Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



MORALS, n. plu. The practice of the duties of life; as a man of correct morals.

1. Conduct; behavior; course of life, in regard to good and evil.

Some, as corrupt in their morals as vice could make them, have been solicitous to have their children virtuously and piously educated.

What can laws do without morals?

MORASS, n. A marsh; a fen; a tract of low moist ground.

MORASSY, a. Marshy; fenny.

MORAVIAN, a. Pertaining to Moravia.

MORAVIAN, n. One of a religious sect, called the United Brethren.

MORBID, a. [L. morbidus, form morbus, a disease, from the root of morior, to die.] Diseased; sickly; not sound and healthful; as morbid humors; a morbid constitution; a morbid state of the juices of a plant; a morbid sensibility.

MORBIDNESS, n. A state of being diseased, sickly or unsound.

MORBIFIC, MORBIFICAL, a. [L. morbus, disease, and facio, to make.]

Causing disease; generating a sickly state; as morbific matter.

MORBILLOUS, a. [L. morbilli, measles, a medical term from morbus.]

Pertaining to the measles; measly; partaking of the nature of measles, or resembling the eruptions of that disease.

MORBOSE, a. [L. morbosus.] Proceeding from disease; unsound; unhealthy; as a morbose tumor or excrescence in plants.

MORBOSITY, n. A diseased state.

MORDACIOUS, a. [L. mordax, infra.] Biting; given to biting.

MORDACIOUSLY, adv. In a biting manner; sarcastically.

MORDACITY, n. [L. mordacitas, from mordeo, to bite.]

The quality of biting.

MORDANT, n. A substance which has a chimical affinity for coloring matter and serves to fix colors; such as alum.

MORDICANCY, n. A biting quality; corrosiveness.

MORDICANT, a. [L. mordeo, to bite.] Biting; acrid; as the mordicant quality of a body.

MORDICATION, n. [from L. mordeo, to bite.] The act of biting or corroding; corrosion.

Another cause is the mordication of the orifices, especially of the mesentery veins.

MORE, a. [L. magis; mare for mager; but this is conjecture.]

1. Greater in quality, degree or amount; in a general sense; as more land; more water; more courage; more virtue; more power or wisdom; more love; more praise; more light. It is applicable to every thing, material or immaterial.

2. Greater in number; exceeding in numbers; as more men; more virtues; more years.

The children of Israel are more than we. Exodus 1:9.

3. Greater.

The more part knew not why they had come together. Acts 19:32.

4. Added to some former number; additional.

But Montague demands one labor more.

MORE, adv. To a greater degree.

Israel loved Joseph more than all his children. Genesis 37:3.

1. It is used with the.

They hated him yet the more. Genesis 37:5.

2. It is used to modify an adjective and form the comparative degree, having the same force and effect as the termination er, in monosyllables; as more wise; more illustrious; more contemptible; more durable. It may be used before all adjectives which admit of comparison, and must be used before polysyllables.

3. A second or another time; again. I expected to hear of him mo more.

The dove returned not to him again any more. Genesis 8:12.

No more, not continuing; existing no longer; gone; deceased or destroyed. Cassius is no more. Troy is no more.

No more is used in commands, in an elliptical form of address. No more! that is, say no more; let me hear no more. In this use however, more, when the sentence is complete, is a noun or substitute for a noun.

Much more, in a greater degree or with more readiness; more abundantly.

More and more, with continual increase.

Amon trespassed more and more. 2 Chronicles 33:23.

MORE, a noun or substitute for a noun. A greater quantity, amount or number.

They gathered some more, some less. Exodus 16:17.

They were more who died by hail-stones, than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. Joshua 10:11.

God do so to thee and more also. 1 Samuel 3:17.

There were more than forty who had made this conspiracy. Acts 23:13.

1. Greater thing; other thing; something further. Here we rest; we can do no more. He conquered his enemies; he did more, he conquered himself.

MORE, v.t. To make more.

MOREEN, n. A stuff used for curtains, etc.

MOREL, n. Garden nightshade, a plant of the genus Solanum.

1. A kind of cherry.

MORELAND. [See Moorland.]

MORENESS, n. Greatness.

MOREOVER, adv. [more and over.] Beyond what has been said; further; besides; also; likewise.

Moreover, by them is thy servant warned. Psalm 19:11.

MORESK, MORESQUE, a. Done after the manner of the Moors.

