Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PIN-FETHERED, a. Having the fethers only beginning to shoot; not fully fledged.

PINFOLD, n. [pin or pen and fold; Eng. to pound.]

A place in which beasts are confined. We now call it a pound.

PINGLE, n. A small close. [Not used.]

PINGUID, a. [L. pinguis; Gr. compact; L. pactus; Eng. pack.]

Fat; unctuous. [Not used.]

PINHOLE, n. A small hole made by the puncture or perforation of a pin; a very small aperture.

PINING, ppr. Languishing; wasting away.

PINION, n. pin’yon.

1. The joint of a fowl’s wing, remotest from the body.

2. A fether; a quill.

3. A wing.

Hope humbly then, on trembling pinions soar.

4. The tooth of a smaller wheel, answering to that of a larger.

5. Fetters or bands for the arms.

PINION, v.t. pin’yon. To bind or confine the wings.

1. To confine by binding the wings.

2. To cut off the first joint of the wing.

3. To bind or confine the arm or arms to the body.

4. To confine; to shackle; to chain; as, to be pinioned by formal rules of state.

5. To bind; to fasten to.

PINIONED, pp. Confined by the wings; shackled.

1. a. Furnished with wings.

PINIONIST, n. A winged animal; a fowl. [Not used.]

PINIROLO, n. A bird resembling the sandpiper, but larger; found in Italy.

PINITE, n. [from Pini, a mine in Saxony.]

A mineral holding a middle place between steatite and mica; the micarel of Kirwan. It is found in prismatic crystals of a greenish white color, brown or deep red. It occurs also massive.

PINK, n.

1. An eye, or a small eye; but now disused except in composition, as in pink-eyed, pink-eye.

2. A plant and flower of the genus Dianthus, common in our gardens.

3. A color used by painters; from the color of the flower.

4. Any thing supremely excellent.

5. A ship with a very narrow stern.

6. A fish, the minnow.

PINK, v.t. To work in eyelet-holes; to pierce with small holes.

1. To stab; to pierce.

PINK-EYED, a. Having small eyes.

PINK-NEEDLE, n. A shepherd’s bodkin.

PIN-STERNED, a. Having a very narrow stern; as a ship.

PIN-MAKER, n. One whose occupation is to make pins.

PIN-MONEY, n. A sum of money allowed or settled on a wife for her private expenses.

PINNACE, n. A small vessel navigated with oars and sails, and having generally two masts rigged like those of a schooner; also, a boat usually rowed with eight oars.

PINNACLE, n. [L. pinna.]

1. A turret, or part of a building elevated above the main building.

Some metropolis

With glistering spires and pinnacles adorn’d.

2. A high spiring point; summit.

PINNACLE, v.t. To build or furnish with pinnacles.

PINNACLED, pp. Furnished with pinnacles.

PINNAGE, n. Poundage of cattle. [Not used.] [See Pound.]

PINNATE, PINNATED, a. [L. pinnatus, from pinna, a fether or fin.]

In botany, a pinnate leaf is a species of compound leaf wherein a simple petiole has several leaflets attached to each side of it.

PINNATIFID, a. [L. pinna, a fether, and findo, to cleave.]

In botany, fether-cleft. A pinnatifid leaf is a species of simple leaf, divided transversely by oblong horizontal segments or jags, not extending to the mid rib.

PINNATIPED, a. [L. pinna and pes, foot.] Fin-footed; having the toes bordered by membranes.

PINNED, pp. Fastened with pins; confined.

PINNER, n. One that pins or fastens; also, a pounder of cattle, or the pound keeper.

1. A pin-maker.

2. The lappet of a head which flies loose.

PINNITE, n. Fossil remains of the Pinna, a genus of shells.

PINNOCK, n. A small bird, the tomtit.

PINNULATE, a. A pinnulate leaf is one in which each pinna is subdivided.

PINT, n. Half a quart, or four gills. In medicine, twelve ounces. It is applied both to liquid and dry measure.

PINTLE, n. A little pin. In artillery, a long iron bolt.

