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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    FENNEL, n. [L. faeiculum, from faenum, hay.]

    A fragrant plant of the genus Anethum, cultivated in gardens.NWAD FENNEL.2

    FENNEL-FLOWER, n. A plant of the genus Nigella.

    FENNEL-GIANT, n. A plant of the genus Ferula.

    FENNY, a. [from fen.]

    1. Boggy; marshy; moorish.NWAD FENNY.2

    2. Growing in fens; as fenny brake.NWAD FENNY.3

    3. Inhabiting marshy ground; as a fenny snake.NWAD FENNY.4

    FENNYSTONES, n. A plant.

    FENOWED, a. Corrupted; decayed. [Not in use.]

    FENUGREEK, n. [L. faenum graecum.] A plant of the genus Trigonella.

    FEOD, n. A feud. So written by Blackstone and other authors; but more generally, feud, which see.

    FEODAL, a. Feudal, which see.

    FEODALITY, n. Feudal tenures; the feudal system.

    FEODARY, n. One who holds lands of a superior, on condition of suit and service. [Little used. See Feudatory.]

    FEODATORY. [See Feudatory.]

    FEOFF, v.t. feff.

    To invest with a fee or feud; to give or grant to one any corporeal hereditament. The compound infeoff is more generally used.NWAD FEOFF.2

    FEOFF, a. fief. [See Fief.]

    FEOFFEE, n. feffee’. A person who is infeoffed, that is, invested with a fee or corporeal hereditament.

    FEOFFER, FEOFFOR, n. feff’er. One who infeoff’s or grants a fee.

    FEOFFMENT, n. feff’ment. [Law L. feoffamentum.] The gift or grant of a fee or corporeal hereditament, as land, castles, honors, or other immovable thing; a grant in fee simple, to a man and his heirs forever. When in writing, it is called a deed of feoffment. The primary sense is the grant of a feud or an estate in trust. [See Feud.]

    FERACIOUS, a. [L. ferax, from fero, to bear.] Fruitful; producing abundantly.

    FERACITY, n. [L. feracitas.] Fruitfulness. [Little used.]

    FERAL, a. [L. feralis.] Funeral; pertaining to funerals; mournful.

    FERE, n. A fellow; a mate; a peer. Obs.

    FERETORY, n. [L. feretrum, a bier.] A place in a church for a bier.

    FERIAL, a. [L. ferialis.] Pertaining to holidays, or to common days.

    FERIATION, n. [L. feriatio, from feriae, vacant days, holidays.]

    The act of keeping holiday; cessation from work.NWAD FERIATION.2

    FERINE, a. [L. ferinus, from ferus, wild.]

    Wild; untamed; savage. Lions, tigers, wolves and bears are ferine beasts.NWAD FERINE.2

    FERINENESS, n. Wildness; savageness.

    FERITY, n. [L. feritas, from ferus, wild.]

    Wildness, savageness; cruelty.NWAD FERITY.2

    FERM, n. A farm or rent; a lodging-house. Obs. [See Farm.]

    FERMENT, n. [L. fermentum, from fervo, to boil. See Fervent.]

    1. A gentle boiling; or the internal motion of the constituent parts of a fluid.NWAD FERMENT.2

    [In this sense it is rarely used. See Fermentation.]NWAD FERMENT.3

    2. Intestine motion; heat; tumult; agitation; as, to put the passions in a ferment; the state of people are in a ferment.NWAD FERMENT.4

    Subdue and cool the ferment of desire.NWAD FERMENT.5

    3. That which causes fermentation, as yeast, barm, or fermenting beer.NWAD FERMENT.6

    FERMENT, v.t. [L. fermento.]

    To set in motion; to excite internal motion; to heat; to raise by intestine motion.NWAD FERMENT.8

    While youth ferments the blood.NWAD FERMENT.9

    FERMENT, v.i. To work; to effervesce; to be in motion, or to be excited into sensible internal motion, as the constituent particles of an animal or vegetable fluid. To the vinous fermentation we apply the term, work. We say that new cider, beer or wine ferments or works. But work is not applied to the other kinds of fermentation.

