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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    POMPOUSNESS, n. The state of being pompous; magnificence; splendor; great display of show; ostentatiousness.

    POM-WATER, n. The name of a large apple.

    POND, n. [L. pono; pontus, the sea.]

    1. A body of stagnant water without an outlet, larger than a puddle, and smaller than a lake; or a like body of water with a small outlet. In the United States, we give this name to collections of water in the interior country, which are fed by springs, and from which issues a small stream. These ponds are often a mile or two or even more in length, and the current issuing from them is used to drive the wheels of mills and furnaces.NWAD POND.2

    2. A collection of water raised in a river by a dam, for the purpose of propelling mill-wheels. These artificial ponds are called mill-ponds.NWAD POND.3

    Pond for fist. [See Fish-pond.]NWAD POND.4

    POND, v.t. [from the noun.] To make a pond; to collect in a pond by stopping the current of a river.

    POND, v.t. To ponder. [Not in use.]

    PONDER, v.t. [L. pondero, from pondo, pondus, a pound; pendeo, pendo, to weigh.]

    1. To weigh in the mind; to consider and compare the circumstances or consequences of an event, or the importance of the reasons for or against a decision.NWAD PONDER.2

    Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19.NWAD PONDER.3

    2. To view with deliberation; to examine.NWAD PONDER.4

    Ponder the path of thy feet. Proverbs 4:26.NWAD PONDER.5

    The Lord pondereth the hearts. Proverbs 21:2.NWAD PONDER.6

    To ponder on, is sometimes used, but is not be to countenanced.NWAD PONDER.7

    PONDERABLE, a. That may be weighed; capable of being weighed.

    PONDERAL, a. [from L. pondus, weight.] Estimated or ascertained by weight, as distinguished from numeral; as a ponderal drachma.

    PONDERANCE, n. Weight; gravity.

    PONDERATE, v.t. To weigh in the mind; to consider. [Not in use.]

    PONDERATION, n. The act of weighing. [Little used.]

    PONDERED, pp. Weighed in the mind; considered; examined by intellectual operation.

    PONDERER, n. One that weighs in his mind.

    PONDERING, ppr. Weighing intellectually; considering; deliberating on.

    PONDERINGLY, adv. With consideration or deliberation.

    PONDEROSITY, n. Weight; gravity; heaviness.

    PONDEROUS, a. [L. ponderosus.]

    1. Very heavy; weighty; as a ponderous shield; a ponderous load.NWAD PONDEROUS.2

    2. Important; momentous; as a ponderous project. [This application of the word is unusual.]NWAD PONDEROUS.3

    3. Forcible; strongly impulsive; as a motion vehement or ponderous; a ponderous blow.NWAD PONDEROUS.4

    Ponderous spar, heavy spar, or baryte.NWAD PONDEROUS.5

    PONDEROUSLY, adv. With great weight.

    PONDEROUSNESS, n. Weight; heaviness; gravity.

    POND-WEED, n. [pond and weed.] A plant of the genus Potamogeton. The triple-headed pond-weed is of the genus Zannichellia.

    PONENT, a. [L. ponens, form pono, to set.]

    Western; as the ponent winds. [Little used.]NWAD PONENT.2

    PONGO, n. A name of the orang outang.

    The name pongo was applied by Buffon to a large species of orang outang, which is now ascertained to have been an imaginary animal. It is applied by Cuvier to the largest species of ape known, which inhabits Borneo, and resembles the true orang outang in its general form and erect position, but has the cheek pouches and lengthened muzzle of the baboon. It has also been applied [Ed. Encyc.] to the Simia troglodytes or chimpanzee of Curvier, a native of W. Africa.NWAD PONGO.2

    PONIARD, n. pon’yard. [L. pugnus.] A small dagger; a pointed instrument for stabbing, borne in the hand or at the girdle, or in the pocket.

    PONIARD, v.t. pon’yard. To pierce with a poniard; to stab.

    PONK, n. A nocturnal spirit; a hag. [Not in use.]

    PONTAGE, n. [L. pons, pontis, a bridge.]

    A duty paid for repairing bridges.NWAD PONTAGE.2

    PONTEE, n. In glass words, an iron instrument used to stick the glass at the bottom, for the more convenient fashioning the neck of it.

