Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



FLACCID, a. [L. flaccidus, from flacceo, to hand down, to flag.]

Soft and weak; limber; lax; drooping; hanging down by its own weight; yielding to pressure for want of firmness and stiffness; as a flaccid muscle; flaccid flesh.

FLACCIDNESS, FLACCIDITY, n. Laxity; limberness: want of firmness or stiffness.

FLAG, v.i. [L. flacceo. See Flaccid. The sense is primarily to bend, or rather to recede, to lag.]

1. To hang loose without stiffness; to bend down as flexible bodies; to be loose and yielding; as the flagging sails.

2. To grow spiritless or dejected; to droop; to grow languid; as, the spirits flag.

3. To grow weak; to lose vigor; as, the strength flags.

4. To become dull or languid.

The pleasures of the town begin to flag.

FLAG, v.t. To let fall into feebleness; to suffer to drop; as, to flag the wings.
FLAG, n. A flat stone, or a pavement of flat stones.
FLAG, v.t. To lay with flat stones.

The sides and floor were all flagged with excellent marble.

FLAG, n. An aquatic plant, with a bladed leaf, probably so called from its bending or yielding to the wind.
FLAG, n.

An ensign or colors; a cloth on which are usually painted or wrought certain figures, and borne on a staff. In the army, a banner by which one regiment is distinguished from another. In the marine, a banner or standard by which the ships of one nation are distinguished from those of another, or by which an admiral is distinguished from other ships of his squadron. In the British navy, an admiral’s flag is displayed at the main-top-gallant-mast-head, a vice-admiral’s at the fore-top-gallant-mast-head, and a rear-admiral’s at the mizen-top-gallant-mast-head.

To strike or lower the flag, is to pull it down upon the cap in token of respect or submission. To strike the flag in an engagement, is the sign of surrendering.

To hang out the white flag, is to ask quarter; or in some cases, to manifest a friendly design. The red flag, is a sign of defiance or battle.

To hang the flag half mast high, is a token or signal of mourning.

Flag-officer, an admiral; the commander of a squadron.

Flag-ship, the ship which bears the admiral, and in which his flag is displayed.

Flag-staff, the staff that elevates the flag.

FLAGBROOM, n. A broom for sweeping flags.

FLAGSTONE, n. A flat stone for pavement.

FLAGWORM, n. A worm or grub found among flags and sedge.

FLAGELET, n. [L. flatus, by corruption or Gr. oblique, and a flute.]

A small flute; a small wind instrument of music.

FLAGELLANT, n. [L. flagellans, from flagello, to flog.]

One who whips himself in religious discipline. The flagellants were a fanatical sect which arose in Italy, AD. 1260, who maintained that flagellation was of equal virtue with baptism and the sacrament. They walked in procession with shoulders bare, and whipped themselves till the blood ran down their bodies, to obtain the mercy of God, and appease his wrath against the vices of the age.

FLAGELLATE, v.t. To whip; to scourge.

FLAGELLATION, n. [L. flagello, to beat or whip, to flog, from flagellum, a whip, scourge or flail. See Flail and Flog.]

A beating or whipping; a flogging; the discipline of the scourge.

FLAGGED, pp. Laid with flat stones.

FLAGGINESS, n. Laxity; limberness; want of tension.

FLAGGING, ppr. Growing weak; drooping; laying with flat stones.


1. Weak; flexible; limber; not stiff.

2. Weak in taste; insipid; as a flaggy apple.

3. Abounding with flags, the plant.

FLAGITIOUS, a. [L. flagitium, a scandalous crime, probably from the root of flagrant.]

1. Deeply criminal; grossly wicked; villainous; atrocious; scandalous; as a flagitious action or crime.

2. Guilty of enormous crimes; corrupt; wicked; as a flagitious person.

3. Marked or infected with scandalous crimes or vices; as flagitious times.

FLAGITIOUSLY, adv. With extreme wickedness.

FLAGITIOUSNESS, n. Extreme wickedness; villainy.

FLAGON, n. [L. lagena; Gr.]

A vessel with a narrow mouth, used for holding and conveying liquors.

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love.

FLAGRANCY, n. [See Flagrant.]

