Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



POETASTER, n. A petty poet; a pitiful or rhymer or writer of verses.

POETESS, n. A female poet.

POETIC, POETICAL, a. [L. poeticus.]

1. Pertaining to poetry; suitable to poetry; as a poetical genius; poetic turn or talent; poetic license.

2. Expressed in poetry or measure; as a poetical composition.

3. Possessing the peculiar beauties of poetry; sublime; as a composition or passage highly poetical.

POETICALLY, adv. With the qualities of poetry; by the art of poetry; by fiction.

POETICS, n. The doctrine of poetry.

POETIZE, v.i. To write as a poet; to compose verse.

POET-LAUREAT, n. A poet employed to compose poems for the birth days of a prince or other special occasion.

POET-MUSICIAN, n. An appellation given to the bard and lyrist of former ages, as uniting the professions of poetry and music.

POETRESS, n. A female poet.

POETRY, n. [Gr.] Metrical composition; verse; as heroic poetry; dramatic poetry; lyric or Pindaric poetry.

1. The art or practice of composing in verse. He excels in poetry.

2. Poems; poetical composition. We take pleasure in reading poetry.

3. This term is also applied to the language of excited imagination and feeling.

POIGNANCY, n. poin’ancy. [See Poignant.]

1. Sharpness; the power of stimulating the organs of taste.

2. Point; sharpness; keenness; the power of irritation; asperity; as the poignancy of wit or sarcasm.

3. Severity; acuteness.

POIGNANT, a. poin’ant. [L. pungere, pungo, to prick.]

1. Sharp; stimulating the organs of taste; as poignant sauce.

2. Pointed; keen; bitter; irritating; satirical; as poignant wit.

3. Severe; piercing; very painful or acute; as poignant pain or grief.

POIGNANTLY, adv. poin’antly. In a stimulating, piercing or irritating manner; with keenness or point.

POINT, n. [L. punctum, from pungo, to prick, properly to thrust, pret. pepugi, showing that n is not radical.]

1. The sharp end of any instrument or body; as the point of a knife, of a sword or of a thorn.

2. A string with a tag; as a silken point.

3. A small cape, headland or promontory; a tract of land extending into the sea, a lake or river, beyond the line of the shore, and becoming narrow at the end; as point Judith; Montauk point. It is smaller than a cape.

4. The sting of an epigram; a lively turn of thought or expression that strikes with force and agreeable surprise.

With periods, points and tropes he slurs his crimes.

5. An indivisible part of time or space. We say, a point of time, a point of space.

6. A small space; as a small point of land.

7. Punctilio; nicety; exactness of ceremony; as points of precedence.

8. Place near, next or contiguous to; verge; eve. He is on the point of departure, or at the point of death.

9. Exact place. He left off at the point where he began.

10. Degree; state of elevation, depression or extension; as, he has reached an extraordinary point of excellence. He has fallen to the lowest point of degradation.

11. A character used to mark the divisions of writing, or the pauses to be observed in reading or speaking; as the comma, semi-colon, colon and period. The period is called a full stop, as it marks the close of a sentence.

12. A spot; a part of a surface divided by spots or lines; as the ace or sise point.

13. In geometry, that which has neither parts nor magnitude.

A point is that which has position but not magnitude.

A point is a limit terminating a line.

14. In music, mark or note anciently used to distinguish tones or sounds. Hence, simple counterpoint is when a note of the lower part answers exactly to that of the upper, and figurative counterpoint, is when a note is syncopated and one of the parts makes several notes or inflections of the voice while the other holds on one.

15. In modern music, a dot placed by a note to raise its value or prolong its time by one half, so as to make a semibreve equal to three minims; a minim equal to three quavers, etc.

16. In astronomy, a division of the great circles of the horizon, and of the mariner’s compass. The four cardinal points, are the east, west, north and south. On the space between two of these points, making a quadrant or quarter of a circle, the compass is marked with subordinate divisions, the whole number being thirty two points.

17. In astronomy, a certain place marked in the heavens, or distinguished for its importance in astronomical calculations. The zenith and nadir are called vertical points; the nodes are the points where the orbits of the planets intersect the plane of the ecliptic; the place where the equator and ecliptic intersect are called equinoctial points; the points of the ecliptic at which the departure of the sun from the equator, north and south, is terminated, are called solstitial points.

