Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SEVENTEENTH, a. [from seventeen.] The ordinal of seventeen; the seventh after the tenth.

On the seventeenth day of the second month- all the fountains of the great deep were broken up. Genesis 7:11.


1. The ordinal of seven; the first after the sixth.

On the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had made. Genesis 2:2.

2. Containing or being one part in seven; as the seventh part.


1. The seventh part; one part in seven.

2. In music, a dissonat interval or heptachord. An interval consisting of four tones and two major semitones, is called a seventh minor. An interval composed of five tones and a major semitone, is called a seventh major.

SEVENTHLY, adv. In the seventh place.

SEVENTIETH, a. [from seventy.] The ordinal of seventy; as a man in the seventieth year of his age. The seventieth year begins immediately after the close of the sixth-ninth.

SEVENTY, a. [Gr. ten.] Seven times ten.

That he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Daniel 9:2.

SEVENTY, n. The Septuagint or seventy translators of the Old Testament into the Greek language.

SEVER, v.t. [There may be a doubt whether sever is derived from the Latin separo. Heb. Ch. Syr. Ar. to break.]

1. To part or divide by violence; to separate by parting or rending; as, to sever the body or the arm at a single stroke.

2. To part from the rest by violence; as, to sever the head from the body.

3. To separate; to disjoin; as distinct things, but united; as the dearest friends severed by cruel necessity.

4. To separate and put in different places or orders.

The angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just. Matthew 13:49.

5. To disjoin; to disunite; in a general sense, but usually applying violence.

6. To keep distinct or apart.

7. In law, to disunite; to disconnect; to part possession; as, to sever a state in joint-tenacy.

SEVER, v.i.

1. To make a separation or distinction; to distinguish.

The Lord will sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt. Exodus 9:4.

2. To suffer disjunction; to be parted or rent assunder.

SEVERAL, a. [from several.]

1. Separate; distinct; not common to two or more; as a several fishery; a several estate. A several fishery is one held by the owner of the soil, or by title derived from the owner. A several estate is one held by a tenant in his own right, or a distinct estate unconnected with any other person.

2. Separate; different; distinct.

Divers sorts of beasts came from several parts to drink. Bacon.

Four several armies to the field are lead. Dryden.

3. Divers; consisting of a number; more than two, but not very many. Several persons were present when the event took place.

4. Separate; single; particular.

Each several ship a victory did gain. Dryden.

5. Distinct; appropriate.

Each might his several province well command,

Would all but stoop to what they understand. Pope.

A joint and several note or bond, is one executed by two or more persons, each of whom is bound to pay the whole, in case the others prove to be insolvent.


1. Each particular, or small number, singly taken.

Several of them neither rose from any conspicuous family, nor left any behing them. Addison.

There was not time enough to hear

The severals- Shak.

[This latter use, in the plural, is now infrequent or obsolete.]

2. An inclosed or separate place; inclosed ground; as, they had their several for the heathen, their several for their own people; put a beast into a several. [These applications are nearly or wholly obsolete.]

In several, in a state of separation.

Where pastures in several be. [Little used.] Tusser.

SEVERALITY, n. Each particular singly taken; distinction. [Not in use.]

SEVERALIZE, v.t. To distinguish. [Not in use.]

SEVERALLY, adv. Separately; distinctly; apart from others. Call the men severally by name.

I could not keep my eye steady on them severally so as to number them. Newton.

To be jointly and severally bound in a contract, is for each obligor to be liable to pay the whole demand, in case the other or others are not able.

SEVERALTY, n. A state of separation from the rest, or from all others. An estate in severalty, is that which the tenant holds in his own right, without being joined in interest with any other person. It is distinguished from joint-tenacy, coparcenary and common.

SEVERANCE, n. Separation; the act of dividing or disuniting. The sevrance of a jointure is make by destroying the unity of interest. Thus when there are two joint-tenants for life, and the inheritance is purchased by or descends upon either, it is a servrance.

So also when two persons are joined in a writ, and one is nonsuited; in this case sevrance is permitted, and the other plantif may proceed in the suit. So also in assize, when two or more disseizees appear upon the writ, and not the other, sevrance is permitted.

