Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DIRECTER, n. A director, which see.

DIRECTING, ppr. Aiming; pointing; guiding; regulating; governing; ordering.


1. Aim at a certain point; a pointing towards, in a straight line or course; as, the direction of good works to a good end.

2. The line in which a body moves by impulse; course. Matter or body cannot alter the direction of its own motion.

3. A straight line or course. A star appeared int eh direction of a certain tower. The ship sailed in a south-easterly direction.

4. The act of governing; administration; management; guidance; superintendence; as the direction of public affairs; direction of domestic concerns; the direction of a bank.

5. Regularity; adjustment.

All chance, direction which thou canst not see.

6. Order; prescription; either verbal or written; instruction in what manner to proceed. The employer gives directions to his workmen; the physician, to his patient.

7. The superscription of a letter, including the name, title and place of abode of the person for whom it is intended.

8. A body or board of directors.


1. Having the power of direction; as a directive rule.

2. Informing; instructing; shewing way.


1. In a straight lin or course; rectilineally; not in a winding course. Aim directly to the object. Gravity tends directly to the center of the earth.

2. Immediately; soon; without delay; as, he will be with us directly.

3. Openly; expressly, without circumlocution or ambiguity, or without a train or inferences.

No man hath been so impious, as directly to condemn prayer.

DIRECTNESS, n. Straightness; a straight course; nearness of way.


1. One who directs; one who superintends, governs or manages; one who prescribes to others, by virtue of authority; an instructor; a counselor.

2. That which directs; a rule; an ordinance.

3. One appointed to transact the affairs of a company; as the director of a bank, or of the India Company.

4. That which directs or controls by influence.

Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct.

5. In surgery, a grooved probe, intended to direct the edge of the knife or scissors in opening sinuses or fistulae; a guide for and incision-knife.

DIRECTORIAL, a. Pertaining to directors or direction; containing direction or command.

DIRECTORY, a. Containing directions; enjoining; instructing.


1. A guide; a rule to direct; particularly, a book containing directions for public worship, or religious services. The Bible is our best directory, in faith and practice.

2. A book containing an alphabetical list of the inhabitants of a city, with their places of abode.

3. The supreme council of France, in the late revolution.

4. A board of directors.

DIRECTRESS, n. A female who directs or manages.

DIRECTRIX, n. A female who governs or directs.

DIREFUL, a. [See Dire.] Dire; dreadful; terrible; calamitous; as direful fiend; a direful misfortune.

DIREFULLY, adv. Dreadfully; terribly; woefully.

DIREMPTION, n. [L.] A separation.

DIRENESS, n. Terribleness; horror; dismalness.

DIREPTION, n. [L.] The act of plundering.

DIRGE, n. Durj. [L., a word used in the funeral service.] A song or tune intended to express grief, sorrow and mourning; as a funeral dirge.

DIRIGENT, DIRECTRIX, n. [See Direct.] In geometry, the line of motion along which the describent line or surface is carried in the generation of any plane or solid figure.

DIRK, n. Durk. A kind of dagger or poniard.

DIRK, a. Durk. Dark.
DIRK, v.t. durk.

1. To darken.

2. To poniard; to stab.

DIRT, n. durt.

1. Any foul or filthy substance; excrement; earth; mud; mire; dust; whatever adhering to any thing, renders it foul or unclean.

The fat closed, and the dirt came out. Judges 3:22.

Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Isaiah 57:20.

2. Meanness; sordidness. [Not in use.]

DIRT, v.t. durt. To make foul or filthy; to soil; to bedaub; to pollute; to defile.

DIRTILY, adv. Durtily. [from dirty.]

1. In a dirty manner; foully; nastily; filthily.

2. Meanly; sordidly; by low means.

DIRTINESS, n. Durtiness.

1. Filthiness; foulness; nastiness.

2. Meanness; baseness; sordidness.

DIRTY, a. Durty.

1. Foul; nasty; filthy; not clean; as dirty hands.

2. Not clean; not pure; turbid; as dirty water.

3. Cloudy; dark; dusky; as a dirty white.

4. Mean; base; low; despicable; groveling; as a dirty fellow; a dirty employment.

DIRTY, v.t. durty.

