Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



CLASPED, pp. Fastened with a clasp; shut; embraced; inclosed; encompassed; caught.

CLASPER, n. He or that which clasps; usually the tendril of a vine or other plant, which twines round something for support.

CLASPERED, a. Furnished with tendrils.


1. Twining round; catching and holding; embracing; inclosing; shutting or fastening with a clasp.

2. In botany, surrounding the stem at the base, as a leaf.

CLASP-KNIFE, n. A knife which folds into the handle.


1. An order or rank of persons; a number of persons in society, supposed to have some resemblance or equality, in rank, education, property, talents, and the like; as in the phrase, all classes of men in society.

The readers of poetry may be distinguished into three classes, according to their capacity of judging.

2. A number of students in a college or school, of the same standing, or pursuing the same studies. In colleges, the students entering or becoming members the same year, and pursuing the same studies. In academies and schools, the pupils who learn the same lesson, and recite together. In some cases, students of different standings, pursuing the same studies and reciting together, or attending the same professor, or the same course of lectures.

3. Scientific division or arrangement; a set of beings or things, having something in common, or ranged under a common denomination. Hence in zoology, animals are divided into classes; as quadrupeds, fowls, fishes, etc. So in botany, plants are arranged in classes. Classes are natural or artificial; natural, when founded on natural relations, or resemblances; artificial, when formed arbitrarily, for want of a complete knowledge of natural relations.

CLASS, v.t.

1. To arrange in a class or classes; to arrange in sets, or ranks, according to some method founded on natural distinctions; to place together, or in one division, men or things which have or are supposed to have something in common.

2. To place in ranks or divisions students that are pursuing the same studies; to form into a class or classes.


1. Relating to ancient Greek and Roman authors of the first rank or estimation, which, in modern times, have been and still are studied as the best models of fine writing. Thus, Aristotle, Plato, Demosthenes, Thucydides, etc., among the Greeks, and Cicero, Virgil, Livy, Sallust, Cesar, and Tacitus, among the Latins, are classical authors. Hence,

2. Pertaining to writers of the first rank among the moderns; being of the first order; constituting the best model or authority as an author; as, Addison and Johnson are English classical writers. Hence classical denotes pure, chaste, correct, refined; as a classical taste; a classical style.

At Liverpool, Roscoe is like Pompeys column at Alexandria, towering alone in classic dignity.

3. Denoting an order of presbyterian assemblies.


1. An author of the first rank; a writer whose style is pure, correct, and refined; primarily, a Greek or Roman author of this character; but the word is applied to writers of a like character in any nation.

2. A book written by an author of the first class.


1. In the manner of classes; according to a regular order of classes, or sets.

It would be impossible to bear all its specific details in the memory, if they were not classically arranged.

2. In a classical manner; according to the manner of classical authors.

CLASSIFIC, a. Constituting a class or classes; noting classification, or the order of distribution into sets.

CLASSIFICATION, n. [See Classify.] The act of forming into a class or classes; distribution into sets, sorts or ranks.

CLASSIFIED, pp. Arranged in classes; formed into a class or classes.

CLASSIFY, v.t. To make a class or classes; to distribute into classes; to arrange in sets according to some common properties or characters.

The diseases and casualties are not scientifically classified.

CLASSIFYING, ppr. Forming a class or classes; arranging in sorts or ranks.


1. Class; order; sort.

2. A convention or assembly.


1. To make rattling sounds; to make repeated sharp sounds, as by striking sonorous bodies; as, to clatter on a shield.

2. To utter continual or repeated sharp sounds, or rattling sounds, by being struck together; as clattering arms.

3. To talk fast and idly; to run on; to rattle with the tongue.


1. To strike and make a rattling noise.

You clatter still your brazen kettle.

2. To dispute, jar or clamor.


1. A rapid succession of abrupt, sharp sounds, made by the collision of metallic or other sonorous bodies; rattling sounds.

