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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    AQUATIC, a. [L. aquaticus. See Aqua.]

    Pertaining to water; applied to animals which live in water, as fishes; or to such as frequent it, as aquatic fowls; applied to plants, it denotes such as grown in water. Aquatical is rarely used.NWAD AQUATIC.2

    AQUATIC, n. A plant which grows in water, as the flag.

    AQUATILE, a. That inhabits the water. [Rarely used.]

    AQUATINTA, n. [aqua, water. See Tincture.]

    A method of etching on copper, by which a beautiful effect is produced, resembling a fine drawing in water colors or Indian ink. This is performed with a powder of asphalt and fine transparent rosin sifted on the plate, which is a little greased; the loose powder being shaken off, the plate is heated over a chafing dish; and when cool, the light places on the plate are covered with a hair pencil, dipped in turpentine varnish mixed with ivory black. A rim is then raised with bees wax, and reduced nitrous acid is poured on, and suffered to stand five minutes; then poured off, and the plate dried. This process with the pencil and the aqua fortis is to be repeated till the darkest shades are produced.NWAD AQUATINTA.2

    AQUEDUCT, n. [L. aqua, water, and ductus, a pipe or canal, from duco, to lead. See Duke.]

    A structure made for conveying water from one place to another over uneven ground; either above or under the surface. It may be either a pipe or a channel. It may be constructed above ground of stone or wood; carried through hills by piercing them, and over valleys, by a structure supported by props or arches. some have been formed with three conduits on the same line, elevated one above another.NWAD AQUEDUCT.2

    AQUEOUS, a. Watery; partaking of the nature of water, or abounding with it.

    AQUEOUSNESS, n. The quality of being watery; waterishness; wateriness.

    AQUILA, n. [L. whence aquilinus.]

    In ornithology, the eagle. Also a northern constellation containing, according to the British catalogue, 71 stars.NWAD AQUILA.2

    AQUILINE, a. [L. aquilinus. See Aquila.]

    1. Belonging to the eagle.NWAD AQUILINE.2

    2. Curving; hooked; prominent, like the beak of an eagle.NWAD AQUILINE.3

    AQUILON, n. [L. aquilo.] The north wind.

    AQUITANIAN, a. Pertaining to Aquitania, one of the great divisions of Gaul, which, according to Cesar, lay between the Garonne, the Pyrenees and the Ocean. In modern days, it has been called Gascony. The inhabitants, in Cesar’s time, spoke a different dialect from that of the proper Celts, between the Garonne and Seine. This dialect bore an affinity to the Basque, in Biscay, to which they were contiguous; and some remains of it still exist in the Gascon. Aquitania is the country of the Aqui; from the name of the people, with tan, a Celtic word, signifying region or country. The Romans, either from their general usage, or from not understanding the Celtic tan, annexed another termination signifying country. Heb. ai, a settlement or habitation; Gr. land, country.

    A.R. stand for anno regni, the year of the king’s reign; as A.R.G.R. 20, in the 20th year of the reign of king George.NWAD AQUITANIAN.2

    ARABESQUE, ARABESKY, a. [See Arabian.]

    1. In the manner of the Arabians; applied to ornaments consisting of imaginary foliage, stalks, plants, etc., in which there are no figures of animals.NWAD ARABESQUE.2

    2. The Arabic language. [Not in use.]NWAD ARABESQUE.3

    ARABIAN, a. [See the noun.] Pertaining to Arabia.

    ARABIAN, n. [Arab denotes a wanderer, or a dweller in a desert.] A native of Arabia; an Arab.

    ARABIC, a. Belonging to Arabia, or the language of its inhabitants.

    ARABIC, n. The language of the Arabians.

    ARABICALLY, adv. In the Arabian manner.

    ARABISM, n. An Arabic idiom or peculiarity of language.

    ARABIST, n. One well versed in Arabic literature.

    ARABLE, a. [L. aro, Gr. to plow.]

    Fit for plowing or tillage; hence often applied to land which has been plowed.NWAD ARABLE.2

    ARABY, n. Arabia.

    ARACHNOID, a. [Gr. a spider, and from; Heb. to weave, that is to stretch, to draw out; Eng. reach.]

    In anatomy, the arachnoid tunic, or arachnoid, is a semitransparent thin membrane which is spread over the brain and piamater, and for the most part closely connected with the latter. The term has also been applied to that capsule of the crystalline lens, which is a continuation of the hyaloid membrane.NWAD ARACHNOID.2

    ARACHNOID, n. A species of madrepore found fossil.

