To whelm or plunge, as in mud and mire.
A single wale-knot is made by untwisting the ends of a rope, and making a bight with the first strand; then passing the second over the end of the first, and the third over the end of the second, and through the bight of the first. The double is made by passing the ends, singly, close underneath the first wale, and thrusting them upwards through the middle, only the last end comes up under two bights.
To move from one side to the other; to vacillate; as a turning or whirling body. So it is said a top wabbles, when it is in motion, and deviates from a perpendicular direction; a spindle wabbles, when it moves one way and the other.
[This word is applied chiefly to bodies when turning with a circular motion, and its place cannot be supplied by any other word in the language. It is neither low nor barbarous.]
A strong desire to see something novel, or to discover something unknown, either by research or inquiry; a desire to gratify the senses with a sight of what is new or unusual, or to gratify the mind with new discoveries; inquisitiveness. A man's curiosity leads him to view the ruins of Balbec, to investigate the origin of Homer, to discover the component parts of a mineral, or the motives of another's actions.
Wager of battle, is when the tenant in a writ of right, offers to prove his right by the body of his champion, and throwing down his glove as a gage or pledge, thus wages or stipulates battle with the champion or demandant, who by taking up the glove, accepts the challenge. The champions, armed with batons, enter the list, and taking each other by the hand, each swears to the justice of the cause of the party for whom he appears; they then fight till the stars appear, and if the champion of the tenant can defend himself till that time, his cause prevails.
Consisting of poetic numbers; melodious, musical. In prose, a style becomes numerous by the alternate disposition or intermixture of long and short syllables, or of long and short words; or by a judicious selection and disposition of smooth flowing words, and by closing the periods with important or well sounding words.
1. An artificial work, simple or complicated, that serves to apply or regulate moving power, or to produce motion, so as to save time or force. The simple machines are the six mechanical powers, viz.; the lever, the pulley, the axis and wheel, the wedge, the screw, and the inclined plane. Complicated machines are such as combine two or more of these powers for the production of motion or force.
2. Supernatural agency in a poem, or a superhuman being introduced into a poem to perform some exploit.
The operations of a very subtil fluid, which appears to be diffused through most bodies, remarkable for the rapidity of its motion, and one of the most powerful agents in nature. The name is given to the operations of this fluid, and to the fluid itself. As it exists in bodies, it is denominated a property of those bodies, though it may be a distinct substance, invisible, intangible and imponderable. When an electric body is rubbed with a soft dry substance, as with woolen cloth, silk or fur, it attracts or repels light substances, at a greater or less distance, according to the strength of the electric virtue; and the friction may be continued, or increased, till the electric body will emit sparks or flashes resembling fire, accompanied with a sharp sound. When the electric fluid passes from cloud to cloud, from the clouds to the earth, or from the earth to the clouds, it is called lightning, and produces thunder. Bodies which, when rubbed, exhibit this property, are called electrics or non-conductors. Bodies, which, when excited, do not exhibit this property, as water and metals, are called non-electrics or conductors, as they readily convey electricity from one body to another, at any distance, and such is the rapidity of the electric fluid in motion, that no perceptible space of time is required for its passage to any known distance.