Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



TORNADO, n. [from the root of turn; that is, a whirling wind.]

A violent gust of wind, or a tempest, distinguished by a whirling motion. tornadoes of this kind happen after extreme heat, and sometimes in the United States, rend up fences and trees, and in a few instances have overthrown houses and torn them to pieces. Tornadoes are usually accompanied with severe thunder, lightning and torrents of rain; but they are of short duration, and narrow in breadth.

TOROUS, a. [L. torosus.] In botany, protuberant; swelling in knobs, like the veins and muscles; as a torous pericarp.

TORPEDO, n. [L. from torpeo, to be numb.] The cramp fish or electric ray, Raia torpedo. This fish is usually taken in forty fathoms water, on the coast of France and England, and in the Mediterranean. A touch of this fish occasions a numbness in the limb, accompanied with an indescribable and painful sensation, and is really an electric shock. When dead, the fish loses its power of producing this sensation.

TORPENT, a. [L. torpens, torpeo.] Benumbed; torpid; having no motion or activity; incapable of motion.

A frail and torpent memory.

TORPENT, n. In medicine, that which diminishes the exertion of the irritative motions.

TORPESCENCE, n. A state of insensibility; torpidness; numbness; stupidity.

TORPESCENT, a. [L. torpescens.] Becoming torpid or numb.

TORPID, a. [L. torpidus, torpeo.]

1. Having lost motion or the power of exertion and feeling; numb; as a torpid limb.

Without heat all things would be torpid.

2. Dull; stupid; sluggish; inactive. The mind as well as the body becomes torpid by indolence. Impenitent sinners remain in a state of torpid security.

TORPIDITY, n. Torpidness.

TORPIDNESSPITUDE, n. The state of being torpid; numbness. Torpidness may amount to total insensibility or loss of sensation.

1. Dullness; inactivity; sluggishness; stupidity.

TORPOR, n. [L.] Numbness; inactivity; loss of motion, or of the power of motion. Torpor may amount to a total loss of sensation, or complete insensibility. It may however be applied to the state of a living body which has not lost all power of feeling and motion.

1. Dullness; laziness; sluggishness; stupidity.

TORPORIFIC, a. [L. torpor and facio.] Tending to produce torpor.

TORREFACTION, n. [L. torrefacio; torridus and facio.]

1. The operation of drying by a fire.

2. In metallurgy, the operation of roasting ores.

3. In pharmacy, the drying or roasting of drugs on a metalline plate, placed over or before coals of fire, till they become friable to the fingers, or till some other desired effect is produced.

TORREFIED,. pp. Dried; roasted; scorched. Torrefied earth, in agriculture, is that which has undergone the action of fire.

TORREFY, v.t. [L. torrefacio; L. torridus, torreo, and facio.]

1. To dry by a fire.

2. In metallurgy, to roast or scorch, as metallic ores.

3. In pharmacy, to dry or parch, as drugs, on a metalline plate till they are friable, or are reduced to any state desired.

TORREFYING, ppr. Drying by a fire; roasting; parching.

TORRENT, n. [L. torrens. This is the participle of torreo, to parch; Eng. tear.]

1. A violent rushing stream of water or other fluid; a stream suddenly raised and running rapidly, as down a precipice; as a torrent of lava.

2. A violent or rapid stream; a strong current; as a torrent of vices and follies; a torrent of corruption.

Erasmus, that great injur’d name,

Stemm’d the wild torrent of a barb’rous age.

TORRENT, a. Rolling or rushing in a rapid stream; as waves of torrent fire.

TORRICELLIAN, a. Pertaining to Torricelli, an Italian philosopher and mathematician, who discovered the true principle on which the barometer is constructed.

Torricellian tube, is a glass tube thirty or more inches in length, open at one end, and hermetically sealed at the other.

Torricellian vacuum, a vacuum produced by filling a tube with mercury, and allowing it to descend till it is counterbalanced by the weight of an equal column of the atmosphere, as in the barometer.

TORRID, a. [L. torridus, from torreo, to roast.]

1. Parched; dried with heat; as a torrid plain or desert.

2. Violently hot; burning or parching; as a torrid heat.

Torrid zone, in geography, that space or broad belt of the earth included between the tropics, over which the sun is vertical at some period every year, and where the heat is always great.

TORRIDNESS, n. The state of being very hot or parched.

TORSE, n. [L. tortus.] In heraldry, a wreath.

TORSEL, n. [supra.] Any thing in a twisted form; as torsels for mantle-trees.

