Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PENCILING, ppr. Painting, drawing or marking with a pencil.

PENCIL-SHAPED, a. Having the shape of a pencil.

PENDANT, n. [L. pendeo, to hang.]

1. An ornament or jewel hanging at the ear, usually composed of pearl or some precious stone.

2. Any thing hanging by way of ornament.

3. In heraldry, a part hanging from the label, resembling the drops in the Doric frieze.

4. A streamer; a small flag or long narrow banner displayed from a ship’s mast head, usually terminating in two points called the swallow’s tail. It denotes that a ship is in actual service. The broad pendant is used to distinguish the chief of a squadron.

5. A short piece of rope fixed on each side under the shrouds, on the heads of the main and fore-mast, having an iron thimble to receive the hooks of the tackle.

There are many other pendants consisting of a rope or ropes, to whose lower extremity is attached a block or tackle. The rudder-pendant is a rope made fast to the rudder by a chain, to prevent the loss of the rudder when unshipped.

6. A pendulum. [Not used.]

PENDENCE, n. [L. pendens, pendeo, to hang.] Slope; inclination.

PENDENCY, n. [L. pendens, pendeo, supra.] Suspense; the state of being undecided; as, to wait during the pendency of a suit or petition.

PENDENT, a. [L. pendens.] Hanging; fastened at one end, the other being loose.

With ribbons pendent, flaring about her head.

1. Jutting over; projecting; as a pendant rock.

2. Supported above the ground.

PENDING, a. [L. pendeo, to hang; pendente lite.] Depending; remaining undecided; not terminated. This was done, pending the suit.

PENDULOSITY, PENDULOUSNESS, n. [See Pendulous.] The state of hanging; suspension. [The latter is the preferable word.]

PENDULOUS, a. [L. pendulus, from pendeo, to hang.]

Hanging; swinging; fastened to one end, the other being movable. The dewlap of an animal is pendulous.

PENDULUM, n. [L. pendulus, pendulum.] A vibrating body suspended from a fixed point; as the pendulum of a clock. The oscillations of a pendulum depend on gravity, and are always performed in nearly equal times, supposing the length of the pendulum and the gravity to remain the same.

PENETRABILITY, n. [from penetrable.] Susceptibility of being penetrated, or of being entered or passed through by another body.

There being no mean between penetrability and impenetrability.

PENETRABLE, a. [L. penetrabilis. See Penetrate.]

1. That may be penetrated, entered, or pierced by another body.

Let him try thy dart,

And pierce his only penetrable part.

2. Susceptible of moral or intellectual impression.

I am not made of stone,

But penetrable to your kind entreaties.

PENETRAIL, n. [L. penetralia.] Interior parts. [Not used.]

PENETRANCY, n. [L. penetrans.] Power of entering or piercing; as the penetrancy of subtil effluvia.

PENETRANT, a. [L. penetrans.] Having the power to enter or pierce; sharp; subtil; as penetrant spirit; food subtilized and rendered fluid and penetrant.

PENETRATE, v.t. [L. penetro, from the root of pen, a point.]

1. To enter or pierce; to make way into another body; as, a sword or dart penetrates the body; oil penetrates wood; marrow, the most penetrating of oil substances.

2. To affect the mind; to cause to feel. I am penetrated with a lively sense of your generosity.

3. To reach by the intellect; to understand; as, to penetrate the meaning or design of any thing.

4. To enter; to pass into the interior; as, to penetrate a country.

PENETRATE, v.i. To pass; to make way.

Born where heaven’s influence scarce can penetrate.

1. To make way intellectually. He had not penetrated into the designs of the prince.

PENETRATED, pp. Entered; pierced; understood; fathomed.

PENETRATING, ppr. Entering; piercing; understanding.

1. a. Having the power of entering or piercing another body; sharp; subtil. Oil is a penetrating substance.

2. Acute; discerning; quick to understand; as a penetrating mind.

PENETRATION, n. The act of entering a body.

1. Mental entrance into any thing abstruse; as a penetration into the abstruse difficulties of algebra.

2. Acuteness; sagacity; as a man of great or nice penetration.

PENETRATIVE, a. Piercing; sharp; subtil.

Let not air be too gross nor too penetrative.

1. Acute; sagacious; discerning; as penetrative wisdom.

2. Having the power to affect or impress the mind; as penetrative shame.

PENETRATIVENESS, n. The quality of being penetrative.

PENFISH, n. A kind of eelpout with a smooth skin.

