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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    CANTILLATION, n. A chanting; recitation with musical modulations.

    CANTING, ppr.

    1. Throwing with a sudden jerk; tossing.NWAD CANTING.2

    2. Speaking with a whine or song-like tone.NWAD CANTING.3

    CANTINGLY, adv. With a cant.

    CANTION, n. A song or verses.

    CANTLE, n. A fragment; a piece; a portion.

    CANTLE, v.t. To cut into pieces; to cut out a piece.

    CANTLET, n. A piece; a little corner; a fragment.

    CANTO, n. A part or division of a poem, answering to what in prose is called a book. In Italian, canto is a song, and it signifies also the treble part, first treble, or highest vocal part.

    CANTON, n.

    1. A small portion of land, or division of territory; originally, a portion of territory on a border; also, the inhabitants of a canton.NWAD CANTON.2

    2. A small portion or district of territory, constituting a distinct state or government; as in Switzerland.NWAD CANTON.3

    3. In heraldry, a corner of the shield.NWAD CANTON.4

    4. A distinct part, or division; as the cantons of a painting or other representation.NWAD CANTON.5

    CANTONAL, a. Pertaining to a canton; divided into cantons.

    CANTONED, pp. Divided into distinct parts, or quarters; lodged in distinct quarters, as troops.

    CANTONING, ppr. Dividing into distinct districts; allotting separate quarters to each regiment.

    CANTONIZE, v.t. To canton, or divide into small districts.

    CANTONMENT, n. A part or division of a town or village, assigned to a particular regiment of troops; separate quarters.

    CANTRED, CANTREF, n. A hundred villages, as in Wales.

    CANVAS, n.

    1. A coarse cloth made of hemp, or flax, used for tents, sails of ships, painting and other purposes.NWAD CANVAS.2

    2. A clear unbleached cloth, wove regularly in little squares, used for working tapestry with the needle.NWAD CANVAS.3

    3. Among the French, the rough draught or model on which an air or piece of music is composed, and given to a poet to finish. The canvas of a song contains certain notes of the composer, to show the poet the measure of the verses he is to make.NWAD CANVAS.4

    4. Among seamen, cloth in sails, or sails in general; as, to spread as much canvas as the ship will bear.NWAD CANVAS.5

    CANVAS-CLIMBER, n. A sailor that goes aloft to handle sails.

    CANVASS, v.t.

    1. To discuss; literally, to beat or shake out, to open by beating or shaking, like the L. Discutio. This is the common use of the word, as to canvass a subject, or the policy of a measure.NWAD CANVASS.2

    2. To examine returns of votes; to search or scrutinize; as, to canvass the votes for senators.NWAD CANVASS.3

    CANVASS, v.i.

    1. To seek or go about to solicit votes or interest; to use efforts to obtain; to make interest in favor of; followed by for; as, to canvass for an office, or preferment; to canvass for a friend.NWAD CANVASS.5

    CANVASS, n.

    1. Examination; close inspection to know the state of; as a canvass of votes.NWAD CANVASS.7

    2. Discussion; debateNWAD CANVASS.8

    3. A seeking, solicitation, or efforts to obtain.NWAD CANVASS.9

    CANVASSED, pp. Discussed; examined.


    1. One who solicits votes, or goes about to make interest.NWAD CANVASSER.2

    2. One who examines the returns of votes for a public officer.NWAD CANVASSER.3

    CANVASSING, ppr. Discussing; examining; sifting; seeking.

    CANVASSING, n. The act of discussing, examining, or making interest.

    CANY, a. [from cane.] Consisting of cane, or abounding with canes.

    CANZONE, n. A song or air in two or three parts, with passages of fugue and imitation; or a poem to which music may be composed in the style of a cantata. When set to a piece of instrumental music, it signifies much the same as cantata; and when set to a sonata, it signifies allegro, or a brisk movement.

    CANZONET, n. A little or short song, in one, two or three parts. It sometimes consists of two strains, each of which is sung twice. Sometimes it is a species of jig.

    CAP, n.

