Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ORLE, n. [infra.] In heraldry, an ordinary in the form of a fillet, round the shield.

ORLET, ORLO, n. [Heb.] In architecture, a fillet under the ovolo of a capital.


In a ship of war, a platform of planks laid over the beams in the hold, on which the cables are usually coiled. It contains also sail-rooms, carpenters’ cabins and other apartments.

Also, a tier of beams below the lower deck for a like purpose.

ORNAMENT, n. [L. ornamentum, from orno, to adorn. Varro informs us that this was primitively osnamentum; but this is improbable. See Adorn.]

1. That which embellishes; something which, added to another thing, renders it more beautiful to the eye.

The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets and the ornaments of the legs - Isaiah 3:19-20.

2. In architecture, ornaments are sculpture or carved work.

3. Embellishment; decoration; additional beauty.

- The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4.

ORNAMENT, v.t. To adorn; to deck; to embellish.

ORNAMENTAL, a. Serving to decorate; giving additional beauty; embellishing.

Some think it most ornamental to wear their bracelets on their wrists; others about their ankles.

ORNAMENTALLY, adv. In such a manner as to add embellishment.

ORNAMENTED, pp. Decorated; embellished; beautified.

ORNAMENTING, ppr. Decorating; embellishing.

ORNATE, a. [L. ornatus.] Adorned; decorated; beautiful.

ORNATELY, adv. With decoration.

ORNATENESS, n. State of being adorned.

ORNATURE, n. Decoration. [Little used.]

ORNISCOPICS, n. Divination by the observation of fowls.

ORNISCOPIST, n. [Gr. a bird, and to view.]

One who views the flight of fowls in order to foretell future events by their manner of flight. [Little used.]

ORNITHOLITE, n. A petrified bird.

ORNITHOLOGICAL, a. Pertaining to ornithology.

ORNITHOLOGIST, n. [See Ornithology.] A person who is skilled in the natural history of fowls, who understands their form, structure, habits and uses; one who describes birds.

ORNITHOLOGY, n. [Gr. a fowl, and discourse.]

The science of fowls, which comprises a knowledge of their form, structure, habits and uses.

ORNITHOMANCY, n. [Gr. a fowl, and divination.]

Augury, a species of divination by means of fowls, their flight, etc.

OROLOGICAL, a. [See Orology.] Pertaining to a description of mountains.

OROLOGIST, n. A describer of mountains.

OROLOGY, n. [Gr. a mountain, and discourse.] The science or description of mountains.

ORPHAN, n. [Gr.]

A child who is bereaved of father or mother or of both.

ORPHAN, a. Bereaved of parents.

ORPHANAGE, ORPHANISM, n. The state of an orphan.

OROHANED, a. Bereft of parents or friends.

ORPHANOTROPHY, n. [Gr. orphan, and food.] A hospital for orphans.

ORPHEAN, ORPHIC, a. Pertaining to Orpheus, the poet and musician; as Orphic hymns.

ORPHEUS, n. A fish found in the Mediterranean, broad, flat and thick, and sometimes weighing twenty pounds. The orpheus of the Greeks is said to have been a different fish.

ORPIMENT, n. [L. auripigmentum; aurum, gold, and pigmentum.]

Sulphuret of arsenic, found native and then an ore of arsenic, or artificially composed. The native orpiment appears in yellow, brilliant and seemingly talcky masses of various sizes. The red orpiment is called realgar. It is more or less lively and transparent, and often crystallized in bright needles. In this form it is called ruby of arsenic.

ORPINE, n. A plant of the genus Sedum, lesser houseleek or live-long. The bastard orpine is of the genus Andrachine; the lesser orpine of the genus Crassula.

ORRACH. [See Orach.]

ORRERY, n. A machine so constructed as to represent by the movements of its parts, the motions and phases of the planets in their orbits. This machine was invented by George Graham, but Rowley, a workman, borrowed one from him, and made a copy for the earl of Orrery, after whom it was named by Sir Richard Steele. similar machines are called also planetariums.


1. The plant iris, of which orris seems to be a corruption; fleur de lis or flag-flower.

2. A sort of gold or silver lace.

ORT, n. A fragment; refuse.

ORTALON, n. A small bird of the genus Alauda.

ORTHITE, n. [Gr. straight.] A mineral occurring in straight layers in felspath rock with albite, etc. It is of a blackish brown color, resembling gadolinite, but differs from it is fusibility.

ORTHOCERATITE, n. [Gr. straight, and a horn.]

The name of certain fossil univalve shells, straight or but slightly curved, arranged by Cuvier in the genus Nantilus.

ORTHODOX, a. [See Orthodoxy.]

1. Sound in the christian faith; believing the genuine doctrines taught in the Scriptures; opposed to heretical; as an orthodox christian.

2. According with the doctrines of Scripture; as an orthodox creed or faith.

ORTHODOXLY, adv. With soundness of faith.

ORTHODOXNESS, n. The state of being sound in the faith, or of according with the doctrines of Scripture.

