Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



NATIVENESS, n. State of being produced by nature.


1. Birth; the coming into life or the world. The feast of Christmas is observed in memory of Christs nativity.

2. Time, place and manner of birth; as, to calculate ones nativity.

3. State or place of being produced.

These, in their dark nativity, the deep Shall yield us pregnant with infernal flame.

NATKA, n. A bird, a species of shrike.

NATROLITE, n. A variety of mesotype or zeolite, so called by Klaproth on account of the great quantity of soda it contains.

NATRON, n. Native carbonate of soda, or mineral alkali. [See Niter]

NATURAL, a. [to be born or produced]

1. Pertaining to nature; produced or effected by nature, or by the laws of growth, formation or motion impressed on bodies or beings by divine power. Thus we speak of the natural growth of animals or plants; the natural motion of a gravitating body; natural strength or disposition; the natural heat of the body; natural color; natural beauty. In this sense, natural is opposed to artificial or acquired.

2. According to the stated course of things. Poverty and shame are the natural consequences of certain vices.

3. Not forced; not far fetched; such as is dictated by nature. The gestures of the orator are natural.

4. According to the life; as a natural representation of the face.

5. Consonant to nature.

Fire and warmth go together, and so seem to carry with them as natural an evidence as self-evident truths themselves.

6. Derived from nature, as opposed to habitual. The love of pleasure is natural; the love of study is usually habitual or acquired.

7. Discoverable by reason; not revealed; as natural religion.

8. Produced or coming in the ordinary course of things, or the progress or animals and vegetables; as a natural death; opposed to violent or premature.

9. Tender; affectionate by nature.

10. Unaffected; unassumed; according to truth and reality.

What can be more natural than the circumstances of the behavior of those women who had lost heir husbands on this fatal day?

11. Illegitimate; born out of wedlock; as a natural son.

12. Native; vernacular; as ones natural language.

13. Derived from the study of the works or nature; as natural knowledge.

14. A natural note, in music, is that which is according to the usual order of the scale; opposed to flat and sharp notes, which are called artificial.

Natural history, in its most extensive sense, is the description of whatever is created, or of the whole universe, including the heavens and the earth, and all the productions of the earth. But more generally, natural history is limited to a description of the earth and its productions, including zoology, botany, geology, mineralogy, meteorology, etc.

Natural philosophy, the science of material natural bodies, of their properties, powers and motions. It is distinguished from intellectual and moral philosophy, which respect the mind or understanding of man and the qualities of actions. Natural philosophy comprehends mechanics, hydrostatics, optics, astronomy, chimistry, magnetism, eletricity, galvanism, etc.


1. An idiot; one born without the usual powers of reason or understanding. This is probably elliptical for natural fool.

2. A native; an original inhabitant.

3. Gift of nature; natural quality.

NATURALISM, n. Mere state of nature.

NATURALIST, n. One that studies natural history and philosophy or physics; one that is versed in natural history or philosophy. It is more generally applied to one that is versed in natural history.

NATURALIZATION, n. [See Naturalize.] The act of investing an alien with the rights and privileges of a native subject or citizen. Naturalization in Great Britain is only by act of parliament. In the United States, it is by act of Congress, vesting certain tribunals with the power.

NATURALIZE, v.t. [from natural, nature.]

1. To confer on an alien the rights and privileges of a native subject or citizen; to adopt foreigners into a nation or state, and place them in the condition of natural born subjects.

2. To make natural; to render easy and familiar by custom and habit; as, custom naturalizes labor or study.

3. To adapt; to make suitable; to acclimate; as, to naturalize one to a climate.

4. To receive or adopt as native, natural or vernacular; to make our own; as, to naturalize foreign words.

5. To accustom; to habituate; as, to naturalize the vine to a cold climate.

NATURALIZED, pp. Invested with the privileges of natives; rendered easy and familiar; adapted to a climate; acclimated; received as native.

