Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



NEOLOGICAL, a. Pertaining to neology; employing new words.

NEOLOGISM, n. A new word or expression.

NEOLOGIST, n. One who introduces new words into a language. Lavoisier has been a successful neologist.

NEOLOGY, n. The introduction of a new word or of new words into a language. The present nomenclature of chimistry is a remarkable instance of neology.

NEONOMIAN, n. One who advocates new laws, or desires Gods law to be altered.


1. A new convert or proselyte; a name given by the early Christians to such heathens as had recently embraced the Christian faith, and were considered as regenerated by baptism.

2. A novice; one newly admitted to the order of priest.

3. A tyro; a beginner in learning.

NEOTERIC, a. [Gr. Young, from new] New; recent in origin; modern.

NEOTERICAL, a. [Gr. Young, from new] New; recent in origin; modern.

NEOTERIC, n. One of modern times.

NEP, n. A plant of the genus Nepeta; catmint.

NEPENTHE, n. [Gr. not, and grief.] A drug or medicine that drives away pain and grief. [Little used.]

NEPHELIN, n. [Gr. A cloud] A mineral found mixed with other substances, primitive or volcanic, in small masses or veins, granolamellar and in hexahedral crystals. It is white or yellow.

NEPHELINE, n. [Gr. A cloud] A mineral found mixed with other substances, primitive or volcanic, in small masses or veins, granolamellar and in hexahedral crystals. It is white or yellow.


1. The son of a brother or sister.

2. A grandson; also a descendant. [Not much used.]

NEPHRITE, n. A mineral, a subspecies of jade, of a leek green color, massive and in rolled pieces. It occurs in granite and gnesis, and is remarkable for its hardness and tenacity. It was formerly worn as a remedy for diseases of the kidneys, but is now cut into handles of sabers and daggers.

NEPHRITIC, a. [Gr. From the kidneys.]

1. Pertaining to the kidneys or organs of urine; as a nephritic disease.

2. Affected with the stone or gravel; as a nephritic patient.

3. Relieving or curing the stone or gravel, or disorders of the kidneys in general; as a nephritic medicine.

Nephritic stone, a stone of the silicious kind, called jade.

Nephritic wood, a species of compact wood of a fine grain, brought from New Spain, which gives a blue color to spirit of wine and to water; which color is changed to yellow by acids, and again to blue by alkalies.

NEPHRITICAL, a. [Gr. From the kidneys.]

1. Pertaining to the kidneys or organs of urine; as a nephritic disease.

2. Affected with the stone or gravel; as a nephritic patient.

. Relieving or curing the stone or gravel, or disorders of the kidneys in general; as a nephritic medicine.

Nephritic stone, a stone of the silicious kind, called jade.

Nephritic wood, a species of compact wood of a fine grain, brought from New Spain, which gives a blue color to spirit of wine and to water; which color is changed to yellow by acids, and again to blue by alkalies.

NEPHRITIC, n. A medicine adapted to relieve or cure the diseases of the kidneys, particularly the gravel or stone in the bladder.

NEPHRITIS, n. In medicine, an inflammation of the kidneys.

NEPHROTOMY, n. [Gr. A kidney, to cut] In surgery, the operation of extracting a stone from the kidney.

NEPOTISM, n. [from nephew]

1. Fondness for nephews.

2. Undue attachment to relations; favoritism shown to nephews and other relations.

NEPTUNIAN, a. [the fabled deity of the ocean.]

1. Pertaining to the ocean or sea.

2. Formed by water or aqueous solution; as Neptunian rocks.

NEPTUNIAN, n. One who adopts the theory that the whole earth was once covered with water, or rather that the substances of the globe were formed from aqueous solution; opposed to the Plutonic theory.

NEPTUNIST, n. One who adopts the theory that the whole earth was once covered with water, or rather that the substances of the globe were formed from aqueous solution; opposed to the Plutonic theory.

NEREID, n. In mythology, a sea nymph. In ancient monuments, the Nereids are represented as riding on sea horses, sometimes with the human form entire, and sometimes with the tail of a fish. They were the daughters of Nereus, and constantly attended Neptune.

