Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DIUTURNITY, n. [L., of long continuance.] Length of time; long duration.


1. Among the Turks and other orientals, a court of justice, or a council.

2. A council-chamber; a hall; a court.

3. Any council assembled.

DIVARICATE, v.i. [L., to straddle.] To open; to fork; to part into two branches.

DIVARICATE, v.t. to divide into two branches.
DIVARICATE, a. In botany, standing out wide. A divaricate branch forms an obtuse angle with the stem. It is applied also to panicles, peduncles and petioles.

DIVARICATED, pp. Parted into two branches.

DIVARICATING, ppr. Parting into two branches.


1. A parting; a forking; a separation into two branches.

2. A crossing or intersection of fibers at different angles.

DIVE, v.i. [Gr.]

1. To descend or plunge into water, as an animal head first; to thrust the body into water or other liquor, or if already in water, to plunge deeper. In the pearl fishery men are employed to dive for shells.

2. To go deep into any subject; as, to dive into the nature of things, into arts or science.

3. To plunge into any business or condition, so as to be thoroughly engaged in it.

4. To sink; to penetrate.

Dive, thought, down to my soul.

DIVE, v.t. To explore by diving. [Rare.]

The Curtii bravely dived the gulf of fame.

DIVEL, n. A large cartilaginous fish, with a bifurcated snout; the sea duvvil of Nieuhoff.

DIVELLENT, a. [L., to pull.] Drawing asunder; separating.

DIVELLICATE, v.t. To pull in pieces.


1. One who dives; one who plunges head first into water; one who sinks by effort; as a diver in the pearl fishery.

2. One who goes deep into a subject, or enters deep into study.

3. A fowl, so called from diving. The name is given to several species of the genus Colymbus.

DIVERB, n. A proverb. [Not in use.]

DIVERGE, v.i. diverj. [L., to incline.] To tend from one point and recede from each other; to shoot, extend or proceed from a point in different directions, or not in parallel lines. Rays of light proceed from the sun and continually diverge. It is opposed to converge.

DIVERGENCE, n. A receding from each other; a going farther apart; as the divergence of lines, or the angle of divergence.

DIVERGENT, a. Departing or receding from each other, as lines which proceed from the same point; opposed to convergent.

DIVERGING, ppr. Receding from each other, as they proceed.

DIVERGINGLY, adv. In a diverging manner.

DIVERS, a. s as z. [L., to turn.]

1. Different; various.

Thou shalt not sow thy fields with divers seeds. Deuteronomy 22:9.

Nor let thy cattle gender with divers kinds. Leviticus 19:19.

[This is now generally written diverse.]

2. Several; sundry; more than one, but not a great number. We have divers examples of this kind. [This word is not obsolete even in common discourse, and is much used in law proceedings.]

DIVERS-COLORED, a. Having various colors.

DIVERSE, a. [L.]

1. Different; differing.

Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. Daniel 7:3.

2. Different from itself; various; multiform.

Eloquence is a diverse thing.

3. In different directions.

And with tendrils creep diverse.

DIVERSE, v.i. divers. To turn aside. [Not used.]

DIVERSIFICATION, n. [See Diversify.]

1. The act of changing forms or qualities, or of making various.

2. Variation; variegation.

3. Variety of forms.

4. Change; alteration.


1. Made various in form or qualities; variegated; altered.

2. a. Distinguished by various forms, or by a variety of objects; as diversified scenery; a diversified landscape.

DIVERSIFORM, a. Of a different form; of various forms.

DIVERSIFY, v.t. [L.]

1. To make different or various in form or qualities; to give variety to; to variegate; as, to diversify the colors of a robe; to diversify a landscape with mountains, plains, trees and lakes.

2. To give diversity to; to distinguish by different things; as a council diversified by different characters.

3. In oratory, to vary a subject, by enlarging on what has been briefly stated, by brief recapitulation, by adding new ideas, by transposing words or periods, etc.

DIVERSIFYING, ppr. Making various in form or qualities; giving variety to; variegating.

DIVERSION, n. [L., to divert.]

