Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SEMI-DIATESSARON, n. [semi and diatessaron.] In music, an imperfect or defective fourth.

SEMI-DITONE, n. [semi and It. ditono.] In music, a lesser third, having its terms as 6 to 5; a hemi-ditone.

SEMI-DOUBLE, n. [semi and double.] In the Romish breviary, an office celebrated with less solemnity than the double ones, but with more than the single ones.

SEMIFLORET, n. [semi and floret.] A half floret, which is tubulous at the beginning, like a floret, and afterwards expanded in the form of a tongue.

SEMIFLOSCULOUS, a. [semi and L. flosculous, a little flower. Semifloscular is also used, but is less analogical.] Composed of semiflorets; ligulate; as a semiflosculous flower.

SEMI-FLUID, a. [semi and fluid.] Imperfectly fluid.

SEMI-FORMED, a. [semi and formed.] Half formed; imperfectly formed; as semi-formed crystals.

SEMI-INDURATED, a. [semi and indurated.] Imperfectly indurated or hardened.

SEMI-LAPIDIFIED, a. [semi and lapidified.] Imperfectly changed into stone.

SEMI-LENTICULAR, a. [semi and lenticular.] Half lenticular or convex; imperfectly resembling a lens.

SEMILUNAR, SEMILUNARY, a. [L. semi, and luna, moon.] Resembling in form a half moon.

SEMI-METAL, n. [semi and metal.] An imperfect metal, or rather a metal that is not malleable, as bismuth, arsenic, nickel, cobalt, zinc, antimony, maganese, tungsten, molybden, and uranite. The name however is usually given to the regulus of these substances.

SEMI-METALLIC, a. Pertaining to a semi-metal, or partaking of its nature and qualities.

SEMINAL, a. [L. seminalis, from semen, seed; from the root of sow.]

1. Pertaining to seed, or to the elements of production.

2. Contained in a seed; radical; rudimental; original; as seminal principles of generation; seminal virtue.

Seminal leaf, the same as seed-leaf.

SEMINAL, n. Seminal state.

SEMINALITY, n. The nature of seed; or the power of being produced.

SEMINARIST, n. [from seminary.] A Romish priest educated in a seminary.

SEMINARY, n. [L. seminarium, from semen, seed; semino, to sow.]

1. A seed-plant; ground where seed is sown for producing plants for transplantation; a nursery; as, to transplant trees from a seminary.

[In this sense, the word is not used in America; being superseded by nusery.]

2. The place or original stock whence anything is brought.

This stratum, being the seminary or promptuary, furnishing matter for the formation of animal or vegetable bodies- Woodward. [Not in use.]

3. Seminal state. [Not in use.]

4. Source of propagation.

5. A place of education; any school, academy, college or univerlity, in which young persons are instructed in the several branches of learning which may qualify them for future employments. [This is the only signification of the word in the United States, at least as far as my knowledge extends.]

6. A Romish priest educated in a seminary; a seminarist.

SEMINARY, a. Seminal; belonging to seed.

SEMINATE, v.t. [L. semino] To sow; to spread; to propagate.

SEMINATION, n. [L. seminatio.]

1. The act of sowing.

2. In botany, the natural dispersion of seeds.

SEMINED, a. Thick covered, as with seeds.

SEMINIFEROUS, a. [L. semen, seed, and fero, to produce.] Seed-bearing; producing seed.

SEMIFIC, SEMINIFICAL, a. [L. semen, seed and facio, to make.] Forming or producing seed.

SEMINIFICATION, n. Propagation from the seed or seminal parts.

SEMI-OPA-COUS, SEMI-OPAKE, a. [L. semi and opacus.] Half transparent only.

SEMI-OPAL, n. A variety of opal.

SEMI-ORBICLAR, a. [semi and orbicular.] Having the shape of a half orb or sphere.

SEMI-ORDINATE, n. [semi and ordinate.] In conic sections, a line drawn at right angles to and bisected by the axis, and reaching from one side of the section to the other; the half of which is properly semi-ordinate, but is now called the ordinate.

SEMI-OSSEOUS, a. [semi and osseous.] Half as hard as bone.

