Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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ERKE — ESPOUSALS

ERKE, n. Idle; slothful. [Not in use.]

ERMELIN. [See Ermin.]

ERMIN, ERMINE, n.

1. An animal of the genus Mustela, an inhabitant of northern climates, in Europe and America. It nearly resembles the martin in shape, but the weasel, in food and manners. In winter, the fur is entirely white; in summer, the upper part of the body is of a pale tawny brown color, but the tail is tipped with black. The fur is much valued.

2. The fur of the ermin.

ERMINED, a. Clothed with ermin; adorned with the fur of the ermin; as ermined pride; ermined pomp.

ERNE, AERNE, a Saxon word, signifying a place or receptacle, forms the termination of some English words, as well as Latin; as in barn, lantern, tavern, taberna.

ERODE, v.t. [L. erodo; e and rodo, to gnaw.] To eat in or away; to corrode; as, canker erodes the flesh.

The blood, being too sharp or thin, erodes the vessels.

ERODED, pp. Eaten; gnawed; corroded.

ERODING, ppr. Eating into; eating away; corroding.

EROGATE, v.t. [L. erogo.] To lay out; to give; to bestow upon. [Not used.]

EROGATION, n. The act of conferring. [Not used.]

EROSE, a. [L. erosus.] In botany, an erose leaf has small sinuses in the margin, as if gnawed.

EROSION, n. s as z. [L. erosio.] The act or operation of eating away.

1. The state of being eaten away; corrosion; canker.

EROTIC, EROTICAL, a. [Gr. love.] Pertaining to love; treating of love.

EROTIC, n. An amorous composition or poem.

ERPETOLOGIST, n. [Gr. reptile, discourse.] One who writes on the subject of reptiles, or is versed in the natural history of reptiles.

ERPETOLOGY, n. [supra.] That part of natural history which treats of reptiles.

ERR, v.i. [L. erro.]

1. To wander from the right way; to deviate from the true course or purpose.

But errs not nature from this gracious end,

From burning suns when livid deaths descend?

2. To miss the right way, in morals or religion; to deviate from the path or line of duty; to stray by design or mistake.

We have erred and strayed like lost sheep.

3. To mistake; to commit error; to do wrong from ignorance or inattention. Men err in judgment from ignorance, from want of attention to facts, or from previous bias of mind.

4. To wander; to ramble.

A storm of strokes, well meant, with fury flies,

And errs about their temples, ears, and eyes.

ERRABLE, a. Liable to mistake; fallible. [Little used.]

ERRABLENESS, n. Liableness to mistake or error.

We may infer from the errableness of our nature, the reasonableness of compassion to the seduced.

ERRAND, n.

1. A verbal message; a mandate or order; something to be told or done; a communication to be made to some person at a distance. The servant was sent on an errand; he told his errand; he has done the errand. These are the most common modes of using this word.

I have a secret errand to thee, O King. Judges 3:19.

2. Any special business to be transacted by a messenger.

ERRANT, a. [L. errans, from erro, to err.]

1. Wandering; roving; rambling; applied particularly to knights, who, in the middle ages, wandered about to seek adventures and display their heroism and generosity, called knights errant.

2. Deviating from a certain course.

3. Itinerant.

Errant, for arrant, a false orthography. [See Arrant.]

ERRANTRY, n. A wandering; a roving or rambling about.

1. The employment of a knight errant.

ERRATIC, a. [L. erraticus, from erro, to wander.] Wandering; having no certain course; roving about without a fixed destination.

1. Moving; not fixed or stationary; applied to the planets, as distinguished from the fixed stars.

2. Irregular; mutable.

ERRATICALLY, adv. Without rule, order or established method; irregularly.

ERRATION, n. A wandering. [Not used.]

ERRATUM, n. plu. errata. [See Err.] An error or mistake in writing or printing. A list of the errata of a book is usually printed at the beginning or end, with references to the pages and lines in which they occur.

ERRHINE, a. er’rine. [Gr. the nose.] Affecting the nose, or to be snuffed into the nose; occasioning discharges from the nose.

ERRHINE, n. er’rine. A medicine to be snuffed up the nose, to promote discharges of mucus.

ERRING, ppr. Wandering from the truth or the right way; mistaking; irregular.

ERRONEOUS, a. [L. erroneus, from erro, to err.]

1. Wandering; roving; unsettled.

They roam

Erroneous and disconsolate.

2. Deviating; devious; irregular; wandering from the right course.

Erroneous circulation of blood.

[The foregoing applications of the word are less common.]

3. Mistaking; misled; deviating, by mistake, from the truth. Destroy not the erroneous with the malicious.

4. Wrong; false; mistaken; not conformable to truth; erring from truth or justice; as an erroneous opinion or judgment.

ERRONEOUSLY, adv. By mistake; not rightly; falsely.

