Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



TAPIR, n. A quadruped of S. America, about 6 feet long and 3 1/2 high, resembling a hog in shape, with a short movable proboscis. It frequents the water, like the hippopotamus.

TAPIS, n. Tapestry. Upon the tapis, under consideration, or on the table.

TAPPED, pp. Broached; opened.

TAPPING, ppr. Broaching; opening for the discharge of a fluid.

TAP-ROOT, n. [tap and root.] The main root of a plant, which penetrates the earth directly downwards to a considerable depth.

TAPSTER, n. One whose business is to draw ale or other liquor.

TAR, n. [Eng. tare, in commerce.]

1. A thick resinous substance of a dark brown or black color, obtained from pine and fir trees, by burning the wood with a close smothering heat.

Tar inspissated is called pitch, and is much used in ships and cordage.

2. A sailor; so called form his tarred clothes.

T`AR, v.t. To smear with tar; as, to tar ropes.

1. To tease; to provoke. [Not in use.]

TARABE, n. A large parrot with a red head.

TARANTULA, n. A species of spider, the Aranea tarantula, so called, it is said, from Tarentum in Apulia, where this animal is mostly found; a venomous insect, whose bite gives name to a new disease, called tarantismus. This is said to be cured by music.

TARANTULATE, v.t. To excite or govern emotions by music.

TARAQUIRA, n. A species of American lizard.

TARDATION, n. [L. tardo. See Tardy.] The act of retarding or delaying. [Not used. We use for this, retardation.]

TARDIGRADE, TARDIGRADOUS, a. [L. tardigradus; tardus, slow, and gradus, step.]

Slow-paced; moving or stepping slowly.

T`ARDIGRADE, n. The tardigrades are a genus of edentate quadrupeds, including the genus Bradypus or sloth.

TARDILY, adv. [from tardy.] Slowly; with slow pace or motion.

TARDINESS, n. [from tardy.] Slowness; or the slowness of motion or pace.

1. Unwillingness; reluctance manifested by slowness.

2. Lateness; as the tardiness of witnesses or jurors in attendance; the tardiness of students in attending prayers or recitation.

TARDITY, n. [L. tarditas.] Slowness; tardiness. [Not used.]

TARDY, a. [L. tardus.]

1. Slow; with a slow pace or motion.

And check the tardy flight of time.

2. Late; dilatory; not being in season.

The tardy plants in our cold orchards plac’d

You may freely censure him for being tardy in his payments.

3. Slow; implying reluctance.

Tardy to vengeance, and with mercy brave.

4. Unwary. [Not in use.]

5. Criminal. [Not in use.]

T`ARDY, v.i. To delay. [Not in use.]

TARDY-GAITED, a. [tardy and gait.] Slow-paced; having a slow step or pace.

The mellow horn

Chides the tardy-gaited morn.

TARE, n. [I know not the origin of this word. See the next word.]

1. A weed that grows among corn.

Declare to us the parable of the tares of the field. Matthew 13:36.

2. In agriculture, a plant of the vetch kind, of which there are two sorts, the purple flowered spring or summer tare, and the purple-flowered wild or winter tare. It is much cultivated in England for fodder.

TARE, n.

1. In commerce, deficiency in the weight or quantity of goods by reason of the weight of the cask, bag or other thing containing the commodity, and which is weighed with it; hence, the allowance or abatement of a certain weight or quantity from the weight or quantity of a commodity sold in a cask, chest, bag or the like, which the seller makes to the buyer on account of the weight of such cask, chest or bag; or the abatement may be on the price of the commodity sold. When the tare is deducted, the remainder is called the net or neat weight.

TARE, v.t. To ascertain or mark the amount of tare.
TARE, old pret. of tear. WE now use tore.

TARED, pp. Having the tare ascertained and marked.

TARGE, for target, is obsolete.


1. A shield or buckler of a small kind, used as a defensive weapon in war.

2. A mark for the artillery to fire at in their practice.

TARGETED, a. Furnished or armed with a target.

TARGETEER, n. One armed with a target.

TARGUM, n. A translation or paraphrase of the sacred Scriptures in the Chaldee language or dialect. Of these the Targum of Jonathan, and that of Onkelos, are held in most esteem by the Jews.

TARGUMIST, n. The writer of a Targum.


1. Properly, a list or table of goods with the duties or customs to be paid for the same, either on importation or exportation, whether such duties are imposed by the government of a country, or agreed on by the princes or governments of two countries holding commerce with each other.

2. A list or table of duties or customs to be paid on goods imported or exported.

TARIF, v.t. To make a list of duties on goods.

TARIN, n. A bird of the genus Fringilla, kept in cages for its beauty and fine notes; the citrinella.

