Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PROJECT, v.t. [L. projicio; pro, forward, and jacio, to throw.]

1. To throw out; to cast or shoot forward.

Th’ ascending villas

Project long shadows o’er the crystal tide.

2. To cast forward in the mind; to scheme; to contrive; to devise something to be done; as, to project a plan for paying off the national debt; to project an expedition to South America; to project peace or war.

3. To draw or exhibit, as the form of any thing; to delineate.

PROJECT, v.i. To shoot forward; to extend beyond something else; to jut; to be prominent; as, the cornice projects.
PROJECT, n. A scheme; a design; something intended or devised; contrivance; as the project of a canal from the Hudson to the lakes; all our projects of happiness are liable to be frustrated.

1. An idle scheme; a design not practicable; as a man given to projects.

PROJECTED, pp. Cast out or forward; schemed; devised; delineated.

PROJECTILE, a. Impelling forward; as a projectile force.

1. Given by impulse; impelled forward; as projectile motion.

PROJECTILE, n. A body projected, or impelled forward by force, particularly through the air.

1. Projectiles, in mechanical philosophy, is that part which treats of the motion of bodies thrown or driven by an impelling force from the surface of the earth, and affected by gravity and the resistance of the air.

PROJECTING, ppr. Throwing out or forward; shooting out; jutting; scheming; contriving.

PROJECTION, n. [L. projectio.] The act of throwing or shooting forward.

1. A jutting out; extension beyond something else.

2. The act of scheming; plan; scheme; design of something to be executed.

3. Plan; delineation; the representation of something; as the projection of the sphere, is a representation of the circles on the surface of the sphere. There are three principal points of projection; the stereographic, in which the eye is supposed to be placed on the surface of the sphere; the orthographic, in which the eye is supposed to be at an infinite distance; and the gnomonic, in which the eye is placed in the center of the sphere.

In perspective, projection denotes the appearance or representation of an object on the perspective plane.

4. In alchimy, the casting of a certain powder, called powder of projection, into a crucible or other vessel full of some prepared metal or other matter, which is to be thereby transmuted into gold.

PROJECTMENT, n. Design; contrivance. [Little used.]

PROJECTOR, n. One who forms a scheme or design.

1. One who forms wild or impracticable schemes.

PROJECTURE, n. A jutting or standing out beyond the line or surface of something else.

PROLAPSE, n. prolaps’. [L. prolapsus, prolabor.]

A falling down or falling out of some part of the body, as of the uterus or intestines.

PROLAPSE, v.i. prolaps’. To fall down or out; to project too much.


PROLATE, v.t. [L. prolatum, profero.]

To utter; to pronounce. [Not used.]

PROLATE, a. [supra.] Extended beyond the line of an exact sphere. A prolate spheriod is produced by the revolution of a semi-ellipsis about its larger diameter.

PROLATION, n. [L. prolatio, from profero.]

Utterance; pronunciation. [Little used.]

1. Delay; act of deferring. [Not used.]

2. A method in music of determining the power of semibreves and minims.

PROLEGOMENA, n. plu. [Gr. to speak.] Preliminary observations; introductory remarks or discourses prefixed to a book or treatise.

PROLEPSIS, PROLEPSY, n. [Gr. to take.]

1. Anticipation; a figure in rhetoric by which objections are anticipated or prevented.

2. An error in chronology, when an event is dated before the actual time; an anachronism.

PROLEPTIC, PROLEPTICAL, a. Pertaining to prolepsis or anticipation.

1. Previous; antecedent.

2. In medicine, anticipating the usual time; applied to a periodical disease, whose paroxysm returns at an earlier hour at every repetition.

PROLEPTICALLY, adv. By way of anticipation.

PROLETARIAN, a. [L. proletarius, from proles, offspring.] vile; vulgar. [Not used.]

PROLETARY, n. A common person. [Not used.]

PROLIFEROUS, a. [infra.] In botany, prolific; as a proliferous flower.