    1. A part of dress made to cover the head.NWAD CAP.2

    2. The ensign of a cardinalate.NWAD CAP.3

    3. The top, or the uppermost; the highest.NWAD CAP.4

    Thou art the cap of fools.NWAD CAP.5

    4. A vessel in form of a cap.NWAD CAP.6

    5. An act of respect, made by uncovering the head.NWAD CAP.7

    Cap of cannon, a piece of lead laid over the vent to keep the priming dry; now called an apron.NWAD CAP.8

    Cap of maintenance, an ornament of state, carried before the Kings of England at the coronation. It is also carried before the mayors of some cities.NWAD CAP.9

    In ship-building, a cap is a thick strong block of wood, used to confine two masts together, when one is erected at the head of another.NWAD CAP.10

    CAP, VT

    1. To cover the top, or end; to spread over; as, a bone is capped at the joint with a cartilaginous substance.NWAD CAP.12

    The cloud-capped towers.NWAD CAP.13

    2. To deprive of the cap, or take off a cap.NWAD CAP.14

    To cap verses, is to name alternately verses beginning with a particular letter; to name in opposition or emulation; to name alternately in contest.NWAD CAP.15

    CAP, v.i. To uncover the head in reverence or civility.

    Cap-a-pie, From head to foot; all over; as, armed cap-a-pie.NWAD CAP.17

    Cap-paper, n. A coarse paper, so called from being used to make caps to hold commodities.NWAD CAP.18

    Cap-sheaf, n. The top sheaf of a stack of grain; the crowner.NWAD CAP.19

    CAPABILITY, n. [See Capable.] The quality of being capable; capacity; capableness.

    CAPABLE, a.

    1. Able to hold or contain; able to receive; sufficiently capacious; often followed by of; as, the room is not capable of receiving, or capable of holding the company.NWAD CAPABLE.2

    2. Endued with power competent to the object; as, a man is capable of judging, or he is not capable.NWAD CAPABLE.3

    3. Possessing mental powers; intelligent; able to understand, or receive into the mind; having a capacious mind; as a capable judge; a capable instructor.NWAD CAPABLE.4

    4. Susceptible; as, capable of pain or grief.NWAD CAPABLE.5

    5. Qualified for; susceptible of; as, a thing is capable of long duration; or it is capable of being colored or altered.NWAD CAPABLE.6

    6. Qualified for, in a moral sense; having legal power or capacity; as, a bastard is not capable of inheriting an estate.NWAD CAPABLE.7

    7. Hollow.NWAD CAPABLE.8

    CAPABLENESS, n. The state or quality of being capable; capacity; power of understanding; knowledge.

    CAPACIFY, v.t. To qualify.


    1. Wide; large; that will hold much; as a capacious vessel.NWAD CAPACIOUS.2

    2. Broad; extensive; as a capacious bay or harbor.NWAD CAPACIOUS.3

    3. Extensive; comprehensive; able to take a wide view; as a capacious mind.NWAD CAPACIOUS.4


    1. Wideness; largeness; as of a vessel.NWAD CAPACIOUSNESS.2

    2. Extensiveness; largeness; as of a bay.NWAD CAPACIOUSNESS.3

    3. Comprehensiveness; power of taking a wide survey; applied to the mind.NWAD CAPACIOUSNESS.4

    CAPACITATE, v.t. [See Capacity.]

    1. To make capable; to enable; to furnish with natural power; as, to capacitate one for understanding a theorem.NWAD CAPACITATE.2

    2. To endue with moral qualifications; to qualify; to furnish with legal powers; as, to capacitate one for an office.NWAD CAPACITATE.3

    CAPACITATED, pp. Made capable; qualified.

    CAPACITATION, n. The act of making capable.

    CAPACITY, n.

