Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



AREOMETRY, n. The measuring or act of measuring the specific gravity of fluids.

AREOPAGITIC, a. Pertaining to the Areopagus.

AREOPAGITE, n. A member of the Areopagus, which see. Acts 17:34.

AREOPAGUS, n. [Gr. Mars, and hills.]

A sovereign tribunal at Athens, famous for the justice and impartiality of its decisions. It was originally held on a hill in the city; but afterward removed to the Royal Portico, an open square, where the judges sat in the open air, inclosed by a cord. Their sessions were in the night, that they might not be diverted by objects of sight, or influenced by the presence and action of the speakers. By a law of Solon, no person could be a member of this tribunal, until he had been archon or chief magistrate. This court took cognizance of high crimes, impiety and immorality, and watched over the laws and the public treasury.

AREOTIC, a. [Gr. thin.] Attenuating; making thin, as in liquids; rarefying.

AREOTIC, n. A medicine, which attenuates the humors, dissolves viscidity, opens the pores, and increases perspiration; an attenuant.

ARETOLOGY, n. [Gr. virtue, and discourse.]

That part of moral philosophy which treats of virtue, its nature and the means of attaining to it. [Little used.]

ARGAL, n. Unrefined or crude tartar, a substance adhering to the sides of wine casks.

ARGEAN, a. Pertaining to Argo or the Ark.

ARGENT, n. [L. argentum; Gr. silver, from white.]

1. The white color in coats of arms, intended to represent silver, or purity, innocence, beauty, or gentleness.

2. a. Silvery; of a pale white, like silver.

3. a. Bright.

Ask of yonder argent fields above.

ARGENTAL, a. Pertaining to silver; consisting of silver; containing silver; combined with silver; applied to the native amalgam of silver, as argental mercury.

ARGENTATE, n. A combination of the argentic acid with another substance.

ARGENTATION, n. An overlaying with silver.

ARGENT-HORNED, a. Silver horned.

ARGENTIC, a. Pertaining to silver; the argentic acid is a saturated combination of silver and oxygen. This is yet hypothetical.

ARGENTIFEROUS, a. [L. argentum, silver, and fero, to produce.] Producing silver; as argentiferous ore.

ARGENTINA, ARGENTINE, n. In ichthyology, a genus of fishes of the order of abdominals.

Argentina is also a name of the wild tansy, silver-weed.

ARGENTINE, a. Like silver; pertaining to silver, or sounding like it.

ARGENTINE, n. In mineralogy, a subspecies of carbonate of lime, nearly pure; a mineral of a lamellated or slaty structure; its lamens usually curved or undulated; its surface is shining, or of a pearly luster. It is found in primitive rocks, and frequently in metallic veins.

ARGIL, n. A species of the Ardea, or genus of cranes.

ARGIL, n. [L. argilla, white clay, from Gr. white.]

In a general sense, clay, or potter’s earth; but in a technical sense, pure clay, or alumine.

ARGILLACEOUS, a. [L. argillaceus.] Partaking of the nature of clay; clayey; consisting of argil.

ARGILLIFEROUS, a. [L. argilla, clay, and fero, to produce.] Producing clay; applied to such earths as abound with argil.

ARGILLITE, n. Argillaceous shist or slate; clay-slate. Its usual color is bluish, greenish or blackish gray.

ARGILLITIC, a. Pertaining to argillite.

ARGILLOCALCITE, n. [of argilla, clay, and calx, calcarious earth.]

A species of calcarious earth, with a large proportion of clay.

ARGILLOMURITE, n. [of argilla, clay, and muria, brine or salt water; magnesia being obtained from sea-salt.]

A species of earth consisting of magnesia, mixed with silex, alumine and lime; a variety of Magnesite.

ARGILLOUS, a. Consisting of clay; clayey; parting of clay; belonging to clay.

ARGIVE, a. Designating what belongs to Argos, the capital of Argolis in Greece, whose inhabitants were called Argivi. This name however is used by the poets for the Greeks in general.

ARGO, n. The name of the ship which carried Jason and his fifty-four companions to Colchis, in quest of the golden fleece.

