Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



CRANIOMETRICAL, a. Pertaining to craniometry.

CRANIOMETRY, n. The art of measuring the cranium, or skulls, of animals, for discovering their specific differences.

CRANIOSCOPY, n. [supra, and to view.] The science of the eminences produced in the cranium by the brain, intended to discover the particular part of the brain in which reside the organs which influence particular passions or faculties.

CRANIUM, n. [L. Gr.] The skull of an animal; the assemblage of bones which inclose the brain.

CRANK, n. [This word probably belongs to the root of cringe, krinkle, to bend.]

1. Literally, a bend or turn. Hence, an iron axis with the end bent like an elbow, for moving a piston, the saw in a saw-mill, etc., and causing it to rise and fall at every turn.

2. Any bend, turn or winding.

3. A twisting or turning is speech; a conceit which consists in a change of the form or meaning of a word.

Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles.

4. An iron brace for various purposes.

CRANK, a. [g., to careen a ship.]

1. In seamens language, liable to be overset, as a ship when she is too narrow, or has not sufficient ballast to carry full sail.

2. Stout; bold; erect; as a cock crowing crank.

CRANK, CRANKLE, v.i. [See Crank, n., and Crinkle.] To run in a winding course; to bend, wind and turn.

See how this river comes me crankling in.

CRANKLE, v.t. To break into bends, turns or angles; to crinkle.

Old Vagas stream--Crankling her banks.

CRANKLE, n. A bend or turn; a crinkle.


1. Liability to be overset, as a ship.

2. Stoutness; erectness.

CRANNIED, a. [See Cranny.] Having rents, chinks or fissures; as a crannied wall.

CRANNY, n. [L., to split; to cut off; to divide; a piece.]

1. Properly, a rent; but commonly, any small narrow opening, fissure, crevice or chink, as in a wall, or other substance.

In a firm building, the cavities ought to be filled with brick or stone, fitted to the crannies.

2. A hole; a secret retired place.

He peeped into every cranny.

3. In glass-making, an iron instrument for forming the necks of glasses.

CRANTS, n. [G.] Garlands carried before the bier of a maiden and hung over her grave.

CRAPE, n. [See Crisp.] A thin transparent stuff, made of raw silk gummed and twisted on the mill, woven without crossing, and much used in mourning. Crape is also used for gowns and the dress of the clergy.

A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn.

CRAPE, v.t. To curl; to form into ringlets; as, to crape the hair.

CRAPLE, n. A claw.

CRAPNEL, n. A hook or drag.

CRAPULENCE, n. [L., a surfeit. See Crop.] Cropsickness; drunkenness; a surfeit, or the sickness occasioned by intemperance.

CRAPULOUS, a. Drunk; surchared with liquor; sick by intemperance.

CRASH, v.t. To break; to bruise.

CRASH, v.i. To make the loud, clattering, multifarious sound of many things falling and breaking at once.

When convulsions cleave the labring earth, before the dismal yawn appears, the ground trembles and heaves, the nodding houses crash.

CRASH, n. The loud mingled sound of many things falling and breaking at once; as the sound of a large tree falling and its branches breaking, or the sound of a falling house.

CRASHING, n. The sound of many things falling and breaking at once.

There shall be a great crashing from the hills. Zephaniah 1:10.

CRASIS, n. [Gr., to mix, to temper.]

1. The temper or healthy constitution of the blood in an animal body; the temperament which forms a particular constitution of the blood.

2. In grammar, a figure by which two different letters are contracted into one long letter or into a diphthong.

CRASS, a. [L., the same as gross, which see.] Gross; thick; coarse; not thing, nor fine; applied to fluids and solids; as, crass and fumid exhalations. [Little used.]

CRASSAMENT, n. The thick red part of the blood, as distinct from the serum, or aqueous part; the clot.

CRASSITUDE, n. [L.] Grossness; coarseness; thickness; applied to liquids or solids.

CRASSNESS, n. Grossness.

