Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



VEXINGLY, adv. So as to vex, tease or irritate.

VIAL, n. [L. phiala.] A phial; a small bottle of thin glass, used particularly by apothecaries and druggists.

Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it on his head. 1 Samuel 10:1.

Vials of God’s wrath, in Scripture, are the execution of his wrath upon the wicked for their sins. Revelation 16:1.

VIAL, v.t. To put in a vial.

VIAND, n. [L. vivendus, vivo, to live.] Meat dressed; food.

Viands of various kinds allure the taste.

[It is used chiefly in the plural.]

VIATIC, a. [L. viaticum, from via, way.]

Pertaining to a journey or to traveling.

VIATICUM, n. [L. supra.]

1. Provisions for a journey.

2. Among the ancient Romans, an allowance to officers who were sent into the provinces to exercise any office or perform any service, also to the officers and soldiers of the army.

3. In the Romish church, the communion or eucharist given to persons in their last moment.

VIBRANT, VIBRION, n. [L. vibrans.] A name given to the ichneumon fly, from the continual vibration of its antennae.

VIBRATE, v.i. [L. vibro; Eng. wabble.]

1. To swing; to oscillate; to move one way and the other; to play to and fro; as, the pendulum of a clock vibrates more or less rapidly, as it is shorter or longer. The chords of an instrument vibrate when touched.

2. To quiver; as, a whisper vibrates on the ear.

3. To pass from one state to another; as, a man vibrates from one opinion to another.


1. To brandish; to move to and fro; to swing; as, to vibrate a sword or staff. The pendulum of a clock vibrates seconds.

2. To cause to quiver.

Breath vocalized, that is, vibrated or undulated, may differently affect the lips, and impress a swift tremulous motion.

VIBRATED, pp. Brandished; moved one way and the other.

VIBRATILITY, n. Disposition to preternatural vibration or motion. [Not much used.]

VIBRATING, ppr. Brandishing; moving to and fro, as a pendulum or musical chord.

VIBRATION, n. [L. vibro.]

1. The act of brandishing; the act of moving or state of being moved one way and the other in quick succession.

2. In mechanics, a regular reciprocal motion of a body suspended; a motion consisting of continual reciprocations or returns; as of the pendulum of a chronometer. This is frequently called oscillation. The number of vibrations in a given time depends on the length of the vibrating body; a pendulum three feet long, makes only ten vibrations while one of nine inches makes twenty. The vibrations of a pendulum are somewhat slower at or near the equator than in remote latitudes. The vibrations of a pendulum are isochronal in the same climate.

3. In physics, alternate or reciprocal motion; as the vibrations of the nervous fluid, by which sensation has been supposed to be produced, by impressions of external objects propagated thus to the brain.

4. In music, the motion of a chord, or the undulation of any body, by which sound is produced. The acuteness, elevation and gravity of sound, depend on the length of the chord and its tension.

VIBRATIUNCLE, n. A small vibration.

VIBRATIVE, a. That vibrates.


1. Vibrating; consisting in vibration or oscillation; as a vibratory motion.

2. Causing to vibrate.

VICAR, n. [L. vicarius, from vicis, a turn, or its root.]

1. In a general sense, a person deputed or authorized to perform the functions of another; a substitute in office. The pope pretends to be vicar of Jesus Christ on earth. He has under him a grand vicar, who is a cardinal, and whose jurisdiction extends over all priests, regular and secular.

2. In the canon law, the priest of a parish, the predial tithes of which are impropriated or appropriated, that is, belong to a chapter or religious house, or to a layman, who receives them, and only allows the vicar the smaller tithes or a salary.

Apostolical vicars, are those who perform the functions of the pope in churches or provinces committed to their direction.

VICARAGE, n. The benefice of a vicar. A vicarage by endowment, becomes a benefice distinct from the parsonage.

VICAR-GENERAL, n. A title given by Henry VIII to the earl of Essex, with power to oversee all the clergy, and regulate all church affairs. It is now the title of an office, which, as well as that of official principal, is united in the chancellor of the diocese. The business of the vicar-general is to exercise jurisdiction over matters purely spiritual.

VICARIAL, a. [from vicar.] Pertaining to a vicar; small; as vicarial tithes.

VICARIATE, a. Having delegated power, as vicar.

VICARIATE, n. A delegated office or power.

VICARIOUS, a. [L. vicarius.]

1. Deputed; delegated; as vicarious power or authority.

2. Acting for another; filling the place of another; as a vicarious agent or officer.

3. Substituted in the place of another; as a vicarious sacrifice. The doctrine of vicarious punishment has occasioned much controversy.

