Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BLANDISHMENT, n. Soft words; kind speeches; caresses; expression of kindness; words or actions expressive of affection or kindness, and tending to win the heart.


1. Void; empty; consequently white; as a blank paper.

2. White or pale; as the blank moon.

3. Pale from fear or terror; hence confused; confounded; dispirited; dejected.

Adam--astonished stood, and blank.

4. Without rhyme; as blank verse, verse in which rhyme is wanting.

5. Pure; entire; complete.

6. Not containing balls or bullets; as blank cartridges.

This word is applied to various other objects, usually in the sense of destitution, emptiness; as a blank line; a blank space, in a book, etc.

BLANK, n. Any void space; a void space on paper, or in any written instrument.

1. A lot by which nothing is gained; a ticket in a lottery which draws no prize.

2. A paper unwritten; a paper without marks or characters.

3. A paper containing the substance of a legal instrument, as a deed, release, writ or execution, with vacant spaces left to be filled with names, date, descriptions, etc.

4. The point to which an arrow is directed, marked with white paper. [Little used.]

5. Aim; shot.

6. Object to which any thing is directed.

7. A small copper coin formerly current in France, at the rate of 5 deniers Tournois. There were also pieces of three blanks, and of six; but they are now become moneys of account.

Blank-bar, in law, a common bar, or a plea in bar, which, in an action of trespass, is put in to oblige the plaintiff to assign the place where the trespass was committed.

Point-blank, in gunnery, the shot of a gun leveled horizontally. The distance between the piece, and the point where the shot first touches the ground, is called the point-blank range; the shot proceeding on a straight line, without curving.

BLANK, v.t. To make void; to annul.

1. To deprive of color, the index of health and spirits; to damp the spirits; to dispirit or confuse; as, to blank the face of joy.

BLANKED, pp. Confused; dispirited.


1. A cover for a bed, made of coarse wool loosely woven, and used for securing against cold. Blankets are used also by soldiers, and seamen, for covering.

2. A kind of pear, sometimes written after the French, blanquet.

3. Among printers, woolen cloth or white baize, to lay between the tympans.

BLANKET, v.t. To toss in a blanket by way of punishment; an ancient custom. The Emperor Otho used to sally forth in dark nights, and if he found a drunken man, he administered the discipline of the blanket.

1. To cover with a blanket.

BLANKETING, ppr. Tossing in a blanket.

BLANKETING, n. The punishment of tossing in a blanket.

1. Cloth for blankets.

BLANKLY, adv. In a blank manner; with paleness or confusion.

BLARE, v.i. [L. ploro, to dry out, to bawl, to weep.]

1. To roar; to bellow. [Little used.]

2. To sweal or melt away, as a candle.

This is, I believe, usually called flare.

BLARE, n. Roar; noise. [Little used.]

And sign for battle’s blare.

1. A small copper coin of Bern, nearly of the same value as the ratz.

BLASPHEME, v.t. [Gr. The first syllable is the same as in blame, blasme, denoting injury; L. loedo, loesus; The last syllable is the Gr., to speak.]

1. To speak of the Supreme Being in terms of impious irreverence; to revile or speak reproachfully of God, or the Holy Spirit. 1 Kings 21:10, 13; Mark 3:28, 29.

2. To speak evil of; to utter abuse or calumny against; to speak reproachfully of.

BLASPHEME, v.i. To utter blasphemy.

He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven. Mark 3:28, 29.

1. To arrogate the prerogatives of God.

This man blasphemeth. Who can forgive sins but God? Matthew 9:3; Mark 2:7.

BLASPHEMER, n. One who blasphemes; one who speaks of God in impious and irreverent terms. 1 Timothy 1:13.

BLASPHEMING, ppr. Uttering impious or reproachful words concerning God.

BLASPHEMOUS, a. Containing blasphemy; calumnious; impiously irreverent or reproachful towards God.

BLASPHEMOUSLY, adv. Impiously; with impious irreverence to God.

BLASPHEMY, n. An indignity offered to God by words or writing; reproachful, contemptuous or irreverent words uttered impiously against Jehovah.

Blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him that which is not agreeable to his nature.

In the middle ages, blasphemy was used to denote simply the blaming or condemning of a person or thing. Among the Greeks, to blaspheme was to use words of ill omen, which they were careful to avoid.

