Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PRODITORIOUS, a. Treacherous; perfidious; traitorous. [Not in use.]

1. Apt to make discoveries or disclosures. [Not in use.]

PRODITORY, a. Treacherous; perfidious.

PRODROME, n. [Gr. to run.] A forerunner. [Not in use.]

PRODUCE, v.t. [L. produco; pro and duco, to lead or draw.]

1. To bring forward; to bring or offer to view or notice; as, to produce a witness or evidence in court.

Produce your cause. Isaiah 41:21.

2. To exhibit to the public.

Your parents did not produce you much into the world.

3. To bring forth; to bear; as plants or the soil. Trees produce fruit; the earth produces trees and grass; wheat produces an abundance of food.

4. To bear; to generate and bring forth; as young. The seas produce fish in abundance.


Produce prodigious births of body or mind.

5. To cause; to effect; to bring into existence. Small causes sometimes produce great effects. The clouds produce rain. The painter produces a picture or a landscape. The sculptor produces a statue. Vice produces misery.

6. To raise; to bring into being. The farmer produces grain enough for his family.

7. To make; to bring into being or form. The manufacturer produces excellent wares.

8. To yield or furnish. Money produces interest; capital produces profit. The commerce of the country produces a revenue to government.

9. In general, to bring into existence or into view.

10. To draw out in length; to extend; as a line produced from A to B.

PRODUCE, n. That which is produced, brought forth or yielded; product; as the produce of a farm; the produce of trees; the produce of a country; the produce of a manufacture; the produce of the sea; the produce of a tax; the produce of a mine. But when we speak of something formed by an individual artisan or genius, we call it a production.

PRODUCED, pp. Brought into life, being or view; yielded.

PRODUCEMENT, n. Production. [Not used.]

PRODUCENT, n. One that exhibits or offers to view or notice. [Not much used.]

PRODUCER, n. One that generates; one that produces.

PRODUCIBILITY, n. The power or producing. [Not used.]


1. That may be brought into being; that may be generated or made; as producible salts.

2. That may be brought into view or notice; that may be exhibited.

PRODUCIBLENESS, n. The state or quality of being producible; as the producibleness of salts.

PRODUCING, ppr. Generating; bringing into existence or notice.

PRODUCT, n. [L. productus, from produco.]

1. That which is produced by nature, as fruits, grain, metals; as the product of land; the products of the season.

2. That which is formed or produced by labor or by mental application; as the products of manufacturers, of commerce or of art; the products of great and wise men. In the latter sense, production is now generally used.

In general, products comprehends whatever is produced or made; as when we speak of the products of a country exported.

The product of the impost and excise.

3. Effect; result; something consequential.

These are the product

Of those ill mated marriages.

4. In arithmetic, the amount of two or more numbers multiplied. Thus 5x7=35, the product. Product results from multiplication, as sum does from addition.

5. In geometry, the factum of two or more lines.

PRODUCTILE, a. That may be extended in length.

PRODUCTION, n. [L. productio.]

1. The act or process of producing, bringing forth or exhibiting to view.

2. That which is produced or made; as the productions of the earth, comprehending all vegetables and fruits; the productions of art, as manufactures of every kind, paintings, sculpture, etc.; the productions of intellect or genius, as poems and prose compositions.


1. Having the power of producing; as, productive labor is that which increases the number or amount of products; opposed to unproductive labor. The labor of the farmer and mechanic is productive; the labor of officers and professional men is unproductive to the state. A tree which bears fruit, and the land which bears grass or grain, is productive.

2. Fertile; producing good crops. We often denote by this word that land or plants yield large products.

3. Producing; bringing into being; causing to exist; efficient; as an age productive of great men; a spirit productive of heroic achievements.

This is turning nobility into a principle of virtue, and making it productive of merit.

And kindle with thy own productive fire.

PRODUCTIVENESS, n. The quality of being productive; as the productiveness of land or labor.

PROEM, n. [L. proemium; Gr. before, and way.] Preface; introduction; preliminary observations to a book or writing.

PROEM, v.t. To preface. [Not used.]

