T is a handsome, drowsy ditty, I'll assure you."
    • Wassail An ancient expression of good wishes on a festive occasion, especially in drinking to some one. "Geoffrey of Monmouth relates, on the authority of Walter Calenius, that this lady [Rowena], the daughter of Hengist, knelt down on the approach of the king, and, presenting him with a cup of wine, exclaimed, Lord king wæs heil , that is, literally, Health be to you."
    • Wassail An occasion on which such good wishes are expressed in drinking; a drinking bout; a carouse. "In merry wassail he . . . peals his loud song.""The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
      Keeps wassail ."
      "The victors abandoned themselves to feasting and wassail ."
    • a Wassail Of or pertaining to wassail, or to a wassail; convivial; as, a wassail bowl. "A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow."
    • Wassail The liquor used for a wassail; esp., a beverage formerly much used in England at Christmas and other festivals, made of ale (or wine) flavored with spices, sugar, toast, roasted apples, etc.; -- called also lamb's wool. "A jolly wassail bowl,
      A wassail of good ale."
    • v. i Wassail To hold a wassail; to carouse. "Spending all the day, and good part of the night, in dancing, caroling, and wassailing ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n wassail The salutation, toast, or form of words in which healths were formerly pledged in drinking, equivalent to ‘health,’ or ‘your good health,’ now in use.
    • n wassail A festive occasion or meeting where drinking and pledging of healths are indulged in; festivities; a drinking-bout; a carouse.
    • n wassail The liquor used on such occasions; specifically, ale, mixed with a smaller amount of wine, sweetened and flavored with spices, fruit, etc.
    • n wassail A merry drinking-song.
    • n wassail Synonyms Revel, Debauch, etc. See carousal.
    • wassail To drink to the health or prosperity of: as, to wassail the apple (an old custom on Christmas eve).
    • wassail To drink healths; carouse.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Wassail wos′āl the salutation uttered in drinking a person's health, a festive occasion: a drunken bout: a liquor consisting of ale with roasted apples, sugar, nutmeg, and toast, once much used on festive occasions
    • v.i Wassail to hold a wassail or merry drinking-meeting: to drink to the health of
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. wes hāl,or an equivalent form in another dialect) be in health, which was the form of drinking a health. The form wes, is imperative. See Was, and Whole

Usage

In literature:

The opportunity was sweet; and yet those boisterous wassailers, they might spoil all.
"The Young Duke" by Benjamin Disraeli
And let the Wassail Cup abound, Whene'er the mummers' time comes round.
"The Peace Egg and Other tales" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
A good Christmas-pie as e'er we did see; With the wassailing bowl I'll drink to thee.
"In The Yule-Log Glow, Vol. IV (of IV)" by Harrison S. Morris
It was past midnight when I withdrew from the scene of wassail.
"The Rifle Rangers" by Captain Mayne Reid
Wassail is equivalent to the phrase, "Your health," of the present day.
"Christmas: Its Origin and Associations" by William Francis Dawson
Wassail the trees, that they may bear, II.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
We'll wassail hold till the break of dawn, we friends of the poor man's club!
"Rippling Rhymes" by Walt Mason
Wassail-bowl presented to Dickens at Edinburgh, iii.
"The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete" by John Forster
The wassail bowl was a triumph, and the candle of Mr. Pickwick was put out.
"Peter and Jane" by S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan
Not even when the wassail-bowl was passed with mirth and laughter did he look up.
"The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation" by Annie Fellows Johnston
Wine and wassail filled the halls with revelry.
"Henry IV, Makers of History" by John S. C. Abbott
As we entered the camp, we found it a scene of rude hunters' revelry and wassail.
"With the World's Great Travellers, Volume 1" by Various
Wassail, bowl, 205; candle, 330.
"Folk-lore of Shakespeare" by Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer
But the last day of 1848 saw no wassail bowl in Szolnok, no hospitable meetings to hail the new-born year.
"Hungarian Sketches in Peace and War" by Mór Jókai
Quarrels broke out between the wassailing governor and the other partners.
"The Story of the Trapper" by A. C. Laut
The garrison was to have leave for merry-making and indulging in drunken wassail.
"Zigzag Journeys in Europe" by Hezekiah Butterworth
To preserve the unities we ought to have a wassail bowl.
"The Annals of Ann" by Kate Trimble Sharber
I'm sorry we can't have the Yule log and the wassail-bowl and the dear little Christmas waits.
"In League with Israel" by Annie F. Johnston
There, Katy, let's have a bit of a wassail to celebrate our All-Hallows' honeymoon, shall we?
"Through Welsh Doorways" by Jeannette Augustus Marks
Followed wassail and feasting galore.
"Everyday Adventures" by Samuel Scoville
***

In poetry:

O bird with heart of wassail,
That toss the Bacchic branch,
And slip your shaken music,
An elfin avalanche;
"A Question" by Francis Thompson
Why fell there silence on the chord
Beneath the harper's hand?
And suddenly, from that rich board,
Why rose the wassail-band?
"The Kaiser's Feast" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
The old man he had outlived them all,
His friends, he said, were gone;
But hundreds are wassailing now in the hall,
And true friends every one!
"The New Year" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
But let no footstep beat the floor,
Nor bowl of wassail mantle warm;
For who would keep an ancient form
Thro' which the spirit breathes no more?
"In Memoriam A. H. H.: 105." by Alfred Lord Tennyson
The bard who woke with heart and song
High strains of wassail, love, and gladness,
And heard with awe the chords among,
A wail of more than mortal sadness.
"The Warning Wail" by Janet Hamilton
The mad world clustered, it seemed, around.
"Farewell!" she sighed, sinking; then from afar
Flowed the pealing laughter and wassail's sound
(For the dead the world will not stay!).
"A Youth's Suicide" by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

In news:

Black and Blue / Wednesday Wanderlust with J W (Johan Wassailer).
Wake up bloated and disconsolate from yesterday's New Year's Day brunch -brunch is always a bad idea, especially when the host gets "creative" and tries to serve wassail.
Edward McGuire makes a purchase from Brewed Coffee Pub general manager Miranda Holland as employee Courtney Collings makes change during the first Southside Pie and Wassail Fair at Broadway Baptist Church Sunday.
Mt San Antonio College will hold its holiday Wassail Dinner and Concert Dec 6 through 8.
M y mother-in-law introduced me to wassail – a blend of citrus and apple juices infused with homey spices like cinnamon and clove.
Yankee Magazine Managing Editor Eileen Terrill shares a warm and spicy Christmas Wassail Bowl recipe from Ireland.
Holiday Traditions ' Wassail , Wassail , All Over the Town '.
Black and Blue / Wednesday Wanderlust with J W (Johan Wassailer ).
I can hardly wait for the celebrations, the holly, the ivy, (the mistletoe), the wassail, the carols, and the candlelight.
The Southside Pie and Wassail Festival aimed to bring together the community, local farmers and businesses for an old-fashioned gathering, while drawing visitors to a less-developed part of Fort Worth’s flourishing south side.
Fig and Walnut Bread, with cream cheese and pears, Caramel Corn and Cider Wassail Punch are Christmas treats for those who love songs of the holiday.
Pentangle's hosts events for Wassail Weekend.
The Orange Community Players present "Yuletide 2," a musical evening of Christmas and Broadway, Winter Wit and Wassail, at 7:37 pm, Friday, Dec 14 and Saturday, Dec 15.
The House of the Seven Gables has added a bit of sugar and spice, and a dash of "wanton wassailing," to the tours of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion during December.
***