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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    DELUGE, n. [L. To wash.]

    1. Any overflowing of water; an inundation; a flood; a swell of water over the natural banks of a river or shore of the ocean, spreading over the adjacent land. But appropriately, the great flood or overflowing of the earth by water, in the days of Noah; according to the common chronology, Anno Mundi, 1656. Genesis 6:17.NWAD DELUGE.2

    2. A sweeping or overwhelming calamity.NWAD DELUGE.3

    DELUGE, v.t.

    1. To overflow with water; to inundate; to drown. The waters deluged the earth and destroyed the old world.NWAD DELUGE.5

    2. To overwhelm; to cover with any flowing or moving, spreading body. The Northern nations deluged the Roman empire with their armies.NWAD DELUGE.6

    3. To overwhelm; to cause to sink under the weight of a general or spreading calamity; as, the land is deluged with corruption.NWAD DELUGE.7

    DELUGED, pp. Overflowed; inundated; overwhelmed.

    DELUGING, ppr. Overflowing; inundating; overwhelming.

    DELUSION, n. s as z.

    1. The act of deluding; deception; a misleading of the mind. We are all liable to the delusions of artifice.NWAD DELUSION.2

    2. False representation; illusion; error or mistake proceeding from false views.NWAD DELUSION.3

    And fondly mournd the dear delusion gone.NWAD DELUSION.4

    DELUSIVE, a. Apt to deceive; tending to mislead the mind; deceptive; beguiling; as delusive arts; delusive appearances.

    DELUSIVENESS, n. The quality of being delusive; tendency to deceive.

    DELUSORY, a. Apt to deceive; deceptive.

    DELVE, v.t. Delv. [L. A mole, perhaps the delver.]

    1. To dig; to open the ground with a spade.NWAD DELVE.2

    Delve of convenient depth your thrashing floor.NWAD DELVE.3

    2. To fathom; to sound; to penetrate.NWAD DELVE.4

    I cannot delve him to the root.NWAD DELVE.5

    DELVE, n. Delv. A place dug: a pit; a pitfall; a ditch; a den; a cave.

    Delve of coals, a quantity of fossil coals dug.NWAD DELVE.7

    DELVER, n. One who digs, as with a spade.

    DELVING, ppr. Digging.

    DEMAGOGUE, n. Demagog. [Gr. The populas, and to lead.]

    1. A leader of the people; an orator who pleases the populace and influences them to adhere to him.NWAD DEMAGOGUE.2

    2. Any leader of the populace; any factious man who has great influence with the great body of people in a city or community.NWAD DEMAGOGUE.3

    DEMAIN, n.

    1. A manor-house and the land adjacent or near, which a lord keeps in his own hands or immediate occupation, for the use of his family, as distinguished from his tenemental lands, distributed among his tenants, called book-land, or charter-land, and folk-land, or estates held in villenage, from which sprung copyhold estates.NWAD DEMAIN.2

    2. Estate in lands.NWAD DEMAIN.3

    DEMAND, v.t. [L. To command; to send; hence, to commit or entrust. To ask is to press or urge.]

    1. To ask or call for, as one who has a claim or right to receive what is sought; to claim or seek as due by right. The creditor demands principal and interest of his debt. Here the claim is derived from law or justice.NWAD DEMAND.2

    2. To ask by authority; to require; to seek or claim an answer by virtue of a right or supposed right in the interrogator, derived from his office, station, power or authority.NWAD DEMAND.3

    The officers of the children of Israel-were beaten, and demanded, wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick. Exodus 5:14.NWAD DEMAND.4

    3. To require as necessary or useful; as, the execution of this work demands great industry and care.NWAD DEMAND.5

    4. To ask; to question; to inquire.NWAD DEMAND.6

    The soldiers also demanded of him, saying, what shall we do? Luke 3:14.NWAD DEMAND.7

    5. To ask or require, as a seller of goods; as, what price do you demand?NWAD DEMAND.8

    6. To sue for; to seek to obtain by legal process; as, the plaintiff, in his action, demands unreasonable damages.NWAD DEMAND.9

    In French, demander generally signifies simply to ask, request, or petition, when the answer or thing asked for, is a matter of grace or courtesy. But in English, demand is now seldom used in that sense, and rarely indeed can the French demander be rendered correctly in English by demand, except in the case of the seller of goods, who demands, [asks, requires,] a certain price for his wares. The common expression, a king sent to demand another kings daughter in marriage, is improper.NWAD DEMAND.10

    DEMAND, n.

