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Songster. With the exception of the canary, which is a cage bird, all the songsters pictured above may 
be seen and heard in their wild state in the British Isles. 1. Canary. 2. Skylark. 3. Tree pipit. 
4. Nightingale. 5. Goldfinch. 6. Robin. 7. Song thrush. 8. Sedge-warbler. 9. Linnet. 10. Blackbird. 

-Facing Page 3993. 

Edited by 


D.Litt. (Hon.), F.R.Hist.S. 

Associate Editors: 



The Waverley Book Company, Ltd 

96 & 97, Farringdon Street, 

London, E.C.4, 

( 3 ) 




snail (snal), n. A land or freshwater 
crawling mollusc, usually with a well- 
formed spiral or whorled shell and retractile 
eye-stalks ; a snail -wheel ; a sluggish or very 
slow person. (F. escargot.) 

In a broad sense all gasteropods with 
external shells are snails, including marine 
varieties, such as the periwinkle. All land 
snails are edible, but one species is specially 
known as the edible snail (Helix ppmatia) . It 
is valued as a food on the Continent, and is 
bred for the purpose in a snail-farm (n.), 
or snailery (snal' er i, n.). Edible snails have 
white chalky shells, and are common in 

The ordinary garden-snail (n.) Helix 
aspersa does much damage to plants by 
means of its wonderful rasping organ, a 
ribbed tongue bearing over fourteen thousand 
teeth. The smallest of British snails of the 
genus Vertigo are smaller than a pin-head. 
On the other hand the eggs of some tropical 
species are the size of pigeon's eggs, and 
their shells measure over a foot in length. 

Various species of medick and lucerne, 
having spiral seed pods, are given the names 
snail-clover (n.) and snail-trefoil (n.). The 
small snail-fish (n.) is allied to the lump- 

Motion is snail-like (adj.) or snail-slow (adj.) 
if very slow indeed. Actually the common 
snail has been estimated to move at an 
average rate of a mile in a fortnight. 

The striking of a clock is controlled by a 
part called a snail, or snail-wheel (n.), which 
has a spiral shape somewhat like that of a 
snail's shell when viewed from above. The 
sections are successively farther from the 
centre on which it turns, and its shape 
decides the number of strokes. 
, A;-S. snaegl ; cp. M.E. snegge, G. schnecke 
snail. See snake. 

snake (snak), n. A limbless reptile with 
a very elongated cylindrical body, a tapering 
tail, and a skin protected by smooth, over- 
lapping scales ; a snake-like lizard or 
amphibian; a treacherous, sneaking person. 
v.i. To move in a sinuous manner. (F. 
serpent ; serpent er. ) 

Snakes are classified by scientists in the 
sub-order Ophidia. They are closely related 
to the legless lizards. Land snakes move by 
levering their bodies along the ground by 
means of broad plates, attached to the ribs 
on the underside of the body. The edges of 
these scales grip projections in the ground, 
and are drawn together alternately on one 
side and on the other. Marine snakes do 
not require to move in this way, and so are 
entirely clad with ordinary scales. 

All snakes have transparent eyelids, 
which cannot be moved, and are shed with 
the skin at intervals. Venomous snakes, such 
as the cobra, the viper, and the rattlesnake, 
secrete their poison in a modified saliva 
gland, called a poison-gland. Snake-bite (n.), 
or a bite from the teeth of a poisonous snake, 
is the cause of many deaths. 

Other snakes, without poison fangs, such as 
the boa, the python, and the anaconda, are 
dangerous to man because of their great 
squeezing powers. 

A snake-charmer (n.) is a person, generally 
an Oriental, who gives exhibition?! of snake- 
charming (n.). This is generally done by 
means of music, which seems to fascinate 
certain species of snakes. In Egypt and India 
the cobra, a highly venomous snake, is 
usually chosen for performing, and the snake- 
charmer pretends that he is able to hypnotize 
the reptile. His success, however, is due to 
an intimate knowledge of the habits of the 
reptile, and to the fact that its poison fangs 
are nearly always extracted. 

Snake-charmer. An Indian snake-charmer giving 
an exhibition of his uncanny skill. 

The snake-fence (n.), sometimes erected in 
America, is a zigzag fence of roughly split 
wooden rails, crossing at their ends. The 
snake-lizard (n.), that is, a lizard with 
rudimentary legs under its skin, may be 
distinguished from a snake by the fact that 
its eyelids are generally movable. Several 
American plants called snake-root (n.) were 
supposed to cure snake-bites. 

The Scottish whetstone, called Water-of 
Ayr stone, used for sharpening tools, is 
also known as snake-stone (n.). Ammonites 
are also termed snake-stones because they 
were once thought to be petrified snakes. 

The common fritillary came to be called 
snake's-head (n.) because its buds somewhat 
resemble the head of a snake. Snake-weed 
(n.) is another name for bistort. A snakish 
(snak' ish, adj.), snake-like (adj.), or snaky 
(snak' i, adj.) object resembles a snake in 
shape, character, or some other way. We 
may speak of the snakiness (snak' i nes, n.) 
of the Gorgon's head, which is fabled to have 
been covered with serpents instead of hair. 

A.-S. snaca ; cp. Low G. snake, O. Norse snak-r, 
O.H.G. snahhan to creep. See snail. SYN. : n. 


A 7 



snap (snap), v.i. To break or part 
suddenly ; to make a sharp, cracking noise ; 
to make a sudden effort to bite ; to snatch 
(at) ; to speak sharply or spitefully, v.t. To 
cause to part or break suddenly and cleanly ; 
to close with a sharp sound ; to seize suddenly 
with the teeth ; to bite (off) ; to take an 
instantaneous photograph of ; to cause to 
make a sharp, cracking sound ; to interrupt 
angrily or take (up) during a speech, etc. 
n. The act or sound of snapping ; a sudden 
spell of frost ; a small spring-catch on a 
purse, bracelet, etc. ; a children's card-game ; 
a thin crisp ginger-bread cake ; a photo- 
graphic snapshot ; briskness ; energy ; 
crispness of literary style. (F. se casser, 
craquer, tdcher de mordte, hopper, proferer 
des injures; rompre, mordre, prendre un 
instantanne de, faire claquer ; bruit sec, 
fermoir, agrafe, instantane, vivaciie.} 

A thin glass rod 
snaps easily when it 
is bent ; inferior 
string can be snapped 
by suddenly drawing 
it taut. In both cases 
there is a snap, or 
sharp, explosive 
noise, as the sub- 
stance fractures or 
parts. A cross- 
grained person who 
complains irritably 
when interrupted is 
said to snap at his 
interrupters, or to 
snap out his com- 
plaint. He may even 
snap short their apologies, or break in with a 
retort before the speakers have finished. 
Contempt is sometimes expressed by means 
of a snap or fillip of the fingers. 

A purse fitted with a spring-catch may be 
snapped shut. A snap-bolt (n.), or snap-lock 
(n.), is one that snaps into place automatic- 
ally when the door or lid to which it is 
fastened is closed. It is operated by a 
spring. The lead for a dog's collar is attached 
by means of a snap-hook (.), or snap-link 
(n.), one side of which has a spring that can 
be pressed inwards to allow the entrance 
of the collar ring, and then closes and prevents 
its escape. 

The popular garden-plant called snap- 
dragon (n.), or antirrhinum, has a bag- 
shaped flower which opens and shuts like a 
mouth when squeezed sideways. In the 
Christmas game of snapdragon, the players 
have to snatch hot raisins from a dish of 
burning brandy. 

An early form of flint-lock used in pistols 
and muskets in the sixteenth century, was 
called the snaphance (snap' hans, n.), so 
also was a weapon to which it was fitted. A 
snapshot (snap' shot, n.) means an instanta- 
neous photograph, and to snapshot (v.t.) or 
snap an object is to take such a photograph 
of it. A marksman is said to take a snap shot 

Snapdragon. The snap- 
dragon or antirrhinum. 

when he shoots without waiting to take 
deliberate aim. 

In Parliament a snap-vote (n.), or snap- 
division (n.), is a vote or division brought 
on without notice. Any person or thing 
that snaps is a snapper (snap' er, n.), but 
this word is used especially as a name for 
various fishes, particularly a species of gilt- 
head (Pagrus unicolor], esteemed as a food- 
fish in Australia. 

The large river- tortoise of the New World, 
called Temminck's snapper (Macroclemmys 
Temmincki], well lives up to its name. 
Directly the young snappers escape from 
their eggs they commence snapping and 
biting at everything within reach. The 
beak of the adult is so powerful that it has 
been known to snap off the heavy shaft of 
an oar. 

A related tortoise, the snapping turtle 
(n.) Chelydra serpentina somewhat re- 
sembles an alligator. It has a very rough 
shell, serrated at the back edge, and a long 
tail with a spiky crest. 

To snap up a bargain is to acquire it 
hastily, before anyone else can secure it. 
A person who does this may be described 
as a snapper-up (n.) of bargains. 

We distrust the snappish (snap' ish, adj.) 
dog, which is apt to snap without warning, 
and dislike the person with a snappish or 
curt manner, who speaks snappishly (snap' 
ish li, adv.), that is, testily, or in a snappy 
(snap' i, adj.) manner. Snappishness (snap' 
ish nes, n.}, that is, peevishness or curtness 
of speech, is bound to cause resentment. In 
another sense, a writer whose work has 
plenty of snap or crispness, is said colloquially 
to write snappily, or to have a snappy style. 

Dutch snappen ; cp. G. schnappen. See 
snaffle, snip, snipe. SYN. : v. Crack, grab, 


Snapping turtle. The snapping turtle, or alligator- 
terrapin of North America. 

snare (snar), n. A trap, especially a 
noose, for catching birds or other animals ; 
a trick or stratagem for capturing, defeating, 
or disgracing an enemy, etc. ; an allurement 
or temptation ; a string of gut or hide 
stretched across the lower head of a side- 
drum, v .t. To catch in a snare ; to entangle ; 
to entrap. (F. piege , traquenard ; prendre 
au piege, empetrer.) 

A snare for small wild animals or birds 
generally consists of a running noose of 




cord or wire in which the animal's foot or 
head is caught. A feigned retreat on the part 
of an army may merely be a snare to lead its 
opponents into an ambush. 

The snares of a snare-drum (n.) rattle 
against the lower head of the drum when the 
top is struck, and so increase the sound. 

A snarer (snar' er, n,\ is one who sets 
snares for birds, etc., or, in a figurative sense, 
one who ensnares other people. 

O. Norse snara string ; cp. Dutch snaar, 
G. schnur, O.H.G. snerhan to twist tightly. See 
narcotic. SYN. : v. Catch, ensnare, inveigle, trap. 

snarl [i] (snarl), v.i. To growl in a sharp, 
threatening manner, as an angry dog ; to 
speak in a savage, surly or harsh voice, v.t. 
To utter in an angry tone. n. A high-pitched, 
threatening growl ; a savage remark or 
exclamation. (F. montrer Us dents, riposter 
avec aigreur ; riposter; grondement menacant. 
replique verte.) 

When a dog snarls it shows its teeth. A 
surly, growling dog is a snarler (snarl' er, n.}. 
It turns snarlingly (snarl' ing li, adv.), that is, 
with snarls, upon anyone who goes near it. 
It is difficult to like a snarly (snar' li, adj.) 
animal or human being. 

Frequentative of obsolete E. snar to show one's 
teeth, as a dog ; imitative ; cp. Dutch snarren to 
brawl, G. schnarren to snarl. See sneer, snort. 
SYN. : v. and n. Growl. 

snarl [2] (snarl), n. A tangle ; an entangle- 
ment, v.t. To tangle into knots ; to emboss 
(a metal vase, etc.) by hammering from 
inside with a snarling-iron. v.i. To become 
entangled. (F. enchevetrement, embrouille- 
ment ; enchevetrer, repousser ; s'embrouiller.) 

Except in connexion with the raised 
ornamentation on metal-ware, this word is 
archaic. A complicated matter may, however, 
be described as a snarled or tangled skein. 

The tool used for snarling or embossing 
metal vases is called a snarling-iron (n.}. 
It consists of a bar with two tapering arms, 
with upturned points, at right angles to one 

Frequentative or dim. of E. snare, v. or n. 
Tne meaning to emboss is perhaps from E. dialect 
5 narl a knot in wood. SYN. : v. Tangle. 

snarler (snarl' er). For this word, 
snarlingly, etc., see under snarl [i]. 

snatch (snach), v.t. To seize suddenly, 
eagerly, or without permission or ceremony ; 
to grab ; to catch (up) or take (from or away) 
in this manner ; to rescue by prompt action 
(from danger), v.i. To make a quick or 
sudden grab (at) ; to try to seize, n. The 
act of snatching ; a grab ; a short spell 
of (sleep, song, talk. etc.). (F. sais r, 
happer, empoigner ; chercher a saisir ; prise, 

It is rude to snatch food at table, or seize it 
unceremoniously or greedily. But it is quite 
another matter to snatch a person from the 
jaws of death by a smart p;ece of rescue 
work, or to snatch victory from defeat by 
mak : ng a sudden effort when al! seems lost. 
House-surgeons in hospitals are sometimes 

Snatch. An ostrich at the Zoological Gardens 
snatching off a man's hat. 

able to snatch only a few moments of sleep 
between urgent calls upon their services at 

The form of pulley-block called a snatch- 
block (n.) has a hole in one side to receive the 
loop of a rope, and is usually fitted with a 
swivel hook. A pocket-watch is easily 
snatchable (snach' abl, adj.), that is, able 
to be snatched, and so it is advisable to 
secure it with a strong watch-cham. A 
snatcher (snach' er, n.) is one who snatches, 
such as a purse-snatcher, that is, a thief 
who snatches or grabs unexpectedy at 
women's handbags and goes off with them 
before the owner recovers from "the surprise. 
To sleep snatch ily 
(snach' i li, adv.) 
means to sleep in 
short snatches. Brief 
bursts of song or 
fragments of con- 
versation are also 
described as 
snatches. A snatchy 
(snach' i, adj.) talk 
is one that is spas- 
modic, or character- 
ized by snatches. 

SYN. : v. Catch, 
grab, pluck, pull, seize. 

snath (snath). 
This is another form of snead. See snead. 

snead (sned), n. The long curved pole or 
shaft of a scythe. Another form is snath 
(snath) . (F. mane he de faux. ) 

This is a dialect word. Two short handles 
are fastened to the snead. 

sneak (snek), v.i. To creep or slink 
(away, off, etc.), as if afraid or ashamed to 
be seen ; to behave in a mean, underhand 
way ; to tell tales, n. One who sneaks ; in 
cricket, a ball bowled along the ground. 
(F. s'en aller furtivement, se faufiler, cafarder ; 
cafard, mouchard, delateur.) 

Snatch-block. A snatch- 
block, into which a rope 
can be quickly slipped. 




A fox may be said to sneak through a 
wood as it goes about in search of food. To 
the schoolboy the sneak is a person who tells 
tales. A dog, when it has done wrong, 
usually sneaks away from the scene of its 
deed with its tail between its legs. It slips 
off sneakingly (snek' ing li, adv.], or furtively. 

Perhaps M.E. snlken, A.-S. snlcan to creep ; 
cp. O. Norse snlkja, to hanker after, Dan. snige 
to slink, also Guernsey F. snequer to rob slyly. 
SYN. : v. Cr'nge, grovel, slink, n. Informer. 

sneck (snek), . A door-latch, v.t. To 
latch ; to fasten'. (F. loquet ; fermer au loquet.} 

This word is used chiefly in Scotland. The 
type of fishing-hook called a sneck-bend (n.) 
has its point bent to one side, out of line 
with the shank. A hook shaped in this way 
is said to be snecked (snekt, adj.). 

Probably akin to snack, snatch. SYN. : n. and 
v. Latch. 

sneer (sner), v.i. To smile contemptuous y ; 
to scoff, v.t. To utter with contempt ; to 
force, drive, or otherwise effect by con- 
temptuous behaviour, n. A look of contempt ; 
a word or phrase expressing or suggesting 
contempt. (F. ncaner, se moquer ; se 
moquer de ; rire moquer, raillerie.) 

A sneer usually implies something unjust 
or mean. One never sees a sneer on the face 
of anyone who is really good-natured. Time 
writes our character fairly plainly upon our 
iaces, and the faces of young people who 
sneer and say things 
sneeringly (sner' ing li, 
adv.) will later in life 
show traces of those 
sneers, for the face of the 
sneerer (sner'er, n.) grows 

M.E. sner en ; cp. Dan. 
snaerre to grin like a dog, 
Frisian sneere to scorn. See 
snarl [i]. SYN. : v. Jeer, 
mock, scoff, n. Gibe, jeer, 

sneeze (snez), v.i. To 
expel air violently and 
involuntarily through the 
nose or the nose and 
mouth, n. The act or 
sound of sneezing. (F. 
eternuer ; eternument.) 

Sneezing is due to 
irritation of the inner 
lining of the nose. 
Pepper, if inhaled, causes 
a violent fit of sneezing, 
and an unpleasant 
feature of hay-fever is 
the constant sneezing 
which usually attends it. 
When we say a thing is not to be sneezed at 
we mean that it is not to be despised, that it 
is worth considering. 

One who sneezes is a sneezer (snez' er, 
n.), a term sometimes used colloquially for 
a person or thing that has exceptional 
qualities of some kind. A person is sneezy 
(snez' i, adj.) if he is inclined to sneeze, 

Sneeze. An amusing snapshot of the first 
stage in a sneeze. 

and weather and other things are sneezy if 
they are inclined to make us sneeze. 

The kind of gas used in warfare known as 
sneezing-gas (n.) penetrates ordinary gas- 
masks and causes violent sneezing. It is 
used for compelling soldiers to remove their 
gas-masks and so expose themselves to more 
deadly gases. 

The plant known as sneezewort (snez' 
wert, n.) botanical name Achillea ptarmica 
has a strong pungent smell which makes one 

Late M.E. snesen, A.-S. fneosan ; cp. Dutch 
fniezen, O. Norse fnasa ; akin to Gr. pneein to 
breath. An obsolete and perhaps related form 
is neeze. 

snell (snel), n. A short piece of gut, 
horsehair, or the like for attaching a fish-hook 
to a line. 

snick (snik), v.t. To make a slight or 
quick cut or notch in ; to hit or strike sharply ; 
in cricket, to deflect the course of (the ball) 
with a slight, glancing stroke of the bat ; 
to obtain (a run i thus. n. An act of snicking ; 
a slight cut or notch. (F. encocher, entailler ; 
taper ; encoche, entaille, tape.) 

This word is used of any slight or swift act 
of snipping or cutting. A novelist, in 
describing the hurried flight of one of his 
characters, might write ; " Just a few snicks 
of the scissors and some dabs of paint, and 
he was disguised beyond 
recognition." In cricket, 
a miss-hit and a ball 
which glances off the 
edge of the bat are called 
snicks. The word snick- 
ersnee (snik'er sne, n.} is 
a term for knife, especi- 
ally one that can be 
used as a weapon, such 
as a bowie knife. 

Perhaps connected with 
Norw. and Icel. snikka to 
cut, but probably a back- 
formation from snick and 
snee, snick or snee, early 
forms of snickersnee, from 
Dutch steken (G. stechen) to 
stab, snijen (G. schneiden) 
to cut ; hence cut and 
thrust. The phrase was 
originally verbal. SYN. : v. 
andw. Cut, nick, notch, snip. 

snider (sni' der), n. 
An early form of breech- 
loading rifle, named after 
its inventor, Jacob Snider 
(died 1 8 66), an American. 
(F. fusil Snider.) 
sniff (snif), v.i. To draw air noisily up the 
nose ; to express contempt or dislike by 
doing this. v.t. To draw (up) or take (in) 
by inhaling ; to smell at ; to perceive by 
sniffing, n. The act or sound of sniffing ; the 
air, etc., sniffed in. An old form is snift 
(snift). (F. renifler ; humer, sentir ; renifle- 
ment, bouffe'e.} 




It 5S refreshing to sniff, or breathe in, a 
sea-breeze in long sniffs. People also sniff 
when they have colds, or as an expression 
of disdain, etc. In a figurative sense a pro- 
posal is sniffed at when it is disparaged or 
treated with contempt. To be sniffy (snif ' i, 
adj .) is to be rather disdainful. 

A snifting-valve (n.) is a valve for the 
escape of air, fitted to a steam cylinder or to 
the air-vessel of a pump. It was named from 
the peculiar sniffing noise that it makes. 

Cp. O. Norse snippa, Dan. smve. See snuff. 

snigger (snig' er), v.i. To laugh in a half- 
suppressed, cynical or foolish manner, n 
Such a laugh. (F. ricaner ; ricanement.) 

Imitative word ; formerly also snicker, 
possibly akin to nicker and neigh. SYN. : v. and w. 
Giggle, simper, smile, smirk. 

sniggle (snig' 1), v.i. To fish foi eels by 
pushing baited hooks into their hiding-places. 
v.t. To catch (eels) in this way. (F. pecker aux 

Fishermen sometimes snuggle for eels with 
a stout needle, tied by the middle to a string, 
and baited with a worm. The point is stuck 
lightly into a stick, so that it can be poked 
into likely holes. When the eel takes the 
bait and swallows it the needle turns cross- 
wise and acts as a hook. 

Apparently from snig young eel, probably 
akin to snake. 

snip (snip), v.t. To cut or clip off with 
scissors or shears, especially in short quick 
strokes, v.i. To make such a cut (at), n. 
The act of snipping ; a small cut with scissors, 
etc. ; a small piece snipped off ; a tailor. 
(F. couper ; coup de ciseaux, morceau coupe, 
chevalier de la coupe.} 

Young children like to snip out patterns 
in folded pieces of paper, but this game some- 
times gets them into trouble if they allow 
the snips to fall on the floor. In an extended 
sense, a bullet may b'e said to snip a piece 
out of a soldier's cap, when it drills a hole 
through the cloth. The word snipping (snip' 
ing, n.}, which means a snip, is general y 
used in the plural. After trimming a hedge 
one has to clear up the snippings, the twigs 
cut away. Snippings of news are scraps 
of news, or else press cuttings. 

Probably imitative ; akin to mp, snap ; cp. 
Dutch snippen, G. dialect schnippen. SYN. : 
v. and n. Clip, cut, snick. 

snipe (snip), n. A long-beaked game b : rd 
of the genus Gallinago, frequenting marshy 
districts ; birds of this genus collectively. 
v.i. To go shooting snipe ; to shoot from con- 
cealment at individual members of the 
enemy, v.t. To shoot or wound in this way. 
(F. becassine ; canarder ; tirailler.) 

The snipe has mottled brown and b'ack 
plumage. In Britain, the best known species 
are the common snipe (Gallinago coelestis), 
the jack snipe (G. gallinula), and the solitary 
snipe (G. major}. Snipe have a peculiar 
darting flight and are very difficult to hit 
with a gun. Their 'ong, straight beaks are 
used for probing for worms and insects. 

In war, the sniper (snip' er, n.} is chosen 
for his clever marksmanship. Hidden by a 
bush, tree, or otherwise, he picks off the 
enemy one by one, often from very long 
distances. The term snipe-hole (n.} is used 
for a concealed and protected place used 
by snipers. Great ingenuity was shown 
during the World War (1914-18) in con- 
structing snipe- holes, some of which imitated 
trees and other natural objects. 

Cp., O. Norse snlpa, Dutch snip, G. schnepfe. 


Snipe. The snipe, a bird with a very long beak, 
squatting in the snow. 

snivel (sniv' 1), v.i. To run at the nose ; 
to cry in a snuffling, whining way : to affect 
tearfulness, n. Moisture running from the 
nose ; a sniff of pretended emotion, etc. ; 
weeping and whining ; cant ; hypocrisy. 
(F. avoir la morve au nez, pleurn icher ; 
morve, roupie, cafardise.) 

A petulant, spoilt child snivels when it is 
scolded. Its snivel may be regarded as 
pretended contrition, unworthy of sympathy. 
The sniveller (sniv' 1 er, n.), that is, one who 
snivels or whines, can be very provoking, 
especially when he snivels about his mis- 
fortunes, instead of bearing them stoically. 

A.-S. snyflan, from snofl mucus ; cp. E. sniff, 
snuff. SYN.: v. Snuffle, whine, n. Cant, hypocrisy. 

snob (snob), n. A person who has an 
exaggerated and contemptible respect for 
wealth and rank, who judges merit by out- 
ward appearance, and looks down on the 
people he regards as social inferiors. (F. snob.} 

A man of wealth or high station shows 
himself to be snobbish (snob' ish, adj.) or 
snobby (snob' i, adj.), that is, to have the 
character of a snob, by being ashamed of his 
relations if they are less fortunately placed 
than he. On the other hand, a person may act 
snobbishly (snob' ish li, adv.), or be guilty 
of snobbishness (snob' ish nes, n.), if he boasts 
of his friendship with people of higher rank. 
A snobling (snob' ling, n.) is a young or 
petty snob, who indulges in snobbery (snob' 
er i, n.), that is, vulgar ostentation, or 

Nowadays the uppe. classes in general 
are ess given to snobb shness, but in 




Thackeray's time snobbism (snob' izm, n.), or 
a snobbish attitude towards inferiors, was 
very common. The great novelist wrote 
many scathing pages about the snobocracy 
(snob ok' ra si, n.), that is, the class of 
snobs. In his " Book of Snobs " Thackeray 
uses the word snobography (snob og' ra n, n.) 
which means the description of snobs a 
practice at which he was an adept. 

Originally a dialect term for a journeyman 
cobbler ; at Cambridge a slang term for a 
townsman, " outsider " ; cp. O. Norse sndp-r dolt. 

snood (snood), n. A ribbon for binding 
the hair, formerly worn in Scotland by un- 
married girls ; in fishing, a short length of 
gut or silk cord for attaching hooks to a 
line. (F. ruban.} 

Girls with snooded (snood' ed, adj.] heads, 
or hair bound up in snoods, were easily 
distinguishable from married women, who 
wore coifs. In cod fishing long lines are 
used, carrying many hooks, attached at 
regular intervals by means of snoods. 

Little used except in the North. A.-S. snod 
of doubtful origin; cp. Icel. snuth-r fillet, 

snook (snook), . A name given to various 
fishes, especially the sergeant-fish and the 

From Dutch snoek pike. 

snooker (snoo'ker), n. A game played on a 
billiard table, having some features of both 
pool and pyramids. 

Snooker, or snooker pool (n.), is p ] ayed 
with fifteen red pyramid balls, six differently- 
coloured poo! balls, and a white ball. The 
players, two or more, take turns in using the 
white ball as the striker's ball, and try to 
pocket a red ball and then one other coloured 
ball alternately. Each pocketed red ball 
counts one point, the yellow counts two, the 
green three, and so on. 

Origin obscure, probably slang. 

snooze (snooz), v.i. To take a short sleep, 
especially in the daytime. v.t. To waste 
(time away) in sleep or idleness, n. A short 
sleep ; a nap. (F. faire un somme, roupiller ; 
passer son temps a roupiller ; somme.} 

We sometimes speak of an indolent man 
snoozing his time away while others are busy 
at their work. The snoozer (snooz' er, n.} is 
usually indignant if his snooze d ter' lunch 
is disturbed. 

Possibly akin to snore. SYN. : v . and n. Doze 
drowse, nap. 

snore (snor), v.i. To breathe during s'eep 
with a grunting or snorting noise, v.t. To 
pass (time away) in snoring or sleeping 
n. The act or sound of snoring. (F ronfter- 

A person who sleeps with his mouth open 
is liable to snore. Fortunately the snorer 
(snor' er, n.) usua'ly awakens himself by the 
loud, rattling noise he makes. 

Probably imitative, and akin to sneeze and 
snort, the older form of sneeze (fnese) seems even 
more strongly imitative. Cp. A.-S. fnora a snore 

snort (snort), v.i. To force air violently 
and loudly through the nostrils, like a 
frightened horse ; to make an explosive noise 
resembling this. v.t. To utter with a snort. 
n. The act or sound of snorting. (F. rendcler ; 
ronfter, s'ebrouer; ronflement, ebrouement.] 

Horses snort when excited, and, when 
feeding, to clear their nostrils of dust. A 
person may give a snort expressive of anger, 
indignation, etc. A thing of unusual size, 
etc., may be called a snorter (snort 'er, n.). 
A locomotive snorts, or discharges steam 
snortingly (snort' ing li, adv.), when it starts 

Cp. Low G. snurten, Dutch snorken, G. schnar- 
chen snore. 

snout (snout), n. The projecting nose or 
muzzle of an animal, especially a pig ; a 
protecting structure or formation ; the 
nozzle of a pipe or hose. (F. groin, museau, 
boutoir, bee, embouchure.} 

We speak of the snout of a pig, but of the 
muzzle of a horse. Various objects that 
suggest a large nose, such as the ram of a 
galley, the projecting end of a glacier, or a 
point of land or rock, are called snouts. A 
pig might be described as a snouted (snout' 
ed, adj.] creature, but this word is used 
chiefly in such combinations as long-snouted, 
sharp-snouted, etc. 

Cp. Dutch snuit, G. schnauze, akin to A.-S. 
snylan to blow one's nose. SYN. : Muzzle, nose. 

Snowball. Two small boys making an unsuccessful 
effort to roll a very big snowball. 

snow (sno), n. Frozen water-vapour that 
falls in soft, white flakes ; a fall or accumula- 
tion of this. v.i. To fall as snow. v.t. To cover, 
sprinkle, or block with snow ; to cause to 
fall like snow. (F. neige, neiger ; recouvrir de 
neige, faire iomber comme de la neige.} 

When looked at through a microscope 
snow is seen to be composed of crystals, 
known as snow-crystals (, of many 
different and beautiful forms, but all alike 
in being six-sided and symmetrical. The 
effect of pressure on snow is seen when one 
takes a handful of snow and squeezes it int o 
a snowball (n.) ; this is much harder than 




the loose snow. To snowball (v.t.) anyone 
is to pelt him with snowballs. In order to 
snowball (v.i.), that is, to throw snowballs, 
without getting the hands very cold, it is 
advisable to wear thick, warm gloves. 

What is called a snowball letter (n.) is a 
letter which is sent from one person to another 
usually for the purpose of getting subscrip- 
tions. Each person who receives the letter 
is asked to copy it out two or three times 
and send the copies on to his friends with a 
similar request. In this way the letter in- 
creases in circulation like a rolling snowball 
which gathers up snow at every turn. 

The guelder rose is also called the snowball 
tree (n.), because its splendid clusters of 
flowers suggest snowballs. In many gardens 
one may see the snowberry (n.} Symphori- 
carpus racemosus a North American shrub 
with spikes of pink, bell-shaped flowers, 
followed by large white berries. 

The name of snow-bird (n.) is given to a 
small North American finch (Junco hyemalis] , 
with dark grey and white plumage, and also 
to the snow-bunting (n.) Plectrophenax 
mvahs a finch very common in northern 
Europe, and a winter visitor to Scotland. 

The glare of sunlight reflected upon a 
large expanse of snow is liable to make 
travellers snow-blind (adj.], unless their eyes 
are properly protected with spectacles for 
reducing the glare. Snow-blindness (n.), as 
this affection is called, usually passes off in a 
few days, but while it lasts the patient is 
partly or completely blind. The darkness of 
the long winter in Polar regions is somewhat 
reduced by the snow-blink (n.), that is, a 
luminous reflection over the horizon from a 
snow-field (n.), which is an extensive stretch 
of snow, especially a permanent expanse, 
in mountainous or Arctic countries 

People and vehicles are said to be snow- 
bound (adj.) when they are imprisoned or 
prevented from travelling by heavy falls of 
snow. A humming-bird with white head 
feathers is called the snow-cap (n.). The 
Alps and other snow-capped (adj.) mountains 
have a snow-cap, or covering of snow, on 
their summits. Snow heaped up by the wind 
in a hollow or other place forms a snow- 
drift (n.), less often called a snow-wreath 

One of the first flowers of the year to 
blossom in England is the snowdrop (n.) 
Galanlhus nivalis a bulbous plant producing 
two tapering leaves, and a single pendent 
white flower on a long stalk. It often appears 
when snow is on the ground. 

A downfall of snow is called a snow-fall 
(.). The yearly snow-fall of a place is the 
amount of snow that falls there during a year, 
as measured by a snow-gauge (n.). 

The small mass of snow called a snow- 
flake (n.) may be no bigger than a grain of 
salt, or as large as a penny. The plant of this 
name blooms early, and has white, green- 
tipped pendent flowers. 

The ptarmigan is also called snow - grouse 
(.). Tne snow-leopard (n.), or ounce, is a 
species of jeopard living in the mountainous 
parts of central Asia. 

The snow-line (n.) of a range ot mountains 
is the height above which snow is always 
found. In the Himalayas it is about sixteen 
thousand feet and in 
Norway three thou- 
sand feet above sea- 
level. The snow-line 
or limit ot permanent 
snow in Greenland 
is at sea-level. 

Several different 
plants with white 
flowers or leaves are 
called snow-on-the- 
mountain (n.), inclu- 
ding the North 
American spurge 
(Euphorbia mar- 
ginata}. which has 
white -edged leaves 
round its flowers. 
The snow-owl (.) 
or snowy-owl (n.) Nyctea scandiaca also 
called the great white owl, is a large and 
beautiful bird with white plumage inhabiting 
Siberia, Lapland, and Arctic America. It has 
completely feathered legs, and hunts for 
food by day. 

The snow on the mountains of California 
is sometimes given a red appearance by the 
snow-plant (n.) Sar codes sanguined which 
has dense spikes of blood-red flowers. 

Roads and railways are kept cleared in 
snowy weather by the snow-p'ough in.). 

Snowf lakes. The white, 
?reen - tipped pendent 
i of the snowf lake. 

Snow-leopard. The snow-leopard, which inhabit* 
the mountainous regions of central Asia. 

A rotary snow-plough, pushed by loco- 
motives, has a revolving scoop-wheel in 
front which flings the snow clear of the 
track. A simple wedge-shaped snow-plough 
of planks, drawn by a horse, is used for cutting 
a passage along the country roads that have 
been snowed up. When a strong wind follows 
a storm of snow it sometimes blows the snow 
into balls and cylinders, called snow-rollers 
( By a snow-shed (.) is meant a strong 




tunnel-like erection of timber over a rail- 
way to protect the track from avalanches 
or very deep snow-falls. 

A snow-shoe (n.) :s a contrivance fitted 
to each foot to enable travellers to walk 
over soft, deep snow in which ordinary foot- 
wear would sink. The American snow-shoe 
is a light frame of wood, shaped like a racket- 
head, three or four feet long, and a foot wide, 
strung with cords or thongs. The Norwegian 
type is a long strip of wood, also called a ski. 

A great bod)' of snow rushing down a 
mountain-side is a snow-slip (n.), or avalanche. 
A heavy fall of snow, especially one accom- 
panied by wind, is called a snow-storm (n.). 
If the wind is exceptionally strong and 
very cold, the snow-storm is known as a 

Many plants have snow-white (adj.) 
flowers flowers white as snow. The fur or 
plumage of some Arctic animals turns to 
snow-white (n.}, in winter, making them 
difficult to see among the snow, and so 
protecting them from enemies. 

Snow-plough. A tractor snow-plough at work. 
a distance of twenty feet. 

Except on the tops of very high mountains, 
tropical countries are snowless sno' !es, adj.), 
that is, free from snow-falls. In spring, the 
blossoming cherry and plum trees have a 
snow-like (adj.) appearance. They look as if 
they were covered with snow. A swan has 
snowy (sno 7 i, adj.) plumage feathers white 
as snow. Spitsbergen is a snowy country, 
for it abounds with snow. Weather is said to 
be snowy when it snows, that is, when snow 
falls. Snow-capped peaks are snowily (sno' 
i )i, adv.) clear against a cloudless sky. The 
state or quality of being snowy in any sense 
's snowiness (sno' i nes, n.). We speak of the 
snowiness of a winter's night, and of the 
snowiness of bleached linen. 

Common Teut. A.-S. sndw ; cp. G. schnee, O. 
Norse snder, Goth, snaiw-s, also L. nix (ace. 
niv-em), Gr. niphein to snow. 

snub (snub), v.t. To rebuff; to humiliate; 
to slight in an offensive or pointed manner ; 
to check the speed of (a ship, etc.), bypassing 

a rope from the shore, etc., round a snubbing - 
post. n. The act of snubbing ; a rebuff ; a 
snub-nose. (F. rebuter, rabrouer ; rebuff ade, 
nez camard.) 

A person may snub another by reproving 
him with sharp or sarcastic words, by treating 
him with great coldness of manner, or by 
ignoring him completely. Snubs are some- 
times effective in putting down importunate 
strangers, but they are seldom justified, for 
they may cause great unhappiness. A person 
who is addressed snubbingly (snub' ing li, 
adv.], or in a manner conveying a snub, is 
said to receive a snubbing (snub' ing, n.). 

A snub-nose (n.) is a short, stumpy nose, or 
one slightly turned up and flattened at the 
tip. Babies are generally snub-nosed (adj.), 
but their noses become more shapely when 
they grow older. The snub-nosed cachalot 
and the snub-nosed eel are so named from 
the slope of their heads. 

A snubbing-post (n.) on a ship or quay is a 
bollard round which a rope is fastened while 
running out, so as to snub or 
stop a vessel. 

M.E. snibben ; cp. O. Norse snubba 
to reprove, Norw. and Swed. dialect 
snubba to crop off ; akin to E. snip. 
i, SYN. : v. Humiliate, rebuff, slight. 
|- n. Rebuff, slight. 

snuff [i] (snuf), v.t. To draw 
in through the nostrils ; to sniff. 
v.i. To take snuff; to sniff. n. 
A sniff; powdered tobacco for 
inhaling through the nose ; a 
medicinal powder taken thus. 
(F. humer, aspirer, priser, 
renifler ; tabac a priser.} 

A small box with hinged lid, 
used for holding snuff, is called 
a snuff-box (n.). Tobacco, 
especially the central stem of 
the leaf, is ground into snuff in a 
It throws the snow m iij or machine termed a snuff- 
mill (n.). In Scotland a snuff-box 
is also called a snuff-mill, or a snuff-mull 
(n.), mull being another form of mill. 

A snuff-taker (n.), or snuffer (snuf er, 
n.), is a person who takes snuff. Snuff-taking 
(n.), the habit of using snuff, was wide- 
spread in the seventeenth and eighteenth 

Clothes are said to be snuffy (snuf i, adj.) 
when they are soiled with snuff, and have the 
quality of snufnness (snuf i nes, n.). Snuff- 
coloured (adj.), or dark yellowish-brown, 
substances are snuffy in another sense. 

M. Dutch snuffen to sniff, snuffle, akin to G. 
schnauben to snort. SYN. : v. Scent, sniff, 

snuff [2] (snuf), n. The charred part of 
the wick in a candle or lamp. v.t. To trim 
snuff from (a wick, etc.). (F. lumignon; 

The wick of the old-fashioned candle used 
by our forefathers burned upright in the 
flame, and required frequent snuffing. For 




this purpose, the housewife used snuffers in like manner ; to such a degree or extent ; 

/cnvif' *Y*/ in sh)J. \ Q Cf*l ecr\fc_1 1 \rf* ino-f-rn moTrf- \r&-r\T /~\n /^/"vn/*li4-i/~\Ti (i-Y\i't-\ m/~wo r\r looc* 

(snuf erz, a scissors-like instrument 
having a little box on one blade in which 
the snuff was caught after being cut off. 
The snuffers were usually kept on a snuff- 
dish (n.), snuff-tray (n.), or snuffer- tray (n.). 

One can snuff out, 
that is, suddenly 
extinguish, a candle 
by quickly pinching 
the wick between the 

Akin to sw& ; cp. 
Dan. swwfc&e, Swed. 
dialect snoppa to snip. 
See snub. 

snuffle (snuf I), v.i. To breathe noisily, 
or make a sniffing noise ; to talk through 
the nose ; to talk or preach in a whining 
or canting manner, v.t. To utter or sing 
through the nose or hypocritically. n. 
The act or sound of snuffling ; a sniff. 
(F. renifler, nasiller ; nasiller; enchifrene- 
ment, nasillement.) 

A cold in the head makes one snuffle, and 
so become a snuffler (snuf' ler, n.}. The 

Snuffers. Snuffers for trimming the wicks of 

candles and lamps. The snuff, or charred part of 

the wick, fell into the box. 

very ; on condition (that) ; more or less ; 
therefore ; consequently ; thus. conj. Pro- 
vided that ; on condition that ; in such a way 
that, inter. Softly! Gently! Another form of 
the inter, is soh (so) . (F. ainsi, de meme, si, 
tellement, plus o u 
] moins, consequemment, 
\ done ; pourvu que, si ; 
assez ! paix !) 

The dome of -St. 
Paul's Cathedral is 
not so high as the 
dome of St. Peter's, 
Rome, that is, it is not 
high in the same degree 
as the latter. Writing that is ever so bad 
is as bad as possible. Some people are not 
so, or equally, anxious as others to work 
hard, although they may be as anxious as 
any to be wealthy. When comparing things, 
etc., as in the preceding sentence, it should 
be noticed that " so " is used after a nega- 
tive verb, instead of "as," but not before 
the positive " as " clause that follows. 
In colloquial use, the adverb is often 

Puritans were accused by their opponents employed in the sense of exceedingly, as in 
of talking snufflingly (snuf' ling li, adv.], that 
is, through their noses, in a whining, 
sanctimonious way. 

Dim. of snuff [i], Dutch snuffelen. SYN. : v. 
Cant, sniff, snivel, whine, n. Sniff. 

snuffy (snuf i). For this word see 
under snuff [i]. 

snug (snug), adj. Sheltered and com- 
fortable ; cosy ; concealed ; trim ; well 
secured or packed in place ; compact. (F. 
abrite, a I'aise, joli, retire, assure, serre.) 

This word is first recorded in use as a sea- 
term, and sailors still speak of a seaworthy 
boat as a snug little craft. When leaving a 
small sailing boat at anchor it is advisable to 
make her snug, that is, to lower her main- 
sail and gaff, reef the jib, lash the boom to 
its support, stow the tiller, see that her port 
holes are closed, and in general make her 
shipshape and tidy. 

When the winter wind howls eerily round 
the house we ought to be grateful that we 
have a snug bed to lie upon. A child is said 
to snuggle (snug' I, v.i.} up to its mother 
when it nestles close to her in an affectionate 
manner. Some women like to snuggle (v.t.), 
or cuddle, lap-dogs. A snug place, especially 
a person's private sitting-room or den, may 
be termed a snuggery (snug' er i, n.). It 
has the quality of snugness (snug' nes, n.), 

" he was so good to me." 

Letters take five weeks or so, that is, 
five weeks or thereabouts, to reach New- 
Zealand from England. The Amen at the 
end of a prayer means "So be it " let it 
be thus. The word so-and-so (n.) means 
some indefinite person or thing that it is 
not necessary to name or describe. 

We use the word so-called (adj.) in the 
sense of " usually so named," generally with 
the implication that the correctness of the 
name is doubtful. So-called Brussels carpets 
may be made at Kidderminster ; so-called 
Indian ink is manufactured in many countries ; 
the so-called evening primrose is not a 
primrose. After such a list we may say " and 
so forth," or " and so on." These phrases 
mean " and the rest " " and the like," and 
denote that other instances could be given. 
To say that one possesses not so much as a 
penny means that one has less than a penny, 
or not even a penny. 

A person's work is so-so (adj.) if only fairly 

A.-S. swa ; cp. Dutch zoo, G. so, O. Norse' 
sva ; literally, in one's own way, cp. L. suus. 

soak (sok), v.t. To absorb ; to suck (in 01 
up) ; to steep ; to draw (out) by soaking ; 
to wet through, v.i. To remain in liquid,. 

or cosiness, and the occupant may sit there so as to be permeated with it ; to become 
r.~,,~.u T /r,^,-,^,/ K ~,i~. \ , r ^i^i_. saturated of moisture, to its wa.v 

snugly (snug' li, adv.), or comfortably, secure 
from interruptions. The mast for a wireless 
aerial must be snugly or securely lashed. 

Apparently at first a nautical term and of 
doubtful origin. Perhaps akin to O. Norse 
snogg-r smooth-haired or Dutch snugger sprightly. 
SYN. : Compact, close, comfortable, neat, trim. 
ANT. : Exposed, uncomfortable, unconcealed, 

so (so), adv. In such a manner or degree ; 

saturated ; of moisture, to make its way 
(into or through) ; to drink heavily, n. Act 
or state of soaking ; a liquid or receptacle in 
which a thing is soaked; very heavy rain. 
(F. absorber, s' imbiber de, tremper ; tremper t 
se saturer, s'infiltrer, se souler.) 

Dried fruits are placed in water to soak, 
or become softened and swelled with the 
water they soak up. A soaking (sok' ing, 
adj.) torrent of rain is a drenching downfall 




that speedily soaks us through, or gives 
us a soaking (.), that is, a thorough wetting, 
unless we are well protected or under cover. 
A heavy shower may thus be called a soaker 
(sok 7 er, n.); so in another sense may a 
drunkard. The soakage (sok 7 aj, n.) of a 
porous substance is the amount of water 
soaked in by it. 

A.-S. socan, akin to suck. See suck. SYN. : 
v. Absorb, drench, saturate, steep, wet. ANT. : 
v. Dry, parch. 

soap (sop), n. A soluble, alkaline, fatty 
substance, yielding a lather, used in washing 
and cleansing ; a cake or tablet of this ; 
a fatty acid combined with a base other than 
an alkali, v.t. To rub or wash with soap. 
(F. savon, pain de savon ; savonner.} 

In soap-boiling (.), the manufacture of 
soap, an oil such as olive-oil, or a fat such as 
tallow, is heated with potash to make soft 
soap. This work is done by a soap-boiler (n.) 
at a place called a soap-works (n.). In a 
figurative sense, soft soap means flattery. 

When washing we soap our hands, or nib 
them with soapy (sop' i, adj.) water, that is, 
water in which soap is dissolved. A soapy 
substance is one that has the nature of soap, 
or resembles it in some way, and a soapy 
object is one smeared with soap. People 
with flattering manners are said to be soapy 
and to talk soapily (sop' i li, adv.), or in an 
oily way. Soapiness (sop 7 i nes, n.) is a 
soapy state or quality in any of these senses. 

Soap. One 

Water containing dissolved soap, especially 
when it is covered with soapy froth and 
Dubbles, like water in which clothes have 
3een washed, is called soap-suds ( A 
;oap-bubble (n.) is a bubble consisting of a 
:hm film of soapy water. The beautiful 
ndescent play of colours on its surface is 
lue to the interference of light. Anything 
ihort-lived or unsubstantial can be described 
iguratively as a mere soap-bubble. 

The soapberry (sop 7 ber i, n.)Sapindus 
aponana4s a West Indian tree bearing 

a nut or fruit also called a soapberry. This 
is used by the natives as a substitute for 
soap. The plant called soapwort (sop 7 wert, 
n.) Saponaria officinalis has a white, 
creeping root-stock, lance-shaped leaves, and 
fragrant clusters of lilac or white flowers. 
The leaves produce a good soapy lather when 
bruised in water. Soapstone (sop 7 ston, n.), 
also called steatite, is a soft variety of talc, 
widely used in electricty. 

A.-S. sdpe ', cp. Dutch zeep, G. seife, L. sdpo 
(whence F. savon, Ital. sapone, Span, jabdn), 
probably of Teut. origin, if not derived from the 

soar (sor), v.i. To fly upwards; to mount 
or hover at a great height in the air ; to 
rise or mount (in thought, etc.). n. An act 
of soaring; range of upward flight. (F. 
s'elever, planer, prendre I'essor.) 

Under the influence of inspiration or up- 
lifting emotion a person is said to soar to great 
heights of spirituality. One's wrath also can 
be said to soar when it mounts or increases. 
A soaring (sor 7 ing, adj.) mountain is a 
lofty one ; a soaring mind is full of ambition 
or inspiration. A powerful gusher in an 
oil-field spurts soaringly (sor 7 ing li, adv.), or 
in a soaring manner, into the air. 

O.F. essorer to soar (in F. = to hang up to 
dry, to air) from assumed L.L. exaurare (ex and 
aura breeze, breath of wind). SYN. : v. Ascend, 
mount, rise. ANT. : v. Descend, drop, fall, sink. 

sob (sob), v.i. To draw the breath or 
weep in a convulsive manner, 
as with grief or exhaustion, v.t. 
To utter with a sob or sobs. n. 
A convulsive catching of the 
breath. (F. sangloter : sanglot.) 
An athlete's breath comes in 
sobs when he is nearly over- 
come by exhaustion. A person 
under the influence of extreme 
grief sobs out his misfortunes 
or relates them sobbingly (sob' 
ing li, adv.}. In a figurative 
sense the wind may be said to 
sob when it makes a sound re- 
sembling sobbing (sob 7 ing, n.}, 
or uttering sobs. 

M.E. sobben ; cp. A.-S. siofian 
to lament, G. seufzen to sigh. 
SYN. : v. Cry, lament, wail, weep. 

sober (so 7 ber), adj. Tem- 
perate in regard to the use 
of alcoholic liquors, etc. ; not 
drunk ; moderate ; sane ; serious ; sedate ; 
of colours, not conspicuous ; subdued, v.t. 
To make sober, v.i. To become calm, quiet, 
or grave. (F. sobre, temperant, grave, pose, 
sombre ; degriser ; revenir a soi, se remettre.) 
After an exciting romp we sober our high 
spirits by playing a quiet game. In an argu- 
ment, a violent ranting speaker will usually 
sober down if his opponent remains self- 
controlled, and reasons with him in a quiet 
voice. A sober workman is better able to 
earn a living than one given to drunkenness. 

Pouring liquid soap 




Well-balanced, sedate people behave soberly 
(so' ber li, adv.), that is, in a sober manner. 
Their sobriety (so brl' e ti, n.), or soberness 
(so' ber nes, n.), is not due to abstaining from 
drink, but to the avoidance of vehemence, 
immoderate opinions, or wayward conduct. 

A person who is sober in this sense is called 
by the playful name of sobersides (so" ber 
sidz, n.), and is said to be sober-minded (adj.), 
that is, serious and solemn. People who have 
the quality of sober-mindedness (n.) usually 
dress soberly, or in quiet, subdued colours. 
To speak in sober earnest is to do so seriously 
and solemnly. A sober estimate of a person's 
abilities is one that is moderate, or within 

From L. sobntts, of doubtful formation, 
perhaps from ebrius intoxicated, with privative 
prefix. SYN. : adj. Abstemious, calm, grave, 
solemn, temperate, v. Calm, cool. ANT. : adj. 
Drunken, excited, inflamed, intemperate, in- 
toxicated, v. Excite, inflame, intoxicate. 

The freehold of to-day is a development 
of socage. The feudal socager (sok' aj er, n.), 
who held land by socage tenure, had to 
attend the courts of his lord. 

Anglo-F., from A.-S. socn soke, and F. suffix 
-age. See soke. 

so-called (so' kawld). For this word see 
under so. 

sociable (so'shabl), adj. Companionable ; 
affable ; ready or inclined to be friendly ; 
fond of society ; not formal or stiff, n. An 
old-fashioned tricycle for two riders side by 
side ; a carriage with side-seats facing each 
other ; a couch with S-shapecl back and two 
seats side by side, but facing in opposite 
directions. (F. sociable, abordable; tricycle 
a deux cavaliers, caleche, te-te a tete.) 

A sociable gathering is one having a 
friendly, informal character. Those attending 
it are sociable in the sense that they are 
ready and willing to talk to each other and 
. behave in a friendly fashion. 
Such people may be said to have 
the quality called sociability (so 
sha oil' i ti, n.), or sociableness 
(so' shabl nes, n.). Friends spend 
their evenings sociably (so' shab li, 
adv.) together, that is, with soci- 
ability, or friendly intercourse. 

Man is a social (so' shal, adj.) 
animal, for he lives in groups or 
communities, and, in general, 
avoids a solitary life. Rooks are 
social, or gregarious, birds, in 
the sense that they build their 
nests near to each other. 

Bees are broadly, divided into 
two classes, the solitary and the 
social. The former are more 
numerous, and may be considered 
more primitive. The social bees 

bobranje. i he bobranje, or parliament house, of the single-chamber v. .. /-^m, Ki ^o on/4-t ^,-L- 4 
National Assembly of Bulgaria, at Sofia. have COmmOll hlVCS and WOrk in 

the interests of their community. 
Social pleasures are those to be derived 
from the society of our fellows, with whom we 
should always try to live socially (so' shal li, 
adv.), or in a sociable manner, 
duties are either those which 

Sobranje (so bra' nye), n. The National 
Assembly of Bulgaria. (F. sobranie, sobranje.} 

The Sobranje is the sole legislative chamber 
of Bulgaria. Its members are elected every 
five years by national vote. A special assembly, 
containing twice as many members, is called 
the Grand Sobranje. This meets rarely. 

sobriety (so bri' e ti). For this word 
see under sober. 

sobriquet (so' bri ka), n. A nickname ; 
an assumed name. Another form is soubriquet 
(soo ' bri ka) . (F. sobriquet, nom de guerre.) 

" Dizzy " was the sobriquet of Disraeli ; the 
" Grand Old Man " that of Gladstone. 
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of 
" Alice in Wonderland, " wrote under the 
sobriquet, or nom-de-plume, of Lewis Carroll. 

O.F. soubzbriquet chuck under the chin, from 
soubz, L. subtus below, and perhaps bequet little 

socage (sok' aj), n. In feudal times, the 
method by which a freeman held land on 
payment of rent, or the rendering of personal 
services to his lord. Another spelling is 
soccage (sok' aj). (F. socage.) 

Our social 
we owe as 
citizens to the community in which we live, or, 
in a more restricted sense, those demanded 
by etiquette, such as entertaining or paying 
return visits to our friends and acquaintances. 
A social gathering or sociable meeting, 
especially one held by a club or other 
organization, is known colloquially as a 
social (n.). 

A companionable or convivial person is 
said to have social tastes. The war between 
Rome and her Italian allies in 90-89 B.C. is 
known in history as the Social War (n.). A 
social democrat (n.) is a member of a political 
party which has for its avowed object the 
improving of the condition of the lower 
classes by socialistic methods. Social science 
(n.) is another name for sociology. l*ie 
state or quality of being social is sociality 
(so shi al'i ti, n.). 




Some social reformers believe that import- 
ant industries, upon which the health and 
welfare of the nation depend, should not be 
controlled by individuals for their private 
benefit, but should be administered by the 
country as a whole in its own interests. In 
other words, they wish to socialize (so' shal 
iz, v.t.) those industries. The process of 
socializing, and the state of being socialised, 
are both termed socialization (so shal I za' 
shun, .). 

This is one of the objects of Socialism (so 7 
shal izm, .), the theory that the community 
at large will benefit by being socially and 
economically reorganized, with a view to 
abolishing extremes of poverty and wealth, 
and establishing equality of status and 
opportunity, especially by means of national 
ownership and control of wealth, land, and 
the means of production. 

A socialist (so 7 shal 
ist, n.) is a person who 
believes in socialism, espec- 
ially a member of a socialist 
(adj.) organization, or one 
engaged in the propagation 
and advancement of 
socialistic (so sha lis' tik, 
adj.) opinions and reforms. 

From L. socidbilis from 
sociare to associate. See soci- 
ety. SYN. : adj. Affable, com- 
municative, festive, friendly, 
genial. ANT. : adj. Uncom 
panionable, unsociable. 

society (so si' e ti), . 
The social customs and 
organization of a civilized 
nation ; any social com- 
munity ; a number of 
persons united for some 
common object ; an associ- 
ation ; the upper classes 
of a community ; com- 
panionship ; company. (F. 
socie'te, association, beau 
monde, camaraderie, monde.) 

Societies are formed for scientific, religious, 
social, political, and other objects. The 
oldest British scientific society is the Royal 
Society, founded in 1645 and incorporated ^by 
Charles II in 1662. It exists " for improving 
national knowledge," and has done much 
to stimulate scientific research and discovery. 

A crime against society is one that affects 
d community taken as a whole. A society 
journal (n.) is a newspaper which deals chiefly 
with things which interest society people 
(, or those who are socially distinguished, 
fashionable, or well-to-do. Society verse (.) 
is light, witty verse. A person who is fond of 
society is one who likes the companionship 
of others ; he is not satisfied with his own 
society, that is, solitariness. 

From L. societds from socius 
partner, from sequl to follow. 

Socinian (so sin' i an), n. A follower 
of Laelius and Faustus Socinus, Italian 

Socialist. Karl Marx, the German 

socialist, whose literary works gave 

a great impetus to the growth of 



theologians of the sixteenth century, who 
taught a form of Unitarianism. adj. Per- 
taining to these men or to their teachings. 
(F. Socinien.) 

The doctrine of the Socinians, called 
Socinianism (so sin' i an izm, n.), denied 
the Trinity, while emphasizing the Unity, or 
oneness, of God. 

sociology (so shi ol' 6 ji), n. The scientific 
study of the nature and development of 
human society. (F. sociologie.) 

Almost every human activity and interest 
come within the range of sociology, or 
sociological (so shi 6 loj' ik al, adj.) investi- 
gation. The sociologist (so shi ol' 6 jist, n.), 
or one who makes a special study of sociology, 
draws his material from anthropology, 
psychology, folk-lore, religion, and the study 
of human institutions. These he regards 
sociologically (so shi 6 loj' 
ik al li, adv.), that is, from 
the point of view of their 
\ effect on human society. 

From L. socius with K. 
I suffix -logy. 

sock (sok), n. A short 
stocking, reaching about 
half-way to the knee ; a re- 
movable sole worn inside a 
shoe ; in classical comedy, 
a thin-soled shoe worn 
by actors. (F. chaussette, 
semelle, socque.) 

In the theatre of ancient 
Greece and Rome actors 
playing in comedy wore 
light shoes or socks, as 
opposed to the thick-soled 
buskins of tragic actors. 
Hence the expression sock 
and buskin has come to 
mean comedy and tragedy. 
If a shoe is too easy a 
sock will make it fit. 

A.-S. socc, L. soccus a light 
shoe, whence also F. soque. 
socket (sok' et), n. A natural or artificial 
cavity or hollow in which something fits 
firmly or revolves. (F. emboiture, bobeche, 
bee, douille.) 

Examples of natural sockets are the eye- 
sockets and the sockets of the teeth. A 
candlestick is socketed (sok' et ed, adj.), 
that is, provided with a socket in which the 
candle is fixed. A socket-joint (n.), called 
in full a ball-and-socket joint, allows move- 
ment in many directions. 

The cavity in an iron golf-club head 
which receives the shaft is another type of 
socket. In lawn-tennis, the net-posts are 
inserted into sockets in the ground. A golf 
club whose shaft extends into the neck is 
called a socket club (n.). 

Anglo-F. soket dim. of soc ploughshare. 

socle (so' kl), n. In architecture, a plain, 
low rectangular block forming the base of a 
statue, vase, pedestal, etc. ; a plain face or 




plinth forming the foundation of a wall. 
(F. socle.) 

F., from Ital. zoccolo from L. socculus, dim. of 
soccus light shoe. See sock. 

Socotrine (sok' 6 trin ; so' ko trin), adj. 
Pertaining to the island of Socotra. n. A 
native or inhabitant of Socotra. Another 
spelling is Sokotrine (sok' 6 trin; so 7 ko 
trin). (F.Socotora.) 

Socotra is a British protectorate and lies 
in the Indian Ocean, about one hundred and 
fifty miles east of Cape Guardafui. Exports 
include frankincense and aloes. From the 
last a drug, called Socotrine aloes (n.) , is made. 

Socratic (so krat' ik), adj. Of, like, or 
pertaining to the Greek philosopher Socrates 
(about 470-399 B.C.), or his methods, n. A 
follower of Socrates or his teaching. (F. 

Cicero said that Socrates had brought 
philosophy down to earth, and it is true that 
the great Athenian framed his views in 
simple and often homely language. The 
Socratic method of conducting an argument 
conveying information was by means of 
question and answer. By this means he 
arrived at clear and satisfying definitions 
about virtue, vice, good, evil, and other 
allied problems. 

Socrates was also known for his skill 
in leading on his opponents by pretending 
to be completely ignorant of the subject 
under discussion. This pretence was called 
Socratic irony. Nowadays people may be said 
to reason Socratically (so krat' ik al li, adv.] 
when they adopt the Socratic method. 

Socratism (sok' ra tizm, n.}, the teaching 
of Socrates, made him many enemies. In 
his old age he was accused by the 
Athenians of impiety and condemned to die 
by his own hand. The remarkable courage 
and the calm wisdom he displayed during 
the few hours before his death are described 
by both Plato and Xenophon. 

sod (sod), n. A piece or slice of surface 
earth filled with matted roots of grass 
and other small plants growing on it ; a 
turf ; the surface of grass-covered ground. 
v.t. To cover (ground) with sods. (F. motte, 
gazon; gazonner.} 

Sometimes, when a public building is to 
be erected on new land, a ceremony is made 
of turning the first sod, because digging 
up the ground to lay the foundations is the 
first step towards the erection of the building. 
A person in the grave is said to be under the 
sod. In poetical and rhetorical language the 
surface of grassy land is referred to as the 
sod. In " The Question," Shelley writes : 
Tender bluebells, at whose birth 
The sod scarce heaved. 

Possibly akin to seethe = saturate, soak ; 
cp. Dutch zode, G. sode. 

soda (so' da), n. Sodium carbonate, 
or other compounds of sodium, especially 
in the form of crystals for washing purposes ; 
soda-water. (F. soude.) 

Ordinarily the word soda means carbonate 
of sodium, also called soda -ash (n.) and 
washing soda. Baking soda is bicarbonate, 
and caustic soda hydroxide, of sodium. 

A soda-fountain (n.), now common, is a 
vessel containing soda-water (n.), that is, 
aerated water charged with carbonic acid 
gas under high pressure. The soda-water 
is drawn from the fountain as required, to 
mix with various drinks. A special stand 
with a counter, for supplying soda-water and 
iced drinks, is also called a soda-fountain. 

The mineral called sodalite (so' da lit, n.) 
is a chemical combination of sodium and 
aluminium with silicon and sometimes 
chlorine. It is a glassy transparent sub- 
stance, sky-blue or pink in colour. Water 
draining into a hollow from land containing 
compounds of sodium forms a soda-lake (n.). 
When the water evaporates a great deposit 
of carbonate or nitrate of sodium is left. 
Lake Magadi, in Tanganyika Territory, East 
Africa, is an example. 

Ital. fern, of sodo = solido, formerly used of 
glass-work, perhaps from its hard nature. 

Soda-lake. Blocks of crystalized soda in Lake 
Magadi, a great soda-lake in East Africa. 

sodality (so dal' i ti), n. An association 
or brotherhood ; fellowship ; a religious 
guild or society in the Roman Catholic 
Church formed for devotion and good works. 
(F. confrerie, societe.) 

From L. soddlitds fellowship, from sodahs 
mate, comrade. 

sodden (sod 7 n), adj. Soaked through ; 
saturated ; heavy and moist ; doughy ; 
stupid or dull with drink, v.t. To make 
sodden ; to saturate, v.i. To become sodden. 
(F. trempe, impregne, pdteux, emdche ; im- 
pregner ; s'impregner.) 

The surface of low-lying fields is sodden 
after continued heavy rain, the ground being 
in a state of soddenness (sod' n nes, .). 
Bread is said to be sodden if it is heavy and 
doughy through bad baking. 

Former p.p. of seethe. 

sodium (so' di um), n. A light, silvery- 
white, metallic element. (F. sodium.) 




Sodium has the chemical symbol Na. If it 
is dropped into hot water it catches fire and 
burns with a bright, yellow flame. Sodas 
are sodic (so' dik, adj.) compounds. 

Modern L., from soda and suffix -ium. 

soever (so ev' er), adv. To any degree ; 
whatever. (F. que ce soit, qui soit.) 

This adverb emphasizes or generalizes 
words preceded by how, what, which, etc. 

E. so and ever. See under how. 

sofa (so' fa), n. A couch with raised back 
and ends, or end. (F. canape, sofa.} 

A sofa-bedstead (.) is a sofa so designed 
that it can be opened out to serve as a bed. 

Arabic suffah bench. 

Sofa. An elegant sofa, a fine specimen of the artistic French 
furniture of the period of Louis XVI. 

soffit (sof it), n. The under surface of 
an arch, cornice, balcony, etc. (F. soffile.) 

The soffit of an arch is also called its 

F., from Ital. soffitta ceiling, fern. p.p. = set 
under, from L. sub beneath, figere to fix, set fast. 

soft (sawft ; soft), adj. Yielding easily 
to pressure ; pliable ; malleable ; plastic ; 
not hard ; smooth to the touch ; not coarse ; 
pleasing to the eye ; not harsh or loud in 
sound ; low-toned ; gentle ; mild ; kind ; 
courteous ; conciliatory ; effeminate ; flabby ; 
weak, silly or simple in character ; easy ; 
free from mineral salts ; suitable for washing 
purposes ; in phonetics, sibilant, voiced, or 
unaspirated. adv. Gently ; quietly, n. A 
silly or weak-minded person, inter. Hush! 
(F. souple, pliable, malleable, plastique, mollet, 
doux, compatissant, conciliant, effemine, mou, 
niais, facile; doucement ; niais ; chut.} 

Bituminous coal is sometimes called soft 
coal to distinguish it from anthracite or stove- 
coal, which is non-bituminous and extremely 
hard. The back part of one's palate is known 

thaw. Soap lathers well in soft water, which 
contains little or no lime. 

In phonetics, soft is only used popularly. 
The letters g and c are soft when sibilant, as 
in gem, cell, but g in go is soft or voiced 
compared with k. 

A soft-headed (adj.} or soft-witted (adj.) 
person is of weak intellect, and is sometimes 
called a softy (sawft' i; soft' \,n.). To be 
soft-hearted (adj.) is to be tender-hearted 
and compassionate, and to possess the quality 
of soft-heartedness (n.), which is generally 
expressed by showing pity or sympathy. 

In lawn-tennis, a stroke made without 
power is called a soft stroke (n.). In cricket, 
an easy catch is called a soft 
catch (n.). When the wicket, or 
area between the two sets of 
stumps, is soft or sodden with 
rain, it is termed a soft wicket 
(n.). In football, a slow and 
usually harmless shot at goal is 
called a soft shot (n.). By soft 
wood (n.) is meant any wood 
that is soft and easily worked, 
especially the timber of firs, 
pines, and other cone-bearing, 
resinous trees. 

The semi-liquid soap, called 
soft soap (n.), is made from 
vegetable oils and a solution of 
potash. The glycerine is not removed from 
it, as it is from hard soap. In a figurative 
sense, soft-soap means flattery, and to soft- 
soap (v.t.) a person is to flatter him to gain 
some end. 

Words are soft-spoken (adj.) when spoken 
softly (sawft' li; soft' li, adv.), in a soft voice. 
A soft-spoken person is affable and ready to 
make the soft or good-tempered answer that 
" turneth away wrath " (Proverbs xv, i). 

We can soften (sawf ' n ; sof n, v.t.} many 
things, that is, make them soft or softer, by 
soaking them in liquid, or by heating them. 
A person with a gentle nature is inclined 
to soften, or tone down, a rebuke by express- 
ing it in soft words. The artist softens a 
picture by toning down the colours. 

In very hot weather asphalted pavements 
soften (v.i.), that is, become soft. The sun 
acts on them as a softener (sawf ner ; sof 
ner, n.), or softening agent. Various forms 
of insanity, due to degeneration of the tissues 
of the brain, are known colloquially as 
softening of the brain. A substance is 

as the soft palate. Certain tissues of the body sottish (sawf tish ; soft' ish, adj.) if some 
that are not composed of cartilage or bone, what soft. The softness (sawft' nes ; soft' 
are termed the soft tissues. Textiles are soft 
goods. ^Soft solder, which melts very easil 


is used for soldering metal objects that would 
be affected by the greater heat required for 
ordinary solder. 

A soft skin is smooth and silky ; soft wines 
are free from strong flavours; soft colours 
blend together, and are the reverse of crude 
or dazzling colours. The air is soft when it 
is neither hot nor cold ; weather is said to 
be soft when it is raining or when there is a 

nes, n.), or soft quality, of a thick carpet is 
pleasing to the tread. 

A.-S. softe ; cp. Dutch zacht, G. sanft, sacht. 
SYN. : adj. Foolish, gentle, malleable, plastic, 
pliable. ANT. : adj. Hard, impenetrable, stub- 
born, unyielding. 

softa (sof ta), n. A Mohammedan student 
of law and theology. 

Turkish from Pers. suhtah kindled. 

soften (sawf n ; sof n). For this word, 
softener, etc., see under soft. 




soggy (sog' i), adj. Sodden ; soaked ; 
heavy with damp. (F. humide, moite.) 

