Webster's Dictionary, 1913
; plural Beaux -esprits
[ French, fine wit.] A fine genius, or man of wit.
"A man of letters and a bel esprit
." W. Irving.
Beleaguer transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Beleaguered
; present participle & verbal noun Beleaguering
.] [ Dutch belegeren
(akin to German belagern
, Swedish belägra
, Danish beleire
); prefix be-
= English be-
bed, camp, army, akin to English lair
. See Lair
.] To surround with an army so as to preclude escape; to besiege; to blockade.
The wail of famine in beleaguered towns. Syn.
-- To block up; environ; invest; encompass.
Beleaguerer noun One who beleaguers.
Beleave transitive verb & i.
[ imperfect & past participle Beleft
] To leave or to be left.
[ Obsolete] May.
Belecture transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Belectured
; present participle & verbal noun Belecturing
.] To vex with lectures; to lecture frequently.
Belee transitive verb To place under the lee, or unfavorably to the wind. Shak.
Belemnite noun [ Greek ... dart, from ... dart, from ... to throw: confer French bélemnite .] (Paleon.) A conical calcareous fossil, tapering to a point at the lower extremity, with a conical cavity at the other end, where it is ordinarily broken; but when perfect it contains a small chambered cone, called the phragmocone, prolonged, on one side, into a delicate concave blade; the thunderstone. It is the internal shell of a cephalopod related to the sepia, and belonging to an extinct family. The belemnites are found in rocks of the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages. -- Bel*em*nit"ic , adjective
Beleper transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Belepered
] To infect with leprosy.
[ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.
[ Middle English berfray
movable tower used in sieges, Old French berfreit
, French beffroi
, from Middle High German bervrit
, German bergfriede
, from Middle High German bergen
to protect (G. bergen
to conceal) + vride
peace, protection, German friede
peace; in compounds often taken in the sense of security, or place of security; orig. therefore a place affording security. German friede
is akin to English free
. See Burg
, and Free
.] 1. (Mil. Antiq.) A movable tower erected by besiegers for purposes of attack and defense. 2. A bell tower, usually attached to a church or other building, but sometimes separate; a campanile. 3. A room in a tower in which a bell is or may be hung; or a cupola or turret for the same purpose. 4. (Nautical) The framing on which a bell is suspended.
Belgard noun [ Italian bel guardo .] A sweet or loving look. [ Obsolete] Spenser.
Belgian adjective Of or pertaining to Belgium. -- noun A native or inhabitant of Belgium.
Belgian block A nearly cubical block of some tough stone, esp. granite, used as a material for street pavements. Its usual diameter is 5 to 7 inches.
[ Latin Belgicus
, from Belgae
the Belgians.] 1. Of or pertaining to the Belgæ , a German tribe who anciently possessed the country between the Rhine, the Seine, and the ocean.
How unlike their Belgic sires of old. 2. Of or pertaining to the Netherlands or to Belgium.
Belgravian adjective Belonging to Belgravia (a fashionable quarter of London, around Pimlico), or to fashionable life; aristocratic.
[ Hebrew beli ya'al
without + ya'al
profit.] An evil spirit; a wicked and unprincipled person; the personification of evil.
What concord hath Christ with Belia ? A son
2 Cor. vi. 15.
(or man) of Belial
, a worthless, wicked, or thoroughly depraved person. 1 Sam. ii. 12.
Belibel transitive verb
[ See Libel
, transitive verb
] To libel or traduce; to calumniate. Fuller.
Belie transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Belied
; present participle & verbal noun Belying
] [ Middle English bilien
, Anglo-Saxon beleógan
; prefix be-
to lie. See Lie
] 1. To show to be false; to convict of, or charge with, falsehood.
Their trembling hearts belie their boastful tongues. 2. To give a false representation or account of.
Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts. 3. To tell lie about; to calumniate; to slander.
Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him. 4. To mimic; to counterfeit.
[ Obsolete] Dryden. 5. To fill with lies.
[ Obsolete] "The breath of slander doth belie
all corners of the world." Shak.
[ Middle English bileafe
; confer Anglo-Saxon geleáfa
. See Believe
.] 1. Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty; persuasion; conviction; confidence; as, belief of a witness; the belief of our senses.
Belief admits of all degrees, from the slightest suspicion to the fullest assurance. 2. (Theol.) A persuasion of the truths of religion; faith.
No man can attain [ to] belief by the bare contemplation of heaven and earth. 3. The thing believed; the object of belief.
Superstitious prophecies are not only the belief of fools, but the talk sometimes of wise men. 4. A tenet, or the body of tenets, held by the advocates of any class of views; doctrine; creed.
In the heat of persecution to which Christian belief was subject upon its first promulgation. Ultimate belief
, a first principle incapable of proof; an intuitive truth; an intuition. Sir W. Hamilton. Syn.
