Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



KNACK, n. nak. A little machine; a petty contrivance; a toy.

A knack, a toy, a trick, a baby’s cap.

1. A readiness; habitual facility of performance; dexterity; adroitness.

My author has a great knack at remarks.

The Dean was famous in his time,

And had a kind of knack at rhyme.

2. A nice trick.

For how should equal colors do the knack?

Cameleons who can paint in white and black?

KNACK, v.i. nak. To crack; to make a sharp abrupt noise. [Little used.]

KNACKER, n. nak’er. A maker of knacks, toys or small work.

1. A rope-maker, or collar-maker. [Not in use.]

KNAG, n. nag.

1. A knot in wood, or a protuberant knot; a wart.

2. A peg for hanging things on.

3. The shoot of a deer’s horns.

KNAGGY, n. nag’gy. Knotty, full of knots; rough with knots; hence, rough in temper.

KNAP, n. nap. A protuberance; a swelling. [Little used. See Knob.]

KNAP, v.t. nap. [See Knab.]

1. To bite; to bite off; to break short. [Little used.]

2. To strike with a sharp noise. [Little used.]

KNAP, v.i. nap. To make a short, sharp sound.

KNAPBOTTLE, n. nap’bottle. A plant.

KNAPPISH, a. nap’pish. Snappish. [See Snap.]

KNAPPLE, v.i. nap’ple. To break off with an abrupt sharp noise.

KNAPSACK, n. nap’sack. A soldier’s bag, carried on his back, and containing necessaries of food and clothing. It may be of leather or coarse cloth.

KNAPWEED, n. nap’weed. A plant of the genus Centaurea, so called probably from knap, a button.

KNAR, n. n`ar. A knot in wood.

KNARLED, a. Knotted. [See Gnarled.]

KNARRY, a. Knotty.

KNAVE, n. nave.

1. A boy; a man-child.

2. A servant.

3. A false deceitful fellow; a dishonest man or boy.

In defiance of demonstration, knaves will continue to proselyte fools.

4. A card with a soldier painted on it.

KNAVERY, n. na’very. Dishonesty; deception in traffick; trick; petty villainy; fraud.

1. Mischievous tricks or practices.

KNAVISH, a. na’vish. Dishonest; fraudulent; as a knavish fellow, or a knavish trick or transaction.

1. Waggish; mischievous.

Cupid is a knavish lad,

Thus to make poor females mad.

KNAVISHLY, na’vishly. Dishonestly; fraudulently.

1. Waggishly; mischievously.

KNAVISHNESS, n. na’vishness. The quality or habit of knavery; dishonesty.

KNAWEL, n. naw’el. A species of plant.

KNEAD, v.t. nead. To work and press ingredients into a mass, usually with the hands; particularly, to work into a well mixed mass the materials of bread, cake or paste; as, to knead dough.

The cake she kneaded was the savory meat.

KNEADED, pp. ne’aded. Worked and pressed together.

KNEADING, ppr. ne’ading. Working and mixing into a well mixed mass.

KNEADING-TROUGH, n. ne’ading-trauf. A trough or tray in which dough is worked and mixed.

KNEBELITE, n. neb’elite. [from Von Knebel.] A mineral of a gray color, spotted with dirty white, brownish green, or green.

KNEE, n. nee. [L. genu.]

1. In anatomy, the articulation of the thigh and leg bones.

2. In ship-building, a piece of timber somewhat in the shape of the human knee when bent, having two branches or arms, and used to connect the beams of a ship with her sides or timbers.

KNEE, v.t. nee. To supplicate by kneeling. [Not used.]

KNEE-CROOKING, a. nee’crooking. Obsequious.

KNEED, a. need. Having knees; as in-kneed, out-kneed.

1. In botany, geniculated; forming an obtuse angle at the joints, like the knee when a little bent; as kneed-grass.

KNEE-DEEP, a. nee’-deep. Rising to the knees; as water or snow knee-deep.

KNEE-HIGH, a. nee-hi. Rising to the knees; as water knee-high.

KNEE-HOLLY, n. nee’holly. A plant of the genus Ruscus.

KNEEHOLM, n. nee’home. Kneeholly.

KNEEPAN, n. nee’pan. The round bone on the fore part of the knee.

KNEEL, v.i. neel. To bend the knee; to fall on the knees; sometimes with down.

As soon as you are dressed, kneel down and say the Lord’s prayer.

