Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SCORPION’S-THORN, n. A plant of the genus Ulex.

SCORPION-WORT, n. A plant, the Ornithopus scorpioides.

SCORSE, n. [L. ex and cursus.] A course or dealing; barter. Obs.

SCORSE, v.t.

1. To chase. Obs.

2. To barter or exchange. Obs.

SCORSE, v.i. To deal for the purchase of a horse. Obs.

SCORTATORY, a. [L. scortator, from scortor.] Pertaining to or consisting in lewdness.

SCORZA, n. [L. ex and cortex.] In mineralogy, a variety of epidote.


To support, as a wheel, by placing some obstacle to prevent its rolling. Our wagoners and cartmen scot the wheels of their wagons and carts, when in ascending a hill they stop to give their team rest, or for other purpose. In Connecticut, I have generally heard this word pronounced scot, in Massachusetts, scotch.

SCOT, n. [This is the English shot, in the phrase, he paid his shot; and scot, in scot and lot.]

In law and English history, a portion of money, assessed or paid; a customary tax or contribution laid on subjects according to their ability; also, a tax or custom paid for the use of a sheriff or bailiff. Hence our modern shot; as, to pay one’s shot.

Scot and lot, parish payments. When persons were taxed unequally, they were said to pay scot and lot.

SCOT, n. [Eng. shade, which see.] A native of Scotland or North Britain.

SCOTAL, SCOTALE, n. [scot and ale.] In law, the keeping of an alehouse by the officer of a forest, and drawing people to spend their money for liquor, for fear of his displeasure.

SCOTCH, a. Pertaining to Scotland or its inhabitants. [See Scotish.]

SCOTCH. [See Scot, the verb.]
SCOTCH, v.t.

To cut with shallow incisions. Obs.

SCOTCH, n. A slight cut or shallow incision.

SCOTCH-COLLOPS, SCOTCHED-COLLOPS, n. Veal cut into small pieces.

SCOTCH-HOPPER, n. A play in which boys hop over scotches or lines in the ground.

SCOTER, n. The black diver or duck, a species of Anas.


1. Free from payment or scot; untaxed.

2. Unhurt; clear; safe.

SCOTIA, n. In architecture, a semicircular cavity or channel between the tores in the bases of columns.

SCOTISH, SCOTTISH, a. Pertaining to the inhabitants of Scotland, or to their country or language; as Scottish industry or economy; a Scotish chief; the Scottish dialect.


One of the followers of Scotus, a sect of school divines who maintained the immaculate conception of the virgin, or that she was born without original sin; in opposition to the Thomists, or followers of Thomas Aquinas.

SCOTOMY, n. [Gr. vertigo, from to darken.]

Dizziness or swimming of the head, with dimness of sight.

SCOTTERING, n. A provincial word in Herefordshire, England, denoting the burning of a wad of pease straw at the end of harvest.

SCOTTICISM, n. An idiom or peculiar expression of the natives of Scotland.

SCOTTISH. [See Scotish.]

SCOUNDREL, n. [L. abscondo.]

A mean, worthless fellow; a rascal; a low petty villain; a man without honor or virtue.

Go, if your ancient but ignoble blood has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood.

SCOUNDREL, a. Low; base; mean; unprincipled.

SCOUNDRELISM, n. Baseness; turpitude; rascality.

SCOUR, v.t.

1. To rub hard with something rough, for the purpose of cleaning; as, to scour a kettle; to scour a musket; to scour armor.

2. To clean by friction; to make clean or bright.

3. To purge violently.

4. To remove by scouring.

Never came reformation in a flood with such a heady current, scouring faults.

5. To range about for taking all that can be found; as, to scour the sea of pirates.

6. To pass swiftly over; to brush along; as, to scour the coast.

Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain.

SCOUR, v.i.

1. To perform the business of cleaning vessels by rubbing.

2. To clean.

Warm water is softer than cold, for it scoureth better.

3. To be purged to excess.

4. To rove or range for sweeping or taking something.

Barbarossa, thus scouring along the coast of Italy -

5. To run with celerity; to scamper.

So four fierce coursers, starting to the race, scour through the plain, and lengthen every pace.

SCOURED, pp. Rubbed with something rough, or made clean by rubbing; severely purged; brushed along.


1. One that scours or cleans by rubbing.

2. A drastic cathartic.

3. One that runs with speed.

SCOURGE, n. skurj. [L. corriggia, from corrigo, to straighten.]

1. To whip; a lash consisting of a strap or cord; an instrument of punishment or discipline.

A scourge of small cords. John 2:15.

