Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



CREMATION, n. [L., to burn.] A burning; particularly, the burning of the dead, according to the custom of many ancient nations.

CREMOR, n. [L. See Cream.] Cream; any expressed juice of grain; yeast; scum; a substance resembling cream.

CRENATE, CRENATED, a. [L., a notch. See Cranny.] Notched; indented; scolloped. In botany, a crenate leaf has its edge, as it were, cut with angular or circular incisures, not inclining towards either extremity. When the scallops are segments of small circles, it is said to be obtusely crenated; when the larger segments have smaller ones upon them, a leaf is said to be doubly crenate.

CRENATURE, n. A scollop, like a notch, in a leaf, or in the style of a plant.

CRENKLE, CRENGLE, CRENULATE, a. [See Cringle.] Having the edge, as it were, cut into very small scollops.

CREOLE, n. In the West Indies and Spanish America, a native of those countries descended from European ancestors.

CREPANCE, CREPANE, n. [L., to burst.] A chop or cratch in a horses leg, caused by the shoe of one hind foot crossing and striking the other hind foot. It sometimes degenerates into an ulcer.

CREPITATE, v.i. [L., to crackle, to crack, to burst with a sharp sound.] To crackle; to snap; to burst with a small sharp abrupt sound, rapidly repeated; as salt in fire, or during calcination. It differs from detonate, which signifies, to burst with a single loud report.

CREPITATING, ppr. Crackling; snapping.


1. The act of bursting with a frequent repetition of sharp sounds; the noise of some salts in calcination; crackling.

2. The noise of fractured bones, when moved by a surgeon to ascertain a fracture.

CREPT, pret. and pp. of creep.

CREPUSCLE, CREPUSCULE, n. [L., a little burst or break of light, or broken light.] Twilight; the light of the morning from the first dawn to sunrise, and of the evening from sunset to darkness. It is occasioned by the refraction of the suns ray.

CREPUSCULAR, CREPUSCULOUS, a. Pertaining to twilight; glimmering; noting the imperfect light of the morning and evening; hence, imperfectly clear or luminous.

CREPUSCULINE, a. Crepuscular. [Not used.]

CRESCENT, a. [L., to grow. See Grow.] Increasing; growing; as crescent horns.


1. The increasing or new moon, which, when receding from the sun, shows a curving rim of light, terminating in points or horns. It is applied to the old or decreasing moon, in a like state, but less properly.

2. The figure or likeness of the new moon; as that borne in the Turkish flag or national standard. The standard itself, and figuratively, the Turkish power.

3. In heraldry, a bearing in the form of a half moon.

4. The name of a military order, instituted by Renatus of Anjou, king of Sicily; so called from its symbol or badge, a crescent of gold enameled.

CRESCENT, v.t. To form into a crescent.

CRESCENT-SHAPED, a. In botany, lunate; lunated; shaped like a crescent; as a leaf.

CRESCIVE, a. [L., to grow.] Increasing; growing.

CRESS, n. [G., L.] The name of several species of plants, most of them of the class tetradynamia. Watercresses, of the genus Sisymbrium, are used as a salad, and are valued in medicine for their antiscorbutic qualities. The leaves have a moderately pungent taste. They grow on the brinks of rivulets and in other moist grounds. The word is generally used in the plural.

CRESSET, n. [See Cross.]

1. A great light set on a beacon, lighthouse, or watch tower.

2. A lamp or torch.

CREST, n. [L. This is probably, a growing or shooting up, from the root of cresco.]

1. The plume of feathers or other material on the top of the ancient helmet; the helmet itself.

2. The ornament of the helmet in heraldry.

3. The comb of a cock; also, a tuft of feathers on the head of other fowls.

4. Any tuft or ornament worn on the head.

5. Loftiness; pride; courage; spirit; a lofty mien.

CREST, v.t.

1. To furnish with a crest; to serve as a crest for.

2. To mark with long streaks.

CRESTED, a. [from crest.]

