Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SPISSITUDE, n. [supra.] Thickness of soft substances; the denseness or compactness which belongs to substances not perfectly liquid nor perfectly solid; as the spissitude of coagulated blood or of any coagulum.

SPIT, n. [G.]

1. An iron prong or bar pointed, on which meat is roasted.

2. Such depth of earth as is pierced by the spade at once. [D. spit, a spade.]

3. A small point of land running into the sea, or a long narrow shoal extending from the shore into the sea; as a spit of sand.

SPIT, v.t. [from the noun.]

1. To thrust a spit through; to put upon a spit; as, to spit a loin of veal.

2. To thrust through; to pierce.

SPIT, v.t. pret. and pp. spit. Spat is obsolete. [G. The sense is to throw or drive.]

1. To eject from the mouth; to thrust out, as saliva or other matter from the mouth.

2. To eject or throw out with violence.

SPIT, v.i. To throw out saliva from the mouth. It is a dirty trick to spit on the floor or carpet.
SPIT, n. What is ejected from the mouth; saliva.

SPITAL, SPITTEL, n. Corrupted from hospital. Rob not the spital, or charitable foundation. [Vulgar and not in use.]

SPITCHCOCK, v.t. To split an eel lengthwise and broil it.

SPITCHCOCK, n. An eel split and broiled.

SPITE, n. [L.] Hatred; rancor; malice; malignity; malevolence.

Spite, however, is not always synonymous with these words. It often denotes a less deliberate and fixed hatred than malice and malignity, and is often a sudden fit of ill will excited by temporary vexation. It is the effect of extreme irritation, and is accompanied with a desire of revenge, or at least a desire to vex the object of ill will.

Be gone, ye critics, and restrain your spite; Codrus writes on, and will for ever write.

In spite of, in opposition to all efforts; in defiance or contempt of. Sometimes spite of is used without in, but not elegantly. It is often used without expressing any malignity of meaning.

Whom God made use of to speak a word in season, and saved me in spite of the world, the devil and myself.

In spite of all applications, the patient grew worse every day.

To owe one a spite, to entertain a temporary hatred for something.

SPITE, v.t.

1. To be angry or vexed at.

2. To mischief; to vex; to treat maliciously; to thwart.

3. To fill with spite or vexation; to offend; to vex.

Darius, spited at the Magi, endeavored to abolish not only their learning but their language. [Not used.]

SPITED, pp. Hated; vexed.

SPITEFUL, a. Filled with spite; having a desire to vex, annoy or injure; malignant; malicious.

--A wayward son, spiteful and wrathful.

SPITEFULLY, adv. With a desire to vex, annoy or injure; malignantly; maliciously.

SPITEFULNESS, n. The desire to vex, annoy or mischief, proceeding from irritation; malice; malignity.

It looks more like spitefulness and ill nature, than a diligent search after truth.

SPITTED, pp. [from spit.]

1. Put upon a spit.

2. Shot out into length.


1. One that puts meat on a spit.

2. One who ejects saliva from his mouth.

3. A young deer whose horns begin to shoot or become sharp; a brocket or pricket.


1. Putting on a spit.

2. Ejecting saliva from the mouth.

SPITTLE, n. [from spit.]

1. Saliva; the thick moist matter which is secreted by the salivary glands and ejected from the mouth.

2. A small sort of spade. [spaddle.]

SPITTLE. [See Spital.]
SPITTLE, v.t. To dig or stir with a small spade. [Local.]

SPITVENOM, n. [spit and venom.] Poison ejected from the mouth.

SPLANCHNOLOGY, n. [Gr., bowels, discourse.]

1. The doctrine of the viscera; or a treatise or description of the viscera.

2. The doctrine of diseases of the internal parts of the body.

SPLASH, v.t. [formed on plash.] To spatter with water, or with water and mud.

SPLASH, v.i. To strike and dash about water.
SPLASH, n. Water or water and dirt thrown upon any thing, or thrown from a puddle and the like.

SPLASHY, a. Full of dirty water; wet; wet and muddy.

SPLAY, v.t. [See Display.]

1. To dislocate or break a horses shoulder bone.

2. To spread. [Little used.]

SPLAY, for display. [Not in use.]
SPLAY, a. Displayed; spread; turned outward.

