Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary




1. Selected from a number; picked out; taken in preference; elected; predestinated; designated to office.

2. Select; distinguished by preference; eminent.

His chosen captains are drowned in the sea. Exodus 15:4.

Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. 1 Peter 2:9.

CHOUGH, n. The Cornish chough is a fowl of the genus Corvus, nearly of the size of the crow, and mischievous, like the magpie. It is black, except the bill, legs and feet, which are red. It is a native of the west of England.

Couch is also applied to the jackdaw.

CHOULE. [See Jowl.]

CHOUSE, v.t. To cheat, trick, defraud; followed by of, in Hudibras; but in America, by out of; as, to chouse one out of his money.

CHOUSE, n. One who is easily cheated; a tool; a simpleton.

A trick; sham; imposition.

CHOUSED, pp. Cheated; defrauded; imposed on.

CHOUSING, ppr. Cheating; imposing on.

CHOWDER, n. In New England, a dish of fish boiled with biscuit, etc. In Spanish, chode is a paste made of mild, eggs, sugar and flour. In the west of England, chowder-beer is a liquor made by boiling black spruce in water and mixing with it melasses.

CHOWDER, v.t. To make a chowder.

CHOWTER, v.t. To grumble like a frog or a froward child.

CHRISM, n. Unguent; unction. In the Romish and Greek churches, oil consecrated by the bishop, and used in the administration of baptism, confirmation, ordination, and extreme unction. It is prepared on holy Thursday with much ceremony, and in some cases, mixed with balsam.

CHRISMAL, a. Pertaining to chrism.

CHRISMATION, n. The act of applying the chrism, or consecrated oil; in baptism, by the priest; in confirmation, by the bishop. In ordination, it is usually styled unction.

CHRISMATORY, n. A vessel to hold the oil for chrism.

CHRISOM, n. [See Chrism.] a child that dies within a month after its birth; so called from the chrisom-cloth, a linen cloth anointed with holy oil, which was formerly laid over a childs face when it was baptized. Also, the cloth itself.

CHRIST, n. THE ANOINTED; an appellation given to the Savior of the World, and synonymous with the Hebrew Messiah. It was a custom of antiquity to consecrate persons to the sacerdotal and regal offices by anointing them with oil.


1. To baptize, or rather to baptize and name; to initiate into the visible church of Christ by the application of water; applied to persons. And as a name is given to the person in the ceremony, hence,

2. To name; to denominate; applied to things.


1. The territories, countries or regions inhabited by Christians, or those who profess to believe in the Christian religion.

2. The whole body of Christians.

3. Christianity; the Christian religion; as, while Christendom prevailed.

CHRISTENED, pp. Baptized and named; initiated into Christianity.

CHRISTENING, ppr. The act or ceremony of baptizing and naming; initiation into the Christian religion.


1. A believer in the religion of Christ.

2. A professor of his belief in the religion of Christ.

3. A real disciple of Christ; one who believes in the truth of the Christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety.

4. In a general sense, the word Christians includes all who are born in a Christian country or of Christian parents.

CHRISTIAN, a. [See the noun.]

1. Pertaining to Christ, taught by him, or received from him; as the Christian religion; Christian doctrines.

2. Professing the religion of Christ; as a Christian friend.

3. Belonging to the religion of Christ; relating to Christ, or to his doctrines, precepts and example; as christian profession and practice.

4. Pertaining to the church; ecclesiastical; as courts Christian.

CHRISTIAN, v.t. To baptize.


1. The Christian religion.

2. The nations professing Christianity.

CHRISTIANITE, n. A newly discovered Vesuvian mineral; its primitive form is that of an oblique rectangular prism; its colors brown, yellow or reddish.

CHISTIANITY, n. [See Christian, from Christ.] The religion of Christians; or the system of doctrines and precepts taught by Christ, and recorded by the evangelists and apostles.

Whilst politicians are disputing about monarchies, aristocracies, and republics, Christianity is alike applicable, useful and friendly to them all.

CHRISTANIZE, v.t. To make Christian; to convert to Christianity; as, to Christianize pagans.