1. Wearing a crest; adorned with a crest or plume; having a comb; as a crested helmet; a crested cock.

2. In natural history, having a tuft like a crest.


1. Dejected; sunk; bowed; dispirited; heartless; spiritless.

2. Having the upper part of the neck hanging on one side, as a horse.

CRESTLESS, a. Without a crest; not dignified with coat-armor; not of an eminent family; of low birth.

CRETACEOUS, a. [L., chalk.] Chalky; having the qualities of chalk; like chalk; abounding with chalk.

CRETIC, n. [Gr.] A poetic foot of three syllables, one short between two long syllables.

CRETIN, n. A name given to certain deformed and helpless idiots in the Alps.

CREVICE, n. [L., to burst. See Crepitate and Rip.] A crack; a cleft; a fissure; a rent; an opening; as a crevice in a wall.

CREVICE, v.t. To crack; to flaw.

CREVIS, n. The craw-fish.

CREW, n.

1. A company of people associated; as a noble crew; a gallant crew.

2. A company, in a low or bad sense, which is now most usual; a herd; as a rebel crew.

So we say, a miserable crew.

3. The company of seamen who man a ship, vessel or boat; the company belonging to a vessel. Also, the company or gang of a carpenter, gunner, boatswain, etc. It is appropriated to the common sailors.

CREW, pret. of crow, but the regular preterit and participle, crowed, is now most commonly used.

CREWEL, n. Yarn twisted and wound on a knot or ball, or two threaded worsted.

CREWET. [See Cruet.]

CRIB, n.

1. The manger of a stable, in which oxen and cows feed. In America, it is distinguished from a rack for horses.

Where no oxen are, the crib is clean. Proverbs 14:4.

The manger for other beasts.

The ass knoweth his master’s crib. Isaiah 1:3.

2. A small habitation or cottage.

3. A stall for oxen.

4. A case or box in salt works.

5. A small building, raised on posts, for storing Indian corn.

CRIB, v.t. To shut or confine in a narrow habitation; to cage.

CRIBBAGE, n. A game at cards.

CRIBBED, pp. Shut up; confined; caged.


1. A corn-sieve or riddle.

2. Coarse flour or meal. [Not used in the United States.]

CRIBBLE, v.t. To sift; to cause to pass through a sieve or riddle.

CRIBRATION, n. [See Cribble.] The act of sifting or riddling; used in pharmacy.

CRIBRIFORM, a. [L., a sieve, and form.] Resembling a sieve or riddle; a term applied to the lamen of the ethmoid bone, through which the fibers of the olfactory nerve pass to the nose.

CRICHTONITE, n. A mineral so called from Dr. Crichton, physician to the Emperor of Russia. It has a velvet black color, and crystalizes in very acute small rhomboids. It occurs in primitive rocks with octahedrite.

CRICK, n. [See Creak.]

1. The creaking of a door. [Not used.]

2. A spasmodic affection of some part of the body, as of the neck or back; local spasm or cramp.

CRICKET, n. An insect of the genus Gryllus, belonging to the order of Hemipters. There are several species, so named probably on account of their creaking or chirping voice.

The cricket chirping in the hearth.


1. A play or exercise with bats and ball.

2. A low stool.

CRICKETER, n. One who plays at cricket.

CRICKET-MATCH, n. A match at cricket.

CRIED, pret. and part. of cry.

CRIER, CRYER, n. [See Cry.] One who cries; one who makes proclamation. The crier of a court is an officer whose duty is to proclaim the orders or commands of the court, to open or adjourn the court, keep silence, etc. A crier is also employed to give notice of auctions, and for other purposes.

CRIME, n. [L., Gr., to separate, to judge, to decree, to condemn.]

1. An act which violates a law, divine or human; an act which violates a rule of moral duty; an offense against the laws of right, prescribed by God or man, or against any rule of duty plainly implied in those laws. A crime may consist in omission or neglect, as well as in commission, or positive transgression. The commander of a fortress who suffers the enemy to take possession by neglect, is as really criminal, as one who voluntarily opens the gates without resistance.

