Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



WRANGLER, n. An angry disputant; one who disputes with heat or peevishness; as a noisy contentious wrangler. Senior wrangler, in the university of Cambridge, the student who passes the best examination in the senate house. Then follow the second, third, etc. Wranglers.

WRANGLESOME, a. Contentious; quarrelsome.

WRANGLING, ppr. Disputing or contending angrily.

WRANGLING, n. The act of disputing angrily.

WRAP, v.t. pret. and pp. wrapped or wrapt.

1. To wind or fold together. John 20:7.

2. To involve; to cover by winding something round; often with up; as, to wrap up a child in its blanket; wrap the body well with flannel in winter.

I, wrapt in mist of midnight vapor, glide obscure.

3. To involve; to hide; as truth wrapt in tales.

4. To comprise; to contain.

Leontines young wife, in whom all his happiness was wrapped up, died in a few days after the death of her daughter.

5. To involve totally.

Things reflected on in gross and transiently, are thought to be wrapped in impenetrable obscurity.

6. To inclose.

7. To snatch up; to transport. This is an error. It ought to be rapt. [See Rap and Rapt.]

WRAPPED, WRAPT, pp. Wound; folded; inclosed.


1. One that wraps.

2. That in which any thing is wrapped or inclosed.


1. Winding; folding; involving; inclosing.

2. a. Used or designed for wrapping or covering; as wrapping paper.

WRAP-RASCAL, n. An upper coat.

WRASS, WRASSE, n. A fish, the Labrus tinca of Linne, called by authors, turdus vulgaris, or tinca marina, the sea-tench, and sometimes old-wife. It resembles the carp in figure, and is covered with large scales. The name is also applied to other species of the genus Labrus.

WRATH, n. [L.]

1. Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; as the wrath of Achilles.

When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased-- Esther 2:1.

O Lord--in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2.

2. The effects of anger. Proverbs 27:4.

3. The just punishment of an offense or crime. Romans 13:4.

Gods wrath, in Scripture, is his holy and just indignation against sin. Romans 1:18.


1. Very angry; greatly incensed. The king was very wrathful.

2. Springing from wrath, or expressing it; as wrathful passions; a wrathful countenance.

WRATHFULLY, adv. With violent anger.

WRATHFULNESS, n. Vehement anger.

WRATHLESS, a. Free from anger.

WRATHY, a. Very angry; a colloquial word.

WRAWL, v.i. To cry, as a cat. [Not in use.]

WREAK, v.t. [G. The sense is to drive or throw, to dash with violence.]

1. To execute; to inflict; to hurl or drive; as, to wreak vengeance on an enemy.

On me let death wreak all his rage.

2. To revenge.

Come wreak his loss, whom bootless ye complain.

Anothers wrongs to wreak upon thyself.

[This latter sense is nearly or quite obsolete.]

WREAK, for reck. To care, is a mistake.
WREAK, n. Revenge; vengeance; furious passion.

WREAKFUL, a. Revengeful; angry.

WREAKLESS, a. Unrevengeful; weak.

WREATH, n. [See Writhe.]

1. To twist; to convolve; to wind one about another; as, to wreath a garland of flowers.

2. To interweave; to entwine; as chains of wreathed work.

3. To encircle, as a garland.

The flowrs that wreath the sparkling bowl.

4. To encircle as with a garland; to dress in a garland.

And with thy winding ivy wreaths her lance.

WREATH, v.i. To be interwoven or entwined; as a bower of wreathing trees.

WREATHED, pp. Twisted; entwined; interwoven.

WREATHING, ppr. Twisting; entwining; encircling.

WREATHY, a. Twisted; curled; spiral; as a wreathy spire.


1. Destruction; properly, the destruction of a ship or vessel on the shore. Hence,

2. The ruins of a ship stranded; a ship dashed against rocks or land and broken, or otherwise rendered useless by violence and fracture.

3. Dissolution by violence; ruin; destruction.

The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds.