-- Credence; trust; reliance; assurance; opinion.
Beliefful adjective Having belief or faith.
Believable adjective Capable of being believed; credible. -- Be*liev"a*ble*ness , noun -- Be*liev`a*bil"i*ty noun
Believe transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Believed
; present participle & verbal noun Believing
.] [ Middle English bileven
(with prefix be-
for Anglo-Saxon ge-
), from Anglo-Saxon gel...fan
; akin to Dutch gelooven
, Old High German gilouban
, German glauben
, Old Saxon gil...bian
, Goth. galaubjan
, and Goth. liubs
dear. See Lief
] To exercise belief in; to credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of, upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by circumstances other than personal knowledge; to regard or accept as true; to place confidence in; to think; to consider; as, to believe a person, a statement, or a doctrine.
Our conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty).
King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets ?
Acts xxvi. 27.
Often followed by a dependent clause. Syn.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Acts viii. 37.
-- See Expect
Believe intransitive verb 1. To have a firm persuasion, esp. of the truths of religion; to have a persuasion approaching to certainty; to exercise belief or faith.
Lord, I believe ; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark ix. 24.
With the heart man believeth unto righteousness. 2. To think; to suppose.
Rom. x. 10.
I will not believe so meanly of you. To believe in
. (a) To believe that the subject of the thought (if a person or thing) exists, or (if an event) that it has occurred, or will occur; -- as, to believe in the resurrection of the dead.
"She does not believe in
Jupiter." J. H. Newman. (b) To believe that the character, abilities, and purposes of a person are worthy of entire confidence; -- especially that his promises are wholly trustworthy.
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in
me." John xiv. 1. (c) To believe that the qualities or effects of an action or state are beneficial: as, to believe in sea bathing, or in abstinence from alcoholic beverages.
-- To believe on
, to accept implicitly as an object of religious trust or obedience; to have faith in.
Believer noun 1. One who believes; one who is persuaded of the truth or reality of some doctrine, person, or thing. 2. (Theol.) One who gives credit to the truth of the Scriptures, as a revelation from God; a Christian; -- in a more restricted sense, one who receives Christ as his Savior, and accepts the way of salvation unfolded in the gospel.
Thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers . 3. (Eccl. Hist.) One who was admitted to all the rights of divine worship and instructed in all the mysteries of the Christian religion, in distinction from a catechumen, or one yet under instruction.
Book of Com. Prayer.
Believing adjective That believes; having belief. -- Be*liev"ing*ly , adverb
Belight transitive verb To illuminate. [ Obsolete] Cowley.
[ Prefix be-
) + like
.] It is likely or probably; perhaps.
[ Obsolete or Archaic] -- Be*like"ly
Belike , boy, then you are in love.
Belime transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Belimed
] To besmear or insnare with birdlime.
Belittle transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Belittled
; present participle & verbal noun Belittling
.] To make little or less in a moral sense; to speak of in a depreciatory or contemptuous way. T. Jefferson.
[ Confer Live
] Forthwith; speedily; quickly.
[ Obsolete] Chaucer.
Belk transitive verb
[ See Belch
.] To vomit.
[ Anglo-Saxon belle
, from bellan
to bellow. See Bellow
.] 1. A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck.
» Bells have been made of various metals, but the best have always been, as now, of an alloy of copper and tin. The Liberty Bell
, the famous bell of the Philadelphia State House, which rang when the Continental Congress declared the Independence of the United States, in 1776. It had been cast in 1753, and upon it were the words "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof." 2. A hollow perforated sphere of metal containing a loose ball which causes it to sound when moved. 3. Anything in the form of a bell, as the cup or corol of a flower.
"In a cowslip's bell
I lie." Shak. 4. (Architecture) That part of the capital of a column included between the abacus and neck molding; also used for the naked core of nearly cylindrical shape, assumed to exist within the leafage of a capital. 5. plural (Nautical) The strikes of the bell which mark the time; or the time so designated.
» On shipboard, time is marked by a bell, which is struck eight times at 4, 8, and 12 o'clock. Half an hour after it has struck "eight bells" it is struck once, and at every succeeding half hour the number of strokes is increased by one, till at the end of the four hours, which constitute a watch, it is struck eight times. To bear away the bell
, to win the prize at a race where the prize was a bell; hence, to be superior in something. Fuller.
-- To bear the bell
, to be the first or leader; -- in allusion to the bellwether or a flock, or the leading animal of a team or drove, when wearing a bell.
-- To curse by bell
, and candle
, a solemn form of excommunication used in the Roman Catholic church, the bell being tolled, the book of offices for the purpose being used, and three candles being extinguished with certain ceremonies. Nares.
-- To lose the bell
, to be worsted in a contest.
