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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    ACESTIS, n. A factitious sort of chrysocolla, made of Cyprian verdigris, urine, and niter.

    ACETABULUM, n. [L. from acetum, vinegar. See Acid.] Among the Romans a vinegar cruse or like vessel, and a measure of about one eighth of a pint.

    1. In anatomy, the cavity of a bone for receiving the protuberant end of another bone, and therefore forming the articulation called enarthrosis. It is used especially for the cavity of the os innominatum, which receives the head of the thigh bone.NWAD ACETABULUM.2

    2. In botany, the trivial name of a species of peziza, the cup peziza; so called from its resemblance to a cup.NWAD ACETABULUM.3

    3. A glandular substance found in the placenta of some animals.NWAD ACETABULUM.4

    4. It is sometimes used in the sense of Cotyledon.NWAD ACETABULUM.5

    5. A species of lichen.NWAD ACETABULUM.6

    ACETARY, n. [See Acid.] an acid pulpy substance in certain fruits, as the pear, inclosed in a congeries of small calculous bodies, towards the base of the fruit.

    ACEETATE, n. [See Acid.] In chimistry, a neutral salt formed by the union of the acetic acid, or radical vinegar, with any salifiable base, as with earths, metals, and alkalies; as the acetate of alumine, of lime, or of copper.

    ACETATED, a. [See Acid.] Combined with acetic acid, or radical vinegar.

    ACETIC, a. [See Acid.] A term used to denote a particular acid, acetic acid, the concentrated acid of vinegar, or radical vinegar. It may be obtained by exposing common vinegar to frost - the water freezing leaves the acetic acid, in a state of purity.

    ACETIFICATION, n. The act of making acetous or sour; or the operation of making vinegar.

    ACETIFY, v.t. To convert into acid or vinegar.

    ACETITE, [See Acid.] Neutral salt formed by the acetous acid, with a salifiable base; as the acetite of copper, aluminous acetite.

    ACETOMETER, n. [L. acetum, vinegar, and measure.]

    An instrument for ascertaining the strength of vinegar.NWAD ACETOMETER.2

    ACETOUS, a. [See Acid.] Sour; like or having the nature of vinegar. Acetous acid is the term used by chimists for distilled vinegar. This acid, in union with different bases, forms salts called acetites.

    ACETUM, n. [L. See Acid.] Vinegar, a sour liquor, obtained from vegetables dissolved in boiling water, and from fermented and spirituous liquors, by exposing them to heat and air.

    This is called the acid or acetous fermentationNWAD ACETUM.2

    ACHE, v.i. ake. [Gr. to ache or be in pain. The primary sense is to be pressed. Perhaps the oriental to press.]

    1. To suffer pain; to have or be in pain, or in continued pain; as, the head aches.NWAD ACHE.2

    2. To suffer grief, or extreme grief; to be distressed; as the heart aches.NWAD ACHE.3

    ACHE, n. ake. Pain, or continued pain, in opposition to sudden twinges, or spasmodic pain. it denotes a more moderate degree of pain than pang, anguish, and torture.

    ACHEAN, a. Pertaining to Achaia in Greece, and a celebrated league or confederacy established there. This State lay on the gulf of Corinth, with Peloponnesus.

    ACHERNER, n. A star of the first magnitude in the southern extremity of the constellation Eridanus.

    ACHERSET, n. An ancient measure of corn, supposed to be about eight bushels.

    ACHIEVABLE, a. [See Achieve.] That may be performed.

    ACHIEVANCE, n. Performance.

    ACHIEVE, v.t.

    1. To perform, or execute; to accomplish; to finish, or carry on to a final close. It is appropriately used for the effect of efforts made by the hand or bodily exertion, as deeds achieved by valor.NWAD ACHIEVE.2

    2. To gain or obtain, as the result of exertion.NWAD ACHIEVE.3

    Show all the spoils by valiant Kings achieved.NWAD ACHIEVE.4

    ACHIEVED, pp. Performed; obtained; accomplished.


