Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary




1. To compound a second time; to compound or mix with that which is already compound; to form by a second composition.

2. To decompose.


1. Composed of things or words already compounded; compounded a second time.

2. A decompound leaf, in botany, is when the primary petiole is so divided that each part forms a compound leaf. A decompound flower is formed of compound flowers, or containing, within a common calyx, smaller calyxes, common to several flowers.

DECOMPOUNDABLE, a. That may be decompounded.

DECOMPOUNDED, pp. Compounded a second time; composed of things already compounded.

DECOMPOUNDING, ppr. Compounding a second time.

DECORATE, v.t. [L. comeliness, grace.]

1. To adorn; to beautify; to embellish; used of external ornaments or apparel; as, to decorate the person; to decorate an edifice; to decorate a lawn with flowers.

2. To adorn with internal grace or beauty; to render lovely; as, to decorate the mind with virtue.

3. To adorn or beautify with any thing agreeable; to embellish; as, to decorate a hero with honors, or a lady with accomplishments.

DECORATED, pp. Adorned; beautified; embellished.

DECORATING, ppr. Adorning; embellishing; rendering beautiful to the eye, or lovely to the mind.


1. Ornament; embellishment; any thing added which renders more agreeable to the eye or to the intellectual view.

2. In architecture, any thing which adorns and enriches an edifice, as vases, paintings, figures, festoons, etc.

3. In theaters, the scenes, which are changed as occasion requires.

DECORATOR, n. One who adorns or embellishes.

DECOROUS, a. Decent; suitable to a character, or to the time, place and occasion; becoming; proper; befitting; as a decorous speech; decorous behavior; a decorous dress for a judge.

DECOROUSLY, adv. In a becoming manner.

DECORTICATE, v.t. [L. bark.] To strip off bark; to peel; to husk; to take off the exterior coat; as, to decorticate barley.

DECORTICATED, pp. Stripped of bark; peeled; husked.

DECORTICATING, ppr. Stripping off bark or the external coat; peeling.

DECORTICATION, n. The act of stripping off bark or husk.

DECORUM, n. [L. to become.]

1. Propriety of speech or behavior; suitableness of speech and behavior, to one’s own character, and to the characters present, or to the place and occasion; seemliness; decency; opposed to rudeness, licentiousness, or levity.

To speak and behave with decorum is essential to good breeding.

2. In architecture, the suitableness of a building, and of its parts and ornaments, to its place and uses.


1. Any thing intended to lead into a snare; any lure or allurement that deceives and misleads into evil, danger or the power of an enemy.

2. A place for catching wild fowls.

DECOY-DUCK, n. A duck employed to draw others into a net or situation to be taken.

DECOYED, pp. Lured or drawn into a snare or net; allured into danger by deception.

DECOYING, ppr. Luring into a snare or net by deception; leading into evil or danger.

DECOY-MAN, n. A man employed in decoying and catching fowls.

DECREASE, v.i. [L. To grow.] To become less; to be diminished gradually, in extent, bulk, quantity, or amount, or in strength, quality, or excellence; as, the days decrease in length from June to December.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30.

DECREASE, v.t. To lessen; to make smaller in dimensions, amount, quality or excellence, etc.; to diminish gradually or by small deductions; as, extravagance decreases the means of charity; every payment decreases a debt; intemperance decreases the strength and powers of life.

1. A becoming less; gradual diminution; decay; as a decrease of revenue; a decrease of strength.

2. The wane of the moon; the gradual diminution of the visible face of the moon from the full to the change.

DECREASED, pp. Lessened; diminished.

DECREASING, ppr. Becoming less; diminishing; waning.

DECREE, n. [L. To judge; to divide.]

1. Judicial decision, or determination of a litigated cause; as a decree of the court of chancery. The decision of a court of equity is called a decree; that of a court of law, a judgment.

2. In the civil law, a determination or judgment of the emperor on a suit between parties.

3. An edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction; as the decrees of ecclesiastical councils.

4. In general, an order, edict or law made by a superior as a rule to govern inferiors.

There went a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. Luke 2:1.

5. Established law, or rule.

He made a decree for the rain. Job 28:26.

6. In theology, predetermined purpose of God; the purpose or determination of an immutable Being, whose plan of operations is, like himself, unchangeable.

DECREE, v.t.

1. To determine judicially; to resolve by sentence; as, the court decreed that the property should be restored; or they decreed a restoration of the property.

2. To determine or resolve legislatively; to fix or appoint; to set or constitute by edict or in purpose.

Thou shalt decree a thing, and it shall be established. Job 22:28.

