Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



CO-SECANT, n. [See Secant.] In geometry, the secant of an arc which is the complement of another to ninety degrees.

COSIER, n. A botcher. [Not used.]

COSINAGE, n. [See Cousin.] In law, a writ to recover possession of an estate in lands, when a stranger has entered and abated, after the death of the tresail, or the grandfathers grandfather, or other collateral relation.

CO-SINE, n. [See Sine.] In geometry, the sine of an arc which is the complement of another to ninety degrees.

COSMETIC, a. s as z. [Gr., order, beauty.] Beautifying; improving beauty, particularly the beauty of the skin.

COSMETIC, n. Any preparation that renders the skin soft, pure and white, and helps to beautify and improve the complexion.

COSMICAL, a. s as z. [Gr., order, the world.]

1. Relating to the world, or to the whole system of visible bodies, including the earth and stars.

2. In astronomy, rising or setting with the sun; not acronical.

COSMICALLY, adv. With the sun at rising or setting; a star is said to rise or set cosmically, when it rises or sets with the sun.

COSMOGONIST, n. [See Cosmogony.] One who treats of the origin or formation of the universe.

COSMOGONY, n. s as z. [Gr., world, and generation.] The generation, origin or creation of the world or universe. In physics, the science of the origin or formation of the universe.

COSMOGRAPHER, n. [See Cosmography.] one who describes the world or universe, including the heavens and the earth.

COSMOGRAPHIC, COSMOGRAPHICAL, a. Relating to the general description of the universe.

COSMOGRAPHICALLY, adv. In a manner relating to the science of describing the universe, or corresponding to cosmography.

COSMOGRAPHY, n. [Gr., the world, to describe.] A description of the world or universe; or the art which teaches the construction of the whole system of worlds, or the figure, disposition and the relation of all its parts, and the manner of representing them on a plane.

COSMOLABE, n. s as z. [Gr., world, to take.] An ancient instrument for measuring distances in the heavens or on earth, much the same as the astrolabe, and called also pantacosm.

COSMOLATORY, n. s as z. [Gr., world and to worship.] The worship paid to the world or its parts by heathens.

COSMOLOGICAL, a. [See Cosmology.] Relating to a discourse or treatise of the world, or to the science of the universe.

COSMOLOGIST, n. One who describes the universe.

COSMOLOGY, n. s as z. [Gr., the universe, discourse.] The science of the world or universe; or a treatise relating to the structure and parts of the system of creation, the elements of bodies, the modifications of material things, the laws of motion, and the order and course of nature.

COSMOPLASTIC, a. [Gr, world, and to form.] World-forming; pertaining to the formation of the world.

COSMOPOLITAN, COSMOPOLITE, n. s as z. [Gr., world, a citizen.] A person who has no fixed residence; on who is no where a stranger, or who is at home in every place; a citizen of the world.

COSS, n. A Hindoo measure of one English mile and a quarter nearly.

COSSACK, n. The Cossacks inhabit the Ukraine, in the Russian empire.

COSSAS, n. Plain India muslins, of various qualities and breadths.

COSSET, n. [G., a house.] A lamb brought up by hand, or without the aid of the dam.

COSSIC, a. Relating to algebra.

COST, n. [See the Verb.]

1. The price, value or equivalent of a thing purchased; the amount in value paid, charge or engaged to be paid for any thing bought or taken in barter. The word is equally applicable to the price in money or commodities; as the cost of a suit of clothes; the cost of a house or farm.

2. Expense; amount in value expended or to be expended; charge; that which is given or to be given for another thing.

I will not offer burnt offerings without cost. 1 Chronicles 21:24.

Have we eaten at all at the kings cost? 2 Samuel 19:42.

The cost of maintaining armies is immense and often ruinous.

3. In law, the sum fixed by law or allowed by the court for charges of a suit awarded against the party losing, in favor of the party prevailing, etc. The jury find that the plaintiff recover of the defendant ten dollars with costs of suit or with his cost.

