Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



CITISIN, n. A substance of a yellow color, obtained from the seeds of the Cytisus Laburnum.


1. The native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which he resides; the freeman of a city, as distinguished from a foreigner, or one not entitled to its franchises.

2. A townsman; a man of trade; not a gentleman.

3. An inhabitant; a dweller in any city, town or place.

4. In general sense, a native or permanent resident in a city or country; as the citizens of London or Philadelphia; the citizens of the United States.

5. In the United States, a person, native or naturalized, who has the privilege of exercising the elective franchise, or the qualifications which enable him to vote for rulers, and to purchase and hold real estate.

If the citizens of the United States should not be free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.

CITIZEN, a. Having the qualities of a citizen.

CITIZENIZE, v.t. To make a citizen; to admit to the rights and privileges of a citizen.

Talleyrand was citizenized in Pennsylvania, when there in the form of an emigrant.

CITIZENSHIP, n. The state of being vested with the rights and privileges of a citizen.

CITRATE, n. In Chimistry, a neutral salt, formed by a union of the citric acid, or acid of lemons, with a base. The onion yields citrate of lime.

CITRIC, a. Belonging to lemons or limes; as citric acid.

CITRIL, n. A beautiful song bird of Italy.

CITRINATION, n. [See Citrine.] The turning to a yellow green color.

CITRINE, a. Like a citron or lemon; of a lemon color; yellow, or greenish yellow.

CITRINE, n. A species of very fine sprig crystal, of a beautiful yellow color, found in columns, and terminating in a hexangular pyramid.

CITRON, n. The fruit of the citron tree, a large species of lemon.

CITRON-TREE, n. The tree which produces the citron, of the genus Citrus. It has an upright smooth stem, with a branchy head, rising from five to fifteen feet, adorned with large, oval, spear-shaped leaves. To the same genus belong the lemon-tree, orange-tree, etc.

CITRON-WATER, n. A liquor distilled with the rind of citrons.

CITRUL, n. The pompion or pumpkin, so named from its yellow color.

CITY, n.

1. In a general sense, a large town; a large number of houses and inhabitants, established in one place.

2. In a more appropriate sense, a corporate town; a town or collective body of inhabitants, incorporated and governed by particular officers, as a mayor and aldermen. This is the sense of the word in the United States. In Great Britain, a city is said to be a town corporate that has a bishop and a cathedral church; but this is not always the fact.

3. The collective body of citizens, or the inhabitants of a city; as when we say, the city voted to establish a market, and the city repealed the vote.

CITY, a. Pertaining to a city; as city wives; a city feast; city manners.

CITY-COURT, n. The municipal court of a city, consisting of the mayor or recorder and aldermen.

CIVES, n. A species of leek, of the genus Allium.

CIVET, n. A substance, of the consistence of butter or honey, taken from a bag under the tail of the civet-cat. It is of a clear, yellowish, or brownish color; of a strong smell, and offensive when undiluted, but agreeable when a small portion is mixed with another substance. It is used as a perfume.

CIVET-CAT, n. The animal that produces civet, a species of Viverra. This animal bears a resemblance to a cat or to a fox; it is of a cinereous color, tinged with yellow, marked with dusky spots disposed in rows. It inhabits India, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Madagascar.

CIVIC, a. Literally, pertaining to a city or citizen; relating to civil affairs or honors. The civic crown, in roman affairs, was a crown or garland of oak boughs, bestowed on a soldier who had saved the life of a citizen in battle.


1. Relating to the community, or to the policy and government of the citizens and subjects of a state; as in the phrases, civil rights, civil government, civil privileges, civil war, civil justice. It is opposed to criminal; as a civil suit, a suit between citizens alone; whereas a criminal process is between the state and a citizen. It is distinguished from ecclesiastical, which respects the church; and from military, which respects the army and navy.

2. Relating to any man as a member of a community; as civil power, civil rights, the power or rights which a man enjoys as a citizen.

3. Reduced to order, rule and government; under a regular administration; implying some refinement of manners; not savage or wild; as civil life; civil society.

