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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    DECOMPOUND, v.t.

    1. To compound a second time; to compound or mix with that which is already compound; to form by a second composition.NWAD DECOMPOUND.2

    2. To decompose.NWAD DECOMPOUND.3


    1. Composed of things or words already compounded; compounded a second time.NWAD DECOMPOUND.5

    2. A decompound leaf, in botany, is when the primary petiole is so divided that each part forms a compound leaf. A decompound flower is formed of compound flowers, or containing, within a common calyx, smaller calyxes, common to several flowers.NWAD DECOMPOUND.6

    DECOMPOUNDABLE, a. That may be decompounded.

    DECOMPOUNDED, pp. Compounded a second time; composed of things already compounded.

    DECOMPOUNDING, ppr. Compounding a second time.

    DECORATE, v.t. [L. comeliness, grace.]

    1. To adorn; to beautify; to embellish; used of external ornaments or apparel; as, to decorate the person; to decorate an edifice; to decorate a lawn with flowers.NWAD DECORATE.2

    2. To adorn with internal grace or beauty; to render lovely; as, to decorate the mind with virtue.NWAD DECORATE.3

    3. To adorn or beautify with any thing agreeable; to embellish; as, to decorate a hero with honors, or a lady with accomplishments.NWAD DECORATE.4

    DECORATED, pp. Adorned; beautified; embellished.

    DECORATING, ppr. Adorning; embellishing; rendering beautiful to the eye, or lovely to the mind.


    1. Ornament; embellishment; any thing added which renders more agreeable to the eye or to the intellectual view.NWAD DECORATION.2

    2. In architecture, any thing which adorns and enriches an edifice, as vases, paintings, figures, festoons, etc.NWAD DECORATION.3

    3. In theaters, the scenes, which are changed as occasion requires.NWAD DECORATION.4

    DECORATOR, n. One who adorns or embellishes.

    DECOROUS, a. Decent; suitable to a character, or to the time, place and occasion; becoming; proper; befitting; as a decorous speech; decorous behavior; a decorous dress for a judge.

    DECOROUSLY, adv. In a becoming manner.

    DECORTICATE, v.t. [L. bark.] To strip off bark; to peel; to husk; to take off the exterior coat; as, to decorticate barley.

    DECORTICATED, pp. Stripped of bark; peeled; husked.

    DECORTICATING, ppr. Stripping off bark or the external coat; peeling.

    DECORTICATION, n. The act of stripping off bark or husk.

    DECORUM, n. [L. to become.]

    1. Propriety of speech or behavior; suitableness of speech and behavior, to one’s own character, and to the characters present, or to the place and occasion; seemliness; decency; opposed to rudeness, licentiousness, or levity.NWAD DECORUM.2

    To speak and behave with decorum is essential to good breeding.NWAD DECORUM.3

    2. In architecture, the suitableness of a building, and of its parts and ornaments, to its place and uses.NWAD DECORUM.4

    DECOY, n.

    1. Any thing intended to lead into a snare; any lure or allurement that deceives and misleads into evil, danger or the power of an enemy.NWAD DECOY.2

    2. A place for catching wild fowls.NWAD DECOY.3

    DECOY-DUCK, n. A duck employed to draw others into a net or situation to be taken.

    DECOYED, pp. Lured or drawn into a snare or net; allured into danger by deception.

    DECOYING, ppr. Luring into a snare or net by deception; leading into evil or danger.

    DECOY-MAN, n. A man employed in decoying and catching fowls.

    DECREASE, v.i. [L. To grow.] To become less; to be diminished gradually, in extent, bulk, quantity, or amount, or in strength, quality, or excellence; as, the days decrease in length from June to December.

    He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30.NWAD DECREASE.2

    DECREASE, v.t. To lessen; to make smaller in dimensions, amount, quality or excellence, etc.; to diminish gradually or by small deductions; as, extravagance decreases the means of charity; every payment decreases a debt; intemperance decreases the strength and powers of life.

    DECREASE, n.

    1. A becoming less; gradual diminution; decay; as a decrease of revenue; a decrease of strength.NWAD DECREASE.5

    2. The wane of the moon; the gradual diminution of the visible face of the moon from the full to the change.NWAD DECREASE.6

    DECREASED, pp. Lessened; diminished.

    DECREASING, ppr. Becoming less; diminishing; waning.

    DECREE, n. [L. To judge; to divide.]

