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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    RETIREDLY, adv. In solitude or privacy.

    RETIREDNESS, n. A state of retirement; solitude; privacy or secrecy.


    1. The act of withdrawing from company or from public notice or station.NWAD RETIREMENT.2

    2. The state of being withdrawn; as the retirement of the mind from the senses.NWAD RETIREMENT.3

    3. Private abode; habitation secluded from much society or from public life.NWAD RETIREMENT.4

    Caprea had been the retirement of Augustus.NWAD RETIREMENT.5

    Retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome.NWAD RETIREMENT.6

    4. Private way of life.NWAD RETIREMENT.7

    Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, progressive virtue and approving heaven.NWAD RETIREMENT.8

    RETIRING, ppr.

    1. Withdrawing; retreating; going into seclusion or solitude.NWAD RETIRING.2

    2. a. Reserved; not forward or obtrusive; as retiring modesty; retiring manners.NWAD RETIRING.3

    RETOLD, pret. and pp. of retell; as a story retold.

    RETORT, v.t. [L. retortus, retorqueo; re and torqueo, to throw.]

    1. To throw back; to reverberate.NWAD RETORT.2

    And they retort that beat again to the first giver.NWAD RETORT.3

    2. To return an argument, accusation, censure or incivility; as, to retort the charge of vanity.NWAD RETORT.4

    He pass’d through hostile scorn; and with retorted scorn, his back he turn’d.NWAD RETORT.5

    3. To bend or curve back; as a retorted line.NWAD RETORT.6

    RETORT, v.i. To return an argument or charge; to make a severe reply. He retorted upon his adversary with severity.

    RETORT, n.

    1. The return of an argument, charge or incivility in reply; as the retort courteous.NWAD RETORT.9

    2. In chimistry, a spherical vessel with its neck bent, to which the receiver is fitted; used in distillation.NWAD RETORT.10

    RETORTED, pp. Returned; thrown back; bent back.

    RETORTER, n. One that retorts.

    RETORTING, ppr. Returning; throwing back.

    RETORTION, n. The act of retorting.

    RETOSS, v.t. [re and toss.] To toss back.

    RETOSSED, pp. Tossed back.

    RETOSSING, ppr. Tossing back.

    RETOUCH, v.t. retuch’. [re and touch.] To improve by new touches; as, to retouch a picture or an essay.

    RETOUCHED, pp. retuch’ed. Touched again; improved by new touches.

    RETOUCHING, ppr. retuch’ing. Improving by new touches.

    RETRACE, v.t.

    1. To trace back; to go back in the same path or course; as, to retrace one’s steps; to retrace one’s proceedings.NWAD RETRACE.2

    2. To trace back, as a line.NWAD RETRACE.3

    Then if the line of Tumus you retrace, he springs from Inachus of Argive race.NWAD RETRACE.4

    RETRACED, pp. Traced back.

    RETRACING, ppr. Tracing back.

    RETRACT, v.t. [L. retractus, retraho; re and traho, to draw.]

    1. To recall, as a declaration, words or saying; to disavow; to recant; as, to retract an accusation, charge or assertion.NWAD RETRACT.2

    I would as freely have retracted the charge of idolatry, as I ever made it.NWAD RETRACT.3

    2. To take back; to rescind. [Little used.]NWAD RETRACT.4

    3. To draw back, as claws.NWAD RETRACT.5

    RETRACT, v.t. To take back; to unsay; to withdraw concession or declaration.

    She will, and she will not; she grants, denies, consents, retracts, advances, and then flies.NWAD RETRACT.7

    RETRACT, n. Among horsemen, the prick of a horse’s foot in nailing a shoe.

    RETRACTABLE, a. That may be retracted or recalled.

    RETRACTATION, n. [L. retractatio.]

    The recalling of what has been said; recantation; change of opinion declared.NWAD RETRACTATION.2

    RETRACTED, pp. Recalled; recanted; disavowed.

    RETRACTIBLE, a. That may be drawn back; retractile.