Let us not be solicitous to know what God has decreed concerning us.

DECREED, pp. Determined judicially; resolved; appointed; established in purpose.

DECREEING, ppr. Determining; resolving; appointing; ordering.


1. Decrease; waste; the state of becoming less gradually.

Rocks and mountains suffer a continual decrement.

2. The quantity lost by gradual diminution, or waste.

3. In heraldry, the wane of the moon.

4. In crystalography, a successive diminution of the lamens of molecules, applied to the faces of the primitive form, by which the secondary forms are supposed to be produced.

DECREPIT, a. [L. to break.] Broken down with age; wasted or worn by the infirmities of old age; being in the last stage of decay; weakened by age.

DECREPITATE, v.t. [L. To break or burst, to crackle.] To roast or calcine in a strong heat, with a continual bursting or crackling of the substance; as, to decrepitate salt.

DECREPITATE, v.i. To crackle, as salts when roasting.

DECREPITATED, pp. Roasted with a crackling noise.

DECREPITATING, ppr. Crackling; roasting with a crackling noise; suddenly bursting when exposed to heat.

DECREPITATION, n. The act of roasting with a continual crackling; or the separation of parts with a crackling noise, occasioned by heat.

DECREPITNESS, DECREPITUDE, n. The broken, crazy state of the body, produced by decay and the infirmities of age.

DECRESCENT, a. Decreasing; becoming less by gradual diminution; as a decrescent moon.


1. A letter of the pope, determining some point or question in ecclesiastical law. The decretals form the second part of the canon law.

2. A book of decrees, or edicts; a body of laws.

3. A collection of the popes decrees.

DECRETION, n. A decreasing.

DECRETIST, n. One who studies or professes the knowledge of the decretals.

DECRETORILY, adv. In a definitive manner.


1. Judicial; definitive; established by a decree.

The decretory rigors of a condemning sentence.

2. Critical; determining; in which there is some definitive event; as, critical or decretory days.

DECREW, v.i. To decrease.

DECRIAL, n. A crying down; a clamorous censure; condemnation by censure.

DECRIED, pp. Cried down; descredited; brought into disrepute.

DECRIER, n. One who decries.

DECROWN, v.t. To deprive of a crown.

DECRY, v.t.

1. To cry down; to censure as faulty, mean or worthless; to clamor against; to discredit by finding fault; as, to decry a poem.

2. To cry down, as improper or unnecessary; to rail or clamor against; to bring into desrepute; as, to decry the measures of administration.

DECUBATION, n. The act of lying down.

DECUMBENCE, DECUMBENCY, n. [L. To lie down.] The act of lying down; the posture of lying down.

DECUMBENT, a. In botany, declined or bending down; having the stamens and pistils bending down to the lower side; as a decumbent flower.


1. The time at which a person takes to his bed in a disease.

2. In astrology, the scheme or aspect of the heavens, by which the prognostics of recovery or death are discovered.

DECUPLE, a. [L. Ten.] Tenfold; containing ten times as many.

DECUPLE, n. A number ten times repeated.

DECURION, n. [L. Ten] An officer in the Roman army, who commanded a decuria, or ten soldiers, which was a third part of the turma, and a thirtieth of the legion of cavalry.

DECURRENT, a. [L. To run down; to run.] Extending downwards. A decurrent leaf is a sessile leaf having its base extending downwards along the stem.

DECURSION, n. [L. To run.] The act of running down, as a stream.

DECURSIVE, a. Running down.

Decursively pinnate, in botany, applied to a leaf, having the leaflets decurrent or running along the petiole.

DECURT, v.t. To shorten by cutting off.

DECURTATION, n. [L. To shorten.] Tha act of shortening, or cutting short.

DECURY, n. [L. Ten.] A set of ten men under an officer called decurio.

DECUSSATE, v.t. [L. To cut or strike across.] To intersect at acute angles, thus X; or in general, to intersect; to cross; as lines, rays, or nerves in the body.

DECUSSATE, DECUSSATED, a. Crossed; intersected. In botany, decussated leaves and branches, are such as grow in pairs which alternately cross each other at right angles, or in a regular manner.

In rhetoric, a decussated period is one that consists of two rising and two falling clauses, placed in alternate opposition to each other. For example, If impudence could effect as much in courts of justice, as insolence sometimes does in the country, Caesina would now yield to the impudence of Ebutius, as he then yielded to his insolent assault.

DECUSSATING, ppr. Intersecting at acute angles; crossing.

