Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ROBUSTNESS, n. Strength; vigor, or the condition of the body when it has full firm flesh and sound health.

ROCAMBOLE, ROKAMBOLE, n. A sort of wild garlic, the Allisum scorodoprasum, growing naturally in Denmark and Sweden. It has a heart-shaped root at the side of the stalk.


Rock-alum, a purer kind of alum.

Rochelle salt, tartrate of potash and soda.


A surplice; the white upper garment of a priest worn while officiating.

ROCHET, n. A fish, the roach, which see.

ROCK, n. [Gr., L. rupes, from the root of rumpo, to break or burst. If this is not the origin of rock, I know not to what root to assign it.]

1. A large mass of stony matter, usually compounded of two or more simple minerals, either bedded in the earth or resting on its surface. Sometimes rocks compose the principal part of huge mountains; sometimes hugh rocks lie on the surface of the earth, in detached blocks or masses. Under this term, mineralogists class all mineral substances, coal, gypsum, salt, etc.

2. In Scripture, figuratively, defense; means of safety; protection; strength; asylum.

The Lord is my rock. 2 Samuel 22:2.

3. Firmness; a firm or immovable foundation. Psalm 28:1; Matthew 7:24-25; Matthew 16:18.

4. A species of vulture or condor.

5. A fabulous bird in the Eastern tales.

ROCK, n.

A distaff used in spinning; the staff or frame about which flax is arranged, from which the thread is drawn in spinning.

ROCK, v.t.

1. To move backward and forward, as a body resting on a foundation; as, to rock a cradle; to rock a chair; to rock a mountain. It differs from shake, as denoting a slower and more uniform motion, or larger movements. It differs from swing, which expresses a vibratory motion of something suspended.

A rising earthquake rock’d the ground.

2. To move backwards and forwards in a cradle, chair, etc.; as, to rock a child to sleep.

3. To lull to quiet.

Sleep rock thy brain. [Unusual.]

ROCK, v.i. To be moved backwards and forwards; to reel.

The rocking town supplants their footsteps.

ROCK-ALUM, n. The purest kind of alum. [See Roche-alum.]

ROCK-BASON, n. A cavity or artificial bason cut in a rock for the purpose, as is supposed, of collecting the dew or rain for ablutions and purifications prescribed by the druidical religion.

ROCK-BUTTER, n. A subsulphite of alumin, oozing from aluminous rocks.

ROCK-CRYSTAL, n. The most perfect variety of silicious earth or quartz; limpid quartz. When purest it is white or colorless, but it is found of a grayish or yellowish white, pale yellow or citron. Its most usual form is that of hexagonal prisms, surmounted by hexagonal pyramids.

ROCK-DOE, n. A species of deer.

ROCKED, pp. [from rock, the verb.] Moved one way and the other.

ROCKER, n. One who rocks the cradle; also, the curving piece of wood on which a cradle or chair rocks.


An artificial fire-work, consisting of a cylindrical case of paper, filled with a composition of combustible ingredients, as niter, charcoal and sulphur. This being tied to a stick and fired, ascends into the air and bursts.

ROCKET, n. [L. eruca.] A plant of the genus Brassica. There is also the bastard rocket, of the genus Reseda; the corn rocket and the sea rocket, of the genus Bunias; the marsh rocket, the water rocket, and the winter rocket, of the genus Sisymbrium; and the dame’s violet rocket, of the genus Hesperis.

ROCK-FISH, n. A species of Gobius.

ROCKINESS, n. [from rocky.] State of abounding with rocks.

ROCKING, ppr. Moving backwards and forwards.

ROCKLESS, a. Being without rocks.

ROCK-OIL, n. Another name for petrol or petroleum.

ROCK-PIGEON, n. A pigeon that builds her nest on a rock.

ROCK-ROSE, n. A plant of the genus Cistus.

ROCK-RUBY, n. A name sometimes given to the garnet, when it is of a strong, but not a deep red, and has a cast of blue.

ROCK-SALT, n. Fossil or mineral salt; salt dug from the earth; muriate of soda. But in America, this name is sometimes given to salt that comes in large crystals from the West Indies, which salt is formed by evaporation from sea water, in large basons or cavities, on the isles. Hexahedral rock-salt occurs foliated and fibrous.

ROCK-WOOD, n. Ligniform asbestus.


1. Stones fixed in mortar in imitation of the asperities of rocks, forming a wall.

2. A natural wall of rock.

ROCKY, a. [from rock.]

