Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PLEASANTNESS, n. plez’antness. State of being pleasant or agreeable; as the pleasantness of a situation.

1. Cheerfulness; gayety; merriment; as the pleasantness of youth.

PLEASANTRY, n. plez’antry. Gayety; merriment.

The harshness of reasoning is not a little softened and smoothed by the infusions of mirth and pleasantry.

1. Sprightly saying; lively talk; effusion of humor.

The grave abound in pleasantries, the dull in repartees and points of wit.

PLEASE, v.t. s as z. [L. placere, placeo.]

1. To excite agreeable sensations or emotions in; to gratify; as, to please the taste; to please the mind.

Their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem, Hamor’s son. Genesis 34:18.

Leave such to trifle with more grace than ease,

Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.

2. To satisfy; to content.

What next I bring shall please

Thy wish exactly to thy heart’s desire.

3. To prefer; to have satisfaction in; to like; to choose.

Many of our most skilful painters were pleased or recommend this author to me.

To be pleased in or with, to approve; to have complacency in. Matthew 3:17.

To please God, is to love his character and law and perform his will, so as to become the object of his approbation.

They that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8.

PLEASE, v.i. s as z. To like; to choose; to prefer.

Spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease

Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.

1. To condescend; to comply; to be pleased; a word of ceremony.

Please you, lords,

In sight of both our battles we may meet.

The first words that I learnt were, to express my desire that he would please to give me my liberty.

Please expresses less gratification than delight.

PLEASED, pp. Gratified; affected with agreeable sensations or emotions.

PLEASEMAN, n. An officious person who courts favor servilely; a pickthank.

PLEASER, n. One that pleases or gratifies; one that courts favor by humoring or flattering compliances or a show of obedience; as men-pleasers. Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:22.

PLEASING, ppr. Gratifying; exciting agreeable sensations or emotions in.

PLEASING, a. Giving pleasure or satisfaction; agreeable to the senses or to the mind; as a pleasing prospect; a pleasing reflection; pleasing manners.

1. Gaining approbation. 1 John 3:22.

PLEASING, n. The act of gratifying.

PLEASINGLY, adv. In such a manner as to give pleasure.

PLEASINGNESS, n. The quality of giving pleasure.

PLEASURABLE, a. plezh’urable. [from pleasure.] Pleasing; giving pleasure; affording gratification.

Planting of orchards is very profitable as well as pleasurable.

PLEASURABLY, adv. With pleasure; with gratification of the senses or the mind.

PLEASURABLENESS, n. The quality of giving pleasure.

PLEASURE, n. plezh’ur.

1. The gratification of the senses or of the mind; agreeable sensations or emotions; the excitement, relish or happiness produced by enjoyment or the expectation of good; opposed to pain. We receive pleasure from the indulgence of appetite; from the view of a beautiful landscape; from the harmony of sounds; from agreeable society; from the expectation of seeing an absent friend; from the prospect of gain or success of any kind. Pleasure, bodily and mental, carnal and spiritual, constitutes the whole of positive happiness, as pain constitutes the whole of misery.

Pleasure is properly positive excitement of the passions or the mind; but we give the name also to the absence of excitement, when that excitement is painful; as when we cease to labor, or repose after fatigue, or when the mind is tranquilized after anxiety or agitation.

Pleasure is susceptible of increase to any degree; but the word when unqualified, expresses less excitement or happiness than delight or joy.

2. Sensual or sexual gratification.

3. Approbation.

The Lord taketh pleasure in his people. Psalms 147:11; Psalms 149:4.

4. What the will dictates or prefers; will; choice; purpose; intention; command; as, use your pleasure.

Cyrus, he is my shepherd and shall perform all my pleasure. Isaiah 44:28.

My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure. Isaiah 46:10.

5. A favor; that which pleases.

Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul. Acts 25:9.

6. Arbitrary will or choice. He can vary his scheme at pleasure.

PLEASURE, v.t. plezh’ur. To give or afford pleasure to; to please; to gratify. [A word authorized by some good writers, but superfluous and not much used.]

PLEASURE-BOAT, n. A boat appropriated to sailing for amusement.

PLEASURE-CARRIAGE, n. A carriage for pleasure.

PLEASUREFUL, a. Pleasant; agreeable. [Little used.]

PLEASURE-GROUND, n. Ground laid out in an ornamental manner and appropriated to pleasure or amusement.

PLEASURIST, n. A person devoted to worldly pleasure. [Little used.]

