Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ANTIQUITY, n. [L. antiquitas.]

1. Ancient times; former ages; times long since past; a very indefinite term; as, Cicero was the most eloquent orator of antiquity.

2. The ancients; the people of ancient times; as, the fact is admitted by all antiquity.

Meaning that mankind are inclined to verify the predictions of antiquity.

3. Ancientness; great age; the quality of being ancient; as, a statue of remarkable antiquity; a family of great antiquity.

4. Old age; a ludicrous sense used by Shak.

5. The remains of ancient times. In this sense it is usually or always plural. Antiquities comprehend all the remains of ancient times; all the monuments, coins, inscriptions, edifices, history and fragments of literature, offices, habiliments, weapons, manners, ceremonies; in short, whatever respects any of the ancient nations of the earth.

ANTIREVOLUTIONARY, a. [See Revolution.]

Opposed to a revolution; opposed to an entire change in the form of government.

ANTIREVOLUTIONIST, n. One who is opposed to a revolution in government.

ANTISABBATARIAN, n. [anti and sabbath.]

One of a sect who oppose the observance of the Christian sabbath; maintaining that the Jewish sabbath was only of ceremonial, not of moral obligation, and was consequently abolished by Christ.

ANTISABIAN, a. [See Sabian.]

Opposed or contrary to Sabianism, or the worship of the celestial orbs.

ANTISACERDOTAL, a. Adverse to priests.

ANTISCIAN, ANTISCIANS, n. [L. antiscii, of Gr. opposite, and shadow.]

In geography, the inhabitants of the earth, living on different sides of the equator, whose shadows at noon are cast in contrary directions. Those who live north of the equator are antiscians to those on the south, and vice versa; the shadows on one side being cast towards the north; those on the other, towards the south.

ANTISCORBUTIC, a. [anti and scorbutic, which see.]

Counteracting the scurvy.

ANTISCORBUTIC, n. A remedy for the scurvy.

ANTISCRIPTURISM, n. Opposition to the Holy Scriptures.

ANTISCRIPTURIST, n. One that denies revelation.

ANTISEPTIC, a. [Gr. putrid, from to putrify.]

Opposing or counteracting putrefaction.

ANTISEPTIC, n. A medicine which resists or corrects putrefaction, as acids, stimulants, saline substances, astringents, etc.

ANTISOCIAL, a. [See Social.]

Averse to society; that tends to interrupt or destroy social intercourse.

ANTISPASIS, n. [Gr. against, and to draw.]

A revulsion of fluids, from one part of the body to another.

ANTISPASMODIC, a. [Gr. against, and from to draw.]

Opposing spasm; resisting convulsions; as anodynes.

ANTISPASMODIC, n. A remedy for spasm or convulsions, as opium, balsam of Peru, and the essential oils of vegetables.

ANTISPASTIC, a. [See Antispansis.]

Causing a revulsion of fluids or humors.

ANTISPLENETIC, a. [See Spleen.]

Good as a remedy in diseases of the spleen.

ANTISTASIS, n. [Gr. Opposite, and station.]

In oratory, the defense of an action from the consideration that if it had been omitted, something worse would have happened.

ANTISTES, n. [L.] The chief priest or prelate.

ANTISTROPHE, ANTISTROPHY, n. [Gr. opposite, and a turning.]

1. In grammar, the changing of things mutually depending on each other; reciprocal conversion; as, the master of the servant, the servant of the master.

2. Among the ancients, that part of a song or dance, before the altar, which was performed by turning from west to east, in opposition to the strophy. The ancient odes consisted of stanzas called strophies and antistrophies, to which was often added the epode. These were sung by a choir, which turned or changed places when they repeated the different parts of the ode. The epode was sung, as the chorus stood still. [See Ode.]

ANTISTROPHON, n. A figure which repeats a word often.

ANTISTRUMATIC, a. [anti and struma, a scrophulous swelling.]

Good against scrophulous disorders.

ANTITHESIS, n. [Gr. from, to place.]

