Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



GESTATORY, a. That may be carried or worn.

GESTIC, a. Pertaining to deeds; legendary.

GESTICULATE, v.i. [L. gesticulor, from gestum, gero, to bear or carry, or gestio.]

To make gestures or motions, as in speaking; to use postures.

GESTICULATE, v.t. To imitate; to act.

GESTICULATION, n. [L. gesticulatio.]

1. The act of making gestures, to express passion or enforce sentiments.

2. Gesture; a motion of the body or limbs in speaking, or in representing action or passion, and enforcing arguments and sentiments.

3. Antic tricks or motions.

GESTICULATOR, n. One that shows postures, or makes gestures.

GESTICULATORY, a. Representing in gestures.

GESTURE, n. [L. gestus, from gero, to bear, to do.]

1. A motion of the body or limbs, expressive of sentiment or passion; any action or posture intended to express an idea or a passion, or to enforce an argument or opinion. It consists chiefly in the actions or movements of the hands and face, and should be suited to the subject.

2. Movement of the body or limbs.

Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,

In every gesture dignity and love.

GESTURE, v.t. To accompany with gesture or action.

GET, v.t. pret. got. [gat, Obs.] pp. got, gotten.

1. To procure; to obtain; to gain possession of, by almost any means. We get favor by kindness; we get wealth by industry and economy; we get land by purchase; we get praise by good conduct; and we get blame by doing injustice. The merchant should get a profit on his goods; the laborer should get a due reward for his labor; most men get what they can for their goods or for their services. Get differs from acquire, as it does not always express permanence of possession, which is the appropriate sense of acquire. We get a book or a loaf of bread by borrowing, we do not acquire it; but we get or acquire an estate.

2. To have.

Thou hast got the face of a man.

This is a most common, but gross abuse of this word. We constantly hear it said, I have got no corn, I have got no money, she has got a fair complexion, when the person means only, I have no corn, I have no money, she has a fair complexion.

3. To beget; to procreate; to generate.

4. To learn; as, to get a lesson.

5. To prevail on; to induce; to persuade.

Though the king could not get him to engage in a life of business. [This is not elegant.]

6. To procure to be. We could not get the work done. [Not elegant.]

To get off, to put off; to take or pull off; as, to get off a garment: also, to remove; as, to get off a ship from shoals.

To sell; to dispose of; as, to get off goods.

To get on, to put on; to draw or pull on; as, to get on a coat; to get on boots.

To get in, to collect and shelter; to bring under cover; as, to get in corn.

To get out, to draw forth; as, to get out a secret.

To draw out; to disengage.

To get the day, to win; to conquer; to gain the victory.

To get together, to collect; to amass.

To get over, to surmount; to conquer; to pass without being obstructed; as, to get over difficulties: also, to recover; as, to get over sickness.

To get above, to surmount; to surpass.

To get up, to prepare and introduce upon the stage; to bring forward.

With a pronoun following, it signifies to betake; to remove; to go; as, get you to bed; get thee out of the land. But this mode of expression can hardly be deemed elegant.

GET, v.i. To arrive at any place or state; followed by some modifying word, and sometimes implying difficulty or labor; as,

To get away or away from, to depart; to quit; to leave; or to disengage one’s self from.

To get among, to arrive in the midst of; to become one of a number.

To get before, to arrive in front, or more forward.

To get behind, to fall in the rear; to lag.

To get back, to arrive at the place from which one departed; to return.

To get clear, to disengage one’s self; to be released, as from confinement, obligation or burden; also, to be freed from danger or embarrassment.

To get down, to descend; to come from an elevation.

To get home, to arrive at one’s dwelling.

To get in or into, to arrive within an inclosure, or a mixed body; to pass in; to insinuate one’s self.

To get loose or free, to disengage one’s self; to be released from confinement.

To get off, to escape; to depart; to get clear; also, to alight; to descend from.

To get out, to depart from an inclosed place or from confinement; to escape; to free one’s self from embarrassment.

To get along, to proceed; to advance.

To get rid of, to disengage one’s self from; also, to shift off; to remove.

To get together, to meet; to assemble; to convene.

To get up, to arise; to rise from a bed or a seat; also, to ascend; to climb.

