Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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SPECIAL_PLEA — SPERICALNESS

SPECIAL PLEA, in bar, is a plea which sets forth the particular facts or reasons why the plaintif’s demand should be barred as a release, accord, etc.

SPECIAL PROPERTY, a qualified or limited property, as the property which a man acquires in wild animals by reclaiming them.

SPECIAL SESSION OF A COURT, an extraordinary session; a session beyond the regular stated sessions; or in corporations and counties in England, a petty session held by a few justices for dispatching small business.

SPECIAL STATUE, is a private act of the legislature, such as respects a private act of the legislature, such as respect a private person or individual.

SPECIAL TAIL, is where a gift is restrained to certain hears of the donee’s body, and does not descend to the heirs in general.

SPECIAL VERDICT, is a verdict in which the jury find the facts and state them as proved, but leave the law arising from the facts to be determined by the court. Another method of finding a special verdict, is when the jury find a verdict generally for the plaintif, but subject to the opinion of the court on a special case stated by the counsel on both sides, with regard to a matter of law.

SPECIAL WARRENT, a warrant to take a person and bring him before a particular justice who granted the warrant.

SPECIAL, n. A particular. [Not Used.]

SPECIALIZE, v.t. To mention specially. [Not in use.]

SPECIALLY, adv.

1. Particularly; in a manner beyond what is common, or out of the ordinary course. Every signal deliverance form danger ought to be specially noticed as a divine interposition.

2. For a particular purpose. A meeting of the legislature is specially summoned.

3. Chiefly; specially.

SPECIALTY, n.

1. Particularity. specialty of rule hat been neglected.

2. A particular or peculiar case. Note. This word is now little used in the senses above. Its common acceptation is,

3. A special contract; an obligation or bond; the evidence of a debt by deed or instrument under seal. Such a debt is called a debt by specialty, in distinction from simple contract.

SPECIE, n. spe’shy. Coin; copper, silver or gold coined and used as a circulating medium of commerce. [See Special.]

SPECIES, n. spe’shiz. [L. from specio, to see. See Special.]

1. In zoology, a collection of organized beings derived from one common parentage by natural generation, characterized by one peculiar from one common parentage by natural generation, characterized by one peculiar form, liable to vary within certain narrow limits. These accidental and limited variations are varieties. Different races from the same parents are called varieties.

2. In botany, all the plants which spring from the same see, or which resemble each other in certain character or in variable forms. There are as many species as there are different in variable forms or circumstances only with in certain narrow limits. These accidental and limited variations are varieties. Different races from the same parents are called varieties.

3. In logic, a special idea, corresponding to the specific distinctions of things in nature.

4. Sort; kind; in a loose sense; as a species of low cunning in the world; as a species of generosity; a species of cloth.

5. Appearance to the senses; visible or sensible representation. An apparent diversity between the species visible and audible, is that the visible doth not mingle in the medium, but the audible doth. The species of letters illuminated with indigo and violet. [Little used.]

6. Representation to the min. Wit-the faculty of imagination in the writer, which searches over all the memory for the species or ideas of those things which it designs to present. [Little used.]

7. Show; visible exhibition. Shows and species serve best with the common people. [Not in use.]

8. Coin, or coined silver and gold, used as a circulating medium; as the current species of Europe. In modern practice. this word is contracted into specie. What quantity of specie has the bank in its vault? What is the amount of all the current specie in the country? What is the value in specie, of a bill of exchange? We receive payment for goods in specie, not in bank notes.

9. In pharmacy, a simple; a component part of a compound medicine.

10. The old pharmaceutical term for powders.

SPECIFIC, SPECIFICAL, a.

1. That makes a thing of the species of which it is designating the peculiar property of properties of a thing, which constitute its species, and distinguish it from other things. Thus we say, the specific form of an animal or a plant; the specific form of a cube or square; the specific qualities of a plant or a drug; the specific difference between an acid and an alkali; the specific distinction between virtue and vice. Specific difference is that primary attribute which distinguishes each species form one another.

2. In medicine, appropriate for the cure of a particular disease; that certainly cures or is less fallible than others; as a specific remedy for the gout. The Saratogs waters are found to be a specific remedy, or nearly so, for the cure of bilious complaints, so called.