Water-logged ground is said to be soggy. 
Cricket matches sometimes have to be 
abandoned owing to the sogginess (sog' i 
nes, n.), or soggy state, of the pitch after 
heavy rain. 

From E. dialect sog to soak, perhaps akin to 
suck. SYN. : Dank, saturated, soaked, sodden. 
ANT. : Dry, parched. 

soh [i] (so), n. In the tonic sol-fa system, 
the fifth note of the diatonic scale. 

Altered from sol. See sol [2]. 

soh [2] (so]. This is another form of the 
interjection so. See so. 

soho (so ho'), inter. A sound used in 
quieting a horse. (F. hold ! ho ! ho !} 

At one time soho was used as a hunting 
cry in place of the modern " Hallo J " 

Anglo-F., a natural exclamation. 

soi-disant (swa de zan), adj. Pretended ; 
self-styled. (F. soi-disant.) 

A snob may be termed a soi-disant 

soil [i] (soil), n. Mould ; the top layer 
of the earth's crust, from which plants obtain 
their mineral food ; land ; country. (F. 
sol, terroir, pays.) 

Soil consists of rocks of various kinds 
broken into small particles by frost, rain, 
and other natural forces, and mixed with the 
decayed remains of plants. The particles 
are covered with films of water containing 
the chemicals on which plants feed. 

A man is said to set foot on foreign soil 
when he enters a foreign country. A son 
of the soil means a farmer or other person who 
lives in the country and works on the land. 

Many mountain slopes 
are soilless (soir les, 
adj.), that is, bare of 
soil, owing to denuda- 
tion by rain. 

L.L. solea earth (L. = 
sandal) akin to L. solum 
ground. SYN. : Country, 

soil [2] (soil), v.t. To 
make dirty ; to sully or 
tarnish ; to defile, n. A 
dirty mark, stain, or 
spot ; refuse matter. (F. 
souiller, salir, ternir ; 
souillure, rebut.) 

Light carpets and 
clothes are easily soiled. 
A base or cruel act 
soils, or mars, one's 
reputation. A person 
sometimes refuses to 
undertake business that 
is distasteful to him by 
declaring that he would not soil his hands 
with it. 

The discharge-pipe from a water-closet 
is called a soil-pipe (n.). 

O.F. soillier to soil, assumed L.L. seculdre to 

Sola topi. A European wearing a sola topi 
or pith helmet. 

behave like a pig, from L. suculus, dim. of sus 
pig. SYN. : v. Foul, pollute, stain, sully, taint. 
ANT. : v. Cleanse, purify. 

soil [3] (soil), v.t. To feed or fatten (sheep, 
etc.) with green food. (F. nourrir de vert.) 

O.F. saoler (F. saouler, souler) to glut, from L. 
satullus, dim. of satur replete. 

soiree (swa' ra), n. An evening party or 
gathering, especially for social purposes. 
(F. soiree, reunion.) 

F. an evening (hence, an evening party) from 
L. sera fern, of serus late, and suffix -dta. 

sojourn (suj' urn ; soj'urn; so' jurn), v.i. 
To stay or reside temporarily (in, with, 
among, etc.). n. A short stay or residence. 
(F. sejourner; sejour.) 

We reside at our permanent home, but 
when we take a holiday with our family, 
we sojourn with them at some holiday resort. 
The sojourner (suj ' urn er ; soj ' urn er ; 
so' jurn er, n.) is one who makes a temporary 
stay at some place. These words are archaic. 
O.F. sojourner, L.L. subjurndre ior svtbdiurnare, 
from sub, beneath, at diurnus daily ; hence to 
spend the day. See diurnal. 

soke (sok), n. In Anglo-Saxon law, a 
privilege or exemption granted by the 
king to a subject, especially the right to 
hold a court of law ; the precinct or a district 
within which the privilege could be exercised. 
Another form is soc (sok). (F. privilege, 
d' exemption.) 

In Anglo-Saxon and Norman times, the 
right of jurisdiction when held by a private 
person was termed sac and soc, or soke. 
The term survives in the soke of Peterborough, 
Northamptonshire, a division of the county, 
formerly under such jurisdiction. " Soke, in 
this sense, was also known as sokeland (n.). 

A.-S. soon a seeking, 
investigation, akin to seek. 
See socage. 

sol [i] (sol), n. The 
sun. (F. soleil.) 

In heraldry, or, that 
is, gold, is sometimes 
called sol. 

" Old Sol " is a jocular 
designation of the sun. 

L. sol ; cp. Gr. helios, 
Irish sul, Goth, sauil, 
Sansk. sura-. 

sol [2] (sol), n. In 
solmization, the fifth 
note of the diatonic 
scale ; in France, the 
note G. (F. sol.) 

Sol is known as soh in 
the tonic sol-fa system. 

The first syllable of L. 
solve in the hymn from 
which the names of the 
notes in the scale are 
taken. See fa. 
A tropical plant with a 
in swampy places ; 

sola (so' la), n. 
pithy stem growing 
the pith of this plant. 

The stem of the sola is used for making a 
sun-hat, called a sola topi (so' la to pe', n.), 




worn by Europeans in the tropics. The sola 
is also called the hat-plant and sponge-wood. 

Hindustani sold. 

solace (sol 7 as), n. Comfort in grief, 
disappointment, or tedium ; consolation ; 
relief. v.t. To console ; to comfort. (F. 
soulagement, consolation, rdconfort ; soulager, 

Tobacco has been called the poor man's 
solace. Some unhappy and misguided people 
solace themselves with, or find relief in, 
alcohol when overcome by grief. A con- 
solation prize is a solace for a competitor who 
just fails to win one of the main prizes. 

O.F. solaz, from L. solatium (and solatium) 
from soldtus p.p. of soldri to comfort. SYN. : n. 
Comfort, compensation, consolation, v. Comfort, 

solan (so' Ian), n. The gannet. (F. fou, 
fou de Bassan.) 

The gannet (Sula bassana) is also called 
the solan goose (n.). 

Icel. siila, and perhaps -n definite article. 

solan o (so la' no) n. A cloudy, rain- 
bearing easterly wind in eastern Spain. 
Span., from L. sdldnus, adj. from sol sun. 

solanum (so la/ num), n. A genus of plants 
containing the potato ; an ornamental 
plant of this genus. (F. solanee, solanacee.) 

Plants of the genus Solanum bear round 
berries, and many species are cultivated for 
their flowers, foliage, or as ornamental 
creepers. The potato (Solanum tuberosum) 
belongs to this genus, and, like other species, 
contains an alkaloid poison named solanine 
(sol' a nin, n.). Solanaceous (so la na' shiis, 
adj.) plants are those belonging to the natural 
order Solanaceae, which includes the genus 
Solanum. Examples are the bitter-sweet, the 
black nightshade, and the tomato. 

L. = nightshade. 

solar (so' lar), adj. Of, relating to, or 
determined by the sun ; coming from the 
sun. (F. solaire.) 

Without solar heat the heat of the sun 
our earth would be lifeless. The sun, with 
its planets and their attendant satellites 
revolving about it, make up our solar 
system (n.). A solar eclipse (n.) is an eclipse 
of the sun. Solar time (n.) is time as deter- 
mined by observing the sun. 

The ancients, like many savage races of 
to-day, personified the sun as a deity, and 
invented solar myths ( stories about 
the sun to explain such happen ngs as its 
rising and setting, and eclipses. The theory 
called solarism (so' lar izm, n.), held by the 
solarist (so' lar ist, n.), teaches that mythology 
is largely derived from solar myths. 

A solar constant (n.) is a number which 
expresses the amount of sun-heat falling on 
a square centimetre of the earth's surface in a 
minute, when the sun is directly overhead. 
It has been given values of from two to three 
small calories ; expressing this in another 
way, we may say the solar constant is the 
amount needed to raise the heat of a gramme 

of water by two to three degrees Centigrade 
in a minute. 

A solar cycle (n.) is a period of twenty- 
eight years, at the end of which the days of 
the month fall on the same days of the week 
as at the commencement of the period. 

The nerve-centre named the solar plexus 
(n.) is situated at the pit of the stomach, 
just below the chest. A blow in this region 
has a paralysing effect, preventing the breath 
from being drawn for a time, and causing 
absolute helplessness. 

A solarium (so lar' i um, n.), or sun-parlour, 
is often constructed in private houses, and 
is enclosed as far as possible with glass, so 
that the solar rays have free access. In a 
similar apartment at a hospital people are 
treated therapeutically by exposure to the 
sun. When a photograph is taken of the 
inside of a dark building, the strong light 
at the windows may solarize (so' lar Iz, v.t.) 
the plate, making the image black, when 
developed, for some distance round the outline 
of the windows. 

Solar. Nurses turning a revolving ward, in which 
delicate children are exposed to the solar rays. 

When plates solarize (v.i.) in this way, the 
effect on them which is due to over-exposure 
round the best-lighted parts of the image is 
called solarization (so lar I za' shun, n.). 

L. Solaris, adj. from sol sun. See sol [i]. 

solatium (so la' shi um), n. Anything 
given as compensation for disappointment, 
loss or suffering. (F. dedommagement.) 

L. = consolation. SYN. : Compensation. 

sold (sold). This is the past tense and 
past participle of sell. See sell [ij. 

soldanella (sol da nel' a), n. A genus of 
perennial Alpine plants of the primrose 
family. (F. soldanelle.) 

There are several varieties of this hardy 
plant, which is now grown in many gardens, 
having blue, purple, lilac, or white flowers. 
The blue soldanella (5. alpina) is also called 
the blue moonwort. 

Ital., origin doubtful. 




solder (sol' der ; sod' er), n. One of 
various kinds of fusible alloy, used to join 
parts of metals which do not melt except 
at a greater heat ; anything that unites or 
binds, v.t. To join with solder. (F. soudure, 
trait d 'union; souder.} 


Solder. A soldering-iron (top) and solder being 
applied to a tin. 

Soft solder, as used by tinmen to solder 
pots, pans, or kettles, is an alloy of lead and 
tin, to which bismuth is sometimes added. 
This is melted, and caused to run along the 
joint, by means of a heated piece of copper, 
mounted in a handle and called a copper bit, 
soldering-bit (n.), or soldering-iron (n.). A 
flux, or soldering- fluid (n.), is used to induce 
the melted solder to flow, a commonly used 
one being a solution of chloride of zinc. 
Permanent electrical joints are usually 

Hard solder is a mixture of copper and 
zinc, or of copper, zinc, and silver. The 
jeweller uses hard solder or silver solder. 
Soldering with these harder alloys requires 
great heat, such as that from a blow-pipe. 
Brazing, by the use of spelter and borax, 
is also described as hard-soldering. 

O.F. soudure from souder, L. soliddre to make 
firm, unite strongly. 

soldier (sol' jer), n. One who serves in an 
army. v.i. To serve as a soldier. (F. soldat, 
militaire ; faire son service.} 

A soldier is distinguished from a mere 
fighter by belonging to a disciplined and 
organized force, and by wearing some sort 
of distinctive uniform. Campaigning teaches 
soldiers how to look after themselves, and 
hence an old soldier has come to mean an 
experienced or astute person. 

In some ant communities the defence of 
the nest falls to the soldier-ant (n.), a kind 
of ant with powerful jaws, larger than the 

The red species of the Telephorus beetle, 
often seen on flowers in summer, is popularly 
called the soldier-beetle (n.}. 

The hermit-crab is called soldier-crab (n.) 
perhaps from its pugnacity, or because it 
takes shelter in the empty shell of a mollusc, 
and is likened to a soldier in a sentry-box. 

Our regiments pride themselves on past 
traditions of gallantry and bravery, and 

recruits are initiated into soldier-like (adj.) 
or soldierly (sol' jer li, adj.), habits, such as 
are worthy of a soldier, and are expected to 
conduct themselves soldierly (adv.) . A recruit 
who shapes badly is not likely to make a 
reliable soldier. Skill as a soldier, or the 
state of being a soldier, is soldiership (sol' 
jer ship, n.). The word soldiery (sol' jer i, n.) 
means soldiers collectively, or a band of 

O.F., from L,.L,.solddrius, from soldum pay, from 
solidus = F. sou. See solidus. 

soldo (sol' do), n. An obsolete Italian 
coin nominally worth a halfpenny, pi. 
soldi (sol' de). (F. sou.) 

The soldo was equivalent to the French 
sou ; its place is now taken by the five- 
centesimi piece. Twenty soldi made a lira. 

Ital., from L,. solidus name of alate Roman coin. 

sole [i] (sol), n. The lower surface of the 
foot in man and other plantigrades ; the 
part of a boot or shoe below this ; the lower 
part of a thing, or the part on which it 
stands or rests ; the bottom part of a plane, 
ploughshare, or golf-club, etc. v.t. To put a 
sole on (a boot). (F. plante, semelle, dessous ; 

Animals which walk on the sole of the 
foot are described as plantigrades. The inner 
sole of a boot or shoe is known as the insole. 
A boot is soled with sole-leather (n.), a thick 
leather made from ox-hides and tanned with 
oak-bark. In a golf-club the part of the head 
which rests on the ground is called the sole. 

The sole-plate (n.) of a machine is its 
bed-plate. That of a lawn-mower is the fixed 
horizontal knife between which and the 
knife-cylinder the grass is nipped and cut as 
the cylinder revolves. 

A.-S. sole, from L. solea sandal. 

Sole. One of the species of sole found in the sea 
off the shores of Britain. 

sole [2] (sol), n. A marine flat-fish, 
highly valued as food. (F. sole.) 

The sole is about a foot long, dark .brown 
on the upper side, and greyish white below ; 
it has relatively a narrow and thick body 
compared with other flat-fish. Of several 
species of British sole, the choicest is the 
common sole (Solea vulgaris), called Dover 
sole to distinguish it from the lemon sole, 
an inferior fish. 

F., from L. solea sole. 

sole [3] (sol), adj. Single ; only ; 
unique ; in law, unmarried. (F. seul, unique, 
non marid.} 



B 7 



The owner of a patent has the sole rights 
in the invention patented. Unless and until 
he parts with his rights, he is the sole or only 
person who may make and sell the article 
in question. A sole agency is one granted 
to a single agent. The sole exception to a 
rule is the single one that can be given. A 
person is solely (sol' li, adv.] responsible for 
something if the entire responsibility rests 
upon his shoulders. 

From L. solus single, only. SYN. : Exclusive, 
only, single. 

solecism (sol' e sizm), n. A mistake in 
grammar ; a blunder in writing or speaking ; 
a breach of good manners. (F. solecisme, 
aucherie, inconve nance.} 

It is solecistic (sol e sis' tik, adj.], that 
is, of the nature of a solecism, to say : 
" You didn't ought to do that." A solecism 
of another kind would be for a guest to omit 
to say good-bye to his hostess before leaving 
an entertainment. One who uses solecisms 
may be called a solecist (sol' e cist, n.}. 

F. solecisme, through L. from Gr. soloikismos 
ungrammatical speech ; from soloikos sj: caking 
thus, after the manner of Soli, Gr. Soloi an 
Athenian colony in Cilicia whose inhabitants 
spoke bad Attic ; cp. oikizein to settle down, from 
oikos a dwelling. SYN. : Impropriety, mistake. 

solely (sol' li), adv. Exclusively; singly. 
See under sole. 

Solemn. Veteran, of the Crimean War attending 
a solemn service in remembrance of the heroic 
Florence Ni&htingale. 

solemn (sol' em), adj. Accompanied by 
rites or ceremonies ; done with due formality ; 
slow in action or movement ; serious ; grave ; 
pompous ; affectedly grave. (F. solennel, 
grave, seneux : pompeux.} 

A funeral is a solemn event, and people 
taking part in it, impressed by its solemn 
nature, behave solemnly (sol' em li, adv.). 

The services at the Westminster Cenotaph on 
Armistice Day are marked by great solemnity 
(so lem' ni ti, n.}, the quality of being 
solemn. By their sacred associations, our 
great cathedrals are invested with solemnity, 
and have been the scene of many solemnities, 
which are religious ceremonies carried out 
with reverence. A solemn promise is one 
regarded with special solemnness (sol' em nes, 
n.), such as that made at a marriage ceremony 
by the contracting parties. 

To solemnize (sol' em nlz, v.t.) a marriage 
is to perform it with solemn rites or according 
to legal forms ; the act of doing so being the 
solemnization (sol em ni za' shun : sol em ni 
za' shun, n.}, and the person who performs 
it the solemnizer (sol' em niz er, n.) of it. 
A noteworthy event, like the coronation 
of a sovereign, is dignified and solemnized 
by the solemn religious ceremony which 
takes place on such an occasion. 

Pompous people are sometimes affectedly 
grave and solemn and talk of quite ordinary 
matters in a solemn or portentous manner. 
A comedian may pull a solemn face the better 
to give point to his sallies and jests. 

O.F. solempne, L. solemms customary, from 
sollus whole, and perhaps amb- round, hence 
ritual. SYN. : Ceremonial, formal, impressive, 
religious, sacred. ANT. : Frivolous, informal, 
jesting, trivial. 

solen (so' len), n. A genus of bivalve shell- 
6sh also called the razor shells. (F. solen.) 

The solen has a long narrow shell, suggest- 
ing by its shape a razor in its case. The empty 
shells may be found in large numbers on some 
beaches, and are called sea-knives. The 
creature itself is eaten, or used as bait. 
Two species are common in Great Britain, 
Solen siliqua and 5. ensis.) 

L., from Gr. solen tube. 

solenoid (so le' noid ; so' le noid), n. A 
magnet consisting of a cylindrical coil of 
wire carrying an electric current. (F. 

A solenoid acts as a magnet in many ways, 
having a north and south pole. A hollow 
cylindrical coil of this kind will draw into 
its interior an iron bar presented endways 
to it. Electricians use this fact in many 
devices, such as switches, worked by a 
solenoidal (sol e noi' dal, adj.) coil, in which 
a moving part is attracted by a fixed solenoid. 

Magnetic brakes on electric vehicles are 
actuated solenoidally (sol e noi' dal li, 
adv.), that is, through the action of a 
solenoid on a bar of iron. A very powerful 
type of lifting magnet is constructed on the 
principle of the solenoid. 

Gr. solen tube, with suffix -old. 

sol-fa (sol fa'), v.i. To sing the notes of a 
musical scale, using a characteristic syllable 
for each note. v.t. To sing (a song, etc.) in 
this way. n. A system of musical notation 
(see tonic sol-fa). (F. solfier ; soljege.) 

From notes sol (G) and fa (F) in this system 
of notation. 




solfeggio (sol fej' yo), n. An exercise for 
the voice sung to different sol-fa syllables, 
or to one syllable, pi. solfeggi (sol fej' e) 
or solfeggios (sol fej' yoz). (F. Is solfege, 

Ital., from sol-fa. 

solferino (sol fe re' no), n. A brilliant 
purplish-red aniline dye. (F. solferino.} 

This dye is named after the battle of 
Solferino which took place in 1859, the year 
in which the dye was discovered. At Solferino 
the Austrians were defeated by the French 
and Sardinians under Napoleon III. 

Name of a village on the River Mincio in 
Lombardy ; cp. magenta. 

soli (so' li). This is a plural of solo. 
See solo. 

solicit (so lis' it), v.t. To invite ; to appeal 
to ; to ask earnestly for ; to importune. 
v.i. To make earnest appeals. (F. inviter, 
implorer, importuner ; supplier.) 

The tradesman who invites or solicits 
custom, the hospital treasurer who solicits 
subscriptions for his institution, and the 
beggar who solicits alms, may all be called 
solicitant (so Us' i tant, adj.) persons, to use 
a word which is somewhat rare, or each of 
them might be described as a solicitant (n.) 
an asker. The act of soliciting is solicitation 
(so lis i ta' shun, n.). 

From L. sol(l)icitare to rouse, incite. See 
solicitus. SYN. : Beseech, beg, importune, request. 

solicitor (so lis ' i tor) , n. A person skilled 
in the law who advises clients and prepares 
cases for barristers to plead or defend ; an 
attorney. (F. notaire, avoue.) 

Before a person can be admitted to 
practise as a solicitor he must serve as an 
articled clerk to a solicitor for several years, 
and must pass three examinations. A great 
part of a solicitor's business consists in 
drawing up wills, settlements, conveyances 
of property, and similar documents. He may 
plead for a client in some of the lower courts, 
but not in the higher, where a barrister, 
briefed by the solicitor, appears as an advo- 
cate. Solicitorship (so lis' i tor ship, n.) is the 
office or calling of a solicitor. 

The Solicitor-General (n.) is a law officer 
of the Crown, appointed by the government 
in office, coming next in rank to the Attorney- 
General. He is usual 'y a Member of 
Parliament, and is a barrister. He advises 
the Government in legal matters. 

From E. solicit and agent suffix -or. 

solicitous (so lis ' i tus) , adj. Eager to do ; 
desirous of ; anxious ; disturbed or concerned 
(about). (F. desireux, inquiet.) 

Parents are solicitous about the health of 
an ailing child, and are solicitous to do all 
that is possible to assist its recovery, tending 
the little invalid solicitously (so lis' i tus li, 
adv.). Friends and playmates may inquire 
solicitously, or with solicitousness (so lis' i 
tus nes, n.) about the patient, and solicitude 
(so lis' i tud, n.), or anxiety, may be shown 
by others also. 

From L. sol(l)icitus anxious, from sollus whole 
and cieve (p.p. cit-us) to rouse, invoke ; E. suffix 

-ous. SYN. : Apprehensive, concerned, desirous, 
eager, uneasy. ANT. : Careless, indifferent, 

solid (sol' id), adj. Compact ; dense ; 
not liquid or fluid ; strongly constructed ; 
substantial ; unyielding ; firm ; homo- 
geneous ; having no interstices or cavities ; 
not hollow ; well-grounded ; genuine ; real ; 
sound ; reliable ; unanimous ; of printing 
type, set without spaces between lines ; 
having length, breadth, and height; cubic. 
n. A solid body ; in geometry, a body or 
magnitude possessing length, breadth, and 
thickness. (F. solide, ferme, digne de con- 
fiance, unanime, plein ; solide.) 

Solid. The "Polar Bear," a British exploration 
ship, anchored to the Arctic ice. 

Metals normally solid may be liquefied 
by heat, or be made fluid by great pressure. 
Ice is water in a solid state ; a solid tire is 
one not hollow, differing thus from the 
pneumatic tire, which contains an air cavity. 
An article of solid gold is made of gold 
throughout, as opposed to one plated or 
coated with the precious metal. 

Troops are said to be drawn up in solid 
ranks when the men of a rank stand close 
together. A solid man is one who can be 
relied on. Reasons are said to be solid if 
well-grounded. People are solid in an opinion 
or policy if all hold to it, and the members 
of a community are said to show cohesion 
or solidarity (sol i dar' i ti, n.) if they hold 
together well, and have interests in common. 
Furniture of substantial make is said to be 
solid in its construction. 

The state of being solid in any way is 
called solidity (so lid' i ti, n.) or solidness 
(sol' id nes, n.). A house is solidly (sol' id li, 
adv.) built, if constructed substantially. 




Some gases are solidifiable (so lid' i fi 
abl, adj.], that is, can be made to assume a 
solid state. Intense cold may be used to 
solidify (so lid' i fi, v.t.) them. When 
liquids solidify (v.i.), that is, change into 

solid form, the process of solidifying, called foot. 

_ 1 J /* A.* / i 1IJ - ^ 1- 9 Vi -/,-* - \ o 

are distinguished from cloven-hoofed animals 
by the fact that they have but one toe to 
each foot. The hoof that surrounds its tip 
is simply an enlarged nail or claw. 

From L. sola alone, single, pes (ace. ped-em) 

solidification (so lid i fi ka 
attended by crystallization. 

shun, n.) is 

solipsism (sol ip' sizm), n. The doctrine 
that the mind has no real knowledge of the 

The theory about diseases called solidism existence of anything but itself, 
(sol' id izm, n.), and believed in by the solidist From L. solus only, ipse oneself, E. suffix -ism. 
(sol'idist, .),holds that all diseases are due so litaire (sol' "i tar), n. A gem set by 
to changes in the solid parts of the body. itself in an earring> s hirt-stud, etc. ; a loose 
Horses and asses are sohdungulate (sol id necktie worn in t h e eighteenth century ; a 

card game for a single player (patience) ; a 
game for one person played with marbles 
on a board pitted with holes ; an extinct 
bird, related to the dodo ; a species ol 
American thrush (Monticola solitaria) ; a 
hermit or recluse. (F. solitaire.) 

A shirt-stud or earring containing a single 
diamond or other gem is called a solitaire. 
The extinct bird called the solitaire (Pezophaps 
solitaria) is classified by zoologists in the 
pigeon family. It had a long neck and legs, 
a body about the size of a turkey, and was 
incapable of flying. Solitaires were once 
common on the Island of Rodriguez. 
F. = solitary See solitary 

gu lat, adj.), that is, solid-hoofed 
animals, and the zebra is another solidungu- 
late (n.). Both noun and adjective are 
applied to a solid-hoofed animal, as opposed to 
an animal, such as a cow, sheep, or goat, 
with cloven hoofs. 

L. solidus compact. SYN. : adj. Compact, 
dense, hard, substantial, well-grounded. ANT. : 
adj. Flabby, fluid, hollow, liquid, soft, un- 

solidus (sol' i diis), n. A Roman gold coin ; 
a shilling ; the shilling line ( / ). pi. solidi 
(sol' i dl). 

In the sequence s. d., the s is an abbre- 
viation of solidus or solidi. The solidus, 
or stroke separating shillings from pence in 
such expressions as 2/6, also 
denoted shilling or shillings, and 
represents the old long 5, so 
often mistaken in print for the 
letter /. 

L.L. solidus (numus) literally a 
solid coin. See solid. 

solifidian (so li fid' i an), n. 
One who believes that salvation 
comes by faith alone, adj. Per- 
taining to this doctrine. 

The solifidian teaching that 
faith is sufficient to win salvation 
without the aid of good works 
or penances, is known as solifidi- 
anism (so li fid' i an izm, n.). 

From L. sola alone, fides faith, 
with suffix -ian. 

soliloquy (so lil' 6 kwi), n. 
A discourse or speech not 

addressed tO any person ; a L Solitary. A typical view of the solitary Algerian Sahara with a 

solitary native in the foreground. A remarkable feature of the 
desert are the shotts or saline lakes. 

talking to oneself ; a monologue. 
(F. monologue, soliloque.) 

When a person speaks his thoughts 
without regard to the presence of other 
people, he is said to indulge in soliloquy. 
One may also soliloquize (so lil' 6 kwiz, v.i.) 
or talk in this manner in solitude. There 
are many famous soliloquies in the plays of 
Shakespeare, where, of course, they are 
employed for dramatic purposes. One who 
talks to himself or speaks his thoughts aloud 
is a soliloquist (so lil' 6 kwist, n.). 

From L. solus alone, loqul to speak. SYN. : 
Monologue. ANT. : Colloquy, conversation, 
dialogue, duologue. 

soliped (sol' i ped), adj. Having a solid, 
single hoof to each foot. n. An animal with 
such hoofs. (F. solipede.) 

Horses and their allies are solipeds, and 

solitary (sol' i ta ri), adj. Living alone ; 
not gregarious ; lonely ; unfrequented ; 
secluded ; single, n. One who lives alone ; 
a recluse. (F. solitaire, seul, isole, retire, 
unique ; solitaire, reclus.) 

Some kinds of bees do not congregate in 
hives, and so are known as solitary bees as 
opposed to social bees. The island of Trrstan 
da Cunha is a solitary spot in mid- Atlantic, 
visited by few ships, and almost entirely 
cut off from the outer world. Most people 
do not like solitude (sol' i tud, n.), or 
loneliness, and avoid solitudes, or secluded 
places. An anchoret or recluse, however, is 
one who prefers to lead a solitary life, or 
live solitarily (sol' i ta ri li, adv.), that is, 
without companions. 




A prisoner is subjected to solitary confine- 
ment (.) when shut up in a cell by himself 
apart from other prisoners, whom he is 
never allowed to see. It is a stricter form of 
imprisonment than the usual separate 
confinement, under which also each prisoner 
has his own cell, but meets other prisoners 
during work hours and at exercise. 

The state of being solitary, or of dwelling 
apart from others., is termed solitariness 
(sol' i ta ri nes, n.). We may describe the 
absence of life and movement in a deserted 
street as solitariness. In an argument, one 
debater may challenge the other to give a 
solitary or single instance that will bear out 
his assertions. . 

M.E. and Anglo-F. solitarie, from L. solitarins. 
from L. solitds (solus alone) loneliness. SYN. : adj 
Lonely, secluded, sequestered, single, sole. ANT. : 
adj. Crowded, frequented, populous, social. 

solive (so lev'), n. A timber resting on 
beams and supporting the planks of a floor 
or a ceiling ; a joint. (F. solive.} 

O.F. solive. 

solmization (sol mi za' shun), n. A 
system for singing music at sight by the 
use of syllables as names of notes ; sight- 
singing by this method. (F. action de solfier.} 

In England, the tonic sol-fa syllables are 
used in solmization. Singers are said to 
solmizate (sol' mi zat, v.i.) when they use 
these syllables for sight-singing. 

F. solrmsation, from solmiser to solmizate, sol, 
mi being notes of the syllabic scale. See gamut, 
do [2], fa. 

solo (so' 16), n. A musical composition, 
or part of one, for a single instrument or 
voice with or without an accompaniment ; 
a dance performed by one person ; solo 
whist ; a call made in this game. adj. 
Consisting of or performing a solo or solos. 
pi. solos (so' loz) ; soli (so' le). (F. 50/0.) 

A song by one person is a vocal solo and 
the singer of it is a soloist (so' 16 ist, n.}, 
which also means a person who plays a solo. 
In an orchestral work a solo passage may 
consist of only a few notes, or of a long tune. 
If there is an accompaniment it is of a 
subordinate nature, and merely provides a 
background to the solo part. 

Some large organs have a solo organ (n.}, 
that is, an extra set of stops, controlled by a 
keyboard, and employed for solo effects. 
The accompaniment is played on another 

The card game called solo, or solo-whist (n.}, 
is a development of ordinary whist. Each 
player in turn has the choice of six calls, five 
of which involve individual play against the 
others. One of these calls is " solo," in 
which the caller has to make five tricks the 
other three players doing their best to prevent 

Ital., from L. solus single, alone. 

Solomon (sol' 6 mon), n. A king of Israel 
renowned for his wisdom ; any very wise 
man. (F. Salomon.} 

Solomon, a younger son of David, was the 
third king of Israel. His name is proverbial 
for wisdom. We may speak of the Solomonic 
(sol 6 mon' ik, adj.} authorship of the Song 
of Solomon, which is traditionally ascribed 
to him. A very sagacious person may be 
said to display Solomonic wisdom. 

The plant called Solomon's seal (n.} 
Polygonatum multiflorum has leafy, arching 
stems, with green and white bell-shaped 
flowers, hanging from the under side. Its 
thick underground stem is marked with 
seal-like scars. 

Solomon's seal. Specimens of the plant called Solo- 
mon's seal. The flowers are green and white. 

Solon (so' Ion), n. A famous Athenian 
statesman and law-giver of about 638- 
558 B.C., any wise ruler or law -giver. (F. 


so-long (so long'), inter. Good-bye. (F. 

au revoir.} 

Perhaps a sailor's corruption of Arabic salaam. 

solstice (sol' stis), n. Either of the times 
when the sun is at its greatest distance from 
the equator and appears to stand still before 
moving back ; the point in the ecliptic 
reached by the sun at a solstice. (F. 

The summer solstice, when the sun is 
farthest north occurs about June 2ist, and 
gives us our longest day. At the winter 
solstice, about December 22nd, the sun is 
farthest south, and we have our shortest 
period of daylight. The months when the 
solstices occur may be termed the solstitial 
(sol stish' al, adj.} months. The heat of 
midsummer may be said to be solstitial. 

F., from L. solstitium (sol sun, sistere perfect 
sliti to stand still) . 

soluble (sol' u bl), adj. Capable of being 
dissolved in a fluid ; capable of being solved 
or explained. (F. soluble.} 

Sugar and salt are soluble in water. The 
solubility (sol u bil' i ti, n.} of a substance 
is its quality or property of being soluble. 
Solubility is dependent on temperature. 
Salt, for example, is more soluble in hot 
water than in cold ; lime is more soluble in 
cold water than in hot. Soluble glass (n.} is 
a fluid form of silicate of soda, used for 




waterproofing walls, making materials fire- 
proof, and preserving eggs. It is usually 
called water-glass. 

Ordinary geometrical problems are soluble, 
but some, such as the problem of squaring 
the circle, are held to be insoluble. 

F., from L. solubilis, from solutus, p.p. of 
solvere to untie. SYN. : Dissolvable, solvable 
ANT. : Insoluble. 

solus (so' lus), adj. Alone. (F. seul.) 

This Latin word is used in stage directions 
to denote that a character is on the stage 
alone. It is used after the name of the 
character, as Hamlet solus. The feminine 
form sola (so' la) is used in the same way 
after the names of women characters. 

solution (so lu' shim ; so loo' shun), n. 
The act of dissolving or being dissolved, 
especially the changing of a solid or gas into 
liquid form by mixture with a liquid ; the 
liquid so produced ; the act or method of 
solving a problem, question, difficulty, etc. ; 
the correct answer to a problem, puzzle, 
etc. ; disintegration ; dissolution ; separa- 
tion. (F. solution, desagregation, dissolution.} 

Soda-water is a solution of a gas, carbon 
dioxide, in water. When the stopper of the 
bottle is removed the pressure which keeps 
the gas in solution is decreased, and the 
dissolved gas begins to bubble out. A 
solution of copper sulphate is blue in colour 
and one of potassium permanganate is 
purple. The dissolved substance, such as 
the copper sulphate, is known as a solute 
(so lut' ; so loot, n.}. 

An encyclopaedia provides the solution 
to a large number of everyday questions. 
Many people are interested in finding the 
correct solutions of cross-word puzzles. In 
surgery, the separation of tissues of the body 
by fracture is termed solution of continuity. 
When a person's ideas are unsettled they are 
said to be in solution. 

F., from 'L.solutio (ace. on-em) , f rom solutus, p.p. 
of solvere to untie. SYN. : Answer, explanation. 

Solutrian (so lu' tri an), adj. Of or 
belonging to the middle period of the upper 
Palaeolithic age typified by remains found 
at the prehistoric rock-shelter at Solutre, 
France, n. This period. Another form is 
Solutrean (so lu' tre an). (F. solutreen.) 

The Solutrian period comes between the 
Aurignacian and the Magdalenian periods. 
The climate was then cold, and mammoths 
still roamed the earth. The Stone Age men 
of the Solutrian left certain finely worked 
flint and bone implements, and carvings on 
stone at their encampment at Solutre. 

solve (solv), v.t. To find an answer to 
(a problem, etc.) ; to find a way out of (a 
difficulty) ; to remove (a doubt) ; to make 
clear. (F. resoudre, dissiper, eclaircir.) 

School children doing mental arithmetic 
have to solve or work out problems in their 
minds. A mystery is solved when it is cleared 
up, and ceases to be mysterious any longer. 
Problems that can be answered without 
difficulty are easily solvable (solv' abl, adj.). 

The problem of perpetual motion, however, 
lacks solvability (solv a bil' i ti, n.), although 
more than one person has claimed to be the 
solver (solv' er, n.) of it. 

From L. solvere to untie, from so- (=se-) apart, 
luere to loose. SYN. : Answer, explain, resolve, 
settle, unfold. 

Solve. Roger Bacon studying the rainbow, the 
mystery of which he attempted to solve. 

solvent (sol' vent), adj. Having the power 
of dissolving ; able to pay all recognised debts 
or claims, n. A liquid capable of dissolving 
another substance. (F. dissolvant, solvable; 
dissolvant, solvent.) 

Water is a common solvent widely em- 
ployed by chemists for dissolving medicines. 
Alcohol, a solvent of resins, is used com- 
mercially in the manufacture of varnishes. 
Knowledge may be called a solvent of 

A business firm is solvent, or in a state of 
solvency (sol' ven si, n.) when its assets exceed 
its debits ; that is, when the business could 
settle all recognized claims and debts against 
it if called upon to do so. 

From L. solvens (ace. -ent-em), pres. p. of 
solvere to untie, loosen. 

soma (so' ma), n. An intoxicating drink 
used in the ancient Vedic religion ; the plant, 
perhaps Asdepias acida, which yielded it. 

Sansk., from su to press. 

somatic (so mat' ik), adj. Pertaining to 
the body ; physical, corporeal. Another form 
is somatical (so mat' ik al). (F. somatique.) 

Somatic death is complete death of the 
whole body as opposed to gangrene or 
death of a portion of a living body. 
Variations of character that originate in the 
body itself are said to be somatogenic 
(so ma to jen' ik, adj.}. Somatology (so 
ma tol' 6 ji, n.) is any branch of science that 
deals with organic bodies, especially human 




anatomy and physiology. The somatologist 
(so ma to!' 6 jist, n.) is one who studies one 
of these sciences, or who writes a somatology, 
that is, a treatise on them. 

Gr. somatikos, from soma (gen. somat-os) body. 

sombre (som' her), adj. Dark ; dismal ; 
gloomy. (F. sombre, triste, melancolique .) 

The sky is said to be sombre when it 
becomes overcast with dark clouds before a 
rainstorm. A person may be said to be 
dressed sombrely (som' ber li, adv.], or dis- 
mally, in black. We speak of the sombreness 
(som' ber nes, n.}, or gloominess, of a row of 
dull, depressing nouses. 

F., from L. sub under, umbra shade. The first 
element may be L. ex- intensive, pointing to 
assumed exumbrare to darken, which is sup- 
ported by O.F. essombre, meaning a dark place. 
SYN. : Dismal, dull, gloomy, melancholy, obscure. 
ANT. : Bright, radiant, resplendent. 

sombrero (som brar' 6), n. A felt hat 
with a broad brim shading the wearer's 
face and neck, much worn in Spanish 
America. (F. sombrero.} 

Span, from sombra shade, originally applied to 
any hat as opposed to a cap. See sombre. 

some (sum), adj. An indeterminate, or 
unstated quantity or number of ; a certain, 
but unspecified or unknown (person or 
thing) ; an appreciable amount or number 
of ; a considerable quantity of. adv. About ; 
approximately, pron. A particular but un- 
stated part or quantity ; certain, but not 
definitely known, persons, etc. (F. quelque, 
de, du, de la, des, quelque ; environ ; en, 
quelques-uns.) :v 

If we forget exactly where we I 
read an item of news, we may 
say that we saw it in some 
newspaper. To make a box we 
require some wood and nails, as 
well as tools and some know- 
ledge of how to use them. When 
giving a rough estimate of the 
height of a building, we say, for 
example, that it is some forty 
feet high, that is, forty feet more 
or less. A good host caters for 
the different likes and dislikes of 
his guests, and remembers that 
some may be vegetarians and 
some teetotallers. 

The word somebody (sum 'bod 
i, n.} denotes some person un- 
known to us, or whose name 
we do not wish or require to 
mention. For instance, if we 
find an umbrella in a train, we know that 
somebody or someone (sum 7 wun, n.} has 
left it behind, although we do not actually 
know who that person is. 

People who consider themselves something, 
think they are persons of consequence. A poor 
but charitable person may give a beggar 
something, that is, some portion of money, 
if not much, with which to buy himself 
food. A boy who is something of an engineer 
has some qualifications for engineering. 

If a clock does not keep good time, we say 
that something (sum' thing, n.}, that is, 
some unknown or unstated thing, is wrong 
with the works. The noise of a big explosion 
is something (adv.), or somewhat (sum' hwot, 
adv.), that is, to some extent, or in some 
degree, like a peal of thunder. To some 
people both sounds are somewhat, or rather, 

All children who live near London should 
go at some time, to the Zoo. The audience 
in a theatre has to wait some time, or 
for some time, before the curtain rises. 
The sometime (sum' tim, adj.) mayor of a 
town is a person who was formerly mayor. 
Most of us like to sit quietly and read some- 
times (sum' tlmz, adv.), or at some times. 
To overcome a difficulty somehow (sum' 
hou, adv.), or someway (sum' wa, adv.), is to 
solve it in some manner or other, that is, 
by some indeterminate means. When we 
have put an object in some place or other 
which we have since forgotten, we say that 
it is somewhere (sum' hwar, adv.) about. 
Great secrecy as to the positions of troops 
in the fighting line was maintained during 
the World War. Consequently men on the 
Western Front were said to be somewhere in 
France, that is, in some unknown or unstated 
area or position. 

Some affected writers and speakers make 
use of the word somewhen (sum' hwen, adv.), 
which means at some indeterminate time. 

A.-S. sum ; cp. O.H.G. sum, O. Norse sum-r, 
Goth, sum-s, and E. same. 

Somersault. Men of the Army School of Physical Training at 
Aldershot performing a back somersault. 

somersault (sum' er sawlt), n. A leap in 
which one turns heels over head before alight- 
ing on one's feet. v.i. To make a leap, o 
progress by leaps, of this kind. (F. saut 
perilleux, culbute ; culbuter, faire le saut 

Acrobats and clowns at circuses amuse us 
by somersaulting round the ring. A double 
somersault involves two complete turns of the 
body in the air before coming down again on 
the feet. 




O.F. sombresaut, soubresault (Ital. soprasalto), 
from L. supra above, over, sallus a leap, from 
sallre to leap, from p.p. form. The form sou- 
bresaut (more commonly sursaut) is now generally 
limited to a violent start. 

something (sum' thing). For this word, 
sometime, etc., see under some. 

somite (so 7 mit), n. A segment of an 
animal body, especially of an articulate or 
vertebrate animal. (F. anneau.} 

The body of the worm is a familiar example 
of somitic (so mit' ik, adj.] construction, con- 
sisting as it does of a series of somites, or 

Gr. soma body, and suffix -Ue. 

somnambulism (som nam' bu lizm), n. 
The act of walking or performing other 
actions when asleep, or in a condition re- 
sembling sleep ; the affection of the brain 
causing this. (F. somnambulisme .) 

A person who suffers from somnambulism 
is known as a somnambulist (som nam' 
bu list, n.). Great care is needed when dealing 
with a person who is walking about in a 
somnambulistic (som nam bu lis' tik, adj.) 
state, because the shock of awakening him 
suddenly may cause a great deal of harm. 

From L. somnus sleep, ambuldre to walk, and 
E. suffix -ism. SYN. : Sleepwalking. 

somniferous (som nif er us), adj. 
Causing or inducing sleep. Somnific (som 
nif ik) has the same meaning. (F. somnifere, 
sopor atif.} 

A narcotic has a somniferous effect. The 
act or habit of talking in one's sleep is known 
as somniloquence (som nil' 6 kwens, n.}, 
somniloquism (som nil' 6 kwizm, n.}, or 
somniloquy (som nil' 6 kwi, n.}. The 
somniloquist (som nil' 6 kwist, n.} is a person 
who does this. He is said to be somniloquous 
(somnil'6 kwus, adj.), or given to somniloquy. 

L. somnifer sleep -bringing (with E. suffix -ous), 
from somnus, sleep, ferre to bring. 

Somnolent. A somnolent dormouse hibernating in 
his cosy little nest of leaves. 

somnolent (som' no lent), adj. Sleepy ; 
drowsy : producing sleep ; in pathology, 
in a morbid, drowsy condition between 
sleeping and waking. (F. somnolent, assoupi.) 

Somnolent old gentlemen are inclined to 
nod by the fireside, and when we speak to 
them they listen somnolently (som' no lent li, 
adv.), or sleepily, and do not pay real atten- 
tion to our remarks. A state of drowsiness 


is known as somnolence (som' no lens, 
n.}, or somnolency (som' no len si, n.). A 
morbid form of somnolence or inclination 
to sleep accompanies sleepy sickness. 

F., from L. somnulentus, from somnus sleep, 
and suffix -lentus. SYN. : ^ Dreamy, drowsy, 
sleepy, sluggish. 

son (sun), n. A male child in relation to 
the parent or parents ; a descendant ; a 
form of address used by an old person to a 
young man, a priest to a penitent, etc. ; a 
native of a country ; a person imagined as 
the inheritor of (a quality, profession, etc.). 
(F. fils, descendant, natif.) 

Any male child is the son of his parents. 
The word is often used figuratively. For 
example, British colonists abroad may be 
described as Britain's sons, and a soldier may 
be called a son of Mars, that is, a follower of 
the war god, or an example of warlike 
qualities. In the Bible the sons of the 
prophets are young men trained in their 
schools. Christ is sometimes called God 
the Son, or the Son of Man ; but in the Old 
Testament, especially in Ezekiel (ii, i, etc.), 
son of man denotes a descendant of Adam. 
Just as a youth may be addressed as son 
by an older person, so the diminutive form 
sonny (sun' i, n.} is used in a familiar or 
affectionate way by adults when addressing 
young boys. 

A married man is the son-in-law (n.), or 
son by marriage, of his wife's parents. To 
be sonless (sun' les, adj.] is to have no sons. 
The state of being a son is sonship (sun' 
ship, n.}. 

A.-S. sunu ; cp. Dutch zoon, G. sohn, O. 
Norse son-r, Gr. hyios, Sansk. sunu from su to 

sonant (so' nant), adj. In phonetics, 
sounded with vibration of the vocal chords ; 
voiced, not whispered, n. A sound or letter 
capable of being uttered in this way. (F. 
sonnant, sonore.) 

The consonants b, d, g, j, I, m, n, r, th, v, z, 
and the vowels are sonants. They are uttered 
with the voice, and are distinguished from 
surds, as p, f, s, which are uttered with the 
breath only. 

Sonant sounds have the quality of sonancy 
(so'iian si, n.). The word sonance (so' nans, 
n.), which means sound, on a quality of 
sound, is seldom used. 

L. sonans (ace. -ant-em), pres. p. of sonar e to 

sonata (so na' ta), n. An instrumental 
piece of music having several separate 
movements related to form an artistic whole. 
(F. sonate.) 

Originally a sonata was a piece of music 
to be sounded or played, as opposed to a 
cantata, a piece to be sung. The name was 
later given to a composition constructed 
in a special way, having at least one of its 
movements, or distinct sections, in sonata 
form (n.). 

Briefly, this consists of two or more main 
tunes, the first in the principal key. This 



part of a movement in sonata form is called 
the exposition. It is followed by the 
development, in which the tunes or parts of 
tunes are repeated, woven together, changed 
in rhythm, and otherwise modified. During 
this process the mus : c passes through 
several different keys, finally leading to the 
recapitulation, in which the main tunes 
are all heard in the principal key. With this 
the movement ends. 

A sonata generally begins in this way, after 
which comes a slow piece, then a playful 
piece (either a minuet, or a scherzo), and 
finally a quick piece, such as a rondo, or else 
another piece in sonata form. Classical 
symphonies and quartets, and other chamber 
music, are constructed in a similar way. 

Sonatas are written for a solo instrument 
such as the pianoforte, or for two instruments, 
such as the violin and piano, but a sonata 
for three instruments is called a trio. The 
sonata form was developed , 
by the great composers 
from Bach to Brahms. A 
short or simple sonata is 
known as a sonatina (son a 
te'na, n.). 

Ital. = piece sounded, 
from sonata, fem. p.p. of 
sonar e to sound. 

song (song), n. A musi- 
cal utterance with the 
voice ; singing ; the musi- 
cal cry of certain birds ; 
anything that resembles 
singing ; a musical compo- 
sition for a solo voice, with 
or without accompani- 
ment ; an instrumental 
piece in song- form ; a short 
poem suitable for setting 
to music ; a lyric ; poetry 
in general. (F. chant, 
chanson, lyrique, poesie.) 

Human song consists of a tune and words 
produced simultaneously. The musical calls 
of the blackbird, the throstle or song- thrush 
(n.}, the nightingale, and the canary, for 
example, are also described as songs. Any 
bird that produces such a call may be termed 
a song-bird (n.}, or a songster (song' ster, 
n.} the latter word also meaning a human 
singer, and sometimes a poet. Similarly, a 
songstress (song' stres, n.} is a woman singer, 
a poetess, or a female song-bird. The name 
of song-sparrow (n.) is given to the hedge- 
sparrow and other birds. A place where no 
birds are singing is songless (song' les, adj.). 
A songless bird, however, is one that is 
unable to sing. The programmes of some 
instrumental concerts are also songless, in 
the sense that no vocalist figures among the 

Many short musical pieces, such as 
Mendelssohn's " Songs without words," are 
written in song-form (n.). This is a simple 
pattern of composition consisting of three 
connected sections or strains, of which the 

Sonneteer. Henry Howard, Earl of 

Surrey, who was a famous sonneteer. 

He was beheaded in 1547. 

first and third are similar or identical, and 
the second is contrasted in style and in a 
different key. Sometimes a short coda or 
concluding passage is added. 

In a figurative sense an article that is sold 
very cheaply is said to be sold for a song. 
A fussy person is one who makes a song about 
trifles, or enlarges upon them. 

A.-S. sang, from singan to sing ; cp. G. sang, 
Dutch zang, O. Norse song-r. See sing. 

sonifer (son' i fer), n. An instrument for 
enabling deaf people to hear. (F. cornet 

A bell is a soniferous (so nif er us, adj.) 
object, that is, one that produces sound. 
Air and water are soniferous in the sense that 
they carry sound. 

From L. sonus sound, ferre to bring, produce. 
son-in-law (sun in law). For this word, 
sonless, etc., see under son. 

sonnet (son' et), n. A poem of fourteen 
iambic' lines, each con- 
taining ten syllables. (F. 

The sonnet is of Italian 
origin. Those sonnets 
following the great models 
of Dante and Petrarch are 
divided into two sections, 
a group of eight lines, 
called the octet, and a 
group of six lines following 
this and named the sestet. 
In the Petrarchian sonnet 
the rhyme-scheme of the 
octet is a, b, b, a, a, b, 
b, a. Two or three rhymes 
are allowed in the sestet, 
but a couplet at the 
end is avoided. Many 
variations of this form 
are found in English 
verse, the chief being the 
Shakespearean sonnet, 
which consists of three quatrains each 
with different alternating rhymes, and a 
final couplet. 

A sonneteer (son e ter', n.) is a poet who 
writes sonnets. To sonneteer (v.i.) is to 
compose sonnets. These two words are 
often used in a depreciatory sense. 

F., from Ital. sonetto, -dim. of suono sound, 
L. sonus. 

sonny (sun' i). For this word see under 

sonometer (so nom' e ter), n. An ^instru- 
ment for measuring the vibration of strings, 
or for testing metals ; an apparatus for 
testing a deaf person's hearing. (F. sono- 

L. sonus sound, and K. -meter. 
sonorous (so nor' us), adj. Giving out 
sound ; loud-sounding ; resonant ; having 
an imposing sound ; high-sounding. (F. 
sonore, ronflant, eclatant, resonnant.) 

A speaker who has little of importance to 
say sometimes uses sonorous or high- 
sounding phrases in an attempt to impose on 




his hearers. The full deep tones of a bass 
singer, or the notes of a church organ may 
be described as sonorous ; they possess 
sonority (so nor' i ti, n.), or sonorousness (so 
nor' us nes, n.), that is, resonance, and are 
delivered sonorously (so nor 'us li, adv.). 

The instrument called the radiophone is 
sonorescent (so no res' ent, adj.) and has 
the quality of sonorescence (so no res' ens, n.) 
because it gives out sounds produced by the 
expansion and contraction of a body under 
the action of a beam of radiant heat thrown 
upon and absorbed by it. 

Things that produce sound are sonorific 
(son 6 rif ik ; so no rif ik, adj.). Certain 
insects, such as the cricket, might be called 
sonorific because of the thin, harsh, squeaky 
sounds they make. 

L. sonorus, from sonor (ace. sonor-em), from 
sonar e to sound ; E. adj. suffix -ous. SYN. : Loud, 
noisy, resonant, resounding, sounding. 

sonship (sun' ship). For this word see 
under son. 

soochong- (soo shong'). This is another 
spelling of souchong. See souchong. 

soon (soon), adv. In a short time after the 
time in question ; at an early date ; before 
long ; forthwith ; shortly ; presently ; 
early ; quickly ; speedily ; easily ; willingly. 
(F. bientot, tot, d'ici peu, tout a I'heure, tout 
de suite, promptement, vite, volontiers.} 

An event that occurs at two minutes 
past twelve in the afternoon 
may be said to have occurred 
soon, or shortly, after noon. 
When we are asked to do a 
certain thing we may reply 
that we will do it soon, meaning 
before long or forthwith. If we 
are busy at the time we may say 
we will do it as soon as, or so 
soon as, we have leisure. 

If we wish to put off doing 
something, we say that we will 
do it sooner or later, mean- 
ing some time or other in 
the future. When we are asked 
to do something greatly against 
our wishes we may reply that 
we would as soon, that is, as 
willingly, undertake a journey to 
the moon. 

A.-S. sona ; cp. O.H.G. sdn, Goth. 
suns. SYN. : Early, promptly, 
quickly, shortly. ANT. : Late. 

spot (sut), n. A fine black powder formed 
during the burning of coal and other fuels, 
and generally found adhering to the side of a 
chimney or flue. (F. suie.) 

To remove the soot from a chimney a 
chimney-sweep uses a brush fixed to the end 
of a long, flexible, jointed rod. Some coals 
burn more sootily (suf i li, adv.) than others. 
Ordinary household coal is often very sooty 
(suf i, adj.), but anthracite is sootless (suf 
les, adj.), that is, deposits no soot. Attempts 
to abolish the sootiness (suf i nes, n.) of 
large towns have not yet been successful. 

M.E. and A.-S. sot ; cp. Swed. sot, Dan. sod, 
O. Norse sot, Lithuanian sodis ; perhaps akin to 
E. sit in the sense of to remain upon, from root 
sed to sit. 

sooth (sooth), n. Truth; reality. (F. 
verite, realite.} 

This word is rarely used to-day except in 

A.-S. soth (for south) true, truth ; cp. Sansk. sat, 
satya true, Gr. eteos true, L. -sen(t)s being, pres. 
p. of esse, in L. db-sens, prae-sens, E. absent, 
present, so that sooth means that which really 
is ; cp. O. Norse sann-r for santh-r, O.H.G. and 
Dan. sand, all from the root es to be. 

soothe (sooth), v.t. To calm ; to quiet ; 
to soften ; to humour ; to mitigate ; to 
allay ; to wheedle. (F. calmer, adoucir, 
apaiser, soulager, mitiger , flatter .} 

We may soothe a crying child by crooning 
or singing over it. A few tactful words will 
often soothe the vanity of one who has been 
insulted. A person suffering from neuralgia 
goes to a doctor for something to soothe 
the pain. Time itself is a soother (sooth' 
er, n.) of our troubles, for it causes us to 
forget, and so acts soothingly (sooth' ing li, 

M.E. sothien to prove true, confirm, A.-S. 
gescthian to verify, bear witness to, accept as 
true, hence, to humour by doing so, from 
soth true ; cp. O. Norse sanna to assert, prove 
true. See sooth. SYN. : Allay, calm, quiet. 

soothsayer (sooth' sa er), n. One who 

Soothsayer. An Arab soothsayer professing to foretell the future 

by the use of sand. In early times the soothsayer was consulted 

on important occasions. 

professes to reveal the future or the unknown ; 
a diviner. (F. devin). 

In olden times, a soothsayer would be con- 
sulted on almost every important occasion, 
Rulers of states would seldom embark on a 
war without asking one to soothsay (sooth' 
sa, v.i.}, that is, to predict the result of the 

Literally, one who tells the truth, from sooth 
and sayer ; M.E. sothseggere. See sooth. SYN. : 
Augur, prognosticator, prophet, seer. 

sootily (sut ' i li) . For thi s word . sootiness, 
etc., see under soot. 




sop (sop), n. Bread or biscuit soaked and 
softened in some liquid ; something given 
to a person to keep him quiet ; a bribe. 
v.t. To dip in liquid food ; to take up (water) 
by absorbing it. v.i. To be soaked. (F. 
morceau trempe, soupe a lait, present, douceur, 
os a ronger ; tremper.) 

When Aeneas was taken into the lower 
regions, as related in the sixth book of Virgil, 
he had to pass the three-headed dog Cerberus, 
which guarded the entrance to Hades. 
Aeneas's guide, the Sibyl, threw it a drugged 
cake, which stupefied it and so made it 
harmless. The phrase to throw a sop to 
Cerberus now means to win over a possible 
enemy with a gift or bribe. 

We may sop up water spilled on the floor 
with a towel or sponge, which becomes 
soppy (sop' i, adj.), that is, soaked, with the 
water it absorbs. A drenching with rain 
reduces clothes to soppiness (sop' i nes, n.), 
that is, the state of being soppy. The clove- 
pink used to be called sops-in-wine (n.), 
perhaps from its reddish colour. The 
name is also given to an old variety of 
apple, one having a deep red colour. 

M.E. soppe, cp. A.-S. sop- 
pian, to soak, sop up, supan 
to sup ; also Dutch sop, soppen 
(v.), G. suppe, Icel. soppa 
(n.), supa (v.). See soup, sup. 
SYN. : n. Pap. v. Drench, 
soak, steep. 

Sopherim (so' fer im), The Hebrew scribes. 

It was the duty of the 
Sopherim to copy out and 
interpret the meaning of 
the Jewish law. The 
scribes who carried out 
this task became very 
powerful, and Sopheric (so 
*"~ / ik, adj.] utterances 


were always received with 

Heb. pi. of sopher scribe. 

sophism (sof izm), n. 
An argument which ap- 
pears correct but contains 
some deception. (F. 
sophisme, equivoque.) 

In the fifth century before Christ there 
arose in Greece a desire for education. 
This demand was met by teachers who 
travelled about and gave general instruction 
in reasoning and oratory, and also lectured 
on history, poetry, mathematics, and science. 
They received fees for their courses. 

Sophism was, then, the art of teaching, 
and a sophist (sof ' ist, n.) of ancient Greece 
was one eminent in the arts, whose position 
was very like that of a lecturer in a modern 
university. The practice of charging fees was 
scorned by some of the greater philosophers, 
and Plato accused the sophists of trying to 
hoodwink their pupils with arguments 
they did not believe themselves. 

Sophoclean. A statue of Sophocles, 

a Greek writer of tragedies, from whom 

comes the word Sophoclean. 

To-day, sophism and sophistry (sof is 
tri, n.) are terms used for quibbling or 
talking for the sake of talking. Artificial 
or unsound arguments are said to be sophistic 
(so fis' tik, adj.) or sophistical (so fis' tik al, 
adj.). They are expressed sophistically (so 
fis' tik al li, adv.), that is, in a sophistical 
manner, or in a subtle way with the 
intention of deceiving. 

To sophisticate (so ns' ti kat, v.t.) a person 
or thing is to spoil him or it by the admixture 
of something ignoble. It may also mean to 
obscure by false arguments or to adulterate 
or falsify. He who acts thus is a sophisti- 
cator (so fiV ti ka tor, n.) and is guilty of 
sophistication (so fis ti ka/ shun, n.). 

At Cambridge University, at Trinity 
College, -Dublin, and at Harvard University 
in the U.S.A., and Dartmouth College, the 
term sophister (sof ist er, n.) was formerly 
applied to certain of the senior students. 

O.F. sophisme, from L. and Gr. sophisma, 
from sophlzein to instruct, make wise (sophos). 
Sophoclean (sof 6 kle' an), adj. Re- 
lating to or in the manner of Sophocles, 
the Greek writer of tragedies. (F. sopho- 

Sophocles lived from 495 
to 405 B.C., when Athens 
was at the zenith of her 
greatness. The plots of his 
plays, seven of which sur- 
vive, were drawn from 
the Greek legends, and he 
used them always with a 
strong moral or patriotic 
motive. The- Sophoclean 
style, while conferring new 
life and reality on the 
ancient traditions, never 
loses its grandeur. 

sophomore (sof' 6 
mor), n. A second-year 
student at an American 
university ; one who has 
ceased to be a freshman. 
(F. etudiant de seconde 

The term sophomore 
was once used in England 
at Cambridge University, 
where the sophomores were those with 
greater skill in debating than the freshmen. 
A sophomore may have been rather pleased 
with his seniority, and a sophomoric (sof 6 
mor' ik, adj.) or sophomorical (sof 6 mor' 
ik al, adj.) style is a bombastic or pretentious 
one. To talk sophomorically (sof 6 mor' ik 
al li, adv.) is to speak like a sophomore. 

Perhaps from sophom = sophism, and suffix 
-or, the same as sophister, both meaning debater, 
one who uses captious arguments ; cp. wrangler 
(at Cambridge) originally one who disputed in 
the schools. 

soporific (so po rif ik ; sop 6 rif ik), 
adj. Caus'ng sleep, n. A drug that causes 
sleep. (F. soporatif, somnifere ; narcotique.) 




Soft music or singing and the quieter 
sounds of nature, such as rippling streams 
and rustling leaves, are soporific. Among the 
drugs used for producing sleep are opium, 
laudanum, and morphia, all produced from 
poppy seeds. Other forms of the adjective 
with the same meaning are soporiferous 
(so po rif ' er us ; sop 6 rif ' er us, adj.) and 
soporose (so'poriis; sop' 6 ros, adj.). 

From assumed L. soporificus, from L. sopor 
heavy sleep, and suffix -ficus from facere to 
make, produce. SYN. : adj. Narcotic, n. Nar- 
cotic, opiate. 

soppiness sop' nes). For this word 
and soppy see under sop. 

soprano (so pra' no), n. The highest 
kind of singing voice in women and boys ; 
a singer with this voice ; the musical part 
sung in a choir by such voices, adj. Written 
for or connected with the soprano voice ; 
indicating the highest of a family of instru- 
ments, pi. sopranos (so pra' noz), soprani 
(so pra' ne). (F. soprano, dessus, des 

In a choir, the sopranos sing music at 
a higher pitch than the altos, tenors, and 
basses. A man with a natural soprano 
voice may be called a sopranist (so pra' nist, 
n.). A woman with a soprano voice is 
rarely so called. A soprano saxophone is a 
saxophone with a high pitch. 

Ital. = highest, supreme, from L.L. superdnus 
sovereign, chief, from L. super or supra above. 

sora (sor' a), n. The Carolina rail, 
Porzana Carolina. 

This is a small olive-brown bird with 
white markings. It abounds in the marshes 
of the Atlantic coast in autumn 
and is a favourite bird with ET 
sportsmen, being highly LX 
esteemed for food. 

Said to be a native name. 

orb (sorb), n. The service- 
tree (Pyrus domesticd), a member 
of the apple family ; the fruit 
of this. (F. ' sorbier, cormier ; 
sorbe, corme.) 

The fru.t of the sorb is more 
often known as the sorb-apple 
(n.). It may be either sweet 
or sour. The unripe berries 
of the rowan, which is related 
to the sorb, contain an acid, 
sorbic (sor' bik, adj.) acid, a 
salt of which is a sorbate (sor' 
bat, n.). From the juice of the 
berries a sugar which is 
known as sorbin (sor' bin, n.) can be isolated. 

F. sorbe, from L. sorbus (tree), sorbum (fruit). 
See service. 

sorbefacient (sor be fa' shent), adj. 

sorbet (SOT' bet), n. A flavoured water 
ice ; sherbet. (F. sorbet.) 

F., from Ital. sorbetto. See sherbet. 

sorbic (sor' bik). For this word and 
sorbin see under sorb. 

sorbo (sor' bo), n. A kind of porous 
rubber used for children's balls and other 
toys and for sponges 

Sorbo is light and very resilient ; it does 
not hold water. 

Sorbonne (sor bon'), n. A famous 
theological college founded in Paris by 
Robert de Sorbon, chaplain to Louis IX of 
France, in 1252 A. D. (F. Sorbonne.} 

The Sorbonne became the theological 
coliege of the University of Paris and was 
visited by students of all nations. Rebuilt 
by Richelieu in 1629, it was reorganized by 
Napoleon I in 1808 and is now devoted to 
theology, literature, and science 

Feminized form of founder's name. 

sorcerer (sor' ser er), n. One who deals 
in magic, witchcraft or enchantments. (F. 

In the Middle Ages sorcerers were regarded 
with awe and admiration, and there was a 
sincere belief in sorcery (sor' ser i, n.}, known 
also as magic and witchcraft. 

A woman who practised sorcery was called 
a sorceress (sor' ser es, n.}. 

O.F. sorcier, from L.L. sortiarius literally one 
who casts lots to tell fortunes, from L. sors 
(ace. sort-em) lot ; the final -er in the modern 
form is a superfluous addition to M.E. sorcer ; 
cp. fruiterer. SYN. : Enchanter, magician, 
necromancer, wizard. 

Sorcerer. Native sorcerers practising their witchcraft in Natal, 
South Africa. 

sordid sor' did), adj. Mean ; vile ; 
beggarly. (F. sordide, vil, mesquin.} 

This word originally meant dirty or foul, 
and still has something of that sense when 

Promoting or producing absorption, n. A we speak of sordid streets. More often 
substance or preparation that has these now it is used in reference to the character 

qualities. (F. absorbant.} 

of a person or to personal qualities. We 

Iodine is a sorbefacient drug useful as mav, for example, say that a man has a 

O ' i -| j-i_j _ " * _ _ _ J ' j 

a dressing for wounds. 

L. sorbere to suck up, and faciens (ace. -ent-em), 
pres. p. of facere to make, cause. 

sordid nature or that avarice is a sordid vice. 
We despise the sordidness (sor' did nes, n.), 
or meanness, of a miser, but we pity the 




See surd. 

poor who are compelled to live sordidly 
(sor 7 did li, adv.], that is, in poverty-stricken 

F. sordide, from L. sordidus dirty, filthy, from 
sordes dirt, filth. SYN. : Avaricious, base, de- 
graded, ignoble, niggardly. ANT. : Generous, 
liberal, munificent, noble, refined. 

sordine (sor 7 den), n. A device for 
deadening the sound of a musical instru- 
ment ; a mute ; a damper, adj. Muffled ; 
subdued. Another form is sourdine (soor 7 
den). (F. sourdine; assourdi.) 

Ital. sordina, from L. surdus deaf. 

sore (sor), adj. Painful ; dis- 
tressed ; aggrieved ; causing pain 
or annoyance, adv. Severely, n. 
A raw spot where the skin is 
broken; an incident or subject 
that causes pain or sorrow. (F. 
douloureux, sensible ; rudement, 
gnevement; ulcere.} 

A cut finger or grazed knee, ii 
neglected, may cause a painful 
sore. When a person has suffered 
some misfortune, a reminder of 
it is often a sore point. He or 
she may feel sore or touchy on 
the subject. Formerly sore was 
used in the sense of sorely (sor' 
li, adv.), meaning exceedingly. A 
person sore afflicted was ex- 
tremely afflicted. Soreness (sor' 
.nes, n.), the quality of being 
sore is used of both bodily and 
mental pain. 

M.E. sor, A.-S. sar (n. and adj.) ; 
cp. Dutch zeer, O.H.G. _ser, O. 
Norse sdr-r, wounded, sore, sdr (n.) ; 
for adv. cp. A.-S. sdre, O.H.G. sero, G. sehr. 
SYN,: adj. Grieved, hurt, vexed, violent, n. 
Affliction, grief, ulcer. ANT. : adj. Comfortable, 
easy, painless. 

sorghum (sor 7 gum), n. A group of 

Sorrel. A sprig of the 

common sorrel, a familiar 

meadow plant. 

This logical form was invented by the 
Greek sophists. 

Gr. soreites literally heaped up, from soros 
heap, a heap or chain (of syllogisms). 

sorn (sorn), v.i. To sponge on other 
people's hospitality. (F. e'cormfler, vivre en 

In Scotland, whence this word comes, 
sorner (sorn 7 er, n.) means a self-invited 
guest, who thrusts himself on his acquaint- 
ances to get free board and lodging. 

From obsolete Irish sorthan (L.L. sorndgium) 
free quarters. 

sorosis (soro 7 sis), n. A kind 
of collective fruit. 

In certain plants, as for example 
the pineapple and the mulberry, 
a fleshy fruit known as a sorosis 
is formed by the cohesion in a 
single mass of a number of flower 
envelopes and ovaries. 
Gr. soros heap. 

sorrel [i] (sor 7 el), n. One of 
a number of meadow plants of 
the genus Rumex, specially 
Rumex acetosa. (F. oseille.) 

The common sorrel is allied to 
the dock, but its leaves are much 
smaller and contain oxalic acid, 
which gives them a sour taste. 
They are often used in salads in 
France, and are also boiled and 
served like spinach. 

The sorrel-tree (n.) is a small 
tree belonging to the heath family 
of plants, with sour- tasting leaves. 
It grows in the Tiorth-eastern 
United States. Botanists call it 
Oxydendron arboreum. 