    1. The performance of an action.NWAD ACHIEVEMENT.2

    2. A great or heroic deed; something accomplished by valor, or boldness.NWAD ACHIEVEMENT.3

    3. An obtaining by exertion.NWAD ACHIEVEMENT.4

    4. An escutcheon or ensigns armorial, granted for the performance of a great or honorable action.NWAD ACHIEVEMENT.5

    ACHIEVER, n. One who accomplishes a purpose, or obtains an object by his exertions.

    ACHIEVING, ppr. Performing; executing; gaining.

    ACHING, ppr. Being in pain; suffering distress.

    ACHING, n. Pain; continued pain or distress.

    ACHIOTE, n. The anotta, a tree, and a drug used for dyeing red. The bard of the tree makes good cordage, and the wood is used to excite fire by friction. [See Anotta.]

    ACHOR, n. [Gr., sordes capitis.]

    1. The scald head, a disease forming scaly eruptions, supposed to be a critical evacuation of acrimonious humors; a species of herpes.NWAD ACHOR.2

    2. In mythology, the God of flies, said to have been worshipped by the Cyreneans, to avoid being vexed by those insects.NWAD ACHOR.3

    ACHROMATIC, a. [Gr. priv. and color.]

    Destitute of color. achromatic telescopes are formed of a combination of lenses, which separate the variously color rays of light to equal angles of divergence, at different angles of refraction of the mean ray. In this case, the rays being made to refract towards contrary parts, the whole ray is caused to deviate from its course, without being separated into colors, and the optical aberration arising from the various colors of light, is prevented. This telescope is an invention of Dolland.NWAD ACHROMATIC.2

    ACICULAR, a. [L. acicula, Priscian, a needle, from Gr., L. a point. See Acid.]

    In the shape of a needle; having sharp points like needles.NWAD ACICULAR.2

    An acicular prism is when the crystals are slender and straight.NWAD ACICULAR.3

    ACICULARLY, adv. In the manner of needles, or prickles.

    ACID, a. [L. acidus. See Edge.]

    Sour, sharp or biting to the taste, having the taste of vinegar, as acid fruits or liquors.NWAD ACID.2

    ACID, n. In chimistry, acids are a class of substances, so denominated from their taste, or the sensation of sourness which they produce on the tongue. But the name is now given to several substances, which have not this characteristic in an eminent degree. The properties, by which they are distinguished, are these:

    1. When taken into the mouth, they occasion the taste of sourness. They are corrosive, unless diluted with water; and some of them are caustic.NWAD ACID.4

    2. They change certain vegetable blue colors to red, and restore blue colors which have been turned green, or red colors which have been turned blue by an alkali.NWAD ACID.5

    3. Most of them unite with water in all proportions, with a condensation of volume and evolution of heat; and many of them have so strong an attraction for water, as not to appear in the solid state.NWAD ACID.6

    4. They have a stronger affinity for alkalies, than these have for any other substance; and in combining them, most of them produce effervescence.NWAD ACID.7

    5. They unite with earths, alkalies and metallic oxyds, forming interesting compounds, usually called salts.NWAD ACID.8

    6. With few exceptions, they are volatilized or decomposed by a moderate heat.NWAD ACID.9

    The old chimists divided acids into animal, vegetable, and mineral - a division now deemed inaccurate. They are also divided into oxygen acids, hydrogen acids, and acids destitute of these acidifiers. Another division is into acids with simple radicals, acids with double radicals, acids with triple radicals, acids with unknown radicals, compound acids, dubious acids, and acids destitute of oxygen.NWAD ACID.10

    ACIDIFEROUS, a. [Acid and L. fero.] Containing acids, or an acid.

    Acidiferous minerals are such as consist of an earth combined with an acid; as carbonate of lime, aluminite, etc.NWAD ACIDIFEROUS.2

    ACIDIFIABLE, a. [From Acidify.]

    Capable of being converted into an acid, by union with an acidifying principle, without decomposition.NWAD ACIDIFIABLE.2

    ACIDIFICATION, n. The act or process of acidifying or changing into an acid.

