Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BAND, n. [See Bind and Bend.]

1. A fillet; a cord; a tie; a chain; any narrow ligament with which a thing is bound, tied or fastened, or by which a number of things are confined together.

2. In architecture, any flat low member of molding, broad but not deep, called also fascia, face or plinth.

3. Figuratively, any chain; any means of restraint; that which draws or confines.

4. Means of union or connection between persons; as, Hymen’s bands.

5. Any thing bound round or encircling another.

6. Something worn about the neck; as the bands of clergymen.

7. A company of soldiers; the body of men united under one flag or ensign. Also, indefinitely, a troop, a body of armed men. 2 Kings 6:23.

8. A company of persons united in any common design; as a band of brothers.

9. A slip of canvas, sewed across a sail to strengthen it.

The band of pensioners in England, is a company of 120 gentlemen, who receive a yearly allowance of f100st., for attending the king on solemn occasions.

The bands of a saddle are two pieces of iron nailed upon the bows, to hold them in their proper situation.

BAND, v.t. To bind together; to bind over with a band.

2. To unite in a troop, company or confederacy.

BAND, v.i. To unite; to associate; to confederate for some common purpose. Acts 23:12.


1. A fillet, roller, or swath, used in dressing and binding up wounds, restraining hemorrhages, and joining fractured and dislocated bones. Sometimes, the act or practice of applying bandages.

2. Something resembling a bandage; that which is bound over another

BANDANA, n. A species of silk handkerchief.

BANDBOX, n. A slight paper box for bands, caps, bonnets, muffs, or other light articles.

BANDED, pp. Bound with a band; united in a band.

BANDER, n. One that bands or associates with others.

BANDERET, n. [from band.] In Swisserland, a general in chief of military forces.

BANDIED, pp. Beat or tossed to and fro; agitated; controverted without ceremony.

BANDING, ppr. Binding with a band; uniting in a band or company.

BANDIT, n. plu. BANDITS or BANDITTI, An outlaw; also in a general sense, a robber; a highwayman; a lawless or desperate fellow.

BANDLE, n. An Irish measure of two feet in length.

BANDLET, BANDELET, n. Any little band or flat molding, as that which crowns the Doric architrave.

BANDOG, n, A large species of dog.

BANDOLEERS, n. A large leathern belt, thrown over the right shoulder, and hanging under the left arm; worn by ancient musketeers for sustaining their fire arms, and their musket charges, which being put into little wooden cases, and coated with leather, were hung, to the number of twelve, to each bandoleer.

BANDON, n. Disposal; license. [Not in use.]

BANDORE, n. A musical stringed instrument, like a lute.


1. A little flag or streamer, in form of a guidon, used to be hung on the masts of vessels.

2. The little fringed silk flag that hangs on a trumpet.

BANDSTRING, n. A string appendant to a band.

BANDY, n. [L. pando.] A club for striking a ball at play.

BANDY, v.t. To beat to and fro, as a ball in play.

2. To exchange; to give and receive reciprocally; as, to bandy looks.

3. To agitate; to toss about, as from man to man.

Let not known truth be bandied in disputation.

BANDY, v.i. To contend, as at some game, in which strives to drive the ball his own way.

BANDYING, ppr. Beating, impelling or tossing from one to another; agitating in controversy without ceremony.

BANDY-LEG, n. [bandy and leg. See Bend.]

A crooked leg; a leg bending inward or outward.

BANDY-LEGGED, a. Having crooked legs.

BANE, n. [Gr. is to kill; in L. venenum is poison.]

Poison of a deadly quality; hence, any fatal cause of mischief, injury or destruction; as, vice is the bane of society.

BANE, v.t. To poison.

BANEBERRY, n. A name of the herb christopher, actaea, or aconitum racemosum.

BANEFUL, a. Poisonous; pernicious; destructive.

BANEFULLY, adv. Perniciously; destructively.

BANEFULNESS, n. Poisonousness; destructiveness.

BANE WORT, n. [See Wort.] A plant, called also deadly nightshade.

BANG, v.t.

1. To beat, as with a club or cudgel; to thump; to cudgel. [A low word.]

2. To beat or handle roughly; to treat with violence.

BANG, n. A blow with a club; a heavy blow.

BANGLE, v.t. To waste by little and little; to squander carelessly.

BANIAN, n. A man’s undress or morning gown, as worn by the Banians in the E. Indies.

2. A Gentoo servant, employed as an agent in commerce.

3. A tree in India.

Banian days, in seamen’s language, are three days in a week, in which the sailors have no flesh meat served out to them. This use of the term seems to be borrowed from the Banians in Asia, who, believing in a metempsychosis, will eat no flesh, nor even kill noxious animals.

