Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



VILIPEND, v.t. [L. vilipendo.] To despise. [Not in use.]

VILIPENDENCY, n. Disesteem; alight. [Not in use.]

VILITY, n. Vileness; baseness. [Not in use.]

VILL, n. [L. villa.] A village; a small collection of houses.

The statute of Exeter, 14 Edward I mentions entire-vills, demi-vills, and hamlets.

VILLA, n. [L. villa.]

A country seat or a farm, furnished with a mansion and convenient out-houses.

VILLAGE, n. A small assemblage of houses, less than a town or city, and inhabited chiefly by farmers and other laboring people. In England, it is said that a village is distinguished from a town by the want of a market.

In the United States, no such distinction exists, and any small assemblage of houses in the country is called a village.

VILLAGER, n. An inhabitant of a village.

VILLAGERY, n. a district of villages.


1. In feudal law, a villain or villein is one who holds lands by a base or servile tenure, or in villenage. Villains were of two sorts; villains regardant, that is, annexed to the manor, adscriptitii glebae; or villains in gross, that is, annexed to the person of their lord, and transferable from one to another.

2. A vile wicked person; a man extremely depraved, and capable or guilty of great crimes. We call by the name of villain, the thief, the robber, the burglarian, the murderer, the incendiary, the ravisher, the seducer, the cheat, the swindler. etc.

Calm thinking villains, whom no faith could fix.

VILLAKIN, n. A little village; a word used by Gay.


1. The state of a villain; base servitude.

2. A base tenure of lands; tenure on condition of doing the meanest services for the lord; usually written villenage.

3. Baseness; infamy. [See Villany.]

VILLANIZE, v.t. to debase; to degrade; to defame; to revile.

Were virtue by descent, a noble name could never villanize his father’s fame.

VILLANIZED, pp. Defamed; debased. [Little used.]

VILLANIZING, ppr. Defaming; debasing. [Little used.]

VILLANOUS, VILLAINOUS, a. [from villain.]

1. Base; very vile.

2. Wicked; extremely depraved; as a villanous person or wretch.

3. Proceeding from extreme depravity; as a villanous action.

4. Sorry; vile; mischievous; in a familiar sense; as a villanous trick of the eye.

Villanous judgment, in old law, a judgment that casts reproach on the guilty person.

VILLANOUSLY, adv. Basely; with extreme wickedness or depravity.

VILLANOUSNESS, n. Baseness; extreme depravity.


1. Extreme depravity; atrocious wickedness; as the villany of the thief or the robber; the villany of the seducer.

The commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany.

2. A crime; an action of deep depravity. In this sense, the word has a plural.

Such villanies roused Horace into wrath.

VILLATIC, a. [L. villaticus.] Pertaining to a village.

Tame villatic fowl.

VILLENAGE, n. [from villain.] a tenure of lands and tenements by base services.

VILLOUS, a. [L. villosus, from villus, hair, Eng. wool.]

1. Abounding with fine hairs or wooly substance; nappy shaggy; rough; as a villous coat.

The villous coat of the stomach and intentines is the inner mucous membrane, so called from the innumerable villi or fine fibrils with which its internal surface is covered.

2. In botany, pubescent; covered with soft hairs.

VIMINAL, a. [L. viminalis.] Pertaining to twigs; consisting of twigs; producing twigs.

VIMINEOUS, a. [L. vimineus, from vimen, a twig. Made of twigs or shoots.]

In the hive’s vimineous dome.

VINACEOUS, a. [from L. vinacceus.] Belonging to wine or grapes.

VINCIBLE, a. [from L. vinco, to conquer. See Victor.]

Conquerable; that may be overcome or subdued.

He not vincible in spirit -

VINCIBLENESS, n. the capacity of being conquered; conquerableness.

VINCTURE, n. [L. vinctura.] a binding. [Not in use.]

VINDEMIAL, a. [L. vindemialis, from vindemia, vintage; vinea and demo.] Belonging to a vintage or grape harvest.

VINDEMIATE, v.i. [supra.] to gather the vintage.

