Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
R - RAINBAT
R is the eighteenth letter of the English Alphabet, and an articulation sui generis, having little or no resemblance in pronunciation to any other letter. But from the position of the tongue in uttering it, it is commutable with l, into which letter it is changed in many words by the Spaniards and Portuguese, and some other nations; as l is also changed into r. It is numbered among the liquids and semi-vowels, and is sometimes called the canine letter. It is uttered with a guttural extrusion of the breath, and in some words, particularly at the end or after a labial and a dental letter, with a sort of quivering motion or slight jar of the tongue. Its English uses, which are uniform, may be understood by the customary pronunciation of rod, room, rose, bar, bare, barren, disturb, catarrh, free, brad, pride, drip, drag, drown.
In words which we have received from the Greek language, we follow the Latins, who wrote h after r, as the representative of the aspirated sound with which this letter was pronounced by the Greeks. It is the same in the Welsh language. But as the letter is not aspirated in English, h is entirely superfluous; rhapsody, rheum, rhetoric, being pronounced rapsody, reum, retoric.
As an abbreviation, R. in English, stands for rex, king, as George R.
As a numeral, R, in Roman authors, stands for 80, and with a dash over it, for 80,000. But in Greek, with a small mark over it, signifies 100, and with the same mark under it, it denoted 1000x100, or 100,000. In Hebrew, denoted 200, and with two horizontal points over it, 1000x200, or 200,000.
Among physicians, R. stands for recipe, take.
In falconry, to recover a hawk to the fist.
RABATO, n. A neckband or ruff. [Not in use.]
1. To pare down the edge of a board or other piece of timber, for the purpose of receiving the edge of another piece by lapping and thus uniting the two.
2. To lap and unite the edges of boards, etc. In ship carpentry, to let the edge of a plank into the keel.
RABBET, n. A cut on the side of a board, etc. to fit it to another by lapping; a joint made by lapping boards, etc.
RABBETED, pp. Pared down the edge of a board; united by a rabbet joint.
RABBETING, ppr. Paring down the edge of a board; uniting by a rabbet joint.
RABBET-PLANE, n. A joiner’s plane for paring or cutting square down the edge of a board, etc.
A title assumed by the Jewish doctors, signifying master or lord. This title is not conferred by authority, but assumed or allowed by courtesy to learned men.
RABBINIC, RABBINICAL, a. Pertaining to the Rabbins, or to their opinions, learning and language.
RABBINIC, n. The language or dialect of the Rabbins; the later Hebrew.
RABBINISM, n. A Rabbinic expression or phraseology; a peculiarity of the language of the Rabbins.
RABBINIST, n. Among the Jews, one who adhered to the Talmud and the traditions of the Rabbins, in opposition to the Caraites, who rejected the traditions.
RABBINITE, n. The same as rabbinist.
A small quadruped of the genus Lepus, which feeds on grass or other herbage, and burrows in the earth. The rabbit is said to be less sagacious than the hare. It is a very prolific animal, and is kept in warrens for the sake of its flesh.
RABBLE, n. [L. rabula, a brawler, from rabo, to rave.]
1. A tumultuous crowd of vulgar, noisy people; the mob; a confused disorderly crowd.
2. The lower class of people, without reference to an assembly; the dregs of the people.
RABBLE-CHARMING, a. Charming or delighting the rabble.
RABBLEMENT, n. A tumultuous crowd of low people. [Not in use.]
RABDOLOGY, n. [Gr. a rod, and discourse.]
A method of performing mathematical operations by little square rods.
RABID, a. [L. rabidus, from rabio, rabo, to rage.]
Furious; raging; mad; as a rabid dog or wolf. It is particularly applied to animals of the canine genus, affected with the distemper called rabies, and whose bite communicates hydrophobia.
RABIDNESS, n. Furiousness; madness.
RABINET, n. A kind of smaller ordnance.
RACA, n. A Syriac word signifying empty, beggarly, foolish; a term of extreme contempt. Matthew 5:22.
RACE, n. [L. radix and radius having the same original. This word coincides in origin with rod, ray, radiate, etc.]
1. The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock. A race is the series of descendants indefinitely. Thus all mankind are called the race of Adam; the Israelites are of the race of Abraham and Jacob. Thus we speak of a race of kings, the race of Clovis or Charlemagne; a race of nobles, etc.
Hence the long race of Alban fathers come.
2. A generation; a family of descendants. A race of youthful and unhandled colts.
3. A particular breed; as a race of mules; a race of horses; a race of sheep.
Of such a race no matter who is king.
