Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



TOWING-PATH, n. A path used by men or horses that tow boats.

To wit, to know; namely.

TOW-LINE, n. [tow and line.] A small hawser, used to tow a ship, etc.

TOWN, n.

1. Originally, a walled or fortified place; a collection of houses inclosed with walls, hedges or pickets for safety. Rahab’s house was on the town wall. Joshua 2:15.

A town that hath gates and bars. 1 Samuel 23:7.

2. Any collection of houses, larger than a village. In this use the word is very indefinite, and a town may consist of twenty houses, or of twenty thousand.

3. In England, any number of houses to which belongs a regular market, and which is not a city or the see of a bishop.

A town, in modern times, is generally without walls, which is the circumstance that usually distinguishes it from a city.

In the United States, the circumstance that distinguishes a town from a city, is generally that a city is incorporated with special privileges, and a town is not. But a city is often called a town.

4. The inhabitants of a town. The town voted to send two representatives to the legislature, or they voted to lay a tax for repairing the highways.

5. In popular usage, in America, a township; the whole territory within certain limits.

6. In England, the court end of London.

7. The inhabitants of the metropolis.

8. The metropolis. The gentleman lives in town in winter; in summer he lives in the country. The same form of expression is used in regard to other populous towns.

TOWN-CLERK, n. [town and clerk.] An officer who keeps the records of a town, and enters all its official proceedings.

TOWN-CRIER, n. [town and cry.] A public crier; one who makes proclamation.

TOWN-HOUSE, n. [town and house.] The house where the public business of the town is transacted by the inhabitants in legal meeting.

1. A house in town; in opposition to a house in the country.

TOWNISH, a. Pertaining to the inhabitants of a town; like the town.

TOWNLESS, a. Having no town.

TOWNSHIP, n. The district or territory of a town. In New England, the states are divided into townships of five, six, seven, or perhaps ten miles square, and the inhabitants of such townships are invested with certain powers for regulating their own affairs, such as repairing roads, providing for the poor, etc.

TOWNSMAN, n. [town and man.] An inhabitant of a place; or one of the same town with another.

1. A selectman; an officer of the town in New England, who assists in managing the affairs of the town. [See Selectman.]

TOWN-TALK, n. [town and talk.] The common talk of a place, or the subject of common conversation.

TOW-ROPE, n. [tow and rope.] Any rope used in towing ships or boats.

TOWSER, n. [from touse.] The name of a dog.

TOXICAL, a. [L. toxicum.] Poisonous. [Little used.]

TOXICOLOGY, n. [Gr. poison, and discourse.] A discourse on poisons; or the doctrine of poisons.

TOY, n.

1. A plaything for children; a bauble.

2. A trifle; a thing for amusement, but of no real value.

3. An article of trade of little value.

They exchange gold and pearl for toys.

4. Matter of no importance.

Nor light and idle toys my lines may vainly swell.

5. Folly; trifling practice; silly opinion.

6. Amorous dalliance; play; sport.

7. An old story; a silly tale.

8. Slight representation; as the toy of novelty.

9. Wild fancy; odd conceit.

TOY, v.i. To dally amorously; to trifle; to play.
TOY, v.t. To treat foolishly. [Not used.]

TOYER, n. One who toys; one who is full of trifling tricks.

TOYFUL, a. Full of trifling play.

TOYING, ppr. Dallying; trifling.

TOYISH, a. Trifling; wanton.

TOYISHNESS, n. Disposition to dalliance or trifling.

TOYMAN, n. [toy and man.] One that deals in toys.

TOYSHOP, n. [toy and shop.] A shop where toys are sold.

TOZE, v.t. To pull by violence. [See Touse.]

TRACE, n. [L. tractus, tracto. See Track, and the verb Trace.]

1. A mark left by any thing passing; a footstep; a track; a vestige; as the trace of a carriage or sled; the trade of a man or of a deer.

2. Remains; a mark, impression or visible appearance of any thing left when the thing itself no longer exists. We are told that there are no traces of ancient Babylon now to be seen.

The shady empire shall retain no trace

Of war or blood, but in the sylvan chase.

TRACE, n. Traces, in a harness, are the straps, chains or ropes by which a carriage or sleigh is drawn by horses. [Locally these are called tugs.]
TRACE, v.t. [L. tracto, from traho; Eng. to draw, to drag.]

1. To mark out; to draw or delineate with marks; as, to race a figure with a pencil; to trace the outline of any thing.

2. To follow by some mark that has been left by something which has preceded; to follow by footsteps or tracks.

You may trace the deluge quite round the globe.