SPLAYFOOT, SPLAYFOOTED, a. Having the foot turned outward; having a wide foot.

SPLAYMOUTH, n. A wide mouth; a mouth stretched by design.

SPLEEN, n. [L., Gr.]

1. The milt; a soft part of the viscera of animals, whose use is not well understood. The ancients supposed this to be the seat of melancholy, anger or vexation. Hence,

2. Anger; latent spite; ill humor. Thus we say, to vent ones spleen.

In noble minds some dregs remain, Not yet purged off, of spleen and sour disdain.

3. A fit of anger.

4. A fit; a sudden motion. [Not used.]

5. Melancholy; hypochondriacal affections.

--Bodies changd to recent forms by spleen.

6. Immoderate merriment. [Not in use.]

SPLEENED, a. Deprived of the spleen.


1. Angry; peevish; fretful.

Myself have calmd their spleenful mutiny.

2. Melancholy; hypochondriacal.

SPLEENLESS, a. Kind; gentle; mild.

SPLEENWORT, n. [L.] A plant of the genus Asplenium; miltwaste.


1. Angry; peevish; fretful.

A spleeny Lutheran, and not wholesome to our cause.

2. Melancholy; affected with nervous complaints.

SPLENDENT, a. [L., to shine.]

1. Shining; glossy; beaming with light; as splendent planets; splendent metals.

2. Very conspicuous; illustrious.

SPLENDID, a. [L., to shine. See Plain.]

1. Properly, shining; very bright; as a splendid sun. Hence,

2. Showy; magnificent; sumptuous; pompous; as a splendid palace; a splendid procession; a splendid equipage; a splendid feast or entertainment.

3. Illustrious; heroic; brilliant; as a splendid victory.

4. Illustrious; famous; celebrated; as a splendid reputation.


1. With great brightness or brilliant light.

2. Magnificently; sumptuously; richly; as a house splendidly furnished.

3. With great pomp or show. The king was splendidly attended.

SPLENDOR, n. [L. See Plant and Planet.]

1. Great brightness; brilliant luster; as the splendor of the sun.

2. Great show of richness and elegance; magnificence; as the splendor of equipage or of royal robes.

3. Pomp; parade; as the splendor of a procession or of ceremonies.

4. Brilliance; eminence; as the splendor of a victory.

SPLENDROUS, a. Having splendor. [Not in use.]

SPLENETIC, a. [L.] Affected with spleen; peevish; fretful.

You humor me when I am sick; Why not when I am splenetic.

SPLENETIC, n. A person affected with spleen.

SPLENIC, a. Belonging to the spleen; as the splenic vein.

SPLENISH, a. Affected with spleen; peevish; fretful.

SPLENITIVE, a. Hot; fiery; passionate; irritable. [Not in use.]

I am not splenitive and rash.


1. A callous substance or insensible swelling on the shank-bone of a horse.

2. A splint. [See Splint.]

SPLICE, SPLISE, v.t. [G.] To separate the strands of the two ends of a rope, and unite them by a particular manner of interweaving them; or to unite the end of a rope to any part of another by a like interweaving of the strands. There are different modes of splicing, as the short splice, long splice, eye splice, etc.

SPLICE, n. The union of ropes by interweaving the strands.


1. A piece of wood split off; a thin piece (in proportion to its thickness,) of wood or other solid substance, rent from the main body; as splinters of a ships side or mast, rent off by a shot.

2. In surgery, a thin piece of wood or other substance, used to hold or confine a broken bone when set.

3. A piece of bone rent off in a fracture.


1. To split or rend into long thin pieces; to shiver; as, the lightning splinters a tree.

2. To confine with splinters, as a broken limb.

SPLINTER, v.i. To be split or rent into long pieces.

SPLINTERED, pp. Split into splinters; secured by splints.

SPLINTERY, a. Consisting of splinters, or resembling splinters; as the splintery fracture of a mineral, which discovers scales arising from splits or fissures, parallel to the line of fracture.

SPLIT, v.t. pret. and pp. split. [G. See Spalt.]

1. To divide longitudinally or lengthwise; to separate a thing from end to end by force; to rive; to cleave; as, to split a piece of timber; to split a board. It differs from crack. To crack is to open or partially separate; to split is to separate entirely.