SEVERE, a. [L. severus.]

1. Rigid; harsh; not mild or indulgent; as severe words; severe treatment; severe wrath.

2. Sharp; hard rigorous.

Let your zeal-be more severe against thyself than against others. Taylor.

3. Very strict; or sometimes perhaps, unreasonably strict or exact; giving no indulgence to faults or errors; as severe government; severe criticism.

4. Rigorous, perhaps cruel; as severe punishment; severe justice.

5. Grave; sober; sedate to an extreme; opposed to cheerful, gay, light, lively.

Your looks must alter, as your subject does,

From kind to fierce, from wanton to severe. Waller.

6. Rigidly exact; strictly methodical; not lax or airy. I will not venture on on so nice a subject with my severe style.

7. Sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; as severe pain, anguish, torture, etc.

8. Sharp; biting; extreme; as severe cold.

9. Close; concise; not luxuriant.

The Latin, a most severe and compendious language- Dryden.

10. Exact; critical; nice; as a sever test.


1. Harshly; sharply; as, the chide one severely.

2. Strictly; rigorously; as, to judge one severely.

To be or fondly or severely kind. Savage.

3. With extreme rigor; as, to punish severely.

4. Painfully; effectively; greatly; as, to be severely afflicted the gout.

5. Fiercely; ferociously.

More formidable Hydra stands within,

Whose jaws with iron teeth severely grin. Dryden.

SEVERITE, n. A mineral found near St. Sever, in France, occurring in small masses, white without luster, a little harder than lithomarge.

SEVERITY, n. [L. sveritas.]

1. Harshness; rigor; austerity; want of mildness or indulgence; as the severity of a reprimand or reproof.

2. Rigor; extreme strictness; as the severity of discipline or government.

3. Excessive figor; extreme degree or amount. Severity of penalties or punishments often defeats the object by exciting pity.

4. Extremity; quality or power of distressing; as the severity of pain or anguish.

5. Extreme degree; as the severity of cold or heat.

6. Extreme coldness or inclemency; as the severity of the winter.

7. Harshness; cruel treatment; sharpness of punishment; as severity practiced on prisoners of war.

8. Exactness; rigor; niceness; as the severity of a test.

9. Strictness; rigid accuracy.

Confining myself to the severity of truth. Dryden.

SEVRUGA, n. A fish, the accipenser stellatus.

SEW, To follow. [Not used. See Sue.]

SEW, v.t. pronounced so, and better written soe. To unite or fasten together with a needle and thread.

They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:7.

To sew up, to inclose by sewing; to inclose in anything sewed.

Thou sewest up my iniquity. Job 14:17.

Sew me up the sdirts of the gown. Shak.

SEW, v.i. To practice sewing; to join things with stitches.
SEW, v.t. [L. sicco, to dry.] To drain a pond for taking the fish. Obs.

SEWED, pp. United by stitches.

SEWEL, n. Among huntsmen, something hung up to prevent deer entering a place.

SEWER, n. [L. sicco.] A drain or passage to cnvey off waterunder ground; a subterraneous canal, particularly in cities; corruptly pronounced Shore or soer.

SEWER, n. An officer who serves up the feast and arranges the dishes. Obs.
SEWER, n. One who sews, or uses the needle.

SEWING, ppr. Joining with the needle or with stitches.

SEWSTER, n. A woman that sews or spins. Obs.

SEX, n. [L. sexus; from L. seco, to divide.]

1. The distinction between male and female; or the property or character by which an animal is male or female. The male sex is usually characterized by muscular strength, boldness and firmness. The female sex is characterized by softness, sensibility and modesty.

In botany, the property of plants which corresponds to sex in animals. The Linnean system of botany is formed on the doctrine of sexes in plants.

2. By way of emphasis, womankind; females.

Unhappy sex! whose beauty is your snare. Dryden.

The sex, whose presence civilizes ours. Milne.

SEXAGENARIAN, n. [infra.] A person who has arrived at the age of sixty years.

