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



    C, the third letter in the English alphabet, and the second articulation or consonant, is a palatal, nearly corresponding in sound with the Greek x, kappa, and with the Hebrew, caph. It bears a middle place in pronunciation, between the aspirate, and the palatal. It is a Roman character, borrowed from the Gr. x, or from the oriental, which was used in languages written from right to left, and when inverted and the corners rounded, becomes C. In the old Etruscan, it was written with the corners rounded, but not inverted; in Arcadian, C, as now written. That its sound in Latin was the same, or nearly the same, as that of kappa, may be known from the fact, that the Greeks, while the Latin was a living language, wrote kappa for the Roman C. Perhaps the same character may be the basis of the Arabic.

    As an abbreviature, C stands for Caius, Carolus, Caesar, condemno, etc., and CC for consulibus. As a numeral C stands for 100; CC for 200; etc. In music, C after the cliff, is the mark of common time.NWAD C.2

    In English, C has two sounds, or rather it represents two very different articulations of the organs; one close, like K, which occurs before a, o and u; the other, a sibilant, precisely like s, which occurs before E, I and Y. The former is distinguished in this vocabulary by C, which may be called ke. In Russ. C is precisely the English s, as it was in the old Greek alphabet.NWAD C.3

    CAB, n. An oriental dry measure, being the sixth part of a seah or satum, and the eighteenth of an ephah; containing two pints and five sixths English and American corn measure.

    CABAL, n.

    1. A number of persons untied in some close design; usually to promote their private views in church or state by intrigue. A junto. It is sometimes synonymous with faction, but a cabal usually consists of fewer men than a party, and the word generally implies close union and secret intrigues. This name was given to the ministry of Charles II., Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale, the initials of whose names compose the word.NWAD CABAL.2

    2. Intrigue; secret artifices of a few men united in a close design.NWAD CABAL.3

    CABAL, CABALA, [See the preceding word. It is from the sense of reception.] Tradition, or a mysterious kind of science among Jewish Rabbins, pretended to have been delivered to the ancient Jews by revelation, and transmitted by oral tradition; serving for the interpretation of difficult passages of scripture. This science consists chiefly in understanding the combination of certain letters, words and numbers, which are alleged to be significant. Every letter, word, number and accent of the law is supposed to contain a mystery, and the cabalists pretend even to foretell future events by the study of this science.

    CABAL, v.i. To unite in a small party to promote private views by intrigue; to intrigue; to unite in secret artifices to effect some design.

    CABALISM, n. The secret science of the cabalists.

    CABALIST, n.

    1. A Jewish doctor who professes the study of the cabala, or the mysteries of Jewish traditions.NWAD CABALIST.2

    2. In French commerce, a factor or agent.NWAD CABALIST.3

    CABALISTIC, CABALISTICAL, a. Pertaining to the cabala, or mysterious science of Jewish traditions; containing an occult meaning.

    CABALISTICALLY, adv. In the manner of the cabalists.

    CABALIZE, v.i. To use the manner or language of the cabalists.

    CABALLER, n. One who unites with others in close designs to effect an object by intrigue; one who cabals.

    CABALLINE, a. Pertaining to a horse; as caballine aloes, so called from its being given to horses as a purge.

    CABALLING, ppr. Uniting in a cabal; intriguing in a small party.

    CABARET, n. A tavern; a house where liquors are retailed.

    CABBAGE, n. A genus of plants, called in botany Brassica, of several species; some of which are cultivated for food. The leaves are large and fleshy, the pods long and slender, and the seeds globular. The kinds most cultivated are the common cabbage, called with us the drum-head, the Savoy, the broccoli, the cauliflower, the sugar-loaf, and the cole-wort.

    Dogs cabbage, A name given to the Thelygonum cynocrambe. Fam. of Plants.NWAD CABBAGE.2

    Sea-cabbage, The sea-beach kale, or sea-colewort, a genus of plants, called crambe. They are herbaceous esculents, with perennial roots, producing large leaves like those of cabbage, spreading on the ground.NWAD CABBAGE.3

    CABBAGE, v.i. To form a head in growing; as a plant cabbages.

    CABBAGE, v.t. To, purloin or embezzle, as pieces of cloth, after cutting out a garment.