    1. Judicial decision, or determination of a litigated cause; as a decree of the court of chancery. The decision of a court of equity is called a decree; that of a court of law, a judgment.NWAD DECREE.2

    2. In the civil law, a determination or judgment of the emperor on a suit between parties.NWAD DECREE.3

    3. An edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction; as the decrees of ecclesiastical councils.NWAD DECREE.4

    4. In general, an order, edict or law made by a superior as a rule to govern inferiors.NWAD DECREE.5

    There went a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. Luke 2:1.NWAD DECREE.6

    5. Established law, or rule.NWAD DECREE.7

    He made a decree for the rain. Job 28:26.NWAD DECREE.8

    6. In theology, predetermined purpose of God; the purpose or determination of an immutable Being, whose plan of operations is, like himself, unchangeable.NWAD DECREE.9

    DECREE, v.t.

    1. To determine judicially; to resolve by sentence; as, the court decreed that the property should be restored; or they decreed a restoration of the property.NWAD DECREE.11

    2. To determine or resolve legislatively; to fix or appoint; to set or constitute by edict or in purpose.NWAD DECREE.12

    Thou shalt decree a thing, and it shall be established. Job 22:28.NWAD DECREE.13

    Let us not be solicitous to know what God has decreed concerning us.NWAD DECREE.14

    DECREED, pp. Determined judicially; resolved; appointed; established in purpose.

    DECREEING, ppr. Determining; resolving; appointing; ordering.


    1. Decrease; waste; the state of becoming less gradually.NWAD DECREMENT.2

    Rocks and mountains suffer a continual decrement.NWAD DECREMENT.3

    2. The quantity lost by gradual diminution, or waste.NWAD DECREMENT.4

    3. In heraldry, the wane of the moon.NWAD DECREMENT.5

    4. In crystalography, a successive diminution of the lamens of molecules, applied to the faces of the primitive form, by which the secondary forms are supposed to be produced.NWAD DECREMENT.6

    DECREPIT, a. [L. to break.] Broken down with age; wasted or worn by the infirmities of old age; being in the last stage of decay; weakened by age.

    DECREPITATE, v.t. [L. To break or burst, to crackle.] To roast or calcine in a strong heat, with a continual bursting or crackling of the substance; as, to decrepitate salt.

    DECREPITATE, v.i. To crackle, as salts when roasting.

    DECREPITATED, pp. Roasted with a crackling noise.

    DECREPITATING, ppr. Crackling; roasting with a crackling noise; suddenly bursting when exposed to heat.

    DECREPITATION, n. The act of roasting with a continual crackling; or the separation of parts with a crackling noise, occasioned by heat.

    DECREPITNESS, DECREPITUDE, n. The broken, crazy state of the body, produced by decay and the infirmities of age.

    DECRESCENT, a. Decreasing; becoming less by gradual diminution; as a decrescent moon.

    DECRETAL, n.

    1. A letter of the pope, determining some point or question in ecclesiastical law. The decretals form the second part of the canon law.NWAD DECRETAL.2

    2. A book of decrees, or edicts; a body of laws.NWAD DECRETAL.3

    3. A collection of the popes decrees.NWAD DECRETAL.4

    DECRETION, n. A decreasing.

    DECRETIST, n. One who studies or professes the knowledge of the decretals.

    DECRETORILY, adv. In a definitive manner.


    1. Judicial; definitive; established by a decree.NWAD DECRETORY.2

    The decretory rigors of a condemning sentence.NWAD DECRETORY.3

    2. Critical; determining; in which there is some definitive event; as, critical or decretory days.NWAD DECRETORY.4

    DECREW, v.i. To decrease.

    DECRIAL, n. A crying down; a clamorous censure; condemnation by censure.

    DECRIED, pp. Cried down; descredited; brought into disrepute.

    DECRIER, n. One who decries.

    DECROWN, v.t. To deprive of a crown.

    DECRY, v.t.

    1. To cry down; to censure as faulty, mean or worthless; to clamor against; to discredit by finding fault; as, to decry a poem.NWAD DECRY.2

    2. To cry down, as improper or unnecessary; to rail or clamor against; to bring into desrepute; as, to decry the measures of administration.NWAD DECRY.3

    DECUBATION, n. The act of lying down.

    DECUMBENCE, DECUMBENCY, n. [L. To lie down.] The act of lying down; the posture of lying down.

    DECUMBENT, a. In botany, declined or bending down; having the stamens and pistils bending down to the lower side; as a decumbent flower.