PROEMIAL, a. Introductory; prefatory; preliminary.

PROEMPTOSIS, n. [Gr. to fall before.] In chronology, the lunar equation or addition of a day, necessary to prevent the new moon from happening a day too soon.

PROFANATION, n. [L. profano. See Profane.]

1. The act of violating sacred things, or of treating them with contempt or irreverence; as the profanation of the sabbath by sports, amusements or unnecessary labor; the profanation of a sanctuary; the profanation of the name of God by swearing, jesting, etc.

2. The act of treating with abuse or disrespect.

‘Twere profanation of our joys

To tell the laity our love.

PROFANE, a. [L. profanus; pro and fanum, a temple.]

1. Irreverent to any thing sacred; applied to persons. A man is profane when he takes the name of God in vain, or treats sacred things with abuse and irreverence.

2. Irreverent; proceeding from a contempt of sacred things, or implying it; as profane words or language; profane swearing.

3. Not sacred; secular; relating to secular things; as profane history.

4. Polluted; not pure.

Nothing is profane that serveth to holy things.

5. Not purified or holy; allowed for common use; as a profane place. Ezekiel 42:20; Ezekiel 48:15.

6. Obscene; heathenish; tending to bring reproach on religion; as profane fables. 1 Timothy 4:7.

Profane is used chiefly in Scripture in opposition to holy, or qualified ceremonially for sacred services.

PROFANE, v.t. To violate any thing sacred, or treat it with abuse, irreverence, obloquy or contempt; as, to profane the name of God; to profane the sabbath; to profane the Scriptures or the ordinances of God.

1. To pollute; to defile; to apply to temporal uses; to use as base or common. Ezekiel 24:21.

2. To violate. Malachi 2:10-11.

3. To pollute; to debase. Leviticus 21:4.

4. To put to a wrong use.

PROFANED, pp. Violated; treated with irreverence or abuse; applied to common uses; polluted.

PROFANELY, adv. With irreverence to sacred things or names.

The character of God profanely impeached.

1. With abuse or contempt for any thing venerable.

That proud scholar--speaks of Homer too profanely.

PROFANENESS, n. Irreverence of sacred things; particularly, the use of language which implies irreverence towards God; the taking of God’s name in vain.

Profaneness in men is vulgar and odious; in females, is shocking and detestable.

PROFANER, n. One who by words or actions, treats sacred things with irreverence; one who uses profane language.

1. A polluter; a defiler; as a profaner of the temple.

PROFANING, ppr. Violating; treating with irreverence; polluting.

PROFANITY, n. Profaneness, which see.

In a revel of debauchery, amid the brisk interchange of profanity and folly, religion might appear a dumb, unsocial intruder.

PROFECTION, n. [L. profectio.] A going forward; advance; progression. [Not in use.]

PROFERT, n. [L. 3d. person of profero.] In law, the exhibition of a record or paper in open court.

PROFESS, v.t. [L. professus, profiteor; pro and fateor.]

1. To make open declaration of; to avow or acknowledge.

Let no man who professes himself a christian, keep so heathenish a family as not to see God by daily worshipped in it.

They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him. Titus 1:16.

2. To declare in strong terms.

Then will I profess to them, I never knew you. Matthew 7:23.

3. To make a show of any sentiments by loud declaration.

To your professing bosoms I commit him.

4. To declare publicly one’s skill in any art or science, for inviting employment; as, to profess one’s self a physician; he professes surgery.

PROFESS, v.i. To declare friendship. [Not in use.]

PROFESSED, PROFEST, pp. Openly declared, avowed or acknowledged; as a professed foe; a professed tyrant; a professed christian; a professed atheist.

PROFESSEDLY, adv. By profession; by open declaration or avowal.

I could not grant too much to men--professedly my subjects.

England I traveled over, professedly searching all places as I passed along.

PROFESSING, ppr. Openly declaring; avowing; acknowledging.

PROFESSION, n. [L. professio.]

1. Open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment of one’s sentiments or belief; as professions of friendship or sincerity; a profession of faith or religion.

The professions of princes, when a crown is the bait, are a slender security.

