Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



LAGGER, a. A loiterer; an idler; one who moves slowly and falls behind.

LAGGING, ppr. Loitering; moving slowly and falling behind.

The nurse went lagging after with the child.

LAGOON, LAGUNE, n. A fen, moor, marsh, shallow pond or lake; as the lagunes of Venice.

LAIC, LAICAL, a. [L. laicus, Gr. from people.]

Belonging to the laity or people, in distinction from the clergy.

LAIC, n. A layman.

LAID, pret. and pp. of lay; so written for layed.

LAIN, pp. of lie. Lien would be a more regular orthography, but lain is generally used.

LAIR, n. [L. locus.]

1. A place of rest; the bed or couch of a boar or wild beast.

2. Pasture; the ground.


In the Scots dialect, a lord; the proprietor of a manor.

LAITY, n. [Gr. people. See Laic.]

1. The people, as distinguished from the clergy; the body of the people not in orders.

2. The state of a layman, or of not being in orders. [Not used.]

LAKE, v.i.

To play; to sport. North of England. This is play, without a prefix.

LAKE, n. [L. lacus. A lake is a stand of water, from the root of lay. Hence L. lagena, Eng. flagon.]

1. A large and extensive collection of water contained in a cavity or hollow of the earth. It differs from a pond in size, the latter being a collection of small extent; but sometimes a collection of water is called a pond or a lake indifferently. North America contains some of the largest lakes on the globe, particularly the lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior.

2. A middle color between ultramarine and vermilion, made of cochineal.

LAKY, a. Pertaining to a lake or lakes.

LAMA, n.

1. The sovereign pontiff, or rather the god of the Asiatic Tartars.

2. A small species of camel, the Camelus lama of South America.

LAMANTIN, LAMENTIN, n. A species of the walrus or sea-cow, the Trichechus manatus.

LAMB, n. lam.

1. The young of the sheep kind.

2. The Lamb of God, in Scripture, the Savior Jesus Christ, who was typified by the paschal lamb.

Behold the lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29.

LAMB, v.t. To bring forth young, as sheep.

LAMBATIVE, a. [L. lambo, to lick.]

Taken by licking. [Little used.]

LAMBATIVE, n. A medicine taken by licking with the tongue.

LAMBENT, a. [L. lambens, lambo, to lick.] Playing about; touching lightly; gliding over; as a lambent flame.

LAMBKIN, n. lam’kin. A small lamb.

LAMBLIKE, a. lam’like. Like a lamb; gentle; humble; meek; as a lamblike temper.

LAMDOIDAL, a. [Gr. the name of the letter A, form.]

In the form of the Greek A, the English L; as the lamdoidal suture.

LAME, a.

1. Crippled or disabled in a limb, or otherwise injured so as to be unsound and impaired in strength; as a lame arm or leg, or a person lame in one leg.

2. Imperfect; not satisfactory; as a lame excuse.

3. Hobbling; not smooth; as numbers in verse.

LAME, v.t. To make lame; to cripple or disable; to render imperfect and unsound; as, to lame an arm or a leg.

LAMEL, n. [L. lamella. See Lamin.] A thin plate or scale of any thing.

LAMELLAR, a. [from lamel.] Disposed in thin plates or scales.

LAMELLARLY, adv. In thin plates or scales.

LAMELLATE, LAMELLATED, a. Formed in thin plates or scales, or covered with them.

LAMELLIFEROUS, a. [L. lamella and fero, to produce.]

Producing plates; an epithet of polypiers presenting lamellar stars, or waved furrows a garnished with plates.

LAMELLIFORM, a. [L. lamella, a plate, and form.] Having the form of a plate.

LAMELY, adv. [See Lame.]

1. Like a cripple; with impaired strength; in a halting manner; as, to walk lamely.

2. Imperfectly; without a complete exhibition of parts; as a figure lamely drawn; a scene lamely described.

3. Weakly; poorly; unsteadily; feebly.


1. An impaired state of the body or limbs; loss of natural soundness and strength by a wound or by disease; particularly applied to the limbs, and implying a total or partial inability; as the lameness of the leg or arm.

2. Imperfection; weakness; as the lameness of an argument or of a description.

LAMENT, v.i. [L. lamentor.]

1. To mourn; to grieve; to weep or wail; to express sorrow.

Jeremiah lamented for Josiah. 2 Chronicles 35:25.