4. Civilized; courteous; complaisant; gentle and obliging; well-bred; affable; kind; having the manners of a city, as opposed to the rough, rude, coarse manners of a savage or clown.

Where civil speech and soft persuasion hung.

5. Grave; sober; not gay or showy.

Till civil suited morn appear.

6. Compaisant; polite; a popular colloquial use of the word.

7. Civil death, in law, is that which cuts off a man from civil society, or its rights and benefits, as banishment, outlawry, excommunication, entering into a monastery, etc., as distinguished from natural death.

8. Civil law, in a general sense, the law of a state, city or country; but in an appropriate sense, the Roman empire, comprised in the Institutes, Code and Digest of Justinian and the Novel Constitutions.

9. Civil list, the officers of civil government, who are paid from the public treasury; also, the revenue appropriated to support the civil government.

The army of James II was paid out of his civil list.

10. Civil state, the whole body of the laity or citizens, not included under the military, maritime, and ecclesiastical states.

11. Civil war, a war between people of the same state or city; opposed to foreign war.

12. Civil year, the legal year, or annual account of time which a government appoints to be used in its own dominions, as distinguished from the natural year, which is measured by the revolution of the heavenly bodies.

13. Civil architecture, the architecture which is employed in constructing buildings for the purposes of civil life, in distinction from military and naval architecture; as private houses, palaces, churches, etc.

CIVILIAN, n. [from civil.]

1. One who is skilled in the Roman law; a professor or doctor of civil law.

2. In a more extended sense, one who is versed in law and government.

3. A student of the civil law at the university.

CIVILIST, n. A civilian.


1. The state of being civilized; refinement of manners; applied to nations; as distinguished from the rudeness of barbarous nations.

2. Good breeding; politeness; complaisance; courtesy; decorum of behavior in the treatment of others, accompanied with kind offices, and attention to their wants and desires. Civility respects manners or external deportment, and in the plural, civilities denote acts of politeness.

CIVILIZATION, n. [See Civilize.]

1. The act of civilizing, or the state of being civilized; the state of being refined in manners, from the grossness of savage life and improved in arts and learning.

2. The act of rendering a criminal process civil.

CIVILIZE, v.t. To reclaim from a savage state; to introduce civility of manners among a people, and instruct them in the arts of regular life.

CIVILIZED, pp. Reclaimed from savage life and manners; instructed in arts, learning and civil manners.

Such sale of conscience and duty in open market is not reconcilable with the present state of civilized society.


1. One who civilizes; he that reclaims others from a wild and savage life, and teaches them the rules and customs of civility.

2. That which reclaims from savageness.

CIVILIZING, ppr. Reclaiming from savage life; instructing in arts and civility of manners.


1. In a manner relating to government, or to the rights or character of a member of the community.

2. In a manner relating to private rights; opposed to criminally; as a process civilly commenced for the private satisfaction of a party injured.

3. Not naturally, but in law; as a man civilly dead.

4. Politely; complaisantly; gently; with due decorum; courteously; as, we were civilly treated.

5. Without gaudy colors, or finery; as chambers furnished civilly.

CIVISM, n. Love of country; patriotism.

CIZAR, v.t. To clip with scissors.

CIZE, for size, is not in use.

CLABBER, BONNY-CLABBER, n. Milk turned, become thick or inspissated.

CLACK, v.i.

1. To make a sudden sharp noise, as by striking or cracking; to clink; to click.

2. To utter words rapidly and continually, or with sharp, abrupt sounds; to let the tongue run.


1. A sharp, abrupt sound continually repeated, such as is made by striking an object, or by bursting or cracking; continually talk; as, we do not wish to hear his clack; a common expression. Hence the word is used for the tongue, the instrument of clacking.

2. The instrument that strikes the hopper of a grist-mill, to move or shake it, for discharging the corn. And according to Johnson, a bell that rings when more corn is required to be put in.

To clack wool, is to cut off the sheeps mark, which makes it weigh less, and yield less duty.

CLACKER, n. One that clacks; that which clacks.

CLACKING, ppr. Making a sharp, abrupt sound, continually repeated; talking continually; tattling; rattling with the tongue.