PLEBEIAN, a. [L. plebeius, from plebs, the common people.]

1. Pertaining to the common people; vulgar; as plebeian minds; plebeian sports.

2. Consisting of common people; as a plebeian throng.

PLEBEIAN, n. One of the common people or lower ranks of men. [Usually applied to the common people of ancient Rome.]

PLEBEIANCE, n. The common people. [Not in use.]

PLEDGE, n. [L. plico.]

1. Something put in pawn; that which is deposited with another as security for the repayment of money borrowed, or for the performance of some agreement or obligation; a pawn. A borrows ten pounds of B, and deposits his watch as a pledge that the money shall be repaid; and by repayment of the money, A redeems the pledge.

2. Any thing given or considered as a security for the performance of an act. Thus a man gives a word or makes a promise to another, which is received as a pledge for fulfillment. The mutual affection of husband and wife is a pledge for the faithful performance of the marriage covenant. Mutual interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties.

3. A surety; a hostage.

4. In law, a gage or security real or personal, given for the repayment of money. It is of two kinds; vadium vivum, a living pledge, as when a man borrows money and grants an estate to be held by the pledgee, till the rents and profits shall refund the money, in which case the land or pledge is said to be living; or it is vadium mortuum, a dead pledge, called a mortgage. [See Mortgage.]

5. In law, bail; surety given for the prosecution of a suit, or for the appearance of a defendant, or for restoring goods taken in distress and replevied. The distress itself is also called a pledge, and the glove formerly thrown down by a champion in trial by battel, was a pledge by which the champion stipulated to encounter his antagonist in that trial.

6. A warrant to secure a person from injury in drinking.

To put in pledge, to pawn.

To hold in pledge, to keep as security.

PLEDGE, v.t.

1. To deposit in pawn; to deposit or leave in possession of a person something which is to secure the repayment of money borrowed, or the performance of some act. [This word is applied chiefly to the depositing of goods or personal property. When real estate is given as security we usually apply the word mortgage.]

2. To give as a warrant or security; as, to pledge one’s word or honor; to pledge one’s veracity.

3. To secure by a pledge.

I accept her,

And here to pledge my vow I give my hand. [Unusual.]

4. To invite to drink by accepting the cup or health after another. Or to warrant or be surety for a person that he shall receive no harm while drinking, or from the draught; a practice which originated among our ancestors in their rude state, and which was intended to secure the person from being stabbed while drinking, or from being poisoned by the liquor. In the first case, a by-stander pledges the person drinking; in the latter, the person drinking pledges his guest by drinking first, and then handing the cup to his guest. The latter practice is frequent among the common people in America to this day; the owner of the liquor taking the cup says to his friend, I pledge you, and drinks, then hands the cup to his guest; a remarkable instance of the power of habit, as the reason of the custom has long since ceased.

PLEDGED, pp. Deposited as security; given in warrant.

PLEDGEE, n. The person to whom any thing is pledged.

PLEDGER, n. One that pledges or pawns any thing; one that warrants or secures. [Pledgor, in Blackstone, is not to be countenanced.]

1. One that accepts the invitation to drink after another, or that secures another by drinking.

PLEDGERY, n. A pledging; suretyship. [Not in use.]

PLEDGET, n. [from folding or laying.] In surgery, a compress or small flat tent of lint, laid over a wound to imbibe the matter discharged and keep it clean.

PLEDGING, ppr. Depositing in pawn or as security; giving warrant for security or safety.

PLEIADS, n. ple’yads. [L. Pleiades; Gr. to sail, as the rising of seven stars indicated the time of safe navigation.]

In astronomy, a cluster of seven stars in the neck of the constellation Taurus. The Latins called them Vergilioe, from ver, spring, because of their rising about the vernal equinox.

PLENAL, a. [See Plenary.] Full. [Not used.]

PLENARILY, adv. [from plenary.] Fully; completely.

PLENARINESS, n. Fullness; completeness.

PLENARTY, n. The state of a benefice when occupied.

PLENARY, a. [L. plenus.] Full; entire; complete; as a plenary license; plenary consent; plenary indulgence. The plenary indulgence of the pope is an entire remission of penalties to all sins.

PLENARY, n. Decisive procedure. [Not used.]

PLENILUNARY, a. Relating to the full moon.

PLENILUNE, n. [L. plenilunium; plenus, full, and luna, moon.]

The full moon. [Not used.]

PLENIPOTENCE, n. [L. plenus, full, and potentia, power.]

Fullness or completeness of power.

