Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



FOOTBAND, n. A band of infantry.

FOOTBOY, n. A menial; an attendant in livery.

FOOTBREADTH, n. The breadth of the foot. Deuteronomy 2:5.

FOOTBRIDGE, n. A narrow bridge for foot passengers.

FOOTCLOTH, n. A sumpter cloth.

FOOTED, pp. Kicked; trod; summed up; furnished with a foot, as a stocking.

FOOTED, a. Shaped in the foot; as footed like a goat.

FOOTFALL, n. A trip or stumble.

FOOTFIGHT, n. A conflict by persons on foot, in opposition to a fight on horseback.

FOOTGUARDS, n. plu. Guards of infantry.

FOOTHALT, n. A disease incident to sheep, and said to proceed from a worm, which enters between the claws.

FOOTHOLD, n. That which sustains the feet firmly and prevents them from slipping of moving; that on which one may tread or rest securely.

FOOTHOT, adv. Immediately; a word borrowed from hunting.

FOOTING, ppr. Dancing; treading; settling; adding a new foot.


1. Ground for the foot; that which sustains; firm foundation to stand on

In ascents, every step gained is a footing and help to the next.

2. Support; root.

3. Basis; foundation.

4. Place; stable position.

5. Permanent settlement. Let not these evils gain footing.

6. Tread; step; walk.

7. Dance; tread to measure.

8. Steps; road; track. [Little used.]

9. State; condition; settlement. Place both parties on an equal footing.

FOOTLICKER, n. A mean flatterer; a sycophant; a fawner.


1. A soldier who marches and fights on foot.

2. A menial servant; a runner; a servant in livery.

FOOTMANSHIP, n. The art or faculty of a runner.

FOOTMANTLE, n. A garment to keep the gown clean in riding.

FOOTPACE, n. A slow step, as in walking; a broad stair.

FOOTPAD, n. A highwayman or robber on foot.

FOOTPATH, n. A narrow path or way for foot passengers only.

FOOTPLOW, n. A kind of swing-plow.

FOOTPOST, n. A post or messenger that travels on foot.

FOOTROPE, n. The lower boltrope, to which the lower edge of a sail is sewed. Also, a horse or rope to support men when reefing, etc.

FOOTROT, n. An ulcer in the feet of sheep.

FOOTSOLDIER, n. A soldier that serves on foot.

FOOTSTALK, n. [foot and stalk.] In botany, a petiole; a partial stem supporting the leaf, or connecting it with the stem or branch. Sometimes, but rarely, the same footstalk supports both the leaf and fructification, as in Turnera and Hibiscus.

FOOTSTALL, n. A woman’s stirrup.


1. A track; the mark or impression of the foot.

2. Token; mark; visible sign of a course pursued; as the footsteps of divine wisdom.

1. Footsteps, plural, example; as, follow the footsteps of good men.

2. Way; course. Psalm 77:19.

FOOTSTOOL, n. A stool for the feet; that which supports the feet of one when sitting.

To make enemies a footstool, is to reduce them to entire subjection. Psalm 110:1.

FOOTWALING, n. The whole inside planks or lining of a ship.

FOP, n. [The Latin voppa, a senseless fellow, is evidently from the same root, with the sense of emptiness or lightness.]

A vain man of weak understanding and much ostentation; one whose ambition is to gain admiration by showy dress and pertness; a gay trifling man; a coxcomb.

FOPDOODLE, n. An insignificant fellow. [Vulgar and not used.]

FOPLING, n. A petty fop.


1. Affectation of show or importance; showy folly; as the foppery of dress or of manners.

2. Folly; impertinence.

Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter my sober house.

3. Foolery; vain or idle practice; idle affectation.


1. Vain of dress; making an ostentatious display of gay clothing; dressing in the extreme of fashion.

2. Vain; trifling; affected in manners.

FOPPISHLY, adv. With vain ostentation of dress; in a trifling or affected manner.

FOPPISHNESS, n. Vanity and extravagance in dress; showy vanity.

