Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SOOSOO, n. Among the Bengalese, the mane of a cetaceous fish, the Delphinus Gangeticus.

SOOT, n. A black substance formed by combustion, or disengaged from fuel in the process of combustion, rising in fine particles and adhering to the sides of the chimney or pipe conveying the smoke. Soot consists of oil, carbon and other substances. The soot of burnt pine forms lampblack.

SOOT, v.t. To cover or foul with soot.

SOOTED, pp. Covered or soiled with soot.

SOOTERKIN, n. A kind of false birth fabled to be produced by the Dutch women from sitting over their stoves.


1. Truth; reality.

2. Prognostication.

3. Sweetness; kindness.


1. Pleasing; delightful.

2. True; faithful.

SOOTHE, v.t. [The sense of setting, allaying of softening, would give that of truth, and of sweet, that is, smooth.]

1. To flatter; to please with blandishments or soft words. Can I soothe tyranny? I’ve tried the force of every reason on him. Sooth’d and caress’d, been angry, sooth’d again

2. To soften; to assuage; to mollify; to calm; as, to soothe one in pain or passion; or to soothe pain. It is applied both to persons and things.

3. To gratify; to please. Sooth’d with his future fame.

SOOTHED, pp. Flattered; softened; calmed; pleased.

SOOTHER, n. A flatterer; he or that which softens or assuages.

SOOTHING, ppr. Flattering; softening; assuaging.

SOOTHINGLY, adv. With flattery or soft words.

SOOTHLY, adv. In truth; really.

SOOTHSAY, v.i. [sooth and say.] To foretell; to predict. Acts 16:16. [Little used.]

SOOTHSAYER, n. A foreteller; a prognosticator; one who undertakes to foretell future events without inspiration.

SOOTHSAYING, n. The foretelling of future events by persons without divine aid or authority, and thus distinguished form prophecy.

SOOTINESS, n. [from sooty.] The quality of being sooty or foul with soot; fuliginousness.

SOOTISH, a. Partaking of soot; like soot.


1. Producing soot; as sooty coal.

2. Consisting of soot; fuliginons; as sooty matter.

3. Foul with soot.

4. Black like soot; dusky; dark; as the sooty flag of Acheron.

SOOTY, v.t. To black or foul with soot. [Not authorized.]

SOP, n.

1. Anything steeped or dipped and softened in liquor, but chiefly something thus dipped in broth or liquid food, and intended to be eaten. Sops in win, quantity for quantity, inebriate more than win itself.

2. Any thing given to pacify; so called from the sop given to Cerberus, in mythology. Hence the phrase, to give a sop to Cerberus.

SOP-IN-WINE, a kind of pink.

SOP, v.t. To steep or dip in liquor.

SOPE, [See Soap.]

SOPH, n. [L. sophista.] In colleges and universities, a student in his second year; a sophomore.

SOPHI, n. A title of the king of Persia.

SOPHICAL, a. Teaching wisdom. [Not in use.]

SOPHISM, n. [L. sophisma.] A specious but fallacious argument; asubtilty in reasoning; an argument that is not supported by sound reasoning, or in which the inference is not justly deduced from the premises. When a false argument puts on the appearance of a true one, then it is properly called a sophism or fallacy.

SOPHIST, n. [L. sophista.]

1. A professor of philosophy; as the sophists of Greece.

2. A captious or fallacious reasoner.

SOPHISTER, n. [supra.]

1. A disputant fallaciously subtil; an artful but insidious logician; as an atheistical sophister. Not all the subtil objection of sophisters and rabbies against the gospel, so much prejudiced the reception of it, as the reproach of those crimes with which they aspersed the assemblies of Christians.

2. A professor of philosophy; a sophist.

SOPHISTER, v.t. To maintain by a fallacious argument. [Not in use.]

SOPHISTIC, SOPHISTICAL, a. Fallaciously subtil; not sound; as sophistical reasoning or argument.

SOPHISTICALLY, adv. With fallacious subtilty.


1. To adulterate; to corrupt by something spurious or foreign; to pervert; as, to sophisticate nature, philosophy or the understanding.

