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xi PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1828,
XV MEMOIR OF NOAH WEBSTER,
xvii A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, xxiii to xxxix LANGUAGES KINDRED TO THE ENGLISH,
xxiii GENERAL FEATURES OF THE TEUTONIC LANGUAGES,
xxiv THE ANGLO-SAXON AS A LITERARY LANGUAGE,
XXV INFLUENCE OF OTHER LANGUAGES ON THE ANGLO-SAXON, XXV TRANSITION FROM ANGLO-SAXON TO MODERN ENGLISH,
ххуі THE ENGLISH A COMPOSITE LANGUAGE,
xxviii THE ENGLISH POOR IN FORMATION AND INFLECTION,
xxix ANGLO-SAXON INFLECTION,
XXX SEMI-8 AXOX INFLECTION,
xxxiii EARLY ENGLISH INFLECTION,
PAGE PRINCIPLES OF PRONUNCIATION,
Xl to lxiüi VOWELS, ·
xli VOWELS IX MONOSYLLABLES AND ACCENTED SYLLABLES, REGULAR OR PROPER DIPHTHONGS,
xliii VOWELS IN UNACCENTED SYLLABLES,
xliv SILENT VOWELS, CONSONANTS,
xlv ASSIMILATION OF CONSONANTS,
xlviii DUPLICATION OF CONSONANTS,
xlviji ACCENT, .
xlix DIVIDED USAGE,
xlix TRISYLLABLES AND POLYSYLLABLES,
1 SYNOPSIS OF WORDS DIFFERENTLY PRONOUNCED BY DIFFERENT ORTHOËPISTS,
li to lxiii ORTHOGRAPHY,
lxiv to lxxi OBSERVATIONS,
lxiv RULES FOR SPELLING CERTAIN CLASSES OF WORDS,
Ixv LIST OP WORDS SPELLED IN TWO OR MORE WAYS,
Ixviii ABBREVIATIONS AND EXPLANATIONS,
A DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE,
WORDS AND DEFINITIONS,
1589 PRONOUNCING VOCABULARIES OF MODERN GEO. EXPLANATORY AND PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY
GRAPHICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL NAMES, . 1681 to 1756 OF THE NAMES OF NOTED FICTITIOUS PER
1681 SONS, PLACES, ETC.,
1591 to 1644 ELEMENTS OF PRONUNCIATION OF THE PRINCIPAL MODERN PREFACE,
1684 PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF SCRIPTURE PROPER
OBSERVATIONS NECESSARY TO BE BORNE IN MIND,
1684 NAMES, 1645 to 1652 VOCABULARY OF MODERN GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES,
1685 REMARKS AND RULES,
1645 A PRONOUNCING BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY, WITH NAUES FROM THE COMMON ENGLISH VERSION,
1703 1651 XAVES FROM THE ANGLO-CATHOLIC VERSION,
PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF COMMON ENGLISH PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF GREEK AND LATIN
CHRISTIAN NAMES, WITH THEIR DERIVA-
1653 to 1672
XAMES OF MEN, PREFACE,
NAMES OF WOMEN, LIST OF WORKS REFERRED TO,
165+ RULES OF PRONUNCIATION,
QUOTATIONS, WORDS, PHRASES, PROVERBS, ETC., VOCABULARY,
FROM THE GREEK, THE LATIN, AND MODERN ETYMOLOGICAL VOCABULARY OF MODERN GEO.
1763 to 1774 GRAPHICAL NAMES,
ABBREVIATIONS AND CONTRACTIONS USED IN
... 1673 to 1680 EXPLANATORY INDEX OF PREFIXES, SUFFIXES, AND FORMA
WRITING AND PRINTING,
1775 to 1779 1673 TIVE SYLLABLES,
ARBITRARY SIGNS USED IN WRITING AND PRINT
ING, A BRIBY ALPHABETICAL LIST OF GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES,
1780 to 1784 WITH THEIR DERIVATION AND SIGNIFICATION,
1677 A CLASSIFIED SELECTION OF PICTORIAL ILLUS.
1785 to 184
A CLASSIFIED SELECTION OF PICTORIAL ILLUSTRATIONS,
1813 1814 1815 1815 1817 1817 1826 1826 1827 1830 1830 1836 1836
PAGE AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE,
1785 ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, PHRENOLOGY, &c., .