NERFLING, n. A fresh water fish of Germany, of the lether-mouthed kind, and apparently a variety of rudd.

NERITE, n. A genus of univalvular shells.

NERITITE, n. A petrified shell of the genus Nerita.


1. An organ of sensation and motion in animals. The nerves are prolongations of the medullary substance of the brain, which ramify and extend to every part of the body.

2. A sinew or tendon.

3. Strength; firmness of body; as a man of nerve.

4. Fortitude; firmness of mind; courage.

5. Strength; force; authority; as the nerves of discipline.

NERVE, v.t. To give strength or vigor; to arm with force; as, fear nerved his arm.


1. Armed with strength.

2. In botany, having vessels simple and unbranched, extending from the base towards the tip; as a nerved leaf.

NERVELESS, a. Destitute of strength; weak.

NERVINE, a. That has the quality of relieving in disorders of the nerves.

NERVINE, n. A medicine that affords relief from disorders of the nerves.


1. Strong; vigorous; as a nervous arm.

2. Pertaining to the nerves; seated in or affecting the nerves; as a nervous disease or fever.

3. Having the nerves affected; hypochondriac; a colloquial use of the word.

4. Possessing or manifesting vigor of mind; characterized by strength in sentiment or style; as a nervous historian.

NERVOUS, a. In botany [See Nerved, No. 2]

NERVOSE, a. In botany [See Nerved, No. 2]

NERVOUSLY, adv. With strength or vigor.


1. Strength; force; vigor.

2. The state of being composed of nerves.

NERVY, a. Strong; vigorous.

NESCIENCE, n. Want of knowledge; ignorance.

NESH, a. Soft; tender; nice. [Not used.]

NESS, a termination of appellatives, denotes state or quality, as in goodness, greatness.

NEST, n.

1. The place or bed formed or used by a bird for incubation or the mansion of her young, until they are able to fly. The word is used also for the bed in which certain insects deposit their eggs.

2. Any place where irrational animals are produced.

3. An abode; a place of residence; a receptacle of numbers, or the collection itself; usually in an ill sense; as a nest of rogues.

4. A warm close place of abode; generally in contempt.

5. A number of boxes, cases or the like, inserted in each other.

NEST, v.i. To build and occupy a nest.

The king of birds nested with its leaves.

NESTEGG, n. An egg left in the nest to prevent the hen from forsaking it.

NESTLE, v.i.

1. To settle; to harbor; to lie close and snug, as a bird in her nest.

The king-fisher nestles in hollow banks.

Their purpose was to fortify in some strong place of the wild country, and their nestle till succors came.

2. To move about in ones seat, like a bird when forming her nest; as, a child nestles.

NESTLE, v.t.

1. To house, as in a nest.

2. To cherish, as a bird her young.


1. A young bird in the nest, or just taken from the nest.

2. A nest.

NESTLING, a. Newly hatched; being yet in the nest.

NESTORIAN, n. A follower of Nestorius, a heretic of the fifth century, who taught that Christ was divided into two persons.

NET, n.

1. An instrument for catching fish and fowls, or wild beasts, formed with twine or thread interwoven with meshes.

2. A cunning device; a snare. Micah 7:2.

3. Inextricable difficulty. Job 18:8.

4. Severe afflictions. Job 19:6.

NET, v.t. To make a net or net-work; to knot.
NET, a. [See Neat.]

1. Neat; pure; unadulterated.

2. Being without flaw or spot.

3. Being beyond all charges or outlay; as net profits.

4. Being clear of all tare and tret, or all deductions; as net weight. It is sometimes written nett, but improperly. Net is properly a mercantile appropriation of neat.

NET, v.t. To produce clear profit.

NETHER, a. [This word is of the comparative degree; the positive occurs only in composition, as in beneath. It is used only in implied comparison, as in the nether part, the nether millstone; but we never say, one part is nether than another. It is not much used.]

1. Lower; lying or being beneath or in the lower part; opposed to upper; as the nether millstone.

Distorted all my nether shape thus grew transformd.