SEXAGENARY, a. [L. sexagenarius, from sex, six, and a word signifying ten, seen in viginti; bis-genti.] Designating the number sixty; as a noun, a person sixty years of age; also, something composed of sixty.

SEXAGESIMA, n. [L. sexagesimus, sextieth.] The second Sunday before Lent, the next to Shrove-Sunday, so called as being the 60th day before Easter.

SEXAGESIMAL, a. Sixtieth; pertaining to the number sexty. Sexagenary or sexgesimal arithmetic, is a method of comutation by sexties, as that which is used in dividing minutes into seconds

Sexagesimals, or sexagesimal fractions, are those whose denominators proceed in the ratio of sixty; as 1/60, 1/3600, 1/21600. The denominator is sixty, or its multiple. These fractions are called also astonomical fractions, because formerly there were no others used in astronomical calculations.

SEXANGLED, SEXANGULAR, a. [L. sex, six, and angulus, angle.] Having six angles; hexagonal.

SEXDECIMAL, a. [L. sex, six, and decem, ten.] In crystalography, when a prism or the middle part of a crystal has six faces and two summits, and taken together, ten faces, or the reverse.

SEXENNIAL, a. [L. sex, six, and annus, year.] Lasting six years, or happening once in six years.

SEXINNIALLY, adv. Once in six years.

SEXFID, a. [L. sex, six, and findo, to divide.] In botany, six-cleft; as a sexfid calyx or nectary.

SEXLOCULAR, a. [L. sex, six, and loculus, cell.] In botany, six-celled; having six cells for seeds; as a sexlocular pericarp.

SEXTAIN, n. [L. sextans, a sixth, from sex, six.] A stanza of six lines.

SEXTANT, n. [L. sextans, a sixth. the Romans divided the as into 12 ounces; a sixth, or two ounces, was the sextans.]

1. In mathematics, the sixth part of a circle. Hence,

2. An instrument formed like a quadrant, excepting that its limb comprehends only 60 degrees, or the sixth part of a circle.

3. In astronomy, a constellation of the southern hemisphere which, according to the British catalogue, contains 41 stars.

SEXTARY, n. [L. sextarius.] A measure of a pint and a half.

SEXTARY, SEXTRY, n. The same as sacristan. [Not used.]

SEXTILE, n. [L. sextilis, from sex, six.] Denoting the aspect or position of two planets, when distant from each other 60 degrees or two signs. This position is marked thus*.

SEXTON, n. [contracted from sacristan, which see.] An under officer of the church, whose buiness is to take care of the vessels, vestments, etc. belonging to the church, to attend on the officiating clergyman and perform other duties pertaining to the church, to dig graves, etc.

SEXTONSHIP, n. The office of a sexton.

SEXTUPLE, a. [Low L. sextuplus; sex, six, and duplus, double.]

1. Sixfold; six times as much.

2. In music, denoting a mixed sort of triple, beaten in double time, or a measure of two times composed of six equal notes, three for each time.

SEXUAL, a. [from sex.]

1. Pertaining to sex or the sexes; distinguishing the sex; denoting what is particular to the distinction and office of male and female; as sexual characteristics; sexual intercourse, connection or commerce.

2. Sexual systemm in botany, the system which ascribes to vegetables the distinction of sexes, suppose that plants are male and female, each sex furnished with the appropriate organs or parts; the male producing a pollen or dust which fecundates the stigma of the pistil or female organ, and is necessary to render it prolific. It is found however that most plants are hermaphrodite, the male and female organs being contained in the same flower. This doctrine was taught to a certain extent by Theophrastus, Dioscorides and Pliny among the ancients, but has been more fully illustrated by Caesalpinus, Grew, Camerarius, Linne and many others among the moderns.

SEXUALIST, n. One who believes and maintains the doctrine of sexes in plants; or onw who classifies the differences of the sexes and parts of fructification.

SEXUALITY, n. The state of being distinguished by sex.

SHAB, v.i. To play mean tricks. In some parts of New England, it signifies to reject or dismiss; as, a woman who shabs her suitor. It is however very vulgar and very obsolete.

SHABBILY, adv. [from shabby.]

