Larger font
Smaller font
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    BOUNCER, n. A boaster; a bully; in familiar language.

    BOUNCING, ppr. Leaping; bounding with violence, as a heavy body; springing out; thumping with a loud noise; boasting; moving with force, as a heavy bounding body.

    BOUNCING, a. Stout; strong; large and heavy; a customary sense in the United States; as a bouncing lass.

    BOUNCINGLY, adv. Boastingly.

    BOUND, n.

    1. A limit; the line which comprehends the whole of any given object or space. It differs from boundary. See the latter. Bound is applied to kingdoms, states, cities, towns, tracts of land, and to territorial jurisdiction.NWAD BOUND.2

    2. A limit by which any excursion is restrained; the limit of indulgence or desire; as, the love of money knows no bounds.NWAD BOUND.3

    3. A leap; a spring; a jump; a rebound.NWAD BOUND.4

    4. In dancing, a spring from one foot to the other.NWAD BOUND.5

    BOUND, v.t. To limit; to terminate; to fix the furthest point of extension, whether of natural or moral objects, as of land, or empire, or of passion, desire, indulgence. Hence, to restrain or confine; as, to bound our wishes. To bound in is hardly legitimate.

    1. To make to bound.NWAD BOUND.7

    BOUND, v.i. To leap; to jump; to spring; to move forward by leaps.

    Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds.NWAD BOUND.9

    1. To rebound--but the sense is the same.NWAD BOUND.10

    BOUND, pret. and pp. of bind. As a participle, made fast by a band, or by chains or fetters; obliged by moral ties; confined; restrained.

    1. As a participle or perhaps more properly an adj., destined; tending; going, or intending to go; with to or for; as, a ship is bound to Cadiz, or for Cadiz.NWAD BOUND.12

    The application of this word, in this use, is taken from the orders given for the government of the voyage, implying obligation, or from tending, stretching. So destined implies being bound.NWAD BOUND.13

    Bound is used in composition, as in ice-bound, wind-bound, when a ship is confined or prevented from sailing by ice or by contrary winds.NWAD BOUND.14

    BOUNDARY, n. A limit; a bound. This word is thus used as synonymous with bound. But the real sense is, a visible mark designating a limit. Bound is the limit itself or furthest point of extension, and may be an imaginary line; but boundary is the thing which ascertains the limit; terminus, not finis. Thus by a statute of Connecticut, it is enacted that the inhabitants of every town shall procure its bounds to be set out by such marks and boundaries as may be a plain direction for the future; which marks and boundaries shall be a great heap of stones or a ditch of six feet long, etc. This distinction is observed also in the statute of Massachusetts. But the two words are, in ordinary use, confounded.

    BOUND-BAILIFF, n. An officer appointed by a sheriff to execute process; so denominated from the bond given for the faithful discharge of his trust.

    BOUNDED, pp. Limited; confined; restrained.

    BOUNDEN, pp. of bind. [See Bind, and pp. Bound.]

    BOUNDER, n. One that limits; a boundary.

    BOUNDING, ppr. Limiting; confining; restraining; leaping; springing; rebounding; advancing with leaps.

    BOUNDING-STONE, BOUND-STONE, n. A stone to play with.

    BOUNDLESS, a. Unlimited; unconfined; immeasurable; illimitable; as boundless space; boundless power.

    BOUNDLESSNESS, n. The quality of being without limits.

    BOUNTEOUS, a. [See Bounty.] Liberal in charity; disposed to give freely; generous; munificent; beneficent; free in bestowing gifts; as bounteous nature. It is used chiefly in poetry for bountiful.

    BOUNTEOUSLY, adv. Liberally; generously; largely; freely.

    BOUNTEOUSNESS, n. Liberality in bestowing gifts or favors; munificence; kindness.

    BOUNTIFUL, a. [bounty and full.] Free to give; liberal in bestowing gifts and favors; munificent; generous.

    God, the bountiful author of our being.NWAD BOUNTIFUL.2

    It is followed by of before the thing given, and to before the person receiving.NWAD BOUNTIFUL.3

    BOUNTIFULLY, adv. Liberally; largely; in a bountiful manner.

    BOUNTIFULNESS, n. The quality of being bountiful; liberality in the bestowment of gifts and favors.


    BOUNTY, n. [L. bonitas, from bonus, good.]