NATURALIZING, ppr. Vesting with the rights of native subjects; making easy; acclimating; adopting.


1. According to nature; by the force or impulse of nature; not by art or habit. We are naturally prone to evil.

2. According to nature; without affectation; with just representation; according to life.

3. According to the usual course of things; as, the effect or consequence naturally follows.

4. Spontaneously; without art or cultivation. Every plant must have grown naturally in some place or other.


1. The state of being given or produced by nature; as the naturalness of desire.

2. Conformity to nature, or to truth and reality; not affectation; as the naturalness of the eyebrows.

NATURALS, n. plu. Among physicians, whatever belongs naturally to an animal; opposed to non-naturals. [It may perhaps be sometimes used in the singular.]

NATURE, n. [L. from nature, born, produced,]

1. In a general sense, whatever is made or produced; a word that comprehends all the works of God; the universe. Of a phoenix we say, there is no such thing in nature.

And look through nature up to natures God.

2. By a metonymy of the effect for the cause, nature is used for the agent, creator, author, producer of things, or for the powers that produce them. By the expression, trees and fossils are produced by nature, we mean, they are formed or produced by certain inherent powers in matter, or we mean that they are produced by God, the Creator, the Author of whatever is made or produced. The opinion that things are produced by inherent powers of matter, independent of a supreme intelligent author, is atheism. But generally men mean by nature, thus used, the Author of created things, or the operation of his power.

3. The essence, essential qualities or attributes of a thing, which constitute it what it is; as the nature of the soul; the nature of blood; the nature of a fluid; the nature of plants, or of a metal; the nature of a circle or an angle. When we speak of the nature of man, we understand the peculiar constitution of his body or mind, or the qualities of the species which distinguish him from other animals. When we speak of the nature of a man, or an individual of the race, we mean his particular qualities or constitution; either the peculiar temperament of his body, or the affections of his mind, his natural appetites, passions, disposition or temper. So of irrational animals.

4. The established or regular course of things; as when we say, an event is not according to nature, or it is out of the order of nature.

5. A law or principle of action or motion in a natural body. A stone by nature falls, or inclines to fall.

6. Constitution aggregate powers of a body, especially a living one. We say, nature is strong or weak; nature is almost exhausted.

7. The constitution and appearances of things.

The works, whether of poets, painters, moralists or historians, which are built upon general nature, live forever.

8. Natural affection or reverence.

Have we not seen, the murdering son ascend his parents bed through violated nature force his way?

9. System of created things.

He binding nature fast in fate, Left conscience free and will.

10. Sort; species; kind; particular character.

A dispute of this nature caused mischief to a king and an archbishop.

11. Sentiments r images conformed to nature, or to truth and reality.

Only nature can please those tastes which are unprejudiced and refined.

12. Birth. No man is noble by nature.

NATURE, v.t. To endow with natural qualities. [Not in use]

NATURIST, n. One who ascribes every thing t nature.

NATURITY, n. The quality or state of being produced by nature. [A very bad word and not used.]

NAUFRAGE, n. [L. A ship, and to break, See Wreck, which is from the same root, break] Shipwreck. [Not in use]

NAUFRAGOUS, a. Causing shipwreck. [Little used]

NAUGHT, n. Nothing.

Doth Job serve God for naught? Job 1:9.

Thou sellest thy people for naught. Psalm 44:12.

To set at naught, to slight, to disregard or despise.

Ye have set at naught all my counsel. Proverbs 1:25.

NAUGHT, adv. In no degree

To wealth or sovereign power he naught applied.

NAUGHT, a. Bad; worthless; of no value or account.

Things naught and things indifferent.

It is naught, it is naught, says the buyer. Proverbs 20:14.

NAUGHTILY, adv. nautily. Wickedly; corruptly.

NAUGHTINESS, n. Nautiness.

1. Badness; wickedness; evil principle or purpose.

I know thy pride and the naughtiness of thy heart. 1 Samuel 17:28.

