Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



FORESPEECH, n. A preface. [Not used.]


1. Wasted in strength; tired; exhausted.

2. Past; as life forespent. [Little used.]

FORESPURRER, n. One that rides before. [Not used.]

FOREST, n. [L. foris.]

1. An extensive wood, or a large tract of land covered with trees. In America, the word is usually applied to a wood of native growth, or a tract of woodland which has never been cultivated. It differs from wood or woods chiefly in extent. We read of the Hercynian forest, in Germany, and the forest of Ardennes, in France or Gaul.

2. In law, in Great Britain, a certain territory of woody grounds and pastures, privileged for wild beasts and fowls of forest, chase and warren, to rest and abide in, under the protection of the king, for his pleasure. In this sense, the word has no application in America.

Forest laws, laws for governing and regulating forests, and preserving game.

FOREST, v.t. To cover with trees or wood.

FORESTAFF, n. An instrument used at sea, for taking the altitudes of heavenly bodies; called also cross-staff.

FORESTAGE, n. An ancient service paid by foresters to the king; also, the right of foresters.

FORESTALL, v.t. [See Stall.]

1. To anticipate; to take beforehand.

Why need a man forestall his date of grief, and run to meet what he would most avoid?

2. To hinder by preoccupation or prevention.

I will not forestall your judgment of the rest.

3. In law, to buy or bargain for corn, or provisions of any kind, before they arrive at the market or fair, with intent to sell them at higher prices. This is a penal offense.

4. To deprive by something prior. [Not in use.]

FORESTALLED, pp. Anticipated; hindered; purchased before arrival in market.

FORESTALLER, n. One who forestalls; a person who purchases provisions before they come to the fair or market, with a view to raise the price.

FORESTALLING, ppr. Anticipating; hindering; buying provisions before they arrive in market, with intent to sell them at high prices.

FORESTALLING, n. Anticipation; prevention; the act of buying provisions before they are offered in market, with intent to sell them at higher prices.

FORESTAY, n. In a ship’s rigging, a large strong rope reaching from the foremast head towards the bowsprit end, to support the mast.

FORESTED, pp. Covered with trees; wooded.


1. In England, an officer appointed to watch a forest, preserve the game, and institute suits for trespasses.

2. An inhabitant of a forest.

3. A forest tree.

FORESWAT, a. [See Sweat.] Exhausted by heat. Obs.

FORETACKLE, n. The tackle on the foremast.

FORETASTE, n. A taste beforehand; anticipation. The pleasures of piety are a foretaste of heaven.


1. To taste before possession; to have previous enjoyment or experience of something; to anticipate.

2. To taste before another.

FORETASTED, pp. Tasted beforehand or before another.

FORETASTER, n. One that tastes beforehand or before another.

FORETASTING, ppr. Tasting before.

FORETEACH, v.t. To teach beforehand.


1. To predict; to tell before an event happens; to prophesy.

2. To foretoken; to foreshow.

FORETELL, v.i. To utter prediction or prophecy.

All the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Acts 3:24.

FORETELLER, n. One who predicts or prophesies; a foreshower.

FORETELLING, n. Prediction.


1. To think beforehand; to anticipate in the mind.

The soul of every man perpetually does forethink thy fall.

2. To contrive beforehand.

FORETHINK, v.i. To contrive beforehand.

FORETHOUGHT, forethaut’. pret. of forething.

FORETHOUGHT, n. fo’rethaut.

1. A thinking beforehand; anticipation; prescience; premeditation.

2. Provident care.

FORETOKEN, v.t. To foreshew; to presignify; to prognosticate.

Whilst strange prodigious signs foretoken blood.

FORETOKEN, n. Prognostic; previous sign.

FORETOOTH, n. plu. foreteeth. One of the teeth in the forepart of the mouth; an incisor.


1. The hair on the forepart of the head.

2. That part of a woman’s headdress that is forward, or the top of a periwig.

3. In ships, the platform erected at the head of the foremast. In this sense, the accent on the two syllables is nearly equal.

FORETOP-MAST, n. The mast erected at the head of the foremast, and at the head of which stands the foretop-gallant-mast.

FOREVOUCHED, pp. Affirmed before; formerly told.

FOREWORD, n. The van; the front.

FOREWARN, v.t. forewaurn’.

1. To admonish beforehand.

I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Luke 12:5.

2. To inform previously; to give previous notice.

3. To caution beforehand.

FOREWARNED, pp. Admonished, cautioned or informed beforehand.

FOREWARNING, ppr. Previously admonishing or informing.

FOREWARNING, n. Previous admonition, caution or notice.