    PONTIC, a. [L. Pontus, the Euxine sea.]

    Pertaining to the Pontus, Euxine, or Black Sea.NWAD PONTIC.2

    PONTIFF, n. [L. pontifex; said to be from pons, a bridge, and facio, to make.] A high priest. The Romans had a college of pontifs; the Jews had their pontifs; and in modern times, the pope is called pontif or sovereign pontif.

    PONTIFIC, a. Relating to priests; popish.

    PONTIFICAL, a. [L. pontificalis.] Belonging to a high priest; as pontifical authority; hence, belonging to the pope; popish.

    1. Splendid; magnificent.NWAD PONTIFICAL.2

    2. Bridge-building. [Not used.]NWAD PONTIFICAL.3

    PONTIFICAL, n. A book containing rites and ceremonies ecclesiastical.

    1. The dress and ornaments of a priest or bishop.NWAD PONTIFICAL.5

    PONTIFICALITY, n. The state and government of the pope; the papacy. [Not used.]

    PONTIFICALLY, adv. In a pontifical manner.

    PONTIFICATE, n. [L. pontificatus.] The state or dignity of a high priest; particularly, the office or dignity of the pope.

    He turned hermit in the view of being advanced to the pontificate.NWAD PONTIFICATE.2

    1. The reign of a pope.NWAD PONTIFICATE.3

    Painting, sculpture and architecture may all recover themselves under the present pontificate.NWAD PONTIFICATE.4

    PONTIFICE, n. Bridge-work; structure or edifice of a bridge. [Little used.]

    PONTIFICIAL, a. Popish.

    PONTIFICIAN, a. Popish; papistical.

    PONTIFICIAN, n. One that adheres to the pope; a papist.

    PONTINE, POMPTINE, a. [L. pontina, a lake.] Designating a large marsh between Rome and Naples.

    PONTLEVIS, n. In horsemanship, a disorderly resisting of a horse by rearing repeatedly on his hind legs, so as to be in danger of coming over.

    PONTOON, n. [L. pons, a bridge, probably from the root of pono, to lay.]

    1. A flat-bottomed boat, whose frame of wood is covered and lined with tin, or covered with copper; used in forming bridges over rivers for armies.NWAD PONTOON.2

    2. A lighter; a low flat vessel resembling a barge, furnished with cranes, capstans and other machinery; used in careening ships, chiefly in the Mediterranean.NWAD PONTOON.3

    Pontoon-bridge, is a bridge formed with pontoons, anchored or made fast in two lines, about five feet asunder.NWAD PONTOON.4

    Pontoon-Carriage, is made with two wheels only, and two long side pieces, whose fore ends are supported by timbers.NWAD PONTOON.5

    PONY, n. A small horse.

    POOD, n. A Russian weight, equal to 40 Russian or 36 English pounds.

    POOL, n. [L. palus; Gr. probably from setting, standing, like L. stagnum, or from issuing, as a spring.]

    A small collection of water in a hollow place, supplied by a spring, and discharging its surplus water by an outlet. It is smaller than a lake, and in New England is never confounded with pond or lake. It signifies with us, a spring with a small basin or reservoir on the surface of the earth. It is used by writers with more latitude, and sometimes signifies a body of stagnant water.NWAD POOL.2

    POOL, POULE, n. The stakes played for in certain games of cards.

    POOP, n. [L. puppis; probably a projection.]

    The highest and aftmost part of a ship’s desk.NWAD POOP.2

    POOP, v.t. To strike upon the stern, as a heavy sea.

    1. To strike the stern, as one vessel that runs her stem against another’s stern.NWAD POOP.4

    POOPING, n. The shock of a heavy sea on the stern or quarter of a ship, when scudding in a tempest; also, the action of one ship’s running her stem against another’s stern.

    POOR, a. [L. pauper.]

