Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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SYCOPHANT — SYNTHETIC

SYCOPHANT, n. [Gr. a fig, and to discover.] Originally, an informer against those who stole figs, or exported them contrary to law, etc. Hence in time it came to signify a talebearer or informer, in general; hence, a parasite; a mean flatterer; especially a flatterer of princes and great men; hence, a deceiver; an impostor. Its most general use is in the sense of an obsequious flatterer or parasite.

SYCOPHANT, SYCOPHANTIZE, v.t. To play the sycophant; to flatter meanly and officiously; to inform or tell tales for gaining favor.

SYCOPHANTIC, a. Talebearing; more generally, obsequiously flattering; parasitic; courting favor by mean adulation.

1. Sycophantic plants, or parasites, are such as adhere to other plants, and depend on them for support.

SYCOPHANTRY, n. Mean and officious talebearing or adulation.

SYDNEAN, SYDNEIAN, a. Denoting a species of white earth brought from Sidney cove in South Wales.

SYENITE. [See Sienite.]

SYKE, n. A small brook or rill in low ground. [Local.]

SYLLABIC, SYLLABICAL, a. [from syllable.] Pertaining to a syllable or syllables; as syllabic accent.

1. Consisting of a syllable or syllables; as a syllabic augment.

SYLLABICALLY, adv. In a syllabic manner.

SYLLABICATION, n. The act of forming syllables; the act or method of dividing words into syllables.

SYLLABLE, n. [L. syllaba; Gr. to comprehend, and to take.]

1. A letter, or a combination of letters, uttered together, or at a single effort or impulse of the voice. A vowel may form a syllable by itself, as a, the definitive, or in amen; e in even; o in over, and the like. A syllable may also be formed of a vowel and one consonant, as in go, do, in, at; or a syllable may be formed by a vowel with two articulations, one preceding, the other following it, as in can, but, tun; or a syllable may consist of a combination of consonants, with one vowel or diphthong, as strong, short, camp, voice.

A syllable sometimes forms a word, and is then significant, as in go, run, write, sun, moon. In other cases, a syllable is merely part of a word, and by itself is not significant. Thus ac, in active, has no signification.

At least one vowel or open sound is essential to the formation of a syllable; hence in every word there must be as many syllables as there are single vowels, or single vowels and diphthongs. A word is called according to the number of syllables it contains, viz.

Monosyllable, a word of one syllable.

Dissyllable, a word of two syllables.

Trisyllable, a word of three syllables.

Polysyllable, a word of many syllables.

2. A small part of a sentence or discourse; something very concise. This account contains not a syllable of truth.

Before a syllable of the law of God was written.

SYLLABLE, v.t. To utter; to articulate. [Not used.]

SYLLABUB, n. A compound drink made of wine and milk; a different orthography of sillabub.

SYLLABUS, n. [L. from the same source as syllable.] An abstract; a compendium containing the heads of a discourse.

SYLLEPSIS, n. [Gr. See Syllable.]

1. In grammar, a figure by which we conceive the sense of words otherwise than the words import, and construe them according to the intention of the author; otherwise called substitution.

2. The agreement of a verb or adjective, not with the word next to it, but with the most worthy in the sentence; as, rex et regina beati.

SYLLOGISM, n. [L. syllogismus; Gr. with, and to speak; to think.]

A form or reasoning or argument, consisting of three propositions, of which the two first are called the premises, and the last the conclusion. In this argument, the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises; so that if the two first propositions are true, the conclusion must be true, and the argument amounts to demonstration. Thus,

A plant has not the power of locomotion;

An oak is a plant;

Therefore an oak has not the power of locomotion.

These propositions are denominated the major, the minor, and the conclusion.

SYLLOGISTIC, SYLLOGISTICAL, a. Pertaining to a syllogism; consisting of a syllogism, or of the form of reasoning by syllogisms; as syllogistic arguments or reasoning.

SYLLOGISTICALLY, adv. In the form of a syllogism; by means of syllogisms; as, to reason or prove syllogistically.

SYLLOGIZATION, n. A reasoning by syllogisms.

SYLLOGIZE, v.i. To reason by syllogisms.

Men have endeavored to teach boys to syllogize, or to frame arguments and refute them, without real knowledge.

SYLLOGIZER, n. One who reasons by syllogisms.

SYLLOGIZING, ppr. Reasoning by syllogisms.

SYLPH, n. [Gr. a moth, a beetle.] An imaginary being inhabiting the air.

