Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PUKING, ppr. Vomiting.

PULCHRITUDE, n. [L. pulchritudo, from pulcher, beautiful.]

1. Beauty; handsomeness; grace; comeliness; that quality of form which pleases the eye.

2. Moral beauty; those qualities of the mind which good men love and approve.

PULE, v.i. [L. pello.]

1. To cry like a chicken.

2. To whine; to cry as a complaining child; to whimper.

To speak puling like a beggar at halimass.

PULIC, n. A plant.

PULICOSE, PULICOUS, a. [L. pulicosus, from pulex, a flea.]

Abounding n with fleas. [Not used.]

PULING, ppr. Crying like a chicken; whining.

PULING, n. A cry, as of a chicken; a whining.

PULINGLY, adv. With whining or complaint.

PULIOL, n. A plant.

PULKHA, n. A Laplander’s traveling sled or sleigh.

PULL, v.t. [L. vello.]

1. To draw; to draw towards one or to make an effort to draw. Pull differs from draw; we use draw when motion follows the effort, and pull is used in the same sense; but we may also pull forever without drawing or moving the thing. This distinction may not be universal. Pull is opposed to push.

Then he put forth his hand and took her and pulled her in to him into the ark. Genesis 8:9.

2. To pluck; to gather by drawing or forcing off or out; as, to pull fruit; to pull flax.

3. To tear; to rend; but in this sense followed by some qualifying word or phrase; as, to pull in pieces; to pull asunder or apart. To pull in two, is to separate or tear by violence into two parts.

To pull down, to demolish or to take in pieces by separating the parts; as, to pull down a house.

1. To demolish; to subvert; to destroy.

In political affairs, as well as mechanical, it is easier to pull down than to build up.

2. To bring down; to degrade; to humble.

To raise the wretched and pull down the proud.

To pull off, to separate by pulling; to pluck; also, to take off without force; as, to pull off a coat or hat.

To pull out, to draw out; to extract.

To pull up, to pluck up; to tear up by the roots; hence, to extirpate; to eradicate; to destroy.

PULL, n. The act of pulling or drawing with force; an effort to move by drawing towards one.

1. A contest; a struggle.

2. Pluck; violence suffered.

PULLBACK, n. That which keeps back, or restrains from proceeding.

PULLED, pp. Drawn towards one; plucked.

PULLEN, n. [L. pullus. See Pullet and Foal.] Poultry.

[Not used.]

PULLER, n. One that pulls.

PULLET, n. [L. pullus; Gr. coinciding with Eng. foal.]

A young hen or female of the gallinaceous kind of fowls.

PULLEY, n. plu. pulleys. [L. polus; Gr. to turn.]

A small wheel turning on a pin in a block, with a furrow or groove in which runs the rope that turns it.

The pulley is one of the mechanical powers. The word is used also in the general sense of tackle, to denote all parts of the machine for raising weights, of which the pulley forms a part.

PULLICAT, n. A kind of silk handkerchief.

PULLING, ppr. Drawing; making an effort to draw; plucking.

PULLULATE, v.i. [L. pullulo, from pullus, a shoot.]

To germinate; to bud.

PULLULATION, n. A germinating or budding; the first shooting of a bud.

PULMONARY, a. [L. pulmonarius, from pulmo, the lungs, from pello, pulsus, pulso, to drive or beat.] Pertaining to the lungs; affecting the lungs; as a pulmonary disease or consumption; the pulmonary artery.

PULMONARY, n. [L. pulmonaria.] A plant, lungwort.

PULMONIC, a. [L. pulmo, the lungs.] Pertaining to the lungs; affecting the lungs; as a pulmonic disease; pulmonic consumption.

PULMONIC, n. A medicine for diseases of the lungs.

1. One affected by a disease of the lungs.

PULP, n. [L. pulpa. This is probably allied to L. puls, pulmentum; Gr. from softness.]

1. A soft mass; in general.

2. The soft substance within a bone; marrow.

3. The soft, succulent part of fruit; as the pulp of an orange.

4. The aril or exterior covering of a coffee-berry.

PULP, v.t. To deprive of the pulp or integument, as the coffee-berry.

The other mode is to pulp the coffee immediately as it comes from the tree. By a simple machine, a man will pulp a bushel in a minute.

PULPIT, n. [L. pulpitum, a state, scaffold, or higher part of a stage.]