TORSION, n. [L. torsio, from torqueo, to twist.] The act of turning or twisting.

Torsion balance, an instrument for estimating very minute forces by the motion of an index attached to the ends of two fine wires, which twist around each other.

TORSO, n. The trunk of a statue, mutilated of head and limbs; as the torso of Hercules.

TORSTEN, n. An iron ore of a bright bluish black, etc.

TORT, n. [L. tortus, twisted, from torqueo. The primary sense is to turn or strain, hence to twist.]

1. In law, any wrong or injury. Torts are injuries done to the person or property of another, as trespass, assault and battery, defamation and the like.

2. Mischief; calamity. [Except in the legal sense above explained, it is obsolete.]

TORTILE, TORTIL, a. [L. tortilis.] Twisted; wreathed; coiled. In botany, coiled like a rope; as a tortile awn.

TORTION, n. [L. tortus.] Torment; pain. [Not in use.]

TORTIOUS, a. [from tort.] Injurious; done by wrong.

1. In law, implying tort, or injury for which the law gives damages.

TORTIVE, a. [L. tortus.] Twisted; wreathed.

TORTOISE, n. tor’tis. [from L. tortus, twisted.]

1. An animal of the genus Testudo, covered with a shell or crust.

2. In the military art, a defense used by the ancients, formed by the troops arranging themselves in close order and placing their bucklers over their heads, making a cover resembling a tortoise-shell.

TORTOISE-SHELL, n. [tortoise and shell.] The shell or rather scales of the tortoise, used in inlaying and in various manufactures.

TORTUOSITY, n. [from tortuous.] The state of being twisted or wreathed; wreath; flexure.

TORTUOUS, a. [L. tortuosus.]

1. Twisted; wreathed; winding; as a tortuous train; a tortuous leaf or corol, in botany.

2. Tortious. [Not used.] [See Tortious.]

TORTUOUSNESS, n. The state of being twisted.

TORTURE, n. [L. tortus, torqueo, to twist.]

1. Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony; torment.

Ghastly spasm or racking torture.

2. Severe pain inflicted judicially, either as a punishment for a crime, or for the purpose of extorting a confession from an accused person. Torture may be and is inflicted in a variety of ways, as by water or fire, or by the boot or thumbkin. But the most usual mode is by the rack or wheel.

TORTURE, v.t. To pain to extremity; to torment.

1. To punish with torture; to put to the rack; as, to torture an accused person.

2. To vex; to harass.

3. To keep on the stretch, as a bow. [Not in use.]

TORTURED, pp. Tormented; stretched on the wheel; harassed.

TORTURER, n. One who tortures; a tormenter.

TORTURING, ppr. Tormenting; stretching on the rack; vexing.

TORTURINGLY, adv. So as to torture or torment.

TORTUROUS, a. Tormenting. [Not in use.]

TORULOSE, a. In botany, swelling a little.

TORUS, n. A molding. [See Tore.]

TORVITY, n. [L. torvitas; from twisting, supra.] Sourness or severity of countenance.

TORVOUS, a. [L. torvus, from the root of torqueo, to twist.]

Sour of aspect; stern; of a severe countenance.

TORY, n. [said to be an Irish word, denoting a robber; perhaps from tor, a bush, as the Irish banditti lived in the mountains or among trees.] The name given to an adherent to the ancient constitution of England and to the apostolical hierarchy. The tories form a party which are charged with supporting more arbitrary principles in government than the whigs, their opponents.

In America, during the revolution, those who opposed the war, and favored the claims of Great Britain, were called tories.

TORYISM, n. The principles of the tories.

TOSE, v.t. s as z. To tease wool. [Not in use or local.]

TOSS, v.t. pret. and pp. tossed or tost.

1. To throw with the hand; particularly, to throw with the palm of the hand upward, or to throw upward; as, to toss a ball.

2. To throw with violence.

3. To lift or throw up with a sudden or violent motion; as, to toss the head; or to toss up the head.

He toss’d his arm aloft.

4. To cause to rise and fall; as, to be tossed on the waves.

We, being exceedingly tossed with a tempest-- Acts 27:18.

5. To move one way and the other. Proverbs 21:6.

6. To agitate; to make restless.

Calm region once,

And full of peace, now tost and turbulent.

7. To keep in play; to tumble over; as, to spend four years in tossing the rules of grammar.

TOSS, v.i. To fling; to roll and tumble; to writhe; to be in violent commotion.

To toss and fling, and to be restless, only frets and enrages our pain.