    ARACHOSIAN, a. Designating a chain of mountains which divide Persia from India.

    ARAIGNEE, ARRAIGN, n. ardin.

    In fortification, the branch, return or gallery of a mine.NWAD ARAIGNEE.2

    ARAISE, v.t. To raise. [Not used.]

    ARAMEAN, a. Pertaining to Aram, a son of Shem, or to the Chaldeans.

    ARAMISM, n. An idiom of the Aramean or Chaldee language; a Chaldaism.

    ARANEOUS, a. [L. aransea, a spider, or cobweb.] Resembling a cobweb.

    ARAUCANIAN, a. Pertaining to the Araucanians, a tribe of aboriginals, inhabiting Arauco, in Chili.

    ARBALIST, n. [From arcus, a bow, and balista, L., an engine to throw stones; Gr. to throw.]

    A cross-bow. This consists of a steel bow set in a shaft of wood, furnished with a string and a trigger; and is bent with a piece of iron. It serves to throw bullets, darts, arrows, etc.NWAD ARBALIST.2

    ARBALISTER, n. A cross-bowman.

    ARBITER, n. [L.]

    1. A person appointed, or chosen by parties in controversy, to decide their differences. This is its sense in the civil law. In modern usage, arbitrator is the technical word.NWAD ARBITER.2

    2. In a general sense, now most common, a person who has the power of judging and determining, without control; one whose power of deciding and governing is not limited.NWAD ARBITER.3

    3. One that commands the destiny, or holds the empire of a nation or state.NWAD ARBITER.4

    ARBITRABLE, a. Arbitrary; depending on the will.


    1. Will; determination.NWAD ARBITRAMENT.2

    2. The award of arbitrators. In this sense award is more generally used.NWAD ARBITRAMENT.3

    ARBITRARILY, adv. By will only; despotically; absolutely.

    ARBITRARINESS, n. The quality of being arbitrary; despoticalness; tyranny.

    ARBITRARIOUS, a. Arbitrary; despotic. [Not used.]

    ARBITRARIOUSLY, adv. Arbitrarily. [Not used.]

    ARBITRARY, a. [L. arbitrarious.]

    1. Depending on will or discretion; not governed by any fixed rules; as, an arbitrary decision; an arbitrary punishment.NWAD ARBITRARY.2

    Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.NWAD ARBITRARY.3

    2. Despotic; absolute in power; having no external control; as, an arbitrary prince or government.NWAD ARBITRARY.4

    ARBITRATE, v.i. [L. arbitror.]

    To hear and decide, as arbitrators; as, to choose men to arbitrate between us.NWAD ARBITRATE.2

    ARBITRATE, v.t. to decide; to determine; to judge of.


    1. The hearing and determination of a cause between parties in controversy, by a person or persons chosen by the parties. This may be done by one person; but it is usual to choose two or three; or for each party to choose one, and these to name a third, who is called the umpire. Their determination is called an award.NWAD ARBITRATION.2

    2. A hearing before arbitrators, though they make no award. [This is a common use of the word in the United States.]NWAD ARBITRATION.3

    ARBITRATOR, n. A person chosen by a party, or by the parties who have a controversy, to determine their differences. The act of the parties in giving power to the arbitrators is called the submission, and this may be verbal or written. The person chosen as umpire, by two arbitrators, when the parties do not agree, is also called an arbitrator.

    2. An arbiter, governor, or president.NWAD ARBITRATOR.2

    3. In a more extensive sense, an arbiter; one who has the power of deciding or prescribing without control.NWAD ARBITRATOR.3

    ARBITRESS, n. A female arbiter.

    ARBOR, n. [L. arbor, a tree, and the primary sense.]

    1. A frame of lattice work, covered with vines, branches of trees or other plants, for shade; a bower.NWAD ARBOR.2

    2. In botany, a tree, as distinguished from a shrub. The distinction which Linne makes, that a tree springs up with a bud on the stem, and a shrub not, is found not to hold universally; and the tree, in popular understanding, differs from the shrub only in size. Arbor forms the seventh family of vegetables in Linne’s system. [See Tree.]NWAD ARBOR.3

    3. In mechanics, the principal part of a machine, sustaining the rest. Also the axis or spindle of a machine, as of a crane, or windmill.NWAD ARBOR.4

    This in America is called the shaft.NWAD ARBOR.5

    ARBORATOR, n. One who plants or who prunes trees.

    ARBOREOUS, a. [L. arborecus, from arbor.]

