Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DEVISABLE, a. s as z. [See the Verb.]

1. That may be bequeathed or given by will.

2. That can be invented or contrived.

DEVISE, v.t. s as z. [L.]

1. To invent; to contrive; to form in the mind by new combinations of ideas, new applications of principles, or new arrangement of parts; to excogitate; to strike out by thought; to plan; to scheme; to project; as, to devise an engine or machine; to devise a new mode of writing; to devise a plan of defense; to devise arguments.

To devise curious works in gold and silver. Exodus 35:32.

In a bad sense:

Devise not evil against thy neighbor. Proverbs 3:29.

2. To give or bequeath by will, as land or other real estate.

DEVISE, v.i. To consider; to contrive; to lay a plan; to form a scheme.

Devise how you will use him, when he comes.

Formerly followed by of; as, let us devise of ease.


1. Primarily, a dividing or division; hence, the act of bequeathing by will; the act of giving or distributing real estate by a testator.

2. A will or testament.

3. A share of estate bequeathed.

DEVISE, n. Contrivance; scheme invented.

DEVISED, pp. Given by will; bequeathed; contrived.

DEVISEE, n. The person to whom a devise is made; one to whom real estate is bequeathed.

DEVISER, n. One who contrives or invents; a contriver; an inventor.


1. Contriving; inventing; forming a scheme or plan.

2. Giving by will; bequeathing.

DEVISOR, n. One who gives by will; one who bequeaths lands or tenements.

DEVITABLE, a. Avoidable. [Not in use.]

DEVITATION, n. An escaping. [Not in use.]

DEVOCATION, n. [L.] A calling away; seduction. [Not in use.]

DEVOID, a. [See Void.]

1. Void; empty; vacant; applied to place.

2. Destitute; not possessing; as devoid of understanding.

3. Free from; as devoid of fear or shame.

DEVOIR, n. [L., to owe.] Primarily, service or duty. Hence, an act of civility or respect; respectful notice due to another; as, we paid our devoirs to the queen, or to the ladies.


1. The act of rolling down; as the devolution of earth into a valley.

2. Removal from one person to another; a passing or falling upon a successor.

DEVOLVE, v.t. devolv. [L., to roll.]

1. To roll down; to pour or flow with windings.

Through splendid kingdoms he devolves his maze.

2. To move from one person to another; to deliver over, or from one possessor to a successor.

The king devolved the care and disposition of affairs on the duke or Ormond.

DEVOLVE, v.i. devolv. Literally, to roll down; hence, to pass from one to another; to fall by succession from one possessor to his successor. In the absence of the commander in chief, the command devolved on the next officer in rank. On the death of the prince, the crown devolved on his eldest son.

DEVOLVED, pp. Rolled down; passed over to another.

DEVOLVING, ppr. Rolling down; falling to a successor.

DEVOTARY, n. A votary. [Not in use.]

DEVOTE, v.t. [L., to vow.]

1. To appropriate by vow; to set apart ro dedicate by a solemn act; to consecrate.

No devoted thing that a man shall devote to the Lord--shall be sold or redeemed. Every thing devoted thing is most holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:28.

2. To give up wholly; to addict; to direct the attention wholly or chiefly; to attach; as, to devote ones self to science; to devote ourselves to our friends, or to their interest or pleasure.

3. To give up; to resign; as, aliens were devoted to rapine; the city was devoted to the flames.

4. To doom; to consign over; as, to devote one to destruction.

5. To execrate; to doom to evil.

DEVOTE, a. Devoted.
DEVOTE, n. A devotee.

DEVOTED, pp. Appropriated by vow; solemnly set apart or dedicated; consecrated; addicted; given up; doomed; consigned.

DEVOTEDNESS, n. The state of being devoted or given; addictedness; as devotedness to religion.

DEVOTEE, n. One who is wholly devoted; particularly, one given wholly to religion; one who is superstitiously given to religious duties and ceremonies; a bigot.


1. Devotedness; devotion.

2. Vowed dedication.

DEVOTER, n. One that devotes; also, a worshiper.

