Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



AFFINITY, n. [L. affinitas, from affinis, adjacent, related by marriage; ad and finis, end.]

1. The relation contracted by marriage, between a husband and his wife’s kindred, and between a wife and her husband’s kindred; in contradistinction from consanguinity or relation by blood.

Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh. 1 Kings 3:1.

2. Agreement; relation; conformity; resemblance; connection; as, the affinity of sounds, of colors, or of languages.

3. In chimistry, attraction; elective attraction, or that tendency which different species of matter have to unite, and combine with certain other bodies, and the power that disposes them to continue in combination There are two kinds of affinity.

1. Affinity of aggregation, which is the power that causes two homogeneous bodies to tend towards each other, unite and cohere, as two drops of water, which unite in one.

2. Affinity of composition, which is the tendency of bodies of different kinds to unite and form new combinations of bodies with different properties. Such is the affinity which unites acids and alkalies, the results of which combination are neutral salts.

The operations of this principle are various. When heterogeneous bodies have mutually an equal attraction, it is called compound affinity. When one substance decomposes a combination of others, unites with one of them and precipitates the other, the power is called the affinity of decomposition. When bodies will not unite, but by means of a third, which enables them to combine, this is affinity by means of a medium.

Double affinity is when by means of four bodies, two decompositions and two new combinations are effected.

AFFIRM, v.t. afferm’ [L. affirmo; ad and firmo, to make firm. See Firm.]

1. To assert positively; to tell with confidence; to aver; to declare the existence of something; to maintain as true; opposed to deny.

Of one Jesus whom Paul affirmed to be alive. Acts 25:19.

2. To make firm; to establish, confirm or ratify; as, the Supreme court affirmed the judgment.

AFFIRM, v.i. To declare solemnly before a court or magistrate, for confirming a fact, or to have an affirmation administered to, by way of confirmation, or as a substitute for an oath; as, the witness affirmed to the fact, or he was affirmed to the fact.

AFFIRMABLE, a. That may be asserted or declared; followed by of; as, an attribute affirmable of every just man.


1. Confirmation; ratification; as, the affirmance of a judgment; a statute in affirmance of common law.

2. Declaration; affirmation. [Little used.]

AFFIRMANT, n. One who affirms.


1. The act of affirming or asserting as true; opposed to negation or denial.

2. That which is asserted; position declared as true; averment.

3. Confirmation; ratification; an establishing of what had been before done or decreed.

4. A solemn declaration made under the penalties of perjury, by persons who conscientiously decline taking an oath; which affirmation is in law equivalent to testimony given under oath.


1. That affirms, or asserts; declaratory of what exists; opposed to negative; as, an affirmative proposition.

2. Confirmative; ratifying; as, an act affirmative of common law.

3. In algebra, positive; a term applied to numbers which have the sign + plus, denoting addition, and opposed to negative, or such as have the sign - minus, denoting subtraction.

4. Positive; dogmatic. Obs.

AFFIRMATIVE, n. That side of a question which affirms or maintains; opposed to negative; as, there were seventy votes in the affirmative, and thirty-five in the negative.

AFFIRMATIVELY, adv. In an affirmative manner; positively; on the affirmative side of a question; opposed to negatively.

AFFIRMED, pp. Declared; asserted; averred; confirmed; ratified.

AFFIRMER, n. One who affirms.

AFFIRMING, ppr. Asserting; declaring positively; confirming.

AFFIX, v.t. [L. affigo, affixum, of ad and figo, to fix. Eng. peg. See Fix.]

1. To unite at the end; to subjoin, annex, or add at the close; as, to affix a syllable to a word; to affix a seal to an instrument.

2. To attach, unite, or connect with, as names affixed to ideas, or ideas affixed to things.

3. To fix or fasten in any manner. In this sense, fix is more generally used.

AFFIX, n. A syllable or letter added to the end of a word.

AFFIXED, pp. United at the end; annexed; attached.

AFFIXING, ppr. Uniting at the end; subjoining; attaching.

AFFIXION, n. The act of uniting at the end, or state of being so united. [Little used.]

AFFIXTURE, n. That which is affixed.

AFFLATION, n. [L. affle, afflatum, of ad and flo; Eng. blow. See Blow.]

A blowing or breathing on.


