Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ATCHE, n. In Turkey, a small silver coin, value about six or seven mills.

ATE, The preterite of eat, which see.

ATE, n. a’ty. [Gr. mischief; to hurt. Ate is a personification of evil, mischief or malice.]

In pagan mythology, the goddess of mischief, who was cast down from heaven by Jupiter.

ATELLAN, a. Relating to the dramas at Atella in Italy.

ATELLAN, n. A dramatic representation, satirical or licentious.

ATEMPOGIUSTO, [L. in tempore, justo.]

A direction in music, which signifies to sing or play in an equal, true or just time.

ATHANASIAN, a. Pertaining to Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century. The Athanasian creed is a formulary, confession or exposition of faith, supposed formerly to have been drawn up by Athanasius, but this opinion is now rejected, and the composition is ascribed by some to Hilary, bishop of Arles. It is a summary of what was called the orthodox faith.

ATHANOR, n. [Heb. thanor, an oven or furnace.]

A digesting furnace, formerly used in chimical operations, so constructed as to maintain a uniform and durable heat. It is a furnace, with a lateral tower close on all sides, which is to be filled with fuel. As the fuel below is consumed, that in the tower falls down to supply its place.

ATHEISM, n. The disbelief of the existence of a God, or Supreme intelligent Being.

Atheism is a ferocious system that leaves nothing above us to excite awe, nor around us, to awaken tenderness.

ATHEIST, n. [Gr. of a priv. and God.]

One who disbelieves the existence of a God, or Supreme intelligent Being.

ATHEIST, a. Atheistical; disbelieving or denying the being of a Supreme God.


1. Pertaining to atheism.

2. Disbelieving the existence of a God; impious, applied to persons; as, an atheistic writer.

3. Implying or containing atheism; applied to things, as, atheistic doctrines or opinions.

ATHEISTICALLY, adv. In an atheistic manner; impiously.

ATHEISTICALNESS, n. The quality of being atheistical.

ATHEIZE, v.i. To discourse an an atheist. [Not used.]

ATHEL, ADEL, AETHEL, nobel of illustrious birth.

ATHENIAN, a. [from Athens.] Pertaining to Athens, the metropolis of Attica in Greece.

ATHENIAN, n. A native or inhabitant of Athens.

ATHEOLOGIAN, n. One who is opposed to a theologian.

ATHEOLOGY, n. atheism. [Not in use.]

ATHEOUS, a. Atheistic; impious. [Not used.]

ATHERINE, ATHERINA, n. a genus of fishes of the abdominal order. The characters are, the upper jaw is rather flat, the rays of the gill membrane are six, and the side belt or line shines like silver. There are four species; the best known is the Hepsetus, very abundant in the Mediterranean, where it is caught in large quantities.

ATHEROMA, ATHEROME, n. [Gr. from pap.]

An encysted tumor, without pain or discoloration of the skin, containing matter like pap, intermixed with hard stony particles; easily cured by incision.

ATHEROMATOUS, a. Pertaining to or resembling an atherome; having the qualities of an atherome.

ATHIRST, a. athrust’. [a and thirst. See Thirst.]

1. Thirsty; wanting drink.

2. Having a keen appetite or desire.

He had a soul athirst for knowledge.

ATHLETE, n. [See Athletic.] A contender for victory.

ATHLETIC, a. [Gr.; L. athleta, a wrestler; from strife, contest.]

1. Belonging to wrestling, boxing, running and other exercises and sports, which were practiced by the ancients, usually called the athletic games. Hence,

2. Strong; lusty; robust; vigorous. An athletic body or constitution is one fitted for vigorous exertions.

ATHWART, prep. [a and thwart. See Thwart.]

1. Across; from side to side; transverse; as athwart the path.

2. In marine language, across the line of a ship’s course; as, a fleet standing athwart our course.

Athwart hause, is the situation of a ship when she lies across the stem of another, whether near, or at some distance.

Athwart the fore foot, is a phrase applied to the flight of a cannon ball, across another ship’s course, ahead, as a signal for her to bring to.

