Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



AMPLEXICAUL, a. [L. amplexor, to embrace, of amb about, and plico, plexus, to fold, and caulis a stem.]

In botany, surrounding or embracing the stem, as the base of a leaf.

AMPLIATE, v.t. [L. amplio. See Ample.]

To enlarge; to make greater; to extend. [Little used.]


1. Enlargement; amplification; diffuseness. [Little used.]

2. In Roman antiquity, a deferring to pass sentence; a postponement of a decision, to obtain further evidence.

AMPLIFICATION, n. [L. amplificatio.]

1. Enlargement; extension.

2. In rhetoric, diffusive description or discussion; exaggerated representation; copious argument, intended to present the subject in every view or in the strongest light; diffuse narrative, or a dilating upon all the particulars of a subject; a description given in more words than are necessary, or an illustration by various examples and proofs.

AMPLIFIED, pp. Enlarged; extended; diffusively treated.

AMPLIFIER, n. One who amplifies or enlarges; one who treats a subject diffusively, to exhibit it in the strongest light.

AMPLIFY, v.t. [L. amplifico; of amplus and facio, to make large.]

1. To enlarge; to augment; to increase or extend, in a general sense; applied to material or immaterial things.

2. In rhetoric, to enlarge in discussion or by representation; to treat copiously, so as to present the subject in every view and in the strongest lights.

3. To enlarge by addition; to improve or extend; as, to amplify the sense of an author by a paraphrase.


1. To speak largely or copiously; to be diffuse in argument or description; to dilate upon; often followed by on; as, to amplify on the several topics of discourse.

2. To exaggerate; to enlarge by representation or description; as,

Homer amplifies - not invents.

AMPLIFYING, ppr. Enlarging; exaggerating; diffusively treating.

AMPLITUDE, n. [L. amplitudo, from amplus, large.]

1. Largeness; extent, applied to bodies; as, the amplitude of the earth.

2. Largeness; extent of capacity or intellectual powers; as, amplitude of mind.

3. Extent of means or power; abundance; sufficiency.

Amplitude, in astronomy, is an arch of the horizon intercepted between the east and west point, and the center of the sun or star at its rising or setting. At the rising of a star, the amplitude is eastern or ortive; at the setting, it is western, occiduous, or occasive. It is also northern or southern, when north or south of the equator.

Amplitude of the range, in projectiles, is the horizontal line subtending the path of a body thrown, or the line which measures the distance it has moved.

Magnetical amplitude is the arch of the horizon between the sun or a star, at rising or setting, and the east or west point of the horizon, by the compass. The difference between this and the true amplitude is the variation of the compass.

AMPLY, adv. Largely; liberally; fully; sufficiently; copiously; in a diffusive manner.

AMPUTATE, v.t. [L. amputo, of amb, about, and puto, to prune.]

1. To prune branches of trees or vines; to cut off.

2. To cut off a limb or other part of an animal body; a term of surgery.

AMPUTATED, pp. Cut off; separated from the body.

AMPUTATING, ppr. Cutting off a limb or part of the body.

AMPUTATION, n. [L. amputatio.]

The act of operation of cutting off a limb or some part of the body.

AMULET, n. [L. amuletum; amolior, amolitus to remove.]

Something worn as a remedy or preservative against evils or mischief, such as diseases and witchcraft. Amulets, in days of ignorance, were common. They consisted of certain stones, metals or plants; sometimes of words, characters or sentences, arranged in a particular order. They were appended to the neck or body. Among some nations, they are still in use.

AMUSE, v.t. s as z. [Gr. and L. musso.]

1. To entertain the mind agreeably; to occupy or detain attention with agreeable objects, whether by singing, conversation, or a show of curiosities. Dr. Johnson remarks, that amuse implies something less lively than divert, and less important than please. Hence it is often said, we are amused with trifles.

2. To detain; to engage the attention by hope or expectation; as, to amuse one by flattering promises.

AMUSED, pp. s as z. Agreeably entertained; having the mind engaged by something pleasing.

AMUSEMENT, n. s as z. That which amuses, detains or engages the mind; entertainment of the mind; pastime; a pleasurable occupation of the senses, or that which furnishes it, as dancing, sports or music.

AMUSER, n. s as z. One who amuses, or affords an agreeable entertainment to the mind.

AMUSING, ppr. or a. s as z. Entertaining; giving moderate pleasure to the mind, so as to engage it; pleasing.

AMUSINGLY, adv. s as z. In an amusing manner.

AMUSIVE, a. That has the power to amuse or entertain the mind.

AMYGDALATE, a. [L. amygdalus, an almond.] Made of almonds.

AMYGDALATE, n. An emulsion made of almonds; milk of almonds.

AMYGDALINE, a. Pertaining to or resembling the almond.

AMYGDALITE, n. A plant; a species of spurge, with leaves resembling those of the almond.

