Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DRIPPLE, a. Weak or rare. [Not in use.]

DRIVE, v.t. pret. Drove, [formerly drave; pp. Driven, G.]

1. To impel or urge forward by force; to force; to move by physical force. We drive a nail into wood with a hammer; the wind or a current drive a ship on the ocean.

2. To compel or urge forward by other means than absolute physical force, or by means that compel the will; as, to drive cattle to market. A smoke drives company from the room. A man may be drive by the necessities of the times, to abandon his country.

Drive thy business; let not thy business drive thee.

3. To chase; to hunt.

To drive the deer with hound and horn.

4. To impel a team of horses or oxen to move forward, and to direct their course; hence, to guide or regulate the course of the carriage drawn by them. We say, to drive a team, or to drive a carriage drawn by a team.

5. To impel to greater speed.

6. To clear any place by forcing away what is in it.

To drive the country, force the swains away.

7. To force; to compel; in a general sense.

8. To hurry on inconsiderately; often with on. In this sense it is more generally intransitive.

9. To distress; to straighten; as desperate men far driven.

10. To impel by influence of passion. Anger and lust often drive men into gross crimes.

11. To urge; to press; as, to drive an argument.

12. To impel by moral influence; to compel; as, the reasoning of his opponent drove him to acknowledge his error.

13. To carry on; to prosecute; to keep in motion; as, to drive a trade; to drive business.

14. To make light by motion or agitation; as, to drive feathers.

His thrice driven bed of down.

The sense is probably to beat; but I do not recollect this application of the word in America.

To drive away, to force to remove to a distance; to expel; to dispel; to scatter.

To drive off, to compel to remove from a place; to expel; to drive to a distance.

To drive out, to expel.

DRIVE, v.i.

1. To be forced along; to be impelled; to be moved by any physical force or agent; as, a ship drives before the wind.

2. To rush and press with violence; as, a storm drives against the house.

Fierce Boreas drove against his flying sails.

3. To pass in a carriage; as, he drove to London. This phrase is elliptical. He drove his horses or carriage to London.

4. To aim at or tend to; to urge towards a point; to make an effort to reach or obtain; as, we know the end the author is driving at.

5. To aim a blow; to strike at with force.

Four rogues in buckram let drive at me.

Drive, in all its senses, implies forcible or violent action. It is opposed to lead. To drive a body is to move it by applying a force behind; to lead is to cause to move by applying the force before, or forward of the body.

DRIVE, n. Passage in a carriage.

DRIVEL, v.i. drivl. [from the root of drip.]

1. To slaver; to let spittle drop or flow from the mouth, like a child, idiot or dotard.

2. To be weak or foolish; to dote; as a driveling hero; driveling love.


1. Slaver; saliva flowing from the mouth.

2. A driveller; a fool; an idiot. [Not used.]

DRIVELER, n. A slaverer; a slabberer; an idiot; a fool.

DRIVELING, ppr. Slavering; foolish.

DRIVEN, pp. Drivn. [from drive.] Urged forward by force; impelled to move; constrained by necessity.


1. One who drives; the person or thing that urges or compels any thing else to move.

2. The person who drives beasts.

3. The person who drives a carriage; one who conducts a team.

4. A large sail occasionally set on the mizenyard or gaff, the foot being extended over the stern by a boom.

DRIVING, ppr. Urging forward by force; impelling.


1. The act of impelling.

2. Tendency.

DRIZZLE, v.i. [G., L.] To rain in small drops; to fall as water from the clouds in very fine particles. We say, it drizzles; drizzling drops; drizzling rain; drizzling tears.

DRIZZLE, v.t. To shed in small drops or particles.

The air doth drizzle dew.

Winters drizzled snow.

DRIZZLED, pp. Shed or thrown down in small drops or particles.

DRIZZLING, ppr. Falling in fine drops or particles; shedding in small drops or particles.

DRIZZLING, n. The falling of rain or snow in small drops.

DRIZZLY, a. Shedding small rain, or small particles of snow.

The winters drizzly reign.

DROGMAN. [See Dragoman.]

DROIL, v.i. To work sluggishly or slowly; to plod. [Not much used.]

DROIL, n. A mope; a drone; a sluggard; a drudge. [Little used.]

DROLL, a. [G.] Odd; merry; facetious; comical; as a droll fellow.


1. One whose occupation or practice is to raise mirth by odd tricks; a jester; a buffoon.

2. A farce; something exhibited to raise mirth or sport.

DROLL, v.i. To jest; to play the buffoon.
DROLL, v.t. To cheat.

