Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



HALF-BLOODED, a. Mean; degenerate. [Little used.]

1. Proceeding from a male and female, each of full blood, but of different breeds; as a half-blooded sheep.

HALF-BRED, a. Mixed; mongrel; mean.

HALF-CAP, n. A cap not wholly put on.

HALF-DEAD, a. Almost dead; nearly exhausted.

HALFEN, a. Wanting half its due qualities. [Not used.]

HALFER, n. One that possesses half only.

1. A male fallow deer gelded.

HALF-FACED, a. Showing only part of the face.

HALF-HATCHED, a. Imperfectly hatched; as half-hatched eggs.

HALF-HEARD, a. Imperfectly heard; not heard to the end.

And leave half-heard the melancholy tale.

HALF-LEARNED, a. Imperfectly learned.

HALF-LOST, a. Nearly lost.

HALF-MARK, n. A coin; a noble, or 6s. 8d. sterling.

HALF-MOON, n. The moon at the quarters, when half its disk appears illuminated.

1. Any thing in the shape of a half-moon. In fortification, an outwork composed of two faces, forming a salient angle, whose gorge is in the form of a crescent or half-moon.

HALF-PART, n. An equal part.

HALF-PAY, n. Half the amount of wages or salary; as, an officer retires on half-pay.

H`ALF-PAY, a. Receiving or entitled to half-pay; as half-pay officer.

HALF-PENNY, n. hap’penny or ha’penny. A copper coin of the value of half a penny; also, the value of half a penny. It is used in the plural.

He cheats for half-pence.

[This coin is not current in America.]

H`ALF-PENNY, a. Of the price or value of half a penny; as a half-penny loaf.

HALF-PENNY-WORTH, n. The value of a half-penny.

HALF-PIKE, n. A small pike carried by officers.

1. A small pike used in boarding ships.

HALF-PINT, n. The half of a pint, or fourth of a quart.

HALF-READ, a. Superficially informed by reading.

HALF-SCHOLAR, n. One imperfectly learned.

Half-seas over, a low expression denoting half drunk.

HALF-SIGHTED, a. Seeing imperfectly; having weak discernment.

HALF-SPHERE, n. Hemisphere.

HALF-STARVED, a. Almost starved.

HALF-STRAINED, a. Half-bred; imperfect.

HALF-SWORD, n. Within half the length of a sword; close fight.

HALF-WAY, adv. In the middle; at half the distance.

H`ALF-WAY, a. Equally distant from the extremes; as a half-way house.

HALF-WIT, n. A foolish person; a dolt; a blockhead.

HALF-WITTED, a. Weak in intellect; silly; foolish.

HALIBUT, n. A fish of the genus Pleuronectes, and order of Thoracics. This fish has a compressed body, one side resembling the back, the other the belly; and both eyes on the same side of the head. It grows to a great size; some to the weight of 300 or 400 pounds. It forms an article of food, and some parts of the body are fat, tender and delicious. This fish swims on its side, and hence the name of the genus.

HALIDOM, n. Adjuration by what is holy.

HALING. [See Hauling.]

HALITUOUS, a. [L. halitus, breath.] Like breath; vaporous.

HALL, n. [L. aula; Heb. a tent, a palace.]

1. In architecture, a large room at the entrance of a house or palace. In the houses of ministers of state, magistrates, etc., it is the place where they give audience and dispatch business.

2. An edifice in which courts of justice are held; as Westminster Hall, which was originally a royal palace, the kings of England formerly holding their parliaments and courts of judicature in their own dwellings, as is still the practice in Spain.

3. A manor-house, in which courts were formerly held.

4. A college, or large edifice belonging to a collegiate institution.

5. A room for a corporation or public assembly; as a town-hall; Fanueil Hall in Boston, etc.

6. A collegiate body in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

HALLELUIAH, n. [Heb. praise ye Jah or Jehovah, to praise, that is, to throw, or raise the voice, to utter a loud sound; L. ululo.]

Praise ye Jehovah; give praise to God; a word used in songs or praise, or a term of rejoicing in solemn ascriptions of thanksgiving to God. It is used as a noun, or as an exclamation.

HALLIARD, n. [from hale, haul.] A rope or tackle for hoisting or lowering a sail.

HALLIER, n. A particular kind of net for catching birds.

HALLOO, v.i. To cry out; to exclaim with a loud voice; to call to by name, or by the word halloo.