AMYGDALOID, n. [Gr. an almond, and form;]

Toad-stone; a compound rock, consisting of a basis of basalt, greenstone or some other variety of trap, imbedding nodules of various minerals, particularly calcarious spar, quartz, agate, zeolite, chlorite, etc. When the imbedded minerals are detached, it is porous, like lava.

AMYGDALOIDAL, a. Pertaining to amygdaloid.

AMYLACEOUS, a. [L. amylum, starch, of a priv. and a mill, being formerly made without grinding.]

Pertaining to starch, or the farinaceous part of grain; resembling starch.

AMYLINE, n. [L. amylum; Gr. unground, a mill.]

A farinaceous substance between gum and starch.

AMYRALDISM, n. In church history, the doctrine of universal grace, as explained by Amyraldus, or Amyrault, of France, in the seventeenth century. He taught that God desires the happiness of all men, and that none are excluded by a divine decree, but that none can obtain salvation without faith in Christ; that God refuses to none the power of believing, though he does not grant to all his assistance to improve this power.

AMYZTLI, n. A Mexican name of the sealion, an amphibious quadruped, inhabiting the shores and rivers of America, on the Pacific ocean. Its body is three feet in length, and its tail, two feet. It has a long snout, short legs and crooked nails. Its skin is valued for the length and softness of its hair.

AN, a. [L. unus, una, unum; Gr.]

One; noting an individual, either definitely, known, certain, specified, or understood; or indefinitely, not certain, known, or specified. Definitely, as “Noah built an ark of Gopher wood.” “Paul was an eminent apostle.” Indefinitely, as “Bring me an orange.” Before a consonant the letter n is dropped, as a man; but our ancestors wrote an man, an king. This letter represents an definitely, or indefinitely. Definitely, as “I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God.” Exodus 6:7. Indefinitely, as “the province of a judge is to decide controversies.” An being the same word as one, should not be used with it; “such an one” is tautology; the true phrase is such one. Although an, a and one, are the same word, and always have the same sense, yet by custom, an and a are used exclusively as a definite adjective, and one is used in numbering. Where our ancestors wrote an, twa, thry, we now use one, two, three. So an and a are never used except with a noun; but one like other adjectives, is sometimes used without its noun, and as a substitute for it; “one is at a loss to assign a reason for such conduct.”

AN, in old English authors, signifies if; as, “an it please your honor.” Gr.; L. an, if or whether. It is probably an imperative, like if, gif, give.

ANA, aa, or a. [Gr.]

In medical prescriptions, it signifies an equal quantity of the several ingredients; as, wine and honey, ana, aa or a that is, of wine and honey each two ounces.

ANA, as a termination, is annexed to the names of authors to denote a collection of their memorable sayings. Thus, Scaligerana, is a book contained the sayings of Scaliger. It was used by the Romans, as in Collectaneus, collected, gathered.

ANABAPTISM, n. [See Anabaptist.] The doctrine of the Anabaptists.

ANABAPTIST, n. [Gr. again, and a baptist.]

One who holds the doctrine of the baptism of adults, or of the invalidity of infant baptism, and the necessity of rebaptization in an adult age. One who maintains that baptism ought always to be performed by immersion.

ANABAPTISTIC, ANABAPTISTICAL, a. Relating to the Anabaptists, or to their doctrines.

ANABAPTISTRY, n. The sect of Anabaptists.

ANABAPTIZE, v.t. To rebaptize. [Not used.]

ANACA, n. A species of parakeet, about the size of a lark; the crown of the head is a dark red, the upper part of the neck, sides, back and wings are green.

ANACAMPTIC, a. [Gr. to bend.]

1. Reflecting or reflected; a word formerly applied to that part of optics, which treats of reflection; the same as what is now called catoptric. [See Catoptrics.]

2. Anacamptic sounds, among the Greeks, were sounds produced by reflection, as in echoes; or such as proceeded downwards from acute to grave.

ANACAMPTICS, n. The doctrine of reflected light. [See Catoptrics.]

ANACARDIUM, n. The cashew-nut, or marking nut, which produces a thickish, red, caustic, inflammable liquor, which, when used in marking, turns black, and is very durable.

ANACATHARTIC, a. [Gr. upward and a purging. See Cathartic.]

Throwing upwards; cleansing by exciting vomiting, expectoration, etc.

ANACATHARTIC, n. A medicine which excites discharges by the mouth, or nose, as expectorants, emetics, sternutatories and masticatories.

ANACHORET. [See Anchoret.]

ANACHRONISM, n. [Gr. time.]

An error in computing time; any error in chronology, by which events are misplaced.

ANACHRONISTIC, a. Erroneous in date; containing an anachronism.

ANACLASTIC, a. [Gr. breaking, from to break.]

Refracting; breaking the rectilinear course of light.

