Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DANDLING, ppr. Shaking and jolting on the knee; moving about in play or for amusement, as an infant.

DANDRUFF, n. A scurf which forms on the head, and comes off in small scales or particles.

DANDY, n. In modern usage, a male of the human species, who dresses himself like a doll and who carries his character on his back.

DANDYISM, n. The manners and dress of a dandy.

DANE, n. A native of Denmark.

DANEGELT, n. In England, an annual tax formerly laid on the English nation, for maintaining forces to oppose the Danes, or to furnish tribute to procure peace. It was at first one shilling, and afterwards two, for every hide of land, except such as belonged to the church.

DANEWORT, n. A plant of the genus Sambucus; a species of elder, called dwarf-elder or wall-wort.

DANGER, n. Peril; risk; hazard; exposure to injury, loss, pain or other evil.

Our craft is in danger to be set at nought. Acts 19:27.

It is easy to boast of despising death, when there is no danger.

DANGER, v.t. To put in hazard; to expose to loss or injury.

DANGERLESS, a. Free from danger; without risk.


1. Perilous; hazardous; exposing to loss; unsafe; full of risk; as a dangerous voyage; a dangerous experiment.

2. Creating danger; causing risk of evil; as a dangerous man; a dangerous conspiracy.

DANGEROUSLY, adv. With danger; with risk of evil; with exposure to injury or ruin; hazardously; perilously; as, to be dangerously sick; dangerously situated.

DANGEROUSNESS, n. Danger; hazard; peril; a state of being exposed to evil; as the dangerousness of condition, of disease.

DANGLE, v.i.

1. To hang loose, flowing, shaking or waving; to hang and swing.

He’d rather on a gibbet dangle. Hudibras.

2. To hang on any one; to be a humble, officious follower; with after or about; as, to dangle about a woman; to dangle after a minister for favors.

DANGLER, n. One who dangles or hangs about.

DANGLING, ppr. Hanging loosely; busily or officiously adhering to.

DANISH, n. The language of the Danes.

DANK, a. Damp; moist; humid; wet.

DANK, n. Moisture; humidity.

DANKISH, a. Somewhat damp.

DANKISHNESS, n. Dampness; humidity.

DAOURITE, n. A mineral, called rubellite, resembling shorl, but differing from it in chimical characters. Its color is red of various shades.

DAP, v.i. To drop or let fall into the water; a word used by anglers.

DAPHNATE, n. A compound of the bitter principle of the Daphne Alpina with a base.

DAPHNIN, n. The bitter principle of the Daphne Alpina, discovered by Vauquelin. It is obtained in small crystals, hard, transparent, of a grayish color and a bitter taste.

DAPIFER, n. One who brings meat to the table. Formerly, the title or office of the grand-master of a king’s household. It still subsists in Germany.

DAPPER, a. Active; nimble; brisk; or little and active; neat; tight; as a dapper fellow; a dapper spark.

DAPPERLING, n. A dwarf; a dandiprat.

DAPPLE, a. Marked with spots; spotted; variegated with spots of different colors or shades of color, as a dapple-bay or dapple-gray; applied to a horse or other beast. It may sometimes express streaked, but this is not its true signification.

DAPPLE, v.t. To spot; to variegate with spots.

The gentle day dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray. Shak.

The dapples pink, and blushing rose. Prior.

DAPPLED, pp. Spotted; variegated with spots of different colors or shades of color.

DAPPLING, ppr. Variegating with spot.

DAR or DART, n. A fish found in the Severn.

DARE, v.i. pret. durst. To have courage to any purpose; to have strength of mind or hardihood to undertake anything; to be bold enough; not to be afraid; to venture; to be adventurous.

I dare do all that may become a man. Shak.

Dare any of you go to law before the unjust? 1 Corinthians 6:1.

None of his disciples durst ask him, who art thou. John 21:12.

