Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



COUNTERVAILED, pp. Acted against with equal force or power; balanced; compensated.

COUNTERVAILING, ppr. Opposing with equal strength or value; balancing; obviating an effect.

COUNTERVIEW, n. [counter and view.]

1. An opposite or opposing view; opposition; a posture in which two persons front each other.

2. Contrast; a position in which two dissimilar things illustrate each other by opposition.

COUNTERVOTE, v.t. To vote in opposition; to outvote.

COUNTERWEIGH, v.t. [See Weigh.] To weigh against; to counterbalance.

COUNTERWHEEL, v.t. To cause to wheel in an opposite direction.

COUNTERWIND, n. Contrary wind.

COUNTERWORK. [See Work.] To work in opposition to; to counteract; to hinder any effect by contrary operations.

That counterworks each folly and caprice.

COUNTERWROUGHT, pp. Counteracted; opposed by contrary action.

COUNTESS, n. [See Count.] The consort of an earl or count.

COUNTING-HOUSE, COUNTING-ROOM, n. [See Count, the verb.] The house or room appropriated by merchants, traders and manufacturers to the business of keeping their books, accounts, letters and papers.

COUNTLESS, a. [count and less.] That cannot be counted; not having the number ascertained, nor ascertainable; innumerable. The sands of the sea-shore are countless.

COUNTRY, n. [L., land adjacent to a city. Hence the citizen says, let us go into the country. The Latin has conterraneus, a countryman.]

1. Properly, the land lying about or near a city; the territory situated in the vicinity of a city. Our friend has a seat in the country, a few miles from town. See Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26, 37. Hence,

2. The whole territory of a kingdom or state, as opposed to city. We say, the gentleman has a seat in the country, at any distance from town indefinitely. Hence,

3. Any tract of land, or inhabited land; any region, as distinguished from other regions; a kingdom, state or lesser district. We speak of all the countries of Europe or Asia.

And they came into the country of Moab. Ruth 1:2.

4. The kingdom, state or territory in which one is born; the land of nativity; or the particular district indefinitely in which one is born. America is my country, or Connecticut is my country.

Laban said, it must not be so done in our country. Genesis 29:26.

5. The region in which one resides.

He sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country. Hebrews 11:9.

6. Land, as opposed to water; or inhabited territory.

The shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country. Acts 27:27.

7. The inhabitants of a region.

All the country wept with a loud voice. 2 Samuel 15:23.

8. A place of residence; a region of permanent habitation.

They declare plainly that they seek a country. Hebrews 11:14.

They desire a better country, a heavenly. Hebrews 11:16.

9. In law, a jury or jurors; as, trial by the country, per pais.


1. Pertaining to the country or territory at a distance from a city; rural; rustic; as a country town; a country seat; a country squire; a country life; the country party, as opposed to city party.

2. Pertaining or peculiar to ones own country.

He spoke in his country language.

3. Rude; ignorant.

Country-dance, and erroneous orthography. [See Contra-dance.]


1. One born in the same country with another. This man is my countryman. [See 2 Corinthians 11:26]

2. One who dwells in the country, as opposed to a citizen; a rustic; a farmer or husbandmen; a man of plain unpolished manners.

3. An inhabitant or native of a region. What countryman is he?

COUNTY, n. [L. See Count.]

1. Originally, an earldom; the district or territory of a count or earl. Now, a circuit or particular portion of a state or kingdom, separated from the rest of the territory, for certain purposes in the administration of justice. It is called also a shire. [See Shire.] Each county has its sheriff and its court, with other officers employed in the administration of justice and the execution of the laws. In England there are fifty two counties, and in each is a Lord Lieutenant, who has command of the militia. The several states of America are divided by law into counties, in each of which is a county court of inferior jurisdiction; and in each, the supreme court of the state holds stated sessions.

2. A count; an earl or lord.

County court, the court whose jurisdiction is limited to a county, whose powers, in America, depend on statutes. In England, it is incident to the jurisdiction of the sheriff.

