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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    ATTENT, a. Attentive. 2 Chronicles 6:40.

    ATTENTATES, n. Proceedings in a court of judicature, after an inhibition is decreed.


    1. The act of attending or heeding; the due application of the ear to sounds, or of the mind to objects presented to its contemplation. [Literally, a stretching towards.]NWAD ATTENTION.2

    They say the tongues of dying menNWAD ATTENTION.3

    Enforce attention like deep harmony.NWAD ATTENTION.4

    2. Act of civility, or courtesy; as attention to a stranger.NWAD ATTENTION.5


    Heedful; intent; observant; regarding with care. It is applied to the senses of hearing and seeing, as an attentive ear or eye; to the application of the mind, as in contemplation; or to the application of the mind, together with the senses abovementioned, as when a person is attentive to the words, the manner and matter of a speaker at the same time.NWAD ATTENTIVE.2

    ATTENTIVELY, adv. Heedfully; carefully; with fixed attention.

    ATTENTIVENESS, n. The state of being attentive; heedfulness; attention.

    ATTENUANT, a. [See Attenuate.]

    Making thin, as fluids; diluting; rendering less dense and viscid.NWAD ATTENUANT.2

    ATTENUANT, n. A medicine which thins the humors, subtilizes their parts, dissolves viscidity, and disposes the fluids to motion, circulation and secretion; a diluent.

    ATTENUATE, v.t. [L. attenuo, of ad and tenuo, to make thin; tenuis; Eng. thin, which see.]

    1. To make thin or less consistent; to subtilize or break the humors of the body into finer parts; to render less viscid; opposed to condense, incrassate or thicken.NWAD ATTENUATE.2

    2. To comminute; to break or wear solid substances into finer or very minute parts.NWAD ATTENUATE.3

    This uninterrupted motion must attenuate and wear away the hardest rocks.NWAD ATTENUATE.4

    3. To make slender; to reduce in thickness.NWAD ATTENUATE.5

    ATTENUATE, a. Made thin, or less viscid; made slender.

    ATTENUATED, ppr. Made thin or less viscid; comminuted; made slender. In botany, growing slender towards the point.

    ATTENUATING, pp. Making thin, as fluids; making fine, as solid substances; making slender or lean.


    1. The act of making thin, as fluids; as the attenuation of the humors.NWAD ATTENUATION.2

    2. The act of making fine, by comminution, or attrition.NWAD ATTENUATION.3

    The action of the air facilitates the attenuation of these rocks.NWAD ATTENUATION.4

    3. The act or process of making slender, thin or lean.NWAD ATTENUATION.5

    ATTERATE, v.t. [L. attero, to wear.]

    1. To wear away.NWAD ATTERATE.2

    2. To form or accumulate by wearing.NWAD ATTERATE.3

    ATTERATED, pp. Formed by wearing.

    ATTERATION, n. The operation of forming land by the wearing of the sea, and the wearing of the earth in one place and deposition of it in another.

    ATTEST, v.t. [L. attestor; of ad and testor, to affirm or bear witness, from testis. See Testify.]

    1. To bear witness; to; to certify; to affirm to be true or genuine; to make a solemn declaration in words or writing, to support a fact; appropriately used the affirmation of persons in their official capacity; as, to attest the truth of a writing; to attest a copy of record. Persons also attest writings by subscribing their names.NWAD ATTEST.2

    2. To bear witness, or support the truth of a fact, by other evidence than words; as, the ruins of Palmyra attest its ancient magnificence.NWAD ATTEST.3

    3. To call to witness; to invoke as conscious.NWAD ATTEST.4

    The sacred streams which heaven’s imperial state Attests in oaths, and fears to violate.NWAD ATTEST.5

    ATTEST, n. Witness; testimony; attestation. [Little used.]

    ATTESTATION, n. Testimony; witness; a solemn or official declaration, verbal or written, in support of a fact; evidence. The truth appears from the attestation of witnesses, or of the proper officer. The subscription of a name to a writing is an attestation.

    ATTESTED, pp. Proved or supported by testimony, solemn or official; witnessed; supported by evidence.

    ATTESTING, ppr. Witnessing; calling to witness; affirming in support of.

    ATTESTOR, n. One who attests.

