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Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Contents
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    SLOTHFUL, a. Inactive; sluggish; lazy; indolent; idle. He that is slothful in his work, is brother to him that is a great waster. Proverbs 18:9.

    SLOTHFULLY, adv. Lazily; sluggish; idly.

    SLOTHFULNESS, n. The indulgence of sloth; inactivity; the habit of idleness; laziness. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep. Proverbs 19:15.

    SLOTTERY, a.

    1. Squalid; dirty; sluttish untrimmed. [Not in use.]NWAD SLOTTERY.2

    2. Foul; wet. [Not in use.]NWAD SLOTTERY.3

    SLOUCH, n. [This word probably belongs to the root of lag, slug.]

    1. A hanging down; a depression of the head or of some other part of the body, an ungainly clownish gait.NWAD SLOUCH.2

    2. An awkward, heavy, clownish fellow.NWAD SLOUCH.3

    SLOUCH, v.i. To hang down; to have a down cast clownish look, gait or manner.

    SLOUCH, v.t. To depress; to cause to hang down; as, to slouch the hat.

    SLOUCHING, ppr.

    1. Causing to hang down.NWAD SLOUCHING.2

    2. a. Hanging down; walking heavily and awkwardly.NWAD SLOUCHING.3

    SLOUGH, n. slou.

    1. A place of deep mud or mire; a hole full of mire.NWAD SLOUGH.2

    2. [pron. sluff.] The skin or cast skin of a serpent. [Its use for the skin in general, in Shakespeare, is not authorized.]NWAD SLOUGH.3

    3. [pron. sluff.] The part that separates from a foul sore. The dead part which separates from the living in mortification.NWAD SLOUGH.4

    SLOUGH, v.i. sluff. To separate from the sound flesh; to come off; as the matter over a sore; a term in surgery.

    To slough off, to separate from the living parts, as the dead part in mortification.NWAD SLOUGH.6

    SLOUGHLY, a. slou’y. Full of sloughs; miry.

    SLOVEN, n. A man careless of his dress, or negligent of cleanliness; a man habitually negligent of neatness and order.

    SLOVENLINESS, n. [from sloven.]

    1. Negligence of dress; habitual want of cleanliness.NWAD SLOVENLINESS.2

    2. Neglect of order and neatness.NWAD SLOVENLINESS.3

    SLOVENLY, a.

    1. Negligent of dress or neatness; as a slowenly man.NWAD SLOVENLY.2

    2. Loose; disorderly; not neat; as a slovenly dress.NWAD SLOVENLY.3

    SLOVENLY, adv. In a careless, inelegant manner.

    SLOVENRY, n. Negligence of order or neatness; dirtiness. [Not in use.]

    SLOW, a.

    1. Moving a small distance in a long time; not swift; not quick in motion; not rapid; as a slow stream; a slow motion.NWAD SLOW.2

    2. Late; not happening in short time. These changes in the heavens though slow, produc’d like change on sea and land, sidereal blast.NWAD SLOW.3

    3. Not ready; not prompt or quick; as slow of speech, and slow of tongue. Exodus 4:10.NWAD SLOW.4

    4. Dull; in active; tardy. The Trojans are not slow to guard their shore from an expected foe.NWAD SLOW.5

    5. Not hasty; not precipitate; acting with deliberation. The Lord is merciful, slow to anger. He that is slow the wrath is of great understanding. Proverbs 14:29.NWAD SLOW.6

    6. Dull; heavy in wit.NWAD SLOW.7

    7. Behind in time; indicating a time later than the true time; as, the clock or watch is slow.NWAD SLOW.8

    8. Not advancing, growing or improving rapidly; as the slow growth of arts and sciences.NWAD SLOW.9

    SLOW, is used in composition to modify other words; as a slow-paced horse.

    SLOW, as a verb, to delay, is not in use.

    SLOW, n. A moth. [Not in use.]

    SLOWBACK, n. A lubber; an idle fellow; a loiterer.

    SLOWLY, adv.

    1. With moderate motion; not rapidly; not with velocity or celerity; as, to walk slowly.NWAD SLOWLY.2

    2. Not soon; not early; not in a little time; not with hasty advance; as a country that rises slowly into importance.NWAD SLOWLY.3

    3. Not hastily; not rashly; not with precipitation; as, he determines slowly.NWAD SLOWLY.4

    4. Not promptly; not readily; as, he learns slowly.NWAD SLOWLY.5

    5. Tardily; with slow progress. The building proceeds slowly.NWAD SLOWLY.6

    SLOWNESS, n.