    CABBAGE-NET, n. A small net to boil cabbage in.

    CABBAGE-TREE, n. The cabbage-palm, a species of Areca, the oleracea, a native of warm climates. This tree grows with a straight stem to the height of 170 or 200 feet. Its branches grow in a circular manner, and the lowermost ones spread horizontally with great regularity. The fibers of the leaves are used for making cordage and nets. On the top grows a substance called cabbage, lying in thin, snow-white, brittle flakes, in taste resembling an almond, but sweeter. This is boiled and eaten with flesh, like other vegetables. When this is cut out, the tree is destroyed.

    CABBAGE-WORM, n. An insect.

    CABIAI, n. An animal of South America resembling a hog, living on the margins of lakes and rivers, and feeding on fish. It is a species of Cavy, called also thick-nosed tapir.

    CABIN, n.

    1. A small room; an inclosed place.NWAD CABIN.2

    2. A cottage; a hut, or small house.NWAD CABIN.3

    3. A tent; a shed; any covered place for a temporary residence.NWAD CABIN.4

    4. An apartment in a ship for officers and passengers. In large ships there are several cabins, the principal of which is occupied by the commander. In small vessels, there is one cabin in the stern for the accommodation of the officers and passengers. The bed-places in ships are also called cabins.NWAD CABIN.5

    CABIN, v.i. To live in a cabin; to lodge.

    CABIN, v.t. To confine in a cabin.

    CABIN-BOY, n. A boy whose duty is to wait on the officers and passengers on board of a ship.

    CABINED, pp. Inclosed; covered.

    CABINET, n.

    1. A closet; a small room, or retired apartment.NWAD CABINET.2

    2. A private room, in which consultations are held.NWAD CABINET.3

    3. The select or secret council of a prince or executive government; so called from the apartment in which it was originally held.NWAD CABINET.4

    4. A piece of furniture, consisting of a chest or box, with drawers and doors. A private box.NWAD CABINET.5

    5. Any close place where things of value are reposited for safe keeping.NWAD CABINET.6

    6. A hut; a cottage; a small house.NWAD CABINET.7

    CABINET, v.t. To inclose.


    1. A council held with privacy; the confidential council of a prince or executive magistrate.NWAD CABINET-COUNCIL.2

    2. The members of a privy council; a select number of confidential counselors.NWAD CABINET-COUNCIL.3

    CABINETED, pp. Inclosed in a private apartment, or in a cabinet.

    CABINET-MAKER, n. A man whose occupation is to make cabinets, tables, bureaus, bed-steads, and other similar furniture.

    CABIN-MATE, n. One who occupies the same cabin with another.

    CABIREAN, n. One of the Cabiri.

    CABIRIAN, CABIRIC, CABIRITIC, a. Pertaining to the Cabiri, certain deities greatly venerated by the ancient Pagans, in Greece and Phenicia. The accounts of these deities are confused and contradictory. Some authors limit their number to four; some to three; others to two; while Sanchoniathon makes them to be eight. They were worshiped with particular honors in the isle of Samothrace; and their worship and mysteries are said to have been introduced into Greece by the Pelasgians. They were supposed to have a particular influence over the sea and maritime affairs.

    In truth, the name which signifies great, or the mighty ones, seems to have been applied to the supposed beings that presided over the more striking operations of nature. Herod. ii. 51. Paus. ix. 25NWAD CABIRIAN.2

    CABLE, n. cabl. A large strong rope or chain, used to retain a vessel at anchor. It is made usually of hemp or iron, but may be made of other materials. Cables are of different sizes, according to the bulk of the vessel for which they are intended, from three to twenty inches in circumference. A cable is composed of three strands; each strand of three ropes; and each rope of three twists. A ships cable is usually 120 fathom, or 720 feet, in length. Hence the expression, a cables length.

    Stream cable is a hawser or rope, smaller than the bower cables, to moor a ship in a place sheltered from wind and heavy seas.NWAD CABLE.2

    To pay out, or to veer out the cable, is to slacken it that it may run out of the ship.NWAD CABLE.3

    To serve the cable, is to bind it round with ropes, canvas, etc., to prevent its being worn or galled in the hawse.NWAD CABLE.4

    To slip the cable, is to let it run out end for end.NWAD CABLE.5

    CABLED, a. Fastened with a cable.