1. Raggedly; with rent or ragged clothes; as, to be clothed shabbily.

2. Maenly; in a despicable manner.


1. Raggedness; as the shabbiness of a garment.

2. Meanness; paltriness.


1. Ragged; torn or worn to rags; as a shabby coat; shabby clothes.

2. Clothed with ragged garments.

The dean was so shabby- Swift.

3. Mean; paltry; despicable; as a shabby fellow; shabby treatment. [For the idea expressed by shabby, there is not a better word in the language.]

SHACK, n. In ancient customs of England, a liberty of witer pasturage. In Norfolk and Suffolk, the lord of the manot has a shack, that is, liberty of feeding his sheep at pleasure on his tenants’ lands during the dix winter months. In Norfolk, shack extends to the common for hogs, in all men’s grounds, from harvest to seed time; whence to go a-shack, is to feed at large.

In New England, shack is used in a somewhat similar sense for mast or the food of swine, and for feeding at large or in the forest, [for we have no manors,] and I have heard a shiftless fellow, a vagabond, called a shack.

SHACK, v.i.

1. To shed, as corn at harvest. [Local.]

2. To feed in stubble, or upon the waste corn of the field. [Local.]

SHACKLE, n. Stubble. [In Scotish, shag is the refuse of barley, or that which is not well filled, and is given to horses. The word shack then is probably from a root which signifies to break, to reject, or to waste, or it may be allied to shag and shake.]


1. To chain; to fetter; to tie or confine the limbs so as to prevent free motion.

So the stretch’d cord the shackled dancer tries,

As prone to fall as impotent to rise. Smith.

2. To bind or confine so as to obstruct or embarrass action.

You must not shackle him with the rules about indifferent matter. Locke.

SHACKLE, SHACKLES, n. [generally used in the plural.]

1. Fetters, gyves, handcuffs, cords or something else that confines the limbs so as to restrain the use of them, or prevent free motion.

2. That which obstructs or embarrasses free action.

His very will seems to be in bonds and shackles. South.

SHACKLED, pp. Tied; confined; embarrassed.

SHACKLING, ppr. Fettering; binding; confining.

SHAD, n. It has no plural termination. Shad is singular or plural. A fish, a species of Clupea. Shad enter the rivers in England and America in the spring in immense numbers.

SHADDOCK, n. A variety of the orange (Citrus aurantium;) pampelmoe. A large species of orange (Citrus decumana.)

SHADE, n. [L. scutum, a shield.]

1. Literally, the interception, cutting of or interruption of the rays of light; hence, the obscurity which is caused by such interception. Shad differs from shadow, as it implies no particular form or definite limit. whereas a shadow represents in form the object which intercepts the light. Hence when we say, let us resort to the shade of a tree, we have no reference to its form; but when we speak of measuring a pyramid or other object by its shadow, we have reference to its extent.

2. Darkness; obscurity; as the shades of night.

3. An obscure place, properly in a grove or close wood, which precludes the sun’s rays; an hence, a secluded retreat.

Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there

Weep our sad bosoms empty. Shak.

4. A screen; something that intercepts light or heat.

5. Protection; shelter. [See Shadow.]

6. In painting, the dark part of the picture.

7. Degree or gradation of light.

White, red, yellow, blue, with their several degrees, or shades and mixtures, as green, come only in by the eyes. Locke.

8. A shadow. [See Shadow.]

Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue. Pope. [This is allowable in poetry.]

9. The soul, after its separation from the body; so called because the ancients supposed it to be perceptible to the sight, not to the touch; a spirit; aghost; as the shades of departed heroes.

Swift as thought, the flitting shade- Dryden.

SHADE, v.t.

1. To shelter or screen from light by intercepting its rays; and when applied to the rays of the sun, it segnifies to shelter from light and heat; as, a large tree shades the plants under its branches; shaded vegetables rarely come to perfection.

I went to the sylvan scenes,

And shade our altars with their leafy greens. Dryden.

2. To overspread with darkness or obscurity; to obscure.

Thou shad’st

The full blaze of thy beams. Milton.

3. To shelter; to hide.

Ere in your own house I do shade my head. Shak.

