Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



AWAIT, v.t. [a and wait. See Wait.]

Literally, to remain, hold or stay.

1. To wait for; to look for, or expect.

Betwixt the rocky pillars, Gabriel sat,

Chief of the Angelic guards, awaiting night.

2. To be in store for; to attend; to be ready for; as, a glorious reward awaits the good.

AWAIT, n. Ambush; in a state of waiting for.

AWAITING, ppr. Waiting for; looking for; expecting; being ready or in store for.

AWAKE, v.t. pret. awoke, awaked; pp. awaked. [The L. vigilo seems to be formed on this root. See Wake.]

1. To rouse from asleep.

I go that I may awake him out of sleep. John 11:11.

2. To excite from a state resembling sleep, as from death, stupidity or inaction; to put into action, or new life; as, to awake the dead; to awake the dormant faculties.

AWAKE, v.i.

1. To cease to sleep; to come from a state of natural sleep.

Jacob awaked out of sleep. Genesis 28:16.

2. To bestir, revive or rouse from a state of inaction; to be invigorated with new life; as, the mind awakes from its stupidity.

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd. Zechariah 13:7.

3. To rouse from spiritual sleep.

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Ephesians 5:14.

Awake to righteousness. 1 Corinthians 15:34.

4. To rise from the dead. Job 14:12.

AWAKE, a. Not sleeping; in a state of vigilance or action.

AWAKEN, v.t. awa’kn. This is the word awake, with its Saxon infinitive. It is transitive or intransitive; but more frequently transitive, as awake is more frequently intransitive. its significations are the same as those of awake.

AWAKENED, pp. Roused from sleep, in a natural or moral sense.

AWAKENER, n. He or that which awakens.

AWAKENING, n. A revival of religion, or more general attention to religion, than usual.

AWARD, v.t. [See Guard and Regard.]

To adjudge; to give by sentence or judicial determination; to assign by sentence. This word is appropriately used to express the act of arbitrators in pronouncing upon the rights of parties; as, the arbitrators awarded damages to A. B.

AWARD, v.i. To judge; to determine; to make an award.

1. The judgment, or determination of arbitrators, or the paper containing it.

2. Judgment; sentence; determination of points submitted to arbitrators.

AWARDED, pp. Adjudged, or given by judicial sentence, or by the decision of arbitrators.

AWARDER, n. One that awards, or assigns by sentence or judicial determination; a judge.

AWARDING, ppr. Adjudging; assigning by judicial sentence; determining.

AWARE, a. [See Ware and Wary.]

Watchful; vigilant; guarded; but more strictly in modern usage, apprised; expecting an event from information, or probability; as, the general was aware of the enemy’s designs.

AWARE, v.i. To beware; to be cautious. [Not legitimate.]

AWARN, v.t. To warn, which see.

AWATCHA, n. A bird of Kamtchatka, enumerated by Pennant, among the warblers. The upper parts of the body are of a deep brown color; the throat and breast white, with black spots.

AWAY, adv. [See Way.]

1. Absent; at a distance; as, the master is away from home.

Have me away, for I am wounded. 2 Chronicles 35:23.

2. It is much used with words signifying moving or going from; as, go away, send away, run away, etc.; all signifying departure, or separation to a distance. Sometimes without the verb; as, whither away so fast.

Love hath wings and will away.

3. As an exclamation, it is a command or invitation to depart; away, that is, be gone, or let us go. “Away with him.” Take him away.

4. With verbs, it serves to modify their sense and form peculiar phrases; as,

To throw away, to cast from, to give up, dissipate or foolishly destroy.

To trifle away, to lose or expend in trifles, or in idleness.

To drink away, to squander away, etc., to dissipate in drinking or extravagance.

To make away, is to kill or destroy.

5. Away with has a peculiar signification in the phrase, “I cannot away with it.” Isaiah 1:13. The sense is, “I cannot bear or endure it.”