A proliferous stem is one which puts forth branches only from the center of the top, or which shoots out new branches from the summits of the former ones, as the pine and fir.

A proliferous umbel is a compound umbel which has the umbellicle subdivided.

PROLIFIC, PROLIFICAL, a. [L. proles, offspring, and facio, to make.]

1. Producing young or fruit; fruitful; generative; productive; applied to animals and plants; as a prolific female; a prolific tree.

2. Productive; having the quality of generating; as a controversy prolific of evil consequences; a prolific brain.

3. A prolific flower, [prolifer,] in botany is one which produces a second flower from its own substance, or which has smaller flowers growing out of the principal one. But proliferous is commonly used.

PROLIFICACY, n. Fruitfulness; great productiveness.

PROLIFICALLY, adv. Fruitfully; with great increase.

PROLIFICATION, n. [See Prolific.] The generation of young or of plants.

1. In botany, the production of a second flower from the substance of the first. This is either from the center of a simple flower, or from the side of an aggregate flower.

PROLIFICNESS, n. The state of being prolific.

PROLIX, a. [L. prolixus; pro and laxus, literally drawn out.]

1. Long; extended to a great length; minute in narration or argument; applied only to discourses, speeches and writings; as a prolix oration; a prolix poem; a prolix sermon.

2. Of long duration. [Not in use.]

PROLIXITY, PROLIXNESS, n. Great length; minute detail; applied only to discourses and writings. Prolixity is not always tedious.

PROLIXLY, adv. At great length.

PROLOCUTOR, n. [L. proloquor; pro and loquor, to speak.]

The speaker or chairman of a convocation.

PROLOCUTORSHIP, n. The office of station of a prolocutor.

PROLOGIZE, v.i. To deliver a prologue. [Not in use.]

PROLOGUE, n. pro’log. [L. prologue; Gr. discourse.]

The preface or introduction to a discourse, or performance, chiefly the discourse or poem spoken before a dramatic performance or play begins.

PROLOGUE, v.t. pro’log. To introduce with a formal preface.

PROLONG, v.t. [L. pro and longus. See Long.]

1. To lengthen in time; to extend the duration of. Temperate habits tend to prolong life.

2. To lengthen; to draw out in time by delay; to continue.

Th’ unhappy queen with talk prolong’d the night.

3. To put off to a distant time.

For I myself am not so well provided

As else I would be, were the day prolong’d.

4. To extend in space or length.

PROLONGATE, v.t. To extend or lengthen in space; as, to prolongate a line.

1. To extend in time. [Little used.]

PROLONGATED, pp. Extended in space; continued in length.

PROLONGATING, ppr. Lengthening in space.

PROLONGATION, n. The act of lengthening in time or space; as the prolongation of life.

The prolongation of a line.

1. Extension of time by delay or postponement; as the prolongation of days for payment.

PROLONGED, pp. Lengthened in duration or space.

PROLONGER, n. He or that which lengthens in time or space.

PROLONGING, ppr. Extending in time; continuing in length.

PROLUSION, n. s as z. [L. prolusio, proludo; pro and ludo, to play.] A prelude; entertainment; diverting performance. [Little used.]


1. A walk for amusement or exercise.

2. A place for walking.

PROMERIT, v.t. [L. promereo, promeritum; pro and mereo, to merit.]

1. To oblige; to confer a favor on.

2. To deserve; to procure by merit.

[This word is little used or not at all.]

PROMETHEAN, a. Pertaining to Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven.

PROMINENCE, PROMINENCY, n. [L. prominentia, from promineo; pro and minor, to menace, that is, to shoot forward.] A standing out from the surface of something, or that which juts out; protuberance; as the prominence of a joint; the prominence of a rock or cliff; the prominence of the nose. Small hills and knolls are prominences on the surface of the earth.