SYLVA, n. [L. a wood or forest.] In poetry, a poetical piece composed in a start or kind of transport.

1. A collection of poetical pieces of various kinds.

SYLVAN. [See Silvan.]

SYLVAN, n. A fabled deity of the wood; a satyr; a faun; sometimes perhaps, a rustic.

Her private orchards, wall’d on ev’ry side,

To lawless sylvans all access deni’d.

SYLVANITE, n. Native tellurium, a metallic substance recently discovered.

SYMBAL. [See Cymbal.]

SYMBOL, n. [L. symbolum; Gr. with, and to throw; to compare.]

1. The sign or representation of any moral thing by the images or properties of natural things. Thus the lion is the symbol of courage; the lamb is the symbol of meekness or patience. Symbols are of various kinds, as types, enigmas, parables, fables, allegories, emblems, hieroglyphics, etc.

2. An emblem or representation of something else. Thus in the eucharist, the bread and wine are called symbols of the body and blood of Christ.

3. A letter or character which is significant. The Chinese letters are most of them symbols. The symbols in algebra are arbitrary.

4. In medals, a certain mark or figure representing a being or thing, as a trident is the symbol of Neptune, the peacock of June, etc.

5. Among christians, an abstract or compendium; the creed, or a summary of the articles of religion.

6. Lot; sentence of adjudication. [Not in use.]

SYMBOLIC, SYMBOLICAL, a. Representative; exhibiting or expressing by resemblance or signs; as, the figure of an eye is symbolical of sight and knowledge. The ancients had their symbolical mysteries.

The sacrament is a representation of Christ’s death, by such symbolical actions as he appointed.

Symbolical philosophy, is the philosophy expressed by hieroglyphics.

SYMBOLICALLY, adv. By representation or resemblance of properties; by signs; typically. Courage is symbolically represented by a lion.

SYMBOLISM, n. Among chimists, consent of parts.

SYMBOLIZATION, n. [See Symbolize.] The act of symbolizing; resemblance in properties.

SYMBOLIZE, v.i. To have a resemblance of qualities or properties.

The pleasing of color symbolizeth with the pleasing of a single tone to the ear, but the pleasing of order doth symbolize with harmony.

They both symbolize in this, that they love to look upon themselves through multiplying gasses.

SYMBOLIZE, v.t. To make to agree in properties.

1. To make representative of something.

Some symbolize the same from the mystery of its colors.

SYMBOLIZING, ppr. Representing by some properties in common; making to agree or resemble in properties.

SYMMETRAL, a. [from symmetry.] Commensurable.

SYMMETRIAN, SYMMETRIST, n. [from symmetry.] One eminently studious of proportion or symmetry of parts.

SYMMETRICAL, a. [from symmetry.] Proportional in its parts; having its parts in due proportion, as to dimensions; as a symmetrical body or building.

SYMMETRICALLY, adv. With due proportion of parts.

SYMMETRIZE, v.t. To make proportional in its parts; to reduce to symmetry.

SYMMETRY, n. [Gr. with, together, and to measure.] A due proportion of the several parts of a body to each other; adaptation of the dimensions of the several parts of a thing to each other; or the union and conformity of the members of a work to the whole. Symmetry arises from the proportion which the Greeks call analogy, which is the relation of conformity of all the parts to a certain measure; as the symmetry of a building or an animal body.

Uniform symmetry, in architecture, is where the same ordonnance reigns throughout the whole.

Respective symmetry, is where only the opposite sides are equal to each other.

SYMPATHETIC, SYMPATHETICAL, a. [See Sympathy.]

1. Pertaining to sympathy.

2. Having common feeling with another; susceptible of being affected by feelings like those of another, or of feelings inconsequence of what another feels; as a sympathetic heart.

3. Among physicians, produced by sympathy. A sympathetic disease is one which is produced by sympathy, or by a remote cause, as when a fever follows a local injury. In this case, the word is opposed to idiopathetic, which denotes a disease produced by a proximate cause, or an original disease. Thus an epilepsy is sympathetic, when it is produced by some other disease.

4. Among chimists and alchimists, an epithet applied to a kind of powder, possessed of the wonderful property that if spread on a cloth dipped in the blood of a wound, the wound will be healed, though the patient is at a distance. This opinion is discarded as charlatanry.

This epithet is given also to a species of ink or liquor, with which a person may write letters which are not visible till something else is applied.

