Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary




N is the fourteenth letter of the English Alphabet, and an articulation formed by placing the end of the tongue against the root of the upper teeth. It is an imperfect mute or semi-vowel, and a nasal letter; the articulation being accompanied with a sound through the nose. It has one sound only, and after m is silent or nearly so, as in hymn and condemn. N, among the ancients, was a numeral letter signifying 900, and with a stroke over it, 9000. Among the lawyers, N. L. stood for non liquet, the case is not clear. In commerce, No. Is an abbreviation of the French nombre, and stands for number. N.S. stands for New Style.

NAB, n. The summit of a mountain or rock.

NAB, v.t. To catch suddenly; to seize by a sudden grasp or thrust; a word little used and only in low language.


1. A deputy or prince in India, subordinate to the Subahs; hence,

2. A man of great wealth.

NACKER. [See Naker.]

NACREOUS, a. [See Naker.] Having a pearly luster.

NACRITE, n. [See Naker.] A rare mineral, called also talckite, consisting of scaly parts; glimmering, pearly, friable, with a greasy feel; the color, a greenish white.


1. Natara, to be like, proportional, corresponding to, opposite.

2. That point of the heavens or lower hemisphere directly opposite to the zenith; the point directly under the place where we stand.

NADLE-STEIN, n. Needle-stone; rutile.

NAEVE, n. A spot.

NAFE, n. A kind of tufted sea-fowl.

NAFF, n. A kind of tufted sea-fowl.

NAG, n.

1. A small horse; a horse in general, or rather a sprightly horse.

2. A paramour; in contempt.

NAID, n. To flow

NAIAD, n. To flow.

1. In mythology, a water nymph; a deity that presides over rivers and springs.

NAIL, n. If the word was originally applied to a claw or talon, the primary sense may be to catch, or it may be a shoot.

1. The claw or talon of a fowl or other animal.

2. The horny substance growing at the end of the human fingers and toes.

3. A small pointed piece of metal, usually with a head, to be driven into a board or other piece of timber, and serving to fasten it to other timber. The larger kinds of instruments of this sort are called spikes; and a long thin kind with a flattish head, is called a brad.

4. A stud or boss; a short nail with a large broad head.

5. A measure of length, being two inches and a quarter, or the 16th of a yard.

6. On the nail, in hand; immediately; without delay or time of credit; as, to pay money on the nail.

7. To hit the nail on the head, to hit or touch the exact point.

NAIL, v.t.

1. To fasten with nails; to unite, close or make compact with nails.

2. To stud with nails.

3. To stop the vent of a cannon; to spike.

NAILED, pp. Fastened with nails; studded.

NAILER, n. One whose occupation is to make nails.

NAILERY, n. A manufactory where nails are made.

NAILING, ppr. Fastening with nails; studding.

NAIVELY, adv. With native or unaffected simplicity.

NAIVETE, n. Native simplicity; unaffected plainness or ingenuousness.

NAIVTY, n. Native simplicity; unaffected plainness or ingenuousness.

NAKED, a. Open, discovered, to strip.

1. Not covered; bare; having no clothes on; as a naked body or a naked limb.

2. Unarmed; defenseless; open; exposed; having no means of defense or protection against an enemys attack, or against other injury.

Behold my bosom naked to your swords.

3. Open to view; not concealed; manifest. Hebrews 4:13.

4. Destitute of worldly goods. Job 1:21.

5. Exposed to shame and disgrace. Exodus 32:25.

6. Guilty and exposed to divine wrath. Revelation 3:17.

7. Plain; evident; undisguised; as the naked truth.

8. Mere; bare; simple; wanting the necessary additions. God requires of man something besides the naked belief of his being and his word.

9. Not inclosed in a pod or case; as naked seeds of a plant.

10. Without leaves, fulcres or arms; as a naked stem or trunk.

11. Not assisted by glasses; as the naked eye.


1. Without covering.

2. Simply ;barely ;merely; in the abstract.

3. Evidently.


1. Want of covering or clothing; nudity; bareness.

2. Want of means of defense.

Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land are ye come. Genesis 42:9.

3. Plainness; openness to view.

To uncover nakedness, in Scripture, is to have incestuous or unlawful commerce with a female.

NAKER, n. Mother of pearl; the white substance which constitutes the interior surface of a shell producing a pearl.

NALL, n. An awl, such as collar-makers or shoe-makers use.

NAME, n.