PINULES, n. plu. In astronomy, the sights of an astrolabe.


1. In the art and practice of war, one whose business is to march with or before an army, to repair the road or clear it of obstructions, work at intrenchments, or form mines for destroying an enemy’s works.

2. One that goes before to remove obstructions or prepare the way for another.

PIONING, n. The work of pioneers. [Not used.]

PIONY, PEONY, n. [L. poeonia; Gr. from Apollo, a physician, and a hymn.]

An herbaceous perennial plant of the genus Paeonia, with tuberous roots, and bearing large beautiful red flowers.

PIOUS, a. [L. pius.]

1. Godly; reverencing and honoring the Supreme Being in heart and in the practice of the duties he has enjoined; having due veneration and affection for the character of God, and habitually obeying his commands; religious; devoted to the service of God; applied to persons.

2. Dictated by reverence to God; proceeding from piety; applied to things; as pious awe; pious services of affections; pious sorrow.

3. Having due respect and affection for parents or other relatives; practicing the duties of respect and affection towards parents or other near relatives.

4. Practiced under the pretense of religion; as pious frauds.

PIOUSLY, adv. In a pious manner; with reverence and affection for God; religiously; with due regard to sacred things or to the duties God has enjoined.

1. With due regard to natural or civil relations and to the duties which spring from them.

PIP, n. A disease of fowls; a horny pellicle that grows on the tip of their tongue.

1. A spot on cards.

PIP, v.i. [L. pipio.] To cry or chirp, as a chicken; commonly pronounced peep.

PIPE, n. [Eng. fife.]

1. A wind instrument of music, consisting of a long tube of wood or metal; as a rural pipe. The word, I believe, is not now the proper technical name of any particular instrument, but is applicable to any tubular wind instrument, and it occurs in bagpipe.

2. A long tube or hollow body; applied to the veins and arteries of the body, and to many hollow bodies, particularly such as are used for conductors of water or other fluids.

3. A tube of clay with a bowl at one end; used in smoking tobacco.

4. The organs of voice and respiration; as in windpipe.

5. The key or sound of the voice.

6. In England, a roll in the exchequer, or the exchequer itself. Hence, pipe-office is an office in which the clerk of the pipe makes out leases of crown lands, accounts of sheriffs, etc.

7. A cask containing two hogsheads or 120 gallons, used for wine; or the quantity which it contains.

8. In mining, a pipe is where the ore runs forward endwise in a hole, and does not sink downwards or in a vein.

PIPE, v.i. To play on a pipe, fife, flute or other tubular wind instrument of music.

We have piped to you, and ye have not danced. Matthew 11:17.

1. To have a shrill sound; to whistle.

PIPE, v.t. To play on a wind instrument. 1 Corinthians 14:7.

PIPED, a. Formed with a tube; tubular.

PIPE-FISH, n. A fish of the genus Syngnathus.

PIPER, n. One who plays on a pipe or wind instrument.

PIPERIDGE, n. A shrub, the berberis, or barberry.

The piperidge of New England is the nyssa villosa, a large tree with very tough wood.

PIPERIN, n. A concretion of volcanic ashes.

1. A peculiar crystalline substance extracted from black pepper. The crystals of piperin are transparent, of a straw color, and they assume the tetrahedral prismatic form with oblique summits.

PIPE-TREE, n. The lilac.

PIPING, ppr. Playing on a pipe.

1. a. Weak; feeble; sickly. [Vulgar and not in use in America.]

2. Very hot; boiling; from the sound of boiling fluids. [Used in vulgar language.]

PIPISTREL, n. A species of bat, the smallest of the kind.

PIPKIN, n. [dim. of pipe.] A small earthen boiler.

PIPPIN, n. A kind of apple; a tart apple. This name in America is given to several kinds of apples, as to the Newtown pippin, an excellent winter apple, and the summer pippin, a large apple, but more perishable than the Newtown pippin.

PIQUANCY, n. pik’ancy. [infra.] Sharpness; pungency; tartness; severity.

