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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    PREMISS, n. Antecedent proposition. [Rarely used.]

    PREMIUM, n. [L.] Properly, a reward or recompense; a prize to be won by competition; the reward or prize to be adjudged to the best performance or production.

    1. The recompense or prize offered for a specific discovery or for success in an enterprise; as for the discovery of the longitude, or of a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.NWAD PREMIUM.2

    2. A bounty; something offered or given for the loan of money, usually a sum beyond the interest.NWAD PREMIUM.3

    3. The recompense to underwriters for insurance, or for undertaking to indemnify for losses of any kind.NWAD PREMIUM.4

    4. It is sometimes synonymous with interest, but generally in obtaining loans, it is a sum per cent. distinct from the interest.NWAD PREMIUM.5

    The bank lends money to government at a premium of 2 per cent.NWAD PREMIUM.6

    5. A bounty.NWAD PREMIUM.7

    The law that obliges parishes to support the poor, offers a premium for the encouragement of idleness.NWAD PREMIUM.8

    PREMONISH, v.t. [L. proemoneo; proe and moneo, to warn.]

    To forewarn; to admonish beforehand.NWAD PREMONISH.2

    PREMONISHED, pp. Forewarned.

    PREMONISHING, ppr. Admonishing beforehand.

    PREMONISHMENT, n. Previous warning or admonition; previous information.

    PREMONITION, n. Previous warning, notice or information. Christ gave to his disciples premonitions of their sufferings.

    PREMONITORY, a. Giving previous warning or notice.

    PREMONSTRANTS, n. [L. proemonstrans.] A religious order of regular canons or monks of Premontre, in the isle of France; instituted by Norbert, in 1120. They are called also white canons. These monks were poor at first, but within 30 years they had more than 100 abbeys in France and Germany, and in time they were established in all parts of christendom.

    PREMONSTRATE, v.t. [L. proemonstro; proe, before, and monstro, to show.] To show beforehand. [Little used.]

    PREMONSTRATION, n. A showing beforehand. [Little used.]

    PREMORSE, a. premors’. [L. proemordeo, proemorsus; proe and mordeo, to gnaw.] Bitten off.

    Premorse roots, in botany, are such as are not tapering, but blunt at the end, as if bitten off short.NWAD PREMORSE.2

    Premorse leaves, are such as end very obtusely with unequal notches.NWAD PREMORSE.3

    PREMOTION, n. [pre and motion.] Previous motion or excitement to action.

    PREMUNIRE, n. [See Praemunire.]

    1. In law, the offense of introducing foreign authority into England, and the writ which is grounded on the offense.NWAD PREMUNIRE.2

    2. The penalty incurred by the offense above described.NWAD PREMUNIRE.3

    Woolsey incurred a premunire, and forfeited his honor, estate and life.NWAD PREMUNIRE.4

    PREMUNITION, n. [L. proemunitio, from proemunio.]

    An anticipation of objections.NWAD PREMUNITION.2

    PRENOMEN, n. [L. proenomen.] Among the Romans, a name prefixed to the family name, answering to our christian name; as Caius, Lucius, Marcus, etc.

    PRENOMINATE, v.t. [L. proe and nomino, to name.] To forename.

    PRENOMINATE, a. Forenamed.

    PRENOMINATION, n. The privilege of being named first.

    PRENOTION, n. [L. proenotio; proe and nosco, to know.]

    A notice or notion which precedes something else in time; previous notion or thought; foreknowledge.NWAD PRENOTION.2

    PRENSATION, n. [L. prensatio, from prenso, to seize.]

    The act of seizing with violence. [Little used.]NWAD PRENSATION.2

    PRENTICE, a colloquial contraction of apprentice, which see.

    PRENTICESHIP, a contraction of apprenticeship, which see.

    PRENUNCIATION, n. [L. proenuncio; proe and nuncio, to tell.]

    The act of telling before. [Not used.]NWAD PRENUNCIATION.2

    PREOBTAIN, v.t. To obtain beforehand.

    PREOBTAINED, pp. Previously obtained.

    PREOCCUPANCY, n. [L. proeoccupans.]

    1. The act of taking possession before another. The property of unoccupied land is vested by preoccupancy.NWAD PREOCCUPANCY.2

    2. The right of taking possession before others. The first discoverer of unoccupied land has the preoccupancy of it, by the law of nature and nations.NWAD PREOCCUPANCY.3

    PREOCCUPATE, v.t. [L. proeoccupo; proe and occupo, to seize.]