1. The act of turning aside from any course; as the diversion of a stream from its usual channel; the diversion of a purpose to another object; the diversion of the mind from business or study.

2. That which diverts; that which turns or draws the mind from care, business or study, and thus relaxes and amuses; sport; play; pastime; whatever unbends the mind; as the diversion of youth. Works of wit and humor furnish an agreeable diversion to the studious.

3. In war, the act of drawing the attention and force of an enemy from the point where the principal attack is to be made, as by an attack or alarm on one wing of an army, when the other wing or center is intended for the principal attack. The enemy, if deceived, is thus induced to withdraw a part of his force from the part where his foe intends to make the main impression.


1. Difference; dissimilitude; unlikeness. There may be diversity without contrariety. There is a great diversity in human constitutions.

2. Variety; as a diversity of ceremonies in churches.

3. Distinct being, as opposed to identity.

4. Variegation.

Blushing in bright diversities of day.

DIVERSLY, adv. [from diverse.]

1. In different ways; differently; variously; as a passage of scripture diversly interpreted or understood.

2. In different directions; to different points.

On lifes vast ocean diversly we sail.

DIVERT, v.t. [L., to turn.]

1. To turn off from any course, direction or intended application; to turn aside; as, to divert a river from its usual channel; to divert commerce from its usual course; to divert appropriated money to other objects; to divert a man from his purpose.

2. To turn the mind from business or study; hence, to please; to amuse; to entertain; to exhilarate. Children are diverted with sports; men are diverted with works of wit and humor; low minds are diverted with buffoonery in stage-playing.

3. To draw the forces of an enemy to a different point.

4. To subvert. [Not in use.]

DIVERTED, pp. Turned aside; turned or drawn from any course, or from the usual or intended direction; pleased; amused; entertained.

DIVERTER, n. He or that which diverts, turns off, or pleases.

DIVERTICLE, n. [L.] A turning; a by-way. [Not used.]


1. Turning off from any course; pleasing; entertaining.

2. a. Pleasing; amusing; entertaining; as a diverting scene or sport.

DIVERTISE, v.t. s as z. To divert; to please. [Not used.]

DIVERTISEMENT, n. Diversion. [Little used.] Originally, a certain air or dance between the acts of the French opera, or a musical composition.

DIVERTIVE, a. Tending to divert; amusing.

DIVEST, v.t. [L. It is the same word as devest, but the latter is appropriately used as a technical term in law.]

1. To strip of clothes, arms or equipage; opposed to invest.

2. To deprive; as, to divest one of his rights or privileges; to divest one of title or property.

3. To deprive or strip of any thing that covers, surrounds or attends; as, to divest one of his glory; to divest a subject of deceptive appearances, or false ornaments.

DIVESTED, pp. Stripped; undressed; deprived.

DIVESTING, ppr. Stripping; putting off; depriving.

DIVESTITURE, DIVESTURE, n. The act of stripping, putting off, or depriving.

DIVIDABLE, a. [See Divide.]

1. That may be divided.

2. Separate; parted. [Not used nor proper.]

DIVIDE, v.t. [L., to part. See the latter words.]

1. To part or separate an entire thing; to part a thing into two or more pieces.

Divide the living child in two. 1 Kings 3:25.

2. To cause to be separate; to keep apart by a partition or by an imaginary line or limit. A wall divides two houses. The equator divides the earth into two hemispheres.

Let the firmament divide the waters from the waters. Genesis 1:6.

3. To make partition of, among a number.

Ye shall divide the land by lot. Numbers 33:54.

4. To open; to cleave.

Thou dist divide the sea. Nehemiah 9:11.

5. To disunite in opinion or interest; to make discordant.

There shall be five in one house divided, three against two-- Luke 12:52.

6. To distribute; to separate and bestow in parts or shares.

And he divided to them his living. Luke 15:12.

7. To make dividends; to apportion the interest or profits of stock among proprietors; as, the bank divides six per cent.

8. To separate into two parts, for ascertaining opinions for and against a measure; as, to divide a legislative house, in voting.

DIVIDE, v.i.

