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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    COUNTENANCE, n. [L., to hold.]

    1. Literally, the contents of a body; the outline and extent which constitutes the whole figure or external appearance. Appropriately, the human face; the whole form of the face, or system of features; visage.NWAD COUNTENANCE.2

    A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. Proverbs 15:13.NWAD COUNTENANCE.3

    Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. Matthew 6:16.NWAD COUNTENANCE.4

    2. Air; look; aspect; appearance of the face; as in the phrase, to change or alter the countenance.NWAD COUNTENANCE.5

    3. The face or look of a beast; as a horse of a good countenance.NWAD COUNTENANCE.6

    4. Favor; good will; kindness.NWAD COUNTENANCE.7

    Thou hast made him glad with thy countenance. Psalm 21:6.NWAD COUNTENANCE.8

    Hence in scriptural language, the light of Gods countenance is his smiles or favorable regards, his favor and grace; and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids. So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns. Psalm 80:16.NWAD COUNTENANCE.9

    This application of face or countenance, which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal; a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would of course express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner; the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence,NWAD COUNTENANCE.10

    5. Support; aid; patronage; encouragement; favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause.NWAD COUNTENANCE.11

    It is the province of the magistrate, to give countenance to piety and virtue.NWAD COUNTENANCE.12

    Let religion enjoy the countenance of the laws.NWAD COUNTENANCE.13

    Give no countenance to violations of moral duty.NWAD COUNTENANCE.14

    6. Show; resemblance; superficial appearance.NWAD COUNTENANCE.15

    The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.NWAD COUNTENANCE.16

    7. In law, credit or estimation.NWAD COUNTENANCE.17

    To keep the countenance, is to preserve a calm, composed or natural look, unruffled by passion; to refrain from expressing laughter, joy, anger or other passion, by an unchanged countenance.NWAD COUNTENANCE.18

    In countenance, in favor; in estimation.NWAD COUNTENANCE.19

    If the profession of religion were in countenance among men of distinction, it would have a happy effect on society.NWAD COUNTENANCE.20

    To keep in countenance, to give assurance or courage to; to support; to aid by favor; to prevent from shame or dismay.NWAD COUNTENANCE.21

    To put in countenance, to give assurance; to encourage; or to bring into favor; to support.NWAD COUNTENANCE.22

    Out of countenance, confounded; abashed; with the countenance cast down; not bold or assured.NWAD COUNTENANCE.23

    To put out of countenance, to cause the countenance to fall; to abash; to intimidate; to disconcert.NWAD COUNTENANCE.24


    1. To favor; to encourage by opinion or words.NWAD COUNTENANCE.26

    The design was made known to the minister, but he said nothing to countenance it.NWAD COUNTENANCE.27

    2. To aid; to support; to encourage; to abet; to vindicate; by any means.NWAD COUNTENANCE.28

    Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. Exodus 23:3.NWAD COUNTENANCE.29

    3. To encourage; to appear in defense.NWAD COUNTENANCE.30

    He countenanced the landing in his long boat.NWAD COUNTENANCE.31

    4. To make a show of.NWAD COUNTENANCE.32

    Each to these ladies love did countenance.NWAD COUNTENANCE.33

    5. To keep an appearance.NWAD COUNTENANCE.34

    COUNTENANCED, pp. Favored; encouraged; supported.

    COUNTENANCER, n. One who countenances, favors or supports.

    COUNTENANCING, ppr. Favoring; encouraging; supporting.

    COUNTER, n. [from count.]

    1. A false piece of money or stamped metal, used as means of reckoning; any thing used to keep an account or reckoning, as in games.NWAD COUNTER.2

    2. Money, in contempt.NWAD COUNTER.3

    3. A table or board on which money is counted; a table on which goods in a shop are laid for examination by purchasers. In lieu of this, we sometimes see written the French comptoir, from compter, computo; but counter is the genuine orthography.NWAD COUNTER.4

    4. The name of certain prisons in London.NWAD COUNTER.5

    5. One that counts or reckons; also, an auditor.NWAD COUNTER.6

    6. Encounter. [Not used.]NWAD COUNTER.7

    7. In ships, an arch or vault, whose upper part is terminated by the bottom of the stern. The upper or second counter is above the former, but not vaulted.NWAD COUNTER.8

    Counter of a horse, that part of a horses forehand which lies between the shoulder and under the neck.NWAD COUNTER.9

    COUNTER, adv. [L.]