4. The remains of any thing ruined; dead weeds and grass.

5. In metallurgy, the vessel in which ores are washed the third time.

6. Wreck, for wreak, is less proper. [See also Rack.]

WRECK, v.t.

1. To stand; to drive against the shore, or dash against rocks, and break or destroy. The ship Diamond of new York, was wrecked on a rock in Cardigan Bay, on the coast of Wales.

2. To ruin; as, they wreck their own fortunes.

3. Wreck, for wreak, is improper.

WRECK, v.i. To suffer wreck or ruin.

WRECKED, pp. Dashed against the shore or on rocks; stranded and ruined.

WRECKFUL, a. Causing wreck.

WRECKING, ppr. Stranding; running on rocks or on shore; ruining.

WREN, n. A small bird of the genus Motacilla.

WRENCH, v.t. [See Wring.]

1. To pull with a twist; to wrest, twist or force by violence; as, to wrench a sword from anothers hand.

2. To strain; to sprain; to distort.

You wrenched your foot against a stone.


1. A violent twist, or a pull with twisting.

2. A sprain; an injury by twisting; as in a joint.

3. An instrument for screwing or unscrewing iron work.

4. Means of compulsion. [Not used.]

5. In the plural, sleights; subtilties.

WREST, v.t. [G., to wrest, to snatch or pull, to burst, to tear.]

1. To twist or extort by violence; to pull or force from by violent wringing or twisting; as, to wrest an instrument from anothers hands.

2. To take or force from by violence. The enemy made a great effort, and wrested the victory from our hands.

But fate has wrested the confession from me.

3. To distort; to turn from truth or twist from its natural meaning by violence; to pervert.

Wrest once the law to your authority.

Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of the poor. Exodus 23:6.

Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16.


1. Distortion; violent pulling and twisting; perversion.

2. Active or moving power. [Not used.]

3. An instrument to tune.

WRESTED, pp. Pulled with twisting; distorted; perverted.

WRESTER, n. One who wrests or perverts.

WRESTING, ppr. Pulling with a twist; distorting; perverting.

WRESTLE, v.i. resl.

1. To strive with arms extended, as two men, who seize each other by the collar and arms, each endeavoring to throw the other by tripping up his heels and twitching him off his center.

Another, by a fall in wrestling, started the end of the clavicle from the sternum.

2. To struggle; to strive; to contend.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12.

WRESTLER, n. One who wrestles; or one who is skillful in wrestling.

WRESTLING, pp. Striving to throw; contending.

WRESTLING, n. Strife; struggle; contention.


1. A miserable person; one sunk in the deepest distress; as a forlorn wretch.

2. A worthless mortal; as a contemptible wretch.

3. A person sunk in vice; as a profligate wretch.

4. It is sometimes used by way of slight or ironical pity or contempt.

Poor wretch was never frighted so.

5. It is sometimes used to express tenderness; as we say, poor thing.


1. Very miserable; sunk into deep affliction or distress, either from want, anxiety or grief.

The wretched find no friends.

2. Calamitous; very afflicting; as the wretched condition of slaves in Algiers.

3. Worthless; paltry; very poor or mean; as a wretched poem; a wretched cabin.

4. Despicable; hatefully vile and contemptible. He was guilty of wretched ingratitude.


1. Most miserably; very poorly. The prisoners were wretchedly lodged.

2. Unhappily; as two wars wretchedly entered upon.

3. Meanly; despicable; as a discourse wretchedly delivered.


1. Extreme misery or unhappiness, either from want or sorrow; as the wretchedness of poor mendicants.

We have, with the feeling, most the very memory of such wretchedness as our forefathers endured--

The prodigal brought nothing to his father but his rags and wretchedness.

2. Meanness; despicableness; as the wretchedness of a performance.

WRETCHLESS, for reckless, is improper.

WRETCHLESSNESS, for recklessness, is improper.

WRIG, for wriggle. [Not in use.]

WRIGGLE, v.i. To move the body to and fro with short motions.