KNEELER, n. nee’ler. One who kneels or worships by kneeling.

KNEELING, ppr. nee’ling. Falling on the knees.

KNEE-TRIBUTE, n. nee’tribute. Tribute paid by kneeling; worship or obeisance by genuflection.

KNELL, n. nell. Properly, the stroke of a bell; hence, the sound caused by striking a bell; appropriately and perhaps exclusively, the sound of a bell rung at a funeral; a tolling.

KNEW, pret. of know.

KNIFE, n. nife; plu. knives; nives.

1. A cutting instrument with a sharp edge. Knives are of various shapes and sizes, adapted to their respective uses; as table knives; carving knives or carvers; penknives, etc.

2. A sword or dagger.

KNIGHT, n. nite.

1. Originally, a knight was a youth, and young men being employed as servants, hence it came to signify a servant. But among our warlike ancestors, the word was particularly applied to a young man after he was admitted to the privilege of bearing arms. The admission to this privilege was a ceremony of great importance, and was the origin of the institution of knighthood. Hence, in feudal times, a knight was a man admitted to military rank by a certain ceremony. This privilege was conferred on youths of family and fortune, and hence sprung the honorable title of knight, in modern usage. A knight has the title of Sir.

2. A pupil or follower.

3. A champion.

Knight of the post, a knight dubbed at the whipping post or pillory; a hireling witness.

Knight of the shire, in England, one of the representatives of a county in parliament, originally a knight, but now any gentleman having an estate in land of six hundred pounds a year is qualified.

KNIGHT, v.t. nite. To dub or create a knight, which is done by the king who gives the person kneeling a blow with a sword, and says, rise, Sir.

KNIGHT-ERRANT, n. [knight and L. errans, erro, to wander.]

A wandering knight; a knight who traveled in search of adventures, for the purpose of exhibiting military skill, prowess and generosity.

KNIGHT-ERRANTRY, n. The practice of wandering in quest of adventures; the manners of wandering knights.

KNIGHT-HEADS, n. In ships, bollard timbers, two pieces of timber rising just within the stem, one on each side of the bowsprit to secure its inner end; also, two strong frames of timber which inclose and support the ends of the windlass.

KNIGHTHOOD, n. The character or dignity of a knight.

1. A military order, honor, or degree of ancient nobility, conferred as a reward of valor or merit. It is of four kinds, military, regular, honorary, and social.

KNIGHTLINESS, n. Duties of a knight.

KNIGHTLY, a. Pertaining to a knight; becoming a knight; as a knightly combat.

KNIGHT-MARSHAL, n. An officer in the household of the British king, who has cognizance of transgressions within the king’s household and verge, and of contracts made there.

KNIGHT-SERVICE, n. In English feudal law, a tenure of lands held by knights on condition of performing military service, every possessor of a knight’s fee, or estate originally of twenty pounds annual value, being obliged to attend the king in his wars.

KNIT, v.t. nit. pret. and pp. knit or knitted. [L. nodo, whence nodus, Eng. knot.]

1. To unite, as threads by needles; to connect in a kind of net-work; as, to knit a stocking.

2. To unite closely; as, let our hearts be knit together in love.

3. To join or cause to grow together.

Nature cannot knit the bones, while the parts are under a discharge.

4. To tie; to fasten.

And he saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending to him, as it were a great sheet knit at the four corners. Acts 10:11.

5. To draw together; to contract; as, to knit the brows.

KNIT, v.i. nit. To unite or interweave by needles.

1. To unite closely; to grow together. Broken bones will in time knit and become sound.

KNIT, n. nit. Union by knitting; texture. [Little used.]

KNITTABLE, a. nit’table. That may be knit.

KNITTER, n. nit’ter. One that knits.

KNITTING, ppr. nit’ting. Uniting by needles; forming texture; uniting in growth.

KNITTING, n. Junction.

KNITTING-NEEDLE, n. nit’ting-needle. A long needle usually made of wire, used for knitting threads into stockings, garters, etc.

KNITTLE, n. nit’l. [from knit.] A string that gathers or draws together a purse.

1. A small line used in ships to sling hammocks.

KNOB, n. nob. A hard protuberance; a hard swelling or rising; a bunch; as a knob in the flesh or on a bone.

KNOBBED, a. nob’bed. Containing knobs; full of knobs.

KNOBBINESS, n. nob’biness. [from knobby.] The quality of having knobs, or of being full of protuberances.

