Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



EBBING, ppr. Flowing back; declining; decaying.

EBBING, n. The reflux of the tide.

EBBTIDE, n. The reflux of tide-water; the retiring tide.

EBIONITE, n. The ebionites were heretics who denied the divinity of Christ and rejected many parts of the scriptures.

EBON, a. [See Ebony.] Consisting of ebony; like ebony; black.

EBONIZE, v.t. [See Ebony.] To make black or tawny; to tinge with the color of ebony; as, to ebonize the fairest complexion.

EBONY, n. [L. ebenus.] A species of hard, heavy and durable wood, which admits of a fine polish or gloss; said to be brought from Madagascar. The most usual color is black, red or green. The best is a jet black, free from veins and rind, very heavy, astringent and of an acrid pungent taste. On burning coals it yields an agreeable perfume, and when green it readily takes fire from its abundance of fat. It is wrought into toys, and used for mosaic and inlaid work.

EBONY-TREE, n. The Ebenus, a small tree constituting a genus, growing in Crete and other isles of the Archipelago.

EBRACTEATE, a. [e priv. and bractea.] In botany, without a bractea or floral leaf.

EBRIETY, n. [L. ebrietas, from ebrius, intoxicated.]

Drunkenness; intoxication by spirituous liquors.

EBRILLADE, n. A check given to a horse, by a sudden jerk of one rein, when he refuses to turn.

EBRIOSITY, n. [L. ebriositas.] Habitual drunkenness.

EBULLIENCY, n. [See Ebullition.] A boiling over.

EBULLIENT, a. Boiling over, as a liquor.

EBULLITION, n. [L. ebullitio, from ebullio, bullio; Eng. to boil, which see.]

1. The operation of boiling; the agitation of a liquor by heat, which throws it up in bubbles, or more properly, the agitation produced in a fluid by the escape of a portion of it, converted into an aeriform state by heat. Ebullition is produced by the heat of fire directly applied, or by the heat or caloric evolved by any substance in mixture. Thus, in slaking lime, the caloric set at liberty by the a absorption of water, produces ebullition.

2. Effervescence, which is occasioned by fermentation, or by any other process which causes the extrication of an aeriform fluid, as in the mixture of an acid with a carbonated alkali.

ECAUDATE, a. [e priv. and L. cauda, a tail.] In botany, without a tail or spur.

ECCENTRIC, ECCENTRICAL, a. [L. eccentricus; ex, from, and centrum, center.]

1. Deviating or departing from the center.

2. In geometry, not having the same center; a term applied to circles and spheres which have not the same center, and consequently are not parallel; in opposition to concentric, having a common center.

3. Not terminating in the same point, nor directed by the same principle.

4. Deviating from stated methods, usual practice or established forms or laws; irregular; anomalous, departing from the usual course; as eccentric conduct; eccentric virtue; an eccentric genius.

ECCENTRIC, n. A circle not having the same center as another.

1. That which is irregular or anomalous.

ECCENTRICITY, n. Deviation from a center.

1. The state of having a center different from that of another circle.

2. In astronomy, the distance of the center of a planet’s orbit from the center of the sun; that is, the distance between the center of an ellipsis and its focus.

3. Departure or deviation from that which is stated, regular or usual; as the eccentricity of a man’s genius or conduct.

4. Excursion from the proper sphere.

ECCHYMOSIS, n. In medicine, an appearance of livid spots on the skin, occasioned by extravasated blood.

ECCLESIASTES, n. [Gr.] a canonical book of the old testament.

ECCLESIASTIC, ECCLESIASTICAL, [L. Gr. an assembly or meeting, whence a church; to call forth or convoke; to call.]

Pertaining or relating to the church; as ecclesiastical discipline or government; ecclesiastical affairs, history or policy; ecclesiastical courts.

Ecclesiastical State is the body of the clergy.

ECCLESIASTIC, n. A person in orders, or consecrated to the service of the church and the ministry of religion.

ECCLESIASTICUS, n. A book of the aprocrypha.

ECCOPROTIC, a. [Gr. out or from, and stercus.] Having the quality of promoting alvine discharges; laxative; loosening; gently cathartic.

ECCOPROTIC, n. A medicine which purges gently, or which tends to promote evacuations by stool; a mild cathartic.

ECHELON, n. In military tactics, the position of an army in the form of steps, or with one division more advanced than another.