4. Loss or expense of any kind; detriment; pain; suffering. The vicious man indulges his propensities at a great cost.

5. Sumptuousness; great expense.

COST, v.t. [The noun cost coincides in most of these languages with coast and L. Costa, a rib, the exterior part. The primary sense of the verb is, to throw or send out, to cast, as we say, to lay out. I call this a transitive verb. In the phrase, a hat costs six dollars, the sense is, it expends, lays out, or causes to be laid out six dollars.]

1. To require to be given or expend in barter or purchase; to be bought for; as, this book cost a dollar; the army and navy cost four millions a year.

2. To require to be laid out, given, bestowed or employed; as, Johnsons Dictionary cost him seven years labor.

3. To require to be borne or suffered. Our sins cost us many pains. A sense of ingratitude to his maker costs the penitent sinner many pangs and sorrows.

COSTAL, a. [L., a side or rib. A coast or side is the extreme part, a limit, from extending, throwing or shooting out, Eng. to cast.] Pertaining to the side of the body or the ribs; as costal nerves.


1. A head. [Not used.]

2. An apple, round and bulky, like the head.

COSTARD-MONGER, n. An apple-seller.

COSTER-MONGER, n. An apple seller.

COSTIVE, a. [L, to cram, to stuff.]

1. Literally, crowded, stuffed, as the intestines; hence, bound in body; retaining fecal matter in the bowels, in a hard and dry state; having the excrements obstructed, or the motion of the bowels too slow.

2. Dry and hard; as costive clay. [Not used.]

COSTIVENESS, n. A preternatural detention of the fecal matter of the bowels, with hardness and dryness; an obstruction or preternatural slowness of evacuations from the bowels.

COSTLINESS, n. [See Costly.] Expensiveness; great cost, or expense; sumptuousness. Revelation 18:19.

COSTLESS, a. Costing nothing.

COSTLY, a. [from cost.] Of a high price; sumptuous; expensive; purchased at a great expense; as a costly habit; costly furniture.

Mary took a pound of spikenard, very costly. John 12:3.

COSTMARY, n. [Gr. L., an aromatic plant, and Maria.] A species of tansy, or Tanacetum; alecost.

COSTREL, n. A bottle. [Not in use.]


1. In painting, a rule or precept by which an artist is enjoined to make every person and thing sustain its proper character, observing the scene of action, the country or place, and making the habits, arms, manners, and proportions correspond. Hence, the observance of this rule in execution.

2. An established mode of dress.

CO-SUFFERER, n. One who suffers with another.

CO-SUPREME, n. A partaker of supremacy.

CO-SURETY, n. One who is surety with another.

COT, COTE, n. [G. In Welsh, this word signifies a cot, a hovel or stye, an abrupt termination, a rump, a tail, a skirt. Cwta, short, abrupt, bob-tailed; cwtau, to shorten. This indicates that cot is from cutting off, and hence defending.]

1. A small house; a hut; a mean habitation; also, a shed or inclosure for beasts. 2 Chronicles 32:28.

2. A leathern cover for a sore finger.

3. An abridgement of cotquean.

4. A cade lamb. [Local.]

5. A little boat.

CO-TANGENT, n. The tangent of an arc which is the complement of another to ninety degrees.

COTE, n. A sheepfold. [See Cot.]

COTE, v.t. TO pass by and turn before; to gain ground in coursing and give a competitor the turn. [Little used.]

COTEMPORANEOUS, a. [infra.] Living or being at the same time.

COTEMPORARY, a. [L., time.] Living or being at the same time; as cotemporary authors. Josephus was cotemporary with Vespasian.

COTEMPORARY, a. [L., time.] One who lives at the same time with another. [I consider this word as preferable to contemporary, as being more easily pronounced.]

CO-TENANT, n. A tenant in common.

COTERIE, n. A friendly party, or fashionable association.

COTICULAR, a. [L., whetstone.] Pertaining to whetstones; like or suitable for whetstones.