MORESK, n. A species of painting or carving done after the Moorish manner, consisting of grotesque pieces and compartments promiscuously interspersed.

MORGLAY, n. [L. mors, death.] A deadly weapon.

MORGRAY, n. A Mediterranean fish of a pale reddish gray color, spotted with brown and white. It is called also the rough hound-fish. It weighs about twenty ounces and is well tasted.

MORICE. [See Morisco.]

MORIGERATION, n. [See Morigerous.] Obsequiousness; obedience.

MORIGEROUS, a. [L. morigerus; mos, moris, manner, and gero, to carry.] Obedient; obsequious. [Little used.]

MORIL, n. A mushroom of the size of a walnut, abounding with little holes.

MORILLIFORM, a. Having the form of the moril, a mushroom.

MORILLON, n. A fowl of the genus Anas.

MORINEL, n. A bird, called also dotteril.

MORINGA, n. A plant.

MORION, n. Armor for the head; a helmet or casque to defend the head.

MORISCO, MORISK, n. [from Moor.] A dance, or a dancer of the morris or moorish dance. [See Morris.]

MORKIN, n. [L. mortuus, dead, and kin, kind.]

Among hunters, a beast that has died by sickness or mischance.

MORLAND, MORELAND, n. Moorland, which see.

MORLING, MORTLING, n. Wool plucked from a dead sheep.

MORMO, n. A bugbear; false terror.

MORN, n. The first part of the day; the morning; a word used chiefly in poetry.

And blooming peach shall ever bless thy morn.


1. The first part of the day, beginning at twelve o’clock at night and extending to twelve at noon. Thus we say, a star rises at one o’clock in the morning. In a more limited sense, morning is the time beginning an hour or two before sunrise, or at break of day, and extending to the hour of breakfast and of beginning the labors of the day. Among men of business in large cities, the morning extends to the hour of dining.

2. The first or early part.

In the morning of life, devote yourself to the service of the Most High.

MORNING, a. Pertaining to the first part or early part of the day; being in the early part of the day; as morning dew; morning light; morning service.

She looks as clear

As morning roses newly washed with dew.

MORNING-GOWN, n. A gown worn in the morning before one is formally dressed.

MORNING-STAR, n. The planet Venus, when it precedes the sun in rising, and shines in the morning.

MOROCCO, n. A fine kind of leather; leather dressed in a particular manner; said to be borrowed from the Moors.

MOROSE, a. [L. morosus. Morose then is from the root of L. moror, to delay, stop, hinder, whence commoror, to dwell; Eng. demur.]

Of a sour temper; severe; sullen and austere.

Some have deserved censure for a morose and affected taciturnity; others have made speeches though they had nothing to say.

MOROSELY, adv. Sourly; with sullen austerity.

MOROSENESS, n. Sourness of temper; sullenness. Moroseness is not precisely peevishness or fretfulness, though often accompanied with it. It denotes more of silence and severity or ill humor, than the irritability or irritation which characterizes peevishness.

Learn good humor, never to oppose without just reason; abate some degrees of pride and moroseness.

MOROSITY, n. Moroseness. [Not used.]

MOROXYLIC, a. Moroxylic acid is obtained from a saline exsudation from the morrus alba or white mulberry.

MORPHEW, n. A scurf on the face.

MORPHEW, v.t. To cover with scurf.

MORPHIA, n. A vegetable alkali extracted from opium, of which it constitutes the narcotic principle.

MORRICE, MORRIS, MORRIS-DANCE, n. A moorish dance; a dance in imitation of the Moors, as sarabands, chacons, etc. usually performed with castanets, tambours, etc. by young men in their shirts, with bells at their feet and ribbons of various colors tied round their arms and flung across their shoulders.

Nine men’s morrice, a kind or play with nine holes in the ground.

MORRIS-DANCER, n. One who dances a morris-dance.

MORRIS-PIKE, n. A moorish pike.


1. The day next after the present.

Till this stormy night is gone,

And th’ eternal morrow dawn.

This word is often preceded by on or to.

The Lord did that thing on the morrow. Exodus 9:6.

To morrow shall this sign be. Exodus 8:23.

So we say, to night, to day. To morrow is equivalent to on the morrow.

2. The next day subsequent to any day specified.

But if the sacrifice of his offering shall be a vow or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice; and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten. Leviticus 7:16.

Good morrow, a term of salutation; good morning.

