Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary




H, is the eighth letter of the English Alphabet. It is properly the representative of the Chaldee, Syriac and Hebrew, which is the eighth letter in those alphabets. Its form is the same as the Greek H eta. It is not strictly a vowel, nor an articulation; but the mark of a stronger breathing, than that which precedes the utterance of any other letter. It is pronounced with an expiration of breath, which, preceding a vowel, is perceptible by the ear at a considerable distance. Thus, harm and arm, hear and ear, heat and eat, are distinguished at almost any distance at which the voice can be heard. H is a letter sui generis, but as useful in forming and distinguishing words as any other.

In our mother tongue, the Anglo-Saxon, and other Teutonic dialects, h sometimes represents the L. c, and the Gr. x; as in horn, L. cornu, Gr. to hide; G. haut, Sw. hud, D. huid, Dan. hud, L. cutis; Sax. hlinian, L. clino, Gr. to lean; L. celo, to conceal, Sax. helan. G. hehlen, Dan. haeler. In Latin h sometimes represents the Greek x; as in halo, Gr. hio. In the modern European languages, it represents other guttural letters.

In English, h is sometimes mute, as in honor, honest; also when united with g, as in right, fight, brought. In which, what, who, whom, and some other words in which it follows w, it is pronounced before it, hwich, hwat, etc. As a numeral in Latin, H denotes 200, and with a dash over it 200,000. As an abbreviation in Latin, H stands for homo, haeres, hora, etc.

HA, an exclamation, denoting surprise, joy or grief. With the first or long sound of a, it is used as a question, and is equivalent to “What do you say?” When repeated, ha, ha, it is an expression of laughter, or sometimes it is equivalent to “Well! it is so.”

HAAK, n. A fish.

Habeas Corpus, [L. have the body.] A writ for delivering a person from false imprisonment, or for removing a person from one court to another, etc.

HABERDASHER, n. A seller of small wares; a word little used or not at all in the U. States.

HABERDASHERY, n. The goods and wares sold by a haberdasher.

HABERDINE, n. A dried salt cod.

HABERGEON, n. A coat of mail or armor to defend the neck and breast. It was formed of little iron rings united, and descended from the neck to the middle of the body.

HABILE, a. Fit; proper. [Not in use.]

HABILIMENT, n. [L. habeo, to have.] A garment; clothing; usually in the plural, habiliments, denoting garments, clothing or dress in general.

HABILITATE, v.t. To qualify. [Not used.]

HABILITATION, n. Qualification. [Not in use.]

HABILITY. [See Ability.]

HABIT, n. [L. habitus, from habeo, to have to hold. See Have.]

1. Garb; dress; clothes or garments in general.

The scenes are old, the habits are the same,

We wore last year.

There are among the statues, several of Venus, in different habits.

2. A coat worn by ladies over other garments.

3. State of any thing; implying some continuance or permanence; temperament or particular state of a body, formed by nature or induced by extraneous circumstances; as a costive or lax habit of body; a sanguine habit.

4. A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits.

Frequent drinking of spirits leads to a habit of intemperance. We should endeavor to correct evil habits by a change of practice. A great point in the education of children, is to prevent the formation of bad habits.

Habit of plants, the general form or appearance, or the conformity of plants of the same kind in structure and growth.

HABIT, v.t. To dress; to clothe; to array.

They habited themselves like rural deities.

HABIT, v.t. To dwell; to inhabit.

HABITABLE, a. [L. habitabilis, from habito, to dwell.]

That may be inhabited or dwelt in; capable of sustaining human beings; as the habitable world. Some climates are scarcely habitable.

HABITABLENESS, n. Capacity of being inhabited.

HABITABLY, adv. In such a manner as to habitable.

HABITANCE, n. Dwelling; abode; residence. [Not now used.]

HABITANCY, n. Legal settlement or inhabitancy. [See Inhabitancy.]

HABITANT, n. [L. habitans.] An inhabitant; a dweller; a resident; one who has a permanent abode in a place.

HABITAT, n. Habitation.

HABITATION, n. [L. habitatio, from habito, to dwell, from habeo, to hold, or as we say in English, to keep.]

1. Act of inhabiting; state of dwelling.

2. Place of abode; a settled dwelling; a mansion; a house or other place in which man or any animal dwells.

The stars may be the habitations of numerous races of beings.

The Lord blesseth the habitation of the just. Proverbs 3:33.

HABITATOR, n. [L.] A dweller; an inhabitant. [Not used.]

HABITED, a. Clothed; dressed. He was habited like a shepherd.

1. Accustomed. [Not usual.]

HABITUAL, a. Formed or acquired by habit, frequent use or custom.

