Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ARCHES-COURT, in England, so called from the church of St. Mary le bow (de arcubus,) whose top is raised of stone pillars built archwise, where it was anciently held, is a court of appeal, in the ecclesiastical polity, the judge of which is called the dean of the arches. This court had jurisdiction over thirteen peculiar parishes in London, belonging to the archbishop of Cantebury; but the office of dean of the arches being united with that of the archbishop’s principal office, the dean now receives and determines appeals from the sentence of all inferior courts within the province; and from him lies an appeal to the king in chancery. This and all the principal spiritual courts are now held at Doctors’ Commons.

ARCHETYPAL, a. Original; constituting a model or pattern.

ARCHETYPE, n. [Gr. beginning, and form.]

1. The original pattern or model of a work; or the model from which a thing is made; as, a tree is the archetype or pattern of our idea of that tree.

2. Among minters, the standard weight, by which others are adjusted.

3. Among Platonists, the archetypal world is the world as it existed in the idea of God, before the creation.

ARCHEUS, n. [Gr. beginning, or a chief.]

A term used by the ancient chimists, to denote the interal efficient cause of all things; the anima mundi or plastic power of the old philosophers; the power that presides over the animal economy, or the vis medicatrix; the active principle of the material world. In medicine, good health, or ancient practice.

ARCHFELON, n. [See Felon.] A chief felon.

ARCHFIEND, n. [See Fiend.] A chief fiend or foe.

ARCHFLAMEN, n. A chief flamen or priest.

ARCHFLATTERER, n. [See Flatter.] A chief flatterer.

ARCHFOE, n. [See Foe.] A grand or chief enemy.

ARCHFOUNDER, n. A chief founder.

ARCHGOVERNOR, n. The chief governor.

ARCHHERESY, n. [See Heresy.] The greatest heresy.

ARCHHERETIC, n. A chief heretic.

ARCHHIEREY, n. [Gr. chief, and priest.] A chief priest in Russia.

ARCHHYPOCRITE, n. A great or chief hypocrite.

ARCHIATER, n. [Gr. chief, and physician.] Chief physician; a word used in Russia.

ARCHICAL, a. Chief; primary.

ARCHIDIACONAL, a. [See Deacon.]

Pertaining to an archdeacon; as an archidiaconal visitation.

ARCHIEPISCOPAL, a. [See Episcopal.]

Belonging to an archbishop; as, Canterbury is an archiepiscopal see.

ARCHIL, n. A lichen, which grows on rocks, in the Canary and Cape de Verd isles, which yields a rich purple color, not durable, but very beautiful. It is bruised between stones, and moistened with strong spirit of urine mixed with quick lime. It first takes a purplish red color, and then turns to blue. In the first state it is called archil; and in the second, lacmas or litmase, litmus.

ARCHILOCHIAN, a. Pertaining to Archilochus, the poet, who invented a verse of seven feet, the first four dactyls or spondees, the last three, trochees.

ARCHIMAGUS, n. [See Magician.] The high priest of the Persian Magi, or worshipers of fire.

ARCHIMANDRITE, n. [from mandrite, a Syriac word for monk.]

In church history, a chief of the mandrites or monks, answering to abbot in Europe.

ARCHING, ppr. Forming an arch; covering with an arch.

ARCHING, a. Curving like an arch.

ARCHIPELAGO, n. [Authors are not agreed as to the origin of this word. Some suppose it to be compounded of Gr. chief, and sea; others of the Egean sea.]

In a general sense, a sea interspersed with many isles; but particularly the sea which separates Europe from Asia, otherwise called the Egean Sea. It contains the Grecian isles, called Cyclades and Sporades.

ARCHITECT, n. [Gr. chief, and a workman. See Technical.]

1. A person skilled in the art of building; one who understands architecture, or makes it his occupation to form plans and designs of buildings, and superintend the artificers employed.

2. A contriver; a former or maker.

ARCHITECTIVE, a. Used in building; proper for building.

ARCHITECTONIC, a. That has power or skill to build.

ARCHITECTONICS, n. The science of architecture.

ARCHITECTRESS, n. A female architect.

ARCHITECTURAL, a. Pertaining to the art of building; that is according to the rules of architecture.

ARCHITECTURE, n. [L. architectura.]

1. The art of building; but in a more limited and appropriate sense, the art of constructing houses, bridges and other buildings for the purposes of civil life.