AWE, n. aw. [Gr. to be astonished.]

1. Fear mingled with admiration or reverence; reverential fear.

Stand in awe and sin not. Psalm 4:4.

2. Fear; dread inspired by something great, or terrific.

AWE, v.t. To strike with fear and reverence; to influence by fear, terror or respect; as, his majesty awed them into silence.

AWEARY, a. Weary, which see.

AWEATHER, adv. aweth’er. [a and weather.]

On the weather-side, or towards the wind; as, the helm is aweather; opposed to alee.

AWE-COMMANDING, a. Striking or influencing by awe.

AWED, pp. Struck with fear; influenced by fear or reverence.

AWEIGH, adv. [a and weigh.] Atrip. The anchor is aweigh, when it is just drawn out of the ground, and hangs perpendicular. [See Atrip.]

AWE-INSPIRING, a. Impressing with awe.

AWESTRUCK, a. Impressed or struck with awe.

AWFUL, a. [awe and full.]

1. That strikes with awe; that fills with profound reverence; as the awful majesty of Jehovah.

2. That fills with terror and dread; as the awful approach of death.

3. Struck with awe; scrupulous.

A weak and awful reverence for antiquity.

Shakespeare uses it for worshipful, inspiring respect by authority or dignity.

Our common people use this word in the sense of frightful, ugly, detestable.

AWFULLY, adv. In a manner to fill with awe; in a reverential manner.


1. The quality of striking with awe, or with reverence; solemnity; as, “the awfulness of this sacred place.”

2. The state of being struck with awe.

A help to prayer, producing in us reverence and awfulness.

[Not legitimate.]

AWHAPE, v.t. awhap’. To strike; to confound. Obs.

[This is our vulgar shop.]

AWHILE, adv. [a and while, time, or interval.]

A space of time; for some time; for a short time.

AWK, a.

1. Odd; out of order.

2. Clumsy in performance, or manners; unhandy; not dexterous. [Vulgar.]

AWKWARD, a. [awk and ward.]

1. Wanting dexterity in the use of the hands or of instruments; unready; not dexterous; bungling; untoward.

2. Inelegant; unpolite; ungraceful in manners; clumsy; unnatural; bad.

AWKWARDLY, adv. Clumsily; in a rude or bungling manner; inelegantly; badly.

AWKWARDNESS, n. Clumsiness; ungracefulness in manners; want of dexterity in the use of the hands or instruments; unsuitableness.

AWL, n.

An iron instrument for piercing small holes in leather, for sewing and stitching; used by shoemakers, sadlers, etc. The blade is either straight, or a little bent and flattened.

AWLESS, a. [awe and less.]

1. Wanting reverence; void of respectful fear; as awless insolence.

2. Wanting the power of causing reverence; not exciting awe; as an awless throne.

AWLWORT, n. [awl and wort. See Wort.]

The popular name of the Subularia aquatica, or rough leaved alyssum; so called from its awl-shaped leaves, which grow in clusters round the root. It is a native of Britain and Ireland.

AWM, AUM, n.

A Dutch liquid measure, containing eight steckans or twenty verges or verteels, equal to the English tierce, the sixth of a French tun, and the seventh of an English tun, or thirty-six gallons.

AWN, n. [Gr.]

The beard of corn or grass, as it is usually understood. But technically, a slender sharp process issuing from the chaff or glume in corn and grasses.


1. A cover of canvas, usually a sail or tarpaulin, spread over a boat or ship’s deck, to shelter from the sun’s rays, the officers and crew, and preserve the decks.

2. That part of the poop deck which is continued forward beyond the bulk head of the cabin.

AWNLESS, a. Without awn or beard.

AWNY, a. Having awns’ full of beard.

AWOKE, The preterit of awake.

AWORK, adv.

At work; in a state of labor or action. [Not used.]

AWORKING, adv. At work; into a state of working or action.