    1. An asking for or claim made by virtue of a right or supposed right to the thing sought; an asking with authority; a challenging as due; as, the demand of the creditor was reasonable; the note is payable on demand.NWAD DEMAND.12

    He that has confidence to turn his wishes into demands, will be but a little way from thinking he ought to obtain them.NWAD DEMAND.13

    2. The asking or requiring of a price for goods offered for sale; as, I cannot agree to his demand.NWAD DEMAND.14

    3. That which is or may be claimed as due; debt; as, what are your demands on the estate?NWAD DEMAND.15

    4. The calling for in order to purchase; desire to possess; as, the demand for the Bible has been great and extensive; copies are in great demand.NWAD DEMAND.16

    5. A desire or a seeking to obtain. We say, the company of a gentleman is in great demand; the lady is in great demand or request.NWAD DEMAND.17

    6. In law, the asking or seeking for what is due or claimed as due, either expressly by words, or by implication, as by seizure of goods, or entry into lands.NWAD DEMAND.18

    DEMANDABLE, a. That may be demanded, claimed, asked for, or required; as, payment is demandable at the expiration of the credit.

    DEMANDANT, n. One who demands; the plaintiff in a real action; any plaintiff.

    DEMANDED, pp. Called for; claimed; challenged as due; requested; required; interrogated.

    DEMANDER, n. One who demands; one who requires with authority; one who claims as due; one who asks; one who seeks to obtain.

    DEMANDING, ppr. Claiming or calling for as due, or by authority; requiring; asking; pursuing a claim by legal process; interrogating.

    DEMANDRESS, n. A female demandant.

    DEMARCH, n. March; walk; gait.


    1. The act of marking, or of ascertaining and setting a limit.NWAD DEMARKATION.2

    2. A limit or bound ascertained and fixed; line of separation marked or determined.NWAD DEMARKATION.3

    The speculative line of demarkation, where obedience ought to end and resistance begin, is faint, obscure, and not easily definable.NWAD DEMARKATION.4

    DEMEAN, v.t.

    1. To behave; to carry; to conduct; with the reciprocal pronoun; as, it is our duty to demean ourselves with humility.NWAD DEMEAN.2

    2. To treat.NWAD DEMEAN.3

    DEMEAN, v.t. To debase; to undervalue.

    DEMEAN, n.

    1. Behavior; carriage; demeanor.NWAD DEMEAN.6

    2. Mien.NWAD DEMEAN.7

    DEMEANOR, n. Behavior; carriage; deportment; as decent demeanor; sad demeanor.

    DEMEANURE, n. Behavior.

    DEMENCY, n. Madness.

    DEMENTATE, a. Mad; infatuated.

    DEMENTATE, v.t. To make mad.

    DEMENTATION, n. The act of making frantic.

    DEMEPHITIZATION, n. The act of purifying from mephitic or foul air.

    DEMEPHITIZE, v.t. To purify from foul unwholesome air.

    DEMEPHITIZED, pp. Purified; freed from foul air.

    DEMEPHITIZING, ppr. Purifying from foul air.

    DEMERIT, n. [L. To earn or deserve.]

    1. That which deserves punishment, the opposite of merit; an ill-deserving; that which is blamable or punishable in moral conduct; vice or crime.NWAD DEMERIT.2

    2. Anciently, merit; desert; in a good sense.NWAD DEMERIT.3

    DEMERIT, v.t. To deserve blame or punishment.

    DEMERSED, a. Plunged; situated or growing under water.

    DEMERSION, n. [L. To plunge or drown.]

    1. A plunging into a fluid; a drowning.NWAD DEMERSION.2

    2. The state of being overwhelmed in water or earth.NWAD DEMERSION.3

    3. The putting of a medicine in a dissolving liquor.NWAD DEMERSION.4

    DEMESNE, [See Demain.]

    DEMI, a prefix, Fr. Demi, from the L. Dimidium, signifies half. It is used only in composition.

    DEMI-BRIGADE, n. A half-brigade.

    DEMI-CADENCE, n. In music, an imperfect cadence, or one that falls on any other than the key note.

    DEMI-CANNON, n. A cannon of different sizes; the lowest carries a ball of thirty pounds weight, and six inches diameter; the ordinary is twelve feet long, and carries a shot of six inches and one-sixth diameter, and thirty two pounds weight; that of the greatest size is twelve feet long, and carries a ball of six inches and five eighths diameter, and thirty six pounds weight.

    DEMI-CROSS, n. An instrument for taking the altitude of the sun and stars.

    DEMI-CULVERIN, n. A large gun, or piece of ordnance; the least is ten feet long, and carries a ball of nine pounds weight and four inches diameter; that of ordinary size carries a ball of four inches and two eighths diameter, and ten pounds eleven ounces in weight; the largest size is ten feet and a third in length, and carries a ball four inches and a half in diameter, and of twelve pounds eleven ounces in weight.