ORTHODOXY, n. [Gr. right, true, and opinion, from to think.]

1. Soundness of faith; a belief in the genuine doctrines taught in the Scriptures.

Basil bears full and clear testimony to Gregory’s orthodoxy.

2. Consonance to genuine scriptural doctrines; as the orthodoxy of a creed.

ORTHODROMIC, a. [See Orthodromy.] Pertaining to orthodromy.

ORTHODROMICS, n. The art of sailing in the arc of a great circle, which is the shortest distance between any two points on the surface of the globe.

ORTHODROMY, n. [Gr. right, and course.] The sailing in a straight course.

ORTHOEPIST, n. [See Orthoepy.] One who pronounces words correctly, or who is well skilled in pronunciation.

ORTHOEPY, n. [Gr. right, and word, or to speak.]

The art of uttering words with propriety; a correct pronunciation of words.

ORTHOGON, n. [Gr. right, and angle.] A rectangular figure.

ORTHOGONAL, a. Right angled; rectangular.

ORTHOGRAPHER, n. [See Orthography.] One that spells words correctly, according to common usage.


1. Correctly spelled; written with the proper letters.

2. Pertaining to the spelling of words; as, to make an orthographical mistake.

Orthographic projection of the sphere, a delineation of the sphere upon a plane that cuts it in the middle, the eye being supposed to be placed at an infinite distance from it.

A projection in which the eye is supposed to be at an infinite distance; so called because the perpendiculars from any point of the sphere will all fall in the common intersection of the sphere with the plane of the projection.


1. According to the rules of proper spelling.

2. In the manner of orthographic projection.

ORTHOGRAPHY, n. [Gr. right, and writing.]

1. The art of writing words with the proper letters, according to common usage.

2. The part of grammar which treats of the nature and properties of letters, and of the art of writing words correctly.

3. The practice of spelling or writing words with the proper letters.

4. In geometry, the art of delineating the fore right plane or side of any object, and of expressing the elevations of each part; so called because it determines things by perpendicular lines falling on the geometrical plane.

5. In architecture, the elevation of a building, showing all the parts in their true proportion.

6. In perspective, the fore right side of any plane, that is, the side or plane that lies parallel to a straight line that may be imagined to pass through the outward convex points of the eyes, continued to a convenient length.

7. In fortification, the profile or representation of a work in all its parts, as they would appear if perpendicularly cut from top to bottom.

ORTHOLOGY, n. [Gr. right, and discourse.] The right description of things.

ORTHOMETRY, n. [Gr. right, and measure.]

The art or practice of constructing verse correctly; the laws of correct versification.

ORTHOPNY, n. [Gr. right, erect, and breath; to breathe.]

1. A species of asthma in which respiration can be performed on in an erect posture.

2. Any difficulty of breathing.

ORTIVE, a. [L. ortivus, from ortus, orior, to rise.]

Rising, or eastern. The ortive amplitude of a planet is an arc of the horizon intercepted between the point where a star rises, and the east point of the horizon, the point where the horizon and equator intersect.

ORTOLAN, n. [L. hortulanus, from hortus, a garden.]

A bird of the genus Emberiza, about the size of the lark, with black wings. It is found in France and Italy, feeds on panic grass, and is delicious food.

ORTS, n. Fragments; pieces; refuse.

ORVAL, n. The herb clary.

ORVIETAN, n. An antidote or counter poison. [Not used.]

ORYCTOGNOSTIC, a. Pertaining to oryctognosy.

ORYCTOGNOSY, n. [Gr. fossil, and knowledge.]

That branch of mineralogy which has for its object the classification of minerals, according to well ascertained characters, and under appropriate denominations.

Oryctognosy consists in the description of minerals, the determination of their nomenclature, and the systematic arrangement of their different species. It coincides nearly with mineralogy, in its modern acceptation.

ORYCTOGRAPHY, n. [Gr. fossil, and to describe.]

That part of natural history in which fossils are described.

ORYCTOLOGY, n. [Gr. fossil, and discourse.] That part of physics which treats of fossils.

OSCHEOCELE, n. [Gr. the scrotum, and a tumor.] A rupture in the scrotum; scrotal hernia.

OSCILLATE, v.i. [L. oscillo, from ant. cillo, Gr. to move.]

To swing; to move backward and forward; to vibrate.

OSCILLATION, n. [L. oscillatio.] Vibration; a moving backward and forward, or swinging like a pendulum.

OSCILLATORY, a. Moving backward and forward like a pendulum; swinging; as an oscillatory motion.

OSCITANCY, n. [L. oscito, to yawn, from os, the mouth.]

1. The act of gaping or yawning.

2. Unusual sleepiness; drowsiness; dullness.

It might proceed from the oscitancy of transcribers.


1. Yawning; gaping.

2. Sleepy; drowsy; dull; sluggish.

OSCITANTLY, adv. Carelessly.

OSCITATION, n. The act of yawning or gaping from sleepiness.

OSCULATION, n. [L. osculatio, a kissing.] In geometry, the contract between any given curve and its osculatory circle, that is, a circle of the same curvature with the given curve.