ECHINATE, ECHINATED, a. [L. echinum, a hedgehog.] Set with prickles, prickly, like a hedgehog; having sharp points; bristled; as an echinated pericarp.

Echinated pyrites, in mineralogy.

ECHINITE, n. [See Echinus.] A fossil found in chalk pits, called centronia; a petrified shell set with prickles or points; a calcarious petrifaction of the echinus or sea-hedgehog.

ECHINUS, n. [L. from Gr.] A hedgehog.

1. A shell-fish set with prickles or spines. The Echinus, in natural history, forms a genus of Mollusca. The body is roundish, covered with a bony crust, and often beset with movable prickles. There are several species and some of them eatable.

2. With botanists, a prickly head or top of a plant; an echinated pericarp.

3. In architecture, a member or ornament near the bottom of Ionic, Corinthian or Composite capitals, so named from its roughness, resembling, in some measure, the spiny coat of a hedgehog.

ECHO, n. [L. echo; Gr. sound, to sound.]

1. A sound reflected or reverberated from a solid body; sound returned; repercussion of sound; as an echo from a distant hill.

The sound must seem an echo to the sense.

2. In fabulous history, a nymph, the daughter of the Air and Tellus, who pined into a sound, for love of Narcissus.

3. In architecture, a vault or arch for redoubling sounds.

ECHO, v.i. To resound; to reflect sound.

The hall echoed with acclamations.

1. To be sounded back; as echoing noise.

ECHO, v.t. To reverberate or send back sound; to return what has been uttered.

Those peals are echoed by the Trojan throng.

ECHOED, pp. Reverberated, as sound.

ECHOING, ppr. Sending back sound; as echoing hills.

ECHOMETER, n. [Gr. sound, and measure.] Among musicians, a scale or rule, with several lines thereon, serving to measure the duration of sounds, and to find their intervals and ratios.

ECHOMETRY, n. The art or act of measuring the duration of sounds.

The art of constructing vaults to produce echoes.

ECLAIRCISE, v.t. To make clear; to explain; to clear up what is not understood or misunderstood.

ECLAIRCISSEMENT, n. Explanation; the clearing up of any thing not before understood.

ECLAMPSY, n. [Gr. a shining, to shine.] A flashing of light, a symptom of epilepsy. Hence, epilepsy itself.

ECLAT, n. ecla.

1. Primarily, a burst of applause; acclamation. Hence, applause; approbation; renown.

2. Splendor; show; pomp.

ECLECTIC, a. [Gr. to choose.] Selecting; choosing; an epithet given to certain philosophers of antiquity, who did not attach themselves to any particular sect, but selected from the opinions and principles of each, what they thought solid and good. Hence we say, an eclectic philosopher; the eclectic sect.

ECLECTIC, n. A philosopher who selected from the various systems such opinions and principles as he judged to be sound and rational.

1. A christian who adhered to the doctrines of the Eclectics. Also, one of a sect of physicians.

ECLECTICALLY, adv. By way of choosing or selecting; in the manner of the eclectical philosophers.

ECLEGM, n. [Gr.] A medicine made by the incorporation of oils with syrups.

ECLIPSE, n. eclips’. [L. eclipsis; Gr. defect, to fail, to leave.]

1. Literally, a defect or failure; hence in astronomy, an interception or obscuration of the light of the sun, moon or other luminous body. An eclipse of the sun is caused by the intervention of the moon, which totally or partially hides the sun’s disk; an eclipse of the moon is occasioned by the shadow of the earth, which falls on it and obscures it in whole or in part, but does not entirely conceal it.

2. Darkness; obscuration. We say, his glory has suffered an eclipse.

All the posterity of our first parents suffered a perpetual eclipse of spiritual life.

ECLIPSE, v.t. eclips’. To hide a luminous body in whole or in part and intercept its rays; as, to eclipse the sun or a star.

1. To obscure; to darken, by intercepting the rays of light which render luminous; as, to eclipse the moon.

2. To cloud; to darken; to obscure; as, to eclipse the glory of a hero. Hence,

3. To disgrace.

4. To extinguish.

Born to eclipse thy life.

ECLIPSE, v.i. eclips’. To suffer an eclipse.

ECLIPSED, pp. Concealed; darkened; obscured; disgraced.

ECLIPSING, ppr. Concealing; obscuring; darkening; clouding.