FOR, prep. [L. per.; The English, for; to forbid. For corresponds in sense with the L. pro, as fore does with proe, but pro and proe are probably contracted from prod, proed. The Latin por, in composition, as in porrigo, is probably contracted from porro, Gr. which is the English far. The Gr. are from the same root. The radical sense of for is to go, to pass, to advance, to reach or stretch.]

1. Against; in the place of; as a substitute or equivalent, noting equal value or satisfactory compensation, either in barter and sale, in contract, or in punishment. “And Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for flocks, and for the cattle of the herds;” that is, according to the original, he gave them bread against horses like the Gr. Genesis 48:17.

Buy us and our land for bread. Genesis 47:19.

And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. Exodus 21:23, 24.

2. In the place of; instead of; noting substitution of persons, or agency of one in the place of another with equivalent authority. An attorney is empowered to act for his principal. Will you take a letter and deliver it for me at the post office? that is, in my place, or for my benefit.

3. In exchange of; noting one thing taken or given in place of another; as, to quit the profession of law for that of a clergyman.

4. In the place of; instead of; as, to translate a poem line for line.

5. In the character of; noting resemblance; a sense derived from substitution or standing in the place of, like in the Greek.

If a man can be fully assured of any thing for a truth, without having examined, what is there that he may not embrace for truth?

But let her go for an ungrateful woman.

I hear for certain, and do speak the truth.

He quivered with his feet and lay for dead.

6. Towards; with the intention of going to.

We sailed directly for Genoa, and had a fair wind.

So we say, a ship is bound for or to France.

7. In advantage of; for the sake of; on account of; that is, towards, noting use, benefit or purpose.

An ant is a wise creature for itself. Shall I think the world was made for one, and men are born for kings, as beasts for men, not for protection, but to be devoured.

8. Conducive to; beneficial to; in favor of.

It is for the general good of human society, and consequently of particular persons, to be true and just; and it is for men’s health to be temperate.

9. Leading or inducing to, as a motive.

There is a natural immutable, and eternal reason for that which we call virtue, and against that which we call vice.

10. Noting arrival, meeting, coming or possession. Wait patiently for an expected good. So in the phrases, looking for, staying for.

11. Towards the obtaining of; in order to the arrival at or possession of. After all our exertions, we depend on divine aid for success.

12. Against; in opposition to; with a tendency to resist and destroy; as a remedy for the headache or toothache. Alkalies are good for the heartburn. So we say, to provide clothes or stores for winter, or against winter.

13. Against or on account of; in prevention of.

She wrapped him close for catching cold.

And, for the time shall not seem tedious -

This use is nearly obsolete. The sense however is derived from meeting, opposing, as in number 12.

14. Because; on account of; by reason of. He cried out for anguish. I cannot go for want of time. For this cause, I cannot believe the report.

That which we for our unworthiness are afraid to crave, our prayer is, that God for the worthiness of his son would notwithstanding vouchsafe to grant.

Edward and Richard, with fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath, are at our backs.

How to choose dogs for scent or speed.

For as much as it is a fundamental law -

15. With respect or regard to; on the part of.

It was young counsel for the persons, and violent counsel for the matters.

Thus much for the beginning and progress of the deluge.

So we say, for me, for myself, or as for me, I have no anxiety, but for you I have apprehensions; all implying towards or on the side of.

16. Through a certain space; during a certain time; as, to travel for three days; to sail for seven weeks; he holds his office for life; he traveled on sand for ten miles together. These senses seem to imply passing, the proper sense of for.

17. In quest of; in order to obtain; as, to search for arguments; to recur to antiquity for examples. See number 11.

18. According to; as far as.

Chimists have not been able, for aught is vulgarly known, by fire alone to separate true sulphur from antimony.

19. Noting meeting, coming together, or reception. I am ready for you; that is, I am ready to meet or receive you.

20. Towards; of tendency to; as an inclination for drink.

21. In favor of; on the part or side of; that is, towards or inclined to. One is for a free government; another is for a limited monarchy.

