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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    DRYFAT, n. A dry vat or basket.

    DRYFOOT, n. A dog that pursues game by the scent of the foot.

    DRYING, ppr. Expelling or losing moisture, sap or greenness.

    DRYING, n. The act or process of depriving of moisture or greenness.

    DRYING, n. The act or process of depriving of moisture or greenness.

    DRYITE, n. [Gr., an oak.] Fragments of petrified or fossil wood in which the structure of the wood is recognized.

    DRYLY, adv.

    1. Without moisture.NWAD DRYLY.2

    2. Coldly; frigidly; without affection.NWAD DRYLY.3

    3. Severely; sarcastically.NWAD DRYLY.4

    4. Barrenly; without embellishment; without any thing to enliven, enrich or entertain.NWAD DRYLY.5

    DRYNESS, n.

    1. Destitution of moisture; want of water or other fluid; siccity; a aridity; aridness; as the dryness of a soil; dryness of the road.NWAD DRYNESS.2

    2. Want of rain; as dryness of weather.NWAD DRYNESS.3

    3. Want of juice or succulence; as dryness of the bones or fibers.NWAD DRYNESS.4

    4. Want of succulence or greenness; as the dryness of hay or corn.NWAD DRYNESS.5

    5. Barrenness; jejuneness; want of ornament or pathos; want of that which enlivens and entertains; as the dryness of style or expression; the dryness of a subject.NWAD DRYNESS.6

    6. Want of feeling or sensibility in devotion; want of ardor; as dryness of spirit.NWAD DRYNESS.7

    DRYNURSE, n.

    1. A nurse who attends and feeds a child without the breast.NWAD DRYNURSE.2

    2. One who attends another in sickness.NWAD DRYNURSE.3

    DRYNURSE, v.t. To feed, attend and bring up without the breast.

    DRYRUB, v.t. To rub and cleanse without wetting.

    DRYSALTER, n. A dealer in salted or dry meats, pickles, sauces, etc.

    DRYSHOD, a. Without wetting the feet. Isaiah 11:15.

    DUAL, a. [L., two.] Expressing the number two; as the dual number in Greek.

    DUALISTIC, a. Consisting of two. The dualistic system of Anaxagoras and Plato taught that there are two principles in nature, one active, the other passive.

    DUALITY, n.

    1. That which expresses two in number.NWAD DUALITY.2

    2. Division; separation.NWAD DUALITY.3

    3. The state or quality of being two.NWAD DUALITY.4

    DUB, v.t. [Gr.] Literally, to strike. Hence,

    1. To strike a blow with a sword, and make a knight.NWAD DUB.2

    Se cyng, dubbade his sunu Henric to ridere.NWAD DUB.3

    The King dubbed his son Henry a knight.NWAD DUB.4

    2. To confer any dignity or new character.NWAD DUB.5

    A man of wealth is dubbd a man of worth.NWAD DUB.6

    DUB, v.i. to make a quick noise.

    DUB, n.

    1. A blow. [Little used.]NWAD DUB.9

    2. In Irish, a puddle.NWAD DUB.10

    DUBBED, pp. Struck; made a knight.

    DUBBING, ppr. Striking; making a knight.

    DUBIETY, n. [See Doubt.] Doubtfulness. [Little used.]

    DUBIOUS, a. [L. See Doubt. The primary sense is probably to turn or to waver.]

    1. Doubtful; wavering or fluctuating in opinion; not settled; not determined; as, the mind is in a dubious state.NWAD DUBIOUS.2

    2. Uncertain; that of which the truth is not ascertained or known; as a dubious question.NWAD DUBIOUS.3

    3. Not clear; not plain; as dubious light.NWAD DUBIOUS.4

    4. Of uncertain event or issue.NWAD DUBIOUS.5

    In dubious battle.NWAD DUBIOUS.6

    DUBIOUSLY, adv. Doubtfully; uncertainly; without any determination.


    1. Doubtfulness; a state of wavering and indecision of mind; as, he speaks with dubiousness.NWAD DUBIOUSNESS.2

    2. Uncertainty; as the dubiousness of the question.NWAD DUBIOUSNESS.3

    DUBITABLE, a. [L. See Doubt.] Doubtful; uncertain. [Little used.] But the derivative indubitable is often used.

    DUBITANCY, n. Doubt; uncertainty. [Little used.]