The Indians quickly perceive the coincidence or the contradiction between professions and conduct, and their confidence or distrust follows of course.

2. The business which one professes to understand and to follow for subsistence; calling; vocation; employment; as the learned professions. We speak of the profession of a clergyman, of a lawyer, and of a physician or surgeon; the profession of lecturer on chimistry or mineralogy. But the word is not applied to an occupation merely mechanical.

3. The collective body of persons engaged in a calling. We speak of practices honorable or disgraceful to a profession.

4. Among the Romanists, the entering into a religious order, by which a person offers himself to God by a vow of inviolable obedience, chastity and poverty.

PROFESSIONAL, a. Pertaining to a profession or to a calling; as professional studies, pursuits, duties, engagements; professional character or skill.

PROFESSIONALLY, adv. By profession or declaration. He is professionally a friend to religion.

1. By calling; as one employed professionally.

PROFESSOR, n. [L.] One who makes open declaration of his sentiments or opinions; particularly, one who makes a public avowal of his belief in the Scriptures and his faith in Christ, and thus unites himself to the visible church.

1. One that publicly teaches any science or branch of learning; particularly, an officer in a university, college or other seminary, whose business is to read lectures or instruct students in a particular branch of learning; as a professor of theology or mathematics.

PROFESSORIAL, a. [L. professorius.] Pertaining to a professor; as the professorial chair.

PROFESSORSHIP, n. The office of a professor or public teacher of the sciences.

PROFESSORY, a. Pertaining to a professor.

PROFFER, v.t. [L. profero; pro and fero, to bear.]

1. To offer for acceptance; as, to proffer a gift; to proffer services; to proffer friendship.

2. To essay or attempt of one’s own accord.


So hardy as to proffer or accept

Alone the dreadful voyage.

PROFFER, n. An offer made; something proposed for acceptance by another; as proffers of peace or friendship.

He made a proffer to lay down his commission of command in the army.

1. Essay; attempt.

PROFFERED, pp. Offered for acceptance.

PROFFERER, n. One who offers any thing for acceptance.

PROFFERING, ppr. Offering for acceptance.

PROFICIENCE, PROFICIENCY, n. [from L. proficiens, from proficio, to advance forward; pro and facio, to make.] Advance in the acquisition of any art, science or knowledge; improvement; progression in knowledge. Students are examined that they may manifest their proficiency in their studies or in knowledge.

PROFICIENT, n. One who has made considerable advances in any business, art, science or branch of learning; as a proficient in a trade or occupation; a proficient in mathematics, in anatomy, in music, etc.

PROFICUOUS, a. [L. proficuus, proficio, supra.]

Profitable; advantageous; useful. [Little used.]

PROFILE, n. pro’fil. [L. filum, a thread or line.]

1. Primarily, an outline of contour; hence, in sculpture and painting, a head or portrait represented sidewise or in a side view; the side face or half face; as, to draw or appear in profile; the profile of Pope or Addison.

2. In architecture, the contour or outline of a figure, building or member; also, the draught of a building, representing it as if cut down perpendicularly from the roof to the foundation.

PROFILE, v.t. To draw the outline of a head sidewise; to draw in profile; as a building.

PROFILED, pp. Drawn so as to present a side view.

PROFILING, ppr. Drawing a portrait so as to represent a side view; drawing an outline.

PROFIT, n. [L. profectus, proficio, to profit, literally to proceed forward, to advance; pro and facio. The primary sense of facio is to urge or drive.]

1. In commerce, the advance in the price of goods sold beyond the cost of purchase. Net profit is the gain made by selling goods at an advanced price or a price beyond what they had cost the seller, and beyond all costs and charges. The profit of the farmer and the manufacturer is the gain made by the sale of produce or manufactures, after deducting the value of the labor, materials, rents and all expenses, together with the interest of the capital employed, whether land, machinery, buildings, instruments or money.

Let no man anticipate uncertain profits.