FOREWEND, v.t. To go before. Obs.

FOREWISH, v.t. To wish beforehand.

FOREWOMAN, n. A woman who is chief; the head woman.

FOREWORN, pp. [See Wear.] Worn out; wasted or obliterated by time or use.

FORFEIT, v.t. for’fit. [Low L. forisfacere, from L. foris, out or abroad, and facio, to make.]

To lose or render confiscable, by some fault, offense or crime; to lose the right to some species of property or that which belongs to one; to alienate the right to possess by some neglect or crime; as, to forfeit an estate by a breach of the condition of tenure or by treason. By the ancient laws of England, a man forfeited his estate by neglecting or refusing to fulfill the conditions on which it was granted to him, or by a breach of fealty. A man now forfeits his estate by committing treason. A man forfeits his honor or reputation by a breach of promise, and by any criminal or disgraceful act. Statutes declare that by certain acts a man shall forfeit a certain sum of money. Under the feudal system, the right to the land forfeited, vested in the lord or superior. In modern times, the right to things forfeited is generally regulated by statutes; it is vested in the state, in corporations, or in prosecutors or informers, or partly in the state or a corporation, and partly in an individual.

The duelist, to secure the reputation of bravery, forfeits the esteem of good men, and the favor of heaven.

FORFEIT, n. for’fit. [Low L. forisfactura.]

1. That which is forfeited or lost, or the right to which is alienated by a crime, offense, neglect of duty, or breach of contract; hence, a fine; a mulet; a penalty. He that murders pays the forfeit of his life. When a statute creates a penalty for a transgression, either in money or in corporal punishment, the offender who, on conviction, pays the money or suffers the punishment, pays the forfeit.

2. One whose life is forfeited. [Not in use.]

FORFEIT, part. a. used for forfeited. Lost or alienated for an offense or crime; liable to penal seizure.

And his long toils were forfeit for a look.

FORFEITABLE, a. Liable to be forfeited; subject to forfeiture.

For the future, uses shall be subject to the statutes of mortmain, and forfeitable like the lands themselves.

FORFEITED, pp. Lost or alienated by an offense, crime or breach of condition.

FORFEITING, ppr. Alienating or losing, as a right by an offense, crime or breach of condition.


1. The act of forfeiting; the losing of some right, privilege, estate, honor, office or effects, by an offense, crime, breach of condition or other act. In regard to property, forfeiture is a loss of the right to possess, but not generally the actual possession, which is to be transferred by some subsequent process. In the feudal system, a forfeiture of lands gave him in reversion or remainder a right to enter.

2. That which is forfeited; an estate forfeited; a fine or mulet. The prince enriched his treasury by fines and forfeitures.

FORFEX, n. [L.] A pair of scissors.

FORGAVE, pret. of forgive, which see.

FORGE, n. [L. ferrum, iron.]

1. A furnace in which iron or other metal is heated and hammered into form. A larger forge is called with us iron-works. Smaller forges consisting of a bellows so placed as to cast a stream of air upon ignited coals, are of various forms and users. Armies have travelling forges, for repairing gun-carriages, etc.

2. Any place where any thing is made or shaped.

3. The act of beating or working iron or steel; the manufacture of metalline bodies.

In the greater bodies the forge was easy.

FORGE, v.t.

1. To form by heating and hammering; to beat into any particular shape, as a metal.

2. To make by any means.

Names that the schools forged, and put into the mouths of scholars.

3. To make falsely; to falsify; to counterfeit; to make in the likeness of something else; as, to forge coin; to forge a bill of exchange or a receipt.

FORGED, pp. Hammered; beaten into shape; made; counterfeited.


1. One that makes or forms.

2. One who counterfeits; a falsifier.


1. The act of forging or working metal into shape. In this sense, rarely or never now used.

2. The act of falsifying; the crime of counterfeiting; as the forgery of coin, or of bank notes, or of a bond. Forgery may consist in counterfeiting a writing, or in setting a false name to it, to the prejudice of another person.

3. That which is forged or counterfeited. Certain letters, purporting to be written by Gen. Washington, during the revolution, were forgeries.

FORGET, v.t. pret. forgot. [forgat, Obs.]

1. To lose the remembrance of; to let go from the memory.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2.

2. To slight; to neglect.

Can a woman forget her sucking child? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Isaiah 49:15.


1. Apt to forget; easily losing the remembrance of. A forgetful man should use helps to strengthen his memory.

2. Heedless; careless; neglectful; inattentive.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers. Hebrews 13:2.

3. Causing to forget; inducing oblivion; oblivious; as forgetful draughts.


1. The quality of losing the remembrance or recollection of a thing; or rather, the quality of being apt to let any thing slip from the mind.

