Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



GAVELOCK, n. An iron crow.

GAVILAN, n. A species of hawk in the Philippine isles; the back and wings yellow; the belly white.

GAVOT, n. A kind of dance, the air of which has two brisk and lively strains in common time, each of which is played twice over. The first has usually four or eight bars, and the second contains eight, twelve or more.

GAWBY, n. A dunce. [Not in use.]

GAWK, n.

1. A cuckoo.

2. A fool; a simpleton. [In both senses, it is retained in Scotland.]

GAWKY, a. Foolish; awkward; clumsy; clownish. [In this sense it is retained in vulgar use in America.]

GAWKY, n. A stupid, ignorant, awkward fellow.

GAY, a.

1. Merry; airy; jovial; sportive; frolicksome. It denotes more life and animation than cheerful.

Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay.

2. Fine; showy; as a gay dress.

3. Inflamed or merry with liquor; intoxicated; a vulgar use of the word in America.

GAY, n. An ornament. [Not used.]


1. Merriment; mirth; airiness; as a company full of gayety.

2. Act of juvenile pleasure; the gayeties of youth.

3. Finery; show; as the gayety of dress.

GAYLY, adv. Merrily; with mirth and frolick.

1. Finely; splendidly; pompously; as ladies gayly dressed; a flower gayly blooming.

GAYNESS, n. Gayety; finery.

GAYSOME, a. Full of gayety. [Little used.]

GAZE, v.i. [Gr. to be astonished, and Heb. to see or look, that is, to fix the eye or to reach with the eye.]

To fix the eyes and look steadily and earnestly; to look with eagerness or curiosity; as in admiration, astonishment, or in study.

A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind.

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Acts 1:11.

GAZE, v.t. To view with fixed attention.

And gazed awhile the ample sky.

[It is little used as a transitive verb.]

GAZE, n. A fixed look; a look of eagerness, wonder or admiration; a continued look of attention.

With secret gaze,

Or open admiration, him behold--

1. The object gazed on; that which causes one to gaze.

Made of my enemies the scorn and gaze.

GAZEFUL, a. Looking with a gaze; looking intently.

GAZEHOUND, n. A hound that pursues by the sight rather than by the scent.

GAZEL, n. An animal of Africa and India, of the genus Antilope. It partakes of the nature of the goat and the deer. Like the goat, the gazel has hollow permanent horns, and it feeds on shrubs; but in size and delicacy, and in the nature and color of its hair, it resembles the roe-buck. It has cylindrical horns, most frequently annulated at the base, and bunches of hair on its fore legs. It has a most brilliant, beautiful eye.

GAZEMENT, n. View. [Not in use.]

GAZER, n. One who gazes; one who looks steadily and intently, from delight, admiration or study.

GAZETTE, n. gazet’. A newspaper; a sheet or half sheet of paper containing an account of transactions and events of public or private concern, which are deemed important and interesting. The first gazette in England was published at Oxford in 1665. On the removal of the court to London, the title was changed to the London Gazette. It is now the official newspaper, and published on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

GAZETTE, v.t. gazet’. To insert in a gazette; to announce or publish in a gazette.

GAZETTED, pp. Published in a gazette.

GAZETTEER, n. A writer of news, or an officer appointed to publish news by authority.

1. The title of a newspaper.

2. A book containing a brief description of empires, kingdoms, cities, towns and rivers, in a country or in the whole world, alphabetically arranged; a book of topographical descriptions.

GAZING, ppr. [See Gaze.] Looking with fixed attention.

GAZINGSTOCK, n. A person gazed at with scorn or abhorrence; an object of curiosity or contempt.

GAZON, n. In fortification, pieces of turf used to line parapets and the traverses of galleries.

GEAD, [See Yead.]

GEAL, v.i. [L. gelo.] To congeal.

GEAR, n.

1. Apparatus; whatever is prepared; hence, habit; dress; ornaments.

Array thyself in her most gorgeous gear.

2. More generally, the harness or furniture of beasts; whatever is used in equipping horses or cattle for draught; tackle.

3. In Scotland, warlike accouterments; also, goods, riches.

4. Business; matters.

5. By seamen pronounced jears, which see.

GEAR, v.t. To dress; to put on gear; to harness.

GEARED, pp. Dressed; harnessed.

GEARING, ppr. Dressing; harnessing.

GEASON, n. s as z. Rare; uncommon; wonderful.

GEAT, n. The hole through which metal runs into a mold in castings.

GECK, n. A dupe.

GECK, v.t. To cheat, trick or gull.

GEE, JEE. A word used by teamsters, directing their teams to pass further to the right, or from the driver, when on the near side; opposed to hoi or haw.

GEESE, n. plu. of goose.

GEEST, n. Alluvial matter on the surface of land, not of recent origin.