TARING, ppr. Ascertaining or marking the amount of tare.

TARN, n. A bog, a marsh; a fen.


1. To sully; to soil by an alteration induced by the air, or by dust and the like; to diminish or destroy luster; as, to tarnish a metal; to tarnish gilding; to tarnish the brightness or beauty of color.

2. To diminish or destroy the purity of; as to tarnish reputation or honor.

T`ARNISH, v.i. To lose luster; to become dull; as, polished substances of gilding will tarnish in the course of time. Metals tarnish by oxydation.

TARNISHED, pp. Sullied; having lost its brightness by oxydation, or by some alteration induced by exposure to air, dust and the like.

Gold and silver, when tarnished, resume their brightness by setting them over certain lyes. Copper and pewter, etc. tarnished, recover their luster with tripoli and potashes.

TARNISHING, pp. Sullying; losing brightness.

TARPAULIN, n. [from tar.] A piece of canvas well daubed with tar, and used to cover the hatchways of a ship to prevent rain or water from entering the hold.

1. A sailor; in contempt.

TARRACE, TARRASS, TERRASS, TRASS, n. A volcanic earth, resembling puzzolana, used as a cement; or a coarse sort of plaster or mortar, durable in water, and used to line cisterns and other reservoirs of water. The Dutch tarrass is made of a soft rock stone found near Collen, on the lower part of the Rhine. It is burnt like lime, and reduced to powder in mills. It is of a grayish color.

TARRAGON, n. A plant of the genus Artemisia, (A. dracunculus,) celebrated for perfuming vinegar in France.

TARRED, pp. Smeared with tar.

TARRIANCE, n. [from tarry.] A tarrying; delay; lateness. [Not in use.]

TARRIER, n. A dog. [See Terrier.]

1. [from tarry.] One who tarries or delays.

TARRING, ppr. Smearing with tar.

TARROCK, n. A sea fowl of the genus Larus or gull kind, the L. tridactylus. It is of the size of the common pigeon, and is remarkable for having no hind toe, but in lieu of it a small protuberance.

TARRY, v.i. [L. taurus, a bull.]

1. To stay; to abide; to continue; to lodge.

Tarry all night and wash your feet. Genesis 19:2.

2. To stay behind. Exodus 12:39.

3. To stay in expectation; to wait.

Tarry ye here for us, till we come again to you. Exodus 24:14.

4. To delay; to put off going or coming; to defer.

Come down to me, tarry not. Genesis 45:9.

5. To remain; to stay.

He that telleth lies, shall not tarry in my sight. Psalm 101:7.

TARRY, v.t. To wait for.

I cannot tarry dinner. [Not in use.]

TARRY, a. [from tar.] Consisting of tar, or like tar.

TARRYING, ppr. Staying; delaying.

TARRYING, n. Delay. Psalm 40:17.

[This word is in respectable use.]

TARSEL, n. A kind of hawk.

TARSUS, n. That part of the foot to which the leg is articulated, the front of which is called the instep.

TART, a.

1. Acid; sharp to the taste; acidulous; as a tart apple.

2. Sharp; keen; severe; as a tart reply; tart language; a tart rebuke.

T`ART, n. [L. tortus, twisted; and this may be the primary sense of tar, acid, sharp, and hence this noun, something acid or made of acid fruit.] A species of pie or pastry, consisting of fruit baked on paste.

TARTAN, n. A small coasting vessel with one mast and a bowsprit, and the principal sail, which is very large, extended by a lateen-yard.


1. An acid concrete salt, formed from wines completely fermented, and adhering to the sides of the casks in the form of a hard crust. It is white or red, the white being most esteemed. In its crude state, it is much used as a flux in the assaying of ores.

Tartar is a supertartrate of potash; that is, a compound of tartaric acid and potash, having the acid in excess.

2. A person of a keen irritable temper.

3. A native of Tartary; a corruption of Tatar.

T`ARTAR, n. [L. Tartarus.] Hell. [Not in use.]

TARTAREAN, TARAREOUS, a. Hellish; pertaining to Tartarus.

TARTAREOUS, a. Consisting of tartar; resembling tartar, or partaking of its properties.

TARTARIC, TARAREAN, a. Pertaining to Tartary, in Asia.

Tartaric acid, the acid of tartar.

TARTARIN, n. [from tartar.] Fixed vegetable alkali or potash.

TARTARINATED, a. Combined with tartarin.

TARTARIZE, v.t. To impregnate with tartar; to refine by means of the salt of tartar.

TARTARIZED, pp. Impregnated with tartar; refined by tartar.

TARTARIZING, ppr. Impregnating with tartar; refining by means of the salt of tartar.

