Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DIALOGIST, n. [See Dialogue.] A speaker in a dialogue; also, a writer of dialogues.

DIALOGISTIC, a. Having the form of a dialogue.

DIALOGISTICALLY, adv. In the manner of dialogue.

DIALOGIZE, v.i. [See Dialogue.] To discourse in dialogue.

DIALOGUE, n. Dialog. [Gr., to dispute; to speak.]

1. A conversation or conference between two or more persons; particularly, a formal conversation in theatrical performances; also, an exercise in colleges and schools, in which two or more persons carry on a discourse.

2. A written conversation, or a composition in which two or more persons are represented as conversing on some topic; as the dialogues of Cicero de Oratore, and de Natura Deorum.

DIALOGUE, v.i. To discourse together; to confer. [Not used.]

DIALOGUE-WRITER, n. A writer of dialogues or feigned conversations.

DIALYSIS, n. [Gr., to dissolve.]

1. A mark in writing or printing, consisting of two points placed over one of two vowels, to dissolve a diphthong, or to show that the two vowels are to be separated in pronunciation; as, aer, mosaic.

2. In medicine, debility; also, a solution of continuity.

DIAMANTINE, for adamantine. [Not in use.]

DIAMETER, n. [Gr., measure through.]

1. A right line passing through the center of a circle or other curvilinear figure, terminated by the circumference, and dividing the figure into two equal parts.

2. A right line passing through the center of a piece of timber, a rock or other object, from one side to the other; as the diameter of a tree, or of a stone.

DIAMETRAL, a. Diametrical, which see.

DIAMETRALLY, adv. Diametrically.


1. Describing a diameter.

2. Observing the direction of a diameter; direct; as diametrical opposition.

DIAMETRICALLY, adv. In a diametrical direction; directly; as diametrically opposite.

DIAMOND, n. Dimond. [L., Gr. See Adamant.]

1. A mineral, gem or precious stone, of the most valuable kind, remarkable for its hardness, as it scratches all other minerals. When pure, the diamond is usually clear and transparent, but it is sometimes colored. In its rough state, it is commonly in the form of a roundish pebble, or of octahedral crystals. It consists of carbon, and when heated to 14 degrees Wedgewood, and exposed to a current of air, it is gradually, but completely combustible. When pure and transparent, it is said to be of the first water.

2. A very small printing letter.

3. A figure, otherwise called a rhombus.

DIAMOND, a. Resembling a diamond, as a diamond color; or consisting of diamonds, as a diamond chain.

DIAMONDED, a. Having the figure of an oblique angled parallelogram, or rhombus.

DIAMOND-MINE, n. A mine in which diamonds are found.

DIANDER, n. [Gr., twice; a male.] In botany, a plant having two stamens.

DIANDRIAN, a. Having two stamens.

DIAPASM, n. [Gr., to sprinkle.] A perfume.

DIAPASON, DIAPASE, n. [Gr., through all.]

1. In music, the octave or interval which includes all the tones.

2. Among musical instrument-makers, a rule or scale by which they adjust the pipes of organs, the holes of flutes, etc., in due proportion for expressing the several tones and semitones.

Diapason-diapente, a compound consonance in a triple ratio, as 3 to 9, consisting of 9 tones and a semitone, or 19 semitones; a twelfth.

Diapason-diatessaron, a compound concord, founded on the proportion of 8 to 3, consisting of eight tones and a semitone.

Diapason-ditone, a compound concord, whose terms are as 10 to 4, or 5 to 2.

Diapason-semiditone, a compound concord, whose terms are in the proportion of 12 to 5.

DIAPENTE, n. [Gr., five.]

1. A fifth; an interval making the second of the concords, and with the diatessaron, an octave.

2. In medicine, a composition of five ingredients.

DIAPER, n. Figured linen cloth; a cloth wove in flowers or figures; much used for towels or napkins. Hence, a towel or napkin.

DIAPER, v.t. To variegate or diversify, as cloth, with figures; to flower.
DIAPER, v.i. To draw flowers or figures, as upon cloth.

If you diaper on folds.

DIAPHANED, a. Transparent. [Little used.]

DIAPHANEITY, n. [Gr., to shine through; to shine.] The power of transmitting light; transparency; pellucidness.

DIAPHANIC, a. [Gr. See supra.] Having power to transmit light; transparent.

DIAPHANOUS, a. [See supra.] Having power to transmit rays of light, as glass; pellucid; transparent; clear.

DIAPHORESIS, n. [Gr., to carry through; to carry.] Augmented perspiration; or an elimination of the humors of the body through the pores of the skin.