ERRONEOUSNESS, n. The state of being erroneous, wrong or false; deviation from right; inconformity to truth; as the erroneousness of a judgement or proposition.

ERROR, n. [L. error, from erro, to wander.] A wandering or deviation from the truth; a mistake in judgment, by which men assent to or believe what is not true. Error may be voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary, when men neglect or pervert the proper means to inform the mind; involuntary, when the means of judging correctly are not in their power. An error committed through carelessness or haste is a blunder.

Charge home upon error its most tremendous consequences.

1. A mistake made in writing or other performance. It is no easy task to correct the errors of the press. Authors sometimes charge their own errors to the printer.

2. A wandering; excursion; irregular course.

Driv’n by the winds and errors of the sea.

[This sense is unusual and hardly legitimate.]

3. Deviation from law, justice or right; oversight; mistake in conduct.

Say not, it was an error. Ecclesiastes 5:6.

4. In scripture and theology, sin; iniquity; transgression.

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Psalm 19:12.

5. In law, a mistake in pleading or in judgment. A writ of error, is a writ founded on an alleged error in judgment, which carries the suit to another tribunal for redress. Hence the following verb,

ERROR, v.t. To determine a judgment of court to be erroneous.

[The use of this verb is not well authorized.]

ERSE, n. The language of the descendants of the Gaels or Celts, in the highlands of Scotland.

ERST, adv. [See Ere.]

1. First; at first; at the beginning.

2. Once; formerly; long ago.

3. Before; till then or now; hitherto.

[This word is obsolete, except in poetry.]

ERSTWHILE, adv. Till then or now; formerly.

ERUBESCENCE, n. [L. erubescens, erubesco, from rubeo, to be red.]

A becoming red; redness of the skin or surface of any thing; a blushing.

ERUBESCENT, a. Red, or reddish; blushing.

ERUCT, ERUCTATE, v.t. [L. eructo, ructor, coinciding in elements with Heb. to spit.]

To belch; to eject from the stomach, as wind. [Little used.]

ERUCTATION, n. [L. eructatio.] The act of belching wind from the stomach; a belch.

1. A violent bursting forth or ejection of wind or other matter from the earth.

ERUDITE, a. [L. eruditus, from erudio, to instruct.]

Instructed; taught; learned.

ERUDITION, n. Learning; knowledge gained by study, or from books and instruction; particularly, learning in literature, as distinct from the sciences, as in history, antiquity and languages. The Scaligers were men of deep erudition.

The most useful erudition for republicans is that which exposes the causes of discords.

ERUGINOUS, a. [L. aeruginosus, from aerugo, rust.]

Partaking of the substance or nature of copper or the rust of copper; resembling rust.

ERUPT, v.i. To burst forth. [Not used.]

ERUPTION, n. [L. eruptio, from erumpo, erupi; e and rumpo, for rupo.]

1. The act of breaking or bursting forth from inclosure or confinement; a violent emission of any thing, particularly of flames and lava from a volcano. The eruptions of Hecla in 1783, were extraordinary for the quantity of lava discharged.

2. A sudden or violent rushing forth of men or troops for invasion; sudden excursion.

Incensed at such eruption bold.

3. A burst of voice; violent exclamation. [Little used.]

4. In medical science, a breaking out of humors; a copious excretion of humors on the skin, in pustules; also, an efflorescence or redness on the skin, as in scarlatina; exanthemata; petechiae; vibices; as in small pox, measles and fevers.

ERUPTIVE, a. Bursting forth.

The sudden glance

Appears far south eruptive through the cloud.

1. Attended with eruptions or efflorescence, or producing it; as an eruptive fever.

ERYNGO, n. [Gr.] The sea-holly, Eryngium, a genus of plants of several species. The flowers are collected in a round head; the receptacle is paleaceous or chaffy. The young shoots are esculent.

ERYSIPELAS, n. [Gr.] A disease called St. Anthony’s fire; a diffused inflammation with fever of two or three days, generally with coma or delirium; an eruption of a fiery acrid humor, on some part of the body, but chiefly on the face. One species of erysipelas is called shingles, or eruption with small vesicles.

ERYSIPELATOUS, a. Eruptive; resembling erysipelas, or partaking of its nature.

ESCALADE, n. [L. scala, a ladder. See Scale.] In the military art, a furious attack made by troops on a fortified place, in which ladders are used to pass a ditch or mount a rampart.

Sin enters, not by escalade, but by cunning or treachery.

ESCALADE, v.t. To scale; to mount and pass or enter by means of ladders; as, to escalade a wall.

ESCALOP, n. skal’lup. A family of bivalvular shell-fish, whose shell is regularly indented. In the center of the top of the shell is a trigonal sinus with an elastic cartilage for its hinge.