PENGUIN, n. [L. pinguidine, with fatness.]

1. A genus of fowls of the order of Palmipeds. The penguin is an aquatic fowl with very short legs, with four toes, three of which are webbed; the body is clothed with short feathers, set as compactly as the scales of a fish; the wings are small like fins, and covered with short scale-like feathers, so that they are useless in flight. Penguins seldom go on shore, except in the season of breeding, when they burrow like rabbits. On land they stand erect; they are tame and may be driven like a flock of sheep. In water they swim with rapidity, being assisted by their wings. These fowls are found only in the southern latitudes.

2. A species of fruit.

PENICIL, n. [L. penicillus. See Pencil.]

1. Among physicians, a tent or pledget for wounds or ulcers.

2. A species of shell.

PENINSULA, n. [L. pene, almost, and insula, an isle.]

1. A portion of land, connected with a continent by a narrow neck or isthmus, but nearly surrounded with water. Thus Boston stands on a peninsula.

2. A large extent of country joining the main land by a part narrower than the tract itself. Thus Spain and Portugal are said to be situated on a peninsula.

PENINSULAR, a. In the form or state of a peninsula; pertaining to a peninsula.

PENINSULATE, v.t. To encompass almost with water; to form a peninsula.

South river peninsulates Castle hill farm, and at high tides, surrounds it.

PENINSULATED, pp. Almost surrounded with water.

PENINSULATING, ppr. Nearly surrounding with water.

PENITENCE, PENITENCY, n. [L. poenitentia, from poeniteo, from poena, pain, punishment. See Pain.] Repentance; pain; sorrow or grief of heart for sins or offenses; contrition. Real penitence springs from a conviction of guilt and ingratitude to God, and is followed by amendment of life.

PENITENT, a. [L. poenitens.] Suffering pain or sorrow of heart on account of sins, crimes or offenses; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt and resolving on amendment of life.

The proud he tam’d, the penitent he cheer’d.

PENITENT, n. One that repents of sin; one sorrowful on account of his transgressions.

1. One under church censure, but admitted to penance.

2. One under the direction of a confessor.

Penitents is an appellation given to certain fraternities in catholic countries, distinguished by their habits and employed in charitable acts.

Order of penitents, a religious order established by one Bernard of Marseilles, about the year 1272, for the reception of reformed courtezans. The congregation of penitents at Paris, was founded with a similar view.

PENITENTIAL, a. Proceeding from or expressing penitence or contrition of heart; as penitential sorrow or tears.

PENITENTIAL, n. Among the Romanists, a book containing the rules which relate to penance and the reconciliation of penitents.

PENITENTIARY, a. Relating to penance, or to the rules and measures of penance.

PENITENTIARY, n. One that prescribes the rules and measures of penance.

1. A penitent; one that does penance.

2. At the court of Rome, an office in which are examined and delivered out the secret bulls, graces or dispensations relating to cases of conscience, confession, etc.

3. An officer in some cathedrals, vested with power from the bishop to absolve in cases reserved to him. The pope has a grand penitentiary, who is a cardinal and is chief of the other penitentiaries.

4. A house of correction in which offenders are confined for punishment and reformation, and compelled to labor; a workhouse. A state prison is a penitentiary.

PENITENTLY, adv. With penitence; with repentance, sorrow or contrition for sin.

PENKNIFE, n. [See Pen and Knife.] A small knife used for making and mending pens.

PENMAN, n. plu. penmen. [See Pen and Man.]

1. A man that professes or teaches the art of writing. More generally,

2. One that writes a good hand.

3. An author; a writer; as the sacred penmen.

PENMANSHIP, n. The use of the pen in writing; the art of writing.

1. Manner of writing; as good or bad penmanship.

PENNACHED, a. Radiated; diversified with natural stripes of various colors; as a flower. [Little used.]

PENNANT, PENNON, n. [L. pannus, a cloth]

1. A small flag; a banner. [See Pendant.]

2. A tackle for hoisting things on board a ship.

PENNATE, PENNATED, a. [L. pennatus, winged, from penna, a quill or wing.]

1. Winged.

2. In botany, a pennate leaf is a compound leaf in which a simple petiole has several leaflets attached to each side of it. [See Pinnate.]

PENNED, pp. Written.

PENNED, a. Winged; having plumes.

PENNER, n. A writer.

1. A pen-case. [Local.]

PENNIFORM, a. [L. penna, a feather or quill, and form.]