4. A root; as race-ginger, ginger in the root or not pulverized.
5. A particular strength or taste of wine; a kind of tartness.
RACE, n. [L. gradior, gressus, with the prefix g. Eng. ride.]
1. A running; a rapid course or motion, either on the feet, on horseback or in a carriage, etc.; particularly, a contest in running; a running in competition for a prize.
The race was one of the exercises of the Grecian games.
I wield the gauntlet and I run the race.
2. Any sunning with speed.
The flight of many birds is swifter than the race of any beast.
3. A progress; a course; a movement or progression of any kind.
My race of glory run.
Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1.
4. Course; train; process; as the prosecution and race of the war. [Not now used.]
5. A strong or rapid current of water, or the channel or passage for such a current; as a mill-race.
6. By way of distinction, a contest in the running of horses; generally in the plural. The races commence in October.
RACE, v.i. To run swiftly; to run or contend in running. The animals raced over the ground.
RACE-GINGER, n. Ginger in the root or not pulverized.
RACE-HORSE, n. A horse bred or kept for running in contest; a horse that runs in competition.
RACEMATION, n. [L. racemus, a cluster.]
1. A cluster, as of grapes.
2. The cultivation of cluster of grapes.
RACEME, n. [L. racemus, a bunch of berries.]
In botany a species of inflorescence, consisting of a peduncle with short lateral branches. It is simple or compound, naked or leafy, etc.
RACEMIFEROUS, a. [L. racemus, a cluster, and fero, to bear.]
Bearing racemes or clusters; as the racemiferous fig-tree.
RACEMOUS, a. Growing in racemes or clusters.
RACER, n. [from race.] a runner; one that contends in a race.
And bade the nimblest racer seize the prize.
RACH, n. A setting dog.
RACINESS, n. The quality of being racy.
1. An engine of torture, used for extorting confessions from criminals or suspected persons. The rack is entirely unknown in free countries.
2. Torture; extreme pain; anguish.
A fit of the stone puts a king to the rack and makes him as miserable as it does the meanest subject.
3. Any instrument for stretching or extending any thing; as a rack for bending a bow.
4. A grate on which bacon is laid.
5. A wooden frame of open work in which hay is laid for horses and cattle for feeding.
6. The frame of bones of an animal; a skeleton. We say, a rack of bones.
7. A frame of timber on a ship’s bowsprit.
RACK, n. [Eng. crag.]
The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton.
[The two foregoing words are doubtless from one original.]
RACK, n. [See Reek.]
Properly, vapor; hence, thin flying broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapor in the sky.
The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds above, which we call the rack -
The great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and, like this unsubstantial pageant, faded, leave not a rack behind.
It is disputed however, whether rack in this passage should not be wreck.
RACK, n. [for arrack. See Arrack.] Among the Tartars, a spirituous liquor made of mare’s milk which has become sour and is then distilled.
RACK, v.i. [See the noun.]
1. Properly, to steam; to rise, as vapor.
[See Reek, which is the word used.]
2. To fly, as vapor or broken clouds.
RACK, v.t. [from the noun.]
1. To torture; to stretch or strain on the rack or wheel; as, to rack a criminal or suspected person, to extort a confession of his guilt, or compel him to betray his accomplices.
2. To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish; as racked with deep despair.
3. To harass by exaction.
The landlords there shamefully rack their tenants.
4. To stretch; to strain vehemently; to wrest; as, to rack and stretch Scripture; to rack invention.
The wisest among the heathens racked their wits -
5. To stretch; to extend.
To draw off from the lees; to draw off, as pure liquor from its sediment; as, to rack cider or wine; to rack off liquor.
1. Tortured; tormented; strained to the utmost.
2. Drawn off, as liquor.
RACKER, n. One that tortures or torments; one that racks.
1. A confused, clattering noise, less loud than uproar; applied to the confused sounds of animal voices, or such voices mixed with other sound. We say, the children make a racket; the racket of a flock of fowls.
2. Clamor; noisy talk.
RACKET, v.i. To make a confused noise or clamor; to frolic.
The instrument with which players at tennis strike the ball.
RACKET, v.t. To strike as with a racket.
RACKETY, a. Making a tumultuous noise.
1. Torturing; tormenting; straining; drawing off.
2. a. Tormenting; excruciating; as a racking pain.
1. Torture; a stretching on the rack.
2. Torment of the mind; anguish; as the rackings of conscience.
3. The act of stretching cloth on a frame for drying.
4. The act of drawing from the sediment, as liquors.
RACKING-PACE, n. The racking-pace of a horse is an amble, but with a quicker and shorter tread.
RACK-RENT, n. An annual rent of the full value of the tenement or near it.