DEVOTING, ppr. Giving or appropriating by vow; solemnly setting apart or dedicating; consecrating; giving wholly; addicting; dooming; consigning.


1. The state of being dedicated, consecrated, or solemnly set apart for a particular purpose.

2. A solemn attention to the Supreme Being in worship; a yielding of the heart and affections to God, with reverence, faith and piety, in religious duties, particularly in prayer and meditation; devoutness.

3. External worship; acts of religion; performance of religious duties.

As I passed by and beheld your devotions. Acts 17:23.

4. Prayer to the Supreme Being. A Christian will be regular in his morning and evening devotions.

5. An act of reverence, respect or ceremony.

6. Ardent love or affection; attachment manifested by constant attention; as, the duke was distinguished by his devotion to the king, and to the interest of the nation.

7. Earnestness; ardor; eagerness.

He seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him.

8. Disposal; power of disposing of; state of dependence.

Arundel castle would keep that rich corner of the country at his majestys devotion.


1. Pertaining to devotion; used in devotion; as a devotional posture; devotional exercises.

2. Suited to devotion; as a devotional frame of mind.

DEVOTIONALIST, DEVOTIONIST, n. A person given to devotion; or one superstitiously or formally devout.

DEVOTO, n. A devotee. [Not in use.]

DEVOTOR, n. One who reverences or worships.

DEVOUR, v.t. [L., to eat.]

1. To eat up; to eat with greediness; to eat ravenously, as a beast of prey, or as a hungry man.

We will say, some evil beast hath devoured him. Genesis 37:20.

In the morning, he shall devour the prey. Genesis 49:27.

2. To destroy; to consume with rapidity and violence.

I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad. Amos 1:4.

Famine and pestilence shall devour him. Ezekiel 7:15.

3. To destroy; to annihilate; to consume.

He seemed in swiftness to devour the way.

4. To waste; to consume; to spend in dissipation and riot.

As soon as this thy son had come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots. Luke 15:30.

5. To consume wealth and substance by fraud, oppression, or illegal exactions.

Ye devour widows houses. Matthew 23:14.

6. To destroy spiritually; to ruin the soul.

Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

7. To slay.

The sword shall devour the young lions. Nahum 2:13.

8. To enjoy with avidity.

Longing they look, and gaping at the sight, devour her oer and oer with vast delight.

DEVOURED, pp. Eaten; swallowed with greediness; consumed; destroyed; wasted; slain.

DEVOURER, n. One who devours; he or that which eats, consumes or destroys; he that preys on.

DEVOURING, ppr. Eating greedily; consuming; wasting; destroying; annihilating.

DEVOURINGLY, adv. In a devouring manner.

DEVOUT, a. [L. See Devote.]

1. Yielding a solemn and reverential attention to God in religious exercises, particularly in prayer.

We must be constant and devout in the worship of God.

2. Pious; devoted to religion; religious.

Simeon was a just man and devout. Luke 2:25.

Devout men carried Stephen to his burial. Acts 8:2.

3. Expressing devotion or piety; as, with eyes devout.

4. Sincere; solemn; earnest; as, you have my devout wishes for your safety.

DEVOUT, n. A devotee. [Not used.]

DEVOUTLESS, a. Destitute of devotion.

DEVOUTLESSNESS, n. Want of devotion.


1. With solemn attention and reverence to God; with ardent devotion.

He was devoutly engaged in prayer.

2. Piously; religiously; with pious thoughts; as, he viewed the cross devoutly.

3. Sincerely; solemnly; earnestly; as, a consummation devoutly to be wished.

DEVOUTNESS, n. The quality or state of being devout.

DEVOW, v.t. To give up. [Not in use.]

DEW, n. [G. To thaw.] The water or moisture collected or deposited on or near the surface of the earth, during the night, by the escape of the heat which held the water in solution.

DEW, v.t. To wet with dew; to moisten.

DEWBENT, a. Bent by the dew.

DEW-BERRY, n. The fruit of a species of brier or bramble, that creeps along the ground, of the genus Rubus.