2. To adulterate; to render spurious; as merchandise; as, to sophisticate wares or liquors. They purchase but sophisticated ware.

SOPHISTICATE, a. Adulterated; not pure; not genuine. So truth, when only one supplied the state, grew scarce and dear, and hey sophisticate.

SOPHISTICATION, n. The act of adulterating; a counterfeiting or debasing the purity of some thing be a foreign admixture; adulteration.

SOPHISTICATOR, n. One that adulterates; one who injures the purity and genuineness of any thing by foreign admixture.


1. Fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only. These men have obscured and confounded the nature of things by their false principles and wretched sophistry.

2. Exercise in logic.

SOPHOMORE, n. [See Soph.] A student in a college or university, in his second year.

SOPITE, v.t. To lay asleep. [Not in use.]

SOPITION, n. [L. sopio, to lay asleep.] Sleep. [Not in use.]

SOPORATE, v.t. [L. soporo.] To lay asleep. [Not in use.]

SOPORIFEROUS, a. [L. soporifer; sopor, asleep, and fero, to bring; from sopio, to lull to sleep.] Causing sleep, or tending to produce it; narcotic; opiate; anodyne; somniferous. The poppy pssesses soporiferous qualities.

SOPORIFEROUSNESS, n. The quality of causing sleep.

SOPORIFIC, a. [L. sopor, sleep, and facio, to make.] Causing sleep; tending to cause sleep; narcotic; as the soporific virtues of opium.

SOPORIFIC, n. A medicine, drug, plant or other thing that has the quality of inducing sleep.

SOPOROUS, a. [L. soporus, from sopor, sleep.] Causing sleep; sleepy.

SOPPED, pp. [from sop.] Dipped in liquid food.

SOPPER, n. [from sop.] One that sops or dips in liquor some thing to be eaten.

SORB, n. [L. sorbum, sorbus.] The service tree or its fruit .

SORBATE, n. A compound of sorbic acid with a base.

SORBENT. [See Absorbent.]

SORBIC, a. Pertaining to the sorbus or service tree; as sorbic acid.

SORBILE, a. [L. sorbeo.] That may be drank or sipped. [Not in use.]

SORBITION, n. [L. sorbitio.] The act or drinking or sipped. [Not in use.]

SORBONICAL, a. Belonging to a sorbonist.

SORBONIST, n. A doctor of the Sorbonne in the university of Paris. Sorbonne is the place of meeting, and hence is used for the whole faculty of theology.

SORCERER, [L. sors, lot.] A conjurer; an enchanter; a magician. The Egyptian sorcerers contended with Moses.

SORCERESS, n. A female magician or enchantress.

SORCEROUS, a. Containing enchantments.

SORCERY, n. Magic; enchantment; witchcraft; divination be the assistance of evil spirits, or the power of commanding evil spirits. Adder’s wisdom I have learn’d to fence my ears against the sorceries.

SORD, for sward, is not vulgar. [See Sward.]

SORDAWALITE, n. A mineral so named from Sordawald, in Wibourg. It is nearly black, rarely gray or green.

SORDES, n. [L.] Foul matter; excretions; dregs; filthy, useless or rejected matter of any kind.

SORDET, SORDINE, n. [L. surdus, deaf.] A little pipe in the mouth of a trumpet to make it sound lower or shriller.

SORDID, a. [L. sordidus, form sordes, filth.]

1. Filthy; foul; dirty; gross. There Charon stands a sordid god. [This literal sense is nearly obsolete.]

2. Vile; base; mean; as vulgar, sordid mortals.

3. Meanly avaricious; covetous; niggardly. He may be old and yet not sordid, who refuses gold.

SORDIDLY, adv. Meanly; basely; covetously.


1. Filthiness; dirtiness.

2. Meanness; baseness; as the execrable sordidness of the delights of Tiberius.

3. Niggardliness.

SORE, n.

1. A place in an animal body where the skin and flesh are ruptured or bruised, so as to be pained with the slightest pressure.

2. An ulcer; a boil.

3. In Scriptures, grief; affliction. 2 Chronicles 6:29.

SORE, a.