1785 ANTIQUITIES–Dress, UTENSILS, &C.,
1787 ART-OBJECTS OF, ORNAMENTS, INSTRUMENTS, &c.,
1790 ASTRONOMY, .
1792 CARPENTRY, JOINERY, AND MASONRY,
1797 CRUSTACEANS AND OTHER SHELL ANIMALS,
1797 DOMESTIC ECONOMY, UTENSILS, FURNITURE, &c.,
1798 DRESS, ORNAMENTS, INSIGNIA, &c.
1798 FLAGS, BANNERS, INSIGNIA. &c.,
1799 GAMES, AMUSEMENTS, &c.,
1802 INSECTS, LARVÆ, PUPÆ, &c.,
1802 ICHTHYOLOGY-FISHES, AND OTHER MARINE AND AQUATIC ANIMALS,
1803 LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE, AND RAILROAD MACHINERY,
1806 MATHEMATICS, INCLUDING ALGEBRA, GEOMETRY, TRIGONOMETRY, CONIC SECTIONS, &c.,
1806 MECHANICAL POWERS,
1807 MECHANICS, MACHINERY, &c.,
1808 MIDDLE AGES, DAYS OF CHIVALRY, &C.-ARMOUR, DRESS, &c., 1811
MILITARY TERMS-ARMS, PROJECTILES, WEAPONS, &c.,
“ There is no knowledge of things conveyed by men's words, when their ideas agree not to the reality of things.
He that hath names without ideas, wants meaning in his words, and speaks only empty sounds. ... The only sure way of making known the signification of the name of any simple idea, is by presenting to his senses that subject which may produce it in his mind, and make him actually have the idea that word stands for.
The shape of a horse, or cassiowary, will be but rudely and imperfectly imprinted on the mind by words; the sight of the animals doth it a thousand times better.
It is not unreasonable to propose that words standing for things which are known and distinguished by their outward shapes should be expressed by little draughts and prints made of them. ... Naturalists, that treat of plants and animals, have found the benefit of this way; and he that has had occasion to consult them will have reason to confess that he has a clearer idea of apium or ibex, from a little print of that herb or beast, than he could have from a long definition of the names of either of them. And so, no doubt, he would have of strigil and sistrum, if, instead of curry.comb and cymbal, which are the English names dictionaries render them by, he could see stamped in the margin small pictures of these instruments, as they were in use among tho ancients.
Such things as these, which the eye distinguishes by their shapes, would be best let into the mind by draughts made of them, and more determine the signification of such words than any other words set for them, or
EDITOR'S PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION OF 1847.
The demand for THE AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE has increased so rapidly within a few years past, that the publishers have felt the necessity of its being stereotyped, for the greater convenience of the public, in a single quarto volume. In deciding upon this measure, they were desirous that the work should be thoroughly revised anew, and that each department which it embraces should be brought down, as far as possible, to the latest advances of science, literature, and the arts, at the present day. With this view, it was placed in the hands of the Rev. CHAUNCEY A. GOODRICH, Professor in Yale College, as one of the members of Dr. WEBSTER's family, in the expectation of his obtaining such additional aid as might be necessary for the accomplishment of this design. The Editor has not acted, however, upon his own personal responsibility in executing this trust. He has, from time to time, laid open the sheets to the inspection of the other members of the family; and no important alterations have been made, especially in any of the leading characteristics of the work, except with the concurrence, or at the request, of Dr. Webster's legal representatives. In laying before the public an edition thus prepared, the fruit of nearly three years of care and attention, the Editor will be expected to make some brief statement of the principles on which he has conducted the revision, and the result of his labors, as exhibited in the present volume.