    1. Wholly destitute of property, or not having property sufficient for a comfortable subsistence; needy. It is often synonymous with indigent, and with necessitous, denoting extreme want; it is also applied to persons who are not entirely destitute of property, but are not rich; as a poor man or woman; poor peopleNWAD POOR.2

    2. In law, so destitute of property as to be entitled to maintenance from the public.NWAD POOR.3

    3. Destitute of strength, beauty or dignity; barren; mean; jejune; as a poor composition; a poor essay; a poor discourse.NWAD POOR.4

    4. Destitute of value, worth or importance; of little use; trifling.NWAD POOR.5

    That I have wronged no man, will be a poor plea or apology at the last day.NWAD POOR.6

    5. Paltry; mean; of little value; as a poor coat; a poor house.NWAD POOR.7

    6. Destitute of fertility; barren; exhausted; as poor land. The ground is become poor.NWAD POOR.8

    7. Of little worth; unimportant; as in my poor opinion.NWAD POOR.9

    8. Unhappy; pitiable.NWAD POOR.10

    Vex’d sailors curse the rainNWAD POOR.11

    For which poor shepherds pray’d in vain.NWAD POOR.12

    9. Mean; depressed; low; dejected; destitute of spirit.NWAD POOR.13

    A soothsayer made Antonius believe that his genius, which was otherwise brave, was, in the presence of Octavianus, poor and cowardly.NWAD POOR.14

    10. Lean; emaciated; as a poor horse. The ox is poor.NWAD POOR.15

    11. Small, or of a bad quality; as a poor crop; a poor harvest.NWAD POOR.16

    12. Uncomfortable; restless; ill. The patient has had a poor night.NWAD POOR.17

    13. Destitute of saving grace. Revelation 3:17.NWAD POOR.18

    14. In general, wanting good qualities, or the qualities which render a thing valuable, excellent, proper, or sufficient for its purpose; as a poor pen; a poor ship; a poor carriage; poor fruit; poor bread; poor wine, etc.NWAD POOR.19

    15. A word of tenderness or pity; dear.NWAD POOR.20

    Poor, little, pretty, fluttering thing.NWAD POOR.21

    16. A word of slight contempt; wretched.NWAD POOR.22

    The poor monk never saw many of the decrees and councils he had occasion to use.NWAD POOR.23

    17. The poor, collectively, used as a noun; those who are destitute of property; the indigent; the needy; in a legal sense, those who depend on charity or maintenance by the public.NWAD POOR.24

    I have observed the more public provisions are made for the poor, the less they provide for themselves.NWAD POOR.25

    Poor in spirit, in a Scriptural sense, humble; contrite; abased in one’s own sight by a sense of guilt. Matthew 5:3.NWAD POOR.26

    POORJOHN, n. A sort of fish [callarius] of the genus Gadus.

    POORLY, adv. Without wealth; in indigence or want of the conveniences and comforts of life; as, to live poorly.

    1. With little or no success; with little growth, profit or advantage; as, wheat grows poorly on the Atlantic borders of New England; these men have succeeded poorly in business.NWAD POORLY.2

    2. Meanly; without spirit.NWAD POORLY.3

    Nor is their courage or their wealth so low,NWAD POORLY.4

    That from his wars they poorly would retire.NWAD POORLY.5

    3. Without excellence or dignity. He performs poorly in elevated characters.NWAD POORLY.6

    POORLY, a. Somewhat ill; indisposed; not in health; a common use of the word in America.

    For three or four weeks past I have lost ground, having been poorly in health.NWAD POORLY.8

    POORNESS, n. Destitution of property; indigence; poverty; want; as the poorness of the exchequer.

    No less I hate him than the gates of hell,NWAD POORNESS.2

    That poorness can force an untruth to tell.NWAD POORNESS.3

    [In this sense, we generally use poverty.]NWAD POORNESS.4

    1. Meanness; lowness; want of dignity; as the poorness of language.NWAD POORNESS.5

    2. Want of spirit; as poorness and degeneracy of spirit.NWAD POORNESS.6

    3. Barrenness; sterility; as the poorness of land or soil.NWAD POORNESS.7

    4. Unproductiveness; want of the metallic substance; as the poorness of ore.NWAD POORNESS.8

    5. Smallness or bad quality; as the poorness of crops or of grain.NWAD POORNESS.9

    6. Want of value or importance; as the poorness of a plea.NWAD POORNESS.10

    7. Want of good qualities, or the proper qualities which constitute a thing good in its kind; as the poorness of a ship or of cloth.NWAD POORNESS.11

    8. Narrowness; barrenness; want of capacity.NWAD POORNESS.12

    Poorness of spirit, in a theological sense, true humility or contrition of heart on account of sin.NWAD POORNESS.13

    POOR-SPIRITED, a. Of a mean spirit; cowardly; base.