4. To cover from injury; to protect; to screen.

5. To paint in obscure colors; to darken.

6. Tjo mark with gradations of color; as the shading pencil.

7. To darken; to obscure.

SHADED, pp. Defended from the rays of the sun; darkened.

SHADER, n. He or that which shades.

SHADINESS, n. [from shady.] The state of being shady; umbrageousness; as the shadiness of the forest.

SHADING, ppr. Sheltering from the sun’s rays.


1. Shade within defined limits; obscurity or deprivation of light, apparent on a plane and represtnting the form of the body which intercepts the rays of light; as the shadow of a man, of a tree or a tower. The shadow of the earth in in an eclipse of the moon is proof of its sphericity.

2. Darkness; shade; obscurity.

Night’s sable shadows from the ocean rise. Denham.

3. Shelter made by any thing that intercepts the light, heat or influence of the air.

In secret shadow from the sunny ray,

On a sweet bed of lilies softly laid. Spenser.

4. Obscure place; secluded retreat.

To secret shadows I retire. [Obs.] Dryden.

5. Dark part of a picture. Obs. [In the last two senses, shade is now used.]

6. A spirit; a ghost. Obs. [In this sense, shade is now used.]

7. In painting, the representation of a real shadow.

8. An imperfect and faint representation; opposed to substance.

The law of having a shadow of good things to come. Hebrews 10:1.

9. Inseparable companion.

Sin and her shadow, death. Milton.

10. Type; mystical representaion.

Types and shadows of that destin’d seed. Milton.

11. Protection; shelter; favor.

12. Slight or faint appearance.

Shadow of death, terrible darkness, trouble or death.

SHADOW, v.t.

1. To overspread with obscurity.

The warlike elf much wonder’d at this tree

So fair and great, that shadow’d all the ground. Spenser. [Shade is more generally used.]

2. To cloud; to darken.

The shadow’d livery of the burning sun. Shak.

3. To make cool; to refresh by shade; or to shade.

Flowery fields and shadowed waters. Sidney.

4. To conceal; to hide; to screen.

Let every soldier hew him down a bough,

And bear’t before him; thereby shall we shadow

The number of our host. [Unusual.] Shak.

5. To protect; to screen from danger; to shroud.

Shadowing their right under your wings of war. Shak.

6. To mark with slight gradations of color or light. [In this sense, shade is chiefly used.]

7. to paint in obscure colors; as void spaces deeply shadowed.

8. To represent faintly or imperfectly.

Augustus is shadowed in the person of AEneas. Dryden.

9. To represent typically. The healing power of the serpent shadoweth the efficacy of Christ’s righteousness. [The two last senses are in use. In place of the others, shade is now more generally used.]

SHADOWED, pp. Represented imperfectly or typically.

SHADOW-GRASS, n. A kind of grass so called. [Gramen sylvaticum.]

SHADOWING, ppr. Representing by faint or imperfect resemblance.

SHADOWING, n. Shade or gradation of light and color. [This should be shading.]


1. Full of shade; dark; gloomy.

This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods. Shak.

2. Not brightly luminous; faintly light.

More pleasant light

Shadowy sets off the face of things. Milton.

3. Faintly representative; typical; as shadowy expiations.

4. Unsubstantial; unreal.

Milton has brought into his poems two actors of a shadowy and fictitious nature, in the persons of Sin and Death. Addison.

5. Dark; obscure; opake.

By command ere yet dim night

Her shadowy cloud withdraws. Milton.

SHADY, a. [from shade.]

1. Abounding with shade or shades; overspread with shade.

And Amaryllis fills the shady groves. Dryden.

2. Sheltered from the glare of light or sultry heat.

Cast it also that you may have rooms shady for the summer and warm for the winter. Bacon.

SHAFFLE, v.i. [See Shuffle.] To hobble or limp. [Not in use.]

SHAFFLER, n. A hobbler; one that limps. [Not in use.]

SHAFT, n. [L. scapus; from the root of shape, from setting, or shooting, extending.]

1. An arrow; a missile weapin; as the archer and the shaft.

So loftly was the pile, a Parthian bow

Whith vigor drawn must send the shaft below. Dryden.

