Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Ghost dance A religious dance of the North American Indians, participated in by both sexes, and looked upon as a rite of invocation the purpose of which is, through trance and vision, to bring the dancer into communion with the unseen world and the spirits of departed friends. The dance is the chief rite of the Ghost- dance , or Messiah , religion , which originated about 1890 in the doctrines of the Piute Wovoka, the Indian Messiah, who taught that the time was drawing near when the whole Indian race, the dead with the living, should be reunited to live a life of millennial happiness upon a regenerated earth. The religion inculcates peace, righteousness, and work, and holds that in good time, without warlike intervention, the oppressive white rule will be removed by the higher powers. The religion spread through a majority of the western tribes of the United States, only in the case of the Sioux, owing to local causes, leading to an outbreak.

Ghostfish noun (Zoology) A pale unspotted variety of the wrymouth.

Ghostless adjective Without life or spirit. [ R.]

Ghostlike adjective Like a ghost; ghastly.

Ghostliness noun The quality of being ghostly.

Ghostly adjective [ Middle English gastlich , gostlich , Anglo-Saxon gāstlic . See Ghost .]
1. Relating to the soul; not carnal or secular; spiritual; as, a ghostly confessor.

Save and defend us from our ghostly enemies.
Book of Common Prayer [ Ch. of Eng. ]

One of the gostly children of St. Jerome.
Jer. Taylor.

2. Of or pertaining to apparitions. Akenside.

Ghostly adverb Spiritually; mystically. Chaucer.

Ghostology noun Ghost lore. [ R.]

It seemed even more unaccountable than if it had been a thing of ghostology and witchcraft.
Hawthorne.

Ghoul (gōl) noun [ Persian ghōl an imaginary sylvan demon, supposed to devour men and animals: confer Arabic ghūl , French goule .] An imaginary evil being among Eastern nations, which was supposed to feed upon human bodies. [ Written also ghole .] Moore.

Ghoulish adjective Characteristic of a ghoul; vampirelike; hyenalike.

Ghyll noun A ravine. See Gill a woody glen. [ Prov. Eng. & Scot.] Wordsworth.

Giallolino noun [ Italian , from giallo yellow, probably from Old High German gelo , German gelb ; akin to English yellow .] A term variously employed by early writers on art, though commonly designating the yellow oxide of lead, or massicot. Fairholt.

Giambeux (zhȧm"bu) noun plural [ See Jambeux .] Greaves; armor for the legs. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Giant noun [ Middle English giant , geant , geaunt , Old French jaiant , geant , French géant , Latin gigas , from Greek ..., ..., from the root of English gender , genesis . See Gender , and confer Gigantic .]


1. A man of extraordinari bulk and stature.

Giants of mighty bone and bold emprise.
Milton.

2. A person of extraordinary strength or powers, bodily or intellectual.

3. Any animal, plant, or thing, of extraordinary size or power.

Giant's Causeway , a vast collection of basaltic pillars, in the county of Antrim on the northern coast of Ireland.

Giant adjective Like a giant; extraordinary in size, strength, or power; as, giant brothers; a giant son.

Giant cell . (Anat.) See Myeloplax . -- Giant clam (Zoology) , a bivalve shell of the genus Tridacna , esp. T. gigas , which sometimes weighs 500 pounds. The shells are sometimes used in churches to contain holy water. -- Giant heron (Zoology) , a very large African heron ( Ardeomega goliath ). It is the largest heron known. -- Giant kettle , a pothole of very large dimensions, as found in Norway in connection with glaciers. See Pothole . -- Giant powder . See Nitroglycerin . -- Giant puffball (Botany) , a fungus ( Lycoperdon giganteum ), edible when young, and when dried used for stanching wounds. -- Giant salamander (Zoology) , a very large aquatic salamander ( Megalobatrachus maximus ), found in Japan. It is the largest of living Amphibia, becoming a yard long. -- Giant squid (Zoology) , one of several species of very large squids, belonging to Architeuthis and allied genera. Some are over forty feet long.

Giantess noun A woman of extraordinary size.

Giantize intransitive verb [ Confer French géantiser .] To play the giant. [ R.] Sherwood.

Giantly adjective Appropriate to a giant. [ Obsolete] Usher.

Giantry noun The race of giants. [ R.] Cotgrave.

Giantship noun The state, personality, or character, of a giant; -- a compellation for a giant.

His giantship is gone somewhat crestfallen
. Milton.

Giaour noun [ Turk. giaur an infidel, Persian gawr , another form of ghebr fire worshiper. Confer Kaffir , Gheber .] An infidel; -- a term applied by Turks to disbelievers in the Mohammedan religion, especially Christrians. Byron.

Gib noun [ Abbreviated from Gilbert , the name of the cat in the old story of "Reynard the Fox". in the "Romaunt of the Rose", etc.] A male cat; a tomcat. [ Obsolete]

Gib intransitive verb To act like a cat. [ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.

Gib noun [ Etymol. uncertain.] A piece or slip of metal or wood, notched or otherwise, in a machine or structure, to hold other parts in place or bind them together, or to afford a bearing surface; -- usually held or adjusted by means of a wedge, key, or screw.