County palatine, in England, is a county distinguished by particular privileges; so called a palatio, the palace, because the owner had originally royal powers, or the same powers in the administration of justice, as the king had in his palace; but their powers are not abridged. The counties palatine, in England, are Lancaster, Chester and Durham.

County corporate, is a county invested with particular privileges by charter or royal grant; as London, York, Bristol, etc.

COUNTY, a. Pertaining to a county; as county court.

COUPEE, n. A motion in dancing, when one leg is a little bent and suspended from the ground, and with the other a motion is made forward.

COUPLE, n. [L. G.]

1. Two of the same species or kind, and near in place, or considered together; as a couple of men; a couple or oranges. I have planted a couple of cherry trees. We cannot call a horse and an ox a couple, unless we add a generic term. Of a horse and ox feeding in a pasture, we should say, a couple of animals. Among huntsmen and soldiers, brace is used for couple; as a brace of ducks; a brace or pistols. Couple differs from pair, which implies strictly not only things of the same kind, but likeness, equality or customary association. A pair is a couple; but a couple may or may not be a pair.

2. Two things of any kind connected or linked together.

3. A male and female connected by marriage, betrothed or allied; as a married couple; a young couple.

4. That which links or connects two things together; a chain.

COUPLE, v.t.

1. To link, chain or connect one thing with another; to sew or fasten together.

Thou shalt couple the curtains with taches. Exodus 26:6.

2. To marry; to wed; to unite, as husband and wife.

COUPLE, v.i. To embrace, as the sexes.

COUPLED, pp. United, as two things; linked; married.



1. Two verses; a pair of rhymes.

2. A division of a hymn or ode in which an equal number or equal measure of verse is found in each part, called a strophe.

3. A pair; as a couplet of doves. [Not used.]

COUPLING, ppr. Uniting in couples; fastening or connecting together; embracing.


1. That which couples or connects. 2 Chronicles 34:11.

2. The act of coupling.

COURAGE, n. [L., the heart.] Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering.

Courage that grows from constitution, often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty, acts in a uniform manner.

Be strong and of good courage. Deuteronomy 31:6.

COURAGEOUS, a. Brave; bold; daring; intrepid; hardy to encounter difficulties and dangers; adventurous; enterprising.

Be thou strong and courageous. Joshua 1:7.

COURAGEOUSLY, adv. With courage; bravely; boldly; stoutly.

COURAGEOUSNESS, n. Courage; boldness; bravery; intrepidity; spirit; valor.


1. A piece of music in triple time; also, a kind of dance, consisting of a time, a step, a balance and a coupee.

2. The title of a newspaper.

COURAP, n. A distemper in the East Indies; a kind of herpes or itch in the armpits, groin, breast and face.

COURB, v.i. To bend. [Not in use.]

COURB, a. Crooked. [Not in use.]

COURBARIL, n. Gum anime, which flows from the Hymenaea, a tree of South America; used for varnishing.

COURIER, n. [L.] A messenger sent express, for conveying letters or dispatches on public business.


1. In its general sense, a passing; a moving, or motion forward, in a direct or curving line; applicable to any body or substance, solid or fluid.

Applied to animals, a running, or walking; a race; a career; a passing, or passage, with any degree of swiftness indefinitely.

Applied to fluids, a flowing, as in a stream in any direction; as a straight course, or winding course. It is applied to water or other liquids, to air or wind, and to light, in the sense of motion or passing.

Applied to solid bodies, it signifies motion or passing; as the course of a rolling stone; the course of a carriage; the course of the earth in its orbit.

Applied to navigation, it signifies a passing or motion on water, or in balloons in air; a voyage.

2. The direction of motion; line of advancing; point of compass, in which motion is directed; as, what course shall the pilot steer? In technical language, the angel contained between the nearest meridian and that point of compass on which a ship sails in any direction.