This work was first published, in two quarto volumes, in the year 1828. At the expiration of twelve years, or in the years 1840–1, a second edition was published by the Author, in two royal octavo volumes. Of this he thus speaks in the Advertisement prefixed: “ The improvements in this edition of the AMERICAN DICTIONARY consist chiefly in the addition of several thousand words to the vocabulary, the division of words into syllables, and the correction of definitions in several of the sciences, which are made conformable to recent discoveries and classifications. For the latter improvements, the Author is indebted chiefly to Professor Tully, of the Medical College in New Haven. To these improvements may be added the introduction and explanation of many phrases from foreign languages, frequently used by English authors, and in conversation; and also of many foreign terms used in books of music.” In conducting this revision, Dr. Webster was aided in some part of his labors by his son, WILLIAM G. WEBSTER, Esq., of New Haven ; who, also, at a subsequent period, prepared the revised Addenda, under the direction of his father. The later improvements of the Author, down to the period of his death, are here inserted under their proper heads, from the manuscripts which he left. By these successive revisions, and the one which has now been made, new matter, to the amount of more than three hundred pages, has been added to the work; all of which, by the use of a smaller type, and by careful compression, is now brought within the compass of this volume. Of the course pursued in the revision it will now be proper briefly to speak.
In respect to the Etymologies, the Editor has not considered it as lying within his province to make any mate. rial alterations. In a very few cases of obvious necessity, some slight change has been made. But the chief labor, in reference to this part of the work, has been bestowed on the difficult task of giving with accuracy the numerous words from Oriental and foreign languages, which are used in tracing the origin of our own.
The chief value of a dictionary consists in its Definitions ;- in giving a clear, full, and accurate exhibition of all the various shades of meaning which belong, by established usage, to the words of a language. It is in this respect, especially, that Dr. Webster's Dictionary has been generally considered superior to every other, both of this country and of England. To this point, therefore, the labors of the Editor have been mainly directed. No efforts have been spared to obtain the most recent and valuable works, not only in lexicography, but in the various departments of science and the arts embraced in the American Dictionary. As these subjects are in a state of continual progress, every important word, in its various applications, has been diligently examined and compared with the statements made on each topic, by the latest and most approved authorities. Smart's English Dictionary, in the edition of 1846, has been carefully collated with this work, and also the unfinished one [Craig's], in a course of publication by Gilbert, so far as the numbers have appeared. Reference has likewise constantly been made to Richardson's Dictionary, — although this had been previously examined by Dr. Webster, — and also to the Analytical Dictionary of Booth. Each of the articles in Brande's Encyclopedia of Science, Literature, and Art, has been col. lated with the corresponding portions of this Dictionary, as the starting-point, when necessary, of investigation in larger treatises. The Penny Cyclopedia has been consulted at every step, especially in matters of science ; and the Encyclopædia Americana (based on the German Conversations-Lexikon) has been relied upon, particularly on subjects of continental literature, philosophy, history, art, &c. In order to secure greater accuracy, numerous special dictionaries or vocabularies, confined to some single department, have also been collated with this work; and the ablest treatises on important branches of science and art have been diligently examined. In architecture, the chief reliance has been placed on the Oxford Glossary of Architecture (1845), and the Encyclopedia of Architecture (1842), by Gwilt, author of the articles on this subject in Brande's Encyclopedia. In agriculture, Johnson's Farmer's Encyclopedia (1844), and Gardner's Farmer's Dictionary (1846), have been chiefly used. In general antiquities, the large treatise of Fosbroke has been frequently consulted, while in classical antiquities the principal reliance has been placed on the recent Dictionary of Smith (1846), as a work of the highest authority. In respect to the antiquities of the church, the elaborate work of Coleman (1841) has been frequently consulted ; and Hook's Church Dictionary (1844) has been collated throughout, with reference to the rites, ceremonies, vestments, &c., of the church of England, and also of the Roman Catholic and Greek churches. In botany, use has principally been made of the writings of Lindley and Loudon. In natural history, Partington's British Cyclopedia of Natural History (1835–7), and Jardine's Naturalist's Library (1834–43), have been