DROLLER, n. A jester; a buffoon.


1. Sportive tricks; buffoonery; comical stories; gestures, manners or tales adapted to raise mirth.

2. A puppet-show.

DROLLING, n. Low wit; buffoonery.

DROLLINGLY, adv. In a jesting manner.

DROLLISH, a. Somewhat droll.

DROMEDARY, n. [Gr., perhaps from swiftness, running.] A species of camel, called also the Arabian camel, with one bunch or protuberance on the back, in distinction from the Bactrian camel, which has two bunches. It has four callous protuberances on the fore legs, and two on the hind ones. It is a common beast of burden in Egypt, Syria, and the neighboring countries.

DRONE, n. [G., to tinkle, to shake, to tingle.]

1. The male of the honey bee. It is smaller than the queen bee, but larger than the working bee. The drones make no honey, but after living a few weeks, they are killed or driven from the hive. Hence,

2. An idler; a sluggard; one who earns nothing by industry.

3. A humming or low sound, or the instrument of humming.

4. The largest tube of the bag-pipe, which emits a continued deep note.

DRONE, v.i.

1. To live in idleness; as a droning king.

2. To give a low, heavy, dull sound; as the cymbals droning sound.

DRONE-FLY, n. A two-winged insect, resembling the drone-bee.

DRONING, ppr. Living in idleness; giving a dull sound.

DRONISH, a. Idle; sluggish; lazy; indolent; inactive; slow.

DROOP, v.i. [L., from the root of drop.]

1. To sink or hang down; to lean downwards, as a body that is weak or languishing. Plants droop for want of moisture; the human body droops in old age or infirmity.

2. To languish from grief or other cause.

3. To fail or sink; to decline; as, the courage or the spirits droop.

4. To faint; to grow weak; to be dispirited; as, the soldiers droop from fatigue.

DROOPING, ppr. Sinking; hanging or leaning downward; declining; languishing; failing.

DROP, n. [G.]

1. A small portion of any fluid in a spherical form, which falls at once from any body, or a globule of any fluid which is pendent, as if about to fall; a small portion of water falling in rain; as a drop of water; a drop of blood; a drop of laudanum.

2. A diamond hanging from the ear; an earring; something hanging in the form of a drop.

3. A very small quantity of liquor; as, he had not drank a drop.

4. The part of a gallows which sustains the criminal before he is executed, and which is suddenly dropped.

DROPS, v.t. [G.]

1. To pour or let fall in small portions or globules, as a fluid; to distill.

The heavens shall drop down dew. Deuteronomy 33:28.

2. To let fall as any substance; as, to drop the anchor; to drop a stone.

3. To let go; to dismiss; to lay aside; to quit; to leave; to permit to subside; as, to drop an affair; to drop a controversy; to drop a pursuit.

4. To utter slightly, briefly or casually; as, to drop a word in favor of a friend.

5. To insert indirectly, incidentally, or by way of digression; as, to drop a word of instruction in a letter

6. To lay aside; to dismiss from possession; as, to drop these frail bodies.

7. To leave; as, to drop a letter at the post office.

8. To set down and leave; as, the coach dropped a passenger at the inn.

9. To quit; to suffer to cease; as, to drop an acquaintance.

10. To let go; to dismiss from association; as, to drop a companion.

11. To suffer to end or come to nothing; as, to drop a fashion.

12. To bedrop; to speckle; to variegate, as if by sprinkling with drops; as a coat dropped with gold.

13. To lower; as, to drop the muzzle of a gun.

DROP, v.i.

1. To distill; to fall in small portions, globules or drops, as a liquid. Water drops from the clouds or from the eaves.

2. To let drops fall; to discharge itself in drops.

The heavens dropped at the presence of God. Psalm 68:8.

3. To fall; to descend suddenly or abruptly.

4. To fall spontaneously; as, ripe fruit drops from a tree.

5. To die, or to die suddenly. We see one friend after another dropping round us. They drop into the grave.

6. To come to an end; to cease; to be neglected and come to nothing; as, the affair dropped.

7. To come unexpectedly; with in or into; as, my old friend dropped in, a moment.

8. To fall short of a mark. [Not usual.]

Often it drops or overshoots.

9. To fall lower; as, the point of the spear dropped a little.

10. To be deep in extent.

Her main top-sail drops seventeen yards.

To drop astern, in seamens language, is to pass or move towards the stern; to move back; or to slacken the velocity of a vessel to let another pass beyond her.