2. To regret deeply; to feel sorrow.

LAMENT, v.t. To bewail; to mourn for; to bemoan; to deplore.

One laughed at follies, one lamented crimes.

LAMENT, n. [L. lamentum.] Grief or sorrow expressed in complaints or cries; lamentation; a weeping.

Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.

[This noun is used chiefly or solely in poetry.]

LAMENTABLE, a. [L. lamentabilis.]

1. To be lamented; deserving sorrow; as a lamentable declension of morals.

2. Mournful; adapted to awaken grief; as a lamentable tune.

3. Expressing sorrow; as lamentable cries.

4. Miserable; pitiful; low; poor; in a sense rather ludicrous. [Little used.]


1. Mournfully; with expressions or tokens of sorrow.

2. So as to cause sorrow.

3. Pitifully; despicably.

LAMENTATION, n. [L. lamentatio.]

1. Expression of sorrow; cries of grief; the act of bewailing.

In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping. Matthew 2:18.

2. In the plural, a book of Scripture, containing the lamentations of Jeremiah.

LAMENTED, pp. Bewailed; mourned for.

LAMENTER, n. One who mourns, or cries out with sorrow.

LAMENTIN. [See Lamantin.]

LAMENTING, ppr. Bewailing; mourning; weeping.

LAMENTING, n. A mourning; lamentation.

LAMIA, n. [L.] A hag; a witch; a demon.

LAMIN, LAMINA, n. [L. lamina.]

1. A thin plate or scale; a layer or coat lying over another; applied to the plates of minerals, bones, etc.

2. A bone, or part of a bone, resembling a thin plate, such as the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone.

3. The lap of the ear.

4. The border, or the upper, broad or spreading part of the petal, in a polypetalous corol.

LAMINABLE, a. Capable of being formed into thin plates.

LAMINAR, a. In plates; consisting of thin plates or layers.

LAMINATE, LAMINATED, a. Plated; consisting of plates, scales or layers, one over another.

LAMM, v.t. To beat. [Not in use.]


The first day of August.

LAMP, n. [L. lampas; Gr. to shine; Heb.]

1. A vessel for containing oil to be burned by means of a wick; or a light, a burning wick inserted in a vessel of oil. Hence,

2. Figuratively, a light of any kind. The moon is called the lamp of heaven.

Thy gentle eyes send forth a quickening spirit, to feed the dying lamp of life within me.

Lamp of safety, or safety lamp, a lamp for lighting coal mines, without exposing workmen to the explosion of inflammable air.

LAMPAS, n. A lump of flesh of the size of a nut, in the roof of a horse’s mouth, and rising above the teeth.

LAMPBLACK, n. [lamp and black; being originally made by means of a lamp or torch.]

A fine soot formed by the condensation of the smoke of burning pitch or resinous substances, in a chimney terminating in a cone of cloth.

LAMPIATE, n. A compound salt, composed of lampic acid and a base.

LAMPIC, a. The lampic acid is obtained by the combustion of ether by means of a lamp.

LAMPING, a. Shining; sparkling. [Not used.]

LAMPOON, n. A personal satire in writing; abuse; censure written to reproach and vex rather than to reform.

LAMPOON, v.t. To abuse with personal censure; to reproach in written satire.

LAMPOONER, n. One who abuses with personal satire; the writer of a lampoon.

The squibs are those who are called libelers, lampooners, and pamphleteers.

LAMPOONING, ppr. Abusing with personal satire.

LAMPOONRY, n. Abuse.

LAMPREY, n. [L. labor, to slip, and most probably the animal is name from slipping. If, however, the sense is taken from licking the rocks, as Camden supposes, it accords with the sense of the technical name of the genus petromyzon, the rock-sucker.]

A genus of anguilliform fishes, resembling the eel, and moving in water by winding, like the serpent on land. This fish has seven spiracles on each side of the neck, and a fistula or aperture on the top of the head, but no pectoral or ventral fins. The marine or sea lamprey is sometimes found so large as to weigh four or five pounds.

Lamprel and lampron. [See Lamprey.]

LANATE, LANATED, a. [L. lanatus, from lana, wool.] Wooly. In botany, covered with a substance like curled hairs; as a lanated leaf or stem.

LANCE, n. l’ans. [L. lancea; Gr.]