TARTAROUS, a. Containing tartar; consisting of tartar, or partaking of its qualities.

TARTARUM, n. A preparation of tartar, called petrified tartar.

TARTISH, a. [from tart.] Somewhat tart.

TARTLY, adv. Sharply; with acidity.

1. Sharply; with poignancy; severely; as, to reply or rebuke tartly.

2. With sourness of aspect.

TARTNESS, n. Acidity; sharpness to the taste; as the tartness of wine or fruit.

1. Sharpness of language or manner; poignancy; keenness; severity; as the tartness of rebuke.

TARTRATEARTRITE, n. [from tartar.] A salt formed by the combination of tartarous or tartaric acid with a base; as tartrite of potash; tartrite of soda.

TARTUFFISH, a. Precise; formal. [Not in use.]

TAR-WATER, n. [tar and water.] A cold infusion of tar, used as a medicine.

TASK, n.

1. Business imposed by another, often a definite quantity or amount of labor. Each man has his task. When he has performed his task, his time is his own. Exodus 5:13.

2. Business; employment.

His mental powers were equal to greater tasks.

3. Burdensome employment.

To take to task, to reprove; to reprimand; as, to take one to task for idleness.

T`ASK, v.t.

1. To impose a task; to assign to one a definite amount of business or labor.

2. To burden with some employment; to require to perform.

There task thy maids, and exercise the loom.

TASKED, pp. Required to perform something.

TASKER, n. One that imposes a task.

TASKING, ppr. Imposing a task on; requiring to perform.

TASKMASTER, n. [task and master.] One who imposes a task, or burdens with labor. Sinful propensities and appetites are men’s most unrelenting taskmasters. They condemn us to unceasing drudgery, and reward us with pain, remorse and poverty. Next to our sinful propensities, fashion is the most oppressive taskmaster.

1. One whose office is to assign tasks to others. Exodus 1:11; Exodus 3:7.


1. A sort of pendant ornament, attached to the corners of cushions, to curtains and the like, ending in loose threads.

2. A small ribbon of silk sewed to a book, to be put between the leaves.

3. In building, tassels are the pieces of boards that lie under the mantle-tree.

4. A burr. [See Teasel.]

5. A male hawk; properly terzol.

TASSELED, a. Furnished or adorned with tassels; as the tasseled horn.

TASSES, n. plu. Armor for the thighs; appendages to the ancient corslet, consisting of skirts of iron that covered the thighs. They were fastened to the cuirass with hooks.

TASTABLE, a. [from taste.] That may be tasted; savory; relishing.

TASTE, v.t.

1. To perceive by means of the tongue; to have a certain sensation in consequence of something applied to the tongue, the organ of taste; as, to taste bread; to taste wine; to taste a sweet or an acid.

2. To try the relish of by the perception of the organs of taste.

3. To try by eating a little; or to eat a little.

Because I tasted a little of this honey. 1 Samuel 14:29.

4. To essay first.

5. To have pleasure from.

6. To experience; to feel; to undergo.

That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Hebrews 2:9.

7. To relish intellectually; to enjoy.

Thou, Adam, wilt taste no pleasure.

8. To experience by shedding, as blood.

When Commodus had once tasted human blood, he became incapable of pity or remorse.

TASTE, v.i. To try by the mouth; to eat or drink; or to eat or drink a little only; as, to taste of each kind of wine.

1. To have a smack; to excite a particular sensation, by which the quality or flavor is distinguished; as, butter tastes of garlic; apples boiled in a brass-kettle, sometimes taste of brass.

2. To distinguish intellectually.

Scholars, when good sense describing,

Call it tasting and imbibing.

3. To try the relish of any thing. Taste of the fruits; taste for yourself.

4. To be tinctured; to have a particular quality or character.

Ev’ry idle, nice and wanton reason

Shall, to the king, taste of this action.

5. To experience; to have perception of.

The valiant never taste of death but once.

6. To take to be enjoyed.

Of nature’s bounty men forbore to taste.

7. To enjoy sparingly.

For age but tastes of pleasures, youth devours.

8. To have the experience or enjoyment of.

They who have tasted of the heavenly gift, and the good word of God. Hebrews 6:4-5.

TASTE, n. The act of tasting; gustation.

1. A particular sensation excited in an animal by the application of a substance to the tongue, the proper organ; as the taste of an orange or an apple; a bitter taste; an acid taste; a sweet taste.

2. The sense by which we perceive the relish of a thing. This sense appears to reside in the tongue or its papillae. Men have a great variety of tastes. In the influenza of 1790, the taste, for some days, was entirely extinguished.

3. Intellectual relish; as, he had no taste of true glory.

I have no taste

Of popular applause.