MORSE, n. mors. In zoology, the sea-horse, or walrus, an animal of the genus Trichechus, which sometimes grows to the length of 18 feet. This animal has a round head, small mouth and eyes, thick lips, a short neck, and a body thick in the middle and tapering towards the tail. His skin is wrinkled, with short hairs thinly dispersed. His legs are short and loosely articulated, and he has five toes on each foot connected by webs. Teeth of this animal have been found which weighed thirty pounds. These animals are gregarious, but shy and very fierce when attacked. They inhabit the shores of Spitzbergen, Hudson’s bay and other places in high northern latitudes.

MORSEL, n. [from L. morsus, a bite, form mordeo.]

1. A bite; a mouthful; a small piece of food.

Every morsel to a satisfied hunger is only a new labor to a tired digestion.

2. A piece; a meal; something to be eaten.

On these herbs and fruits and flowers

Feed first, on each beast next and fish and fowl,

No homely morsels.

3. A small quantity of something not eatable. [Improper.]

MORSURE, n. The act of biting.

MORT, n. A tune sounded at the death of game.

1. A salmon in his third year.

MORTAL, a. [L. mortalis, from mors, death, or morior, to die, that is, to fall.]

1. Subject to death; destined to die. Man is mortal.

2. Deadly; destructive to life; causing death, or that must cause death; as a mortal wound; mortal poison.

The fruit

Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste

Brought death into the world, and all our woe--

3. Bringing death; terminating life.

Safe in the hand of one disposing power,

Or in the natal or the mortal hour.

4. Deadly in malice or purpose; as a mortal foe. In colloquial language, a mortal foe is an inveterate foe.

5. Exposing to certain death; incurring the penalty of death; condemned to be punished with death; not venial; as a mortal sin.

6. Human; belonging to man who is mortal; as mortal wit or knowledge; mortal power.

The voice of God

To mortal ear is dreadful.

7. Extreme; violent. [Not elegant.]

The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright--

MORTAL, n. Man; a being subject to death; a human being.

Warn poor mortals left behind.

It is often used in ludicrous and colloquial language.

I can behold no mortal now.

MORTALITY, n. [L. mortalitas.] Subjection to death or the necessity of dying.

When I saw her die,

I then did think on your mortality.

1. Death.

Gladly would I meet

Mortality, my sentence.

2. Frequency of death; actual death of great numbers of men or beasts; as a time of great mortality.

3. Human nature.

Take these tears, mortality’s relief.

4. Power of destruction.

Mortality and mercy in Vienna,

Live in thy tongue and heart.

MORTALIZE, v.t. To make mortal.

MORTALLY, adv. Irrecoverably; in a manner that must cause death; as mortally wounded.

1. Extremely.

Adrian mortally envied poets, painters and artificers, in works wherein he had a vein to excel.

MORTAR, n. [L. mortarium.]

1. A vessel of wood or metal in form of an inverted bell, in which substances are pounded or bruised with a pestle.

2. A short piece of ordnance, thick and wide, used for throwing bombs, carcasses, shells, etc.; so named from its resemblance in shape to the utensil above described.

MORTAR, n. A mixture of lime and sand with water, used as a cement for uniting stones and bricks in walls. If the lime is slaked and the materials mixed with lime water, the cement will be much stronger.

Mort d’ancestor. In law, a writ of assize, by which a demandant recovers possession of an estate from which he has been ousted, on the death of his ancestor.

MORTER, n. A lamp or light.

MORTGAGE, n. mor’gage.

1. Literally, a dead pledge; the grant of an estate in fee as security for the payment of money, and on the condition that if the money shall be paid according to the contract, the grant shall be void, and the mortgagee shall re-convey the estate to the mortgager. Formerly the condition was, that if the mortgager should repay the money at the day specified, he might then re-enter on the estate granted in pledge; but the modern practice is for the mortgagee, on receiving payment, to reconvey the land to the mortgager. Before the time specified for payment, that is, between the time of contract and the time limited for payment, the estate is conditional, and the mortgagee is called tenant in mortgage; but on failure of payment at the time limited, the estate becomes absolute in the mortgagee. But in this case, courts of equity interpose, and if the estate is of more value than the debt, they will on application grant a reasonable time for the mortgager to redeem the estate. This is called the equity of redemption.

