Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ILLUMINANT, n. That which illuminates or affords light.

ILLUMINATE, v.t. [See Illume.] To enlighten; to throw light on; to supply with light. [This word is used in poetry or prose.]

1. To adorn with festal lamps or bonfires.

2. To enlighten intellectually with knowledge or grace. Hebrews 10:32.

3. To adorn with pictures, portraits and other paintings; as, to illuminate manuscripts or books, according to ancient practice.

4. To illustrate; to throw light on, as on obscure subjects.

ILLUMINATE, a. Enlightened.
ILLUMINATE, n. One of a sect of heretics pretending to possess extraordinary light and knowledge.

ILLUMINATED, pp. Enlightened; rendered light or luminous; illustrated; adorned with pictures, as books.

ILLUMINATING, ppr. Enlightening; rendering luminous or bright; illustrating; adorning with pictures.

ILLUMINATING, n. The act, practice or art of adorning manuscripts and books by paintings.

ILLUMINATION, n. The act of illuminating or rendering luminous; the act of supplying with light.

1. The act of rendering a house or a town light, by placing lights at the windows, or in elevated situations, as a manifestation of joy; or the state of being thus rendered light.

2. That which gives light.

The sun--is an illumination created.

3. Brightness; splendor.

4. Infusion of intellectual light; an enlightening of the understanding by knowledge, or the mind by spiritual light.

5. The act, art or practice of adorning manuscripts and books with pictures.

6. Inspiration; the special communication of knowledge to the mind by the Supreme Being.

Hymns and psalms--are framed by meditation beforehand, or by prophetical illumination are inspired.

ILLUMINATIVE, a. Having the power of giving light.

ILLUMINATOR, n. He or that which illuminates or gives light.

1. One whose occupation is to decorate manuscripts and books with pictures, portraits and drawings of any kind. This practice began among the Romans, and was continued during the middle ages. The manuscripts containing portraits, pictures and emblematic figures, form a valuable part of the riches preserved in the principal libraries in Europe.

From this word, by contraction, is formed limner.

ILLUMINEE, ILLUMINATI, n. A church term anciently applied to persons who had received baptism; in which ceremony they received a lighted taper, as a symbol of the faith and grace they had received by that sacrament.

1. The name of a sect of heretics, who sprung up in Spain about the year 1575, and who afterward appeared in France. Their principal doctrine was, that by means of a sublime manner of prayer, they had attained to so perfect a state as to have no need of ordinances, sacraments and good works.

2. The name given to certain associations of men in modern Europe, who combined to overthrow the existing religious institutions, and substitute reason, by which they expected to raise men and society to perfection.

ILLUMINISM, n. The principles of the Illuminati.

ILLUMINIZE, v.t. To initiate into the doctrines or principles of the Illuminati.

ILLUSION, n. s as z. [L. illusio, from illudo, to illude.] Deceptive appearance; false show, by which a person is or may be deceived, or his expectations disappointed; mockery.

Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!

ILLUSIVE, a. Deceiving by false show; deceitful; false.

While the fond soul,

Wrapt in gay visions of unreal bliss,

Still paints th’ illusive form.

ILLUSIVELY, adv. By means of a false show.

ILLUSIVENESS, n. Deception; false show.

ILLUSORY, a. [L. illusus, illudo.] Deceiving or tending to deceive by false appearances; fallacious. His offers were illusory.

ILLUSTRATE, v.t. [L. illustro; in and lustro, to illuminate. See Luster.]

1. To make clear, bright or luminous.

2. To brighten with honor; to make distinguished.

Matter to me of glory! whom their hate


3. To brighten; to make glorious, or to display the glory of; as, to illustrate the perfections of God.

4. To explain or elucidate; to make clear, intelligible or obvious, what is dark or obscure; as, to illustrate a passage of Scripture by comments, or of a profane author by a gloss.

ILLUSTRATED, pp. Made bright or glorious.

1. Explained; elucidated; made clear to the understanding.

ILLUSTRATING, ppr. Making bright or glorious; rendering distinguished; elucidating.

ILLUSTRATION, n. The act of rendering bright or glorious.

1. Explanation; elucidation; a rendering clear what is obscure or abstruse.

ILLUSTRATIVE, a. Having the quality of elucidating and making clear what is obscure; as an argument or simile illustrative of the subject.

