Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



CHECKLESS, a. That cannot be checked, or restrained.


1. The movement on a chess board or in the game of chess that kills the opposite men, or hinders them from moving, so that the game is finished.

2. Defeat; overthrow.

CHECK-MATE, v.t. To finish.

CHECKY, n. In heraldry, a border that has more than two rows of checkers, or when the bordure or shield is checkered, like a chess-board.


1. The side of the face below the eyes on each side.

2. Among mechanics, cheeks are those pieces of a machine which form corresponding sides, or which are double and alike; as the cheeks of a printing press, which stand perpendicular and support the three sommers, the head, shelves and winter; the cheeks of a turners lathe; the cheeks of a glaziers vise; the cheeks of a mortar, and of a gun-carriage; the cheeks of a mast, which serve to sustain the trestle trees, etc.

Cheek by jowl, closeness, proximity.

CHEEK-BONE, n. The bone of the cheek.

CHEEKED, a. Brought near the cheek.

CHEEK-TOOTH, n. The hinder tooth or tusk. Joel 1:6.

CHEEP, v.i. To chirp, as a small bird.

CHEER, v.t.

1. To salute with shouts of joy, or cheers.

2. To dispel gloom, sorrow, silence or apathy; to cause to rejoice; to gladden; to make cheerful; as, to cheer a lonely desert; the cheering rays of the sun; good news cheers the heart.

3. To infuse life; spirit, animation; to incite; to encourage; as, to cheer the hounds.

CHEER, v.i. To grow cheerful; to become gladsome, or joyous.

At sight of thee my gloomy soul cheers up.

Cheer up, my lads.


1. A shout of joy; as, they gave three cheers.

2. A state of gladness or joy; a state of animation, above gloom and depression of spirits, but below mirth, gayety and jollity.

Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee. Matthew 9:2.

Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. Acts 27:36.

3. Mirth; gayety; jollity; as at a feast.

4. Invitation to gayety.

5. Entertainment; that which makes cheerful; provisions for a feast.

The table was loaded with good cheer.

6. Air of countenance, noting a greater or less degree of cheerfulness.

His words their drooping cheer Enlightened.

CHEERED, pp. Enlivened; animated; made glad.

CHEERER, n. One who cheers; he or that which gladdens.

Thou cheerer of our days.

Prime cheerer, light.


1. Lively; animated; having good spirits; moderately joyful. This is the most usual signification of the word, expressing a degree of animation less than mirth and jollity.

2. Full of life; gay; animated; mirthful; musical; as the cheerful birds.

3. Expressive of good spirits or joy; lively; animated.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. Proverbs 15:13.

CHEERFULLY, adv. In a cheerful manner; with alacrity or willingness; readily; with life, animation or good spirits.

CHEERFULNESS, n. Life; animation; good spirits; a state of moderate joy or gayety; alacrity.

He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:8.

CHEERILY, adv. With cheerfulness; with spirit.

CHEERING, ppr. Giving joy or gladness; enlivening; encouraging; animating.

CHEERISHNESS, n. State of cheerfulness.

CHEERLESS, a. Without joy, gladness, or comfort; gloomy; destitute of any thing to enliven or animate the spirits.

CHEERLY, a. Gay; cheerful; not gloomy.

CHEERLY, adv. Cheerfully; heartily; briskly.
CHEERLY, a. Gay; sprightly; having power to make gay.

Come, let us hie, and quaff a cheery bowl.


1. The curd of milk, coagulated by rennet, separated from the serum or whey, and pressed in a vat, hoop or mold.

2. A mass of pumice or ground apples placed on a press.

CHEESE-CAKE, n. A cake made of soft curds, sugar and butter.

CHEESE-MONGER, n. One who deals in or sells cheese.

CHEESE-PARING, n. A press, or engine for pressing curd in the making of cheese.

CHEESE-PRESS, n. A press, or engine for pressing curd in the making of cheese.

CHEESE-RENNET, n. A plant, ladies bed-straw, Galium verum.

CHEESE-VAT, n. The vat or case in which curds are confined for pressing.

CHEESY, a. Having the nature, qualities, taste or form of cheese.

CHEGOE, n. A tropical insect that enters the skin of the feet and multiplies incredibly, causing an itching.

CHEIROPTER, n. An animal whose anterior toes are connected by a membrane, and whose feet thus serve for wings, as the bat.

CHELIDON, n. A brown fly with silvery wings.