SPECIFIC CHARACTER, in botany, a circumstance or circumstances distinguishing one species from every other species of the same genus.

SPECIFIC GRAVITY, in philosophy, the weight that belongs to an equal bulk of each body. [See Gravity.]

SPECIFIC NAME, in botany, is the trivial name as distinguished form the generic na, e. Specific name is now used for the name which, appended to the name of the genus, constitutes the distinctive name of the species; but it was originally applied by Linne to the essential character of the species, or the essential difference. The present specific names he at fist called the trivial names.

SPECIFIC, n. In medicine, a remedy that certainly cures particular disease.

SPECIFICALLY, adv. In such a manner as to constitute a species; according to the nature of the species. A body is specifically lighter than another, when it has less weight in the same bulk than the other. Human reason-differs specifically from the fantastic reason of brutes. -Those several virtues that are specifically requisite to a due performance of duty.

SPECIFICATION, n.

1. The act of determining by a mark or limit; notation of limits. The specification of limitation of the question hinders the disputers from wandering away from the precise point of inquiry.

2. The act of specifying; designation of particulars; particular mention; as the specification of a charge against a military or naval officer.

3. Article or thing specified.

SPECIFIED, pp. Particularized; specially named.

SPECIFY, v.t. To mention or name, as a particular thing; to designate in words so as to distinguish a thing from every other; as, to specify the uses of a plant; to specify the articles one wants to purchase. He has there given us an exact geography of Greece, where the countries and the uses of their soils are specified.

SPECIFYING, ppr. Naming of designating particularly.

SPECIMEN, n. [L. from species, with the termination men, which corresponds in sense to the English hood or ness.] A sample; a part or small portion of any thing, intended to exhibit the kind and quality of the whole, or of something not exhibited; as a specimen of a man’s handwriting; a specimen of painting or composition; specimen of one’s art or skill.

SPECIOUS, a. [L. speciosus.]

1. Showy; pleasing to the view. The rest, far greater part will deem in outward rites and specious form religion satisfied.

2. Apparently right; superficially fair, just or correct’ plausible; appearing well at first view; as specious reasoning; a specious argument; a specious objection; specious deeds. Temptation is of greater danger, because it is covered with the specious names of good nature, good manners, nobleness of mind, etc.

SPECIOUSLY, adv. With a fair appearance; with show of right; as, to reason speciously.

SPECK, n. [This word may be formed from peck, for peckled has been used for speckled, spotted as though pecked.]

1. A spot; a stain; a small place in any thing that is discolored by foreign matter, or is of a color different from that of the main substance; as a speck on paper or cloth.

2. A very small thing.

SPECK, v.t. To spot; to stain in spots or drops.

SPECKLE, n. A little spot in any thing, of a different substance or color from that of the thing itself.

SPECKLE, v.t. To mark with small spots of a different color; used chiefly in the participle passive, which see.

SPECKLED, pp. or a. Marked with specks; variegated with spots of a different color from the ground or surface of the object; as the speckled breast of a bird; a speckled serpent.

SPECKLED BIRD, a denomination given to a person of doubtful character or principles.

SPECKLEDNESS, n. The state of being speckled.

SPECKLING, ppr. Marking with small spots.

SPECKTACLE, n. [L. spectaculum, from specto, to behold; specio, to see.]

1. A show; something exhibited to view; usually, something presented to view as extraordinary, or something that is beheld as unusual and worthy of special notice. Thus we call things exhibited for amusement, public spectacles, as the combats of gladiators in ancient Rome. We are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. 1 Corinthians 4:9.

2. Any thing seen; a sight. A drunkard is a shocking spectacle.

3. Spectacles, in the plural, glasses to assist the sight.

4. Figuratively, something that aids the intellectual sight. Shakespeare needed not the spectacles of books to read nature.

SPECTACLED, a. Furnished with spectacles.

SPECTACULAR, a. Pertaining to shows.

SPECTATION, n. [L. spectatio.] Regard; respect. [Little used.]

SPECTATOR, n. [L. whence]

1. One that looks on; one that sees or beholds; a beholder; as the spectators of the show.

2. One personally present. The spectators were numerous.

SPECTATORIAL, a. Pertaining to the Spectator.

