Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



ROOSTING, ppr. Sitting for rest and sleep at night.

ROOT, n. [L. radix. A root is a shoot, and only a different application of rod, L. radius.]

1. That part of a plant which enters and fixes itself in the earth, and serves to support the plant in an erect position, while by means of its fibrils it imbibes nutriment for the stem, branches and fruit.

2. The part of any thing that resembles the roots of a plant in manner of growth; as the roots of a cancer, of teeth, etc.

3. The bottom or lower part of any thing.

Deep to the roots of hell -

Burnet uses root of a mountain, but we now say base, foot or bottom. See Job 28:9.

4. A plant whose root is esculent or the most useful part; as beets, carrots, etc.

5. The original or cause of any thing.

The love of money is the root of all evil. 1 Timothy 6:10.

6. The first ancestor.

They were the roots out of which sprung two distinct people -

7. In arithmetic and algebra, the root of any quantity is such a quantity as, when multiplied into itself a certain number of times, will exactly produce that quantity. Thus 2 is a root of 4, because when multiplied into itself, it exactly produces 4.

8. Means of growth. “He hath no root in himself;” that is, no soil in which grace can grow and flourish. Matthew 13:21.

9. In music, the fundamental note of any chord.

Root of bitterness, in Scripture, any error, sin or evil that produces discord or immorality.

To take root, to become planted or fixed; or to be established; to increase and spread.

To take deep root, to be firmly planted or established; to be deeply impressed.

ROOT, v.i.

1. To fix the root; to enter the earth, as roots.

In deep grounds, the weeds root deeper.

2. To be firmly fixed; to be established.

The multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not take deep rooting.

3. To sink deep.

If any error chanced - to cause misapprehensions, he gave them not leave to root and fasten by concealment.

ROOT, v.t.

1. To plant and fix deep in the earth; used chiefly in the participle; as rooted trees or forests.

2. To plant deeply; to impress deeply and durably. Let the leading truths of the gospel be deeply rooted in the mind; let holy affections be well rooted in the heart.

3. In Scripture, to be rooted and grounded in Christ, is to be firmly united to him by faith and love, and well established in the belief of his character and doctrines. Ephesians 3:17.

ROOT, v.i. or t.

To turn up the earth with the snout, as swine. Swine root to find worms; they root the ground wherever they come.

To root up or out, to eradicate; to extirpate; to remove or destroy root and branch; to exterminate. Deuteronomy 29:28; Job 31:8, 12.

ROOT-BOUND, a. Fixed to the earth by roots.

ROOT-BUILT, a. Built of roots.

ROOTED, pp. Having its roots planted or fixed in the earth; hence, fixed; deep; radical; as rooted sorrow; rooted aversion; rooted prejudices.

ROOTEDLY, adv. Deeply; from the heart.

ROOTER, n. One that roots; or one that tears up by the roots.

ROOT-HOUSE, n. A house made of roots.

ROOTING, ppr. Striking or taking root; turning up with the snout.

ROOT-LEAF, n. A leaf growing immediately from the root.

ROOTLET, n. A radicle; the fibrous part of a root.

ROOTY, a. Full of roots; as rooty ground.

ROPALIC, a. [Gr. a club.] Club-formed; increasing or selling towards the end.

ROPE, n.

1. A large string or line composed of several strands twisted together. It differs from cord, line and string, only in its size; being the name given to all sorts of cordage above an inch in circumference. Indeed the smaller ropes, when used for certain purposes, are called lines.

Ropes are by seamen ranked under two descriptions, cable-laid, and hawser-laid; the former composed of nine strands, or three great strands, each consisting of three small ones; the latter made with three strands, each composed of a certain number of rope-yarns.

2. A row or string consisting of a number of things united; as a rope of onions.

3. Ropes, the intestines of birds.

Rope of sand, proverbially, feeble union or tie; a band easily broken.