2. Slight wickedness of children; perverseness; mischievousness.

a. Nauty.

1. Wicked; corrupt.

A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. Proverbs 6:12.

2. Bad; worthless.

The other basket had very naughty figs. Jeremiah 24:2.

3. Mischievous; perverse; froward; as a naughty child. It is now seldom used except in the latter sense, as applied to children.

NAULAGE, n. The freight of passengers in a ship.


1. Among the ancient Romans, a show or spectacle representing a sea-fight.

2. The place where these shows were exhibited.

NAUSEA, n. Originally and properly, sea-sickness; hence, any similar sickness of the stomach, accompanied with a propensity to vomit; qualm; loathing; squeamishness of the stomach.


1. To lothe; to reject with disgust.

The patient nauseates and lothes wholesome foods.

Old age, with silent pace, comes creeping on, Nauseates the praise which in her youth she won.

2. To affect with disgust.

NAUSEOUS, a. Lothesome; disgustful; disgusting; regarded with abhorrence; as a nauseous drug or medicine.

NAUSEOUSLY, adv. Lothesomely; disgustfully.

NAUSEOUSNESS, n. Lothesomeness; quality of exciting disgust; as the nauseousness of a drug or medicine.

The nauseousness of such company disgusts a reasonable man.

NAUTIC, a. [L. A seaman, a ship, See Navy.] Pertaining to seamen or navigation; as nautical skill; a nautical almanack.

NAUTICAL, a. [L. A seaman, a ship, See Navy.] Pertaining to seamen or navigation; as nautical skill; a nautical almanack.

NAUTILITE, n. A fossil nautilus.

NAUTILUS, n. [L., Gr. A ship] A genus of marine animals, whose shell consists of one spiral valve divided into several apartments by partitions. There are many species. This animal, when it sails, extends two of its arms, and between these supports a membrane that serves as a sail. With two other arms it rows or steers.

Learn of the little nautilus to sail.

NAVAL, a. [L. Gr. A ship]

1. Consisting of ships; as a naval force or armament.

2. Pertaining to ships; as naval stores.

NAVALS, n. Naval affairs. [Not used]

NAVARCH, n. In ancient Greece, the commander of a fleet.

NAVARCHY, n. [from L. And admiral.] Knowledge of managing ships.

NAVE, n.

1. The thick piece of timber in the center of a wheel, in which the spokes are inserted; called also the hob.

2. The middle or body of a church extending from the balluster or rail of the door, to the chief choir.

NAVEL, n. The center of the lower part of the abdomen, or the point where the umbilical cord passes out of the fetus. The umbilical cord is a collection of vessels by which the fetus of an animal communicates with the parent by means of the placenta, to which it is attached.

NAVEL-GALL, n. A bruise on the top of the chine of the back of a horse, behind the saddle.

NAVEL-STRING, n. The umbilical cord. [See Navel.]

NAVEL-WORT, n. A plant of the genus Cotyledon. It has the appearance of houseleek.

NAVEW, n. A plant of the genus Brassica. It has a spindle-shaped root, less than the turnep.

NAVICULAR, a. [L., a little ship]

1. Relating to small ships or boats.

2. Shaped like a boat; cymbiform. The navicular bone is the scaphoid bone of the wrist.

NAVIGABLE, a. [L. From navigo, to sail, from navis, a ship] To pass on water in ships; to sail.

The Phoenicians navigated to the extremities of the Western ocean.


1. To pass over in ships; to sail on; as to navigate the Atlantic.

2. To steer, direct or manage in sailing; as, to navigate a ship.

NAVIGATED, pp. Steered or managed in passing on the water; passed over in sailing.

NAVIGATION, ppr. Passing on or over in sailing; steering and managing in sailing.


1. The act of navigating; the act of passing on water in ships or other vessels.

2. The art of conducting ships or vessels from one place to another. This art comprehends not only the management of the sails, but the directing and measuring of the course of ships by the laws of geometry, or by astronomical principles and observations.