In this intransitive sense, dare is not generally followed by the sign to before another verb in the infinitive; though to may be used with propriety. In German, the verb is numbered among the auxiliaries. In the transitive form, it is regular; thus,

DARE, v.t. pret. and pp. dared. To challenge; to provoke; to defy; as, to dare a man to fight.

Time, I dare thee to discover such a youth and such a lover. Dryden.

To dare larks, to catch them by means of a looking glass, or by keeping a bird of prey hovering aloft, which keeps them in amaze till caught; to terrify or amaze.

DARE, Defiance; challenge.
DARE, n. A small fish, the same as the dace.

DARED, pp. Challenged; defied.

DAREFUL, a. Full of defiance.

DARER, n. One who dares or defies.

DARIC, n. A gold coin of Darius the Mede, value about 556 cents.

DARING, ppr.

1. Having courage sufficient for a purpose; challenging; defying.

2. a. Bold; courageous; intrepid; fearless; adventurous; brave; stout.

Grieve not, O daring prince, that noble heart. Pope.

3. Audacious; impudently bold and defying; as in heaven-daring, defying Almighty power.

DARINGLY, adv. Boldly; courageously; fearlessly; impudently.

The principles of our holy religion are daringly attacked from the press. Anon.

DARINGNESS, n. Boldness; courageousness; audaciousness.

DARK, a.

1. Destitute of light; obscure. A dark atmosphere is one which prevents vision.

2. Wholly or partially black; having the quality opposite to white; as a dark color or substance.

3. Gloomy; disheartening; having unfavorable prospects; as a dark time in political affairs.

There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. Irving.

4. Obscure; not easily understood or explained; as a dark passage in an author; a dark saying.

5. Mysterious; as, the ways of Providence are often dark to human reason.

6. Not enlightened with knowledge; destitute of learning and science; rude; ignorant; as a dark age.

7. Not vivid; partially black. Leviticus 13:6, -

8. Blind.

9. Gloomy; not cheerful; as a dark temper.

10. Obscure; concealed; secret; not understood; as a dark design.

11. Unclean; foul.

12. Opake. But dark and opake are not synonymous. Chalk is opake, but not dark.

13. Keeping designs concealed.

The dark unrelenting Tiberius. Gibbon.

DARK, n.

1. Darkness; obscurity; the absence of light. We say we can hear in the dark.

Shall the wonders be known in the dark? Psalm 88:12.

2. Obscurity; secrecy; a state unknown; as, things done in the dark.

3. Obscurity; a state of ignorance; as, we are all in the dark.

DARK, v.t.

1. To make dark; to deprive of light; as, close the shutters and darken the room.

2. To obscure; to cloud.

His confidence seldom darkened his foresight. Bacon.

3. To make black.

The locusts darkened the land. Exodus 10:14, 15.

4. To make dim; to deprive of vision.

Let their eyes be darkened. Romans 11:10.

5. To render gloomy; as, all joy is darkened. Isaiah 24:11.

6. To deprive of intellectual vision; to render ignorant or stupid.

Their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21.

Having the understanding darkened. Ephesians 4:18.

7. To obscure; to perplex; to render less clear or intelligible.

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Job 38:2.

8. To render less white or clear; to tan; as, a burning sun darkens the complexion.

9. To sully; to make foul.

DARKEN, v.i. To grow dark or darker; also, to grow less white or clear.

DARKENED, pp. Deprived of light; obscured; rendered dim; made black; made ignorant.

DARKENING, ppr. Depriving of light; obscuring; making black or less white or clear; clouding.

DARK-HOUSE, n. An old word for a madhouse.

DARKISH, a. Dusky; somewhat dark.

DARKLING, a. Being in the dark, or without light; a poetical word.

DARKLY, adv. Obscurely; dimly; blindly; uncertainly; with imperfect light, clearness or knowledge.

They learn only what tradition has darkly conveyed to them. Anon.