    DEMI-DEVIL, n. Half a devil.

    DEMI-DISTANCE, n. In fortification, the distance between the outward polygons and the flank.

    DEMI-DITONE, n. In music, a minor third.

    DEMI-GOD, n. Half a god; one partaking of the divine nature; a fabulous hero, produced by the cohabitation of a deity with a mortal.

    DEMI-GORGE, n. In fortification, that part of the polygon which remains after the flank is raised, and goes from the curtain to the angle of the polygon. It is half of the vacant space or entrance into a bastion.

    DEMI-GROAT, n. A half-groat.

    DEMI-LANCE, n. A light lance; a short spear; a half-pike.

    DEMI-LUNE, n. A half-moon.

    DEMI-MAN, n. Half a man; a term of reproach.

    DEMI-NATURED, a. Having half the nature of another animal.

    DEMI-PREMISES, n. plu. Half-premises.

    DEMI-QUAVER, n. A note in music, of half the length of the quaver.

    DEMIREP, n. A woman of suspicious chastity. [Demi-reputation.]

    DEMI-SEMI-QUAVER, n. The shortest note in music, two of which are equal to a semi-quaver.

    DEMI-TONE, n. In music, an interval of half a tone; a semi-tone.

    DEMI-VILL, n. A half-vill, consisting of five freemen or frank pledges.

    DEMI-VOLT, n. One of the seven artificial motions of a horse, in which he raises his fore legs in a particular manner.

    DEMI-WOLF, n. Half a wolf; a mongrel dog between a dog and a wolf; lycisca.

    DEMIGRATE or DEMIGRATION, [Not used. See Migrate.]

    DEMISABLE, a. S sa z. That may be leased; as an estate demisable by copy of court roll.

    DEMISE, n. s as z. [L. Literally, a laying down, or sending from; a removing.]

    1. In England, a laying down or removal, applied to the crown or royal authority. The demise of the crown, is a transfer of the crown, royal authority or kingdom to a successor. Thus when Edward fourth was driven from his throne for a few months by the house of Lancaster, this temporary transfer of his dignity was called a demise. Hence the natural death of a king or queen came to be denominated a demise, as by that event, the crown is transferred to a successor.NWAD DEMISE.2

    2. A conveyance or transfer of an estate, by lease or will.NWAD DEMISE.3

    Demise and redemise, a conveyance where there are mutual leases made from one to another of the same land, or something out of it.NWAD DEMISE.4

    DEMISE, v.t. s as z.

    1. To transfer or convey; to lease.NWAD DEMISE.6

    2. To bequeath; to grant by will.NWAD DEMISE.7

    DEMISSION, n. A lowering; degradation; depression.

    DEMISSIVE or DEMISS, a. Humble.

    DEMISSLY, adv. In a humble manner.

    DEMIT, v.t. To let fall; to depress; to submit.

    DEMIURGE, n. [Gr., a public servant, and work.] In the mythology of Eastern Philosophers, an eon employed in the creation of the world; a subordinate workman.

    DEMIURGIC, a. Pertaining to a demiurge, or to creative power.

    DEMOCRACY, n. [Gr. People, and to possess, to govern.] Government by the people; a form of government, in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the people collectively, or in which the people exercise the powers of legislation. Such was the government of Athens.

    DEMOCRAT, n. One who adheres to a government by the people, or favors the extension of the right of suffrage to all classes of men.

    DEMOCRATIC, DEMOCRATICAL, a. Popular; pertaining to democracy or government by the people; as a democratical form of government.

    DEMOCRATICALLY, adv. In a democratical manner.

    DEMOLISH, v.t. [L. To build.] To throw or pull down; to raze; to destroy, as a heap or structure; to separate any collected mass, or the connected parts of a thing; to ruin; as, to demolish an edifice, or a mound; to demolish a wall or fortification.

    DEMOLISHED, pp. Pulled down; thrown down; razed; destroyed, as a fabric or structure.

    DEMOLISHER, n. One who pulls or throws down; one who destroys or lays waste; as a demolisher of towns.

    DEMOLISHING, ppr. Pulling or throwing down; destroying.

    DEMOLISHMENT, n. Ruin; overthrow.

    DEMOLITION, n. The act of overthrowing, pulling down or destroying a pile or structure; ruin; destruction; as the demolition of a house, or of military works.

