Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



FLAWN, n. A sort of custard or pie. [Obs.]

FLAWTER, v.t. To scrape or pare a skin. [Not used.]


1. Full of flaws or cracks; broken; defective; faulty.

2. Subject to sudden gusts of wind.

FLAX, n.

1. A plant of the genus Linum, consisting of a single slender stalk, the skin or herl of which is used for making thread and cloth, called linen, cambric, lawn, lace, etc. The skin consists of fine fibers, which may be so separated as to be spun into threads as fine as silk.

2. The skin or fibrous part of the plant when broken and cleaned by hatcheling or combing.

FLAXCOMB, n. An instrument with teeth through which flax is drawn for separating from it the tow or coarser part and the shives. In America, we call it a hatchel.

FLAXDRESSER, n. One who breaks and swingles flax.

FLAXPLANT, n. The Phormium, a plant in New Zealand that serves the inhabitants for flax.

FLAXRAISER, n. One who raises flax.

FLAXSEED, n. The seed of flax.


1. Made of flax; as flaxen thread.

2. Resembling flax; of the color of flax; fair, long, and flowing; as flaxen hair.

FLAXY, a. Like flax; being of a light color; fair.

FLAY, v.t. [Gr. whence bark, rind; probably a contracted word.]

1. To skin; to strip off the skin of an animal; as, to flay an ox.

2. To take off the skin or surface of any thing. [Not used.]

FLAYED, pp. Skinned; stripped of the skin.

FLAYER, n. One who strips off the skin.

FLAYING, ppr. Stripping off the skin.

FLEA, n. [See Flee and Fly.]

An insect of the genus Pulex. It has two eyes and six feet; the feelers are like threads; the rostrum is inflected, setaceous, and armed with a string. The flea is remarkable for its agility, leaping to a surprising distance, and its bite is very troublesome.

FLEABANE, n. A plant of the genus Conyza.


1. The bite of a flea, or the red spot caused by the bite.

2. A trifling wound or pain, like that of the bite of a flea.


1. Bitten or stung by a flea.

2. Mean; worthless; of low birth or station.

FLEAWORT, n. A plant.

FLEAK, A lock. [See Flake.]


In surgery and farriery, a sharp instrument used for opening veins for letting blood.


To spot; to streak or stripe; to variegate; to dapple.

Both flecked with white, the true Arcadian strain.

[These words are obsolete or used only in poetry.]

FLECTION, n. [L. flectio.] The act of bending, or state of being bent.

FLECTOR, n. A flexor, which see.

FLED, pret. and pp. of flee; as, truth has fled.

FLEDGE, a. flej.

Feathered; furnished with fethers or wings; able to fly.

His locks behind, illustrious on his shoulders, fledge with wings, lay waving round.

FLEDGE, v.t. To furnish with fethers; to supply with the fethers necessary for flight.

The birds were not yet fledged enough to shift for themselves.

FLEDGED, pp. Furnished with fethers for flight; covered with fethers.

FLEDGING, ppr. Furnishing with fethers for flight.

FLEE, v.i.

1. To run with rapidity, as from danger; to attempt to escape; to hasten from danger or expected evil. The enemy fled at the first fire.

Arise, take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt. Matthew 2:13.

2. To depart; to leave; to hasten away.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7.

3. To avoid; to keep at a distance from.

Flee fornication; flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 6:10.

To flee the question or from the question, in legislation, is said of a legislator who, when a question is to be put to the house, leaves his seat to avoid the dilemma of voting against his conscience, or giving an unpopular vote. In the phrases in which this verb appears to be transitive, there is really an ellipsis.

FLEECE, n. flees. [L. vellus, from vello, to pluck or tear off.]

The coat of wool shorn from a sheep at one time.

FLEECE, v.t.

1. To shear off a covering or growth of wool.

2. To strip of money or property; to take from, by severe exactions, under color of law or justice, or pretext of necessity, or by virtue of authority. Arbitrary princes fleece their subjects; and clients complain that they are sometimes fleeced by their lawyers.