1. In rhetoric, an opposition of words or sentiments; contrast; as, “When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves we leave them.” “The prodigal robs his heir, the miser robs himself.” “Excess of ceremony shows want of breeding.” Liberty with laws, and government without oppression.”

2. Opposition of opinions; controversy.

ANTITHETIC, ANTITHETICAL, a. Pertaining to antithesis, or opposition of words and sentiments; containing or abounding with antithesis.

ANTITRINITARIAN, n. [anti and trinitarian, which see.]

One who denies the trinity or the existence of three persons in the Godhead.

ANTITRINITARIAN, a. Opposing the trinity.

ANTITRINITARIANISM, n. A denial of the trinity.

ANTITYPE, n. [Gr. against, and a type, or pattern.]

A figure corresponding to another figure; that of which the type is the pattern or representation. Thus the paschal lamb, in scripture, is the type of which Christ is the antitype. An antitype then, is something which is formed according to a model or pattern, and bearing strong features of resemblance to it.

In the Greek liturgy, the sacramental bread and wine are called antitypes, that is, figures, similitudes; and the Greek fathers used the word in a like sense.

ANTITYPICAL, a. Pertaining to an antitype; explaining the type.

ANTIVARIOLOUS, a. [anti and variolous, which see.]

Opposing the small pox.

ANTIVENEREAL, a. [anti and venereal which see.]

Resisting venereal poison.

ANTLER, n. [From the root of ante, before. See Ante.]

A start or branch of a horn, especially of the horns of the cevine animals, as of the stag or moose. The branch next to the head is called the brow’antler, and the branch next above, the bes-antler.

ANTLERED, a. Furnished with antlers.

ANTONIAN, a. Noting certain medicinal waters in Germany, at or Tonstein.


To use of the name of some office, dignity, profession, science or trade, instead of the true name of the person; as when his majesty is used for a king, lordship for a nobleman. Thus instead of Aristotle, we say, the philosopher; a grave man is called a Cato; an eminent orator, a Cicero; a wise man, a Solomon. In the latter examples, a proper name is used for an appellative; the application being supported by a resemblance in character.

ANTOSIANDRIAN, n. One of a sect of rigid Lutherans, so denominated from their opposing the doctrines of Osiander. This sect deny that man is made just, but is only imputatively just, that is pronounced so.

ANVIL, n. [The Latin word incus, incudis, is formed by a like analogy fromin and cudo, to hammer, or shape.]

An iron block with a smooth face, on which smiths hammer and shape their work.

Figuratively, any thing on which blows are laid.

To be on the anvil, is to be in a state of discussion, formation or preparation; as when a scheme or measure is forming, but not matured. This figure bears an analogy to that is discussion, a shaking or beating.

ANXIETY, n. angzi’ety. [L. anxietas, from anxius, solicitous; L. ango. See Anger.]

1. concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasinerr. it expresses more than uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude. it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of mind, to know how to shape our conduct.

2. In medical language, uneasiness; unceasing restlessness in sickness.

ANXIOUS, a. ank’shus.

1. Greatly concerned or solicitous, respecting something future or unknown; being in painful suspense; applied to persons; as, to be anxious for the issue of a battle.

2. Full of solicitude; unquiet; applied to things; as anxious thoughts or labor.

3. Very careful; solicitous; as, anxious to please; anxious to commit no mistake.

It is followed by for or about, before the object.

ANXIOUSLY, adv. In an anxious manner; solicitously; with painful uncertainty; carefully; unquietly.

ANXIOUSNESS, n. The quality of being anxious; great solicitude.

ANY, a. en’ny.

1. One indefinitely.

Nor knoweth any man the Father, save the Son. Matthew 11:27.

If a soul shall sin against any of the commandments. Leviticus 4:2.

2. Some; an indefinite number, plurally; for though the word is formed from one, it often refers to many. Are there any witnesses present? The sense seems to be a small, uncertain number.