DECUSSATION, n. The act of crossing at unequal angles; the crossing of two lines, rays or nerves, which meet in a point and then proceed and diverge.

DEDALIAN, a. Various; variegated; intricate; complex; expert.

DEDALOUS, a. Having a margin with various windings and turnings; of a beautiful and delicate texture; a term applied to the leaves of plants.

DEDECORATE, v.t. To disgrace.

DEDECORATION, n. A disgracing.

DEDENTITION, n. The shedding of teeth.

DEDICATE, v.t. [L. To vow, promise, devote, dedicate. See Class Dg. No. 12, 15, 45. The sense is to send, to throw; hence, to set, to appoint.]

1. To set apart and consecrate to a divine Being, or to a sacred purpose; to devote to a sacred use, by a solemn act, or by religious ceremonies; as, to dedicate vessels, treasures, a temple, an altar, or a church, to God or to a religious use.

Vessels of silver, of gold, and of brass, which king David did dedicate to the Lord. 2 Samuel 8:11.

2. To appropriate solemnly to any person or purpose; to give wholly or chiefly to. The ministers of the gospel dedicate themselves, their time and their studies, to the service of Christ. A soldier dedicates himself to the profession of arms.

3. To inscribe or address to a patron; as, to dedicate a book.

DEDICATE, a. Consecrated; devoted; appropriated.

DEDICATED, pp. Devoted to a divine Being, or to a sacred use; consecrated; appropriated; given wholly to.

DEDICATING, ppr. Devoting to a divine Being, or to a sacred purpose; consecrating; appropriating; giving wholly to.


1. The act of consecrating to a divine Being, or to a sacred use, often with religious solemnities; solemn appropriation; as the dedication of Solomons temple.

2. The act of devoting or giving to.

3. An address to a patron, prefixed to a book, testifying respect and recommending the work to his protection and favor.

DEDICATOR, n. One who dedicates; one who inscribes a book to the favor of a patron.

DEDICATORY, a. Composing a dedication; as an epistle dedicatory.

DEDITION, n. [L. To yield.] The act of yielding any thing; surrendry.

DEDOLENT, a. Feeling no compunction.

DEDUCE, v.t. [L. To lead, bring or draw.]

1. To draw from; to bring from.

O goddess, say, shall I deduce my rhymes

From the dire nation in its early times?

2. To draw from, in reasoning; to gather a truth, opinion or proposition from premises; to infer something from what precedes.

Reasoning is nothing but the faculty of deducing unknown truths from principles already known.

3. To deduct.

4. To transplant.

DEDUCED, pp. Drawn from; inferred; as a consequence from principles or premises.

DEDUCEMENT, n. The thing drawn from or deduced; inference; that which is collected from premises.

DEDUCIBLE, a. That may be deduced; inferable; collectible by reason from premises; consequential.

The properties of a triangle are deducible from the complex idea of three lines including a space.

DEDUCING, ppr. Drawing from; inferring; collecting from principles or facts already established or known.

DEDUCIVE, a. Performing the act of deduction.

DEDUCT, v.t. To take from; to subtract; to separate or remove, in numbering, estimating or calculating. Thus we say, from the sum of two numbers, deduct the lesser number; from the amount of profits, deduct the charges of freight.

DEDUCTED, pp. Taken from; subtracted.

DEDUCTING, ppt. Taking from; subtracting.


1. The act of deducting.

2. That which is deducted; sum or amount taken from another; defalcation; abatement; as, this sum is a deduction from the yearly rent.

3. That which is drawn from premises; fact, opinion, or hypothesis, collected from principles or facts stated, or established data; inference; consequence drawn; conclusion; as, this opinion is a fair deduction from the principles you have advanced.

DEDUCTIVE, a. Deducible; that is or may be deduced from premises.

All knowledge is deductive.

DEDUCTIVELY, adv. By regular deduction; by way of inference; by consequence.

DEED, n.

1. That which is done, acted or effected; an act; a fact; a word of extensive application, including whatever is done, good or bad, great or small.

And Joseph said to them, what deed is this which ye have done? Genesis 44:15.

We receive the due reward of our deeds. Luke 23:41.

2. Exploit; achievement; illustrious act.

Whose deeds some nobler poem shall adorn.

3. Power of action; agency.

With will and deed created free.

4. A writing containing some contract or agreement, and the evidence of its execution; particularly, an instrument on paper or parchment, conveying real estate to a purchaser or donee. This instrument must be executed, and the execution attested, in the manner prescribed by law.

Indeed, in fact; in reality. These words are united and called an adverb. But sometimes they are separated by very, in very deed; a more emphatical expression. Exodus 9:16.