CLACKING, n. A prating.

CLAD, pp. [See Clothe.] Clothed; invested; covered as with a garment.

Jeroboam had clad himself with a new garment. 1 Kings 11:29.

The fields are clad in cheerful green.

CLAIM, v.t.

1. To call for; to ask or seek to obtain, by virtue of authority, right or supposed right; to challenge as a right; to demand as due; as, to claim a debt; to claim obedience, or respect.

2. To assert, or maintain as a right; as, he claims to be the best poet of the age.

3. To have a right or title to; as, the heir claims the estate by descent; he claims a promise.

4. To proclaim.

5. To call or name.


1. A demand of a right or supposed right; a calling on another for something due, or supposed to be due; as a claim of wages for services. A claim implies a right or supposed right in the claimant to something which is in anothers possession or power. A claim may be made in words, by suit, and by other means. The word is usually preceded by make or lay; to make claim; to lay claim.

2. A right to claim or demand; a title to any debt, privilege or other thing in possession of another; as, a prince has a claim to the throne.

Homers claims to the first rank among Epic poets have rarely been disputed.

3. The thing claimed, or demanded.

4. A loud call.

CLAIMABLE, a. That may be demanded as due.


1. A person who claims; one who demands any thing as his right.

2. A person who has a right to claim, or demand.

CLAIMED, pp. Demanded as due; challenged as a right; asserted; maintained.

CLAIMER, n. A claimant; one who demands as due.

CLAIMING, ppr. Demanding as due; challenging as a right; asserting; maintaining; having a right to demand.

CLAIR-OBSCURE. [See Clare-obscure.]

CLAM, n. [See the verb.] The popular name of certain bivalvular shell-fish, of many species.

CLAM, v.t. To clog with glutinous or viscous matter.
CLAM, v.i. To be moist.

CLAM-SHELL, n. The shell of a clam.

CLAMANT, [See Claim.] Crying, beseeching.

CLAMBER, v.i. [from climb, or D. Klampen, to grapple.] To climb with difficulty, or with hands and feet.

CLAMBERING, ppr. Climbing with effort and labor.

CLAMMINESS, n. [See Clammy.] The state of being viscous; viscosity; stickiness; tenacity of a soft substance.

CLAMMY, a. [See Clam.] Thick, viscous, adhesive; soft and sticky; glutinous; tenacious; as, bodies clammy and cleaving.

Cold sweat, in clammy drops, his limbs oer-spread.


1. A great outcry; noise; exclamation; vociferation, made by a loud human voice continued or repeated, or by a multitude of voices. It often expresses complaint and urgent demand.

2. Figuratively, loud and continued noise, as of a river or other inanimate things.

CLAMOR, v.t. To stun with noise.

To clamor bells, is to multiply the strokes.

CLAMOR, v.i. To utter loud sounds, or outcries; to talk loud; to utter loud voices repeatedly; to vociferate, as an individual; to utter loud voices, as a multitude; to complain; to make importunate demands.

Those who most loudly clamor for liberty do not most liberally grant it.

Glamor your tongues in Shakespeare, if intended to mean, stop from noise, is not English. Perhaps the word was clam, or intended for a derivative.

CLAMORER, n. One who clamors.

CLAMORING, ppr. Uttering and repeating loud words; making a great and continued noise; particularly in complaint or importunate demands.

CLAMOROUS, a. Speaking and repeating loud words; noisy; vociferous; loud; turbulent.

CLAMOROUSLY, adv. With loud noise, or words.

CLAMOROUSNESS, n. The state or quality of being loud or noisy.


1. In general, something that fastens or binds; a piece of timber or of iron, used to fasten work together; or a particular manner of uniting work by letting boards into each other.

2. In ship-building, a thick plank on the inner part of a ships side, used to sustain the ends of the beams.

3. A smooth crooked plate of iron forelocked on the trunnions of a cannon to keep it fast to the carriage. Clamps are also used to strengthen masts, and to fasten the masts and bowsprits of small vessels and of boats.

4. A pile of bricks laid up for burning, in which the end of one brick is laid over another, and a space is left between the bricks for the fire to ascend.