2. Any gain or pecuniary advantage; as an office of profit or honor.

3. Any advantage; any accession of good from labor or exertion; an extensive signification, comprehending the acquisition of any thing valuable, corporeal or intellectual, temporal or spiritual. A person may derive profit from exercise, amusements, reading, study, meditation, social intercourse, religious instruction, etc. Every improvement or advance in knowledge is profit to a wise man.

PROFIT, v.t.

1. To benefit; to advantage; applied to one’s self, to derive some pecuniary interest or some accession of good from any thing; as, to profit one’s self by a commercial undertaking, or by reading or instruction. In this sense, the verb is generally used intransitively. Applied to others, to communicate good to; to advance the interest of.

Brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you? 1 Corinthians 14:6.

Whereto might the strength of their hands profit me? Job 30:2.

2. To improve; to advance.

It is a great means of profiting yourself, to copy diligently excellent pieces and beautiful designs.

PROFIT, v.i. To gain advantage in percuniary interest; as, to profit by trade or manufactures.

1. To make improvement; to improve; to grow wiser or better; to advance in any thing useful; as, to profit by reading or by experience.

She has profited by your counsel.

2. To be of use or advantage; to bring good to.

Riches profit not in the day of wrath. Proverbs 11:4.

PROFITABLE, a. Yielding or bringing profit or gain; gainful; lucrative; as a profitable trade; profitable business; a profitable study or profession.

1. Useful; advantageous.

What was so profitable to the empire, became fatal to the emperor.

PROFITABLENESS, n. Gainfulness; as the profitableness of trade.

1. Usefulness; advantageousness.

PROFITABLY, adv. With gain; gainfully. Our ships are profitably employed.

1. Usefully; advantageously; with improvement. Our time may be profitably occupied in reading.

PROFITED, pp. Benefited; advanced in interest or happiness; improved.

What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26.

PROFITING, ppr. Gaining interest or advantage; improving.

PROFITING, n. Gain; advantage; improvement.

That thy profiting may appear to all. 1 Timothy 4:15.

PROFITLESS, a. Void of profit, gain or advantage.

PROFLIGACY, n. [See Profligate.] A profligate or very vicious course of life; a state of being abandoned in moral principle and in vice.

PROFLIGATE, a. [L. profligatus, profligo, to rout, to ruin; pro and fligo, to drive or dash. The word then signifies dashed, broken or ruined in morals. See Flog and Afflict.]

Abandoned to vice; lost to principle, virtue or decency; extremely vicious; shameless in wickedness; as a profligate man or wretch.

Next age will see

A race more profligate than we.

Made prostitute and profligate the muse,

Debas’d to each obscene and impious use.

PROFLIGATE, n. An abandoned man; a wretch who has lost all regard to good principles, virtue or decency.

How could such a profligate as Antony, or a boy of eighteen like Octavius, ever dare to dream of giving law to such an empire?

PROFLIGATE, v.t. To drive away; a Latin signification. [Not used.]

1. To overcome. [Not used.]

PROFLIGATELY, adv. Without principle or shame.

1. In a course of extreme viciousness; as, to spend life profligately.

PROFLIGATENESS, n. The quality or state of being lost to virtue and decency.

1. An abandoned course of life; extreme viciousness; profligacy.

PROFLIGATION, n. Defeat; rout. [Not used.]

PROFLUENCE, n. [L. profluens, profluo; pro and fluo, to flow.]

A progress or course. [Not used.]

PROFLUENT, a. Flowing forward; as a profluent stream.

PROFOUND, a. [L. profundus; pro and fundus, bottom. See Found.]

1. Deep; descending or being far below the surface, or far below the adjacent places; as a gulf profound.

2. Intellectually deep; that enters deeply into subjects; not superficial or obvious to the mind; as a profound investigation; profound reasoning; a profound treatise.

3. Humble; very lowly; submissive; as a profound reverence for the Supreme Being.

4. Penetrating deeply into science or any branch of learning; as a profound scholar; a profound mathematician; a profound historian.

5. Deep in skill or contrivance.

The revolters are profound to make slaughter. Hosea 5:2.

6. Having hidden qualities.

Upon the corner of the moon

There hangs a vap’rous drop profound.