I feel thy power to trace the ways

Of highest agents.

3. To follow with exactness.

That servile path thou nobly do’st decline,

Of tracing word by word, and line by line.

4. To walk over.

We do trace this alley up and down.

TRACEABLE, a. That may be traced.

TRACED, pp. Marked out; delineated; followed.

TRACER, n. One that traces or follows by marks.

TRACERY, n. Ornamental stone work.

TRACHEA, n. [Low L. from Gr. rough.] In anatomy, the windpipe.

TRACHEAL, a. Pertaining to the trachea or windpipe; as the tracheal artery.

TRACHEOCELE, n. [trachea and a tumor.] An enlargement of the thyroid gland; bronchocele or goiter.

TRACHEOTOMY, n. [trachea and to cut.] In surgery, the operation of making an opening into the windpipe.

TRACHYTE, n. [Gr. rough.] A species of volcanic rock, composed of crystals of glassy feldspar, sometimes with crystals of hornblend, mica, iron pyrite, etc.

TRACHYTIC, a. Pertaining to trachyte, or consisting of it.

TRACING, ppr. [from trace.] Marking out; drawing in lines; following by marks or footsteps.

Tracing lines, in a ship, are lines passing through a block or thimble, and used to hoist a thing higher.

TRACING, n. Course; regular track or path.


1. A mark left by something that has passed along; as the track of a ship, a wake; the track of a meteor; the track of a sled or sleigh.

2. A mark or impression left by the foot, either of man or beast. Savages are said to be wonderfully sagacious in finding the tracks of men in the forest.

3. A road; a beaten path.

Behold Torquatus the same track pursue.

4. Course; way; as the track of a comet.

TRACK, v.t. To follow when guided by a trace, or by the footsteps, or marks of the feet; as, to track a deer in the snow.

1. To tow; to draw a boat on the water in a canal.

TRACKED, pp. Followed by the footsteps.

TRACKING, ppr. Following by the impression of the feet; drawing a boat; towing.

TRACKLESS, a. Having no track; marked by no footsteps; untrodden; as a trackless desert.

TRACK-ROAD, n. [track and road.] A towing-path.

TRACK-SCOUT, n. A boat or vessel employed on the canals in Holland, usually drawn by a horse.

TRACT, n. [L. tractus; traho.]

1. Something drawn out or extended.

2. A region, or quantity of land or water, of indefinite extent. We may apply tract to the sandy and barren desert of Syria and Arabia, or to the narrow vales of Italy and Sardinia. We say, a rich tract of land in Connecticut or Ohio, a stony tract, or a mountainous tract. We apply tract to a single farm, or to a township or state.

3. A treatise; a written discourse or dissertation of indefinite length, but generally not of great extent.

4. In hunting, the trace or footing of a wild beast.

5. Treatment; exposition. [Not in use.]

6. Track. [Not in use.]

7. Continuity or extension of any thing; as a tract of speech. [Not much used.]

8. Continued or protracted duration; length; extend; as a long tract of time.

TRACT, v.t. To trace out; to draw out. [Not in use.]

TRACTABILITY, n. [from tractable.] The quality or state of being tractable or docile; docility; tractableness.

TRACTABLE, a. [L. tractabilis, from tracto, to handle or lead.]

1. That may be easily led, taught or managed; docile; manageable; governable; as tractable children; a tractable learner.

2. Palpable; such as may be handled; as tractable measures.

TRACTABLENESS, n. The state or quality of being tractable or manageable; docility; as the tractableness of children.

TRACTABLY, adv. In a tractable manner; with ready compliance.

TRACTATE, n. [L. tractatus.] A treatise; a tract. [Not now in use.]

TRACTATION, n. [L. tractatio.] Treatment or handling of a subject; discussion.

TRACTATRIX, n. In geometry, a curve line.

TRACTILE, a. [L. tractus.] Capable of being drawn out in length; ductile.

Bodies are tractile or intractile.

TRACTILITY, n. The quality of being tractile; ductility.

TRACTION, n. [L. tractus, traho.] The act of drawing, or state of being drawn; as the traction of a muscle.

1. Attraction; a drawing towards.

TRACTOR, n. That which draws, or is used for drawing.

TRADE, n. [L. tracto, to handle, use, treat.]