    CABLET, n. A little cable.

    CABLE-TIER, n. The place where the cables are coiled away.

    CABOCHED, CABOSHED, n. In heraldry, having the head cut close, so as to have no neck left.

    CABOOSE, n.

    1. The cook-room or kitchen of a ship. In smaller vessels, it is an inclosed fire-place, hearth or stove for cooking, on the main deck. In a ship of war, the cook room is called a galley.NWAD CABOOSE.2

    2. A box that covers the chimney in a ship.NWAD CABOOSE.3

    CABOS, n. A species of eel-pout, about two feet long, whose flesh is well tasted.

    CABRIOLE, CABRIOLET, n. A gig; a one horse chair, a light carriage.

    CABURE, n. A Brazilian bird of the owl kind, of the size of a thrush, of a beautiful umber color, spotted with white.

    CABURNS, n. Small lines made of spun yarn, to bind cables, seize tackles, and the like.

    CACAO or COCOA, n. The chocolate-tree, a species of the Theobroma, a native of the West Indies. This tree grows about twenty feet high, bearing pods which are oval and pointed. The nuts or seeds are numerous, and lodged in a white pithy substance.

    CACCOONS, n. A plant called in botany Flevillea.

    CACHALOT, n. A cetaceous fish, the physeter or spermaceti whale. The principal species are, the black headed with a dorsal fin, and the round-headed with a dorsal fin, and the round-headed, with out a fin on the back, and with a fistula in the snout. From this whale is obtained the spermaceti.

    CACHECTIC, CACHECTICAL, a. [See Cachexy.] Having an ill habit of body; of a deranged or vitiated state of the body without fever.

    CACHEXY, n. A vicious state of the powers of the body; a deranged state of the constitution, without fever or nervous disease.

    CACHINNATION, n. A variety of chalcedony, which is a subspecies of quartz, usually milk white, some times grayish or yellowish white; opake or slightly translucent at the edges. Its fracture is even, or conchoidal with large cavities, sometimes dull, sometimes pearly or glossy. It often envelops common chalcedony; the two minerals being united by insensible shades. It also associates with flint and semi-opal.

    CACK, v.i. To ease the body by stool.

    CACKEREL, n. A fish which is said to void excrements when pursued. Others say, a fish which eaten produces lax bowels.

    CACKLE, v.i.

    1. To make a particular noise, as a goose or a hen.NWAD CACKLE.2

    2. To laugh with a broken noise, like the cackling o a goose; to giggle, which is a word from the same root.NWAD CACKLE.3

    3. To prate; to prattle; to tattle; to talk in a silly manner.NWAD CACKLE.4

    CACKLE, n.

    1. The broken noise of a goose or hen.NWAD CACKLE.6

    2. Idle talk; silly prattle.NWAD CACKLE.7

    CACKLER, n.

    1. A fowl that cackles.NWAD CACKLER.2

    2. A tell-tale; a tattler.NWAD CACKLER.3

    CACKLING, ppr. Making the noise of a goose or hen.

    CACKLING, n. The broken noise of a goose or hen. Rome was saved by the cackling of a goose.

    CACOCHYMIC, CACOCHYMICAL, a. [See Cacochymy.] Having the fluids of the body vitiated, especially the blood.

    CACOCHYMY, n. A vicious state of the vital humors, especially of the blood, arising from a disorder of the secretions or excretions, or from contagion.

    CACODEMON, n. An evil spirit.


    1. A bad custom or habit; a bad disposition.NWAD CACOETHES.2

    2. In medicine, an incurable ulcer.NWAD CACOETHES.3


    1. In rhetoric, an uncouth or disagreeable sound of words, proceeding from the meeting of harsh letters or syllables.NWAD CACOPHONY.2

    2. In medicine, a depraved voice; an altered state of the voice.NWAD CACOPHONY.3

    3. In music, a combination of discordant sounds.NWAD CACOPHONY.4

    CADAVER, n. A corpse.


    1. Having the appearance or color of a dead human body; pale; wan; ghastly; as a cadaverous look.NWAD CADAVEROUS.2

    2. Having the qualities of a dead body.NWAD CADAVEROUS.3

    CADDIS, n.