DEW-BESPANGLED, a. Spangled with dew-drops.

DEW-BESPRENT, a. Sprinkled with dew.

DEW-BESPRINKLED, a. Sprinkled with dew.

DEW-DROP, n. A drop of dew, which sparkles at sunrise; a spangle of dew.

DEW-DROPPING, a. Wetting as with dew.

DEWED, pp. Moistened with dew.

DEW-IMPEARLED, a. [See Pearl.] Covered with dew-drops, like pearls.

DEWING, ppr. Wetting or moistening the dew.

DEW-LAP, n. [dew and lap, to lick.]

1. The flesh that hangs from the throat of oxen, which laps or licks the dew in grazing.

2. In Shakespeare, a lip flaccid with age.

DEW-LAPT, a. Furnished with a dew-lap.

DEW-WORM, n. A worm, called otherwise earth-worm, a species of Lumbricus, which lives just under the surface of the ground. It is of a pale red color, and does no injury to plants.

DEWY, a.

1. Partaking of dew; like dew; as dewy mist.

2. Moist with dew; as dewy fields.

His dewy locks distilled Ambrosia.

DEXTER, a. [L., Gr.] Right, as opposed to left; a term used in heraldry, to denote the right side of a shield or coat of arms; as, bend-dexter; dexter-point.

DEXTERITY, n. [L., right, fit, prompt.]

1. Readiness of limbs; adroitness; activity; expertness; skill; that readiness in performing an action, which proceeds from experience or practice, united with activity or quick motion. We say, a man handles an instrument, or eludes a thrust, with dexterity.

2. Readiness of mind or mental faculties, as in contrivance, or inventing means to accomplish a purpose; promptness in devising expedients; quickness and skill in managing or conducting a scheme of operations. We say, a negotiation is conducted with dexterity.

DEXTRAL, a. Right, as opposed to left.

DEXTRALITY, n. The state of being on the right side.

DEXTRORSAL, a. Rising from right to left, as a spiral line or helix.


1. Ready and expert in the use of the body and limbs; skillful and active in manual employment; adroit; as a dextrous hand; a dextrous workman.

2. Ready in the use of the mental faculties; prompt in contrivance and management; expert; quick at inventing expedients; as a dextrous manager.

3. Skillful; artful; done with dexterity; as dextrous management.

DEXTROUSLY, adv. With dexterity; expertly; skillfully; artfully; adroitly; promptly.

DEXTROUSNESS, n. Dexterity; adroitness.

DEY, n. The title of the governor or sovereign of Algiers, under the protection of the Grand Seignior.

DI, a prefix, a contraction of dis, denotes from, separation or negation, or two.

DIA, Greek, a prefix, denotes through.

DIABASE, n. Another name of greenstone.

DIABATERIAL, a. [Gr.] Border-passing.

DIABETES, n. [Gr., to pass through; to go or pass.] A long continued increased quantity of urine; an excessive and morbid discharge of urine.

DIABETIC, a. Pertaining to diabetes.

DIABOLIC, DIABOLICAL, a. [L., the devil.] Devilish; pertaining to the devil; hence, extremely malicious; impious; atrocious; nefarious; outrageously wicked; partaking of any quality ascribed to the devil; as a diabolical temper; a diabolical scheme or action.

DIABOLICALLY, adv. In a diabolical manner; very wickedly; nefariously.

DIABOLICALNESS, n. The qualities of the devil.


1. The actions of the devil.

2. Possession by the devil.

DIACAUSTIC, a. [G., to burn or inflame.] Belonging to curves formed by refraction.

DIACHYLON, n. [Gr.] An emollient plaster.

DIACONAL, a. [L.] Pertaining to a deacon.

DIACOUSTIC, a. [Gr., to hear.] Pertaining to the science or doctrine of refracted sounds.

DIACOUSTICS, n. The science or doctrine of refracted sounds; the consideration of the properties of sound refracted by passing through different mediums; called also diaphonics.

DIACRITICAL, a. [Gr., to separate.] That separates or distinguishes; distinctive; as a diacritical point or mark.