Anaclastic glasses, sonorous glasses or phials, which are flexible, and emit a vehement noise by means of the human breath; called also vexing glasses, from the fright which their resilience occasions. They are low phials with flat bellies, like inverted tunnels, and with very thin convex bottoms. By drawing out a little air, the bottom springs into a concave form with a smart crack; and by breathing or blowing into them, the bottom, with a like noise, springs into its former convex form.

ANACLASTICS, n. That part of optics which treats of the refraction of light, commonly called dioptrics, which see.

ANACOENOSIS, n. [Gr. common.]

A figure of rhetoric, by which a speaker applies to his opponents for their opinion on the point in debate.

ANACONDA, n. A name given in Ceylon to a large snake, a species of Boa, which is said to devour travelers. Its flesh is excellent food.

ANACREONTIC, a. Pertaining to Anacreon, a Greek poet, whose odes and epigrams are celebrated for their delicate, easy and graceful air, and for their exact imitation of nature. His verse consists of three feet and a half, usually spondees and iambuses, sometimes anapests; as in this line of Horace.

“Lydia, dic per omnes.”

ANACREONTIC, n. A poem composed in the manner of Anacreon.

ANADEME, n. [Gr.] A chaplet or crown of flowers.

ANADIPLOSIS, n. [Gr. again, and double.]

Duplication, a figure in rhetoric and poetry, consisting in the repetition of the last word or words in a line or clause of a sentence, in the beginning of the next; as, “he retained his virtues amidst all his misfortunes, misfortunes which no prudence could foresee or prevent.

ANADROMOUS, a. [Gr. upward and course.]

Ascending; a word applied to such fish as pass from the sea into fresh waters, at stated seasons.

ANAGLYPH, n. [Gr. to engrave.]

An ornament made by sculpture.

ANAGLYPTIC, a. Relating to the art of carving, engraving, enchasing or embossing plate.

ANAGOGE, ANAGOGY, n. [Gr. upward, and a leading.]

An elevation of mind to things celestial; the spiritual meaning or application of words; also the application of the types and allegories of the old testament to subjects of the new.

ANAGOGICAL, a. Mysterious; elevated; spiritual; as, the rest of the sabbath, in an anagogical sense, signifies the repose of the saints in heaven.

ANAGOGICALLY, adv. In a mysterious sense; with religious elevation.

ANAGOGICS, n. Mysterious considerations.

ANAGRAM, n. [Gr. a letter.]

A transposition of the letters of a name, by which a new word is formed. Thus Galenus becomes angelus; William Noy, (attorney general to Charles I., a laborious man,) may be turned into I moyl in law.


ANAGRAMMATICALLY, adv. In the manner of an anagram.

ANAGRAMMATISM, n. The act or practice of making anagrams.

ANAGRAMMATIST, n. A maker of anagrams.

ANAGRAMMATIZE, v.i. To make anagrams.

ANAGROS, n. A measure of grain in Spain, containing something less than two bushels.

ANAL, a. [L. anus.] Pertaining to the anus; as, the anal fin.


Cubic zeolite, found in aggregated or cubic crystals.

This mineral is generally crystallized, but is also found amorphous, and in reniform, mammillary, laminated or radiated masses. By friction, it acquires a weak electricity; hence its name, Gr. weak.

ANALECTS, n. [Gr. to collect.] A collection of short essays, or remarks.

ANALEMMA, n. [Gr. altitude.]

1. In geometry, a projection of the sphere on the plane of the meridian, orthographically made by straight lines, circles and ellipses, the eye being supposed at an infinite distance, and in the east or west points of the horizon.

2. An instrument of wood or brass on which this kind of projection is drawn, with a horizon and cursor fitted to it, in which the solstitial colure, and all circles parallel to it, will be concentric circles; all circles oblique to the eye will be ellipses; and all circles whose planes pass through the eye, will be right lines.

ANALEPSIS, n. [Gr. to receive again.]

The augmentation of nutrition of an emaciated body; recovery of strength after a disease.

ANALEPTIC, a. Corroborating; invigorating; giving strength after disease.

ANALEPTIC, n. A medicine which gives strength, and aids in restoring a body to health after sickness; a restorative.

ANALOGAL, a. Analogous. [Not used.]

ANALOGICAL, a. Having analogy; used by way of analogy; bearing some relation. Thus analogical reasoning is reasoning from some similitude which things known bear to things unknown. An analogical word is one which carries with it some relation to the original idea. Thus the word firm primarily denotes solidity or compactness in a material body; and by analogy, when used of the mind, it conveys the idea of qualities having a similitude to the solidity of bodies, that is, fixedness or immovability.

ANALOGICALLY, adv. In an analogical manner; by way of similitude, relation or agreement. Thus to reason analogically is to deduce inferences from some agreement or relation which things bear to each other.