Having the form of a quill or feather.

PENNILESS, a. [from penny.] Moneyless; destitute of money; poor.

PENNING, ppr. Committing to writing.

PENNON. [See Pennant.]

PENNY, n. plu. pennies or pence. Pennies denotes the number of coins; pence the amount of pennies in value.

1. An ancient English silver coin; but now an imaginary money of account, twelve of which are equal to a shilling. It is the radical denomination from which English coin is numbered.

2. In ancient English statutes, any or all silver money.

3. Proverbially, a small sum. He will not lend a penny.

4. Money in general.

Be sure to turn the penny.

PENNYPOST, n. One that carries letters from the post office and delivers them to the proper persons for a penny or other small compensation.

PENNYROYAL, n. A plant of the genus Mentha.

The English pennyroyal is the Mentha pulegium; the N. American pennyroyal is the Cunila pulegioides.

PENNYWEIGHT, n. A troy weight containing twenty four grains, each grain being equal in weight to a grain of wheat from the middle of the ear, well dried. It was anciently the weight of a silver penny, whence the name. Twenty penny-weights make an ounce troy.

PENNYWISE, a. Saving small sums at the hazard of larger; niggardly on improper occasions.

PENNYWORTH, n. As much as is bought for a penny.

1. Any purchase; any thing bought or sold for money; that which is worth the money given.

2. A good bargain; something advantageously purchased, or for less than it is worth.

3. A small quantity.

PENSILE, a. [L. pensilis, from pendeo, to hang.]

1. Hanging; suspended; as a pensile bell.

2. Supported above the ground; as a pensile garden.

PENSILENESS, n. The state of hanging.

PENSION, n. [L. pensio, form pendo, pensum, to pay.]

1. An annual allowance of a sum of money to a person by government in consideration of past services, civil or military. Men often receive pensions for eminent services on retiring from office. But in particular, officers, soldiers and seamen receive pensions when they are disabled for further services.

2. An annual payment by an individual to an old or disabled servant.

3. In Great Britain, an annual allowance made by government to indigent widows of officers killed or dying in public service.

4. Payment of money; rent.

5. A yearly payment in the inns of court.

6. A certain sum of money paid to a clergyman in lieu of tithes.

7. An allowance or annual payment, considered in the light of a bribe.

PENSION, v.t. To grant a pension to; to grant an annual allowance from the public treasury to a person for past services, or on account of disability incurred in public service, or of old age.

PENSIONARY, a. Maintained by a pension; receiving a pension; as pensionary spies.

1. Consisting in a pension; as a pensionary provision for maintenance.

PENSIONARY, n. A person who receives a pension from government for past services, or a yearly allowance from some prince, company or individual.

1. The first minister of the states of the province of Holland; also, the first minister of the regency of a city in Holland.

PENSIONED, pp. Having a pension.

PENSIONER, n. One to whom an annual sum of money is paid by government in consideration of past services.

1. One who receives an annual allowance for services.

2. A dependant.

3. In the university of Cambridge, and in that of Dublin, an undergraduate or bachelor of arts who lives at his own expense.

4. One of an honorable band of gentlemen who attend on the king of England, and receive a pension or an annual allowance of a hundred pounds. This band was instituted by Henry VII. Their duty is to guard the king’s person in his own house.

PENSIONING, ppr. Granting an annual allowance for past services.

PENSIVE, a. [L. penso, to weigh, to consider; pendo, to weigh.]

1. Literally, thoughtful; employed in serious study or reflection; but it often implies some degree of sorrow, anxiety, depression or gloom of mind; thoughtful and sad, or sorrowful.

Anxious cares the pensive nymph oppress’d.

2. Expressing thoughtfulness with sadness; as pensive numbers; pensive strains.

PENSIVELY, adv. With thoughtfulness; with gloomy seriousness or some degree of melancholy.

PENSIVENESS, n. Gloomy thoughtfulness; melancholy; seriousness from depressed spirits.

PENSTOCK, n. [pen and stock.] A narrow or confined place formed by a frame of timber planked or boarded, for holding or conducting the water of a mill-pond to a wheel, and furnished with a flood gate which may be shut or opened at pleasure.

PENT, pp. of pen. Shut up; closely confined.

PENTACAPSULAR, a. [Gr. five, and capsular.] In botany, having five capsules.

PENTACHORD, n. [Gr. five, and chord.]

1. An instrument of music with five strings.

2. An order or system of five sounds.

PENTACOCCOUS, a. [Gr. five, and L. coccus, a berry.]

