Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



HEBEN, n. Ebony.

HEBETATE, v.t. [L. hebeto, from hebes, dull, blunt, heavy.]

To dull; to blunt; to stupefy; as, to hebetate the intellectual faculties.

HEBETATED, ppr. Made blunt, dull or stupid.

HEBETATING, pp. Rendering blunt, dull or stupid.

HEBETATION, n. The act of making blunt, dull or stupid.

1. The state of being dulled.

HEBETE, a. Dull; stupid.

HEBETUDE, n. [L. hebetudo.] Dullness; stupidity.

HEBRAIC, a. [from Hebrew.] Pertaining to the Hebrews; designating the language of the Hebrews.

HEBRAICALLY, adv. After the manner of the Hebrew language; from right to left.

HEBRAISM, n. A Hebrew idiom; a peculiar expression or manner of speaking in the Hebrew language.

HEBRAIST, n. One versed in the Hebrew language.

HEBRAIZE, v.t. To convert into the Hebrew idiom; to make Hebrew.

HEBRAIZE, v.i. To speak Hebrew, or to conform to the Hebrews.

HEBREW, n. [Heb. Eber, either a proper name, or a name denoting passage, pilgrimage, or coming from beyond the Euphrates.]

One of the descendants of Eber, or Heber; but particularly, a descendant of Jacob, who was a descendant of Eber; an Israelite; a Jew.

1. The Hebrew language.

HEBREW, a. Pertaining to the Hebrews; as the Hebrew language or rites.

HEBREWESS, n. An Israelitish woman.

HEBRICIAN, n. One skilled in the Hebrew language.

HEBRIDIAN, a. Pertaining to the isles called Hebrides, west of Scotland.

HECATOMB, n. [L. hecatombe; Gr. a hundred, and an ox.]

In antiquity, a sacrifice of a hundred altars, and by a hundred priests.

HECK, n. [See Hatch.] An engine or instrument for catching fish; as a salmon heck.

1. A rack for holding fodder for cattle.

2. A bend in a stream.

3. A hatch or latch of a door.

HECKLE, v.t. A different orthography of hackle, or hetchel.

HECTARE, n. [Gr. a hundred, and L. area.] A French measure containing a hundred ares, or ten thousand square meters.

HECTIC, HECTICAL, a. [Gr. habit of body, to have.] Habitual; denoting a slow, continual fever, marked by preternatural, though remitting heat, which precedes and accompanies the consumption or phthisis; as a hectic fever.

1. Affected with hectic fevers; as a hectic patient.

2. Troubled with a morbid heat.

No hectic student scares the gentle maid.

HECTIC, n. A hectic; or habitual fever.

HECTICALLY, adv. Constitutionally.

HECTOGRAM, n. [Gr. a hundred; and a gram.] In the French system of weights and measures, a weight containing a hundred grams; equal to 3 ounces, 2 gros, and 12 grains, French.

HECTOLITER, n. [Gr. a hundred, and a pound.] A French measure of capacity for liquids, containing a hundred liters; equal to a tenth of a cubic meter, or 107 Paris pints. As a dry measure, it is called a setier, and contains 10 decaliters or bushels [boisseaux.]

HECTOMETER, n. [Gr. a hundred, and measure.] A French measure equal to a hundred meters; the meter being the unit of lineal measure. It is equivalent nearly to 308 French feet.

HECTOR, n. [from Hector, the son of Priam, a brave Trojan warrior.]

1. A bully; a blustering, turbulent, noisy fellow.

2. One who teases or vexes.

HECTOR, v.t. To threaten; to bully; to treat with insolence.

1. To tease; to vex; to torment by words.

HECTOR, v.i. To play the bully; to bluster; to be turbulent or insolent.

HECTORED, pp. Bullied; teased.

HECTORING, ppr. Bullying; blustering; vexing.

HECTORISM, n. The disposition or practice of a hector; a bullying.

HECTORLY, a. Blustering; insolent.

HEDENBERGITE, n. [from Hedenberg, who first analyzed it.]

A mineral, or ore of iron, in masses, composed of shining plates, which break into rhombic fragments; found at Tunaberg, in Sweden.

HEDERACEOUS, a. [L. hederaceus, from hedera, ivy.]

1. Pertaining to ivy.

2. Producing ivy.

HEDERAL, a. Composed of ivy; belonging to ivy.

HEDERIFEROUS, a. [L. hedera, ivy, and fero, to bear.]

Producing ivy.

HEDGE, n. hej. [Eng. haw] Properly, a thicket of thorn-bushes or other shrubs or small trees; but appropriately, such a thicket planted round a field to fence it, or in rows, to separate the parts of a garden.

Hedge, prefixed to another word, or in composition, denotes something mean, as a hedge-priest, a hedge-press, a hedge-vicar, that is, born in or belonging to the hedges or woods, low, outlandish. [Not used in American.]