Athwart ships, reaching across the ship from side to side, or in that direction.

ATHWART, adv. In a manner to cross and perplex; crossly; wrong; wrongfully.

ATILT, adv. [a and tilt. See Tilt.]

1. In the manner of a tilter; in the position, or with the action of a man making a thrust; as, to stand or run atilt.

2. In the manner of a cask tilted, or with one end raised.

ATIMY, n. [Gr. honor.]

In ancient Greece, disgrace; exclusion from office or magistracy, by some disqualifying act or decree.


1. Pertaining to the isle Atlantis, which the ancients allege was sunk and overwhelmed by the ocean.

2. Pertaining to Atlas; resembling Atlas.

ATLANTIC, a. [from Atlas or Atlantis.]

Pertaining to that division of the ocean, which lies between Europe and Africa on the east and America on the west.

ATLANTIC, n. The ocean, or that part of the ocean, which is between Europe and Africa on the east and America on the west.

ATLANTICA, ATLANTIS, n. An isle mentioned by the ancients, situated west of Gades, or Cadiz, on the strait of Gibraltar. The poets mention two isles and call them Hesperides, western isles, and Elysian fields. Authors are not agreed whether these isles were the Canaries, or some other isles, or the continent of America.

ATLANTIDES, n. A name given to the Pleiades or seven stars, which were feigned to be the daughters of Atlas, a king of Mauritania, or of his brother, Hesperus, who were translated to heaven.

ATLANTIS, n. A fictitious philosophical commonwealth of Lord Bacon, or the piece describing it; composed in the manner of More’s Utopia, and Campanella’s City of the Sun. One part of the work is finished, in which the author has described a college, founded for the study of Nature, under the name of Solomon’s House. The model of a commonwealth was never executed.


1. A collection of maps in a volume; supposed to be so called from a picture of mount Atlas, supporting the heavens, prefixed to some collection.

2. A large square folio, resembling a volume of maps.

3. The supporters of a building.

4. A silk satin, or stuff, manufactured in the east, with admirable ingenuity. Atlasses are plain, striped, or flowered; but they have not the fine gloss and luster of some French silks.

5. The first vertebra of the neck.

6. A term applied to paper, as atlas fine.

ATMOMETER, n. [Gr. vapor, and to measure.]

An instrument to measure the quantity of exhalation from a humid surface in a given time; an evaporometer.

ATMOSPHERE, n. [Gr. vapor, and a sphere.]

The whole mass of fluid, consisting of air, aqueous and other vapors, surrounding the earth.


1. Pertaining to the atmosphere; as atmospheric air or vapors.

2. Dependent on the atmosphere.

I am an atmospheric creature.

ATOM, n. [Gr.; L. atomus; from not, and to cut.]

1. A particle of matter so minute as to admit of no division. Atoms are conceived to be the first principles or component parts of all bodies.

2. The ultimate or smallest component part of a body.

3. Any thing extremely small.

ATOMIC, ATOMICAL, a. Pertaining to atoms; consisting of atoms; extremely minute.

The atomical philosophy, said to be broached by Moschus, before the Trojan war, and cultivated by Epicurus, teaches that atoms are endued with gravity and motion, by which all things were formed, without the aid of a supreme intelligent Being.

The atomic theory, in chimistry, or the doctrine of definite proportions, teaches that all chimical combinations take place between the ultimate particles or atoms of bodies, and that these unite either atom with atom, or in proportions expressed by some simple multiple of the number of atoms.

ATOMISM, n. The doctrine of atoms.

ATOMIST, n. One who holds to the atomical philosophy.

ATOM-LIKE, a. Resembling atoms.

ATOMY, n. A word used by Shakespeare for atom; also an abbreviation of anatomy.

ATONE, adv. [at and one.] At one; together.

ATONE, v.i. [Supposed to be compounded of at and one. L. ad and unus, unio.]

1. To agree; to be in accordance; to accord.

He and Aufidus can no more atone.

Than violentest contrariety.

[This sense is obsolete.]