18. In perspective, a certain pole or place with regard to the perspective plane.

19. In manufactories, a lace or work wrought by the needle; as point le Venice, point de Genoa, etc. Sometimes the word is used for lace woven with bobbins. Point devise is used for needle work, or for nice work.

20. The place to which any thing is directed, or the direction in which an object is presented to the eye. We say, in this point of view, an object appears to advantage. In this or that point of view, the evidence is important.

21. Particular; single thing or subject. In what point do we differ? All points of controversy between the parties are adjusted. We say, in point of antiquity, in point of fact, in point of excellence. The letter in every point is admirable. The treaty is executed in every point.

22. Aim; purpose; thing to be reached or accomplished; as, to gain one’s point.

23. The act of aiming or striking.

What a point your falcon made.

24. A single position; a single assertion; a single part of a complicated question or of a whole.

These arguments are not sufficient to prove the point.

Strange point and new!

Doctrine which we would know whence learned.

25. A note or tune.

Turning your tongue divine

To a loud trumpet, and a point of war.

26. In heraldry, points are the several different parts of the escutcheon, denoting the local positions of figures.

27. In electricity, the acute termination of a body which facilitates the passage of the fluid to or from the body.

28. In gunnery, point-blank denotes the shot of a gun leveled horizontally. The point-blank range is the extent of the apparent right line of a ball discharged. In shooting point-blank, the ball is supposed to move directly to the object, without a curve. Hence adverbially, the word is equivalent to directly.

29. In marine language, points are flat pieces of braided cordage, tapering from the middle towards each end; used in reefing the courses and top-sails of square-rigged vessels.

Point de vise, [Fr.] exactly in the point of view.

Vowel-points, in the Hebrew and other eastern languages, are certain marks placed above or below the consonants, or attached to them, as in the Ethiopic, representing the vocal sounds or vowels, which precede or follow the articulations.

The point, the subject; the main question; the precise thing to be considered, determined or accomplished. This argument may be true, but it is not to the point.

POINT, v.t. To sharpen; to cut, forge, grind or file to an acute end; as, to point a dart or a pin; also, to taper, as a rope.

1. To direct towards an object or place, to show its position, or excite attention to it; as, to point the finger at an object; to point the finger of scorn at one.

2. To direct the eye or notice.

Whosoever should be guided through his battles by Minerva, and pointed to every scene of them, would see nothing but subjects of surprise.

3. To aim; to direct towards an object; as, to point a musket at a wolf; to point a cannon at a gate.

4. To mark with characters for the purpose of distinguishing the members of a sentence, and designating the pauses; as, to point a written composition.

5. To mark with vowel-points.

6. To appoint. [Not in use.]

7. To fill the joints with mortar, and smooth them with the point of a trowel; as, to point a wall.

To point out, to show by the finger or by other means.

To point a sail, to affix points through the eyelet-holes of the reefs.

POINT, v.i. To direct the finger for designating an object, and exciting attention to it; with at.

Now must the world point at poor Catherine.

Point at the tatter’d coat and ragged shoe.

1. To indicate, as dogs do to sportsmen.

He treads with caution, and he points with fear.

2. To show distinctly by any means.

To point at what time the balance of power was most equally held between the lords and commons at Rome, would perhaps admit a controversy.

3. To fill the joints or crevices of a wall with mortar.

4. In the rigging of a ship, to taper the end of a rope or splice, and work over the reduced part a small close netting, with an even number of knittles twisted from the same.

To point at, to treat with scorn or contempt by pointing or directing attention to.

POINTAL, n. In botany, the pistil of a plant; an organ or viscus adhering to the fruit for the reception of the pollen. Its appearance is that of a column or set of columns in the center of the flower.

POINTED, pp. Sharpened; formed to a point; directed; aimed.

1. Aimed at a particular person or transaction.

2. a. Sharp; having a sharp point; as a pointed rock.

3. Epigrammatical; abounding in conceits or lively turns; as pointed wit.

POINTEDLY, adv. In a pointed manner; with lively turns of thought or expression.

He often wrote too pointedly for his subject.

1. With direct assertion; with direct reference to a subject; with explicitness; as, he declared pointedly he would accede to the proposition.

POINTEDNESS, n. Sharpness; pickedness with asperity.

1. Epigrammatical keenness or smartness.

In this you excel Horace, that you add pointedness of thought.

POINTEL, n. Something on a point.