A spear, an offensive weapon in form of a half pike, used by the ancients and thrown by the hand. It consisted of the shaft or handle, the wings and the dart.

LANCE, v.t.

1. To pierce with a lance or with a sharp pointed instrument.

- Seized the due victim, and with fury lanc’d her back.

2. To pierce or cut; to open with a lancet; as, to lance a vein or an abscess.

LANCELY, a. l’ansly. Suitable to a lance.

LANCEOLAR, a. In botany, tapering towards each end.

LANCEOLATE, LANCEOLATED, a. Shaped like a lance; oblong and gradually tapering toward each extremity; spear-shaped; as a lanceolate leaf.

LANCEPESADE, n. An officer under the corporal.

LANCER, n. One who lances; one who carries a lance.


1. A surgical instrument, sharp-pointed and two-edged; used in venesection, and in opening tumors, abscesses, etc.

2. A pointed window.

LANCH, v.t. [from lance.]

1. To throw, as a lance; to dart; to let fly.

See whose arm can lanch the surer bolt.

2. To move, or cause to slide from the land into the water; as, to lanch a ship.

LANCH, v.i. To dart or fly off; to push off; as, to lanch into the wide world; to lanch into a wide field of discussion.

1. The sliding or movement of a ship from the land into the water, on ways prepared for the purpose.

2. A kind of boat, longer, lower, and more flat-bottomed than a long boat.

LAND, n.

1. Earth, or the solid matter which constitutes the fixed part of the surface of the globe, in distinction from the sea or other waters, which constitute the fluid or movable part. Hence we say, the globe is terraqueous, consisting of land and water. The seaman in a long voyage longs to see land.

2. Any portion of the solid, superficial part of the globe, whether a kingdom or country, or a particular region. The United States is denominated the land of freedom.

Go, view the land, even Jericho. Joshua 2:1.

3. Any small portion of the superficial part of the earth or ground. We speak of the quantity of land in a manor. Five hundred acres of land is a large farm.

4. Ground; soil, or the superficial part of the earth in respect to its nature or quality; as good land; poor land; moist or dry land.

5. Real Estate. A traitor forfeits all his lands and tenements.

6. The inhabitants of a country or region; a nation or people.

These answers in the silent night received, the king himself divulged, the land believed.

7. The ground left unplowed between furrows, is by some of our farmers called a land.

To make the land,

To make land, In seaman’s language, is to discover land from sea, as the ship approaches it.

To shut in the land, to lose sight of the land left, by the intervention of a point or promontory.

To set the land, to see by the compass how it bears from the ship.

LAND, n. Urine; whence the old expression, land dam, to kill. Obs.
LAND, v.t. to set on shore; to disembark; to debark; as, to land troops from a ship or boat; to land goods.
LAND, v.i. To go on shore from a ship or boat; to disembark.

LANDAU, n. A kind of coach or carriage whose top may be opened and thrown back; so called from a town in Germany.

LAND-BREEZE, n. [land and breeze.] A current of air setting from the land towards the sea.


1. Disembarked; set on shore from a ship or boat.

2. a. Having an estate in land; as a landed gentleman.

The house of commons must consist, for the most part, of landed men.

3. Consisting in real estate or land; as landed security; landed property. The landed interest of a nation is the interest consisting in land; but the word is used also for the owners of that interest, the proprietors of land.

LANDFALL, n. [land and fall.]

1. A sudden translation of property in land by the death of a rich man.

2. In seamen’s language, the first land discovered after a voyage.

LANDFLOOD, n. [land and flood.] An overflowing of land by water; an inundation. Properly, a flood from the land from the swelling of rivers; but I am not sure that it is always used in this sense.

LAND-FORCE, n. [land and force.] A military force, army or troops serving on land, as distinguished from a naval force.


In Germany, a count or earl; or an officer nearly corresponding to the earl of England, and the count of France. It is now a title of certain princes who possess estates or territories called landgraviates.

LANDGRAVIATE, n. The territory held by a landgrave, or his office, jurisdiction or authority.

LANDHOLDER, n. A holder, owner or proprietor of land.

LANDING, ppr. Setting on shore; coming on shore.

LANDING, LANDING-PLACE, n. A place on the shore of the sea or of a lake, or on the bank of a river; where persons land or come on shore, or where goods are set on shore.

LANDJOBBER, n. A man who makes a business of buying land on speculation, or of buying and selling for the profit of bargains, or who buys and sells for others.