1. To part; to open; to cleave.

2. To break friendship; as, brothers divide.

3. To vote by the division of a legislative house into two parts.

The emperors sat, voted and divided with their equals.

DIVIDED, pp. Parted; disunited; distributed.

DIVIDEDLY, adv. Separately.


1. A part or share; particularly, the share of the interest or profit of stock in trade or other employment, which belongs to each proprietor according to his proportion of the stock or capital.

2. In arithmetic, the number to be divided into equal parts.


1. He or that which divides; that which separates into parts.

2. A distributor; one who deals out to each his share.

Who made me a judge or divider over you. Luke 12:14.

3. He or that which disunites.

4. A kind of compasses.


1. Parting; separating; distributing; disuniting; apportioning to each his share.

2. a. That indicates separation or difference; as a dividing line.

DIVIDING, n. Separation.

DIVIDUAL, a. [L.] Divided, shared or participated in common with others. [Little used.]

DIVINATION, n. [L., to foretell. See Divine.]

1. The act of divining; a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means. The ancient heathen philosophers divided divination into two kinds, natural and artificial. Natural divination was supposed to be effected by a kind of inspiration or divine afflatus; artificial divination was effected by certain rites, experiments or observations, as by sacrifices, cakes, flour, wine, observation of entrails, flight of birds, lots, verses, omens, position of the stars, etc.

2. Conjectural presage; prediction.

DIVINATOR, n. One who pretends to divination.

DIVINATORY, a. Professing divination.

DIVINE, a. [L., a god.]

1. Pertaining to the true God; as the divine nature; divine perfections.

2. Pertaining to a heathen deity, or to false gods.

3. Partaking of the nature of God.

Half human, half divine.

4. Proceeding from God; as divine judgments.

5. Godlike; heavenly; excellent in the highest degree; extraordinary; apparently above what is human. In this application the word admits of comparison; as a divine invention; a divine genius; the divinest mind.

A divine sentence is in the lips of the king. Proverbs 16:10.

6. Presageful; foreboding; prescient. [Not used.]

7. Appropriated to God, or celebrating his praise; as divine service; divine songs; divine worship.


1. A minister of the gospel; a priest; a clergyman.

The first divines of New England were surpassed by none in extensive erudition, personal sanctity, and diligence in the pastoral office.

2. A man skilled in divinity; a theologian; as a great divine.

DIVINE, v.t. [L.]

1. To foreknow; to foretell; to presage.

Darst thou divine his downfall?

2. To deify. [Not in use.]

DIVINE, v.i.

1. To use or practice divination.

2. To utter presages or prognostications.

The prophets thereof divine for money. Micah 3:11.

3. To have presages or forebodings.

Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts--

4. To guess or conjecture.

Could you divine what lovers bear.


1. In a divine or godlike manner; in a manner resembling deity.

2. By the agency or influence of God; as a prophet divinely inspired; divinely taught.

3. Excellently; in the supreme degree; as divinely fair; divinely brave.


1. Divinity; participation of the divine nature; as the divineness of the scriptures. [Little used.]

2. Excellence in the supreme degree.


1. One who professes divination; one who pretends to predict events, or to reveal occult things, by the aid of superior beings, or of supernatural means.

These nations hearkened to diviners. Deuteronomy 18:14.

2. One who guesses; a conjecturer.

DIVINERESS, n. A female diviner; a woman professing divination.

DIVING, ppr. [See Dive.]

1. Plunging or sinking into water or other liquid; applied to animals only.

2. Going deep into a subject.

DIVING-BELL, n. A hollow vessel in form of a truncated cone or pyramid, with the smaller base close, and the larger one open, in which a person may descend into deep water and remain, till the inclosed air ceases to be respirable.


1. The state of being divine; Deity; Godhead; the nature or essence of God. Christians ascribe divinity to one Supreme Being only.

2. God; the Deity; the Supreme Being.

Tis the Divinity that stirs within us.

3. A false God; a pretended deity of pagans.

Beastly divinities, and droves of gods.

4. A celestial being, inferior to the Supreme God, but superior to man. Many nations believe in these inferior divinities.