much consulted, in connection with the articles on these subjects in the Penny Cyclopedia and similar works. In geology, mineralogy, and some associated branches of natural history, Humble's Dictionary of terms in these departments (1840) has been compared with this work throughout. In respect to mercantile subjects, banking, coins, weights, measures, &c., McCulloch's Commercial Dictionary (1845) has been collated at every step, as the standard work on these subjects. In manufactures and the arts, Dr. Ure's Dictionary of Manufactures, Arts, and Mines, with its Supplement (1845), has been relied upon as of the highest authority. In engineering and mechanical philosophy, Hebert's Engineer's and Mechanic's Cyclopedia (1842) has been carefully collated, with a constant reference to the more popular and recent Dictionaries of Francis, Grier, and Buchanan, in the editions of 1846. In seamanship, the Dictionary of Marine Terms, in Lieutenant Totten's Naval Text-Book (1841), has been taken as a guide. In military affairs, the Dictionary of Campbell (1844) has been followed, in connection with the more extended articles contained in Brande and the Penny Cyclopedia, on the kindred topics. In the fine arts, much use has been made of the Dictionary of Elmes. In domestic economy, the Encyclopedia of Webster and Parkes on this subject (1844) has furnished many important statements, on a great variety of topics, presented for the first time in a scientific form; and to this has been added Cooley's Cyclopedia of Practical Receipts (1846), as exhibiting much collateral information in respect to the arts, manufactures, and trades. Such, in general, are the authorities which have been relied on in this revision.
But it is obviously impossible for any one mind to embrace with accuracy all the various departments of knowl edge which are now brought within the compass of a dictionary. Hence arise most of the errors and inconsistencies which abound in works of this kind. To avoid these as far as possible, especially in matters of science, the Editor at first made an arrangement with Dr. JAMES G. PERCIVAL, who had rendered important assistance to Dr. Webster in the edition of 1828, to take the entire charge of revising the scientific articles embraced in this work. This revision, however, owing to causes beyond the control of either party, was extended to but little more than two letters of the alphabet; and the Editor then obtained the assistance of his associates in office, and of other gentlemen in various professional employments. To these he would now return his acknowledgments for the aid they have afforded. The articles on law have been collated with Blackstone, and with Bouvier's Law Dictionary, by the Hon. ElizUR GOODRICH, formerly Professor of Law in Yale College, and the errors discovered, which were few in number, have been carefully corrected. The departments of ecclesiastical history and ancient philosophy have been thoroughly revised by the Rev. JAMES MURDOCK, D. D., late Professor in the Andover Theological Seminary, who has furnished, in many instances, new and valuable definitions. The terms in chemistry have been submitted to Professor SILLIMAN, of Yale College ; and whatever changes were requisite in the explanations have been made under his direction. In the departments of botany, anatomy, physiology, medicine, and some branches of natural history, Dr. Webster received assistance, in the revision of 1840, as mentioned above, from Dr. WILLIAM TULLY, late Professor in the Medical Institution of Yale College. Still further aid has been received from the same source in the present revision, and much of the accuracy of this work, in these branches, will be found owing to the valuable assistance he has thus afforded. On topics connected with Oriental literature, aid has frequently been obtained from Professor GIBBS, of Yale College. A part of the articles on astronomy, meteorology, and natural philosophy, in the edition of 1828, passed under the revision of Professor OLMSTED, of Yale College. This revision has now been extended to all the articles on these subjects throughout the work, and new definitions have been furnished in numerous instances. The definitions in mathematics, after having been compared with those given in the Dictionaries of Hutton and of Barlow, have been submitted to Professor STANLEY, of Yale College, and the alterations have, in all cases, been made under his direction. In the sciences of geology and mineralogy, a thorough revision of the whole volume has been made by JAMES D. DANA, Esq., Geologist and Mineralogist of the United States Exploring Expedition, and associate editor of the American Journal of Science and Arts, to whom the Editor is likewise indebted for assistance on various other subjects, which has greatly enhanced the value of the work. In practical astronomy, and the science of entomology, aid has been frequently received from EDWARD C. HERRICK, Esq., Librarian of Yale College. The articles on painting and the fine arts have, to a great extent, passed under the inspection of NATHANIEL JOCELYN, Esq., Painter, of New Haven, and new definitions have in many cases been furnished.