SPECTATORSHIP, n.

1. The act of beholding.

2. The office or quality of a spectator.

SPECTATRESS, SPECTATRIX, n. [L. spectatrix.] A female beholder or looker on.

SPECTER, n. [L. spectrum, from specto, to behold.]

1. An apparition; the appearance of a person who is dead; a ghost. The ghosts of traitors from the bridge descend, With bold fanatic specters to rejoice.

2. Something made preternaturally visible.

3. In conchology, a species of voluta, marked with reddish broad bands.

SPECTRUM, n. [L.] A visible form; an image of something seen, continuing after image of something seen, continuing after the eyes are closed, covered or turned away. This is called an ocular spectrum.

SPECULAR, a. [L. specularis, from speculum, a mirror, from specio, to see.]

1. Having the qualities of a mirror or looking glass; having a smooth reflecting surface; as a specular metal; a specular surface.

2. Assisting sight. [Improper and not used.]

3. Affording view.

SPECULATE, v.i. [L. speculor, to view, to contemplate, from specio, to see.]

1. To meditate; to contemplate; to consider a subject by turning it in the mind and viewing it in its different aspects and relations; as, to speculate on political events; to speculate on the probable results of a discovery.

2. In commerce, to purchase land, goods, stock or other things, with the expectation of an advance in price, and of selling the articles with a profit by means of such advance; as, to speculate in coffee, or in sugar, or in six percent stock, or in bank stock.

SPECULATE, v.t. To consider attentively; as, to speculate the nature of a thing. [Not in use.]

SPECUATION, n.

1. Examination by the eye; view [Little used.]

2. Mental view of any thing in its various aspects and relations; contemplation; intellectual examination. The events of the day afford matter of serious speculation to the friends of christianity. Thenceforth to speculations high or deep. I turn’d my thoughts-

3. Train of thoughts formed by meditation. From him Socrates derived the principles of morality and most part of his natural speculations.

4. Mental scheme; theory; views of a subject not verified by fact or practice. This globe, which was formerly round only in speculation, has been circumnavigated. The application of steam to navigation is no longer a matter of mere speculation. Speculations which originate in guilt, must end in ruin.

5. Power of sight. Thou hast no speculation in those eyes. [Not in use.]

6. In commerce, the act or practice of buying land or goods, etc. in expectation of a rise as distinguished from a regular trade, in which the profit expected is the difference between the retail and wholesale prices, or the difference of price in the place where the good are purchased, and the place to which they are to be carried for market. In England, France and America, public stock is the subject of continual speculation. In the United States, a few men have been enriched, but many have been ruined by speculation.

SPECULATIST, n. One who speculates or forms theories; a speculator.

SPECULATIVE, a.

1. Given to speculation; contemplative; applied to persons. The min of man being by nature speculative-

2. Formed by speculation; theoretical; ideal; not verified by fact, experiment or practice; as a scheme merely speculative.

3. Pertaining to view; also, prying.

SPECULATIVELY, adv.

1. In contemplation; with meditation.

2. Ideally; theoretically; in theory only, not in practice. Propositions seem often to be speculatively true, which experience does not verify.

SPECULATIVENESS, n. The state of being speculative, or of consisting in speculation only.

SPECULATOR, n.

1. One who speculates or forms theories.

2. An observer; a contemplator.

3. A spy; a watcher.

4. In commerce, one who buys goods, land or other thing, with the expectation of a rise of price, and of deriving profit from such advance.

SPECULATORY, a.

1. Exercising speculation.

2. Intended or adapted for viewing or espying.

SPECULM, n. [L.]

1. A mirror or looking glass.

2. A glass that reflects the images of objects.

3. A metallic reflector used in catadioptric telescopes.

4. In surgery, an instrument for dilating and keeping open certain parts of the body.

SPED, pret. and pp. of speed.

SPEECH, n.

1. The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words, as in human beings; the faculty of expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds. Speech was given to man by his Creator for the noblest purposes.

