Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



DRYFAT, n. A dry vat or basket.

DRYFOOT, n. A dog that pursues game by the scent of the foot.

DRYING, ppr. Expelling or losing moisture, sap or greenness.

DRYING, n. The act or process of depriving of moisture or greenness.
DRYING, n. The act or process of depriving of moisture or greenness.

DRYITE, n. [Gr., an oak.] Fragments of petrified or fossil wood in which the structure of the wood is recognized.

DRYLY, adv.

1. Without moisture.

2. Coldly; frigidly; without affection.

3. Severely; sarcastically.

4. Barrenly; without embellishment; without any thing to enliven, enrich or entertain.


1. Destitution of moisture; want of water or other fluid; siccity; a aridity; aridness; as the dryness of a soil; dryness of the road.

2. Want of rain; as dryness of weather.

3. Want of juice or succulence; as dryness of the bones or fibers.

4. Want of succulence or greenness; as the dryness of hay or corn.

5. Barrenness; jejuneness; want of ornament or pathos; want of that which enlivens and entertains; as the dryness of style or expression; the dryness of a subject.

6. Want of feeling or sensibility in devotion; want of ardor; as dryness of spirit.


1. A nurse who attends and feeds a child without the breast.

2. One who attends another in sickness.

DRYNURSE, v.t. To feed, attend and bring up without the breast.

DRYRUB, v.t. To rub and cleanse without wetting.

DRYSALTER, n. A dealer in salted or dry meats, pickles, sauces, etc.

DRYSHOD, a. Without wetting the feet. Isaiah 11:15.

DUAL, a. [L., two.] Expressing the number two; as the dual number in Greek.

DUALISTIC, a. Consisting of two. The dualistic system of Anaxagoras and Plato taught that there are two principles in nature, one active, the other passive.


1. That which expresses two in number.

2. Division; separation.

3. The state or quality of being two.

DUB, v.t. [Gr.] Literally, to strike. Hence,

1. To strike a blow with a sword, and make a knight.

Se cyng, dubbade his sunu Henric to ridere.

The King dubbed his son Henry a knight.

2. To confer any dignity or new character.

A man of wealth is dubbd a man of worth.

DUB, v.i. to make a quick noise.
DUB, n.

1. A blow. [Little used.]

2. In Irish, a puddle.

DUBBED, pp. Struck; made a knight.

DUBBING, ppr. Striking; making a knight.

DUBIETY, n. [See Doubt.] Doubtfulness. [Little used.]

DUBIOUS, a. [L. See Doubt. The primary sense is probably to turn or to waver.]

1. Doubtful; wavering or fluctuating in opinion; not settled; not determined; as, the mind is in a dubious state.

2. Uncertain; that of which the truth is not ascertained or known; as a dubious question.

3. Not clear; not plain; as dubious light.

4. Of uncertain event or issue.

In dubious battle.

DUBIOUSLY, adv. Doubtfully; uncertainly; without any determination.


1. Doubtfulness; a state of wavering and indecision of mind; as, he speaks with dubiousness.

2. Uncertainty; as the dubiousness of the question.

DUBITABLE, a. [L. See Doubt.] Doubtful; uncertain. [Little used.] But the derivative indubitable is often used.

DUBITANCY, n. Doubt; uncertainty. [Little used.]

DUBITATION, n. [L, to doubt.] The act of doubting; doubt. [Little used.]

DUCAL, a. Pertaining to a duke; as a ducal coronet.

DUCAT, n. [from duke.] A coin of several countries in Europe, struck in the dominions of a duke. It is of silver or gold. The silver ducat is generally of the value of four shillings and sixpence sterling, equal to an American dollar, or to a French crown, and the gold ducat of twice the value.

DUCATOON, n. A silver coin, struck chiefly in Italy, of the value of about four shillings and eight pence sterling, or nearly 104 cents. The gold ducatoon of Holland is worth twenty florins.

DUCHESS, n. The consort or widow of a duke. Also, a lady who has the sovereignty of a duchy.

DUCHY, n. The territory or dominions of a duke; a dukedom; as the duchy of Lancaster.

DUCHY-COURT, n. The court of the duchy of Lancaster in England.

DUCK, n. [G, L., to weave.] A species of coarse cloth or canvas, used for sails, sacking of beds, etc.

DUCK, n. [from the verb, to duck.]

