Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BLOW-BALL, n. [blow and ball.] The flower of the dandelion.

BLOWER, n. One who blows; one who is employed in melting tin.

1. A plate of iron for drawing up a fire in a stove chimney.

BLOWING, ppr. Making a current of air; breathing quick; sounding a wind instrument; inflating; impelling by wind; melting tin.

BLOWING, n. The motion of wind or act of blowing.

BLOWN, pp. Driven by wind; fanned; sounded by blowing; spread by report; swelled; inflated; expanded as a blossom.

BLOW-PIPE, n. [blow and pipe.] An instrument by which a blast or current of air is driven through the flame of a lamp or candle, and that flame directed upon a mineral substance, to fuse or vitrify it.

Blow-pipe of the artist, a conical tube of brass, glass or other substance, usually a quarter of an inch in diameter at one end, and capillary or nearly so at the other, where it is bent nearly to a right angle. This is used to propel a jet of air from the lungs, through the flame of a lamp or candle, upon substance to be fused.

Blow-pipe of the mineralogist, the same instrument substantially as the foregoing, but usually fitted with an ivory or silver mouth-piece, and with several movable jets to produce flames of different sizes. Its office is to produce instantly a furnace heat, on minute fragments of mineral substances, supported on charcoal, by platina forceps, etc.

Compound Blow-pipe of Dr. Hare, invented in 1821, an instrument in which oxygen and hydrogen, propelled by hydrostatic or other pressure, coming from separate reservoirs, in the proportions requisite to form water, are made to unite in a capillary orifice, at the moment when they are kindled. The heat produced, when the focus is formed on charcoal or any non-conducting substance, is such as to melt every thing but the diamond, to burn the metals, and to dissipate in vapor, or in gaseous forms, most known substances.

The blow-pipe of Newman, Clark, etc. is the compound blow-pipe of Dr. Hare, with some unimportant modifications.

BLOW-POINT, n. [blow and point.] A kind of play among children.

BLOWTH, n. Bloom or blossom, or that which is expanded. It signifies bloom or blossoms in general, or the state of blossoming. Thus we say, trees are now in their blowth, or they have a full blowth.

BLOWZE, n. blowz. [From the same root as blush, which see.]

A ruddy fat-faced woman.

BLOWZY, a. Ruddy-faced; fat and ruddy; high colored.

BLUB, v.t. To swell. [Not in use. See Bleb.]

BLUBBER, n. [See Blobber, Blob and Bleb.]

1. A blobber, or bubble; a common vulgar word, but legitimate.

2. The fat of whales and other large sea animals, of which is made train-oil. It lies immediately under the skin and over the muscular flesh.

3. Sea nettle, or sea blubber, the medusa.

BLUBBER, v.i. To weep in such a manner as to swell the cheeks.

If I mistake not, this word carries with it the idea of weeping, so as to slaver.

BLUBBER, v.t. To swell the cheeks or disfigure the face with weeping.

BLUBBERED, pp. Swelled; big; turgid; as a blubbered lip.

BLUBBERING, ppr. Weeping so as to swell the cheeks.

BLUDGEON, n. A short stick, with one end loaded or thicker and heavier than the other, and used as an offensive weapon by low persons.

BLUE, a. blu. One of the seven colors, into which the rays of light divide themselves, when refracted through a glass prism. There are various shades of blue, as sky-blue, or azure, Prussian blue, indigo blue, smalt blue, etc.

Prussian blue, a combination of the oxyd of iron with an acid called ferro-prussic.

BLUE, v.t. To make blue; to dye of a blue color; to make blue by heating, as metals etc.

BLUE-BIRD, n. [blue and bird.] A small bird, a species of Motacilla, very common in the U. States. The upper part of the body is blue, and the throat and breast, of a dirty red. It makes its nest in the hole of a tree.

BLUE-BONNET, n. [blue and bonnet.] A plant, a species of Centaurea.

BLUE-BOTTLE, an. [blue and bottle.] A plant, a species of Centaurea, called Cyanus, which grows among corn. This and the former plant receive their names from their blue funnel-shaped flowers.

1. A fly with a large blue belly.

BLUE-CAP, n. [blue and cap.] A fish of the salmon kind, with blue spots on its head.

BLUE-EYED, a. Having blue eyes.

BLUE-FISH, n. [blue and fish.] A fish, a species of Coryphaena, of the order of thoracics, found about the Bahamas, and on the coast of Cuba.

BLUE-HAIRED, a. Having hair of a blue color.

BLUE-JOHN, n. Among miners, fluor spar, a mineral, found in the mines of Derbyshire, and fabricated into vases and other ornamental figures.