LANDLADY, n. [See Landlord.]

1. A woman who has tenants holding from her.

2. The mistress of an inn.

LANDLESS, a. Destitute of land; having no property in land.

LANDLOCK, v.t. [land and lock.] To inclose or encompass by land.

LANDLOCKED, pp. Encompassed by land, so that no point of the compass is open to the sea.

LANDLOPER, n. [See Leap and Interloper.]

A landman; literally, a land runner; a term of reproach among seamen to designate a man who passes his life on land.


1. The lord of a manor or of land; the owner of land who has tenants under him.

2. The master of an inn or tavern.

LANDMAN, n. A man who serves on land; opposed to seaman.

LANDMARK, n. [land and mark.]

1. A mark to designate the boundary of land; any mark or fixed object; as a marked tree, a stone, a ditch, or a heap of stones, by which the limits of a farm, a town or other portion of territory may be known and preserved.

Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmark. Deuteronomy 19:14.

2. In navigation, any elevated object on land that serves as a guide to seamen.

LAND-OFFICE, n. In the United States, an office in which the sales of new land are registered, and warrants issued for the location of land and other business respecting unsettled land is transacted.


1. A portion of land or territory which the eye can comprehend in a single view, including mountains, rivers, lakes, and whatever the land contains.

- Whilst the landscape round it measures, russet lawns and fallows gray, where the nibbling flocks do stray.

2. A picture, exhibiting the form of a district of country, as far as the eye can reach, or a particular extent of land and the objects it contains, or its various scenery.

3. The view or prospect of a district of country.

LANDSLIP, n. A portion of a hill or mountain, which slips or slides down; or the sliding down of a considerable tract of land from a mountain. landslips are not unfrequent in Swisserland.

LANDSMAN, n. In seaman’s language, a sailor on board a ship, who has not before been at sea.

LANDSTREIGHT, n. A narrow slip of land. [Not used.]

LAND-TAX, n. A tax assessed on land and buildings.

LAND-TURN, n. A land breeze.

LAND-WAITER, n. An officer of the customs, whose duty is to wait or attend on the landing of goods, and to examine, weigh or measure, and take an account of them.

LANDWARD, adv. Toward the land.

LAND-WIND, n. A wind blowing from the land.

LAND-WORKER, n. One who tills the ground.

LANE, n.

1. A narrow way or passage, or a private passage, as distinguished from a public road or highway. A lane may be open to all passengers, or it may be inclosed and appropriated to a man’s private use. In the United States, the word is used chiefly in the country, and answers in a degree, to an alley in a city. It has sometimes been used for alley. In London, the word lane is added to the names of streets; as chancery lane.

2. A passage between lines of men, or people standing on each side.

LANGRAGE, LANGREL, n. Langrel shot or langrage, is a particular kind of shot used at sea for tearing sails and rigging, and thus disabling an enemy’s ship. It consists of bolts, nails and other pieces of iron fastened together.

LANGTERALOO, n. A game at cards.

LANGUAGE, n. [L. lingua, the tongue, and speech.]

1. Human speech; the expression of ideas by words or significant articulate sounds, for the communication of thoughts. Language consists in the oral utterance of sounds, which usage has made the representatives of ideas. When two or more persons customarily annex the same sounds to the same ideas, the expression of these sounds by one person communicates his ideas to another. This is the primary sense of language, the use of which is to communicate the thoughts of one person to another through the organs of hearing. Articulate sounds are represented by letters, marks or characters which form words. Hence language consists also in

2. Words duly arranged in sentences, written, printed or engraved, and exhibited to the eye.

3. The speech or expression of ideas peculiar to a particular nation. Men had originally one and the same language, but the tribes or families of men, since their dispersion, have distinct languages.

4. Style; manner of expression.

Others for language all their care express.

5. The inarticulate sounds by which irrational animals express their feelings and wants. Each species of animals has peculiar sounds, which are uttered instinctively, and are understood by its own species, and its own species only.

6. Any manner of expressing thoughts. Thus we speak of the language of the eye, a language very expressive and intelligible.

7. A nation, as distinguished by their speech. Daniel 3:29.

LANGUAGED, a. Having a language; as many languaged nations.

LANGUAGE-MASTER, n. One whose profession is to teach languages.

LANGUET, n. Any thing in the shape of the tongue. [Not English.]