from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A salutation or toast given in drinking someone's health or as an expression of goodwill at a festivity.
- n. The drink used in such toasting, commonly ale or wine spiced with roasted apples and sugar.
- n. A festivity characterized by much drinking.
- transitive v. To drink to the health of; toast.
- intransitive v. To engage in or drink a wassail.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A toast to health, usually at a festival.
- n. The beverage served during a wassail.
- n. Revelry.
- v. To toast, to drink to the health of another.
- v. To drink wassail.
- v. To go from house to house at Christmastime, singing carols.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An ancient expression of good wishes on a festive occasion, especially in drinking to some one.
- n. An occasion on which such good wishes are expressed in drinking; a drinking bout; a carouse.
- n. 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.
- n. A festive or drinking song or glee.
- adj. Of or pertaining to wassail, or to a wassail; convivial.
- intransitive v. To hold a wassail; to carouse.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 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. A festive occasion or meeting where drinking and pledging of healths are indulged in; festivities; a drinking-bout; a carouse.
- n. The liquor used on such occasions; specifically, ale, mixed with a smaller amount of wine, sweetened and flavored with spices, fruit, etc.
- n. A merry drinking-song.
- n. Synonyms Revel, Debauch, etc. See carousal.
- To drink to the health or prosperity of: as, to wassail the apple (an old custom on Christmas eve).
- To drink healths; carouse.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. celebrate noisily, often indulging in drinking; engage in uproarious festivities
- n. a punch made of sweetened ale or wine heated with spices and roasted apples; especially at Christmas
- v. propose a toast to
Middle English, contraction of wæshæil, be healthy, from Old Norse ves heill : ves, imperative sing. of vera, to be; see wes-1 in Indo-European roots + heill, healthy; see kailo- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse ves heill ("be healthy!"), from the imperative of vesa ("to be") + heill ("healthy"). The earliest documented use of the term is from 1275. (Wiktionary)