O.F. sorel, dim. of sur, O.H.G. sur sour, G. 
saner ; cp. A.-S. sure sorrel, from sur sour. 
See sour. 

sorrel [2] (sor' el), adj. Of a bright 

grasses originally Asiatic and African, but chestnut or reddish-brown colour, n. This 
now widespread in cultivation. (F. sorgho.) colour ; a horse or other animal of a bright 
This group includes the durra or Indian chestnut colour. (F. saure, alezan.) 

O.F. sorel, from sor, F. saur(e), probably of 
Teut. origin ; cp. Dutch zoor dry, withered, 
Low G. soor, the sense representing the colour 
of withered leaves. See sere. 

sorrily (sor' i li). For this word and 
sorriness see under sorry. 

sorrow (sor 7 6), n. Grief; unhappiness 
caused by loss, suffering or disappointment ; 
mental pain. v.i. To grieve, to lament. 
(F. chagrin, douleur, peine ; s'attrister, 
souffrir, s'affliger.) . 

One of the most touching of Bible stories 
is that of Jacob and his best beloved sons 
Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph was be- 
lieved to be dead, and the elder sons proposed 
to take Benjamin, the youngest, with them 
to Egypt. The old man, dreading what 
might befall, cried : " If mischief befall 
him by the way in which ye go, then shall 

millet producing a grain used as food in 
India, the Chinese sugar-cane cultivated for 
its sweet juice, and many grasses useful for 

F. sorgho, Span. Ital. sorgo, from L.L. 
surgum, sur(i)cum. Said to be of Oriental 

soricine (sor 7 i sin), adj. Of, belonging, 
or resembling the shrew-mice or shrews. 
(F. de musaraigne.) 

The soricine bat (Glossophaga soricina) is 
a small kind of vampire. It is quite un- 
related to the true soricine animals, or shrews 
and their allies. Although mouse-like in 
form and size, they belong to the insecti- 
vorous mammals and not to the rodents. 

L. sdricinus, from sorex (ace. soric-erri) shrew, 
and suffix -ine. 

sorites (so ri' tez), n. A string of formal 

arguments,' the predicate of each being the ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow 
subject of the following one. (F. sorite.) to the grave " (Genesis xlii, 38). 




One who sorrows or grieves is a sorrower 
(sor' 6 er, n.) ; his heart is sorrowful (sor' 
6 ful, adj.) or filled with grief, and he goes 
sorrowfully (sor 6 ful li, adv.) or mourn- 
fully about his business. Sorrowfulness 
(sor' 6 ful nes, n.) is the state of grief or 

M.E. sorwe, sorghe, A.-S. sorg ; cp. Dutch zorg, 
G. sorge, and Dan., Swed., O. Norse sorg ; (v.) 
M.E. sor(o)wen, sorghien, A.-S. sorgian, akin to 
Goth, saurgan to sorrow, grieve. SYN. : n. 
Affliction, distress, grief, misery, trouble, v. 
Mourn, yearn. ANT. : n. Bliss, felicity, happi- 
ness, joy. v. Rejoice. 

sorry (sor' i), adj. Full of grief or 
regret ; sad ; distressed at heart ; miserable, 
poor. (F. fdche, afflige, triste, miserable, 
mechant, pitoyable.) 

We feel sorry or distressed when we see 
a fellow creature in pain or misfortune, and 
we are usually sorry or regretful for our own 
misdeeds. A poor specimen of a horse may 
be spoken of as a sorry nag. A person 
dressed in rags is sorrily (sor' i li, adj.) or 
miserably clad. Sorriness (sor' i nes, n.) is 
the state of being sorry in any sense of the 

M.E. son, sare, A.-S. sarig, from sdr pain, 
sorrow, sore (the physical sense appearing in 
Dutch zeerig, Swed. sarig full of sores). The 
original sense was painful, sore in mind, hence 
sad, miserable. The word = sore and suffix -y 
(representing A.-S. -ig). The doubling of r 
(originally single) is explained by the shortening 
of d in M.E. sory caused by the suffixing of -y. 
Confused with sorrow, of which it is wrongly 
regarded as the adjectival form. SYN. : Des- 
picable, dismal, melancholy, mournful, pitiful. 
ANT. : Content, happy, jubilant, pleased. 

sort (sort), n. A number of persons, 
animals or things, having the same or 
similar qualities ; a class, species or kind ; 
manner or way ; in printing, one of the 
characters in a fount of type. v.t. To 
separate into classes or kinds ; to select from 
a number. (F. sorte, espece, genre, classe ; 
assortir, classer, trier.) 

People of every sort and kind find pleasure 
in reading, but the sort of people who enjoy 
books of travel and adventure might be 
bored with a story dealing with home life. 
In a shop we may ask for a certain article 
and be told by the shopman that people 
are not asking for that sort of thing now. 
We may then demand to be shown something 
that resembles in some sort or degree the 
one we originally asked for. 

When we are not very well we may be 
said to be out of sorts, (sorts, n.) and the 
same phrase, which is used in the printing 
trade, there means to be out of type of a 
particular letter. A sorter (sort' er, n.) is 
one who separates, classifies or arranges 
things, as for example a letter-sorter in a 
post-office who sorts the letters posted, 
according to their destinations. Fruits of 
different size and quality might be said to 
be sortable (sort' abl, adj.), but this word 
is rarely used. The action or process of 

sorting or classifying, as of letters at a post- 
office, is sometimes called sortation (sort a' 
shim, n.). 

O.F. sorte (cp. Ital. sorta) from L. sors (ace. 
sort-em) lot, part. Probably akin to serere to 
connect, put in order, L. series the lots being 
arranged in rows for the purpose of drawing. 
SYN. : n. Character, class, degree, order, rank. 
v. Arrange, classify, separate. 

Sort. An archaeologist sorting geological specimens 
collected in the great Gobi Desert, Central Asia. 

sortes (sor' tez), The practice 
of divining by choosing a passage in a book 
at random. (F. sort.) 

Among the Romans it was the custom to 
consult the Sibylline books, and, after 
these had been destroyed, the works of 
Virgil, by the sortes. The book was opened 
at random, and the first passage which caught 
the eye was taken as a prophecy for guidance. 
Later on the Bible took the place of heathen 
writings. In his poem, " Enoch Arden," 
Tennyson tells us how Annie longing for 
news of her absent husband 

desperately seized the holy Book, 
Suddenly set it wide to find a sign, 
Suddenly put her finger on the text, 
" Under the palm tree." 

Casting lots is sortition (sor tish' un, n.). 

L. pi. oi sors lot. See sort. 

sortie (sor x ti), n. A sally or outrush 
as from a besieged place to attack the 
besiegers. (F. sortie.) 

F. fern p.p. of sortir to go out, probably from 
assumed L. sortus, a contraction of surrectus, 
p.p. of surgere to rise up. 

sortilege (sor' ti lej), n. The practice of 
casting lots in order to decide something ; 
divination by casting lots. (F. sortilege.) 

St. Matthias was chosen by sortilege to 
take the place of Judas Iscariot (Acts i, 26). 

F., from L.L. sortilegium, from L. sors (gen. 
sortis), legere to select. 

sorus (so' rus), n. A heap or cluster. 
The plural is sori (so' rl). (F. sore.) 

This word is used by botanists for a 
cluster of spore cases, especially for the 
little brown patches on the underside of fern 

Gr. sor os heap. 

so-so (so so). For this word see under so. 




sostenuto (sos te noo' to), adv. In a pro- 
longed or sustained manner. (F. sostenuto.} 

This musical term is often abbreviated 
to sost, or sosten. As a direction of speed, 
sostenuto corresponds to andante. 

Ital. sostenuto, p.p. of sostenere, from L. 
sustinere to sustain, uphold. 

sot (sot), n. A confirmed drunkard ; 
one habitually muddled by excessive drink- 
ing ; a tippler ; a toper, v.i. To tipple. 
(F. soulard, pochard, poivrot ; se souler.) 

There is no sadder sight than that 
presented by a sot who, had he earlier in life 
exercised but a little will-power, might have 
been an esteemed member of society. Instead, 
he is a victim of sottishness (sot' ish nes, n.), 
spending his time sottishly (sot' ish li, adv.) 
among sottish (sot' ish, adj.) companions. 

A.-S., O.F. sot foolish, stupid, L.L. sottus. 
SYN. : Drunkard, tippler, toper. 

Sothic (soth' ik ; so' thik), adj. Deter- 
mined by the heliacal rising of Sirius. (F. 

In ancient Egypt the Sothic, Sothiac (so' 
thi ak, adj.) or Sothiacal (so thi' ak al, adj.) 
year of 365 1 days was distinguished from 
the ordinary or vague year of 365 days, and 
a Sothic cycle of 1,460 Sothic years equalled 
1,461 vague years. 

From Gr. Sothis,' an Egyptian name of Sirius 
the dog-star. 

sottish (sot' ish). For this word, sot- 
tishly, etc., see under sot. 

sou (soo), n. A French copper coin, 
worth one- twentieth of a franc ; a five- 
centime piece. (F. sou ) 

O.F, sol. from L. solidus name of a coin, in 
L.L. of reduced value. See solidus. 

n. A maid- 

soubrette (soo bret 
servant or similar 
character in comedy or |t 
opera. (F. soubrette.) r 

The soubrette in a I 
play is often a lady's I 
maid of a mischievous 1 
or intriguing char- i 
acter. An example is \ 
Maria in Shakespeare's * 
" Twelfth Night." 

F. fern, of O.F. soubret i 
sober, acute, cunning. 

soubriquet (soo' 
bri ka). This is 
another form of sob- 
riquet. See sobriquet. 

souchong (soo 
shong'), n. A grade 
or quality of tea. 
Another spelling is 
soochong (soo shong'). 
(F. souchong.) 

Souchong is prepared from the tips of 
the young and tender leaves of the tea 
plant. The name is used by dealers for 
the quality of tea next to pekoe, made 
from the youngest and most tender leaves. 

Chinese siao-chung small sort. 

Soudanese (soo' da nez). This is another 
spelling of Sudanese. See Sudanese. 


Soubrette. Sir Toby Belch and Maria, Olivia's 

maid, a mischievous soubrette, characters in 

Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." 

souffle (soo' fia), n. A light dish made 
from the frothed whites of eggs, flavoured 
either with some sweet or savoury material 
and baked in a very slow oven. adj. Made 
in this way. (F. souffle.) 

F. p.p. of souffler, to blow, puff, from L. 
sufflare, from sub under, flare to blow. 

sough [i] (suf; sou), v. To murmur or 
sigh, as the wind. n. A sound of this kind. 
(F. bruire ; bruissement.) 

This word appears to imitate the sound of 
the wind blowing through the trees or round 
the corners of a house. It is related to the 
word " surf." 

A.-S. swogan to (re)soimd, probably imitative ; 
cp. Goth, -swogjan to sigh. 

sough [2] (suf), n. A water channel, 
especially a tunnel draining a mine. (F. 
fosse d'ecoulement, egout.) 

Sc. sheugh, sheuch, M.E. sough drain ; cp. 
Welsh sock, possibly akin to L. sulcus furrow. 
SYN. : Drain, gutter, sewer, trench. 

sought (sawt). This is the past tense 
and past participle of seek. See seek. 

soul (sol), n. The spiritual part of man 
which separates him from the lower animals ; 
the emotional part of a man's nature ; the 
human understanding ; that which gives 
life to both men and animals ; the life, 
energy or moving force of any action or 
cause ; a spirit which has left the body ; 
any noble quality ; a human being. (F. 
time, esprit, etre.) 

According to the ancient and mediaeval 
philosophers the soul was the first principle 
of life. They held that plants had vegetable 
souls and that the beasts had sensitive 
souls, but that man alone had an under- 
standing and reasoning 

IMBBBiffiiillHBBK soul which lived for 

The leading spirit 
of a movement may 
be spoken of as its 
soul. If we walk along 
a country road at 
night we may not 
meet a single soul, 
that is, a single living 

Sometimes we speak 
of one whom we pity 
in rather a contempt- 
uous way as a poor 
soul. According to the 
religious beliefs of 
most peoples the souls 
of the dead continue to 
live in another sphere. 
The soul-bell (n.) is the bell that is some- 
times rung when a person is dying or just 
dead. In olden .times a bell known as the 
soul-bell was rung when a person was at the 
point of death. The custom is still kept 
up in some religious communities. 

The word souled (sold, adj.) is used in 
combination with another adjective. A 



high-souled (adj.) person is both generous by the sound or sounds he hears, and he 

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and noble ; a soulful (sol' ful, adj.) one is 
very emotional and above the things of 
this world. Soulfulness (sor ful nes, n.) is 
the quality of being concerned about higher 
things, and a person so concerned usually 
speaks and acts soulfully (sol' ful li, adv.). 
Soulful and its derivatives are often used in 
a si ghtly contemptuous sense, being applied 
to those who have an unreasonable disregard 
for the things of the world. 

A soulless (sol' les, adj.) man or woman 
is one without the finer or more sensitive 
feelings. A soulless thing is dull, uninterest- 
ing or morbid. We say an author writes 
or an artist paints soullessly (sol' les li, adv.) 
or that his work shows soullessness (sol' les 
nes, n.) if it lacks inspiration or feeling. 

A.-S. sawel, sdwol, sawl ; cp. Dutch ziel, 
G. seele, O. Norse sdl(a), Goth, saiwala. SYN. : 
Essence, quintessence. ANT. : Body, sub- 

sound [ij (sound), adj. Whole ; unim- 
paired ; uninjured ; not deteriorated ; un- 
hurt ; free from defect or decay ; healthy ; 
perfect ; based on truth or reason ; correct ; 
orthodox ; upright ; solvent ; profound. 
(F. sain, sain et sauf, intacte, solide, robuste, 
parfait, bien fonde, probant, solvable, profond.) 

Lucky indeed are those who are of sound 
health and sound mind, those who have a 
sound business or a sound income, and those 
who sleep soundly (sound' li, adv.) at night, 
and who are therefore in a state of general 
soundness (sound' nes, n.). 

A.-S. sund ; cp. Dutch gezond, G. gesund ; 
perhaps akin to Goth, swinth-s strong, and L. 
sdnus healthy. SYN. : Effectual, healthy, sane, 
thorough, valid. ANT. : Broken, heterodox, 
imperfect, invalid, ineffectual. 

sound [2] (sound), n. The sensation 
produced through the organ of hearing ; 
that which causes such a sensation ; a 
particular quality of tone producing a certain 
effect on the hearer ; vocal or 
articulate utterance ; hearing i^@S| 
distance ; ear-shot ; meaningless 
noise, v.i. To make or give a 
sound or sounds ; to be heard as | 
a sound ; to make a certain 
impression. v.t. To cause to 
sound ; to indicate by sounds ; 
to utter audibly ; to cause to 
exist as a sound ; to proclaim ; 
to make known ; to test by 
sounds. (F. son, bruit, ton, portee, 
retentissement ; sonner ; faire 
sonner, faire retentir, publier.) 

To detect the approach of an 
unseen enemy, savages place their 
ears to the ground and are fore- 
warned by the sound or sounds 
they hear, for a solid body, such as the 
earth, conducts or transmits sound, just 
as gases or liquids. 

A doctor, by listening through a stetho- 

may be said to sound the lungs. But if 
a gong should sound loudly, or a brass band 
somewhere near should loudly sound their 
instruments, the doctor may have to put 
his stethoscope aside until the disturbing 
sounds have ceased. 

A sound-board (n.) or sounding-board (n.) 
is a canopy of metal or wood placed over a 
pulpit or platform to direct the sound of 
the speaker's voice toward the audience. 
The same terms are used of a thin board 
for increasing the sound which forms part 
of various musical instruments. Inside the 
violin there is a sound-post (n.) inserted 
between the belly and the back. This, besides 
acting as a support, transmits the vibrations 
of sound from the belly to the back. In 
several instruments of the viol and lute 
classes there is an opening in the belly- 
called a sound-hole (n.). 

Musicians sometimes practise in a sound- 
proof (adj.) room, that is, a soundless 
(sound' les, adj.) room, made impenetrable 
to sounds or sounding (sound' ing, adj.) 
occurrences outside. The movements of a 
tiger are almost soundless, that is, almost 
silent; it walks soundlessly (sound' les \i,adv.) 
through the jungle and takes its prey by 
surprise. In the depths of the ocean there 
would be found not only intense darkness, 
but absolute soundlessness (n.). 

A sounder (sound' er, n.) is one who or 
that which sounds. In telegraphy, it is a 
device which allows communications to be 
read by sound alone. The thick curved 
edge against which the tongue strikes in 
a bell is called the sound-bell (n.). 

M.E. soun, O.F. son, sun (F. son) from L. 
sonus, cp. Sansk. svana ; (v.) M.E. sounen, O.F. 
soner, suner (F. sonner), from L. sondre, cp. Sansk. 
svan ; cp. lend, round for the added d. SYN. : 
n. Blare, din, noise, tone, uproar, v. Resound. 
ANT. : n. Hush, lull, muteness, silence. 

Sound. A general view at Helsingborg, a city and an important 
port of Sweden, showing the sound. 

sound [3] (sound), n. A narrow channel 
of water connecting two larger pieces or 
separating the mainland and an island ; a 
strait ; an inlet of the sea ; the swim- 

scope placed against a patient's chest, will bladder of a fish. (F. detroit, bras de mer, 
be able to judge the condition of the lungs vessie natatoire.) 





The passage of water between Sweden 
and the Danish island of Zealand, which 
connects the Kattegat with the Baltic Sea, 
is known as the Sound ; in Scotland we 
hear of the Sounds of Sleat, Mull, Islay, 
and many others which separate the islands 
from the coast. 

Cod-sounds are a favourite delicacy with 
many people and when fried are said to 
resemble oysters. Isinglass is made from the 
sounds of sturgeons and other fish. 

A.-S. sund, swimming, that which can be 
swum across ; cp. Dan., Swed., O. Norse and G. 
sund, akin to A.-S. swimman, E. swim. 

sound [4] (sound), v.t. To measure 
depth of ; of feelings 
or intentions, to test 
or try; in medicine, 
to examine with a 
probe, v.i. To take 
soundings; of whales, 
to dive deeply, n. A 
probe, an instrument 
for searching wounds 
or organs of the body. 
(F. sonder; sonde.) 

The simplest way 
to sound the depth of 
water is to let down 
a weight, such as a 
bob of lead, at the 

Sounding. Taking a sounding by means of Lord 
Kelvin's deep-sea sounding apparatus; 

end of a cord and to notice when the bottom 
is reached. This is seen by a slackening 
of the cord. A whale, startled by the 
approach' of a ship, will often sound and 
so> disappear. In < a figurative sense, to 
sound a person as to his opinions on a 
certain matter is to question him as to these 
in an indirect manner. 

The process of ascertaining the depth of 
water is called sounding (sound', ing, n.). 
The length of line let out is said to give the 
soundings ( or depth. A place near 
the shore where the depth can be taken 
is also called soundings. For very small 
depths of water, such as the flooding in a 
ship's hold, a sounding- rod (n.), that is, an 
iron rod marked to a scale of feet and inches, 
is used. 

Very great depths are spoken of as sound- 
less (sound' les, adj.), but this only means 
that the sounder (sound' er, n.), or person 
seeking the depth, has not the right 

F. sonder, from sonde plummet, probably 
borrowed from A.-S. or p. Norse sund sound [3] ; 
cp. A.-S. sundline sounding line. SYN. : n. Lead, 
plummet, probe. 

sounding (sound ' ing) . For this word and 
soundless see under sound [2] and sound [4]. 

soundly (sound' li). For this word 
and soundness see under sound [i]. 

soup (soop), n. A liquid food usually 
taken hot, made by boiling meat, vege- 
tables, etc., together, and often thickened 
with cereals or cream. (F. soupe, potage, 
bouillon, puree.) 

Usually the first or second course of 


luncheon or dinner, soup is generally served 
hot, but it may be iced, when it looks like 
jelly. A soup-plate (n.) is a pjate about 
an inch deep, so made to prevent the soup 
from spilling. When soup is made without 
meat it is called thin soup or soupe rnaigre 
(soop magr, n.). 

For very poor people who cannot afford 

to buy food, soup-kitchens (n.) are sometimes 

set up in the cold weather, where soup is 

provided either free or at a very small 

charge. Sometimes soup - kitchens are 

opened by charitable societies in places 

where many people are unemployed and 

where great poverty is known to exist, 

and to each person 

who is in need of 

food a soup-ticket (n.) 

is given, which can 

, 8( ^^^^^ be exchanged at the 

soup-kitchen for food. 
A liquid which is like 
soup is sometimes 
said to be soupy (soop' 
i, adj.). 

O.F. and F. soupt, 
perhaps a piece or sop of 
bread, of Teut. origin ; 
cp. Dutch sop, G. suppe. 
See sop. 

soup9on (soop' sow), 
n. A trace ; a taste ; a small quantity ; 
a suspicion. (F. soupQon, ombre.) 

This word is more common in French 
than in English. A faintly scented hand- 
kerchief may be said to bear a soup^on or 

SYN. : Dash, morsel, 

trace of perfume. 

F., literally suspicion, 

sour (sour), adj. Sharp or acid to the 
taste ; tart ; morose ; harsh of temper. 
(F. aigre, sur, maussade, bourru.) 

Green apples and many other unripe 
fruits have a sour, that is, a sharp, acid 
taste. People who are unable to enjoy 
living or find no pleasure in anything become 
sour. In some cases misfortune makes sour 
or harsh-tempered and morose those who 
previously were pleasant and happy. 

The act of making something sour by 
mixing it with acid is called souring (sour x 
ing, n.), and the process of subjecting cloth, 
wool, or skins to dilute acid in order to 
lighten the colour is also so called. We can 
usually test by tasting anything the extent 
of its sourness (sour' nes, n.). Often we 
taste things which are not very sour but 
suggest sourness, in which case we may 
say they are sourish (sour' ish), adj.). To 
look at anybody or anything sourly (sour' li, 
adv.) is to look with dislike or in a disagree- 
able manner. 

A plant known as the common sorrel 
or sour-dock (n.) is found in Britain, France, 
and grows anywhere in the north temperate 
zone. The leaves, which are heart-shaped, 
and taste sour, are used in soups, salads and 
sauces. The fruit of a large tree called the 
4025 c 7 



baobab, which grows in tropical Africa, 
is called sour gourd (n.). It is a large fruit, 
having a pulp which is cool and a little sour. 

A.-S. sur ; cp. Dutch zuur, G. sauer, O. Norse 
sur-r. See sorrel (plant). SYN. : Acrimonious, 
crabbed, morose, peevish, tart. ANT. : Benign, 
bland, mild, pleasant, sweet. 

source (sors), n. The spring or fountain- 
head from which a stream or river issues ; 
place of origin ; first cause ; origin. (F. 

Thames Head, near Cirencester, is one 
source of the River Thames. An illness may 
be traced back to its source in a chill or cold. 
Latin and Anglo-Saxon may be called the 
sources of modern French and English 
respectively. The etymologies in this dic- 
tionary give the source or origin of words. 

M.E. sours, O.F. sorse, fern. p.p. of , O.F. 
so(u)rdre to spring up, L. surgere to rise. See 
surge. SYN. : Cause, foundation, origin, spring. 

sourdine (soor' den). This is another 
form of sordine. See sordine. 

souring (sour' ing). For this word, 
sourish, etc., see under sour. 

souse (sous), n. Pickle made with salt ; 
anything steeped or preserved in pickle or 
vinegar; a plunge; a drenching, v.t. To put 
in pickle ; to soak ; to drench with or plunge 
into water, v.t. To plunge into water. (F. 
marinade, saumure, plongeon, trempage ; 
mariner, tremper, plonger dans I'eau.) 

The head and feet of pigs are pickled for 
food by sousing in brine. Mackerel are 
soused 'in vinegar. We may get a sousing 
through being out in the rain or by falling 
souse into a pool. Formerly women notori- 
ous as scolds were soused or ducked in a 
pond as a punishment. 

O.F. sou(l)z, O.H.G. sulza (G. sulze) brine. 
See salt, sauce. SYN. : n. Immerse, plunge, soak, 

Sou.Uk. The souslik, 
short tail and 

European rodent with 
rabbit-like head. 

souslik (soos' lik), n. A small burrowing 
rodent of the squirrel family. Another 
spelling is suslik (sus' lik). (F. souslik.) 

The souslik (Spermophilus) resembles the 
marmot in appearance and habits. Various 
species occur in the colder parts of Europe, 
Asia, and America. 


soutane (soo tan'; soo tan'), n. A 
cassock. (F. soutane.) See cassock. 

F., from Ital. sottana ; cp. Span, sotana, L.L. 
subtana, from L. subtus underneath, from sub 

south (south), n. One of the four 
cardinal points of the compass, opposite 
to the north ; the direction of the sun at 
noon in the Northern Hemisphere ; a part 
of a country or a region which lies towards 
that quarter ; a wind from the south. 
adj. Of or relating to the south ; situated 
in or towards the south ; (of wind) coming 
from the south, adv. In, near, or towards the 
south; of the wind, from the south, v.i. To 
move or veer towards the south : of moon 
and stars, to cross the meridian of a place. 
v.t. To steer to the south of (a point, etc.). (F. 
sud, midi ; de sud, meridional ; verslemidi.} 

In England and other places in the 
Northern Hemisphere we may find the 
south by observing the position of the 
sun at midday ; when facing the noon- 
day sun we look south, in a southerly (su^' 
er li, adj.] direction, or southward (south' 
ward, adv). To our left is the east and to 
our right the west. 

The points midway between these and 
the south are called south-east (n.) and 
south-west (n.) respectively. The south, 
south-east, and south-west (adj.) winds 
blow from these quarters and are therefore 
southerly, south-easterly (adj.), or south- 
westerly (adj.)- in origin, as the case may be. 

Using these words as adverbs, we may 
say that such winds blow south or southerly 
(suth' er li, adv.), south-east (adv.) or south- 
easterly (adv.), and south-west (adv.) or 
south-westerly (adv.) respectively. 

Sailors call these winds souther (south' er, 
n.), south-easter (n.), and south-wester (n.). 
The last generally brings rain, and so its 
name is given to a waterproof hat with 
wide brim hanging down behind, worn by 
sailors in wet weather. The word is gener- 
ally shortened to sou'wester (sou' west er, n.) 
Southern (suth' ern, adj.) means in, belonging 
to, blowing from, or facing the south. 

A place is south of another if it is situated 
farther south than the latter. The point 
farthest south in a country is the southmost 
(south' most, adj.) or southernmost (suth' 
ern most, adj.) point. South-eastern (adj.) 
and south-western (adj.) mean situated in 
the south-east or south-west. Southing 
(south' ing, n.) is a term used by sailors 
for the action of going south, or for the 
distance their ship has travelled southwards 
(south' wardz, adv.), that is, in a southerly 
or southward (adj.) direction. Southing also 
means the crossing of the meridian by a star. 

The portion of the United States lying 
south of Mason and Dixon's line is known 
as the South, and includes the former slave 
states, whose secession in 1861 led to the 
Civil War between North and South. A 
person who lives in the south of a country 
is called a southerner (su^A' ern er, n.). This 
word is used in America, especially of those 
in the southern states. 




Scottish people sometimes call an English- 
man a Southron (suth' ron, n.). The 
Southern Cross (n.) is a group of stars very 
clearly seen in the Southern Hemisphere. A 
Southdown (south' doun, adj.) sheep or 
Southdown (n.) is one that has been bred 
on the South Downs of Hampshire and 
Sussex, reputed to produce the finest 

A kind of wormwood with scented leaves 
is known as southernwood (suth' ern wud, n.) 
or old man. It grows wild in south Europe 
and is cultivated in gardens. 

A.-S. suth (for sunth) : cp. Dutch zuid, G. sud 
O. Norse suth-r, sunn-r, all perhaps connected 
with sun. ANT. : n., adj., and adv. north. 

souvenir (soo' ve ner), n. A keepsake ; 
a memento. (F. sou- 

When we visit a 
far-off town, city, or 
country we may pur- 
chase some little 
article characteristic 
of the place, which we 
cherish as a memento 
or souvenir of our 
visit. A souvenir may 
be a token of remem- 
brance, such as a book 
or article of jewellery 
given us, for example, 
by a friend who is 
going abroad. 

F. = to remember, 
used as n., from L. sub- 
venire to come up, into 
one's mind, from sub- 
up, horn under, venire 
to come. 

sovereign (sov' 
rin), adj. Supreme ; 
paramount ; possess- 
ing supreme power ; 
royal, n. A supreme 
ruler, especially in a 
monarchy ; a mon- 
arch ; a British gold 
coin, value twenty shillings. Another spelling 
is sovran (sov' ran). (F. supreme, souverain, 
absolu, royal; souverain.) 

A sovereign state is one which has supreme 
authority over its own affairs. Certain 
states, such as those forming a confederation, 
have not this power or sovereignty (sov' 
rin ti, n.), or sovranty (sov' ran ti, n.), the 
sovereign power being vested in a body repre- 

Souvenir. Chips of oak from Nelson's famous ship, 
the "Victory," presented as souvenirs. 

M.E. soverain, O.F. souverain, L.L. superanus 
chief, from L. super above. See super. The 
inserted g is due to a falsely supposed connexion 
with reign, hence sovran is etymologically better. 
SYN. : Paramount, royal, supreme. 

soviet (sov' yet), n. A local council 
or committee elected in Russia to send 
representatives to a higher assembly. (F. 

A great part of the former Russian Empire 
is now governed by the Union of Socialist 
Soviet Republics. Each republic has its 
congress of Soviets, itself composed of 
delegates from town or district Soviets, 
and it sends its representatives to the 
Union Congress of Soviets, which is the 
supreme legislative power of Russia. The 
Government of that 
country is called the 
Soviet Government. 

Local government 
is carried out by a 
somewhat similar sys- 
tem, Soviets which 
represent districts 
sending delegates to a 

Rus. = council. 
sow [i] (so), v.t. 
To scatter (seed) for 
growing; to plant 
(ground) with seed 
thus ; to scatter over ; 
to cover thickly with ; 
to disseminate ; to 
spread ; to propag-ate. 
v.i. To scatter seed. 
p.t. sowed (sod), p.p. 
sown (son) and sowed 
(sod). (F. semer, re- 
pandre; faire la 

If we wish to make 
a lawn we may sow 
the piece of ground 
with grass seed. Un- 
less the surface is well 
protected from birds, 
little grass will result, and the sower (so' er, 
n.) may need to sow more seed. To secure 
a succession of plants the gardener makes 
one sowing (so 7 ing, n.) after another at 

One of the best-known parables is that 
of the sower (Matthew xiii, 3), who went 
forth to sow. Some of the seed he sowed fell 
on good and some on bad ground, meeting 

senting all the states. King George V is the with a different fortune according to the 
sovereign head or the sovereign of England. 

England for long claimed the sovereignty 
or dominion of the seas which wash her 
shores, and in a treaty made by Cromwell 
with the Dutch, the ships of the latter 
when passing through British seas were 
obliged to strike their flag. 

The gold coin called a sovereign was first 
issued by Henry VII. It virtually dis- 
appeared from general circulation in 1914. 

place where it was sown. Malicious people 
sow dissension among friends ; agitators 
sow seeds of suspicion and discontent. 
A neglected chill may sow the seed of a 
severe illness. 

A.-S. sawan ; cp. Dutch zaaien, G. saen, O. 
Norse sa, Goth, saian ; akin to L. severe 
(sevi, satum), and Gr. hienai = sisenal, redupli- 
cated from root se to throw, scatter. SYN. : 
Disseminate, scatter. ANT. : Gather, reap. 




sow [2] (sou), n. A female pig ; the main 
channel of a mould for pig-iron ; the block 
of solidified metal which fills this ; a kind of 
woodlouse. (F. truie, m^re-gueuse, gueuse, 

The sow of a mould has side channels, 
called pigs, branching out from it on both 
sides, so arranged that the molten metal may 
flow readily into all of them. A sow-back 
(n.) is a long, low ridge of sand or clay. 
A kind of cyclamen is called sow-bread (n.)> 
because pigs are said to be fond of its roots. 
Sow-thistle (n.) is a name given to certain 
species of Sonchus, with small yellow flowers. 
The stem when cut exudes a milky juice. 

A.-S. sugu, su ; cp. Dutch zog, G. sau, O. 
Norse syr, L. SMS, Gr. hys, sys, probably from 
the root su to beget, from its prolific nature. 

soy (soi), n. A sauce much used in 
China and Japan, made from the seeds of 
the soya bean ; the soya bean. (F. soy, 

The soy or soya (soi' a, n.), also called the 
soya-bean (n.), from which soy is prepared, is 
an annual herbaceous leguminous plant of 
very ancient culture in the East. There are 
a great many varieties. Soya pods contain 
usually three seeds. From the seeds is 
expressed a valuable oil used for many 
industrial purposes, and forming an ingre- 
dient of soap, margarine, etc. The residue is 
made into oil-cake, a cattle food. 

Soya-bean. Harvesting a crop of soya-beans in England, where 
this Eastern plant has been acclimatized. 

Attempts have been made to acclimatize 
the soya in England, hitherto without 
much success, but a commercial crop of a 
suitable variety was grown here in 1928. 

Japanese shoyu, from Chinese shl salted 
beans, yu oil. 

spa (spa), n. A mineral spring ; a 
resort or place where there is such a spring. 
(F. source d'eau minerale, ville d'eau, station 

In Belgium, near Liege, is the town of 
Spa, a popular watering-place, which has 
given its name as a generic term for any 
similar resort having a mineral spring, or to 

the spring itself. Cheltenham, Harrogate, 
and Bath, in our own country, possess, and are 
described as, spas. 

space (spas), n. Continuous extension, or 
any portion of this ; distance or interval 
between points, things, etc. ; an interval of 
time ; room ; a thin piece of type metal 
placed between words, etc., in setting type. 
v.t. To place (things) with spaces between ; 
to set or arrange so as to leave spaces ; to 
put spaces between. (F. espace, etendue, 
intervalle, interligne ; eclaivcir, espacer, inter- 

The sun and planets revolve in space. The 
space of the universe is conceived as extend- 
ing indefinitely in all directions. The human 
mind cannot grasp its vastness. 

Two-dimensioned space has length and 
breadth for example, the space bounded 
by the margins of a page. Three-dimen- 
sioned space has length, breadth, and depth, 
as exemplified by the interior space of a 
box. Shipping charges are based on the cubic 
space the freight will occupy in the hold of a 

The distance at which things are spaced, 
or set apart, is their spacing (spas' ing, n.). 
A gardener who has only few plants with 
which to plant a given space must space 
them out well. Annuals germinate, grow, 
flower, and die, all within the brief space of 
one season. 

In typography, narrow or wide 
spacing is used for types accord- 
ing to the character of the 
letter. Bold, heavy type demands 
more space between words and 
lines than that of a lighter 

An advertisement agent sells 
space in the publications he re- 
presents. The advertisement 
writer prepares suitable matter 
to fill such space, describing 
merchandise or service offered. 
Sometimes an advertiser will 
pay for more space than he 
needs, so that his announce- 
ment will be parted off or spaced 
from adjoining ones by a white, 
unprinted space. 

Large houses have spacious 
(spa' shus, adj.), that is, roomy 
or capacious, chambers or rooms in them; 
a spacious view is an extensive one. 
Gardens are laid out spaciously (spa' shus li, 
adv.) if arranged on a grand scale. The times 
of Elizabeth had spaciousness (spa' shus nes, 
n.), the quality of being spacious, because 
they gave plenty of room or scope for the 
display of talent and enterprise. 

The space-bar (n.) at the front of a type- 
writer is pressed down to allow the carriage 
to move the space of one letter. A journalist 
is a space-writer (n.) if paid according to the 
space which his articles take up when 
printed. Contributing to a newspaper on this 




basis is space- writing (n.). A spacer (spas' 
er, n.) is something used to space or separate 

F., espace, from L. spatium ; cp. Gr. spaein, 
span to draw out, extend, G. spannen to extend, 
E. span, spin. See span. SYN. : n. Expanse, 
extension, interval, place, room. 

spadassin (spa das' in), n. A bravo ; a 
hired swordsman. (F. spadassin, bretteur, 
ferrailleur, bravo.} 

F. from Ital. spadaccino, from spada sword 
(Span, espada, O.F. espee). See spade. 

spade (spad), n. An implement with a 
short iron blade and a wooden handle, used 
in digging ground ; a similarly 
shaped tool used for other pur- 
poses ; a playing card with black 
pips representing the blade of a 
pointed spade ; (pi.) the suit of 
these cards, v.t. To dig (ground) 
with a spade ; to cut blubber 
from (a whale) with a spade. 
(F. pelle, beche, pique ; becher.} 

A spade has usually a narrower 
and flatter blade than a shovel, 
and is employed in digging 
ground, cutting turf, etc. The 
handle of the spade is held with 
both hands, and the digger's 
foot is pressed upon the upper 
edge of the blade. A like 
implement is used to cut the 
blubber from a whale. 

A bayonet with a blade broad 
enough to be used in digging is 
called a spade-bayonet (n.). A 
spade-guinea (n.) is a guinea minted in 
the closing years of the eighteenth century, 
having on its reverse side a spade-shaped 
shield bearing the royal arms. 

Allotments are examples of spade- 
husbandry (n.), which means cultivation 
done by deep digging only, as opposed to 
subsoil ploughing. A spadeful (spad' ful, 
n.) of earth is as much as can be lifted at 
one time with a spade. 

A.-S. spada, spaedu ; cp. Dutch spade, G. 
spaten, Icel. spaihi spade, L. spatha, Gr. spathe 
broad two-edged sword, blade, any flat surface 
The spade at cards is from Span, espada a 
sword, so called because in Spain such cards 
have the figure of a sword on them. 

spadille (spa dil'), n. The ace of spades in 
the card games of ombre and quadrille. 
(F. spadille.} 

F., from Span, espadilla, dim. of espada sword. 
See spade. 

spadix (spa' diks) n. A form of inflor- 
escence consisting of numerous tiny flowers 
on a central fleshy spike, usually surrounded 
by a spathe. pi. spadices (spa' di sez). 
(F. spadice.} 

A spadix is only found in the palms and in 
a family of plants known as Araceae. The 
latter includes the arum, or cuckoo-pint. 
This is a common plant in our hedgerows, 
where its purple spadix and green spathe 
may be seen in spring, the spike being 

surrounded by brilliant scarlet berries later 
in the year. Plants with this form of flower 
are said to be spadiceous (spa dish' us, adj.}. 

L., Gr. = palm branch broken off, from Gr. 
spaein, span to tear, rend. 

spaghetti (spa get' i) , n. A kind of macaroni 
made in small solid cords. (F. spaghetti.} 

Like macaroni, spaghetti is made from a 
dough of fine wheat flour. It is thinner than 
ordinary macaroni, but thicker than vermi- 
celli, and is used chiefly in Italy, or by 
Italians, being cooked as a savoury, generally 
with tomatoes and grated cheese. 

Ital., = little strings, from spago string. 

Spaghetti. Young Italians eating spaghetti, which is a favourite 
dish of the Italian people. 

spahi (spa' i), n. A Turkish irregular 
horse-soldier ; a native Algerian cavalryman 
in the French army. Another form is spahee 
(spa'i). (F. spahi.) 

Prior to the year 1836 the irregular horse- 
soldier in the Turkish army was called a 
spahi. When the French occupied Algiers in 
1830 they absorbed the Dey's Turkish 
soldiers into their army, and the name of 
spahis was afterwards given to Algerian 
troops recruited for the French forces. 

Turkish, Pers. sipdhi soldier, sepoy. In India, 
however, the sepoy is an infantryman, the 
trooper being known as a sowar. 

spall (spawl), n. A chip or flake of 
stone, v.t. In mining, to break up (stone, ore, 
etc.), for crushing or sorting, v.i. To flake 
off ; to splinter. (F. eclat ; casser des, 
pierres en fragments, morceler ; se fendre 
tomber par eclats.} 

For the n. cp. spill [i] ; the v. is M.E. spalden 
to split ; cp. G. spalten. 

spalpeen (spal' pen), n. A rogue ; a 
rascal , a mean fellow. (F. vaurien, coquin.} 

Irish spailpln scamp, originally farm labourer, 
harvester; -In is dim. suffix. 

spalt (spawlt), n. A scaly mineral used to 
assist fusion in soldering or brazing. (F. spalt.) 

Cp. G. spaltstein, from spalten to split. 

span [i] (span), v.t. To stretch over or 
across ; to extend from side to side of ; to 
measure or cover the extent of with, or as 




with, the outspread hand ; to make fast 
with a rope. v.i. To progress by bending 
the body and straightening it again as a 
looper- caterpillar, n. The space between 
the tips of the thumb and little finger of an 
extended hand ; this as a measure, regarded 
as nine inches ; the full extent, in length, of 
a bridge, etc. ; any part of a bridge or like 
structure between two supports ; the distance 
or space spanned by such a part ; a short 
distance ; a rope bent to form two loops ; a 
rope having the ends made fast and used to 
take a purchase in the loop ; a pair of horses ; 
a yoke of oxen. (F. traverser, mesurer, 
brider; ramper ; empan, portee, tvavee, 
brague, paire.} 

London Bridge spans the Thames in five 
spans, its total length or span from end to 
end measuring one thousand and five feet. 
The span of the central arch is one hundred 
and fifty-two feet and a half. A South 
African teamster is said to inspan or outspan 
when he yokes or unyokes his team of oxen, 
the yoke or team of beasts also being called 
a span. In the U.S.A. a yoke means a pair 
of mules or horses harnessed side by side. 

A span-roof (n.) is one which slopes up on 
both sides to a ridge along the middle. A 
caterpillar of the looper or geometer moths, 
which progresses by repeatedly looping and 
straightening itself, is called a span-worm 
(n.). Poetically, an infinite distance or extent 
is said to be spanless (span' les, adj.), or 
not to be spanned. Our earthly life is 
sometimes described as a brief span. 

A spanner (span' er, n.) is one who or a 
thing that spans. A spanner used for tighten- 
ing or loosening nuts on machinery, etc., is a 
lever with jaws at one end. In an adjustable 
spanner the jaws are made to recede or 
approach, and so span nuts of different 

A.-S. spannan to bind, connect ; cp. Dutch 
and G. spannen to span, extend, stretch, put 
horses to, O. Norse spenna, Gr. spaein, span 
to draw ; (n.) A.-S. span(ri), cp. Dutch span. 
SYN. : v. Extend, loop, measure, stretch, n. 
Extent, length. 

span [2] (span). This is the past tense of 
spin. See spin. 

spandrel (span' drel), n. The irregular 
triangular space between the shoulders of 
two adjoining arches ; the space enclosed 
between a vertical line drawn from one end 
of an arch and a level line touching the 
crown. Another form is spandril (span ' drill) . 
(F. tympan.) 

Dim. of Anglo-F. spaund(e)re, perhaps O.F. 
espandeur anything that spreads, from O.F. 
espandre, L. expander e. See expand. 

spangle (spang 7 gl), n. A small glittering 
disk of metal sewn to a dress as an ornament ; 
any small object that sparkles, v.t. To cover 
or adorn with spangles. (F. paillette; 

Fancy dresses are spangled, or ornamented 
with sparkling disks, squares, or diamond- 
shaped pieces of metal or other material, 

called spangles. Figuratively, we may say 
that the night sky is spangled with stars. 
Grass and trees wet with dew or rain appear 
spangly (spang' gli, adj.) in the sunshine, as 
if covered with spangles. 

M.E. spangel, dim. of A.-S. spang metal clasp, 
something bright and shining ; cp. M. Dutch 
and G. spange, O. Norse spong. 

Spaniard (span' yard), n. A native 
of Spain. See Spanish. (F. Espagnol.) 

O.F. Espaniard, from Espaigne, L. Plispania 
Spain, and suffix -ard ; cp. Savoyard. See spaniel. 

spaniel (span' yel), n. One of various 
kinds of dog with soft, curling or shaggy 
hair and long, drooping ears. (F. epagneul, 
caniche, barbet.) 

The spaniel is a favourite as a pet, on 
account of its docile and affectionate dis- 
position. It is very intelligent, and is valued 
by sportsmen for the ease with which it can 
be trained and its readiness to enter the 
water to retrieve game. The field spaniel 
and the water spaniel are used as game dogs, 
and the smaller toy spaniel is much favoured 
by ladies as a drawing-room pet. The King 

Spaniel. Two types of spaniels, a breed which is 
valued alike as pets and game dogs. 

Charles and the Blenheim are popular toy 

O.F. espagneul, from Span, espanol Spanish, 
from Espana Spain, L. Hispania, whence they 
are said to have been imported. 

Spanish (span' ish), adj. Of, relating to, 
or originating in Spain, n. The language of 
Spain. (F. espagnol, d'Espagne; espagnol.) 

The Spanish people are of very mixed 
origin. The original inhabitants of the 
peninsula, known as Iberians, were overrun 
by successive conquering armies of Celts, 
Romans, and Goths from north and east, 
while the position of Spain just opposite 
the Moorish countries exposed it to the attacks 
of the Arabs and Moors during the Middle 
Ages. All these invaders have left their 
mark upon the people. In the sixteenth 
century the Spanish were the most powerful 
race in the world, and they have left many 
relics of their world-wide conquests, especially 




Spanish burton. The 
Spanish burton, a type 
of hoisting tackle often 
used on merchant ships. 

in Mexico and South America, where Spanish 
remains the prevailing language. 

The name of Spanish bayonet (n.} is given 
to several kinds of yucca, a plant with sword- 
like leaves found in North and Central 
America, and brought to Europe by the 
Spaniards. Spanish black (n.} and Spanish 
brown (n.) are pigments Used in painting. 
The Spanish broom 
(n.) Spartium 
junceum is a Medi- 
terranean plant 
bearing long rush- 
like branches used 
for basket making, 
the fibres being made 
into cords and 
threads. Its yellow 
flowers yield a dye 
and its seeds are 
used in medicine. 

The type of burton, 
or light hoisting 
tackle, called a 
Spanish burton (n.} 
has two single blocks or pulleys. It is used 
for lifting heavy weights on some merchant 

The Spanish fly (n.), or blister-beetle, is a 
little beetle, Cantharis vesicatoria, from which 
is prepared the substance called cantharides, 
which is applied to the skin for producing 
blisters. The Spanish fowl (n.) is a glossy 
black breed of domestic fowl. 

Another name for esparto grass is Spanish 
grass (n.). Spanish main (n.) was the name 
given to the coast of South America bordering 
the Caribbean Sea, and to that part of the 
ocean adjoining it. Along it, in Spain's 
hey-day, sailed the Spanish treasure ships, 
which were so tempting to pirates and 

M.E. Spainisce ; from Spain, L. Hispania, and 
adj. suffix -ish. 

spank (spangk), v.t. To slap or strike with 
the open hand ; of 
a horse, to urge 
forward thus, or by 
whipping, v.i. Of a 
horse, to move with 
a quick, lively step, 
between a trot and 
a gallop, n. A slap ; 
a blow with the open 
hand. (F. claquer, 
fesser ; aller a grand 
trot; claque, taloche.} 

A naughty child is 
spanked, or slapped, 
for his misdeeds. A 
person who spanks 

Spanker. The spanker 
is a sail set on the after 
side of a mizen-mast. 

may be called a spanker (spangk ' er, .). This 
name is given by sailors to a fore-and-aft 
sail set on the after side of the mizen-mast. 
Colloquially, spanker means something out 
of the common, or a very fine specimen of its 

A pair of horses which move quickly are 
often called spankers, or said to travel at a 
spanking (spangk 7 ing, adj.) pace. A 
spanking breeze is a strong breeze one 
that sends a boat bowling along at high 

In E. dialects to move quickly, flap ; cp. Low 
G. spakkern, Dan. spanke to spring about. 
SYN. : v. Slap, smack. 

spanless (span' les). For this word and 
spanner see under span [i]. 

spar [i] (spar), n. A stout pole, especially 
one used as a mast, yard, boom, or gaff on a 
ship. (F. perche, mdtereau.) 

The pole of a crane, derrick, or shears, is 
called a spar, and also those timbers on a 
ship which serve to support and extend the 
sails, etc. The spar-deck (n.) of a ship is the 
one next above the main deck, extending 
from bow to stern. 

M.E. sparre ; cp. Dutch spar, G. sparren, 
O. Norse sparri, probably cognate with E. spear. 

spar [2] (spar), n. A name given to various 
lustrous, easily cleavable, non-metallic 
minerals. (F. spath.) 

Iceland spar possesses the power of double 
refraction. Sparry (spar' i, adj.) minerals 
often occur as vitreous or crystalline veins 
in masses of mineral ore. A qualifying word 
is used to specify the nature of the spar, as, 
for example, calcareous spar and fluor-spar. 

M. Low G. spar ; cp. A.-S. spaer-stdn gypsum. 

spar [3] (spar), v.i. To make motions 
of attack and defence with the arms ; to 
use the arms and hands in or as in boxing ; 
to bandy words, n. A sparring movement ; 
a bout of boxing ; a cock-fight. (F. s'ecrimer 
des poings, se mesurer, se chamailler ; rencontre, 

In the old sport of cock-fighting, now 
illegal, the game-cocks were said to spar 
when, with spurs protected by leather pads 
to avoid injury to one another, they were 
set on to fight. For the more serious contests 
the spurs were armed with sharp-pointed 
steel or silver covers, also called spurs. 

In boxing to spar sometimes means to use 
the arms otherwise than in actual hitting, as 
when a boxer spars for an opening, that is, 
makes motions which will give him a chance 
of putting in a blow. 

A professional boxer employs another, 
called his sparring-partner (n.), with whom 
he spars or boxes when in training. A 
sparring-match (n.) is a boxing match, 
usually one fought for exercise, or as an 
exhibition of boxing. 

O.F. esparer to kick (of a horse), strike with 
the spurs (of a cock) ; cp. Low G. sparre struggle, 
G. sperren to spread out one's legs, sick sperren 
to struggle. Akin to spur, spurn. 

sparable (spar'abl), n. A small headless, 
wedge-shaped nail, used by shoemakers in 
nailing the soles and heels of boots. (F. 

petit clou, pointe de cordonnier.) 

Corruption of sparrow-bill, from the shape. 




is very 

spare (spar), adj. Scanty ; meagre ; 
thin ; that can be spared ; not in ordinary 
use ; kept in reserve, v.t. To use frugally 
or carefully ; to do without ; to dispense 
with ; to abstain or refrain from inflicting, 
punishing, injuring, etc. v.i. To be frugal ; 
to live frugally. (F. rare, epars, maigre, de 
reserve; epargner, menager, se passer de, 
epargner ; economise? , vivre frugalement. ) 

A spare man is one who is thin, or has 
Jittle superfluous or spare flesh upon him ; 
he may be described as sparely (spar' li, 
adv.] built. The spare-rib (n.) is a joint of 
pork consisting of the upper parts of the 
ribs, which contain but little meat. If we 
have a coin to spare we may give it to a 
beggar ; spare shillings or even pennies, 
if they are banked, may total up to a sub- 
stantial sum in a little while. A spare tire, 
or a spare wheel, is one carried in reserve, 
and so with other spare parts, which are 
ones not in actual use, but kept for replacing 
those worn or damaged. 

We all hope that our parents may be 
spared to us for many years. In Proverbs 
(xiii, 24) we read : " He that spareth his 
rod hateth his son r . .'* Spare time should 
be used wisely. Spareness (spar' nes, n.) is 
used chiefly of a person's build, but a 
sparer (spar' er, n.) is one who 
careful in his habits. The latter 
lives sparingly (spar' ing li, adv.], 
that is, frugally, and thus shows 
the quality of sparingness (spar' 
ing nes, n.), or frugality. 

A.-S. spaer sparing ; cp. G. 
spars am, sparlich frugal, O. Norse 
spar-r ; (v.) A.-S. sparian ; cp. 
Dutch and G. sparen. SYN. : adj. 
Extra, meagre, reserve, scanty. 

sparge (sparj), v.t. To 
sprinkle (malt) with hot water in 

The appliance for sparging (n.) 
is a sparger (n.). 

L. spargere to sprinkle. 

sparhawk (spar' hawk). 
This is another form of sparrow- 
hawk. See under sparrow. 

sparingly (spar' ing li). For 
this word and sparingness see 
under spare. 

spark [i] (spark), n. A 
particle thrown off from a burning sub- 
stance ; any small bright object resembling 
this ; a brilliant point or facet ; a quick 
flash of light ; a particle of life ; a flash of 
wit ; in electricity, the short-lived flash of 
light accompanying a sudden disruptive 
discharge ; the electric spark used to 
ignite the mixture in the cylinder of an 
internal combustion engine, v.i. To give 
out sparks ; in electricity, to produce 
sparks ; of an ignition device, to be in 
effective operation. (F. etincelle, flammeche, 
bluette ; Jeter des etincelles, etinceler.} 

Some lighted fireworks throw off thousands 
of sparks of different colours. A gem 
flashes . in the light, and appears to 
emit sparks or gleams. A blacksmith's 
hearth may appear dead and cold, but if 
there remains a spark of fire beneath the 
surface, his powerful bellows will soon 
kindle a glowing fire and sparks in plenty 
will fly, as the particles of small coal become 
red-hot. When the smith beats the incan- 
descent horse-shoe, sparks of hot iron are 
scattered, and the shoes often strike sparks 
from a hard flinty road as the horse 
plods on. 

Before the invention of matches, the 
sparks produced by striking a flint on a 
piece of iron were used to light a piece of 
tinder, which was in turn used to light 
fires and candles, A brilliant thought or 
epigram is called a spark of wit. In some 
dry discourse we may come across a spark 
or gleam of humour. 

In the attempted restoration of one who 
is apparently drowned, long after every 
spark of life seems extinct, and when to 
the watchers not a spark or particle of hope 
remains, the labours of the life-savers may 
be crowned with success, and the rescued 
person breathes and afterwards revives. 

When conductors from the secondary 

Spark. An electric spark flashing between two poles. It is a short- 
lived flash of light accompanying a sudden disruptive discharge. 

luminous winding of an induction coil are brought 
near to each other a fiery spark bridges the 
gap. The terminals spark in this way each 
time the circuit is made or broken, as by a 
switch, interrupter or commutator. Such 
a coil, or a magneto-electric machine, may 
be used to ignite the vapour of a motor-car 

The engine of a motor-car will not start 
to work so long as the sparking-plug (n.) 
remains sparkless (spark' les, adj.), because 
it is the sparks formed at the plug which 
ignite the explosive mixture of air and 
petrol in the cylinder. 




A small spark is a sparklet (spark' let, n.}, 
a word which is also the trade name for 
capsules filled with gas used for the prepara- 
tion at table of soda water. This sparklet 
fits into the neck of a special siphon and is 
pierced by a needle, thus allowing the gas 
to enter the vessel. 

A.-S. spearca ; cp. O. Dutch sparcke, Dutch 
spark, Low G. sparke spark, O. Norse spraka to 
crackle, perhaps from the crackling sound of 
burning wood. SYN. : n. Flash, gleam, particle. 

spark [2] (spark), n. A gay young man ; 
a gallant, v.i. To act the 
gallant. (F. elegant, blondin ; 
faire le galant,} 

A spark used to be called 
a beau. A fop delights in 
sparkish (spark' ish, adj.) or 
showy attire, and may affect 
jaunty or sparkish airs. 

Perhaps from spark [i], or 
E. dialect sprack lively ; cp. 
O. Norse spark-r lively, brisk. 
SYN. : n. Beau, fop, gallant. 

sparkle (spark' 1), n. A 
gleam ; a glittering ; a spark. 
v.i. To glitter or twinkle ; to 
emit sparks ; to effervesce. 
(F. etincelle, eclat, lueur; 
briller, etinceler, mousser.) 

Gems sparkle or scintillate, 
emitting gleams or sparkles 
when viewed in certain 
aspects. Stars appear to 
twinkle or sparkle in the 
sky. Sparkling wines, such as champagne, 
give off carbon dioxide in tiny bubbles, 

Sparrow-hawk. The sparrow-hawk, 

which preys on thrushes, sparrows, 

and other small birds. 

hedges, and feeds on insects, berries and 
seeds. The plumage is dark chestnut with 
white cheek-patches and bands of white 
on the wings. The bird popularly called 
the hedge-sparrow belongs to a different 
genus, and is not a finch. Sparrow-grass 
(n.) is a mispronunciation of asparagus. 
The sparrow-hawk (n.), Accipiter nisus, is 
a small hawk of brownish-grey colour, 
and haunts woods, commons, open fields and 
hedges. It flies swiftly, glides, and hovers, 
and dashes at a great pace after thrushes, 
blackbirds, sparrows and 
other small birds, which are 
its usual prey. In nesting- 
time the sparrow-hawk will 
also pursue young pheasants, 
partridges and chickens. 

Though often confused 
with the kestrel, the sparrow- 
hawk is distinguished from 
it by its longer toes and legs, 
its more rapid flight and the 
greater contrast between its 
dark grey back and lighter 
breast, marked with very 
distinct bars. The male bird 
is about twelve inches long, 
and the female a couple of 
inches longer. 

M.K. sparwe, A.-S. spearwa ; 
cp. Dan. spurv, G. Sperling, O. 
Norse spor-r, Goth, sparwa. 
Probably originally the flut- 
terer, rapid mover, from root 
sper to quiver ; cp. spar [3], 

sparry (spar' i), adj. Consisting of or 

so that the beverage seems to sparkle. A containing spar; resembling" spar. See 
man who possesses a sparkling or brilliant under spar [2J. 

wit is said to talk sparklingly (spark' ling li, 

Anything which sparkles may be called 
a sparkler (spark' ler, n.). The name is 
given to a kind of indoor firework which, 
when ignited, gives off a myriad of in- 
candescent sparkling particles. 

Dim. of spark [i] ; v. perhaps frequentative. 
SYN. : Glisten, glitter, scintillate, twinkle. 

sparkless (spark' les). For this word 
and for sparklet see under spark [i]. 

sparring-match (spar' ing mach). 
For this word and sparring-partner see under 
spar [3]. 

sparrow (spar' 6), n. A small brownish- 
grey finch of the genus Passer, especially P. 
domesticus. (F. moineau.) 

This bird, usually called the house- 
sparrow, is common in all parts of Europe, 
Asia and North Africa, and has been intro- 
duced into America and Australia, following 
man wherever the latter has settled. It is 
doubtful whether the damage done to crops 
by the sparrow outweighs its services as an 
eater of insects and the seeds of weeds. 

The tree-sparrow, P. montanus, is a shy 
bird which, unlike its relative, shuns the 
haunts of man. It nests in trees and 

sparse (spars), ad}. Thinly scattered ; 
occurring at distant intervals ; not dense. 
(F. clair-seme, rare, epars.) 

Australia a country nearly as large as 
Europe but with fewer inhabitants than 
London furnishes an example of sparse 
population. So sparsely (spars' li, adv.) are 
some districts populated that one might 
wander in them for many miles without 
meeting anyone. Arid regions, where rain- 
fall is scanty, show a sparseness (spars' nes, 
n.) or sparsity (spars' i ti, n.) of vegetation 
and animal life. 

L. sparsus, p.p. of spargere to scatter. 

Spartacist (spar' ta sist), adj. Denoting 
an extreme Socialist party in Germany. 
n. A member of this party. (F. spartaciste .) 

Spartacus was the leader of those slaves 
and gladiators who rebelled against Rome 
in 73-71 B.C. Karl Liebknecht, the leader 
of the extreme Socialist party in Germany, 
adopted the pen-name of Spartacus, and his 
adherents, who were known as Spartacists, 
became more numerous towards the end 
of the World War (1914-18). The Sparta- 
cist party was opposed to the war and 
sought to bring about a revolution. They 
were responsible for many revolutionary 
outbreaks, and for some time in 1919 i 




the Spartacists became a serious menace 
to the newly-established German Republic. 
Liebknecht was arrested on January 15, 
1919, after the failure of the Spartacist 
rising, and was shot while trying to escape. 

Spartan (spar' tan), n. A native of 
Sparta ; one having the supposed char- 
acteristics of the ancient Spartans, adj. 
Resembling a Spartan. (F. Spartiate ; 

Sparta was the principal city of Laconia 
in the south of Greece. Its people, the 
Spartans, were subjected to a rigid discipline 
and training, children being taught from 
an early age to bear hardships of all kinds, 
youths being enrolled in the army at the 
age of twenty. Spartan women, too, joined 
in the gymnastic exercises and were noted 
for their bravery. 

To-day we talk of Spartan simplicity in 
describing a rude or ascetic way of life, 
lacking comforts and refinements, or of 
Spartan discipline and endurance, in allusion 
to the customs and character of the Spartans. 

L. Sp art anus. 

sparteine (spar 7 te In), n. A bitter- 
tasting oily liquid obtained from the broom 
plant and used in medicine for heart- 
trouble. Another form is spartein (spar' 
te in). (F. sparteine.) 

From Modern L. Spartium broom, from Gr. 
spartos a kind of broom, and E. chemical suffix 

sparterie (spar' ter i), n. Baskets, mats, 
ropes and other articles made from esparto 
grass. (F. sparterie.} 

F., from Span, esparteria, from esparto, from 
L. spartum, Gr. sparton rope of the plant spartos. 

spasm (spaz' m), n. An involuntary 
convulsive contraction of a muscle or group 
of muscles ; any sudden, convulsive move- 
ment or effort of a violent character. (F. 
spasme, convulsion.} 

This word is often used in a figurative 
sense, of natural forces, emotions, political 
excitement, and so forth. We might speak 
figuratively of a tremendous volcanic eruption 
or a violent earthquake as a spasm of 
nature. Anything of the nature of a 
spasm or spasms for instance, a thing 
done by fits and starts and not kept up 
regularly can be described as spasmodic 
(spaz mod' ik, adj.). The word spasmodical 
(spaz mod' ik al, adj.), having the same 
meaning, is less common. A boy cannot 
hope to succeed if he tackles his lessons 
spasmodically (spaz mod' ik al li, adv.). 
Spasmodic utterances may be called spas- 
modics (, just as we speak of heroics. 

The word spastic (spas' tik, adj.) means 
the same as spasmodic, but is used only 
by doctors, often as part of the names of 
diseases, such as spastic anaemia and spastic 
paralysis. Spasticity (spas tis' i ti, n.) means 
a spasmodic state or tendency. 

F. spasme, L. spasmus, Gr. spasmos, from 
spaein, span to draw, pull, rend. SYN. : Con- 
vulsion, paroxysm, throe, twitch. 

Spat. A spat, a short 
gaiter for the foot. 

spat [i] (spat), n. The eggs or young of 
shell-fish, especially oysters, v.i. Of oysters, 
to spawn, v.t. Of oysters, to deposit 
(spawn). (F. frai, jeune mollusque ; frayer.) 

Oysters produce their microscopic young 
from May to August, when they themselves 
are not in season for eating. After swim- 
ming freely for about a fortnight the spat 
settles on rocks, stumps, or specially pre- 
pared tiles, and this is called a fall of spat. 
The oyster fishermen place this spat in 
special beds, to develop into oysters fit 
for the table in the 
course of two or 
three years. The 
plural form spats is 
also used. 

Probably from the 
root of spit, spatter. 

spat [2] (spat), n. 
A short cloth gaiter 
strapped under the 
foot and covering 
the upper part of the 
foot, including the 
instep. (F. guetre.) 

Short for spatter dash. 
See under spatter. 

s P at [3] (spat). This is the past tense 
and past participle of spit. See spit [2]. 

spatchcock (spach' kok), n. A fowl 
dressed, split open, and broiled as soon 
as killed, v.t. To cook in this way ; to 
insert or sandwich (words or phrases) in 
a letter, telegram, etc. ; to modify by 
inserting words . or phrases. (F. poulet 
roti sur le gril ; griller, intercaler.) 

Probably the earlier spitchcock, which is from 
M.H.G. spitz (n.) spit, and kochen to cook, but 
later explained as dispatch-cock, that is, a fowl 
killed and eaten quickly. 

spate (spat), n. A flood, especially a 
sudden one due to heavy rains or melting 
snow ; a sudden downpour of rain ; a 
sudden or violent outpouring of emotion, 
etc. ; an unusual quantity or number ; a 
condition of flood. 
(F. brue.) 

This word is often 
used figuratively. 
We might describe a 
very ready speaker 
as pouring out a 
spate of words, or 
we might refer to a 
spate of exciting 
events. In spate 
means in flood. 

Perhaps O.F. espoit ; 
cp. Dutch spuiten to 
spout. SYN. : Flood, 
outburst, torrent. 

spathe (spa/A), n. A sheathing leaf 
or pair of leaves enclosing one or more 
flowers. (F. spathe.) 

The arum is an example of a plant that 
has flowers protected by spathes. The 

Spathe. The spathe, 
enclosing the spadix, of 
the wild arum. 




flowers are inserted on a fleshy spike, called 
the spadix, and sheathing this is a large 
leaf-like envelope known as the spathe. 
Such flowers are spathaceous (spa tha' shus, 
adj.) or to use a less common term 
spathose (spath 6s', adj.). 

F., from. L,. spatha, Gr. spathe broad blade. 
See spade. 

spathic (spath' ik), adj. Resembling 
spar, especially in the way in which splitting 
or cleavage takes place. Spathiform (spath ' 
i form) and spathose (spath ' 6s') have the 
same meaning. (F. spathique.) 

Spathic or spathose iron ore, now more 
commonly known to mineralogists as chary- 
bite or siderite, is an important iron ore 
consisting of more or less pure carbonate 
of iron. The pure ore contains forty-eight 
parts of iron in one hundred. When mixed 
with clay it is known as clay iron-stone. 
There are numerous varieties of spathic 
iron ore, varying in colour from grey to 
brown and deep brownish-red. 

From G. spath spar [2] and E. adj. suffix -ic\ 
cp. F. spathique. SYN. : .Foliaceous, lamellar. 

spathose (spath 6s'). For this word 
see under spathic. 

spatial (spa' shal), adj. Relating to 
space ; taking up space ; characterized by 
or containing space ; happening in space ; 
governed by the conditions of space; in- 
volved by space ; of sense or faculty, 
perceiving space. Another and less common 
form is spacial (spa' shal). (F. spatial.} 

This word is not in very common use. 
Philosophers employ it as the correlative 
of temporal. Spatiality (spa shi aT i ti, n.) 
means spatial character or quality, and 
spatially (spa' shal li, adv.) as regards space, 
by means of space. 

From L. spatium space and E. suffix -al. See 

spatter (spat' er), v.t. To scatter or 
splash (water, mud, etc.) in drops or small 
particles ; to sprinkle or splash with water, 
mud, etc. ; to spoil (someone's reputation) 
by scandal, v.i. To fall or be dispersed in or 
as in drops or small particles, n. A shower ; 
a pattering of drops ; a sprinkling. (F. 
eclabousser, crofter, noircir ; diffamer ; re- 
pandre ; quelques gouttes, pluie.) 

A passing cart may spatter our clothes 
with mud, and a person's good name may 
be spattered by his neighbours. Spatter- 
dash (spat' er dash, n.) is the name of a 
covering of leather or cloth worn around 
the legs as a protection from the spattering 
of mud or water. This word is more 
common in the plural, spatterdashes. 

Frequentative of stem spat- to splash ; cp. 
Dutch spatten to throw, spatter. SYN. : v. 
Asperse, defame, splash, sprinkle, n. Shower, 
splash, sprinkling. 

spatula (spat' u la), n. An instrument 
of metal, wood, ivory, or other material, 
usually flat, but sometimes trowel-shaped or 
spoon-shaped, used by painters, chemists, 
plasterers, surgeons, etc. ; a spoon-shaped 

formation or part. Another form, used 
especially of birds' bills, is spatule (spat' iil). 
(F. spatule.} 

A painter uses a spatula for mixing his 
colours, a plasterer for spreading plaster 
over a wall or ceiling, and a surgeon for 
pressing down the tongue so that he can 
examine the throat. 

A common form of surgical spatula has 
a broad rounded end, like a spoon, and 
anything so shaped may be described as 
spatular (spat' u lar, adj.), spatulate (spat' 
u lat, adj.}, or spatuliform (spat' u li form, 
adj.). The ducks known as shovellers have 
enormous spatulate or spoon-shaped bills, 
and the name of the genus to which they 
belong is Spatula. 

F. spatule, L. spat(h)ula, dim. of spatha broad- 
bladed knife. See spade, spathe. 

spavin (spav' in), n. A painful swelling 
or growth in or near the joints of a horse's 
leg. (F. eparvin, epervin.) 

Spavin usually occurs. between the knee 
and the fetlock. A horse suffering from 
spavin is said to be spavined (spav' ind, adj.}. 
Bone spavin is a particular type of spavin 
in which new bone is deposited on and 
around the bones of the hock- joint. 

O.F. espa(r)vain (Span, esparavan sparrow- 
hawk, spavin), akin to O.F. espervier, G, sperber 
sparrow-hawk ; perhaps " sparrow-like," from 
the hopping movement of a spavined horse. 

