Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



HERMETICALLY, adv. According to the hermetic art; chimically; closely; accurately; as a vessel hermetically sealed or closed.

HERMIT, n. [Gr. solitary, destitute.]

1. A person who retires from society and lives in solitude; a recluse; an anchoret. The word is usually applied to a person who lives in solitude, disengaged from the cares and interruptions of society, for the purpose of religious contemplation and devotion.

2. A beadsman; one bound to pray for another.

HERMITAGE, n. The habitation of a hermit; a house or hut with its appendages, in a solidary place, where a hermit dwells.

1. A cell in a recluse place, but annexed to an abbey.

2. A kind of wine.

HERMITARY, n. A cell for the religious annexed to some abbey.

HERMITESS, n. A female hermit.

HERMITICAL, a. Pertaining to a hermit, or to retired life.

1. Suited to a hermit.

HERMODACTYL, n. [Gr. Mercury, and a finger; Mercury’s finger.]

In the Materia Medic, a root brought from Turkey. It is in the shape of a heart flatted, of a white color, compact, but easy to be cut or pulverized, of a viscous sweetish taste, with a slight degree of acrimony. Some suppose it to be the root of the Colchicum variegatum; others, the root of the Iris tuberosa. It was anciently in great repute as a cathartic; but that which is now furnished has little or no cathartic quality.

HERMOGENIANS, n. A sect of ancient heretics, so called from their leader Hermogenes, who lived near the close of the second century. He held matter to be the fountain of all evil, and that souls are formed of corrupt matter.

HERN, n. A heron, which see.

HERNHILL, n. A plant.

HERNIA, n. [L.] In surgery, a rupture; a descent of the intestines or omentum from their natural place; an unnatural protrusion of the intestines. Hernia is of various kinds.

HERNSHAW, n. A heron.

HERO, n. [L. heros; Gr. a demigod.]

1. A man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger; as a hero in arms.

2. A great, illustrious or extraordinary person; as a hero in learning. [Little used.]

3. In a poem, or romance, the principal personage, or the person who has the principal share in the transactions related; as Achilles in the Iliad, Ulysses in the Odyssey, and Aeneas in the Aeneid.

4. In pagan mythology, a hero was an illustrious person, mortal indeed, but supposed by the populace to partake of immortality, and after his death to be placed among the gods.

HERODIANS, n. A sect among the Jews, which took this name from Herod; but authors are not agreed as to their peculiar notions.

HEROIC, a. Pertaining to a hero or heroes; as heroic valor.

1. Becoming a hero; bold; daring; illustrious; as heroic action; heroic enterprises.

2. Brave; intrepid; magnanimous; enterprising; illustrious for valor; as Hector, the heroic son of Priam; a heroic race.

3. Productive of heroes; as a heroic line in pedigree.

4. Reciting the achievements of heroes; as a heroic poem.

5. Used in heroic poetry or hexameter; as heroic verse; a heroic foot.

Heroic age, the age when the heroes, or those called the children of the gods, are supposed to have lived.

HEROICAL, a. The same as heroic. [Little used.]

HEROICALLY, adv. In the manner of a hero; with valor; bravely; courageously; intrepidly. The wall was heroically defended.

HEROI-COMIC, a. [See Hero and Comic.] Consisting of the heroic and the ludicrous; denoting the high burlesque; as a heroicomic poem.

HEROINE, n. her’oin. A female hero; a woman of a brave spirit. [Heroess is not in use.]

HEROISM, n. The qualities of a hero; bravery; courage; intrepidity; particularly in war.

HERON, n. A large fowl of the genus Ardea, a great devourer of fish.

HERONRY, HERONSHAW, n. A place where herons breed.

HEROSHIP, n. The character of a hero.

HERPES, n. [Gr. to creep.] Tetters; an eruption on the skin; erysipelas; ringworm, etc. This disease takes various names according to its form or the part affected.

A term applied to several cutaneous eruptions, from their tendency to spread or creep from one part of the skin to another.

An eruption of vesicles in small distinct clusters, accompanied with itching or tingling; including the shingles, ringworm, etc.

HERPETIC, a. Pertaining to the herpes or cutaneous eruptions; resembling the herpes, or partaking of its nature; as herpetic eruptions.

HERPETOLOGIC, HERPETOLOGICAL, a. Pertaining to herpetology.