1. That which derogates from the prerogatives of God. Mark 2:7.

BLAAST, n. [Eng. blaze, which is primarily a blowing or swelling.]

1. A gust or puff of wind; or a sudden gust of wind.

2. The sound made by blowing a wind instrument.

3. Any pernicious or destructive influence upon animals or plants.

4. The infection of any thing pestilential; a blight on plants.

5. A sudden compression of air, attended with a shock, caused by the discharge of cannon.

6. A forcible stream of air from the mouth, from a bellows or the like.

7. A violent explosion of gun powder, in splitting rocks, and the explosion of inflammable air in a mine.

8. The whole blowing of a forge necessary to melt one supply of ore; a common use of the word among workmen in forges in American.

BLAST, v.t. [Literally, to strike.] To make to wither by some pernicious influence, as too much heat or moisture, or other destructive cause; or to check growth and prevent from coming to maturity and producing fruit; to blight, as trees or plants.

1. To affect with some sudden violence, plague, calamity, or destructive influence, which destroys or causes to fail; as, to blast pride or hopes. The figurative senses of this verb are taken from the blasting of plants, and all express the idea of checking growth, preventing maturity, impairing, injuring, destroying, or disappointing of the intended effect; as, to blast credit, or reputation; to blast designs.

2. To confound, or strike with force, by a loud blast or din.

3. To split rocks by an explosion of gun powder.

They did not stop to blast this ore.

BLASTED, pp. Affected by some cause that checks growth, injures, impairs, destroys, or renders abortive; split by an explosion of gunpowder.

BLASTER, n. He or that which blasts or destroys.

BLASTING, ppr. Affecting by a blast; preventing from coming to maturity; frustrating; splitting by an explosion of gun powder.

BLASTING, n. A blast; destruction by a pernicious cause; explosion.

BLASTMENT, n. Blast; sudden stroke of some destructive cause. [Superseded by blast and blasting.]

BLATANT, a. [See Bleat.] Bellowing as a calf. [Not used.]

BLATTER, v.i. [from the root of bleat.]

To make a senseless noise.

BLATTERER, n. A noisy blustering boaster. [Not used.]

BLAY, n. [See Bleak.] A small river fish, the bleak.

BLAZE, n. [Eng. to blush.]

1. Flame; the stream of light and heat from any body when burning, proceeding from the combustion of inflammable gas.

2. Publication; wide diffusion of report. In this sense, we observe the radical sense of dilatation, as well as that of light.

3. A white spot on the forehead or face of a horse, descending nearly to the nose.

4. Light; expanded light; as the blaze of day.

5. Noise; agitation; tumult.

BLAZE, v.i. To flame; as, the fire blazes.

1. To send forth or show a bright and expanded light.

The third fair morn now blazed upon the main.

2. To be conspicuous.

BLAZE, v.t. To make public far and wide.

To blaze those virtues which the good would hide.

1. To blazon. [Not used. See Blazon.]

2. To set a white mark on a tree, by paring off a part of the bark.

BLAZED, pp. Published far and wide.

BLAZER, n. One who publishes and spreads reports.

BLAZING, ppr. Flaming; publishing far and wide.

BLAZING, a. Emitting flame, or light; as a blazing star.

BLAZING-STAR, n. A comet; a star that is accompanied with a coma or train of light.

BLAZON, v.t. bla’zn.

1. To explain, in proper terms, the figures on ensigns armorial.

2. To deck; to embellish; to adorn.

She blazons in dread smiles her hideous form.

3. To display; to set to show; to celebrate by words or writing.

4. To blaze about; to make public far and wide.

5. To display; to exhibit conspicuously.

There pride sits blazon’d on th’ unmeaning brow.

BLAZON, n. The art of drawing, describing or explaining coats of arms; perhaps a coat of arms, as used by the French.

1. Publication; show; celebration; pompous display, either by words or by other means.

BLAZONED, pp. Explained, deciphered in the manner of heralds; published abroad; displayed pompously.

BLAZONER, n. One that blazons; a herald; an evil speaker, or propagator of scandal.

BLAZONING, ppr. Explaining, describing as heralds; showing; publishing; blazing abroad; displaying.