Aristotle is for poetical justice.

22. With a view to obtain; in order to possess. He writes for money, or for fame; that is, towards meeting, or to have in return, as a reward.

23. Towards; with tendency to, or in favor of. It is for his honor to retire from office. It is for our quiet to have few intimate connections.

24. Notwithstanding; against; in opposition to. The fact may be so, for any thing that has yet appeared. The task is great, but for all that, I shall not be deterred from undertaking it. This is a different application of the sense of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4.

The writer will do what she pleases for all me.

25. For the use of; to be used in; that is, towards, noting advantage.

The oak for nothing ill, the osier good for twigs, the poplar for the mill.

26. In recompense of; in return of.

Now, for so many glorious actions done, for peace at home, and for the public wealth, I mean to crown a bowl for Caesar’s health. [See Number 1.]

27. In proportion to; or rather, looking towards, regarding. He is tall for one of his years, or tall for his age.

28. By means of.

Moral consideration can no way move the sensible appetite, were it not for the will.

29. By the want of.

The inhabitants suffered severely both for provisions and fuel.

30. For my life or heart, though my life were to be given in exchange, or as the price of purchase. I cannot, for my life, understand the man. Number 1.

31. For to, denoting purpose. For was anciently placed before the infinitives of verbs, and the use is correct, but now obsolete except in vulgar language. I came for to see you; pour vous voir.

FOR, con.

1. The word by which a reason is introduced of something before advanced. “That ye may be the children of your father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.” In such sentences, for has the sense of because, by reason that, as in Number 14; with this difference that in Number 14, the word precedes a single noun, and here it precedes a sentence or clause; but the phrase seems to be elliptical, for this cause or reason, which follows, he maketh his sun to rise, etc. In Romans 13:6, we find the word in both its applications, “For, for this cause ye pay tribute also -;” the first for referring to the sentence following; the latter to the noun cause.

2. Because; on this account that; properly, for that.

For as much, compounded, forasmuch, is equivalent to, in regard to that, in consideration of. Forasmuch as the thirst is intolerable, the patient may be indulged in a little drink.

FORAGE, n. [L. voro.]

1. Food of any kind for horses and cattle, as grass; pasture, hay, corn and oats.

2. The act of providing forage.

Col. Mawhood completed his forage unmolested.

If the forage is to be made at a distance from the camp -

3. Search for provisions; the act of feeding abroad.

FORAGE, v.i.

1. To collect food for horses and cattle, by wandering about and feeding or stripping the country.

2. To wander far; to rove. Obs.

3. To ravage; to feed on spoil.

FORAGE, v.t. To strip of provisions for horses, etc.

FORAGER, n. One that goes in search of food for horses or cattle.

FORAGING, ppr. or a. Collecting provisions for horses and cattle, or wandering in search of food; ravaging; stripping. The general sent out a foraging party, with a guard.

FORAGING, n. An inroad or incursion for forage or plunder.

FORAMINOUS, a. [L. foramen, a hole, from foro, to bore.]

Full of holes; perforated in many places; porous. [Little used.]

FOR, as a prefix to verbs, has usually the force of a negative or privative, denoting against, that is, before, or away, aside.

FORBAD, pret. of forbid.

FORBATHE, v.t. To bathe. [Not in use.]

FORBEAR, v.i. pret. forbore; pp. forborne.

1. To stop; to cease; to hold from proceeding; as, forbear to repeat these reproachful words.

2. To pause; to delay; as, forbear a while.

3. To abstain; to omit; to hold one’s self from motion or entering on an affair.

Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? 1 Kings 22:6.

4. To refuse; to decline.

Whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Ezekiel 2:5, 7.

5. To be patient; to restrain from action or violence. Proverbs 25:15.


1. To avoid voluntarily; to decline.

Forbear his presence.

2. To abstain from; to omit; to avoid doing. Learn from the scriptures what you ought to do and what to forbear.

Have we not power to forbear working? 1 Corinthians 9:6.

3. To spare; to treat with indulgence and patience.

Forbearing one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.

