Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BEQUEATHING, ppr. Giving or devising by testament.

BEQUEATHMENT, n. The act of bequeathing; a bequest.

BEQUEST, n. Something left by will; a legacy.

BERAIN, v.t. To rain upon. [Not in use.]

BERATE, v.t. [be and rate.] To chide vehemently; to scold.

BERATTLE, v.t. [be and rattle.] To fill with rattling sounds or noise.

BERAY, v.t. To make foul; to soil. [Not in use.]

BERBERRY, n. [L. berberis.] [See Barberry.]

BERE, n. The name of a species of barley in Scotland.

BEREAVE, v.t. pret. bereaved, bereft; pp. bereaved, bereft.

1. To deprive; to strip; to make destitute; with of before the thing taken away.

Me have ye bereaved of my children. Genesis 42:36.

It is sometimes used without of, and is particularly applied to express the loss of friends by death.

2. To take away from.

BEREAVED, pp. Deprived; stripped and left destitute.

BEREAVEMENT, n. Deprivation, particularly by the loss of a friend by death.

BEREAVING, ppr. Stripping bare; depriving.

BEREFT, pp. of bereave. Deprived; made destitute.

BERENGARIANISM, n. The opinions or doctrines of Berengarius, archdeacon of St. Mary at Anjou, and of his followers, who deny the reality of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

BERG, n. A borough; a town that sends burgesses to Parliament; a castle. [See Burg.]


1. A species of pear.

2. A species of citron, at first casually produced by an Italian, who grafted a citron on the stock of a bergamot pear tree. The fruit has a fine taste and smell, and its essential oil is in high esteem as a perfume. This oil is extracted from the yellow rind of the fruit. Hence,

3. An essence or perfume from the citron thus produced.

4. A species of snuff perfumed with bergamot.

5. A coarse tapestry, manufactured with flocks of wool, silk, cotton, hemp and ox or goat’s hair, said to have been invented at Bergamo in Italy.

BERGANDER, n. [berg, a cliff] A burrow duck; a duck that breeds in holes under cliffs.

BERGERET, n. A song. [Not used.]

BERGMANITE, n. [from Bergman, the mineralogist.]

A mineral classed with scapolite, in the family of felspath. It occurs massive, with gray and red quartz in Norway. Its colors are greenish and grayish white.

BERGMASTER, n. The bailiff or chief officer among the Derbyshire miners.

BERGMOTE, n. A court held on a hill in Derbyshire, in England, for deciding controversies between the miners.

BERHYME, v.t. [be and rhyme.] To mention in rhyme or verse; used in contempt.

BERLIN, n. A vehicle of the chariot kind, supposed to have this name from berlin, the chief city of Prussia, where it was first made, or from the Italian berlina, a sort of state or pillory, and a coach.

BERLUCCIO, n. A small bird, somewhat like the yellow hammer, but less and more slender.

BERME, n. In fortification, a space of ground of three, four or five feet in width, left between the rampart and the moat or foss, designed to receive the ruins of the rampart, and prevent the earth from filling the foss. Sometimes, it is palisaded, and in Holland, it is generally planted with quick-set hedge.

BERNACLE, [See Barnacle.]

BERNARDINE, a. Pertaining to St. Bernard, and the monks of the order.

BERNARDINS, n. An order of monks, founded by Robert, abbot of Moleme, and reformed by St. Bernard. The order originated about the beginning of the 12th century. They wear a white robe, with a black scapulary; and when they officiate, they are clothed with a large white gown, with great sleeves, and a hood of the same color.

BEROB, v.t. [be and rob.] To rob. [Not in use.]

BEROE, n. A marine animal of an oval or spherical form, nearly an inch in diameter, and divided into longitudinal ribs, like a melon.

BERRIED, a. Furnished with berries.


1. A succulent or pulpy fruit, containing naked seeds. Or in more technical language, a succulent pulpy pericarp, or seed vessel, without valves, containing several seeds, which are naked, that is, which have no covering but the pulp and rind. It is commonly round or oval. This botanical definition includes the orange and other like fruits. But in popular language, berry extends only to the smaller fruits, as strawberry, gooseberry, etc., containing seeds or granules.

2. A mound. [for barrow.]

BERRY, v.i. To bear or produce berries.

BERRY-BEARING, a. Producing berries.

BERT [Eng. bright.] [See Bright.]

