Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



POSTBOY, n. A boy that rides as post; a courier.

POST-CHAISE, n. [See Chaise.] A carriage with four wheels for the conveyance of travelers.

POSTDATE, v.t. [L. post, after, and date, L. datum.]

To date after the real time; as, to postdate a contract, that is, to date it after the true time of making the contract.

POSTDILUVIAL, POSTDILUVIAN, a. [L. post, after, and diluvium, the deluge.]

Being or happening posterior to the flood in Noah’s days.

POSTDILUVIAN, n. A person who lived after the flood, or who has lived since that event.

POST-DISSEIZIN, n. A subsequent disseizin. A writ of post-disseizin is intended to put in possession a person who has been disseized after a judgment to recover the same lands of the same person, under the statute of Merton.

POST-DISSEIZOR, n. A person who disseizes another of lands which he had before recovered of the same person.

POSTEA, n. [L.] The record of what is done in a cause subsequent to the joining of issue and awarding of trial.

POSTED, pp. Placed; stationed.

1. Exposed on a post or by public notice.

2. Carried to a ledger, as accounts.

POSTER, n. One who posts; also, a courier; one that travels expeditiously.

POSTERIOR, a. [from L. posterus, from post.]

1. Later or subsequent in time.

Hesiod was posterior to Homer.

2. Later in the order of proceeding or moving; coming after. [Unfrequent.]

POSTERIORITY, n. The state of being later or subsequent; as posteriority of time or of an event; opposed to priority.

POSTERIORS, n. plu. The hinder parts of an animal body.

POSTERITY, n. [L. posteritas, from posterus, from post, after.]

1. Descendants; children, children’s children, etc. indefinitely; the race that proceeds from a progenitor. The whole human race are the posterity of Adam.

2. In a general sense, succeeding generations; opposed to ancestors.

To the unhappy that unjustly bleed,

Heav’n gives posterity t’ avenge the deed.

POSTERN, n. [L. post, behind.]

1. Primarily, a back door or gate; a private entrance; hence, any small door or gate.

2. In fortification, a small gate, usually in the angle of the flank of a bastion, or in that of the curtain or near the orillon, descending into the ditch.

POSTERN, a. Back; being behind; private.

POST-EXISTENCE, n. Subsequent or future existence.

POST-FINE, n. In English law, a fine due to the king by prerogative, after a licentia concordandi given in a fine of lands and tenements; called also the king’s silver.

POSTFIX, n. [L. post, after, and fix.] In grammar, a letter, syllable or word added to the end of another word; a suffix.

POSTFIX, v.t. To add or annex a letter, syllable or word, to the end of another or principal word.

POSTFIXED, pp. Added to the end of a word.

POSTFIXING, ppr. Adding to the end of a word.

POST-HACKNEY, n. [post and hackney.] A hired posthorse.

POST-HASTE, n. Haste or speed in traveling, like that of a post or courier.

POST-HASTE, adv. With speed or expedition. He traveled post-haste, that is, by an ellipsis, with post-haste.

POST-HORSE, n. A horse stationed for the use of couriers.

POST-HOUSE, n. A house where a post-office is kept for receiving and dispatching letters by public mails; a post-office.

[The latter word is now in general use.]

POSTHUME, a. Posthumous. [Not used.]

POSTHUMOUS, a. [L. post, after, and humus, earth; humatus, buried.]

1. Born after the death of the father, or taken from the dead body of the mother; as a posthumous son or daughter.

2. Published after the death of the author; as posthumous works.

3. Being after one’s decease; as a posthumous character.

POSTHUMOUSLY, adv. After one’s decease.

POSTIC, a. [L. posticus.] Backward. [Not used.]

POSTIL, n. [L. post.] A marginal note; originally, a note in the margin of the Bible, so called because written after the text.

POSTIL, v.t. To write marginal notes; to gloss; to illustrate with marginal notes.

POSTILER, n. One who writes marginal notes; one who illustrates the text of a book by notes in the margin.

POSTILLION, n. postil’yon. One that rides and guides the first pair of horses in a coach or other carriage; also, one that rides one of the horses, when one pair only is used, either in a coach or post-chaise.