KNOBBY, a. nob’by. Full of knobs or hard protuberances; hard.

KNOCK, v.i. nok.

1. To strike or beat with something thick or heavy; as, to knock with a club or with the fist; to knock at the door. We never use this word to express beating with a small stick or whip.

2. To drive or be driven against; to strike against; to clash; as when one heavy body knocks against another.

To knock under, to yield; to submit; to acknowledge to be conquered; an expression borrowed from the practice of knocking under the table, when conquered.

KNOCK, v.t. nok. To strike; to drive against; as, to knock the head against a post.

1. To strike a door for admittance; to rap.

To knock down, to strike down; to fell; to prostrate by a blow or by blows; as, to knock down an ox.

To knock out, to force out by a blow or by blows; as, to knock out the brains.

To knock up, to arouse by knocking. In popular use, to beat out; to fatigue till unable to do more.

To knock off, to force off by beating. At auctions, to assign to a bidder by a blow on the counter.

To knock on the head, to kill by a blow or by blows.

KNOCK, n. nok. A blow; a stroke with something thick or heavy.

1. A stroke on a door, intended as a request for admittance; a rap.

KNOCKER, n. nok’er. One that knocks.

1. An instrument or kind of hammer, fastened to a door to be used in seeking for admittance.

KNOCKING, ppr. nok’ing. Beating; striking.

KNOCKING, n. nok’ing. A beating; a rap.

KNOLL, v.t. noll. [See Knell.] To ring a bell, usually for a funeral.

KNOLL, v.i. noll. To sound, as a bell.

[This word, I believe, is not used in America.]

KNOLL, n. noll. The top or crown of a hill; but more generally, a little round hill or mount; a small elevation of earth.

KNOP, n. nop. [a different spelling of knap or nob.]

A knob; a tufted top; a bud; a bunch; a button.

KNOPPED, a. nop’ped. Having knops or knobs; fastened as with buttons.

KNOT, n. not. [L. nodus; probably connected with knit, but perhaps from swelling or gathering.]

1. The complication of threads made by knitting; a tie; union of cords by interweaving; as a knot difficult to be untied.

2. Any figure, the lines of which frequently intersect each other; as a knot in gardening.

In beds and curious knots.

3. A bond of association or union; as the nuptial knot.

4. The part of a tree where a branch shoots.

5. The protuberant joint of a plant.

6. A cluster; a collection; a group; as a knot of ladies; a knot of figures in painting.

7. Difficulty; intricacy; something not easily solved.

8. Any intrigue or difficult perplexity of affairs.

9. A bird of the genus Tringa.

10. An epaulet.

11. In seamen’s language, a division of the logline, which answers to half a minute, as a mile does to an hour, or it is the hundred and twentieth part of a mile. Hence, when a ship goes eight miles an hour, she is said to go eight knots.

KNOT, v.t. not. To complicate or tie in a knot or knots; to form a knot.

1. To entangle; to perplex.

2. To unite closely.

KNOT, v.i. not. To form knots or joints, as in plants.

KNOTBERRY, n. not’berry. A plant of the genus Rubus.

KNOTGRASS, n. not’grass. The name of several species of plants, so denominated from the joints of the stem. The common knotgrass is the Polygonum aviculare.

KNOTLESS, a. not’less. Free from knots; without knots.

KNOTTED, a. not’ted. Full of knots; having knots; as the knotted oak.

1. Having intersecting figures.

KNOTTINESS, n. not’tiness. [from knotty.]

1. Fullness of knots; the quality of having many knots or swellings.

2. Difficulty of solution; intricacy.

KNOTTY, a. not’ty. Full of knots; having many knots; as knotty timber.

1. Hard; rugged; as a knotty head.

2. Difficult; intricate; perplexed; as a knotty question or point.

KNOUT, n. nout. A punishment in Russia, inflicted with a whip.

KNOW, v.t. no. pret. knew; pp. known. [L. nosco, cognosco, Gr. although much varied in orthography. Nosco makes novi, which, with g or c prefixed, gnovi or cnovi, would coincide with know, knew. So L. cresco, crevi, coincides with grow, grew. The radical sense of knowing is generally to take, receive, or hold.]