2. In a lower place.

Twixt upper, nether and surrounding fires.

3. Belonging to the regions below.

NETHERMOST, a. Lowest; as the nethermost hell; the nethermost abyss.


1. A piece of network.

2. A complication of ropes fastened across each other, to be stretched along the upper part of a ships quarter to contain hammocks. Netting is also employed to hammocks. Netting is also employed to hold the fore and main-top-mast sails when stowed. Netting is also extended along a ships gunwale in engagements, to prevent the enemy from boarding.

NETTLE, n. A plant of the genus Urtica, whose prickles fret the skin and occasion very painful sensations.

And near the noisome nettle blooms the rose.

NETTLE, v.t. To fret or sting; to irritate or vex; to excite sensations of displeasure or uneasiness, not amounting to wrath or violent anger.

The princes were nettled at the scandal of this affront.

NETTLED, pp. Fretted; irritated.

NETTLER, n. One that provokes, stings or irritates.

NETTLE-TREE, n. A tree of the genus Celtis whose leaves are deeply serrated, and end in a sharp point.

NETTLING, ppr. Irritating; vexing.

NET-WORK, n. A complication of threads, twine or cords united at certain distances, forming meshes, interstices or open space between the knots or intersections; reticulated or decussated work.

NEUROLOGICAL, a. [See Neurology.] Pertaining to neurolgy, or to a description of the nerves of animals.

NEUROLOGIST, n. One who describes the nerves of animals.

NEUROLOGY, n. [Gr. A nerve, and discourse.] A description of the nerves of animal bodies, or the doctrine of the nerves.

NEUROPTER, n. [Gr., a nerve, and a wing.] The neuropters are an order of insects having four membranous, transparent, naked wings, reticulated with veins.

NEUROPTERA, n. [Gr., a nerve, and a wing.] The neuropters are an order of insects having four membranous, transparent, naked wings, reticulated with veins.

NEUROPTERAL, a. Belonging to the order of neuropters.

NEUROSPAST, n. [Gr. To draw with strings.] A puppet; a little figure put in motion.

NEUROTIC, a. [Gr. A nerve.] Useful in disorders of the nerves.

NEUROTIC, n. A medicine useful in the disorders of the nerves.

NEUROTOMICAL, a. [See Neurotomy.] Pertaining to the anatomy or dissection of the nerves.

NEUROTOMIST, n. One who dissects the nerves.

NEUROTOMY, n. [Gr. A nerve, and to cut.]

1. The dissection of a nerve.

2. The art or practice of dissecting the nerves.

NEUTER, a. [L. not either.]

1. Not adhering to either party; taking no part with either side, either when persons are contending, or questions are discussed. It may be synonymous with indifferent, or it may not. The United States remained neuter during the French Revolution, but very few of the people were indifferent as to the success of the parties engaged. A man may be neuter from feeling, and he is then indifferent; but he may be neuter in fact, when he is not in feeling or principle. A judge should be perfectly neuter in feeling, that he may decide with impartiality.

2. In grammar, of neither gender; an epithet given to nouns that are neither masculine nor feminine; primarily to nouns which express neither sex.


1. A person that takes no part in a contest between two or more individuals or nations; a person who is either indifferent to the cause, or forbears to interfere.

2. A animal of neither sex, or incapable of propagation. The working bees are neuters.

Neuter verb, in grammar, a verb which expresses an action or state limited to the subject, and which is not followed by an object; as, I go; I sit; I am; I run; I walk. It is better denominated intransitive.

NEUTRAL, a. [L. From neuter.]

1. Not engaged on either side; not taking an active part with either of contending parties. It is policy for a nation to be neutral when other nations are at war. Belligerents often obtain supplies from neutral states.

2. Indifferent; having no bias in favor of either side or party.

3. Indifferent; neither very good nor bad.

Some things good, and some things ill do seem, And neutral some in her fantastic eye.

