Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Volunteer navy A navy of vessels fitted out and manned by volunteers who sail under the flag of the regular navy and subject to naval discipline. Prussia in 1870, in the Franco-German war, organized such a navy, which was commanded by merchant seamen with temporary commissions, with the claim (in which England acquiesced) that it did not come within the meaning of the term privateer .

Volunteer State Tennessee; -- a nickname.

Volunteers of America A religious and philanthropic organization, similar to the Salvation Army, founded (1896) by Commander and Mrs. Ballington Booth.

Volupere noun [ Confer Envelop .] A woman's cap. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Voluptuary noun ; plural Voluptuaries . [ Latin voluptuarius or voluptarius , from voluptas pleasure.] A voluptuous person; one who makes his physical enjoyment his chief care; one addicted to luxury, and the gratification of sensual appetites.

A good-humored, but hard-hearted, voluptuary .
Sir W. Scott.

Syn. -- Sensualist; epicure.

Voluptuary adjective Voluptuous; luxurious.

Voluptuous adjective [ French voluptueux , Latin voluptuosus , from voluptas pleasure, volup agreeably, delightfully; probably akin to Greek ... to hope, ... hope, and to Latin velle to wish. See Voluntary .]
1. Full of delight or pleasure, especially that of the senses; ministering to sensuous or sensual gratification; exciting sensual desires; luxurious; sensual.

Music arose with its voluptuous swell.
Byron.

Sink back into your voluptuous repose.
De Quincey.

2. Given to the enjoyments of luxury and pleasure; indulging to excess in sensual gratifications. "The jolly and voluptuous livers." Atterbury.

Softened with pleasure and voluptuous life.
Milton.

-- Vo*lup"tu*ous*ly , adverb -- Vo*lup"tu*ous*ness , noun

Volupty noun [ Confer French volupté pleasure. See Voluptuous .] Voluptuousness. [ Obsolete]

Voluta noun ; plural English Volutas , Latin Volutæ . [ Latin , a spiral scroll. See Volute .] (Zoology) Any one of numerous species of large, handsome marine gastropods belonging to Voluta and allied genera.

Volutation noun [ Latin volutatio , from volutare to roll, wallow, verb freq. volvere , volutum , to roll.] A rolling of a body; a wallowing. [ R.] Sir T. Browne.

Volute noun [ French volute (cf. Italian voluta ), Latin voluta , from volvere , volutum , to roll. See Voluble .]


1. (Architecture) A spiral scroll which forms the chief feature of the Ionic capital, and which, on a much smaller scale, is a feature in the Corinthian and Composite capitals. See Illust. of Capital , also Helix , and Stale .

2. (Zoology) A spiral turn, as in certain shells.

3. (Zoology) Any voluta.

Volute spiring , a spring formed of a spiral scroll of plate, rod, or wire, extended or extensible in the direction of the axis of the coil, in which direction its elastic force is exerted and employed.

Voluted adjective Having a volute, or spiral scroll.

Volution noun [ Confer Late Latin volutio an arch, vault.]


1. A spiral turn or wreath.

2. (Zoology) A whorl of a spiral shell.

Volva noun [ Latin volva , vulva , covering.] (Botany) A saclike envelope of certain fungi, which bursts open as the plant develops.

Volvox noun (Botany) A genus of minute, pale-green, globular, organisms, about one fiftieth of an inch in diameter, found rolling through water, the motion being produced by minute colorless cilia. It has been considered as belonging to the flagellate Infusoria, but is now referred to the vegetable kingdom, and each globule is considered a colony of many individuals. The commonest species is Volvox globator , often called globe animalcule .

Volvulus noun [ New Latin , from Latin volvere to turn about, to roll.] (Medicine) (a) The spasmodic contraction of the intestines which causes colic. (b) Any twisting or displacement of the intestines causing obstruction; ileus. See Ileus .

Volyer noun (Zoology) A lurcher. [ Prov. Eng.]

Vomer noun [ Latin , a plowshare.] (Anat.) (a) A bone, or one of a pair of bones, beneath the ethmoid region of the skull, forming a part a part of the partition between the nostrils in man and other mammals. (b) The pygostyle.

Vomerine adjective Of or pertaining to the vomer.

Vomic nut [ Confer French noix vomique .] Same as Nux vomica .

Vomica noun [ Latin , from vomere to throw up, vomit.] (Medicine) (a) An abscess cavity in the lungs. (b) An abscess in any other parenchymatous organ.

Vomicine noun [ From nux vomica .] (Chemistry) See Brucine .

Vomit intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Vomited ; present participle & verbal noun Vomiting .] [ Confer Latin vomere , vomitum , and v. freq. vomitare . See Vomit , noun ] To eject the contents of the stomach by the mouth; to puke; to spew.

Vomit transitive verb
1. To throw up; to eject from the stomach through the mouth; to disgorge; to puke; to spew out; -- often followed by up or out .

The fish . . . vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah ii. 10.

2. Hence, to eject from any hollow place; to belch forth; to emit; to throw forth; as, volcanoes vomit flame, stones, etc.

Like the sons of Vulcan, vomit smoke.
Milton.

Vomit noun [ Latin vomitus , from vomere , vomitum , to vomit; akin to Greek ..., Sanskrit vam , Lithuanian vemiti . Confer Emetic , Vomito .]


1. Matter that is vomited; esp., matter ejected from the stomach through the mouth.

Like vomit from his yawning entrails poured.
Sandys.