Having or containing five grains or seeds, or having five cells with one seed in each.

PENTACOSTER, n. [Gr.] In ancient Greece, a military officer commanding fifty men; but the number varied.

PENTACOSTYS, n. [Gr.] A body of fifty soldiers; but the number varied.

PENTACRINITE, n. The fossil remains of a zoophyte.

PENTACROSTIC, a. [Gr. five, and acrostic.] Containing five acrostics of the same name in five divisions of each verse.

PENTACROSTIC, n. A set of verses so disposed as to have five acrostics of the same name in five divisions of each verse.

PENTADACTYL, n. [Gr. five, and finger.]

1. In botany, a plant called five fingers; a name given to the Ricinus or Palma Christi, from the shape of its leaf.

2. In ichthyology, the five fingered fish; a name given to a fish common in the East Indian seas, which has five black streaks on each side resembling the prints of five fingers.

PENTAGON, n. [Gr. five, and a corner.]

1. In geometry, a figure of five sides and five angles.

2. In fortification, a fort with five bastions.

PENTAGONAL, PENTAGONOUS, a. Having five corners or angles.

PENTAGRAPH, n. [Gr. five, and to write.] An instrument for drawing figures in any proportion at pleasure, or for copying or reducing a figure, plan, print, etc. to any desired size.

PENTAGRAPHIC, PENTAGRAPHICAL, a. Pertaining to a pentagraph; performed by a pentagraph.

PENTAGYN, n. [Gr. five, and a female.] In botany, a plant having five pistils.

PENTAGYNIAN, a. Having five pistils.

PENTAHEDRAL, PENTAHEDROUS, a. Having five equal sides.

PENTAHEDRON, n. [Gr. five, and a side or base.]

A figure having five equal sides.

PENTAHEXAHEDRAL, a. [Gr. five, and hexahedral.] In crystalography, exhibiting five ranges of faces one above another, each range containing six faces.

PENTAMETER, n. [Gr. five, and measure.] In ancient poetry, a verse of five feet. The two first feet may be either dactyls or spondees; the third is always a spondee, and the two last anapests. A pentameter verse subjoined to a hexameter, constitutes what is called elegiac.

PENTAMETER, a. Having five metrical feet.

PENTANDER, n. [Gr. five, and a male.] In botany, a plant having five stamens.

PENTANDRIAN, a. Having five stamens.

PENTANGULAR, a. [Gr. five, and angular.]

Having five corners or angles.

PENTAPETALOUS, a. [Gr. five, and a petal.]

Having five petals or flower leaves.

PENTAPHYLLOUS, a. [Gr. five, and a leaf.] Having five leaves.

PENTARCHY, n. [Gr. five, and rule.]

A government in the hands of five persons.

PENTASPAST, n. [Gr. five, and to draw.]

An engine with five pulleys.

PENTASPERMOUS, a. [Gr. five, and seed.] Containing five seeds.

PENTASTICH, n. [Gr. five, and verse.]

A composition consisting of five verses.

PENTASTYLE, n. [Gr. five, and a column.] In architecture, a work containing five rows of columns.

PENTATEUCH, n. [Gr. five, and a book or composition.]

The first five books of the Old Testament.

PENTECONTER, n. [from the Greek.] A Grecian vessel of fifty oars, smaller than a trireme.

PENTECOST, n. [Gr. fiftieth.]

1. A solemn festival of the Jews, so called because celebrated on the fiftieth day after the sixteenth of Nisan, which was the second day of the passover. It was called the feast of weeks, because it was celebrated seven weeks after the passover. It was instituted to oblige the people to repair to the temple of the Lord, there to acknowledge his absolute dominion over the country, and offer him the first fruits of their harvest; also that they might call to mind and give thanks to God for the law which he had given them at Sinai on the fiftieth day from their departure from Egypt.

2. Whitsuntide, a solemn feast of the church, held in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. Acts 2:1.

PENTECOSTAL, a. Pertaining to Whitsuntide.

PENTECOSTALS, n. Oblations formerly made by parishioners to the parish priest at the feast of Pentecost, and sometimes by inferior churches to the mother church.

PENTHOUSE, n. A shed standing aslope from the main wall or building.

PENTICE, n. [L. pendo, to bend.] A sloping roof. [Little used.]

PENTILE, n. A tile for covering the sloping part of a roof.

PENTREMITE, n. A genus of zoophytes or fossil shells.