1. Having the quality of rendering glorious, or of displaying glory.

ILLUSTRATIVELY, adv. By way of illustration or elucidation.

ILLUSTRATOR, n. One who illustrates or makes clear.

ILLUSTRIOUS, a. [L. illustris.]

1. Conspicuous; distinguished by the reputation of greatness; renowned; eminent; as an illustrious general or magistrate; an illustrious prince.

2. Conspicuous; renowned; conferring honor; as illustrious actions.

3. Glorious; as an illustrious display of the divine perfections.

4. A title of honor.

ILLUSTRIOUSLY, adv. Conspicuously; nobly; eminently; with dignity or distinction.

1. Gloriously; in a way to manifest glory. The redemption of man displays illustriously the justice as well as the benevolence of God.

ILLUSTRIOUSNESS, n. Eminence of character; greatness; grandeur; glory.

ILLUXURIOUS, a. Not luxurious.

ILL-WILL, n. Enmity; malevolence.

ILL-WILLER, n. One who wishes ill to another.

I’M, contracted from I am.

IM, in composition, is usually the representative of the Latin in; n being changed to m, for the sake of easy utterance, before a labial, as in imbibe, immense, impartial. We use the same prefix in compounds not of Latin origin, as in imbody, imbitter. For im, the French write em, which we also use in words borrowed from their language.

IMAGE, n. [L. imago.]

1. A representation or similitude of any person or thing, formed of a material substance; as an image wrought out of stone, wood or wax.

Whose is this image and superscription? Matthew 22:20.

2. A statue.

3. An idol; the representation of any person or thing, that is an object of worship. The second commandment forbids the worship of images.

4. The likeness of any thing on canvas; a picture; a resemblance painted.

5. Any copy, representation or likeness.

The child is the image of its mother.

6. Semblance; show; appearance.

The face of things a frightful image bears.

7. An idea; a representation of any thing to the mind; a conception; a picture drawn by fancy.

Can we conceive

Image of aught delightful, soft or great?

8. In rhetoric, a lively description of any thing in discourse, which presents a kind of picture to the mind.

9. In optics, the figure of any object, made by rays of light proceeding from the several points of it. Thus a mirror reflects the image of a person standing before it, as does water in a vessel or stream, when undisturbed.

IMAGE, v.t. To imagine; to copy by the imagination; to form a likeness in the mind by the fancy or recollection.

And image charms he must behold no more.

IMAGERY, n. im’ajry. Sensible representations, pictures, statues.

Rich carvings, portraitures and imagery.

1. Show; appearance.

What can thy imagery and sorrow mean?

2. Forms of the fancy; false ideas; imaginary phantasms.

The imagery of a melancholic fancy.

3. Representations in writing or speaking; lively descriptions which impress the images of things on the mind; figures in discourse.

I wish there may be in this poem any instance of good imagery.

4. Form; make.

IMAGE-WORSHIP, n. The worship of images; idolatry.

IMAGINABLE, a. That may be imagined or conceived. This point is proved with all imaginable clearness.

IMAGINANT, a. Imagining; conceiving. [Not used.]

IMAGINARY, a. Existing only in imagination or fancy; visionary; fancied; not real.

Imaginary ills and fancied tortures.

IMAGINATION, n. [L. imaginatio.] The power or faculty of the mind by which it conceives and forms ideas of things communicated to it by the organs of sense.

Imagination I understand to be the representation of an individual thought.

Our simple apprehension of corporeal objects, if present, is sense; if absent, is imagination [conception.]

Imagination, in its proper sense, signifies a lively conception of objects of sight. It is distinguished from conception, as a part from a whole.

The business of conception is to present us with an exact transcript of what we have felt or perceived. But we have also a power of modifying our conceptions, by combining the parts of different ones so as to form new wholes of our own creation. I shall employ the word imagination to express this power. I apprehend this to be the proper sense of the word, if imagination be the power which gives birth to the productions of the poet and the painter.

We would define imagination to be the will working on the materials of memory; not satisfied with following the order prescribed by nature, or suggested by accident, it selects the parts of different conceptions, or objects of memory, to form a whole more pleasing, more terrible, or more awful, than has ever been presented in the ordinary course of nature.

The two latter definitions give the true sense of the word, as now understood.

1. Conception; image in the mind; idea.

Sometimes despair darkens all her imaginations.