VICARIOUSLY, adv. In the place of another; by substitution.

VICARSHIP, n. The office of a vicar; the ministry of a vicar.

VICE, n. [L. vitium.]

1. Properly, a spot or defect; a fault; a blemish; as the vices of a political constitution.

2. In ethics, any voluntary action or course of conduct which deviates from the rules of moral rectitude, or from the plain rules of propriety; any moral unfitness of conduct, either from defect of duty, or from the transgression of known principles of rectitude. Vice differs from crime, in being less enormous. We never call murder or robbery a vice; but every act of intemperance, all falsehood, duplicity, deception, lewdness and the like, is a vice. The excessive indulgence of passions and appetites which in themselves are innocent, is a vice. The smoking of tobacco and the taking of snuff, may in certain cases be innocent and even useful, but these practices may be carried to such an excess as to become vices. This word is also used to denote a habit of transgressing; as a life of vice. Vice is rarely a solitary invader; it usually brings with it a frightful train of followers.

3. Depravity or corruption of manners; as an age of vice.

When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway.

The post of honor is a private station.

4. A fault or bad trick in a horse.

5. The fool or punchinello of old shows.

His face made of brass, like a vice in a game.

6. An iron press. [This should be written vise.]

7. A gripe or grasp. [Not in use.]

VICE, v.t. To draw by a kind of violence. [Not in use. See Vise.]
VICE, L. vice, in the turn or place, is used in composition to denote one qui vicem gerit, who acts in the place of another, or is second in authority.


1. In the navy, the second officer in command. His flag is displayed at the fore top-gallant-mast head.

2. A civil officer in Great Britain, appointed by the lords commissioners of the admiralty, for exercising admiralty jurisdiction within their respective districts.

VICE-ADMIRALTY, n. The office of a vice-admiralty; a vice-admiralty court.

VICE-AGENT, n. [vice and agent.] One who acts in the place of another.

VICE-CHAMBERLAIN, n. An officer in court, next in command to the lord chamberlain.

VICE-CHANCELLOR, n. An officer in a university in England, a distinguished member, who is annually elected to manage the affairs in the absence of the chancellor.

VICE-CONSUL, n. One who acts in the place of a consul.

VICED, a. Vitious; corrupt. [Not in use.]

VICE-DOGE, n. A counsellor at Venice, who represents the doge when sick or absent.

VICEGERENCY, n. [See Vicegerent.] The office of a vicegerent; agency under another; deputed power; lieutenancy.

VICEGERENT, n. [L. vicem gereus, acting in the place of another.]

A lieutenant; a vicar; an officer who is deputed by a superior or by proper authority to exercise the powers of another. Kings are sometimes called God’s vicegerents. It is to be wished they would always deserve the appellation.

VICEGERENT, a. Having or exercising delegated power; acting by substitution, or in the place of another.

VICE-LEGATE, n. An officer employed by the pope to perform the office of spiritual and temporal governor in certain cities, when there is no legate or cardinal to command there.

VICENARY, a. [L. vicenarius.] Belonging to twenty.

VICE-PRESIDENT, n. s as z. An officer next in rank below a president.

VICEROY, n. The governor of a kingdom or country, who rules in the name of the king with regal authority, as the king’s substitute.

VICEROYALTY, n. the dignity, office or jurisdiction of a viceroy.

VICEROYSHIP, n. the dignity, office or jurisdiction of a viceroy.

VICETY, n. Nicety; exactness. [Not in use; probably a mistake.]

VICIATE, v.t. [L. vitio. This veb is usually written vitiate; but as vice, from L. vitius, is established, it would be well to write the verb viciate, as we write appreciate and depreciate, from L. pretium.]

1. to injure the substance or properties of a thing so as to impair its value, and lessen or destroy its use; to make less pure, or wholly impure; to deprave, in a physical or moral sense; as, to viciate the blood; to viciate taste or style; to viciate morals.

2. To render defective and thus destroy the validity of; to invalidate by defect; as, to viciate a deed or bond.

VICIATED, pp. Depraved; impaired in substance or quality; rendered defective and void.

VICIATING, ppr. Injuring in subtance or properties; rendering defective; making void.

VICIATION, n. Depravation; corruption.

VICINAGE, n. [from L. vicinia, neighborhood; vicinus, near.]

Neighborhood; the place or places adjoining or near. A jury must be of the vicinage, or body of the country.

In law, common because of vicinage, is where the inhabitants of two townships contiguous to each other, have usually intercommoned with one another; the beasts of one straying into the other’s fields without molestation from either.

VICINAL, VICINE, a. Near; neighboring. [Little used.]

VICINITY, n. [L. vicinitas.]