    ACIDIFIED, pp. Made acid; converted into an acid.

    ACIDIFIER, n. That which by combination forms an acid, as oxygen and hydrogen.

    ACIDIFY, v.t. [Acid and L. facio.]

    To make acid; but appropriately to convert into an acid, chimically so called, by combination with any substance.NWAD ACIDIFY.2

    ACIDIFYING, ppr. Making acid; converting into an acid; having power to change into an acid. Oxygen is called the acidifying principle or element.

    ACIDIMETER, n. [Acid and Gr. measure.]

    An instrument for ascertaining the strength of acids.NWAD ACIDIMETER.2

    ACIDITY, n. The quality of being sour; sourness; tartness; sharpness to the taste.

    ACIDNESS, n. The quality of being sour; acidity.

    ACIDULATE, v.t. [L. acidulus, slightly sour.]

    To tinge with an acid; to make acid in a moderate degree.NWAD ACIDULATE.2

    ACIDULATED, pp. Tinged with an acid; made slightly sour.

    ACIDULATING, ppr. Tinging with an acid.

    ACIDULE, n. In chemistry, a compound base is supersaturated.

    ACIDULUM, with acid; as, tartareous acidulum; oxalic acidulum.

    ACIDULOUS, a. [L. acidulus. See Acid.]

    Slightly sour; sub-acid, or having an excess of acid; as acidulous sulphate.NWAD ACIDULOUS.2

    ACINACIFORM, a. [L. acinaces, a cimeter, Gr. and L. forma, form.]

    In botany, formed like, or resembling a cimeter.NWAD ACINACIFORM.2

    ACINIFORM, a. [L. acinus, a grape stone, and forma, shape.]

    Having the form of grapes; being in clusters like grapes. The uvea or posterior lamen of the iris in the eye, is called the aciniform tunic. Anatomists apply the term to many glands of a similar formation.NWAD ACINIFORM.2

    ACINOSE, a. [From L. acinus. See Aciniform.]

    ACINOUS, Consisting of minute granular concretions; used in mineralogy.

    ACINUS, n. [L.] In botany, one of the small grains, which compose the fruit of the blackberry, etc.

    ACIPENSER, a. In ichthyology, a genus of fishes, of the order of chondropterygii, having an obtuse head; the mouth under the head, retractile and without teeth. To this genus belong the sturgeon, sterlet, huso, etc.

    ACITLI, n. A name of the water hare, or great crested grebe or diver.

    ACKNOWLEDGE, v.t. Aknol’edge, [ad and knowledge. See Know.]

    1. To own, avow or admit to be true, by a declaration of assent; as to acknowledge the being of a God.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.2

    2. To own or notice with particular regard.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.3

    In all thy ways acknowledge God. Proverbs 3:6; Isaiah 33:13.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.4

    3. To own or confess, as implying a consciousness of guilt.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.5

    I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Psalms 51:3; Psalms 32:5.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.6

    4. To own with assent; to admit or receive with approbation.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.7

    He that acknowledgeth the son, hath the father also. 1 John 2:23; 2 Timothy 2:25.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.8

    5. To own with gratitude; to own as a benefit; as, to acknowledge a favor, or the receipt of a gift.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.9

    Thy his gifts acknowledged not.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.10

    6. To own or admit to belong to; as, to acknowledge a son.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.11

    7. To receive with respect.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.12

    All that see them shall acknowledge that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed. Isaiah 61:9; 1 Corinthians 16:18.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.13

    8. To own, avow or assent to an act in a legal form, to give it validity; as, to acknowledge a deed before competent authority.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGE.14

    ACKNOWLEDGED, pp. Owned; confessed; noticed with regard or gratitude; received with approbation; owned before authority.

    ACKNOWLEDGING, ppr. Owning; confessing; approving; grateful; but the latter sense is a gallicism, not to be used.