2. To rend; to tear asunder by violence; to burst; as, to split a rock or a sail.

Cold winter splits the rocks in twain.

3. To divide; to part; as, to split a hair. The phrases to split the heart, to split a ray of light, are now inelegant and obsolete, especially the former. The phrase, to split the earth, is not strictly correct.

4. To dash and break on a rock; as, a ship stranded and split.

5. To divide; to break into discord; as a people split into parties.

6. To strain and pain with laughter; as, to split the sides.

SPLIT, v.i.

1. To burst; to part asunder; to suffer disruption; as, vessels split by the freezing of water in them. Glass vessels often split when heated too suddenly.

2. To burst with laughter.

Each had a gravity would make you split.

3. To be broken; to be dashed to pieces. We were driven upon a rock, and the ship immediately split.

To split on a rock, to fail; to err fatally; to have the hopes and designs frustrated.

SPLITTER, n. One who splits.

SPLITTING, ppr. Bursting; riving; rending.

SPLUTTER, n. A bustle; a stir. [A low word and little used.]

SPLUTTER, v.i. To speak hastily and confusedly. [Low.]

SPODUMENE, n. [Gr., to reduce to ashes.] A mineral, called by Hauy triphane. It occurs in laminated masses, easily divisible into prisms with rhomboidal bases; the lateral faces smooth, shining and pearly; the cross fracture uneven and splintery. Before the blowpipe it exfoliates into little yellowish or grayish scales; whence its name.

SPOIL, v.t. [L., to pull asunder, to tear, to strip, to peel.]

1. To plunder; to strip by violence; to rob; with of; as, to spoil one of his goods or possessions.

My sons their old unhappy sire despise, Spoild of his kingdom, and deprivd of eyes.

2. To seize by violence; to take by force; as, to spoil ones goods.

This mount with all his verdure spoild--

3. To corrupt; to cause to decay and perish. Heat and moisture will soon spoil vegetable and animal substances.

4. To corrupt; to vitiate; to mar.

Spiritual pride spoils many graces.

5. To ruin; to destroy. Our crops are sometimes spoiled by insects.

6. To render useless by injury; as, to spoil paper by wetting it.

7. To injure fatally; as, to spoil the eyes by reading.

SPOIL, v.i.

1. To practice plunder or robbery.

--Outlaws which, lurking in woods, used to break forth to rob and spoil.

2. To decay; to lose the valuable qualities; to be corrupted; as, fruit will soon spoil in warm weather. Grain will spoil, if gathered when wet or moist.

SPOIL, n. [L.]

1. That which is taken from others by violence; particularly in war, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty.

2. That which is gained by strength or effort.

Each science and each art his spoil.

3. That which is taken from another without license.

Gentle gales fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole their balmy spoils.

4. The act or practice of plundering; robbery; waste.

The man that hath not music in himself, nor is not movd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils.

5. Corruption; cause of corruption.

Villainous company hath been the spoil of me.

6. The slough or cast skin of a serpent or other animal.

SPOILED, pp. Plundered; pillaged; corrupted; rendered useless.


1. A plunderer; a pillager; a robber.

2. One that corrupts, mars or renders useless.

SPOILFUL, a. Wasteful; rapacious. [Little used.]


1. Plundering; pillaging; corrupting; rendering useless.

2. Wasting; decaying.

SPOILING, n. Plunder; waste.

SPOKE, pret. of speak.

SPOKE, n. [G., this word, whose radical sense is to shoot or thrust, coincides with spike, spigot, pike, contracted from to spew.]

1. The radius or ray of a wheel; one of the small bars which are inserted in the hub or nave, and which serve to support the rim or felly.

2. The spar or round of a ladder. [Not in use in the United States.]

SPOKEN, pp. of speak. pron. spokn.

SPOKE-SHAVE, n. A kind of plane to smooth the shells of blocks.

SPOKESMAN, n. [speak, spoke, and man.] One who speaks for another.

He shall be thy spokesman to the people. Exodus 4:16.

SPOLIATE, v.t. [L.] To plunder; to pillage.

SPOLIATE, v.i. To practice plunder; to commit robbery. In time of war, rapacious men are let loose to spoliate on commerce.


1. The act of plundering, particularly of plundering an enemy in time of war.

2. The act or practice of plundering neutrals at sea under authority.

3. In ecclesiastical affairs, the act of an incumbent in taking the fruits of his benefice without right, but under a pretended title.

