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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    AIA, n. A Brazilian fowl of the spoon-bill kind, and resembling that bird in form and size.

    AICURUS, n. A large and beautiful species of parrot, found in Brazil; its head beautifully variegated with yellow, red and violet colors; its body green; the tips of its wings red, and its tail long and yellow.

    AID, v.t. [L. adjuto.]

    To help; to assist; to support, either by furnishing strength or means to effect a purpose, or to prevent or remove evil.NWAD AID.2

    AID, n.

    1. Help; succor; support; assistance.NWAD AID.4

    2. The person who aids or yields support; a helper; an auxiliary; also the thing that aids or yields succor.NWAD AID.5

    3. In English law, a subsidy or tax granted by parliament, and making a part of the king’s revenue.NWAD AID.6

    In France, aids are equivalent to customs, or duties on imports and exports.NWAD AID.7

    4. In England, a tax paid by a tenant to his lord; originally a mere gift, which afterwards became a right demandable by the lord. the aids of this king were chiefly three.NWAD AID.8

    1. To ransom the lord when a prisoner.NWAD AID.9

    2. To make the lord’s eldest son a knight.NWAD AID.10

    3. To marry the lord’s eldest daughter.NWAD AID.11

    5. An aiddecamp, so called by abbreviation.NWAD AID.12

    6. To pray in aid, in law, is to call in a person interested in a title, to assist in defending it. Thus a tenant for life may pray in the aid of him in remainder or reversion; that is, he may pray or petition that he may be joined in the suit to aid or help maintain the title. This act or petition is called aid-prayer.NWAD AID.13

    Court of aids, in France, is a court which has cognizance of causes respecting duties or customs.NWAD AID.14

    AIDANCE, n. Aid; help; assistance. [little used.]

    AIDANT, a. Helping; helpful; supplying aid. [Not used.]

    AIDDECAMP, n. plur. Aiddecamps.

    In military affairs, an officer whose duty is to receive and communicate the orders of a general officer. [The pronunciation should be English, according to the orthography, not aid de cong.]NWAD AIDDECAMP.2

    AIDED, pp. Assisted; supported; furnished with succor.

    AIDER, n. One who helps; an assistant, or auxiliary.

    AIDING, ppr. Helping; assisting.

    AIDLESS, a. Helpless; without aid; unsupported; undefended.


    1. In zoology, a name of the small white heron.NWAD AIGRET.2

    2. In botany. [See Egret.]NWAD AIGRET.3

    AIGULET, n. [Fr. Usually contracted into aiglet, which see.]

    AIKRAW, n. A popular name of a species of lichen, or moss.

    AIL, v.t.

    To trouble; to affect with uneasiness, either of body or mind; used to express some uneasiness or affection, whose cause is unknown; as, what ails the man? I know not what ails him.NWAD AIL.2

    What aileth thee, Hagar? Genesis 21:17.NWAD AIL.3

    It is never used to express a specific disease. We never say, he ails a pleurisy; but it is unusual to say, he ails something; he ails nothing; nothing ails him.NWAD AIL.4

    AIL, n. Indisposition, or morbid affection.

    AILING, ppr. Diseased; indisposed; full of complaints.

    AILMENT, n. Disease; indisposition; morbid affection of the body; but the word is not applied ordinarily to acute diseases.

    AIM, v.i.

    To point at, with a missive weapon; to direct the intention or purpose; to attempt to reach, or accomplish; to tend towards; to endeavor; followed by at before the object; as, a man aims at distinction; or aims to be rich.NWAD AIM.2

    AIM, v.t. To direct or point as a weapon; to direct to a particular object; as, to aim a musket or an arrow, the first or a blow; to aim a satire or a reflection at some person or vice.

    AIM, n.

    1. The pointing or direction of a missile weapon; the direction of any thing to a particular point or object, with a view to strike or affect it; as a spear, a blow, a discourse or remark.NWAD AIM.5

    2. The point intended to be hit, or object intended to be affected; as, a man missed his aim.NWAD AIM.6

    3. Figuratively, a purpose; intention; design; scheme; as, men are often disappointed of their aim.NWAD AIM.7

    4. Conjecture; guess.NWAD AIM.8

    It is impossible, by aim, to tell it. [Not used.]NWAD AIM.9

    AIMED, pp. Pointed; directed; intended to strike or affect.

