Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Penultimate adjective Last but one; as, the penultimate syllable, the last syllable but one of a word.

Penultimate noun The penult.

Penumbra noun [ New Latin , from Latin paene almost + umbra shade.]
1. An incomplete or partial shadow.

2. (Astron.) The shadow cast, in an eclipse, where the light is partly, but not wholly, cut off by the intervening body; the space of partial illumination between the umbra, or perfect shadow, on all sides, and the full light. Sir I. Newton.

» The faint shade surrounding the dark central portion of a solar spot is also called the penumbra , and sometimes umbra .

3. (Paint.) The part of a picture where the shade imperceptibly blends with the light.

Penumbrala Of or pertaining to a penumbra; resembling a penumbra; partially illuminated.

Penurious adjective [ From Penury .]
1. Excessively sparing in the use of money; sordid; stingy; miserly. "A penurious niggard of his wealth." Milton.

2. Not bountiful or liberal; scanty.

Here creeps along a poor, penurious stream.
C. Pitt.

3. Destitute of money; suffering extreme want. [ Obsolete] "My penurious band." Shak.

Syn. -- Avaricious; covetous; parsimonious; miserly; niggardly; stingy. See Avaricious .

-- Pe*nu"ri*ous*ly , adverb -- Pe*nu"ri*ous*ness , noun

Penury noun [ Latin penuria ; confer Greek ... hunger, ... poverty, need, ... one who works for his daily bread, a poor man, ... to work for one's daily bread, to be poor: confer French pénurie .]
1. Absence of resources; want; privation; indigence; extreme poverty; destitution. "A penury of military forces." Bacon.

They were exposed to hardship and penury .
Sprat.

It arises in neither from penury of thought.
Landor.

2. Penuriousness; miserliness. [ Obsolete] Jer. Taylor.

Penwiper noun A cloth, or other material, for wiping off or cleaning ink from a pen.

Penwoman noun ; plural Penwomen A female writer; an authoress. Johnson.

Peon noun See Poon .

Peon noun [ Spanish peon , or Portuguese pe...o , one who travels on foot, a foot soldier, a pawn in chess. See Pawn in chess.]
1. A foot soldier; a policeman; also, an office attendant; a messenger. [ India]

2. A day laborer; a servant; especially, in some of the Spanish American countries, debtor held by his creditor in a form of qualified servitude, to work out a debt.

3. (Chess) See 2d Pawn .

Peonage noun The condition of a peon.

Peonism noun Same as Peonage . D. Webster.

Peony noun ; plural Peonies . [ Middle English pione , pioine , pioni , Old French pione , French pivoine , Latin paeonia , Greek ..., from ..., ..., the god of healing. Confer Pæan .] (Botany) A plant, and its flower, of the ranunculaceous genus Pæonia . Of the four or five species, one is a shrub; the rest are perennial herbs with showy flowers, often double in cultivation. [ Written also pæony , and piony .]

People noun [ Middle English peple , people , Old French pueple , French peuple , from Latin populus . Confer Populage , Public , Pueblo .]
1. The body of persons who compose a community, tribe, nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a whole; a community; a nation.

Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Gen. xlix. 10.

The ants are a people not strong.
Prov. xxx. 25.

Before many peoples , and nations, and tongues.
Rev. x. 11.

Earth's monarchs are her peoples .
Whitter.

A government of all the people , by all the people , for all the people .
T. Parker.

» People is a collective noun, generally construed with a plural verb, and only occasionally used in the plural form ( peoples ), in the sense of nations or races.

2. Persons, generally; an indefinite number of men and women; folks; population, or part of population; as, country people ; -- sometimes used as an indefinite subject or verb, like on in French, and man in German; as, people in adversity.

People were tempted to lend by great premiums.
Swift.

People have lived twenty-four days upon nothing but water.
Arbuthnot.

3. The mass of comunity as distinguished from a special class; the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; as, nobles and people .

And strive to gain his pardon from the people .
Addison.

4. With a possessive pronoun: (a) One's ancestors or family; kindred; relations; as, my people were English. (b) One's subjects; fellow citizens; companions; followers. "You slew great number of his people ." Shak.

Syn. -- People , Nation . When speaking of a state, we use people for the mass of the community, as distinguished from their rulers, and nation for the entire political body, including the rulers. In another sense of the term, nation describes those who are descended from the same stock; and in this sense the Germans regard themselves as one nation , though politically subject to different forms of government.

People transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Peopled present participle & verbal noun Peopling ] [ Confer Old French popler , puepler , French puepler . Confer Populate .] To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate. " Peopled heaven with angels." Dryden.

As the gay motes that people the sunbeams.
Milton.

People's bank A form of coöperative bank, such as those of Germany; -- a term loosely used for various forms of coöperative financial institutions.

People's party (U. S. Politics) A party formed in 1891, advocating in an increase of the currency, public ownership and operation of railroads, telegraphs, etc., an income tax, limitation in ownership of land, etc.

Peopled adjective Stocked with, or as with, people; inhabited. "The peopled air." Gray.

Peopleless adjective Destitute of people. Poe.

Peopler noun A settler; an inhabitant. " Peoplers of the peaceful glen." J. S. Blackie.

Peoplish adjective Vulgar. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Peorias noun plural ; sing. Peoria (Ethnol.) An Algonquin tribe of Indians who formerly inhabited a part of Illinois.

Pepastic adjective & noun [ Greek ... to ripen, suppurate: confer French pépastique .] (Medicine) Same as Maturative .

Peperine Pep`e*ri"no noun [ Italian peperino , Latin piper pepper. So called on account of its color.] (Geol.) A volcanic rock, formed by the cementing together of sand, scoria, cinders, etc.

Peplis noun [ Latin , a kind of plant, Greek ....] (Botany) A genus of plants including water purslane.

Peplum noun ; plural English - lumus , Latin -la . [ Latin ] A peplos. Hence: An overskirt hanging like an ancient peplos; also, a short fitted skirt attached to a waist or coat.

Peplus noun [ Latin , from Greek ....]
1. An upper garment worn by Grecian and Roman women.

2. A kind of kerchief formerly worn by Englishwomen. [ Obsolete] Fairholt.

Pepo noun [ Latin , a kind of melon, from Greek ....] (Botany) Any fleshy fruit with a firm rind, as a pumpkin, melon, or gourd. See Gourd .

Pepper noun [ Middle English peper , Anglo-Saxon pipor , Latin piper , from Greek ..., ..., akin to Sanskrit pippala , pippali .]
1. A well-known, pungently aromatic condiment, the dried berry, either whole or powdered, of the Piper nigrum .

» Common , or black , pepper is made from the whole berry, dried just before maturity; white pepper is made from the ripe berry after the outer skin has been removed by maceration and friction. It has less of the peculiar properties of the plant than the black pepper. Pepper is used in medicine as a carminative stimulant.

2. (Botany) The plant which yields pepper, an East Indian woody climber ( Piper nigrum ), with ovate leaves and apetalous flowers in spikes opposite the leaves. The berries are red when ripe. Also, by extension, any one of the several hundred species of the genus Piper , widely dispersed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the earth.

3. Any plant of the genus Capsicum, and its fruit; red pepper; as, the bell pepper .

» The term pepper has been extended to various other fruits and plants, more or less closely resembling the true pepper, esp. to the common varieties of Capsicum . See Capsicum , and the Phrases, below.

African pepper , the Guinea pepper. See under Guinea . -- Cayenne pepper . See under Cayenne . -- Chinese pepper , the spicy berries of the Xanthoxylum piperitum , a species of prickly ash found in China and Japan. -- Guinea pepper . See under Guinea , and Capsicum . -- Jamaica pepper . See Allspice . -- Long pepper . (a) The spike of berries of Piper longum , an East Indian shrub . (b) The root of Piper, or Macropiper, methysticum . See Kava . -- Malaguetta , or Meleguetta , pepper , the aromatic seeds of the Amomum Melegueta , an African plant of the Ginger family. They are sometimes used to flavor beer, etc., under the name of grains of Paradise . -- Red pepper . See Capsicum . -- Sweet pepper bush (Botany) , an American shrub ( Clethra alnifolia ), with racemes of fragrant white flowers; -- called also white alder . -- Pepper box or caster , a small box or bottle, with a perforated lid, used for sprinkling ground pepper on food, etc. -- Pepper corn . See in the Vocabulary. -- Pepper elder (Botany) , a West Indian name of several plants of the Pepper family, species of Piper and Peperomia . -- Pepper moth (Zoology) , a European moth ( Biston betularia ) having white wings covered with small black specks. -- Pepper pot , a mucilaginous soup or stew of vegetables and cassareep, much esteemed in the West Indies. -- Pepper root . (Botany) . See Coralwort . -- pepper sauce , a condiment for the table, made of small red peppers steeped in vinegar. -- Pepper tree (Botany) , an aromatic tree ( Drimys axillaris ) of the Magnolia family, common in New Zealand. See Peruvian mastic tree , under Mastic .

