Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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ALLITERATION — ALPHABET

ALLITERATION, n. [L. ad and litera, a letter.]

The repetition of the same letter at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals; as f and g in the following line:

Fields ever fresh, and groves forever green.

ALLITERATIVE, a. Pertaining to, or consisting in, alliteration.

ALLOCATION, n. [L. ad and locatio, a placing, from locus, place. See Local.]

The act of putting one thing to another; hence its usual sense is the admission of an article of account, or an allowance made upon an account; a term used in the English Exchequer. [See Allow.]

ALLOCHROITE, n. An amorphous, massive, opake mineral, of a grayish, yellowish or reddish color, found in Norway; considered as a variety of garnet. Its name is said to be given to it, as expressive of its changes of color before the blowpipe; Gr. other, and color.

ALLOCUTION, n. [L. allocutio, of ad and loquor, to speak. See Eloquence.]

1. The act or manner of speaking to, or of addressing in words.

2. An address; a formal address; as, of a General to his troops; a Roman term rarely used in English.

ALLODIAL, a. Pertaining to allodium; freehold; free of rent or service; held independence of a lord paramount; opposed to feudal.

ALLODIAN is sometimes used, but is not well authorized.

ALLODIUM, n.

Freehold estate; land which is the absolute property of the owner; real estate held in absolute independence, without being subject to any rent, service, or acknowledgment to a superior. It is thus opposed to feud. In England, there is no allodial land, all land being held of the king; but in the United States, most lands are allodial.

ALLONGE, n. allunj’.

1. A pass with a sword; a thrust made by stepping forward and extending the arm; a term used in fencing, often contracted into lunge.

2. A long rein, when a horse is trotted in the hand.

ALLOO, v.t. or i. To incite dogs by a call.

[See the correct word, Halloo.]

ALLOPHANE, n. [Gr. other and to appear.]

A mineral of a blue, and sometimes of a green or brown color, which occurs massive, or in imitative shapes. It gelatinizes in acids.

Allophane is a variety of clay, occurring in amorphous, botryoidal or reniform masses.

ALLOT, v.t. [of ad and lot; See Lot.]

1. To divide or distribute by lot.

2. To distribute, or parcel out in parts or portions; or to distribute a share to each individual concerned.

3. To grant, as a portion; to give, assign or appoint in general.

Let every man be contented with that which providence allots to him.

ALLOTMENT, n.

1. That which is allotted; a share, part, or portion granted or distributed; that which is assigned by lot, or by the act of God.

2. A part, portion or place appropriated.

In a field, there is an allotment for olives.

ALLOTTED, pp. Distributed by lot; granted; assigned.

ALLOTTERY is used by Shakespeare for allotment; but is not authorized by usage.

ALLOTTING, ppr. Distributing by lot giving as portions; assigning.

ALLOW, v.t. [L. loco, to lay, set, place. See Lay.]

1. To grant, give or yield; as, to allow a servant his liberty; to allow a pension.

2. To admit; as, to allow the truth of a proposition; to allow a claim.

3. To admit; to own or acknowledge; as, to allow the right of the President to displace officers.

4. To approve, justify or sanction.

Ye allow the deeds of your fathers. Luke 11:48; Romans 7:15.

5. To afford, or grant as a compensation; as, to allow a dollar a day for wages.

6. To abate or deduct; as, to allow a sum for tare or leakage.

7. To permit; to grant license to; as, to allow a son to be absent.

ALLOWABLE, a. That may be permitted as lawful, or admitted as true and proper; not forbid; not unlawful or improper; as, a certain degree of freedom is allowable among friends.

ALLOW-ABLENESS, n. The quality of being allowable; lawfulness; exemption from prohibition, or impropriety.

ALLOWABLY, adv. In an allowable manner; with propriety.

ALLOWANCE, n.

1. The act of allowing or admitting.

2. Permission; license; approbation; sanction; usually slight approbation.

3. Admission; assent to a fact or state of things; a granting.

4. Freedom from restraint; indulgence.

5. That which is allowed; a portion appointed; a stated quantity, as of food or drink; hence, in seamen’s language, a limited quantity of meat and drink, when provisions fall short.

