Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



GONIOMETER, n. [Gr. angle, and measure.] An instrument for measuring solid angles, or the inclination of planes.

GONIOMETRICAL, a. Pertaining to a goniometer. Goniometrical lines are used for measuring the quantity of angles.

GONORRHEA, n. [Gr. semen, and to flow.] A morbid discharge in venereal complaints.

GOOD, a.

1. Valid; legally firm; not weak or defective; having strength adequate to its support; as a good title; a good deed; a good claim.

2. Valid; sound; not weak, false or fallacious; as a good argument.

3. Complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind; having the physical qualities best adapted to its design and use; opposed to bad, imperfect, corrupted, impaired. We say, good timber, good cloth, a good soil, a good color.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31.

4. Having moral qualities best adapted to its design and use, or the qualities which God’s law requires; virtuous; pious; religious; applied to persons, and opposed to bad, vitious, wicked, evil.

Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. Romans 5:7.

5. Conformable to the moral law; virtuous; applied to actions.

In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works. Titus 2:7.

6. Proper; fit; convenient; seasonable; well adapted to the end. It was a good time to commence operations. He arrived in good time.

7. Convenient; useful; expedient; conducive to happiness.

It is not good that the man should be alone. Genesis 2:18.

8. Sound; perfect; uncorrupted; undamaged. This fruit will keep good the whole year.

9. Suitable to the taste or to health; wholesome; salubrious; palatable; not disagreeable or noxious; as fruit good to eat; a tree good for food. Genesis 2:9.

10. Suited to produce a salutary effect; adapted to abate or cure; medicinal; salutary; beneficial; as, fresh vegetables are good for scorbutic diseases.

11. Suited to strengthen or assist the healthful functions; as, a little wine is good for a weak stomach.

12. Pleasant to the taste; as a good apple.

My son, eat thou honey, because it is good, and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste. Proverbs 24:13.

13. Full; complete.

The protestant subjects of the abbey make up a good third of its people.

14. Useful; valuable; having qualities or a tendency to produce a good effect.

All quality, that is good for any thing, is originally founded on merit.

15. Equal; adequate; competent. His security is good for the amount of the debt; applied to persons able to fulfill contracts.

Antonio is a good man.

16. Favorable; convenient for any purpose; as a good stand for business; a good station for a camp.

17. Convenient; suitable; safe; as a good harbor for ships.

18. Well qualified; able; skillful; or performing duties with skill and fidelity; as a good prince; a good commander; a good officer; a good physician.

19. Ready; dexterous.

Those are generally good at flattering who are good for nothing else.

20. Kind; benevolent; affectionate; as a good father; good will.

21. Kind; affectionate; faithful; as a good friend.

22. Promotive of happiness; pleasant; agreeable; cheering; gratifying.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Psalm 133:1.

23. Pleasant or prosperous; as, good morrow, Sir; good morning.

24. Honorable; fair; unblemished; unimpeached; as a man of good fame or report.

A good name is better than precious ointment. Ecclesiastes 7:1.

25. Cheerful; favorable to happiness. Be of good comfort.

26. Great or considerable; not small nor very great; as a good while ago; he is a good way off, or at a good distance; he has a good deal of leisure; I had a good share of the trouble. Here we see the primary sense of extending, advancing.

27. Elegant; polite; as good breeding.

28. Real; serious; not feigned.

Love not in good earnest.

29. Kind; favorable; benevolent; humane.

The men were very good to us. 1 Samuel 25:15.

30. Benevolent; merciful; gracious.

Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. Psalm 73:1.

31. Seasonable; commendable; proper.

Why trouble ye the woman, for she hath wrought a good work on me. Matthew 26:10.

32. Pleasant; cheerful; festive.

We come in a good day. 1 Samuel 25:8.

33. Companionable; social; merry.

It is well known, that Sir Roger had been a good fellow in his youth.

34. Brave; in familiar language. You are a good fellow.

35. In the phrases, the good man, applied to the master of the house, and good woman, applied to the mistress, good sometimes expresses a moderate degree of respect, and sometimes slight contempt. Among the first settlers of New England, it was used as a title instead of Mr.; as Goodman Jones; Goodman Wells.

