Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Microscope noun [ Micro- + -scope .] An optical instrument, consisting of a lens, or combination of lenses, for making an enlarged image of an object which is too minute to be viewed by the naked eye.

Compound microscope , an instrument consisting of a combination of lenses such that the image formed by the lens or set of lenses nearest the object (called the objective ) is magnified by another lens called the ocular or eyepiece . -- Oxyhydrogen microscope , and Solar microscope . See under Oxyhydrogen , and Solar . -- Simple, or Single , microscope , a single convex lens used to magnify objects placed in its focus.

Microscopial adjective Microscopic. [ R.] Berkeley.

Microscopic, Microscopical adjective [ Confer French microscopique .]


1. Of or pertaining to the microscope or to microscopy; made with a microscope; as, microscopic observation.

2. Able to see extremely minute objects.

Why has not man a microscopic eye?
Pope.

3. Very small; visible only by the aid of a microscope; as, a microscopic insect.

Microscopically adverb By the microscope; with minute inspection; in a microscopic manner.

Microscopist noun One skilled in, or given to, microscopy.

Microscopy noun The use of the microscope; investigation with the microscope.

Microseism noun [ Micro- + Greek ... an earthquake, from ... to shake.] A feeble earth tremor not directly perceptible, but detected only by means of specially constructed apparatus. -- Mi`cro*seis"mic , *seis"mic*al adjective

Microseismograph noun [ Microseiem + -graph .] A microseismometer; specif., a microseismometer producing a graphic record.

Microseismology noun [ Microseiem + -logy .] Science or study of microseisms.

Microseismometer noun [ Microseism + -meter .] A seismometer for measuring amplitudes or periods, or both, of microseisms. -- Mi`cro*seis*mom"e*try noun

Microseme adjective [ Micro- + Greek ... sign, mark: confer French microsème .] (Anat.) Having the orbital index relatively small; having the orbits broad transversely; -- opposed to megaseme .

Microspectroscope (mī`kro*spĕk"tro*skōp or mĭ`kro-) noun [ Micro- + spectroscope .] (Physics) A spectroscope arranged for attachment to a microscope, for observation of the spectrum of light from minute portions of any substance.

Microsporangium noun [ New Latin See Micro- , and Sporangium .] (Botany) A sporangium or conceptacle containing only very minute spores. Confer Macrosporangium .

Microspore noun [ Micro- + spore .] (Botany) One of the exceedingly minute spores found in certain flowerless plants, as Selaginella and Isoetes , which bear two kinds of spores, one very much smaller than the other. Confer Macrospore .

Microsporic adjective (Botany) Of or pertaining to microspores.

Microsthene noun [ Micro- + Greek sqe`nos might, strength.] (Zoology) One of a group of mammals having a small size as a typical characteristic. It includes the lower orders, as the Insectivora , Cheiroptera , Rodentia , and Edentata .

Microsthenic adjective (Zoology) Having a typically small size; of or pertaining to the microsthenes.

Microtasimeter noun [ Micro- + tasimeter .] (Physics) A tasimeter, especially when arranged for measuring very small extensions. See Tasimeter .

Microtome noun [ Micro- + Greek te`mnein to cut.] An instrument for making very thin sections for microscopical examination.

Microtomic, Microtomical adjective Of or pert. to the microtome or microtomy; cutting thin slices.

Microtomist noun One who is skilled in or practices microtomy.

Microtomy noun The art of using the microtome; investigation carried on with the microtome.

Microvolt noun [ Micro- + volt .] (Electricity) A measure of electro-motive force; the millionth part of one volt.

Microweber noun [ Micro- + weber .] (Electricity) The millionth part of one weber.

Microzoa noun plural [ New Latin , from Greek mikro`s small + zw^,on an animal.] (Zoology) The Infusoria.

Microzoöspore noun [ Micro- + zoöspore .] (Botany) A small motile spore furnished with two vibratile cilia, found in certain green algæ.

Microzyme noun [ Micro- + Greek zy`mh leaven.] (Biol.) A microörganism which is supposed to act like a ferment in causing or propagating certain infectious or contagious diseases; a pathogenic bacterial organism.

Micturition noun [ Latin micturire to desire to make water, v. desid. from mingere , mictum , to make water.] The act of voiding urine; also, a morbidly frequent passing of the urine, in consequence of disease.

Mid (mĭd) adjective [ Compar. wanting ; superl. Midmost .] [ Anglo-Saxon midd ; akin to Old Saxon middi , Dutch mid (in comp.), Old High German mitti , Icelandic miðr , Goth. midjis , Latin medius , Greek me`sos , Sanskrit madhya . √271. Confer Amid , Middle , Midst , Mean , Mediate , Meridian , Mizzen , Moiety .]


1. Denoting the middle part; as, in mid ocean.

No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings,
Shall list'ning in mid air suspend their wings.
Pope.

2. Occupying a middle position; middle; as, the mid finger; the mid hour of night.

3. (Phon.) Made with a somewhat elevated position of some certain part of the tongue, in relation to the palate; midway between the high and the low ; -- said of certain vowel sounds; as, ā (āle), ĕ (ĕll), ō (ōld). See Guide to Pronunciation , §§ 10, 11.

