Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DETERIORATING, ppr. Becoming worse or inferior in quality.

DETERIORATION, n. A growing or making worse; the state of growing worse.

DETERIORITY, n. Worse sate or quality; as deteriority of diet.

DETERMENT, n. [See Deter.] The act of deterring; the cause of deterring; that which deters.

DETERMINABLE, a. [See Determine.]

1. That may be decided with certainty.

2. That may end or be determined.


1. Limited; fixed; definite; as a determinate quantity of matter.

2. Established; settled; positive; as a determinate rule or order.

The determinate counsel of God. Acts 2:23.

3. Decisive; conclusive; as a determinate resolution or judgment.

4. Resolved on.

5. Fixed; resolute.

DETERMINATE, v.t. To limit. [Not used. See Determine.]


1. With certainty.

The principles of religion are determinately true or false.

2. Resolutely; with fixed resolve. [Unusual.]

DETERMINATENESS, n. The state of being determinate, certain, or precise.


1. The act of determining or deciding.

2. Decision of a question in the mind; firm resolution; settled purpose; as, they have acquainted me with their determination.

3. Judicial decision; the ending of a controversy or suit by the judgment of a court. Justice is promoted by a speedy determination of causes, civil and criminal.

4. Absolute direction to a certain end.

Remissness can by no means consist with a constant determination of the will to the greatest apparent good.

5. An ending; a putting an end to; as the determination of a will.


1. That uncontrollably directs to a certain end.

The determinative power of a just cause.

2. Limiting; that limits or bounds; as, a word may be determinative and limit the subject.

DETERMINATOR, n. One who determines.

DETERMINE, v.t. [L., to bound; a boundary or limit. Gr. See Term.]

1. To end; particularly, to end by the decision or conclusion of a cause, or of a doubtful or controverted point; applicable to the decisions of the mind, or to judicial decisions. We say, I had determined this question in my own mind; the court has determined the cause.

2. To end and fix; to settle ultimately; as, this event determined his fate.

3. To fix on; to settle or establish; as, to determine the proper season for planting seeds.

God--hath determined the times before appointed. Acts 17:26.

4. To end; to limit; to bound; to confine. Yonder hill determines our view. Knowledge is determined by the sight.

5. To give a direction to; to influence the choice; that is, to limit to a particular purpose or direction; as, this circumstance determined him to the study of law. Also, to give a direction to material bodies in their course; as, impulse may determine a moving body to this or that point.

6. To resolve, that is, to end or settle a point in the mind, as in Definition first.

I determined this with myself. 2 Corinthians 2:1.

Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus. Acts 20:16.

7. To destroy. [Not used.]

8. To put an end to; as, to determine a will.

9. To settle or ascertain, as something uncertain.

The character of the soul is determined by the character of its God.


1. To resolve; to conclude; to come to a decision.

He shall pay as the judges determine. Exodus 21.

It is indifferent how the learned shall determine concerning this matter.

2. To end; to terminate. The danger determined by the death of the conspirators. Revolutions often determine in setting up tyranny at home, or in conquest from abroad.

Some estates may determine, on future contingencies.


1. Ended; concluded; decided; limited; fixed; settled; resolved; directed.

2. a. Having a firm or fixed purpose, as a determined man; or manifesting a firm resolution, as a determined countenance.

DETERMINING, ppr. Ending; deciding; fixing; settling; resolving; limiting; directing.

DETERRATION, n. [L., de and terra, earth.] The uncovering of any thing which is buried or covered with earth; a taking from out of the earth.

DETERRED, pp. [See Deter.] Discouraged or prevented from proceeding or acting, by fear, difficulty or danger.


1. Discouraging or influencing not to proceed or act, by fear, difficulty, danger, or prospect of evil.

2. a. Discouraging; frightening.

DETERSION, n. [L. See Deterge.] The act of cleansing, as a sore.

DETERSIVE, a. [See Deterge.] Cleansing; having power to cleanse from offending matter.

DETERSIVE, n. A medicine which has the power of cleansing ulcers, or carrying off foul matter.

DETEST, v.t. [L., to affirm or bear witness. The primary sense of testor is to set, throw or thrust. To detest is to thrust away.] To abhor; to abominate; to hate extremely; as, to detest crimes or meanness.

DETESTABLE, a. Extremely hateful; abominable; very odious; deserving abhorrence.

Thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things. Ezekiel 5:11.

DETESTABLENESS, n. Extreme hatefulness.

DETESTABLY, adv. Very hatefully; abominably.

DETESTATION, n. Extreme hatred; abhorrence; with of. The good man entertains uniformly a detestation of sin.

DETESTED, pp. Hated extremely; abhorred.

DETESTER, n. One who abhors.

DETESTING, ppr. Hating extremely; abhorring; abominating.

DETHRONE, v.t. [L.]

