Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BEVELMENT, n. In mineralogy, bevelment supposes the removal of two contiguous segments from the edges, angles or terminal faces of the predominant form, thereby producing two new faces, inclined to each other at a certain angle and forming an edge.

BEVER, n. A collation or small repast between meals. [Not used.]

BEVER, v.i. To take a small repast between meals.

BEVERAGE, n. [L. bibo;] Drink; liquor for drinking. It is generally used of a mixed liquor. Nectar is called the beverage of the gods.

In the middle ages, beverage, beveragium, or biberagium was money for drink given to an artificer of other person over and above his hire or wages. The practice has existed, to a certain extent, in American, within my memory, and I know not but it still exists in some parts of this country. A person who had a new garment, was called onto pay beverage, that is, to treat with liquor. Hence,

1. A treat on wearing a new suit of clothes, or on receiving a suit from the tailor; also a treat on first coming into prison; a garnish.

In England, water-cider, a mixture of cider and water, made by putting water into pumice before it is pressed.

BEVILE, n. [See Bevel.] In heraldry, a thing broken or opening, like a carpenter’s bevel.

BEVY, n. [I know not the origin or affinities of this word. The etymologies I have seen are not worth notice.]

A flock of birds; hence, a company; an assembly or collection of persons; usually applied to females.

BEWAIL, v.t. [be and wail.] To bemoan; to lament; to express sorrow for. It expresses deep sorrow; as, to bewail the loss of a child.

The true penitent bewails his ingratitude to God.

BEWAIL, v.i. To express grief.

BEWAILABLE, a. That may be lamented.

BEWAILED, pp. Lamented; bemoaned.

BEWAILER, n. One who laments.

BEWAILING, ppr. Lamenting; bemoaning; expressing grief for.

BEWAILING, n. Lamentation.

BEWAKE, v.t. [be and wake.] To keep awake. [Not used.]

BEWARE, v.i.

1. Literally, to restrain or guard one’s self from. Hence, to regard with caution; to restrain one’s self from anything that may be dangerous, injurious or improper; to avoid; to take care; followed by of before the thing that is to be avoided.

Beware of all, but more beware of man.

Beware of false prophets; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees; beware of the concision.

2. To have a special regard to.

Behold, I send an angel before thee--beware of him, and obey his voice. Exodus 23:20, 21.

[This is unusual and hardly legitimate.]

This word though here admitted as a verb, from the Saxon, is rarely used as a verb in fact; or if a verb, is now never used except in the imperative mode. It is a compound of be and the Old Eng. ware, now wary. Be wary of danger. Hence it cannot be used with did, like a regular verb, nor with be, in any of its inflections, he is beware; for this would be to use the substantive verb twice before ware and wary, is and be. Ben Jonson however has used the word in the third person. He bewares to act. But it has no past tense or participle, and therefore, if admitted as a verb, it is defective, and used only in the imperative mode, or after an auxiliary.

We must beware of excess.

BEWEEP, v.t. [be and weep.] To weep over; to bedew with tears. [Little used.]

BEWEEP, v.i. To make lamentation. [Little used.]

BEWEPT, pp. Wept over; bedewed with tears. [Little used.]

BEWET, v.t. [be and wet.] To wet; to moisten. [Not used.]

BEWILDER, v.t. To lead into perplexity or confusion; to lose in pathless places; to confound for want of a plain road; to perplex with mazes; or in general, to perplex.

Lost and bewildered in the fruitless search.

BEWILDERED, pp. Lost in mazes; perplexed with disorder, confusion, or intricacy.

BEWILDERING, ppr. Losing in a pathless place; perplexing with confusion or intricacy.

BEWINTER, v.t. To make like winter. [Not used.]

BEWITCH, v.t. [be and witch.] To fascinate; to gain an ascendancy over by charms or incantation; an operation which was formerly supposed to injure the person bewitched, so that he lost his flesh, or behaved in a strange unaccountable manner; ignorant people being inclined to ascribe to evil spirits what they could not account for.

Look, how I am bewitched; behold, mine arm

Is like a blasted sapling withered up.

1. To charm; to fascinate; to please to such a degree as to take away the power of resistance.

The charms of poetry our souls bewitch.