COTILLON, n. A brisk dance, performed by eight persons together; also, a tune which regulates the dance.

COTLAND, n. Land appendant to a cottage.

COTQUEAN, n. A man who busies himself with the affairs which properly belong to women.

CO-TRUSTEE, n. A joint trustee.

COTSWOLD, n. Sheepcotes in an open country.

COTT, n. A small bed; on board of ships, a bed frame suspended from the beams, for the officers to sleep in, between the decks; a piece of canvas, extended by a frame.

COTTAGE, n. [from cot.] A cot; a hut; a small mean habitation.

The sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds. Zephaniah 2:6.

COTTAGED, a. Set or covered with cottages.


1. One who lives in a hut or cottage.

2. In law, one who lives on the common, without paying any rent, or having land of his own.

COTTER, COTTAR or COTTIER, n. A cottager.


1. A soft downy substance, resembling fine wool, growing in the capsules or pods of a shrub, called the cotton-plant. It is the material of a large proportion of cloth for apparel and furniture.

2. Cloth made of cotton.

Lavender-cotton, a genus of plants, Santolina, of several species; shrubs cultivated in gardens. One species, the chamoecyparyssus or abrotanum foemina, female southernwood, is vulgarly called brotany.

Philosophic cotton, flowers of zink, which resemble cotton.

Silk-cotton tree, a genus of plants, the Bombax, growing to a great size in the Indies, and producing a kind of cotton in capsules.

COTTON, a. Pertaining to cotton; made of cotton; consisting of cotton; as cotton cloth; cotton stockings.
COTTON, v.i.

1. To rise with a nap.

2. To cement; to unite with; a cant word.

COTTON-GIN, n. A machine to separate the seeds from cotton, invented by that celebrated mechanician, E. Whitney.

COTTON-GRASS, n. A genus of plants, the Eriophorum.

COTTON-MACHINE, n. A machine for carding or spinning cotton.

COTTON-MILL, n. A mill or building, with machinery for carding, roving and spinning cotton, by the force of water or steam.

COTTON-PLANT, COTTON-SHRUB, n. A plant or shrub of the genus Gossypium, of several species, all growing in warm climates. The principal species are, 1. The herbaceous cotton, with smooth leaves and yellow flowers, succeeded by roundish capsules, full of seeds and cotton; 2. The hairy American cotton, with hairy stalks and leaves, and yellow flowers succeeded by oval pods; 3. The Barbadoes shrubby cotton, has a shrubby stalk, yellow flowers and oval pods; 4. The arboreum or tree cotton, with a woody perennial stalk, bears yellow flowers and large pods. The first three species are annual plants; the last is perennial.

In the southern states of America, the cotton cultivated is distinguished into three kinds; the nankeen cotton, so called from its color; the green seed cotton, producing white cotton with green seeds. These grow in the middle and upper country, and are called short staple cotton. The black seed cotton, cultivated in the lower country near the sea, and on the isles near the shore, produces cotton of a fine, white, silky appearance, very strong and of a long staple. The seeds of the long staple cotton are separated by roller-gins. The seeds of the short staple cotton are separated with more difficulty, by a sawgin invented by E. Whitney.

COTTON-THISTLE, n. A plant, the Onopordum.

COTTON-WEED, n. A plant, the Filago. The name is given also to the Gnaphalium, cud-weed, or goldy-locks.


1. Downy; nappy; covered with hairs or pubescence like cotton.

2. Soft like cotton.

COTYLE, n. [Gr.] The cavity of a bone which receives the end of another in articulation.

COTYLEDON, n. [Gr., a hollow or cavity.]

1. In botany, the perishable lobe or placenta of the seeds of plants. It involves and nourishes the embryo plant, and then perishes. Some seeds have two lobes; others one only, and others none.

2. In anatomy, a little glandular body adhering to the chorion of some animals.

3. A genus of plants, navel-wort, or kidney-wort, of several species.

COTYLEDONOUS, a. Pertaining to cotyledons; having a seed-lobe.

