Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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PETAL — PHENIX

PETAL, n. [Gr. to expand; L. pateo.] In botany, a flower leaf. In flowers of one petal, the corol and petal are the same. In flowers of several petals, the corol is the whole, and the petals are the parts, or the petal is one of the leaves of which the whole corol is composed.

PETALED, PETALOUS, a. Having petals; as a petaled flower; opposed to apetalous. This word is much used in compounds; as one-petaled; three petaled.

PETALINE, a. Pertaining to a petal; attached to a petal; as a petaline nectary.

PETALISM, n. [Gr. See Petal.] A form of sentence among the ancient Syracusans, by which they proscribed a citizen whose wealth or popularity alarmed their jealousy, or who was suspected of aspiring to sovereign power; temporary proscription, or banishment for five years. The mode was to give their votes by writing his name on a leaf. Petalism in Syracuse answered to ostracism in Athens.

PETALITE, n. [Gr. a leaf.] A rare mineral occurring in masses, having a foliated structure; its color milk white or shaded with gray, red or green. The new alkali, lithia, was first discovered in this mineral.

PETALOID, a. [petal and Gr. form.] Having the form of petals.

PETAL-SHAPED, a. Having the shape of a petal.

PETARD, n. An engine of war made of metal, nearly in the shape of a hat, to be loaded with powder and fixed on a madrier or plank, and used to break gates, barricades, draw-bridges and the like, by explosion.

PETECHIAE, n. Purple spots which appear on the skin in malignant fevers.

PETECHIAL, a. Spotted. A petechial fever is a malignant fever accompanied with purple spots on the skin.

PETER, PETRE, [See Saltpeter.]

PETEREL, PETREL, n. An aquatic fowl of the genus Procellaria.

PETERPENCE, n. A tax or tribute formerly paid by the English people to the pope; being a penny for every house, payable at Lammas day. It was called also Romescot.

PETERWORT, n. A plant.

PETIOLAR, PETIOLARY, a. Pertaining to a petiole, or proceeding from it; as a petiolar tendril.

1. Formed from a petiole; as a petiolar bud.

2. Growing on a petiole; as a petiolar gland.

PETIOLATE, PETIOLED, a. Growing on a petiole; as a petiolate leaf.

PETIOLE, n. [L. petiolus, probably a diminutive from pes, pedis.]

In botany, a leaf-stalk; the foot-stalk of a leaf.

PETIT, a. pet’ty. Small; little; mean.

This word petit is now generally written petty.

Petit constable, an inferior civil officer subordinate to the high constable.

Petit jury, a jury of twelve freeholders who are empanneled to try causes at the bar of a court; so called in distinction from the grand jury, which tries the truth of indictments.

Petit larceny, the stealing of goods of the value of twelve pence, or under that amount; opposed to grand larceny.

Petit serjeanty, in English law, the tenure of lands of the king, by the service of rendering to him annually some implement of war, as a bow, an arrow, a sword, lance, etc.

Petit treason, the crime of killing a person, to whom the offender owes duty or subjection. Thus it is petit treason for a wife to kill her husband, or a servant his lord or master.

PETIT-MAITRE, n. pet’ty-maitre. A spruce fellow that dangles about females; a fop; a coxcomb.

PETITION, n. [L. petitio, from peto, to ask, properly to urge or press.]

1. In a general sense, a request, supplication or prayer; but chiefly and appropriately, a solemn or formal supplication; a prayer addressed by a person to the Supreme Being, for something needed or desired, or a branch or particular article of prayer.

2. A formal request or supplication, verbal or written; particularly, a written supplication from an inferior to a superior, either to a single person clothed with power, or to a legislative or other body, soliciting some favor, grant, right or mercy.

3. The paper containing a supplication or solicitation. Much of the time of our legislative bodies is consumed in attending to private petitions. The speaker’s table is often loaded with petitions. Petitions to the king of Great Britain must contain nothing reflecting on the administration.

PETITION, v.t. To make a request to; to ask from; to solicit; particularly, to make supplication to a superior for some favor or right; as, to petition the legislature; to petition a court of chancery.

The mother petitioned her goddess to bestow on them the greatest gift that could be given.

PETITIONARILY, adv. By way of begging the question.