1. To be tossed.

To toss up, is to throw a coin into the air and wager on what side it will fall.

TOSS, n. A throwing upward or with a jerk; the act of tossing; as the toss of a ball.

1. A throwing up of the head; a particular manner of raising the head with a jerk. It is much applied to horses, and may be applied to an affected manner of raising the head in men.

TOSSED, pp. Thrown upward suddenly or with a jerk; made to rise and fall suddenly.

TOSSEL. [See Tassel.]

TOSSER, n. One who tosses.

TOSSING, ppr. Throwing upward with a jerk; raising suddenly; as the head.

TOSSING, n. The act of throwing upward; a rising and falling suddenly; a rolling and tumbling.

Dire was the tossing, deep the groans.

TOSS-POT, n. [toss and pot.] A toper; one habitually given to strong drink.

TOST, pret. and pp. of toss.

In a troubled sea of passion tost.

TOTAL, a. [L. totalis, totus.]

1. Whole; full; complete; as total darkness; a total departure from the evidence; a total loss; the total sum or amount.

2. Whole; not divided.

--Myself the total crime.

TOTAL, n. The whole; the whole sum or amount. These sums added, make the grand total of five millions.

TOTALITY, n. The whole sum; whole quantity or amount.

TOTALLY, adv. Wholly; entirely; fully; completely; as, to be totally exhausted; all hope totally failed; he was totally absorbed in thought.

TOTALNESS, n. Entireness.

TOTE, v.t. To carry or convey. [A word used in slaveholding countries; said to have been introduced by the blacks.]

TOTTER, v.i. [This may be allied to titter.]

1. To shake so as to threaten a fall; to vacillate; as, an old man totters with age; a child totters when he beings to walk.

2. To shake; to reel; to lean.

As a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. Psalm 62:3.

Troy nods from high, and totters to her fall.

TOTTERING, ppr. Shaking, as threatening a fall; vacillating; reeling; inclining.

TOTTERY, a. Shaking; trembling or vacillating as if about to fall; unsteady. [Not in use.] [Spenser wrote tottle, as the common people of New England still pronounce it.]

TOUCAN, n. A fowl of the genus Ramphastos; also, a constellation of nine small stars.

TOUCH, v.t. tuch. [L. tango, originally tago, [our vulgar tag.] pret. tetigi, pp. tactus.]

1. To come in contact with; to hit or strike against.

He touched the hollow of his thigh. Genesis 32:25; Matthew 9:20.

Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. Esther 5:2.

2. To perceive by the sense of feeling.

Nothing but body can be touch’d or touch.

3. To come to; to reach; to attain to.

The god vindictive doom’d them never more,

Ah men unbless’d! to touch that natal shore.

4. To try, as gold with a stone.

Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed--

5. To relate to; to concern.

The quarrel toucheth none but thee alone.

[This sense is now nearly obsolete.]

6. To handle slightly.

7. To meddle with. I have not touched the books.

8. To affect.

What of sweet

Hath touch’d my sense, flat seems to this.

9. To move; to soften; to melt.

The tender sire was touch’d with what he said.

10. To mark or delineate slightly.

The lines, though touch’d but faintly--

11. To infect; as men touched with pestilent diseases. [Little used.]

12. To make an impression on.

Its face must be--so hard that the file will not touch it.

13. To strike, as an instrument of music; to play on.

They touch’d their golden harps.

14. To influence by impulse; to impel forcibly.

No decree of mine,

To touch with lightest moment of impulse

His free will.

15. To treat slightly. In his discourse, he barely touched upon the subject deemed the most interesting.

16. To afflict or distress. Genesis 26:11.

To touch up, to repair; or to improve by slight touches or emendations.

To touch the wind, in seamen’s language, is to keep the ship as near the wind as possible.

TOUCH, v.i. tuch. To be in contact with; to be in a state of junction, so that no space is between. Two spheres touch only at points.

1. To fasten on; to take effect on.

Strong waters will touch upon gold, that will not touch silver.

2. To treat of slightly in discourse.

To touch at, to come or go to, without stay.

The ship touched at Lisbon.

The next day we touched at Sidon. Acts 27:3. touch on or upon, to mention slightly.

If the antiquaries have touched upon it, they have immediately quitted it.

1. In the sense of touch at. [Little used.]

TOUCH, n. tuch. Contact; the hitting of two bodies; the junction of two bodies at the surface, so that there is no space between them. The mimosa shrinks at the slightest touch.

1. The sense of feeling; one of the five senses. We say, a thing is cold or warm to the touch; silk is soft to the touch.