To get through, to pass through and reach a point beyond any thing; also, to finish; to accomplish.

To get quit of, to get rid of; to shift off, or to disengage one’s self from.

To get forward, to proceed; to advance; also, to prosper; to advance in wealth.

To get near, to approach within a small distance.

To get ahead, to advance; to prosper.

To get on, to proceed; to advance.

To get a mile or other distance, to pass over it in traveling.

To get at, to reach; to make way to.

To get asleep, to fall asleep.

To get drunk, to become intoxicated.

To get between, to arrive between.

To get to, to reach; to arrive.

GETTER, n. One who gets, gains, obtains or acquires.

1. One who begets or procreates.

GETTING, ppr. Obtaining; procuring; gaining; winning; begetting.

GETTING, n. The act of obtaining, gaining or acquiring; acquisition.

Get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7.

1. Gain; profit.

GEWGAW, n. A showy trifle; a pretty thing of little worth; a toy; a bauble; a splendid plaything.

A heavy gewgaw, called a crown.

GEWGAW, a. Showy without value.

GHASTFUL, a. [See Ghastly.] Dreary; dismal; fit for walking ghosts.

GHASTFULLY, adv. Frightfully.

GHASTLINESS, n. [from ghastly.] Horror of countenance; a deathlike look; resemblance of a ghost; paleness.

GHASTLY, a. [Eng. gush, gust.]

1. Like a ghost in appearance; deathlike; pale; dismal; as a ghastly face; ghastly smiles.

2. Horrible; shocking; dreadful.

Mangled with ghastly wounds.

GHASTNESS, n. Ghastliness. [Not used.]

GHERKIN, n. A small pickled cucumber.

GHESS, for guess. [Not used.]

GHOST, n. [See Ghastly.]

1. Spirit; the soul of man.

In this sense seldom used. But hence,

2. The soul of a deceased person; the soul or spirit separate from the body; an apparition.

The mighty ghosts of our great Harrys rose.

To give up the ghost, is to die; to yield up the breath or spirit; to expire.

The Holy Ghost, is the third person in the adorable Trinity.

GHOST, v.i. To die; to expire.
GHOST, v.t. To haunt with an apparition.

GHOSTLIKE, a. Withered; having sunken eyes; ghastly.

GHOSTLINESS, n. Spiritual tendency. [Little used.]

GHOSTLY, a. Spiritual; relating to the soul; not carnal or secular.

Save and defend us from our ghostly enemies.

1. Spiritual; having a character from religion; as a ghostly father.

2. Pertaining to apparitions.

GIALLOLINO, n. [Eng. yellow.] A fine yellow pigment much used under the name of Naples Yellow.

GIAMBEAUX, n. Greaves; armor for the legs.

GIANT, n. [L. gigas; Gr. probably from the earth. The word originally signified earth-born, terrigena. The ancients believed the first inhabitants of the earth to be produced from the ground and to be of enormous size.]

1. A man of extraordinary bulk and stature.

Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise.

2. A person of extraordinary strength or powers, bodily or intellectual. The judge is a giant in his profession.

Giants-causey, a vast collection of basaltic pillars in the county of Antrim, in Ireland.

GIANT, a. Like a giant; extraordinary in size or strength; as giant brothers; a giant son.

GIANTESS, n. A female giant; a female of extraordinary size and stature.

GIANTIZE, v.i. To play the giant.

GIANT-KILLING, a. Killing or destroying giants.

GIANTLIKE, GIANTLY, a. Of unusual size; resembling a giant in bulk or stature; gigantic; huge.

[Giantly is not much used.]

GIANTRY, n. The race of giants. [Little used.]

GIANTSHIP, n. The state, quality or character of a giant.

His giantship is gone somewhat crestfallen.

GIB, n. A cat. [Not in use.]

GIB, v.i. To act like a cat. [Not in use.]

GIBBE, n. An old worn-out animal. [Not used.]

GIBBER, v.i. [See Gabble. It is probably allied to gabble, and to jabber.] To speak rapidly and inarticulately. [Not used.]

GIBBERISH, n. [from gibber.] Rapid and inarticulate talk; unintelligible language; unmeaning words.