    POOR-SPIRITEDNESS, n. Meanness or baseness of spirit; cowardice.

    POP, n. A small smart quick sound or report.

    POP, v.i. To enter or issue forth with a quick, sudden motion.

    I startled at his popping upon me unexpectedly.NWAD POP.3

    1. To dart; to start from place to place suddenly.NWAD POP.4

    POP, v.t. To thrust or push suddenly with a quick motion.

    He popp’d a paper into his hand.NWAD POP.6

    Did’st thou never popNWAD POP.7

    Thy head into a tinman’s shop?NWAD POP.8

    To pop off, to thrust away; to shift off.NWAD POP.9

    POP, adv. Suddenly; with sudden entrance or appearance.

    POPE, n. [Low L. papa.]

    1. The bishop of Rome, the head of the catholic church.NWAD POPE.2

    2. A small fish, called also a ruff.NWAD POPE.3

    POPEDOM, n. The place, office or dignity of the pope; papal dignity.

    1. The jurisdiction of the pope.NWAD POPEDOM.2

    POPE-JOAN, n. A game of cards.

    POPELING, n. An adherent of the pope.

    POPERY, n. The religion of the church of Rome, comprehending doctrines and practices.

    POPE’S-EYE, n. [pope and eye.] The gland surrounded with fat in the middle of the thigh.

    POPGUN, n. A small gun or tube used by children to shoot wads and make a noise.

    POPINJAY, n.

    1. A parrot.NWAD POPINJAY.2

    2. A woodpecker, a bird with a gay head.NWAD POPINJAY.3

    The green woodpecker, with a scarlet crown, a native of Europe.NWAD POPINJAY.4

    3. A gay, trifling young man; a fop or coxcomb.NWAD POPINJAY.5

    POPISH, a. Relating to the pope; taught by the pope; pertaining to the pope or to the church of Rome; as popish tenets or ceremonies.

    POPISHLY, adv. In a popish manner; with a tendency to popery; as, to be popishly affected or inclined.

    POPLAR, n. [L. populus.] A tree of the genus Populus, of several species, as the abele, the white poplar, the black poplar, the aspen-tree, etc. It is numbered among the aquatic trees.

    POPLIN, n. A stuff made of silk and worsted.

    POPLITEAL, POPLITIC, a. [from L. poples, the ham.]

    Pertaining to the ham or knee joint.NWAD POPLITEAL.2

    POPPET. [See Puppet.]

    POPPY, n. [L. papaver.] A plant of the genus Papaver, of several species, from one of which, the somniferum or white poppy, is collected opium. This is the milky juice of the capsule when half grown, which exudes from incisions in the cortical part of the capsule, is scraped off, and worked in an iron pot in the sun’s heat, till it is of a consistence to form cakes.

    POPULACE, n. [L. populus. See People.] The common people; the vulgar; the multitude, comprehending all persons not distinguished by rank, education, office, profession or erudition.

    POPULACY, n. The populace or common people.

    POPULAR, a. [L. popularis. See People.]

    1. Pertaining to the common people; as the popular voice; popular elections.NWAD POPULAR.2

    So the popular vote inclines.NWAD POPULAR.3

    2. Suitable to common people; familiar; plain; easy to be comprehended; not critical or abstruse.NWAD POPULAR.4

    Homilies are plain and popular instructions.NWAD POPULAR.5

    3. Beloved by the people; enjoying the favor of the people; pleasing to people in general; as a popular governor; a popular preacher; a popular ministry; a popular discourse; a popular administration; a popular war or peace. Suspect the man who endeavors to make that popular which is wrong.NWAD POPULAR.6

    4. Ambitious; studious of the favor of the people.NWAD POPULAR.7

    A popular man is in truth no better than a prostitute to common fame and to the people.NWAD POPULAR.8

    [This sense is not used. It is more customary to apply this epithet to a person who has already gained the favor of the people.]NWAD POPULAR.9