PROMINENT, a. [L. prominens.] Standing out beyond the line or surface of something; jutting; protuberant; in high relief; as a prominent figure on a vase.

1. Full; large; as a prominent eye.

2. Eminent; distinguished above others; as a prominent character.

3. Principal; most visible or striking to the eye; conspicuous. The figure of a man or of a building holds a prominent place in a picture.

PROMINENTLY, adv. In a prominent manner; so as to stand out beyond the other parts; eminently; in a striking manner; conspicuously.

PROMISCUOUS, a. [L. promiscuus; pro and misceo, to mix.]

1. Mingled; consisting of individuals united in a body or mass without order; confused; undistinguished; as a promiscuous crowd or mass.

A wild where weeds and flow’rs promiscuous shoot.

2. Common; indiscriminate; not restricted to an individual; as promiscuous love or intercourse.

PROMISCUOUSLY, adv. In a crowd or mass without order; with confused mixture; indiscriminately; as men of all classes promiscuously assembled; particles of different earths promiscuously united.

1. Without distinction of kinds.

Like beasts and birds promiscuously they join.

PROMISCUOUSNESS, n. A state of being mixed without order or distinction.

PROMISE, n. [L. promissum, from promitto, to send before or forward; pro and mitto, to send.]

1. In a general sense, a declaration, written or verbal, made by one person to another, which binds the person who makes it, either in honor, conscience or law, to do or forbear a certain act specified; a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made, a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of the act. The promise of a visit to my neighbor, gives him a right to expect it, and I am bound in honor and civility to perform the promise. Of such a promise human laws have no cognizance; but the fulfillment of it is one of the minor moralities, which civility, kindness and strict integrity require to be observed.

2. In law, a declaration, verbal or written, made by one person to another for a good or valuable consideration, in the nature of a covenant, by which the promiser binds himself, and as the case may be, his legal representatives, to do or forbear some act; and gives to the promisee a legal right to demand and enforce a fulfillment.

3. A binding declaration of something to be done or given for another’s benefit; as the promise of a grant of land. A promise may be absolute or conditional; lawful or unlawful; express or implied. An absolute promise must be fulfilled at all events. The obligation to fulfill a conditional promise depends on the performance of the condition. An unlawful promise is not binding, because it is void; for it is incompatible with a prior paramount obligation of obedience to the laws. An express promise, is one expressed in words or writing. An implied promise, is one which reason and justice dictate. If I hire a man to perform a day’s labor, without any declaration that I will pay him, the law presumes a promise on my part that I will give him a reasonable reward, and will enforce much implied promise.

4. Hopes; expectation, or that which affords expectation of future distinction; as a youth of great promise.

My native country was full of youthful promise.

5. That which is promised; fulfillment or grant of what is promised.

He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. Acts 1:4.

6. In Scripture, the promise of God is the declaration or assurance which God has given in his word of bestowing blessings on his people. Such assurance resting on the perfect justice, power, benevolence and immutable veracity of God, cannot fail of performance.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promises. 2 Peter 3:9.

PROMISE, v.t. To make a declaration to another, which binds the promiser in honor, conscience or law, to do or forbear some act; as, to promise a visit to a friend; to promise a cessation of hostilities; to promise the payment of money.

1. To afford reason to expect; as, the year promises a good harvest.

2. To make declaration or give assurance of some benefit to be conferred; to pledge or engage to bestow.

The proprietors promised large tracts of land.

PROMISE, v.i. To assure one by a promise or binding declaration. The man promises fair; let us forgive him.

1. To afford hopes or expectations; to give ground to expect good. The youth promises to be an eminent man; the wheat promises to be a good crop; the weather promises to be pleasant.

2. In popular use, this verb sometimes threatens or assures of evil. The rogue shall be punished, I promise you.

Will not the ladies be afraid of the lion?

--I fear it, I promise you.

In the latter example, promise is equivalent to declare; “I declare to you.”

3. To promise one’s self, to be assured or to have strong confidence.

I dare promise myself you will attest the truth of all I have advanced.

