Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DEPRECATOR, n. One who deprecates.


1. That serves to deprecate; tending to remove or avert evil by prayer; as deprecatory letters.

2. Having the form of prayer.

DEPRECIATE, v.t. [Low L. Price.]

1. To lessen the price of a thing; to cry down the price or value.

2. To undervalue; to represent as of little value or merit, or of less value than is commonly supposed; as, one author is apt to depreciate the works of another, or to depreciate their worth.

3. To lower the value. The issue of a superabundance of notes depreciates them, or depreciates their value.

DEPRECIATE, v.i. To fall in value; to become of less worth. A paper currency will depreciate, unless it is convertible into specie. Estates are apt to depreciate in hte hands of tenants on short leases. Continental bills of credit, issued by the congress, during the revolution, depreciated to the one hundredth part of their nominal value.

DEPRECIATED, pp. Lessened in value or price; undervalued.


1. Lessening the price or worth; undervaluing.

2. Falling in value.


1. The act of lessening or crying down price or value.

2. The falling of value; reduction of worth; as the depreciation of bills of credit.

DEPREDATE, v.t. [L. To plunder; prey.]

1. To plunder; to rob; to pillage; to take the property of an enemy or of a foreign country by force; as, the army depredated the enemys country.

That kind of war which depredates and distresses individuals.

2. To prey upon; to waste; to spoil.

3. To devour; to destroy by eating; as, wild animals depredate the corn.

DEPREDATE, v.i. To take plunder or prey; to commit waste; as, the troops depredated on the country.

DEPREDATED, pp. Spoiled; plundered; wasted; pillaged.

DEPREDATING, ppr. Plundering; robbing; pillaging.


1. The act of plundering; a robbing; a pillaging.

2. Waste; consumption; a taking away by any act of violence. The sea often makes depredations on the land. Intemperance commits depredations on the constitution.

DEPREDATOR, n. One who plunders, or pillages; a spoiler; a waster.

DEPREDATORY, a. Plundering; spoiling; consisting in pillaging.

DEPREHEND, v.t. [L. To take or seize.]

1. To catch; to take unawares or by surprise; to seize, as a person committing an unlawful act.

2. To detect; to discover; to obtain the knowledge of.

DEPREHENDED, pp. Taken by surprise; caught; seized; discovered.

DEPREHENDING, ppr. Taking unawares; catching; seizing; discovering.

DEPREHENSIBLE, a. That may be caught, or discovered.

DEPREHENSIBLENESS, n. Capableness of being caught or discovered.

DEPREHENSION, n. A catching or seizing; a discovery.

DEPRESS, v.t. [L. To press.]

1. To press down; to press to a lower state or position; as, to depress the end of a tube, or the muzzle of a gun.

2. To let fall; to bring down; as, to depress the eye.

3. To render dull or languid; to limit or diminish; as, to depress commerce.

4. To sink; to lower; to deject; to make sad; as, to depress the spirits or the mind.

5. To humble; to abase; as, to depress pride.

6. To sink in altitude; to cause to appear lower or nearer the horizon; as, a man sailing towards the equator depresses the pole.

7. To impoverish; to lower in temporal estate; as, misfortunes and losses have depressed the merchants.

8. To lower in value; as, to depress the price of stock.

DEPRESSING, ppr. Pressing down; lowering in place; letting fall; sinking; dejecting; abasing; impoverishing; rendering languid.


1. The act of pressing down; or the state of being pressed down; a low state.

2. A hollow; a sinking or falling in of a surface; or a forcing inwards; as roughness consisting in little protuberances and depressions; the depression of the skull.

3. The act of humbling; abasement; as the depression of pride; the depression of the nobility.

4. A sinking of the spirits; dejection; a state of sadness; want of courage or animation; as depression of the mind.

5. A low state of strength; a state of body succeeding debility in the formation of disease.

6. A low state of business or of property.

7. The sinking of the polar star towards the horizon, as a person recedes from the pole towards the equator. Also, the distance of a star from the horizon below, which is measured by an arch of the vertical circle or azimuth, passing through the star, intercepted between the star and the horizon.

