Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Asparagus noun [ Latin , from Greek ..., ...; confer ... to swell with sap or juice, and Zend ...paregha prong, sprout, Pers. asparag , Lithuanian spurgas sprout, Sanskrit sphurj to swell. Perh. the Greek borrowed from the Persian. Confer Sparrowgrass .]
1. (Botany) A genus of perennial plants belonging to the natural order Liliaceæ , and having erect much branched stems, and very slender branchlets which are sometimes mistaken for leaves. Asparagus racemosus is a shrubby climbing plant with fragrant flowers. Specifically: The Asparagus officinalis , a species cultivated in gardens.

2. The young and tender shoots of A. officinalis , which form a valuable and well-known article of food.

» This word was formerly pronounced sparrowgrass ; but this pronunciation is now confined exclusively to uneducated people.

Asparagus beetle (Zoology) , a small beetle ( Crioceris asparagi ) injurious to asparagus.

Aspartic adjective (Chemistry) Pertaining to, or derived, asparagine; as, aspartic acid.

Aspect noun [ Latin aspectus , from aspicere , aspectum , to look at; ad + spicere , specere , to look, akin to English spy .]
1. The act of looking; vision; gaze; glance. [ R.] "The basilisk killeth by aspect ." Bacon.

His aspect was bent on the ground.
Sir W. Scott.

2. Look, or particular appearance of the face; countenance; mien; air. "Serious in aspect ." Dryden.

[ Craggs] with aspect open shall erect his head.

3. Appearance to the eye or the mind; look; view. "The aspect of affairs." Macaulay.

The true aspect of a world lying in its rubbish.
T. Burnet.

4. Position or situation with regard to seeing; that position which enables one to look in a particular direction; position in relation to the points of the compass; as, a house has a southern aspect , that is, a position which faces the south.

5. Prospect; outlook. [ Obsolete]

This town affords a good aspect toward the hill from whence we descended.

6. (Astrol.) The situation of planets or stars with respect to one another, or the angle formed by the rays of light proceeding from them and meeting at the eye; the joint look of planets or stars upon each other or upon the earth. Milton.

» The aspects which two planets can assume are five; sextile, ..., when the planets are 60° apart; quartile, or quadrate, ..., when their distance is 90° or the quarter of a circle; trine, ..., when the distance is 120°; opposition, ..., when the distance is 180°, or half a circle; and conjunction, ..., when they are in the same degree. Astrology taught that the aspects of the planets exerted an influence on human affairs, in some situations for good and in others for evil.

7. (Astrol.) The influence of the stars for good or evil; as, an ill aspect . Shak.

The astrologers call the evil influences of the stars evil aspects .

Aspect of a plane (Geom.) , the direction of the plane.

Aspect transitive verb [ Latin aspectare , v. intens. of aspicere . See Aspect , noun ] To behold; to look at. [ Obsolete]

Aspect noun (Aëronautics) A view of a plane from a given direction, usually from above; more exactly, the manner of presentation of a plane to a fluid through which it is moving or to a current. If an immersed plane meets a current of fluid long side foremost, or in broadside aspect , it sustains more pressure than when placed short side foremost. Hence, long narrow wings are more effective than short broad ones of the same area.

Aspect ratio (Aëronautics) The ratio of the long to the short side of an aëroplane, aërocurve, or wing.

Aspectable adjective [ Latin aspectabilis .] Capable of being; visible. "The aspectable world." Ray. " Aspectable stars." Mrs. Browning.

Aspectant adjective (Her.) Facing each other.

Aspected adjective Having an aspect. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

Aspection noun [ Latin aspectio , from aspicere to look at.] The act of viewing; a look. [ Obsolete]

Aspen (ăs"pĕn), Asp (ȧsp) noun [ Anglo-Saxon æsp , æps ; akin to Old High German aspa , Icelandic ösp , Danish æsp , Swedish asp , Dutch esp , German espe , äspe , aspe ; confer Lettish apsa , Lithuanian apuszis .] (Botany) One of several species of poplar bearing this name, especially the Populus tremula , so called from the trembling of its leaves, which move with the slightest impulse of the air.

