Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



IDYL, n. [L. idyllium; Gr. supposed to be from form.]

A short poem; properly, a short pastoral poem; as the idyls of Theocritus.

I.E. stands for L. id est, that is.

IELAND, n. i’land. [L. aqua, and land. This is the genuine English word, always used in discourse, but for which is used island, an absurd compound of Fr. isle and land, which signifies land in water-land, or rather ieland-land.]

1. A portion of land surrounded by water; as Bermuda, Barbadoes, Cuba, Great Britain, Borneo.

2. A large mass of floating ice.

IF, v.t. It is used as the sign of a condition, or it introduces a conditional sentence. It is a verb, without a specified nominative. In like manner we use grant, admit, suppose. Regularly, if should be followed, as it was formerly, by the substitute or pronoun that, referring to the succeeding sentence or proposition. If that John shall arrive in season, I will send him with a message. But that is now omitted, and the subsequent sentence, proposition or affirmation may be considered as the object of the verb. Give John shall arrive; grant, suppose, admit that he shall arrive, I will send him with a message. The sense of if, or give, in this use, is grant, admit, cause to be, let the fact be, let the thing take place. If then is equivalent to grant, allow, admit. “If thou wilt, thou canst make me whole,” that is, thou canst make me whole, give the fact, that thou wilt.

If thou art the son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Matthew 4:3.

1. Whether or not.

Uncertain if by augury or chance.

IGNEOUS, a. [L. igneus, from ignis, fire.]

1. Consisting of fire; as igneous particles emitted from burning wood.

2. Containing fire; having the nature of fire.

3. Resembling fire; as an igneous appearance.

IGNESCENT, a. [L. ignescens, ignesco, from ignis, fire.]

Emitting sparks of fire when struck with steel; scintillating; as ignescent stones.

IGNESCENT, n. A stone or mineral that gives out sparks when struck with steel or iron.

Many other stones, besides this class of ignescents, produce a real scintillation when struck against steel.

IGNIFY, v.t. [L. ignis and facio.] To form into fire.

IGNIFLUOUS, a. [L. ignifluus.] Flowing with fire.

IGNIPOTENT, a. [L. ignis, fire, and potens, powerful.]

Presiding over fire. Vulcan is called the power ignipotent.

IGNIS FATUUS, n. [L.] A meteor or light that appears in the night, over marshy grounds, supposed to be occasioned by phosphoric matter extricated from putrefying animal or vegetable substances, or by some inflammable gas; vulgarly called - Will with the wisp, and Jack with a lantern.

IGNITE, v.t. [L. ignis, fire.] To kindle, or set on fire.

1. More generally, to communicate fire to, or to render luminous or red by heat; as, to ignite charcoal or iron. Anthracite is ignited with more difficulty than bituminous coal.

IGNITE, v.i. To take fire; to become red with heat.

IGNITED, pp. Set on fire.

1. Rendered red or luminous by heat or fire.

IGNITING, ppr. Setting on fire; becoming red with heat.

1. Communicating fire to; heating to redness.

IGNITION, n. The act of kindling, or setting on fire.

1. The act or operation of communicating fire or heat, till the substance becomes red or luminous.

2. The state of being kindled; more generally, the state of being heated to redness or luminousness.

3. Calcination.

IGNITIBLE, a. Capable of being ignited.

IGNIVOMOUS, a. [L. ignivomus; ignis, fire, and vomo, to vomit.]

Vomiting fire; as an ignivomous mountain, a volcano.

IGNOBLE, a. [L. ignobilis; in and nobilis. See Noble.]

1. Of low birth or family; not noble; not illustrious.

2. Mean; worthless; as an ignoble plant.

3. Base, not honorable; as an ignoble motive.

IGNOBILITY, n. Ignobleness. [Not in use.]

IGNOBLENESS, n. Want of dignity; meanness.

IGNOBLY, adv. Of low family or birth; as ignobly born.

1. Meanly; dishonorably; reproachfully; disgracefully; basely. The troops ignobly fly.

IGNOMINIOUS, a. [L. ignominiosus. See Ignominy.]

1. Incurring disgrace; cowardly; of mean character.

Then with pale fear surprised,

Fled ignominious.

2. Very shameful; reproachful; dishonorable; infamous. To be hanged for a crime is ignominious. Whipping, cropping and branding are ignominious punishments.

3. Despicable; worthy of contempt; as an ignominious projector.

IGNOMINIOUSLY, adv. Meanly; disgracefully; shamefully.