    1. Passive power; the power of containing, or holding; extent of room or space; as the capacity of a vessel, or a cask.NWAD CAPACITY.2

    2. The extent or comprehensiveness of the mind; the power of receiving ideas or knowledge.NWAD CAPACITY.3

    Let instruction be adapted to the capacities of youth.NWAD CAPACITY.4

    3. Active power; ability; applied to men or things; but less common, and correct.NWAD CAPACITY.5

    The world does not include a cause endued with such capacities.NWAD CAPACITY.6

    4. State; condition; character; profession; occupation. A man may act in the capacity of a mechanic, of a friend, of an attorney, or of a statesman. He may have a natural or a political capacity.NWAD CAPACITY.7

    5. Ability, in a moral or legal sense; qualification; legal power or right; as, a man or a corporation may have a capacity to give or receive and hold estate.NWAD CAPACITY.8

    6. In geometry, the solid contents of a body.NWAD CAPACITY.9

    7. In chimistry, that state, quality or constitution of bodies, by which they absorb and contain, or render latent, any fluid; as the capacity of water for caloric.NWAD CAPACITY.10

    CAPARISON, n. A cloth or covering laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially a sumpter horse or horse of state.

    CAPARISON, v.t.

    1. To cover with a cloth.NWAD CAPARISON.3

    2. To dress pompously; to adorn with rich dress.NWAD CAPARISON.4

    CAPCASE, n. A covered case.

    CAPE, n.

    1. A head land; properly the head, point or termination of a neck of land, extending some distance into the sea, beyond the common shore, and hence the name is applied to the neck of land itself, indefinitely, as in Cape-Cod, Cape-Horn, Cape of Good Hope. It differs from a promontory in this, that it may be high or low land; but a promontory is a high bold termination of a neck of land.NWAD CAPE.2

    2. The neck-piece of a cloke or coat.NWAD CAPE.3

    CAPELAN, n. A small fish, about six inches in length, sholes of which appear off the coasts of Greenland, Iceland and New-foundland. They constitute a large part of the food of the Greenlanders.

    CAPELLA, n. A bright fixed star in the left shoulder of the constellation Auriga.

    CAPELLET, n. A kind of swelling, like a wen, growing on the heel of the hock on a horse, and on the point of the elbow.

    CAPER, v.i. To leap; to skip or jump; to prance; to spring.

    CAPER, n. A leap; a skip; a spring; as in dancing or mirth, or in the frolick of a goat or lamb.

    CAPER, n. The bud of the caper-bush, which is much used for pickling. The buds are collected before the flowers expand, and preserved in vinegar. The bush is a low shrub, generally growing from the joints of old walls, from fissures in rocks and amongst rubbish, in the southern parts of Europe.

    CAPER-BUSH. [See Caper.]

    CAPER-CUTTING, n. A leaping or dancing in a frolicksome manner.

    CAPERER, n. One who capers, leaps and skips about, or dances.

    CAPERING, ppr. Leaping; skipping.

    CAPIAS, n. In law, a writ of two sorts; one before judgment, called a capias ad respondendum, where an original is issued, to take the defendant, and make him answer to the plaintiff; the other, which issues after judgment, is of divers kinds; as a capias ad satisfaciendum, or writ of execution; a capias pro fine; a capias utlagatum; a capias in withernam.

    CAPIBAR, n. An animal partaking of the form of a hog and of a rabbit, the cabiai.

    CAPILLACEOUS, a. Hairy; resembling a hair. [See Capillary.]

    CAPILLAIRE, n. A kind of sirrup, extracted rom maiden-hair.


    1. The filament, a small fine thread, like a hair, that grows in the middle of a flower, with a little knob at the top; a chive.NWAD CAPILLAMENT.2

    2. A fine fiber, or filament, of which the nerves are composed.NWAD CAPILLAMENT.3


    1. Resembling a hair, fine, minute, small in diameter, though long; as a capillary tube or pipe; a capillary vessel in animal bodies, such as the ramifications of the blood vessels.NWAD CAPILLARY.2

    2. In botany, capillary plants are hair-shaped, as the ferns; a term used by Ray, Boerhaave and Morison. This class of plants corresponds to the order of Filices, in the Sexual method, which bear their flower and fruit on the back of the leaf or stalk.NWAD CAPILLARY.3

    This term is applied also to leaves which are longer than the setaceous or bristle-shaped leaf, to glands resembling hairs, to the filaments, to the style, and to the pappus or down affixed to some seeds.NWAD CAPILLARY.4

    CAPILLARY, n. A fine vessel or canal.