2. Tumultuous and confused noise; a repetition of abrupt, sharp sounds.

CLATTERER, n. One who clatters; a babbler.

CLATTERING, ppr. Making or uttering sharp, abrupt sounds, as by a collision of sonorous bodies; talking fast with noise; rattling.

CLATTERING, n. A rattling noise.

CLAUDENT, a. Shutting; confining; drawing together; as a claudent muscle.

CLAUDICANT, a. Halting; limping.

CLAUDICATE, v.i. To halt or limp.

CLAUDICATION, n. A halting or limping.

CLAUSE, n. s as z. Literally, a close, or inclosure. Hence, that which is included, or contained, within certain limits.

1. In language or grammar, a member of a period or sentence; a subdivision of a sentence, in which the words are inseparably connected with each other in sense, and cannot, with propriety, be separated by a point; as, there is reason to think that he afterwards rose to favor, and obtained several honors civil and military. In this sentence are two clauses.

2. An article in a contract or other writing; a distinct part of a contract, will, agreement, charter, commission, or other writing; a distinct stipulation, condition, proviso, grant, covenant, etc.

CLAUSTRAL, a. [See Clause.] Relating to a cloister, or religious house; as a claustral prior.

CLAUSURE, n. s as z. [See Clause.]

1. The act of shutting up or confining; confinement.

2. In anatomy, an imperforated canal.


1. Club-shaped; having the form of a club; growing gradually thicker towards the top, as certain parts of a plant.

2. Set with knobs.

CLAVE, pret. Of cleave.

CLAVELLATED, a. Clavellated ashes, potash and pearlash.

CLAVIARY, n. A scale of lines and spaces in music.

CLAVICHORD, n. A musical instrument of an oblong figure, of the nature of a spinet. The strings are muffled with small bits of fine woolen cloth, to soften the sounds; used in nunneries. [See Clarichord.]

CLAVICLE, n. The collar bone. There are two clavicles, or channel bones, joined at one end to the scapula or shoulder bone, and at the other, to the sternum or breast bone.

CLAVIGER, n. One who keeps the keys of any place.

CLAW, n.

1. The sharp hooked nail of a beast, bird or other animal.

Every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud--ye shall eat. Deuteronomy 14:6.

His nails were grown like birds’ claws. Daniel 4:33.

2. The whole foot of an animal armed with hooked nails.

3. The hand, in contempt.

CLAW, v.t.

1. To pull, tear or scratch with the nails.

2. To scratch or tear in general; to tickle.

3. To flatter.

To claw off or away,

1. To scold or rail at.

2. In seamanship, to turn to windward and beat, to prevent falling on a lee shore.

3. In vulgar language, to scratch away; to get off or escape.


1. Scratched, pulled or torn with claws.

2. a. Furnished with claws.

CLAWING, ppr. Pulling, tearing or scratching with claws or nails.

CLAWLESS, a. Destitute of claws.

CLAY, n.

1. The name of certain substances which are mixtures of silex and alumin, sometimes with lime, magnesia, alkali and metallic oxyds. A species of earths which are firmly coherent, weighty, compact, and hard when dry, but stiff, viscid and ductile when moist, and smooth to the touch; not readily diffusible in water, and when mixed, not readily subsiding in it. They contract by heat. Clays absorb water greedily, and become soft, but are so tenacious as to be molded into any shape, and hence they are the materials of bricks and various vessels, domestic and chimical.

2. In poetry and in scripture, earth in general.

3. In scripture, clay is used to express frailty, liableness to decay and destruction.

They that dwell in houses of clay. Job 4:19.

CLAY, v.t.

1. To cover or manure with clay.

2. To purify and whiten with clay, as sugar.

CLAY-COLD, a. Cold as clay or earth; lifeless.


1. Covered or manured with clay.

2. Purified and whitened with clay; as clayed sugar.

CLAYES, n. plu. In fortification, wattles or hurdles made with stakes interwoven with osiers, to cover lodgments.

