Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SOBERMINEDNESS, n, Calmness; freedon from inordinate passions; habitual sobriety.


1. Freedom from intoxication; temperance.

2. Gravity; seriousness.

3. Freedom from heat and passion; calmness; coolness. The soberness of Virgil might have shown him the difference.

SOBRIETY, n. [L. sobrietas, from sobrius.]

1. Habitual soberness or temperance in the use of spirituous liquors; as when we say. a man of sobriety.

2. Freedom from intoxication. Public sobriety is a relative duty.

3. Habitual freedom from enthusiasm, inordinate passion or overheated imagination; calmness; coolness; as the sobriety of riper years; the sobriety of age.

4. Seriousness; gravity without sadness or melancholy. Mirth makes them not mad, nor sobriety sad.

SOC, n. [L. sequor.]

1. Properly, the sequela, secta or suit, or the body of suitors; hence, the power or privilege of holding a court in a district, as in a manor; jurisdiction of causes, and the limits of that jurisdiction.

2. Liberty or privilege of tenants excused from customary burdens.

3. An exclusive privilege claimed by millers of grinding all the corn used within the manor or township in which the mill stands.

SOCAGE, n. [from soc, supra, a privilege.] In English law, a tenure of lands and tenements by a cetain or determinate service; a tenure distinct from chivalry or knight’s service, in which the render was uncertain. The service must be certain, in order to be denominated socage; as to hold by fealty and twenty shillings rent. Socage is of two kinds; free socage, where the services are not only certain, but honorable, and villein socage, where the services, though certain, are of a baser nature.

SOCAGER, n. A tenant by socage; a socman.

SOCIABILITY, n. Sociableness; disposition to associate and converse with others; or the practive of familiar converse.

SOCIABLE, a. [L. sociabilis, from socius, a companion, probably from sequor, to follow. See Seek.]

1. That may be conjoined; fit to be united in one body or company; as sociable parts united in one body.

2. Ready or disposed to unite in a general interest. To make man mild, and sociable to man.

3. Ready and inclined to join in company or society; or frequently meeting for conversation; as sociable neighbors.

4. Inclined to converse when in company; disposed to freedom in conversation; opposed to reserved and taciturn.

5. Free in conversation; conversing much or familiarly. The guests were very sociable.

SOCIABLENESS, n. Disposition to associate; inclination to company and converse; or actual frequent union in society or free converse. This word may signify either the disposition to associate, or the disposition to enter into familiar conversation, or the actual practice of associating and conversing.

SOCIABLY, adv. In a sociable manner; with free intercourse; conversibly; familiarly; as a companion.

SOCIAL, a. [L. socialis, from socius, companion.]

1. Pertaining to society; relating to men living in society. or to the publice as an aggregate body; as social interests or concerns; social pleasures; social benefits; social happiness; social duties. True self-love and social are the same.

2. Ready or disposed to mix in friendly converse; companionable. Withers, adieu? yet not with thee remove thy martial spirit or thy social love.

3. Consisting in union or mutual converse.

4. Disposed to unite in society. Man is a social being.

SOCIALITY, n. Socialness; the quality of being social.

SOCIALLY, adv. In a social manner or way.

SOCIALNESS, n. The quality of being social.

SOCIETY, n. [L. societas, from socius, a companion. See Sociable.]

1. The union of a number of rational beings; or a number of persons united, either for a temporary or permanent purpose. Thus the inhabitants of a state or of a city constitute a society, having common interests; and hence it is called a community. In a more enlarged sense, the whole race or family of man is a society, and called human society. The true and natural foundation of society, are the wants and fears of individuals.

2. Any number of persons associated for a particular purpose, whether incorporated by law, or only united by articles of agreement; a fraternity. Thus we have bible societies for various objects; societies for mechanics, and leaned societies; societies for encouraging arts, etc.

3. Company; a temporary association of persons for profit or pleasure. In this sense, company is more generally used.

4. Conpany; fellowship. We frequent the society of those we love and esteem.

5. Partnership; fellowship; union on equal terms. Among unequals what society can sort? Heav’n’s greatness no society can bear.

6. Persons living in the same neighborhood, who frequently meet in company and have fellowship. Literary society renders a place interesting and agreeable.