BLUELY, adv. With a blue color.

BLUENESS, n. The quality of being blue; a blue color.

BLUE-THROAT, n. [blue and throat.] A bird with a tawny breast, marked with a sky-blue crescent, inhabiting the northern parts of Europe and Asia.

BLUE-VEINED, a. Having blue veins or streaks.

BLUFF, a. [Eng. leap, from shooting forward.] surly; blustering.

BLUFF, n. A high bank, almost perpendicular, projecting into the sea; a high bank presenting a steep front.

BLUFF-BOWED, a. [bluff and bow.] Having broad and flat bows.

BLUFF-HEADED, a. [bluff and head.] Having an upright stem.

BLUFFNESS, n. A swelling or bloatedness; surliness.

BLUISH, a. Blue in a small degree.

BLUISHNESS, n. A small degree of blue color.

BLUNDER, v.i. [This word seems to be allied to the Gr., to err, and to flounder. The sense of the latter is to move with sudden jerks, and irregular motions.]

1. To mistake grossly; to err widely or stupidly.

2. To move without direction, or steady guidance; to plunge at an object; to move, speak or write with sudden and blind precipitance; as, to blunder upon a reason; to blunder round a meaning.

3. To stumble, as a horse; a common use of the word.

BLUNDER, n. A mistake through precipitance, or without due exercise of judgment; a gross mistake.

BLUNDERBUSS, n. [blunder.] A short gun or fire-arm, with a large bore, capable of holding a number of balls, and intended to do execution without exact aim.

BLUNDERER, n. One who is apt to blunder, or to make gross mistakes; a careless person.

BLUNDERHEAD, n. [blunder and head.] A stupid fellow; one who blunders.

BLUNDERING, ppr. Moving or acting with blind precipitance; mistaking grossly; stumbling.

BLUNDERINGLY, adv. In a blundering manner.

BLUNT, a. [from the root of Gr. to dull.]

1. Having a thick edge or point, as an instrument; dull; not sharp.

2. Dull in understanding; slow of discernment.

3. Abrupt in address; plain; unceremonious; wanting the forms of civility; rough in manners or speech.

4. Hard to penetrate. [Unusual.]

BLUNT, v.t. To dull the edge or point, by making it thicker.

1. To repress or weaken any appetite, desire or power of the mind; to impair the force of any passion which affects the mind, or of any evil or good which affects the body; as, to blunt the edge of love, of pain, or of suffering.

Your ceaseless endeavors will be exerted to blunt the stings of pain.

BLUNTED, pp. Made dull; weakened; impaired; repressed.

BLUNTING, ppr. Making dull; repressing; impairing.

BLUNTING, n. Restraint.

BLUNTLY, adv. IN a blunt manner; coarsely; plainly; abruptly without delicacy, or the usual forms of civility.

BLUNTNESS, n. Want of edge or point; dullness; obtuseness; want of sharpness.

1. Coarseness of address; roughness of manners, rude sincerity or plainness.

BLUNTWITTED, a. [blunt and wit.] Dull; stupid.

BLUR, n. [L. luridus.] A dark spot; a stain; a blot, whether upon paper or other substance, or upon reputation.

BLUR, v.t. To obscure by a dark spot, or by any foul matter, without quite effacing.

1. To sully; to stain; to blemish; as, to blur reputation.

BLURRED, pp. Darkened or stained; obscured.

BLURRING, ppr. Darkening or staining; spotting.

BLURT, v.t. [Allied probably to flirt, to throw.]

To throw out, or throw at random, hastily, or unadvisedly; to utter suddenly or inadvertently; commonly with out, and applied to words.

BLUSH, v.i.

1. To redden in the cheeks or face; to be suddenly suffused with a red color in the cheeks or face, from a sense of guilt, shame, confusion, modesty, diffidence or surprise; followed by at or for, before the cause of blushing; as, blush at your vices; blush for your degraded country.

In the presence of the shameless and unblushing, the young offender is ashamed to blush.

2. To bear a blooming red color, or any soft bright color; as the blushing rose.

He bears his blushing honors thick upon him.

Shakespeare has used this word in a transitive sense, to make red, and it may be allowable in poetry.

BLUSH, n. A red color suffusing the cheeks only, or the face generally, and excited by confusion, which may spring from shame, guilt, modesty, diffidence or surprise.

The rosy blush of love.

1. A red or reddish color.

2. Sudden appearance; a glance; a sense taken from the sudden suffusion of the face in blushing;; as, a proposition appears absurd at first blush.

BLUSHET, n. A young modest girl. [Not used.]