3. Some; an indefinite quantity; a small portion.

Who will show us any good? Psalm 4:6.

4. It is often used as a substitute, the person or thing being understood.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any. Mark 11:25.

If any lack wisdom, let him ask it of God. James 1:5.

It is used in opposition to none. Have you any wheat to sell? I have none.

ANY-WISE is sometimes used adverbially, but the two words may be separated, and used with a preposition, in any wise.

AONIAN, a. [From aonia, a part of Boeotia, in Greece.]

Pertaining to the muses, or to Aonia in Boeotia. The Aonian fount was Aganippe, at the foot of mount Helicon, not far from Thebes, and sacred to the muses. Hence the muses were called Aonides. But in truth, Aonia itself is formed from the Celtic aon, a spring or fountain, [the fabled son of Neptune,] and this word gave name to Aonia. As the muses were fond of springs, the word was applied to the muses, and to mountains which were their favorite residence, as to Parnassus.

AORIST, n. [Gr. indefinite, of a priv. and limit.]

The name of certain tenses in the grammar of the Greek language, which express time indeterminate, that is, either past, present or future.

AORISTIC, a. Indefinite; pertaining to an aorist, or indefinite tense.

AORTA, n. [Gr. the great artery; also an ark or chest.]

The great artery, or trunk of the arterial system; proceeding from the left ventricle of the heart, and giving origin to all the arteries, except the pulmonary arteries. It first rises, when it is called the ascending aorta; then makes a great curve, when it gives off branches to the head, and upper extremities; then proceeds downwards, called the descending aorta, when it gives off branches to the trunk; and finally divides into the two iliacs, which supply the pelvis and lower extremities.

AORTAL, a. Pertaining to the aorta, or great artery.

AOUTA, n. The paper-mulberry tree in Otaheite, from whose bark is manufactured a cloth worn by the inhabitants.

APACE, adv. [a and pace.]

With a quick pace; quick; fast; speedily; with haste; hastily; applied to things in motion or progression; as, birds fly apace; weeds grow apace.

APAGOGE, APAGOGY, n. [Gr. from, to draw aside, of from and to drive.]

1. In logic abduction; a kind of argument, wherein the greater extreme is evidently contained in the medium, but the medium not so evidently in the lesser extreme, as not to require further proof. Thus, “All whom God absolves are free from sin; but God absolves all who are in Christ; therefore all who are in Christ are free from sin.” The first proposition is evident; but the second may require further proof, as that God received full satisfaction for sin, by the suffering of Christ.

2. In mathematics, a progress or passage from one proposition to another, when the first, having been demonstrated, is employed in proving others.

3. In the Athenian law, the carrying a criminal, taken in the fact, to a magistrate.

APAGOGICAL, a. An apagogical demonstration is an indirect way of proof, by showing the absurdity or impossibility of the contrary.

APALACHIAN, a. Pertaining to the Apalaches, a tribe of Indians, in the westen part of Georgia. Hence the word is applied to the mountains in or near their country, which are in fact the southern extremity of the Alleghanean ridges.

APANTHROPY, n. [Gr. from, and man.]

An aversion to the company of men; a love of solitude.

APARITHMESIS, n. [Gr.] In rhetoric, enumeration.

APART, adv. [a and part; See Part.]

1. Separately; at a distance; in a state of separation, as to place.

Jesus departed thence into a desert place apart. Matthew 14:13.

2. In a state of distinction, as to purpose, use or character.

The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself. Psalm 4:3.

3. Distinctly; separately; as, consider the two propositions apart.

4. Aside; in exclusion of; as, apart from all regard to his morals, he is not qualified, in other respects, for the office he holds.

APARTMENT, n. [See Part.]

A room in a building; a division in a house, separated from others by partitions; a place separated by inclosure.

APATHETIC, a. Void of feeling; free from passion; insensible.

APATHY, n. [Gr. passion.]

