Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BARBER-MONGER, n. A man who frequents the barber’s shop, or prides himself in being dressed by a barber; a fop.

BARBERRY, n. [L. berberis.]

1. A plant of the genus berberis, common in hedges; called in England, pipperidge bush. The berries are used in housewifery, and are deemed efficacious in fluxes and fevers. The bark dyes a fine yellow, especially the bark of the root. This plant is pernicious to wheat, the ears of which will not fill, if within the effluvia of the plant; and the influence of this has been known to extend three or four hundred yards.

BARBET, n. A name given by some French writers to a peculiar species of those worms which feed on the puceron or aphis. [See Aphis.]

2. The Bucco, a genus of birds found in the warm climates of both continents.

3. A dog, so called from his long hair.

BARD, n.

1. A poet and a singer among the ancient Celts; one whose occupation was to compose and sing verses, in honor of the heroic achievements of princes and brave men. The bards used an instrument of music like a lyre or guitar, and not only praised the brave, but reproached the cowardly.

2. In modern usage, a poet.

BARD, n. The trappings of a horse.

BARDED, a. In heraldry, a caparisoned.

BARDESANISTS, n. A sect of heretics, who sprung from Bardesanes, of Edessa, in Mesopotamia, in the 2d century, who taught that the actions of men depend on fate, to which God himself is subject. His followers went farther, and denied the incarnation of Christ and the resurrection.

BARDIC, a. Pertaining to bards, or to their poetry.

BARDISH, a. Pertaining to bards; written by a bard.

BARDISM, n. The science of bards; the learning and maxims of bards.

BARE, a. [This word is from opening, separating, stripping.]

1. Naked, without covering; as, the arm is bare; the trees are bare.

2. With the head uncovered, from respect.

3. Plain; simple; unadorned; without the polish of refined manners.

4. Laid open to view; detected; no longer concealed.

5. Poor; destitute; indigent; empty; unfurnished.

I have made Esau bare. Jeremiah 49:10.

6. Alone; unaccompanied.

7. Thread-bare; much worn.

8. Wanting clothes; or ill supplied with garments.

Under bare poles, at sea, signifies having no sail set.

It is often followed by of; as, the country is bare of money.

BARE, v.t. [See Bare, adj.]

To strip off the covering; to make naked; as, to bare the breast.

BARE, the old preterit of bear, now bore.

BAREBONE, n. [See Bone.] A very lean person.

BAREBONED, a. Lean, so that the bones appear, or rather so that the bones show their forms.

BARED, pp. Made bare; made naked.

BAREFACED, pp. [See Face.]

1. With the face uncovered; not masked.

2. Undisguised; unreserved; without concealment; hence shameless; impudent; audacious; as a barefaced falsehood.

BAREFACEDLY, adv. Without disguise or reserve; openly; impudently.

BAREFACEDNESS, n. Effrontery; assurance; audaciousness.

BAREFOOT, a. [See Foot.]

With the feet bare; without shoes and stockings. 2 Samuel 15:30; Isaiah 20:2-4.

BAREFOOT, a. or adv. With the feet bare; as, to dance barefoot.

BAREFOOTED, a. Having the feet bare.

BAREGNAWN, a. [See Gnaw.] Eaten bare.

BAREHEADED, [See Head.] Having the head uncovered, either from respect or other cause.

BAREHEADEDNESS, n. State of being bareheaded.

BARELEGGED, a. Having the legs bare.

BARELY, adv. Nakedly; poorly; indigently; without decoration; merely; only; without any thing more; as a price barely in title.

BARENECKED, a. Having the neck uncovered; exposed.

BARENESS, n. Nakedness; leanness; poverty; indigence; defect of clothes, or the usual covering.

BAREPICKED, a. Picked to the bone.


BARGAIN, n. An agreement between parties concerning the sale of property; or a contract by which one party binds himself to transfer the right to some property, for a consideration, and the other party binds himself to receive the property and pay the consideration.

2. Stipulation: interested dealing.

3. Purchase or the thing purchased.

4. In popular language, final event; upshot.

We must make the best of a bad bargain.

To sell bargains, is a vulgar phrase.

To strike a bargain, is to ratify an agreement, originally by striking, or shaking hands. The Latin ferire foedus, may represent a like ceremony, unless it refers to the practice of killing a victim, at the solemn ratification of oaths.