ANALOGICALNESS, n. The quality of being analogical; fitness to be applied for the illustration of some analogy.

ANALOGISM, n. [Gr.] An argument from the cause to the effect.

Investigation of things by the analogy they bear to each other.

ANALOGIST, n. One who adheres to analogy.

ANALOGIZE, v.t. To explain by analogy; to form some resemblance between different things; to consider a thing with regard to its analogy to something else.

ANALOGOUS, a. Having analogy; bearing some resemblance or proportion; followed by to; as, there is something in the exercise of the mind analogues to that of the body.

ANALOGY, n. [Gr. ratio, proportion.]

1. an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus a plant is said to have life, because its growth resembles in some degree, that of an animal. In life and growth, then, there is an analogy between a plant and an animal. Learning enlightens the mind, because it is to the mind, what light is to the eye, enabling it to discover things before hidden. When the things which have an analogy follow a preposition, that preposition must be between or betwixt; as there is an analogy between plants and animals, or between customs. When one of the things precedes a verb, and the other follows, the preposition used must be to or with; as, a plant has some analogy to or with an animal.

2. With grammarians, analogy is a conformity of words to the genius, structure or general rules of a language. Thus the general rule in English is that the plural of a noun ends in es; therefore all nouns which have that plural termination have an analogy, or are formed in analogy with other words of a like kind.

ANALYSIS, n. [Gr. a loosing, or resolving, from to loosen. See Loose.]

1. The separation of a compound body into its constituent parts; a resolving; as, an analysis of water, air or oil, to discover its elements.

2. A consideration of anything in its separate parts; an examination of the different parts of a subject, each separately; as the words which compose a sentence, the notes of a tune, or the simple propositions which enter into an argument. It is opposed to synthesis.

In mathematics, analysis is the resolving of problems by algebraic equations. The analysis of finite quantities is otherwise called algebra, or specious arithmetic. The analysis of infinites is the method of fluxions, or the differential calculus.

In logic, analysis is the tracing of things to their source, and the resolving of knowledge into its original principles.

3. A syllabus, or table of the principal heads of a continued discourse, disposed in their natural order.

4. A brief, methodical illustration of the principles of a science. In this sense, it is nearly synonymous with synopsis.

ANALYST, n. One who analyzes, or is versed in analysis.

ANALYTIC, ANALYTICAL, a. Pertaining to analysis; that resolves into first principles; that separates into parts or original principles; that resolves a compound body or subject; as, an analytical experiment in chimistry, or an analytical investigation. It is opposed to synthetic.

ANALYTICALLY, adv. In the manner of analysis; by way of separating a body into its constituent parts, or a subject, into its principles.

ANALYTICS, n. The science of analysis. [See Analysis.]

ANALYZE, v.t. [Gr. See Analysis.]

To resolve a body into its elements; to separate a compound subject into its parts or propositions, for the purpose of an examination of each separately; as, to analyze a fossil substance; to analyze an action to ascertain its morality.

ANALYZED, pp. Resolved into its constituent parts or principles, for examination.

ANALYZER, n. One who analyzes; that which analyzes or has the power to analyze.

ANALYZING, ppr. Resolving into elements, constituent parts, or first principles.

ANAMORPHOSIS, n. [Gr. formation.]

In perspective drawings, a deformed or distorted portrait or figure, which, in one point of view, is confused or unintelligible, and in another, is an exact and regular representation; or confused to the naked eye, but reflected from a plain or curved mirror, appearing regular, and in right proportion.

ANANAS, n. The name of a species of Bromelia, the pine-apple.

ANAPEST, n. [Gr to strike.]

In poetry, a foot, consisting of three syllables, the two first short, the last long; the reverse of the dactyl; as,

Can a bosom so gentle remain

Unmoved when her Corydon sighs?

ANAPESTIC, n. The anapestic measure.

ANAPESTIC, a. Pertaining to an anapest; consisting of anapestic feet.

ANAPHORA, n. [Gr.]

1. A figure in rhetoric, when the same word or words are repeated at the beginning of two or more succeeding verses or clauses of a sentence; as, “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?”

2. Among physicians, the discharge of blood or purulent matter by the mouth.

ANAPLEROTIC, a. [Gr. to fill.] Filling up; supplying or renovating flesh.

ANAPLEROTIC, n. A medicine which renews flesh or wasted parts.

ANARCH, n. [See Anarchy.] The author of confusion; one who excites revolt.

ANARCHIC, ANARCHICAL, a. Without rule or government; in a state of confusion; applied to a state or society. Fielding uses anarchial, a word of less difficult pronunciation.

ANARCHIST, n. An anarch; one who excites revolt, or promotes disorder in a state.

ANARCHY, n. [Gr. rule.]

Want of government; a state of society, when there is no law or supreme power, or when the laws are not efficient, and individuals do what they please with impunity; political confusion.