HEDGE, v.t. hej. To inclose with a hedge; to fence with a thicket of shrubs or small trees; to separate by a hedge; as, to hedge a field or garden.

1. To obstruct with a hedge, or to obstruct in any manner.

I will hedge up thy way with thorns. Hosea 2:6.

2. To surround for defense; to fortify.

England hedged in with the main.

3. To inclose for preventing escape.

That is a law to hedge in the cuckow.

Dryden, Swift and Shakespeare have written hedge, for edge, to edge in, but improperly.

HEDGE, v.i. hej. To hide, as in a hedge; to hide; to skulk.

HEDGE-BILL, HEDGING-BILL, n. A cutting hook used in dressing hedges.

HEDGE-BORN, a. Of low birth, as if born in the woods; outlandish; obscure.

HEDGE-BOTE, n. Wood for repairing hedges.

HEDGE-CREEPER, n. One who skulks under hedges for bad purposes.


HEDGEHOG, n. A quadruped, or genus of quadrupeds, the Erinaceus. The common hedgehog has round ears, and crested nostrils; his body is about nine inches long, and the upper part is covered with prickles or spines, and the under part with hair. When attacked, this animal erects his prickles and rolls himself into a round form, which presents the points of the prickles on all sides to an assailant.

1. A term of reproach.

2. A plant of the genus Medicago, or snail-trefoil. The seeds are shaped like a snail, downy, and armed with a few short spines.

3. The globe-fish, orbis echinatus.

This fish belongs to the genus Diodon. It is covered with long spines, and has the power of inflating its body, whence the name globe-fish.

The Sea-hedgehog, is the Echinus, a genus of Zoophytes, generally of a spheroidal or oval form, and covered with movable spines.

HEDGEHOG-THISTLE, n. A plant, the Cactus.

HEDGE-HYSSOP, n. A plant, the Gratiola.

HEDGE-MUSTARD, n. A plant, the Erysimum.

HEDGE-NETTLE, n. A plant, the Galeopsis. The shrubby hedge-nettle is of the genus Prasium.

HEDGE-NOTE, a. A term of contempt for low writing.

HEDGEPIG, n. A young hedgehog.

HEDGEROW, n. A row or series of shrubs or trees planted for inclosure, or separation of fields.

HEDGE-SPARROW, n. A bird of the genus Motacilla, frequenting hedges; distinguished from the sparrow that builds in thatch.

HEDGE-WRITER, n. A Grub-street writer or low author.

HEDGER, n. One who makes hedges.

HEDGING, ppr. Inclosing with a hedge; obstructing; confining.

HEED, v.t. To mind; to regard with care; to take notice of; to attend to; to observe.

With pleasure Argus the musician heeds.

HEED, n. Care; attention.

With wanton heed and giddy cunning.

1. Caution; care; watch for danger; notice; circumspection; usually preceded by take.

Take heed of evil company. Take heed to your ways.

Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand. 2 Samuel 20:10.

2. Notice; observation; regard; attention; often preceded by give.

The preacher gave good heed. Ecclesiastes 12:9.

Neither give heed to fables. 1 Timothy 1:4.

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed. Hebrews 2:1.

3. Seriousness; a steady look.

A heed.

Was in his countenance. [Unusual.]

HEEDED, pp. Noticed; observed; regarded.

HEEDFUL, a. Attentive; observing; giving heed; as heedful of advice.

1. Watchful; cautious; circumspect; wary.

HEEDFULLY, adv. Attentively; carefully; cautiously. Listen heedfully to good advice.

1. Watchfully.

HEEDFULNESS, n. Attention; caution; vigilance; circumspection; care to guard against danger, or to perform duty.

HEEDLESS, a. Inattentive; careless; negligent of the means of safety; thoughtless; regardless; unobserving. We say, heedless children; heedless of danger or surprise.

The heedless lover does not know,

Whose eyes they are that wound him so.

HEEDLESSLY, adv. Carelessly; negligently; inattentively; without care or circumspection.

HEEDLESSNESS, n. Inattention; carelessness; thoughtlessness; negligence.

HEEL, n. [L. calx; Gr. a tumor.]

1. The hind part of the foot, particularly of man; but it is applied also to the corresponding part of the feet of quadrupeds.

2. The whole foot.

The stag recalls his strength, his speed,

His winged heels--

3. The hind part of a shoe, either for man or beast.

4. The part of a stocking intended for the heel.

To be out at the heels, is to have on stockings that are worn out.

5. Something shaped like the human heel; a protuberance or knob.

6. The latter part; as, a bill was introduced into the legislature at the heel of the session.

7. A spur.

This horse understands the heel well.

8. The after end of a ship’s keel; the lower end of the stern-post to which it is connected; also, the lower end of a mast.