BERTH, n. [from the root of bear.]

1. A station in which a ship rides at anchor, comprehending the space in which she ranges. In more familiar usage, the word signifies any situation or place, where a vessel lies or can lie, whether at anchor or at a wharf.

2. A room or apartment in a ship, where a number of officers or men mess and reside.

3. The box or place for sleeping at the sides of a cabin; the place for a hammoc, or a repository for chests, etc.

To berth, in seamen’s language, is to allot to each man a place for his hammoc.

BERTRAM, n. [L. pyrethrum, said to be from fire, from its acrid quality.]

Bastard pellitory, a plant.

BERYL, n. [L. beryllus; Eng. brilliant.]

A mineral, considered by Cleaveland as a subspecies of Emerald. Its prevailing color is green of various shades, but always pale. Its crystals are usually longer and larger than those of the precious emerald, and its structure more distinctly foliated. It is harder than the apatite, with which it has been confounded; harder and less heavy than the pycnite. The best beryls are found in Brazil, in Siberia and Ceylon, and in Dauria, on the frontiers of China. They are found in many parts of the United States.

BERYL-CRYSTAL, n. A species of imperfect crystal, of a very pure, clear, and equal texture. It is always of the figure of a long and slender column, irregularly hexangular, and tapering at the top. Its color is a pale brown, of a fine transparency.

BERYLLINE, a. Like a beryl; of a light or bluish green.

BESAINT, v.t. [be and saint.] To make a saint. [Not in use.]

BESAYLE, n. A great grandfather.

If the abatement happened on the death of one’s grandfather or grandmother, a writ of ayle lieth; if on the death of the great grandfather, then a writ of besayle; but if it mounts one degree higher, to the tresayle, or grandfather’s grandfather, etc., the writ is called a writ of cosinage, or de consanguineo.

BESCATTER, v.t. [be and scatter.] To scatter over. [Not used.]

BESCORN, v.t. [be and scorn.] To treat with scorn; to mock at. [Not used.]

BESCRATCH, v.t. [be and scratch.] To scratch; to tear with the nails. [Not in use.]

BESCRAWL, v.t. [be and scrawl.] To scrawl; to scribble over.

BESCREEN, v.t. [be and screen.] To cover with a screen; to shelter; to conceal.

BESCREENED, pp. Covered; sheltered; concealed.

BESCRIBBLE, v.t. To scribble over.

BESCUMBER, v.t. [from cumber.] To encumber. [Not legitimate nor used.]

BESEE, v.i. [be and see.] To look; to mind. [Not in use.]

BESEECH, v.t. pret. and pp. besought.

To entreat; to supplicate; to implore; to ask or pray with urgency; followed by a person; as, “I Paul beseech you by the meekness of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:1; or by a thing; as, I beseech your patience.

BESEECHER, n. One who beseeches.

BESEECHING, ppr. Entreating.

BESEEK, v.t. to beseech. [Not used.]

BESEEM, v.t. [be and seem.] To become; to be fit for, or worthy of; to be decent for.

What form of speech or behavior beseemeth us, in our prayers to god?

BESEEMING, ppr. or a. Becoming; fit; worthy of.

BESEEMING, n. Comeliness.

BESEEMLY, a. Becoming; fit; suitable.

BESEEN, a. Adapted; adjusted. [Not used.]

BESET, v.t. pret. and pp. beset.

1. To surround; to inclose; to hem in; to besiege; as, we are beset with enemies; a city is beset with troops. Hence,

2. To press on all sides, so as to perplex; to entangle, so as to render escape difficult or impossible.

Adam sore beset replied.

3. To waylay.

4. To fall upon.

BESETTING, ppr. Surrounding; besieging; waylaying.

BESETTING, a. Habitually attending, or pressing; as a besetting sin.

BESHINE, v.t. To shine upon. [Not used.]

BESHREW, v.t. [be and shrew.] To wish a curse to; to execrate.

1. To happen ill to. [Not in use.]

BESHUT, v.t. To shut up. [Not used.]

BESIDE, prep. [be and side, by the side.]

1. At the side of a person or thing; near; as, sit down beside me, or beside the stream.

2. Over and above; distinct from.

Beside all this, between us and you, there is a great gulf fixed. Luke 16:26.

3. On one side; out of the regular course or order; not according to, but not contrary.

It is beside my present business to enlarge upon this speculation.