    FERMENTABLE, a. Capable of fermentation; thus, cider, beer of all kinds, wine, and other vegetable liquors, are fermentable.

    FERMENTATION, n. [L. fermentatio.] The sensible internal motion of the constituent particles of animal and vegetable substances, occasioned by a certain degree of heat and moisture, and accompanied by an extrication of gas and heat. Fermentation is followed by a change of properties in the substances fermented, arising from new combinations of their principles. It may be defined, in its most general sense, any spontaneous change which takes place in animal or vegetable substances, after life has ceased. It is of three kinds, vinous, acetous, and putrefactive. The term is also applied to other processes, as the panary fermentation, or the raising of bread; but it is limited, by some authors, to the vinous and acetous fermentations, which terminate in the production of alcohol or vinegar. Fermentation differs from effervescence. The former is confined to animal and vegetable substances; the latter is applicable to mineral substances. The former is spontaneous; the latter produced by the mixture of bodies.


    1. Causing or having power to cause fermentation; as fermentative heat.NWAD FERMENTATIVE.2

    2. Consisting in fermentation; as fermentative process.NWAD FERMENTATIVE.3

    FERMENTATIVENESS, n. The state of being fermentative.

    FERMENTED, pp. Worked; having undergone the process of fermentation.

    FERMENTING, ppr. Working; effervesing.

    FERN, n.

    A plant of several species constituting the tribe or family of Filices, which have their fructification on the back of the fronds or leaves, or in which the flowers are borne on footstalks which overtop the leaves. The stem is the common footstalk or rather the middle rib of the leaves, so that most ferns want the stem altogether. The ferns constitute the first order of cryptogams, in the sexual system.NWAD FERN.2

    FERN-OWL, n. The goatsucker.

    FERNY, a. Abounding or overgrown with fern.

    FEROCIOUS, a. [L. ferox; allied to ferus, wild, fera, a wild animal.]

    1. Fierce; savage; wild; indicating cruelty; as a ferocious look, countenance or features.NWAD FEROCIOUS.2

    2. Ravenous; rapacious; as a ferocious lion.NWAD FEROCIOUS.3

    3. Fierce; barbarous; cruel; as ferocious savages.NWAD FEROCIOUS.4

    FERCIOUSLY, adv. Fiercely; with savage cruelty.

    FEROCIOUSNESS, n. Savage fierceness; cruelty; ferocity.

    FEROCITY, n. [L. ferocitas.]

    1. Savage wildness or fierceness; fury; cruelty; as the ferocity of barbarians.NWAD FEROCITY.2

    2. Fierceness indicating a savage heart; as ferocity of countenance.NWAD FEROCITY.3

    FERREOUS, a. [L. ferreus, from ferrum, iron.]

    Partaking of iron; pertaining to iron; like iron; made of iron.NWAD FERREOUS.2

    FERRET, n.

    1. An animal of the genus Mustela, or Weasel kind, about 14 inches in length, of a pale yellow color with red eyes. It is a native of Africa, but has been introduced into Europe. It cannot however bear cold, and cannot subsist even in France, except in a domestic state. Ferrets are used to catch rabbits.NWAD FERRET.2

    2. A kind of narrow woolen tape.NWAD FERRET.3

    3. Among glass makers, the iron used to try the melted matter, to see if it is fit to work, and to make the rings at the mouths of bottles.NWAD FERRET.4

    FERRET, v.t. To drive out of a lurking place, as a ferret does the coney.

    FERRETED, pp. Driven from a burrow or lurking place.

    FERRETER, n. One that hunts another in his private retreat.

    FERRETING, ppr. Driving from a lurking place.

    FERRIAGE, n. [See Ferry.] The price or fare to be paid at a ferry; the compensation established or paid for conveyance over a river or lake in a boat.

    FERRIC, a. Pertaining to or extracted from iron. Ferric acid is the acid of iron saturated with oxygen.