HERPETOLOGIST, n. A person versed in herpetology, or the natural history of reptiles.

HERPETOLOGY, n. [Gr. a reptile, and discourse.] A description of reptiles; the natural history of reptiles, including oviparous quadrupeds, as the crocodile, frog and tortoise, and serpents. The history of the latter is called ophiology.

HERRING, n. A fish of the genus Clupea. Herrings, when they migrate, move in vast shoals, and it is said that the name is formed from the Teutonic here, heer, an army or multitude. They come from high northern latitudes in the spring, and visit the shores of Europe and America, where they are taken and salted in great quantities.

HERRING-FISHERY, n. The fishing for herrings, which constitutes an important branch of business with the English, Dutch and Americans.

HERS, pron. hurz, pron. fem. possessive; as, this house is hers, that is, this is the house of her. But perhaps it would be more correct to consider hers as a substitute for the noun and adjective, in the nominative case. Of the two houses, hers is the best, that is, her house is the best.

HERSCHEL, n. her’shel. A planet discovered by Dr. Herschel, in 1781.

HERSE, n. hers.

1. In fortification, a lattice or portcullis in the form of a harrow, set with iron spikes. It is hung by a rope fastened to a moulinet, and when a gate is broken, it is let down to obstruct the passage. It is called also a sarrasin or cataract, and when it consists of straight stakes without cross-pieces, it is called orgues.

Herse is also a harrow, used for a chevaux de frise, and laid in the way or in breaches, with the points up, to obstruct or incommode the march of an enemy.

1. A carriage for bearing corpses to the grave. It is a frame only, or a box, as in England, borne on wheels.

2. A temporary monument set over a grave. [Unusual and not legitimate.]

3. A funeral eulogy. [Not used.]

HERSE, v.t. hers. To put on or in a herse.

1. To carry to the grave.

HERSELF, pron. [her and self.] This denotes a female, the subject of discourse before mentioned, and is either in the nominative or objective case. In the nominative it usually follows she, and is added for the sake of emphasis, or emphatical distinction; as, she herself will bear the blame.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself. Exodus 2:5.

1. Having the command of herself; mistress of her rational powers, judgment or temper. The woman was deranged, but she is now herself again. She has come to herself.

2. In her true character; as, the woman acts like herself.

HERSELIKE, a. hers’like. Funereal; suitable to funerals.

HERSILLON, n. [from herse.] In the military art, a plank or beam, whose sides are set with spikes or nails, to incommode and retard the march of an enemy.

HERY, v.t. To regard as holy.

HESITANCY, n. [See Hesitate.] A doubting; literally, a stopping of the mind; a pausing to consider; dubiousness; suspense.

The reason of my hesitancy about the air is--

HESITANT, a. Hesitating; pausing; wanting volubility of speech.

HESITATE, v.i. s as z. [L. haesito, haereo, to hang.]

1. To stop or pause respecting decision or action; to be doubtful as to fact, principle or determination; to be in suspense or uncertainty; as, he hesitated whether to accept the offer or not. We often hesitate what judgment to form.

It is never transitive, unless by poetic license.

Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.

2. To stammer; to stop in speaking.

HESITATING, ppr. Doubting; pausing; stammering.

HESITATINGLY, adv. With hesitation or doubt.

HESITATION, n. A pausing or delay in forming an opinion or commencing action; doubt; suspension of opinion or decision, from uncertainty what is proper to be decided. When evidence is clear, we may decide without hesitation.

1. A stopping in speech; intermission between words; stammering.

HEST, n. Command; precept; injunction; order. [Now obsolete, but it is retained in the compound, behest.]

HESPERIAN. [L. hesperius, western, from hesperus, vesper, the evening star, Venus.]

Western; situated at the west.

HESPERIAN, n. An inhabitant of a western country.

HETERARCHY, n. [Gr. another, and rule.] The government of an alien.

HETEROCLITE, n. [Gr. another, or different, to incline, to lean.]

1. In grammar, a word which is irregular or anomalous either in declension or conjugation, or which deviates from the ordinary forms of inflection in words of a like kind. It is particularly applied to nouns irregular in declension.

2. Any thing or person deviating from common forms.

HETEROCLITE, HETEROCLITIC, HETEROCLITICAL, a. Irregular; anomalous; deviating from ordinary forms or rules.