7. In Connecticut, a number of families united and incorporated for the purpose of supporting public worship, is called an exxlesiastical society. This is a parish, except that it has not territorial limits. In Massachusetts, such as incorporated society is usually called a parish, though consisting of persons only, without regard to territory.

SOCINIAN, a. [from Socinus, a native of Sienna, in Tuscany, the founder of the sect of Socinians in the 16th century.] Pertaning to Socinus, or his religious creed.

SOCINIAN, n. One of the followers of Socinian.

SOCINIANISM, n. The tenets or doctrines of Socinus, who held Christ to be a mere man inspired, denied his divinity and atonement, and the doctrine of original depravity.

SOCK, n. [L. soccus;]

1. The shoe of the ancient actors of comedy. Hence the word is used for comedy, and opposed to buskin or tragedy. Great Fletcher never teads in buskin here, nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear.

2. A garment for the foot, like the foot of a stocking.

3. A plowshare.


1. The little hollow tube or place in which a candle is fixed in the candlestick. And in the sockets oily bubbles dance.

2. Any hollow thing or place which receives and holds something else; as the sockets of the teeth or of the eyes. his eyeballs in their hollow sockets sink. Gomphosis is the connection of a tooth to its socket.

SOCKET-CHISEL, n. A chisel made with a socket; a stronger sort of chisel.

SOCKLESS, a. Destitute of socks or shoes.

SOCLE, n. [See Sock.] In architecture, a flat squre member under the basis of pedestals of vases and statues, serving as a foot or stand.

SOCMAN, n. [See Socage.] One who holds lands or tenements by socage.

SOCMANRY, n. Tenure by socage. [Not in use.]

SOCOME, n. A custom of tenants to grind corn at the lord’s mill. [Not used.]

SOCOTORINE, SOCOTRINE, a. Socotorine or socotrine aloes, a fine kind of aloes from Socotra, an isle in the Indian oceans.

SOCRATIC, SOCRATICAL, a. Pertaining to Socrates, the Grecian sage, or his language or manner of teaching and philosophizing. The Socratic metod of resoning and instruction was by inter rugatories.

SOCRATICALLY, adv. In the Socratic method.

SOCRATISM, n. The doctrines of philosophy of Socrates.

SOCRATIST, n. A disciple of Socrates.

SOD, n. Turf; sward; that stratum of earth on the surface which is filled with the roots of grass, or any portion of that surface. It differs from clod, which may be compact mass of earth without roots; but sod is formed by earth held together by roots.

SOD, a. Made or consisting of sod.
SOD, v.t. To cover with sod; to turf.
SOD, pret. of seethe; also the passive participle. [See Sodden.]

SODA, n. Mineral fixed alkali; natron; so called because it forms the basis of marine salt. It is found native in Egypt; but it is generally obtained form the salsola kali. Soda is an oxyd, or the protoxyd of sodiem, a metal.

SODALITE, n. A mineral; so called from the large portion of mineral alkali which enters into its composition. It is of a bluish green color, and found crystalized or in masses.

SODA-WATER, n. A very weak solution of soda in water supersaturated with carbonic acid, and constituting a favorite beverage.

SODDEN, pp. of seethe. Boiled; seethed.

SODDY, a. [from sod.] Turfy; consisting of sod; covered with sod.

SODER, v.t. [It has been taken for granted that this is a contracted word, from L. solido, and hence written solder. The fact may be doubted; but if true, the settled pronunciation seems to render it expedient to let the contracted orthography remain undisturbed.] To unite and make solid, as metallic substances; to join separate things or parts of the same thing by a metallic substance in a state of fustion, which hardens in cooling, and renders the joint solid.

SODER, n. Metallic cement; a metal or metallic composition used in uniting other metallic substances.

SODIUM, n. The metallic base of soda. It is soft, sectile, white and opake, and very malleable. It is lighter than water.


1. An inhabitant of Sodom.

2. One guilty of sodomy.

SODOMY, n. A crime against nature.

SOE, n. A large wooden vessel for holding water; a cowl.

