Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Wag-halter noun [ Wag + halter .] One who moves or wears a halter; one likely to be hanged. [ Colloq. & Obsolete]

I can tell you, I am a mad wag-halter .
Marston.

Wagenboom noun [ Dutch, literally, wagon tree.] (Botany) A south African proteaceous tree ( Protea grandiflora ); also, its tough wood, used for making wagon wheels.

Wager noun [ Middle English wager , wajour , Old French wagiere , or wageure , English gageure . See Wage , transitive verb ]


1. Something deposited, laid, or hazarded on the event of a contest or an unsettled question; a bet; a stake; a pledge.

Besides these plates for horse races, the wagers may be as the persons please.
Sir W. Temple.

If any atheist can stake his soul for a wager against such an inexhaustible disproportion, let him never hereafter accuse others of credulity.
Bentley.

2. (Law) A contract by which two parties or more agree that a certain sum of money, or other thing, shall be paid or delivered to one of them, on the happening or not happening of an uncertain event. Bouvier.

» At common law a wager is considered as a legal contract which the courts must enforce unless it be on a subject contrary to public policy, or immoral, or tending to the detriment of the public, or affecting the interest, feelings, or character of a third person. In many of the United States an action can not be sustained upon any wager or bet. Chitty. Bouvier.

3. That on which bets are laid; the subject of a bet.

Wager of battel , or Wager of battle (O. Eng. Law) , the giving of gage, or pledge, for trying a cause by single combat, formerly allowed in military, criminal, and civil causes. In writs of right, where the trial was by champions, the tenant produced his champion, who, by throwing down his glove as a gage, thus waged , or stipulated, battle with the champion of the demandant, who, by taking up the glove, accepted the challenge. The wager of battel , which has been long in disuse, was abolished in England in 1819, by a statute passed in consequence of a defendant's having waged his battle in a case which arose about that period. See Battel . -- Wager of law (Law) , the giving of gage, or sureties, by a defendant in an action of debt, that at a certain day assigned he would take a law, or oath, in open court, that he did not owe the debt, and at the same time bring with him eleven neighbors (called compurgators ), who should avow upon their oaths that they believed in their consciences that he spoke the truth. -- Wager policy . (Insurance Law) See under Policy .

Wager transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wagered ; present participle & verbal noun Wagering .] To hazard on the issue of a contest, or on some question that is to be decided, or on some casualty; to lay; to stake; to bet.

And wagered with him
Pieces of gold 'gainst this which he wore.
Shak.

Wager intransitive verb To make a bet; to lay a wager.

'T was merry when
You wagered on your angling.
Shak.

Wager noun -- Wagering, or gambling , contract . A contract which is of the nature of wager. Contracts of this nature include various common forms of valid commercial contracts, as contracts of insurance, contracts dealing in futures, options, etc. Other wagering contracts and bets are now generally made illegal by statute against betting and gambling, and wagering has in many cases been made a criminal offence.

Wagerer noun One who wagers, or lays a bet.

Wagering adjective Hazarding; pertaining to the act of one who wagers.

Wagering policy . (Com.) See Wager policy , under Policy .

Wages noun plural in termination, but singular in signification. [ Plural of wage ; confer French gages , plural, wages, hire. See Wage , noun ] A compensation given to a hired person for services; price paid for labor; recompense; hire. See Wage , noun , 2.

The wages of sin is death.
Rom. vi. 23.

Wages fund (Polit. Econ.) , the aggregate capital existing at any time in any country, which theoretically is unconditionally destined to be paid out in wages. It was formerly held, by Mill and other political economists, that the average rate of wages in any country at any time depended upon the relation of the wages fund to the number of laborers. This theory has been greatly modified by the discovery of other conditions affecting wages, which it does not take into account. Encyc. Brit.

Syn. -- See under Wage , noun

Wages noun plural (Theoretical Economics) The share of the annual product or national dividend which goes as a reward to labor, as distinct from the remuneration received by capital in its various forms. This economic or technical sense of the word wages is broader than the current sense, and includes not only amounts actually paid to laborers, but the remuneration obtained by those who sell the products of their own work, and the wages of superintendence or management , which are earned by skill in directing the work of others.