Aspen (ăs"pĕn) adjective Of or pertaining to the aspen, or resembling it; made of aspen wood.

Nor aspen leaves confess the gentlest breeze.

Asper (ăs"pẽr) adjective [ Middle English aspre , Old French aspre , French âpre , from Latin asper rough.] Rough; rugged; harsh; bitter; stern; fierce. [ Archaic] "An asper sound." Bacon.

Asper (ăs"pẽr) noun [ Latin spiritus asper rough breathing.] (Greek Gram.) The rough breathing; a mark placed over an initial vowel sound or over ρ to show that it is aspirated, that is, pronounced with h before it; thus "ws , pronounced hōs, "rh`twr , pronounced hrā"tōr.

Asper noun [ French aspre or Italian aspro , from MGr. 'a`spron , 'a`spros , white (prob. from the whiteness of new silver coins).] A Turkish money of account (formerly a coin), of little value; the 120th part of a piaster.

Asperate transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Asperated ; present participle & verbal noun Asperating .] [ Latin asperatus , past participle of asperare , from asper rough.] To make rough or uneven.

The asperated part of its surface.

Asperation noun The act of asperating; a making or becoming rough. Bailey.

Asperges noun [ Latin , Thou shalt sprinkle.] (R. C. Ch.) (a) The service or ceremony of sprinkling with holy water. (b) The brush or instrument used in sprinkling holy water; an aspergill.

Aspergill As`per*gil"lum noun [ Late Latin aspergillum , from Latin aspergere . See Asperse , transitive verb ]
1. The brush used in the Roman Catholic church for sprinkling holy water on the people. [ Also written aspergillus .]

2. (Zoology) See Wateringpot shell .

Aspergilliform adjective [ Aspergillum + -form .] (Botany) Resembling the aspergillum in form; as, an aspergilliform stigma. Gray.

Asperifoliate, Asperifolious adjective [ Latin asper rough + folium leaf.] (Botany) Having rough leaves.

» By some applied to the natural order now called Boraginaceæ or borageworts.

Asperity noun ; plural Asperities [ Latin asperitas , from asper rough: confer French aspérité .]
1. Roughness of surface; unevenness; -- opposed to smoothness . "The asperities of dry bodies." Boyle.

2. Roughness or harshness of sound; that quality which grates upon the ear; raucity.

3. Roughness to the taste; sourness; tartness.

4. Moral roughness; roughness of manner; severity; crabbedness; harshness; -- opposed to mildness . " Asperity of character." Landor.

It is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received.

5. Sharpness; disagreeableness; difficulty.

The acclivities and asperities of duty.

Syn. -- Acrimony; moroseness; crabbedness; harshness; sourness; tartness. See Acrimony .

Aspermatous adjective [ Greek 'a priv. + ..., ..., seed.] (Botany) Aspermous.

Aspermous adjective [ Greek ...; 'a priv. + ... seed.] (Botany) Destitute of seeds; aspermatous.

Asperne transitive verb [ Latin aspernari ; a ( ab ) + spernari .] To spurn; to despise. [ Obsolete] Sir T. More.

Asperous adjective [ See Asper , adjective ] Rough; uneven. Boyle.

Asperse transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Aspersed ; present participle & verbal noun Aspersing .] [ Latin aspersus , past participle of aspergere to scatter, sprinkle; ad + spargere to strew. See Sparse .]
1. To sprinkle, as water or dust, upon anybody or anything, or to besprinkle any one with a liquid or with dust. Heywood.

2. To bespatter with foul reports or false and injurious charges; to tarnish in point of reputation or good name; to slander or calumniate; as, to asperse a poet or his writings; to asperse a man's character.

With blackest crimes aspersed .

Syn. -- To slander; defame; detract from; calumniate; vilify. -- To Asperse , Defame , Slander , Calumniate . These words have in common the idea of falsely assailing the character of another. To asperse is figuratively to cast upon a character hitherto unsullied the imputation of blemishes or faults which render it offensive or loathsome. To defame is to detract from a man's honor and reputation by charges calculated to load him with infamy. Slander (etymologically the same as scandal ) and calumniate , from the Latin, have in common the sense of circulating reports to a man's injury from unworthy or malicious motives. Men asperse their neighbors by malignant insinuations; they defame by advancing charges to blacken or sully their fair fame; they slander or calumniate by spreading injurious reports which are false, or by magnifying slight faults into serious errors or crimes.