CHRISTIANLIKE, a. Becoming a Christian.

CHRISTIANLY, adv. In a Christian manner; in a manner becoming the principles of the Christian religion, or the profession of that religion.

CHRISTIAN-NAME, n. The name given in baptism, as distinct from the gentilitious or surname.

CHRISTIANOGRAPHY, n. A description of Christian nations.


1. The festival of the Christian church observed annually on the 25th day of December, in memory of the birth of Chris, and celebrated by a particular church service. The festival includes twelve days

2. Christmas-day.

CHRISTMAS-BOX, n. A box in which little presents are deposited at Christmas.

CHRISTMAS-DAY, n. The twenty fifth day of December, when Christmas is celebrated.


CHRISTMAS-ROSE, n. A plant of the genus Helleborus, producing beautiful white flowers about Christmas.

CHRIST’S-THORN, n. The Rhamnus paliurus, a deciduous shrub, a native of Palestine and the South of Europe. It has two thorns at each joint, and is supposed to have been the sort of which the crown of thorns for our Savior was made.

CHROASTACES, n. In natural history, a genus of pellucid gems, comprehending all those of variable colors, as viewed in different lights.

CHROMATE, n. [See Chrome.] A salt or compound formed by the chromic acid with a base.


1. Relating to color.

2. Noting a particular species of music, which proceeds by several semitones in succession.

CHROMATICALLY, adv. In the chromatic manner.

CHROMATICS, n. The science of colors; that part of optics which treats of the properties of the colors of light and of natural bodies.

CHROME, n. A metal consisting of a porous mass of agglutinated grains, very hard, brittle, and of a grayish white color. Its texture is radiated. In its highest degree of oxydation, it passes into the state of an acid, of a ruby red color. It takes its name from the various and beautiful colors which its oxyd and acid communicate to minerals into whose composition they enter. Chrome is employed to give a fine deep green to the enamel of porcelain, to glass, etc.

The oxyd of Chrome is of a bright grass green or pale yellow color.

CHROMIC, a. Pertaining to chrome, or obtained from it; as chromic acid.

Chromic yellow, the artificial chromate of lead, a beautiful pigment.

CHRONIC, CHRONICAL, a. Continuing a long time, as a disease. A chronic disease is one which is inveterate or of long continuance, in distinction from an acute disease, which speedily terminates.

CHRONICLE, n. [See Chronic.]

1. A historical account of facts or events disposed in the order of time. It is nearly synonymous with annals. In general, this species of writing is more strictly confined to chronological order, and is less diffuse than the form of writing called history.

2. In a more general sense, a history.

3. That which contains history.

Europe - her very ruins tell the history of times gone by, and every moldering stone is a chronicle.

4. Chronicles, plu. Two books of the Old Testament.

CHRONICLE, v.t. To record in history, or chronicle; to record; to register.

CHRONICLER, n. A writer of a chronicle; a recorder of events in the order of time; a historian.

CHRONIQUE, n. A chronicle.

CHRONOGRAM, n. An inscription in which a certain date or epoch is expressed by numeral letters; as in the motto of a medal struck by Gustavus Adolphus in 1632: ChrIstVs DVX; ergo trIVMphVs.

CHRONOGRAMMATIC, CHRONOGRAMMATICAL, a. Belonging to a chronogram, or containing one.

CHRONOGRAMMATIST, n. A writer of chronograms.

CHRONOGRAPHER, n. One who writes concerning time or the events of time; a chronologer.

CHRONOGRAPHY, n. The description of time past.


1. A person who attempts to discover the true dates of past events and transactions, and to arrange them under their proper years, or divisions of time, in the order in which they happened.

2. One who studies chronology, or is versed in the science.

CHRONOLOGIC, CHRONOLOGICAL, a. Relating to chronology; containing an account of events in the order of time; according to the order of time.

CHRONOLOGICALLY, adv. In a chronological manner; in a manner according with the order of time, the series of events, or rules of chronology.

CHRONOLOGY, n. The science of time; the method of measuring, or computing time by regular divisions or periods, according to the revolutions of the sun, or moon; of ascertaining the true periods or years when past events or transactions took place; and arranging them in their proper order according to their dates.