GEHENNA, n. [Heb. ge-hinom, the valley of Hinom, in which was Tophet, where the Israelites sacrificed their children to Moloch. 2 Kings 23:10.]

This word has been used by the Jews as equivalent to hell, place of fire or torment and punishment, and the Greek word is rendered by our translators by hell and hell-fire. Matthew 18:9; Matthew 23:15.

GEHLENITE, n. [from Gehlen, the chimist.]

A mineral recently discovered, in the description of which authors are not perfectly agreed. According to the description and analysis of Fuchs, it appears to be a variety of idocrase; but according to the observations of Prof. Clarke, it is probably a new species.

GELABLE, a. [from L. gelu, frost, or gelo, to congeal.]

That may or can be congealed; capable of being converted into jelly.

GELATIN, n. [L. gelo, to congeal, to freeze.]

A concrete animal substance, transparent, and soluble slowly in cold water, but rapidly in warm water. With tannin, a yellowish white precipitate is thrown down from a solution of gelatin, which forms and elastic adhesive mass, not unlike vegetable gluten, and is a compound of tannin and gelatin.

GELATIN, GELATINOUS, a. Of the nature and consistence of gelatin; resembling jelly; viscous; moderately stiff and cohesive.

GELATINATE, v.i. To be converted into gelatin or into a substance like jelly.

Lapis lazuli, if calcined, does not effervesce, but gelatinates with the mineral acids.

GELATINATE, v.t. To convert into gelatin or into a substance resembling jelly.

GELATINATION, n. The act or process of converting or being turned into gelatin, or into a substance like jelly.

GELATINIZE, v.i. The same as gelatinate.

GELD, n. Money; tribute; compensation. This word is obsolete in English, but it occurs in old laws and law books in composition; as in Danegeld, or Danegelt, a tax imposed by the Danes; Weregeld, compensation for the life of a man, etc.

GELD, v.t. pret. gelded or gelt; pp. gelded or gelt.

1. To castrate; to emasculate.

2. To deprive of any essential part.

3. To deprive of any thing immodest or exceptionable.

GELDED, GELT, pp. Castrated; emasculated.

GELDER, n. One who castrates.

GELDER-ROSE. A plant, a species of Viburnum; also, a species of Spiraea.

GELDING, ppr. Castrating.

GELDING, n. A castrated animal, but chiefly a horse.

GELID, a. [L. gelidus, from gelo, to freeze.] Cold; very cold.

GELIDNESS, n. Coldness.

GELLY, n. [L. gelo, gelatus. It is now more generally written jelly.]

1. The inspissated juice of fruit boiled with sugar.

2. A viscous or glutinous substance; a gluey substance, soft, but cohesive. [See Jelly.]

GELT, pp. Of geld.

GELT, n. For gelding. [Not used.]
GELT, for gilt. Tinsel, or gilt surface. [Not used.]

GEM, n. [L. gemma.]

1. A bud. In botany, the bud or compendium of a plant, covered with scales to protect the rudiments from the cold of winter and other injuries; called the hybernacle or winter quarters of a plant.

2. A precious stone of any kind, as the ruby, topaz, emerald, etc.

GEM, v.t. To adorn with gems, jewels or precious stones.

1. To bespangle; as foliage gemmed with dew drops.

2. To embellish with detached beauties.

England is studded and gemmed with castles and palaces.

GEM, v.i. To bud; to germinate.

GEMARA, n. The second part of the Talmud or commentary on the Jewish laws.

GEMARIC, a. Pertaining to the Gemara.

GEMEL, n. [L. gemellus.] A pair; a term inheraldry.

GEMELLIPAROUS, a. [L. gemellus and pario.] Producing twins.

GEMINATE, v.t. [L. gemino.] To double. [Little used.]

GEMINATION, n. A doubling; duplication; repetition.

GEMINI, n. plu. [L.] Twins. In astronomy, a constellation or sign of the zodiac, representing Castor and Pollux. In the Britannic catalogue, it contains 85 stars.

GEMINOUS, a. [L. geminus.] Double; in pairs.

GEMINY, n. [supra.] Twins; a pair; a couple.

GEMMARY, a. [from gem.] Pertaining to gems or jewels.

GEMMATION, n. [L. gemmatio, from gemma.]

In botany, budding; the state, form or construction of the bud of plants, of the leaves, stipules, petioles or scales.

GEMMEOUS, a. [L. gemmeus.] Pertaining to gems; of the nature of gems; resembling gems.

GEMMIPAROUS, a. [L. gemma, a bud, and pario, to bear.]

Producing buds or gems.

GEMMULE, n. A little gem or bud.

GEMMY, a. Bright; glittering; full of gems.

1. Neat; spruce; smart.

GEMOTE, n. A meeting. [See Meet.]