2. In mining, a pit or long narrow opening or entrance into a mine. [This may possibly be a different word, as in German it is written schacht, Dan. skaegte.]

3. In architecture, the shaft of a column is the body of it, between the base and the capital.

4. Any thing straight; as the shaft of a steeple, and many other things.

5. The stem or stock of a fether or quill.

6. The pole of a carriage, sometimes called tongue or neap. The thills of a chaise or geg are also called shafts.

7. The handle of a weapon.

Shaft, or white-shaft, a species of Trochilus or humming bird, having a bill twenty lines in levgth, and two long fethers in the middle of its tail.

SHAFTED, a. Having a handle; a term in heraldry, applied to a spearhead.

SHAFTMENT, n. A span, a measure of about six inches. [Not in use.]

SHAG, n.

1. Coarse hair or nap, or rough wooly hair.

True Witney broadcloth, with its shag unshorn. Gay.

2. A kind of cloth having a long coarse nap.

3. In orinthology, an aquatic fowl, the Pelecanus graculus; in the north of England called the crave.

SHAG, a. Hairy; shaggy.
SHAG, v.t.

1. To make rough or hairy.

Shag the green zone that bounds the boreal skies. J. Barlow.

2. To make rough or shaggy; to deform.


1. Rough with long hair or wool.

About his shoulders hangs the shaggy skin. Dryden.

2. Rough; rugged; as the shaggy tops of hills.

And throw the shaggy spoils about your shoulders. Addison.

SHAGGEDNESS, SHAGGINESS, n. The state of being shaggy; roughness with long losse hair or wool.

SHAGREEN, n. A kind of grained leather prepared of the skin of a fish, a species of Squalus. To prepare it, the skin is stretched and covered with mustard seed, which is bruised upon it. The skin is then exposed to the weather for some days, and afterwards tanned.

SHAGREEN, a. Made of the lether called shagreen.
SHAGREEN, for chagrin. [See Chagrin.]

SHAH, n. A Persian signifying king.


SCHEICH, Among the Arabians and Moors, an old man, and hence a chief, a lord, a man of eminence.

SHAIL, v.t. To walk sidewise. [Low and not in use.]

[This word is probably the G. schielen, Dan. skieler, to squint.]

SHAKE, v.t. pret. shook; pp. shaken.

1. To cause to move with quick vibrations; to move rapidly one way and the other; to agitate; as, the wind shakes a tree; an earthquake shakes the hills or the earth.

I shook my lap, and said, so God shake out every man from his house- Nehemiah 5:13.

He shook the sacred honors of his head. Dryden.

-As a fig casteth her untimely fruit, when it is shaken of a mighty wind. Revelation 6:13.

2. To make to totter or tremble.

The rapid wheels shake the heav’n’s basis. Milton.

3. To cause to shiver; as, an ague shakes the whole frame.

4. To throw down by a violent motion.

Macbeth is ripe for shaking. Shak.

[But see shake off, which is generally used.]

5. To throw away; to drive off.

‘Tis our first intent

To shake all cares and business from our age. [See Shake off.] Shak.

6. To move from firmness; to weaken the stability of; to endanger; to threaten to overthrow. Nothing should shake our belief in the being and perfections of God, and in our own accountableness.

7. To cause to waver or doubt; to impair the resolution of; to depress the courage of.

That ye be not soon shaken in mind. 2 Thessalonians 2:2.

8. To trill; as, to shake a note in music.

To shake hands, sometimes, to unite with; to aggree or contract with; more generally, to take leave of, from the practice of shaking hands at meeting and parting.

To shake off, to drive off; to throw off or down by violence; as, to shake off the dust of the feet; also, to rid one’s self; to free from; to divest of; as, to shake off disease or grief; to shake off troublesome dependents.

SHAKE, v.i.

1. To be agitated with a waving or vibratory motion; as, the tree shakes with the wind; the house shakes in a tempest.

The foundations of the earth do shake. Isaiah 24:18.

2. To tremble; to shiver; to quake; as, a man shakes in an ague; or he shakes with cold, or with terror.

3. To totter.

Under his burning wheels

The steadfast empyrean shook throught,

All but the throne itself of God. Milton.