2. Loss of remembrance or recollection; a ceasing to remember; oblivion.

A sweet forgetfulness of human care.

3. Neglect; negligence; careless omission; inattention; as forgetfulness of duty.

FORGETTER, n. One that forgets; a heedless person.

FORGETTING, ppr. Losing the remembrance of.

FORGETTING, n. The act of forgetting; forgetfulness; inattention.

FORGETTINGLY, adv. By forgetting or forgetfulness.

FORGIVABLE, a. [See Forgive.] That may be pardoned.

FORGIVE, v.t. forgiv’. pret. forgave; pp. forgiven. [L. remitto. See Give.]

1. To pardon; to remit, as an offense or debt; to overlook an offense, and treat the offender as not guilty. The original and proper phrase is to forgive the offense, to send it away, to reject it, that is, not to impute it, [put it to] the offender. But by an easy transition, we also use the phrase, to forgive the person offending.

Forgive us our debts.

If we forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14.

As savages never forget a favor, so they never forgive an injury.

It is to be noted that pardon, like forgive, may be followed by the name or person, and by the offense; but remit can be followed by the offense only. We forgive or pardon the man, but we do not remit him.

2. To remit as a debt, fine or penalty.

FORGIVEN, pp. Pardoned remitted.

FORGIVENESS, n. forgiv’ness.

1. The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty. The forgiveness of enemies is a christian duty.

2. The pardon or remission of an offense or crime; as the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.

3. Disposition to pardon; willingness to forgive.

And mild forgiveness intercede to stop the coming blow.

4. Remission of a debt, fine or penalty.

FORGIVER, n. One who pardons or remits.


1. Pardoning; remitting.

2. a. Disposed to forgive; inclined to overlook offenses; mild; merciful; compassionate; as a forgiving temper.

FORGOT, FORGOTTEN, pp. of forget.

FORHAIL, v.t. To draw or distress. [Not used.]

FORINSECAL, a. [L. forinsecus.] foreign; alien. [Little used.]

FORISFAMILIATE, v.t. [L. foris, without, and familia, family.]

To renounce a legal title to a further share of paternal inheritance. Literally, to put one’s self out of the family.

FORISFAMILIATION, n. When a child has received a portion of his father’s estate, and renounces all title to a further shar, his act is called forisfamiliation, and he is said to be forisfamiliated.

FORK, n. [L. furca.]

1. an instrument consisting of a handle, and a blade of metal, divided into two or more points or prongs, used for lifting or pitching any thing; as a tablefork for feeding; a pitchfork; a dungfork, etc. forks are also made of ivory, wood or other material.

2. A point; as a thunderbolt with three forks. Shakespeare uses it for the point of an arrow.

3. Forks, in the plural, the point where a road parts into two; and the point where a river divides, or rather where two rivers meet and unite in one stream. Each branch is called a fork.

FORK, v.i.

1. To shoot into blades, as corn.

2. to divide into two; as, a road forks.

FORK, v.t.

1. to raise or pitch with a fork, as hay.

2. To dig and break ground with a fork.

3. To make sharp; to point.


1. Raised, pitched or dug with a fork.

2. a. Opening into two or more parts, points or shoots; as a forked tongue; the forked lightning.

3. Having two or more meanings. [Not in use.]

FORKEDLY, adv. In a forked form.

FORKEDNESS, n. The quality of opening into two or more parts.

FORKHEAD, n. the point of an arrow.

FORKTAIL, n. A salmon, in his fourth year’s growth. [Local.]

FORKY, a. Forked; furcated; opening into two or more parts, shoots or points; as a forky tongue.

FORLORE, a. Forlorn. [Not in use.]


1. Deserted; destitute; stripped or deprived; forsaken. Hence, lost; helpless; wretched; solitary.

Of fortune and of hope at once forlorn.

To live again in these wild woods forlorn.

For here forlorn and lost I tread.

2. Taken away. Obs.

When as night hath us of light forlorn.

3. Small; despicable; in a ludicrous sense.

Forlorn hope, properly, a desperate case; hence in military affairs, a detachment of men appointed to lead in an assault, to storm a counterscarp, enter a breach, or perform other service attended with uncommon peril.

FORLORN, n. A lost, forsaken, solitary person.

FORLORNNESS, n. Destitution; misery; a forsaken or wretched condition.

FORLYE, v.i. To lye before. [Not used.]

FORM, n. [L. forma.]