3. Ground on which a race is run.

4. A passing or process; the progress of any thing; as the course of an argument, or of a debate; a course of thought or reflexion.

5. Order of proceeding or of passing from an ancestor to an heir; as the course of descent in inheritance.

6. Order; turn; class; succession of one to another in office, or duty.

The chief fathers of every course. 1 Chronicles 27:1.

Solomon appointed the courses of the priests. 2 Chronicles 8:14.

7. Stated and orderly method of proceeding; usual manner. He obtained redress in due course of law. Leave nature to her course.

8. Series of successive and methodical procedure; a train of acts, or applications; as a course of medicine administered.

9. A methodical series, applied to the arts or sciences; a systemized order of principles in arts or sciences, for illustration of instruction. We say, the author has completed a course of principles or of lectures in philosophy. Also, the order pursued by a student; as, he has completed a course of studies in law or physics.

10. Manner of proceeding; way of life or conduct; deportment; series of actions.

That I might finish my course with joy. Acts 20:24.

Their course is evil. Jeremiah 23:10.

11. Line of conduct; manner of proceeding; as, we know not what course to pursue.

12. Natural bent; propensity; uncontrolled will. Let not a perverse child take his own course.

13. Tilt; act of running in the lists.

14. Orderly structure; system.

The tongue setteth on fire the course of nature. James 3:6.

15. Any regular series. In architecture, a continued range of stones, level or of the same highth, throughout the whole length of the building, and not interrupted by any aperture. A laying of bricks, etc.

16. The dishes set on table at one time; service of meat.

17. Regularity; order; regular succession; as, let the classes follow in course.

18. Empty form; as, compliments are often words of course.

Of course, by consequence; in regular or natural order; in the common manner of proceeding; without specila direction or provision. This effect will follow of course. If the defendant resides no in the state, the cause is continued of course.

COURSES, n. plu.

1. In a ship, the principal sails, as the main sail, fore sail, and mizen; sometimes the name is given to the stay sails on the lower masts; also to the main stay sails of all brigs and schooners.

2. Catamenia; menstrual flux.

COURSE, v.t.

1. To hunt; to pursue; to chase.

We coursed him at the heels.

2. To cause to run; to force to move with speed.

3. To run through or over.

The blood courses the winding arteries.

The bounding steed courses the dusty plain.

COURSE, v.i. To run; to move with speed; to run or move about; as, the blood courses.

The grayhounds coursed through the fields.

COURSED, pp. Hunted; chased; pursued; caused to run.


1. A swift horse; a runner; a war-horse; a word used chiefly in poetry.

2. One who hunts; one who pursues the sport of coursing hares.

3. A disputant. [Not in use.]

COURSEY, n. Part of the hatches in a galley.

COURSING, ppr. Hunting; chasing; running; flowing; compelling to run.

COURSING, n. The act or sport of chasing and hunting hares, foxes or deer.


1. A place in front of a house, inclosed by a wall or fence; in popular language, a court-yard.

2. A space inclosed by houses, broader than a street; or a space forming a kind of recess from a public street.

3. A palace; the place of residence of a king or sovereign prince.

4. The hall, chamber or place where justice is administered.

St. Paul was brought into the highest court in Athens.

5. Persons who compose the retinue or council of a king or emperor.

6. The persons or judges assembled for hearing and deciding causes, civil, criminal, military, naval or ecclesiastical; as a court of law; a court of chancery; a court martial; a court of admiralty; an ecclesiastical court; court baron; etc. Hence,

7. Any jurisdiction, civil, military, or ecclesiastical.

8. The art of pleasing; the art of insinuation; civility; flattery; address to gain favor. Hence the phrase, to make court, to attempt to please by flattery and address.

9. In scripture, an inclosed part of the entrance into a palace or house. The tabernacle had one court; the temple, three. The first was the court of the Gentiles; the second, the court of Israel, in which the people worshiped; the third was the court of the priests, where the priests and Levites exercised their ministry. Hence places of public worship are called the courts of the Lord.