1. That by which a thing is called; the sound or combination of sounds used to express an idea, or any material substance, quality or act; an appellation attached to a thing by customary use, by which it may be vocally distinguished from other things. A name may be attached to an individual only, and is then proper or appropriate, as John, Thomas, London, Paris; or it may be attached to a species, genus, or class of things, as sheep, goat, horse, tree, animal, which are called common names, specific or generic.

2. The letters or characters written or engraved, expressing the sounds by which a person or thing is known and distinguished.

3. A person.

They list with women each degenerate name.

4. Reputation; character; that which is commonly said of a person; as a good name; a bad name.

5. Renown; fame; honor; celebrity; eminence; praise; distinction.

What men of name resort to him?

6. Remembrance; memory.

The Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. Deuteronomy 29:20.

7. Appearance only; sound only; not reality; as a friend in name. Revelation 3:1.

8. Authority; behalf; part; as in the name of the people. When a man speaks or acts in the name of another, he does it by their authority or in their behalf, as their representative.

9. Assumed character of another.

Had forged a treason in my patrons name.

10. In Scripture, the name of God signifies his titles, his attributes, his will or purpose, his honor and glory, his word, his grace, his wisdom, power and goodness, his worship or service, or God himself.

11. Issue; posterity that preserves the name. Deuteronomy 25:6.

12. In grammar, a noun.

To call names, to apply opprobrious names; to call by reproachful appellations.

To take the name of God in vain, to swear falsely or profanely, or to use the name of God with levity or contempt. Exodus 20:7.

To know by name, to honor by a particular friendship or familiarity. Exodus 33:12, 17.

Christian name, the name a person receives by baptism, as distinguished from surname.

NAME, v.t. to call, to name, to invoke.

1. To set or give to any person or thing a sound or combination of sounds by which it may be known and distinguished; to call; to give an appellation to.

She named the child Ichabod. 1 Samuel 4:21.

Thus was the building left Ridiculous, and the work confusion named.

2. To mention by name; to utter or pronounce the sound or sounds by which a person or thing is known and distinguished.

Neither use thyself to the naming of the Holy One.

3. To nominate; to designate for any purpose by name.

Thou shalt anoint to me him whom I name to thee. 1 Samuel 16:3.

4. To entitle.

To name the name of Christ, to make profession of faith in him. 2 Timothy 2:19.

NAMED, pp. Called; denominated; designated by name.


1. Without a name; not distinguished by an appellation; as a nameless star.

2. He or that whose name is not known or mentioned.

NAMELY, adv. To mention by name; particularly.

For the excellency of the soul, namely, its power of divining in dreams; that several such divinations have been made, none can question.

NAMER, n. One that names or calls by name.

NAMESAKE, n. One that has the same name as another.

NAMING, ppr. Calling; nominating; mentioning.

NAN, a Welsh word signifying what, used as an interrogative. [This word has been extensively used within my memory by the common people of New England.]

NANKEEN, n. [Nankin a Chinese word.] A species of cotton cloth of a firm texture, from China, now imitated by the manufacturers in Great Britain.

NAP, n. To lean, that is, to nod.

1. A short sleep or slumber.

NAP, v.i.

1. To have a short sleep; to be drowsy.

2. To be in a careless, secure state.

NAP, n.

1. The woolly or villous substance on the surface of cloth.

2. The downy or soft hairy substance on plants.

3. A knop.

NAPE, n. A knob; to be hard or callous, whence a callus.

1. The prominent joint of the neck behind.

NAPERY, n. Linen for the table; table cloths or linen cloth in general.

NAPHEW, n. [a turnep; a knob] A plant.

NAPHTHA, n. [from nafata, to push out, as pustules, to throw out, to boil, to be angry. In Ambaric, neft or nepht, from this sense, signifies a gun or musket.]

1. An inflammable mineral substance of the bituminous kind, of a light brown or yellowish color, sharp taste, and incapable of decomposition. By long keeping it hardens into a substance resembling vegetable resin, and becomes black. It is as inflammable as ether. It is said to issue from the earth at Baku, in Persia, and to be received into cisterns.

2. Naphtha consists of carbon and hydrogen.

NAPHTHALINE, n. A peculiar crystalizable substance, deposited from naphtha distilled from coal tar, consisting of hydrogen and carbon.

NAPKIN, n. [nape, cloth; of which napkin is a diminutive.]

1. A cloth used for wiping the hands; a towel.

2. A handkerchief.

NAPLESS, a. Without nap; threadbare.

NAPPAL, n. Soap rock.