    RETRACTILE, a. Capable of being drawn back.

    A walrus with fiery eyes - retractile from external injuries.NWAD RETRACTILE.2

    RETRACTING, ppr. Recalling; disavowing; recanting.

    RETRACTION, n. [from retract.]

    1. The act of withdrawing something advanced, or changing something done.NWAD RETRACTION.2

    2. Recantation; disavowal of the truth of what has been said; declaration of change of opinion.NWAD RETRACTION.3

    3. Act of withdrawing a claim.NWAD RETRACTION.4

    Other men’s insatiable desire of revenge, hath beguiled church and state of the benefit of my retractions or concessions.NWAD RETRACTION.5

    RETRACTIVE, a. Withdrawing; taking from.

    RETRACTIVE, n. That which withdraws or takes from.

    RETRAICT, n. Retreat. Obs.

    RETRAIT, n. A cast of countenance; a picture. Obs.

    RETRAXIT, n. [L. retraho, retraxi.] In law, the withdrawing or open renunciation of a suit in court, by which the plaintiff loses his action.

    RETREAT, n. [L. retractus, retraho; re and traho.]

    1. The act of retiring; a withdrawing of one’s self from any place.NWAD RETREAT.2

    But beauty’s triumph is well tim’d retreat.NWAD RETREAT.3

    2. Retirement; state of privacy or seclusion from noise, bustle or company.NWAD RETREAT.4

    Here in the calm still mirror of retreat.NWAD RETREAT.5

    3. Place of retirement or privacy.NWAD RETREAT.6

    He built his son a house of pleasure - and spared no cost to make it a delicious retreat.NWAD RETREAT.7

    4. Place of safety or security.NWAD RETREAT.8

    That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat from sudden April show’rs, a shelter from the heat.NWAD RETREAT.9

    5. In military affairs, the retiring of an army or body of men from the face of an enemy or from any ground occupied to a greater distance from the enemy, or from an advanced position. A retreat is properly an orderly march, in which circumstance it differs from a flight.NWAD RETREAT.10

    6. The withdrawing of a ship or fleet from an enemy; or the order and disposition of ships declining an engagement.NWAD RETREAT.11

    7. The beat of the drum at the firing of the evening gun, to warn soldiers to forbear firing and the sentinels to challenge.NWAD RETREAT.12

    RETREAT, v.i.

    1. To retire from any position or place.NWAD RETREAT.14

    2. To withdraw to a private abode or to any secluded situation.NWAD RETREAT.15

    3. To retire to a place of safety or security; as, to retreat into a den or into a fort.NWAD RETREAT.16

    4. To move back to a place before occupied; to retire.NWAD RETREAT.17

    The rapid currents drive, towards the retreating sea, their furious tide.NWAD RETREAT.18

    5. To retire from an enemy or from any advanced position.NWAD RETREAT.19

    RETREATED, as a passive participle, though used by Milton, is not good English.

    RETRENCH, v.t.

    1. To cut off; to pare away.NWAD RETRENCH.2

    And thy exuberant parts retrench.NWAD RETRENCH.3

    2. To lessen; to abridge; to curtail; as, to retrench superfluities or expenses.NWAD RETRENCH.4

    3. To confine; to limit. [Not proper.]NWAD RETRENCH.5

    RETRENCH, v.i. To live at less expense. It is more reputable to retrench than to live embarrassed.

    RETRENCHED, pp. Cut off; curtailed; diminished.

    RETRENCHING, ppr. Cutting off; curtailing.


    1. The act of lopping off; the act of removing what is superfluous; as the retrenchment of words or lines in a writing.NWAD RETRENCHMENT.2

    2. The act of curtailing, lessening or abridging; diminution; as the retrenchment of expenses.NWAD RETRENCHMENT.3

    3. In military affairs, any work raised to cover a post and fortify it against an enemy; such as fascines, gabions, sandbags and the like.NWAD RETRENCHMENT.4

    Numerous remains of Roman retrenchments, constructed to cover the country -NWAD RETRENCHMENT.5

    RETRIBUTE, v.t. [L. retribuo; re and tribuo, to give or bestow.]

