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AN AMERICAN

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DICTION A RY:

OF THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE;

EXHIBITING

THE ORIGIN, ORTHOGRAPHY, PRONUNCIATION, AND

DEFINITIONS OF WORDS.

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A BRIDGED FROM THE QUARTO EDITION OF THE AUTH() E

TO WHICH ARE ADDED A

SYNOPSIS OF WORDS

DIFFERENTLY PRONOUNCED BY DIFFERENT ORTHOËPISTS

AND

W A L K E R’S K E Y

TO THE

CLASSICAL PRONUNCIATION OF GREEK, LATIN, AND

SCRIPTURE PROPER NAMES.

REVISED EDITION;

WITA

An Appendix,

CONTAINING ALL THE ADDITIONAL WORDS IN THE LAST EDITION

OF THE LARGER WORK.

NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,

No. 82 CLIFF-STREET.

07 For Appendix, see page 941.

PUBLIC LIBRARY
608324 A

ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

R 1922 L

DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT,
Be IT REMEMBERED, That on the tenth day of July, in the fifty-fourth year of the Independence of the United Sates of
America, Noah WEBSTER and Joseph E. WORCESTER, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book,
the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit :-

“ An American Dictionary of the English Longuage ; exhibiting the Origin, Orthography, Pronunciation, and Definitions
of Words : by Noah Webster, LL. D. : abridged from the Quarto Edition of the Author: to which are added, a Synopsis
of Words differently pronounced by different Orthoepists; and Walker's Key to the Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin,
End Scripture Proper Names.”

In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times there a mentioned ;* and also to the aci, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein men rioned; and extending the benefits theroof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

CHAS. A. INGERSOLL, Clerk of the District of Connecticut.

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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, lo wit

District Clerk's Office
ES I REMEMBERED, l'hat on the thirteenth day of July, A. D. 1829, in the fifty-fourth year of the Independence of the
United States of America, Noah Webster and Joseph E. WORCESTER, of the said district, have deposited in this office
the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:-

“ An American Dictionary of the English Language ; exhibiting the Origin, Orthography, Pronunciation, and Definitions
of Words: by Noah Webster, LL. D.: abridged from the Quarto Edition of the Author: to which are added, a Synopsis
cf Words differently pronounced by different Orthoëpists; and Walker's Key to the Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin,
and Scripture Proper Names."

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by
securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein men.
tioned ;' and also to an aci, entitled,' “ An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An Act for the encouragement of learning,
by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein meu
tioned ;' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

JNO. W. DAVIS,
Clerk of the District of Massachusetts

The Appendix has been entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1841,

By NOAA WEBSTER,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Connecticut

PREFACE.

The author of the American Dictionary of the English Language has been prevented, by the state of his health, from attending, in person, to its apridgment into the octavo form. The work has, therefore, been committed, for this purpose, to Mr. J. E. WORCESTER, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who has strictly adhered to the general principles laid down for his direction by the author. Cases of doubt, arising in the application of these principles, and such changes and modifications of the original as seemed desirable, in a work of this kind, intended for general use, have been referred, for decision, to Prof. GOODRICH, of Yale College, who was requested by the author to act, on these subjects, as his representative. The Synopsis of words of disputed pronunciation has been prepared by the former of these gentlemen; Walker's “ Key to the Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin and Scripture Proper Names” has passed under the revision of the latter.

The following are some of the most important principles on which the Abridgment has been conducted.

The vocabulary has been considerably enlarged. It here embraces all the words contained in the original work, and in Todd's edition of Johnson's Dictionary, together with such additional ones as have appeared to the author to be worthy of asertion.

The leading and most important etymologies, as given in the quarto edition, are iere retained.

The definitions remain unaltered, except by an occasional compression in their statement. All the significations of words, as exhibited in the larger work, are here retained ; and new ones have, in some instances, been added by the author's direction, as deficiencies, in this respect, have been discovered. The illustrations and authorities are generally omitted: In doubtful or contested cases, however, they are carefully retained.

