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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    FIREWARD, FIREWARDEN, n. An officer who has authority to direct others in the extinguishing of fires.

    FIREWOOD, n. Wood for fuel.

    FIREWORK, n. Usually in the plural, fireworks.

    Preparations of gun-powder, sulphur and other inflammable materials, used for making explosions in the air, on occasions of public rejoicing; pyrotechnical exhibitions. This word is applied also to various combustible preparations used in war.NWAD FIREWORK.2

    FIREWORKER, n. An officer of artillery subordinate to the firemaster.

    FIRING, ppr. Setting fire to; kindling; animating; exciting; inflaming; discharging firearms.

    FIRING, n.

    1. The act of discharging firearms.NWAD FIRING.3

    2. Fuel; firewood or coal.NWAD FIRING.4

    FIRING-IRON, n. An instrument used in farriery to discuss swellings and knots.

    FIRK, v.t. To beat; to whip; to chastise. [Not used.]

    FIRKIN, n. fur’kin.

    A measure of capacity, being the fourth part of a barrel. It is nine gallons of beer, or eight gallons of ale, soap or herrings. In America, the firkin is rarely used, except for butter or lard, and signifies a small vessel or cask of indeterminate size, or of different sizes, regulated by the statutes of the different states.NWAD FIRKIN.2

    FIRLOT, n. A dry measure used in Scotland. The oat firlot contains 21 1/4 pints of that country; the wheat firlot 224 cubic inches; the barley firlot 21 standard pints.

    FIRM, a. ferm. [L. firmus. This is the root of L. ferrum, iron.]

    1. Properly, fixed; hence, applied to the matter of bodies, it signifies closely compressed; compact; hard; solid; as firm flesh; firm muscles; some species of wood are more firm than others; a cloth of firm texture.NWAD FIRM.2

    2. Fixed; steady; constant; stable; unshaken; not easily moved; as a firm believer; a firm friend; a firm adherent or supporter; a firm man, or a man of firm resolution.NWAD FIRM.3

    3. Solid; not giving way; opposed to fluid; as firm land.NWAD FIRM.4

    FIRM, n. ferm. A partnership or house; or the name or title under which a company transact business; as the firm of Hope & Co.

    FIRM, v.t. ferm. [L. firmo.] To fix; to settle; to confirm; to establish.

    And Jove has firm’d it with an awful nod.NWAD FIRM.7

    This word is rarely used, except in poetry. In prose, we use confirm.NWAD FIRM.8

    FIRMAMENT, n. ferm’ament. [L. firmamentum, from firmus, firmo.]

    The region of the air; the sky or heavens. In scripture, the word denotes an expanse, a wide extent; for such is the signification of the Hebrew word, coinciding with regio, region, and reach. The original therefore does not convey the sense of solidity, but of stretching, extension; the great arch or expanse over our heads, in which are placed the atmosphere and the clouds, and in which the stars appear to be placed, and are really seen.NWAD FIRMAMENT.2

    And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Genesis 1:6.NWAD FIRMAMENT.3

    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament. Genesis 1:14.NWAD FIRMAMENT.4

    FIRMAMENTAL, a. Pertaining to the firmament; celestial; being of the upper regions.

    FIRMAN, n. An Asiatic word, denoting a passport, permit, license, or grant of privileges.

    FIRMED, pp. ferm’ed. Established; confirmed.

    FIRMING, ppr. ferm’ing, Settling; making firm and stable.

    FIRMITUDE, n. ferm’itude. Strength; solidity. [Not in use.]

    FIRMITY, n. ferm’ity. Strength; firmness. [Not used.]

    FIRMLESS, a. ferm’less. Detached from substance.

    Does passion still the firmless mind control.NWAD FIRMLESS.2

    FIRMLY, ad. ferm’ly.

    1. Solidly; compactly; closely; as particles of matter firmly cohering.NWAD FIRMLY.2

    2. Steadily; with constancy or fixedness; immovably; steadfastly. He firmly believes in the divine origin of the scriptures. His resolution is firmly fixed. He firmly adheres to his party.NWAD FIRMLY.3

    FIRMNESS, n. ferm’ness.