This word is rarely or never used for plundering in war by a licentious soldiery; but is properly used to express a stripping by contributions levied on a conquered people.

3. To spread over as with wool; to make white.

FLEECED, pp. Stripped by severe exactions.

FLEECED, a. Furnished with a fleece or with fleeces; as, a sheep is well fleeced.

FLEECER, n. One who strips or takes by severe exactions.

FLEECING, ppr. Stripping of money or property by severe demands of fees, taxes or contributions.


1. Covered with wool; woolly; as a fleecy flock.

2. Resembling wool or a fleece; soft; complicated; as fleecy snow; fleecy locks; fleecy hosiery.

FLEER, v.i.

1. To deride; to sneer; to mock; to gibe; to make a wry face in contempt, or to grin in scorn; as, to fleer and flout.

Covered with an antic face,

To fleer and scorn at our soleminity.

2. To leer; to grin with an air of civility.

A teacherous fleer on the face of deceivers.

FLEER, v.t. to mock; to flout at.

1. Derision or mockery, expressed by words or looks.

And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns.

2. A grin of civility.

A treacherous fleer on the face of deceivers.

FLEERER, n. a mocker; a fawner.

FLEERING, ppr. Deriding; mocking; counterfeiting an air of civility.

FLEET, in English names, denotes a flood, a creek or inlet, a bay or estuary, or a river; as in Fleet-street, North-flete, Fleet-prison.

FLEET, n. [Fleet and float seem to be allied. But whether they are formed from the root of flow, or whether the last consonant is radical, is not obvious. See Float.]

A navy or squadron of ships; a number of ships in company, whether ships of war, or of commerce. It more generally signifies ships of war.

FLEET, a. [Eng. to flit.]

1. Swift of pace; moving or able to move with rapidity; nimble; light and quick in motion, or moving with lightness and celerity; as a fleet horse or dog.

2. Moving with velocity; as fleet winds.

3. Light; superficially fruitful; or thin; not penetrating deep; as soil.

4. Skimming the surface.

FLEET, v.i.

1. To fly swiftly; to hasten; to flit as a light substance. To fleet away is to vanish.

How all the other passions fleet to air.

2. To be in a transient state.

3. to float.

FLEET, v.t.

1. to skim the surface; to pass over rapidly; as a ship that fleets the gulf.

2. To pass lightly, or in mirth and joy; as, to fleet away time. [Not used.]

3. To skim milk. [Local, in England.]

The verb in the transitive form is rarely or never used in America.

FLEETFOOT, a. Swift of foot; running or able to run with rapidity.


1. Passing rapidly; flying with velocity.

2. a. Transient; not durable; as the fleeting hours or moments.

FLEETING-DISH, n. A skimming bowl. [Local.]

FLEETLY, adv. Rapidly; lightly and nimbly; swiftly.

FLEETNESS, n. Swiftness; rapidity; velocity; celerity; speed; as the fleetness of a horse or a deer.

FLEMING, n. A native of Flanders, or the Low Countries in Europe.

FLEMISH, a. Pertaining to Flanders.

FLESH, n. [I know not the primary sense; it may be soft.]

1. A compound substance forming a large part of an animal, consisting of the softer solids, as distinguished from the bones and the fluids. Under the general appellation of flesh, we include the muscles, fat, glands etc., which invest the bones and are covered with the skin. It is sometimes restricted to the muscles.

2. Animal food, in distinction from vegetable.

Flesh without being qualified with acids, is too alkalescent a diet.

3. The body of beasts and fowls used as food, distinct from fish. In Lent, the Catholics abstain from flesh, but eat fish.

4. The body, as distinguished from the soul.

As if this flesh, which walls about our life,

Were brass impregnable.

5. Animal nature; animals of all kinds.

The end of all flesh is come before me. Genesis 6:13.

6. Men in general; mankind.

My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh. Genesis 6:3.

7. Human nature.

The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:14.