5. In anatomy, sympathetic is applied to two nerves, from the opinion that their communications are the cause of sympathies. One of these is the great intercostal nerve; the other is the facial nerve.

SYMPATHETICALLY, adv. With sympathy or common feeling; inconsequence of sympathy; by communication from something else.

SYMPATHIZE, v.i.

1. To have a common feeling, as of bodily pleasure or pain.

The mind will sympathize so much with the anguish and debility of the body, that it will be too distracted to fix itself in meditation.

2. To feel in consequence of what another feels; to be affected by feelings similar to those of another, in consequence of knowing the person to be thus affected. We sympathize with our friends in distress; we fell some pain when we see them pained, or when we are informed of their distresses, even at a distance.

[It is generally and properly used of suffering or pain, and not of pleasure or joy. It may be sometimes used with greater latitude.]

3. To agree; to fit. [Not in use.]

SYMPATHY, n. [Gr. with, and passion.]

1. Fellow feeling; the quality of being affected by the affection of another, with feelings by the affection of another, with feelings correspondent in kind, if not in degree. We feel sympathy for another when we see him in distress, or when we are informed of his distresses. This sympathy is a correspondent feeling of pain or regret.

Sympathy is produced through the medium of organic impression.

I value myself upon sympathy; I hate and despise myself for envy.

2. An agreement of affections or inclinations, or a conformity of natural temperament, which makes two persons pleased with each other.

To such associations may be attributed most of the sympathies and antipathies of our nature.

3. In medicine, a correspondence of various parts of the body in similar sensations or affections; or an affection of the whole body or some part of it, in consequence of an injury or disease of another part, or of a local affection. Thus a contusion on the head will produce nausea and vomiting. This is said to be by sympathy, or consent of parts.

4. In natural history, a propension of inanimate things to unite, or to act on each other. Thus we say, there is a sympathy between the lodestone and iron.

SYMPHONIOUS, a. [from symphony.] Agreeing in sound; accordant; harmonious.

--Sounds

Symphonious of ten thousand harps.

SYMPHONY, n. [L. symphonia; Gr. with, and voice.]

1. A consonance or harmony of sounds agreeable to the ear, whether the sounds are vocal or instrumental, or both.

The trumpets sound,

And warlike symphony is heard around.

2. A musical instrument, mentioned by French writers.

3. A full concert.

4. An overture or other composition for instruments.

SYMPHYSIS, n. [Gr. together, and to grow.]

1. In anatomy, the union of bones by cartilage; a connection of bones without a movable joint.

2. In surgery, a coalescence of a natural passage; also, the first intention of cure in a wound.

SYMPOSIAC, a. sympo’ziac. [Gr. a drinking together; together, and to drink.] Pertaining to compotations and merry-making; happening where company is drinking together; as symposiac meetings.

Symposiac disputations. [Not much used.]

SYMPOSIAC, n. A conference or conversation of philosophers at a banquet.

SYMPOSIUM, n. sympo’zium. [supra.] A drinking together; a merry feast.

SYMPTOM, n. [Gr. a falling or accident, to fall.]

1. Properly, something that happens in concurrence with another thing, as an attendant. Hence in medicine, any affection which accompanies disease; a perceptible change in the body or its functions, which indicates disease. The causes of disease often lie beyond our sight, but we learn the nature of them by the symptoms. Particular symptoms which more uniformly accompany a morbid state of the body, and are characteristic of it, are called pathognomonic or diagnostic symptoms.

2. A sign or token; that which indicates the existence of something else; as, open murmurs of the people are a symptom of disaffection to law or government.

SYMPTOMATIC, SYMPTOMATICAL, a. Pertaining to symptoms; happening in concurrence with something; indicating the existence of something else.

1. In medicine, a symptomatic disease is one which proceeds from some prior disorder in some part of the body. Thus a symptomatic fever may proceed from local pain or local inflammation. It is opposed to idiopathic.

2. According to symptoms; as a symptomatical classification of diseases.

SYMPTOMATICALLY, adv. By means of symptoms; in the nature of symptoms.

SYMPTOMATOLOGY, n. [Gr. discourse.] The doctrine of symptoms; that part of the science of medicine which treats of the symptoms of diseases.

SYNAGOGICAL, a. [from synagogue.] Pertaining to a synagogue.

SYNAGOGUE, n. syn’agog. [Gr. together, and to drive; properly an assembly.]

