Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



MEDDLE, v.i.

1. To have to do; to take part; to interpose and act in the concerns of others, or in affairs in which one’s interposition is not necessary; often with the sense of intrusion or officiousness.

I have thus far been an upright judge, not meddling with the design nor disposition.

What hast thou to do to meddle with the affairs of my family?

Why should’st thou meddle to thy hurt? 2 Kings 14:10.

2. To have to do; to touch; to handle. Meddle not with edge-tools, is an admonition to children. When the object is specified, meddle is properly followed by with or in; usually by the former.

The civil lawyers--have meddled in a matter that belongs not to them.

MEDDLE, v.t. To mix, to mingle.

He meddled his talk with many a tear.

MEDDLER, n. One that meddles; one that interferes or busies himself with things in which he has no concern; an officious person; a busy body.

MEDDLESOME, a. Given to meddling; apt to interpose in the affairs of others; officiously intrusive.

MEDDLESOMENESS, n. Officious interposition in the affairs of others.

MEDDLING, ppr. Having to do; touching; handling; officiously interposing in other men’s concerns.

1. a. Officious; busy in other men’s affairs; as a meddling neighbor.

MEDIAL, a. [L. medius, middle.] Mean; noting a mean or average.

Medial alligation, is a method of finding the mean rate or value of a mixture consisting of two or more ingredients of different quantities and values. In this case, the quantity and value of each ingredient are given.

MEDIANT, n. In music, an appellation given to the third above the key-note, because it divides the interval between the tonic and dominant into thirds.

MEDIATE, a. [L. medius, middle.] Middle; being between the two extremes.

Anxious we hover in a mediate state.

1. Interposed; intervening; being between two objects.

Soon the mediate clouds shall be dispelled.

2. Acting by means, or by an intervening cause or instrument. Thus we speak of mediate and immediate cause of its motion; the oar with which a man rows a boat is the immediate cause of its motion; but the rower is the mediate cause, acting by means of the oar.

MEDIATE, v.i. To interpose between parties, as the equal friend of each; to act indifferently between contending parties, with a view to reconciliation; to intercede. The prince that mediates between nations and prevents a war, is the benefactor of both parties.

1. To be between two. [Little used.]

MEDIATE, v.t. To effect by mediation or interposition between parties; as, to mediate a peace.

1. To limit by something in the middle. [Not used.]

MEDIATELY, adv. By means or by a secondary cause, acting between the first cause and the effect.

God worketh all things amongst us mediately, by secondary means.

The king grants a manor to A, and A grants a portion of it to B. In this case, B holds his lands immediately of A, but mediately of the king.

MEDIATION, n. [L. medius, middle.]

1. Interposition; intervention; agency between parties at variance, with a view to reconcile them. The contentions of individuals and families are often terminated by the mediation of friends. The controversies of nations are sometimes adjusted by mediation. The reconciliation of sinners to God by the mediation of Christ, is a glorious display of divine benevolence.

2. Agency interposed; intervenient power.

The soul, during its residence in the body, does all things by the mediation of the passions.

3. Intercession; entreaty for another.

MEDIATOR, n. One that interposes between parties at variance for the purpose of reconciling them.

1. By way of eminence, Christ is the mediator, the divine intercessor through whom sinners may be reconciled to an offended God. 1 Timothy 2:5.

Christ is a mediator by nature, as partaking of both natures divine and human; and mediator by office, as transacting matters between God and man.

MEDIATORIAL, a. Belonging to a mediator; as mediatorial office or character. [Mediatory is not used.]

MEDIATORSHIP, n. The office of a mediator.

MEDIATRESS, MEDIATRIX, n. A female mediator.

MEDIC, n. A plant of the genus Medicago. The sea-medic is of the same genus; the medic vetch is of the genus Hedysarum.

MEDICABLE, a. [See Medical.] That may be cured or healed.

MEDICAL, a. [L. medicus, from medcor, to heal; Gr. cure.]

1. Pertaining to the art of healing diseases; as the medical profession; medical services.

2. Medicinal; containing that which heals; tending to cure; as the medical properties of a plant.

MEDICALLY, adv. In the manner of medicine; according to the rules of the healing art, or for the purpose of healing; as a simple or mineral medically used or applied.