8. Carnality; corporeal appetites.

Fasting serves to mortify the flesh.

The flesh lusteth against the spirit. Galatians 5:17.

9. A carnal state; a state of unrenewed nature.

They that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8.

10. The corruptible body of man, or corrupt nature.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 15:50.

11. The present life; the state of existence in this world.

To abide in the flesh is more needful for you. Philippians 1:24.

12. Legal righteousness, and ceremonial services.

What shall we then say that Abraham, our father as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? Romans 4:1; Galatians 3:3.

13. Kindred; stock; family.

He is our brother, and our flesh. Genesis 37:27.

14. In botany, the soft pulpy substance of fruit; also, that part of a root, fruit, etc., which is fit to be eaten.

One flesh, denotes intimate relation. To be one flesh is to be closely united, as in marriage. Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31.

After the flesh, according to outward appearances, John 8:15

Or according to the common powers of nature. Galatians 4:23.

Or according to sinful lusts and inclinations. Romans 8:4, 5.

An arm of flesh, human strength or aid.

FLESH, v.t.

1. To initiate; a sportsman’s use of the word, from the practice of training hawks and dogs by feeding them with the first game they take or other flesh.

2. To harden; to accustom; to establish in any practice, as dogs by often feeding on any thing. Men fleshed in cruelty; women fleshed in malice.

3. To glut; to satiate.

The wild dog

Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.

FLESHBROTH, n. Broth made by boiling flesh in water.

FLESHBRUSH, n. A brush for exciting action in the skin by friction.

FLESHCOLOR, n. The color of flesh; carnation.

FLESHCOLORED, a. Being of the color of flesh.

FLESHDIET, n. Food consisting of flesh.


1. Initiated; accustomed; glutted.

2. Fat; fleshy.

FLESHFLY, n. A fly that feeds on flesh, and deposits her eggs in it.

FLESHHOOK, n. A hook to draw flesh from a pot or caldron. 1 Samuel 2:13, 14.

FLESHINESS, n. [from fleshy.] Abundance of flesh or fat in animals; plumpness; corpulence; grossness.

FLESHING, ppr. Initiating; making familiar; glutting.

FLESHLESS, a. Destitute of flesh; lean.

FLESHLINESS, n. Carnal passions and appetites.


1. Pertaining to the flesh; corporeal.

2. Carnal; worldly; lascivious.

Abstain from fleshly lusts. 1 Peter 2:11.

3. Animal; not vegetable.

4. Human; not celestial; not spiritual or divine.

Vain of fleshly arm.

Fleshly wisdom. 2 Corinthians 1:12.

FLESHMEAT, n. Animal food; the flesh of animals prepared or used for food.

FLESHMENT, n. Eagerness gained by a successful initiation.

FLESHMONGER, n. One who deals in flesh; a procurer; a pimp. [Little used.]

FLESHPOT, A vessel in which flesh is cooked; hence, plenty of provisions. Exodus 16:3.

FLESHQUAKE, n. A trembling of the flesh. [Not used.]


1. Full of flesh; plump; musculous.

The sole of his foot is fleshy.

2. Fat; gross; corpulent; as a fleshy man.

3. Corporeal.

4. Full of pulp; pulpous; plump; as fruit.

FLET, pp. of fleet. Skimmed. [Not used.]

FLETCH, v.t. To fether an arrow.

FLETCHER, n. An arrow-maker; a manufacturer of bows and arrows. hence the name of Fletcher.

But the use of the word as an appellative has ceased with the practice of archery.

FLETZ, a. In geology, the fletz formations, so called, consist of rocks which lie immediately over the transition rocks. These formations are so called because the rocks usually appear in beds more nearly horizontal than the transition class. These formations consist of sandstone, limestone, gypsum, calamine, chalk, coal and trap. They contain abundance of petrifactions, both of animal and vegetable origin.

FLEW, pret. of fly.

The people flew upon the spoil. 1 Samuel 14:32.