BANISH, v.t.

1. To condemn to exile, or compel to leave one’s country, by authority of the prince or government, either for life or for a limited time. It is common for Russians to be banished to Siberia.

2. To drive away; to compel to depart; as, to banish sorrow.

3. To quit one’s country voluntarily, and with a view to reside abroad; as, he banished himself.

BANISHED, pp. Compelled to leave one’s country; driven away.

BANISHER, n. One who compels another to quit his country.

BANISHING, ppr. Compelling to quit one’s country; driving away.

BANISHMENT, n. The act of a prince or government, compelling a citizen to leave his country, either for a limited time or forever, as for some crime.

2. A voluntary forsaking of one’s country upon oath, called abjuration. [This practice has now ceased in G. Britain.]

3. The state of being banished; exile.

4. The act of driving away or dispelling; as the banishment of care from the mind.

BANK, n. [Bank and bench are radically the same word. The sense is, that which is set, laid or extended. Applied to a mass of earth, it is a collection, that which is thrown or laid together.]

1. A mound, pile or ridge of earth, raised above the surrounding plain, either as a defense or for other purposes. 2 Samuel 20:15.

2. Any steep acclivity, whether rising from a river, a lake, or the sea, or forming the side of a ravine, or the steep side of a hillock on a plain. When we speak of the earth in general adjoining a lake or the sea, we use the word shore; but a particular steep acclivity on the side of a lake, river or the sea, is called a bank.

3. A bench, or a bench of rowers, in a galley; so called from their seat.

Placed on their banks, the lusty Trojans sweep.

4. By analogy, a collection or stock of money, deposited, by a number of persons, for a particular use; that is, an aggregate of particulars, or a fund; as, to establish a bank, that is a joint fund.

5. The place where a collection of money is deposited; a common repository of the money of individuals or of companies; also a house used for a bank.

6. A company of persons concerned in a bank, whether a private association, or an incorporated company; the stockholders of a bank, or their representatives, the directors, acting in their corporate capacity.

7. An elevation, or rising ground, in the sea; called also flats, shoals, shelves or shallows. These may rise to the surface of the water or near to it; but the word bank signifies also elevated ground at the bottom of the sea, when many fathoms below the surface, as the banks of Newfoundland.

BANK, v.t.

1. To raise a mound or dyke; to inclose, defend or fortify with a bank; as, to bank a house.

2. To pass by the banks of.

As I have bank’d their towns. [Not in use.]

3. To lay up or deposit money in a bank. [Little used.]

BANKABLE, a. Receivable at a bank, as bills; or discountable, as notes. [Of recent origin.]

BANK-BILL, BANK-NOTE, n. A promissory note, issued by a banking company, signed by their President and countersigned by the Cashier, payable to the bearer in gold or silver at the bank, on demand. If payable to order, the note is called a post-note.

BANKED, pp. Raised in a ridge or mound of earth; inclosed, or fortified with a bank.

BANKER, n. One who keeps a bank; one who trafficks in money, receives and remits money, negotiates bills of exchange, etc.

2. A vessel employed in the codfishery on the banks of Newfoundland.

BANKING, ppr. Raising a mound or bank; inclosing with a bank. When we speak of restraining water, we usually call it banking; when we speak of defending the land, we call it imbanking.

BANKING, n. The business or employment of a banker; the business of establishing a common fund for lending money, discounting notes, issuing bills, receiving deposits, collecting the money on notes deposited, negotiating bills of exchange, etc.

BANKRUPT, n. [Eng. rout, defeat. This may signify bench-broken, or bank-broken; most probably the latter, referring to the fund or stock. The last syllable is the Latin ruptus contracted; Norm. roupt, rous, broken.]

1. A trader who secretes himself, or does certain other acts tending to defraud his creditors.

2. In a less technical sense, a trader who fails or becomes unable to pay his just debts; an insolvent trader. In strictness, no person but a trader can be a bankrupt. Bankruptcy is applied to merchants and traders; insolvency, to other persons.

BANKRUPT, a. Having committed acts of bankruptcy; unable to pay just debts; insolvent.
BANKRUPT, v.t. To break one in trade; to make insolvent.

BANKRUPTCY, n. The state of being a bankrupt, or insolvent; inability to pay all debts.

2. The act of becoming a bankrupt; the act of rendering one’s self a bankrupt, as by absconding, or otherwise; failure in trade.

BANKRUPTED, pp. Rendered insolvent.

BANKRUPTING, ppr. Breaking in trade; rendering insolvent.