BLAZONRY, n. The art of describing coats of arms, in proper terms.

BLEA, n. The part of a tree, which lies immediately under the bark.

BLEACH, v.t. [Eng. bleak.]

To whiten; to make white or whiter; to take out color; applied to many things, but particularly to cloth and thread. Bleaching is variously performed, but in general by steeping the cloth in lye, or a solution of pot or pearl ashes, and then exposing it to the solar rays.

Bleaching is now generally performed, on the large scale, by means of chlorine or the oxymuriatic acid, which has the property of whitening vegetable substances.

BLEACH, v.i. To grow white in any manner.

BLEACHED, pp. Whitened; made white.

BLEACHER, n. One who whitens, or whose occupation is to whiten cloth.

BLEACHERY, n. A place for bleaching; as a wax bleachery.

BLEACHING, ppr. Whitening; making white; becoming white.

BLEACHING, n. The act or art of whitening, especially cloth.


1. Pale. [But not often used in this sense, in America, as far as my observations extend.]

2. Open; vacant; exposed to a free current of air; as a bleak hill or shore. This is the true sense of the word; hence cold and cheerless. A bleak wind is not so named merely from its coldness, but from its blowing without interruption, on a wide waste; at least this is the sense in America. So in Addison. “Her desolation presents us with nothing but bleak and barren prospects.”

BLEAK, n. A small river fish, five or six inches long, so named from its whiteness. It belongs to the genus Cyprinus, and is known to the Londoners by the name of white bait. It is called also by contraction blay.

BLEAKISH, a. Moderately bleak.

BLEAKNESS, n. Openness of situation; exposure to the wind; hence coldness.

BLEAKY, a. Bleak; open unsheltered; cold; chill.

BLEAR, a. Sore, with a watery rheum; applied only to the eyes; as the blear-eyed owl.

BLEAR, v.t. To make sore; to affect with soreness of eyes, or a watery humor; to make dim or partially obscure the sight.

BLEAREDNESS, n. The state of being bleared, or dimmed with rheum.

BLEAR-EYED, a. Having sore eyes; having the eyes dim with rheum; dim-sighted.

BLEAT, v.i. [L. blatero; plaudo.] To make the noise of a sheep; to cry as a sheep.

BLEAT, n. The cry of a sheep.

BLEATING, ppr. or a. Crying as a sheep.

BLEATING, n. The cry of a sheep.

BLEB, n. [This word belongs to the root of blab, blubber.]

A little tumor, vesicle or blister.

Arsenic abounds with air blebs.

BLEBBY, a. Full of blebs.

BLED, pret. and pp. of bleed.

BLEED, v.i. pret. and pp. bled.

1. To lose blood; to run with blood, by whatever means; as, the arm bleeds.

2. To die a violent death, or by slaughter.

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to day.

3. To issue forth, or drop as blood, from an incision; to lose sap, gum or juice; as, a tree or a vine bleeds.

For me the balm shall bleed.

The heart bleeds, is a phrase used to denote extreme pain from sympathy or pity.

BLEED, v.t. To let blood; to take blood from, by opening a vein.

BLEEDING, ppr. Losing blood; letting blood; losing sap or juice.

BLEEDING, n. a running or issuing of blood, as from the nose; a hemorrhage; the operation of letting blood, as in surgery; the drawing of sap from a tree or plant.

BLEIT, a. Bashful; used in Scotland and the northern counties of England.


1. Too mark with any deformity; to injure or impair any thing which is well formed, or excellent; to mar, or make defective, either the body or mind.

2. To tarnish, as reputation or character; to defame.

BLEMISH, n. Any mark of deformity; any scar or defect that diminishes beauty, or renders imperfect that which is well formed.

1. Reproach; disgrace; that which impairs reputation; taint; turpitude; deformity.

BLEMISHED, pp. Injured or marred by any mark of deformity; tarnished; soiled.

BLEMISHING, ppr. Marking with deformity; tarnishing.

BLEMISHLESS, a. Without blemish; spotless.

BLEMISHMENT, n. Disgrace. [Little used.]

BLENCH, v.i. [This evidently is the blanch of Bacon [see Blanch.] and perhaps the modern flinch.]

To shrink; to start back to give way.