    1. A kind of tape or ribin.NWAD CADDIS.2

    2. A kind of worm or grub found in a case of straw.NWAD CADDIS.3

    CADDOW, n. A chough; a jack daw.

    CADDY, n. A small box for keeping tea.

    CADE, a. Tame; bred by hand; domesticated; as a cade lamb.

    CADE, v.t. To bring up or nourish by hand, or with tenderness; to tame.

    CADE, n. A barrel or cask. A cade of herrings is the quantity of five hundred; of sprats, a thousand.

    CADE-OIL, n. In the materia medica, an oil used in Germany and France, made of the fruit of the oxycedrus, called in those countries, cada.

    CADE-WORM, n. The same as caddis.


    1. A fall, a decline; a state of sinking.NWAD CADENCE.2

    2. A fall of the voice in reading or speaking, as at the end of a sentence; also, the falling of the voice in the general modulation of tones in reciting. In reading or speaking, a certain tone is taken, which is called the key, or key-note, on which mot of the words are pronounced, and the fall of the voice below this tone is called cadence.NWAD CADENCE.3

    The ordinary cadence is a fall of the last syllable of a sentence only.NWAD CADENCE.4

    3. The general tone of reading verse. The cadence of one line must be a rule to that of the next; as the sound of the former must slide gently into that which follows.NWAD CADENCE.5

    4. Tone; sound; as, hoarse cadence.NWAD CADENCE.6

    5. In music, repose; the termination of a harmonical phrase on a repose or on a perfect chord.NWAD CADENCE.7

    Also, the manner of closing a song; embellishment at the close.NWAD CADENCE.8

    6. In horsemanship, an equal measure or proportion observed by a horse in all his motions.NWAD CADENCE.9

    7. In heraldry, the distinction of families.NWAD CADENCE.10

    CADENCE, v.t. To regulate by musical measure.

    CADENCED, pp. or a. Having a particular cadence; as well cadenced music.

    CADENE, n. A species of inferior carpet imported from the Levant.

    CADENT, n. Falling down; sinking.

    CADENZA, n. The fall or modulation of the voice in singing.

    CADET, n.

    1. The younger or youngest son.NWAD CADET.2

    2. A gentleman who carries arms in a regiment, as a private mane, with a view to acquire military skill, and obtain a commission. His service is voluntary, but he receives pay, and thus is distinguished from a volunteer.NWAD CADET.3

    3. A young man, in a military school.NWAD CADET.4

    CADEW, n. A straw worm. [See Caddis.]

    CADGE, v.t. To carry a burden.

    CADGER, n. One who brings butter, eggs and poultry to the market, from the country; a huckster.

    CADI, n. In the Turkish dominions, a judge in civil affairs; usually the judge of a town or village, for the judge of a city or province is called Moula.

    CADILLAC, n. A sort of pear.

    CADMEAN, CADMIAN, a. Relating to Cadmus, a reputed prince of Thebes, who introduced into Greece, sixteen simple letters of the alphabet. These are called Cadmean letters.

    This personage may be a fabulous being, or if such a person ever existed, he may have been named from his knowledge of letters, for in the ancient Persian, Kadeem signified language; Ir. Cuadham, to tell or relate; ceadach, talkative; ceadal, a story. Or he may have been name from his eminence or antiquity, kadam, to precede; Arabic, to excel; whence the sense of priority and antiquity; or his name may denote a man from the East.NWAD CADMEAN.2

    CADMIA, n. An oxyd of zink which collects on the sides of furnaces where zink is sublimed, as in brass founderies. This substance is readily volatilized on charcoal, by the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, and it burns with the usual beautiful combustion of zink. Pulverized, mixed with charcoal powder, wrapped in sheet copper, and heated with the compound blowpipe, it readily forms brass.

    CADMIUM, n. A metal discovered by M. Stromeyer, in 1817, in carbonate of zink, at Hanover. Its color is a fine white, with a shade of bluish gray, resembling that of tin. Its texture is compact, its fracture hackly, and it is susceptible of polish. It is ductile and malleable, and when fused, crystalizes in octahedrons. It melts below a red heat, and suffers no change in air.

