Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



STABLISH, v.t. [L. See Stab.] To fix; to settle in a state for permanence; to make firm. [In lieu of this, establish is now always used.]

STABLY, adv. Firmly; fixedly; steadily; as a government stably settled.


1. A large conical pile of hay, grain or straw, sometimes covered with thatch. In America, the stack differs from the cock only in size, both being conical. A long pile of hay or grain is called a rick. In England, this distinction is not always observed. This word in Great Britain is sometimes applied to a pile of wood containing 108 cubic feet, and also to a pile of poles; but I believe never in America.

Against every pillar was a stack of billets above a man’s highth.

2. A number of funnels or chimneys standing together. We say, a stack of chimneys; which is correct, as a chimney is a passage. But we also call the whole stack a chimney. Thus we say, the chimney rises ten feet above the roof.

STACK, v.t.

1. To lay in a conical or other pile; to make into a large pile; as, to stack hay or grain.

2. In England, to pile wood, poles, etc.

STACKED, pp. Piled in a large conical heap.

STACKING, ppr. Laying in a large conical heap.

STACKING-BAND, STACKING-BELT, n. A band or rope used in binding thatch or straw upon a stack.

STACKING-STAGE, n. A stage used in building stacks.

STACK-YARD, n. A yard or inclosure for stacks of hay or grain.

STACTE, n. [L., Gr.] A fatty resinous liquid matter, of the nature of liquid myrrh, very odoriferous and highly valued. But it is said we have none but what is adulterated, and what is so called is liquid storax.

STADDLE, n. [G. It belongs to the root of stead, steady.]

1. Any thing which serves for support; a staff; a crutch; the frame or support of a stack of hay or grain. [In this sense not used in New England.]

2. In New England, a small tree of any kind, particularly a forest tree. In America, trees are called staddles from three or four years old till they are six or eight inches in diameter or more, but in this respect the word is indefinite. This is also the sense in which it is used by Bacon and Tusser.

STADDLE, v.t. To leave staddles when a wood is cut.

STADDLE-ROOF, n. The roof or covering of a stack.

STADIUM, n. [L., Gr.]

1. A Greek measure of 125 geometrical paces; a furlong.

2. The course or career of a race.

STADTHOLDER, n. Formerly, the chief magistrate of the United Provinces of Holland; or the governor or lieutenant governor of a province.

STADTHOLDERATE, n. The office of a stadtholder.

STAFF, n. plu. [G., a bar, a rod. The primary sense is to thrust, to shoot. See Stab.]

1. A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds. Bread is the proverbially called the staff of life.

The boy was the very staff of my age.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4.

2. A stick or club used as a weapon.

With forks and staves the felon they pursue.

3. A long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument; a pole or stick, used for many purposes.

4. The five lines and the spaces on which music is written.

5. An ensign of authority; a badge of office; as a constables staff.

6. The round of a ladder.

7. A pole erected in a ship to hoist and display a flag; called a flag-staff. There is also a jack-staff, and an ensign-staff.

8. In military affairs, an establishment of officers in various departments, attached to an army. The staff includes officers not of the line, as adjutants, quarter-masters, chaplain, surgeon, etc. The staff is the medium of communication from the commander in chief to every department of an army.

9. A stanza; a series of verses so disposed that when it is concluded, the same order begins again.

Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for a heroic poem, as being all too lyrical.

10. Stave and staves, plu. of staff. [See Stave.]

STAFFISH, a. Stiff; harsh. [Not in use.]

STAFF-TREE, n. A sort of evergreen privet. It is of the genus Celastrus.

STAG, n. [This word belongs to the root of stick, stage, stock. The primary sense is to thrust, hence to fix, to stay, etc.]

1. The male red deer; the male of the hind.

2. A colt or filly; also, a romping girl. [Local.]

3. In New England, the male of the common ox castrated.

STAG-BEETLE, n. The Lucanus cervus, a species of insect.

STAGE, n. [G.] Properly, one step or degree of elevation, and what the French call etage, we call a story. Hence,

1. A floor or platform of any kind elevated above the ground or common surface, as for an exhibition of something to pubic view; as a stage for a mountebank; a stage for speakers in public; a stage for mechanics. Seamen use floating stages, and stages suspended by the side of a ship, for calking and repairing.

