Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BELOVED, ppr. [be and loved, from love. Belove, as a verb, is not used.]

Loved; greatly loved; dear to the heart.

BELOW, prep. [be and low] Under in place; beneath; not so high; as, below the moon; below the knee.

1. Inferior in rank, excellence or dignity.

2. Unworthy of; unbefitting.

BELOW, adv. In a lower place, with respect to any object; as, the heavens above and the earth below.

1. On the earth, as opposed to the heavens.

The fairest child of Jove below.

2. In hell, or the region of the dead; as the realms below.

3. In a court of inferior jurisdiction; as, at the trial below.

BELOWT, v.t. [See Lout.] To treat with contemptuous language. [Not in use.]

BELSWAGGER, n. A lewd man.

BELT, n. [L. balteus.]

1. A girdle; a band, usually of leather, in which a sword or other weapon is hung.

2. A narrow passage, or strait between the isle of Zealand and that of Funen at the entrance of the Baltic, usually called the Great Belt. The Lesser Belt is the passage between the isle of Funen, and the coast of Jutland.

3. A bandage or band used by surgeons for various purposes.

4. In astronomy, certain girdles or rings, which surround the planet Jupiter, are called belts.

5. A disease among sheep, cured by cutting off the tail, laying the sore bare, then casting mold on it, and applying tar and goose grease.

BELT, v.t. To encircle.

BELUGA, n. A fish of the cetaceous order, and genus Delphinus, from 12 to 18 feet in length. The tail is divided into two lobes, lying horizontally, and there is no dorsal fin. In swimming, this fish bends its tail under its body like a lobster, and thrusts itself along with the rapidity of an arrow. This fish is found in the arctic seas and rivers, and is caught for its oil and its skin.

BELVIDERE, n. [L. bellus, fine and video, to see.]

1. A plant, a species of chenopodium, goosefoot or wild orach, called scoparia or annual mock cypress. It is of a beautiful pyramidical form, and much esteemed in China, as a salad, and for other uses.

2. In Italian architecture, a pavilion on the top of an edifice; an artificial eminence in a garden.

BELYE. [See Belie.]

BEMA, n. A chancel. [Not in use.]

1. In ancient Greece, a state or kind of pulpit, on which speakers stood when addressing an assembly.

BEMADv.t. [be and mad.] to make mad. [Not in use.]

BEMANGLE, v.t. [be and mangle.] To mangle; to tear asunder. [Little used.]

BEMASK, v.t. [be and mask.] To mask; to conceal.

BEMAZE, v.t. To bewilder. [See Maze.] [Little used.]

BEMETE, v.t. [be and mete.] To measure. [Not in use.]

BEMINGLE, v.t. [be and mingle.] To mingle; to mix. [Little used.]

BEMIRE, v.t. [be and mire.] To drag or incumber in the mire; to soil by passing through mud or dirty places.

BEMIST, v.t. [be and mist.] To cover or involve in mist. [Not used.]

BEMOAN, v.t. [be and moan.] To lament; to bewail; to express sorrow for; as, to bemoan the loss of a son.

BEMOANABLE, a. That may be lamented. [Not used.]

BEMOANED, pp. Lamented; bewailed.

BEMOANER, n. One who laments.

BEMOANING, ppr. Lamenting; bewailing.

BEMOCK, v.t. [be and mock.] To treat with mockery. [Little used.]

BEMOCK, v.i. To laugh at.

BEMOIL, v.t. [be and moil.] To bedraggle; to bemire; to soil or incumber with mire and dirt. [Not in use.]

BEMOL, n. In music, a half note.

BEMONSTER, v.t. [be and monster.] To make monstrous. [Not in use.]

BEMOURN, v.t. To weep or mourn over. [Little used.]

BEMUSED, a. [be and muse.] Overcome with musing; dreaming; a word of contempt.

BEN or BEN-NUT, n. A purgative fruit or nut, the largest of which resembles a filbert, yielding an oil used in pharmacy.


1. A long seat, usually of board or plank, differing from a stool in its greater length.

2. The seat where judges sit in court; the seat of justice. Hence,

3. The persons who sit as judges; the court.

Free bench, in England, the estate in copy hold lands, which the wife, being espoused a virgin, has for her dower, after the decease of her husband. This is various in different manors, according to their respective customs.

King’s Bench, in England, a court in which the king formerly sat in person, and which accompanied his household. The court consists of the Lord Chief Justice, and three other justices, who have jurisdiction over all matters of a criminal or public nature. It has a crown side and a plea side; the former determining criminal, the latter, civil causes.