    1. Moderate motion; want of speed or velocity. Swifness and slowness are relative ideas.NWAD SLOWNESS.2

    2. Tardy advance; moderate progression; as the slowness of an operation; slowness of growth or improvement.NWAD SLOWNESS.3

    3. Dullness to admit conviction or affection; as slowness of heart.NWAD SLOWNESS.4

    4. Want of readiness or promptness; dullness of intellect.NWAD SLOWNESS.5

    5. Deliberation; coolness; caution in deciding.NWAD SLOWNESS.6

    6. Dilatoriness; tardiness.NWAD SLOWNESS.7

    SLOW-WORM, SLOE-WORM, n. An insect found on the leaves of the sloe-tree, which often changes its skin and assumes different colors. It changes into a four winged fly.

    SLOW-WORM, n. A kind of viper, the blind worm, scarcely venomous.

    SLUBBER, v.t. To do lazily, imperfectly or coarsely; to daub; to stain; to cover carelessly. [Little used and vulgar.]

    SLUBBERINGLY, adv. In a sloenly manner, [Not used and vulgar.]

    SLUDGE, n. Mud; mire; soft mud.

    SLUDS, n. Among miners, half roasted ore.

    SLUE, v.t. In seamen’s language, to turn any thing conical or cylindrical, etc. about its axis without removing it; to turn.

    SLUG, n. [allied to slack, sluggard.]

    1. A drone; a slow, heavy, lazy fellow.NWAD SLUG.2

    2. A hinderance; obstruction.NWAD SLUG.3

    3. A kind of snail, very destructive to plants, of the genus Limax. It is without a shell.NWAD SLUG.4

    4. A cylindrical or oval piece of metal, used for the charge of a gun.NWAD SLUG.5

    SLUG, v.i. To move slowly; to lie idle.

    SLUG, v.t. To make sluggish.

    SLUGABED, n. One who indulges in lying abed. [Not in use.]

    SLUGGARD, n. [from slug and ard, slow kind.] A person habitually lazy, idle and inactive; a drone.

    SLUGGARD, a. Sluggish; lazy.

    SLUGGARDIZE, v.t. To make lazy. [Little used.]

    SLUGGISH, a.

    1. Habitually idle and lazy; slothful; dull; inactive; as a sluggish man.NWAD SLUGGISH.2

    2. Slow; having little motion; as a sluggish river or stream.NWAD SLUGGISH.3

    3. Inert; inactive; having no power to move itself. Matter is sluggish and inactive.NWAD SLUGGISH.4

    SLUGGISHLY, adv. Lazily; slothfully; drowsily; idly; slowly.


    1. Natural or habitual indolence or laziness; sloth; dullness; applied to persons.NWAD SLUGGISHNESS.2

    2. Inertness; want of power to move; applied to inanimate matter.NWAD SLUGGISHNESS.3

    3. Slowness; as the sluggishness of a steam.NWAD SLUGGISHNESS.4

    SLUGGY, a. Sluggish [Not in use.]

    SLUICE, SLUSE, n. [L. claudo, clausi, clausus; Low L. exclusa. The most correct orthography is sluse.]

    1. The stream of water issuing through a flood-gate; or the gate itself. If the word had its origin in shutting; it denoted the frame of boards or planks which closes the opening of a mill dam; but I believe it is applied to the stream, the gate and channel. It is a common saying, that a rapid stream runs like a sluse.NWAD SLUICE.2

    2. An opening; a source of supply; that through which any thing flows. Each sluice of affluent fortune open’d soon.NWAD SLUICE.3

    SLUICE, SLUSE, v.t. To emit by flood-gates. [Little used]

    SLUICY, SLUSY, a. Falling in streams as from a sluice. And oft whole sheets descent of sluicy rain.

    SLUMBER, v.i.

    1. To sleep lightly; to doze. He that keepth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:4.NWAD SLUMBER.2

    2. To sleep. Slumber is used as synonymous with sleep, particularly in the poetic and eloquent style.NWAD SLUMBER.3

    3. To be in a state of negligence, sloth, supineness or inactivity. Why slumbers Pope?NWAD SLUMBER.4

    SLUMBER, v.t.

    1. To lay to sleep.NWAD SLUMBER.6

    2. To stun; to stupefy. [Little used and hardly legitimate.]NWAD SLUMBER.7

    SLUMBER, n.

    1. Light sleep; sleep not deep or sound. From carelessness it shall settle into slumber, and from slumber it shall settle into a deep and long sleep.NWAD SLUMBER.9

    2. Sleep; repose. Rest to my soul, and slumber to my eyes.NWAD SLUMBER.10

    SLUMBERER, n. One that slumbers.

    SLUMBERING, ppr. Dozing; sleeping.