1. A burning; great heat; inflammation. Obs.

Lust causeth a flagrancy in the eyes.

2. Excess; enormity; as the flagrancy of a crime.

FLAGRANT, a. [L. flagrans, from flagro, to burn; Gr.]

1. Burning; ardent; eager; as flagrant desires.

2. Glowing; red; flushed.

See Sapho, at her toilet’s greasy task,

Then issuing flagrant to an evening mask.

3. Red; inflamed.

The beadle’s lash still flagrant on their back.

[The foregoing senses are unusual.]

4. Flaming in notice; glaring; notorious; enormous; as a flagrant crime.

FLAGRANTLY, adv. Ardently; notoriously.

FLAGRATE, v.t. To burn. [Little used.]

FLAGRATION, n. A burning. [Little used.]

FLAIL, n. [L. flagellum. We retain the original verb in flog, to strike, to lay on, L. fligo, whence affligo, to afflict; plaga, a stroke, or perhaps from the same root as lick and lay. Gr. See Lick.]

An instrument for thrashing or beating corn from the ear.

FLAKE, n. [L. floccus; Gr. Flake and flock are doubtless the same word, varied in orthography, and connected perhaps with L. plico, Gr. The sense is a complication, a crowd, or a lay.]

1. A small collection of snow, as it falls from the clouds or from the air; a little bunch or cluster of snowy crystals, such as fall in still moderate weather. This is a flake, lock or flock of snow.

2. A platform of hurdles, or small sticks made fast or interwoven, supported by stanchions, on which cod-fish is dried.

3. A layer or stratum; as a flake of flesh or tallow. Job 41:23.

4. A collection or little particle of fire, or of combustible matter on fire, separated and flying off.

5. Any scaly matter in layers; any mass cleaving off in scales.

Little flakes of scurf.

6. A sort of carnations of two colors only, having large stripes going through the leaves.

White-flake, in painting, is lead corroded by means of the pressing of grapes, or a ceruse prepared by the acid of grapes. It is brought from Italy, and of a quality superior to common white lead. It is used in oil and varnished painting, when a clean white is required.

FLAKE, v.t. To form into flakes.
FLAKE, v.i. To break or separate in layers; to peel or scale off. We more usually say, to flake off.

FLAKE-WHITE, n. Oxyd of bismuth.


1. Consisting of flakes or locks; consisting of small loose masses.

2. Lying in flakes; consisting of layers, or cleaving off in layers.

FLAM, n. A freak or whim; also, a falsehood; a lie; an illusory pretext; deception; delusion.

Lies immortalized and consigned over as a perpetual abuse and flam upon posterity.

FLAM, v.t. To deceive with falsehood; to delude.

FLAMBEAU, n. flam’bo. [L. flamma, flame.]

A light or luminary made of thick wicks covered with wax, and used in the streets at night, at illuminations, and in processions. Flambeaus are made square, and usually consist of four wicks or branches, near an inch thick, and about three feet long, composed of coarse hempen yarn, half twisted.

FLAME, n. [L. flamma.]

1. A blaze; burning vapor; vapor in combustion; or according to modern chimistry, hydrogen or any inflammable gas, in a state of combustion, and naturally ascending in a stream from burning bodies being specifically lighter than common air.

2. Fire in general.

3. Heat of passion; tumult; combustion; blaze; violent contention. One jealous, tattling mischief-maker will set a whole village in a flame.

4. Ardor of temper or imagination; brightness of fancy; vigor of thought.

Great are their faults, and glorious is their flame.

5. Ardor of inclination; warmth of affection.

Smit with the love of kindred arts we came,

And met congenial, mingling flame with flame.

6. The passion of love; ardent love.

My heart’s on flame.

7. Rage; violence; as the flames of war.

FLAME, v.t. To inflame; to excite.
FLAME, v.i.

1. To blaze; to burn in vapor, or in a current; to burn as gas emitted from bodies in combustion.

2. To shine like burning gas.

In flaming yellow bright.

3. To break out in violence of passion.

FLAMECOLOR, n. Bright color, as that of flame.

FLAMECOLORED, a. Of the color of flame; of a bright yellow color.

FLAMEEYED, a. Having eyes like a flame.