    1. The time at which a person takes to his bed in a disease.NWAD DECUMBITURE.2

    2. In astrology, the scheme or aspect of the heavens, by which the prognostics of recovery or death are discovered.NWAD DECUMBITURE.3

    DECUPLE, a. [L. Ten.] Tenfold; containing ten times as many.

    DECUPLE, n. A number ten times repeated.

    DECURION, n. [L. Ten] An officer in the Roman army, who commanded a decuria, or ten soldiers, which was a third part of the turma, and a thirtieth of the legion of cavalry.

    DECURRENT, a. [L. To run down; to run.] Extending downwards. A decurrent leaf is a sessile leaf having its base extending downwards along the stem.

    DECURSION, n. [L. To run.] The act of running down, as a stream.

    DECURSIVE, a. Running down.

    Decursively pinnate, in botany, applied to a leaf, having the leaflets decurrent or running along the petiole.NWAD DECURSIVE.2

    DECURT, v.t. To shorten by cutting off.

    DECURTATION, n. [L. To shorten.] Tha act of shortening, or cutting short.

    DECURY, n. [L. Ten.] A set of ten men under an officer called decurio.

    DECUSSATE, v.t. [L. To cut or strike across.] To intersect at acute angles, thus X; or in general, to intersect; to cross; as lines, rays, or nerves in the body.

    DECUSSATE, DECUSSATED, a. Crossed; intersected. In botany, decussated leaves and branches, are such as grow in pairs which alternately cross each other at right angles, or in a regular manner.

    In rhetoric, a decussated period is one that consists of two rising and two falling clauses, placed in alternate opposition to each other. For example, If impudence could effect as much in courts of justice, as insolence sometimes does in the country, Caesina would now yield to the impudence of Ebutius, as he then yielded to his insolent assault.NWAD DECUSSATE.3

    DECUSSATING, ppr. Intersecting at acute angles; crossing.

    DECUSSATION, n. The act of crossing at unequal angles; the crossing of two lines, rays or nerves, which meet in a point and then proceed and diverge.

    DEDALIAN, a. Various; variegated; intricate; complex; expert.

    DEDALOUS, a. Having a margin with various windings and turnings; of a beautiful and delicate texture; a term applied to the leaves of plants.

    DEDECORATE, v.t. To disgrace.

    DEDECORATION, n. A disgracing.

    DEDENTITION, n. The shedding of teeth.

    DEDICATE, v.t. [L. To vow, promise, devote, dedicate. See Class Dg. No. 12, 15, 45. The sense is to send, to throw; hence, to set, to appoint.]

    1. To set apart and consecrate to a divine Being, or to a sacred purpose; to devote to a sacred use, by a solemn act, or by religious ceremonies; as, to dedicate vessels, treasures, a temple, an altar, or a church, to God or to a religious use.NWAD DEDICATE.2

    Vessels of silver, of gold, and of brass, which king David did dedicate to the Lord. 2 Samuel 8:11.NWAD DEDICATE.3

    2. To appropriate solemnly to any person or purpose; to give wholly or chiefly to. The ministers of the gospel dedicate themselves, their time and their studies, to the service of Christ. A soldier dedicates himself to the profession of arms.NWAD DEDICATE.4

    3. To inscribe or address to a patron; as, to dedicate a book.NWAD DEDICATE.5

    DEDICATE, a. Consecrated; devoted; appropriated.

    DEDICATED, pp. Devoted to a divine Being, or to a sacred use; consecrated; appropriated; given wholly to.

    DEDICATING, ppr. Devoting to a divine Being, or to a sacred purpose; consecrating; appropriating; giving wholly to.


    1. The act of consecrating to a divine Being, or to a sacred use, often with religious solemnities; solemn appropriation; as the dedication of Solomons temple.NWAD DEDICATION.2

    2. The act of devoting or giving to.NWAD DEDICATION.3

    3. An address to a patron, prefixed to a book, testifying respect and recommending the work to his protection and favor.NWAD DEDICATION.4

    DEDICATOR, n. One who dedicates; one who inscribes a book to the favor of a patron.

    DEDICATORY, a. Composing a dedication; as an epistle dedicatory.

    DEDITION, n. [L. To yield.] The act of yielding any thing; surrendry.

    DEDOLENT, a. Feeling no compunction.

    DEDUCE, v.t. [L. To lead, bring or draw.]