His imaginations were often as just as they were bold and strong.

2. Contrivance; scheme formed in the mind; device.

Thou hast seen all their vengeance, and all their imaginations against me. Lamentations 3:60.

3. Conceit; an unsolid or fanciful opinion.

We are apt to think that space, in itself, is actually boundless; to which imagination, the idea of space of itself leads us.

4. First motion or purpose of the mind. Genesis 6:5.

IMAGINATIVE, a. That forms imaginations.

1. Full of imaginations; fantastic.

IMAGINE, v.t. [L. imaginor, from imago, image.]

1. To form a notion or idea in the mind; to fancy. We can imagine the figure of a horse’s head united to a human body.

In this sense, fancy is the more proper word.

2. To form ideas or representations in the mind, by modifying and combining our conceptions.

3. To contrive in purpose; to scheme; to devise.

How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? Psalm 62:3.

IMAGINE, v.i. To conceive; to have a notion or idea. I cannot imagine how this should have happened.

IMAGINED, pp. Formed in the mind; fancied; contrived.

IMAGINER, n. One who forms ideas; one who contrives.

IMAGINING, ppr. Forming ideas in the mind; devising.

IMAM, IMAN, n. A minister or priest among the Mohammedans.

Imbalm, Imbargo, Imbark, Imbase. See Embalm, Embargo, Embark, Embase.

IMBAN, v.t. [in and ban.] To excommunicate, in a civil sense; to cut off from the rights of man, or exclude from the common privileges of humanity.

IMBAND, v.t. [in and band.] To form into a band or bands.

Beneath full sails imbanded nations rise.

IMBANDED, pp. Formed into a band or bands.

IMBANK, v.t. [in and bank.] To inclose with a bank; to defend by banks, mounds or dikes.

IMBANKED, pp. Inclosed or defended with a bank.

IMBANKING, ppr. Inclosing or surrounding with a bank.

IMBANKMENT, n. The act of surrounding or defending with a bank.

1. Inclosure by a bank; the banks or mounds of earth that are raised to defend a place, especially against floods.

IMBARN, v.t. To deposit in a barn. [Not used.]

IMBASTARDIZE, v.t. To bastardize, which see.

IMBEAD, v.t. [in and bead.] To fasten with a bead.

The strong bright bayonet imbeaded fast.

IMBEADED, pp. Fastened with a bead.

IMBECILE, a. im’becil. [L. imbecillis.] Weak; feeble; destitute of strength, either of body or of mind; impotent.

IMBECILITY, n. [L. imbecillitas.]

1. Want of strength; weakness; feebleness of body or of mind. We speak of the imbecility of the body or of the intellect, when either does not possess the usual strength and vigor that belongs to men, and which is necessary to a due performance of its functions. This may be natural, or induced by violence or disease.

2. Impotence of males; inability to procreate children.

IMBED, v.t. [in and bed.] To sink or lay in a bed; to place in a mass of earth, sand or other substance, so as to be partly inclosed.

IMBEDDED, pp. Laid or inclosed, as in a bed or mass of surrounding matter.

IMBEDDING, ppr. Laying, as in a bed.

IMBELLIC, a. [L. in and bellicus.] Not warlike or martial. [Little used.]

IMBENCHING, n. [in and bench.] A raised work like a bench.

IMBIBE, v.t. [L. imbibo; in and bibo, to drink.]

1. To drink in; to absorb; as, a dry or porous body imbibes a fluid; a sponge imbibes moisture.

2. To receive or admit into the mind and retain; as, to imbibe principles; to imbibe errors. Imbibing in the mind always implies retention, at least for a time.

3. To imbue, as used by Newton; but he has not been followed.

IMBIBED, pp. Drank in, as a fluid; absorbed; received into the mind and retained.

IMBIBER, n. He or that which imbibes.

IMBIBING, ppr. Drinking in; absorbing; receiving and retaining.

IMBIBITION, n. The act of imbibing.

IMBITTER, v.t. [in and bitter.] To make bitter.

1. To make unhappy or grievous; to render distressing. The sins of youth often imbitter old age. Grief imbitters our enjoyments.

2. To exasperate; to make more severe, poignant or painful. The sorrows of true penitence are imbittered by a sense of our ingratitude to our Almighty Benefactor.