CLAYEY, a. Consisting of clay; abounding with clay; partaking of clay; like clay.

CLAY-GROUND, n. Ground consisting of clay, or abounding with it.

CLAYISH, a. Partaking of the nature of clay, or containing particles of it.

CLAY-LAND, CLAY-SOIL, n. Land consisting of clay, or abounding with it.

CLAY-MARL, n. A whitish, smooth, chalky clay.

CLAY-PIT, n. A pit where clay is dug.

CLAY-SLATE, n. A pit where clay is dug.

CLAY-STONE, n. A mineral, the thonstein of Werner, and indurated clay of Kirwan. It resembles compact limestone or calcarious marl. Its texture is porous, compact or slaty. Its color is gray, often tinged with yellow or blue; also rose or pale red, or brownish red, and sometimes greenish.

CLEAN, a. In a general sense, free from extraneous matter, or whatever is injurious or offensive; hence its signification depends on the nature and qualities of the substances to which it is applied.

1. Free from dirt, or other foul matter; as clean water; a clean cup; a clean floor.

2. Free from weeds or stones; as clean land; a clean garden or field.

3. Free from knots or branches; as clean timber. In America, clear is generally used.

4. Free from moral impurity; innocent.

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Job 14:4; Acts 18:6.

5. Free from ceremonial defilement. Leviticus 10:10, 14; Numbers 19:9-19.

6. Free from guilt; sanctified; holy. John 13:10, 11; Psalm 51:7, 10.

7. That might be eaten by the Hebrews. Genesis 7:2, 8; Genesis 8:20.

8. That might be used. Luke 11:41.

9. Free from a foul disease; cured of leprosy. 2 Kings 5:10-14; Matthew 8:2, 3.

10. Dextrous; adroit; not bungling; free from awkwardness; as a clean feat; a clean boxer.

11. Free from infection; as a clean ship. A clean bill of health is a certificate that a ship is clean, or free from infection.

CLEAN, adv.

1. Quite; perfectly; wholly; entirely; fully; indicating separation or complete removal of every part. The people passed clean over Jordan. Joshua 3:17. Is his mercy clean gone forever? Psalm 77:8. This use of clean is not now elegant, and not used except in vulgar language.

2. Without miscarriage; dextrously.

Pope came off clean with Homer.

CLEAN, v.t. To remove all foreign matter from; to separate from any thing whatever is extraneous to it, or whatever is foul, noxious, or offensive, as dirt or filth from the hands, body or clothes, foul matter from a vessel, weeds, shrubs and stones from a meadow; to purify. Thus, a house is cleaned by sweeping and washing; a field is cleaned by plowing and hoeing.


1. Freedom from dirt, filth, or any foul, extraneous matter.

2. Neatness of person or dress; purity.

CLEANLY, a. clenly. [from clean.]

1. Free rom dirt, filth, or any foul matter; neat; carefully avoiding filth.

2. Pure; free from mixture; innocent; as cleanly joys.

3. Cleansing; making clean; as cleanly powder.

4. Nice; artful; dextrous; adroit; as a cleanly play; a cleanly evasion.

CLEANLY, adv. In a clean manner; neatly; without filth.


1. Freedom from dirt, filth, and foreign matter; neatness.

2. Freedom from infection or a foul disease.

3. Exactness; purity; justness; correctness; used of language or style; as, cleanness of expression.

4. Purity; innocence.

In scripture, cleanness of hands denotes innocence. Cleanness of teeth denotes want of provisions. Amos 4:6.

CLEANSABLE, a. That may be lleansed.


1. To purify; to make clean; to remove filth, or foul matter of any kind, or by any process whateve, as by washing, rubbing, scouring, scraping, purging, ventilation, etc.; as, to cleanse the hands or face to cleanse a garment; to cleanse the bowels; to cleanse a ship; to cleanse an infected house.