PETITIONARY, a. Supplicatory; coming with a petition.

Pardon thy petitionary countrymen.

1. Containing a petition or request; as a petitionary prayer; a petitionary epistle.

PETITIONER, n. One that presents a petition, either verbal or written.

PETITIONING, ppr. Asking as a favor, grant, right or mercy; supplicating.

PETITIONING, n. The act of asking or soliciting; solicitation; supplication. Tumultuous petitioning is made penal by statute.

PETITORY, a. Petitioning; soliciting. [Not used.]

PETONG, n. The Chinese name of a species of copper of a white color. It is sometimes confounded with tutenag.

PETREAN, a. [L. petra, a rock.] Pertaining to rock or stone.

PETRESCENCE, n. The process of changing into stone.

PETRESCENT, a. [Gr. a stone; L. petra.]

Converting into stone; changing into stony hardness.

PETRIFACTION, n. [See Petrify.] The process of changing into stone; the conversion of wood or any animal or vegetable substance into stone or a body of stony hardness.

When the water in which wood is lodged is slightly impregnated with petrescent particles, the petrifaction very slowly takes place.

1. That which is converted from animal or vegetable substance into stone.

--The calcarious petrifaction called osteocolla.

An organized body rendered hard by depositions of stony matter in its cavities.

2. In popular usage, a body incrusted with stony matter; an incrustation.

PETRIFACTIVE, a. Pertaining to petrifaction.

1. Having power to convert vegetable or animal substances into stone.

PETRIFIC, a. Having power to convert into stone.

The cold, dry, petrific mace of a false and unfeeling philosophy.

PETRIFICATE, v.t. To petrify. [Not used.]

PETRIFICATION, n. The process of petrifying.

1. That which is petrified; a petrifaction.

[The latter word is generally used.]

2. Obduracy; callousness.

PETRIFIED, pp. Changed into stone.

1. Fixed in amazement.

PETRIFY, v.t. [L. petra; Gr. a stone or rock, and facio, to make.]

1. To convert to stone or stony substance; as an animal or vegetable substance.

North of Quito, there is a river that petrifies any sort of wood or leaves.

2. To make callous or obdurate; as, to petrify the heart.

And petrify a genius to a dunce.

3. To fix; as, to petrify one with astonishment.

PETRIFY, v.i. To become stone, or of a stony hardness, as animal or vegetable substances by means of calcarious or other depositions in their cavities.

PETRIFYING, ppr. Converting into stone; as petrifying operation.

PETROL, PETROLEUM, n. [Gr. a stone, and oil; quasi petrolaion.]

Rock oil, a liquid inflammable substance or bitumen exuding from the earth and collected on the surface of the water in wells, in various parts of the world, or oozing from cavities in rocks. This is essentially composed of carbon and hydrogen.

PETRONEL, n. A horseman’s pistol.

PETROSILEX, n. [L. petra, Gr. a stone, and silex, flint.]

Rock stone; rock flint, or compact feldspar.

PETROSILICIOUS, a. Consisting of petrosilex; as petrosilicious breccias.

PETROUS, a. [L. petra, a stone.] Like stone; hard; stony.

PETTICOAT, n. A garment worn by females and covering the lower limbs.

PETTIFOG, v.i. [L. voco, like advocate.]

To do small business; as a lawyer. [Vulgar.]

PETTIFOGGER, n. An inferior attorney or lawyer who is employed in small or mean business.

PETTIFOGGERY, n. The practice of a pettifogger; tricks; quibbles.

PETTINESS, n. [from petty.] Smallness; littleness.

PETTISH, a. [from pet.] Fretful; peevish; subject to freaks of ill temper.

PETTISHLY, adv. In a pet; with a freak of ill temper.

PETTISHNESS, a. Fretfulness; petulance; peevishness.

PETTITOES, n. [petty and toes.] The toes or feet of a pig; sometimes used for the human feet in contempt.

PETTO, n. [L. pectus, the breast.]

The breast; hence, in petto, in secrecy; in reserve.

PETTY, a. Small; little; trifling; inconsiderable; as a petty trespass; a petty crime.

1. Inferior; as a petty prince.

We usually write petty constable, petty jury, petty larceny, petty treason. [See Petit.]

