Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SAVORLY, a. Well seasoned; of good taste.

SAVORLY, adv. With a pleasing relish.

SAVORY, a. [from savor.] Pleasing to the organs of smell or taste; as a savory odor.

Make me savory meat. Genesis 27:4, 7.

SAVORY, n. A plant of the genus Satureia.

SAVOY, n. A variety of the common cabbage, much cultivated for winter use.

SAW, pret. of see.

SAW, n. [See the Verb.]

1. A cutting instrument consisting of a blade or thin plate of iron or steel, with one edge dentated or toothed.

2. A saying; proverb; maxim; decree. Obs. [See Say.]

SAW, v.t. pret. sawed; pp. sawed or sawn. [L. seco;]

1. To cut with a saw; to separate with a saw; as, to saw timber or marble.

2. To form by cutting with a saw; as, to saw boards or planks, that is, to saw timber into boards or planks.

SAW, v.i.

1. To use a saw; to practice sawing; as, a man saws well.

2. To cut with a saw; as, the mill saws fast or well.

3. To be cut with a saw; as, the timber saws smooth.

SAW-DUST, n. Dust or small fragments of wood or stone made by the attrition of a saw.

SAWED, pp. Cut, divided or formed with a saw.

SAWER, n. One that saws; corrupted into sawyer.

SAW-FISH, n. A fish of the genus Pristis, which has a long beak or snout, with spines growing like teeth on both edges, and four or five spiracles or breathing holes in the sides of the neck.

SAW-FLY, n. A genus of flies, having a serrated sting.

SAW-PIT, n. A pit over which timber is sawed by two men, one standing below the timber and the other above.

SAW-WORT, n. A plant of the genus Serratula, so named from its serrated leaves.

SAW-WREST, n. An instrument used to wrest or turn the teeth of saws a little outwards, that they may make a kerf somewhat wider than the thickness of the blade.


1. One whose occupation is to saw timber into planks or boards, or to saw wood for fuel.

2. In America, a tree which, being undermined by a current of water, and falling into the stream, lies with its branches above water, which are continually raised and depressed by the force of the current, from which circumstance the name is derived. The sawyers in the Mississippi render the navigation dangerous, and frequently sink boats which run against them.

SAXIFRAGE, n. [L. saqxifraga; composed of saxum, a stone, and frango, to break.]

A medicine that has the property of breaking or dissolving the stone in the bladder. But in botany, a genus of plants of many species. The burnet saxifrage is of the genus Pimpinella; the golden saxifrage is of the genus Chrysoplenium; the meadow saxifrage is of the genus Peucedanum.

SAXIFRAGOUS, a. Dissolving the stone.


1. One of the nation or people who formerly dwelt in the northern part of Germany, and who invaded and conquered England in the fifth and sixth centuries. The Welsh still call the English Saesons.

2. The language of the Saxons.

SAXON, a. Pertaining to the Saxons, to their country, or to their language.

SAXONISM, n. An idiom of the Saxon language.

SAXONIST, n. One versed in the Saxon language.

SAY, v.t. pret. and pp. said, contracted from sayed.

1. To speak; to utter in words; as, he said nothing; he said many things; he says not a word. Say a good word for me.

It is observable that although this word is radically synonymous with speak and tell, yet the uses are applications of these words are different. Thus we say, to speak an oration, to tell a story; but in these phrases, say cannot be used. Yet to say a lesson is good English, though not very elegant. We never use the phrases to say a sermon or discourse, to say an argument, to say a speech, to say testimony.

A very general use of say is to introduce a relation, narration or recital, either of the speaker himself or of something said or done or to be done by another. Thus Adam said, this is bone of my bone; Noah said, blessed be the Lord God of Shem. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. Say to the cities of Judah, behold your God. I cannot say what I should do in a similar case. Say thus precedes a sentence. But it is perhaps impracticable to reduce the peculiar and appropriate uses of say, speak and tell, to general rules. They can be learned only by observation.

2. To declare. Genesis 38:13.

3. To utter; to pronounce.

Say now Shibboleth. Judges 12:6.

4. To utter, as a command.

God said, let there be light. Genesis 1:3.

5. To utter, as a promise. Luke 23:29-30.

6. To utter, as a question or answer. Mark 11:3.

7. To affirm; to teach. Matthew 17:20.

8. To confess. Luke 17:4.

9. To testify. Acts 26:22.

10. To argue; to allege by way of argument.

After all that can be said against a thing -

11. To repeat; to rehearse; to recite; as, to say a lesson.

12. To pronounce; to recite without singing. Then shall be said or sung as follows.

13. To report; as in the phrases, it is said, they say.

14. To answer; to utter by way of reply; to tell.

Say, Stella, feel you no content, reflecting on a life well spent?