    1. Inviting or causing sleep; soporiferous. While pensive in the slumberous shadeNWAD SLUMBEROUS.2

    2. Sleep; not waking.NWAD SLUMBEROUS.3

    SLUMP, v.i. To fall or sink suddenly into water or mud, when walking on a hard surface, as on ice or frozed ground, not strong enough to bear the person. [This legitimate word is in common and respectable use in New England, and its signification is so approriate that no onther word wil supply its place.]

    SLUNG, pret. and pp. of sling.

    SLUNK, pret. and pp. of slink.

    SLUR, v.t.

    1. To soil; to sully; to contaminate; to disgrace.NWAD SLUR.2

    2. To pass lightly; to conceal. With periods, points and tropes he slurs his crimes.NWAD SLUR.3

    3. To cheat; to trick. [Unusual.]NWAD SLUR.4

    4. In music, to sing or perform in a smooth gliding style.NWAD SLUR.5

    SLUR, n.

    1. Properly, a black mark; hence, slight reproach or disgrace. Every violation of moral duty should be a slur to the reputation.NWAD SLUR.7

    2. In music, a mark connecting noest that are to be sung to the same syllable, or made in one continued breath of a wind instrument, or with one stoke of a stringed instrument.NWAD SLUR.8

    SLUSE, a more correct orthography of sluice.

    SLUSH, n. Soft mud, or a soft mixture of filthy substances. [This may be the Eng. slutch.]

    SLUT, n.

    1. A woman who is negligent of cleanliness, and who suffers her person, clothes, funiture, etc., to be dirty or in disorder.NWAD SLUT.2

    2. A name of slight contempt for a woman.NWAD SLUT.3

    SLUTTERY, n. The qualities of a slut; more generally, the practice of a slut; neglect of cleanliness and order; dirtiness of clothes, rooms, furniture or provisions.

    SLUTTISH, a.

    1. Not neat or cleanly; dirty; careless of dress and neatness; disorderly; as a sluttish woman.NWAD SLUTTISH.2

    2. Disorderly; dirty; as a sluttish dress.NWAD SLUTTISH.3

    3. Meretricious. [Little used.]NWAD SLUTTISH.4

    SLUTTISHLY, adv. In a sluttish manner; negligently; dirtily,

    SLUTTISHNESS, n. The qualities or practice of a slut; negligence of dress; dirtiness of dress, furniture and in domestic affairs generally.

    SLY, a.

    1. Artfully dextrous in performing things secretly, and escaping observation or detection; usually implying some degree of meanness; artfully cunning; applied to persons; as a sly man or boy.NWAD SLY.2

    2. Done with artful and dextrous secrecy; as a sly trick.NWAD SLY.3

    3. Marked with artful secrecy; as sly circumspection.NWAD SLY.4

    4. Secret; concealed. Envy works in a sly imperceptible manner.NWAD SLY.5

    SLY-BOOTS, n. A sly, cunning or waggish person.

    SLYLY, SLYNESS. [See Slily, Sliness.]

    SMACK, v.i. [The primary sense is to throw, to strike, whence to touch or taste;]

    1. To kiss with a close compression of the lips, so as to make a sound when they separate; to kiss with violence.NWAD SMACK.2

    2. To make a noise by the separation of the lips after tasting any thing.NWAD SMACK.3

    3. To have a taste; to be tinctured with any particular taste.NWAD SMACK.4

    4. To have a tincture or quality infused. All sects, all ages smack of this vice.NWAD SMACK.5

    SMACK, v.t.

    1. To kiss with a sharp noise.NWAD SMACK.7

    2. To make a sharp noies with the lips.NWAD SMACK.8

    3. To make a sharp noise by striking; to crack; as, to smack a whip.NWAD SMACK.9

    SMACK, n.

    1. A loud kissNWAD SMACK.11

    2. A quick sharp noise, as of the lips or of a whip.NWAD SMACK.12

    3. Taste; savor; tinture.NWAD SMACK.13

    4. Pleasing taste.NWAD SMACK.14

    5. A quick smart blow.NWAD SMACK.15

    6. A small quantity; a taste.NWAD SMACK.16

    7. A small vessel, commonly rigged as a cutter, used in the coasting and fishing trade.NWAD SMACK.17

    SMALL, a.