    AIMER, n. One that aims.

    AIMING, ppr. Pointing a weapon at an object; directing any thing to an object; intending; purposing.

    AIMLESS, a. Without aim.

    AIR, n. [L. aer; Heb. to shine. The radical sense is to open, expand; whence clear; or to flow, to shoot, to radiate.]

    1. The fluid which we breathe. Air is inodorous, invisible, insipid, colorless, elastic, possessed of gravity, easily moved, rarefied, and condensed.NWAD AIR.2

    Atmospheric air is a compound fluid, consisting of oxygen gas, and nitrogen or azote; the proportion of each is stated by chimists differently; some experiments making the oxygen a twenty-eighth part of a hundred; others, not more than a twenty-third, or something less. The latter is probably the true proportion.NWAD AIR.3

    Oxygen gas is called vital air. The body of air surrounding the earth is called the atmosphere. The specific gravity of air is to that of water, nearly as 1 to 828. Air is necessary to life; being inhaled into the lungs, the oxygenous part is separated from the azotic, and it is supposed to furnish the body with heat and animation. It is the medium of sounds and necessary to combustion.NWAD AIR.4

    2. Air in motion; a light breeze.NWAD AIR.5

    Let vernal airs through trembling osiers play.NWAD AIR.6

    3. Vent; utterance abroad; publication; publicity; as, a story has taken air.NWAD AIR.7

    You gave it air before me.NWAD AIR.8

    Wind is used in like manner.NWAD AIR.9

    4. A tune; a short song or piece of music adapted to words; also, the peculiar modulation of the notes, which gives music its character; as, a soft air. A song or piece of poetry for singing; also, the leading part of a tune, or that which is intended to exhibit the greatest variety of melody.NWAD AIR.10

    5. The peculiar look, appearance, manner or mien of a person; as, a heavy air; the air of youth; a graceful air; a lofty air. It is applied to manners or gestures, as well as to features.NWAD AIR.11

    6. Airs, in the plural, is used to denote an affected manner, show of pride, haughtiness; as, when it is said of a person, he puts on airs. The word is used also to express the artificial motions or carriage of a horse.NWAD AIR.12

    7. In painting, that which expresses the life of action; manner; gesture; attitude.NWAD AIR.13

    8. Any thing light or uncertain; that is light as air.NWAD AIR.14

    Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks. Obs.NWAD AIR.15

    9. Advice; intelligence; information. Obs.NWAD AIR.16

    10. Different states of air are characterized by different epithets; as, good air, foul air, morning air, evening air; and sometimes airs may have been used for ill-scent or vapor, but the use is not legitimate.NWAD AIR.17

    To take the air, is to go abroad; to walk or ride a little distance.NWAD AIR.18

    To take air, is to be divulged; to be made public.NWAD AIR.19

    AIR, v.t.

    1. To expose to the air; to give access to the open air; to ventilate; as, to air clothes; to air a room.NWAD AIR.21

    2. To expose to heat; to warm; as, to air liquors.NWAD AIR.22

    3. To dry by a fire; to expel dampness; as, to air linen.NWAD AIR.23

    AIRA, n. Hair grass, a genus of plants.

    AIR-BALLOON. [See Balloon.]

    AIR-BLADDER, n. A vesicle or cuticle filled with air; also, the bladder of a fish.

    AIR-BORN, a. Born of the air.

    AIR-BRAVING, a. Braving the winds.

    AIR-BUILT, a. Erected in the air; having no solid foundation; chimerical; as, an air-built castle; air build hopes.

    AIR-DRAWN, a. Drawn in air; imaginary.

    AIRED, pp. Exposed to air; cleansed by air; heated or dried by exposure to a fire; ventilated.

    AIRER, n. One who exposes to the air.

    AIR-GUN, n. A pneumatic engine, resembling a musket, to discharge bullets by means of the elastic force of compressed air.

    AIR-HOLDER, n. [Air and hold.]

    An instrument for holding air, for the purpose of counteracting the pressure of a decreasing column of mercury.NWAD AIR-HOLDER.2

    AIR-HOLE, n. An opening to admit or discharge air.

    AIRINESS, n.