FLAMELESS, a. Destitute of flame; without incense.

FLAMEN, n. [L.]

1. In ancient Rome, a priest. Originally there were three priests so called; the Flamen Dialis, consecrated to Jupiter; Flamen Martialis, sacred to Mars; and Flamen Quirinalis, who superintended the rites of Quirinus or Romulus.

2. A priest.


1. Burning in flame.

2. a. Bright; red. Also, violent; vehement; as a flaming harangue.

FLAMING, n. A bursting out in a flame.

FLAMINGLY, adv. Most brightly; with great show or vehemence.


A fowl constituting the genus Phoenicopterus, of the grallic order. The beak is naked, toothed, and bent as if broken; the feet palmated and four-toed. This fowl resembles the heron in shape, but is entirely red, except the quill-fethers. It is a native of Africa and America.

FLAMINICAL, a. Pertaining to a Roman flamen.

FLAMMABILITY, n. The quality of admitting to be set on fire, or enkindled into a flame or blaze; inflammability.

FLAMMABLE, a. Capable of being enkindled into flame.

FLAMMATION, n. The act of setting on flame.

The three last words are little used. Instead of them are used the compounds, inflammable, inflammability, inflammation.

FLAMMEOUS, a. Consisting of flame; like flame.

FLAMMIFEROUS, a. [L. flamma and fero, to bring.] Producing flame.

FLAMMIVOMOUS, a. [L. flamma and vomo, to vomit.] Vomiting flames, as a volcano.

FLAMY, a. [from flame.]

1. Blazing; burning; as flamy breath.

2. Having the nature of flame; as flamy matter.

3. Having the color of flame.

FLANK, n. [Eng. flag. Gr. probably connected with lank, and so called from its laxity, or from breadth.]

1. The fleshy or muscular part of the side of an animal, between the ribs and the hip. Hence,

2. The side of an army, or of any division of an army, as of a brigade, regiment or battalion. To attack an enemy in flank, is to attack them on the side.

3. In fortification, that part of a bastion which reaches from the curtain to the face, and defends the opposite face, the flank and the curtain; or it is a line drawn from the extremity of the face towards the inside of the work.

FLANK, v.t.

1. To attack the side or flank of an army or body of troops; or to place troops so as to command or attack the flank.

2. To post so as to overlook or command on the side; as, to flank a passage.

3. To secure or guard on the side; as flanked with rocks.

FLANK, v.i.

1. To border; to touch.

2. To be posted on the side.

FLANKED, pp. Attacked on the side; covered or commanded on the flank.

FLANKER, n. A fortification projecting so as to command the side of an assailing body.


1. To defend by lateral fortifications.

2. To attack sideways.

FLANNEL, n. [L. lana.]

A soft nappy woolen cloth of loose texture.

FLAP, n. [L. alapa, a slap. It seems difficult to separate flap from clap, slap, flabby, lap, etc.]

1. Any thing broad and limber that hangs loose, or is easily moved.

A cartilaginous flap on the opening of the larynx.

We say, the flap of a garment, the flap of the ear, the flap of a hat.

2. The motion of any thing broad and loose, or a stroke with it.

3. The flaps, a disease in the lips of horses.

FLAP, v.t.

1. To beat with a flap.

Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings.

2. To move something broad; as, to flap the wings.

3. To let fall, as the brim of a hat. [This sense seems to indicate a connection with lap.]

FLAP, v.i.

1. To move as wings, or as something broad or loose.

2. To fall, as the brim of a hat, or other broad thing.


1. A play in which they catch raisins out of burning brandy, and extinguishing them by closing the mouth, eat them.

2. The thing eaten.

FLAPDRAGON, v.t. To swallow or devour.

FLAPEARED, a. Having broad loose ears.

FLAPJACK, n. An apple-puff.

FLAPMOUTHED, a. Having loose hanging lips.

FLAPPED, pp. Struck with something broad, let down; having the brim fallen, as a flapped hat.

FLAPPER, n. One who flaps another.

FLAPPING, ppr. Striking; beating; moving something broad; as flapping wings. The ducks run flapping and fluttering.