    Belonging to a tree; resembling a tree; constituting a tree; growing on trees, as moss is arboreous.NWAD ARBOREOUS.2

    ARBORESCENCE, n. [L. arboresco, to grow to a tree.]

    The figure of a tree; the resemblance of a tree in minerals, or crystalizations or groups of crystals in that form.NWAD ARBORESCENCE.2


    1. Resembling a tree; having the figure of a tree; dendritical.NWAD ARBORESCENT.2

    2. From herbaceous becoming woody.NWAD ARBORESCENT.3

    ARBORESCENT STAR-FISH, n. a species of asterias, called also caput Medusae. [See Starfish.]

    ARBORET, n.

    A small tree or shrub; a place planted or overgrown with trees.NWAD ARBORET.2

    ARBORIST, n. One who makes trees his study, or who is versed in the knowledge of trees.

    ARBORIZATION, n. The appearance or figure of a tree or plant in minerals, or fossils. [See Herborization.]

    ARBORIZE, v.t. To form the appearance of a tree or plant in minerals.

    ARBUSCLE, n. [L. arbusculus, a little tree.]

    A dwarf tree, in size between a shrub and a tree.NWAD ARBUSCLE.2

    ARBUSCULAR, a. Resembling a shrub; having the figure of small trees.

    ARBUSTIVE, a. [From arbustum.]

    Containing copses of trees or shrubs; covered with shrubs.NWAD ARBUSTIVE.2

    ARBUSTUM, n. [L. See Arbor.] A copse of shrubs or trees; an orchard.

    ARBUTE, n. [L. arbutus.] The strawberry tree.

    ARBUTEAN, a. Pertaining to the strawberry tree.

    ARC, n. [L. arcus, a bow, vault or arch; arcuo, to bend; Gr. beginning, origin; to begin, to be the author or chief. The Greek word has a different application, but is probably from the same root as arcus, from the sense of springing or stretching, shooting up, rising, which gives the sense of a vault, or bow, as well as of chief or head. Heb. to weave; to desire, or long for, to ascend. Gr.; L. fragro; and the sense of arch is from stretching upwards, ascending. From arc or arch comes the sense of bending, deviating and cunning.]

    In geometry, any part of the circumference of a circle, or curved line, lying from one point to another; a segment, or part of a circle, not more than a semicircle.NWAD ARC.2

    ARCADE, n. A long or continued arch; a walk arched above.

    ARCADIAN, ARCADIC, a. Pertaining to Arcadia, a mountainous district in the heart of the Peloponnesus.

    ARCADICS, n. The title of a book in Pausanias, which treats of Arcadia.

    ARCANE, a. [L. arcanus.] Hidden, secret. [Not much used.]

    ARCANUM, n. [L.] A secret; generally used in the plural, arcana, secret things, mysteries.

    ARCBOUTANT, n. [See About, Abutment.] In building, an arched buttress.

    ARCH, n. [See Arc.]

    1. A segment or part of a circle. A concave or hollow structure of stone or brick, supported by its own curve. It may be constructed of wood, and supported by the mechanism of the work. This species of structure is much used in bridges.NWAD ARCH.2

    A vault is properly a board arch.NWAD ARCH.3

    2. The space between two piers of a bridge, when arched; or any place covered with an arch.NWAD ARCH.4

    3. Any curvature, in form of an arch.NWAD ARCH.5

    4. The vault of heaven, or sky.NWAD ARCH.6

    Triumphal arches are magnificent structures at the entrance of cities, erected to adorn a triumph and perpetuate the memory of the event.NWAD ARCH.7

    ARCH, v.t. To cover with an arch; to form with a curve; as to arch a gate.

    ARCH, v.i. To make an arch or arches; as, to arch beneath the sand.

    ARCH, a. [L. arcus, a bow; Eng. rogue.]

    Cunning; sly; shrewd; waggish; mischievous for sport; mirthful; as we say in popular language, roguish; as an arch lad.NWAD ARCH.11

    ARCH, a. Used also in composition. [Gr. chief.]

    Chief; of the first class; principal; as, an arch deed.NWAD ARCH.13

    Shakespeare uses this word as a noun; “My worthy arch and patrons;” but the use is not authorized.NWAD ARCH.14

    ARCHAISM, n. [Gr. ancient, from beginning.]