    1. Exposure to a free current of air; openness to the air; as, the airiness of a country seat.NWAD AIRINESS.2

    2. Gaiety; levity; as, the airiness of young persons.NWAD AIRINESS.3

    AIRING, ppr. Exposing to the air; warming; drying.

    AIRING, n. An exposure to the air, or to a fire, for warming or drying; also, a walk or ride in the open air; a short excursion. The exercise of horses in the open air.

    AIR-JACKET, n. A leather jacket, to which are fastened bags or bladders filled with air, to render persons buoyant in swimming.

    AIRLESS, a. Not open to a free current of air; wanting fresh air, or communication with open air.

    AIRLING, n. A thoughtless, gay person.

    AIR-PIPE, n. A pipe used to draw foul air from a ship’s hold, by means of a communication with the furnace, and the rarefaction of the air by fire. This pipe is intended to supply the combustion with the air of the hold, by preventing the access of other air to the fire.

    AIR-POISE, n. [Air and poise.]

    An instrument to measure the weight of the air.NWAD AIR-POISE.2

    AIR-PUMP, n. A machine for exhausting the air of a vessel. The machines for this purpose are of different constructions.

    AIR-SACS, n. Air bags in birds, which are certain receptacles of air, or vesicles lodged in the fleshy parts, in the hollow bones and in the abdomen, which all communicate with the lungs. These are supposed to render the body specifically lighter, and to supply the place of a muscular diaphragm.

    AIR-SHAFT, n. A passage for air into a mine, usually opened in a perpendicular direction, and meeting the adits or horizontal passages, to cause a free circulation of fresh air through the mine.

    AIR-STIRRING, a. Putting the air in motion.

    AIR-THREAD, n. A name given to the spider’s webs, which are often seen floating in the air. These filaments are attached to the tops or ends of branches or shrubs or trees, and serve to support the spider when in quest of prey.

    AIR-THREATENING, a. Threatening the air; lofty.

    AIR-VESSEL, n. A spiral duct in plants contained air, and supposed to be analogous to the lungs in animals.

    AIRY, a.

    1. Consisting of air; as, an airy substance.NWAD AIRY.2

    2. Relating or belonging to air; high in air; as, an airy flight; airy region.NWAD AIRY.3

    3. Open to a free current of air; as, an airy situation.NWAD AIRY.4

    4. Light as air; resembling air; thin; unsubstantial; without solidity; as, airy ghosts. An airy dress is one which admits air, and is cool.NWAD AIRY.5

    5. Without reality; having no solid foundation; vain; trifling; as, an airy scheme; airy notions.NWAD AIRY.6

    6. Gay; sprightly; full of vivacity and levity; light of heart; lively; as an airy girl.NWAD AIRY.7

    AIRY, AERY, n. Among sportsmen, the nest of the hawk or eagle.

    AIRY-FLYING, a. Flying like air.

    AISLE, AILE, n. Pronounced Ile. [L. ala.]

    The wing of a quire; a walk in a church.NWAD AISLE.2

    AIZOON, n. [L. aizoon, it seems to be composed of Gr. always, and Eng. aye, and living.]

    A genus of plants, called by Miller sempervive. The name has, by some writers, been applied to the house leek and to the aloes.NWAD AIZOON.2

    AJAVA, n. The seed of a plant brought from Malabar, said to be an excellent carminative, and very useful in the colic.

    AJUGA, n. Bugle, a genus of plants.

    AJURU-CATINGA, n. A species of American parrot, of a green color, with eyes of a fiery red, encircled with white.

    AJURU-CURAU, n. An American parrot, of a lively green color, with a blue crown; the throat, and sides of the head, of a fine yellow.

    AJURU-PARA, n. A small parrot of America, of a beautiful green, with the beak, legs and circlets of the eyes white.


    A tube fitted to the mouth of a vessel, through which the water of a fountain is to be played.NWAD AJUTAGE.2

    AKE, v.i. Less properly written ache. [See Ache.]

    1. To be in pain; usually, in pain of some continuance.NWAD AKE.2

    2. To feel distress of mind; to be grieved; as, the heart akes.NWAD AKE.3

    AKE, n. Continued pain, less severe than is expressed by pang, agony, and torment; as, the tooth-ake; head-ake. It is commonly used in composition with the name of the part affected, as head-ake.

    AKER, n. [Gr., L. ager.]

