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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    CATERPILLAR-EATER, n. A worm bred in the body of a caterpillar, which eats it.

    CATERWAUL, v.i. To cry or wall, as cats in rutting time; to make a harsh offensive noise.

    CATERWAULING, n. The cry of cats; a harsh disagreeable noise or cry.

    CATTERY, n. The place where provisions are deposited.

    CATES, n. Delicious food or viands; dainties.

    CATH-ARIST, n. One who pretends to more purity than others possess.

    CATHARTIC, CATHARTICAL, a. Purging; cleansing the bowels; promoting evacuations by stool; purgative.

    CATHARTIC, n. A medicine that promotes alvine discharges, and thus cleanses the stomach and bowels; a purge; a purgative.

    CATHARTICALNESS, n. The quality of promoting discharges from the bowels.

    CATHEDRAL, n. The see or seat of a bishop; the principal church in a diocese.


    1. Pertaining to the church which is the bishops seat, or head church of a diocese; containing the see of a bishop; as a cathedral church; cathedral service.NWAD CATHEDRAL.3

    2. Resembling the aisles of a cathedral; as, cathedral walks.NWAD CATHEDRAL.4

    CATHEDRATED, a. Relating to the authority of the chair or office of a teacher.

    CATHETER, n. In surgery, a tubular instrument, usually made of silver, to be introduced into the bladder, to draw off the urine when the natural discharge is suppressed; also, a sound to search for the stone, or a bougie made of silver or elastic gum.

    CATHETUS, n. In geometry, a line or radius, falling perpendicularly on another line or surface; as the two sides of a right-angled triangle.

    Cathetus of incidence, in catoptries, is a right line drawn from a point of the object, perpendicular to the reflecting line.NWAD CATHETUS.2

    Cathetus of reflection, or of the eye, a right line drawn from the eye perpendicular to the reflecting plane.NWAD CATHETUS.3

    Cathetus of obliquation, a right line drawn perpendicular to the speculum, in the point of incidence or reflection.NWAD CATHETUS.4

    In architecture, a cathetus is a perpendicular line, supposed to pass through the middle of a cylindrical body.NWAD CATHETUS.5

    CATHOLIC, a.

    1. Universal or general; as the Catholic church. Originally this epithet was given to the Christian church in general, but is now appropriated to the Romish church, and in strictness there is no Catholic church, or universal Christian communion. The epithet is sometimes set in opposition to heretic, sectary or schismatic.NWAD CATHOLIC.2

    2. Liberal; not narrow minded, partial or bigoted; as a catholic man.NWAD CATHOLIC.3

    3. Liberal; as catholic principles.NWAD CATHOLIC.4

    Catholic epistles, the epistles of the apostles which are addressed to all the faithful, and not to a particular church.NWAD CATHOLIC.5

    CATHOLIC, n. A papist.


    1. Adherence to the Catholic church.NWAD CCATHOLICISM.2

    2. Universality, or the orthodox faith of the whole church.NWAD CCATHOLICISM.3

    3. More generally, liberality of sentiments.NWAD CCATHOLICISM.4

    This is the renowned seat of Catholicism.NWAD CCATHOLICISM.5

    CATHOLICIZE, v.i. To become a catholic.

    CATHOLICLY, adv. Generally; in a catholic manner.

    CATHOLICNESS, n. Universality.

    CATHOLICON, n. A remedy for all diseases; a universal remedy; a remedy supposed to be efficacious in purging away all humors; a panacea; a kind of soft purgative electuary so called.

    CATILINISM, n. The practices of Catiline, the Roman conspirator; conspiracy.

    CATKIN, n. In botany, a species of calyx or rather of inflorescence, from a common chaffy gemmaceous receptacle, or consisting of many chaffy scales ranged along a stalk, slender as a thread, which is the common receptacle, as in hazle, birch, oak, willow, poplar, etc.; so called from its resemblance to a cats tail.

    CAT-LIKE. a. Resembling a cat.

    CATLING, n.