These poises or pointels are, for the most part, little balls set at the top of a slender stalk, which they can move every way at pleasure.

1. A kind of pencil or style.

POINTER, n. Any thing that points.

1. The hand of a time-piece.

2. A dog that points out the game to sportsmen.

POINTING, ppr. Directing the finger; showing; directing.

1. Marking with points; as a writing.

2. Filling the joints and crevices of a wall with mortar or cement.

POINTING, n. The art of making the divisions of a writing; punctuation.

1. The state of being pointed with marks or points.

POINTING-STOCK, n. An object of ridicule or scorn.

POINTLESS, a. Having no point; blunt; obtuse; as a pointless sword.

1. Having no smartness or keenness.

POISE, n. poiz.

1. Weight; gravity; that which causes a body to descend or tend to the center.

2. The weight or mass of metal used in weighing with steelyards, to balance the substance weighed.

3. Balance; equilibrium; a state in which things are balanced by equal weight or power; equipoise. The mind may rest in a poise between two opinions.

The particles forming the earth, must convene from all quarters towards the middle, which would make the whole compound rest in a poise.

4. A regulating power; that which balances.

Men of an unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment.

POISE, v.t. poiz.

1. To balance in weight; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.

2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance.

Our nation with united interest blest,

Not now content to poise, shall sway the rest.

3. To load with weight for balancing.

Where could they find another form so fit,

To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit?

4. To examine or ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh.

He cannot consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence of the clearest argumentations, where they would conclude against his desires.

5. To oppress; to weigh down.

Lest leaden slumber poise me down to-morrow,

When I should mount on wings of victory.

POISED, pp. Balanced; made equal in weight; resting in equilibrium.

POISING, ppr. Balancing.

POISON, n. poiz’n. [L. pus.]

1. A substance which, when taken into the stomach, mixed with the blood or applied to the skin or flesh, proves fatal or deleterious by an action not mechanical; venom. The more active and virulent poisons destroy life in a short time; others are slow in their operation, others produce inflammation without proving fatal. In the application of poison, much depends on the quantity.

2. Any thing infectious, malignant, or noxious to health; as the poison of pestilential diseases.

3. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health; as the poison of evil example; the poison of sin.

POISON, v.t. To infect with any thing fatal to life; as, to poison an arrow.

1. To attack, injure or kill by poison.

He was so discouraged that he poisoned himself and died. 2 Maccabees 10:13.

2. To taint; to mar; to impair; as, discontent poisons the happiness of life.

Hast thou not

With thy false arts poison’d his people’s loyalty?

3. To corrupt. Our youth are poisoned with false notions of honor, or with pernicious maxims of government.

To suffer the thoughts to be vitiated, is to poison the fountains of morality.

POISONED, pp. Infected or destroyed by poison.

POISONER, n. One who poisons or corrupts; that which corrupts.

POISONING, ppr. Infecting with poison; corrupting.

POISONOUS, a. Venomous; having the qualities of poison; corrupting; impairing soundness of purity.

POISONOUSLY, adv. With fatal or injurious effects; venomously.

POISONOUSNESS, n. The quality of being fatal or injurious to health and soundness; venomousness.

POISON-TREE, n. A tree that poisons the flesh. This name is given to a species of Rhus or sumac, the Rhus vernix or poison ash, a native of America; also to the bohun upas of Java.

POITREL, n. [L. pectorale, from pectus, the breast.]

1. Armor for the breast.

2. A graving tool.

POIZE, a common spelling of poise. [See Poise.]

POKE, n. A pocket; a small bag; as a pig in a poke.

POKE, POKE-WEED, n. The popular name of a plant of the genus Phytolacca, otherwise called cocum and garget; a native of N. America. As a medicine, it has emetic and cathartic qualities, and has had some reputation as a remedy for rheumatism. It was formerly called in Virginia, pocan.
POKE, v.t.

1. Properly, to thrust; hence, to feel or search for with a long instrument.

2. To thrust at with the horns, as an ox; a popular use of the word in New England. And intransitively, to poke at, is to thrust the horns at.

POKE, n. In New England, a machine to prevent unruly beasts from leaping fences, consisting of a yoke with a pole inserted, pointing forward.
POKE, v.t. To put a poke on; a, to polk an ox.

POKER, n. [from poke.] An iron bar used in stirring the fire when coal is used for fuel.

