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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    FETID, a. [L. faetidus, from faetco, to have an ill scent.]

    Having an offensive smell; having a strong or rancid scent.NWAD FETID.2

    Most putrefactions smell either fetid or moldy.NWAD FETID.3

    FETIDNESS, n. The quality of smelling offensively; a fetid quality.

    FETIFEROUS, a. [L. faetifer; faetus and fero, to bear.] Producing young, as animals.

    FETLOCK, n. [foot or feet and lock.] A tuft of hair growing behind the pastern joint of many horses. Horses of low size have scarce any such tuft.

    FETOR, n. [L. faetor.] Any strong offensive smell; stench.

    FETTER, n.

    1. A chain for the feet; a chain by which an animal is confined by the foot, either made fast or fixed, as a prisoner, or impeded in motion and hindered from leaping, as a horse whose fore and hind feet are confined by a chain.NWAD FETTER.2

    The Philistines bound Samson with fetters of brass. Judges 16:21.NWAD FETTER.3

    2. Any thing that confines or restrains from motion.NWAD FETTER.4

    Passions too fierce to be in fetters bound.NWAD FETTER.5

    FETTER, v.t.

    1. To put on fetters; to shackle or confine the feet with a chain.NWAD FETTER.7

    2. To bind; to enchain; to confine; to restrain motion; to impose restraints on.NWAD FETTER.8

    Fetter strong madness in a silken thread.NWAD FETTER.9

    FETTERED, pp. Bound or confined by fetters; enchained.

    FETTERING, ppr. Binding or fastening by the feet with a chain; confining; restraining motion.

    FETTERLESS, a. Free from fetters or restraint.

    FETTSTEIN, n. A mineral of a greenish or bluish gray color or flesh red, called also elaolite.

    FETUS, n. plu. fetuses. [L. faetus.] The young of viviparous animals in the womb, and of oviparous animals in the egg, after it is perfectly formed; before which time it is called embryo. A young animal then is called a fetus from the time its parts are distinctly formed, till its birth.

    Feu de joie, fire of joy, a French phrase for a bonfire, or a firing of guns in token of joy.NWAD FETUS.2

    FEUD, n.

    1. Primarily, a deadly quarrel; hatred and contention that was to be terminated only by death. Among our rude ancestors, these quarrels, though originating in the murder of an individual, involved the whole tribe or family of the injured and of the aggressing parties. Hence in modern usage,NWAD FEUD.2

    2. A contention or quarrel; particularly, an inveterate quarrel between families or parties in a state; the discord and animosities which prevail among the citizens of a state or city, sometimes accompanied with civil war. In the north of Great Britain, the word is still used in its original sense; denoting a combination of kindred to revenge the death of any of their blood, on the offender and all his race, or any other great enemy. We say, it is the policy of our enemies to raise and cherish intestine feuds.NWAD FEUD.3

    The word is not strictly applicable to wars between different nations, but to intestine wars, and to quarrels and animosities between families or small tribes.NWAD FEUD.4

    FEUD, n. [L. fides; Eng. loan.]

    A fief; a fee; a right to lands or hereditaments held in trust, or on the terms of performing certain conditions; the right which a vassal or tenant has to the lands or other immovable thing of his lord, to use the same and take the profits thereof hereditarily, rendering to his superior such duties and services as belong to military tenure, etc., the property of the soil always remaining in the lord or superior.NWAD FEUD.6

    From the foregoing explanation of the origin of the word, result very naturally the definition of the term, and the doctrine of forfeiture, upon non-performance of the conditions of the trust or loan.NWAD FEUD.7

    FEUDAL, a.

    1. Pertaining to feuds, fiefs or fees; as feudal rights or services; feudal tenures.NWAD FEUDAL.2

    2. Consisting of feuds or fiefs; embracing tenures by military services; as the feudal system.NWAD FEUDAL.3

    FEUDALITY, n. The state or quality of being feudal; feudal form or constitution.

