Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SOLICIT, v.t. [L. solicito. I know not whether this word is somple or compound; probably the latter.]

1. To ask with some degree of earnestness; to make petition to; to apply to for obtaining something. This word implies earnestness in seeking, but I think less earnestness in seeking, but I tinks less earnestness than beg, implore, entreat. and importune, and more than ask or request; as when we say, a man solicits the minister for an office; he solicits his father for a favor. Did I solicit thee form darkness to promote me?

2. TO ask for with some degree of earnestness; to seek by petition; as, to solicit an office; to solicit a favor.

3. To awake or excite to action; to summon; to invite. That fruit solicited her longing eye. Sounds and some tangible qualities solicit their proper senses, and force an entrance to the mind.

4. To attempt; to try to obtain. I view my crime, but kindle at the view, repeat old pleasures and solicit nes.

5. TO disturb; to disquiet; a Latinism rarely used. But anxious fears solicit my weak breast.


1. Earnest request; a seeking to obtain something from another with some degree of zeal and earnestness; sometimes perhaps, importunity. He obtained a grant by repeated solicitations.

2. Excitement; invitation; as the solicitation of the senses.

SOLICITED, pp. Earnestly requested.

SOLICITING, ppr. Requesting with earnestness; asking for; attempting to obtain.


1. One who asks with earnestness; one that asks for another.

2. An attorney, advocate or counselor at law who is authorized to practice in the English court or chancery. In America, an advocate or counselor at law, who, like the attorney general or state’s attorney, prosecutes actions for the state.

SOLICITOR-GENERAL, n. A lawyer in Great Britain, who is employed as counsel for the queen.

SOLICITOUS, a. [L. solicitus.]

1. Careful; anxious; ver desirous, as to obtain something. Men are often more solicitous to obtain the favor of their king or of the people, than of their Maker.

2. Careful; anxious concerned; as respecting an unknown but interesting event; followed usually by about or for. We say, a man is solicitous about the fate of his petition, or about the result of the negotiation. He is solicitous for the safety of his ship.

3. Anxious; concerned; followed by for, as when something is to be obtained. Be not solicitous for the future.

SOLICITOUSLY, adv. Anxiously; with car and concern. Errors in religion or in science are to be solicitously avoided. A wise prince solicitously promotes the prosperity of his subjects.

SOLICITRESS, n. A female who solicits pr petitions.

SOLICITUDE, n. [L. solicitude.] Carefulness; concern; anxiety; uneasiness of mind occasioned by the fear of evil or the desire of good. A man feels soliciude when his friend is sick. We feel solicitude for the success of an enterprise. With what solicitude should men seek to secure future happiness.

SOLID, a. [L, solidus; from the sense to setting or pressure, and hence allied to L. solum, Eng. sill.]

1. Hard; firm; compact; having its constituent particles so close or dense as to resist the impression or penetration of other bodies. Hence solid bodies are not penetrable, not are the parts moveable and easily displaced like those of fluids. Solid is opposed to fluid and liquid.

2. Not hollow; full of matter; as a solid globe or cone, as distinguished from a hollow one.

3. Having all the gemetrical dimensions; cubic; as, a solid foot contains 1728 solid inhes. [In this sense, cubic is not generally used.]

4. Firm; compact; strong; as a solid pier; a solid pile; a solid wall.

5. Sound; not weakly; as a solid constitution of body. [Sound is more generally used.]

6. Real; sound; valid; true; just; not empty or fallacious. Wise men seek solid reasons for their opinions.

7. Grave; profound; not light, trifling or superficial. These wanting wit, affect gravity, and go by the name of solid men.

8. In botany, of a fleshy, uniform, undivided substance, as a bulb or root; not spungy or hollow within, as a stem.

SOLID ANGLE, an angle formed by three or more plain angles meeting in a point.

SOLID FOOT, contains 1728 solid inches, weighing 1000 ounces of rain water.

SOLID SQUARE, in military language, is a square body of troops; a body in which the ranks and files are equal.

SOLID, n. A firm compact body. In anatomy and medical science, the bones, flesh and vessls of animal bodies are called solids, in distinction from the blood, chyle and other fluids.

SOLIDATE, v.t. [L. solido.] To make soild or firm. [Little used.]

SOLIDIFICATION, n. The act of making solid.

SOLIDIFIED, pp. Made solid.

SOLIDIFY, v.t. [L. solidus, solid, and facio, to make.] To make solid or compact.

SOLIDIFYING, ppr. Making solid.