ECLIPTIC, n. [Gr. to fail or be defective; L. eclipticus, linea ecliptica, the ecliptic line, or line in which eclipses are suffered.]

1. A great circle of the sphere supposed to be drawn through the middle of the zodiac, making an angle with the equinoctial of 23 deg. 30’, which is the sun’s greatest declination. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the sun, but as in reality it is the earth which moves, the ecliptic is the path or way among the fixed stars which the earth in its orbit appears to describe, to an eye placed in the sun.

2. In geography, a great circle on the terrestrial globe, answering to and falling within the plane of the celestial ecliptic.

ECLIPTIC, a. Pertaining to or described by the ecliptic.

1. Suffering an eclipse.

ECLOGUE, n. ec’log. [Gr. choice, to select.] Literally, a select piece. Hence, in poetry, a pastoral composition, in which shepherds are introduced conversing with each other, as the eclogues of Virgil; or it is a little elegant composition in a simple natural style and manner. An eclogue differs from an idyllion, in being appropriated to pieces in which shepherds are introduced.

ECONOMIC, ECONOMICAL, a. [See Economy.] Pertaining to the regulation of household concerns; as the economic art.

1. Managing domestic or public pecuniary concerns with frugality; as an economical housekeeper; an economical minister or administration.

2. Frugal; regulated by frugality; not wasteful or extravagant; as an economical use of money.

ECONOMICALLY, adv. With economy; with frugality.

ECONOMIST, n. One who manages domestic or other concerns with frugality; one who expends money, time or labor judiciously, and without waste.

1. One who writes on economy; the writer of a treatise on economy.

ECONOMIZE, v.i. To manage pecuniary concerns with frugality; to make a prudent use of money, or of the means of saving or acquiring property. It is our duty to economize, in the use of public money, as well as of our own.

ECONOMIZE, v.t. To use with prudence; to expend with frugality; as, to economize one’s income.

To manage and economize the use of circulating medium.

ECONOMIZED, pp. Used with frugality.

ECONOMIZING, ppr. Using with frugality.

ECONOMY, n. [L. oeconomia; Gr. house, and law, rule.]

1. Primarily, the management, regulation and government of a family or the concerns of a household.

2. The management of pecuniary concerns or the expenditure of money. Hence,

3. A frugal and judicious use of money; that management which expends money to advantage, and incurs no waste; frugality in the necessary expenditure of money. It differs from parsimony, which implies an improper saving of expense. Economy includes also a prudent management of all the means by which property is saved or accumulated; a judicious application of time, of labor, and of the instruments of labor.

4. The disposition or arrangement of any work; as the economy of a poem.

5. A system of rules, regulations, rites and ceremonies; as the Jewish economy.

6. The regular operation of nature in the generation, nutrition and preservation of animals or plants; as animal economy; vegetable economy.

7. Distribution or due order of things.

8. Judicious and frugal management of public affairs; as political economy.

9. System of management; general regulation and disposition of the affairs of a state or nation, or of any department of government.

ECPHRACTIC, a. [Gr.] In medicine, deobstruent; attenuating.

ECPHRACTIC, n. A medicine which dissolves or attenuates viscid matter, and removes obstructions.

ECSTASIED, a. [See Ecstasy.] Enraptured; ravished; transported; delighted.

ECSTASY, n. [Gr. to stand.]

1. Primarily, a fixed state; a trance; a state in which the mind is arrested and fixed, or as we say, lost; a state in which the functions of the senses are suspended by the contemplation of some extraordinary or supernatural object.

Whether what we call ecstasy be not dreaming with our eyes open, I leave to be examined.

2. Excessive joy; rapture; a degree of delight that arrests the whole mind; as a pleasing ecstasy; the ecstasy of love; joy may rise to ecstasy.

3. Enthusiasm; excessive elevation and absorption of mind; extreme delight.

He on the tender grass

Would sit and hearken even to ecstasy.

4. Excessive grief or anxiety. [Not used.]

5. Madness; distraction. [Not used.]

6. In medicine, a species of catalepsy, when the person remembers, after the paroxysm is over, the ideas he had during the fit.

ECSTASY, v.t. To fill with rapture or enthusiasm.

ECSTATIC, ECSTATICAL, a. Arresting the mind; suspending the senses; entrancing.

In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.

1. Rapturous; transporting; ravishing; delightful beyond measure; as ecstatic bliss or joy.

2. Tending to external objects. [Not used.]

ECTYPAL, a. [infra.] Taken from the original.