Country folks hallooed and hooted after me.

HALLOO, v.t. To encourage with shouts.

Old John hallooes his hounds again.

1. To chase with shouts.

2. To call or shout to.

[This verb is regular, and pronounced with the accent on the first syllable.]

HALLOO, an exclamation, used as a call to invite attention.

HALLOOING, ppr. Crying out; as a noun, a loud outcry.

HALLOW, v.t. [L. calleo, to be able.]

1. To make holy; to consecrate; to set apart for holy or religious use. Exodus 28:38; Exodus 29:1; 1 Kings 8:64.

2. To devote to holy or religious exercises; to treat as sacred.

Hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein. Jeremiah 17:24.

3. To reverence; to honor as sacred.

Hallowed be thy name.

HALLOWED, pp. Consecrated to a sacred use, or to religious exercises; treated as sacred; reverenced.

HALLOWING, ppr. Setting apart for sacred purposes; consecrating; devoting to religious exercises; reverencing.

HALLOWMAS, n. [See Mass.] The feast of All Souls.

HALLUCINATION, n. [L. hallucinatio, from hallucinor, to blunder.]

1. Error; blunder; mistake. [Little used.]

2. In medicine, faulty sense [dysaesthesia,] or erroneous imagination. Hallucinations of the senses, arise from some defect in the organs of sense, or from some unusual circumstances attending the object, as when it is seen by moonlight; and they are sometimes symptoms of general disease, as in fevers. Maniacal hallucinations arise from some imaginary or mistaken idea. Similar hallucinations occur in revery.

HALM, n. haum. [L. culmus.] Straw. [See Haum.]

HALO, n. A circle appearing round the body of the sun, moon or stars, called also Corona, or crown. Halos are sometimes white and sometimes colored. Sometimes one only appears, and sometimes several concentric circles appear at the same time.

HALSE, n. The neck or throat.

HALSE, v.i. hals. To embrace about the neck; to adjure; to greet.

HALSENING, a. Sounding harshly in the throat or tongue.

HALSER, n. hawz’er. A large rope of a size between the cable and the tow-line. [See Hawser.]

HALT, v.i.

1. To stop in walking; to hold. In military affairs, the true sense is retained, to stop in a march. The army halted at noon.

2. To limp; that is, to stop with lameness.

3. To hesitate; to stand in doubt whether to proceed, or what to do.

How long halt ye between two opinions? 1 Kings 18:21.

4. To fail; to falter; as a halting sonnet.

HALT, v.t. To stop; to cause to cease marching; a military term. The general halted his troops for refreshment.
HALT, a. Lame; that is, holding or stopping in walking.

Bring hither the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. Luke 14:21.

HALT, n. A stopping; a stop in marching.

The troops made a halt at the bridge.

1. The act of limping.

HALTER, n. One who halts or limps.


1. A rope or strap and head-stall for leading or confining a horse.

2. A rope for hanging malefactors.

3. A strong cord or string.

HALTER, v.t. To put a halter on; as, to halter a horse.

1. To catch and hold, or to bind with a rope or cord.

HALTING, ppr. Stopping; limping.

HALTINGLY, adv. With limping; slowly.

HALVE, v.t. h`av. [from half.] To divide into two equal parts; as, to halve an apple.

HALVED, a. In botany, hemispherical; covering one side; placed on one side.

HALVES, n. plu. of half. Two equal parts of a thing. To cry halves, is to claim an equal share. To go halves, is to have an equal share.

HAM, Sax. ham, a house, is our modern word home, G. heim. It is used in hamlet, and in the names of places, as in Walt-ham, wood-house, walt, a wood, and ham, a house, [not Wal-tham, as it is often pronounced,] Bucking-ham, Notting-ham, Wrent-ham, Dur-ham, etc.

HAM, n. The inner or hind part of the knee; the inner angle of the joint which unites the thigh and the leg of an animal. Hence,

1. The thigh of a beast, particularly of a hog, whether salted and cured or not. But the word is more generally understood to mean the thigh of a hog salted and dried in smoke.

HAMA. [See Ama.]

HAMADRYAD, n. [Gr. together, and a tree.] A wood nymph, feigned to live and die with the tree to which it was attached.

HAMATE, a. [L. hamatus.] Hooked; entangled.

HAMATED, a. [L. hamatus, from hama, a hook.]