PLENIPOTENT, a. [L. plenipotens, supra.]

Possessing full power.

PLENIPOTENTIARY, n. A person invested with full power to transact any business; usually, an embassador or envoy to a foreign court, furnished with full power to negotiate a treaty or to transact other business.

PLENIPOTENTIARY, a. Containing full power; as plenipotentiary license or authority.

PLENISH, for replenish, not used.

PLENIST, n. [L. plenus.] One who maintains that all space is full of matter.

PLENITUDE, n. [L. plenitudo, from plenus, full.]

Fullness; as the plenitude of space.

1. Repletion; animal fullness; plethora; redundancy of blood and humors in the animal body.

2. Fullness; complete competence; as the plenitude of the pope’s power.

3. Completeness; as the plenitude of a man’s fame.

PLENTEOUS, a. [from plenty.] Abundant; copious; plentiful; sufficient for every purpose; as a plenteous supply of provisions; a plenteous crop.

1. Yielding abundance; as a plenteous fountain.

The seven plenteous years. Genesis 41:34, 47.

2. Having an abundance.

The Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods. Deuteronomy 28:11.

3. Possessing in abundance and ready to bestow liberally. Psalm 86:5, 15.

[This word is less used than plentiful.]

PLENTEOUSLY, adv. In abundance; copiously; plentifully.

PLENTEOUSNESS, n. Abundance; copious supply; plenty; as the seven years of plenteousness in Egypt.

PLENTIFUL, a. [from plenty.] Copious; abundant; adequate to every purpose; as a plentiful crop of grain; a plentiful harvest; a plentiful supply of water; a plentiful fortune.

1. Yielding abundant crops; affording ample supply; fruitful; as a plentiful year.

PLENTIFULLY, adv. Copiously; abundantly; with ample supply.

PLENTIFULNESS, n. The state of being plentiful; abundance.

1. The quality of affording full supply.

PLENTY, n. [from L. plenus.] Abundance; copiousness; full or adequate supply; as, we have a plenty of corn for bread; the garrison has a plenty of provisions. Its application to persons, as a plenty of buyers or sellers, is inelegant.

1. Fruitfulness; a poetic use.

The teeming clouds

Descend in gladsome plenty o’er the world.

PLENTY, a. Plentiful; being in abundance.

Where water is plenty--

If reasons were as plenty as blackberries.

In every country where liquors are plenty.

The common sorts of fowls and the several gallinaceous species are plenty.

A variety of other herbs and roots which are plenty.

They seem formed for those countries where shrubs are plenty and water scarce.

When laborers are plenty, their wages will be low.

In the country, where wood is more plenty, they make their beams stronger.

[The use of this word as an adjective seems too well authorized to be rejected. It is universal in common parlance in the United States.]

PLENUM, n. [L.] Fullness of matter in space.

PLEONASM, n. [L. pleonasmus; Gr. full, more, L. pleo, in impleo, to fill.] Redundancy of words in speaking or writing; the use of more words to express ideas, than are necessary. This may be justifiable when we intend to present thoughts with particular perspicuity or force.

PLEONASTE, n. [Gr. abundant; from its four facets, sometimes found on each solid angle of the octahedron.]

A mineral, commonly considered as a variety of the spinelle ruby. [See Ceylanite.]

PLEONASTIC, PLEONASTICAL, a. Pertaining to pleonasm; partaking of pleonasm; redundant.

PLEONASTICALLY, adv. With redundancy of words.

PLEROPHORY, n. [Gr. full, and to bear.]

Full persuasion or confidence. [Little used.]

PLESH, for plash, not used.

PLETHORA, n. [Gr. fullness.] Literally, fullness.

In medicine, fullness of blood; excess of blood; repletion; the state of the vessels of the human body, when they are too full or overloaded with fluids.

PLETHORIC, a. Having a full habit of body, or the vessels overcharged with fluids.

PLETHORY. [See Plethora.]

PLETHRON, PLETHRUM, n. [Gr.] A square measure used in Greece, but the contents are not certainly known. Some authors suppose it to correspond with the Roman juger, or 240 feet; others allege it to be double the Egyptian aurora, which was the square of a hundred cubits.

PLEURA, n. [Gr. the side.] In anatomy, a thin membrane which covers the inside of the thorax.

PLEURISY, n. [Gr. the side.] An inflammation of the pleura or membrane that covers the inside of the thorax. It is accompanied with fever, pain, difficult respiration and cough. The usual remedies are venesection, other evacuations, diluents, etc.

