Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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M

M - MAGISTRATURE

M is the thirteenth letter of the English Alphabet, and a labial articulation, formed by a compression of the lips. It is called a semi-vowel, as the articulation or compression of the lips is accompanied with a humming sound through the nose, which constitutes a difference between this letter and b. Its sound is uniform; as in man, time, rim.

M is a numeral letter, and among the ancients stood for a thousand; a use which is retained by the moderns. With a dash or stroke over it, it stands for a thousand times a thousand, or a million.

As an abbreviation, M stands for Marcus, Martius, Manlius or Mutius.

M.A. or A.M. stands for artium magister, master of arts; M.D. for medicinoe doctor, doctor of medicine; A.M. for anno mundi, the year of the world; MS, for manuscript; MSS, for manuscripts.

In astronomical tables, M stands for meridian, meridional, or mid-day.

In medical prescriptions, M stands for maniple, or handful, or misce, mix, or mixtura, a mixture.

In the late British Pharmacopaeias it signifies mensura, by measure.

In law, M is a brand or stigma impressed on one convicted of manslaughter, and admitted to the benefit of clergy.

MAB, n. In northern mythology, the queen of the imaginary beings called fairies.

1. A slattern.

MAB, v.i. To dress negligently.

Maid.]

MACARONI, n. [Gr. happy.]

1. A kind of biscuit made of flour, eggs, sugar and almonds, and dressed with butter and spices.

2. A sort of droll or fool, and hence, a fop; a fribble; a finical fellow.

MACARONIC, a. Pertaining to or like a macaroni; empty; trifling; vain; affected.

1. Consisting of a mixture or jumble of ill formed or ill connected words.

MACARONIC, n. A kind of burlesque poetry, in which native words are made to end in Latin terminations, or Latin words are modernized.

MACAROON, the same as macaroni.

MACAUCO, n. A name of several species of quadrupeds of the genus Lemur.

MACAW, MACAO, n. The name of a race of beautiful fowls of the parrot kind, under the genus Psittacus.

MACAW-TREE, n. A species of palm tree.

MACCABEES, n. The name of two apocryphal books in the Bible.

MACCOBOY, n. A kind of snuff.

MACE, n. An ensign of authority borne before magistrates. Originally, the mace was a club or instrument of war, made of iron and much used by cavalry. It was in the shape of a coffee mill. Being no longer a weapon of war, its form is changed; it is made of silver or copper gilt, and ornamented with a crown, globe and cross.

A leaden mace,

A heavy iron mace.

MACE, n. [L. macis.] A spice; the second coat which covers the nutmeg, a thin and membranaceous substance of an oleaginous nature and yellowish color, being in flakes divided into many ramifications; it is extremely fragrant and aromatic.

MACE-ALE, n. Ale spiced with mace.

MACE-BEARER, n. A person who carries a mace before men in authority.

MACERATE, v.t. [L. macero, from macer, thin, lean; maceo, to be thin or lean; Eng. meager, meek.]

1. To make lean; to wear away.

2. To mortify; to harass with corporeal hardships; to cause to pine or waste away.

Out of excessive zeal they macerate their bodies and impair their health.

3. To steep almost to solution; to soften and separate the parts of a substance by steeping it in a fluid, or by the digestive process. So we say, food is macerated in the stomach.

MACERATED, pp. Made thin or lean; steeped almost to solution.

MACERATING, ppr. Making lean; steeping almost to solution; softening.

MACERATION, n. The act or the process of making thin or lean by wearing away, or by mortification.

1. The act, process or operation of softening and almost dissolving by steeping in a fluid.

The saliva serves for the maceration and dissolution of the meat into chyle.

MACE-REED, REED-MACE, n. A plant of the genus Typha.

MACHIAVELIAN, a. [from Machiavel, an Italian writer, secretary and historiographer to the republic of Florence.]

Pertaining to Machiavel, or denoting his principles; politically cunning; crafty; cunning in political management.

MACHIAVELIAN, n. One who adopts the principles of Machiavel.

MACHIAVELISM, n. The principles of Machiavel, or practice in conformity to them; political cunning and artifice, intended to favor arbitrary power.

MACHICOLATION, n. In old castles, the pouring of hot substances through apertures in the upper part of the gate assailants; or the apertures themselves.