2. Frame or structure.

The earth is a piece of divine architecture.

Military architecture is the art of fortification.

Naval architecture is the art of building ships.

ARCHITRAVE, n. [Gr. chief, and L. trabs, a beam.]

In architecture, the lower division of an entablature, or that part which rests immediately on the column. It probably represents the beam which, in ancient buildings, extended from column to column, to support the roof.

In chimneys, the architrave is called the mantle piece; and over doors and windows, the hyperthyrion.

ARCHIVAL, a. [See Archives.] Pertaining to archives or records; contained in records.

ARCHIVAULT, n. [arch, chief, and vault.]

In building, the inner contour of an arch, or a band adorned with moldings, running over the faces of the arch-stones, and bearing upon the imposts. It has only a single face in the Tuscan order; two faces crowned in the Doric and Ionic, and the same moldings, as the architrave, in the Corinthian and Composite.

ARCHIVES, n. plu. [Gr.; Low L. archivum.]

The apartment in which records are kept; also the records and papers which are preserved, as evidences of facts.

ARCHIVIST, n. The keeper of archives or records.

ARCHLIKE, a. Built like an arch.


A large lute, a theorbo, the base-strings of which are doubled with an octave, and the higher strings with a unison.

ARCHLY, adv. Shrewdly; wittily; jestingly.

ARCHMAGICIAN, n. The chief magician.

ARCHMARSHAL, n. The grand marshal of the German empire; a dignity belonging to the elector of Saxony.

ARCHNESS, n. Cunning; shrewdness; waggishness.

ARCHON, n. [Gr. a prince.]

The archons in Greece were chief magistrates chosen, after the death of Codrus, from the most illustrious families, to superintend civil and religious concerns. They were nine in number; the first was properly the archon; the second was called king; the third, polemarch, or general of the forces. The other six were called thesmothetae, or legislators.

ARCHONSHIP, n. The office of an archon; or the term of his office.

ARCHONTICS, n. In church history, a branch of the Valentinians, who held that the world was not created by God, but by angels, archontes.

ARCHPASTOR, n. Chief pastor, the shepherd and bishop of our souls.

ARCHPHILOSOPHER, n. A chief philosopher.

ARCHPILLAR, n. The main pillar.

ARCHPOET, n. The principal poet.

ARCHPOLITICIAN, n. [See Policy.] An eminent or distinguished politician.

ARCHPONTIFF, n. [See Pontiff.] A supreme pontiff or priest.

ARCHPRELATE, n. [See Prelate.] The chief prelate.

ARCHPRESBYTER, n. [See Presbyter.] a chief presbyter or priest.

ARCHPRESBYTERY, n. The absolute dominion of presbytery, or the chief presbytery.

ARCHPRIEST, n. [See Priest.] A chief priest.

ARCHPRIMATE, n. The chief primate; an archbishop

ARCHPROPHET, n. Chief prophet.

ARCHPROTESTANT, n. A principal or distinguished protestant.

ARCHPUBLICAN, n. The distinguished publican.

ARCHREBEL, n. The chief rebel

ARCHTRAITOR, n. A principal traitor.

ARCHTREASURER, n. [See Treasure.]

The great treasurer of the German empire; a dignity claimed by the elector of Hanover.

ARCHTREASURERSHIP, n. The office of archtreasurer.

ARCHTYRANT, n. A principal or great tyrant.

ARCHVILLAIN, n. [See Villain.] A chief or great villain.

ARCHVILLANY, n. Great villany.

ARCHWISE, adv. [arch and wise. See Wise.] In the form of an arch.

ARCTATION, ARCTITUDE, n. [L. artus, tight.] Preternatural straightness; constipation from inflammation.

ARCTIC, a. [Gr. a bear, and a northern constellation so called.]

Northern; pertaining to the northern constellation, called the bear; as, the arctic pole, circle, region or sea.

The arctic circle is a lesser circle parallel to the equator, 23 degrees 28’ from the north pole. this, and the antarctic circle, are called the polar circles, and within these lie the frigid zones.

ARCTURUS, n. [Gr. a bear, and tail.] A fixed star of the first magnitude, in the constellation of Bootes.

ARCUATE, a. [L. arcuatus. See Arc.] Bent or curved in the form of a bow.