ECTYPE, a. [Gr.] A copy. [Not used.]

ECUMENIC, ECUMENICAL, a. [Gr. the habitable world.] General; universal; as an ecumenical council.

ECURIE, n. A stable; a covered place for horses.

EDACIOUS, a. [L. edax, from edo, to eat.] Eating; given to eating; greedy; voracious.

EDACITY, n. [L. edacitas, from edax, edo, to eat.] Greediness; voracity; ravenousness; rapacity.

EDDER, n. In husbandry, such wood as is worked into the top of hedge-stakes to bind them together.

EDDER, v.t. To bind or make tight by edder; to fasten the tops of hedge-stakes, by interweaving edder.

EDDISH, EADISH, n. The latter pasture or grass that comes after mowing or reaping; called also eagrass, earsh, etch. [Not used, I believe, in America.]

EDDOES, EDDERS, n. A name given to a variety of the Arum esculentum, an esculent root.

EDDY, n. [I find this word in no other language. It is usually considered as a compound of Sax. ed, backward, and ea, water.]

1. A current of water running back, or in a direction contrary to the main stream. Thus a point of land extending into a river, checks the water near the shore, and turns it back or gives it a circular course. The word is applied also to the air or wind moving in a circular direction.

2. A whirlpool; a current of water or air in a circular direction.

And smiling eddies dimpled on the main.

Wheel through the air, in circling eddies play.

EDDY, v.i. To move circularly, or as an eddy.
EDDY, a. Whirling; moving circularly.

EDDY-WATER, n. Among seamen, the water which falls back on the rudder of a ship under sail, called dead-water.

EDDY-WIND, n. The wind returned or beat back from a sail, a mountain or any thing that hinders its passage.

EDELITE, n. A siliceous stone of a light gray color.

EDEMATOUS, a. [Gr. a tumor; to swell.] Swelling with a serous humor; dropsical. An edematous tumor is white, soft and insensible.

EDEN, n. [Heb. pleasure, delight.] The country and garden in which Adam and Eve were placed by God himself.

EDENIZED, a. Admitted into paradise.

EDENTATED, a. [L. edentatus, e and dens.] Destitute or deprived of teeth.

EDGE, n. [L. acies, acus.]

1. In a general sense, the extreme border or point of any thing; as the edge of the table; the edge of a book; the edge of cloth. It coincides nearly with border, brink, margin. It is particularly applied to the sharp border, the thin cutting extremity of an instrument, as the edge of an ax, razor, knife or scythe; also, to the point of an instrument, as the edge of a sword.

2. Figuratively, that which cuts or penetrates; that which wounds or injures; as the edge of slander.

3. A narrow part rising from a broader.

Some harrow their ground over, and then plow it upon an edge.

4. Sharpness of mind or appetite; keenness; intenseness of desire; fitness for action or operation; as the edge of appetite or hunger.

Silence and solitude set an edge on the genius.

5. Keenness; sharpness; acrimony.

Abate the edge of traitors.

To set the teeth on edge, to cause a tingling or grating sensation in the teeth.

EDGE, v.t.

1. To sharpen.

To edge her champion’s sword.

2. To furnish with an edge.

A sword edged with flint.

3. To border; to fringe.

A long descending train,

With rubies edged.

4. To border; to furnish with an ornamental border; as, to edge a flower-bed with box.

5. To sharpen; to exasperate; to embitter.

By such reasonings, the simple were blinded, and the malicious edged.

6. To incite; to provoke; to urge on; to instigate; that is, to push on as with a sharp point; to goad. Ardor or passion will edge a man forward, when arguments fail.

7. To move sideways; to move by little and little; as, edge your chair along.

EDGE, v.i. To move sideways; to move gradually. Edge along this way.

1. To sail close to the wind.

To edge away, in sailing, is to decline gradually from the shore or from the line of the course.

To edge in with, to draw near to, as a ship in chasing.

EDGED, pp. Furnished with an edge or border.

1. Incited; instigated.

2. a. Sharp; keen.

EDGELESS, a. Not sharp; blunt; obtuse; unfit to cut or penetrate; as an edgeless sword or weapon.

EDGETOOL, n. An instrument having a sharp edge.

EDGEWISE, adv. [edge and wise.] With the edge turned forward, or towards a particular point; in the direction of the edge.