    1. Slender; thin; fine; of little diameter; hence in general, little in size or quantity; not great; as a small house; a small horse; a small farm; a small body; small particles.NWAD SMALL.2

    2. Minute; slender; fine; as a small voice.NWAD SMALL.3

    3. Little in degree; as small improvement; small acquirements; the trouble is small. There arose no small stir about that way. Acts 19:23.NWAD SMALL.4

    4. Being of little moment, weight or importance; as, it is a small matter or thing; a small subject.NWAD SMALL.5

    5. Of little genius or ability; petty; as a small poet or musician.NWAD SMALL.6

    6. Short; containing little; as a small essay.NWAD SMALL.7

    7. Little in amount; as a small sum; a small price.NWAD SMALL.8

    8. Containing little of the principal quality, or little strenghth; weak; as small beer.NWAD SMALL.9

    9. Gentle; soft; not loud. 1 Kings 19:12.NWAD SMALL.10

    10. Mean; base; unworthy.NWAD SMALL.11

    SMALL, n. The small or slender part of a thing; as the small of the leg or of the back.

    SMALL, v.t. To make little or less. [Not in use.]

    SMALLAGE, n. A plant of the genus Apium, water parsley.

    SMALL-BEER, n. [small and beer.] A species of weak beer.

    SMALL-COAL, n. [small and coal.] Little wood coals unsed to light fires.

    SMALL-CRAFT, n. [small and craft.] A vessel, or vessels in general, of a small size, or below the size of ships and bigs intended for foreign trade.

    SMALLISH, a. Somewhat small.

    SMALLNESS, n. Littleness of size or extent; littleness of quantity; as the smallness of a fly or of a horse; the smallness of a hill.

    2. Littleness in degree; as the smallness of trouble or pain.NWAD SMALLNESS.2

    3. Littleness in force or strength; weakness; as smallness of mind or intellectual powers.NWAD SMALLNESS.3

    4. Fineness; softness; melodiousness; as the smallness of a female voice.NWAD SMALLNESS.4

    5. Littleness in amount of value; as the smallness of a sum.NWAD SMALLNESS.5

    6. Littleness of importance; inconsideratbleness; as the smallness of an affair.NWAD SMALLNESS.6

    SMALL-POX, n. [small and pox, pocks.] A very contagious disease, characterized by an eruprion of pustules on the skin; the variolous disease.

    SMALLY, adv. small’-ly. In a little quantity or degree; with minuteness. [Little used.]

    SMALT, n. A beautiful blue glass of cobalt; flint and potash fused together.

    SMARAGD, n. The emerald.

    SMARAGDINE, a. [L. Smaragdinus.] Pertaining to emerald; consisting of emerald, or resembling it; of an emerald green.

    SMARAGDITE, n. A mineral; called also green diallage.

    SMARIS, n. A fish of a dark green color.

    SMART, n. [This word is probably formed on the root of L. amarus, bitter, that is, sharp.]

    1. Quick, pungent, lively pain; a pricking local pain, as the pain from puncture by nettles; as the smart of bodily punishment.NWAD SMART.2

    2. Severe pungent pain of mind; pungent grief; as the smart of affliction.NWAD SMART.3

    SMART, v.i.

    1. To feel a lively pungent pain, particularly a pungent local pain from some piercing or irritating application. Thus Cayeene pepper applied to the tongue makes it smart.NWAD SMART.5

    2. To feel a pungent pain of mind; to feel sharp pain; as, to smart under sufferings.NWAD SMART.6

    3. To be punished; to bear penalties or the evil consequences of any thing. He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it. Proverbs 11:15.NWAD SMART.7

    SMART, a.

    1. Pungent; pricking; causing a keen local pain; as a smart lash or stroke; a smart quality or taste.NWAD SMART.9

    2. Keen; severe; poignant; as smart pain or sufferings.NWAD SMART.10

    3. Quick; vigorous; sharp; severe; as a smart skirmish.NWAD SMART.11

    4. Brisk; fresh; as a smart breeze.NWAD SMART.12

    5. Acute and pertinent; witty; as a smart reply; a smart saying.NWAD SMART.13

    6. Brisk; vivacious; as a smart rhetorician. Who, for the poor renown of being smart, would leave a sting within a brother’s heart?NWAD SMART.14

    SMART, n. A cant word for a fellow that affects briskness and vivacity.

    SMARTEN, v.t. To make smart. [Not in use.]

    SMARTLE, v.i. To waste away. [Not in use.]

    SMARTLY, adv.

    1. With keen pain; as, to ake smartly.NWAD SMARTLY.2

    2. Briskly; sharply; wittily.NWAD SMARTLY.3

    3. Vigorously; actively.NWAD SMARTLY.4


    1. The quality of being smart or pungent; poignancy; as the smartness of pain.NWAD SMARTNESS.2

    2. Quickness; vigor; as the smartness of a blow.NWAD SMARTNESS.3

    3. Liveliness; briskness; vivacity; wittiness; as the smartness of a reply or of a phrase.NWAD SMARTNESS.4

    SMART-WEED, n. A name given to the arsmart or persicaria.

