Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



BRACER, n. That which braces, binds or makes firm; a band or bandage; also, armor for the arm.

1. An astringent medicine, which gives tension or tone to any part of the body.

BRACH, n. A bitch of the hound kind.

BRACHIAL, a. [L. brachium, form the Celtic braic, brac, the arm.]

Belonging to the arm; as the brachial artery.

BRACHIATE, a. [See Brachial.] In botany, having branches in pairs, decussated, all nearly horizontal, and each pair at right angles with the next.

BRACHMAN, BRAMIN, n. An ancient philosopher of India. The brachmans are a branch of the ancient gymnosophists, and remarkable for the severity of their lives and manners.

BRACHYGRAPHER, n. [See the next word.] A writer in short hand.

BRACHYGRAPHY, n. [Gr. short, and a writing.] The art or practice of writing in shorthand; stenography.

BRACHYLOGY, n. [Gr. short, and expression.] In rhetoric, the expressing of any thing in the most concise manner.

BRACK, n. An opening caused by the parting of any solid body; a breach; a broken part.

BRACKEN, n. Fern. [See Brake.]

BRACKET, [Heb. to bend the knee; hence it signifies the knee.]

1. Among workers in timber, an angular wooden stay, in form of the knee bent, to support shelves, scaffolds and the like.

2. The cheek of a mortar carriage, made of strong plank.

3. In printing, hooks; thus, [].

BRACKISH, a. [Gr. to water.] Salt, or salt in a moderate degree; it is applied to any water partially saturated with salt.

BRACKISHNESS, n. The quality of being brackish; saltness in a small degree.

BRACKY, a. Brackish. [Not used.]

BRACTEA, BRACTE, n. [L. Ainswroth writes, bractea or brattea.]

In botany, a floral leaf, one of the seven fulcrums or props of plants. It differs from other leaves in shape and color, and is generally situated on the peduncle, so near the corol, as easily to be mistaken for the calyx.

In the Asiatic Researches, 4.354, this word is anglicized, and written bract.

BRACTEATE, a. [from bractea.] Furnished with bractes.

BRACTED, a. Furnished with bractes.

BRACTEOLE, n. A little bract.

BRACTEOLATE, a. Furnished with bracteoles.

BRAD, in Sax., is broad, and occurs in names; as in Bradford, broadford.

BRAD, n. A particular kind of nail, used in floors and other work, where it is deemed proper to drive nails entirely into the wood. For this purpose, it is made without a broad head or shoulder over the shank.

BRADYPUS, n. The sloth, which see.

BRAG, v.i. [Eng. to brag.]

To boast; to display one’s actions, merits or advantages ostentatiously; to tell boastful stories; followed by of; as, to brag of a good horse, or of a feat.

To brag on is vulgar; indeed the word itself is become low, and is not to be used in elegant composition.

BRAG, n. A boast, or boasting; ostentatious verbal display of one’s deeds, or advantages; the thing boasted.

Spenser has used this word as an adverb for proudly.

BRAG, n. A game at cards.

BRAGGADOCIO, n. A puffing, boasting fellow.

BRAGGARDISM, n. Boastfulness; vain ostentation.

BRAGGART, n. [brag and art, ard, kind.] A boaster; a vain fellow.

BRAGGART, a. Boastful; vainly ostentatious.

BRAGGER, n. One who brags; a boaster.

BRAGGET, n. A liquor made by fermenting the wort of ale and mead.

BRAGGING, ppr. Boasting.

BRAGGINGLY, adv. Boastingly.

BRAGLESS, a. Without bragging, or ostentation. [Unusual.]

BRAGLY, adv. Finely; so as it may be bragged of. [Not used.]

BRAHMANIC, a. Pertaining to the Brachmans or Bramins of India.

BRAID, v.t. [Old Eng. brede.]

1. To weave or infold three or more strands to form one.

2. To reproach. [See Upbraid.]

BRAID, n. A string, cord or other texture, formed by weaving together different strands.

1. A start.

BRAID, a. Deceitful.

Chaucer used the Saxon word brede, to deceive. This is the figurative sense of braid.


1. A piece of leather to bind up a hawk’s wing.

2. In navigation, brails are ropes passing through pulleys, on the mizen mast and yard, and fastened to the aftmost leech of the sail in different places, to truss it up close. Also, all ropes employed to haul up the bottoms, lower corners and skirts of the other great sails, for the more ready furling of them.

BRAIL, v.t. To brail up, is to haul up into the brails, or to truss up with the brails.

BRAIN, n. [Gr. properly the fore part of the head or sinciput, also the brain.]

1. That soft whitish mass, or viscus, inclosed in the cranium or skull, in which the nerves and spinal marrow terminate, and which is supposed to be the seat of the soul or intelligent principle in man. It is divided above into a right and left hemisphere, and below into six lobes. It is composed of a cortical substance, which is external, and a medullary, which is internal. From the brain proceed nine pair of nerves, which are distributed principally to the head and neck.

