Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



SURTURBRAND, n. Fibrous brown coal or bituminous wood; so called in Iceland.

SURVENE, v.t. To supervene; to come as an addition; as a suppuration that survenes lethargies. [Little used.]

SURVEY, v.t. [L. video, videre.]

1. To inspect or take a view of; to view with attention, as from a high place; as, to stand on a hill, and survey the surrounding country. It denotes more particular and deliberate attention than look or see.

2. To view with a scrutinizing eye; to examine.

With such alter’d looks,

All pale and speechless, he survey’d me round.

3. To examine with reference to condition, situation and value; as, to survey a building to determine its value and exposure to loss by fire.

4. To measure, as land; or to ascertain the contents of land by lines and angles.

5. To examine or ascertain the position and distances of objects on the shore of the sea, the depth of water, nature of the bottom, and whatever may be necessary to facilitate the navigation of the waters and render the entrance into harbors, sounds and rivers easy and safe. Thus officers are employed to survey the coast and make charts of the same.

6. To examine and ascertain, as the boundaries and royalties of a manor, the tenure of the tenants, and the rent and value of the same.

7. To examine and ascertain, as the state of agriculture.

SURVEY, n. [formerly accented on the last syllable.]

1. An attentive view; a look or looking with care. He took a survey of the whole landscape.

Under his proud survey the city lies.

2. A particular view; an examination of all the parts or particulars of a thing, with a design to ascertain the condition, quantity or quality; as a survey of the stores, provisions or munitions of a ship. So also a survey of roads and bridges is made by proper officers; a survey of buildings is intended to ascertain their condition, value and exposure to fire. A survey of land includes mensuration and the ascertainment of quantity. A survey of a harbor, sound or coast comprehends an examination of the distance and bearing of points of land, isles, shoals, depth of water, course of channels, etc. A survey of agriculture includes a view of the state of property, buildings, fences, modes of cultivation, crops, gardens, orchards, woods, livestock, etc. And in general, survey denotes a particular view and examination of any thing.

3. In the United States, a district for the collection of the customs, under the inspection and authority of a particular officer.

Trigonometrical survey, the measurement of an arc of the meridian by means of a series of triangles.

SURVEYED, pp. Viewed with attention; examined; measured.

SURVEYING, ppr. Viewing with attention; examining particularly; measuring.

SURVEYING, n. That branch of mathematics which teaches the art of measuring land.

SURVEYOR, n. An overseer; one placed to superintend others.

1. One that views and examines for the purpose of ascertaining the condition, quantity, or quality of any thing; as a surveyor of land; a surveyor of highways; surveyors of ordnance. In the customs, a gauger; an officer who ascertains the contents of casks, and the quantity of liquors subject to duty; also in the United States, an officer who ascertains the weight and quantity of goods subject to duty.

SURVEYOR-GENERAL, n. A principal surveyor; as the surveyor-general of the king’s manors, or of woods and parks in England. In the United Stats, the chief surveyor of lands; as the surveyor-general of the United States, or of a particular state.

SURVEYORSHIP, n. The office of a surveyor.

SURVIEW, v.t. To survey. [Not in use.]

SURVIEW, n. Survey. [Not in use.]

SURVISE, v.t. To look over. [Not in use.]

SURVIVAL, n. [See Survive.] A living beyond the life of another person, thing or event; an outliving.

SURVIVANCE, n. Survivorship. [Little used.]

SURVIVE, v.t. [L. supervivo.]

1. To outlive; to live beyond the life of another; as, the wife survives her husband; or a husband survives his wife.

2. To outlive any thing else; to live beyond any event. Who would wish to survive the ruin of his country? Many men survive their usefulness or the regular exercise of their reason.

SURVIVE, v.i. To remain alive.

Try pleasure,

Which when no other enemy survives,

Still conquers all the conquerors.

SURVIVENCY, n. A surviving; survivorship.

SURVIVER, n. One that outlives another. [See Survivor.]

SURVIVING, ppr. Outliving; living beyond the life of another, or beyond the time of some event.

1. a. Remaining alive; yet living; as surviving friends or relatives.

