Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



IMPATIENCE, n. [L. impatientia, from impatiens; in and patior, to suffer.] Uneasiness under pain or suffering; the not enduring pain with composure; restlessness occasioned by suffering positive evil, or the absence of expected good. Impatience is not rage, nor absolute inability to bear pain; but it implies want of fortitude, or of its exercise. It usually springs from irritability of temper.

IMPATIENT, a. [L. impatiens.] Uneasy or fretful under suffering; not bearing pain with composure; not enduring evil without fretfulness, uneasiness, and a desire or effort to get rid of the evil. Young men are impatient of restraint. We are all apt to be impatient under wrongs; but it is a christian duty not to be impatient in sickness, or under any afflictive dispensation of Providence.

1. Not suffering quietly; not enduring.

Fame, impatient of extremes, decays

Not more by envy than excess of praise.

2. Hasty; eager; not enduring delay. The impatient man will not wait for information; he often acts with precipitance. Be not impatient for the return of spring.

3. Not to be borne; as impatient smart.

This word is followed by of, at, for, or under. We are impatient of restraint, or of wrongs; impatient at the delay of expected good; impatient for the return of a friend, or for the arrival of the mail; impatient under evils of any kind. The proper use of these particles can be learnt only by practice or observation.

IMPATIENT, n. One who is restless under suffering.

IMPATIENTLY, adv. With uneasiness or restlessness; as, to bear disappointment impatiently.

1. With eager desire causing uneasiness; as, to wait impatiently for the arrival of one’s friend.

2. Passionately; ardently.

IMPATRONIZATION, n. Absolute seignory or possession.

IMPATRONIZE, v.t. To gain to one’s self the power of any seignory.

IMPAWN, v.t. [in and pawn.] To pawn; to pledge; to deposit as security.

IMPEACH, v.t. [L. pango, pactus.]

1. To hinder; to impede. This sense is found in our early writers.

These ungracious practices of his sons did impeach his journey to the Holy Land.

A defluxion on my throat impeached my utterance.

[This application of the word is obsolete.]

2. To accuse; to charge with a crime or misdemeanor; but appropriately, to exhibit charges of maladministration against a public officer before a competent tribunal, that is, to send or put on, to load. The word is now restricted to accusations made by authority; as, to impeach a judge. [See Impeachment.]

3. To accuse; to censure; to call in question; as, to impeach one’s motives or conduct.

4. To call to account; to charge as answerable.

IMPEACH, n. Hinderance.

IMPEACHABLE, a. Liable to accusation; chargeable with a crime; accusable; censurable.

1. Liable to be called in question; accountable.

Owners of lands in fee simple are not impeachable for waste.

IMPEACHED, pp. Hindered.

1. Accused; charged with a crime, misdemeanor or wrong; censured.

The first donee in tail may commit waste, without being impeached.

IMPEACHER, n. An accuser by authority; one who calls in question.

IMPEACHING, ppr. Hindering.

1. Accusing by authority; calling in question the purity or rectitude of conduct or motives.

IMPEACHMENT, n. Hinderance; impediment; stop; obstruction.

1. An accusation or charge brought against a public officer for maladministration in his office. In Great Britain, it is the privilege or right of the house of commons to impeach, and the right of the house of lords to try and determine impeachments. In the U. States, it is the right of the house of representatives to impeach, and of the senate to try and determine impeachments. In Great Britain, the house of peers, and in the U. States, the senate of the U. States, and the senates in the several states, are the high courts of impeachment.

2. The act of impeaching.

3. Censure; accusation; a calling in question the purity of motives or the rectitude of conduct, etc. This declaration is no impeachment of his motives or of his judgment.

4. The act of calling to account, as for waste.

5. The state of being liable to account, as for waste.

IMPEARL, v.t. imperl’. [in and pearl.] To form in the resemblance of pearls.

--Dew-drops which the sun

Impearls on every leaf, and every flower.

1. To decorate with pearls, or with things resembling pearls.

The dews of the morning impearl every thorn.

IMPECCABILITY, IMPECCANCY, n. [See Impeccable.] The quality of not being liable to sin; exemption from sin, error or offense.

IMPECCABLE, a. [L. pecco, to err, to sin.] Not liable to sin; not subject to sin; exempt from the possibility of sinning. No mere man is impeccable.

IMPEDE, v.t. [L. impedio; supposed to be compounded of in and pedes, feet, to catch or entangle the feet.]

To hinder; to stop in progress; to obstruct; as, to impede the progress of troops.

IMPEDED, pp. Hindered; stopped; obstructed.