1. Sideways; with the side foremost.

EDGING, ppr. Giving an edge; furnishing with an edge.

1. Inciting; urging on; goading; stimulating; instigating.

2. Moving gradually or sideways.

3. Furnishing with a border.

EDGING, n. That which is added on the border, or which forms the edge; as lace, fringe, trimming, added to a garment for ornament.

Bordered with a rosy edging.

1. A narrow lace.

2. In gardening, a row of small plants wet along the border of a flower-bed; as an edging of box.

EDIBLE, a. [from L. edo, to eat.] Eatable; fit to be eaten as food; esculent. Some flesh is not edible.

EDICT, n. [L. edictum, from edico, to utter or proclaim; e and dico, to speak.]

That which is uttered or proclaimed by authority as a rule of action; an order issued by a prince to his subjects, as a rule or law requiring obedience; a proclamation of command or prohibition. An edict is an order or ordinance of a sovereign prince, intended as a permanent law, or to erect a new office, to establish new duties, or other temporary regulation; as the edicts of the Roman emperors; the edicts of the French monarch.

EDIFICANT, a. [infra.] Building. [Little used.]

EDIFICATION, n. [L. oedificatio. See Edify.]

1. A building up, in a moral and religious sense; instruction; improvement and progress of the mind, in knowledge, in morals, or in faith and holiness.

He that prophesieth, speaketh to men to edification. 1 Corinthians 14:3.

2. Instruction; improvement of the mind in any species of useful knowledge.

EDIFICATORY, a. Tending to edification.

EDIFICE, n. [L. oedificium. See Edify.] A building; a structure; a fabric; but appropriately, a large or splendid building. The word is not applied to a mean building, but to temples, churches or elegant mansion-houses, and to other great structures.

EDIFICIAL, a. Pertaining to edifices or to structure.

EDIFIED, pp. Instructed; improved in literary, moral or religious knowledge.

EDIFIER, n. One that improves another by instructing him.

EDIFY, v.t. [L. oedifico; oedes, a house, and facio, to make.]

1. To build, in a literal sense. [Not now used.]

2. To instruct and improve the mind in knowledge generally, and particularly in moral and religious knowledge, in faith and holiness.

Edify one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

3. To teach or persuade. [Not used.]

EDIFYING, ppr. Building up in christian knowledge; instructing; improving the mind.

EDIFYINGLY, adv. In an edifying manner.

EDILE, n. [L. oedilis, from oedes, a building.] A Roman magistrate whose chief business was to superintend buildings of all kinds, more especially public edifices, temples, bridges, aqueducts, etc. The ediles had also the care of the highways, public places, weights and measures, etc.

EDILESHIP, n. The office of Edile in ancient Rome.

EDIT, v.t. [from L. edo, to publish; e and do, to give.]

1. Properly, to publish; more usually, to superintend a publication; to prepare a book or paper for the public eye, by writing, correcting or selecting the matter.

Those who know how volumes of the fathers are generally edited.

2. To publish.

Abelard wrote many philosophical treatises which have never been edited.

EDITED, pp. Published; corrected; prepared and published.

EDITING, ppr. Publishing; preparing for publication.

EDITION, n. [L. editio, from edo, to publish.]

1. The publication of any book or writing; as the first edition of a new work.

2. Republication, sometimes with revision and correction; as the second edition of a work.

3. Any publication of a book before published; also, one impression or the whole number of copies published at once; as the tenth edition.

EDITOR, n. [L. from edo, to publish.] A publisher; particularly, a person who superintends an impression of a book; the person who revises, corrects and prepares a book for publication; as Erasmus, Scaliger, etc.

1. One who superintends the publication of a newspaper.

EDITORIAL, a. Pertaining to an editor, as editorial labors; written by an editor, as editorial remarks.

EDITORSHIP, n. The business of an editor; the care and superintendence of a publication.

EDITUATE, v.t. [Low L. oedituor, from oedes, a temple or house.]

To defend or govern the house or temple. [Not in use.]

EDUCATE, v.t. [L. educo, educare; e and duco, to lead.]

To bring up, as a child; to instruct; to inform and enlighten the understanding; to instill into the mind principles of arts, science, morals, religion and behavior. To educate children well is one of the most important duties of parents and guardians.

EDUCATED, pp. Brought up; instructed; furnished with knowledge or principles; trained, disciplined.