[Note - This verb is not properly intransitive. In the phrase, “as when we say, Plato is no fool,” the last clause is the object after the verb; that is, “we say what follows.” If this verb is properly intransitive in any case, it is in the phrase, “that is to say,” but in such cases, the subsequent clause is the object of the verb, being that which is said, uttered or related.]

SAY, n. A speech; something said. [In popular use, but not elegant.]
SAY, n. [for assay.]

1. A sample. Obs.

2. Trial by sample. Obs.

SAY, n. A thin silk. Obs.
SAY, SAYE, n. In commerce, a kind of serge used for linings, shirts, aprons, etc.

SAYING, ppr. Uttering in articulate sounds or words; speaking; telling; relating; reciting.


1. An expression; a sentence uttered; a declaration.

Moses fled at this saying. Acts 7:29.

Cicero treasured up the sayings of Scaevola.

2. A proverbial expression. Many are the sayings of the wise.

SCAB, n. [L. scabbies, scaber, rough.]

1. An encrusted substance, dry and rough, formed over a sore in healing.

2. The itch or mange in horses; a disease of sheep.

3. A mean, dirty paltry fellow. [Low.]

SCABBARD, n. The sheath of a sword.

SCABBARD, v.t. To put in a sheath.

SCABBED, a. [from scab.]

1. Abounding with scabs; diseased with scabs.

2. Mean; paltry; vile; worthless.

SCABBEDNESS, n. The state of being scabbed.

SCABBINESS, n. [from scabby.] The quality of being scabby.

SCABBY, a. [from scab.]

1. Affected with scabs; full of scabs.

2. Diseased with the scab or mange; mangy.

SCABIOUS, a. [L. scabisus, from scabies, scab.]

Consisting of scabs; rough itch; leprous; as scabious eruptions.

SCABIOUS, n. A plant of the genus Scabiosa.

SCABREDITY, n. [L. scabredo, scabrities.] Roughness; ruggedness. [Not in use.]

SCABROUS, a. [L. scabrosus, scaber, from scabies, scab.]

1. Rough; rugged; having sharp points.

2. Harsh; unmusical.

SCABROUSNESS, n. Roughness; ruggedness.

SCABWORT, n. A plant, a species of Helenium.

SCAD, n.

1. A fish, the shad which see.

2. A fish of the genus Caranx.

SCAFFOLD, n. [The last syllable is the L. fala.]

1. Among builders, an assemblage or structure of timbers, boards or planks, erected by the wall of a building to support the workmen.

2. A temporary gallery or stage raised either for shows or spectators.

3. A stage or elevated platform for the execution of a criminal.

SCAFFOLD, v.t. To furnish with a scaffold; to sustain; to uphold.

SCAFFOLDAGE, n. A gallery; a hollow floor.


1. A frame or structure for support in an elevated place.

2. That which sustains; a frame; as the scaffolding of the body.

3. Temporary structure for support.

4. Materials for scaffolds.

SCALABLE, a. That may be sealed.

SCALADE, SCALADO, n. [L. scala, a latter. See Scale.]

A storm or assault on a fortified place, in which the soldiers enter the place by means of ladders. It is written also escalade.

SCALARY, a. Resembling a ladder; formed with steps. [Little used.]

SCALD, v.t. [L. caleo, caida, calidus. I suppose the primary sense of caleo is to contract, to draw, to make hard.]

1. To burn or painfully affect and injure by immersion in or contact with a liquor of a boiling heat, or a heat approaching it; as, to scald the hand or foot. We scald the part, when the heat of the liquor applied is so violent as to injure the skin and flesh. Scald is sometimes used to express the effect of the heat of other substances than liquids.

Here the blue flames of scalding brimstone fall.

2. To expose to a boiling or violent heat over a fire, or in water or other liquor; as, to scald meat or milk.

SCALD, n. [supra.] A burn, or injury to the skin and flesh by hot liquor.
SCALD, n. Scab; scurf on the head.
SCALD, a. Scurvy; paltry; poor; as scald rhymers.

Among the ancient Scandinavians, a poet; one whose occupation was to compose poems in honor of distinguished men and their achievements, and to recite and sing them on public occasions. The scalds of Denmark and Sweden answered to the bards of the Britons or Celts.

SCALDED, pp. Injured by a hot liquor; exposed to boiling heat.

SCALDER, n. A scald; a Scandinavian poet.