COUCH, v.i.

1. To lie down, as on a bed or place of repose.

2. To lie down on the knees; to stop and recline on the knees, as a beast.

Fierce tigers couched around.

3. To lie down in secret or in ambush; to lie close and concealed.

The earl of Angus couched in a furrow.

Judah couched as a lion. Genesis 49:9.

4. To lie; to lie in a bed or stratum.

Blessed of the Lord be his land-for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath. Deuteronomy 33:13.

5. To stoop; to bend the body or back; to lower in reverence, or to bend under labor, pain, or a burden.

Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two burdens. Genesis 49:14.

These couchings, and these lowly courtesies.

COUCH, v.t.

1. To lay down; to repose on a bed or place of rest.

Where unbruised youth, with unstuffed brain, doth couch his limbs.

2. To lay down; to spread on a bed or floor; as, to couch malt.

3. To lay close, or in a stratum.

The waters couch themselves, as close as may be, to the center of the globe.

4. To hide; to lay close, or in another body.

It is in use at this day, to couch vessels in walls, to gather the wind from the top, and pass it down in spouts into rooms.

5. To include secretly; to hide; or to express in obscure terms, that imply what is to be understood; with under.

All this, and more, lies couched under this allegory.


6. To involve; to include; to comprise; to comprehend or express.

This great argument for a future state, which St. Paul hath couched int he words read.

7. To lie close.

8. To fix a spear in the rest, in the posture of attack.

They couched their spears.

9. To depress the condensed crystaline humor or film that overspreads the pupil of the eye. To remove a catarct, by entering a needle through the coats of the eye, and pushing the lens to the bottom of the vitreous humor, and then downwards and outwards, so as to leave it in the under and outside of the eye. The true phrase is, to couch a cataract; but we say, to couch they eye, or the patient.


1. A bed; a place for rest or sleep.

2. A seat of repose; a place for rest and ease, on which it is common to lie down undressed.

3. A layer of stratum; as a couch of malt.

4. In painting, a lay or impression of color, in oil or water, covering the canvas, wall, or other matter to be painted.

5. Any lay, or impression, used to make a thing firm or consistent, or to screen it from the weather.

6. A covering of gold or silver leaf, laid on any substance to be gilded or silvered.

COUCHANT, a. [See Couch.] Lying down; squatting. In heraldry, lying down with the head raised, which distinguishes the posture of couchant from that of dormant, or sleeping; applied to a lion or other beast.

Levant and couchant, in law, rising up and lying down; applied to beasts, and indicating that they have been long enough on land to lie down and rise up to feed, or one night at least.

COUCHED, pp. Laid down; laid on; hid; included or involved; laid close; fixed in the rest, as a spear; depressed or removed, as a cataract.

COUCHEE, n. Bedtime; late visiting at night.


1. One who couches cataracts.

2. In old English statutes, a factor; a resident in a country for traffick.

3. A book in which a religious house register their acts.

COUCH-FELLOW, n. A bed fellow; a companion in lodging.

COUCH-GRASS, n. A species of grass, very injurious to other plants.

COUCHING, ppr. Lying down; laying down; lying close; involving; including; expressing; depressing a cataract.

COUCHING, n. The act of stooping or bowing.

COUGH, n. A violent effort of the lungs to throw off offending matter; a violent, sometimes involuntary, and sonorous expiration, suddenly expelling the air through the glottis. The convulsion of the muscles serving for exspiration gives great force to the air, while the contraction of the glottis produces the sound. The air forced violently carries along with it the phlegm or irritating matter which causes the convulsion or effort of the muscles.

COUGH, v.i. To have the lungs convulsed; to make a violent effort with noise to expel the air from the lungs, and evacuate any offending matter that irritates the parts or renders respiration difficult.
COUGH, v.t. To expel from the lungs by a convulsive effort with noise; to expectorate; followed by up; as, to cough up phlegm.