1. To foul; to make filthy; to soil; as, to dirty the clothes or hands.

2. To tarnish; to sully; to scandalize; applied to reputation.

DIRUPTION, n. [L., to burst.] A bursting or rending asunder. [See Disruption.]

DIS, a prefix or inseparable preposition, from the Latin, whence Fr. Des, Sp. Dis, and de may in some instances be the same word contracted. Dis denotes separation, a parting from; hence it has the force of a privative and negative, as in disarm, disoblige, disagree. In some cases, it still signifies separation, as in distribute, disconnect.

DISABILITY, n. [from disable.]

1. Want of competent natural or bodily power, strength or ability; weakness; impotence; as disability arising from infirmity or broken limbs.

2. Want of competent intellectual power or strength of mind; incapacity; as the disability of a deranged person to reason or to make contracts.

3. Want of competent means or instruments. [In this sense, inability is generally used.]

4. Want of legal qualifications; incapacity; as a disability to inherit an estate, when the ancestor has been attainted. [In this sense, it has a plural.]

Disability differs from inability, in denoting deprivation of ability; whereas inability denotes destitution of ability, either by deprivation or otherwise.

DISABLE, v.t. [dis and able.]

1. To render unable; to deprive of competent natural strength or power. A man is disabled to walk by a broken or paralytic leg, by sickness, etc.

2. To deprive of mental power, as by destroying or weakening the understanding.

3. To deprive of adequate means, instruments or resources. A nation may be disabled to carry on war by want of money. The loss of a ship may disable a man to prosecute commerce, or to pay his debts.

4. To destroy the strength; or to weaken and impair so as to render incapable of action, service or resistance. A fleet is disabled by a storm, or by a battle. A ship is disabled by the loss of her masts or spars.

5. To destroy or impair and weaken the means which render any thing active, efficacious or useful; to destroy or diminish any competent means.

6. To deprive of legal qualifications, or competent power; to incapacitate; to render incapable.

An attainder of the ancestor corrupts the blood and disables his children to inherit.

DISABLED, pp. Deprived of competent power, corporeal or intellectual; rendered incapable; deprived of means.

DISABLEMENT, n. Weakness; disability; legal impediment.

DISABLING, ppr. Rendering unable or incapable; depriving of adequate power or capacity, or of legal qualifications.

DISABUSE, v.t. disabuze. [See Abuse.] To free from mistake; to undeceive; to disengage from fallacy or deception; to set right. It is our duty to disabuse ourselves of false notions and prejudices.

If men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, hypocrisy and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history.

DISABUSED, pp. Disabuzed. Undeceived.

DISABUSING, ppr. Disabuzing. Undeceiving.

DISACCOMMODATE, v.t. [dis and accommodate.] To put to inconvenience.

DISACCOMMODATION, n. [dis and accommodation.] A state of being unaccommodated; a state of being unprepared.

DISACCORD, v.i. [dis and accord.] To refuse assent. [Not used.]

DISACCUSTOM, v.t. [dis and accustom.] To neglect familiar or customary practice; to destroy the force of habit by disuse.

DISACCUSTOMED, pp. Disused; having neglected practice or familiar use.

DISACKNOWLEDGE, v.t. [dis and acknowledge.] To deny; to disown.

DISACKNOWLEDGED, pp. Denied; disowned.

DISACKNOWLEDGING, ppr. Denying; disowning.

DISACQUAINT, v.t. [See Acquaint.] To dissolve acquaintance. [Little used.]

DISACQUAINTANCE, n. Neglect or disuse of familiarity, or familiar knowledge of.

DISADORN, v.t. To deprive of ornaments.

DISADVANCE, v.t. or i. To check; to halt. [Not in use.]


1. That which prevents success, or renders it difficult; a state not favorable to successful operation. The army commenced an attack on the enemy, notwithstanding the disadvantage of its position.

2. Any unfavorable state; a state in which some loss or injury may be sustained. Hence,

3. Loss; injury; prejudice to interest, fame, credit, profit, or other good; as, to sell goods to disadvantage.

DISADVANTAGE, v.t. To injure in interest; to prejudice.

DISADVANTAGEABLE, a. Not advantageous. [Not in use.]