IMPEDIMENT, n. [L. impedimentum.] That which hinders progress or motion; hinderance; obstruction; obstacle; applicable to every subject, physical or moral. Bad roads are impediments in marching and travelling. Idleness and dissipation are impediments to improvement. The cares of life are impediments to the progress of vital religion.

1. That which prevents distinct articulation; as an impediment in speech.

IMPEDIMENT, v.t. To impede. [Not in use.]

IMPEDIMENTAL, a. Hindering; obstructing.

IMPEDING, ppr. Hindering; stopping; obstructing.

IMPEDITE, v.t. To impede. [Not in use.]

IMPEDITIVE, a. Causing hinderance.

IMPEL, v.t. [L. impello; in and pello, to drive.]

To drive or urge forward; to press on; to excite to action or to move forward, by the application of physical force, or moral suasion or necessity. A ball is impelled by the force of powder; a ship is impelled by wind; a man may be impelled by hunger or a regard to his safety; motives of policy or of safety impel nations to confederate.

The surge impelled me on a craggy coast.

And several men impel to several ends.

IMPELLED, pp. Driven forward; urged on; moved by any force or power, physical or moral.

IMPELLENT, n. A power or force that drives forward; impulsive power.

IMPELLER, n. He or that which impels.

IMPELLING, ppr. Driving forward; urging; pressing.

IMPEN, v.t. [in and pen.] To pen; to shut or inclose in a narrow place.

IMPEND, v.i. [L. impendeo; in and pendeo, to hang.]

1. To hang over; to be suspended above; to threaten. A dark cloud impends over the land.

Destruction sure o’er all your heads impends.

2. To be near; to be approaching and ready to fall on.

It expresses our deep sense of God’s impending wrath.

Nor bear advices of impending foes.

IMPENDENCE, IMPENDENCY, n. The state of hanging over; near approach; a menacing attitude.

IMPENDENT, a. Hanging over; imminent; threatening; pressing closely; as an impendent evil.

IMPENDING, ppr. Hanging over; approaching near; threatening.

IMPENETRABILITY, n. [from impenetrable.]

1. The quality of being impenetrable.

2. In philosophy, that quality of matter which prevents two bodies from occupying the same space at the same time.

3. Insusceptibility of intellectual impression.

IMPENETRABLE, a. [L. impenetrabilis; in and penetrabilis, from penetro, to penetrate.]

1. That cannot be penetrated or pierced; not admitting the passage of other bodies; as an impenetrable shield.

2. Not to be affected or moved; not admitting impressions on the mind. The hardened sinner remains impenetrable to the admonitions of the gospel.

3. Not to be entered by the sight; as impenetrable darkness. Hence,

4. Not to be entered and viewed by the eye of the intellect; as impenetrable obscurity or abstruseness.

IMPENETRABLENESS, n. Impenetrability, which see.

IMPENETRABLY, adv. With solidity that admits not of being penetrated.

1. With hardness that admits not of impression; as impenetrably dull.

IMPENITENCE, IMPENITENCY, n. [L. in and poenitens, from poeniteo, to repent, poena, pain.] Want of penitence or repentance; absence of contrition or sorrow for sin; obduracy; hardness of heart. Final impenitence dooms the sinner to inevitable punishment.

He will advance from one degree of impenitence to another.

IMPENITENT, a. Not penitent; not repenting of sin; not contrite; obdurate; of a hard heart.

They died Impenitent.

IMPENITENT, n. One who does not repent; a hardened sinner.

IMPENITENTLY, adv. Without repentance or contrition for sin; obdurately.

IMPENNOUS, a. [in and pennous.] Wanting wings.

IMPEOPLE, v.t. To form into a community. [See People.]

IMPERATE, a. [L. imperatus, impero, to command.]

Done by impulse or direction of the mind. [Not used.]

IMPERATIVE, a. [L. imperativus, from impero, to command. See Empire.]

1. Commanding; expressive of command; containing positive command, as distinguished from advisory, or discretionary. The orders are imperative.

2. In grammar, the imperative mode of a verb is that which expresses command, entreaty, advice or exhortation; as, go, write, attend.

IMPERATIVELY, adv. With command; authoritatively.

IMPERATORIAL, a. Commanding. [Not in use.]


1. Not to be perceived; not to be known or discovered by the senses. We say a thing is imperceptible to the touch, to the eye or sight, to the ear, to the taste or smell. Hence,

2. Very small; fine; minute in dimensions; or very slow in motion or progress; as, the growth of a plant or animal is imperceptible; it is too slow to be perceived by the eye.