1. Full of rocks; as a rocky mountain; rocky shore.

2. Resembling a rock; as the rocky orb of a shield.

3. Very hard; stony; obdurate; insusceptible of impression; as a rocky bosom.

ROD, n. [L. radius, ray, radix, root. See also Rad.]

1. The shoot or long twig of any woody plant; a branch, or the stem of a shrub; as a rod of hazle, of birch, of oak or hickory. Hence,

2. An instrument of punishment or correction; chastisement.

I will chasten him with the rod of men. 2 Samuel 7:14; Proverbs 10:13.

3. Discipline; ecclesiastical censures. 1 Corinthians 4:21.

4. A king of scepter.

The rod and bird of peace.

5. A pole for angling; something long and slender.

6. An instrument for measuring; but more generally, a measure of length containing five yards, or sixteen feet and a half; a pole; a perch. In many parts of the United States, rod is universally used for pole or perch.

7. In Scripture, a staff or wand. 1 Samuel 14:27.

8. Support.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4.

9. A shepherd’s crook. Leviticus 27:32.

10. An instrument for threshing. Isaiah 28:27.

11. Power; authority. Psalm 125:3.

12. A tribe or race. Psalm 74:2.

Rod of iron, the mighty power of Christ. Revelation 19:15; Psalm 2:9.

RODE, pret. of ride; also, a cross. [See Rood.]


A vain boaster.

RODOMONT, a. Bragging; vainly boasting.

RODOMONTADE, n. [See Rodomont.]

Vain boasting; empty bluster or vaunting; rant.

I could show that the rodomontades of Almanzor are neither so irrational nor impossible.

RODOMONTADE, v.i. To boast; to brag; to bluster; to rant.

RODOMONTADIST, RODOMONTADOR, n. A blustering boaster; one that brags or vaunts.


1. A species of deer, the Cervus capreolus, with erect cylindrical branched horns, forked at the summit. This is one of the smallest of the cervine genus, but of elegant shape and remarkably nimble. It prefers a mountainous country, and herds in families.

2. Roe, the female of the hart.

ROE, n.

The seed or spawn of fishes. The roe of the male is call soft roe or milt; that of the female, hard roe or spawn.

ROE-STONE, n. Called also oolite, which see.

ROGATION, n. [L. rogatio; rogo, to ask.]

1. Litany; supplication.

He perfecteth the rogations or litanies before in use.

2. In Roman jurisprudence, the demand by the consuls or tribunes, of a law to be passed by the people.

ROGATION-WEEK, n. The second week before Whitsunday, thus called from the three fasts observed therein; viz, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, called rogation-days, because of the extraordinary prayers then made for the fruits of the earth, or as a preparation for the devotion of the Holy Thursday.

ROGUE, n. rog. [Gr., Eng. rogue, by transposition of letters. The word arga, in the laws of the Longobards, denotes a cuckold.]

1. In law, a vagrant; a sturdy beggar; a vagabond. Persons of this character were, by the ancient laws of England, to be punished by whipping and having the ear bored with a hot iron.

2. A knave; a dishonest person; applied now, I believe, exclusively to males. This word comprehends thieves and robbers, but is generally applied to such as cheat and defraud in mutual dealings, or to counterfeiters.

The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise.

3. A name of slight tenderness and endearment.

Alas, poor rogue, I think indeed she loves.

4. A wag.

ROGUE, v.i. rog.

1. To wander; to play the vagabond. [Little used.]

2. To play knavish tricks. [Little used.]


1. The life of a vagrant. [Not little used.]

2. Knavish tricks; cheating; fraud; dishonest practices.

Tis no scandal grown, for debt and roguery to quit the town.

3. Waggery; arch tricks; mischievousness.

ROGUESHIP, n. The qualities or personage of a rogue.


1. Vagrant; vagabond. [Nearly obsolete.]

2. Knavish; fraudulent; dishonest. [This is the present sense of the word.]

3. Waggish; wanton; slightly mischievous.

ROGUISHLY, adv. Like a rogue; knavishly; wantonly.


1. The qualities of a rogue; knavery; mischievousness.

2. Archness; sly cunning; as the roguishness of a look.

ROGUY, a. Knavish; wanton. [Not in use.]

ROIL, v.t.

1. To render turbid by stirring up the dregs or sediment; as, to roil wine, cider or other liquor in casks or bottles.

2. To excite some degree of anger; to disturb the passion of resentment. [These senses are in common use in New England, and locally in England.]

3. To perplex. [Local in England.]

ROILED, pp. Rendered turbid or foul by disturbing the lees or sediment; angered slightly; disturbed in mind by an offense.