1. An elevated place or inclosed stage in a church, in which the preacher stands. It is called also a desk.

2. In the Roman theater, the pulpitum was the place where the players performed their parts, lower than the scene and higher than the orchestra.

3. A movable desk, from which disputants pronounced their dissertations, and authors recited their works.

PULPIT-ELOQUENCE, PULPIT-ORATORY, n. Eloquence or oratory in delivering sermons.

Pulpitically in Chesterfield, is not an authorized word.

PULPIT-ORATOR, n. An eloquent preacher.

PULPOUS, a. [from pulp.] Consisting of pulp or resembling it; soft like pap.

PULPOUSNESS, n. Softness; the quality of being pulpous.

PULPY, a. Like pulp; soft; fleshy; succulent; as the pulpy covering of a nut; the pulpy substance of a peach or cherry.

PULSATE, v.i. [L. pulsatus, pulso, to beat, from the root of pello, to drive.] To beat or throb.

The heart of a viper or frog will continue to pulsate long after it is taken from the body.

PULSATILE, a. [L. pulsatilis, from pulso, to beat.]

That is or may be struck or beaten; played by beating; as a pulsatile instrument of music.

PULSATION, n. [L. pulsatio, supra.] The beating or throbbing of the heart or of an artery, in the process of carrying on the circulation of the blood. The blood being propelled by the contraction of the heart, causes the arteries to dilate, so as to render each dilation perceptible to the touch in certain parts of the body, as in the radial artery, etc.

1. In law, any touching of another’s body willfully or in anger. This constitutes battery.

By the Cornelian law, pulsation as well as verberation is prohibited.

PULSATIVE, a. Beating; throbbing.

PULSATOR, n. A beater; a striker.

PULSATORY, a. Beating; throbbing; as the heart and arteries.

PULSE, n. puls. [L. pulsus, from pello, to drive.]

1. In animals, the beating or throbbing of the heart and arteries; more particularly, the sudden dilatation of an artery, caused by the projectile force of the blood, which is perceptible to the touch. Hence we say, to feel the pulse. The pulse is frequent or rare, quick or slow, equal or unequal, regular or intermitting, hard or soft, strong or weak, etc. The pulses of an adult in health, are little more than one pulse to a second; in certain fevers, the number is increased to 90, 100, or even to 140 in a minute.

2. The stroke with which a medium is affected by the motion of light, sound, etc.; oscillation; vibration.

Sir Isaac Newton demonstrates that the velocities of the pulses of an elastic fluid medium are in a ratio compounded of half the ratio of the elastic force directly, and half the ratio of the density inversely.

To feel one’s pulse, metaphorically, to sound one’s opinion; to try or to know one’s mind.

PULSE, v.i. To beat, as the arteries. [Little used.]
PULSE, v.t. [L. pulso.] To drive, as the pulse. [Little used.]
PULSE, n. [L. pulsus, beaten out, as seeds; Heb. a bean, to separate.] Leguminous plants or their seeds; the plants whose pericarp is a legume or pod, as beans, peas, etc.

PULSIFIC, a. [pulse and L. facio, to make.]

Exciting the pulse; causing pulsation.

PULSION, n. [from L. pulsus.] The act of driving forward; in opposition to suction or traction. [Little used.]

PULTACEOUS, a. [L. puls. See Pulp.]

Macerated; softened; nearly fluid.

PULVERABLE, a. [from L. pulvis, dust, probably from pello, pulso, or its root, that which is beaten fine, or that which is driven. See Powder.] That may be reduced to fine powder; capable of being pulverized.

PULVERATE, v.t. To beat or reduce to powder or dust.

[But pulverize is generally used.]

PULVERIN, PULVERINE, n. Ashes of barilla.

PULVERIZATION, n. [from pulverize.]

The act of reducing to dust or powder.

PULVERIZE, v.t. To reduce to fine powder, as by beating, grinding, etc. Friable substances may be pulverized by grinding or beating; but to pulverize malleable bodies, other methods must be pursued.

PULVERIZED, pp. Reduced to fine powder.

PULVERIZING, ppr. Reducing to fine powder.

PULVEROUS, a. Consisting of dust or powder; like powder.

PULVERULENCE, n. Dustiness; abundance of dust or powder.

PULVERULENT, a. Dusty; consisting of fine powder; powdery.

1. Addicted to lying and rolling in the dust, as fowls.

PULVIL, n. A sweet scented powder. [Little used.]