PROMISE-BREACH, n. Violation of promise.

PROMISE-BREAKER, n. A violator of promises.

PROMISED, pp. Engaged by word or writing; stipulated.

PROMISEE, n. The person to whom a promise is made.

PROMISER, n. One who promises; one who engages, assures, stipulates or covenants. Fear, says Dryden, is a great promiser. We may say that hope is a very liberal promiser.

The import of a promise, when disputed, is not to be determined by the sense of the promiser, nor by the expectations of the promisee.

[Note. In law language, promisor is used, but without necessity or advantage.]

PROMISING, ppr. Engaging by words or writing; stipulating; assuring.

1. Affording just expectations of good or reasonable ground of hope; as a promising youth; a promising prospect. [In this sense, the word may be a participle or an adjective.]

PROMISSORILY, adv. By way of promise.

PROMISSORY, a. Containing a promise or binding declaration of something to be done or forborne.

1. In law, a promissory note is a writing which contains a promise of the payment of money or the delivery of property to another, at or before a time specified, in consideration of value received by the promiser. In England, promissory notes and bills of exchange, being negotiable for the payment of a less sum than twenty shillings, are declared to be void by Stat 15. Geo. III.

PROMONTORY, n. [L. promontorium; pro, forward, and mons, a mountain.] In geography, a high point of land or rock, projecting into the sea beyond the line of the coast; a head land. It differs from a cape in denoting high land; a cape may be a similar projection of land high or low.

Like one that stands upon promontory.

If you drink tea on a promontory that overhangs the sea, it is preferable to an assembly.

PROMOTE, v.t. [L. promotus, promoveo, to move forward; pro and moveo, to move.]

1. To forward; to advance; to contribute to the growth, enlargement or excellence of any thing valuable, or to the increase of any thing evil; as, to promote learning, knowledge, virtue or religion; to promote the interest of commerce or agriculture; to promote the arts; to promote civilization or refinement; to promote the propagation of the gospel; to promote vice and disorder.

2. To excite; as, to promote mutiny.

3. To exalt; to elevate; to raise; to prefer in rank or honor.

I will promote thee to very great honors. Numbers 22:17.

Exalt her, and she shall promote thee. Proverbs 4:8.

PROMOTED, pp. Advanced; exalted.

PROMOTER, n. He or that which forwards, advances or promotes; an encourager; as a promoter of charity.

1. One that excites; as a promoter of sedition.

2. An informer; a make-bate.

PROMOTING, ppr. Forwarding; advancing; exciting; exalting.


1. The act of promoting; advancement; encouragement; as the promotion of virtue or morals; the promotion of peace or of discord.

2. Exaltation in rank or honor; preferment.

My promotion will be thy destruction.

Promotion cometh neither from the east nor from the west, nor from the south. Psalm 75:6.

PROMOTIVE, a. Tending to advance or promote; tending to encourage.

PROMOVE, v.t. To advance. [Not used.]

PROMPT, a. [L. promptus, from promo.]

1. Ready and quick to act as occasion demands.

Very discerning and prompt in giving orders.

2. Of a ready disposition; acting with cheerful alacrity; as prompt in obedience or compliance.

Tell him

I’m prompt to lay my crown at’s feet.

3. Quick; ready; not dilatory; applied to things; as, he manifested a prompt obedience; he yielded prompt assistance.

When Washington heard the voice of his country in distress, his obedience was prompt.

4. Quick; hasty; indicating boldness or forwardness.

And you perhaps too prompt in your replies.

5. Ready; present; told down; as prompt payment.

6. Easy; unobstructed.

PROMPT, v.t. To incite; to move or excite to action or exertion; to instigate. Insults prompt anger or revenge; love prompts desire; benevolence prompts men to devote their time and services to spread the gospel. Ambition prompted Alexander to wish for more worlds to conquer.

