Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DAWK, v.t. To cut or mark with an incision.

DAWN, v.i.

1. To begin to grow light in the morning; to grow light; as, the day dawns; the morning dawns.

It began to dawn towards the first day of the week. Matthew 28:1.

2. To begin to open or expand; to begin to show intellectual light, or knowledge; as, the genius of the youth begins to dawn.

When life awakes and dawns at every line. Pope.

3. To glimmer obscurely.

4. To begin to open or appear.

DAWN, n.

1. The break of day; the first appearance of light, in the morning.

They arose about the dawn of the day. Joshua 6:15.

The word may express the whole time from the first appearance of light to sunrise.

2. First opening or expansion; first appearance of intellectual light; as the dawn of genius, intellect, or mental powers.

3. Beginning; rise; first appearance; as the dawn of time.

4. A feeble or incipient light; first beams.

These tender circumstances diffuse a dawn of serenity over the soul. Pope.


1. Growing light; first appearing luminous; opening; as the dawning day.

2. Opening; expanding; beginning to show intellectual light; beginning.


1. The first appearance of light in the morning.

2. The first opening or appearance of the intellectual powers; beginning; as the first dawning of notions in the understanding.

DAY, n.

1. That part of the time of the earth’s revolution on its axis, in which its surface is presented to the sun; the part of the twenty four hours when it is light; or the space of time between the rising and setting of the sun; called the artificial day.

And God called the light day. Genesis 1:5.

In this sense, the day may commence at any period of the revolution. The Babylonians began the day at sun-rising; the Jews, at sun-setting; the Egyptians, at midnight, as do several nations in modern times, the British, French, Spanish, American, etc. This day, in reference to civil transactions, is called the civil day. Thus with us the day when a legal instrument is dated, begins and ends at midnight.

3. Light; sunshine.

Let us walk honestly as in the day. Romans 13:13.

4. Time specified; any period of time distinguished from other time; age; time with reference to the existence of a person or thing.

He was a useful man in his day.

In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17.

In this sense, the plural is often used; as, from the days of the judges; in the days of our fathers. In this sense also, the word is often equivalent to life, or earthly existence.

5. The contest of a day; battle; or day of combat.

The day is his own.

He won the day, that is, he gained the victory.

6. An appointed or fixed time.

If my debtors do not keep their day. Dryden.

7. Time of commemorating an event; anniversary; the same day of the month, in any future year. We celebrate the day of our Savior’s birth.

Day by day, daily; every day; each day in succession; continually; without intermission of a day.

Day by day, we magnify thee. Common Prayer.

But or only from day to day, without certainty of continuance; temporarily.

To-day, adv. On the present day; this day; or at the present time.

Days of grace, in theology, the time when mercy is offered to sinners.

To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Psalm 95:7.

Days of grace, in law, are days granted by the court for delay, at the prayer of the plaintiff or defendant.

Three days, beyond the day named in the writ, in which the person summoned may appear and answer.

Days of grace, in commerce, a customary number of days, in Great Britain and America, three, allowed for the payment of a note or bill of exchange, after it becomes due. A note due on the seventh of the month is payable on the tenth.

The days of grace are different in different countries. In France, they are ten; at Naples, Eight; at Venice, Amsterdam and Antwerp, six; at Hamburg, Twelve; in Spain, fourteen; in Genoa, thirty.

Days in bank, in England, days of appearance in the court of common bench.

DAYBED, n. A bed used for idleness, indulgence, or rest during the day.

DAYBOOK, n. A journal of accounts; a book in which are recorded the debts and credits or accounts of the day.

DAYBREAK, n. The dawn or first appearance of light in the morning.

DAYCOAL, n. A name given by miners to the upper stratum of coal.

DAYDREAM, n. A vision to the waking senses.

DAYFLOWER, n. A genus of plants, the Commelina.

DAYFLY, n. A genus of insects that live one day only, or a very short time called Ephemera. The species are numerous, some of which live scarcely an hour, others, several days.

DAYLABOR, n. Labor hired or performed by the day.

