Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary




P is the sixteenth letter of the English Alphabet, and a labial articulation formed by a close compression of the anterior part of the lips, as in ep. It is convertible into b and f, sometimes into v.

This letter is found int he oriental languages, from which it was received into the Greek and Latin; except however the Arabic, which has not this letter, and the Arabians cannot easily pronounce it. In some words which we have borrowed from the Greek, p is mute, as in psalm, ptisan; but is not silent in English words, unless it may be in receipt, and a few irregular words. P aspirated or followed by h, represents the Greek, which answers to the English f, as in philosophy.

As an abbreviation, P. stands for Publius, pondo, etc. P.A. DIG for patricia dignitas; P.C. for Patres Conscripti; P.F. for Publius Fabius; P.P. for propositum publice; P.R. for populus Romanus; P.R.S. for praetoris sententia; P.R.S.P. for praeses provinciae.

P.M. stands for post meridiem, afternoon.

As a numeral, P, like G, stands for one hundred, and with a dash over it, for four hundred thousand.

Among physicians, P. Stands for pugil, or the eighth part of a handful; P.AE. For partes aequales, equal parts of the ingredients; P.P. for pulvis patrum, or the Jesuits bark in powder; and ppt. For praeparatus, prepared.

PAAGE, n. [See Pay.] A toll for passage over another persons grounds. [Not used.]

PABULAR, a. [L., food.] Pertaining to food; affording food or aliment.

PABULATION, n. [L., to feed.] The act of feeding or procuring provender.

PABULOUS, a. [L., food.] Affording aliment or food; alimental.

PABULUM, n. [L.]

1. Food; aliment; that which feeds.

2. Fuel; that which supplies the means of combustion.

PACA, n. A small animal of America, bearing some resemblance to a hare and a pig. It is a species of cavy; called also the spotted cavy.

PACATE, a. [L.] Peaceful; tranquil. [Not used.]

PACATED, a. Appeased. [Little used.]

PACATION, n. [L., to calm or appease.] The act of appeasing.

PACCAN, n. An American tree and its nut.

PACE, n. [L., to open, Gr., to tread. See Pass.]

1. A step.

2. The space between the two feet in walking, estimated at two feet and a half. But the geometrical pace is five feet, or the whole space passed over by the same foot from one step to another. Sixty thousand such paces make one degree on the equator.

3. Manner of walking; a gait; as a languishing pace; a heavy pace; a quick or slow pace.

4. Step; gradation in business. [Little used.]

5. A mode of stepping among horses, in which the legs on the same side are lifted together. In a general sense, the word may be applied to any other mode of stepping.

6. Degree of celerity. Let him mend his pace.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day--

To keep or hold pace, to keep up; to go or move as fast as something else.

PACE, v.i.

1. To go; to walk; to move.

2. To go, move or walk slowly.

3. To move by lifting the legs on the same side together, as a horse.

PACE, v.t.

1. To measure by steps; as, to pace a piece of ground.

2. To regulate in motion.

If you ca, pace your wisdom in that good path that I would wish it go--


1. Having a particular gait; used chiefly in composition; as slow-paced.

2. In composition, going all lengths; as a thorough-paced intriguer.

PACER, n. One that paces; a horse that paces.

PACHYDERMATOUS, a. [Gr., thick, skin.] Having a thick skin; an epithet applied to an order of animals, called Pachydermata, embracing all the hoofed quadrupeds which do not ruminate, as the elephant, mastodon or North American mammoth, hippopotamus, sus or hog, rhinoceros, tapir, and horse. The horse constitutes a separate order, Solipeda.

PACIFIC, a. [L., to make peace. See Peace.]

1. Peace-making; conciliatory; suited to make or restore peace; adapted to reconcile differences; mild; appeasing; as, to offer pacific propositions to a belligerent power. The measures proposed are in their nature pacific.

2. Calm; tranquil; as a pacific state of things.

PACIFIC, n. The appellation given to the ocean situated between America on the west, and Asia; so called on account of its exemption from violent tempests.

PACIFICATION, n. [L. See Pacify.]

1. The act of making peace between nations or parties at variance.

2. The act of appeasing or pacifying wrath.

PACIFICATOR, n. [L.] A peace-maker; one that restores amity between contending parties or nations.