CRATCH, n. A rack; a grated crib or manger. [I believe not used in New England.]

CRATCH. [See Scratch.]

CRATCHES, n. [G., the itch, cratches; to scratch.] In the manege, a swelling on the pastern, under the fetlock, and sometimes under the hoof of a horse.

CRATE, n. [L.] A kind of basket or hamper of wicker-word, used for the transportation of china, crockery and similar wares.

CRATER, n. [L., Gr, a great cup.]

1. The aperture or mouth of a volcano.

2. A constellation of the southern hemisphere, said to contain 31 stars.

CRAUNCH, v.t. To crush with the teeth; to chew with violence and noise.

CRAUNCHING, ppr. Crushing with the teeth with violence.

CRAVAT, n. A neck-cloth; a piece of fine muslin or other cloth worn by men about the neck.

CRAVE, v.t.

1. To ask with earnestness or importunity; to beseech; to implore; to ask with submission or humility, as a dependent; to beg; to entreat.

As for my nobler friends, I crave their pardons.

Joseph--went in boldly to Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. Mark 15:43.

2. To call for, as a gratification; to long for; to require or demand, as a passion or appetite; as, the stomach or appetite craves food.

3. Sometimes intransitively, with for before the thing sought; as, I crave for mercy.

CRAVED, pp. Asked for with earnestness; implored; entreated; longed for; required.


1. A word of obloquy, used formerly by one vanquished in trial by battle, and yielding to the conqueror. Hence, a recreant; a coward; a weak-hearted spiritless fellow.

2. A vanquished, dispirited cock.

CRAVEN, v.t. To make recreant, weak or cowardly.

CRAVER, n. One who craves or begs.


1. Asking with importunity; urging for earnestly; begging; entreating.

2. Calling for with urgency; requiring; demanding gratification; as an appetite craving food.

CRAVING, n. Vehement or urgent desire, or calling for; a longing for.

CRAW, n. [G.] The crop or first stomach of fowls.

CRAW-FISH, CRAY-FISH, n. [Craw is contracted form crab, or from the Welsh crag, a shell. See Crab.] A species of Cancer or crab, a crustaceous fish, found in streams. It resembles the lobster, but is smaller, and is esteemed very delicate food.

CRAWL, v.i.

1. To creep; to move slowly by thrusting or drawing the body along the ground, as a worm; or to move slowly on the hands and knees or feet, as a human being. A worm crawls on the earth; a boy crawls into a cavern, or up a tree.

2. To move or walk weakly, slowly, or timorously.

He was hardly able to crawl about the room.

3. To creep; to advance slowly and slyly; to insinuate ones self; as, to crawl into favor. [This use is vulgar.]

4. To move about; to move in any direction; used in contempt.

Absurd opinions crawl about the world.

5. To have the sensation of insects creeping about the body; as, the flesh crawls.

CRAWL, n. A pen or inclosure of stakes and hurdles on the sea coast for containing fish.

CRAWLER, n. He or that which crawls; a creeper; a reptile.

CRAWLING, ppr. Creeping; moving slowly along the ground, or other substance; moving or walking slowly, weakly or timorously; insinuating.

CRAY or CRAYER, n. A small sea vessel. [Not in use.]

CRAY-FISH, n. The river lobster. [See Craw-fish.]

CRAYON, n. [L.]

1. A general name for all colored stones, earths, or other minerals and substances, used in designing or painting in pastel or paste, whether they have been beaten and reduced to paste, or are used in their primitive consistence. Red crayons are made of blood-stone or red chalk; black ones, of charcoal or black lead.

2. A kind of pencil, or roll of paste, to draw lines with.

3. A drawing or design done with a pencil or crayon.

CARYON, v.t.

1. To sketch with a crayon. Hence,

2. To sketch; to plan; to commit to paper ones first thoughts.

CRAYON-PAINTING, n. The act or art of drawing with crayons.