HETEROCLITOUS, a. Heteroclitic. [Not in use.]

HETERODOX, a. [Gr. another, different, and opinion.]

1. In theology, heretical; contrary to the faith and doctrines of the true church; or more precisely, contrary to the real doctrines of the Scriptures; as a heterodox opinion; opposed to orthodox.

2. Repugnant to the doctrines or tenets of any established church.

3. Holding opinions repugnant to the doctrines of the Scriptures, as a heterodox divine; or holding opinions contrary to those of an established church.

HETERODOXY, n. Heresy; an opinion or doctrine contrary to the doctrines of the Scriptures, or contrary to those of an established church.

HETEROGENE, a. [See the next word.]

HETEROGENEAL, HETEROGENEOUS, a. [Gr. other, and kind.] Of a different kind or nature; unlike or dissimilar in kind; opposed to homogeneous.

The light whose rays are all alike refrangible, I call simple, homogeneal and similar; and that whose rays are some more refrangible than others, I call compound, heterogeneal and dissimilar.

Heterogeneous nouns, are such as are of different genders in the singular and plural numbers; as hic locus, of the masculine gender in the singular, and hi loci and haec loca, both masculine and neuter in the plural. Hoc coelum, neuter in the singular; hi coeli, masculine in the plural.

Heterogeneous quantities, are those which are of such different kind and consideration, that one of them, taken any number of times, never equals or exceeds the other.

Heterogeneous surds, are such as have different radical signs.

HETEROGENEITY, n. Opposition of nature; contrariety or dissimilitude of qualities. [Ill formed.]

1. Dissimilar part; something of a different kind.

HETEROGENEOUSNESS, n. Difference of nature and quality; dissimilitude or contrariety in kind, nature or qualities.

HETEROPHYLLOUS, a. [Gr. diverse, and leaf.]

Producing a diversity of leaves; as a heterophyllous violet.

HETEROPTICS, n. [See Optics.] False optics.

HETEROSCIAN, n. [Gr. other, and shadow.]

Those inhabitants of the earth are called Heteroscians, whose shadows fall one way only. Such are those who live between the tropics and the polar circles. The shadows of those who live north of the tropic of Cancer, fall northward; those of the inhabitants south of the tropic of Capricorn, fall southward; whereas the shadows of those who dwell between the tropics fall sometimes to the north and sometimes to the south.

HETEROSCIAN, a. Having the shadow fall one way only.

HEULANDITE, a. [from M. Heuland.] A mineral, occurring massive, frequently globular, or crystallized in the form of a right oblique-angled prism. It has been ranked among the zeolites, but is now considered as distinct.

HEW, v.t. pret. hewed; pp. hewed or hewn.

1. To cut with an ax, or other like instrument, for the purpose of making an even surface or side; as, to hew timber.

2. To chop; to cut; to hack; as, to hew in pieces.

3. To cut with a chisel; to make smooth; as, to hew stone.

4. To form or shape with an edged instrument; with out; as, to hew out a sepulcher. Isaiah 22:16.

5. To form laboriously.

I now pass my days, not studious nor idle, rather polishing old works than hewing out new ones. [Unusual.]

To hew down, to cut down; to fell by cutting.

To hew off, to cut off; to separate by a cutting instrument.

HEWED, pp. Cut and made smooth or even; chopped; hacked; shaped by cutting or by a chisel.

HEWER, n. One who hews wood or stone.

HEWING, ppr. Cutting and making smooth or even; chopping; hacking; forming by the chisel.

HEWN, pp. The same as hewed.

HEXADE, n. [Gr. six.] A series of six numbers.

HEXACHORD, n. [Gr. six and a chord.] In ancient music, an imperfect chord called a sixth. Also, an instrument of six chords, or system of six sounds.

HEXADACTYLOUS, a. [Gr.] Having six toes.

HEXAGON, n. [Gr. six and an angle.] In geometry, a figure of six sides and six angles. If the sides and angles are equal, it is a regular hexagon. The cells of honeycomb are hexagons, and it is remarkable that bees instinctively form their cells of this figure which fills any given space without any interstice or loss or room.

HEXAGONAL, a. Having six sides and six angles.

HEXAGONY, for hexagon, is not used.