2. The state of being pledged; as lands given in mortgage.

3. A pledge of goods or chattels by a debtor to a creditor, as security for the debt.

MORTGAGE, v.t. mor’gage. To grant an estate in fee as security for money lent or contracted to be paid at a certain time, on condition that if the debt shall be discharged according to the contract, the grant shall be void, otherwise to remain in full force. It is customary to give a mortgage for securing the repayment of money lent, or the payment of the purchase money of an estate, or for any other debt.

1. To pledge; to make liable to the payment of any debt or expenditure.

Already a portion of the entire capital of the nation is mortgaged for the support of drunkards.

MORTGAGED, pp. mor’gaged. Conveyed in fee as security for the payment of money.

MORTGAGEE, n. morgagee’. The person to whom an estate is mortgaged.

MORTGAGER, n. mor’gager. [from mortgage. Mortgagor is an orthography that should have no countenance.]

The person who grants an estate as security for a debt, as above specified.

MORTIFEROUS, a. [L. mortifer; mors, death, and fero, to bring.]

Bringing or producing death; deadly; fatal; destructive.

MORTIFICATION, n. [See Mortify.]

1. In medicine and surgery, the death and consequent putrefaction of one part of any animal body, while the rest is alive; or the loss of heat and action in some part of a living animal, followed by a dissolution of organic texture; gangrene; sphacelus. Mortification is the local or partial death of a living animal body, and if not arrested, soon extinguishes life in the whole body. We usually apply mortification to the local extinction of life and loss or organic texture in a living body. The dissolution of the whole body after death, is called putrefaction.

2. In Scripture, the act of subduing the passions and appetites by penance, abstinence or painful severities inflicted on the body. The mortification of the body by fasting has been the practice of almost all nations, and the mortification of the appetites and passions by self-denial is always a christian duty.

3. Humiliation or slight vexation; the state of being humbled or depressed by disappointment, vexation, crosses, or any thing that wounds or abases pride.

It is one of the vexatious mortifications of a studious man to have his thoughts disordered by a tedious visit.

We had the mortification to lose sight of Munich, Augsburg and Ratisbon.

4. Destruction of active qualities; applied to metals. [See Mortify; but I believe not used.]

MORTIFIED, pp. Affected by sphacelus or gangrene.

1. Humbled; subdued; abased.

MORTIFIEDNESS, n. Humiliation; subjection of the passions.

MORTIFIER, n. He or that which mortifies.

MORTIFY, v.t. [L. mors, death, and facio, to make.]

1. To destroy the organic texture and vital functions of some part of a living animal; to change to sphacelus or gangrene. Extreme inflammation speedily mortifies flesh.

2. To subdue or bring into subjection, as the bodily appetites by abstinence or rigorous severities.

We mortify ourselves with fish.

With fasting mortified, worn out with tears.

3. To subdue; to abase; to humble; to reduce; to restrain; as inordinate passions.

Mortify thy learned lust.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth. Colossians 3:5.

4. To humble; to depress; to affect with slight vexation.

How often is the ambitious man mortified with the very praises he receives, if they do not rise so high as he thinks they ought.

He is controlled by a nod, mortified by a frown, and transported with a smile.

5. To destroy active powers or essential qualities.

He mortified pearls in vinegar--

Quicksilver--mortified with turpentine.

[I believe this application is not now in use.]

MORTIFY, v.i. To lose vital heat and action and suffer the dissolution of organic texture, as flesh; to corrupt or gangrene.

1. To be subdued.

2. To practice severities and penance from religious motives.

This makes him give alms of all that he hath, watch, fast and mortify.

MORTIFYING, ppr. Changing from soundness to gangrene or sphacelus.

1. Subduing; humbling; restraining.

2. a. Humiliating; tending to humble or abase.

He met with a mortifying repulse.

MORTISE, n. mor’tis. A cut or hollow place made in timber by the augur and chisel, to receive the tenon of another piece of timber.

MORTISE, v.t. To cut or make a mortise in.

1. To join timbers by a tenon and mortise; as, to mortise a beam into a post, or a joist into a girder.

MORTISED, pp. Having a mortise; joined by a mortise and tenon.

MORTISING, ppr. Making a mortise; uniting by a mortise and tenon.

MORTMAIN, n. In law, possession of lands or tenements in dead hands, or hands that cannot alienate. Alienation in mortmain is an alienation of lands or tenements to any corporation, sole or aggregate, ecclesiastical or temporal, particularly to religious houses, by which the estate becomes perpetually inherent in the corporation and unalienable.

MORTPAY, n. Dead pay; payment not made. [Not used.]