    1. Closeness or denseness of texture or structure; compactness; hardness; solidity; as the firmness of wood, stone, cloth or other substance.NWAD FIRMNESS.2

    2. Stability; strength; as the firmness of a union, or of a confederacy.NWAD FIRMNESS.3

    3. Steadfastness; constancy; fixedness; as the firmness of a purpose or resolution; the firmness of a man, or of his courage; firmness of mind or soul.NWAD FIRMNESS.4

    4. Certainty; soundness; as the firmness of notions or opinions.NWAD FIRMNESS.5

    FIRST, a. furst. [See Fare and For.]

    1. Advanced before or further than any other in progression; foremost in place; as the first man in a marching company or troop is the man that precedes all the rest. Hence,NWAD FIRST.2

    2. Preceding all others in the order of time. Adam was the first man. Cain was the first murderer. Monday was the first day of January.NWAD FIRST.3

    3. Preceding all others in numbers or a progressive series; the ordinal of one; as, 1 is the first number.NWAD FIRST.4

    4. Preceding all others in rank, dignity or excellence. Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece. Burke was one of the first geniuses of his age. Give God the first place in your affections.NWAD FIRST.5

    FIRST, adv. furst.

    1. Before any thing else in the order of time.NWAD FIRST.7

    Adam was first formed, then Eve. 1 Timothy 2:13.NWAD FIRST.8

    2. Before all others in place or progression.NWAD FIRST.9

    Let the officers enter the gate first.NWAD FIRST.10

    3. Before any thing else in order of proceeding or consideration. First, let us attend to the examination of the witnesses.NWAD FIRST.11

    4. Before all others in rank. He stands or ranks first in public estimation.NWAD FIRST.12

    At first, at the first, as the beginning or origin.NWAD FIRST.13

    First or last, at one time or another; at the beginning or end.NWAD FIRST.14

    And all fools and lovers first or last.NWAD FIRST.15

    FIRST-BEGOTTEN, a. First produced; the eldest of children.

    FIRST-BORN, a.

    1. First brought forth; first in the order of nativity; eldest; as the first-born son.NWAD FIRST-BORN.2

    2. Most excellent; most distinguished or exalted. Christ is called the first-born of every creature. Colossians 1:15.NWAD FIRST-BORN.3

    FIRST-BORN, n. The eldest child; the first in the order of birth.

    The first-born of the poor are the most wretched. Isaiah 14:30.NWAD FIRST-BORN.5

    The first-born of death is the most terrible death. Job 18:13.NWAD FIRST-BORN.6

    FIRST-CREATED, a. Created before any other.


    1. The fruit or produce first matured and collected in any season. Of these the Jews made an oblation to God, as an acknowledgment of his sovereign dominion.NWAD FIRST-FRUIT.2

    2. The first profits of any thing. In the church of England, the profits of every spiritual benefice for the first year.NWAD FIRST-FRUIT.3

    3. The first or earliest effect of any thing, in a good or bad sense; as the first-fruits of grace in the heart, or the first-fruits of vice.NWAD FIRST-FRUIT.4

    FIRSTLING, a. First produced; as firstling males. Deuteronomy 15:19.


    1. The first produce or offspring; applied to beasts; as the firstlings of cattle.NWAD FIRSTLING.3

    2. The thing first thought or done. [Not used.]NWAD FIRSTLING.4

    The very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand.NWAD FIRSTLING.5

    FIRST-RATE, a.

    1. Of the highest excellence; preeminent; as a first-rate scholar or painter.NWAD FIRST-RATE.2

    2. Being of the largest size; as a first-rate ship.NWAD FIRST-RATE.3

    FISC, n. [L. fiscus. Fiscus, signifies a basket or hanaper, probably from the twigs which composed the first baskets. Eng. whisk. The word coincides in elements with basket, and L. fascia, twigs being the primitive bands.]

    The treasury of a prince or state; hence to confiscate to take the good of a criminal and appropriate then to the public treasure.NWAD FISC.2

    FISCAL, a. Pertaining to the public treasury or revenue.

    The fiscal arrangement of government.NWAD FISCAL.2

    FISCAL, n.