6. Abatement; deduction; as, to make an allowance for the inexperience of youth.

7. Established character; reputation; as, a pilot of approved allowance. Obs.

ALLOWANCE, v.t. To put upon allowance; to restrain or limit to a certain quantity of provisions or drink.

Distress compelled the captain of the ship to allowance his crew.

ALLOWED, pp. Granted; permitted; assented to; admitted; approved; indulged; appointed; abated.

ALLOWING, ppr. Granting; permitting; admitting; approving; indulging; deducting.

ALLOY, v.t. [L. alligo, ad and ligo, to bind. Gr.]

1. To reduce the purity of a metal, by mixing with it a portion of one less valuable; as, to alloy gold with silver, or silver with copper.

2. To mix metals.

3. To reduce or abate by mixture; as, to alloy pleasure with misfortunes.

ALLOY, n.

1. A baser metal mixed with a finer.

2. The mixture of different metals; any metallic compound; this is its common signification in chimistry.

3. Evil mixed with good; as, no happiness is without alloy.

ALLOYAGE, n.

1. The act of alloying metals or the mixture of a baser metal with a finer, to reduce its purity; the act of mixing metals.

2. The mixture of different metals.

ALLOYED, pp. Mixed; reduced in purity; debased; abated by foreign mixture.

ALLOYING, ppr. Mixing a baser metal with a finer, to reduce its purity; abating by foreign mixture.

ALLSPICE, [See under the compounds of all.]

ALLUDE, v.i. [L. alludo, to smile upon or make sport with of ad and ludo, to play.]

To refer to something not directly mentioned; to have reference; to hint at by remote suggestions; as, that story alludes to a recent transaction.

ALLUDING, ppr. Having reference; hinting at.

ALLUMINOR, n.

One who colors or paints upon paper or parchment, giving light and ornament to letters and figures.

This is now written limner.

ALLURE, v.t.

To attempt to draw to; to tempt by the offer of some good, real or apparent; to invite by something flattering or acceptable; as, rewards allure men to brave danger. Sometimes used in a bad sense, to allure to evil; but in this sense entice is more common. In Hosea 2:14, allure is used in its genuine sense; 2 Peter 2:18, in the sense of entice.

ALLURED, pp. Tempted; drawn, or invited, by something that appears desirable.

ALLUREMENT, n. That which allures; any real or apparent good held forth, or operating; as a motive to action; temptation; enticement; as, the allurements of pleasure, or of honor.

ALLURER, n. He, or that, which allures.

ALLURING, ppr.

1. Drawing; tempting; inviting by some real or apparent good.

2. a. Inviting; having the quality of attracting or tempting.

ALLURINGLY, adv. In an alluring manner; enticingly.

ALLURINGNESS, n. The quality of alluring or tempting by the prospect of some good. [Rarely used.]

ALLUSION, n. alluzhun. [L. See Allude.]

A reference to something not explicitly mentioned; a hint; a suggestion, by which something is applied or understood to belong to that which is not mentioned, by means of some similitude which is perceived between them.

ALLUSIVE, a. Having reference to something not fully expressed.

ALLUSIVELY, adv. By way of allusion; by implication, remote suggestion or insinuation.

ALLUSIVENESS, n. The quality of being allusive. [Rarely used.]

ALLUVIAL, a. [See Alluvion.]

1. Pertaining to alluvion; added to land by the wash of water.

2. Washed ashore or down a stream; formed by a current of water; as, alluval ores; alluvial soil.

ALLUVION, ALLUVIUM, n. [L. alluvio, of ad and lavo or luo, alluo, to wash. See Lave.]

1. The insensible increase of earth on a shore, or bank of a river, by the force of water, as by a current or by waves. The owner of the land thus augmented has a right to the alluvial earth.

2. A gradual washing or carrying of earth or other substances to a shore or bank; the earth thus added.

3. The mass of substances collected by means of the action of water.

In this alluvium was found the entire skeleton of a whale.

ALLUVIOUS, a. The same as alluvial, and less frequently used.

ALLY, v.t. [L. ligo.]

1. To unite, or form a relation, as between families by marriage, or between princes and states by treaty, league or confederacy.

2. To form a relation by similitude, resemblance or friendship. Note. This word is more generally used in the passive form, as families are allied by blood; or reciprocally, as princes ally themselves to powerful states.