10. In the United States, a legislature consisting of two houses; as the General court of Massachusetts. The original constitution of Connecticut established a General Court in 1639.

11. A session of the legislature.

COURT, v.t.

1. In a general sense, to flatter; to endeavor to please by civilities and address; a use of the word derived from the manners of a court.

2. To woo; to solicit for marriage.

A thousand court you, though they court in vain.

3. To attempt to gain by address; to solicit; to seek; as, to court commendation or applause.

COURT-BARON, n. A barons court; a court incident to a manor.

COURT-BRED, a. [See Breed.] Bred at court.

COURT-BREEDING, n. Education at a court.

COURT-BUBBLE, n. The trifle of a court.

COURT-CHAPLAIN, n. A chaplain to a king or prince.

COURT-CUPBOARD, n. The sideboard of ancient days.

COURT-DAY, n. A day in which a court sits to administer justice.

COURT-DRESS, n. A dress suitable for an appearance at court of levee.

COURT-DRESSER, n. A flatterer.

COURT-FASHION, n. The fashion of a court.

COURT-FAVOR, n. A favor or benefit bestowed by a court or prince.

COURT-HAND, n. The hand or manner of writing used in records and judicial proceedings.

COURT-HOUSE, n. A house in which established courts are held, or a house appropriated to courts and public meetings.

COURT-LADY, n. A lady who attends or is conversant in court.

COURT-LEET, n. A court of record held once a year, in particular hundred, lordship or manor, before the steward of the leet.

COURT-MARTIAL, n. A court consisting of military or naval officers, for the trial of offences of a military character.

COURTED, pp. Flattered; wooed; solicited in marriage; sought.

COURTEOUS, a. [from court.]

1. Polite; wellbred; being of elegant manners; civil; obliging; condescending; applied to persons.

2. Polite; civil; graceful; elegant; complaisant; applied to manners, etc.

COURTEOUSLY, adv. In a courteous manner; with obliging civility and condescension; complaisantly.

COURTEOUSNESS, n. Civility of manners; obliging condescension; complaisance.

COURTER, n. One who courts; one who solicits in marriage.

COURTESAN, n. A prostitute; a woman who prostitutes herself for hire, especially to men of rank.


1. Elegance or politeness of manners; especially, politeness connected with kindness; civility; complaisance; as, the gentleman shows great courtesy to strangers; he treats his friends with great courtesy.

2. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.

3. The act of civility, respect or reverence, performed by a woman; a fall or inclination of the body, corresponding in design to the bow of a gentleman.

4. A favor; as, to hold upon courtesy, that is, not of right, but by indulgence.

Tenure by courtesy or curtesy, is where a man marries a woman seized of an estate of inheritance, and has by her issue born alive, which was capable of inheriting her estate; in this case, on the death of his wife, he holds the lands for his life, as tenant by curtesy.

COURTESY, v.i. To perform an act of civiility, respect or reverence, as a woman. Note. This word was formerly applied to the other sex; but is now used only of the acts of reverence or civility, performed by women.
COURTESY, v.t. To treat with civility. [Not in use.]

COURTIER, n. [from court.]

1. A man who attends or frequents the courts of princes.

2. One who courts or solicits the favor of another; one who flatters to please; one who possesses the art of gaining favor by address and complaisance.

There was not among all our princes a greater courtier of the people than Richard III.

COURTIERY, n. The manners of a courtier. [Not used.]

COURTING, ppr. Flattering; attempting to gain by address; wooing; soliciting in marriage.

COURTLIKE, a. Polite; elegant.

COURTLINESS, n. [See Courtly.] Elegance of manners; grace of mien; civility; complaisance with dignity.

COURTLING, n. A courtier; a retainer to a court.

COURTLY, a. [court and like.] Relating to a court; elegant; polite with dignity; applied to men and manners; flattering, applied to language.