    1. Revenue; the income of a prince or state.NWAD FISCAL.4

    2. A treasurer.NWAD FISCAL.5

    FISH, n. [L. piscis.]

    1. An animal that lives in water. Fish is a general name for a class of animals subsisting in water, which were distributed by Linne into six orders. They breathe by means of gills, swim by the aid of fins, and are oviparous. Some of them have the skeleton bony, and others cartilaginous. Most of the former have the opening of the gills closed by a peculiar covering, called the gill-lid; many of the latter have no gill-lid, and are hence said to breathe through apertures. Cetaceous animals, as the whale and dolphin, are, in popular language, called fishes, and have been so classed by some naturalists; but they breathe by lungs, and are viviparous, like quadrupeds. The term fish has been also extended to other aquatic animals, such as shell-fish, lobsters, etc. We use fish, in the singular, for fishes in general or the whole race.NWAD FISH.2

    2. The flesh of fish, used as food. But we usually apply flesh to land animals.NWAD FISH.3

    FISH, v.i.

    1. To attempt to catch fish; to be employed in taking fish, by any means, as by angling or drawing nets.NWAD FISH.5

    2. To attempt or seek to obtain by artifice, or indirectly to seek to draw forth; as, to fish for compliments.NWAD FISH.6

    FISH, v.t.

    1. To search by raking or sweeping; as, to fish the jakes for papers.NWAD FISH.8

    2. In seamanship, to strengthen, as a mast or yard, with a piece of timber.NWAD FISH.9

    3. To catch; draw out or up; as, to fish up a human body when sunk; to fish an anchor.NWAD FISH.10

    FISH, n.

    1. In ships, a machine to hoist and draw up the flukes of an anchor, towards the top of the bow.NWAD FISH.12

    2. A long piece of timber, used to strengthen a lower mast or a yard, when sprung or damaged.NWAD FISH.13

    FISHER, n.

    1. One who is employed in catching fish.NWAD FISHER.2

    2. A species of weasel.NWAD FISHER.3

    FISHERBOAT, n. A boat employed in catching fish.


    1. One whose occupation is to catch fish.NWAD FISHERMAN.2

    2. A ship or vessel employed in the business of taking fish, as in the cod and whale fishery.NWAD FISHERMAN.3

    FISHERTOWN, n. A town inhabited by fishermen.

    FISHERY, n.

    1. The business of catching fish.NWAD FISHERY.2

    2. A place for catching fish with nets or hooks, as the banks of Newfoundland, the coast of England or Scotland, or on the banks of rivers.NWAD FISHERY.3

    FISHFUL, a. Abounding with fish; as a fishful pond.

    FISHGIG, FIZGIG, n. An instrument used for striking fish at sea, consisting of a staff with barbed prongs, and a line fastened just above the prongs.

    FISHHOOK, n. A hook for catching fish.

    FISHING, ppr. Attempting to catch fish; searching; seeking to draw forth by artifice or indirectly; adding a piece of timber to a mast or spar to strengthen it.

    FISHING, n.

    1. The art or practice of catching fish.NWAD FISHING.3

    2. A fishery.NWAD FISHING.4

    FISHING-FROG, n. The toad-fish, or Lophius, whose head is larger than the body.

    FISHING-PLACE, n. A place where fishes are caught with seines; a convenient place for fishing; a fishery.

    FISHKETTLE, n. A kettle made long for boiling fish whole.

    FISHLIKE, a. Resembling fish.

    FISHMARKET, n. A place where fish are exposed for sale.

    FISHMEAL, n. A meal of fish; diet on fish; abstemious diet.

    FISHMONGER, n. A seller of fish; a dealer in fish.

    FISHPOND, n. A pond in which fishes are bred and kept.

    FISHROOM, n. An apartment in a ship between the after-hold and the spirit room.

    FISHSPEAR, n. A spear for taking fish by stabbing them.

    FISHWIFE, n. A woman that cries fish for sale.

    FISHWOMAN, n. A woman who sells fish.

    FISHY, a.

    1. Consisting of fish.NWAD FISHY.2

    2. Inhabited by fish; as the fishy flood.NWAD FISHY.3

    3. Having the qualities of fish; like fish; as a fishy form; a fishy taste or smell.NWAD FISHY.4

    FISSILE, a. [L. fissilis, from fissus, divided, from findo, to split.]