PIQUANT, a. pik’ant.

1. Pricking; stimulating to the tongue; as rock as piguant to the tongue as salt.

2. Sharp; tart; pungent; severe; as piquant railleries.

PIQUANTLY, adv. pik’antly. With sharpness or pungency; tartly.

PIQUE, n. peek. An offense taken; usually, slight anger, irritation or displeasure at persons, rather temporary than permanent, and distinguished either in degree or temporariness from settled enmity or malevolence.

Out of personal pique to those in service, he stands as a looker on, when the government is attacked.

1. A strong passion.

2. Point; nicety; punctilio.

Add long prescription of established laws,

And pique of honor to maintain a cause.

PIQUE, v.t. peek.

1. To offend; to nettle; to irritate; to sting; to fret; to excite a degree of anger. It expresses less than exasperate.

The lady was piqued by her indifference.

2. To stimulate; to excite to action; to touch with envy; jealousy or other passion.

Piqu’d by Protogenes’fame,

From Co to Rhodes Apelles came--

3. With the reciprocal pronoun, to pride or value one’s self.

Men pique themselves on their skill in the learned languages.

PIQUED, pp. pee’ked. Irritated; nettled; offended; excited.

PIQUEER. [See Pickeer.]

PIQUEERER, n. A plunderer; a freebooter. [See Pickeerer.]

PIQUET. [See Picket.]

PIQUET, n. piket’. A game at cards played between two persons, with only thirty two cards; all the deuces, threes, fours, fives and sixes being set aside.

PIQUING, ppr. pee’king. Irritating; offending; priding.

PIRACY, n. [L. piratica, from Gr. to attempt, to dare, to enterprise, whence L. periculum, experior; Eng. to fare.]

1. The act, practice or crime of robbing on the high seas; the taking of property from others by open violence and without authority, on the sea; a crime that answers to robbery on land.

Other acts than robbery on the high seas, are declared by statute to be piracy. See Act of Congress, April 30, 1790.

2. The robbing of another by taking his writings.

PIRATE, n. [L. pirata.]

1. A robber on the high seas; one that by open violence takes the property of another on the high seas. In strictness, the word pirate is one who makes it his business to cruise for robbery or plunder; a freebooter on the seas.

2. An armed ship or vessel which sails without legal commission, for the purpose of plundering other vessels indiscriminately on the high seas.

3. A bookseller that seizes the copies or writings of other men without permission.

PIRATE, v.i. To rob on the high seas.
PIRATE, v.t. To take by theft or without right or permission, as books or writings.

They advertised they would pirate his edition.

PIRATED, pp. Taken by theft or without right.

PIRATING, ppr. Robbing on the high seas; taking without right, as a book or writing.

1. a. Undertaken for the sake of piracy; as a pirating expedition.

PIRATICAL, a. [L. piraticus.] Robbing or plundering by open violence on the high seas; as a piratical commander or ship.

1. Consisting in piracy; predatory; robbing; as a piratical trade or occupation.

2. Practicing literary theft.

The errors of the press were multiplied by piratical printers.

PIRATICALLY, adv. By piracy.

PIROGUE piro’ge

PIRAGUA, n. pirau’gua. [This word is variously written, periagua or pirogue. The former is the spelling of Washington and Jefferson; the latter of Charlevoix.]

1. A canoe formed out of the truck of a tree, or two canoes united.

2. In modern usage in America, a narrow ferry boat carrying two masts and a leeboard.

PIRRY, n. A rough gale of wind; a storm. [Not used.]

PISCARY, n. [L. piscis, a fish; piscor, to fish.]

In law, the right or privilege of fishing in another man’s waters.

PISCATION, n. [L. piscatio. See Piscary and Fish.]

The act or practice of fishing.

PISCATORY, a. [L. piscatorius.] Relating to fishes or to fishing; as a piscatory eclogue.

PISCES, n. plu. [L. piscis.] In astronomy, the Fishes, the twelfth sign or constellation in the zodiac.