CRAZE, v.t. [See Crush.]

1. To break; to weaken; to break or impair the natural force or energy of.

Till length of years, and sedentary numbness, craze my limbs.

2. To crush in pieces; to grind to powder; as, to craze tin.

3. To crack the brain; to shatter; to impair the intellect; as, to be crazed with love or grief.

CRAZED, pp. Broken; bruised; crushed; impaired; deranged in intellect; decrepit.

CRAZEDNESS, n. A broken state; decrepitude; an impaired state of the intellect.

CRAZE-MILL, CRAZING-MILL, n. A mill resembling a grist mill, used for grinding tin.

CRAZILY, adv. [See Crazy.] In a broken or crazy manner.

CRAZINESS, n. [See Crazy.]

1. The state of being broken or weakened; as the craziness of a ship or of the limbs.

2. The state of being broken in mind; imbecility or weakness of intellect; derangement.


1. Broken; decrepit; weak; feeble; applied to the body, or constitution, or any structure; as a crazy body; a crazy constitution; a crazy ship.

2. Broken, weakened, or disordered in intellect; deranged, weakened, or shattered in mind. We say, the man is crazy.

CREAGHT, n. Herds of cattle. [Not used.]

CREAGHT, v.i. To graze on lands. [Not used.]

CREAK, v.i. [L., Gr., to comb, scrape, rake; to cry.] To make a sharp harsh grating sound, of some continuance, as by the friction of hard substances. Thus, the hinge of a door creaks in turning; a tight firm shoe creaks in walking, by the friction of the leather.

CREAKING, ppr. Making a harsh grating sound; as creaking hinges or shoes.

CREAKING, n. A harsh grating sound.

CREAM, n. [L., G.]

1. In a general sense, any part of a liquor that separates from the rest, rises and collects on the surface. More particularly, the oily part of milk, which, when the milk stands unagitated in a cool place, rises and forms a scum on the surface, as it is specifically lighter than the other part of the liquor. This by agitation forms butter.

2. The best part of a thing; as the cream of a jest or story.

Cream of lime, the scum of lime water; or that part of lime which, after being dissolved in its caustic state, separates from the water int he mild state of chalk or limestone.

Cream of tartar, the scum of a boiling solution of tartar.

The purified and crystalized supertartrate of potash.

CREAM, v.t.

1. To skim; to take off cream by skimming.

2. To take off the quintessence or best part of a thing.

CREAM, v.i.

1. To gather cream; to flower or mantle.

2. To grow stiff, or formal.

CREAM-BOWL, n. A bowl for holding cream.

CREAM-FACED, a. White; pale; having a coward look.

CREAM-POT, n. A vessel for holding cream.

CREAMY, a. Full of cream; like cream; having the nature of cream; luscious.

CREANCE, n. In falconry, a fine small line, fastened to a hawks leash, when she is first lured.

CREASE, n. A line or mark made by folding or doubling any thing; a hollow streak, like a groove.

CREASE, v.t. To make a crease or mark in a thing by folding or doubling.

CREAT, n. In the manege, an usher to a riding master.

CREATE, v.t. [L.]

1. To produce; to bring into being from nothing; to cause to exist.

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1.

2. To make or form, by investing with a new character; as, to create one a peer or baron; to create a manor.

I create you companions to our person.

3. To produce; to cause; to be the occasion of.

Your eye in Scotland would create soldiers, and make women fight.

Long abstinence creates uneasiness in the stomach; confusion is created by hurry.

4. To beget; to generate; to bring forth.

The people which shall be created, shall praise the Lord. Psalm 102:18.

5. To make or produce, by new combinations of matter already created, and by investing these combinations with new forms, constitutions and qualities; to shape and organize.

God created man in his own image. Genesis 1:27.

6. To form anew; to change the state or character; to renew.

Create in me a clean heart. Psalm 51:10.

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:10.