1. A regular curving indenture in the margin of any thing. [See Scallop and Scollop.]

ESCAPADE, n. The fling of a horse. In Spanish, flight, escape.

ESCAPE, v.t. [L. capio, with a negative prefix, or from a word of the same family.]

1. To flee from and avoid; to get out of the way; to shun; to obtain security from; to pass without harm; as, to escape danger.

A small number, that escape the sword, shall return. Jeremiah 44:28.

Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4.

2. To pass unobserved; to evade; as, the fact escaped my notice or observation.

3. To avoid the danger of; as, to escape the sea. Acts 28:4.

Note. This verb is properly intransitive, and in strictness should be followed by from; but usage sanctions the omission of it.

ESCAPE, v.i. To flee, shun and be secure from danger; to avoid an evil.

Escape for thy life to the mountains. Genesis 19:17.

1. To be passed without harm. The balls whistled by me, my comrades fell, but I escaped.

ESCAPE, n. Flight to shun danger or injury; the act of fleeing from danger.

I would hasten my escape from the windy storm. Psalm 55:8.

1. A being passed without receiving injury, as when danger comes near a person, but passes by, and the person is passive. Every soldier who survives a battle has had such an escape.

2. Excuse; subterfuge; evasion.

3. In law, an evasion of legal restraint or the custody of the sheriff, without due course of law. Escapes are voluntary or involuntary; voluntary, when an officer permits an offender or debtor to quit his custody, without warrant; and involuntary, or negligent, when an arrested person quits the custody of the officer against his will, and is not pursued forthwith and retaken before the pursuer hath lost sight of him.

4. Sally; flight; irregularity. [Little used.]

5. Oversight; mistake. [Little used, or improper.]

ESCAPEMENT, n. That part of a clock or watch, which regulates its movements, and prevents their acceleration.

ESCAPING, ppr. Fleeing from and avoiding danger or evil; being passed unobserved or unhurt; shunning; evading; securing safety; quitting the custody of the law, without warrant.

ESCAPING, n. Avoidance of danger. Ezra 9:14.

ESCARGATOIRE, n. A nursery of snails.

ESCARP, v.t. To slope; to form a slope; a military term.

ESCARPMENT, n. A slope; a steep descent or declivity.

ESCHALOT, n. shallo’te. A species of small onion or garlic, belonging to the genus Allium; the ascalonicum.

ESCHAR, n. [Gr.] In surgery, the crust or scab occasioned by burns or caustic applications.

1. A species of Coralline, resembling a net or woven cloth.

ESCHAROTIC, a. Caustic; having the power of searing or destroying the flesh.

ESCHAROTIC, n. A caustic application; a medicine which sears or destroys flesh.

ESCHEAT, n. [L. cado, cadere.]

1. Any land or tenements which casually fall or revert to the lord within his manor, through failure of heirs. It is the determination of the tenure or dissolution of the mutual bond between the lord and tenant, from the extinction of the blood of the tenant, by death or natural means, or by civil means, as forfeiture or corruption of blood.

2. In the U. States, the falling or passing of lands and tenements to the state, through failure of heirs or forfeiture, or in cases where no owner is found.

3. The place or circuit within which the king or lord is entitled to escheats.

4. A writ to recover escheats from the person in possession.

5. The lands which fall to the lord or state by escheat.

6. In Scots law, the forfeiture incurred by a man’s being denounced a rebel.

ESCHEAT, v.i. In England, to revert, as land, to the lord of a manor, by means of the extinction of the blood of the tenant.

1. In America, to fall or come, as land, to the state, through failure of heirs or owners, or by forfeiture for treason. In the feudal sense, no escheat can exist in the United States; but the word is used in statutes confiscating the estates of those who abandoned their country, during the revolution, and in statutes giving to the state the lands for which no owner can be found.

ESCHEAT, v.t. To forfeit. [Not used.]

ESCHEATABLE, a. Liable to escheat.

ESCHEATAGE, n. The right of succeeding to an escheat.

ESCHEATED, pp. Having fallen to the lord through want of heirs, or to the state for want of an owner, or by forfeiture.

ESCHEATING, ppr. Reverting to the lord through failure of heirs, or to the state for want of an owner, or by forfeiture.

ESCHEATOR, n. An officer who observes the escheats of the king in the county whereof he is escheator, and certifies them into the treasury.

ESCHEW, v.t. To flee from; to shun; to avoid.

He who obeys, destruction shall eschew.

Job--feared God and eschewed evil. Job 1:1.

ESCHEWED, pp. Shunned; avoided.

ESCHEWING, ppr. Shunning; avoiding. [This word is nearly obsolete, or at least little used.]

ESCOCHEON, n. The shield of the family.