SOEVER, so and ever, found in compounds, as in whosoever, whatsoever, wheresoever, See these words. It is sometimes used separate from the pronoun; as, in what things soever you undertake, use diligence and fidelity.

SOFA, n. [probably an oriental word.] An elegant long seat, usually with a stuffed bottom. Sofas are variously made. In the United States, the frame of stuffed cloth, with a covering of silk, chintz. calico or hair-cloth. The sofa of the orientals is a kind of alcove raised half a foot above the floor, where visitors of distinction are received. It is also a seat by the side of the room covered with a carpet.


1. In architecture, any timber ceiling formed of cross beams, the compartments of which are enriched with sculpture, painting or gilding.

2. The under side of face of an architrave, enriched with compartment of roses.

SOFT, a.

1. Easily yielding to pressure; the contrary of hard; as a soft bed; a soft peach; soft earth.

2. Not hard; easily separated by an edged instrument; as soft wood. The chestnut is a soft wood, but more durable than hickory, with is a very hard wood. So we say, a soft stone, when it breaks or is hewed with ease.

3. Easily worked; malleable; as soft iron.

4. Not rough, rugged or harsh; smooth to the touch; delicate; as soft silk; soft raiment a soft skin.

5. Delicate; feminine; as the softer sex.

6. Easily yielding to persuasion or motives flexible; susceptible of influence or passion. In both these senses, soft is appiled to females, and sometimes males; as a divine of a soft and servile temper. One king is too soft and easy.

7. Tender; timorous. However soft within themselves they are, to you they will be valiant be despair.

8. Mild; gentle; kind; not severe or unfeeling; as a person of a soft nature.

9. Civil; complaisant; courteous; as a person of soft manners. He has a soft way of asking favors.

10. Placid; still; easy. On her soft axie while whe paces even, she bears thee soft with the smooth air along.

11. Effeminate; viciouly nice. An idle soft course of life is the source of crminal pleasures.

12. Delicate; elegantly tender. Her form more soft and feminine.

13. Weak; impressible. The deceive soon found this soft place of Adam’s [Not elegant.]

14. Gentle; smooth or melodious to the ear. not loud, rough or harsh; as a soft voice or note; a soft sound; soft accents; soft whispers.

15. Smooth; flowing; not rough or vehement. The solemn nightingale tun’d her soft lays. Soft were my numbers, who could take offense?

16. Easy; quiet; undisturbed; as soft slumbers.

17. Mild to the eye; not strong or glaring; as soft colors; the soft coloring of a picture. The sun shining on the upper part of the clounds, made the softes light imaginable.

18. Mild; warm; pleasant to the feelings; as soft air.

19. Not tinged with an acid; not hard; not astringent; as, soft water is the best for washing.

20. Mild; gentle; not rough, rude or irritating. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Proverbs 15:1.

SOFT, adv. Softly; gently; quietly.
SOFT, exclam. for be soft, hold; stoop; not so fast. But, soft, my muse, the world is wide.

SOFTEN, v.t. sof’n.

1. To make soft or more soft; to make less hard. their arrow’s point they soften in the flame.

2. To mollify; to make less fierce or intractable; to make more susceptible of humane or fine feelings; as, to soften a hard heart; to soften savage natures. The heart is softened by pity. Diffidence concilliates the proud, and softens the severe.

3. To make less harsh or severe; as, to soften an expression.

4. To palliate; to represent as less enormous; as, to soften a fault.

5. To make easy; to compose; to mitigate; to alleviate. Music can soften the pain to ease.

6. To make calm and placid. Bid her be all that cheers or softens life.

7. To make less harsh, less rude, less offensive or violent. But sweetly temper’d awe, and soften’d all be spoke.

8. To make less glaring; as, to soften the coloring of a picture.

9. To make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate; as troops softened by luxury.

10. To make less harsh or grating; as, to soften the voice.

SOFTEN, v.i. sof’n. To become less hard; to become more pliable and yielding to pressure; as, irion or wax softens in heat; fruits soften as they ripen.

2. To become less rude, harsh or cruel; as, savage natures soften by civilization.

3. To become less obstinate or obdurate; to become more susceptible of humane feelings and tenderness; to relent. The heart softens at the sight of woe.