PROFOUND, n. The deep; the sea; the ocean; as the vast profound.

1. The abyss.

I travel this profound.

PROFOUND, v.i. To dive; to penetrate. [Not in use.]

PROFOUNDLY, adv. Deeply; with deep concern.

Why sigh you so profoundly?

1. With deep penetration into science or learning; with deep knowledge or insight; as profoundly wise; profoundly skilled in music or painting.

PROFOUNDNESS, n. Depth of place.

1. Depth of knowledge or of science.

PROFUNDITY, n. [L. profundus.] Depth of place, knowledge or of science.

PROFUSE, a. [L. profusus, profundo, to pour out; pro and fundo.]

1. Lavish; liberal to excess; prodigal; as a profuse government; a profuse administration. Henry the eighth, a profuse king, dissipated the treasures which the parsimony of his father had amassed. A man’s friends are generally too profuse of praise, and his enemies too sparing.

2. Extravagant; lavish; as profuse expenditures.

3. Overabounding; exuberant.

On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers--

O liberty! thou goddess heavenly bright,

Profuse of bliss--

Profuse ornament in painting, architecture or gardening, as well as in dress or in language, shows a mean or corrupted taste.

PROFUSE, v.t. s as z. To pour out. [Little used.]

1. To squander. [Little used.]

PROFUSELY, adv. Lavishly; prodigally; as an income profusely expended.

1. With exuberance; with rich abundance. The earth is profusely adorned with flowers; ornaments may be too profusely scattered over a building.

PROFUSENESS, n. Lavishness; prodigality; extravagant expenditures.

Hospitality sometimes degenerates into profuseness.

1. Great abundance; profusion; as profuseness of ornaments.

PROFUSION, n. s as z. [L. profusio.]

1. Lavishness; prodigality; extravagance of expenditures; as, to waste an estate by profusion.

What meant thy pompous progress through the empire,

Thy vast profusion to the factious nobles?

2. Lavish effusion.

He was desirous to avoid not only profusion, but the least effusion of christian blood.

3. Rich abundance; exuberant plenty. The table contained a profusion of dainties. Our country has a profusion of food for man and beast.

The raptur’d eye

The fair profusion, yellow autumn, spies.

PROG, v.i. [L. proco, procor.]

1. To shift meanly for provisions; to wander about and seek provisions where they are to be found; to live by beggarly tricks. [A low word.]

You are the lion; I have been endeavoring to prog for you.

PROG, n. Victuals or provisions sought by begging or found by wandering about.

1. Victuals of any kind. [A low word.]

PROG, n. One that seeks his victuals by wandering and begging.

PROGENERATE, v.t. [L. progenero.] To beget. [Not in use.]

PROGENERATION, n. The act of begetting; propagation. [Not used.]

PROGENITOR, n. [L. from progigno; pro and gigno, to beget.]

An ancestor in the direct line; a forefather.

Adam was the progenitor of the human race.

PROGENITURE, n. A begetting or birth. [Little used.]

PROGENY, n. [L. progenies, from progignor.] Offspring; race; children; descendants of the human kind, or offspring of other animals; as the progeny of a king; the progeny of Adam; the progeny of beasts or fowls; a word of general application.

PROGNOSIS, n. [Gr. to know before.] In medicine, the art of foretelling the event of a disease; the judgment of the event of a disease by particular symptoms.

PROGNOSTIC, a. Foreshowing; indicating something future by signs or symptoms; as the prognostic symptoms of a disease; prognostic signs.

PROGNOSTIC, n. In medicine, the judgment formed concerning the event of a disease by means of the symptoms.

1. Something which foreshows; a sign by which a future event may be known or foretold.

In medicine, a sign or symptom indicating the event of a disease. The appearance of the tongue--is of considerable importance as a prognostic.

1. A foretelling; prediction.

PROGNOSTICABLE, a. That may be foreknown or foretold.

PROGNOSTICATE, v.t. [from prognostic.]

1. To foreshow; to indicate a future event by present signs. A clear sky at sunset prognosticates a fair day.

2. To foretell by means of present signs; to predict.

I neither will nor can prognosticate

To the young gaping heir his father’s fate.