    That may be split, cleft or divided in the direction of the grain, or of natural joints.NWAD FISSILE.2

    This crystal is a pellucid fissile stone.NWAD FISSILE.3

    FISSILITY, n. The quality of admitting to be cleft.

    FISSIPED, a. [L. fissus, divided, and pes, foot.] Having separate toes.

    FISSIPED, n. An animal whose toes are separate, or not connected by a membrane.

    FISSURE, n. fish’ure. [L. fissura, from findo, to split.]

    1. A cleft; a narrow chasm made by the parting of any substance; a longitudinal opening; as the fissure of a rock.NWAD FISSURE.2

    2. In surgery, a crack or slit in a bone, either transversely or longitudinally, by means of external force.NWAD FISSURE.3

    3. In anatomy, a deep, narrow sulcus, or depression, dividing the anterior and middle lobes of the cerebrum on each side.NWAD FISSURE.4

    FISSURE, v.t. To cleave; to divide; to crack or fracture.

    FISSURED, pp. Cleft; divided; cracked.

    FIST, n.

    The hand clinched; the hand with the fingers doubled into the palm.NWAD FIST.2

    FIST, v.t.

    1. To strike with the fist.NWAD FIST.4

    2. To gripe with the fist.NWAD FIST.5

    FISTICUFFS, n. [fist and cuff.] Blows or a combat with the fist; a boxing.

    FISTULA, n. [L.; Eng. whistle.]

    1. Properly, a pipe; a wind instrument of music, originally a reed.NWAD FISTULA.2

    2. A surgery, a deep, narrow and callous ulcer, generally arising from abscesses. It differs from a sinus, in being callous.NWAD FISTULA.3

    Fistula lachrymalis, a fistula of the lachrymal sac, a disorder accompanied with a flowing of tears.NWAD FISTULA.4

    FISTULAR, a. Hollow, like a pipe or reed.

    FISTULATE, v.i. To become a pipe or fistula.

    FISTULATE, v.t. To make hollow like a pipe. [Little used.]

    FISTULIFORM, a. [fistula and form.] Being in round hollow columns, as a mineral.

    Stalactite often occurs fistuliform.NWAD FISTULIFORM.2

    FISTULOUS, a. Having the form or nature of a fistula; as a fistulous ulcer.

    FIT, n. [L. peto, impeto, to assult, or to Eng. pet, and primarily to denote a rushing on or attach, or a start. See fit, suitable.]

    1. The invasion, exacerbation or paroxysm of a disease. We apply the word to the return of an ague, after intermission, as a cold fit. We apply it to the first attack, or to the return of other diseases, as a fit of the gout or stone; and in general, to a disease however continued, as a fit of sickness.NWAD FIT.2

    2. A sudden and violent attack of disorder, in which the body is often convulsed, and sometimes senseless; as a fit of apoplexy or epilepsy; hysteric fits.NWAD FIT.3

    3. Any short return after intermission; a turn; a period or interval. He moves by fits and starts.NWAD FIT.4

    By fits my swelling grief appears.NWAD FIT.5

    4. A temporary affection or attack; as a fit of melancholy, or of grief; a fit of pleasure.NWAD FIT.6

    5. Disorder; distemperature.NWAD FIT.7

    6. Anciently, a song, or part of a song; a strain; a canto.NWAD FIT.8

    FIT, a. [This is from the root of Eng. pass; pat. In L. competo, whence compatible, signifies properly to meet or to fall on, hence to suit or be fit, from peto. This is probably the same word. The primary sense is to come to, to fall on, hence to meet, to extend to, to be close, to suit. To come or fall, is the primary sense of time or season.]

    1. Suitable; convenient; meet; becoming.NWAD FIT.10

    Is it fit to say to a king, thou art wicked? Job 34:18.NWAD FIT.11

    Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18.NWAD FIT.12

    2. Qualified; as men of valor fit for war.NWAD FIT.13

    No man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62.NWAD FIT.14

    FIT, v.t.