SOLIDITY, n. [L. soliditas.]

1. Firmness; hardness; density; compactness; that quality of bodies whcih resists impression and penetration; opposed to fluidity. That which hinders the apporach of two bodies moving ine towards another, I call solidity.

2. Fullness of matter; opposed to hollowness.

3. Moral firmness; soundness; strength; validity; truth; certainty; as opposed to weakness or fallaciounes; as the soildity of arguments or reasonig; the solidity of principles, truths or opinious.

4. In geometry, the solid contents of a body.


1. Firmly; densely; compactly; as the parts of a pier solidly united.

2. Firmly; truly; on firm grounds. A complete brave man ought to know solidly the main end of his being in the world.


1. The quality of being firm, dense or compact; firmness; compactness; solidity; as of material bodies.

2. Soundness; strength; truth; validity; as of arguments, reasons, principles, etc.

SOLIDUNGULOUS, a. [L. solidus, solid, and ungula, hoof.] Having hoofs that are whole or not cloven. A horse is a solidungulous animal.

SOLIFIDIAN, n. [L. solus, alone, and fides, faith.] One who maintains that faith alone, without works, is necessary to justification.

SOLIFIDIANISM, n. The tenets of solifidians.

SOLILOQUIZE, v.i. To utter a soliloquy.

SOLILOQUY, n. [L. solus, alone, and loquor, to speak.]

1. A talking to one’s self; a talking or discourse of a person alone, or not addressed to another person, even when others are persent. Lovers are always allowed the comfort of soliloquy.

2. A written composition, reciting what it is supposed a person speaks to himself. The whole poem is a solioquy.

SOLIPED, n. [L. solus, alone, or solidus, and pes, foot. But the word is ill formed.] AN animal whose foot is not cloven. The solopeds constitute an order of quadrupeds with undivided hoofs, corresponding to the Linnean genus Equus.

SOLITAIR, n. [L. solitarius. See Solitary.]

1. A person who lives in solitude; a recluse; a hermit.

2. An ornament for the neck.

SOLITARIAN, n. A hermit.

SOLITARILY, adv. [from solitary.] In solitude; alone; without company. Feed they people with thy rod, the flock of thy heritage, that dwell solitarily in the wood. Micah 7:14.

SOLITARINESS, n. The state of being alone; forbearance of company; retirement, or habitual retirement. At home, in wholesome solitariness.

2. Solitude; loneliness; destitution of company or of animated beings; applied to place; as the solitariness of the country or of a wood.

SOLITARY, a. [L. solitarius, from solus, alone.]

1. Living alone; not having company. Some of the more ferocious animals are solitary, seldom or never being found in flocks or herds. Thus the lion is called a solitary animal. Those rare and solitary, these in flocks.

2. Retired; remote from society; not having company, or not much frequented; as a solitary residence or place.

3. Lonely; destitute of company; as a solitary life.

4. Gloomy; still; dismal. Let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Job 3:7.

5. Single; as a solitary instance of vengeance; a solitary example.

6. In botany, separate; one only in a place; as a solitary stipule. A solitary flower is when there is only one to each peduncle; a solitary seed, when there is only one in a pericarp.

SOLITARY, n. One that lives alone of in solitude; a hermit; a recluse.

SOLITUDE, n. [L. solitudo; from solus, alone.]

1. Loneliness; a state of being alone; a lonely life. Whoever is delighted with solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.

2. Loneliness; remote ness from society; as the solitude of a wood or a valley; the solitude of the country. The solitude of his little parish is become matter of great comfort to him.

3. A lonely place; a desert. In these deep solitudes and awful cells, where heavenly-pensive contemplation dwells.

SOLIVAGANT, a. [L. solivagus; solus, alone, and vagor, or wander.] Wandering alone.

SOLLAR, n. [Low L. solarium.] A garret or upper room. [Not in use.]

SOLMIZATION, n. [from sol, mi, musical notes.] A solfaing; a repetition or recital of the notes of the gammut.

SOLO, n. [L. solus, alone.] A tune, air or strain to be played by a single instrument, or sung by a single voice.

SOLOMON’S LEAF, n. A plant.

SOLOMON’S SEAL, n. A plant of the genus Convallaria, and another of the genus Uvularia.

SOLSTICE, n. [L. solstitium; sol, the sun, and sto, to stand.] In astronomy, the point in the ecliptic at which the sun stops or ceases to recede from the equator, eith north in summer, or south in winter; a tropic or tropical point. There are two solstices; the summer solsitce, the first degree of Cancer, which the sun enter on the 21st of June, and the winter solstice, the first degree of Capricorn, which the sun enters on the 21st of December.