    1. To draw from; to bring from.NWAD DEDUCE.2

    O goddess, say, shall I deduce my rhymesNWAD DEDUCE.3

    From the dire nation in its early times?NWAD DEDUCE.4

    2. To draw from, in reasoning; to gather a truth, opinion or proposition from premises; to infer something from what precedes.NWAD DEDUCE.5

    Reasoning is nothing but the faculty of deducing unknown truths from principles already known.NWAD DEDUCE.6

    3. To deduct.NWAD DEDUCE.7

    4. To transplant.NWAD DEDUCE.8

    DEDUCED, pp. Drawn from; inferred; as a consequence from principles or premises.

    DEDUCEMENT, n. The thing drawn from or deduced; inference; that which is collected from premises.

    DEDUCIBLE, a. That may be deduced; inferable; collectible by reason from premises; consequential.

    The properties of a triangle are deducible from the complex idea of three lines including a space.NWAD DEDUCIBLE.2

    DEDUCING, ppr. Drawing from; inferring; collecting from principles or facts already established or known.

    DEDUCIVE, a. Performing the act of deduction.

    DEDUCT, v.t. To take from; to subtract; to separate or remove, in numbering, estimating or calculating. Thus we say, from the sum of two numbers, deduct the lesser number; from the amount of profits, deduct the charges of freight.

    DEDUCTED, pp. Taken from; subtracted.

    DEDUCTING, ppt. Taking from; subtracting.


    1. The act of deducting.NWAD DEDUCTION.2

    2. That which is deducted; sum or amount taken from another; defalcation; abatement; as, this sum is a deduction from the yearly rent.NWAD DEDUCTION.3

    3. That which is drawn from premises; fact, opinion, or hypothesis, collected from principles or facts stated, or established data; inference; consequence drawn; conclusion; as, this opinion is a fair deduction from the principles you have advanced.NWAD DEDUCTION.4

    DEDUCTIVE, a. Deducible; that is or may be deduced from premises.

    All knowledge is deductive.NWAD DEDUCTIVE.2

    DEDUCTIVELY, adv. By regular deduction; by way of inference; by consequence.

    DEED, n.

    1. That which is done, acted or effected; an act; a fact; a word of extensive application, including whatever is done, good or bad, great or small.NWAD DEED.2

    And Joseph said to them, what deed is this which ye have done? Genesis 44:15.NWAD DEED.3

    We receive the due reward of our deeds. Luke 23:41.NWAD DEED.4

    2. Exploit; achievement; illustrious act.NWAD DEED.5

    Whose deeds some nobler poem shall adorn.NWAD DEED.6

    3. Power of action; agency.NWAD DEED.7

    With will and deed created free.NWAD DEED.8

    4. A writing containing some contract or agreement, and the evidence of its execution; particularly, an instrument on paper or parchment, conveying real estate to a purchaser or donee. This instrument must be executed, and the execution attested, in the manner prescribed by law.NWAD DEED.9

    Indeed, in fact; in reality. These words are united and called an adverb. But sometimes they are separated by very, in very deed; a more emphatical expression. Exodus 9:16.NWAD DEED.10

    DEED, v.t. To convey or transfer by deed; a popular use of the word in America; as, he deeded all his estate to his eldest son.

    DEED-ACHIEVING, a. That accomplishes great deeds.

    DEEDLESS, a. Inactive; not performing or having performed deeds or exploits.

    DEED-POLL, n. A deed not indented, that is, shaved or even, made by one party only.

    DEEM, v.t.

    1. To think; to judge; to be of opinion; to conclude on consideration; as, he deems it prudent to be silent.NWAD DEEM.2

    For never can I deem him less than god.NWAD DEEM.3

    The shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country. Acts 27:27.NWAD DEEM.4

    2. To estimate.NWAD DEEM.5

    DEEM, n. Opinion; judgment; surmise.

    DEEMED, pp. Thought; judged; supposed.

    DEEMING, ppr. Thinking; judging; believing.

    DEEMSTER, n. A judge in the Isle of Man and in Jersey.

    DEEP, a.

    1. Extending or being far below the surface; descending far downward; profound; opposed to shallow; as deep water; a deep pit or well.NWAD DEEP.2

    2. Low in situation; being or descending far below the adjacent land; as a deep valley.NWAD DEEP.3

    3. Entering far; piercing a great way. A tree in a good soil takes deep root. A spear struck deep into the flesh.NWAD DEEP.4

    4. Far from the outer part; secreted.NWAD DEEP.5

    A spider deep ambushed in her den.NWAD DEEP.6

    5. Not superficial or obvious; hidden; secret.NWAD DEEP.7

    He discovereth deep things out of darkness. Job 12:22.NWAD DEEP.8

    6. Remote from comprehension.NWAD DEEP.9

    O Lord, thy thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:5.NWAD DEEP.10