PULVIL, v.t. To sprinkle with a perfumed powder. [Not used.]

PUMA, n. A rapacious quadruped of America, of the genus Felis.

PUMICE, n. [L. pumex, supposed to be from the root of spuma, foam.]

A substance frequently ejected from volcanoes, of various colors, gray, white, reddish brown or black; hard, rough and porous; specifically lighter than water, and resembling the slag produced in an iron furnace. It consists of parallel fibers, and is supposed to be asbestos decomposed by the action of fire.

Pumice is of three kinds, glassy, common, and porphyritic.

PUMICE-STONE, n. The same as pumice.

PUMICEOUS, a. Pertaining to pumice; consisting of pumice or resembling it.

PUMMEL. [See Pommel.]

PUMP, n. [The L. bombus is of the same family, as is the Eng. bombast.]

1. A hydraulic engine for raising water, by exhausting the incumbent air of a tube or pipe, in consequence of which the water rises in the tube by means of the pressure of the air on the surrounding water. There is however a forcing pump in which the water is raised in the tube by a force applied to a lateral tube, near the bottom of the pump.

2. A shoe with a thin sole.

PUMP, v.i. To work a pump; to raise water with a pump.
PUMP, v.t. To raise with a pump; as, to pump water.

1. To draw out by artful interrogatories; as, to pump put secrets.

2. To examine by artful questions for the purpose of drawing out secrets.

But pump not me for politics.

Chain-pump, is a chain equipped with a sufficient number of valves at proper distances, which working on two wheels, passes down through one tube and returns through another.

PUMP-BOLTS, n. Two pieces of iron, one used to fasten the pump-spear to the brake, the other as a fulcrum for the brake to work upon.

PUMP-BRAKE, n. The arm or handle of a pump.

PUMP-DALE, n. A long wooden tube, used to convey the water from a chain-pump across the ship and through the side.

PUMPER, n. The person or the instrument that pumps.

PUMP-GEAR, n. The materials for fitting and repairing pumps.

PUMP-HOOD, n. A semi-cylindrical frame of wood, covering the upper wheel of a chain-pump.

PUMPION, n. A plant and its fruit, of the genus Cucurbita.

PUMPKIN, n. A pompion. [This is the common orthography of the word in the United States.]

PUMP-SPEAR, n. The bar to which the upper box of a pump is fastened, and which is attached to the brake or handle.

PUN, n. An expression in which a word has at once different meanings; an expression in which two different applications of a word present an odd or ludicrous idea; a kind of quibble or equivocation; a low species of wit. Thus a man who had a tall wife named Experience, observed that he had, by long experience, proved the blessings of a married life.

A pun can be no more engraven, than it can be translated.

PUN, v.i. To quibble; to use the same word at once in different senses.
PUN, v.t. To persuade by a pun.

PUNCH, n. [L. punctum, pungo.] An instrument of iron or steel, used in several arts for perforating holes in plates of metal, and so contrived as to cut out a piece.

PUNCH, n. A drink composed of water sweetened with sugar, with a mixture of lemon juice and spirit.
PUNCH, n. The buffoon or harlequin of a puppet show. [See Punchinello.]
PUNCH, n. A well set horse with a short back, thin shoulders, broad neck, and well covered with flesh.

1. A short fat fellow.

PUNCH, v.t. [L. pungo.]

1. To perforate with an iron instrument, either pointed or not; as, to punch a hole in a plate of metal.

2. In popular usage, to thrust against with something obtuse; as, to punch one with the elbow.

PUNCHBOWL, n. A bowl in which punch is made, or from which it is drank.

PUNCHED, pp. Perforated with a punch.


1. A small piece of steel, on the end of which is engraved a figure or letter, in creux or relievo, with which impressions are stamped on metal or other substance; used in coinage, in forming the matrices of types, and in various arts.

2. In carpentry, a piece of timber placed upright between two posts, whose bearing is too great; also, a piece of timber set upright under the ridge of a building, wherein the legs of a couple, etc. are jointed.

3. A measure of liquids, or a cask containing usually 120 gallons. Rum or spirits is imported from the West Indies in puncheons, but there are often called also hogsheads.

PUNCHER, n. One that punches.

1. A punch or perforating instrument.

PUNCHINELLO, n. A punch; a buffoon.

PUNCHING, ppr. Perforating with a punch; driving against.

PUNCHY, a. Short and thick, or fat.