4. To withhold.

Forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. 2 Chronicles 35:21.


1. The act of avoiding, shunning or omitting; either the cessation or intermission of an act commenced, or a withholding from beginning an act. Liberty is the power of doing or forbearing an action, according as the doing or forbearance has a preference in the mind. The forbearance of sin is followed with satisfaction of mind.

2. Command of temper; restraint of passions.

3. The exercise of patience; long suffering; indulgence towards those who injure us; lenity; delay of resentment or punishment.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long suffering? Romans 2:4.

FORBEARER, n. One that intermits or intercepts.


1. Ceasing; pausing; withholding from action; exercising patience and indulgence.

2. a. Patient; long suffering.

FORBEARING, n. A ceasing or restraining from action; patience; long suffering.

FORBID, v.t. pret. forbad; pp. forbid, forbidden. Literally, to bid or command against. Hence,

1. To prohibit; to interdict; to command to forbear or not to do. The laws of God forbid us to swear. Good manners also forbid us to use profane language. All servile labor and idle amusements on the sabbath are forbidden.

2. To command not to enter; as, I have forbid him my house or presence. This phrase seems to be elliptical; to forbid from entering or approaching.

3. To oppose; to hinder; to obstruct. An impassable river forbids the approach of the army.

A blaze of glory that forbids the sight.

4. To accurse; to blast. Obs.

FORBID, v.i. To utter a prohibition; but in the intransitive form, there is always an ellipsis. I would go, but my state of health forbids, that is, forbids me to go, or my going.

1. Prohibited; as the forbidden fruit.

2. Hindered; obstructed.

FORBIDDANCE, n. Prohibition; command or edict against a thing. [Little used.]

FORBIDDENLY, adv. In an unlawful manner.

FORBIDDENNESS, n. A state of being prohibited. [Not used.]

FORBIDDER, n. He or that which forbids or enacts a prohibition.


1. Prohibiting; hindering.

2. a. Repelling approach; repulsive; raising abhorrence, aversion or dislike; disagreeable; as a forbidding aspect; a forbidding formality; a forbidding air.

FORBIDDING, n. Hindrance; opposition.

FORBORE, pret. of forebear.

FORBORNE, pp. of forbear.

Few ever repented of having forborne to speak.

FORCE, n. [L. fortis. All words denoting force, power, strength, are from verbs which express straining, or driving, rushing, and this word has the elements of L. vireo.]

1. Strength; active power; vigor; might; energy that may be exerted; that physical property in a body which may produce action or motion in another body, or may counteract such motion. By the force of the muscles we raise a weight, or resist an assault.

2. Momentum; the quantity of power produced by motion or the action of one body on another; as the force of a cannon ball.

3. That which causes an operation or moral effect; strength; energy; as the force of the mind, will or understanding.

4. Violence; power exerted against will or consent; compulsory power. Let conquerors consider that force alone can keep what force as obtained.

5. Strength; moral power to convince the mind. There is great force in an argument.

6. Virtue; efficacy. No presumption or hypothesis can be of force enough to overthrow constant experience.

7. Validity; power to bind or hold. If the conditions of a covenant are not fulfilled, the contract is of no force. A testament is of force after the testator is dead. Hebrews 9:17.

8. Strength or power for war; armament; troops; an army or navy; as a military or naval force: sometimes in the plural; as military forces.

9. Destiny; necessity; compulsion; any extraneous power to which men are subject; as the force of fate or of divine decrees.

10. Internal power; as the force of habit.

11. In law, any unlawful violence to person or property. This is simple, when no other crime attends it, as the entering into another’s possession, without committing any other unlawful act. It is compound, when some other violence or unlawful act is committed. The law also implies force, as when a person enters a house or inclosure lawfully, but afterwards does an unlawful act. In this case, the law supposes the first entrance to be for that purpose, and therefore by force.

Physical force, is the force of material bodies.

Moral force, is the power of acting on the reason in judging and determining.