Spawn. Toad spawn laid like a string of jelly 
upon a water plant. 

spawn (spawn), v.t. Of fishes, frogs, etc., 
to produce or deposit (eggs) ; to produce, 
especially in large numbers, like spawn ; 
to remove the spawn from. v.i. Of fishes, 
frogs, etc., to deposit eggs ; to swarm, n. 
The eggs of fish, frogs, etc. ; the white 
fibre-like material from which mushrooms 
and other fungi are produced ; offspring ; 
outcome ; results. (F. frayer, fourmiller, 
frai, blanc de champignon.) 

Frog-spawn is found in clusters, and toad- 
spawn in chains. Blocks of mushroom 
spawn may be bought for the artificial 
cultivation of mushrooms. Figuratively, 
the word is always used in a contemptuous 

A full-grown female fish at spawning 
time is called a spawner (spawn' er, n.). 




A fish-breeder who collects and markets 
fish-spawn might also be described as a 

M.E. spanen, Anglo-F. espaundre to spawn, 
O.F. espandre to shed, scatter freely, from L. 
expandere to spread out. 

speak (spek), v.i. To utter words in 
an ordinary tone of voice, as distinct from 
singing ; to express thought by words ; 
to make a statement ; to declare ; to con- 
verse ; to be on speaking terms ; to deliver 
a speech ; to be very expressive ; to make 
some revelation ; of musical instruments, 
to give forth a full note. v.t. To utter, 
especially in a normal tone, as distinct from 
singing ; to declare ; to make known ; to 
reveal ; to address (in specified way) ; to talk 
or converse in (a language) ; 
to hail and communicate 
with (a ship), p.t. spoke 
(spok), archaic spake (spak) ; 
p.p. spoken (spo' ken). (F. 
parler, dire, declarer, aborder, 
parler, s'exprimer; causer, 
s' entretenir , etre amical ; faire 
un discours, prendre la parole, 
parler ouvertement ; dire, 
declarer, exprimer, proclamer, 
reveler, parler, heler.) 

Anything that can be 
spoken or that is fit to be 
spoken is speakable (spek' 
abl, adj.), a word less 
common than its antonym, 
unspeakable. Anyone who 
speaks, especially a person 
who delivers public speeches, 
is a speaker (spek' er, n.). 
Some people are good writers 
but poor speakers. The title 
of speaker is applied to the 
presiding officer of various 
legislative assemblies, and 
especially to that of the 
House of Commons, who is 
addressed as Mr. Speaker. 
The speaker of the House of 
Lords is the Lord Chancellor ; 
he is not called speaker. 

Spear. A Bisharin warrior of the 
Nubian Desert, with his spear. 



House of Representatives, the Canadian 
Senate and House of Commons, and other 
parliamentary assemblies also have speakers. 
The office of speaker is the speakership 
(spek' er ship, n.). 

If a member of an audience cannot hear 
what the lecturer is saying, he may ask 
the lecturer to speak up, or speak louder. 
The lecturer, if he holds strong opinions, will 
be inclined to speak out, that is, to give 
free expression to his opinions. If his 
audience is restless, he will be advised to 
speak them fair or in a courteous manner. 
An inconspicuous notice in a financial paper 
may speak volumes, or be of great significance. 
Strictly speaking means in the strict sense 
of the words. So to speak means if the word 
or words may be allowed, and is used with 
some unusual expression. 

A tube for conveying orders and messages 
from one part of a building to another is 
known as a speaking-tube (n.). A speaking- 
trumpet (n.) is an instrument used to amplify 
the voice. The more usual term for such 
a device nowadays is megaphone. A por- 
trait painted by a skilful portrait-painter 
may be a speaking (spek' ing, adj.) or very 
close likeness of his model. 

M.E. speken, A.-S. sp(r)ecan ; cp. Dutch 
spreken, G. prechen, perhaps akin to Gr. spharagos 
a crackling. There was originally an r in the 
word. See spark. SYN. : Articulate, converse, 
declare, talk, tell. 

spear (sper), n. A weapon for thrusting 
or throwing, used in warfare or hunting, 
consisting of a pointed head and a long 
shaft ; a soldier or hunter who 
wields a spear ; a weapon 
with a sharp point, and 
sometimes barbed, used for 
catching fish ; a beam of 
light ; the rudimentary 
shoot of a seed ; a blade or 
shoot of grass, etc. ; a stem 
of an osier, reed, etc. ; reeds 
for thatching, etc. v.t. To 
wound or capture with a 
spear, v.i. Of plants, to shoot 
up into a long stem ; to rise 
like a spear. (F. lance, lander, 
epieu, harpon, trident ; percer. 
harponner ; s'dlancer.) 

As applied to stems and 
shoots of plants, the word is 
perhaps influenced by spire. 
The spear is one of the oldest 
of human weapons. Among 
the remains of the Stone Age 
we find many spear-heads 
( of flint, and many 
savage races still use the 
spear as their chief weapon. 
It is only in the twentieth 
century that the lance, a 
form of spear, has been 
abolished from the British 
Army. A spearman (sper' 
man, n.) is a soldier armed with a spear. 

The name spear-grass (n.) is given to 
various grasses producing long, sharp leaves. 
Spearmint (n.) is the common garden mint. 
The spear- thistle (n.) Cirsium lanceolatum 
is a common thistle with purple flowers. 
Several kinds of the plant genus Ranunculus 
are known as spearwort (sper' wert, n.}. 

The spear and distaff were regarded as 
symbols of man and woman, and so a relation 
on the spear side means a father's relative, 
just as a relative of one's mother is said to 
be related to one on the distaff side. 

A.-S. spere ; cp. Dutch and G. speer, Dan. 
spaer, Icel. pi. spjor ; perhaps akin to spar. It 
is doubtful whether L. sparus hunting spear is 

special (spesh' al), adj. Having a par- 
ticular, individual quality ; suited or de- 
signed for a particular purpose ; not ordinary 




or general ; pre-eminent or exceptional, n. 
A person or thing appointed for a particular 
occasion or purpose, such as an edition of a 
newspaper. (F. special, partioulier, extra- 
ordinaire, premier.} 

A train that is run for some special purpose 
is known as a special. So also is an extra 
edition of a newspaper issued on the receipt 
of special or exceptional news. The special 
or peculiar charm of the essays of Charles 
Lamb (1775-1834) is their kindly intimacy. 
The work of a mediocrity shows no special 
or especial excellence. Our special friends are 
those we hold in special or particular esteem. 

In English law a 
special case (n.) is a 
joint statement of facts 
regarding a civil action 
which the contesting 
parties place before a 
court for decision. In 
such an action no wit- 
nesses have to be called, 
because the parties agree 
as to the facts of the 
case. . . - 

When new or un- 
expected evidence is 
brought up in a law case 
it is called special plead- 
ing (n.), a term some- 
times used for unfair 
argument. A jury is said 
to give a special verdict 
(n.) when the proved 
facts of the case are 
stated, but the conclu- 
sions to be drawn from 
them are left to the 
judge or court. A special 
jury (n.) is composed of 
special jurors ( drawn from certain ranks 
of society. A special constable (n.) is a man 
enrolled for volunteer police duty at a time 
of rioting or other emergency. 

A journalist employed to send news from 
a certain town, district, or country, to report 
on events happening in a certain place, or 
to write on special subjects, is termed a 
special correspondent (n.). 

A special licence (n.) is a form of marriage 
licence enabling a marriage to take place 
in any district without banns being called, 
and at any time. It is issued by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

In 1907, the branch of the British Army 
known as the militia was transformed into a 
force named the Special Reserve (n.). It 
ranked behind the ordinary army reserve, 
and was comprised of men who re-enlisted 
from the regular army, or else enlisted with- 
out previous experience as soldiers. The old 
name of militia was restored in 1921. 

One who devotes himself to a special or 
particular branch of a science or profession 
is termed a specialist (spesh/ al ist, n.}. 
This name is given specially (spesh 7 al li, 
adv.), that is, especially or in particular, to 

Special constable. A special constable, or 

member of a volunteer police force, regulating 

street traffic. 

a doctor who makes a specialistic (spesh a 
lis' tik, adj.) study of some aspect of disease, 
and he is said to specialize (spesh' a Hz, 
v.i.), or engage particularly, in its treatment. 
The custom of thus studying particular 
portions of a science, art, or other kind of 
work, is specialism (spesh' al izm, n.). To 
assign a particular use to a thing is to 
specialize (v.t.) it ; the eye, for instance, is 
specialized for sight, and this fact is an 
example of specialization (spesh al I za' 
shim, n.) or appointment for a special purpose. 
The act of specializing in a particular 
study, etc., is also termed specialization. 

A speciality (spesh i al' 
i ti, n.) is a special 
characteristic or feature. 
Legal matters are a 
: fef speciality of the solicitor 
they are his special 
occupation. Some pub- 
lishing firms make a 
speciality of issuing 
children's books. The 
word specialty (spesh' al 
ti, n.) has much the same 
meaning, but is less 
often used. We may 
speak of the specialty 
of a task that is limited 
by special circumstances. 
In law, an instrument or 
document under seal, 
expressing a special 
contract or obligation, 
is known as a specialty. 
O.F. (e)special, L. 
specialis, from species a 
particular kind or sort. 
See especial, of which 
special is a shortened form. 
SYN. : adj. Especial, exceptional, particular, 
peculiar, precise. ANT. : adj. General, ordinary. 
specie (spe' she ; spe' shi e), n. Money in 
the form of coin. (F. especes.) 

Specie is distinguished from paper money, 
and bullion, that is, uncoined silver and gold. 
Ablative of L. species (in Modern L. coined 
money) literally that which is seen, visible 
instead of being otherwise represented, from 
specere to see. Short for in specie. SYN. : Coin. 
species (spe' shez ; spe' shi ez), n. In 
natural history, a group of related animals 
or plants that differ only in small details ; 
usually forming a division of a genus ; in 
logic, a group of individuals or objects that 
have a common name and agree in some 
essential quality or qualities ; a kind, 
variety, or sort ; in law, the form or shape 
given to any material ; the visible form of an 
element in the Eucharist. (F. genre, espece.) 
A genus of animals or plants consists of 
one or more species, each of which may be 
made up of further varieties. For instance, 
the tiger (Felis tigris] is a species of the cat 
genus Felis, which includes lions, leopards, 
and other species of cat. In mineralogy, 
rocks are grouped in mineral species. 



The word species is also used in a colloquial 
way, as when we say that practical joking 
is a species, or kind, of humour, and picking 
pockets is a species of theft. The human race 
is sometimes referred to as the species. 

L. = appearance, kind, sort, quality, from 
specere to look. SYN. : Class, form, kind, sort. 

specific (spe sif ' ik), adj. Of, pertaining to, 
or constituting a species ; relating to a 
particular subject ; having certain definite 
and distinguishing qualities ; precise ; special. 
n. A medicine or drug having a special use ; 
a remedy. (F. spe'cifique.) 

The specific name of an animal or plant 
always follows the generic name. The lion, 
for instance, has the scientific name, Felis 
leo. There is specific difference between 
this species of the genus Felis and the tiger, 
another species, known to scientists as Felis 
tigris. A specific statement is one that is 
definite or clearly stated. 

Quinine is a specific remedy, or specific, in 
the treatment of fever, since it has the 
special property of reducing the temperature. 
Medicines that are specific in operation, 
and diseases that have a specific character, 
are said to possess specificity (spes i fis' i ti, 

The specific gravity (n.) of a solid or liquid 
substance is its relative weight or density 
compared with the weight of an equal bulk 
of water, which is taken as the standard. 
The specific gravity of a gas is similarly 
expressed by the ratio of its weight to that 
of an equal volume of hydrogen. 

The specific heat (n.) of a sub- 
stance is the quantity of heat 
needed to raise the temperature 
of a given quantity of it one 
degree, as compared with the 
heat needed to raise the same 
volume of water. 

The legal term, specific per- 
formance (n.), means the strict 
carrying out of the terms of a 
contract, at the order of a court 
of equity, no payment of damages 
being allowed as an alternative. 

Instructions should be given 
specifically (spe sif ik al li, adv.), 
or explicitly and precisely, other- 
wise they may be misinterpreted. 
When a bridge, building, or any 
other large structure is to be 
built, a specification (spes i fi 
ka' shun, n.) of it is first drawn 
up. This is a detailed list of all 
the materials and parts to be used, with 
instructions as to how they are to be prepared 
and fixed. The specification of an invention 
is the description of its construction and use, 
which must be supplied when the inventor 
applies for a patent. These specifications are 
kept for reference at the Patent Office, 

We may speak of the specificness (spe sif 
ik nes, n.), that is, the specific quality or 
character, of an action ; but this word is 

seldom used. To specify (spes' i fi, v.t.) a 
thing is to name it distinctly, to mention or 
ask for it specially, or else to include it in a 
specification. A fact or observation that is 
specifiable (spes' i fi abl, adj.) is capable of 
being specified. 

O.F. specifique, L.L. specificus, from species 
particular sort or kind, and -ficus making 
(from -fic-are = facere to make). See species. 
SYN. : adj. Characteristic, definite, explicit, 
peculiar, precise. ANT. : adj. General, indefinite, 
ordinary, unspecified, vague. 

specimen (spes' i men), n. A part or 
individual intended to show the character- 
istics of the whole or class to which it belongs ; 
an example ; an instance. (F. specimen, 
modele, echantillon.} 

Mineral specimens, or pieces of different 
types of rocks, etc., are exhibited in geological 
museums. In scientific investigation, the 
largest possible number of specimens of each 
species of plant or animal is examined before 
conclusions as to the species as a whole can 
be accurately made. 

The stamp-collector arranges in his album 
specimens of the different issues of postage- 
stamps. A well-trained athlete may be 
described as a magnificent specimen of 
mankind. A specimen page (n.) of a publica- 
tion, showing the size and style of type, is often 
reproduced in the prospectus issued by its 

L. = something shown, characteristic mark, 
from L. specere to see, look, and suffix -men. 
SYN. : Example, illustration, instance, sample. 

Specimen. A magnificent lion's head. The specimen was presented 
R.H. the Prince of Wales by Transvaal Scouts. 

speciology (spe shi ol' 6 ji), n. The 
science that deals with the nature and 
origin of species. (F. speciologie.) 

From species and suffix -(o)logy. 

specious (spe' shus), adj. Appearing 
good, true, or well-founded at first sight ; 
plausible. (F. specieux.) 

A specious argument is usually not so 
fair or good as it first appears, and the person 
who argues speciously (spe' shus li, adv.), 
that is, with an apparently good show of 




reason, may be found to be wanting in logic 
or accuracy when we examine his statements 
carefully. A tale may possess speciosity (spe 
shi os' i ti, n.), or spaciousness (spe' shiis nes, 
n.), that is, an attractive or plausible quality 
that is really deceptive or fallacious. A 
hypocrite is one kind of specious person. 

O.F. specieux, from L. speciosus full of apparent 
fairness, from species look, appearance. SYN. : 

speck fi] (spek), n. A small spot, stain, 
or blemish ; a small particle of rottenness. 
v.t. To mark with a speck or specks. (F. tache, 
tare, moucheture ; tacheter, moucheter.) 

Although the stars are really huge, their 
vast distance from the earth causes them to 
appear as mere specks of light in the sky. 
Perfectly clean linen is speckless (spek' les, 
adj.) or spotless. A tiny fungus makes the 
skins of apples and pears specky (spek 7 i, adj.), 
that is, marked with specks of decay. 

A.-S. specca spot ; cp. Low G. spaak, from 
spoken to spot with wet, M. Dutch speckel spot. 
SYN. : n. Blemish, dot, fleck, particle, stain. 
v. Blemish, speckle, spot. 

speck [2] (spek), n. Fat, or blubber, 
especially that of whales and seals. (F. 
lard de baleine.) 

The chief harpooner on a whaler is some- 
times called the specksioneer (spek shun er', 
n.), or specktioneer (spek sho ner', n.), for he 
directs the cutting up of whales for removal 
of the speck, or blubber. 

Dutch spek blubber, fat, or G. speck ; cp. A.-S. 
spic, O. Norse spik bacon. 

speckle (spek'l), n. A little spot, speck, 
or stain, v.t. To mark with speckles. (F. 
point, moucheture ; moucheter.) 

Some species of trout are speckled with 
black and red spots. The sea trout has black 
speckles on its silvery body during its sojourn 
in the sea. 

Dim. of speck [i]. 

speckless (spek' les). For this word 
see under speck [i]. 

specksioneer (spek shun er'). For this 
word see under speck [2]. 

specky (spek' i). For this word see under 
speck [ij. 

spectacle (spek' takl), n. A show ; some- 
thing exhibited to the view; a remarkable 
sight ; a pageant ; (pi.) a pair of small glass 
lenses mounted in a light frame, resting on 
nose and ears, worn to aid the sight, or pro- 
tect the eyes ; eye-glasses. (F. spectacle, 

Strictly any sight is a spectacle, but the 
word is used chiefly of sights that arouse 
admiration, surprise, or disgust. A military 
tattoo is a spectacular (spek tak' u lar, adj.) 
event, or one having the nature of a spectacle. 
It is presented spectacularly (spek tak' u lar 
li, adv.), or in a spectacular fashion. 

Spectacles were early worn by the Chinese, 
who perhaps invented them. The Roman 
emperor, Nero, is said to have used an 
eye-glass with a beryl lens. We generally 

distinguish spectacles from eye-glasses, which 
grip the nose with a spring device. A person 
wearing a pair of spectacles is said to be 
spectacled (spek' tak Id, adj.). 

F., from L. spectdculum show, sight, from spec- 
tare to look at, frequentative of specere to look. 
SYN. : Exhibition, object, pageant, show, sight. 

Spectacles. A spectacle-maker fitting a lent into 
the frame of a pair of spectacles. 

spectator (spek ta' tor), n. One who looks 
on, especially at a game, events, etc. (F. 
spectateur, assistant.) 

Those who watch a game of football are 
called the spectators, as distinguished from 
those who take part in the game. The state 
of watching, or the fact of being a mere on- 
looker, is termed spectatorship (spek ta/ tor 
ship, n.). One who looks on at events may be 
said to adopt a spectatorial (spek ta tor' i al, 
adj.) attitude. A feminine spectator is a 
spectatress (spek ta' tres. n.). These three 
derivative words are seldom used. 

L. = one who looks on, from spectdre, fre- 
quentative of specere to look. SYN. : Beholder, 

spectre (spek' ter), n. A ghost ; an appari- 
tion or phantom; figuratively, an object of 
dread. (F. spectre, revenant, fantome.) 

In Shakespeare's " Julius Caesar " (iv, 3), 
Brutus, on the eve of the battle of Philippi, 
is visited by a spectre, which at first he 
thinks is an illusion. It is, however, the ghost 
of Caesar. This spectral (spek' tral, adj.), or 
ghostly, visit in which Caesar appears 
spectrally (spek' tral li, adv.), is an omen of 
the defeat of Brutus and his friends by 
Antony and Octavius. The word spectral also 
means of or pertaining to the spectrum, or 
to spectra, in which the colours forming light 
are broken up spectrally. 

An optical illusion, consisting of a magnified 
spectral or shadowy image of the observer, 
is sometimes thrown upon mists around the 
tops of mountains. It is called the spectre of 
the Brocken, because it was first observed 
on that peak in the Harz Mountains. 

The word spectre enters into the formation 
of names of various animals with very thin 




bodies, or an otherwise ghostly appearance. 
An insect of the genus Phasma is sometimes 
called a spectre- insect (n.), or walking-stick. 
The spectre-bat (n.) is a tropical species, 
of the vampire family, known to scientists as 
Phyllostoma spectrum. 

The glass-crab, which is the flat, trans- 
parent larva of certain shrimps, and not a 
distinct species, is also called the spectre-crab 
(n.). A spectre-shrimp (n.), however, is a 
species of shrimp of the genus Caprella, 
having a very slender and elongated body. 
It seldom swims, but it climbs among the 
branches of seaweeds, holding on by its 
hind limbs and waving its long antennae 
in search of food. The tarsier, a strange little 
animal with large eyes and ears, is sometimes 
called the spectre-lemur (n.). It lives in the 
East Indies and frequents trees. 

F., from L. spectrum appearance, image, from 
specere to look. SYN. : Apparition, ghost. 

spectre-. This is a prefix meaning having 
to do with the spectrum. (F. spectro-.) 

This prefix is used only in the formation 
of scientific words. A spectrograph (spek' 
tro graf, n.} is an apparatus for photographing 
spectra. It consists of a spectroscope with 
a camera fitted in the place of the eye- 
piece. A photograph taken by spectro- 
graphic (spek tro graf ik, adj.) methods is 
called a spectrogram (spek' tro gram, n.). 
The art of using spectrographs is termed 
spectrography (spek trog' ra n, n.). A form 
of spectrograph used for photographing the 
great flames, called solar prominences, which 
issue from the sun, is called a spectro- 
heliograph (spek tro he' li 6 graf, n.). It 
transforms the light from the sun into light 
of one wave-length. 

The science of deciding what a substance 
contains by analysing its spectrum is 
spectrology (spek trol' 6 ji, n.). The com- 

Sosition of many of the stars has been 
etermined by spectrological (spek tro loj' 
ik al, adj.) investigations. In fact, until the 
light - rays of heavenly bodies could be 
examined spectrolpgically (spek tro loj' ik 
al li, adv.), scientists possessed no method 
of discovering the various elements of which 
they are formed. 

The spectrometer (spek trom'e ter, n.) is an 
instrument which measures the bending of a 
ray of light as it passes through a prism. 

A spectrophone (spek' tro fon, n.) is a 
modified form of spectroscope, in which the 
different lights of the spectrum are made to 
give out characteristic sounds. The ear of 
the observer thus takes the place of the eye. 

Combining form of L. spectrum. 

spectroscope (spek' tro skop), n. An 
instrument for forming and analysing the 
spectra of light -rays given off by bodies. 
(F. spectroscope.) 

The ordinary spectroscope consists of 
a tube for making the light -rays parallel, a 
glass prism through which the light is 
directed, a small viewing telescope, and 
a measuring apparatus. 

By means of spectroscopic (spek tro skop' 
ik, adj.) or spectroscopical (spek tro skop' 
ik al, adj.) observations of the light given 
out by various bodies several new elements 
have been discovered, some on the earth, 
and some existing only in the stars. The 
sun was the first heavenly body to be 
examined spectroscopically (spek tro skop' 
ik al li, adv.). In 1672 Sir Isaac Newton 
first made known certain theories as to the 
solar spectrum. This may be regarded as 
the beginning of spectroscopy (spek tros' ko 
pi, n.), the science dealing with the pro- 
duction and study of spectra. The modern 
spectroscopist (spek tros' ko pist, n.), or 
one engaged in this science, has vastly in- 
creased its range, and it is now an important 
branch of astronomy. 

From E. spectro- and suffix -scope from Gr. 
skopein to view. 

Spectroscope. The half-prism spectroscope at the 
Royal Observatory, Greenwich. 

spectrum (spek' trum), n. The image 
into which a ray of light, or other form 
of radiant energy, is broken up by passing 
through a prism ; the image of a bright object 
persisting when the eyes are turned away. 
pi. spectra (spek' tra). (F. spectre solaire.) 

Rays of different colours are bent in 
different degrees by a prism. Sunlight is 
broken up into red, orange, yellow, green, 
blue, indigo, and violet rays. These colours, 
in this particular order, constitute the 
solar spectrum, determined by their re- 
frangibility. The rainbow is the sun's 
spectrum thrown by drops of water. 

The spectra of different sources of light 
vary greatly. The nature and chemical com- 
position of a substance can be determined 




Spectrum. Wheatstone's apparatus 

by burning it in a flame or heating it till it 
glows, and then examining its spectrum by 
means of a spectroscope. This method of 
chemical analysis is called spectrum analysis 
(n.), or spectral analysis (n,). 

L. = image, from specere to look. See spectre. 

specular (spek' u 
lar). This is an ad- 
jective formed from 
speculum. See spec- 

speculate (spek' u 
lat), v.i. To turn 
thoughts or theories 
over in the mind ; to 
reflect (upon, or about 
a subject) ; to form 
theories ; to make pur- 
chases or investments 
in the hope of obtain- 
ing a profit. (F. 
speculer sur. mediter, 
conjecture*. speculer , 

When people form 
theories as to the 
nature or cause of a thing by conjecturing, 
they are said to speculate about it. There 
has been much speculation (spek u la/ shun, 
n.}, or speculating, as to whether Mars is 
inhabited. We can each have our own 
opinion on the matter, but the speculations, 
or mental inquiries, of astronomers carry 
most weight, as these men have special 
knowledge on which to base their opinions. 
A speculation or conjectural opinion formed 
without such knowledge is little more than 
an idle fancy. 

Business men are said to speculate in 
stocks, when they buy stocks at a low price, 
in the hope that a rise in their value will 
enable them to be sold at a profit. There is 
always a possibility of loss in speculations of 
this kind. In the card game called specu- 
lation, the players buy cards from one 
another, hoping to improve their hands. A 
business or purchase is said to be a specu- 
lation, or to be speculative (spek' u la tiv, adj.], 
if it is risky but likely to yield large profits. 
Prudent people refrain from business of 
this kind owing to its speculativeness (spek' 
u la tiv nes, .). 

A person who possesses speculativeness, 
that is, a tendency towards speculation, or 
who is speculatively (spek' u la tiv li, adv.) 
inclined, is termed a speculator (spek' u la 
tor, n.), whether he speculates in the sense 
of forming theories, or of buying and selling 
goods or shares. 

L. speculdtus, p.p. of speculdrl to behold, look 
out, from specula look-out, watch-tower, from 
specere to look. SYN. : v. Conjecture, consider, 
contemplate, reflect, theorize. 

speculum (spek' u lum), n. A mirror, 
especially one of polished metal, used in an 
optical instrument ; a patch of colour or a 
lustrous spot on the wing of certain birds ; 
an ocellus ; in surgery, an instrument fitted 

with a mirror, used for examining internal 
parts of the body. pi. specula (spek' u 
la). (F. miroir, re"flecteur, ocelle, speculum.} 

The speculum of a reflecting telescope is 
generally made of speculum metal (n.), a hard 
white alloy of copper and tin. This alloy is 
capable of taking a 
. 1 very high polish. Sur- 
gical specula are of 
different types, accord- 
ing to the part of the 
body to be examined. 
Some are provided 
with small electric 
bulbs to assist in the 
examination of the 


analysis that is for separating the colours of a 
ray of light. 


A specular (spek' u 
lar, adj.) surface is one 
that is bright and 
polished, or that has 
the nature of a specu- 
lum. Specular iron 
(n.) is a lustrous, crys- 
talline variety of 
L. = mirror, dim. from specere to look. 
sped (sped). This is the past tense and 
past participle of speed. See speed. 

speech (spech), n. The act or faculty of 
speaking ; spoken words ; conversation ; 
a remark ; a public address ; the language 
of a nation, people, or group ; a dialect ; 
in music, the sounding of a note on a wind 
instrument or organ pipe. (F. parole, langage, 
entretien, observation, discours, oraison, 
harangue, langue.) 

The power of speech is confined to human 
beings. Parrots and other birds" can imitate 
speech, but they have no understanding of 
the words uttered. To have speech with a 
person is to talk with him. Fluent talkers are 
possessed of ready speech. Speech-day (n.) 
is a name for the annual prize-giving day in 
schools and colleges, when speeches are made 
by the headmaster and others. Quickness 
and accuracy of speech in concert organs are 
obtained by the use of electric controls. 

A speech-maker (n.) is one who delivers 
a speech or speeches in public. If his 
speech-making (n.) is poor, or pretentious, he 
is said to speechify (spech' i fi, v.i.), that is, to 
deliver a speech merely for the sake of talking. 
Such a speaker is a speechifier (spech' i 
fi er, n.). These two words are used only 
in a depreciatory sense. 

A dumb man is speechless (spech' les, adj.). 
So also is a person who is temporarily de- 
prived of the power of speaking owing to 
terror or surprise. Indignation may cause a 
person to stare speechlessly (spech' les li, adv.) 
at someone who has insulted him, but his 
speechlessness (spech' les nes, n.) will 
probably give place to a strong protest when 
he regains his self-control. Actual speechless- 
ness or dumbness is usually accompanied 
by deafness. The deaf, however, may under- 
stand what is said by watching a speaker's 



D 7 



lips. This is called speech-reading (n.), or 

A.-S. sprdec, spdec, from sprecan, specan to 
speak ; cp. Dutch spraak, G. sprache. See speak. 
SYN. : Address, language, ovation, remark, 

speed (sped), n. Rapid motion ; swiftness ; 
rate of progress or motion, v.i. To move 
swiftly ; to succeed or prosper ; to fare 
(well, ill, etc.). v.t. To cause to go fast ; to 
send on the way ; to regulate the speed of 
(an engine) ; to cause to succeed or prosper ; 
to expedite, p.t. and p.p. sped (sped). (F. 
rapidite, vitesse, velocite, celerite ; se hater, 
reussir, se trouver / hater, depecher, accelerer, 
faire prosperer, expedier.} 

The verb is used chiefly with reference to 
actual motion. Its other meanings are now 
more or less archaic, although we still talk of 
speeding the parting guest, which may mean 
helping him to go quickly, or simply bidding 
him farewell. So also a law-suit may be said 
not to have sped when it fails, and one's 
affairs to speed better when they prosper. 
These uses, however, are more suited to 
literature than to ordinary conversation. 

An express train speeds along, speeding 
its hundreds of passengers to their destina- 
tion. Two machines that are run at the same 
number of revolutions a minute are speeded 
alike. The act or process of making opera- 
tions quicker in a factory, mine, or elsewhere, 
so as to obtain larger production, is described 
as a speed-up (n.). This may be effected 
either by the use of better machinery, or 
improvements in organization. To do so is 

Speed. A racing 

lotor-car being tested at low speed on the wet 
sands at Pendine, Wales. 

to speed up the business. In this sense and 
in that of regulating speed the p.t. and p.p. 
are speeded (sped' ed) . 

The speed of a motor-car is the rate at 
which it covers a certain distance, usually 
reckoned in miles per hour. One that can 
travel at a high speed is said to be speedy 
(sped' i, adj.], to run speedily (sped' i li, adv.], 
and possess speediness (sped' i nes, n.), or 
swiftness of movement. 

A speedy decision is one that is arrived at 
without delay ; speedy remedies act quickly. 

To wish anyone good speed, or God-speed, 
in his affairs is to wish him prosperity. 

A speeder (sped' er, n.} is one who drives 
or speeds along rapidly, or else a device for 
regulating the speed at which a machine 
works. A speedometer (spe dom' e ter, n.) is 
an instrument that records the speed at 
which a motor-car or other vehicle travels. 

The speedwell (sped' wel, n.} Veronica 
chamaedrys is a common British wild 
flower, with oval toothed leaves, and small 
bright blue flowers. The name is also given 
to related species. 

A.-S. sped, spoed, verbal n. from spowan to 
succeed ; cp. Dutch spoed, O.H.G. spuot success, 
G. sputen (reflexive) to make haste. Perhaps 
akin to L. spatium space, Sansk. sphdy to enlarge. 
SYN. : n. Celerity, rapidity, velocity. v. Ac- 
celerate, hasten. 

speiss (spis), n. A mixture of arsenic, 
nickel, copper, etc., collecting at the bottoms 
of crucibles in which certain lead ores are 
smelted. (F. speiss.) 

G* speise food, bell-metal, L. expensa spent. 
spelaean (spe le ' an) , adj. Of, pertaining to, 
or dwelling in a cave or caves. (F. cavernicole] . 
The prehistoric cave-dwellers may be 
described' as'spelaean people. The scientific 
study of 'caves is termed spelaeology (spe 
le ol' 6 : ji, n.). 
' L. spelaeum, Gr. spelaion cave. 

spelican (spel' i kan). This is another 
spelling of spillikin. See spillikin. 

spell [ij (fepel), n. A charm ; a set form of 
words supposed to have magic powers ; 
fascination. (F. sortilege, charme.) 

The Sleeping Beauty was 
placed under a spell which caused 
her to remain asleep until she 
was rescued by the prince. In 
the Middle Ages the power of 
spells was firmly believed in, and 
people who were thought to be 
under their influence were said 
to be spellbound (adj.). We 
now say that a person is spell- 
bound when he is held bound as 
if by a spell, say by the beauty 
of a landscape. An incongruous 
remark by a companion will, 
however, break the spell, or put 
an end to the attraction exercised 
by the view. 

A.-S. spel(l) saying, tale, speech ; 
cp. O.H.G. spel, Goth, spill fable. 
See spelt [2], gospel. SYN. : Attrac- 
tion, charm, fascination, incantation. 
spell [2] (spel), v.t. To name or write the 
letters forming (a word) ; of letters, to form 
a word ; to read with difficulty, letter by 
letter ; to portend ; to involve, p.t. and p.p. 
spelt (spelt) and spelled (speld). (F. epeler, 
dechiffrer, presager, entrainer.) 

The letters of which words are made once 
represented the sound of the word. With 
long usage the pronunciation of many words 
has changed considerably and their sounds 
and letters no longer agree. That is why 
English spelling (spel' ing, n.}, that is, the art 




or practice of naming the letters in words, is 
so difficult. The manner of writing or express- 
ing words with letters is also termed spelling. 
A spelling-book (n.) is one designed to teach 
children how to spell correctly. 

A child who can spell difficult words, like 
believe and parallel, as well as common ones, 
may be described as a good speller (sper er, 
n.). A competition in spelling, especially 
one in which prizes are given to those who 
make fewest mistakes, is called a spelling-bee 
(n.). In a figurative sense we say that the 
failure of an industry spells, or means, ruin 
for thousands of people. 

O.F. espel(l)er ; cp. Dutch spellen, A.-S. spellian 
to tell, narrate, from spell [i]. 

spell [3] (spel), n. A turn of work ; a 
short period of time. (F. 
periode, tour.} 

The strain of driving a 
motor-car for a long 
period is avoided if the 
passengers take spells or 
turns at the wheel and 
enable the driver to rest. 
When the weather has 
been bad for a long time 
we long for a spell of 

From A.-S. spelian to take 
another person's place, from 
spala substitute ; cp. Dutch 
spelen, G. spielen to play, act 
a part, spiel game, O. Norse 

spelt [i] (spelt), n. An 
inferior variety of wheat 
with brittle ears, grown 
in southern Europe. (F. 

Spelt, or German wheat, 
is known to have been 
cultivated by the ancient 
Romans. It cannot be threshed so well as 
ordinary wheat. 

A.-S., from L.L. spelta ; cp. G. spelz. 

spelt [2] (spelt). This is a past tense and 
past participle of spell. See spell. 

spelter (spel' ter), n. Zinc. (F. zinc.) 
Spelter is the common commercial name 

for zinc. The name is also given to an 

alloy of copper and zinc used for hard 


Perhaps from Low G. spialter ; cp. Dutch and 

G. spiauter. See pewter. 

spence (spens), n. A larder ; a buttery. 
Another spelling is spense (spens). (F. 
garde-manger, depense.) 

This archaic word denoted a room where 
food was stored, and from which it was 
dispensed for use at table. 

O.F. despense buttery, from O.F. despendre 
spend, distribute, from L. dispensdre, frequenta- 
tive of L.L. dispendere (p.p. dispensus). See 

spencer [i] (spen' ser), n. A very short 
tailless overcoat worn in the eighteenth 

Spencerism. Herbert Spencer (1820- 
1903), the celebrated philosopher, whose 
teaching is known as Spencerism. From 
the painting by Sir Hubert von Herkomer. 

and early nineteenth centuries ; a kind oi 
short, under- jacket worn by women. (F. 

This garment was probably named after 
the second Earl Spencer (1758-1834), a Whig 
politician. The distinguishing feature about 
the spencer was that it was shorter than the 
under-jacket. The spencer worn by women, 
now rather an old-fashioned garment, is 
named after that formerly worn by men. 

spencer [2] (spen' ser), n. A fore-and-aft 
sail carried on scjuare-rigged vessels, and set 
with a gaff behind the fore- or main-mast. 
(F. misaine-goelette.) 

So named from its inventor, Knight Spencer, 
an Englishman (1802). 

Spencerism (spen' ser izm), n. The 
philosophical teaching of 
Herbert Spencer ( 1820- 
1903). Another form is 
Spencerianism (spen ser' i 
an izm). 

Spencer was occupied for 
thirty-six years in writing 
the ten volumes that set 
forth the Spencerian (spen 
ser' i an, adj.) philosophy, 
which is also known as 
the synthetic philosophy, 
or Spencerism. His object 
was to form a philosophical 
system in harmony with 
evolution and the dis- 
coveries of modern 

spend (spend), v.t. To 
pay out (money, etc.), for 
purchases ; to, use or use 
up ; to consume ; to pass 
(time) ; to exhaust or wear 
out ; of ships, to lose (a 
mast), v.i. To expend 
money, p.t. and p.p. spent (spent). (F. 
depenser, employer, prodiguer, passer, fyuiser, 
casser ; depenser.) 

When people spend more than the amount 
of their income they get into debt. It is 
foolish to spend, or use up one's breath in 
trying to convince an obstinate person to 
do something. There are many more profitable 
ways of spending one's time. According 
to Tennyson's poem, " The Revenge," Sir 
Richard Grenville did not surrender to the 
Spaniards until his powder was all spent, or 
consumed. A spent (adj.) bullet is one that 
has nearly exhausted its momentum. A 
storm is spent when its force is exhausted. 

The spendable (spend' abl, adj.) part of one's 
income is that which can be spent for one's 
current needs without affecting the proportion 
that must be kept to meet one's liabilities. 
A spender (spend' er, n.) is one who spends, 
especially an improvident or wasteful person, 
or a spendthrift (spend' thrift, n.). The 
prodigal son (Luke xv, 11-32) lived in a 
spendthrift (adj.) fashion and soon wasted 
his substance, by spending lavishly. 




A.-S. -spendan (in compounds), shortened 
from L. expendere or dispendere to weigh out, 
expend, dispense. SYN. : Consume, disburse, 
exhaust, expend, squander, use. ANT. : Econo- 
mize, hoard, save. 

spense (spens). This is another spelling 
of spence. See spence. 

Spenserian (spen ser' i an), adj. Of or 
pertaining to the poet Edmund Spenser 
(1552-1599). . A stanza used by Spenser 
in " The Faerie Queene." 

Spenser's chief poem is " The Faerie 
Queene." It is written in stanzas of nine 
iambic lines, eight of which are of ten sylla- 
bles, the ninth being an Alexandrian and 
containing twelve. There are three rhymes 
to each stanza, occurring in the order a, b, 
a, b, b, c, b, c, c. The Spenserian, or 
Spenserian stanza, as it is called, has been 
imitated by many poets, one of the most 
successful being Byron in his " Childe 

spent (spent). This is the past tense 
and past participle of spend. See spend. 

spermaceti (sper ma se' ti), n. A fatty 
substance obtained from the head of the 
cachalot. (F. spermaceti.} 

The skull of the sperm (n.}, or sperm-whale 
(n.) Physeter macrocephalus contains a 
large cavity filled with an oil which partly 
solidifies when the whale dies or is killed. 
The white, brittle, solid part is known as 
spermaceti, and the liquid as spermaceti oil 
(n.). Spermaceti is used in the manufacture 
of candles, and ointments. 

Sperm. The sperm or sperm-whale, a large whale 
which frequents tropical and sub-tropical seas. 

The sperm-whale is one of the largest of 
all whales, and attains a length of sixty feet. 
It has a huge blunt head, and its slender 
lower jaw is provided with teeth set in a 
long groove. 

L.L.. spermaceti. 

spew (spu), v.t. To vomit ; to throw out, 
as from the mouth, v.i. To be sick. Another 
form is spue (spu). (F. vomir, degueler}. 

A.-S. speowan ; cp. Dutch spuwen, G. speien, 
O. Norse spyja, L. spuere, Gr. ptyein. 

spheno-. This is a prefix meaning of, or 
resembling, a wedge, or pertaining to the 
sphenoid bone. Another form is sphen-. 
(F. spheno-.} 

A wedge-shaped letter as used in the 
cuneiform writing of the ancient Assyrians, 
is called a sphenogram (sfen' 6 gram, .). 
Cuneiform or sphenographic (sfen 6 graf ik, 
adj.] writing was produced on soft clay 
bricks with a steel point. The prefix 
spheno- is, however, used chiefly in the 
formation of anatomical words relating to 
the sphenoid (sfe' noid, adj.], or wedge- 
shaped bone, also called the sphenoid (n.), 
which forms part of the base of the skull. 
For instance, the spheno-temporal (sfen 6 
tern' po ral, adj.) suture is the joint between 
the sphenoid and the temple. The word 
sphenoid also means a wedge-shaped crystal 
formed with four equal and similar triangular 

Combining form of Gr. sphen (ace. sphen-a) 

sphere (sfer), n. A solid body bounded 
by a surface that is everywhere equally 
distant from a point within the body, called 
its centre ; a figure or object approximately 
of this shape ; a ball ; a globe ; one of the 
heavenly bodies ; a globe representing the 
earth, or the apparent form of the heavens ; 
one of the transparent hollow globes imagined 
by the ancients as enclosing and revolving 
round the earth carrying the heavenly 
bodies with them ; in poetry, a heavenly 
region ; a field of action, existence, or 
influence ; scope ; range ; province ; one's 
place in society, v.t. To enclose in or as in a 
sphere ; to make into a sphere in shape ; 
in poetry, to put among the imaginary 
celestial spheres. (F. sphere, spheroide, 
balle, globe, orbe, champ, Element ; placer dans 
un sphere, former en sphere, arrondir.) 

We speak figuratively of a person being 
happiest in his own sphere of life, that is, 
in the surroundings or place in society to 
which he naturally belongs. Before the 
partition of Africa, certain regions in that 
continent were recognized as spheres of in- 
fluence of France, Germany, etc., that is, as 
being of special political or economic import- 
ance to France, etc. An individual's sphere 
of action is largely confined to his place of 
work, his family and friends. Philosophical 
considerations of beauty may be regarded as 
outside the sphere or domain of art. They 
belong to aesthetics. 

In a geometrical sense, a sphere is a solid 
figure generated by a semicircle revolving 
about its diameter. All plane sections of 
spheres are circles ; one passing through the 
centre of a sphere being called a great circle. 
A sphere is a spherical (sfer' ik al, adj.) or 
spheriform (sfer' i form, adj.) body, shaped 
spherically (sfer' ik al li, adj.), or in the manner 
of a sphere. It possesses sphericity (sfe ris' 
i ti, n.), the quality of being spherical. An 
instrument used for measuring the sphericity 
of surfaces or bodies, especially lenses, is 
called a spherometer (sfe rom' e ter, n.). 

A spherical triangle (n.) is one formed on 
the surface of a sphere by the intersecting 
arcs of three great circles. It is described 




in the same way as a triangle in plane 
geometry, as being right-angled, equilateral, 
etc. The branch of mathematics dealing 
with spherical triangles is known as spherical 
trigonometry (n.). Such triangles may be 
found and measured by means of a sphero- 
graph (sfer' 6 graf, n.}, a device consisting 
of two pieces of cardboard, with circles 
marked on them, and rotating on each other. 
A stereographic projection of the earth on a 
disk ruled with the lines of longitude and 
latitude is also called a spherograph. It is 
used for solving problems of navigation 

Although the planets are sometimes 
described as spheres, their form is really that 
of a spheroid (sfer' oid, n.}, or not perfectly 
spherical, figure. Strictly, a spheroid is a 
solid generated by an ellipse revolving about 
either of its axes. The earth has been termed 
an oblate spheroid, because it was thought 
to be flattened at the north and south poles, 
and to bulge at the equator. 

A figure in which these characteristics 
are reversed, so that it is drawn or extended 
at the poles and flattened at the equator, 
is a prolate or oblong spheroid. Both may be 
described as spheroidal (sfe roi' dal, adj.), 
spheroidic (sfe' roi' dik, adj.) or spheroidical 
(sfe roi' dili al, adj.), shaped spheroidally 
(sfe roi' dal'li, n.), or almost in the form 
of a sphere, and having the quality of 
spheroidicity (sfer oi dis' i ti, n.). 

In the system of astronomy known as 
the Ptolemaic, the motion of the sun, moon, 
and planets was explained by the fact 
that each was carried in an invisible sphere, 
the fixed stars all being attached to a starry 

Many ancient philosophers believed in 
the theory of Pythagoras that each of the 
planets gave out a musical sound as it moved 
through space, the pitch depending upon 
the rate of motion. Plato, writing in a 
fanciful vein, suggested that a siren sat on 
each planet, and sang a most beautiful song, 
agreeing with the planet's motion and har- 
monizing with the songs from the other 

When poets write of the music of the 
spheres, or sphere-music (n.), they mean 
this imaginary spheral (sfer' al, adj.) music, 
or spheric (sfer'ik, adj.) harmony, emanating 
from the spheres. In "' Troilus and Cressida " 
(i, 3), Shakespeare writes of the sun " en- 
throned and sphered," that is, set among 
the spheres, or else in the sphere assigned 
by Ptolemy to Apollo. 

The word spherics ( denotes the science 
of the sphere, that is, spherical geometry 
and trigonometry. 

A minute spherical body is called a 
spherule (sfer' ul, n.). Vitreous rocks often 
contain spherulite (sfer' u lit, n.), a glassy 
substance, occurring in spherules or spherular 
(sfer' u lar, adj.) masses. Geologists speak of 
the spherulitic (sfer u lit' ik, adj.) structure 
of such rocks. 

O.F. espere, F. sphere, from L. sphaera, Gr. 
sphaira ball. SYN. : n. Ball, globe, province, 
range, scope. 

sphincter (sfingk' ter), n. In anatomy, 
a muscle that contracts or closes a tube or 
orifice. (F. sphincter.) 

There are many sphincters or sphincteral 
(sfingk' ter al, adj.) muscles in our digestive 
system. One of the chief is the cardiac 
sphincter around the oesophagus at its 
opening into the stomach. Other forms of 
the adjective are sphincteric (sfingk ter' ik) 
and sphincterial (sfingk ter' i al). 

L., from Gr. sphingkter, from sphinggein to 
bind tightly, close up. See sphinx. 

Sphinx. The Great Sphinx of Cheops at Gizeh. 
Egypt. The great pyramids are close by. 

sphinx (sfingks), n. In Greek mythology, 
a fabulous winged monster with a woman's 
head and a lion's body ; a figure with a 
lion's body and a human or animal head as 
sculptured by the ancient Egyptians, 
especially the huge stone image of this kind 
near Gizeh ; an enigmatic or taciturn 
person ; a hawk -moth ; a small species of 
baboon (Papio sphinx] inhabiting West 
Africa. (F. sphinx.} 

The Grecian Sphinx is said to have waylaid 
travellers outside the city of Thebes, 
setting them a riddle and strangling them 
when they could not solve it. At length 
Oedipus answered the riddle correctly and 
the Sphinx slew herself. The riddle was : 
" What creature is four-footed, two-footed, 
and three -footed ? " The answer was 
" Man " because a child crawls on hands 
and feet, a grown man walks upright, and 
an aged man uses a stick. 

The Egyptian sphinxes were so named by 
the Greeks from their resemblance to the 
Theban monster. They sometimes symbolized 
a monarch, regarded as a conqueror, and so 




consisted of the bearded head of a reigning 
king on a lion's body. The Great Sphinx 
near the pyramids of Gizeh is one hundred 
and eighty-nine feet long. It is hewn out of 
solid rock. 

The term sphinx moth (n.), or sphinx, is 
due to the sphinx-like (adj.] appearance 
sometimes assumed by the caterpillars of 
some of the family Sphingidae ; they are 
better known as hawk-moths. A person 
with an inscrutable face may be said to 
wear a sphinx-like expression. 

L., from Gr. sphingx, as if from sphinggetn to 
strangle, throttle, with reference to the story. 
But the word is probably of foreign origin. 

sphraglstics (sfra jis' tiks), The 
study of engraved seals. (F. sphragistique .) 

Gr. sphragistikos connected with seals, from 
Gr. sphrdglzein to seal, from sphragis a seal. 

sphygmograph (sfig' mo graf), n. An 
apparatus for recording the beating 
of the pulse on a strip of paper. (F. 
sp hygm ograp he . ) 

A graphic record of the form and rate of 
the pulse, as traced by a sphygmograph is 
termed a sphygmogram (sfig' mo gram, .). 
The use of this instrument in making 
sphygmographic (sfig mo graf ik, adj.] 
records, and the collection and analysis of 
facts relating to them form a branch of 
medical practice known as sphygmography 
(sfig mog' ra n, n.). 

The physiological or pathological study of 
the pulse is called sphygmology (sfig mol' 6 
ji, n.}. This study is helped by the sphygmo- 
phone (sfig' mo fon, n.), an instrument with 
which scientists listen to the rhythm and 
variations of the pulse, and by the sphygmo- 
scope (sfig' mo skop, n.}, a device that makes 
the pulse-beats visible. 

Gr. sphygmos pulse, pulsation, from sphyzein 
to beat, throb, and -graph, from Gr. -graphos 
writing, recording, from graphein to write. 

spica (spi' ka), n. In botany, a spike ; 
in surgery, a spiral bandage with the turns 
reversed. (F. epi, spica.) 

The turns of the form of bandage called 
a spica cross like a letter V. Their arrange- 
ment somewhat resembles an ear of wheat. 
In botany, flowers arranged on a plant in the 
form of a spike are said to be spicate (spi' 
kat, adj.). 

A spicate plant is one that flowers in this 
manner. In zoology, parts of animals having 
the form of a spike, or pointed, are termed 
spicate parts. 

L. spica ear of grain, point. See spike. 

spice (spis), n. Any pungent or aromatic 
vegetable product with a strong and pleasant 
taste, used for seasoning food ; such flavour- 
ings collectively ; a flavour ; a smack (of). 
v.t. To season with spice ; to flavour. (F. 
dpice, sav eur, gout ; epicev, assaisonner.) 

The chief spices are pepper, cloves, ginger, 
allspice, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon. In 
hot countries people are fond of highly 
spiced foods, and it is from such countries, 
especially in the East, that spices come. 

In a figurative sense, a spiteful remark may 
be said to have a spice or trace of malice, 
or to be spiced with malice. 

An aromatic shrub of the laurel family, 
growing in America, has the popular names 
of spice-bush (n.) and spice-wood (n.). Its 
botanical name is Benzoin odoriferum. The 
word spicery (spis' er i, n.) means spices in 
general. A part of a house, or a royal palace, 
where spices were stored was formerly also 
called the spicery. 

Food is spicy (spis' i, adj.) if it is flavoured 
with spice. It may be said to have the 
quality of spiciness (spis' i nes, n.). Spicy 
language is pungent, piquant, or smart. 

O.F. espice, from L. species kind, sort of goods, 
L.L. = drugs, spices, from L. specere to look. 
See species. 

spick-and-span (spik x and span'), adj. 
Fresh and smart, suggesting something new. 
(F. tire a quatre.) 

Spick-and-span new originally meant as 
new as a spike or nail just forged, or as a 
chip freshly cut. A person is said to look 
spick-an,d-span when he is smartly and spot- 
lessly dressed. 

For spick-and-span new. See spike, spoon 
(chip, splinter). SYN. : Fresh, immaculate, smart. 

spicule (spi' kiil), n. A tiny spica or 
spike. (F. spicule.) 

This word is used chiefly in botany and 
zoology. Small needle-shaped or branching 
particles of mineral matter that support 
the framework of many sponges are known 
as spicules ; so also are small or secondary 
flower-spikes on plants. Spicular (spik' u 
lar, adj.) crystals are slender and sharp- 
pointed like needles. In botany, a flower- 
spike composed of several smaller spikelets 
or spicules is said to be spiculate (spik' u 
lat, adj.). 

F., from L. spiculum, dim. of spica spike, 

spicy (spis 7 i). This is an adjective 
formed from spice. See under spice. 

Spider. A spider rolling a large cocoon containing 
its eggs. 

spider (spi' der), n. An eight-legged 
animal of the order Araneida, many species 
of which spin webs for capturing insect food ; 
an arachnid resembling this ; a spider-like 
object. (F. araignee, d'araignSe.) 




Spiders differ from insects in having bodies 
divided into two parts, instead of three, 
with eight legs instead of six, and no wings. 
The young do not pass through any change 
of form after being hatched from their eggs, 
as do the larvae of insects. All spiders live by 
preying on other animals, especially insects, 
and all are poisonous, although with the 
exception of the bird-catching spider 
(My gale] and other tropical forms, the bite 
is not dangerous ex- 
cept for their prey. 

Many spiders are 
able to spin the famil- 
iar snare of gossamer, 
called a spider's web 
(n.), or spider-web (n.). 
The silken threads of 
which this is made are 
squirted in liquid form 
as from a syringe, 
through spinnerets in 
the spider's abdomen. 
The liquid silk hardens 
on exposure to the air 
and, under the name 
of spider-line (n.), is 
used by astronomers 
for marking lines 
across telescopes, etc. 

The spinning powers of the spider are also 
used for constructing the cocoons in which 
the eggs are protected, and, in the case of 
trap-door spiders, for lining the burrows. 
Young spiders throw out their threads of 
gossamer when they wish to make an aerial 
journey. The wind catches the thread and 
carries it for considerable distances with 
the spider hanging on tightly. 

One of the best known spiders in British 
gardens is Epeira diademata, which spins a 
wheel-like web. Cobwebs in the corners of 
rooms are the work of the common house- 
spider (Tegenaria domesticd). Instead of 
spinning webs, some spiders hide in flowers 
and waylay visiting insects ; others hunt 
their victims on foot, and one species uses 
leaves as rafts and dives from them after 
prey in the water. 

Spider-monkey. The spider-monkey, a wonderfully 
agile creature, with a very long tail. 

plant often cultivated in gardens. It has 
narrow purple veined leaves, and flowers of 
rich purple-blue. 

M.E. spiihre, spither, (for spinthre), literally 
spinner, from A.-S. spinnan to spin, with agent 
suffix -thre ; cp. Dutch spin, G. spinne, Dan. 
spinder. See spin. 

Spiegeleisen (spe/ gel Izn), n. An alloy 
of iron, manganese, and carbon used in the 
manufacture of steel. Spiegeleisen, or 
mirror iron, is so 
named from the 
mirror-like appearance 
of the faces of the 
metal when broken. 
(F. Spiegeleisen, fonte 

G. Spiegel mirror (L. 
speculum), eisen iron. 

spigot (spig' 6t), 
n. A small, tapered 
wooden plug or peg for 
stopping the vent of 
a cask ; a peg control- 
ling the flow of liquor 
from a faucet. (F. 

Liquid will not run 
from a cask unless air 
is allowed to enter by 
removing the spigot from the vent-hole. 

M.E. spigot, dim. from Prov. espiga ear of 
corn, (espigoun spigot), L. spica ear of corn, 
point. See spike. 

spike (spik), n. A pointed piece of metal, 
as on the top of a railing ; any pointed 
object; a sharp point; a large thick nail 
or pin ; a flower-cluster formed of stemless 
flowers arranged on a long common axis ; 
French lavender, v.t. To fasten or pierce 
with spikes ; to furnish with spikes ; to fix 
upon a spike ; to sharpen the end of ; to 
plug the touch-hole of (a cannon) with a 
spike. (F. pointe, clou, epi, spic ; clouer, 
herisser de pointes, pointer, enclouer.) 

The tops of walls, fences, and gates are 
often protected with a row of spikes. Runners 
wear shoes with spikes in the soles to prevent 
them from slipping. The hedgehog has a 

Any animal with small body and long legs spiky (spik' i, adj.) back, covered with spikes 

is said to be spidery (spi' der i, adj.), or 
spider-like (adj.). The spider-crab (n.) 
Macropodia longirostris has a long beak and 
extremely attenuated legs. It is found in 
British seas. The American spider-monkey (n.) 
A teles is a wonderfully agile animal, with 
a slender body and a long prehensile tail. 
Various birds that feed on spiders have been 
given the name of spider- catcher (.) 
especially an Indian sun-bird of the genus 
Arachnothera, and the wall-creeper (Ticho- 
droma muraria), a little bird of southern 

The spider-wasp (n.) Pompilus hunts 
for spiders, which it paralyses with its sting 
and places in holes with its eggs, so that the 
larvae may have food. The Virginian spider- 
wort (n.) Tradescantia virginiana is a 


or spines. A spiky thorn is one that is stiff 
and has a sharp point. A spike-nail (n.) is a 
long, stout nail with a small head, which is 
used for spiking or fastening thick planks 

In the days of muzzle-loading cannon, 
an enemy gun was spiked or made useless, 
by driving a cast-iron spike into the touch- 
hole, and then snapping it off level with the 
top. Nowadays a gun is disabled by damaging 
or removing the breech-block. 

Oil of spike, used in painting, and by 
veterinary surgeons, is an essential oil 
distilled from spike-lavender (n.), or French 
lavender (Lavendula spica}. The flower- 
cluster of the plantain is an example of the 
type of inflorescence known to botanists 
as a spike. The inflorescence of wheat and 



rye takes the form of small groups of flowers, 
arranged on the main axis, and is termed a 
compound spike. Each of the groups is known 
as a spikelet (splk' let, n.) or small spike. 

Partly from L. splca ear of corn, point, but 
in the sense of nail from a Teut. source, perhaps 
akin to spoke (of a wheel) ; cp. Dutch spijker 
nail, G. spiker large nail. See spoke. SYN. : 
n. Barb, point, spit. v. Bore, drill, impale, 
perforate, pierce. . 

spikenard (spik' nard), n. An Indian 
herb allied to and resembling the valerian ; 
a valuable and fragrant ointment prepared 
by the ancients, chiefly from its roots. 
(F. nard indien.} 

Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) grows 
on the Himalaya Mountains. Christ was 
anointed with the precious ointment of 
spikenard (Mark xiv, 3). The name oil of 
spikenard is given to some fragrant oils. 

So called from its spike-shaped blossoms, O.F. 
spiquenard, from L. splca nardl, nardus 
splcdtus. See nard. 

spile (spll), n. A spigot ; a wooden plug ; 
a large timber driven into the ground to 
support a foundation ; a pile. v.t. To make 
a vent-hole in (a cask) ; to plug (a hole) with 
a spile. (F. fausset, tampon, pilot, pieu ; 
percer, mettre en perce, boucher.) 

Spiles collectively are known as spiling 
(spir ing, n.), which also denotes the curve 
of the edge of a plank in a ship's hull. 

From Dutch spijl or Low G. spile splinter, 
peg ; cp. G. speil skewer, in some senses con- 
fused with pile [2]. 

spill [i] (spil), n. A folded or twisted 
piece of paper or thin strip of wood, used for 
lighting a candle, etc. (F. allumette de 
papier, allumette en copeau.} 

Perhaps a form of spile, or = M.E. speld 
splinter, A.-S. speld a spill to light a candle 
with, splinter, M.H.G. spelte splinter, from 
O.H.G. spaltan, G. spalten to cleave, split. 

Spiller. Pithing by means of a spiller, a line to 
which baited hooks are attached. 

spill [2] (spil), v.t. To allow or cause 
(liquid) to fall or run out of a vessel ; to 
scatter, as by emptying ; to shed (blood) ; 
to throw from (a vehicle, etc.) ; to empty 
(a sail) of wind, v .i. To run out ; to flow or 
run over a brim or side ; to be shed. n. 
The act of spilling ; a fall or throw from a 
bicycle, horse, etc. p.t. and p.p. spilt (spilt) ; 
spilled (spild). (F. repandre, verser, carguer ; 
se repandre, deborder ; ecoulement, culbute.) 

It is difficult to avoid spilling the contents 
of a full pail of water when carrying it over 
rough ground. The popular saying that it is 
no use crying over spilt milk means that we 
should not bewail past misfortunes. When 
blood is shed, it may be said to be spilt. 
Most cyclists have experienced a few un- 
pleasant spills, especially on greasy roads. 

A dam built across a valley to collect water 
in a reservoir is usually provided with a 
spillway (spir wa, n.}, that is, a passage 
somewhat lower than the top of the dam 
over which surplus water flows. 

The word spiller (spil' er, n.} means either 
a person or thing that spills, as when we say 
that a hunter is a spilier of blood. A long 
fishing-line carrying many hooks is also 
called a spiller by Cornish fishermen. In 
America the word denotes a small net used 
to remove fish from a seine-net. 

A spilling-line (n.) is a short rope for spill- 
ing a square-sail or emptying the wind from 
it so that it can be reefed. 

M.E. spillen, A.-S. sptllan, spildan to destroy ; 
cp. O. Norse spilla to destroy, Swed. spilla 
to spill, Dutch spillen to squander, perhaps 
akin to G. spalten to split. 

spillikin (spir i kin), n. A small rod or 
slip of wood, bone, etc., used in certain 
games ; (pi.) a game played with such 
pieces. (F. jonchet, jeu de jonchets.) 
. In spillikins the players try to hook each 
spillikin from a heap, without disturbing the 

M. Dutch spelleken, dim. of spelle peg, pin. 
See spill [ij. 

spilt (spilt). This is a past tense and past 
participle of spill. See spUl [2], 

spin (spin), v.t. To draw out and twist 
(fibres) into threads ; to make (yarn) in this 
way ; of spiders and caterpillars, to form (a 
web or cocoon) by drawing out a thread of 
viscous material ; to form (a thread) by the 
extrusion of cellulose, etc. ; to make up or 
relate (a narrative) ; to tell at great length ; 
to consume or occupy (time, etc.) thus ; to 
cause to rotate quickly ; to turn (a person 
or thing) round rapidly ; to shape (metal) 
into hollow vessels on a lathe or mandrel. 
v.i. To form threads from cotton, wool, etc., 
by drawing and twisting, or from a viscous 
material by extrusion ; to whirl or turn 
round ; to fish with a spinning-bait ; to go 
along very quickly, n. The act or motion 
of spinning or whirling ; a run on a bicycle, 
motor-car, etc. ; a brief spell of rowing, 
etc. p.t. spun (spun) or span (span) ; p.p. 
spun (spun). (F. filer, etirer, raconter, trainer, 
faire iourner, filer, tournoyer ; tournoiement, 

Man span cotton into yarn with which to 
make his cloth thousands of years ago, and 
from very early times other vegetable and 
animal fibres, such as flax and wool, have been 
spun in a similar manner. Machinery, of 
course, has taken the place of the hand- 
worker in many civilized communities. 




Some people like to spin out a story when 
they tell it, that is, to narrate it at great 
length, which may make the story tedious 
to listen to. Negotiations or discussions are 
said to be spun out if they last a long time. 
An official who, in the temporary absence of 
his chief, has to deal with a caller, may try 
to spin out the time till his superior returns, 
perhaps by talking at length. 

We talk sometimes of taking a spin on a 
bicycle, of going for a spin on the river, or of 
enjoying a spin in a car, in each case meaning 
by a spin a brief spell of the recreation in 

In cricket the twist 
given to the ball when 
bowling is called spin, a 
term applied in lawn- 
tennis to the twist im- 
parted to a ball by 
sliding the racket across 
it. In the latter game to 
toss the racket to de- 
termine the service or 
the choice of court is 
to spin. 

A spinner (spin 7 er, n.) 
is a person or machine 
that spins cotton, wool, 
flax, and other fibres. A 
metal-spinner clamps a 
disk of metal in the lathe, 
and while the disk rotates 
or spins, presses it side- 
ways with a tool against a shaped wooden 
mould till it takes the shape of the mould. 
Vases, pots, pans and other hollow-ware are 
formed thus, or spun from a solid piece of 
metal. The word spinner also means the 
spinneret (spin' er et, n,) of a spider, one of 
the tiny tubes in its body through which is 
exuded the silk-like thread used for its web. 
Silkworms and other kinds of caterpillars 
also have spinnerets. 

Man has profited by the example of the 
insect world and has contrived a viscous or 
gummy solution, which, when exuded 
through a minute hole under great pressure, 
forms a thread of material which can be 
made into a kind of yarn for weaving. 

A spinnery (spin' er i, n.), or spinning-mill 
(n.), is a factory in which cotton, wool, etc., 
are spun into threads. The device named 
spinning- jenny (n.) was a spinning-machine 
invented about 1764 by James Hargreaves, 
a Lancashire weaver, which enabled one 
person to spin a number of threads at the 
same time. The jenny took the place of the 
spinning-wheel (.), which has a wheel 
turned by a treadle. 

A spinning-tcp (n.) whirls, or spins, for a 
while after being spun, or twirled, with the 
fingers or by means of a string, etc. To send 
a person spinning is to strike or push him 
so that he spins round, turning on his feet. 
We may spin someone round to free us, 
turning him by the arm in the desired 

Spinning-jenny. The spinning-jenny, a spinning- 
machine invented by James Hargreaves, a 
Lancashire weaver. 

A.-S. spinnan ; cp. Dutch and G. spinnen, 
O. Norse spinna ; akin to E.span (v.). SYN. : 
v. Revolve, turn, twirl, whirl. 

spinach (spin' ij), n. A herb of the genus 
Spinacia, of which the leaves are boiled as 
food. (F. dpinard.} 

There are several varieties of spinach 
which have large, succulent leaves. The 
garden spinach is 5. oleracea. The leaves 
when cooked have a slightly bitter taste, 
and are very wholesome. Herbs which belong 
to this genus are described as spinaceous (spi 
na' shus, adj.}. Other similar plants with 
edible leaves are popu- 
larly called spinach. 

O.F. espinac(h)e, espin- 
age ; cp. Span, espinaca, 
Arabic isfanaj, asfanakh, 
perhaps of Pers. origin, 
but usually associated 
with L. splna thorn, from 
the prickliness of the 

spinal (spr nal), adj. 
Of or relating to the 
spine. (F. spinal.} 

In man, the backbone, 
spine, or spinal column 
(n.), as it is variously 
named, is formed of 
thirty-three small bones, 
or vertebrae, each con- 
sisting of a solid portion 
and an arch. The verte- 
brae are so placed one upon the other that 
the solid parts make a bony pillar, and the 
arches form a nearly continuous canal, 
through which runs the chief nerve-trunk 
of the body, known as the spinal cord (n.), 
or spinal marrow (n.). This communicates 
above with the brain and is connected 
laterally by nerves with other regions. 

L.L. splndlis, from L. splna spine, and adj. 
suffix -alls. SYN. : Vertebral. 

spindle (spin' dl), n. The rod or pin of a 
spinning - wheel on which the thread is 
twisted and wound ; a pin carrying a bobbin, 
in a spinning-machine ; a rod or pin which 
revolves, or on which some part turns, v.i. 
To grow into a long slender form. (F. 
quenouille, fuseau, broche, pivot; s'effiler.} 

The spindle of the spinning-wheel is 
made to revolve by means of a treadle. 
Before the invention of the wheel, the spinner 
held the spindle and turned it by hand. 

The spindle is weighted with a spindle- 
whorl (.), a pottery disk with a hole in it. 
The spindle side of a person's ancestry is the 
female side, described also as the distaff side. 

People who have long, thin legs are some* 
times said to be spindle-legged (adj.}, or 
spindle-shanked (adj.}, or are nicknamed 
spindle-legs (}, or spindle-shanks (}. 

The shrub called spindle-tree (.) 
Euonymus europaeus is often seen growing 
in hedges. It has glossy, tapering leaves and 
bears a curious red, four-lobed fruit. Its 
tough, hard wood is used for skewers and 




other articles, and was formerly made into 

M.E. spinel, A.-S. spinl, from spinnan to 
spin ; with instrumental suffix -(<?)/ ; cp. G. 
spindel. The inserted d is due to the phonetic 
influence of n. SYN. : n. Arbor, axis, pin, rod. 

spindrift (spin' drift), n. Fine spray blown 
from the waves of the sea. Another form 
is spoondrift (spoon 7 drift). (F. embrun.) 

Sc. form of spoondrift from the nautical 
spoon, spoom to run before the wind. 

spine (spin), n. The backbone ; a sharp, 
stiff, woody process in plants ; a sharp 
projection or outgrowth. (F. epine dorsale, 
echine, epine.} 

The backbone or vertebral column is 
called the spine ; the vertebrae which com- 
pose it are furnished with a projecting 
ridge or spinous (spin 'us, adj.] process called 
the neural spine. Projections on other bones 
also are described as spines. 

Any large prickle or thorn of plants is 
loosely called a spine, but botanists reserve 
the name for permanent processes which 
grow out from the wood, as in the common 
hawthorn. Such spines are modifications 
of branches or other parts, and differ from 
the prickles of plants like the rose or bramble, 
which originate in the bark. Another spined 
(spind, adj.] or spinose (spin' 6s, adj.) plant 
is the barberry. 

In some fish the fin-rays are produced into 
sharp spines, as in the perch. Hedgehogs and 
porcupines are examples of mammals that 
have spiny (spin 7 i, adj.) or spine-like hairs. 
Their covering is an example of spinosity 
(splnos 7 i ti, n.). 