MORTRESS, n. [from mortar.] A dish of meat of various kinds beaten together. [Not used.]


1. A sort of ecclesiastical heriot, a customary gift claimed by and due to the minister of a parish on the death of a parishioner. It seems to have been originally a voluntary bequest or donation, intended to make amends for any failure in the payment of tithes of which the deceased had been guilty.

2. A burial place.

MORTUARY, a. Belonging to the burial of the dead.

MOSAIC, a. s as z. [L. musivum.]

1. Mosaic work is an assemblage of little pieces of glass, marble, precious stones, etc. of various colors, cut square and cemented on a ground of stucco, in such a manner as to imitate the colors and gradations of painting.

2. [from Moses.] Pertaining to Moses, the leader of the Israelites; as the Mosaic law, rites or institutions.

MOSCHATEL, n. [L. muscus, musk.] A plant of the genus Adoxa, hollow root or inglorious. There is one species only, whose leaves and flowers smell like musk; and hence it is sometimes called musk-crowfoot.

MOSK, n. A Mohammedan temple or place of religious worship. Mosks are square building, generally constructed of stone. Before the chief gate is a square court paved with white marble, and surrounded with a low gallery whose roof is supported by pillars of marble. In this gallery the worshipers wash themselves before they enter the mosk.

MOSS, n. [L. muscus.] The mosses are one of the seven families or classes into which all vegetables are divided by Linne in the Philosophia Botanica. In Ray’s method, the mosses form the third class, and in Tournefort’s, they constitute a single genus. In the sexual system, they are the second order of the class cryptogamia, which contains all the plants in which the parts of the flower and fruit are wanting or not conspicuous.

The mosses, musci, form a natural order of small plants, with leafy stems and narrow simple leaves. Their flowers are generally monecian or diecian, and their seeds are contained in a capsule covered with a calyptra or hood.

The term moss is also applied to many other small plants, particularly lichens, species of which are called tree-moss, rock-moss, coral-moss, etc. The fir-moss and club-moss are of the genus Lycopodium.

1. A bog; a place where peat is found.

MOSS, v.t. To cover with moss by natural growth.

An oak whose boughs were mossed with age.

MOSS-CLAD, a. Clad or covered with moss.

MOSSED, pp. Overgrown with moss.

MOSS-GROWN, a. Overgrown with moss; as moss-grown towers.

MOSSINESS, n. [from mossy.] The state of being overgrown with moss.

MOSS-TROOPER, n. [moss and trooper.] A robber; a bandit.

MOSSY, a. Overgrown with moss; abounding with moss.

Old trees are more mossy than young.

1. Shaded or covered with moss, or bordered with moss; as mossy brooks; mossy fountains.

MOST, a. superl. of more.

1. Consisting of the greatest number. That scheme of life is to be preferred, which presents a prospect of the most advantages with the fewest inconveniences.

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness. Proverbs 20:6.

2. consisting of the greatest quantity; greatest; as the most part of the land or the mountain.

MOST, adv. In the greatest or highest degree. Pursue that course of life which will most tend to produce private happiness and public usefulness. Contemplations on the works of God expand the mind and tend to produce most sublime views of his power and wisdom.

As most is used to express the superlative degree, it is used before any adjective; as most vile, most wicked, most illustrious.

MOST, n. [used as a substitute for a noun, when the noun is omitted or understood.]

1. The greatest number or part.

Then he began to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done. Matthew 11:20.

[This use seems to have resulted form the omission of part, or some similar word, and most in this case signifies greatest, that is, the greatest part.]

2. The most, the greatest value, amount or advantage, or the utmost in extent, degree or effect.

A covetous man makes the most of what he has, and can get.

At the most, the greatest degree or quantity; the utmost extent. Stock brings six per cent. interest at the most, often less.

MOSTIC, n. A painter’s staff or stick on which he rests his hand in painting.

MOSTLY, adv. For the greatest part. The exports of the U. States consist mostly of cotton, rice, tobacco, flour and lumber.

MOSTHWAT, adv. For the most part.

MOT. [See Motto.]

MOTACIL, n. [L. motacilla.] A bird of the genus Motacilla or wagtail.

MOTE, in folkmote, etc. signifies a meeting.

MOTE, n. A small particle; any thing proverbially small; a spot.

Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother’s eye? Matthew 7:3.

The little motes in the sun do ever stir, though there is no wind.

MOTE, for mought, might or must, obsolete.