    1. A dismembering knife, used by surgeons.NWAD CATLING.2

    2. The down or moss growing about walnut trees, resembling the hair of a cat.NWAD CATLING.3

    3. Catgut.NWAD CATLING.4

    CATONIAN, a. Pertaining to or resembling Cato, the Roman, who was remarkable for his severity of manners; grave; severe; inflexible.

    CATOPTER, CATOPTRON, n. An optical glass or instrument.

    CATOPTRIC, CATOPTRICAL, a. [See Catoptrics.] Relating to catoptries, or vision by reflection.

    CATOPTRICS, n. That part of optics which explains the properties of reflected light, and particularly that which is reflected from mirrors or polished bodies.

    CATOPTROMANCY, n. A species of divination among the ancients, which was performed by letting down a mirror into water, for a sick person to look at his face in it. If his countenance appeared distorted and ghastly, it was an ill omen; if fresh and healthy, it was favorable.

    CAT-PIPE, n. [See Catcall.]

    CATSUP, n. [See Catchup, Ketchup.]

    CATTLE, n.

    1. Beasts or quadrupeds in general, serving for tillage, or other labor, and for food to man. In its primary sense, the word includes camels, horses, asses, all the varieties of domesticated horned beasts or the bovine genus, sheep of all kinds and goats, and perhaps swine. In this general sense, it is constantly used in the scriptures. See Job 1:3. Hence it would appear that the word properly signifies possessions, goods. But whether from a word originally signifying a beast, for in early ages beasts constituted the chief part of a man’s property, or from a root signifying to get or possess. This word is restricted to domestic beasts; but in England it includes horses, which it ordinarily does not, in the United States, at least not in New-England.NWAD CATTLE.2

    2. In the United States, cattle, in common usage, signifies only beasts of the bovine genus, oxen, bulls, cows and their young. In the laws respecting domestic beasts, horses, sheep, asses, mules and swine are distinguished from cattle, or neat cattle. Thus the law in Connecticut, requiring that all the owners of any cattle, sheep or swine, shall ear-mark or brand all their cattle, sheep and swine, does not extend to horses. Yet it is probable that a law, giving damages for a trespass committed by cattle breaking into an inclosure, would be adjudged to include horses.NWAD CATTLE.3

    In Great Britain, beasts are distinguished into black cattle, including bulls, oxen, cows and their young; and small cattle, including sheep of all kinds and goats.NWAD CATTLE.4

    3. In reproach, human beings are called cattle.NWAD CATTLE.5

    CAUCASIAN, CAUCASEAN, a. Pertaining to Mount Caucasus in Asia.

    CAUCUS, n. A word used in America to denote a meeting of citizens to agree upon candidates to be proposed for election to offices, or to concert measures for supporting a party. The origin of the word is not ascertained.

    CAUDAL, a. Pertaining to a tail; or to the thread which terminates the seed of a plant.


    CAUDEX, n. In botany, the stem of a tree. Linne uses the word for the stock which proceeds from a seed, one part ascending and forming the body above ground, the other descending and putting forth roots.

    CAUDLE, n. A kind of warm broth, a mixture of wine and other ingredients prepared for the sick.

    CAUDLE, v.t. To make or prepare caudle, or to dress with caudle.

    CAUF, n. A chest with holes for keeping fish alive in water.

    CAUGHT, pret. and pp. of catch, pronounced caut.

    CAUK, CAWK, n. A name given by miners to certain specimens of the compact sulphate of baryte. These are of a white, gray or fawn color, often irregular in figure, but sometimes resembling a number of small convex lenses set in a ground.

    This name is sometimes given to masses composed of concentric lamellar concretions.NWAD CAUK.2

    CAUKY, a. Pertaining to cauk; like cauk.

    CAUL, n.