3. Ships in general.

Aerial navigation, the sailing or floating in the air by means of balloons.

Inland navigation, the passing of boats or small vessels on rivers, lakes or canals, in the interior of a country; conveyance by boats or vessels in the interior of a country.

NAVIGATOR, n. One that navigates or sails; chiefly, one who directs the course of a ship, or one who is skillful in the art of navigation. We say, a bold navigator, an experienced navigator, an able navigator.

NAVY, n. [Gr. From to swim. To swim then is to move up and down.]

1. A fleet of ships; an assemblage of merchantmen, or so many as sail in company.

The navy of Hiram brought gold from Ophir. 1 Kings 10:11.

2. The whole of the ships of war belonging to a nation or king. The navy of Great Britain is the defense of the kingdom and its commerce. This is the usual acceptation of the word.

NAWL, n. An awl. [Not in use]

NAY, adv. [a contracted word, to deny]

1. No; a word that expresses negation.

I tell you nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3, 5.

2. It expresses also refusal.

He that will not when he may, When he would he shall have nay.

[In these senses it is now rarely used; no being substituted.]

3. Not only so; not this alone; intimating that something is to be added y way of amplification. He requested an answer; nay, he urged it.

NAY, n. Denial, refusal.
NAY, v.t. To refuse. [Not in use]

NAYWARD, n. Tendency to denial. [Not used]

NAYWORD, n. A by-word; a proverbial reproach; a watch-word.

NAZARENEn. An inhabitant of Nazareth; one of the early converts to Christianity; in contempt. Acts 24:5.

NAZARITE, n. A jew who professed extraordinary purity of life and devotion.

NAZARITISM, n. The doctrines of practice of the Nazarites.

NE, not, is obsolete. We find it in early English writers, prefixed to other words; as nill, for ne will, will not; nas, for ne has, has not; nis for ne is, is not.

NEAF, n. The fist.

NEAL, v.t. To temper and reduce to a due consistence by heat. But neal is now rarely used. [See Anneal.]

NEAL, v.i. To be tempered by heat. [Little used] [See Anneal.]

NEAP, n. [This word may belong to the root of neb, nib; nose] The tongue or pole of a cart, sled or wagon.

NEAP, a. [to incline, to fall] The neap tides are those which happen in the middle of the second and fourth quarters of the moon. They are low tides, and opposed to spring tides.
NEAP, n. Low water. [Little used.]

NEAPED, BENEAPED, a. Left aground. A ship is said to be neaped, when left aground, particularly on the height of a spring tide, so that she will not float till the return of the next spring tide.

NEAPOLITAN, a. Belonging to Naples, in Italy.

NEAPOLITAN, n. An inhabitant or native of the kingdom of Naples.

NEAP-TIDE, n. Low tide. [See Neap.]

NEAR, a. [This seems to be a contracted word, from nigher, the comparative of neh, nih or nieh; strait, narrow; to narrow]

1. Nigh; not far distant in place, time or degree. Regularly, near should be followed by to, but this is often omitted. We say, a house stands near a river; a friend sits near me; the man fell and was near destruction.

And Jacob went near to Isaac his father. Genesis 27:22.

Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. Romans 13:11.

2. Closely related by blood.

She is thy fathers near kinswoman. Leviticus 18:12.

3. Not distant in affection, support or assistance; present; ready; willing to aid.

Call upon the Lord, while he is near. Isaiah 55:6.

4. Intimate; united in close ties of affection or confidence; as a near friend.

5. Dear; affecting ones interest or feelings; as a near concern.

My nearest life.

6. Close; parsimonious.

7. Close; not loose, free or rambling; as a version near the original.

8. Next to one; opposed to off; as the near horse or ox in a team.

NEAR, adv. Almost; within a little. It is near twelve o’clock. The payment of such a sum would go near to ruin him.
NEAR, v.t. To approach; to come nearer; as, the ship neared the land; a seamans phrase.