1. To assist a speaker when at a loss, by pronouncing the words forgotten or next in order, as to prompt an actor; or to assist a learner, by suggesting something forgotten or not understood.

2. To dictate; to suggest to the mind.

And whisp’ring angels prompt her golden dreams.

3. To remind. [Not used.]

PROMPTED, pp. Incited; moved to action; instigated; assisted in speaking or learning.

PROMPTER, n. One that prompts; one that admonishes or incites to action.

1. One that is placed behind the scenes in a play-house, whose business is to assist the speakers when at a loss, by uttering the first words of a sentence or words forgotten; or any person who aids a public speaker when at a loss, by suggesting the next words of his piece.

PROMPTING, ppr. Inciting; moving to action; aiding a speaker when at a loss for the words of his piece.

PROMPTITUDE, n. [L. promptus.]

1. Readiness; quickness of decision and action when occasion demands. In the sudden vicissitudes of a battle, promptitude in a commander is one of the most essential qualifications.

2. Readiness of will; cheerful alacrity; as promptitude in obedience or compliance.

PROMPTLY, adv. Readily; quickly; expeditiously; cheerfully.

PROMPTNESS, n. Readiness; quickness of decision or action. The young man answered questions with great promptness.

1. Cheerful willingness; alacrity.

2. Activity; briskness; as the promptness of animal actions.

PROMPTUARY, n. [L. promptuarium.] That form which supplies are drawn; a storehouse; a magazine; a repository.

PROMPTURE, n. Suggestion; incitement.

PROMULGATE, v.t. [L. promulgo.] To publish; to make known by open declaration; as, to promulgate the secrets of a council. It is particularly applied to the publication of laws and the gospel. The moral law was promulgated at mount Sinai. The apostles promulgated the gospel. Edicts, laws and orders are promulgated by circular letters, or through the medium of the public prints.

PROMULGATED, pp. Published; made publicly known.

PROMULGATING, ppr. Publishing.

PROMULGATION, n. The act of promulgating; publication; open declaration; as the promulgation of the law or of the gospel.

PROMULGATOR, n. A publisher; one who makes known or teaches publicly what was before unknown.

PROMULGE, v.t. promulj’. To promulgate; to publish or teach. [Less used than promulgate.]

PROMULGED, pp. Published.

PROMULGER, n. One who publishes or teaches what was before unknown.

PROMULGING, ppr. Publishing.

PRONATION, n. [from L. pronus, having the face downwards.]

1. Among anatomists, that motion of the radius whereby the palm of the hand is turned downwards; the act of turning the palm downwards; opposed to supination.

2. That position of the hand, when the thumb is turned towards the body, and the palm downwards.

PRONATOR, n. A muscle of the fore arm which serves to turn the palm of the hand downward; opposed to supinator.

PRONE, a. [L. pronus.] Bending forward; inclined; not erect.

1. Lying with the face downward; contrary to supine.

2. Headlong; precipitous; inclining in descent.

Down thither prone in flight.

3. Sloping; declivous; inclined.

Since the floods demand

For their descent, a prone and sinking land.

4. Inclined; propense; disposed; applied to the mind or affections, usually in an ill sense; as men prone to evil, prone to strife, prone to intemperance, prone to deny the truth, prone to change.

PRONENESS, n. The state of bending downwards; opposed to the erectness of man.

1. The state of lying with the face downwards; contrary to supineness.

2. Descent; declivity; as the proneness of a hill.

3. Inclination of mind, heart or temper; propension; disposition; as the proneness of the Israelites to idolatry; proneness to self-gratification or to self-justification; proneness to comply with temptation; sometimes in a good sense; as ;the proneness of good men to commiserate want.


1. A sharp pointed instrument.

Prick it on a prong of iron.

2. The tine of a fork or of a similar instrument; as a fork of two or three prongs. [This is the sense in which it is used in America.]

PRONGHOE, n. A hoe with prongs to break the earth.