VINDEMIATION, n. The operation of gathering grapes.

VINDICABILITY, n. The quality of being vindicable, or capable of support or justification.

VINDICABLE, a. [infra.] That may be vindicated, justified or supported.

VINDICATE, v.t. [L. vindico.]

1. To defend; to justify; to support or maintain as true or correct, against denial, censure or objections.

When the respondent denies any proposition, the opponent must vindicate it.

Laugh where we must, be candid where we can; but vindicate the ways of God to man.

2. To assert; to defend with success; to maintain; to prove to be just or valid; as, to vindicate a claim or title.

3. To defend with arms, or otherwise; as, to vindicate our rights.

4. to avenge; to punish; as a war to vindicate or punish infidelity.

God is more powerful to exact subjection and to vindicate rebellion.

[This latter use is entirely obsolete.]

VINDICATED, pp. Defended; supported; maintained; proved to be just or true.

VINDICATING, ppr. Defending; supporting against denial, censure, charge or impeachment; proving to be true or just; defending by force.

VINDICATION, n. [L. vindico.]

1. The defense of any thing, or a justification against denial or censure, or against objections or accusations; as the vindication of opinions or of a creed; the vindication of the Scriptures against the objections and cavils of infidels.

2. The act of supporting by proof or legal process; the proving of any thing to be just; as the vindication of a title, claim or right.

3. Defense by force or otherwise; as the vindication of the rights of man; the vindication of our liberties or the rights of conscience.


1. Tending to vindicate.

2. Revengeful. [This is now generally vindictive.]

VINDICATOR, n. One who vindicates; one who justifies or maintains; one who defends.


1. Punitory; inflicting punishment; avenging.

The afflictions of Job were not vindicatory punishments.

2. Tending to vindicate; justificatory.

VINDICTIVE, a. Revengeful; given to revenge.

I am vindictive enough to repel force by force.

VINDICTIVELY, adv. By way of revenge; revengefully.


1. A revengeful temper.

2. Revengefulness.

VINE, n. [L. vinca. See Wine.]

1. A plant that produces grapes, of the genus Vitis, and of a great number of varieties.

2. The long slender stem of any plant, that trails on the ground, or climbs and supports itself by winding round a fixed object, or by seizing any fixed thing with its tendrils or claspers. Thus we speak of the hop vine, the bean vine, the vines of melons, squashes, pumpkins, and other encurbitaceous plants.

VINED, a. Having leaves like those of the vine.

VINE-DRESSER, n. [vine and dresser.] One who dresses, trims, prunes and cultivates vines.

VINE-FRETTER, n. [vine and fret.] A small insect that injures vines, the aphis or puceron.


1. Vegetable acid; an acid liquor obtained from wine, cider, beer or other liquors, by the second or acetous fermentation. Vinegar may differ indefinitely in the degree of its acidity. When highly concentrated, it is called radical vinegar.

2. Any thing really or metaphorically sour. [Not in use.]

Vinegar of lead, a liquor formed by digesting ceruse or litharge with a sufficient quantity of vinegar to dissolve it.

VINE-GRUB, n. [vine and grub.] A little insect that infests vines; the vine-fretter or puceron.

VINERY, n. In gardening, an erection for supporting vines and exposing them to artificial heat, consisting of a wall with stoves and flues.


A plantation of vines producing grapes; properly, an inclosure or yard for grape-vines.

VINNEWED, a. Moldy; musty. [Not in use.]

VINNEWEDNESS, n. Mustiness; moldiness. [Not in use.]

VINNY, a. [supra.] Moldy; musty. [Not in use.]

VINOLENCY, n. [L. vinolentia, from vinum, wine.] Drunkenness. [Not used.]

VINOLENT, a. Given to wine. [Not used.]

VINOSITY, n. State or quality of being vinous.

VINOUS, a. [L. vinum, wine.]

Having the qualities of wine; pertaining to wine; as a vinous taste; a vinous flavor; vinous fermentation.

VINTAGE, n. [L. vindemia.]