Want of feeling; an utter privation of passion, or insensibility to pain; applied either to the body or the mind. As applied to the mind, it is stoicism, a calmness of mind incapable of being ruffled by pleasure, pain or passion. In the first ages of the church, the christians adopted the term to express a contempt of earthly concerns.

Quietism is apathy disguised under the appearance of devotion.

APATITE, n. [From Gr. to deceive; it having been often mistaken for other minerals.]

A variety of phosphate of lime; generally crystallized in low, flat, hexahedral prisms, sometimes even tabular. Its powder phosphoresces on burning coals.

The phosporite of Werner includes the massive and earthy varieties of the phosphate, which are distinguished from the apatite, by their containing a small portion of fluoric acid.

APE, n.

1. A genus of quadrupeds, found in the torrid zone of both continents, of a great variety of species. In common use, the word extends to all the tribe of monkeys and baboons; but in zoology, ape is limited to such of these animals as have no tails; while those with short tails are called baboons, and those with long ones, monkeys. These animals have four cutting teeth in each jaw, and two canine teeth, with obtuse grinders. The feet are formed like hands, with four fingers and a thumb, and flat nails. Apes are lively, full of frolic and chatter, generally untamable, thieving and mischievous. They inhabit the forests, and live on fruits, leaves and insects.

2. One who imitates servilely, in allusion to the manners of the ape; a silly fellow.

APE, v.t. To imitate servilely; to mimic, as an ape imitates human actions. Weak persons are always prone to ape foreigners.

APEAK, adv. [a and peak, a point. See Peak.]

1. One the point; in a posture to pierce.

2. In seamen’s language, perpendicular. The anchor is apeak, when the cable is drawn so as to bring the ship directly over it.

APENNINE, a. [L. apenninus; ad and penninus, an epithet applied to a peak or ridge of the Alps.]

Pertaining to or designating a chain of mountains, which extend from the plains of Piedmont, round the gulf of Genoa, to the center of Italy, and thence south east to the extremity.

APENNINE, APENNINES, n. The mountains above described.

APEPSY, n. [Gr. diges.]

Defective digestion; indigestion. [Little used.]

APER, n. One who apes. in zoology, the wild boar.

APERIENT, a. [L. aperiens, aperio.]

Opening; that has the quality of opening; deobstruent; laxative.

APERIENT, n. a medicine which promoties the circulation of the fluids, by removing obstructions; a laxative; a deobstruent; as, smallage, fennel, asparagus, parsley, and butcher’s broom.

APERITIVE, a. Opening; deobstruent; aperient.

APERT, a. [L. apertus.] Open; evident; undisguised. [Not used.]

APERTION, n. The act of opening; the state of being opened; an opening; a gap, aperture, or passage. [Little used.]

APERTLY, adv. Openly [Little used.]

APERTNESS, n. [L. apertus.] Openness. [Rarely used.]

APERTOR, n. A muscle that raises the upper eye lid.


1. The act of opening; more generally, an opening; a gap, cleft or chasm; a passage perforated; a hole through any solid substance.

2. An opening of meaning; explanation. [Not used.]

3. In geometry, the space between two right lines, forming an angle.

APETALOUS, a. [Gr. a flower-leaf or petal.]

In botany, having no petals, or flower-leaves; having no corol.

APETALOUSNESS, n. A state of being without petals.

APEX, n. plu. apexes. [L. apex, plu. apices.]

The tip, point of summit of any thing. In antiquity, the cap of a flamen or priest; the crest of a helmet. In grammar, the mark of a long syllable. In botany, the anther of flowers, or tops of the stamens, like knobs.

APHANITE, n. [Gr. to appear.]

In mineralogy, compact amphibole in a particular state.

APHELION, n. [Gr. from, and the sun.]

That point of a planet’s orbit which is most distant from the sun; opposed to perihelion.

APHERESIS, n. [Gr. from, and to take.]

1. The taking of a litter or syllable from the beginning of a word. Thus by an apheresis, omittere is writter, mittere.

2. In the healing art, the removal of any thing noxious. In surgery, amputation.

APHIDIVOROUS, a. [of aphis, the puceron or vine fretter, and voro, to eat.]