SCALDHEAD, n. [See Scald.] A lothesome affection of the head, in which it is covered with a continuous scab.

SCALDIC, a. Pertaining to the scalds or poets of antiquity; composed by scalds.


1. Burning or injuring by hot liquor.

2. Exposing to a boiling heat in liquor.

SCALDING-HOT, a. So hot as to scald the skin.

SCALE, n. [L. id. If the sense is to strip, it coincides with the Gr. to spoil.]

1. The dish of a balance; and hence, the balance itself, or whole instrument; as, to turn the scale.

Long time in even scale the battle hung.

But in general, we use the plural, scales, for the whole instrument.

The scales are turn’d; her kindness weights no more now than my vows.

2. The sign of the balance or Libra, in the zodiac.

3. The small shell or crust which composes a part of the covering of a fish; and hence, any thin layer or leaf exfoliated or separated; a thin lamin; as scales of iron or of bone.

The scales of fish consist of alternate layers of membrane and phosphate of lime. The scales of serpents are composed of a horny membrane, without the calcarious phosphate.

4. A ladder; series of steps; means of ascending. [L. scala.]

5. The art of storming a place by mounting the wall on ladders; an escalade, or scalade.

6. A mathematical instrument of wood or metal, on which are marked line and figures for the purpose of measuring distances, extent or proportions; as a plain scale; a diagonal scale.

7. Regular gradation; a series rising by steps or degrees like those of a ladder. Thus we speak of the scale of being, in which man occupies a higher rank than brutes, and angels a higher rank than man.

8. Any instrument, figure or scheme, graduated for the purpose of measuring extent or proportions as a map drawn by a scale of half an inch to a league.

9. In music, a gamut; a diagram; or a series of lines and spaces rising one above another, on which notes are placed; or a scale consists of the regular gradations of sounds. A scale may be limited to an octave, called by the Greeks a tetrachord, or it may extend to the compass of any voice or instrument.

10. Any thing graduated or marked with degrees at equal distances.

SCALE, v.t.

1. To climb, as by a ladder; to ascend by steps; and applied to the walls of a fortified place, to mount in assault or storm.

Oft have I scal’d the craggy oak.

2. [from scale, a balance.] To measure; to compare; to weight.

3. [from scale, the covering of a fish.] to strip or clear of scales; as, to scale a fish.

4. To take off in thin lamins or scales.

5. To pare off a surface.

If all the mountains were scaled, and the earth made even -

6. In the north of England, to spread, as manure or loose substances; also, to disperse; to waste.

7. In gunnery, to clean the inside of a cannon by the explosion of a small quantity of powder.

SCALE, v.i. To separate and come off in thin layers or lamins.

The old shells of the lobster scale off.


1. Ascended by ladders or steps; cleared of scales; pared; scattered.

2. a. Having scales like a fish; squamous; as a scaled snake.

SCALELESS, a. Destitute of scales.

SCALENE, SCALENOUS, a. [Gr. oblique, unequal.]

A scalene triangle, is one whose sides and angles are unequal.

SCALENE, n. a scalene triangle.

SCALINESS, n. [from scaly.] the state of being scaly; roughness.


1. Ascending by ladders or steps; storming.

2. Stripping of scales.

3. Peeling; paring.

SCALING-LADDER, n. a ladder made for enabling troops to scale a wall.

SCALL, n. [See Scald and Scaldhead.]

Scab; scabbiness; leprosy.

It is a dry scall, even a leprosy on the head. Leviticus 13:30.

SCALLION, n. [ascalonia.]

A plant of the genus Allium; a variety of the common onion, which never forms a bulb at the root.

SCALLOP, n. [This is from the root of shell, scale; coinciding with scalp.]

1. A shell fish, or rather a genus of shell fish, called pecten. The shell is bivalvular, the hinge toothless, having a small ovated hollow. The great scallop is rugged and imbricated with scales, grows to a large size, and in some countries is taken and barreled for market.

2. A recess or curving of the edge of any thing, like the segment of a circle; written also scallop.

SCALLOP, v.t. To mark or cut the edge or border of any thing into segments of circles.

SCALP, n. [L. scalpo.]

1. The skin of the top of the head; as a hairless scalp.

2. The skin of the top of the head cut or torn off. A scalp among the Indians of America is a trophy of victory.

SCALP, v.t. To deprive of the scalp, or integuments of the head.

SCALPED, pp. Deprived of the skin of the head.

SCALPEL, n. [L. scalpellum, from scalpo, to scrape.]

In surgery, a knife used in anatomical dissections and surgical operations.