8. In algebra, the depression of an equation, is the bringing of it into lower and more simple terms by division.

DEPRESSIVE, a. Able or tending to depress or cast down.


1. He that presses down; an oppressor.

2. In anatomy, a muscle that depresses or draws down the part to which it is attached; as the depressor of the lower jaw, or of the eyeball. It is called also depriment or deprimens.

DEPRIVABLE, a. That may be deprived.

A chaplain shall be deprivable by the founder, not by the bishop.


1. The act of depriving; a taking away.

2. A state of being deprived; loss; want; bereavement by loss of friends or of goods.

3. In law, the act of divesting a bishop or other clergyman of his spiritual promotion or dignity; the taking away of a preferment; deposition. This is of two kinds; a beneficio, and ab officio. The former is the deprivation of a minister of his living or preferment; the latter, of his order, and otherwise called deposition or degradation.

DEPRIVE, v.t. [L. To take away.]

1. To take from; to bereave of something possessed or enjoyed; followed by of; as, to deprive a man of sight; to deprive one of strength, of reason, or of property. This has a general signification, applicable to a lawful or unlawful taking.

God hath deprived her of wisdom. Job 39:17.

2. To hinder from possessing or enjoying; to debar.

From his face I shall be hid, deprived of his blessed countenance.

[This use of the word is not legitimate, but common.]

3. To free or release from.

4. To divest of an ecclesiastical preferment, dignity or office; to divest of orders; as a bishop, prebend or vicar.

DEPRIVED, pp. Bereft; divested; hindered; stripped of office or dignity; deposed; degraded.

DEPRIVEMENT, n. The state of losing or being deprived.

DEPRIVER, n. He or that which deprives or bereaves.

DEPRIVING, ppr. Bereaving; taking away what is possessed; divesting; hindering from enjoying; deposing.


1. Deepness; the distance or measure of a thing from the surface to the bottom, or to the extreme part downwards or inwards. The depth of a river may be ten feet. The depth of the ocean is unfathomable. The depth of a wound may be an inch. In a vertical direction, depth is opposed to highth.

2. A deep place.

3. The sea, the ocean.

The depth closed me round about. Jonah 2:5.

4. The abyss; a gulf of infinite profundity.

When he set a compass on the face of the depth. Proverbs 8:27.

5. The middle or highth of a season, as the depth of winter; or the middle, the darkest or stillest part, as the depth of night; or the inner part, a part remote from the border, as the depth of a wood or forest.

6. Abstruseness; obscurity; that which is not easily explored; as the depth of a science.

7. Unsearchableness; infinity.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. Romans 11:33.

8. The breadth and depth of the love of Christ, are its vast extent.

9. Profoundness; extent of penetration, or of the capacity of penetrating; as depth of understanding; depth of skill.

10. The depth of a squadron or battalion, is the number of men in a file, which forms the extent from the front to the rear; as a depth of three men or six men.

11. Depth of a sail, the extent of the square sails from the head-rope to the foot-rope, or the length of the after-leech of a stay-sail or boom-sail.

DEPULSION, n. [L. To drive.] A driving or thrusting away.

DEPULSORY, a. Driving or thrusting away; averting.

DEPURATE, v.t. To purify; to free from impurities, heterogeneous matter or feculence; a chimical term.

DEPURATED, pp. Purified from heterogeneous matter, or from impurities.

DEPURATING, ppr. Purifying; freeing from impurities.


1. The act of purifying or freeing fluids from heterogeneous matter. This is done by decantation, when the feculent matter is deposited on the bottom of the vessel; or by despumation, effected by boiling or fermentation, and skimming; or by filtration; or by fining or clarification.

2. The cleansing of a wound from impure matter.

DEPURATORY, a. Cleansing; purifying; or tending to purify. A depuratory fever, is a fever that expels morbid matter by a free perspiration.

DEPURE, v.t. To depurate.