BLUSHING, ppr. Reddening in the cheeks or face; bearing a bright color.

BLUSHLESS, a. Unblushing; past blushing; impudent.

BLUSHY, a. Like a blush; having the color of a blush.

BLUSTER, v.i. [Probably allied to blaze, blast.]

1. To be loud, noisy or swaggering; to bully; to purr; to swagger; as a turbulent or boasting person.

2. To roar, and be tumultuous, as wind; to be boisterous; to be windy;; to hurry.

BLUSTER, n. Noise; tumult; boasting; boisterousness; turbulence; roar of a tempest; violent wind; hurry; any irregular noise and tumult from wind, or from vanity.

BLUSTERER, n. A swaggerer; a bully; a noisy, tumultuous fellow, who makes great pretensions from vanity.

BLUSTERING, ppr. Making a noise; puffing; boasting.

BLUSTERING, a. Noisy; tumultuous; windy.

BLUSTROUS, a. Noisy; tumultuous; boastful.

BO, exclam. A word of terror; a customary sound uttered by children to frighten their fellows.

BOA, n. A genus of serpents, of the class Amphibia, the characters of which are, the belly and tail are furnished with scuta. It includes the largest species of serpent, the constrictor, sometimes 30 or 40 feet long.

BOAR, n. [L. aper, and verres.] The male of swine not castrated.

BOAR-SPEAR, n. A spear used in hunting boars.

BOAR, v.i. The manege, a horse is said to boar, when he shoots out his nose, raising it as high as his ears, and tosses his nose in the wind.


1. A piece of timber sawed thin and of considerable length and breadth, compared with the thickness, used for building and other purposes.

2. A table. The table of our rude ancestors was a piece of board, perhaps originally laid upon the knees. “Lauti cibum capiunt; separata singulis sedes, et sua cuique mensa.”

3. Entertainment; food; diet; as, the price of board is two, five, or seven dollars a week.

4. A table at which a council or court is held; hence a council, convened for business, or any authorized assembly or meeting; as a board of directors.

5. The desk of a ship; the interior part of a ship or boat; used in the phrase, on board, aboard. In this phrase however the sense is primarily the side of the ship. To go aboard is to go over the side.

6. The side of a ship.

Now board to board, the rival vessels row.

To fall over board, that is, over the side; the mast went by the board.

Board and board, side by side.

7. The line over which a ship runs between tack and tack. To make a good board, is to sail in a straight line, when close hauled.

To make short boards, is to tack frequently.

8. A table for artificers to sit or work on.

9. A table or frame for a game; as a chess board, etc.

10. A body of men constituting a quorum in session; a court, or council; as a board of trustees; a board of officers.

BOARD, v.t. To lay or spread with boards; to cover with boards.

1. To enter a ship by force in combat, which answers to storming a city or fort on land.

2. To attack; to make the first attempt upon a man. In Spenser, to accost.

3. To place at board, for a compensation, as a lodger.

4. To furnish with food, or food and lodging, for a compensation; as, a man boards ten students.

BOARD, v.i. To receive food or diet as a lodger or without lodgings, for a compensation; as, he boards at the moderate price of two dollars a week.

BOARDABLE, a. That may be boarded, as a ship.

BOARDED, pp. Covered with boards; entered by armed men, as a ship; furnished with food for a compensation.

BOARDER, n. One who has food or diet and lodging in another’s family for a reward.

1. One who boards a ship in action; one who is selected to board ships.

BOARDING, ppr. Covering with boards; entering a ship by force; furnishing or receiving board, as a lodger, for a reward.

BOARDING-SCHOOL, n. A school, the scholars of which board with the teacher.

BOARD-WAGES, n. Wages allowed to servants to keep themselves in victuals.

BOARISH, a. [from boar.] Swinish; brutal; cruel.

BOAST, v.i. [Gr. to inflate; L. fastus.]

1. To brag, or vaunt one’s self; to make an ostentatious display, in speech, of one’s own worth, property, or actions.

2. To glory; to speak with laudable pride and ostentation of meritorious persons or things.

I boast of you to them of Macedonia. St. Paul. 2 Corinthians 9:2.

Usually, it is followed by of; sometimes by in.

3. To exalt one’s self.

With your mouth you have boasted against me. Ezekiel 35:13

BOAST, v.t. To display in ostentatious language; to speak of with pride, vanity or exultation, with a view to self-commendation.

Lest men should boast their specious deeds.

1. Magnify or exalt.

They boast themselves in the multitude of their riches. Psalm 49:6.

2. To exult in confident expectation.

Boast not thyself of tomorrow. Proverbs 27:1.