    1. To anticipate; to take before.NWAD PREOCCUPATE.2

    2. To prepossess; to fill with prejudices.NWAD PREOCCUPATE.3

    [Instead of this, preoccupy is used.]NWAD PREOCCUPATE.4

    PREOCCUPATION, n. A taking possession before another; prior occupation.

    1. Anticipation.NWAD PREOCCUPATION.2

    2. Prepossession.NWAD PREOCCUPATION.3

    3. Anticipation of objections.NWAD PREOCCUPATION.4

    PREOCCUPY, v.t. [L. proeoccupo; proe, before, and occupo, to seize.]

    1. To take possession before another; as, to preoccupy a country or land not before occupied.NWAD PREOCCUPY.2

    2. To prepossess; to occupy by anticipation or prejudices.NWAD PREOCCUPY.3

    I think it more respectful to the reader to leave something to reflections, than to preoccupy his judgment.NWAD PREOCCUPY.4

    PREOMINATE, v.t. [L. proe and ominor, to prognosticate.]

    To prognosticate; to gather from omens any future event.NWAD PREOMINATE.2

    PREOPINION, n. [pre and opinion.] Opinion previously formed; prepossession.

    PREOPTION, n. [pre and option.] The right of first choice.

    PREORDAIN, v.t. [pre and ordain.] To ordain or appoint beforehand; to predetermine. All things are supposed to be preordained by God.

    PREORDAINED, pp. Antecedently ordained or determined.

    PREORDAINING, ppr. Ordaining beforehand.

    PREORDINANCE, n. [pre and ordinance.]

    Antecedent decree or determination.NWAD PREORDINANCE.2

    PREORDINATE, a. Foreordained. [Little used.]

    PREORDINATION, n. The act of foreordaining; previous determination.

    PREPARABLE, a. [See Prepare.] That may be prepared.

    PREPARATION, n. [L. proeparatio. See Prepare.]

    1. The act or operation of preparing or fitting for a particular purpose, use, service or condition; as the preparation of land for a crop of wheat; the preparation of troops for a campaign; the preparation of a nation for war; the preparation of men for future happiness. Preparation is intended to prevent evil or secure good.NWAD PREPARATION.2

    2. Previous measures of adaptation.NWAD PREPARATION.3

    I will show what preparations there were in nature for this dissolution.NWAD PREPARATION.4

    3. Ceremonious introduction. [Unusual.]NWAD PREPARATION.5

    4. That which is prepared, made or compounded for a particular purpose.NWAD PREPARATION.6

    I wish the chimists had been more sparing, who magnify their preparations.NWAD PREPARATION.7

    5. The state of being prepared or in readiness; as a nation in good preparation for attack or defense.NWAD PREPARATION.8

    6. Accomplishment; qualification. [Not in use.]NWAD PREPARATION.9

    7. In pharmacy, any medicinal substance fitted for the use of the patient.NWAD PREPARATION.10

    8. In anatomy, the parts of animal bodies prepared and preserved for anatomical uses.NWAD PREPARATION.11

    Preparation of dissonances, in music, is their disposition in harmony in such a manner that by something congenial in what precedes, they may be rendered less harsh to the ear than they would be without such preparation.NWAD PREPARATION.12

    Preparation of medicines, the process of fitting any substance for use in the art of healing.NWAD PREPARATION.13

    PREPARATIVE, a. Tending to prepare or make ready; having the power of preparing, qualifying or fitting for any thing; preparatory.

    He spent much time in quest of knowledge preparative to this work.NWAD PREPARATIVE.2

    PREPARATIVE, n. That which has the power of preparing or previously fitting for a purpose; that which prepares.

    Resolvedness in sin can with no reason be imagined a preparative to remission.NWAD PREPARATIVE.4

    1. That which is done to prevent an evil or secure some good.NWAD PREPARATIVE.5

    The miseries we suffer may be preparative of future blessings.NWAD PREPARATIVE.6

    2. Preparation; as, to make the necessary preparatives for a voyage.NWAD PREPARATIVE.7

    PREPARATIVELY, adv. By way of preparation.


    1. Previously necessary; useful or qualifying; preparing the way for any thing by previous measures of adaptation. The practice of virtue and piety is preparatory to the happiness of heaven.NWAD PREPARATORY.2

    2. Introductory; previous; antecedent and adapted to what follows.NWAD PREPARATORY.3

    PREPARE, v.t. [L. paro.]

