Lunette, n.

A piece of felt to cover the eye of a vicious horse.


Combust, a.

When a planet is in conjunction with the sun or apparently very near it, it is said to be combust or in combustion. The distance within which this epithet is applicable to a planet, is said by some writers to be 8 1/2 degrees; others say, within the distance of half the sun's disk.


Bibliolite, n.

Bookstone; a species of shistous stones, mostly calcarious, which present, between their lamens, the figures of leaves.


Mechanical, n.

The terms mechanical and chimical, are thus distinguished; those changes which bodies undergo without altering their constitution, that is, losing their identity, such as changes of place, of figure, &c. are mechanical; those which alter the constitution of bodies, making them different substances, as when flour, yeast and water unite to form bread, are chimical. In the one case, the changes relate to masses of matter, as the motions of the heavenly bodies, or the action of the wind on a ship under sail; in the other case, the changes occur between the particles of matter, as the action of heat in melting lead, or the union of sand and lime forming mortar. Most of what are usually called the mechanic arts, are partly mechanical, and partly chimical.


Pit, n.

A hollow place in the earth excavated for catching wild beasts.


Composer, n.

One who quiets or calms; one who adjusts a difference.


Petroleum, n.

Rock oil, a liquid inflammable substance or bitumen exuding from the earth and collected on the surface of the water in wells, in various parts of the world, or oozing from cavities in rocks.


Meteor, n.

A fiery or luminous body or appearance flying or floating in the atmosphere, or in a more elevated region. We give this name to the brilliant globes or masses of matter which are occasionally seen moving rapidly through our atmosphere, and which throw off, with loud explosions, fragments that reach the earth, and are called falling stones. We call by the same name those fire balls which are usually denominated falling stars, supposed to be owning to gelatinous matter inflated by phosphureted hydrogen gas; also, the lights which appear over moist grounds and grave yards which are ascribed to the same cause.


Glee, n.

A song sung in parts.


Course, n.

In its general sense, a passing; a moving, or motion forward, in a direct or curving line; applicable to any body or substance, solid or fluid.


Consonant, n.

A letter, so named because it is considered as being sounded only in connection with a vowel. But some consonants have no sound, even when united with a vowel, and others have a very imperfect sound. The consonants are better called articulations, as they are the names given to the several closings or junctions of the organs of speech, which precede and follow the openings of the organs, with which the vowels are uttered. These closings are perfect, and wholly intercept the voice, as in the syllables ek, ep, et; or imperfect, and admitting some slight sound, as in em, en. The consonants begin or end syllables, and their use is to determine the manner of beginning or ending the vocal sounds. These closings or configurations of the organs being various, serve to diversify the syllables, as in uttering ba, da, pa, or ab, ad, ap; and although b and p may be considered as representing no sounds at all, yet they so modify the utterance of ab, ap, or ba, pa, that the slight difference between these articulations may be perceived as far as the human voice can be distinctly heard.


Lowbell, n.

A kind of fowling in the night, in which the birds are wakened by a bell, and blinded by light, so as to be easily taken.


Lubber, n.

[W. llabi, a tall lank fellow, a clumsy man, a stripling, a lubber, a looby; llab, a flag or thin strip, a stripe or stroke; llabiaw, to slap; llob, an unwieldy lump, a dull fellow. From the significations of llabi, it appears that the primary sense is tall and lank, like a stripling who gains his highth before he does his full strength, and hence is clumsy. But loob seems rather to be from llob.]


Consent, n.

In the animal economy, an agreement, or sympathy, by which one affected part of the system affects some distant part. This consent is supposed to exist in, or be produced by the nerves; and the affections to be communicated from one part to another by means of their ramifications and distribution through the body. Thus, the stone in the bladder, by vellicating the fibers, will produce spasms and colic in the bowels; a shameful thing seen or heard will produce blushing in the cheeks. But many facts indicate that other causes than nervous communication produce sympathy.


Point-blank, n.

In gunnery, the shot of a gun leveled horizontally. The distance between the piece, and the point where the shot first touches the ground, is called the point-blank range; the shot proceeding on a straight line, without curving.


Giddy, a.

Vertiginous; reeling; whirling; having in the head a sensation of a circular motion or swimming; or having lost the power of preserving the balance of the body, and therefore wavering and inclined to fall.


Down, prep.

Along a descent; from a higher to a lower place; as, to run down a hill; to fall down a precipice; to go down the stairs. Toward the mouth of a river, or toward the place where water is discharged into the ocean or a lake. We swim down a stream; we sail down the sound from New York to New London. We pass down the current of life or of time. Down the sound, in the direction of the ebb-tide towards the sea. Down the country, towards the sea, or towards the part where rivers discharge their waters into the ocean.


Comet, n.

An opake, spherical, solid body, like a planet, but accompanied with a train of light, performing revolutions about the sun. In popular language, comets are tailed, bearded or hairy, but these terms are taken from the appearance of the light which attends them, which, in different positions with respect to the sun, exhibits the form of a tail or train, a beard, or a border of hair. When the comet is westward of the sun and rises or sets before it, the light appears in the morning like a train beginning at the body of the comet and extending westward and diverging in proportion to its extent. Thus the comet of 1769, [which I saw,] when it rose in the morning, presented a luminous train that extended nearly from the horizon to the meridian. When the comet and the sun are opposite, the earth being between them, the comet is, to the view, immersed in its train and the light appears around its body like a fringe or border of hair. From the train of a comet, this body has obtained the popular name of a blazing star.


Aha, n.

A sunk fence, not visible, without near approach.


Bleak, a.

Open; vacant; exposed to a free current of air; as a bleak hill or shore. This is the true sense of the word; hence cold and cheerless. A bleak wind is not so named merely from its coldness, but from its blowing without interruption, on a wide waste; at least this is the sense in America.


Comrogue, n.

A fellow rogue.


Thropple, n.

The windpipe of a horse.


Affection, n.

A bent of mind towards a particular object, holding a middle place between disposition, which is natural, and passion, which is excited by the presence of its exciting object. Affection is a permanent bent of the mind, formed by the presence of an object, or by some act of another person, and existing without the presence of its object.


Clarichord, n.

A musical instrument in form of a spinet. It has forty nine or fifty stops or keys, and seventy strings; some of the latter being in unison. There are several little mortises for passing the jacks, armed with brass hooks, which stop and raise the chords. The chords are covered with pieces of cloth, which deaden the sound and render it sweeter. Hence it is particularly used by nuns.


Blanket, v.t.

To toss in a blanket by way of punishment; an ancient custom. The Emperor Otho used to sally forth in dark nights, and if he found a drunken man, he administered the discipline of the blanket.