1. The act or business of exchanging commodities by barter; or the business of buying and selling for money; commerce; traffic; barter. Trade comprehends every species of exchange or dealing, either in the produce of land, in manufactures, in bills or money. It is however chiefly used to denote the barter or purchase and sale of goods, wares and merchandise, either by wholesale or retail. Trade is either foreign, or domestic or inland. Foreign trade consists in the exportation and importation of goods, or the exchange of the commodities of different countries. Domestic or home trade is the exchange or buying and selling of goods within a country. Trade is also by the wholesale, that is, by the package or in large quantities, or it is by retail, or in small parcels.

The carrying trade is that of transporting commodities from one country to another by water.

2. The business which a person has learned and which he carries on for procuring subsistence or for profit; occupation; particularly, mechanical employment; distinguished from the liberal arts and learned professions, and from agriculture. Thus we speak of the trade of a smith, of a carpenter or mason. But we never say, the trade of a farmer or of a lawyer or physician.

3. Business pursued; occupation; in contempt; as, piracy is their trade.

Hunting their sport, and plund’ring was their trade.

4. Instruments of any occupation.

The shepherd bears

His house and household goods, his trade of war.

5. Employment not manual; habitual exercise.

6. Custom; habit; standing practice.

Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.

7. Men engaged in the same occupation. Thus booksellers speak of the customs of the trade.

TRADE, v.i. To barter, or to buy and sell; to deal in the exchange, purchase or sale of goods, wares and merchandise, or any thing else; to traffic; to carry on commerce as a business. Thus American merchants trade with the English at London and at Liverpool; they trade with the French at Havre and Bordeaux, and they trade with Canada. The country shopkeepers trade with London merchants. Our banks are permitted to trade in bills of exchange.

1. To buy and sell or exchange property, in a single instance. Thus we say, man treats with another for his farm, but cannot trade with him. A traded with B for a horse or a number of sheep.

2. To act merely for money.

How did you dare

To trade and traffic with Macbeth?

3. To have a trade wind.

They on the trading flood ply tow’rd the pole. [Unusual.]

TRADE, v.t. To sell or exchange in commerce.

They traded the persons of men. Ezekiel 27:13.

[This, I apprehend, must be a mistake; at least it is not to be vindicated as a legitimate use of the verb.]

TRADED, a. Versed; practiced. [Not in use.]

TRADEFUL, a. Commercial; busy in traffic.

TRADER, n. One engaged in trade or commerce; a dealer in buying and selling or barter; as a trader to the East Indies; a trader to Canada; a country trader.

TRADESFOLK, n. People employed in trade. [Not in use.]

TRADESMAN, n. [trade and man.] A shopkeeper. A merchant is called a trader, but not a tradesman.

[In America, a shopkeeper is usually called a retailer.]

TRADE-WIND, n. [trade and wind. A wind that favors trade. A trade wind is a wind that blows constantly in the same direction, or a wind that blows for a number of months in one direction, and then changing, blows as long in the opposite direction. These winds in the East Indies are called monsoons, which are periodical. On the Atlantic, within the tropics, the trade winds blow constantly from the eastward to the westward.]

TRADING, ppr. Trafficking; exchanging commodities by barter, or buying and selling them.

1. a. Carrying on commerce; as a trading company.

TRADING, n. The act or business of carrying on commerce.

TRADITION, n. [L. traditio, from trado, to deliver.]

1. Delivery; the act of delivering into the hands of another.

A deed takes effect only from the tradition or delivery.

The sale of a movable is completed by simple tradition.

2. The delivery of opinions, doctrines, practices, rites and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any opinions or practice from forefathers to descendants by oral communication, without written memorials. Thus children derive their vernacular language chiefly from tradition. Most of our early notions are received by tradition from our parents.

3. That which is handed down from age to age by oral communication. The Jews pay great regard to tradition in matters of religion, as do the Romanists. Protestants reject the authority of tradition in sacred things, and rely only on the written word. Traditions may be good or bad, true or false.

Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your traditions? Matthew 15:3.

TRADITIONAL, TRADITIONARY, a. Delivered orally from father to son; communicated from ancestors to descendants by word only; transmitted from age to age without writing; as traditional opinions; traditional evidence; the traditional expositions of the Scriptures.

The reveries of the Talmud, a collection of Jewish traditionary interpolations, are unrivaled in the regions of absurdity.

2. Observant of tradition. [Not used.]

TRADITIONARY, n. Among the Jews, one who acknowledges the authority of traditions, and explains the Scriptures by them. The word is used in opposition to Cairite, one who denies the authority of traditions.