    1. Liberality in bestowing gifts and favors; generosity; munificence. The word includes the gift or favor and the kindness of disposition with which it is bestowed; or a favor bestowed with benevolent disposition. This distinguishes it from a mere gift. It is also observed by Johnson, that it differs from charity, as a present from an alms, in not being bestowed upon persons absolutely necessitous. This is often the case; but bounty includes charity, as the genus comprehends the species; charity however does not necessarily include bounty, for charity or an alms may be given with reluctance.NWAD BOUNTY.2

    The word may be used also for a free gift, 2 Corinthians 9:5, or a disposition to give, without the gift; goodness in general.NWAD BOUNTY.3

    2. A premium offered or given, to induce men to enlist into the public service; or to encourage any branch of industry, as husbandry, manufactures or commerce.NWAD BOUNTY.4

    BOUQUET, n. booka’y. A nosegay; a bunch of flowers.

    BOURD, n. A just.

    BOURDER, n. A jester.

    BOURGEOIS, n. burjois’. A small kind of printing types, in size between long primer and brevier. The type on which the main body of this work is printed.

    BOURGEON, v.i. bur’jun. To sprout; to put forth buds; to shoot forth as a branch.

    BOURN, rather BORNE, n.

    1. A bound; a limit.NWAD BOURN.2

    That undiscovered country, from whose bournNWAD BOURN.3

    No traveller returns.-------NWAD BOURN.4

    2. A brook; a torrent; a rivulet. [In this sense obsolete; but retained in many names of towns, seated on the banks of streams. In Scotland, it is still used in the sense of a brook, but they write it burn.]NWAD BOURN.5

    BOURNONITE, n. Antimonial sulphuret of lead.

    BOUSE, BOOZE, v.i. booz. To drink freely; to tope; to guzzle. [A vulgar word.]

    BOUSY, a. booz’y. Drunken; intoxicated. [Vulgar.]

    BOUT, n. A turn; as much of an action as is performed at one time; a single part of an action carried on at successive intervals; essay; attempt.

    BOUT, n. [L. bibo.] We use this word tautologically in the phrase, a drinking-bout; or the word is the same as the preceding.

    BOUTADE, n. [Eng. put.] Properly, a start; hence, a whim. [Not English.]

    BOUTEFEU, n. An incendiary; a make-bate. [Not English.]

    BOUTISALE, n. A cheap sale; or according to others, a sale by a lighted match, during the burning of which a man may bid. [Not used.]

    BOVATE, n. [In Law L. bovata, from bos, bovis, an ox.]

    An ox-gate, or as much land as an ox can plow in a year; Cowell says 28 acres.NWAD BOVATE.2

    BOVEY-COAL, n. Brown lignite, an inflammable fossil, resembling, in many of its properties, bituminous wood. Its structure is a little slaty; its cross fracture, even or conchoidal, with a resinous luster, somewhat shining. It is brittle, burns with a weak flame, and exhales an odor, which is generally disagreeable.

    BOVINE, a. [Los L. bovinus, from bos, bovis, an ox.]

    Pertaining to oxen and cows, or the quadrupeds of the genus bos.NWAD BOVINE.2

    This animal is the strongest and fiercest of the bovine genus.NWAD BOVINE.3

    The ox-born souls mean nothing more than the eight living souls, who issued from their allegorical mother, the bovine ark.NWAD BOVINE.4

    BOW, v.t.

    1. To bend; to inflect; as, to bow vines.NWAD BOW.2

    2. To bend the body in token of respect or civility; as, to bow the head.NWAD BOW.3

    3. To bend or incline towards, in condescension.NWAD BOW.4

    Bow down thine ear to the poor. Eccles.NWAD BOW.5

    4. To depress; to crush; to subdue.NWAD BOW.6

    His heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave.NWAD BOW.7

    He bows the nations to his will.NWAD BOW.8

    BOW, v.i. To bend; to curve; to be inflected; to bend, in token of reverence, respect or civility; often with down.

    This is the idol to which the world bows.NWAD BOW.10

    1. To stoop; to fall upon the knees.NWAD BOW.11

    The people bowed upon their knees.NWAD BOW.12

    2. To sink under pressure.NWAD BOW.13

    They stoop; they bow down together. Isaiah.NWAD BOW.14

    BOW, n. An inclination of the head, or a bending of the body, in token of reverence, respect, civility, or submission.

    BOW, n. [See Bow, to bend.] An instrument of war, and hunting, made of wood, or other elastic matter, with a string fastened to each end. The bow being bent by drawing the string, and suddenly returning to its natural state by its elastic force, throws an arrow to a great distance, and with force sufficient to kill an animal. It is of two kinds, the long-bow, and the cross-bow, arbalest or arbalest. The use of the bow is called archery.

