Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Pointing noun
1. The act of sharpening.

2. The act of designating, as a position or direction, by means of something pointed, as a finger or a rod.

3. The act or art of punctuating; punctuation.

4. The act of filling and finishing the joints in masonry with mortar, cement, etc.; also, the material so used.

5. The rubbing off of the point of the wheat grain in the first process of high milling.

6. (Sculpt.) The act or process of measuring, at the various distances from the surface of a block of marble, the surface of a future piece of statuary; also, a process used in cutting the statue from the artist's model.

Pointingstock noun An object of ridicule or scorn; a laughingstock. Shak.

Pointless adjective Having no point; blunt; wanting keenness; obtuse; as, a pointless sword; a pointless remark.

Syn. -- Blunt; obtuse, dull; stupid.

Pointlessly adverb Without point.

Pointleted adjective (Botany) Having a small, distinct point; apiculate. Henslow.

Pointrel noun A graving tool. Knight.

Pointsman noun ; plural - men (-m e n). A man who has charge of railroad points or switches. [ Eng.]

Poise noun [ Middle English pois , peis , Old French pois , peis , French poids , from Latin pensum a portion weighed out, pendere to weigh, weigh out. Confer Avoirdupois , Pendant , Poise , v. ] [ Formerly written also peise .]
1. Weight; gravity; that which causes a body to descend; heaviness. "Weights of an extraordinary poise ." Evelyn.

2. The weight, or mass of metal, used in weighing, to balance the substance weighed.

3. The state of being balanced by equal weight or power; equipoise; balance; equilibrium; rest. Bentley.

4. That which causes a balance; a counterweight.

Men of unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment.
Dryden.

Poise transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Poised , ; present participle & verbal noun Poising .] [ Middle English poisen , peisen , Old French & French peser , to weigh, balance, Old French il peise , il poise , he weighs, F. il pèse , from Latin pensare , v. intens. from pendere to weigh. See Poise , noun , and confer Pensive .] [ Formerly written also peise .]
1. To balance; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.

2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance.

Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky;
Nor poised , did on her own foundation lie.
Dryden.

3. To counterpoise; to counterbalance.

One scale of reason to poise another of sensuality.
Shak.

To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit.
Dryden.

4. To ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh.

He can not sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence.
South.

5. To weigh (down); to oppress. [ Obsolete]

Lest leaden slumber peise me down to- morrow.
Shak.

Poise intransitive verb To hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or doubt.

The slender, graceful spars
Poise aloft in air.
Longfellow.

Poiser noun (Zoology) The balancer of dipterous insects.

Poison noun [ French poison , in Old French also, a potion, from Latin potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, from potare to drink. See Potable , and confer Potion .]
1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or deadly effect upon it; as, morphine is a deadly poison ; the poison of pestilential diseases.

2. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health; as, the poison of evil example; the poison of sin.

Poison ash . (Botany) (a) A tree of the genus Amyris ( A. balsamifera ) found in the West Indies, from the trunk of which a black liquor distills, supposed to have poisonous qualities. (b) The poison sumac ( Rhus venenata ) . [ U. S.] -- Poison dogwood (Botany) , poison sumac. -- Poison fang (Zoology) , one of the superior maxillary teeth of some species of serpents, which, besides having the cavity for the pulp, is either perforated or grooved by a longitudinal canal, at the lower end of which the duct of the poison gland terminates. See Illust. under Fang . -- Poison gland (Biol.) , a gland, in animals or plants, which secretes an acrid or venomous matter, that is conveyed along an organ capable of inflicting a wound. -- Poison hemlock (Botany) , a poisonous umbelliferous plant ( Conium maculatum ). See Hemlock . -- Poison ivy (Botany) , a poisonous climbing plant ( Rhus Toxicodendron ) of North America. It is common on stone walls and on the trunks of trees, and has trifoliate, rhombic-ovate, variously notched leaves. Many people are poisoned by it, if they touch the leaves. See Poison sumac . Called also poison oak , and mercury . -- Poison nut . (Botany) (a) Nux vomica . (b) The tree which yields this seed ( Strychnos Nuxvomica ). It is found on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. -- Poison oak (Botany) , the poison ivy; also, the more shrubby Rhus diversiloba of California and Oregon. -- Poison sac . (Zoology) Same as Poison gland , above. See Illust. under Fang . -- Poison sumac (Botany) , a poisonous shrub of the genus Rhus ( R. venenata ); -- also called poison ash , poison dogwood , and poison elder . It has pinnate leaves on graceful and slender common petioles, and usually grows in swampy places. Both this plant and the poison ivy ( Rhus Toxicodendron ) have clusters of smooth greenish white berries, while the red-fruited species of this genus are harmless. The tree ( Rhus vernicifera ) which yields the celebrated Japan lacquer is almost identical with the poison sumac, and is also very poisonous. The juice of the poison sumac also forms a lacquer similar to that of Japan.

Syn. -- Venom; virus; bane; pest; malignity. -- Poison , Venom . Poison usually denotes something received into the system by the mouth, breath, etc. Venom is something discharged from animals and received by means of a wound, as by the bite or sting of serpents, scorpions, etc. Hence, venom specifically implies some malignity of nature or purpose.