DISADVANTAGEOUS, a. Unfavorable to success or prosperity; inconvenient; not adapted to promote interest, reputation or other good; as, the situation of an army is disadvantageous for attack or defense. We are apt to view characters int eh most disadvantageous lights.

DISADVANTAGEOUSLY, adv. In a manner not favorable to success, or to interest, profit or reputation; with loss or inconvenience.

DISADVANTAGEOUSNESS, n. Unfavorableness to success; inconvenience; loss.

DISADVENTURE, n. Misfortune. [Not used.]

DISADVENTUROUS, a. Unprosperous. [Not used.]

DISAFFECT, v.t. [dis and affect.]

1. To alienate affection; to make less friendly to; to make less faithful to a person, party or cause, or less zealous to support it; to make discontented or unfriendly; as, an attempt was made to disaffect the army.

2. To disdain, or dislike.

3. To throw into disorder.

DISAFFECTED, pp. or a. Having the affections alienated; indisposed to favor or support; unfriendly; followed by with or to; as, these men are disaffected with the government, or disaffected to the king, or to the administration.

DISAFFECTEDLY, adv. In a disaffected manner.

DISAFFECTEDNESS, n. The quality of being disaffected.

DISAFFECTING, ppr. Alienating the affections; making less friendly.


1. Alienation of affection, attachment or good will; want of affection; or more generally, positive enmity, dislike or unfriendliness; disloyalty. It generally signifies more than indifference; as the disaffection of people to their prince or government; the disaffection of allies; disaffection to religion.

2. Disorder; bad constitution; in a physical sense. [Little used.]

DISAFFECTIONATE, a. Not well disposed; not friendly.

DISAFFIRM, v.t. disafferm. [dis and affirm.]

1. To deny; to contradict.

2. To overthrow or annul, as a judicial decision, by a contrary judgment of a superior tribunal.


1. Denial; negation; disproof; confutation.

2. Overthrow or annulment, by the decision of a superior tribunal; as disaffirmance of judgment.

DISAFFIRMED, pp. Denied; contradicted; overthrown.

DISAFFIRMING, ppr. Denying; contradicting; annulling.

DISAFFOREST, v.t. [dis and afforest.] To reduce from the privileges of a forest to the state of common ground; to strip of forest laws and their oppressive privileges.

By Charter 9. Hen. III many forests were disafforested.

DISAFFORESTED, pp. Stripped of forest privileges.

DISAFFORESTING, ppr. Depriving of forest privileges.

DISAGGREGATE, v.t. [dis and aggregate.] To separate an aggregate mass into its component parts.

DISAGGREGATED, pp. Separated, as an aggregate mass.

DISAGGREGATING, ppr. Separating, as the parts of an aggregate body.

DISAGGREGATION, n. The act or operation of separating an aggregate body into its component parts.

DISAGREE, v.i. [dis and agree.]

1. To differ; to be not accordant or coincident; to be not the same; to be not exactly similar. Two ideas disagree, when they are not the same, or when they are not exactly alike. The histories of th same fact often disagree.

2. To differ, as in opinion; as, the best judges sometimes disagree.

Who shall decide when doctors disagree?

3. To be unsuitable. Medicine sometimes disagrees with the patient; food often disagrees with the stomach or the taste.

4. To differ; to be in opposition.

Men often reject the plainest sense of scripture, because it disagrees with their reason or preconceived opinions.

It is usually followed by with. But we say, I disagree to your proposal. The use of from after disagree is not common.


1. Contrary; unsuitable; not conformable; not congruous. [Little used.]

This conduct was disagreeable to her natural sincerity.

2. Unpleasing; offensive to the mind, or to the sense; but expressing less than disgusting and odious. Behavior may be disagreeable to our minds; food may be disagreeable to the taste; many things are disagreeable to the sight; sounds may be disagreeable to the ear, and odors to the smell. Whatever is disagreeable gives some pain or uneasiness.


1. Unsuitableness; contrariety.

2. Unpleasantness; offensiveness to the mind, or to the senses; as the disagreeableness of anothers manners; the disagreeableness of a taste, sound or smell.

DISAGREEABLY, adv. Unsuitable; unpleasantly; offensively.