POKER, n. [L. bos, bovis.] Any frightful object, especially in the dark; a bugbear; a word in common popular use in America.

POKING, ppr. Feeling in the dark; stirring with a poker; thrusting at with the horns; putting a poke on.

POKING, a. Drudging; servile.

POKING-STICK, n. An instrument formerly used in adjusting the plaits of ruffs then worn.

POLACRE, n. A vessel with three masts, used in the Mediterranean. The masts are usually of one piece, so that they have neither tops, caps nor cross-trees, nor horses to their upper yards.


1. Pertaining to the poles of the earth, north or south, or to the poles of artificial globes; situated near one of the poles; as polar regions; polar seas; polar ice or climates.

2. Proceeding from one of the regions near the poles, as polar winds.

3. Pertaining to the magnetic pole, or to the point to which the magnetic needle is directed.

POLARITY, n. That quality of a body in virtue of which peculiar properties reside in certain points; usually, as in electrified or magnetized bodies, properties of attraction or repulsion, or the power of taking a certain direction. Thus we speak of the polarity of the magnet or magnetic needle, whose pole is not always that of the earth, but a point somewhat easterly or westerly; and the deviation of the needle from a north and south line is called its variation. A mineral is said to possess polarity, when it attracts one pole of a magnetic needle and repels the other.

POLARIZATION, n. The act of giving polarity to a body.

Polarization of light, a change produced upon light by the action of certain media, by which it exhibits the appearance of having polarity, or poles possessing different properties. This property of light was first discovered by Huygens in his investigation of the cause of double refraction, as seen in the Iceland crystal. The attention of opticians was more particularly directed towards it by the discoveries of Malus, in 1810. The knowledge of this singular property of light, has afforded an explanation of several very intricate phenomena in optics.

POLARIZE, v.t. To communicate polarity to.

POLARIZED, pp. Having polarity communicated to.

POLARIZING, ppr. Giving polarity to.

POLARY, a. [See Polar.] Tending to a pole; having a direction to a pole.

POLE, n. [L. palus. See Pale.]

1. A long slender piece of wood, or the stem of a small tree deprived of its branches. Thus seamen use poles for setting or driving boats in shallow water; the stems of small trees are used for hoops and called hoop-poles; the stems of small, but tall straight trees, are used as poles for supporting the scaffolding in building.

2. A rod; a perch; a measure of length of five yards and a half.

[In New England, rod is generally used.]

3. An instrument for measuring.

Bare poles. A ship is under bare poles, when her sails are all furled.

POLE, n. [L. polus; Gr. to turn.]

1. In astronomy, one of the extremities of the axis on which the sphere revolves. These two points are called the poles of the world.

2. In spherics, a point equally distant from every part of the circumference of a great circle of the sphere; or it is a point 90 deg. distant from the plane of a circle, and in a line passing perpendicularly through the center, called the axis. Thus the zenith and nadir are the poles of the horizon.

3. In geography, the extremity of the earth’s axis, or one of the points on the surface of our globe through which the axis passes.

4. The star which is vertical to the pole of the earth; the pole-star.

Poles of the ecliptic, are two points on the surface of the sphere, 23 deg. 30’ distant from the poles of the world.

Magnetic poles, two points in a lodestone, corresponding to the poles of the world; the one pointing to the north, the other to the south.

POLE, n. [from Poland.] A native of Poland.
POLE, v.t. To furnish with poles for support; as, to pole beans.

1. To bear or convey on poles; as, to pole hay into a barn.

2. To impel by poles, as a boat; to push forward by the use of poles.

POLE-AX, POLE-AXE, n. An ax fixed to a pole or handle; or rather a sort of hatchet with a handle about fifteen inches in length, and a point or claw bending downward from the back of its head. It is principally used in actions at sea, to cut away the rigging of the enemy attempting to board; sometimes it is thrust into the side of a ship to assist in mounting the enemy’s ship, and it is sometimes called a boarding-ax.

POLECAT, n. A quadruped of the genus Mustela; the fitchew or fitchet.

POLE-DAVY, n. A sort of coarse cloth.

POLEMARCH, n. [Gr. war, and to rule, or chief.]

1. Anciently, a magistrate of Athens and Thebes, who had under his care all strangers and sojourners in the city, and all children of parents who had lost their lives in the service of their country.