2. The floor on which theatrical performances are exhibited, as distinct from the pit, etc. Hence,

3. The theater; the place of scenic entertainments.

Knights, squires and steeds must enter on the stage.

4. Theatrical representations. It is contended that the stage is a school or morality. Let it be inquired, where is the person whom the stage has reformed?

5. A place where any thing is publicly exhibited.

When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.

6. Place of action or performance; as the stage of life.

7. A place of rest on a journey, or where a relay of horses is taken. When we arrive at the next stage, we will take some refreshment. Hence,

8. The distance between two places of rest on a road; as a stage of fifteen miles.

9. A single step; degree of advance; degree of progression, either in increase or decrease, in rising or falling, or in any change of state; as the several stages of a war; the stages of civilization or improvement; stages of growth in an animal or plant; stages of a disease, of decline or recovery; the several stages of human life.

10. [instead of stage-coach, or stage-wagon.] A coach or other carriage running regularly from one place to another for the conveyance of passengers.

I went in the six-penny stage.

A parcel sent by the stage. American usage.

STAGE, v.t. To exhibit publicly. [Not in use.]

STAGE-COACH, n. [stage and coach.] A coach that runs by stages; or a coach that runs regularly every day or on stated days, for the conveyance of passengers.

STAGELY, a. Pertaining to a stage; becoming the theater. [Little used.]

STAGE-PLAY, n. [stage and play.] Theatrical entertainment.

STAGE-PLAYER, n. An actor on the stage; one whose occupation is to represent characters on the stage. Garrick was a celebrated stage-player.


1. A player. [Little used.]

2. One that has long acted on the stage of life; a practitioner; a person of cunning; as an old cunning stager; an experienced stager; a stager of the wiser sort.

[I do not recollect to have ever heard this word used in America.]

STAGERY, n. Exhibition on the stage. [Not in use.]

STAG-EVIL, n. A disease in horses.

STAGGARD, n. [from stag.] A stag of four years of age.


1. To reel; to vacillate; to move to one side and the other in standing or walking; not to stand or walk with steadiness.

Deep was the wound; he staggerd with the blow.

2. To fail; to cease to stand firm; to begin to give way.

The enemy staggers.

3. To hesitate; to begin to doubt and waver in purpose; to become less confident or determined.

Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief. Romans 4:20.


1. To cause to reel.

2. To cause to doubt and waver; to make to hesitate; to make less steady or confident; to shock.

Whoever will read the story of this war, will find himself much staggered.

When a prince fails in honor and justice, it is enough to stagger his people in their allegiance.

STAGGERED, pp. Made to reel; made to doubt and waver.

STAGGERING, ppr. Causing to reel, to waver or to doubt.


1. The act of reeling.

2. The cause of staggering.


1. In a reeling manner.

2. With hesitation or doubt.

STAGGERS, n. plu.

1. A disease of horses and cattle, attended with reeling or giddiness; also, a disease of sheep, which inclines them to turn about suddenly.

2. Madness; wild irregular conduct. [Not in use.]

STAGGER-WORT, n. A plant, ragwort.

STAGNANCY, n. [See Stagnant.] The state of being without motion, flow or circulation, as in a fluid.

STAGNANT, a. [L., to be without, a flowing motion.]

1. Not flowing; not running in a current or stream; as a stagnant lake or pond; stagnant blood in the veins.

2. Motionless; still; not agitated; as water quiet and stagnant.

The gloomy slumber of the stagnant soul.

3. Not active; dull; not brisk; as, business is stagnant.

STAGNATE, v.i. [L.]

1. To cease to flow; to be motionless; as, blood stagnates in the veins of an animal; air stagnates in a close room.

2. To cease to move; not to be agitated. Water that stagnates in a pond or reservoir, soon becomes foul.

3. To cease to be brisk or active; to become dull; as, commerce stagnates; business stagnates.


1. The cessation of flowing or circulation of a fluid; or the state of being without flow or circulation; the state of being motionless; as the stagnation of the blood; the stagnation of water or air; the stagnation of vapors.

