Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SOUGHT, pret. and pp. of seek, pron, sawt. I am found of them who sought me not. Isaiah 65:1.

SOUL, n.

1. The spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason, and which renders him a subject of moral government. The immortality of the soul is a fundamental article of the christian system. Such is the nature of the human soul that it must have a God, an object of supreme affection.

2. The understanding; the intellectual principle. The eyes of our soul then only begin to see, when our bodily eye are closing.

3. Vital principle. Thou son, of this great world both eye and soul.

4. Spirit; essence; chief part; as charity, the soul of all the virtues. Emotion is the soul of eloquence.

5. Life; animation principle or part; as, an able commander is the soul of an army.

6. Internal power. There is some soul of goodness in things evil.

7. A human being; a person. There was no a soul present. In Paris there are more than seven hundred thousand souls. London, Westminster, Southwark and the suburbs, are said to contain twelve hundred thousand souls.

8. Animal life. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Psalm 33:19.

9. Active power. And heaven would fly before the driving soul.

10. Spirit; courage; fire; grandeur of mind. That he wants caution he must needs confess, but not a soul to give our arms success.

11. Generosity; nobleness of mind; a colloquial use.

12. An intelligent being. Every soul in heav’n shall bend the knee.

13. Heart; affection. The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David. 1 Samuel 18:1.

14. In Scripture, appetite; as the full soul; the hungry soul. Proverbs 27:7; Job 33:20.

15. A familiar compellation of a person, but often expressing some qualities of the mind; as alas, poor soul; he was a good soul.

SOUL, v.t. To endure with a soul. [Not in use.]
SOUL, SOWL, v.i. To afford suitable sustenance. [Not in use.]

SOUL-BELL, n. The passing bell.

SOUL-DESTROYING, a. Pernicious to the soul. Procrastination of repentance and faith is a soul-destroying evil.

SOUL-DISEASED, a. Diseased in soul or mind. [Not in use.]

SOULED, a. Furnished with a soul or mind; as Grecian chiefs largely souled. [Little used.]

SOULLESS, a. Without a soul, or without greatness or nobleness of mind; mean; spiritless. Slave, soulless villain.

SOUL-SCOT, SOUL-SHOT, n. [soul and scot.] A funeral duty, or money paid by the Romanists in former times for a requiem for the soul.

SOUL-SELLING, a. [soul and sell.] Selling persons; dealing in the purchase and sale of human beings.

SOUL-SICK, a. [soul and sick.] Diseased in mind or soul; morally diseased.

SOUND, a. [L. sanus.]

1. Entire; unbroken; not shaky, split or defective; as sound timber.

2. Undecayed; whole; perfect, or not defective; as sound fruit; a sound apple or melon.

3. Unbroken; not bruised or defective; not lacerated or decayed; as a sound limb.

4. Not carious; not decaying; as a sound tooth.

5. Not broken or decayed; not defective; as a sound ship.

6. Whole; entire; unhurt; unmutilated; as a sound body.

7. Healthy; not diseased; not being in a morbid state; having all the organs complete and in perfect action; as a sound body; sound health; a sound constitution; a sound man; a sound horse.

8. Founded in truth; firm; strong; valid; solid; that cannot be overthrown or refuted; as sound reasoning; a sound argument; a sound objection; sound doctrine; sound principles.

9. Right; correct; well founded; free form error; orthodox. 2 Timothy 1:7, 13. Let my heart be sound in thy statutes. Psalm 119:80.

10. Heavy; laid on with force; as sound strokes; a sound beating.

11. Founded in right and law; legal; valid; not defective; that cannot be overthrown; as a sound title to land; sound justice.

12. Fast; profound; undisturbed; as sound sleep.

13. Perfect, as intellect; not broken or defective; not enfeebled by age or accident; not wild or wandering; not deranged; as a sound mind; a sound understanding or reason.