To be at the heels, to pursue closely; to follow hard; also, to attend closely.

Hungry want is at my heels.

To show the heels, to flee; to run from.

To take to the heels, to flee; to betake to flight.

To lay by the heels, to fetter; to shackle; to confine.

To have the heels of, to outrun.

Neck and heels, the whole length of the body.

HEEL, v.i. To dance.
HEEL, v.t. To arm a cock.

1. To add a heel to; as, to heel a shoe.

HEEL, v.i. To incline; to lean; as a ship; as, the ship heels a-port, or a star-board.

HEELER, n. A cock that strikes well with his heels.

HEEL-PIECE, n. Armor for the heels.

1. A piece of leather on the heel of a shoe.

HEFT, n.

1. Heaving; effort.

He cracks his gorge, his sides.

With violent hefts. [Not used.]

2. Weight; ponderousness. [This use is common in popular language in America. And we sometimes hear it used as a verb, as, to heft, to lift for the purpose of feeling or judging of the weight.]

3. A handle; a haft. [Not used.]

HEFTED, a. Heaved; expressing agitation.

HEGIRA, n. In chronology, an epoch among the Mohammedans, from which they compute time. The event which gave rise to it was the flight of Mohammed from Mecca; from which the magistrates, fearing his impostures might raise a sedition, expelled him, July 10, A.D. 622, under the reign of the emperor Heraclius.

HEIFER, n. hef’er. A young cow.

HEIGH-HO. hi-ho. An exclamation expressing some degree of languor or uneasiness. Dryden has used it for the voice of exultation.

HEIGHT, HIGHTH, HIGHT, n. hite, or hith.

1. Elevation above the ground; any indefinite distance above the earth. The eagle flies at a great hight, or highth.

2. The altitude of an object; the distance which any thing rises above its foot, basis or foundation; as the hight, or highth of a tower or steeple.

3. Elevation of a star or other celestial luminary above the horizon.

4. Degree of latitude either north or south. In this application, the distance from the equator is considered as elevation. Latitudes are higher as they approach the pole.

Guinea lieth to the north sea, in the same height as Peru to the south.

5. Distance of one thing above another.

6. An eminence; a summit; an elevated part of any thing.

7. A hill or mountain; any elevated ground; as the hights of Dorchester.

8. Elevation of rank; station of dignity or office.

By him that raised me to this careful height.

9. Elevation in excellence of any kind, as in power, learning, arts.

10. Elevation in fame or reputation.

11. Utmost degree in extent or violence; as the highth or hight of a fever, of passion, of madness, of folly, of happiness, of good breeding. So we say, the hight of a tempest.

12. Utmost exertion.

I shall now put you to the height of your breeding.

13. Advance; degree; progress towards perfection or elevation; speaking comparatively.

Social duties are carried to a greater height--by the principles of our religion.

HEIGHTEN, v.t. hitn. To raise higher; but not often used in this literal sense.

1. To advance in progress towards a better state; to improve; to meliorate; to increase in excellence or good qualities; as, to highten virtue; to highten the beauties of description, or of poetry.

2. To aggravate; to advance towards a worse state; to augment in violence.

3. To increase; as, to highten our relish for intellectual pleasure.

HEIGHTENED, pp. hitnd. Raised higher; elevated; exalted; advanced; improved; aggravated; increased.

HEIGHTENING, ppr. hitning. Raising; elevating; exalting; improving; increasing; aggravating.

HEIGHTENING, n. hitning. The act of elevating; increase of excellence; improvement.

1. Aggravation; augmentation.

HEINOUS, a. An incorrect orthography. [See Hainous.]

HEIR, n. are. [L. haeres, haeredis.]

1. The man who succeeds, or is to succeed another in the possession of lands, tenements and hereditaments, by descent; the man on whom the law casts an estate of inheritance by the death of the ancestor or former possessor; or the man in whom the title to an estate of inheritance is vested by the operation of law, on the death of a former owner.

We give the title to a person who is to inherit after the death of an ancestor, and during his life, as well as to the person who has actually come into possession. A man’s children are his heirs. In most monarchies, the king’s eldest son is heir to the throne; and a nobleman’s eldest son is heir to his title.

Lo, one born in my house is my heir. Genesis 15:3.

2. One who inherits, or takes from an ancestor. The son is often heir to the disease, or to the miseries of the father.

3. One who succeeds to the estate of a former possessor. Jeremiah 49:1; Micah 1:15.

4. One who is entitled to possess. In Scripture, saints are called heirs of the promise, heirs of righteousness, heirs of salvation, etc., by virtue of the death of Christ, or of God’s gracious promises.

Heir-presumptive, one who, if the ancestor should die immediately, would be heir, but whose right of inheritance may be defeated by any contingency, as by the birth of a nearer relative.

HEIR, v.t. are. To inherit; to take possession of an estate of inheritance, after the death of the ancestor.