1. Nearness in place; as the vicinity of two country seats.

2. Neighborhood; as a seat in the vicinity of the metropolis.

3. Neighboring country. Vegetables produced in the vicinity of the city, are daily brought to market. the vicinity is full of gardens.

VICIOSITY, n. Depravity; corruption of manners. [But viciousness is generally used.]

VICIOUS, a. [L. vitiosus.]

1. Defective; imperfect; as a system of government vicious and unsound.

2. Addicted to vice; corrupt in principles or conduct; depraved; wicked; habitually transgressing the moral law; as a vicious race of men; vicious parents; vicious children.

3. Corrupt; contrary to moral principles or to rectitude; as vicious examples; vicious conduct.

4. Corrupt, in a physical sense; foul; impure; insalubrious; as vicious air.

5. Corrupt; not genuine or pure; as vicious language; vicious idioms.

6. Unruly; refractory; not well tamed or broken; as a vicious horse.


1. Corruptly; in a manner contrary to rectitude, moral principles, propriety or purity.

2. Faultily; not correctly.


1. Addictedness to vice; corruptness of moral principles or practice; habitual violation of the moral law, or of moral duties; depravity in principles or in manners.

What makes a governor justly despised, is viciousness and ill morals.

2. Unruliness; refractoriness; as of a beast.

VICISSITUDE, n. [L. vicissitudo; from vicis, a turn.]

1. Regular change or succession of one thing to another; as the vicissitudes of day and night, and of winter and summer; the vicissitudes of the seasons.

2. Change; revolution; as in human affairs. We are exposed to continual vicissitudes of fortune.

VICISSITUDINARY, a. Changing in succession.

VICONTIEL, a. [vice-comitalia. See Viscount.]

In old law books, pertaining to the sheriff.

Vicontiel rents, are certain rents for which the sheriff pays a rent to the king.

Vicontiel writs, are such as are triable in the county or sheriff court.

VICONTIELS, n. Things belonging to the sheriff; particularly, farms for which the sheriff pays rent to the king.

VICOUNT, n. [vice-comes.]

1. In law books, the sheriff.

2. A degree of nobility next below a count or earl. [See Viscount.]

VICTIM, n. [L. victima.]

1. A living being sacrificed to some deity, or in the performance of a religious rite; usually, some beast slain in sacrifice; but human beings have been slain by some nations, for the purpose of appeasing the wrath or conciliating the favor of some deity.

2. Something destroyed; something sacrificed in the pursuit of an object. How many persons have fallen victims to jealousy, to lust, to ambition!

VICTIMATE, v.t. To sacrifice. [Not in use.]

VICTOR, n. [L. from vinco, victus, to conquer, or the same root.]

1. One who conquers in war; a vanquisher; one who defeats an enemy in battle. Victor differs from conqueror. We apply conqueror to one who subdues countries, kingdoms or nations; as, Alexander was the conqueror of Asia or India, or of many nations, or of the world. In such phrases, we cannot substitute victor. But we use victor, when we speak of one who overcomes a particular enemy, or in a particular battle; as, Cesar was victor at Pharsalia. The duke of Wellington was victor at Waterloo. Victor then is not followed by the possessive case; for we do not say, Alexander was the victor of Darius, though we say, he was victor at Arbela.

2. One who vanquishes another in private combat or contest; as a victor in the Olympic games.

3. One who wins, or gains the advantage.

In love, the victors from the vanquish’d fly;

They fly that wound, and they pursue that die.

4. Master; lord.

These, victor of his health, his fortune, friends. [Not usual nor legitimate.]

VICTORESS, n. A female who vanquishes.


1. Having conquered in battle or contest; having overcome an enemy or antagonist; conquering; vanquishing; as a victorious general; victorious troops; a victorious admiral or navy.

2. That produces conquest; as a victorious day.

3. Emblematic of conquest; indicating victory; as brows bound with victorious wreaths.

VICTORIOUSLY, adv. With conquest; with defeat of an enemy or antagonist; triumphantly; as, grace will carry us victoriously through all difficulties.

VICTORIOUSNESS, n. The state of being victorious.

VICTORY, n. [L. victoria, from vinco, victus, to conquer.]

1. Conquest; the defeat of an enemy in battle, or of an antagonist in contest; a gaining of the superiority in war or combat. Victory supposes the power of an enemy or an antagonist to prove inferior to that of the victor. Victory however depends not always on superior skill or valor; it is often gained by the fault or mistake of the vanquished.

Victory may be honorable to the arms, but shameful to the counsels of a nation.

2. The advantage or superiority gained over spiritual enemies, over passions and appetites, or over temptations, or in any struggle or competition.

Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57.

VICTRESS, n. A female that conquers.

VICTUAL. [See Victuals.]

VICTUAL, v.t. vit’l. [from victual, the noun.]

1. To supply with provisions for subsistence; as, to victual an army; to victual a garrison.

2. To store with provisions; as, to victual a ship.

VICTUALED, pp. vit’ld. Supplied with provisions.

VICTUALER, n. vit’ler.

1. One who furnishes provisions.

2. One who keeps a house of entertainment.

3. A provision-ship; a ship employed to carry provisions for other ships, or for supplying troops at a distance.

VICTUALING, ppr. vit’ling. Supplying with provisions.

VICTUALING-HOUSE, n. A house where provision is made for strangers to eat.

VICTUALS, n. vit’lz. [L. victus, food, from the root of vivo, which was vigo or vico, coinciding with vigeo. Basque, vicia life. This word is now never used in the singular.]

Food for human beings, prepared for eating; that which supports human life; provisions; meat; sustenance. We never apply this word to that on which beasts or birds feed, and we apply it chiefly to food for men when cooked or prepared for the table. We do not now give this name to flesh, corn or flour, in a crude state; but we say, the victuals are well cooked or dressed, and in great abundance. We say, a man eats his victuals with a good relish.

Such phrases as to buy victuals for the army or navy, to lay in victuals for the winter, etc. are now obsolete. We say, to buy provisions; yet we use the verb, to victual an army or ship.

VIDELICET, adv. [L. for videre licet.] To wit; namely. An abbreviation for this word is viz.

VIDUAL, a. [L. viduus, deprived.] Belonging to the state of a widow. [Not used.]

VIDUITY, n. [L. viduitas.] Widowhood. [Not used.]

VIE, v.i. [See Victor.]

To strive for superiority; to contend; to use effort in a race, contest, competition, rivalship or strife. How delightful it is to see children vie with each other in diligence and in duties of obedience.

In a trading nation, the younger sons may be placed in a way of life to vie with the best of their family.

VIE, v.t.

1. To show or practice in competition; as, to vie power; to vie charities. [Not legitimate.]

2. To urge; to press.

She hung about my neck, and kiss and kiss she vied so fast. [Not in use.]

VIELLEUR, n. A species of fly in Surinam, less than the lantern fly.

VIEW, v.t. vu. [L. videre. The primary sense is to reach or extend to.]

1. To survey; to examine with the eye; to look on with attention, or for the purpose of examining; to inspect; to explore. View differs from look, see, and behold, in expressing more particular or continued attention to the thing which is the object of sight. We ascended mount Holyoke, and viewed the charming landscape below. We viewed with delight the rich valleys of the Connecticut about the town of Northhampton.

Go up and view the country. Joshua 7:2.

I viewed the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:13.

2. To see; to perceive by the eye.

3. To survey intellectually; to examine with the mental eye; to consider. View the subject in all its aspects.

VIEW, n. vu.

1. Prospect; sight; reach of the eye.

The walls of Pluto’s palace are in view.

2. The whole extent seen. Vast or extensive views present themselves to the eye.

3. Sight; power of seeing, or limit of sight.

The mountain was not within our view.

4. Intellectual or mental sight. These things give us a just view of the designs of providence.

5. Act of seeing. The facts mentioned were verified by actual view.

6. Slight; eye.

Objects near our view are thought greater than those of larger size, that are more remote.

7. Survey; inspection; examination by the eye. The assessors took a view of the premises.

Surveying nature with too nice a view.

8. Intellectual survey; mental examination.

On a just view of all the arguments in the case, the law appears to be clear.

9. Appearance; show.

10. Display; exhibition to the sight or mind.

To give a right view of this mistaken part of liberty. -

11. Prospect of interest.

No man sets himself about any thing, but upon some view or other, which serves him for a reason.

12. Intention; purpose; design. With that view he began the expedition. With a view to commerce, he passed through Egypt.

13. Opinion; manner of seeing or understanding. These are my views of the policy which ought to be pursued.

View of frankpledge, in law, a court of record, held in a hundred, lordship or manor, before the stewart of the leet.

Point of view, the direction in which a thing is seen.

VIEWED, pp. vu’ed. Surveyed; examined by the eye; inspected; considered.

VIEWER, n. vu’er.

1. One who views, surveys or examines.

2. In New England, a town officer whose duty is to inspect something; as a viewer of fences, who inspects them to determine whether they are sufficient in law.

VIEWING, ppr. vu’ing. Surveying; examining by the eye or by the mind; inspecting; exploring.