» Mid is much used as a prefix, or combining form, denoting the middle or middle part of a thing; as, mid -air, mid -channel, mid -age, mid day, mid land, etc. Also, specifically, in geometry, to denote a circle inscribed in a triangle (a mid circle), or relation to such a circle; as, mid -center, mid radius.

Mid noun Middle. [ Obsolete]

About the mid of night come to my tent.
Shak.

Mid preposition See Amid .

Mida noun [ Greek ... a destructive insect in pulse.] (Zoology) The larva of the bean fly.

Midas noun [ So called from Latin Midas , a man fabled to have had ass's ears.] (Zoology) A genus of longeared South American monkeys, including numerous species of marmosets. See Marmoset .

Midas's ear [ See Midas .] (Zoology) A pulmonate mollusk ( Auricula, or Ellobium, aurismidæ ); -- so called from resemblance to a human ear.

Midbrain noun [ Mid , adjective + brain .] (Anat.) The middle segment of the brain; the mesencephalon. See Brain .

Midday noun [ Anglo-Saxon middæg . See Mid , adjective , and Day .] The middle part of the day; noon.

Midday adjective Of or pertaining to noon; meridional; as, the midday sun.

Midden noun [ Also midding .] [ Confer Danish mögdynge , English muck , and dung .]


1. A dunghill. [ Prov. Eng.]

2. An accumulation of refuse about a dwelling place; especially, an accumulation of shells or of cinders, bones, and other refuse on the supposed site of the dwelling places of prehistoric tribes, -- as on the shores of the Baltic Sea and in many other places. See Kitchen middens .

Midden crow (Zoology) The common European crow. [ Prov. Eng.]

Middest adjective ; superl. of Mid . [ See Midst .] Situated most nearly in the middle; middlemost; midmost. [ Obsolete] " 'Mongst the middest crowd." Spenser.

Middest noun Midst; middle. [ Obsolete] Fuller.

Midding noun Same as Midden .

Middle (-d'l) adjective [ Middle English middel , Anglo-Saxon middel ; akin to Dutch middel , Old High German muttil , German mittel . √271. See Mid , adjective ]


1. Equally distant from the extreme either of a number of things or of one thing; mean; medial; as, the middle house in a row; a middle rank or station in life; flowers of middle summer; men of middle age.

2. Intermediate; intervening.

Will, seeking good, finds many middle ends.
Sir J. Davies.

» Middle is sometimes used in the formation of self- explaining compounds; as, middle -sized, middle - witted.

Middle Ages , the period of time intervening between the decline of the Roman Empire and the revival of letters. Hallam regards it as beginning with the sixth and ending with the fifteenth century. -- Middle class , in England, people who have an intermediate position between the aristocracy and the artisan class. It includes professional men, bankers, merchants, and small landed proprietors

The middle-class electorate of Great Britain.
M. Arnold.

-- Middle distance . (Paint.) See Middle-ground . -- Middle English . See English , noun , 2. -- Middle Kingdom , China. -- Middle oil (Chemistry) , that part of the distillate obtained from coal tar which passes over between 170° and 230° Centigrade; -- distinguished from the light , and the heavy or dead , oil . -- Middle passage , in the slave trade, that part of the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the West Indies. -- Middle post . (Architecture) Same as King-post . -- Middle States , New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware; which, at the time of the formation of the Union, occupied a middle position between the Eastern States (or New England) and the Southern States. [ U.S.] -- Middle term (Logic) , that term of a syllogism with which the two extremes are separately compared, and by means of which they are brought together in the conclusion. Brande. -- Middle tint (Paint.) , a subdued or neutral tint. Fairholt. -- Middle voice . (Gram.) See under Voice . -- Middle watch , the period from midnight to four A. M. ; also, the men on watch during that time. Ham. Nav. Encyc. -- Middle weight , a pugilist, boxer, or wrestler classed as of medium weight, i. e. , over 140 and not over 160 lbs., in distinction from those classed as light weights , heavy weights , etc.

Middle noun [ Anglo-Saxon middel . See Middle , adjective ] The point or part equally distant from the extremities or exterior limits, as of a line, a surface, or a solid; an intervening point or part in space, time, or order of series; the midst; central portion ; specif., the waist. Chaucer. "The middle of the land." Judg. ix. 37.

In this, as in most questions of state, there is a middle .
Burke.

Syn. -- See Midst .

Middle-age [ Middle + age . Confer Mediæval .] Of or pertaining to the Middle Ages; mediæval.

Middle-aged adjective Being about the middle of the ordinary age of man; between 30 and 50 years old.

Middle-earth noun The world, considered as lying between heaven and hell. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Middle-ground noun (Paint.) That part of a picture between the foreground and the background.

Middleman noun ; plural Middlemen


1. An agent between two parties; a broker; a go-between; any dealer between the producer and the consumer; in Ireland, one who takes land of the proprietors in large tracts, and then rents it out in small portions to the peasantry.

2. A person of intermediate rank; a commoner.

3. (Mil.) The man who occupies a central position in a file of soldiers.

Middlemost adjective [ Confer Midmost .] Being in the middle, or nearest the middle; midmost.