COUGHER, n. One that coughs.

COUGHING, ppr. Expelling from the lungs by a violent effort with noise; expectorating.

COULD, pron. COOD. [The past tense of can, according to our customary arrangement in grammar; but in reality a distinct word, can having no past tense. Could, we receive through the Celtic dialects.]

1. Had sufficient strength or physical power. A sick man could not lift his hand. Isaac was old and could not see. Alexander could easily conquer the effeminate Asiatics.

2. Had adequate means or instruments. The men could defray their own expenses. The country was exhausted and could not support the war.

3. Had adequate moral power. We heard the story, but could not believe it. Th intemperate man could have restrained his appetite for strong drink. He could have refrained, if we would.

My mind could not be towards this people. Jeremiah 15:1.

4. Had power or capacity b the laws of its nature. The tree could not grow for want of water.

5. Had competent legal power; had right, or had the requisite qualifications. Formerly, a citizen could not vote for officers of government without the possession of some property. AB could not be elected to the office of senator, for want of estate. BC, not being the blood of the ancestor, could not inherit his estate.

6. Had sufficient capacity. The world could not contain the books. John 21:25.

7. Was capable or susceptible, by its nature or constitution, as of some change. He found a substance that could not be fused.

8. Had adequate strength or fortitude; as, he could not endure the pain or the reproach.

9. Had motives sufficient to overcome objections. He thought at first he could not comply with the request; but after consideration he determined to comply.

10. Had competent knowledge or skill. He could solve the most difficult problems.

COULTER. [See Colter.]

COUNCIL, n. [L., to call, Gr. See Hold. This word is often confounded with counsel, with which it has no connection. Council is a collection or assembly.]

1. An assembly of men summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation and advice.

The chief priest and all the council sought false witness. Matthew 26:59.

The kings of England were formerly assisted by a grand council or peers.

The word is applicable to any body of men, appointed or convened for consultation and advice, in important affairs; as, a council of divines or clergymen, with their lay delegates; a council of war, consisting of the principal officers, to advise the commander in chief or admiral; a council of physicians, to consult and advise in difficult cases of disease.

2. A body of men specially designated to advise a chief magistrate in the administration of the government, as in Great Britain.

3. In some of the American states, a branch of the legislature, corresponding with the senate in other states, and called legislative council.

4. An assembly of prelates and doctors, convened for regulating matters of doctrine an discipline in the church.

5. Act of deliberation; consultation of a council.

Common-Council of a city. In London, a court consisting of the lord mayor and aldermen in one house, and of representatives of the several wards, called common-council-men, in the other. But more generally the common-council is considered as the body of representatives of the citizens, as distinct from the mayor and aldermen. Thus in Connecticut, the cities are incorporated by the name of the The Mayor, Aldermen, Common-Council and Freemen, of the city of Hartford, New-Haven, etc.

Ecumenical Council, in church history, a general council or assembly of prelates and doctors, representing the whole church; as the council of Nice, of Ephesus, and of Chalcedon.

Privy Council, a select council for advising a king in the administration of the government.

Aulic Council. [See Aulic.]

COUNCIL-BOARD, n. Council-table; the table round which a council holds consultation. Hence, the council itself in deliberation or session.

COUNCILOR, n. The member of a council. [See Counselor.]

COUNCIL-TABLE, n. Council-board.

CO-UNITE, v.t. To unite. [Not used.]

COUNSEL, n. [L., to consult; to ask, to assail.]

1. Advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation.

Every purpose is established by counsel. Proverbs 20:18.

Thou hast not hearkened to my counsel. 2 Chronicles 25:16.

2. Consultation; interchange of opinions.

We took sweet counsel together. Psalm 55:14.

3. Deliberation; examination of consequences.

They all confess that, in the working of that first cause, counsel is used, reason followed, and a way observed.

4. Prudence; deliberate opinion or judgment, or the faculty or habit of judging with caution.

O how comely is the wisdom of old men, and understanding and counsel to men of honor. Ecclus. 25.