1. In relation to the healing art; as a plant medically considered.

MEDICAMENT, n. [L. medicamentum.] Any thing used for healing diseases or wounds; a medicine; a healing application.

MEDICAMENTAL, a. Relating to healing applications; having the qualities of medicaments.

MEDICAMENTALLY, adv. After the manner of healing applications.

MEDICASTER, n. A quack.

MEDICATE, v.t. [L. medico.] To tincture or impregnate with healing substances, or with any thing medicinal.

MEDICATED, pp. Prepared or furnished with any thing medicinal.

MEDICATING, ppr. Impregnating with medical substances; preparing with any thing medicinal.

MEDICATION, n. The act or process of impregnating with medicinal substances; the infusion of medicinal virtues.

1. The use of medicine.

MEDICINABLE, a. Having the properties of medicine; medicinal. [The latter is the word now used.]

MEDICINAL, [L. medicinalis.] Having the property of healing or of mitigating disease; adapted to the cure or alleviation of bodily disorders; as medicinal plants, medicinal virtues of minerals; medicinal springs. The waters of Saratoga and Ballston are remarkably medicinal.

1. Pertaining to medicine; as medicinal days or hours.

MEDICINALLY, adv. In the manner of medicine; with medicinal qualities.

1. With a view to healing; as, to use a mineral medicinally.

MEDICINE, n. [L. medicina, from medeor, to cure; vulgarly and improperly pronounced med’sn.]

1. Any substance, liquid or solid, that has the property of curing or mitigating disease in animals, or that is used for that purpose. Simples, plants and minerals furnish most of our medicines. Even poisons used with judgment and in moderation, are safe and efficacious medicines. Medicines are internal or external, simple or compound.

2. The art of preventing, curing or alleviating the diseases of the human body. Hence we say, the study of medicine, or a student of medicine.

3. In the French sense, a physician. [Not in use.]

MEDICINE, v.t. To affect or operate on as medicine. [Not used.]

MEDIETY, n. [L. medietas; from L. medius, middle.]

The middle state or part; half; moiety. [Little used.]

MEDIN, n. A small coin.

MEDIOCRAL, a. [L. mediocris.] Being of a middle quality; indifferent; ordinary; as mediocral intellect. [Rare.]

MEDIOCRIST, n. A person of middling abilities. [Not used.]

MEDIOCRITY, n. [L. mediocritas, from mediocris, middling; medius, middle.]

1. A middle state or degree; a moderate degree or rate. A mediocrity of condition is most favorable to morals and happiness. A mediocrity of talents well employed will generally ensure respectability.

Men of age seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.

2. Moderation; temperance.

We owe obedience to the law of reason, which teacheth mediocrity in meats and drinks.

MEDITATE, v.i. [L. meditor.]

1. To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; appropriately but not exclusively used of pious contemplation, or a consideration of the great truths of religion.

His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2.

2. To intend; to have in contemplation.

I meditate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed repose.

MEDITATE, v.t. To plan by revolving in the mind; to contrive; to intend.

Some affirmed that I meditated a war.

1. To think on; to revolve in the mind.

Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things.

MEDITATED, pp. Planned; contrived.

MEDITATING, ppr. Revolving in the mind; contemplating; contriving.

MEDITATION, n. [L. meditatio.] Close or continued thought; the turning or revolving of a subject in the mind; serious contemplation.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14.

MEDITATIVE, a. Addicted to meditation.

1. Expressing meditation or design.

MEDITERRANE, MEDITERRANEAN, MEDITERRANEOUS, a. [L. medius, middle, and terra, land.]

1. Inclosed or nearly inclosed with land; as the Mediterranean sea, between Europe and Africa. [Mediterrane is not used.]

2. Inland; remote from the ocean or sea; as mediterraneous mountains.

MEDIUM, n. plu. mediums; media not being generally, though sometimes used. [L.] In philosophy, the space or substance through which a body moves or passes to any point. Thus either is supposed to be the medium through which the planets move; air is the medium through which bodies move near the earth; water the medium in which fishes live and move; glass a medium through which light passes; and we speak of a resisting medium, a refracting medium, etc.