CHELIFEROUS, a. Furnished with claws, as an animal.

CHELIFORM, a. Having the form of a claw.

CHELMSFORDITE, n. A mineral arranged as a subspecies of schaalstein; found in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

CHELONIAN, a. Pertaining to or designating animals of the tortoise kind.

CHELY, n. The claw of a shell-fish.

CHEMICAL. [See Chimical.]

CHEMICALLY. [See Chimically.]


1. A shift, or under garment worn by females.

2. A wall that lines the face of any work of earth.

CHEMIST. [See Chimist.]

CHEMISTRY. [See Chimistry.]

CHEQUER. [See Checker.]

CHERIFF, n. Written also Sheriff. The prince of Mecca; a high priest among the Mohammedans.

CHERISH, n. The prince of Mecca; a high priest among the Mohammedans.


1. To treat with tenderness and affection; to give warmth, ease or comfort to.

We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. 1 Thessalonians 2:7.

The damsel was fair and cherished the king. 1 Kings 1:4.

2. To hold as dear; to embrace with affection; to foster, and encourage; as, to cherish the principles of virtue; to cherish religion in the heart.

3. To treat in a manner to encourage growth, by protection, aid, attendance, or supplying nourishment; as, to cherish tender plants.

4. To harbor; to indulge and encourage in the mind; as, to cherish ill will, or any evil passion.

CHERISHED, pp. Treated with tenderness; warmed; comforted; fostered.

CHERISHER, n. One who cherishes; an encourager; a supporter.

CHERISHING, ppr. Warming; comforting; encouraging; fostering; treating with affection.

CHERISHMENT, n. Encouragement; comfort.

CHERMES. [See Kermes.]

CHERRY, n. The fruit of a tree, a species of Prunus, of which there are many varieties, as the red or garden cherry, the red heart, the white heart, the black cherry, the black heart, and several others. The fruit is a pulp inclosing a kernel. It is related that this fruit was brought from Cerasus in Pontus to Italy, after the defeat of Mithridates by Lucullus, A R. 680., and introduced into England by the Romans, about 120 years afterwards, A.D. 55.

Barbadoes cherry, is the genus Malpighia, of several species. The berries are red, cherry-shaped, acid and eatable.

Bird cherry, is a species of Prunus, the common laurel or lauro-cerasus.

Also, the Prunus padus.

Cornelian cherry, is the fruit of the Cornus, cornel-tree or dogwood. It is a small, acid, cherry-like, eatable berry.

Dwarf cherry, is the fruit of a species of Lonicera, or honey-suckle.

Hottentot-cherry, is the fruit of a species of Cassine. The fruit is a trispermous berry of a dark purple color.

Winter-cherry, is a name of the fruit of the Physalis, a genus of many species. It is a berry of the size of a small cherry, inclosed in an inflated, bladder-like calyx. This name is also given to a species of Solanum.

CHERRY, a. Like a red cherry in color; red, ruddy, blooming; as a cherry lip; cherry cheeks.
CHERRY, n. A cordial composed of cherry juice and spirit, sweetened, and diluted. The wild cherry is most generally used for this purpose, being steeped for some days in spirit, which extracts the juice of the fruit; the tincture is then sweetened and diluted to the taste. This cordial is moderately bitter and astringent. It is sometimes made of the mazzard.

CHERRY-CHEEKED, a. Having ruddy cheeks.

CHERRY-PIT, n. A childs play, in which cherry stones are thrown into a hole.

CHERRY-TREE, n. A tree whose fruit is cherries, in the more appropriate sense of the word. The name is mostly given to the common cultivated trees, and to that which produces the black wild cherry. The wood of the latter is valued for cabinet work.

CHERSONESE, n. A peninsula; a tract of land of any indefinite extent, which is nearly surrounded by water, but united to a larger tract by a neck of land or isthmus; as the Cimbric Chersonese or Jutland; the Tauric Chersonese, or Crimea.

CHERT, n. In mineralogy, a subspecies of rhomboidal quartz; called also hornstone, petrosilex or rock flint. It is less hard than common quartz; its fracture usually dull and splintery, sometimes more or less conchoidal. It is more or less translucent, sometimes at the edges, and sometimes the whole mass, if thin, has the strong translucency of certain horns. Its colors are numerous and usually dull. It is usually amorphous, sometimes globular, or in nodules. It occurs often in veins, especially metallic, in primitive mountains.