2. To stand as an equivalent; to make reparation, amends or satisfaction for an offense or a crime, by which reconciliation is procured between the offended and offending parties.

The murderer fell and blood atoned for blood.

By what propitiation shall I atone for my former gravity.

The life of a slave was deemed to be of so little value, that a very slight compensation atoned for taking it away.

3. To atone for, to make compensation or amends.

This evil was atoned for by the good effects of the study of the practical physics of Aristotle.

The ministry not atoning for their former conduct by any wise or popular measure.

ATONE, v.t.

1. To expiate; to answer or make satisfaction for.

Or each atone his guilty love with life.

2. To reduce to concord; to reconcile, as parties at variance; to appease. [Not now used.]

ATONED, pp. Expiated; appeased; reconciled.


1. Agreement; concord; reconciliation, after enmity or controversy. Romans 5:11.

Between the Duke of Glo’ster and your brothers.

2. Expiation; satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury, or by doing or suffering that which is received in satisfaction for an offense or injury; with for.

And Moses said to Aaron, go to the altar, and offer thy sin-offering, and thy burnt-offering, and make an atonement for thyself and for the people. Leviticus 9:7.

When a man has been guilty of any vice, the best atonement he can make for it is, to warn others not to fall into the like.

The Phocians behaved with so much gallantry, that they were thought to have made a sufficient atonement for their former offense.

3. In theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings of Christ.

ATONER, n. He who makes atonement.

ATONIC, a. Relaxed; debilitated.


1. Reconciling. Obs.

2. Making amends, or satisfaction.

ATONY, n. [Gr. defect, of a priv. and tone, from to stretch.]

Debility; relaxation; a want of tone or tension; defect of muscular power; palsy.

ATOP, adv. [a and top. See Top.] On or at the top.

ATRABILARIAN, ATRABILARIOUS, a. [L. atra bilis, black bile.]

Affected with melancholy, which the ancients attributed to the bile; replete with black bile.

ATRABILARIOUSNESS, n. The state of being melancholy, or affected with disordered bile.

ATRAMENTAL, ATRAMENTOUS, a. [L. atramentum, ink, after ater, black.]

Inky; black like ink.

ATRAMENTARIOUS, a. Like ink; suitable for making ink. The sulphate of iron, or green copperas, is called atramentarious, as being the material of ink.

ATRIP, adv. [a and trip. See Trip.]

In nautical language, the anchor is atrip, when drawn out of the ground in a perpendicular direction. The topsails are atrip, when they are hoisted to the top of the mast, or as high as possible.

ATROCIOUS, a. [L. atrox, trux, fierce, cruel.]

1. Extremely hainous, criminal or cruel; enormous; outrageous; as atrocious guilt or offense.

2. Very grievous; violent; as atrocious distempers.

ATROCIOUSLY, adv. In an atrocious manner; with enormous cruelty or guilt.

ATROCIOUSNESS, n. The quality of being enormously criminal or cruel.

ATROCITY, n. Enormous wickedness; extreme hainousness or cruelty; as the atrocity of murder.

ATROPHY, n. [Gr. a priv. and to nourish.]

A consumption or wasting of the flesh, with loss of strength, without any sensible cause or hectic fever; a wasting from defect of nourishment.

ATROPIA, n. A new vegetable alkali extracted from the atropa belladonna, or deadly nightshade. It is white, brilliant and crystallizes in long needles.

ATTACH, v.t. [Gr.; L. tango, for tago, Eng. tack; etc. See Attack and Tack.]

1. To take by legal authority; to arrest the person by writ, to answer for a debt; applied to a taking of the person by a civil process; being never used for the arrest of a criminal. It is applied also to the taking of goods and real estate by an officer, by virtue of a writ or precept, to hold the same to satisfy a judgment to be rendered in the suit.

2. To take, seize and lay hold on, by moral force, as by affection or interest; to win the heart; to fasten or bind by moral influence; as, attached to a friend; attaching others to us by wealth or flattery.

3. To make to adhere; to tie, bind or fasten; as, to attach substances by any glutinous matter; to attach one thing to another by a string.