BANKRUPT-LAW, n. A law, which, upon a bankrupt’s surrendering all his property to commissioners for the benefit of his creditors, discharges him from the payment of his debts, and all liability to arrest or suit for the same, and secures his future acquired property from a liability to the payment of his past debts.

BANKRUPT-SYSTEM, n. A system of laws and legal proceedings in regard to bankrupts and their property.

BANK-STOCK, n. A share or shares in the capital stock of a bank.

BANNER, n. [L. pannus.]

1. A square flag; a military ensign; the principal standard of a prince or state.

2. A streamer borne at the end of a lance or elsewhere.

3. In botany, the upper petal of a papilionaceous corol.

BANNERED, a. Furnished with or bearing banners.

Shield the strong foes, and rake the bannered shore.

BANNERET, n. A knight made in the field. Bannerets formerly constituted an order of knights or feudal lords, who led their vassals to battle under their own flags. On the day of battle, the candidates presented their flags to the king or general, who cut off the train or skirt, and made it square. They were then called knights of the square flag. They were a middle order between barons and simple knights.

BANNEROL, [See Bandrol.]

BANNOCK, n. A cake made of oatmeal or peas-meal, baked on an iron plate over the fire; used in Scotland, and the northern counties of England.

BANOY, n. A species of hawk, somewhat larger than the English sparrow hawk; the back and wings yellow, and the belly white; a native of the Philippine isles.

BANQUET, n. A feast; a rich entertainment of meat and drink. Esther 5:4-14; Job 41:6; Amos 6:7.

BANQUET, v.t. To treat with a feast, or rich entertainment.
BANQUET, v.i. To feast; to regale one’s self with good eating and drinking.

BANQUETED, pp. Feasted; richly entertained at the table.

BANQUETER, n. A feaster; one who lives deliciously.

2. One who makes feasts, or rich entertainments.

BANQUETING, ppr. Feasting; entertaining with rich fare.

2. Partaking of rich fare.

BANQUETING, n. A feast; luxurious living; rich entertainment. 1 Peter 4:3

BANQUETING-HOUSE, BANQUET-HOUSE, n. A house where entertainments are made. Song of Solomon 2:4; Daniel 5:10.

BANQUETING-ROOM, n. A saloon, or spacious hall for public entertainments.

BANQUETTE or BANQUET, n. banket. In fortification, a little raised way or foot bank, running along the inside of a parapet, on which musketeers stand to fire upon the enemy in the moat or covered way.

BANSHEE or BENSHI, n. An Irish fairy.

BANSTICKLE, n. A small fish, called also stickle-back. This fish falls under the genus Gasterosteus.

BANTER, v.t. [Gr. to mock, or deride.] To play upon in words and in good humor; to rally; to joke, or jest with. Banter hardly amounts to ridicule, much less to derision. It consists in being pleasant and witty with the actions of another, and raising a humorous laugh at his expense, often attended with some degree of sarcasm.

BANTER, n. A joking or jesting; raillery; wit or humor; pleasantry.

BANTERED, pp. Rallied; laughed at in good humor.

BANTERER, n. One who banters, or laughs at with pleasantry.

BANTERING, ppr. Joking; laughing at with good humor.

BANTLING, n. A young child; an infant.

BAPTISM, n. [Gr. to baptize.]

1. The application of water to a person, as a sacrament or religious ceremony, by which he is initiated into the visible church of Christ. This is usually performed by sprinkling or immersion.

2. The sufferings of Christ. Matthew 20:22, 23.

3. So much of the gospel as was preached by John, the Baptist. Acts 18:25.

BAPTISMAL, a. Pertaining to baptist; as a baptismal vow.


1. One who administers baptism. This appellation is appropriately given to John, the forerunner of Christ.

2. As a contraction of Anabaptist, one who denies the doctrine of infant baptism, and maintains that baptism ought to be administered only to adults by immersing the body in water.

BAPTISTERY, n. [L. baptisterium.] A place where the sacrament of baptism is administered. Primitively, baptisteries were in buildings separate from the church; but in the sixth century, they were taken into the church-porch, and afterwards into the church itself.

BAPTISTIC, BAPTISTICAL, a. Pertaining to baptism.

BAPTIZE, v.t. [See Baptism.] To administer the sacrament of baptism to; to christen. By some denominations of christians, baptism is performed by plunging, or immersing the whole body in water, and this is done to none but adults. More generally the ceremony is performed by sprinkling water on the face of a person, whether an infant or an adult, and in the case of an infant, by giving him a name, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is called Christening.

BAPTIZED, pp. Having received baptism; christened.