    1. Contrary; in opposition; in an opposite direction; used chiefly with run or go; as, to run counter to the rules of virtue; he went counter to his own interest.NWAD COUNTER.11

    2. The wrong way; contrary to the right course.NWAD COUNTER.12

    3. Contrariwise; in a contrary manner.NWAD COUNTER.13

    4. The face, or at the face. [Not used.]NWAD COUNTER.14

    This word is prefixed to many others, chiefly verbs and nouns, expressing opposition.NWAD COUNTER.15

    COUNTERACT, v.t. [counter and act.] To act in opposition to; to hinder, defeat or frustrate by contrary agency. Good precepts will sometimes counteract the effects of evil example; but more generally good precepts are counteracted by bad examples.

    COUNTERACTED, pp. Hindered; frustrated; defeated by contrary agency.

    COUNTERACTING, ppr. Hindering; frustrating.

    COUNTERACTION, n. Action in opposition; hindrance.

    COUNTER-ATTRACTION, n. [counter and attraction.] Opposite attraction.

    COUNTERBALANCE, v.t. [counter and balance.] To weigh against; to weigh against with an equal weight; to act against with equal power or effect; to countervail A column of thirty inches of quicksilver, and a column of thirty-two feet of water, counterbalance the weight of a like column of the whole atmosphere. The pleasures of sin never counterbalance the pain, misery and shame which follow the commission of it.

    COUNTERBALANCE, n. Equal weight, power or agency acting in opposition to any thing.

    Money is the counterbalance of all things purchasable.NWAD COUNTERBALANCE.3

    COUNTERBALANCED, pp. Opposed by equal weight, power or effect.

    COUNTERBALANCING, ppr. Opposing by equal weight, power or operation.

    COUNTERBOND, n. [counter and bond.] A bond to save harmless one who has given bond for another.

    COUNTERBUFF, v.t. [counter and buff.] To strike back or in an opposite direction; to drive back; to stop by a blow or impulse in front.

    CONUTERBUFF, n. A blow in an opposite direction; a stroke that stops motion or causes a recoil.

    COUNTERBUFFED, pp. Struck with a blow in opposition.

    COUNTERCAST, n. Delusive contrivance; contrary cast.

    COUNTERCASTER, n. [counter and caster.] A caster of accounts; a reckoner; a bookkeeper, in contempt.

    COUNTERCHANGE, n. [counter and change.] Exchange; reciprocation.

    COUNTERCHANGE, v.t. To give and receive; or to cause to change places.

    COUNTERCHANGED, pp. Exchanged. In heraldry, intermixed, as the colors of the field and charge.

    COUNTERCHARM, n. [counter and charm.] That which has the power of dissolving or opposing the effect of a charm.

    COUNTERCHARM, v.t. To destroy the effect of enchantment.

    COUNTERCHECK, v.t. [counter and check.] To oppose or stop by some obstacle; to check.

    COUNTERCHECK, n. Check; stop; rebuke; or a censure to check a reprover.

    COUNTERCURRENT, a. [counter and current.] Running in an opposite direction.

    COUNTERCURRENT, n. A current in an opposite direction.

    COUNTERDISTINCTION, n. Contradistinction.

    COUNTERDRAW, v.t. [counter and draw.] In painting, to copy a design or painting, by means of a fine linen cloth, an oiled paper, or other transparent matter, whereon the strokes appearing through, they are traced with a pencil. The same is done on glass, and with frames or nets divided into squares with silk or thread, or by means of instruments, as the parallelogram.

    COUNTERDRAWING, ppr. Copying by means of lines drawn on some transparent matter.

    COUNTERDRAWN, pp. Copied from lines drawn on something else.

    COUNTER-EVIDENCE, n. [counter and evidence.] Opposite evidence; evidence or testimony which opposes other evidence.


    1. To forge; to copy or imitate, without authority or right, and with a view to deceive or defraud, by passing the copy or thing forged, for that which is original or genuine; as, to counterfeit coin, bank notes, a seal, a bond, a deed or other instrument in writing, the hand writing or signature of another, etc. To make a likeness or resemblance of any thing with a view to defraud.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.2

    2. To imitate; to copy; to make or put on a resemblance; as, to counterfeit the voice of another person; to counterfeit piety.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.3

    COUNTERFEIT, v.i. To feign; to dissemble; to carry on a fiction or deception.