Invertebrate animals are spineless (spin' 
les, adj.), and this word is used of a person 
who appears limp in carriage or in character. 
Fish which have no fin-spines, and plants 
having no sharp woody spines, may also be 
described as spineless. 

O.F. espine thorn, from L. spina thorn, back- 
bone. SYN. : Backbone, thorn. 

spinel (spi nel 7 ; spin 7 el), n. A vitreous 
aluminate of magnesium, occurring as 
octahedral crystals of great hardness ; 
a term for other minerals of similar chemical 
and crystalline structure. (F. spinelle.) 

Spinel is found in various colours green, 
blue, red, brown and black the red variety 
being marketed as a precious stone under 
the name spinel ruby. 

F. spinelle, from L.L. spinellus, dim. of spina 
thorn, prickle, so named from the sharp-pointed 

spineless (spin 7 les), adj. Invertebrate ; 
having no spines. See under spine. 

spinet (spi net 7 ; spin 7 et), n. An obsolete 
musical instrument resembling a small 
harpsichord, and having but one string to 
each note. (F. epinette.) 

O.F. espinette, from Ital. spinetta, probably 
so named from G. Spinetti of Venice (about A.D. 
1500), the alleged inventor of the instrument. 

spinnaker (spin 7 a ker), n. A large three- 
cornered sail, extended by a gaff, carried on 

the mainmast of a racing-yacht opposite the 
mainsail, and used in running before the wind. 
Perhaps from " Sphinx," name of a yacht that 
carried this sail. 

Spinnaker. A yacht with two large spinnakers set, 
one to port and one to starboard. 

spinner (spin'er), n. One who or that 
which spins ; a spinneret. See under spin. 

spinney (spin 7 i), n. A small wood with 
undergrowth ; a copse ; a thicket. (F. 
taillis, bosquet, hallier.) 

O.F. espinoye, from L. splnetum a thorny 
thicket, from L. spina thorn. 

spinning-jenny (spin 7 ing jen 7 i). For 
this word, spinning-mill, etc., see under spin. 

spinose (spin 6s 7 ). For this word and 
spinous see under spine. 

Spinozism (spi noz 7 izm), n. The philo- 
sophy taught by Baruch de Spinoza (1632- 
1677), a Dutch Jew of Spanish descent. 
(F. spinosisme.) 

Spinoza's philosophy is called a monistic 
system because it represents God and Nature 
to be one, and pantheistic because it holds 
everything to be a part of God. A believer 
in Spinozism is known as a Spinozist (spin 6 7 
zist, n.), and his belief is said to be Spinozistic 
(spin 6 zist 7 ik, adj.). 

spinster (spin 7 ster), n. An unmarried 
woman. (F. fille.) 

Spinster, now the legal designation of an 
unmarried woman, meant formerly a woman 
who got her living by spinning. Popularly 
the word is used especially of an elderly 
woman who is not married. Spinsterhood 
(spin 7 ster hud, n.) is the state of being a 

Literally a woman who spins. The suffix -ster 
was originally confined to females, especially 
one who carried on something as an occupation, 
but when men began to undertake such occupa- 
tions the feminine application of -ster gradually 
disappeared, and now only survives in the single 
word spinster. 

spinthariscope (spin thar 7 i skop), n. 
An instrument for rendering rays emitted 
by radium visible. 

The spint-hariscope consists of a small 
metal tube in which a minute particle of 
radium or of a radium compound is mounted 
in front of a screen coated with a fluorescent 
substance such as zinc sulphide. The con- 
tinual impact of the rays emitted by the 
radium against the screen causes tiny flashes 




of light, which can be seen through a magni- 
fying glass. The instrument was invented 
by Sir William Crookes. 

From Gr. spintharis spark, and suffix -scope 
= observer, observing, from Gr. skopein to 
look, observe. 

spinule (spi' mil), n. In botany and 
zoology, a small spine. (F. spinule.} 

Some parts of plants are shown by the 
microscope to be furnished with tiny spines 
or spinules. The fruit of goose-grass, or 
cleavers, is an example, the spinules having 
tiny hooks. Such a plant is described as 
spinulose (spi' nu 16s, adj.], or spinulous 
(spr mi his, adj.] ; spinuliferous (spi nu lif 
er us, adj.] means bearing spinules. 

F., from L. splnula, dim. of splna spine. 

spiny (spin' i), adj. Furnished with 
spines. See under spine. 

spiracle (spir' akl), n. A breathing hole. 
(F. event, soupirail.) 

This name is used for the blowhole of 
whales, through which 
air mixed with spray 
or water is ejected when 
the animal expels air 
from its lungs. In fishes 
like sharks, the spiracle 
is a small hole near the 
gill-slits, out of which 
the water passes after 
flowing over the gills. 

Insects have spiracles 
along the sides of the 
body, through which air 
enters the tracheae or 
breathing tubes. 

F. t from L. spiraculum 
air-hole, from spir are to 

spiraea (spi re' a), n. 
belonging to the order Rosaceae. (F. s'piree. 

The fragrant meadow-sweet (Spiraea 
ulmaria}, and the dropwort (5. filipendula) 
are common British plants. 

L., from Gr. speiraia meadow-sweet, from 
speira coil. 

spiral (spir' al), adj. Forming a coil ; 
winding continually about a centre and 
getting farther from it ; winding continually 
and advancing like the thread of a screw. 
n. A spiral curve ; a spiral spring or other 
spiral formation. (F. spiral ; spirale.) 

The quality of being spiral, called spirality 
(spi nil' i ti, n.), is presented by the groove 
on a gramophone disk, which winds spirally 
(spir' al li, adv.) about the centre point, from 
which it recedes farther at each turn. A 
watch-spring is wound in the form of a 
spiral, all in one plane. Some springs for 
example, those used as shock absorbers on 
a motor cycle are wound as tapering spirals, 
each turn rising upward, so that the spring 
is cone-shaped. The horns of some antelopes 
are spirated (spir' at ed, adj.), or spirally 

F., from L. splrdlis. See spire. SYN. : adj. 
Cork-screwy, helical, n. Helix. 

larva of the cockchafer, 

A genus of plants 

spirant (spir' ant), n. A consonant which 
is pronounced without entirely stopping 
the breath, adj. Uttered in this manner ; 
continuable. (F. aspire.} 

The sounds /, v, th, are spirants, or con- 
tinuable consonants. While sounding them 
the breath is expelled gently all the time. 

L,. splrans (ace. -ant-em], pres. p. of spir are 
to breathe. 

spire [i] (spir), n. A tall tapering structure, 
usually conical or pyramidal, rising from a. 
tower ; a flower spike or stalk of grass 
resembling this in shape ; the tapering upper 
part of a tree which rises above the branches. 
v.i. To sprout or shoot up like a spire. 
v.t. To provide with a spire. (F. fleche, 
clocher, brin ; s'elever en fleche : orner d'un 

Spires are a dominant feature of some of 
our magnificent cathedrals, which have been 
described as poems in stone, and a great 
many parish churches 
also have their spires. 
Whatever may be the 
origin of church spires 
the idea they suggest 
within our minds is that 
of lifting our thoughts 
heavenward. In poetical 
. language a town having 
; many buildings with 
spires might be described 
as spiry (spir' i, adj.). 

A.-S. spir spike (ol a 
\ reed) ; cp. Dan. spire 

J sprout, sprig, G. spiere 
spar, Icel. spira spar, 
stilt, akin- to E. spar, 
spear. SYN. : n. Pinnacle. 

spire [2] (spir), n. A spiral or coil ; a 
single turn of this ; the upper part of a 
spiral shell. (F. spirale, spire.) 

F., from L. spir a, Gr. sp*ir* coil, wreath. 

spirit {spir' it), n. The life-giving 
and immaterial part of man ; the soul ; 
a disembodied soul ; a rational being con- 
sidered apart from his material body ; an 
incorporeal being ; an angel ; a ghost ; 
a fairy or elf ; fine quality of intellect, mind, 
or character ; a person regarded as endowed 
with this ; (often -pi.} temper or disposition ; 
courage ; vivacity ; vigour ; mental or 
moral nature or attitude ; mood ; real or 
essential meaning ; animating influence ; 
pervading principle ; tendency; (usually pi.) 
certain kinds of distilled liquor, especially 
alcohol ; a solution in alcohol ; a tincture. 
v.t. To convey (away, off) quickly and secretly 
as by spirits ; to inspirit ; to animate. 
(F. esprit, intelligence, dme, ange, fantome, 
genis, caractere, homme de cceur, courage, 
verve, feu, disposition, essence, spiritueux ; 
enlever par ruse, escamoter.) 

Man is linked to his divine Creator by his 
immaterial spirit, which, religion teaches, con- 
tinues to have existence after the death of 
man's physical body. The spirit of man, 

much enlarged, of a 
a large brown beetle. 




as an intelligent being, dwells in and animates 
his body. God is a Spirit, and the Third 
Person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit (n.). 
Christians believe that the spirits of the 
departed will re-inhabit their bodies at the 
last day. Primitive peoples ascribed all 
unusual happenings to the action of spirits, 
personifying the manifestations of Nature as 
special beings vested with mysterious and 
wonderful powers. So in later days men 
have believed in ghosts and familiars, which 
by the aid of sorcery people pretended to 
conjure up at will. 

We talk of a person being spirited off or 
spirited away when he has been secretly, 
mysteriously, or quickly conveyed from a 
place not now meaning that he has been 
carried off by spirits, as the deluded and 
superstitious of a past age thought to be 

Spiritual. A detail of " II Paradise," one of the spiritual subjects 

treated in the frescoes painted by Benozzo Gozzoli, in the Palazzo 

Riccardi, Florence. 

A man of mettle or spirit is one exhibiting 
courage and energy, who shows vivacity and 
dash, or spirit, in his actions. Usually 
such a person will be in good spirits, that is, 
in a buoyant or cheerful frame of mind. We 
may say that a piece of music is performed 
in a lively or spirited (spir' it ed, adj.) 
manner, or, conversely, that the player 
tackles it in a spiritless (spir' it les, adj.) 
fashion. His spiritlessness (spir' it les nes, n.) 
may be due to low spirits, or depression, 
caused by poor health, in which circumstances 
a player cannot he expected to perform 
spiritedly (spir 7 it ed li, adv.). Spiritlessly 
(spir' it les li, adv.) means in a half-hearted 
or spiritless manner, and spiritedness (spir' 
it ed nes, n.) is the state or quality of being 

To enter into the spirit of a game is to 
play it whole-heartedly, with enthusiasm. 
A vivacious person is sometimes said to be 
the spirit of a party, entertaining other 

guests and infusing his spirit of cheerfulness 
into the gathering. The spirit of a sentence 
or a letter is its real or vital meaning as 
apart from the verbal sense. The strict 
letter of the law may be out of harmony 
with its spirit. Laws and customs may cease 
to be in keeping with the spirit of the day 
or of the age. 

Brandy, whisky, and other alcoholic 
liquors are called spirits, or ardent spirits, 
the word usually being employed in the 
plural. Pure alcohol is known as spirits of 
wine (n.). Proof spirit is alcohol of a certain 
standard strength. A spirit-lamp (n.) is 
one which burns spirit, or alcohol, generally 
in the form of methylated spirit, so treated 
as to be unfit for drinking. A spirit-level (n.) 
is an instrument consisting of a glass tube 
nearly full of alcohol contained in a wooden 
case, used for testing the flatness of a surface. 
The term spirit-worship (n.) 
denotes both the worship of the 
spirits of the departed, which 
was observed by the ancient 
Romans and is the basis of much 
Chinese religion, and the wor- 
ship of supposed good and evil 
spirits practised by some races. 

A spirit- rapper (n.) is one who 
claims that spirits communicate 
with him by rapping on a table, 
etc. ; this is called spirit-rapping 
(n.). Writing alleged to have 
been done by spirits is called 
spirit-writing (n.). A spiritist 
(spir' it ist, n.) is a believer in 
spiritualism, also called spiritism 
(spir' it izm, n.). 

The name of spirit-duck (n.) is 
given to various species of ducks 
which dive rapidly when dis- 
turbed or alarmed. Spiritoso 
(spir i to' so, adv.) is a musical 
direction denoting that a passage 
is to be played in a lively 

Angio-F. espirit, L. splritus breath, spirit, 
from splrdre to breathe. SYN. : n. Ardour, 
courage, essence, ghost, soul. 

spiritual (spir' i tu al), adj. Of or 
relating to the spirit, especially as opposed to 
the body ; immaterial ; proceeding from 
God ; divine ; holy ; inspired ; of or relat- 
ing to the inner nature of man ; not carnal ; 
concerned with sacred or religious things ; 
not temporal ; having or characterized by 
the higher qualities of the mind. (F. 
spiritual, sacrt.} 

The spiritual life is the highest life. 
Angels are spiritual beings. Bishops and 
archbishops who sit in the House of Lords 
are called the lords spiritual. Spiritualness 
(spir' i tu al nes, n.) or spirituality (spir i tu 
al' i ti, n.} means immateriality, or the 
quality of being spiritual. Spiritualities are 
those things, such as tithes, which belong 
or are due to the church or the clergy 
because of their religious office. 




To spiritualize (spir' i tu al Iz, v.t.) thoughts 
or aspirations is to make them spiritual 
in character. Ministers of religion are 
concerned especially with the spiritual 
welfare of their people, and work for their 
spiritualization (spir i tu al i za' shun, n.}, 
exhorting them to live more spiritually 
(spir 7 i tu al li, adv.}. 

O.F. spirituel, from L.L. splritudlis from 
L. spiritus spirit. SYN. : Ghostly, heavenly, 
immaterial, intellectual, mental. ANT. : Carnal, 
gross, lay, material, temporal. 

spiritualism (spir' i tu al izm), n. A 
system of teaching based on the belief that 
the spirits of the dead communicate with 
living people ; the philosophical doctrine 
that spirit is distinct from matter and alone 
has reality, spiritism (spir' it izm) has the 
same meaning. (F. spiritisms.) 

The spiritualist (spir' i tu al ist, n.), or 
spiritist (spir' it ist, n.) one who believes 
in spiritualism of the first kind brings 
forward instances of many strange happen- 
ings which are difficult or impossible to 
explain scientifically. While it is reasonable 
to -be sceptical about some incidents that 
occur at. spiritualistic (spir i tu a iis' tik, 
adj.) meetings, one should keep in mind 
Shakespeare's lines in " Hamlet" (i, 5) : 
There are more things in heaven and 

earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 

From spiritual and suffix -ism. 

spirituality (spir i tu al' i ti). For 
this word and spiritualize see under spiritual. 

spirituelle (spir i tu el'), adj. Marked 
by delicacy, grace, or refinement of mind. 

This is a French word, used chiefly of 

Fern, of spirituel. 

spirituous (spir' i tu us), adj. Con- 
taining alcohol ; distilled, not fermented ; 
alcoholic. (F. spiritueux.) 

Whisky, brandy, rum, and gin are spiritu- 
ous liquors, being prepared by distillation. 
The word is used loosely of beer and wine, 
though these are fermented and not dis- 
tilled ; they have spirituousness (spir' i tu 
us nes, n.), or the quality of being spirituous, 
in so far as they contain alcohol. 

O.F. spirttueux, from a supposed L. splrituosus. 
SYN. : Alcoholic. 

spiritus (spir' i tus), n. In Greek 
grammar, a breathing. (F. esprit.} 

All vowels and diphthongs at the begin- 
ning of Greek words have a breathing above 
them. The spiritus asper (n.), or rough 
breathing ('), has the sound of h ', the 
spiritus lenis (n.} t or smooth breathing (' ) 
marks the absence of an aspirate. 

L. = breath, breathing. 

spirograph (spir' 6 graf), n. An 
apparatus which records the movements of 

The spirograph marks the movements 
made in breathing ; an instrument of 
another kind, called the spirometer (spir om' 
e ter, n.}, or spiroscope (spir' 6 skop, n.}, 

measures the amount of air that is, or can 
be, exhaled from the lungs at a breath. It 
is a balanced vessel with an open bottom, 
which dips in water. As air is blown in, 
the vessel rises out of the water, and the 
volume of air is reckoned from the height 
of rise. 

Measurements thus made are spirometric 
(spir 6 met' rik, adj.}, and belong to spiro- 
metry (spir om' e tri, n.), the study of the 
breathing power or capacity of the lungs. 
The spirophore (spir' 6 for, n.) is a device for 
restarting the action of the lungs when it 
has ceased, as in a person apparently 

From L. splrare to breathe, and -graph (Gr. 
-graphos writer, writing, from graphein to write) . 

spirt (spert). This is another spelling 
of spurt. See spurt [i] and [2]. 

spiry (spir' i), adj. Provided with spires. 
See tinder spire [i]. 

Spit. A spit on which roasting meat is turned before 

the fire. It is not often that spits are seen in 

use to-day. 

spit [i] (spit), n. A large skewer or 
long-pointed rod on which roasting meat is 
turned before the fire ; a long narrow sand- 
bank or point of land running into the sea. 
v.t. To fix (meat) on a spit ; to pierce or 
transfix with or as with a spit. (F. broche, 
cap; embrocher, enferrer.} 

Spits are little used now since meat is 
usually baked in an oven. Formerly it 
was usual to spit poultry, game, etc., piercing 
the joint with a long rod, which was made 
to rotate slowly and so present all parts to 
the glowing fire before which the joint 
was roasted. A breed of dog used to turn 
a spit by means of a treadmill was known 
as a turnspit. A swordsman was said to 
spit his opponent when he transfixed the 
latter with his weapon. 

M.E. spite, A.-S. spitu ; cp. Dutch spit, 
G. spiess spit, spitz pointed. 

spit [2] (spit), v.t. To eject from the 
mouth ; to utter (words) in a spiteful way. 
v .i. To eject saliva from the mouth ; of a 
cat, to make a noise as of spitting ; of 
rain, to fall lightly ; to drizzle, n. Saliva ; 
spittle ; of a cat, spitting ; a froth with 
which some insects surround themselves. 
p.t. and p.p. spat (spat). (F. cracker; 
cracker, saliver, brouillasser : salive, cracnat. 
crachat de coucou.) 




The objectionable practice of spitting in of the anatomy and pathology of the 
public vehicles is an offence against bye- internal organs is splanchnology (splangk 
laws made by many authorities, and the nol 7 6 ji, n.). 

Gr. splangkhnikos, from splangkhna entrails, 

spitter (spit 7 er, n,) is liable to punishment. 

For a person spits usually as the result intestines, 
of some ailment, and his spittle (spit' 1, n.) or 

saliva may contain disease germs likely water, mud, etc.) ; to spatter (liquid) ; to 

to carry infection to others. A spittoon make (one's way) through water, dashing 

(spi toon 7 , n.) is a vessel placed in a sickroom, and spattering it ; to cause a liquid to do 

etc., for the reception of saliva. this 

A person when angered sometimes utters etc.' 

splash, (splash), v.t. To bespatter (with 

to make one's way (along, through, 
with spatterings. v.i. To dash or 

his words sharply and shortly spits them spatter liquid about ; to be dashed or fly 
out, as we say. A cat spits, or makes a about in droplets ; to move, plunge, or fall 
hissing or spitting noise, when angry, so with a splash, n. The act of splashing ; 

that we use the word spitfire (n.) to mean a 
person easily roused to anger. 

A.-S. spittan, spdetan (whence E. p.t. spat) 

i, G. spui 

cp. Dan. spytte, O. Norse spyta, 

also G. spucken, speien, E. spew, spout. SYN. 

v. Expectorate. 

spit [3] (spit), n. A layer of earth equal 
in depth to the blade of a spade ; this 

the amount of liquid splashed ; a noise of 
or as of splashing ; water, mud, or colour 
splashed about ; a spot, patch, or splotch 
of dirt, liquid, colour, etc. ; a white toilet- 
powder. (F. eclabousser, patauger, clapoter : 
folaboussement, eel abous sure.} 

Our shoes, garments, etc., become splashed 
or spattered with mud on a wet day ; if 

a passing vehicle may splash or bespatter 
us, leaving splashes difficult to remove from 
delicate fabrics. 

When we take a bath we should be careful 

depth of earth ; the amount removed by the we step into a puddle mud splashes up, and 
spade at one lift. (F. terre bechde.) 

Cp. Dutch and Low G. spit a spit, also A.-S. 
spittan (E. dialect spit) to dig. 

spitch-cock (spich 7 kok), n. An eel 
split and broiled, v.t. To pre- 
pare (a bird or fish) in this way. 
(F. anguille grille, anguitte a la 
Tartare ; griller.) 

See spatchcock. 

spite (spit), n. Ill will ; 
malice ; rancour ; a grudge, v.t. 
To vex or annoy ; to thwart. 
(F. depit, mauvais vouloir, 
malice, rancune : depiter, con- 

A boy who through neglect 
of his studies has fallen behind 
his class-mates sometimes shows 
spite against them, or bears 
them a grudge, in spite of or 
despite their efforts to be 
friendly. Some spiteful (spit 7 
ful, adj.) people are so stupid 
as to harm themselves in their 
endeavours to act spitefully 
(spit 7 fiil li, adv.) towards others. 
Such a person is said to cut off his nose 

Splash. A horse and rider in * steeplechase making a great 
splash on failing to clear a brook. 

not to splash, for if we splash the water, it 

to spite his face. Spitefulness (spit 7 ful nes, may splash over on to the floor, or splash 
n.) is that disagreeable quality or state of the walls of the bathroom. When we 

bathe at the seaside we like to splash about 
or splash our way through the splashy 

mind in which spite or malice is harboured 
against somebody. 

Abbreviation of despite. SYN. : n. Grudge, (splash 7 i, adj.) breakers into the deeper 

alevolence, malice, rancour, v. Annoy, thwart, and smoother water a little way put from 

x - the shore. A bather who misses his footing 

spitter (spit'er). For this word, spittle, may fall with a resounding splash, making 

r C'OO t IM rl >*r o-r\i4- P/^l _1_? l 1_ _ jj_ _ _ 1 1__T j i 

etc., see under spit [2]. 

spitz (spits), n. 
Pomeranian dog. 

G. spitz(hund), from spitze point (of its nose). 
See spit [ij. 

a big splash or spattering as his body strikes 
A small variety of the water. 

The edges of books are sometimes decor- 

ated with minute spots or splashes of pig- 
ment, sprinkled from a brush. A brightly - 
splanchnic (splangk 7 nik), adj. Of or hued object may appear as a splash of 

relating to the intestines, or viscera; vis- -- 1 - -- J *-' 

ceral. (F. splanchnique.) 

colour on an artist's canvas, and certain 

-a, , paintings of the futurist or impressionist 

A nerve which supplies the viscera is type appear on hasty inspection to be 

known as a splanchnic nerve. The study nothing but a series of irregular splashes. 




A splash-board (n.) is a screen or guard 
fixed in front of a vehicle to keep off splashes 
of mud. The wheel-guard of a locomotive 
or carriage is sometimes called a splasher 
(splash' er, n.). This term is also applied to 
one who, or that which, splashes, and the 
name is used for a screen placed on the wall 
behind a wash-stand to intercept splashes. 

The same as plash, with 5-, from O.F. es-, L. 
ex- intensive. See plash. SYN. : v. Bespatter, 
dabble, dash, spatter, n. Drop, patch splodge, 

splatter (splat' er), v.i. To make a 
continuous splashing noise ; to speak un- 
intelligibly ; to sputter, v.t. To splash or 
bespatter ; to utter or speak (words, etc.) 
unintelligibly. (F. clapoter, bredouiller, siffler ; 
eclabousser, bredouiller.} 

The oars of a row-boat splatter the water ; 
a frightened water-bird splatters as it 
scurries away ; rain-drops splatter as they 
fall on the roof or windows. 

One who talks indistinctly is said to 
splatter, or to splatter his words. A 
foreigner .unacquainted with our language 
splatters English, uttering it in an unin- 
telligible manner. 

Variant of spatter. SYN. : Bespatter, splash, 

splay (spla), v.t. To form (an opening) 
with sloping sides ; in farriery, to dislocate. 
n. A surface making an oblique angle with 
another ; the outward widening of a window, 
embrasure, etc. (F. evaser, ebraser, epauler ; 
evasement, dbrasement.) 

Arrow-slits and embrasures were formed 
with an outward splay or widening, so that 
the archer or artilleryman could direct his 
arrow or piece at a wide angle. Windows 
formed in thick walls are often splayed, or 
widened at an oblique angle, to admit more 
light. Church windows generally show a 
splay at each side on the interior. A horse 
is said to splay its shoulder-bone when it 
puts it out of joint. 

A splay-foot (n.) is a flat, outwardly- 
turned foot. The possessor of splay- feet is 
said to be splay-footed (adj.), and anyone 
with a splay-mouth (n.), a wide, distorted 
mouth, is described as splay-mouthed (adj.). 

Abbreviation of display. 

spleen (splen), n. A small, soft, vascular 
organ lying in the upper left portion of the 
abdomen ; lowness of spirits ; ill-temper ; 
spite. (F. rate, spleen.} 

The spleen, one of the organs known as- 
ductless glands, is present in most vertebrate 
animals, and, in mammals, occupies the 
position mentioned above, lying partly 
behind the stomach and intestines. The 
function of the spleen is to modify the 
blood as it passes through the organ, and 
it is able to rid the blood of the worn-out 
red corpuscles and to form new corpuscles. 
Spleenless (splen ' les, adj.) means devoid of 
a spleen. 

Inflammation of the spleen is called 
splenitis (sple ni' tis, n.). In former times 

the spleen was thought to be the seat of 
bad temper, melancholy, and other un- 
pleasant emotions, so that ill-tempered 
people were said to have spleen, or were 
described as splenetic (sple net' ik, adj.). The 
word splenic (splen' ik, adj.), relating to the 
spleen, is used in anatomy and pathology. 

Other words, now little used, sometimes 
applied to an ill-tempered or peevish person, 
are spleenful (splen' ful, adj.) and spleeny 
(splen' i, adj.). 

Spleenwort. Spleen wort, a fern at one time believed 
to be a cure for spleen trouble. 

The spleenwort (splen' wert, n.) is a fern 
formerly believed to be a remedy for mala- 
dies of the spleen. The name is given to 
several species of the genus Asplenium. 

L., Gr. splen, akin to L. lien spleen. 

splendid (splen' did), adj. Magnifi- 
cent ; glorious ; gorgeous ; brilliant ; 
grand ; excellent ; fine. (F. magnifique, 
glorieux, somptueux, eclatant, grand, excellent - 

Sunrise and sunset offer us splendid sights, 
and adequately to describe the splendour 
(splen' der, n.) of the heavens when the 
moon and stars shed their silver light splen- 
didly (splen' did li, adv.) on hill and dale, 
lake and stream, needs the pen of a poet. 

The ceremony of a coronation is a splendid 
spectacle, and the splendid or gorgeous 
robes worn by the chief persons lend splen- 
dour to the scene. 

In poetical writings we sometimes meet 
with the word splendent (splen' dent, adj.), 
meaning lustrous or brilliant. Splendiferous 
(splen dif er us, adj.) is used colloquially 
to mean magnificent, and splendid is em- 
ployed similarly in describing anything 
remarkably fine or excellent, such as a 
splendid innings or a splendid catch in 
cricket. A losing team is sometimes said 
to have put up a splendid fight. 

F. splendide, from L. splendidus, from splendere 
to shine. SYN. : Brilliant, glorious, gorgeous, 
magnificent, resplendent. ANT. : Dingy, dull, 

splenetic (sple net' ik). For this word, 
splenic, etc., see under spleen. 

splenius (sple' ni us), n. A muscle in 
the neck which serves to turn the head. 
(F. splenius.) 

Modern L. (with musculus muscle understood) 
from Gr. splenion bandage, compress. 




splent (splent). This is another form 
of splint. See splint. 

splice (splis), v.t. To unite the ends of 
(two ropes) by interweaving ; to join 
(timber, etc.) by overlapping, n. A union or 
junction by splicing. (F. epissev ; tpissure.) 

The ends of ropes are spliced in order to 
join two lengths together to form one piece, 
or to make a continuous length. The 
strands of the two pieces or ends are 
first untwisted and then woven together to 
make a firm and even splice or junction. 
Sometimes an end is spliced to make an 
eye-splice, which is a sort of eye or loop at 
the end of a rope. In the long splice, used 
when the rope has to pass through a block, 
a longer portion of each rope is untwisted 
so that the splice is more evenly distributed. 

To splice the main-brace means, in 
sailors' language, to serve out an extra 
allowance of grog or rum, as in bad weather 
or after a long spell of hard work. 

M. Dutch splissen (the rope-ends being 
previously split or divided), from splitsen, 
splijten ; cp. G. splissen, Swed. splissa. See 




Splice. Several kinds of splices methods of inter- 
weaving the ends of ropes. 

spline (splin), n. A strip of rubber or 
flexible wood or steel used for ruling curves ; 
a rectangular key fitting in a slot of a wheel 
and shaft to fasten them together. 

The flexible spline is used in mechanical 
drawing when laying down large curves, 
as in a railway drawing office. The spline 
used in machinery is a long key sunk half- 
way into a shaft. The other half projects 
into a wheel, clutch, or other part, which 
must turn with the shaft but be free to 
slide along it. Sometimes the shaft is 
channelled and the wheel is furnished with 
a projecting pin or spline to fit the groove. 

Perhaps for splind, akin to sphnder = splinter. 

splint (splint), n. A strip of wood, 
metal, etc., used to protect and keep in 
place a broken limb ; a thin flexible strip of 
wood used in chair-making, basket-making, 
etc. ; the stem of a match before the head is 
put on ; in anatomy, the fibula ; one of the 
bones running from knee to fetlock in a 
horse ; a tumour or callous on this ; one 
of the strips of overlapping metal in mediae- 
val armour, v.t. To secure or support with 

splints. (F. eclisse, attMe, pevone, suros, 
lame; dclisser, poser une attelle a.} 

A fractured limb is put into splints so 
that the bones may be supported and kept 
at rest. Temporary splints are sometimes 
improvised from any flat pieces of wood. 
or even from a walking-stick or broom - 
handle, so that bones or parts are not moved 
or displaced while an injured person is being 
taken to hospital. 

Each of the two bones that reach from 
the knee to the fetlock of a horse, behind 
the cannon-bone or shank-bone, is called 
a splint, or splint-bone (n.}. Splint coal (n.} 
is a slaty kind of cannel-coal. 

Formerly splent (cp. O.F. esplente a thin plate 
of steel), from M. Dutch or M. Low G. splinte iron 
pin ; cp. G. splint thin piece of steel, linch-pin. 
See splinter. 

splinter (splint 7 er), n. A thin sharp- 
edged piece broken off from wood or other 
substance ; a sliver, v.t. To split into 
splinters, v.i. To separate into splinters 
or fragments. (F. eclat ; fendre en Eclats : 
se briser par Eclats.) 

Planks and deals as they come from the 
timber-yard contain many splinters; the 
edges especially are rough and splintery 
(splint 7 er i, adj.). A carpenter often gets 
a splinter in his finger through handling 
splintery planks. 

We may splinter wood in chopping it, 
or in cutting it with a knife. Soft woods 
splinter more readily than hard woods. 
The fall of a horse may splinter the shafts 
of the vehicle to which the animal is attached ; 
a bullet may splinter the bone of a limb 
which it strikes. Wood, stone, or metal 
splinters when struck by a projectile from 
a gun, and the flying fragments or splinters 
may do much damage. 

Various splinter-proof (adj.) devices are 
made to protect soldiers or sailors from the 
flying splinters of bursting shells. 

A splinter-bar (n.) means either the cross- 
bar fixed in front of certain vehicles to which 
traces may be attached, or the bar that 
supports the springs of a vehicle. Both 
the fibula and, in the horse, the splint-bone, 
are sometimes called the splinter-bone (.). 

M. Dutch and Low G. splinter ; cp. G. splitter ; 
E. splint and split. SYN. : n. Sliver, v. Cleave, 
rend, shiver, split. 

split (split), v.t. To cleave or divide 
longitudinally, or with the grain ; to break 
or cut into parts or thicknesses ; to divide 
into opposite or hostile parties ; to divide 
(a vote) between parties ; to burst ; to tear. 
v.i. To be broken or divided, especially 
lengthwise or with the grain ; to divide 
into hostile or opposite parties ; to break 
up ; to tear ; to go to pieces ; to be con- 
vulsed with laughter ; to give away secrets. 
n. The act of splitting ; that which is split, 
or formed by splitting ; a split osier ; one 
of the splints which form the reed in a 
loom ; a crack ; a breach ; a fissure ; a 




schism ; one of the layers of a split hide ; 
a small bottle of aerated water, etc. , (pi.} 
an acrobat's trick of spreading his legs out 
flat right and left. (F. fendre, ref&ndre, 
diviser, crever, dechirev ; se fendre, se diviser, 
eclat er, crever de rire, denoncer ; fendage, 
fente, fissure, scission, grand ecart.) 

A stroke of lightning some- 
times splits or rends a tree 
from top to bottom. In hot 
climates, wood or bone articles 
are apt to shrink and split. 
Slates for roofing, etc. /are 
split from a clayey rock which 
splits readily into laminae. 
Laths for partitions are split 
from a billet of wood. Hides 
are split into two or more 
splits or thicknesses, the 
under layers being given an 
artificial grain to look like that seen naturally 
in the topmost layer. 

People are said to split hairs when they 
make needlessly fine distinctions. A voter 
splits his votes" if he divides them between 
two or more candidates. A vital question, or 
one which arouses much opposition, may 
cause a party to split, or take opposite sides. 
Such a point or policy is said to split the 
party, and the party to split on it. 

It is bad grammar to split the infinitive, 
that is, to separate a verb in the infinitive 
from the " to " belonging to it, as in the 
sentence, " I meant to at once write a reply." 
Here one ought to say, " I meant to write a 
reply at once." 

Dried peas freed from their husks and 
split are split peas ( or split pease ( 
A splitter (split' er, n.) is a person or thing 
that splits. A very funny joke is sometimes 
called a side-splitter, and one who is con- 
vulsed or doubled up with laughter is said 
to split, or to split his sides. 

At first nautical ; cp. M. Dutch splitten, Dutch 
splijten, Low G. splitten, G. spleissen , (n.) cp. 
Dutch spleet, Dan. and Swed. split split, discord. 
SYN. : v. Break, cleave, divide, rend, tear. n. 
Breach, crack, fissure. ANT. : v. Join, unite. 

splodge (sploj), n. A daub ; a blotch ; 
a smear. Another form is splotch (sploch). 
(F. crotie, tache, pdte.) 

Paint applied unevenly or daubed on in 
splodges gives the thing coated a splotchy 
(sploch' i, adj.) appearance. 

A variant of splotch, from M.E. and A.-S. per- 
haps splot spot, blot ; cp. blot, blotch. SYN. : 
Blotch, daub, patch, smear. 

splutter (splut' er), v.t. To sputter ; to 
utter in a hurried or confused way ; to 
stammer, v.i. To speak incoherently or in a 
hurried way ; to sputter, n. A sputter ; a 
noise; a bustle. (F. bafouiller ; bredouillage, 
fracas, tap age.) 

One who splutters, or splutters out his 
words is called a splutterer (splut' er er, n.). 

Imitative, variant of sputter, a frequentative of 
spout. See spout. SYN. : Sputter, stammer, 

Spode (spod), n. Porcelain made by 
Josiah Spode (1754-1827). 

Josiah Spode began to manufacture 
porcelain in 1800. By omitting glass from 
his paste and using a rich lead glaze 
he established the popularity of Spode or 
Spode-ware (.). 

famous potter, Josiah 



spoil (spoil), v.t. To despoil ; to plunder ; 
to mar ; to impair or destroy the value, 
usefulness or beauty of ; to injure the 
character of by over-indulgence. v.i. To 
deteriorate ; to decay ; to go bad. p.t. and 
p.p. 'spoilt (spoilt) or spoiled (spoild). n. 
(usually in pi.) Plunder , booty. (F. 
depouiller, devaster, gdter, alterer : se gdter, 
s' alterer ; pillage, butin.) 

This word, as formerly used, meant to 
plunder, or take away something by force, 
and is still so used in poetical or figurative 
language. We still talk of the spoils of war, 
meaning booty or things captured from an 
enemy, and, in politics, the offices or honours 
accruing to a party successful at the polls 
are, figuratively, likened to spoils. In the 
U.S.A., where many. public appointments 
fall to adherents of a party in pow r er, the 
word is specially used in this sense. A 
team when it returns home with a trophy 
or challenge cup is said to bring back the 
spoils of victory. 

The term spoilsman (spoilz' man, n.) 
means in the U.S.A. a politician who works 
for a share of the party spoils, and is applied 
to a supporter of what is called the spoils 
system (n.), by which the adherents of the 
party are rewarded with jobs and offices. 

We may spoil or mar the beauty of a rose 
tree by omitting to water it during a spell 
of dry weather, and we may spoil fresh salmon 
by letting it remain too long in .-the larder, 
where we may find it has become spoilt. 
Many foodstuffs thus spoil, deteriorate, or lose 
freshness with keeping. A boy may spoil a 
drawing by carelessness, and a slip* with the 
chisel may spoil a piece of wood-carving. 

Solomon long ago said that to spare the 
rod was to spoil the. child, and a . spoilt 
child one undisciplined, which wants its 
own way in everything is an unwelcome 
guest at a party. 

Spoil- five (n.) is a card game played by 
three to ten persons, each receiving five cards ; 
unless a player makes three out of five 
possible tricks, the game is said to be spoiled. 



E 7 



In the printing trade, spoilt paper from 
the presses is known as spoilage (spoil 7 ai, 
.), the word also meaning the amount or 
quantity spoilt. The term spoiler (spoil 7 er, 
.), used sometimes in poetry for a person 
who spoils, robs or plunders, means usually 
one who mars or spoils anything. We may 
describe as a spoiler of sport one who con- 
demns or interferes with sports and amuse- 
ments, but instead we generally use the word 
spoil-sport (n.). This term is also used 
figuratively of one who mars the pleasure of 
others, or spoils the harmony of a gathering. 

O.F. espoillier (n. espoille), from L. spolidre to 
strip, plunder, from L. spolium booty; properly 
anything stripped off (skin, clothes). SYN. : v. 
Defile, destroy, impair, infect, injure, taint, n. 
Booty, loot, pillage, plunder. ANT. : v. Keep, 

spoke [i] (spok), n. One of the bars 
connecting the hub or central part of a 
wheel with the outer rim ; one of the 
handles of a ship's steering-wheel ; a rung 
of a ladder ; a bar or stick to prevent a 
wheel from turning while going downhill. 
v.t. To provide with spokes ; to check (a 
wheel) with a spoke. (F. rayon, rai, echelon, 
cabe; enrayer, caler.) 

From the spoke used in locking a wheel 
comes the expression to put a spoke in one's 
wheel, meaning to hinder or thwart a person's 
plans. The spokes of a wooden wheel are 
shaped and smoothed with a spoke-shave (n.), 
which is a plane with a handle at each side. 

A.-S. spdca ; cp. Dutch speek, G. speiche, akin 
to spike (nail). 

spoke [2] (spok). This is the past tense, 
and spoken the past participle of speak. 
See speak. 

spokesman (spoks' man), n. One who 
speaks for another or others. (F. porte- 

The foreman of a jury announces the 
verdict as its spokesman. 

From E. spoke p.t. of speak, and man irregu- 
larly formed after craftsman, etc. 

spoliation (spo li a' shim), n. The act or 
result of plundering, damaging, or destroying ; 
in law, the destruction, alteration, or 
defacing of a document in such a way as to 
make it useless as evidence ; the taking of 
the money belonging to a church benefice 
without having a legal title to do so. (F. 
spoliation, depouillement.) 

Henry VIII was the spoliator (spo' li a 
tor, n.}, that is, the spoiler or plunderer, of 
the monasteries. At his bidding Parliament 
passed spoliatory (spo' li a to ri, adj.) laws, 
which allowed them to be plundered. 

F. from L. spolidtio (ace. -on-em), from 
spolidtus, p.p. of L. spolidre to rob, plunder. 
SYN. : Pillage, plunder, rapine, robbery. 

spondee (spon' de), n. A metrical foot 
of two long or two accented syllables. (F. 

A spondaic (spon da/ ik, adj.) verse is one 
containing or made up of spondees. In a 
spondaic hexameter the fifth foot is a 
spondee instead of the usual dactyl. 

L. spondeus, Gr. spondeios, from spondai (pi.) 
treaty, sponde libation, from spendein to pour 
out, make a libation, at which solemn melodies in 
spondaic metre were usual. See despond. 

spondyl (spon' dil). This is another name 
for vertebra. See vertebra. Another spelling 
is spondyle (spon' dil). (F. spondyle.) 

F. spondyle, from L. spondylus, Gr. spondylos, 
sphondylos vertebra. 

sponge (spunj), n. A compound marine 
animal with numerous pores in its body 
wall ; the skeleton of a sponge or of a colony 
of sponges ; a sponge-like substance or 
implement ; a person who lives at the ex- 
pense of others, v.t. To clean, wipe, absorb, 
or moisten with or as with a sponge ; to 
wipe out with or as with a sponge ; to get 
at another's expense ; to extort from. v.i. 
To suck in, as a sponge ; to depend meanly 
on others for maintenance ; to gather 
sponges. (F. eponge, ecornifleur ; eponger, 
effacer, ecornifler; absorber, ecornifler, 
pecker des Sponges.} 

Sponge. 1. A sponge from Japanese waters. 2. The 

horny skeleton of a common bath sponge. 3-6. Sponges 

called Venus's flower basket. 7. A toilet sponge. 

Sponges, or Porifera, are lowly forms of 
life consisting of numerous one-celled 
individuals associated in colonies. The 
colony usually has a skeleton, and this is the 
sponge that we use for toilet purposes. The 
best toilet sponges come from the Levant. 

Among the various sponge-like things that 
are called sponge are an absorbent pad used 
in surgery, a mop for cleaning the bore of a 
cannon, a pudding or cake of the texture of 
sponge, dough leavened or in process of being 




leavened, and iron, platinum, or other 
metals in a very finely divided condition. 
A sponge-cake (n.) is a soft porous cake. 

Anything resembling a sponge in form or 
structure may be called spongiform (spun' 
ji form, adj.) or spongy (spun' ji, adj.), the 
former being the scientific term and the latter 
the one in everyday use. We speak of a 
cricket pitch becoming spongy after heavy 
rain, such sponginess (spun' ji nes, n.) 
rendering it unsuitable for play. 

A spongiole (spun 7 ji 61 ; spon' ji 61, n.}, or 
spongelet (spunj' let, n.} is the absorbent 
tip of a plant's roots. Spongology (spong gol' 
6 ji, n.) is the study of sponges, and an 
authority on this is a spongologist (spong 
gol' 6 jist, n.). 

Spongiopiline (spun ji 6 pi' lln ; spun ji 
6 pi' lin, n.) is an absorbent material made 
of sponge and some fibre with a waterproof 
backing, used as a poultice. 

A person who is in the habit of absorbing 
the property of others is called a sponger 
(spun' jer, n). Sponging-house (n.) was the 
name given to houses where people arrested 
for debt were kept previous to imprisonment. 
They were so called from their 
extortionate charges. The 
expression, to throw up the 
sponge, means to acknowledge 
oneself defeated. When a 
boxer was defeated his second 
threw the sponge into the 
air as a token of defeat. 

O.F. esponge, from L. spongia, 
from Gr. sponggia, akin to L. 
and E. fungus. 

sponsion (spon' shun), n. 
The act of becoming surety 
for another ; an engagement 
on 'behalf of a state by a 
person not specially qualified. 
(F. garantie, caution.} 

L. sponsio (ace. -on-em), from 
sponsus, p.p. of spondere to 

sponson (spon' son), n. The angular 
space in front of and behind the paddle-box 
against a steamer's side ; a bow-like pro- 
jection from the side of a warship for the 
training of a heavy gun ; a projection on each 
side of a submarine, used as a bearing for 
the vertical shaft of the lifting or depressing 

Earlier sponcing. 

sponsor (spon' sor), n. One who under" 
takes to answer for another or to be respon" 
sible for something on behalf of another ; 
a godfather or godmother; a surety, v.t. 
To be surety for ; to support or favour. 
(F. garant, parrain, mavraine repondant ; 
repondre pour, soutenir.} 

The proper and best known meaning of 
sponsor is godparent. The duties under- 
taken by the sponsor are sponsorial (spon 
sor' i al, adj.] duties, and the fact of 
being a sponsor, or the relation of a sponsor 
to the person for whom he makes himself 

Sponson. The sponson is a 

platform before and abaft the 

paddle-boxes of a' steamer. 

responsible is sponsorship (spon' sor ship, 
n.}. We speak of a social or political move- 
ment being sponsored by some prominent 
person when he gives it his whole-hearted 

L. agent n. from sponsus, p.p. of spondere to 
promise. SYN. : n. Surety. 

spontaneous (spon ta' ne us), adj. 
Arising, happening, done, or acting without 
external cause ; not prompted by any 
motive ; natural or unconstrained ; done 
or acting from instinct or inner impulse ; 
produced without human agency or labour ; 
not cultivated. (F. spontane, impromptu.} 

Spontaneous sympathy is sympathy that 
is given freely without being asked for. 
Some substances and materials, such as 
coal, oily rags, garden rubbish, and damp 
hay, are liable, if heaped up, to what is 
called spontaneous Combustion (n.), that is, 
they may take fire through heat arising from 
chemical action within themselves. 

The gambols of kittens and puppies or the 
wild play of a colt in a field have spontaneity 
(spon ta ne' i ti, n.), or spontaneousness (spon 
ta' ne us nes, n.), because these animals act 
spontaneously (spon ta' ne us 
li, adv.), that is, by instinct 
or impulse from within. 

L,.spontdneus,from sponte (abl. 
of assumed O.L. spans) of one's 
own free will, E. suffix- ous. SYN. : 
Automatic, impulsive, instinc- 
tive, unbidden. ANT. : Intended, 
intentional, premeditated. 

spontoon (spon toon'), n. 
A short pike or partisan once 
carried by subaltern officers 
in British infantry regiments, 
used chiefly for signalling. 
(F. esponton.) 

F. sponton, from Ital. spontone, 
from spuntare to blunt the point 
(punta), from L.L. expunctdre, 
from ex- removing, blunting, 
punctum point. 

spook (spook), n. A ghost ; an apparition. 
v.t. To haunt as a ghost, v.i. To walk as a 
ghost. (F. revenant, fantome, apparition; 
apparaitre a ; errer.} 

This word is chiefly colloquial. White 
animals and objects may be said to have a 
spookish (spook' ish, adj.} or spooky (spook 7 i, 
adj.}, that is, a ghostlike, appearance at 
night, for instance, a white horse grazing 
on the roadside. 

Dutch ; cp. Swed. spoke, G. spuk. SYN. : 
n. Apparition, ghost, spectre. 

spool (spool), n. A cylinder upon which 
thread, etc., may be wound; the middle bar 
of an angler's reel. v.t. To wind on a spool. 
(F. bobine ; bobiner.) 

There are several kinds of spool. The 
most familiar is the reel of cotton that we 
buy at the draper's. The bobbin which 
winds silk, yarn, or cotton on to reels, etc., 
is another kind, and there is also the spool 
that holds the thread in a shuttle in which 



it revolves in a spindle. From the angler's 
spool or reel the line is wound in when the 
fish is caught and has to be brought to land. 
M.E. spole, from M. Dutch spoele ; cp. G. 
spule. SYN. : n. Reel. v. Reel, wind. 

Spoon. The famous St. Nicholas spoon, 
sold at auction for 690. 

spoon [i] (spoon), n. A utensil consisting 
of an oval or round bowl and a handle, used 
in preparing, serving, 04 eating food, etc. ; 
something resembling a spoon or its bowl ; 
a piece of metal fastened to a fishing line as 
a lure ; an oar with the blade curved length- 
wise ; a wooden-headed golf club with the 
face more lofted and the shaft shorter than a 
brassy, v.t. To take (up, out, etc.) with a 
spoon ; to hit (a ball) with little force up into 
the air, or with a scooping motion, in 
cricket, tennis, croquet, etc. v.i. To fish with 
a spoon ; in cricket, croquet, and other 
games, to spoon the ball. (F. cuiller ; puiser.) 

Some of the earliest forms 
of spoons were made of chips 
of wood and of shells. The 
ancient Egyptians used ivory, 
flint, slate, and other mater- 
ials for their spoons, and 
Greek and Roman spoons 
were usually of metal, and 
often had a spiked handle. 
Wood or horn was a common 
material for spoons in the 
Middle Ages, and it was long 
before silver spoons ceased to 
be regarded as rarities. A 
spoonful (spoon 7 ful, n.) is as 
much as a spoon holds. 

The spoon, or spoon-bait 
(n.), used by anglers is a 
glittering piece of metal, 
shaped something like a tea- 
spoon, which turns round and 
round and attracts the fish. 
Spoon-food (n.) or spoon- 
meat (n.) is food taken with a spoon, as by 
infants or invalids, and to spoon-feed (v.t.) is 
to feed in this way. These words are often 
used figuratively, in the sense of artificial 
nourishment or support. Thus we speak of 
spoon-fed industries. A spoon-net (n.) is a 
hand-net used for landing fish. 

The members of the bird family Plataleidae, 
popularly known as spoonbill (n.), have 
enormous spoon-shaped beaks. They look 
very much like herons and are found in 
marshy places. 

A.-S. spon chip, wooden splinter ; cp. Dutch 
spaan, G. span, O. Norse span-n, akin to Gr. sphen 
wedge. SYN. : v. Ladle, scoop, shovel. 

Spoonbill. The bird popula 
called the spoonbill is so 

from the shape of its beak. 

spoon [2] (spoon), n. A silly fellow ; a 
foolishly demonstrative lover, v.i. To be 
sentimentally in love ; to indulge in great 
show of lover-like affection. (F. sot, nigaud, 
soupirant ; baisoter.) 

This word and its derivatives are only 
used colloquially. To be spoons on or spoons 
with a person means to be sentimentally 
in love with him or her. Spoony (spoon' i, 
adj.) lovers make a great show of their 
devotion. They act spoonily (spoon' i li, 
adv.), or with spooniness (spoon' i nes, n.}. 

Probably from spoony, with reference to 
spoonmeat. SYN. : v. Flirt. 

spoonerism (spoon 7 er izm), n. An acci- 
dental changing about of the initial letters 
of two or more words. 

The original spoonerism is popularly 
attributed to the Rev. Dr. W. A. Spooner 
(born 1844), an Oxford don, warden of New 
College. One of the best known is the hymn 
line, " Kinquering kongs their titles take " 
(Conquering kings their titles take). Others 
include " a half- warmed fish " (half-formed 
wish), " tons of soil" (sons of toil), and "a 
well-boiled icicle " (a well-oiled bicycle). 

spoonful (spoon 7 ful). For this word, 
see under spoon [i]. 

spoonily (spoon 7 i li). For this word, 
spoony, etc., see under spoon 


spoor (spoor), n. Track or 
trail, especially of a wild 
animal. v.t. To track by 
spoor, v.i. To follow a spoor. 
(F. piste ; suivre a la piste.) 

The spoor of an animal 
means not only footprints, 
but also any other marks the 
animal may leave behind it, 
such as broken branches and 
snapped twigs. A spoorer 
(spoor 7 er, n.) is one who 
follows a spoor. 

S. African Dutch, akin to 
A.-S. spor, G. spur. See spur. 
SYN. : n. and v. Trace, track, 

sporadic (spo rad' ik), 
adj. Occurring here and 
there or now and again ; scat- 
tered ; isolated. Sporadical 
(spo rad 7 ik al) has the same meaning, but 
is not often used. (F. sporadique.) 

This word is often used in speaking of 
diseases. A disease may occur sporadically 
(spo rad 7 ik al li, adv.), that is, there may be 
only a few isolated cases. If it becomes 
epidemic or general, the disease then loses 
its sporadicalness (spo rad 7 ik al nes, n.), 
that is, its sporadic character. 

Gr. sporadikos scattered, dispersed, Irom 
sporas (gen. sporad-os) scattered, from speirein 
to sow, scatter, like seed. SYN. : Irregular, 
isolated, occasional, scattered. 

sporan (spor 7 an). This is another form of 
sporran. See sporran. 





sporange (spo ranj'). For this word, 
sporation, etc., see under spore. 

spore (spor), n. A cell or minute organic 
body capable of developing into a new 
plant or animal ; a seed ; a germ. Spo rule 
(spor' ul) has the same meaning, and is 
also used to denote a very small or a second- 
ary spore, or a granule inside a spore. (F. 
spore, sporule.} 

Ferns, mosses, and 
fungi produce spores 
instead of seeds. The 
organ in which they 
develop is called the 
sporangium (spo ran' ji 
iim, n.} pi. sporangia 
(spo ran' ji a) or 
sporange (spo ran]', 
n.}, and the process of 
producing them is 
sporation (spo ra ' shun, 
n.) or sporulation 
(spor u la' shim, n.). 
Anything pertaining to a spore or sporule 
is sporular (spor' u lar, adj.), and a plant 
or animal that bears spores or sporules is 
sporuliferous (spor u iif er us, adj.). The 
germs of malaria and other diseases consist 
of minute organisms which reproduce by 
spores known as sporozoa (spor 6 zo' a,}. 

F., from Gr. spor a sowing, seed, from speirein 
to sow. 

sporran (spor' an); n. A pouch worn 

Spore. A fern leaf, seen from below, with clusters 
of capsules in which spores are produced. 

the universities to sport the oak or timber 
means to shut the door, especially as a 
sign that one is engaged. 

A person is said to be sporting (sport' ing, 
adj.) if he is fond of sport or is not afraid 
of taking chances. A sporting chance is 
one with a great element of risk. A sporting- 
gun (n.) is a smooth-bore fire-arm, usually 
double-barrelled, firing 
small shot and used 
for shooting rabbits, 
partridges, pheasants, 
and other small game. 
Lambs are very spor- 
tive (spor' tiv, adj.), 
that is, frolicsome, 
little animals ; they 
play around their 
mothers sportively 
(spor' tiv li, adv.). 
Kittens and puppies 
also show great 
sportiveness (spor' tiv 
nes, n.), or playfulness. 

A sportless (sport' les, adj.) country is 
one that affords no sport, and a sportless 
proceeding, such as shooting a fox, is one 
that does not appeal to anyone devoted to 
sport. Love of or skill in sports makes a 
man a sportsman (sports' man, n.). A man- 
who always plays fair, and who keeps his 
temper when luck goes against him, is called 
a sportsman, or a good sportsman. In so 
doing he shows a sportsmanlike (sports' 

in Scottish Highland costume in front of man Ilk, adj.) nature, and the quality called 

--'--* sportsmanship (sports' man ship, n.). A 
woman or girl fond of sport is a sportswoman 
(sports' wum an, n.). 

Abbreviation of disport. SYN. : n. Diversion, 
frolic, mockery, pastime, pleasantry, v. Frolic, 
gambol, jest, trifle. 

sporule (spor' ul). For this word, 
sporular, etc., see under spore. 

spot (spot), n. A particular place ; a 
small part of a surface differing in colour 
or texture from the rest ; a small mark or 
stain ; a dark mark on the surface of the 
sun, moon, or a planet ; a moral stain ; 
discoloration on leaves or fruit caused by 

the kilt. Another form is sporan (spor' an). 

The sporran served the Highlander as 
purse and pocket. Formerly it was usually 
made quite plain and entirely of leather, 
but nowadays it is an elaborate affair and 
ornamented with fur, horsehair or metal. 

Gaelic sporan pouch, purse, explained as for 
s-burran, s-bursan, and derived from L. bursa 
purse. See purse. 

sport (sport), n. Amusement; fun; pleas- 
antry ; pastime, especially an outdoor one, 
such as hunting, fishing, or racing ; mockery, 
or an object of mockery ; a laughing-stock ; 
a plaything ; a thing at the mercy of the 
wind or waves, or other forces ; a plant or 

winu or waves, or otiier iuii;es , a, Luaui ui ~ .,# 

animal abnormal in some way ; (pi.) ath- fungi ; a variety of domestic pigeon with 

letic contests, or a meeting for such contests. 
v.i. To amuse oneself ; to play ; to go in 
for or interest oneself in sports ; to jest or 
trifle ; to show unusual features in growth. 
v.t. To display, especially in a dashing or 
showy way. (F. passe-temps, divertisse- 
ment, sport, moquerie, plastron, jouet, mon- 
strosite ; se divertir, s'^battre, s'adonner au 
sport, foldtrer ; faire parade de.) 

To say a thing in sport is to say it in fun 
not seriously. To make sport of a person's 
feelings is to shock them in a heartless way. 
Many new varieties of plants have been 
derived from sports buds or shoots with 
qualities different from those of the parent. 
Some people like to sport, or display, a 
flower in their buttonhole. At some of 

a spot on the head just above the beak ; 
a term applied to various sea fishes marked 
with a conspicuous spot ; one of the small, 
round black marks on a billiard-table, such 
as that on which the red ball is placed, v.t. 
To mark or stain with spots ; to blemish ; 
at billiards, to place on the spot ; to single 
out ; to detect, v.i. To become or be liable 
to become marked with spots. (F. endroit, 
moucheture, tache, deshonneur ; tacheter, 
moucheter, souiller, decouvrir ; se maculer.) 

It is not always easy to find a convenient 
spot for building a house. A spot on 
cloth, for instance, or on an animal is a 
more or less round mark, not so long as a 
streak or a stripe. One of the fishes known 
as spot is the red-fish or red-drum (Sciaena 




ocellata], which has a black spot at the base 
of the tail fin. A coat that is left out in 
the rain may spot, that is, the drops may 
leave marks on it. 

What has to be done on the spot must be 
done there and then, at once, or without 
leaving one's place. An alert, wideawake 
person is said to be on the spot, and the 
same expression is used of anyone playing 
a good game, or of a person who is equal 
to the situation. 

Ordinary billiards is played with a red 
ball and two white balls, one of which, 

Spotting A boy engaged in spotting for his father, a competitor at 
Association's meeting at Bisley. 

the National 

aged i 

the spot-ball (n.), is marked with a small 
black spot to distinguish it. A game of 
billiards is spot-barred (adj.) when a player 
is not allowed to make the spot-stroke (n.) 
more than twice running, this stroke being 
one which pockets the red from the spot 
on which that ball is placed at the beginning 
of the game, or after it has been potted. 

Brokers who buy spot-cotton (n.) or 
spot-wheat (n.) buy cotton or wheat on the 
spot for immediate delivery. 

Cerebro-spinal meningitis, a disease which 
affects the brain and spine, is also named 
spotted fever (n.) because spots appear on 
the sufferer's skin. 

A man's record is spotless (spot' les, adj.) 
if it is entirely free from blemish. The 
decks of a great passenger liner are kept 
spotlessly (spot' les li, adv.) clean, that is, 
so clean that not the slightest sign of dirt 
is. seen. A good housekeeper prides herself 
on the spotlessness (spot' les nes, n.), or 
spotless condition, of her house and linen. 
A spot-light (n.) is a small searchlight used 
in a theatre to throw a strong beam of white 
or coloured light on to a dancer or actor ; 
the patch of light so thrown is also known 
as a spot-light. 

The skin of a leopard is noted for its 
spottedness (spot' ed nes, n.), the state of 
being spotted. The term spotter (spot' er, 
n.) is used in various trades for a person or 
thing that makes spots. A marker at 
target practice is also called a spotter, 

and so, in the U.S.A., are various kinds of 
secret investigators or inspectors. 

Nettle-rash, chickenpox, and other com- 
plaints make the skin spotty (spot' i, adj.], 
that is, mark them with spots. Such a 
condition is spottiness (spot' i nes, n.). 

Cp. O. Norse spotti, spott-r small piece, Dutch 
spat speck, spot, splash, M. Dutch spotten to 
spot, stain. M.E. spot may be a variant of 
splot (A.-S. splott spot, blot, small patch of land). 
SYN. : n. Blemish, fault, locality, position, 
speck, v. Blemish, mark, stain. 

spouse (spouz), n. A husband or wife. 
(F. epoux, epouse, mari, femme.) 

This word and its derivatives 
are now only used in poetical 
writing. A wedding is accom- 
panied by spousal (spouz 'al, adj.) 
rites, those pertaining to a 
spousal (n.) or spousals (, 
that is, a marriage. Spousal also 
meant a betrothal. A widower, 
widow, or unmarried person is 
spouseless (spouz' les, adj.), that 
is, without a spouse. 

O.F. espous(e), from L. sponsus, 
fern, sponsa, p.p. of spondere to 
promise. See espouse. 

spout (spout), v.t. To pour 
out abundantly or forcibly ; to 
declaim or recite ; to utter very 
readily, v.i. To burst forth with 
force and volume, especially from 
a narrow opening ; to gush or spurt ; to pour 
forth words that sound well but mean little. 
n. A pipe or channel through which water 
or other liquid is poured out from a gutter, 
can, jug, etc. ; a trough-like contrivance for 
shooting grain, coals, etc. ; the lift for 
pledges in a pawnshop ; a strong jet of 
water or other liquid ; a waterspout ; a 
waterfall ; a short underground passage in 
a mine connecting a main road with a 
ventilating passage. (F. verser, faire jaillir, 
declamer ; jaillir, perorer ; tuyau, goulotte, 
bee, jet, trombe, chute d'eau, ouverture.) 

A volcano spouts lava and steam. A 
whale, when it breathes, spouts a column 
of spray into the air, and so is cal'ed a 
spouter (spout' er, n.). In Hyde Park on 
Sunday, spouters of another kind, namely, 
political speakers, harangue people gathered 
round them. Some jugs are spoutless (spout' 
les, adj), that is, without spouts. 

M.E. spouten, spoute (n.) ; cp. Swed. sputa, 
to spout, squirt (also n.), Dutch spuiten, spuit 
(n.). Probably ak:n to spit [2]. SYN. : v. 
Declaim, gush, spurt, n. Jet, nozzle, spurt. 

sprag (sprag), n. A piece of wood put 
in a wheel or roller to prevent it from 
turning, or used in mining to prop the coal 
while a seam is being worked, v.t. To 
check or prop with a sprag. (F. cale ; caler.) 

Possibly akin to spray, sprig. 

sprain (spran), v.t. To overstrain, 
especially by twisting or wrenching the 
muscles or ligaments of a joint, n. Such an 




injury ; the condition caused by this. (F. of spray ; to treat with a spray. (F. embrun, 
fouler, donner une entorse a; foulure, entorse.} pulverin, poussiere, vaporisateur ; arroser.) 

When one sprains a wrist or ankle there 
is no dislocation of the bones, though the 
effects may last some time. 

Perhaps 6.F. espreindre, from L. exprimere 
to force, press out, from ex-out, premere to press. 
See express. 

sprang (sprang). This is the past tense 
of spring. See spring. 

sprat (sprat), n. A small food-fish, 
Clupea sprattus, allied to the herring ; a 
term applied to various small fishes, especi- 
ally the young of the herring, v.i. To fish 
for sprats. (F. melette, esprot, pecker.} 

The sprat can be distinguished from the 
herring by the fact that it has no teeth on 
its palate. These little fish occur in immense 
numbers off the Atlantic coasts of Europe. 
A vessel or man engaged in the sprat fishery 
is called a spratter (sprat' er, n.). 

A.-S. sprott ; cp. A.-S. sprot sprout, M. 

Spray is torn off the crests of waves by 
a gale. Water falling down rocks from a 
great height turns into spray. With the 
device called a spray or a sprayer (spra/ er, n.) 
we can spray a room with scent or disin- 
fectants, or spray trees and plants to kill 
insects. A person who sprays is also a 
sprayer. The air near the sea on a stormy 
day is sprayey (spra' i, adj.), that is, filled 
with spray. 

From Low G. sprei fine drizzle ; cp. Dutch 
sproeien, G. spruhen. SYN. : v. Scatter, sprinkle. 

spray [2] (spra), n. A small branch 
or stem of a tree, shrub or other plant 
with its leaves or blossoms ; an ornament 
resembling this ; a slender twig or shoot ; 
collectively, fine brushwood. (F. ramille, 
brin, bnndille, broussaille.) 

For decorating tables, flowers are often 
arranged in vases with sprays of maiden- 

Dutch sprot sprout (of a tree), Dutch = sprat, hair fern, asparagus fern, or smilax. A 

the young of anything, G. sprotte. See sprout. 

sprawl (sprawl), v.i. To spread the 
limbs out ungracefully ; to crawl about 
awkwardly or with effort ; to be of rambling 
or irregular form. v.t. To spread or stretch 
out in an irregular or awkward manner. 
n. The act of sprawling ; a straggling 
arrangement. (F. s'etendre, s'etaler', e'tendu.) 

Vegetable marrow plants sprawl over a 
large space of ground. Large, badly-shaped 
handwriting can be described as sprawling. 
A sprawler (sprawl' er, n.) is a person or 
thing that sprawls, or a fall which sends one 
sprawling. Various moths are called 

A.-S. spreawlian ; cp. Swed. sprala (dialect) 
spralla, Dan. spraelle, North Frisian spraweli to 
sprawl. SYN. : v. Ramble, straggle. 

Spray. Workers in an orchard spraying fruit-trees as a 
against insect pests. Both the men and the apparatus are 

spray [i] (spra), n. Fine particles of 
liquid flying through the air ; a jet of 
vapour or of liquid in fine particles used for 
disinfecting and the like ; an instrument for 
applying this. v.t. To send out in the form 

sprayey (spra' i, adj.} growth is one that 
takes the form of sprays. 

Formerly sprag ; cp. Swed. dialect sprag ; 
probably akin to A.-S. spraec a shoot, O. Norse 
sprek stick. SYN. : Sprig. 

spread (spred), v.t. To extend in length 
and breadth ; to unfold ; to scatter ; to 
distribute ; to cover the surface of ; to 
display ; to .lay (a meal or the table for 
one). ' v.i. To be extended ; to be scattered ; 
to be distributed, p.t. and p.p. spread 
(spred). n. The act of spreading, extent; 
diffusion ; a feast. (F. etendve, deployer, 
repandre, couvrir; s'etendre, se repandre; 
developpement, etendue, dispersion, regal.) 

A cook spreads a lump of pastry by 
rolling it out, and spreads butter on bread 
with a knife. A peacock spreads its tail 
j.,.^,,,. and by doing so shows its 
full beauty, and a newspaper 
i spreads news. Treacle spreads 
quickly ; if poured on a plate, 
! it soon covers it. Weeds spread 
i all over a garden, just as in- 
" fectious diseases spread over a 
~4,\ ./ district, if not kept in check. 

The spread-eagle (n.) of 
heraldry is an eagle displayed, 
that is, with outspread wings. 
It is the emblem of various 
states and is a common inn- 
sign. At one time the captain 
of a ship might spread-eagle 
(v.t.) a sailor as a punishment, 
that is, have him tied to the 
rigging with his legs and arms 
spread out and then flogged. 
Noisily patriotic speech is in the 
U.S. A", called spread-eagle (adj.), 
from the eagle that appears 
on American coins, and the use of it is 
spread-eagleism (n.). 

A spreader (spred' er, n.) of disease is 
one who spreads it. The spreader of a 
kite is a rod used to keep it spread tautly. 




A.-S. sprdedan ; cp. Dutch spreiden, G. 
spreiten. SYN. : v. Diffuse, disseminate, expand, 
scatter, stretch. ANT. : v. Concentrate, 

spree (spre), n. A lively frolic ; a 
carousal, v.i. To have a spree ; to carouse. 
(F. noce, rigolade, ripaille ; faire la noce, 

Sc. and north E., formerly also spray ; perhaps 
akin to spry. SYN. : n. Carousal, frolic. 

sprig (sprig), n. A shoot, twig, or 
spray of a plant ; a design or ornament 
resembling this ; a detached piece of pillow 
lace ; an offshoot of a stock ; a young man ; 
a thin headless nail. v.t. To decorate with 
sprigs ; to fasten with sprigs. (F. ramille, 
rejeton, gars, pointe ; orner de ramilles, 
garnir de pointes.} 

Sprigs of parsley are picked for garnishing 
food. A youth of noble birth may be 
described more or less contemptuously as 
a sprig of the nobility. A plant is spriggy 
(sprig' i, adj.] if it has many sprigs or small 
branches. Sprigged (sprigd, adj.) muslin 
has little imitation sprigs of flowers woven 
into it. 

Probably akin to spray ; cp. LowG. spnck dry 
twig. SYN. : n. Offshoot, scion, spray. 

sprightly (sprit' li), adj. Lively ; 
bright ; gay. (F. vif, enjoue, anime'.) 

A witty person has a sprightly wit. The 
sprightliness (sprit' li lies, .), that is, the 
general briskness and liveliness, of some 
old people is very remarkable. 