To drop down, in seamens language, is to sail, row or move down a river, or toward the sea.

DROP-SERENE, n. A disease of the eye; amaurosis, or blindness from a diseased retina.

DROP-STONE, n. Spar in the shape of drops.

DROP-WORT, n. The name of a plant, the Spiraea filipendula. The hemlock drop-wort, and the water drop-wort, are species of Oenanthe.

DROPLET, n. A little drop.

DROPPED, pp. Let fall; distilled; laid aside; dismissed; let go; suffered to subside; sprinkled or variegated.

DROPPING, ppr. Falling in globules; distilling; falling; laying aside; dismissing; quitting; suffering to rest or subside; variegating with ornaments like drops.


1. The act of dropping; a distilling; a falling.

2. That which drops.

DROPSICAL, a. [See Dropsy.]

1. Diseased with dropsy; hydropical; inclined to the dropsy; applied to persons.

2. Partaking of the nature of the dropsy; applied to disease.

DROPSIED, a. Diseased with dropsy.

DROPSY, n. [L, Gr., water; the face. Formerly written hydropisy; whence by contraction, dropsy.] In medicine, an unnatural collection of water, in an part of the body, proceeding from a greater effusion of serum by the exhalant arteries, than the absorbents take up. It occurs most frequently in persons of lax habits, or in bodies debilitated by disease. The dropsy takes different names, according to the part affected; as ascites, or dropsy of the abdomen; hydrocephalus, or water in the head; anasarca, or a watery swelling over the whole body; etc.

DROSS, n. [G.]

1. The recrement or despumation of metals; the scum or extraneous matter of metals, thrown off in the process of melting.

2. Rust; crust of metals; an incrustation formed on metals by oxydation.

3. Waste matter; refuse; any worthless matter separated from the better part; impure matter.

The worlds glory is but dross unclean.

DROSSINESS, n. Foulness; rust; impurity; a state of being drossy.


1. Like dross; pertaining to dross.

2. Full of dross; abounding with scorious or recrementitious matter; as drossy gold.

3. Worthless; foul; impure.

DROTCHEL, n. An idle wench; a sluggard. [Not in use.]

DROUGHT. [See Drouth.]

DROUGHTINESS, n. Drouthiness.

DROUGHTY, a. Drouthy.

DROUMY, a. Troubled; dirty. Chaucer has drovy.

DROUTH, n. [See Dry. The word generally used is now, as it was written by Bacon, drouth or drowth; its regular termination is th.]

1. Dryness; want of rain or of water; particularly, dryness of the weather, which affects the earth, and prevents the growth of plants; aridness; aridity.

2. Dryness of the throat and mouth; thirst; want of drink.

DROUTHINESS, n. A state of dryness of the weather; want of rain.


1. Dry, as the weather; arid; wanting rain.

2. Thirsty; dry; wanting drink.

DROVE, pret. of drive.


1. A collection of cattle driven; a number of animals, as oxen, sheep or swine, driven in a body. We speak of a herd of cattle, and a flock of sheep, when a number is collected; but properly a drove is a herd or flock driven. It is applicable to any species of brutes. Hence,

2. Any collection of irrational animals, moving or driving forward; as a finny drove.

3. A crowd of people in motion.

Where droves, as at a city gate, may pass.

4. A road for driving cattle. [English.]


1. One who drives cattle or sheep to market. Usually in New England, a man who makes it his business to purchase fat cattle and drive them to market.

2. A boat driven by the tide.

DROWN, v.t.

1. Literally, to overwhelm in water; an appropriately, to extinguish life by immersion in water or other fluid; applied to animals; also, to suspend animation by submersion.

2. To overwhelm in water; as, to drown weeds.

3. To overflow; to deluge; to inundate; as, to drown land.

4. To immerse; to plunge and lose; to overwhelm; as, to drown ones self in sensual pleasure.

5. To overwhelm; to overpower.

My private voice is drowned amid the senate.

DROWN, v.i. To be suffocated in water or other fluid; to perish in water.

Methought what pain it was to drown.

DROWNED, pp. Deprived of life by immersion in a fluid; overflowed; inundated; overwhelmed.

DROWNER, n. He or that which drowns.

DROWNING, ppr. Destroying life by submersion in a liquid; overflowing; overwhelming.

DROWSE, v.i. drowz.

1. To sleep imperfectly or unsoundly; to slumber; to be heavy with sleepiness.

2. To look heavy; to be heavy or dull.

DROWSE, v.t. To make heavy with sleep; to make dull or stupid.

