Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



APITPAT, With quick beating or palpitation; a word formed from the sound, pit and pat, or from beat.

APLANATIC, a. [Gr. to wander.]

An aplanatic telescope is one which entirely corrects the aberration of the rays of light. It is thus distinguished from the achromatic, which only partially corrects the aberration.

APLOME, n. [Gr. simple.]

A mineral closely allied to garnet. It is considered by Jameson, as crystallized common garnet. It is a rare mineral, found in dodecahedrons, with rhombic faces, supposed to be derived from the cube, by one of the most simple laws of decrement, that of a single range of particles, parallel to all the edges of a cube.

APLUSTER, APLUSTRE, n. [L. from Gr. the summit of the poop of a ship.]

An ensign, or ornament carried by ancient ships. It was shaped like a plume of feathers, fastened on the neck of a goose or swan, and to this was attached a party-colored ribbon, to indicate the course of the wind.

APOCALYPSE, n. apoc’alyps. [Gr. from to disclose; and to cover.]

Revelation; discovery; disclosure. The name of a book of the New Testament, containing many discoveries or predictions respecting the future state of Christianity, written by St. John, in Patmos, near the close of the first century.

APOCALYPTIC, APOCALYPTICAL, a. Containing or pertaining to revelation; disclosing.

APOCALYPTICALLY, adv. By revelation; in the manner of disclosure.

APOCOPATE, v.t. [See Apocope.]

To cut off, or drop the last letter or syllable of a word.

APOCOPATED, pp. Shortened by the omission of the last letter or syllable.

APOCOPATING, ppr. Cutting off, or omitting the last letter or syllable.

APOCOPE, APOCOPY, n. [Gr. abscission, of and to cut.]

The cutting off, or omission of the last letter or syllable of a word; as di for dii.

APOCRISARY, n. [Gr. from answer, to answer.]

Anciently a resident in an imperial city, in the name of a foreign church or bishop, answering to the modern nuncio. He was a proctor, in the emperor’s court, to negotiate, and transact business for his constituent.

APOCRUSTIC, a. [Gr. from, to drive from.]

Astringent; repelling.

APOCRUSTIC, n. A medicine which constringes, and repels the humors; a repellent.

APOCRYPHA, n. [Gr. from, to conceal.]

Literally such things as are not published; but in an appropriate sense, books whose authors are not known; whose authenticity, as inspired writings, is not admitted, and which are therefore not considered a part of the sacred canon of the scripture. When the Jews published their sacred books, they called them canonical and divine; such as they did not publish, were called apocryphal. The apocryphal books are received by the Romish Church as canonical, but not by Protestants.

APOCRYPHAL, a. Pertaining to the apecrypha; not canonical; of uncertain authority or credit; false; fictitious.

APOCRYPHALLY, adv. Uncertainly; not indisputably.

APOCRYPHALNESS, n. Uncertainty, as to authenticity; doubtfulness of credit, or genuineness.

APODAL, a. [See Apode.]

Without feet; in zoology, destitute of ventral fins.

APODE, n. [Gr. foot.]

An animal that has no feet, applied to certain fabulous fowls, which are said to have no legs, and also to some birds that have very short legs.

In zoology, the apodes are an order of fishes which have no ventral fins; the first order in Linne’s system.

APODICTIC, APODICTICAL, a. [Gr. evidence, of an to show.]

Demonstrative; evident beyond contradiction; clearly proving. [Little used.]

APODICTICALLY, adv. So as to be evident beyond contradiction.

APODOSIS, n. [Gr.] The application or latter part of a similitude.

APOGEE, n. [apogeon, apogeum; Gr. from, and the earth.]

That point in the orbit of a a planet, which is at the greatest distance from the earth. The ancients regarded the earth as fixed in the center of the system, and therefore assigned to the sun, with the planets, an apogee; but the moderns, considering the sun as the center, use the terms perihelion and aphelion, to denote the least and greatest distance of the planets from that orb. The sun’s apogee therefore is in strictness, the earth’s aphelion. Apogee is properly applicable to the moon.

APOGON, n. A fish of the Mediterranean, the summit of whose head is elevated.