SEMI-OVATE, a. [semi and ovate.] Half egg-shaped.

SEMI-OXYGENATED, a. Half saturated with oxygen.

SEMI-PALMATE, SEMI-PALMATED, a. [semi and palmate.] Half palmated or webbed.

SEMIPED, n. [semi and L. pes, a foot.] A half foot in poetry.

SEMIPEDAL, a. Containing a half foot.

SEMI-PELAGIAN, n. In ecclesiastical history, the Semi-pelagians are persons who retain some tincture of the doctrines of pelagius. See Pelagianism. They hold that God has not by predestination dispensed his grace to one more than another; that Christ died to all men; that the grace purchased by Christ and necessary to salvation, is offered to all men; that man, before he receives grace, is capable of faith and holy desires; and that man being born free, is capable of accepting grace, or of resisting its influences.

SEMI-PELAGIAN, a. Pertaining to the Semi-pelagians, or other tenets.

SEMI-PELAGIANISM, n. The doctrines or tenets of the Semi-pelagians, supra.

SEMI-PELLUCID, a. [semi and pellucid.] Half clear, or imperfectly transparent; as a semi-pellucid gem.

SEMI-PELLUCIDITY, n. The quality or state of being imperfecty transparent.

SEMI-PERSPICUOUS, a. [semi and perspicuous.] Half transparent; imperfectly clear.

SEMI-PHLOGISTICATED, a. [semi and phlogisticated.] Partially impregnated with phlogiston.

SEMI-PRIMIGENOUS, a. [semi and primigenous.] In geology, of a middle nature between substances of primary and secondaryformation.

SEMI-PROOF, n. [semi and proof.] Half proof evidence from the testimony of a single witness. [Little used.]

SEMI-PROTOLITE, n. [semi and Gr. first and stone.] A species of fossil of a middle nature between substances of primary and those of secondary formation.

SEMI-QUADRATE, SEMI-QUARTILE, n. [L. semi and quadratus, or quartus, fourth.] An aspect of the planets, when distant from each other at half a quadrant, or forty-five degrees, one sign and a half.

SEMIQUAVER, n. [semi and quaver.] In music, a note of half the duration of the quaver; the sixteenth of the semibreve.

SEMIQUAVER, v.t. To sound or sing in semiquavers.

SEMI-QUINTILE, n. [L. semi and quintilis.] An aspect of the planets, when distant from each other half of the quintile, or thirty-six degrees.

SEMI-SAVAGE, a. [semi and savage.] Half savage; half barbarian.

SEMI-SAVAGE, n. One who is half savage or imperfectly civilized.

SEMI-SEXTILE, n. [semi and sextile.] An aspect of the planets, when they are distant from each other the twelfth part of a circle, or thirty degrees.

SEMI-SPHERIC, SEMI-SPHERICAL, a. [semi and spherical.] Having the figure of a half sphere.

SEMI-SPHEROIDAL, a. [semi and spheroidal.] Formed like a half spheroid.

SEMITERTIAN, a. [semi and tertian.] Compounded of a tertian and a quotidian ague.

SEMITERTIAN, n. Am intermittent compounded of a tertian and a quotidian.

SEMITONE, n. [semi and tone.] In music, half a tone; an interval of sound, as between mi and fa on the diatonic scale, which is only half the distance of an interval between ut and re, or sol and la. It is the smallest interval admitted in modern.

SEMITONIC, a. Pertaining to a semitone; consisting of a simitone.

SEMI-TRANSEPT, n. [semi and transept; L. trans and septum.] the half of a transept or cross aisle.

SEMI-TRANSPARENT, a. [semi and transparent.] Half or imperfectly transparent.

SEMI-TRANSPARENCY, n. Imperfect transparency; partial opakeness.

SEMI-VITREOUS, a. Partially vitreous.

SEMI-VITRIFICATION, n. [semi and vitrification.]

1. The state of being imperfectly vitrified.

2. A substance imperfectly vitrified.

SEMI-VITRIFIED, a. [See Vitrify.] Half or imperfectly vitrified; partially converted into glass.

SEMI-VOCAL, a. [semi and vocal.] Pertaining to a semi-vowel; Half vocal; imperfectly sounding.