POSTING, ppr. Setting up on a post; exposing the name or character to reproach by public advertisement.

1. Placing; stationing.

2. Transferring accounts to a ledger.

POSTLIMINIAR, POSTLIMINIOUS, a. [See Postliminium.] Contrived, done or existing subsequently; as a post-liminious application.

POSTLIMINIUM, POSTLIMINY, n. [L. post, after, and limen, end, limit.]

Postliminium, among the Romans, was the return of a person to his own country who had gone to sojourn in a foreign country, or had been banished or taken by an enemy.

In the modern law of nations, the right of postliminy is that by virtue of which, persons and things taken by an enemy in war, are restored to their former state, when coming again under the power of the nation to which they belonged. The sovereign of a country is bound to protect the person and the property of his subjects; and a subject who has suffered the loss of his property by the violence of war, on being restored to his country, can claim to be re-established in all his rights, and to recover his property. But this right does not extend, in all cases, to personal effects or movables, on account of the difficulty of ascertaining their identity.

POSTMAN, n. A post or courier; a letter-carrier.

POSTMARK, n. The mark or stamp of a post-office on a letter.

POSTMASTER, n. The officer who has the superintendence and direction of a post-office.

Postmaster-general, is the chief officer of the post-office department, whose duty is to make contracts for the conveyance of the public mails and see that they are executed, and who receives the moneys arising from the postage of letters, pays the expenses, keeps the accounts of the office, and superintends the whole department.

POSTMERIDIAN, a. [L. postmeridianus. See Meridian.]

Being or belonging to the afternoon; as postmeridian sleep.

POSTNATE, a. [L. post, after, and natus, born.] Subsequent. [Little used.]

POST-NOTE, n. [post and note.] In commerce, a bank note intended to be transmitted to a distant place by the public mail, and made payable to order. In this it differs from a common bank note, which is payable to the bearer.

POSTNUPTIAL, a. [post and nuptial.] Being or happening after marriage; as a postnuptial settlement on a wife.

POST-OFFICE, n. An office or house where letters are received for delivery to the persons to whom they are addressed, or to be transmitted to other places in the public mails; a post-house.

POST-PAID, a. Having the postage paid on; as a letter.

POSTPONE, v.t. [L. postpono; post, after, and pono, to put.]

1. To put off; to defer to a future or later time; to delay; as, to postpone the consideration of a bill or question to the afternoon, or to the following day.

2. To set below something else in value or importance.

All other considerations should give way and be postponed to this.

POSTPONED, pp. Delayed; deferred to a future time; set below in value.

POSTPONEMENT, n. The act of deferring to a future time; temporary delay of business.

POSTPONENCE, n. Dislike. [Not in use.]

POSTPONING, ppr. Deferring to a future time.

POSTPOSITION, n. [post and position.] The state of being put back or out of the regular place.

POSTREMOTE, a. [post and remote.] More remote in subsequent time or order.

POSTSCRIPT, n. [L. post, after, and scriptum, written.]

A paragraph added to a letter after it is concluded and signed by the writer; or any addition made to a book or composition after it had been supposed to be finished, containing something omitted, or something new occurring to the writer.

POST-TOWN, n. A town in which a post-office is established by law.

1. A town in which post-horses are kept.

POSTULANT, n. [See Postulate.] One who makes demand.

POSTULATE, n. [L. postulatum, from postulo, to demand, from the root of posco, to ask or demand. The sense is to urge or push.]

A position or supposition assumed without proof, or one which is considered as self-evident, or too plain to require illustration.

A self-evident problem, answering to axiom, which is a self-evident theorem.

POSTULATE, v.t. [supra.] To beg or assume without proof. [Little used.]

1. To invite; to solicit; to require by entreaty.

2. To assume; to take without positive consent.

The Byzantine emperors appear to have exercised, or at least to have postulated a sort of paramount supremacy over this nation.

POSTULATION, n. [L. postulatio.] The act of supposing without proof; gratuitous assumption.

1. Supplication; intercession; also, suit; cause.

POSTULATORY, a. Assuming without proof.