4. To become more mild; as, the air softens.

5. To become less harsh, severe or rigorous.

SOFTENED, pp. Made less hard or less harsh; made less obdurate or cruel, or less glaring.

SOFTENING, ppr. Making more soft; making less rough or cruel, etc.

SOFTENING, n. The act of making less hard, less cruel or obdurate, less violent, less glaring. etc.

SOFTHEARTED, a. Having tenderness of heart; susceptible of pity or other kindly affection; gentle; meek.

SOFTLING, n. An effeminate person; one vitiously nice. [Little used.]

SOFTLY, adv.

1. Without hardness.

2. Not with force or violence; gently; as, be softly pressed my hand.

3. Not loudly; without noise; as, speak softly; walk softly. In this dark silence softly leave the town.

4. Gently; placidly. She softly lays him on a flowery bed.

5. Mildly; tenderly. The king must die; though pity softly pleads within my soul.


1. He or that which softens.

2. One that palliates.


1. The quality of bodies which renders them capable of yielding to pressure, or of easily receiving impressions from other bodies; opposed to hardness.

2. Susceptibility of feeling or passion; as the softness of the heart or of our natures.

3. Mildness; kindness; as softness of words or expressions.

4. Mildness; civility; gentleness; as softness of manners.

5. Effeminacy; vicious delicacy. He was not delighted with the softness of the court.

6. Timorousness; pusillanimity; excessive susceptibility of fear or alarm. This virtue could not proceed out of fear or softness.

7. Smoothness to the ear; as the softness of sounds, which is distinct from exility or fineness.

8. Facility; gentleness; candor; easiness to be affected; as softness of spirit.

9. Gentleness, as contrary to vehemence. With strength and softness, energy and ease.

10. Mildness of temper; meekness. For contemplation he and valor form’d for softness she, and sweet attractive grace.

11. Weakness; simplicity.

12. Mild temperature; as the softness of a climate.

SOGGY, a. [allied probably to soak.]

1. Wet; filled with water; soft with moisture; as soggy land. Timber that has imbibed water is said to be soggy.

2. Steaming with damp.

SOHO, exclam. A word used in calling from a distant place; a sportman’s halloo.

SOIL, v.t.

1. To make dirty on the surface; to foul; to dirt; to stain; to defile; to tarnish; to sull; as, to soil a garment with dust. Out wonted ornaments now soil’d and stain’d.

2. To cover or tinge with any thing extraneous; as, to soil the earth with blood.

3. To dung; to manure.

To soil a horse, is to purge him by giving him fresh grass.

To soil a cattle, in husbandry, is to feed them with grass daily mowed for them, instead of pasturing them.

SOIL, n.

1. Dirt; and foul matter upon another substance; foulness; apot.

2. Stain; tarnish. A lady’s honor will not bear a soil.

3. The upper stratum of the earth; the mold, or that compound substance with furnishes nutriment to plants, or which is particulary adapted to support and nourish them.

4. Land; country. We love our native soil.

5. Dung; compost. Improve land by dung and other sort of soils.

To take soil, to run into the water, as a deer when pursued.

SOILED, pp. Fouled; stained; tarnished; manured; fed with grass.

SOILINESS, n. Stain; foulness. [Little used.]

SOILING, ppr. Defiling; fouling; tarnishing; feeding with fresh grass; manuring.

SOILING, n. The act of practice of feeding cattle or horses with fresh grass, instead of pasturing them.

SOILLESS, a. Destitute of soil.

SOILURE, n. Stain; pollution [Not in use.]

SOJOURN, v.i. so’jurn. To dwell for a time; to dwell or live in a place as a temporary resident, or as a stranger, not considering the place as his permanent habitation. So Abram sojourned in Egypt. Genesis 12:10.

SOJOURN, n. A temporary residence, as that of a traveler in a foreign land.

SOJOURNER, n. A temporary resident; a stranger or traveler who dwells in a place for a time. We are strangers before thee and sojourners, as all out father were. 1 Chronicles 29:15.

SOJOURNING, ppr. Dwelling for a time.

SOJOURNING, n. The act of dwelling in a place for a time; also, the time of abode. Exodus 12:40.