DIAPHORETIC, a. [supra.] Having the power to increase perspiration; sudorific; sweating.

DIAPHORETIC, n. A medicine which promotes perspiration; a sudorific. Diaphoretics differ from sudorifics; the former only increase the insensible perspiration; the latter excite the sensible discharge called sweat.

DIAPHRAGM, n. Diafram. [Gr., to break off, to defend.]

1. In anatomy, the midriff, a muscle separating the chest or thorax from the abdomen or lower belly.

2. A partition or dividing substance.

DIAPORESIS, n. [Gr., to doubt.] In rhetoric, doubt; hesitation.

DIARESIS, DIARESY, n. [Gr., a division; to take away.] The dissolution of a diphthong; the mark placed over one of two vowels, denoting that they are to be pronounced separately, as distinct letters.

DIARIAN, a. [See Diary.] Pertaining to a diary; daily.

DIARIST, n. One who keeps a diary.

DIARRHEA, n. [Gr., to flow through; to flow.] Purging or flux; a frequent and copious evacuation of excrement by stool.

DIARRHETIC, a. Promoting evacuation by stool; purgative.

DIARY, n. [L., a day.] An account of daily events or transactions; a journal; a register of daily occurrences or observations; as a diary of the weather. A diary fever is a fever of one day.

DIASCHISM, n. [Gr., a piece cut off; to cut off.] In music, the difference between the comma and enharmonic diesis, commonly called the lesser comma.

DIASPORE, n. [Gr., to disperse.] A mineral occurring in lamellar concretions, of a pearly gray color, and infusible. A small fragment, placed in the flame of a candle, almost instantly decrepitates, and is dispersed; whence its name. It is a mineral little known.

DIASTALTIC, a. [Gr., dilating.] Dilated; noble; bold; an epithet given by the Greeks to certain intervals in music, as the major third, major sixth and major seventh.

DIASTEM, n. [Gr.] In music, a simple interval.

DIASTOLE, DIASTOLY, n. [Gr., to set or send from.]

1. Among physicians, a dilation of the heart, auricles and arteries; opposed to systole or contraction.

2. In grammar, the extension of a syllable; or a figure by which a syllable naturally short is made long.

DIASTYLE, n. [Gr.] An edifice in which three diameters of the columns are allowed for intercolumniations.

DIATESSARON, n. [Gr., four.] Among musicians, a concord or harmonic interval, composed of a greater tone, a lesser tone, and one greater semitone. Its proportion is as 4 to 3, and it is called a perfect fourth.

DIATONIC, a. [Gr., by or through, sound.] Ascending or descending, as in sound, or from sound to sound. This epithet is given to a scale or gammut, to intervals of a certain kind, or to music composed of these intervals; as a diatonic series; a diatonic interval; diatonic melody or harmony. It is applied to ordinary music, containing only the two greater and lesser tones, and the greater semitone.

DIATRIBE, n. [Gr.] A continued discourse or disputation.

DIAZEUTIC, a. [Gr., to disjoin.] A diazeutic tone, in ancient Greek music, disjoined two fourths, one on each side of it, and which, being joined to either, made a fifth. This is, in our music, from A to B.

DIBBLE, n. [probably from the root of top, tip, a point, and denoting a little sharp point; or allied to dip, to thrust in.] A pointed instrument, used in gardening and agriculture, to make holes for planting seeds, etc.

DIBBLE, v.t. To plant with a dibble; or to make holes for planting seeds, etc.
DIBBLE, v.i. To dibble or dip; a term in angling.

DIBSTONE, n. A little stone which children throw at another stone.

DICACITY, n. [L.] Pertness. [Little used.]

DICAST, n. [Gr., to judge; justice.] In ancient Greece, an officer answering nearly to our juryman.

DICE, n. plu. of die; also, a game with dice.

DICE, v.i. To play with dice.

DICE-BOX, n. A box from which dice are thrown in gaming.

DICE-MAKER, n. A maker of dice.

DICER, n. A player at dice.

DICHOTOMIZE, v.t. [See the next word.] To cut into two parts; to divide into pairs.

DICHOTOMOUS, a. [Gr., doubly, by pairs; to cut.] In botany, regularly dividing by pairs from top to bottom; as a dichotomous stem.

DICHOTOMOUS-CORYMBED, a. Composed of corymbs, in which the pedicles divide and subdivide by pairs.

DICHOTOMY, n. [Gr., a division into two parts; to cut.]