FLEW, n. The large chaps of a deep-mouthed hound.

FLEWED, a. Chapped; mouthed; deep-mouthed.

FLEXANIMOUS, a. [from L.] Having power to change the mind. [Not used.]

FLEXIBILITY, n. [See Flexible.]

1. The quality of admitting to be bent; pliancy; flexibleness; as the flexibility of rays of light.

2. Easiness to be persuaded; the quality of yielding to arguments, persuasion or circumstances; ductility of mind; readiness to comply; facility; as flexibility of temper.

FLEXIBLE, a. [L. flexibilis, from flecto, flexi, to bend, plico.]

1. That may be bent; capable of being turned or forced from a straight line or form without breaking; pliant; yielding to pressure; not stiff; as a flexible rod; a flexible plant.

2. Capable of yielding to intreaties, arguments or other moral force; that may be persuaded to compliance; not invincibly rigid; or obstinate; not inexorable.

Phocion was a man of great severity, and no ways flexible to the will of the people.

It often denotes, easy or too easy to yield or comply; wavering; inconstant; not firm.

3. Ductile; manageable; tractable; as the tender and flexible minds of youth. Flexible years or time of life, the time when the mind is tractable.

4. That may be turned or accommodated.

This was a principle more flexible to their purpose.


1. Possibility to be bent or turned from a straight line or form without breaking; easiness to be bent; pliantness; pliancy; flexibility.

2. Facility of mind; readiness to comply or yield; obsequiousness; as the flexibleness of a courtier.

FLEXILE, a. [L. flexilis.] Pliant; pliable; easily bent; yielding to power, impulse or moral force.

FLEXION, n. [L. flexio.]

1. The act of bending.

2. A bending; a part bent; a fold.

3. A turn; a cast; as a flexion of the eye.

FLEXOR, n. In anatomy, a muscle whose office is to bend the part to which it belongs, in opposition to the extensors.

FLEXUOUS, a. [L. flexuosus.]

1. Winding; having turns or windings; as a flexuous rivulet.

2. Bending; winding; wavering; not steady; as a flexuous flame.

3. In botany, bending or bent; changing its direction in a curve, from joint to joint, from bud to bud, or from flower to flower.

FLEXURE, n. [L. flexura.]

1. A winding or bending; the form of bending; as the flexure of a joint.

2. The act of bending.

3. The part bent; a joint.

4. The bending of the body; obsequious or servile cringe.


1. To flutter; to flap the wings without flying; to strike rapidly with the wings.

And flickering on her nest made short essays to sing.

2. To fluctuate.


1. Fluttering; flapping the wings without flight.

2. a. With amorous motions of the eye.

The fair Lavinia - looks a little flickering after Turnus.

FLICKERING, n. A fluttering; short irregular movements.


FLIER, n. [See Fly. It ought to be flyer.]

1. One that flies or flees.

2. A runaway; a fugitive.

3. A part of a machine which, by moving rapidly, equalizes and regulates the motion of the whole; as the flier of a jack.

FLIGHT, n. [See Fly.]

1. The act of fleeing; the act of running away, to escape danger or expected evil; hasty departure.

Pray ye that your flight be not in winter. Matthew 24:20.

To put to flight, to turn to flight, is to compel to run away; to force to escape.

2. The act of flying; a passing through the air by the help of wings; volation; as the flight of birds and insects.

3. The manner of flying. Every fowl has its particular flight; the flight of the eagle is high; the flight of the swallow is rapid, with sudden turns.

4. Removal from place to place by flying.

5. A flock of birds flying in company; as a flight of pigeons or wild geese.

6. A number of beings flying or moving through the air together; as a flight of angels.

7. A number of things passing through the air together; a volley; as a flight of arrows.

8. A periodical flying of birds in flocks; as the spring flight or autumnal flight of ducks or pigeons.

9. In England, the birds produced in the same season.

10. The space passed by flying.

11. A mounting; a soaring; lofty elevation and excursion; as a flight of imagination or fancy; a flight of ambition.

12. Excursion; wandering; extravagant sally; as a flight of folly.

13. The power of flying.

14. In certain lead works, a substance that flies off in smoke.

Flight of stairs, the series of stairs from the floor, or from one platform to another.