DAYLABORER, n. One who works by the day.

DAYLIGHT, n. The light of the day; the light of the sun, as opposed to that of the moon or of a lamp or candle.

DAYLILY, n. The same with asphodel. A species of Hemerocallis.

DAYLY, a. The more regular orthography of daily.

DAYSMAN, n. An umpire or arbiter; a mediator.

Neither is there any daysman betwixt us. Job 9:33.

DAYSPRING, n. The dawn; the beginning of the day, or first appearance of light.

Whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us. Luke 1:78.

DAYSTAR, n. The morning star, Lucifer, Venus; the star which precedes the morning light.

DAYTIME, n. The time of the sun’s light on the earth; as opposed to night.

DAYWEARIED, a. Wearied with the labor of the day.

DAYWORK, Work by the day; daylabor.

DAYSWORK, n. The work of one day. Among seamen, the account or reckoning of a ship’s course for 24 hours, from noon to noon.

DAZE, v.t. To overpower with light; to dim or blind by too strong a light, or to render the sight unsteady.

DAZE, n. Among miners, a glittering stone.

DAZZLE, v.t.

1. To overpower with light; to hinder distinct vision by intense light; or to cause to shake; to render unsteady, as the sight. We say, the brightness of the sun dazzles the eyes or the sight.

2. To strike or surprise with a bright or intense light; to dim or blind by a glare of light, or by splendor, in a literal or figurative sense; as, to be dazzled by resplendent glory, or by a brilliant expression.

DAZZLE, v.i. To be overpowered by light; to shake or be unsteady; to waver, as the sight.

I dare not trust these eyes; They dance in mists, and dazzle with surprise.

DAZZLED, pp. Made wavering, as the sight; overpowered or dimmed by a too strong light.

DAZZLEMENT, n. The act or power of dazzling.

DAZZLING, ppr. Rendering unsteady or wavering as the sight; overpowering by a strong light; striking with splendor.

DAZZLINGLY, adv. In a dazzling manner.

DE, a Latin prefix, denotes a moving from, separation; as in debark, decline, decease, deduct, decamp. Hence it often expresses a negative; as in derange. Sometimes it augments the sense, as in deprave, despoil. It coincides nearly in sense with the French des and L. dis.

DEACON, n. [Gr., a minister or servant.]

1. A person in the lowest degree of holy orders. The office of deacon was instituted by the apostles, Acts 6, and seven persons were chosen at first, to serve at the feasts of christians and distribute bread and wine to the communicants, and to minister to the wants of the poor.

In the Romish Church, the office of the deacons is to incense the officiating priest; to lay the corporal on the altar; to receive the cup from the subdeacon and present it to the person officiating; to incense the choir; to receive the pax from the officiating prelate, and carry it to the subdeacon; and at the pontifical mass, to put the miter on the bishop’s head.

In the church of England, the office of deacons is declared to be to assist the priest in administering the holy communion; and their office in presbyterian and independent churches is to distribute the bread and wine to the communicants. In the latter, they are elected by the members of the church.

2. In Scotland, an overseer of the poor, and the master of an incorporated company.

DEACONESS, n. A female deacon in the primitive church.

DEACONRY or DEACONSHIP, n. The office, dignity or ministry of a deacon or deaconess.

DEAD, a.

1. Deprived or destitute of life; that state of a being, animal or vegetable, in which the organs of motion and life have ceased to perform their functions, and have become incapable of performing them, or of being restored to a state of activity.

The men are dead who sought thy life. Exodus 4:19.

It is sometimes followed by of before the cause of death; as, dead of hunger, or of a fever.

2. Having never had life, or having been deprived of vital action before birth; as, the child was born dead.

3. Without life; inanimate.

All, all but truth, drops dead-born from the press.

4. Without vegetable life; as a dead tree.

5. Imitating death; deep or sound; as a dead sleep.

6. Perfectly still; motionless as death; as a dead calm; a dead weight.

7. Empty; vacant; not enlivened by variety; as a dead void space; a dead plain.

We say also, a dead level, for a perfectly level surface.