A correspondence has likewise been carried on with literary friends in England, and especially with one of the contributors to the Penny Cyclopedia, with a view to obtain information on certain points, in respect to which nothing definite could be learned from any books within the reach of the Editor. Extended lists of words have been transmitted for examination, and returned with ample notes and explanations. Much obscurity has thus been removed in respect to the use of terms which have a peculiar sense in England, especially some of frequent occurrence at the miversities, in the circles of trade, and in the familiar intercourse of life. To the friends who have given their assistance in these various departments the Editor would return his cordial thanks. Whatever improvement the work may have gained from this revision, in respect to clearness, accuracy, and fullness of definition, will be found owing, in a great degree, to the aid which they have thus afforded.
With regard to the insertion of new words, the Editor has felt much hesitation and embarrassment. Some thousands have been added in the course of this revision, and the number might have been swelled to many thousands more, without the slightest difficulty. There is, at the present day, especially in England, a boldness of innovation on this subject which amounts to absolute licentiousness. A hasty introduction into our dictionaries, of new terms, under such circumstances, is greatly to be deprecated. Our vocabulary is already encumbered with a multitude of words, which have never formed permanent part of English literature, and it is a serious evil to add to their number. rejection of many thousands of words, which may properly find a place in the glossaries of antiquarians, as a curious exhibition of what has been proposed, but never adopted, as a part of our language, but which, for that reason, can have no claim to stand in a dictionary designed for general use. All words, indeed, which are necessary to an understanding of our great writers, such as Bacon, Spenser, Shakespeare, &c., ought, though now obsolete, to be carefully retained ; and in the present revision a considerable number of this class have been introduced for the first time. Other words have likewise been admitted, to a limited extent, namely, the familiar terms of common life in England, which have been much used of late by popular writers in Great Britain. Many of these need to be explained for the benefit of readers in this country; and, if marked as “ familiar," "colloquial,” or “low,” according to their true character, they may be safely inserted in our dictionaries, and are entitled to a place there, as forming a constituent part of our written and spoken language. One of the most difficult questions on this subject relates to the introduce tion of technical and scientific terms. Most of our general dictionaries are, at present, without any plan as to the extent and proportion in which such words should be inserted; nor can they ever be reduced to order until each department is revised by men of science who are intimately acquainted with the subjects, and who are competent to decide what terms ought to be admitted into a general dictionary, and what terms should be reserved for special dictionaries devoted to distinct branches of science. Something of this kind, on a limited scale, has been attempted in the progress of this revision. Lists of words have been obtained from the gentlemen mentioned above, which might properly be inserted in this volume; and very few terms of this class have been admitted except under their direction. In accordance with their advice, a small number have been excluded; but in this respect the Editor has not felt at liberty to carry out his views in their full extent.
In respect to Americanisms, properly so called, it is known to those who are conversant with the subject, that they are less numerous than has been generally supposed. Most of those familiar words, especially of our older States, which have been considered as peculiar to our country, were brought by our ancestors from Great Britain, and are still in constant use there as local terms. The recent investigations of Forby, Holloway, and Halliwell have thrown much light on this subject; and the names of these authors are, therefore, frequently placed under the words in question, to indicate their origin and their present use in England. Notes have also been added to some words which are peculiar to our country; but their number is comparatively small.