PLEURITIC, PLEURITICAL, a. Pertaining to pleurisy; as pleuritic symptoms or affections.

1. Diseased with pleurisy.

PLEVIN, n. A warrant of assurance.

PLEXIFORM, n. [L. plexus, a fold, and form.]

In the form of net-work; complicated.

PLEXUS, n. [L.] Any union of vessels, nerves or fibers, in the form of net-work.

PLIABILITY, n. [from pliable.] The quality of bending or yielding to pressure or force without rupture; flexibility; pliableness.

PLIABLE, a. [L. plico.]

1. Easy to be bent; that readily yields to pressure without rupture; flexible; as, willow is a pliable plant.

2. Flexible in disposition; readily yielding to moral influence, arguments, persuasion or discipline; as a pliable youth.

PLIABLENESS, n. Flexibility; the quality of yielding to force or to moral influence; pliability; as the pliableness of a plant or of the disposition.

PLIANCY, n. [from pliant.] Easiness to be bent; in a physical sense; as the pliancy of a rod, of cordage or of limbs.

1. Readiness to yield to moral influence; as pliancy of temper.

PLIANT, a. That may be easily bent; readily yielding to force or pressure without breaking; flexible; flexile; lithe; limber; as a pliant thread.

1. That may be easily formed or molded to a different shape; as pliant wax.

2. Easily yielding to moral influence; easy to be persuaded; ductile.

The will was then more ductile and pliant to right reason.

PLIANTNESS, n. Flexibility.

PLICA, n. [L. a fold.] The plica polonica is a disease of the hair, peculiar to Poland and the neighboring countries. In this disease, the hair of the head is matted or clotted by means of an acrid viscid humor which exudes from the hair.

PLICATE, PLICATED, a. [L. plicatus, plico, to fold.]

Plaited; folded like a fan; as a plicate leaf.

PLICATION, n. [from L. plico.] A folding or fold.

PLICATURE, n. [L. plicatura; plico, to fold.] A fold; a doubling.

PLIERS, n. plu. An instrument by which any small thing is seized and bent.

PLIFORM, a. In the form of a fold or doubling.

PLIGHT, v.t. plite. [L. plico; flecto, to bend; ligo. See Alloy and Ply.]

1. To pledge; to give as security for the performance of some act; but never applied to property or goods. We say, he plighted his hand, his faith, his vows, his honor, his truth or troth. Pledge is applied to property as well as to word, faith, truth, honor, etc. To plight faith is, as it were, to deposit it in pledge for the performance of an act, on the non-performance of which, the pledge is forfeited.

2. To weave; to braid.

[This is the primary sense of the word, L. plico, but now obsolete.]

PLIGHT, n. plite. Literally, a state of being involved, [L. plicatus, implicatus, implicitus;] hence, perplexity, distress, or a distressed state or condition; as a miserable plight. But the word by itself does not ordinarily imply distress. Hence,

1. Condition; state; and sometimes good case; as, to keep cattle in plight.

In most cases, this word is now accompanied with an adjective which determines its signification; as bad plight; miserable or wretched plight; good plight.

2. Pledge; gage.

The Lord, whose hand must take my plight.

3. A fold [L. plica;] a double; a plait.

All in a silken Camus, lily white,

Purfled upon with many a folded plight.

4. A garment. [Not used.]

PLIGHTED, pp. pli’ted. Pledged.

PLIGHTER, n. pli’ter. One that pledges; that which plights.

PLIGHTING, ppr. pli’ting; Pledging.

PLIM, v.i. To swell. [Not in use.]

PLINTH, n. [Gr. a brick or tile; L. plinthus.]

In architecture, a flat square member in form of a brick, which serves as the foundation of a column; being the flat square table under the molding of the base and pedestal, at the bottom of the order. Vitruvius gives the name to the abacus or upper part of the Tuscan order, from its resemblance to the plinth.

Plinth of a statue, is a base, flat, round or square.

Plinth of a wall, two or three rows of bricks advanced from the wall in form of a platband; and in general, any flat high molding that serves in a front wall to mark the floors, to sustain the eaves of a wall or the larmier of a chimney.

PLOD, v.i. To travel or work slowly or with steady laborious diligence.

A plodding diligence brings us sooner to our journey’s end, than a fluttering way of advancing by starts.

Some stupid, plodding, money-loving wight.

1. To study heavily with steady diligence.

2. To toil; to drudge.

PLODDER, n. A dull, heavy, laborious person.