1. The shape or external appearance of a body; the figure, as defined by lines and angles; that manner of being peculiar to each body, which exhibits it to the eye as distinct from every other body. Thus we speak of the form of a circle, the form of a square or triangle, a circular form, the form of the head or of the human body, a handsome form, an ugly form, a frightful form.

Matter is the basis or substratum of bodies, form is the particular disposition of matter in each body which distinguishes its appearance from that of every other body.

The form of his visage was changed. Daniel 3:19.

After that he appeared in another form to two of them, as they walked. Mark 16:12.

2. Manner of arranging particulars; disposition of particular things; as a form of words or expressions.

3. Model; draught; pattern.

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me. 2 Timothy 1:13.

4. Beauty; elegance; splendor; dignity.

He hath no form nor comeliness. Isaiah 53:2.

5. Regularity; method; order. This is a rough draught to be reduced to form.

6. External appearance without the essential qualities; empty show.

7. Stated method; established practice; ritual or prescribed mode; as the forms of public worship; the forms of judicial proceeding; forms of civility.

8. Ceremony; as, it is a mere matter of form.

9. Determinate shape.

The earth was without form, and void. Genesis 1:2.

10. Likeness; image.

Who, being in the form of God - Philippians 2:6.

He took on him the form of a servant.

11. Manner; system; as a form of government; a monarchical or republican form.

12. Manner of arrangement; disposition of component parts; as the interior form or structure of the flesh or bones, or of other bodies.

13. A long seat; a bench without a back.

14. In schools, a class; a rank of students.

15. The seat or bed of a hare.

16. A mold; something to give shape, or on which things are fashioned.

17. In printing, an assemblage of types, composed and arranged in order, disposed into pages or columns, and inclosed and locked in a chase, to receive an impression.

18. Essential form, is that mode of existence which constitutes a thing what it is, and without which it could not exist. Thus water and light have each its particular form of existence, and the parts of water being decomposed, it ceases to be water. Accidental form is not necessary to the existence of a body. Earth is earth still, whatever may be its color.

FORM, v.t. [L. formo.]

1. To make or cause to exist.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground. Genesis 2:7.

2. To shape; to mold or fashion into a particular shape or state; as, to form an image of stone or clay.

3. To plan; to scheme; to modify.

4. To arrange; to combine in a particular manner; as, to form a line or square of troops.

5. To adjust; to settle.

Our differences with the Romanists are thus formed into an interest -

6. To contrive; to invent; as, to form a design or scheme.

7. To make; up; to frame; to settle by deductions of reason; as, to form an opinion or judgment; to form an estimate.

8. To mold; to model by instruction and discipline; as, to form the mind to virtuous habits by education.

9. To combine; to unite individuals into a collective body; as, to form a society for missions.

10. To make; to establish. The subscribers are formed by law into a corporation. They have formed regulations for their government.

11. To compile; as, to form a body of laws or customs; to form a digest.

12. To constitute; to make. Duplicity forms no part of his character. These facts form a safe foundation for our conclusions. The senate and house of representatives form the legislative body.

13. In grammar, to make by derivation, or by affixes or prefixes. L. do, in the preterit, forms dedi.

14. To enact; to make; to ordain; as, to form a law or an edict.

FORM, v.i. To take a form.


1. According to form; agreeable to established mode; regular; methodical.

2. Strictly ceremonious; precise; exact to affectation; as a man formal in his dress, his gait or deportment.

3. Done in due form, or with solemnity; express; according to regular method; not incidental, sudden or irregular. He gave his formal consent to the treaty.

4. Regular; methodical; as the formal stars.

5. Having the form or appearance without the substance or essence; external; as formal duty; formal worship.

6. Depending on customary forms.

Still in constraint your suffering sex remains, or bound in formal or in real chains.

7. Having the power of making a thing what it is; constituent; essential.

Of letters the material part is breath and voice; the formal is constituted by the motions and figure of the organs of speech.

8. Retaining its proper and essential characteristic; regular; proper.

To make of him a formal man again.

FORMALISM, n. Formality. [The latter is generally used.]


1. One who observes forms, or practices external ceremonies. More generally,

2. One who regards appearances only, or observes the forms of worship, without possessing the life and spirit of religion; a hypocrite. A grave face and the regular practice of ceremonies have often gained to a formalist the reputation of piety.


1. The practice or observance of forms.

Formalities of extraordinary zeal and piety are never more studied and elaborate then in desperate designs.

2. Ceremony; mere conformity to customary modes.

Nor was his attendance on divine offices a matter of formality and custom, but of conscience.