1. Absence of light.

And darkness was on the face of the deep. Genesis 1:2.

2. Obscurity; want of clearness or perspicuity; that quality or state which renders any thing difficult to be understood; as the darkness of counsels.

3. A state of being intellectually clouded; ignorance.

Men loved darkness rather than light. John 3:19.

4. A private place; secrecy; privacy.

What I tell in darkness, that speak ye in light. Matthew 10:27.

5. Infernal gloom; hell; as utter darkness. Matthew 22:13.

6. Great trouble and distress; calamities; perplexities.

A day of clouds and thick darkness. Joel 2:2; Isaiah 8:22.

7. Empire of Satan.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness. Colossians 1:13.

8. Opakeness.

Land of darkness, the grave. Job 10:21, 22.

DARKSOME, a. Dark; gloomy; obscure; as a darksome house; a darksome cloud.

DARK-WORKING, a. Working in darkness or in secrecy.

DARLING, a. Dearly beloved; favorite; regarded with great kindness and tenderness; as a darling child; a darling science.

DARLING, n. One much beloved; a favorite; as, that son was the darling of his father.

DARN, v.t. To mend a rent or hole, by imitating the texture of the cloth or stuff with yarn or thread and a needle; to sew together with yarn or thread. It is used particularly of stockings.

DARN, n. A place mended by darning.

DARNEL, n. A plant of the genus Lolium, a kind of grass; the most remarkable species are the red darnel or rye-grass, and the white darnel.

DARNER, n. One who mends by darning.

DARNING, ppr. Mending in imitation of the original texture; sewing together; as a torn stocking, or cloth.

DARNING, n. The act of mending, as a hole in a garment.

DARRAIN, v.t. To prepare, or to order; or to try; to endeavor; to prove; to apply to the contest.

But for thou art a worthy gentil knight, and wilnest to darraine hire by bataille.

DART, n. [Gr., a spear or lance. See also Dar.]

1. A pointed missile weapon to be thrown by the hand; a short lance.

2. Any missile weapon; that which pierces and wounds.

And from about her shot darts of desire.

DART, v.t.

1. To throw a pointed instrument with a sudden thrust; as, to dart a javelin.

2. To throw suddenly or rapidly; to send; to emit; to shoot; applied to small objects, which pass with velocity; as, the sun darts his beams on the earth.

Or what ill eyes malignant glances dart. Pope.

DART, v.i.

1. To fly or shoot, as a dart; to fly rapidly.

2. To spring and run with velocity; to start suddenly and run; as, the deer darted from the thicket.

DARTED, pp. Thrown or hurled as a pointed instrument; sent with velocity.

DARTER, n. One who throws a dart.

DARTING, ppr. Throwing, as a dart; hurling darts; flying rapidly.

DASH, v.t.

1. To strike suddenly or violently, whether throwing or falling; as, to dash one stone against another.

Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Matthew 4:6.

2. To strike and bruise or break; to break by collision; but usually with the words, in pieces.

Thou shalt dash them in pieces, as a potter’s vessel. Psalm 2:9.

3. To throw water suddenly, in separate portions; as, to dash water on the head.

4. To bespatter; to sprinkle; as, to dash a garment.

5. To strike and break or disperse.

At once the brushing oars and brazen prow dash up the sandy waves, and ope the depth below. Dryden.

6. To mix and reduce or adulterate by throwing in another substance; as, to dash wine with water; the story is dashed with fables.

7. To form or sketch out in haste, carelessly.

8. To erase at a stroke; to strike out to blot out or obliterate; as, to dash out a line or word.

9. To break; to destroy; to frustrate; as, to dash all their schemes and hopes.

10. To confound; to confuse; to put to shame; to abash; to depress by shame or fear; as, he was dashed at the appearance of the judge.

Dash the proud gamester in his gilded car. Pope.

DASH, v.i.