ATTACHABLE, a. That may be legally attached; liable to be taken by writ or precept.

ATTACHED, pp. Taken by writ or precept; drawn to and fixed, or united by affection or interest.

ATTACHING, ppr. Taking or seizing by commandment or writ; drawing to, and fixing by influence; winning the affections.


1. A taking of the person, goods or estate by a writ or precept in a civil action, to secure a debt or demand.

2. A writ directing the person or estate of a person to be taken, to secure his appearance before a court. In England, the first notice to appear in court is by summons; and if the defendant disobeys this monition, a writ of attachment issues, commanding the sheriff to attach him, by taking gage, or security in goods, which he forfeits by non-appearance, or by making him find safe pledges or sureties for his appearance. But in trespasses, an attachment is more generally the first process, and in some states, the writ of attachment issues at first against the property or person of the defendant. In Connecticut, this writ issues against the person, goods or land, in the first instance, commanding to take the goods and estate of the defendant, if to be found; or otherwise, to take his body. In England, witnesses not appearing upon a summons, may be taken by attachment; a process called with us a capias. Attachments also issue against persons for contempt of court. The court of attachments, in England, is held before the verderors of the forest, to attach and try offenders against vert and vension.

Foreign attachment is the taking of the money or goods of a debtor in the hands of a stranger; as when the debtor is not within the jurisdiction of the court or has absconded. Any person who has goods or effects of a debtor, is considered in law as the agent, attorney, factor or trustee of the debtor; and an attachment served on such person binds the property in his hands to respond the judgment against the debtor.

3. Close adherence or affection; fidelity; regard; any passion or affection that binds a person; as, an attachment to a friend, or to a party.

ATTACK, v.t. [Heb. to thrust, to drive, to strike.]

1. To assault; to fall upon with force; to assail, as with force and arms. It is the appropriate word for the commencing act of hostility between armies and navies.

2. To fall upon, with unfriendly words or writing; to begin a controversy with; to attempt to overthrow or bring into disrepute, by satire, calumny or criticism; as, to attack a man or his opinions in a pamphlet.

ATTACK, n. An onset; first invasion; a falling on, with force or violence, or with calumny, satire or criticism.

ATTACKED, pp. Assaulted; invaded; fallen on by force or enmity.

ATTACKER, n. One who assaults or invades.

ATTACKING, ppr. Assaulting; invading; falling on with force, calumny or criticism.

ATTACOTTIC, a. Pertaining to the Attacotti, a tribe of ancient Britons, allies of the Scots.

ATTAGEN, n. A beautiful fowl, resembling the pheasant, with a short black bill and a fine crest of yellow feathers, variegated with black and white spots, found in the mountains of Sicily.

ATTAIN, v.i. [L. attingo, to reach, come to or overtake; ad and tango, to touch, reach or strike; that is, to thrust, urge or push to. it has no connection with L. attineo. See Class.]

1. To reach; to come to or arrive at, by motion, bodily exertion, or efforts towards a place or object.

If by any means they might attain to Phenice. Acts 27:12.

2. To reach; to come to or arrive at, by an effort of mind.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain to it. Psalm 139:6.

Regularly this verb should be always followed by to; the omission of to, and the use of the verb, in a transitive sense, may have originated in mistake, from the opinion that the verb is from the L. attineo, and equivalent to obtain.

ATTAIN, v.t.

1. To gain; to compass; to achieve or accomplish, that is, to reach by efforts; without to following.

Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means?

This use of the verb is now established; but in strictness to is here implied; attain to the end. The real sense, as in the intransitive use of the verb is, to reach or come to the end or purpose in view. This word always implies an effort towards an object. Hence it is not synonymous with obtain and procure, which do not necessarily imply such effort. We procure or obtain a thing by purchase or loan, and we obtain by inheritance, but we do not attain it by such means. An inattention to this distinction has led good authors into great mistakes in the use of this word.

2. To reach or come to a place or object by progression or motion.

But ere such tidings shall his ears attain.

Canaan he now attains.