HEXAGYN, n. [Gr. six, and a female.] In botany, a plant that has six pistils.

HEXAGYNIAN, a. Having six pistils.

HEXAHEDRAL, a. Of the figure of a hexahedron; having six equal sides.

HEXAHEDRON, n. [Gr. six, and a base or seat.] A regular solid body of six sides; a cube.

HEXAHEMERON, n. [Gr. six, and day.] The term of six days.

HEXAMETER, n. [Gr. six, and measure.] In ancient poetry, a verse of six feet, the first four of which may be either dactyls or spondees, the fifth must regularly be a dactyl, and the sixth always a spondee. In this species of verse are composed the Illiad of Homer and the Aeneid of Virgil.

HEXAMETER, a. Having six metrical feet.

HEXAMETRIC, HEXAMETRICAL, a. Consisting of six metrical feet.

HEXANDER, n. [Gr. six and male.] In botany, a plant having six stamens.

HEXANDRIAN, a. Having six stamens.

HEXANGULAR, a. [Gr. six, and angular.]

Having six angles or corners.

HEXAPED, a. [Gr. six; L. pes, pedis, the foot.]

Having six feet.

HEXAPED, n. An animal having six feet. [Ray, and Johnson after him write this hexapod; but it is better to pursue uniformity, as in quadruped, centiped.]

1. A fathom. [Not in use.]

HEXAPETALOUS, a. [Gr. six, and a leaf, a petal.] Having six petals or flower-leaves.

HEXAPHYLLOUS, a. [Gr. six, and a leaf.]

Having six leaves.

HEXAPLAR, a. [Gr. six, and to unfold.] Sextuple; containing six columns; from Hexapla, the work of Origen, or an edition of the Bible, containing the original Hebrew, and several Greek versions.

HEXASTICH, n. [Gr. six, and a verse.]

A poem consisting of six verses.

HEXASTYLE, n. [Gr. six, and a column.]

A building with six columns in front.

HEY. An exclamation of joy or mutual exhortation, the contrary to the L. hei.

HEYDAY, exclam. An expression of frolick and exultation, and sometimes of wonder.

HEYDAY, n. A frolick; wildness.

HIATION, n. [L. hio, to gape.] The act of gaping. [Not used.]

HIATUS, n. [L. from hio, to open or gape.]

1. An opening; an aperture; a gap; a chasm.

2. The opening of the mouth in reading or speaking, when a word ends with a vowel, and the following word begins with a vowel.

3. A defect; a chasm in a manuscript, where some part is lost or effaced.

HIBERNACLE, n. [L. hibernacula, winter-quarters.]

1. In botany, the winter-quarters of a plant, that is, a bulb or a bud, in which the embryo of a future plant is inclosed by a scaly covering and protected from injuries during winter.

2. The winter-lodge of a wild animal.

HIBERNAL, a. [L. hibernus.] Belonging or relating to winter.

HIBERNATE, v.i. [L. hiberno.] To winter; to pass the season of winter in close quarters or in seclusion, as birds or beasts.

HIBERNATION, n. The passing of winter in a close lodge, as beasts and fowls that retire in cold weather.

HIBERNIAN, a. Pertaining to Hibernia, now Ireland.

HIBERNIAN, n. A native of Ireland.

HIBERNICISM, n. An idiom or mode of speech peculiar to the Irish.

HIBERNO-CELTIC, n. The native language of the Irish; the Gaelic.

Hiccius Doccius. A cant word for a juggler.

HICCOUGH, HICKUP, n. [The English is a compound of hic and cough; and hic may be allied to hitch, to catch. The word is generally pronounced hick-up.]

A spasmodic affection of the stomach, esophagus, and muscles subservient to deglutition.

Convulsive catch of the respiratory muscles, with sonorous inspiration; repeated at short intervals.

HICCOUGH, HICKUP, v.i. To have a spasmodic affection of the stomach from repletion or other cause.

HICKORY, n. A tree, a species of Juglans or walnut. Its nut is called hickory-nut.

HICKWALL, HICKWAY, n. A small species of woodpecker.

HID, HIDDEN, pp. of hide. Concealed; placed in secrecy.

1. Secret; unseen.

2. Mysterious.

HIDAGE, n. [from hide, a quantity of land.] An extraordinary tax formerly paid to the kings of England for every hide of land.