    1. In a general sense, to fit, adapt or qualify for a particular purpose, end, use, service or state, by any means whatever. We prepare ground for seed by tillage; we prepare cloth for use by dressing; we prepare medicines by pulverization, mixture, etc.; we prepare young men for college by previous instruction; men are prepared for professions by suitable study; holiness of heart is necessary to prepare men for the enjoyment of happiness with holy beings.NWAD PREPARE.2

    2. To make ready; as, to prepare the table for entertaining company.NWAD PREPARE.3

    3. To provide; to procure as suitable; as, to prepare arms, ammunition and provisions for troops; to prepare ships for defense.NWAD PREPARE.4

    Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 Samuel 15:1.NWAD PREPARE.5

    4. To set; to establish.NWAD PREPARE.6

    The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens. Psalm 103:19.NWAD PREPARE.7

    5. To appoint.NWAD PREPARE.8

    It shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. Matthew 20:23.NWAD PREPARE.9

    6. To guide, direct or establish. 1 Chronicles 29:2.NWAD PREPARE.10

    PREPARE, v.i. To make all things ready; to put things in suitable order; as, prepare for dinner.

    1. To take the necessary previous measures.NWAD PREPARE.12

    Dido preparing to kill herself.NWAD PREPARE.13

    2. To make one’s self ready.NWAD PREPARE.14

    Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. Amos 4:12.NWAD PREPARE.15

    PREPARE, n. Preparation. [Not in use.]

    PREPARED, pp. Fitted; adapted; made suitable; made ready; provided.

    PREPAREDLY, adv. With suitable previous measures.

    PREPAREDNESS, n. The state of being prepared or in readiness.

    PREPARER, n. One that prepares, fits or makes ready.

    1. One that provides.NWAD PREPARER.2

    2. That which fits or makes suitable; as, certain manures are preparers of land for particular crops.NWAD PREPARER.3

    PREPARING, ppr. Fitting; adapting; making ready; providing.

    PREPENSE, a. prepens’. [L. proepensus, proependeo; proe and pendeo, to incline to hand down.]

    Preconceived; premeditated; aforethought.NWAD PREPENSE.2

    Malice prepense is necessary to constitute murder.NWAD PREPENSE.3

    PREPENSE, v.t. prepens’. [supra.]

    To weigh or consider beforehand. [Not used.]NWAD PREPENSE.5

    PREPENSE, v.i. prepens’. To deliberate beforehand. [Not used.]

    PREPENSED, pp. or a. Previously conceived; premeditated. [Little used.] [See Prepense.]

    PREPOLLENCE, PREPOLLENCY, n. [L. proepollens, proepolleo; proe and polleo.]

    Prevalence; superiority of power.NWAD PREPOLLENCE.2

    PREPOLLENT, a. Having superior gravity or power; prevailing.

    PREPONDER, v.t. [See Preponderate.] To outweigh. [Not used.]

    PREPONDERANCE, PREPONDERANCY, n. [See Preponderate.]

    1. An outweighing; superiority of weight. The least preponderance of weight on one side of a ship or boat will make it incline or heel.NWAD PREPONDERANCE.2

    2. Superiority of power, force or weight; in a figurative sense; as a preponderance of evidence.NWAD PREPONDERANCE.3

    PREPONDERANT, a. Outweighing.

    PREPONDERATE, v.t. [L. proepondero; proe, before, and pondero, to weigh.]

    1. To outweigh; to overpower by weight.NWAD PREPONDERATE.2

    An inconsiderable weight, by distance from the center of the balance, will preponderate greater magnitudes.NWAD PREPONDERATE.3

    2. To overpower by stronger influence or moral power.NWAD PREPONDERATE.4

    PREPONDERATE, v.i. To exceed in weight; hence, to incline or descend, as the scale of a balance.

    That is no just balance in which the heaviest side will not preponderate.NWAD PREPONDERATE.6

    1. To exceed in influence or power; hence, to incline to one side.NWAD PREPONDERATE.7

    By putting every argument on one side and the other, into the balance, we must form a judgment which side preponderates.NWAD PREPONDERATE.8

    PREPONDERATING, ppr. Outweighing; inclining to one side.

    PREPONDERATION, n. The act or state of outweighing any thing, or of inclining to one side.

    PREPOSE, v.t. s as z. To put before. [Not much used.]

    PREPOSITION, n. s as z. [L. proepositio, proepono, proepositus; proe and pono, to put.] In grammar, a word usually put before another to express some relation or quality, action or motion to or from the thing specified; as medicines salutary to health; music agreeable to the ear; virtue is valued for its excellence; a man is riding to Oxford from London. Prepositions govern cases of nouns, and in English are sometimes placed after the word governed; as, which person do you speak to? for, to which person do you speak? This separation of the preposition from the governed word is sometimes allowable in colloquial use, but is generally inelegant.