SOUND, adv. Soundly; heartily. So sound he slept that nought might him awake.
SOUND, n. The air bladder of a fish.
SOUND, n. [L. natatio. can this name be given to a narrow sea because wild beasts were accustomed to pass it by swimming, like Bosporus; or is the word from the root of sound, whole, denoting a stretch, or narrowness, from stretching, like straight?] A narrow passage of water, or a strait between the main land and an isle; or a strait connecting two seas, or connecting a sea or lake with the ocean; as the sound which connect the Baltic with the ocean, between Denmark and Sweden; the sound that separates Long Island from the main land of New York and Connecticut.
SOUND, n. [See the following verb.] An instrument which surgeons introduce into the bladder, in order to discover whether there is a stone in the viscus or not.
SOUND, v.t. [L. sonus, Eng. sound, the primary sense of which is to stretch or reach.]

1. To try, as the depth of water and the quality of the ground, by sinking a plummet or lead, attached to a line on which are marked the number of fathoms. The lower end of the lead is covered with tallow, by means of which some portion of the earth, sand, gravel, shells, etc. of the bottom, adhere to it and are drawn up. By these means, and the depth of water and the nature of the bottom, which are carefully marked on good charts, seamen may know how far a ship is from land in the night or in thick weather, and in many cases when the land is too remote to be visible.

2. To introduce a sound into the bladder of a patient, in order to ascertain whether a stone is there or not. When a patient is to be sounded-

3. To try; to examine; to discover or endeavor to discover that which lies concealed in another’s breast; to search out the intention, opinion, will or desires. I was in jest, and by that offer meant to sound your breast. I’ve sounded my Numidians man by man.

SOUND, v.i. To use the line and lead in searching the depth of water. The shipmen sounded, and found it twenty fathoms. Acts 27:28.
SOUND, n. The cuttle fish.
SOUND, n. [L. sonus, from sonom to sound, sing, rattle, beat, etc. This may be a dialectical variation of L. tonus, tono, which seems to be allied to L. teneo.]

1. Noise; report; the object of hearing; that which strikes the ear; or more philosophically, an impression of the effect of an impression made on the organs of hearing by an impulse or vibration of the air, caused by a collision of bodies or by other means; as the sound of a trumpet or drum; the sound of a human voice; a horrid sound; a charming sound; a sharp sound; a high sound.

2. A vibration of air caused by a collision of bodies or other means, sufficient to affect the auditory nerves when perfect. Some persons are so entirely dear that they cannot hear the loudest sounds. Audible sounds are such as are perceptible by the organs of hearing. Sounds not audible to men, may be audible to animals of more sensible organs.

3. Noise without signification; empty noise; noise and nothing else. It is the sense and not the sound, that must be the principle.

SOUND, v.i.

1. To make a noise; to utter a voice; to make an impulse of the air that shall strike the organs of hearing with a particular effect. We say, an instrument sounds well or ill; it sound shrill; the voice sound harsh. And first taught speaking trumpet how to sound.

2. To exhibit by sound or likeness of sound. This relation sounds rather like a fiction that a truth.

3. To be conveyed in sound; to be spread or published. From you sounded out the word of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 1:8.

4. To sound in danger, in law. is when there is not specific value of property in demand to serve as a rule of damages, as in actions of tort or trespass, as distinguished from actions of debt, etc.

SOUND, v.t.

1. To cause to make a noise; as, to sound a trumpet or a horn.

2. To utter audibly; as, to sound a note with the voice.

3. To play on; as, to sound an instrument.

4. To order or direct by a sound; as, to sound a retreat.

5. To celebrate or honor by sounds; to cause to reported; as, to sound one’s praise.

6. To celebrate or honor by sounds; to cause to be reported; as, to sound one’s praise.

SOUND-BOARD, SOUNDING BOARD, n. A board which propagates the sound in an organ. To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes.


1. Caused to make a noise; uttered audibly.

2. Explored; examined.


1. Causing to sound; uttering audibly.

2. Trying the depth of water by the plummet; examining the intention or will.

3. a. Sonorous; making a noise.

4. Having a magnificent sound; as words more sounding or significant.


1. The act of uttering noise; the act or endeavoring to discover the opinion or desires; the act of throwing the lead.

2. In surgery, the operation of introducing the sound into the bladder; called searching for the stone.

SOUNDING-BOARD, n. A board or structure with a flat surface, suspended over a pulpit to prevent the sound of the preacher’s voice from ascending, and thus propagating it further in a horizontal direction. [Used in American churches.]