1. In logic, the mean or middle term of a syllogism, or the middle term in an argument, being the reason why a thing is affirmed or denied.

Nothing can be honorable that violates moral principle.

Dueling violates moral principle.

Therefore dueling is not honorable.

Here the second term is the medium, mean, or middle term.

2. Arithmetical medium, that which is equally distant from each extreme, or which exceeds the lesser extreme as much as it is exceeded by the greater, in respect of quantity, not of proportion. Thus, 9 is a medium between 6 and 12.

3. Geometrical medium, is that wherein the same ratio is preserved between the first and second terms, as between the second and third. Thus, 6 is a geometrical medium between 4 and 9.

In the three last senses or applications, mean is more generally used for medium.

4. The means or instrument by which any thing is accomplished, conveyed or carried on. Thus money is the medium of commerce; coin is the common medium of trade among all civilized nations, but wampum is the medium of trade among the Indian tribes, and bills of credit or bank notes are often used as mediums of trade in the place of gold and silver. Intelligence is communicated through the medium of the press.

5. The middle place or degree; the mean.

The just medium of this case lies between pride and abjection.

6. A kind of printing paper of middle size.

MEDLAR, n. [L. mespilus.] A tree and a genus of trees, called Mespilus; also, the fruit of the tree. The German or common medlar is cultivated in gardens for its fruit.

MEDLE, v.t. To mix; not used, but hence,

MEDLEY, n. A mixture; a mingled and confused mass of ingredients; used often or commonly with some degree of contempt.

This medley of philosophy and war.

Love is a medley of endearments, jars, suspicions, reconcilements, wars--then peace again.

MEDLEY, a. Mingled; confused. [Little used.]

MEDULLAR, MEDULLARY, a. [L. medullaris, from medulla, marrow.]

Pertaining to marrow; consisting of marrow; resembling marrow; as medullary substance.

MEDULLIN, n. [L. medulla.] The pith of the sunflower, which has neither taste nor smell. It is insoluble in water, ether, alcohol and oils, but soluble in nitric acid, and instead of yielding suberic acid, it yields the oxalic.

MEED, n.

1. Reward; recompense; that which is bestowed or rendered in consideration of merit.

Thanks to men

Of noble minds is honorable meed.

2. A gift or present. [Not used.]

MEEK, a. [L. mucus; Eng. mucilage; Heb. to melt.]

1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.

Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men. Numbers 12:3.

2. Appropriately, humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations. Christ says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” Matthew 11:29.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5.

MEEKEN, v.t. mee’kn. To make meek; to soften; to render mild.

MEEKLY, adv. Mildly; gently; submissively; humbly; not proudly or roughly.

And this mis-seeming discord meekly lay aside.

MEEKNESS, n. Softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations.

1. In an evangelical sense, humility; resignation; submission to the divine will, without murmuring or peevishness; opposed to pride, arrogance and refractoriness. Galatians 5:23.

I beseech you by the meekness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:1.

Meekness is a grace which Jesus alone inculcated, and which no ancient philosopher seems to have understood or recommended.

MEER, a. Simple; unmixed; usually written mere.

MEER, n. A lake; a boundary. [See Mere.]

MEERED, a. Relating to a boundary. [See Mere.]

MEER-SCHAUM, n. A hydrate of magnesia combined with silex. It occurs in beds in Natolia, and when first taken out, is soft, and makes lather like soap. It is manufactured into tobacco pipes, which are boiled in oil or wax, and baked.

MEET, a. [L. convenio.] Fit; suitable; proper; qualified; convenient; adapted, as to a use or purpose.

Ye shall pass over armed before your brethren, the children of Israel, all that are meet for the war. Deuteronomy 3:18.

It was meet that we should make merry-- Luke 15:32.

Bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8.

MEET, v.t. pret. and pp. met. [Gr. with.]

1. To come together, approaching in opposite or different directions; to come face to face; as, to meet a man in the road.

His daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances. Judges 11:34.