Neutral salt, in chimistry, a salt or body composed of two primitive saline substances in combination, and possessing the character neither of an acid or alkaline salt; or a combination of an acid with any substance which destroys its acidity; any salt saturated with an alkali, an earth or a metal. But it is more usual to denominate neutral, a salt which is united with an alkaline substance, and to cal the others earthy or metallic.

NEUTRAL, n. A person or nation that takes no part in a contest between others.

The neutral, as far as his commerce extends, becomes a party in the war.

NEUTRALIST, n. A neutral. [Little used.]


1. The state of being unengaged in disputes or contests between others; the state of taking no part on either side. States often arm to maintain their neutrality.

2. A state of indifference in feeling or principle.

3. Indifference in quality; a state neither very good nor evil. [Little used.]

4. A combination of neutral powers or states; as the armed neutrality.

NEUTRALIZATION, n. [from neutralize.]

1. The act of neutralizing or destroying the peculiar properties of a body by combination with another body or substance.

2. The act of reducing to a state of indifference or neutrality.


1. To render neutral; to reduce to a state of indifference between different parties or opinions.

2. In chimistry, to destroy or render inert or imperceptible the peculiar properties of a body by combining it with a different substance. Thus to neutralize acids and alkalies, is to combine them in such proportions that the compound will no exhibit the qualities of either. This is called a neutral salt.

3. To destroy the peculiar properties or opposite dispositions of parties or other things, or reduce them to a state of indifference or inactivity; as, to neutralize parties in government; to neutralize opposition.

The benefits of universities- neutralized by moral evils.

A cloud of counter citations that neutralize each other.

NEUTRALIZED, pp. Reduced to neutrality or indifference.

NEUTRALIZER, n. That which neutralizes; that which destroys, disguises or renders inert the peculiar properties of a body. The base of a salt is its neutralizer.

NEUTRALIZING, ppr. Destroying or rendering inert the peculiar properties of a substance; reducing to indifference or inactivity.

NEUTRALLY, adv. Without taking part with either side; indifferently.

NEVER, adv.

1. Not ever; not at any time; at no time. It refers to the past or the future. This man was never at Calcutta; he will never be there.

2. It has a particular use in the following sentences.

Ask me never so much dower and gift. Genesis 34:12.

Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. Psalm 58:5.

A fear of battery-though never so well grounded, is no duress.

This is a genuine English use of never, found in our Saxon authors, and it ought to be retained. Ask me so much dower as never was done; that is, dower to any extent. The practice of using ever in such phrases, is corrupt. It not only destroys the force but the propriety of the phrase.

3. In no degree; not.

Whoever has a friend to guide him, may carry his eyes in another man’s head and yet see never the worse.

4. It is used for not. He answered him never a word; that is, not ever. This use is not common.

5. It is much used in composition; as in never-ending, never-failing, never-dying, never-ceasing, never-fading; but in all such compounds, never retains its true meaning.

NEVERTHELESS, adv. Not the less; notwithstanding; that is, in opposition to any thing, or without regarding it. It rained, nevertheless, we proceeded on our journey; we did not the less proceed on our journey; we proceeded in opposition to the rain, without regarding it, or without being prevented.

NEW, a.

1. Lately made, invented, produced or come into being; that has existed a short time only; recent in origin; novel; opposed to old, and used of things; as a new coat; a new house; a new book; a new fashion; a new theory; the new chimistry; a new discovery.

2. Lately introduced to our knowledge; not before known; recently discovered; as a new metal; a new species of animals or plants found in foreign countries; the new continent.

3. Modern; not ancient.

4. Recently produced by change; as a new life.

Put on the new man. Ephesians 4:24.

5. Not habituated; not familiar; unaccustomed.

Heretics and such as instill their poison into new minds.

New to the plough, unpracticed in the trace.

6. Renovated; repaired so as to recover the first state.

Men, after long emaciating diets, wax plump, fat and almost new.

7. Fresh after any event.

New from her sickness to that northern air.

8. Not of ancient extraction or a family of ancient distinction.

By superior capacity and extensive knowledge, a new man often mounts to favor.