SOJOURNMENT, n. Temporary residence, as that of a stanger or traveler.

SOL, n. [from L. solidus.]

1. In France, a small copper coin; a penny; usually sou sor sous.

2. A copper coin and money of acount in Switzerland.

SOL, n. The name of a not in music.

SOLACE, v.t. [from L. soatium; solor, to comfort, assuage, relieve. See Console.]

1. To cheer in grief or under calamity; to comfort; to relieve in afflication; to console; applied to persons; as, to solace one’s self with the hop of future reward.

2. To allay; to assuage; as, to solace grief.

SOLACE, v.i. To take comfort; to be cheered or relieved in grief.
SOLACE, n. Comfort in grief; alleviation of grief or anxiety; also, that which relieves in distress; recreation. The propersolaces of age are not music and compliments, but wisdom and devotion.

SOLACED, pp. Comforted; cheered in afflication.

SOLACING, ppr. Relieving grief; cheering in affliction.

SOLACIOUS, a. Affording comfort or amusement. [Not in use.]

SOLANDER, n. A disease in horses.

SOLAN-GOOSE, n. The gannet, (Pelecanus bassanus,) as aquatic fowl found on the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. It is nearly of the size of the domestic goose.

SOLANO, n. A hot S.E. wind in Spain which produces inflammatory effects on men.

SOLAR, a. [L. solaris, for sol, the sun.]

1. Pertaining to the sun, as the solar system;

2. Belonging to the sun as solar herbs. [Not used.]

3. In astrology, born under the predominant influence of the sun; as a solar people.

4. Measured by the progress of the sun, or by its revolution; as the solar year.

SOLAR FLOWERS, are those which open and shut daily, at certain determinate hours.

SOLAR SPOTS, dark spots that appear on the sun’s disk, usually visible only by the telescope, but sometimes so large as to be seen by the naked eye. They adhere to the body of the sun; indicate its revolutions on its axis; are very changeable in their figure and dimensions; and vary in size from mere points to spaces 50,000 miles in diametet.

SOLD, pret. and pp. of sell.

SOLD, n. [from the foot of soldier.] Salary; military pay. [Not in use.]

SOLDAN, for sultan, [Not in use.]

SOLDANEL, n. [L, soldanella.] A plant.

SOLDER, v.t. [from L. solido, solidus.] To unite by a metallic cement. [See Soder.]

SOLDER, n. A metallic cement. [See Soder.]

SOLDIER, n. soljur. [from L. solidus, a piece of money, the pay of a soldier.]

1. A man engaged in military service; one whose occupation is military; a man enlisted for service in an army; a private, or noe in the ranks. There ought to be some time for sober reflection between the life of a soldier and his death.

2. A man enrolled for service, when on duty or embodied for military discipline; a private; as a militia soldier.

3. Emphatically, a brave warrior; a man of military experience and skill, or a man of distinguished valor. In this sense, an officer of any grade may be denominated a soldier.

SOLDIERESS, n. A female soldier. [Not in use.]

SOLDIERLIKE, SOLDIERLY, a. Like or becoming a real soldier; brave; martial; heroic; honorable.

SOLDIERSHIP, n. Military qulities; military character or state; martial skill; behavior becoming a soldier.


1. Soldiers collectively; the body of military men. I charge not the soldiery with ignorance and contempt of learning, without exception.

2. Soldiership; military service.

SOLE, n. [L. solea, solum; that which sets or is set or laid. The radical sense coincides with that of sill.]

1. The bottom of the foot; and by a figure, the foot itselft.

2. The bottom of the shoe; or the piece of lether which constitutes the bottom. The cliga was a military show with a very thick sole, tied above the instep.

3. The part of any thing that forms the bottom, and on which it stands upon the ground. Elms is proper for mills, soles for wheels, and pipes.

4. A marine fish of the genus Pleurinectes, so called probably because it keeps on or near the bottom of the sea. These fish abound on the British coast, and hence the name of sole bank, to the southward of Ireland. This fish sometimes grows to the weight of six or seven pounds.

5. In ship-building, a sort of lining, used to prevent the wearing of any thing.

6. A sort of horn under a horse’s hoof.

SOLE, v.t. To furnish with a sole; as, to sole a shoe.
SOLE, a. [L. solus.]