1. A breath or blast of wind.

2. Inspiration; communication of divine knowledge, or the power of prophesy.

AFFLICT, v.t. [L. affligo, afflicto, of ad and figo, to strike; eng. flog; Gr. to strike;, L. plaga, a stroke. Hence, eng. flail, g being suppressed; L. flagellum. See Flog.]

1. To give to the body or mind pain which is continued or of some permanence; to grieve, or distress; as, one is afflicted with the gout, or with melancholy, or with losses and misfortunes.

They afflict thy heritage, O Lord. Psalm 94:5.

2. To trouble; to harass; to distress.

AFFLICTED, pp. Affected with continued or often repeated pain, either of body or mind; suffering grief or distress, of any kind; followed by at, by or with; as, afflicted at the loss of a child, by the rheumatism, or with losses.

AFFLICTEDNESS, n. The state of being afflicted; but superseded by affliction.

AFFLICTER, n. One who afflicts, or causes pain of body or of mind.

AFFLICTING, ppr. Causing continued or durable pain of body or mind; grieving; distressing.

AFFLICTING, a. Grievous; distressing; as, an afflicting event.


1. The state of being afflicted; a state of pain, distress, or grief.

Some virtues are seen only in affliction.

2. The cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Psalm 34:19.

AFFLICTIVE, a. Giving pain; causing continued or repeated pain or grief; painful; distressing.

AFFLICTIVELY, adv. In a manner to give pain or grief.

AFFLUENCE, n. [L. affluentia, of ad and fluo, to flow. See Flow.]

1. Literally, a flowing to, or concourse. In this sense it is rarely used. It is sometimes written affluency.

2. Figuratively, abundance of riches; great plenty of worldly goods; wealth.

AFFLUENT, a. Flowing to; more generally, wealthy; abounding in goods or riches; abundant.

AFFLUENTLY, adv. In abundance; abundantly.

AFFLUX, n. [L. affluxum, from affluo. See Flow.]

The act of flowing to; a flowing to, or that which flows to; as, an afflux of blood to the head.

AFFLUXION, n. The act of flowing to; that which flows to. [See Afflux.]

AFFORAGE, n. [ad and force.]

In France, a duty paid to the lord of a district, for permission to sell wine or other liquors, within his seignory.

AFFORCEMENT, n. [ad and force.]

In old charters, a fortress; a fortification for defense. Obs.

AFFORD, v.t. [ad and the root of forth, further. The sense is to send forth. But I have not found this precise word in the exact sense of the English, in any other language.]

1. To yield or produce as fruit, profit, issues, or result. Thus, the earth affords grain; a well affords water; trade affords profit; distilled liquors afford spirit.

2. To yield, grant or confer; as, a good life affords consolation in old age.

3. To be able to grant or sell with profit or without loss; as, A can afford wine at a less price than B.

4. To be able to expend without injury to one’s estate; as, a man can afford a sum yearly in charity; or be able to bear expenses, or the price of the thing purchased; as, one man can afford to buy a farm, which another cannot.

5. To be able without loss or with profit.

The merchant can afford to trade for smaller profits.

AFFORDED, pp. Yielded as fruit, produce or result; sold without loss or with profit.

AFFORDING, ppr. Yielding; producing; selling without loss; bearing expenses.

AFFOREST, v.t. [ad and forest.]

To convert ground into forest, as was done by the first Norman kings in England, for the purpose of affording them the pleasures of the chase.

AFFORESTATION, n. The act of turning ground into forest or wood land.

AFFORESTED, pp. Converted into forest.

AFFORESTING, ppr. Converting into forest.

AFFRANCHISEMENT, n. [See Franchise and disfranchise.]

The act of making free, or liberating from dependence or servitude. [Little used.]

AFFRAP, v.t. [Eng. rap.] To strike. Obs.


1. In law, the fighting of two or more persons, in a public place, to the terror of others. A fighting in private is not, in a legal sense, an affray.

2. In popular language, fray is used to express any fighting of two or more persons; buy the word is now deemed inelegant.

3. Tumult; disturbance.

AFFREIGHT, v.t. affra’te. [See Freight.]

To hire a ship for the transportation of goods or freight.

AFFREIGHTED, pp. Hired for transporting goods.