Aspersed adjective
1. (Her.) Having an indefinite number of small charges scattered or strewed over the surface. Cussans.

2. Bespattered; slandered; calumniated. Motley.

Asperser noun One who asperses; especially, one who vilifies another.

Aspersion noun [ Latin aspersio , from aspergere : confer French aspersion .]
1. A sprinkling, as with water or dust, in a literal sense.

Behold an immersion, not and aspersion .
Jer. Taylor.

2. The spreading of calumniations reports or charges which tarnish reputation, like the bespattering of a body with foul water; calumny.

Every candid critic would be ashamed to cast wholesale aspersions on the entire body of professional teachers.

Who would by base aspersions blot thy virtue.

Aspersive adjective Tending to asperse; defamatory; slanderous. -- As*pers"ive*ly , adverb

Aspersoir noun [ French] An aspergill.

Aspersorium noun ; plural Aspersoria [ Late Latin See Asperse .]
1. The stoup, basin, or other vessel for holy water in Roman Catholic churches.

2. A brush for sprinkling holy water; an aspergill.

Asphalt transitive verb To cover with asphalt; as, to asphalt a roof; asphalted streets.

Asphalt, Asphaltum noun [ Greek ..., of eastern origin: confer French asphalte .]
1. Mineral pitch, Jews' pitch, or compact native bitumen. It is brittle, of a black or brown color and high luster on a surface of fracture; it melts and burns when heated, leaving no residue. It occurs on the surface and shores of the Dead Sea, which is therefore called Asphaltites , or the Asphaltic Lake. It is found also in many parts of Asia, Europe, and America. See Bitumen .

2. A composition of bitumen, pitch, lime, and gravel, used for forming pavements, and as a water-proof cement for bridges, roofs, etc.; asphaltic cement. Artificial asphalt is prepared from coal tar, lime, sand, etc.

Asphalt stone , Asphalt rock , a limestone found impregnated with asphalt.

Asphalte noun [ French See Asphalt .] Asphaltic mastic or cement. See Asphalt , 2.

Asphaltic adjective Pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing, asphalt; bituminous. " Asphaltic pool." " Asphaltic slime." Milton.

Asphaltite adjective Asphaltic.

Asphaltus noun See Asphalt .

Asphodel noun [ Latin asphodelus , Greek .... See Daffodil .] (Botany) A general name for a plant of the genus Asphodelus . The asphodels are hardy perennial plants, several species of which are cultivated for the beauty of their flowers.

» The name is also popularly given to species of other genera. The asphodel of the early English and French poets was the daffodil. The asphodel of the Greek poets is supposed to be the Narcissus poeticus . Dr. Prior.

Pansies, and violets, and asphodel .

Asphyctic adjective Pertaining to asphyxia.

Asphyxia, Asphyxy noun [ New Latin asphyxia , from Greek ...; 'a priv. + ... to throb, beat.] (Medicine) Apparent death, or suspended animation; the condition which results from interruption of respiration, as in suffocation or drowning, or the inhalation of irrespirable gases.

Asphyxial adjective Of or relating to asphyxia; as, asphyxial phenomena.

Asphyxiate transitive verb To bring to a state of asphyxia; to suffocate. [ Used commonly in the past pple.]

Asphyxiated, Asphyxied past participle In a state of asphyxia; suffocated.

Asphyxiation noun The act of causing asphyxia; a state of asphyxia.

Aspic noun [ French See Asp .]
1. The venomous asp. [ Chiefly poetic] Shak. Tennyson.

2. A piece of ordnance carrying a 12 pound shot. [ Obsolete]

Aspic noun [ French, a corrupt. of spic (OF. espi , French épi ), Latin spica ( spicum , spicus ), ear, spike. See Spike .] A European species of lavender ( Lavandula spica ), which produces a volatile oil. See Spike .

Aspic noun [ French, probably from aspic an asp.] A savory meat jelly containing portions of fowl, game, fish, hard boiled eggs, etc. Thackeray.