2. To deceive and mislead by juggling tricks or imposter. Acts 8:9.

BEWITCHED, pp. Fascinated; charmed.

BEWITCHER, n. One that bewitches or fascinates.

BEWITCHERY, n. Fascination; charm;; resistless power of anything that pleases.

BEWITCHFUL, a. Alluring; fascinating.

BEWITCHING, ppr. Fascinating; charming.

BEWITCHING, a. That has power to bewitch or fascinate; that has power to control by the arts of pleasing.

BEWITCHINGLY, adv. In a fascinating manner.

BEWITCHMENT, n. Fascination; power of charming.

BEWONDERED, a. [be and wonder.] Amazed. [Not used.]

BEWRAP, v.t. berap’. [be and wrap.] To wrap up.

BEWRAY, v.t. beray. To disclose perfidiously; to betray; to show or make visible.

Thy speech bewrayeth thee. Matthew 26:73.

[This word is nearly antiquated.]

BEWRAYED, pp. Disclosed; indicated; betrayed; exposed to view.

BEWRAYER, n. A divulger of secrets; a discoverer.

BEWRAYING, ppr. Disclosing; making known or visible.

BEWRECK, v.t. bereck’. [be and wreck.] To ruin; to destroy. [Not used.]

BEWROUGHT, a. beraut’ [be and work.] Worked. [Not used.]

BEY, n. In the Turkish dominions, a governor of a town or particular district of country; also, in some places, a prince; the same as the Arabic Beg. [See Beg.]

BEYOND, prep.

1. On the further side of; on the side most distant, at any indefinite distance from that side; as beyond a river, or the sea, either a mile beyond, or a hundred miles beyond the river.

2. Before; at a place not yet reached.

A thing beyond us, even before our death.

3. Past; out of reach of; further than any given limit; further than the extent of any thing else; as, beyond our power; beyond comprehension; beyond dispute; beyond our care.

4. Above; in a degree exceeding or surpassing; proceeding to a greater degree, as in dignity, excellence, or quality of any kind; as, one man is great or good beyond another.

To go beyond is a phrase which expresses an excess in some action or scheme; to exceed in ingenuity, in research, or in anything else; hence, in a bad sense, to deceive or circumvent.

Let no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter.

BEYOND, adv. At a distance; yonder.

BEZAN, n. A cotton cloth from Bengal, white or striped.

BEZANT, n. A gold coin of Byzantium. [See Byzant.]

BEZANTLER, n. [from antler.] The branch of a deer’s horn, next above the brow antler.

BEZEL, n. The upper part of the collet of a ring, which encompasses and fastens the stone.


1. An antidote; a general name for certain animal substances supposed to be efficacious in preventing the fatal effects of poison. Bezoar is a calcarious concretion found in the stomach of certain ruminant animals, composed of concentric coats surrounding each other, with a little cavity in the middle, containing a bit of wood, straw, hair, or the like substance. There are two sorts; the oriental, from Persia and the East Indies, of a shining dark green or olive color, with a smooth surface; and the occidental, from the Spanish West Indies, which has a rough surface, is less green much heavier, more brittle, and of a looser texture. The oriental is generally less than a walnut; the occidental is larger, and sometimes as large as a goose egg.

The oriental bezoars are generally of a resinous composition and combustible.

2. In a more general sense, any substance formed, stratum upon stratum, in the stomach or intestines of animals.

This name is also given to the biliary calculi of certain animals.

Fossil-bezoar is a figured stone, formed, like the animal bezoar, with several coats round some extraneous body, which serves as a nucleus; found chiefly in Sicily, in sand and clay pits. It is of a purple color, and of the size of a walnut. It seems to be of the nature of bole armenian, and is called Sicilian earth.

Bezoar-mineral. This preparation is an oxyd of antimony, produced by distilling the nitrous acid several times to dryness from the sublimated muriate of antimony.

BEZOARDIC, a. Pertaining to or compounded of bezoar.

BEZOARDIC, n. A medicine compounded with bezoar.

BEZOLA, n. A fish of the truttaceous kind, of a dusky blue color, nearly of the size of a herring.

BEZZLE, v.t. To waste in riot. [Not used.] [See Embezzle.]