    FEUDALISM, n. The feudal system; the principles and constitution of feuds, or lands held by military services.

    FEUDARY, a. Holding land of a superior.

    FEUDATARY, n. A feudatory, which see.


    A tenant or vassal who holds his lands of a superior, on condition of military service; the tenant of a feud or fief.NWAD FEUDATORY.2

    FEUDIST, n. A writer on feuds.

    FEUILLAGE, n. A bunch or row of leaves.

    FEUILLEMORT, The color of a faded leaf.

    FEUTER, v.t. To make ready. [Not in use.]

    FEUTERER, n. A dog keeper. [Not used.]

    FEVER, n. [L. febris, supposed to be so written by transposition for ferbis, or fervis, from ferbeo, ferveo, to be hot.]

    1. A disease, characterized by an accelerated pulse, with increase of heat, impaired functions, diminished strength, and often with preternatural thirst. This order of diseases is called by Cullen pyrexy, Gr. Fevers are often or generally preceded by chills or rigors, called the cold stage of the disease. Fevers are of various kinds, but the principal division of fevers is into remitting fevers, which subside or abate at intervals; intermitting fevers, which intermit or entirely cease at intervals; and continued or continual fevers, which neither remit nor intermit.NWAD FEVER.2

    2. Heat; agitation; excitement by any thing that strongly affects the passions. This news has given me a fever. This quarrel has set my blood in a fever .NWAD FEVER.3

    FEVER, v.t. To put in a fever.

    FEVER-COOLING, a. Allaying febrile heat.

    FEVERET, n. A slight fever. [Not used.]

    FEVERFEW, n. [L. febris and fugo.]

    A plant, or rather a genus of plants, the Matricaria, so named from supposed febrifuge qualities. The common feverfew grows to the height of two or three feet with compound leaves and compound radiated white flowers, with a yellow disk.NWAD FEVERFEW.2

    FEVERISH, a.

    1. Having a slight fever; as the patient is feverish.NWAD FEVERISH.2

    2. Diseased with fever or heat; as feverish nature.NWAD FEVERISH.3

    3. Uncertain; inconstant; fickle; now hot, now cold.NWAD FEVERISH.4

    We toss and turn about our feverish will.NWAD FEVERISH.5

    4. Hot; sultry; burning; as the feverish north.NWAD FEVERISH.6

    FEVERISHNESS, n. The state of being feverish; a slight febrile affection.

    FEVEROUS, a.

    1. Affected with fever or ague.NWAD FEVEROUS.2

    2. Having the nature of fever.NWAD FEVEROUS.3

    All feverous kinds.NWAD FEVEROUS.4

    3. Having a tendency to produce fever; as a feverous disposition of the year. [This word is little used.]NWAD FEVEROUS.5

    FEVER-ROOT, n. A plant of the genus Triosteum.

    FEVER-SICK, a. Diseased with fever.

    FEVER-WEAKENED, a. Debilitated by fever.

    FEVER-WEED, n. A plant of the genus Eryngium.

    FEVER-WORT, n. [See Fever-root.]

    FEVERY, a. Affected with fever.

    FEW, a. [L. pauci. The senses of few and small are often united.]

    Not many; small in number. Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few; but few men, in times of party, regard the maxim.NWAD FEW.2

    FEWEL, n. Combustible matter. [See Fuel.]

    FEWNESS, n.

    1. Smallness of number; paucity.NWAD FEWNESS.2

    2. Paucity of words; brevity. [Not used.]NWAD FEWNESS.3

    FIANCE, v.t. To betroth. [See Affiance.]

    FIAT. [L. from fio.] Let it be done; a decree; a command to do something.

    FIB, n. [See Fable.] A lie or falsehood; a word used among children and the vulgar, as a softer expression than lie.

    FIB, v.i. To lie; to speak falsely.