HEIR-APPARENT, n. The man who, during the life of his ancestor, is entitled to succeed to his estate or crown.

HEIRDOM, n. aredom. Succession by inheritance.

HEIRESS, n. aress. A female heir; a female that inherits, or is entitled to inherit an estate; an inheritrix.

HEIRLESS, a. areless. Destitute of an heir.

HEIR-LOOM, n. are-loom. Any furniture, movable, or personal chattel, which by law descends to the heir with the house or freehold; as tables, cupboards, bedsteads, etc.

HEIRSHIP, n. areship. The state, character or privileges of an heir; right of inheriting.

1. Heirship movables, in Scotland, the best of certain kinds of movables which the heir is entitled to take, besides the heritable estate.

HELD, pret. and pp. of hold. A court was held in Westminster hall. At a council held on the first of January.

HELE, v.t. [L. celo.] To hide.

HELIACAL, a. [L. heliacus; Gr. the sun.]

Emerging from the light of the sun, or passing into it. The heliacal rising of a star, is when, after being in conjunction with it and invisible, it emerges from the light so as to be visible in the morning before sunrising. On the contrary, the heliacal setting of a star, is when the sun approaches so near as to render it invisible by its superior splendor.

HELIACALLY, adv. A star rises heliacally, when it emerges from the sun’s light, so as to be visible. [See the preceding word.]

HELICAL, a. [Gr. a scroll, or spiral body.]

Spiral; winding; moving round.

HELICITE, n. [See Helix.] Fossil remains of the helix, a shell.

HELING, n. [from hele, Obs.; L. celo.] The covering of the roof of a building; written also hilling. [Not used in the U. States.]

HELIOCENTRIC, a. [Gr. the sun, and center.]

The heliocentric place of a planet, is the place of the ecliptic in which the planet would appear to a spectator at the center of the sun.

The heliocentric latitude of a planet, is the inclination of a line drawn between the center of the sun and the center of a planet to the plane of the ecliptic.

Helioid parabola, in mathematics, the parabolic spiral, a curve which arises from the supposition that the axis of the common Apollonian parabola is bent round into the periphery of a circle, and is a line then passing through the extremities of the ordinates, which now converge towards the center of the said circle.

HELIOLATER, n. [Gr. the sun, and to worship.]

A worship of the sun.

HELIOLATRY, n. [Gr. the sun, and service, worship.]

The worship of the sun, a branch of Sabianism.

HELIOMETER, n. [Gr. the sun, and to measure.] An instrument for measuring with exactness the diameter of the heavenly bodies. It is called also astrometer.

HELIOSCOPE, n. [Gr. the sun, and to view.] A sort of telescope fitted for viewing the sun without pain or injury to the eyes, as when made with colored glasses, or glasses blackened with smoke.

HELIOSTATE, n. [Gr. the sun.] An instrument by which a sunbeam may be steadily directed to one spot.

HELIOTROPE, n. [Gr. the sun, and to turn.]

1. Among the ancients, an instrument or machine for showing when the sun arrived at the tropics and the equinoctial line.

2. A genus or plants, the turnsole.

3. A mineral, a subspecies of rhomboidal quartz, of a deep green color, peculiarly pleasant to the eye. It is usually variegated with blood red or yellowish dots, and is more or less translucent. Before the blowpipe, it loses its color. It is generally supposed to be chalcedony, colored by green earth or chlorite.

HELISPHERIC, HELISPHERICAL, a. [helix and sphere.] Spiral. The helispherical line is the rhomb line in navigation, so called because on the globe it winds round the pole spirally, coming nearer and nearer to it, but never terminating in it.

HELIX, n. [Gr. a winding.] A spiral line; a winding; or something that is spiral; as a winding staircase in architecture, or a caulicule or little volute under the flowers of the Corinthian capital. In anatomy, the whole circuit or extent of the auricle, or external border of the ear.

1. In zoology, the snail-shell.

HELL, n.

1. The place or state of punishment for the wicked after death. Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5.

Sin is hell begun, as religion is heaven anticipated.

2. The place of the dead, or of souls after death; the lower regions, or the grave; called in Hebrew, sheol, and by the Greeks, hades. Psalm 16:10; Jonah 2:2.

3. The pains of hell, temporal death, or agonies that dying persons feel, or which bring to the brink of the grave. Psalm 18:5.

4. The gates of hell, the power and policy of Satan and his instruments. Matthew 16:18.

5. The infernal powers.

While Saul and hell cross’d his strong fate in vain.

6. The place at a running play to which are carried those who are caught.

7. A place into which a tailor throws his shreds.

8. A dungeon or prison.

HELLBLACK, a. Black as hell.

HELL-BORN, a. Born in hell.

HELL-BRED, a. Produced in hell.

HELL-BREWED, a. Prepared in hell.