2. A punishment; vindictive affliction.

Famine and plague are sent as scourges for amendment.

3. He or that which greatly afflicts, harasses or destroys; particularly, any continued evil or calamity. Attila was called the scourge of God, for the miseries he inflicted in his conquests. Slavery is a terrible scourge.

4. A whip for a top.

SCOURGE, v.t. skurj.

1. To whip severely; to lash.

It is lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman? Acts 22:25.

2. To punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction.

He will scourge us for our iniquities, and will have mercy again.

Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12:6.

3. To afflict greatly; to harass, torment or injure.

SCOURGED, pp. Whipped; lashed; punished severely; harassed.

SCOURGER, n. One that scourges or punishes; one that afflicts severely.

SCOURGING, ppr. Whipping; lashing with severity; punishing or afflicting severely.

SCOURING, ppr. Rubbing hard with something rough; cleaning by rubbing; cleansing with a drastic cathartic; ranging over for clearing.

SCOURING, n. A rubbing hard for cleaning; a cleansing by a drastic purge; looseness; flux.

SCOURSE. [See Scorse.]

SCOUT, n. [L. ausculto, culto, colo; Gr. the ear.]

1. In military affairs, a person sent before an army, or to a distance, for the purpose of observing the motions of an enemy or discovering any danger, and giving notice to the general. Horsemen are generally employed as scouts.

2. A high rock. [Not in use.]

SCOUT, v.i. To go on the business of watching the motions of an enemy; to act as a scout.

With obscure wing scout far and wide into the realm of night.

SCOUT, v.t.

To sneer at; to treat with disdain and contempt. [This word is in good use in America.]

SCOVEL, n. [L. scopa.]

A mop for sweeping ovens; a maulkin.

SCOW, n.

A large flat bottomed boat; used as a ferry boat, or for loading and unloading vessels. [A word in good use in New England.]

SCOW, v.t. To transport in a scow.

SCOWL, v.i. [Gr. to twist.]

1. To wrinkle the brows, as in frowning or displeasure; to put on a frowning look; to look sour, sullen, severe or angry.

She scowl’d and frown’d with froward countenance.

2. To look gloomy, frowning, dark or tempestuous; as the scowling heavens.

SCOWL, v.t. To drive with a scowl or frowns.

1. The wrinkling of the brows in frowning; the expression of displeasure, sullenness or discontent in the countenance.

2. Gloom; dark or rude aspect; as of the heavens.

SCOWLING, ppr. contracting the brows into wrinkles; frowning; expressing displeasure or sullenness.

SCOWLINGLY, adv. With a wrinkled, frowning aspect; with a sullen look.

SCRABBLE, v.i. [L. scribo, Eng. grave, engrave, etc. See Scrape.]

1. To scrape, paw or scratch with the hands; to move along on the hands and knees by clawing with the hands; to scramble; as, to scrabble up a cliff or a tree. [a word in common popular use in New England, but not elegant.]

2. To make irregular or crooked marks; as, children scrabble when they begin to write; hence, to make irregular and unmeaning marks.

David - scrabbled on the doors of the gate. 1 Samuel 21:13.

SCRABBLE, v.t. To mark with irregular lines or letters; as, to scrabble paper.

SCRABBLING, ppr. Scraping; scratching; scrambling; making irregular marks.

SCRAG, n. [This word is formed from the root of rag, crag, Gr. rack.]

Something thin or lean with roughness. A raw boned person is called a scrag, but the word is vulgar.

SCRAGGED, SCRAGGY, a. [supra.]

1. Rough with irregular points or a broken surface; as a scraggy hill; a scragged back bone.

2. Lean with roughness.

SCRAGGEDNESS, SCRAGGINESS, n. Leanness, or leanness with roughness; ruggedness; roughness occasioned by broken irregular points.

SCRAGGILY, adv. With leanness and roughness.

SCRAMBLE, v.i. [It is not improbably that this word is corrupted from the root of scrape, scrabble.]

1. To move or climb by seizing objects with the hand, and drawing the body forward; as, to scramble up a cliff.

2. To seize or catch eagerly at any thing that is desired; to catch with haste preventive of another; to catch at without ceremony. Man originally was obliged to scramble with wild beasts for nuts and acorns.

Of other care they little reck’ning make, than how to scramble at the shearer’s feast.


1. An eager contest for something, in which one endeavors to get the thing before another.

The scarcity of money enhances the price and increases the scramble.