36. The phrase good will is equivalent to benevolence; but it signifies also an earnest desire, a hearty wish, entire willingness or fervent zeal; as, we entered into the service with a good will; he laid on stripes with a good will.

37. Comely; handsome; well formed; as a good person or shape.

38. Mild; pleasant; expressing benignity or other estimable qualities; as a good countenance.

39. Mild; calm; not irritable or fractious; as a good temper.

40. Kind; friendly; humane; as a good heart or disposition.

Good advice, wise and prudent counsel.

Good heed, great care; due caution.

In good south, in good truth; in reality.

To make good, to perform; to fulfill; as, to make good one’s word or promise; that is to make it entire or unbroken.

1. To confirm or establish; to prove; to verify; as, to make good a charge or accusation.

2. To supply deficiency; to make up a defect or loss. I will make good what is wanting.

3. To indemnify; to give an equivalent for damages. If you suffer loss, I will make it good to you.

4. To maintain; to carry into effect; as, to make good a retreat.

To stand good, to be firm or valid. His word or promise stands good.

To think good, to see good, is to be pleased or satisfied; to think to be expedient.

If ye think good, give me my price. Zechariah 11:12.

As good as, equally; no better than; the same as. We say, one is as good as dead. Hebrews 11:12.

As good as his word, equaling in fulfillment what was promised; performing to the extent.

GOOD, n. That which contributes to diminish or remove pain, or to increase happiness or prosperity; benefit; advantage; opposed to evil or misery. The medicine will do neither good nor harm. It does my heart good to see you so happy.

There are many that say, who will show us any good. Psalm 4:6.

1. Welfare; prosperity; advancement of interest or happiness. He labored for the good of the state.

The good of the whole community can be promoted only by advancing the good of each of the members composing it.

2. Spiritual advantage or improvement; as the good of souls.

3. Earnest; not jest.

The good woman never died after this, till she came to die for good and all.

The phrase, for good and all, signifies, finally; to close the whole business; for the last time.

4. Moral works; actions which are just and in conformity to the moral law or divine precepts.

Depart from evil, and do good. Psalm 34:14.

5. Moral qualities; virtue; righteousness.

I find no good in this man.

6. The best fruits; richness; abundance.

I will give you the good of the land. Genesis 45:18.

GOOD, v.t. To manure. [Not in use.]
GOOD, adv. As good, as well; with equal advantage. Had you not as good go with me? In America we use goods, the Gothic word. Had you not as goods go?

In replies, good signifies well; right; it is satisfactory; I am satisfied. I will be with you to morrow; answer, good, very good. So we use well, from the root of L. valeo, to be strong.

GOOD-BREEDING, n. Polite manners, formed by a good education; a polite education.

GOOD-BY. [See By.]

GOOD-CONDITIONED, a. Being in a good state; having good qualities or favorable symptoms.

GOOD-FELLOW, n. A jolly companion. [This is hardly to be admitted as a compound word.]

GOOD-FELLOW, v.t. To make a jolly companion; to besot. [Little used.]

GOOD-FELLOWSHIP, n. Merry society.

GOOD-FRIDAY, n. A fast of the christian church, in memory of our Savior’s sufferings, kept in passion week.

GOOD-HUMOR, n. A cheerful temper or state of mind.

GOOD-HUMORED, a. Being of a cheerful temper.

GOOD-HUMOREDLY, adv. With a cheerful temper; in a cheerful way.

GOOD-MANNERS, n. Propriety of behavior; politeness; decorum.

GOOD-NATURE, n. Natural mildness and kindness of disposition.

GOOD-NATURED, a. Naturally mild in temper; not easily provoked.

GOOD-NATUREDLY, adv. With mildness of temper.

GOOD-NOW. An exclamation of wonder or surprise.

1. An exclamation of entreaty. [Not used.]

GOOD-SPEED, n. Good success; an old form of wishing success. [See Speed.]

GOOD-WIFE, n. The mistress of a family.

GOOD-WILL, n. Benevolence.

GOOD-WOMAN, n. The mistress of a family.

GOODLESS, a. Having no goods.

GOODLINESS, n. [from goodly.] Beauty of form; grace; elegance.

Her goodliness was full of harmony to his eyes.