    ATTIC, a. [L. Atticus; Gr.]

    Pertaining to Attica in Greece, or to its principal city, Athens. Thus, Attic wit, Attic salt, a poignant, delicate wit, peculiar to the Athenians; Attic faith, inviolable faith.NWAD ATTIC.2

    Attic base, a peculiar base used by the ancient architects in the Ionic order, or column; and by Palladio and others, in the Doric.NWAD ATTIC.3

    Attic order, an order of small square pillars at the uppermost extremity of a building. This had its origin in Athens, and was intended to conceal the roof. These pillars should never exceed one third of the length of the order on which they are placed, nor be less than one quarter of it.NWAD ATTIC.4

    Attic story, a story in the upper part of a house, where the windows usually are square.NWAD ATTIC.5

    ATTIC, n.

    1. A small square pillar with its cornice on the uppermost part of a building. Attics properly form the crown of the building, or a finishing for the other orders, when they are used in the structure.NWAD ATTIC.7

    2. An Athenian; an Athenian author.NWAD ATTIC.8

    ATTICISM, n.

    1. The peculiar style and idiom of the Greek language, used by the Athenians; refined and elegant Greek; concise and elegant expression.NWAD ATTICISM.2

    2. A particular attachment to the Athenians.NWAD ATTICISM.3

    ATTICIZE, v.t. To conform or make conformable to the language or idiom of Attica.

    ATTICIZE, v.i. To use atticisms, or the idiom of the Athenians.

    ATTICS, n. plu. The title of a book in Pausanias, which treats of Attica.

    ATTIRE, v.t.

    To dress; to array; to adorn with elegant or splendid garments.NWAD ATTIRE.2

    With the linen miter shall Aaron be attired. Leviticus 16:4.NWAD ATTIRE.3

    ATTIRE, n.

    1. Dress; clothes; habit; but appropriately, ornamental dress.NWAD ATTIRE.5

    Can a bride forget her attire. Jeremiah 2:32.NWAD ATTIRE.6

    2. The horns of a deer.NWAD ATTIRE.7

    3. In botany, the generative parts of plants. florid attire, called thrums or suits, as in the flowers of marygold or tansy, consists of two or three parts, of which the outer part is the floret. semiform attire consists of the chives and apexes. This language is now obsolete.NWAD ATTIRE.8

    ATTIRED, pp. Dressed; decked with ornaments or attire.

    ATTIRER, n. One who dresses or adorns with attire.

    ATTIRING, ppr. Dressing; adorning with dress or attire.

    ATTITLE, v.t. To entitle. [Not in use.]

    ATTITUDE, n. [L. actus, ago.]

    1. In painting and sculpture, the posture or action in which a figure or statue is placed; the gesture of a figure or statue; such a disposition of the parts as serves to express the action and sentiments of the person represented.NWAD ATTITUDE.2

    2. Posture; position of things or persons; as, in times of trouble let the prince or a nation preserve a firm attitude.NWAD ATTITUDE.3

    ATTOLLENT, a. [L. attollens, attollo, of ad and tollor, to lift.]

    Lifting up; raising; as an attollent muscle.NWAD ATTOLLENT.2

    ATTOLLENT, n. a muscle which raises some part, as the ear, the tip of the nose, or the upper eye lid; otherwise called levator and elevator.

    ATTORN, v.i. [L. ad and torno.]

    In the feudal law, to turn, or transfer homage and service from one lord to another. This is the act of feudatories, vassels or tenants, upon the alienation of the estate.NWAD ATTORN.2

    ATTORNEY, n. plu. attorneys.

    One who is appointed or admitted in the place of another, to manage his matters in law. The word formerly signified any person who did business for another; but its sense is now chiefly or wholly restricted to persons who act as substitutes for the persons concerned, in prosecuting and defending actions before courts of justice, or in transacting other business in which legal rights are involved. The word answers to the procurator, (proctor,) of the civilians.NWAD ATTORNEY.2

    Attorneys are not admitted to practice in courts until examined, approved, licensed and sworn, by direction of some court; after which they are proper officers of the court.NWAD ATTORNEY.3