1. A water fowl, so called from its plunging. There are many species or varieties of the duck, some wild, others tame.

2. An inclination of the head, resembling the motion of a duck in water.

3. A stone thrown obliquely on the water so as to rebound; as in duck and drake.

DUCK, n. A word of endearment or fondness.
DUCK, v.t. [G.]

1. To dip or plunge in water and suddenly withdraw; as, to duck a seamen. It differs from dive, which signifies to plunge ones self, without immediately emerging.

2. To plunge the head in water and immediately withdraw it; as, duck the boy.

3. To bow, stoop or nod.

DUCK, v.i.

1. To plunge into water and immediately withdraw; to dip; to plunge the head in water or other liquid.

In Tiber ducking thrice by break of day.

2. To drop the head suddenly; to bow; to cringe.

Duck with French nods.

DUCKED, pp. Plunged; dipped in water.

DUCKER, n. A plunger; a diver; a cringer.

DUCKING, ppr. Plunging; thrusting suddenly into water and withdrawing; dipping.

DUCKING, n. The act of plunging or putting in water and withdrawing. Ducking is a punishment of offenders in France, and among English seamen, it is a penalty to which sailors are subject on passing, for the first time, the equator or tropic.

DUCKING-STOOL, n. A stool or chair in which common scolds were formerly tied and plunged into water.

DUCK-LEGGED, a. Having short legs, like a duck.

DUCKLING, n. A young duck.

DUCK-MEAT, DUCK’S-MEAT, n. A plant, the Lemna, growing in ditches and shallow water, and serving for food for ducks and geese. The starry ducks-meat is the Callitriche.

DUCKOY. [See Decoy.]

DUCK’S-FOOT, n. A plant, the Podophyllum; called also May-apple.

DUCK-WEED, n. The same as duck-meat.

DUCT, n. [L., to lead. See Duke.]

1. Any tube or canal by which fluid or other substance is conducted or conveyed. It is particularly used to denote the vessels of an animal body, by which the blood, chyle, lymph, etc., are carried from one part to another, and the vessels of plants in which the sap is conveyed.

2. Guidance; direction. [Little used.]

DUCTILE, a. [L., to lead.]

1. That may be led; easy to be led or drawn; tractable; complying; obsequious; yielding to motives, persuasion or instruction; as the ductile minds of youth; a ductile people.

2. Flexible; pliable.

The ductile rind and leaves of radiant gold.

3. That may be drawn out into wire or threads. Gold is the most ductile of the metals.

4. That may be extended by beating.

DUCTILENESS, n. The quality of suffering extension by drawing or percussion; ductility.


1. The property of solid bodies, particularly metals, which renders them capable of being extended by drawing without breaking; as the ductility of gold, iron or brass.

2. Flexibility; obsequiousness; a disposition of mind that easily yields to motives or influence; ready compliance.

DUCTURE, n. [L.] Guidance. [Not in use.]

DUDGEON, n. [G.] A small dagger.

DUDS, n. Old clothes; tattered garments. [A vulgar word.]

DUE, a. Du. [L., Gr., to bind. It has no connection with owe.]

1. Owed; that ought to be paid or done to another. That is due from me to another which contract, justice or propriety requires me to pay, and which he may justly claim as his right. Reverence is due to the creator; civility is due from one man to another. Money is due at the expiration of the credit given, or at the period promised.

2. Proper; fit; appropriate; suitable; becoming; required by the circumstances; as, the event was celebrated with due solemnities. Men seldom have a due sense of their depravity.

3. Seasonable; as, he will come in due time.

4. Exact; proper; as, the musicians keep due time.

5. Owing to; occasioned by. [Little used.]

6. That ought to have arrived, or to be present, before the time specified; as, two mails are now due.

DUE, adv. Directly; exactly; as a due east course.
DUE, n.

1. That which is owed; that which one contracts to pay, do or perform to another; that which law or justice requires to be paid or done. The money that I contract to pay to another is his due; the service which I covenant to perform to another is his due; reverence to the creator is his due.

2. That which office, rank, station, social relations, or established rules of right or decorum, require to be given, paid or done. Respect and obedience to parents and magistrates are their due.

3. That which law or custom requires; as toll, tribute, fees of office, or other legal perquisites.

4. Right; just title.

The key of this infernal pit by due--I keep.

DUE, v.t. To pay as due. [Not used.]

DUEL, n. [L.]