APOGRAPH, n. [Gr.] An exemplar; a copy or transcript.

APOLLINARIAN, a. [From Apollo.]

The Apollinarian games, in Roman antiquity, were celebrated in honor of Apollo; instituted A.R. 542 after the battle of Cannae. They were merely scenical, with exhibitions of music, dances and various mountebank tricks.

APOLLINARIANS, in Church history, a sect, deriving their name from Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, in the 4th Century, who denied the proper humanity of Christ; maintaining that his body was endowed with a sensitive, and not with a rational soul; and that the divine nature supplied the place of the intellectual principle in man.

Apollo-Belvidere, an ancient statue of the first class in excellence.

APOLLYON, n. [Gr. destroying.]

The destroyer; a name used Revelation 9:11, for the angel of the bottomless pit, answering to the Hebrew Abaddon.

APOLOGETIC, APOLOGETICAL, a. [Gr. to speak in defense of; and speech.]

Defending by words or arguments; excusing; said or written in defense, or by way of apology; as an apologetic essay.

APOLOGETICALLY, adv. By way of apology or excuse.

APOLOGIST, n. [See Apology.]

One who makes an apology; one who speaks or writes in defense of another.

APOLOGIZE, v.i. To make an apology; to write or speak in favor of, or to make excuse for; followed by for; as, my correspondent apologized for not answering my letter.

APOLOGUE, n. ap’olog. [Gr. a long speech, a fable.]

A moral fable; a story or relation of fictitious events, intended to convey useful truths. An apologue differs from a parable in this; the parable is drawn from events which pass among mankind, and is therefore supported by probability; an apologue may be founded on supposed actions of brutes or inanimate things, and therefore does not require to be supported by probability. Esop’s fables are good examples of apologues.

APOLOGY, n. [Gr. discourse.]

An excuse; something said or written in defense or extenuation of what appears to others wrong, or unjustifiable; or of what may be liable to disapprobation. It may be an extenuation of what is not perfectly justifiable, or a vindication of what is or may be disapproved, but which the apologist deems to be right. A man makes an apology for not fulfilling an engagement, or for publishing a pamphlet. An apology then is a reason or reasons assigned for what is wrong or may appear to be wrong, and it may be either an extenuation or a justification of something that is or may be censured, by those who are not acquainted with the reasons.

APONEUROSIS, APONEUROSY, n. [Gr. from, and to send.]

An expansion of a tendon in the manner of a membrane; the tendinous expansion or fascia of muscles; the tendon or tail of a muscle.

APOPEMPTIC, a. [Gr. from, and a nerve.]

Denoting a song or hymn among the ancients, sung or addressed to a stranger, on his departure from a place to his own country. It may be used as a noun for the hymn.

APOPHASIS, n. [Gr. from, and form of speech.]

In rhetoric, a waving or omission of what one, speaking ironically, would plainly insinuate; as, “I will not mention another argument, which, however, if I should, you could not refute.”

APOPHLEGMATIC, a. [Gr. from, and phlegm.]

Masticatory; having the quality of exciting discharges of phlegm from the mouth or nostrils.

APOPHLEGMATIC, n. A masticatory; a medicine which excites discharges of phlegm from the mouth or nostrils.

APOPHLEGMATISM, n. An apophlegmatic.

APOPHLEGMATIZANT, n. An apophlegmatic.

APOPHTHEGM, APOTHEM, n. [Gr. from, and word. It would be eligible to reduce this harsh word to apothem.]

A remarkable saying; a short, sententious, instructive remark, uttered on a particular occasion, or by a distinguished character; as that of Cyrus, “He is unworthy to be a magistrate, who is not better than his subjects;” or that of Cato, men by doing nothing, soon learn to do mischief.

APOPHYGE, APOPHYGY, n. [Gr. from, and flight.]

1. In architecture, the part of a column, where it springs out of its base; originally a ring or ferrel to bind the extremities of columns, and keep them from splitting; afterwards imitated in stone pillars. It is sometimes called the spring of the column.

2. A concave part or ring of a column, lying above or below the flat member.

APOPHYLLITE, n. [Gr. from, and a leaf; so called because of its tendency to exfoliate.]