2. The act of climbing by the help of the hands.

SCRAMBLER, n. One who scrambles; one who climbs by the help of the hands.


1. Climbing by the help of the hands.

2. Catching at eagerly and without ceremony.


1. The act of climbing by the help of the hands.

2. The act of seizing or catching at with eager haste and without ceremony.


To grind with the teeth, and with a crackling sound; to craunch. [This is in vulgar use in America.]

SCRANNEL, a. Slight; poor.

Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw. [Not in use.]

SCRAP, n. [from scrape.]

1. A small piece; properly something scraped off, but used for any thing cut off; a fragment; a crumb; as scraps of meat.

2. A part; a detached piece; as scraps of history or poetry; scraps of antiquity; scraps of authors.

3. A small piece of paper. [If used for script, it is improper.]

SCRAPE, v.t. [L. scribo, Gr. to write. See Grave.]

1. To rub the surface of any thing with a sharp or rough instrument, or with something hard; as, to scrap the floor; to scrape a vessel for cleaning it; to scrape the earth; to scrape the body. Job 2:8.

2. To clean by scraping. Leviticus 14:41.

3. To remove or take off by rubbing.

I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. Ezekiel 26:4.

4. To act upon the surface with a grating noise.

The chiming clocks to dinner call; a hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall.

To scrape off, to remove by scraping; to clear away by rubbing.

To scrape together, to gather by close industry or small gains or savings; as, to scrape together a good estate.

SCRAPE, v.i.

1. To make a harsh noise.

2. To play awkwardly on a violin.

3. To make an awkward bow.

To scrape acquaintance, to make one’s self acquainted; to curry favor. [A low phrase introduced from the practice of scraping in bowing.]


1. A rubbing.

2. The sound of the foot drawn over the floor.

3. A bow.

4. Difficulty; perplexity; distress; that which harasses. [A low word.]

SCRAPED, pp. Rubbed on the surface with a sharp or rough instrument; cleaned by rubbing; cleared away by scraping.


1. An instrument with which any thing is scraped; as a scraper for shoes.

2. An instrument drawn by oxen or horses, and used for scraping earth in making or repairing roads, digging cellars, canals, etc.

3. An instrument having two or three sides or edges, for cleaning the planks, masts or decks of a ship, etc.

4. A miser; one who gathers property by penurious diligence and small savings; a scrape-penny.

5. An awkward fiddler.

SCRAPING, ppr. Rubbing the surface with something sharp or hard; cleaning by a scraper; removing by rubbing; playing awkwardly on a violin.

SCRAT, v.t. [formed on the root of L. rado.] To scratch. [Not in use.]

SCRAT, v.i. To rake; to search. [Not in use.]
SCRAT, n. An hermaphrodite. [Not in use.]

SCRATCH, v.t. [L. rado.]

1. To rub and tear the surface of any thing with something sharp or ragged; as, to scratch the cheeks with the nails; to scratch the earth with a rake; to scratch the hands or face by riding or running among briers.

A sort of small sand-colored stones, so hard as to scratch glass.

2. To wound slightly.

3. To rub with the nails.

Be mindful, when invention fails, to scratch your head and bite your nails.

4. To write or draw awkwardly; as, to scratch out a pamphlet. [Not in use.]

5. To dig or excavate with the claws. Some animals scratch holes in which they burrow.

To scratch out, to ease; to rub out; to obliterate.

SCRATCH, v.i. To use the claws in tearing the surface. The gallinaceous hen scratches for her chickens.

- Dull tame things that will neither bite nor scratch.


1. A rent; a break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with any thing pointed or ragged; as a scratch on timber or glass.

The coarse file - makes deep scratches in the work.

These nails with scratches shall deform my breast.

2. A slight wound.

Heav’n forbid a shallow scratch should drive the prince of Wales from such a field as this.

3. A kind of wig worn for covering baldness or gray hairs, or for other purpose.

SCRATCHED, pp. Torn by the rubbing of something rough or pointed.

SCRATCHER, n. He or that which scratches.

SCRATCHES, n. plu. Cracked ulcers on a horse’s foot, just above the hoof.

SCRATCHING, ppr. Rubbing with something pointed or rough; rubbing and tearing the surface.

SCRATCHINGLY, adv. With the action of scratching.

SCRAW, n. Surface; cut turf. [Not in use.]

SCRAWL, v.t.

1. To draw or mark awkwardly and irregularly.

2. To write awkwardly.

SCRAWL, v.i.

1. To write unskillfully and inelegantly.

Though with a golden pen you scrawl.