    1. The act of owning; confession; as, the acknowledgment of a fault.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGMENT.2

    2. The owning, with approbation, or in the true character; as the acknowledgment of a God, or of a public minister.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGMENT.3

    3. Concession; admission of the truth; as, of a fact, position, or principle.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGMENT.4

    4. The owning of a benefit received, accompanied with gratitude; and hence it combines the ideas of an expression of thanks. Hence, it is used also for something given or done in return for a favor.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGMENT.5

    5. A declaration or avowal of one’s own act, to give it legal validity; as the acknowledgment of a deed before a proper officer.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGMENT.6

    Acknowledgment-money, in some parts of England, is a sum paid by tenants, on the death of their landlord, as an acknowledgment of their new lords.NWAD ACKNOWLEDGMENT.7

    ACME, n. Ac’my [Gr.]

    The top or highest point. It is used to denote the maturity or perfection of an animal. Among physicians, the crisis of a disease, or its utmost violence. Old medical writers divided the progress of a disease into four periods, the arche, or beginning, the anabasis, or increase, the acme or utmost violence, and the paracme, or decline. But acme can hardly be considered as a legitimate English word.NWAD ACME.2

    ACNE, n. Ac’ny. [Gr.]

    A small hard pimple or tubercle on the face.NWAD ACNE.2

    ACNESTIS, n. [Gr. a priv. to rub or gnaw.]

    That part of the spine in quadrupeds which extends from the metaphrenon, between the shoulder blades, to the loins; which the animal cannot reach to scratch.NWAD ACNESTIS.2

    ACO, n. A Mediterranean fish, called also sarachus.

    ACOLIN, n. A bird of the partridge kind in Cuba. Its breast and belly are white; its back and tail of a dusky yellow brown.

    ACOLOTHIST, n. [Gr.]

    ACOLYTE, In the ancient church, one of the subordinate officers, who lighted the lamps, prepared the elements of the sacraments, attended the bishops, etc. An officer of the like character is still employed in the Romish Church.

    ACONITE, n. [L. aconitum; Gr.]

    The herb wolf’s bane, or monks-hood, a poisonous plant; and in poetry, used for poison in general.NWAD ACONITE.2

    ACONTIAS, n. [Gr. a dart.]

    1. A species of serpent, called dart-snake, or jaculum, from its manner of darting on its prey. This serpent is about three feet in length; of a light gray color with black spots, resembling eyes; the belly perfectly white. It is a native of Africa and the Mediterranean isles; is the swiftest of its kind, and coils itself upon a tree, from which it darts upon its prey.NWAD ACONTIAS.2

    2. A comet or meteor resembling the serpent.NWAD ACONTIAS.3

    ACOP, adv. [a and cope.] At the top.

    ACORN, n.

    1. The seed or fruit of the oak; an oval nut which grows in a rough permanent cup.NWAD ACORN.2

    The first settlers of Boston were reduced to the necessity of feeding on clams, muscles, ground nuts, and acorns.NWAD ACORN.3

    2. In marine language, a small ornamental piece of wood, of a conical shape, fixed on the point of the spindle above the vane, on the mast head, to keep the vane from being blown off.NWAD ACORN.4

    3. In natural history, the Lepas, a genus of shells of several species found on the British coast. The shell is multivalvular, unequal, and fixed by a stem; the valves are parallel and perpendicular, but they do not open, so that the animal performs its functions by an aperture on the top. These shells are always fixed to some solid body.NWAD ACORN.5

    ACORNED, a. Furnished or loaded with acorns.

    ACORUS, n. [L. from Gr.]

    1. Aromatic Calamus, sweet flag, or sweet rush.NWAD ACORUS.2

    2. In natural history, blue coral, which grows in the form of a tree, on a rocky bottom, in some parts of the African seas. it is brought from the Camarones and Benin.NWAD ACORUS.3

    3. In medicine, this name is sometimes given to the great galangal.NWAD ACORUS.4

    ACOTYLEDON, n. [Gr. a priv. a hollow.]