SOUNDING-ROD, n. A rod or piece of iron used to ascertain the depth of water in a ship’s hold. It is let down in a groove by a pump.

SOUNDINGS, n. Any place or part of the ocean, where a deep sounding line will reach the bottom; also, the kind of ground or bottom where the lead reaches.

SOUNDLESS, a. That cannot be fathomed; having no sound.

SOUNDLY, adv. [from sound, entire.]

1. Healthily; heartily.

2. Severely; lustily; with heavy blows; smartly; as, to beat one soundly.

3. Truly; without fallacy or error; as, to judge or reason soundly.

4. Firmly; as a doctrine soundly settled.

5. Fast; closely; so as not to be easily awakened; as, to sleep soundly.


1. Wholeness; entireness; an unbroken, unimpaired or undecayed state; as the soundness of timber, of fruit, of the teeth, of a limb, etc.

2. An unimpaired state of an animal or vegetable body; a state in which the organs are entire and regularly perform their functions. We say, the soundness of the body, the soundness of the constitution, the soundness of health.

3. Firmness; strength; solidity; truth; as soundness of reasoning or argument, of doctrine or principles.

4. Truth; rectitude; firmness; freedom from error or fallacy; orthodoxy; as soundness of faith.

SOUP, n. [See Sup and Sop.] Broth; a decoction of flesh for food.

SOUP, v.t. To sup; to breathe out. [Not in use.]
SOUP, v.t. To sweep. [Not in use.] [See Sweep and Swoop.]

SOUR, a.

1. Acid; having a pungent taste; sharp to the taste; tart; as, vinegar is sour; sour cider; sour beer.

2. Acid and austere or astringent; as, sunripe fruits are often sour.

3. Harsh of temper; crabbed; peevish; austere; morose; as a man of a sour temper.

4. Afflictive; as sour adversities. [Not in use.]

5. Expressing discontent or peevishness. He never uttered a sour word. The lord treasurer often looked on me with a sour countenance.

6. Harsh to the feelings; cold and damp; as sour weather.

7. Rancid; musty.

8. Turned, as milk; coagulated.

SOUR, n. An acid substance.
SOUR, v.t.

1. To make acid; to cause to have a sharp taste. So the sun’s heat, with different pow’rs, ripens the grape, the liquor sours.

2. To make harsh, cold or unkindly. Tufts of grass sour land.

3. To make harsh in temper; to make cross, crabbed, peevish or discontented. Misfortunes often sour’d, nor wrath debas’d my heart.

4. To make uneasy or less agreeable. Hail, great king! To sour your happiness I must report the queen is dead.

5. In rural economy, to macerate, as lime, and render fir for plaster or mortar.

SOUR, v.i.

1. To become acid; to acquire the quality of tartness or pungency to the taste. Cider sours rapidly in the rays of the sun. When food sours in the stomach, it is evidence of imperfect digestion.

2. TO become peevish or crabbed. They hinder the hatred of vice from souring into severity.

SOURCE, n. [L. surgo.]

1. Properly, the spring or fountain from which a stream of water proceeds, or any collection of water within the earth or upon its surface, in which a stream originates. This is called also the head of the stream. We call the water of a spring, where it issues from the earth, the source of the stream or rivulet proceeding form it. We say also that springs have their sources in subterranean ponds, lakes or collections of water. We say also that a large river has is source in a lake. For example, the St. Lawrence has its source in the great lakes of America.

2. First cause; original; that which gives rise to any thing. Thus ambition, the love of power and of fame, have been the sources of half the calamities of nations. Intemperance is the source of innumerable evils to individuals.

3. The first producer; he or that which originates; as Greece the source of arts.

SOURDET, n. The little pipe of a trumpet.

SOUR-DOCK, n. Sorrel, so called.

SOURED, pp. Made sour; made peevish.

SOUR-GOURD, n. A plant of the genus Adansonia.