BHUCHAMPAC, n. A beautiful plant of India, known in Linne’s system, under the name of Koempferia rotunda. The blossoms rise from the ground with a short scape, and scarce live a whole day.

BIA, n. In commerce, a small shell called a cowry, much valued in the East Indies.

BIANGULATE, BIANGULATED, BIANGULOUS, a. [L. bis, twice, and angulus, an angle.]

Having two angles or corners. [Little used.]

BIARMIAN, a. Noting a race of Finns in Perme, in the north of Europe, on the Dvina, and about the White Sea; written also Permian. The Biarmians or Permians are said to be the most wealthy and powerful of the Finnish tribes.

BIAS, n.

1. A weight on the side of a bowl which turns it from a straight line.

2. A leaning of the mind; inclination; prepossession; propensity towards an object, not leaving the mind indifferent; as, education gives a bias to the mind.

3. That which causes the mind to lean or incline from a state of indifference, to a particular object or course.

BIAS, v.t. To incline to one side; to warp; to give a particular direction to the mind; to prejudice; to prepossess. The judgment is often biassed by interest.

This word is used by Shakespeare as an adverb, bias and thwart, i.e. aslope; and as an adjective.

Blow till they bias cheek

Outswell the cholic of puft Aquilon.

BIAS-DRAWING, n. Partiality. [Not used.]

BIASED, pp. Inclined from a right line; warped; prejudiced.

BIASING, ppr. Giving a bias, particular direction or propensity; warping; prejudicing.

BIB, n. A small piece of linen or other cloth worn by children over the breast.

1. A fish about a foot in length, the back of a light olive, the sides yellow, and the belly white.

BIB, v.t. [L. bibo.] To sip; to tipple; to drink frequently. [Little used.]

BIBACIOUS, a. [L. bibax. See Bib.] Addicted to drinking; disposed to imbibe.

BIBACITY, n. The quality of drinking much. [Not used.]

BIBBER, n. A tippler; a man given to drinking; chiefly used in composition, as winebibber.

BIBBLE-BABBLE, n. Idle talk; prating to no purpose. [A low word, and not used.]

BIBIO, n. A name of the wine fly, a small insect found in empty wine casks.

BIBLE, n. [Gr. a book.]

The Book, by way of eminence; the sacred volume, in which are contained the revelations of God, the principles of Christian faith, and the rules of practice. It consists of two parts, called the Old and New Testaments.

The Bible should be the standard of language as well as of faith.

BIBLER, n. [See Bib.] A tipler; a great drinker.

BIBLICAL, a. Pertaining to the Bible, or to the sacred writings; as biblical criticism.

BIBLIOGRAPHER, n. [Gr. a book.] One who composes or compiles the history of books; one skilled in literary history; a transcriber.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC, BIBLIOGRAPHICAL, a. Pertaining to the history of books.

BIBLIOGRAPHY, n. A history or description of books; the perusal of books, and manuscripts, with notices of the different editions, the times when they were printed, and other information tending to illustrate the history of literature.

BIBLIOLITE, n. [Gr. a book, and a stone; called also phytobiblia and lithobiblia.]

Bookstone; a species of shistous stones, mostly calcarious, which present, between their lamens, the figures of leaves, or sometimes simple dendrites.

BIBLIOMANCY, n. [Gr. a book, and divination.]

A kind of divination, performed by means of the bible; consisting in selecting passages of scripture at hazard, and drawing from them indications concerning things future.

BIBLIOMANIA, n. [Gr. book, and madness.]

Book-madness; a rage for possessing rare and curious books.

BIBLIOMANIAC, n. One who has a rage for books.

BIBLIOPOLIST, n. [Gr. book, and to sell.] A Bookseller.

BIBLIOTHECAL, a. [L. bibliotheca, a library.]

Belonging to a library.

BIBLIOTHECARY, n. A librarian.

BIBLIOTHEKE, n. A library.

BIBLIST, n. [from bible.] With the Romanists, one who makes the scriptures the sole rule of faith.

1. One who is conversant with the bible.

BIBRACTEATE, a. Double bracteate.

BIBULOUS, a. [L. bibulus, from bibo, to drink.]

Spungy; that has the quality of imbibing fluids or moisture.

BICAPSULAR, a. [L. bis, double, and capsula, a little chest, from capsa, a chest. See Capsular.]