BLENCH, v.t. To hinder or obstruct, says Johnson. But the etymology explains the passage he cites in a different manner. “The rebels carried great trusses of hay before them, to blench the defendants’ fight.” That is, to render the combat blank; to render it ineffectual; to break the force of the attack; to deaden the shot.
BLENCH, n. A start.

BLENCHER, n. That which frustrates.

BLENCH-HOLDING, n. A tenure of lands upon the payment of a small sum in silver, blanck, that is, white money.


An ore of zink, called also mock-lead, false galena and black jack. Its color is mostly yellow, brown and black. There are several varieties, but in general, this ore contains more than half its weight of zink, about one fourth sulphur, and usually a small portion of iron. In chimical language, it is a sulphuret of zink.

BLEND, v.t.

1. To mix or mingle together; hence to confound, so that the separate things mixed cannot be distinguished.

2. To pollute by mixture; to spoil or corrupt.

3. To blind.

BLEND, v.i. To be mixed; to be united.

There is a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality.

BLENDED, pp. Mixed; confounded by mixture.

BLENDER, n. One that mingles or confounds.

BLENDING, ppr. Mingling together; confounding by mixture.

BLENDOUS, a. Pertaining to blend.

BLEND-WATER, n. A distemper incident to cattle, called also more-hough.

BLENNY, n. A genus of fishes, of the order of Jugulars, in Ichthyology called Blennius. There are several species; the size from five inches to a foot in length.

BLENT, the obsolete participle of blend.

BLESS, v.t. pret. and ppr. blessed or blest.

1. To pronounce a wish of happiness to one; to express a wish or desire of happiness.

And Isaac called Jacob and blessed him. Genesis 28:1.

2. To make happy; to make successful; to prosper in temporal concerns; as, we are blest with peace and plenty.

The Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thou doest. Deuteronomy 15:18.

3. To make happy in a future life.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Revelation 14:13.

4. To set apart or consecrate to holy purposes; to make and pronounce holy.

And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Genesis 2:3.

5. To consecrate by prayer; to invoke a blessing upon.

And Jesus took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven he blessed them. Luke 9:16.

6. To praise; to glorify, for benefits received.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Psalm 103:1.

7. To praise; to magnify; to extol, for excellencies. Psalm 104:1.

8. To esteem or account happy; with the reciprocal pronoun.

The nations shall bless themselves in him. Jeremiah 4:2.

9. To pronounce a solemn prophetical benediction upon. Genesis 27; Deuteronomy 33.

10. In this line of Spenser, it may signify to throw, for this is nearly the primary sense.

His sparkling blade about his head he blest.

Johnson supposes the word to signify to wave or brandish, and to have received this sense from the old rite of blessing a field, by directing the hands to all parts of it.

Bless in Spenser for bliss, may be so written, not for rhyme merely, but because bless and bliss are from the same root.

BLESSED, pp. Made happy or prosperous; extolled; pronounced happy.

BLESSED, a. Happy; prosperous in worldly affairs; enjoying spiritual happiness and the favor of God; enjoying heavenly felicity.

Blessed-Thistle. A plant of the genus Cnicus, sometimes used in decoctions, for a bitter.

BLESSEDLY, adv. Happily; in a fortunate manner.

BLESSEDNESS, n. Happiness; felicity; heavenly joys; the favor of God.

1. Sanctity.

BLESSER, n. One that blesses or prospers; one who bestows a blessing.

BLESSING, ppr. Making happy; wishing happiness to; praising or extolling; consecrating by prayer.

BLESSING, n. Benediction; a wish of happiness pronounced; a prayer imploring happiness upon another.

1. A solemn prophetic benediction, in which happiness is desired, invoked or foretold.

This is the blessing wherewith Moses--blessed the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 33:1.

2. Any means of happiness; a gift, benefit or advantage; that which promotes temporal prosperity and welfare, or secures immortal felicity. A just and pious magistrate is a public blessing. The divine favor is the greatest blessing.

3. Among the Jews, a present; a gift; either because it was attended with kind wishes for the welfare of the giver, or because it was the means of increasing happiness.

Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee. Genesis 33:11.

BLEST, pp. of bless.

BLEST, a. Made happy.

1. Making happy; cheering.

While these blest sounds my rafish’d ear assail.