RACK-RENTED, a. Subjected to the payment of rack-rent.
RACK-RENTER, n. One that is subjected to pay rack-rent.
RACOON, n. An American quadruped of the genus Ursus. It is somewhat larger than a fox, and its fur is deemed valuable, next to that of the beaver. This animal lodges in a hollow tree, feeds on vegetables, and its flesh is palatable food. It inhabits North America from Canada to the tropics.
RACY, a. [L. radix.]
Strong; flavorous; tasting of the soil; as racy cider; racy wine.
Rich racy verses, in which we the soil from which they come, taste, smell and see.
RAD, the old pret. of read.
RAD, RED, ROD, an initial or terminating syllable in names.
To twist; to wind together. [Not in use.]
RADDLE, n. [supra.] A long stick used in hedging; also, a hedge formed by interweaving the shoots and branches of trees or shrubs.
[I believe the two foregoing words are not used in the United States, and probably they are local.]
ruddy, which see.] A bird, the red-breast.
Pertaining to the radius or to the fore arm of the human body; as the radial artery or nerve.
The radial muscles are two muscles of the fore arm, one of which bends the wrist, the other extends it.
Radial curves, in geometry, curves of the spiral kind, whose ordinates all terminate in the center of the including circle, and appear like so many semidiameters.
Properly, brightness shooting in rays or beams; hence in general, brilliant or sparkling luster; vivid brightness; as the radiance of the sun.
The Son girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown’d of majesty divine.
RADIANT, a. Shooting or darting rays of light; beaming with brightness; emitting a vivid light or splendor; as the radiant sun.
Mark what radiant state she spreads.
Radiant in glittering arms and beamy pride.
RADIANT, n. In optics, the luminous point or object from which light emanates, that falls on a mirror or lens.
RADIANTLY, adv. With beaming brightness; with glittering splendor.
1. To issue in rays, as light; to dart, as beams of brightness; to shine.
Light radiates from luminous bodies directly to our eyes.
2. To issue and proceed in direct lines from a point.
RADIATE, v.t. To enlighten; to illuminate; to shed light or brightness on. [Usually irradiate.]
RADIATE, a. In botany, a rayed or radiate corol or flower, is a compound flower consisting of a disk, in which the corollets or florets are tubular and regular, and of a ray, in which the florets are irregular.
Or a flower with several semiflosculous florets set round a disk in form of a radiant star.
1. Adorned with rays of light.
2. Having crystals diverging from a center.
RADIATING, ppr. Darting rays of light; enlightening; as the radiating point in optics.
RADIATION, n. [L. radiatio.]
1. The emission and diffusion of rays of light; beamy brightness.
2. The shooting of any thing from a center, like the diverging rays of light.
1. Pertaining to the root or origin; original; fundamental; as a radical truth or error; a radical evil; a radical difference of opinions or systems.
2. Implanted by nature; native; constitutional; as the radical moisture of a body.
3. Primitive; original; underived; uncompounded; as a radical word.
4. Serving to origination.
5. In botany, proceeding immediately from the root; as a radical leaf or peduncle.
1. In philology, a primitive word; a radix, root, or simple underived uncompounded word.
2. A primitive letter; a letter that belongs to the radix.
3. in chimistry, an element, or a simple constituent part of a substance, which is incapable of decomposition.
That which constitutes the distinguishing part of an acid, by its union with oxygen.
Compound radical is the base of an acid composed of two or more substances. Thus a vegetable acid having a radical composed of hydrogen and carbon, is said to be an acid with a compound radical.
Radical quantities, in algebra, quantities whose roots may be accurately expressed in numbers. The term is sometimes extended to all quantities under the radical sign.
2. A being radical; a quantity which has relation to a root.
1. Originally; at the origin or root; fundamentally; as a scheme or system radically wrong or defective.
2. Primitively; essentially; originally; without derivation.
These great orbs thus radically bright.
RADICALNESS, n. The state of being radical or fundamental.
RADICANT, a. [L. radicans.] In botany, rooting; as a radicant stem or leaf.
RADICATE, v.t. [L. radicatus, radicor, from radix, root.]
To root; to plant deply and firmly; as radicated opinions; radicated knowledge.
Meditation will radicate these seeds.
RADICATE, RAD’ICATED, pp. or a. Deeply planted.
Prejudices of a whole race of people radicated by a succession of ages.
RADICATION, n. [from radicate.]
1. The process of taking root deeply; as the radication of habits.
2. In botany, the disposition of the root of a plant with respect to the ascending and descending caudex and the radicles.
RADICLE, n. [L. radicula, from radix.]