COURTLY, adv. In the manner of courts; elegantly; in a flattering manner.


1. The act of soliciting favor.

2. The act of wooing in love; solicitation of a woman to marriage.

3. Civility; elegance of manners.


1. In a general sense, one collaterally related more remotely than a brother or sister. But,

2. Appropriately, the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt; the children of brothers and sisters being usually denominated cousins or cousin-germans. In the second generation, they are called second cousins.

3. A title given by a king to a nobleman, particularly to those of the council.

COUSIN, a. Allied.

COVE, n. A small inlet, creek or bay; a recess in the sea shore, where vessels and boats may sometimes be sheltered from the winds and waves.

COVE, v.t. TO arch over; as a coved ceiling.

COVENABLE, a. Fit; suitable.

COVENANT, n. [L, to come; a coming together; a meeting or agreement of minds.]

1. A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract.

2. A writing containing the terms of agreement or contract between parties; or the clause of agreement in a deed containing the covenant.

3. In theology, the covenant of works, is that implied in the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man, that man’s perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness. This do, and live; that do, and die.

The covenant of redemption, is the mutual agreement between the Father and Son, respecting the redemption of sinners by Christ.

The covenant of grace, is that by which God engages to bestow salvation on man, upon the condition that man shall believe in Christ and yield obedience to the terms of the gospel.

4. In church affairs, a solemn agreement between the members of a church, that they will walk together according to the precepts of the gospel, in brotherly affection.

COVENANT, v.i. To enter into a formal agreement; to stipulate; to bind ones self by contract. A covenants with B to convey to him a certain estate. When the terms are expressed ti has for before the thing or price.

They covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:15.

COVENANT, v.t. To grant or promise by covenant.

COVENANTED, pp. Pledged or promised by covenant.

COVENANTEE, n. The person to whom a covenant is made.

COVENANTING, ppr. Making a covenant; stipulating.

COVENANTER, n. He who makes a covenant.

COVENOUS, COVINOUS, a. [See Covin.] Collusive; fraudulent; deceitful; as a covenous lease of lands.

COVER, v.t. [L.]

1. To overspread the surface of a thing with another substance; to lay or set over; as, to cover a table with a cloth, or a floor with a carpet.

The valleys are covered with corn. Psalm 65:13.

The locusts shall cover the face of the earth. Exodus 10:5.

2. To hide; to conceal by something overspread.

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me-- Psalm 139:11.

3. To conceal by some intervening object; as, the enemy was covered from our sight by a forest.

4. To clothe; as, to cover with a robe or mantle; to cover nakedness. 1 Samuel 28:14; Exodus 28:42.

5. To overwhelm.

The waters covered the chariots and horsemen. Exodus 14:28.

Let them be covered with reproach. Psalm 71:13.

6. To conceal from notice or punishment.

Charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8.

7. To conceal; to refrain from disclosing or confessing.

He that covereth his sin shall not prosper. Proverbs 28:13.

8. To pardon or remit.

Blessed is he whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1.

9. To vail, applied to women. 1 Corinthians 11:6. To wear a hat, applied to men. Be covered, sir.

10. To wrap, infold or envelop; as, to cover a package of goods.

11. To shelter; to protect; to defend. A squadron of horse covered the troops on the retreat.

And the soft wings of peace cover him around.

12. To brood; to incubate; as, a hen covering her eggs.

13. To copulate with a female.

14. To equal, or be of equal extent; to be equivalent to; as, the receipts do not cover the expenses; a mercantile use of the word.

15. To disguise; to conceal hypocritically.

16. To include, embrace or comprehend. This land was covered by a mortgage.


1. Any thing which is laid, set or spread over another thing; as the cover of a vessel; the cover of a bed.

2. Any thing which vails or conceals; a screen; disguise; superficial appearance. Affected gravity may serve as a cover for a deceitful heart.