Both he and his successors would often wriggle in their seats, as long as the cushion lasted.

WRIGGLE, v.t. To put into a quick reciprocating motion; to introduce by a shifting motion.

Wriggling his body to recover his seat, and cast his right leg over.

WRIGGLER, n. One who wriggles.

WRIGGLING, ppr. Moving the body one way and the other with quick turns.

WRIGHT, n. An artificer; one whose occupation is some kind of mechanical business; a workman; a manufacturer. This word is now chiefly used in compounds, as in shipwright, wheelwright.

WRING, v.t. pret. and pp. wringed and wrung. The latter is chiefly used.

1. To twist; to turn and strain with violence; as, to wring clothes in washing.

2. To squeeze; to press; to force by twisting; as, to wring water out of a wet garment.

3. To writhe; as, to wring the body in pain.

4. TO pinch.

The king began to find where his shoe did wring him.

If he had not been too much grieved and wrung by an uneasy and strait fortune--

5. To distress; to press with pain.

Didst thou taste but half the griefs, that wring my soul, thou couldst not talk thus coldly.

6. To distort; to pervert.

How dare these men thus wring the Scriptures?

7. To persecute with extortion.

These merchant adventurers have been often wronged and wringed to the quick.

8. To bend or strain out of its positions, as, to wring a mast.

To wring off, to force off or separate by wringing; as, to wring off the head of a fowl.

To wring out,

1. To force out; to squeeze out by twisting; as, to wring out dew or water. Judges 6:38.

2. To free from a liquor by wringing; as, to wring out clothes.

To wring from, to force from by violence; to extort; as revenues wrung from the poor; to wring from one his rights; to wring a secret from one.

WRING, v.i. To writhe; to twist; as with anguish.
WRING, n. Action of anguish.

WRING-BOLT, n. [wring and bolt.] A bolt used by shipwrights, to bend and secure the planks against the timbers till they are fastened by bolts, spikes and tree-nails.

WRINGED, pp. Twisted; pressed; distressed; extorted.

WRINGER, n. One who wrings; one that forces water out of any thing by wringing.

WRINGING, ppr. Twisting; writhing; extorting.

WRING-STAVES, n. Strong bars of wood used in applying wring-bolts.

WRINKLE, n. [G.]

1. A small ridge or prominence, or a furrow, formed by the shrinking or contraction of any smooth substance; corrugation; a crease; as wrinkles in the face or skin.

2. A fold or rumple in cloth.

3. Roughness; unevenness.

Not the least wrinkle to deform the sky.


1. To contract into furrows and prominences; to corrugate; as, to wrinkle the skin; to wrinkle the brow.

Her wrinkled form in black and white arrayd.

2. To make rough or uneven.

A keen north wind, blowing dry, wrinkled the face of deluge, as decayd.

WRINKLE, v.i. To shrink into furrows and ridges.

WRINKLED, pp. Contracted into ridges and furrows.

WRINKLING, ppr. Shrinking; contracting into furrows and ridges.


1. The joint by which the hand is united to the arm.

2. In the manege, the bridle wrist is that of the cavaliers left hand.

WRISTBAND, n. [wrist and band.] That band or part of a shirt sleeve which covers the wrist.

WRIT, n. [from write.]

1. That which is written. In this sense, writ is particularly applied to the Scriptures, or books of the Old Testament and New Testament; as holy writ; sacred writ.

2. In law, precept issued from the proper authority to the sheriff, his deputy or other subordinate officer, commanding him to perform some act, as to summon a defendant into court to answer, and the like.

In England, writs are issued from some court under seal. In some of the United States, writs are issued by any single judge or justice of the peace, in the name and by the authority of the senate.

In some of the United States, the writ in a civil suit, contains both the summons and the plaintiffs declaration or cause of action set forth at large, and a writ is either a summons or an attachment.

Writs are original or judicial. An original writ, in England, is issued from the high court of chancery. A judicial writ is issued by order of a court upon a special occasion, during the pendency of the suit.