Chert is also applied to other minerals besides hornstone. Aikin calls a variety of flint, flinty chert, and the Derbyshire miners apply the term, black chert, to a fusible mineral, whereas the hornstone above described is infusible.

CHERTY, a. Like chert; flinty.

CHERUB, n. plu. Cherubs, but the Hebrew plural cherubim is also used.

A figure composed of various creatures, as a man, an ox, an eagle or lion. The first mention of cherubs is in Genesis 3:24, where the figure is not described, but their office was, with a flaming sword, to keep or guard the way of the tree of life. The two cherubs which Moses was commanded to make at the ends of the Mercy seat, were to be of beaten work of gold; and their wings were to extend over the Mercy seat, their faces towards each other, and between them was the residence of the Deity. Exodus 25:18-22. The cherubs, in Ezekiel’s vision, had each four heads or faces, the hands of a man and wings. The four faces were, the face of a bull, that of a man, that of a lion, and that of an eagle. They had the likeness of a man. Ezekiel 1:5-25; Ezekiel 10:8-22. In 2 Samuel 22:11, and Psalm 18:10, Jehovah is represented as riding on a cherub, and flying on the wings of the wind. In the celestial hierarchy, cherubs are represented as spirits next in order to seraphs. The hieroglyphical and emblematical figures embroidered on the vails of the tabernacle are called cherubs of curious or skilful work. Exodus 26:1.

CHERUBIC, a. Pertaining to cherubs; angelic.

CHERUBIM, n. The Hebrew plural of cherub.

CHERUBIN, a. Cherubic; angelic.

CHERUBIN, n. A cherub.

CHERUP, a corruption of chirp, which see.

CHERVIL, n. A genus of plants, two species of which are called cow-weed.

CHESAPEAK, n. A bay of the United States, whose entrance is between Cape Charles and Cape Henry, in Virginia, and which extends northerly into Maryland 270 miles. It receives the waters of the Susquehannah, Potomack, Rappahannock, York, and James Rivers.

CHESIBLE, n. A short vestment without sleeves, worn by a popish priest at mass.

CHESLIP, n. A small vermin that lies under stones and tiles.

CHESS, n. An ingenious game performed by two parties with different pieces, on a checkered board, that is, a board divided into sixty four squares or houses. The success of the game depends almost entirely on skill. Each gamester has eight dignified pieces, called a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, and two rooks or castles; also eight pawns. The pieces of the parties are of different colors.

CHESS, n. In New England, that weed which grows among wheat, and is supposed to be wheat degenerated or changed, as it abounds most in fields where the wheat is winter-killed. It bears some resemblance to oats. This fact is mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist. Lib. 18. Ca. 17. Primum omnium frumenti vitium avena est: et hordeum in eam degenerat. This change of wheat and barley into oats, he ascribes to a moist soil, wet weather, bad seed, etc. This opinion coincides with observations in America, as wheat is most liable to perish in moist land, and often in such places, almost all the wheat is killed, and instead of it chess often appears.

CHESS-APPLE, n. A species of wild service.

CHESS-BOARD, n. The board used in the game of chess, and from the squares of which chess has its name.

CHESS-MAN, n. A piece or puppet, for the game of chess.

CHESS-PLAYER, n. One who plays chess; one skilled din the game of chess.

CHESS-TREE, n. In ships, a piece of wood bolted perpendicularly on the side to confine the clews of the main sail.

CHESSOM, n. Mellow earth.


1. A box of wood or other material, in which goods are kept or transported. It differs from a trunk in not being covered with skin or leather.

2. The trunk of the body from the neck to the belly; the thorax. Hence, broad-chested, narrow-chested, having a broad or narrow chest.

3. In commerce, a certain quantity; as a chest of sugar; a chest of indigo; etc.

Chest of drawers is a case of movable boxes called drawers.

CHEST, v.t. To reposit in a chest; to hoard.

CHEST-FOUNDERING, n. A disease in horses, like the pleurisy or peripneumony in the human body.

CHESTNUT, n. The fruit, seed or nut of a tree belonging to the genus Fagus. It is inclosed in a prickly pericarp, which contains two or more seeds.

CHESTNUT, a. Being of the color of a chestnut; of a brown color. It is perhaps rarely used as a noun.

CHESTNUT-TREE, n. The tree which produces the chestnut. This tree grows to a great size, with spreading branches. It is one of the most valuable timber trees, as the wood is very durable, and forms in America the principal timber for fencing. The timber is also used in building, and for vessels of various kinds.