    FIBBER, n. One who tells lies or fibs.

    FIBBING, ppr. Telling fibs; as a noun, the telling of fibs.

    FIBER, n. [L. fibra.]

    1. A thread; a fine, slender body which constitutes a part of the frame of animals. Of fibers, some are soft and flexible; others more hard and elastic. Those that are soft are hollow, or spungy and full of little cells, as the nervous and fleshy. Some are so small as scarcely to be visible; others are larger and appear to be composed of still smaller fibers. These fibers constitute the substance of the bones, cartilages, ligaments, membranes, nerves, veins, arteries, and muscles.NWAD FIBER.2

    2. A filament or slender thread in plants or minerals; the small slender root of a plant.NWAD FIBER.3

    3. Any fine, slender thread.NWAD FIBER.4

    FIBRIL, n. A small fiber; the branch of a fiber; a very slender thread.

    FIBRIN, n. [See Fiber.] A peculiar organic compound substance found in animals and vegetables. It is a soft solid, of a greasy appearance, which softens in air, becoming viscid, brown and semitransparent, but is insoluble in water. It is the chief constituent of muscular flesh.

    FIBROLITE, n. [from L. fibra, and Gr.]

    A mineral that occurs with corundum, of a white or gray color, composed of minute fibres some of which appear to be rhomboidal prisms.NWAD FIBROLITE.2

    FIBROUS, a.

    1. Composed or consisting of fibers; as a fibrous body or substance.NWAD FIBROUS.2

    2. Containing fibers. In mineralogy, a fibrous fracture, is that which presents fine threads or slender lines, either straight or curved, parallel, diverging, or stellated, like the rays of a star.NWAD FIBROUS.3

    FIBULA, n. [L.]

    1. The outer and lesser bone of the leg, much smaller than the tibia.NWAD FIBULA.2

    2. A clasp or buckle.NWAD FIBULA.3

    FICKLE, a. [L. vacillo; Gr.; Heb. to stagger.]

    1. Wavering; inconstant; unstable; of a changeable mind; irresolute; not firm in opinion or purpose; capricious.NWAD FICKLE.2

    They know how fickle common lovers are.NWAD FICKLE.3

    2. Not fixed or firm; liable to change or vicissitude; as a fickle state.NWAD FICKLE.4


    1. A wavering; wavering disposition; inconstancy; instability; unsteadiness in opinion or purpose; as the fickleness of lovers.NWAD FICKLENESS.2

    2. Instability; changeableness; as the fickleness of fortune.NWAD FICKLENESS.3

    FICKLY, adv. Without firmness or steadiness.

    FICO, n. An act of contempt done with the fingers, expressing a fig for you.

    FICTILE, a. [L. fictilis, from fictus, fingo, to feign.]

    Molded into form by art; manufactured by the potter.NWAD FICTILE.2

    Fictile earth is more fragile than crude earth.NWAD FICTILE.3

    FICTION, n. [L. fictio, from fingo, to feign.]

    1. The act of feigning, inventing or imagining; as, by the mere fiction of the mind.NWAD FICTION.2

    2. That which is feigned, invented or imagined. The story is a fiction.NWAD FICTION.3

    So also was the fiction of those golden apples kept by a dragon, taken from the serpent which tempted Eve.NWAD FICTION.4

    FICTIOUS, for fictitious, not used.

    FICTITIOUS, a. [L. fictifius, from fingo, to feign.]

    1. Feigned; imaginary; not real.NWAD FICTITIOUS.2

    The human persons are as fictitious as the airy ones.NWAD FICTITIOUS.3

    2. Counterfeit; false; not genuine; as fictitious fame.NWAD FICTITIOUS.4

    FICTITIOUSLY, adv. By fiction; falsely; counterfeitly.

    FICTITIOUSNESS, n. Feigned representation.

    FICTIVE, a. Feigned. [Not used.]

    FID, n.