Machine.] Pertaining to machines.

MACHINATE, v.t. [L. machinor.]

To plan; to contrive; to form a scheme.

MACHINATED, pp. Planned; contrived.

MACHINATING, ppr. Contriving; scheming.

MACHINATION, n. The act of planning or contriving a scheme for executing some purpose, particularly an evil purpose; an artful design formed with deliberation.

MACHINATOR, n. One that forms a scheme, or who plots with evil designs.

MACHINE, n. [L. machina.] An artificial work, simple or complicated, that serves to apply or regulate moving power, or to produce motion, so as to save time or force. The simple machines are the six mechanical powers, viz.; the lever, the pulley, the axis and wheel, the wedge, the screw, and the inclined plane. Complicated machines are such as combine two or more of these powers for the production of motion or force.

1. An engine; an instrument of force.

With inward arms the dire machine they load.

2. Supernatural agency in a poem, or a superhuman being introduced into a poem to perform some exploit.

MACHINERY, n. A complicated work, or combination of mechanical powers in a work, designed to increase, regulate or apply motion and force; as the machinery of a watch or other chronometer.

1. Machines in general. The machinery of a cotton-mill is often moved by a single wheel.

2. In epic and dramatic poetry, superhuman beings introduced by the poet to solve difficulty, or perform some exploit which exceeds human power; or the word may signify the agency of such beings, as supposed deities, angels, demons and the like.

Nee Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus Incidit.

A deity is not to be introduced, unless a difficulty occurs that requires the intervention of a god.

The machinery of Milton’s Paradise Lost, consists of numerous superhuman personages. Pope’s Rape of the Lock is rendered very interesting by the machinery of sylphs.

MACHINING, a. Denoting the machinery of a poem. [Not used.]

MACHINIST, n. A constructor of machines and engines, or one well versed in the principles of machines.

MACIGNO, n. A species of stone of two varieties, one of a grayish yellow color, the other of a bluish gray color.

Macilent.] Leanness.

Macerate.] Lean; thin; having little flesh.

MACKEREL, n. [L. macula, a spot; the spotted fish.]

A species of fish of the genus Scomber, an excellent table fish.

MACKEREL, n. A pander or pimp.

Mackerel-gale, in Dryden, may mean a gate that ripples the surface of the sea, or one which is suitable for catching mackerel, as this fish is caught with the bait in motion.

MACKEREL-SKY, n. A sky streaked or marked like a mackerel.

MACLE, n. A name given to chiastolite or hollow spar.

MACLURITE, n. A mineral of a brilliant pale green color, so called in honor of Maclure, the mineralogist.

MACROCOSM, n. [Gr. great, and world.] The great world; the universe, or the visible system of worlds; opposed to microcosm, or the world of man.

MACROLOGY, n. [Gr. great, and discourse.] Long and tedious talk; prolonged discourse without matter; superfluity of words.

MACTATION, n. [L. macto, to kill.]

The act of killing a victim for sacrifice.

MACULA, n. [L.] A spot, as on the skin, or on the surface of the sun or other luminous orb.

MACULATE, v.t. [L. maculo.] To spot; to stain.

MACULATE, MACULATED, a. Spotted.

MACULATION, n. The act of spotting a spot; a stain.

MACULE, n. A spot. [supra.] [Little used.]

MAD, a.

1. Disordered in intellect; distracted; furious.

We must bind our passions in chains, lest like mad folks, they break their locks and bolts.

2. Proceeding from disordered intellect or expressing it; as a mad demeanor.

3. Enraged; furious; as a mad bull.

And being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them, even to strange cities. Acts 26:11.

4. Inflamed to excess with desire; excited with violent and unreasonable passion or appetite; infatuated; followed properly by after.

The world is running made after farce, the extremity of bad poetry.

“Mad upon their idols,” would be better rendered, “Mad after their idols.” Jeremiah 50:38.

5. Distracted with anxiety or trouble; extremely perplexed.

Thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes-- Deuteronomy 28:34.

6. Infatuated with folly.

The spiritual man is mad. Hosea 9:7.

7. Inflamed with anger; very angry. [This is a common and perhaps the most general sense of the word in America. It is thus used by Arbuthnot, and is perfectly proper.]