1. The act of appointing a substitute or representative to act for another; the act of appointing and sending a deputy or substitute to transact business for another, as his agent, either with a special commission and authority, or with general powers. This word may be used for the election of representatives to a legislature; but more generally it is employed to express the appointment of a special agent or commissioner, by an individual or public body, to transact a particular business.

2. A special commission or authority to act as the substitute of another; as, this man acts by deputation from the sheriff.

3. The person deputed; the person or persons authorized and sent to transact business for another; as, the General sent a deputation to the enemy to offer terms of peace.

DEPUTE, v.t. To appoint as a substitute or agent to act for another; to appoint and send with a special commission or authority to transact business in anothers name. The sheriff deputes a man to serve a writ.

There is no man deputed by the king to hear. 2 Samuel 15:3.

The bishop may depute a priest to administer the sacrement.

DEPUTED, pp. Appointed as a substitute; appointed and sent with special authority to act for another.

DEPUTING, ppr. Appointing as a substitute; appointed and sent with special authority to act for another.

DEPUTIZE, v.t. To appoint a deputy; to empower to act for another, as a sheriff.


1. A person appointed or elected to act for another, especially a person sent with a special commission to act in the place of another; a lieutenant; a viceroy. A prince sends a deputy to a diet or council, to represent him and his dominions. A sheriff appoints a deputy to execute the duties of his office. The towns in New England send deputies to the legislature. In the latter sense, a deputy has general powers, and it is more common to use the word representative.

2. In law, one that exercises an office in anothers right, and the forfeiture or misdemeanor of such deputy shall cause the person he represents to lose his office.

DEPUTY-COLLECTOR, n. A person appointed to perform the duties of a collector of the customs, in place of the collector.

DEPUTY-MARSHALL, n. One appointed to act in the place of the marshal.

DEPUTY-POST-MASTER, n. A person who is appointed to act as post-master, in subordination to the Post-Master General.

DEPUTY-SHERIFF, n. A person deputed or authorized to perform the duties of the sheriff, as his substitute. In like manner, we use deputy-commissary, deputy-pay-master, etc.

DER, prefixed to names of places, may be from Sax. deor, a wild beast, or from dur, water.

DERACINATE, v.t. To pluck up by the roots; to extirpate.

DERACINATED, pp. Plucked up by the roots; extirpated.

DERACINATING, ppr. Tearing up by the roots; extirpating.

DERAIGN or DERAIN, v.t. To prove; to justify; to vindicate, as an assertion; to clear ones self.

DERAIGNMENT, DERAINMENT, n. The act of deraining; proof; justification.

A like word was formerly used in the sense of disordering, derangement, a discharge from a profession, or departure from a religious order.


1. To put out of order; to disturb the regular order of; to throw into confusion; as, to derange the plans of a commander, or the affairs of a nation.

I had long supposed that nothing could derange or interrupt the course of putrefaction.

2. To embarrass; to disorder; as, his private affairs are deranged.

3. To disorder the intellect; to disturb the regular operations of reason.

4. To remove from place or office, as the personal staff of a principal military officer. Thus when a general officer resigns or is removed from office, the personal staff appointed by himself are said to be deranged.

DERANGED, pp. Put out of order; disturbed; embarrassed; confused; disordered in mind; delirious; distracted.


1. A putting out of order; disturbance of regularity or regular course; embarrassment.

2. Disorder of the intellect or reason; delirium; insanity; as a derangement of the mental organs.


1. Putting out of order; disturbing regularity or regular course; embarrassment; confusion.

2. Disordering the rational powers.

DERAY, v.t. Tumult; disorder; merriment.

DERE, v.t. To hurt.

DERELICT, a. [L. To leave.] Left; abandoned.


1. In law, an article of goods, or any commodity, thrown away, relinquished or abandoned by the owner.

2. A tract of land left dry by the sea, and fit for cultivation or use.


1. The act of leaving with an intention not to reclaim; an utter forsaking; abandonment.

2. The state of being left or abandoned.

3. A leaving or receding from; as the dereliction of the sea.

DERIDE, v.t. [L. To laugh.] To laugh at in contempt; to turn to ridicule or make sport of; to mock; to treat with scorn by laughter.