1. To strike, break, scatter and fly off; as, agitate water and it will dash over the sides of a vessel; the waves dashed over the side of the ship.

2. To rush, strike and break or scatter; as, the waters dash down the precipice.

3. To rush with violence, and break through; as, he dashed into the enemy’s ranks; or he dashed through thick and thin.

DASH, n.

1. Collision; a violent striking of two bodies; as the dash of clouds.

2. Infusion; admixture; something thrown into another substance; as, the wine has a dash of water.

Innocence, with a dash of folly. Addison.

3. Admixture; as, red with a dash of purple.

4. a rushing, or onset with violence; as, to make a dash upon the enemy.

5. A sudden stroke; a blow; an act.

She takes upon her bravely at first dash. Shak.

6. A flourish; blustering parade; as, the young fop made a dash.

7. A mark or line in writing or printing, noting a break or stop in the sentence; as in Virgil, quos ego-: or a pause; or the division of the sentence.

DASHED, pp. Struck violently; driven against; bruised, broken or scattered by collision; besprinkled; mixed or adulterated; erased, blotted out; broken; cast down; confounded; abashed.


1. Driving and striking against; striking suddenly or violently; breaking or scattering by collision; infusing; mixing; confounding; blotting out; rushing.

2. a. Rushing; driving; blustering; as a dashing fellow.

3. a. Precipitate; rushing carelessly on.

DASTARD, n. A coward; a poltroon; one who meanly shrinks from danger.

DASTARD, a. Cowardly; meanly shrinking from danger.

Curse on their dastard souls. Addison.

DASTARD, v.t. To make cowardly; to intimidate; to dispirit.

DASTARDIZE, v.t. To make cowardly.

DASTARDLINESS, n. Cowardliness.

DASTARDLY, Cowardly; meanly timid; base; sneaking.

DASTARDNESS, n. Cowardliness; mean timorousness.

DASTARDY, n. Cowardliness; base timidity.

DATA, n. plu. Things given, or admitted; quantities, principles or facts given, known, or admitted, by which to find things or results unknown.


1. An officer of the chancery of Rome, who affixes the datum Roma to the pope’s bulls.

2. The employment of a datary.

DATE, n.

1. That addition to a writing which specifies the year, month and day when it was given or executed. In letters, it notes the time when they are written or sent; in deeds, contracts, wills and other papers, it specifies the time of execution, and usually the time from which they are to take effect and operate on the rights of persons. To the date is usually added the name of the place where a writing is executed, and this is sometimes included in the term date.

2. The time when any event happened, when any thing was transacted, or when any thing is to be done; as the date of a battle; the date of Cesar’s arrival in Britain.

3. End; conclusion.

What time would spare, from steel receives its date. Pope.

4. Duration; continuance; as, ages of endless date.

DATE, v.t.

1. To write or note the time when a letter is written, or a writing executed; to express, in an instrument, the year, month and day of its execution, and usually the place; as, to date a letter, a bond, a deed, or a charter.

2. To note or fix the time of an event or transaction. Historians date the fulfillment of a prophecy at different periods.

3. To note the time when something begins; as, to date a disease or calamity from a certain cause.

DATE, v.i.

1. To reckon.

2. To begin; to have origin.

The Batavian republic dates from the successes of the French arms. E. Everett.

DATE, n. The fruit of the great palm-tree, or date-tree, the Phoenix dactylifera. This fruit is somewhat in the shape of an acorn, composed of a thin light glossy membrane, somewhat pellucid and yellowish, containing a soft pulpy fruit, firm and sweet, esculent and wholesome, and in this is inclosed a hard kernel.

DATE-TREE, n. The tree that bears dates; the great palm-tree.

DATED, pp. Having the time of writing or execution specified; having the time of happening noted.

DATELESS, a. Having no date; having no fixed term.

DATER, n. One that dates.

DATING, ppr. Expressing the time of writing or of executing a paper or instrument; noting the time of happening, or originating.