    An ancient or obsolete phrase or expression.NWAD ARCHAISM.2


    1. An angel of the highest order; an angel occupying the eighth rank in the celestiai hierarchy.NWAD ARCHANGEL.2

    2. The name of several plants, as the dead-nettle, or lamium; a species of melittis; and the galeopsis or hedge-nettle.NWAD ARCHANGEL.3

    ARCHANGELIC, a. Belonging to archangels.

    ARCHAPOSTATE, n. A chief apostate.

    ARCHAPOSTLE, n. The chief apostle.

    ARCHARCHITECT, n. The supreme architect.

    ARCHBEACON, n. The chief beacon, place of prospect or signal.

    ARCHBISHOP, n. A chief bishop; a church dignitary of the first class; a metropolitan bishop, who superintends the conduct of the suffragan bishops, in his province, and also exercises episcopal authority in his own diocese.

    ARCHBISHOPRIC, n. [Archbishop and ric, or rick, territory or jurisdiction.]

    The jurisdiction or place of an archbishop; the province over which an archbishop exercises authority.NWAD ARCHBISHOPRIC.2

    ARCHBOTCHER, n. The chief botcher, or mender, ironically.

    ARCHBUILDER, ARCHBILDER, n. Chief builder.

    ARCHBUTLER, n. A chief butler; an officer of the German empire, who presents the cup to the emperor, on solemn occasions. This office belongs to the king of Bohemia.

    ARCHCHAMBERLAIN, n. A chief chamberlain; an officer of the German empire, whose office is similar to that of the great chamberlain in England. This office belongs to the elector of Brandenburg.

    ARCHCHANCELLOR, n. A chief chancellor; an officer in the German empire, who presides over the secretaries of the court. Under the first races of French kings, when Germany and Italy belonged to them, three archchancellors were appointed; and this institution gave rise to the three archchancellors now subsisting in German, who are the archbishops of Mentz, of Cologne, and of Treves.

    ARCHCHANTER, n. The chief chanter, or president of the chanters of a church.

    ARCHCHIMIC, a. Of supreme chimical powers.

    ARCHCONSPIRATOR, n. Principal conspirator.

    ARCHCOUNT, n. A chief count; a title formerly given to the earl of Flanders, on account of his great riches and power.

    ARCHCRITIC, n. A chief critic.

    ARCHDAPIFER, n. [Arch, chief, and L. dapifer, a food-bearer, from daps, meat or a feast, and fero, to carry.]

    An officer in the German empire, whose office is, at the coronation of the emperor, to carry the first dish of meat to table on horseback.NWAD ARCHDAPIFER.2

    ARCHDEACON, n. [See Deacon.]

    In England, an ecclesiastical dignitary, next in rank below a bishop, who has jurisdiction either over a part or over the whole diocese. He is usually appointed by the bishop, and has an authority originally derived from the bishop, but now independent of him. He has a court, the most inferior of ecclesiastical courts, for hearing ecclesiastical causes, and the punishment of offenders by spiritual censures.NWAD ARCHDEACON.2

    ARCHDEACONRY, n. The office, jurisdiction or residence of an archdeacon. In England, every diocese is divided into archdeaconries, of which there are sixty, and each archdeaconry into rural deaneries, and each deanery into parishes.

    ARCHDEACONSHIP, n. The office of an archdeacon.

    ARCHDIVINE, n. A principal theologian.

    ARCHDRUID, n. [See Druid.] A chief druid, or pontiff of the ancient druids.

    ARCHDUCAL, a. [See Archduke.] Pertaining to an archduke.

    ARCHDUCHESS, n. [See Duchess.] A title given to the females of the house of Austria.

    ARCHDUCHY, n. The territory of an archduke or archduchess.

    ARCHDUKE, [See Duke.] A title given to princes of the House of Austria; all the sons being archdukes, and the daughters archduchesses.

    ARCHDUKEDOM, n. The territory or jurisdiction of an archduke or archduchess.

    ARCHED, pp. Made with an arch or curve; covered with an arch.

    ARCHENEMY, n. A principal enemy.

    ARCHEOLOGICAL, a. Pertaining to a treatise or antiquity, or to the knowledge of ancient things.

    ARCHEOLOGY, n. [Gr. ancient, and discourse.]

    A discourse an antiquity; learning or knowledge which respects ancient times.NWAD ARCHEOLOGY.2

    ARCHER, n. [See Arch and Arc.]

    A bowman; one who uses a bow in battle; one who is skilled in the use of the bow and arrow.NWAD ARCHER.2

    ARCHERESS, n. A female archer.

    ARCHERY, n. The use of the bow and arrow; the practice, art or skill of archers; the act of shooting with a bow and arrow.

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