    CAPILLATION, n. A blood vessel like a hair.

    CAPILLIFORM, a. In the shape or form of a hair, or of hairs.

    CAPITAL, a.

    1. Literally, pertaining to the head; as a capital bruise, in Milton, a bruise on the head.NWAD CAPITAL.2

    2. Figuratively, as the head is the highest part of a man, chief; principal; first in importance; as a capital city or town; the capital articles of religion.NWAD CAPITAL.3

    3. Punishable by loss of the head or of life; incurring the forfeiture of life; punishable with death; as, treason and murder are capital offenses or crimes.NWAD CAPITAL.4

    4. Taking away life, as a capital punishment; or affecting life, as a capital trial.NWAD CAPITAL.5

    5. Great, important, though perhaps not chief; as, a town possesses capital advantages for trade.NWAD CAPITAL.6

    6. Large; of great size; as capital letters, which are of different form, and larger than common letters.NWAD CAPITAL.7

    Capital stock, is the sum of money or stock which a merchant, banker or manufacturer employs in his business; either the original stock, or that stock augmented. Also, the sum of money or stock which each partner contributes to the joint fund or stock of the partnership; also, the common fund or stock of the company, whether incorporated or not.NWAD CAPITAL.8

    A capital city or town is the metropolis or chief city of an empire, kingdom, state or province. The application of the epithet indicates the city to be the largest, or to be the seat of government, or both. In many instances, the capital, that is, the largest city, is not the seat of government.NWAD CAPITAL.9

    CAPITAL, n. The uppermost part of a column, pillar or pilaster, serving as the head or crowning, and placed immediately over the shaft, and under the entablature.

    By the customary omission of the noun, to which the adjective, capital, refers, it stand for,NWAD CAPITAL.11

    1. The chief city or town in a kingdom or state; a metropolis.NWAD CAPITAL.12

    2. A large letter or type, in printing.NWAD CAPITAL.13

    3. A stock in trade, in manufactures, or in any business requiring the expenditure of money with a view to profit.NWAD CAPITAL.14

    CAPITALIST, n. A man who has a capital or stock in trade, usually denoting a man of large property, which is or may be employed in business.

    CAPITALLY, adv.

    1. In a capital manner; nobly; finely.NWAD CAPITALLY.2

    2. With loss of life; as, to punish capitally.NWAD CAPITALLY.3

    CAPITALNESS, n. A capital offense.

    CAPITATE, a. In botany, growing in a head, applied to a flower, or stigma.


    1. Numeration by the head; a numbering of persons.NWAD CAPITATION.2

    2. A tax, or imposition upon each head or person; a poll-tax. Sometimes written Capitation-tax.NWAD CAPITATION.3

    CAPITE. In English law, a tenant in capite, or in chief, is one who holds lands immediately of the king, caput, the head or Lord Paramount of all lands in the kingdom, by knights service or by soccage. This tenure is called tenure in capite; but it was abolished in England, by 12 Charles II. 24.

    CAPITOL, n.

    1. The temple of Jupiter in Rome, and a fort or castle, on the Mons Capitolinus. In this, the Senate of Rome anciently assembled; and on the same place, is still the city hall or town-house, where the conservators of the Romans hold their meetings. The same name was given to the principal temples of the Romans in their colonies.NWAD CAPITOL.2

    2. The edifice occupied by the Congress of the United States in their deliberations. In some states, the State-house, or house in which the legislature holds its sessions; a government house.NWAD CAPITOL.3

    CAPITOLIAN, a. Pertaining to the capitol in Rome.

    CAPITOLINE, a. Pertaining to the capitol in Rome. The Capitoline Games were annual games instituted by Camillus in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the preservation of the capitol from the Gauls, and other games instituted by Domitian and celebrated every five years.