1. That part of the seed of a plant which upon vegetating becomes the root.
2. The fibrous part of a root, by which the stock or main body of it is terminated.
RADIOMETER, n. [L. radius, rod, and Gr. measure.]
The forestaff, an instrument for taking the altitudes of celestial bodies.
A plant of the genus Raphanus, the root of which is eaten raw. Horse-radish is of the genus Cochlearia. Water-radish is of the genus Sisymbrium.
1. In geometry, a right line drawn or extending from the center of a circle to the periphery, and hence the semidiameter of the circle. In trigonometry, the radius is the whole sine, or sine of 90 degrees.
2. In anatomy, the exterior bone of the fore arm, descending along with the ulna from the elbow to the wrist.
3. In botany, a ray; the outer part or circumference of a compound radiate flower, or radiated discous flower.
RADIX, n. [L. a root.]
1. In etymology, a primitive word from which spring other words.
2. In logarithms, the base of any system of logarithms, or that number whose logarithm is unity. Thus in Briggs’, or the common system of logarithms, the radix is 10; in Napier’s, it is 2.7182818284. All other numbers are considered as some powers or roots of the radix, the exponents of which powers or roots, constitute the logarithms of those numbers respectively.
3. In algebra, radix sometimes denotes the root of a finite expression, from which a series is derived.
RAFF, v.t. [Heb.]
To sweep; to snatch, draw or huddle together; to take by a promiscuous sweep. Obs.
Their causes and effects I thus raff up together.
1. The sweepings of society; the rabble; the mob. This is used chiefly in the compound or duplicate, riff-raff.
2. A promiscuous heap or collection; a jumble.
To cast dice for a prize, for which each person concerned in the game lays down a stake, or hazards a part of the value; as, to raffle for a watch.
RAFFLE, n. A game of chance, or lottery in which several persons deposit a part of the value of the thing, in consideration of the chance of gaining it. The successful thrower of the dice takes or sweeps the whole.
RAFFLER, n. One who raffles.
RAFFLING, ppr. The act of throwing dice for a prize staked by a number.
An assemblage of boards, planks or pieces of timber fastened together horizontally and floated down a stream; a float.
RAFT, pp. [L. rapio; bereafian, to snatch away, to bereave.]
Torn; rent; severed. Obs.
RAFTER, n. [Gr. to cover; a roof.]
A roof timber; a piece of timber that extends from the plate of a building to the ridge and serves to support the covering of the roof.
RAFTERED, a. Built or furnished with rafters.
RAFTY, a. Damp; musty. [Local.]
RAG, n. [Gr. a torn garment; tear; a rupture, a rock, a crag; to tear asunder.]
1. Any piece of cloth torn from the rest; a tattered cloth, torn or worn till its texture is destroyed. Linen and cotton rags are the chief materials of paper.
2. Garments worn out; proverbially, mean dress.
Drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Proverbs 23:21.
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
3. A fragment of dress.
To scold; to rail. [Local.]
A paltry fellow; a mean wretch.
RAG-BOLT, n. An iron pin with barbs on its shank to retain it in its place.
RAGE, n. [Heb. to grind or gnash the teeth.]
1. Violent anger accompanied with furious words, gestures or agitation; anger excited to fury. Passion sometimes rises to rage.
Torment and loud lament and furious rage.
2. Vehemence or violent exacerbation of any thing painful; as the rage of pain; the rage of a fever; the rage of hunger or thirst.
3. Fury; extreme violence; as the rage of a tempest.
4. Enthusiasm; rapture.
Who brought green poesy to her perfect age, and made that art which was a rage.
5. Extreme eagerness or passion directed to some object; as the rage for money.
You purchase pain with all that joy can give, and die of nothing but a rage to live.
1. To be furious with anger; to be exasperated to fury; to be violently agitated with passion.
At this he inly rag’d.
2. To be violent and tumultuous.
Why do the heathen rage? Psalm 2:1.
3. To be violently driven or agitated; as the raging sea or winds.
4. To ravage; to prevail without restraint, or with fatal effect; as, the plague rages in Cairo.
5. To be driven with impetuosity; to act or move furiously.
The chariots shall rage in the streets. Nahum 2:4.
The madding wheels of brazen chariots rag’d.
6. To toy wantonly; to sport. [Not in use.]
RAGEFUL, a. Full of rage; violent; furious.
RAGERY, n. Wantonness. [Not used.]
RAGG, n. Rowley ragg, a species of silicious stone, of a dusky or dark gray color, with shining crystals, of a granular texture, and by exposure to the air acquiring an ochery crust.
RAGGED, a. [from rag.]