1. The quality of being sleepy or inclined to take naps.

2. The quality of having a nap; abundance of nap; as on cloth.

NAPPY, frothy; spumy; as nappy beer.

NAPTAKING, a. Taking naps.

NAPTAKING, n. A taking by surprise, as when one is not on his guard; unexpected onset when one is unprepared.

NARCISSUS, n. In botany, the daffodil, a genus of plants of several species. They are of the bulbous rooted tribe, perennial in root, but with annual leaves and flower stalks.

NARCOTIC, n. A medicine which stupefies the senses and renders insensible to pain; hence, a medicine which induces sleep; a soporific; and opiate.

NARCOTICALLY, adv. By producing torpor or drowsiness.

NARCOTICNESS, n. The quality of inducing sleep or removing pain.

NARCOTINE, n. The pure narcotic principle of opium.

NARD, n.

1. A plant usually called spikenard, spica nardi; highly valued by the ancients, both as an article of luxury and of medicine. It is an odorous or aromatic plant.

2. An unguent prepared from the plant.

NARDINE, a. Pertaining to nard; having the qualities of spikenard.

NARE, n. The nostril.

NARRABLE, a. That may be related, told, or narrated.


1. To tell, rehearse or recite, as a story; to relate the particulars of any event or transaction, or any series of incidents.

2. To write, as the particulars of a story or history, We never say, to narrate a sentence, a sermon or an oration, but we narrate a story, or the particular events which have fallen under our observation, or which we have heard related.

NARRATED, pp. Related; told.

NARRATING, ppr. Relating; telling; reciting.


1. The act of telling or relating the particulars of an event; rehearsal; recital.

2. Relation; story; history; the relation in words or writing, of the particulars of any transaction or event, or of any series of transactions or events.

3. In oratory, that part of a discourse which recites the time, manner, or consequences of an action, or simply states the facts connected with the subject.


1. Relating the particulars of an event or transaction; giving a particular or continued account.

2. Apt or inclined to relate stories, or to tell particulars of events; story-telling.

But wise through time and narrative with age.

NARRATIVE, n. The recital of a story, or a continued account of the particulars of an event or transaction; story.

Cynthio was much taken with my narrative.

NARRATIVELY, adv. By way of narration, story, or recital.

NARRATOR, n. One that narrates; one that relates a series of events or transactions.

NARRATORY, a. Giving an account of events.

NARROW, a. I suspect this word and near to be contracted by the loss of g, nig, narrow, strait; nigiaw, to narrow; for the D. has naauw, narrow, close, G. with a prefix. In this case, the word belongs to the root of nigh; to approach.

1. Of little breadth; not wide or broad; having little distance from side to side; as a narrow board; a narrow street; a narrow sea; a narrow hem or border. It is only or chiefly applied to the surface of flat or level bodies.

2. Of little extent; very limited; as a narrow space or compass.

3. Covetous; not liberal or bountiful; as a narrow heart.

4. Contracted; of confined views or sentiments; very limited.

The greatest understanding is narrow.

In this sense and the former, it is often prefixed to mind or soul, etc.; as narrow-minded; narrow-souled; narrow-hearted.

5. Near; within a small distance.

6. Close; near; accurate; scrutinizing; as a narrow search; narrow inspection.

7. Near; barely sufficient to avoid evil; as a narrow escape.

NARROW, n. A strait; a narrow passage through a mountain, or a narrow channel of water between one sea or lake and another; a sound. It is usually in the plural, but sometimes in the singular.

NARROWS, n. A strait; a narrow passage through a mountain, or a narrow channel of water between one sea or lake and another; a sound. It is usually in the plural, but sometimes in the singular.

NARROW, v.t.

1. To lessen the breadth of; to contract.

A government, by alienating the affections of the people, may be said to narrow its bottom.

2. To contract in extent; as, to narrow ones influence; to narrow the faculties or capacity.

3. To draw into a smaller compass; to contract; to limit; to confine; as, to narrow our views or knowledge; to narrow a question in discussion.

4. In knitting, to contract the size of a stocking by taking two stitches into one.

NARROW, v.i.

1. To become less broad; to contract in breadth. At that place, the sea narrows into a strait.

2. In horsemanship, a horse is said to narrow, when he does not take ground enough, or bear out enough to the one hand or the other.

3. To contract the size of a stocking by taking two stitches into one.

NARROWED, pp. Contracted; made less wide.

NARROWING, ppr. Contracting; making less broad.

NARROWINGS, n. The part of a stocking which is narrowed.