Waggel (wăg"gĕl) noun (Zoology) The young of the great black-backed gull ( Larus marinus ), formerly considered a distinct species. [ Prov. Eng.]

Waggery (-gẽr*ȳ) noun ; plural Waggeries . [ From Wag .] The manner or action of a wag; mischievous merriment; sportive trick or gayety; good-humored sarcasm; pleasantry; jocularity; as, the waggery of a schoolboy. Locke.

A drollery and lurking waggery of expression.
W. Irving.

Waggie (-gĭ) noun The pied wagtail. [ Prov. Eng.]

Waggish (-gĭsh) adjective
1. Like a wag; mischievous in sport; roguish in merriment or good humor; frolicsome. "A company of waggish boys." L'Estrange.

2. Done, made, or laid in waggery or for sport; sportive; humorous; as, a waggish trick.

-- Wag"gish*ly , adverb -- Wag"gish*ness , noun

Waggle intransitive verb [ Freq. of wag ; confer Dutch waggelen , German wackeln .] To reel, sway, or move from side to side; to move with a wagging motion; to waddle.

Why do you go nodding and waggling so?
L'Estrange.

Waggle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Waggled ; present participle & verbal noun Waggling .] To move frequently one way and the other; to wag; as, a bird waggles his tail.

Waggle noun A waggling or wagging; specif. (Golf) , the preliminary swinging of the club head back and forth over the ball in the line of the proposed stroke.

Wagnerian adjective Of, pertaining to, or resembling the style of, Richard Wagner , the German musical composer.

Wagnerite noun (Min.) A fluophosphate of magnesia, occurring in yellowish crystals, and also in massive forms.

Wagon noun [ Dutch wagen . √136. See Wain .]


1. A wheeled carriage; a vehicle on four wheels, and usually drawn by horses; especially, one used for carrying freight or merchandise.

» In the United States, light wagons are used for the conveyance of persons and light commodities.

2. A freight car on a railway. [ Eng.]

3. A chariot [ Obsolete] Spenser.

4. (Astron.) The Dipper, or Charles's Wain.

» This word and its compounds are often written with two g's ( waggon , waggonage , etc.), chiefly in England. The forms wagon , wagonage , etc., are, however, etymologically preferable, and in the United States are almost universally used.

Wagon boiler . See the Note under Boiler , 3. -- Wagon ceiling (Architecture) , a semicircular, or wagon-headed, arch or ceiling; -- sometimes used also of a ceiling whose section is polygonal instead of semicircular. -- Wagon master , an officer or person in charge of one or more wagons, especially of those used for transporting freight, as the supplies of an army, and the like. -- Wagon shoe , a skid, or shoe, for retarding the motion of a wagon wheel; a drag. -- Wagon vault . (Architecture) See under 1st Vault .

Wagon transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wagoned ; present participle & verbal noun Wagoning .] To transport in a wagon or wagons; as, goods are wagoned from city to city.

Wagon intransitive verb To wagon goods as a business; as, the man wagons between Philadelphia and its suburbs.

Wagon-headed adjective Having a top, or head, shaped like the top of a covered wagon, or resembling in section or outline an inverted U , thus ...; as, a wagonheaded ceiling.

Wagon-roofed adjective Having a roof, or top, shaped like an inverted U ; wagon- headed.

Wagonage noun
1. Money paid for carriage or conveyance in wagon.

2. A collection of wagons; wagons, collectively.

Wagonage , provender, and a piece or two of cannon.
Carlyle.

Wagoner noun
1. One who conducts a wagon; one whose business it is to drive a wagon.

2. (Astron.) The constellation Charles's Wain, or Ursa Major. See Ursa major , under Ursa .

Wagonette noun A kind of pleasure wagon, uncovered and with seats extended along the sides, designed to carry six or eight persons besides the driver.

Wagonful noun ; plural Wagonfuls As much as a wagon will hold; enough to fill a wagon; a wagonload.

Wagonload noun Same as Wagonful .

Wagonry noun Conveyance by means of a wagon or wagons. [ Obsolete] Milton.

Wagonwright noun One who makes wagons.