The short vowel is never signified by any diacritical mark.

DIADELPH, n. [Gr., twice; a brother.] In botany, a plant whose stamens are united into two bodies or bundles by their filaments.

DIADELPHIAN, a. Having its stamens united into two bodies by their filaments.

DIADEM, n. [Gr., to gird; to bind. L.]

1. Anciently, a head-band or fillet worn by kings as a badge or royalty. It was made of silk, linen or wool, and tied round the temples and forehead, the ends being tied behind and let fall on the neck. It was usually white and plain; sometimes embroidered with gold, or set with pearls and precious stones.

2. In modern usage, the mark or badge of royalty, worn on the head; a crown; and figuratively, empire; supreme power.

3. A distinguished or principal ornament.

A diadem of beauty. Isaiah 28:5.

DIADEMED, a. Adorned with a diadem; crowned; ornamented.

DIADROM, n. [Gr., a running about; to run.] A course or passing; a vibration; the time in which the vibration of a pendulum is performed.

DIAGNOSTIC, a. [Gr., to know.] Distinguishing; characteristic; indicating the nature of a disease.

DIAGNOSTIC, n. The sign or symptom by which a disease is known or distinguished from others. Diagnostics are of two kinds; the adjunct, or such as are common to several diseases; and the pathognomonic, which always attend the disease, and distinguish it from all others.

DIAGONAL, a. [Gr. A corner.]

1. In geometry, extending from one angle to another of a quadrilateral figure, and dividing it into two equal parts.

2. Being in an angular direction.

DIAGONAL, n. A right line drawn from angle to angle of a quadrilateral figure, as a square or parallelogram, and dividing it into two equal parts. It is sometimes called the diameter, and sometimes the diametral.

DIAGONALLY, adv. In a diagonal direction.

DIAGRAM, n. [Gr., to write.] In geometry, a figure, draught or scheme delineated for the purpose of demonstrating the properties of any figure, as a square, triangle, circle, etc. Anciently, a musical scale.

DIAGRAPHIC, DIAGRAPHICAL, a. [Gr., to describe.] Descriptive.

DIAL, n. An instrument for measuring time, by the aid of the sun; being a plate or plain surface, on which lines are drawn in such a manner, that the shadow of a wire, or of the upper edge of another plane, erected perpendicularly on the former, may show the true time of the day. The edge of the plane, which shows the time, is called the stile of the dial, and this must be parallel to the axis of the earth. The line on which this plane is erected, is called the substile; and the angle included between the substile and stile, is called the elevation or highth of the stile. A dial may be horizontal, vertical, or inclining.

DIAL-PLATE, n. The plate of a dial on which the lines are drawn, to show the hour or time of the day.

DIALECT, n. [Gr.]

1. The form or idiom of a language, peculiar to a province, or to a kingdom or state; consisting chiefly in differences of orthography or pronunciation. The Greek language is remarkable for four dialects, the Attic, Iionic, Doric and Eolic. A dialect is the branch of a parent language, with such local alterations as time, accident and revolutions may have introduced among descendants of the same stock or family, living in separate or remote situations. But in regard to a large portion of words, many languages, which are considered as distinct, are really dialects of one common language.

2. Language; speech, or manner of speaking.


1. Pertaining to a dialect, or dialects; not radical.

2. Logical; argumental.

DIALECTICALLY, adv. In the manner of dialect.

DIALECTICIAN, n. A logician; a reasoner.

DIALECTICS, n. That branch of logic which teaches the rules and modes of reasoning.

DIALING, n. The art of constructing dials, or of drawing dials on a plane. The sciateric science, or knowledge of showing the time by shadows.

DIALIST, n. A constructor of dials; one skilled in dialing.

DIALLAGE, n. [Gr., difference, alluding to the difference of luster between its natural joints.] A mineral, the smaragdite of Saussure, of a lamellar or foliated structure. Its subspecies are green diallage, metalloidal diallage and bronzite. The metalloidal subspecies is called schillersteing, or shiller spar.

DIALOGISM, n. A feigned speech between two or more.