    PREPOSITIONAL, a. Pertaining to a preposition, or to preceding position.

    PREPOSITIVE, a. Put before; as a prepositive particle.

    PREPOSITIVE, n. [supra.] A word or particle put before another word.

    PREPOSITOR, n. [L. proepositor.] A scholar appointed by the instructor to inspect other scholars.

    PREPOSITURE, n. The office or place of a provost; a provostship.

    PREPOSSESS, v.t. [pre and possess.] To preoccupy, as ground or land; to take previous possession of.

    1. To preoccupy the mind or heart so as to preclude other things; hence, to bias or prejudice. A mind prepossessed with opinions favorable to a person or cause, will not readily admit unfavorable opinions to take possession, nor yield to reasons that disturb the possessors. When a lady has prepossessed the heart or affections of a man, he does not readily listen to suggestions that tend to remove the prepossession. Prepossess is more frequently used in a good sense than prejudice.NWAD PREPOSSESS.2

    PREPOSSESSED, pp. Preoccupied; inclined previously to favor or disfavor.

    PREPOSSESSING, ppr. Taking previous possession.

    1. a. Tending to invite favor; having power to secure the possession of favor, esteem or love. The countenance, address and manners of a person are sometimes prepossessing on a first acquaintance.NWAD PREPOSSESSING.2

    PREPOSSESSION, n. Preoccupation; prior possession.

    1. Preconceived opinion; the effect of previous impressions on the mind or heart, in favor or against any person or thing. It is often used in a good sense; sometimes it is equivalent to prejudice, and sometimes a softer name for it. In general, it conveys an idea less odious than prejudice; as the prepossessions of education.NWAD PREPOSSESSION.2

    PREPOSTEROUS, a. [L. proeposterus; proe, before, and posterus, latter.]

    1. Literally, having that first which ought to be last; inverted in order.NWAD PREPOSTEROUS.2

    The method I take may be censured as preposterous, because I treat last of the antediluvian earth, which was first in the order of nature.NWAD PREPOSTEROUS.3

    2. Perverted; wrong; absurd; contrary to nature or reason; not adapted to the end; as, a republican government in the hands of females, is preposterous. To draw general conclusions from particular facts, is preposterous reasoning.NWAD PREPOSTEROUS.4

    3. Foolish; absurd; applied to persons.NWAD PREPOSTEROUS.5

    PREPOSTEROUSLY, adv. In a wrong or inverted order; absurdly; foolishly.

    PREPOSTEROUSNESS, n. Wrong order or method; absurdity; inconsistency with nature or reason.

    PREPOTENCY, n. [L. proepotentia; proe and potentia, power.]

    Superior power; predominance. [Little used.]NWAD PREPOTENCY.2

    PREPOTENT, a. [L. proepotens.] Very powerful. [Little used.]

    PREPUCE, n. [L. proeputium.] The foreskin; a prolongation of the cutis of the penis, covering the glans.

    PREREMOTE, a. [pre and remote.] More remote in previous time or prior order.

    In some cases, two more links of causation may be introduced; one of them may be termed the preremote cause, the other the postremote effect.NWAD PREREMOTE.2

    PREREQUIRE, v.t. [pre and require.] To require previously.

    PREREQUISITE, a. s as z. [pre and requisite.] Previously required or necessary to something subsequent; as, certain attainments are prerequisite to an admission or orders.

    PREREQUISITE, n. Something that is previously required or necessary to the end proposed. An acquaintance with Latin and Greek is a prerequisite to the admission of a young man into a college.

    PRERESOLVE, v.t. s as z. [pre and resolve.]

    To resolve previously.NWAD PRERESOLVE.2

    PRERESOLVED, pp. Resolved beforehand; previously determined.

    PRERESOLVING, ppr. Resolving beforehand.

    PREROGATIVE, [L. proerogativa, precedence in voting; proe, before, and rogo, to ask or demand.] An exclusive or peculiar privilege. A royal prerogative, is that special pre-eminence which a king has over all other persons, and out of the course of the common law, in right of his regal dignity. It consists in the possession of certain rights which the king may exercise to the exclusion of all participation of his subjects; for when a right or privilege is held in common with the subject, it ceases to be a prerogative. Thus the right of appointing embassadors, and of making peace and war, are, in Great Britain, royal prerogatives. The right of governing created beings is the prerogative of the Creator.