BAPTIZER, n. One who christens, or administers baptism.

BAPTIZING, ppr. Administering baptism to; christening.

BAR, n. [If these words are the Eng. bar, the sense is a shoot, that which shoots, passes or is driven.]

1. A piece of wood, iron or other solid matte, long in proportion to its diameter, used for various purposes, but especially for a hindrance or obstruction; as the bars of a fence or gate; the bar of a door or hatchway. Numbers 3:36; Exodus 26:26.

2. Any obstacle which obstructs, hinders or defends; an obstruction; a fortification. Amos 1:5.

Must I new bars to my own joy create.

3. The shore of the sea, which restrains its waters. Job 38:10.

4. The railing that incloses the place which counsel occupy in courts of justice. Hence the phrase, at the bar of the court, signifies in open court. Hence also licensed lawyers are called barristers; and hence the whole body of lawyers licensed in a court, are customarily called the bar. A trial at bar, in England, is a trial in the courts of Westminster, opposed to a trial at Nisi Prius, in the circuits.

5. Figuratively, any tribunal; as the bar of public opinion. Thus the final trial of men is called the bar of God.

6. The inclosed place of a tavern, inn or coffee house, where the landlord or his servant delivers out liquors, and waits upon customers.

7. A bank of sand, gravel or earth, forming a shoal at the mouth of a river or harbor, obstructing entrance, or rendering it difficult.

8. A rock in the sea, according to Brown; or any thing by which structure is held together, according to Johnson; used in Jonah 2:6.

9. Any thing laid across another, as bars in heraldlry, stripes in color, and the like.

10. In the menage, the highest part of the place in a horse’s mouth between the grinders and tusks, so that the part of the mouth which lies under and at the side of the bars, retains the name of the gum. The upper part of the gums, which bears no teeth, and to which the bit is applied.

11. In music, bars are lines drawn perpendicularly across the lines of the staff, including between each two, a certain quantity of time, or number of beats.

12. In law, a peremptory exception sufficient to destroy the plaintiff’s action. It is divided into a bar to common intendment, and bar special; bar temporary and bar perpetual. Bar to common intendment is an ordinary or general bar, which disables the declaration of the plaintiff. A special bar is more than ordinary, as a fine, release, or justification. A temporary bar is that which is good for a time, but may afterwards cease. A perpetual bar overthrows the action of the plaintiff forever.

13. A bar of gold or silver, is an ingot, lump or wedge, from the mines, run in a mold, and unwrought. A bar of iron is a long piece, wrought in the forge and hammered from a pig.

14. Among printers, the iron with a wooden handle, by which the screw of the press is turned.

15. In the African trade, a denomination of price; payment formerly being made to the Africans in iron bars.

BAR, v.t. To fasten with a bar; as, to bar a door, or gate.

2. To hinder; to obstruct, or prevent; as, to bar the entrance of evil.

3. To prevent; to exclude; to hinder; to make impracticable; as, the distance between us bars our intercourse. In this sense, the phrase is often varied, thus; the distance bars me from his aid, or bars him from my aid.

4. To prohibit; to restrain or exclude by express or implied prohibition; as, the statute bars my right; the law bars the use of poisoned weapons.

5. To obstruct, prevent or hinder by any moral obstacle; as, the right is barred by time, or by statute; a release bars the plaintiff’s recovery.

6. To except; to exclude by exception; as, I bar to night.

7. To cross with stripes of a different color.

8. To bar a vein, in farriery, is an operation upon the legs of a horse, or other parts, to stop malignant humors. This is done by opening the skin above a vein, disengaging it and tying it both above and below, and striking between the two ligatures.

9. To adorn with trappings; a contraction of barb. [See Barb.]

BARB, n. [L. barba; This is beard, with a different ending. The sense may be, that which shoots out.]

1. Beard, or that which resembles it, or grows in the place of it; as the barb of a fish, the smaller claws of the polypus, etc.

2. The down, or pubes, covering the surface of some plants; or rather, a tuft or bunch of strong hairs terminating leaves.

3. Anciently, armor for horses; formerly, barbe or barde.

4. A common name of the barbary pigeon, a bird of a black or dun color.

5. A horse from Barbary, of which it seems to be a contraction.

6. The points that stand backward in an arrow, fish-hook or other instrument for piercing, intended to prevent its being extracted.

7. In botany, a straight process armed with teeth pointing backward like the sting of a bee. This is one sort of pubescence.


1. A fortification or outer defense to a city or castle, consisting of an elevation of earth about three feet high, along the foot of the rampart.