FLARE, v.i. [If this word is not contracted, it may be allied to clear, glare, glory, L. floreo, Eng. floor, the primary sense of which is to open, to spread, from parting, departing, or driving apart.]

1. To waver; to flutter; to burn with an unsteady light; as, the candle flares, that is the light wanders from its natural course.

2. To flutter with splendid show; to be loose and waving as a showy thing.

With ribbons pendant flaring ‘bout her head.

3. To glitter with transient luster.

But speech alone doth vanish like a flaring thing.

4. To glitter with painful splendor.

When the sun begins to fling his flaring beams.

5. To be exposed to too much light.

I cannot stay flaring in sunshine all the day.

6. To open or spread outward.

FLARING, ppr. or a.

1. Burning with a wavering light; fluttering; glittering; showy.

2. Opening; widening outward; as a flaring fireplace.


1. A sudden burst of light; a flood of light instantaneously appearing and disappearing; as a flash of lightning.

2. A sudden burst of flame and light; as instantaneous blaze; as the flash of a gun.

3. A sudden burst, as of wit or merriment; as a flash of wit; a flash of joy or mirth.

His companions recollect no instance of premature wit, no striking sentiment, no flash of fancy -

4. A short, transient state.

The Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash.

5. A body of water driven by violence. [Local.]

6. A little pool. [Local.]

FLASH, v.i.

1. To break forth, as a sudden flood of light; to burst or open instantly on the sight, as splendor. It differs from glitter, glisten and gleam in denoting a flood or wide extent of light. The latter words may express the issuing of light from a small object, or from a pencil of rays. A diamond may glitter or glisten, but it does not flash. Flash differs from other words also in denoting suddenness of appearance and disappearance.

2. To burst or break forth with a flood of flame and light; as, the powder flashed in the pan. Flashing differs from exploding or disploding, in not being accompanied with a loud report.

3. To burst out into any kind of violence.

Every hour he flashes into one gross crime or other.

4. To break out, as a sudden expression of wit, merriment or bright thought.

FLASH, v.t.

1. To strike up a body of water from the surface.

He rudely flashed the waves.

[In this sense I believe this word is not used in America.]

2. To strike or to throw like a burst of light; as, to flash conviction on the mind.


1. A man of more appearance of wit than reality.

2. A rower. [Not in use.]

FLASHILY, adv. With empty show; with a sudden glare; without solidity of wit or thought.

FLASHING, ppr. Bursting forth as a flood of light, or of flame and light, or as wit, mirth or joy.


1. Showy, but empty; dazzling for a moment, but not solid; as flashy wit.

2. Showy; gay; as a flashy dress.

3. Insipid; vapid; without taste or spirit; as food or drink.

4. Washy; plashy. [See Plash.]


1. A kind of bottle; as a flask of wine or oil.

2. A vessel for powder.

3. A bed in a gun-carriage.


1. A vessel in which viands are served up.

2. A long shallow basket.

FLAT, a. [L. latus, broad; Gr.; Eng. blade.]

1. Having an even surface, without risings or indentures, hills or valleys; as flat land.

2. Horizontal; level; without inclination; as a flat roof; or with a moderate inclination or slope; for we often apply the word to the roof of a house that is not steep, though inclined.

3. Prostrate; lying the whole length on the ground. He fell or lay flat on the ground.

4. Not elevated or erect; fallen.

Cease t’admire, and beauty’s plumes fall flat.

5. Level with the ground; totally fallen.

What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat.

6. In painting, wanting relief or prominence of the figures.

7. Tasteless; stale; vapid; insipid; dead; as fruit flat to the taste.

8. Dull; unanimated; frigid; without point or spirit; applied to discourses and compositions. The sermon was very flat.

9. Depressed; spiritless; dejected.

I feel - my hopes all flat.

10. Unpleasing; not affording gratification.

How flat and insipid are all the pleasures of this life!

11. Peremptory; absolute; positive; downright. He gave the petitioner a flat denial.

Thus repulsed, our final hope is flat despair.

12. Not sharp or shrill; not acute; as a flat sound.

13. Low, as the prices of goods; or dull, as sales.

FLAT, n.

1. A level or extended plain. In America, it is applied particularly to low ground or meadow that is level, but it denotes any land of even surface and of some extent.