ARGO-NAVIS, The ship Argo, is a constellation in the southern hemisphere, whose stars, in the British catalogue, are sixty-four.

ARGOAN, a. Pertaining to the ship Argo.

ARGOLIC, a. Belonging to Argolis, a territory or district of Peloponnese, between Arcadia and the Egean sea; as the Argolic Gulf.

ARGOLICS, n. The title of a chapter in Pausanias, which treats of Argolis.

ARGONAUT, n. [of Jason’s ship, and a sailor.]

One of the persons who sailed to Colchis with Jason, in the Argo, in quest of the golden fleece.

ARGONAUTA, n. [See Argonaut.]

A genus of shell-fish, of the order of vermes testacea. The shell consists of one spiral involuted valve. There are several species; one of which is the Argo, with a subdentated carina, the famous nautilus, which, when it sails, extends two of its arms, spreading a membrane, which serves for a sail, and six other arms are thrown out, for rowing or steering.

ARGONAUTIC, a. Pertaining to the Argonauts, or to their voyage to Colchis; as the Argonautic story.

ARGONAUTICS, n. A poem on the subject of Jason’s voyage, or the expedition of the Argonauts; as, the Argonautics of Orpheus, of V. Flaccus, and of Apollonius Rhodius.

ARGOSY, n. A large merchantman; a carrac.

ARGUE, v.i. [L. arguo, to show, argue, accuse or convict.]

1. To reason; to invent and offer reasons to support or overthrow a proposition, opinion or measure; as, A argues in favor of a measure; B argues against it.

2. To dispute; to reason with; followed by with; as, you may argue with your friend, a week, without convincing him.

ARGUE, v.t.

1. To debate or discuss; to treat by reasoning; as, the counsel argued the cause before the supreme court; the cause was well argued.

2. To prove or evince; to manifest by inference or deduction; or to show reasons for; as, the order visible in the universe argues a divine cause.

3. To persuade by reasons; as, to argue a man into a different opinion.

4. Formerly, to accuse or charge with; a Latin sense, now obsolete; as, to argue one of profaneness.

ARGUED, pp. Debated; discussed; evinced; accused.

ARGUER, n. One who argues; a reasoner; a disputer; a controvertist.

ARGUING, ppr. Inventing and offering reasons; disputing; discussing; evincing; accusing.

ARGUING, n. Reasoning; argumentation.

What doth your arguing reprove? Job 6:25.

ARGUMENT, n. [L. argumentum.]

1. A reason offered for or against a proposition, opinion, or measure; a reason offered in proof, to induce belief, or convince the mind; followed by for or against.

2. In logic, an inference drawn from premises, which are indisputable, or at least of probable truth.

3. The subject of a discourse or writing.

4. An abstract or summary of a book, or the heads of the subjects.

5. A debate or discussion; a series of reasoning; as, an argument was had before the court, in which argument, all the reasons were urged.

6. In astronomy, an arch by which we seek another unknown arch, proportional to the first.

ARGUMENTAL, a. Belonging to argument; consisting in argument.

ARGUMENTATION, n. Reasoning; the act of reasoning; the act of inventing or forming reasons, making inductions, drawing conclusions, and applying them to the case in discussion. The operation of inferring propositions, not known or admitted as true, from facts or principles known, admitted, or proved to be true.


1. Consisting of argument; containing a process of reasoning; as an argumentative discourse.

2. Showing reasons for; as, the adaptation of things to their uses is argumentative of infinite wisdom in the Creator.

ARGUMENTATIVELY, adv. In an argumentative manner.

ARGUS, n. A fabulous being of antiquity, said to have had a hundred eyes, placed by Juno to guard Io. The origin of this being may perhaps be found in the Teutonic word arg, crafty, cunning, of which the hundred eyes are symbolical.

ARGUS-SHELL, n. A species of porcelain-shell, beautifully variegated with spots, resembling, in some measure, a peacock’s tail.

ARGUTE, a. [L. argutus.] Sharp; shrill; witty. [Little used.]

ARGUTENESS, n. Acuteness; wittiness. [Little used.]