1. Pertaining to a solstice; as a solstitial point.

2. Happening at a solstice; usually with us, at the summer solstice or midsummer; as solstitial heat.

SOLUBILITY, n. [from soluble.] The quality of a body which renders it susceptible of solution; susceptibility of being dissolved in a fluid. The solubility of resins is chiefly confined to spirits or alcohol.

SOLUBLE, a. [L. solubilis, from solvo, to melt.] Susceptible of being dissolved in a fluid; capable of solution. Sugar is solube in water; salt is soluble only to a certain extent, that is, till water is saturated.

SOLUTE, a. [L. solutus, solvo.]

1. In a general sense, loose; free; as a solute interpretation. [Not in use.]

2. In botany, loose; not adhering; opposed to adnate; as a solute stipule.

SOLUTE, v.t. To dissolve. [Not in use.]

SOLUTION, n. [L. solutio, from solvo, to loosen, melt, dissolve. See Solve.]

1. The act of separating the parts of any body; disruption; breach.

2. The operation or process of dissolving or melting in a fluid; as the solution of sugar or salt. [Note. This word is not used in chimistry or mineralogy for the dissolution or melting of bodies by the heat of fire.] The term solution is appiled to a very extensive class of phenomena. When a solid disappears in a liquid, if the compound exhibits perfect transparency, we have an example of solution. The word is applied both to the act of combination and to the result of the process. Thus common salt disappears in water, that is its solution takes place, and the liquid obtain ed is called a solution of salt in water. Solution is the result of attraction or affinity between. the fluid and the solid. This affinity continues to operate to a certain point, where it is overbalanced bly the cohesion of the solid; it then ceases the fluid issaid to be saturated, the point where the operation ceases is called saturation, and the fluid is called a saturated solution. Solution is a true chimical union. Mixture is a mere mechanicall union of bodies.

3. Resolution; explanation; the act of explaning or removing difficulty or doubt; as the solution of a doubt in casuistry.

4. Release; deliverance; discharge.

5. In algebra and geometry, the answering of a question, or the resolving of a problem proposed.

SOLUTION OF CONTINUITY, the separation of connection of connected substances or parts; applied, in surgery, to a fracture, laceration, etc.

SOLUTIVE, a. Tenging to dissolve; loosening; laxative.

SOLVABILITY, n. Ability to pay all just debts.


1. That may be solved, resolved or explained.

2. That can be paid.

SOLVE, v.t. solv. [L. solvo.]

1. Properly, to loosen or separate the parts of any thing; hence, to explain; to resolve; to eclaircise; to unfold; to clear up; as what is obscure or difficult to be understood; as, to solve questions; to solve difficulties or a problem. When God shall solve the dark decrees of fate.

2. To remove; to dissipate; as, to solve doubts.

SOLVED, pp. Explained; removed.

SOLVENCY, n. [L. solvens.] Ability to pay all debts or just claims; as, the solvency of a merchant is undoubted. The credit of a nation’s notes depends on a favorable opinion of its solvency.

SOLVEND, n. A substance to be dissolved.


1. Having the power of dissolving; as a solvent body.

2. Able to pay all just debts. The merchant is solvent.

3. Sufficient to pay all just debts. The estate is solvent.

SOLVENT, n. A fluid that dissolves any substance, is called the solvent.

SOLVIBLE, a. Solvable, which see.

SOMATIC, SOMATICAL, a. Corporeal; pertaining to a body. [Not in use.]

SOMATIST, n. [supra.] One who admits the existence or corporeal or material beings only; one who denies the existence of spiritual substances.

SOMATOLOGY, n. The doctrine of bodies or material substances.

SOMBER, SOMBRE, a. Dull; dusky; cloudy; gloomy.

SOMBROUS, a. Gloomy.

SOME, a. sum.

1. Noting a certain quantity of a thing, but indeterminate; a portion greater or less. Give me some bread; drink some wine; bring some water.

2. Noting a number of persons or things, greater or less, but indeterminate. Some theoretical writes allege that there was a time when there was no such thing as society.

3. Noting a person or thing, but not known, or not specific and definite. Some person, I know not who, gave me the information. Enter the city, and some man will direct you to the house. Most gentlemen of property, as some period or other of their lives, are ambitious of representing their country in parliament.

4. It sometimes precedes a word of number or quantity, with the sense of about or near, noting want of certainty as to the specific number of amount, but something near it; as a village or some eighty houses; some two or three persons; some seventy miles distant; an object at some good distance.