GIBBERISH, a. Unmeaning, as words.

GIBBET, n. A gallows; a post or machine in form of a gallows, on which notorious malefactors are hanged in chains, and on which their bodies are suffered to remain, as spectacles in terrorem.

1. Any traverse beam.

GIBBET, v.t. To hang and expose on a gibbet or gallows.

1. To hang or expose on anything going travers, as the beam of a gibbet.

GIBBETED, pp. Hanged and exposed on a gibbet.

GIBBETING, ppr. Hanging and exposing on a gibbet.

GIBBIER, n. Wild fowl; game. [Not used.]

GIBBOSITY, n. [L. gibbosus. See Gibbous.]

Protuberance; a round or swelling prominence; convexity.

GIBBOUS, a. [L. gibbus; Gr. to bend.]

1. Swelling; protuberant; convex. The moon is gibbous between the quarters and the full moon; the enlightened part being then convex.

The bones will rise, and make a gibbous member.

2. Hunched; hump-backed; crook-backed.

GIBBOUSLY, adv. In a gibbous or protuberant form.

GIBBOUSNESS, n. Protuberance; a round prominence; convexity. [This word is preferable to gibbosity.]

GIBBSITE, n. A mineral found at Richmond, in Massachusetts, and named in honor of George Gibbs, Esq. It occurs in irregular stalactical masses, which present an aggregation of elongated, tuberous branches, parallel and united. Its structure is fibrous, the fibers radiating from an axis. Its colors are a dirty white, greenish white and grayish.

GIBCAT, n. A he-cat, or an old worn-out cat.

GIBE, v.i. To cast reproaches and sneering expressions; to rail at; to utter taunting, sarcastic words; to flout; to fleer; to scoff.

Fleer and gibe, and laugh and flout.

GIBE, v.t. To reproach with contemptuous words; to deride; to scoff at; to treat with sarcastic reflections; to taunt.

Draw the beasts as I describe them,

From their features, while I gibe them.

GIBE, n. An expression of censure mingled with contempt; a scoff; a railing; an expression of sarcastic scorn.

Mark the fleers, the gibes, and the notable scorns,

That dwell in every region of his face.

GIBELINE, n. The Gibelines were a faction in Italy, that opposed another faction called Guelfs, in the 13th century.

GIBER, n. One who utters reproachful, censorious and contemptuous expressions, or who casts cutting, sarcastic reflections; one who derides; a scoffer.

GIBING, ppr. Uttering reproachful, contemptuous and censorious words; scoffing.

GIBINGLY, adv. With censorious, sarcastic and contemptuous expressions; scornfully.

GIBLETS, n. The entrails of a goose or other fowl, as the heart, liver, gizzard, etc.; a considerable article in cookery; as, to boil or stew giblets. It is used only in the plural, except in composition; as a giblet-pie.

GIBSTAFF, n. A staff to gauge water or to push a boat; formerly, a staff used in fighting beasts on the stage.

GIDDILY, adv. [See Giddy.] With the head seeming to turn or reel.

1. Inconstantly; unsteadily; with various turnings; as, to roam about giddily.

2. Carelessly; heedlessly; negligently.

GIDDINESS, n. The state of being giddy or vertiginous; vertigo; a sensation of reeling or whirling, when the body loses the power of preserving its balance or a steady attitude, or when objects at rest appear to reel, tremble or whirl; a swimming of the head.

1. Inconstancy; unsteadiness; mutability.

2. Frolic; wantonness; levity.

GIDDY, a. Vertiginous; reeling; whirling; having in the head a sensation of a circular motion or swimming; or having lost the power of preserving the balance of the body, and therefore wavering and inclined to fall, as in the case of some diseases and of drunkenness. In walking on timber aloft, or looking down a precipice, we are apt to be giddy.

1. That renders giddy; that induces giddiness; as a giddy highth; a giddy precipice.

2. Rotary; whirling; running round with celerity.

The giddy motion of the whirling mill.

3. Inconstant; unstable; changeable.

You are as giddy and volatile as ever.

4. Heedless; thoughtless; wild; roving.

5. Tottering; unfixed.

As we have paced along

Upon the giddy footing of the hatches.