    In G. Britain, and in some of the United States, attorneys are not permitted to be advocates or counsel in the higher courts; this privilege being confined to counsellors and sergeants. In other states, there is no distinction of rank, and attorneys practice in all the courts. And in general sense, the word attorney comprehends counsellors, barristers and serjeants.NWAD ATTORNEY.4

    In Virginia, the duties of attorney, counsellor, conveyancer and advocate, are all performed by the same individual.NWAD ATTORNEY.5

    An attorney may have general powers to transact business for another; or his powers may be special, or limited to a particular act or acts.NWAD ATTORNEY.6

    Attorney General is an officer appointed to manage business for the king, the state or public; and his duty, in particular, is to prosecute persons guilty of crimes.NWAD ATTORNEY.7

    A letter or warrant of attorney is a written authority from one person empowering another to transact business for him.NWAD ATTORNEY.8

    ATTORNEY, v.t. To perform by proxy; to employ as a proxy. [Not in use.]

    ATTORNEYSHIP, n. The office of an attorney; agency for another.

    ATTORNING, ppr. Acknowledging a new lord, or transferring homage and fealty to the purchaser of an estate.

    ATTORNMENT, n. The act of a feudatory, vassal or tenant, by which he consents, upon the alienation of an estate, to receive a new lord or superior, and transfers to him his homage and service.

    ATTRACT, v.t. [L. attraho, attractus, of ad and trako, to draw. See Drag and Draw.]

    1. To draw to; to cause to move towards, and unite with; as, electrical bodies attract straws, and light substances, by physical laws.NWAD ATTRACT.2

    2. To draw to or incline to unite with though some cause may prevent the union; as, the sun is supposed to attract the planets.NWAD ATTRACT.3

    3. To draw by influence of a moral kind; to invite or allure; as, to attract admirers.NWAD ATTRACT.4

    4. To engage; as, to attract attention.NWAD ATTRACT.5

    ATTRACT, n. Attraction. [Not in use.]

    ATTRACTABILITY, n. The quality of being attractable, or of being subject to the law of attraction.

    ATTRACTABLE, a. That may be attracted; subject to attraction.

    ATTRACTED, pp. Drawn towards; invited; allured; engaged.

    ATTRACTIC, ATTRACTICAL, a. Having power to draw to. [Not used.]

    ATTRACTILE, a. That has power to attract.

    ATTRACTING, ppr. Drawing to or towards; inviting; alluring; engaging.

    ATTRACTINGLY, adv. In an attracting manner.


    1. The power in bodies which is supposed to draw them together; or the tendency or principle which inclines them to unite or cohere; called by Copernicus, appetence.NWAD ATTRACTION.2

    This power, principle or tendency in bodies to unite, is distinguished by philosophers into attraction of gravity or gravitation, which extends to a sensible distance, such as the tendency of the planets to the sun, or of a stone, when raised in the air, to fall to the earth, and of which kind is the attraction of magnetism, and of electricity; and into attraction of cohesion, or that tendency which is manifested between small particles of matter, at insensible distances, or near the point of contact, to unite them in coherence.NWAD ATTRACTION.3

    The attraction of gravity is supposed to be the great principle which confines the planets in their orbits. Its power or force is directly as the quantity of matter in a body, and inversely as the square of the distances of the attracting bodies.NWAD ATTRACTION.4

    2. The act of attracting; the effect of the principle of attraction.NWAD ATTRACTION.5

    Attraction may be performed by impulse or other means.NWAD ATTRACTION.6

    3. The power or act of alluring, drawing to, inviting or engaging; as the attraction of beauty or eloquence.NWAD ATTRACTION.7

    Contiguous attraction is that which is exerted between minute particles or atoms, at insensible distances. When this principle unites particles of the same kind, it is called affinity of aggregation, cohesive affinity or cohesion. When it operates on dissimilar particles, producing union, it is distinguished as heterogeneous, and called chimical attraction or affinity.NWAD ATTRACTION.8

    Elective attraction, in chimistry, is otherwise called affinity. It is that power in substances, which elects or selects from a mixture those elements with which they have the strongest tendency to combine.NWAD ATTRACTION.9


    1. Having the quality of attracting; drawing to; as the attractive force of bodies.NWAD ATTRACTIVE.2

    2. Drawing to by moral influence; alluring; inviting; engaging; as the attractive graces.NWAD ATTRACTIVE.3

    An attractive undertaking.NWAD ATTRACTIVE.4

    ATTRACTIVELY, adv. With the power of attracting, or drawing to.