[Note. In this use, the word is now followed by for. “He had no taste for glory.” When followed by of, the sense is ambiguous, or rather it denotes experience, trial.]

4. Judgment; discernment; nice perception, or the power of perceiving and relishing excellence in human performances; the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts and belles lettres. Taste is not wholly the gift of nature, nor wholly the effect of art. It depends much on culture. We say, a good taste, or a fine taste.

5. Style; manner, with respect to what is pleasing; as a poem or music composed in good taste.

6. Essay; trial; experiment. [Not in use.]

7. A small portion given as a specimen.

8. A bit; a little piece tasted or eaten.

TASTED, pp. Perceived by the organs of taste; experienced.

TASTEFUL, a. Having a high relish; savory; as tasteful herbs.

1. Having good taste.

TASTEFULLY, adv. With good taste.

TASTELESS, a. Having no taste; insipid; as tasteless fruit.

1. Having no power of giving pleasure; as tasteless amusements.

2. Having no power to perceive taste. [Not used.]

3. Having no intellectual gust. [Little used.]

TASTELESSNESS, n. Want of taste or relish; insipidness; as the tastelessness of fruit.

1. Want of perception of taste. [Not in use.]

2. Want of intellectual relish. [Not in use.]

TASTER, n. One who tastes.

1. One who first tastes food or liquor.

Thy tutor be thy taster, e’er thou eat.

2. A dram cup.

TASTILY, adv. With good taste.

TASTING, ppr. Perceiving by the tongue.

1. Trying; experiencing; enjoying or suffering.

TASTING, n. The art of perceiving by the tongue.

1. The sense by which we perceive of distinguish savors; or the perception of external objects through the instrumentality of the tongue or organs of taste.

TASTY, a. Having a good taste, or nice perception of excellence; applied to persons; as a tasty lady.

1. Being in conformity to the principles of good taste; elegant; as tasty furniture; a tasty dress.

TATTER, v.t. To rend or tear into rags. [Not used except in the participle.]

TATTER, n. A rag, or a part torn and hanging to the thing; chiefly used in the plural, tatters.

TATTERDEMALION, n. A ragged fellow.

TATTERED, pp. or a. Rent; torn; hanging in rags; as a tattered garment.

Where wav’d the tatter’d ensigns of Rag-fair.

TATTLE, v.i.

1. To prate; to talk idly; to use many words with little meaning.

Excuse it by the tattling quality of age, which is always narrative.

2. To tell tales; to communicate secrets; as a tattling girl.

TATTLE, n. Prate, idle talk or chat; trifling talk.

They told the tattle of the day.

TATTLER, n. One who tattles; an idle talker; one that tells tales.

TATTLING, ppr. Talking idly; telling tales.

1. a. Given to idle talk; apt to tell tales.

TATTOO, n. [Eng. tap.] A beat of drum at night, giving notice to soldiers to retreat, or to repair to their quarters in garrison, or to their tents in camp.

TATTOO, v.t. [In the South Sea isles.] To prick the skin, and stain the punctured spots with a black substance, forming lines and figures upon the body. In some isles, the inhabitants tattoo the face, in others only the body. The same practice exists among other rude nations.
TATTOO, n. Figures on the body made by punctures and stains in lines and figures.

TATTOOED, pp. Marked by stained lines and figures on the body.

TATTOOING, ppr. Marking with various figures by stained lines.

TAU, n. The toad fish of Carolina, a species of Gadus. (G. tau.)

1. A species of beetle; also, a species of moth, (Phalena;) also, a kind of fly, (Musca.)

TAUGHT, a. taut. [from the root of tight.] Stretched; not slack.

TAUGHT, pret. and pp. of teach. pron. taut. [L. doctus.]

Experience taught him wisdom. He has been taught in the school of experience.

TAUNT, v.t.

1. To reproach with severe or insulting words; to revile; to upbraid.

When I had at my pleasure taunted her--

2. To exprobrate; to censure.

Rail thou in Fulvia’s phrase, and taunt my faults.

T`AUNT, n. Upbraiding words; bitter or sarcastic reproach; insulting invective.

With sacrilegious taunt and impious jest.

TAUNTED, pp. Upbraided with sarcastic or severe words.

TAUNTER, n. One who taunts, reproaches or upbraids with sarcastic or censorious reflections.

TAUNTING, ppr. Treating with severe reflections; upbraiding.

TAUNTINGLY, adv. With bitter and sarcastic words; insultingly; scoffingly.

TAURICORNOUS, a. [L. taurus, a bull, and cornu, horn.]

Having horns like a bull.

TAURIFORM, a. [L. taurus, a bull, and form.]

Having the form of a bull.