    5. Prevailing among the people; extensively prevalent; as a popular disease.NWAD POPULAR.10

    6. In law, a popular action is one which gives a penalty to the person that sues for the same.NWAD POPULAR.11

    [Note. Popular, at least in the United States, is not synonymous with vulgar; the latter being applied to the lower classes of people, the illiterate and low bred; the former is applied to all classes, or to the body of the people, including a great portion at least of well educated citizens.]NWAD POPULAR.12

    POPULARITY, n. [L. popularitas.] Favor of the people; the state of possessing the affections and confidence of the people in general; as the popularity of the ministry; the popularity of a public officer or of a preacher. It is applied also to things; as the popularity of a law or public measure; the popularity of a book or poem. The most valuable trait in a patriot’s character is to forbear all improper compliances for gaining popularity.

    I have long since learned the little value which is to be placed in popularity, acquired by any other way than virtue; I have also learned that it is often obtained by other means.NWAD POPULARITY.2

    The man whose ruling principle is duty--is never perplexed with anxious corroding calculations of interest and popularity.NWAD POPULARITY.3

    1. Representation suited to vulgar or common conception; that which is intended or adapted to procure the favor of the people. [Little used.]NWAD POPULARITY.4

    POPULARIZE, v.t. To make popular or common; to spread among the people; as, to popularize philosophy or physics; to popularize a knowledge of chimical principles.

    POPULARIZED, pp. Made popular, or introduced among the people.

    POPULARIZING, ppr. Making popular, or introducing among the people.

    POPULARLY, adv. In a popular manner; so as to please the populace.

    The victor knight,NWAD POPULARLY.2

    Bareheadaed, popularly low had bow’d.NWAD POPULARLY.3

    1. According to the conceptions of the common people.NWAD POPULARLY.4

    POPULATE, v.i. [L. populus.] To breed people; to propagate.

    When there be great shoals of people which go on to populate.NWAD POPULATE.2

    POPULATE, v.t. To people; to furnish with inhabitants, either by natural increase, or by immigration or colonization.

    POPULATE, for populous, is not now in use.

    POPULATED, pp. Furnished with inhabitants; peopled.

    POPULATING, ppr. Peopling.

    POPULATION, n. The act or operation of peopling or furnishing with inhabitants; multiplication of inhabitants. The value of our western lands is annually enhanced by population.

    1. The whole number of people or inhabitants in a country. The population of England is estimated at ten millions of souls; that of the United States in 1823, was ten millions.NWAD POPULATION.2

    A country may have a great population, and yet not be populous.NWAD POPULATION.3

    2. The state of a country with regard to its number of inhabitants, or rather with regard to its numbers compared with their expenses, consumption of goods and productions, and earnings.NWAD POPULATION.4

    Neither is the population to be reckoned only by number; for a smaller number that spend more and earn less, do wear out an estate sooner than a greater number that live lower and gather more.NWAD POPULATION.5

    POPULOSITY, n. Populousness. [Not used.]

    POPULOUS, a. [L. populosus.] Full of inhabitants; containing many inhabitants in proportion to the extent of the country. A territory containing fifteen or twenty inhabitants to a square mile is not a populous country. The Netherlands, and some parts of Italy, containing a hundred and fifty inhabitants to a square mile, are deemed populous.

    POPULOUSLY, adv. With many inhabitants in proportion to the extent of country.

    POPULOUSNESS, n. The state of having many inhabitants in proportion to the extent of country.

    By populousness, in contradistinction to population, is understood the proportion the number bears to the surface of the ground they live on.NWAD POPULOUSNESS.2

    PORCATED, a. [L. porca, a ridge.] Ridged; formed in ridges.

    PORCELAIN, n. [L. portulaca.]

    1. The finest species of earthen ware, originally manufactured in China and Japan, but now made in several European countries. All earthen wares which are white and semi-transparent, are called porcelains, but they differ much in their fineness and beauty. The porcelain of China is said to be made of two species of earth, the petuntse, which is fusible, and the kaolin, which is not fusible, or not with the degree of heat which fuses the petuntse, and that in porcelain the substances are only semi-vitrified, or one substance only is vitrified, the other not. Hence it is concluded that porcelain is an intermediate substance between earth and glass. Hence the second degree of fusibility, of which emollescence is the first, is called by Kirwan the porcelain state.NWAD PORCELAIN.2

    2. The plant called purslain, which see.NWAD PORCELAIN.3

    PORCELLANEOUS, a. [from porcelain.] Pertaining to or resembling porcelain; as porcellaneous shells.