IMPERCEPTIBLE, n. That which cannot be perceived by the senses on account of its smallness. [Little used.]

IMPERCEPTIBLENESS, n. The quality of being imperceptible.

IMPERCEPTIBLY, adv. In a manner not to be perceived.

IMPERCIPIENT, a. Not perceiving or having power to perceive.

IMPERDIBLE, a. Not destructible. [Not a legitimate word.]

IMPERFECT, a. [L. imperfectus; in and perfectus, finished, perfect; perficio, to perfect; per and facio, to make.]

1. Not finished; not complete. The work or design is imperfect.

2. Defective; not entire, sound or whole; wanting a part; impaired. The writings of Livy are imperfect.

3. Not perfect in intellect; liable to err; as, men are imperfect; our minds and understandings are imperfect.

4. Not perfect in a moral view; not according to the laws of God, or the rules of right. Our services and obedience are imperfect.

5. In grammar, the imperfect tense denotes an action in time past, then present, but not finished.

6. In music, incomplete; not having all the accessary sounds; as an imperfect chord.

An imperfect interval is one which does not contain its complement of simple sounds.

IMPERFECTION, n. [L. imperfectio, supra.]

Defect; fault; the want of a part or of something necessary to complete a thing; equally applicable to physical or moral subjects. When fruit fails to come to maturity, and after it begins to decay, we denominate the defect, an imperfection. Laws sometimes fail of the intended effect, either from their imperfection, or from the imperfection of the administration. Men are all chargeable with imperfections, both in character and in conduct.

IMPERFECTLY, adv. In an imperfect manner or degree; not fully; not entirely; not completely; not in the best manner; not without fault or failure.

IMPERFECTNESS, n. The state of being imperfect.

IMPERFORBLE, a. [infra.] That cannot be perforated or bored through.

IMPERFORATE, a. [L. in and perforatus, perforo.]

Not perforated or pierced; having no opening.

IMPERFORATED, a. Not perforated.

1. Having no pores.

IMPERFORATION, n. The state of being not perforated, or without any aperture.

IMPERIAL, a. [L. imperialis, from impero, to command. See Emperor.]

1. Pertaining to an empire, or to an emperor; as an imperial government; an imperial diadem; imperial authority or edict; imperial power or sway.

2. Royal; belonging to a monarch; as an imperial palace; imperial arts.

3. Pertaining to royalty; denoting sovereignty.

4. Commanding; maintaining supremacy; as the imperial democracy of Athens.

Imperial chamber, the sovereign court of the German empire.

Imperial city, a city in Germany which has no head but the emperor.

Imperial diet, an assembly of all the states of the German empire.

IMPERIALIST, n. One who belongs to an emperor; a subject or soldier of an emperor. The denomination, imperialists, is often given to the troops or armies of the emperor of Austria.

IMPERIALITY, n. Imperial power.

1. The right of an emperor to a share of the produce of mines, etc.

The late empress having by ukases of grace, relinquished her imperialities on the private mines, viz. the tenths of the copper, iron, silver and gold--

IMPERIALLY, adv. In a royal manner.

IMPERIL, v.t. [in and peril.] To bring into danger.

IMPERIOUS, a. [L. imperiosus.]

1. Commanding; dictatorial; haughty; arrogant; overbearing; domineering; as an imperious tyrant; an imperious dictator; an imperious man; an imperious temper.

2. Commanding; indicating an imperious temper; authoritative; as imperious words.

3. Powerful; overbearing; not to be opposed by obstacles; as a man of a vast and imperious mind.

4. Commanding; urgent; pressing; as imperious love; imperious circumstances; imperious appetite.

5. Authoritative; commanding with rightful authority.

The commandment high and imperious in its claims.

IMPERIOUSLY, adv. With arrogance of command; with a haughty air of authority; in a domineering manner.

1. With urgency or force not to be opposed.

IMPERIOUSNESS, n. Authority; air of command.

1. Arrogance of command; haughtiness.

Imperiousness and severity is an ill way of treating men who have reason to guide them.

IMPERISHABLE, a. Not subject to decay; not liable to perish; indestructible; enduring permanently; as an imperishable monument; imperishable renown.

Elegant discourses on virtue--will not supply the consolations of imperishable hope.

IMPERISHABLENESS, n. The quality of being imperishable.

IMPERMANENCE, n. Want of permanence or continued duration.

IMPERMANENT, a. [in and permanent.] Not permanent; not enduring.

IMPERMEABILITY, n. The quality of being impermeable by a fluid.

IMPERMEABLE, a. [L. in and permeo; per and meo, to pass.]