9. Not before used; strange; unknown.

They shall speak with new tongues. Mark 16:17.

10. Recently commenced; as the new year.

11. Having passed the change or conjunction with the sun; as the new moon.

12. Not cleared and cultivated, or lately cleared; as new land.

13. That has lately appeared for the first time; as a new star.

New is much used in composition to qualify other words, and always bears its true sense of late, recent, novel, fresh; as in new-born, new-made, new-grown, new-formed, new-found. In this use, new may be considered as adverbial, or as a part of the compound.

NEW, v.t. To make new. [Not used.]

NEWEL, n. In architecture, the upright post about which are formed winding stairs, or a cylinder of stone formed by the end of the steps of the winding stairs.

2. Novelty. [Not used.]

NEW-FANGLED, a. [new and fangle.] New made; formed with the affectation of novelty; in contempt.

New-fangled devices.

NEW-FANGLEDNESS, n. Vain or affected fashion or form.

NEW-FASHIONED, a. Made in a new form, or lately come into fashion.

NEWING, n. Yeast or barm.

NEWISH, a. Somewhat new; nearly new.

NEWLY, adv.

1. Lately; freshly; recently.

He rubbd it oer with newly gathered mint.

2. With a new form, different from the former.

And the refined mind doth newly fashion Into a fairer form.

3. In a manner not existing before.

NEW-MODEL, v.t. To give a new form to.

NEW-MODELED, a. Formed after a new model.

NEW-MODELING, ppr. Giving a new form to.


1. Lateness of origin; recentness; state of being lately invented or produced; as the newness of a dress; the newness of a system.

2. Novelty; the state of being first known or introduced. The newness of the scene was very gratifying.

3. Innovation; recent change.

And happy newness that intends old right.

4. Want of practice or familiarity.

His newness shamed most of the others long exercise.

5. Different state or qualities introduced by change or regeneration.

Even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4.

NEWS, n. [From new; This word has a plural form, but is almost always united with a verb in the singular.]

1. Recent account; fresh information of something that has lately taken place at a distance, or of something before unknown; tidings. We have news from Constantinople. News has just arrived. This news is favorable.

Evil news rides fast, while good news baits.

It is no news for the weak and poor to be a prey to the strong and rich.

2. A newspaper.

NEWS-MONGER, n. One that deals in news; one who employs much time in hearing and telling news.

NEWSPAPER, n. A sheet of paper printed and distributed for conveying news; a public print that circulates news, advertisements, proceedings of legislative bodies, public documents and the like.

NEWT, n. A small lizard; an eft.

NEWTONIAN, a. Pertaining to Sir Isaac Newton, or formed or discovered by him; as the Newtonian philosophy or system.

NEWTONIAN, n. A follower of Newton in philosophy.

NEW-YEAR’S GIFT, n. A present made on the first day of the year.

NEXT, a.

1. Nearest in place; that has no object intervening between it and some other; immediately preceding, or preceding in order. We say, the next person before or after another.

Her princely guest was next her side, in order sat the rest.

2. Nearest in time; as the next day or hour; the next day before or after Easter.

3. Nearest in degree, quality, rank, right or relation; as, one man is next to another in excellence; one is next in kindred; one is next in rank or dignity. Assign the property to nim who has the next claim.

NEXT, adv. At the time or turn nearest or immediately succeeding. It is not material who follows next.

NIAS, for an eyas, a young hawk.

NIB, n.

1. The bill or beak of a fowl.

2. The point of any thing, particularly of a pen.

NIBBED, a. Having a nib or point.

NIBBLE, v.t. [from nib.]

1. To bite by little at a time; to eat slowly or in small bits. So sheep are said to nibble the grass.

2. To bite, as a fish does the bait; to carp at; just to catch by biting.

NIBBLE, v.i.

1. To bite at; as, fishes nibble at the bait.

2. To carp at; to find fault; to censure little faults.

Instead of returning a full answer to my book, he manifestly nibbles at a single passage.

NIBBLE, n. A little bite, or seizing to bite.

NIBBLER, n. One that bites a little at a time; a carper.