2. A military officer in Lacedaemon.


1. Controversial; disputative; intended to maintain an opinion or system in opposition to others; as a polemic treatise, discourse, essay or book; polemic divinity.

2. Engaged in supporting an opinion or system by controversy; as a polemic writer.

POLEMIC, n. A disputant; a controvertist; one who writes in support of an opinion or system in opposition to another.

POLEMOSCOPE, n. [Gr. war, and to view.] An oblique perspective glass contrived for seeing objects that do not lie directly before the eye. It consists of a concave glass placed near a plane mirror in the end of a short round tube, and a convex glass in a hole in the side of the tube. It is called opera-glass, or diagonal opera-glass.

POLE-STAR, n. A star which is vertical, or nearly so, to the pole of the earth; a lodestar. The northern pole-star is of great use to navigators in the northern hemisphere.

1. That which serves as a guide or director.

POLEY-GRASS, n. A plant of the genus Lythrum.

POLEY-MOUNTAIN, n. A plant of the genus Teucrium.

POLICE, n. [L. politia; Gr. city.]

1. The government of a city or town; the administration of the laws and regulations of a city or incorporated town or borough; as the police of London, of New York or Boston. The word is applied also to the government of all towns in New England which are made corporations by a general statute, for certain purposes.

2. The internal regulation and government of a kingdom or state.

3. The corporation or body of men governing a city.

4. In Scottish, the pleasure-ground about a gentleman’s seat.

POLICED, a. Regulated by laws; furnished with a regular system of laws and administration.

POLICE-OFFICER, n. An officer entrusted with the execution of the laws of a city.

POLICY, n. [L. politia; Gr. city.]

1. Policy, in its primary signification, is the same as polity, comprehending the fundamental constitution or frame of civil government in a state or kingdom. But by usage, policy is now more generally used to denote what is included under legislation and administration, and may be defined, the art or manner of governing a nation; or that system of measures which the sovereign of a country adopts and pursues, as best adapted to the interests of the nation. Thus we speak of domestic policy, or the system of internal regulations in a nation; foreign policy, or the measures which respect foreign nations; commercial policy, or the measures which respect commerce.

2. Art, prudence, wisdom or dexterity in the management of public affairs; applied to persons governing. It has been the policy of France to preclude females from the throne. It has been the policy of Great Britain to encourage her navy, by keeping her carrying trade in her own hands. In this she manifests sound policy. Formerly, England permitted wool to be exported and manufactured in the Low Countries, which was very bad policy.

The policy of all laws has made some forms necessary in the wording of last wills and testaments.

All violent policy defeats itself.

3. In common usage, the art, prudence or wisdom of individuals in the management of their private or social concerns.

4. Stratagem; cunning; dexterity of management.

5. A ticket or warrant for money in the public funds.

6. Policy, in commerce, the writing or instrument by which a contract of indemnity is effected between the insurer and the insured; or the instrument containing the terms or conditions on which a person or company undertakes to indemnify another person or company against losses of property exposed to peculiar hazards, as houses or goods exposed to fire, or ships and goods exposed to destruction on the high seas. This writing is subscribed by the insurer, who is called the underwriter. The terms policy of insurance, or assurance, are also used for the contract between the insured and the underwriter.

Policies are valued or open; valued, when the property or goods insured are valued at prime cost; open, when the goods are not valued, but if lost, their value must be proved.

Wagering policies, which insure sums of money, interest or no interest, are illegal.

All insurances, interest or no interest, or without further proof of interest than the policy itself, are null and void.

The word policy is used also for the writing which insures against other events, as well as against loss of property.

POLING, n. In gardening, the operation of dispersing the worm-casts all over the walks, with long ash poles. This destroys the worm-casts and is beneficial to the walks.

POLING, ppr. Furnishing with poles for support.

1. Bearing on poles.

2. Pushing forward with poles, as a boat.

POLISH, a. Pertaining to Poland, a level country on the south of Russia and the Baltic.

POLISH, v.t. [L. polio.]

1. To make smooth and glossy, usually by friction; as, to polish glass, marble, metals and the like.

2. To refine; to wear off rudeness, rusticity and coarseness; to make elegant and polite; as, to polish life or manners.

The Greeks were polished by the Asiatics and Egyptians.

POLISH, v.i. To become smooth; to receive a gloss; to take a smooth and glossy surface.

Steel will polish almost as white and bright as silver.