Bargain and sale, in law, a species of conveyance, by which the bargainer contracts to convey the lands to the bargainee, and becomes by such contract a trustee for and seised to the use of the bargainee. The statute then completes the purchase; that is, the bargain vests the use, and the statute vests the possession.

BARGAIN, v.i. To make a contract or conclusive agreement, for the transfer of property; often with for before the thing purchased; as, to bargain for a house. A bargained with B for his farm.
BARGAIN, v.t. To sell; to transfer for a consideration; as, A bargained away his farm; a popular use of the word.

BARGAINEE, n. The party in a contract who receives or agrees to receive the property sold.

BARGAINER, n. The party in a contract who stipulates to sell and convey property to another.

BARGE, n. barj. [Barge, and bark or barque, a ship, are radically one word.]

1. A pleasure boat; a vessel or boat of state, furnished with elegant apartments, canopies and cushions, equipped with a band of rowers, and decorated with flags and streamers; used by officers and magistrates.

2. A flat-bottomed vessel of burthen, for loading and unloading ships.

BARGE-COUPLES, n. In architecture, a beam mortised into another, to strengthen the building.

BARGE-COURSE, n. In bricklaying, a part of the tiling which projects beyond the principal rafters, in building where there is a gable, or kirkinhead.

BARGEMAN, n. The man who manages a barge.

BARGEMASTER, n. The proprietor of a barge, conveying goods for hire.

BARGER, n. The manager of a barge.

BARILLA, n. A plant cultivated in Spain for its ashes, from which the purest kind of mineral alkali is obtained; used in making glass and soap, and in bleaching linen. The plant is cut and laid in heaps, and burnt, the salts running into a hole in the ground where they form a vitrified lump.

2. The alkali procured from this plant.

BARITONE, [See Barytone.]

BARIUM, n. The metallic basis of baryte or baryta, which is an oxyd of barium.

BARK, n. [Probably from stripping, separating.]

1. The rind or exterior covering of a tree, corresponding to the skin of an animal. This is composed of the cuticle or epidermis, the outer bark or cortex, and the inner bark or liber. The rough broken matter on bark is, by the common people of New England, called ross.

2. By way of distinction. Peruvian Bark.

BARK, v.t. To peel; to strip off bark. Also to cover or inclose with bark.
BARK, BARQUE, n. A small ship; but appropriately, a ship which carries three masts without a mizen top sail. The English mariners, in the coal trade, apply this name to a broadsterned ship without a figure-head.

Water-barks, in Holland, are small vessels, for conveying fresh water from place to place, the hold of which is filled with water.

BARK, v.i.

1. To make the noise of dogs, when they threaten or pursue.

2. To clamor at; to pursue with unreasonable clamor or reproach. It is followed by at.

To bark at sleeping fame.

BARK-BARED, a. Stripped of the bark.

BARK-BOUND, a. Having the bark too firm or close, as with trees. This disease is cured by slitting the bark.

BARKED, pp. Stripped of the bark; peeled; also covered with bark.

BARKER, n. One who barks, or clamors unreasonably; one who strips trees of their bark.

BARK-GALLED, a. Having the bark galled, as with thorns. This defect is cured by binding on clay.

BARKING, ppr. Stripping off bark; making the noise of dogs; clamoring; covering with bark.

BARKY, a. Consisting of bark; containing bark.

BARLEY, n. [L. far; Heb. bar, corn.] A species of valuable grain, used especially for making malt, from which are distilled liquors of extensive use, as beer, ale and porter. It is of the genus hordeum, consisting of several species. Those principally cultivated in England, are the common spring barley, the long eared barley, the winter or square barley, by some called big, and the sprat or battledore barley. This grain is used in medicine, as possessing emollient, diluent, and expectorant qualities.

BARLEY-BRAKE, n. A rural play; a trial of swiftness.

BARLEY-BROTH, n. A low word for strong beer.

BARLEY-CORN, n. [See Corn.] A grain of barley;; the third part of an inch in length; hence originated our measure of length.

BARLEY-MOW, n. A mow of barley, or the place where barley is deposited.

BARLEY-SUGAR, n. Sugar boiled till it is brittle, formerly with a decoction of barley.