1. Division or distribution of ideas by pairs. [Little used.]

2. In astronomy, that phase of the moon in which it appears bisected, or shows only half its disk, as at the quadratures.

DICHROIT, n. [See Iolite.]

DICING-HOUSE, n. A house where dice is played; a gaming house. [Little used.]

DICKER, n. [Gr., ten. L.] In old authors, the number or quantity of ten, particularly ten hides or skins; but applied to other things, as a dicker gloves, etc. [I believe not used in America.]

DICOCCOUS, a. [Gr., L., a grain.] Two-grained; consisting of two cohering grains or cells, with one seed in each; as a dicoccous capsule.

DICOTYLEDON, n. [Gr., two; a cavity.] A plant whose seeds divide into two lobes in germinating.

DICOTYLEDONOUS, a. Having two lobes. A dicotyledonous plant is one whose seeds have two lobes, and consequently rise with two seminal leaves.

DICTATE, v.t. [L., to speak.]

1. To tell with authority; to deliver, as an order, command, or direction; as, what God has dictated, it is our duty to believe.

2. To order or instruct what is to be said or written; as, a general dictates orders to his troops.

3. To suggest; to admonish; to direct by impulse on the mind. We say, the spirit of God dictated the messages of the prophets to Israel. Conscience often dictates to men the rules by which they are to govern their conduct.


1. An order delivered; a command.

2. A rule, maxim or precept, delivered with authority.

I credit what the Grecian dictates say.

3. Suggestion; rule or direction suggested to the mind; as the dictates of reason or conscience.

DICTATED, pp. Delivered with authority; ordered; directed; suggested.

DICTATING, ppr. Uttering or delivering with authority; instructing what to say or write; ordering; suggesting to the mind.

DICTATION, n. The act of dictating; the act or practice of prescribing.

It affords security against the dictation of laws.


1. One who dictates; one who prescribes rules and maxims for the direction of others.

2. One invested with absolute authority. In ancient Rome, a magistrate, created in times of exigence and distress, and invested with unlimited power. He remained in office six months.


1. Pertaining to a dictator; absolute; unlimited; uncontrollable.

2. Imperious; dogmatical; overbearing; as, the officer assumed a dictatorial tone.


1. The office of a dictator; the term of a dictators office.

2. Authority; imperiousness; dogmatism.

DICTATORY, a. Overbearing; dogmatical.


1. The office of a dictator; dictatorship.

2. Absolute authority; the power that dictates.

DICTION, n. [L., to speak.] Expression of ideas by words; style; manner of expression.

DICTIONARY, n. [L., a word, or a speaking.] A book containing the words of a language arranged in alphabetical order, with explanations of their meanings; a lexicon.

DID, pret. of do, contracted from doed. I did, thou didst, he did; we did, you or ye did, they did.

Have ye not read what David did when he was hungry? Matthew 12:3.

The proper signification is, made, executed, performed; but it is used also to express the state of health.

And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house, to know how Esther did. Esther 2:11.

Did is used as the sign of the past tense of verbs, particularly in interrogative and negative sentences; as, did he command you to go? He did not command me. It is also used to express emphasis; as, I did love him beyond measure.

DIDACTIC, DIDACTICAL, a. [Gr., to teach.] Adapted to teach; preceptive; containing doctrines, precepts, principles or rules; intended to instruct; as a didactic poem or essay.

DIDACTICALLY, adv. In a didactic manner; in a form to teach.

DIDAPPER, n. [from dip.] A bird that dives into the water, a species of Colymbus.

DIDASCALIC, a. [Gr., to teach.] Didactic; preceptive; giving precepts. [Little used.]

DIDDER, v.i. To totter, as a child in walking.

DIDDLE, v.i. To totter, as a child in walking.

DIDECAHEDRAL, a. [di and decahedral.] In crystalography, having the form of a dodecahedral prism with hexahedral summits.

DIDODECAHEDRAL, a. [di and dodecahedral.] In crystalography, having the form of a dodecahedral prism with hexahedral summits.

DIDRACHMA, n. [Gr.] A piece of money, the fourth of an ounce of silver.

DIDUCTION, n. [L., to draw.] Separation by withdrawing one part from the other.

DIDYNAM, n. [Gr., power.] In botany, a plant of four stamens, disposed in two pairs, one being shorter than the other.

DIDYNAMIAN, a. Containing four stamens, disposed in pairs, one shorter than the other.

DIE, v.i. [See Day.]