A mineral occurring in laminated masses or in regular prismatic crystals, having a strong and peculiar pearly luster. Its structure is foliated, and when a fragment is forcibly rubbed against a hard body, it separates into thin lamens, like selenite. It exfoliates also before the flame of a lamp. From its peculiar luster, it is sometimes called by the harsh name, ichthyophthalmite, fish-eye stone.

APOPHYSIS, APOPHYSY, n. [Gr. from, and growth.]

The projecting soft end or protuberance of a bone; a process of a bone.

APOPLECTIC, APOPLECTICAL, a. [See Apoplexy.] Pertaining to or consisting in apoplexy, as an apoplectic fit; or predisposed to apoplexy, as an apoplectic habit of body.

APOPLECTIC, n. A person affected by apoplexy.

APOPLEXED, a. Affected with apoplexy.

APOPLEXY, n. [Gr. from, to strike.]

A sudden deprivation of all sense and voluntary motion, occasioned by repletion or whatever interrupts the action of the nerves upon the muscles.

Dryden, for the sake of measure, uses apoplex, for apoplexy.

APORON, APORIME, n. [See Apory.] A problem difficult to be resolved.

APORY, APORIA, n. [Gr. from a way or passage.]

1. In rhetoric, a doubting or being at a loss where to begin, or what to say, on account of the variety of matter.

2. In the medical art, febrile anxiety; uneasiness; restlessness, from obstructed perspiration, or the stoppage of any natural secretion.

APOSIOPESIS, APOSIOPESY, n. [Gr. of to be silent.]

Reticence or suppression; as when a speaker for some cause, as fear, sorrow, or anger, suddenly breaks off his discourse, before it is ended; or speaks of a thing, when he makes a show as if he would say nothing on the subject; or aggravates what he pretends to conceal, by uttering a part and leaving the remainder to be understood.

APOSTASY, n. [Gr. a defection, to depart.]

1. An abandonment of what one has professed; a total desertion, or departure from one’s faith or religion.

2. The desertion from a party to which one has adhered.

3. Among physicians, the throwing off of exfoliated or fractured bone, or the various solution of disease.

4. An abscess.

APOSTATE, n. [Gr.]

One who has forsaken the church, sect or profession to which he before adhered. In its original sense, applied to one who has abandoned his religion; but correctly applied also to one who abandons a political or other party.

APOSTATE, a. False; traitorous.

APOSTATICAL, a. After the manner of an apostate.

APOSTATIZE, v.i. To abandon one’s profession or church; to forsake principles or faith which one has professed; or the party to which one has been attached.

APOSTATIZING, ppr. Abandoning a church, profession, sect or party.

APOSTEMATE, v.i. To form into an abscess; to swell and fill with pus.

APOSTEMATION, n. The formation of an aposteme; the process of gathering into an abscess; written corruptly imposthumation.

APOSTEMATOUS, a. Pertaining to an abscess; partaking of the nature of an aposteme.

APOSTEME, n. [Gr. from to go off, to recede; and to stand.]

An abscess; a swelling filled with purulent matter; written also corruptly imposthume.

A-POSTERIORI, [L. posterior, after.]

Arguments a posteriori, are drawn from effect, consequences or facts; in opposition to reasoning a priori, or from causes previously known.

APOSTLE, n. [L. apostalus; Gr. to send away, to sent.]

A person deputed to execute some important business; but appropriately, a disciple of Christ commissioned to preach the gospel. Twelve persons were selected by Christ for this purpose; and Judas, one of the number, proving an apostate, his place was supplied by Matthias. Acts 1:15-26.

The title of apostle is applied to Christ himself, Hebrews 3:1. In the primitive ages of the church, other ministers were called apostles, Romans 16:7; as were persons sent to carry alms from one church to another, Philippians 2:19-30. This title was also given to persons who first planted the Christian faith. Thus Dionysius of Corinth is called the apostle of France; and the Jesuit Missionaries are called apostles.

Among the Jews, the title was given to officers who were sent into distant provinces, as visitors or commissioners, to see the laws observed.