1. Assumed without proof.

POSTULATUM, n. [L.] A postulate, which see.

POSTURE, n. [L. positura; pono, positus.]

1. In painting and sculpture, attitude; the situation of a figure with regard to the eye, and of the several principal members with regard to each other, by which action is expressed. Postures should be accommodated to the character of the figure, and the posture of each member to its office. Postures are natural or artificial. Natural postures are such as our ordinary actions and the occasions of life lead us to exhibit; artificial postures are such as are assumed or learnt for particular purposes, or in particular occupations, as in dancing, fencing, etc.

2. Situation; condition; particular state with regard to something else; as the posture of public affairs before or after a war.

3. Situation of the body; as an abject posture.

4. State; condition. The fort is in a posture of defense.

5. The situation or disposition of the several parts of the body with respect to each other, or with respect to a particular purpose.

He casts

His eyes against the moon in most strange postures.

The posture of a poetic figure is the description of the heroes in the performance of such or such an action.

6. Disposition; frame; as the posture of the soul.

POSTURE, v.t. To place in a particular manner; to dispose the parts of a body for a particular purpose.

He was raw with posturing himself according to the direction of the chirurgeons.

POSTURE-MASTER, n. One that teaches or practices artificial postures of the body.

POSY, n. s as z.

1. A motto inscribed on a ring, etc.

2. A bunch of flowers.

POT, n.

1. A vessel more deep than broad, made of earth, or iron or other metal, used for several domestic purposes; as an iron pot, for boiling meat or vegetables; a pot for holding liquors; a cup, as a pot of ale; an earthen pot for plants, called a flower pot, etc.

2. A sort of paper of small sized sheets.

To go to pot, to be destroyed, ruined, wasted or expended. [A low phrase.]

POT, v.t. To preserve seasoned in pots; as potted fowl and fish.

1. To inclose or cover in pots of earth.

2. To put in casks for draining; as, to pot sugar, by taking it from the cooler and placing it in hogsheads with perforated heads, from which the molasses percolates through the spongy stalk of a plantain leaf.

POTABLE, a. [Low L. potabilis; from L. poto, to drink; potus, drink; Gr. to drink.] Drinkable; that may be drank; as water fresh and potable.

Rivers run potable gold.

POTABLE, n. Something that may be drank.

POTABLENESS, n. The quality of being drinkable.

POTAGE, n. A species of food made of meat boiled to softness in water, usually with some vegetables or sweet herbs.

POTAGER, n. [from potage.] A porringer.

POTAGRO, POTARGO, n. A kind of pickle imported from the West Indies.

POTANCE, n. With watchmakers, the stud in which the lower pivot of the verge is placed.

POTASH, n. [pot and ashes.] The popular name of vegetable fixed alkali in an impure state, procured from the ashes of plants by lixiviation and evaporation. The matter remaining after evaporation is refined in a crucible or furnace, and the extractive substance burnt off or dissipated. Refined potash is called pearlash. The plants which yield the greatest quantity of potash are wormwood and fumitory.

By recent discoveries of Sir H. Davy, it appears that potash is a metallic oxyd; the metal is called potassium, and the alkali, in books of science, is called potassa.

POTASSA, n. The scientific name of vegetable alkali or potash.

POTASSIUM, n. A name given to the metallic basis of vegetable alkali. According to Dr. Davy, 100 parts of potash consist of 86.1 parts of the basis, and 13.9 of oxygen.

Potassium has the most powerful affinity for oxygen of all substances known; it takes it from every other compound, and hence is a most important agent in chimical analysis.

POTATION, n. [L. potatio. See Potable.]

1. A drinking or drinking bout.

2. A draught.

3. A species of drink.

POTATO, n. A plant and esculent root of the genus Solanum, a native of America. The root of this plant, which is usually called potatoe, constitutes one of the cheapest and most nourishing species of vegetable food; it is the principal food of the poor in some countries, and has often contributed to prevent famine. It was introduced into the British dominions by Sir Walter Raleigh or other adventurers in the 16th century; but is came slowly into use, and at this day is not much cultivated and used in some countries of Europe. In the British dominions and in the United States, it has proved one of the greatest blessings bestowed on man by the Creator.