2. A level ground lying at a small depth under the surface of water; a shoal; a shallow; a strand; a sand bank under water.

3. The broad side of a blade.

4. Depression of thought or language.

5. A surface without relief or prominences.

6. In music, a mark of depression in sound. A flat denotes a fall or depression of half a tone.

7. A boat, broad and flat-bottomed. A flat-bottomed boat is constructed for conveying passengers or troops, horses, carriages and baggage.

FLAT, v.t.

1. To level; to depress; to lay smooth or even; to make broad and smooth; to flatten.

2. To make vapid or tasteless.

3. To make dull or unanimated.

FLAT, v.i.

1. To grow flat; to fall to an even surface.

2. To become insipid, or dull and unanimated.

FLAT-BOTTOMED, a. Having a flat bottom, as a boat, or a moat in fortification.

FLATIVE, a. [L. flatus, from flo, to blow.] Producing wind; flatulent. [Not in use.]

FLATLONG, adv. With the flat side downward; not edgewise.

FLATLY, adv.

1. Horizontally; without inclination.

2. Evenly; without elevations and depressions.

3. Without spirit; dully; frigidly.

4. Peremptorily; positively; downright.

He flatly refused his aid.


1. Evenness of surface; levelness; equality of surface.

2. Want of relief or prominence; as the flatness of a figure in sculpture.

3. Deadness; vapidness; insipidity; as the flatness of cider or beer.

4. Dejection of fortune; low state.

The flatness of my misery.

5. Dejection of mind; a low state of the spirits; depression; want of life.

6. Dullness; want of point; insipidity; frigidity.

Some of Homer’s translators have swelled into fustian, and others sunk into flatness.

7. Gravity of sound, as opposed to sharpness, acuteness or shrillness.

Flatness of sound - joined with a harshness.

FLAT-NOSED, a. Having a flat nose.

FLATTED, pp. Made flat; rendered even on the surface; also, rendered vapid or insipid.

FLATTEN, v.t. flat’n.

1. To make flat; to reduce to an equal or even surface; to level.

2. To beat down to the ground; to lay flat.

3. To make vapid or insipid; to render stale.

4. To depress; to deject, as the spirits; to dispirit.

5. In music, to reduce, as sound; to render less acute or sharp.

FLATTEN, v.i. flat’n.

1. To grow or become even on the surface.

2. To become dead, stale, vapid or tasteless.

3. To become dull or spiritless.

FLATTENING, ppr. Making flat.

FLATTER, n. The person or thing by which any thing is flattened.

FLATTER, v.t. [Flatter may be from the root of flat, that is, to make smooth, to appease, to soothe. L. plaudo. Perhaps flat and plaudo are from one root, the radical sense of which must be to extend, strain, stretch.]

1. To soothe by praise; to gratify self-love by praise or obsequiousness; to please a person by applause or favorable notice, by respectful attention, or by any thing that exalts him in his own estimation, or confirms his good opinion of himself. We flatter a woman when we praise her children.

A man that flattereth his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet. Proverbs 29:5.

2. To please; to gratify; as, to flatter one’s vanity or pride.

3. To praise falsely; to encourage by favorable notice; as, to flatter vices or crimes.

4. To encourage by favorable representations or indications; as, to flatter hopes. We are flattered with the prospect of peace.

5. To raise false hopes by representations not well founded; as, to flatter one with a prospect of success; to flatter a patient with the expectation of recovery when his case is desperate.

6. To please; to soothe.

A concert of voices - makes a harmony that flatters the ears.

7. To wheedle; to coax; to attempt to win by blandishments, praise or enticements. How many young and credulous persons are flattered out of their innocence and their property, by seducing arts!

FLATTERED, pp. Soothed by praise; pleased by commendation; gratified with hopes, false or well founded; wheedled.

FLATTERER, n. One who flatters; a fawner; a wheedler; one who praises another, with a view to please him, to gain his favor, or to accomplish some purpose.

When I tell him he hates flatterers,

He says he does; being then most flattered.

The most abject flatterers degenerate into the greatest tyrants.


1. Gratifying with praise; pleasing by applause; wheedling; coaxing.

2. a. Pleasing to pride or vanity; gratifying to self-love; as a flattering eulogy. The minister gives a flattering account of his reception at court.