BARLEY-WATER, n. A decoction of barley, which is reputed soft and lubricating, and much used in medicine.

French barley and pearl barley are used for making decoctions. These are made by separating the grain from its coat. The pearl barley is reduced to the size of a small shot.

BARM, n. [L, fermentum, from ferveo; or beer-rahm, beer cream.]

Yeast; the scum rising upon beer, or other malt liquors, when fermenting, and used as leaven in bread to make it swell, causing it to be softer, lighter, and more delicate. It may be used in liquors to make them ferment or work.

BARMY, a. Containing barm, or yeast.

BARN, n. A covered building for securing grain, hay, flax, and other productions of the earth. In the northern states of America, the farmers generally use barns for stabling their horses and cattle; so that among them, a barn is both a cornhouse or grange, and a stable. [See also Bairn.]

BARNACLE, n. [L. perna, a shell-fish.]

1. A shell which is often found on the bottoms of ships, rocks and timber, below the surface of the sea.

2. A species of goose, found in the northern seas, but visiting more southern climates in winter. The forehead and cheeks are white, but the upper part of the body and neck is black. Formerly, a strange notion prevailed, that these birds grew out of wood, or rather out of the barnacles attached to wood in the sea. Hence the name. It is written also Bernacle.

3. In the plural, an instrument consisting of two branches jointed at one end with a hinge, to put upon a horse’s nose, to confine him, for shoeing, bleeding, or dressing.

BAROLITE, n. [Gr. weight, and a stone.] Carbonate of baryte. Its color is usually a light yellowish gray; sometimes whitish, or with a tinge of green. It is strongly translucent. It usually occurs in small masses, which have a fibrous structure; sometimes in distinct crystals.

This mineral is called also Witherite, from Dr. Withering, the discoverer.

BAROMETER, n. [Gr. weight, and measure.]

An instrument for measuring the weight or pressure of the atmosphere, consisting of a glass tube, hermetically sealed at one end, filled with quicksilver, well defecated and purged of air, and inverted in a basin of quicksilver. A column of quicksilver is then supported in the tube, of equal weight with the incumbent atmosphere. This instrument was invented by Torricelli, of Florence, in 1643. Its uses are to indicate changes of weather, and to determine the altitude of mountains, by the falling and rising of the mercury. For this purpose, the tube is fixed to a graduated scale, so that the smallest variation in the column is visible.

BAROMETRICAL, a. Pertaining or relating to the barometer; made by a barometer; as barometrical experiments.

BAROMETRICALLY, adv. By means of a barometer.

BARON, n. [L. vir, is doubtless the Shemitic, a man, so named from strength.]

1. In Great Britain, a title or degree of nobility; a lord; a peer; one who holds the rank of nobility next below that of a viscount, and above that of a knight or baronet. Originally, the barons, being the feudatories of princes, were the proprietors of land held by honorable service. Hence, in ancient records, the word barons comprehends all the nobility. All such in England had, in early times, a right to sit in parliament. As a baron was the proprietor of a manor, and each manor had its court-baron; hence the barons claimed, and to this day enjoy, the right of judging in the last resort; a right pertaining to the house of lords, or peers, as the representatives of the ancient barons, land-holders, manor-holders.

Anciently, barons were greater, or such as held their lands of the king in capite; or lesser, such as held their lands of the greater barons by military service in capite.

The title of baron is no longer attached to the possession of a manor, but given by the king’s letters patent, or writ of summons to parliament; that is, the dignity is personal, and not territorial.

The radical word, vir, fir, a man, is Celtic, as well as Teutonic; but the word baron was not known in the British isles, till introduced from the continent under the Norman princes.

2. Baron is a title of certain officers, as barons of the exchequer, who are the four judges who try cases between the king and his subjects, relating to the revenue. Barons of the Cinque Ports are members of the House of Commons, elected by the seven Cinque Ports, two for each port. These ports are Dover, Sandwich, Rommey, Hastings, Hythe, Winchelsea, and Rye.

3. In law, a husband; as baron and feme, husband and wife.

BARONAGE, n. The whole body of barons or peers.

2. The dignity of a baron.

3. The land which gives title to a baron.

BARONESS, n. A baron’s wife or lady.