    1. Forged; fictitious; false; fabricated without right; made in imitation of something else, with a view to defraud, by passing the false copy for genuine or original; as counterfeit coin; a counterfeit bond or deed; a counterfeit bill or exchange.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.6

    2. Assuming the appearance of something; false; hypocritical; as a counterfeit friend.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.7

    3. Having the resemblance of; false; not genuine; as counterfeit modesty.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.8


    1. A cheat; a deceitful person; one who pretends to be what he is not; one who personates another; an imposter.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.10

    2. In law, one who obtains money or goods by counterfeit letters or false tokens.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.11

    3. That which is made in imitation of something, but without lawful authority, and with a view to defraud, by passing the false for the true. We say, the note is a counterfeit.NWAD COUNTERFEIT.12

    COUNTERFEITED, pp. Forged; made in imitation of something, with a view to defraud; copied; imitated; feigned.


    1. One who counterfeits; a forger.NWAD COUNTERFEITER.2

    2. One who copies or imitates; one who assumes a false appearance.NWAD COUNTERFEITER.3

    3. One who endeavors to set off a thing in false colors.NWAD COUNTERFEITER.4

    COUNTERFEITLY, adv. By forgery; falsely; fictitiously.

    COUNTERFERMENT, n. [counter and ferment.] Ferment opposed to ferment.

    COUNTERFESANCE, n. The act of forging; forgery.

    COUNTERFOIL, COUNTERSTOCK, n. That part of a tally struck in the Exchequer, which is kept by an officer in that court, the other being delivered to the person who has lent the king money on the account, and is called the stock.

    COUNTERFORT, n. [counter and fort.] A buttress, spur or pillar serving to support a wall or terrace subject to bulge.

    COUNTERGAGE, n. [counter and gage.] In carpentry, a method used to measure the joints, by transferring the breadth of a mortise to the place where the tenon is to be, in order to make them fit each other.

    COUNTERGUARD, n. [counter and guard.] In fortification, a small rampart or work raised before the point of a bastion, consisting of two long faces parallel to the faces of the bastion, making a salient angle, to preserve the bastion. It is sometimes of a different shape, or differently situated.

    COUNTER-INFLUENCE, v.t. To hinder by opposing influence. [Little used.]

    COUNTERLIGHT, n. [counter and light.] A light opposite to any thing, which makes it appear to disadvantage.

    COUNTERMAND, v.t. [L., to command.]

    1. To revoke a former command; or to give an order contrary to one before given, which annuls a former command and forbids its execution; as, to countermand orders.NWAD COUNTERMAND.2

    2. To oppose; to contradict the orders of another.NWAD COUNTERMAND.3

    3. To prohibit. [Little used.]NWAD COUNTERMAND.4

    COUNTERMAND, n. A contrary order; revocation of a former order or command.

    COUNTERMANDED, pp. Revoked; annulled, as an order.

    COUNTERMANDING, ppr. Revoking a former order; giving directions contrary to a former command.


    1. A marching back; a returning.NWAD COUNTERMARCH.2

    2. A change of the wings or face of a battalion, so as to bring the right to the left or the front into the rear.NWAD COUNTERMARCH.3

    3. A change of measures; alteration of conduct.NWAD COUNTERMARCH.4

    COUNTERMARK, n. [counter and mark.]

    1. A second or third mark put on a bale of goods belonging to several merchants, that it may not be opened, but in the presence of all the owners.NWAD COUNTERMARK.2

    2. The mark of the goldsmiths company, to show the metal to be standard, added to that of the artificer.NWAD COUNTERMARK.3

    3. An artificial cavity made in the teeth of horses, that have outgrown their natural mark, to disguise their age.NWAD COUNTERMARK.4

    4. A mark added to a medal, a long time after it has been struck, by which its several changes of value may be known.NWAD COUNTERMARK.5

    COUNTERMARK, v.t. To mark the corner teeth of a horse by an artificial cavity, to disguise his age.

    COUNTERMINE, n. [counter and mine.]