PISCINE, a. [L. piscis, a fish.]

Pertaining to fish or fishes; as piscine remains.

PISCIVOROUS, a. [L. piscis, a fish, and voro, to eat.]

Feeding or subsisting on fishes. Many species of aquatic fowls are piscivorous.

PISH, exclam. A word expressing contempt; sometimes spoken and written pshaw.

PISH, v.i. To express contempt.

PISIFORM, a. [L. pisum, a pea, and forma, form.]

Having the form of a pea.

Masses of pisiform argillaceous iron ore.

PISMIRE, n. The insect called the ant or emmet.

PISOLITE, n. [Gr. a pea, and a stone.] Peastone, a carbonate of lime, slightly colored by the oxyd of iron. It occurs in little globular concretions of the size of a pea or larger, which usually contain each a grain of sand as a nucleus. These concretions in union sometimes compose entire beds of secondary mountains. It is sometimes called calcarious tufa.

PISOPHALT, n. Pea-mineral or mineral-pea; a soft bitumen, black and of a strong pungent smell. It appears to be petrol passing to asphalt. It holds a middle place between petrol, which is liquid, and asphalt, which is dry and brittle.

PISS, v.t. To discharge the liquor secreted by the kidneys and lodged in the urinary bladder.

PISS, n. Urine; the liquor secreted by the kidneys into the bladder of an animal and discharged through the proper channel.

PISSABED, n. The vulgar name of a yellow flower, growing among grass.

PISSASPHALT, n. [Gr. pitch, and asphalt.] Earth-pitch; pitch mixed with bitumen, natural or artificial; a fluid opake mineral substance, thick and inflammable, but leaving a residuum after burning.

PISSBURNT, a. Stained with urine.

PIST, PISTE, n. The track or foot-print of a horseman on the ground he goes over.

PISTACHIO, n. [L. pistachia.] The nut of the Pistacia terebinthus or turpentine tree, containing a kernel of a pale greenish color, of a pleasant taste, resembling that of the almond, and yielding a well tasted oil. It is wholesome and nutritive. The tree grows in Syria, Arabia and Persia.


PISTAREEN, n. A silver coin of the value of 17 or 18 cents, or 9d sterling.

PISTIL, n. [L. pistillum, a pestle.] In botany, the pointal, an organ of female flowers adhering to the fruit for the reception of the pollen, supposed to be a continuation of the pith, and when perfect, consisting of three parts, the germ or ovary, the style, and the stigma.

PISTILLACEOUS, a. Growing on the germ or seed bud of a flower.

PISTILLATE, a. Having or consisting in a pistil.

PISTILLATION, n. [L. pistillum, a pestle, that is, a beater or driver.] The act of pounding in a mortar. [Little used.]

PISTILLIFEROUS, a. [pistil and L. fero, to bear.]

Having a pistil without stamens; as a female flower.

PISTOL, n. A small fire-arm, or the smallest fire-arm used, differing from a musket chiefly in size. Pistols are of different lengths, and borne by horsemen in cases at the saddle bow, or by a girdle. Small pistols are carried in the pocket.

PISTOL, v.t. To shoot with a pistol.

PISTOLE, n. A gold coin of Spain, but current in the neighboring countries.

PISTOLET, n. A little pistol.

PISTON, n. [L. pinso, the primary sense of which is to press, send, drive, thrust or strike, like embolus.]

A short cylinder of metal or other solid substance, used in pumps and other engines or machines for various purposes. It is fitted exactly to the bore of another body so as to prevent the entrance or escape of air, and is usually applied to the purpose of forcing some fluid into or out of the canal or tube which it fills, as in pumps, fire-engines and the like.

PIT, n.

1. An artificial cavity made in the earth by digging; a deep hole in the earth.

2. A deep place; an abyss; profundity.

Into what pit thou seest

From what height fallen.

