Webster's Dictionary, 1913
Betime, Betimes adverb
[ Prefix be-
) + time
; that is, by the proper time. The -s
is an adverbial ending.] 1. In good season or time; before it is late; seasonably; early.
To measure life learn thou betimes .
To rise betimes is often harder than to do all the day's work. 2. In a short time; soon; speedily; forth with.
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes.
Betitle transitive verb To furnish with a title or titles; to entitle. [ Obsolete] Carlyle.
Betoken transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betokened
; present participle & verbal noun Betokening
.] 1. To signify by some visible object; to show by signs or tokens.
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow . . . 2. To foreshow by present signs; to indicate something future by that which is seen or known; as, a dark cloud often betokens a storm. Syn.
Betokening peace from God, and covenant new.
-- To presage; portend; indicate; mark; note.
Béton noun [ French béton , from Latin bitumen bitumen.] (Masonry) The French name for concrete; hence, concrete made after the French fashion.
Betongue transitive verb To attack with the tongue; to abuse; to insult.
; plural Betonies
[ Middle English betony
, French betoine
, from Latin betonica
.] (Botany) A plant of the genus Betonica (Linn.).
» The purple or wood betony ( B. officinalis
, Linn.) is common in Europe, being formerly used in medicine, and (according to Loudon) in dyeing wool a yellow color.
Betorn adjective Torn in pieces; tattered.
Betoss transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betossed
] To put in violent motion; to agitate; to disturb; to toss.
Betrap transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betrapped
] 1. To draw into, or catch in, a trap; to insnare; to circumvent. Gower. 2. To put trappings on; to clothe; to deck.
After them followed two other chariots covered with red satin, and the horses betrapped with the same.
(be*trā") transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betrayed
(-trād"); present participle & verbal noun Betraying
.] [ Middle English betraien
; prefix be-
+ Old French traïr
to betray, French trahir
, from Latin tradere
. See Traitor
.] 1. To deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or fraud, in violation of trust; to give up treacherously or faithlessly; as, an officer betrayed the city.
Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men. 2. To prove faithless or treacherous to, as to a trust or one who trusts; to be false to; to deceive; as, to betray a person or a cause.
Matt. xvii. 22.
But when I rise, I shall find my legs betraying me. 3. To violate the confidence of, by disclosing a secret, or that which one is bound in honor not to make known.
Willing to serve or betray any government for hire. 4. To disclose or discover, as something which prudence would conceal; to reveal unintentionally.
Be swift to hear, but cautious of your tongue, lest you betray your ignorance. 5. To mislead; to expose to inconvenience not foreseen to lead into error or sin.
Genius . . . often betrays itself into great errors. 6. To lead astray, as a maiden; to seduce (as under promise of marriage) and then abandon. 7. To show or to indicate; -- said of what is not obvious at first, or would otherwise be concealed.
All the names in the country betray great antiquity.
Betrayal noun The act or the result of betraying.
Betrayer noun One who, or that which, betrays.
Betrayment noun Betrayal. [ R.] Udall.
Betrim transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betrimmed
; present participle & verbal noun Betrimming
.] To set in order; to adorn; to deck, to embellish; to trim. Shak.
Betroth transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betrothed
; present participle & verbal noun Betrothing
.] [ Prefix be-
, i. e., truth
. See Truth
.] 1. To contract to any one for a marriage; to engage or promise in order to marriage; to affiance; -- used esp. of a woman.
He, in the first flower of my freshest age,
Betrothed me unto the only heir.
Ay, and we are betrothed . 2. To promise to take (as a future spouse); to plight one's troth to.
What man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? 3. To nominate to a bishopric, in order to consecration. Ayliffe.
Deut. xx. 7.
Betrothal noun The act of betrothing, or the fact of being betrothed; a mutual promise, engagement, or contract for a future marriage between the persons betrothed; betrothment; affiance. "The feast of betrothal ." Longfellow.
Betrothment noun The act of betrothing, or the state of being betrothed; betrothal.
Betrust transitive verb To trust or intrust. [ Obsolete]
Betrustment noun The act of intrusting, or the thing intrusted. [ Obsolete] Chipman.
Betso noun [ Italian bezzo .] A small brass Venetian coin. [ Obsolete]
. of Good. [ Middle English betere
, and as adverb bet
, Anglo-Saxon betera
, adj., and bet
, adverb ; akin to Icelandic betri
, adj., betr
, adverb , Goth. batiza
, adj., Old High German bezziro
, adj., baz
, adverb , German besser
, adj. and adverb , bass
, adverb , English boot
, and probably to Sanskrit bhadra
excellent. See Boot
advantage, and confer Best
.] 1. Having good qualities in a greater degree than another; as, a better man; a better physician; a better house; a better air.