5. Some is often opposed to others. Some men believe one thing, and others another.

6. Some is often used without a noun, and then like other adjectives, is a substitute for a noun. We consumed some of our provisions, and the rest was given to the poor. Some to the shores do fly, some to the woods. Your edicts some reclaim for sins, but most your life and blest example wins.

7. Some is used as a termination of certain adjectives, as in handsome, mettlesome, blithesome, fullsome, lonesome, gladsome, gamesome. In these words, some has primarily the sense of little, or a certain degree; a little blithe or glad. But in usage, it rather indicates a considerable degree of the thing or quantity; as mettlesome, full of mettle or spirit; gladsome, very glad or joyous.

SOMEBODY, n. [some and body.]

1. A person unknown or uncertain; a person indeterminate. Jesus said, somebody hath touched me Luke 8:46. We must draw in somebody that may stand ‘Twixt us and danger.

2. A person of consideration. Before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody. Acts 5:36.

SOMEDEAL, adv. [some and deal.] In some degree.

SOMERSAULT, SOMERSET, n. [L super and salio, to leap.] A leap by which a person jumps from a highth, turns over his head and falls upon his feet.

SOMEHOW, adv. [some and how.] One way or other; on some way not yet known. The thing must have happened somehow or other.

SOMETHING, n. [some and thing.]

1. An indeterminate or unknown event. Something must have happened to prevent the arrival of our friends at the time fixed. I shall call at two o’clock, unless something should prevent. [See Thing.]

2. A substance or material thing, unknown indeterminate or not specified. A machine stops because something obstructs its motion. There must be something to support a wall or an arch.

3. A part; a portion more or less. Something yet of doubt remains. Still from his little he could something spare, to feed the hungry and to clothe the bare. Something of it arises from our infant state.

4. A little; an indefinite quantity or degree. The man asked me a dollar, but I gave him something more.

5. Distance not great. It must be done tonight, and something from the palace.

6. Something is used adverbially for in some degree; as, he was something discouraged; but the use in not elegant.

SOMETIME, adv. [some and time.]

1. Once; formerly. That fair and warlike form, in which the majesty of buried Denmark did sometime march.

2. At one time or other hereafter. [Sometime is really a compound noun, and at is understood before it; at some time.]

SOMETIMES, adv. [some and times.]

1. At times; at intervals; not always; not and then. We are sometimes indisposed, sometimes occupied, sometimes at leisure; that is, at some times. It is good that we be sometimes contradicted.

2. At one time; opposed to another time.

SOMEWHAT, n. [some and what.]

1. Something, though uncertain what.

2. More or less; a certain quantity or degree, indeterminate. These salts have somewhat of a nitrous taste.

3. A part, greater or less. Somewhat of his good sense will suffer in this transfusion, and much of the beauty of his thoughts will be lost.

SOMEWHAT, adv. In some degree or quantity. This is somewhat more or less than was expected; he is somewhat aged; he is somewhat disappointed; somewhat disturbed.

SOMEWHERE, adv. [some and where.] In some place, unknown or not specified; in one place or another. He lives somewhere in obscurity. Dryden somewhere says peace to the manes of the dead.

SOMEWHILE, adv. [some and while.] Once; for a time.

SOMEWHITER, adv. To some indeterminate place.

SOMMITE, n. Nepheline; a mineral which occurs in small crystals and crystaline grains in the lava of mount Somma on Vesuvius.

SOMNAMBULATION, n. [L. somnus, sleep, and ambulo, to walk.] The act of walking in sleep.

SOMNAMBULIST, n. A person who walks in his sleep.

SOMNER, for summoner. [Not in use.]

SOMNIFEROUS, a. [L. somnifer; somnus, sleep, and fero, to bring.] Causing or inducing sleep; soporiferous; narcotic; as a somniferous potion.

SOMNIFIC, a. [L. somnus, sleep, and facio, to make.] Causing sleep; tending to induce sleep.

SOMNOLENCE, SOMNOLENCY, n. [Low L. somnolentia; for somnus, sleep.] Sleepiness; drowsiness; inclination to sleep.

SOMNOLENT, a. Sleepy; drowsy; inclined to sleep.

SON, n.

1. A male child; the male issue of a parent, father or mother. Jacob had twelve sons. Ishmael was the son of Hagar by Abraham.

2. A male descendant, however distant; hence in the plural, sons signifies descendants in general, a sense much used in the Scriptures. The whole human race are styled sons of Adam.