Wagtail noun (Zoology) Any one of many species of Old World singing birds belonging to Motacilla and several allied genera of the family Motacillidæ . They have the habit of constantly jerking their long tails up and down, whence the name.

Field wagtail , any one of several species of wagtails of the genus Budytes having the tail shorter, the legs longer, and the hind claw longer and straighter, than do the water wagtails. Most of the species are yellow beneath. Called also yellow wagtail . -- Garden wagtail , the Indian black-breasted wagtail ( Nemoricola Indica ). -- Pied wagtail , the common European water wagtail ( Motacilla lugubris ). It is variegated with black and white. The name is applied also to other allied species having similar colors. Called also pied dishwasher . -- Wagtail flycatcher , a true flycatcher ( Sauloprocta motacilloides ) common in Southern Australia, where it is very tame, and frequents stock yards and gardens and often builds its nest about houses; -- called also black fantail . -- Water wagtail . (a) Any one of several species of wagtails of the restricted genus Motacilla . They live chiefly on the shores of ponds and streams. (b) The American water thrush. See Water thrush . -- Wood wagtail , an Asiatic wagtail; ( Calobates sulphurea ) having a slender bill and short legs.

Wah (wä) noun (Zoology) The panda.

Wahabee noun [ Arabic wahābi .] A follower of Abdel Wahab (b. 1691; d. 1787), a reformer of Mohammedanism. His doctrines prevail particularly among the Bedouins, and the sect, though checked in its influence, extends to most parts of Arabia, and also into India. [ Written also Wahaby .]

Wahoo noun Any of various American trees or shrubs; specif.: (a) A certain shrub ( Evonymus atropurpureus ) having purple capsules which in dehiscence expose the scarlet-ariled seeds; -- called also burning bush . (b) Cascara buckthorn. (c) Basswood.

Wahoo noun A dark blue scombroid food fish ( Acanthocibium solandri or petus ) of Florida and the West Indies.

Wai Wu Pu [ Chinese wai foreign + wu affairs + pu office.] The Department of Foreign Affairs in the Chinese government.

The Tsung-li Yamen, or Foreign Office, created by a decree of January 19, 1861, was in July, 1902, superseded by the formation of a new Foreign Office called the Wai Wu Pu , . . . with precedence before all other boards.
J. Scott Keltie.

Waid adjective [ For weighed .] Oppressed with weight; crushed; weighed down. [ Obsolete] Tusser.

Waif noun [ Old French waif , gaif , as adj., lost, unclaimed, chose gaive a waif, Late Latin wayfium , res vaivae ; of Scand. origin. See Waive .]


1. (Eng. Law.) Goods found of which the owner is not known; originally, such goods as a pursued thief threw away to prevent being apprehended, which belonged to the king unless the owner made pursuit of the felon, took him, and brought him to justice. Blackstone.

2. Hence, anything found, or without an owner; that which comes along, as it were, by chance. "Rolling in his mind old waifs of rhyme." Tennyson.

3. A wanderer; a castaway; a stray; a homeless child.

A waif
Desirous to return, and not received.
Cowper.

Waift noun A waif. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Wail transitive verb [ Confer Icelandic val choice, velja to choose, akin to Goth. waljan , German wählen .] To choose; to select. [ Obsolete] " Wailed wine and meats." Henryson.

Wail transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wailed ; present participle & verbal noun Wailing .] [ Middle English wailen , weilen , probably from Icelandic væla ; confer Icelandic , vei , woe, and English wayment , also Middle English wai , wei , woe. Confer Woe .] To lament; to bewail; to grieve over; as, to wail one's death. Shak.

Wail intransitive verb To express sorrow audibly; to make mournful outcry; to weep.

Therefore I will wail and howl.
Micah i. 8.

Wail noun Loud weeping; violent lamentation; wailing. "The wail of the forest." Longfellow.

Wailer noun One who wails or laments.

Waileress noun A woman who wails. [ Obsolete]

Wailful adjective Sorrowful; mournful. " Like wailful widows." Spenser. " Wailful sonnets." Shak.

Wailingly adverb In a wailing manner.

Wailment noun Lamentation; loud weeping; wailing. [ Obsolete] Bp. Hacket.

Waiment v. & noun See Wayment . [ Obsolete]