GEMSBOK, n. The name given to a variety of the antelope.

GENDARM, n. In France, gens d`armes is the denomination given to a select body of troops, destined to watch over the interior public safety. In the singular, gendarme, as written by Lunier, is properly anglicized gendarm.

GENDARMERY, n. [supra.] The body of gendarms.

GENDER, n. [L. genus, from geno, gigno; Gr. to beget, or to be born; Eng. kind. Gr. a woman, a wife; Sans. gena, a wife, and genaga, a father. We have begin from the same root. See Begin and Can.]

1. Properly, kind; sort.

2. A sex, male or female. Hence,

3. In grammar, a difference in words to express distinction of sex; usually a difference of termination in nouns, adjectives and participles, to express the distinction of male and female. But although this was the original design of different terminations, yet in the progress of language, other words having no relation to one sex or the other, came to have genders assigned them by custom. Words expressing males are said to be of the masculine gender; those expressing females, of the feminine gender; and in some languages, words expressing things having no sex, are of the neuter or neither gender.

GENDER, v.t. To beget; but engender is more generally used.
GENDER, v.i. To copulate; to breed. Leviticus 19:19.

GENEALOGICAL, a. [from genealogy.]

1. Pertaining to the descent of persons or families; exhibiting the succession of families from a progenitor; as a genealogical table.

2. According to the descent of a person or family from an ancestor; as genealogical order.

GENEALOGIST, n. He who traces descents of persons or families.

GENEALOGIZE, v.i. To relate the history of descents.

GENEALOGY, n. [L. genealogia; Gr. race, and discourse; Eng. kind.]

1. An account or history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor; enumeration of ancestors and their children in the natural order of succession.

2. Pedigree; lineage; regular descent of a person or family from a progenitor.

GENERABLE, a. That may be engendered, begotten or produced.

GENERAL, a. [L. generalis, from genus, a kind.]

1. Properly, relating to a whole genus or kind; and hence, relating to a whole class or order. Thus we speak of a general law of the animal or vegetable economy. This word, though from genus, kind, is used to express whatever is common to an order, class, kind, sort or species, or to any company or association of individuals.

2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; as, it is not logical to draw a general inference or conclusion from a particular fact.

3. Lax in signification; not restrained or limited to a particular import; not specific; as a loose and general expression.

4. Public; common; relating to or comprehending the whole community; as the general interest or safety of a nation.

5. Common to many or the greatest number; as a general opinion; a general custom.

6. Not directed to a single object.

If the same thing be peculiarly evil, that general aversion will be turned into a particular hatred against it.

7. Having a relation to all; common to the whole. Adam, our general sire.

8. Extensive, though not universal; common; usual.

This word is prefixed or annexed to words, to express the extent of their application. Thus a general assembly is an assembly of a whole body, in fact or by representation. In Scotland, it is the whole church convened by its representatives. In America, a legislature is sometimes called a general assembly.

In logic, a general term is a term which is the sign of a general idea.

An attorney general, and a solicitor general, is an officer who conducts suits and prosecutions for the king or for a nation or state, and whose authority is general in the state or kingdom.

A vicar general has authority as vicar or substitute over a whole territory or jurisdiction.

An adjutant general assists the general of an army, distributes orders, receives returns, etc.

The word general thus annexed to a name of office, denotes chief or superior; as a commissary general, quarter-master general.

In the line, a general officer is one who commands an army, a division or a brigade.

GENERAL, n. The whole; the total; that which comprehends all or the chief part; opposed to particular.

In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals.

A history painter paints man in general.

1. In general, in the main; for the most part; not always or universally.

I have shown that he excels, in general, under each of these heads.

2. The chief commander of an army. But to distinguish this officer from other generals, he is often called general in chief. The officer second in rank is called lieutenant general.

3. The commander of a division of an army or militia, usually called a major general.

4. The commander of a brigade, called a brigadier general.

5. A particular beat of drum or march, being that which, in the morning, gives notice for the infantry to be in readiness to march.

6. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations established under the same rule.

7. The public; the interest of the whole; the vulgar. [Not in use.]

GENERALISSIMO, n. The chief commander of an army or military force.

1. The supreme commander; sometimes a title of honor; as Alexander generalissimo of Greece.


1. The state of being general; the quality of including species or particulars.

2. The main body; the bulk; the greatest part; as the generality of a nation or of mankind.

GENERALIZATION, n. The act of extending from particulars to generals; the act of making general.

GENERALIZE, v.t. To extend from particulars or species to genera, or to whole kinds or classes; to make general, or common to a number.

Copernicus generalized the celestial motions, by merely referring them to the moon’s motion. Newton generalized them still more, by referring this last to the motion of a stone through the air.