Could make the worse appear 2. Preferable in regard to rank, value, use, fitness, acceptableness, safety, or in any other respect.
The better reason.
To obey is better than sacrifice.
1 Sam. xv. 22.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. 3. Greater in amount; larger; more. 4. Improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better . 5. More advanced; more perfect; as, upon better acquaintance; a better knowledge of the subject. All the better
Ps. cxviii. 9.
. See under All , adverb
-- Better half
, an expression used to designate one's wife.
My dear, my better half (said he),
I find I must now leave thee.
Sir P. Sidney.
-- To be better off
, to be in a better condition.
-- Had better
. (See under Had ).
The phrase had better
, followed by an infinitive without to
, is idiomatic. The earliest form of construction was "were better" with a dative; as, " Him were better
go beside." ( Gower.
) i. e.
, It would be better for him, etc. At length the nominative (I, he, they, etc.) supplanted the dative and had
took the place of were
. Thus we have the construction now used.
By all that's holy, he had better starve
Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
Better noun 1. Advantage, superiority, or victory; -- usually with of; as, to get the better of an enemy. 2. One who has a claim to precedence; a superior, as in merit, social standing, etc.; -- usually in the plural.
Their betters would hardly be found. For the better
, in the way of improvement; so as to produce improvement.
"If I have altered him anywhere for the better
. 1. In a superior or more excellent manner; with more skill and wisdom, courage, virtue, advantage, or success; as, Henry writes better than John; veterans fight better than recruits.
I could have better spared a better man. 2. More correctly or thoroughly.
The better to understand the extent of our knowledge. 3. In a higher or greater degree; more; as, to love one better than another.
Never was monarch better feared, and loved. 4. More, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.; as, ten miles and better .
[ Colloq.] To think better of
(any one), to have a more favorable opinion of any one.
-- To think better of
(an opinion, resolution, etc.), to reconsider and alter one's decision.
Better transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Bettered
; present participle & verbal noun Bettering
.] [ Anglo-Saxon beterian
, from betera
better. See Better
] 1. To improve or ameliorate; to increase the good qualities of.
Love betters what is best.
He thought to better his circumstances. 2. To improve the condition of, morally, physically, financially, socially, or otherwise.
The constant effort of every man to better himself. 3. To surpass in excellence; to exceed; to excel.
The works of nature do always aim at that which can not be bettered . 4. To give advantage to; to support; to advance the interest of.
Weapons more violent, when next we meet, Syn.
May serve to better us and worse our foes.
-- To improve; meliorate; ameliorate; mend; amend; correct; emend; reform; advance; promote.
Better intransitive verb To become better; to improve. Carlyle.
Better noun One who bets or lays a wager.
1. A making better; amendment; improvement. W. Montagu. 2. (Law) An improvement of an estate which renders it better than mere repairing would do; -- generally used in the plural. [ U. S.] Bouvier.
Bettermost adjective Best. [ R.] "The bettermost classes." Brougham.
1. The quality of being better or superior; superiority. [ R.] Sir P. Sidney. 2. The difference by which fine gold or silver exceeds in fineness the standard.
Bettong noun [ Native name.] (Zoology) A small, leaping Australian marsupial of the genus Bettongia ; the jerboa kangaroo.
Bettor noun One who bets; a better. Addison.
Betty noun 1.
[ Supposed to be a cant word, from Betty
, for Elizabeth
, as such an instrument is also called Bess
(i. e., Elizabeth
) in the Canting Dictionary of 1725, and Jenny
(i. e., Jane
).] A short bar used by thieves to wrench doors open.
[ Written also bettee
The powerful betty , or the artful picklock. 2.
, nickname for Elizabeth.] A name of contempt given to a man who interferes with the duties of women in a household, or who occupies himself with womanish matters. 3. A pear-shaped bottle covered round with straw, in which olive oil is sometimes brought from Italy; -- called by chemists a Florence flask .
[ U. S.] Bartlett.
Betulin noun [ Latin betula birch tree.] (Chemistry) A substance of a resinous nature, obtained from the outer bark of the common European birch ( Betula alba ), or from the tar prepared therefrom; -- called also birch camphor . Watts.
Betumble transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betumbled
] To throw into disorder; to tumble.