ROILING, ppr. Rendering turbid; or exciting the passion of anger.

[Note. This word is as legitimate as any in the language.]

ROINT, [See Aroynt.]


To bluster; to swagger; to bully; to be bold, noisy, vaunting or turbulent. [Not in use.]

ROISTER, ROISTERER, n. A bold, blustering, turbulent fellow. [Not in use.]

ROKY, a. [See Reek.] Misty; foggy; cloudy. [Not in use.]

ROLL, v.t. [It is usual to consider this word as formed by contraction from the Latin rotula, a little wheel, from rota.]

1. To move by turning on the surface, or with a circular motion in which all parts of the surface are successively applied to a plane; as, to roll a barrel or puncheon; to roll a stone or ball. Sisyphus was condemned to roll a stone to the top of a hill, which, when he had done so, rolled down again, and thus his punishment was eternal.

2. To revolve; to turn on its axis; as, to roll a wheel or a planet.

3. To move in a circular direction.

To dress, to troll the tongue and roll the eye.

4. To wrap round on itself; to form into a circular or cylindrical body; as, to roll a piece of cloth; to roll a sheet of paper; to roll parchment; to roll tobacco.

5. To enwrap; to bind or involve in a bandage or the like.

6. To form by rolling into round masses.

7. To drive or impel any body with a circular motion, or to drive forward with violence or in a stream. The ocean rolls its billows to the shore. A river rolls its water to the ocean.

8. To spread with a roller or rolling pin; as, to roll paste.

9. To produce a periodical revolution.

Heav’n shone and roll’d her motions.

10. To press or level with a roller; as, to roll a field.

To roll one’s self, to wallow. Micah 1:10.

ROLL, v.i.

1. To move by turning on the surface, or with the successive application of all parts of the surface to a plane; as, a ball or a wheel rolls on the earth; a body rolls on an inclined plane.

2. To move, turn or run on an axis; as a wheel. [In this sense, revolve is more generally used.]

3. To run on wheels.

And to the rolling chair is bound.

4. To revolve; to perform a periodical revolution; as the rolling year. Ages roll away.

5. To turn; to move circularly.

And his red eyeballs roll with living fire.

6. To float in rough water; to be tossed about.

Twice ten tempestuous nights I roll’d -

7. To move, as waves or billows, with alternate swells and depressions. Waves roll on waves.

8. To fluctuate; to move tumultuously.

What diff’rent sorrows did within thee roll.

9. To be moved with violence; to be hurled.

Down they fell by thousands, angel on archangel roll’d.

10. To be formed into a cylinder or ball; as, the cloth rolls well.

11. To spread under a roller or rolling pin. The paste rolls well.

12. To wallow; to tumble; as, a horse rolls.

13. To rock or move from side; as, a ship rolls in a calm.

14. To beat a drum with strokes so rapid that they can scarcely be distinguished by the ear.

ROLL, n.

1. The act of rolling, or state of being rolled; as the roll of a ball.

2. The thing rolling.

3. A mass made round; something like a ball or cylinder; as a roll of fat; a roll of wool.

4. A roller; a cylinder of wood, iron or stone; as a roll to break clods.

5. A quantity of cloth wound into a cylindrical form; as a roll of woolen or satin; a roll of lace.

6. A cylindrical twist of tobacco.

7. An official writing; a list; a register; a catalogue; as a muster-roll; a court roll.

8. The beating of a drum with strokes so rapid as scarcely to be distinguished by the ear.

9. Rolls of court, of parliament, or of any public body, are the parchments on which are engrossed, by the proper officer, the acts and proceedings of that body, and which being kept in rolls, constitute the records of such public body.

10. In antiquity, a volume; a book consisting of leaf, bark, paper, skin or other material on which the ancients wrote, and which being kept rolled or folded, was called in Latin volume, from volvo, to roll. Hence.

11. A chronicle; history; annals.

Nor names more noble graced the rolls of fame.

12. Part; office; that is, round of duty, like turn. Obs.

ROLLED, pp. Moved by turning; formed into a round or cylindrical body; leveled with a roller, as land.


1. That which rolls; that which turns on its own axis; particularly, a cylinder of wood, stone or metal, used in husbandry and the arts. Rollers are of various kinds and used for various purposes.

2. A bandage; a fillet; properly, a long and broad bandage used in surgery.

3. A bird of the magpie kind, about the size of a jay.

A bird of the genus Coracias, found in Europe; called also the German parrot.

ROLLING, ppr. Turning over; revolving; forming into a cylinder or round mass; leveling, as land.