AWRY, a. or adv.

1. Turned or twisted towards one side; not in a straight or true direction, or position; asquint; with oblique vision; as, “to glance a look awry;” the lady’s cap is awry.

2. In a figurative sense, turned aside from the line of truth, or right reason; perverse or perversely.

AX, n. improperly written axe. [Gr.]

An instrument usually of iron, for hewing timber and chopping wood. It consists of a head with an arching edge, and a helve or handle. The ax is of two kinds, the broad ax for hewing, and the narrow ax for rough-hewing and cutting. The hatchet is a small ax to be used with one hand.

AXAYACAT, n. A fly in Mexico, whose eggs, deposited on rushes and flags, in large quantities, are sold and used as a sort of caviare, called ahuauhtli. This was a dish among the Mexicans, as it now is among the Spaniards.

AXESTONE, AXSTONE, n. A mineral, a subspecies of jade; less hard than nephrite; of a leek or grass green, olive green or greenish gray color. It occurs amorphous, or in rolled fragments. It is found chiefly in New Zealand and the S. Sea isles, where it is used by the rude natives for axes and other instruments.

AXIFORM a. [L. axis, and forma.] In the form of an axis.

AXIL, n. [L. axilla; Heb. to separate or set apart; whence armpits.]

1. The armpit; a cavity under the upper part of the arm or shoulder.

2. In botany, the space or angle formed by a branch with the stem, or by a leaf with the stem or branch.

AXILLAR, AXILLARY, a. Pertaining to the armpit, or to the axil of plants. Axillary leaves are those which proceed from the angle formed by the stem and branch.

AXINITE, n. A mineral which sometimes occurs in lamellar masses, but commonly in crystals, whose general form is that of a very oblique rhomb, or rather, four-sided prism, so flattened that some of its edges become thin and sharp, like that of an ax; whence its name, Gr. This is the thumerstone of Kirwan. It has been sometimes called yanolite and violet shorl.

AXINOMANCY, n. [Gr. an ax, and divination.]

Among the ancients, a species of divination, by means of an ax or hatchet, performed by laying an agate-stone on a red hot hatchet, or by fixing a hatchet on a round stake, so as to be poised; then the names of those suspected were repeated, and he at whose name the hatchet moved, was pronounced guilty.

AXIOM, n. [Gr. authority, an authoritative sentence, or that which is assumed, from worthy, and to think worthy, to esteem; Eng. to ask, that which is asked, sought or esteemed.]

1. A self evident truth, or a proposition whose truth is so evident at first sight, that no process of reasoning or demonstration can make it plainer; as, “the whole is greater than a part.”

2. An established principle in some art or science; a principle received without new proof; as, “things which are equal to the same thing, are equal to one another.”

AXIOMATIC, AXIOMATICAL, a. Pertaining to an axiom; having the nature of self evident truths or received principles.

AXIS, n. plu. axes. [L.; Gr.]

1. The straight line, real or imaginary, passing through a body, or which it revolves, or may revolve; as the axis of the earth.

2. In geometry, a straight line in a plain figure, about which it revolves to produce a solid.

3. In conic sections, a right line dividing the section into two equal parts, and cutting all its ordinates at right angles.

4. In mechanics, the axis of a balance is that line about which it moves, or rather turns.

The axis of oscillation is a right line parallel to the horizon passing through the center, about which a pendulum vibrates.

The axis in peritrochio is a wheel concentric with the base of a cylinder, and movable with it about its axis.

5. In optics, a particular ray of light from any object which falls perpendicularly on the eye.

6. In architecture, spiral axis is the axis of a twisted column spirally drawn in order to trace the circumvolutions without.

Aris of the Ionic capital is a line passing perpendicularly through the middle of the eye of the volute.

The axis of a vessel is an imaginary line passing through the middle of it, perpendicular to its base, and equally distant from its sides.