    To pay back; to make payment, compensation or reward in return; as, to retribute one for his kindness; to retribute to a criminal what is proportionate to his offense.NWAD RETRIBUTE.2

    RETRIBUTED, pp. Paid back; given in return; rewarded.

    RETRIBUTER, n. One that makes retribution.

    RETRIBUTING, ppr. Requiting; making repayment; rewarding.


    1. Repayment; return accommodated to the action; reward; compensation.NWAD RETRIBUTION.2

    In good offices and due retributions, we may not be pinching and niggardly.NWAD RETRIBUTION.3

    2. A gratuity or present given for services in the place of a salary.NWAD RETRIBUTION.4

    3. The distribution of rewards and punishments at the general judgment.NWAD RETRIBUTION.5

    It is a strong argument for a state of retribution hereafter, that in this world virtuous persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious persons prosperous.NWAD RETRIBUTION.6

    RETRIBUTIVE, RETRIBUTORY, a. Repaying; rewarding for good deeds, and punishing for offenses; as retributive justice.

    RETRIEVABLE, a. [from retrieve.] That may be retrieved or recovered.

    RETRIEVE, v.t.

    1. To recover; to restore from loss or injury to a former good state; as to retrieve the credit of a nation; to retrieve one’s character; to retrieve a decayed fortune.NWAD RETRIEVE.2

    2. To repair.NWAD RETRIEVE.3

    Accept my sorrow, and retrieve my fall.NWAD RETRIEVE.4

    3. To regain.NWAD RETRIEVE.5

    With late repentance now they would retrieve the bodies they forsook, and wish to live.NWAD RETRIEVE.6

    4. To recall; to bring back; as, to retrieve men from their cold trivial conceits.NWAD RETRIEVE.7

    RETRIEVE, n. A seeking again; a discovery. [Not in use.]

    RETRIEVED, pp. Recovered; repaired; regained; recalled.

    RETRIEVING, ppr. Recovering; repairing; recalling.

    RETROACTION, n. [L. retro, backward, and action.]

    1. Action returned, or action backwards.NWAD RETROACTION.2

    2. Operation on something past or preceding.NWAD RETROACTION.3

    RETROACTIVE, a. [L. retro, backward, and active.]

    Operating by returned action; affecting what is past; retrospective.NWAD RETROACTIVE.2

    A retroactive law or statute, is one which operates to affect, make criminal or punishable, acts done prior to the passing of the law.NWAD RETROACTIVE.3

    RETROACTIVELY, adv. By returned action or operation; by operating on something past.

    RETROCEDE, v.t. [L. retro, back, and cedo, to give.]

    To cede or grant back; as, to retrocede a territory to a former proprietor.NWAD RETROCEDE.2

    RETROCEDED, pp. Granted back.

    RETROCEDING, ppr. Ceding back.


    1. A ceding or granting back to a former proprietor.NWAD RETROCESSION.2

    2. The act of going back.NWAD RETROCESSION.3

    RETRODUCTION, n. [L. retroduco; retro, back, and duco, to lead.] A leading or bringing back.

    RETROFLEX, a. [L. retro, back, and flexus, bent.]

    In botany, bent this way and that, or in different directions, usually in a distorted manner; as a retroflex branch.NWAD RETROFLEX.2

    RETROFRACT, RETROFRACTED, a. [L. retro, back, and fractus, broken.]

    Reduced to hang down as it were by force so as to appear as if broken; as a retrofract peduncle.NWAD RETROFRACT.2

    Bent back towards its insertion, as if it were broken.NWAD RETROFRACT.3


    1. The act of moving backwards; applied to the apparent motion of the planets.NWAD RETROGRADATION.2

    2. A moving backwards; decline in excellence.NWAD RETROGRADATION.3

    RETROGRADE, a. [L. retrogradior; retro, backwards, and gradior, to go.]