CREATED, pp. Formed from nothing; caused to exist; produced; generated; invested with a new character; formed into new combinations, with a peculiar shape, constitution and properties; renewed.

CREATING, ppr. Forming from nothing; originating; producing; giving a new character; constituting new beings from matter by shaping, organizing and investing with new properties; forming anew.


1. The act of creating; the act of causing to exist; and especially, the act of bringing this world into existence. Romans 1:20.

2. The act of making, by new combinations of matter, invested with new forms and properties, and of subjecting to different laws; the act of shaping and organizing; as the creation of man and other animals, of plants, minerals, etc.

3. The act of investing with a new character; as the creation of peers in England.

4. The act of producing.

5. The things created; creatures; the world; the universe.

As subjects then the whole creation came.

6. Any part of the things created.

Before the low creation swarmed with men.

7. Any thing produced or caused to exist.

A false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain.

CREATIVE, a. Having the power to create, or exerting the act of creation; as creative fancy; creative power.

CREATOR, n. [L.]

1. The being or person that creates.

Remember thy creator in the days of thy youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1.

2. The thing that creates, produces or causes.

CREATRESS, n. A female that creates any thing.


1. That which is created; every being besides the Creator, or every thing not self-existent. The sun, moon and stars; the earth, animals, plants, light, darkness, air, water, etc., are the creatures of God.

2. In a restricted sense, an animal of any kind; a living being; a beast. In a more restricted sense, man. Thus we say, he was in trouble and no creature was present to aid him.

3. A human being, in contempt; as an idle creature; a poor creature; what a creature!

4. With words of endearment, it denotes a human being beloved; as a pretty creature; a sweet creature.

5. That which is produced, formed or imagined; as a creature of the imagination.

6. A person who owes his rise and fortune to another; one who is made to be what he is.

Great princes thus, when favorites they raise, to justify their grace, their creatures praise.

7. A dependent; a person who is subject to the will or influence of another.

CREATURELY, a. Having the qualities of a creature. [Little used.]

CREATURESHIP, n. The state of a creature. [Little used.]

CREDENCE, n. [See Creed.]

1. Belief; credit; reliance of the mind on evidence of facts derived from other sources than personal knowledge, as from the testimony of others. We give credence to a historian of unsuspected integrity, or to a story which is related by a man of known veracity.

2. That which gives a claim to credit, belief or confidence; as a letter of credence, which is intended to commend the bearer to the confidence of a third person.

CREDENDA, n. [L., See Creed.] In theology, things to be believed; articles of faith; distinguished from agenda, or practical duties.


1. Believing; giving credit; easy of belief.

2. Having credit; not to be questioned.

CREDENTIALS, n. plu. [Rarely or never used in the singular.] That which gives credit; that which gives a title or claim to confidence; the warrant on which belief, credit or authority is claimed, among strangers; as the letters of commendation and power given by a government to an embassador or envoy, which give him credit at a foreign court. So the power of working miracles given to the apostles may be considered as their credentials, authorizing them to propagate the gospel, and entitling them to credit.

CREDIBILITY, n. [L.] Credibleness; the quality or state of a thing which renders it possible to be believed, or which admits belief, on rational principles; the quality or state of a thing which involves no contradiction, or absurdity. Credibility is less than certainty, and greater than possibility; indeed it is less than probability, but is nearly allied to it. [See Credible.]


1. That may be believed; worthy of credit. A thing is credible, when it is known to be possible, or when it involves no contradiction or absurdity; it is more credible, when it is known to come within the ordinary laws or operations of nature. With regard to the Divine Being and his operations, every thing is credible which is consistent with his perfections, and supported by evidence or unimpeachable testimony, for his power is unlimited. With regard to human affairs, we do not apply the word to things barely possible, but to things which come within the usual course of human conduct, and the general rules of evidence.

2. Worthy of belief; having a claim to credit; applied to persons. A credible person is one of known veracity and integrity, or whose veracity may be fairly deduced from circumstances. We believe the history of Aristides and Themistocles, on the authority of credible historians.