2. To come together in any place; as, we met many strangers at the levee.

3. To come together in hostility; to encounter. The armies met on the plains of Pharsalia.

4. To encounter unexpectedly.

5. To come together in extension; to come in contact; to join. The line A meets the line B and forms an angle.

6. To come to; to find; to light on; to receive. The good man meets his reward; the criminal in due time meets the punishment he deserves.

Of vice or virtue, whether blest or curst,

Which meets contempt, or which compassion first.

MEET, v.i. To come together or to approach near, or into company with. How pleasant it is for friends to meet on the road; still more pleasant to meet in a foreign country.

1. To come together in hostility; to encounter. The armies met at Waterloo, and decided the fate of Buonaparte.

2. To assemble; to congregate. The council met at 10 o’clock. The legislature will meet on the first Wednesday in the month.

3. To come together by being extended; to come in contact; to join. Two converging lines will meet in a point.

To meet with; to light on; to find; to come to; often with the sense of an unexpected event.

We met with many things worthy of observation.

1. To join; to unite in company.

Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.

2. To suffer unexpectedly; as, to meet with a fall; to meet with a loss.

3. To encounter; to engage in opposition.

Royal mistress,

Prepare to meet with more than brutal fury

From the fierce prince.

4. To obviate; a Latinism.

To meet half way, to approach from an equal distance and meet; metaphorically, to make mutual and equal concessions, each party renouncing some pretensions.

MEETER, n. One that meets another; one that accosts another.

MEETING, ppr. Coming together; encountering; joining; assembling.

MEETING, n. A coming together; an interview; as a happy meeting of friends.

1. An assembly; a congregation; a collection of people; a convention. The meeting was numerous; the meeting was clamorous; the meeting was dissolved at sunset.

2. A conflux, as of rivers; a joining, as of lines.

MEETING-HOUSE, a. A place of worship; a church.

MEETLY, adv. [from meet.] Fitly; suitably; properly.

MEETNESS, n. [from meet.] Fitness; suitableness; propriety.

MEGACOSM, n. [Gr. great, and world.] The great world.

MEGALONYX, n. [Gr. great, and a nail.] An animal now extinct, whose bones have been found in Virginia.

MEGALOPOLIS, n. [Gr. great, and city.]

A chief city; a metropolis. [Not in use.]

MEGATHERIUM, MEGATHERY, n. [Gr. great, and a wild beast.] A quadruped now extinct, but whose remains have been found in South America. It was larger than the megalonyx.

MEGRIM, n. [L. hemicrania, half the head.] Properly, a pain in the side of the head; hence, a disorder of the head; vertigo.

MEINE, v.t. To mingle.

MEINE, MENY, n. [See Menial.] A retinue or family of servants; domestics.

MEIONITE, n. [Gr. less; from its low pyramids.] pyramidical feldspar, of a grayish white color. It occurs massive and crystallized.

MEIOSIS, n. [Gr.] Diminution; a rhetorical figure, a species of hyperbole, representing a thing less than it is.

MELAMPODE, n. [Gr. blackfoot.] The black hellebore.

MELANAGOGUE, n. melan’agog. [Gr. black, and to drive.]

A medicine supposed to expel black bile or choler.

MELANCHOLIC, a. [See Melancholy.]

1. Depressed in spirits; affected with gloom; dejected; hypochondriac. Grief indulged to excess, has a tendency to render a person melancholic.

2. Produced by melancholy; expressive of melancholy; mournful; as melancholic strains.

Just as the melancholic eye,

See fleets and armies in the sky.

3. Unhappy; unfortunate; causing sorrow; as accidents and melancholic perplexities.

MELANCHOLIC, n. One affected with a gloomy state of mind. [Melancholian, in a like sense, is not used.]

1. A gloomy state of mind.

MELANCHOLILY, adv. With melancholy.

MELANCHOLINESS, n. State of being melancholy; disposition to indulge gloominess of mind.

MELANCHOLIOUS, a. Gloomy. [Not in use.]

MELANCHOLIST, n. One affected with melancholy.

MELANCHOLIZE, v.i. To become gloomy in mind.

MELANCHOLIZE, v.t. To make melancholy.

[This verb is rarely or never used.]

MELANCHOLY, n. [Gr. black, and bile; L. melancholia.]