OSCULATORY, a. An osculatory circle, in geometry, is a circle having the same curvature with any curve at any given point.

OSCULATORY, n. In church history, a tablet or board, with the picture of Christ or the virgin, etc. which is kissed by the priest and then delivered to the people for the same purpose.

OSIER, n. o’sher. A willow or water willow, or the twig of the willow, used in making baskets.

OSMAZOME, n. [Gr. odor, and juice.]

A substance of an aromatic flavor, obtained from the flesh of the ox.

OSMIUM, n. [Gr. odor.] A metal recently discovered, and contained in the ore of platinum. A native alloy of this metal with iridium is found in grains along the rivers in South America. Osmium has a dark gray color; it is not volatile when heated in close vessels, but heated in the open air, it absorbs oxygen and forms a volatile oxyd. It is insoluble in the acids, readily soluble in potassa and very volatile. It takes its name from the singular smell of its oxyd.

OSMUND, n. A plant, or a genus of plants, osmunda, moonwort. The most remarkable species is the osmund royal or flowering fern, growing in marshes, the root of which boiled, is very slimy, and is used in stiffening linen.

OSNABURG, n. oz’nburg. A species of coarse linen imported from Osnaburg, in Germany.

OSPRAY, n. [L. ossifraga; as, a bone, and frango, to break; the bone-breaker.]

The sea-eagle, a fowl of the genus Falco or hawk, of the size of a peacock. This is our fish hawk. It feeds on fish which it takes by suddenly darting upon them, when near the surface of the water.

OSSELET, n. [L. os, osis, a bone.]

A hard substance growing on the inside of a horse’s knee, among the small bones.

OSSEOUS, a. [L. osseus, from os, a bone.] Bony; resembling bone.

OSSICLE, n. [L. ossiculum.] A small bone.

OSSIFEROUS, a. [L. os, a bone, and fero, to produce.] Producing or furnishing bones.

OSSIFIC, a. [L. os, a bone, and facio, to make.]

Having power to ossify or change carneous and membranous substances to bone.

OSSIFICATION, n. [from ossify.]

1. The change or process of changing from flesh or other matter of animal bodies into a bony substance; as the ossification of an artery.

2. The formation of bones in animals.

OSSIFIED, pp. Converted into bone, or a hard substance like bone.

OSSIFRAGE, n. [L. ossifraga. See Ospray.]

The ospray or sea-eagle. In Leviticus 11:13, it denotes a different fowl.

OSSIFY, v.t. [L. os, bone, anf facio, to form.]

To form bone; to change from a soft animal substance into bone, or convert into a substance of the hardness of bones. This is done by the deposition of calcarious phosphate or carbonate on the part.

OSSIFY, v.i. To become bone; to change from soft matter into a substance of bony hardness.

OSSIVOROUS, a. [L. os, bone, and voro, to eat.]

Feeding on bones; eating bones; as ossivorous quadrupeds.

OSSUARY, n. [L. ossuarium.] A charnel house; a place where the bones of the dead are deposited.

OST, OUST, n. A kiln for dying hops or malt.

OSTENSIBILITY, n. [See Ostensible.] The quality or state of appearing or being shown.

OSTENSIBLE, a. [L. ostendo, to show.]

1. That may be shown; proper or intended to be shown.

2. Plausible; colorable.

3. Appearing; seeming; shown, declared or avowed. We say, the ostensible reason or motive for a measure may be the real one, or very different from the real one. This is the common, and I believe the only sense in which the word is used in America.

One of the ostensible grounds on which the proprietors had obtained their charter -

OSTENSIBLY, adv. In appearance; in a manner that is declared or pretended.

An embargo and non-intercourse which totally defeat the interests they are ostensible destined to promote.

OSTENSIVE, a. [L. ostendo.] Showing; exhibiting. Ostensive demonstration, is one which plainly and directly demonstrates the truth of a proposition.

OSTENT, n. [L. ostentum, from ostendo.]

1. Appearance; air; manner; mien. [Little used.]

2. Show; manifestation; token. [Little used.]

3. A prodigy; a portent; any thing ominous. [Little used.]

OSTENTATE, v.t. [L. ostento.] To make an ambitious display of; to show or exhibit boastingly. [Not used.]

OSTENTATION, n. [L. ostentatio.]

1. Outward show or appearance.

2. Ambitious display; vain show; display of any thing dictated by vanity, or intended to invite praise or flattery. Ostentation of endowments is made by boasting or self-commendation. Ostentation often appears in works of art and sometimes in acts of charity.

He knew that good and bountiful minds are sometimes inclined to ostentation.

The painter is to make no ostentation of the means by which he strikes the imagination.

3. A show or spectacle. [Not used.]


1. Making a display from vanity; boastful; fond of presenting one’s endowments or works to others in an advantageous light.

Your modesty is so far from being ostentatious of the good you do -

2. Showy; gaudy; intended for vain display; as ostentatious ornaments.

OSTENTATIOUSLY, adv. With vain display; boastfully.