Apostle, in the Greek liturgy, is a book contained the epistles of St. Paul, printed in the order in which they are to be read in churches, through the year.

APOSTLE-SHIP, n. The office or dignity of an apostle.

APOSTOLATE, n. A mission; the dignity or office of an apostle. Ancient writers use it for the office of a bishop; but it is now restricted to the dignity of the pope, whose see is call the Apostolic See.


1. Pertaining or relating to the apostles, as the apostolic age.

2. According to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or taught by the apostles; as apostolic faith or practice.

Apostolic constitutions, a collection of regulations attributed to the apostles, but generally supposed to be spurious. They appeared in the 4th century; are divided into eight books, and consist of rules and precepts relating to the duties of christians, and particularly, the ceremonies and discipline of the church.

Apostolic Fathers, an appellation given to the christian writers of the first century.

APOSTOLICALLY, adv. In the manner of the apostles.

APOSTOLICALNESS, n. The quality of being apostolical, or according to the doctrines of the apostles.

APOSTOLICS, n. Certain sects so called from their pretending to imitate the practice of the apostles, abstaining from marriage, from wine, flesh, pecuniary reward etc., and wandering about clothed in white, with long beards, and bare heads. Sagarelli, the founder of one of these sects, was burnt at Parma in 1300.

APOSTROPHE, APOSTROPHY, n. [Gr. from and a turning.]

1. In rhetoric, a diversion of speech; a digressive address; a changing the course of a speech, and addressing a person who is dead or absent, as if present; or a short address introduced into a discourse, directed to some person, different from the party to which the main discourse is directed; as when an advocate, in an argument to the jury, turns and addresses a few remarks to the court.

2. In grammar, the contraction of a word by the omission of a letter or letters, which omission is marked by a comma, as call’d for called. The comma used for this purpose may also be called an apostrophe.

APOSTROPHIC, a. Pertaining to an apostrophe, noting the contraction of a word.

APOSTROPHIZE, v.i. or t.

1. To make an apostrophe, or short detached address in speaking; to address by apostrophy.

2. v.t. To contract a word by omitting a letter or letters.

3. To mark with a comma, indicating the omission of a letter.

APOSTROPHIZED, pp. Addressed by way of digression; contracted by the omission of a letter or letters; marked by an apostrophy.

APOSTROPHIZING, ppr. Addressing in a digression; contracting or marking by apostrophy.

APOSTUME, n. An aposteme, which see.

APOTACTITE, n. [Gr. from to renounce; to ordain.]

One of a sect of ancient christians, who, in imitation of the first believers, renounced all their effects and possessions.

APOTHECARY, n. [L. and Gr. apotheca, a repository, from to deposit or lay aside, or from a chest.]

1. One who practices pharmacy; one who prepares drugs for medicinal uses, and keeps them for sale. In England, apothecaries are obliged to prepare medicines according to the formulas prescribed by the college of physicians, and are liable to have their shops visited by the censors of the college, who have power to destroy medicines which are not good.

2. In the middle ages, an apothecary was the keeper of any shop or warehouse; and an officer appointed to take charge of a magazine.

APOTHEGM, APOTHEM, n. [See Apophthegm.]

A remarkable saying; a short, instructive remark.

APOTHEGMATIC, APOTHEGMATICAL, a. In the manner of an apothem.

APOTHEGMATIST, n. A collector or maker of apothems.

APOTHEGMATIZE, v.t. To utter apothems or short instructive sentences.

APOTHEME, n. [See Apothecary.]

In Russia, an apothecary’s shop, or a shop for the preparation and sale of medicines.

APOTHEOSIS, n. [Gr. of God.]

Deification; consecration; the act of placing a prince or other distinguished person among the heathen deities. This honor was often bestowed on illustrious men in Rome, and followed by the erection of temples, and the institution of sacrifices to the new deity.

APOTHESIS, n. [Gr. to put back.]

1. The reduction of a dislocated bone.

2. A place on the south side of the chancel in the primitive churches, furnished with shelves, for books, vestments, etc.

APOTOME, APOTOMY, n. [Gr. to cut off.]