NEAREST, a. Shortest; most direct; as the nearest way to London. So we use nearer for shorter. [The use of these words is not correct, but very common.]

NEARLY, adv.

1. At no great distance; not remotely.

2. Closely; as two persons nearly related or allied.

3. Intimately; pressingly; with a close relation to ones interest or happiness. It nearly concerns us to preserve peace with our neighbor.

4. Almost; within a little. The fact is nearly demonstrated.

5. In a parsimonious or niggardly manner.


1. Closeness; small distance. The nearness of a place to a market enhances the value of lands.

2. Close alliance by blood; propinquity; as the nearness of brothers and sisters, parents and children.

3. Close union by affection; intimacy of friendship.

4. Parsimony; closeness in expenses.

NEAT, n. [Neat coincides with the root of need in elements, and if connected with it, the sense is a herd or collection, from crowding, pressing; but this is doubtful.]

1. Cattle of the bovine genus, as bulls, oxen and cows. In America, this word is used in composition, as in neats tongue, neats foot oil, and tautologically in neat cattle.

2. A single cow.

NEAT, a. [L. to shine, to be clean, fair or fine; pure, to purify, to winnow.]

1. Very clean; free from foul or extraneous matter; as neat clothes. The vessels are kept neat; the woman keeps her house very neat.

2. Pure; free from impure words and phrases; as a neat style.

3. Cleanly; preserving neatness; as a neat woman.

4. Pure; unadulterated; as neat wine.

5. Free from tawdry appendages and well adjusted; as a neat dress.

6. Clear of the cask, case, bag, box, etc.; as neat weight. It is usually written net or nett.

NEATHERD, n. A person who has the care of cattle; a cow-keeper.

NEATLY, adv.

1. With neatness; in a neat manner; in a cleanly manner; as a garment neatly washed.

2. With good taste; without tawdry ornaments; as a lady neatly dressed.

3. Nicely; handsomely; as a vessel neatly gilt.


1. Exact cleanliness; entire freedom from foul matter; as the neatness of a floor or of a garment.

2. Purity; freedom from ill chosen words; as the neatness of style.

3. Freedom from useless or tawdry ornaments; with good adjustment of the several parts; as the neatness of a dress.

NEATRESS, n. [from neat, cattle] A female who takes care of cattle. [Not used in the United States]

NEB, n. [G. In the different dialects, it signifies a bill, beak, the nose, or the face, from extending or shooting. It is also written nib.] The nose; the beak of a fowl; the bill; the mouth.

NEBULAB, n. [fog, mist; Probably the primary sense is thick or mixed.]

1. A dark spot, a film in the eye, or a slight opacity of the cornea.

2. In astronomy, a cluster of fixed stars, not distinguishable from each other or scarcely visible to the naked eye, and exhibiting a dim hazy light, appearing like dusky specks or clouds through the telescope.

NEBULE, n. [fog, mist; Probably the primary sense is thick or mixed.]

1. A dark spot, a film in the eye, or a slight opacity of the cornea.

2. In astronomy, a cluster of fixed stars, not distinguishable from each other or scarcely visible to the naked eye, and exhibiting a dim hazy light, appearing like dusky specks or clouds through the telescope.

NEBULOSITY, n. [from nebulous.] The state of being cloudy or hazy.


1. Cloudy; hazy.

2. Resembling a small cloud or collection of vapors.

NECESSARIAN, n. [See Necessary.] An advocate for the doctrine of philosophical necessity; more properly necessitarian.

NECESSARIES, n. plu. [from necessary] Things necessary for some purpose; as the necessaries of life.


1. By necessity; in such a manner that it cannot be otherwise. Truth is necessarily opposite to falsehood. A square is necessarily different from a circle.