2. To creep; to crawl. [This is from crawl, but I know not that it is in use.]


1. Unskillful or inelegant writing; or a piece of hasty bad writing.

2. In New England, a ragged, broken branch of a tree, or other brush wood.

SCRAWLER, n. One who scrawls; a hasty or awkward writer.

SCRAY, n. A fowl called the sea swallow, of the genus Terna.

SCREABLE, a. [L. screabilis, from screo, to spit out.] That may be spit out. Obs.

SCREAK, v.i. [This word is only a different orthography of screech and shriek, but is not elegant.]

To utter suddenly a sharp shrill sound or outcry; to scream; as in a sudden fright; also, to creak, as a door or wheel. [See Screech.]

[When applied to things, we use creak, and when to persons, shriek, both of which are elegant.]

SCREAK, n. A creaking; a screech.

SCREAM, v.i. [English skirmish.]

1. To cry out with a shrill voice; to utter a sudden, sharp outcry, as in a fright or in extreme pain; to shriek.

The fearful matrons raise a screaming cry.

2. To utter a shrill harsh cry; as the screaming owl.

SCREAM, n. A shriek or sharp shrill cry uttered suddenly, as in terror or in pain; or the shrill cry of a fowl; as screams of horror.

SCREAMER, n. A fowl, or genus of fowls, of the grallic order, of two species, natives of America.

SCREAMING, ppr. Uttering suddenly a sharp shrill cry; crying with a shrill voice.

SCREAMING, n. The act of crying out with a shriek of terror or agony.

SCREECH, v.i. [See Screak and Shriek.]

1. To cry out with a sharp shrill voice; to utter a sudden shrill cry, as in terror or acute pain; to scream; to shriek.

2. To utter a sharp cry, as an owl; thence called screech-owl.


1. A sharp shrill cry uttered in acute pain, or in a sudden fright.

2. A harsh shrill cry, as of a fowl.

SCREECHING, ppr. Uttering a shrill or harsh cry.

SCREECH-OWL, n. An owl that utters a harsh disagreeable cry at night, no more ominous of evil than the notes of the nightingale.

SCREED, n. With plasterers, the floated work behind a cornice.

SCREEN, n. [L. cerno, excerno, Gr. to separate, to sift, to judge, to fight, contend skirmish. The primary sense of the root is to separate, to drive or force asunder, hence to sift, to discern, to judge, to separate or cut off danger.]

1. Any thing that separates or cuts off inconvenience, injury or danger, and hence, that which shelters or protects from danger, or prevents inconvenience. Thus a screen is used to intercept the sight, to intercept the heat of fire on the light of a candle.

Some ambitious men seem as screens to princes in matters of danger and envy.

2. A riddle or sieve.

SCREEN, v.t.

1. To separate or cut off from inconvenience, injury or danger; to shelter; to protect; to protect by hiding; to conceal; as fruits screened from cold winds by a forest or hill. Our houses and garments screen us from cold; an umbrella screens us from rain and the sun’s rays. Neither rank nor money should screen from punishment the man who violates the laws.

2. To sift or riddle; to separate the coarse part of any thing from the fine, or the worthless from the valuable.

SCREENED, pp. Protected or sheltered from injury or danger; sifted.

SCREENING, ppr. Protecting from injury or danger.


1. A cylinder of wood or metal, grooved spirally; or a cylinder with a spiral channel or thread cut in such a manner that it is equally inclined to the base of the cylinder throughout the whole length. A screw is male or female. In the male screw, the thread rises from the surface of the cylinder; in the female, the groove or channel is sunk below the surface to receive the thread of the male screw.

2. One of the six mechanical powers.

SCREW, v.t.

1. To turn or apply a screw to; to press, fasten or make firm by a screw; as, to screw a lock on a door; to screw a press.

2. To force; to squeeze; to press.

3. To oppress by exactions. Landlords sometimes screw and rack their tenants without mercy.

4. To deform by contortions; to distort.

He screw’d his face into a harden’d smile.

To screw out, to press out; to extort.

To screw up to force; to bring by violent pressure; as, to screw up the pins of power too high.

To screw in, to force in by turning or twisting.

SCREWED, pp. Fastened with screws; pressed with screws; forced.

SCREWER, n. He or that which screws.

SCREWING, ppr. Turning a screw; fastening or pressing with a screw.

SCREW-TREE, n. A plant of the genus Helicteres, of several species, natives of warm climates. They are shrubby plants, with yellow flowers, and capsules intorted or twisted inward.

SCRIBBLE, v.t. [L. scribillo, dim. of scribo, to write. See Scribe.]