POLISH, n. A smooth, glossy surface produced by friction.

Another prism of clearer glass and better polish seemed free from veins.

1. Refinement; elegance of manners.

What are these wond’rous civilizing arts,

This Roman polish?

POLISHABLE, a. Capable of being polished.

POLISHED, pp. Made smooth and glossy; refined.

POLISHER, n. The person or instrument that polishes.

POLISHING, ppr. Making smooth and glossy; refining.

POLISHING, n. Smoothness; glossiness; refinement.

POLITE, a. [L. politus, polished, from polio, supra.]

1. Literally, smooth, glossy, and used in this sense till within a century.

Rays of light falling on a polite surface.

[This application of the word is, I believe, entirely obsolete.]

2. Being polished or elegant in manners; refined in behavior; well bred.

He marries, bows at court and grows polite.

3. Courteous; complaisant; obliging.

His manners were warm without insincerity, and polite without pomp.

POLITELY, adv. With elegance of manners; genteelly; courteously.

POLITENESS, n. Polish or elegance of manners; gentility; good breeding; ease and gracefulness of manners, united with a desire to please others and a careful attention to their wants and wishes.

1. Courteousness; complaisance; obliging attentions.

POLITIC, a. [L. politicus; Gr. a city.]

1. Wise; prudent and sagacious in devising and pursuing measures adapted to promote the public welfare; applied to persons; as a politic prince.

2. Well devised and adapted to the public prosperity; applied to things.

This land was famously enriched

With politic grave counsel.

3. Ingenious in devising and pursuing any scheme of personal or national aggrandizement, without regard to the morality of the measure; cunning; artful; sagacious in adapting means to the end, whether good or evil.

I have been politic with my friend, smooth with my enemy.

4. Well devised; adapted to its end, right or wrong.

POLITICAL, a. [supra.] Pertaining to policy, or to civil government and its administration. Political measures or affairs are measures that respect the government of a nation or state. So we say, political power or authority; political wisdom; a political scheme; political opinions. A good prince is the political father of his people. The founders of a state and wise senators are also called political fathers.

1. Pertaining to a nation or state, or to nations or states, as distinguished from civil or municipal; as in the phrase, political and civil rights, the former comprehending rights that belong to a nation, or perhaps to a citizen as an individual of a nation; and the latter comprehending the local rights of a corporation or any member of it.

Speaking of the political state of Europe, we are accustomed to say of Sweden, she lost her liberty by the revolution.

2. Public; derived from office or connection with government; as political character.

3. Artful; skillful. [See Politic.]

4. Treating of politics or government; as a political writer.

Political arithmetic, the art of reasoning by figures, or of making arithmetical calculations on matters relating to a nation, its revenues, value of lands and effects, produce of lands or manufactures, population, etc.

Political economy, the administration of the revenues of a nation; or the management and regulation of its resources and productive property and labor. Political economy comprehends all the measures by which the property and labor of citizens are directed in the best manner to the success of individual industry and enterprise, and to the public prosperity. Political economy is now considered as a science.

POLITICALLY, adv. With relation to the government of a nation or state.

1. Artfully; with address.

POLITICASTER, n. A petty politician; a pretender to politics.

POLITICIAN, a. Cunning; using artifice.

POLITICIAN, n. One versed in the science of government and the art of governing; one skilled in politics.

1. A man of artifice or deep contrivance.

POLITICS, n. The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals. Politics, as a science or an art, is a subject of vast extent and importance.

POLITIZE, v.i. To play the politician. [Not in use.]

POLITURE, n. [See Polish.]

Polish; the gloss given by polishing. [Not used.]

POLITY, n. [Gr.] The form or constitution of civil government of a nation or state; and in free states, the frame or fundamental system by which the several branches of government are established, and the powers and duties or each designated and defined.

Every branch of our civil polity supports and is supported, regulates and is regulated by the rest.

With respect to their interior polity, our colonies are properly of three sorts; provincial establishments, proprietary governments, and charter governments.

This word seems also to embrace legislation and administration of government.

1. The constitution or general fundamental principles of government of any class of citizens, considered in an appropriate character, or as a subordinate state.

Were the whole christian world to revert back to the original model, how far more simple, uniform and beautiful would the church appear, and how far more agreeable to the ecclesiastical polity instituted by the holy apostles.

POLL, n.

1. The head of a person, or the back part of the head, and in composition, applied to the head of a beast, as in poll-evil.