In botany, axis is a taper column in the center of some flowers or catkins, about which the other parts are disposed.

In anatomy, axis is the name of the second verteber of the neck; it has a tooth which enters into the first verteber, and this tooth is by some called the axis.

AXLE, AXLE-TREE, n. [See Axis.]

A piece of timer or bar of iron, fitted for insertion in the hobs or naves of wheels, on which the wheels turn.

AXOLOTE, n. A water lizard found in the Mexican lake, about eight inches in length, sometimes much larger. The skin is black and soft. It swims with its feet, which resemble those of a frog. It has a periodical evacuation of blood, like the human female.

AY, AYE, adv.

Yes, yea, a word expressing assent, or an affirmative answer to a question. It is used also to enforce the sense of what is asserted, equivalent to even so, truly, certainly.

AYE, adv. [L. avum, which, without its termination, is av, aw; probably a contracted word.]

Always; forever; continually; for an indefinite time; used in poetry.

AYLE, n. In law, a grandfather.

AYRY. [See Aerie.]

AZAROLE, n. A species of thorn; the three grained medlar, a species of crataegus.

AZERIRA, AZERIT, AZERITTA, n. A species of plum or prunus.


1. In astronomy, an arch of the horizon intercepted between the meridian of the place, and the azimuth or vertical circle, passing through the center of the object.

2. Magnetical azimuth, an arch of the horizon, intercepted between the azimuth or vertical circle, passing through the center of any heavenly body, and the magnetic meridian. This is found by observing the object with an azimuth compass.

3. Azimuth compass, an instrument for finding either the magnetic azimuth or amplitude of an heavenly object.

4. Azimuth dial, a dial whose stile or gnomon is at right angles to the plane of the horizon.

5. Azimuths or vertical circles, are great circles intersecting each other in the zenith and nadir, and cutting the horizon at right angles.

On charts, these azimuths are represented by rhumbs, and on the globe, by the quadrant of altitude, when screwed in the zenith.

AZOTE, n. [Gr. priv. and life, or vital.]

A species of gas, called also mephitic air, and atmospheric mephitis, on account of it fatal effects upon animal life. It is tasteless, and inodorous: it exists in common air, mixed with oxygen, and constitutes about seventy-nine hundredth parts of atmospheric air. It may be obtained, in large quantities, from the muscular fibers of animals. Combined with hydrogen, it forms volatile alkali; and it enters into the composition of most animal substances. It is the radical of nitric acid, and is now called nitrogen gas, or nitrogen.


1. Among alchimists, the first principle of metals; the mercury of metals; a universal medicine. Obs.

2. The liquor of sublimated quicksilver; brass.

AZOTIC, a. Pertaining to azote; fatal to animal life.

AZOTITE, n. A salt formed by a combination of the protoxyd of azote, or nitrous oxyd, with an alkali.

AZURE, a. azh’ur.

Of a sky-blue; resembling the clear blue color of the sky.

AZURE, azh’ur.

1. The fine blue color of the sky. This word was formerly applied to the lapis lazuli, and the color prepared from it. But it is now applied to the blue extracted from cobalt, though somewhat a different color; the blue of the lapis is called ultramarine. Azure is applied also to the blue glass made of the oxyd of cobalt and vitrifiable substances, reduced to fine powder. In large masses it is called smalt.

2. The sky, or azure vault of heaven.

3. In heraldry, a blue color in coats of all persons under the degree of baron.

AZURE, v.t. To color blue.

AZURED, a. Colored azure; being of an azure color.

AZURE-STONE, AZURITE, n. Another name of the lazulite.

AZURN, a. Of a blue color. [Little used.]

AZYME, n. [See Azymous.] Unleavened bread. [Not in use.]

AZYMITE, n. [See Azymous.] In church history, azymites are Christians who administer the eucharist with unleavened bread.

AZYMOUS, a. [Gr., leaven.] Unleavened; unfermented; as sea-biscuit.