SURVIVOR, n. One who outlives another.

1. In law, the longer liver of two joint tenants, or of any two persons who have a joint interest in any thing.

SURVIVORSHIP, n. The state of outliving another.

1. In law, the right of a joint tenant or other person who has a joint interest in an estate, to take the whole estate upon the death of the other. When there are more than two joint tenants, the whole estate remains to the last survivor by right of survivorship.

SUSCEPTIBILITY, n. [from susceptible.] The quality of admitting or receiving either something additional, or some change, affection or passion; as the susceptibility of color in a body; susceptibility of culture or refinement; susceptibility of love or desire, or of impressions.

SUSCEPTIBLE, a. [L. suscipio, to take; sub and capio.]

1. Capable of admitting any thing additional, or any change, affection or influence; as a body susceptible of color or of alteration; a body susceptible of pain; a heart susceptible of love or of impression.

2. Tender; capable of impression; impressible. The minds of children are more susceptible than those of persons more advanced in life.

3. Having nice sensibility; as a man of a susceptible heart.

SUSCEPTIBLENESS, n. Susceptibility, which see.

SUSCEPTION, n. The act of taking. [But little used.]

SUSCEPTIVE, a. Capable of admitting; readily admitting. Our natures are susceptive of errors.

SUSCEPTIVITY, n. Capacity of admitting. [Little used.]

SUSCEPTOR, n. [L.] One who undertakes; a godfather.

SUSCIPIENCY, n. Reception; admission.

SUSCIPIENT, a. Receiving; admitting.

SUSCIPIENT, n. One who takes or admits; one that receives.

SUSCITATE, v.t. [L. suscito; sub and cito.] To rouse; to excite; to call into life and action.

SUSCITATION, n. The act of raising or exciting.

SUSLIK, n. A spotted animal of the rat kind. A quadruped of the genus Arctomys, of a yellowish brown color, with small white spots; the earless marmot.

SUSPECT, v.t. [L. suspectus, suspicio; sub and specio, to see or view.]

1. To mistrust; to imagine or have a slight opinion that something exists, but without proof and often upon weak evidence or no evidence at all. We suspect not only from fear, jealousy or apprehension of evil, but in modern usage, we suspect things which give us no apprehension.

Nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.

From her hand I could suspect no ill.

2. To imagine to be guilty, but upon slight evidence or without proof. When a theft is committed, we are apt to suspect a person who is known to have been guilty of stealing; but we often suspect a person who is innocent of the crime.

3. To hold to be uncertain; to doubt; to mistrust; as, to suspect the truth of a story.

4. To hold to be doubtful. The veracity of a historian, and the impartiality of a judge, should not be suspected.

5. To conjecture.

SUSPECT, v.t. To imagine guilt.

If I suspect without cause, why then let me be your jest.

SUSPECT, a. Doubtful. [Not much used.]
SUSPECT, n. Suspicion.

SUSPECTABLE, a. That may be suspected. [Little used.]

SUSPECTED, pp. Imagined without proof; mistrusted.

SUSPECTEDLY, adv. So as to excite suspicion; so as to be suspected.

SUSPECTEDNESS, n. State of being suspected or doubted.

SUSPECTER, n. One who suspects.

SUSPECTFUL, a. Apt to suspect or mistrust.

SUSPECTING, ppr. Imagining without evidence; mistrusting upon slight grounds.

SUSPECTLESS, a. Not suspecting; having no suspicion.

1. Not suspected; not mistrusted.

SUSPEND, v.t. [L. suspendo; sub and pendo, to hang.]

1. To hang; to attach to something above; as, to suspend a ball by a thread; to suspend the body by a cord or by hooks; a needle suspended by a loadstone.

2. To make to depend on. God hath suspended the promise of eternal life on the condition of faith and obedience.

3. To interrupt; to intermit; to cause to cease for a time.

The guard nor fights nor flies; their fate so near

At once suspends their courage and their fear.

4. To stay; to delay; to hinder from proceeding for a time.

Suspend your indignation against my brother.

I suspend their doom.