Art is properly an habitual knowledge of certain rules and maxims.

1. Customary; according to habit; as the habitual practice of sin; the habitual exercise of holy affections.

It is the distinguishing mark of habitual piety to be grateful for the most common blessings.

2. Formed by repeated impressions; rendered permanent by continued causes; as an habitual color of the skin.

HABITUALLY, adv. By habit; customarily; by frequent practice or use; as habitually profane; habitually kind and benevolent.


1. To accustom; to make familiar by frequent use or practice. Men may habituate themselves to the taste of oil or tobacco. They habituate themselves to vice. Let us habituate ourselves and our children to the exercise of charity.

2. To settle as an inhabitant in a place.

HABITUATE, a. Inveterate by custom.

1. Formed by habit.

HABITUATED, pp. Accustomed; made familiar by use.

HABITUATING, ppr. Accustoming; making easy and familiar by practice.

HABITUDE, n. [L. habitudo, from habitus.]

1. Relation; respect; state with regard to something else. [Little used.]

2. Frequent intercourse; familiarity. [Not usual.]

To write well, one must have frequent habitudes with the best company.

3. Customary manner or mode of life; repetition of the same acts; as the habitudes of fowls or insects.

4. Custom; habit.

HABNAB, adv. [hap ne hap, let it happen or not.]

At random; by chance; without order or rule.

HACK, v.t.

1. To cut irregularly and into small pieces; to notch; to mangle by repeated strokes of a cutting instrument.

2. To speak with stops or catches; to speak with hesitation.

HACK, n. A notch; a cut.
HACK, n. A horse kept for hire; a horse much used in draught, or in hard service; any thing exposed to hire, or used in common. [from hackney.]

1. A coach or other carriage kept for hire. [from hackney.]

2. Hesitating or faltering speech.

3. A rack for feeding cattle.

HACK, a. Hired.
HACK, v.i. To be exposed or offered to common use for hire; to turn prostitute.

1. To make an effort to raise phlegm. [See Hawk.]

HACKED, pp. Chopped; mangled.

HACKING, ppr. Chopping into small pieces; mangling; mauling.

HACKLE, v.t.

1. To comb flax or hemp; to separate the coarse part of these substances from the fine, by drawing them through the teeth of a hatchel.

2. To tear asunder.

HACKLE, n. A hatchel. The latter word is used in the U. States.

1. Raw silk; any flimsy substance unspun.

2. A fly for angling, dressed with feathers or silk.

HACKLY, a. [from hack.] Rough; broken as if hacked.

In mineralogy, having fine, short, and sharp points on the surface; as a hackly fracture.

HACKMATACK, n. The popular name of the red larch, the Pinus microcarpa.


1. A pad; a nag; a pony.

2. A horse kept for hire; a horse much used.

3. A coach or other carriage kept for hire, and often exposed in the streets of cities. The word is sometimes contracted to hack.

4. Any thing much used or used in common; a hireling; a prostitute.

HACKNEY, a. Let out for hire; devoted to common use; as a hackney-coach.

1. Prostitute; vicious for hire.

2. Much used; common; trite; as a hackney author or remark.

HACKNEY, v.t. To use much; to practice in one thing; to make trite.

1. To carry in a hackney-coach.

HACKNEY-COACH. [See Hackney.]

HACKNEY-COACHMAN, n. A man who drives a hackney-coach.

HACKNEYED, pp. Used much or in common.

1. Practiced; accustomed.

He is long hackneyed in the ways of men.

HACKNEYING, ppr. Using much; accustoming.

HACKNEYMAN, n. A man who lets horses and carriages for hire.

HACKSTER, n. A bully; a ruffian or assassin.

HACQUETON, n. A stuffed jacket formerly worn under armor, sometimes made of leather. [Not used.]

HAD, pret. and pp. of have; contracted from Sax. haefd, that is, haved; as, I had; I have had. In the phrase, “I had better go,” it is supposed that had is used for would; “I’d better go.” The sense of the phrase is, “it would be better for me to go.”

HADDER, n. Heath. [Not in use. See Heath.]

HADDOCK, n. A fish of the genus Gadus or cod, and order of Jugulars. It has a long body, the upper part of a dusky brown color, and the belly of a silvery hue; the lateral line is black. This fish breeds in immense numbers in the northern seas, and constitutes a considerable article of food.

HADE, n. Among miners, the steep descent of a shaft; also, the descent of a hill.

In mining, the inclination or deviation from the vertical of a mineral vein.