GOODLY, adv. Excellently.

GOODLY, a. Being of a handsome form; beautiful; graceful; as a goodly person; goodly raiment; goodly houses.

1. Pleasant; agreeable; desirable; as goodly days.

2. Bulky; swelling; affectedly turgid.

GOODLYHEAD, n. Goodness, grace. [Not in use.]

GOODMAN, n. A familiar appellation of civility; sometimes used ironically.

With you, goodman boy, if you please.

1. A rustic term of compliment; as old goodman Dobson.

2. A familiar appellation of a husband; also, the master of a family. Proverbs 7:19; Matthew 24:43.

GOODNESS, n. The state of being good; the physical qualities which constitute value, excellence or perfection; as the goodness of timber; the goodness of a soil.

1. The moral qualities which constitute christian excellence; moral virtue; religion.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Galatians 5:22.

2. Kindness; benevolence; benignity of heart; but more generally, acts of kindness; charity; humanity exercised. I shall remember his goodness to me with gratitude.

3. Kindness; benevolence of nature; mercy.

The Lord God--abundant in goodness and truth. Exodus 34:6.

4. Kindness; favor shown; acts of benevolence, compassion or mercy.

Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which Jehovah had done to Israel. Exodus 18:9.

GOODS, n. plu. Movables; household furniture.

1. Personal or movable estate; as horses, cattle, utensils, etc.

2. Wares; merchandize; commodities bought and sold by merchants and traders.

GOODSHIP, n. Favor; grace. [Not in use.]

GOODY, n. A low term of civility; as goody Dobson.

GOODYSHIP, n. The state or quality of a goody. [Ludicrous.]

GOOGINGS, GOODINGS, n. In seamen’s language, clamps of iron bolted on the stern-post of a ship, whereon to hang the rudder.

GOOM, n. A man recently married, or who is attending his proposed spouse for the purpose of marriage; used in composition, as in bridegoom. It has been corrupted into groom.

GOOSANDER, n. A migratory fowl of the genus Mergus, the diver or plunger; called also merganser.

GOOSE, n. goos. plu. geese.

1. A well known aquatic fowl of the genus Anas; but the domestic goose lives chiefly on land, and feeds on grass. The soft feathers are used for beds, and the quills for pens. The wild goose is migratory.

2. A tailor’s smoothing iron, so called from its handle which resembles the neck of a goose.

GOOSEBERRY, n. goos’berry. [L. grossula. The English word is undoubtedly corrupted from crossberry, grossberry, or gorseberry; a name taken from the roughness of the shrub. See Cross and Gross.]

The fruit of a shrub, and the shrub itself, the Ribes grossularia. The shrub is armed with spines. Of the fruit there are several varieties.

The American gooseberry belongs to the genus Melastoma, and the West Indian, gooseberry to the genus Cactus.

GOOSECAP, n. goos’cap. A silly person.

GOOSEFOOT, n. goos’foot. A plant, the Chenopodium.

GOOSEGRASS, n. goos’grass. A plant of the genus Galium. Also, the name of certain plants of the genera Potentilla and Asperugo.

GOOSENECK, n. goos’neck. In a ship, a piece of iron fixed on one end of the tiller, to which the laniard of the whip-staff or wheel-rope comes, for steering the ship; also, an iron hook on the inner end of a boom.

GOOSEQUILL, n. goos’quill. The large feather or quill of a goose; or a pen made with it.

GOOSETONGUE, n. goos’tung. A plant of the genus Achillea.

GOOSEWING, n. goos’wing. In seamen’s language, a sail set on a boom on the lee side of a ship; also, the clues or lower corners of a ship’s main-sail or fore-sail, when the middle part is furled.

GOPPISH, a. Proud; pettish. [Not in use.]

GOR-BELLIED, a. Big-bellied.

GOR-BELLY, n. A prominent belly. [Not in use.]

GOR-COCK, n. The moor-cock, red-grouse, or red-game; a fowl of the gallinaceous kind.

GOR-CROW, n. The carrion-crow.

GORD, n. An instrument of gaming.

GORDIAN, a. Intricate. [See the next word.]