TRADITIONALLY, adv. By transmission from father to son, or from age to age; as an opinion or doctrine traditionally derived from the apostles, is of no authority.

TRADITIONER, TRADITIONIST, n. One who adheres to tradition.

TRADITIVE, a. [L. trado.] Transmitted or transmissible from father to son, or from age to age, by oral communication.

Suppose we on things traditive divide.

TRADITOR, n. [L.] A deliverer; a name of infamy given to christians who delivered the Scriptures or the goods of the church to their persecutors, to save their lives.

TRADUCE, v.t. [L. traduco; trans, over, and duco, to lead.]

1. To represent as blamable; to condemn.

The best stratagem that Satan hath, is by traducing the form and manner of the devout prayers of God’s church.

2. To calumniate; to vilify; to defame; willfully to misrepresent.

As long as men are malicious and designing, they will be traducing.

He had the baseness to traduce me in libel.

3. To propagate; to continue by deriving one from another.

From these only the race of perfect animals was propagated and traduced over the earth. [Not in use.]

TRADUCED, pp. Misrepresented; calumniated.

TRADUCEMENT, n. Misrepresentation; ill founded censure; defamation; calumny. [Little used.]

TRADUCENT, a. Slandering; slanderous.

TRADUCER, n. One that traduces; a slanderer; a calumniator.

TRADUCIBLE, a. That may be orally derived or propagated. [Little used.]

TRADUCING, ppr. Slandering; defaming; calumniating.

TRADUCINGLY, adv. Slanderously; by way of defamation.

TRADUCTION, n. [L. traductio.] Derivation from one of the same kind; propagation.

If by traduction came thy mind,

Our wonder is the less to find

A soul so charming from a stock so good.

1. Tradition; transmission from one to another; as traditional communication and traduction of truth. [Little used.]

2. Conveyance; transportation; act of transferring; as the traduction of animals from Europe to America by shipping.

3. Transition.

TRADUCTIVE, a. Derivable; that may be deduced.

TRAFFICK, n. [L. trans.]

1. Trade; commerce, either by barter or by buying and selling. This word, like trade, comprehends every species of dealing in the exchange or passing of goods or merchandise from hand to hand for an equivalent, unless the business of retailing may be excepted. It signifies appropriately foreign trade, but is not limited to that.

My father,

A merchant of great traffick through the world.

2. Commodities for market.


1. To trade; to pass goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money; to barter; to buy and sell wares; to carry on commerce. The English and Americans traffick with all the world. Genesis 42:34.

2. To trade meanly or mercenarily.

TRAFFICK, v.t. To exchange in traffick.

TRAFFICKABLE, a. Marketable. [Not in use.]

TRAFFICKER, n. One who caries on commerce; a trader; a merchant. Isaiah 23:8.

TRAFFICKING, ppr. Trading; bartering; buying and selling goods, wares and commodities.

TRAGACANTH, n. [L. tragacanthum; Gr. a goat, and thorn.]

1. Goat’s thorn; a plant of the genus Astragalus, of several species, growing in Syria, Candia, etc. almost all of which were included by Linne in the tragacanthas, and all of which produce the gum tragacanth.

2. A gum obtained from the goat’s thorn. It comes in small contorted pieces resembling worms. It is of different colors; that which is white, clear, smooth and vermicular, is the best. It is somewhat soft to the touch, but only imperfectly soluble. It is softening, and used in coughs and catarrhs.

TRAGEDIAN, n. [L. tragoedus. See Tragedy.] A writer of tragedy.

1. More generally, an actor of tragedy.

TRAGEDY, n. [Gr. said to be composed of a goat, and a song, because originally it consisted in a hymn sung in honor of Bacchus by a chorus of music, with dances and the sacrifice of a goat.]

1. A dramatic poem representing some signal action performed by illustrious persons, and generally having a fatal issue. Aeschylus is called the father of tragedy.

All our tragedies are of kings and princes.

2. A fatal and mournful event; any event in which human lives are lost by human violence, more particularly by unauthorized violence.

TRAGIC, TRAGICAL, a. [L. tragicus.]

1. Pertaining to tragedy; of the nature or character of tragedy; as a tragic poem; tragic play or representation.

2. Fatal to life; mournful; sorrowful; calamitous; as the tragic scenes of Hayti the tragic horrors of Scio and Missilonghi; the tragical fate of the Greeks.

3. Mournful; expressive of tragedy, the loss of life, or of sorrow.

I now must change those notes to tragic.