    1. In anatomy, a membrane in the abdomen, covering the greatest part of the lower intestines, called from its structure, reticuluim, a net, but more generally, the omentum; also, a little membrane sometimes encompassing the head of a child when born.NWAD CAUL.2

    2. A kind of net in which females inclose their hair; the hinder part of a cap.NWAD CAUL.3

    3. Any kind of net.NWAD CAUL.4

    CAULESCENT, a. In botany, having a stem different from that which produces the flower; as a caulescent plant. Linne applies this term to the root also, as in cabbage and turnep.

    CAULIFEROUS, a. In botany, having a stem or stalk.

    CAULIFLOWER, n. A variety of Brassica or cabbage, well known and much esteemed.

    CAULIFORM, a. Having the form of a stalk or of stems.

    CAULINE, a. In botany, growing immediately on the stem, without the intervention of branches; as a cauline leaf, bulb, peduncle or scape.

    CAULK, [See Calk.]

    CAUPONATE, v.i. To keep a victualling house.

    CAUPONISE, v.t. To sell wine or victuals.

    CAUSABLE, a. [See Cause.] That may be caused, produced or effected.

    CAUSAL, a. [See Cause.] Relating to a cause or causes; implying or containing a cause or causes; expressing a cause.

    Causal propositions are where two propositions are joined by causal words, as that or because.NWAD CAUSAL.2

    CAUSAL, n. In grammar, a word that expresses a cause, or introduces the reason.

    CAUSALITY, n. The agency of a cause; the action or power of a cause, in producing its effect.

    CAUSALLY, adv. According to the order or series of causes.

    CAUSALTY, n. Among miners, the lighter, earthy parts of ore, carried off by washing.

    CAUSATION, n. The act of causing or producing; the act or agency by which an effect is produced.

    CAUSATIVE, a. That expresses a cause or reason; also, that effects as a cause.

    CAUSATIVELY, adv. In a causative manner.

    CAUSATOR, n. One who causes or produces an effect.

    CAUSE, n. s as z.

    1. A suit or action in court; any legal process which a party institutes to obtain his demand, or by which he seeks his right or his supposed right. This is a legal, scriptural and popular use of the word, coinciding nearly with case from cado, and action from ago, to urge or drive.NWAD CAUSE.2

    The cause of both parties shall come before the judges. Exodus 22:9.NWAD CAUSE.3

    2. That which produces an effect; that which impels into existence, or by its agency or operation produces what did not before exist; that by virtue of which any thing is done; that from which any thing proceeds, and without which it would not exist.NWAD CAUSE.4

    Cause is a substance exerting its power into act, to make a thing begin to be.NWAD CAUSE.5

    3. The reason or motive that urges, moves, or impels the mind to act or decide.NWAD CAUSE.6

    For this cause have I raised up Pharaoh. Exodus 9:16.NWAD CAUSE.7

    And David said, is there not a cause? 1 Samuel 17:29.NWAD CAUSE.8

    4. Sake; account.NWAD CAUSE.9

    I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong. 2 Corinthians 7:12. [See Sake.]NWAD CAUSE.10

    5. That which a party or nation pursues; or rather pursuit, prosecution of an object. We say, Bible Societies are engaged in a noble cause. [See the first definition.] Hence the word cause is used to denote that which a person or thing favors; that to which the efforts of an intelligent being are directed; as, to promote religion is to advance the cause of God. So we say, the cause of truth or of justice. In all its applications, cause retains something of its original meaning, struggle, impelling force, contest, effort to obtain or to effect something.NWAD CAUSE.11

    6. Without cause, without good reason; without a reason or motive to justify the act.NWAD CAUSE.12

    They hate me without cause. Psalms 35:19; Psalms 69:4.NWAD CAUSE.13

    CAUSE, v.t.

    1. To produce; to bring into existence.NWAD CAUSE.15

    They caused great joy to all the brethren. Acts 15:3.NWAD CAUSE.16

    2. To effect by agency, power or influence.NWAD CAUSE.17

    I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days. Genesis 7:4.NWAD CAUSE.18

    I will cause him to fall by the sword. 2 Kings 19:7.NWAD CAUSE.19

    CAUSE, v.i. To assign insufficient cause.