    ATTRACTIVENESS, n. The quality of being attractive, or engaging.

    ATTRACTOR, n. The person or thing that attracts.

    ATTRAHENT, a. [L. attrahens.] Drawing to; or as a noun, that which draws to.

    ATTRAP, v.t. To clothe; to dress. [Not in use.]

    ATTRECTATION, n. [L. attrectatio.] Frequent handling.

    ATTRIBUTABLE, a. [See Attribute.]

    That may be ascribed, imputed or attributed; ascribable; imputable; as, the fault is not attributable to the author.NWAD ATTRIBUTABLE.2

    ATTRIBUTE, v.t. [L. attribuo; ad and tribuo, to divide, to bestow, to assign; tribus, a tribe, division or ward. See Tribe.]

    1. To allot or attach, in contemplation; to ascribe; to consider as belonging.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.2

    We attribute nothing to God, that contains a contradiction.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.3

    2. To give as due; to yield as an act of the mind; as, to attribute to God all the glory of redemption.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.4

    3. To impute, as to a cause; as, our misfortunes are generally to be attributed to our follies or imprudence.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.5


    1. That which is attributed; that which is considered as belonging to, or inherent in; as, power and wisdom are attributes of the Supreme Being; or a quality determining something to be after a certain manner; as, extension is an attribute of body.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.7

    2. Quality; characteristic disposition; as bravery and generosity in men.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.8

    3. A thing belonging to another; an appendant; as the arms of a warrior. In painting and sculpture, a symbol of office or character, added to the principal figure; as a club is the attribute of Hercules.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.9

    4. Reputation; honor.NWAD ATTRIBUTE.10

    [Not a proper sense of this word.]NWAD ATTRIBUTE.11

    ATTRIBUTED, pp. Ascribed; yielded as due; imputed.

    ATTRIBUTING, ppr. Ascribing; yielding or giving as due; imputing.

    ATTRIBUTION, n. The act of attributing, or the quality ascribed; commendation.

    ATTRIBUTIVE, a. Pertaining to or expressing an attribute.

    ATTRIBUTIVE, n. In grammar, a word significant of an attribute; as an adjective, verb or particle, which is the attribute of a substance.

    ATTRITE, a. [L. attritus, worn, of ad and tero to wear; Gr. See Trite.] worn by rubbing or friction.

    [See Trite, which is now generally used.]NWAD ATTRITE.2

    ATTRITENESS, n. the being much worn.


    1. Abrasion; the act of wearing by friction, or rubbing substances together.NWAD ATTRITION.2

    The change of aliment is effected by the attrition of the stomach.NWAD ATTRITION.3

    2. The state of being worn.NWAD ATTRITION.4

    3. With divines, grief for sin arising from fear of punishment; the lowest degree of repentance.NWAD ATTRITION.5

    ATTUNE, v.t. [of ad and tune. See Tone and Tune.]

    1. to make musical.NWAD ATTUNE.2

    Vernal airs attune the trembling leaves.NWAD ATTUNE.3

    2. To tune, or put in tune; to adjust one sound to another; to make accordant; as, to attune the voice to a harp.NWAD ATTUNE.4

    ATTUNED, pp. Made musical or harmonious; accommodated in sound.

    ATTUNING, ppr. Putting in tune; making musical, or accordant in sound.

    ATWAIN, adv. In twain; asunder. Obs.

    ATWEEN, adv. Between. Obs.

    ATWIXT, adv. Betwixt. Obs.

    ATWO, adv. In two. Obs.

    AUBAINE, n. aub’ain.

    The droit d’aubaine, in France, is the right of the king to the goods of an alien dying within his jurisdiction, the king standing in the place of the heirs.NWAD AUBAINE.2

    AUBURN, a. Brown; of a dark color.

    His auburn locks on either shoulder flowed.NWAD AUBURN.2

    AUCTION, n. [L. auctio, a public sale; Eng. to hawk. See Hawk.]