ARIAN, a. Pertaining to Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, in the fourth century; or to his doctrines.

ARIAN, n. One who adheres to the doctrines of Arius, who held Christ to be a created being, inferior to God the father in nature and dignity, though the first and noblest of all created beings; and also that the Holy Spirit is not God, but created by the power of the Son.

ARIANISM, n. The doctrines of the Arians.

ARIANIZE, v.i. To admit the tenets of the Arians.

ARID, a. [L. aridus, dry, from areo, to be dry.]

Dry; exhausted of moisture; parched with heat; as an arid waste.

ARIDAS, n. A kind of taffeta, from the East Indies, made of thread, from certain plants.


1. Dryness; a state of being without moisture.

2. A dry state of the body; emaciation; the withering of a limb.

ARIES, n. [L. from the Celtic.]

The ram, a constellation of fixed stars, drawn on the globe, in the figure of a ram. It is the first of the twelve signs in the zodiac, which the sun enters about the 21st of March.

ARIETATE, v.i. [L. arieto, from aries.]

To butt, as a ram. [Not used.]


1. The act of battering with the aries or battering ram.

2. The act of striking or conflicting. [Rarely used.]

ARIETTA, n. A short song; an air, or little air.

ARIGHT, adv. [a and right.]

Rightly; in a right form; without mistake or crime.

ARIL, ARILLUS, n. The exterior coat or covering of a seed, fixed to it at the base only, investing it wholly or partially, and falling off spontaneously; by some writers called, from the Greek, Calyptra. It is either succulent, or cartilaginous; colored, elastic, rough or knotted.

ARILLATED, ARILLED, a. Having an exterior covering or aril, as coffee.


The evil genius or demon of the Persians; opposed to yezad, yezdan, ormozed, or hormizda, the good demon. The ancient magi held, that there are two deities or principles; one the author of all good, eternally absorbed in light; the other, the author of all evil, forever buried in darkness; or the one represented by light; the other by darkness. The latter answers to the loke of the Scandinavians, whose Celtic name, lock, signifies darkness. Originally, the Persians held these demons or principles to be equal, and from all eternity; by the moderns maintain that the evil principle is an inferior being. So the devil is called the prince of darkness.

ARIOLATION, HARIOLATION, n. [L. ariolus or hariolus, a sooth sayer.]

A soothsaying; a foretelling.

ARIOSO, a. Light; airy.

But according to Rousseau, applied to music, it denotes a kind of melody bordering on the majestic style of a capital air.

ARISE, v.i. s as z pret. arose; pp. arisen; Heb.

1. To ascend, mount up or move to a higher place; as, vapors arise from humid places.

2. To emerge from below the horizon; as, the sun or a star arises or rises.

3. To get out of bed; to leave the place or state of rest; or to leave a sitting or lying posture.

The king arose early and went to the den. Daniel 6:19.

4. To begin; to spring up; to originate.

A persecution arose about Stephen. Acts 11:19.

5. To revive from death; to leave the grave.

Many bodies of saints arose. Matthew 27:52.

Figuratively, to wake from a state of sin and stupidity; to repent.

Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee life. Ephesians 5:14.

6. To begin to act; to exert power; to move from a state of inaction.

7. To appear, or become known; to become visible, sensible or operative.

To you shall the sun of righteousness arise. Malachi 4:2.

8. To be put in motion; to swell or be agitated; as, the waves arose.

9. To be excited or provoked; as, the wrath of the king shall arise.

10. To emerge from poverty, depression or distress.

By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. Amos 7:2, 5.

11. To appear in a particular character; to enter upon an office.

There arose a new king who knew not Joseph. Exodus 1:8.

12. To begin sedition, insurrection, or mutiny; as, the men arose, or rose upon their officers.

13. To invade, assault or begin hostility; followed by against.

When he arose against me, I caught him by the beard. 1 Samuel 17:35.

In this sense, the word against really belongs to the verb, and is necessary to give it this meaning. [See Rise, another form of this verb, which has the same signification, and is more generally used in popular language.]

ARISING, ppr. Ascending; moving upward; originating or proceeding; getting up; springing up; appearing.