2. To free from a foul or infectious disease; to heal. Leviticus 14:4, 8; Mark 1:42.

3. To free from ceremonial pollution, and consecrate to a holy use. Numbers 8:15; Ezekiel 43:20.

4. To purify from guilt. 1 John 1:7.

5. To remove; as, to cleanse a crime.

CLEANSED, pp. Purified; made clean; purged; healed.

CLEANSER, n. He or that which cleanses; in medicine, a detergent.

CLEANSING, pp. Purifying; making clean; purging; removing foul or noxious matter from; freeing from guilt.

CLEANSING, n. The act of purifying, or purging. Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14.

CLEAN-TIMBERED, a. Well-proportioned.


1. Open; free from obstruction; as a clear plat of ground; the way is clear.

2. Free from clouds, or fog; serene; as a clear day.

3. Free from foreign matter; unmixed; pure; as clear water; clear sand; clear air; clear glass.

4. Free from any thing that creates doubt or uncertainty; apparent; evident; manifest; not obscure; conspicuous; that is, open to the mind; as, the reason is clear.

5. Unclouded; luminous; not obscured; as a clear sun; a clear shining after a rain. 2 Samuel 23:4.

6. Unobstructed; unobscured; as a clear view.

7. Perspicacious; sharp; as a clear sight.

8. Not clouded with care, or ruffled by passion; cheerful; serene; as a clear aspect.

9. Evident; undeniable; indisputable; as the victory was clear.

10. Quick to understand; prompt; acute.

Mother of science, now I feel thy power within me clear.

11. Free from guilt or blame; innocent; unspotted; irreproachable. 2 Corinthians 7:11.

In action faithful, and in honor clear.

12. Free from bias; unprepossessed; not preoccupied; impartial; as a clear judgment.

13. Free from debt, or obligation; not liable to prosecution; as, to be clear of debt or responsibility.

14. Free from deductions, or charges; as clear gain or profit.

15. Not entangled; unembarrassed; free; as, the cable is clear. A ship is clear, when she is so remote from shore or other object, as to be out of danger of striking, or to have sea room sufficient.

16. Open; distinct; not jarring, or harsh; as a clear sound; a clear voice.

17. Liberated; freed; acquitted of charges; as, a man has been tried and got clear.

18. Free from spots or any thing that disfigures; as a clear skin.

Clear is followed by from or by of.

Thou shalt be clear from this my oath. Genesis 24:8.

The air is clear of damp exhalations.

CLEAR, adv.

1. Plainly; not obscurely; manifestly.

2. Clean; quite; entirely; wholly; indicating entire separation; as, to cut a piece clear off; to go clear away; but in this sense its use is not elegant.

Clear or in the clear, among joiners and carpenters, denotes the space within walls, or length and breadth clear or exclusive of the thickness of the wall.

CLEAR, v.t.

1. To make clear; to fine; to remove any thing foreign; to separate from any foul matter; to purify; to clarify; as, to clear liquors.

2. To free from obstructions; as, to clear the road.

3. To free from any thing noxious or injurious; as, to clear the ocean of pirates; to clear the land of enemies.

4. To remove any incumbrance, or embarrassment; often followed by off or away; as, to clear off debts; to clear away rubbish.

5. To free; to liberate, or disengage; to exonerate; as, to clear a man from debt, obligation, or duty.

6. To cleanse; as, to clear the hands from filth; to clear the bowels.

7. To remove any thing that obscures, as clouds or fog; to make bright; as, to clear the sky; sometimes followed by up.

8. To free from obscurity, perplexity or ambiguity; as, to clear a question or theory; to clear up a case or point.

9. To urge from the imputation of guilt; to justify or vindicate.

How shall we clear ourselves? Genesis 44:16.

That will by no means clear the guilty. Exodus 34:7.

10. In a legal sense, to acquit on trial, by verdict; as, the prisoner has been tried and cleared.

11. To make gain or profit, beyond all expenses and charges; as, to clear ten percent by a sale of goods, or by a voyage.