ALLY, n.

1. A prince or state united by treaty or league; a confederate.

The allies of Rome were slaves.

2. One related by marriage or other tie; but seldom applied to individuals, except to princes in their public capacity.

ALLYING, ppr. Uniting by marriage or treaty.

ALMACANTAR, n. [See Almucantar.]

ALMADIE, n. A bark canoe used by the Africans; also a long boat used at Calicut, in India, eighty feet long, and six or seven broad; called also cathuri.

ALMAGEST, n.

A book or collection of problems in astronomy and geometry, drawn up by Ptolemy. The same title has been given to other works of the like kind.

ALMAGRA, n. a fine deep red ocher, with an admixture of purple, very heavy, dense but friable, with a rough dusty surface. It is the sil atticum of the ancients. it is austere to the taste, astringent, melting in the mouth and staining the skin. it is used as a paint and as a medicine.

ALMANACK, n.

A small book or table, containing a calendar of days, weeks and months, with the times of the rising of the sun and moon, changes of the moon, eclipses, hours of full tide, stated festivals of churches, stated terms of courts, observations on the weather, etc. for the year ensuing. this calendar is sometimes published on one side of a single sheet, and called a sheet-almanack.

The Baltic nations formerly engraved their calendars on pieces of wood, on swords, helves of axes, and various other utensils, and especially on walking sticks. many of these are preserved in the cabinets of the curious. they are called by different nations, rimstocks, primstories, runstocks, runstaffs, clogs, etc.

The characters used are generally the Runic or Gothic.

ALMANACK-MAKER, n. A maker of almanacks.

ALMANDINE, n. In mineralogy, precious garnet, a beautiful mineral of a red color, of various shades, sometimes tinged with yellow or blue. It is commonly translucent, sometimes transparent. It occurs crystallized in the rhombic, dodecahedron.

ALME, ALMA, n. Girls in Egypt, whose occupation is to amuse company with singing and dancing.

ALMENA, n. A weight of two pounds, used to weigh saffron in several parts of Asia.

ALMIGHTINESS, n. Omnipotence; infinite or boundless power; an attribute of God only.

ALMIGHTY, a. [all and mighty. See Might.]

Possessing all power; omnipotent; being of unlimited might; being of boundless sufficiency; appropriately applied to the Supreme Being.

ALMIGHTY, n. The Omnipotent God.

ALMOND, n.

1. The fruit of the almond tree; an ovate, compressed nut, perforated in the pores. It is either sweet or bitter. [It is popularly pronounced ammond.]

2. The tonsils, two glands near the basis of the tongue, are called almonds, from their resemblance to that nut; vulgularly, but improperly, called the almonds of the ears, as they belong to the throat.

3. In Portugal, a measure by which wine is sold, twenty-six of which make a pipe.

[But in Portuguese it is written almude.]

4. Among lapidaries, almonds signify pieces of rock crystal, used in adorning branch candlesticks, so called from their resemblance to this fruit.

ALMOND-FURNACE, among refiners, is a furnace in which the slags of litharge, left in refining silver, are reduced to lead, by the help of charcoal; that is, according to modern chimistry, in which the oxyd of lead is deoxydized, and the metal revived.

ALMOND-TREE, n. The tree which produces the almond. The leaves and flowers resemble those of the peach, but the fruit is longer and more compressed, the green coat is thinner and drier when ripe, and the shell is not so rugged.

ALMOND-WILLOW, n. A tree with leaves of a light green on both sides.

ALMONER, n. [See Alms.]

An officer whose duty is to distribute charity or alms. By the ancient canons, every monastery was to dispose of a tenth of its income in alms to the poor, and all bishops were obliged to keep an almoner. This title is sometimes given to a chaplain; as, the almoner of a ship or regiment.

The Lord Almoner, or Lord High Almoner, in England, is an ecclesiastical officer, generally a bishop, who has the forfeiture of al deodands, and the goods of self-murderers, which he is to distribute to the poor.

The Grand Almoner, in France, is the first ecclesiastical dignitary, and has the superintendence of hospitals.

ALMONRY, n. [Corrupted into ambry, aumbry, or aumery.]

The place where the almoner resides, or where the alms are distributed.