SOURING, ppr. Making acid; becoming sour; making peevish.

SOURING, n. That which makes acid.

SOURISH, a. Somewhat sour; moderately acid; as sourish fruit; a sourish taste.

SOURLY, adv.

1. With acidity.

2. With peevishness; with acrimony. The stern Athenian prince the sourly smil’d.

3. Discontentedly.


1. Acidity; sharpness to the taste; tartness; as the sourness of vinegar or of fruit. Sourness being one of those simple ideas which one cannot describe.

2. Asperity; harshness of temper. Take care that no sourness and moroseness mingle with our seriousness of mind.

SOUR-SOP, n. A plant, the annona muricata. The custard apple.

SOUS, n. plu. of sou or sol. [See Sou.]


1. Pickle made with salt.

2. Something kept or steeped on pickle.

3. The ears, feet, etc. of swine. [America.]

SOUSE, v.t.

1. To steep in pickle. But souse the cabbage with a bounteous heart.

2. To plunge into water. They soused me into the Thames, with as little remorse as they drown blind puppies.

SOUSE, v.i. [See Soss. This word is probably the same as the preceding, to plunge, to dip; I believe from the Armoric.] To fall suddenly on; to rush with speed; as a hawk on its prey. Jove’s bird will souse upon the tim’rous hare.
SOUSE, v.t. To strike with sudden violence.
SOUSE, adv. With sudden violence. [This word is low and vulgar.]

SOUTER, n. [L. sutor.] A shoemaker; a cobler. [Not in use.]

SOUTERLY, adv. Like a cobler. [Not in use.]

SOUTERRAIN, n. A grotto or cavern under ground. [Not English.]


1. The north and south are opposite points in the horizon; each ninety degrees or the quarter of a great circle distant from the east and west. A man standing with his face towards the east or rising sun, has the south on his right hand. The meridian of every place is a great circle passing through the north and south points. Strictly, south is the horizontal point in the meridian of a place, on the right hand of a person standing with his face towards the east. But the word is applied to any point in the meridian, between the horizon and the zenith.

2. In a less exact sense, any point or place on the earth or in the heavens, which is near the meridian towards the right hand as one faces the east.

3. A southern region, country or place; as the queen of the south, in Scriptures. So in Europe, the people of Spain and Italy are spoken of as living in the south. In the United States, we speak of the states of the south, and of the north.

4. The wind that blows from the north. [Not used.]


1. In any place north of the tropic of Cancer, pertaining to or lying in the meridian towards the sun; as a south wind.

2. Being in a southern direction; as the south sea.

SOUTH, adv. Towards the south. A ship sails south; the wind blows south.

SOUTHEAST, n. The point of the compass equally distant from the south and east.

SOUTHEAST, a. In the direction of southeast, or coming from the southeast; s a southeast wind.

SOUTHEASTERN, a. Towards the southeast.

SOUTHERLY, a. suth’erly.

1. Lying at the south, or in a direction nearly south; as a southerly point.

2. Coming from the south or a point nearly south; as a southerly wind.

SOUTHERN, a. suth’ern.

1. Belonging to the south; meridional; as the southern hemisphere.

2. Lying towards the south; as a southern country or climate.

3. Coming form the south; as a southern breeze.

SOUTHERNLY, a. suth’ernly. Towards the south.

SOUTHERNMOST, a. suth’ernmost. Furthest towards the south.

SOTHERNWOOD, n. suth’ernwood, A plant agreeing in most parts with the wormwood. The southernwood is the Artemisia abrotanum, a different species form the wormwood.

SOUTHING, a. Going towards the south; as the southing sun.


1. Tendency or motion to the south.

2. The southing of the moon, the time at which the moon passes the meridian.

3. Course or distance south; as a ship’s southing.

SOUTHMOST, a. Furthest towards the south.


SOUTHWARD, adv. suth’ard. Towards the south; as, to go southward.

SOUTHWARD, n. suth’ard. The southern regions or countries.

SOUTHWEST, n. [south and west.] The point of the compass equally distant from the south and west.