IGNOMINY, n. [L. ignominia; in and nomen, against name or reputation.] Public disgrace; shame; reproach; dishonor; infamy.

Their generals have been received with honor after their defeat; yours with ignominy after conquest.

Vice begins in mistake, and ends in ignominy.

IGNORAMUS, n. [L. we are ignorant; from ignoro.]

1. The indorsement which a grand jury make on a bill presented to them for inquiry, when there is not evidence to support the charges, on which all proceedings are stopped, and the accused person is discharged.

2. An ignorant person; a vain pretender to knowledge.

IGNORANCE, n. [L. ignorantia; ignoro, not to know; ignarus, ignorant; in and gnarus, knowing.]

1. Want, absence or destitution of knowledge; the negative state of the mind which has not been instructed in arts, literature or science, or has not been informed of facts. Ignorance may be general, or it may be limited to particular subjects. Ignorance of the law does not excuse a man for violating it. Ignorance of facts if often venial.

Ignorance is preferable to error.

2. Ignorances, in the plural, is used sometimes for omissions or mistakes; but the use is uncommon and not to be encouraged.

IGNORANT, a. [L. ignorans.] Destitute of knowledge; uninstructed or uninformed; untaught; unenlightened. A man may be ignorant of the law, or of any art or science. He may be ignorant of his own rights, or of the rights of others.

1. Unknown; undiscovered; a poetical use; as ignorant concealment.

2. Unacquainted with.

Ignorant of guilt, I fear not shame.

3. Unskillfully made or done. [Not legitimate.]

Poor ignorant baubles.

IGNORANT, n. A person untaught or uninformed; one unlettered or unskilled.

Did I for this take pains to teach

Our zealous ignorants to preach?

IGNORANTLY, adv. Without knowledge, instruction or information.

Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. Acts 17:23.

1. Unskillfully; inexpertly. A man may mistake blunders for beauties and ignorantly admire them.

IGNORE, v.t. To be ignorant. [Not in use.]

IGNOSCIBLE, a. [L. ignoscibilis.] Pardonable. [Not used.]

IGNOTE, a. [L. ignotus.] Unknown. [Not used.]

IGUANA, n. A species of lizard, of the genus Lacerta.

ILE, so written by Pope for aile, a walk or alley in a church or public building. [Not in use.]

1. An ear of corn. [Not used.]

ILEX, n. [L.] In botany, the generic name of the Holly-tree.

Also, the Quercus ilex, or great scarlet oak.

ILIAC, a. [L. iliacus, from ilia, the flank, or small intestines; Gr. to wind.] Pertaining to the lower bowels, or to the ileum. The iliac passion, is a violent and dangerous kind of colic, with an inversion of the peristaltic motion of the bowels.

ILIAD, n. [from Ilium, Ilion, Troy.] An epic poem, composed by Homer, in twenty four books. The subject of this poem is the wrath of Achilles; in describing which, the poet exhibits the miserable effects of disunion and public dissensions. Hence the phrase, Ilias malorum, an Iliad of woes or calamities, a world of disasters.

ILK, a. The same; each. This is retained in Scottish, from the Saxon elc, each.

ILL, n.

1. Bad or evil, in a general sense; contrary to good, physical or moral; applied to things; evil; wicked; wrong; iniquitous; as, his ways are ill; he sets an ill example.

2. Producing evil or misfortune; as an ill star or planet.

3. Bad; evil; unfortunate; as an ill end; an ill fate.

4. Unhealthy; insalubrious; as an ill air or climate.

5. Cross; crabbed; surly; peevish; as ill nature; ill temper.

6. Diseased; disordered; sick or indisposed; applied to persons; as, the man is ill; he has been ill a long time; he is ill of a fever.

7. Diseased; impaired; as an ill state of health.

8. Discordant; harsh; disagreeable; as an ill sound.

9. Homely; ugly; as ill looks, or an ill countenance.

10. Unfavorable; suspicious; as when we say, this affair bears an ill look or aspect.

11. Rude; unpolished; as ill breeding; ill manners.

12. Not proper; not regular or legitimate; as an ill expression in grammar.

ILL, n. Wickedness; depravity; evil.

Strong virtue, like strong nature, struggles still,

Exerts itself and then throws off the ill.

1. Misfortune; calamity; evil; disease; pain; whatever annoys or impairs happiness, or prevents success.

Who can all sense of other’s ills escape,

Is but a brute at beat in human shape.

ILL, adv. Not well; not rightly or perfectly.

He is ill at ease.

1. Not easily; with pain or difficulty. He is ill able to sustain the burden.

Ill bears the sex the youthful lovers’ fate,

When just approaching to the nuptial state.