The law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. Ezekiel 7:26.

5. In a bad sense, evil advice or designs; art; machination.

The counsel of the froward is carried headlong. Job 5:13.

6. Secresy; the secrets entrusted in consultation; secret opinions or purposes. Let a man keep his own counsel.

7. In a scriptural sense, purpose; design; will; decree.

What thy counsel determined before to be done. Acts 4:28.

To show the immutability of his counsel. Hebrews 6:17.

8. Directions of Gods word.

Thou shalt guide me by thy counsel. Psalm 73:24.

9. The will of God or his truth and doctrines concerning the way of salvation.

I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God. Acts 20:27.

10. Those who give counsel in law; any counselor or advocate, or any number of counselors, barristers or sergeants; as the plaintiffs counsel, or the defendants counsel. The attorney-general and solicitor-general are the kings counsel. In this sense, the word has no plural; but in the singular number, is applicable to one or more persons.

COUNSEL, v.t. [L.]

1. To give advice or deliberate opinion to another for the government of his conduct; to advise.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire. Revelation 3:18.

2. To exhort, warn, admonish, or instruct. We ought frequently to counsel our children against the vices of the age.

They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped.

3. To advise or recommend; as, to counsel a crime. [Not much used.]

COUNSEL-KEEPER, n. One who can keep a secret.

COUNSEL-KEEPING, a. Keeping secrets.

COUNSELABLE, a. Willing to receive counsel; disposed to follow the advice or opinions of others.

COUNSELED, pp. Advised; instructed; admonished.

COUNSELING, ppr. Advising; instructing; admonishing.


1. Any person who gives advice; but properly one who is authorized by natural relationship, or by birth, office or profession, to advise another in regard to his future conduct and measures. Ahithophel was Davids counselor. His mother was his counselor to do wickedly. 2 Chronicles 22:3. In Great Britain, the peers of the realm are hereditary counselor of the crown.

2. The members of a counsel; one appointed to advise a king or chief magistrate, in regard to the administration of the government.

3. One who is consulted by a client in a law case; one who gives advice in relation to a question of law; one whose profession is to give advice in law, and manage causes for clients.

Privy Counselor, a member of a privy counsel.

COUNSELORSHIP, n. The office of a counselor, or privy counselor.

COUNT, v.t.

1. To number; to tell or name one by one, or by small numbers, for ascertaining the whole number of units in a collection; as, to count the years, days and hours of a man’s life; to count the stars.

Who can count the dust of Jacob? Numbers 23:10.

2. To reckon; to preserve a reckoning; to compute.

Some tribes of rude nations count their years by the coming of certain birds among them at certain seasons, and leaving them at others.

3. To reckon; to place to an account; to ascribe or impute; to consider or esteem as belonging.

Abraham believed in God, and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6.

4. To esteem; to account; to reckon; to think, judge, or consider.

I count them my enemies. Psalm 139:22.

Neither count I my life dear to myself. Acts 20:24.

I count all things loss. Philippians 3:8.

5. To impute; to charge.

COUNT, v.i. To count on or upon, to reckon upon; to found an account or scheme on; to rely on. We cannot count on the friendship of nations. Count not on the sincerity of sycophants.

1. Reckoning; the act of numbering; as, this is the number according to my count.

2. Number.

3. In law, a particular charge in an indictment, or narration in pleading, setting forth the cause of complaint. There may be different counts in the same declaration.

COUNT, n. [L., a companion or associate, a fellow traveler.] A title of foreign nobility, equivalent to the English earl, and whose domain is a county. An earl; the alderman of a shire, as the Saxons called him. The titles of English nobility, according to their rank, are Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, and Baron.

COUNT-WHEEL, n. The wheel in a clock which moves round and causes it to strike.

COUNTABLE, a. That may be numbered.

COUNTED, pp. Numbered; told; esteemed; reckoned; imputed.