CREDIBLENESS, n. Credibility; worthiness of belief; just claim to credit. [See Credibility.]

CREDIBLY, adv. In a manner that deserves belief; with good authority to support belief.

CREDIT, n. [L., See Creed.]

1. Belief; faith; a reliance or resting of the mind on the truth of something said or done. We give credit to a man’s declaration, when the mind rests on the truth of it, without doubt or suspicion, which is attended with wavering. We give credit to testimony or to a report, when we rely on its truth and certainty.

2. Reputation derived from the confidence of others. Esteem; estimation; good opinion founded on a belief of a man’s veracity, integrity, abilities and virtue; as a physician in high credit with his brethren. Hence,

3. Honor; reputation; estimation; applied to men or things. A man gains no credit by profaneness; and a poem may lose no credit by criticism. The credit of a man depends on his virtues; the credit of his writings, on their worth.

4. That which procures or is entitled to belief; testimony; authority derived from ones character, or from the confidence of others. We believe a story on the credit of the narrator. We believe a story on the credit of the narrator. We believe in miracles on the credit of inspired men. We trust to the credit of assertion, made by a man of known veracity.

5. Influence derived from the reputation of veracity or integrity, or from the good opinion or confidence of others; interest; power derived from weight of character, from friendship, fidelity or other cause. A minister may have great credit with a prince. He may employ his credit to good or evil purposes. A man uses his credit with a friend; a servant, with his master.

6. In commerce, trust; transfer of goods in confidence of future payment. When the merchant gives a credit, he sells his wares on an expressed or implied promise that the purchaser will pay for them at a future time. The seller believes in the solvability and probity of the purchaser, and delivers his goods on that belief or trust; or he delivers them on the credit or reputation of the purchaser. The purchaser takes what is sold, on credit. In like manner, money is loaned on the credit of the borrower.

7. The capacity of being trusted; or the reputation of solvency and probity which entitles a man to be trusted. A customer has good credit or no credit with a merchant.

8. In book-keeping, the side of an account in which payment is entered; opposed to debit. This article is carried to ones credit, and that to his debit. We speak of the credit side of an account.

9. Public credit, the confidence which men entertain in the ability and disposition of a nation, to make good its engagements with its creditors; or the estimation in which individuals hold the public promises of payment, whether such promises are expressed or implied. The term is also applied to the general credit of individuals in a nation; when merchants and others are wealthy, and punctual in fulfilling engagements; or when they transact business with honor fidelity; or when transfers of property are made with ease for ready payment. So we speak of the credit of a bank, when general confidence is placed in its ability to redeem its notes; and the credit of a mercantile house rests on its supposed ability and probity, which induce men to trust to its engagements.

Cherish public credit.

When the public credit is questionable, it raises the premium on loans.

10. The notes or bills which are issued by the public or by corporations or individuals, which circulate on the confidence of men in the ability and disposition in those who issue them, to redeem them. They are sometimes called bills of credit.

11. The time given for payment for lands or goods sold on trust; as a long credit, or a short credit.

12. A sum of money due to any person; any thing valuable standing on the creditor side of an account. A has a credit on the books of B. The credits are more than balanced by the debits.

[In this sense, the word has the plural number.]

CREDIT, v.t. [from the Noun.]

1. To believe; to confide in the truth of; as, to credit a report, or the man who tells it.

2. To trust; to sell or loan in confidence of future payment; as, to credit goods or money.

3. To procure credit or honor; to do credit; to give reputation or honor.

May here her monument stand so, to credit this rude age.

4. To enter upon the credit side of an account; as, to credit the amount paid.

5. To set to the credit of; as, to credit to a man the interest paid on a bond.

CREDITABLE, a. Reputable; that may be enjoyed or exercised with reputation or esteem; estimable. A man pursues a creditable occupation, or way of living.

CREDITABLENESS, n. Reputation; estimation.