5. To hold in a state undermined; as, to suspend one’s choice or opinion.

6. To debar from any privilege, from the execution of an office, or from the enjoyment of income.

Good men should not be suspended from the exercise of their ministry and deprived of their livelihood for ceremonies which are acknowledged indifferent.

7. To cause to cease for a time from operation or effect; as, to suspend the habeas corpus act.

SUSPENDED, pp. Hung up; made to depend on; caused to cease for a time; delayed; held undermined; prevented from executing an office or enjoying a right.

SUSPENDER, n. One that suspends.

1. Suspenders, plu. straps worn for holding up pantaloons, etc.; braces.

SUSPENDING, ppr. Hanging up; making to depend on; intermitting; causing to cease for a time; holding undermined; debarring from action or right.

SUSPENSE, n. suspens’. [L. suspensus.] A state of uncertainty; indetermination; indecision. A man’s mind is in suspense, when it is balancing the weight of different arguments or considerations, or when it is uncertain respecting facts unknown, or events not in his own power.

Ten days the prophet in suspense remain’d.

1. Stop; cessation for a time.

A cool suspense from pleasure or from pain.

2. In law, suspension; a temporary cessation of a man’s right; as when the rent or other profits of land cease by unity of possession of land and rent.

SUSPENSE, a. suspens’. Held from proceeding. [Little used.]

SUSPENSIBILITY, n. The capacity of being suspended or sustained from sinking; as the suspensibility of indurated clay in water.

SUSPENSIBLE, a. Capable of being suspended or held from sinking.

SUSPENSION, n. [L. suspensio. See Suspend.]

1. The act of hanging up, or of causing to hang by being attached to something above.

2. The act of making to depend on any thing for existence or taking place; as the suspension of payment on the performance of a condition.

3. The act of delaying; delay; as the suspension of a criminal’s execution; called a respite or reprieve.

4. Act of withholding or balancing the judgment; forbearance of determination; as the suspension of opinion, of judgment, of decision or determination. Suspension of judgment often proceeds from doubt of ignorance of facts.

5. Temporary cessation; interruption; intermission; as the suspension of labor or of study; the suspension of pain.

6. Temporary privation of powers, authority or rights; usually intended as a censure or punishment; as the suspension of an ecclesiastic or minister for some fault. This may be merely a suspension of his office, or it may be both of his office and his income. A military or naval officer’s suspension takes place when he is arrested.

7. Prevention or interruption of operation; as the suspension of the habeas corpus act.

8. In rhetoric, a keeping of the bearer in doubt and in attentive expectation of what is to follow, or what is to be the inference or conclusion from the arguments or observations.

9. In Scot’s law, a stay or postponement of execution of a sentence condemnatory, by means of letters of suspension granted on application to the lord ordinary.

10. In mechanics, points of suspension, in a balance, are the points in the axis or beam where the weights are applied, or from which they are suspended.

11. In music, every sound of a chord to a given base, which is continued to another base, is a suspension.

Suspension of arms, in war, a short truce or cessation of operations agreed on by the commanders of the contending parties, as for burying the dead, making proposals for surrender or for peace, etc.

SUSPENSIVE, a. Doubtful.

SUSPENSOR, n. In anatomy, a bandage to suspend the scrotum.

SUSPENSORY, a. That suspends; suspending; as a suspensory muscle.

SUSPENSORY, n. That which suspends or holds up; a truss.

SUSPICABLE, a. [L. suspicor.] That may be suspected; liable to suspicion. [Not in use.]

SUSPICION, n. [L. suspicio. See Suspect.] The act of suspecting; the imagination of the existence of something without proof, or upon very slight evidence, or upon no evidence at all. Suspicion often proceeds from the apprehension of evil; it is the offspring or companion of jealousy.

Suspicions among thoughts, are like bats among birds; they ever fly by twilight.

SUSPICIOUS, a. [L. suspiciosus.] Inclined to suspect; apt to imagine without proof.

Nature itself, after it has done an injury, will ever be suspicious, and no man can love the person he suspects.

1. Indicating suspicion or fear.

We have a suspicious, fearful, constrained countenance.