2. The understanding.

3. The affections; fancy; imagination. [Unusual.]

BRAIN, v.t. To dash out the brains; to kill by beating out the brains.

1. To conceive; to understand. [Not used.]

BRAINISH, a. Hot-headed; furious; as L. cerebrosus.

BRAINLESS, a. Without understanding; silly; thoughtless; witless.

BRAINPAN, n. [brain and pan.] The skull which incloses the brain.

BRAINSICK, a. [brain and sick.] Disordered in the understanding; giddy; thoughtless.

BRAINSICKLY, adv. Weakly; with a disordered understanding.

BRAINSICKNESS, n. Disorder of the understanding; giddiness; indiscretion.

BRAIT, n. Among jewelers, a rough diamond.

BRAKE, pp. of break. [See Break.]

BRAKE, n. [L. erica; Gr. to break.]

1. Brake is a name given to fern, or rather to the female fern, a species of cryptogamian plants, of the genus Pteris, whose fructification is in lines under the margin of the leaf or frond.

2. A place overgrown with brake.

3. A thicket; a place overgrown with shrubs and brambles.

4. In the U. States, a thicket of canes, as a cane-brake; but I believe used only in composition.

BRAKE, n. [See Break.] An instrument to break flax or hemp.

1. The handle or lever by which a pump is worked; that is, brac, brachium, an arm.

2. A baker’s kneading trough.

3. A sharp bit, or snaffle.

4. A machine for confining refractory horses, while the smith is shoeing them.

5. That part of the carriage of a movable battery or engine which enables it to turn.

6. A large heavy harrow for breaking clods after plowing; called also a drag.

BRAKY, a. Full of brakes; abounding with brambles or shrubs; rough; thorny.

BRAMA, n. The bream, a fish. [See Bream.]

BRAMA, BRUMA, BRAHMA, n. [L. primus.] The chief deity of the Indian nations, considered as the creator of all things.

BRAMBLE, n. The raspberry bush or blackberry bush; a general name of the genus rubus, of which there are several species. They are armed with prickles; hence in common language, any rough, prickly shrub.

BRAMBLEBUSH, n. [bramble and bush.] The bramble, or a collection of brambles growing together.

BRAMBLED, a. Overgrown with brambles.

BRAMBLE-NET, n. [bramble and net.] A hallier, or a net to catch birds.

BRAMBLING, BRAMBLE, n. A bird, a species of fringilla, the mountain finch.

BRAMIN, BRAHMIN, n. [See Brachman.]

A priest among the Hindoos and other nations of India. There are several orders of Bramins, many of whom are very corrupt in their morals; others live sequestered from the world devoted to superstition and indolence. They are the only persons who understand the Sanscrit, or ancient language of the country, in which their sacred books are written; and to them are European nations indebted for their knowledge of the language. They worship Brama, the supposed creator of the world, but have many subordinate deities.

BRAMINESS, BRAMINEE, n. The wife of a Bramin.

BRAMINICAL, a. Pertaining to the Bramins, or their doctrines and worship; as the Braminical system.

BRAMINISM, n. The religion, or system of doctrines of the Bramins.

BRAN, n. The outer coat of wheat, rye or other farinaceous grain, separated from the flour by grinding.

BRAN-NEW, a. Properly brand-new. Quite new, [fire new]; bright or shining.

BRANCARD, n. A horse litter. [Not in use.]


1. The shoot of a tree or other plant; a limb; a bough shooting from the stem, or from another branch or bough. Johnson restricts the word to a shoot from a main bough; but the definition warranted neither by etymology nor usage.

A division of a main stem, supporting the leaves and fructification.

An arm of a tree sprouting from the stem.

2. Any arm or extended part shooting or extended from the main body of a thing; as the branch of a candlestick or of an artery. Hence, from similitude, a smaller stream running into a large one, or proceeding from it. Also, the shoot of a stag’s horn; an antler.

3. Any member or part of a body, or system; a distinct article; a section or subdivision; as, charity is a branch of christian duty.

4. Any individual of a family descending in a collateral line; any descendant from a common parent or stock.

5. Branches of a bridle, two pieces of bent iron which bear the bit, the cross chains and the curb.

6. In architecture, branches of ogives are the arches of Gothic vaults, traversing from one angle to another diagonally, and forming a cross between the other arches, which make the sides of the square, of which these arches are diagonals.

7. A warrant or commission given to a pilot.

8. A chandelier.

BRANCH, v.i. To shoot or spread in branches; to ramify, as a plant, or as horns.

1. To divide into separate parts, or subdivisions, as a mountain, a stream, or a moral subject; to ramify.

2. To speak diffusively; to make many distinctions or divisions in a discourse.

3. To have horns shooting out.

BRANCH, v.t. To divide as into branches; to make subordinate divisions.

1. To adorn with needle work, representing branches, flowers, or twigs.

BRANCHED, pp. Divided or spread into branches; separated into subordinate parts; adorned with branches; furnished with branches.