1. To remove or drive from a throne; to depose; to divest of royal authority and dignity.

2. To divest of rule or power, or of supreme power.

The protector was dethroned.

DETHRONED, pp. Removed from a throne; deposed.

DETHRONEMENT, n. Removal from a throne; deposition of a king, emperor or prince.

DETHRONER, n. One who dethrones.

DETHRONING, ppr. Driving from a throne; depriving of regal power.

DETINUE, n. In law, a writ of detinue is one that lies against him who wrongfully detains goods or chattels delivered to him, or in his possession. This writ lies for a thing certain and valuable, as for a horse, cow, sheep, plate, cloth, etc., to recover the thing itself or damages for the detainer.

DETONATE, v.t. [L., to thunder.] In chemistry, to cause to explode; to burn or inflame with a sudden report.

DETONATE, v.i. To explode; to burn with a sudden report. Niter detonates with sulphur.

DETONATED, pp. Exploded; burnt with explosion.

DETONATING, ppr. Exploding; inflaming with a sudden report.

DETONATION, n. An explosion or sudden report made by the inflammation of certain combustible bodies, as fulminating gold. Detonation is not decrepitation.

DETONIZATION, n. The acct of exploding, as certain combustible bodies.

DETONIZE, v.t. [See Detonate.] To cause to explode; to burn with an explosion; to calcine with detonation.

DETONIZE, v.i. To explode; to burn with a sudden report.

This precipitate-detonizes with a considerable noise.

DETONIZED, pp. Exploded, as a combustible body.

DETONIZING, ppr. Exploding with a sudden report.

DETORSION, n. A turning or wresting; perversion.

DETORT, v.t. [L., to twist.] To twist; to wrest; to pervert; to turn from the original or plain meaning.

DETORTED, pp. Twisted; wrested; perverted.

DETORTING, ppr. Wresting; perverting.

DETOUR, n. A turning; a circuitous way.

DETRACT, v.t. [L., to draw. See Draw and Drag.]

1. Literally, to draw from. Hence, to take away from reputation or merit, through envy, malice or other motive; hence, to detract from, is to lessen or depreciate reputation or worth; to derogate from.

Never circulate reports that detract from the reputation or honor of your neighbor, without obvious necessity to justify the act.

2. To take away; to withdraw, in a literal sense.

DETRACTION, n. [L.] The act of taking something from the reputation or worth of another, with the view to lessen him in estimation; censure; a lessening of worth; the act of depreciating another, from envy or malice. Detraction may consist in representing merit, as less than it really is; or in the imputation of faults, vices or crimes, which impair reputation; and if such imputation is false, it is slander or defamation.

DETRACTIOUS, a. Containing detraction; lessening reputation. [Not in use.]

DETRACTIVE, a. Having the quality or tendency to lessen the worth or estimation.

DETRACTOR, n. One who takes away or impairs the reputation of another injuriously; one who attempts to lessen the worth or honor of another.

DETRACTORY, a. Derogatory; defamatory by denial of desert; with from.

DETRACTRESS, n. A female detractor; a censorious woman.

DETRECT, v.t. [L.] To refuse. [Not in use.]

DETRIMENT, n. [L., worn off.] Loss; damage; injury; mischief; harm; diminution. We speak of detriment to interest, property, religion, morals, reputation, and to land or buildings. It is a word of very general application.

DETRIMENTAL, a. Injurious; hurtful; causing loss or damage.

A spirit of speculation may be detrimental to regular commerce.

DETRITION, n. [L.] A wearing off.

DETRITUS, n. [L., worn; to wear.] In geology, a mass of substances worn off or detached from solid bodies by attrition; as diluvial detritus.

DETRUDE, v.t. [L., to thrust.] To thrust down; to push down with force.

DETRUDED, pp. Thrust or forced down.

DETRUDING, ppr. Thrusting or forcing down.

DETRUNCATE, v.t. [L., to cut shorter; cut short. See Trench.] To cut off; to lop; to shorten by cutting.

DETRUNCATION, n. The act of cutting off.

DETRUSION, n. s as z. [See Detrude.] The act of thrusting or driving down.

DETURPATE, v.t. [L.] To defile. [Little used.]

DEUCE, n. Two; a card with two spots; a die with two spots; a term used in gaming.

DEUCE, n. A demon. [See Duse.]

DEUTEROGAMIST, n. [infra.] One who marries the second time.

DEUTEROGAMY, n. [Gr., second; marriage.] A second marriage after the death of the first husband or wife.

DEUTERONOMY, n. [Gr., second; law.] The second law, or second giving of the law by Moses; the name given to the fifth book of the Pentateuch.

DEUTOXYD, n. [Gr., second; strictly.] In chemistry, a substance oxydized in the second degree.

DEVAPORATION, n. [L.] The change of vapor into water, as in the generation of rain.