1. To perceive with certainty; to understand clearly; to have a clear and certain perception of truth, fact, or any thing that actually exists. To know a thing preincludes all doubt or uncertainty of its existence. We know what we see with our eyes, or perceive by other senses. We know that fire and water are different substances. We know that truth and falsehood express ideas incompatible with each other. We know that a circle is not a square. We do not know the truth of reports, nor can we always know what to believe.

2. To be informed of; to be taught. It is not unusual for us to say we know things from information, when we rely on the veracity of the informer.

3. To distinguish; as, to know one man from another. We know a fixed star from a planet by its twinkling.

4. To recognize by recollection, remembrance, representation or description. We do not always know a person after a long absence. We sometimes know a man by having seen his portrait, or having heard him described.

5. To be no stranger to; to be familiar. This man is well known to us.

6. In scripture, to have sexual commerce with. Genesis 4:1.

7. To approve.

The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous. Psalm 1:6.

8. To learn. Proverbs 1:2.

9. To acknowledge with due respect. 1 Thessalonians 5:12.

10. To choose; to favor or take an interest in. Amos 3:2.

11. To commit; to have.

He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

12. To have full assurance of; to have satisfactory evidence of any thing, though short of certainty.

KNOW, v.i. no.

1. To have clear and certain perception; not to be doubtful; sometimes with of.

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:17.

2. To be informed.

Sir John must not know of it.

3. To take cognizance of; to examine.

Know of your youth - examine well your blood.

KNOWABLE, a. no’able. That may be known; that may be discovered, understood or ascertained.

KNOWER, n. no’er. One who knows.

KNOWING, ppr. no’ing.

1. Having clear and certain perception of.

2. a. Skillful; well informed; well instructed; as a knowing man.

The knowing and intelligent part of the world.

3. Conscious; intelligent.

A knowing prudent cause.

KNOWING, n. no’ing. Knowledge.

KNOWINGLY, adv. no’ingly. With knowledge. He would not knowingly offend.

KNOWLEDGE, n. nol’lej.

1. A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas.

We can have no knowledge of that which does not exist. God has a perfect knowledge of all his works. Human knowledge is very limited, and is mostly gained by observation and experience.

2. Learning; illumination of mind.

Ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.

3. Skill; as a knowledge of seamanship.

4. Acquaintance with any fact or person. I have no knowledge of the man or thing.

5. Cognizance; notice. Ruth 2:10, 19.

6. Information; power of knowing.

7. Sexual intercourse. But it is usual to prefix carnal; as carnal knowledge.

KNOWLEDGE, for acknowledge or avow, is not used.

KNUB, KNUBBLE, v.t. To beat; to strike with the knuckle. [Not used.]

KNUCKLE, n. nuk’l.

1. The joint of a finger, particularly when protuberant by the closing of the fingers.

2. The knee join of a calf; as a knuckle of veal.

3. The joint of a plant. [Not used.]

KNUCKLE, v.i. nuk’l. To yield; to submit in contest to an antagonist.

KNUCKLED, a. Jointed.

KNUFF, n. nuff. A lout; a clown. [Not used.]

KNUR, nur.

KNURLE, n. nurle. A knot; a hard substance.

KNURLED, a. nurl’ed. Full of knots.

KNURLY, a. nur’ly. [from knur.] Full of knots; hard. This seems to be the same as gnarly.

KNURRY, a. nur’ry. Full of knots.

KOBA, n. An antelope, with horns close at the base.

KOKOB, n. A venomous serpent of America.

KOLLYRITE, n. [Gr.] A variety of clay whose color is pure white, or with a shade of gray, red or yellow.

KOMMANIC, n. The crested lark of Germany.

KONILITE, n. [Gr. dust, and a stone.]

A mineral in the form of a loose powder, consisting chiefly of silex, and remarkably fusible.

KONITE. [See Conite.]

KOPECK, n. A Russian coin, about the value of a cent.

KORAN, n. Pronounced by oriental scholars korawn.

The Mohammedan book of faith; the alkoran.

KORET, n. A delicious fish of the East Indies.

KORIN, n. An antelope with slender smooth horns.

KOUPHOLITE, n. [Gr. light, and stone.]

A mineral, regarded as a variety of prehnite. It occurs in minute rhomboidal plates, of a greenish or yellowish white, translucid, glistening and pearly. It is found in the Pyrenees.

KRAAL, n. In the southern part of Africa, among the Hottentots, a village; a collection of huts.

KRAG, n. A species of argillaceous earth.

KRAKEN, n. A supposed enormous sea animal.