5. Something supernatural.

They say there is divinity in odd numbers.

6. The science of divine things; the science which unfolds the character of God, his laws and moral government, the duties of man, and the way of salvation; theology; as the study of divinity; a system of divinity.

DIVISIBILITY, n. [L. See Divide.] The quality of being divisible; the property of bodies by which their parts or component particles are capable of separation.

DIVISIBLE, a. s as z. [L. See Divide.] Capable of division; that may be separated or disunited; separable. Matter is divisible indefinitely.

DIVISIBLENESS, n. Divisibility; capacity of being separated.

DIVISION, n. s as z. [L. See Divide.]

1. The act of dividing or separating into parts, any entire body.

2. The state of being divided.

3. That which divides or separates; that which keeps apart; partition.

4. The part separated from the rest by a partition or line, real or imaginary; as the divisions of a field.

5. A separate body of men; as, communities and divisions of men.

6. A part or distinct portion; as the divisions of a discourse.

7. A part of an army or militia; a body consisting of a certain number of brigades usually two, and commanded by a major general. But the term is often applied to other bodies or portions of an army, as to a brigade, a squadron or a platoon.

8. A part of a fleet, or a select number of ships under a commander, and distinguished by a particular flag or pendant.

9. Disunion; discord; variance; difference.

There was a division among the people. John 7:43.

10. Space between the notes of music, or the dividing of the tones.

11. Distinction.

I will put a division between my people and thy people. Exodus 8:23.

12. The separation of voters in a legislative house.

13. In arithmetic, the dividing of a number or quantity into any parts assigned; or the rule by which is found how many times one number is contained in another.

DIVISIONAL, DIVISIONARY, a. Pertaining to division; noting or making division; as a divisional line.

DIVISIONER, n. One who divides. [Not used.]


1. Forming division or distribution.

2. Creating division or discord.

DIVISOR, n. In arithmetic, the number by which the dividend is divided.

DIVORCE, n. [L. See Divert.]

1. A legal dissolution of the bonds of matrimony, or the separation of husband and wife by a judicial sentence. This is properly called a divorce, and called technically, divorce a vinculo matrimonii.

2. The separation of a married woman from the bed and board of her husband, a mensa et thoro.

3. Separation; disunion of things closely united.

4. The sentence or writing by which marriage is dissolved.

5. The cause of any penal separation.

The long divorce of steel falls on me.


1. To dissolve the marriage contract, and thus to separate husband and wife.

2. To separate, as a married woman from the bed and board of her husband.

3. To separate or disunite things closely connected; to force asunder.

4. To take away; to put away.

DIVORCED, pp. Separated by a dissolution of the marriage contract; separated from bed and board; parted; forced asunder.

DIVORCEMENT, n. Divorce; dissolution of the marriage tie.

Let him write her a bill of divorcement. Deuteronomy 24:1.


1. The person or cause that produces divorce.

2. One of a sect called divorcers, said to have sprung from Milton.

DIVORCING, ppr. Dissolving the marriage contract; separating from bed and board; disuniting.

DIVORCIVE, a. Having power to divorce.

DIVULGATE, a. Published. [Little used.]

DIVULGATION, n. The act of divulging or publishing.

DIVULGE, v.t. divulj. [L., to make public; the common people; people.]

1. To make public; to tell or make known something before private or secret; to reveal; to disclose; as, to divulge the secret sentiments of a friend; to divulge the proceedings of the cabinet. Divulge is more generally applied to verbal disclosures, and publish to printed accounts. But they may be used synonymously. We may publish by words, and divulge by the press.

2. To declare by a public act; to proclaim. [Unusual.]

DIVULGED, pp. Made public; revealed; disclosed; published.

DIVULGER, n. One who divulges or reveals.

DIVULGING, ppr. Disclosing; publishing; revealing.

DIVULSION, n. [L., to pull.] The act of pulling or plucking away; a rending asunder.

And dire divulsions shook the changing world.

DIVULSIVE, a. That pulls asunder; that rends.

DIZEN, v.t. dizn. To dress gayly; to deck.