    CAUSED, pp. Produced; effected; brought about.


    1. Having no cause, or producing agent.NWAD CAUSELESS.2

    2. Without just ground, reason or motive; as causeless hatred; causeless fear. Proverbs 26:2.NWAD CAUSELESS.3

    CAUSELESSLY, adv. Without cause or reason.

    CAUSELESSNESS, n. The state of being causeless.

    CAUSER, n. He that causes; the agent by which an effect is produced.

    CAUSEY, n. A way raised above the natural level of the ground, by stones, earth, timber, fascines, etc., serving as a dry passage over wet or marshy ground, or as a mole to confine water to a pond or restrain it from overflowing lower ground. Most generally it is a way raised in a common road.

    CAUSIDICAL, a. Pertaining to an advocate, or to the maintenance and defense of suits.

    CAUSING, ppr. Producing; effecting; bringing into being.

    CAUSTIC, CAUSTICAL, a. Burning; corroding; destroying the texture of animal flesh.

    CAUSTIC, n. In medicine, any substance which applied to living animals, acts like fire, in corroding the part and dissolving its texture; an escharotic. [See Causticity.]

    Lunar caustic, a preparation of crystals of silver, obtained by solution in nitric acid, and afterwards fused in a crucible. It is a nitrate of silver.NWAD CAUSTIC.3

    Caustic curve, in geometry, a curve formed by a coincidence of rays of light reflected from another curve.NWAD CAUSTIC.4

    CAUSTICITY, n. The quality of acting like fire on animal matter, or the quality of combining with the principles of organized substances, and destroying their texture. This quality belongs to concentrated acids, pure alkalis, and some metallic salts.

    CAUTEL, n. Caution.


    1. Cautions; wary; provident.NWAD CAUTELOUS.2

    2. Cunning; treacherous; wily.NWAD CAUTELOUS.3


    1. Cunningly; slily; treacherously.NWAD CAUTELOUSLY.2

    2. Cautiously; warily.NWAD CAUTELOUSLY.3

    CAUTELOUSNESS, n. Cautiousness.

    CAUTERISM, n. The application of cautery.

    CAUTERIZATION, n. [See Cauterize.] In surgery, the act of burning or searing some morbid part, by the application of fire. This is done by burning tow, cotton, moxa, Spanish wax, pyramidical pieces of linen, etc., or more generally by a hot iron.

    CAUTERIZE, v.t. To burn or sear with fire or a hot iron, as morbid flesh.

    CAUTERIZED, pp. Burnt or seared with a hot iron.

    CAUTERIZING, ppr. Burning, as with a hot iron.

    CAUTERIZING, n. The act of burning, as with a hot iron.

    CAUTERY, n. A burning or searing, as of morbid flesh, by a hot iron or by caustic medicines that burn, corrode or destroy any solid part of an animal body. The burning by a hot iron is called actual cautery; that by caustic medicines, potential cautery.

    CAUTION, n.

    1. Provident care; prudence in regard to danger; wariness, consisting in a careful attention to the probable effects of a measure, and a judicious course of conduct to avoid evils and the arts of designing men.NWAD CAUTION.2

    Caution is the armor to defend us against imposition and the attacks of evil.NWAD CAUTION.3

    2. Security for, nearly the sense of the French caution, bail.NWAD CAUTION.4

    The parliament would give his majesty sufficient caution that the war should be prosecuted.NWAD CAUTION.5

    3. Provision or security against; measures taken for security; as the rules and cautions of government.NWAD CAUTION.6

    4. Precept; advice; injunction; warning; exhortation, intended as security or guard against evil.NWAD CAUTION.7

    CAUTION, v.t. To give notice of danger; to warn; to exhort to take heed.

    You cautioned me against their charms.NWAD CAUTION.9


    1. Containing caution, or warning to avoid danger; as cautionary advice.NWAD CAUTIONARY.2

    2. Given as a pledge or in security; as a cautionary town.NWAD CAUTIONARY.3

    CAUTIONED, pp. Warned; previously admonished.