1. Lying in the direction of the southwest; as a southwest country.

2. Coming from the southwest; as a southwest wind.


1. In the direction of southwest, or nearly so.

2. Coming from the southwest, or a point near it; as a southwesterly wind.

SOUTHWESTERN, In the direction of southwest, or nearly so; as, to sail a southwestern course.

SOVENANCE, n. Remembrance. [Not English, nor it used.]

SOUVENIR, n. A remembrance.

SOVEREIGN, a. suv’eran. [We retain this babarous orthography from the Norman sovereign. The true spelling would be suveran from the L. supernes, superus.]

1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.

2. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.

3. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy.

4. Supreme; pertaining to the first magistrate of a nation; as sovereign authority.

SOVEREIGN, n. suv’eran.

1. A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control. Some earthly princes, kings and emperors are sovereigns in their dominions.

2. A supreme magistrate; a king.

3. A gold coin of England, value 20s or $4.44

SOVEREIGNIZE, v.i. suv’eranize. To exercise supreme authority. [Not in use.]

SOVEREIGNLY, adv. suv’eranly. Supreme power; supremacy; the possession power. Absolute sovereignty belongs to God only.

SOW, n.

1. The female of the hog kind or of swine.

2. An oblong piece of lead.

3. An insect; a milleped.

SOW-BREAD, n. A plant of the genus Cyclamen.

SOW-BUG, n. An insect; a milleped.

SOW-THISTLE, n. A plant of the genus Sonchus. The downy sow-thistle is of the genus Andryala.

SOW, v.t. pret. sowed; pp. sowed or sown. [L. sevi. This word is probably contracted.]

1. To scatter on ground, for the purpose growth and the production of a crop; as, to sow good seed; to sow a bushel of wheat or rye to the acre; to sow oats, clover or barley; to sow seed in drills, or to sow it broad cast. Oats and flax should be sown early in the spring.

2. To scatter seed over for growth; as, to sow ground or land; to sow ten or a hundred acres in a year.

3. To spread or to originate; to propagate; as, to sow discord. Born to afflict my Marcia’s family, and sow dissension in the hearts of brothers.

4. To supply or stock with seed. The intellectual faculty is a goodly field, and it is the worst husbandry in the world to sow it with trifles.

5. To scatter over; to besprinkle. He sow’d with stars the heaven. Morn now sow’d the earth with orient pearl.

SOW, v.i. To scatter seed for growth and the production of a crop. In New England, farmers begin to sow in April. They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5.
SOW, for sew, is not in use. [See Sew.]

SOWCE, for souse. [See Souse.]

SOWED, pp. Scattered on ground, as seed; sprinkled with seed, as ground. We say, seed is sowed; or land is sowed.


1. He that scatters seed for propagation. Behold, a sower went forth to sow. Matthew 13:3.

2. One who scatters or spreads; as a sower of words.

3. A breeder; a promoter; as a sower of suits.

SOWING, ppr. Scattering, as seed; sprinkling with seed, as ground; stocking with seed.

SOWING, n. The act of scattering seed for propagation.

SOWINS, n. Flummery made of oatmeal somewhat soured. [Not used. I believe, in America.]

SOWL, v.t. To pull by the ears. [Not used in America.]

SOWN, pp. Scattered, as seed; sprinkled with seed, as ground.

SOY, n. A kind of source, used in Japan.

SOZZLE, n. [See Soss.] A sluttish woman, or one that spills water and other liquids carelessly. [New England.]

SPAAD, n. A kind of mineral; spar.

SPACE, n. [L. spatium, space; spatior, to wander. This word is probably formed on the root of pateo.]

1. Room; extension. Space in the abstract, is mere extension. Pure space is capable neither of resistance nor motion.

2. Any quantity of extension. In relation to bodies, space is the interval between any two or more object’ as the space between two stars or two hills The quantity of space or extent between bodies, constitutes their distance form each other.

3. The distance or interval between lines; as in books. The space in music are named as well as the lines.

4. Quantity of time; also, the interval between two points of time. Nine times the space that measures day and God may defer his judgment for a time, and give a people a longer space for repentance.