    DUBITATION, n. [L, to doubt.] The act of doubting; doubt. [Little used.]

    DUCAL, a. Pertaining to a duke; as a ducal coronet.

    DUCAT, n. [from duke.] A coin of several countries in Europe, struck in the dominions of a duke. It is of silver or gold. The silver ducat is generally of the value of four shillings and sixpence sterling, equal to an American dollar, or to a French crown, and the gold ducat of twice the value.

    DUCATOON, n. A silver coin, struck chiefly in Italy, of the value of about four shillings and eight pence sterling, or nearly 104 cents. The gold ducatoon of Holland is worth twenty florins.

    DUCHESS, n. The consort or widow of a duke. Also, a lady who has the sovereignty of a duchy.

    DUCHY, n. The territory or dominions of a duke; a dukedom; as the duchy of Lancaster.

    DUCHY-COURT, n. The court of the duchy of Lancaster in England.

    DUCK, n. [G, L., to weave.] A species of coarse cloth or canvas, used for sails, sacking of beds, etc.

    DUCK, n. [from the verb, to duck.]

    1. A water fowl, so called from its plunging. There are many species or varieties of the duck, some wild, others tame.NWAD DUCK.3

    2. An inclination of the head, resembling the motion of a duck in water.NWAD DUCK.4

    3. A stone thrown obliquely on the water so as to rebound; as in duck and drake.NWAD DUCK.5

    DUCK, n. A word of endearment or fondness.

    DUCK, v.t. [G.]

    1. To dip or plunge in water and suddenly withdraw; as, to duck a seamen. It differs from dive, which signifies to plunge ones self, without immediately emerging.NWAD DUCK.8

    2. To plunge the head in water and immediately withdraw it; as, duck the boy.NWAD DUCK.9

    3. To bow, stoop or nod.NWAD DUCK.10

    DUCK, v.i.

    1. To plunge into water and immediately withdraw; to dip; to plunge the head in water or other liquid.NWAD DUCK.12

    In Tiber ducking thrice by break of day.NWAD DUCK.13

    2. To drop the head suddenly; to bow; to cringe.NWAD DUCK.14

    Duck with French nods.NWAD DUCK.15

    DUCKED, pp. Plunged; dipped in water.

    DUCKER, n. A plunger; a diver; a cringer.

    DUCKING, ppr. Plunging; thrusting suddenly into water and withdrawing; dipping.

    DUCKING, n. The act of plunging or putting in water and withdrawing. Ducking is a punishment of offenders in France, and among English seamen, it is a penalty to which sailors are subject on passing, for the first time, the equator or tropic.

    DUCKING-STOOL, n. A stool or chair in which common scolds were formerly tied and plunged into water.

    DUCK-LEGGED, a. Having short legs, like a duck.

    DUCKLING, n. A young duck.

    DUCK-MEAT, DUCK’S-MEAT, n. A plant, the Lemna, growing in ditches and shallow water, and serving for food for ducks and geese. The starry ducks-meat is the Callitriche.

    DUCKOY. [See Decoy.]

    DUCK’S-FOOT, n. A plant, the Podophyllum; called also May-apple.

    DUCK-WEED, n. The same as duck-meat.

    DUCT, n. [L., to lead. See Duke.]

    1. Any tube or canal by which fluid or other substance is conducted or conveyed. It is particularly used to denote the vessels of an animal body, by which the blood, chyle, lymph, etc., are carried from one part to another, and the vessels of plants in which the sap is conveyed.NWAD DUCT.2

    2. Guidance; direction. [Little used.]NWAD DUCT.3

    DUCTILE, a. [L., to lead.]

    1. That may be led; easy to be led or drawn; tractable; complying; obsequious; yielding to motives, persuasion or instruction; as the ductile minds of youth; a ductile people.NWAD DUCTILE.2

    2. Flexible; pliable.NWAD DUCTILE.3

    The ductile rind and leaves of radiant gold.NWAD DUCTILE.4

    3. That may be drawn out into wire or threads. Gold is the most ductile of the metals.NWAD DUCTILE.5

    4. That may be extended by beating.NWAD DUCTILE.6

    DUCTILENESS, n. The quality of suffering extension by drawing or percussion; ductility.