PLODDING, ppr. Traveling or laboring with slow movement and steady diligence; studying closely but heavily.

1. a. Industrious; diligent, but slow in contrivance or execution.

PLODDING, n. Slow movement or study with steadiness or persevering industry.

PLOT, n. [a different orthography of plat.]

1. A plat or small extent of ground; as a garden plot.

It was a chosen plot of fertile land.

When we mean to build,

We first survey the plot.

2. A plantation laid out.

3. A plan or scheme. [Qu. the next word.]

4. In surveying, a plan or draught of a field, farm or manor surveyed and delineated on paper.

PLOT, v.t. To make a plan of; to delineate.
PLOT, n.

1. Any scheme, stratagem or plan of a complicated nature, or consisting of many parts, adapted to the accomplishment of some purpose, usually a mischievous one. A plot may be formed by a single person or by numbers. In the latter case, it is a conspiracy or an intrigue. The latter word more generally denotes a scheme directed against individuals; the former against the government. But this distinction is not always observed.

O think what anxious moments pass between

The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods!

2. In dramatic writings, the knot or intrigue; the story of a play, comprising a complication of incidents which are at last unfolded by unexpected means.

If the plot or intrigue must be natural, and such as springs from the subject, the winding up of the plot must be a probable consequence of all that went before.

3. Contrivance; deep reach of thought; ability to plot.

A man of much plot.

PLOT, v.i. To form a scheme of mischief against another, or against a government or those who administer it. A traitor plots against his king.

The wicked plotteth against the just. Psalm 37:12.

1. To contrive a plan; to scheme.

The prince did plot to be secretly gone.

PLOT, v.t. To plan; to devise; to contrive; as, to plot an unprofitable crime.

PLOTTED, pp. Contrived; planned.

PLOTTER, n. One that plots or contrives; a contriver.

1. A conspirator.

PLOTTING, ppr. Contriving; planning; forming an evil design.

PLOUGH. [See Plow.]

PLOVER, n. [L. pluvialis, rainy; pluo, to rain.]

The common name of several species of birds that frequent the banks of rivers and the sea shore, belonging to the genus Charadrius.

PLOW, n.

1. In agriculture, an instrument for turning up, breaking and preparing the ground for receiving the seed. It is drawn by oxen or horses and saves the labor of digging; it is therefore the most useful instrument in agriculture.

The emperor lays hold of the plow and turns up several furrows.

When fern succeeds, ungrateful to the plow.

2. Figuratively, tillage; culture of the earth; agriculture.

3. A joiner’s instrument for grooving.

PLOW, v.t. To trench and turn up with a plow; as, to plow the ground for wheat; to plow it into ridges.

1. To furrow; to divide; to run through in sailing.

With speed we plow the watery wave.

2. To tear; to furrow.

3. In Scripture, to labor in any calling.

He that ploweth should plow in hope. 1 Corinthians 9:10.

To plow on the back, to scourge; to mangle, or to persecute and torment. Psalm 129:3.

To plow with one’s heifer, to deal with the wife to obtain something from the husband. Judges 14:18.

To plow iniquity or wickedness, and reap it, to devise and practice it, and at last suffer the punishment of it. Job 4:8; Hosea 10:13.

To plow in, to cover by plowing; as, to plow in wheat.

To plow up or out, to turn out of the ground by plowing.

To put one’s hand to the plow and look back, is to enter on the service of Christ and afterwards abandon it. Luke 9:62.

[This difference of orthography often made between the noun and verb is wholly unwarrantable, and contrary to settled analogy in our language. Such a difference is never made in changing into verbs, plot, harrow, notice, question, and most other words. See Practice.]

PLOW-ALMS, n. A penny formerly paid by every plow-land to the church.

PLOW-BOTE, n. In English law, wood or timber allowed to a tenant for the repair of instruments of husbandry.

PLOWBOY, n. A boy that drives or guides a team in plowing; a rustic boy.

PLOWED, pp. Turned up with a plow; furrowed.

PLOWER, n. One that plows land; a cultivator.

PLOWING, ppr. Turning up with a plow; furrowing.

PLOWING, n. The operation of turning up ground with a plow; as the first and second plowing; three plowings.

PLOW-LAND, n. Land that is plowed, or suitable for tillage.

PLOWMAN, n. One that plows or holds a plow.

At last the robber binds the plowman and carries him off with the oxen.

1. A cultivator of grain; a husbandman.

2. A rustic; a countryman; a hardy laborer.