ILL, prefixed to participles of the present tense, and denoting evil or wrong, may be considered as a noun governed by the participle, or as making a part of a compound word; as an ill meaning man, an ill designing man, an ill boding hour; that is, a man meaning ill, an hour boding ill. It is more consonant, however, to the genius of our language, to treat these and similar words as compounds. In some cases, as before the participles of intransitive verbs, ill must be considered as a part of the compound, as in ill-looking. When used before the perfect participle, ill is to be considered as an adverb, or modifying word, or to be treated as a part of the compound; as in ill-bred, ill-governed, ill-fated, ill-favored, ill-formed, ill-minded. In these and all similar connections, it might be well to unite the two words in a compound by a hyphen. As ill may be prefixed to almost any participle, it is needless to attempt to collect a list of such words for insertion.

Il, prefixed to words beginning with l, stands for in, as used in the Latin language, and usually denotes a negation of the sense of the simple word, as illegal, not legal; or it denotes to or on, and merely augments or enforces the sense, as in illuminate.

ILLABILE, a. [See Labile.] Not liable to fall or err; infallible. [Not used.]

ILLABILITY, n. The quality of not being liable to err, fall or apostatize. [Not used.]

ILLACERABLE, a. [See Lacerate.] That cannot be torn or rent.

ILLAPSE, n. illaps’. [See Lapse.] A sliding in; an immission or entrance of one thing into another.

1. A falling on; a sudden attack.

ILLAQUEATE, v.t. [L. illaqueo; in and laqueo, to ensnare; laquens, a snare.] To ensnare; to entrap; to entangle; to catch. [Little used.]

ILLAQUEATED, pp. Ensnared.

ILLAQUEATION, n. The act of ensnaring; a catching or entrapping. [Little used.]

1. A snare.

ILLATION, n. [L. illatio; in and latio, a bearing; latus, from fero.] An inference from premises; a conclusion; deduction. [Little used.]

ILLATAIVE, a. [See Illation.] Relating to illation; that may be inferred; as an illative consequence.

1. That denotes an inference; as an illative word or particle, as then and therefore.

ILLATAIVE, n. That which denotes illation or inference.

ILLAUDABLE, a. [See Laudable.] Not laudable; not worthy of approbation or commendation; as an illaudable motive or act.

1. Worthy of censure or dispraise.

ILLAUDABLY, adv. In a manner unworthy of praise; without deserving praise.

ILL-BRED, a. Not well bred; unpolite.

ILL-BREEDING, n. Want of good breeding; unpoliteness.

ILL-CONDITIONED, a. [See Condition.] Being in bad order or state.

ILLECEBROUS, a. [L. illecebrosus.] Alluring; full of allurement.

ILLEGAL, a. [See Legal.] Not legal; unlawful; contrary to law; illicit; as an illegal act; illegal trade.

ILLEGALITY, n. Contrariety to law; unlawfulness; as the illegality of trespass, or of false imprisonment.

ILLEGALIZE, v.t. To render unlawful.

ILLEGALLY, adv. In a manner contrary to law; unlawfully; as a man illegally imprisoned.

ILLEGIBILITY, n. The quality of being illegible.

ILLEGIBLE, a. [See Legible.] That cannot be read; obscure or defaced so that the words cannot be known. It is a disgrace to a gentleman to write an illegible hand. The manuscripts found in the ruins of Herculaneum are mostly illegible.

ILLEGIBLY, adv. In a manner not to be read; as a letter written illegibly.

ILLEGITIMACY, n. [See Legitimate.]

1. The state of being born out of wedlock; the state of bastardy.

2. The state of being not genuine, or of legitimate origin.

ILLEGITIMATE, a. [See Legitimate.]

1. Unlawfully begotten; born out of wedlock; spurious; as an illegitimate son or daughter.

2. Unlawful; contrary to law.

3. Not genuine; not of genuine origin; as an illegitimate inference.

4. Not authorized by good usage; as an illegitimate word.

ILLEGITIMATE, v.t. To render illegitimate; to prove to be born out of wedlock; to bastardize.

ILLEGITIMATELY, adv. Not in wedlock; without authority.

ILLELGITIMATION, n. The state of one not born in wedlock.

1. Want of genuineness.

ILLEVIABLE, a. That cannot be levied or collected.

ILL-FACED, a. Having an ugly face.

ILL-FAVORED, a. [ill and favored.] Ugly; ill-looking; wanting beauty; deformed.