Writs are of various kinds; as writs of assize; writs of capias; writs of distringas, etc.

3. A legal instrument.

WRIT, pret. of write, is not now used. [See Write and Wrote.]

WRITE, v.t. pret. wrote; pp. writ, written. [L.]

1. To form by a pen on paper or other material, or by a graver on wood or stone; as, to write the characters called letters; to write figures. We write characters on paper with pen and ink; we write them on stone with a graving tool.

2. To express by forming letters and words on paper or stone; as, to write a deed; to write a bill of divorcement. The ten commandments were written with the finger of God on tables of stone. Exodus 31:18.

3. To engrave. [See the preceding definition.]

4. To impress durable. Write useful truths on the heart.

5. To compose or produce, as an author.

6. To copy; to transcribe.

7. To communicate by letter.

I chose to write the thing I durst not speak to her I lovd.

WRITE, v.i.

1. To perform the act of forming characters, letters or figures, as representatives of sounds or ideas. Learn to write when young.

2. To be employed as a clerk or an amanuensis. A writes for B. D writes in one of the public offices.

3. To play the author; as, he thinks, he speaks, he writes, he sings.

4. To recite or relate in books. Josephus wrote of the wars of the Jews.

5. To send letters.

He wrote for all the Jews concerning their freedom.

6. To call ones self; to be entitled; to use the style of.

Those who began to write themselves men, but thought it no shame to learn.

7. To compose; to frame or combine ideas and express them in words.

They can write up to the dignity and character of their authors.


1. One who writes or has written.

2. An author.

3. A clerk or amanuensis.

Writer of the tallies, an officer of the exchequer of England; a clerk to the auditor of the receipt, who writes upon the tallies the whole of the tellers bills.

WRITHE, v.t.

1. To twist; to distort.

Her mouth she writhd.

2. To twist with violence; as, to writhe the body.

3. To wrest; to distort; to torture; as, to writhe words.

WRITHE, v.i. To twist; to be distorted; as, to writhe with agony.

WRITHED, pp. Twisted; distorted.

WRITHING, ppr. Twisting; distorting.

WRITHLE, v.t. [from writhe.] To wrinkle. [Not in use.]


1. Forming, as characters, with a pen, style or graver.

2. a. Used or intended for writing; as writing paper.


1. The act or art of forming letters and characters, on paper, wood, stone or other material, for the purpose of recording the ideas which characters and the words express, or of communicating them to others by visible signs. We hardly know which to admire most, the ingenuity or the utility of the art of writing.

2. Any thing written or expressed in letters; hence, any legal instrument, as a deed, a receipt, a bond, an agreement, etc.

3. A book; any written composition; a pamphlet; as the writings of Addison.

4. An inscription. John 19:19.

5. Writings, plu. conveyances of lands; deeds; or any official papers.

WRITING-MASTER, n. One who teaches the art of penmanship.

WRITTEN, pp. Expressed in letters.

Written laws, statutes; laws enacted by the supreme power and recorded; as contradistinguished from unwritten or common law.

WRIZZLED, for writhled. [Not in use.]

WROKEN, for wreaked. [Not in use.]

WRONG, a. Literally wrung, twisted or turned from a straight line or even surface. Hence,

1. Not physically right; not fit or suitable; as the wrong side of a garment. You hold the book the wrong end uppermost. There may be something wrong in the construction of a watch or an edifice.

2. Not morally right; that deviates from the line of rectitude prescribed by God; not just or equitable; not right or proper; not legal; erroneous; as a wrong practice; wrong ideas; a wrong course of life; wrong measures; wrong inclinations and desires; a wrong application of talents; wrong judgment. Habakkuk 1:4.

3. Erroneous; not according to truth; as a wrong statement.

WRONG, n. Whatever deviates from moral rectitude; any injury done to another; a trespass; a violation of right. Wrongs are private or public. Private wrongs are civil injuries, immediately affecting individuals; public wrongs are crimes and misdemeanors which affect the community.