FLIGHTNESS, n. The state of being flighty; wildness; slight delirium.

FLIGHT-SHOT, n. The distance which an arrow flies.


1. Fleeting; swift.

The flighty purpose never is o’ertook.

2. Wild; indulging the sallies of imagination.

3. Disordered in mind; somewhat delirious.

FLIMFLAM, n. A freak; a trick.

FLIMSINESS, n. State or quality of being flimsy; thin, weak texture; weakness; want of substance or solidity.

FLIMSY, a. s as z. [The word is retained by the common people in New England in limsy, weak, limber, easily bending.]

1. Weak; feeble; slight; vain; without strength or solid substance; as a flimsy pretext; a flimsy excuse; flimsy objections.

2. Without strength or force; spiritless.

Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines.

3. Thin; of loose texture; as flimsy cloth or stuff. [Little used.]

FLINCH, v.i. [I have not found this word in any other language; but the sense of it occurs in blench, and not improbably it is from the same root, with a different prefix.]

1. To shrink; to withdraw from any suffering or undertaking, from pain or danger; to fail of proceeding, or of performing any thing. Never flinch from duty. One of the parties flinched from the combat.

A child, by a constant course of kindness, may be accustomed to bear very rough usage without flinching or complaining.

2. To fail.

FLINCHER, n. One who flinches or fails.

FLINCHING, ppr. Failing to undertake, perform or proceed; shrinking; withdrawing.

FLINDER, n. A small piece or splinter; a fragment.

[This seems to be splinter, without the prefix.]

FLING, v.t. pret. and pp. flung. [L. lego legare.]

1. To cast, send or throw from the hand; to hurl; as, to fling a stone at a bird.

Tis fate that flings the dice; and as she flings,

Of kings makes peasants, and of peasants, kings.

2. To dart; to cast with violence; to send forth.

He - like Jove, his lightning flung.

3. To send forth; to emit; to scatter.

Every beam new transient colors flings.

4. To throw; to drive by violence.

5. To throw to the ground; to prostrate.

The wrestler flung his antagonist.

6. To baffle; to defeat; as, to fling a party in litigation.

To fling away, to reject; to discard.

Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition.

1. To fling down, to demolish; to ruin.

2. To throw to the ground.

To fling out, to utter; to speak; as, to fling out hard words against another.

To fling off, to baffle in the chase, to defeat of prey.

To fling in, to throw in; to make an allowance or deduction, or not to charge in an account. In settling accounts, one party flings in a small sum, or a few days work.

To fling open, to throw open; to open suddenly or with violence; as, to fling open a door.

To fling up, to relinquish; to abandon; as, to fling up a design.

FLING, v.i.

1. To flounce; to wince; to fly into violent and irregular motions. The horse began to kick and fling.

2. To cast in the teeth; to utter harsh language; to sneer; to upbraid. The scold began to flout and fling.

To fling out, to grow unruly or outrageous.


1. A throw; a cast from the hand.

2. A gibe; a sneer; a sarcasm; a severe or contemptuous remark.

I, who love to have a fling,

Both at senate house and king.

FLINGER, n. One who flings; one who jeers.

FLINGING, ppr. Throwing; casting; jeering.


1. In natural history, a sub-species of quartz, of a yellowish or bluish gray, or grayish black color. It is amorphous, interspersed in other stones, or in nodules or rounded lumps. Its surface is generally uneven, and covered with a rind or crust, either calcarious or argillaceous. It is very hard, strikes fire with steel, and is an ingredient in glass.

2. A piece of the above described stone used in firearms to strike fire.

3. Any thing proverbially hard; as a heart of flint.

FLINTHEART, FLINTHEARTED, a. Having a hard, unfeeling heart.