    CADUCEUS, n. In antiquity, Mercurys rod; a wand entwisted by two serpents, borne by Mercury as an ensign of quality and office. On medals, the Caduceus is a symbol of good conduct, peace and prosperity. The rod represents power; the serpents, wisdom; and the two wings, diligence and activity.

    CADUCITY, n. Tendency to fall.

    CADUCOUS, a. In botany, falling early; as caducous leaves, which fall before the end of summer. A caducous calyx falls before the corol is well unfolded.

    CAECIAS, n. A wind from the northeast.

    CAESARIAN. [See Cesarian.]

    CAESURA. [See Cesura.]

    CAFFEIN, n. A substance obtained from an infusion of unroasted coffee, by treating it with the muriate of tin.

    CAFTAN, n. A Persian or Turkish vest or garment.

    CAG, n. A small cask, or barrel, differing from the barrel only in size, and containing a few gallons, but not of any definite capacity. It is generally written Keg.

    CAGE, n.

    1. A box or inclosure, made of boards, or with lattice work of wood, wicker or wire, for confining birds or beasts. For the confinement of the more strong and ferocious beasts, a cage is sometimes made of iron.NWAD CAGE.2

    2. An inclosure made with pallisades for confining wild beasts.NWAD CAGE.3

    3. A prison for petty criminals.NWAD CAGE.4

    4. In carpentry, an outer work of timber, inclosing another within it; as the cage of a wind mill or of a stair case.NWAD CAGE.5

    CAGE, v.t. To confine in a cage; to shut up, or confine.

    CAGIT, n. A beautiful green parrot of the Philippine isles.

    CAGUI, n. A monkey of Brazil, of two species, one of them called the pongi, the other not more than six inches long. They are called also jacchus and oedipus.

    CAIC, CAIQUE, n. A skiff belonging to a galley.

    CAIMAN. [See Cayman.]

    CAIRN, n. A heap of stones.


    1. A wooden chest into which several bombs are put, and sometimes gunpowder, to be laid in the way of an enemy, or under some work of which the enemy intend to possess themselves, and to be fired when they get possession.NWAD CAISSON.2

    2. A wooden frame or chest used in laying the foundation of the pier of a bridge.NWAD CAISSON.3

    3. An ammunition chest, or waggon.NWAD CAISSON.4

    CAITIF, n. A mean villain; a despicable knave; it implies a mixture of wickedness and misery.

    CAJEPUT, n. An oil from the East Indies, resembling that of cardamoms, obtained from the Melaleuca leucodendron.

    CAJOLE, v.t. To flatter; to soothe; to coax; to deceive or delude by flattery.

    CAJOLER, n. A flatterer; a wheedler.

    CAJOLERY, n. Flattery; a wheedling to delude.

    CAJOLING, ppr. Flattering; wheedling; deceiving.

    CAJOTA, n. A Mexican animal resembling a wolf and a dog.

    CAKE, n.

    1. A small mass of dough baked; or a composition of flour, butter, sugar, or other ingredients, baked in a small mass. The name is applied to various compositions, baked or cooked in different shapes.NWAD CAKE.2

    2. Something in the form of a cake, rather flat than high, but roundish; as a cake on a tree.NWAD CAKE.3

    3. A mass of matter concreted; as a cake of ice.NWAD CAKE.4

    In New England, a piece of floating ice in a river or lake.NWAD CAKE.5

    4. A hard swelling on the flesh; or rather a concretion without such swelling.NWAD CAKE.6

    CAKE, v.t. To form into a cake or mass.

    CAKE, v.i. To concrete, or form into a had mass, as dough in an oven, or as flesh or any other substance.

    CAKE, v.i. To cackle.

    CALABASH, n.

    1. A vessel made of a dried gourd-shell or of the shell of a calabash tree, used for containing liquors, or goods, as pitch, rosin and the like.NWAD CALABASH.2

    2. A popular name of the gourd-plant, or Cucurbita.NWAD CALABASH.3

    CALABASH-TREE, n. A tree of two species, known in botany by the generic name Crescentia. The cujete has narrow leaves, but a large round or oval fruit. The latifolia has broad leaves. The shell of the fruit is used for cups, bowls, dishes and other utensils.

    Larger font
    Smaller font