1. Tender and susceptible of pain from pressure; as, a boil, ulcer or abscess is very sore; a wounded place is sore; inflammation renders a part sore.

2. Tender, as the mind; easily pained, grieved or vexed; very susceptible of irritation from any thing that crosses the inclination. Malice and hatred are very fretting, and apt to make our minds sore and uneasy.

3. Affected with inflammation; as sore eyes.

4. Violent with pain; severe; afflictive; distressing; as a sore disease; sore evil or calamity; a sore night.

5. Severe; violent; as a sore conflict.

6. Criminal; evil.

SORE, adv.

1. With painful violence; intensely; severely; grievously. They hand presseth me sore.

2. Greatly; violently; deeply. He was sorely afflicted at the loss of his son. Sore sigh’d the knight, who this long sermon heard.

SORE, v.t. To wound; to make sore.
SORE, n. A hawk of the first year.

SOREHON, SORN, n. A kind of servile tenure which subjected the tenant to maintain his chieftain gratuitously, whenever he wished to indulge himself in a debauch. So that when a person obtrudes himself on another for bed and board, he is said to sorn, or be a sorner.

SOREL, n. [dim. of sore.] A buck of the third year.

SORELY, adv. [from sore.]

1. With violent pain and distress; grievously; greatly; as, to be sorely pained or afflicted.

2. Greatly; violently; severely; as, to be sorely pressed with want; to be sorely wounded.

SORENESS, n. [from sore.]

1. The tenderness of any part of an animal body, which renders it extremely susceptible of pain from pressure; as the soreness of a boil, an abscess or wound.

2. Figuratively, tenderness of mind, or susceptibility of mental pain.

SORGO, n. A plant of the genus Holcus.

SORITES, n. In logic, an argument where one proposition is accumulated on another. Thus, all men of revenge have their souls often uneasy. Uneasy souls are a plague to themselves. Now to be one’s own plague is folly in the extreme.

SORORICIDE, n. [L. soror, sister, and cado, to strike, to kill.] The murder or murderer of a sister. [Little used, and obviously because the crime is very infrequent.]

SORRAGE, n. The blades of green wheat or barley. [Not used.]

SORRANCE, n. In farriery, any disease or sore in horses.

SORREL, a. Of a reddish color; as a sorel horse.

SORREL, n. A reddish color; a faint red.
SORREL, n. A plant of the genus Rumex, so named from its acid taste. The wood sorrel is of the genus Oxalis. The Indian red and Indian white sorrels are of the genus Hibiscus.

SORREL-TREE, n. A species of Andromeda.

SORRILY, adv. [from sorry.] Meanly; despicably; pitiably; in a wretched manner. Thy pipe, O Pan, shall help though I sing sorrily.

SORRINESS, n. Meanness; poorness; despicableness.

SORROW, n. The uneasiness or pain of mind which is produced by the loss of any good. or of frustrated hopes of good, or expected loss of happiness; to grieve; to be sad. I rejoice not that ye were made sorry, but the ye sorrowed to repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:9. Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they should see his face no more. Acts 20:38.

SORROWED, pp. Accompanied with sorrow. [Not in use.]


1. Sad; grieving for the loss of some good, or on account of some expected evil.

2. Deeply serious; depressed; dejected. 1 Samuel 1:15.

3. Producing sorrow; exciting grief; mournful; as a sorrowful accident.

4. Expressing grief; accompanied with grief; as sorrowful meat. Job 6:7.

SORROWFULLY, adv. In a sorrowful manner; in a manner to produce grief.

SORROWFULNESS, n. State of being sorrowful; grief.

SORROWING, ppr. Feeling sorrow, grief or regret.

SORROWING, n. Expression of sorrow.

SORROWLESS, a. Free from sorrow.


1. Grieved for the loss of some good; pained for some evil that has happened to one’s self or friends or country. It does not ordinarily imply severe grief, but rather slight or transient regret. It may be however, and often is used to express deep grief. We are sorry to lose the company of those we love; we are sorry to lose friends or property; we are sorry for the misfortunes of our friends or of out country. And the king was sorry. Matthew 14:9.