    1. Any thing bent, or in form of a curve; the rainbow; the doubling of a string in a knot; the part of a yoke which embraces the neck; etc.NWAD BOW.17

    2. A small machine, formed with a stick and hairs, which being drawn over the strings of an instrument of music, causes it to sound.NWAD BOW.18

    3. A beam of wood or brass, with three long screws that direct a lathe of wood or steel to any arch; used in forming drafts of ships, and projections of the sphere, or wherever it is necessary to draw large arches.NWAD BOW.19

    4. An instrument for taking the sun’s altitude at sea, consisting of a large arch of ninety degrees graduated, a shank or staff, a side-vane, a sight-vane, and a horizon-vane; now disused.NWAD BOW.20

    5. An instrument in use among smiths for turning a drill; with turners, for turning wood; with hatters, for breaking fur and wool.NWAD BOW.21

    6. Bows of a saddle, are the two pieces of wood laid archwise to receive the upper part of a horse’s back, to give the saddle its due form, and to keep it tight.NWAD BOW.22

    7. Bow of a ship, is the rounding part of her side forward, beginning where the planks arch inwards, and terminating where they close, at the stem or prow. A narrow bow is called a lean bow; a broad one, a bold or bluff bow.NWAD BOW.23

    On the bow, in navigation, is an arch of the horizon, not exceeding 45 degrees, comprehended between some distant object, and that point of the compass which is right ahead.NWAD BOW.24

    BOW-BEARER, n. [bos and bear.] An under officer of the forest, whose duty is to inform of trespasses.

    BOW-BENT, a. [bow and bend.] Crooked.

    BOW-DYE, n. A kind of scarlet color, superior to madder, but inferior to the true scarlet grain for fixedness, and duration; first used at Bow, near London.

    BOW-GRACE, n. In sea language, a frame or composition of junk, laid out at the sides, stem, or bows of ships to secure them from injury by ice.

    BOW-HAND, n. [bow and hand.] The hand that draws a bow.

    BOW-LEGGED, a. [bow and leg.] Having crooked legs.

    BOWMAN, n. [bow and man.] A man who uses a bow; an archer. Jeremiah 4:29.

    BOWMAN, n. The man who rows the foremost oar in a boat.

    BOWNET, n. [bow and net.] An engine for catching lobsters and crawfish, called also bow-wheel. It is made of two round wicker baskets, pointed at the end, one of which is thrust into the other, and at the mouth is a little rim bent inwards.

    BOW-PIECE, n. [bow and piece.] A piece of ordnance carried at the bow of a ship.

    BOW-SHOT, n. [bow and shot.] The space which an arrow may pass when shot from a bow. Genesis 21:16.

    BOWSPRIT, n. [bow and sprit.] A large boom or spar, which projects over the stem of a ship or other vessel, to carry sail forward. [This is probably the true orthography.]

    BOW-STRING, n. [bow and string.] The string of a bow.

    BOW-WINDOW. [See Bay-window.]

    BOWABLE, a. Of a flexible disposition. [Not in use.]

    BOWED, pp. Bent; crushed; subdued.

    BOWED, pp. Bent; like a bow.

    BOWELS, n. plu.

    1. The intestines of an animal; the entrails, especially of man. The heart. 2 Corinthians 6:12.NWAD BOWELS.2

    2. The interior part of any thing; as the bowels of the earth.NWAD BOWELS.3

    3. The seat of pity or kindness; hence, tenderness, compassion, a scriptural sense.NWAD BOWELS.4

    Bowel, in the singular, is sometimes used for gut.NWAD BOWELS.5

    BOWEL, v.t. To take out the bowels; to eviscerate; to penetrate the bowels.

    BOWELLESS, a. Without tenderness of pity.

    BOWER, n. [from bow.] An anchor carried at the bow of a ship. There are generally two bowers, called first and second, great and little, or best and small.

    BOWER, n.

    1. A shelter or covered place in a garden, made with boughs of trees bent and twined together. It differs from arbor in that it may be round or square, whereas an arbor is long and arched.NWAD BOWER.3

    2. A bed-chamber; any room in a house except the hall.NWAD BOWER.4

    3. A country seat; a cottage.NWAD BOWER.5

    4. A shady recess; a plantation for shade.NWAD BOWER.6

    BOWER, v.t. To embower to inclose.

    BOWER, v.i. To lodge.

    BOWERS, BOWRS, n. [from bos.] Muscles that bend the joints.

    BOWERY, a. Covering; shading as a bower; also, containing bowers.

    A bowery maze that shades the purple streams.NWAD BOWERY.2

    BOWESS, BOWET, n. A young hawk, when it begins to get out of the nest; a term in falconry.

    BOWGE, v.i. To swell out. [See Bouge.]