6. Intoxicated; elated to thoughtlessness; rendered wild by excitement or joy.

Art thou not giddy with the fashion too?

GIDDY, v.i. To turn quick.
GIDDY, v.t. To make reeling or unsteady.

GIDDY-BRAINED, a. Careless; thoughtless; unsteady.

GIDDY-HEAD, n. A person without thought or judgment.

GIDDY-HEADED, a. Heedless; unsteady; volatile; incautious.

GIDDY-PACED, a. Moving irregularly.

GIE, a contraction of guide. [Not in use.]

GIER-EAGLE, n. A fowl of the eagle kind, mentioned in Leviticus 11:18.

GIESECKITE, n. A mineral of a rhomboidal form and compact texture, of a gray or brown color, and nearly as hard as calcarious spar.

GIF, v.t. The old but true spelling of if.

GIFT, n. [from give.] A present; any thing given or bestowed; any thing, the property of which is voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a donation. It is applicable to any thing movable or immovable.

1. The act of giving or conferring.

2. The right or power of giving or bestowing. The prince has the gift of many lucrative offices.

3. An offering or oblation.

If thou bring thy gift to the altar. Matthew 5:23.

4. A reward.

Let thy gifts be to thyself. Daniel 5:17.

5. A bribe; any thing given to corrupt the judgment.

Neither take a gift; for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise. Deuteronomy 16:19.

6. Power; faculty; some quality or endowment conferred by the author of our nature; as the gift of wit; the gift of ridicule.

GIFT, v.t. To endow with any power or faculty.

GIFTED, pp. or a. Endowed by nature with any power or faculty; furnished with any particular talent.

GIFTEDNESS, n. The state of being gifted.

GIFTING, ppr. Endowing with any power or faculty.

GIG, v.t. [L. gigno.] To engender. [Not in use.]

1. To fish with a gig or fishgig.

GIG, n.

1. Any little thing that is whirled round in play.

2. A light carriage with one pair of wheels, drawn by one horse; a chair or chaise.

3. A fiddle.

4. A dart or harpoon. [See Fishgig.]

5. A ship’s boat.

6. A wanton girl.

GIGANTEAN, a. [L. giganteus. See Giant.] Like a giant; mighty.

GIGANTIC, a. [L. giganticus.] Of extraordinary size; very large; huge; like a giant. A man of gigantic stature.

1. Enormous; very great or mighty; as gigantic deeds; gigantic wickedness.

Gigantical and gigantine, for gigantic, rarely or never used.

GIGANTOLOGY, n. [Gr. a giant, and discourse.] An account or description of giants.

GIGGLE, n. A kind of laugh, with short catches of the voice or breath.

GIGGLE, v.i. To laugh with short catches of the breath or voice; to laugh in a silly, puerile manner; to titter; to grin with childish levity or mirth.

GIGGLER, n. One that giggles or titters.

GIGLET, GIGLOT, n. A wanton; a lascivious girl.

GIGLOT, a. Giddy; light; inconstant; wanton.

GIGOT, n. The hip-joint; also, a slice. [Not English.]

GILBERTINE, n. One of a religious order, so named from Gilbert, lord of Sempringham, in Lincolnshire, England.

GILBERTINE, a. Belonging to the monastic order, mentioned above.

GILD, v.t. pret. and pp. gilded or gilt.

1. To overlay with gold, either in leaf or powder, or in amalgam with quicksilver; to overspread with a thin covering of gold; as the gilt frame of a mirror.

Her joy in gilded chariots when alive,

And love of ombre after death survive.

2. To cover with any yellow matter.

3. To adorn with luster; to render bright.

No more the rising sun shall gild the morn.

4. To illuminate; to brighten.

Let oft good humor, mild and gay,

Gild the calm evening of your day.

5. To give a fair and agreeable external appearance; to recommend to favor and reception by superficial decoration; as, to gild flattery or falsehood.

GILDED, pp. Overlaid with gold leaf or liquid; illuminated.

GILDER, n. One who gilds; one whose occupation is to overlay things with gold.

1. A Dutch coin of the value of 20 stivers, about 38 cents, or one shilling and ninepence sterling. It is usually written guilder.