    Originally an open field. But in G. Britain the quantity of land in the aker is fixed by statute at four thousand eight hundred and forty square yards, making one hundred and sixty square rods, perches or poles; and this is the quantity of land it contains in the United States of America. [See Acre.]NWAD AKER.2

    AKIN, a. [a or of and kin. See Kin.]

    1. Related by blood, used of persons; as, the two families are near akin.NWAD AKIN.2

    2. Allied by nature; partaking of the same properties; as, envy and jealousy are near akin. [This adjective is used only after the noun.]NWAD AKIN.3

    AKING, ppr. Having continued pain; suffering distress of mind, or grief.

    AKING, n. Continued pain, or distress of mind.

    AL, in Arabic, an adjective or inseparable prefix. Its use is to render nouns definite, like the English the; as, alkoran, the koran or the book by eminence; alcove, alchimy, alembic, almanac, etc.

    AL, In English, is sometimes a contraction of the Saxon athel, noble or illustrious.

    More generally al, in composition is a contraction of ald or alt, old, and it is prefixed to many names, as Alburg.NWAD AL.3

    Al, in the composition of Latin words, is written before l for ad, for the ease of pronunciation; as, in allevo, alludo, for ad levo, ad ludo.NWAD AL.4

    ALABASTER, n. [L. from Gr.]

    A sub-variety of carbonate of lime, found in large masses, formed by the deposition of calcarious particles in caverns of limestone rocks. These concretions have a foliated, fibrous or granular structure, and are of a pure white color, or more generally they present shades of yellow, red or brown, in undulating or concentric stripes, or in spots.NWAD ALABASTER.2

    Among the ancients, alabaster was also the name of a vessel in which odoriferous liquors were kept; so called from the stone of which it was made. Also, the name of a measure, containing ten ounces of wine or nine of oil.NWAD ALABASTER.3

    ALABASTER, a. Made of alabaster, or resembling it.

    Alabastrum dendroide, a kind of laminated alabaster, variegated with figures of shrubs and trees, found in the province of Hohenstein.NWAD ALABASTER.5

    ALACK, exclam.

    An exclamation expressive of sorrow.NWAD ALACK.2

    ALACKADAY, An exclamation uttered to express regret or sorrow.

    ALACRIOUSNESS, n. Briskness. [Not used.]

    ALACRITY, n. [L. alacritas, from alacer, alaris.]

    Cheerfulness; gaiety; sprightliness; more usually, a cheerful readiness or promptitude to do some act; cheerful willingness; as, the soldiers advanced with alacrity to meet the enemy.NWAD ALACRITY.2

    ALADINISTS. Free thinkers among the Mohammedans.

    ALALITE, n. A crystallized mineral; diopside; a semi-transparent pyroxene. A variety with twelve sided prisms, was found by Bonvoisin, near the village of Ala in Piedmont, and by him called Alalite.

    A-RE, ALAMIRE, n. The lowest note but one, in Guido Aretine’s scale of music.

    ALAMODALITY, n. Conformity to the prevailing mode, or fashion of the times. [Little used.]

    ALAMODE, adv. According to the fashion or prevailing mode.

    ALAMODE, n. A thin glossy silk for hoods, scarfs, etc.

    ALAND, adv. At or on land.

    ALARM, n.

    1. Any sound, outcry or information intended to give notice of approaching danger as, to sound an alarm.NWAD ALARM.2

    2. A summon to arms.NWAD ALARM.3

    3. Sudden surprise with fear or terror; as, the fire or the enemy excited an alarm.NWAD ALARM.4

    4. Terror; a sensation excited by an apprehension of danger, from whatever cause; as, we felt an alarm at the cry of fire.NWAD ALARM.5

    5. In fencing, an appeal or challenge.NWAD ALARM.6

    ALARM, v.t.

    1. To give notice of danger; to rouse to vigilance, and exertions for safety.NWAD ALARM.8

    2. To call to arms for defense.NWAD ALARM.9

    3. To surprise with apprehension of danger; to disturb with terror; to fill with anxiety by the prospect of evil.NWAD ALARM.10

    ALARM-BELL, n. A bell that gives notice of danger.

    ALARMED, pp. Notified of sudden danger; surprised with fear; roused to vigilance or activity by apprehension of approaching danger; solicitous at the prospect or expectation of evil. Thus, we are alarmed at the approach of danger, or alarmed for the safety of friends at sea.