PRONITY, for proneness, is not used.

PRONOMINAL, a. [L. pronomen. See Pronoun.]

Belonging to or of the nature of a pronoun.

PRONOUN, n. [L. pronomen; pro, for, and nomen, name.]

In grammar, a word used instead of a noun or name, to prevent the repetition of it. The personal pronouns in English, are I, thou or you, he, she, we, ye and they. The last is used for the name of things, as well as for that of persons. Other words are used for the names of persons, things, sentences, phrases and for adjectives; and when they stand for sentences, phrases and adjectives, they are not strictly pronouns, but relatives, substitutes or representatives of such sentences. Thus we say, “the jury found the prisoner guilty, and the court pronounced sentence on him. This or that gave great joy to the spectators.” In these sentences, this or that represents the whole preceding sentence, which is the proper antecedent. We also say, “the jury pronounced the man guilty, this or that or which he could not be, for he proved an alibi.” In which sentence, this or that or which refers immediately to guilty, as its antecedent.

PRONOUNCE, v.t. pronouns’. [L. pronuncio; pro and nuncio.]

1. To speak; to utter articulately. The child is not able to pronounce words composed of difficult combinations of letters. Adults rarely learn to pronounce correctly a foreign language.

2. To utter formally, officially or solemnly. The court pronounced sentence of death on the criminal.

Then Baruch answered them, he pronounced all these words to me with his mouth. Jeremiah 36:18.

Sternly he pronounc’d

The rigid interdiction.

3. To speak or utter rhetorically; to deliver; as, to pronounce an oration.

4. To speak; to utter, in almost any manner.

5. To declare or affirm. He pronounced the book to be a libel; he pronounced the act to be a fraud.

PRONOUNCE, v.i. pronouns’. To speak; to make declaration; to utter an opinion.

How confidently so ever men pronounce of themselves--

PRONOUNCEABLE, a. pronouns’able. That may be pronounced or uttered.

PRONOUNCED, pp. Spoken; uttered; declared solemnly.

PRONOUNCER, n. One who utters or declares.

PRONOUNCING, ppr. Speaking; uttering; declaring.

1. a. Teaching pronunciation.

PRONUNCIATION, n. [L. pronunciatio.]

1. The act of uttering with articulation; utterance; as the pronunciation of syllables or words; distinct or indistinct pronunciation.

2. The mode of uttering words or sentences; particularly, the art or manner of uttering a discourse publicly with propriety and gracefulness; now called delivery.

PRONUNCIATIVE, a. Uttering confidently; dogmatical.


1. Trial; essay; experiment; any effort, process or operation that ascertains truth or fact. Thus the quality of spirit is ascertained by proof; the strength of gun-powder, of fire arms and of cannon is determined by proof; the correctness of operations in arithmetic is ascertained by proof.

2. In law and logic, that degree of evidence which convinces the mind of the certainty of truth of fact, and produces belief. Proof is derived from personal knowledge, or from the testimony of others, or from conclusive reasoning. Proof differs from demonstration, which is applicable only to those truths of which the contrary is inconceivable.

This has neither evidence of truth, nor proof sufficient to give it warrant.

3. Firmness or hardness that resists impression, or yields not to force; impenetrability of physical bodies; as a wall that is of proof against shot.

See arms of proof.

4. Firmness of mind; stability not to be shaken; as a mind or virtue that is proof against the arts of seduction and the assaults of temptation.

5. The proof of spirits consists in little bubbles which appear on the top of the liquor after agitation, called the bead, and by the French, chapelet. Hence,

6. The degree of strength in spirit; as high proof; first proof; second, third or fourth proof.

7. In printing and engraving, a rough impression of a sheet, taken for correction; plu. proofs, not proves.

8. Armor sufficiently firm to resist impression. [Not used.]

Proof is used elliptically for of proof.

I have found thee

Proof against all temptation.

It is sometimes followed by to, more generally by against.