    1. Going or moving backwards.NWAD RETROGRADE.2

    2. In astronomy, apparently moving backward and contrary to the succession of the signs, as a planet.NWAD RETROGRADE.3

    3. Declining from a better to a worse state.NWAD RETROGRADE.4

    RETROGRADE, v.i. [L. retrogradior; retro and gradior, to go.] To go or move backward.

    RETROGRESSION, n. The act of going backward.

    RETROGRESSIVE, a. Going or moving backward; declining from a more perfect to a less perfect state.

    Geography is at times retrogressive.NWAD RETROGRESSIVE.2

    RETROMINGENCY, n. [L. retro, backward, and mingo, to discharge urine.]

    The act of quality of discharging the contents of the bladder backwards.NWAD RETROMINGENCY.2

    RETROMINGENT, a. Discharging the urine backwards.

    RETROMINGENT, n. In zoology, an animal that discharges its urine backwards.

    The retromingents are a division of animals whose characteristic is that they discharge their urine backwards, both male and female.NWAD RETROMINGENT.3

    RETROPULSIVE, a. [L. retro, back, and pulsus, pello, to drive.] Driving back; repelling.

    RETRORSELY, adv. retros’ly. [L. retrorsum, backward.] In a backward direction; as a stem retrorsely aculeate.

    RETROSPECT, n. [L. retro, back, and specio, to look.]

    A looking back on things past; view or contemplation of something past. The retrospect of a life well spent affords peace of mind in old age.NWAD RETROSPECT.2


    1. The act of looking back on things past.NWAD RETROSPECTION.2

    2. The faculty of looking back on past things.NWAD RETROSPECTION.3


    1. Looking back on past events; as a retrospective view.NWAD RETROSPECTIVE.2

    2. Having reference to what is past; affecting things past. A penal statute can have no retrospective effect or operation.NWAD RETROSPECTIVE.3

    RETROSPECTIVELY, adv. By way of retrospect.

    RETROVERSION, n. A turning or falling backwards; as the retroversion of the uterus.

    RETROVERT, v.t. To turn back.

    RETROVERTED, a. [L. retro, back, and verto, to turn.] Turned back.

    RETRUDE, v.t. [L. retrudo; re and trudo, to thrust.] To thrust back.

    RETUND, v.t. [L. retundo; re and rundo, to beat.]

    To blunt; to turn; as an edge; to dull; as, to retund the edge of a weapon.NWAD RETUND.2

    RETURN, v.i. [L. torno.]

    1. To come or go back to the same place. The gentleman goes from the country to London and returns, or the citizen of London rides into the country and returns. The blood propelled from the heart, passes through the arteries to the extremities of the body, and returns through the veins. Some servants are good to go on errands, but not good to return.NWAD RETURN.2

    2. To come to the same state; as, to return from bondage to a state of freedom.NWAD RETURN.3

    3. To answer.NWAD RETURN.4

    He said, and thus the queen of heaven return’d.NWAD RETURN.5

    4. To come again; to revisit.NWAD RETURN.6

    Thou to mankind be good and friendly still, and oft return.NWAD RETURN.7

    5. To appear or begin again after a periodical revolution.NWAD RETURN.8

    With the year seasons return, but not to me returns day -NWAD RETURN.9

    6. To show fresh signs of mercy.NWAD RETURN.10

    Return, O Lord, deliver my soul. Psalm 6:4.NWAD RETURN.11

    To return to God, to return from wickedness, to repent of sin or wandering from duty.NWAD RETURN.12

    RETURN, v.t.

