Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



IRREVERSIBLENESS, n. State of being irreversible.

IRREVERSIBLY, adv. In a manner which precludes a reversal or repeal.

IRREVOCABILITY, IRREVOCABLENESS, n. State of being irrevocable.

IRREVOCABLE, a. [L. irrevocabilis; in and revocabilis, revoco; re and voco, to call.] Not to be recalled or revoked; that cannot be reversed, repealed or annulled; as an irrevocable decree, sentence, edict or doom; irrevocable fate; an irrevocable promise.

IRREVOCABLY, adv. Beyond recall; in a manner precluding repeal.

IRREVOKABLE, a. [in and revokable.]

Not to be recalled; irrevocable.

IRREVOLUBLE, a. That has no revolution. [Not used.]

IRRIGATE, v.t. [L. irrigo; in and rigo, to water.]

1. To water; to wet; to moisten; to bedew.

2. To water, as land, by causing a stream to flow upon it and spread over it.

IRRIGATED, pp. Watered; moistened.

IRRIGATING, ppr. Watering; wetting; moistening.

IRRIGATION, n. The act of watering or moistening.

1. In agriculture, the operation of causing water to flow over lands for nourishing plants.

IRRIGUOUS, a. [L. irriguus. See Irrigate.]

1. Watered; watery; moist.

The flowery lap

Of some irriguous valley spreads her store.

2. Dewy; moist.

IRRISION, n. s as z. [L. irrisio, irrideo; in and ridio, to laugh.] The act of laughing at another.

IRRITABILITY, n. [from irritable.] Susceptibility of excitement; the quality of being easily irritated or exasperated; as irritability of temper.

1. In physiology, one of the four faculties of the sensorium, by which fibrous contractions are caused in consequence of the irritations excited by external bodies.

Irritability differs from sensibility; the most irritable parts of the body not being at all sensible, and vice versa. The heart is endued with the greatest irritability.

IRRITABLE, a. [from irritate.] Susceptible of excitement, or of heat and action, as animal bodies.

1. Very susceptible of anger or passion; easily inflamed or exasperated; as an irritable temper.

2. In physiology, susceptible of contraction, in consequence of the appulse of an external body.

In general, there is nothing irritable in the animal body, but the muscular fibers.

IRRITANT, a. Irritating.

IRRITANT, n. That which excites or irritates.

IRRITATE, v.t. [L. irrito; in and ira, wrath.]

1. To excite heat and redness in the skin or flesh of living animal bodies, as by friction; to inflame; to fret; as, to irritate a wounded part by a coarse bandage.

2. To excite anger; to provoke; to tease; to exasperate. Never irritate a child for trifling faults. The insolence of a tyrant irritates his subjects.

3. To increase action or violence; to highten excitement in.

Air, if very cold, irritateth the flame.

4. To cause fibrous contractions in an extreme part of the sensorium, as by the appulse of an external body.

IRRITATED, pp. Excited; provoked; caused to contract.

IRRITATING, ppr. Exciting; angering; provoking; causing to contract.

IRRITATION, n. The operation of exciting heat, action, and redness in the skin or flesh of living animals, by friction or other means.

1. The excitement of action in the animal system by the application of food, medicines and the like.

2. Excitement of anger or passion; provocation; exasperation; anger.

3. In physiology, an exertion or change of some extreme part of the sensorium residing in the muscles or organs of sense, in consequence of the appulses of external bodies.

Irritation is the effect of a stimulus applied to an irritable part.

IRRITATIVE, a. Serving to excite or irritate.

1. Accompanied with or produced by increased action or irritation; as an irritative fever.

IRRITATORY, a. Exciting; stimulating.

IRRORATION, n. [L. irroratio.] The act of bedewing; the state of being moistened with dew.

IRRUPTION, n. [L. irruption; in and rumpo, to break or burst.]

1. A bursting in; a breaking or sudden violent rushing into a place. Holland has been often inundated by irruptions of the sea.

2. A sudden invasion or incursion; a sudden, violent inroad, or entrance of invaders into a place or country; as the irruption of the northern nations into France and Italy.

IRRUPTIVE, a. Rushing in or upon.

IS, v.i. iz. [L. est.] The third person singular of the substantive verb, which is composed of three or four distinct roots, which appear in the words am, be, are, and is. Is and was coincide with the Latin esse, and Goth. wesan. In the indicative, present tense, it is thus varied; I am, thou art, he, she, or it, is; we, ye or you, they, are. In writing and speaking, the vowel is often dropped; as, he’s gone; there’s none left.