    1. In military affairs, a well and gallery sunk in the earth and running under ground, in search of the enemys mine, or till it meets it, to defeat its effect.NWAD COUNTERMINE.2

    2. Means of opposition or counteraction.NWAD COUNTERMINE.3

    3. A stratagem or project to frustrate any contrivance.NWAD COUNTERMINE.4


    1. To sink a well and gallery in the earth, in search of an enemys mine, to frustrate his designs.NWAD COUNTERMINE.6

    2. To counterwork; to frustrate by secret and opposite measures.NWAD COUNTERMINE.7

    COUNTER-MOTION, n. [counter and motion.] An opposite motion; a motion counteracting another.

    COUNTER-MOVEMENT, n. A movement in opposition to another.

    COUNTERMURE, n. [L., a wall.] A wall raised behind another, to supply its place, when a breach is made.

    COUNTERMURE, n. To fortify with a wall behind another.

    COUNTER-NATURAL, a. [counter and natural.] Contrary to nature.

    COUNTER-NEGOTIATION, n. [counter and negotiation.] Negotiation in opposition to other negotiation.

    COUNTERNOISE, n. [counter and noise.] A noise or sound by which another noise or sound is overpowered.

    COUNTER-OPENING, n. [counter and opening.] An aperture or vent on the opposite side, or in a different place.

    COUNTERPACE, n. [counter and pace.] A step or measure in opposition to another; contrary measure or attempt.

    COUNTERPALED, a. [counter and pale.] In heraldry, is when the escutcheon is divided into twelve pales parted perfesse, the two colors being counterchanged; so that the upper and lower are of different colors.


    1. A particular kind of coverlet for a bed. [See Counterpoint.]NWAD COUNTERPANE.2

    2. One part of an indenture.NWAD COUNTERPANE.3

    COUNTERPART, n. [counter and part.]

    1. The correspondent part; the part that answers to another, as the two papers of a contract or indentures; a copy; a duplicate. Also, the part which fits another, as the key of a cipher.NWAD COUNTERPART.2

    2. In music, the part to be applied to another; as, the base is the counterpart to the treble.NWAD COUNTERPART.3

    COUNTERPASSANT, a. [counter and passant.] In heraldry, is when two lions in a coat of arms are represented as going contrary ways.

    COUNTER-PETITION, n. A petition in opposition to another.

    COUNTERPLEA, n. [counter and plea.] In law, a replication to a plea, or request.

    COUNTERPLOT, v.t. [counter and plot.] To oppose one plot to another; to attempt to frustrate stratagem by stratagem.

    COUNTERPLOT, n. A plot or artifice opposed to another.

    COUNTERPLOTTING, n. A plotting in opposition to a stratagem.


    1. A coverlet; a cover for a bed, stitched or woven in squares; written corruptly counterpane.NWAD COUNTERPOINT.2

    2. In music, counterpoint is when the musical characters by which the notes in each part are signified, are placed in such a manner, each with respect to each, as to show how the parts answer one to another. Hence counterpoint in composition is the art of combining and modulating consonant sounds.NWAD COUNTERPOINT.3

    3. An opposite point.NWAD COUNTERPOINT.4

    COUNTERPOISE, v.t. s as z. [See Poise.]

    1. To counterbalance; to weigh against with equal weight; to be equiponderant to; to equal in weight.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.2

    The force and distance of weights counterpoising each other, ought to be reciprocal.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.3

    The heaviness of bodies must be counterpoised by a plummet fastened about the pulley to the axis.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.4

    2. To act against the equal power or effect; to balance. The wisdom of the senate may be able to counterpoise the rash impetuosity of a democratic house.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.5


    1. Equal weight acting in opposition to something; equiponderance; a weight sufficient to balance another in the opposite scale; equal balance.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.7

    2. Equal power or force acting in opposition; a force sufficient to balance another force; equipollence.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.8

    The second nobles are a counterpoise to the higher nobility.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.9

    3. In the manege, a position of the rider in which his body is duly balanced in his seat, not inclined more to one than the other.NWAD COUNTERPOISE.10

    COUNTERPOISED, pp. Balanced by an equivalent opposing weight, or by equal power.

    COUNTERPOISING, ppr. Balancing by equal weight in the opposite scale, or by equal power.

    COUNTERPOISON, n. s as z. [counter and poison.] One poison that destroys the effect of another; an antidote; a medicine that obviates the effects of poison.

    CONTERPRACTICE, n. Practice in opposition to another.

    COUNTERPRESSURE, n. [counter and pressure.] Opposing pressure; a force or pressure that acts in a contrary direction.