    CAUTIONER, n. In Scots law, the person who is bound for another, to the performance of an obligation.

    CAUTIONING, ppr. Warning; giving previous notice of danger.

    CAUTIONRY, n. In Scots law, the act of giving security for another, or the obligation by which one person becomes engaged as security for another, that he shall pay a sum of money or perform a deed.

    CAUTIOUS, a. Wary; watchful; careful to avoid evils; attentive to examine probable effects and consequences of measures, with a view to avoid danger or misfortune; prudent; circumspect.

    CAUTIOUSLY, adv. With caution; in a wary, scrupulous manner.

    CAUTIOUSNESS, n. The quality of being cautious; watchfulness; provident care; circumspection; prudence with regard to danger.

    CAVALCADE, n. A procession of persons on horseback; a formal, pompous march of horsemen and equipage, by way of parade, or to grace a triumph, the public entry of a person of distiction, etc.

    CAVALIER, n.

    1. A horseman, especially an armed horseman; a knight.NWAD CAVALIER.2

    2. A gay, sprightly, military man.NWAD CAVALIER.3

    3. The appellation of the party of king Charles I.NWAD CAVALIER.4

    4. In fortification, an elevation of earth, situated ordinarily in the gorge of a bastion, bordered with a parapet, with embrasures.NWAD CAVALIER.5

    5. In the manege, one who understands horsemanship; one skilled in the art of riding.NWAD CAVALIER.6

    CAVALIER, a.

    1. Gay; sprightly; warlike; brave; generous.NWAD CAVALIER.8

    2. Haughty; disdainful.NWAD CAVALIER.9

    CAVALIERLY, adv. Haughtily; arrogantly; disdainfully.

    CAVALIERNESS, n. Haughtiness; a disdainful manner.

    CAVALRY, n. A body of military troops on horses; a general term, including light-horse, dragoons, and other bodies of men, serving on horseback.

    CAVATE, v.t. To dig out and make hollow; but superseded by excavate.

    CAVATINA, n. In music, a short air, without a return or second part, which is sometimes relieved by recitative.

    CAVAZION, n. In architecture, the underdigging or hollowing of the earth for the foundation of a building, or for cellarage; allowed to be the sixth part of the highth of the building.

    CAVE, n. A hollow place in the earth; a subterraneous cavern; a den. This may be natural or artificial. The primitive inhabitants of the earth, in many countries, lived in caves; and the present inhabitants of some parts of the earth, especially in the high northern latitudes, occupy caves, particularly in winter.

    Lot dwelt in a cave, he and his daughters. Genesis 19:30.NWAD CAVE.2

    Caves were also used for the burial of the dead.NWAD CAVE.3

    Abraham buried Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelab. Genesis 23:19.NWAD CAVE.4

    Bacon applies the word to the ear, the cave of the ear; but this application is unusual.NWAD CAVE.5

    CAVE, v.t. To make hollow.

    CAVE, v.i. To dwell in a cave.

    To cave in, to fall in and leave a hollow, as earth on the side of a well or pit. When in digging into the earth, the side is excavated by a falling of a quantity of earth, it is said to cave in.NWAD CAVE.8

    CAVEAT, n.

    1. In law, a process in a court, especially in a spiritual court, to stop proceedings, as to stop the proving of a will; also to prevent the institution of a clerk to a benefice.NWAD CAVEAT.2

    In America, it is used in courts of common law.NWAD CAVEAT.3

    2. Intimation of caution; hint; warning; admonition.NWAD CAVEAT.4

    CAVEAT, v.t. To enter a caveat.

    CAVEATING, n. In fencing, is the shifting the sword from one side of that of your adversary to the other.

    CAVEATOR, n. One who enters a caveat.

    CAVERN, n. A deep hollow place in the earth. In general, it differs from cave in greater depth, and in being applied most usually to natural hollows, or chasms.

    Earth with its caverns dark and deep.NWAD CAVERN.2

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