2. The cessation of action or of brisk action; the state of being dull; as the stagnation of business.

STAG-WORM, n. An insect that is troublesome to deer.

STAGYRITE, n. An appellation given to Aristotle from the place of his birth.

STAID, pret, and pp. of stay; so written for stayed.

1. a. [from stay, to stop.] Sober; grave; steady; composed; regular; not wild, volatile, flighty or fanciful; as staid wisdom.

To ride out with staid guides.

STAIDNESS, n. Sobriety; gravity; steadiness; regularity; the opposite of wildness.

If he sometimes appears too gay, yet a secret gracefulness of youth accompanies his writings, though the staidness and sobriety of age be wanting.

STAIN, v.t. [L., a sprinkle, a spread, a layer; to spread, expand, sprinkle, or be scattered. Gr.]

1. To discolor by the application of foreign matter; to make foul; to spot; as, to stain the hand with dye; to stain clothes with vegetable juice; to stain paper; armor stained with blood.

2. To dye; to tinge with a different color; as, to stain cloth.

3. To impress with figures, in colors different from the ground; as, to stain paper for hangings.

4. To blot; to soil; to spot with guilt or infamy; to tarnish; to bring reproach on; as, to stain the character.

Of honor void, of innocence, of faith, of purity, our wonted ornaments now soild and staind.


1. A spot; discoloration from foreign matter; as a stain on a garment or cloth.

2. A natural spot of a color different from the ground.

Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains.

3. Taint of guilt; tarnish; disgrace; reproach; as the stain of sin.

Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains.

Our opinion is, I hope, without any blemish or stain of heresy.

4. Cause of reproach; shame.

Hereby I will lead her that is the praise and yet the stain of all womankind.

STAINED, pp. Discolored; spotted; dyed; blotted; tarnished.


1. One who stains, blots or tarnishes.

2. A dyer.

STAINING, ppr. Discoloring; spotting; tarnishing; dyeing.


1. Free from stains or spots.

2. Free from the reproach of guilt; free from sin.


1. A step; a stone or a frame of boards or planks by which a person rises one step. A stair, to make the ascent easy, should not exceed six or seven inches in elevation. When the riser is eight, nine or ten inches in breadth, the ascent by stairs is laborious.

2. Stairs, in the plural, a series of steps by which persons ascend to a higher room in a building. [Stair, in this sense, is not in use.]

Flight of stairs, may signify the stairs which make the whole ascent of a story; or in winding stairs, the phrase may signify the stairs from the floor to a turn, or from one turn to another.

STAIRCASE, n. [stair and case.] The part of a building which contains the stairs. Staircases are straight or winding. The straight are called fliers, or direct fliers. Winding stairs, called spiral or cockle, are square, circular or elliptical.

To make a complete staircase, is a curious piece of architecture.

STAKE, n. [The primary sense is to shoot, to thrust, hence to set or fix.]

1. A small piece of wood or timber, sharpened at one end and set in the ground, or prepared for setting, as a support to something. Thus stakes are used to support vines, to support fences, hedges and the like. A stake is not to be confounded with a post, which is a larger piece of timber.

2. A piece of long rough wood.

A sharpend stake strong Dryas found.

3. A palisade, or something resembling it.

4. The piece of timber to which a martyr is fastened when he is to be burnt. Hence, to perish at the stake, is to die a martyr, or to die in torment. Hence,

5. Figuratively, martyrdom. The stake was prepared for those who were convicted of heresy.

6. That which is pledged and wagered; that which is set, thrown down or laid, to abide the issue of a contest, to be gained by victory or lost by defeat.

7. The state of being laid or pledged as a wager. His honor is at stake.

8. A small anvil to straighten cold word, or to cut and punch upon.

STAKE, v.t.

1. To fasten, support or defend with stakes; as, to stake vines or plants.

2. To mark the limits by stakes; with out; as, to stake out land; to stake out a new road, or the ground for a canal.

3. To wager; to pledge; to put at hazard upon the issue of competition, or upon a future contingency.

Ill stake yon lamb that near the fountain plays.