3. To exasperate; to render more violent or malignant; as, to imbitter enmity, anger, rage, passion, etc.

IMBITTERED, pp. Made unhappy or painful; exasperated.

IMBITTERING, ppr. Rendering unhappy or distressing; exasperating.

IMBODIED, pp. [See Imbody.] Formed into a body.

IMBODY, v.t. [in and body.] To form into a body; to invest with matter; to make corporeal; as, to imbody the soul or spirit.

An opening cloud reveals

A heavenly form, imbodied and array’d

With robes of light.

1. To form into a body, collection or system; as, to imbody the laws of a state in a code.

2. To bring into a band, company, regiment, brigade, army, or other regular assemblage; to collect; as, to embody the forces of a nation.

Then Clausus came, who led a numerous band

Of troops imbodied.

IMBODY, v.i. To unite in a body, mass or collection; to coalesce.

IMBODYING, ppr. Forming into a body; investing with a corporeal body.

1. Collecting and uniting in a body.

IMBOIL, v.i. To effervesce.

IMBOLDEN, v.t. imboldn. [in and bold.] To encourage; to give confidence to.

Nothing imboldens sin so much as mercy.

IMBOLDEN, pp. Encouraged; having received confidence.

IMBOLDENING, ppr. Encouraging; giving confidence.

IMBORDER, v.t. [in and border.] To furnish or inclose with a border; to adorn with a border.

1. To terminate; to bound.

IMBORDERED, pp. Furnished, inclosed or adorned with a border; bounded.

IMBORDERING, ppr. Furnishing, inclosing or adorning with a border; bounding.

IMBOSK, v.t. To conceal, as in bushes; to hide.

IMBOSOM, v.t. s as z. [in and bosom.] To hold in the bosom; to cover fondly with the folds of one’s garment.

1. To hold in nearness or intimacy.

--The Father infinite,

By whom in bliss imbosomed sat the Son.

2. To admit to the heart or affection; to caress.

But glad desire, his late imbosom’d guest--

3. To inclose in the midst; to surround.

Villages imbosomed soft in trees--

4. To inclose in the midst; to cover; as pearls imbosomed in the deep.

IMBOSOMED, pp. Held in the bosom or to the breast; caressed; surrounded in the midst; inclosed; covered.

IMBOSOMING, ppr. Holding in the bosom; caressing; holding to the breast; inclosing or covering in the midst.

IMBOUND, v.t. [in and bound.] To inclose in limits; to shut in. [Little used.]

IMBOW, v.t. [in and bow.] To arch; to vault; as an imbowed roof.

1. To make of a circular form; as imbowed windows.

IMBOWED, pp. Arched; vaulted; made of a circular form.

IMBOWER, v.t. [in and bower.] To cover with a bower; to shelter with trees.

IMBOWERED, pp. Covered with a bower; sheltered with trees.

IMBOWERING, ppr. Covering with a bower or with trees.

IMBOWING, ppr. Arching; vaulting; making of a circular form.

IMBOWMENT, n. An arch; a vault.

IMBOX, v.t. To inclose in a box.

IMBRANGLE, v.t. To entangle.

IMBREED, v.t. To generate within.

IMBRICATE, IMBRICATED, a. [L. imbricatus, imbrico, from imbrex, a tile.]

1. Bent and hollowed like a roof or gutter tile.

2. In botany, lying over each other, like tiles on roof; parallel, with a strait surface, and lying one over the other; as leaves in the bud.

IMBRICATION, n. A concave indenture, like that of tiles; tiling.

IMBROWN, v.t. [in and brown.] To make brown; to darken; to obscure.

The umpierc’d shade

Imbrown’d the noon-tide bowers.

1. To darken the color of; to make dirty.

The foot grows black that was with dirt imbrown’d.

2. To tan; to darken the complexion.

IMBROWNED, pp. Made brown; darkened; tanned.

IMBROWNING, ppr. Rendering brown; darkening; tanning.

IMBRUE, v.t. imbru’. [Gr. to moisten.]

1. To wet or moisten; to soak; to drench in a fluid, chiefly in blood.

Whose arrows in my blood their wings imbrue.

Lucius pities the offenders,

That would imbrue their hands in Cato’s blood.

2. To pour out liquor.

IMBRUED, pp. Wet; moistened; drenched.

IMBRUING, ppr. Wetting; moistening; drenching.