DROWSIHED, n. Sleepiness.


1. Sleepily; heavily; in a dull sleepy manner.

2. Sluggishly; idly; slothfully; lazily.


1. Sleepiness; heaviness with sleep; disposition to sleep.

2. Sluggishness; sloth; idleness; inactivity.


1. Inclined to sleep; sleepy; heavy with sleepiness; lethargic; comatose.

2. Dull; sluggish; stupid.

3. Disposing to sleep; lulling; as a drowsy couch.

DROWSY-HEADED, a. Heavy; having a sluggish disposition.

DRUB, v.t. [G., L. Drubbing is a particular form of driving.] To beat with a stick; to thrash; to cudgel.

The little thief had been soundly drubbed with a cudgel.

DRUB, n. A blow with a stick or cudgel; a thump; a knock.

DRUBBED, pp. Beat with a cudgel; beat soundly.

DRUBBING, ppr. Beating with a cudgel; beating soundly.

DRUBBING, n. A cudgeling; a sound beating.

DRUDGE, v.i. druj. To work hard; to labor in mean offices; to labor with toil and fatigue.

In merriment did drudge and labor.

DRUDGE, n. One who works hard, or labors with toil and fatigue; one who labors hard in servile employments; a slave.


1. A drudge.

2. A drudging-box. [See Dredging-box.]

DRUDGERY, n. Hard labor; toilsome work; ignoble toil; hard work in servile occupations.

Paradise was a place of bliss-without drudgery or sorrow.

DRUDGING, ppr. Laboring hard; toiling.

DRUDGING-BOX. [See Dredging-box.]

DRUDGINGLY, adv. With labor and fatigue; laboriously.

DRUG, n. [See the verb, to dry.]

1. The general name of substances used in medicine, sold by the druggist, and compounded by apothecaries and physicians; any substance, vegetable, animal or mineral, which is used in the composition or preparation of medicines. It is also applied to dyeing materials.

2. Any commodity that lies on hand, or is not salable; an article of slow sale, or in no demand in market.

3. A mortal drug, or a deadly drug, is poison.

4. A drudge.

DRUG, v.i. To prescribe or administer drugs or medicines.
DRUG, v.t.

1. To season with drugs or ingredients.

2. To tincture with something offensive.

DRUGGER, n. A druggist. [Not used.]

DRUGGET, n. A cloth or thin stuff of wool, or of wool and thread, corded or plain, usually plain.

DRUGGIST, n. One who deals in drugs; properly, one whose occupation is merely to but and sell drugs, without compounding or preparation. In America, the same person often carries on the business of the druggist and the apothecary.

DRUGSTER, n. A druggist. [Not used.]

DRUID, n. A priest or minister of religion, among the ancient Celtic nations in Gaul, Britain and Germany. The Druids possessed some knowledge of geometry, natural philosophy, etc., superintended the affairs of religion and morality, and performed the office of judges.

DRUIDIC, DRUIDICAL, a. Pertaining to the Druids.

DRUIDISM, n. The system of religion, philosophy and instruction taught by the druids, or their doctrines, rites and ceremonies.

DRUM, n. [G., L.]

1. A martial instrument of music, in form of a hollow cylinder, and covered at the ends with vellum, which is stretched or slackened at pleasure.

2. In machinery, a short cylinder revolving on an axis, generally for the purpose of turning several small wheels, by means of straps passing round its periphery.

3. The drum of the ear, the tympanum, or barrel of the ear; the hollow part of the ear, behind the membrane of the tympanum. The latter is a tense membrane, which closes the external passage of the ear, and receives the vibrations of the air.

DRUM, v.i.

1. To beat a drum with sticks; to beat or play a tune on a drum.

2. To beat with the fingers, as with drumsticks; to beat with a rapid succession of strokes; as, to drum on the table.

3. To beat as the heart.

DRUM, v.t. To expel with beat of drum.

DRUMBLE, v.i. To drone; to be sluggish. [Not in use.]

DRUM-FISH, n. A fish, found on the coast of North America.

DRUMLY, a. Thick; stagnant; muddy. [Not in use.]

DRUM-MAJOR, n. The chief or first drummer of a regiment.

DRUM-MAKER, n. One who makes drums.

DRUMMER, n. One whose office is to beat the drum, in military exercises and marching; one who drums.

DRUM-STICK, n. The stick with which a drum is beaten, or shaped for the purpose of beating a drum.