1. The produce of the vine for the season. The vintage is abundant.

2. The time of gathering the crop of grapes.

3. The wine produced by the crop of grapes in one season.

VINTAGER, n. One that gathers the vintage.

VINTNER, n. One who deals in wine; a wine-seller.

VINTRY, n. A place where wine is sold.

VINY, a.

1. Belonging to vines; producing grapes.

2. Abounding in vines.

VIOL, n. A stringed musical instrument, of the same form as the violin, but larger, and having formerly six strings, to be struck with a bow. Viols are of different kinds. The largest of all is the base viol, whose tones are deep, soft and agreeable. The violin now takes the place of the old viol.

Me softer airs befit, and softer strings of lute, or viol, still more apt for mournful things.

VIOLABLE, a. [L. violabilis. See Violate.]

That may be violated, broken or injured.

VIOLACEOUS, a. [L. viola, a violet.] Resembling violets.

VIOLATE, v.t. [L. violo.]

1. To injure; to hurt; to interrupt; to disturb; as, to violate sleep.

Kindness for man, and pity for his fate, may mix with bliss and yet not violate.

2. To break; to infringe; to transgress; as, to violate the laws of the state, or the rules of good breeding; to violate the divine commands; to violate one’s vows or promises. Promises and commands may be violated negatively, by non-observance.

3. To injure; to do violence to.

Forbid to violate the sacred fruit.

4. To treat with irreverence; to profane; as, to violate the sanctity of a holy place.

5. To ravish; to compress by force.

VIOLATED, pp. Injured; broken; transgressed; ravished.

VIOLATING, ppr. Injuring; infringing; ravishing.


1. The act of violating or injuring; interruption, as of sleep or peace.

2. Infringement; transgression; non-observance; as the violation of law or positive command; a violation of covenants, engagements and promises; a violation of vows.

3. Act of irreverence; profanation or contemptuous treatment of sacred things; as the violation of a church.

4. Ravishment; rape.


1. One who violates, injures, interrupts or disturbs; as a violator of repose.

2. One who infringes or transgresses; as a violator of law.

3. One who profanes or treats with irreverence; as a violator of sacred things.

4. A ravisher.

VIOLENCE, n. [L. violentia.]

1. Physical force; strength of action or motion; as the violence of a storm; the violence of a blow or of a conflict.

2. Moral force; vehemence. The critic attacked the work with violence.

3. Outrage; unjust force; crimes of all kinds.

The earth was filled with violence. Genesis 6:11.

4. Eagerness; vehemence.

You ask with violence.

5. Injury; infringement. Offer no violence to the laws, or to the rules of civility.

6. Injury; hurt.

Do violence to no man. Luke 3:14.

7. Ravishment; rape.

To do violence to or on, to attack; to murder.

But, as it seems, did violence on herself.

To do violence to, to outrage; to force; to injure. He does violence to his own opinions.

VIOLENCE, v.t. To assault; to injure; also, to bring by violence. [Little used.]

VIOLENT, a. [L. violentus.]

1. Forcible; moving or acting with physical strength; urged or driven with force; as a violent wind; a violent stream; a violent assault or blow; a violent conflict.

2. Vehement; outrageous; as a violent attack on the minister.

3. Produced or continued by force; not spontaneous or natural.

No violent state can be perpetual.

4. Produced by violence; not natural; as a violent death.

5. Acting by violence; assailant; not authorized.

Some violent hands were laid on Humphry’s life.

6. Fierce; vehement; as a violent philippic; a violent remonstrance.

We might be reckoned fierce and violent.

7. Severe; extreme; as violent pains.

8. Extorted; not voluntary.

Vows made in pain, are violent and void.

Violent presumption, in law, is presumption that arises from circumstances which necessarily attend such facts. Such circumstances being proved, the mind infers with confidence that the fact has taken place, and this confidence is a violent presumption, which amounts to proof.

VIOLENT, n. An assailant. [Not in use.]
VIOLENT, v.t. To urge with violence. [Not used.]

VIOLENTLY, adv. With force; forcibly; vehemently; as, the wind blows violently.