2. Language; words as expressing ideas. The acts of God to human ears cannot without process of speech be told.

3. A particular language, as distinct form others. Psalm 19:3.

4. That which is spoken; words uttered in connection and expressing thoughts. You smile at my speech.

5. Talk; mention; common saying. The duke did of me demand, what was the speech among the londoners concerning the French journey.

6. Formal discourse in public; oration; harangue. The member has made his first speech in the legislature.

7. Any declaration of thoughts. I, with leave of speech implor’d, repli’d.

SPEECH, v.i. To make a speech; to harangue. [Little used.]

SPEECHLESS, a.

1. Destitute or deprived of the faculty of speech. More generally,

2. Mute; silent; not speaking for a time. Speechless with wonder, and half dead with fear.

SPEECHLESSNESS, n. The state of being speechless; muteness.

SPEECH-MAKER, n. One who makes speeches; one who speaks much in a public assembly.

SPEED, v.i. pret. and pp. sped, speeded. [The L. expedio may be from the same root, which signifies to drive, to hurry, of the family of L. peto.]

1. To make haste; to move with celerity.

2. To have success; to prosper; to succeed; that is, to advance in one’s enterprise. He that’s once demi’d will hardly speed. Those that profaned and abused the second temple, sped no better.

3. To have any condition good or ill; to fare. Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped, The mightiest still upon the smallest fed.

SPEED, v.t.

1. TO dispatch; to send away in haste. He sped him thence home to his habitation.

2. To hasten; to hurry; to put in quick motion. -But sped his steps along the hoarse resounding shore.

3. TO hasten to a conclusion; to execute; to dispatch; as, to speed judicial acts.

4. To assist; to help forward; to hasten. -With rising gales that sped their happy flight.

5. To prosper; to cause to succeed. May heaven speed this undertaking.

6. To furnish in haste.

7. To dispatch; to kill; to ruin; to destroy. With a speeding thrust his heart he found. A dire dilemma! either way I’m sped; If foes, they write if friends they read me dead.

Note In the phrase, “God speed,” there is probably a gross mistake in considering it as equivalent to “may God give you success.” The true phrase is probably “good speed; good, in Saxon, being written god. I bid you or wish you good speed, that is, good success.

SPEED, n.

1. Swiftness; quickness; celerity; applied to animals. We say, a man or a horse runs or travels with speed; a fowl flies with speed. We speak of the speed of a fish in the water, but we do not speak of the speed of a river, or of wind, or of a falling body. I think however I have seen the word applied to the lapse of time and the motion of lightning, but in poetry only.

2. Haste; dispatch; as, to perform a journey with speed; to execute an order with speed.

3. Rapid pace; as a horse of speed. We say also, high speed, full speed.

4. Success; prosperity in an undertaking; favorable issue; that is, advance to the desired end. O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day. Genesis 24:12. This use is retained in the proverb, “to make more haste than good speed,” and in the Scriptural phrase, “to bid one good speed,” [Not God speed, as erroneously written.]

SPEEDILY, adv. Quickly; with haste; in a short time. Send speedily to Bertram.

SPEEDINESS, n. The quality of being speedy; quickness; celerity; haste; dispatch.

SPEEDWELL, n. A plant of the genus Veronica.

SPEEDY, a.

1. Quick; swift; nimble; hasty; rapid in motion; as a speedy flight; on speedy foot.

2. Quick in performance; not dilatory or slow; as a speedy dispatch of business.

SPEET, v.t. [from the root of spit.] To stab. [Not in use.]

SPEIGHT, n. A wood pecker. [Not in use.]

SPELK, n. A splinter; a small stick or rod used in thatching.

SPELL, n. [The verb primarily signifies to throw or drive, and is probably formed on the root of L. pello. In some of the application of spell, we observe the sense of turn. We observe the same in throw, warp, cant, etc.]

1. A story; a tale.

2. A charm consisting of some words of occult power. Start not; her actions shall be holy; you hear my speel is lawful. Begin, begin; the mystic spell prepare.

3. A turn of work; relief; turn of duty. Take a spell at the pump. Their toil is so extreme, that they cannot endure it above four hours in a day, but are succeed by spells.

4. In New England, a short time; a little time. [Not elegant.]

5. A turn of gratuitous labor, sometimes accompanied with presents. People give their neighbors a spell.

SPELL, v.t. pret. and pp. spelled or spelt.