DRUNK, a. [from drunken. See Drink.]

1. Intoxicated; inebriated; overwhelmed or overpowered by spirituous liquor; stupefied or inflamed by the action of spirit on the stomach and brain. It is brutish to be drunk.

Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess.

2. Drenched or saturated with moisture or liquor.

I will make my arrows drunk with blood. Deuteronomy 32:42.

[Note. Drunk was formerly used as the participle of drink; as, he had drunk wine. But in modern usage, drank has taken its place; and drunk is now used chiefly as an adjective.]

DRUNKARD, n. One given to ebriety or an excessive used of strong liquor; a person who habitually or frequently is drunk.

A drunkard and a glutton shall come to poverty. Proverbs 23:21.

DRUNKEN, a. Drunkn. [participle of drink, but now used chiefly as an adjective, and often contracted to drunk.]

1. Intoxicated; inebriated with strong liquor.

2. Given to drunkenness; as a drunken butler.

3. Saturated with liquor or moisture; drenched.

Let the earth be drunken with our blood.

4. Proceeding from intoxication; done in a state of drunkenness; as a drunken quarrel.

A drunken slaughter.

DRUNKENLY, adv. In a drunken manner. [Little used.]


1. Intoxication; inebriation; a state in which a person is overwhelmed or overpowered with spirituous liquors, so that his reason is disordered, and he reels or staggers in walking. Drunkenness renders some persons stupid, others gay, others sullen, others furious.

Let us walk honestly as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness.

2. Habitually ebriety or intoxication.

3. Disorder of the faculties resembling intoxication by liquors; inflammation; frenzy; rage.

Passion is the drunkenness of the mind.

DRUPE, n. [L., Gr, olives ready to fall, Gr., a tree; to fall.] In botany, a pulpy pericarp or fruit without valves, containing a nut or stone with a kernel; as the plum, cherry, apricot, peach, almond, olive, etc.


1. Producing drupes; as drupaceous trees.

2. Pertaining to drupes; or consisting of drupes; as drupaceous fruit; drupaceous follicles.

DRUSE, n. [G., a gland, glanders.] Among miners, a cavity in a rock having its interior surface studded with crystals, or filled with water.

DRUSY, a. s as z. Abounding with very minute crystals; as a drusy surface.

DRY, a. [See the Verb.]

1. Destitute of moisture; free from water or wetness; arid; not moist; as dry land; dry clothes.

2. Not rainy; free from rain or mist; as dry weather; a dry March or April.

3. Not juicy; free from juice, sap or aqueous matter; not green; as dry wood; dry stubble; dry hay; dry leaves.

4. Without tears; as dry eyes; dry mourning.

5. Not giving milk; as, the cow is dry.

6. Thirsty; craving drink.

7. Barren; jejune; plain; unembellished; destitute of pathos, or of that which amuses and interests; as a dry style; a dry subject; a dry discussion.

8. Severe; sarcastic; wiping; as a dry remark or repartee; a dry run.

9. Severe; wiping; as a dry blow; a dry basting. See the verb, which signifies properly to wipe, rub, scour.

10. Dry goods, in commerce, cloths, stuffs, silks, laces, ribbons, etc., in distinction from groceries.

DRY, v.t. [G., to dry, to wipe; Gr., L. See Dry. The primary sense is to wipe, rub, scour.]

1. To free from water, or from moisture of any kind, and by any means; originally by wiping, as to dry the eyes; to exsiccate.

2. To deprive of moisture by evaporation or exhalation; as, the sun dries a cloth; wind dries the earth.

3. To deprive of moisture by exposure to the sun or open air. We dry cloth in the sun.

4. To deprive of natural juice, sap or greenness; as, to dry hay or plants.

5. To scorch or parch with thirst; with up.

Their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13.

6. To deprive of water by draining; to drain; to exhaust; as, to dry a meadow.

To dry up, to deprive wholly of water.

DRY, v.i.

1. To grow dry; to lose moisture; to become free from moisture or juice. The road dries fast in a clear windy day. Hay will dry sufficiently in two days.

2. To evaporate wholly; to be exhaled; sometimes with up; as, the stream dries or dries up.

DRYAD, n. [L., Gr., a tree.] In mythology, a deity or nymph of the woods; a nymph supposed to preside over woods.

DRYED, pp. of dry. [See Dried.]

DRYER, n. He or that which dries; that which exhausts of moisture or greenness.

DRYEYED, a. Not having tears in the eyes.