DISAGREEING, ppr. Differing; not according or coinciding.


1. Difference, either in form or essence; dissimilitude; diversity; as the disagreement of two ideas, of two pictures, of two stories or narrations.

2. Difference of opinion or sentiments.

3. Unsuitableness.

DISALLIEGE, v.t. To alienate from allegiance. [Not in use.]

DISALLOW, v.t. [dis and allow.] To refuse permission, or not to permit; not to grant; not to make or suppose lawful; not to authorize; to disapprove. God disallows that Christians should conform to the immoral practices of the world. A good man disallows every kind of profaneness.

2. To testify dislike or disapprobation; to refuse assent.

But if her father shall disallow her int he day that he heareth, not nay of her vows or her bonds--shall stand. Numbers 30:5.

3. Not to approve; not to receive; to reject.

To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. 1 Peter 2:4.

4. Not to allow or admit as just; to reject; as, to disallow an account or charge.

DISALLOWABLE, a. Not allowable; not to be suffered.

DISALLOWANCE, n. Disapprobation; refusal to admit or permit; prohibition; rejection.

DISALLOWED, pp. Not granted, permitted or admitted; disapproved; rejected.

DISALLOWING, ppr. Not permitting; not admitting; disapproving; rejecting.

DISALLY, v.t. [dis and ally.] To form an improper alliance.

DISANCHOR, v.t. [dis and anchor.] To force from its anchors, as a ship.

DISANGELICAL, a. Not angelical. [Not used.]

DISANIMATE, v.t. [dis and animate.]

1. To deprive of life. [Not used.]

2. To deprive of spirit or courage; to discourage; to dishearten; to deject.

DISANIMATED, pp. Discouraged; dispirited.

DISANIMATING, ppr. Discouraging; disheartening.


1. The act of discouraging; depression of spirits.

2. Privation of life. [Not used.]

DISANNUL, v.t. [dis and annul. In this instance, the prefix dis is improperly used, and of no effect. But its use is well established.] To annul; to make void; to deprive of authority or force; to nullify; to abolish; as, to disannul a law or an ordinance.

Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? Job 40:8; Galatians 3:15.

DISANNULLED, pp. Annulled; vacated; made void.

DISANNULLING, ppr. Making void; depriving of authority or binding force.

DISANNULMENT, n. The act of making void; as the disannulment of a law or decree.

Disannual differs from repeal, as the genus from the species. A repeal makes a law void by the same power that enacted it. Annulment or disannulment destroys its force and authority by repeal or by other means.

DISANOINT, v.t. To render consecration invalid.

DISAPPAREL, v.t. To disrobe; to strip of raiment.

DISAPPEAR, v.i. [dis and appear.]

1. To vanish from the sight; to recede from the view; to become invisible by vanishing or departing, or by being enveloped in any thing that conceals, or by the interposition of an object. Darkness disappears at the access of light, and light disappears at the approach of darkness. A ship disappears by departure to a distance; the sun disappears in a fog, or behind a cloud, or in setting.

2. To cease; as, the epidemic has disappeared.

3. To withdraw from observation. The debtor disappears when he absconds.

DISAPPEARANCE, n. Cessation of appearance; a removal from sight.

DISAPPEARING, ppr. Vanishing; receding from the sight; becoming invisible.

DISAPPEARING, n. A vanishing or removal from sight.

DISAPPOINT, v.t. [dis and appoint; properly, to unfix or unsettle.]

1. To defeat of expectation, wish, hope, desire or intention; to frustrate; to balk; to hinder from the possession or enjoyment of that which was intended, desired, hoped or expected. We say, a man is disappointed of his hopes or expectations, or his hopes, desires, intentions or expectations are disappointed. A bad season disappoints the farmer of his crops; a defeat disappoints an enemy of his spoil The man promised me a visit, by he disappointed me.

Without counsel purposes are disappointed. Proverbs 15:22.

2. To frustrate; to prevent an effect intended.

The retiring foe shrinks from the wound, and disappoints the blow.

DISAPPOINTED, pp. Defeated of expectation, hope, desire, or design; frustrated.

DISAPPOINTING, ppr. Defeating of expectation, hope, desire or purpose; frustrating.