CREDITABLY, adv. Reputable; with credit; without disgrace.

CREDITED, pp. Believed; trusted; passed to the credit, or entered on the credit side of an account.

CREDITING, ppr. Believing; trusting; entering to the credit in account.

CREDITOR, n. [L. See Creed.]

1. A person to whom a sum of money or other thing is due, by obligation, promise or in law; properly, one who gives credit in commerce; but in a general sense, one who has a just claim for money; correlative to debtor. In a figurative sense, one who has a just claim to services.

Creditors have better memories than debtors.

2. One who believes. [Not used.]

CREDITRIX, n. A female creditor.

CREDULITY, n. [L., to believe. See Creed and Credulous.] Easiness of belief; a weakness of mind by which a person is disposed to believe, or yield his assent to a declaration or proposition, without sufficient evidence of the truth of what is said or proposed; a disposition to believe on slight evidence or no evidence at all.

CREDULOUS, a. [L. See Creed.] Apt to believe without sufficient evidence; unsuspecting; easily deceived.

CREDULOUSNESS, n. Credulity; easiness of belief; readiness to believe without sufficient evidence.

Beyond all credulity is the credulousness of atheists, who believe that chance could make the world, when it cannot build a house.

CREED, n. [This word seems to have been introduced by the use of the Latin credo, I believe, at the beginning of the Apostles creed, or brief system of Christian faith. See Creed.]

1. A brief summary of the articles of Christian faith; a symbol; as the Apostolic creed.

2. That which is believed; any system of principles which are believed or professed; as a political creed.

CREEK, v.t. To make a harsh sharp noise. [See Creak.]

CREEK, n. [See Crack.]

1. A small inlet, bay or cove; a recess in the shore of the sea, or of a river.

They discovered a certain creek with a shore. Acts 27:39.

2. Any turn in winding.

3. A prominence or jut in a winding coast. [This sense is probably not legitimate.]

4. In some of the American States, a small river. This sense is not justified by etymology, but as streams often enter into creeks and small bays or form them, the name has been extended to small streams in general.

CREEKY, a. Containing creeks; full of creeks; winding.

CREEP, v.i. [Gr., the sense is to catch, to grapple; L., to scrape or scratch.]

1. To move with the belly on the ground, or the surface of any other body, as a worm or serpent without legs, or as many insects with feet and very short legs; to crawl.

2. To move along the ground, or on the surface of any other body, in growth, as a vine; to grow along.

3. To move slowly, feebly or timorously; as an old or infirm man, who creeps about his chamber.

4. To move slowly and insensibly, as time.

To morrow, and to morrow, and to morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day.

5. To move secretly; to move so as to escape detection, or prevent suspicion.

Of this sort are they who creep into houses, and lead away captive silly women. 2 Timothy 3:6.

6. To steal in; to move forward unheard and unseen; to come or enter unexpectedly or unobserved; as, some error has crept into the copy of a history.

7. To move or behave with servility; to fawn.


1. One who creeps; that which creeps; a reptile; also, a creeping plant, which moves along the surface of the earth or attaches itself to some other body, as ivy.

2. An iron used to slide along the grate in kitchens.

3. A kind of pattern or clog worn by women.

4. Creeper or creepers, an instrument of iron with hooks or claws, for drawing up things from the bottom of a well, river or harbor.

5. A genus of birds, the Certhia, or ox-eye, of many species. These birds run along the body or branch of a tree, and when they observe a person near, they run to the side opposite, so as to keep out of sight.

CREEPHOLE, n. A hole into which an animal may creep to escape notice or danger; also, a subterfuge; an excuse.

CREEPING, ppr. Moving on the belly, or close to the surface of the earth or other body; moving slowly, secretly, or silently; moving insensibly; stealing along.

CREEPINGLY, adv. By creeping; slowly; in the manner of a reptile.

CREEPLE. [Not used.] [See Cripple.]

CREESE, n. A Malay dagger.