1. To tell or name the letters of a word, with a proper division of syllables, for the with a proper division of syllables, for the purpose of learning the pronunciation. In this matter children learn to read by first spelling the words.

2. To write or print with the proper letters; to form words by correct orthography. The word satire ought to be spelled with i, and not with y.

3. To take another’s place or turn temporarily in any labor or service. [This is a popular use of the word in New England.]

4. To charm; as spelled with words of power.

5. To read; to discover by characters or marks; with out; as, to speel out the sense of an author. We are not left to spell out a God in the works of creation.

6. To tell; to relate; to teach. [Not in use.]

SPELL, v.i.

1. To form words with the proper letters, either in reading or writing. He knows not how to spell. Our orthography is so irregular that most persons never learn to spell.

2. To read.

SPELLED, SPELT, pret. and pp. of spell.

SPELLER, n. One that spells; one skilled in spelling.

SPELLING, ppr.

1. Naming the letters of a word, or writing them; forming words with their proper letters.

2. Taking another’s turn.

SPELLING, n.

1. The act of naming the letters of a word, or the act of writing or printing words with their proper letters.

2. Orthography; the manner of forming words with letters. Bad spelling is disreputable to a gentleman.

SPELLING-BOOK, n. A book for teaching children to spell and read.

SPELT, n. A species of grain of the genus Triticum; called also German wheat.

SPELT, v.t. To split. [Not in use.]

SPELTER, n. Common zink, which contains a portion of lead, copper, iron, a little arsenic, manganese and plumbago.

SPENCE, n. spens. A buttery; a larder; a place where provisions are kept.

SPENCER, n.

1. One who has the care of the spence or buttery.

2. A kind of short coat.

SPEND, v.t. pret. and pp. spent. [L. expendo; from the root of L. pando, pendeo, the primary sense of which is to strain, to open or spread; allied to span, pane, etc.]

1. To lay out; to dispose of; to part with; as, to spend money for clothing. Why do ye spend money for that which is not bread? Isaiah 55:2.

2. To consume; to waste; to squander; as to spend an estate in gaming or other vices.

3. To consume; to exhaust. The provisions were spent, and the troops were in want.

4. To bestow for any purpose; often with on or upon. It is folly to spend words in debate on trifles.

5. To effuse. [Little used.]

6. To pass, as time; to suffer to pass away. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Job 21:13.

7. To lay out; to exert or to waste; to wear away; as, to spend one’s strength.

8. To exhaust of force; to waste; to wear away; as, a ball had spend its force. The violence of the waves was spent. Heaps of spent arrows fall and strew the ground.

9. To exhaust of strength; to harass; to fatigue. Their bodies spent with long labor and thirst-

SPEND, v.i.

1. To make expense; to make disposition of money. He spends like a prudent man.

2. To be lost or wasted; to vanish; to be dissipated. The sound spendeth and is dissipated in the open air.

3. To prove in the use. -Butter spent as if it cam from the richer soil.

4. To be consumed. Candles spend fast in a current of air Our provision spend rapidly.

5. To be employed to any use. The vines they use for wine are so often cut, that their sap spendeth into the grapes. [Unusual.]

SPENDER, n. One that spends; also, a prodigal; a lavisher.

SPENDING, ppr. Laying out; consuming; wasting; exhausting.

SPENDTHRIFT, n. [spend and thrift.] One who spends money profusely or improvidently; a prodigal; one who lavishes his estate.

SPERABLE, a. [L. sperabilis, from spero, to hope.] That may be hoped. [Not in use.]

SPERM, n. [L. sperma.]

1. Animal seed; that by which the species is propagated.

2. The head matter of a certain species of whale, called cachalot. It is called by the French blanc de baleine, the white of whales. It is found also in other parts of the body; but it is improperly named, not being a spermatic substance. Of this matter are mad candles of a beautiful white color.

3. Spawn of fishes or frogs.

SPERMACETO, n. [L. sperma, sperm, and cetus, a whale. It is pronounced as it is written.] The same as sperm.

SPERMATIC, a.