The Pharisees also-derided him. Luke 16:14.

Some, who adore Newton for his fluxions, deride him for his religion.

DERIDED, pp. Laughed at in contempt; mocked; ridiculed.


1. One who laughs at another in contempt; a mocker; a scoffer.

2. A droll or buffoon.

DERIDING, ppr. Laughing at with contempt; mocking; ridiculing.

DERIDINGLY, adv. By way of derision or mockery.


1. The act of laughing at in contempt.

2. Contempt manifested by laughter; scorn.

I am in derision daily. Jeremiah 20:7.

3. An object of derision or contempt; a laughing-stock.

I was a derision to all my people. Lamentations 3:14.

DERISIVE, a. Containing derision; mocking; ridiculing.

Derisive taunts.

DERISIVELY, adv. With mockery or contempt.

DERISORY, a. Mocking; ridiculing.


1. That may be derived; that may be drawn, or received, as from a source. Income is derivable from land, money or stocks.

2. That may be received from ancestors; as an estate derivable from an ancestor.

3. That may be drawn, as from premises; deducible; as an argument derivable from facts or preceding propositions.

4. That may be drawn from a radical word; as a word derivable from an Oriental root.

DERIVATE, n. A word derived from another.


1. The act of deriving, drawing or receiving from a source; as the derivation of an estate from ancestors, or of profits from capital, or of truth or facts from antiquity.

2. In grammar, the drawing or tracing of a word from its root or original; as, derivation is from the L. Derivo, and the latter from rivus, a stream.

3. A drawing from, or turning aside from, a natural course or channel; as the derivation of water from its channel by lateral drains.

4. A drawing of humors from one part of the body to another; as the derivation of humors from the eye, by a blister on the neck.

5. The thing derived or deduced.


1. Derived; taken or having proceeded from another or something preceding; secondary; as a derivative perfection; a derivative conveyance, as a release.

2. A derivative chord, in music, is one derived from a fundamental chord.


1. That which is derived; a word which takes its origin in another word, or is formed from it. Thus, depravity is a derivative from the L. Deravo, and acknowledge, from knowledge, and this from know, the primitive word.

2. In music, a chord not fundamental.

DERIVATIVELY, adv. In a derivative manner; by derivation.

DERIVE, v.t. [L. A stream.]

1. To draw from, as in a regular course or channel; to receive from a source by a regular conveyance. The heir derives an estate from his ancestors. We derive from Adam mortal bodies and natures prone to sin.

2. To draw or receive, as from a source or origin. We derive ideas from the senses, and instruction from good books.

3. To deduce or draw, as from a root, or primitive word. A hundred words are often derived from a single monosyllabic root, and sometimes a much greater number.

4. To turn from its natural course; to divert; as, to derive water from the main channel or current into lateral rivulets.

5. To communicate from one to another by descent.

An excellent disposition is derived to your lordship from your parents.

6. To spread in various directions; to cause to flow.

The streams of justice were derived into every part of the kingdom.

DERIVE, v.i. To come or proceed from.

Power from heaven derives.

DERIVED, pp. Drawn, as from a source; deduced; received; regularly conveyed; descended; communicated; transmitted.

DERIVER, n. One who derives, or draws from a source.

DERIVING, ppr. Drawing; receiving; deducing; communicating; diverting or turning into another channel.

DERMAL, a. Pertaining to skin; consisting of skin.

DERMOID, a. Pertaining to the skin; a medical term.

DERN, a. Solitary; sad; cruel.

DERNFUL, a. Sad; mournful.

DERNIER, a. Last; final; ultimate; as the dernier resort.

DERNLY, adv. Sadly; mournfully.

DEROGATE, v.t. [L. To ask, to propose. In ancient Rome, rogo was used in proposing new laws, and derogo, in repealing some section of a law. Hence the sense is to take from or annul a part.]

1. To repeal, annul or destroy the force and effect of some part of a law or established rule; to lessen the extent of a law; distinguished from abrogate.