3. Pleasing; favorable; encouraging hope. We have a flattering prospect of an abundant harvest. The symptoms of the disease are flattering.

4. Practicing adulation; uttering false praise; as a flattering tongue.


1. In a flattering manner; in a manner to flatter.

2. In a manner to favor; with partiality.


1. False praise; commendation bestowed for the purpose of gaining favor and influence, or to accomplish some purpose. Direct flattery consists in praising a person himself; indirect flattery consists in praising a person through his works or his connections.

Simple pride for flattery makes demands.

Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.

2. Adulation; obsequiousness; wheedling.

3. Just commendation which gratifies self-love.

FLATTISH, a. [from flat.] Somewhat flat; approaching to flatness.


1. Windiness in the stomach; air generated in a weak stomach and intestines by imperfect digestion, occasioning distension, uneasiness, pain, and often belchings.

2. Airiness; emptiness; vanity.

FLATULENT, a. [L. flatulentus, flatus, from flo, to blow.]

1. Windy; affected with air generated in the stomach and intestines.

2. Turgid with air; windy; as a flatulent tumor.

3. Generating or apt to a generate wind in the stomach. Pease are a flatulent vegetable.

4. Empty; vain; big without substance or reality; puffy; as a flatulent writer; flatulent vanity.

FLATUOSITY, n. Windiness; fullness of air; flatulence. [Not used.]

FLATUOUS, a. [L. flatuosus.] Windy; generating wind. [Not used.]

FLATUS, n. [L. from flo, to blow.]

1. A breath; a puff of wind.

2. Wind generated in the stomach or other cavities of the body; flatulence.

FLATWISE, a. or adv. [from flat.] With the flat side downward or next to another object; not edgewise.

FLAUNT, v.i. [I know not whence we have this word. From the root L. bearing the sense of throwing out, or spreading. See Flounce.]

1. To throw or spread out; to flutter; to display ostentatiously; as a flaunting show.

You flaunt about the streets in your new gilt chariot.

One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade.

[This correctly expresses the author’s meaning, which is, that the proud often attempt to make a show and parade of their importance, even in poverty. Johnson’s remark on the use of the word seems therefore to be unfounded.]

2. To carry a pert or saucy appearance.

FLAUNT, n. Any thing displayed for show.

FLAUNTING, ppr. Making an ostentatious display.


The quality of a substance which affects the taste or smell, in any manner. We say, the wine has a fine flavor, or a disagreeable flavor; the fruit has a bad flavor; a rose has a sweet flavor. The word then signifies the quality which is tasted or smelled; taste, odor, fragrance, smell.

FLAVOR, v.t. To communicate some quality to a thing, that may affect the taste or smell.

FLAVORED, a. Having a quality that affects the sense of tasting or smelling; as high-flavored wine, having the quality in a high degree.

FLAVORLESS, a. Without flavor; tasteless; having no smell or taste.

FLAVOROUS, a. Pleasant to the taste or smell

FLAVOUS, a. [L. flavus.] Yellow. [Not used.]

FLAW, n. [Gr. seems to be contracted.]

1. A breach; a crack; a defect made by breaking or splitting; a gap or fissure; as a flaw in a scythe, knife or razor; a flaw in a china dish, or in a glass; a flaw in a wall.

2. A defect; a fault; any defect made by violence, or occasioned by neglect; as a flaw in reputation; a flaw in a will, or in a deed, or in a statute.

3. A sudden burst of wind; a sudden gust or blast of short duration; a word of common use among seamen. [This proves the primary sense to be, to burst or rush.]

4. A sudden burst of noise and disorder; a tumult; uproar.

And deluges of armies from the town

Came pouring in; I heard the mighty flaw.

[In this sense, the word is not used in the United States.]

5. A sudden commotion of mind. [Not used.]

FLAW, v.t.

1. To break; to crack.

The brazen cauldrons with the frosts are flawed.

2. To break; to violate; as, to flaw a league. [Little used.]

FLAWED, pp. Broken; cracked.

FLAWING, ppr. Breaking; cracking.

FLAWLESS, a. Without cracks; without defect.