2. (Medicine) That which excites vomiting; an emetic.

He gives your Hollander a vomit .
Shak.

Black vomit . (Medicine) See in the Vocabulary. -- Vomit nut , nux vomica.

Vomiting noun The spasmodic ejection of matter from the stomach through the mouth.

Vomition noun [ Latin vomitio .] The act or power of vomiting. Grew.

Vomitive adjective [ Confer French vomitif .] Causing the ejection of matter from the stomach; emetic.

Vomito noun [ Spanish vómito , from Latin vomitus . See Vomit , noun ] (Medicine) The yellow fever in its worst form, when it is usually attended with black vomit. See Black vomit .

Vomitory adjective [ Latin vomitorious .] Causing vomiting; emetic; vomitive.

Vomitory noun ; plural Vomitories
1. An emetic; a vomit. Harvey.

2. [ Latin vomitorium .] (Architecture) A principal door of a large ancient building, as of an amphitheater.

Sixty-four vomitories . . . poured forth the immense multitude.
Gibbon.

Vomiturition noun [ Confer French vomiturition .] (Medicine) (a) An ineffectual attempt to vomit. (b) The vomiting of but little matter; also, that vomiting which is effected with little effort. Dunglison.

Vondsira noun (Zoology) Same as Vansire .

Voodoo noun
1. See Voodooism .

2. One who practices voodooism; a negro sorcerer.

Voodoo adjective Of or pertaining to voodooism, or a voodoo; as, voodoo incantations.

Voodooism noun [ Probably (through Creole French vaudoux a negro sorcerer) from French Vaudois Waldensian, because the Waldenses were accused of sorcery.] A degraded form of superstition and sorcery, said to include human sacrifices and cannibalism in some of its rites. It is prevalent among the negroes of Hayti, and to some extent in the United States, and is regarded as a relic of African barbarism.

Voortreker noun [ Dutch (in South Africa).] One who treks before or first; a pioneer. [ South Africa]

Voracious adjective [ Latin vorax , - acis , from vorare to devour; akin to Greek ... meat, food, ... to devour, Sanskrit gar . Confer Devour .] Greedy in eating; very hungry; eager to devour or swallow; ravenous; gluttonous; edacious; rapacious; as, a voracious man or appetite; a voracious gulf or whirlpool. Dampier. -- Vo*ra"cious*ly , adverb -- Vo*ra"cious*ness , noun

Voracity noun [ Latin voracitas : confer French voracité .] The quality of being voracious; voraciousness.

Voraginous adjective [ Latin voraginosus , from vorago an abyss, from vorare to swallow up.] Pertaining to a gulf; full of gulfs; hence, devouring. [ R.] Mallet.

Vortex noun ; plural English Vortexes , Latin Vortices . [ Latin vortex , vertex , -icis , from vortere , vertere , to turn. See Vertex .]


1. A mass of fluid, especially of a liquid, having a whirling or circular motion tending to form a cavity or vacuum in the center of the circle, and to draw in towards the center bodies subject to its action; the form assumed by a fluid in such motion; a whirlpool; an eddy.

2. (Cartesian System) A supposed collection of particles of very subtile matter, endowed with a rapid rotary motion around an axis which was also the axis of a sun or a planet. Descartes attempted to account for the formation of the universe, and the movements of the bodies composing it, by a theory of vortices.

3. (Zoology) Any one of numerous species of small Turbellaria belonging to Vortex and allied genera. See Illustration in Appendix.

Vortex atom (Chemistry) , a hypothetical ring- shaped mass of elementary matter in continuous vortical motion. It is conveniently regarded in certain mathematical speculations as the typical form and structure of the chemical atom. -- Vortex wheel , a kind of turbine.

Vortex filament A vortex tube of infinitesimal cross section.

Vortex fringe The region immediately surrounding a disk moving flatwise through air; -- so called because the air has a cyclic motion as in vortex ring.

Vortex line A line, within a rotating fluid, whose tangent at every point is the instantaneous axis of rotation as that point of the fluid.

Vortex ring (Physics) A ring-shaped mass of moving fluid which, by virtue of its motion of rotation around an axis disposed in circular form, attains a more or less distinct separation from the surrounding medium and has many of the properties of a solid.

Vortex theory (Chem. & Physics) The theory, advanced by Thomson (Lord Kelvin) on the basis of investigation by Helmholtz, that the atoms are vortically moving ring-shaped masses (or masses of other forms having a similar internal motion) of a homogeneous, incompressible, frictionless fluid. Various properties of such atoms ( vortex atoms ) can be mathematically deduced.

Vortex tube (Physics) An imaginary tube within a rotating fluid, formed by drawing the vortex lines through all points of a closed curve.

Vortical adjective Of or pertaining to a vortex or vortexes; resembling a vortex in form or motion; whirling; as, a vortical motion. -- Vor"ti*cal*ly , adverb

Vorticel noun [ Confer French vorticelle . See Vortex .] (Zoology) A vorticella.

Vorticella noun ; plural English Vorticellas Latin Vorticellæ [ New Latin , dim. from Latin vortex . See Vortex .] (Zoology) Any one of numerous species of ciliated Infusoria belonging to Vorticella and many other genera of the family Vorticellidæ . They have a more or less bell-shaped body with a circle of vibrating cilia around the oral disk. Most of the species have slender, contractile stems, either simple or branched.