ARISTA, n. [L.] In botany, awn, the long pointed beard which issues from the husk, or scaly flower cup of the grasses, called the glume.

ARISTARCHY, n. [Gr. best, and rule.]

A body of good men in power, or government by excellent men.

ARISTOCRACY, n. [Gr. best, and to hold or govern.]

A form of government, in which the whole supreme power is vested in the principal persons of a state; or in a few men distinguished by their rank and opulence. When the supreme power is exercised by a small number, the government is called an oligarchy. The latter word however is usually applied to a corrupted form of aristocracy.

ARISTOCRAT, n. One who favors an aristocracy in principle or practice; one who is a friend to an aristocratical form of government.


1. Pertaining to aristocracy; consisting in a government of nobles, or principal men; as an aristocratic constitution.

2. Partaking of aristocracy; as, an aristocratic measure; aristocratic pride or manners.

ARISTOCRATICALLY, adv. In an aristocratical manner.

ARISTOCRATICALNESS, n. The quality of being aristocratical.

ARISTOTELIAN, a. Pertaining to Aristotle, a celebrated philosopher, who was born at Stagyra, in Macedon, about 384 years before Christ. The Aristotelian philosophy is otherwise called peripatetic.

ARISTOTELIAN, n. A follower of Aristotle, who was a disciple of Plato, and founded the sect of peripatetics. [See Peripatetic.]

ARISTOTELIANISM, n. The philosophy or doctrines of Aristotle.

ARISTOTELIC, a. Pertaining to Aristotle or to his philosophy.

The pernicious effects of the Aristotelic system.

ARITHMANCY, n. [Gr. number, and divination.]

Divination or the foretelling of future events by the use or observation of numbers.

ARITHMETIC, n. [Gr. to number, the art of numbering, from number; from number, rhythm, order, agreement.]

The science of numbers, or the art of computation. The various operations of arithmetic are performed by addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

ARITHMETIC, ARITHMETICAL, a. Pertaining to arithmetic; according to the rules or method of arithmetic.

ARITHMETICALLY, adv. According to the rules, principles or method arithmetic.

ARITHMETICIAN, n. One skilled in arithmetic, or versed in the science of numbers.

ARK, n. [L. arca.]

1. A small close vessel, chest or coffer, such as that which was the repository of the tables of the covenant among the Jews. This was about three feet nine inches in length. The lid was the propitiatory, or mercy seat, over which were the cherubs. The vessel in which Moses was set afloat upon the Nile was an ark of bulrushes.

2. The large floating vessel, in which Noah and his family were preserved, during the deluge.

3. A depository.

Arise, O Lord, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength. Psalm 132:8.

4. A large boat used on American rivers, to transport produce to market.

ARKITE, n. A term used by Bryant to denote one of the persons who were preserved in the ark; or who, according to pagan fables, belonged to the ark.

ARKITE, a. Belonging to the ark.

ARKTIZITE, ARCTIZITE, n. A mineral, now called Wernerite.

ARM, n. [L. armus, an arm, a shoulder, a wing; armus is directly from the Gr. a joint, it would seem to be formed from Gr. to fit.]

1. The limb of the human body, which extends from the shoulder to the hand.

2. The branch of a tree, or the slender part of a machine, projecting from a trunk or axis. The limbs of animals are also sometimes called arms.

3. A narrow inlet of water from the sea.

4. Figuratively, power, might, strength; as the secular arm. In this sense the word is often used in the scriptures.

To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed. Isaiah 53:1.

ARM, v.t. [L. armo; arma.]

1. To furnish or equip with weapons of offense, or defense; as, to arm the militia.

2. To cover with a plate, or with whatever will add strength, force, or security; as, to arm the hilt of a sword.

3. To furnish with means of defense; to prepare for resistance; to fortify.

Arm yourselves with the same mind. 1 Peter 4:1.

ARM, v.i. To provide with arms, weapons, or means of attack or resistance; to take arms; as, the nations arm for war.

This verb is not really intransitive in this use, but reciprocal, the pronoun being omitted. The nations arm - for, the nations arm themselves.