    1. The property of solid bodies, particularly metals, which renders them capable of being extended by drawing without breaking; as the ductility of gold, iron or brass.NWAD DUCTILITY.2

    2. Flexibility; obsequiousness; a disposition of mind that easily yields to motives or influence; ready compliance.NWAD DUCTILITY.3

    DUCTURE, n. [L.] Guidance. [Not in use.]

    DUDGEON, n. [G.] A small dagger.

    DUDS, n. Old clothes; tattered garments. [A vulgar word.]

    DUE, a. Du. [L., Gr., to bind. It has no connection with owe.]

    1. Owed; that ought to be paid or done to another. That is due from me to another which contract, justice or propriety requires me to pay, and which he may justly claim as his right. Reverence is due to the creator; civility is due from one man to another. Money is due at the expiration of the credit given, or at the period promised.NWAD DUE.2

    2. Proper; fit; appropriate; suitable; becoming; required by the circumstances; as, the event was celebrated with due solemnities. Men seldom have a due sense of their depravity.NWAD DUE.3

    3. Seasonable; as, he will come in due time.NWAD DUE.4

    4. Exact; proper; as, the musicians keep due time.NWAD DUE.5

    5. Owing to; occasioned by. [Little used.]NWAD DUE.6

    6. That ought to have arrived, or to be present, before the time specified; as, two mails are now due.NWAD DUE.7

    DUE, adv. Directly; exactly; as a due east course.

    DUE, n.

    1. That which is owed; that which one contracts to pay, do or perform to another; that which law or justice requires to be paid or done. The money that I contract to pay to another is his due; the service which I covenant to perform to another is his due; reverence to the creator is his due.NWAD DUE.10

    2. That which office, rank, station, social relations, or established rules of right or decorum, require to be given, paid or done. Respect and obedience to parents and magistrates are their due.NWAD DUE.11

    3. That which law or custom requires; as toll, tribute, fees of office, or other legal perquisites.NWAD DUE.12

    4. Right; just title.NWAD DUE.13

    The key of this infernal pit by due--I keep.NWAD DUE.14

    DUE, v.t. To pay as due. [Not used.]

    DUEL, n. [L.]

    1. Single combat; a premeditated combat between two persons, for the purpose of deciding some private difference or quarrel. A sudden fight, not premeditated, is called a rencounter. A duel is fought with deadly weapons and with a purpose to take life.NWAD DUEL.2

    2. Any contention or contest.NWAD DUEL.3

    DUEL, v.i. To fight in single combat.

    DUEL, v.t. To attack or fight singly.

    DUELER, n. A combatant in single fight.

    DUELING, ppr. Fighting in single combat.

    DUELING, n. The act or practice of fighting in single combat.

    DUELIST, n.

    1. One who fights in single combat.NWAD DUELIST.2

    The duelist values his honor above the life of his antagonist, his own life, and the happiness of his family.NWAD DUELIST.3

    2. One who professes to study the rules of honor.NWAD DUELIST.4

    DUELLO, n. Duel; or rule of dueling. [Not used.]

    DUENESS, n. Duness. [See Due.] Fitness; propriety due quality.

    DUENNA, n. [See Don.] An old woman who is kept to guard a younger; a governess.

    DUET, DUETTO, n. A song or air in two parts.

    DUFFEL, n. A kind of coarse woolen cloth, having a thick nap or frieze.

    DUG, n. [L.] The pap or nipple of a cow or other beast. It is applied to a human female in contempt, but seems to have been used formerly of the human breast without reproach.

    From tender dug of common nurse.NWAD DUG.2

    DUG, pret. and pp. of dig; as, they dug a ditch; a ditch was dug.

    DUKE, n. [G., L, to lead; to draw, to tug. Gr.]

    1. In Great Britain, one of the highest order of nobility; a title of honor or nobility next below the princes; as the Duke of Bedford or of Cornwall.NWAD DUKE.2

    2. In some countries on the Continent, a sovereign prince, without the title of king; as the Duke of Holstein, of Savoy, of Parma, etc.NWAD DUKE.3

    3. A chief; a prince; as the dukes of Edom. Genesis 36:15-43.NWAD DUKE.4

    DUKEDOM, n.

    1. The seignory or possessions of a duke; the territory of a duke.NWAD DUKEDOM.2

    2. The title or quality of a duke.NWAD DUKEDOM.3

    DULBRAINED, a. [dull and brain.] Stupid; doltish; of dull intellects. [See Dullbrained.]

    DULCET, a. [L., sweet.]