BLETONISM, n. The faculty of perceiving and indicating subterraneous springs and currents by sensation; so called from one Bleton of France who possessed this faculty.

BLETONIST, n. One who possesses the faculty of perceiving subterraneous springs by sensation.

BLEW, pret. of blow.

BLEYME, n. An inflammation in the foot of a horse, between the sole and the bone.

BLICEA, n. A small fish caught in the German seas, somewhat resembling the English sprat.


1. A disease incident to plants, affecting them variously. sometimes the whole plant perishes; sometimes only the leaves and blossoms, which will shrivel, as if scorched.

2. Any thing nipping or blasting.

In America, I have often heard a cutaneous eruption on the human skin called by the name of blights.

BLIGHT, v.t. To affect with blight; to blast; to prevent growth, and fertility; to frustrate.

BLIN, v.t. To stop or cease.


1. Destitute of the sense of seeing, either by natural defect, or by deprivation; not having sight.

2. Not having the faculty of discernment; destitute of intellectual light; unable to understand or judge; ignorant; as authors are blind to their own defects.

Blind should be followed by to; but it is followed by of, in the phrase, blind of an eye.

3. Unseen;; out of public view; private; dark; sometimes implying contempt or censure; as a blind corner.

4. Dark; obscure; not easy to be found; not easily discernible; as a blind path.

5. Heedless; inconsiderate; undeliberating.

This plan is recommended neither to blind approbation or blind reprobation.

6. In scripture, blind implies not only want of discernment, but moral depravity.

BLIND, v.t. To make blind; to deprive of sight.

1. To darken; to obscure to the eye.

Such darkness blinds the sky.

2. To darken the understanding; as, to blind the mind.

3. To darken or obscure to the understanding.

He endeavored to blind and confound the controversy.

4. To eclipse.

BLIND, BLINDE, [See Blend, an ore.]
BLIND, n. Something to hinder the sight.

Civility casts a blind over the duty.

1. Something to mislead the eye or the understanding; as, one thing serves as a blind for another.

2. A screen; a cover; as a blind for a window, or for a horse.

BLINDED, pp. Deprived of sight; deprived of intellectual discernment; made dark or obscure.

BLINDFOLD, a. [blind and fold.] Having the eyes covered; having the mental eye darkened.

BLINDFOLD, v.t. To cover the eyes; to hinder from seeing.

BLINDFOLDED, pp. Having the eyes covered; hindered from seeing.

BLINDFOLDING, ppr. Covering the eyes; hindering from seeing.

BLINDING, ppr. Depriving of sight, or of understanding; obscuring.

BLINDLY, adv. Without sight, or understanding.

1. Without discerning the reason; implicitly; without examination; as, to be blindly led by another.

2. Without judgment or direction.

BLINDMAN’S BALL, n. A species of fungus, Lycoperdo, or puff-ball.

BLINDMAN’S BUFF, n. A play in which one person is blindfolded, and hunts out the rest of the company.

BLINDNESS, n. Want of bodily sight; want of intellectual discernment; ignorance.

BLINDNETTLE, n. A plant.

BLINDS, n. In the military art, a defense made of osiers or branches interwoven, and laid across two rows of stakes, four or five feet asunder, of the highth of a man, to shelter the workmen, and prevent their being overlooked by the enemy.

BLIND SERPENT, n. A reptile of the Cape of Good Hope, covered with black scales, but spotted with red, white and brown.

BLINDSIDE, n. [blind and side.] The side which is most easily assailed; or the side on which the party is least able or disposed to see danger; weakness; foible; weak part.

BLIND VESSEL, with chimists, a vessel with an opening on one side only.

BLINDWORM, n. [blind and worm.] A small reptile, called also slow worm, a species of Anguis, about eleven inches long, covered with scales, with a forked tongue, but harmless.

BLINK, v.i.

1. To wink; to twinkle with the eye.

2. To see obscurely. Johnson. Is it not to see with the eyes half shut, or with frequent winking, as a person with weak eyes?

One eye was blinking and one leg was lame.

BLINK, n. A glimpse or glance.
BLINK, n. Blink of ice, is the dazzling whiteness about the horizon, occasioned by the reflection of light from fields of ice at sea.