    1. An act passed in a chapter, either of knights, canons or religious.NWAD CAPITULAR.2

    2. The body of laws or statutes of a chapter, or of an ecclesiastical council. This name is also given to the laws, civil and ecclesiastical, made by Charlemagne, and other princes, in general councils and assemblies of the people. Some indeed have alledged that these are supplements to laws. They are so called, because they are divided into chapters or sections.NWAD CAPITULAR.3

    3. The member of a chapter.NWAD CAPITULAR.4

    CAPITULARLY, adv. In the form of an ecclesiastical chapter.

    CAPITULARY, a. Relating to the chapter of a cathedral.

    CAPITULATE, v.i.

    1. To draw up a writing in chapters, heads or articles. [But this sense is not usual.]NWAD CAPITULATE.2

    2. To surrender, as an army or garrison, to an enemy, by treaty, in which the terms of surrender are specified and agreed to by the parties. The term is applicable to a garrison or to the inhabitants of a besieged place, or to an army or troops in any situation in which they are subdued or compelled to submit to a victorious enemy.NWAD CAPITULATE.3


    1. The act of capitulating, or surrendering to an enemy upon stipulated terms or conditions.NWAD CAPITULATION.2

    2. The treaty or instrument containing the conditions of surrender.NWAD CAPITULATION.3

    3. A reducing to heads.NWAD CAPITULATION.4

    4. In German polity, a contract which the Emperor makes with the electors, in the names of the princes and states of the empire, before he is raised to the imperial dignity.NWAD CAPITULATION.5

    CAPITULATOR, n. One who capitulates.

    CAPITULE, n. A summary.

    CAPIVI, n. A balsam of the Spanish West-Indies. [See Copaiba.]

    CAPNOMANCY, n. Divination by the ascent or motion of smoke.

    CAPOCH, n. A monks hood.

    CAPON, n. A castrated cock; a cock-chicken gelded as soon as he quits his dam, or as soon as he begins to crow.

    CAPON, v.t. To castrate, as a cock.

    CAPONNIERE, n. In fortification, a covered lodgment, sunk four or five feet into the ground, encompassed with a parapet, about two feet high, serving to support several planks, laden with earth. It is large enough to contain 15 or 20 soldiers, and is placed in the glacis, at the extremity of the counterscarp, and in dry moats, with embrasures or loop holes, through which the soldiers may fire.

    CAPOT, n. A winning of all the tricks of cards at the game of piquet.

    CAPOT, v.t. To win all the tricks of cards at piquet.

    CAPPER, n. [from cap.] One whose business is to make or sell caps.

    CAPREOLATE, a. In botany, having tendrils, or filiform spiral claspers, by which plants fasten themselves to other bodies, as in vines, peas, etc.

    CAPRICE, n. A sudden start of the mind; a sudden change of opinion, or humor; a whim, freak, or particular fancy.

    CAPRICIOUS, a. Freakish; whimsical; apt to change opinions suddenly, or to start from ones purpose; unsteady; changeable; fickle; fanciful; subject to change or irregularity; as a man of a capricious temper.

    CAPRICIOUSLY, adv. In a capricious manner; whimsically.


    1. The quality of being led by caprice; whimsicalness; unsteadiness of purpose or opinion.NWAD CAPRICIOUSNESS.2

    2. Unsteadiness; liableness to sudden changes; as the capriciousness of fortune.NWAD CAPRICIOUSNESS.3

    CAPRICORN, n. One of the twelve signs of the zodiac, the winter solstice; represented on ancient monuments, by the figure of a goat, or a figure having the fore part like a goat and the hind part like a fish.

    CAPRIFICATION, n. A method of ripening figs by means of a gnat or insect that pricks the bud.

    CAPRIFOLE, n. Honeysuckle; woodbine.

    CAPRIFORM, a. Having the form of a goat.