2. A fortress at the end of a bridge, or at the outlet of a city, having a double wall with towers.

3. An opening in the wall of a fortress through which guns are leveled and fired upon an enemy.

The French use the word also for an aperture in a wall to let in or drain off water; and the Spaniards, for a low wall round a church yard.

BARBADOES-CHERRY, n. The Malpighia, a tree growing in the W. Indies, fifteen feet high and producing a pleasant tart fruit.

BARBADOES TAR, n. A mineral fluid, of the nature of the thicker fluid bitumens, of a nauseous bitterish taste, a very strong disagreeable smell, viscid, of a brown, black or reddish color; it easily melts, and burns with much smoke, but is not soluble in ardent spirits. It contains a portion of acid of amber. It trickles down the sides of mountains in some parts of America, and sometimes is found on the surface of the waters. It is recommended in coughs and disorders of the breast and lungs.

BARBARIAN, n. [L. barbarus;. The sense is, foreign, wild, fierce.]

1. A man in his rude, savage state; an uncivilized person.

2. A cruel, savage, brutal man; one destitute of pity or humanity.

3. A foreigner. The Greeks and Romans denominated most foreign nations barbarians; and many of these were less civilized than themselves, or unacquainted with their language, laws and manners. But with them, the word was less reproachful than with us.

BARBARIAN, a. Belonging to savages; rude; uncivilized.

2. Cruel; inhuman.

BARBARIC, a. [L. barbaricus. See Barbarian. The Romans applied this word to designate things foreign; Barbaricum aurum, gold from Asia, Virg. AEn. 2.504; Barbaricoe vestes, embroidered garments from foreign nations. English writers use the word in a like sense.]

Foreign; imported from foreign nations.

BBARBARISM, n. [L. Barbarisums. See Barbarian.]

1. An offense against purity of style or language; any form of speech contrary to the pure idioms of a particular language.

2. Ignorance of arts; want of learning.

3. Rudeness of manners; savagism; incivility; ferociousness; a savage state of society.

4. Brutality; cruelty; barbarity. [In this sense little used, being superseded by barbarity.]

BARBARITY, n. [See Barbarian.] The manners of a barbarian; savageness; cruelty; ferociousness; inhumanity.

2. Barbarism; impurity of speech. [The use of the word in this sense, is now superseded by barbarism.]

BARBARIZE, v.t. To make barbarous.

Hideous changes have barbarized France.


1. Uncivilized; savage; unlettered; untutored; ignorant; unacquainted with arts; stranger to civility of manners.

Thou are a roman; be not barbarous.

2. Cruel; ferocious; inhuman; as barbarous.


1. In the manner of a barbarian; ignorantly; without knowledge or arts; contrary to the rules of speech.

2. In a savage, cruel, ferocious or inhuman manner.


1. Rudeness or incivility of manners.

2. Impurity of language.

3. Cruelty; inhumanity; barbarity.

BARBARY, n. A barbary horse; a barb.

BARBASTEL, n. A bat with hairy lips.

BARBATE, BARBATED, a. [L. barbatus, from barba. See Barb.]

In botany, bearded; also gaping or ringent. Barbatus flos, a gaping or ringent flower; synonymous with the ringent flower of Linne, and the labiate of Tournefort.

BARBE. In the military art, to fire in barbe, is to fire the cannon over the parapet, instead of firing through the embrasures.

BARBECUE, n. In the West Indies, a hog roasted whole. It is, with us, used for an ox or perhaps any other animal dressed in like manner.

BARBECUE, v.t. To dress and roast a hog whole, which is done by splitting the hog to the back bone, and roasting it on a gridiron; to roast any animal whole.

BARBED, pp. [See Barb.]

1. Furnished with armor; as barbed steeds.

2. Bearded; jagged with hooks or points; as barbed arrows.

3. Shaved or trimmed; having the beard dressed.

BARBEL, n. [L. barba.]

1. A fish of the genus Cyprinus, of the order of abdominals. The mouth is toothless; the gill has three rays; the body is smooth and white. This fish is about three feet long, and weighs 18 pounds. It is a very coarse fish, living in deep still rivers and rooting like swine in the soft banks. Its dorsal fin is armed with a strong spine, sharply serrated, from which circumstance it probably received its name.

2. A knot of superfluous flesh, growing in the channels of a horse’s mouth; written also barble, or barb.

BARBER, n. One whose occupation is to shave men, or to shave and dress hair.

BARBER, v.t. To shave and dress hair.

BARBER-CHIRURGEON, n. One who joins the practice of surgery with that of a barber; a practice now unusual. A low practitioner of surgery.

BARBERNESS, n. A female barber. [Not used.]