PROGNOSTICATED, pp. Foreshown; foretold.

PROGNOSTICATING, ppr. Foreshowing; foretelling.

PROGNOSTICATION, n. The act of foreshowing a future event by present signs.

1. The act of foretelling an event by present signs.

2. A foretoken; previous sign.

PROGNOSTICATOR, n. A foreknower or foreteller of a future event by present signs.

PROGRAMMA, n. [Gr. to write previously; to write.]

1. Anciently, a letter sealed with the king’s seal.

2. In a university, a billet or advertisement to invite persons to an oration.

3. A proclamation or edict posted in a public place.

4. That which is written before something else; a preface.

PROGRESS, n. [L. progressus, progedior; pro and gradior, to step or go. See Grade and Degree.]

1. A moving or going forward; a proceeding onward. A man makes a slow progress or a rapid progress on a journey; a ship makes slow progress against the tide. He watched the progress of the army on its march, or the progress of a star or comet.

2. A moving forward in growth; increase; as the progress of a plant or animal.

3. Advance in business of any kind; as the progress of a negotiation; the progress of arts.

4. Advance in knowledge; intellectual or moral improvement; proficiency. The student is commended for this progress in learning; the christian for his progress in virtue and piety.

5. Removal; passage from place to place.

From Egypt arts their progress made to Greece.

6. A journey of state; a circuit.

PROGRESS, v.i. To move forward in space; to pass; to proceed.

Let me wipe off this honorable dew

That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks.

--Although the popular blast

Hath rear’d thy name up to bestride a cloud,

Or progress in the chariot of the sun.

1. To proceed; to continue onward in course.

After the war had progressed for some time.

2. To advance; to make improvement.

PROGRESSION, n. [L. progressio, progredior.]

1. The act of moving forward; a proceeding in a course; motion onwards.

2. Intellectual advance; as the progression of thought.

3. Course; passage.

4. In mathematics, regular or proportional advance in increase or decrease of numbers; continued proportion, arithmetical or geometrical. Continued arithmetical proportion, is when the terms increase or decrease by equal differences. Thus, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, by the difference 2.

Geometrical proportion or progression, is when the terms increase or decrease by equal ratios. Thus, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, by a continual multiplication or division by 2.

PROGRESSIONAL, a. That advances; that is in a state of advance.

PROGRESSIVE, a. Moving forward; proceeding onward; advancing; as progressive motion or course; opposed to retrograde.

1. Improving. The arts are in a progressive state.

PROGRESSIVELY, adv. By motion onward; by regular advances.

PROGRESSIVENESS, n. The state of moving forward; an advancing; state of improvement; as the progressiveness of science, arts or taste.

PROHIBIT, v.t. [L. prohibeo; pro and habeo, to hold.]

1. To forbid; to interdict by authority; applicable to persons or things, but implying authority or right. God prohibited Adam to eat of the fruit of a certain tree. The moral law prohibits what is wrong and commands what is right. We prohibit a person to do a thing, and we prohibit the thing to be done.

2. To hinder; to debar; to prevent; to preclude.

Gates of burning adamant,

Barr’d over us, prohibit all egress.

PROHIBITED, pp. Forbid; interdicted; hindered.

PROHIBITER, n. One who prohibits or forbids; a forbidder; an interdicter.

PROHIBITING, ppr. Forbidding; interdicting; debarring.

PROHIBITION, n. [L. prohibitio.]

1. The act of forbidding or interdicting; a declaration to hinder some action; interdict.

The law of God in the ten commandments consists mostly of prohibitions; “thou shalt not do such a thing.”

2. In law, a writ of prohibition, is a writ issuing from a superior tribunal, directed to the judges of an inferior court, commanding them to cease from the prosecution of a suit. By ellipsis, prohibition is used for the writ itself.

PROHIBITIVE, PROHIBITORY, a. Forbidding; implying prohibition.

PROIN, v.t. To lop; to trim; to prune. [See Prune.]

PROIN, v.i. To be employed in pruning.