5. A short time; a while. To stay your deadly strife a space. [This sense is nearly obsolete.]

SPACE, v.i. To rove. [Not in use.]
SPACE, v.t. Among printers, to make space or wider intervals between lines.

SPACEFUL, a. Wide; extensive. [Not used.]

SPACIOUS, a. [L. spatiosus.]

1. Wide; roomy; having large or ample room; not narrow; as a spacious church; a spacious hall or drawing room.

2. Extensive; vast in extent; as the spacious earth; the spacious ocean.

SPACIOUSLY, adv. Widely; extensively.


1. Wideness; largeness of extent; roominess; as the spaciousness of the rooms in a building.

2. Extensiveness; vastness of extent; as the spaciousness of the ocean.

SPADDLE, n. [dim of spade.] A little spade.

SPADE, n. [L. spatula, from the root of pateo.]

1. An instrument for digging, consisting of a broad palm with a handle.

2. A suit of cards.

3. A deer three years old; written also spaid.

4. A gelded beast. [L. spado.]

SPADE-BONE, n. [spade and bone.] The shoulder blade. [I believe little used.]

SPADEFUL, n. [spade and full.] As much as a spade will hold.

SPADICEOUS, a. [L. spadiceus, from spadix, a light red color.]

1. Of a light red color, usually denominated bay.

2. In botany, a spadiceous flower, is a sort of aggregate flower, having a receptacle common to many florets, within a spathe, as in palms, dracontium, arum, etc.

SPADILLE, n. spadil’. The ace of spades at omber.

SPADIX, n. [L.] In botany, the receptacle in palms and some other plants, proceeding from a spathe.

SPADO, n. [L.] A gelding.

SPAGYRIC, a. [L. spagyricus.] Chemical. [Not in use.]

SPAGYRIC, n. A chemist. [Not in use.]

SPAGYRIST, n. A chemist. [Not in use.]

SPAHEE, SPAHI, n. [See Seapoy.] One of the Turkish cavalry.

SPAKE, pret. of speak; nearly obsolete. We not use spoke.

SPALL, n. The shoulder. [Not English.]

SPALT, SPELT, n. A whitish scaly mineral, used to promote the fusion of metals.

SPALT, a. Cracked, as timber.

SPAN, n. [This word is formed on the root of bend, L. pando. The primary sense is to strain, stretch, extend, hence to join a team.]

1. The space from the end of the thumb to the end of the little finger when extended; nine inches; the eighth of a fathom.

2. A short space of time. Life’s but a span; I’ll every inch enjoy.

3. A span of horses, consists of two of nearly the same color, and otherwise nearly alike, which are usually harness side by side. The word signifies properly the same as yoke, when applied to horned cattle, from buckling or fastening together. But in America, span always implies resemblance in color at least; it being an object of ambition with gentlemen and with teamters to unite two horses abreast that are alike.

4. In seamen’s language, a small line or cord, the middle of which is attached to a stay.

SPAN, v.t.

1. To measure by the hand with the fingers extended, or with the fingers encompassing the object; as, to span a space or distance; to span a cylinder.

2. To measure. This soul doth span the world.

SPAN, v.i. To agree in color, or in color and size; as, the horses span well. [New England.]
SPAN, pert. of spin. We now use spun.

SNANCEL, n. A rope to tie a cow’s hind legs.

SPANCEL, v.t. To tie the legs of a horse or cow with a rope .

SPANCOUNTER, SPANFARTING, n. A play at which within a span or circuit marked.

SPANDREL, n. The space between the curve of an arch and the right lines inclosing it.

SPANE, v.t. To wean, [Not in use.]

SPANG, n. A spangle or shining ornament; a thin piece of shining metal; something brilliant used as an ornament.

2. An y little thing sparkling and brilliant like pieces of metal; as crystals of ice. For the rich spangles that adorn the sky.

SPANGLE, v.t. To set or sprinkle with spangles; to adorn with small distinct brilliant bodies; as a spangled breastplate. What stars do spangle heaven with such beauty-

SPANGLED, pp. Set with spangles.

SPANGLING, ppr. Adorning with spangles.