4. To point or sharpen stakes. [Not used in America.]

5. To pierce with a stake.

STAKED, pp. Fastened or supported by stakes; set or marked with stakes; wagered; put at hazard.

STAKE-HEAD, n. In rope-making, a stake with wooden pins in the upper side to keep the strands apart.


1. Supporting with stakes; marking with stakes; wagering; putting at hazard.

2. Sharpening; pointing.

STALACTIC, STALACTICAL, a. [from stalactite.] Pertaining to stalactite; resembling an icicle.

STALACTIFORM, STALACTITIFORM, a. Like stalactite; resembling an icicle.

STALACTITE, n. [Gr., to drop. L.] A subvariety of carbonate lime, usually in a conical or cylindrical form, pendent from the roofs and sides of caverns like an icicle; produced by the filtration of water containing calcarious particles, through fissures and pores of rocks.

STALACTITIC, a. In the form of stalactite, or pendent substances like icicles.

STALAGMITE, n. [L., a drop. Gr.] A deposit of earthy or calcarious matter, formed by drops on the floors of caverns.

STALAGMITIC, a. Having the form of stalagmite.

STALAGMITICALLY, adv. In the form or manner of stalagmite.

STALDER, n. A wooden frame to set casks on. [Not used in the United States.]

STALE, a. [I do not find this word in the other Teutonic dialects. It is probably from the root of still, G., to set, and equivalent to stagnant.]

1. Vapid or tasteless from age; having lost its life, spirit and flavor from being long kept; as stale beer.

2. Having lost the life or graces of youth; worn out; decayed; as a stale virgin.

3. Worn out by use; trite; common; having lost its novelty and power of pleasing; as a stale remark.

STALE, n. [G. See Stall.]

1. Something set or offered to view as an allurement to draw others to any place or purpose; a decoy; a stool-fowl.

Still as he went, he crafty stales did lay.

A pretense of kindness is the universal stale to all base projects. [In this sense obsolete.]

2. A prostitute.

3. Old vapid beer.

4. A long handle; as the state of a rake.

5. A word applied to the king in chess when stalled or set; that is, when so situated that he cannot be moved without going into check, by which the game is ended.

STALE, v.t. To make void or useless; to destroy the life, beauty or use of; to wear out.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.

STALE, v.i. [G.] To make water; to discharge urine; as horses and cattle.
STALE, n. Urine; used of horses and cattle.

STALELY, adv. Of old; of a long time.


1. The state of being stale; vapidness; the state of having lost the life or flavor; oldness; as the staleness of beer or other liquors; the staleness of provisions.

2. The state of being worn out; triteness; commonness; as the staleness of an observation.

STALK, n. [G., a handle, and a stalk or stem. Gr. from the root of stall; to set.]

1. The stem, culm or main body of an herbaceous plant. Thus we speak of a stalk of wheat, rye or oats, the stalks of maiz or hemp. The stalk of herbaceous plants, answers to the stem of shrubs and tress, and denotes that which is set, the fixed part of a plant, its support; or it is a shoot.

2. The pedicle of a flower, or the peduncle that supports the fructification of a plant.

3. The stem of a quill.

STALK, v.i.

1. To walk with high and proud steps; usually implying the affectation of dignity, and hence the word usually expresses dislike. The poets however use the word to express dignity of step.

With manly mein he stalkd along the ground.

Then stalking through the deep he fords the ocean.

2. It is used with some insinuation of contempt or abhorrence.

Stalks close behind her, like a witchs fiend, pressing to be employd.

Tis not to stalk about and draw fresh air from time to time.

3. To walk behind a stalking horse or behind a cover.

The king crept under the shoulder of his led horse, and said, I must stalk.

STALK, n. A high, proud, stately step or walk.

STALKED, a. Having a stalk.

STALKER, n. One who walks with a proud step; also, a kind of fishing net.

STALKING, ppr. Walking with proud or lofty steps.

STALKING-HORSE, n. A horse, real or factitious, behind which a fowler conceals himself from the sight of the game which he is aiming to kill; hence, a mask; a pretense.