PACIFICATORY, a. Tending to make peace; conciliatory.

PACIFIED, pp. Appeased; tranquilized.

PACIFIER, n. One who pacifies.

PACIFY, v.t. [L., peace, and to make.]

1. To appease, as wrath or other violent passion or appetite; to calm; to still; to quiet; to allay agitation or excitement; as, to pacify a man when angry, or to pacify his wrath or rage; the word being applied both to the person and to the passion. So we say, to pacify hunger, to pacify importunate demands.

2. To restore peace to; to tranquilize; as, to pacify countries in contention.

PACIFYING, ppr. Appeasing; tranquilizing.

PACK, n. [See the Verb.]

1. A bundle of any thing inclosed in a cover or bound fast with cords; a bale; as a pack of goods or cloth. The soldier bears a pack on his back.

2. A burden or load; as a pack of sorrows.

3. A number of cards, or the number used in games; so called from being inclosed together.

4. A number of hounds or dogs, hunting or kept together, that is, a crowd or assemblage united.

5. A number of persons united in a bad design or practice; as a pack of thieves or knaves.

6. A great number crowded together; as a pack of troubles. [Not used.]

7. A loose or lewd person. [Not used.]

PACK, v.t. [L. pango, pactum, pactus; impingo, compingo.]

1. To place and press together; to place in close order; as, to pack goods in a box or chest.

2. To put together and bind fast; as, to pack any thing for carriage with cords or straps.

3. To put in close order with salt intermixed; as, to pack meat or fish in barrels.

4. To send in haste.

5. To put together, as cards, in such a manner as to secure the game; to put together in sorts with a fraudulent design, as cards; hence, to unite persons iniquitously, with a view to some private interest; as, to pack a jury, that is, to select persons for a jury who may favor a party; to pack a parliament; to pack an assembly of bishops.

PACK, v.i. To be pressed or close; as, the goods pack well.

1. To close; to shut.

2. To depart in haste; with off.

Poor Stella must pack off to town.

3. To unite in bad measures; to confederate for ill purposes; to join in collusion.

Go, pack with him.

PACKAGE, n. A bundle or bale; a quantity pressed or bound together; as a package of cloth.

1. A charge made for packing goods.

PACKCLOTH, n. A cloth for packing goods, or in which they are tied.

PACKED, pp. Put together and pressed; tied or bound in a bundle; put down and salted, as meat; sent off; united iniquitously.

PACKER, n. One that packs; an officer appointed to pack meat, as beef, port, fish, etc.


1. A small pack or package; a little bundle or parcel; as a packet of letters.

2. A dispatch-vessel; a ship or other vessel employed by government to convey letters from country to country or from port to port.

3. A vessel employed in conveying dispatches and passengers from place to place, or to carry passengers and goods coastwise.

PACKET, v.i. To ply with a packet or dispatch-vessel.

PACKET-BOAT. [See Packet.]

PACKET-SHIP, n. A ship that sails regularly between distant countries for the conveyance of dispatches, letters, passengers, etc.

PACKHORSE, n. A horse employed in carrying packs or goods and baggage.

1. A beast of burden.

PACKING, ppr. Laying together in close order; binding in a bundle; putting in barrels with salt, etc.; uniting, as men for a fraudulent purpose.

PACKING, n. A trick; collusion.

PACKSADDLE, n. A saddle on which packs or burdens are laid for conveyance.

PACKSTAFF, n. A staff on which a traveler occasionally supports his pack.

PACKTHREAD, n. Strong thread or twine used in tying up parcels.

PACK-WAX, n. A tendinous substance of the neck of an animal.

PACO, PACOS, n. An animal of South America, resembling the camel in shape, but much smaller. It is sometimes called the Peruvian sheep, on account of its long thick hair.

PACT, n. [L. pactus, from pango. See Pack.]

A contract; an agreement or covenant.

PACTION, n. [L. pactio. See Pack.] An agreement or contract.

PACTIONAL, a. By way of agreement.

PACTITIOUS, a. Settled by agreement or stipulation.

PAD, n.

1. A foot path; a road. [Not now used.]

2. An easy paced horse.

3. A robber that infests the road on foot; usually called a foot- pad.

PAD, n. A soft saddle, cushion or bolster stuffed with straw, hair or other soft substance.
PAD, v.i. To travel slowly.