    1. A square bar of wood or iron, with a shoulder at one end, used to support the top-mast, when erected at the head of the lower mast.NWAD FID.2

    2. A pin of hard wood or iron, tapering to a point, used to open the strands of a rope in splicing.NWAD FID.3

    FIDDLE, n. [L. fides, fidicula.] A stringed instrument of music; a violin.

    FIDDLE, v.i.

    1. To play on a fiddle or violin.NWAD FIDDLE.3

    Themistocles said he could not fiddle, but he could make a small town a great city.NWAD FIDDLE.4

    It is said that Nero fiddled, when Rome was in flames.NWAD FIDDLE.5

    2. To trifle; to shift the hands often and do nothing, like a fellow that plays on a fiddle.NWAD FIDDLE.6

    Good cooks cannot abide what they call fiddling work.NWAD FIDDLE.7

    FIDDLE, v.t. To play a tune on a fiddle.

    FIDDLE-FADDLE, n. Trifles. [A low cant word.]

    FIDDLE-FADDLE, a. Trifling; making a bustle about nothing. [Vulgar.]

    FIDDLER, n. One who plays on a fiddle or violin.

    FIDDLE-STICK, n. The bow and string with which a fiddler plays on a violin.

    FIDDLE-STRING, n. The string of a fiddle, fastened at the ends and elevated in the middle by a bridge.

    FIDDLE-WOOD, n. A plant of the genus Citharexylon.

    FIDDLING, ppr. Playing on a fiddle.

    FIDDLING, n. The act of playing on a fiddle.

    FIDEJUSSOR, n. [L.] A surety; one bound for another.

    FIDELITY, n. [L. fidelitas, from fides, faith, fido, to trust. See Faith.]

    1. Faithfulness; careful and exact observance of duty, or performance of obligations. We expect fidelity in a public minister, in an agent or trustee, in a domestic servant, in a friend.NWAD FIDELITY.2

    The best security for the fidelity of men, is to make interest coincide with duty.NWAD FIDELITY.3

    2. Firm adherence to a person or party with which one is united, or to which one is bound; loyalty; as the fidelity of subjects to their king or government; the fidelity of a tenant or liege to his lord.NWAD FIDELITY.4

    3. Observance of the marriage covenant; as the fidelity of a husband or wife.NWAD FIDELITY.5

    4. Honesty; veracity; adherence to truth; as the fidelity of a witness.NWAD FIDELITY.6

    FIDGE, FIDGET, v.i. [allied probably to fickle.] To move one way and the other; to move irregularly or in fits and starts. [A low word.]

    FIDGET, n. Irregular motion; restlessness. [Vulgar.]

    FIDGETY, a. Restless; uneasy. [Vulgar.]

    FIDUCIAL, a. [from L. fiducia, from fido, to trust.]

    1. Confident; undoubting; firm; as a fiducial reliance on the promises of the gospel.NWAD FIDUCIAL.2

    2. Having the nature of a trust; as fiducial power.NWAD FIDUCIAL.3

    FIDUCIALLY, adv. With confidence.

    FIDUCIARY, a. [L. fiduciarius, from fido, to trust.]

    1. Confident; steady; undoubting; unwavering; firm.NWAD FIDUCIARY.2

    2. Not to be doubted; as fiduciary obedience.NWAD FIDUCIARY.3

    3. Held in trust.NWAD FIDUCIARY.4


    1. One who holds a thing in trust; a trustee.NWAD FIDUCIARY.6

    2. One who depends on faith for salvation, without works; an antinomian.NWAD FIDUCIARY.7

    FIE, pronounced fi, an exclamation denoting comtempt or dislike.

    FIEF, n. [See Fee, Feoff and Feud.]

    A fee; a feud; an estate held of a superior on condition of military service.NWAD FIEF.2

    FIELD, n.