Hooked or set with hooks.

HAMBLE, v.t. To hamstring. [Not used.]

HAME, n. plu. hames. A kind or collar for a draught horse, consisting of two bending pieces of wood or bows, and these placed on curving pads or stuffed leather, made to conform to the shape of the neck.

HAMITE, n. The fossil remains of a curved shell.

HAMLET, n. A small village; a little cluster of houses in the country.

This word seems originally to have signified the seat of a freeholder, comprehending the mansion house and adjacent buildings. It now denotes a small collection of houses in the country, in distinction from a city, a large town or township.

The country wasted and the hamlets burned.

HAMLETED, a. Accustomed to a hamlet, or to a country life.

HAMMER, n. An instrument for driving nails, beating metals, and the like. It consists of an iron head, fixed crosswise to a handle. Hammers are of various sizes; a large hammer used by smiths is called a sledge.

HAMMER, v.t. To beat with a hammer; as, to hammer iron or steel.

1. To form or forge with a hammer; to shape by beating.

2. To work in the mind; to contrive by intellectual labor; usually with out; as, to hammer out a scheme.

HAMMER, v.i. To work; to be busy; to labor in contrivance.

1. To be working or in agitation.

HAMMERABLE, a. That may be shaped by a hammer.

HAMMERCLOTH, n. The cloth which covers a coach-box, so called from the old practice of carrying a hammer, nails, etc. in a little pocket hid by this cloth.

HAMMERED, pp. Beaten with a hammer.

HAMMERER, n. One who works with a hammer.

HAMMERHARD, n. Iron or steel hardened by hammering.

HAMMERING, ppr. Beating with a hammer; working; contriving.

HAMMER-MAN, n. One who beats or works with a hammer.

HAMMER-WORT, n. An herb.

HAMMITE. [See Ammite.]

HAMMOC, n. A kind of hanging bed, suspended between trees or posts, or by hooks. It consists of a piece of hempen cloth about six feet long and three feet wide, gathered at the ends and suspended by cords. It forms a bed, or a receptacle for a bed, on board of ships.

HAMOUS, [L. hamus, a hook.] Hooked; having the end hooked or curved; a term of botany.

HAMPER, n. [contracted form hanaper, or from hand pannier.]

1. A large basket for conveying things to market, etc.

2. Fetters, or some instrument that shackles.

[This signification and that of the verb following indicate that this word is from hanaper, and that the latter is from the sense of interweaving twigs.]

HAMPER, v.t. [See the Noun.] To shackle; to entangle; hence, to impede in motion or progress, or to render progress difficult.

A lion hampered in a net.

1. To ensnare; to inveigle; to catch with allurements.

2. To tangle; to render complicated.

3. To perplex; to embarrass.

Hampered by the laws.

HAMPERED, pp. Shackled; entangled; ensnared; perplexed.

HAMPERING, ppr. Shackling; entangling; perplexing.

HAMSTER, n. A species of rat, the Mus cricetus, or German marmot. This rat is of the size of the water rat, but is of a browner color, and its belly and legs of a dirty yellow. It is remarkable for two bags, like those of a baboon, on each side of the jaw, under the skin, in which it conveys grain, peas and acorns to its winter residence.

HAMSTRING, n. The tendons of the ham.

HAMSTRING, v.t. pret. and pp. hamstrung or hamstringed.

To cut the tendons of the ham, and this to lame or disable.

HAN, for have, in the plural.

HANAPER, n. The hanaper was used in early days by the kings of England, for holding and carrying with them their money, as they journeyed from place to place. It was a kind of basket, like the fiscus, and hence came to be considered as the king’s treasury. Hence, the clerk or warden of the hanaper, is an officer who receives the fees due to the king for seals of charters, patents, commissions, and writs. There is also an officer who is controller of the hanaper. This word therefore answered to the modern exchequer.

HANCE, HAUNCE, for enhance. [See Enhance.]

HANCES, n. plu. [L. ansa.] In architecture, the ends of elliptical arches, which are the arches of smaller circles than the scheme or middle part of the arch.

1. In a ship, falls of the fife-rails placed on balusters on the poop and quarter-deck down to the gangway.

HAND, n. [L. hendo, in prehendo.]

1. In man, the extremity of the arm, consisting of the palm and fingers, connected with the arm at the wrist; the part with which we hold and use any instrument.