SEMI-VOWEL, n. [semi and vowel.] In grammar, a half vowel, or an articulation which is accompanied with an imperfect sound. Thus el, em, en, though uttered with close organs do not wholly interrupt the sound; and they are called semi-vowels.

SEMPERVIRENT, a. [L. semper, always and virens, flourishing.] Always fresh; evergreen.

SEMPERVIVE, n. [L. semper, always, and vivus, alive.] A plant.

SEMPITERNAL, a. [L. sempiternus; semper, always, and eternus, eternal.]

1. Eternal in futurity; everlasting; endless; having beginning, but no end.

2. Eternal; everlasting.

SEMPITERNITY, n. [L. sempiternitas.] Future duration without end.

SEMSTER, n. A seamster; a man who uses a needle. [Not in use.]

SEN, adv. This word is usedby some of our common people for since. It seems to be a contraction of since, or it is the Sw. sen, Dan. seen, slow, late.

SENARY, a. [L. seni, senarius.] Of six; belonging to six; containing six.

SENATE, n. [L. senatus, from senex, old.]

1. An a assembly or council of senators; a body of the principal inhabitants of the city or state, with a share in the government. The senate of ancient Rome was one of the most illustrious bodies of men that ever bore this name. Some of the Swiss cantons have a senate, either legislative or executive.

2. In the United States, senate denotes the higher branch or house of legislature. Such is the senate of the United States, or upper house of the congress; and in most of the states, the higher and least numerous branch of the legislature, is called the senate. In the U. States, the senate is an elective body.

3. In a looser sense, Any legislative or deliberative boky of men; as the eloquence of the senate.

SENATE-HOUSE, n. A house in which a senate meets, or a place of public council.


1. A mimber of a senate. In Rome one of the qualifications of a senator was the possession of property to the amount of 80,000 sesterces, about 7000 pounds sterling, or thirty dollars. In Scotland, the lords of session are called senators of the college of justices.

2. A counselor; a judge or magistrate.


1. Pertaining to a senate; becoming a senator; as senatorial robes; senatorial eloquence.

2. Entitled to elect a senator; as senatorial district.

SENATORIALLY, adv. In the manner of a senate; with dignity or solemnity.

SENATORSHIP, n. The office or dignity of a senator.

SEND, v.t. pret. and pp. sent.

1. In a general sense, to throw, cast or thrust; to impel or drive by force to a distance, either with the hand or with an instrument or by other means. We send a ball with the hand or with a bat; a bow sends an arrow; a cannon sends a shot; a trumpet sends the voice much farther than the unassisted organs of speech.

2. To cause to be conveyed or transmitted; as, to send letters or dispatches from one country to another.

3. To cause to go or pass from place to place; as, to send a messenger from London to Madrid.

4. To commission, autorize or direct to go and act.

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. Jeremiah 23:21.

5. To cause to come or fall; to bestow.

He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45.

6. To cause to come or fall; to inflict.

The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation and rebuke. Deuteronomy 28:20.

7. To propagate; to diffuse.

Cherubic songs by night from neighb’ring hills

Aerial music send. Milton.

To send away, to dismiss; to cause to depart.

To send forth or out, to produce; to put or bring forth; as, a tree sends forth branches.

2. To emit; as flowers send forth their fragrance.

SEND, v.i. To dispatch an agent or messenger for some purpose.

See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away my head? 2 Kings 6:32.

So we say, we sent to invite guests; we sent to inquire into the facts.

To send for, to request or require by message to come or be brought; as, to send for a physician; to send for a coach. But these expressions are elliptical.

SENDAL, n. A light thin stuff of silk or thread. [Not in use.]

SENDER, n. One that sends.

SENEGA, SENEKA, n. A plant called rattlesnake root, of the genus Polygala.

SENESCENCE, n. [L. senesco, from senex, old. See Senate.] The state of growing old; decay by time.

SENESCHAL, n. A steward; an officer in the houses of princes and dignitaries, who has the superintendance of feasts and domestic ceremonies. In some instances, the seneschal is an officer who has the dispensing of justice, as the high seneschal of England, etc.