Mechanical force, is the power that belongs to bodies at rest or in motion. The pressure or tension of bodies at rest is called a mechanical force, and so is the power of a body in motion. There is also the force of gravity or attraction, centrifugal and centripetal forces, expansive force, etc.

FORCE, v.t.

1. To compel; to constrain to do or to forbear, by the exertion of a power not resistible. Men are forced to submit to conquerors. Masters force their slaves to labor.

2. To overpower by strength.

I should have forced thee soon with other arms.

3. To impel; to press; to drive; to draw or push by main strength; a sense of very extensive use; as, to force along a wagon or a ship; to force away a man’s arms; water forces its way through a narrow channel; a man may be forced out of his possessions.

4. To enforce; to urge; to press.

Forcing my strength, and gathering to the shore.

5. To compel by strength of evidence; as, to force conviction on the mind; to force one to acknowledge the truth of a proposition.

6. To storm; to assault and take by violence; as, to force a town or fort.

7. To ravish; to violate by force, as a female.

8. To overstrain; to distort; as a forced conceit.

9. To cause to produce ripe fruit prematurely, as a tree; or to cause to ripen prematurely, as fruit.

10. To man; to strengthen by soldiers; to garrison. Obs.

To force from, to wrest from; to extort.

To force out, to drive out; to compel to issue out or to leave; also, to extort.

To force wine, is to fine it by a short process, or in a short time.

To force plants, is to urge the growth of plants by artificial heat.

To force meat, is to stuff it.

FORCE, v.i.

1. To lay stress on. Obs.

2. To strive. Obs.

3. To use violence.


1. Compelled; impelled; driven by violence; urged; stormed; ravished.

2. a. Affected; overstrained; unnatural; as a forced style.

FORCEDLY, adv. Violently; constrainedly; unnaturally. [Little used.]

FORCEDNESS, n. The state of being forced; distortion.


1. Impelled by violence; driven with force; acting with power.

Against the steed he threw his forceful spear.

2. Violent; impetuous.

FORCEFULLY, adv. Violently; impetuously.

FORCELESS, a. Having little or not force; feeble; impotent.

FORCEMEAT, n. A kind of stuffing in cookery.

FORCEPS, n. [L.] Literally, a pair of pinchers or tongs.

In surgery, an instrument for extracting any thing from a wound, and for like purposes.

A pair of scissors for cutting off or dividing the fleshy membranous parts of the body.


1. He or that which forces, drives or constrains.

2. The embolus of a pump; the instrument by which water is driven up a pump.


1. Powerful; strong; mighty; as a punishment forcible to bridle sin.

2. Violent; impetuous; driving forward with force; as a forcible stream.

3. Efficacious; active; powerful.

Sweet smells are most forcible in dry substances when broken.

4. Powerful; acting with force; impressive; as forcible words or arguments.

5. Containing force; acting by violence; as forcible means.

6. Done by force; suffered by force. The abdication of James, his advocates hold to have been forcible.

7. Valid; binding; obligatory. [Not used.]

8. In law, forcible entry is an actual violent entry into houses or lands.

Forcible detainer, is a violent withholding of the lands, etc. of another from his possession.

Forcible abduction, is the act of taking away wrongfully, as a child without the consent of the father, a ward without the consent of the guardian, or any person contrary to his or her will.

FORCIBLENESS, n. Force; violence.


1. By violence or force.

2. Strongly; powerfully; with power or energy; impressively.

The gospel offers such considerations as are fit to work very forcibly on our hopes and fears.

3. Impetuously; violently; with great strength; as a stream rushing forcibly down a precipice.


1. Compelling; impelling; driving; storming; ravishing.

2. Causing to ripen before the natural season, as fruit; or causing to produce ripe fruit prematurely, as a tree.

3. Fining wine by a speedy process.


1. In gardening, the art of raising plants, flowers, and fruits, at an earlier season than the natural one, by artificial heat.

2. The operation of fining wines by a speedy process.

FORCIPATED, a. [from forceps.] Formed like a pair of pinchers to open and inclose; as a forcipated mouth.