1. With little breadth.

2. Contractedly; without much extent.

3. Closely; accurately; with minute scrutiny; as, to look or watch narrowly; to search narrowly.

4. Nearly; within a little; by a small distance; as, he narrowly escaped.

5. Sparingly.


1. Smallness of breadth or distance from side to side; as the narrowness of cloth, of a street or highway, of a stream or sea.

2. Smallness of extent; contractedness; as the narrowness of capacity or comprehension; narrowness of knowledge or attainments.

3. Smallness of estate or means of living; poverty; as the narrowness of fortune or of circumstances.

4. Contractedness; penuriousness; covetousness; as narrowness of heart.

5. Illiberality; want of generous, enlarged or charitable views or sentiments; as narrowness of mind or views.

NARWAL, n. The Monodon monoceros, a cetaceous animal found in the northern seas, which grows to twenty feet in length. The spiracle of this animal is on the anterior part of the skull. When young it has two teeth or horns, but when old it has but one, which projects from the upper jaw and is spiral. From this circumstance of its having one horn only, it has obtained the name of the sea unicorn, or unicorn fish.

NAS, for ne has, has not.

NASAL, a. Pertaining to the nose; formed or affected by the nose; as a nasal sound; a nasal letter.


1. A letter whose sound is affected by the nose.

2. A medicine that operates through the nose; an errhine.


1. A kind of medicated pessary.

2. Pessary made of wool or cotton, to raise the nose when compressed.

NASCENT, a. [to be born] beginning to exist or to grow; coming into being.

NASEBERRY, n. The naseberry tree is a species of the genus Sloanea.

NASICORNOUS, a. Having a horn growing on the nose.


1. In a nasty manner; filthily; dirtily.

2. Obscenely.


1. Extreme filthiness; dirtiness; filth.

2. Obscenity; ribaldry.

NASTURTION, n. A plant of the genus Tropaeolum; Indian cresses.


1. Disgustingly filthy; very dirty, foul or defiled; nauseous.

2. Obscene.

NASUS, n. A fresh water fish, about nine inches in length, resembling the chub. It is found in the Danube, Rhine and other large rivers of Germany.

NATAL, a. Pertaining to birth. The natal day is the day of birth or nativity. So we say, natal hour; natal place.

NATALITIAL, a. Pertaining to ones birth or birth day, or consecrated to ones activity.

NATALITIOUS, a. Pertaining to ones birth or birth day, or consecrated to ones nativity.

NATANT, a. In botany, swimming; floating on the surface of water; as the leaf of an aquatic plant.

NATATION, n. A swimming; the act of floating on the water

NATATORY, a. Enabling to swim.

NATCH, n. The part of an ox between the loins, near the rump.

NATHLESS, adv. Nevertheless; not the less; notwithstanding.

NATHMORE, adv. Not the more; never the more.

NATION, n. [to be born]

1. A body of people inhabiting the same country, or united under the same sovereign or government; as the English nation; the French nation. It often happens that many nations are subject to one government; in which case, the word nation usually denotes a body of people speaking the same language, or a body that has formerly been under a distinct government, but has been conquered, or incorporated with a larger nation. Thus the empire of Russia comprehends many nations, as did formerly the Roman and Persian empires. Nation, as its etymology imports, originally denoted a family or race of men descended from a common progenitor, like tribe, but by emigration, conquest and intermixture of men of different families, this distinction is in most countries lost.

2. A great number, by way of emphasis.


1. Pertaining to a nation; as national customs, dress or language.

2. Public; general; common to a nation; as a national calamity.

3. Attached or unduly attached to ones own country. The writer manifested much national prejudice. He was too national to be impartial.

NATIONALITY, n. National character; also, the quality of being national, or strongly attached to ones own nation.

NATIONALIZE, v.t. To make national; to give to one the character and habits of a nation, or the peculiar attachments which belong to citizens of the same nation.

NATIONALLY, adv. In regard to the nation; as a whole nation.

The jews-bing nationally espoused to God by covenant.


1. Produced by nature; original; born with the being; natural; not acquired; as native genius; native affections; a native talent or disposition; native cheerfulness; native simplicity.

2. Produced by nature; not factitious or artificial; as native ore; native color.

3. Conferred by birth; as native rights and privileges.

4. Pertaining to the place of birth; as native soil; native country; native graves.

5. Original; that of which any thing is made; as man’s native dust.

6. Born with; congenial.


1. One born in any place is said to be a native of that place, whether country, city or town.

2. Offspring.

NATIVELY, adv. By birth, naturally; originally.