By several contrary customs, many of the civil and canon laws are controlled and derogated.

2. To lessen the worth of a person or thing; to disparage.


1. To take away; to detract; to lessen by taking away a part; as, say nothing to derogate from the merit or reputation of a brave man.

2. To act beneath ones rank, place or birth.

DEROGATED, pp. Diminished in value; degraded; damaged.

DEROGATELY, adv. In a manner to lessen or take from.

DEROGATING, ppr. Annulling a part. Lessening by taking from.


1. The act of annulling or revoking a law, or some part of it. More generally, the act of taking away or destroying the value or effect of any thing, or of limiting its extent, or of restraining its operation; as, an act of parliament is passed in derogation of the kings prerogative; we cannot do any thing in derogation of the moral law.

2. The act of taking something from merit, reputation or honor; a lessening of value or estimation; detraction; disparagement; with from or of; as, I say not this in derogation of Virgil; let nothing be said in derogation from his merit.

DEROGATIVE, a. Derogatory.

DEROGATORILY, adv. In a detracting manner.

DEROGATORINESS, n. The quality of being derogatory.


1. Detracting or tending to lessen by taking something from; that lessens the extent, effect or value; with to. Let us entertain no opinions derogatory to the honor of God, or his moral government. Let us say nothing derogatory to the merit of our neighbor.

2. A derogatory clause in a testament, is a sentence or secret character inserted by the testator, of which he reserves the knowledge to himself, with a condition that no will be may make hereafter shall be valid, unless this clause is inserted word for word; a precaution to guard against later wills extorted by violence or obtained by suggestion.

DERRING, a. Daring.

DERVIS, n. A turkish priest or monk, who professes extreme poverty, and leads an austere life.


1. A song or tune composed in parts.

2. A song or tune with various modulations.

The wakeful nightingale

All night long her amourous descant sung.

3. A discourse; discussion; disputation; animadversion, comment, or a series of comments.

4. The art of composing music in several parts. Descant is plain, figurative and double.

Plain descant is the ground-work of musical compositions, consisting in the orderly disposition of concords, answering to simple counterpoint.

Figurative or florid descant, is that part of an air in which some discords are concerned.

Double descant, is when the parts are so contrived, that the treble may be made the base, and the base the treble.


1. To run a division or variety with the voice, on a musical ground in true measure; to sing.

2. To discourse; to comment; to make a variety of remarks; to animadvert freely.

A virtuous man should be pleased to find people descanting on his actions.

DESCANTING, ppr. Singing in parts or with various modulations; discoursing freely; commenting.

DESCANTING, n. Remark; conjecture.

DESCEND, v.i. [L. To climb.]

1. To move or pass from a higher to a lower place; to move, come or go downwards; to fall; to sink; to run or flow down; applicable to any kind of motion or of body. We descend on the feet, on wheels, or by falling. A torrent descends from a mountain.

The rains descended, and the floods came. Matthew 7:25, 27.

2. To go down, or to enter.

He shall descend into battle and perish. 1 Samuel 26:10.

3. To come suddenly; to fall violently.

And on the suitors let thy wrath descend.

4. To go in; to enter.

He, with honest meditations fed, into himself descended.

5. To rush; to invade, as an enemy.

The Grecian fleet descending on the town.

6. To proceed from a source or original; to be derived. The beggar may descend from a prince, and the prince, from a beggar.

7. To proceed, as from father to son; to pass from a preceding possessor, in the order of lineage, or according to the laws of succession or inheritance. Thus, an inheritance descends to the son or next of kin; a crown descends to the heir.

8. To pass from general to particular considerations; as, having explained the general subject, we will descend to particulars.

9. To come down from an elevated or honorable station; in a figurative sense. Flavius is an honorable man; he cannot descend to acts of meanness.

10. In music, to fall in sound; to pass from any note to another less acute or shrill, or from sharp to flat.

DESCEND, v.t. To walk, move or pass downwards on a declivity; as, to descend a hill; to descend an inclined plain. [But this may be considered as elliptical; on or along being understood.]