    FERRI-CALCITE, n. [L. ferrum, iron, and calx, lime.]

    A species of calcarious earth or limestone combined with a large portion of iron, from 7 to 14 per cent.NWAD FERRI-CALCITE.2

    FERRIFEROUS, a. [L. ferrum and fer.] Producing or yielding iron.

    FERRILITE, n. [L. ferrum, iron and Gr. a stone.]

    Rowley ragg; a variety of trap, containing iron in the state of oxyd.NWAD FERRILITE.2

    FERRO-CYANATE, n. A compound of the ferro-cyanic acid with a base.

    FERRO-CYANIC, a. [L. ferrum, iron and cyanic, which see.] The same as ferroprussic.

    FERRO-PRUSSIATE, n. A compound of the ferro-silicic acid with a base, forming a substance analogous to a salt.

    FERRO-PRUSSIC, a. [L. ferrum, iron, and prussic.] Designating a peculiar acid, formed of prussic acid and protoxyd of iron.

    FERRO-SILICATE, n. A compound of ferro-silicic acid with a base, forming a substance analogous to a salt.

    FERRO-SILICIC, a. [L. ferrum, iron, and silex.] Designating a compound of iron and silex.

    FERRUGINATED, a. [infra.] Having the color or properties of the rust of iron.

    FERRUGINOUS, a. [L. ferrugo, rust of iron, from ferrum, iron.]

    1. Partaking of iron; containing particles of iron.NWAD FERRUGINOUS.2

    2. Of the color of the rust or oxyd of iron. [Ferrugineous is less used.]NWAD FERRUGINOUS.3

    FERRULE, n.

    A ring of metal put round a cane or other thing to strengthen it.NWAD FERRULE.2

    FERRY, v.t. [L. fero; allied to bear.]

    To carry or transport over a river, strait or other water, in a boat. We ferry men, horses, carriages, over rivers, for a moderate fee or price called fare or ferriage.NWAD FERRY.2

    FERRY, v.i. To pass over water in a boat.

    FERRY, n.

    1. A boat or small vessel in which passengers and goods are conveyed over rivers or other narrow waters; sometimes called a wherry. This application of the word is, I believe, entirely obsolete, at least in America.NWAD FERRY.5

    2. The place or passage where boats pass over water to convey passengers.NWAD FERRY.6

    3. The right of transporting passengers over a lake or stream. A.B. owns the ferry at Windsor. [In New England, this word is used in the two latter senses.]NWAD FERRY.7

    FERRYBOAT, n. A boat for conveying passengers over streams and other narrow waters.

    FERRYMAN, n. One who keeps a ferry, and transports passengers over a river.

    FERTILE, a. [L. fertilis, from fero, to bear.]

    1. Fruitful; rich; producing fruit in abundance; as fertile land, ground, soil, fields or meadows. This word in America is rarely applied to trees, or to animals, but to land. It formerly had of before the thing producing; as fertile of all kinds of grain: but in is now used; fertile in grain.NWAD FERTILE.2

    2. Rich; having abundant resources; prolific; productive; inventive; able to produce abundantly; as a fertile genius, mind or imagination.NWAD FERTILE.3

    FERTILENESS, n. [See Fertility.]

    FERTILITY, n. [L. fertilitas.]

    1. Fruitfulness; the quality of producing fruit in abundance; as the fertility of land, ground, soil, fields and meadows.NWAD FERTILITY.2

    2. Richness; abundant resources; fertile invention; as the fertility of genius, of fancy or imagination.NWAD FERTILITY.3

    FERTILIZE, v.t. To enrich; to supply with the pabulum of plants; to make fruitful or productive; as, to fertilize land, soil, ground and meadows. [Fertilitate is not used.]

    FERTILIZED, pp. Enriched; rendered fruitful.


    1. Enriching; making fruitful or productive. The Connecticut overflows the adjacent meadows, fertilizing them by depositing fine particles of earth or vegetable substances.NWAD FERTILIZING.2

    2. a. Enriching; furnishing the nutriment of plants.NWAD FERTILIZING.3

    FERULACEOUS, a. [L. ferula.] Pertaining to reeds or canes; having a stalk like a reed; or resembling the Ferula, as ferulaceous plants.