    1. A piece of land inclosed for tillage or pasture; any part of a farm, except the garden and appurtenances of the mansion; properly land not covered with wood, and more strictly applicable to tillage land than to mowing land, which is often called meadow. But we say, the master of the house is in the field with his laborers, when he is at a distance from his house on his farm. He is in the field, plowing, sowing, reaping or making hay.NWAD FIELD.2

    2. Ground not inclosed.NWAD FIELD.3

    3. The ground where a battle is fought.NWAD FIELD.4

    We say, the field of battle; these veterans are excellent soldiers in the field.NWAD FIELD.5

    4. A battle; action in the field.NWAD FIELD.6

    What though the field be lost.NWAD FIELD.7

    5. To keep the field, is to keep the campaign open; to live in tents, or to be in a state of active operations. At the approach of cold weather, the troops, unable to keep the field, were ordered into winter quarters.NWAD FIELD.8

    6. A wide expanse.NWAD FIELD.9

    Ask of yonder argent fields above.NWAD FIELD.10

    7. Open space for action or operation; compass; extent. This subject opens a wide field for contemplation.NWAD FIELD.11

    8. A piece or tract of land.NWAD FIELD.12

    The field I give thee and the cave that is therein. Genesis 23:11.NWAD FIELD.13

    9. The ground or blank space on which figures are drawn; as the field or ground of a picture.NWAD FIELD.14

    10. In heraldry, the whole surface of the shield, or the continent.NWAD FIELD.15

    11. In scripture, field often signifies the open country, ground not inclosed, as it may in some countries in modern times.NWAD FIELD.16

    12. A field of ice, a large body of floating ice.NWAD FIELD.17

    FIELDED, a. Being in the field of battle; encamped.

    FIELD-BASIL, n. A plant of several kinds.

    FIELD-BED, n. A bed for the field.

    FIELD-BOOK, n. A book used in surveying, in which are set down the angles, stations, distances, etc.

    FIELD-COLORS, n. plu. In war, small flags of about a foot and half square, carried along with the quarter-master general, for marking out the ground for the squadrons and battalions.

    FIELD-DUCK, n. A species of bustard, nearly as large as a pheasant; found chiefly in France.

    FIELDFARE, n. [field and fare, wandering in the field.]

    A bird of the genus Turdus or thrush, about ten inches in length, the head ash-colored, the back and greater coverts of the wings, of a fine deep chestnut, and the tail black. These birds pass the summer in the northern parts of Europe, but visit Great Britain in winter.NWAD FIELDFARE.2

    FIELD-MARSHAL, n. The commander of an army; a military officer of high rank in France and Germany, and the highest military officer in England.

    FIELDMOUSE, n. A species of mouse that lives in the field, burrowing in banks, etc.

    FIELD-OFFICER, n. A military officer above the rank of captain, as a major or colonel.

    FIELD-PIECE, n. A small cannon which is carried along with armies, and used in the field of battle.

    FIELD-PREACHER, n. One who preaches in the open air.

    FIELD-PREACHING, n. A preaching in the field or open air.

    FIELDROOM, n. Open space. [Not in use.]

    FIELD-SPORTS, n. plu. Diversions of the field, as shooting and hunting.

    FIELD-STAFF, n. A weapon carried by gunners, about the length of a halbert, with a spear at the end; having on each side ears screwed on, like the cock of a match-lock, where the gunners screw in lighted matches, when they are on command.

    FIELD-WORKS, n. In the military art, works thrown up by an army in besieging a fortress, or by the besieged to defend the place.

    FIELDY, a. Open like a field. [Not in use.]

    FIEND, n. [See Feud, contention.]

    An enemy in the worst sense; an implacable or malicious foe; the devil; an infernal being.NWAD FIEND.2

    O woman! woman! when to ill thy mind is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.NWAD FIEND.3

    FIENDFUL, a. Full of evil or malignant practices.

    FIENDLIKE, a. Resembling a field; maliciously wicked; diabolical.

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