BOAST, n. Expression of ostentation, pride or vanity; a vaunting.

Thou makest thy boast of the law. Romans 2:23.

1. The cause of boasting; occasion of pride, vanity, or laudable exultation.

Trial by peers is the boast of the British nation.

BOASTER, n. One who boasts, glories or vaunts ostentatiously.

BOASTFUL, a. Given to boasting; ostentatious of personal worth or actions.

BOASTING, ppr. Talking ostentatiously; glorying; vaunting.

BOASTING, n. Ostentatious display of personal worth, or actions; a glorying or vaunting.

Where is boasting then? Romans 3:27.

BOASTINGLY, adv. In an ostentatious manner; with boasting.

BOASTIVE, a. Presumptuous. [Unusual.]

BOASTLESS, a. Without ostentation.

BOAT, n.

1. A small open vessel, or water craft, usually moved by oars, or rowing. The forms, dimensions and uses of boats are very various, and some of them carry a light sail. The different kinds of boats have different names, as, long-boat, lanch, barge, pinnace, jolly-boat, cutter, yawl, ferry-boat, wherry, Moses-boat, punt, felucca, fishing-boat, perogue, etc.

2. A small vessel carrying a mast and sails; but usually described by another word, as a packet-boat, passage-boat, advice-boat, etc.

BOAT, v.t. To transport in a boat; as, to boat goods across a lake.

BOATABLE, a. Navigable for boats, or small river craft.

BOAT-BILL, n. [boat and bill.] A genus of birds, the Cancroma, of two species, the crested and the brown; but by some ornithologists, they are considered as varieties of the same species. They are of the grallic order, with a bill four inches long, not unlike a boat with the keel uppermost, or like the bowls of two spoons, with the hollow parts placed together.

BOAT-FLY or BOAT-INSECT, n. A genus of insects, hemipters, known in zoology by the generic term Notonecta.

BOAT-HOOK, n. [boat and hook.] an iron hook with a point on the back, fixed to a long pole, to pull or push a boat.

BOATING, ppr. Transporting in boats.

BOATING, n. The act of practice of transporting in boats.

1. In Persia, a punishment of capital offenders by laying them on the back in a boat which is covered, where they perish.

BOATION, n. [L. boo.] A crying out; a roar. [Not used.]

BOATMAN, BOATSMAN, n. [boat and man.] A man who manages a boat; a rower of a boat.

BOAT-ROPE, n. [boat and rope.] A rope to fasten a boat, usually called a painter.

BOAT-SHAPED, a. Having the shape of a boat; navicular; cymbiform; hollow like a boat; as the valve of some pericarps.

BOATSWAIN, n. In seamen’s language, bosn.

An officer on board of ships, who has charge of the boats, sails, rigging, colors, anchors, cables and cordage. His office is also, to summon the crew to their duty. to relieve the watch, assist in the necessary business of the ship, seize and punish offenders, etc. He has a mate who has charge of the long-boat, for setting forth and weighing anchors, warping, towing and mooring.

BOB, n. Any little round thing, that plays loosely at the end of a string, cord, or movable machine; a little ornament or pendant that hangs so as to play loosely.

Our common people apply the word to a knot of worms, on a string, used in fishing for eels.

1. The words repeated at the end of a stanza.

2. A blow; a shake or jog; a jeer or flout.

3. The ball of a short pendulum.

4. A mode of ringing.

5. A bob-wig.

BOB, v.i. To play backward and forward; to play loosely against any thing.

1. To angle, or fish for eels, or to catch eels with a bob.

BOBANCE, n. bobans’. A boasting. [Not in use.]

BOBBED, pp. Beat of shaken; cheated; gained by fraud; deluded.

BOBBIN, n. A small pin or cylindrical piece of wood, with a head, on which thread is wound for making lace. A similar instrument, bored through to receive an iron pivot, and with a border at each end, is used in spinning, to wind thread or silk on; a spool.

BOBBING, ppr. Playing back and forth; striking; cheating; angling for eels.

BOBBINWORK, n. [bobbin and work.] Work woven with bobbins.

BOB-CHERRY, n. [bob and cherry.] Among children, a play in which a cherry is hung so as to bob against the mouth.

BOBO, n. A Mexican fish, two feet long, in high esteem for food.

BOBSTAYS, n. [bob and stay.] Ropes to confine the bowsprit of a ship downward to the stem.

BOBTAIL, n. [bob and tail.] A short tail, or a tail cut short.

1. The rabble; used in contempt.

BOB-TAILED, a. Having the hair cut short.

BOB-WIG, n. [bob and wig.] A short wig.