ALMOST, adv. [all and most.] Nearly; well nigh; for the greatest part.

Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. Acts 26:28.

ALMS, ‘amz. [Eng. almesse; L. eleemosyna; Gr. to pity.]

Any thing given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing, otherwise called charity.

A lame man was laid daily to ask an alms. Acts 3:2, 3.

Cornelius gave much alms to the people. Acts 10:2.

Tenure by free alms, or frank-almoign, in England, is that by which the possessor is bound to pray for the soul of the donor, whether dead or alive; a tenure by which most of the ancient monasteries and religious houses in England held their lands, as do the parochial clergy, and many ecclesiastical and eleemosynary establishments at this day. Land thus held was free from all rent or other service.

ALMS-BASKET, ALMS-BOX, ALMS-CHEST; vessels appropriated to receive alms.

ALMS-DEED, n. An act of charity; a charitable gift.

ALMS-FOLK, n. Persons supporting other by alms. [Not used.]

ALMS-GIVER, n. One who gives to the poor.

ALMS-GIVING, n. The bestowment of charity.

ALMS-HOUSE, n. A house appropriated for the use of the poor, who are supported by the public.

ALMS-MEN, ALMS-PEOPLE, n. Persons supported by charity or by public provision.

ALMUCANTAR, n. A series of circles of the sphere passing through the center of the sun, or of a star, parallel to the horizon. It is synonymous with a parallel of altitude, whose common zenith is the vertical point.

ALMUCANTAR’S STAFF. An instrument of box or pear-tree, having an arch of fifteen degrees, used to take observations of the sun, about the time of its rising or setting, to find the amplitude and the variations of the compass.

ALMUDE, n. A wine measure in Portugal, of which twenty-six make a pipe.

ALMUG, ALGUM, n. In scripture, a tree or wood about which the learned are not agreed. The most probably conjecture is that the word denotes gummy or resinous wood in general.

The Vulgate translates it ligna thyina, and the Septuagint, wrought-wood; others, ebony, bravil or pine, and the Rabbins render it coral. It was used for musical instruments, stair cases, etc.

The thyinum is the citron tree, from Mauritania, much esteemed by the ancients for its fragrance and beauty. The almug, almugim, or algumin, or simply gummin is most probably a gummy wood, and perhaps may be the Shittim, often mentioned in Scripture. See 1 Kings 10:11.

ALNAGE, n. [L. ulna; Gr. an arm, a cubit. See Ell.]

A measuring by the ell.

ALNAGER, ALNAGAR, n. A measurer by the ell; a sworn officer, whose duty was to inspect and measure woolen cloth and fix upon it a seal. This office was abolished by Statute, 11 and 12. Will. 3. No duty or office of this kind exists in the United States.

ALNIGHT, n. A cake of wax with the wick in the midst.

ALOE, n. al’o, plu. aloes, pronounced aloze, and popularly al’oez, in three syllables, according to the Latin. [L. aloe; Gr; Heb. plu aloe trees.]

In botany, a genus of monogynian hexanders, of many species; all natives of warm climates, and most of them, of the southern part of Africa.

Among the Mohammedans, the aloe is a symbolic plant, especially in Egypt; and every one who returns from a pilgrimage to Mecca, hangs it over his street door, as a token that he has performed the journey.

In Africa, the leaves of the Guinea aloe are made into durable ropes. Of one species are made fishing lines, bow strings, stockings and hammocs. The leaves of another species hole rain water.

ALOES, in medicine, is the inspissated juice of the aloe. The juice is collected from the leaves, which are cut and put in a tub, and when a large quantity is procured, it is boiled to a suitable consistence; or it is exposed to the sun, till all the fluid part is exhaled. There are several kinds sold in the shops; as the socotrine aloes from Socotora, an isle in the Indian ocean; the hepatic or common Barbadoes aloes; and the fetid or caballine aloes.

Aloes is a stimulating stomachic purgative; when taken in small doses, it is useful for people of a lax habit and sedentary life.

ALOES-WOOD, n. [See Agallochum.]

ALOETIC, ALOETICAL, a. Pertaining to aloe or aloes; partaking of the qualities of aloes.

ALOETIC, n. A medicine consisting chiefly of aloes.