    FERULE, n. [L. ferula, from ferio, to strike, or from the use of stalks of the Ferula.]

    1. A little wooden pallet or slice, used to punish children in school, by striking them on the palm of the hand. [Ferular is not used.]NWAD FERULE.2

    2. Under the Eastern empire, the ferula was the emperor’s scepter. It was a long stem or shank, with a flat square head.NWAD FERULE.3

    FERULE, v.t. To punish with a ferule.

    FERVENCY, n. [See Fervent.]

    1. Heat of mind; ardor; eagerness.NWAD FERVENCY.2

    2. Pious ardor; animated zeal; warmth of devotion.NWAD FERVENCY.3

    When you pray, let it be with attention, with fervency, and with perseverance.NWAD FERVENCY.4

    FERVENT, a. [L. fervens, from ferveo, to be hot, to boil, to glow.]

    1. Hot; boiling; as a fervent summer; fervent blood.NWAD FERVENT.2

    2. Hot in temper; vehement.NWAD FERVENT.3

    They are fervent to dispute.NWAD FERVENT.4

    3. Ardent; very warm; earnest; excited; animated; glowing; as fervent zeal; fervent piety.NWAD FERVENT.5

    Fervent in spirit. Romans 12:11.NWAD FERVENT.6

    FERVENTLY, adv.

    1. Earnestly; eagerly; vehemently; with great warmth.NWAD FERVENTLY.2

    2. With pious ardor; with earnest zeal; ardently.NWAD FERVENTLY.3

    Epaphras - saluteth you, laboring fervently for you in prayers. Colossians 4:12.NWAD FERVENTLY.4

    FERVID, a. [L. fervidus.]

    1. Very hot; burning; boiling; as fervid heat.NWAD FERVID.2

    2. Very warm in zeal; vehement; eager; earnest; as fervid zeal.NWAD FERVID.3

    FERVIDLY, adv. Very hotly; with glowing warmth.

    FERVIDNESS, n. Glowing heat; ardor of mind; warm zeal.

    FERVOR, n. [L. fervor.]

    1. Heat or warmth; as the fervor of a summer’s day.NWAD FERVOR.2

    2. Heat of mind; ardor; warm or animated zeal and earnestness in the duties of religion, particularly in prayer.NWAD FERVOR.3

    FESCENNINE, a. Pertaining to Fescennium in Italy; licentious.

    FESCENNINE, n. A nuptial song, or a licentious song.

    FESCUE, n. [L. festuca, a shoot or stalk of a tree, a rod.]

    A small wire used to point out letters to children when learning to read.NWAD FESCUE.2

    FESCUE-GRASS, n. The Festuca, a genus of grasses.

    FESELS, n. A kind of base grain.

    FESSE, n. fess. [L. fascia, a band.] In heraldry, a bank or girdle, possessing the third part of the escutcheon; one of the nine honorable ordinaries.

    FESSE-POINT, n. The exact center of the escutcheon.

    FESTAL, a. [L. festus, festive. See Feast.]

    Pertaining to a feast; joyous; gay; mirthful.NWAD FESTAL.2

    FESTER, v.i. [L. pestis, pus, or pustula.]

    To rankle; to corrupt; to grow virulent.NWAD FESTER.2

    We say of a sore or wound, it festers.NWAD FESTER.3

    Passion and unkindness may give a wound that shall bleed and smart; but it is treachery that makes it fester.NWAD FESTER.4

    FESTERING, ppr. Rankling; growing virulent.

    FESTINATE, a. [L. festino, festinatus.] Hasty; hurried. [Not in use.]

    FESTINATION, n. Haste. [Not used.]

    FESTIVAL, a. [L. festivus, from festus, or festum or fasti. See Feast.]