But in a more common and restricted sense, a crime denotes an offense, or violation of public law, of a deeper and more atrocious nature; a public wrong; or a violation of the commands of God, and the offenses against the laws made to preserve the public rights; as treason, murder, robbery, theft, arson, etc. The minor wrongs committed against individuals or private rights, are denominated trespasses, and the minor wrongs against public rights are called misdemeanors. Crimes and misdemeanors are punishable by indictment, information or public prosecution; trespasses or private injuries, at the suit of the individuals injured. But in many cases an act is considered both as a public offense and a trespass, and is punishable both by the public and the individual injured.

2. Any great wickedness; iniquity; wrong.

No crime was thing, if tis no crime to love.

Capital crime, a crime punishable with death.

CRIMEFUL, a. Criminal; wicked; partaking of wrong; contrary to law, right to duty.

CRIMELESS, a. Free from crime; innocent.


1. Guilty of a crime; applied to persons.

2. Partaking of a crime; involving a crime; that violates public law, divine or human; as, theft is a criminal act.

3. That violates moral obligation; wicked.

4. Relating to crimes; opposed to civil; as a criminal code; criminal law.

CRIMINAL, n. A person who has committed an offense against public law; a violator of law, divine or human. More particularly, a person indicted or charged with a public offense, and one who is found guilty, by verdict, confession or proof.

Criminal conversation, the illegal commerce of the sexes; adultery.

CRIMINALITY, CRIMINALNESS, n. The quality of being criminal, or a violation of law; guiltiness; the quality of being guilty of a crime.

This is by no means the only criterion of criminality.

CRIMINALLY, adv. In violation of public law; in violation of divine law; wickedly; in a wrong or iniquitous manner.

CRIMINATE, v.t. [L.] To accuse; to charge with a crime; to alledge to be guilty of a crime, offense or wrong.

Our municipal laws do not require the offender to plead guilty or criminate himself.

CRIMINATED, pp. Accused; charge with a crime.

CRIMINATING, ppr. Accusing; alledging to be guilty.

CRIMINATION, n. [L.] The act of accusing; accusation; charge of having been guilty of a criminal act, offense or wrong.

CRIMINATORY, a. Relating to accusation; accusing.

CRIMINOUS, a. Very wicked; hainous; involving great crime. [Not used.]

CRIMINOUSLY, adv. Criminally; hainously; enormously. [Not used.]

CRIMINOUSNESS, n. Wickedness; guilt; criminality. [Not used.]

CRIMOSIN. [See Crimson.]

CRIMP, a. [See Crumble.]

1. Easily crumbled; friable; brittle. [Little used.]

The fowler--treads the crimp earth.

2. Not consistent. [Not used.]

CRIMP, v.t. To catch; to seize; to pinch and hold. [See Crimple.]
CRIMP, v.t. To curl or frizzle; as, to crimp the hair. This is evidently the same word as the foregoing.

1. In England, an agent for coal-merchants, and for persons concerned in shipping.

2. One who decoys another into the naval or military service.

3. A game at cards.

CRIMPLE, v.t. [G. See Crumple and Rumple.] To contract or draw together; to shrink; to cause to shrink; to curl.

CRIMPLED, pp. Contracted; shrunk; curled.

CRIMPLING, ppr. Contracting; shrinking; curling; hobbling.

CRIMSON, n. [G.] A deep red color; a red tinged with blue; also, a red color in general; as the virgin crimson of modesty.

He made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson. 2 Chronicles 3:14.

CRIMSON, a. Of a beautiful deep red; as the crimson blush of modesty; a crimson stream of blood.
CRIMSON, v.t. To dye with crimson; to dye of a deep red color; to make red.
CRIMSON, v.i. To become of a deep red color; to be tinged with red; to blush.

Her cheeks crimsoned at the entrance of her lover.

CRIMSONED, pp. Dyed or tinged with a deep red.

CRIMSONING, ppr. Dyeing or tinging with a deep red.

CRINCUM, n. A cramp; a contraction; a turn or bend; a whim. [A vulgar word.]