1. Single combat; a premeditated combat between two persons, for the purpose of deciding some private difference or quarrel. A sudden fight, not premeditated, is called a rencounter. A duel is fought with deadly weapons and with a purpose to take life.

2. Any contention or contest.

DUEL, v.i. To fight in single combat.
DUEL, v.t. To attack or fight singly.

DUELER, n. A combatant in single fight.

DUELING, ppr. Fighting in single combat.

DUELING, n. The act or practice of fighting in single combat.


1. One who fights in single combat.

The duelist values his honor above the life of his antagonist, his own life, and the happiness of his family.

2. One who professes to study the rules of honor.

DUELLO, n. Duel; or rule of dueling. [Not used.]

DUENESS, n. Duness. [See Due.] Fitness; propriety due quality.

DUENNA, n. [See Don.] An old woman who is kept to guard a younger; a governess.

DUET, DUETTO, n. A song or air in two parts.

DUFFEL, n. A kind of coarse woolen cloth, having a thick nap or frieze.

DUG, n. [L.] The pap or nipple of a cow or other beast. It is applied to a human female in contempt, but seems to have been used formerly of the human breast without reproach.

From tender dug of common nurse.

DUG, pret. and pp. of dig; as, they dug a ditch; a ditch was dug.

DUKE, n. [G., L, to lead; to draw, to tug. Gr.]

1. In Great Britain, one of the highest order of nobility; a title of honor or nobility next below the princes; as the Duke of Bedford or of Cornwall.

2. In some countries on the Continent, a sovereign prince, without the title of king; as the Duke of Holstein, of Savoy, of Parma, etc.

3. A chief; a prince; as the dukes of Edom. Genesis 36:15-43.


1. The seignory or possessions of a duke; the territory of a duke.

2. The title or quality of a duke.

DULBRAINED, a. [dull and brain.] Stupid; doltish; of dull intellects. [See Dullbrained.]

DULCET, a. [L., sweet.]

1. Sweet to the taste; luscious.

She tempers dulcet creams.

2. Sweet to the ear; melodious; harmonious; as dulcet sounds; dulcet symphonies.

DULCIFICATION, n. [See Dulcify.] The act of sweetening; the act of freeing from acidity, saltness or acrimony.

DULCIFIED, pp. Sweetened; purified from salts.

Dulcified spirits, a term formerly applied to the different ethers; as dulcified spirits of niter and vitriol, nitric and sulphuric ethers.

DULCIFY, v.t. [L, sweet; to make.] To sweeten; to free from acidity, saltness or acrimony.

DULCIMER, n. An instrument of music played by striking brass wires with little sticks. Daniel 3:5.

DULCINESS, n. [L.] Softness; easiness of temper. [Not used.]

DULCORATE, v.t. [L., sweet; to sweeten.]

1. To sweeten.

2. To make less acrimonious.

DULCORATION, n. The act of sweetening.

DULIA, n. [Gr., service.] An inferior kind of worship or adoration. [Not an English word.]

DULL, a. [G.]

1. Stupid; doltish; blockish; slow of understanding; as a lad of dull genius.

2. Heavy; sluggish; without life or spirit; as a surfeit leaves a man very dull.

3. Slow of motion; sluggish; as a dull stream.

4. Slow of hearing or seeing; as dull of hearing; dull of seeing.

5. Slow to learn or comprehend; unready; awkward; as a dull scholar.

6. Sleepy; drowsy.

7. Sad; melancholy.

8. Gross; cloggy; insensible; as the dull earth.

9. Not pleasing or delightful; not exhilarating; cheerless; as, to make dictionaries is dull work.

10. Not bright or clear; clouded; tarnished; as, the mirror is dull.

11. Not bright; not briskly burning; as a dull fire.

12. Dim; obscure; not vivid; as a dull light.

13. Blunt; obtuse; having a thick edge; as a dull knife or ax.

14. Cloudy; overcast; not clear; not enlivening; as dull weather.

15. With seamen, being without wind; as, a ship has a dull time.

16. Not lively or animated; as a dull eye.

DULL, v.t.

1. To make dull; to stupefy; as, to dull the senses.

2. To blunt; as, to dull a sword or an ax.

3. To make sad or melancholy.

4. To hebetate; to make insensible or slow to perceive; as, to dull the ears; to dull the wits.

5. To damp; to render lifeless; as, to dull the attention.

6. To make heavy or slow of motion; as, to dull industry.

7. To sully; to tarnish or cloud; as, the breath dulls a mirror.

DULL, v.i. To become dull or blunt; to become stupid.