    1. To adapt; to suit; to make suitable.NWAD FIT.16

    The carpenter - marketh it out like a line, he fitteth it with planes. Isaiah 44:13.NWAD FIT.17

    2. To accommodate a person with any thing; as, the tailor fits his customer with a coat. The original phrase is, he fits a coat to his customer. But the phrase implies also furnishing, providing a thing suitable for another.NWAD FIT.18

    3. To prepare; to put in order for; to furnish with things proper or necessary; as, to fit a ship for a long voyage. Fit yourself for action or defense.NWAD FIT.19

    4. To qualify; to prepare; as, to fit a student for college.NWAD FIT.20

    To fit out, to furnish; to equip; to supply with necessaries or means; as, to fit out a privateer.NWAD FIT.21

    To fit up, to prepare; to furnish with things suitable; to make proper for the reception or use of any person; as, to fit up a house for a guest.NWAD FIT.22

    FIT, v.i.

    1. To be proper or becoming.NWAD FIT.24

    Nor fits it to prolong the feast.NWAD FIT.25

    2. To suit or be suitable; to be adapted. His coat fits very well. But this is an elliptical phrase.NWAD FIT.26

    FITCH, n. A chick-pea.

    FITCHET, FITCHEW, n. A polecat; a foumart.

    FITFUL, a. Varied by paroxysms; full of fits.

    FITLY, adv.

    1. Suitably; properly; with propriety. A maxim fitly applied.NWAD FITLY.2

    2. Commodiously; conveniently.NWAD FITLY.3

    FITMENT, n. Something adapted to a purpose. [Not used.]

    FITNESS, n.

    1. Suitableness; adaptedness; adaptation; as the fitness of things to their use.NWAD FITNESS.2

    2. Propriety; meetness; justness; reasonableness; as the fitness of measures or laws.NWAD FITNESS.3

    3. Preparation; qualification; as a student’s fitness for college.NWAD FITNESS.4

    4. Convenience; the state of being fit.NWAD FITNESS.5

    FITTED, pp. Made suitable; adapted; prepared; qualified.

    FITTER, n. One who makes fit or suitable; one who adapts; one who prepares.

    FITTING, ppr. Making suitable; adapting; preparing; qualifying; providing with.

    FITTINGLY, adv. Suitably.

    FITZ, Norm. fites, fuz or fiz, a son, is used in names, as in Fitzherbert, Fitzroy, Carlovitz.

    FIVE, a.

    Four and one added; the half of ten; as five men; five loaves. Like other adjectives, it is often used as a noun.NWAD FIVE.2

    Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Matthew 25:2.NWAD FIVE.3

    FIVEBAR, FIVEBARRED, a. Having five bars; as a fivebarred gate.

    FIVECLEFT, a. Quinquefid; divided into five segments.

    FIVEFOLD, a. In fives; consisting of five in one; five-double; five times repeated.

    FIVELEAF, n. Cinquefoil.

    FIVELEAFED, a. Having five leaves; as fiveleafed clover, or cinquefoil.

    FIVELOBED, a. Consisting of five lobes.

    FIVEPARTED, a. Divided into five parts.

    FIVES, n. A kind of play with a ball.

    FIVES, VIVES, n. A disease of horses, resembling the strangles.

    FIVETOOTHED, a. Having five teeth.

    FIVEVALVED, a. Having five valves.

    FIX, v.t. [L. firus, figo.]

    1. To make stable; to set or establish immovably. The universe is governed by fixed laws.NWAD FIX.2

    2. To set or place permanently; to establish. The prince fixed his residence at York. The seat of our government is fixed at Washington in the district of Columbia. Some men have no fixed opinions.NWAD FIX.3

    3. To make fast; to fasten; to attach firmly; as, to fix a cord or line to a hook.NWAD FIX.4

    4. To set or place steadily; to direct, as the eye, without moving it; to fasten. The gentleman fixed his eyes on the speaker, and addressed him with firmness.NWAD FIX.5

    5. To set or direct steadily, without wandering; as, to fix the attention. The preacher fixes the attention of his audience, or the hearers fix their attention on the preacher.NWAD FIX.6

    6. To set or make firm, so as to bear a high degree of heat without evaporating; to deprive of volatility. Gold, diamonds, silver, platina, are among the most fixed bodies.NWAD FIX.7

    7. To transfix; to pierce. [Little used.]NWAD FIX.8

    8. To withhold from motion.NWAD FIX.9

    9. In popular use, to put in order; to prepare; to adjust; to set or place in the manner desired or most suitable; as, to fix clothes or dress; to fix the furniture of a room. this use is analogous to that of set, in the phrase, to set a razor.NWAD FIX.10

    FIX, v.i.