Gordian knot, in antiquity, a knot in the leather or harness of Gordius, a king of Phrygia, so very intricate, that there was no finding where it began or ended. An oracle declared that he who should untie this knot should be master of Asia. Alexander, fearing that his inability to untie it should prove an ill augury, cut it asunder with his sword. Hence, in modern language, a Gordian knot is an inextricable difficulty; and to cut the Gordian knot, is to remove a difficulty by bold or unusual measures.

GORE, n. [Gr. from issuing.]

1. Blood; but generally, thick or clotted blood; blood that after effusion becomes inspissated.

2. Dirt; mud. [Unusual.]

GORE, n.

1. A wedge-shaped or triangular piece of cloth sewed into a garment to widen it in any part.

2. A slip or triangular piece of land.

3. In heraldry, an abatement denoting a coward. It consists of two arch lines, meeting in an acute angle in the middle of the fess point.

GORE, v.t.

1. To stab; to pierce; to penetrate with a pointed instrument, as a spear.

2. To pierce with the point of a horn.

If an ox gore a man or a woman-- Exodus 21:28.

GORED, pp. Stabbed; pierced with a pointed instrument.

GORGE, n. gorj. [L. gurges.]

1. The throat; the gullet; the canal of the neck by which food passes to the stomach.

2. In architecture, the narrowest part of the Tuscan and Doric capitals, between the astragal, above the shaft of the column, and the annulets.

3. In fortification, the entrance of the platform of any work.

4. That which is gorged or swallowed, especially by a hawk or other fowl.

GORGE, v.t. gorj. To swallow; especially, to swallow with greediness, or in large mouthfuls or quantities. Hence,

1. To glut; to fill the throat or stomach; to satiate.

The giant, gorged with flesh---

GORGE, v.i. To feed.

GORGED, pp. Swallowed; glutted.

GORGED, a. Having a gorge or throat.

1. In heraldry, bearing a crown or the like about the neck.

GORGEOUS, a. Showy; fine; splendid; glittering with gay colors.

With gorgeous wings, the marks of sovereign sway.

A gorgeous robe. Luke 23:11.

GORGEOUSLY, adv. With showy magnificence; splendidly; finely. The prince was gorgeously arrayed.

GORGEOUSNESS, n. Show of dress or ornament; splendor of raiment.

GORGET, n. A piece of armor for defending the throat or neck; a kind of breast-plate like a half-moon; also, a small convex ornament worn by officers on the breast.

1. Formerly, a ruff worn by females.

2. In surgery, gorget, or gorgeret, is a cutting instrument used in lithotomy; also, a concave or cannulated conductor, called a blunt gorget.

GORGING, ppr. Swallowing; eating greedily; glutting.

GORGON, n. [Gr.] A fabled monster of terrific aspect, the sight of which turned the beholder to stone. The poets represent the Gorgons as three sisters, Stheno, Euryale and Medusa; but authors are not agreed in the description of them.

1. Any thing very ugly or horrid.

GORGON, a. Like a gorgon; very ugly or terrific; as a gorgon face.

GORGONEAN, GORGONIAN, a. Like a gorgon; pertaining to gorgons.

Gorgonia nobilis, in natural history, red coral.

GOR-HEN, n. The female of the gor-cock.

GORING, ppr. [from gore.] Stabbing; piercing.

GORING, n. A pricking; puncture.

GORMAND, GORMANDER, n. A greedy or ravenous eater; a glutton.

GORMANDIZE, v.i. To eat greedily; to swallow voraciously.

GORMANDIZER, n. A greedy voracious eater.

GORMANDIZING, ppr. Eating greedily and voraciously.

GORSE, GORSS, n. gors. [L. crassus.] Furz, or whin, a thick prickly shrub, of the genus Ulex, bearing yellow flowers in winter.

GORY, a. [from gore.] Covered with congealed or clotted blood; as gory locks.

1. Bloody; murderous.

GOSHAWK, n. A voracious fowl of the genus Falco, or hawk kind, larger than the common buzzard, but of a more slender shape. The general color of the plumage is a deep brown; the breast and belly white.

GOSLING, n. A young goose; a goose not full grown.

1. A catkin on nut trees and pines.

GOSPEL, n. [L. evangelium, a good or joyful message.]

