Definitions for: Wassail


[n] a punch made of sweetened ale or wine heated with spices and roasted apples; especially at Christmas
[v] propose a toast to; "Let us toast the birthday girl!"; "Let's drink to the New Year"
[v] 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!"



Webster (1913) Definition: Was"sail, n. [AS. wes h[=a]l (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.]
1. 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 w[ae]s heil, that is,
literally, Health be to you. --N. Drake.

2. An occasion on which such good wishes are expressed in
drinking; a drinking bout; a carouse. ``In merry wassail
he . . . peals his loud song.'' --Sir W. Scott.

The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
Keeps wassail. --Shak.

The victors abandoned themselves to feasting and
wassail. --Prescott.

3. 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. --Old
Song.

4. A festive or drinking song or glee. [Obs.]

Have you done your wassail! 'T is a handsome, drowsy
ditty, I'll assure you. --Beau. & Fl.


Was"sail, a.
Of or pertaining to wassail, or to a wassail; convivial; as,
a wassail bowl. ``Awassail candle, my lord, all tallow.''
--Shak.

Wassail bowl, a bowl in which wassail was mixed, and placed
upon the table. ``Spiced wassail bowl.'' --J. Fletcher.
``When the cloth was removed, the butler brought in a huge
silver vessel . . . Its appearance was hailed with
acclamation, being the wassail bowl so renowned in
Christmas festivity.'' --W. Irving.

Wassail cup, a cup from which wassail was drunk.


Was"sail, v. i.
To hold a wassail; to carouse.

Spending all the day, and good part of the night, in
dancing, caroling, and wassailing. --Sir P.
Sidney.

Synonyms: drink, jollify, make happy, make merry, make whoopie, pledge, racket, revel, salute, toast, whoop it up

See Also: booze, carouse, celebrate, fete, fuddle, give, honor, honour, punch, reward, riot, roister

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