BENCH, v.t. To furnish with benches.

1. To seat on a bench.

2. v.i. To sit on a seat of justice.

BENCHER, n. In England, the benchers in the inns of court, are the senior members of the society who have the government of it. They have been readers, and being admitted to please within the bar, are called inner barristers. They annually elect a treasurer.

1. The alderman of a corporation.

2. A judge.

BEND, [L. pando, pandare, to bend in; pando, pandere, to open; pandus, bent, crooked]

1. To strain, or to crook by straining; as, to bend a bow.

2. To crook; to make crooked; to curve; to inflect; as, to bend the arm.

3. To direct to a certain point; as, to bend our steps or course to a particular place.

4. To exert; to apply closely; to exercise laboriously; to intend or stretch; as, to bend the mind to study.

5. To prepare or put in order for use; to stretch or strain.

He hath bent his bow and made it ready. Psalm 7:12.

6. To incline; to be determined; that is, to stretch towards, or cause to tend; as, to be bent on mischief.

7. To subdue; to cause to yield; to make submissive; as, to bend a man to our will.

8. In seamanship, to fasten, as one rope to another or to an anchor; to fasten, as a sail to its yard or stay; to fasten, as a cable to the ring of an anchor.

9. To bend the brow, is to knit the brow; to scowl; to frown.

BEND, v.i. To be crooked; to crook, or be curving.

1. To incline; to lean or turn; as, a road bends to the west.

2. To jut over; as a bending cliff.

3. To resolve, or determine. [See Bent on.]

4. To bow or be submissive. Isaiah 60:14.

BEND, n. A curve; a crook; a turn in a road or river; flexure; incurvation.

1. In marine language, that part of a rope which is fastened to another or to an anchor. [See To bend. No. 8.]

2. Bends of a ship, are the thickest and strongest planks in her sides, more generally called wales. They are reckoned from the water, first, second or third bend. They have the beams, knees, and foot hooks bolted to them, and are the chief strength of the ship’s sides.

3. In heraldry, one of the nine honorable ordinaries, containing a third part of the field, when charged, and a fifth, when plain. It is made by two lines drawn across from the dexter chief, to the sinister base point. It sometimes is indented, ingrained, etc.

BEND, n. A band. [Not in use.]

BENDABLE, a. That may be bent or incurvated.

BENDED, BENT, pp. Strained; incurvated; made crooked; inclined; subdued.

BENDER, n. The person who bends, or makes crooked; also, an instrument for bending other things.

BENDING, ppr. Incurvating; forming into a curve; stooping subduing; turning as a road or river; inclining; leaning; applying closely, as the mind; fastening.

BENDLET, n. In heraldry, a little bend, which occupies a sixth part of a shield.

BEND-WITH, n. A plant.

BENDY, n. In heraldry, the field divided into four, six or more parts, diagonally, and varying in metal and color.

BENE, n. ben’y. The popular name of the sesamum orientale, called in the West Indies vangloe, an African plant.

BENEAPED, NEAPED, a. [be and neap.] Among seamen, a ship is beneaped, when the water does not flow high enough to float her from a dock or over a bar.

BENEATH, prep.

1. Under; lower in place, with something directly over or on, as to place a cushion beneath one; often with the sense of pressure or oppression, as to sink beneath a burden, in a literal sense.

2. Under, in a figurative sense; bearing heavy impositions, as taxes, or oppressive government.

Our country sinks beneath the yoke.

3. Lower in rank, dignity or excellence; as, brutes are beneath man;; man is beneath angels, in the seale of beings.

4. Unworthy of; unbecoming; not equal to; as, he will do nothing beneath his station or character.

BENEATH, adv. In a lower place; as, the earth from beneath will be barren.

1. Below, as opposed to heaven, or to any superior region; as, in heaven above, or in earth beneath.

BENEDICT, a. [L. benedictus.] Having mild and salubrious qualities. [Not in use.]

BENEDICTINE, a. Pertaining to the order or monks of St. Benedict, or St. Benet.

BENEDICTINES, n. An order of monks, who profess to follow the rules of St. Benedict; an order of great celebrity. They wear a loose black gown, with large wide sleeves, and a cowl on the head, ending in a point. In the canon law, they are called black friars.

BENEDICTION, n. [L. benedictio, from bene, well, and dictio, speaking. See Boon and Diction.]

1. The act of blessing; a giving praise to God or rendering thanks for his favors; a blessing pronounced; hence grace before and after meals.

2. Blessing, prayer, or kind wishes, uttered in favor of any person or thing; a solemn or affectionate invocation of happiness; thanks; expression of gratitude.