SENGREEN, n. A plant, the houseleek, of the genus Sempervivium.

SENILE, a. [L. senilis.] Pertaining to old age; proceeding from age.

SENILITY, n. Old age. [Not much used.]

SENIOR, a. see’nyor. [L. senior, comp. of senex, old.] Elder or older; but as an adjective, it usually signifies older in office; as the senior pastor of a church, where there are colleagues; a senior counselor. In such use, senior has no reference to age, for a senior counselor may be, and ofted is the younger man.

SENIOR, n. see’nyor.

1. A person who is older than another; one more advanced in life.

2. One that is older in office, or one whose first entrance upon an office was anterior to that of another. Thus a senator or counselor of sixty years of age, often has a senior who is not fifty years of age.

3. An aged person; one of the oldest inhabitants.

A senior of the place replies. Dryden.


1. Eldership; superior age; priority of birth. He is the elder brother, and entitled to the plae of seniority.

2. Priority in office; as the seniority of a pastor or counselor.

SENNA, n. The leaf of the cassia senna, a native of the east, used as a cathartic.

SENNIGHT, n. sen’nit. [contracted from sevennight, as fortnight from fourteennight.] The space of seven nights and days; a week. The court will be held this sennight, that is, a week from this day; or the court will be held next Tuesday sennight, a week from next Tuesday.

SENOCULAR, a. [L. seni, six, and oculus, the eye.] Having six eyes.

Most animals are binocular, spiders are octonocular, and some are senocular. Derham.

SENSATED, a. [See Sense.] Perceived by the senses. [Not used.]

SENSATION, n. [from L. sensus, sentio, to perceive. See Sense.] The perception of external objects by means of the senses.

Sensation is an exertion or charge of the central parts of the sensorium, or of the whole of it, beginning at some of those extreme parts of it which reside in the muscles or organs of sense. The secretion of tears in grief is caused by the sensation of pain. Efforts of the will are frequently accompanied by painful or pleasurable sensations.

SENSE, n. [from L. sensus, from sentio, to feel or perceive.]

1. The faculty of the soul by which it perceives external objects by means of impressions made on certain organs of the boky.

Sense is a branch of perception. the five senses of animals are sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

2. Sensation; perception by the senses.

3. Perception by the intellect; apprehension; discernment.

4. Sensibility; quickness or acuteness of perception.

5. Understanding; soundness of faculties; strength of natural reason.

Opprest nature sleeps;

This rest might yet have balm’d thy broken senses. Shak.

6. Reason; reasonable or rational meaning.

He raves; his words are loose

As heaps of sand, and scattering wide from sense. Dryden.

7. Opinion; notion; judgement.

I speak my private but impartial sense

With freedom. Roscommon.

8. Consciousness; conviction; as a due sense of our weakness or sinfulness.

9. Moral perception.

Some are so hardened in wickedness, as to have no sense of the most friendly offices. L’Estrange.

10. Meaning; important; signification; as the true sense of words or phrases. In interpretation, we are to examine whether words are to be understood in a literal or figurative sense. So we speak of a legal sense, a grammatical sense, an historical sense, etc.

Common sense, that power of the mind which, by a kind of instinct, or a short process of reasoning, perceives truth, the relation of things, cause and effect, etc. and hence enables the possessor to discern what is right, useful, expedient, or proper, and adopt the best meams to accomplish his purpose. This power seems to be the gift of nature, improved by experience and observation.

Moral sense, a determination of the mind to be pleased with the contemplation of those effections, actions or characters of rational agents, which are called good or virtuous.

SENSED, pp. Perceived by the senses. [Not in use.]

SENSEFUL, a. sens’ful. Reasonable; judicious. [Not in use.]

SENSELESS, a. sens’less.

1. Wanting the faculty of perception. The body when dead is senseless; but a limb or other part of the body may be senseless, when the rest of the boky enjoys its usual sensibility.

2. Unfelling; wanting sympathy.

The senseless feels not your pious sorrows. Rowe.

3. Unreasonable; foolish; stupid.

They would repent this their senseless perverseness, when it would be to late. Clarendon.

4. Unreasonable; stupid; acting without sense or judgement.

Ther were a senseless stupid race. Swift.