Forfeitures must not be exacted violently.

VIOLET, n. [L. viola.]

A plant and flower of the genus Viola, of many species.


A musical instrument with four strings, played with a bow; a fiddle; one of the most perfect and most powerful instruments that has been invented.

VIOLINIST, n. A person skilled in playing on a violin.

VIOLIST, n. A player on the viol.

VIOLONCELLO, n. A stringed instrument of music; a base viol of four strings, or a little base violin with long large strings, giving sounds an octave lower than the base violin.

VIOLONO, n. A double base, a deep toned instrument.

VIPER, n. [L. vipera.]

1. A serpent, a species of coluber, whose bite is remarkably venomous.

A viper came out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. Acts 28:3.

2. A person or thing mischievous or malignant.

VIPERINE, a. [L. viperinus.] Pertaining to a viper or to vipers.

VIPEROUS, a. [L. viperus.] Having the qualities of a viper; malignant; venomous; as a viperous tongue.

VIPER’S BUGLOSS, n. A plant of the genus Echium.

VIPER’S GRASS, n. A plant of the genus Scorzonera.

VIRAGO, n. [L. from vir, a man.]

1. A woman of the extraordinary stature, strength and courage; a female who has the robust body and masculine mind of a man; a female warrior.

To arms! to arms! the fierce virago cries.

2. In common language, a bold, impudent, turbulent woman; a termagant.

VIRE, n. An arrow. Obs.


A song or little poem among the Provencal poets in France; a roundelay. It sometimes consisted of two rhymes only, and short verses, with stops.

To which a lady sung a virelay.

VIRENT, a. [L. virens, from vireo, to flourish or be green.]

Green; verdant; fresh.

VIRGATE, a. nearly vurgate. [L. virga, a rod.]

In botany, having the shape of a rod or wand; as a virgate stem.

VIRGATE, n. A yardland.

VIRGE, [See Verge.]


1. Pertaining to Virgil, the Roman poet.

2. Resembling the style of Virgil.

VIRGIN, n. nearly vur’gin. [L. virgo.]

1. A woman who has had no carnal knowledge of man.

2. A woman not a mother. [Unusual.]

3. The sign Virgo. [See Virgo.]


1. Pure; untouched; as virgin gold.

2. Fresh; new; unused; as virgin soil.

VIRGIN, v.i. To play the virgin; a cant word.

VIRGINAL, a. Pertaining to a virgin; maidenly; as virginal chastity.

VIRGINAL, n. A keyed instrument of one string, jack and quill to each note, like a spinet, but in shape resembling the forte piano; out of use.
VIRGINAL, v.i. To pat; to strike as on a virginal [A cant word.]

VIRGINITY, n. [L. virginitas.] Maidenhood; the state of having had no carnal knowledge of man.

VIRGIN’S BOWER, n. A plant of the genus Clematis.

VIRGO, n. [L.] A sign of the zodiac which the sun enters in August; a constellation, containing according to the British catalogue, one hundred and ten stars.

VIRIDITY, n. [L. virditas, from vireo, to be green.]

Greenness; verdure; the color of fresh vegetables.

VIRILE, a. [L. virilis, from vir, a man, vireo.]

1. Pertaining to a man, in the eminent sense of the word, [not to man, in the sense of the human race;] belonging to the male sex; as virile age.

2. Masculine; not puerile or feminine; as virile strength or vigor.

VIRILITY, n. [L. virilitas.]

1. Manhood; the state of the male sex, which has arrived to the maturity and strength of a man, and to the power of procreation.

2. The power of procreation.

3. Character of man. [Unusual.]

VIRTU, n. A love of the fine arts; a taste for curiosities.

VIRTUAL, a. [See Virtue.]

1. Potential; having the power of acting or of invisible efficacy without the material or sensible part.

Every kind that lives, fomented by his virtual power, and warm’d.

Neither an actual nor virtual intention of the mind, but only that which may be gathered from the outward acts.

2. Being in essence or effect, not in fact; as the virtual presence of a man in his agent or substitute.