    7. Sagacious; penetrating; having the power to enter far into a subject; as a man of deep thought; a deep divine.NWAD DEEP.11

    8. Artful; contriving; concealing artifice; insidious; designing; as a friend, deep, hollow treacherous.NWAD DEEP.12

    9. Grave in sound; low; as the deep tones of an organ.NWAD DEEP.13

    10. Very still; solemn; profound; as deep silence.NWAD DEEP.14

    11. Thick; black; not to be penetrated by the sight.NWAD DEEP.15

    Now deeper darkness brooded on the ground.NWAD DEEP.16

    12. Still; sound; not easily broken or disturbed.NWAD DEEP.17

    The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. Genesis 2:21.NWAD DEEP.18

    13. Depressed; sunk low, metaphorically; as deep poverty.NWAD DEEP.19

    14. Dark; intense; strongly colored; as a deep brown; a deep crimson; a deep blue.NWAD DEEP.20

    15. Unknown; unintelligible.NWAD DEEP.21

    A people of deeper speech than thou canst perceive. Isaiah 33:19.NWAD DEEP.22

    16. Heart-felt; penetrating; affecting; as a deep sense of guilt.NWAD DEEP.23

    17. Intricate; not easily understood or unraveled; as a deep plot or intrigue.NWAD DEEP.24

    This word often qualifies a verb, like an adverb.NWAD DEEP.25

    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.NWAD DEEP.26

    DEEP, n.

    1. The sea; the abyss of waters; the ocean.NWAD DEEP.28

    He maketh the deep to boil like a pot. Job 41:31.NWAD DEEP.29

    2. A lake; a great collection of water.NWAD DEEP.30

    Lanch out into the deep, and let down your nets. Luke 5:4.NWAD DEEP.31

    3. That which is profound, not easily fathomed, or incomprehensible.NWAD DEEP.32

    Thy judgments are a great deep. Psalm 36:6.NWAD DEEP.33

    4. The most still or solemn part; the midst; as, in deep of night.NWAD DEEP.34

    DEEPEN, v.t.

    1. To make deep or deeper; to sink lower; as, to deepen the channel of a river or harbor; to deepen a well.NWAD DEEPEN.2

    2. To make dark or darker; to make more thick or gloomy; as, to deepen the shades of night; to deepen gloom.NWAD DEEPEN.3

    3. To give a darker hue, or a stronger color; as, to deepen a color; to deepen a red, blue or crimson color.NWAD DEEPEN.4

    4. To make more poignant or distressing; as, to deepen grief or sorrow.NWAD DEEPEN.5

    5. To make more frightful; as, to deepen the horrors of the scene.NWAD DEEPEN.6

    6. To make more sad or gloomy; as, to deepen the murmurs of the flood.NWAD DEEPEN.7

    7. To make more grave; as, to deepen the tones of an organ.NWAD DEEPEN.8

    DEEPEN, v.i. To become more deep; as, the water deepens at every cast of the lead.

    DEEPENED, pp. Made more deep.

    DEEPENING, ppr. Sinking lower; making more deep.

    DEEPLY, adv.

    1. At or to a great depth; far below the surface; as a passion deeply rooted in our nature; precepts deeply engraven on the heart.NWAD DEEPLY.2

    2. Profoundly; thoroughly; as deeply skilled in ethics or anatomy.NWAD DEEPLY.3

    3. To or from the inmost recesses of the heart; eith great sorrow; most feelingly.NWAD DEEPLY.4

    He sighed deeply in his spirit. Mark 8:12.NWAD DEEPLY.5

    He was deeply affected at the sight.NWAD DEEPLY.6

    4. To a great degree; as, he has deeply offended.NWAD DEEPLY.7

    They have deeply corrupted themselves. Hosea 9:9.NWAD DEEPLY.8

    5. With a dark hye, or strong color; as a deeply red liquor; deeply colored.NWAD DEEPLY.9

    6. Gravely; as a deeply toned instrument.NWAD DEEPLY.10

    7. With profound skill; with art or intricacy; as a deeply laid plot or intrigue.NWAD DEEPLY.11

    This word cannot easily be defined in all its various applications. In general it gives emphasis or intensity to the word which it qualifies.NWAD DEEPLY.12

    DEEP-MOUTHED, a. Having a hoarse, loud, hollow voice; as a deep-mouthed dog.

    DEEP-MUSING, a. Contemplative; thinking closely or profoundly.

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