Dwarf-chestnut, or chinkapin, is another species of Fagus.

Horse-chestnut, is a tree of the genus Aesculus. The common tree of this sort is a native of the North of Asia, and admired for the beauty of its flowers. It is used for shade and ornament, and its nuts are esteemed good food for horses. The scarlet-flowering horse-chestnut is a native of Carolina, Brazil and the East, and is admired for its beauty.

The Indian Rose-chestnut, of the genus Mesua, bears a nut, roundish, pointed and marked with four elevated longitudinal sutures.

CHESTON, n. A species of plum.

CHEVACHIE, n. An expedition with cavalry.

CHEVAL DE FRISE, generally used in the plural, chevaux de frise, pronounced shevo de freez.

1. A piece of timber traversed with wooden spikes, pointed with iron, five or six feet long; used to defend a passage, stop a breach, or make a retrenchment to stop cavalry.

2. A kind of trimming.


1. A knight; a gallant young man.

2. In heraldry, a horseman armed at all points.

CHEVEN, n. A river fish, the chub.

CHEVERIL, n. A kid, or rather leather made of kid-skin; used as a noun or adjective.

CHEVERILIZE, v.t. To make as pliable as kid-leather.


1. Achievement; deed; performance; enterprize accomplished.

2. In law, a making of contracts; a bargain.

3. An unlawful agreement or contract. Isaiah 28:15, 18.

4. An agreement or composition, as an end or order set down between a creditor and his debtor.

CHEVRON, n. In heraldry, an honorable ordinary, representing two rafters of a house meeting at the top.

CHEVRONED, a. Having a chevron, or the form of it.

CHEVROTAIN, n. The smallest of the antelope kind.

CHEW, v.t.

1. To bite and grind with the teeth; to masticate, as food, to prepare it for deglutition and digestion.

2. To ruminate in the thoughts; to meditate; as, to chew revenge.

3. To champ; to bite, hold or roll about in the mouth; as, to chew tobacco.

4. To taste, without swallowing.

CHEW, v.i. To champ upon; to ruminate.

Old politicians chew on wisdom past.

CHEW, n. That which is chewed; that which is held in the mouth at once; a cud.

CHEWED, pp. Ground by the teeth; masticated.

CHEWET, n. A kind of pie, made with chopped substances.

CHEWING, ppr. Grinding with the teeth; masticating; ruminating; meditating; champing.

CHIA, n. A beautiful Mexican plant.

CHIAN, a. Pertaining to Chios, an isle in the Levant.

Chian earth, a medicinal, dense, compact kind of earth, from Chios, used anciently as an astringent, and a cosmetic.

Chian turpentine, or Cyprus turpentine, is procured from the Pistacia Terebinthus. It is of the consistence of honey, clear and of a yellowish white.

CHIASTOLITE, n. A mineral, called also macle, whose crystals are arranged in a peculiar manner. The form of the crystals is a four-sided prism, whose bases are rhombs, differing little from squares. But each crystal, when viewed at its extremities, or on a transverse section, is obviously composed of two very different substances; and its general aspect is that of a black prism, passing longitudinally through the axis of another prism which is whitish. The term macle, as the name of a distinct species, applies to the whitish prisms only.

CHIBBAL, n. A small sort of onion.


1. In law, shift; turn; trick; cavil; an abuse of judiciary proceedings, by artifices, unfair practices, or idle objections, which tend to perplex a cause, puzzle the judge, or impose on a party, and thus to delay or pervert justice.

2. In disputes, sophistry; distinctions and subtleties, that tend to perplex the question and obscure the truth.

3. Any artifice or stratagem.

CHICANE, v.i. To use shafts, cavils or artifices.

CHICANER, n. One who uses shifts, turns, evasions or undue artifices, in litigation or disputes; a caviller; a sophister; an unfair disputant.

CHICANERY, n. Sophistry; mean or unfair artifices to perplex a cause and obscure the truth.

CHICHES, n. Dwarf peas.

CHICHLING, CHICKLING-VETCH, n. A vetch or pea, of the genus Lathyrus, used in Germany for food, but inferior to other kinds.

CHICK, v.i. To sprout, as seed in the ground; to vegetate.


1. The young of fowls, particularly of the domestic hen, or gallinaceous fowls.

2. A person of tender years.

3. A word of tenderness.

CHICKEN-HEARTED, a. Timid; fearful; cowardly.