8. Unemployed; useless; unprofitable. A man’s faculties may lie dead, or his goods remain dead on his hands. So dead capital or stock is that which produces no profit.

9. Dull; inactive; as a dead sale of commodities.

10. Dull; gloomy; still; not enlivened; as a dead winter; a dead season.

11. Still; deep; obscure; as the dead darkness of the night.

12. Dull; not lively; not resembling life; as the dead coloring of a piece; a dead eye.

13. Dull; heavy; as a dead sound.

14. Dull; frigid; lifeless; cold; not animated; not affecting; used of prayer.

15. Tasteless; vapid; spiritless; used of liquors.

16. Uninhabited; as dead walls.

17. Dull; without natural force or efficacy; not lively or brisk; as a dead fire.

18. In a state of spiritual death; void of grace; lying under the power of sin.

19. Impotent; unable to procreate.

20. Decayed in grace.

Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Revelation 3:1.

21. Not proceeding from spiritual life; not producing good works; as, faith without works is dead. James 2:17-26.

22. Proceeding from corrupt nature, not from spiritual life or a gracious principle; as dead works. Hebrews 9:14.

23. In law, cut off from the rights of a citizen: deprived of power of enjoying the rights of property; as one banished or becoming a monk is civilly dead.

Dead language, a language which is no longer spoken or in common use by a people, and known only in writings; as the Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

Dead rising or rising line, the parts of a ship’s floor or bottom throughout her length, where the floor timber is terminated on the lower futtock.

DEAD, n. ded.

1. The dead signifies dead men.

Ye shall not make cuttings for the dead. Leviticus 19:28.

2. The state of the dead; or death.

This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead. Matthew 14:2.

DEAD, n. ded. The time when there is a remarkable stillness or gloom; depth; as in the midst of winter or of night, are familiar expressions.
DEAD, v.i. ded. To lose life or force.
DEAD, v.t. ded. To deprive of life, force or vigor.

DEAD-DOING, a. Destructive; killing.

DEAD-DRUNK, a. So drunk as to be incapable of helping one’s self.

DEADEN, v.t. ded’n.

1. To deprive of a portion of vigor, force or sensation; to abate vigor or action; as, to deaden the force of a ball; to deaden the natural powers or feelings.

2. To blunt; to render less susceptible or feeling; as, to deaden the motion of a ship or of the wind.

3. To retard; to lessen velocity or motion; as, to deaden the motion of a ship or of the wind.

4. To diminish spirit; to make vapid or spiritless; as, to deaden wine or beer.

DEAD-EYE, n. ded’-eye. Among seamen, a round flattish wooden block, encircled by a rope, or an iron band, and pierced with holes, to receive the laniard, used to extend the shrouds and stays, and for other purposes.

DEAD-HEARTED, a. Having a dull, faint heart.

DEAD-HEARTEDNESS, n. Having a dull, faint heart.

DEAD-LIFT, n. A heavy weight; a hopeless exigency.

DEAD-LIGHT, n. ded’-light. A strong wooden port, made to suit a cabin window, in which it is fixed, to prevent the water from entering a ship in a storm.

DEADLIHOOD, n. The state of the dead.

DEADLINESS, n. ded’liness. The quality of being deadly.

DEADLY, a. ded’ly.

1. That may occasion death; mortal; fatal; destructive; as a deadly blow or wound.

2. Mortal; implacable; aiming to kill or destroy; as a deadly enemy; deadly malice a deadly feud.

DEADLY, adv. ded’ly. In a manner resembling death; as deadly pale or wan.

2. Mortally.

With groanings of a deadly wounded man. Ezekiel 30:24.

3. Implacably; destructively.

4. In a vulgar or ludicrous sense, very; extremely; as a deadly cunning man.

DEADLY-CARROT, n. A plant of the genus Thapsia.

DEADLY-NIGHTSHADE, n. A plant of the genus Atropa.

DEADNESS, n. ded’ness.