AFFREIGHTER, n. The person who hires or charters a ship or other vessel to convey goods.

AFFREIGHTMENT, n. The act of hiring a ship for the transportation of goods.

AFFRET, n. A furious onset, or attack. [Not used.]

AFFRICTION, n. The act of rubbing. [Not used.] [See Friction.]

AFFRIENDED, a. affrend’ed. Made friends; reconciled. Obs.

AFFRIGHT, v.t. affri’te. [See Fright.]

To impress with sudden fear; to frighten; to terrify or alarm. It expresses a stronger impression than fear or apprehend, and perhaps less than terror.

AFFRIGHT, n. Sudden or great fear; terror; also, the cause of terror; a frightful object.

AFFRIGHTED, pp. Suddenly alarmed with fear; terrified; followed by at or with, more generally by at; as, affrighted at the cry of fire.

AFFRIGHTER, n. One who frightens.

AFFRIGHTFUL, a. Terrifying; terrible; that may excite great fear; dreadful.

AFFRIGHTING, ppr. Impressing sudden fear; terrifying.

AFFRIGHTMENT, n. Affright; terror; the state of being frightened. [Rarely used.] [In common discourse, the use of this word, in all its forms, is superseded by fright, frighted, frightful.]

AFFRONT, v.t. [L. frons, front, face.]

1. Literally, to meet or encounter face to face, in a good or bad sense; as,

The seditious affronted the king’s forces

[The foregoing sense is obsolete.]

2. To offer abuse to the face; to insult, dare or brave openly; to offer abuse or insult in any manner, by words or actions; as, to affront one by giving him the lie.

3. To abuse, or give cause of offense to, without being present with the person; to make slightly angry; a popular use of the word.


1. Opposition to the face; open defiance; encounter. Obs.

2. Ill treatment; abuse; any thing reproachful or contemptuous, that excites or justifies resentment, as foul language, or personal abuse. It usually expresses a less degree of abuse than insult

3. Shame; disgrace. [Not used.]

4. In popular language, slight resentment; displeasure.


1. Opposed face to face; dared; defied; abused.

2. In popular language, offended; slightly angry at ill treatment, by words or actions; displeased.

AFFRONTEE, a. In heraldry, front to front; an epithet given to animals that face each other.

AFFRONTER, n. One that affronts.

AFFRONTING, ppr. Opposing face to face; defying; abusing; offering abuse, or any cause of displeasure.

AFFRONTING, a. Contumelious; abusive.

AFFRONTIVE, a. Giving offense; tending to offend; abusive.

AFFRONTIVENESS, n. The quality that gives offense. [Little used.]

AFFUSE, v.t. s as z. [L. affundo, affusum, ad and fundo, to pour out. See Fuse.]

To pour upon; to sprinkle, as with a liquid.

AFFUSED, pp. Sprinkled with a liquid; sprinkled on; having a liquid poured upon.

AFFUSING, ppr. Pouring upon, or sprinkling.

AFFUSION, n. affu’zhun. The act of pouring upon, or sprinkling with a liquid substance, as water upon a diseased body, or upon a child in baptism.

AFFY, v.t. To betroth; to bind or join. [Not used.]

AFFY, v.t. To trust or confide in. [Not used.]

AFIELD, adv. [a and field.] To the field.

AFIRE, adv. On fire.

AFLAT, adv. [a and flat.] Level with the ground.

AFLOAT, adv. or a. [a and float.]

1. Borne on the water; floating; swimming; as, the ship is afloat.

2. Figuratively, moving; passing from place to place; as, a rumor is afloat.

3. Unfixed; moving without guide or control; as, our affairs are all afloat. [As an adjective, this word always follows the noun.]

AFOOT, adv. [a or on and foot.]

1. On foot; borne by the feet; opposed to riding.

2. In action; in a state of being planned for execution; as, a design is afoot, or on foot.

AFORE, adv. or prep. [a and fore.]

1. In front.

2. Between one object and another, so as to intercept a direct view or intercourse; as, to stand between a person and the light of a candle - a popular use of the word.

3. Prior in time; before; anterior; prior time being considered as in front of subsequent time.

The grass which withereth afore it groweth up. Psalm 129:6.

In all these senses it is now inelegant, and superseded by before.