Sarai said to Abraham, my wrong be on thee. Genesis 16:5.

Friend, I do thee no wrong. Matthew 20:13.

The obligation to redress a wrong, is at least as binding as that of paying a debt.

WRONG, adv. Not rightly; amiss; morally ill; erroneously.

Ten censure wrong for one that writes amiss.

WRONG, v.t.

1. To injure; to treat with injustice; to deprive of some right, or to withhold some act of justice from. We wrong a man, when we defraud him, and when we trespass on his property. We wrong a man, when we neglect to pay him his due. Philemon 18.

2. To do injustice to by imputation; to impute evil unjustly. If you suppose me capable of a base act, you wrong me.

WRONG-DOER, n. One who injures another, or does wrong.

WRONG-DOING, n. Evil or wicked act or action.

WRONGED, pp. Treated unjustly; injured.

WRONGER, n. One who injures another.

WRONGFUL, a. Injurious unjust; as a wrongful taking of property; wrongful dealing.

WRONGFULLY, adv. Unjustly; in a manner contrary to the moral law or to justice; as, to accuse one wrongfully; to suffer wrongfully.

WRONGHEAD, WRONGHEADED, a. [wrong and head.] Wrong in opinion or principle; having a perverse understanding; perverse.

WRONGHEADEDNESS, n. Perverseness; erroneousness.

WRONGLESSLY, adv. Without injury to any one. [Not used.]

WRONGLY, adv. In a wrong manner; unjustly; amiss. He judges wrongly of my motives.

WRONGNESS, n. Wrong disposition; error.

WROTE, pret. of write. He wrote a letter yesterday. Herodotus wrote his history more than two thousand years ago. [Note. Wrote is now used as the participle.]

WROTH, a. Rauth. [See Wrath.] Very angry; much exasperated.

Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Genesis 4:5.

I was wroth with my people. Isaiah 47:6.

[An excellent word and not obsolete.]

WROUGHT, pret. and pp. of work. raut.

1. Worked; formed by work or labor; as wrought iron.

2. Effected; performed.

She hath wrought a good work upon me. Matthew 26:10.

3. Effected; produced. He wrought the public safety. A great change was wrought in his mind.

This wrought the greatest confusion int he unbelieving Jews.

4. Used in labor.

The elders of that city shall take a heifer that hath not been wrought with. Deuteronomy 21:3.

5. Worked; driven; as infection wrought out of the body. [Not used.]

6. Actuated.

Vain Morat, by his own rashness wrought--

7. Worked; used; labored in. The mine is still wrought.

8. Formed; fitted.

He that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God. 2 Corinthians 5:5.

9. Guided; managed. [Not used.]

10. Agitated; disturbed.

My dull brain was wrought with things forgot.

Wrought on or upon, influenced; prevailed on. His mind was wrought upon by divine grace.

Wrought to or up to, excited; inflamed. Their minds were wrought up to a violent passion. She was wrought up to the tenderest emotion of pity.

WRUNG, pret. and pp. of wring.

WRY, a.

1. Twisted; turned to one side; distorted; as a wry neck; a wry mouth.

2. Deviating from the right direction; as wry words.

3. Wrested; perverted; as, to put a wry sense on an authors words.

WRY, v.i. To be writhed or distorted. [Not used.]
WRY, v.t. To distort; to wrest. [Not used.]

WRYNECK, n. [wry and neck.]

1. A twisted or distorted neck; a deformity in which the neck is drawn to one side, and at the same time somewhat forwards.

2. A disease of the spasmodic kind in sheep, in which the head is drawn to one side.

3. In ornithology, a bird resembling the woodpeckers, the Yunx torquilla; so called form the singular manner in which when surprised, it tuns its head over its shoulders.

WRYNECKED, a. Having a distorted neck.

WRYNESS, a. The state of being wry or distorted.

WYCH-ELM, n. A variety of the elm, or a peculiar species, (Ulmus glabra.)