    In botany, a plant whose seeds have no side lobes, or cotyledons.NWAD ACOTYLEDON.2

    ACOTYLEDONOUS, a. Having no side lobes.

    ACOUSTIC, a. [Gr. to hear.]

    Pertaining to the ears, to the sense of hearing, or to the doctrine of sounds.NWAD ACOUSTIC.2

    Acoustic duct, in anatomy, the meatus auditorius, or external passage of the ear.NWAD ACOUSTIC.3

    Acoustic vessels, in ancient theaters, were brazen tubes or vessels, shaped like ab bell, used to propel the voice of the actors, so as to render them audible to a great distance; in some theaters at the distance of 400 feet.NWAD ACOUSTIC.4

    Acoustic instrument, or auricular tube, called in popular language, a speaking trumpet.NWAD ACOUSTIC.5

    Acoustics, or acousmatics, was a name given to such of the disciples of Pythagoras, as had not completed their five years probation.NWAD ACOUSTIC.6


    1. The science of sounds, teaching their cause, nature and phenomena. This science is, by some writers, divided into diacoustics, which explains the properties of sounds coming directly from the sonorous body to the ear; and catacoustics, which treats of reflected sounds. But the distinction is considered of little real utility.NWAD ACOUSTICS.2

    2. In medicine, this term is sometimes used for remedies for deafness, or imperfect hearing.NWAD ACOUSTICS.3

    ACQUAINT, v.t. [Eng. can, and ken; which see.]

    1. To make known; to make fully or intimately known; to make familiar.NWAD ACQUAINT.2

    A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3.NWAD ACQUAINT.3

    2. To inform; to communicate notice to; as a friend in the country acquaints me with his success. Of before the object, as to acquaint a man of this design, has been used, but is obsolete or improper.NWAD ACQUAINT.4

    3. To acquaint one’s self, is to gain an intimate or particular knowledge of.NWAD ACQUAINT.5

    Acquaint now thyself with him and be at peace. Job 22:21.NWAD ACQUAINT.6


    1. Familiar knowledge; a state of being acquainted, or of having intimate or more than slight or superficial knowledge; as, I know the man, but have no acquaintance with him. Sometimes it denotes a more slight knowledge.NWAD ACQUAINTANCE.2

    2. A person or persons well known; usually persons we have been accustomed to see and converse with; sometimes, persons more slightly known.NWAD ACQUAINTANCE.3

    Lover and friend has thou put far from me and mine acquaintance into darkness. Psalm 88:18.NWAD ACQUAINTANCE.4

    My acquaintance are estranged from me. Job 19:13.NWAD ACQUAINTANCE.5

    Acquaintances, in the plural is used, as applied to individual persons known; but more generally, acquaintance is used for one or more.NWAD ACQUAINTANCE.6

    Acquaintant, in a like sense, is not used.NWAD ACQUAINTANCE.7

    ACQUAINTED, pp. Known; familiarly known; informed; having personal knowledge.

    ACQUAINTING, ppr. Making known to; giving notice, or information to.

    ACQUEST, n. [L. acquisitus, acquiro.]

    1. Acquisition; the thing gained.NWAD ACQUEST.2

    2. Conquest; a place acquired by force.NWAD ACQUEST.3

    ACQUIESCE, v.i. acquiess’. [L. acquiesco, of ad and quiesco, to be quiet; quies, rest.]

    1. To rest satisfied, or apparently satisfied, or to rest without opposition and discontent; usually implying previous opposition, uneasiness, or dislike, but ultimate compliance, or submission; as, to acquiesce in the dispensations of providence.NWAD ACQUIESCE.2

    2. To assent to, upon conviction; as, to acquiesce in an opinion; that is, to rest satisfied of its correctness, or propriety.NWAD ACQUIESCE.3

    Acquiesced in, in a passive sense, complied with; submitted to, without opposition; as, a measure has been acquiesced in.NWAD ACQUIESCE.4

    ACQUIESCENCE, n. A quiet assent; a silent submission, or submission with apparent content; distinguished from avowed consent on the one hand, and on the other, from opposition or open discontent; as, an acquiescence in the decisions of a court, or in the allotments of providence.