PETTYCHAPS, n. A small bird of the genus Motacilla, called also beambird; found in the north of Europe.

The beambird is the spotted fly-catcher, of the genus Muscicapa.

PETTYCOY, n. An herb.

PETULANCEULANCY, n. [L. petulantia.] Freakish passion; peevishness; pettishness; sauciness. Peevishness is not precisely synonymous with petulance; the former implying more permanence of a sour, fretful temper; the latter more temporary or capricious irritation.

That which looked like pride in some, and petulance in others.

The pride and petulance of youth.

PETULANT, a. [L. petulans.] Saucy; pert or forward with fretfulness or sourness of temper; as a petulant youth.

1. Manifesting petulance; proceeding from pettishness; as a petulant demand; a petulant answer.

2. Wanton; freakish in passion.

PETULANTLY, adv. With petulance; with saucy pertness.

PETUNSE, PETUNTSE, PETUNTZE, n. petuns’. Porcelain clay so called, used by the Chinese in the manufacture of porcelain or chinaware. It is a variety of feldspar.

PEW, n. [L. podium.] An inclosed seat in a church. Pews were formerly made square; in modern churches in America they are generally long and narrow, and sometimes called slips.

PEW, v.t. To furnish with pews. [Little used.]

PEWET, n. An aquatic fowl, the sea crow or mire crow, of the genus Larus.

1. The lapwing.

PEW-FELLOW, n. A companion.

PEWTER, n.

1. A composition or factitious metal, consisting of tin and lead, or tin, lead and brass, in the proportions of a hundred pounds of tin to fifteen of lead, and six of brass. This was formerly in extensive use in domestic utensils or vessels; but being a soft composition and easily melted, is now less used.

2. Vessels or utensils made of pewter; as plates, dishes, porringers and the like.

PEWTERER, n. One whose occupation is to make vessels and utensils of pewter.

PHAETON, n. [Gr. to shine.]

1. In mythology, the son of Phoebus and Clymene, or of Cephalus and Aurora, that is, the son of light or of the sun. This aspiring youth begged of Phoebus that he would permit him to guide the chariot of the sun, in doing which he manifested want of skill, and being struck with a thunderbolt by Jupiter, he was hurled headlong into the river Po. This fable probably originated in the appearance of a comet with a splendid train, which passed from the sight in the northwest of Italy and Greece.

2. An open carriage like a chaise, on four wheels, and drawn by two horses.

3. In ornithology, a genus of fowls, the tropic bird.

PHAGEDENIC, a. [Gr. to eat.] Eating or corroding flesh; as a phagedenic ulcer or medicine.

Phagedenic water, is made from quick lime and corrosive sublimate.

PHAGEDENIC, n. A medicine or application that eats away proud or fungous flesh.

PHALANGIOUS, a. [Gr. a kind of spider.] Pertaining to the genus of spiders denominated phalangium.

PHALANGITE, n. [Gr. a legionary soldier.]

A soldier belonging to a phalanx.

PHALANX, n. In Grecian antiquity, a square battalion or body of soldiers, formed in ranks and files close and deep, with their shields joined and pikes crossing each other, so as to render it almost impossible to break it. The Macedonian phalanx, celebrated for its force, consisted of 8000 men; but smaller bodies of soldiers were called by the same name.

1. Any body of troops or men formed in close array, or any combination of people distinguished for firmness and solidity of union.

2. In anatomy, the three rows of small bones forming the fingers.

3. In natural history, a term used to express the arrangement of the columns of a sort of fossil corolloid, called lithostrotion, found in Wales.

PHALAROPE, n. The name of several species of water fowls inhabiting the northern latitudes of Europe and America.

PHANTASM, n. [Gr. to show, to shine, to appear.]

That which appears to the mind; the image of an external object; hence, an idea or notion. It usually denotes a vain or airy appearance; something imagined.

All the interim is

Like a phantasm or a hideous dream.

PHANTASTIC, PHANTASY, [See Fantastic and Fancy.]

PHANTOM, n. [L. phantasma.]

1. Something that appears; an apparition; a specter.

Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise.

2. A fancied vision.

PHARAON, n. The name of a game of chance.

PHARAONIC, a. Pertaining to the Pharaohs or kings of Egypt, or to the old Egyptians.