ROPE, v.i. To draw out or extend into a filament or thread, by means of any glutinous or adhesive quality. Any glutinous substance will rope considerably before it will part.


ROPE-DANCER, n. [rope and dancer.]

One that walks on a rope suspended.

ROPE-LADDER, n. A ladder made of ropes.

ROPE-MAKER, n. One whose occupation is to make ropes or cordage. [I do not know that roper is ever used.]

ROPE-MAKING, n. The art or business of manufacturing ropes or cordage.


1. A place where ropes are made. [Not used in the United States.]

2. A trick that deserves the halter.

ROPE-TRICK, n. A trick that deserves the halter.

ROPE-WALK, n. A long covered walk, or a long building over smooth ground, where ropes are manufactured.

ROPE-YARN, n. Yarn for ropes, consisting of a single thread. The threads are twisted into strands, and the strands into ropes.

ROPINESS, n. [from ropy.] Stringiness, or aptness to draw out in a string or thread without breaking, as of glutinous substances; viscosity; adhesiveness.

ROPY, a. [from rope.] Stringy; adhesive; that may be drawn into a thread; as a glutinous substance; viscous; tenacious; glutinous; as ropy wine; ropy lees.

ROQUELAUR, n. A cloak for men.

RORAL, a. [L. roralis, from ros, dew.]

Pertaining to dew or consisting of dew; dewy.

RORATION, n. [L. roratio.] A falling of dew. [Not used.]

RORID, a. [L. roridus.] Dewy.

RORIFEROUS, a. [L. ros, dew, and fero, to produce.] Generating or producing dew.

RORIFLUENT, a. [L. ros, dew, and fluo, to flow.] Flowing with dew. [Not used.]

ROSACEOUS, a. s as z. [L. rosaceus. See Rose.]

Rose-like; composed of several petals, arranged in a circular form; as a rosaceous corol.

ROSARY, n. s as z. [L. rosarium. See Rose.]

1. A bed of roses, or place where roses grow.

2. A chaplet.

3. A string of beads used by Roman catholics, on which they count their prayers.

ROSASIC, a. The rosasic acid is obtained from the urine of persons affected with intermitting and nervous fevers.

ROSCID, a. [L. roscidus, from ros, dew.]

Dewy; containing dew, or consisting of dew. [Not used.]

ROSE, n. s as z. [L., Gr. from the root of red, ruddy. See Red.]

1. A plant and flower of the genus Rosa, of many species and varieties, as the wild canine or dog-rose, the white rose, the red rose, the cinnamon rose, the eglantine or sweet briar, etc. There are five petals; the calyx is urceolate, quinquefid, and corneous; the seeds are numerous, hispid, and fixed to the inside of the calyx.

2. A knot of ribbon in the form of a rose, used as an ornamental tie of a shoe.

Under the rose, in secret; privately; in a manner that forbids disclosure.

Rose of Jericho, a plant growing on the plain of Jericho, the Anastatica hierochuntica.

ROSE, pret. of rise.

ROSEAL, a. [L. roseus.] Like a rose in smell or color.


1. Rosy; full of roses; as roseate bowers.

2. Blooming; of a rose color; as roseate beauty.

ROSEBAY, n. A plant, the Nerium oleander. The dwarf rosebay is the rhododendron.

ROSED, A crimsoned; flushed.

ROSE-GALL, n. An excrescence on the dog-rose.

ROSE-MALLOW, n. A plant of the genus Alcea, larger than the common mallow.

ROSEMARY, n. [L. rosmarinus, sea-rose; rosa and marinus.]

A verticillate plant of the genus Rosmarinus, growing naturally in the southern part of France, Spain and Italy. It has a fragrant smell and a warm pungent bitterish taste.

ROSE-NOBLE, n. A ancient English gold coin, stamped with the figure of a rose, first struck in the reign of Edward III and current at 6s. 8d. or according to Johnson, at 16 shillings.

ROSE-QUARTZ, n. A subspecies of quartz, rose red or milk white.