In cases of disputed orthography, the principle, adopted in the quarto edition, of introducing into the vocabulary the different forms in question, has been carried, in the Abridgment, to a considerably greater extent. In most instances of this kind, the old orthography takes the lead, and is immediately followed by the one proposed. The u and k, however, are entirely excluded from such words as honor and music, in accordance with the decided tendency of later usage, both in this country and in England. In derivative words, the final consonant of the primitive is doubled only when under the accent, in conformity with one of the best established principles of the language. On this subject, Walker observes, in his Rhyming Dictionary, "Dr. Lowth has justly remarked, that this error (that of doubling the final consonant when not under the accent) frequently takes place in the words worshipping, counselling, etc., which, having the accent on the first syllable, ought to be written worshiping, counseling, etc. An ignorance of this rule has led many to write bigotted for bigoted, and from this spelling has arisen a false pronunciation ; but no letter seems to be more frequently doubled improperly than l. Why we should write libelling, revelling, and yet offering, suffering, reasoning, I am at a loss to determine; and unless I can give a better plea than any other letter in 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.” In this expulsion, it is believed, the public

32X812

cases.

the derivatives of comparatively few words, in opposition to multitudes of instances in which the general rule prevails.

As a guide to pronunciation, the words have been carefully divided into syllables. This, in the great majority of instances, decides at once the regular sound of the vowels in the respective syllables; and wherever the vowels depart from this regular sound, a pointed letter is used, denoting the sound which they receive in such

When under the accent, the regular long sound of the vowels is also indicated by a pointed letter. Thus, by means of pointed letters, the necessity of respelling the words, as a guide to pronunciation, is chiefly obviated. In cases of disputed pronunciation, the different forms are frequently given. But the SYNOPSIS of Mr. Worcester exhibits these diversities much more fully, and gives, in one view, the decisions of the most approved Pronouncing Dictionaries respecting about eight hundred primitive words, which, of course, decide the pronunciation of a great number of derivatives. Those who are interested in such inquiries are thus presented, at a single glance, with nearly all the important points of difference in Englist orthoëpy, and are enabled to decide for themselves, without the expense or trouble of examining the several authorities.

In some instances, vowels have a fluctuating or intermediate sound; and hence there is a great diversity among orthoëpists in their manner of indicating the sound in question. Thus the sound of a, in monosyllables, in ass, ast, ask, ance, ant, etc., is marked by some with the short sound of a in fat, and by others with its Italian sound, as in father. In this work, the latter is given as the prevailing sound both in this country and in England. Mitford, indeed, observes, in his work on Harmony in Language, “ No English voice fails to express, no English ear to perceive, the difference between the sound of a in passing and passive ; no colloquial familiaraty or hurry can substitute the one sound for the other.” The true sound, however, is not so long as that of a in father, but corresponds more exactly to the final a in umbrella. Being thus short, it is often mistaken for the sound of a in fat. There is another intermediate sound of a, between its ordinary sound in fall on the one hand, and in what on the other. This is heard in such words as salt, malt, etc. As this sound seems to incline, in most cases, towards the short rather than the long sound in question, it is here marked with the sound of a in what, though in many cases it is somewhat more protracted. The sound of o, in such words as lost, loft, toss, etc., is not so short as in lot; but, like the o in nor, though slightly protracted, it should by no means be prolonged into the full sound of a in tall. In monosyllables ending in are, as hare, fare, the a is slightly modified by the subsequent r. Such words ought not to be pronounced as if spelled hay-er, fay-er, but hair, fair. Perry alone, of all the English orthoëpists, has introduced a distinct character to indicate this bound; but it is well ascertained that Walker and others coincided with Perry in their pronunciation, in accordance with the general pronunciation of England in this respect. These remarks apply likewise to the words parent, apparent, transparent,

In respect to accent, there are many words in which the primary and secondary accent are nearly equal in force ; such as complaisant, caravan, etc. In such cases, the accent is here thrown towards the beginning of the word, in accordance with the general tendency of our language.

In laying this work before the public in its present form, no efforts have been spared to make it a complete defining and pronouncing dictionary for general use. About sixteen thousand words, and between thirty and forty thousand definitions are contained in this dictionary, which are not to be found in any similar work within the author's knowledge. These additions do not principally consist of obsolete terms, or uncommon and unimportant significations of words. In most cases, on the contrary, they are terms and significations which are in constant use in the various departments of science and the arts, in commerce, manufactures, merchandise, the liberal professions, and the ordinary concerns of life. They mark the progress

etc.

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