If history without chronology is dark and confused; chronology without history is dry and insipid.

CHRONOMETER, n. Any instrument that measures time or that divides time into equal portions, or that is used for that purpose, as a clock, watch or dial; particularly an instrument that measures time with great exactness.

CHRYSALID, n. [See Chrysalis.]

CHRYSALIS, n. The particular form which butterflies, moths, and some other insects assume, before they arrive at their winged or perfect state. It is called also aurelia, from aurum, gold. In this form, the animal is in a state of rest or insensibility; having no organs for taking nourishment, nor wings, nor legs. The external covering is cartilaginous, and usually smooth and glossy; sometimes hairy. The name is taken from the yellow color of certain species; but they are of different colors, as green, black, etc.

CHRYSOBERYL, n. A siliceous gem, of a dilute yellowish green color.

Chrysoberyl, the cymophane of Hauy, is a mineral usually found in round pieces, about the size of a pea; but it is also found crystalized in eight-sided prisms. It is next to the sapphire in hardness, and employed in jewelry.

CHRYSOCOLLA, n. Carbonate of copper, of two subspecies, the blue and the green; formerly called blue and green chrysocolla, also mountain blue and mountain green. It occurs in crystals, stalactites and other forms.

CHRYSOLITE, n. A mineral, called by Hauy and Brongniart, peridote and by Jameson, prismatic chrysolite. Its prevailing color is some shade of green. It is harder than glass, but less hard than quartz; often transparent, sometimes only translucent. It occurs sometimes in crystals, sometimes in small amorphous masses or grains, and sometimes in rolled pieces.

CHRYSOPRASE, n. A mineral, a subspecies of quartz. Its color is commonly apple green, and often extremely beautiful. It is translucent, or sometimes semi-transparent; its fracture even and dull, sometimes a little splintery, sometimes smooth and slightly conchoidal; its harness a little inferior to that of flint.

CHUB, n. A river fish, called also cheven, of the genus Cyprinus. The body is oblong, nearly round; the head and back, green; the sides silvery, and the belly white. It frequents deep holes in rivers shaded by trees; but in warm weather floats near the surface, and furnishes sport for anglers. It is indifferent food.

CHUBBED, CHUBBY, a. Like a chub; short and thick.

CHUB-FACED, a. Having a plump round face.

CHUCK, v.i. To make the noise of a hen or partridge, when she calls her chickens.

CHUCK, v.t. To call, as a hen her chickens.
CHUCK, v.i. To jeer; to laugh. [See Chuckle.]
CHUCK, v.t.

1. To strike, or give a gentle blow; as, to chuck one under the chin.

2. To throw, with quick motion, a short distance; to pitch.


1. The voice or call of a hen.

2. A sudden small noise.

3. A word of endearment, corrupted from chick, chicken.

CHUCK-FARTHING, n. A play in which a farthing is pitched into a hole.


1. To call, as a hen her chickens.

2. To fondle; to cocker.

CHUCKLE, v.i. To laugh heartily, or convulsively; to shake with laughter, or to burst into fits of laughter.

CHUCKLE-HEAD, n. A vulgar word in America, denoting a person with a large head, a dunce. Bailey says, a rattling, noisy, empty fellow.

CHUD, v.t. To champ; to bite.

CHUET, n. Forced meat.

CHUFF, n. A clown; a coarse, heavy, dull or surly fellow.

CHUFFILY, adv. In a rough, surly manner; clownishly.

CHUFFINESS, n. Surliness.

CHUFFY, a. Blunt; clownish; surly; angry; stomachful. In New England, this word expresses that displeasure which causes a swelling or surly look and grumbling, rather than heat and violent expressions of anger.

CHUK, n. A word used in calling swine. It is the original name of that animal, which our ancestors brought with them from Persia, where it is still in use, Pers. Chuk, Zend, chuk, a hog; Sans. Sugara. Our ancestors, while in England, adopted the Welsh hwc, hog, but chuck is retained in our popular name of woodchuck, that is, wood hog. This is a remarkable proof of the original seat of the Teutonic nations. I have taken chuk from Adelung. The French cochon may be the same word.