1. Concussion; a vacillating or wavering motion; a rapid motion one way and the other; agitation.

The great soldier’s honor was composed of thicker stuff which could endure a shake. Herbert.

2. A trembling or shivering; agitation.

3. A motion of hands clasped.

Our salutations were very hearty on both sides, consisting of many kind shakes of the hand. Addison.

4. In music, a trill; a rapid reiteration of two notes comprehending an interval not greater than one whole tone, nor less than a semitone.

SHAKEN, pp. sha’kn.

1. Impelled with a vacillating motion; agitated.

2. a. Cracked or split; as shaken timber.

Nor is the wood shaken nor twisted, as those about Capetown. Barrow.

[Our mechanics usually pronounce this shaky, forming the word from shake, like pithy, from pith.]


1. A person or thing that shakes or agitates; as the shaker of the earth.

2. In the United States, shakers is the name given to the very singular sect of Christians, so called from the agitations or movements whisc characterize their worship.


1. Impelling to a wavering motion; causing to vacillate or waver; agitating.

2. Trembling; shivering; quaking.


1. The act of shaking or agitating; brandishing.

2. Concussion.

3. A trembling or shivering.

SHAKY, a. Cracked, as timber.

SHAL, SHALL, verb auxiliary pret., should. [L. scelus.]

1. Shall is primarily in the present, and in our mother tongue was followed by a verb in the infinitive, like other verbs. “Ic sceal fram the beon gefullod.” I have need to be baptized of thee. “Ic nu sceal singan sar-cwidas.” I must now sing mornful songs.

We still use shall and should before another verb in the infinitive, without the sign to; but significance of shall is considerably deflected from its primitive sense. It is now treated as a mere auxiliary to other verbs, serving to form some of the tenses. In the present tense, shall, before a verb in the infinitive, forms the future tense; but its force and effect are different with different persons or personal pronouns. Thus in the first person, shall simply foretells or declares what will take place; as, I or we shall ride to town on Monday. This declaration simply informs another of a fact that is to take place. The sense of shall here is changed from an expression of need or duty, to that of previous statement or information, grounded on intention or resolution. When uttered with emphasis, “I shall go,” it expresses firm determination, but not a promise.

2. In the second and third persons, shall implies a promise, command or determination. “You shall receive your wages,” “he shall receive his wages,” imply that you or he ought to receive them; but usage gives these phrases the force of a promise in the person uttering them.

When shall is uttered with emphasis in such phrases, it expresses determination in the speaker, and implies an authority to enforce the act. “Do you refuse to go? Does he refuse to go? But you or he shall go.”

3. Shall I go, shall he go, interrogatively, asks, for permission or direction. But shall you go, asks for information of another’s intention.

4. But after another verb, shall, in the third person, simply foretells. He says that he shall leave town to-morrow. So also in the second person; you say that you shall ride to-morrow.

5. After if, and some verbs which expresscondition or supposition, shall, in all the persons, simply foretells; as,

If I shall say, or we shall say,

Thou shalt say, ye or you shall say,

He shall say, they shall say.

6. Should, in the first person, implies a conditional event. “I should have written a letter yesterday, had I not been interrupted.” Or it expresses obligation, and that in all the persons.

I should, have paid the bill on demand; it was my duty, your duty, his duty to

Thou shouldest, pay the bill on demand, but it was not paid.

He should,

You should,

7. Should, though properly the past tense of shall, is often used to express a contingent future event; as, if it should rain to-morrow; if you should go to London next week; if he should arrive within a month. In like manner after though, grant, admit, allow.

SHALE, v.t. To peel. [Not in use. See Shell.]


1. A shell or husk.

2. In natural history, a species of shist or shistous clay; slate clay; generall of a bluish or yellowish gray color, more rarely of a dark blackish or reddish gray, or grayish black, or greenish color. Its fracture is slaty, and in water it molders into powder. It is often found in strata in coal mines, and commonly bears vegetable impressions. It is generally the forerunner of coal.

Bituminous shale is is a subvariety of argillaceous slate, is impregnated with bitumen, and burns with flame.