12. To remove wood from land. To cut down trees, remove or burn them, and prepare land for tillage or pasture; as, to clear land for wheat.

CLEAR, v.i.

1. To become free from clouds or fog; to become fair; often followed by up, off, or away; as, the sky clears; the weather clears up; it clears away; it clears off.

2. To be disengaged from incumbrances, distress or entanglements; to become free or disengaged.

He that clears at once will relapse.

CLEARAGE, n. The removing of any thing.

CLEARANCE, n. A certificate that a ship or vessel has been cleared at the custom house; permission to sail.

CLEARED, pp. Purified; freed from foreign matter, or from incumbrance; made manifest; made luminous; cleansed; liberated; acquitted.

CLEARER, n. That which clears, purifies, or enlightens; that which brightens.

CLEARING, ppr. Purifying; removing foul matter, incumbrances, or obstructions; making evident, or luminous; cleansing; liberating; disengaging; acquitting; making gain beyond all costs and charges.


1. A defense; justification; vindication. 2 Corinthians 7:11.

2. A place or tract of land cleared of wood for cultivation; a common use of the word in America.

3. The act of making clear.


1. Plainly; evidently; fully; as, the fact is clearly proved.

2. Without obstruction; luminously; as, to shine clearly.

3. With clear discernment; as, to understand clearly.

4. Without entanglement, or confusion.

5. Plainly; honestly; candidly.

Deal clearly and impartially with yourselves.

6. Without reserve, evasion or subterfuge.


1. Freedom from foul or extraneous matter; purity; as the clearness of water, or other liquor.

2. Freedom from obstruction or incumbrance; as the clearness of the ground.

3. Freedom from fogs or clouds; openness; as the clearness of the sky. It generally expresses less than brightness or splendor. Exodus 24:10.

4. Distinctness; perspicuity; luminousness; as the clearness of reason, of views, of arguments, of explanations.

5. Plainness, or plain dealing; sincerity; honesty; fairness; candor.

6. Freedom from imputation of ill.

7. Freedom from spots, or any thing that disfigures; as the clearness of the skin.

CLEAR-SHINING, a. [clear and shine.] Shining with brightness, or unobstructed splendor.

CLEAR-SIGHTED, a. [clear and sight.] Seeing with clearness; having acuteness of sight; discerning; perspicacious; as clear-sighted reason; a clear-sighted judge.

CLEAR-SIGHTEDNESS, n. Acute discernment.

CLEAR-STARCH, v.t. To stiffen and clear with starch, and by clapping with the hands; as, to clear-starch muslin.

CLEAR-STARCHER, n. One who clear-starches.


1. Stiffening and clearing with starch.

2. n. The act of stiffening and clearing with starch.

CLEAT, n. A piece of wood used in a ship to fasten ropes upon. It is formed with one arm or two, or with a hollow to receive a rope, and is made fast to some part of a vessel. Cleats are belaying-cleats, deck-cleats or thumb-cleats.


1. The act of cleaving or splitting.

2. In mineralogy, the manner of cleaving, or of mechanical division. It is used in relation to the fracture of minerals which have natural joints and possess a regular structure.

CLEAVE, v.i.

1. To stick; to adhere; to hold to.

My bones cleave to my skin. Psalm 102:5.

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Psalm 137:6.

Cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:9.

2. To unite aptly; to fit; to sit well on.

3. To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.

A man shall leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife. Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5.

Cleave to Jehovah your God. Joshua 23:8.

CLEAVE, v.t.

1. To part or divide by force; to split or rive; to open or serve the cohering parts of a body, by cutting or by the application of force; as, to cleave wood; to cleave a rock; to cleave the flood. Psalm 74:15.

2. To part or open naturally.

Every beast that cleaveth the cleft into two claws. Deuteronomy 14:6.