ISABEL, n. Isabel yellow is a brownish yellow, with a shade of brownish red.

ISAGOGICICAL, a. Introductory.

ISAGON, n. [Gr. equal, and an angle.] A figure whose angles are equal.

ISATIS, n. In zoology, the arctic fox or Canis lagopus.

ISCHIADIC, a. [L. ischiadicus, from ischias, the sciatica, from ischium, the hip.] Pertaining to the hip. The ischiadic passion or disease is ranked by Cullen with rheumatism. It is a rheumatic affection of the hip joint. It is called also sciatica. It is sometimes seated in the tendinous expansion which covers the muscles of the thigh, but its most common seat is in the muscles, or in the capsular ligament, and it is then either rheumatic or gouty.

ISCHURETIC, a. [See Ischury.]

Having the quality of relieving ischury.

ISCHURETIC, n. A medicine adapted to relieve ischury.

ISCHURY, n. [Gr. to stop, and urine.]

A stoppage or suppression of urine.

ISERIN, ISERINE, n. A mineral of an iron black color, and of a splendent metallic luster, occurring in small obtuse angular grains. It is harder than feldspar, and consists of the oxyds of iron and titanium, with a small portion of uranium.

ISH, a termination of English words, is, in Sax. isc. Dan. isk, G. isch; and not improbably, it is the termination esque, in French, as in grotesque, It. esco, in grotesco, and the Latin termination of the inceptive verb, as in fervesco. Annexed to English adjectives, ish denotes diminutive, or a small degree of the quality; as whitish, from white; yellowish, from yellow.

ISH annexed to names forms a possessive adjective; as in Swedish, Danish, English.
ISH annexed to common nouns forms an adjective denoting a participation of the qualities expressed by the noun; as foolish, from fool; roguish, from rogue; brutish, from brute. This is the more common use of this termination.

ISICLE, a pendant shoot of ice, is more generally written icicle. [See Ice and Icicle.]

ISINGLASS, n. i’zinglass. [that is, ise or ice-glass.]

A substance consisting chiefly of gelatin, of a firm texture and whitish color, prepared from the sounds or air-bladders of certain fresh water fishes, particularly of the huso, a fish of the sturgeon kind, found in the rivers of Russia. It is used as an agglutinant and in fining wines.


ISLAMISM, n. The true faith, according to the Mohammedans; Mohammedanism.

ISLAND, n. i’land. [This is an absurd compound of isle and land, that is, land-in-water land, or ieland-land. There is no such legitimate word in English, and it is found only in books. The genuine word always used in discourse is our native word, Sax. ealong, D.G. eiland.]

1. A tract of land surrounded by water.

2. A large mass of floating ice, is called an island of ice.

ISLANDER, n. i’lander. An inhabitant of an ieland.

ISLE, ILE, n. ile. [L. insula.]

1. A tract of land surrounded by water, or a detached portion of land embosomed in the ocean, in a lake or river.

The isles shall wait for his law. Isaiah 42:4.

2. A passage in a church. [See Aisle.]

ISLET, n. i’let. A little ieland.

ISOCHRONAL, ISOCHRONOUS, a. [Gr. equal, and time.] Uniform in time; of equal time; performed in equal times.

An isochronal line, is that in which a heavy body is supposed to descend without acceleration.

Isochronal vibrations of a pendulum are such as are performed in the same space of time.

ISOLATE, v.t. To place in a detached situation; to place by itself; to insulate.

ISOLATED, pp. or a. Standing detached from others of a like kind; placed by itself or alone.

ISOLATING, ppr. Placing by itself or detached like an isle.

ISOMORPHISM, n. [Gr. like, and form.] The quality of a substance by which it is capable of replacing another in a compound, without an alteration of its primitive form.

ISOMORPHOUS, a. Capable of retaining its primitive form in a compound.

ISONOMY, n. [Gr. equal, and law.]

Equal law; equal distribution of rights and privileges.

ISOPERIMETRICAL, a. [See Isoperimetry.]

Having equal boundaries; as isoperimetrical figures or bodies.

ISOPERIMETRY, n. [Gr. equal, around, and measure.]

In geometry, the science of figures having equal perimeters or boundaries.

ISOSCELES, a. [Gr. equal, and leg.] Having two legs only that are equal; as an isosceles triangle.