HAFT, n. [L. capio.] A handle; that part of an instrument or vessel which is taken into the hand, and by which it is held and used. It is used chiefly for the part of a sword or dagger by which it is held; the hilt.

H`AFT, v.t. To set in a haft; to furnish with a handle.

HAFTER, n. A caviller; a wrangler. [Not in use.]

HAG, n.

1. An ugly old woman; as an old hag of threescore.

2. A witch; a sorceress; an enchantress.

3. A fury; a she-monster.

4. A cartilaginous fish, the Gastrobranchus, which enters other fishes and devours them. It is about five or six inches long, and resembles a small eel. It is allied to the lamprey.

5. Appearances of light and fire on horses’ manes or men’s hair, were formerly called hags.

HAG, v.t. To harass; to torment.

1. To tire; to weary with vexation.


1. Literally, having a ragged look, as if hacked or gashed. Hence, lean; meager; rough; having eyes sunk in their orbits; ugly.

2. Wild; fierce; intractable; as a hagard hawk.


1. Any thing wild and intractable.

2. A species of hawk.

3. A hag.

HAGARDLY, adv. In a hagard or ugly manner; with deformity.

HAGBORN, n. Born of a hag or witch.

HAGGARD, n. A stack-yard.

HAGGESS, n. [from hack.] A mess of meat, generally pork, chopped and inclosed in a membrane.

1. A sheep’s head and pluck minced.

HAGGLE, v.t. To cut into small pieces; to notch or cut in an unskillful manner; to make rough by cutting; to mangle; as, a boy haggles a stick of wood.

Suffolk first died, and York all haggled o’er,

Comes to him where in gore he lay insteep’d.

HAGGLE, v.i. To be difficult in bargaining; to hesitate and cavil. [See Higgle.]

HAGGLED, pp. Cut irregularly into notches; made rough by cutting; mangled.

HAGGLER, n. One who haggles.

1. One who cavils, hesitates and makes difficulty in bargaining.

HAGGLING, ppr. Hacking; mangling; caviling and hesitating in bargaining.

HAGIOGRAPHAL, n. Pertaining to hagiography, which see.

HAGIOGRAPHER, n. [See the next word.] A writer of holy or sacred books.

HAGIOGRAPHY, n. [Gr. holy, and a writing.]

Sacred writings. The Jews divide the books of the Scriptures into three parts; the Law, which is contained in the five first books of the Old Testament; the Prophets, or Nevim; and the Cetuvim, or writings, by way of eminence. The latter class is called by the Greeks Hagiographa, comprehending the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ruth, Esther, Chronicles, Canticles, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes.

HAGISH, a. Of the nature of a hag; deformed; ugly; horrid.

HAG-RIDDEN, a. Afflicted with the nightmare.

HAGSHIP, n. The state or title of a hag or witch.

HAGUEBUT. [See Arquebuse.]

HAH, an exclamation expressing surprise or effort.

HAIL, n. Masses of ice or frozen vapor, falling from the clouds in showers or storms. These masses consist of little spherules united, but not all of the same consistence; some being as hard and solid as perfect ice; others soft, like frozen snow. Hailstones assume various figures; some are round, others angular, others pyramidical, others flat, and sometimes they are stellated with six radii, like crystals of snow.

HAIL, v.i. To pour down masses of ice or frozen vapors.
HAIL, v.t. To pour.
HAIL, a. [Gr. whole.] Sound; whole; healthy; not impaired by disease; as a hail body; hail corn. [In this sense, it is usually written hale.]
HAIL, an exclamation, or rather a verb in the imperative mode, being the adjective hail, used as a verb. Hail, be well; be in health; health to you; a term of salutation, equivalent to L. salve, salvete.

Hail, hail, brave friend.

HAIL, n. A wish of health; a salutation. This word is sometimes used as a noun; as, the angel hail bestowed.
HAIL, v.t. [L. calo. See Call and Heal.] To call; to call to a person at a distance, to arrest his attention. It is properly used in any case where the person accosted is distant, but is appropriately used by seamen. Hoa or hoi, the ship ahoay, is the usual manner of hailing; to which the answer is holloa, or hollo. Then follow the usual questions, whence came ye? where are you bound? etc.

HAILED, pp. Called to from a distance; accosted.

HAILING, ppr. Saluting; calling to from a distance.

1. Pouring down hail.

HAILSHOT, n. Small shot which scatter like hailstones. [Not used.]

HAILSTONE, n. A single mass of ice falling from a cloud.

HAILY, a. Consisting of hail; as haily showers.

HAINOUS, a. Properly, hateful; odious. Hence, great, enormous, aggravated; as a hainous sin or crime.