SCALPER, SCALPING-IRON, n. An instrument of surgery, used in scraping foul and carious bones; a raspatory.

SCALPING, ppr. Depriving of the skin of the top of the head.

SCALY, a. [from scale.]

1. Covered or abounding with scales; rough; as a scaly fish; the scaly crocodile.

2. Resembling scales, lamina or layers.

3. In botany, composed of scales lying over each other, as a scaly bulb; having scales scattered over it, as a scaly stem.


1. To stir quick; to be busy; to scramble; to be bold or turbulent.

2. To shift awkwardly.

SCAMBLE, v.t. To mangle; to maul.

SCAMBLER, n. A bold intruder upon the generosity or hospitality of others.

SCAMBLING, ppr. Stirring; scrambling; intruding.

SCAMBLINGLY, adv. With turbulence and noise; with bold intrusiveness.

SCAMMEL, n. A bird.

SCAMMONIATE, a. [from scammony.] Made with scammony. [Not used.]

SCAMMONY, n. [L. scammonia.]

1. A plant of the genus convolvulus.

2. A gum resin, obtained from the plant of that name, of a blackish gray color, a strong nauseous smell, and a bitter and very acrid taste. The best scammony comes from Aleppo, in light spungy masses, easily friable. That of Smyrna is black, ponderous, and mixed with extraneous matter.


To run with speed; to hasten escape.

SCAMPERING, ppr. Running with speed; hastening in flight.

SCAN, v.t. [L. ascendo. See Ascend.]

1. To examine with critical care; to scrutinize.

The actions of men in high stations are all conspicuous, and liable to be scanned and sifted.

2. To examine a verse by counting the feet; or according to modern usage, to recite or measure verse by distinguishing the feet in pronunciation. Thus in Latin and Greek, a hexameter verse is resolved into six feet by scanning, and the true quantities are determined.

SCANDAL, n. [L. scandalum; Gr. In Greek, this word signifies a stumbling block, something against which a person impinges, or which causes him to fall.]

1. Offense given by the faults of another.

His lustful orgies he enlarg’d even to the hill of scandal.

[In this sense, we now generally use offense.]

2. Reproachful aspersion; opprobrious censure; defamatory speech or report; something uttered which is false and injurious to reputation.

My known virtue is from scandal free.

3. Shame; reproach; disgrace. Such is the perverted state of the human mind that some of the most heinous crimes bring little scandal upon the offender.


1. To treat opprobriously; to defame; to asperse; to traduce; to blacken character.

I do fawn on men, and hug them hard, and after scandal them. [Little used.]

2. To scandalize; to offend. [Not used.]

SCANDALIZE, v.t. [Gr. L. scandalizo.]

1. To offend by some action supposed criminal.

I demand who they are whom we scandalize by using harmless things?

2. To reproach; to disgrace; to defame; as a scandalizing libeler.

SCANDALIZED, pp. Offended; defamed; disgraced.

SCANDALIZING, ppr. Giving offense to; disgracing.


1. Giving offense.

Nothing scandalous or offensive to any.

2. Opprobrious; disgraceful to reputation; that brings shame or infamy; as a scandalous crime or vice. How perverted must be the mind that considers seduction or dueling less scandalous than larceny!

3. Defamatory.


1. Shamefully; in a manner to give offense.

His discourse at table was scandalously unbecoming the dignity of his station.

2. Censoriously; with a disposition to find fault; as a critic scandalously nice.

SCANDALOUSNESS, n. The quality of being scandalous; the quality of giving offense, or of being disgraceful.

Scandalum magnatum, in law, a defamatory speech or writing made or published to the injury of a person of dignity.

SCANDENT, a. [L. scandens, scando, to climb.]

Climbing, either with spiral tendrils for its support, or by adhesive fibers, as a stalk; climbing; performing the office of a tendril, as a petiole.

SCANNED, pp. Critically sifted or examined; resolved into feet in recital.

SCANNING, ppr. Critically examining; resolving into feet, as verse.

SCANSION, n. The act of scanning.

SCANT, v.t.

To limit; to straiten; as, to scant one in provisions; to scant ourselves in the use of necessaries; to scant a garment in cloth.

I am scanted in the pleasure of dwelling on your actions.

SCANT, v.i. To fail or become less; as, the wind scants.

1. Not full, large or plentiful; scarcely sufficient; rather less than is wanted for the purpose; as a scant allowance of provisions or water; a scant pattern of cloth for a garment.

2. Sparing; parsimonious; cautiously affording.

Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence. [Not in use.]

3. Not fair, free or favorable for a ship’s course; as a scant wind.

SCANT, adv. Scarcely; hardly; not quite.