CLEAVE, v.i. To part; to open; to crack; to separate, as parts of cohering bodies; as, the ground cleaves by frost.

The mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof. Zechariah 14:4.

CLEAVED, pp. Split; rived; divided.

CLEAVELANDITE, n. A mineral, generally of a white or grayish white color, sometimes blue or bluish or reddish; called also siliceous felspar, or albite.

CLEAVER, n. One who cleaves; that which cleaves; a butchers instrument for cutting animal bodies into joints or pieces.

CLEAVING, ppr. Sticking; adhering; uniting to. Also, splitting; dividing; riving.

CLECHE, n. In heraldry, a kind of cross, charged with another cross of the same figure, but of the color of the field.

CLEDGE, n. Among miners, the upper stratum of fullers earth.

CLEF, n. A character in music placed at the beginning of a stave, to determine the degree of elevation occupied by that stave in the general claviary or system, and to point out the names of all the notes which it contains in the line of that clef.

CLEFT, pp. of cleave. Divided; split; parted asunder.


1. A space or opening made by splitting; a crack; a crevice; as the cleft of a rock. Isaiah 2:21.

2. A disease in horses; a crack on the bought of the pastern.

3. A piece made by splitting; as a cleft of wood.

CLEFT-GRAFT, v.t. [cleft and graft.] To engraft by cleaving the stock and inserting a cion.

CLEG, n. The hose fly; Dan.

CLEM, v.t. To starve.


1. Mildness; softness; as the clemency of the air.

2. Mildness of temper; gentleness or lenity of disposition; disposition to treat with favor and kindness.

I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. Acts 24:4.

3. Mercy; disposition to treat with lenity, to forgive or to spare, as offenders; tenderness in punishing; opposed to severity, harshness, or rigor.

CLEMENT, a. Mild in temper and disposition; gentle; lenient; merciful; kind; tender; compassionate.

CLEMENTINE, a. Pertaining to St. Clement, or to his compilations; or to the constitutions of Clement the fifth.

CLEMENTLY, adv. With mildness of temper; mercifully.

CLENCH. [See Clinch.]

CLEPE, v.t. or i. To call, or name.

CLEPSAMMIA, n. An instrument for measuring time by sand, like an hour glass.


1. A time piece used by the Greeks and Romans, which measured time by the discharge of a certain quantity of water. Also, a fountain in Greece.

2. A chimical vessel.

CLERGICAL, a. Pertaining to the clergy. [See Clerical.]


1. The body of men set apart, and consecrated, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity.

2. The privilege or benefit of clergy.

If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction.

Benefit of clergy, in English law, originally the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge; or a privilege by which a clerk or person in orders claimed to be delivered to his ordinary to purge himself of felony. But this privilege has been abridged and modified by various statutes. In the United States, no benefit of clergy exists.

CLERGYABLE, a. Entitled to or admitting the benefit of clergy; as a clergyable felony.

CLERGYMAN, n. A man in holy orders; a man licensed to preach the gospel, according to the forms and rules of any particular denomination of christians.

CLERIC, n. A clerk or clergyman.

CLERICAL, a. Relating or pertaining to the clergy as clerical tonsure; clerical robes; clerical duties.


1. A clergyman, or ecclesiastic; a man in holy orders.

2. A man that can read.

Everyone that could read--being accounted a clerk.

3. A man of letters; a scholar.

The foregoing significations are found in the English laws, and histories of the church; as in the rude ages of the church, learning was chiefly confined to the clergy. In modern usage.

4. A writer; one who is employed in the use of the pen, in an office public or private, for keeping records, and accounts; as the clerk of a court. In some cases clerk is synonymous with secretary; but not always. A clerk is always an officer subordinate to a higher officer, board, corporation or person; whereas, a secretary may be either a subordinate officer, or the head of an office or department.

5. A layman who is the reader of responses in church service.

CLERK-ALE, n. [clerk and ale.] In England, the feast of the parish clerk.