1. To reduce to a genus.

GENERALLY, adv. In general; commonly; extensively, though not universally; most frequently, but not without exceptions. A hot summer generally follows a cold winter. Men are generally more disposed to censure than to praise, as they generally suppose it easier to depress excellence in others than to equal or surpass it by elevating themselves.

1. In the main; without detail; in the whole taken together.

Generally speaking, they live very quietly.

GENERALNESS, n. Wide extent, though short of universality; frequency; commonness.

GENERALSHIP, n. The skill and conduct of a general officer; military skill in a commander, exhibited in the judicious arrangements of troops, or the operations of war.

GENERALTY, n. The whole; the totality. [Little used.]

GENERANT, n. [L. generans.] The power that generates; the power or principle that produces.

GENERATE, v.t. [L. genero. See Gender.]

1. To beget; to procreate; to propagate; to produce a being similar to the parent. Every animal generates his own species.

2. To produce; to cause to be; to bring into life; as great whales which the waters generated.

3. To cause; to produce; to form.

Sounds are generated where there is no air at all.

Whatever generates a quantity of good chyle, must likewise generate milk.

In music, any given sound generates with itself its octave and two other sounds extremely sharp, viz, its twelfth above or the octave of its fifth, and the seventeenth above.

GENERATED, pp. Begotten; engendered; procreated; produced; formed.

GENERATING, ppr. Begetting; procreating; producing; forming.

GENERATION, n. The act of begetting; procreation, as of animals.

1. Production; formation; as the generation of sounds or of curves or equations.

2. A single succession in natural descent, as the children of the same parents; hence, an age. Thus we say, the third, the fourth, or the tenth generation. Genesis 15:16.

3. The people of the same period, or living at the same time.

O faithless and perverse generation. Luke 9:41.

4. Genealogy; a series of children or descendants from the same stock.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. Genesis 5:1.

5. A family; a race.

6. Progeny; offspring.

GENERATIVE, a. Having the power of generating or propagating its own species.

1. Having the power of producing.

2. Prolific.

GENERATOR, n. He or that which begets, causes or produces.

1. In music, the principal sound or sounds by which others are produced. Thus the lowest C for the treble of the harpsichord, besides its octave, will strike an attentive ear with its twelfth above, or G in alt., and with its seventeenth above, or E in alt. Hence C is called their generator, the G and E its products or harmonics.

2. A vessel in which steam is generated.

GENERIC, GENERICAL, a. [L. genus.] Pertaining to a genus or kind; comprehending the genus, as distinct from species, or from another genus. A generic description is a description of a genus; a generic difference is a difference in genus; a generic name is the denomination which comprehends all the species, as of animals, plants or fossils, which have certain essential and peculiar characters in common. Thus Canis is the generic name of animals of the dog kind; Felis, of the cat kind; Cervus, of the deer kind.

GENERICALLY, adv. With regard to genus; as an animal generically distinct from another, or two animals generically allied.

GENEROSITY, n. [L. generositas, from genus, race, kind, with reference to birth, blood, family.]

1. The quality of being generous; liberality in principle; a disposition to give liberally or to bestow favors; a quality of the heart or mind opposed to meanness or parsimony.

2. Liberality in act; bounty.

3. Nobleness of soul; magnanimity. [This is the primary sense, but is now little used.]

GENEROUS, a. [L. generosus. See Gender.]

1. Primarily, being of honorable birth or origin; hence, noble; honorable; magnanimous; applied to persons; as a generous foe; a generous critic.

2. Noble; honorable; applied to things; as a generous virtue; generous boldness. It is used also to denote like qualities in irrational animals; as a generous pack of hounds.

3. Liberal; bountiful; munificent; free to give; as a generous friend; a generous father.

4. Strong; full of spirit; as generous wine.

5. Full; overflowing; abundant; as a generous cup; a generous table.

6. Sprightly; courageous; as a generous steed.

GENEROUSLY, adv. Honorable; not meanly.

1. Nobly; magnanimously.

2. Liberally; munificently.

GENEROUSNESS, n. The quality of being generous; magnanimity; nobleness of mind.

1. Liberality; munificence; generosity.

GENESIS, n. [See Gender.]

1. The first book of the sacred scriptures of the Old Testament, containing the history of the creation, of the apostasy of man, of the deluge, and of the first patriarchs, to the death of Joseph. In the original Hebrew, this book has no title; the present title was prefixed to it by those who translated it into Greek.

2. In geometry, the formation of a line, plane or solid, by the motion or flux of a point, line or surface.

GENET, n. A small-sized, well-proportioned Spanish horse.

1. An animal of the weasel kind, less than the martin.

GENETHLIACAL, GENETHLIAC, a. [Gr. to be born.]

Pertaining to nativities as calculated by astrologers; showing the positions of the stars at the birth of any person. [Little used.]