HAINOUSLY, adv. Hatefully; abominably; enormously.

HAINOUSNESS, n. Odiousness; enormity; as the hainousness of theft or robbery of any crime.

HAIR, n.

1. A small filament issuing from the skin of an animal, and from a bulbous root. Each filament contains a tube or hollow within, occupied by a pulp or pith, which is intended for its nutrition, and extends only to that part which is in a state of growth.

When hair means a single filament, it has a plural, hairs.

2. The collection or mass of filaments growing from the skin of an animal, and forming an integument or covering; as the hair of the head. Hair is the common covering of many beasts. When the filaments are very fine and short, the collection of them is called fur. Wool, also, is a kind of hair. When hair signifies a collection of these animal filaments, it has no plural.

3. Any thing very small or fine; or a very small distance; the breadth of a hair. He judges to a hair, that is, very exactly.

4. A trifling value. It is not worth a hair.

5. Course; order; grain; the hair falling in a certain direction. [Not used.]

You go against the hair of your profession.

6. Long, straight and distinct filaments on the surface of plants; a species of down or pubescence.

HAIRBELL, n. A plant, a species of hyacinth.

HAIR-BRAINED. [See Hare-brained.]

HAIR-BREADTH, n. [See Breadth.] The diameter or breadth of a hair; a very small distance.

--Seven hundred chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones to a hair-breadth. Judges 20:16.

It is used as an adjective; as a hair-breadth escape. But in New England, it is generally hair’s breadth.

HAIRCLOTH, n. Stuff or cloth made of hair, or in part with hair. In military affairs, pieces of this cloth are used for covering the powder in wagons, or on batteries, or for covering charged bombs, etc.

HAIRHUNG, a. Hanging by a hair.

HAIRLACE, n. A fillet for tying up the hair of the head.

HAIRLESS, a. Destitute of hair; bald; as hairless scalps.

HAIRINESS, n. [from hairy.] The state of abounding or being covered with hair.

HAIRPIN, n. A pin used in dressing the hair.

HAIRPOWDER, n. A fine powder of flour for sprinkling the hair of the head.

HAIR-SALT, n. A mixture of the sulphates of magnesia and iron; its taste resembles that of alum.

HAIRWORM, n. A genus of worms [vermes,] called Gordius; a filiform animal found in fresh water or in the earth. There are several species.

HAIRY, a. [from hair.] Overgrown with hair; covered with hair; abounding with hair.

Esau, my brother, is a hairy man. Genesis 27:11.

1. Consisting of hair; as hairy honors.

2. Resembling hair; of the nature of hair.

HAKE, n. A kind of fish, the Gadus merlucius; called by some authors lucius marinus. It was formerly salted and dried.

HAKOT, n. A fish.

HAL, in some names, signifies hall.

HALBERD, n. A military weapon, consisting of a pole or shaft of wood, with a head armed with a steel point, with a cross piece of steel, flat and pointed at both ends, or with a cutting edge at one end, and a bent point at the other. It is carried by sergeants of foot and dragoons.

HALBERDIER, n. One who is armed with a halberd.

HALCYON, n. hal’shon. [L. halcyon; Gr. a king-fisher.]

The name anciently given to the king-fisher, otherwise called alcedo; a bird that was said to lay her eggs in nests, on rocks near the sea, during the calm weather about the winter solstice. Hence,

HALCYON, a. Calm; quiet; peaceful; undisturbed; happy. Halcyon days were seven days before and as many after the winter solstice, when the weather was calm. Hence by halcyon days are now understood days of peace and tranquility.

HALCYONIAN, a. Halcyon; calm.

HALE, a. Sound; entire; healthy; robust; not impaired; as a hale body.

HALE, n. Welfare. [Not in use.]
HALE, v.t. To pull or draw with force; to drag. This is now more generally written and pronounced haul, which see. It is always to be pronounced haul.

HALF, n. haf. plu. halves, pron. h`avz.

One equal part of a thing which is divided into two parts, either in fact or in contemplation; a moiety; as half a pound; half a tract of land; half an orange; half the miseries or pleasures of life. It is applied to quantity, number, length, and every thing susceptible of division. In practice, of is often or usually omitted after half. We say, half a pound; half a mile; half the number.

Half the misery of life.

H`ALF, v.t. To divide into halves. [See Halve.]
H`ALF, adv. In part, or in an equal part of degree.

Half loth, and half consenting.

In composition, half denotes an equal part; or indefinitely, a part, and hence, imperfect.

HALFBLOOD, n. Relation between persons born of the same father or of the same mother, but not of both; as a brother or sister of the halfblood. The word is sometimes used as an adjective.