ISRAELITE, n. A descendant of Israel or Jacob; a Jew.

ISRAELITIC, ISRAELITISH, a. Pertaining to Israel.

ISOTHERMAL, a. [Gr. equal, proper, and heat.] Having an equal degree of heat, or a like temperature.

ISOTONIC, a. [Gr. equal, and tone.] Having equal tones. The isotonic system, in music, consists of intervals, in which each concord is alike tempered, and in which there are twelve equal semitones.

ISSUABLE, a. [from issue.] That may be issued. In law, an issuable term, is one in which issues are made up.

ISSUE, n. ish’u.

1. The act of passing or flowing out; a moving out of any inclosed place; egress; applied to water or other fluid, to smoke, to a body of men, etc. We say, an issue of water from a pipe, from a spring, or from a river; an issue of blood from a wound, of air from a bellows; an issue of people from a door or house.

2. A sending out; as the issue of an order from a commanding officer or from a court; the issue of money from a treasury.

3. Event; consequence; end or ultimate result. Our present condition will be best for us in the issue.

4. Passage out; outlet.

To God the Lord belong the issues from death. Psalm 68:20.

5. Progeny; a child or children; offspring; as, he had issue, a son; and we speak of issue of the whole blood or half blood. A man dies without issue.

6. Produce of the earth, or profits of land, tenements or other property. A conveyed to B all his right to a term for years, with all the issues, rents and profits.

7. In surgery, a fontanel; a little ulcer made in some part of an animal body, to promote discharges.

8. Evacuation; discharge; a flux or running. Leviticus 12:7; Matthew 9:20.

9. In law, the close or result of pleadings; the point of matter depending in suit, on which the parties join, and put the case to trial by a jury.

10. A giving out from a repository; delivery; as an issue of rations or provisions from a store, or of powder from a magazine.

ISSUE, v.i.

1. To pass or flow out; to run out of any inclosed place; to proceed, as from a source; as, water issues from springs; blood issues from wounds; sap or gum issues from trees; light issues from the sun.

2. To go out; to rush out. Troops issued from the town and attacked the besiegers.

3. To proceed, as progeny; to spring.

Of thy sons that shall issue from thee-- 2 Kings 20:18.

4. To proceed; to be produced; to arise; to grow or accrue; as rents and profits issuing from land, tenements, or a capital stock.

5. In legal pleadings, to come to a point in fact of law, on which the parties join and rest the decision of the cause. Our lawyers say, a cause issues to the court or to the jury; it issues in demurrer.

6. To close; to end. We know not how the cause will issue.

ISSUE, v.t. To send out; to put into circulation; as, to issue money from a treasury, or notes from a bank.

1. To send out; to deliver from authority; as, to issue an order from the department of war; to issue a writ or precept.

2. To deliver for use; as, to issue provisions from a store.

ISSUED, pp. Descended; sent out.

ISSUELESS, a. Having no issue or progeny; wanting children.

ISSUING, ppr. Flowing or passing out; proceeding from, sending out.

ISSUING, n. A flowing or passing out.

1. Emission; a sending out, as of bills or notes.

ISTHMUS, n. ist’mus. [L.] A neck or narrow slip of land by which two continents are connected, or by which a peninsula is united to the mainland. Such is the Neck, so called, which connects Boston with the main land at Roxbury. But the word is applied to land of considerable extent, between seas; as the isthmus of Darien, which connects North and South America, and the isthmus between the Euxine and Caspian seas.

IT, pron. [L. id.]

1. A substitute or pronoun of the neuter gender, sometimes called demonstrative, and standing for any thing except males and females, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. Here it is the substitute for heart.

2. It is much used as the nominative case or word to verbs called impersonal; as it rains; it snows. In this case, there is no determinate thing to which it can be referred.

In other cases, it may be referred to matter, affair, or some other word. Is it come to this?

3. Very often, it is used to introduce a sentence, preceding a verb as a nominative, but referring to a clause or distinct member of the sentence. “It is well ascertained, that the figure of the earth is an oblate spheroid.” What is well ascertained?

The answer will show: the figure of the earth is an oblate spheroid; it [that] is well ascertained. Here it represents the clause of the sentence,”the figure of the earth,” etc. If the order of the sentence is inverted, the use of it is superseded. The figure of the earth is an oblate spheroid; that is well ascertained.