GILDING, ppr. Overlaying with gold; giving a fair external appearance.

GILDING, n. The art or practice of overlaying things with gold leaf or liquid.

1. That which is laid on in overlaying with gold.

GILL, n.

1. The organ of respiration in fishes, consisting of a cartilaginous or bony arch, attached to the bones of the head, and furnished on the exterior convex side with a multitude of fleshy leaves, or fringed vascular fibrils, resembling plumes, and of a red color in a healthy state. The water is admitted by the gill-opening, and acts upon the blood as it circulates in the fibrils. Other animals also breathe by gills, as frogs in their tadpole state, lobsters, etc.

Fishes perform respiration under water by the gills.

2. The flap that hangs below the beak of a fowl.

3. The flesh under the chin.

4. In England, a pair of wheels and a frame on which timber is conveyed. [Local.]

GILL-FLAP, n. A membrane attached to the posterior edge of the gill-lid, immediately closing the gill-opening.

GILL-LID, n. The covering of the gills.

GILL-OPENING, n. The aperture of a fish or other animal, by which water is admitted to the gills.

GILL, n. [Low L. gilla, gillo or gello, a drinking glass, a gill. This word has the same elementary letters as Gr. a pail or bucket, and Eng. gallon, probably from one of the roots in Gl, which signify to hold or contain.]

1. A measure of capacity, containing the fourth part of a pint. It is said to be in some places in England, half a pint.

2. A measure among miners, equal to a pint.

GILL, n. A plant, ground-ivy, of the genus Gleehoma.

1. Malt liquor medicated with ground-ivy.

GILL, n.

1. In ludicrous language, a female; a wanton girl.

Each Jack with his Gill.

2. A fissure in a hill; also, a place between steep banks and a rivulet flowing through it; a brook.

GILLHOUSE, n. A place where gill is sold.

GILLIAN, n. A wanton girl.

GILLYFLOWER, n. [supposed to be a corruption of July-flower.]

The name of certain plants. The clove gilly-flower is of the genus Dianthus, or carnation pink; the stock gillyflower is the Cheiranthus; the queen’s gillyflower is the Hesperis.

GILSE, n. A young salmon.

GILT, pp. of gild. Overlaid with gold leaf, or washed with gold; illuminated; adorned.

GILT, n. Gold laid on the surface of a thing; gilding.

1. In England, a young female pig.

GILTHEAD, n. [gilt and head.] In ichthyology, a fish or a genus of fishes, the Sparus, of many species; so named from their color, or from a golden spot between the eyes.

1. A bird.

GILTTAIL, n. A worm so called from its yellow tail.

GIM, a. [contracted from gemmy.] Neat; spruce; well dressed.

GIMBAL, n. A brass ring by which a sea compass is suspended in its box, by means of which the card is kept in a horizontal position, notwithstanding the rolling of the ship.

GIMBLET, n. A borer; small instrument with a pointed screw at the end, for boring holes in wood by turning. It is applied only to small instruments; a large instrument of the like kind is called an auger.

GIMBLET, v.t. In seamen’s language, to turn round an anchor by the stock; a motion resembling that of the turning of a gimblet.

GIMCRACK, n. A trivial mechanism; a device; a toy; a pretty thing.

GIMMAL, n. Some device or machinery.

GIMMAL, a. Consisting of links.

GIMMER, n. Movement or machinery.

GIMP, n. [Eng. to whip.] A kind of silk twist or edging.

GIMP, a. Smart; spruce; trim; nice. [Not in use.]

GIN, n. A contraction of Geneva, a distilled spirit. [See Geneva.]

GIN, n. [A contraction of engine.] A machine or instrument by which the mechanical powers are employed in aid of human strength. The word is applied to various engines, as a machine for driving piles, another for raising weights, etc., and a machine for separating the seeds from cotton, invented by E. Whitney, is called a cotton-gin. It is also the name given to an engine of torture, and to a pump moved by rotary sails.

1. A trap; a snare.

GIN, v.t. To clear cotton of its seeds by a machine which separates them with expedition.

1. To catch in a trap.

GIN, v.i. To begin.