    DEMON, n. A spirit, or immaterial being, holding a middle place between men and the celestial deities of the Pagans. The ancients believed that there were good and evil demons, which had influence over the minds of men, and that these beings carried on an intercourse between men and gods, conveying the addresses of men to the gods, and divine benefits to men. Hence demons became the objects of worship. It was supposed also that human spirits, after their departure from the body, became demons, and that the souls of virtuous men, if highly purified, were exalted from demons into gods. The demons of the New Testament were supposed to be spiritual beings which vexed and tormented men. And in general, the word, in modern use, signifies an evil spirit or genius, which influences the conduct or directs the fortunes of mankind.

    DEMONESS, n. A female demon.


    1. Pertaining to demons or evil spirits.NWAD DEMONIAC.2

    2. Influenced by demons; produced by demons or evil spirits.NWAD DEMONIAC.3

    Demoniac phrensy.NWAD DEMONIAC.4

    DEMONIAC, n. A human being possessed by a demon; one whose volition and other mental faculties are overpowered, restrained, or disturbed, in their regular operation, by an evil spirit, or by a created spiritual being of superior power.

    DEMONIACS, n. In church history, a branch of the Anabaptists, whose distinguishing tenet is, that at the end of the world the devil will be saved.

    DEMONOCRACY, n. [Gr. Demon and to hold.] The power or government of demons.

    DEMONOLATRY, n. [Gr. Demon and worship.] The worship of demons, or of evil spirits.

    DEMONOLOGY, n. [Gr. Demon and discourse.] A discourse on demons; a treatise on evil spirits. So King James entitled his book concerning witches.

    DEMONOMIST, n. [Gr. Demon and law.] One that lives in subjection to the devil, or to evil spirits.

    DEMONOMY, n. The dominion of demons, or of evil spirits.

    DEMONSHIP, n. The state of a demon.

    DEMONSTRABLE, a. That may be demonstrated; that may be proved beyond doubt or contradiction; capable of being shown by certain evidence, or by evidence that admits of no doubt; as, the principles of geometry are demonstrable.

    DEMONSTRABLENESS, n. The quality of being demonstrable.

    DEMONSTRABLY, adv. In a manner to preclude doubt; beyond the possibility of contradiction.

    DEMONSTRATE, v.t. [L. To show.]

    1. To show or prove to be certain; to prove beyond the possibility of doubt; to prove in such a manner as to reduce the contrary position to evident absurdity. We demonstrate a problem in geometry, or a proposition in ethics, by showing that the contrary is absurd or impossible.NWAD DEMONSTRATE.2

    2. In anatomy, to exhibit the parts when disected.NWAD DEMONSTRATE.3

    DEMONSTRATED, pp. Proved beyond the possibility of doubt; rendered certain to the mind.

    DEMONSTRATING, ppr. Proving to be certain; evincing beyond the possibility of doubt.


    1. The act of demonstrating, or of exhibiting certain proof.NWAD DEMONSTRATION.2

    2. The highest degree of evidence; certain proof exhibited, or such proof as establishes a fact or proposition beyond a possibility of doubt, or as shows the contrary position to be absurd or impossible.NWAD DEMONSTRATION.3

    3. Indubitable evidence of the senses, or of reason; evidence which satisfies the mind of the certainty of a fact or proposition. Thus we hold that the works of nature exhibit demonstration of the existence of a God.NWAD DEMONSTRATION.4

    4. In logic, a series of syllogisms, all whose premises are either definitions, self-evident truths, or propositions already established.NWAD DEMONSTRATION.5

    5. Show; exhibition.NWAD DEMONSTRATION.6

    6. In anatomy, the exhibition of parts dissected.NWAD DEMONSTRATION.7


    1. Showing or proving by certain evidence; having the power of demonstration; invincibly conclusive; as a demonstrative argument, or demonstrative reasoning.NWAD DEMONSTRATIVE.2

    2. Having the power of showing with clearness and certainty; as a demonstrative figure in painting.NWAD DEMONSTRATIVE.3

    DEMONSTRATIVELY, adv. With certain evidence; with proof which cannot be questioned; certainly; clearly; convincingly.


    1. One who demonstrates; one who proves any thing with certainty, or with indubitable evidence.NWAD DEMONSTRATOR.2

    2. In anatomy, one who exhibits the parts when dissected.NWAD DEMONSTRATOR.3

    DEMONSTRATORY, a. Tending to demonstrate; having a tendency to prove beyond a possibility of doubt.

    DEMORALIZATION, n. The act of subverting or corrupting morals; destruction of moral principles.

    DEMORALIZE, v.t. To corrupt or undermine the morals of; to destroy or lessen the effect of moral principles on; to render corrupt in morals.

    The effect would be to demoralize mankind.NWAD DEMORALIZE.2

    The native vigor of the soul must wholly disappear, under the steady influence and the demoralizing example of profligate power and prosperous crime.NWAD DEMORALIZE.3

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