    BOWGE, v.t. To perforate; as, to bowge a ship.

    [I do not find this word in any other author.]NWAD BOWGE.3

    BOWING, ppr. Bending; stooping; making a bow.

    BOWINGLY, adv. In a bending manner.

    BOWL, n. [In Latin, vola is the hollow of the hand.]

    1. A concave vessel to hold liquors, rather wide than deep, and thus distinguished from a cup, which is rather deep than wide.NWAD BOWL.2

    2. The hollow part of any thing; as the bowl of a spoon.NWAD BOWL.3

    3. A basin; a fountain.NWAD BOWL.4

    BOWL, n. A ball of wood used for play on a level plat of ground.

    BOWL, v.i. To play with bowls, or at bowling.

    BOWL, v.t. To roll as a bowl; also, to pelt with any thing rolled.

    BOWLDER, n. [from bowl.] A small stone of a roundish form, and of no determinate size, found on the sea shore and on the banks or in the channels of rivers, etc., worn smooth or rounded by the action of water; a pebble.

    The term bowlder is now used in Geology for rounded masses of any rock, found out of place, and apparently transported from their original bed by water. Bowlders of Granite, often of great size, are very common on the surface of the most recent formations.NWAD BOWLDER.2

    BOWLDER-STONE. [See Bowlder.]

    BOWLDER-WALL, n. A wall constructed of pebbles or bowlders of flint or other siliceous stones, which have been rounded by the action of water.

    BOWLER, n. One who plays at bowls.

    BOWLINE, n. A rope fastened near the middle of the leech or perpendicular edge of the square sails, by subordinate parts, called bridles, and used to keep the weather edge of the sail tight forward, when the ship is close hauled. The bridles, are the ropes by which the bowline is fastened to the leech of the sail.

    BOWLING, ppr. Playing at bowls.

    BOWLING-GREEN, n. [bowl and green.] A level piece of ground kept smooth for bowling.

    1. In gardening, a parterre in a grove, laid with fine turf, with compartments of divers figures, with dwarf trees and other decorations. It may be used for bowling; but the French and Italians have such greens for ornament.NWAD BOWLING-GREEN.2

    BOWSE, v.i. In seaman’s language, to pull or haul; as, to bowse upon a tack; to bowse away, to pull all together.

    BOWSSEN, v.t. To drink; to drench. [Not used.]

    BOWYER, n. [from bow, a corruption of bower, like sawyer.]

    An archer; one who uses a bow; one who makes bows. [Little used.]NWAD BOWYER.2

    BOX, n. [Lat. buxus, the tree, and pyxis, a box; Gr. a box, and the tree.]

    A coffer or chest, either of wood or metal. In general, the word box is used for a case of rough boards, or more slightly made than a chest, and used for the conveyance of goods. But the name is applied to cases of any size and of any materials; as a wooden box, a tin box, an iron box, a strong box.NWAD BOX.2

    1. The quantity that a box contains; as a box of quicksilver; a box or rings. In some cases, the quantity called a box is fixed by custom; in others, it is uncertain, as a box of tea or sugar.NWAD BOX.3

    2. A certain seat in a play-house, or in any public room.NWAD BOX.4

    3. The case which contains the mariner’s compass.NWAD BOX.5

    4. A money chest.NWAD BOX.6

    5. A tree or shrub, constituting the genus buxus, used for bordering flower-beds. The African box is the myrsine.NWAD BOX.7

    6. A blow on the head with the hand, or on the ear with the open hand.NWAD BOX.8

    7. A cylindrical hollow iron used in wheels, in which the axle-tree runs. Also, a hollow tube in a pump, closed with a valve.NWAD BOX.9

    BOX, v.i. To fight with the fist; to combat with the hand or fist.

    BOX, v.t. To inclose in a box; also, to furnish with boxes, as a wheel or block.

    1. To strike with the hand or fist, especially the ear or side of the head.NWAD BOX.12

    2. To rehearse the several points of the compass in their proper order.NWAD BOX.13

    3. To make a hole or cut in a tree, to procure the sap; as, to box a maple.NWAD BOX.14

    4. To sail round.NWAD BOX.15

    BOXED, pp. Inclosed in a box; struck on the head with the fist or hand; furnished with a box or hollow iron, as a wheel.

    BOXEN, a. Made of box-wood; resembling box.

    BOXER, n. One who fights with his fist.

    BOX-HAUL, v.t. To veer a ship in a particular manner, when it is impracticable to tack.

    BOXING, ppr. Inclosing in a box; striking with the fist; furnishing with a box.