DULL-BRAINED, a. Stupid; of dull intellect.

DULL-BROWED, a. Having a gloomy look.

DULL-DISPOSED, a. Inclined to dullness or sadness.

DULL-EYED, a. Having a downcast look.

DULL-HEAD, n. A person of dull understanding; a dolt; a blockhead.

DULL-SIGHTED, a. Having imperfect sigh; purblind.

DULL-WITTED, a. Having a dull intellect; heavy.

DULLARD, a. Doltish; stupid.

DULLARD, n. A stupid person; a dot; a blockhead; a dunce.

DULLED, pp. Made dull; blunted.

DULLER, n. That which makes dull.

DULLING, ppr. Making dull.


1. Stupidity; slowness of comprehension; weakness of intellect; indocility; as the dullness of a student.

2. Want of quick perception or eager desire.

3. Heaviness; drowsiness; inclination to sleep.

4. Heaviness; disinclination to motion.

5. Sluggishness; slowness.

6. Dimness; want of clearness or luster.

7. Bluntness; want of edge.

8. Want of brightness or vividness; as dullness of color.

DULLY, adv. Stupidity; slowly; sluggishly; without life or spirit.

DULY, adv. [from due.]

1. Properly; fitly; in a suitable or becoming manner; as, let the subject be duly considered.

2. Regularly; at the proper time; as, a man duly attended church with his family.

DUMB, a. Dum.

1. Mute; silent; not speaking.

I was dumb with silence; I held my peace. Psalm 39:2.

2. Destitute of the power of speech; unable to utter articulate sounds; as the dumb brutes. The asylum at Hartford in Connecticut was the first institution in America for teaching the deaf and dumb to read and write.

3. Mute; not using or accompanied with speech; as a dumb show; dumb signs.

To strike dumb, is to confound; to astonish; to render silent by astonishment; or it may be, to deprive of the power of speech.

DUMB, v.t. To silence.

DUMBLY, adv. dumly. Mutely; silently; without words or speech.

DUMBNESS, n. Dumness.

1. Muteness; silence or holding the peace; omission of speech. This is voluntary dumbness.

2. In capacity to speak; inability to articulate sounds. This is involuntary dumbness.

DUMFOUND, v.t. To strike dumb; to confuse. [A low word.]

DUMMERER, n. One who feigns dumbness. [Not in use.]

DUMP, n. [G.]

1. A dull gloomy state of the mind; sadness; melancholy; sorrow; heaviness of heart.

In doleful dumps.

2. Absence of mind; reverie.

3. A melancholy tune or air. [This is not an elegant word, and in America, I believe, is always used in the plural; as, the woman is in the dumps.]

DUMPISH, a. Dull; stupid; sad; melancholy; depressed in spirits; as, he lives a dumpish life.

DUMPISHLY, adv. In a moping manner.

DUMPISHNESS, n. A state of being dull, heavy and moping.

DUMPLING, n. [from dump.] A kind of pudding or mass of paste in cookery; usually, a cover of paste inclosing an apple and boiled, called apple-dumpling.

DUMPY, a. Short and thick.

DUN, a.

1. Of a dark color; of a color partaking of a brown and black; of a dull brown color; swarthy.

2. Dark; gloomy.

In the dun air sublime.

DUN, v.t. To cure, as fish, in a manner to give them a dun color. [See Dunning.]
DUN, v.t. [See Din.]

1. Literally, to clamor for payment of a debt. Hence, to urge for payment; to demand a debt in a pressing manner; to urge for payment with importunity. But in common usage, dun is often used in a milder sense, and signifies to call for, or ask for payment.

2. To urge importunately, in a general sense, but not an elegant word.

DUN, n.

1. An importunate creditor who urges for payment.

2. An urgent request or demand of payment in writing; as, he sent his debtor a dun.

3. An eminence or mound. [See Down and Town.]

DUNCE, n. Duns. [G.] A person of weak intellects; a dullard; a dolt; a thickskull.

I never knew this town without dunces of figure.

DUNCERY, n. Dullness; stupidity.

DUNCIFY, v.t. To make stupid in intellect. [Not used.]

DUNDER, n. [L.] Lees; dregs; a word used in Jamaica.

The use of dunder in the making of run answers the purpose of yeast int he fermentation of flour.