PUNCTATE, PUNCTATED, a. [L. punctus, pungo.] Pointed.

1. In botany, perforated; full of small holes; having hollow dots scattered over the surface.

PUNCTIFORM, a. [L. punctum, point, and form.] Having the form of a point.

PUNCTILIO, n. A nice point of exactness in conduct, ceremony or proceeding; particularity or exactness in forms; as the punctilios of a public ceremony.

PUNCTILIOUS, a. Very nice or exact in the forms of behavior, ceremony or mutual intercourse; very exact in the observance of rules prescribed by law or custom; sometimes, exact to excess.

PUNCTILIOUSLY, adv. With exactness or great nicety.

PUNCTILIOUSNESS, n. Exactness in the observance of forms or rules; attentive to nice points of behavior or ceremony.

PUNCTO, n. [L. punctum, from pungo, to prick.]

1. Nice point of form or ceremony.

2. The point in fencing.

PUNCTUAL, a. [L. punctum, a point.]

1. Consisting in a point; as this punctual spot. [Little used.]

2. Exact; observant of nice points; punctilious, particularly in observing time, appointments or promises. It is honorable in a man to be punctual to appointments, or to appointed hours; it is just to be punctual in paying debts.

3. Exact; as a punctual correspondence between a prediction and an event.

4. Done at the exact time; as punctual payment.

PUNCTUALIST, n. One that is very exact in observing forms and ceremonies.

PUNCTUALITY, n. Nicety; scrupulous exactness. He served his prince with punctuality.

1. It is now used chiefly in regard to time. He pays his debts with punctuality. He is remarkable for the punctuality of his attendance.

PUNCTUALLY, adv. Nicely; exactly; with scrupulous regard to time, appointments, promises or rules; as, to attend a meeting punctually; to pay debts or rent punctually; to observe punctually one’s engagements.

PUNCTUALNESS, n. Exactness; punctuality.

PUNCTUATE, v.t. [L. punctum, a point.] To mark with points; to designate sentences, clauses or other divisions of a writing by points, which mark the proper pauses.

PUNCTUATED, pp. Pointed.

1. Having the divisions marked with points.

PUNCTUATING, ppr. Marking with points.

PUNCTUATION, n. In grammar, the act or art of pointing a writing or discourse, or the act or art of marking with points the divisions of a discourse into sentences and clauses or members of a sentence. Punctuation is performed by four points, the period (.); the colon (:); the semicolon (;); and the comma (,). The ancients were unacquainted with punctuation; they wrote without any distinction of members, period or words.

PUNCTULATE, v.t. [L. punctulum.] To mark with small spots. [Not used.]

PUNCTURE, n. [L. punctura.] The act of perforating with a pointed instrument; or a small hole made by it; as the puncture of a nail, needle or pin.

A lion may perish by the puncture of an asp.

PUNCTURE, v.t. To prick; to pierce with a small pointed instrument; as, to puncture the skin.

PUNCTURED, pp. Pricked; pierced with a sharp point.

PUNCTURING, ppr. Piercing with a sharp point.

PUNDIT, n. In Hindoostan, a learned Bramin; one versed in the Sanscrit language, and in the science, laws and religion of that country.

PUNDLE, n. A short and fat woman. [Not used.]

PUNGAR, n. A fish.

PUNGENCY, n. [L. pungens, pungo, to prick.]

1. The power of pricking or piercing; as the pungency of a substance.

2. That quality of a substance which produces the sensation of pricking, or affecting the taste like minute sharp points; sharpness; acridness.

3. Power to pierce the mind or excite keen reflections or remorse; as the pungency of a discourse.

4. Acrimoniousness; keenness; as the pungency of wit or of expressions.

PUNGENT, a. [L. pungens, pungo.] Pricking; stimulating; as pungent snuff.

The pungent grains of titillating dust.

1. Acrid; affecting the tongue like small sharp points; as the sharp and pungent taste of acids.

2. Piercing; sharp; as pungent pains; pungent grief.

3. Acrimonious; biting.

PUNIC, a. [L. punicus, pertaining to Carthage or its inhabitants, from Poeni, the Carthaginians.] Pertaining to the Carthaginians; faithless; treacherous; deceitful; as punic faith.

PUNIC, n. The ancient language of the Carthaginians, of which Plautus has left a specimen.

PUNICE, n. A wall-louse; a bug. [Not in use.]