1. A congregation or assembly of Jews, met for the purpose of worship or the performance of religious rites.

2. The house appropriated to the religious worship of the Jews.

3. The court of the seventy elders among the Jews, called the great synagogue.

SYNAGRIS, n. A fish caught in the Archipelago, resembling the dentex. It has a sharp back, and is reckoned a species of Sparus.

SYNALEPHA, n. [Gr.] In grammar, a contraction of syllables by suppressing some vowel or diphthong at the end of a word, before another vowel or diphthong; as ill’ ego for ille ego.

SYNARCHY, n. [Gr.] Joint rule or sovereignty.

SYNARESIS, SYNARESY, n. [Gr.] Contraction; the shortening of a word by the omission of a letter, as ne’er for never.

SYNARTHROSIS, n. [Gr. with, and to articulate.] Union of bones without motion; close union; as in sutures, symphysis and the like.

SYNAXIS, n. [Gr. to congregate.] A congregation; also, a term formerly used for the Lord’s supper.

SYNCHONDROSIS, n. [Gr. cartilage.] The connection of bones by means of cartilage or gristle.

SYNCHRONAL, a. [Gr. with, and time.] Happening at the same time; simultaneous.

SYNCHRONAL, n. [supra.] That which happens at the same time with something else, or pertains to the same time.

SYNCHRONICAL, a. [See Synchronism.] Happening at the same time; simultaneous.

SYNCHRONISM, n. [Gr. with, and time.] Concurrence of two or more events in time; simultaneousness.

SYNCHRONIZE, v.i. [supra.] To agree in time; to be simultaneous.

SYNCHRONOUS, a. Happening at the same time; simultaneous.

SYNCHRONOUSLY, adv. [supra.] At the same time.

SYNCOPATE, v.t. [See Syncope.] To contract, as a word, by taking one or more letters or syllables from the middle.

1. In music, to prolong a note begun on the unaccented part of a bar, to the accented part of the next bar; or to connect the last note of a bar with the first of the following; or to end a note in one part, in the middle of a note of another part.

SYNCOPATED, pp. Contracted by the loss of a letter from the middle of the word.

1. Inverted, as the measure in music.

SYNCOPATION, n. The contraction of a word by taking a letter, letters or a syllable from the middle.

1. In music, an interruption of the regular measure; an inversion of the order of notes; a prolonging of a note begun on the unaccented part of a bar, to the accented part of the next bar; also, a driving note, when a shorter note at the beginning of a measure is followed by two or more longer notes before another short note occurs, equal to that which occasioned the driving, to make the number even.

SYNCOPE, SYNCOPY, n. [Gr. to cut off.]

1. In music, the same as syncopation; the division of a note introduced when two or more notes of one part answer to a single note of another.

2. In grammar, an elision or retrenchment of one or more letters or a syllable from the middle of a word.

3. In medicine, a fainting or swooning; a diminution or interruption of the motion of the heart, and of respiration, accompanied with a suspension of the action of the brain and a temporary loss of sensation, volition and other faculties.

SYNCOPIST, n. One who contracts words.

SYNCOPIZE, v.t. To contract by the omission of a letter or syllable.

SYNDIC, n. [L. syndicus; Gr. with, and justice.] An officer of government, invested with different powers in different countries; a kind of magistrate entrusted with the affairs of a city or community. In Geneva, the syndic is the chief magistrate. Almost all the companies in Paris, the university, etc., have their syndics. The university of Cambridge has it syndics.

SYNDICATE, n. In some countries on the European continent, a council; a branch of government.

SYNDICATE, v.t. To judge, or to censure.

SYNDROME, SYNDROMY, n. [Gr. a running together.]

1. Concurrence.

2. In medicine, the concourse or combination of symptoms in a disease.

SYNECDOCHE, SYNECDOCHY, n. [Gr. to take.] In rhetoric, a figure or trope by which the whole of a thing is put for a part, or a part for the whole; as the genus for the species, or the species for the genus, etc.

SYNECDOCHICAL, a. Expressed by synecdoche; implying a synecdoche.

SYNGENESE, n. [Gr. with, and generation, origin.] In botany, a plant whose stamens are united in a cylindrical form by the anthers.

SYNGENESIAN, a. Pertaining to the class syngenesia.

SYNNEUROSIS, n. [Gr. a nerve.] In anatomy, the connection of parts by means of ligaments, as in the movable joints.

1. In church history, a council or meeting of ecclesiastics to consult on matters of religion. Synods are of four kinds, 1. General or ecumenical, which are composed of bishops from different nations. 2. National, in which the bishops of one nation only meet, to determine points of doctrine or discipline. 3. Provincial, in which the bishops of one province only meet. This is called a convocation. 4. Diocesan.