DEVAST, v.t. [L.] To lay waste; to plunder. [Not in use.]

DEVASTATE, v.t. [L., to waste. See Waste.] To lay waste; to waste; to ravage; to desolate; to destroy improvements.

DEVASTATED, pp. Laid waste; ravaged.

DEVASTATING, ppr. Laying waste; desolating.


1. Waste; ravage; desolation; destruction of works of art and natural productions which are necessary or useful to man; havock; as by armies, fire, flood, etc.

2. IN law, waste of the goods of the deceased by an executor, or administrator.


1. To uncover; to unfold; to lay open; to disclose or make known something concealed or withheld from notice.

The General began to develop the plan of his operations.

These serve to develop its tenets.

2. To unravel; to unfold what is intricate; as, to develop a plot.

DEVELOPED, pp. Unfolded; laid open; unraveled.

DEVELOPING, ppr. Unfolding; disclosing; unraveling.


1. An unfolding; the discovering of something secret or withheld from the knowledge of others; disclosure; full exhibition.

2. The unraveling of a plot.

DEVEST, v.t. [L., a vest, a garment. Generally written divest.]

1. To strip; to deprive of clothing or arms; to take off.

2. To deprive; to take away; as, to devest a man or nation of rights. [See Divest.]

3. To free from; to disengage.

4. In law, to alienate, as title or right.

DEVEST, v.i. In law, to be lost or alienated, as a title or an estate.

[This word is generally written divest, except in the latter and legal sense.]

DEVESTED, pp. Stripped of clothes; deprived; freed from; alienated or lost, as title.

DEVESTING, ppr. Stripping of clothes; depriving; freeing from; alienating.

DEVEX, a. [L.] Bending down. [Not in use.]

DEVEXITY, n. [L., to carry.] A bending downward; a sloping; incurvation downward.

DEVIATE, v.i. [L., way.]

1. To turn aside or wander from the common or right way, course or line, either in a literal or figurative sense; as, to deviate from the common track or path, or from a true course.

There nature deviates, and here wanders will.

2. To stray from the path of duty; to wander, in a moral sense; to err; to sin.


1. A wandering or turning aside from the right way, course or line.

2. Variation from a common or established rule, or from analogy.

3. A wandering from the path of duty; want of conformity to the rules prescribed by God; error; sin; obliquity of conduct.

4. In commerce, the voluntary departure of a ship, without necessity, from the regular and usual course of the specific voyage insured. This discharges the underwriters from their responsibility.

DEVICE, n. [L.]

1. That which is formed by design, or invented; scheme; artificial contrivance; stratagem; project; sometimes in a good sense; more generally in a bad sense, as artifices are usually employed for bad purposes.

In a good sense:

His device is against Babylon, to destroy it. Jeremiah 51:11.

In a bad sense:

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty. Job 5:12.

They imagined a mischievous device. Psalm 21:11.

2. An emblem intended to represent a family, person, action or quality, with a suitable motto; used in painting, sculpture and heraldry. It consists in a metaphorical similitude between the things representing and represented, as the figure of a plow representing agriculture.

Knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by devices on their shields.

3. Invention; genius; faculty of devising; as a man of noble device.

4. A spectacle or show.

DEVICEFUL, a. Full of devices; inventive.

DEVICEFULLY, adv. In a manner curiously contrived.

DEVIL, n. Devl. [L., to calumniate.]

1. In the Christian theology, an evil spirit or being; a fallen angel, expelled from heaven for rebellion against God; the chief of the apostate angels; the implacable enemy and tempter of the human race. In the New Testament, the word is frequently and erroneously used for demon.

2. A very wicked person, and in ludicrous language, an great evil. In profane language, it is an expletive expressing wonder, vexation, etc.

3. An idol, or false god. Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chronicles 11:15.

DEVILING, n. A young devil. [Not in use.]


1. Partaking of the qualities of the devil; diabolical; very evil and mischievous; malicious; as a devilish scheme; devilish wickedness.

2. Having communication with the devil; pertaining to the devil.

3. Excessive; enormous; in a vulgar and ludicrous sense; as a devilish cheat.


1. In a manner suiting the devil; diabolically; wickedly.

2. Greatly; excessively; in a vulgar sense.

DEVILISHNESS, n. The qualities of the devil.

DEVILISM, n. The state of devils. [Not used.]

DEVILIZE, v.t. To place among devils. [Not used.]

DEVILKIN, n. A little devil.

DEVILSHIP, n. The character of a devil.

DEVIOUS, a. [L., way.]

1. Out of the common way or track; as a devious course.

2. Wandering; roving; rambling.

To bless the wildly devious morning walk.

3. Erring; going astray from rectitude or the divine precepts.

One devious step at first may lead into a course of habitual vice.

DEVIRGINATE, v.t. [Low L.] To deflour.