The spider’s touch how exquisitely fine!

2. The act of touching. The touch of cold water made him shrink.

3. The state of being touched.

--That never touch was welcome to thy hand

Unless I touch’d.

4. Examination by a stone.

5. Test; that by which any thing is examined.

Equity, the true touch of all laws.

6. Proof; tried qualities.

My friends of noble touch.

7. Single act of a pencil on a picture.

Never give the least touch with your pencil, till you have well examined your design.

8. Feature; lineament.

Of many faces, eyes and hearts,

To have the touches dearest priz’d.

9. Act of the hand on a musical instrument.

Soft stillness and the night

Become the touches of sweet harmony.

10. Power of exciting the affections.

Not alone

The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,

Do strongly speak t’us.

11. Something of passion of affection.

He both makes intercession to God for sinners, and exercises dominion over all men, with a true, natural and sensible touch of mercy.

12. Particular application of any thing to a person.

Speech of touch towards others should be sparingly used.

13. A stroke; as a touch of raillery; a satiric touch.

14. Animadversion; censure; reproof.

I never bore any touch of conscience with greater regret.

15. Exact performance of agreement.

I keep touch with my promise.

16. A small quantity intermixed.

Madam, I have a touch of your condition.

17. A hint; suggestion; slight notice.

A small touch will put him in mind of them.

18. A cant word for a slight essay.

Print my preface in such forms, in the bookseller’s phrase, will make a sixpenny touch. [Not in use.]

19. In music, the resistance of the keys of an instrument to the fingers; as a heavy touch, or light touch.

20. In music, an organ is said to have a good touch or stop, when the keys close well.

21. In ship-building, touch is the broadest part of a plank worked top and butt; or the middle of a plank worked anchor-stock fashion; also, the angles of the stern timbers at the counters.

TOUCHABLE, a. tuch’able. That may be touched; tangible.

TOUCH-HOLE, n. tuch’-hole. [touch and hole.] The vent of a cannon or other species of fire-arms, by which fire is communicated to the powder of the charge. It is now called the vent.

TOUCHINESS, n. tuch’iness. [from touchy.]

Peevishness; irritability; irascibility.

TOUCHING, ppr. tuch’ing. Coming on contact with; hitting; striking; affecting.

1. Concerning; relating to; with respect to.

Now as touching things offered to idols-- 1 Corinthians 8:1.

2. a. Affecting; moving; pathetic.

TOUCHING, n. tuch’ing. Touch; the sense of feeling.

TOUCHINGLY, adv. tuch’ingly. In a manner to move the passions; feelingly.

TOUCH-ME-NOT, n. A plant of the genus Impatiens, and another of the genus Momordica.

TOUCH-NEEDLE, n. tuch’-needle. [touch and needle.] Touch-needles are small bars of gold, silver and copper, each pure and in all proportions, prepared for trying gold and silver by the touchstone, by comparison with the mark they leave upon it.

TOUCHSTONE, n. tuch’stone. [touch and stone.]

1. A stone by which metals are examined; a black, smooth, glossy stone. The touchstone of the ancients was called lapis Lydius, from Lydia in Asia Minor, where it was found.

2. Any test or criterion by which the qualities of a thing are tried; as money, the touchstone of common honesty.

Irish touchstone, is the basalt, the stone which composes the Giant’s causey. This is said also to be an excellent touchstone.

TOUCH-WOOD, n. tuch’-wood. [touch and wood.] Decayed wood, used like a match for taking fire from a spark.

TOUCHY, a. tuch’y. [vulgarly techy.] Peevish; irritable; irascible; apt to take fire. [Not elegant.]

TOUGH, a. tuf.

1. Having the quality of flexibility without brittleness; yielding to force without breaking. The ligaments of animals and of India rubber are remarkably tough. Tough timber, like young ash, is the most proper for the shafts and springs of a carriage.

2. Firm; strong; not easily broken; able to endure hardship; as an animal of a tough frame.

3. Not easily separated; viscous; clammy; tenacious; ropy; as tough phlegm.

4. Stiff; not flexible.

TOUGHEN, v.i. tuf’n. To grow tough.

TOUGHEN, v.t. tuf’n. To make tough.

TOUGHLY, adv. tuf’ly. In a tough manner.

TOUGHNESS, n. tuf’ness. The quality of a substance which renders it in some degree flexible, without brittleness or liability to fracture; flexibility with a firm adhesion of parts; as the toughness of steel.