1. Want of natural life or vital power, in an animal or plant; as the deadness of a limb, of a body, or of a tree.

2. Want of animation; dullness; languor; as the deadness of the eye.

3. Want of warmth or ardor; coldness; frigidity; as the deadness of the affections.

4. State of being incapable of conception, according to the ordinary laws of nature. Romans 4:19.

5. Indifference; mortification of the natural desires; alienation of heart from temporal pleasures; as deadness to the world.

DEADNETTLE, n. A plant of the genus Lamium, and another of the genus Galeopsis.

DEADPLEDGE, n. A mortgage or pawning of things, or thing pawned.

DEAD-RECKONING, n. In navigation, the judgment or estimation of the place of a ship, without any observation of the heavenly bodies; or an account of the distance she has run by the log, and of the course steered by the compass, and this rectified by due allowances for drift, lee-way, etc.

DEAD-STRUCK, a. Confounded; struck with horror.

DEADWATER, n. The eddy water closing in with a ship’s stern, as she passes through the water.

DEADWOOD, n. Blocks of timber laid on the keel of a ship, particularly at the extremities.

DEADWORKS, n. The parts of a ship which are above the surface of the water, when she is balanced for a voyage.

DEAF, n. deef.

1. Not perceiving sounds; not receiving impressions from sonorous bodies through the air; as a deaf ear.

2. Wanting the sense of hearing; having organs which do not perceive sounds; as a deaf man. It is followed by to before that which ought to be heard; as deaf to the voice of the orator.

3. In a metaphorical sense, not listening; not regarding; not moved, persuaded or convinced; rejecting; as deaf to reason or arguments. Men are deaf to the calls of the gospel.

4. Without the ability or will to regard spiritual things; unconcerned; as, hear, ye deaf. Isaiah 42:18, 19.

5. Deprived of the power of hearing; deafened; as deaf with clamor.

6. Stifled; imperfect; obscurely heard; as a deaf noise or murmur.

DEAF, v.t. to deafen, is used by Dryden, but is obsolete, unless perhaps in poetry.

DEAFEN, v.t. dee’fn.

1. To make deaf; to deprive of the power of hearing; to impair the organs of hearing, so as to render them unimpressible to sounds.

2. To stun; to render incapable of perceiving sounds distinctly; as deafened with clamor or tumult.

DEAFLY, adv. dee’fly. Without sense of sounds; obscurely heard.

DEAFNESS, n, dee’fness.

1. Incapacity of perceiving sounds; the state of the organs which prevents the impressions which constitute hearing; as the deafness of the ears: hence, applied to persons, want of the sense of hearing.

2. Unwillingness to hear and regard; voluntary rejection of what is addressed to the ear and to the understanding.

DEAL, v.t. pret. and pp. dealt, pron. delt.

1. To divide; to part; to separate; hence, to divide in portions; to distribute; often followed by out.

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry? Isaiah 1:8.

And Rome deals out her blessing and her gold.

2. To scatter; to throw about; as, to deal out feathered deaths.

3. To throw out in succession; to give one after another; as, to deal out blows.

4. To distribute the cards of a pack to the players.

DEAL, v.i.

1. To traffick; to trade; to negotiate.

They buy and sell, they deal and traffick.

2. To act between man and man; to intervene; to transact or negotiate between men.

He that deals between man and man, raiseth his own credit with both.

3. To behave well or ill; to act; to conduct one’s self in relation to others.

Thou shalt not steal, nor deal falsely, not lie. Leviticus 19:11.

4. To distribute cards.

To deal by, to treat, either well or ill; as, to deal well by domestics.

Such an one deals not fairly by his own mind.

To deal in, to have to do with; to be engaged in; to practice.

They deal in political matters; they deal in low humor.

2. To trade in; as, to deal in silks, or in cutlery.

To deal with, to treat in any manner; to use well or ill.

Now we will deal worse with thee. Genesis 19:9.

Return-and I will deal well with thee. Genesis 32:9.