1. To be deprived of respiration, of the circulation of blood, and other bodily functions, and rendered incapable of resuscitation, as animals, either by natural decay, by disease, or by violence; to cease to live; to expire; to decease; to perish; and with respect to man, to depart from this world.

All the first born in the land of Egypt shall die. Exodus 11:5.

The fish that is in the river shall die. Exodus 7:18.

This word is followed by of or by. Men die of disease; of a fever; of sickness; of a fall; of grief. They die by the sword; by famine; by pestilence; by violence; by sickness; by disease. In some cases, custom has established the use of the one, to the exclusion of the other; but in many cases, either by or of may be used at the pleasure of the writer or speaker. The use of for, he died for thirst, is not elegant nor common.

2. To be punished with death; to lose life for a crime, or for the sake of another.

I will relieve my master, if I die for it. Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6.

Christ died for our sins. 1 Corinthians 15:3.

3. To come to an end; to cease; to be lost; to perish or come to nothing; as, let the secret die in your own breast.

4. To sink; to faint.

His heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 1 Samuel 25:37.

5. To languish with pleasure or tenderness; followed by away.

To sounds of heavenly harps she dies away.

6. To languish with affection.

The young men acknowledged that they died for Rebecca.

7. To recede as sound, and become less distinct; to become less and less; or to vanish from the sight, or disappear gradually. Sound or color dies away.

8. To lose vegetable life; to wither; to perish; as plants or seeds. Plants die for want of water. Some plants die annually.

9. To become vapid or spiritless, as liquors; mostly used in the participle; as the cider or beer is dead.

10. In theology, to perish everlastingly; to suffer divine wrath and punishment in the future world.

11. To become indifferent to, or to cease to be under the power of; as, to die to sin.

12. To endure great danger and distress.

I die daily. 1 Corinthians 15:31.

To die away, to decrease gradually; to cease to blow; as, the wind dies away.

DIE, n. plu. dice.

1. A small cube, marked on its faces with numbers from one to six, used in gaming, by being thrown from a box.

He ventured his all on the cast of a die.

2. Any cubic body; a flat tablet.

3. Hazard; chance.

Such is the die of war.

DIE, n. plu. Dies. A stamp used in coining money, in founderies, etc.

DIECIAN, n. [Gr., two; house.] In botany, one of a class of plants, whose male and female flowers are on different plants of the same species.

DIER. [See Dyer.]

DIESIS, n. [Gr., a division.] In music, the division of a tone, less than a semitone; or an interval consisting of a less or imperfect semitone.

DIET, n. [L., Gr., manner of living, mode of life prescribe by a physician, food, a room, parlor or bed room. In the middle ages, this word was used to denote the provision or food for one day, and for a journey of one day. Hence it seems to be from dies, day, or its root; and hence the word may have come to signify a meal or supper, and the room occupied for eating.]

1. Food or victuals; as, milk is a wholesome diet; flesh is nourishing diet.

2. Food regulated by a physician, or by medical rules; food prescribed for the prevention or cure of disease, and limited in kind or quantity. I restrained myself to a regular diet of flesh once a day.

3. Allowance of provision.

For his diet there was a continual diet given him by the king. Jeremiah 52:34.

4. Board, or boarding; as, to pay a certain sum for diet, washing and lodging.

DIET, n. [G.] An assembly of the states or circles of the empire of Germany and of Poland; a convention of princes, electors, ecclesiastical dignitaries, and representatives of free cities, to deliberate on the affairs of the empire. There are also diets of states and cantons.
DIET, v.t.

1. To feed; to board; to furnish provisions for; as, the master diets his apprentice.

2. To take food by rules prescribed; as, an invalid should carefully diet himself.

3. To feed; to furnish aliment; as, to diet revenge.

DIET, v.i.

1. To eat according to rules prescribed.

2. To eat; to feed; as, the students diet in commons.

DIETARY, a. Pertaining to diet or the rules of diet.

DIET-DRINK, n. Medicated liquors; drink prepared with medicinal ingredients.

DIETED, pp. Fed; boarded; fed by prescribed rules.

DIETER, n. One who diets; one who prescribes rules for eating; one who prepares food by rules.

DIETETIC, DIETETICAL, a. [Gr.] Pertaining to diet, or to the rules for regulating the kind and quantity of food to be eaten.

DIETINE, n. A subordinate or local diet; a cantonal convention.

DIETING, n. A subordinate or local diet; a cantonal convention.

DIETING, ppr. Taking food; prescribing rules for eating; taking food according to prescribed rules.

DIFFARREATION, n. [L.] The parting of a cake; a ceremony among the Romans, at the divorce of man and wife.