BRANCHER, n. One that shoots forth branches.

1. A young hawk when it begins to leave the nest and take to the branches.

BRANCHERY, n. The ramifications or ramified vessels dispersed through the pulpy part of fruit.

BRANCHINESS, n. Fullness of branches.

BRANCHING, ppr. Shooting in branches; dividing into several subordinate parts.

BRANCHING, a. Furnished with branches; shooting out branches.

BRANCHIOSTEGOUS, a. [Gr. gills, and a covering.]

Having gill-covers, or covered gills, as a branchiostegous fish; covering the gills, as the branchiostegous membrane. The branchiostegi are an order of fish in the Linnean system, the rays of whose fins are bony, but whose gill-covers are destitute of bony rays.

BRANCH-LEAF, n. A leaf growing on a branch.

BRANCHLESS, a. Destitute of branches, or shoots; without any valuable product; barren; naked.

BRANCHLET, n. A little branch; a twig; the subdivision of a branch.

BRANCH-PEDUNCLE, n. A peduncle springing from a branch.

BRANCH-PILOT, n. A pilot who has a branch or public commission.

BRANCHY, a. Full of branches; having wide spreading branches.


1. A burning piece of wood; or a stick or piece of wood partly burnt, whether burning or after the fire is extinct.

2. A sword, either from brandishing, or from its glittering brightness; now obsolete, unless in poetry.

3. A thunder-bolt.

4. A mark made by burning with a hot iron, as upon a criminal, or upon a cask; a stigma; any note of infamy.

BRAND, v.t. To burn or impress a mark with a hot iron; as, to brand a criminal, by way of punishment; or to brand a cask or any thing else, for the purpose of fixing a mark upon it.

1. To fix a mark or character of infamy, in allusion to the branding of criminals; to stigmatize as infamous; as, to brand a vice with infamy.

BRANDED, pp. Marked with a hot iron; stigmatized.

BRAND-GOOSE, n. A species of Anas, or the goose kind; usually called in America brant or brent.

BRANDING, ppr. Impressing a mark with a hot iron; fixing a stigma or mark of reproach.

BRAND-IRON, BRANDING-IRON, n. An iron to brand with.


1. To move or wave, as a weapon; to raise, and move in various directions; to shake or flourish; as, to brandish a sword or a cane. It often indicates threatening.

2. To play with; to flourish; as, to brandish syllogisms.

BRANDISHED, pp. Raised and waved in the air with a flourish.

BRANDISHER, n. One who brandishes.

BRANDISHING, ppr. Raising and waving in the air; flourishing.

BRANDLING, n. A kind of worm.

BRAND-NEW, a. Quite new; bright as a brand of fire.

BRANDY, n. An ardent spirit distilled from wine. The same name is now given to spirit distilled from other liquors, and in the U. States particularly to that which is distilled from cyder and peaches.

BRANDY-WINE, n. Brandy.

BRANGLE, n. [L. frendeo.] A wrangle; a squabble; a noisy contest or dispute.

BRANGLE, v.i. To wrangle; to dispute contentiously; to squabble.

BRANGLEMENT, n. Wrangle; brangle.

BRANGLING, n. A quarrel.


1. Buckwheat, a species of polygonum; a grain cultivated mostly for beasts and poultry; but in the U. States, the flour is much used for making breakfast cakes.

2. In some parts of England and Scotland, a scolding-bridle, an instrument for correcting scolding women. It consists of a headpiece, which incloses the head of the offender, and of a sharp iron which enters the mouth and restrains the tongue.

BRANKURSINE, n. [brank and ursus, a bear.]

Bear’s-breech, or acanthus, a genus of plants of several species. The leaves of the common sort are said to have furnished the model of the Corinthian capitals.

BRANLIN, n. A species of fish of the salmon kind, in some places called the fingry, from five or six black lines or marks on each side resembling fingers. It is found in rapid streams.

BRANNY, a. [from bran.] Having the appearance of bran; consisting of bran.

BRANSLE, n. A brawl, or dance. [Not used.]

BRANT, n. A species of anas or the goose kind; called also brent and brand-goose, which see.

BRANT, a. Steep.

BRASEN, a. brazn. Made of brass. [See Brass and Brazen.]

BRASIER, n. brazhur. An artificer who works in brass.

1. A pan for holding coals.

BRASIL. [See Brazil.]


1. An alloy of copper and zink, of a yellow color; usually containing about one third of its weight of zink, but the proportions are variable. The best brass is made by cementation of calamine or the oxyd of zink with granulated copper.

2. Impudence; a brazen face.

BRASSE, n. The pale spotted perch, with two long teeth on each side; the lucio-perca.

BRASSICA, n. [L.] Cabbage.

BRASSINESS, n. A quality of brass; the appearance of brass.

BRASS-PAVED, a. Hard as brass.

BRASS-VISAGED, a. Impudent.