8. Proceeding from folly or infatuation.

Mad wars destroy in one year the works of many years of peace.

MAD, v.t. To make mad, furious or angry.
MAD, v.i. To be mad, furious or wild.
MAD, MADE, n. An earthworm. [But this is the Eng. moth.]

MADAM, n. An appellation or complimentary title given to married and elderly ladies, or chiefly to them.

MADAPPLE, n. A plant of the genus Solanum.

MADBRAIN, MADBRAINED, a. Disordered in mind; hot-headed; rash.

MAD-CAP, a. [mad-caput or cap.]

A violent, rash, hot-headed person; a madman.

MADDEN, v.t. mad’n. To make mad.

MADDEN, v.i. To become mad; to act as if mad.

They rave, recite and madden round the land.

MADDENED, pp. Rendered mad.

MADDENING, ppr. Making mad or angry.

MADDER, n. A plant of the genus Rubia, one species of which is much used in dyeing red. The root is used in medicine as an aperient and detergent, and is in great reputation as an emmenagogue. It is cultivated in France and Holland.

MADDING, ppr. of mad. Raging; furious.

MADE, pret. and pp. of make.

MADEFACTION, n. [L. madefacio.] The act of making wet.

MADEFIED, pp. Made wet.

MADEFY, v.t. [L. madefio.] To make wet or moist; to moisten. [Not much used.]

MADEFYING, ppr. Making moist or wet.

MADEIRA, n. A rich wine made on the isle of Madeira.

MADEMOISELLE, n. A young woman, or the title given to one; miss; also, the puppet sent from the French metropolis to exhibit the prevailing fashions.

MADHEADED, n. Hot brained; rash.

MADHOUSE, n. A house where insane persons are confined for cure or for restraint.

MADID, a. [L. madidus.] Wet; moist. [Not in use.]

MADLY, adv. [from mad.] Without reason or understanding; rashly; wildly.

1. With extreme folly or infatuated zeal or passion.

MADMAN, n. A man raving or furious with disordered intellect; a distracted man.

1. A man without understanding.

2. One inflamed with extravagant passion, and acting contrary to reason.

MADNESS, n. [from mad.] Distraction; a state of disordered reason or intellect, in which the patient raves or is furious.

There are degrees of madness as of folly.

1. Extreme folly; headstrong passion and rashness that act in opposition to reason; as the madness of a mob.

2. Wildness of passion; fury; rage; as the madness of despair.

MADONA, MADONNA, n. A term of compellation equivalent to madam. It is given to the virgin Mary.

MADREPORE, n. A submarine substance of a stony hardness, resembling coral. It consists of carbonate of lime with some animal matter. It is of a white color, wrinkled on the surface, and full of cavities or cells, inhabited by a small animal. From a liquor discharged by this animal, the substance is said to be formed. Madrepores constitute a genus of polypiers, of variable forms, always garnished with radiated plates.

MADREPORITE, n. A name given to certain petrified bones found in Normandy, in France, belonging to a cetaceous fish or to a species of crocodile. These bones contain many little brown lines in zigzag, resembling entangled threads. They have none of the properties of madrepore.

MADREPORITE, n. A variety of limestone, so called on account of its occurring in radiated prismatic concretions resembling the stars of madrepores. When rubbed, it emits the smell of sulphurated hydrogen gas.

1. Fossil madrepore.

MADRIER, n. A thick plank armed with iron plates, with a cavity to receive the mouth of a petard, with which it is applied to any thing intended to be broken down; also, a plank used for supporting the earth in mines.

MADRIGAL, n.

1. A little amorous poem, sometimes called a pastoral poem, containing a certain number of free unequal verses, not confined to the scrupulous regularity of a sonnet or the subtilty of the epigram, but containing some tender and delicate, though simple thought, suitably expressed.

2. An elaborate vocal composition in five or six parts.

MADWORT, n. A plant of the genus Alyssum.

MAESTOSO, an Italian word signifying majestic, a direction in music to play the part with grandeur and strength.

MAFFLE, v.i. To stammer. [Not in use.]

MAGAZINE, n.

1. A store of arms, ammunition or provisions; or the building in which such store is deposited. It is usually a public store or storehouse.