The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator, including the character, actions, and doctrines of Christ, with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles. This gospel is said to have been preached to Abraham, by the promise, “in thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:8.

It is called the gospel of God. Romans 1:1.

It is called the gospel of Christ. Romans 1:16.

It is called the gospel of salvation. Ephesians 1:13.

1. God’s word.

2. Divinity; theology.

3. Any general doctrine.

GOSPEL, v.t. To instruct in the gospel; or to fill with sentiments of religion.

GOSPEL-GOSSIP, n. One who is over zealous in running about among his neighbors to lecture on religious subjects.

GOSPELIZE, v.t. To form according to the gospel.

1. To instruct in the gospel; to evangelize; as, to gospelize the savages.

GOSPELIZED, pp. Instructed in the christian religion.

GOSPELIZING, ppr. Evangelizing; instructing in the christian religion.

GOSPELLER, n. An evangelist; also, a follower of Wickliffe, the first Englishman who attempted a reformation from popery. [Not much used.]

1. He who reads the gospel at the altar.

GOSS, n. A kind of low furz or gorse.

GOSSAMER, n. [L. gossipium, cotton.] A fine filmy substance, like cobwebs, floating in the air, in calm clear weather, especially in autumn. It is seen in stubble fields and on furz or low bushes, and is probably formed by a species of spider.

GOSSAMERY, a. Like gossamer; flimsy; unsubstantial.


1. A sponsor; one who answers for a child in baptism; a godfather.

2. A tippling companion.

And sometimes lurk I in a gossip’s bowl.

3. One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler. [This is the sense in which the word is now used.]

4. A friend or neighbor.

5. Mere tattle; idle talk.

GOSSIP, v.i. To prate; to chat; to talk much.

1. To be a pot-companion.

2. To run about and tattle; to tell idle tales.

GOSSIPING, ppr. Prating; chatting; running from place to place and tattling.

GOSSIPING, n. A prating; a running about to collect tales and tattle.

GOSSIPRED, n. Compaternity; spiritual affinity, for which a juror might be challenged. [Not used.]

GOSSOON, n. A boy; a servant. [Not in use.]

GOSTING, n. An herb.

GOT, pret. of get. The old preterit gat, pronounced got, is nearly obsolete.

GOT, and GOTTEN, pp. of get.

GOTH, n. One of an ancient and distinguished tribe or nation, which inhabited Scandinavia, now Sweden and Norway, whose language is now retained in those countries, and a large portion of it is found in English.

1. One rude or uncivilized; a barbarian.

2. A rude ignorant person.

GOTHAMIST, n. A person deficient in wisdom, so called from Gotham in Nottinghamshire, noted for some pleasant blunders.

GOTHIC, a. Pertaining to the Goths; as Gothic customs; Gothic architecture; Gothic barbarity.

1. Rude; ancient.

2. Barbarous.

GOTHIC, n. The language of the Goths.

GOTHICISM, n. Rudeness of manners; barbarousness.

1. A Gothic idiom.

2. Conformity to the Gothic style of building.

GOTHICIZE, v.t. To make Gothic; to bring back to barbarism.

GOUD, n. Woad. [Not used.]

GOUGE, n. gouj. A round hollow chisel, used to cut holes, channels or grooves in wood or stone.

GOUGE, v.t. gouj. To scoop out with a gouge.

1. To force out the eye of a person with the thumb or finger; a barbarous practice.

GOULAND, n. A plant or flower.

Goulard’s Extract, so called from the inventor, a saturated solution of the subacetate of lead, used as a remedy for inflammation.

GOURD, n. A plant and its fruit, of the genus Cucurbita. There are several species, as the bottle-gourd, the shell-gourd or calabash, the warted gourd, etc. The shell is sometimes used for a piggin or for a bottle.

GOURDINESS, n. A swelling on a horse’s leg after a journey.

GOURDY, a. Swelled in the legs.

GOURD-TREE, n. A tree, the Crescentia, found in the W. Indies.

GOURMAND. [See Gormand.]

GOUT, n. [L. gutta.]

1. The arthritis, a painful disease of the small joints, but sometimes affecting the stomach. It is often periodical or intermitting.

2. A drop. [Not used.]

GOUT, n. goo. [L. gustus, taste.] Taste; relish.