A fleet of armed ships; a squadron. The term is usually applied to the Spanish fleet, called the Invincible Armada, consisting of 130 ships, intended to act against England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, A.D. 1588.


A quadruped peculiar to America, called also tatoo, and in zoology, the dasypus. This animal has neither fore-teeth, nor dog-teeth; it is covered with a hard, bony shell, divided into movable belts, except on the forehead, shoulders and haunches, where it is not movable. The belts are connected by a membrane, which enables the animal to roll itself up like a hedge hog. These animals burrow in the earth, where they lie during the day time, seldom going abroad except at night. They are of different sizes; the largest 3 feet in length, without the tail. They subsist chiefly on fruits and roots; sometimes on insects and flesh. When attacked, they roll themselves into a ball, presenting their armor on all sides to any assailant; but they are inoffensive, and their flesh is esteemed good food.

ARMAMENT, n. [L. armamenta, utensils, tackle, from arma.]

A body of forces equipped for war; used of a land or naval force. It is more generally used of a naval force, including ships, men and all the necessary furniture for war.

ARMAMENTARY, n. An armory; a magazine or arsenal. [Rarely used.]

ARMATURE, n. [L. armatura.]

1. Armor; that which defends the body. It comprehends whatever is worn for defense of the body, and has been sometimes used for offensive weapons. Armature, like arms and armor, is used also of the furniture of animals and vegetables, evidently intended for their protection; as prickles, spines and horns.

2. In ancient military art, an exercise performed with missive weapons, as darts, spears and arrows.

ARMED, pp.

1. Furnished with weapons of offense or defense; furnished with the means of security; fortified, in a moral sense.

2. In heraldry, armed is when the beaks, talons, horns, or teeth of beasts and birds of prey are of a different color from the rest of the body.

3. Capped and cased as the load stone; that is set in iron.

An armed ship is one which is taken into the service of government for a particular occasion, and armed like a ship of war.

ARMENIA, a. Pertaining to Armenia, a country and formerly, a kingdom, in Asia, divided into Major and Minor. The greater Armenia is now called Turcomania.

ARMENIAN, n. A native of Armenia, or the language of the country.

Armenian bole is a species of clay from Armenia, and found in other countries. But the term, being of uncertain signification, is rejected in modern mineralogy. [See Bole.]

Armenian stone, a soft blue stone, consisting of calcarious earth or gypsum, with the oxyd of copper. It is too soft to give fire with steel, loses its color when heated, and does not admit of a polish.

ARME-PUISSANT, a. [See Puissant.] Powerful in arms.

ARMFUL, n. As much as the arms can hold.

ARMGAUNT, a. slender, as the arm. [Not in use.]

ARMHOLE, n. [arm and hole.]

1. The cavity under the shoulder, or the armpit.

2. A hole for the arm in a garment.

ARMIGEROUS, a. [L. armiger, arma and gero.]

Literally, bearing arms. But in present usage, armiger is a title of dignity next in degree to a knight. In times of chivalry, it signified an attendant on a knight, or other person of rank, who bore his shield and rendered him other military services. so in antiquity, Abimilech, Saul, etc. had their armor bearers. Judges 9:54; 1 Samuel 16:21. as had Hector and Achilles. This title, under the French princes, in England, was exchanged, in common usage, for esquire, L. scutum, a shield. Armiger is still retained with us as a title of respect, being the Latin word equivalent to esquire, which see.

ARMILLARY, a. [L. armilla, a bracelet, from armus, the arm.]

Resembling a bracelet, or ring; consisting of rings or circles. It is chiefly applied to an aritificial sphere, composed of a number of circles of the mundane sphere, put together intheir natural order, to assist in giving a just conception of the constitution of the heavens, and the motions of the celestial bodies. This aritificial sphere revolves upon its axis within a horizon, divided into degrees, and movable every way upon a brass supporter.

ARMING, ppr. Equipping with arms; providing with the means of defense or attack; also, preparing for resistance in a moral sense.

ARMINGS, n. The same as waist-clothes, hung about a ship’s upper works.