It, like that, is often a substitute for a sentence or clause of a sentence.

4. It often begins a sentence, when a personal pronoun, or the name of a person, or a masculine noun follows. It is I: be not afraid. It was Judas who betrayed Christ. When a question is asked, it follows the verb; as, who was it that betrayed Christ?

5. It is used also for the state of a person or affair.

How is it with our general?

6. It is used after intransitive verbs very indefinitely and sometimes ludicrously, but rarely in an elevated style.

If Abraham brought all with him, it is not probable he meant to walk it back for his pleasure.

The Lacedemonians, at the straits of Thermopylae, when their arms failed them, fought it out with nails and teeth.

Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it.

ITALIAN, a. Pertaining to Italy.

ITALIAN, n. A native of Italy.

1. The language used in Italy, or by the Italians.

ITALIANATE, v.t. To render Italian, or conformable to Italian customs.

ITALIANIZE, v.i. To play the Italian; to speak Italian.

ITALIC, a. Relating to Italy or its characters.

ITALICIZE, v.t. To write or print in Italic characters.

ITALICS, n. plu. Italic letters or characters; characters first used in Italy, and which stand inclining; the letters in which this clause is printed. They are used to distinguish words for emphasis, importance, antithesis, etc.

ITCH, n.

1. A cutaneous disease of the human race, appearing in small watery pustules on the skin, accompanied with an uneasiness or irritation that inclines the patient to use friction. This disease is supposed by some authors to be occasioned by a small insect, a species of Acarus, as the microscope detects these insects in the vesicles. Others suppose the pustules only form a nidus for the insects. This disease is taken only by contact or contagion.

2. The sensation in the skin occasioned by the disease.

3. A constant teasing desire; as an itch for praise; an itch for scribbling.

ITCH, v.i.

1. To feel a particular uneasiness in the skin, which inclines the person to scratch the part.

2. To have a constant desire or teasing inclination; as itching ears. 2 Timothy 4:3.

ITCHING, ppr. Having a sensation that calls for scratching.

1. Having a constant desire.

ITCHY, a. Infected with the itch.

ITEM, adv. [L. item, also.] Also; a word used when something is to be added.

ITEM, n. An article; a separate particular in an account. The account consists of many items.

1. A hint; an innuendo.

ITEM, v.t. To make a note or memorandum of.

ITERABLE, a. That may be repeated. [Not used.]

ITERANT, a. [See Iterate.] Repeating; as an iterant echo.

ITERATE, v.t. [L. itero, to repeat, from iter, a going.]

To repeat; to utter or do a second time; as, to iterate advice or admonition; to iterate a trepass.

ITERATED, pp. Repeated.

ITERATING, ppr. Repeating; uttering or doing over again.

ITERATION, n. [L. iteratio.] Repetition; recital or performance a second time.

ITERATIVE, a. Repeating.

ITINERANT, a. [L. iter, a way or journey.] Passing or traveling about a country; wandering; not settled; as an itinerant preacher.

ITINERANT, n. One who travels from place to place, particularly a preacher; one who is unsettled.

ITINERARY, n. [Low L. itinerarium, from iter, a going.]

An account of travels or of the distances of places; as the itinerary of Antoninus.

ITINERARY, a. Traveling; passing from place to place, or done on a journey.

ITINERATE, v.i. [L. iter, a going; Low L. itinero.]

To travel from place to place, particularly for the purpose of preaching; to wander without a settled habitation.

ITSELF, pron. [it and self.] The neutral reciprocal pronoun, or substitute applied to things. The thing is good in itself; it stands by itself.

Borrowing of foreigners, in itself, makes not the kingdom rich or poor.

ITTRIUM, n. The undecomposable base of yttria; but better written yttrium, unless yttria should be written ittria.

IVORY, n. [L. ebur.] The tusk of an elephant, a hard, solid substance, of a fine white color. This tooth is sometimes six or seven feet in length, hollow from the base to a certain highth, and filled with a compact medullary substance, seeming to contain a great number of glands. The ivory of Ceylon and Achem does not become yellow in wearing, and hence is preferred to that of Guinea.

IVORY, a. Consisting of ivory; as an ivory comb.

IVORY-BLACK, n. A fine kind of soft blacking.

IVY, n. A parasitic plant of the genus Hedera, which creeps along the ground, or if it finds support, rises on trees or buildings, climbing to a great highth.

IVYED, a. Overgrown with ivy.