In botany, having two capsules containing seeds, to each flower; as a bicapsular pericarp.

BICARBONATE, n. Supercarbonate; a carbonate containing two primes of carbonic acid.

BICAUDA, n. A fish of the sword-fish kind, about five feet in length; its back and sides of a brown color, and its belly white.

BICE or BISE, n. Among painters, a blue color prepared from the lapis armenus, Armenican stone.

Bice is smalt reduced to a fine power by levigation.

BICIPITAL, BICIPITOUS, a. [L. biceps, of bis, twice, and caput, head.]

Having two heads. Applied to the muscles, it signifies having two heads or origins; and any such muscle is denominated biceps.

BICKER, v.i.

1. To skirmish; to fight off and on; that is, to make repeated attacks. [But in this sense I believe rarely used.]

2. To quarrel; to contend in words; to scold; to contend in petulant altercation. [This is the usual signification.]

3. To move quickly; to quiver; to be tremulous, like flame or water; as the bickering flame; the bickering stream.

BICKERER, n. One who bickers, or engages in a petty quarrel.

BICKERING, ppr. Quarreling; contending; quivering.

BICKERMENT, n. Contention. [Not used.]

BICKERN, n. An iron ending in a beak or point.

BICORN, n. [L. bis, twice, and cornu, a horn, bicornis.]

A plant whose anthers have the appearance of two horns.

BICORN, BICORNOUS, a. Having two horns.

BID, v.t. pret. bid, or bade; pp. bid, bidden. [L. peto, to drive at, to attack, to ask, to desire, to beseech, anciently beto; impetus. Applied to the voice, it denotes utterance, a driving of sounds, which is applied to asking, prayer, and command. Class Bd.]

1. To ask; to request; to invite.

Go ye into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. Matthew 22:9.

This sense is antiquated, but we have the same word from the Latin, in invite, [in and bid.]

2. To command; to order or direct.

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee on the water. Matthew 14:28.

3. To offer; to propose; as, to bid a price at an auction.

4. To proclaim; to make known by a public voice.

Our bans thrice bid.

5. To pronounce or declare; as, to bid a welcome.

6. To denounce, or threaten; as, to bid defiance.

7. To wish or pray.

Neither bid him good speed. 2 John 10.

To bid beads, is to pray with beads, as the Catholics; to distinguish each bead by a prayer.

Also, to charge parishioners to say a number of paternosters.

To bid fair, is to open or offer a good prospect; to appear fair.

BID or BIDDEN, pp. of bid. Invited; offered; commanded.
BID, n. An offer of a price; a word much used at auctions.

BIDALE, n. [bid and ale.] In England, an invitation of friends to drink ale at some poor man’s house, and there to contribute in charity; an ancient and still a local custom.

BIDDER, n. One who offers a price.

Bidders at the auction of popularity.

BIDDING, ppr. Inviting; offering; commanding.

BIDDING, n. Invitation; command; order; a proclamation or notifying.

BIDE, v.i. To dwell; to inhabit.

1. To remain; to continue or be permanent, in a place or state. [Nearly antiquated.]

BIDE, v.t. To endure; to suffer. [See Abide.]

BIDENS, n. A plant, bur marigold.

BIDENTAL, a. [L. bidens, of bis, twice, and dens, a tooth.] Having two teeth.

BIDET, n. A small horse, formerly allowed to each trooper or dragoon for carrying his baggage.

BIDING, ppr. Dwelling; continuing; remaining. [See Abiding.]

BIDING, n. Residence; habitation.

BIDON, n. A measure of liquids, of about five quarts, wine measure, used by seamen.

BIENNIAL, a. [L. biennis, of bis, twice, and annus, a year.]

1. Continuing for two years and then perishing; as plants, whose root and leaves are formed the first year, and which produce fruit the second.

2. In botany, continuing for two years and then perishing; as plants, whose root and leaves are formed the first year, and which produce fruit the second.

BIENNIALLY, adv. Once in two years; at the return of two years.

BIER, n. [L. feretrum, from fero. See Bear.]

A carriage or frame of wood for conveying dead human bodies to the grave.

BIER-BALK, n. The church road for burials. [Not used in America.]