ROSE-ROOT, n. A plant of the genus Rhodiola.

ROSET, n. A red color used by painters.

ROSE-WATER, n. Water tinctured with roses by distillation.

ROSE-WOOD, n. A plant or tree of the genus Aspalathus, growing in warm climates, from which is obtained the oleum rhodii, an agreeable perfume, used in scenting pomatum and liniments.

ROSICRUCIAN, n. [L. ros, dew, and crux, cross; dew, the most powerful dissolvent of gold, according to these fanatics, and cross, the emblem of light.]

The Rosicrucians were a sect or cabal of hermetical philosophers, or rather fanatics, who sprung up in Germany in the fourteenth century, and made great pretensions to science; and among other things, pretended to be masters of the secret of the philosopher’s stone.

ROSICRUCIAN, a. Pertaining to the Rosicrucians, or their arts.

ROSIER, n. ro’zhur. A rose bush. [Not in use.]

ROSIN, n. s as z. [This is only a different orthography of resin. L. resina. See Resin.]

1. Inspissated turpentine, a juice of the pine.

2. Any inspissated matter of vegetables that dissolves in spirit of wine.

ROSIN, v.t. To rub with rosin.

ROSINESS, n. s as z. The quality of being rosy, or of resembling the color of the rose.

ROSINY, a. Like rosin, or partaking of its qualities.


Heathy land; land full of ling; moorish or watery land.

ROSPO, n. A fish of Mexico, perfectly round, without scales, and good for food.

ROSS, n. The rough scaly matter on the surface of the bark of certain trees.

ROSSEL, n. Light land. [Not used in America.]

ROSSELLY, a. Loose; light. [Not in use.]

ROSSET, n. The large ternate bat.

ROSSIGNOL, n. The nightingale.

ROSTEL, n. [L. rostellum, dim of rostrum, a beak.]

In botany, the descending plane part of the coracle or heart, in the first vegetation of a seed.

ROSTER, n. In military affairs, a plan or table by which the duty of officers is regulated.

In Massachusetts, a list of the officers of a division, brigade, regiment or battalion, containing under several heads their names, rank, the corps to which they belong, date of commission and place of abode. These are called division rosters, brigade rosters, regimental or battalion rosters.

The word is also used frequently instead of register, which comprehends a general list of all the officers of the state, from the commander in chief to the lowest in commission, under the same appropriate heads, with an additional column for noting the alterations which take place.

ROSTRAL, a. [from L. rostrum, beak.]

1. Resembling the beak of a ship.

2. Pertaining to the beak.

ROSTRATE, ROSTRATED, a. [L. rostratus.]

1. In botany, beaked; having a process resembling the beak of a bird.

2. Furnished or adorned with beaks; as rostrated galleys.

ROSTRUM, n. [L.]

1. The beak or bill of a bird.

2. The beak or head of a ship.

3. In ancient Rome, a scaffold or elevated place in the forum, where orations, pleadings funeral harangues, etc., were delivered.

4. The pipe which conveys the distilling liquor into its receiver, in the common alembic.

5. A crooked pair of scissors, used by surgeons for dilating wounds.

ROSY, a. [from rose.]

1. Resembling a rose in color or qualities; blooming; red; blushing; charming.

While blooming youth and gay delight sit on thy rosy check contest.

The rosy morn resigns her light.

2. Made in the form of a rose.

ROT, v.i.

To lose the natural cohesion and organization of parts, as animal and vegetable substances; to be decomposed and resolved into its original component parts by the natural process, or the gradual operation of heat and air; to putrefy.

ROT, v.t. To make putrid; to cause to be decomposed by the natural operation of air and heat; to bring to corruption.
ROT, n.

1. A fatal distemper incident to sheep, usually supposed to be owing to wet seasons and moist pastures. The immediate cause of the mortality of sheep, in this disease, is found to be a great number of small animals, called flukes, (Fascida,) found in the liver, and supposed to be produced from eggs swallowed with their food.