2. Liable to suspicion; adapted to raise suspicion; giving reason to imagine ill; as an author of suspicious innovations.

I spy a black suspicious threat-ning cloud.

3. Entertaining suspicion; given to suspicion.

Many mischievous insects are daily at work to make men of merit suspicious of each other.

SUSPICIOUSLY, adv. With suspicion.

1. So as to excite suspicion.

SUSPICIOUSNESS, n. The quality of being liable to suspicion, or liable to be suspected; as the suspiciousness of a man’s appearance, of his weapons or of his actions.

1. The quality or state of being apt to suspect; as the suspiciousness of a man’s temper or mind.

SUSPIRAL, n. [L. suspiro, to breathe; sub and spiro.]

1. A breathing hole; a vent or ventiduct.

2. A spring of water passing under ground towards a cistern or conduit. [Local.]

SUSPIRATION, n. [L. suspiratio, suspiro, to sigh; sub and spiro, to breathe.] The act of sighing or fetching along and deep breath; a sigh.

SUSPIRE, v.i. [supra.] To sigh; to fetch along deep breath; to breathe. [Little used.]

SUSPIRED, pp. or a. Wished for; desired. [Not in use.]

SUSTAIN, v.t. [L. sustineo; sub and teneo, to hold under.]

1. To bear; to uphold; to support; as, a foundation sustains the superstructure; pillars sustain an edifice; a beast sustains a load.

2. To hold; to keep from falling; as, a rope sustains a weight.

3. To support; to keep from sinking in despondence. The hope of a better life sustains the afflicted amidst all their sorrows.

4. To maintain; to keep alive; to support; to subsist; as provisions to sustain a family or an army.

5. To support in any condition by aid; to assist or relieve.

His sons, who seek the tyrant to sustain.

6. To bear; to endure without failing or yielding. The mind stands collected and sustains the shock.

Shall Turnus then such endless toil sustain?

7. To suffer; to bear; to undergo.

You shall sustain more new disgraces.

8. To maintain; to support; not to dismiss or abate. Notwithstanding the plea in bar or in abatement, the court sustained the action or suit.

9. To maintain as a sufficient ground. The testimony or the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the action, the accusation, the charges, or the impeachment.

10. In music, to continue, as the sound of notes through their whole length.

SUSTAIN, n. That which upholds. [Not in use.]

SUSTAINABLE, a. That may be sustained or maintained. The action is not sustainable.

SUSTAINED, pp. Borne; upheld; maintained; supported; subsisted; suffered.

SUSTAINER, n. He or that which sustains, upholds or suffers.

SUSTAINING, ppr. Bearing; upholding; maintaining; suffering; subsisting.

SUSTALTIC, a. [Gr.] Mournful; affecting; an epithet given to a species of music by the Greeks.


1. Support; maintenance; subsistence; as the sustenance of the body; the sustenance of life.

2. That which supports life; food; victuals; provisions. This city has ample sustenance.

SUSTENTACLE, n. [L. sustentaculum.] Support. [Not in use.]

SUSTENTATION, n. [L. sustentatio, sustento.]

1. Support; preservation from falling.

2. Use of food.

3. Maintenance; support of life.

SUSURRATION, n. [L. susurratio; susurro, to whisper.]

A whispering; a soft murmur.

SUTILE, a. [L. sutilis, from suo, to sew.]

Done by stitching. [Not in use.]

SUTLER, n. A person who follows an army and sells to the troops provisions and liquors.

SUTLING, a. Belonging to sutlers; engaged in the occupation of a sutler.

SUTTEE, n. In the Sanscrit, or sacred language of the Hindoos, a female deity.

1. A widow who immolates herself on the funeral pile of her husband.

2. The sacrifice of burning a widow on the funeral pile of her husband.

SUTTLE, a. Suttle weight, in commerce, is when tret is allowed; neat weight.

SUTURE, n. [L. sutura, from suo, to sew.]

1. Literally, a sewing; hence, the uniting of the parts of a wound by stitching.

2. The seam or joint which unites the bones of the skull; or the peculiar articulation or connection of those bones; as the coronal suture; the sagittal suture.