    COUNTERPROJECT, n. [counter and project.] A project, scheme or proposal, of one party, given in opposition to another, before given by the other party; as in the negotiation of a treaty.

    COUNTERPROOF, n. [counter and proof.] In rolling-press printing, a print taken off from another fresh printed, which, by being passed through the press, gives the figure of the former, but inverted.

    COUNTERPROVE, v.t. [counter and prove.] To take off a design in black lead or red chalk, by passing it through a rolling press with another piece of paper, both being moistened with a spunge.

    COUNTER-REVOLUTION, n. A revolution opposed to a former one, and restoring a former state of things.

    COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY, a. Pertaining to a counter-revolution.

    COUNTER-REVOLUTIONIST, n. One engaged in or befriending a conter-revolution.

    COUNTERROLL, n. [counter and roll.]

    1. In law, a counterpart or copy of the rolls, relating to appeals, inquests, etc.NWAD COUNTERROLL.2

    2. As a verb, this word is contracted into control, which see.NWAD COUNTERROLL.3

    COUNTERROLMENT, n. A counter account. [See Control.]

    COUNTER-SALIANT, a. In heraldry, is when two beasts are borne in a coat leaping from each other.

    COUNTERSCARP, n. In fortification, the exterior talus or slope of the ditch, or the talus that supports the earth of the covered way; but it often signifies the whole covered way, with its parapet and glacis; as when it is said, the enemy have lodged themselves on the counterscarp.

    COUNTERSCUFFLE, n. Opposite scuffle; contest.

    COUNTERSEAL, v.t. To seal with another.

    COUNTER-SECURE, v.t. [counter and secure.] To secure one who has given security.

    COUNTER-SECURITY, n. Security given to one who has entered into bonds or become surety for another.

    COUNTERSENSE, n. Opposite meaning.

    COUNTERSIGN, v.t. [counter and sign.] Literally, to sign on the opposite side of an instrument or writing; hence, to sign, as secretary or other subordinate officer, a writing signed by a principal or superior, to attest the authenticity of the writing. Thus charters signed by a king are countersigned by a secretary. Bank notes signed by the president are countersigned by the cashier.

    COUNTERSIGN, n. A private signal, word or phrase, given to soldiers on guard, with orders to let no man pass unless he first names that sign; a military watchword. Advance and give the countersign.

    COUNTERSIGNAL, n. A signal to answer or correspond to another; a naval term.

    COUTER-SIGNATURE, n. The name of a secretary or other subordinate officer, countersigned to a writing.

    Below the Imperial name is commonly a countersignature of one of the cabinet ministers.NWAD COUTER-SIGNATURE.2

    COUNTERSIGNED, pp. Signed by a secretary or other subordinate officer.

    COUNTERSIGNING, ppr. Attesting by the signature of a subordinate officer.

    COUNTERSTATUTE, n. A contrary statute, or ordinance.

    COUNTERSTROKE, n. A contrary stroke; a stroke returned.

    COUNTER-SURETY, n. A counterbond, or a surety to secure one that has given security.

    COUNTERSWAY, n. Contrary sway; opposite influence.

    COUNTERTALLY, n. A tally corresponding to another.

    COUNTERTASTE, n. [counter and taste.] Opposite or false taste.

    COUNTERTENOR, COUNTER, n. [counter and tenor.] In music, one of the middle parts, between the tenor and the treble; high tenor.

    COUNTERTIDE, n. [counter and tide.] Contrary tide.

    COUNTERTIME, n. [counter and time.]

    1. In the manege, the defense or resistance of a horse that interrupts his cadence and the measure of his manege, occasioned by a bad horseman or the bad temper of the horse.NWAD COUNTERTIME.2

    2. Resistance; opposition.NWAD COUNTERTIME.3

    COUNTERTURN, n. The highth of a play, which puts an end to expectation.

    COUNTERVAIL, v.t. [counter and L., to avail or be strong.] To act against with equal force, or power; to equal; to act with equivalent effect against any thing; to balance; to compensate.

    The profit will hardly countervail the inconveniences.NWAD COUNTERVAIL.2

    Although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage. Esther 7:4.NWAD COUNTERVAIL.3

    COUNTERVAIL, n. Equal weight or strength; power or value sufficient to obviate any effect; equal weight or value; compensation; requital.

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