Hypocrisy is the devils stalking-horse, under an affectation of simplicity and religion.

STALKY, a. Hard as a stalk; resembling a stalk.

STALL, n. [G., to set, that is, to throw down, to thrust down. See Still.]

1. Primarily, a stand; a station; a fixed spot; hence, the stand or place where a horse or an ox is kept and fed; the division of a stable, or the apartment for one horse or ox. The stable contains eight or ten stalls.

2. A stable; a place for cattle.

At last he found a stall where oxen stood.

3. In 1 Kings 4:26 stall is used for horse. Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots. In 2 Chronicles 9:25, stall means stable. Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots. These passages are reconciled by the definition given above; Solomon had four thousand stables, each containing ten stalls; forty thousand stalls.

4. A bench, form or frame of shelves in the open air, where any thing is exposed to sale. It is curious to observe the stalls of books in the boulevards and other public places in Paris.

5. A small house or shed in which an occupation is carried on; as a butchers stall.

6. The seat of a dignified clergyman in the choir.

The dignified clergy, out of humility, have called their thrones by the name of stalls. [probably a mistake of the reason.]

STALL, v.t.

1. To put into a stable; or to keep in a stable; as, to stall an ox.

Where king Latinus then his oxen stalld.

2. To install; to place in an office with the customary formalities. [For this, install is now used.]

3. To set; to fix; to plunge into mire so as not to be able to proceed; as, to stall horses or a carriage. [This phrase I have heard in Virginia. In New England, set is used in a like sense.]

STALL, v.i.

1. To dwell; to inhabit.

We could not stall together in the world. [Not in use.]

2. To kennel.

3. To be set, as in mire.

4. To be tired of eating, as cattle.


1. The right of erecting stalls in fairs; or rent paid for a stall.

2. In old books, laystall; dung; compost.

STALLATION, n. Installation. [Not used.]

STALL-FED, pp. Fed on dry fodder, or fattened in a stall or stable. [See Stallfeed.]

STALL-FEED, v.t. [stall and feed.] To feed and fatten in a stable or on dry fodder; as, to stall-feed an ox. [This word is used in America to distinguish this mode of feeding from grass-feeding.]

STALL-FEEDING, ppr. Feeding and fattening in the stable.

STALLION, n. [G.] A stone horse; a seed horse; or any male horse not castrated, whether kept for mares or not. According to the Welsh, the word signifies a stock horse, a horse intended for raising stock.

STALL-WORN, in Shakespeare, Johnson thinks a mistake for stall-worth, stout.

His stall-worn steed the champion stout bestrode. [The word is not in use.]

STAMEN, n. plu. stamens or stamina. [L. This word belong to the root of sto, stabilis, or of stage.]

1. In a general sense, usually in the plural, the fixed, firm part of a body, which supports it or gives it its strength and solidity. Thus we say, the bones are the stamina of animal bodies; the ligneous parts of trees are the stamina which constitute their strength. Hence,

2. Whatever constitutes the principal strength or support of any thing; as the stamina of a constitution or of life; the stamina of a stage.

3. In botany, an organ of flowers for the preparation of the pollen or fecundating dust. It consists of the filament and the anther. It is considered as the male organ of fructification.

STAMENED, a. Furnished with stamens.

STAMIN, n. A slight woolen stuff.

STAMINAL, a. Pertaining to stamens or stamina; consisting in stamens or stamina.

STAMINATE, a. Consisting of stamens.

STAMINATE, v.t. To endue with stamina.


1. Consisting of stamens or filaments. Stamineous flowers have no corol; they want the colored leaves called petals, and consist only of the style and stamina. Linne calls them apetalous; others imperfect or incomplete.

2. Pertaining to the stamen, or attached to it; as a stamineous nectary.

STAMINIFEROUS, a. [L., to bear.] A staminiferous flower is one which has stamens without a pistil. A staminiferous nectary is one that has stamens growing on it.