Properly spritely ; from sprite and -ly. See 
sprite. SYN. : Animated, brisk, lively, spirited, 
vivacious. ANT. : Dull, heavy, inert, spiritless. 

Spring. A watch spring, unwound. When fixed and 
wound up, it sets the wheels in motion. 

spring (spring), v.i. To leap ; to move 
quickly or suddenly ; to start up ; to fly 
back ; to become warped, split, or cracked ; 
to rise from a source ; to appear, especially 
unexpectedly ; to emerge, v.t. To cause 
to open, close, or otherwise act suddenly ; 
to produce or develop suddenly or unex- 
pectedly ; to strain, crack, or warp ; to 
rouse (game), p.t. sprang (sprang) ; p.p. 
sprung (sprung), n. The action, state, or 
result of springing ; a bound ; elasticity ; 
a recoil or rebound ; an elastic body of 
steel, rubber, etc., used to convey motive 
power, exercise a pull, or deaden shocks ; 
source or origin ; a natural fountain of 

water or oil issuing from the earth ; the 
basin so formed ; the season between winter 
and summer, when plants begin to grow ; 
the point from which an arch springs. (F. 
santer, bondir, s'ttancer, se dresser tout d'un 
bond, rebondir, se dejeter, ressortir, surgir 
declencher, devoiler, dejeter, faire lever ; bond, 
saut, elan, elasticite, ressort, source, printemps.) 

We spring from our seat to greet a friend. 
The blood springs to our cheeks when we 
hear of or witness an act of gross injustice. 
The jaws of a trap spring back when they 
are released. A tennis racket, if left on 
the lawn all night, will very probably be 
sprung by the morning. The suppleness in 
a cricket bat or a golf club is called its 
spring. If we meet a friend who we thought 
was abroad we perhaps greet him with the 
words : " Where in the world did you 
spring from ? " Some people delight in 
springing surprises on th'eir friends. To 
make a mine explode is to spring it. When 
a ship springs a leak she lets in water. For 
clockwork a spiral form of spring is the 
one most commonly used. 

In the weighing device called a spring- 
balance (n.) the object weighed compresses 
or extends a steel spring. The term spring- 
beam (n.) is applied to an elastic bar used 
as a spring in a machine, and to the beam 
supporting the side of a ship's paddle-box. 

Modern beds are made comfortable by 
the spring-bed (n.) or spring-mattress (n.), 
which consists of a large number of springs 
running from end to end of the frame. 
The spring-board (n.) at a public bath is a 
long board projecting over the water, off 
which divers jump. A spring-cart (n.) or 
spring- carriage (n.) is one mounted on 

It is now illegal to set a spring-gun (.). 
that is, a gun sprung or fired by a trespasser 
stumbling over a concealed wire, if it is 
loaded with a charge that can do injury. 
A horse which suffers from spring-halt 
(n.) lifts its hind legs when walking very 
high with a twitching movement. 

In some machines an elastic pole, called 
a spring-pole (n.), is used as a spring. The 
name spring-tail (n.) is given to a sub-order 
of little wingless insects with two bristles 
on the tail which bend under the body and 
straighten out when the insect leaps. 

A spring tide (n.) is a high tide which occurs 
about the time of new moon and full moon, 
but springtide (n.) has the same meaning 
as springtime (n.), namely, the season of 

A springer (spring' er, n.) is a person or 
thing that springs in various senses of the 
word. A variety of spaniel used for spring- 
ing, that is, rousing, game, is called a springer. 
A springer of an arch is the support at one 
end of it, from which it springs. 

It is very uncomfortable travelling in a 
springless (spring' les, adj.) cart, that is, 
one without springs. A springlet (spring' 
let. n.) is a small spring of water. In 




winter there are generally some springlike 
(adj.) days, warm and balmy like those of 

Steel and wood are springy (spring' i, 
adj.) if they straighten themselves after 
being bent. Ground is springy if there are 
springs of water in it, and good turf is 
springy, being elastic to the tread. The 
wood used in fishing-rods has springiness 
(spring' i nes, n.), which means elasticity, 
the quality of being springy. 

A.-S. springan ; cp. Dutch, G. spr^ngen, 
O. Norse springa to spring, to burst (also G. 
>prengen to blow up, to cause to burst ). SYN. : 
v. Arise, bound, dart, jump, shoot, n. Elasticity, 
fount, origin, source, suppleness. 

Springbok. The South African gazelle, or springbok, 
a beautiful and agile animal. 

springbok (spring' bok), ' n. A South 
African gazelle, Antidorcas euchore, so called 
from its habit of suddenly leaping into the 
air. Another form is springbuck (spring' 

This animal stands about thirty inches 
high. It has short, black, curved horns, 
and is dark cinnamon yellow above and 
white below with a dark brown stripe on 
the sides. It is notable for migrating from 
one district to another in dense herds, but 
it is far less plentiful than it used to be. 

South African Dutch, from springen to spring 
and -bok buck. 

springe (sprinj), n. A noose or snare, 
especially one for catching birds and other 
small game. v.t. To catch with a springe. 
v.i. To set springes. (F. lacs; prendre au 

From spring. See spring. 

springer (spring' er). For this word, 
springless, springy, etc., see under spring. 

sprinkle (spring' kl), v.i. To scatter 
lightly in or as in or with or as with small 
drops or particles; to scatter or distribute 
here and there, v.i. To fall in small drops 
or particles, n. An act of sprinkling-; a 
quantity sprinkled ; a small quantity ; a 

slight shower. (F. repandre, epancher, 
parsemer ; s' epancher, se repandre, tomber 
de la petite pluie ; action de repandre, quan- 
tite repandue, petite quantitt.) 

In warm weather water is sprinkled over 
the roads and pavements to lay the dust. 
A country landscape might be described 
as sprinkled with farms and cottages. Lawns 
are watered in dry weather with a revolving 
sprinkler (spring' kler, n.), which scatters 
drops of water in all directions. Sprinklers 
are also used for putting out fires. 

The word sprinkling (spring' kling, n.) is 
often used in the sense of a small quantity 
or of a small number of things scattered 
here and there. We can speak of a mere 
sprinkling of knowledge or of a sprinkling 
of good pictures among a mass of daubs. 

Earlier form sprenkel; cp. Dutch sprenkelen 
G. sprenkeln to sprinkle, I eel. sprekla, M.H.G. 
sprenkel, spreckel, spot, Gr. perknos speckled, 
dark. SYN. : v. Disperse, distribute, diversify, 
scatter, strew. 

sprint (sprint), v.t. and i. To run at 
full speed, n. The act of sprinting ; a 
short-distance race run thus. (F. courir a 
toute Vitesse ; course de vitesse.) 

The hundred yards race is a sprint or 
sprint- race (n.), one sprinted, or run through- 
out at topmost speed. The two hundred 
and twenty yards and four hundred and 
forty yards races are also sprints. 

The sprint-runner (n.), or sprinter (sprint' 
er, n.), one taking part in such races, gener- 
ally makes notches to fit his toes into, and 
starts from a crouching position, leaning 
forward lightly on his fingers. The half- 
mile and longer races usually end in a sprint, 
especially when there is a close finish. 

Earlier sprent ; cp. O. Norse and Norw. 
spretta (for sprenta), Swed. spratta, Dan. spraette ; 
akin to spurt [2]. 

sprit (sprit), n. A spar running obliquely 
upwards from the 
mast to the top 
outer corner of a 
fore-and-aft sail. (F. 
livarde, baleston.) 

The mainsail of a 
barge is usually a 
sprit-sail (sprit' sal, 
n.), that is, a sail 
supported by a sprit. 
A sail of this kind 
has no spars at top 
or bottom, and, by 
its sprit, it can be 
drawn up with 
great speed against 
the mast. 

M.E. spret, A.-S. spr'eot pole ; akin to sprout. 
sprite (sprit), n. A goblin ; a fairy ; an 
elf. (F. esprit, lutin, farfadet.) 

M.E. sprit, Anglo-F. espirit spirit. See spirit. 

sprocket (sprok' et), n. One of the teeth 

in a chain-wheel, which engage with the 

links of a chain ; a wheel set with sprockets. 

(F. dent, engrenage a chaine.} 

Sprit. The sprit is the 

slanting spar supporting 

a fore-and-aft sail, as in 

this sailing barge. 




to smarten. 

In chain-driven parts of machinery the 
open links of the chain rest upon the sprockets 
of wheels, the chain serving to transmit 
power from the driver to the driven wheel. 
The chain of a bicycle passes round two 
wheels, each of which is a sprocket-wheel 
(n.), having teeth shaped to fit inside the 

sprout (sprout), v.i. To shoot forth ; to 
put out shoots ; to begift to grow ; to spring 
up as a plant, v.t. To cause to sprout or 
germinate, n. A shoot from the root, stump, 
stem, or seed of a plant ; (pi.) Brussels 
sprouts. (F. pousser, germer ; se pousser ; 
pousse, choux de Bruxelles.) 

A potato sprouts from its eyes. 
Seed potatoes are sometimes sprouted, 
or induced to sprout, before being planted. 
The stock on which a rose tree is grafted 
will often sprout from the root. Sprouts so 
formed, of course, are not desired and are 
cut back. The cabbage called Brussels 
sprouts bears many sprouts on its stem, 
which are gathered when mature, fresh 
sprouts or buds sprouting as long as the plant 
continues to grow. 

A.-S. sprutan ; cp. Dutch spruiten, G. 
spriessen ; psrkaps akin to spurt [i]. SYN. : v. 
Germinate, grow, shoot, n. Bud, shoot. 

spruce [i] (sproos), adj. Neat ; trim ; 
smart. v.t. To make neat 
(F. pimpant, chic ; attifer, 

People are said to spruce 
themselves when they 
smarten up their dress or 
appearance. Men dress 
themselves very sprucely 
(sproos' li, adv.), that is, 
smartly, for fashionable 
gatherings. . Clothes lose 
their spruceness (sproos' 
nes, n.), which means their 
smartness or neatness, 
when they get old, worn, 
and baggy, but even a 
shabby garment may be 
spruced up in some 
measure by brushing or 

From Spruce, an early form 
of Prussia, with special 
reference to the spruce or 
Prussia leather greatly in 
fashion for men's jerkins, 
etc., in the i6th century. 
SYN. : adj. Neat, smart, v. 
Smarten. ANT. : adj. Slovenly, 

spruce [2] (sproos), n. Any one of various 
kinds of fir of the genus Picea. (F. sapin, 

There are several species of fir which are 
called spruce, or spruce-fir (n.). The most 
important are the white spruce (Picea alba), 
the black spruce (P. nigra), and the Norway 
spruce (P. excelsa). All of these are dis- 
tinguished by their graceful drooping 

branches. The Norway spruce is a very fine 
tree, often exceeding one hundred feet in 
height, and yields good timber. 

The drink called spruce-beer (n.) is a 
solutio'n of sugar fermented with yeast 
and flavoured with an essence obtained from 
young spruce shoots. The Germans call it 
sprossenbier " sprout-beer." 

Short for Spruce fir Prussian fir ; see 
spruce [i]. 

sprue (sproo), n. A passage or hole 
through which molten metal is poured into a 
mould. (F. trou de coulee.) 

The metal which fills these holes forms 
projections on the casting. These, which also 
are called sprues, are knocked off. 

spruit (sproo' it), n. A small stream in 
South Africa. 

Most spruits run dry in summer, but a 
thunderstorm may quickly fill their channels 
with a raging torrent. 

South African Dutch, = sprout, spurt [ij. 
sprung (sprung) . This is the past participle 
of spring. See spring. 

spry (sprl), adj. Active ; nimble ; lively. 
(F. actif, alerte, agile, tif.) 

A dialect word, now mainly U.S.A., perhaps 
akin to spree ; connexion has been suggested 
with Swed. dialect spyygg, sprag, spraker active, 
spirited. SYN. : Active, nimble, wideawake. 
ANT. : Dull, inert, sluggish. 

spud (spud), n. A tool with a narrow 
blade or forked end, used 
jjjjgjf to get out weeds by the 
root; a short, thick object. 
v.t. To dig (up or out) 
with a spud. (F. bcquille 
troncon ; deterrer.) 

Spud is also a colloquial 
name for the potato. One 
form of the tool used to 
spud out weeds resembles 
a small spade. Objects 
which are short and thick 
are said to be spuddy 
(spud' i, adj.). 

M.E. spudde ; cp. O. Norse 
spjot, Swed. .spjut, Dan. 
spyd spear. 

spue (spu). This is 
another form of spew. See 

spume ( s p u m ) , n . 
Froth ; foam. v.i. To froth ; 
to foam. (F. dcume, mousse, 
ecumer, mousser.) 

The sea is often coated 
with spume, especially at 
the fringe of the incoming 
tide. Water churned up by the propellers 
of a steamer has also a foamy or spumy 
(spurn' i, adj.) appearance, and the vessel 
leaves a spumous (spurn' us, adj.) track in 
its wake. Waves breaking on rocks have 
spumescence (spurn es' ens, n.), or spuminess 
(spurn' i nes, n.), a foaming or frothy quality. 
From O.F. espume, spume, L. spurn a foam, 
froth. See foam. SYN. : . Foam, froth. 


Spruce. The common spruce. The 

spruce U notedjfor its graceful drooping 




spun (spun) . This is the past participle and 
a form of the past tense of spin. See spin. 

spunge (spunj). This is another and little 
used form of sponge. See sponge. 

spunk (spungk), n. Courage; mettle; 
pluck ; anger ; touchwood. (F. coeur. hardiesse, 

Spunk or rotten wood takes fire easily, so 
the word came to mean the quality of being 
fiery or mettlesome. A spunky (spungk ' i, 
adj.) person is one of a fiery or courageous 

Originally = touchwood, hence fiery, inflam- 
mable ; Irish sponc (Gaelic spong) tinder, L. 
spongia. See sponge. 

spur (sper), n. A pricking instrument 
worn on a rider's heel and used to urge on 
his horse ; anything that urges on ; a 
stimulus ; an incitement ; anything shaped 
like a spur ; a ridge running at an angle to 
a chain of mountains ; a sharp spike on the 
legs of some birds ; a metal point attached 
to the spur of a gamecock ; a spur-shaped 
part in some flowers ; in fortification, a 
wall crossing a rampart and connecting it 
to an interior work ; a short piece of timber 
replacing the rotten butt of a post ; a short 
timber supporting a deck. v.t. To prick with 
spurs ; to urge on ; to incite ; to furnish 
with spurs, v.i. To ride fast or hard. (F. 
eperon, aiguillon, contrefort, ergot, eperon; 
eperonner, aiguillonner, piquer, armer 
d'eperons; piquer des deux.) 

The spurs of old days bore several spikes, 
but those now used are generally furnished 
with a small wheel, bearing short points, 
and called a rowel. Many men are spurred 
to work very hard by ambition or the desire 
for wealth. A boy is spurred on to success 
in his tasks by the hope of winning the praise 
of his parents and teachers. In the age of 
chivalry a knight wore gilt spurs, and to 
win one's spurs meant to gain the honour of 
knighthood. Nowadays the expression means 
to gain distinction in any way. 

A cock has spurred legs ; in the sport of 
cock-fighting, now forbidden by law, steel 
or silver sheaths called spurs were fastened 
to the spurs of the bird. 

Many horsemen ride spurless (sper' les, 
adj.), wearing no spurs. A spurrier (sper' i 
er ; spur' i er, n.) is a maker of spurs. 

The spur-royal (n.) of James I's reign was 
a gold coin bearing on the reverse side a design 
thought to resemble the rowel of a spur, but 
really representing the sun and its rays. 

A spur-wheel (n.) is a gear-wheel with 
teeth projecting spokewise from its edge, and 
used to transmit motion in a flat plane. In 
contrast may be mentioned the crown-wheel, 
with teeth standing up at right angles from 
its disk, and the level-wheel, both used to 
convert a horizontal motion to a vertical one, 
or vice versa. 

The battle of Courtrai (1302), in which the 
weavers of Flanders routed the knighthood 
of France, is known as the Battle of the Spurs 

from the great number of gilt spurs collected 
on the field from fallen and captured knights. 
Every knight who escaped was a spurrer 
(sper' er, n.) one who uses his spurs as he 
fled from the battlefield. The same name 
has been given to the battle near Therouanne, 
France, in 1513, in which the French troops 
spurred away from the English. 

M.E. spure, A.-S. spura \ cp. Dutch spoor, 
G. sporn, O. Norse spori ; also E. spoor, spurn. 
SYN. : v. Arouse, incite, prick, stimulate, urge. 

Spurge. The wood spurge. Several species of spurge 
are native to Britain. 

spurge (sperj), n. One of the various 
species of plants of the genus Euphorbia, with 
milky acrid juice. (F. epurge.) 

The cypress spurge is cultivated in gardens 
as a border plant, and the wood spurge is 
leafy and shrub-like. Many spurges are 

The spurge-laurel (n.) Daphne laureola 
is a bushy evergreen shrub with poisonous 

O.F. espurge, from L. expurgdre ; from ex- 
away, purgdre to purge, clear away. 

spurious (spur' i us), adj. Not genuine ; 
counterfeit. (F. faux, contrefait, de contre- 
fapon, truque.) 

Spurious banknotes or coins are those 
which are not genuine, and have not 
emanated from the bank or mint which is 
pretended spuriously (spur' i us li, adv.] to 
be their place of origin. The spuriousness 
(spur' i us nes, n.), or spurious character, 
of some so-called antique furniture might 
escape detection even by a trained eye, 
so cleverly is the genuine article simulated. 

From L. spurius illegitimate, false; E. adj. 
suffix -ous. SYN. : Counterfeit, false, sham. 
>.ANT. : Genuine, real, true. 

spurless (sper' les), adj. Having no spurs. 
See under spur. 

spurling-line (sper' ling lin), n. A cord 
running from a steering-wheel to a tell-tale 
which shows the position of the helm at any 




spurn (spern), v.t. To repel ; to kick 
or thrust away with the foot ; to reject with 
contempt ; to treat with disdain, v.i. To 
show contempt or disdain (at), n. The act 
of spurning ; contemptuous rejection. (F. 

en parlant, siffler, bredouiller ; bredouiller ; 
vacarme, bred&uillement.} 

A candle sputters if the wick is damp ; 
fat sputters in a frying-pan. Excitement 
may make one a sputterer (spuf er er, n.}, 

fouler aux pieds, repousser avec dedain, and a very angry person sometimes sputters 

mepriser, trailer avec mepris; mepris.} 

An honest man spurns bribes ; it is 
churlish to spurn friendly overtures from 
those who wish us well. A generous man 
does not show himself a spurner (spern 'er, n.) 
one who spurns when asked for help. 

A.-S. spurnan ; cp. O. Norse spurna, also 
L. spernere to scorn; akin to spur. SYN. : v. 
Reject, repel, scorn. ANT. : v. Receive, welcome. 

spurrer (sper' er). For this word and 
spurrier see under spur. 

spurry (spur' i), n. One of various plants 
belonging to the genus Spergula. Another 
spelling is spurrey (spur' i). (F. spergule.) 

The corn-spurrey, Spergula arvensis, is 
found as a weed on cultivated land, and is 
sometimes grown for fodder. The stalks are 
about a foot high, knotty and grass-like, 
with white flowers in panicles. 

O.F. spurrie, L.L. Spergula ; perhaps a 
German word ; cp. G. sporgel, spergel. 

spurt [i] (spert), v.i. To gush out violently 
or in a sudden stream, v.t. To emit or 
send out (liquid) thus. n. A jet or 
gush of liquid emitted with force. Another 
spelling is spirt (spert). (F. jaillir ; faire 
jaillir, emettre avec 
violence ; jaillissement, 

Water spurts from 
a fire-engine's hose 
with great force. 
There are old tales of 
fabulous dragons and 
other monsters which 
spurted fire from 
their nostrils when 
attacked. Blood issues 
in spurts from an 
injured artery. 

By metathesis from 
M.E. sprutten, A.-S. 
spryttan, causal of 
spriitan to sprout. See 
sprout. SYN. : v. Gush. 
n. Gush, jet. 

spurt [2] (spert), ; 
violent effort, v.i. To make a spurt. 
coup de collier ; faire un brusque effort.} 

A runner may win by husbanding his 
strength till near the end of the race, when 
he uses it in a final spurt, spurting forward 
to try and pass his competitors. 

Cp. O. Norse sprett-r, bound, leap ; akin 
lo E. sprint. 

sputa (spu' ta). This is the plural of 
sputum. See sputum. 

sputter (sput'er^, v.i. To speak explosively 
or excitedly ; to make a spitting sound ; 
to splutter, v.t. To utter hastily or indis- 
tinctly ; to emit with a spitting noise, n. 
Confused or vehement speech. (F. cracker 

Spy. Smeaton (1724-92) spying at the base on 
which he erected the third Eddystone lighthouse. 

A sudden, short, 

out his words, or sputters incoherently at 
another. Some impediment of speech may 
cause a person to speak sputteringly (sput' 
er ing li, adv.}, or in a sputtering way. 

Frequentative of spout ; cp. Dutch sputter en. 
SYN. : v. Splutter. 

sputum (spu' turn), n. Spittle ; saliva ; 
a secretion dislodged and coughed up or 
expectorated in certain diseases. pi. 
sputa (spu' ta). (F. salive, crachat, sputation.) 
L. neuter p.p. of spuere to spit out. 
spy (spi), n. A person who secretly and 
in disguise goes to get information about an 
enemy's doings ; one who keeps a watch on 
others, v.t. To discern ; to detect ; to explore 
secretly ; to discover by careful and secret 
watching, v.i. To act as spy ; to look with a 
spy-glass. (F. voir, decouvrir, epier, espionner ; 
moucharder ; espion, mouchard.} 

A spy adopts disguise of various sorts ; 
he may pretend to be a civilian of the country 
whose forces he goes to get information 
about, or he may assume the guise of a neutral 
citizen. Very daring indeed is the person 
who spies under the disguise of a soldier of 
the enemy's army, mixing with the hostile 
...... troops in order to get 


A spy's work in wan 
time is very perilous, 
for if he is caught he 
may be put to death 
summarily. So long 
as a soldier doing 
similar work wears 
uniform openly he is 
protected by it, and 
can claim the treat- 
ment of an ordinary 
prisoner of war. 

We may spend some 
time looking among 
bookshelves before we 
spy, or discern, the 
volume we seek. In 
civil life detectives are 

employed to spy on people suspected of 
crime to keep them under observation 
is the phrase generally used. As long ago 
as the time of Moses, people were sent 
to an enemy's country to spy out the 

A small pocket telescope ot a kind now 
obsolete was called a spy-glass (n.}. A spy- 
hole (n.) is a peep-hole. 

Short for espy ; M.E. spien, O.F. espter. 
See espy. SYN. : v. Discern, explore, observe, 

squab (skwob), adj. Short and fat ; 
squat, adv. With a heavy fall ; plump, n. 
An unfledged or young pigeon ; a short, fat 
person; a thick, stuffed cushion; an ottoman. 




(F. rebondi; patatras, pouf ; pigeonneau, 
poussah, pouf.) 

A pie is called a squab-pie (n.) if it contains 
squabs young pigeons or if it is made 
from a mixture of meat, onions, and apples. 
A squab person or squab may be described 
as squabby (skwob' i, adj.). An ottoman, 
sometimes called a squab, is frequently 
provided with squabs, or very thick, squabby 

Cp. Swed. dialect sqvabb loose, fat flesh. SYN. : 
adj. Bulky, clumsy, podgy, squat, thick-set. 

squabble (skwob' 1), v.i. To quarrel 
noisily ; to wrangle ; to bicker. v.t. In 
printing, to disarrange (type that has been 
set up), n. A petty or noisy quarrel ; a 
wrangle. (F. se chamailler, se disputer ; 
brouiller, faire tomber en pate; bagarre, 

Children often squabble over toys and 
games, but such a squabble usually ends 
amicably. Adjoining 
landowners may 
engage in disputes 
and squabbles about 
boundaries, and even 
nations may squabble 
over petty and trivial 
affairs. A quarrel- 
some person becomes 
known as a squabbler 
(skwob' ler, n.), one 
who squabbles. 

Imitative ; cp. Swed. 
dialect skvabbel a dis- 
pute, skvappa to chide, 
from skvapp splash ; 
akin to E. swab. SYN. : v. 
Bicker, dispute, quarrel, 
wrangle, n. Dispute, 
quarrel, wrangle. 

squacco (skwak' 6), 
heron, Ardeola ralloides, of southern Europe 
and Africa. (F. heron crabier.) 

Ital. sguacco ; imitative of the bird's note. 

squad (skwod), n. A small number of 
soldiers, police, etc., assembled for drill or 
inspection ; a small party of people. (F. 

When recruits join a regiment, they are 
put together in squads to be instructed in 
drill, etc., by a non-commissioned officer. 
They have to stay in this squad until fit to 
drill with the rest of their battalion. An 
awkward squad (n.) consists of the less 
efficient recruits, who would hinder the pro- 
gress of the others, and so are grouped 
together for intensive training. 

F. escouade, variant of obsolete F. esquadre 
(F. escadre naval squadron), Ital. squadra square, 
squadron. See square. 

squadron (skwod 'ron), n. A main division 
of a cavalry regiment ; a division of a fleet 
under a flag officer ; a group of twelve 
military aeroplanes, v.t. To arrange or group 
in squadrons. (F. escadron, escadre ; ranger 
par escadrons.) 

In the British Army a squadron of cavalry 

Squacco. The squacco, 

Europe and Africa. 

A small, crested 

contains one hundred and forty-nine men, 
and six officers. A. cavalry regiment is made 
up of four squadrons, which correspond to 
infantry companies. A squadron of the fleet 
may consist of any number of vessels. It is 
commanded by an officer of flag rank, and 
usually composed chiefly of vessels of the 
same kind, such as a battle-squadron or 
cruiser-squadron, which form a unit of 'a 
main fleet under an admiral. In the Royal 
Air Force a squadron is made up of twelve 
aeroplanes and their crews. The officer 
commanding it is called a squadron leader 
(n.). He ranks with a major in the Army. 

Ital. squadrone, augmentative of squadra 
square, tquad ; cp. F. escadron. See square. 

squall (skwal), n. A disk used in the game 
of squails ; (pi.) a game played by striking 
disks from the edge of a table towards a 
mark set in the centre. 

A circular squail-board (n.) is sometimes 
used for playing 
squails. The disk is 
placed on it so that it 
partly overlaps the 
edge, and is struck 
with the palm of the 
hand. A squailer 
(skwal' er, n.) is a 
stick loaded at one 
end with lead, for 
throwing at squirrels, 
etc., or for dislodging 
apples from trees. 

Formerly also skayle 
kayle ; possibly akin to 

squalid ( s k w o 1 ' 
id), adj . Dirty; 
p o v e r t y-s t r i c k e n ; 
wretched. (F. sordide, 
reduit a la misere, triste.) 

Squalid or insanitary and mean-looking 
houses are to be found in the slums of great 
cities, where poor people lead squalid or 
wretched lives, and children are reared 
squalidly (skwol' id li, adv.), or in a squalid 

Formerly squalidity (skwa lid' i ti, n.), 
squalidness (skwol' id nes, n.), or squalor 
(skwol' or, n.), that is, filthiness of a foul 
and squalid character, was much more com- 
mon in very poor districts. 

From L. squdlidus rough, filthy, rude. SYN. : 
Dirty, filthy, mean, sordid, wretched. ANT. : 
Bright, clean, happy, healthy, sanitary. 

squall (skwawl), v.i. To scream violently ; 
to yell. v.t. To utter with a violent scream or 
in a discordant voice, n. A loud harsh 
scream or cry ; a sudden, violent gust, or 
succession of gusts, of wind, especially with 
rain, hail, or snow. (F. crier a tue-tttte, 
brailler, piailler ; criaillement, rafale.) 

Babies naturally squall for food, or when 
they are in pain. The mother usually rushes 
to the squailer (skwawl' er, n.) to find out 
what is wrong. Squalls of wind are called 
white squalls if they come unexpectedly, in 




fair weather, without any change in the sky, 
and black squalls if their approach is marked 
by the gathering of dark, heavy clouds. 

When sailing an open boat in squally 
(skwawl' li, adj.) weather, that is, when 
squalls are about, one must be .ready at any 
moment to bring the boat's head up to the 
wind and lower or release the sails. Other- 
wise the boat may capsize or be dismasted. 

Perhaps akin to O. Norse, skvala to squeal, 
Swed. sqvala to gush out, G. schallen to resound, 
Gaelic sgal a howl, Welsh chwalu to babble. See 
squeal. SYN. : v. Scream, n. Gust, scream. 

squaloid (skwa/ loid), adj. Like a shark. 

Dog-fishes are squaloid fishes, and are 
really small sharks. 

L. squalus a kind of shark, with E. suffix -old 
of family likeness. 

squalor (skwol' or). For this word see 
under squalid. 

squama (skwa/ ma), n. A scale or scale- 
like structure forming part of the covering 
of an animal or plant, pi. squamae (skwa' 
me). (F. tcaille.) 

The scales of reptiles, the scale-like feathers 
on the penguin's wing and the humming- 
bird's throat, and the tiny leaves that pro- 
tect young buds of plants are examples of 
squamae. The name Squamata (skwa ma/ ta, is applied by zoologists to the order 
of scaly reptiles. 

Most snakes are squamose (skwa mos', 
adj.), or scaly. The root of the lily is a 
squamose or squamous (skwa/ 
mus, adj.) bulb, that is, one 
covered with scales. A very 
small squama, such as may be 
found on the wings of an insect, 
is 'termed a squamule (skwa/ 
mul, n.). 

L. squama scale. 

squander (skwon' der), v.t. 'Hal 
To spend 'wastefully ; to dissi- 
pate (money) thus ; to waste 
(time). (F. gaspiller, eparpiller, 

The Prodigal Son of the para- 
ble squandered the money which 
his father had given him, for he 
" wasted his substance with 
riotous living " (Luke xv, 13). 
Like many another squanderer (skwon' der 
er, n.), he soon felt the pressure of want, 
and regretted his foolishness. Lazy people 
squander their time, and, incidentally, their 
health, by leading indolent lives. 

Perhaps a nasalized form akin to Sc. squatter, 
E. dialect swatter, to splash water, Swed. dialect 
skvdttra squander, frequentatives from the stem 
of Dan. sqvatte to splash, to squander ; cp. scatter. 
SYN. : Consume, dissipate, lavish. ANT. : Econo- 
mize, hoard, husband, save. 

square (skwar), n. A right-angled 
figure with four equal sides ; an object, 
surface, area, part, etc., of this shape, or 
approximately so ; a four-sided open space, 
surrounded by houses, usually laid out with 

ornamental gardens or planted with trees ; 
a rectangular block of buildings, bounded 
by four streets ; a rectangular division of a 
chess-board, etc. ; a set of .vords or figures 
arranged in a square, so as to read alike 
downwards as well as across ; a body of 
troops drawn up in the form of a rectangle, and 
either facing outwards to resist attack, etc., 
or inwards to witness a ceremony, etc. ; an 
L-shaped or T-shaped instrument used for 
testing or laying out right angles ; the pro- 
duct of a number multiplied by itself ; an 
area of about one hundred square feet used 
as a measure of flooring ; fairness ; strict 
honesty ; order, adj. Having four equal 
sides and four right angles ; of the shape of a 
square ; forming a right angle ; at right 
angles (to) ; broader than usual in relation 
to height or length ; satisfactory ; fair ; 
just ; absolute ; thorough ; complete ; 
even ; evenly balanced ; in proper order. 
adv. Squarely, v.t. To make square ; to ad- 
just ; to reconcile ; to regulate ; to make 
even ; to settle ; to pay ; to bribe ; to 
multiply (a number) by itself ; to arrange 
(sails or yards) cross-wise to a ship's keel. 
v.i. To be at right angles (with) ; to agree ; 
to take up a boxing attitude ; to move thus 
(up to a person). (F. carre, place, cass, 
carree, equerre, nombre carre, probite ; carre, 
rectangulaire , juste, loyal, exact, balance; 
carrement ; carrer, ajuster, regler, corrompre, 
brasser ; s'accorder.} 

The most famous of the London Squares 

Square. Trafalgar Square, London, with the Nelson Column, 

commemorating Lord Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. The domed 

building is the National Gallery. 

is Trafalgar Square, in which rises the Nelson 
Column. Squares in residential districts 
are usually laid out with gardens, and some- 
times contain tennis courts for the use of 
the occupants of the surrounding houses. 
In America blocks of buildings are called 
squares, and the word is sometimes used as 
a rough unit of distance as when a doctor is 
said to live three squares away. 

People are said to square accounts when 
they settle up for what they owe one another. 
When this is done they are square. We may 
expect a square deal, which means honest 
treatment, from a person who acts on the 
square, that is, fairly or honestly. A joiner 
uses his square to rule a line square to, or at 




right angles to, an edge. A pugilist may 
be said to square up to his opponent when 
he advances on him in a fighting attitude. 

In golf, when the number of holes won by 
each player or side is the same, the game is 
said to be square. In cricket, an off-side 
stroke which sends the ball away more or 
less at right angles to the wicket is called a 
square cut (n.). 

It is impossible to square the circle, that is, 
to construct by geometrical means a square 
that equals a given circle, in other words, to 
express the exact area of a circle in terms 
of its radius. Hence, a person who sets out 
to do an impossible thing is said to attempt 
to square the circle. 

A square-built (adj.) 
man is broad for his 
height and probably 
(adj.), having level, 
and not sloping, 

A square foot (n.) 
is the area of a 
square, each side of 
which measures a foot. 
This, and the square 
inch (n.) and square 

vflrd fil areas one Square. A square-sail [(top) of a square-rigged 
yard (n.) areas one ship 8uch as the 8qU are-rigger (below), 

inch square and one 

yard square are units used in square measure 
(n.), the system of measures for expressing 
area, or extent of surface. The price of 
flooring, roofing, tiling, etc., is reckoned 
at so much a square, or a hundred square 

A ship is said to be square-rigged (adj.), 
and is called a square-rigger (n.), if each of her 
principal sails is suspended from a horizontal 
yard or beam, slung to the mast by the 

A square-sail (n.) is a four-cornered sail 
set on a yard in this way, especially one on 
a vessel with some fore-and-aft sails. The 
barque, barquentine, and topsail schooner, 
which combine these two types of rigging, 
are also said to be square-rigged. When the 
wind moves farther aft, or towards the rear 
of a square-rigged ship, it is necessary to 
square the main yard, that is, set it at right 
angles with the keel. 

The number sixteen is a square number 
(n.), that is, a number which is the square of 
an integer, in this case, four. The square root 
(n.) of a quantity is that quantity of which 
it is the square. In other words, that number 
which, when multiplied by itself, makes the 
specified quantity. The square root of 
sixteen is four. Only square numbers have 
ex^ict square roots. 

A square-toed (adj.) boot or shoe is square 
at the toes, instead of being rounded or 
pointed. A person is said to be square-toed, 
or is described as a square-toes (n.), or old 
square-toes (n.), if old-fashioned, formal, and 
precise in his manner. This epithet came into 

use in the late eighteenth century, when 
shoes with broad square toes had passed 
temporarily out of fashion. Planks have to 
be sawn squarely (skwar' li, adv.), that is, 
at right angles to their breadth or length. 
Bricks are laid squarely in position, that is, 
directly square to the line of the wall that is 
being built. To look a person squarely in 
the face is to look at him in a fearless, open 

The squareness (skwar' nes, n.), which 
means the square or right-angled condition, 
of corners or angles is tested with a square, 
such as a set-square, or a T-square. One 
who uses a square, or who settles an account, 
etc., is a squarer 
(skwar ' er, n.). An 
object is squarish 
(skwar 7 ish, adj.) if it 
is more or less square 
in shape. 

O.F. esquarre, Ital. 
squadra, from L.L. ex- 
quadrdre to make square, 
from ex- thoroughly, 
quadrus four cornered, 
from quattuor four. 

squarrose (skwor' 
6s), adj. In botany 
and zoology, rough 

with projecting scales 

or squamae. Another form is squarrous 
(skwor' us). (F. squarreux.) 

Possibly from a L.L. copyist's misreading ; 
squarrosus for L. squawiosus scaly (squdmA scale). 

squarson (skwar' son), n. A clergyman 
who owns land. 

This word is a combination of squire and 
parson, and is used humorously. 

squash [i] (skwosh), v.t. To squeeze or 
crush flat or into a pulp ; to press hard 
(against) ; to put down or silence (a person). 
v.i. To be crushed ; to be smashed into pulp ; 
to squeeze one's way (into), n. A squashed 
object ; a mass of pulp ; a beverage made 
from the juice of squashed fruit ; the fall of 
a soft object ; the sound of this striking 
something ; a squeeze ; a dense throng ; a. 
game played with rackets and a soft ball 
on a small court. (F. ecraser, fouler, rabrouer, 
mettre a quia ; s'ecraser, tomber en compote, 
jouer des coudes ; pulpe, puree, presse, Joule 

Lemons and oranges are squashed in order 
to extract their juice, which is mixed with 
soda-water to make lemon-squash and 
orange-squash. A heavy soft object falls 
with a squash. In dense crowds or squashes 
people are squashed or pressed against 
each other. Metals are squashed out flat 
under a steam-hammer. In a figurative 
sense, a person or a remark may be squashed 
by a crushing retort. The game of squash, 
or squash-rackets (, is played with a soft 
india-rubber ball, which is served against a 
wall facing the players. 

Ripe gooseberries, raspberries, and straw- 
berries are squashy (skwosh' i, adj.) fruit, 




squawk (skwawk), v.i. To utter a harsh 
cry of pain or fear. n. Such a cry. (F. 
piailler ; piaillement.} 

Fowls squawk loudly when caught or 
when frightened. 

Imitative ; variant of squeak. 

squeak (skwek), v.i. To utter a short, 
shrill cry ; to give out a shrill noise, v.i. 
To utter shrilly, n. A short, shrill sound or 
cry-; a narrow escape. (F. pepisr, piailler, 
crier; piaillerie.) 

The cry of a mouse is a squeak. Many 
dolls contain a device called a squeaker 
(skwek' er, n.), which squeaks when pressed. 
Young birds, especially young partridges and 
pigeons, are called squeakers, on account of 
their high-pitched cries. A gate with rusty 
hinges squeaks when it is opened, and re- 
quires oiling. Few people go through life 
without at least one narrow squeak, or escape 
from danger. 

New shoes are apt to be squeaky (skwek' i, 
adj.), or to make squeaks, when one walks. 
Some people have squeaky, or thin and shrill, 
voices. Wheelbarrows often run squeakily 
(skwek' i li, adv.), that is, with squeaking 

Of Scand. origin ; cp. Norw. skvaka, Swed. 
sqvdka. Imitative ; cp. quack [i]. 

squeal (skwel), v.i. To utter a shrill cry. 
v.t. To utter with a squeal, n. A shrill cry. 
(F. pousser un cri percant ; cri aigu.) 

Animals squeal with pain or fear. A rat 
or rabbit overtaken by a stoat seems para- 
lysed and squeals in a pitiful manner. 
Horses utter squeals when playing with or 
biting at one another. 

Any person or thing that squeals may be 
called a squealer (skwel' er, n.), a name also 
given to the swift and other birds, and 
especially to young pigeons. 

Of Scand. origin ; cp. Norw. skvella, Swed. 
dialect sqvala, frequentative forms allied to 
squeak and squall. SYN. : v. and n. Scream. 
squeamish, (skwe' mish), adj. Easily 

disgusted, offended, or turned 

sick ; affectedly delicate ; fastid- 
ious ; unduly scrupulous. (F. 
difficile, facile a degouter, qui 
souleve facilement, trop scru- 

Coarse food is distasteful to 
squeamish people, who, however, 
would not reject it squeamishly 
(skwe' mish li, adv.), or fastidi- 
ously, if they were really hungry. 
At sea,, people who are bad 
sailors are very likely to find 
themselves overcome by squeam- 
ishness (skwe' mish nes, n.), or 
sickishness. Those who are excess- 
ively dainty or punctilious re 
also said to display squeamish- 
Squaw. North American Indian squaws of the Hopi tribe engaged ness and SO are people who are 
in making basket.. very ' easily shocke 

squaw (skwaw), n. A North American Earlier squeamous, Anglo -F. escoymous, of 
Indian wife or woman. (F.femme.) doubtful origin. SYN. : Finical, hypercritical, 

North American Indian = woman. prudish. ANT. : Careless, indifferent. 


that is, they have a pulpy nature, and lack 
consistency. Sodden marshy ground is also 
squashy, and has the quality of squashiness 
(skwosh' i nes, n.). As one walks over it one's 
feet make a squashy or squelchy sound. 

O.F. esquasser (Ital. squassare), from L. ex- 
thoroughly quassdre to shatter. See quash. 
SYN. : v. Compress, crush, flatten. 

squash [2] (skwosh), n. The fleshy, 
edible gourd-like fruit of various trailing 
plants of the genus Cucurbita ; a plant of 
this genus, especially the winter squash (C. 
maxima}. (F. courge, cucurbitacee.) 

The squash is allied to the pumpkin. 
Many species are cultivated and eaten in 
America. The winter squash can be kept 
for several months before use. 

American Indian askutasquash. 

squat (skwot), v.i. To sit on the ground 
cross-legged or with the knees drawn up in 
front, and the heels under the body ; to 
crouch close to the ground ; to settle on 
new or public land without legal title, v.t. 
To put (oneself) in a squatting position, adj. 
Short and thick ; dumpy ; in a squatting 
position, n. A squatting posture ; a squat 
person. (F. s'accroupir, se tapir, s' installer ; 
ramasse, accroupi ; accroupissement, poussah.) 

In the East the natives usually squat on 
the ground or on cushions when they take 
their meals, instead of using chairs. Hares 
squat or sit close to the earth in their forms 
or lairs. A bungalow is a squat type of house, 
having only one story. 

A squatter (skwot ' er, n.) is one who squats 
on his haunches, or who occupies public or 
uncultivated land without legal authority 
to do so. In Australia, a squatter is a 
man who rents land on easy terms from 
the Government for pasturing sheep or 

O.F. esquatir flatten, from L. ex- thoroughly, 
O.F. quatir through L.L. from L. coactus p.p. of 
cogere to press, constrain. SYN. : adj. Podgy, 



Other forms in- 


squeegee (skwe" je ; skwe je'), n. A 
rubber-edged implement with a long handle, 
used for cleaning wet roads, etc. ; a similar 
but smaller implement, or a rubber roller 
mounted in a handle, for squeezing and 
flattening photographic prints, v.t. To clean 
or smooth with a squeegee. O 
elude squilgee (skwil' 
je; skwilje'). (F.balai 
en caoutchouc.} 

Asphalted roads in 
large towns are 
cleaned by flooding 
them with water, 
which is then swept 
into the gutter, to- 
gether with the dirt 
it collects. Big squee- 
gees are used for this 
purpose. They have 
a strip of thick rubber 
set in a cross-bar at the 
lower end. The photo- 
grapher removes loose 
water from washed 
prints by squeegeeing 
them well. 

Perhaps from squeege 
= squeeze. 

squeeze (skwez), 
v.t. To press tightly 
with the hand, or be- 
tween two bodies ; to 

compress ; to force (juice) from ; to force 
(oneself into or out) ; to extort (money) 
from ; to harass by exactions ; to put 
pressure on ; to oppress ; to take an im- 
pression of (a coin) on damp paper, v.i. To 
press ; to force one's way (into, through, etc.) 
n. The act of squeezing ; pressure ; a close 
hug ; a crush ; an impression of a coin, etc. 
taken by squeezing. (F. server, comprimer, 
Joider, extorquer, opprimer ; presser, se forcer 
a tr avers ; pressurage, etreinte, cingleur.) 

When making lemonade, we squeeze the 
juice out of a lemon with our fingers. Apples 
and grapes for making cider and wine are 
squeezed in screw-presses. Great ingots of 
white-hot steel are squeezed into shafts and 
other parts of machines in hydraulic presses, 
some of which can give a squeeze of immense 
power. A squeeze of a medal may be 
obtained by pressing it against damp paper. 

In badly governed countries the state 
officials abuse their power and squeeze the 
people over whom they have authority, that 
is, they extort money from them. It is a 
tight squeeze to get one's feet into shoes 
that are too small for them, or to make room 
for oneself in an already crowded railway- 

Anything is squeezable (skwez ' abl, adj.], 
in the sense that it can have pressure put on 
it, but cold steel is not squeezable in the 
sense of being compressible. Hay, cotton, 
and other soft, loose materials, however, 
possess squeezability (skwez a biT i ti, n.}, 

the quality of being squeezable, in both 
senses, and are compressed into bales for 

A squeezer (skwez' er, n.} is a person or 
thing that squeezes ; a lemon-squeezer, for 
instance. Slag and air-bubbles are pressed 
out of puddled iron by means of a machine 
specially known as 
a squeezer. Playing- 
cards are termed 
squeezers ( when 
their suit and value is 
marked in one of the 
top corners, so that 
they need not be 
spread out in the 
player's hand. 

A.-S. cwlesan, the pre- 
fixed s from O.F. es- = 
L. ex. SYN. : v. Com- 
press, constrain, hug, 
press, squash. 

squelch (skwelch), 
v.t. To crush ; to 
silence ; to put an end 
to. v.i. To walk in 
wet boots, or over 
sodden ground so as 
to make a splashing 
noise. n. A heavy 
blow ; a crushing re- 
tort ; a splashing or 
sucking noise made 
when walking in 
(F. ecrabouiller, reduire 
au silence, horion, clapotis.} 

A clever retort is said to squelch an inter- 
rupter at a political meeting. Goloshes with 
water in them make squelches at every step. 
An early form is quelsh. See squeeze. 
squib (skwib), n. A firework which throws 
out showers of sparks and explodes with a 
loud bang ; a tube containing gunpowder for 
firing a blasting-charge ; a small torpedo for 
igniting a larger one ; a sarcastic piece of 
writing ; a lampoon, v.i. To throw squibs ; 
to write squibs, v.t. To make fun of or attack 
with lampoons. (F. petard, pasquinade ; lancer 
des petards, lancer des brocards ; brocarder.} 

The firework called a squib contains 
grained powder, and sometimes charcoal, 
sulphur, and steel filings, enclosed in a stout 
paper tube plugged 'at one end. A little 
bursting-powder is usually put into the case 
before the ordinary charge, so that the squib 
shall finish up with an explosion. Journalists 
formerly squibbed, or wrote squibs about, 
politicians with whom they disagreed. 

Cp. M.E. swippen to rush, O. Norse svipa to 
flash, dart. " 

squid (skwid), n. A name for certain 
cuttle-fishes, especially those of the genus 
Loligo ; a bait shaped like this fish. v.i. To 
fish with such bait. (F. seiche.} 

The squid or calamary has a longish 
cylindrical body with two triangular fins on 
the tapering hinder part. Its head is short 
and is surrounded by tentacles. It is a 

A householder squeegeeing flood water 
from his house. 

water-filled boots. 





rapid swimmer, and feeds upon shell-fish 
and crabs. In America, fishermen squid in 
swift tideways with lines baited with arti- 
ficial squids. 

Akin to Swed. dialect sqvitta, O. Norse 
skvetta to squirt. 

Squid. The common squid, a species of cuttle-fish. 
It feeds on shell-fish. 

squill (skwil), n. A bulbous-rooted plant 
of the genus Scilla ; the powdered bulb of the 
sea-onion (Urginea scilla). (F. scille,) 

The bluebell (Scilla nutans) is one of the 
squills. The leaves of plants of this genus 
spring from the bulb itself, and the flowers 
take the form of racemes or loose corymbs 
at the end of the flower stalk. The medicinal 
powder known as squill is obtained from a 
sea-shore plant with an extremely large 
bulb and white flowers, called the sea-onion. 
This plant was formerly placed in the genus 
Scilla and is sometimes called the squill. 

O.F. squille, L. squilla, Gr. skilla squill. 

squinch. (skwinch), n. A small interior 
arch across the corner of a square tower, 
supporting one side of an octagonal spire. 

A variant form of sconce. See sconce, 

squint (skwint), v.i. To be affected with 
strabismus ; to be cross-eyed ; to look 
obliquely or askance (at) ; to look or peer 
with the eyes half shut. v.t. To cause to 
squint ; to close (the eyes) quickly ; to 
keep (the eyes) half shut. adj. Looking 
obliquely or askance ; cross-eyed, n. Strabis- 
mus ; an eye affection in which the axes are 
differently diverted ; a furtive or sidelong 
glance ; a stealthy look ; a glance ; a lean- 
ing or inclination ; a hagioscope. (F. 
loucher, regarder de tr avers, regarder en 
dessous ; rendre louche, cligner les yeaux ; 
louche; strabisme, regard louche.) 

In the affection known as squint the axis 
of vision in each eye is different, so that when 
a squint-eyed (adj.) person one who squints 
looks at an object, one eye is directed at it 
normally, but the other turns either inwards 
or outwards and is apparently looking 
elsewhere. One affected in this manner is a 
squinter (skwint ' er, n.) and looks at objects 
and persons squintingly (skwint' ing li, adv.), 
with a squint. 

Colloquially, to take a squint at an object 
means to glance at it. A marksman is said 
to squint or peer along the barrel of his 
rifle to aline the sights, and a shopper may 
squint or glance obliquely into a shop window 
as he or she strolls past. 

The name of squint or hagioscope is given 
to a slanting opening in the wall of a church, 
through which the altar might be seen from 
a transept. 

Probably akin to Dutch schuin oblique, 
schuinen to slope, schuinte a slope. 

squire (skwlr), n. A country gentleman ; 
the principal landowner in a district ; an 
attendant upon a knight ; a gallant ; a 
woman's escort, v.t. To attend as squire ; to 
escort (a woman). (F. proprietaire cam- 
pagnard, rentier, ecuyer, cavalier ; servir 
d' ecuyer a, servir de cavalier a.) 

In olden days knights were attended by 
squires, or esquires, who buckled on their 
armour, and prepared them for battle. One 
who escorts a woman is said to squire her or 
act as her squire. To-day, however, we gener- 
ally use the word squire to mean the chief 
landowner in a country district. 

A squireen (skwlr en', n.} is a petty squire, 
the word being used chiefly in Ireland. 
Squirelet (skwlr' let, n.} and squireling (skwir' 
ling, n.} are terms applied in England to such 
a man, or to a young squire. A squire's 
office or dignity is called squirehood (.), or 
squireship (n.) ; things relating to or befitting 
a squire may be described as squirely (skwir' 
li, adj.). The squirearchy (skwlr' ar ki, n.) 
is the general body of squires, or the political 
influence which they wield. In another sense 
the word means rule or domination by a 
squire. One who belongs to the squire- 
archy is called a squirearch (skwlr' ark, n.) ; 
things characteristic of this class are some- 
times described as squirearchal (skwlr' ar 
kal, adj.) or squirearchical (skwir ar' kik al, 

See esquire. SYN. : n. Esquire, landowner. 
v. Accompany, serve, tend. 

squirm (skwerm) , v.i. To writhe or wriggle ; 
to move or proceed thus ; to feel or show 
embarrassment or discomfort, n. A wriggling 
movement ; a twist in a ship's rope. (F. 
se tordre, tortiller, fremir ; tortillement.} 

A worm will squirm, or writhe, when 
disturbed ; an eel wriggles or squirms about 
when taken from the water. A boy squirms 
with shame when he is told, in front of 
the class, how many mistakes there are 
in his arithmetic, or how unsatisfactory his 
behaviour has been. After a caning he may 
squirm with pain or discomfort. 

Cp. E. dialect squirr to whirl. SYN. : v. Wriggle. 

squirrel (skwir' el), n. A small brown or 
grey rodent, with bushy tail and pointed 
ears, belonging to the genus Sciurus. (F. 

The native English squirrel is reddish- 
brown above and white below. This species 
(Sciurus vulgaris) is found over most of 
Europe. It lives in trees, and feeds on nuts 
and acorns, bark, young shoots, etc., storing 
up food in a hoard during autumn for use 
next spring. The winter is spent in hiberna- 
tion, unless the weather is very mild, when 
the squirrel will remain about. The grey 




squirrel from North America has multiplied 
in great numbers around London in recent 
years, and is replacing the red squirrel. 

Squirrels are often kept as pets, their 
very active and perky movements affording 
great interest and amusement. Squirrel fur 
is in great demand for wraps and coats. 

The squirrel-fish (n.) is a species of perch 
found in the seas of the West Indies, so 
named from the squirrel-like bark it makes 
when taken from the water. The prairie 
dog is sometimes called the barking squirrel. 
Squirrel-grass (n.) Hordeum maritimum 
has a flower thought to resemble the bushy 
tail of a squirrel. Its hair-like awns are 
somewhat like those of barley. 

M.E. scurel, O.F. escurel, L.L. scilrellus, dim. 
of L. sciwus, Gr. skiourus squirrel, from skia 
shadow, our a tail. 

squirt (skwert), v.t. 
To eject in a jet. v.i. 
Of a liquid, etc., to 
be ejected in this 
manner, n. A syringe ; 
a jet or thin stream 
of liquid. (F. seringuer, 
faire jaillir ; jaillir ; 
seringue, jet.) 

Among the crude 
fire-extinguishing ap- 
paratus of bygone 
days was a kind of 
large squirt, or syringe, 
with which water was 
squirted, or directed 
by the squirter (skwert ' 
er, n.) on to a blazing 
building. Water 
squirts from a garden 
hose when the tap is turned on. When 
the bombardier beetle is disturbed it squirts 
a jet of fluid at its assailant. Gardeners 
and others apply insecticide, in liquid or 
powdered form, by means of a squirt. 

A trailing plant found in the south of 
Europe, and called the squirting cucumber 
(n.) Ecballium elaterium bears small ellip- 
tical fruits which, when ripe, break away 
from their stalks and eject their juice and 
seeds with some force through a hole at the 
point of breakage. 

M.E. swirten ; cp. Low G. swirtjen. SYN. : v. 
Spout, spurt, n. Jet, syringe. 

stab (stab), v.t. To wound with a sword, 
dagger or other pointed weapon ; to thrust 
(a weapon into) ; to pierce ; to roughen a 
wall so that it will hold plaster ; to inflict 
pain on ; to injure or hurt. v.i. To aim a 
blow (at) with, or as with a dagger, etc. 
n. A blow or thrust with a pointed weapon ; 
the wound so made ; a pain as of a stab ; 
an injury (to feelings, reputation, etc.). 
(F. poignarder, larder, enfoncer, piquer, porter 
atteinte a ; coup d'estoc, coup mortel, injure.} 

In " Macbeth," Shakespeare represents 
Duncan as stabbed to death with a dagger. 
In duels the combatants were sometimes 
armed with both sword and dagger, the sword 

Squirrel. The flying squirrel, which is able to leap 
and glide a considerable distance. 

being used for offence and the dagger mainly 
for parrying. 

The haymaker who spies a rat or other 
vermin among the hay may stab at it with 
his fork. Often. in such a case the intended 
victim evades the stabs or jabs. When an 
assassin was hired to kill an enemy secretly, 
the victim often met his end through being 
stabbed in the back. Thus a stab in the back 
has come to mean an underhand action, or 
a slander, which injures another. In book- 
binding, the back margins of a pamphlet are 
stabbed or pierced, in order to insert the 
twine, wire, etc., with which the leaves are 

Before plastering a wall workmen often 
find it necessary to roughen the surface with 
a pick, a process they call stabbing. 

Cp. M.E. stabbe, Icel. 
stabbi, Dan. stabbe a 
stump. See stub. SYN. : 
v. Jab, pierce, n. Dig, 

Stabat Mater (sta/ 
bat ma/ ter ; sta' bat 
ma' ter), n. A Latin 
hymn about the 
sorrows of the Virgin 
Mary at the crucifixion 
of Christ ; a musical 
setting of this. (F. 
Stabat Mater.) 

The title is taken 
from the opening 
words, which mean 
"The Mother was 
standing," and the 
hymn represents the 
Virgin as standing at 
the foot of the Cross. The Stabat Mater is 
said to have been written in the thirteenth 
century. It is sung in Roman Catholic 
churches on the feast of the Sev^p Dolours, 
and is much used during Lent. 

stabilize (sta/ bi Hz). For this word, 
stabilization, etc., see under stable [i]. 

stable [i] (sta' bl), adj. Firmly fixed ; 
difficult to move or to destroy ; unwavering ; 
constant ; resolute ; in chemistry, not 
easily decomposed. (F. ferme, fixe, solide, 
resolu, stable.} 

A spinning top and a gyroscope are stable, 
and remain in stable equilibrium, so long as 
they continue in rotation. The state or 
quality of being stable is stableness (sta/ 
bl nes, n.} or stability (sta bir i ti, n.). 

A rowing boat remains stable so long as 
its centre of gravity is low ; should its 
occupants stand, or move so as to impair the 
balance of the boat, its stability is lost and 
it may capsize. In a kind of safety-lamp the 
reservoir is made with a hemispherical 
weighted bottom, so that it is rendered stable 
and cannot readily be overturned or upset. 
A man who has definite opinions which he 
does not easily change, and who lives an 
honest and straightforward life is often said 
to possess a stable character. A stable 




business is one well established. A chemical the dots ; in this the notes should be held for 

compound not readily decomposed into its 
elements is said to be a stable one. 

Soon after the World War (1914-18) 
there were in many European countries 
very sudden changes in the value of money, 
owing to the large amounts of paper currency 
in use not represented by reserves of gold. 

This evil was ended by the stabilization 
(sta bi II za/ shun, n.) of the currency, a 
definite gold value being guaranteed for 
the various monetary units. During these 
unsettled years Britain had acted so stably 
'sta' bli, adv.] in financial matters that the 
pound in paper money was little less in worth 
than the gold sovereign, so that she had no 
need thus to stabilize (sta/ bi liz, v.t.) her 
currency artificially. 

A stabilizer (sta/bi liz er, n.) is a vertical 
or horizontal plane or fin forming part of an 
airship or aeroplane, which helps to maintain 
its stability or equilibrium while in flight ; 
the name is also given to a long, sausage- 
shaped bag on the envelope of a kite-balloon, 
which serves to stabilize it, or keep it steady 
in a wind. 

O.F. estable from L. stabilis from stare to stand. 
SYN. : Abiding, durable, established, resolute, 
steady. ANT. : Ephemeral, frail, unstable, vacil- 

stable [2] (sta/ bl), . A building or part 
wherein horses or cattle are kept ; the race- 
horses in the care of a particular trainer. 
v.t. To put or keep in a stable, v.i. Of horses, 
to lodge in a stable. (F. etable, ecurie ; Stabler, 
loger ; s'etablir, habiter.) 

Formerly, many people of means rode in 
horsed carriages, and stabled the horses in 
a building near the house, or in a special part 
of the house itself. 

The motor-car has very largely displaced 
the horse, and many stables have been 
converte^ into garages, but here and there 
we see a large house which still possesses 
its stables or stabling (sta/ bling, n.). The 
horses which are kept there are m charge of 
a stable-man (sta' bl man, n.), who is often 
assisted by a stable-boy (n.). Formerly 
nearly every roadside inn provided stabling 
or accommodation for horses. 

At Newmarket, Epsom, and other places 
where there are racing stables, there is keen 
rivalry between those there employed as to 
which stable shall turn out the greatest 
number of winning horses. 

O.F. estable, from L. stabulum stall, from stare 
to stand. 

stableness (sta/ bl nes). For this word 
and stably see under stable [ij. 

staccato (sta ka' to), adj. A musical 
direction meaning detached or sharply 
distinct, adv. In an abrupt detached manner. 
(F. staccato, saccade' ; staccato.} 

A dot placed over a note in written or 
printed music indicates that it should be 
played staccato. The note is sustained for 
half its written length. Mezzo staccato 
playing is indicated by a slur printed over 

three-quarters of their length. Staccatissimo 
(sta ka tis' i mo, adj.) or very staccato 
treatment is indicated by pointed dashes 
over the notes, which should sound only for 
a quarter of their normal length. 

Ital., p.p. of staccare, short for distaccare to 
detach. See detach, attack. ANT. : adj. Legato, 

stack (stak), n. A pile of corn in the 
sheaf, or of hay or straw, usually with a 
thatched top ; any heap or pile of an orderly 
kind ; a measure of wood, one hundred and 
eight cubic feet ; a pile of rifles standing 
together pyramid-wise on the butts ; a 
chimney, or a number grouped together ; 
a smoke funnel ; a tall, isolated rock. v.t. 
To heap into a stack ; to pile up in the form 
of a stack. (F. gerbe, meule, tas, monceau, 
pile, faisceau, souche, pic; entasser, ameu- 

Bricks are stacked at a building site in 
readiness for the bricklayers. Timber is 
built into stacks and left to season. Persons 
who live in the country and burn a good deal 
of wood usually keep this piled up in a stack. 

Every farm of any size has its stack-yard 
(.), where the stacks of hay and corn stand. 
Sometimes it is desirable for a stack to have 
a foundation, on which it is raised above the 
ground to protect the material from vermin, 
and this is called a stack-stand (n.). 

Stack. An old chimney-stack being felled to make 
room for a new building. 

A single chimney is called a stack, but a 
chimney-stack usually means a group) of 
chimneys. The funnel of a steamer is a 
smoke-stack. Climbers in Scotland and the 
Lake District are familiar with another kind 
of stack, a towering pile of rock which is 
very often difficult to climb. 

From O. Norse stakk-r ; cp. Swed. stack, Dan. 
stak. SYN. : n. and v. Heap, pile, rick. 




stacte (stak 7 te), n. One of the spices 
used by the ancient Jews in the preparation 
of incense. (F. stacte.} 

Reference is made to stacte in Exodus 
(xxx, 34). Beyond the fact that it was a 
sweet spice little is known about it, and it 
may have been some form of tragacanth, 
storax, or myrrh. 

Fern, of Gr. staktos dropping, fromstazcin to drip. 

stactometer (stak torn 7 e ter), n. A small 
pipette for measuring a liquid in drops. 
(F. pipette.} 

Gr. staktos dropping and E. meter. 

stadium (sta 7 di um), n. An ancient Greek 
measure of length, about two hundred and 
two yards ; a course for foot-racing and other 
sports ; in pathology, a stage or period of 
a disease, pi. stadia (sta 7 di a). (F. stade.} 

Stadium. Ruins of the Stadium on the Palatine at Rome. It is 
believed to have been built by Domitian, Hadrian, and Severus. 

The original stadium was the foot-racing 
course on the plain of Olympia where the 
Olympic Games were held. The distance for 
the short foot race in the games measured 
a stadium. The ancient stadium at Athens 
was rebuilt for the revived Olympic Games 
held there in 1906. A modern stadium is 
situated at Wembley, near London, where 
important athletic meetings and football 
matches are held. 

L., from Gr. stadion stadium (202 yards) also 
a race-course (that at Olympia being a stadium 
long) . 

stadtholder (stat 7 hold er; stat 7 hold er), 
n. The governor or viceroy of a province 
in the Netherlands ; the chief magistrate of 
the United Provinces of the Netherlands. 
Another spelling is stadholder (stad 7 hold 
er ; stad 7 hold er). (F. stathouder.} 

When the Netherlands were ruled by 
Spain, the King of Spain was represented in 
most of the provinces by a stadtholder or 
viceroy. The most famous of these was 
William the Silent, prince of Orange, who was 
a stadtholder of the provinces of Holland 
and Zealand. 

In 1580, when the people of the northern 
Netherlands had risen against the rule of 
Spain, six of the seven states chose William 

as stadtholder, his brother John becoming 
stadtholder of the remaining state, Friesland. 
Eventually the latter's descendants ruled the 
whole of the states, and this office was held 
by the family of Orange until 1802, when 
the stadtholdership (staf hold er ship ; stat' 
hold er ship, n.}, or stadtholderate (stat 7 
hold er at ; stat 7 hold er at, n.) was abolished. 
Dutch stadhouder, from stad place, later = city, 
houder holder ; literally lieutenant or locum 
tenens, at first applied to a regent or vice-regent. 
staff [i] (staf), n. A stick or rod used for 
help in walking, or as a weapon ; a rod 
borne as an emblem of office or authority ; 
a baton ; a wand ; a shaft or pole forming 
a support or handle ; a rod used in surveying ; 
a rod-like appliance, instrument, or fitting ; 
a support ; a body of army officers assisting 
a commander, whose duties con- 
cern an army or regiment as a 
whole ; a body of persons carry- 
ing on an undertaking under* a 
superior ; in music, a set of five 
parallel lines on which and in 
the spaces between which notes 
are placed to indicate their 
pitch, pi. staffs (stafs), in music 
staves (stavz). (F. baton, hampe, 
baguette, soutien, etal-major, per- 
sonnel, portee.} 

A walking stick is a staff ; a 
ragged staff is a feature in many 
heraldic crests. A flag is flown 
from a flagstaff. A bishop or 
other person holding high rank 
may carry a staff as an emblem 
of his office, or a wand or staff 
may be borne be fore. him. Sur- 
veyors use a graduated levelling- 
rod called a staff. The word is used 
figuratively to mean support, and bread is 
sometimes" called the staff of life. 

An officer serving on the staff of an army is 
called a staff-officer (n.}, and is said to hold 
staff rank. Such officers are trained at a 
staff-college (.). Staff-sergeant (n.) is a 
rank held by a non-commissioned officer in 
certain departmental corps of the army, for 
instance, those connected with transport or 

By staff- work (n.) is meant the duties 
performed by the officers on the staffs of the 
navy, army, and air force, in peace and war. 
It includes the making of plans for attack or 
defence, the direction of operations, the 
collecting of intelligence, and the training 
of officers and men. Figuratively, the word 
is used of the direction of an enterprise. 

A business is run by a staff working, as a 
rule, under a manager. Sounds iri music are 
usually expressed by means of notes on 
staves. This system is called staff-notation 
(n.), and is distinct from sol-fa -notation, in 
which notes are expressed by letters or 

" A.-S. staef ; cp. Dutch staf, G. stab, O. Norse 
staj-Y ; akin to Sansk. stanibh to make firm. 
SYN. : Pole, rod, stave, stick, support. 




staff [2] (staf), n. A mixture of plaster, 
cement, and fibre used for covering temporary 
buildings. (F. crepi.) 

Origin obscure ; some suggest it is a variant 
of stuff. 

Stag. A stag. 

The term stag is used especially of 
a ma'e red deer. 

stag (stag), n. A male deer ; an irregu- 
lar dealer in stocks and shares, v.i. To apply 
for shares in a new company with the object 
of immediate sale at a profit. (F. cerf, 
agioteur ; jaive I' agiotage.} 

The term stag is used especially of a 
male red deer, five years old and more, the 
name being applied also to the male of other 
large kinds, of deer. A male fallow-deer, 
however, is called a buck. The male of the 
stag-beetle (n.) Lucanus cervus has large 
branching mandibles that look almost like 
horns. Stag-evil (n.) is a disease of horses 
like lockjaw. A staghound (n.) is a large 

Stag-beetle. The forked mandibles of the stag- 
beetle look like the horns of a stag. 

dog used in hunting the stag. The name is 
now used generally of a large variety of 
foxhound. There were formerly two strains 
of staghound, a dog derived from the blood- 
hound. Both are now extinct. The name is 
sometimes used of the Scottish deer-hound. 
The chase of the stag is stag-hunting (n.). 

In England it resembles fox-hunting, as the 
animal is hunted by a pack of hounds and 
mounted hunters. 

A.-S. stagga; cp. O. Norse, stegg-r male bird. 

stage (staj), n. A raised floor or platform ; 
a scaffold used by workmen when building, 
or carrying out repairs ; a platform on which 
theatrical and other performances are given ; 
the drama ; the theatrical profession ; a 
scene of action ; a shelf or surface on which 
objects may be exhibited or inspected ; 
a stage-coach ; a regular stopping -place on 
a route ; the distance between two such 
places ; a platform at a quay, on which 
people land from a vessel ; a definite point 
or period in progress or development, v.t. 
To put on the stage, v.i. Of a play, to lend 
itself to representation on the stage. (F. 
echafaudage, estrade, scene, theatre, diligence, 
station, etape, quai, periode, degre ; mettre en 

Sometimes, when a presentation or like 
ceremony is to take place out of doors, or in 
a room having no platform, a low stage is 
built on which the chief persons will take 
their places. Pageants or plays may be given 
on such a temporary stage or staging (staj' 
ing, n.}. Staging is the name given also to 
the platform or stage erected by workmen, 
as, for example, that placed about a monu- 
ment which is being cleaned or repaired, or 
the scaffolding used by steeplejacks. 

In theatres, halls, etc., there is a per- 
manent stage, on which the players appear 
when plays are staged. A drama which lends 
itself to production is said to stage well. 
In "As You Like It " (ii, 7), Shakespeare 
makes Jaques say : 

All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely 


Here the playwright means a scene of action, 
the place in which we play our parts in life. 