POT-BELLIED, a. Having a prominent belly.

POT-BELLY, n. A protuberant belly.

POTCH, v.t. [Eng. to poke.] To thrust; to push. [Not used.]

1. To poach; to boil slightly. [Not used.]

POT-COMPANION, n. An associate or companion in drinking; applied generally to habitual hard drinkers.

POTELOT, n. The sulphuret of molybden.

POTENCE, n. In heraldry, a cross whose ends resemble the head of a crutch.

POTENCY, n. [L. potentia, from potens; possum, posse. See Power.]

1. Power; physical power, energy or efficacy; strength.

2. Moral power; influence; authority.

Now arriving

At place of potency and sway o’ th’ state.

POTENT, a. [L. potens.] Powerful; physically strong; forcible; efficacious; as a potent medicine.

Moses once more his potent rod extends.

1. Powerful, in a moral sense; having great influence; as potent interest; a potent argument.

2. Having great authority, control or dominion; as a potent prince.

POTENT, n. A prince; a potentate. [Not in use.]

1. A walking staff or crutch. [Not used.]

POTENTACY, n. Sovereignty. [Not used.]

POTENTATE, n. A person who possesses great power or sway; a prince; a sovereign; an emperor, king or monarch.

Exalting him not only above earthly princes and potentates, but above the highest of the celestial hierarchy.

POTENTIAL, a. [L. potentialis.] Having power to impress on us the ideas of certain qualities, though the qualities are not inherent in the thing; as potential heat or cold.

1. Existing in possibility, not in act.

This potential and imaginary materia prima, cannot exist without form.

2. Efficacious; powerful. [Not in use.]

Potential cautery, in medicine, is the consuming or reducing to an eschar, any part of the body by a caustic alkaline or metallic salt, etc. instead of a red hot iron, the use of which is called actual cautery.

Potential mode, in grammar, is that form of the verb which is used to express the power, possibility, liberty or necessity of an action or of being; as, I may go; he can write. This, in English, is not strictly a distinct mode, but the indicative or declarative mode, affirming the power to act, instead of the act itself. I may go or can go, are equivalent to, I have power to go.

POTENTIAL, n. Any thing that may be possible.

POTENTIALITY, n. Possibility; not actuality.

POTENTIALLY, adv. In possibility; not in act; not positively.

This duration of human souls is only potentially infinite.

1. In efficacy, not in actuality; as potentially cold.

POTENTLY, adv. Powerfully; with great force or energy.

You are potently opposed.

POTENTNESS, n. Powerfulness; strength; might. [Little used.]

POTESTATIVE, a. [from L. potestas.] Authoritative. [Not used.]

POTGUN, for popgun. [Not used.]

POT-HANGER, n. [pot and hanger.] A pot-hook.

POTHECARY, contracted from apothecary, and very vulgar. [See the latter.]

POTHER, n. [This word is vulgarly pronounced bother. Its origin and affinities are not ascertained.]

1. Bustle; confusion; tumult; flutter. [Low.]

2. A suffocating cloud.

POTHER, v.i. To make a blustering ineffectual effort; to make a stir.
POTHER, v.t. To harass and perplex; to puzzle.

POTHERB, n. An herb for the pot or for cookery; a culinary plant.

POT-HOOK, n. A hook on which pots and kettles are hung over the fire.

1. A letter or character like a pot-hook; a scrawled letter.

POTION, n. [L. potio; poto, to drink.]

A draught; usually, a liquid medicine; a dose.

POTLID, n. The lid or cover of a pot.

POT-MAN, n. A pot companion.

POTSHERD, n. A piece or fragment of a broken pot. Job 2:8.

POTSTONE, n. Potstone appears to be indurated black talck, passing into serpentine. It has a curved and undulatingly lamellar structure, passing into slaty.

Potstone is of a greenish gray color. It occurs massive, or in granular concretions.

Potstone is a variety of steatite.

POTTAGE, n. Broth; soup. [See Potage, the more correct orthography.]

POTTED, pp. Preserved or inclosed in a pot; drained in a cask.