4. In seaman’s language, toward the head of the ship; further forward, or nearer the stem; as, afore the windlas. Afore the mast, is a phrase which is applied to a common sailor, one who does duty on the main deck, or has no office on board the ship.

AFOREGOING, a. Going before. [See Foregoing, which is chiefly used.]

AFOREHAND, adv. [afore and hand.]

1. In time previous; by previous provision; as, he is ready aforehand.

She is come aforehand to anoint my body. Mark 14:8.

2. a. Prepared; previously provided; as, to be aforehand in business. Hence in popular language, amply provided; well supplied with the means of living; having means beyond the requirements of necessity; moderately wealthy. The word is popularly changed into aforehanded, beforehanded, or rather forehanded; as, a forehanded farmer.

AFOREMENTIONED, a. [afore and mention.]

Mentioned before in the same writing or discourse.

AFORENAMED, a. [afore and name.] Named before.

AFORESAID, a. [afore and say.] Said or recited before, or in a proceeding part.

AFORETIME, adv. [afore and time.] In time past; in a former time.

AFOUL, adv. or a. [a and foul.] Not free; entangled.

AFRAID, a. [The participle of affray.]

Impressed with fear or apprehension; fearful. This word expresses a less degree of fear than terrified or frightened. It is followed by of before the object of fear; as, to be afraid of death.

Joseph was afraid to sin against God.

AFRESH, adv. [a and fresh.] Anew; again; recently; after intermission.

They crucify the son of God afresh. Hebrews 6:6.

AFRICA, n. [L. a neg. and frigus, cold.]

One of the four quarters or largest divisions of the globe; a continent separated from Europe by the Mediterranean sea.

AFRIC, AFRICAN, a. Pertaining to Africa.

AFRICAN, n. A native of Africa.

This name is given also to the African marygold.

AFRONT, adv. In front.

AFT, a. or adv.

In seaman’s language, a word used to denote the stern or what pertains to the stern of a ship; as, the aft part of the ship; haul aft the main sheet, that is, further towards the stern. Fore and aft is the whole length of a ship. Right aft is in a direct line with the stern.

AFTER, a. [The comparative degree of aft. But is some Teutonic dialects it is written with g.]

1. In marine language, more aft, or towards the stern of the ship; as, the after sails; after hatchway.

2. In common language, later in time; as, an after period of life.

In this sense, the word is often combined with the following noun; as in afternoon.

AFTER, prep.

1. Behind in place; as, men placed in a line one after another.

2. Later in time; as, after supper. This word often precedes a sentence, as a governing preposition.

After I have arisen, I will go before you into Galilee. Matthew 26:32.

3. In pursuit of, that is, moving behind, following; in search of.

After whom is the king of Israel come out? 1 Samuel 24:14.

Ye shall not go after other Gods. Deuteronomy 6:14.

4. In imitation of; as, to make a thing after a model.

5. According to; as, consider a thing after its intrinsic value.

6. According to the direction and influence of.

To walk after the flesh; to live after the flesh. Romans 8:1-13.

To judge after the sight of the eye. Isaiah 11:3.

To inquire after is to seek by asking; to ask concerning.

To follow after, in scripture, is to pursue, or imitate; to serve, or worship.

AFTER, adv. Posterior; later in time; as, it was about the space of three hours after. In this sense, the word, however, is really a preposition, the object being understood; about three hours after the time or fact before specified.

After is prefixed to many words, forming compounds, but retaining its genuine signification. Some of the following words are of this kind, but in some of them after seems rather to be a separate word.

AFTER-ACCOUNT, n. A subsequent reckoning.

AFTER-ACT, n. A subsequent act.

AFTER-AGES, n. Later ages; succeeding times. After-age, in the singular, is not improper.

AFTER ALL, is a phrase, signifying, when all has been considered, said or done; at last; in the final result.

AFTER-BAND, n. A future band.

AFTER-BIRTH, n. The appendages of the fetus, called also secundines.

AFTER-CLAP, n. An unexpected, subsequent event; something happening after an affair is supposed to be at an end.

AFTER-COMER, n. A successor.

AFTER-COMFORT, n. Future comfort.

AFTER-CONDUCT, n. Subsequent behavior.

AFTER-CONVICTION, n. Future conviction.

AFTER-COST, n. Later cost; expense after the execution of the main design.