1. In mathematics, the difference between two incommensurable quantities.

2. In music, that portion of a tone major which remains after deducting from it an interval, less by a comma, than a semitone major.

The difference between a greater and lesser semitone, expressed by the ratio 128; 125. The Greeks supposing the greater tone could not be divided into two equal parts, called the difference, or smaller part, apotome; the other, limma.

APOTREPSIS, n. [Gr. to turn.] The resolution of a suppurating tumor.

APOTROPY, n. [Gr. to turn.]

In ancient poetry, a verse or hymn composed for averting the wrath of incensed deities. The deities invoked were called apotropeans.

APOZEM, n. [Gr. to boil.]

A decoction, in which the medicinal substances of plants are extracted by boiling.

APOZEMICAL, a. Like a decoction.

APPAIR, v.t. To impair. [Not in use.]

APPAIR, v.i. To degenerate. [Not in use.]

APPALL, v.t. [L. palleo, to become pale. See Pale.]

1. To depress or discourage with fear; to impress with fear, in such a manner that the mind shrinks, or loses its firmness; as, the sight appalled the stoutest heart.

2. To reduce, allay or destroy; as, to appall thirst. [Unusual.]

APPALL, v.i. To grow faint; to be dismayed.

APPALLED, pp. Depressed or disheartened with fear; reduced.

APPALLING, ppr. Depressing occasioned by fear; discouragement.

APPALLMENT, n. Depression occasioned by fear; discouragement.


1. Lands appropriated by a prince to the maintenance of his younger sons, as their patrimony; but on condition of the failure of male offspring, they were to revert to the donor or his heir. From the appanage it was customary for the sons to take their surnames.

2. Sustenance; means of nourishing.

Wealth - the appanage of wit.

APPARATUS, n. plu. apparatuses. [L. from apparo, to prepare, of ad and par.]

1. Things provided as means to some end; as the tools of an artisan; the furniture of a house; instruments of war. In more technical language, a complete set of instruments or utensils, for performing any operation.

2. In surgery, the operation of cutting for the stone, of three kinds, the small, the great, and the high.

Apparatus is also used as the title of several books, in the form of catalogues, bibliothecas, glossaries, dictionaries, etc.

APPAREL, n. [L. paro, apparo, to prepare; Heb. bara]

1. Clothing; vesture; garments; dress.

2. External habiliments or decorations; appearance; as, religion appears in the natural apparel of simplicity.

Glorious in apparel. Isaiah 63:1.

3. The furniture of a ship, as sails, rigging, anchors, etc.


1. To dress or clothe.

They who are gorgeously appareled are in kings court. Luke 7:25.

2. To adorn with dress.

She did apparel her apparel.

3. To dress with external ornaments; to cover with something ornamental; to cover, as with garments; as, trees appareled with flowers; or a garden with verdure.

4. To furnish with external apparatus; as ships appareled for sea.

APPARELED, pp. Dressed; clothed; covered as with dress; furnished.

APPARELING, ppr. Dressing; clothing; covering as with dress; furnishing.

APPARENCE, APPARENCY, n. Appearance. [Not in use.]

APPARENT, a. [See Appear.]

1. That may be seen, or easily seen; visible to the eye; within sight or view.

2. Obvious; plain; evident; indubitable; as, the wisdom of the creator is apparent in his works.

3. Visible, in opposition to hid or secret; as, a man’s apparent conduct is good.

4. Visible; appearing to the eye; seeming, in distinction from true or real, as the apparent motion or diameter of the sun.

Heirs apparent are those whose right to an estate is indefeasible, if they survive the ancestor; in distinction from presumptive heirs, who, if the ancestor should die immediately, would inherit, but whose right is liable to be defeated by the birth of their children.


1. Openly; evidently; as, the goodness of God is apparently manifest in his works of providence.

2. Seemingly; in appearance; as, a man may be apparently friendly, yet malicious in heart.

APPARITION, n. [See Appear.]

1. In a general sense, an appearance; visibility. [Little used.]

2. The thing appearing; a visible object; a form.

3. A ghost; a specter; a visible spirit. [This is now the usual sense of the word.]

4. Mere appearance, opposed to reality.