ROLLING, n. The motion of a ship from side to side.

ROLLING-PIN, n. A round piece of wood, tapering at each end, with which paste is molded and reduced to a proper thickness.

ROLLING-PRESS, n. An engine consisting of two cylinders, by which cloth is calendared, waved and tabbied; also an engine for taking impressions from copper plates; also, a like engine for drawing plates of metal, etc.

ROLLY-POOLY, n. [said to be roll and pool, or roll, ball and pool.]

A game in which a ball, rolling into a certain place, wins.

ROMAGE, n. Bustle; tumultuous search. [See Rummage.]

ROMAL, n. romaul’. A species of silk handkerchief.

ROMAN, a. [L. Romanus, from Roma, the principal city of the Romans in Italy. Rome is the oriental name Ramah, elevated, that is, a hill; for fortresses and towns were often placed on hills for security; Heb. to be high, to raise.]

1. Pertaining to Rome, or to the Roman people.

2. Romish; popish; professing the religion of the pope.

Roman catholic, as an adjective, denoting the religion professed by the people of Rome and of Italy, at the head of which is the pope or bishop of Rome; as a noun, one who adheres to the papal religion.


1. A native of rome.

2. A citizen of Rome; one enjoying the privileges of a Roman citizen.

3. One of the christian church at Rome to which Paul addressed an epistle, consisting of converts from Judaism or paganism.

ROMANCE, n. romans’, ro’mans.

1. A fabulous relation or story of adventures and incidents, designed for the entertainment of readers; a tale of extraordinary adventures, fictitious and often extravagant, usually a tale of love or war, subjects interesting the sensibilities of the heart, or the passions of wonder and curiosity. Romance differs from the novel, as it treats of great actions and extraordinary adventures; that is, according to the Welch signification, it vaults or soars beyond the limits of fact and real life, and often of probability.

The first romances were a monstrous assemblage of histories, in which truth and fiction were blended without probability; a composition of amorous adventures and the extravagant ideas of chivalry.

2. A fiction.

ROMANCE, v.i. romans’, ro’mans. To forge and tell fictitious stories; to deal in extravagant stories.


1. One who invents fictitious stories.

2. A writer of romance.

ROMANCING, ppr. Inventing and telling fictitious tales; building castles in the air.

ROMANCY, a. Romantic. [Not proper.]

ROMANISM, n. The tenets of the church of Rome.

ROMANIST, n. An adherent to the papal religion; a Roman catholic.


1. To latinize; to fill with Latin words or modes of speech.

2. To convert to the Roman catholic religion, or to papistical opinions.

ROMANIZE, v.i. To conform to Romish opinions, customs or modes of speech.

ROMANIZED, pp. Latinized.

ROMANSH, n. The language of the Grisons in Switzerland, a corruption of the Latin.


1. Pertaining to romance, or resembling it; wild; fanciful; extravagant; as a romantic taste; romantic notions; romantic expectations; romantic zeal.

2. Improbably or chimerical; fictitious; as a romantic tale.

3. Fanciful; wild; full of wild or fantastic scenery; as a romantic prospect or landscape; a romantic situation.

ROMANTICALLY, adv. Wildly; extravagantly.


1. Wildness; extravagance; fancifulness.

2. Wildness of scenery.

ROMANZOVITE, n. A recently discovered mineral of the garnet kind, of a brown or brownish yellow color; named from count Romanzoff.

ROMEPENNY, ROMESCOT, n. A tax of a penny on a house, formerly paid by the people of England to the church of Rome.

ROMISH, a. [from Rome.] Belonging or relating to Rome, or to the religion professed by the people of Rome and of the western empire, of which Rome was the metropolis; catholic; popish; as the Romish church; the Romish religion, ritual or ceremonies.

ROMIST, n. A papist.

ROMP, n. [a different spelling of ramp. See Ramp and Romance.]

1. A rude girl who indulges in boisterous play.

2. Rude play or frolic.

Romp loving miss is haul’d about in gallantry robust.

ROMP, v.i. To play rudely and boisterously; to leap and frisk about in play.

ROMPING, ppr. Playing rudely; as a noun, rude boisterous play.

ROMPISH, a. Given to rude play; inclined to romp.

ROMPISHNESS, n. Disposition to rude boisterous play; or the practice of romping.

ROMPU, ROMPEE, n. [L. rumpo, to break.] In heraldry, an ordinary that is broken, or a chevron, a bend or the like, whose upper points are cut off.


1. A kind of poetry, commonly consisting of thirteen verses, of which eight have one rhyme, and five another. It is divided into three couplets, and at the end of the second and third, the beginning of the rondeau is repeated in an equivocal sense, if possible.