1. To write with haste, or without care or regard to correctness or elegance; as, to scribble a letter or pamphlet.

2. To fill with artless or worthless writing.

SCRIBBLE, v.i. To write without care or beauty.

If Maevius scribble in Apollo’s spite.

SCRIBBLE, n. Hasty or careless writing; a writing of little value; as a hasty scribble.

SCRIBBLED, pp. Written hastily and without care.

SCRIBBLER, n. A petty author; a writer of no reputation.

The scribbler pinch’d with hunger, writes to dine.

SCRIBE, n. [L. scriba, from scribo, to write; formed probably on the root of grave, scrape, scrub. The first writing was probably engraving on wood or stone.]

1. In a general sense, a writer. Hence,

2. A notary; a public writer.

3. In ecclesiastical meetings and associations in America, a secretary or clerk; one who records the transactions of an ecclesiastical body.

4. In Scripture and the Jewish history, a clerk or secretary to the king. Seraiah was scribe to king David. 2 Samuel 8:17.

5. An officer who enrolled or kept the rolls of the army, and called over the names and reviewed them. 2 Chronicles 24:11; 2 Kings 25:19.

6. A writer and a doctor of the law; a man of learning; one skilled in the law; one who read and explained the law to the people. Ezra 8:1.

SCRIBE, v.t. To mark by a model or rule; to mark so as to fit one piece to another; a term used by carpenters and joiners.

SCRIMER, n. A fencing-master. Obs.

SCRIMP, v.t.

To contract; to shorten; to make too small or short; to limit or straiten; as, to scrimp the pattern of a coat.

SCRIMP, a. Short; scanty.
SCRIMP, n. A pinching miser; a niggard; a close fisted person.

SCRINE, n. [L. scrinium;, cerno, secerno.]

A shrine; a chest, book-case or other place where writings or curiosities are deposited. [See Shrine, which is generally used.]

SCRINGE, v.i. To cringe, of which this word is a corruption.

SCRIP, n. [This belongs to the root of gripe, our vulgar grab, that is, to seize or press.]

A small bag; a wallet; a satchel. David put five smooth stones in a scrip. 1 Samuel 17:40; Matthew 10:10.

SCRIP, n. [L. scriptum, scriptio, from scribo, to write.]

A small writing, certificate or schedule; a piece of paper containing a writing.

Bills of exchange cannot pay our debts abroad, till scrips of paper can be made current coin.

A certificate of stock subscribed to a bank or other company, or of a share of other joint property, is called in America a scrip.

SCRIPPAGE, n. That which is contained in a scrip. [Not in use.]

SCRIPT, n. A scrip. [Not in use.]

SCRIPTORY, a. [L. scriptorius. See Scribe.]

Written; expressed in writing; not verbal. [Little used.]

SCRIPTURAL, a. [from scripture.]

1. Contained in the Scriptures, so called by way of eminence, that is, in the Bible; as a scriptural word, expression or phrase.

2. According to the Scriptures or sacred oracles; as a scriptural doctrine.

SCRIPTURALIST, n. One who adheres literally to the Scriptures and makes them the foundation of all philosophy.

SCRIPTURE, n. [L. scriptura, from scribo, to write.]

1. In its primary sense, a writing; any thing written.

2. Appropriately, and by way of distinction, the books of the Old and New Testament; the Bible. The word is used either in the singular or plural number, to denote the sacred writings or divine oracles, called sacred or holy, as proceeding from God and containing sacred doctrines and precepts.

There is not any action that a man ought to do or forbear, but the Scripture will give him a clear precept or prohibition for it.

Compared with the knowledge which the Scriptures contain, every other subject of human inquiry is vanity and emptiness.

SCRIPTURIST, n. One well versed in the Scriptures.

SCRIVENER, n. [See Scribe.]

1. A writer; one whose occupation is to draw contracts or other writings.

2. One whose business is to place money at interest.


A disease, called vulgarly the king’s evil, characterized by hard, scirrous, and often indolent tumors in the glands of the neck, under the chin, in the arm-pits, etc.


1. Pertaining to scrofula, or partaking of its nature; as scrofulous tumors; a scrofulous habit of body.

2. Diseased or affected with scrofula.

Scrofulous persons can never be duly nourished.

SCROLL, n. [probably formed from roll, or its root.]

A roll of paper or parchment; or a writing formed into a roll.

Here is the scroll of every man’s name.

The heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. Isaiah 34:4.

SCROTUM, n. The bag which contains the testicles.