    1. A public sale of property to the highest bidder, and regularly, by a person licensed and authorized for the purpose; a vendue. contracts for services, sometimes, are sold to the lowest bidder. By the Romans, this species of sale was made by a crier, sub hasta, under a spear stuck in the earth.NWAD AUCTION.2

    2. The thing sold at auction.NWAD AUCTION.3

    AUCTIONARY, a. Belonging to an auction or public sale.

    AUCTIONEER, n. [L. auctionarius.]

    The person who sells at auction; a person licensed by government to dispose of goods or lands by public sale to the highest bidder.NWAD AUCTIONEER.2

    AUCTIONEER, v.t. To sell at auction.

    AUCUPATION, n. [L. aucupatio, from aucupor, of avis and capio.] The act or practice of taking birds; fowling; bird-catching. [Little used.]

    AUDACIOUS, a. [L. audax; audeo, to dare. The sense is, advancing forward.]

    1. Very bold or daring; impudent; conteming the restraints of law, religion or decorum; used for bold in wickedness; applied to persons; as an audacious wretch.NWAD AUDACIOUS.2

    2. Committed with, or proceeding from, daring effrontery, or contempt of law; as an audacious crime.NWAD AUDACIOUS.3

    3. Bold; spirited.NWAD AUDACIOUS.4

    AUDACIOUSLY, adv. In an impudent manner; with excess of boldness.

    AUDACIOUSNESS, n. The quality of being audacious; impudence; audacity.

    AUDACITY, n.

    1. Boldness, sometimes in a good sense; daring spirit, resolution or confidence.NWAD AUDACITY.2

    2. Audaciousness; impudence; in a bad sense; implying a contempt of law or moral restraint.NWAD AUDACITY.3

    AUDEANISM, n. Anthropomorphism; or the doctrine of Audeus, who maintained that God has a human shape, from Genesis 1:26.

    AUDIBLE, a. [L. audibilis, from audio, to hear. This word is evidently connected with the name of the ear; Gr.]

    That may be heard; perceivable by the ear; loud enough to be heard; as an audible voice or whisper.NWAD AUDIBLE.2

    AUDIBLENESS, n. The quality of being audible.

    AUDIBLY, adv. In an audible manner; in a manner so as to be heard.

    AUDIENCE, n.

    1. The act of hearing, or attending to sounds.NWAD AUDIENCE.2

    His bold discourse had audience.NWAD AUDIENCE.3

    2. Admittance to a hearing; public reception to an interview; a ceremony observed in courts, or by official characters, when ambassadors or applicants to men in office are permitted to appear and state their business in person.NWAD AUDIENCE.4

    3. An auditory; an assembly of hearers.NWAD AUDIENCE.5

    4. In the Spanish dominions, a court; as the audience of Seville, which is a court of oyer and terminer; and the audience pretorial, in the Indies, which is a high court of judicature. The word in Spain also signifies certain law-officers, appointed to institute a judicial inquiry.NWAD AUDIENCE.6

    5. In England, a court held by the arch-bishop of Canterbury, on the subject of consecrations, elections, institutions, marriages, etc.NWAD AUDIENCE.7

    AUDIENT, n. A hearer. [Not in use.]

    AUDIT, n. [L. audit, he hears.]

    1. An examination of an account or of accounts, with a hearing of the parties concerned, by proper officers, or persons appointed for that purpose, who compare the charges with the vouchers, examine witnesses, and state the balance.NWAD AUDIT.2

    2. The result of such an examination, or account as adjusted by auditors; a final account.NWAD AUDIT.3

    AUDIT, v.t. To examine and adjust an account or accounts, by proper officers, or by persons legally authorized for the purpose; as, to audit the accounts of a treasurer, or of parties who have a suit depending in court.

    AUDIT-HOUSE, n. An appendage to a cathedral, in which the business belonging to it is transacted.

    AUDITIVE, a. Having the power of hearing.

    AUDITOR, [L.]

    1. A hearer; one who attends to hear a discourse.NWAD AUDITOR.2

    2. A person appointed and authorized to examine an account or accounts, compare the charges with the vouchers, examine the parties and witnesses, allow or reject charges, and state the balance. It is usual with courts to refer accounts, on which an action is brought, to auditors for adjustment, and their report, if received, is the basis of the judgment.NWAD AUDITOR.3

    In England, there are officers who are auditors of courts; as the auditors of the Exchequer, of the receipts, etc.NWAD AUDITOR.4

    AUDITORSHIP, n. The office of auditor.