2. In music, the rondo, vocal or instrumental, generally consists of three strains, the first of which closes in the original key, while each of the others is so constructed in modulation as to reconduct the ear in an easy and natural manner to the first strain.

3. A kind of jig or lively tune that ends with the first strain repeated.

RONDLE, n. [from round.] A round mass. [Not in use.]

RONDURE, n. A round; a circle. [Not in use.]

RONG, the old pret. and pp. of ring, now rung.

RONION, n. run’yon. A fat bulky woman. [Not in use.]

RONT, n. An animal stinted in its growth. [Now written and pronounced runt.]

ROOD, n. [a different orthography of rod, which see.]

1. The fourth part of an acre, or forty square rods. [See Acre.]

2. A pole; a measure of five yards; a rod or perch. [Not used in America, and probably local in England.]

ROOD, n. The cross; or an image of Christ, of the virgin Mary and a saint or St. John, on each side of it.

ROODLOFT, n. A loft or gallery in a church on which relics and images were set to view.

ROOF, n.

1. The cover or upper part of a house or other building, consisting of rafters covered with boards, shingles or tiles, with a side or sides sloping from the ridge, for the purpose of carrying off the water that falls in rain or snow. In Asia, the roofs of houses are flat or horizontal. The same name, roof, is given to the sloping covers of huts, cabins and ricks; to the arches of ovens, furnaces, etc.

2. A vault; an arch; or the interior of a vault; as the roof of heaven.

3. The vault of the mouth; the upper part of the mouth; the palate.

If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Psalm 137:6.

ROOF, v.t.

1. To cover with a roof.

I have not seen the remains of any Roman buildings, that have not been roofed with vaults or arches.

2. To inclose in a house; to shelter.

Here had we now our country’s honor roof’d.

ROOFED, pp. Furnished or covered with a roof or arch.

ROOFING, ppr. Covering with a roof.

ROOFING, n. The materials of which a roof is composed; or materials for a roof.


1. Having no roof; as a roofless house.

2. Having no house or home; unsheltered.

ROOFY, a. Having roofs.

ROOK, n. [L. graculus; probably from its voice. See Crow and Croak.]

1. A fowl of the genus Corvus, the fowl mentioned by Virgil under this name. This fowl resembles the crow, but differs from it in not feeding on carrion, but on insects and grain. In crows also the nostrils and root of the bill are clothed with feathers, but in rooks the same parts are naked, or have only a few bristly hairs. The rook is gregarious.

2. A cheat; a trickish, rapacious fellow.

ROOK, n. A common man at chess.
ROOK, v.i. To cheat; to defraud.
ROOK, v.t. To cheat; to defraud by cheating.
ROOK, v.i. To squat. [See Ruck.]


1. A nursery of rooks.

2. In low language, a brothel.

ROOKY, a. Inhabited by rooks; as the rooky wood.

ROOM, n.

1. Space; compass; extent of place, great or small. Let the words occupy as little room as possible.

2. Space or place unoccupied.

Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. Luke 14:22.

3. Place for reception or admission of any thing. In this case, there is no room for doubt or for argument.

4. Place of another; stead; as in succession or substitution. One magistrate or king comes in the room of a former one. We often place one thing in the room of another. 1 Kings 20:24.

5. Unoccupied opportunity. The eager pursuit of wealth leaves little room for serious reflection.

6. An apartment in a house; any division separated from the rest by a partition; as a parlor, drawing room or bed-room; also an apartment in a ship, as the cook-room, bread-room, gun-room, etc.

7. A seat. Luke 14:7-10.

To make room, to open a way or passage; to free from obstructions.

To make room, to open a space or place for any thing.

To give room, to withdraw; to leave space unoccupied for others to pass or to be seated.

ROOM, v.i. To occupy an apartment; to lodge; an academic use of the word. A B rooms at No. 7.

ROOMAGE, n. [from room.] Space; place. [Not used.]

ROOMFUL, a. Abounding with rooms.

ROOMINESS, n. Space; spaciousness; large extent of space.

Roomth, space, and roomthy, spacious, are ill formed words and not used in the United States.

ROOMY, a. Spacious; wide; large; having ample room; as a roomy mansion; a roomy deck.


The pole or other support on which fowls rest at night.

He clapp’d his wings upon his roost.

At roost, in a state for rest and sleep.

ROOST, v.i.

1. To sit, rest or sleep, as fowls on a pole, tree or other thing at night.

2. To lodge, in burlesque.