1. A gloomy state of mind, often a gloomy state that is of some continuance, or habitual; depression of spirits induced by grief; dejection of spirits. This was formerly supposed to proceed from a redundance of black bile. Melancholy, when extreme and of long continuance, is a disease, sometimes accompanied with partial insanity. Cullen defines it, partial insanity without dyspepsy.

In nosology, mental-alienation restrained to a single object or train of ideas, in distinction from mania, in which the alienation is general.

Moon-struck madness, moping melancholy.

MELANCHOLY, a. Gloomy; depressed in spirits; dejected; applied to persons. Overwhelming grief has made me melancholy.

1. Dismal; gloomy; habitually dejected; as a melancholy temper.

2. Calamitous; afflictive; that may or does produce great evil and grief; as a melancholy event. The melancholy fate of the Albion! The melancholy destruction of Scio and of Missolonghi!

MELANAGE, n. melanj’. A mixture. [Not English.]

MELANITE, n. [Gr. black.] A mineral, a variety of garnet, of a velvet black or grayish black, occurring always in crystals of a dodecahedral form.

Melanite is perfectly opake. It is found among volcanic substances.

MELANITIC, a. Pertaining to melanite.

MELANTERI, n. [Gr. black.] Salt or iron, or iron in a saline state, mixed with inflammable matter.

MELANURE, MELANURUS, n. A small fish of the Mediterranean.

MELASSES, n. sing. [Gr. black, or honey.] The sirup which drains from Muscovado sugar when cooling; treacle.

MELILOT, n. A plant of the genus Trifolium.

MELIORATE, v.t. [L. melior, better.] To make better; to improve; as, to meliorate fruit by grafting, or soil by cultivation. Civilization has done much, but christianity more, to meliorate the condition of men in society.

Nature by art we nobly meliorate.

MELIORATE, v.i. To grow better.

MELIORATED, pp. Made better; improved.

MELIORATING, ppr. Improving; advancing in good qualities.

The pure and benign light of revelation has had a meliorating influence on mankind.

MELIORATION, n. The act or operation of making better; improvement.

MELIORITY, n. The state of being better. [Not in use.]

MELL, v.i. To mix; to meddle. [Not in use.]

MELL, n. [L. mel.] Honey. [Not English.]

MELLATE, n. [L. mel, honey.] A combination of the mellitic acid with a base.

MELLIFEROUS, a. [L. mel, honey, and fero, to produce.]

Producing honey.

MELLIFICATION, n. [L. mellifico.] The making or production of honey.

MELLIFLUENCE, n. [L. mel, honey, and fluo, to flow.]

A flow of sweetness, or a sweet smooth flow.

MELLIFLUENT, MELLIFLUOUS, a. Flowing with honey; smooth; sweetly flowing; as a mellifluous voice.

MELLIT, n. In farriery, a dry scab on the heel of a horse’s fore foot, cured by a mixture of honey and vinegar.

MELLITE, n. [L. mel.] Honey stone; a mineral of a honey color, found only in very minute regular crystals.

MELLITIC, a. Pertaining to honey stone.

MELLOW, a. [L. mollis, malus.]

1. Soft with ripeness; easily yielding to pressure; as a mellow peach or apple; mellow fruit.

2. Soft to the ear; as a mellow sound; a mellow pipe.

3. Soft; well pulverized; not indurated or compact; as mellow ground or earth.

4. Soft and smooth to the taste; as mellow wine.

5. Soft with liquor; intoxicated; merry.

6. Soft or easy to the eye.

The tender flush whose mellow stain imbues

Heaven with all freaks of light.

MELLOW, v.t. To ripen; to bring to maturity; to soften by ripeness or age.

On foreign mountains may the sun refine

The grape’s soft juice and mellow it to wine.

1. To soften; to pulverize. Earth is mellowed by frost.

2. To mature; to bring to perfection.

This episode--mellowed into that reputation which time has given it.

MELLOW, v.i. To become soft; to be ripened, matured or brought to perfection. Fruit, when taken from the tree, soon mellows. Wine mellows with age.

MELLOWNESS, n. Softness; the quality of yielding easily to pressure; ripeness, as of fruit.

1. Maturity; softness or smoothness from age, as of wine.