ESCORT, n. A guard; a body of armed men which attends an officer, or baggage; provisions or munitions conveyed by land from place to place, to protect them from an enemy, or in general, for security. [This word is rarely, and never properly used for naval protection or protectors; the latter we call a convoy. I have found it applied to naval protection, but it is unusual.]

ESCORT, v.t. To attend and guard on a journey by land; to attend and guard any thing conveyed by land. General Washington arrived at Boston, escorted by a detachment of dragoons. The guards escorted Lord Wellington to London.

ESCORTED, pp. Attended and guarded by land.

ESCORTING, ppr. Attending and guarding by land.

ESCOT. [See Scot.]

ESCOUADE. [See Squad.]

ESCOUT. [See Scout.]

ESCRITOIR, n. [L. scribo; Eng. to scrape.] A box with instruments and conveniences for writing; sometimes, a desk or chest of drawers with an apartment for the instruments of writing. It is often pronounced scrutoir.

ESCROW, n. In law, a deed of lands or tenements delivered to a third person, to hold till some condition is performed by the grantee, and which is not to take effect till the condition is performed. It is then to be delivered to the grantee.

ESCUAGE, n. [L. scutum, a shield.] In feudal law, service of the shield, called also scutage; a species of tenure by knight service, by which a tenant was bound to follow his lord to war; afterwards exchanged for a pecuniary satisfaction.

ESCULAPIAN, a. [from Aesculapius, the physician.]

Medical; pertaining to the healing art.

ESCULENT, a. [L. esculentus, from esca, food.] Eatable; that is or may be used by man for food; as esculent plants; esculent fish.

ESCULENT, n. Something that is eatable; that which is or may be safely eaten by man.

ESCURIAL, n. The palace or residence of the King of Spain, about 15 miles North West of Madrid. This is the largest and most superb structure in the kingdom, and one of the most splendid in Europe. It is built in a dry barren spot, and the name itself is said to signify a place full of rocks.

The Escurial is a famous monastery built by Philip II in the shape of a gridiron, in honor of St. Laurence. It takes its name from a village near Madrid. It contains the king’s palace, St. Laurence’s church, the monastery of Jerenomites, and the free schools.

ESCUTCHEON, n. [L. scutum, a shield.] The shield on which a coat of arms is represented; the shield of a family; the picture of ensigns armorial.

ESCUTCHEONED, a. Having a coat of arms or ensign.

ESLOIN, v.t. To remove. [Not in use.]

ESOPHAGOTOMY, n. [esophagus and a cutting.] In surgery, the operation of making an incision into the esophagus, for the purpose of removing any foreign substance that obstructs the passage.

ESOPHAGUS, n. [Gr.] The gullet; the canal through which food and drink pass to the stomach.

ESOPIAN, a. [from Aesop.] Pertaining to AEsop; composed by him or in his manner.

ESOTERIC, a. [Gr. interior, from within.] Private; an epithet applied to the private instructions and doctrines of Pythagoras; opposed to exoteric, or public.

ESOTERY, n. Mystery; secrecy. [Little used.]

ESPALIER, n. [L. palus, a stake or pole.] A row of trees planted about a garden or in hedges, so as to inclose quarters or separate parts, and trained up to a lattice of wood-work, or fastened to stakes, forming a close hedge or shelter to protect plants against injuries from wind or weather.

ESPALIER, v.t. To form an espalier, or to protect by an espalier.

ESPARCET, n. A kind of sainfoin.

ESPECIAL, a. [L. specialis, from specio, to see, species, kind.]

Principal; chief; particular; as, in an especial manner or degree.

ESPECIALLY, adv. Principally; chiefly; particularly; in an uncommon degree; in reference to one person or thing in particular.

ESPECIALNESS, n. The state of being especial.

ESPERANCE, n. [L. spero, to hope.] Hope. [Not English.]

ESPIAL, n. [See Spy.] A spy; the act of espying.

ESPINEL, n. A kind or ruby. [See Spinel.]

ESPIONAGE, n. The practice or employment of spies; the practice of watching the words and conduct of others and attempting to make discoveries, as spies or secret emissaries; the practice of watching others without being suspected, and giving intelligence of discoveries made.

ESPLANADE, n. [L. planus, plain.]

1. In fortification, the glacis of the counter scarp, or the sloping of the parapet of the covered-way towards the country; or the void space between the glacis of a citadel, and the first houses of the town.

2. In gardening, a grass-plat.

ESPOUSAL, a. espouz’al. [See Espouse.] Used in or relating to the act of espousing or betrothing.

ESPOUSAL, n. The act of espousing or betrothing.

1. Adoption; protection.

ESPOUSALS, n. plu. The act of contracting or affiancing a man and woman to each other; a contract or mutual promise of marriage.

I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals.