Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



FAIRING, n. A present given at a fair.

FAIRLY, adv.

1. Beautifully; handsomely. [Little used.]

2. Commodiously; conveniently; as a town fairly situated for foreign trade.

3. Frankly; honestly; justly; equitably; without disguise, fraud or prevarication. The question was fairly stated and argued. Let us deal fairly with all men.

4. Openly; ingenuously; plainly. Let us deal fairly with ourselves or our own hearts.

5. Candidly.

I interpret fairly your design.

6. Without perversion or violence; as, an inference may be fairly deduced from the premises.

7. Without blots; in plain letters; plainly; legibly; as an instrument or record fairly written.

8. Completely; without deficience. His antagonist fought till he was fairly defeated.

9. Softly; gently.


1. Clearness; freedom from spots or blemishes; whiteness; as the fairness of skin or complexion.

2. Clearness; purity; as the fairness of water.

3. Freedom from stain or blemish; as the fairness of character or reputation.

4. Beauty; elegance; as the fairness of form.

5. Frankness; candor; hence, honesty; ingenuousness; as fairness in trade.

6. Openness; candor; freedom from disguise, insidiousness or prevarication; as the fairness of an argument.

7. Equality of terms; equity; as the fairness of a contract.

8. Distinctness; freedom from blots or obscurity; as the fairness of hand-writing; the fairness of a copy.

FAIR-SPOKEN, a. Using fair speech; bland; civil; courteous; plausible.

Arius, a fair-spoken man.


[The origin of this word is not obvious, and the radical letters are uncertain. the conjectures of Baxter, Jamieson and others throw no satisfactory light on the subject.]

1. A fay; an imaginary being or spirit, supposed to assume a human form, dance in meadows, steal infants and play a variety of pranks. [See Elf and Demon.]

2. An enchantress.

Fairy of the mine, an imaginary being supposed to inhabit mines, wandering about in the drifts and chambers, always employed in cutting ore, turning the windlass, etc., yet effecting nothing. The Germans believe in two species; one fierce and malevolent; the other gentle. [See Cobalt.]

Fairy ring or circle, a phenomenon observed in fields, vulgarly supposed to be caused by fairies in their dances. This circle is of two kinds; one about seven yards in diameter, containing a round bare path, a foot broad, with green grass in the middle; the other of different size, encompassed with grass.


1. Belonging to fairies; as fairy land

2. Given by fairies; as fairy money or favors.

FAIRYLIKE, a. Imitating the manner of fairies.

FAIRYSTONE, n. A stone found in gravel pits.

The fossil echinite, abundant in chalk pits.

FAITH, n. [L. fides, fido, to trust; Gr. to persuade, to draw towards any thing, to conciliate; to believe, to obey. In the Greek Lexicon of Hederic it is said, the primitive signification of the verb is to bind and draw or lead, as signifies a rope or cable. But this remark is a little incorrect. The sense of the verb, from which that of rope and binding is derived, is to strain, to draw, and thus to bind or make fast. A rope or cable is that which makes fast. Heb.]

1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.

2. The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, or probable evidence of any kind.

3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Cesar.

4. Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God’s testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God’s character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God’s testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.

Being justified by faith. Romans 5:1.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6.

For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.

With the heart man believeth to righteousness. Romans 10:10.

The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised towards the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior.

Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.

Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.

Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them.

5. The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by christians.

They heard only, that he who persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. Galatians 1:23.

6. The promises of God, or his truth and faithfulness.

Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Romans 3:3.

7. An open profession of gospel truth.

Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8.

8. A persuasion or belief of the lawfulness of things indifferent.

Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Romans 14:22.

9. Faithfulness; fidelity; a strict adherence to duty and fulfillment of promises.

Her failing, while her faith to me remains, I would conceal.

Children in whom is no faith. Deuteronomy 32:20.

10. Word or honor pledged; promise given; fidelity. He violated his plighted faith.

For you alone I broke my faith with injured Palamon.

11. Sincerity; honesty; veracity; faithfulness. We ought in good faith, to fulfill all our engagements.

12. Credibility or truth. [Unusual.]

The faith of the foregoing narrative.

FAITH-BREACH, n. Breach of fidelity; disloyalty; perfidy.

FAITHED, a. Honest; sincere. [Not used.]


1. Firm in adherence to the truth and to the duties of religion.

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Revelation 2:10.

2. Firmly adhering to duty; of true fidelity; loyal; true to allegiance; as a faithful subject.

3. constant in the performance of duties or services; exact in attending to commands; as a faithful servant.

4. Observant of compact, treaties, contracts, vows or other engagements; true to one’s word. A government should be faithful to its treaties; individuals, to their word.

5. True; exact; in conformity to the letter and spirit; as a faithful execution of a will.

6. True to the marriage covenant; as a faithful wife or husband.

7. Conformable to truth; as a faithful narrative or representation.

8. Constant; not fickle; as a faithful lover or friend.

9. True; worthy of belief. 2 Timothy 2:11.


1. In a faithful manner; with good faith.

2. With strict adherence to allegiance and duty; applied to subjects.

3. With strict observance of promises, vows, covenants or duties; without failure of performance; honestly; exactly. The treaty or contract was faithfully executed.

4. Sincerely; with strong assurances; he faithfully promised.

5. Honestly; truly; without defect, fraud, trick or ambiguity. The battle was faithfully described or represented.

They suppose the nature of things to be faithfully signified by their names.

6. Confidently; steadily.


1. Fidelity; loyalty; firm adherence to allegiance and duty; as the faithfulness of a subject.

2. Truth; veracity; as the faithfulness of God.

3. Strict adherence to injunctions, and to the duties of a station; as the faithfulness of servants or ministers.

4. Strict performance of promises, vows or covenants; constancy in affection; as the faithfulness of a husband or wife.


1. Without belief in the revealed truths of religion; unbelieving.

O faithless generation. Matthew 17:17.

2. Not believing; not giving credit to.

3. Not adhering to allegiance or duty; disloyal; perfidious; treacherous; as a faithless subject.

4. Not true to a master or employer; neglectful; as a faithless servant.

5. Not true to the marriage covenant; false; as a faithless husband or wife.

6. Not observant of promises.

7. Deceptive.

Yonder faithless phantom.


1. Unbelief, as to revealed religion.

2. Perfidy; treachery; disloyalty; as in subjects.

3. Violation of promises or covenants; inconstancy; as of husband or wife.

FAITOUR, n. [L. factor.] An evildoer; a scoundrel; a mean fellow. Obs.

FAKE, n.

One of the circles or windings of a cable or hawser, as it lies in a coil; a single turn.


A monk in India. The fakirs subject themselves to severe austerities and mortifications. Some of them condemn themselves to a standing posture all their lives, supported only by a stick or rope under their arm-pits. Some mangle their bodies with scourges or knives. Others wander about in companies, telling fortunes, and these are said to be arrant villains.

FALCADE, n. [L. falx, a sickle or sythe.]

A horse is said to make a falcade, when he throws himself on his haunches two or three times, as in very quick curvets; that is a falcade is a bending very low.

FALCATE, FALCATED, a. [L. falcatus, from faix, a sickly, sythe or reaping hook.]

Hooked; bent like a sickle or sythe; an epithet applied to the new moon.

FALCATION, n. Crookedness; a bending in the form of a sickle.

FALCHION, n. fal’chun. a is pronounced as in fall. [L. falx, a reaping hook.]

A short crooked sword; a cimiter.

FALCIFORM, a. [L. falx, a reaping hook, and form.]

In the shape of a sickle; resembling a reaping hook.

FALCON, n. Sometimes pron. fawcon. [L. falco, a hawk. The falcon is probably so named from its curving beak or talons.]

1. A hawk; but appropriately, a hawk trained to sport, as in falconry, which see. It is said that this name is, by sportsmen, given to the female alone; for the male is smaller, weaker and less courageous, and is therefore called tircelet or tarsel.

This term, in ornithology, is applied to a division of the genus Falco, with a short hooked beak and very long wings, the strongest armed and most courageous species, and therefore used in falconry.

2. A sort of cannon, whose diameter at the bore is five inches and a quarter, and carrying shot of two pounds and a half.

FALCONER, n. A person who breeds and trains hawks for taking wild fowls; one who follows the sport of fowling with hawks.

FALCONET, n. A small cannon or piece of ordinance, whose diameter at the bore is four inches and a quarter, and carrying shot of one pound and a quarter.

FALCONRY, n. [L. falco, a hawk.]

1. The art of training hawks to the exercise of hawking.

2. The practice of taking wild fowls by means of hawks.

FALDAGE, n. a as in all. [Low L. faldagium.]

In England, a privilege which anciently several lords reserved to themselves of setting up folds for sheep, in any fields within their manors, the better to manure them.

FALDFEE, n. A fee or composition paid anciently by tenants for the privilege of faldage.

FALDING, n. A kind of course cloth. Obs.

FALDSTOOL, n. [fald or fold and stool.]

1. A kind of stool placed at the south side of the altar, at which the kings of England kneel at their coronation.

2. The chair of a bishop inclosed by the railing of the altar.

3. An arm-chair or folding chair.

FALL, v.i. pret. fell; pp. fallen. [L. fallo, to fail, to deceive, Gr.; Heb. to fall. Fail agrees better with Heb., but these words may have had one primitive root, the sense of which was to move, to recede, to pass. See Foul.]

1. To drop from a higher place; to descend by the power of gravity alone. Rain falls from the clouds; a man falls from his horse; ripe fruits fall from trees; an ox falls into a pit.

I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Luke 10:18.

2. To drop from an erect posture.

I fell at his feet to worship him. Revelation 19:10.

3. To disembogue; to pass at the outlet; to flow out of its channel into a pond, lake or sea, as a river. The Rhone falls into the Mediterranean sea. The Danube falls into the Euxine. The Mississippi falls into the gulf of Mexico.

4. To depart from the faith, or from rectitude; to apostatize. Adam fell by eating the forbidden fruit.

Labor to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Hebrews 4:11.

5. To die; particularly by violence.

Ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Leviticus 26:7.

A thousand shall fall at thy side. Psalm 91:7.

6. To come to an end suddenly; to vanish; to perish.

The greatness of these Irish lords suddenly fell and vanished.

7. To be degraded; to sink into disrepute or disgrace; to be plunged into misery; as, to fall from an elevated station, or from a prosperous state.

8. To decline in power, wealth or glory; to sink into weakness; to be overthrown or ruined. This is the renowned Tyre; but oh, how fallen.

Heaven and earth will witness, if Rome must fall, that we are innocent.

9. To pass into a worse state than the former; to come; as, to fall into difficulties; to fall under censure of imputation; to fall into error or absurdity; to fall into a snare. In these and similar phrases, the sense of suddenness, accident or ignorance is often implied; but not always.

10. To sink; to be lowered. The mercury in a thermometer rises and falls with the increase and diminution of heat. The water of a river rises and falls. The tide falls.

11. To decrease; to be diminished in weight or value. The price of goods falls with plenty and rises with scarcity. Pliny tells us, the as fell from a pound to two ounces in the first Punic war.

12. To sink; not to amount to the full.

The greatness of finances and revenue doth fall under computation.

13. To be rejected; to sink into disrepute.

This book must stand or fall with thee.

14. To decline from violence to calmness from intensity to remission. The wind falls and a calm succeeds.

At length her fury fell.

15. To pass into a new state of body or mind; to become; as, to fall asleep; to fall distracted; to fall sick; to fall into rage or passion; to fall in love; to fall into temptation.

16. To sink into an air of dejection, discontent, anger, sorrow or shame; applied to the countenance or look.

Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Genesis 4:5.

I have observed of late thy looks are fallen.

17. To happen; to befall; to come.

Since this fortune falls to you.

18. To light on; to come by chance.

The Romans fell on this model by chance.

19. To come; to rush on; to assail.

Fear and dread shall fall on them. Exodus 15:16.

And fear fell on them all. Acts 19:17.

20. To come; to arrive.

The vernal equinox, which at the Nicene council fell on the 21st of March, falls now about ten days sooner.

21. To come unexpectedly.

It happened this evening that we fell into a pleasing walk.

22. To begin with haste, ardor or vehemence; to rush or hurry to. They fell to blows.

The mixt multitude fell to lusting. Numbers 11:4.

23. To pass or be transferred by chance, lot, distribution, inheritance or otherwise, as possession or property. The estate or the province fell to his brother. The kingdom fell into the hands of his rival. A large estate fell to his heirs.

24. To become the property of; to belong or appertain to.

If to her share some female errors fall.

Look in her face; and you’ll forget them all.

25. To be dropped or uttered carelessly. Some expressions fell from him. An unguarded expression fell from his lips. Not a word fell from him on the subject.

26. To sink; to languish; to become feeble or faint. Our hopes and fears rise and fall with good or ill success.

27. To be brought forth. Take care of lambs when they first fall.

28. To issue; to terminate.

Sit still, my daughter, till thou knowest how the matter will fall. Ruth 3:18.

To fall aboard of, to strike against another ship.

To fall astern, to move or be driven backward; or to remain behind. A ship falls astern by the force of a current, or when outsailed by another.

1. To fall away, to lose flesh; to become lean or emaciated; to pine.

2. To renounce or desert allegiance; to revolt or rebel.

3. To renounce or desert the faith; to apostatize; to sink into wickedness.

These for awhile believe, and in time of temptation fall away. Luke 8:13.

4. To perish; to be ruined; to be lost.

How can the soul - fall away into nothing.

5. To decline gradually; to fade; to languish, or become faint.

One color falls away by just degrees, and another rises insensibly.

1. To fall back, to recede; to give way.

2. To fail of performing a promise or purpose; not to fulfill.

To fall calm, to cease to blow; to become calm.

1. To fall down, to prostrate one’s self in worship.

All nations shall fall down before him. Psalm 72:11.

2. To sink; to come to the ground.

Down fell the beauteous youth.

3. To bend or bow as a suppliant. Isaiah 45:14.

4. To sail or pass towards the mouth of a river, or other outlet.

To fall foul, to attack; to make an assault.

1. To fall from, to recede from; to depart; not to adhere; as, to fall from an agreement or engagement.

2. To depart from allegiance or duty; to revolt.

1. To fall in, to concur; to agree with. The measure falls in with popular opinion.

2. To comply; to yield to.

You will find it difficult to persuade learned men to fall in with your projects.

3. To come in; to join; to enter. Fall into the ranks; fall in on the right.

To fall in with, to meet, as a ship; also, to discover or come near, as land.

1. To fall off, to withdraw; to separate; to be broken or detached. friends fall off in adversity.

Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide.

2. To perish; to die away. Words fall off by disuse.

3. To apostatize; to forsake; to withdraw from the faith, or from allegiance or duty.

Those captive tribes fell off from God to worship calves.

4. To forsake; to abandon. His subscribers fell off.

5. To drop. Fruits fall off when ripe.

6. To depreciate; to depart from former excellence; to become less valuable or interesting. The magazine or the review falls off; it has fallen off.

7. To deviate or depart from the course directed, or to which the head of the ship was before directed; to fall to leeward.

1. To fall on, to begin suddenly and eagerly.

Fall on, and try thy appetite to eat.

2. To begin an attack; to assault; to assail.

Fall on, fall on and hear him not.

3. To drop on; to descend on.

1. To fall out, to quarrel; to begin to contend.

A soul exasperated in ills, falls out with every thing, its friend, itself -

2. To happen; to befall; to chance.

There fell out a bloody quarrel betwixt the frogs and the mice.

1. To fall over, to revolt; to desert from one side to another.

2. To fall beyond.

To fall short, to be deficient. The corn falls short. We all fall short in duty.

1. To fall to, to begin hastily and eagerly.

Fall to, with eager joy, on homely food.

2. To apply one’s self to. He will never after fall to labor.

They fell to raising money, under pretense of the relief of Ireland.

1. To fall under, to come under, or within the limits of; to be subjected to. They fell under the jurisdiction of the emperor.

2. To come under; to become the subject of. This point did not fall under the cognizance or deliberations of the court. These things do not fall under human sight or observation.

3. To come within; to be ranged or reckoned with. These substances fall under a different class or order.

1. To upon, to attack. [See to fall on.]

2. To rush against.

Fall primarily denotes descending motion, either in a perpendicular or inclined direction, and in most of its applications, implies literally or figuratively velocity, haste, suddenness or violence. Its use is so various and so much diversified by modifying words, that it is not easy to enumerate its senses in all its applications.

FALL, v.t.

1. To let fall; to drop. And fall thy edgeless sword. I am willing to fall this argument.

[This application is obsolete.]

2. To sink; to depress; as, to raise or fall the voice.

3. To diminish; to lessen or lower; as, to fall the price of commodities. [Little used.]

4. To bring forth; as, to fall lambs. [Little used.]

5. To fell; to cut down; as, to fall a tree. [This use is now common in America, and fell and fall are probably from a common root.]

FALL, n.

1. The act of dropping or descending from a higher to a lower place by gravity; descent; as a fall from a horse or from the yard of a ship.

2. The act of dropping or tumbling from an erect posture. he was walking on ice and had a fall.

3. Death; destruction; overthrow.

Our fathers had a great fall before our enemies.

4. Ruin; destruction.

They conspire thy fall.

5. Downfall; degradation; loss of greatness or office; as the fall of Cardinal Wolsey.

Behold thee glorious only in thy fall.

6. Declension of greatness, power or dominion; ruin; as the fall of the Roman empire.

7. Diminution; decrease of price or value; depreciation; as the fall of prices; the fall of rents; the fall of interest.

8. Declination of sound; a sinking of tone; cadence; as the fall of the voice at the close of a sentence.

9. Declivity; the descent of land or a hill; a slope.

10. Descent of water; a cascade; a cataract; a rush of water down a steep place; usually in the plural; sometimes in the singular; as the falls of Niagara, or the Mohawk; the fall of the Hoosatonuc at Canaan. Fall is applied to a perpendicular descent, or to one that is very steep. When the descent is moderate, we name it rapids. Custom, however, sometimes deviates from this rule, and the rapids of rivers are called falls.

11. The outlet or discharge of a river or current of water into the ocean, or into a lake or pond; as the fall of the Po into the gulf of Venice.

12. Extent of descent; the distance which any thing falls; as, the water of a pond has a fall of five feet.

13. The fall of the leaf; the season when leaves fall from trees; autumn.

14. That which falls; a falling; as a fall of rain or snow.

15. The act of felling or cutting down; as the fall of timber.

16. Fall, or the fall, by way of distinction, the apostasy; the act of our first parents in eating the forbidden fruit; also, the apostasy of the rebellious angels.

17. Formerly, a kind of vail.

18. In seamen’s language, the loose end of a tackle.

19. In Great Britain, a term applied to several measures, linear, superficial and solid.

FALLACIOUS, a. [L. fallax, from fallo, to deceive. See Fail.]

1. Deceptive; deceiving; deceitful; wearing a false appearance; misleading; producing error or mistake; sophistical; applied to things only; as a fallacious argument or proposition; a fallacious appearance.

2. Deceitful; false; not well founded; producing disappointment; mocking expectation; as a fallacious hope.

FALLACIOUSLY, adv. In a fallacious manner; deceitfully; sophistical; with purpose or in a manner to deceive.

We have seen how fallaciously the author has stated the cause.

FALLACIOUSNESS, n. Tendency to deceive or mislead; inconclusiveness; as the fallaciousness of an argument, or of appearances.

FALLACY, n. [L. fallacia.]

1. Deceptive or false appearance; deceitfulness; that which misleads the eye or the mind. Detect the fallacy of the argument.

2. Deception; mistake. This appearance may be all a fallacy.

I’ll entertain the favored fallacy.

FALLEN, pp. or a. Dropped; descended; degraded; decreased; ruined.

FALLENCY, n. Mistake. Obs.

FALLER, n. One that falls.

FALLIBILITY, n. [See Fallible.]

1. Liableness to deceive; the quality of being fallible; uncertainty; possibility of being erroneous, or of leading to mistake; as the fallibility of an argument, of reasoning or of testimony.

2. Liableness to err or to be deceived in one’s own judgment; as the fallibility of men.

FALLIBLE, a. [L. fallo, to deceive.]

1. Liable to fail or mistake; that may err or be deceived in judgment. All men are fallible.

2. Liable to error; that may deceive. Our judgments, our faculties, our opinions are fallible; our hopes are fallible.

FALLING, ppr. Descending; dropping; disemboguing; apostatizing; declining; decreasing; sinking; coming.

FALLING, FALLINGIN, n. An indenting or hollow; opposed to rising or prominence.

Falling away, apostasy.

Falling off, departure from the line or course; declension.

FALLING-SICKNESS, n. The epilepsy; a disease in which the patient suddenly loses his senses and falls.

FALLING-STAR, n. A luminous meteor, suddenly appearing and darting through the air.

FALLING-STONE, n. A stone falling from the atmosphere; a meteorite; an aerolite.

FALLOW, a. [L. fulvus; qu. helvus, for felvus. This word may be from the root of fail, fallo; so called from the fading color of autumnal leaves, or from failure, withering. Hence also the sense of unoccupied, applied to land.]

1. Pale red or pale yellow; as a fallow deer.

2. Unsowed; not tilled; left to rest after a year or more of tillage; as fallow ground; a fallow field.

Break up your fallow ground. Jeremiah 4:3.

3. Left unsowed after plowing. The word is applied to the land after plowing.

4. Unplowed; uncultivated.

5. Unoccupied; neglected. [Not in use.]

Let the cause lie fallow.


1. Land that has lain a year or more untilled or unseeded. It is also called fallow when plowed without being sowed.

The plowing of fallows is a benefit to land.

2. The plowing or tilling of land, without sowing it, for a season. Summer fallow, properly conducted, has ever been found a sure method of destroying weeds.

By a complete summer fallow, land is rendered tender and mellow. The fallow gives it a better tilth, than can be given by a fallow crop.

A green fallow, in England, is that where land is rendered mellow and clean from weeks, by means of some green crop, as turnips, potatoes, etc.

FALLOW, v.i. To fade; to become yellow. Obs.
FALLOW, v.t. To plow, harrow and break land without seeding it, for the purpose of destroying weeds and insects, and rendering it mellow. It is found for the interest of the farmer to fallow cold, strong, clayey land.

FALLOW-CROP, n. The crop taken from fallowed ground.

FALLOWED, pp. Plowed and harrowed for a season, without being sown.

FALLOW-FINCH, n. A small bird, the oenanthe or wheat-ear.

FALLOWING, ppr. Plowing and harrowing land without sowing it.

FALLOWING, n. The operation of plowing and harrowing land without sowing it. Fallowing is found to contribute to the destruction of snails and other vermin.

FALLOWIST, n. One who favors the practice of fallowing land.

On this subject, a controversy has arisen between two sects, the fallowists and the anti-fallowists. [Unusual.]

FALLOWNESS, n. A fallow state; barrenness; exemption from bearing fruit.

FALSARY, n. [See False.] A falsifier of evidence. [Not in use.]

FALSE, a. [L. falsus, from fallo, to deceive. See Fall and Fail.]

1. Not true; not conformable to fact; expressing what is contrary to that which exists, is done, said or thought. A false report communicates what is not done or said. A false accusation imputes to a person what he has not done or said. A false witness testifies what is not true. A false opinion is not according to truth or fact. The word is applicable to any subject, physical or moral.

2. Not well founded; as a false claim.

3. Not true; not according to the lawful standard; as a false weight or measure.

4. Substituted for another; succedaneous; supposititious; as a false bottom.

5. Counterfeit; forged; not genuine; as false coin; a false bill or note.

6. Not solid or sound; deceiving expectations; as a false foundation

False and slippery ground.

7. Not agreeable to rule or propriety; as false construction in language.

8. Not honest or just; not fair; as false play.

9. Not faithful or loyal; treacherous; perfidious; deceitful. The king’s subjects may prove false to him. So we say, a false heart.

10. Unfaithful; inconstant; as a false friend; a false lover; false to promises and vows.

The husband and wife proved false to each other.

11. Deceitful; treacherous; betraying secrets.

12. Counterfeit; not genuine or real; as a false diamond.

13. Hypocritical; feigned; made or assumed for the purpose of deception; as false tears; false modesty. The man appears in false colors. The advocate gave the subject a false coloring.

False fire, a blue flame, made by the burning of certain combustibles, in a wooden tube; used as a signal during the night.

False imprisonment, the arrest and imprisonment of a person without warrant or cause, or contrary to law; or the unlawful detaining of a person in custody.

FALSE, adv. Not truly; not honestly; falsely.
FALSE, v.t.

1. To violate by failure of veracity; to deceive. Obs.

2. To defeat; to balk; to evade. Obs.

FALSE-HEART, FALSE-HEARTED, a. Hollow; treacherous; deceitful; perfidious. [The former is not used.]

FALSE-HEARTEDNESS, n. Perfidiousness; treachery.

FALSEHOOD, n. fols’hood. [false and hood.]

1. Contrariety or inconformity to fact or truth; as the falsehood of a report.

2. Want of truth or veracity; a lie; an untrue assertion.

3. Want of honesty; treachery; deceitfulness; perfidy.

But falsehood is properly applied to things only. [See Falseness.]

4. Counterfeit; false appearance; imposture.

FALSELY, adv. fols’ly.

1. In a manner contrary to truth and fact; not truly; as, to speak or swear falsely; to testify falsely.

2. Treacherously; perfidiously.

Swear to me - that thou wilt not deal falsely with me. Genesis 21:23.

3. Erroneously; by mistake.

FALSENESS, n. fols’ness.

1. Want of integrity and veracity, either in principle or in act; as the falseness of a man’s heart, or his falseness to his word.

2. Duplicity; deceit; double-dealing.

3. Unfaithfulness; treachery; perfidy; traitorousness.

The prince is in no danger of being betrayed by the falseness, or cheated by the avarice of such a servant.

FALSER, n. A deceiver.

FALSETTO, n. A feigned voice.

FALSIFIABLE, a. [from falsify.] That may be falsified, counterfeited or corrupted.


1. The act of making false; a counterfeiting; the giving to a thing an appearance of something which it is not; as the falsification of words.

2. Confutation.

FALSIFICATOR, n. A falsifier.

FALSIFIED, pp. Counterfeited.


1. One who counterfeits, or gives to a thing a deceptive appearance; or one who makes false coin.

2. One who invents falsehood; a liar.

3. One who proves a thing to be false.


1. To counterfeit; to forge; to make something false, or in imitation of that which is true; as, to falsify coin.

The Irish bards use to falsify every thing.

2. To disprove; to prove to be false; as, to falsify a record.

3. To violate; to break by falsehood; as, to falsify one’s faith or word.

4. To show to be unsound, insufficient or not proof. [Not in use.]

His ample shield is falsified.

FALSIFY, v.i. To tell lies; to violate the truth.

It is universally unlawful to lie and falsify.

FALSIFYING, ppr. Counterfeiting; forging; lying; proving to be false; violating.

FALSITY, n. [L. falsitas.]

1. Contrariety or inconformity to truth; the quality of being false.

Probability does not make any alteration, either in the truth or falsity of things.

2. Falsehood; a lie; a false assertion. [This sense is less proper.]

FALTER, v.i. [L. fallo, the primary sense of which is to fall short, or to err, to miss, to deviate.]

1. To hesitate, fail or break in the utterance of words; to speak with a broken or trembling utterance; to stammer. His tongue falters. He speaks with a faltering tongue. He falters at the question.

2. To fail, tremble or yield in exertion; not to be firm and steady. His legs falter.

3. To fail in the regular exercise of the understanding. We observe idiots to falter.

FALTER, v.t. To sift. [Not in use.]

FALTERING, ppr. Hesitating; speaking with a feeble, broken, trembling utterance; failing.

FALTERING, n. Feebleness; deficiency.

FALTERINGLY, adv. With hesitation; with a trembling, broken voice; with difficulty or feebleness.

FAME, n. [L. fama; Gr. from to speak.]

1. Public report or rumor.

The fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come. Genesis 45:16.

2. Favorable report; report of good or great actions; report that exalts the character; celebrity; renown; as the fame of Howard or of Washington; the fame of Solomon.

And the fame of Jesus went throughout all Syria. Matthew 4:24.

FAME, v.t.

1. To make famous.

2. To report.

FAMED, a. Much talked of; renowned; celebrated; distinguished and exalted by favorable reports. Aristides was famed for learning and wisdom, and Cicero for eloquence.

He is famed for mildness, peace and prayer.

FAME-GIVING, a. Bestowing fame.

FAMELESS, a. Without renown.

FAMILIAR, a. famil’yar. [L. familiaris, familia, family, which see.]

1. Pertaining to a family; domestic.

2. Accustomed by frequent converse; well acquainted with; intimate; close; as a familiar friend or companion.

3. Affable; not formal or distant; easy in conversation.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

4. Well acquainted with; knowing by frequent use. Be familiar with the scriptures.

5. Well known; learned or well understood by frequent use. Let the scriptures be familiar to us.

6. Unceremonious; free; unconstrained; easy. The emperor conversed with the gentleman in the most familiar manner.

7. Common; frequent and intimate. By familiar intercourse, strong attachments are soon formed.

8. Easy; unconstrained; not formal. His letters are written in a familiar style.

He sports in loose familiar strains.

9. Intimate in an unlawful degree.

A poor man found a priest familiar with his wife.


1. An intimate; a close companion; one long acquainted; one accustomed to another by free, unreserved converse.

All my familiars watched for my halting. Jeremiah 20:10.

2. A demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at a call. But in general we say, a familiar spirit.

3. In the court of Inquisition, a person who assists in apprehending and imprisoning the accused.


1. Intimate and frequent converse, or association in company. The gentlemen lived in remarkable familiarity. Hence,

2. Easiness of conversation; affability; freedom from ceremony.

3. Intimacy; intimate acquaintance; unconstrained intercourse.


1. To make familiar or intimate; to habituate; to accustom; to make well known, by practice or converse; as, to familiarize one’s self to scenes of distress.

2. To make easy by practice or customary use, or by intercourse.

3. To bring down from a state of distant superiority.

The genius smiled on me with a look of compassion and affability that familiarized him to my imagination.

FAMILIARIZED, pp. Accustomed; habituated; made easy by practice, custom or use.

FAMILIARIZING, ppr. Accustoming; rendering easy by practice, custom or use.


1. In a familiar manner; unceremoniously; without constraint; without formality.

2. Commonly; frequently; with the ease and unconcern that arises from long custom or acquaintance.

FAMILISM, n. The tenets of the familists.

FAMILIST, n. [from family.] One of the religious sect called the family of love.

FAMILY, n. [L. familia.]

1. The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.

2. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; and the descendants of Reuben, of Manasseh, etc., were called their families. The whole human race are the family of Adam, the human family.

3. Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors.

Go and complain thy family is young.

4. Honorable descent; noble or respectable stock. He is a man of family.

5. A collection or union of nations or states.

The states of Europe were, by the prevailing maxims of its policy, closely united in one family.

6. In popular language, an order, class or genus of animals or of other natural productions, having something in common, by which they are distinguished from others; as, quadrupeds constitute a family of animals, and we speak of the family or families of plants.

FAMINE, n. [L. fames.]

1. Scarcity of food; dearth; a general want of provisions sufficient for the inhabitants of a country or besieged place.

There was a famine in the land. Genesis 26:1.

2. Want; destitution; as a famine of the word of life.

FAMISH, v.t. [L. fames.]

1. To starve; to kill or destroy with hunger.

2. To exhaust the strength of, by hunger or thirst; to distress with hunger.

The pains of famished Tantalus he’ll feel.

3. To kill by deprivation or denial of any thing necessary for life.

FAMISH, v.i.

1. To die of hunger. More generally,

2. To suffer extreme hunger or thirst; to be exhausted in strength, or to come near to perish, for want of food or drink.

You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish.

3. To be distressed with want; to come near to perish by destitution.

The Lord will not suffer the righteous to famish. Proverbs 10:3.

FAMISHED, pp. Starved; exhausted by want of sustenance.

FAMISHING, ppr. Starving; killing; perishing by want of food.

FAMISHMENT, n. The pain of extreme hunger or thirst; extreme want of sustenance.

FAMOUS, a. [L. famosus. See Fame.]

1. Celebrated in fame or public report; renowned; much talked of and praised; distinguished in story.

Two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation. Numbers 16:2.

It is followed by for. One man is famous for erudition; another, for eloquence; and another, for military skill.

2. sometimes in a bad sense; as a famous counterfeiter; a famous pirate.

FAMOUSED, a. Renowned. [An ill formed word.]

FAMOUSLY, adv. With great renown or celebration.

Then this land was famously enriched with politic grave counsel.

FAMOUSNESS, n. Renown; great fame; celebrity.

FAN, n. [L. vannus.]

1. An instrument used by ladies to agitate the air and cool the face in warm weather. It is made of feathers, or of thin skin, paper or taffety mounted on sticks, etc.

2. Something in the form of a woman’s fan when spread, as a peacoc’s tail, a window, etc.

3. An instrument for winnowing grain, by moving which the grain is thrown up and agitated, and the chaff is separated and blown away.

4. something by which the air is moved; a wing.

5. An instrument to raise the fire or flame; as a fan to inflame love.

FAN-LIGHT, n. A window in form of an open fan.

FAN, v.t.

1. To cool and refresh, by moving the air with a fan; to blow the air on the face with a fan.

2. To ventilate; to blow on; to affect by air put in motion.

The fanning wind upon her bosom blows;

To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose.

Calm as the breath which fans our eastern groves.

3. To move as with a fan.

The air - fanned with plumes.

4. To winnow; to ventilate; to separate chaff from grain and drive it away by a current of air; as, to fan wheat.

FANATIC, FANATICAL, a. [L. fanaticus, phanaticus.]

Wild and extravagant in opinions, particularly in religious opinions; excessively enthusiastic; possessed by a kind of frenzy. Hence we say, fanatic zeal; fanatic notions or opinions.

FANATIC, FANATICAL, n. A person affected by excessive enthusiasm, particularly on religious subjects; one who indulges wild and extravagant notions of religion, and sometimes exhibits strange motions and postures, and vehement vociferation in religious worship. Fanatics sometimes affect to be inspired or to have intercourse with superior beings.

FANATICALLY, adv. With wild enthusiasm.

FANATICALNESS, n. Fanaticism.

FANATICISM, n. Excessive enthusiasm; wild and extravagant notions of religion; religious frenzy.