    1. To bring, carry or send back; as, to return a borrowed book; to return a hired horse.NWAD RETURN.14

    2. To repay; as, to return borrowed money.NWAD RETURN.15

    3. To give in recompense or requital.NWAD RETURN.16

    In any wise, return him a trespass-offering. 1 Samuel 6:3.NWAD RETURN.17

    The Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thy own head. 1 Kings 2:44.NWAD RETURN.18

    4. To give back in reply; as, to return an answer.NWAD RETURN.19

    5. To tell, relate or communicate.NWAD RETURN.20

    And Moses returned the words of the people to the Lord. Exodus 19:8.NWAD RETURN.21

    6. To retort; to recriminate.NWAD RETURN.22

    If you are a malicious reader, you return upon me, that I affect to be thought more impartial than I am.NWAD RETURN.23

    7. To render an account, usually an official account to a superior. Officers of the army and navy return to the commander the number of men in companies, regiments, etc.; they return the number of men sick or capable of duty; they return the quantity of ammunition, provisions, etc.NWAD RETURN.24

    8. To render back to a tribunal or to an office; as, to return a writ or an execution.NWAD RETURN.25

    9. To report officially; as, an officer returns his proceedings on the back of a writ or precept.NWAD RETURN.26

    10. To send; to transmit; to convey.NWAD RETURN.27

    Instead of a ship, he should levy money and return the same to the treasurer for his majesty’s use.NWAD RETURN.28

    RETURN, n.

    1. The act of coming or going back to the same place.NWAD RETURN.30

    Takes little journeys and makes quick returns.NWAD RETURN.31

    2. The act of sending back; as the return of a borrowed book or of money lent.NWAD RETURN.32

    3. The act of putting in the former place.NWAD RETURN.33

    4. Retrogression; the act of moving back.NWAD RETURN.34

    5. The act or process of coming back to a former state; as the return of health.NWAD RETURN.35

    6. Revolution; a periodical coming to the same point; as the return of the sun to the tropic of Cancer.NWAD RETURN.36

    7. Periodical renewal; as the return of the seasons or of the year.NWAD RETURN.37

    8. Repayment; reimbursement in kind or in something equivalent, for money expended or advanced, or for labor. One occupation gives quick returns; in others, the returns are slow. The returns of the cargo were in gold. The farmer has returns in his crops.NWAD RETURN.38

    9. Profit; advantage.NWAD RETURN.39

    From these few hours we spend in prayer, the return is great.NWAD RETURN.40

    10. Remittance; payment from a distant place.NWAD RETURN.41

    11. Repayment; retribution; requital.NWAD RETURN.42

    Is no return due from a grateful breast?NWAD RETURN.43

    12. Act of restoring or giving back; restitution.NWAD RETURN.44

    13. Either of the adjoining sides of the front of a house or ground-plot, is called a return side.NWAD RETURN.45

    14. In law, the rendering back or delivery of a writ, precept or execution, to the proper officer or court; or the certificate of the officer executing it, indorsed. We call the transmission of the writ to the proper officer or court, a return; and we give the same name to the certificate or official account of the officer’s service or proceedings. The sheriff or his subordinate officers make return of all writs and precepts. We use the same language for the sending back of a commission with the certificate of the commissioners.NWAD RETURN.46

    15. A day in bank. The day on which the defendant is ordered to appear in court, and the sheriff is to bring in the writ and report his proceedings, is called the return of the writ.NWAD RETURN.47

    16. In military and naval affairs, an official account, report or statement rendered to the commander; as the return of men fit for duty; the return of the number of the sick; the return of provisions, ammunition, etc.NWAD RETURN.48


    1. That may be returned or restored.NWAD RETURNABLE.2

    2. In law, that is legally to be returned, delivered, given or rendered; as a writ or precept returnable at a certain day; a verdict returnable to the court; an attachment returnable to the king’s bench.NWAD RETURNABLE.3

    RETURN-DAY, n. The day when the defendant is to appear in court and the sheriff is to return the writ and his proceedings.

    RETURNED, pp. Restored; given or sent back; repaid; brought or rendered to the proper court or officer.

    RETURNER, n. One who returns; one that repays or remits money.

    RETURNING, ppr. Giving, carrying or sending back; coming or going back; making report.

    RETURNING-OFFICER, n. The officer whose duty it is to make returns of writs, precepts, juries, etc.

    RETURNLESS, a. Admitting no return. [Little used.]