SHALLOON, n. A slight woolen stuff.

SHALLOP, n. [This word is changed into sloop; but the two words have now different significations.]

1. A sort of large boat with two masts, and usually rigged like a schooner.

2. A small light vessel with a main-mast and fore-mast, with lug-sails.


1. Not deep; having little depth; shoal; as shallow water; a shallow stream; a shallow brook.

2. Not deep; not entering far into the earth; as a shallow furrow; a shallow trench.

3. Not intellectually deep; not profound; not penetrating deeply into abstruse subjects; superficial; as a shallow mind or understanding; shallow skill.

Deep vers’d in books, and shallow in himself. Milton.

SHALLOW, n. A shoal; a shelf; a flat; a sand-bank; any place where the water is not deep.

A swift stream is not heard in the channel, but upon shallows of gravel. Bacon.

Dash’d on the shallows of the moving sand. Dryden.

SHALLOW, v.t. To make shallow. [Little used.]

SHALLOW-BRAINED, a. Weak in the intellect; foolish; empty headed.


1. With little depth.

2. Superficially; simply; without depth of thought or judgement; not wisely.


1. Want of depth; small depth; as the shallowness of water, of a river, of a stream.

2. Superficialness of intellect; want of power to enter deeply into subjects; emptiness; stillness.

SHALM, SHAWM, n. A kind of musical pipe. [Not used.]

SHALOTE, n. The French echalote anglicized. [See Eschalot.]

SHALSTONE, n. A mineral found only in the Bannet of Temeswar, of a grayish, yellowish or reddish white; tafelspath.

SHALT, the second person singular of shall; as, thou shalt not steal.

SHAM, n. That which deceives expectation; any trick, fraud or device that deludes and disappoints; delusion; imposture. [Not an elegant word.]

Believe who will the solemn sham, not I. Addison.

SHAM, a. False; counterfeit; pretended; as a sham fight.
SHAM, v.t.

1. To deceive expectation; to trick to cheat; to delude with false pretenses.

They find themselves fooled and shammed into conviction. [Not elegant.] L’Estrange.

2. To obtrude by fraud or imposition.

SHAM, v.i. To make mocks.

SHAMAN, n. In russia, a wizzard or conjurer, who by enchantment pretends to cure diseases, ward off misfortunes and foretell events.

SHAMBLES, n. [L. scamnum a bench; from L. scando.]

1. The place where butcher’s meat is sold; a flesh-market.

2. In mining, a nich or shelf at suitable distances to receive the ore which is thrown from one to another, and thus raised to the top.

SHAMBLING, a. [from scamble, scambling.] Moving with an awkward, irregular, cumsy pace; as a shambling trot; shambling legs.

SHAMBLING, n. An awkward, clumsy, irregular pace or gait.


1. A painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or of having done something which injures reputation; or by of that which nature nature or modesty prompts us to conceal. Shame is particularly excited by the disclosure of actions which, in the view of men, are mean and degrading. Hence it it is often or always manifested by a downcast look or by blushes, called confusion of face.

Hide, for shame,

Romans, your grandsires’ images,

That blush at their degenerate progeny. Dryden.

Shame prevails when reason is defeated. Rambler.

2. The cause or reason of shame; that which brings reproach, and degrades a person in the estimation of others. Thus an idol is called a shame.

Guides, who are the shame of religion. South.

3. Reproach; ignominy; derision; contempt.

Ye have born the shame of the heathen. Ezekiel 36:6.

4. The parts which modesty requires to be covered.

5. Dishonor; disgrace.

SHAME, v.t.

1. To make ashamed; to excite a consciousness of guilt or of doing something derogatory to reputation; to cause to blush.

Who shames a scribbler, breaks a cobweb through. Pope.

I write not these things to shame you. 1 Corinthians 4:14.

2. To disgrace.

And with foul cowardice his carcass shame. Spenser.

3. To mock at.

Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor. Psalm 14:6.

SHAME, v.i. To be ashamed.

To its trunk authors give such a magnitude, as I shame to repeat. Raleigh.

SHAMED, pp. Made ashamed.