Pepper transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Peppered ; present participle & verbal noun Peppering .]
1. To sprinkle or season with pepper.

2. Figuratively: To shower shot or other missiles, or blows, upon; to pelt; to fill with shot, or cover with bruises or wounds. "I have peppered two of them." "I am peppered , I warrant, for this world." Shak.

Pepper intransitive verb To fire numerous shots (at).

Pepper box noun A buttress on the left-hand wall of a fives court as the game is played at Eton College, England.

Pepper dulse (Botany) A variety of edible seaweed ( Laurencia pinnatifida ) distinguished for its pungency. [ Scot.] Lindley.

Pepperbrand noun (Botany) See 1st Bunt .

Peppercorn noun
1. A dried berry of the black pepper ( Piper nigrum ).

2. Anything insignificant; a particle.

Pepperer noun A grocer; -- formerly so called because he sold pepper. [ Obsolete]

Peppergrass noun (Botany) (a) Any herb of the cruciferous genus Lepidium , especially the garden peppergrass, or garden cress, Lepidium sativum ; -- called also pepperwort . All the species have a pungent flavor. (b) The common pillwort of Europe ( Pilularia globulifera ). See Pillwort .

Pepperidge noun [ Confer New Latin berberis , English barberry .] (Botany) A North American tree ( Nyssa multiflora ) with very tough wood, handsome oval polished leaves, and very acid berries, -- the sour gum, or common tupelo. See Tupelo . [ Written also piperidge and pipperidge .]

Pepperidge bush (Botany) , the barberry.

Peppering adjective Hot; pungent; peppery. Swift.

Peppermint noun [ Pepper + mint .]
1. (Botany) An aromatic and pungent plant of the genus Mentha ( M. piperita ), much used in medicine and confectionery.

2. A volatile oil (oil of peppermint) distilled from the fresh herb; also, a well-known essence or spirit (essence of peppermint) obtained from it.

3. A lozenge of sugar flavored with peppermint.

Peppermint camphor. (Chemistry) Same as Menthol . -- Peppermint tree (Botany) , a name given to several Australian species of gum tree ( Eucalyptus amygdalina , E. piperita , E. odorata , etc.) which have hard and durable wood, and yield an essential oil.

Pepperwort noun (Botany) See Peppergrass .

Peppery adjective
1. Of or pertaining to pepper; having the qualities of pepper; hot; pungent.

2. Fig.: Hot-tempered; passionate; choleric.

Pepsin noun [ Greek ... a cooking, digesting, digestion, from ..., ..., to cook, digest: confer French pepsine . Confer Dyspepsia .] (Physiol. Chem.) An unorganized proteolytic ferment or enzyme contained in the secretory glands of the stomach. In the gastric juice it is united with dilute hydrochloric acid (0.2 per cent, approximately) and the two together constitute the active portion of the digestive fluid. It is the active agent in the gastric juice of all animals.

» As prepared from the glandular layer of pigs' or calves' stomachs it constitutes an important article of pharmacy.

Pepsinhydrochloric adjective (Physiol. Chem.) Same as Peptohydrochloric .

Pepsinogen noun [ Pepsin + -gen .] (Physiol. Chem.) The antecedent of the ferment pepsin. A substance contained in the form of granules in the peptic cells of the gastric glands. It is readily convertible into pepsin. Also called propepsin .

Peptic adjective [ Latin pepticus , Greek .... See Pepsin .]
1. Relating to digestion; promoting digestion; digestive; as, peptic sauces.

2. Able to digest. [ R.]

Tolerably nutritive for a mind as yet so peptic .
Carlyle.

3. (Physiol. Chem.) Pertaining to pepsin; resembling pepsin in its power of digesting or dissolving albuminous matter; containing or yielding pepsin, or a body of like properties; as, the peptic glands.

Peptic noun
1. An agent that promotes digestion.

2. plural The digestive organs.

Is there some magic in the place,
Or do my peptics differ?
Tennyson.

Peptics noun The science of digestion.

Peptogen noun [ Pepto ne + -gen .] (Physiol.) A substance convertible into peptone.

Peptogenic adjective Same as Peptogenous .

Peptogenous adjective (Physiol. Chem.) Capable of yielding, or being converted into, peptone.