2. In ships of war, a close room in the hold, where the gunpowder is kept. Large ships have usually two magazines.

3. A pamphlet periodically published, containing miscellaneous papers or compositions. The first publication of this kind in England, was the Gentleman’s Magazine, which first appeared in 1731, under the name of Sylvanus Urban, by Edward Cave, and which is still continued.

MAGAZINER, n. One who writes for a magazine. [Little used.]

MAGE, n. A magician. [Not used.]

Magellanic clouds, whitish clouds, or appearances like clouds near the south pole, which revolve like the stars; so called from Magellan, the navigator. They are three in number.

MAGGOT, n.

1. A worm or grub; particularly, the flyworm, from the egg of the large blue or green fly. This maggot changes into a fly.

2. A whim; an odd fancy.

MAGGOTY, a. Full of maggots.

MAGGOTY-HEADED, a. Having a head full of whims.

MAGI, n. plu. [L.] Wise men or philosophers of the East.

MAGIAN, a. [L. magus.] Pertaining to the Magi, a sect of philosophers in Persia.

MAGIAN, n. One of the sect of the Persian Magi, who hold that there are two principles, one that cause of good, the other of evil. The knowledge of these philosophers was deemed by the vulgar to be supernatural.

MAGIANISM, n. The philosophy or doctrines of the Magi.

MAGIC, n. [L. magia; Gr. a philosopher among the Persians.]

1. The art or science of putting into action the power of spirits; or the science of producing wonderful effects by the aid of superhuman beings, or of departed spirits; sorcery; enchantment. [This art or science is now discarded.]

2. The secret operations of natural causes.

Natural magic, the application of natural causes to passive subjects, by which surprising effects are produced. Celestial magic, attributes to spirits a kind of dominion over the planets, and to the planets an influence over men.

Superstitious or geotic magic, consists in the invocation of devils or demons, and supposes some tacit or express agreement between them and human beings.

Magic square, a square figure, formed by a series of numbers in mathematical proportion, so disposed in parallel and equal ranks, as that the sums of each row or line taken perpendicularly, horizontally, or diagonally, are equal.

Magic lantern, a dioptric machine invented by Kircher, which, by means of a map in a dark room, exhibits images of objects in their distinct colors and proportions, with the appearance of life itself.

MAGIC, MAGICAL, a. Pertaining to magic; used in magic; as a magic wand; magic art.

1. Performed by magic, the agency of spirits, or by the invisible powers of nature; as magical effects.

MAGICALLY, adv. By the arts of magic; according to the rules or rites of magic; by enchantment.

MAGICIAN, n. One skilled in magic; one that practices the black art; an enchanter; a necromancer; a sorcerer or sorceress.

Magistrate.] Pertaining to a master; such as suits a master; authoritative.

1. Proud; lofty; arrogant; imperious; domineering.

Pretenses go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment.

2. In chimistry, pertaining to magistery, which see.

MAGISTERIALLY, adv. With the air of a master; arrogantly; authoritatively.

MAGISTERIALNESS, n. The air and manner of a master; haughtiness; imperiousness; peremptoriness.

MAGISTERY, n. [L. magisterium.] Among chimists, a precipitate; a fine substance deposited by precipitation; usually applied to particular kinds of precipitate, as that of bismuth, coal, crab’s eyes, sulphur, etc.

Magistrate.] The office or dignity of a magistrate.

Duelling is not only an usurpation of the divine prerogative, but it is an insult upon magistracy.

1. The body of magistrates.

MAGISTRAL, a. Suiting a magistrate; authoritative.

MAGISTRAL, n. A sovereign medicine or remedy.

MAGISTRALITY, n. Despotic authority in opinion.

MAGISTRALLY, adv. Authoritatively; with imperiousness.

MAGISTRATE, n. [L. magistratus, from magister, master; magis, major, and ster, Teutonic steora, a director; steoran, to steer; the principal director.] A public civil officer, invested with the executive government of some branch of it. In this sense, a king is the highest or first magistrate, as is the President of the United States. But the word is more particularly applied to subordinate officers, as governors, intendants, prefects, mayors, justices of the peace, and the like.

The magistrate must have his reverence; the laws their authority.

MAGISTRATIC, a. Having the authority of a magistrate.

MAGISTRATURE, n. Magistracy. [Little used.]