2. Putrefaction; putrid decay.

3. Dry rot, in timber, the decay of the wood without the access of water.

ROTA, n. [L. rota. See Rotary.]

1. An ecclesiastical court of Rome, composed of twelve prelates, of whom one must be a German, another a Frenchman, and two Spaniards; the other eight are Italians. This is one of the most august tribunals in Rome, taking cognizance of all suits in the territory of the church by appeal, and of all matters beneficiary and patrimonial.

2. In English history, a club of politicians, who, in the time of Charles I. contemplated an equal government by rotation.

ROTALITE, n. A genus of fossil shells.

ROTARY, a. [L. rota, a wheel. L. curro.]

Turning, as a wheel on its axis; as rotary motion.

ROTATE, a. In botany, wheel-shaped; monopetalous, spreading flat, without any tube, or expanding into a flat border, with scarcely any tube; as a rotate corol.

ROTATED, a. [L. rotatus.] Turned round, as a wheel.

ROTATION, n. [L. rotatio, from roto, to turn; rota, a wheel.]

1. The act of turning, as a wheel or solid body on its axis, as distinguished from the progressive motion of a body revolving round another body or a distant point. Thus the daily turning of the earth on its axis, is a rotation; its annual motion round the sun is a revolution.

2. Vicissitude of succession; the course by which officers or others leave their places at certain times and are succeeded by others; applied also to a change of crops.

ROTATIVE, a. Turning, as a wheel; rotary. [Little used.]

ROTATO-PLANE, a. In botany, wheel-shaped and flat, without a tube; as a rotato-plane corol.

ROTATOR, n. [L.] That which gives a circular or rolling motion; a muscle producing a rolling motion.

ROTATORY, a. [from rotator.]

1. Turning on an axis, as a wheel; rotary.

2. Going in a circle; following in succession; as rotatory assemblies.

[This word is often used, probably by mistake, for rotary. It may be regularly formed from rotator, but not with the exact sense in which it is used. With rotator for its original, it would signify causing rather than being in a circular motion. The true word is rotary.]

ROTE, n. A kind of violin or harp. Obs.

ROTE, n. [L. rota, a wheel.]

Properly, a round of words; frequent repetition of words or sounds, without attending to the signification, or to principles and rules; a practice that impresses words in the memory without an effort of the understanding, and without the aid of rules. Thus children learn to speak by rote; they often repeat what they hear, till it becomes familiar to them. So we learn to sing by rote, as we hear notes repeated, and soon learn to repeat them ourselves.

ROTE, v.t. To fix in the memory by means of frequent repetition ourselves, or by hearing the repetition of others, without an effort of the understanding to comprehend what is repeated, and without the aid of rules or principles. [Little used.]
ROTE, v.i. To go out by rotation or succession. [Little used.]


Cattle of the bovine genus; called in England black cattle. [Not used in America.]

ROTHER-NAILS, n. [corrupted from rudder-nails.]

Among shipwrights, nails with very full heads, used for fastening the rudder irons of ships.

ROTHOFFITE, n. A variety of grenate, brown or black, found in Sweden. It has a resemblance to melanite, another variety, but differs from it in having a small portion of alumin.

ROTOCO, n. An eastern weight of 5 pounds.

ROTTEN, a. rot’n.

1. Putrid; carious; decomposed by the natural process of decay; as a rotten plank.

2. Not firm or trusty; unsound; defective in principle; treacherous; deceitful.

3. Defective in substance; not sound or hard.

4. Fetid; ill smelling.

ROTTENNESS, n. State of being decayed or putrid; cariousness; putrefaction; unsoundness.

ROTTEN-STONE, n. A soft stone or mineral, called also Tripoli, terra Tripolitana, from the country from which it was formerly brought. It is used in all sorts of finer grinding and polishing in the arts, and for cleaning furniture of metallic substances. The rotten-stone of Derbyshire, in England, is a Tripoli mixed with calcarious earth.