    1. Sweet to the taste; luscious.NWAD DULCET.2

    She tempers dulcet creams.NWAD DULCET.3

    2. Sweet to the ear; melodious; harmonious; as dulcet sounds; dulcet symphonies.NWAD DULCET.4

    DULCIFICATION, n. [See Dulcify.] The act of sweetening; the act of freeing from acidity, saltness or acrimony.

    DULCIFIED, pp. Sweetened; purified from salts.

    Dulcified spirits, a term formerly applied to the different ethers; as dulcified spirits of niter and vitriol, nitric and sulphuric ethers.NWAD DULCIFIED.2

    DULCIFY, v.t. [L, sweet; to make.] To sweeten; to free from acidity, saltness or acrimony.

    DULCIMER, n. An instrument of music played by striking brass wires with little sticks. Daniel 3:5.

    DULCINESS, n. [L.] Softness; easiness of temper. [Not used.]

    DULCORATE, v.t. [L., sweet; to sweeten.]

    1. To sweeten.NWAD DULCORATE.2

    2. To make less acrimonious.NWAD DULCORATE.3

    DULCORATION, n. The act of sweetening.

    DULIA, n. [Gr., service.] An inferior kind of worship or adoration. [Not an English word.]

    DULL, a. [G.]

    1. Stupid; doltish; blockish; slow of understanding; as a lad of dull genius.NWAD DULL.2

    2. Heavy; sluggish; without life or spirit; as a surfeit leaves a man very dull.NWAD DULL.3

    3. Slow of motion; sluggish; as a dull stream.NWAD DULL.4

    4. Slow of hearing or seeing; as dull of hearing; dull of seeing.NWAD DULL.5

    5. Slow to learn or comprehend; unready; awkward; as a dull scholar.NWAD DULL.6

    6. Sleepy; drowsy.NWAD DULL.7

    7. Sad; melancholy.NWAD DULL.8

    8. Gross; cloggy; insensible; as the dull earth.NWAD DULL.9

    9. Not pleasing or delightful; not exhilarating; cheerless; as, to make dictionaries is dull work.NWAD DULL.10

    10. Not bright or clear; clouded; tarnished; as, the mirror is dull.NWAD DULL.11

    11. Not bright; not briskly burning; as a dull fire.NWAD DULL.12

    12. Dim; obscure; not vivid; as a dull light.NWAD DULL.13

    13. Blunt; obtuse; having a thick edge; as a dull knife or ax.NWAD DULL.14

    14. Cloudy; overcast; not clear; not enlivening; as dull weather.NWAD DULL.15

    15. With seamen, being without wind; as, a ship has a dull time.NWAD DULL.16

    16. Not lively or animated; as a dull eye.NWAD DULL.17

    DULL, v.t.

    1. To make dull; to stupefy; as, to dull the senses.NWAD DULL.19

    2. To blunt; as, to dull a sword or an ax.NWAD DULL.20

    3. To make sad or melancholy.NWAD DULL.21

    4. To hebetate; to make insensible or slow to perceive; as, to dull the ears; to dull the wits.NWAD DULL.22

    5. To damp; to render lifeless; as, to dull the attention.NWAD DULL.23

    6. To make heavy or slow of motion; as, to dull industry.NWAD DULL.24

    7. To sully; to tarnish or cloud; as, the breath dulls a mirror.NWAD DULL.25

    DULL, v.i. To become dull or blunt; to become stupid.

    DULL-BRAINED, a. Stupid; of dull intellect.

    DULL-BROWED, a. Having a gloomy look.

    DULL-DISPOSED, a. Inclined to dullness or sadness.

    DULL-EYED, a. Having a downcast look.

    DULL-HEAD, n. A person of dull understanding; a dolt; a blockhead.

    DULL-SIGHTED, a. Having imperfect sigh; purblind.

    DULL-WITTED, a. Having a dull intellect; heavy.

    DULLARD, a. Doltish; stupid.

    DULLARD, n. A stupid person; a dot; a blockhead; a dunce.

    DULLED, pp. Made dull; blunted.

    DULLER, n. That which makes dull.

    DULLING, ppr. Making dull.

    DULLNESS, n.