From her betumbled couch she starteth.
Betutor transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Betutored
] To tutor; to instruct. Coleridge.
[ Middle English bytwene
, Anglo-Saxon betweónan
; prefix be-
by + a form from Anglo-Saxon twā
two, akin to Goth. tweihnai
two apiece. See Twain
, and confer Atween
.] 1. In the space which separates; betwixt; as, New York is between Boston and Philadelphia. 2. Used in expressing motion from one body or place to another; from one to another of two.
If things should go so between them. 3. Belonging in common to two; shared by both.
Castor and Pollux with only one soul between them. 4. Belonging to, or participated in by, two, and involving reciprocal action or affecting their mutual relation; as, opposition between science and religion.
An intestine struggle, open or secret, between authority and liberty. 5. With relation to two, as involved in an act or attribute of which another is the agent or subject; as, to judge between or to choose between courses; to distinguish between you and me; to mediate between nations. 6. In intermediate relation to, in respect to time, quantity, or degree; as, between nine and ten o'clock. Between decks
, the space, or in the space, between the decks of a vessel.
-- Between ourselves
, Between you and me
, Between themselves
, in confidence; with the understanding that the matter is not to be communicated to others. Syn.
etymologically indicates only two; as, a quarrel between
two men or two nations; to be between
two fires, etc. It is however extended to more than two in expressing a certain relation.
I . . . hope that between public business, improving studies, and domestic pleasures, neither melancholy nor caprice will find any place for entrance. Among
implies a mass or collection of things or persons, and always supposes more than two; as, the prize money was equally divided among
the ship's crew.
Between noun Intermediate time or space; interval. [ Poetic & R.] Shak.
[ Middle English betwix
, rarely bitwixt
, Anglo-Saxon betweox
; prefix be-
by + a form from Anglo-Saxon twā
two. See Between
.] 1. In the space which separates; between.
From betwixt two aged oaks. 2. From one to another of; mutually affecting.
There was some speech of marriage Betwixt and between
Betwixt myself and her.
, in a midway position; so-so; neither one thing nor the other.
Beurré noun [ French, from beurre butter.] (Botany) A beurré (or buttery) pear, one with the meat soft and melting; -- used with a distinguishing word; as, Beurré d'Anjou; Beurré Clairgeau.
[ C. French biveau
, earlier buveau
, Spanish baivel
; of unknown origin. Confer Bevile
.] 1. Any angle other than a right angle; the angle which one surface makes with another when they are not at right angles; the slant or inclination of such surface; as, to give a bevel to the edge of a table or a stone slab; the bevel of a piece of timber. 2. An instrument consisting of two rules or arms, jointed together at one end, and opening to any angle, for adjusting the surfaces of work to the same or a given inclination; -- called also a bevel square . Gwilt.
Bevel adjective 1. Having the slant of a bevel; slanting. 2. Hence: Morally distorted; not upright.
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel . A bevel angle
, any angle other than one of 90Â°.
-- Bevel wheel
, a cogwheel whose working face is oblique to the axis. Knight.
Bevel transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Beveled
; present participle & verbal noun Beveling
.] To cut to a bevel angle; to slope the edge or surface of.
Bevel intransitive verb To deviate or incline from an angle of 90Â°, as a surface; to slant.
Their houses are very ill built, the walls bevel .
Bevel gear (Mech.) A kind of gear in which the two wheels working together lie in different planes, and have their teeth cut at right angles to the surfaces of two cones whose apices coincide with the point where the axes of the wheels would meet.
Beveled, Bevelled adjective
1. Formed to a bevel angle; sloping; as, the beveled edge of a table. 2. (Min.) Replaced by two planes inclining equally upon the adjacent planes, as an edge; having its edges replaced by sloping planes, as a cube or other solid.
Bevelment noun (Min.) The replacement of an edge by two similar planes, equally inclined to the including faces or adjacent planes.
Bever noun [ Middle English bever a drink, drinking time, Old French beivre , boivre , to drink, from Latin bibere .] A light repast between meals; a lunch. [ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.
Bever intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Bevered
] To take a light repast between meals.
[ Old French bevrage
, French breuvage
, from beivre
to drink, from Latin bibere
. Confer Bib
, transitive verb
.] 1. Liquid for drinking; drink; -- usually applied to drink artificially prepared and of an agreeable flavor; as, an intoxicating beverage .
He knew no beverage but the flowing stream. 2. Specifically, a name applied to various kinds of drink. 3. A treat, or drink money.