3. The compellation of an old man to a young one, or of a confessor to his penitent; a term of affection. Eli called Samuel his son. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift.

4. A native or inhabitant of a country; as the sons of Britain. Let our country never be ashamed of her sons.

5. The produce of any thing. Earth’s tall sons, the cedar, oak and pine. [Note. The primary sense of child is produce, issue; a shoot.]

6. One adopted into a family. Moses was the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Exodus 2:10.

7. One who is converted by another’s instrumentality, is called his son; also, one educated by another; as the sons of the prophets.

8. Christ is called the Son of God, as being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, or in consequence of his relation to the Father.

9. Son of pride, sons of light, son of Belial. These are Hebraisms, which denote that persons possess the qualities of pride, of light, or of Belial, as children inherit the qualities of their ancestors.

SONATA, n. A tune intended for an instrument only, as cantata is for the voice.

SONG, n.

1. In general, that which is sung or uttered with musical modulations of the voice, whether of the human voice or that of a bird.

2. A little poem to be sung, or uttered with musical modulations; a ballad. The songs of a country are characteristic of its manners. Every country has its love songs, its war songs, and its patriotic songs.

3. A hymn; a sacred poem or hymn to be sung either in joy or thanksgiving, as that sung by Moses and the Israelites after escaping the dangers of the Arabian gulf and of Pharaoh; or of lamentation, as that of David over the death of Saul and Jonathan. Songs of joy are represented as constituting a part of heavenly felicity.

4. A lay; a strain; a poem. The bard that first adorn’d our native tongue, tun’d to his British lyre this ancient song.

5. Poetry; poesy; verse. This subject for heroic song pleas’d me.

6. Notes of birds. [See Def. 1.]

7. A mere trifle. The soldier’s pay is a song. Old song, a trifle. I do not intend to be thus put off with an old song.

SONGISH, a. Consisting of songs. [Low and Not in use.]


1. One that sings; one skilled in singing; not often applied to human beings, or only in slight contempt.

2. A bird that sings; as the little songster in his cage. [In this use, the word is elegant.]

SONGSTRESS, n. A female singer.

SON-IN-LAW, n. A man married to one’s daughter.


1. A short poem of fourteen lines, two stanzas of four verses each and two of three each, the chymes being adjusted by a particular rule.

2. A short poem. I have a sonnet that will serve the turn.

SONNET, v.i. To compose sonnets.

SONNETEER, n. A composer of sonnets or small poems; a small poet; usually in contempt.

SONOMETER, n. [L. sonus, sound, and fero, to measure.] An instrument for measuring sounds or the intervals of sounds.

SONORIFEROUS, a. [L. sonus, sound and fero, to bring.] That gives sound; sounding; as the sonoriferous particles of bodies.

SONORIFIC, a. [L. sonus, sound and fecio, to make.] Producing sound; as the sonorific quality of a body.

SONOROUS, a. [L. sonorus, from sonus, sound.]

1. Giving sound when struck. Metals are sonorous bodies.

2. Loud sounding; giving a clear or loud sound; as a sonorous voice.

3. Yielding sound; as, the vowels are sonorous.

4. High sounding; magnificent of sound. The Italian opera, amidst all the meanness and familiarity of the thoughts, has something beautiful and sonorous in the expression.

SONOROUSLY, adv. With sound; with a high sound.


1. The quality of yielding sound when struck or coming in collision with another body; as the sonorousness of metals.

2. Having or giving a loud or clear sound; as the sonorousness of a voice or an instrument.

3. Magnificence of sound.

SONSHIP, n. [from son.]

1. The state of being a son, or of having the relation of a son.

2. Filiation; the character of a son.

SOON, adv.

1. In a short time; shortly after any time specified or supposed; as soon after sunrise; soon after dinner; I shall soon return; we shall soon have clear weather.

2. Early; without the usual delay; before any time supposed. How is it that ye have come so soon to-day? Exodus 2:18.

3. Readily; willingly. But in this sense it accompanies would, or some other word expressing will. I would as soon see a river winding among woods or in meadows, as when it is tossed up in so many whimsical figures at Versailles.

As soon as, or so soon as, immediately at or after another event. As soon as the mail arrives, I will inform you. As soon as Moses came nigh to the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. Exodus 32:19.

SOON, a. Speedy; quick. [Not in use.]

SOONLY, adv. quickly; speedily. [Not in use.]

SOOSHONG, SOUCHONG, n. A kind of black tea.