    1. To rest; to settle or remain permanently; to cease from wandering.NWAD FIX.12

    Your kindness banishes your fear, resolved to fix forever here.NWAD FIX.13

    2. To become firm, so as to resist volatilization.NWAD FIX.14

    3. To cease to flow or be fluid; to congeal; to become hard and malleable; as a metallic substance.NWAD FIX.15

    To fix on, to settle the opinion or resolution on any thing; to determine on. The contracting parties have fixed on certain leading points. the legislature fixed on Wethersfield as the place for a State Prison.NWAD FIX.16

    FIXABLE, a. That may be fixed, established, or rendered firm.

    FIXATION, n.

    1. The act of fixing.NWAD FIXATION.2

    2. Stability; firmness; steadiness; a state of being established; as fixation in matters of religion.NWAD FIXATION.3

    3. Residence in a certain place; or a place of residence. [Little used.]NWAD FIXATION.4

    To light, created in the first day, God gave no certain place or fixation.NWAD FIXATION.5

    4. That firm state of a body which resists evaporation or volatilization by heat; as the fixation of gold or other metals.NWAD FIXATION.6

    5. The act or process of ceasing to be fluid and becoming firm; state of being fixed.NWAD FIXATION.7

    FIXED, pp. Settled; established; firm; fast; stable.

    Fixed air, an invisible and permanently elastic fluid, heavier than common air and fatal to animal life, produced from the combustion of carbonaceous bodies, as wood or charcoal, and by artificial processes; called also aerial acid, cretaceous acid, and more generally, carbonic acid.NWAD FIXED.2

    Fixed bodies, are those which bear a high heat without evaporation or volatilization.NWAD FIXED.3

    Fixed stars, are such stars as always retain the same apparent position and distance with respect to each other, and are thus distinguished from planets and comets, which are revolving bodies.NWAD FIXED.4

    Fixed oils, such as are obtained by simple pressure, and are not readily volatilized; so called in distinction from volatile or essential oils.NWAD FIXED.5

    FIXEDLY, adv. Firmly; in a settled or established manner; steadfastly.


    1. A state of being fixed; stability; firmness; steadfastness; as a fixedness in religion or politics; fixedness of opinion on any subject.NWAD FIXEDNESS.2

    2. The state of a body which resists evaporation or volatilization by heat; as the fixedness of gold.NWAD FIXEDNESS.3

    3. Firm coherence of parts; solidity.NWAD FIXEDNESS.4

    FIXIDITY, n. Fixedness. [Not used.]

    FIXITY, n. Fixedness; coherence of parts; that property of bodies by which they resist dissipation by heat.

    FIXTURE, n.

    1. Position.NWAD FIXTURE.2

    2. Fixedness; firm pressure; as the fixture of the foot.NWAD FIXTURE.3

    3. Firmness; stable state.NWAD FIXTURE.4

    4. That which is fixed to a building; any appendage or part of the furniture of a house which is fixed to it, as by nails, screws, etc., and which the tenant cannot legally take away, when he removes to another house.NWAD FIXTURE.5

    FIXURE, n. Position; stable pressure; firmness. [Little used.]

    FIZGIG, n.

    1. A fishgig, which see.NWAD FIZGIG.2

    2. A gadding flirting girl.NWAD FIZGIG.3

    3. A fire-work, made of powder rolled up in a paper.NWAD FIZGIG.4

    FIZZ, FIZZLE, v.i. To make a hissing sound.

    FLABBINESS, n. [See Flabby.] A soft, flexible state of a substance, which renders it easily movable and yielding to pressure.

    FLABBY, a.

    Soft; yielding to the touch and easily moved or shaken; easily bent; hanging loose by its own weight; as flabby flesh.NWAD FLABBY.2

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