Gib and key , or Gib and cotter (Steam Engine) , the fixed wedge or gib , and the driving wedge, key , or cotter , used for tightening the strap which holds the brasses at the end of a connecting rod.

Gib transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Gibbed ; present participle & verbal noun Gibbing .] To secure or fasten with a gib, or gibs; to provide with a gib, or gibs.

Gibbed lathe , an engine lathe in which the tool carriage is held down to the bed by a gib instead of by a weight.

Gib intransitive verb To balk. See Jib , intransitive verb Youatt.

Gib boom See Jib boom .

Gib-cat noun A male cat, esp. an old one. See lst Gib . noun [ Obsolete] Shak.

Gibaro noun ; plural Gibaros . [ Amer. Spanish jíbaro wild.] (Ethnol.) The offspring of a Spaniard and an Indian; a Spanish-Indian mestizo. [ Spanish Amer.]

Gibbartas noun [ Confer Arabic jebbār giant; or Latin gibber humpbacked: confer French gibbar .] (Zoology) One of several finback whales of the North Atlantic; -- called also Jupiter whale . [ Written also jubartas , gubertas , dubertus .]

Gibber noun [ From Gib to balk.] A balky horse. Youatt.

Gibber intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Gibbered ; present participle & verbal noun Gibbering .] [ Akin to jabber , and gabble .] To speak rapidly and inarticulately. Shak.

Gibberish noun [ From Gibber , intransitive verb ] Rapid and inarticulate talk; unintelligible language; unmeaning words; jargon.

He, like a gypsy, oftentimes would go;
All kinds of gibberish he had learnt to know.
Drayton.

Such gibberish as children may be heard amusing themselves with.
Hawthorne.

Gibberish adjective Unmeaning; as, gibberish language.

Gibbet noun [ Middle English gibet , French gibet , in Old French also club, from Late Latin gibetum ;; confer Old French gibe sort of sickle or hook, Italian giubbetto gibbet, and giubbetta , dim. of giubba mane, also, an under waistcoat, doublet, Prov. Italian gibba (cf. Jupon ); so that it perhaps originally signified a halter, a rope round the neck of malefactors; or it is, perhaps, derived from Latin gibbus hunched, humped, English gibbous ; or confer English jib a sail.]


1. A kind of gallows; an upright post with an arm projecting from the top, on which, formerly, malefactors were hanged in chains, and their bodies allowed to remain as a warning.

2. The projecting arm of a crane, from which the load is suspended; the jib.

Gibbet transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Gibbeted ; present participle & verbal noun Gibbeting .]


1. To hang and expose on a gibbet.

2. To expose to infamy; to blacken.

I'll gibbet up his name.
Oldham.

Gibbier noun [ French gibier .] Wild fowl; game. [ Obsolete] Addison.

Gibbon noun [ Confer French gibbon .] (Zoology) Any arboreal ape of the genus Hylobates , of which many species and varieties inhabit the East Indies and Southern Asia. They are tailless and without cheek pouches, and have very long arms, adapted for climbing.

» The white-handed gibbon ( Hylobates lar ), the crowned ( H. pilatus ), the wou-wou or singing gibbon ( H. agilis ), the siamang, and the hoolock. are the most common species.

Gibbose adjective [ Latin gibbosus , from gibbus , gibba , hunch, hump. Confer Gibbous .] Humped; protuberant; -- said of a surface which presents one or more large elevations. Brande & C.

Gibbostity noun [ Confer French gibbosité .] The state of being gibbous or gibbose; gibbousness.

Gibbous adjective [ Confer French gibbeux . See Gibbose .]


1. Swelling by a regular curve or surface; protuberant; convex; as, the moon is gibbous between the half- moon and the full moon.

The bones will rise, and make a gibbous member.
Wiseman.

2. Hunched; hump-backed. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

-- Gib"bous*ly , adverb -- Gib"bous*ness , noun

Gibbsite noun [ Named after George Gibbs .] (Min.) A hydrate of alumina.

Gibe intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Gibed ; present participle & verbal noun Gibing .] [ Confer Prov. French giber , equiv. to French jouer to play, Icelandic geipa to talk nonsense, English jabber .] To cast reproaches and sneering expressions; to rail; to utter taunting, sarcastic words; to flout; to fleer; to scoff.

Fleer and gibe , and laugh and flout.
Swift.

Gibe intransitive verb To reproach with contemptuous words; to deride; to scoff at; to mock.

Draw the beasts as I describe them,
From their features, while I gibe them.
Swift.

Gibe noun An expression of sarcastic scorn; a sarcastic jest; a scoff; a taunt; a sneer.

Mark the fleers, the gibes , and notable scorns.
Shak.

With solemn gibe did Eustace banter me.
Tennyson.

Gibel noun [ German gibel , giebel .] (Zoology) A kind of carp ( Cyprinus gibelio ); -- called also Prussian carp .

Giber noun One who utters gibes. B. Jonson.

Gibfish noun The male of the salmon. [ Prov. Eng.] Wright.

Gibingly adverb In a gibing manner; scornfully.

Giblet adjective Made of giblets; as, a giblet pie.