2. A register of heads, that is, of persons.

3. The entry of the names of electors who vote for civil officers. Hence,

4. An election of civil officers, or the place of election.

Our citizens say, at the opening or close of the poll, that is, at the beginning of the register of voters and reception of votes, or the close of the same. They say also, we are going to the poll; many voters appeared at the poll.

5. A fish called a chub or chevin. [See Pollard.]

POLL, v.t. To lop the tops of trees.

1. To clip; to cut off the ends; to cut off hair or wool; to shear. The phrases, to poll the hair, and to poll the head, have been used. The latter is used in 2 Samuel 14:26. To poll a deed, is a phrase still used in law language.

2. To mow; to crop. [Not used.]

3. To peel; to strip; to plunder.

4. To take a list or register of persons; to enter names in a list.

5. To enter one’s name in a list or register.

6. To insert into a number as a voter.

POLLARD, n. [from poll.] A tree lopped.

1. A clipped coin.

2. The chub fish.

3. A stag that has cast his horns.

4. A mixture of bran and meal.

POLLARD, v.t. To lop the tops of trees; to poll.

POLLEN, n. [L. pollen, pollis, fine flour; pulvis.]

1. The fecundating dust or fine substance like flour or meal, contained in the anther of flowers, which is dispersed on the pistil for impregnation; farin or farina.

2. Fine bran.

POLLENGER, n. Brushwood.

POLLENIN, n. [from pollen.] A substance prepared from the pollen of tulips, highly inflammable, and insoluble in agents which dissolve other vegetable products. Exposed to the air, it soon undergoes putrefaction.

POLLER, n. [from poll.] One that shaves persons; a barber. [Not used.]

1. One that lops or polls trees.

2. A pillager; a plunderer; one that fleeces by exaction. [Not used.]

3. One that registers voters, or one that enters his name as a voter.

POLL-EVIL, n. [poll and evil.] A swelling or impostem on a horse’s head, or on the nape of the neck between the ears.

POLLICITATION, n. [L. pollicitatio.] A promise; a voluntary engagement, or a paper containing it.

POLLINCTOR, n. [L.] One that prepares materials for embalming the dead; a kind of undertaker.

POLLINIFEROUS, a. [L. pollen and fero, to produce.]

Producing pollen.

POLLOCK, POLLACK, n. A fish, a species of Gadus or cod.

POLLUTE, v.t. [L. polluo; polluceo and possideo.]

1. To defile; to make foul or unclean; in a general sense. But appropriately, among the Jews, to make unclean or impure, in a legal or ceremonial sense, so as to disqualify a person for sacred services, or to render things unfit for sacred uses. Numbers 18:32; Exodus 20:25; 2 Kings 23:16; 2 Chronicles 36:14.

2. To taint with guilt.

Ye pollute yourselves with all your idols. Ezekiel 20:31.

3. To profane; to use for carnal or idolatrous purposes.

My sabbaths they greatly polluted. Ezekiel 20:13.

4. To corrupt or impair by mixture of ill, moral or physical.

Envy you my praise, and would destroy

With grief my pleasures, and pollute my joy?

5. To violate by illegal sexual commerce.

POLLUTE, a. Polluted; defiled.

POLLUTED, pp. Defiled; rendered unclean; tainted with guilt; impaired; profaned.

POLLUTEDNESS, n. The state of being polluted; defilement.

POLLUTER, n. A defiler; one that pollutes or profanes.

POLLUTING, ppr. Defiling; rendering unclean; corrupting; profaning.

POLLUTION, n. [L. pollutio.]

1. The act of polluting.

2. Defilement; uncleanness; impurity; the state of being polluted.

3. In the Jewish economy, legal or ceremonial uncleanness, which disqualified a person for sacred services or for common intercourse with the people, or rendered any thing unfit for sacred use.

4. In medicine, the involuntary emission of semen in sleep.

5. In a religious sense, guilt, the effect of sin; idolatry, etc.

POLLUX, n. A fixed star of the second magnitude, in the constellation Gemini or the Twins.

1. [See Castor.]

POLONAISE, POLONESE, n. A robe or dress adopted from the fashion of the Poles; sometimes worn by ladies.

POLONESE, n. The Polish language.

POLONOISE, n. In music, a movement of three crotchets in a bar, with the rhythmical cesure on the last.