    1. Stupidity; slowness of comprehension; weakness of intellect; indocility; as the dullness of a student.NWAD DULLNESS.2

    2. Want of quick perception or eager desire.NWAD DULLNESS.3

    3. Heaviness; drowsiness; inclination to sleep.NWAD DULLNESS.4

    4. Heaviness; disinclination to motion.NWAD DULLNESS.5

    5. Sluggishness; slowness.NWAD DULLNESS.6

    6. Dimness; want of clearness or luster.NWAD DULLNESS.7

    7. Bluntness; want of edge.NWAD DULLNESS.8

    8. Want of brightness or vividness; as dullness of color.NWAD DULLNESS.9

    DULLY, adv. Stupidity; slowly; sluggishly; without life or spirit.

    DULY, adv. [from due.]

    1. Properly; fitly; in a suitable or becoming manner; as, let the subject be duly considered.NWAD DULY.2

    2. Regularly; at the proper time; as, a man duly attended church with his family.NWAD DULY.3

    DUMB, a. Dum.

    1. Mute; silent; not speaking.NWAD DUMB.2

    I was dumb with silence; I held my peace. Psalm 39:2.NWAD DUMB.3

    2. Destitute of the power of speech; unable to utter articulate sounds; as the dumb brutes. The asylum at Hartford in Connecticut was the first institution in America for teaching the deaf and dumb to read and write.NWAD DUMB.4

    3. Mute; not using or accompanied with speech; as a dumb show; dumb signs.NWAD DUMB.5

    To strike dumb, is to confound; to astonish; to render silent by astonishment; or it may be, to deprive of the power of speech.NWAD DUMB.6

    DUMB, v.t. To silence.

    DUMBLY, adv. dumly. Mutely; silently; without words or speech.

    DUMBNESS, n. Dumness.

    1. Muteness; silence or holding the peace; omission of speech. This is voluntary dumbness.NWAD DUMBNESS.2

    2. In capacity to speak; inability to articulate sounds. This is involuntary dumbness.NWAD DUMBNESS.3

    DUMFOUND, v.t. To strike dumb; to confuse. [A low word.]

    DUMMERER, n. One who feigns dumbness. [Not in use.]

    DUMP, n. [G.]

    1. A dull gloomy state of the mind; sadness; melancholy; sorrow; heaviness of heart.NWAD DUMP.2

    In doleful dumps.NWAD DUMP.3

    2. Absence of mind; reverie.NWAD DUMP.4

    3. A melancholy tune or air. [This is not an elegant word, and in America, I believe, is always used in the plural; as, the woman is in the dumps.]NWAD DUMP.5

    DUMPISH, a. Dull; stupid; sad; melancholy; depressed in spirits; as, he lives a dumpish life.

    DUMPISHLY, adv. In a moping manner.

    DUMPISHNESS, n. A state of being dull, heavy and moping.

    DUMPLING, n. [from dump.] A kind of pudding or mass of paste in cookery; usually, a cover of paste inclosing an apple and boiled, called apple-dumpling.

    DUMPY, a. Short and thick.

    DUN, a.

    1. Of a dark color; of a color partaking of a brown and black; of a dull brown color; swarthy.NWAD DUN.2

    2. Dark; gloomy.NWAD DUN.3

    In the dun air sublime.NWAD DUN.4

    DUN, v.t. To cure, as fish, in a manner to give them a dun color. [See Dunning.]

    DUN, v.t. [See Din.]

    1. Literally, to clamor for payment of a debt. Hence, to urge for payment; to demand a debt in a pressing manner; to urge for payment with importunity. But in common usage, dun is often used in a milder sense, and signifies to call for, or ask for payment.NWAD DUN.7

    2. To urge importunately, in a general sense, but not an elegant word.NWAD DUN.8

    DUN, n.

    1. An importunate creditor who urges for payment.NWAD DUN.10

    2. An urgent request or demand of payment in writing; as, he sent his debtor a dun.NWAD DUN.11

    3. An eminence or mound. [See Down and Town.]NWAD DUN.12

    DUNCE, n. Duns. [G.] A person of weak intellects; a dullard; a dolt; a thickskull.

    I never knew this town without dunces of figure.NWAD DUNCE.2

    DUNCERY, n. Dullness; stupidity.

    DUNCIFY, v.t. To make stupid in intellect. [Not used.]

    DUNDER, n. [L.] Lees; dregs; a word used in Jamaica.

    The use of dunder in the making of run answers the purpose of yeast int he fermentation of flour.NWAD DUNDER.2

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