1. Viscosity; tenacity; clamminess; glutinousness; as the toughness of mucus.

2. Firmness; strength of constitution or texture.

TOUPEE, TOUPET, n. A little tuft; a curl or artificial lock of hair.

TOUR, n.

1. Literally, a going round; hence, a journey in a circuit; as the tour of Europe; the tour of France or England.

2. A turn; a revolution; as the tours of the heavenly bodies. [Not now in use.]

3. A turn; as a tour of duty; a military use of the word.

4. A tress or circular border of hair on the head, worn sometimes by both sexes.

5. A tower. [Not in use.]

TOURIST, n. One who makes a tour, or performs a journey in a circuit.

TOURMALIN, TURMALIN, n. [probably a corruption of tournamal, a name given to this stone in Ceylon.] In mineralogy, a silicious stone, sometimes used as a gem by jewelers, remarkable for exhibiting electricity by heat or friction. It occurs in long prisms deeply striated. Its fracture is conchoidal, and its internal luster vitreous.

Turmalin is considered as a variety of shorl.

TOURN, n. The sheriff’s turn or court; also, a spinning wheel. [Not American.]

TOURNAMENT, n. turn’ament. A martial sport or exercise formerly performed by cavaliers to show their address and bravery. These exercises were performed on horseback, and were accompanied with tilting, or attacks with blunted lances and swords.

TOURNEQUET, n. turn’eket. A surgical instrument or bandage which is straitened or relaxed with a screw, and used to check hemorrhages.

TOURNEY, n. turn’ey. A tournament, supra.

TOURNEY, v.i. turn’ey. To tilt; to perform tournaments.

TOUSE, v.t. touz. To pull; to haul; to tear. [Hence Towser.]

As a bear whom angry curs have tous’d.

TOUSEL, v.t. s as z. The same as touse; to put into disorder; to tumble; to tangle. [Used by the common people of New England.]

TOW, v.t. [L. duco.] To drag, as a boat or ship, through the water by means of a rope. Towing is performed by another boat or ship, or by men on shore, or by horses. Boats on canals are usually towed by horses.

TOW, n. [L. stupa.] The coarse and broken part of flax or hemp, separated from the finer part by the hatchel or swingle.

TOWAGE, n. [from tow, the verb.] The act of towing.

1. The price paid for towing.

TOWARD, TOWARDS, prep. [L. versus, verto.]

1. In the direction to.

He set his face toward the wilderness. Numbers 24:1.

2. With direction to, in a moral sense; with respect to; regarding.

His eye shall be evil toward his brother. Deuteronomy 28:54.

Herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men. Acts 24:16.

Hearing of thy love and faith which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and toward all saints. Philemon 5.

3. With ideal tendency to.

This was the first alarm England received towards any trouble.

4. Nearly.

I am towards nine years older since I left you.

TOWARD, TO’WARDS, adv. Near; at hand; in a state of preparation.
TOWARD, a. Ready to do or learn; not forward; apt; as a toward youth.

TOWARDLINESS, n. [from towardly.] Readiness to do or learn; aptness; docility.

The beauty and towardliness of these children moved her brethren to envy.

TOWARDLY, a. Ready to do or learn; apt; docile; tractable; compliant with duty.

TOWARDNESS, n. Docility; towardliness.

TOWEL, n. A cloth used for wiping the hands and for other things.

TOWER, n. [L. turris.]

1. A building, either round or square, raised to a considerable elevation and consisting of several stories. When towers are erected with other buildings, as they usually are, they rise above the main edifice. They are generally flat on the top, and thus differ from steeples or spires. Before the invention of guns, places were fortified with towers and attacked with movable towers mounted on wheels, which placed the besiegers on a level with the walls.

2. A citadel; a fortress. Psalm 61:3.

3. A high head dress.

4. High flight; elevation.

Tower bastion, in fortification, a small tower in the form of a bastion, with rooms or cells underneath for men and guns.

Tower of London, a citadel containing an arsenal. It is also a palace where the kings of England have sometimes lodged.

TOWER, v.i. To rise and fly high; to soar; to be lofty.

Sublime thoughts, which tower above the clouds.

TOWERED, a. Adorned or defended by towers.

TOWERING, ppr. Rising aloft; mounting high; soaring.

1. a. Very high; elevated; as a towering highth.

TOWER-MUSTARD, n. [tower and mustard.] A plant of the genus Turritis.

TOWERY, a. Having towers; adorned or defended by towers; as towery cities.

TOWING, ppr. Drawing on water, as a boat.