5. Contrary to reason or sound judgement; as, to destroy by a senseless fondness the happiness of children.

6. Wanting knowledge; unconscious; with of; as libertiness, senseless of any charm in love.

7. Wanting sensibility or quick perception.

SENSELESSLY adv. sens’lessly. In a senseless manner; stupidly; unreasonably; as a man senselessly arrogant.

SENSELESSNESS, n. sens’lessness. Unreasonableness; folly; stupidity; absurdity.


1. Susceptibility of impressions; the capacity for feeling or perceiving the impressions of external objects; applied to the animal bodies; as when we say, a frozen limb has lost its sensibility.

2. Acuteness of sensation; applied to the body.

3. Capacity of acuteness of perception; that quality of the soul which renders it susceptible of impressions; delicacy of feeling; as sensibility to pleasure or pain; sensibility to shame or praise; exquisite sensibility.

4. Actual feeling.

This adds to my great sensibility. Burke.

[This word is often used in this manner for sensation.]

5. It is sometimes used in the plural.

His sensibilities seem rather to have been those of patriotism, than of wounded pride. Marshall.

Sensibilities unfriendly to happiness, may be acquired. Encyc.

6. Nice perception, so to speak, of a balance; that quality of a balance which renders it movable with the smallest weight, or the quality or state of any insrument that renders it easily affected; as the sensibility of a balance or of a thermometer.


1. Having the capacity of receiving impressions from external objects; capable of perceiving by the instrumentality of the proper organs. We say the body or the flesh is sensible, when it feels the impulse of an external body. It may be more or less sensible.

2. Perceptible by the senses. The light of the moon furnishes no sensible heat.

Air is sensible to the touch by its motion. Arbuthnot.

3. Perceptible or perceived by the mind.

The disgrace was more sensible then the pain. Temple.

4. Perceiving or having perception, either by the mind or the senses.

A man cannot think at any time, waking or sleeping, without being sensible of it. Locke.

5. Having moral perception; capable of being affected by moral good or evil.

If thou wert sensible of courtesy,

I should not make so great a show of zeal. Shak.

6. Having acute intellectual feeling; being easily or strongly affected; as, to be sensible of wrong.

7. Perceiving so clearly as to be convinced; satisfied; persuaded.

They are now sensible it would have been better to comply, than refuse. Addison.

8. Intelligent; descerning; as a sensible man.

9. Moved by a very small weight or impulse; as, a sensible balance is necessary to ascertain exact weight.

10. Affected by a slight degree of heat or cold; as a sensible thermometer.

11. Containing good sense or sound reason.

He addressed Claudius in the following sensible and noble speech. Henry.

Sensible note, in music, that which constitutes a third major above the dominant, and a semitone beneath the tonic.

SENSIBLE, n. Sensation; also, whatever may be perceived.


1. Possibility of being perceived by the senses; as the sensibleness of odor or sound.

2. Actual perception by the mind or body; as the sensibleness of an impression on the organs. [But qu.]

3. Sensibility; quickness or acuteness of perception; as the sensibleness of the eye.

4. Susceptibility; capacity of being strongly affected, or actual feeling; consciousness; as the sensibleness of the soul and sorrow for sin.

5. Intelligence; reasonableness; good sense.

6. Susceptibility of slight impressions. [See Sensible, No. 9, 10.]


1. In a manner to be perceived by the senses; perceptibly to the senses; as pain sensibly increased; motion sensibly accelerated.

2. With perception, either of mind or body. He feels his loss very sensibly.

3. Externally; by affecting the senses.

4. With quick intellectual perception.

5. With intelligence or good sense; judiciously. The man converses very sensibly on all common topics.

SENSITIVE, a. [L. sensitivus, from sensus, sentio.]

1. Having sense or feeling, or having the capacity of perceiving impressions from external objects; as sensitive soul; sensitive appetite; sensitive faculty.

2. That affects the senses; as sensitive objects.

3. Pertaining to the senses, or to sensation; depending on sensation; as sensitive motions; sensitive muscular motions excited by irritation.

SENSITIVELY, adv. In a sensitive manner.