PHARISAICICAL, a. [from Pharisee.] Pertaining to the Pharisees; resembling the Pharisees, a sect among the Jews, distinguished by their zeal for the traditions of the elders, and by their exact observance of these traditions and the ritual law. Hence pharisaic denotes addicted to external forms and ceremonies; making a show of religion without the spirit of it; as pharisaic holiness.

PHARISAICALNESS, n. Devotion to external rites and ceremonies; external show of religion without the spirit of it.

PHARISAISM, n. The notions, doctrines and conduct of the Pharisees, as a sect.

1. Rigid observance of external forms of religion without genuine piety; hypocrisy in religion.

PHARISEAN, a. Following the practice of the Pharisees.

PHARISEE, n. [Heb. to separate.] One of a sect among the Jews, whose religion consisted in a strict observance of rites and ceremonies and of the traditions of the elders, and whose pretended holiness led them to separate themselves as a sect, considering themselves as more righteous than other Jews.

PHARMACEUTIC, PHARMACEUTICAL, a. [Gr. to practice witchcraft or use medicine; poison or medicine.] Pertaining to the knowledge or art of pharmacy, or to the art of preparing medicines.

PHARMACEUTICALLY, adv. In the manner of pharmacy.

PHARMACEUTICS, n. The science of preparing and exhibiting medicines.

PHARMACOLITE, n. Arseniate of lime, snow white or milk white, inclining to reddish or yellowish white. It occurs in small reniform, botryoidal and globular masses, and has a silky luster.

PHARMACOLOGIST, n. [Gr.] One that writes on drugs, or the composition and preparation of medicines.

PHARMACOLOGY, n. [supra.] The science or knowledge of drugs, or the art of preparing medicines.

1. A treatise on the art of preparing medicines.

PHARMACOPAEIA, PHARMACOPY, n. [Gr. to make.] A dispensatory; a book or treatise describing the preparations of the several kinds of medicines, with their uses and manner of application.

PHARMACOPOLIST, n. [Gr. to sell.]

One that sells medicines; an apothecary.

PHARMACY, n. [Gr. a medicament, whether salutary or poisonous.]

The art or practice of preparing, preserving and compounding substances, whether vegetable, mineral or animal, for the purposes of medicine; the occupation of an apothecary.

PHAROS, n. [Gr. This word is generally supposed to be taken from the name of a small isle, near Alexandria, in Egypt. But qu. is not the word from the root of fire, or from the Celtic fairim, to watch, and the isle so called from the tower upon it?]

1. A light-house or tower which anciently stood on a small isle of that name, adjoining the Egyptian shore, over against Alexandria. It consisted of several stories and galleries, with a lantern on the top, which was kept burning at night as a guide to seamen.

2. Any light-house for the direction of seamen; a watch-tower; a beacon.

PHARYNGOTOMY, n. [Gr. the muscular and glandular bag that leads to the esophagus, and to cut.]

The operation of making an incision into the pharynx to remove a tumor or any thing that obstructs the passage.

PHASE, PHASIS, n. plu. phases. [Gr. to shine.]

1. In a general sense, an appearance; that which is exhibited to the eye; appropriately, any appearance or quantity of illumination of the moon or other planet. The moon presents different phases at the full and the quadratures.

2. In mineralogy, transparent green quartz.

PHASEL, n. [Gr.] The French bean or kidney bean.

PHASM, PHASMA, n. [Gr. supra.] Appearance; fancied apparition; phantom.

[Little used.]

PHASSACHATE, n. The lead colored agate. [See Agate.]

PHEASANT, n. phez’ant. [L. phasianus.] A fowl of the genus Phasianus, of beautiful plumage, and its flesh delicate food.

PHEER, n. A companion. [See Peer.]

PHEESE, v.t. To comb. [See Fease.]

PHENGITE, n. [Gr. to shine.] A beautiful species of alabaster, superior in brightness to most species of marbles.

PHENICOPTER, n. [Gr. red winged; red, and wing.]

A fowl of the genus Phaenicopterus, the flamingo, inhabiting the warm latitudes of both continents.

PHENIX, n. [L. phoenix, the palm or date tree, and a fowl.]

1. The fowl which is said to exist single, and to rise again from its own ashes.

2. A person of singular distinction.