Poison transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Poisoned ; present participle & verbal noun Poisoning .] [ Confer Old French poisonner , French empoissoner , Latin potionare to give to drink. See Poison , noun ]


1. To put poison upon or into; to infect with poison; as, to poison an arrow; to poison food or drink. "The ingredients of our poisoned chalice." Shak.

2. To injure or kill by poison; to administer poison to.

If you poison us, do we not die ?
Shak.

3. To taint; to corrupt; to vitiate; as, vice poisons happiness; slander poisoned his mind.

Whispering tongues can poison truth.
Coleridge.

Poison intransitive verb To act as, or convey, a poison.

Tooth that poisons if it bite.
Shak.

Poison bush In Australia: (a) Any fabaceous shrub of the genus Gastrolobium , the herbage of which is poisonous to stock; also, any species of several related genera, as Oxylobium , Gompholobium , etc. (b) The plant Myoporum deserti , often distinguished as Ellangowan poison bush or dogwood poison bush . (c) The ulmaceous plant Trema cannabina , which, though not poisonous, is injurious to stock because of its large amount of fiber.

Poison cup
1. A cup containing poison.

2. A cup that was supposed to break on having poison put into it.

Poisonable adjective
1. Capable of poisoning; poisonous. [ Obsolete] " Poisonable heresies." Tooker.

2. Capable of being poisoned.

Poisoner noun One who poisons. Shak.

Poisonous adjective Having the qualities or effects of poison; venomous; baneful; corrupting; noxious. Shak. -- Poi"son*ous*ly , adverb -- Poi"son*ous*ness , noun

Poisonsome adjective Poisonous.[ Obsolete] Holland .

Poisure noun [ See Poise .] Weight. [ Obsolete]

Poitrel noun [ Middle English poitrel , French poitrail , from Latin pectorale a breastplate, from pectoralis , adjective See Pectoral , adjective ] (Anc. Armor) The breastplate of the armor of a horse. See Peytrel . [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Poize noun See Poise . [ Obsolete]

Pokal noun [ G.] A tall drinking cup.

Poke noun (Botany) A large North American herb of the genus Phytolacca ( P. decandra ), bearing dark purple juicy berries; -- called also garget , pigeon berry , pocan , and pokeweed . The root and berries have emetic and purgative properties, and are used in medicine. The young shoots are sometimes eaten as a substitute for asparagus, and the berries are said to be used in Europe to color wine.

Poke noun [ Anglo-Saxon poca , poha , pohha ; akin to Icelandic poki , OD. poke , and perhaps to English pock ; confer also Gael. poca , and Old French poque . Confer Pock , Pocket , Pouch .]
1. A bag; a sack; a pocket. "He drew a dial from his poke ." Shak.

They wallowed as pigs in a poke .
Chaucer.

2. A long, wide sleeve; -- called also poke sleeve .

To boy a pig a poke (that is, in a bag), to buy a thing without knowledge or examination of it. Camden.

Poke transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Poked ; present participle & verbal noun Poking .] [ Confer LG. poken to prick, pierce, thrust, pok a dagger, knife, Dutch pook , German pocken to beat, also Ir. poc a blow, Gael. puc to push.]
1. To thrust or push against or into with anything pointed; hence, to stir up; to excite; as, to poke a fire.

He poked John, and said "Sleepest thou ?"
Chaucer.

2. To thrust with the horns; to gore.

3. [ From 5th Poke , 3.] To put a poke on; as, to poke an ox. [ Colloq. U. S.]

To poke fun , to excite fun; to joke; to jest. [ Colloq.] -- To poke fun at , to make a butt of; to ridicule. [ Colloq.]

Poke intransitive verb To search; to feel one's way, as in the dark; to grope; as, to poke about.

A man must have poked into Latin and Greek.
Prior.

Poke noun
1. The act of poking; a thrust; a jog; as, a poke in the ribs. Ld. Lytton.

2. A lazy person; a dawdler; also, a stupid or uninteresting person. [ Slang, U.S.] Bartlett.

3. A contrivance to prevent an animal from leaping or breaking through fences. It consists of a yoke with a pole inserted, pointed forward. [ U.S.]

Poke bonnet , a bonnet with a straight, projecting front.

Pokebag noun [ So called in allusion to its baglike nest.] (Zoology) The European long- tailed titmouse; -- called also poke-pudding . [ Prov. Eng.]

Poker noun [ From Poke to push.]
1. One who pokes.

2. That which pokes or is used in poking, especially a metal bar or rod used in stirring a fire of coals.

3. A poking-stick. Decker.

4. (Zoology) The poachard. [ Prov. Eng.]

Poker picture , a picture formed in imitation of bisterwashed drawings, by singeing the surface of wood with a heated poker or other iron. Fairholt.

Poker noun [ Of uncertain etymol.] A game at cards derived from brag, and first played about 1835 in the Southwestern United States. Johnson's Cyc.