The stage has come to be a general term 
for the theatre and the theatrical profession. 
When we say that a person is going on the 
stage we mean that he is about to take up the 
profession of an actor. Events in a play not 
portrayed on the stage are said to happen 
off stage. Sounds or conversation are often 
arranged to be heard off stage. The art of 
writing and presenting plays is called 
stagecraft (n.}, and the writer and producer 
of a play must know a good deal about this if 
his play is to be successful. 

A stage-direction (n.) is an instruction 
endorsed on a player's part, or given to an 
actor, about his movements, etc. The stage- 
door (n.) is the door into a theatre that is 
used by the actors and those officials con- 
cerned with the production. The stage- 
manager (n.) is the man who looks after the 
details of a production. 

A person who is much interested in acting, 
or who has a great desire to act, is sometimes 
said to have stage-fever (n.), or to be stage- 
struck (adj.). When he gets a part, however, 
he may have stage-fright (n.), a feeling of 




intense nervousness, when he faces an audi- 
ence. When this happens to speakers it is 
also called stage-fright. 

When acting a play it is sometimes 
necessary to say something aloud in order 
that the audience may hear, although the 
utterance is supposed only to be a whisper. 
This kind of " whisper " is called a stage- 
whisper (n.), and is said with a suitable 
gesture. So when we pretend to whisper 
to someone, meaning all the while that our 
words shall be audible to others, we call it a 
stage-whisper. Anything that is exaggerated 
or theatrical is said to be stagy (staj' i, adj.), 
or to possess staginess (staj' i nes, n.). A 
theatrical effect is called a stage-effect (n.). 

Another meaning of the word stage is for 
a regular stopping place on a route, or for 
the distance between two places. This takes 
us back to the days of the stage-coach (n.), 
which travelled from one place or stage to 
another, reaching each at a stated time. It 
was driven by a stage- coachman (n.), or 
stage-driver (n.). Passengers alight from a 
vessel at a landing-stage. An omnibus is 
officially known as a stage-carriage, and 
bears inside a list of the stages between which 
it plies. 


ocean st 

the deck to the landing-stage. 

A division in the life of a man or an 
animal, or a point in development, is called 
a stage. We speak thus of the stage of 
childhood, or of the caterpillar stage of an 
insect. Children learn lessons in easy stages, 
passing gradually from the elementary 
stages of subjects to those more advanced. 

In the Science Museum at South 
Kensington may be seen exhibits models 
and specimens showing the stages through 
which the railway locomotive has passed 
in its development. 

A person with a good deal of experience 
in anything is called an old stager (old staj ' 
er, n.}. 

O.F. estage, from assumed L.L. staticum from 
status p.p. of stare to stand. SYN. : n. Dais, 
degree, period, platform, step. 

staggard (stag 7 ard), n. A four-year-old 

stag. (F. cerf de quatre ans.) 

The stag has its full growth when five 
years old, so a staggard is nearly full grown. 

From E. stag and suffix -ard. 

stagger (stag' er), v.i. To totter or reel ; 
to stand or walk unsteadily ; to hesitate ; 
to waver, v.t. To cause to reel ; to cause to 
hesitate or waver ; to shock or surprise ; 
to set in zigzag arrangement, n. A staggering 
movement ; (pi.) giddiness ; a disease of 
horses and cattle. (F. chanceler, vaciller ; 
ebranler, chanceler; chancellement, vertige, 

A person overcome by weakness may 
stagger, or walk staggeringly (stag 7 er ing li, 
adv.] with many a stagger. An unexpected 
blow will make a person stagger, or totter, 
and shock or surprise may make one reel 
or stagger, too. When a person hears 
suddenly of a great piece of misfortune we 
say he has received a staggering blow. 

The spokes of a wheel are said to be 
staggered when they are set alternately 
to right or left. 

Earlier stackey ; cp. Icel. stakra frequentative 
of staka to push ; Norw. stakra to stagger. SYN. : 
Hesitate, reel, totter, waver. 

staghound (stag' hound), n. 
A large hound used in hunting the 
stag. See under stag. 

staging (staj' ing), n. A 
platform or scaffolding ; the act 
of putting a play on the stage. 
See under stage. 

Stagirite (staj' i rit), n. A 
name given to Aristotle (384-322 
B.C.), the great philosopher, from 
Stageira, in Macedonia, his birth- 
place. (F. Stagirite.) 

stagnate (stag' nat), v.i. Of 
liquid, to be or become motion- 
less ; to cease to flow ; to be or 
become inert or dull ; to be 
inactive. (F. etre stagnant, 

When a stream stagnates or 
ceases to flow, the water becomes 
stagnant (stag' nant, adj.). A 
stagnant pool, although a happy hunting 
ground for the naturalist, is most likely a 
breeding place for mosquitoes, and water in 
stagnation (stag na' shun, n.), or stagnancy 
(stag' nan si, .), emits an unpleasant odour. 
People who inhabit a sleepy village might 
be thought to live stagnantly (stag' nant li, 
adv.) by those unaccustomed to the com- 
paratively quiet or inactive life of such a 
place. It is largely a matter of temperament 
and disposition although one might stag- 
nate mentally, another would find plenty 
to interest him. Stagnicolous (stag nik' 6 
lus, adj.) birds are those that live in swamps 
or in stagnant water. 

From L. stagnans (ace. -nant-em) pres. p. of 
stagndre to stagnate, cease to flow, from stagnum 
standing water (stare to stand). 




stagy (staj' i), adj. Unreal ; theatrical. 
See under stage. 

staid (stad), adj. Sedate ; steady ; sober. 
(F. grave, serieux, r as sis.) 

When a person is grave or quiet in manner 
he is said to be staid. One does not expect 
to see undue staidness (stad' nes, n.) or 
gravity in young people, but it is well for 
them to know how to behave staidly (stad ' li, 
adv.) on occasions when serious matters are 

Variant of stayed p.p. of stay to shore up, 
support. SYN. : Grave, serious, sober. ANT. : 
Flighty, frivolous, volatile. 

Stained. A craftsman fitting in the glass of a 
leaded stained-glass window. 

stain (stan), v.t. To discolour; to tarnish; 
to soil ; to blemish ; to sully ; to colour 
by means of a dye or a substance which is 
absorbed into or unites chemically with the 
material being treated ; to saturate with 
a colouring matter in order to make 
microscopical examination easy. v.i. To take 
stains ; to give or receive a stain ; to cause 
discoloration. n. A preparation used in 
staining ; a discoloration ; a spot ; a blot ; 
a blemish ; a tarnish. (F. souiller, entacher, 
teindre ; se tacher, teinture, souillure, defaut.) 

When a substance is painted, the colour- 
ing is applied as a coating, the pigment 
being mixed usually with some viscous 
medium which dries on exposure to air. A 
stain, on the contrary, penetrates the 
substance more or less deeply, and dyes it, 
or changes its colour. 

Wood, ivory, bone, and other absorbent 
materials are stainable (stan' abl, adj.), and 
wooden floors are frequently stained brown, 
black, etc., by means of prepared stains. 
Certain woods stain, or take stains, more 
readily than others. Wood furniture is 
stained by exposure to chemical fumes, 
which produce a discoloration of the surface. 

Glass coloured by oxides of metals fused 
with it is called stained glass (n.). In glass- 
painting, stained glass of a special kind is used 
as colouring matter and fused on to the 
surface of the glass to which it is applied. 
The art of staining glass is very ancient, 
and some of our old churches have beautiful 

windows of stained or painted glass. A 
stainer (stan' er, n.) is one who applies stain, 
or anything which stains. 

Thin sections of plant or animal tissue 
which are to be viewed by the microscope 
are treated with various stains. These affect 
some portions more powerfully than others, 
and cause them to stand out in contrast 
with those which stain less readily or are 
unaffected by the staining. 

Steel which is stainless (stan 7 les, adj.) 
and does not rust, has now largely replaced 
the older steels used to make cutlery, etc. 
The quality of stainlessness (stan' les nes, 
n.) is secured by the use of a special alloy. 
A knife of stainless steel cuts an apple 
stainlessly (stan' les li, adv.), whereas an 
ordinary knife leaves a grey mark on the 

A man wrongly accused of a crime and 
found not guilty by the jury is said to leave 
the court without a stain or blemish on his 
character. One who acts dishonorourably 
is said to stain, or sully, his reputation. 

Short for distain, O.F. desteindre, from L. 
dis- and linger e to dye ; perhaps affected by O. 
Norse steinna to paint. SYN. : v. Blemish, dis- 
colour, dye, soil, tarnish, n. Blot, discoloration, 

stair (star), n. Each one of a flight or 
set of steps, usually inside a house ; (usually 
pi.) a flight of these. (F. marche, degre, 

A stair is a step, but we use the word 
now generally for the steps that are situated 
indoors. Those outside the house we usually 
refer to as steps. Below stairs means in the 
basement or the servants' quarters of a house. 
To go upstairs is to mount the stairs, or to 
go to the upper part of a house. 

A set of stairs in an unbroken line, as from 
floor to floor, or from one landing to another, 
is called a flight or pair of stairs. A staircase 
(n.) sometimes called a stairway (n.) is a 
flight of stairs with a banister or balustrade 
at one or both sides, 
the word also mean- 
ing the part of a 
building in which 
this is contained. 

A stair-carpet (n.) 
is a carpet for the 
stairs, and a stair- 
rod (n.) is a wooden 
or brass rod used to 
keep the carpet in 

M.E. stew, A.-S. 
staeger ; cp. Dutch 
steiger, G. steg, O. Norse 
stigi. Seesty [i] and [2]. 

staith (stath), n. 
ctage furnished with projecting platforms 
and shoots for loading vessels with coal, 
etc. ; a staging attached to a wharf or quay. 
Another spelling is staithe (stath) . (F. quai.) 

Probably O. Norse stoth landing-stage ; cp. 
A.-S. staeth bank, shore, from root of stand. 

Staith. A staith, or plat- 
form rigged out from a 
wharf or quay. 

A wharf or landing- 




stake (stak), n. A post or stick pointed 
at one end and driven into the ground, as a 
support, mark, etc. ; a post to which anyone 
doomed to die by burning was bound ; a 
tinsmith's small anvil fixed on a bench by a 
pointed prop ; money, etc., wagered on some 
event or contingency ; anything contended 
for ; (pi.} money competed for in a race, or 
such a race. v.t. To support or fasten with a 
stake or stakes ; to mark (off or out) with 
stakes ; to wager ; to risk. (F. pieu, poteau, 
bucher, enclumeau, enjeu, prix ; garmr de 
pieux, gager, engager.) 

Plants are staked or fastened to a stake 
for support. Stakes may also be used to mark 
boundaries or as parts of a railing. To suffer 
at the stake means to suffer death by 

Money staked by parties to a wager 
is often entrusted to a third party, called 
a stakeholder (stak' hold er, n.), who hands 
over the stake to the winner when the result 
of the event on which it was wagered is 
known. In law, a stakeholder is one who 
holds money deposited by two parties to a 
transaction until this is completed. 

The entrance fee paid when horses are 
entered for a race goes to form the stake or 
prize money paid to the owner of the winner. 
Horse-races are often known as stakes, using 
the word in the plural for instance, the 
Eclipse Stakes, run at Sandown. 

One who has an interest in a concern is said 
to have a stake in it. He may have a large 
sum of money at stake, or at hazard, in the 
venture. One who risks his life or fortune is 
said to stake it on his success. Every citizen 
has a stake or interest in his country. A 
man who marks out a plot by driving in 
stakes at its boundaries is said to stake out 
the plot. 

An anchored boat marking the course 
for a boat-race is called a stake-boat (n.). A 
fishing net which is hung on stakes is 
a stake- net (n.). 

M.E. stake, A.-S. staca ; cp. M. Dutch and 
Swed. stake ; akin to E. stick and stack . 
SYN. : n. Post, prize-money, stick, wager, v. 
Hazard, risk, venture, wager. 

stalactite (sta lak' tit ; stal' ak tit), n. An 
icicle-like deposit of mineral, usually calcium 
carbonate, hanging from the roof of a cave ; 
limestone produced in this manner. (F. 

Stalactites, or stalactitic (stal ak tit' ik, 
adj.} deposits, are produced by the evapora- 
tion of water which has oozed through, and 
partly dissolved, mineral substances con- 
tained in the earth and rock above the cave. 
As it trickles the stalactite solidifies, the 
drops that reach the floor of the cave harden- 
ing into a cone-shaped mass, gradually 
rising, called a stalagmite. 

From Gr. stalaktos adj. from stalassein to 

stalagmite (sta lag' mlt ; stal' ag mit), n. 
A mineral incrustation or deposit on the 

Stalactite. A cave in New South Wales, with 

stalactites hanging from the roof, and stalagmites 

rising up from the floor. 

floor of a cave, like an inverted stalactite, and 
produced in the same manner as a stalactite. 
(F. stalagmite.) 

Droppings from a stalactite gradually 
produce a cone-shaped mass called a stalag- 
mite. The Cheddar Caves, Somerset, contain 
many beautiful examples of stalagmitic (stal 
ag mit' ik, adj.) and stalactitic deposits. 
A column thus produced stalagmitically 
(stal ag mit' ik al li, adv.) often in course of 
time becomes united with the corresponding 
stalactite above. 

Stalagmitic deposits on the flpors of caves 
anciently serving as the habitation of 
primitive man have preserved for us crude 
Stone Age implements and other relics, from 
which scientists have been able to glean 
much valuable information about the cave- 
dwellers. See stalactite. 

From Gr. stalagma drop, drip from stalassein 
to drip. 

stale (stal), adj. Not fresh ; musty ; 
tasteless ; trite ; not new or novel ; in 
athletics, out of condition through over- 
training, v.t. To make stale. (F. rassis, 
moisi, banal, vieux, suranne ; banaliser.) 

Bread, when it grows stale, loses its 
freshness and becomes dry. Many foodstuffs 
lose taste and become insipid with staleness 
(stal' nes, n.). The air in a badly- ventilated 
room smells stale, and we remedy this 
condition by admitting fresh air. 

A stale joke is one we have heard before, 
and which no longer causes amusement. 
Stale news is not news any longer. A 
person engaged in any sport or pastime is 
liable to get stale if he plays too often. 
Stalely (stal' li, adv.) means in a stale 




In Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" 
(ii, 2), Enobarbus says of Cleopatra : 
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety. 

Probably from Teut. root sta- stand ; cp. Flem. 
slel stale. SYN. : adj. Dry, insipid, trite, vapid. 
ANT. : adj. Fresh, new, novel. 

stalemate (stal' mat), n. In the game of 
chess, a position in which a player has no 
piece he can move other than the king, which 
cannot be moved without being placed in 
check, v.t. To place (a player) in this 
position ; to bring to a standstill. (F. 
pat; faire pat, der outer, dejouer.) 

A game in which stalemate occurs is a 
draw, and a player who has little chance of 
winning will sometimes give up pieces to get 
a stalemate. Plans are said to be stalemated 
if they cannot be proceeded with. 

From M.E. stale, Anglo -F. estate, stalemate, 
probably from obsolete E. stall to dwell, place, 
and mate. 

stalk [i] (stawk), v.i. To walk in pompous 
or stately fashion ; to approach game 
stealthily, or under cover, v.t. To pursue 
(game) stealthily, n. The act of stalking 
game ; a pompous gait. (F. se pavaner, 
chasser a I'affut; filer; chasse a I'affut, 
demarche fiere.} 

A peacock stalks to and fro, 
displaying its plumes. So a 
pompous person is said to stalk 
or strut about with affected 

Stalking is the usual method 
of hunting deer. The stalker 
(stawk'er, n.}, or deer-stalker, as 
he is more often called, tries to 
get close to his prey without 
being seen. A dummy horse or 
similar figure behind which a 
sportsman concealed himself while 
approacing game, was known as 
a stalking-horse (n.), and this term 
is also used to mean a pretence 
or something concealing the real 
object or intention of a person. 

A.-S. stealcan walk warily ; cp. 
stealc steep, perhaps akin to stalk [2]. 
SYN. : v. Stride, strut. 

stalk [2] (stawk), n. The main 
axis of a plant ; the support of 
flower ; any slender support ; a tall chimney ; 
a collection of these. (F. tige, tuyau.) 

The stem or stalk of a plant springs from 
the root and bears the foliage leaves and the 
flowers. The stem of a flower, although 
loosely called a stalk, is more correctly 
described as a pedicel or a peduncle. 

Some plants have stalkless (stawk' les, 
adj.) or sessile leaves, the blade springing 
direct from the stem, and having no leaf- 
stalk or petiole. Stalked (stawkt, adj.) 
leaves are, however, more common. Plants 
with much stem and few leaves are said to 
be stalky (stawk' i, adj.). A tiny stalk is a. 
stalklet (stawk 7 let, n.). 

Crabs and lobsters are stalk-eyed (adj.) 

crustaceans, the eyes being attached to 
stalks or peduncles. 

M.E. stalke, dim. of A.-S. stela stalk; cp. 
Dutch steel, G. stiel. SYN. : Axis, stem, support. 

stalker (stawk' er), For this word, 
stalking-horse, etc., see under stalk [ij. 

stalkless (stawk' les). For this word 
and stalky see under stalk [2]. 

stall [i] (stawl), n. A single division of a 
cow-house or stable, used for one animal ; a 
booth in a street, market, or fair ; a com- 
partment in a building for the sale of goods ; 
a bench or table whereon goods are placed 
for sale ; a fixed seat in the choir or chancel ol 
a church, usually reserved for one of the 
clergy ; in a theatre, one of a series of seats, 
usually at the front of the pit ; a covering for 
an injured finger, v.t. Of cattle, to place 
or keep in a stall (especially for fattening) ; 
to fit with stalls ; to allow or cause (an aero- 
plane to lose flying speed so that it can 
no longer sustain itself, v.i. To stick fast in, 
or as in, mud ; of an _ aeroplane, to lose 
flying speed to such a degree that the planes 
are deprived of support. (F. stalle, echoppe, 
fauteuil d'orchestre, doigtier ; garder dl'teable, 
garnir de stalles ; s'empetrer.} 

Stall. A stable with many stalls. It is in a coal mine in Holland, 
one thousand five hundred feet below the surface. 

a leaf 

A stable contains usually several stalls, 
in each of which a horse can be accommo- 
dated. When cows return from the meadows 
for milking they go each to the usual and 
accustomed stall in the range of six, seven, or 
more, into which the cow-house is divided. 

A large open-air market is an interesting 
sight, filled with stalls on which articles of 
a varied nature are laid out for sale. Similar 
stalls are seen in street markets and at fairs. 
Stallage (stawl' ij, n.) is the right to put up 
a stall in a market or fair, and also the rent 
paid for this right. 

The stalls in a cathedral or church are the 
seats in the choir where the clergymen and 
choristers sit. In cathedrals there are special 
stalls for the canons, and a canonry is some- 
times figuratively called a stall. 




In Westminster Abbey are the official stalls 
of the Knights of the Order of the Bath, and 
in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, the knights 
of the Garter have their stalls. In theatres the 
stalls are the seats in the front part of the 
pit, usually some of the most sought after 
seats in the house. 

To fatten an animal by keeping it in a stall 
and without exercise, as farmers do when 
they are preparing beasts for market, is to 
stall-feed (v.t.) it. 

A person who cuts his finger usually 
protects the injury by using a covering called 
a finger-stall (n.). 

When the forward speed of an aeroplane 
drops below a certain point it will no longer 
answer to the controls, and is said to stall, 
or to be stalled. Speed must be reduced 
when preparing to land, but a pilot who 
allows his machine to slow down to below the 
stalling speed may stall the aeroplane, which 
will then probably dive and crash. 

M.E. stal, A.-S. steall ; cp. Dutch stal, G 
stall, O. Norse stall-r from root sta- stand. 

stall [2] (stawl), n. One who assists a 
thief or pickpocket by distracting attention 
while the theft is committed, and aids the 
thief to escape. 

Anglo-F. estal(e) decoy-bird, from A.-S. steall 
place ; cp. G. stell-vogel decoy-bird. See stall [i]. 

stallion (star yon), n. A male horse. 
(F. etalon.) 

O.F. estalon from Teut. (E. stall), because 
kept in stall and not turned out to work. 

stalwart (stawl' wart), adj. Strong, 
stoutly built ; sturdy ; firm ; resolute ; 
courageous, n. A strong, robust person ; a 
sturdy partisan ; one who takes a firm stand 
on some question. (F. puissant, robuste, 
solide, resolu, hardi ; fort.) 

Blacksmiths and navvies must be stalwart 
men, or they would not be strong enough 
to do the work which falls to them. An old 
oak tree is usually a stalwart sturdy tree. 

A man or boy who acts and thinks for 
himself shows stalwartness (stawl' wart nes, 
n.) of mind. He acts stalwartly (stawl' 
wart li, adv.) when he stands by his principles 
or refuses to do something which he considers 
to be wrong. The stalwarts of a party or a 
movement are its loyal and firm supporters 
those who will not budge from its tenets. 

M.E. stalworth, A.-S. stdelwierthe, from stall 
place, and worth. SYN. : adj. Hardy, robust, 
stout, unwavering. ANT. : adj. Feeble, irresolute, 
wavering, weak. 

stamen (sta/ men), n. The pollen-bearing 
organ of a flower. (F. etamine.) 

The stamen of a flower bears the anthers, 
from which the ripe pollen escapes, to be 
conveyed by insects to the pistil of another 
flower, there to find its way to the ovules, 
and turn them into fertile seeds. Stamens 
and anthers are illustrated in a picture of the 
organs of a flower given on p. 1663. Staminal 
(stam' i nal, adj.) organs vary in arrange- 
ment ; in the buttercup they are free and dis- 
tinct, but in the pea arranged in two bundles. 

Flowers are especially described as stami- 
niferous (stam i nif ' er us, adj.} or staminate 
(stam' i nat, adj.) when they bear stamens 
and not pistils, those having pistils only 
being said to be carpellary. 

L. = thread, warp, from stare to stand. 

Stamen. A section of the Japanese anemone, showing 
the numerous stamens of this flower. 

stamina (stam' i na), n. Strength, 
power of endurance. (F. vigueur.) 

When a person makes a good recovery 
from a serious illness we sometimes say that 
he has a great deal of stamina, by which we 
mean strength to bear pain and resist disease. 
In the same way there is a moral or intel- 
lectual stamina. A person without this 
staminal (stam' i nal, adj.) quality is unable 
easily to overcome his troubles or surmount 
his difficulties. 

L. stamina pi. of stamen warp, hence structure 
of an organism. SYN. : Endurance, robustness, 
vigour. ANT. : Feebleness, weakness. 

staminal (stam' i nal). , For this word, 
staminate, etc., see under stamen. 

stammer (stam' er), v.i. To speak in 
halting fashion, or with frequent repetitions 
of the same syllable ; to stutter ; to speak 
with faulty or imperfect articulation, v.t. 
To utter haltingly, or with repetitions of the 
same sound, n. The act of stammering ; a 
tendency to stammer. (F. begayer, balbutier ; 
begayement, balbutiement.) 

One who is nervous or embarrassed may 
stammer and stutter, and a person found out 
in a delinquency may stammer out an excuse, 
or utter it with a stammer. 

To carry on a conversation with a 
stammerer (stam' er er, n.}, or a person who 
habitually stammers, is usually a rather 
trying experience for the listener, who 
must wait while the other stammeringly 
(stam' er ing li, adv.] utters the words he 

M.E. stammeren, A.-S. stamorian, a stammer ; 
cp. Dutch stameren, G. stammeln. Akin to stem 
[2]. SYN. : v. Hesitate, stutter. 

stamp (stamp), v.t. To impress a mark, 
name, or pattern upon with a dye, etc. ; to 
fasten a stamp to ; to bring (the foot) down 
heavily ; to crush or pulverize by downward 
force or pressure ; to put (out) by stamping ; 
to extinguish ; to destroy ; to impress (upon 
the mind), v.i. To strike the foot forcibly 




on the ground, n. The act of stamping ; an 
instrument used for stamping a name, 
design, etc. ; a mark made by this ; an 
official mark impressed or embossed on a 
document to show that the duty or tax 
chargeable on it is paid ; an adhesive label 
bearing a distinctive design, stuck on duti- 
able objects as evidence of payment of tax, 
etc. ; a similar label having a specified value, 
affixed to an envelope in payment of the 
postal fee, or to a receipt ; a label or imprint 
showing quality or genuineness ; a dis- 
tinguishing mark or impress ; a kind or sort ; 
a downward blow with the foot ; a blow with 
a stamping machine ; a block that crushes 
the ore in a stamp-mill. (F. marquer, 
estamper, timbrer, f rapper du pied, pilonner, 
extirper, imprinter ; trepigner ; estampage, 
estampe, poinpon, empreinte, marque, controle, 
timbre, estampille, genre, pretinement, pilon.) 

Stamp. Stamping 

on lead pencils by 

of the manufacturer 
of a machine. 

Horses will stamp their hoofs on the 
ground impatiently when kept stationary 
for a long period. A person who cannot 
control his anger may express his feelings 
by stamping with rage. Gold ore is stamped 
or crushed to a powder in an apparatus called 
a stamp-mill (n.), before the gold is extracted 
by chemical means. 

Any tool or machine for powdering material 
or stamping impressions may be called a 
stamper (stamp' er, n.), such as the mill used 
for pulverizing flints required for the manu- 
facture of porcelain. A stamper also denotes 
one who stamps with his foot, or who uses or 
affixes a stamp. 

Monograms and addresses are stamped, 
or impressed, on notepaper by means of a 
die-stamp, which falls quickly and heavily 
on the paper. 

Rubber stamps are used for marking dates 
on letters, receipts, and other documents. 
For revenue purposes, impressed or adhesive 
stamps are extensively used. A stamp-duty 
(n.) is one collected by means of stamps of 

the required value. Bills of exchange and 
promissory notes both require stamping in 
this way before they are legally valid. 

A stamp Act (n.) is an Act of Parliament 
concerned with the imposition of stamp- 
duties. The most notable stamp Act in his- 
tory is that of 1 765, taxing various documents, 
newspapers, etc., in the American colonies 
to provide money for their military defence. 
It was passed without consultation with the 
colonists, and was one of the causes that led 
to the revolution of 1775. 

Postage-stamps were at first embossed on 
letters. In 1840 Great Britain gave the lead 
by introducing adhesive postage-stamps 
the famous black penny stamps bearing the 
head of Queen Victoria. These were printed 
in sheets and had to be cut out. Later issues 
of postage -stamps were perforated at the 
edges, so that they could be torn from the 

The collection of adhesive postage-stamps, 
known as stamp- collecting (.), or philately, 
has become one of the most popular hobbies 
among young and old. The stamp-collector 
(n.) usually inserts his specimens by means 
of transparent gummed hinges, in a stamp 
album (n.), that is, a book in which stamps 
may be classified, according to date of issue 
and face value, in sections devoted to the 
country to which they belong. 

Most proprietary articles have a stamp or 
label affixed by the manufacturer as evidence 
of their quality. The hall-mark on silver is a 
stamp guaranteeing its genuineness. In a 
figurative sense, a statement is said to bear 
the stamp, or imprint, of truth when it is 
obviously true. Generals of the stamp, or 
character, of Napoleon are rare. A person 
of the right stamp is one of real merit. 
Things that we cannot forget are stamped on 
our memory. 

Successful plays may be said to have 
received the stamp of popular approval. 

A small fire can be stamped out, or ex- 
tinguished by stamping on it with the feet. 
A government may be said to stamp out a 
disturbance when it takes swift or drastic 
measures to suppress it. 

M.E. stampen ; cp. Dutch stampen, G. stamp- 
fen, O.F. estamper ; probably nasalized from 
Teut. root stap- to tread. See step. SYN. : v. 
Crush, impress, pulverize. n. Die, impress, 
imprint, mark, type. 

stampede (stam ped'), n. A sudden scatter- 
ing and rushing away of a number of horses 
or cattle, caused by fright ; a sudden panic 
and flight or hasty dispersal of soldiers or a 
crowd of people ; any impulsive, unreasoning 
movement on the part of a large body of 
people, v.t. To cause to stampede, v.i. To 
take part in a stampede. (F. debandade, 
fuite Zchevelee ; chasser pele-mele, mettre en 
debandade; fuir en desordre.} 

On American ranches large herds of cattle 
are sometimes stampeded by a sudden 
fright. Troops are said to stampede when 
they break and run away with a common 




impulse to escape. The stampede of an 
audience at the outbreak of fire in a theatre 
may lead to considerable loss of life. 

Span, stampida uproar, crash, akin to estampar 
to stamp. 

stamper (stamp' er). For this word see 
under stamp. 

stance (stans ; stans), n. In golf, the 
position taken up by a player when about to 
strike the ball ; in cricket, the position of a 
batsman at the wicket when facing the bowler. 

O.F., from L.L. stantia a standing. See stanza. 

stanch [i] (stansh), v.t. To check or 
prevent the flow of (blood) ; to stop (a 
wound) from bleeding. Another spelling is 
staunch (stansh ; stawnsh). (F. Rancher.) 

A person who is skilled in first aid knows 
how to stanch a wound by pressure. Severe 
bleeding from a severed artery may be 
stanched by applying a tourniquet. 

O.F. estancher,. L.L. stancare, for assumed 
stagmcdre, from L. stagnare to stagnate, cease 
to flow. See stagnate, tank. 

stanch [2] (stansh). This is a less usual 
spelling of the adjective staunch. See 
staunch [i]. 

stanchion (stan ' shon ; stan'shon), n. An 
upright bar, or post, form- 
ing the chief support of a 
floor, deck, etc. ; a remov- 
able vertical bar, or pair of 
bars, for confining cattle in 
a stall, v.t. To strengthen 
or support with stanchions ; 
to fasten (cattle) to 
stanchions. (F. etancon, 
epontille ; epontiller.} 

O.F. estanchon dim. of 
estance prop, from L.L. 
stantia from stans (ace. 
-ant-em) pres. p. of stare. 

stand (stand), v.i. To 
be upright on one's feet ; 
to assume or maintain an 
erect position ; to be in a 
specified state, attitude, 
situation, rank, etc. ; to 
have a specified height ; 
to be or continue to be im- 
movable or at a standstill ; 
to stop ; not to give way ; 
to endure ; to remain steady or constant ; 
to remain valid or unimpaired ; to lie 
stagnant ; to be motionless ; to be in agree- 
ment (with) ; to move into and remain in 
a specified position ; to hold to a course at 
sea ; to steer ; to offer oneself as candidate ; 
of a dog, to point or set. v.t. To set in an 
erect or specified position ; to place ; to 
sustain or endure without giving way 
or complaining ; to undergo (trial) ; to pay 
for. n. The act of standing, especially with 
firmness ; a position taken up ; a stoppage ; 
a standstill ; a state of inactivity ; resistance ; 
an erection for a number of persons to sit 
or stand on ; a booth in a market ; an 
exhibitor's place in an exhibition, on which 
he displays his goods ; a support ; a table, 

Stanchion. Stanchions, or upright posts, 

supporting a floor on one of the decks 

of a ship. 

rack, or other item of furniture in or on 
which to place things ; a standing place for 
vehicles waiting to be hired ; an area of un- 
cut timber, etc. p.t. and p.p. stood (stud). 
(F. etre debout, se tenir debout, se trouver 
stationnaire , faire halte, resister, subsister, 
tenir bon, cadrer avec, gouverner, se presenter 
comme candidat, arreter ; eriger, dresser, 
poser, supporter, subir, payer ; halte, pause, 
inertie, resistance, estrade, baraque, socle, 

At the conclusion of an entertainment, 
when the National Anthem is played, the 
audience stands up, and remains stationary 
until the last note is played. There is also 
a convention for audiences to stand during 
the singing of the " Hallelujah Chorus " in 
Handel's " Messiah." A chair stands on 
four legs. A tall man may be said to stand 
six feet in his socks. The pyramids of Egypt 
have stood, or remained without falling, for 
over five thousand years, and are likely 
to stand for thousands more. Few modern 
monuments would stand, or endure, the 
ravages of time so well. 

A person may acknowledge another's 
correction of a mistake he has made by say- 
ing : " I stand corrected," 
or else he may stand his 
ground, that is, maintain 
his position and refuse to 
accept the correction. 

When an editor allows 
a passage in a manuscript 
to stand, he does not alter 
or delete it. The wisdom 
of the Book of Proverbs 
stands good, or remains un- 
impaired, in spite of the 
changes that have taken 
place in civilized life. 

Troops are said to make 
a stand against the enemy 
when they remain station- 
ary and resist attack. We 
make a stand for our 
rights when we uphold 
them, and take our stand 
upon the accepted prin- 
ciples of justice when we 
base our actions or reason- 
ing upon those principles. When an actor 
takes his stand in the centre of the stage, 
however, he simply stands there. 

An umbrella-stand is a rack or stand in 
which umbrellas are placed ; a band-stand 
is a raised platform on which the instru- 
mentalists are seated. At trade exhibitions, 
the stands or structures for the display of 
goods often take the form of large, elabor- 
ately decorated huts, with comfortable 
chairs for the use of customers. 

It stands to reason, that is, it is obvious, 
or logically demonstrable, that the main- 
tenance of national health services should 
not be left to private charity. A complete 
set of arms for a soldier is termed a stand 
of arms. 




To stand by when a thing is happening 
is to look on as a bystander and do nothing ; 
but to stand by a friend in trouble is to 
give him help or support him firmly, and to 
stand by a promise is to abide by it. On 
a yacht, a sailor may be told to stand by the 
tiller, that is, to take it and steer, or else to 
stand ready to take it when the steersman 
leaves. A person or thing that can be relied 
upon in time of need is called a stand-by (n.). 

We cannot stand for, in the sense of 
support, a policy with which we disagree. 
The symbol stands for, that is, represents, 
the pound. A parliamentary candidate stands 
for a constituency when he offers himself 
for election. 

We are said to stand in with other people 
when we join them in some enterprise. 
People stand off when they keep at a dis- 
tance or move away. A ship stands off and 
on when she tacks or sails a zigzag course 
along the shore, alternately moving towards 
the land and away from it. People whom we 
know intimately do not stand on, or stand 
upon, that is, insist on, ceremony with us. 

Mountains stand out on the skyline or 
are conspicuous against the sky. Patriots 
stand out against, that is, persist in opposing, 
oppression of their country. Accounts are 
said to stand over if the demand for their 
settlement is deferred. Honest people stand 
to, in the sense of abide by, their promises ; 
and soldiers stand to their guns when they 
do not desert them. 

To stand up means either to rise to one's 
feet, or to remain erect or standing ; to 
stand up for a cause is to back it up or give 
one's support to it. 

People are regarded as stand-offish (stand 
awf ' ish ; stand of 7 ish, adj.) if they keep to 
themselves, and seern to shun advances 
made by others. By behaving stand- offishly 
(stand awf ish li ; stand of' ish li, adv.), 
that is, in a distant and reserved manner, 
they gain a reputation for stand-offishness 
(stand awf' ish nes ; stand of ' ish 
nes, n.). 

The stand-pipe (n.) of a pump- 
ing station is a very tall, upright 
pipe open at the top and con- 
nected at the bottom with the 
main. The water rises in it 
during the delivery stroke of 
the pump and sinks again during 
the suction stroke. The pipe 
thus acts as a kind of buffer and 
absorbs changes in pressure. 

A standpoint (n.) is a point of 
view from which a matter may 
be regarded. We should care- 
fully weigh matters from the 
standpoint of others before 
making decisions. Business is at 
a standstill (n.), or there is a 
cessation of activity in business, 
during public holidays. A 
motor-car comes to a standstill, 
or stoppage, when it runs out of 

petrol. A stand-up (adj.) fight is one fought 
in earnest ; a stand-up collar is an upright 
one. A person who stands is a stander (stand' 
er, n.}, as opposed to a sitter, but a stander-by 
(n.) is an onlooker. 

A violent earthquake may leave few houses 
standing (stand' ing, adj.), in the sense of 
erect, in a town. A standing, or uncut, crop 
of clover is called a stand. A standing army 
is a permanent army, maintained by a 
state. We have to take a standing jump 
when we have no space to run and gain 
momentum before jumping. A humorous 
circumstance becomes a standing joke when 
it is continually mentioned. The condition 
of being on one's feet is standing (n.). A 
custom of long standing is an old one ; a 
person of high standing is an important 

Parliamentary business is carried out in 
accordance with the standing orders (, 
which are rules respecting the manner of 
conducting it. The standing gear (n.) or 
standing rigging (n.) of a ship consists of the 
shrouds and stays which are more or less 
permanent and support the masts. 

In lawn-tennis, a title-holder who is not 
required to play through a tournament, 
but defends his title against the tournament 
winner, is said to stand out. Going inside 
the base-line to accept a service or a ground 
shot on the bounce is known as standing- 
in (n.) 

In Rugby football, the player whose 
position is between the scrum-half and the 
three-quarter backs is called the fly-half, or 
stand-off half (n.). He is both an attacking 
and a defensive player. 

Common Teut. A.-S. standan ; cp. Dutch 
staan, G. stehen, O. Norse standa, Goth, standan ; 
akin to L. stare, Gr. stenai, San,k. sthd to stand. 
SYN. : v. Abide, halt, pause, stop, tolerate. 

standard (stan' dard), n. A flag or banner 
as a distinctive emblem ; the value given 
to a measure or weight by law or custom ; 

Standard. The standard of the Royal Horse Guards (Blue) being 

carried to the shrine of the Scottish National War Memorial at 

Edinburgh. A guard of honour, formed by the 1st Royal Scots, 

are presenting arms as the colour party passes. 




the weight or measure by which the accuracy 
of others is judged ; anything serving as a 
basis of comparison ; something accepted 
as a model for imitation or comparison ; 
in coinage, the proportion of gold or silver 
and alloy fixed by authority ; the degree 
of merit required for a particular purpose ; 
a grade or classification of scholars in 
elementary schools ; an upright post or 
other support ; a tree or shrub supported 
on its own stem or growing on a single 
upright stem. adj. Recognized as a standard 
for comparison, imitation, etc. (F. etendard, 
drapeau, etalon, type, modele, titre, degre, etai, 
en plein vent ; qui serf de modele, d'etalon.) 

Standard. Standard measure* of the British yard, foot, etc., on 
wall at Greenwich Observatory. 

The flag of a cavalry regiment, correspond- 
ing to the colours of the infantry, is known 
as its standard . A high standard of efficiency 
is required of airmen before they are en- 
trusted with fast planes. The standard book 
on a science is that recognized by authorities 
as the best of its kind. 

The Standards Department (n.) of the 
Board of Trade has charge of the British 
standards of length and weight, and is 
responsible for seeing that all weights and 
measures used in trade are correct. 

Elementary school-children are graded in 
standards or classes according to their ages 
or the standard of their work. A standard 
lamp has an upright pillar or stem. The 
proportion of pure metal and alloy in coinage 
is known as the money standard. The present 
silver standard is silver and alloy in equal 

For the sake of convenience a standard 
time (n.), which is also called universal time, 
is adopted over a belt extending seven and a 
half degrees east and west of a meridan 
selected as the central one. British standard 
time is founded on the time of the meridian of 

The square, heraldic banner bearing the 
national arms is known as the royal 
standard. The soldier or other person who 
carries a standard is called the standard- 
bearer (n.). 

What is called standard bread (n.) is made 
with wheat flour containing at least four- 

fifths of the whole grain. It is of a brownish 

We standardize (stan 7 dard iz, v.t.) a thing 
by making it conform to a particular 
standard, type, or model. The process of 
doing this is termed standardization (stan 
dard I za 7 shim, n.). To standardize a solution 
in chemistry, is to give it a specific value, 
obtained by analysis, for use in fixing the 
value of similar solutions. 

O.F. estendard, from L. extender e to stretch 
out, influenced by O.F. estandard, from O.H.G. 
standen to stand. SYN. : n. Criterion, flag, model, 
support, upright. 

slander (stand' er). For this word, 
^^^^^^^ standing, etc., see under stand. 

stanhope (stan ' op), n. A type 
I of light, open carriage, with 

'jH either two or four wheels ; an 

HHHBf ^ type of iron printing-press. 
The carriage was named after 
a Mr. Stanhope, who invented 
it. The printing-press, called 
also the Stanhope-press (n.), 
was invented about 1800 by the 
third Earl Stanhope (1753-1816). 
He also invented the Stanhope- 
lens (.), with convex faces, 
having different curves. 

staniel (stan 7 yel), n. Old 
name for the kestrel. See 
kestrel. (F. emouchet.} 

A.-S. stangella, from stan rock, gellan to yell. 

stank (stangk) . This is the past tense of 
stink. See stink. 

stannary (stan' a ri), n.' A tin-mine ; 
a tin-mining district in Cornwall or Devon. 
adj. Pertaining to tin-mines or tin-works. 

The stannaries in Devon and Cornwall 
were formerly under the jurisdiction of 
special law courts called the stannary courts. 
A stannate (stan 7 at, n.} is a salt of stannic 
acid. A stannic (stan 7 ik, adj.) compound 
contains a high proportion of tin ; a stannous 
(stan 7 us, adj.) compound contains a low 
proportion of tin. 

Stanniferous (sta nif ' er us, adj.) rocks are 
those containing tin. Pottery glazed with a 
substance including a proportion of tin is 
said, incorrectly, to be stanniferous. Stannite 
(stan 7 it, n.) is a rare mineral compound of 
tin, copper, and iron sulphide. It has been 
found in several of the Cornish tin mines, 
and is often called by miners tin pyrites. 

From L. stannum tin, and -ary. 

stanza (stan 7 za), n. A group of lines or 
verses usually rhyming in fixed order, and 
repeated in the same form throughout a 
poem. (F. stance.} 

The so-called verses of hymns are really 
stanzas. There are many stanzaic (stan za 7 
ik, adj.) forms, that is, forms of stanzas, such 
as rhyme royal, which has seven heroic 
lines, ottava rima with eight, and the 
Spenserian stanza with nine lines. Many 
great poems are written in simple four-line 




stanzas. Gray's " Elegy," Tennyson's " In 
Memoriam," and FitzGerald's " Omar 
Khayyam " illustrate three different types. 
The word stanzaed (stan' zad, adj.) is used 
only in combination with a number, and is 
applied to a poem having that number of 
stanzas. For instance, Wordsworth's " The 
Reaper " is a nine-stanzaed lyric. 

Ital., properly a stopping place, station, from 
L.L. stantia abode, from stans (ace. stant-em), 
pres. p. of stare to stand. 

staple [i] (sta/ pi), n. A U-shaped piece 
of metal with pointed 
ends driven into a post, 
etc., to hold wire ; the 
box-shaped part of a 
lock that receives the 
bolt ; a bent wire used 
in wire-stitching ; the 

metal tube holding the 
reeds of a wood-wind 
instrument like the 
oboe. v.t. To furnish, 
fasten, or attach with 
staples. (F. piton, gdche ; 

Fencing wire is 
attached to wooden 
posts by means of staples. An ordinary bolt is 
shot into a staple screwed to the door-post. 
The wire-stitching machine used for fastening 
the pages of a pamphlet or brochure together 
is called a stapling-machine (n.}. The staples 
used are cut from a length of wire bent at 
each end, driven through the pages, and 
clinched the other side. Loose folios can be 
stapled together at the corners by means of 
a handy apparatus, also called a stapling- 
machine, which inserts ready-made staples. 

A.-S. stapul pillar, prop ; cp. Dutch siapel 
chair-leg, G. staffel step of ladder ; akin to step. 

staple [2] (sta/ pi), n. A principal or 
highly important article of commerce ; the 
main substance or material of anything ; 
raw material ; the fibre of wool, cotton, 
etc., regarded as fixing its quality. adj. 
Principal ; chief, v.t. To sort (wool, etc.), 
according to its staple or fibre. (F. denree 
principale, fond, brin ; principal; trier.} 

Bread is a staple food ; coal is one of 
Britain's staples, or staple industries. Sport 
is the staple of a discussion, if it is the main 
thing discussed. A person who sorts or 
classifies wool or cotton according to its fibre 
is called a stapler (sta/ pier, .). Cotton of 
short staple has short fibres. 

O.F. estaple, M. Low G. stapel either in sense 
of platform or heap. See staple [i]. 

star (star), n. A heavenly body shining 
with its own .light and appearing as a small 
fixed point ; an object or figure resembling 
this, especially one with radiating points ; 
an asterisk ; a white spot on a horse's fore- 
head ; a prominent or brilliant person, 
especially an actor or singer ; a heavenly 
body considered as a controlling influence in 
a person's fortunes, adj. Of actors, etc., 
eminent, brilliant, v.t. To set, spangle, or 


Stars and Stripes. The Star* and Stripes, the 
national flag of the United States of America. 

decorate with stars ; to put an asterisk 
against ; of actors, actresses, etc., to present 
as a star. v.i. To appear as a star (on 
the stage or elsewhere.) (F, etoile, astre, 
asterisque, celebrite, grand artiste ; cdlebre ; 
briller, marquer d'une asterisque ; tenir les 
grands roles.} 

Planets rotate round the sun, and their 
movements across the heavens may be 
detected ; the stars appear to be fixed in 
space owing to their immense distance from 
the earth. The common proper motion 
of stars in the same re- 
gion of the sky is termed 
their star-drift (n.}. 
Stars may also be dis- 
tinguished from planets 
by the fact that they 
twinkle instead of giving 
a steady light. To the 
ordinary observer of a 
starry (star 7 i, adj.) or 
starlit (star' lit, adj.} 
sky, that is, one in 
which many stars are 
visible, the stars seem to 
be very much alike, 
except for differences in 
the strength of their light, which is known 
as starlight (star' lit, n.}. 

The starriness (star 7 i nes, n.}, or starry 
quality, of the sky is due to the presence of 
about six thousand stars visible to the naked 
eye, but there are many more that are re- 
vealed by photography, and estimates made 
of their total number range up to ten 
thousand millions. 

The light of individual stars may be red, 
yellowish, or bluish. These colourings can 
sometimes be observed by the naked eye, and 
they are one of the methods by which the 
stars are classified. The blue-white stars, 
such as Sirius (a double star), are known to be 
hottest, and the red stars, such as Aldebaran, 
are the coolest. 

On a starless (star' les, adj.) night no stars 
are visible, owing to clouds, or to the intensity 
of the moonlight. An astrologer or an astron- 
omer is facetiously described as a star-gazer 
(n.), and his occupation as star-gazing (n.). 
Formerly the belief that the course of one's 
life was influenced by the stars was wide- 
spread. In a figurative sense, we still say that 
an unfortunate person was born under an 
unlucky star, and thank our stars that we 
have better fortune. The literary star is, 
of course, a brilliant or prominent writer. 
Distinguished film-actresses are said to star: 
in a kinematograph play. A music-hall 
programme may star or give prominence to 
a variety actor regarded as a star performer. 
A celestial star is often represented as a 
figure with radiating points. This device 
is much used as an emblem and decoration. 
Knights of the Garter wear the star of that 
order on state occasions. Another decoration 
of similar form is that of the Order of the 
Star of India, an order of knighthood 




established in 1861 in consequence of the 
British assumption of direct government in 

The national flag of the United States is 
popularly known as the Stars and Stripes (n.). 
It is now composed of seven red and six 
white horizontal stripes, arranged alternately, 
representing the thirteen original states. In 
the upper quarter next the staff are forty- 
eight white stars on a blue ground, one for 
each state of the present Union. It is some- 
times called the star-spangled (adj.) banner. 

A shell containing certain chemicals that 
give a brilliant light when it bursts is called 
a star-shell (star 7 shel, n.). Such shells are 
used chiefly for military purposes and are 
sent up at night to assist in observing the 

An object resembling a star is said to be 
starry, or if it has the form of a radiating 
star, star-like (adj.). That is why a member of 
the class Asteroidea of echinoderms is called 
a starfish (.). 

These sea animals have rays, or arms, 
branching from a central body, in the under 
part of which the mouth is placed. Among 
the commonest species in Britain is the 
five-rayed Asterias rubens, often seen on 
the shore between the tide - marks. The 
sun-star (n.) Solaster papposus has from 
eleven to fourteen arms. They are mostly 
sluggish animals spending much of their time 
in one place, and often occurring in swarms. 

The redstart, a bird j_ ._.,.,... 
visiting Great Britain j 
in the summer, is also | - 

called the star- finch Sl^~~~^ 

The star of Bethlehem j 

(n.) Ornithogalum Q ^^JltoiaL^^ 
is a bulbous plant of 
the lily family which 
has white flowers 
shaped like a star, and 
striped outside with 

An evergreen tree 
which grows in the 
West Indies, is named 
the star-apple (n.) 
Chrysophyllum. It has 
small white flowers 
and bears a luscious 
fruit, resembling rosy 
apples, and coloured 
yellowish-green. When 
cut open it shows a 

star-shaped figure Star-stone (n.) is a 
kind of sapphire. The Star Chamber (n.) 
was an English court of law which existed 
from 1487 to 1641. It is said to have met 
in a room which had a ceiling decorated 
with gold stars. 

A.-S. steorra ; cp. Dutch ster, G. stern, L. stella 
(ster-la), Gr. aster, Welsh seven, Sansk. star. 

starblind (star 7 blind), adj. Partly blind ; 
seeing with difficulty. (F. myope.) 

From A.-S. staer stiff (cp. G. starr), and blind. 

D86 4089 

starboard (star' bord), n. The right-hand 
side of a vessel as one stands facing the bow. 
adj. Placed on this side. v.t. To put or turn 
(the helm) to starboard. (F. tribord; de 
tribord ; virer de bord.) 

When the steersman starboards the 
helm, the vessel turns to port. The starboard 
light of a vessel under way is green. It has 
been decided to replace the old terms star- 
board and port by right and left. 

A.-S. steobord, from steor steering paddle, 
rudder, and bord board. See steer [i]. 

starch (starch), n. A soft, white or 
yellowish-white, powdery substance without 
taste or smell, found in all plants except 
fungi ; a paste made from this, used for 
stiffening linen, etc. ; stiffness ; formality ; 
spirit or backbone, adj. Stiff ; unbending ; 
formal ; rigid, v.t. To stiffen or treat with 
starch. (F. amidon, empois, raideur, rig- 
ueur ; empese, guind6, raide ; empeser.) 

Starch is a very valuable carbohydrate. 
It is present in wheat, barley, potatoes, and 
other food-plants, -and is " the chief con- 
stituent of a number of important food- 
stuffs, as, for example, arrowroot, rice, 
sago, tapioca, and cornflour. It can be 
dissolved in hot water, and the resulting 
solution is used for stiffening linen and cotton 
fabrics, sizing textiles and paper, etc. 
Glucose is made largely from starch. A girl 
who starches linen in a laundry or a machine, 
used for starching is 
known as a starcher 
(starch 7 er, n.). The 
degree of stiffness or 
starchiness (starch' i 
nes, n.) r>f the linen 
depends upon the 
strength of the starch 
solution and the way 
it is used. The words 
starchedness (starch 7 ed 
nes, n.) and starch- 
ness (starch 7 nes, n.) 
are used, as well as 
starchiness, to denote 
stiffness of manner or 
behaviour. Starchy 
(starch 7 i, adj.) food 
is food containing 
starch, and a starchy 
person is one who is 
very stiff and precise. 
From stark . See 

To look with eyes 
; of the eyes, to look 

m this way ; to stand out or be unduly 
prominent ; of an animal's coat, feathers, 
etc., to stand on end. v.t. To affect in a 
particular way by staring. n. A staring 
gaze. (F. regarder fixement, ouvrir de grands 
yeux, se htrisser ; decontenancer ; regard fixe, 
regard ebahi.) 

We may stare in admiration, horror, 
bewilderment, or stupidity. The word 


Starfish. A large starfish resting on a rock in an 

stare (star), v.i. 
wide open and fixed 



now more often than not implies rudeness. 
To stare from idle curiosity is not good 

Facts, when very obvious, and death or 
ruin, when close at hand, are said to stare 
us in the face. We stare a person out of 
countenance when we stare so hard at 
him that he becomes embarrassed. One 
who stares is a starer (star' er, n.}. 

The word staring (star' ing, adj.) can be 
used of anything that stares, that is very 
obvious, that forces itself on our attention. 
We speak of staring eyes, a staring absurdity, 
a staring new bungal9w built on the site 
of a picturesque old cottage. A horse's coat 
is described as staring when the hairs stand 
up instead of lying flat. Staring (adv.) 
occurs in such phrases as staring or stark 
staring mad, staring sober, staring plain. 
Staringly (star 7 ing li, adv.) means in a staring 
or glaring way. 

A.-S. startan ; cp. Dutch staren, O. Norse 
stara, also G. starr stiff, fixed, stare. 
See star blind. 

stark (stark), adj. Stiff; desolate ; utter ; 
arrant ; thorough ; stubborn ; strong ; re- 
solute ; stern ; harsh, adv. Wholly ; quite ; 
boldly ; stoutly. (F. raide, isole, absolu, 
entete, fort, rude; tout a fait, nettement.) 

We speak of the stark or sheer beauty of 
a painting by a master hand, of the stark 
character of a bare and desolate landscape, 
of an act of supreme folly as stark madness, 
and of a person without clothing as stark 
naked. In other uses the word is chiefly 
found in poetry or dialect. 

Stark mad, or stark star- 
ing mad, means absolutely 
mad. Starkly (stark' li, adv.) 
means stiffly, firmly, barely. 
A room may be starkly fur- 
nished ; a solitary tree on a 
hill is outlined starkly against 
the sky. Starkness (stark' 
lies, n.) is the quality of being 

A.-S. stearc ; cp. Dutch ster k, 
G. stark, O. Norse sterk-r. SYN. : 
adj. Bare, sheer, stiff, thorough, 

starless (star' les). For 
this word, starlight, etc., see 
under star. 

starling [i] (star' ling), 
n. The name applied to 
various birds belonging to 
the family Sturnidae. (F. 
etourneau, sansonnet.) 

The plumage of the common 
starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is 
black shot with green, blue, 
and purple reflections ; many 
of the feathers are tipped with buff. Starlings 
roost and feed in large flocks. They are 
useful as destroyers of caterpillars and grubs, 
hut are very fond of fruit. They are 
excellent mimics, imitating with amazing 
exactness the notes of the skylark and 

Starling. The starling lives in 

flocks, is noisy, and feeds rather 


other birds, and, indeed, any sound that 
takes their fancy. 

A.-S. staerlinc, dim. of staer ; cp. G. staar, 
O Norse stari starling, cp. L. sturnus. 

starling [2] (star' ling), n. A fence of 
stout posts round the lower part of a pier 
of a bridge, to protect it from damage by 
vessels, ice, etc. (F. brise-glace, avant-bec.) 

Perhaps corrupted from staddling, collective n. 
From E. dialect staddle foundation, tree-stump, 
A.-S. stathol \ cp G. dialect stadel barn, store- 
house ; from root of E. stand. 

starlit (star' lit). For this word, starry, 
etc., see under star. 

start (start), v.i. To make a sudden or 
abrupt movement ; to make a beginning ; 
to set out ; to arise ; of eyes, to appear 
to be escaping from their sockets ; of tim- 
bers, rivets, etc., to work loose or out of 
place, v.t. To set going ; to set on foot ; 
to cause to begin ; to give the signal to 
(persons) to start in a race ; to rouse (game). 
n. A sudden movement or shock ; a fitful 
movement or effort ; a beginning or setting- 
out ; a starting-place ; the amount of lead 
granted in a race ; advantage gained ; 
opportunity ; of timbers, etc., a loosened 
place or state. (F. sursauter, tressaillir, 
commencer, partir, provenir, sortir, se detacher, 
se disjoindre ; inaugurer mettre en marche, 
faire partir, faire lever ; sursaut, boutade, 
debut, point de depart, avantage.) ' 

The unexpected appearance of a motor- 
car on a quiet country road may cause us 
to start aside, and a sudden noise in the 
night may make us start 
] with fright. It is good to 
start work as early as pos- 
; sible, and to start in good 
time if we are going on a 
journey. It is hard work, 
just as much as influence, 
that gives one a good start 
in life. It takes two to start 
a quarrel. A thing that is not 
done continuously or with 
sustained effort is done by fits 
and starts. We start a clock 
or machinery when we set it 
in motion. 

A starter (start' er, n.) is a 
person or thing that starts. 
The term is used especially 
for a person, horse, animal, 
etc., that has started or is 
to start in a race, and also 
for a person who gives the 
signal for starting in a race 
or for the railway official 
who gives the signal for the 
trains to start. The starter 
of an aeroplane is a small 
engine, electric motor, or other device by 
means of which the pilot can start the main 
engine from his seat. 

Before a horse-race, the starters are 
lined up at the starting-post (n . ) . The starting- 
point (n.) is the point from which a person 




or thing starts, in other words, a point of 

M.E. sterten ; cp. Dutch storten, G. sturzen, 
Dan. styrte to rush, hurl. SYN : v. Begin, 
commence, depart, inaugurate, originate, rouse. 
n. Beginning, commencement, departure, in- 
auguration, lead. ANT. : v. Close, end, finish, 
terminate, n. Close, conclusion, end, finish, 

startle (start 7 1), v.t. To cause to start ; 
to frighten ; to surprise ; to shock, n. 
A start of alarm or surprise ; a sudden 

Start. Competitor! in an international race start off evenly at the 
official starter fires a pistol. 

gush of water. (F. faire tressaillir, effrayer, 
surprendre, frapper d'honeur; tressaillement, 
fremissement, jaillissement.) 

Hearing a voice suddenly in the (Virk 
may startle us. We are startled also when 
we are alarmed or shocked, for instance, 
by the receipt of startling (start' ling, adj.) 
news, as, of a death, or a fire, or the outbreak 
of war. 

Anything done so as to cause alarm or 
surprise is done startlingly (start' ling li, 
adv.), and a person who, or event, etc., that 
startles may be described as a startler (start 7 
ler, n.). 

M.E. stertlen to rush wildly, A.-S. stearthan to 
kick or struggle ; frequentative of start. See 
start. SYN. : v. Alarm, frighten, rouse, shock, 

starve (starv), v.i. To die or suffer 
from hunger ; to be in want ; to have a 
strong craving, v.t. To cause to die or suffer 
from lack of food; to force to surrender, 
etc., thus ; to deprive of, or keep short of 
(physical, mental, or spiritual nourishment 
or needs) . (F. crever de faim, etre sur la 
paille, desirer vivement ; affamer.) 

In most civilized countries persons in 
want are looked after by the State, and no 
one need die of starvation (star va' shun, n.). 
People may, however, be starving in other 
ways for instance, for sympathy, or know- 
ledge, or spiritual comfort. A starving or 
ill-nourished person or animal may be 
described as a starveling (starv' ling, n ) 
or starveling (adj.), a word that is also em- 
ployed in the sense of stunted, scanty, 
meagre, inadequate. In some dialects starve 
means to die, or cause to die, of cold. 

A.-S. steorjan to die, sterjan to kill ; cp. 
Dutch sterven, G. sterben. SYN. : Famish. 

state (stat), n. Condition ; situation ; a 
political community under a government 
recognized by the people ; such a body- 
forming part of a federal republic ; civil 
government ; rank ; position ; dignity ; 
splendour ; an impression taken from an 
engraved plate at a certain stage, distin- 
guishable by special marks, adj. Of or 
relating to the state or body politic ; of or 
relating to one of the states of a federal 
republic ; used for or intended 
for ceremonial occasions. v.t. 
To set forth definitely and 
clearly ; to specify ; in algebra, 
to express the conditions of (a 
problem, etc.) in symbols. (F. 
etat, condition, puissance civile, 
rang, dignile, pompe ; d'etat, de 
gala; exposer, specifier, poser.) 

In the political sense, a state 
consists of a collection of people 
who organize themselves in such 
a way that they are able to act 
together for common purposes. 
Examples of such states are 
Great Britain and France. The 
United States of America form a 
federal state, containing a number 
of states, each of which posesses its own 
state rights. The science of governing 
such a state is statecraft (stat' kraft, n.} or 
statesmanship (stats' man ship, n.}, and 
men versed in this science are statesmen 
(stats' men,, who, when they rule 
well, are said to act in a statesmanlike 
(stats' man lik, adj.) or statesmanly (stats' 
man li, adj.) manner. 

A state-bank (n.) is one controlled by a 
state, though the shareholders may be 
private individuals. There are many such 
banks in the U.S.A. A State paper (n.) is 
a document relating to State affairs, and a 
state-trial (n.) is a prosecution by the State, 
especially for a political offence. State 
Socialism (n.) is the management of the 
great industries by the State for the benefit 
of the people. 

The term States General (, the assem- 
bly of the representatives of the estates 
of "the realm, was applied to the Assembly 
of France before the Revolution of 1789 
and to that of the Dutch Netherlands, and 
is still borne by the Dutch Parliament. 
The parliaments of Jersey and Guernsey 
are called the States. 

As applied to engravings, the word state 
denotes the stage that the plate had reached 
when a print was made from it. In the case 
of what is called a proof before letters, 
for example, the state is that the plate is 
fully engraved, but no words of any kind 
such as the title have been added. 

Important ceremonies are carried out in 
a stately (stat' li, adj.) or dignified manner, 
and their stateliness (stat' li nes, n.) is 
usually emphasized by the fact that they 




take place in a state-room (.), or room set 
apart for ceremonial occasions. This term 

railway trains stop to take up or set down 
passengers or goods ; a military post ; in 

is also applied to a sleeping apartment on India, the place of residence of the English 
a steamer and to a private compartment officials of a district ; the society of such a 
on a railway train. place ; rank ; condition in life ; the nature 

The word statement (staf ment, n.) means of the place in which an animal or plant 
the act of stating or that which is stated. is fitted to live ; a point from which measure- 
It is often used to denote a formal account, ments are made in surveying ; a distance 

adopted for the standard length ; a fixed 
fast day appointed by the Church ; a church 
to which a procession goes to perform 
devotions ; one of the fourteen pictures or 
images in a church representing scenes in 
Christ's Passion, v.t. To assign to or place 
in a particular station. (F. poste, station, 
gare, position sociale, condition ; poser, poster.} 
If we wish to meet a friend at a large 
railway station we generally arrange to 
take up our station in a particular part 
of the building, to avoid any possibility 
of missing one another. In Australia some 
of the sheep stations, that is, farms where 
sheep are raised, are as much as 100,000 
acres in extent. Success is open to all of 
us whatever our station or position in life. 
The station-bill (n.) of a ship is a list of 
the various stations or posts to be taken 
up by officers and crew. The term station- 
house (n.) is applied sometimes to the lock- 
up attached to a police-station, to a small 

Anything which may be stated is statable 
(staf abl, adj.), and to do a thing statedly 
(staf ed li, adv.) is to do it constantly, at 
regular periods. 

O.F. estat, L. status, trom p.p. ot stare to stand 
SYN. : n. Condition, pomp, position, splendour, 
status, adj. Ceremonial, official, v. Affirm, ex- 
press, narrate, specify. 

stater (sta/ ter), n. The name given to 
various coins of antiquity. (F. statere.) 

The Athenian gold stater was equivalent 
to twenty drachmae, about i6s. 3d. in 
modern money. The Persian stater, or 
daric, was a gold coin worth about i is. 3d. 
Various silver coins were called staters. 
The tribute money taken from the fish's 
mouth (Matthew, xvii, 27) was a silver stater. 
-Or. stater, histanai from to make to stand, to 

->. statesman (stats' man). For this word, 
statesmanlike, etc., see under state. 

static' (staf ik), adj. Relating to bodies 
at rest or to forces in equilibrium 
or balanced ; acting as weight 
but not moving ; of electricity, 
relating to electricity at rest. 
Another form is statical (staf ik 
al). (F. statique.) 

A book resting on a table 
exerts statical pressure, that is, 
pressure produced by weight 
without motion. The branch of 
mechanics which deals with 
bodies at rest and forces in 
equilibrium and also with the 
relations of strains and stresses 
is named statics (staf iks, 
The weight of the spring of a 
safety-valve acts statically (staf 
ik al li, adv.), that is, in a statical 
manner, on the valve. The word 
static is used by doctors with 
various meanings, for instance, 
in the sense of organic or 
structural, as opposed to functional. 

Gr. statikos causing to stand, trom sta-, root 01 
histanai to make to stand. ANT. : Dynamic. 

Statice (staf i se), n. A small genus of 
herbs containing the sea-lavender. (F. statice.) 

These plants, which are often found on 
sea coasts, belong to the family Plum- 
baginaceae. They have narrow evergreen 
leaves and heads of lilac, white, or pink 
flowers. There are many beautiful culti- 
vated varieties. 

Fcm. of Gr. statikos stanching (blood). See 

station (sta/ shim), n. A place, especially 
an appointed one, at which persons or 
things stand or are situated ; a place where 

Station. The meteorological station at the base of Peru's famous 
volcanic mountain, the Misti, which is twenty thousand feet high. 

country railway station, and, in Australia, 
to the house belonging to a sheep-station. 
Every railway station is in the charge of 
an official called the station-master (n.). A 
stational (sta/ shun al, adj.) matter is one 
relating to a station. 

F., from L. static (ace. -on-em), verbal n. 
from stare to stand. SYN. : n. Location, post, 
standing, status, v* Place, post. 

stationary (sta' shim a ri), adj. Stand- 
ing still ; not moving ; not intended to be 
moved ; fixed ; unchanging ; of planets, 
appearing not to move. n. In Roman 
history, a member of the military con- 
stabulary. (F. stationnaire, immobile, fixe, 




A stationary engine is one fixed in place, 
as opposed to a portable engine. Some 
parts of an engine are moving parts, while 
other parts, such as the bed-plate, cylinder, 
and guides, have stationariness (sta/ shun 
a ri nes, n.), the state or quality of being 

L. stationdrius, adj. from statio station. See 
station. SYN. : adj. Fixed, motionless. ANT. : 
adj. Locomotive, moving. 

stationer (sta/ shim er), n. One who 
sells pens, ink, paper, and other writing 
materials, etc. (F. papetier.} 

The articles sold by a stationer are col- 
lectively called stationery (sta/ shun er i, n.}. 
This word covers such things as ledgers, 
note-books, pencils, blotting-paper, ink-pots, 
paper-clips, rubber bands, and sealing-wax. 

The Stationery Office (n.} is the British 
Government department which supplies 
books and stationery to all Government 
departments and arranges for the printing 
of parliamentary papers and reports and 
Government publications. It was estab- 
lished in 1782. 

L.L. stationdrius stall-holder, bookseller with 
a fixed place of sale. See stationary. 

statist (sta'.tist), n. One who is skilled 
in statistics. (F. statistician.} 

From state and -ist, the word originally meant 
one specializing in state affairs, a politician. 
SYN. : Statistician. 

statistics (sta tis' tiks), Facts 
expressed by numbers arranged and classi- 
fied to show their relationships with each 
other ; used as singular, the science of 
collecting, arranging, and using statistics. 
(F. statistique .) 

The science of statistics has for its object 
the collection of figures and records which 
deal in one way or another with people and 
their relations with each other, or with 
natural phenomena. The populations of 
countries, .the different occupations of the 
inhabitants, trade, how long men and women 
of different ages may expect to live, such 
matters as these are dealt with by statistics. 

The annual reports of the Minister of 
Health, and the annual and monthly state- 
ments of the Board of Trade are full of 
statistics. A person who deals with facts 
statistically (sta tis' tik al li, adv.], or in 
a statistical (sta tis' tik al, adj.] manner, is 
known as a statistician (stat is tish' an, n.) 
or statist. 

From statist with pi. suffix -ics. 

statoscope (stat' 6 skop), n. An 
instrument used on aircraft to show changes 
of height. 

The statoscope is more sensitive than 
the ordinary altimeter, and is used specially 
for flying tests. 

Gr. statos standing, fixed, and E. suffix -scope. 

statue (stat' u), n. A sculptured, cast, 
or moulded figure in the round of a person 
or animal, in marble, bronze, or other 
material, nearly or over life-size. (F. statue.} 

On Liberty Island, just outside New York, 

stands a world-famous statue Bartholdi's 
statue of Liberty, presented to the United 
States by France in 1886. The word statue 

Statue. A statue of the philosopher Aristotle as 
a youth, in the National Museum, Paris. 

is often used as a type of silence or of 
absence of movement or feeling. We say that 
a person stands as still as a statue, or that a 
cruel man is as unmoved as a statue by appeals 
for pity. 

The art of sculpture is sometimes called 
statuary (stat' u a ri, n.}, and so are statues 
collectively. A sculptor may be called a 
statuary, and his art the statuary (adj.} art. 
A place adorned with statues or anything 
having the appearance of a statue may be 
described as statued (stat' ud, adj.}. A 
small statue is a statuette (stat u et', n.}. 