TRAGICALLY, adv. In a tragical manner; with fatal issue; mournfully; sorrowfully. The play ends tragically.

TRAGICALNESS, n. Fatality; mournfulness; sadness.

We moralize the fable in the tragicalness of the event.

TRAGI-COMEDY, n. A kind of dramatic piece representing some action passed among eminent persons, the event of which is not unhappy, in which serious and comic scenes are blended; a species of composition not now used, or held in little estimation.

TRAGI-COMIC, TRAGI-COMICAL, a. Pertaining to tragi-comedy; partaking of a mixture of grave and comic scenes.

TRAGI-COMICALLY, adv. In a tragicomical manner.

TRAIL, v.t. [L. traho.]

1. To hunt by the track. [See the Norman, supra.]

2. To draw along the ground. Trail your pikes.

And hung his head, and trail’d his legs along.

They shall not trail me through the streets

Like a wild beast.

That long behind he trails his pompous robe.

3. To lower; as, to trail arms.

4. In America, to tread down gras by walking through; to lay flat; as, to trail grass.

TRAIL, v.i. To be drawn out in length.

When his brother saw the red blood trail.

TRAIL, n. Track followed by the hunter; scent left on the ground by the animal pursued.

How cheerfully on the false trail they cry.

1. Any thing drawn to length; as the trail of a meteor; a trail of smoke.

When lightning shoots in glitt’ring trails along.

2. Any thing drawn behind in long undulations; a train.

And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.

3. The entrails of a fowl; applied sometimes to those of sheep.

Trail boards, in ship-building, a term for the craved work between the cheeks of the head, at the heel of the figure.

TRAILED, pp. Hunted by the tracks; laid flat; drawn along on the ground; brought to a lower position; as trailed arms.

TRAILING, ppr. Hunting by the track; drawing on the ground; trading down; laying flat; bringing to a lower position; drawing out in length.

Since men of foot whose broad-set backs their trailing hair did hide.

TRAIN, v.t. [L. traho, to draw?]

1. To draw along.

In hollow cube he train’d

His devilish enginery.

2. Top draw; to entice; to allure.

If but twelve French

Were there in arms, they would be as a call

To train ten thousand English to their side.

3. To draw by artifice or stratagem.

O train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note.

4. To draw from act to act by persuasion or promise.

We did train him on.

5. To exercise; to discipline; to teach and form by practice; as, to train the militia to the manual exercise; to train soldiers to the use of arms and to tactics. Abram armed his trained servants. Genesis 14:14.

The warrior horse here bred he’s taught to train.

6. To break, tame and accustom to draw; as oxen.

7. In gardening, to lead or direct and form to a wall or espalier; to form to a proper shape by growth, lopping or pruning; as, to train young trees.

8. In mining, to trace a lode or any mineral appearance to its head.

To train or train up, to educate; to teach; to form by instruction or practice; to bring up.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.

The first christians were, by great hardships, trained up for glory.

TRAIN, n. Artifice; stratagem of enticement.

Now to my charms,

And to my wily trains.

1. Something drawn along behind, the end of a gown, etc.; as the train of a gown or robe.

2. The tail of a fowl.

The train steers their flight, and turns their bodies, like the rudder of a ship.

3. A retinue; a number of followers or attendants.

My train are men of choice and rarest parts.

The king’s daughter with a lovely train.

4. A series; a consecution or succession of connected things.

Rivers now stream and draw their humid train.

Other truths require a train of ideas placed in order.

--The train of ills our love would draw behind it.

5. Process; regular method; course. Things are now in a train for settlement.

If things were once in this train--our duty would take root in our nature.

6. A company in order; a procession.

Fairest of stars, last in the train of night.

7. The number of beats which a watch makes in any certain time.

8. A line of gunpowder, laid to lead fire to a charge, or to a quantity intended for execution.

Train of artillery, any number of cannon and mortars accompanying an army.

TRAINABLE, a. That may be trained. [Little used.]

TRAIN-BAND, n. [train and band.] A band or company of militia. Train-bands, in the plural, militia; so called because trained to military exercises.

TRAIN-BEARER, n. [train and bearer.] One who holds up a train.

TRAINED, pp. Drawn; allured; educated; formed by instruction.

TRAINING, ppr. Drawing; alluring; educating; teaching and forming by practice.

TRAINING, n. The act or process of drawing or educating; education. In gardening, the operation or art of forming young trees to a wall or espalier, or of causing them to grow in a shape suitable for that end.