4. Out of; in a state deviating from; as, to put one beside his patience. Hence,

5. With the reciprocal pronoun, beside one’s self is out of the wits or senses; out of the order of reason, or of rational beings.

Paul, thou are beside thyself. Acts 26:24.

BESIDES, prep. Over and above; separate or distinct from.

And there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine. Genesis 26:1.

Note. This word, though radically the same as beside, and a corruption of it, ought not to be confounded with it, for it is never used in the senses explained under beside, except in the second.

BESIDE, BESIDES, adv. Moreover; more than that; over and above; distinct from; not included in the number, or in what has been mentioned.

Besides, you know not what is the fate of your friend.

The men said to Lot, hast thou here any besides: Genesis 19:12.

To all beside, as much an empty shade.

An Eugene living, as a Caesar dead.

These sentences may be considered as elliptical.

BESIDERY, n. A species of pear.

BESIEGE, v.t. [be and siege.]

1. To lay siege to; to beleaguer; to beset, or surround with armed forces, for the purpose of compelling to surrender, either by famine or by violent attacks; as, to besiege a castle or city.

2. To beset; to throng round.

BESIEGED, pp. Surrounded or beset with hostile troops.

BESIEGER, n. One who lays siege, or is employed in a siege.

BESIEGING, ppr. Laying siege; surrounding with armed forces.

BESIEGING, a. Surrounding in a hostile manner; employed in a siege; as a besieging army.

BESIT, v.t. [be and sit.] To suit; to become. [Not used.]

BESLAVE, v.t. To subjugate; to enslave. [Not used.]

BESLIME, v.t. To daub with slime;; to soil. [Not used.]

BESLUBBER, v.t. [be and slubber, slabber.] To soil or smear with spittle, or any thing running from the mouth or nose. [Vulgar.]

BESMEAR, v.t. [be and smear.] To bedaub; to overspread with any viscous, glutinous matter, or with any soft substance that adheres. Hence, to foul; to soil.

BESMEARED, pp. Bedaubed; overspread with any thing soft, viscous, or adhesive; soiled.

BESMEARER, n. One that besmears.

BESMEARING, ppr. Bedaubing; soiling.

BESMIRCH, v.t. [be and smirch.] To soil; to foul; to discolor. [Little used.]

BESMOKE, v.t. [be and smoke.] To foul with smoke; to harden or dry in smoke. [Little used.]

BESMOKED, pp. Fouled or soiled with smoke; dried in smoke.

BESMUT, v.t. [be and smut.] To blacken with smut; to foul with soot.

BESMUTTED, pp. Blackened with smut or soot.

BESNOW, v.t. [be and snow.] To scatter like snow. [Little used.]

BESNOWED, a. or pp. [be and snow.] Covered or sprinkled with snow, or with white blossoms.

BESNUFF, v.t. To befoul with snuff.

BESNUFFED, pp. Foul with snuff.

BESOM, n. s as z. A broom; a brush of twigs for sweeping.

I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of Hosts. Isaiah 14:23.

BESOM, v.t. To sweep, as with a besom.

Rolls back all Greece, and besoms wide the plain.

BESORT, v.t. [be and sort.] To suit; to fit; to become.

BESORT, n. Company; attendance; train.

BESOT, v.t. [be and sot.] To make sottish; to infatuate; to stupefy; to make dull or senseless.

1. To make to dote.

BESOTTED, pp. Made sottish or stupid. Besotted on, infatuated with foolish affection.

BESOTTEDLY, adv. In a foolish manner.

BESOTTEDNESS, n. Stupidity; arrant folly; infatuation.

BESOTTING, ppr. Infatuating; making sottish or foolish.

BESOUGHT, besaut’. pp. of beseech. Entreated; implored; sought by entreaty.

BESPANGLE, v.t. [be and spangle.] To adorn with spangles; to dot or sprinkle with something brilliant; as, the heavens bespangled with stars.

BESPANGLED, pp. Adorned with spangles or something shining.

BESPANGLING, ppr. Adorning with spangles or glittering objects.

BESPATTER, v.t. [be and spatter.] To soil by spattering; to sprinkle with water, or with dirt and water.

1. To asperse with calumny or reproach.

BESPATTERED, pp. Spattered over; soiled with dirt and water; aspersed; calumniated.