    ACQUIESCENT, a. Resting satisfied; easy; submitting; disposed to submit.

    ACQUIESCING, ppr. Quietly submitting; resting content.

    ACQUIRABLE, a. That may be acquired.

    ACQUIRE, v.t. [L. acquiro, ad and quaero to seek, that is to follow, to press, to urge; acquiro signifies to pursue to the end or object; Heb. to seek, to make towards, to follow. The L. quaesivi, unless contracted, is probably from a different root. See class Gr. and Gs.]

    To gain, by any means, something which is in a degree permanent, or which becomes vested or inherent in the possessor; as, to acquire a title, estate, learning, habits, skill, dominion, etc. Plants acquire a green color from the solar rays. a mere temporary possession is not expressed by acquire, but by gain, obtain, procure, as to obtain [not acquire] a book on loan.NWAD ACQUIRE.2

    Descent is the title whereby a man, on the death of his ancestor, acquires his estate, by right of representation, as his heir at law.NWAD ACQUIRE.3

    ACQUIRED, pp. Gained, obtained, or received from art, labor, or other means, in distinction from those things which are bestowed by nature. Thus we say, abilities, natural and acquired. It implies title, or some permanence of possession.

    ACQUIREMENT, n. The act of acquiring, or that which is acquired; attainment. It is used in opposition to natural gifts; as, eloquence, and skill in music and painting, are acquirement; genius, the gift of nature. it denotes especially personal attainments, in opposition to material or external things gained, Which are more usually called acquisitions; but this distinction is not always abserved.

    ACQUIRER, n. A person who acquires.

    ACQUIRING, ppr. Gaining by labor or other means, something that has a degree of permanence in the possessor.

    ACQUIRY, n. Acquirement. [Not used.]

    ACQUISITE, a. s as z. Gained. [Not used.]

    ACQUISITION, n. [L. acquisitio, from acquisitus, acquaesivi, which are given as the part. and pret. of acquiro; but quaesivi is probably from a different root.]

    1. The act of acquiring; as, a man takes pleasure inthe acquisition of property, as well as in the prosession.NWAD ACQUISITION.2

    2. The thing acquired, or gained; as, learning is an acquisition. It is used for intellectual attainments, as well as for external things, property, or dominion; and in a good sense, denoting something estimable.NWAD ACQUISITION.3

    ACQUISITIVE, a. that is acquired; acquired; [but improper.]

    ACQUISITIVELY, adv. Noting acquirement, with to or for following.

    ACQUIST, n. See Acquest. [Not used.]

    ACQUIT, v.t. [L. cedo.]

    To set free; to release or discharge from an obligation, accusation, guilt, censure, suspicion, or whatever lies upon a person as a charge or duty; as, the jury acquitted the prisoner; we acquit a man of evil intentions. It is followed by of before the object; to acquit from is obsolete. In a reciprocal sense, as, the soldier acquitted himself well in battle, the word has a like sense, implying the discharge of a duty or obligation. Hence its use in expressing excellence in performance; as the orator acquitted himself well, that is, in a manner that his situation and public expectation demanded.NWAD ACQUIT.2

    ACQUITMENT, n. The act of acquitting, or state of being acquitted. [This word is superseded by acquittal.]

    ACQUITTAL, n. A judicial setting free, or deliverance from the charge of an offense; as, by verdict of a jury, or sentence of a court.

    The acquittal of a principal operates as an acquittal of the accessories.NWAD ACQUITTAL.2


    1. A discharge or release from a debt.NWAD ACQUITTANCE.2

    2. The writing, which is evidence of a discharge; a receipt in full, which bars a further demand.NWAD ACQUITTANCE.3

    ACQUITTED, pp. Set free, or judicially discharge from an accusation; released from a debt, duty, obligation, charge, or suspicion of guilt.

    ACQUITTING, ppr. Setting free from accusation; releasing from a charge, obligation, or suspicion of guilt.

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