SUVERAN, a. [L. supernus, superus, super. The barbarous Norman word souvereign, seems to be formed of L. super and regnum; a strange blunder.]

1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a suveran prince. The Creator is the suveran ruler of the universe.

2. Supreme; chief; superior to all others.

3. Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; as a suveran remedy.

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

SUVERAN, n. A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control. Some kings are suverans in their dominions; the authority of others is limited. The Creator is the suveran of all that he has made.

1. A supreme magistrate, lord or king.

O let my suv’ran turn away his face.

SUVERANLY, adv. Supremely; in the highest degree.

SUVERANTY, n. Supreme power; supremacy; the possession of uncontrollable power. Absolute suveranty belongs only to God.

SWAB, n. A mop for cleaning floors; on board of ships, a large mop or bunch or old rope yarn, used to clean the deck and cabin.

SWAB, v.t. [supra.] To clean with mop; to wipe when wet or after washing; as, to swab the deck of a ship.

SWABBER, n. One that uses a swab to clean a floor or deck; on board of ships of war, an inferior officer, whose business is to see that the ship is kept clean.

SWAD, n. A pod, as of beans or peas. [Local.]

1. A short fat person.

2. In New England, a lump, mass or bunch, also, a crowd. [Vulgar.]


1. To swathe; to bind, as with a bandage; to bind tight with clothes; used generally of infants; as, to swaddle a child.

They swaddled me in my night-gown.

2. To bat; to cudgel. [Low and not in use.]

SWADDLE, n. Clothes bound tight around the body.

They put me in bed in all my swaddles.

SWADDLED, pp. Swathed; bound in tight clothes.

SWADDLING, ppr. Swathing; binding in tight clothes.

SWADDLING-BAND, SWADDLING-CLOTH, n. A band or cloth wrapper round an infant. Luke 2:7.

SWAG, v.i. To sink down by its weight; to lean.

SWAG-BELLIED, a. Having a prominent overhanging belly.

SWAGE, v.t. [probably allied to swag and weak; from falling or throwing down.] To ease; to soften; to mitigate.

Apt words have power to swage

The tumors of a troubled mind.

[See Assuage, which is the word now used.]

SWAGGER, v.i. To bluster; to bully; to boast or brag noisily; to be tumultuously proud.

What a pleasure it is to swagger at the bar.

To be great is not to swagger at our footmen.

SWAGGERER, n. A blusterer; a bully; a boastful noisy fellow.

SWAGGERING, ppr. Blustering; boasting noisily.

SWAGGING, ppr. Sinking or inclining.

SWAGGY, a. [from swag.] Sinking, hanging or leaning by its weight.


1. A young man.

2. A country servant employed in husbandry.

3. A pastoral youth. [It is used chiefly in this sense, and in poetry.]

Blest swains! whose nymphs in every grace excel.

SWAINISH, a. Rustic.

SWAINMOTE, SWEINMOTE, SWANIMOTE, n. [swain and mote, meeting.] In England, a court held before the verderors of the forest as judges, by the steward of the court, thrice every year; the swains or freeholders within the forest composing the jury. Its principal jurisdiction is to inquire into the oppressions and grievances committed by the officers of the forest. It receives and tries also presentments certified from the court of attachments against offenses in vert and venison. This court is incident to a forest, as a court of piepoudre is to a fair.

SWALE, n. [probably from vale.] A local word in New England, signifying an interval or vale; a tract of low land.

1. In England, a shade.

SWALE, v.i. To waste. [See Sweal.]
SWALE, v.t. To dress a hog for bacon, by singeing or burning off his hair. [Local.]

SWALLET, n. [See Well.] Among the tin miners, water breaking in upon the miners at their work.

SWALLOW, n. A bird of the genus Hirundo, of many species, among which are the chimney swallow and the martin.

SWALLOW-FISH, n. A sea fish of the genus Trigla, called in Cornwall, tub-fish; remarkable for the size of its gill-fins. It is called also the sapphirine gurnard.

SWALLOW-FLY, n. The name of the chelidonius, a fly remarkable for its swift and long flight.