3. To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.

ATTAINABLE, a. That may be attained; that may be reached by efforts of the mind or body; that may be compassed or accomplished by efforts directed to the object; as, perfection is not attainable in this life. From an inattention to the true sense of this word, as explained under attain, authors have very improperly used this word for obtainable, procurable; as in the following passages. “The kind and quality of food and liquor; the species of habitation, furniture and clothing to which the common people of each country are habituated, must be attainable with ease and certainty.” “Gen. Howe would not permit them to be purchased in Philadelphia, and they (clothes and blankets) were not attainable in the country.” Marshall’s Life of Washington, 3,428. Each of these words should be obtainable.

ATTAINABLENESS, n. The quality of being attainable.

ATTAINDER, n. [L. ad and tingo, to stain; Gr. See Tinge.]

1. Literally a staining, corruption, or rendering impure; a corruption of blood. Hence,

2. The judgment of death, or sentence of a competent tribunal upon a person convicted of treason or felony, which judgment attaints, taints or corrupts his blood, so that he can no longer inherit lands. The consequences of this judgment are, forfeiture of lands, tenements and hereditaments, loss of reputation, and disqualification to be a witness in any court of law. A statute of Parliament attainting a criminal, is called an act of attainder.

Upon the thorough demonstration of which guilt by legal attainder, the feudal covenant is broken.

3. The act of attainting.

An act was made for the attainder of several persons.

Note. by the constitution of the United States, no crime words an attainder.


1. The act of attaining; the act of arriving at or reaching; hence the act of obtaining by efforts; as the attainment of excellence.

2. That which is attained to, or obtained by exertion; acquisition; as, a man of great attainments.

ATTAINT, v.t. [See Attainder.]

1. To taint or corrupt; to extinguish the pure or inheritable blood of a person found guilty of treason or felony, by confession, battle, or verdict, and consequent sentence of death, or by special act of Parliament.

No person shall be attainted of high treason where corruption of blood is incurred, but by the oath of two witnesses, etc.

2. To taint, as the credit of jurors, convicted of giving a false verdict. This is done by special writ of attaint. The conviction of such a crime attaints the reputation of jurors, and renders them infamous.

3. To disgrace; to cloud with infamy; to stain.

4. To taint or corrupt.


1. A stain, spot or taint. [See Taint.]

2. Any thing injurious; that which impairs. Obs.

3. A blow or wound on the hinder feet of a horse.

4. A writ which lies after judgment against a jury for giving a false verdict in any court of record.

ATTAINTED, pp. Stained; corrupted; rendered infamous; rendered incapable of inheriting.

ATTAINTING, ppr. Staining; corrupting; rendering infamous by judicial act; depriving of inheritable blood.

ATTAINTMENT, n. The being attainted.

ATTAINTURE, n. A staining or rendering infamous; reproach; imputation.

ATTAR, [See Otter.]

ATTASK, v.t. To task; to tax. [Not used. See Task.]

ATTASTE, v.t. To taste. [Not used. See Taste.]

ATTEMPER, v.t. [L. attempero, of ad and tempero, to temper, mix, or moderate. See Temper.]

1. To reduce, modify or moderate by mixture; as, to attemper heat by a cooling mixture, or spirit by diluting it with water.

2. To soften, mollify or moderate; as, to attemper rigid justice with clemency.

3. To mix in just proportion; to regulate; as, a mind well attempered with kindness and justice.

4. To accommodate; to fit or make suitable.

Arts attempered to the lyre.

ATTEMPERANCE, n. Temperance. [Not used.]

ATTEMPERATE, a. [L. attemperatus.]

Tempered; proportioned; suited.

Hope must be proportioned and attemperate to the promise.

ATTEMPERATE, v.t. To attemper. [Not in use.]

ATTEMPERED, ppr. Reduced in quality; moderated; softened; well mixed; suited.

ATTEMPERING, ppr. Moderating in quality; softening; mixing in due proportion; making suitable.

ATTEMPERLY, adv. In a temperate manner. [Not in use.]