    RETUSE, a. [L. retusus, retundo.] In botany, a retuse leaf is one ending in a blunt sinus, or whose apex is blunt. This term is applied also to the seed.

    REUNION, n.

    1. A second union; union formed anew after separation or discord; as a reunion of parts or particles of matter; a reunion of parties or sects.NWAD REUNION.2

    2. In medicine, union of parts separated by wounds or accidents.NWAD REUNION.3

    REUNITE, v.t. [re and unite.]

    1. To unite again; to join after separation.NWAD REUNITE.2

    2. In medicine, union of parts separated by wounds or accidents.NWAD REUNITE.3

    REUNITE, v.i. To be united again; to join and cohere again.

    REUNITED, pp. United or joined again; reconciled.

    REUNITING, ppr. Uniting again; reconciling.

    REUSSITE, n. [from Reuss, the place where it is found.]

    A salt found in the form of a mealy efforescence, or crystallized in flat six sided prisms, and in acicular crystals.NWAD REUSSITE.2

    REVE, n. The bailiff of a franchise or manor. It is usually written reve.

    REVEAL, v.t. [L. revelo; re and velo, to veil.]

    1. To disclose; to discover; to show; to make known something before unknown or concealed; as, to reveal secrets.NWAD REVEAL.2

    2. To disclose, discover or make known from heaven. God has been pleased to reveal his will to man.NWAD REVEAL.3

    The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Romans 1:18.NWAD REVEAL.4

    REVEAL, n. A revealing; disclosure. [Not in use.]

    REVEALED, pp. Disclosed; discovered; made known; laid open.

    REVEALER, n.

    1. One that discloses or makes known.NWAD REVEALER.2

    2. One that brings to view.NWAD REVEALER.3

    REVEALING, ppr. Disclosing; discovering; making known.

    REVEALMENT, n. The act of revealing. [Little used.]

    REVEILLE, REVELLY, n. [L. vigilo. See Watch.]

    In military affairs, the beat of drum about break of day, to give notice that it is time for the soldiers to rise and for the sentinels to forbear challenging.NWAD REVEILLE.2

    [This word might well be anglicised rev’elly.]NWAD REVEILLE.3

    REVEL, v.i. [L. rabo, rabio, to rage, whence rabies, rabid.]

    1. To feast with loose and clamorous merriment; to carouse; to act the bacchanalian.NWAD REVEL.2

    Antony, that revels long o’nights.NWAD REVEL.3

    2. To move playfully or without regularity.NWAD REVEL.4

    REVEL, n. A feast with loose and noisy jollity.

    Some men ruin the fabric of their bodies by incessant revels.NWAD REVEL.6

    REVEL, v.t. [L. revello; re and vello, to pull.]

    To draw back; to retract; to make a revulsion.NWAD REVEL.8

    REVELATION, n. [L. revelatus, revelo. See Reveal.]

    1. The act of disclosing or discovering to others what was before unknown to them; appropriately, the disclosure or communication of truth to men by God himself, or by his authorized agents, the prophets and apostles.NWAD REVELATION.2

    How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words. Ephesians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:1.NWAD REVELATION.3

    2. That which is revealed; appropriately, the sacred truths which God has communicated to man for his instruction and direction. The revelations of God are contained in the Old and New Testament.NWAD REVELATION.4

    3. The Apocalypse; the last book of the sacred canon, containing the prophecies of St. John.NWAD REVELATION.5

    REVELER, n. [See Revel.] One who feasts with noisy merriment.

    REVELING, ppr. Feasting with noisy merriment; carousing.

    REVELING, n. A feasting with noisy merriment; revelry. Galatians 5:21; 1 Peter 4:3.

    REVEL-ROUT, n. [See Rout.]

    1. Tumultuous festivity.NWAD REVEL-ROUT.2

    2. A mob; a rabble tumultuously assembled; an unlawful assembly.NWAD REVEL-ROUT.3

    REVELRY, n. Noisy festivity; clamorous jollity.

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