1. The act of bending; incurvation; the state of being bent; curvity; crookedness; great convexity of the thorax.

2. A method of raising trees by layers; that is, by bending branches to the ground, and covering the small shoots with earth, three inches deep upon the joints; making a basin of earth to hold the water. When these have taken root, they are removed into a nursery.

ARCUBALIST, n. [L. arcus, a bow, and balista, an engine for throwing stones.] A cross-bow.

ARCUBALISTER, n. A cross-bowman; one who used the arbalist.

ARD, The termination of many English words. We observe it in Goddard, a divine temper; Giffard, a disposition to give, liberality; Bernard, flial affection; standard, drunkard, dotard, etc.

ARDENCY, n. [L. ardens, from ardeo, to burn.]

Warmth of passion or affection; ardor; eagerness; as, the ardency of love or zeal.


1. Hot; burning; that causes sensation of burning; as, ardent spirits, that is distilled spirits; an ardent fever.

2. Having the appearance of quality of fire; fierce; as ardent eyes.

3. Warm, applied to the passions and affections; passionate; affectionate; much engaged; zealous; as, ardent love or vows; ardent zeal.

ARDENTLY, adv. With warmth; affectionately; passionately.

ARDENTNESS, n. Ardency.

ARDOR, n. [L.]

1. Heat, in a literal sense; as, the ardor of the sun’s rays.

2. Warmth, or heat, applied to the passions and affections; eagerness; as, he pursues study with ardor; they fought with ardor.

Milton uses the word for person or spirit bright and effulgent, but by an unusual license.

ARDUOUS, a. [L. arduus.]

1. High, lofty, in a literal sense; as, arduous paths.

2. Difficult; attended with great labor, like the ascending of acclivities; as, an arduous employment, task, or enterprise.

ARDUOUSLY, adv. In an arduous manner; with laboriousness.

ARDUOUSNESS, n. Height; difficulty of execution.

ARE. The plural of the substantive verb; but a different word from be, am or was. It is usually pronounced ar.

ARE, n. [L.] In France, a measure, the new square perch, containing a hundred square meters, a little less than two square perches of 22 feet, in the ancient measure.

AREA, n. [L. I suspect this to be contracted from Heb. from a root which signifies to reach, stretch, lay or spread.]

1. Any plain surface, as the floor of a room, of a church or other building, or of the ground.

2. The space or site on which a building stands; or of any inclosure.

3. In geometry, the superficial contents of any figure; the surface included within any given lines; as the area of a square or a triangle.

4. Among physicians, baldness; an empty space; a bald space produced by alopeey; also a name of the disease.

5. In mining, a compass of ore allotted to diggers.

AREAD, AREED, v.t. To counsel; to advise. Obs.

AREAL, a. Pertaining to an area; as areal interstices.

AREEK, adv. In a reeking condition. [See Reek.]

AREFACTION, n. [L. arefacio, to dry, from aero.] The act of drying; the state of growing dry.

AREFY, v.t. To dry or make dry.

ARENA, n. [L. sand.]

1. An open space of ground strewed with sand, on which the gladiators, in ancient Rome, exhibited shows of fighting for the amusement of spectators. Hence, a place for public exhibition.

2. Among physicians, sand or gravel in the kidneys.

ARENACEOUS, a. [from arena, sand.]

1. Sandy; having the properties of sand.

2. Brittle; as arenaceous limestone.

ARENATION, n. Among physicians, a sand bath; a sprinkling of hot sand upon a diseased person.

ARENDALITE, n. In mineralogy, another name of epidote, or pistacite; epidote being the name given to it by Hauy, and pistacite by Werner. [See Epidote.]


In Livonia and other provinces of Russia, a farmer of the farms or rents; one who contracts with the crown for the rents of the farms. He who rents an estate belonging to the crown, is called Crownarendator. Arende is a term used both for the estate let to farm, and the sum for which it is rented.

ARENILITIC, a. [arena, sand, and a stone.]

Pertaining to sand stone; consisting of sand stone; as arenilite mountains.

ARENOSE, ARENOUS, a. Sandy; full of sand.

AREOLE, AREOLA, n. [L.] The colored circle round the nipple or round a pustule.

AREOMETER, n. [Gr. rare, thin, and to measure.]

An instrument for measuring the specific gravity of liquids.

AREOMETRICAL, a. Pertaining to an areometer.