DATIVE, a. In grammar, the epithet of the case of nouns, which usually follows verbs that express giving, or some act directed to am object. Thus, datur tibi, it is given to you; missum est illi, it was sent to him; fecit mihi, he made or did to or for me; loquebatur illis, he spoke to them. It also follows other words expressing something to be given to a person or for his benefit; as, utilis vobis, useful to you. In English, this relation is expressed by to or for.

Dative Executor, in law, one appointed by the judge of probate; an administrator.

DATOLITE or DATHOLITE, n. The siliceous borate of lime, a mineral of two subspecies, the common and the botryoidal. The common is of a white color, of various shades, and greenish gray. It occurs in granular distinct concretions, and crystalized. The botryiodal occurs in mammillary concretions, or in botryiodal masses, white and earthy. It is named from its want of transparency.

DATUM, n. Something given or admitted.

DATURA, n. A vegeto-alkali obtained from Datura stramonium.

DAUB, v.t.

1. To smear with soft adhesive matter; to plaster; to cover with mud, slime, or other soft substance.

She took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch. Exodus 2:3.

2. To paint coarsely.

If a picture is daubed with many bright colors, the vulgar admire it. Watts.

3. To cover with something gross or specious; to disguise with an artificial covering.

So smooth he daubed his vice with show of virtue. Shak.

4. To lay or put on without taste; to deck awkwardly or ostentatiously, or to load with affected finery.

Let him be daubed with lace- Dryden.

5. To flatter grossly.

Conscience will not daub nor flatter. South.

DAUB, v.i. To practice gross flattery; to play the hypocrite.

DAUBED, pp. Smeared with soft adhesive matter; plastered; painted coarsely; disguised; loaded with ill chosen finery.

DAUBER, n. One who daubs; a coarse painter; a low and gross flatterer.

DAUBING, ppr. Plastering; painting coarsely; disguising clumsily; decking ostentatiously; flattering grossly.

DAUBING, n. Plastering; coarse painting; gross flattery.

DAUBRY or DAUBERY, n, A daubing; any thing artful.

DAUBY, a. Viscous; glutinous; slimy; adhesive.


1. The female offspring of a man or woman; a female child of any age.

2. A daughter in law; a son’s wife. Ruth 3:16.

3. A woman; plu. female inhabitants.

Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land. Genesis 34:1.

4. A female descendant; lineage of females. Luke 1:5.

5. The female penitent of a confessor.

This word is used in scripture for the inhabitants of a city or country, male and female. Isaiah 16:2; Matthew 21:5. Also as a term of affection or kindness.

Daughter, be of good comfort. Matthew 9:22.


1. The state of a daughter.

2. The conduct becoming a daughter.

DAUGHTERLY, a. Becoming a daughter; dutiful.

DAUNT, v.t. To repress or subdue courage; to intimidate; to dishearten; to check by fear of danger. It expresses less than fright and terrify.

Some presences daunt and discourage us.

DAUNTED, pp. Checked by fear; intimidated.

DAUNTING, ppr. Repressing courage; intimidating; disheartening.

DAUNTLESS, a. Bold; fearless; intrepid; not timid; not discouraged; as a dauntless hero; a dauntless spirit.

DAUNTLESSNESS, n. Fearlessness; intrepidity.

DAUPHIN, n. The eldest son of the king of France, and presumptive heir of the crown.

DAUPHINESS, n. The wife or lady of the dauphin.

DAVINA, n. A new Vesuvian mineral of a hexahedral form and laminar texture; so called in honor of Sir H. Davy.

DAVIT, n. A beam used on board of ships, as a crane to hoist the flukes of the anchor to the top of the bow, without injuring the sides of the ship; an operation called fishing the anchor.

DAW, v.i. To dawn.

DAWDLE, v.i. To waste time; to trifle.

DAWDLER, n. A trifler.