1. To rob on foot.

2. To beat a way smooth and level.

PADAR, n. Grouts; coarse flour or meal. [Not used in U. States.]

PADDER, n. A robber on foot; a highwayman.

PADDLE, v.i. [L. pes, pedis, the foot, and this is allied to Gr., to tread.]

1. To row; to beat the water, as with oars.

2. To play in the water with the hands, as children; or with the feet, as fowls or other animals.

3. To finger.

PADDLE, v.t. To propel by an oar or paddle.
PADDLE, n. [In L. batillus is a paddle-staff; in Gr. a pole.]

1. An oar, but not a large oar. It is now applied to a sort of short oar used in propelling and steering canoes and boats.

2. The blade or the broad part of an oar or weapon.

Thou shalt have a paddle on thy weapon. Deuteronomy 23:13.

PADDLER, n. On that paddles.

PADDLE-STAFF, n. A staff headed with broad iron.

PADDOCK, n. A toad or frog.


1. A small inclosure for deer or other animals.

2. An inclosure for races with hounds, etc.

PADDOCK-PIPE, n. A plant of the genus Equisetum.

PADDOCK-STOOL, n. A plant of the genus Agaricus; a mushroom, vulgarly toadstool.

PADELION, n. A plant.

PADLOCK, n. A lock to be hung on a staple and held by a link.

PADLOCK, v.t. To fasten with a padlock; to stop; to shut; to confine.

PADNAG, n. An ambling nag.

PADOW-PIPE, n. A plant. [See Paddock-pipe.]

PADUASOY, n. A particular kind of silk stuff.

PAEAN, PEAN, n. Among the ancients, a song of rejoicing in honor of Apollo; hence, a song of triumph.

1. In ancient poetry, a foot of four syllables; written also paeon. Of this there are four kinds; the first consisting of one long and three short syllables, or a trochee and a pyrrhic, as temporibus; the second of a short syllable, a long and two short, or an iambus and a pyrrhic, as potentia; the third of two short syllables, a long and a short one, or a phrrhic and a trochee, as animatus; the fourth of three short syllables and along one, or a pyrrhic and iambus, as celeritus.

PAGAN, n. [L. paganus, a peasant or countryman, from pagus, a village.] A heathen; a Gentile; an idolater; one who worships false gods. This word was originally applied to the inhabitants of the country, who on the first propagation of the christian religion adhered to the worship of false gods, or refused to receive christianity, after it had been received by the inhabitants of the cities. In like manner, heather signifies an inhabitant of the heath or woods, and caffer, in Arabic, signifies the inhabitant of a hut or cottage, and one that does not receive the religion of Mohammed. Pagan is used to distinguish one from a Christian and a Mohammedan.

PAGAN, a. Heathen; heathenish; Gentile; noting a person who worships false gods.

1. Pertaining to the worship of false gods.

PAGANISM, n. Heathenism; the worship of false gods, or the system of religious opinions and worship maintained by pagans.

Men instructed from their infancy in the principles and duties of christianity, never sink to the degradation of paganism.

PAGANIZE, v.t. To render heathenish; to convert to heathenism.

PAGANIZE, v.i. To behave like pagans.

PAGANIZED, pp. Rendered heathenish.

PAGANIZING, ppr. Rendering heathenish; behaving like pagans; adopting heathen principles and practice.

PAGE, n. [Gr. a boy.]

1. A boy attending on a great person, rather for formality or show, than for servitude.

He had two pages of honor, on either hand one.

2. A boy or man that attends on a legislative body. In Massachusetts, the page is a boy that conveys papers from the members of the house of representatives to the speaker, and from the speaker or clerk to the members.

PAGE, n. [L. pagina.] One side of a leaf of a book.

1. A book or writing or writings; as the page of history.

2. Pages, in the plural, signifies also books or writings; as the sacred pages.

PAGE, v.t. To mark or number the pates of a book or manuscript.

1. To attend, as a page.

PAGEANT, n. pa’jent. [L. pegma; Gr. something showy carried in triumph.]

1. A statue in show, or a triumphal car, chariot, arch or other pompous thing, decorated with flags, etc. and carried in public shows and processions.

2. A show; a spectacle of entertainment; something intended for pomp.

I’ll play my part in fortune’s pageant.