BARONET, n. A dignity or degree of honor, next below a baron, and above a knight;; having precedency of all knights except those of the garter, and being the only knighthood that is hereditary. The order was founded by James I. in 1611, and is given by patent.

BARONIAL, a. Pertaining to a baron.

BARONY, n. The lordship, honor, or fee of a baron, whether spiritual or temporal. This lordship is held in chief of the king, and gives title to the possessor, or baron.

BAROSCOPE, n. [Gr. weight, and to view.] An instrument to show the weight of the atmosphere; superseded by the Barometer.

BAROSCOPIC, a. Pertaining to or determined by the baroscope.

BAROSELENITE, n. [Gr. weight, or heavy, and selenite.]

A mineral; sulphate of baryte; heavy spar.

BARRA, n. In Portugal and Spain, a long measure for cloths. In Valencia, 13 barras make 12 6/7 yards English; in Castile, 7 are equal to 6 4/7 yards; in Arragon, 3 make 2 4/7 yards.

BARRACADA, n. A fish, about fifteen inches in length, of a dusky color on the back, and a white belly, with small black spots.

BARRACAN, n. A thick, strong stuff, something like camelot; used for clokes, surtouts, and other outer garments.

BARRACK, n. A hut or house for soldiers, especially in garrison. In Spain, a hut or cabin for fishermen.

BARRACK-MASTER, n. The officer who superintends the barracks of soldiers.

BARRACUDA, n. A species of fish of the pike kind, found in the seas about the Bahamas and W. Indies, of ten feet in length. The color is deep brown, and the fish is very voracious. The flesh is disagreeable and sometimes poisonous.

BARRATOR, n. [L. ferto; Eng. barter. See Barter.]

1. One who frequently excites suits at law; a common mover and maintainer of suits and controversies; an encourager of litigation.

2. The master of a ship, who commits any fraud, in the management of the ship, or in relation to his duties as master, by which the owner or insurers are injured.

BARRATROUS, a. Tainted with barratry.

BARRATROUSLY, adv. In a barratrous manner.

BARRATRY, n. The practice of exciting and encouraging lawsuits and quarrels.

2. In commerce, any species of cheating or fraud, in a shipmaster, by which the owners or insurers are injured; as by running away with the ship, sinking or deserting her, by wilful deviation, or by embezzling the cargo.

BARRED, pp. Fastened with a bar; hindered; restrained; excluded; forbid; striped; checkered.


1. A vessel or cask, of more length than breadth, round and bulging in the middle, made of staves and heading, and bound with hoops.

2. The quantity which a barrel contains. Of wine measure, the English barrel contains 31 1/2 gallons, of beer measure, 36 gallons; of ale, 32 gallons; and of beer-vinegar, 34 gallons.

Of weight, a barrel of Essex butter is 106 pounds; of Suffolk butter, 256, a barrel of herring should contain 32 gallons wine measure, and hold 1000 herrings; a barrel of salmon should contain 42 gallons; a barrel of soap should weigh 256 lbs.

In America, the contents of a barrel are regulated by statutes.

In Connecticut, the barrel for liquors must contain 31 1/2 gallons, each gallon to contain 231 cubic inches. In New York, a barrel of flour by statute must contain either 196 lb. or 228 lb. net weight. The barrel of beef and pork in New York and Connecticut, is 200 lbs. In general, the contents of barrels, as defined by statute, in this country, must be from 28 to 31 1/2 gallons.

3. Any thing hollow and long, as the barrel of a gun; a tube.

4. A cylinder; as the barrel of a watch, within which the spring is coiled, and round which is wound the chain.

5. A cavity behind the tympanum of the ear is called the barrel of the ear. It is four or five lines deep, and five or six wide, and covered with a fine membrane. It is more usually called the cavity of the tympanum.

BARREL, v.t. To put in a barrel; to pack in a barrel with salt for preservation, as to barrel beef, pork or fish.

BARREL-BELLIED, a. [See Belly.] Having a large belly.


1. Put or packed in a barrel.

2. In composition, having a barrel or tube; as a double-barreled gun.

BARRELLING, ppr. Putting or packing in a barrel.

BARREN, a. [from the same root as bare.]