Poker noun [ Confer Danish pokker the deuce, devil, also W. pwci , a hobgoblin, bugbear, and English puck .] Any imagined frightful object, especially one supposed to haunt the darkness; a bugbear. [ Colloq. U. S.]

Poker dice A game played with five dice in which the count is usually made, in order, by pairs, two pairs, three of a kind, full houses, four of a kind, and five of a kind (the highest throw), similar to poker; also, the dice used in this game, esp. when marked with the ace, king, queen, jack, ten, and nine instead of the usual digits.

Pokerish adjective Infested by pokers; adapted to excite fear; as, a pokerish place. [ Colloq. U. S.]

There is something pokerish about a deserted dwelling.
Lowell.

Pokerish adjective Stiff like a poker. [ Colloq.]

Poket noun A pocket. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Pokeweed noun (Botany) See Poke , the plant.

Pokey adjective See Poky .

Poking adjective Drudging; servile. [ Colloq.]

Bred to some poking profession.
Gray.

Poking-stick noun A small stick or rod of steel, formerly used in adjusting the plaits of ruffs. Shak.

Poky adjective [ Written also pokey .]
1. Confined; cramped. [ Prov. Eng.]

2. Dull; tedious; uninteresting. [ Colloq.]

Polacca noun [ Italian polacca , polaccra , polacra ; confer French polaque , polacre , Spanish polacre ,] [ Written also polacre .]
1. (Nautical) A vessel with two or three masts, used in the Mediterranean. The masts are usually of one piece, and without tops, caps, or crosstrees.

2. (Mus.) See Polonaise .

Polack noun A Polander. Shak.

Polacre noun Same as Polacca , 1.

Polander noun A native or inhabitant of Poland; a Pole.

Polar adjective [ Confer French polaire . See Pole of the earth.]
1. Of or pertaining to one of the poles of the earth, or of a sphere; situated near, or proceeding from, one of the poles; as, polar regions; polar seas; polar winds.

2. Of or pertaining to the magnetic pole, or to the point to which the magnetic needle is directed.

3. (Geom.) Pertaining to, reckoned from, or having a common radiating point; as, polar coördinates.

Polar axis , that axis of an astronomical instrument, as an equatorial, which is parallel to the earths axis. -- Polar bear (Zoology) , a large bear ( Ursus, or Thalarctos, maritimus ) inhabiting the arctic regions. It sometimes measures nearly nine feet in length and weighs 1,600 pounds. It is partially amphibious, very powerful, and the most carnivorous of all the bears. The fur is white, tinged with yellow. Called also White bear . See Bear . -- Polar body , cell , or globule (Biol.) , a minute cell which separates by karyokinesis from the ovum during its maturation. In the maturation of ordinary ova two polar bodies are formed, but in parthogenetic ova only one. The first polar body formed is usually larger than the second one, and often divides into two after its separation from the ovum. Each of the polar bodies removes maternal chromatin from the ovum to make room for the chromatin of the fertilizing spermatozoön; but their functions are not fully understood. -- Polar circles (Astron. & Geology) , two circles, each at a distance from a pole of the earth equal to the obliquity of the ecliptic, or about 23° 28′, the northern called the arctic circle , and the southern the antarctic circle . -- Polar clock , a tube, containing a polarizing apparatus, turning on an axis parallel to that of the earth, and indicating the hour of the day on an hour circle, by being turned toward the plane of maximum polarization of the light of the sky, which is always 90° from the sun. -- Polar coördinates . See under 3d Coördinate . -- Polar dial , a dial whose plane is parallel to a great circle passing through the poles of the earth. Math. Dict. -- Polar distance , the angular distance of any point on a sphere from one of its poles, particularly of a heavenly body from the north pole of the heavens. -- Polar equation of a line or surface , an equation which expresses the relation between the polar coördinates of every point of the line or surface. -- Polar forces (Physics) , forces that are developed and act in pairs, with opposite tendencies or properties in the two elements, as magnetism, electricity, etc. -- Polar hare (Zoology) , a large hare of Arctic America ( Lepus arcticus ), which turns pure white in winter. It is probably a variety of the common European hare ( Latin timidus ). -- Polar lights , the aurora borealis or australis. -- Polar , or Polaric , opposition or contrast (Logic) , an opposition or contrast made by the existence of two opposite conceptions which are the extremes in a species, as white and black in colors; hence, as great an opposition or contrast as possible. -- Polar projection . See under Projection . -- Polar spherical triangle (Spherics) , a spherical triangle whose three angular points are poles of the sides of a given triangle. See 4th Pole , 2. -- Polar whale (Zoology) , the right whale, or bowhead. See Whale .

Polar noun (Conic Sections) The right line drawn through the two points of contact of the two tangents drawn from a given point to a given conic section. The given point is called the pole of the line. If the given point lies within the curve so that the two tangents become imaginary, there is still a real polar line which does not meet the curve, but which possesses other properties of the polar. Thus the focus and directrix are pole and polar. There are also poles and polar curves to curves of higher degree than the second, and poles and polar planes to surfaces of the second degree.

Polarchy noun See Polyarchy .

Polaric adjective See Polar . [ R.]