This word is not esteemed elegant, and is nearly obsolete. Its compound bedizen is used in burlesque.

DIZZ, v.t. [See Dizzy.] To astonish; to puzzle; to make dizzy. [Not used.]

DIZZARD, n. [See Dizzy.] A blockhead. [Not used.]

DIZZINESS, n. [See Dizzy.] Giddiness; a whirling in the head; vertigo.

DIZZY, a. [G., dizziness; dizzy.]

1. Giddy; having a sensation of whirling in the head, with instability or proneness to fall; vertiginous.

2. Causing giddiness; as a dizzy highth.

3. Giddy; thoughtless; heedless; as the dizzy multitude.

DIZZY, v.t. To whirl round; to make giddy; to confuse.

DO, v.t. or auxiliary; pret. Did; pp. Done, pronounced dun. This verb, when transitive, is formed in the indicative, present tense, thus, I do, thou doest, he does or doth; when auxiliary, the second person is, thou dost. [G.]

1. To perform; to execute; to carry into effect; to exert labor or power for brining any thing to the state desired, or to completion; or to bring any thing to pass. We say, this man does his work well; he does more in one day than some men will do in two days.

In six days thou shalt do all thy work. Exodus 20:9.

I will teach you what ye shall do. Exodus 4:15.

I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:7.

2. To practice; to perform; as, to do good or evil.

3. To perform for the benefit or injury of another; with for or to; for, when the thing is beneficial; to, in either case.

Till I know what God will do for me. 1 Samuel 22:3.

Do to him neither good nor evil. But to is more generally omitted. Do him neither good nor harm.

4. To execute; to discharge; to convey; as, do a message to the king.

5. To perform; to practice; to observe.

We lie and do not the truth. 1 John 1:6.

6. To exert.

Do thy diligence to come shortly to me. 2 Timothy 4:9.

7. To transact; as, to do business with another.

8. To finish; to execute or transact and bring to a conclusion. The sense of completion is often implied in this verb; as, we will do the business and adjourn; we did the business and dined.

9. To perform in an exigency; to have recourse to, as a consequential or last effort; to take a step or measure; as, in this crisis, we knew not what to do.

What will ye do in the day of visitation. Isaiah 10:3.

10. To make or cause.

Nothing but death can do me to respire.

11. To put.

Who should do the duke to death?

12. To answer the purpose.

Ill make the songs of Durfy do.

To have to do, to have concern with.

What have I to do with you? 2 Samuel 16:10.

What have I to do any more with idols? Hosea 14:8.

To do with, to dispose of; to make use of; to employ. Commerce is dull; we know not what to do with our ships. Idle men know not what to do with their time or with themselves. Also, to gain; to effect by influence.

A jest with a sad brow will do with a fellow who never had the ache in his shoulders.

I can do nothing with this obstinate fellow.

Also, to have concern with; to have business; to deal. [See No. 12.]

To do away, to remove; to destroy; as, to do away imperfections; to do away prejudices.

DO, v.i.

1. To act or behave, in any manner, well or ill; to conduct ones self.

They fear not the Lord, neither do they after the law and commandment. 2 Kings 17:34.

2. To fare; to be in a state with regard to sickness or health.

How dost thou?

We asked him how he did. How do you do, or how do you?

3. To succeed; to accomplish a purpose. We shall do without him. Will this plan do? Also, to fit; to be adapted; to answer the design; with for; as, this piece of timber will do for the corner post; this tenon will do for the mortise; the road is repaired and will do for the present.

To have to do with, to have concern or business with; to deal with. Have little to do with jealous men. Also, to have carnal commerce with.

Do is used for a verb to save the repetition of it. I shall probably come, but if I do not, you must not wait; that is, if I do not come, if I come not.

Do is also used in the imperative, to express an urgent request or command; as, do come; help me, do; make haste, do. In this case, do is uttered with emphasis.

As an auxiliary, do is used in asking questions. Do you intend to go? Does he wish me to come?

Do is also used to express emphasis. She is coquetish, but still I do love her.

Do is sometimes a mere expletive.