    PORCELLANITE, n. A silicious mineral, a species of jasper, of various colors. It seems to be formed accidentally in coal mines which have indurated and semi-vitrified beds of coal-shale or slate-clay. It is sometimes marked with vegetable impressions of a brick red color.

    PORCH, n. [L. porticus, from porta, a gate, entrance or passage, or from portus, a shelter.]

    1. In architecture, a kind of vestibule supported by columns at the entrance of temples, halls, churches or other buildings.NWAD PORCH.2

    2. A portico; a covered walk.NWAD PORCH.3

    3. By way of distinction, the porch, was a public portico in Athens, where Zeno, the philosopher, taught his disciples. It was called the painted porch, from the pictures of Polygnotus and other eminent painters, with which it was adorned. Hence, the Porch is equivalent to the school of the Stoics.NWAD PORCH.4

    PORCINE, a. [L. porcinus, from porcus. See Pork.]

    Pertaining to swine; as the porcine species of animals.NWAD PORCINE.2

    PORCUPINE, n. [L. porcus; spina, a spine or thorn.]

    In zoology, a quadruped of the genus Hystrix. The crested porcupine has a body about two feet in length, four toes on each of the fore feet, and five on each of the hind feet, a crested head, a short tail, and the upper lip divided like that of the hare. The body is covered with prickles which are very sharp, and some of them nine or ten inches long; these he can erect at pleasure. When attacked, he rolls his body into a round form, in which position the prickles are presented in every direction to the enemy. This species is a native of Africa and Asia.NWAD PORCUPINE.2

    PORCUPINE-FISH, n. A fish which is covered with spines or prickles. It is of the diodon kind, and about fourteen inches in length.

    PORE, n. [Gr. to go, to pass.; Eng. to fare. See Fare.]

    1. In anatomy, a minute interstice in the skin of an animal, through which the perspirable matter passes to the surface or is excreted.NWAD PORE.2

    2. A small spiracle, opening or passage in other substances; as the pores of plants or of stones.NWAD PORE.3

    PORE, v.i. [Gr. to inspect.] To look with steady continued attention or application. To pore on, is to read or examine with steady perseverance, to dwell on; and the word seems to be limited in its application to the slow patient reading or examination of books, or something written or engraved.

    Painfully to pore upon a book.NWAD PORE.5

    With sharpened sight pale antiquaries pore.NWAD PORE.6

    PORE-BLIND, PURBLIND, n. Near-sighted; short-sighted.

    PORER, n. One who pores or studies diligently.

    PORGY, n. A fish of the gilt-head kind.

    PORINESS, n. [from pory.]

    The state of being pory or having numerous pores.NWAD PORINESS.2

    PORISM, n. [Gr. acquisition, to gain, a passing, to pass.]

    In geometry, a name given by ancient geometers to two classes of propositions. Euclid gave this name to propositions involved in others which he was investigating, and obtained without a direct view to their discovery. These he called acquisitions, but such propositions are now called corollaries. A porism is defined, “a proposition affirming the possibility of finding such conditions as will render a certain problem indeterminate or capable of innumerable solutions.” It is not a theorem, nor a problem, or rather it includes both. It asserts that a certain problem may become indeterminate, and so far it partakes of the nature of a theorem, and in seeking to discover the conditions by which this may be effected, it partakes of the nature of a problem.NWAD PORISM.2

    PORISTIC, PORISTICAL, a. Pertaining to a porism; seeking to determine by what means and in how many ways a problem may be solved.

    PORITE, n. plu. porites. A petrified madrepore.

    PORK, n. [L. porcus, a hog or pig; porca, a ridge; or from his snout and rooting.] The flesh of swine, fresh or salted, used for food.

    PORKEATER, n. One that feeds on swine’s flesh.

    PORKER, n. A hog; a pig. [Not used in America.]

    PORKET, n. A young hog.

    PORKLING, n. A pig.

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