3. Any thing showy, without stability or duration.

Thus unlamented pass the proud away,

The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day.

PAGEANT, a. Showy; pompous; ostentatious.
PAGEANT, v.t. To exhibit in show; to represent.

PAGEANTY, n. Show; pompous exhibition or spectacle.

Such pageantry to be the people shown.

PAGINAL, a. Consisting of pages.


1. A temple in the East Indies in which idols are worshiped.

2. An idol; an image of some supposed deity.

PAGODA, n. A gold or silver coin current in Hindoostan, of different values in different parts of India, from $1.75 cts. to $2, or from 8 to 9s. sterling.

PAGODITE, n. A name given to the mineral of which the Chinese make their pagodas. It is called also lardite, koreite, and agalmatolite.

PAID, pret. and pp. of pay; paid for payed.

PAIGLE, PAGIL, n. A plant and flower of the genus Primula or primrose; cowslip-primrose.

PAIL, n. An open wooden vessel used in families for carrying liquids, as water and milk, usually containing from eight to twelve quarts.

PAIL-FULL, n. The quantity that a pail will hold.

PAILMAIL. [See Pallmall.]

PAIN, n. [L. paena; Gr. penalty, and pain, labor.]

1. An uneasy sensation in animal bodies, of any degree from slight uneasiness to extreme distress or torture, proceeding from pressure, tension or spasm, separation of parts by violence, or any derangement of functions. Thus violent pressure or stretching of a limb gives pain; inflammation produces pain; wounds, bruises and incisions give pain.

2. Labor; work; toil; laborious effort. In this sense, the plural only is used; as, to take pains; to be at the pains.

High without taking pains to rise.

The same with pains we gain, but lose with ease.

3. Labor; toilsome effort; task; in the singular. [Not now used.]

4. Uneasiness of mind; disquietude; anxiety; solicitude for the future; grief, sorrow for the past. We suffer pain when we fear or expect evil; we feel pain at the loss of friends or property.

5. The throws or distress of travail or childbirth.

She bowed herself and travailed, for her pains came upon her. 1 Samuel 4:19.

6. Penalty; punishment suffered or denounced; suffering or evil inflicted as a punishment for a crime, or annexed to the commission of a crime.

None shall presume to fly under pain of death.

Interpose, on pain of my displeasure.

PAIN, v.t.

1. To make uneasy or to disquiet; to cause uneasy sensations in the body, of any degree of intensity; to make simply uneasy, or to distress, to torment. The pressure of fetters may pain a limb; the rack pains the body.

2. To afflict; to render uneasy in mind; to disquiet; to distress. We are pained at the death of a friend; grief pains the heart; we are often pained with fear or solicitude.

I am pained at my very heart. Jeremiah 4:19.

3. Reciprocally, to pain one’s self, to labor; to make toilsome efforts. [Little used.]

PAINFUL, a. Giving pain, uneasiness or distress to the body; as a painful operation in surgery.

1. Giving pain to the mind; afflictive; disquieting; distressing.

Evils have been more painful to us in the prospect, than in the actual pressure.

2. Full of pain; producing misery or affliction.

3. Requiring labor or toil; difficult; executed with laborious effort; as a painful service. The army had a painful march.

4. Laborious; exercising labor; undergoing toil; industrious.

Nor must the painful husbandman be tired.

PAINFULLY, adv. With suffering of body; with affliction, uneasiness or distress of mind.

1. Laboriously; with toil; with laborious effort or diligence.

PAINFULNESS, n. Uneasiness or distress of body.

1. Affliction; sorrow; grief; disquietude or distress of mind.

2. Laborious effort or diligence; toil.

PAINIM, n. A pagan. [Not used.]

PAINIM, a. Pagan; infidel. [Not used.]

PAINLESS, a. Free from pain.

1. Free from trouble.

PAINSTAKER, n. A laborious person.

PAINSTAKING, a. Laborious; industrious.

PAINSTAKING, n. Labor; great industry.

PAINT, v.t. [L. pingo, pictus.]

1. To form a figure or likeness in colors; as, to paint a hero or a landscape.

2. To cover or besmear with color or colors, either with or without figures; as, to paint a cloth; to paint a house.

3. To represent by colors or images; to exhibit in form.

When folly romantic, we must paint it.