3. Shelter; defense; protection. The troops fought under cover of the batteries.

4. Concealment and protection. The army advanced under cover of the night.

5. Shelter; retreat; in hunting.

COVERCHIEF, n. A covering of the head.

COVERCLE, n. A small cover; a lid.

COVERED, pp. Spread over; hid; concealed; clothed; vailed; having a hat on; wrapped; inclosed; sheltered; protected; disguised.

COVERING, ppr. Spreading over; laying over; concealing; vailing; clothing; wrapping; inclosing; protecting; disguising.


1. That which convers; any thing spread or laid over another, whether for security or concealment.

Noah removed the covering of the ark. Genesis 8:13.

He spread a cloud for a covering. Psalm 105:39.

Destruction hath no covering. Job 26:6.

2. A cover; a lid.

Every open vessel that hath no covering. Numbers 19:15.

3. Clothing; raiment; garments; dress.

They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold. Job 24:7.

COVERLET, n. [cover, and a bed.] The cover of a bed; a piece of furniture designed to be spread over all the other covering of a bed.

COVER-SHAME, n. Something used to conceal infamy.


1. Covered; hid; private; secret; concealed.

Whether of open war, or covert guile.

2. Disguised; insidious.

3. Sheltered; not open or exposed; as a covert alley, or place.

4. Under cover, authority or protection; as a feme-covert, a married woman who is considered as being under the influence and protection of her husband.


1. A covering, or covering place; a place which covers and shelters; a shelter; a defense.

A tabernacle--for a covert from storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6.

I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Psalm 61:4.

2. A thicket; a shady place, or a hiding place. 1 Samuel 25:20; Job 38:40.

COVERTLY, adv. Secretly; closely; in private; insidiously.

Among the poets, Persius covertly strikes at Nero.

COVERTNESS, n. Secrecy; privacy.


1. Covering; shelter; defense.

2. In law, the state of a married woman, who is considered as under cover, or the power of her husband, and therefore called a feme-covert, or femme-couvert. The coverture of a woman disables her from making contracts to the prejudice of herself or husband, without his allowance or confirmation.

COVERT-WAY, n. In fortification, a space of ground level with the field, on the edge of the ditch, three or four fathoms broad, ranging quite round the half moons or other works, towards the country. It has a parapet raised on a level, together with its banquets and glacis. It is called also the corridor, and sometimes the counterscarp, because it is on the edge of the scarp.

COVET, v.t.

1. To desire or wish for, with eagerness; to desire earnestly to obtain or possess; in a good sense.

Covet earnestly the best gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31.

2. To desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; in a bad sense.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house, wife or servant. Exodus 20:17.

COVET, v.i. To have an earnest desire. 1 Timothy 6:10.

COVETABLE, a. That may be coveted.

COVETED, pp. Earnestly desired; greatly wished or longed for.

COVETING, n. Inordinate desire.

COVETISE, n. Avarice. [Not in use.]


1. Very desirous; eager to obtain; in a good sense; as covetous of wisdom, virtue or learning.

2. Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess; directed to money or goods, avaricious.

A bishop must not be covetous. 1 Timothy 3:2.

COVETOUSLY, adv. With a strong or inordinate desire to obtain and possess; eagerly; avariciously.


1. A strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good; usually in a bad sense, and applied to an inordinate desire of wealth or avarice.

Out of the heart proceedeth covetousness. Mark 7:21, 22.

Mortify your members--and covetousness which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5.

2. Strong desire; eagerness.


1. A brood or hatch of birds; an old fowl with her brood of young. Hence, a small flock or number of fowls together; as a covey of partridges.

2. A company; a set.

COVIN, n. In law, a collusive or deceitful agreement between two or more to prejudice a third person.

COVING, n. [See Cove.] In building, a term denoting an arch or arched projecture, as when houses are built so as to project over the ground-plot, ad the turned projecture arched with timber, lathed and plastered.