Clamp-irons, irons used at the ends of fires to keep the fuel from falling.

Clamp-nails, nails used to fasten on clamps in ships.

CLAMP, v.t.

1. To fasten with clamps.

2. In joinery, to fit a piece of board with the grain, to the end of another piece of board across the grain; as, to clamp a table to prevent its warping.

CLAMPED, pp. United or strengthened with a clamp.

CLAMPING, ppr. Fastening or strengthening with a clamp.

CLAN, n.

1. A race; a family; a tribe. Hence, an association of persons under a chieftain.

2. In contempt, a sect, society, or body of persons closely united by some common interest or pursuit.

Note. In Russ. Kolieno signifies a knee, and a family, race or tribe. Irish glun, the knee, and a generation.

CLANCULAR, a. Clandestine; secret; private; concealed.

CLANCULARLY, adv. Privately; secretly.

CLANDESTINE, a. Secret; private; hidden; withdrawn from public view. It often bears an ill sense, as implying craft or deception, or evil design.

CLANDESTINELY, adv. Secretly; privately; in secret.

CLANDESTINENESS, n. Secrecy; a state of concealment.

CLANG, v.t. To make a sharp, shrill sound, as by striking metallic substances; or to strike with a sharp sound.

They clanged their sounding arms.

CLANG, n. A sharp, shrill sound, made by striking together metallic substances, or sonorous bodies, as the clang of arms; or any like sound, as the clang of trumpets. This word implies a degree of harshness in the sound, or more harshness than clink.

CLANGOR, n. A sharp, shrill, harsh sound. [See Clang.]

CLANGOROUS, a. Sharp, or harsh in sound.

CLANGOUS, a. Making a clang, or a shrill, or harsh sound.

CLANISH, a. Closely united, like a clan; disposed to adhere closely, as the members of a clan.

CLANISHNESS, n. Close adherence or disposition to unite, as a clan.

CLANK, n. [See Clang.] The loud, shrill, sharp sound, made by a collision of metallic or other sonorous bodies.

CLANK, v.t. To make a sharp, shrill sound; to strike with a sharp sound; as, the prisoners clank their chains.

CLANSHIP, n. A state of union, as in a family, or clan; an association under a chieftain.

CLAP, v.t.

1. To strike with a quick motion, so as to make a noise by the collision; to strike with something broad, or having a flat surface; as, to clap the hands; to clap the wings.

2. To thrust or drive together; to shut hastily; followed by to; as, to clap to the door or gate.

3. To thrust or drive together; to put one thing to another by a hasty or sudden motion; followed by to, on or in; as, to clap the hand to the mouth; to clap spurs to a horse; to clap on a saddle.

4. To thrust; to put, place or send; followed by in, into, under, over, etc.; as, to clap one under the hatches; to clap one into Bedlam; to clap a board over a pit.

5. To applaud; to manifest approbation or praise by striking the hands together; as, to clap a performance on the stage.

6. To infect with venereal poison.

To clap up, to make or complete hastily; as, to clap up a peace.

To imprison hastily, or with little delay.

CLAP, v.i.

1. To move or drive together suddenly with noise.

The doors around me clapt.

2. To enter on with alacrity and briskness; to drive or thrust on; as we say to reapers or mowers, clap in, or clap to, that is, enter on the work, begin without delay, begin briskly.

3. To strike the hands together in applause.

Bid them clap.

CLAP, n.

1. A driving together; a thrust and collision of bodies with noise, usually bodies with broad surfaces.

Give the door a clap.

2. A sudden act or motion; a thrust.

Pay all debts at one clap.

3. A burst of sound; a sudden explosion; as a clap of thunder.

4. An act of applause; a striking of hands to express approbation.

5. A venereal infection.

6. With falconers, the nether part of the beak of a hawk.

CLAP-BOARD, n. A thin narrow board for covering houses. In England, according to Bailey, a clapboard is also what in America is called a stave for casks.

CLAP-DISH, n. A wooden bowl or dish.

CLAP-DOCTOR, n. One who is skilled in healing the clap.