    CAPRIOLE, n. In the manege, caprioles are leaps that a horse makes in the same place without advancing, in such a manner that when he is at the highth of the leap, he jerks out with his hind legs, even and near. It differs from the croupade in this, that, in a croupade, a horse does not show his shoes, and from a balotade, in which he does not jerk out.

    CAPRIPED, a. Having feet like those of a goat.

    CAPSICUM, n. Guinea pepper.

    CAPSIZE, v.t. To upset or overturn; a seamans phrase.

    CAPSTAN, n. A strong massy column of timber, formed like a truncated cone, and having its upper extremity pierced to receive bars or levers, for winding a rope round it, to raise great weights, or perform other extraordinary work, that requires a great power. It may be let down through the decks of a ship, and so fixed that the work is performed by a horizontal motion.


    1. Hollow like a chest.NWAD CAPSULAR.2

    2. Capsular ligament, is that which surrounds every movable articulation, and contains the synovia like a bag.NWAD CAPSULAR.3

    CAPSULATE, CAPSULATED, a. Inclosed in a capsule, or as in a chest or box.

    CAPSULE, n.

    1. The seed vessel of a plant; a dry membranaceous hollow pericarp, opening differently in different plants. It is composed of valves or outer covering, partitions, the columella or central pillar, and cells.NWAD CAPSULE.2

    2. A small saucer, made of clay for roasting samples or ores, or for melting them.NWAD CAPSULE.3

    CAPTAIN, n.

    1. Literally, a head or chief officer; appropriately, the military officer who commands a company, whether of infantry, cavalry, artillery or matrosses.NWAD CAPTAIN.2

    2. The commander of a ship of war, or of a merchantman. But the latter is often called a master.NWAD CAPTAIN.3

    3. The commander of a military band, a sense that occurs in the sciptures; as a captain of fifty.NWAD CAPTAIN.4

    4. A man skilled in war or military affairs; as, Lord Wellington is a great captain.NWAD CAPTAIN.5

    5. A chief commander. Shak. But in this sense rarely used, but in composition.NWAD CAPTAIN.6

    Captain-general, is the commander in chief of an army, or of the militia. The covernor of a state is Captain-General of the militia.NWAD CAPTAIN.7

    Captain-Lieutenant, is an officer, who with the rank of captain and pay of lieutenant, commands a company or troop. Thus the colonel of a regiment being the captain of the first company, that company is commanded by a Captain-Lieutenant.NWAD CAPTAIN.8

    Captain-Bashaw, or Capudan Bashaw, in Turkey, is the High Admiral.NWAD CAPTAIN.9

    CAPTAIN, a. Chief; valiant.


    1. The rank, post or commission of a captain.NWAD CAPTAINCY.2

    2. The jurisdiction of a captain, or commander, as in South America.NWAD CAPTAINCY.3

    CAPTAINRY, n. The power or command over a certain district; chieftainship.


    1. The condition or post of a captain or chief commander.NWAD CAPTAINSHIP.2

    2. The rank, quality or post of a captain. In lieu of this captaincy is now used.NWAD CAPTAINSHIP.3

    3. The command of a clan, or government of a certain district.NWAD CAPTAINSHIP.4

    4. Skill in military affairs.NWAD CAPTAINSHIP.5

    CAPTATION, n. The act or practice of catching favor or applause, by flattery or address.

    CAPTION, n.

    1. The act of taking, or apprehending by a judicial process.NWAD CAPTION.2

    2. A certificate signed by commissioners in Chancery, declaring when and where the commission was executed.NWAD CAPTION.3

    3. A preamble.NWAD CAPTION.4

    4. In Scots law, a writ issued at the instance of a creditor, commanding an officer to take and imprison the debtor, till he pays the debt.NWAD CAPTION.5

    CAPTIOUS, a.

    1. Disposed to find fault, or raise objections; apt to cavil, as in popular language, it is said, apt to catch at; as a captious man.NWAD CAPTIOUS.2

    2. Fitted to catch or ensnare; insidious; as a captious question.NWAD CAPTIOUS.3

    3. Proceeding from a caviling disposition; as a captious objection or criticism.NWAD CAPTIOUS.4

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