    AUDITORY, a. That has the power of hearing; pertaining to the sense or organs of hearing; as, the auditory nerve.

    AUDITORY, n. [L. auditorium.]

    1. An audience; an assembly of hearers, as in a church or lecture room.NWAD AUDITORY.3

    2. A place or apartment where discourses are delivered. In ancient churches, the nave, where the hearers stood to be instructed.NWAD AUDITORY.4

    3. A bench on which a judge sits to hear causes.NWAD AUDITORY.5

    AUDITRESS, n. A female hearer.

    AUF, n. A fool; a simpleton. [See Oaf.]

    AUGEAN, a. The Augean stable, in Grecian mythology, is represented as belonging to Augeas or Augias, one of the Argonauts, and afterwards king of Elis. This prince kept a great number of oxen, in a stable which was never cleansed, until Hercules undertook the task; a task which it seemed impracticable to execute. Hence the Augean stable came to represent what is deemed impracticable, or a place which has not, for a long time been cleansed.

    AUGER, n.

    An instrument for boring large holes, chiefly used by carpenters, joiners, cabinet makers, wheelwrights and shipwrights. It consists of an iron blade, ending in a steel bit, with a handle placed at right angles with the blade. Augers, made with a straight channel or groove, in some places, are called pod-augers; the modern augers, with spiral channels, are called screw-augers.NWAD AUGER.2

    AUGER-HOLE, n. A hole made by an auger.

    AUGHT, n. aut. [L. qui, quae, quod, quid, what, to be the same word varied in orthography. This word should not be written ought.]

    1. Any thing, indefinitely.NWAD AUGHT.2

    But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting.NWAD AUGHT.3

    2. Any part, the smallest; a jot or tittle.NWAD AUGHT.4

    There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken. Joshua 21:45.NWAD AUGHT.5

    AUGITE, n. [Gr. brightness.]

    A mineral called by Hauy, pyroxene; often found in distinct crystals. Its secondary forms are all six or eight-sided prisms. Sometimes it appears in hemitrope crystals. It has a foliated structure, and is harder than hornblend. The varieties are common augite, sahlite, fassaite, and cocolite. The omphacite of Werner appears also to be a variety; and the common augite, found near the lake Baikal, has been called Baikalite.NWAD AUGITE.2

    Werner divides augite into four sub-species; granular, foliated, conchoidal, and common; and there is a variety called slaggy augite.NWAD AUGITE.3

    AUGITIC, a. Pertaining to augite; resembling augite, or partaking of its nature and characters.

    AUGMENT, v.t. [L. augmento, augmentum, from augeo, auxi, to increase; Gr. It seems to be the Eng. to wax, or to eke.]

    1. To increase; to enlarge in size or extent; to swell; to make bigger; as, to augment an army, by reinforcement; rain augments a stream.NWAD AUGMENT.2

    2. To increase or swell the degree, amount or magnitude; as, impatience augments an evil.NWAD AUGMENT.3

    AUGMENT, v.i. To increase; to grow larger; as, a stream augments by rain.

    AUGMENT, n.

    1. Increase; enlargement by addition; state of increase.NWAD AUGMENT.6

    2. In philology, a syllable prefixed to a word; or an increase of the quantity of the initial vowel.NWAD AUGMENT.7

    AUGMENTABLE, a. That may be increased; capable of augmentation.


    1. The act of increasing, or making larger, by addition, expansion, or dilatation.NWAD AUGMENTATION.2

    2. The state of being increased or enlarged.NWAD AUGMENTATION.3

    3. The thing added by which a thing is enlarged.NWAD AUGMENTATION.4

    4. In music, a doubling the value of the notes of the subject of a fugue or canon.NWAD AUGMENTATION.5

    Augmentation Court, in England, a court erected by 27 Hen. VIII., to augment the revenues of the crown, by the suppression of monasteries. It was long ago dissolved.NWAD AUGMENTATION.6

    In heraldry, augmentation consists in additional charges to a coat-armor, often as marks of honor, borne on the escutcheon or a canton.NWAD AUGMENTATION.7

    AUGMENTATIVE, a. Having the quality or power of augmenting.

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