3. Established order; rule of proceeding; mode; method; as the formalities of judicial process; formalities of law.

4. Order; decorum to be observed; customary mode of behavior.

5. Customary mode of dress; habit; robe.

6. External appearance.

7. Essence; the quality which constitutes a thing what it is.

The formality of the vow lies in the promise made to God.

8. In the schools, the manner in which a thing is conceived; or a manner in an object, importing a relation to the understanding, by which it may be distinguished from another object. Thus animality and rationality are formalities.

FORMALIZE, v.t. To model. [Not used.]

FORMALIZE, v.i. To affect formality. [Little used.]


1. According to established form, rule, order, rite or ceremony. A treaty was concluded and formally ratified by both parties.

2. Ceremoniously; stiffly; precisely; as, to be stiff and formally reserved.

3. In open appearance; in a visible and apparent state.

You and your followers do stand formally divided against the authorized guides of the church, and the rest of the people.

4. Essentially; characteristically.

That which formally makes this [charity] a christian grace, is the spring from which it flows.

FORMATION, n. [L. formatio.]

1. The act of forming or making; the act of creating or causing to exist; or more generally, the operation of composing, by bringing materials together, or of shaping and giving form; as the formation of the earth; the formation of a state or constitution.

2. Generation; production; as the formation of ideas.

3. The manner in which a thing is formed. Examine the peculiar formation of the heart.

4. In grammar, the act or manner of forming one word from another, as controller from control.

5. In geology, formation may signify a single mass of one kind of rock, more or less extensive, or a collection of mineral substances, formed by the same agent, under the same or similar circumstances; or it may convey the idea, that certain masses or collections of minerals were formed not only by the same agent, but also at the same time. In this latter sense the term is almost always employed.


1. Giving form; having the power of giving form; plastic.

The meanest plant cannot be raised without seeds, by any formative power residing in the soil.

2. In grammar, serving to form; derivative; not radical; as a termination merely formative.

FORMED, pp. Made; shaped; molded; planned; arranged; combined; enacted; constituted.

FORMEDON, n. [forma doni.] A writ for the recovery of lands by statute of Westminister.

FORMER, n. He that forms; a maker; an author.

FORMER, a. comp. deg.

1. Before in time; preceding another or something else in order of time; opposed to latter.

Her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled. Deuteronomy 24:4.

2. Past, and frequently ancient, long past.

For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age. Job 8:8.

3. Near the beginning; preceding; as the former part of a discourse or argument.

4. Mentioned before another.

A bad author deserves better usage than a bad critic; a man may be the former merely through the misfortune of want of judgment; but he cannot be the latter without both that and an ill temper.

FORMERLY, adv. In time past, either in time immediately preceding, or at any indefinite distance; of old; heretofore. We formerly imported slaves from Africa. Nations formerly made slaves of prisoners taken in war.

FORMFUL, a. Ready to form; creative; imaginative.

FORMIATE, n. [from L. formica, an ant.] A neutral salt, composed of the formic acid and a base.

FORMIC, a. [L. formica, an ant.] Pertaining to ants; as the formic acid, the acid of ants.

FORMICATION, n. [L. formicatio, from formico, or formica, an ant.]

A sensation of the body resembling that made by the creeping of ants on the skin.

FORMIDABLE, a. [L. formidabilis, from formido, fear.]

Exciting fear or apprehension; impressing dread; adapted to excite fear and deter from approach, encounter or undertaking. It expresses less than terrible, terrific, tremendous, horrible, and frightful.

They seemed to fear the formidable sight.

I swell my preface into a volume, and make it formidable, when you see so many pages behind.

FORMIDABLENESS, n. The quality of being formidable, or adapted to excite dread.

FORMIDABLY, adv. In a manner to impress fear.

FORMLESS, a. [from form.] Shapeless; without a determinate form; wanting regularity of shape.


1. A prescribed form; a rule or model.

2. In medicine, a prescription.

3. In church affairs, a confession of faith.

4. In mathematics, a general expression for resolving certain cases or problems.

FORMULARY, n. [from L. formula.]

1. A book containing stated and prescribed forms, as of oaths, declarations, prayers and the like; a book of precedents.

2. Prescribed form.

FORMULARY, a. Stated; prescribed; ritual.

FORNICATE, FORNICATED, a. [L. fornicatus, from fornix, an arch.] Arched; vaulted like an oven or furnace.

FORNICATE, v.i. [L. fornicor, from fornix, a brothel.]

To commit lewdness, as an unmarried man or woman, or as a married man with an unmarried woman.

If a brahman fornicate with a Nayr woman, he shall not thereby lose his cast.