1. Consisting of seed; seminal.

2. Pertaining to the semen, or conveying it; as spermatic vessels.

SPERMATIZE, v.i. To yield seed. [Not in use.]

SPERMATOCELE, n. A swelling of the spermatic vessels, or vessels of the testicles.

SPERSE, v.t. To disperse. [Not in use.]

SPET, v.t. To spit; to throw out. [Not in use.]

SPET, n. Spittle, or a flow. [Not in use.]

SPEW, SPUE, v.t. [L. spuo.]

1. To vomit; to puke; to eject from the stomach.

2. To eject; to cast forth.

3. To cast out with abhorrence. Leviticus 18:28.

SPEW, v.i. To vomit; to discharge the contents of the stomach.

SPEWED, pp. Vomited; ejected.

SPEWER, n. One who spews.

SPEWING, ppr. Vomiting; ejecting from the stomach.

SPEWY, a. Wet; foggy.

SPHACELATE, v.i. [See Sphacelus.]

1. To mortify; to become gangrenous; as flesh.

2. To decay or become carious, as a bone.

SPHACELATE, v.t. To affect with gangrene.

SPHACLATION, n. The process of becoming or making gangrenous; mortification.

SPHACELUS, n.

1. In medicine and surgery, gangrene; mortification of the flesh of a living animal.

2. Caries or decay of a bone.

SPHAGNOUS, a. [shagnum, bog-moss. Linne.] Pertaining to bog-moss; mossy.

SPHENE, n. A mineral composed of nearly equal parts of oxyd of titanium, silex and lime. Its colors are commonly grayish, yellowish, redish and blackish brown, and various shades of green. It is found amorphous and in crystals.

SPHENOID, SPHENOIDAL, a. Resembling a wedge. The spenoid bone, is the pterygoid bone of the basis of the skull.

SPHERE, n. [L. sphera.]

1. In geometry, a solid body contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point called its center. The earth is not an exact sphere. The sun appears to be a sphere.

2. An orb or globe of the mundane system. First the sun, a mighty sphere, he fram’d. Then mortal ears had heard the music of the spheres.

3. An orbicular body, or a circular figure representing the earth or apparent heavens.

4. Circuit of motion; revolution; orbit; as the diurnal sphere.

5. The concave or vast orbicular expanse in which the heavenly orbs appear.

6. Circuit of action, knowledge or influence; compass; province; employment. Every man has his particular sphere of action, in which it should be his ambition to excel. Events of this kind have repeatedly fallen within the sphere of my knowledge. This man treats of matters not within his sphere.

7. Rank; order of society. Persons moving in a higher sphere claim more deference.

Sphere Of Activity of a body, the whole space or extent reached by the effluvia emitted from it.

A Right Sphere, that aspect of the heavens in which the circles of daily motion of the heavenly bodies, are perpendicular to the horizon. A spectator at the equator views a right sphere.

A Parallel Sphere, that in which the circles of daily motion are parallel to the horizon. A spectator at either of the poles, would view a parallel sphere.

An Oblique Sphere, that in which the circles of daily motion are oblique to the horizon. as is the case to a spectator at any point between the equator and either pole.

Armillary Sphere, an artificial representation of the circles of the sphere, by means of brass rings.

SPHERE, v.t.

1. To place in a sphere. The glorious planet Sol in novel eminence enthron’d, and spher’d amidst the res. [Unusual.]

2. To form into roundness; as light sphered in a radiant cloud.

SPHERIC, SPHERICAL, a. [L. sphericus.]

1. Globular; orbicular; having a surface in every part equally distant from the center; as a spherical body. Drops of water take a spherical form.

2. Planetary; relating to the orbs of the planets. We make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon and the stars, as if we were villains by spherical predominance.

Spherical Geometry. that branch of geometry which teats of spherical magnitudes.

Spherical Triangle, a triangle formed by the mutual intersection of three great circles of the sphere.

Spherical Trigonometry, that branch of trigonometry which teaches to compute the sides and angles of spherical triangles.

SPERICALLY, adv. In the form of a sphere.

SPERICALNESS, SPERICITY, n. The state or quality of being orbicular or spherical; roundness; as the sphericity of a drop of water.