Thump, n.

A heavy blow given with any thing that is thick, as with a club or the fist, or with a heavy hammer, or with the britch of a gun.


Alligator, n.

The American crocodile. The largest of these animals grow to the length of seventeen or eighteen feet. They live in and about the rivers in warm climates, eat fish, and sometimes catch hogs, on the shore, or dogs which are swimming. In winter, they burrow in the earth, which they enter under water and work upwards, lying torpid till spring.


Thermometer, n.

An instrument for measuring heat; founded on the property which heat possesses of expanding all bodies, the rate or quantity of expansion being supposed proportional to the degree of heat applied, and hence indicating that degree. The thermometer indicates only the sensible heat of bodies, and gives us no information respecting the quantity of latent heat, or of combined heat, which those bodies may contain.


Loom, v.i.

To appear above the surface either of sea or land, or to appear larger than the real dimensions and indistinctly; as a distant object, a ship at sea, or a mountain. The ship looms large, or the land looms high.


Live, v.i.

To remain undestroyed; to float; not to sink or founder. It must be a good ship that lives at sea in a hurricane.


Load, n.

A burden; that which is laid on or put in any thing for conveyance. Thus we lay a load on a beast or on a man's shoulders, or on a cart or wagon; and we say, a light load, heavy load. A load then is indefinite in quantity or weight. But by usage, in some cases, the word has a more definite signification, and expresses a certain quantity or weight, or as much as is usually carried, or as can be well sustained.


Fen-sucked, a.

Sucked out of marshes; as fen-sucked fogs.


Horizon, n.

The line that terminates the view, when extended on the surface of the earth; or a great circle of the sphere, dividing the world into two parts or hemispheres; the upper hemisphere which is visible, and the lower which is hid. The horizon is sensible, and rational or real. The sensible, apparent, or visible horizon, is a lesser circle of the sphere, which divides the visible part of the sphere from the invisible. It is eastern or western; the eastern is that wherein the sun and stars rise; the western, that wherein they set. The rational, true, or astronomical horizon, is a great circle whose plane passes through the center of the earth, and whose poles are the zenith and nadir. This horizon would bound the sight, if the eye could take in the whole hemisphere.


Husking, n.

The act of stripping off husks. In New England, the practice of farmers is to invite their neighbors to assist them in stripping their maiz, in autumnal evenings, and this is called a husking.


Matter, n.

Body; substance extended; that which is visible or tangible, as earth, wood, stone, air, vapor, water.


Sigh, n.

To inhale a larger quantity of air than usual and immediately expel it; to suffer a single deep respiration.


Fermentation, n.

The sensible internal motion of the constituent particles of animal and vegetable substances, occasioned by a certain degree of heat and moisture, and accompanied by an extrication of gas and heat. Fermentation is followed by a change of properties in the substances fermented, arising from new combinations of their principles.


Should, aux. v.

We think it strange that stones should fall from the aerial regions.

In this use, should implies that stones do fall.


Adosculation, n.

[L. ad and osculatio, a kissing, from osculum, a kiss, or mouth.]

The impregnation of plants by the falling of the farina on the pistils.


Margin, n.

The edge of a wound.


Evolution, n.

The unfolding or opening of a curve, and making it describe an evolvent. The equable evolution of the periphery of a circle, or other curve, is such a gradual approach of the circumference to rectitude, as that its parts do all concur, and equally evolve or unbend; so that the same line becomes successively a less arc of a reciprocally greater circle, till at last they change into a straight line.


Shore, n.

The coast or land adjacent to the ocean or sea, or to a large lake or river. The word is applied primarily to the land contiguous to water; but it extends also to the ground near the border of the sea or of a lake, which is covered with water. We also use the word to express the land near the border of the sea or of a great lake, to an indefinite extent; as when we say, a town stands on the shore. We do not apply the word the land contiguous to a small stream. That we call a bank.