1. Not producing young, or offspring; applied to animals.

2. Not producing plants; unfruitful; steril; not fertile; or producing little; unproductive; applied to the earth.

3. Not producing the usual fruit; applied to tree, etc.

4. Not copious; scanty; as a scheme barren of hints.

5. Not containing useful or entertaining ideas; as a barren treatise.

6. Unmeaning; uninventive; dull; as barren spectators.

7. Unproductive; not inventive; as a barren mind.


1. In the States west of the Allegheny, a word used to denote a tract of land, rising a few feet above the level of a plain, and producing trees and grass. The soil of these barrens is not barren, as the name imports, but often very fertile. It is usually alluvial, to a depth sometimes of several feet.

2. Any unproductive tract of land; as the pine barrens of South Carolina.

BARRENLY, adv. Unfruitfully.

BARRENNESS, adv. The quality of not producing its kind; want of the power of conception; applied to animals.

2. Unfruitfulness; sterility, infertility. The quality of not producing at all, or in small quantities; as the barrenness of soil.

3. Want of invention; want of the power of producing any thing new; applied to the mind.

4. Want of matter; scantiness; as the barrenness of a cause.

5. Defect of emotion, sensibility or fervency; as the barrenness of devotion.

BARRENWORT, n. [See Wort.] A plant, constituting the genus Epimedium, of which the alpinum is the only species; a low herbaceous plant, with a creeping root, having many stalks, each of which has three flowers.

BARRFUL, a. Full of obstructions.


1. A fortification made in haste, of trees, earth, palisades, wagons, or any thing that will obstruct the progress of an enemy, or serve for defense or security, against his shot.

2. Any bar or obstruction; that which defends.

3. In naval architecture, a strong wooden rail, supported by stanchions, extending across the foremost part of the quarter deck, in ships of war, and filled with rope, mats, pieces of old cable, and full hammocks, to prevent the effect of small shot in time of action.

BARRICADE, v.t. To stop up a passage; to obstruct.

2. To fortify with any slight work that prevents the approach of an enemy.

BARRICADO. The same as barricade.

BARRIER. [See Bar]

1. In fortification, a kind of fence made in a passage or retrenchment, composed of great stakes, with transums or overthwart rafters, to stop an enemy.

2. A wall for defense.

3. A fortress or fortified town on the frontier of a country.

4. Any obstruction; any thing which confines, or which hinders approach, or attack; as constitutional barriers.

5. A bar to mark the limits of a place; any limit, or boundary; a line of separation.

BARRING, ppr. Making fast with a bar; obstructing; excluding; preventing; prohibiting; crossing with stripes.

BARRISTER, n. [from bar.] A counselor, learned in the laws, qualified and admitted to please at the bar, and to take upon him the defense of clients; answering to the advocate or licentiate of other countries. Anciently, barristers were called, in England, apprentices of the law. Outer barristers are pleaders without the bar, to distinguish them from inner barristers, benchers or readers, who have been sometime admitted to please within the bar, as the king’s counsel are.


1. A light small carriage. A hand-barrow is a frame covered in the middle with boards, and borne by and between two men.

A wheel-barrow, is a frame with a box, supported by one wheel, and rolled by a single man.

2. A wicker case, in salt works, where the salt is put to drain.


1. In England, a hog; and according to Ash, obsolete. Barrow-grease is hog’s lard.

2. In America, a male hog castrated; a word in common use.

BARROW, n. In the names of places, barrow is used to signify a wood or grove.
BARROW, n. A hillock or mound of earth, intended as a repository of the dead. Such barrows are found in England, in the North of the European continent, and in America. They sometimes were formed of stones, and in England called cairns. The barrow answers to the tumulus of the Latins. [See Tomb.]

BARSE, n. An English name for the common perch.

BARSHOT, n. [See Bar and Shoot.] Double headed shot, consisting of a bar, with a half ball or round head at each end; used for destroying the masts and rigging in naval combat.

BARTER, v.i. [L. vario, vertol Class Br.] To traffick or trade, by exchanging one commodity for another, in distinction from a sale and purchase, in which money is paid for the commodities transferred.

BARTER, v.t. To give one thing for another in commerce. It is sometimes followed by away; as, to barter away goods or honor.
BARTER, n. The act or practice of trafficking by exchange of commodities; sometimes, perhaps, the thing given in exchange.

BARTERED, pp. Given in exchange.