This just reproach their virtue does excite.

Expletives their feeble aid do join.

[The latter use of do is nearly obsolete.]

Do is sometimes used by way of opposition; as, I did love him, but he has lost my affections.

DOAT. [See Dote.]

DOCIBLE, a. [See Docile.] Teachable; docile; tractable; easily taught or managed.

DOCIBILITY, DOCIBLENESS, n. Teachableness; docility; readiness to learn.

DOCILE, a. [L., to teach. See Teach.] Teachable; easily instructed; ready to learn; tractable; easily managed. Some children are far more docile than others. Dogs are more docile than many other animals.

DOCILITY, n. Teachableness; readiness to learn; aptness to be taught. The docility of elephants is remarkable.

DOCIMACY, n. [Gr., See the next word.] The art or practice of assaying metals; metallurgy.

DOCIMASTIC, a. [Gr., to try, essay, examine, proved; to prove.] Properly, essaying, proving by experiments, or relating to the assaying of metals. The docimastic art is otherwise called metallurgy. It is the art of assaying metals, or the art of separating them from foreign matters, and determining the nature and quantity of metallic substance contained in any ore or mineral.

DOCK, n. [Gr., L.] A genus of plants, the Rumex, of several species. Its root resembles a carrot.

DOCK, v.t.

1. To cut off, as the end of a thing; to curtail; to cut short; to clip; as, to dock the tail of a horse.

2. To cut off a part; to shorten; to deduct from; as, to dock an account.

3. To cut off, destroy or defeat; to bar; as, to dock an entail.

4. To bring, draw or place a ship in a dock.

DOCK, n.

1. The tail of a beast cut short or clipped; the stump of a tail; the solid part of the tail.

2. A case of leather to cover a horses dock.

DOCK, n. A broad deep trench on the side of a harbor, or bank of a river, in which ships are built or repaired. A dry dock has flood-gates to admit the tide, and to prevent the influx, as occasion may require. Wet docks have no flood-gates, but ships may be repaired in them during the recess of the tide. Wet docks are also constructed with gates to deep the water in at ebb tide, so that vessels may lie constantly afloat in them. In America, the spaces between wharves are called docks.

DOCK-YARD, n. A yard or magazine near a harbor, for containing all kinds of naval stores and timber.


1. A small piece of paper or parchment, containing the heads of a writing. Also, a subscription at the foot of letters patent, by the clerk of the dockets.

2. A bill, tied to goods, containing some direction, as the name of the owner, or the place to which they are to be sent. [See Ticket.]

3. An alphabetical list of cases in a court, or a catalogue of the names of the parties who have suits depending in a court. In some of the states, this is the principal or only use of the word.

DOCKET, v.t.

1. To make an abstract of summary of the heads of a writing or writings; to abstract and enter in a book; as, judgments regularly docketed.

2. To enter in a docket; to mark the contents of papers on the back of them.

3. To mark with a docket.

DOCKING, ppr. Clipping; cutting off the end; placing in a dock.

DOCKING, n. The act of drawing, as a ship, into a dock.

DOCTOR, n. [L., to teach.]

1. A teacher.

There stood up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law. Acts 5:34.

2. One who has passed all the degrees of a faculty, and is empowered to practice and teach it, as a doctor in divinity, in physic, in law; or according to modern usage, ad person who has received the highest degree in a faculty. The degree of doctor is conferred by universities and colleges, as an honorary mark of literary distinction. It is also conferred on physicians, as a professional degree.

3. A learned man; a man skilled in a profession; a man of erudition.

4. A physician; one whose occupation is to cure diseases.

5. The title, doctor, is given to certain fathers of the church whose opinions are received as authorities, and in the Greek church, it is given to a particular officer who interprets the scriptures.

Doctors Commons, the college of civilians in London.

DOCTOR, v.t. To apply medicines for the cure of diseases. [A popular use of this word, but not elegant.]
DOCTOR, v.i. To practice physic. [Not elegant.]

DOCTORAL, a. Relating to the degree of a doctor.

DOCTORALLY, adv. In the manner of a doctor.