3. The advantage conferred by blessing.

4. The form of instituting an abbot, answering to the consecration of a bishop.

5. The external ceremony performed by a priest in the office of matrimony is called the nuptial benediction.

6. In the Romish Church, an ecclesiastical ceremony by which a thing is rendered sacred or venerable.

BENEFACTION, n. [L. benefacio, of bene, well, and facio, to make or do.]

1. The act of conferring a benefit.

More generally,

2. A benefit conferred, especially a charitable donation.

BENEFACTOR, n. He who confers a benefit, especially one who makes charitable contributions either for public institutions or for private use.

BENEFACTRESS, n. A female who confers a benefit.

BENEFICE, n. [L. beneficium.]

1. Literally, a benefit, advantage or kindness. But in present usage, en ecclesiastical living; a church endowed with a revenue, for the maintenance of divine service, or the revenue itself. All church preferments are called benefices, except bishoprics, which are called dignities. But ordinarily, the term dignity is applied to bishoprics, deaneries, arch-deaconries, and prebendaries; and benefice, to parsonages, vicarages, and donatives.

2. In the middle ages, benefice was used for a fee, or an estate in lands, granted at first for like only, and held ex mero beneficio of the donor. The estate afterwards becoming hereditary, took the appellation of feud, and benefice became appropriated to church livings.

BENEFICED, a. Possessed of a benefice or church preferment.

BENEFICELESS, a. Having no benefice. [Not used.]

BENEFICENCE, n. [L. beneficentia, from the participle of benefacio.] The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity.

BENEFICENT, a. Doing good; performing acts of kindness and charity. It differs from benign, as the act from the disposition; beneficence being benignity or kindness exerted in action.

BENEFICENTLY, adv. In a beneficent manner.

BENEFICIAL, a. Advantageous; conferring benefits; useful; profitable; helpful; contributing to a valuable end; followed by to; as, industry is beneficial to the body, as well as to the property.

1. Receiving or entitled to have or receive advantage, use or benefit; as the beneficial owner of an estate.

BENEFICIALLY, adv. Advantageously; profitably; helpfully.

BENEFICIALNESS, n. Usefulness; profitableness.

BENEFICIARY, a. [L. beneficiarius. See Benefaction.]

Holding some office or valuable possession, in subordination to another; having a dependent and secondary possession.

BENEFICIARY, n. One who holds a benefice. A beneficiary is not the proprietor of the revenues of his church; but he has the administration of them, without being accountable to any person. The word was used, in the middle ages, for a feudatory, or vassal.

1. One who receives any thing as a gift, or is maintained by charity.

BENEFICIENCY, n. Kindness or favor bestowed.

BENEFICIENT, a. Doing good.

BENEFIT, n. [Primarily from L. beneficium, or benefactum.]

1. An act of kindness; a favor conferred.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2.

2. Advantage; profit; a word of extensive use, and expressing whatever contributes to promote prosperity and personal happiness, or add value to property.

Men have no right to what is not for their benefit.

3. In law, benefit of clergy. [See Clergy.]

BENEFIT, v.t. To do good to; to advantage; to advance in health, or prosperity; applied either to persons or things; as, exercise benefits health; trade benefits a nation.
BENEFIT, v.i. To gain advantage; to make improvement; as, he has benefited by good advice; that is, he has been benefited.

BENEFITED, pp. Profited; having received benefit.

BENEFITING, ppr. Doing good to; profiting; gaining advantage.

BENEME, v.t. To name. [Not in use.]

1. To promise; to give. [Not in use.]

BENEMPNE, v.t. To name. [Not in use.]

BENEPLACITURE, n. [L. beneplacitum, bene, well, and placitum, from placeo, to please.]

Will; choice. [Not in use.]

BENET, v.t. [be and net.] To catch in a net; to ensnare. [Not used.]

BENEVOLENCE, n. [L. benevolentia, of bene, well and volo, to will or wish. See Will.]

1. The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love, of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

The benevolence of God is one of his moral attributes; that attribute which delights in the happiness of intelligent beings. “God is love.” 1 John 4:8, 16.

2. An act of kindness; good done; charity given.

3. A species of contribution or tax illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England.

BENEVOLENT, a. [L. benevolens, of bene and volo.]

Having a disposition to do good; possessing love to mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness; kind.

BENEVOLENTLY, adv. In a kind manner; with good will.

BENGAL, n. A thin stuff made of silk and hair, for women’s apparel, so called from Bengal in the E. Indies.

BENGALEE, n. The language or dialect spoken in Bengal.