CRINGE, v.t. [G.] Properly, to shrink; to contract; to draw together; a popular use of the word. [Vulgarly, scringe.]

You see him cringe his face.

CRINGE, v.i. To bow; to bend with servility; to fawn; to make court by mean compliances.

Flatterers are always bowing and cringing.

CRINGE, n. A bow; servile civility.

CRINGER, n. One who cringes, or bows and flatters with servility.

CRINGING, ppr. Shrinking; bowing servilely.

CRINGLE, n. [See Crank and Cringe.]

1. A withe for fastening a gate. [Local.]

2. In marine language, a hole in the boltrope of a sail, formed by intertwisting the division of a rope, called a strand, alternately round itself, and through the strand of the colt-rope, till it becomes three-fold, and takes the shape of a ring. Its use is to receive the ends of the ropes by which the sail is drawn up to its yard, or to extend the leech by the bow-line-bridles.

Iron-cringles or hanks, are open rings running on the stays, to which the heads of the stay sails are made fast.

CRINIGEROUS, a. [L., hear, to wear.] Hairy; overgrown with hair.

CRINITE, a. [L., hair.] Having the appearance of a tuft of hair.

CRINKLE, v.i. To turn or wind; to bend; to wrinkle; to run in and out in little or short bends or turns; as, the lightning crinkles.

CRINKLE, v.t. To form with short turns or wrinkles; to mold into inequalities.
CRINKLE, n. A wrinkle; a winding or turn; sinuosity.

CRINOSE, a. Hairy. [See Crinite.] [Little used.]

CRINOSITY, n. Hairiness. [Little used.]

CRIPPLE, n. [G.] A lame person; primarily, one who creeps, halts or limps; one who has lost, or never enjoyed the use of his limbs. Acts 14:8.

The word may signify one who is partially or totally disabled from using his limbs.

See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing.

CRIPPLE, a. Lame.

1. To lame; to deprive of the use of the limbs, particularly of the legs and feet.

2. To disable; to deprive of the power of exertion. We say, a fleet was crippled in the engagement.

CRIPPLED, pp. Lamed; rendered impotent in the limbs; disabled.

CRIPPLENESS, n. Lameness.

CRIPPLING, ppr. Laming; depriving of the use of the limbs; disabling.

CRISIS, n. plu. [Gr. L., to separate, to determine, to decide. See Crime.]

1. In medical science, the change of a disease which indicates its event; that change which indicates recovery or death. It is sometimes used to designate the excretion of something noxious from the body, or of the noxious fluids in a fever.

2. The decisive state of things, or the point of time when an affair is arrive to its highth, and must soon terminate or suffer a material change.

This hours the very crisis of your fate.

CRISP, a. [L. G. See the Verb.]

1. Curled; formed into curls or ringlets.

2. Indented; winding; as crisp channels.

3. Brittle; friable; easily broken or crumbled.

CRISP, v.t. [L.]

1. To curl; to twist; to contract or form into ringlets, as the hair; to wreathe or interweave, as the branches of trees.

2. To indent. To twist or eddy. But the sense is, to curl; to wrinkle in little undulations, as a fretted surface.

From that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, ran nectar, visiting each plant.

CRISPATION, n. The act of curling, or state of being curled.

CRISPATURE, n. A curling; the state of being curled.

CRISPED, pp. Curled; twisted; frizzled.

CRISPING, ppr. Curling; frizzling.

CRISPING-PIN, n. A curling iron.

CRISPNESS, n. A state of being curled; also, brittleness.


1. Curled; formed into ringlets; as crispy locks.

2. Brittle; dried so as to break short; as a crispy cake.

CRISTATE, CRISTATED, a. [L., a crest.] In botany, crested; tufted; having an appendage like a crest or tuft, as some anthers and flowers.

CRITERION, n. plu. [Gr., to judge. See Crime.] A standard of judging; any established law, rule, principle or fact, by which facts, propositions and opinions are compared, in order to discover their truth or falsehood, or by which a correct judgment may be formed.