In reference to Orthography, some important alterations have been made, but in strict conformity, it is believed, with the Author's principles on this subject. The changes in our orthography recommended by Dr. Webster are of two distinct kinds, and rest on very different grounds. These it may be proper for a moment to consider. His main principle was, that the tendencies of our language to greater simplicity and broader analogies ought to be watched and cherished with the utmost care. He felt, therefore, that whenever a movement toward wider analogies and more general rules had advanced so far as to leave but few exceptions to impede its progress, those exceptions ought to be set aside at once, and the analogy rendered complete. On this ground, he rejected the u from such words as favour, labour, &c. Of these we have a large number, which came to us , in most cases, from Latin terminations in or, through the Norman French, but encumbered with the silent u, as in emperour, authour, editour, &c. From this entire class, except about twenty words, the u has been gradually dropped ; and in respect to these, scarcely any two persons can be found, however strenuous for retaining it, who are in practice consistent with each other, or with themselves, as to the words in which this letter is used. In fact, we have reached a point where, unless we take Webster and the dictionaries which agree with him as our guide, we have no standard on the subject ; for Johnson, Walker, and others retain the u in numerous words into which no one would think of introducing it at the present day. Public convenience, therefore, demands that we do at once what must ultimately be done.
can believe that the progress of our language will be arrested on this subject. The u will speedily be omitted in all words of this class, unless, from the sacredness of its associations, it be retained in Saviour, which may stand for a time as a solitary exception. Nor is it Dr. Webster who is the innovator in this case, but the English mind, which has for two centuries been throwing off a useless encumbrance, and moving steadily on toward greater simplicity in the structure of our language. Such, too, is the case with certain terminations in re, pronounced like er; as, centre, metre, &c. We have numerous words of this class, derived from the French, all of which originally ended in re; as, cider (cidre), chamber (chambre), &c. These have been gradually conformed to the English spelling and pronunciation, till the number in re is reduced to not far from twenty words, with their derivatives; and in respect to them also the process is still going on. Center is, to a considerable extent, the spelling of the best mathematical writers. Meter is the word given by Walker in his Rhyming Dictionary, from a sense of the gross inconsistency of attaching to this word and its derivative, diameter, a different termination. Others are gradually undergoing the same change. Dr. Webster proposes, therefore, to complete the analogy at once, and conform the spelling of the few that remain to the general principles of our language. Acre, lucre, and massacre present the only difficulty, from their liability, if changed, to be mispronounced, and may therefore be suffered to stand as necessary exceptions. Another departure from the principles of English orthography which Dr. Webster has endeavored to correct, is one that was pointed out by Walker, in very emphatic terms, nearly fifty years ago. The principle in question is this, — that, in adding to a word the formatives ing, ed, er, &c., a single consonant (if one precedes) is doubled when the accent falls on the last syllable, as in forgetting, beginning, &c., but is not doubled when the accent falls on any of the preceding syllables, as in benefiting, gardening, &c. Walker, in his fifth Aphorism, says, "Dr. Lowth justly remarks that an error frequently takes place in the words worshipping, counselling, &c., which, having the accent on the first syllable, ought to be written worshiping, counseling. An ignorance of this rule has led many to write bigotted, for bigoted; and from this spelling has frequently arisen a false pronunciation. But no letter seems to be more frequently doubled improperly than lo Why we should write libelling, levelling, revelling, and yet offering, suffering, reasoning, I am totally at a loss to determine ; and unless I can give a better plea than any other letter of the alphabet for being doubled in this situation, I must, in the style of Lucian, in his trial of the letter T, declare for an expulsion.” These were the deliberate and latest opinions of Walker. If he had taken the trouble to carry them into his vocabulary, instead of relying on a