In Scotland, a synod is composed of several adjoining presbyteries. The members are the ministers, and a ruling elder from each parish. A synod in the United States is constituted in like manner as in Scotland.

2. A meeting, convention or council; as a synod of gods.

Let us call to synod all the blest.

3. In astronomy, a conjunction of two or more planets or stars in the same optical place of the heavens.

SYNODAL, n. Anciently, a pecuniary rent, paid to the bishop or archdeacon at the time of his Easter visitation, by every parish priest; a procuration.

Synodals are due of common right to the bishop only.

1. Constitutions made in provincial or diocesan synods, are sometimes called synodals.

SYNODAL, SYNODIC, SYNODICAL, a. Pertaining to a synod; transacted in a synod; as synodical proceedings or forms; a synodical epistle.

Synodical month, in astronomy, is the period from one conjunction of the moon with the sun to another. This is called also a lunation, because in the course of it the moon exhibits all its phases. This month consists of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 3 seconds and 11 thirds.

SYNODICALLY, adv. By the authority of a synod.

SYNOMOSY, n. [Gr. with, and to swear.] Sworn brotherhood; a society in ancient Greece nearly resembling a modern political club.

SYNONYM, n. [Gr. with, and name.] A name, noun or other word having the same signification as another, is its synonym. Two words containing the same idea are synonyms.

He has extricated the synonyms of former authors.

SYNONYMA, n. plu. Words having the same signification. But synonyms is a regular English word.

SYNONYMAL, a. Synonymous. [Not in use.]

SYNONYMIST, n. Among botanists, a person who collects the different names or synonyms of plants, and reduces them to one another.

SYNONYMIZE, v.t. To express the same meaning in different words.

SYNONYMOUS, a. Expressing the same thing; conveying the same idea. We rarely find two words precisely synonymous. Wave and billow are sometimes synonymous, but not always. When we speak of the large rolling swell of the sea, we may call it a wave or a billow; but when we speak of the small swell of a pond, we may call it a wave, but we may not call it a billow.

SYNONYMOUSLY, adv. In a synonymous manner; in the same sense; with the same meaning. Two words may be used synonymously in some cases and not in others.

SYNONYMY, n. The quality of expressing the same meaning by different words.

1. In rhetoric, a figure by which synonymous words are used to amplify a discourse.

SYNOPSIS, n. [Gr. with, and view.] A general view, or a collection of things or parts so arranged as to exhibit the whole or the principal parts in a general view.

SYNOPTIC, SYNOPTICAL, a. Affording a general view of the whole, or of the principal parts of a thing; as a synoptic table.

SYNOPTICALLY, adv. In such a manner as to present a general view in a short compass.

SYNOVIA, SYNOVY, n. In anatomy, the fluid secreted into the cavities of joints, for the purpose of lubricating them.

SYNOVIAL, a. [supra.] Pertaining to synovia; secreting a lubricating fluid; as the synovial membrane; synovial gland.

SYNTACTIC, SYNTACTICAL, a. [See Syntax.] Pertaining to syntax, or the construction of sentences.

1. According to the rules of syntax or construction.

SYNTACTICALLY, adv. In conformity to syntax.

SYNTAX, n. [L. syntaxis; Gr. together, and to put.]

1. In grammar, the construction of sentences; the due arrangement of words in sentences, according to established usage. Syntax includes concord and regimen, or the agreement and government of words. Words, in every language, have certain connections and relations, as verbs and adjectives with nouns, which relations must be observed in the formation of sentences. A gross violation of the rules of syntax is a solecism.

2. Connected system or order; union of things. [Not in use.]

SYNTHESIS, n. [Gr. to put or set.]

1. Composition, or the putting of two or more things together, as in compound medicines.

2. In logic, composition, or that process of reasoning in which we advance by a regular chain from principles before established or assumed, and propositions already proved, till we arrive at the conclusion. Synthesis is the opposite of analysis or resolution.

3. In surgery, the operation by which divided parts are reunited.

4. In chimistry, the uniting of elements into a compound; the opposite of analysis, which is the separation of a compound into its constituent parts. That water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen, is proved both by analysis and synthesis.

SYNTHETIC, SYNTHETICAL, a. Pertaining to synthesis; consisting in synthesis or composition; as the synthetic method of reasoning, as opposed to the analytical.