DEED, v.t. To convey or transfer by deed; a popular use of the word in America; as, he deeded all his estate to his eldest son.

DEED-ACHIEVING, a. That accomplishes great deeds.

DEEDLESS, a. Inactive; not performing or having performed deeds or exploits.

DEED-POLL, n. A deed not indented, that is, shaved or even, made by one party only.

DEEM, v.t.

1. To think; to judge; to be of opinion; to conclude on consideration; as, he deems it prudent to be silent.

For never can I deem him less than god.

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

2. To estimate.

DEEM, n. Opinion; judgment; surmise.

DEEMED, pp. Thought; judged; supposed.

DEEMING, ppr. Thinking; judging; believing.

DEEMSTER, n. A judge in the Isle of Man and in Jersey.

DEEP, a.

1. Extending or being far below the surface; descending far downward; profound; opposed to shallow; as deep water; a deep pit or well.

2. Low in situation; being or descending far below the adjacent land; as a deep valley.

3. Entering far; piercing a great way. A tree in a good soil takes deep root. A spear struck deep into the flesh.

4. Far from the outer part; secreted.

A spider deep ambushed in her den.

5. Not superficial or obvious; hidden; secret.

He discovereth deep things out of darkness. Job 12:22.

6. Remote from comprehension.

O Lord, thy thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:5.

7. Sagacious; penetrating; having the power to enter far into a subject; as a man of deep thought; a deep divine.

8. Artful; contriving; concealing artifice; insidious; designing; as a friend, deep, hollow treacherous.

9. Grave in sound; low; as the deep tones of an organ.

10. Very still; solemn; profound; as deep silence.

11. Thick; black; not to be penetrated by the sight.

Now deeper darkness brooded on the ground.

12. Still; sound; not easily broken or disturbed.

The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. Genesis 2:21.

13. Depressed; sunk low, metaphorically; as deep poverty.

14. Dark; intense; strongly colored; as a deep brown; a deep crimson; a deep blue.

15. Unknown; unintelligible.

A people of deeper speech than thou canst perceive. Isaiah 33:19.

16. Heart-felt; penetrating; affecting; as a deep sense of guilt.

17. Intricate; not easily understood or unraveled; as a deep plot or intrigue.

This word often qualifies a verb, like an adverb.

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.

DEEP, n.

1. The sea; the abyss of waters; the ocean.

He maketh the deep to boil like a pot. Job 41:31.

2. A lake; a great collection of water.

Lanch out into the deep, and let down your nets. Luke 5:4.

3. That which is profound, not easily fathomed, or incomprehensible.

Thy judgments are a great deep. Psalm 36:6.

4. The most still or solemn part; the midst; as, in deep of night.

DEEPEN, v.t.

1. To make deep or deeper; to sink lower; as, to deepen the channel of a river or harbor; to deepen a well.

2. To make dark or darker; to make more thick or gloomy; as, to deepen the shades of night; to deepen gloom.

3. To give a darker hue, or a stronger color; as, to deepen a color; to deepen a red, blue or crimson color.

4. To make more poignant or distressing; as, to deepen grief or sorrow.

5. To make more frightful; as, to deepen the horrors of the scene.

6. To make more sad or gloomy; as, to deepen the murmurs of the flood.

7. To make more grave; as, to deepen the tones of an organ.

DEEPEN, v.i. To become more deep; as, the water deepens at every cast of the lead.

DEEPENED, pp. Made more deep.

DEEPENING, ppr. Sinking lower; making more deep.

DEEPLY, adv.

1. At or to a great depth; far below the surface; as a passion deeply rooted in our nature; precepts deeply engraven on the heart.

2. Profoundly; thoroughly; as deeply skilled in ethics or anatomy.

3. To or from the inmost recesses of the heart; eith great sorrow; most feelingly.

He sighed deeply in his spirit. Mark 8:12.

He was deeply affected at the sight.

4. To a great degree; as, he has deeply offended.

They have deeply corrupted themselves. Hosea 9:9.

5. With a dark hye, or strong color; as a deeply red liquor; deeply colored.

6. Gravely; as a deeply toned instrument.

7. With profound skill; with art or intricacy; as a deeply laid plot or intrigue.

This word cannot easily be defined in all its various applications. In general it gives emphasis or intensity to the word which it qualifies.

DEEP-MOUTHED, a. Having a hoarse, loud, hollow voice; as a deep-mouthed dog.

DEEP-MUSING, a. Contemplative; thinking closely or profoundly.