1. Rent or worn into tatters, or till its texture is broken; as a ragged coat; a ragged sail.
2. Broken with rough edges; uneven; as a ragged rock.
3. Having the appearance of being broken or torn; jagged; rough with sharp or irregular points.
The moon appears, when looked upon through a good glass, rude and ragged.
4. Wearing tattered clothes; as a ragged fellow.
5. Rough; rugged.
What shepherd owns those ragged sheep?
1. The state of being dressed in tattered clothes.
2. The state of being rough or broken irregularly; as the raggedness of a cliff.
RAGING, ppr. [from rage.]
1. Acting with violence or fury.
2. a. Furious; impetuous; vehemently driven or agitated; as the raging sea or tempest.
RAGING, n. Fury; violence; impetuosity. Jonah 1:15.
RAGINGLY, adv. With fury; with violent impetuosity.
RAGMAN, n. A man who collects or deals in rags, the materials of paper.
RAGOO, RAGOUT, n. A sauce or seasoning for exciting a languid appetite; or a high seasoned dish, prepared with fish, flesh, greens and the like, stewed with salt, pepper, cloves, etc.
RAGSTONE, n. A stone of the silicious kind, so named from its rough fracture. It is of a gray color, the texture obscurely laminar or rather fibrous, the lamins consisting of a congeries of grains of a quartzy appearance, coarse and rough. It effervesces with acids, and gives fire with steel. It is used for a whetstone without oil or water, for sharpening coarse cutting tools.
RAGWORT, n. A plant of the genus Senecio.
1. A cross beam fixed at the ends in two upright posts.
[In New England, this is never called a beam; pieces of timber of the proper size for rails are called scantling.]
2. In the United States, a piece of timber cleft, hewed or sawed, rough or smooth, inserted in upright posts for fencing. The common rails among farmers, are rough, being used as they are split from the chestnut or other trees. The rails used in fences of boards or pickets round gentlemen’s houses and gardens, are usually sawed scantling and often dressed with the plane.
3. A bar of wood or iron used for inclosing any place; the piece into which ballusters are inserted.
4. A series of posts connected with cross beams, by which a place is inclosed.
In New England we never call this series a rail, but by the general term railing. In a picket fence, the pales or pickets rise above the rails; in a ballustrade, or fence resembling it, the ballusters usually terminate in the rails.
5. In a ship, a narrow plank nailed for ornament or security on a ship’s upper works; also, a curved piece of timber extending from the bows of a ship to the continuation of its stern, to support the knee of the head, etc.
RAIL, n. A bird of the genus Rallus, consisting of many species. The water rail has a long slender body with short concave wings. The birds of the genus inhabit the slimy margins of rivers and ponds covered with marsh plants.
A woman’s upper garment; retained in the word nightrail, but not used in the United States.
1. To inclose with rails.
2. To range in a line.
RAIL, v.i. [Eng. to brawl.]
To utter reproaches; to scoff; to use insolent and reproachful language; to reproach or censure in opprobrious terms; followed by at or against, formerly by on.
And rail at arts he did not understand.
Lesbia forever on e rails.
RAIL-BIRD, n. A bird of the genus Cuculus.
RAILER, n. One who scoffs, insults, censures or reproaches with opprobrious language.
1. Clamoring with insulting language; uttering reproachful words.
2. a. Expressing reproach; insulting; as a railing accusation. 2 Peter 2:11.
RAILING, n. Reproachful or insolent language. 1 Peter 3:9.
RAILING, ppr. Inclosing with rails.
1. A series of rails; a fence.
2. Rails in general; or the scantling for rails.
RAILINGLY, adv. With scoffing or insulting language.
Banter; jesting language; good humored pleasantry or slight satire; satirical merriment.
Let raillery be without malice or heat.
- Studies employed on low objects; the very naming of them is sufficient to turn them into raillery.
RAILLEUR, n. A banterer; a jester; a mocker. [Not English nor in use.]
Living, both food and raiment she supplies.
2. A single garment.
[In this sense it is rarely used, and indeed is improper.]
RAIN, v.i. [It seems that rain is contracted from regen. It is the Gr. to rain, to water, which we retain in brook, and the Latins, by dropping the prefix, in rigo, irrigo, to irrigate. The primary sense is to pour out, to drive forth. Heb.]
1. To fall in drops from the clouds, as water; used mostly with it for a nominative; as, it rains; it will rain; it rained, or it has rained.
2. To fall or drop like rain; as, tears rained at their eyes.
RAIN, v.t. To pour or shower down from the upper regions, like rain from the clouds.
Then said the Lord to Moses, behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. Exodus 16:4.
God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. Job 20:23.
Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and horrible tempest. Psalm 11:6.