Ill-favored and lean fleshed. Genesis 41:3-4, 19.

ILL-FAVOREDLY, adv. With deformity.

1. Roughly; rudely.

ILL-FAVOREDNESS, n. Ugliness; deformity.

ILLIBERAL, a. [See Liberal.] Not liberal; not free or generous.

1. Not noble; not ingenuous; not catholic; of a contracted mind. Cold in charity; in religion, illiberal.

2. Not candid; uncharitable in judging.

3. Not generous; not munificent; sparing of gifts.

4. Not becoming a well bred man.

5. Not pure; not well authorized or elegant; as illiberal words in Latin.

ILLIBERALITY, n. Narrowness of mind; contractedness; meanness; want of catholic opinions.

1. Parsimony; want of munificence.

ILLIBERALLY, adv. Ungenerously; uncandidly; uncharitably; disingenuously.

1. Parsimoniously.

ILLICIT, a. [L. illicitus; in and licitus, from liceo, to permit.]

Not permitted or allowed; prohibited; unlawful; as an illicit trade; illicit intercourse or connection.

ILLICITLY, adv. Unlawfully.

ILLICITNESS, n. Unlawfulness.

ILLICITOUS, a. Unlawful.

ILLIGHTEN, v.t. [See Light, Lighten.] To enlighten. [Not in use.]

ILLIMITABLE, a. [in, not, and limit, or L. limes.]

That cannot be limited or bounded; as the illimitable void.

ILLIMITABLY, adv. Without possibility of being bounded.

1. Without limits.

ILLIMITED, a. [L. limes, a limit.] Unbounded; not limited; interminable.

ILLIMITEDNESS, n. Boundlessness; the state of being without limits or restriction.

The absoluteness and illimitedness of his commission was much spoken of.

ILLINITION, n. [L. illinitus, illinio, to anoint; in and lino, to besmear.] A thin crust of some extraneous substance formed on minerals.

It is sometimes disguised by a thin crust or illinition of black manganese.

ILLITERACY, n. [from illiterate.] The state of being untaught or unlearned; want of a knowledge of letters; ignorance.

ILLITERATE, a. [L. illiteratus; in and literatus; from litera, a letter.] Unlettered; ignorant of letters or books; untaught; unlearned; uninstructed in science; as an illiterate man, nation or tribe.

ILLITERATENESS, n. Want of learning; ignorance of letters, books or science.

ILLITERATURE, n. Want of learning. [Little used.]

ILL-LIVED, a. Leading a wicked life. [Little used.]

ILL-NATURE, n. [ill and nature.] Crossness; crabbedness; habitual bad temper, or want of kindness; fractiousness.

ILL-NATURED, a. Cross, crabbed; surly; intractable; of habitual bad temper; peevish; fractious. An ill-natured person may disturb the harmony of a whole parish.

1. That indicates ill-nature.

The ill-natured task refuse.

2. Intractable; not yielding to culture; as ill-natured land. [Not legitimate.]

ILL-NATUREDLY, adv. In a peevish or forward manner; crossly; unkindly.

ILL-NATUREDNESS, n. Crossness; want of a kind disposition.

ILLNESS, n. [from ill.] Badness; unfavorableness; as the illness of the weather. [Not used.]

1. Disease; indisposition; malady; disorder of health; sickness. He has recovered from his illness.

2. Wickedness; iniquity; wrong moral conduct.

ILLOGICAL, a. [See Logical.] Ignorant or negligent of the rules of logic or correct reasoning; as an illogical disputant.

1. Contrary to the rules of logic or sound reasoning; as an illogical inference.

ILLOGICALLY, adv. In a manner contrary to the rules of correct reasoning.

ILLOGICALNESS, n. Contrariety to sound reasoning.

ILLSTARRED, a. [ill and star.] Fated to be unfortunate.

ILL-TRAINED, a. Not well trained or disciplined.

ILLUDE, v.t. [L. illudo; in and ludo, to play. See Ludicrous.]

To play upon by artifice; to deceive; to mock; to excite hope and disappoint it.

ILLUDED, pp. Deceived; mocked.

ILLUDING, ppr. Playing on by artifice; deceiving.

ILLUME, ILLUMINE, v.t. [L. illumino; in and lumino, to enlighten, from lumen, light. See Luminous.]

1. To illuminate; to enlighten; to throw or spread light on; to make light or bright.

[These words are used chiefly in poetry.]

2. To enlighten, as the mind; to cause to understand.

3. To brighten; to adorn.

The mountain’s brow,

Illum’d with fluid gold--