2. Melancholy; dismal.

3. Poor; mean; vile; worthless; as a sorry slave; a sorry excuse. Coarse complexions, and cheeks of sorry grain-

SORT, n. [L. sors, lot, chance, state, way, sort. This word is form the root of L. sortior; the radical sense of which is to start or shoot, to throw or to fall, to come suddenly. Hence sore is lot, chance, that which comes or falls. This sense of sort is probably derivative, signifying that which is thrown out, separated or selected.]

1. A kind or species; any number or collection of individual persons or thing characterized by the same or like qualities; as a sort of men; a sort of horses; a sort of trees; a sort of poems or writings. Sort is not a technical word, and therefore is used with less precision or more latitude than genus or species in the sciences.

2. Manner; form of being or acting. Flowers, in such sort worn, can neither be smelt not seen well by those that wear them. To Adam in what sort shall I appear?

3. Class or order; as men of the wiser sort, or the better sort; all sorts of people. [See Def. 1.]

4. Rank; condition above the vulgar. [Not in use.]

5. A company or knot of people. [Not in use.]

6. Degree of any quality. I shall not be wholly without praise, if in some sort I have copied his style.

7. Lot.

8. A pair; a set; a suit.

SORT, v.t.

1. To separate, as things having like qualities from other things, and place them in distinct classes or divisions; as, to sort cloths according to their colors; to sort wool or thread according to its fineness. Shell fish have been, be some of the ancients, compared and sorted with insects. Rays which differ in refrangibility may be parted and sorted from one another.

2. To reduce to order from a state of confusion. [See supra.]

3. To conjoin; to put together in distribution. The swain perceiving by her word ill sorted, that she was wholly from herself transported-

4. To cull; to choose from a number; to select. That he may sort her out a worthy spouse.

SORT, v.i.

1. To be joined with others of the same species. Nor do metals only sort with metals in the earth, and minerals with minerals.

2. To consort; to associate. The illiberality of parents towards children, makes them base and sort with any company.

3. To suit; to fit. They are happy whose natures sort with their vocations.

4. To terminate; to issue; to have success. [Not in use.]

5. To fall out. [Not in use.]


1. That may be sorted.

2. Suitable; befitting.

SORABLY, adv. Suitably; fitly.

SORTAL, a. Pertaining to or designating a sort. [Not in use.]

SORTANCE, n. Suitableness; agreement. [Not in use.]

SORTILEGE, n. [L. sortilegium; sors, lot, and lego, to select.] The act or practice of drawing lots. [Sortilegy is not used.]

SORTILEGIOUS, a. Pertaining to sortilege.

SORTITION, [L. sortitio.] Selection or appointment by lot.


1. The act of sorting; distribution into classes of kinds.

2. A parcel sorted. [This word is superseded by assortment, which see.]

SORY, n. A fossil substance, firm, but of a spungy, cavernous structure, rugged on the surface, and containing blue vitriol; a sulphate of iron.

SOSS, v.i. [This word is probably connected with the Armoric souez, surprise, the primary sense of which is to fall. See Souse.] To fall at once into a chair or seat; to sit lazily. [Not in use.]

SOT, n.

1. A stupid person; a blockhead; a dull fellow; a dolt.

2. A person stupefied by excessive drinking; an habitual drunkard. What can ennoble sots?

SOT, v.t. To stupefy; to infatuate; to besot. I hat to see a brave bold bellow sotted. [Not much used.] [See Besot.]
SOT, v.i. To tipple to stupidity. [Little used.]


1. Dull; stupid; senseless; doltish; very foolish. How ignorant are sottish pretenders to astrology!

2. Dull with intemperance.

SOTTISHLY, adv. Stupidly; senselessly; without reason.


1. Dullness in the exercise reason; stupidity. Few consider into what a degree of sottishness and confirmed ignorance men may sin themselves.

2. Stupidity from intoxication.

SOU, n. plu. sous. A French money of account, and a copper coin, in value the 20th part of a livre or of a franc.

SOUGH, n. suf. A subterraneous drain; a sewer. [Not in use.]