FORD, n.

1. A place in a river or other water, where it may be passed by man or beast on foot, or by wading.

2. A stream; a current.

Permit my ghost to pass the Stygian ford.

FORD, v.t. To pass or cross a river or other water by treading or walking on the bottom; to pass through water by wading; to wade through.

FORDABLE, a. That may be waded or passed through on foot, as water.

FORDED, pp. Passed through on foot; waded.

FORDING, ppr. Wading; passing through on foot as water.

FORDO, v.t. To destroy; to undo; to ruin; to weary. [Not in use.]

FORE, a.

1. Properly, advanced, or being in advance of something in motion or progression; as the fore end of a chain carried in measuring land; the fore oxen or horses in a team.

2. Advanced in time; coming in advance of something; coming first; anterior; preceding; prior; as the fore part of the last century; the fore part of the day, week or year.

3. Advanced in order or series; antecedent; as the fore part of a writing or bill.

4. Being in front or towards the face; opposed to back or behind; as the fore part of a garment.

5. Going first; usually preceding the other part; as the fore part of a ship, or of a coach.

FORE, adv. In the part that precedes or goes first.

In seamen’s language, fore and aft signifies the whole length of the ship, or from end to end, from stem to stern.

Fore, in composition, denotes, for the most part, priority of time; sometimes, advance in place.

For the etymologies of the compounds of fore, see the principal word.

FOREADMONISH, v.t. To admonish beforehand, or before the act or event.

FOREADVISE, v.t. s as z To advise or counsel before the time of action or before the event; to preadmonish.

FOREALLEDGE, v.t. foreallej’. To alledge or cite before.

FOREAPPOINT, v.t. To set, order or appoint beforehand.

FOREAPPOINTMENT, n. Previous appointment; preordination.

FOREARM, v.t. To arm or prepare for attack or resistance before the time of need.


1. To foretell; to prognosticate.

2. To foreknow; to be prescient of; to feel a secret sense of something future; as, my heart forebodes a sad reverse.

FOREBODEMENT, n. A presaging; presagement.


1. One who forebodes; a prognosticator; a soothsayer.

2. A foreknower.

FOREBODING, ppr. Prognosticating; foretelling; foreknowing.

FOREBODING, n. Prognostication.

FOREBRACE, n. A rope applied to the fore yard-arm to change the position of the foresail.

FOREBY, prep. [fore and by.] Near; hard by; fast by. Obs.


1. To foresee; to provide against.

It is wisdom to forecast consequences.

2. To scheme; to plan before execution.

He shall forecast his devices against the strong holds. Daniel 11:24.

3. To adjust; contrive or appoint beforehand

The time so well forecast.

FORECAST, v.i. To form a scheme previously; to contrive beforehand.

Forecasting how his foe he might annoy.

FORECAST, n. Previous contrivance; foresight, or the antecedent determination proceeding from it; as a man of little forecast.

FORECASTER, n. One who foresees or contrives beforehand.

FORECASTING, ppr. Contriving previously.

FORECASTLE, n. A short deck in the forepart of a ship above the upper deck usually terminated in ships of war with a breast-work; the foremost part forming the top of the beak-head, and the hind part reaching to the after part of the fore chains.

FORECHOSEN, a. forcho’zn. Preelected; chosen beforehand.

FORECITED, a. Cited or quoted before or above.

FORECLOSE, v.t. s as z. To shut up; to preclude; to stop; to prevent.

The embargo with Spain foreclosed this trade.

To foreclose a mortgager, in law, is to cut him off from his equity of redemption, or the power of redeeming the mortgaged premises, by a judgment of court.

[To foreclose a mortgage is not technically correct, but is often used.]

FORECLOSURE, n. s as z.

1. Prevention.

2. The act of foreclosing, or depriving a mortgager of the right of redeeming a mortgaged estate.

FORECONCEIVE, v.t. To preconceive.

FOREDATE, v.t. To date before the true time.

FOREDATED, pp. Dated before the true time.