ROTUND, a. [L. rotundus, probably formed on rota, a wheel, as jocundus on jocus.]

1. Round; circular; spherical.

2. In botany, circumscribed by one unbroken curve, or without angles; as a rotund leaf.

ROTUNDIFOLIOUS, a. [L. rotundus, round, and folium, a leaf.] Having round leaves.

ROTUNDITY, n. Roundness; sphericity; circularity; as the rotundity of a globe.

ROTUNDO, n. A round building; any building that is round both on the outside and inside. The most celebrated edifice of this kind is the Pantheon at Rome.

ROUCOU, n. roo’coo. A substance used in dyeing; the same as anotta.

ROUGE, a. roozh. Red.

ROUGE, n. roozh. Red paint; a substance used for painting the cheeks.
ROUGE, v.i. [supra.] To paint the face, or rather the cheeks.
ROUGE, v.t. [supra.] To paint, or tinge with red paint.

ROUGH, a. [L. raucus. Eng. rye, that is rough. L. ruga, a wrinkle. Gr. to snore. L. ruga, a wrinkle, a ridge. See Ridge. The primary sense is to stretch or strain; but applied to roughness or wrinkling, it is to draw or contract, a straining together.]

1. Having inequalities, small ridges or points on the surface; not smooth or plane; as a rough board, a rough stone; rough cloth.

2. Stony; abounding with stones and stumps; as rough land; or simply with stones; as a rough road.

3. Not wrought or polished; as a rough diamond.

4. Thrown into huge waves; violently agitated; as a rough sea.

5. Tempestuous; stormy; boisterous; as rough weather.

6. Austere to the taste; harsh; as rough wine.

7. Harsh to the ear; grating; jarring; unharmonious; as rough sounds; rough numbers.

8. Rugged of temper; severe; austere; rude; not mild or courteous.

A fiend, a fury, pitiless and rough.

9. Coarse in manners; rude.

A surly boatman, rough as seas and wind.

10. Harsh; violent; not easy; as a rough remedy.

11. Hard featured; not delicate; as a rough visage.

12. Harsh; severe; uncivil; as rough usage.

13. Terrible; dreadful.

On the rough edge of battle, ere it join’d, Satan advanc’d.

14. Rugged; disordered in appearance; coarse.

Rough from the tossing surge Ulysses moves.

15. Hairy; shaggy; covered with hairs, bristles and the like.

ROUGH-CAST, v.t. ruf’-cast. [rough and cast.]

1. To form in its first rudiments, without revision, correction and polish.

2. To mold without nicety or elegance, or to form with asperities.

3. To cover with a mixture of plaster and shells or pebbles; as, to rough-cast a building.

ROUGH-CAST, n. ruf’-cast.

1. A rude model; the form of a thing in its first rudiments, unfinished.

2. A plaster with a mixture of shells or pebbles, used for covering buildings.

ROUGH-DRAUGHT, n. ruf’-draft. A draught in its rudiments; a draught not perfected; a sketch.

ROUGH-DRAW, v.t. ruf’-draw. To draw or delineate coarsely.

ROUGH-DRAWN, pp. ruf’-drawn. Coarsely drawn.

ROUGHEN, v.t. ruf’n. [from rough.] To make rough.

ROUGHEN, v.i. ruf’n. To grow or become rough.

ROUGH-FOOTED, a. ruf’-footed. Feather-footed; as a rough-footed dove.

ROUGH-HEW, v.t. ruf’-hew. [rough and hew.]

1. To hew coarsely without smoothing; as, to rough-hew timber.

2. To give the first form or shape to a thing.

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.

ROUGH-HEWN, pp. of a ruf’-hewn.

1. Hewn coarsely without smoothing.

2. Rugged; unpolished; of coarse manners; rude.

A rough-hewn seaman.

3. Unpolished; not nicely finished.