1. A species of red color.

2. A kind of woolen cloth. [See Stamin.]

STAMMER, v.i. Literally, to stop in uttering syllables or words; to stutter; to hesitate or falter in speaking; and hence, to speak with stops and difficulty. Demosthenes is said to have stammered in speaking, and to have overcome the difficulty by persevering efforts.

STAMMER, v.t. To utter or pronounce with hesitation or imperfectly.

STAMMERER, n. One that stutters or hesitates in speaking.


1. Stopping or hesitating in the uttering of syllables and words; stuttering.

2. a. Apt to stammer.

STAMMERING, n. The act of stopping or hesitating in speaking; impediment in speech.

STAMMERINGLY, adv. With stops or hesitation in speaking.

STAMP, v.t. [G.] In a general sense, to strike; to beat; to press. Hence,

1. To strike or beat forcibly with the bottom of the foot, or by thrusting the foot downwards; as, to stamp the ground.

He frets, he fumes, he stares, he stamps the ground. [In this sense, the popular pronunciation is stomp, with a broad.]

2. To impress with some mark or figure; as, to stamp a plate with arms or initials.

3. To impress; to imprint; to fix deeply; as, to stamp virtuous principles on the heart. [See Enstamp.]

4. To fix a mark by impressing it; as a notion of the Deity stamped on the mind.

God has stamped no original characters on our minds, wherein we may read his being.

5. To make by impressing a mark; as, to stamp pieces of silver.

6. To coin; to mint; to form.

STAMP, v.i. To strike the foot forcibly downwards.

But starts, exclaims, and stamps, and raves, and dies.


1. Any instrument for making impressions on other bodies.

Tis gold so pure, it cannot bear the stamp without alloy.

2. A mark imprinted; an impression.

That sacred name gives ornament and grace, and, like his stamp, makes basest metals pass.

3. That which is marked; a thing stamped.

Hanging a golden stamp about their necks.

4. A picture cut in wood or metal, or made by impression; a cut; a plate.

At Venice they put out very curious stamps of the several edifices which are most famous for their beauty and magnificence.

5. A mark set upon things chargeable with duty to government, as evidence that the duty is paid. We see such stamps on English newspapers.

6. A character of reputation, good or bad, fixed on any thing. These persons have the stamp of impiety. The Scriptures bear the stamp of a divine origin.

7. Authority; current value derived from suffrage or attestation.

Of the same stamp is that which is obtruded on us, that an adamant suspends the attraction of the loadstone.

8. Make; cast; form; character; as a man of the same stamp, or of a different stamp.

9. In metallurgy, a kind of pestle raised by a water wheel, for beating ores to powder; any thing like a pestle used for pounding or beating.

STAMP-DUTY, n. [stamp and duty.] A duty or tax imposed on paper and parchment, the evidence of the payment of which is a stamp.

STAMPED, pp. Impressed with a mark or figure; coined; imprinted; deeply fixed.

STAMPER, n. An instrument for pounding or stamping.

STAMPING, ppr. Impressing with a mark or figure; coining; imprinting.

STAMPING-MILL, n. An engine used in tin works for breaking or bruising ore.

STAN, as a termination, is said to have expressed the superlative degree; as in Athelstan, most noble; Dunstan, the highest. But qu. Stan, in Saxon, is stone.

STANCH, v.t. In a general sense, to stop; to set or fix; but applied only to the blood; to stop the flowing of blood. Cold applications to the neck will often stanch the bleeding of the nose.

STANCH, v.i. To stop, as blood; to cease to flow.

Immediately the issue of her blood stanched. Luke 8:44.

STANCH, a. [This is the same word as the foregoing, the primary sense of which is to set; hence the sense of firmness.]

1. Sound; firm; strong and tight; as a stanch ship.

2. Firm in principle; steady; constant and zealous; hearty; as a stanch churchman; a stanch republican; a stanch friend or adherent.

In politics I hear you’re stanch.

3. Strong; not to be broken.

4. Firm; close.

This is to be kept stanch.

A stanch hound, is one that follows the scent closely without error or remissness.

STANCHED, pp. Stopped or restrained from flowing.

STANCHER, n. He or that which stops the flowing of blood.

STANCHING, ppr. Stopping the flowing of blood.