SPONDAIC, SPONDAICAL, a. [See Spondee.] Pertaining to a spondee; denoting two long feet in poetry.

SPONDEE, n. [L.] A poetic foot of two long syllables.

SPONDYL, SPONDYLE, n. [L., Gr.] A joint of the back bone; a verteber or vertebra.

SPONGE. [See Spunge.]

SPONK, n. [a word probably formed on punk.] Touchwood. In Scotland, a match; something dipped in sulphur for readily taking fire. [See Spunk.]

SPONSAL, a. [L., to betroth.] Relating to marriage or to a spouse.

SPONSION, n. [L., to engage.] The act of becoming surety for another.

SPONSOR, n. [L.] A surety; one who binds himself to answer for another, and is responsible for his default. In the church, the sponsors in baptism are sureties for the education of the child baptized.

SPONTANEITY, n. [L., of free will.] Voluntariness; the quality of being of free will or accord.

SPONTANEOUS, a. [L., of free will.]

1. Voluntary; acting by its own impulse or will without the incitement of any thing external; acting of its own accord; as spontaneous motion.

2. Produced without being planted, or without human labor; as a spontaneous growth of wood.

Spontaneous combustion, a taking fire of itself. Thus oiled canvas, oiled wool, and many other combustible substances, when suffered to remain for some time in a confined state, suddenly take fire, or undergo spontaneous combustion.


1. Voluntarily; of his own will or accord; used of animals; as, he acts spontaneously.

2. By its own force or energy; without the impulse of a foreign cause; used of things.

Whey turns spontaneously acid.


1. Voluntariness; freedom of will; accord unconstrained; applied to animals.

2. Freedom of acting without a foreign cause; applied to things.

SPONTOON, n. A kind of half pike; a military weapon borne by officers of infantry.

SPOOL, n. [G.] A piece of cane or reed, or a hollow cylinder of wood with a ridge at each end; used by weavers to wind their yarn upon in order to slaie it and wind in on the beam. The spool is larger than the quill, on which yarn is wound for the shuttle. But in manufactories, the word may be differently applied.

SPOOL, v.t. To wind on spools.

SPOOM, v.i. To be driven swiftly; probably a mistake for spoon. [See Spoon, the verb.]


1. A small domestic utensil, with a bowl or concave part and a handle, for dipping liquids; as a tea spoon; a table spoon.

2. An instrument consisting of a bowl or hollow iron and a long handle, used for taking earth out of holes dug for setting posts.

SPOON, v.i. To put before the wind in a gale. [I believe not now used.]

SPOON-BILL, n. [spoon and bill.] A fowl of the grallic order, and genus Platatea, so named from the shape of its bill, which is somewhat like a spoon or spatula. Its plumage is white beautiful.

SPOON-DRIFT, n. In seamens language, a showery sprinkling of sea water, swept from the surface in a tempest.

SPOONFUL, n. [spoon and full.]

1. As much as a spoon contains or is able to contain; as a tea spoonful; a table spoonful.

2. A small quantity of a liquid.

SPOON-MEAT, n. [spoon and meat.] Food that is or must be taken with a spoon; liquid food.

Diet most upon spoon-meats.

SPOON-WORT, n. A plant of the genus Cochlearia; scurvy grass.

SPORADIC, SPORADICAL, a. [Gr., separate, scattered; whence certain isles of Greece were called Sporades.] Separate; single; scattered; used only in reference to diseases. A sporadic disease, is one which occurs in particular persons and places, in distinction from an epidemic, which affects persons generally or in great numbers.

Sporadic diseases are opposed to epidemics, as accidental, scattered complaints, neither general nor contagious.


1. That which diverts and makes merry; play; game; diversion; also, mirth. The word signifies both the cause and the effect; that which produces mirth, and the mirth or merriment produced.

Her sports were such as carried riches of knowledge upon the stream of delight.

[Here the word denotes the cause of amusement.]

They called Samson out of the prison-house; and he made them sport. Judges 16:25.

[Here sport is the effect.]

2. Mock; mockery; contemptuous mirth.

Then make sport at me, then let me be your jest.

They made a sport of his prophets.

3. That with which one plays, or which is driven about.

To flitting leaves, the sport of every wind.