ALOFT, adv. [a and loft. See Loft and Luff.]

1. On high; in the air; high above the ground; as, the eagle soars aloft.

2. In seamen’s language, in the top; at the mast head; or on the higher yards or rigging. Hence on the upper part, as of a building.

ALOGIANS, n. [Gr. a neg. and word.]

In church history, a sect of ancient heretics, who denied Jesus Christ to be the Logos and consequently rejected the gospel of St. John.

ALOGOTROPHY, n. [Gr. unreasonable and nutrition.]

A disproportionate nutrition of the parts of the body, as when one part receives more or less nourishment and growth than another.

ALOGY, n. [Gr.] Unreasonableness; absurdity. Obs.

ALONE, a. [all and one.]

1. Single; solitary; without the presence of another; applied to a person or thing.

It is not good that man should be alone. Genesis 2:18.

[This adjective follows its noun.]

2. It is applied to two or more persons or things, when separate from others, in a place or condition by themselves; without company.

And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. Mark 4:34.

3. Only.

Thou whose name alone is Jehovah. Psalm 83:18.

This sense at first appears to be adverbial, but really is not; whose name single, solitary, without another, is Jehovah.

To let alone is to suffer to rest; to forbear molesting or meddling with; to suffer to remain in its present state. Alone, in this phrase, is an adjective, the word to which it refers being omitted; let me alone; let them alone; let it alone; that is, suffer it to be unmolested, or to remain as it is, or let it remain by itself.

ALONE, adv. Separately; by itself.

ALONELY, a. or adv. Only; merely; singly. [Not used.]

ALONENESS, n. That state which belong to no other. [Not used.]

ALONG, adv. [See Long.]

1. By the length; lengthwise; in a line with the length; as, the troops marched along the bank of the river, or along the highway. 1 Samuel 6:12.

2. Onward; in a line, or with a progressive motion; as, a meteor glides along the sky; let us walk along.

All along signifies the whole length; through the whole distance; in the whole way or length.

Ishmael went forth, weeping all along as he went. Jeremiah 41:6; 1 Samuel 28:20.

Along with signifies in company; joined with; as, Go along with us. Sometimes with is omitted;

Come then, my friend, my genius, come along.

Along side, in seamen’s language, that is, by the length or in a line with the side, signifies side by side, as by another ship or by the side of a wharf.

Along shore is by the shore or coast, lengthwise, and near the shore.

Lying along is lying on the side, or pressed down by the weight of sail.

ALONGST, adv. Along; through or by the length. Obs.

ALOOF, adv. [Probably from the root of leave, to depart.]

1. At a distance, but within view, or at a small distance, in a literal sense; as, to stand aloof.

2. In a figurative sense, not concerned in a design; declining to take any share, implying circumspection; keeping at a distance from the point, or matter in debate.

ALOPECY, n. [Gr. a fox, whose urine is said to occasion baldness.]

A disease, called the fox-evil or scurf, which is a falling off of the hair, from any part of the body.

ALOSA, n. A fish of passage, called the shad, or other of herrings, a species of Clupea. It is an abdominal, and some naturalists allege it to be a different species from the shad.

ALOUD, adv. [a and loud; See Loud.]

Loudly; with a loud voice, or great noise.

Cry aloud, spare not. Isaiah 58:1.

ALP, ALPS, n. [Gr. white; L. albus.]

A high mountain. The name, it is supposed, was originally given to mountains whose tops were covered with snow, and hence appropriately applied to the mountains of Swisserland; so that by Alps is generally understood the latter mountains. But geographers apply the name to any high mountains.

ALPAGNA, n. An animal of Peru, used as a beast of burden; the Camelus Paco of Linne, and the Pacos of Pennant.

ALPHA, n. [Heb. an ox, a leader.]

The first letter in the Greek alphabet, answering to A, and used to denote first or beginning.

I am Alpha and Omega. Revelation 1:8, 11.

As a numeral, it stands for one. It was formerly used also to denote chief; as, Plato was the Alpha of the wits.

ALPHABET, n. [Gr.]

The letters of a language arranged in the customary order; the series of letters which form the elements of speech.

ALPHABET, v.t. To arrange in the order of an alphabet; to form an alphabet in a book, or designate the leaves by the letters of the alphabet.