CLAP-NET, n. A net for taking larks, united with a looking glass.

CLAPPED, pp. Thrust or put on or together; applauded by striking the hands together; infected with the venereal disease.


1. A person who claps, or applauds by clapping.

2. That which strikes, as the tongue of a bell, or the piece of wood that strikes a mill-hopper.

CLAPPER-CLAW, v.t. [slap and claw.] To scold; to abuse with the tongue; to revile.

CLAPPING, ppr. Driving or putting on, in, over, or under, by a sudden motion; striking the hands together.

CLARE, n. A nun of the order of St. Clare.

CLARENCEUX, CLARENCIEUX, n. In Great Britain, the second king at arms, so called from the duke of Clarence, and appointed by Edward IV. His office is to marshal and dispose the funerals of all baronets, knights and esquires, on the south of the river Trent.

CLARE-OBSCURE, n. Light and shade in painting; or the particular distribution of the lights and shades of a piece, with respect to the ease of the eye and the effect of the whole piece; also, a design of two colors.

CLARET, n. A species of French wine, of a clear pale red color.

CLARICHORD, n. A musical instrument in form of a spinet, called also manichord. It has forty nine or fifty stops or keys, and seventy strings; some of the latter being in unison. There are several little mortises for passing the jacks, armed with brass hooks, which stop and raise the chords, instead of the feather used in virginals and spinets. The chords are covered with pieces of cloth, which deaden the sound and render it sweeter. Hence it is particularly used by nuns.

CLARIFICATION, n. [See Clarify.] The act of clearing; particularly the clearing or fining of liquid substances from all feculent matter.

CLARIFIED, pp. Purified; made clear or fine; defecated.


1. That which clarifies or purifies; as, whites of eggs, blood and isinglass are clarifiers of liquors.

2. A vessel in which liquor is clarified.


1. To make clear; to purify from feculent matter; to defecate; to fine; applied particularly to liquors; as, to clarify wine, or syrup.

2. To make clear; to brighten or illuminate; applied to the mind or reason.


1. To clear up; to grow clear or bright.

His understanding clarifies, in discoursing with another.

2. To grow or become clear or fine; to become pure, as liquors. Cider clarifies by fermentation.

CLARIFYING, ppr. Making clear, pure or bright; defecating; growing clear.

CLARINET, n. A wind instrument of music.

CLARION, n. A kind of trumpet, whose tube is narrower and its tone more acute and shrill than that of the common trumpet.

CLARITUDE, n. Clearness, brightness; splendor.

CLARY, v.i. To make a loud or shrill noise.

CLARY, n. A plant of the genus Salvia, or sage.

CLARY-WATER, n. A composition of brandy, sugar, clary-glowers, and cinnamon, with a little ambergris dissolved in it. It is a cardiac and helps digestion.

CLASH, v.i.

1. To strike against; to drive against with force.

Note. The sense of this word is simply to strike against or meet with force; but when two sounding bodies strike together, the effect is a sound. Hence the word often implies, to strike with a noise, as clashing arms.

2. To meet in opposition; to be contrary; to act in a contrary direction; to interfere, as opposing persons, minds, views, interests, etc.; as, the opinions of men clash; clashing interests.

Independent jurisdictions--could not fail to clash.

CLASH, v.t. To strike one thing against another, with sound.

1. A meeting of bodies with violence; a striking together with noise; collision, or noisy collision of bodies; as the clash of arms.

2. Opposition; contradiction; as between differing or contending interests, views, purposes, etc.

CLASHING, ppr. Striking against with noise; meeting in opposition; opposing; interfering.

CLASHING, n. A striking against; collision of bodies; opposition.


1. A hook for fastening; a catch; a small hook to hold together the covers of a book, or the different parts of a garment, of a belt, etc.

2. A close embrace; a throwing of the arms round.

CLASP, v.t.

1. To shut or fasten together with a clasp.

2. To catch and hold by twining; to surround and cling to; as the clasping ivy.

3. To inclose and hold in the hand; or simply to inclose or encompass with the fingers.

4. To embrace closely; to throw the arms round; to catch with the arms.

5. To inclose, and press.