1. Single; being or acting without another; individual; only. God is the sole creator and sovereign of the world.

2. In law, single; unmarried; as a femme sole.


1. Impropriety in language, or a gross deviation from the rules of syntax; incongruity of words; want of correspondence or consistency. A barbarism may be in one word; a solecism must be of more.

2. Any unfitness, absurdity or impropriety. Cesar, by dismissing his guards and retaining his power, committed a dangerous solecism in politics.

SOLECIST, n. One who is guilty of impropriety in language.

SOLECISTIC, SOLECISTICAL, a. Incorrect; incongruous.

SOLECISTICALLY, adv. In a solecistic manner.

SOLECIZE, v.i. To commit solecism.

SOLELY, adv. Singly; alone; only; without another; as, to rest a cause solely on one argument; to rely solely on one’s own strength.

SOLEMN, a. sol’em. [L. solennis, form soleo, to be accustomed, to use, that is, to hold on or continue, as we have wont.]

1. Anniversary; observed once a year with religious ceremonies. The worship of this image was advanced and a solemn supplication observed every year. [I doubt the correctness of this definition of Johnson; or whether solemn, in out language, ever includes the sense of anniversary. In the passage cited, the sense of anniversary is expressed by every year, and if it is included in solemn also the sentence is tautological. I should say the, that solemn in this passage of Stillingfleet, has the sense given in the second definition below.]

2. Religiously grave; marked with pomp and sanctity; attended with religious rites. His holy rites and solemn feasts profan’d.

3. Religiosly serious; piously grave; devout; marked by reverence to God; as solemn prayer; the solemn duties of the sanctuary.

4. Affectiong with seriousness; impressing or adapted to impress seriousness, gravity or reverence; sober; serious. There reign’d a solemn silence over all. To ‘swage with solemn touches troubled thoughts.

5. Grave; serious; or affectedly grave; as a solemn face.

6. Sacred; enjoined by religion; or attended with a serious appeal to God; as a solemn oath.

7. Marked with solemaities; as a solemn day.


1. The state or quality of being solemn; reverential manner; gravity; as the solemness of public worship.

2. Solemnity; gravity of manner.


1. A rite or ceremony annualy performed with religious reverence. Great was the cause; our old solemnities from no blind zeal or fond tradition rise, but sav’d from death, our Arguves yearly pay these grateful honors to the god of day.

[Solemnities seems here to include the sense of anniversary. See the fourth line. But in modern usage, that sense is rarely or never attached to the word.]

2. A religious ceremony; a ritual performance attended with religious reverence; as the solemnity of a funral or of a sacrament.

3. A ceremony adapted to impress awe; as the solemnities of the last day.

4. Manner of acting awfully serious. With horrible solemnity he caused every thing to be prepared for his triumph of victory.

5. Gravity; steady seriouness; as the solemnity of the Spanish language.

6. Affected gravity. Solemnity’s a cover for a sot.

SOLEMNIZATION, n. The act of solemnizing; celebration; as the solemnization of a marriage.


1. To dignify or honor by ceremonies; to celebrate; as, to solemnize the birth of Christ. Their choice nobility and flow’r met from all parts to solemnize this feast.

2. To perform with ritual ceremonies and respect, or according to legal forms; as, to solemnize a marriage.

3. To peform religiouly once a year.

4. To make grave, serious and reverential; as, to solemnize the mind for the duties of the sanctuary. [This use of the word is well authorized in the United States.]

SOLEMNLY, adv. With gravity and religious reverence. Let us solemnly address the throne of grace.

2. With official formalities and be due authority. This question of law has been solemnly decided in the highest court.

3. With formal state.

4. With formal gravity and stateliness, or with affected gravity. There in deaf murmurs solemnly are wise.

5. With religious seriousness; as, I solemnly declare myselft innocent. I do solemnly assure the reader.

SOLENNESS, n. [from sole.] Singleness; a state of being unconnected with others.

SOLENITE, n. Petrified solen, a genus of shells.

SOL-FA, v.i. To pronounce the notes of the gammut, ascending or descending, ut, re ,mi, sol, la, and e converso.