    SMASH, v.t. [probably mash, with a prefix.] To break in pieces by violence; to dash to pieces; to crush. Here every thing is broken and smashed to pieces. [Vulgar.]

    SMATCH, n. [corrupted from smack.]

    1. Taste; tincture. [Not in use or vulgar.]NWAD SMATCH.2

    2. A bird.NWAD SMATCH.3

    SMATTER, v.i. [It contains the elements of mutter.]

    1. To talk superficially or ignorantly. Of state affairs you cannot smatter.NWAD SMATTER.2

    2. To have a slight taste, or a slight superficial knowledge.NWAD SMATTER.3

    SMATTER, n. Slight superficial knowledge.

    SMATTERER, n. One who has only a slight superficial knowledge.

    SMATTERING, n. A slight superficial knowledge. [This is the word commonly used.]

    SMEAR, v.t.

    1. To overspread with any thing unctuous, viscous or adhesive; to besmear; to daub; as, to smear any thing with oil, butter, pitch, etc.NWAD SMEAR.2

    2. To soil; to contaminate; to pollute; as smeared with infamy.NWAD SMEAR.3

    SMEAR, n. A fat oily substance; ointment. [Little used.]

    SMEARED, pp. Overspread with soft or oily matter; soiled.

    SMEARING, ppr. Overspreading with any thing soft and oleaginous; soiling.

    SMEARY, a. That smears or soils; adhesive. [Little used.]

    SMEATH, n. A sea fowl.

    SMECTITE, n. An argillaceous earth; so called from its property of taking grease out of cloth, etc.

    SMEETH, v.t. To smole. [Not in use.]

    SMEGMATIC, a. Being of the nature of soap; soapy; cleansing; detersive.

    SMELL, v.t. pret. and pp. smelled, smelt. [I have not found this word in any other language.] TO perceive by the nose, or by the olfactory nerves; to have a sensation excited in certain organs of the nose by particular qualities of a body, which are transmitted in fine particles, often form a distance; as, to smell a rose; to smell perfumes.

    To smell out, is a low phrase signifying to find out by sagacity.NWAD SMELL.2

    To smell a rat, is a low phrase signifying to suspect strongly.NWAD SMELL.3

    SMELL, v.i.

    1. To affect the olfactory nerves; to have an odor or particualr scent; followed by of; as to smell of smoke; to smell of musk.NWAD SMELL.5

    2. To have a particular tincuture or smack or any quality; as, a report smells of calumny. [Not elegant.]NWAD SMELL.6

    3. To practice smelling. Exodus 30:38.NWAD SMELL.7

    4. To exercise sagacity.NWAD SMELL.8

    SMELL, n.

    1. The sense of faculty by which through the instrumentally of the olfactory nerves; or the faculty of perceiving by the organs of the nose; one of the five senses. In some species of beasts, the smell is remark able acute, particularly in the canine species.NWAD SMELL.10

    2. Scent; odor; the quality of bodies which affects the olfactory organs; as the smell of mint; the smell of geranium. The sweetest smell in the air is that of the white double violet.NWAD SMELL.11

    SMELLED, SMELT, pret. and pp. of smell.

    SMELLER, n. One that smells.

    SMELLFEAST, n. [smell and feast.] One that is apt to find and frequent good tables; an epicure; a parasite.

    SMELT. [See Smelled.]

    SMELT, n. A small fish that is very delicate food. But in Europe, a fish of the truttaceous kind, so names from its peculiar smell.

    SMELT, v.t. To melt, an ore, for the purpose of separating the metal from extraneous substances.

    SMELTED, pp. Melted for the extraction of the metal.

    SMELTER, n. One the melts ore.

    SMELTERY, n. A house or place for smelting ores.

    SMELTING, ppr. Melting, as ore.

    SMELTING, n. The operation of melting ores for the purpose of extracting the metal.

    SMERK, n. An affected smile.

    SMERK, a. Nice; smart; janty. So smerk, so smooth he prick’d his ears.

    SMERLIN, n. A fish.

    SMEW, n. An aquatic fowl, the Mergus albellus.

    SMICKER, v.i. To smerk; to look amorously or wantonly.

    SMICKERING, ppr. Smerking; smiling affectedly.

    SMICKERING, n. An affected smile or amorous look.

    SMICKET, n. Dim. of smock. [Not used.]

    SMIDDY, n. A smithery or smith’s workshop. [Not in use.]

    SMIGHT, for smile, in Spenser, is a mistake.

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