2. In falconry, the foot of a hawk; and in the manege, the fore-foot of a horse.

3. A measure of four inches; a palm applied chiefly to horses; as a horse 14 hands high.

4. Side; part; right or left; as on the one hand or the other. This is admitted on all hands, that is, on all sides, or by all parties.

5. Act; deed; performance; external action; that is, the effect for the cause, the hand being the instrument of action.

Thou sawest the contradiction between my heart and hand.

6. Power of performance; skill.

A friend of mine has a very fine hand on the violin.

He had a mind to try his hand at a Spectator.

7. Power of making or producing.

An intelligent being coming out of the hands of infinite perfection.

8. Manner of acting or performance; as, he changed his hand.

9. Agency; part in performing or executing. Punish every man who had a hand in the mischief. We see the hand of God in this event.

10. Conveyance; agency in transmitting.

11. Possession; power. The estate is in the hands of the owner. The papers are in my hands.

12. The cards held at a game; hence, a game.

13. That which performs the office of the hand or of a finger in pointing; as the hand of a clock; the hour hand, and the minute hand.

14. A person; an agent; a man employed in agency or service. The mason employs twenty hands.

15. Form of writing; style of penmanship; as a good hand; a bad hand; a fine hand.

16. Agency; service; ministry. Exodus 4:13; Leviticus 8:36.

17. In Scripture, the hand of God, is his eternal purpose and executive power. Acts 4:28.

18. The providential bounty of God. Psalm 104:28.

19. The power of God exerted in judgments or mercies, in punishing or defending. Judges 2:15; Psalm 32:4.

20. The spirit of God; divine influence. 1 Kings 18:46.

21. The favor of God, or his support. Nehemiah 2:8, 18; Luke 1:66.

At hand, near; either present and within reach, or not far distant.

Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet.

1. Near in time; not distant.

The day of Christ is at hand. 2 Thessalonians 2:2.

By hand, with the hands, in distinction from the instrumentality of tools, engines or animals; as, to weed a garden by hand; to lift, draw or carry by hand.

In hand, present payment; in respect to the receiver.

Receiving in hand one year’s tribute.

1. In a state of execution. I have a great work in hand.

At my hand, at his hand, etc., denote from the person or being.

Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Job 2:10.

Of hand, in present possession; as, he has a supply of goods on hand.

1. Under one’s care or management.

Jupiter had a farm on his hands.

Off hand, without delay, hesitation or difficulty; immediately; dexterously; without previous preparation.

Out of hand, ready payment; with regard to the payer.

Let not the wages of any man tarry with thee; but give it him out of hand.

To his hand, to my hand, etc., in readiness; already prepared; ready to be received.

The work is made to his hands.

Under his hand, under her hand, etc., with the proper writing or signature of the name.

This deed is executed under the hand and seal of the owner.

Hand over head, negligently; rashly; without seeing what one does. [Little used.]

Hand over hand, by passing the hands alternately one before or above another, as to climb hand over hand; also, rapidly, as to come up with a chase hand over hand; ;used by seamen.

Hand to hand, in close union; close fight.

But from hand to hand is from one person to another.

Hand in hand, in union; conjointly; unitedly.

To join hand in hand, is to unite efforts and act in concert.

Hand in hand, fit; pat; suitable.

Hand to mouth. To live from hand to mouth, is to obtain food and other necessaries, as want requires, without making previous provision, or having an abundant previous supply.

To bear in hand, to keep in expectation; to elude. [Not used.]

To bear a hand, to hasten; a seaman’s phrase.

To be hand and glove, to be intimate and familiar, as friends or associates.

To set the hand to, to engage in; to undertake.

That the Lord thy God may bless thee, in all thou settest thine hand to. Deuteronomy 23:20.

To take in hand, to attempt; to undertake. Luke 1:1. Also, to seize and deal with.

To have a hand in, to be concerned in; to have a part or concern in doing; to have an agency in.

To put the last hand or finishing hand to, to complete; to perfect; to make the last corrections, or give the final polish.

To change hands, to change sides; to shift.

Hand, in the sense of rate, price, terms, conditions, as used by Bacon, Taylor, etc., is obsolete; as, “to buy at a dear hand;” “accept the mystery, but at no hand wrest it by pride or ignorance.” So in the sense of advantage, gain, superiority, as used by Hayward; and in that of competition, content, as used by Shakespeare.