2. Indispensably. Most men are necessarily occupied in procuring their subsistence.

3. By unavoidable consequence. Certain inferences necessarily result from particular premises.

NECESSARINESS, n. The state of being necessary.


1. That must be; that cannot be otherwise; indispensably requisite. It is necessary that every effect should have a cause.

2. Indispensable; requisite; essential; that cannot be otherwise without preventing the purpose intended. Air is necessary to support animal life; food is necessary to nourish the body; holiness is a necessary qualification for happiness; health is necessary to the enjoyment of pleasure; subjection to law is necessary to the safety of persons and property.

3. Unavoidable; as a necessary inference or consequence from facts or arguments.

4. Acting from necessity or compulsion; opposed to free. Whether man is a necessary or a free agent is a question much discussed.

NECESSARY, n. A privy.

NECESSITARIAN, NECESSARIAN, n. One who maintains the doctrine of philosophical necessity in regard to the origin and existence of things.

NECESSITATE, v.t. To make necessary or indispensable; to render unavoidable; to compel.

The marquis of Newcastle, being pressed on both sides, was necessitated to draw all his army into York.

Sickness might necessitate his removal from court.

NECESSITATED, pp. Made necessary, indispensable or unavoidable.

NECESSITATING, ppr. Making necessary or indispensable.

NECESSITATION, n. The act of making necessary; compulsion. [Little used]

NECESSITIED, a. In a state of want. [Not in use.]


1. Very needy or indigent; pressed with poverty.

There are multitudes of necessitous heirs and penurious parents.

2. Narrow; destitute; pinching; as necessitous circumstances.

NECESSITOUSNESS, n. Extreme poverty or destitution of the means of living; pressing want.

NECESSITUDE, n. Necessitousness; want. [Not used.]


1. That which must be and cannot be otherwise, or the cause of that which cannot be otherwise. It is of necessity that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. It is of necessity that two contradictory propositions cannot both be true.

2. Irresistible power; compulsive force, physical or moral. If mans actions are determined by causes beyond his control, he acts from necessity, and is not a free agent. Necessity compelled the general to act on the defensive.

3. Indispensableness; the state of being requisite. The necessity of funds to support public credit, no man questions. The necessity of economy in domestic concerns is admitted. No man can plead necessity in excuse for crimes.

4. Extreme indigence; pinching poverty; pressing need.

The cause of all the distractions in his court or army proceeded from the extreme poverty and necessity his majesty was in.

5. Unavoidableness; inevitableness; as the necessity of a consequence from certain premises.

6. In the plural, things requisite for a purpose.

These should be hors for necessities, Not for delights.

NECK, n. [G. This word is properly the nape or vertebrae of the neck behind, and is so rendered in other languages, L. that is a knob or mass.]

1. The part of an animals body which is between the head and the trunk, and connects them. In man and many other animals, this part is more slender than the trunk; hence,

2. A long narrow tract of land projecting from the main body, or a narrow tract connecting two larger tracts; as the neck of land between Boston and Roxbury.

3. The long slender part of a vessel, as a retort; or of a plant, as a gourd; or of any instrument, as a guitar.

A stiff neck, in Scripture, denotes obstinacy in sin.

On the neck, immediately after; following closely.

First by committing one sin on the neck of another.

[This phrase is not much used. We more frequently say, on the heels.]

To break the neck of an affair, to hinder, or to do the principal thing to prevent.

To harden the neck, to grow obstinate; to be more and more perverse and rebellious. Nehemiah 9:16-17, 29.

NECKBEEF, n. The coarse flesh of the neck of cattle, sold at a low price.

As cheap as neckbeef.

NECKCLOTH, n. A piece of cloth worn on the neck.

NECKED, a. Having a neck; as in stiff-necked.

NECKERCHIEF, n. A gorget; a kerchief for a womans neck. [Not in use.]

NECKATEE, n. A gorget; a kerchief for a womans neck. [Not in use.]

NECKLACE, n. A string of beads or precious stones, worn by women on the neck.