    ALARMING, ppr. Giving notice of approaching danger; rousing to vigilance; exciting solicitude by a prospect of evil.

    ALARMING, a. Exciting apprehension; terrifying; awakening a sense of danger; as, an alarming message.

    ALARMINGLY, adv. With alarm; in a manner to excite apprehension.

    ALARMIST, n. One that excites alarm.

    ALARM-POST, n. A place to which troops are to repair in cases of an alarm.

    ALARM-WATCH, n. A watch that strikes the hour by regulated movement.

    ALARUM, For alarm, is a corruption, and is not to be used.

    ALAS, ex.

    An exclamation expressive of sorrow, grief, pity, concern, or apprehension of evil; sometimes followed by day or while; alas the day, like alack a day; or alas the while, expressing an unhappy time.NWAD ALAS.2

    ALATE, adv. Lately. [Not used.]

    ALATED, a. [L. ala, a wing; alatus, winged.]

    Winged; having dilatations like wings.NWAD ALATED.2

    ALATERN, n. A trivial name of a species of rhamnus or buckthorn.

    ALB, n. [L. albus, Gr. white.]

    A surplice or vestment of white linen, reaching to the feet, worn by the Romish clergy. Also a Turkish coin, called also an asper, value one hundred and twelve mills.NWAD ALB.2

    ALBATROS, n. An aquatic fowl, belonging to the order of ansers. The bill is strait; the upper mandible crooked at the point, and the lower one truncated; the nostrils are oval, open and little prominent, and placed on the sides; the wings are pennated, and there are three webbed toes on each foot. The upper part of the body is of a spotted brown, and the belly white. It is of the size of a pelican or larger, very voracious, preying on fish and small water fowls. These fowls are seen, in great numbers, about the capes of the two continents, and on the northern shores of Asia. They are sometimes called the great gull.

    ALBEIT, [This is supposed to be a compound of all, be and it, and is equivalent to admit, or grant it all.]

    Be it so; admit all that; although; notwithstanding.NWAD ALBEIT.2

    Whereas ye say, the Lord saith it, albeit I have not spoken. Ezekiel 13:7.NWAD ALBEIT.3

    [This word is not antiquated.]NWAD ALBEIT.4

    ALBELEN, n. A fish of the truttaceous or trout kind, found in the German lakes, weighing five or six pounds.

    ALBESCENT, a. [L. albesco, to grow white.]

    Becoming white, or rather, whitish; moderately white.NWAD ALBESCENT.2

    ALBICORE, n. A marine fish, like a tunny, noted for following ships.

    ALBIGENSES, ALBEGEOIS, n. A party of Reformers, who separated from the church of Rome, in the 12th century; so called from the Albegeois, a small territory in France, where they resided. They are sometimes confounded with the Waldenses; but they were prior to them in time, differed from them in some of their tenets, and resided in a different part of France. The Catholics made war upon them, and they gradually dwindled, till the reformation, when the remains of them fell in with the followers of Zuinglius and the Genevan Protestants.

    ALBIN, n. [L. albus, white.]

    A mineral, of an opake white color, consisting of aggregated crystalline lamins, found in Bohemia.NWAD ALBIN.2

    This is regarded as a variety of apophyllite.NWAD ALBIN.3

    ALBINO, n. [L. albus, white.]

    A white descendant of black parents, or a white person belonging to a race of blacks. A person naturally white.NWAD ALBINO.2

    ALBINOS, n. A name signifying white men, given by the Portuguese to the white negroes of Africa. The color of this race appears like that of persons affected with leprosy; and negroes look upon them as monsters.

    ALBION, n. An ancient name of England, still used in poetry. It is supposed this name was given to it on account of its white cliffs.

    ALBORA, n. A sort of itch or rather leprosy, terminating without ulceration, but with fetid evacuations in the mouth and nostrils.

    ALBORO, n. The erythrinus, a small red fish of the Mediterranean.

    ALBUGINEOUS, a. [L. albugo, the white spot in the eye, from albus white.]

    Pertaining to or resembling the white of the eye, or of an egg.NWAD ALBUGINEOUS.2

    Albugineous humor, the aqueous humor of the eye.NWAD ALBUGINEOUS.3

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