To get hand, to gain influence, is obsolete.

A heavy hand, severity or oppression.

A light hand, gentleness; moderation.

A strict hand, severe discipline; rigorous government.

Hands off, a vulgar phrase for keep off, forbear.

To pour water on the hands, in the phraseology of the Scriptures, is to serve or minister to. 2 Kings 3:11.

To wash the hands, to profess in innocence. Matthew 27:24.

To kiss the hand, imports adoration. Job 31:27.

To lean on the hand, imports familiarity. 2 Kings 5:18.

To strike hands, to make a contract, or to become surety for another’s debt or good behavior. Proverbs 17:18.

Putting the hand under the thigh, was an ancient ceremony used in swearing.

To give the hand, is to make a covenant with one, or to unite with him in design. 2 Kings 10:15.

The stretching out of the hand, denotes an exertion of power. But,

The stretching out of the hand to God, imports earnest prayer or solemn dedication of one’s self to him. Psalms 68:31; Psalms 143:6.

The lifting of the hand, was used in affirmation and swearing, and in prayer imported a solemn wishing of blessings from God. Genesis 14:22; Leviticus 19:22.

To lift the hand against a superior, to rebel. 2 Samuel 20:21.

To put forth the hand against one, to kill him. 1 Samuel 24:6, 10.

To put one’s hand to a neighbor’s goods, to steal them. Exodus 22:8, 11.

To lay hands on in anger, to assault or seize, or to smite. Exodus 24:11; Isaiah 11:14.

To lay the hand on the mouth, imports silence. Job 40:4.

The laying on of hands, was also a ceremony used in consecrating one to office. Numbers 27:18, 23; 1 Timothy 4:14.

It was also used in blessing persons. Mark 10:16.

Hiding the hand in the bosom, denotes idleness; inactivity; sluggishness. Proverbs 19:24.

The clapping of hands, denotes joy and rejoicing. But in some instances, contempt or derision, or joy at the calamities of others. Psalm 47:1; Ezekiel 25:6.

A station at the right hand is honorable, and denotes favor, approbation or honor. A station on the left hand is less honorable. Matthew 20:21.

God’s standing at the right hand of men, imports his regard for them, and his readiness to defend and assist them. Psalm 16:8.

Satan’s standing at the right hand of men, imports his readiness to accuse them, or to hinder or torment them. Zechariah 3:1.

Clean hands, denotes innocence and a blameless and holy life. Psalm 24:4.

A slack hand, denotes idleness; carelessness; sloth. Proverbs 10:4.

The right hand, denotes power; strength. Exodus 15:6.

HAND, v.t. To give or transmit with the hand.

Hand me a book.

1. To lead, guide and lift with the hand; to conduct.

2. To manage; as, I hand my oar.

3. To seize; to lay hands on. [Not used.]

4. In seamanship, to furl; to wrap or roll a sail close to the yard, stay or mast, and fasten it with gaskets.

To hand down, to transmit in succession, as from father to son, or from predecessor to successor. Fables are handed down from age to age.

HANDBALL, n. An ancient game with a ball.

HANDBARROW, n. A barrow or vehicle borne by the hands of men, and without a wheel.

HANDBASKET, n. A small or portable basket.

HANDBELL, n. A small bell rung by the hand; a table bell.

HANDBREADTH, n. A space equal to the breadth of the hand; a palm. Exodus 25:25.

HANDCLOTH, n. A handkerchief.

HANDCUFF, n. A manacle, consisting of iron rings for the wrists, and a connecting chain to confine the hands.

HANDCUFF, v.t. To manacle; to confine the hands with handcuffs.

HANDCRAFT, n. Work performed by the hands; usually written handicraft.

HANDED, pp. Given or transmitted by the hands; conducted; furled.

HANDED, a. With hands joined.

1. In composition, as right-handed, most dextrous or strong with the right hand; having the right hand most able and ready.

Left-handed, having the left hand most strong and convenient for principal use.

HANDER, n. One who hands or transmits; a conveyer in succession.

HANDFAST, n. Hold; custody; power of confining or keeping.

HANDF`AST, a. Fast by contract; firm.
HANDF`AST, v.t. To pledge; to betroth; to bind; to join solemnly by the hand.

HANDFASTING, n. A kind of betrothing, or marriage contract.

HAND-FETTER, n. A fetter for the hand; a manacle.