VIEWING, n. vu’ing. The act of beholding or surveying.

VIEWLESS, a. vu’less. That cannot be seen; not being perceivable by the eye; invisible; as viewless winds.

Swift through the valves the visionary fair repass’d and viewless mix’d with common air.

VIGESIMATION, n. [L. vigesimus, twentieth.]

The act of putting to death every twentieth man.

VIGIL, n. [L. vigilia, vigil, walking, watchful; vigilo, to watch. This is formed on the root of Eng. wake. The primary sense is to stir or excite, to rouse, to agitate.]

1. Watch; devotion performed in the customary hours of rest or sleep.

So they in heav’n their odes and vigils tun’d.

2. In church affairs, the eve or evening before any feast, the ecclesiastical day beginning at 6:00 in the evening, and continuing till the same hour the following evening; hence, a religious service performed in the evening preceding a holiday.

3. A fast observed on the day preceding a holiday; a wake.

4. Watch; forbearance of sleep; as the vigils of the card table.

Vigils or watchings of flowers, a term used by Linne to express a peculiar faculty belonging to the flowers of certain plants, of opening and closing their petals at certain hours of the day

VIGILANCE, n. [L. vigilans. See Vigil.]

1. Forbearance of sleep; a state of being awake.

2. Watchfulness; circumspection; attention of the mind in discovering and guarding against danger, or providing for safety. Vigilance is a virtue of prime importance in a general. The vigilance of the dog is no less remarkable than his fidelity.

3. Guard; watch.

In at this gate none pass the vigilance here plac’d.

VIGILANCY, for vigilance, is not used.

VIGILANT, a. [L. vigilans.] Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety.

Take your places and be vigilant. Be sober, be vigilant. 1 Peter 5:8.

VIGILANTLY, adv. [supra.] Watchfully; with attention to danger and the means of safety; circumspectly.

VIGNETTE, VIGNET, n. An ornament placed at the beginning of a book, preface or dedication; a head piece. Those vignets are of various forms; often they are wreaths of flowers or sprigs.

VIGOR, n. [L. from vigeo, to be brisk, to grow, to be strong; allied to vivo, vixi, to live.]

1. Active strength or force of body in animals; physical force.

The vigor of this arm was never vain.

2. Strength of mind; intellectual force; energy. We say, a man possesses vigor of mind or intellect.

3. Strength or force in vegetable motion; as, a plant grows with vigor.

4. Strength; energy; efficacy.

In the fruitful earth his beams, unactive else, their vigor find.

VIGOR, v.t. To invigorate. [not in use.]


1. Full of physical strength or active force; strong; lusty; as a vigorous youth; a vigorous body.

2. Powerful; strong; made by strength, either of body or mind; as a vigorous attack; vigorous exertions. The enemy expects a vigorous campaign.

The beginnings of confederacies have been vigorous and successful.

VIGOROUSLY, adv. With great physical force or strength; forcibly; with active exertions; as, to prosecute an enterprise vigorously.

VIGOROUSNESS, n. The quality of being vigorous or possessed of active strength.

[Vigor and all its derivatives imply active strength, or the power of action and exertion, in distinction from passive strength, or strength to endure.]

VILD, VILED, a. Vile. [Not in use.]

VILE, a. [L. vilis. Gr.]

1. Base; mean; worthless; despicable.

The inhabitants account gold a vile thing.

A man in vile raiment. James 2:2.

Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed as vile in your sight? Job 18:3.

2. Morally base or impure; sinful; depraved by sin; wicked; hateful in the sight of God and of good men. The sons of Eli made themselves vile. 1 Samuel 3:13.

Behold I am vile; what shall I answer? Job 40:4.

VILED, a. Abusive; scurrilous; defamatory. [Not in use.]

VILELY, adv.

1. Basely; meanly; shamefully; as Hector vilely dragged about the walls of Troy.

2. In a cowardly manner. 2 Samuel 1:21.

The Volscians vilely yielded the town.


1. Baseness; meanness; despicableness.

His vileness us shall never awe.

2. Moral baseness or depravity; degradation by sin; extreme wickedness; as the vileness of mankind.

VILIFIED, pp. [from vilify.] Defamed; traduced; debased.

VILIFIER, n. One who defames or traduces.

VILIFY, v.t. [from vile.]

1. To make vile; to debase; to degrade.

Their Maker’s image forsook them, when themselves they vilified to serve ungovern’d appetite.

2. To defame; to traduce; to attempt to degrade by slander.

Many passions dispose us to depress and vilify the merit of one rising in the esteem of mankind.

[This is the most usual sense of the verb.]

VILIFYING, ppr. Debasing; defaming.