3. To contend with; to treat with, by way of opposition, check or correction; as, he has turbulent passions to deal with.

4. To treat with by way of discipline, in ecclesiastical affairs; to admonish.

DEAL, n,

1. Literally, a division; a part or portion; hence, an indefinite quantity, degree or extent; as a deal of time and trouble; a deal of cold; a deal of space. Formerly it was limited by some, as some deal; but this is now obsolete or vulgar. In general, we now qualify the word with great, as a great deal of labor; a great deal of time and pains; a great deal of land. In the phrases, it is a great deal better or worse, the words, great deal, serve as modifiers of the sense of better and worse. The true construction is, it is, by a great deal, better; it is better by a great deal, that is, by a great part or difference.

2. The division or distribution of cards; the art or practice of dealing cards.

The deal, the shuffle, and the cut.

3. The division of a piece of timber made by sawing; a board or plank; a sense much more used in England than in the U. States.

DEALBATE, n.t. To whiten.

DEALBATION, n. The act of bleaching; a whitening.


1. One who deals; one who has to do with any thing, or has concern with; as a dealer in wit and learning.

2. A trader; a trafficker; a shopkeeper; a broker; a merchant; a word of very extensive use; as a dealer in dry goods; a dealer in hardware; a dealer in stocks; a dealer in leather; a dealer in lumber; a dealer in linens or woolens; a small dealer in groceries; a money-dealer.

3. One who distributes cards to the players.


1. Dividing; distributing; throwing out.

2. Trading; trafficking; negotiating.

3. Treating; behaving.


1. Practice; action; conduct; behavior; as, observe the dealings of the men who administer the government. But it is now more generally used of the actions of men in private life.

2. Conduct in relation to others; treatment; as the dealings of a father with his children. God’s dealings with men are the dispensations of his providence, or moral government.

3. Intercourse in buying and selling; traffick; business; negotiation. American merchants have extensive dealings with the merchants of Liverpool.

4. Intercourse of business or friendship; concern.

The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. John 4:9.

DEAMBULATE, v.i. To walk abroad.

DEAMBULATION, n. The act of walking abroad.

DEAMBULATORY, a. Pertaining to walks.

DEAMBULATORY, n. A place to walk in.

DEAN, n.

1. In England, am ecclesiastical dignitary in cathedral and collegiate churches, and the head of a chapter; the second dignitary of a diocese. Ancient deans are elected by the chapter in virtue of a conge d’elire from the king and letters missive of recommendation; but in the chapters founded by Henry VIII., out of the spoils of dissolved monasteries, the deanery is donative, and the installation merely by the kings letters patent.

2. An officer in each college of the universities in England.

3. In the U. States, an officer in a medical school.


1. The office or the revenue of a dean.

2. The house of a dean.

3. The jurisdiction of a dean.

Each archdeaconry is divided into rural deaneries, and each deanery is divided into parishes.

Rural dean, or arch-presbyter, had originally jurisdiction over ten churches; but afterwards he became only the bishop’s substitute, to grant letters of administration, probate of wills, etc. His office is now lost in that of the archdeacon and chancellor.

Dean of a Monastery, a superior established under the abbot, to ease him in taking care of ten monks. Hence his name.

Dean and Chapter, are the bishop’s council, to aid him with their advice in affairs of religion, and in the temporal concerns of his see.

DEANSHIP, n. The office of a dean.

DEAR, a.

1. Scarce; not plentiful.

2. Bearing a high price in comparison of the usual price; more costly than usual; of a higher price than the customary one. Wheat is dear at a dollar a bushel, when the usual price is seventy five cents. This is the effect of scarcity and demand.

3. Of a high value in estimation; greatly valued; beloved; precious.

And the last joy was dearer than the rest.

Be ye followers of God, as dear children. Ephesians 5:1.

DEAR, a. Hurtful; grievous; hateful.
DEAR, v.t. To make dear.
DEAR, n. A darling; a word denoting tender affection or endearment; as, my dear.

DEARBOUGHT, a. Purchased at a high price; as dearbought experience; dearbought blessings.