CHUM, n. A chamber-fellow; one who lodges or resides in the same room; a word used in colleges.

CHUMP, n. A short, thick, heavy piece of wood, less than a block.

CHUNK, n. A short thick piece of wood. [Colloquial.]


1. A house consecrated to the worship of God, among Christians; the Lords house. This seems to be the original meaning of the word. The Greek, to call out or call together, denotes an assembly or collection. But, Lord, a term applied by the early Christians to Jesus Christ; and the house in which they worshipped was named from the title. So church goods, bona ecclesiastica; the Lords day, dies dominica.

2. The collective body of Christians, or of those who profess to believe in Christ, and acknowledge him to be the Savior of mankind. In this sense, the church is sometimes called the Catholic or Universal Church.

3. A particular number of christens, united under one form of ecclesiastical government, in one creed, and using the same ritual and ceremonies; as the English church; the Gallican church; the Presbyterian church; the Romish church; the Greek church.

4. The followers of Christ in a particular city or province; as the church of Ephesus, or of Antioch.

5. The disciples of Christ assembled for worship in a particular place, as in a private house. Colossians 4:15.

6. The worshipers of Jehovah or the true God, before the advent of Christ; as the Jewish church.

7. The body of clergy, or ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity. Hence, ecclesiastical authority.

8. An assembly of sacred rulers convened in Christs name to execute his laws.

9. The collective body of Christians, who have made a public profession of the Christian religion, and who are untied under the same pastor; in distinction from those who belong to the same parish, or ecclesiastical society, but have made no profession of their faith.

CHURCH, v.t. To perform with any one the office of returning thanks in the church, after any signal deliverance, as from the dangers of childbirth.

CHURCH-ALE, n. A wake or feast commemoratory of the dedication of the church.

CHURCH-ATTIRE, n. The habit in which men officiate in divine service.

CHURCH-AUTHORITY, n. Ecclesiastical power; spiritual jurisdiction.

CHURCH-BENCH, n. The seat in the porch of a church.

CHURCH-BURIAL, n. Burial according to the rites of the church.

CHURCH-DISCIPLINE, n. Discipline of the church, intended to correct the offenses of its members.

CHURCHDOM, n. The government or authority of the church.

CHURCH-FOUNDER, n. He that builds or endows a church.

CHURCH-HISTORY, n. History of the Christian church; ecclesiastical history.

CHURCHING, n. The act of offering thanks in church after childbirth.

CHURCH-LAND, n. Land belonging to a church.

CHURCHLIKE, a. Becoming the church.


1. An ecclesiastic or clergyman; one who ministers in sacred things.

2. An episcopalian, as distinguished from a presbyterian or congregationalist, etc.

CHURCH-MEMBER, n. A member in communion with a church; a professor of religion.


1. The service of singing or chanting in a church.

2. Music suited to church service.

CHURCHSHIP, n. Institution of the church.

CHURCH-WARDEN, n. A keeper or guardian of the church, and a representative of the parish. Church-wardens are appointed by the minister, or elected by the parishioners, to superintend the church, its property and concerns, and the behavior of the parishioners. For these and many other purposes, they possess corporate powers.

CHURCH-WAY, n. The way, street or road that leads to the church.

CHURCH-WORK, n. Work carried on slowly.

CHURCH-YARD, n. The ground adjoining to a church in which the dead are buried; a cemetery.


1. A rude, surly, ill-bred man.

2. A rustic; a countryman, or laborer.

3. A miser; a niggard. Isaiah 32:5, 7.


1. Rude; surly; austere; sullen; rough in temper; unfeeling; uncivil.

2. Selfish; narrow-minded; avaricious.

3. [Of things.] Unpliant; unyielding; cross-grained; harsh; unmanageable; as churlish metal.

4. Hard; firm; as a churlish knot.

5. Obstinate; as a churlish war.

CHURLISHLY, adv. Rudely; roughly; in a churlish manner.