Never does man appear to greater disadvantage than when he is the sport of his own ungoverned passions.

4. Play; idle jingle.

An author who should introduce such a sport of words upon our stage, would meet with small applause.

5. Diversion of the field, as fowling, hunting, fishing.

In sport. To do a thing in sport, is to do it in jest, for play or diversion.

So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, am not I in sport? Proverbs 26:19.

SPORT, v.t.

1. To divert; to make merry; used with the reciprocal pronoun.

Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Isaiah 57:4.

2. To represent by any kind of play.

Now sporting on thy lyre the love of youth.

SPORT, v.i.

1. To play; to frolick; to wanton.

See the brisk lambs that sport along the mead.

2. To trifle. The man that laughs at religion sports with his own salvation.

SPORTER, n. One who sports.


1. Merry; frolicksome; full of jesting; indulging in mirth or play; as a sportful companion.

Down he alights among the sportful herd.

2. Ludicrous; done in jest or for mere play.

These are no sportful productions of the soil.

SPORTFULLY, adv. In mirth; in jest; for the sake of diversion; playfully.

SPORTFULNESS, n. Play; merriment; frolick; a playful disposition; playfulness; as the sportfulness of kids and lambs.


1. Gay; merry; wanton; frolicksome.

Is it I that drive thee from the sportive court?

2. Inclined to mirth; playful; as a sportive humor.


1. Playfulness; mirth; merriment.

2. Disposition to mirth.

SPORTLESS, a. Without sport or mirth; joyless.

SPORTSMAN, n. [sport and man.]

1. One who pursues the sports of the field; one who hunts, fishes and fowls.

2. One skilled in the sports of the field.

SPORTULARY, a. [L., a basket, an alms-basket.] Subsisting on alms or charitable contributions. [Little used.]

SPORTULE, n. [L., a little basket.] An alms; a dole; a charitable gift or contribution. [Not in use.]

SPOT, n. [We see this word is of the family of spatter, and that the radical sense is to throw or thrust. A spot is made by spattering or sprinkling.]

1. A mark on a substance made by foreign matter; a speck; a blot; a place discolored. The least spot is visible on white paper.

2. A stain on character or reputation; something that soils purity; disgrace; reproach; fault; blemish.

Yet Chloe sure was formd without a spot.

See 1 Peter 1:17; Ephesians 5:27.

3. A small extent of space; a place; any particular place.

The spot to which I point is paradise.

Fixd to one spot.

So we say, a spot of ground, a spot of grass or flowers; meaning a place of small extent.

4. A place of a different color from the ground; as the spots of a leopard.

5. A variety of the common domestic pigeon, so called from a spot on its head just above its beak.

6. A dark place on the disk or face of the sun or of a planet.

7. A lucid place in the heavens.

Upon the spot, immediately; before moving; without changing place. [So the French say, sur le champ.]

It was determined upon the spot.

SPOT, v.t.

1. To make a visible mark with some foreign matter; to discolor; to stain; as, to spot a garment; to spot paper.

2. To patch by way of ornament.

3. To stain; to blemish; to taint; to disgrace; to tarnish; as reputation.

My virgin life no spotted thoughts shall stain.

To stop timber, is to cut or chip it, in preparation for hewing.


1. Free from spots, foul matter or discoloration.

2. Free from reproach or impurity; pure; untainted; innocent; as a spotless mind; spotless behavior.

A spotless virgin and a faultless wife.

SPOTLESSNESS, n. Freedom from spot or stain; freedom from reproach.

SPOTTED, pp. Marked with spots or places of a different color from the ground; as a spotted beast or garment.

SPOTTEDNESS, n. The state or quality of being spotted.

SPOTTER, n. One that makes spots.

SPOTTINESS, n. The state or quality of being spotty.

SPOTTING, ppr. Marking with spots; staining.

SPOTTY, a. Full of spots; marked with discolored places.

SPOUSAGE, n. [See Spouse.] The act of espousing. [Not used.]

SPOUSAL, a. [from spouse.] Pertaining to marriage; nuptial; matrimonial; conjugal; connubial; bridal; as spousal rites; spousal ornaments.

SPOUSAL, n. [L. See Spouse.] Marriage; nuptials. It is now generally used in the plural; as the spousals of Hippolita.