"In single fight he lost the bell
-- To shake the bells
, to move, give notice, or alarm. Shak.
is much used adjectively or in combinations; as, bell
tower, etc., which, for the most part, are self- explaining. Bell arch (Architecture)
, an arch of unusual form, following the curve of an ogee.
-- Bell cage
, or Bell carriage (Architecture)
, a timber frame constructed to carry one or more large bells.
-- Bell cot (Architecture)
, a small or subsidiary construction, frequently corbeled out from the walls of a structure, and used to contain and support one or more bells.
-- Bell deck (Architecture)
, the floor of a belfry made to serve as a roof to the rooms below.
-- Bell founder
, one whose occupation it is to found or cast bells.
-- Bell foundry
, or Bell foundery
, a place where bells are founded or cast.
-- Bell gable (Architecture)
, a small gable-shaped construction, pierced with one or more openings, and used to contain bells.
-- Bell glass
. See Bell jar .
-- Bell hanger
, a man who hangs or puts up bells.
-- Bell pull
, a cord, handle, or knob, connecting with a bell or bell wire, and which will ring the bell when pulled. Aytoun.
-- Bell punch
, a kind of conductor's punch which rings a bell when used.
-- Bell ringer
, one who rings a bell or bells, esp. one whose business it is to ring a church bell or chime, or a set of musical bells for public entertainment.
-- Bell roof (Architecture)
, a roof shaped according to the general lines of a bell.
-- Bell rope
, a rope by which a church or other bell is rung.
-- Bell tent
, a circular conical-topped tent.
-- Bell trap
, a kind of bell shaped stench trap.
Bell transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Belled
; present participle & verbal noun Belling
.] To put a bell upon; as, to bell the cat. 2. To make bell-mouthed; as, to bell a tube.
Bell intransitive verb To develop bells or corollas; to take the form of a bell; to blossom; as, hops bell .
Bell transitive verb
[ Anglo-Saxon bellan
. See Bellow
.] To utter by bellowing.
Bell intransitive verb To call or bellow, as the deer in rutting time; to make a bellowing sound; to roar.
As loud as belleth wind in hell.
The wild buck bells from ferny brake.
Sir W. Scott.
Bell animalcule (Zoology) An infusorian of the family Vorticellidæ , common in fresh-water ponds.
Bell bearer (Zoology) A Brazilian leaf hopper ( Bocydium tintinnabuliferum ), remarkable for the four bell- shaped appendages of its thorax.
Bell crank A lever whose two arms form a right angle, or nearly a right angle, having its fulcrum at the apex of the angle. It is used in bell pulls and in changing the direction of bell wires at angles of rooms, etc., and also in machinery.
Bell jar (Physics ) A glass vessel, varying in size, open at the bottom and closed at the top like a bell, and having a knob or handle at the top for lifting it. It is used for a great variety of purposes; as, with the air pump, and for holding gases, also for keeping the dust from articles exposed to view.
Bell metal A hard alloy or bronze, consisting usually of about three parts of copper to one of tin; -- used for making bells. Bell metal ore , a sulphide of tin, copper, and iron; the mineral stannite.
Bell pepper (Botany) A species of Capsicum, or Guinea pepper ( C. annuum ). It is the red pepper of the gardens.
Bell process (Iron Metal.) The process of washing molten pig iron by adding iron oxide, proposed by I. Lowthian Bell of England about 1875.
Bell system of control (Aëronautics) See Cloche .
Belladonna noun [ Italian , literally fine lady; bella beautiful + donna lady.] (Botany) (a) An herbaceous European plant ( Atropa belladonna ) with reddish bell-shaped flowers and shining black berries. The whole plant and its fruit are very poisonous, and the root and leaves are used as powerful medicinal agents. Its properties are largely due to the alkaloid atropine which it contains. Called also deadly nightshade . (b) A species of Amaryllis ( A. belladonna ); the belladonna lily.
Bellarmine noun A stoneware jug of a pattern originated in the neighborhood of Cologne, Germany, in the 16th century. It has a bearded face or mask supposed to represent Cardinal Bellarmine, a leader in the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation, following the Reformation; -- called also graybeard , longbeard .
Bellbird noun [ So called from their notes.] (Zoology) (a) A South American bird of the genus Casmarhincos , and family Cotingidæ , of several species; the campanero. (b) The Myzantha melanophrys of Australia.
[ French belle
, fem. of bel
, beautiful, fine. See Beau
.] A young lady of superior beauty and attractions; a handsome lady, or one who attracts notice in society; a fair lady.
Belled (bĕld) adjective Hung with a bell or bells.
Belleek ware A porcelainlike kind of decorative pottery with a high gloss, which is sometimes iridescent. A very fine kind is made at Belleek in Ireland.