CRITHOMANCY, n. [Gr., barley, and divination.] A kind of divination by means of the dough of cakes, and the meal strewed over the victims, in ancient sacrifices.

CRITIC, n. [Gr., a judge or discerner, to judge, to separate, to distinguish. See Crime.]

1. A person skilled in judging of the merit of literary works; one who is able to discern and distinguish the beauties and faults of writing. In a more general sense, a person skilled in judging with propriety of any combination of objects, or of any work of art; and particularly of what are denominated the Fine Arts. A critic is one who, from experience, knowledge, habit or taste, can perceive the difference between propriety and impropriety, in objects or works presented to his view; between the natural and unnatural; the high and the low, or lofty and mean; the congruous and incongruous; the correct and incorrect, according to the established rules of the art.

2. An examiner; a judge.

And make each day a critic on the last.

3. One who judges with severity; one who censures or finds fault.

CRITIC, a. Critical; relating to criticism, or the art of judging of the merit of a literary performance or discourse, or of any work in the fine arts. [See Critical.]
CRITIC, v.i. To criticise; to play the critic. [Little used.]

CRITICAL, a. [L. Gr. See Critic.]

1. Relating to criticism; nicely exact; as a critical dissertation on Homer.

2. Having the skill or power nicely to distinguish beauties from blemishes; a a critical judge; a critical auditor; a critical ear; critical taste.

3. Making nice distinctions; accurate; as critical rules.

4. Capable of judging with accuracy; discerning beauties and faults; nicely judicious in matters of literature and the fine arts; as, Virgil was a critical poet.

5. Capable of judging with accuracy; conforming to exact rules of propriety; exact; particular; as, to be critical in rites and ceremonies, or in the selection of books.

6. Inclined to find fault, or to judge with severity.

7. [See Crisis.] Pertaining to a crisis; marking the time or state of a disease which indicates its termination in the death or recovery of the patient; as critical days, or critical symptoms.

8. Producing a crisis or change in a disease; indicating a crisis; as a critical sweat.

9. Decisive; noting a time or state on which the issue of things depends; important, as regards the consequences; as a critical time or moment; a critical juncture.

10. Formed or situated to determine or decide, or having the crisis at command; important or essential for determining; as a critical post.


1. In a critical manner; with nice discernment of truth or falsehood, propriety or impropriety; with nice scrutiny; accurately; exactly; as, to examine evidence critically; to observe critically.

2. At the crisis; at the exact time.

3. In a critical situation, place or condition, so as to command the crisis; as a town critically situated.


1. The state of being critical; incidence at a particular point of time.

2. Exactness; accuracy; nicety; minute care in examination.

CRITICISE, v.i. s as z.

1. To examine and judge critically; to judge with attention to beauties and faults; as, to criticise on a literary work, on an argument or discourse.

2. To write remarks on the merit of a performance; to notice beauties and faults.

Cavil you may, but never criticise.

3. To animadvert upon as faulty; to utter censure; as, to critise on a man’s manners, or his expenses.


1. To notice beauties and blemishes or faults in; to utter or write remarks on the merit of a performance; as, to criticise the writings of Milton.

2. To pass judgment on with respect to merit or blame; as, to criticise an author; to criticise the conduct.

CRITICISED, pp. Examined and judged with respect to beauties and faults.

CRITICISING, ppr. Examining and judging with regard to beauties and faults; remarking on; animadverting on.


1. The art of judging with propriety of the beauties and faults of a literary performance, or of any production in the fine arts; as the rules of criticism.

2. The act of judging on the merit of a performance; animadversion; remark on beauties and faults; critical observation, verbal or written. We say, the authors criticisms are candid, or they are severe.


1. A critical examination of the merits of a performance; remarks or animadversions on beauties and faults.

Addison wrote a critique on PARADISE LOST.

2. Science of criticism; standard or rules of judging of the merit of performances.

If ideas and words were distinctly weighed, and duly considered, they would afford us another sort of logic and critic.