3. The grave. Psalms 28:1; Psalms 30:3, 9.

4. The area for cock-fighting; whence the phrase, to fly the pit.

5. The middle part of a theater.

6. The hollow of the body at the stomach. We say, the pit of the stomach.

7. The cavity under the shoulder; as the arm-pit.

8. A dint made by impression on a soft substance, as by the finger, etc.

9. A little hollow in the flesh, made by a pustule, as in the small picks.

10. A hollow place in the earth excavated for catching wild beasts; hence in Scripture, whatever ensnares and brings into calamity or misery, from which it is difficult to escape. Psalm 7:15; Proverbs 22:14; Proverbs 23:27.

11. Great distress and misery, temporal, spiritual or eternal. Isaiah 38:17-18; Psalm 40:2.

12. Hell; as the bottomless pit. Revelation 20:1, 3.

PIT, v.t. To indent; to press into hollows.

1. To mark with little hollows, as by variolous pustules; as the face pitted by the small pocks.

2. To set in competition, as in combat.

PITAHAYA, n. A shrub of California, which yields a delicious fruit, the Cactus Pitajaya.

PITAPAT, adv. [probably allied to beat.] In a flutter; with palpitation or quick succession of beats; as, his heart went pitapat.

PITAPAT, n. A light quick step.

Now I hear the pitapat of a pretty foot, through the dark alley.

PITCH, n. [L. pix; Gr. most probably named from its thickness or inspissation; L. figo.]

1. A thick tenacious substance, the juice of a species of pine or fir called abies picea, obtained by incision from the bark of the tree. When melted and pressed in bags of cloth, it is received into barrels. This is white or Burgundy pitch; by mixture with lampblack it is converted into black pitch. When kept long in fusion with vinegar, it becomes dry and brown, and forms colophony. The smoke of pitch condensed forms lampblack.

2. The resin of pine, or turpentine, inspissated; used in caulking ships and paying the sides and bottom.

PITCH, n. [from the root of pike, peak.]

1. Literally, a point; hence, any point or degree of elevation; as a high pitch; lowest pitch.

How high a pitch his resolution soars.

Alcibiades was one of the best orators of his age, notwithstanding he lived when learning was at its highest pitch.

2. Highest rise.

3. Size; stature.

So like in person, garb and pitch.

4. Degree; rate.

No pitch of glory from the grave is free.

5. The point where a declivity begins, or the declivity itself; descent; slope; as the pitch of a hill.

6. The degree of descent or declivity.

7. A descent; a fall; a thrusting down.

8. Degree of elevation of the key-note of a tune or of any note.

PITCH, v.t. [L. figo, to fix, and uniting pike, pique with fix.]

1. To throw or thrust, and primarily, to thrust a long or pointed object; hence, to fix; to plant; to set; as, to pitch a tent or pavilion, that is, to set the stakes.

2. To throw at a point; as, to pitch quoits.

3. To throw headlong; as, to pitch one in the mire or down a precipice.

4. To throw with a fork; as, to pitch hay or sheaves of corn.

5. To regulate or set the key-note of a tune in music.

6. To set in array; to marshal or arrange in order; used chiefly in the participle; as a pitched battle.

7. [from pitch.] To smear or pay over with pitch; as, to pitch the seams of a ship.

PITCH, v.i. To light; to settle; to come to rest from flight.

Take a branch of the tree on which the bees pitch, and wipe the hive.

1. To fall headlong; as, to pitch from a precipice; to pitch on the head.

2. To plunge; as, to pitch into a river.

3. To fall; to fix choice; with on or upon.

Pitch upon the best course of life, and custom will render it the most easy.

4. To fix a tent or temporary habitation; to encamp.

Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. Genesis 31:25.

5. In navigation, to rise and fall, as the head and stern of a ship passing over waves.

6. To flow or fall precipitously, as a river.

Over this rock, the river pitches in one entire sheet.

PITCHED, pp. Set; planted; fixed; thrown headlong; set in array; smeared with pitch.


1. An earthen vessel with a spout for pouring out liquors. This is its present signification. It seems formerly to have signified a water pot, jug or jar with ears.

2. An instrument for piercing the ground.