BENGALESE, n. sing. and plu. A native or the natives of Bengal. As. Res. 7.171.

BENIGHT, v.t. [be and night.] To involve in darkness; to shroud with the shades of night.

The clouds benight the sky.

1. To overtake with night; as a benighted traveler.

2. To involve in moral darkness, or ignorance; to debar from intellectual light; as benighted nations, or heathen.

BENIGHTED, pp. Involved in darkness, physical or moral; overtaken by the night.

BENIGN, a. beni’ne. [L. benignus, from the same root, as bonus, bene, ancient L. benus, Eng. boon.]

1. Kind; of a kind disposition; gracious; favorable.

Our Creator, bounteous and benign.

2. Generous; liberal; as a benign benefactor.

3. Favorable; having a salutary influence; as the benign aspect of the seasons.

The benign light of revelation.

4. Wholesome; not pernicious; as a benign medicine.

5. Favorable; not malignant; as a benign disease.

BENIGNANT, a. Kind; gracious; favorable.

BENIGNITY, n. Goodness of disposition or heart; kindness of nature; graciousness.

1. Actual goodness; beneficence.

2. Salubrity; wholesome quality; or that which tends to promote health.

BENIGNLY, adv. beni’nely. Favorably;; kindly; graciously.

BENISON, n. s as z. Blessing; benediction. [Nearly antiquated.]

BENJAMIN, n. A tree, the Laurus Benzoin, a native of America, called also spicebush. It grows to the height of 15 or 20 feet, with a very branchy head.

1. A gum or resin, or rather a balsam. [See Benzoin.]

BENNET, n. The herb bennet, or avens, known in botany by the generic term Geum.

BENNET FISH, n. A fish of two feet in length, caught in the African seas, having scales of a deep purple, streaked with gold.

BENT, pp. of bend. Incurvated; inflected; inclined; prone to or having a fixed propensity; determined.

Bent on, having a fixed inclination; resolved or determined on.

BENT, n. The state of being curving, crooked, or inclined from a straight line; flexure; curvity.

1. Declivity; as the bent of a hill. [Unusual.]

2. Inclination; disposition; a leaning or bias of mind; propensity; as the bent of the mind or will; the bent of a people towards an object. This may be natural or artificial, occasional or habitual, with indefinite degrees of strength.

3. Flexion; tendency; particular direction; as the bents and turns of a subject.

4. Application of the mind; a bending of the mind in study or investigation.

BENT, BENT-GRASS, n. A kind of grass, called in botany, Agrostis, of several species.

BENTING-TIME, n. The time when pigeons feed on bents, before peas are ripe.

BENUM, corruptly BENUMB, v.t.

1. To make torpid; to deprive of sensation; as, a hand or foot benummed by cold.

2. To stupefy; to render inactive; as, to benum the senses.

BENUMMED, pp. Rendered torpid; deprived of sensation; stupefied.

BENUMMING, ppr. Depriving of sensation; stupefying.

BENZOATE, n. [See Benzoin.] A salt formed by the union of the benzoic acid with any salifiable base.

BENZOIC, a. Pertaining to benzoin.

Benzoic acid, or flowers of Benzoin, is a peculiar vegetable acid, obtained from Benzoin and other balsams, by sublimation or decoction. It is a fine light white matter in small needles; its taste pungent and bitterish, its odor slightly aromatic.

BENZOIN, BENJAMIN, n. Gum benjamin; a concrete resinous juice flowing from the Styrax Benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, etc. It is properly a balsam, as it yields benzoic acid. It flows from incisions made in the stem or branches. It is solid and brittle, sometimes in yellowish white tears joined together by a brown substance, and sometimes of a uniform brown substance like resin. It has little taste, but its smell, especially when rubbed or heated, is extremely fragrant and agreeable. It is chiefly used in cosmetics and perfumes.

BEPAINT, v.t. [be and paint.] To paint; to cover with paint. [Little used.]

BEPALE, v.t. [be and pale.] To make pale. [Not in use.]

BEPINCH, v.t. [be and pinch.] To mark with pinches.

BEPINCHED, BEPINCHT, pp. Marked with pinches.

BEPOWDER, v.t. [be and powder.] To powder; to sprinkle or cover with powder.

BEPRAISE, v.t. [be and praise.] To praise greatly or extravagantly.

BEPURPLE, v.t. [be and purple.] To tinge or dye with a purple color.

BEQUEATH, v.t. [Eng. quoth.] To give or leave by will; to devise some species of property by testament; as, to bequeath an estate or a legacy.

BEQUEATHED, pp. Given or left by will.