4. To represent or exhibit to the mind; to present in form or likeness to the intellectual view; to describe.


--The word is too good to paint out her wickedness.

5. To color; to diversify with colors.

6. To lay on artificial color for ornament.

Jezebel painted her face and tired her head. 2 Kings 9:30.

PAINT, v.i. To lay colors on the face. It is said the ladies in France paint.

1. To practice painting. The artist paints well.

PAINT, n. A coloring substance; a substance used in painting; either simple or compound; as a white paint, or red paint.

1. Color laid on canvas or other material; color representing any thing.

2. Color laid on the face; rouge.

PAINTED, pp. Colored; rubbed over with paint; as a painted house or cloth.

1. Represented in form by colors.

2. Described.

PAINTER, n. One whose occupation is to paint; one skilled in representing things in colors.

PAINTER, n. A rope used to fasten a boat to a ship or other object.

PAINTING, ppr. Representing in colors; laying on colors.

PAINTING, n. The art of forming figures or resembling objects in colors on canvas or other material, or the art of representing to the eye by means of figures and colors, any object of sight, and sometimes the emotions of the mind.

1. A picture; a likeness or resemblance in colors.

2. Colors laid on.

PAINTURE, n. The art of painting.

PAIR, n. [L. par; Heb. to join, couple or associate.]

1. Two things of a kind, similar in form, applied to the same purpose, and suited to each other or used together; as a pair of gloves or stockings; a pair of shoes; a pair of oxen or horses.

2. Two of a sort; a couple; a brace; as a pair of nerves; a pair of doves. Luke 2:24.

PAIR, v.i. To be joined in pairs; to couple, as, birds pair in summer.

1. To suit; to fit; as a counterpart.


My heart was made to fit and pair with thine.

PAIR, v.t. To unite in couples; as minds paired in heaven.

1. To unite as correspondent, or rather to contrast.

Glossy jet is paired with shining white.

PAIR, v.t. To impair. [See Impair.]

PAIRED, pp. Joined in couples, fitted; suited.

PAIRING, ppr. Uniting in pairs; fitting.

PALACE, n. [L. palatium.]

1. A magnificent house in which an emperor, a king or other distinguished person resides; as an imperial palace; a royal palace; a pontifical palace; a ducal palace.

2. A splendid place of residence; as the sun’s bright palace.

PALACE-COURT, n. The domestic court of the kings of Great Britain, which administers justice between the king’s domestic servants. It is held once a week before the steward of the household and knight marshal; its jurisdiction extending twelve miles in circuit from his majesty’s palace.

PALACIOUS, a. [from palace.] Royal; noble; magnificent. [Not used.]

PALANKEEN, PALANQUIN, n. A covered carriage used in India, China, etc. borne on the shoulders of men, and in which a single person is conveyed from place to place.

PALATABLE, a. [from palate.] Agreeable to the taste; savory.

1. That is relished.

PALATABLENESS, n. The quality of being agreeable to the taste; relish.

PALATAL, a. Pertaining to the palate; uttered by the aid of the palate.

PALATAL, n. A letter pronounced by the aid of the palate, or an articulation of the root of the tongue with the roof of the mouth; as g hard and k, in eg, ek.

PALATE, n. [L. palatum, properly the arch or cope of heaven.]

1. The roof or upper part of the mouth. The glands in this part of the mouth secrete a mucous fluid, which lubricates the mouth and throat, and facilitates deglutition.

2. Taste.

Hard task to hit the palates of such guests.

[This signification of the word originated in the opinion that the palate is the instrument of taste. This is a mistake. In itself it has no power of taste.]

3. Mental relish; intellectual taste.

Men of nice palates could not relish Aristotle, as dressed up by the schoolmen.

PALATE, v.t. To perceive by the taste. [Not used.]

PALATIAL, a. [from palate.] Pertaining to the palate; as the palatial retraction of the tongue.

PALATIAL, a. [from L. palatium, palace.] Pertaining to a palace; becoming a palace; magnificent.

PALATIC, a. Belonging to the palate. [Not used.]

PALATINATE, n. [L. palatinus. See Palatine.]

The province or seignory of a palatine; as the Palatinate of the Rhine in Germany, called the upper and lower Palatinate.