Eating, devouring, or subsisting on the aphis, or plant-louse.

APHILANTHROPY, n. [of a neg. and to love, and man.]

Want of love to mankind. In medicine, the first stage of melancholy, when solitude is preferred to society.

APHIS, n. In zoology, the puceron, vine fretter, or plant-louse; a genus of insects, belonging to the order of hemipters. The aphis is furnished with an inflected beak, and with feelers longer than the thorax. In the same species, some individuals have four erect wings, and others are entirely without wings. The feet are of the ambulatory kind, and the belly usually ends in two horns, from which is ejected the substance called honey-dew. The species are very numerous.

APHLOGISTIC, a. [Gr. inflammable.]

Flameless; as an aphlogistic lamp, in which a coil of wire is kept in a state of continued ignition by alcohol, without flame.

APHONY, n. [Gr. voice.]

A loss of voice; a palsy of the tongue; dumbness; catalepsy.

APHORISM, n. [Gr. determination, distinction; from to separate.]

A maxim; a precept, or principle expressed in few words; a detached sentence containing some important truth; as, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or of the civil law.

APHORISMER, n. A dealer in aphorisms.

APHORISTIC, APHORISTICAL, a. In the form of an aphorism; in the form of short unconnected sentences; as an aphoristic style.

APHORISTICALLY, adv. In the form or manner of aphorisms.

APHRITE, n. [Gr. froth; the schaum erde, or earth scum, of Werner; the silvery chalk of Kirwan.]

A subvariety of carbonate of lime, occurring in small masses, solid or tender and friable. It is composed of lamels or scales, of a pearly luster. It is connected by insensible shades with argentine.

APHRIZITE, n. A variety of black tourmalin.

APHRODISIAC, APHRODISIACAL, a. [Gr. venereal, Venus, from froth.]

Exciting venereal desire; increasing the appetite for sexual connection.

APHRODISIAC, n. A provocative to venery.

APHRODITE, n. [Gr.] A follower of Venus.


1. In zoology, a genus of the order of Molluscas, called also sea-mouse. The body is oval, with many small protuberances or tentacles on each side, which serve as feet. The mouth is cylindrical, at one end of the body, with two bristly tentacles, and capable of being retracted.

2. A name of Venus, so called from Gr. froth, from which the goddess was supposed to have been produced. [See Venus.]

APHTHONG, n. [Gr. without, and sound.]

A letter or combination of letters, which, in the customary pronunciation of a word, have no sound.

APHTHOUS, a. [Gr. ulcers in the mouth.]

Pertaining to thrush; of the nature of thrush or ulcerous affections of the mouth.

APHYLLOUS, a. [Gr. a leaf.]

In botany, destitute of leaves, as the rush, mushrooms, garlic, some sea-weeds, etc.

APIARY, n. [L. apiarium, of apis, a bee.]

The place where bees are kept; a stand or shed for bees.

APIASTER, n. [From apis, a bee.]

The bird called a bee-eater, a species of merops. The apiaster has an iron colored back, and a belly of bluish green.

APICES, APEXES. [See Apex and Anther.]

APIECE, adv. [a and piece.]

To each; noting the share of each; as here is an orange apiece.

APIS, n. In mythology, an ox, worshiped in ancient Egypt, or a divinity or idol in the figure of an ox.

APIS, n. [L.] In zoology, the bee, a genus of insects, of the order of hymenopters. The mouth has two jaws, and a proboscis infolded in a double sheath; the wings are four, the two foremost covering the hinder ones when at rest. The females and working bees have a sting.

APISH, a. [See Ape.] Having the qualities of an ape; inclined to imitate in a servile manner; hence, foolish, foppish, affected, trifling, insignificant; as, an apish fellow; apish manners.

APISHLY, adv. In an apish manner; with servile imitation; foppishly.

APISHNESS, n. The quality of being apish; mimicry; foppery.