ATTEMPT, v.t. [L. attento, to attempt, of ad and tento, to try; tento is from the same root as tendo, to strain; Gr. Hence, the literal sense is to strain, urge, stretch.]

1. To make an effort to effect some object; to make trial or experiment; to try; to endeavor; to use exertion for any purpose; as, to attempt to sing; to attempt a bold flight.

2. To attack; to make an effort upon; as, to attempt the enemy’s camp.

This verb is not always followed by an object, and appears to be intransitive; but some object is understood, or a verb in the infinitive follows in the place of an object; as, he attempted to speak.

ATTEMPT, n. An essay, trial or endeavor; an attack; or an effort to gain a point.

ATTEMPTABLE, a. That may be attempted, tried or attacked; liable to an attempt, or attack.

ATTEMPTED, pp. Essayed; tried; attacked.

ATTEMPTER, n. One who attempts, or attacks.

ATTEMPTING, ppr. Trying; essaying; making an effort to gain a point; attacking.

ATTEND, v.t. [L. attendo; ad and tendo, to stretch, to tend. See Tend.]

1. To go with, or accompany, as a companion, minister or servant.

2. To be present; to accompany or be united to; as a cold attended with fever.

3. To be present for some duty, implying charge or oversight; to wait on; as, the physician or the nurse attends the sick.

4. To be present in business; to be in company from curiosity, or from some connection in affairs; as, lawyers or spectators attend a court.

5. To be consequent to, from connection of cause; as, a measure attended with ill effects.

6. To await; to remain, abide or be in store for; as, happiness or misery attends us after death.

7. To wait for; to lie in wait.

8. To wait or stay for.

Three days I promised to attend my doom.

9. To accompany with solicitude; to regard.

Their hunger thus appeased, their care attends.

The doubtful fortune of their absent friends.

10. To regard; to fix the mind upon.

The pilot doth not attend the unskillful words of the passenger.

This is not now a legitimate sense. To express this idea, we now use the verb intransitively, with to, attend to.

11. To expect. [Not in use.]

ATTEND, v.i.

1. To listen; to regard with attention; followed by to.

Attend to the voice of my supplication. Psalm 86:6.

Hence much used in the imperative, attend!

2. To regard with observation, and correspondent practice.

My son, attend to my words.

Hence, to regard with compliance.

He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Psalm 66:19.

3. To fix the attention upon, as an object of pursuit; to be busy or engaged in; as, to attend to the study of the scriptures.

4. To wait on; to accompany or be present, in pursuance of duty; with on or upon; as, to attend upon a committee; to attend upon business. Hence,

5. To wait on, in service or worship; to serve.

That ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 1 Corinthians 7:35.

6. To stay; to delay. Obs.

For this perfection she must yet attend,

Till to her maker she espoused be.

7. To wait; to be within call.


1. The act of waiting on, or serving.

Of which no man gave attendance at the altar. Hebrews 7:13.

2. A waiting on; a being present on business of any kind; as, the attendance of witnesses of persons in court; attendance of members of the legislature.

3. Service; ministry.

Receive attendance.

4. The persons attending; a train; a retinue.

5. Attention; regard; careful application of mind.

Give attendance to reading. 1 Timothy 4:13.

6. Expectation. Obs.


1. Accompanying; being present, or in the train.

Other suns with their attendant moons.

2. Accompanying, connected with, or immediately following, as consequential; as, intemperance with all its attendant evils.

3. In law, depending on or owing service to; as, the wife attendant to the heir.


1. One who attends or accompanies, in any character whatever, as a friend, companion, minister or servant; one who belongs to the train.

2. One who is present; as an attendant at or upon a meeting.

3. One who owes service to or depends on another.

4. That which accompanies or is consequent to.

A love of fame, the attendant of noble spirits.

Shame is the attendant of vice.

ATTENDED, pp. Accompanied; having attendants; served; waited on.

ATTENDER, n. One who attends; a companion; an associate. [Little used.]

ATTENDING, ppr. Going with; accompanying; waiting on; superintending or taking care of; being present; immediately consequent to; serving; listening; regarding with care.