DEARLING, [See Darling.]

DEARLOVED, a. Greatly beloved.

DEARLY, adv.

1. At a high price; as, he pays dearly for his rashness.

2. With great fondness; as, we love our children dearly; dearly beloved.

DEARN, a. Lonely; solitary; melancholy.


1. Scarcity; high price, or a higher price than the customary one; as the dearness of corn.

2. Fondness; nearness to the heart or affections; great value in estimation; preciousness; tender love; as the dearness of friendship.

DEARNLY, adv. Secretly; privately.

DEARTH, n. derth.

1. Scarcity; as a dearth of corn.

2. Want; need; famine;

3. Barrenness; sterility; as a dearth of plot.

DEARTICULATE, v.t. To disjoint.

DEATH, n. deth.

1. That state of a being, animal or vegetable, but more particularly of an animal, in which there is a total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions, when the organs have not only ceased to act, but have lost the susceptibility of renewed action. Thus the cessation of respiration and circulation in an animal may not be death, for during hybernation some animals become entirely torpid, and some animals and vegetables may be subjected to a fixed state by frost, but being capable of revived activity, they are not dead.

2. The state of the dead; as the gates of death. Job 38:17.

3. The manner of dying.

Thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Ezekiel 28:8.

Let me die the death of the righteous. Numbers 23:10.

4. The image of mortality represented by a skeleton; as a death’s head.

5. Murder; as a man of death.

6. Cause of death.

O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. 2 Kings 4:40.

We say, he caught his death.

7. Destroyer or agent of death; as, he will be the death of his poor father.

8. In poetry, the means or instrument of death; as an arrow is called the feathered death; a ball, a leaden death.

Deaths invisible come winged with fire.

9. In theology, perpetual separation from God, and eternal torments; called the second death. Revelation 2:11.

10. Separation or alienation of the soul from God; a being under the dominion of sin, and destitute of grace or divine life; called spiritual death.

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. 1 John 3:14; Luke 1:79.

Civil death, is the separation of a man from civil society, or from the enjoyment of civil rights; as by banishment, abjuration of the realm, entering into a monastery, etc.

DEATH-BED, n. deth’-bed. The bed on which a person dies or is confined in his last sickness.

DEATH-BODING, a. Portending death.

DEATH-DARTING, a. Darting or inflicting death.

DEATH’S-DOOR, n. A near approach to death; the gates of death.

DEATHFUL, a. Full of slaughter; murderous; destructive.

These eyes behold the deathful scene.

DEATHFULNESS, n. Appearance of death.

DEATHLESS, a. Immortal; not subject to death, destruction or extinction; as deathless beings; deathless fame.


1. Resembling death; gloomy; still; calm; quiet; peaceful; motionless; like death in horror or in stillness; as deathlike slumbers.

2. Resembling death; cadaverous.

DEATH’S-MAN, n. An executioner; a hangman.

DEATH-SHADOWED, a. Surrounded by the shades of death.

DEATH-TOKEN, n. That which indicates approaching death.

DEATHWARD, adv. Toward death.

DEATH-WATCH, n. A small insect whose ticking is weakly supposed, by superstitious and ignorant people, to prognosticate death.

DEAURATE, v.t. To gild.

DEAURATE, a. Gilded.

DEBACLE, n. A breaking or bursting forth.

The geological deluge, which is supposed to have swept the surface of the earth, and to have conveyed the fragments of rocks, and the remains of animals and vegetables, to a distance from their native localities.

DEBAR, v.t. To cut off from entrance; to preclude; to hinder from approach, entry or enjoyment; to shut out or exclude; as, we are not debarred from any rational enjoyment; religion debars us from no real pleasure.

DEBARK, v.t. To land from a ship or boat; to remove from on board any water-craft, and place on land; to disembark; as, to debark artillery.

DEBARKATION, n. The act of disembarking.

DEBARKED, pp. Removed to land from on board a ship or boat.

DEBARKING, ppr. Removing from a ship to the land; going from on board a vessel.