The people - received of the bankers scant twenty shillings for thirty. [Obsolete or vulgar.]

SCANTILY, adv. [from scanty.]

1. Not fully; not plentifully. the troops were scantily supplied with flour.

2. Sparingly; niggardly; as, to speak scantily of one. [Unusual.]


1. Narrowness; want of space or compass; as the scantiness of our heroic verse.

2. Want of amplitude, greatness or abundance; limited extent.

Alexander was much troubled at the scantiness of nature itself.

3. Want of fullness; want of sufficiency; as the scantiness of supplies.

SCANTLE, v.t. To be deficient; to fail.

SCANTLE, v.i. To divide into thin or small pieces; to shiver.

SCANTLET, n. [See Scantling.] A small pattern; a small quantity. [Not in use.]


1. A pattern; a quantity cut for a particular purpose.

2. A small quantity; as a scantling of wit.

3. A certain proportion or quantity.

4. In the United States, timber sawed or cut into pieces of a small size, as for studs, rails, etc. This seems to be allied to the L. scandula, and it is the sense in which I have ever heard it used in this country.

5. In seamen’s language, the dimensions of a piece of timber, with regard to its breadth and thickness.

SCANTLING, a. Not plentiful; small. [Not in use.]


1. Scarcely; hardly. Obs.

2. Not fully or sufficiently; narrowly; penuriously; without amplitude.

SCANTNESS, n. [from scant.] Narrowness; smallness; as the scantness of our capacities.

SCANTY, a. [from scant, and having the same signification.]

1. Narrow; small; wanting amplitude or extent.

His dominions were very narrow and scanty.

Now scantier limits the proud arch confine.

2. Poor; not copious or full; not ample; hardly sufficient; as a scanty language; a scanty supply of words; a scantly supply of bread.

3. Sparing; niggardly; parsimonious.

In illustrating a point of difficulty, be not too scanty of words.

SCAPAISM, n. [Gr. to dig or make hollow.]

Among the Persians, a barbarous punishment inflicted on criminals by confining them in a hollow tree till they died.

SCAPE, v.t. To escape; a contracted word, not now used except in poetry, and with a mark of elision. [See Escape.]


1. An escape. [See Escape.]

2. Means of escape; evasion.

3. Freak; aberration; deviation.

4. Loose act of vice or lewdness. [Obsolete in all its senses.]

SCAPE, n. [L. scopus; probably allied to scipio, and the Gr. scepter.]

In botany, a stem bearing the fructification without leaves, as in the narcissus and hyacinth.

SCAPE-GOAT, n. [escape and goat.] In the Jewish ritual, a goat which was brought to the door of the tabernacle, where the high priest laid his hands upon him, confessing the sins of the people, and putting them on the heat of the goat; after which the goat was sent into the wilderness, bearing the iniquities of the people. Leviticus 16:10.

SCAPELESS, a. [from scape.] In botany, destitute of a scape.

SCAPEMENT, n. The method of communicating the impulse of the wheels to the pendulum of a clock.

SCAPHITE, n. [L. scapha.] Fossil remains of the scapha.

SCAPOLITE, n. [Gr. a rod, and a stone.]

A mineral which occurs massive, or more commonly in four or eight sides prisms, terminated by four sided pyramids. It takes its name from its long crystals, often marked with deep longitudinal channels, and collected in groups or masses of parallel, diverging or intermingled prisms. It is the radiated, foliated and compact scapolite of Jameson, and the paranthine and Wernerite of Hauy and Brongniart.

SCAPULA, n. [L.] The shoulder blade.

SCAPULAR, a. [L. scapularis.] Pertaining to the shoulder, or to the scapula; as the scapular arteries.

SCAPULAR, n. [supra.]

1. In anatomy, the name of two pairs of arteries, and as many veins.

2. In ornithology, a feather which springs from the shoulder of the wing, and lies along the side of the back.

SCAPULAR, SCAPULARY, n. A part of the habit of certain religious orders in the Romish church, consisting of two narrow slips of cloth worn over the gown, covering the back and breast, and extending to the feet. This is worn as a badge of peculiar veneration for the virgin Mary.

SCAR, n.

1. A mark in the skin or flesh of an animal made by a wound or an ulcer, and remaining after the wound or ulcer is healed. The soldier is proud of his scars.

2. Any mark or injury; a blemish.

The earth had the beauty of youth - and not a wrinkle, scar or fracture on its body.

3. [L. scarus; Gr.] A fish of the Labrus kind.

SCAR, v.t. To mark with a scar.