Not to be passed through the pores by a fluid; as impermeable leather.

IMPERSONAL, a. [L. impersonalis; in and personalis, from persona. See Person.]

In grammar, an impersonal verb is one which is not employed with the first and second persons, I and thou or you, we and ye, for nominatives, and which has no variation of ending to express them, but is used only with the termination of the third person singular, with it for a nominative in English, and without a nominative in Latin; as, it rains, it becomes us to be modest; L. toedet; libet; pugnatur.

IMPERSONALITY, n. Indistinction of personality.

IMPERSONALLY, adv. In the manner of an impersonal verb.

IMPERSONATE, v.t. To personify.

IMPERSONATED, a. Made persons of. [See Personate.]

IMPERSPICUITY, n. Want of perspicuity, or clearness to the mind.

IMPERSPICUOUS, a. [in and perspicuous.]

Not perspicuous; not clear; obscure.

IMPERSUASIBLE, a. [L. in and persuasibilis. See Persuade.]

Not to be moved by persuasion; not yielding to arguments.

IMPERTINENCE, IMPERTINENCY, n. [L. impertinens; in and pertinens, pertineo, to pertain; per and teneo, to hold.]

1. That which is not pertinent; that which does not belong to the subject in hand; that which is of no weight.

2. The state of not being pertinent.

3. Folly; rambling thought. [Little used.]

4. Rudeness; improper intrusion; interference by word or conduct which is not consistent with the age or station of the person. [This is the most usual sense.]

We should avoid the vexation and impertinence of pedants.

5. A trifle, a thing of little or no value.

There are many subtile impertinencies learnt in schools-

IMPERTINENT, a. [L. impertinens, supra.]

1. Not pertaining to the matter in hand; of no weight; having no bearing on the subject; as an impertinent remark.

2. Rude; intrusive; meddling with that which does not belong to the person; as an impertinent coxcomb.

3. Trifling; foolish; negligent of the present purpose.

IMPERTINENT, n. An intruder; a meddler; one who interferes in what does not belong to him.

IMPERTINENTLY, adv. Without relation to the matter in hand.

1. Officiously; intrusively; rudely.

IMPERTRANSIBILITY, n. The quality of not being capable of being passed through.

IMPERTRANSIBLE, a. [L. in and pertranseo; per and transeo, to pass over or through; trans and eo, to go.]

Not to be passed through. [Little used.]

IMPERTURBABLE, a. [L. in and perturbo, to disturb; per and turbo.]

That cannot be disturbed or agitated; permanently quiet.

IMPERTURBATION, n. Freedom from agitation of mind; calmness.

IMPERTURBED, a. Undisturbed. [Not in use.]

IMPERVIOUS, a. [L. impervius; in and pervius, passable; per and via, way.]

1. Not to be penetrated or passed through; impenetrable; as an impervious gulf; an impervious forest.

2. Not penetrable; not to be pierced by a pointed instrument; as an impervious shield.

3. Not penetrable by light; not permeable to fluids. Glass is pervious to light, but impervious to water. Paper is impervious to light. In the latter sense only, impervious is synonymous with impermeable.

IMPERVIOSLY, adv. In a manner to prevent passage or penetration.

IMPERVIOUSNESS, n. The state of not admitting a passage.

IMPETIGINOUS, a. [L. impetigo, a ringworm.]

Resembling the ring-worm or tetters; covered with scaled or scabs; scurfy.

IMPETRABLE, a. [See Impetrate.] That may be obtained by petition.

IMPETRATE, v.t. [L. impetro.] To obtain by request or entreaty.

IMPETRATION, n. The act of obtaining by prayer or petition.

1. In law, the preobtaining of benefices from the church of Rome, which belonged to the disposal of the king and other lay patrons of the realm.

IMPETRATIVE, a. Obtaining; tending to obtain by entreaty.

IMPETRATORY, a. Beseeching; containing entreaty.

IMPETUOSITY, n. [See Impetuous.] A rushing with violence and great force; fury; violence.

1. Vehemence; furiousness of temper.

IMPETUOUS, a. [L. impetuosus, from impetus, impeto; in and peto, to urge, to rush. See Bid.]

1. Rushing with great force and violence; moving rapidly; furious; forcible; fierce; raging; as an impetuous wind; an impetuous torrent.

2. Vehement of mind; fierce; hasty; passionate; violent; as a man of impetuous temper.

IMPETUOUSLY, adv. Violently; fiercely; forcibly; with haste and force.

IMPETUOUSNESS, n. A driving or rushing with haste and violence; furiousness; fury; violence.

1. Vehemence of temper; violence.