    BOXING, n. The act of fighting with the fist; a combat with the fist.

    BOX-THORN, n. [box and thorn.] A plant, the Lycium, or a species of it.

    BOY, n. [L. puer for puger, for we see by puella, that r is not radical. So the Gr. probably is contracted, for the derivative verb, forms.]

    A male child, from birth to the age of puberty; but in general, applied to males under ten or twelve years of age; a lad. Sometimes it is used in contempt for a young man, indicating immaturity, want of vigor or judgment.NWAD BOY.2

    BOY, v.t. To treat as a boy.

    Rather, to act as a boy; to imitate a boy in action. The passage in Shakespeare, in which this word is found, is supposed to allude to the practice of boys acting women’s parts on the stage.NWAD BOY.4

    I shall see some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness.NWAD BOY.5

    BOYAR, n. A Russian nobleman. [See Boiar.]

    BOYAU, n. boy’o. In fortification, a ditch covered with a parapet, serving as a communication between two trenches.

    BOY-BLIND, a. Blind as a boy; undiscerning.

    BOYER, n. A Flemish sloop, with a castle at each end.

    BOYHOOD, a. [boy and hood.] The state of a boy, or of immature age.

    BOYISH, a. Belonging to a boy; childish; trifling; resembling a boy in manners or opinions; puerile.

    BOYISHLY, adv. Childishly; in a trifling manner.

    BOYISHNESS, n. Childishness; the manners or behavior of a boy.

    BOYISM, n. Childishness; puerility.

    1. The state of a boy.NWAD BOYISM.2

    BOYS-PLAY, n. Childish amusement; any thing trifling.

    BOYUNA, n. A large serpent of America, black and slender, having an intolerable smell. Also, a harmless reptile.

    BP. An abbreviation of Bishop.

    BRABANTINE, a. Pertaining to Brabant, a province of the Netherlands, of which Brussels is the capital.

    BRABBLE, n. A broil; a clamorous contest; a wrangle.

    BRABBLE, v.i. To clamor; to contest noisily.

    BRABBLER, n. A clamorous, quarrelsome, noisy fellow; a wrangler.

    BRABBLING, ppr. Clamoring; wrangling.

    BRACE, n. [L. brachium; Gr. the arm.]

    1. In architecture, a piece of timber framed in with bevel joints, to keep the building from swerving either way. It extends like an arm from the post or main timber.NWAD BRACE.2

    2. That which holds any thing tight; a cincture or bandage. The braces of a drum are not bands.NWAD BRACE.3

    3. A pair; a couple; as a brace of ducks. It is used of persons only in contempt, or in the style of drollery.NWAD BRACE.4

    4. In music, a double curve at the beginning of stave.NWAD BRACE.5

    5. A thick strap, which supports a carriage on wheels.NWAD BRACE.6

    6. A crooked line in printing, connecting two or more words or lines; thus boll, bowl. It is used to connect triplets in poetry.NWAD BRACE.7

    7. In marine language, a rope reeved through a block at the end of a yard, to square or traverse the yard. The name is given also to pieces of iron which are used as supports; such as of the poop lanterns, etc.NWAD BRACE.8

    8. Brace, or brasse, is a foreign measure answering to our fathom.NWAD BRACE.9

    9. Harness; warlike preparation; as we say, girded for battle.NWAD BRACE.10

    10. Tension; tightness.NWAD BRACE.11

    11. Braces, plu., suspenders, the straps that sustain pantaloons, etc.NWAD BRACE.12

    12. The braces of a drum, are the cords on the sides of it, for tightening the heads and snares.NWAD BRACE.13

    BRACE, v.t. To draw tight; to tighten; to bind or tie close; to make tight and firm.

    1. To make tense; to strain up; as, to brace a drum.NWAD BRACE.15

    2. To furnish with braces; as, to brace a building.NWAD BRACE.16

    3. To strengthen; to increase tension; as, to brace the nerves.NWAD BRACE.17

    4. In marine language, to bring the yards to either side.NWAD BRACE.18

    To brace about is to turn the yards round for the contrary tack.NWAD BRACE.19

    To brace sharp is to cause the yards to have the smallest possible angle with the keel.NWAD BRACE.20

    To brace to is to check or ease off the leg braces, and round-in the weather ones, to assist in tacking.NWAD BRACE.21

    BRACED, pp. Furnished with braces; drawn close and tight; made tense.

    BRACELET, n.

    1. An ornament for the wrist, worn by ladies. This ornament seems anciently to have been worn by men as well as women.NWAD BRACELET.2

    2. A piece of defensive armor for the arm.NWAD BRACELET.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font