    It is the prerogative of the house of peers in Great Britain to decide legal questions in the last resort. It is the prerogative of the house of commons to determine the validity of all elections of their own members. It is the prerogative of a father to govern his children. It is the prerogative of the understanding to judge and compare.NWAD PREROGATIVE.2

    In the United States, it is the prerogative of the president, with the advice of the senate, to ratify treaties.NWAD PREROGATIVE.3

    PREROGATIVE-COURT, n. In Great Britain, a court for the trial of all testamentary causes, where the deceased has left bona notabilia, or effects of the value of five pounds, in two different dioceses. In this case, the probate of the will belongs to the metropolitan or archbishop of the province, and the court where such will is proved is called the prerogative-court, as it is held by virtue of the special prerogative of the metropolitan, who appoints the judge.

    PREROGATIVED, a. Having prerogative. [Little used.]

    PREROGATIVE-OFFICE, n. The office in which the wills proved in the prerogative court, are registered.

    PRESAGE, n. [L. proesagium; proe, before, and sagio, to perceive or foretell.] Something which foreshows a future event; a prognostic; a present fact indicating something to come.

    Joy and shout, presage of victory.NWAD PRESAGE.2

    PRESAGE, v.t. To forebode; to foreshow; to indicate by some present fact what is to follow or come to pass. A fog rising from a river in an autumnal morning presages a pleasant day. A physical phenomenon cannot be considered as presaging an event, unless it has some connection with it in cause. Hence the error of vulgar superstition, which presages good or evil from facts which can have no relation to the future event.

    1. To foretell; to predict; to prophesy.NWAD PRESAGE.4

    Wish’d freedom I presage you soon will find.NWAD PRESAGE.5

    PRESAGE, v.i. To form or utter a prediction; with of. We may presage of heats and rains. We may presage of heats and rains. [Not common nor elegant.]

    PRESAGED, pp. Foreboded; foreshown; foretold.

    PRESAGEFUL, a. Full of presages; containing presages.

    PRESAGEMENT, n. A foreboding; foretoken.

    1. A foretelling; prediction.NWAD PRESAGEMENT.2

    PRESAGER, n. A foreteller; a foreshower.

    PRESAGING, ppr. Foreshowing; foretelling.

    PRESBYTER, n. [Gr. old, elder.]

    1. In the primitive christian church, an elder; a person somewhat advanced in age, who had authority in the church, and whose duty was to feed the flock over which the Holy Spirit had made him overseer.NWAD PRESBYTER.2

    2. A priest; a person who has the pastoral charge of a particular church and congregation; called in the Saxon laws, mass-priest.NWAD PRESBYTER.3

    3. A presbyterian.NWAD PRESBYTER.4

    PRESBYTERIAL, PRESBYTERIAN, a. Pertaining to a presbyter, or to ecclesiastical government by presbyters.

    1. Consisting of presbyters; as presbyterian government. The government of the church of Scotland is presbyterian.NWAD PRESBYTERIAL.2

    PRESBYTERIAN, n. One that maintains the validity of ordination and government by presbyters.

    1. One that belongs to a church governed by presbyters.NWAD PRESBYTERIAN.2

    PRESBYTERIANISM, n. The doctrines, principles and discipline or government of presbyterians.

    PRESBYTERY, n. A body of elders in the christian church.

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 1 Timothy 4:14.NWAD PRESBYTERY.2

    1. In ecclesiastical government, a judicatory consisting of all the pastors of churches within a certain district, and one ruling elder, a layman, from each parish, commissioned to represent the parish in conjunction with the minister. This body receives appeals from the kirk-session, and appeals from the presbytery may be carried to the provincial synod.NWAD PRESBYTERY.3

    The presbytery of the churches in the United States is composed in a manner nearly similar.NWAD PRESBYTERY.4

    2. The presbyterian religion.NWAD PRESBYTERY.5

    PRESCIENCE, n. presi’ence or pre’shens. [Low L. proescientia; proe, before, and scientia, knowledge.] Foreknowledge; knowledge of events before they take place. Absolute prescience belongs to God only.

    Of things of the most accidental and mutable nature, God’s prescience is certain.NWAD PRESCIENCE.2

    PRESCIENT, a. presi’ent or pre’shent. Foreknowing; having knowledge of events before they take place.

    Who taught the nations of the field and wood,NWAD PRESCIENT.2

    Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand?NWAD PRESCIENT.3

    PRESCIND, v.t. [L. proescindo; proe and scindo, to cut.]

    To cut off; to abstract. [Little used.]NWAD PRESCIND.2

    PRESCINDENT, a. Cutting off; abstracting.

    PRESCIOUS, a. [L. proescius; proe and scio, to know.]

    Foreknowing; having foreknowledge; as prescious of ills.NWAD PRESCIOUS.2

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