    Pertaining to a feast; joyous; mirthful; as a festival entertainment.NWAD FESTIVAL.2

    FESTIVAL, n. The time of feasting; an anniversary day of joy, civil or religious.

    The morning trumpets festival proclaimed.NWAD FESTIVAL.4

    FESTIVE, a. [L. festivus.] Pertaining to or becoming a feast; joyous; gay; mirthful.

    The glad circle round them yield their souls to festive mirth and wit that knows no gall.NWAD FESTIVE.2

    FESTIVITY, n. [L. festivitas.]

    1. Primarily, the mirth of a feast; hence, joyfulness; gaiety; social joy or exhilaration of spirits at an entertainment.NWAD FESTIVITY.2

    2. A festival. [Not in use.]NWAD FESTIVITY.3

    FESTOON, n.

    Something in imitation of a garland or wreath. In architecture and sculpture, an ornament of carved work in the form of a wreath of flowers, fruits and leaves intermixed or twisted together. It is in the form of a string or collar, somewhat largest in the middle, where it falls down in an arch, being suspended by the ends, the extremities of which hang down perpendicularly.NWAD FESTOON.2

    FESTUCINE, a. [L. festuca.] Being of a straw-color.

    FESTUCOUS, a. Formed of straw.

    FET, n. A piece. [Not used.]

    FET, v.t. or i. To fetch; to come to. [Not used.]

    FETAL, a. [from fetus.] Pertaining to a fetus.

    FETCH, v.t.

    1. To go and bring, or simply to bring, that is, to bear a thing towards or to a person.NWAD FETCH.2

    We will take men to fetch victuals for the people. Judges 20:10.NWAD FETCH.3

    Go to the flock, and fetch me from thence two kids of the goats. Genesis 27:9.NWAD FETCH.4

    In the latter passage, fetch signifies only to bring.NWAD FETCH.5

    2. To derive; to draw, as from a source.NWAD FETCH.6

    On you noblest English, whose blood is fetched from fathers of war-proof.NWAD FETCH.7

    [In this sense, the use is neither common nor elegant.]NWAD FETCH.8

    3. To strike at a distance. [Not used.]NWAD FETCH.9

    The conditions and improvements of weapons are the fetching afar off.NWAD FETCH.10

    4. To bring back; to recall; to bring to any state. [Not used or vulgar.]NWAD FETCH.11

    In smells we see their great and sudden effect in fetching men again, when they swoon.NWAD FETCH.12

    5. To bring or draw; as, to fetch a thing within a certain compass.NWAD FETCH.13

    6. To make; to perform; as, to fetch a turn; to fetch a leap or bound.NWAD FETCH.14

    Fetch a compass behind them. 2 Samuel 5:23.NWAD FETCH.15

    7. To draw; to heave; as, to fetch a sigh.NWAD FETCH.16

    8. To reach; to attain or come to; to arrive at.NWAD FETCH.17

    We fetched the syren’s isle.NWAD FETCH.18

    9. To bring; to obtain its price. Wheat fetches only 75 cents the bushel. A commodity is worth what it will fetch.NWAD FETCH.19

    To fetch out, to bring or draw out; to cause to appear.NWAD FETCH.20

    To fetch to, to restore, to revive, as from a swoon.NWAD FETCH.21

    To fetch up, to bring up; to cause to come up or forth.NWAD FETCH.22

    To fetch a pump, to pour water into it to make it draw water.NWAD FETCH.23

    FETCH, v.i. To move or turn; as, to fetch about.

    FETCH, n. A stratagem, by which a thing is indirectly brought to pass, or by which one thing seems intended and another is done; a trick; an artifice; as a fetch of wit.

    Straight cast about to over-reachNWAD FETCH.26

    Th’ unwary conqueror with a fetch.NWAD FETCH.27

    FETCHER, n. One that brings.

    FETCHING, ppr. Bringing; going and bringing; deriving; drawing; making; reaching; obtaining as price.

    FETICHISM, FETICISM, n. The worship of idols among the negroes of Africa, among whom fetch is an idol, any tree, stone or other thing worshipped.

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