Anything resembling a statue, especially in 
its dignity or beauty, is statuesque (stat u 
esk ', adj . } . An actress may pose statuesquely 
(stat u esk' li, adv.}, and we" may speak of the 
statuesqueness (stat u esk' nes, n.} of her 

L. statua from status, p.p. of stare to stand, 
be set upright. 

stature (stat' yur), n. The natural height 
of a body, especially of a human being. 
(F. hauteur, taille, stature.} 

The Japanese, as a race, are short of 
stature. The word statured (stat' yurd, adj.} 
is used chiefly in combination. The natives 
of Patagonia are lofty-statured. Stature is 
often used figuratively. Thus we can speak 
of a person's mental or moral stature. 

L. statura upright posture, from status p.p. of 
stare to stand. 

status (sta' tus), n. Standing, rank, or 
position in society ; legal position or re- 
lation to o+hftr. t (F. condition, rang, etat.} 




Everyone has a status, that is, a certain 

Eosition in relation to other people. A new 
oy at school has an inferior status, in 
contrast with the status of a prefect or 
monitor. The status of a person may be 
such as to entitle him to vote at Parlia- 
mentary elections, or to impose upon him 
the duty of serving on a jury. The Latin 
phrase, status quo (state in which) is used to 
denote the existing state of 

L., from p.p. of stare to stand. 
SYN. : Footing, position, standing. 

statute (stat' ut), . An 
enacted law ; an act of a cor- 
poration or its founder intended 
as a permanent rule or law. (F. 
statut, loi.) 

Many corporations, such as 
the Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge, have statutes in 
accordance with which they are 
governed. The fairs for hiring 
servants are sometimes called 
statutes, or statute-fairs (n.pL). 
As soon as a Bill has been agreed 
to by Parliament it is placed on 
the statute-book (n.), and be- 
comes a law, binding all persons 
who are within its scope. Strictly 
speaking, all the Acts passed 
during a session of Parliament constitute one 
statute only. Statute law (n.), law arising 
from Acts of Parliament, is distinguished 
from the common law or unwritten law. 

Statute-roll (n.) is another name for 
statute-book, but the term is sometimes 
applied also to an engrossed statute. In 
old English law, a statute merchant (n.) was 

stauroscope (staw' ro skop), n. An in- 
strument used for observing the effects of 
polarized light on crystals. (F. stauroscope.) 

The stauroscope is used to determine the 
direction of the planes of vibration of parallel 
polarized light in crystals. A stauroscopic 
(staw ro skop' ik, adj.] examination is one 
carried out by a stauroscope. 

From Gr.sfauros stake, cross, and E. suffix -scope. 

Stave. Coopers 

Taking casks from the staves of old and disused 
wine barrels. 

stave (stav), n. One of the curved pieces 
of wood forming the side of a cask, tub, pail, 
or the like ; a narrow strip of other material 
used for a similar purpose ; one of the boards 
forming part of the curb of a well, mill-stone, 
etc. ; a stanza or verse ; in music, a staff. 
v.t. To break in the staves of ; to make (a 
hole thus) ; to break a hole in ; to smash ; 

a sealed record of a debtor's promise to pay to fit with staves ; to drive off or keep back 

j J _ j_ _ _ j_ i_ _ "ji__j_/Tr_ i _ rr - 

on a certain date in a mayor's court. 

A rule or order made by authority of a 
statute is made statutably (stat' u tab li, 
adv.), and is a statutory (stat' u to ri, adj.] of 
statutable (stat' u tabl, adj.] rule or order. 
Statutable also means conforming to the 
requirements of a statute. 

L. statutum neuter p.p. of statuere to set up, 
enact, decide. SYN.: Decree, enactment, law, rule. 

staunch [i] (stawnsh ; stansh), adj. 
Trustworthy ; loyal ; true ; firm and sound. 
A less usual spelling is stanch (stansh). (F. 
fiddle, loyal, devoue, solide.) 

A staunch ship is one that does not leak, 
and is, therefore, reliable. Staunch friends 
stand by one when one is in difficulties. They 
are staunchly (stawnsh' li ; stansh' li, adv.), 
or unwaveringly, faithful, and have the quality 
of staunchness (stawnsh' nes ; stansh' nes, 
.), that is, determined loyalty. 

O.F. estanche fem. of estanc (F. Blanche) water- 
tight, akin to estancher to stanch. See stanch. 
SYN. : Dependable, determined, resolute, sub- 
stantial, unwavering. ANT. : Crazy, disloyal, 
infirm, tottering, undependable. 

staunch [2] (stawnsh ; stansh). This is 
another spelling of the verb to stanch. See 
stanch [ij. 

with or as with a staff ; to avert or ward off ; 
to make (metal) firm by compression ; to 
thicken (bar-iron) by heating and hammer- 
ing, v.i. Of a ship's hull, to be broken in. 
p.t. and p.p. staved (stavd) and, chiefly 
nautical, stove (stov). (F. douve, stance, 
portee ; enf oncer, def oncer, crever, garnir de 
douves, chasser par le baton.} 

A boat might be staved or staved in through 

a collision, and a rock might stave a hole in 

her hull. If a business is in a bad way, a 

batch of new orders may stave off disaster. 

Back formation from staves, pi. of staff. See statf . 

stavesacre (stav' za ker), n. A plant 
of the genus Delphinium, used in medicine. 
See under delphinine. (F. staphisaigre.) 

O.F. stavesaigre, L.L. staphisagria from Gr. 
staphis raisin, agrios wild. 

stay [i] (sta), v.i To continue in a certain 
place ; to remain to dwell for the time 
being ; to pause to show endurance. 
v.t. To hinder ; to stop the progress of ; to 
postpone, n. The act of staying or remaining 
in a place ; suspension of judicial pro- 
ceedings. (F. rester, demeurer, s'arreter, 
attendre, tenir bon ; empecher, reprimer, 
arreter, remettre ; sejour, sursis.} 




We stay with friends during the holidays 
when we go to visit or make a stay with 
them. A strike of workmen stays the 
progress of industry. A man who has 
been ordered to pay damages in a court of 
law sometimes asks the judge for a stay 
of execution, that is, he asks him to stay 
or suspend for a time the measures by 
which he would be compelled to pay 
the damage. 

A person who is not given to travelling is 
a stay-at-home (adj.) person or a stay-at- 
home (n.). One who runs pluckily in a race, 
or otherwise has great powers of endurance, is 
called a stayer (sta' er, .). 

Probably irom O.F. estai-, estei-, stem ot some 
tenses, of ester, L. stare to stand. SYN. : v. Abide, 
dwell, hinder, remain, n. Halt, sojourn. 

stay [2] (sta), n. A support; (pi.) a corset. 
v.t. To support ; to prop up. (F. etai, corset : 
soutenir, Mayer.) __ 

The crown of a locomotive's 
firebox is in many cases supported 
by bars riveted to it ; these are 
called stay-bars ( A stay- 
rod (n.) is a long rod running from 
end to end of a boiler to prevent 
the ends from being pushed out- 
ward by the steam. The same 
term is used for a rod for tying 
together two parts of a structure. 

A stay-lace (n.) is a lace for a 
corset, and a stay-maker (n.) is a 
manufacturer of stays or corsets. 

O.F. estai, n., estayer, v., probably 
an extended use of the nautical v. 
See stay [3]. 

stay [3] (sta), n. A rope or wire cable 
supporting a mast or spar. v.t. To support, 
secure, or turn with stays ; to put (a ship) 
on the other tack. v.i. To turn to windward 
in order to tack. (F. etai, hauban ; haubaner, 
virer de bord ; s'elever au vent.} 

A sailing ship is said to be in stays, or 
hove in stays, while she is going about from 
one tack to the other, so as to 
bring the wind on her other side. 
Should she fail to go about she is 
said to miss stays. A stay-sail 
(sta' sal ; sta ' si, n.} is a sail, usually 
triangular, hoisted on a stay. 

A.-S. staeg stay, mast- rope ; cp. 
Dutch, G., O. Norse stag, and (from 
Teut.) O.F. estai, n., estayer, v. 

stayer (sta/ er). For this word 
see under stay [i]. 

stay-lace (sta/ las). For this 
word, stayless, etc., see under 
stay [2]. 

stead (sted), n. Place which 
another had or might have had ; 
service ; a place of abode or work ; a farm ; 
a site for a building ; a yard ; an imprint or 
trace. (F. lieu, place.} 

This word is found most commonly in the 
phrases, " in his stead," and " in good stead." 
A man prevented from attending some 
function probably sends someone in his stead. 

Stay. Two stays of a 

sailing ship the fore- 

s;ay and mainstay. 

Knowledge of foreign languages stands a 
person in good stead, that is, is useful to 
him, when he is abroad. 

A.-S. stede place ; cp. Dutch stede stad, place, 
G. stadt, town ; akin to L. statio station (see 
station), Gr. s fasts standing, posture. 

steadfast (sted 7 fast), adj. Unwavering ; 
resolute ; steady. (F. ferme, vesolu, constant?) 
We can speak of a steadfast friend, of 
steadfast devotion to duty, or of a steadfast 
gaze. A loyal friend sticks steadfastly (sted' 
fast li, adv.] to us when things go wrong, 
and we heartily appreciate the steadfastness 
(sted' fast nes, n.) of his devotion. 

A.-S. stedefaest nrm in its place, from stede 
place, Jaest firm ; cp. O. Norse stathfast-r. See 
stead, fast [i ]. SYN.: Constant, firm, inflexible, 
steady. ANT. : Fickle, inconstant, irresolute, 

(sted' i), adj. Firmly fixed; 
properly balanced ; 'regular ; 
uniform ; constant ; not change- 
able, v.t. To make steady, v.i. 
To become steady, n. A rest or 
support for the hand or a tool. 
(F. ferme, equilibre, regulier, uni- 
forme, constant, sur ; affermir, 
assurer; s affermir; support.) 

A thing is steady when it does 
not shake or rock about. It is 
sometimes difficult to keep one- 
self steady in a very high wind. 
A workman is in 'steady work 
when he has regular employment, 
and a steady workman is one who 
is temperate and industrious. 
The exclamation " Stead v ! " 


Stay-sail. A ship sailing 
under stay-sails. 

means generally do nothing rashly, foolishly, 
or hastily, and as a sailor's term, " Keep 
the ship's head pointing in the same 
direction." The weather is likely to be fine 
when the barometer rises steadily (sted 7 i li, 
adv.], without moving back at all. In 
statesmen and other people with heavy 
responsibilities, steadiness (sted' i nes, n.) in- 
spires more confidence than erratic 

Probably from stead and adj. suffix 
-y ; cp. G. stetig constant. SYN. : 
adj. Constant, firm, regular, uni- 
form, unwavering. ANT. : adj. 
Changeable, intermittent, irregular, 

steak (stak), n. A thick slice 
of meat (especially beef) or fish 
cut for cooking. (F. biftek, cotelette, 

Used by itself the word usually 
denotes beef-steak, that is, a steak 
which is cut from the hinder 
part of the animal. 
M.E. steike, O. Norse steik, from steikja 
to roast on a spit, akin to A.-S. stician to stick, 

steal (stel), v.t. To take away secretly 
without right or permission ; to commit 
larceny by taking ; to plagiarize ; to obtain 
by surprise, cunning, or deceit, v.i. To take 




secretly something to which one has no 
right ; to come or go silently or secretly. 
p.t. stole (stol) ; p.p. stolen (sto' len). n. A 
successful and unexpected long putt in golf. 
(F. voler, derober ; voler, se glisser.) 

We can steal without breaking the law. 
We steal precious moments to see a friend. 
We steal an interview, or a kiss, or a person's 
heart away. To steal a march on one is 
to outwit him. In golf, to steal is to hole 
a long and unexpected putt, the ball just 
falling into the hole. The word stealer (steT 
er, n.) is chiefly used in combination, such as 
cattle-stealer, horse-stealer. 

A.-S. stelan ; cp. Dutch stelen, G. stehlen. 
SYN. : v. Creep, glide, pilfer, purloin, thieve. 

stealth (stelth), n. Secrecy ; secret 
procedure. (F. secret.} 

This word is most often used in the ex- 
pression by stealth. Some people delight 
in doing good by stealth, without .telling 
anybody. Anything done by stealth, that is, 
secretly or surreptitiously, is done stealthily 
(stelth' i li, adv.}. Some birds, such as the 
water-rails, are so stealthy (stelth 7 i, adj.} 
in" their movements that they seem like 
ghosts threading their way through the 
reeds and sedges. Stealthiness (stelth' i nes, 
'.) is the quality of being stealthy. 

M.E. stalthe, stelthe, from steal and suffix -th 
forming abstract n. ; cp. O. Norse stulth-r 
theft. SYN. : Furtiveness, secrecy. 

steam (stem), n. Water in the form of 
vapour, especially water in the gaseous 
form into which it is changed by boiling ; 
energy or go. v.i. To give off steam ; to rise 
in the form of steam ; to progress by the 
agency of steam ; to make energetic progress. 
v.t. To apply steam to ; to cook, soften, or 
otherwise treat with steam. (F. vapeur, 
vigueur ; fumer, marcher a la vapeur ; passer 
a la vapeur, accommoder a la vapeur.} 

Water evaporates at all temperatures, and 
even ice gives off vapour slowly. Water's 
tendency to vaporize increases with its heat, 
and is checked by outside conditions. A 
dry wind blowing over the sea picks up 
particles of water from the surface, and these 
are suspended in the air as steam. A chilling 
of the air makes these particles visible as mist. 

When water boils, the vaporizing is very 
rapid and violent, and vapour unmixed with 
air, and called steam, is produced. The steam 
from a kettle's spout is invisible while it 
remains steam, but becomes visible as vapour 
when its condensed particles mingle with the 
air. Even the steam in a steam-boiler (n.), 
a boiler used for raising steam under pressure, 
contains particles of water suspended in it. 
If it be further heated in a chamber away 
from the water, these particles also turn into 
steam and we get steam-gas (n.), or super- 
heated steam, which is water in gas form 

A steamboat (n.} or steamship (n.) is a 
vessel propelled by steam. At the side of the 
cylinder of a steam-engine (n.), which is an 
engine worked by the pressure of steam on a 
piston or pistons, there is a small chamber 

called a steam-box (n.) or steam-chest (n.). 
This contains a slide-valve, which moves 
to and fro, admitting steam to the two ends 
of the cylinder alternately. 

Many machines, tools, and other devices, 
such as the steam-crane (n.), steam-digger (n.), 
steam-hammer (n.), steam-plough (n.), and 
steam- whistle (n.), are worked by steam- 
power (n.), which is the force of steam acting 
on some moving surface. 

The steam-navvy (n.) is a powerful excava- 
ting machine worked by steam. It scoops 
up earth or broken rock with a large bucket 
on the end of an arm raised by steam-power. 
Roads have improved greatly since the steam- 
roller (n.) for levelling them came into use. 

The steam-gauge (n.) of a boiler shows the 
pressure of the steam inside the boiler. A 
steam- cylinder (n.) is sometimes surrounded 
by a hollow casing, called a steam-jacket (n.), 
through which steam is passed to keep the 
cylinder very hot. 

Steam-engine. Types of steam-engines : (left) a 

modern turbine ; (at the back) an engine of about 

fifty years ago ; (right) a rotative mill engine 

designed by James Watt 11 736-1 819.) 

A steam-tug (n.) is a small, but very 
powerful steamer (stem' er, n.), that is, 
steamship, used for towing ships. A cook uses 
a vessel called a steamer for cooking vege- 
tables, puddings, etc., by the heat of steam. 
The air is steamy (stem' i, adj.) when charged 
with hot vapour. The steaminess (stem' i 
nes, n.) of the air in damp, hot places makes 
them trying to live in. 

A.-S. steam ; akin to Dutch stoom. 

stearin (ste" a rin), n. An important 
fatty compound present in solid animal and 
vegetable fats. (F. stearine.) 




When partially broken down, stearin gives 
glycerine and stearic (ste ar' ik, adj.) acid, a 
salt of which is called a stearate (ste' a rat, 
.). Stearic acid is used in huge quantities 
in the manufacture of soap and candles. In 
the trade stearic acid is called stearin. 
From Gr. stear hard fat, suet, and E. suffix -in. 
steatite (ste' a tit), n. A kind of talc, also 
known as soapstone. (F. steatite.} 

Steatite is white, grey, greenish, or brown. 
It is extremely soft and easy to cut. It has 
been used from very early times for orna- 
mental carvings, and to-day is also used for 
making fire-bricks, powders, paints, etc. It 
is widely distributed, being found in Corn- 
wall, the Shetland Isles, County Donegal in 
Ireland, North America, and elsewhere. A 
rock composed of, or of the nature of, 
steatite is steatitic (ste a tit' ik, adj.). 

From Gr. stear (gen. steat-os) hard fat, with 
E. mineralogical suffix -ite. 

steed (sted), n. A horse, especially a war- 
horse. (F. cheval, destrier.) 

This word is now used only in poetical 
language or in fun. 

A.-S. steda stud horse, charger ; akin to G. 
stute brood-mare. See stud [2] . 

steel (stel), n. A compound of iron and 
carbon, capable of being shaped by hammering 
without being broken ; a steel bar for sharp- 
ening knives on ; a strip of steel for stiffening 
corsets, etc. ; a sword, v.t. To cover, edge, 
point, or face with steel ; to harden (the 
heart, etc.) ; to nerve (oneself). (F. acier, 
fusil, glaive; acerer, endurcir, fortifier.) 

Sir Henry Bessemer, the inventor of the 
process of steel-making known as the 
Bessemer process (which see), once wrote : 
" It may be averred that, as certainly as the 
age of iron superseded that of bro'nze, so 
will the age of steel reign triumphant over 
iron." His prophecy has fulfilled itself. 

Being stronger and tougher than iron, 
and very little more expensive, steel is now 
used in its place for many purposes, and the 
much greater hardness of some varieties of 
steel enable them to carry out duties which 
iron could not perform. The more carbon 
steel contains, the stronger and more 
brittle it becomes, and the better it lends 
itself to the process called tempering, by 
which it is made intensely hard. Special 
alloy steels are now used for metal-cutting 
tools. With these work can be done much 
more quickly than with ordinary steel tools. 
The knights of old were steel-clad (adj.), 
that is, clad in steel armour ; modern battle- 
ships are steel-clad in the sense of steel- 
plated (adj.), protected by steel plates. The 
small nails in lawn-tennis shoes to prevent 
slipping are called steel-points ( 

The art of engraving on steel is steel- 
engraving (n.). A picture or design engraved 
on a plate is a steel-engraving, and a print 
taken from this is called by the same name. 
Things and structures made of steel are 
steel-work (n.). A steel-worker (n.) is one 
engaged in manufacturing steel or shaping 

it into parts. Things made ol steel, or like 
steel in colour or hardness, can be called 
steely (stel' i, adj.). We can call hard grey 
eyes steely eyes, or can speak of a steely 
glance. Steeliness (stel' i nes, n.) is the 
quality of being steely. The weighing- 
balance called a steelyard (n.) has a short arm 
on which the thing to be weighed is hung, and 
a long graduated arm along which a sliding 
weight is moved to balance it. 

To steelify (stel' i fi, v.t.) iron is to convert 
it wholly or partly into steel by adding 
carbon to it. 

A.-S. style : cp. Dutch staal, G. stahl. 

Steel. A Bessemer converter in blast, 
pig-iron into steel. 

It converts 

steenbok (stan' bok ; sten' bok), n. A 
small South African antelope, Rhaphiceros 
campestris. Other forms include steinbok 
(stin' bok) and steinbock (stin' bok), a name 
often applied to the Alpine ibex or wild 
goat. (F. steinbock.) 

The steenbok is tawny in colour, stands 
about twenty inches at the shoulder, and 
has upright horns about four inches in length . 

Dutch from steen stone, bok buck, goat. 

steenkirk (sten' kerk), n. A lace 
cravat worn loose. Another form is stein- 
kirk (sten' kerk). (F. steinkerke.) 

The steenkirk was popular towards the 
end of the seventeenth century. The loose 
ends, instead of being elaborately tied, 
were twisted together and thrust through 
one of the buttonholes of the coat. The 
name, derived from the battle of Steenkerke, 
1692, was also applied to wigs, buckles, 
and other articles of attire. It is said the 
French officers in that battle had no time 
for their usual careful toilet. 

Steenkerke is a village of Hainaut, Belgium. 




steep [i] (step), adj. Sloping sharply ; 
colloquially, excessive or unreasonable. A 
poetical form is steepy (step 7 i, adj.). n. 
A steep slope or hill; a precipice. (F. 
escarpe, d pic, exagerb, exorbitant: pente 
escarpee, precipice.) 

Devon and Somerset, and other parts 
of the West Country abound in steep hills, 
the well-known Porlock Hill being famous 
for its steepness (step' nes, n.). In everyday 
language, an extravagant demand, such as 
an absurdly high price asked for any article, 
can be referred to as a bit steep. We 
steepen (step' en, v.t.) a path, that is, make 

taking some prominent landmark, such as a 
steeple, for the goal. From this perhaps 
comes the term steeplechase (n.), now used 
specially of a horse-race run over a course 
provided with hurdles, water-jumps, and other 
artificial obstacles. The term is also applied 
to a cross-country run, to a foot-race over 
a course with artificial obstacles, and to 
a race-game played on a board with dice. 
The term steeplechaser (n.) is applied both 
to a rider in a steeplechase and to a horse 
trained for steeplechasing (n.). 

A.-S. siepei. sty pel, from steap high. See 
steep [i]. 

steeply (step' li). For this word, steep- 

a higher angle. A hill may steepen (v.i.), 
or become steeper, at some particular point 
where it may be said to rise steeply (step' 
li, adv.). 

A.-S. steap ; cp. Ice,, steypth-r lofty, steep,, 
akin 'to stoeypa to overthrow, causal of slupa to 
stoop. See stoop [ij. SYN. : adj. Abrupt, 



precipitous, sheer, unreasonable 
Gentle, gradual, reasonable. 

steep [2] (step), v.t. To soak 
in liquid ; to wet thoroughly ; 
to saturate, n. The process 
of steeping ; a liquid used for 
this purpose. (F. tremper, in- 
fuser ; immersion, trempage, 

Things may be dyed by 
being steeped in a coloured 
solution. A vessel in which 
things are steeped is called a 
steeper (step 7 er, n.). Figur- 
atively, we can speak of a 
person being steeped in crime, 
in study, slumber, etc. 

M.E. stepen ; cp. Swed. slopa, 
perhaps akin to E. stoup. SYN. : 
v. Imbue, impregnate, pervade, 
saturate, soak. 

steepen (step 7 en). For 
this word, steeply, etc., see 
under steep [i]. 

steeper (step 7 er). For this 
w r ord see under steep [2], 

steeple (ste 7 pi), n. A lofty 
structure rising above the roof 
of a building, especially a 
church tower with spire, belfry, 
etc. (F. clocher, fleche.) 

We seldom take a country 
walk without seeing a steeple, 
either perched on a hill or 
nestling in a valley. A church 
that has a steeple is steepled 
(ste 7 pld, adj.). The steeple- 
jack (n.), the man who climbs 
steeples and other high struc- 
tures to do repairs, etc., needs steady nerves. 
Steeple-crowned (adj.) hats, such as are worn 
by Welsh women, have a tall pointed crown 
shaped steeplewise (ste 7 pi wlz, adv.), like 
a steeple. 

In olden times owners of hunters would 
sometimes race their horses across country, 


Steeple. The graceful steeple 

of the church of St. DunstanV 

in-the-East, London. 

steer [i] (ster), v.t. To guide by means 
of a rudder, wheel, handle, or the like ; 
to direct (one's course), v.i. To guide a 
ship, motor-car, etc. ; to direct one's course. 
(F. gouverner, diriger, conduire, tnener, se 
diriger ; conduire an gouvernail, se diriger.) 
It is no easy task to steer a motor-car 
in traffic. We steer clear of, or 
I avoid, people we dislike. 

A rowing-boat is steerable 
(ster 7 abl, adj.), that is, can be 
i steered, by means of ropes 
attached to the rudder, but in 
large vessels the stesrer (ster 7 
er, n.), or man who steers, con- 
trols the rudder by means of 
a handle, steering-wheel (n.), or 
other steering-gear (n.), or 
steering (n.), as it is sometimes 
called shortly. The steersman 
(sterz 7 man, n.) is a very im- 
portant member of a boat's 
crew. Many a race has been 
lost through faulty steersman- 
ship (sterz 7 man ship, n.), that 
is, lack of skill in steering. 

Passengers travelling at the 
cheapest rate are allotted 
quarters in the part of a ship 
called the steerage (ster 7 ij, n.). 
Usually this is in the bows, on 
or below- the main deck. In a 
warship the steerage is the 
part of the berth-deck just 
forward of the ward-room, 
where the junior officers have 
their quarters. A ship is said 
to have an easy steerage when 
she responds easily to the helm. 
A vessel makes steerage-way 
(n.) when she has sufficient 
motion to enable her to be 
controlled by the helm. 

A.-S. stleran, from ^teor rudder, 
originally pole ; cp. Dutch stuur, 
G. steuer rudder, Gr. stauros stake. SYN. : Guide. 
steer [2] (ster), n. A young ox. (F 
bouvillon, bouveau.) 

A.-S. stor ; cp. Dutch and G.stier, Icel. stjor-r; 
akin to Sansk. sthavira stout. 

steerable (ster 7 abl). For this word, 
steerage, etc., see under steer [ij. 



steeve [i] (stev), v.i-. Of a bowsprit, 
to be inclined upwards at an angle, v.t. 
To give (a bowsprit) an upward tilt. n. 
The angle that a bowsprit makes with the 
horizon. (F. elevation du mat de beauprS.) 

In a ship of Columbus's time a bowsprit 
had a very large steeve or upward tilt, 
and a sail was set on a yard below it. The 
steeve has gradually lessened, and is now 
small where used at all. Small craft usually 
have horizontal bowsprits. 

Origin doubtful : by some connected with 
staff or stiff. 

steeve [2] (stev), n. A spar with a 
block and tackle at one end, used for stowing 
cargo tightly, v.t. To stow (a cargo) with a 
steeve ; to pack tightly. (F. estive ; estiver.} 

From O.F. estiver, L. stlpare to crowd together, 
pack, stow ; cp. Span, esteba stevedore's pole. 

steinbock (stm' bok). This is another 
form of steenbok. See steenbok. 

stele (ste' le ; stel), n. A pillar, upright 
slab, or other pre- 
pared surface with 
inscriptions or decor- 
ative designs sculp- 
tured on it. Another 
form is stela (ste' 
la), pi. stelae (ste 'le), 
stelas (ste' laz) or 
steles (stelz). (F. 

Stelae were often 
very elaborately 
carved or painted, 
and many of the 
stelar (ste' lar, adj.) 
or stelene (ste' len, 
adj.) decorations 
were very beautiful. 

Stelae were set up 
by the ancient 
Egyptians, Greeks, 
and other peoples as 
memorials of the 
dead, as milestones, 
or for recording 
decrees, laws, 
treaties, etc. Some remarkable examples of 
Mayan stelae have been discovered in 
Guatemala and South Mexico. 

GJ. stele post, pillar. 

stellar (stel' ar), adj. Relating to the 
stars or a star ; of the nature of a star ; 
shaped like a star. (F. stellawe.) 

An astronomer spends much of his time 
in making stellar observations. The stitch- 
worts and the chickweed belong to the 
genus of plants called Stellaria (stel ar' i a, 
n.). These have stellate (stel' at, adj.), 
stellated (stel' at ed, adj.), or stelliform (stel' 
i form, adj.), that is, star-shaped, flowers, 
the petals of which are arranged round a 
centre stellately (stel' at li, adv.), in the 
form of a star. 

The word stelliferous (ste lif er us, adj.) 
means bearing stars or having star-shaped 

British Museum. 

Stele. A stele of an 
Assyrian king. 

Stem. The stem is the 

foremost part of a 

ship's keel. 

markings. Some crystals are stellular (stel' 
u lar, adj.), or stellulate (stel' u lat, adj.) t 
that is, shaped like little stars. 

L.L. stellanus, from L. Stella star. See star. 

stem [i] (stem), n. The main ascending 
part of a tree, shrub, 
or other plant ; the 
stalk of a leaf, flower, 
or fruit ; a term for 
various stem-like 
parts, such as the 
part of a wineglass 
between the foot and 
the cup, or of a pipe 
between the mouth- 
piece and the bowl; 
the part of a watch- 
case carrying the 
chain-ring ; the fore- 
most member of a 
ship, to which the 
sides are fastened ; 
the part of a noun, verb, or adjective to 
which endings are affixed ; the stock or 
main line of descent of a family ; a race. 
v.t. To remove the stem from. (F. tige, 
souche, tuyau, ttrave, vace ; dtmembrer.) 

The stem of a plant raises the leaves so 
that they may get light and air. Leaves 
may grow out of it directly, or on branches 
which it throws off. Some stems run along 
the ground, and some even underground. 
A potato is an underground stem greatly 
thickened, and a bulb is the same. 

A wave that sweeps a vessel from stem 
to stern washes the whole length of its decks. 
A keyless watch is sometimes called a stern- 
winder (n.), as the winding spindle passes 
through the stem. Some plants are stem- 
less (stem' les, adj.) they have no stem. 

A stemlet (stem' let, n.) is a small stem. 
Stemmed (stemd, adj.) tobacco is tobacco 
leaf with the stems removed. In the sense 
of having a stem, stemmed is generally 
used in combination ; thus we speak of long- 
stemmed or short-stemmed wineglasses. A 
stemmer (stem' er, n.) is a person or machine 
that stems or removes stems. In tobacco 
manufacture a workman who strips tne 
stem from the leaf is called a stemmer. 

A.-S. stefn, stemn ; cp. Dutch stam, G. siamm 
trunk, stem, and Dutch, G. steven, O. Norse stain, 
stamn ship's stem. SYN. : n. Stalk, stock. 

stem [2] (stem), v.t. To meet (a current, 
tide, etc.) stem-on ; to make progress 
against; to resist; to check; in mining, 
to plug (a hole) for blasting, v.i. Of a 
ship, to keep a certain course. (F. refouler, 
tenir tete a, s'opposer a, arreter, etanchpr. 

A ship stems a gale when she ploughs 
steadily through the waves. A cut artery 
has to be closed by pressure to stem the 
flow of blood. 

Akin to G. stemmen to dam up, check, so 
Icel. stemma, Dan. stemme, confused with stem 
[i] of a ship. SYN. : Check, stanch, stop. 




stemless (stem' les). For this word, 
stemmer, etc., see under stem [i], 

stemple (stem' pi), n. A cross-timber 
in a mine-working, serving as a support or 
a step. (F. traverse, poteau, etai^) 

Cp. M. Dutch stympel foot of a piece of 

stench (stensh), n. A very offensive 
smell. (F. puanteur.) 

At intervals along a sewer a stench-trap 
(n.) is inserted to prevent the escape of 
foul gases into the air. 

A.-S. stenc from stincan to emit a powerful 
smell. See stink. SYN. : Stink. 

stencil (sten' sil), n. A card or metal 
sheet in which words or patterns are cut 
out, so that paint or ink may pass through 

systems of stenography are based on that 
published by Pitman in 1837. 

An expert stenographer (ste nog' ra fer, 
n.} or stenographist (ste nog' ra fist, n.} one 
who writes in shorthand can take down 
250 words a minute. A stenotype (sten' 6 
tip, n.} is a letter or combination of letters 
used to represent a word or phrase. 

From E. steno- and -graphy. 

stentor (sten' tor; sten' tor), n. A 
person with a very strong voice ; a howling 
monkey ; a species of trumpet-shaped 
protozoa. (F. stentor.) 

The original Stentor was the legendary 
herald of the Greeks at Troy. According 
to Homer he could shout as loud as fifty 

V/L4U. J\J UJ-J-CVU lVt*AiA^ \S*. A * A -.. J.*.M.I*J m^i.*.^^ *. v*& ,. rr^t i 1 f . 

the spaces on to a surface underneath; a ordinary men The most modern of sten- 

design produced with a stencil; a pigment tors called also a stentorphone (sten tor 

i ji i j _.r _i_ . _ i__j ._ i -j ion. n.} is an eiecrnraJ lona -sneaker nsen 

used in this kind of work ; a substance laid 
over parts of the surface of a pottery design 
to protect them from oil. v.t. To paint 
(letter, designs, etc.) by means of a stencil ; 
to decorate (a surface) in this way. (F. 
stencil, pochoir, dessin au pochoir ; tracer 
au pochoir.) 

Names and addresses are stencilled on 

fon, n.) is an electrical loud-speaker used 
in railway stations to utter stentorian (sten 
tor' i an, adj.), that is, very loud, instruc- 
tions to passengers. 

step (step), v.i. To move and set down 
a foot or alternate feet ; to go a short 
distance or in a specified direction by or 
as by stepping ; to walk or dance slowly, 

packing-cases, and prices on tickets for or in a stately way. v.t. To do, perform, or 
shops. The artistic stenciller (sten' sil er, measure by stepping ; to place the foot 
n.) one who does stencilling is able to of (a mast), etc., in a step or socket, n. 
repeat beautiful designs in this way on walls A pace ; a complete movement of the leg 
and furniture. Stencils of words can be cut in walking, running, etc. ; the distance 
with a special writing apparatus 
or with a typewriter on waxed 
sheets, for printing many copies. 
Stencilling is much used in 
textile printing and also in print- 
ing wallpapers. 

From M.E. stencelen, O.F. esten- 
celer to cause to sparkle, from 
estencele (F. etincelle) through 
assumed L.L. stincilla by metathesis 
for L. scintilla spark. 

steno-. A prefix meaning 
narrow. (F. steno-.) 

A stenochrome (sten' 6 krom, 
n.) is a coloured print produced 
by a process called stenochromy 
(ste nok' ro mi, n.), which enables 
several blocks, each printing a 
different colour, to be used at 
the same time. 

Gr. stenos narrow. 

Step. "The Step." From the painting by John Pettie, R.A. 
(1839-93), a Scottish portrayer of chivalrous romance. 

stenograph (sten' 6 graf), n. A 
character used in shorthand ; something 
written in shorthand ; one of various kinds 
of machines for writing in shorthand. (F. 
stenographie, stenotype.) 

The art of representing sounds by steno- 
graphs, called stenography (ste nog' ra fi, n.} 
or shorthand-writing, has been practised 
in some form for several centuries. In 
the time of Cicero the Romans used an 
abbreviated longhand for taking down 
orations. A machine called a stenograph 
bears types impressed with stenographic 
(sten 6 graf ik, adj.) characters, and is 
worked by pressing keys. Most modern 

traversed thus ; a short distance ; the noise 
made in stepping ; a mark made by the 
foot ; a footprint ; a particular group of 
movements of the feet in dancing ; the 
manner of stepping ; simultaneous rhyth- 
mic stepping by two or more people or 
animals ; a single stair or tread in a flight ; 
a rung of a ladder ; a support for the feet 
in entering or leaving a vehicle ; that on 
which the foot is placed in ascending or 
descending ; a notch cut in ice or rock 
to give support to the feet in climbing ; a 
wood, iron, brick or stone platform before 
a door, etc. ; a rest for the bottom of a 
vertical shaft ; the socket into which the 




bottom of a mast fits ; an action or measure 
taken in a series ; a degree in scale or pro- 
gress ; promotion or advancement from 
one degree to another ; a rise in rank or 
place ; (pi.) a hinged, self-supporting step- 
ladder. (F. faire un pas, faire quelques pas, 
marcher au pas; executer, dresser; pas, a 
deux pas, empreinte, marche, degre, echelon, 
marchepied, seuil, piedestal, emplanture, 
demarche, avancement, echelle double.) 

Infants have to be taught how to step 
in walking, so that they .place the feet 
correctly, and step with one foot after the 
other in orderly and regular step. When 
using an escalator it is important to step 
off with the correct foot, or else one's steps 
may be somewhat confused as the steps 
or treads of the machine flatten out and 
one steps on to the landing again. 

On some foreign railways the platform 
is often low, and so the coaches are provided 
with projecting steps on which the passengers 
rest the feet when alighting. Perhaps the 
attendant of the car may place a short ladder 
or pair of steps against the coach, on to 
which people may step to reach the platform. 

To step across or step over a puddle is 
to stride across it. To step across to the 
post-office is to go there We speak of going 
a step or a few steps with a guest on his 
return journey when we accompany him 
for a short distance, or a short step. From 
temptation to crime is sometimes only a 
short step. The spider in the nursery 
rhyme asked the fly to enter, or step into 
his parlour. Ralegh, according to the 
story, spread his cloak before Elizabeth, 
in order that the Queen might not step 
into the mire. 

We may recognize a person in the distance 
by his step or gait, or we may identify 
him by the sound of his step when he enters 
the house. It may be a quick and vigorous 
step or a loud and heavy step. 

Riggers step a mast when they erect 
it in place. When a new dance comes out 
we have to learn the step. To take a serious 
step is to act in a way that may have grave 
consequences. An officer is said to get 
his step when he receives promotion. He 
may make use of his leisure to qualify him- 
self for promotion to a higher step or grade. 

In many houses there is a step-ladder 
(n.), or pair of steps, which opens out into 
the form of an inverted V, and is self- 
supporting. The word also means a straight 
ladder with flat treads instead of round 

Platforms in greenhouses are stepped 
(stept, adj.), that is, arranged stepwise 
(step 7 wiz, adv.), in the form of steps 
each higher and farther back than the one 
below it. A horse is a fast stepper (step' 
er, n.) if it moves quickly. A stepping- 
stone (n.) is one of several stones laid in 
a stream on which to cross. In a figurative 
sense it signifies a means to an end. A 

Step. The steps of a mountain path in the picturesque 
island of Capri, Italy. 

step-dance (n.) is a dance performed by a 
person to show some special form of step. 
A.-S. steppan ; cp. Dutch stap, G. stapfe 
footstep. SYN. : v. Advance, proceed, n. 
Action, degree, measure, proceeding, stage. 

step- (step). A prefix used to denote 
nominal relationship, such as that which 
exists when one parent dies and the surviving 
one remarries. (F. beau-, belle-.) 

If a boy and girl lose their mother through 
death their father may marry again, in 
which case the new mother or stepmother 
(n.) will call the boy and girl her stepson 
(0 and stepdaughter (n.) respectively, 
and each will be her stepchild (n.), to whom 
she is a stepparent (.). 

Perhaps the stepmother, when she mar- 
ries, is a widow, and has children of her 
own, in which case these latter will call 
their new father stepfather (n.), and the 
brother and sister they gain by the mar- 
riage will be stepbrother (n.) and stepsister 
(n.) respectively. 

It used to be thought that stepmothers 
were hard on their stepchildren, and step- 
motherly (adj.) treatment meant neglectful 
or unkind treatment. Perhaps this idea, 
which, of course, is quite unfounded, was 
derived from the unkind stepmother of 
the fairy tales. 

A.-S. sleop- orphaned ; cp. Dutch and G. sue/-. 

stephanotis (stef a no' tis), n. A genus of 
tropical climbing plants with waxy flowers. 

The stephanotis, 5. floribunda, is culti- 
vated as a hot-house plant. With its deep 




green leaves and fragrant waxy flowers 
it is one of the most popular species. 

From Gr. Stephanos crown, garland, ous (gen 
dt-os) ear, lobe. 

stepmother (step' muth er). For this 
word, stepparent, etc., see under step-. 

steppe (step), n. A vast treeless plain, 
especially in Russia an;i Siberia. (F. steppe.} 

Ru3. stepe. 

stepping-stone (step' ing ston). One 
of a series of raised stones placed in a 
stream, marsh, etc., to enable people to 
cross dry-shod. See under step. 

stepsister (step' sis ter). For this word 
see under step-. 

stereo (ster' e 6; ster'e 6). This is a 
shortened form of stereotype. See stereotype. 

stereo-. A prefix meaning solid, stiff, 
hard, firm. (F. stereo-} 

The stereebate (ster' e 6 bat, n.} of a 
building is a solid foundation or base. 
The branch of chemistry named stereo- 
chemistry (ster e 6 kem' is tri, n.} is con- 
cerned with the composition of matter 
as it is affected by the spacing of atoms in 
the molecule. Painting done with pig- 
ments mixed with water-glass to render 
them permanent is called stereochromy 
(ster' e 6 kro mi, n.}. 

A stereo-electric (ster e 6 e lek' trik, adj.}, 
or thermo-electric current is one which 
passes through a circuit containing a joint 
of two different metals when these are 
brought together at different temperatures. 

Solid objects are delineated on a plane 
surface by means of the art of stereography 
(ster e og' ra fi, n.}. A stereograph (ster' 
e 6 graf, n } or stereogram (ster' e 6 gram, n.} 
is a drawing made by stereography. 

Maps of the hemispheres in an atlas are 
usually made by stereographic (ster e 6 
graf ik, adj.} or stereographical (ster e 6 
graf ik al, adj.} projection, the sphere being 
delineated on the plane of a great circle. 
Crystals also are sometimes represented 
stereographically (ster e 6 graf ik al li, 
adv.} to show their shape. 

A stereome (ster' e 6m, n.} is a strengthen- 
ing tissue of cells forming a support for a 
part of a plant, especially the outer wall 
of a stem. 

The name of stereometer (ster e om' e ter, 
n } is given to an instrument for measuring 
the volume of bodies, and also to one of 
another kind used to determine the specific 
gravity of a substance which an ordinary 
hydrometer cannot deal with. The making 
of stereometric (ster e 6 met' rik, adj.} or 
stereometrical (ster e 6 met' rik al, adj } 
measurements is called stereometry (ster 
e om' e tri, n.}. 

Dissolving magic-lantern views are thrown 
by a double lantern called a stereopticon 
(ster e op' ti kon, n.}. 

Gr. stereos, hard, solid. 

stereoscope (ster' e 6 skop; ster' e 6 
skop), n. An instrument through which two 

photographs taken at slightly different angles 
are viewed by both eyes at the same time, 
the images blending to form one with an 
appearance of solidity. (F. stereoscope.) 

The stereoscope comprises a lens for each 
eye, and a support to hold the double photo- 
graph to be viewed. A stereoscopic (ster e 
6 skop' ik ; ster e 6 skop' ik, adj.} photograph 
is one suited for use in the stereoscope. It 
must have been taken stereoscopically (ster 
e 6 skop' ik al li ; ster e 6 skop' ik al li, adv.}, 
with a stereoscopic camera, which is in effect 
two cameras side by side, with the centre 
of their lenses about two and a half inches 
apart, at an angle of convergence resembling 
that of the human eyes. 

The camera " sees " the objects from 
slightly divergent angles in the same way 
as our two eyes, and when we look at the 
mounted prints through a stereoscope, the 
images are blended, solid objects standing 
out in bold relief, and appearing solid and 
not flat as in an ordinary photograph. 

The art of using the stereoscope or 'of 
making slides for the instrument is called 
stereoscopy (ster e os' ko pi ; ster e os' ko pi, 

From E. stereo- and scope, here meaning a 
device for seeing objects in the solid or round. 

Stereoscope. The stereoscope, an instrument by 
means of which two images are blended into one. 

stereotype (ster' e 6 tip ; ster' e 6 tip), n. 
A printing-plate cast in a mould taken from 
set type. v.t. To take a stereotype of ; to 
make regular and formal ; to make un- 
changeable. (F. stereotype, clichd ; stereo- 
type?, dicker, banaliser, fixer.} 

The stereotyper (ster' e 6 tip er ; ster' e 6 
tip er, n.}, one engaged in making stereo- 
types, presses a pad of damp paper on to the 
type forme, and beats it down with a stiff 
brush, so that it takes the impression of 
the type. The flong, as the pad is called, 
which thus becomes a mould of the type, is 
dried and put in a casting-box, and type 
metal poured on to it. The cast plate or 
stereo (ster' e 6 ; ster' e 6, n.} as it is usually 
called, is then planed up and fixed in a 
printing-press in place of type. 

In business concerns and government 
offices conventional letters or memoranda, 
such as those acknowledging orders, money, 
or letters, are couched usually in formal or 
stereotyped phrases, the same or similar 




wording being used with unvarying re- 
gularity. Some people carry fixed and 
stereotyped ideas through life, and are not 
disposed to listen to anything which might 
cause them to modify their views. 

From E. stereo- and type. 

sterile (ster' II), adj. Barren; unfruitful; 
containing no living germs ; sterilized ; 
barren of ideas. (F. sterile.} 

Soil which has been 
excessively cropped may 
become unfruitful or 
sterile. Milk is heated to 
a certain point to kill any 
germs and so ensure its 
sterility (ste ril' i ti, n.}. 
Poetry or other literary 
work which is destitute of 
originality or poor in ideas 
is said to be barren or 

Surgeons sterilize (ster' 
il Iz, v.t.) their instruments, 
or make them sterile and 
free from microbes. The 
sterilization (ster il 1 za' 
shim n.} is effected by 
boiling and by the use of 
chemicals. A sterilizer 
(ster'il Iz er, n.} is a boiler 
or other apparatus used in 

F., from L. sterilis ; akin 
to Gr. stereos hard, stiff, and 
G. starr rigid. SYN. : Barren, 
unproductive. ANT : Fertile, fruitful, productive. 

sterlet (ster 7 let), n. A species of sturgeon, 
Acipenser ruthenus. (F. sterlet, strelet.} 

This sturgeon rarely exceeds three feet 
in length, and is highly prized for food. 
The sterlet is found in the Danube and other 
rivers, and in the Black Sea and the Caspian. 

F. or G., from Rus. sterlyadi. 

sterling (ster' ling), adj. Of standard 
value ; genuine ; pure ; sound ; of genuine 
worth, n. British money. (F. pur, de bon 
aloi, droit ; sterling.) 

This word is used of coins or precious 
metals. The British sovereign, or pound 
sterling as it is often called, is accepted all 
over the world at its face value, for the Royal 
Mint was always careful to see that it was 
of standard value and contained the full 
weight of gold of the specified degree of 
purity. Pure, unalloyed silver is called 
sterling silver. 

An article of sterling value is one not 
showy or trashy, but of real worth. We 
may say of a trustworthy boy that he is a 
sterling fellow, and has sterling qualities. 

Originally the E. silver penny, perhaps from a 
"little star" on it. SYN. : adj. Fine, pure, 
real, unalloyed, worthy. ANT. : adj. False, 
pinchbeck, showy, trashy, unrefined. 

stern [i] (stern), adj. Severe ; grim ; 
rigid ; strict ; unyielding. (F. severe, 
austere, opinidtre.} 

Sterilize. A sterilizing apparatus by means 

of which three hundred dental instruments 

can be sterilized in thirty, minutes. 

A just judge must be stern and severe 
with those who commit crimes of violence. 
He must punish sternly (stern' li, adv.] on 
occasion, while in certain cases he may de^in 
a stern rebuke to be sufficient. Soldiers 
are subject to a stern and rigid discipline, 
and are inured to a stern and arduous life, 
so that they may bear privations, and resist 
an enemy with sternness 
(stern' nes, n.} and for- 

In poetical language the 
wind and wave-swept 
cliffs of a rocky isle in 
northern latitudes might 
be said to present a stern 
and inhospitable aspect, 
or to frown sternly on the 

A.-S. styrne ; akin to E. 
stare, and Gr. stereos hard. 
SYN. : Austere, forbidding, 
harsh, rigid, ruthless. ANT. : 
Compassionate, gentle, 
lenient, mild, tolerant. 

stern [2] (stern ; starn), 
n. The back part of a ship 
or boat ; the rump or tail 
of an animal. (F. poupe, 
arriere, croupe.} 

The stern of a vessel is 
at the hind end or that 
opposite to the bow or 
stem. A stern-chase (n.), 
that is, a chase in which a 
pursuing vessel follows in 
the wake of one pursued, is proverbially a 
long chase. The leading ship will perhaps 
use a stern-chaser (n.), a gun -fixed in the 
stern to fire aft, to check the pursuit. 

A stern-fast (n.) is a rope or chain mooring 
a ship by the stern. The stern-post (n.) of 
a ship is an upright bar in which the lower 
part of a ship's stern ends and to which the 
rudder is attached. The stern-post, or stern- 
frame (n.) as it is also called, of a big line.r, 
is a casting weighing up to one hundred tons. 
The stern-sheets ( of an open boat 
are the boards covering the floor near the 
stern. The space 
between the stern 
and the aftermost 
thwart also goes by 
the name of stern- 
sheets. A ship 
makes sternway 
(stern' wa, n.), when 
she moves stern- 
foremost (adv.), that 
is, backwards. Some 
river steamers have 
a single paddle- 
wheel, called a stern- 
wheel (n.), at the 
stern. Such a 
steamer, named a 
stern- wheeler (n.), is suited 
water and narrow channels. 

Stern. The stern is the 

back portion of a ship or 


for shallow 
The word 




sterned (sternd, adj.), meaning having a 
stern, is used in combination with other 
words, as in flat-sterned, square-sterned. 

The sternmost (stern' most, adj.) mast of 
a ship is that nearest the stern, while the 
sternmost ship of a fleet is one farthest to 
the rear. 

A ship makes a sternward (stern' ward, 
adj.) movement when she goes sternward 
(adv.), or sternwards (stern' wardz, adv.), 
that is, astern, or stern first. 

M.E. sterne steering gear, akin to steer ; cp. 
O. Norse stjorn steering. See steer. SYN. : Rear. 
ANT. : Bow, head, stem. 

stern-, sterno-. Prefixes denoting a 
connexion with the sternum or breast- bone. 
(F. sterno-.} 

The term sternalgia (ster nal' ji a, n.) may 
refer to any pain in the chest, but is em- 
ployed usually with reference to the sternal 
(ster' nal, adj.) pains, or those in the region of 
the sternum (ster' mini, n.), which accompany 
the affection called angina pectoris. The 
sternum or breast-bone in an adult is about 
seven inches long, and is somewhat like a 
dagger in shape, with the blade pointing 
downwards. The true ribs are joined to the 
sternum by cartilage. 

The word sternoclavicular (ster no kla vik' 
u lar, adj.), is used to describe anything con- 
nected both with the breast-bone and the 
clavicle, or collar bone. 

From L. sternum, Gr. sternon breast-bone. 

sternly (stern' li), adv. Rigidly; severely ; 
strictly. See under stern [i]. 

sternmost (stern' most), adj. Situated 
nearest the stern, or farthest to the rear. 
See under stern [2]. 

sternum (ster' num), n. The breast-bone. 
See under stern-. (F. sternum.} 

L., from Gr. sternon chest, breast. 

sternutation (ster nu ta' shun), n. A 
sneeze ; the act of sneezing. (F. sternutation, 

Snuff is a sternutative (ster nu' ta tiv, adj.) 
or sternutatory (ster nu' ta to ri, adj.) sub- 
stance, and, if inhaled, causes sternu- 
tation. The use of some such sternutative 
(n.) or sternutatory (n.), made of ground or 
powdered tobacco, was fashionable until the 
early nineteenth century, but is far less 
common now. 

L. sternu'atio (ace. -on-em) from sternu'dre 
frequentative of sternuere to sneeze. SYN. : 
Sneeze, sneezing. 

sternward (stern' ward), adj. Situated in 
or towards the stern, adv. Astern ; towards 
the direction of the stern. See under stern [2] . 

stertorous (ster' tor us), adj. Marked by 
or resembling snoring. (F. stertoreux.) 

This is a word used of a person or of his 
breathing when he breathes in a deep, 
heavy, laboured way, as if snoring. Such 
stertorous breathing occurs in some diseases. 
A person who is ill may breathe stertorously 
(ster' tor us li, adv.}, but stertorousness 
(ster' tor us nes, n.) is not always a symptom 
of disease. 

From Modern L. siertor a snoring, from L. 
stertere to snore, and E. adj. suffix -ous. 

stet (stet), v.t. To write " stet " against, 
meaning " let it stand." (F. bon.) 

Stet is a direction used in proof correcting. 
The word is employed to cancel a correction 
or alteration made in printed or written 
matter. To stet a deleted or altered letter, 
word, or phrase, the word stet is written at 
the side, and has the effect of restoring the 
letter, etc., to its original form. Proof 
correctors also usually place a line of dots 
beneath the letters which are to be stetted. 

L. third person sing, present subjunctive of 
stare to stand. 

stethoscope (steth' 6 skop), n. An instru- 
ment used for listening to body sounds, 
usually in the region of the chest, v.t. To 
examine with this instrument. (F. stetho- 
scope ; ausculter.} 

A stethoscope consists of a tube, at one end 
of which is a small funnel-shaped chest-piece 
and at the other a rather larger ear-piece. 
Nowadays most doctors use a binaural 
stethoscope, which has two ear tubes. The 
stethoscopist (ste thos' ko pist, n.} can gain 
valuable information about the state of the 
heart and lungs by a stethoscopic (steth 6 
skop' ik, adj.} examination. 

Recruits for the army and navy and people 
taking out life insurance policies, are 
generally examined stethoscopically (steth 6 
skop' ik al li, adv.}, or by stethoscopy (ste 
thos' ko pi, n.}, as part of the routine 
medical inspection they undergo. 

The wooden rod with which a waterworks 
inspector listens for the sound of water pass- 
ing through the pipes 
is called a stetho- 
scope. When one end 
is put on the valve 
spindles, the listener 
can detect the pass- 
age of water by his 
ear applied at the 
other end. Should 
the inspector find 
that water thus 
flows late at night, 
when the house 
supply is normally 
shut off, he suspects 
a waste. 

From Gr. stethos 
chest, and E. -scope. 
stevedore (ste' ve dor), n. A man who 
stows cargo in ships ; one who loads or 
unloads vessels. (F. arrimeur.) 

A stevedore takes charge of the stowage 
of a ship's cargo. His work requires much 
skill, since articles of many kinds have to 
be stowed, and everything must be fixed so 
that it cannot shift. Weight must be care- 
fully distributed, and space must be used to 
the best advantage. 

From Span, estivador from estivar to stow a 
cargo, L.L. stlvdre (and agent n. stlvdtor), L. 
stlpdre to crowd together, to stow. See steeve. 

Stethoscope. Doctors use 
a stethoscope to obtain in- 
formation about the state 
of the heart and lungs. 




stew [i] (stu), v.t. To cook by long 
simmering or slow boiling, v.i. To be cooked 
in this way ; to be oppressed by a close or 
warm atmosphere, n. A dish prepared by 
stewing ; a state of anxiety or worry. 
(F. cuire a I'etuvee, etuver, mijoter ; s'appreter 
en ragout, etouffer ; ragout, transe.) 

Stews are made in a closed saucepan or 
earthen pot, called a stew-pan (n.), or stew- 
pot (n.}. A favourite dish of this kind is 
Irish stew, prepared from mutton, onions, 
and potatoes. The ingredients are allowed to 
stew, or boil slowly, in a little liquid for some 
time. Fruit, such as apples, pears, prunes, 
etc., is cooked by stewing. 

Tea is described as stewed when it gets very 
strong from standing too long. A person is 
in a stew when he is perplexed or disturbed. 

O.F. estuver to have a hot bath, from estuve 
heated room or bath. See stove. 

stew [2] (stu), n. A fish pond ; a pond 
or tank in which fish are kep>t alive until 
required for the table ; an artificial oyster- 
bed. (F. piscine, pare a huitres.} 

O.F. estui tub for fish, perhaps akin to G. 
stau dam, stauen dam up. 

steward (stu' ard), n. A person employed 
to manage another person's property or 
affairs ; one who looks after the supply of 
provisions, etc. for a college, club, ship, etc. ; 
an attendant or waiter on board ship ; an 
official at a race-meeting, ball, exhibition, 
or other gathering. (F. intendanl, cconome, 
steward, commissaire.} 

The management of a large estate or 
household may be placed in the hands of a 
steward, who collects the rents, sees to the 
accounts and generally superintends the 
domestic staff. In the parable of the unjust 
steward (Luke xvi), we read of one who was 
called upon to give an account of his steward- 
ship (stu' ard ship, n.). 

Officials in control of 
a race-meeting or those 

who perform a like duty 
at a public meeting, 
flower-show, dance, etc., 
, r are called stewards. On 
board ship, the chief 
steward supervises the 
Steward. Badge of supply and preparation 

steward in the Royal of f OOd and provisions ; 

Navy> he and his assistants, 

also called stewards, attend to the wants 
of the passengers ; ladies may be waited on 
by a female attendant called a stewardess 
(stu' ard es, n.). 

The arrangements at a coronation are in 
the hands of an officer of state, called the 
Lord High Steward, who may also be 
appointed to preside at a trial of a peer. 

A.-S. stigweard, from stig, perhaps hall, and 
ward. See sty [i]. 

stichomyth (stik' 6 mith), n. Dialogue 
in alternating metrical lines. Stichomythia 
(stik 6 mith' i a) has the same meaning. 
(F. stichomythie.} 

Gr. from" stikhos verse, line, mythos speech. 

stick (stik), v.t. To thrust the point of 
(in, through, etc.) ; to kill by thrusting a 
knife into ; to stab ; to insert ; to fix ; to 
thrust ; to impale ; to fix on or as on a 
pointed object ; to attach or fasten by 
or as by a point ; to place or set ; to 
cause to adhere ; to attach by or as by 
adhesion ; to bring to a stand ; to nonplus ; 
to furnish (a plant) 
with a stick ; to com- 
pose (type), v.i. To 
be fixed by or with 
a point, or in a man- 
ner resembling this ; 
to protrude ; to ad- 
here ; to be or remain 
fixed, by or as by 
adhesion (in a place, 
or in the mind) ; to 
lose motion by or as 
by jamming, friction, 
etc. ; to be unpro- 
gressive, or slow ; to 
be checked or hin- 
dered ; to remain 
attached (to) ; to be 
constant or faithful 
(to) ; to persist ; to 
hesitate or stop (at). 
n. A thin shoot or 
branch cut or broken 
from a tree ; a rod, 
wand, or baton of 
wood or other 
material ; anything 
resembling this ; '.a 

staff or cane to 4>arry in the. hand ; an 
adjustable box forisetting type-;, a mast or 
spar ; a stupid or awkward person ; a 
thrust ; a jab ; a stab. p.t. and p.p. stuck 
(stuk). (F. piquer, percer, fixer , enf oncer , 
empaler, clouer, coller, assembler, composer ; 
s' attacker, adherer, se coller, se coincer, 
s'empetrer, rester fidele, persister, hesiter ; 
baguette, baton, composteur, mat, buche, 

A collector of insects sticks a setting pin 
through an insect after it has been killed, 
and sticks it to his setting board by sticking 
in the pin. Receipts, etc., are stuck on to a 
spike file, the point of which sticks up from 
a base in an erect position, and sticks, or 
juts, out from the papers impaled on it. 
A gardener sticks his plants when they 
grow high enough to need support. 

Door fastenings which become rusted are 
apt to stick, and are moved or operated 
with difficulty ; the wheels of a machine 
insufficiently oiled may stick, or come to 
a standstill, through friction. Windows 
stick in their sashes when the wood becomes 

A man who will stick at nothing is one 
without any scruples. A pertinacious one 
sticks to his task despite hindrances or im- 
pediments. We stick up, or set up, a target 
to be shot at ; billposters are employed 
to stick or paste up advertisements on 

Stick-insect. A stick- 
insect standing on its 


H 7 



hoardings. Stamps are coated with gum 
so that they will adhere when we stick them 
on letters. A loyal person is always ready to 
stick up for, or support, his friends, and to 
stick up to or oppose people who treat them 
unfairly. A bully will often turn tail if one 
sticks up to, or resists, him with a show of 

We use sticks of many kinds walking- 
sticks, drum-sticks, sticks of sealing-wax, and 
sticks for lighting the fire. A ship is said to 
have the sticks blown out of her when she is 
dismasted by a gale. 

A village or town is sometimes described as 
stick-in-the-mud (adj.) if dull and unpro- 
gressive, and a stick-in-the-mud (n.) is a 
person of whom the same things could be 
said, who sticks and makes no progress. 

A sticker (stik' er, n.) is a thing that sticks, 
or a person who sticks ; a bill-poster is 
known also as a bill-sticker. In cricket, a 
batsman who can keep his wicket up, but 
scores few runs, is described as a sticker ; 
in an organ a sticker is a wooden rod con- 
necting a key with a pallet. 

A stickful (stik' ful, n.) of printing-type 
is as much as a composing-stick will hold. 
When the compositor's stick is full he must 
lift out the type on to a galley. One cannot 
turn a screw any further when it reaches its 
sticking-place (n.), or sticking-point (n.). 
Lady Macbeth, in Shakespeare's play (i, 7);, 
bade her husband screw his courage to 
the sticking place, when they were planning 
the murder of Duncan. 

The edges of small wounds can be brought 
together with the aid of a piece of sticking- 
plaster (n.), which is linen covered with a 
sticky (stik' i, adj.), that is, glutinous ".on 
viscous, coating, so that it sticks or adheres 
firmly to a substance it is pressed against; 

The tongues of some reptiles are coated 
'stickily (stik' i li, adv.), so that insects they 
touch stick to them, and are thus captured. 1 
Jam and treacle are characterized by 
stickiness (stik' i nes, n.), that is, a sticky 

The Scottish word stickit (stik' it, adj.) 
means stuck fast, unable to proceed. It is 
used figuratively in the term " stickit 
minister," meaning a pastor who fails to be 
elected to a pastorate. 

There are several genera of stick-insect (n.). 
They live in hot countries, and have long 
thin bodies and legs. When they are at rest 
the legs are kept rigid and stretched out, so that 
the insects are easily mistaken for small twigs 
A stuck-up (adj.) collar stands up straight 
round the neck ; a stuck-up person is one 
who gives himself airs. 

A fusion of M.E. steken (cp.. Low G. steken, G, 
stecheri) to stick, prick, and stikian (A.-S. stician; 
G. sleeken) to stick fast ; both akin to E. steak, 
stitch, stigma, instigate. SYN. : v. Adhere, attach, 
cement, cling, fasten, n. Baton, rod, twig, wand. 
stickleback (stik' 1 bak), n. A small fish 
with a spiny back, of the genus Gasterosteus. 
(F. epinoche.) 

The three-spined, four-spined and nine- 
spined sticklebacks are found in fresh water. 
These very small fishes are most active and 
greedy. The male builds a pear-shaped nest 
of grasses and tends the eggs most carefully. 
There is also a marine stickleback found round 
the coasts of Great Britain. It has fifteen 
spines, and measures about six inches in 

From A.-S. sticel prickle (cp. G, stichel, stachel) 
and back. See stick. 

Stickleback. This species of stickleback lives in 
ponds and builds a nest of grass. 

stickler (stik' ler), n. One who insists 
on or stubbornly contends for something. (F. 
disputeur obstine, formaliste.) 

This word is always followed by " for." 
A stickler for etiquette is one who demands 
the strict observance of good manners and 

From M'.E. stightlen to act as umpire, trequen- 
tative"of A.-S. ,'stihtan (M. Dutch stichtn, G. stiffen) 
to found, constitute. 

. sticky (stik' i). This is an adjective 
formed from 'stick. See under stick. 
. stiff (stif), adj. Rigid ; not easily bent ; 
unyielding ; not flexible ; not working 
freely ; firm ; obstinate ; formal or precise ; 
haughty ; " lacking grace or ease ; difficult ; 
hard to deal with or accomplish ; of liquor, 
strong ; of prices, high ; thick or sticky ; 
riot , fluid. . (F. raide, inflexible, tenace, 
opinidtre, guindi, arrogant, gauche, rude, 
fort, pdteux.} 

A 'door with stiff hinges does not open 
easily. Cartridge 'paper is a stiff kind used 
for making strong envelopes. Stiff shirt 
fronts and high starched collars are con- 
sidered uncomfortable wear by many men 
who lead an active open-air life. A sailing 
vessel that does not heel over much when she 
has a stiff or strong wind abeam, is termed 
a stiff ship. It is hard work digging in stiff 
clay which is thick and tenacious. 

A person who returns a stiff, or constrained, 
bow to our greetings, or who bows stiffly 
(stif li, adv.], may do so because he is natur- 
ally reserved in manner, lacking in gracious - 
ness, or else because he is feeling stiff after 
heavy exertions. This latter kind of stiffness 
(stif nes, n.} causes the muscles to ache when 
they are moved. A rheumatic affection 
which makes it painful for a person to turn 




his head is known popularly as stiff-neck (.). 
A stiff-necked (adj.) person, too, may be one 
who is self-willed and displays stiff-necked- 
ness (n.), that is, stubbornness or obstinacy. 

A stiff examination is one that tries all our 
resources. There is said to be a stiff market 
when the prices for some commodity do 
not fluctuate, but remain firm. In a collo- 
quial sense a stiff price means one that is 
unreasonably high. When in trouble it is 
best to keep a stiff upper lip, that is, to 
be brave .or firm. A stiffish (stif ' ish, adj.) 
climb is one that is somewhat stiff, which, 
in this connexion, means difficult. 

Anything that becomes stiff is said to 
stiffen (stif 7 en, -v.i.). Starch is used , to 
stiffen (v.t.), or make stiff, the. fronts and 

on its sound leg what is called a stifle-shoe 
(n.), a specially constructed shoe which has 
the effect of strengthening the weak joint. 

Possibly connected with stiff. 

stigma (stig' ma), n. A mark made with 
a branding-iron on slaves, criminals, etc. ; 
a mark or stain of disgrace or infamy ; in 
botany, the part of a flower pistil that receives 
the pollen ; in anatomy and zoology, a small 
natural mark, spot, or pore on the skin ; 
in pathology, a small red spot on the human 
skin that bleeds under the stimulus of 
excitement, etc. ; a distinguishing mark that 
is an unpleasant or unfavourable symptom ; 
(pi.) marks on the body corresponding to 
the wounds of Christ after the crucifixion. 
pi. stigmas (stig' maz) and, for the last 

cuffs of, dress-shirts,, a process, described as four definitions, stigmata (stig' ma ta). 

stiffening (stif' en ing, n.). ' Millboard is used 
as a stiffener (stif 'en er, n.), a stiffening for, 
or something that serves to stiffen, the covers 
of high-class books. A force of untried 
soldiers requires a stiffening, or admixture, of 
experienced men to make it fit to withstand 
an enemy attack. 

A.-S. stif ; cp. Dutch styf, G. steif ; akin to L. 
stipes stake, stipdre to crowd. SYN. : Constrained, 
formal, inflexible, punctilious, unbending. ANT. : 
Flexible, graceful, informal, limp, pliable. 

stifle [i] (sti' fl), v.t. and i. To smother ; 
to suffocate. (F. etouffer.) 

Coal miners are sometimes 
stifled to death by being 
imprisoned by a fall of rock. 
In a figurative sense, a 
person may be said to stifle 
the voice of his conscience 
when he disregards its 
promptings. The word is 
also used in a more or less 
exaggerated way, as when a 
person who finds it difficult 
to breathe in an oppressive 
atmosphere declares that he 
is stifling. It is in this sense 
that we speak of the stifling 
(str fling, adj.) heat, or the 
stiflingly (sti' fling li, adv.) 
close atmosphere of a room. 
The stifling or suffocating 
fumes of poisonous gas may 
actually stifle a person. 

M.E. stuf(f)len, perhaps from 
O.F. estouffer. See stuff.. SYN.: 
Choke, smother, suppress. 

stifle [2] (sti' fl), n. In horses, dogs, and 
other animals, the joint in the hind leg 
corresponding to the knee ; a disease or 
abnormal condition of this joint or of the 
joint in front of it. (F. gr asset, vessignon du 
gr asset.) 

The stifle, or stifle-joint (n.), is situated 
between the femur and the tibia, near the 
junction with the body. A horse that has any- 
thing wrong with this joint is said to be stifled 
(stl'fld, adj.). The stifle-bone (n-.) of a horse 
is its patella or knee-pan, the bone in front 
of the stifle. Sometimes a stifled horse wears 

Stigma. The anthers and stigma 

(marked with an arrow) of the 

Bermuda lily. 

(F. fletrissure, tache, stigmate.) 

Originally a stigma was a token of 
servitude or infamy burnt with hot irons 
on the body of a slave or criminal. In a 
figurative sense, we speak of the stigma of 
dishonesty, for instance, that stains a person's 
reputation. If we are so foolish as to stigma- 
tize (stig' ma tiz, v.t.) an honest person as 
a thief, we deserve to be sued for libel. 
Stigmata, in the pathological sense, can be 
produced on a person by means of hypnotic 
suggestion, the skin becoming stigmatized, 
or covered with spots. The 
breathing pores of insects 
and other invertebrates are 
also called stigmata. 

St. Francis of Assisi was 
one of the saints who 
developed stigmata, or marks 
on the skin resembling those 
on the crucified body of 
Christ. This condition, or 
the act of stigmatizing in 
other senses, is termed stig- 
matization (stig 'ma ti za' 
shim, n.), and the saint or 
devout person so marked is 
termed a stigmatist (stig' 
ma tist, n.). Stigmatic (stig 
mat 7 ik, adj.) markings of 
this kind are attributed to 
Divine favour, and one who 
has them is also called a 
stigmatic (n.). Figuratively, 
a disgraceful or reproachful 
name may be said to be 

The stigma of a flower is the spot usually 
on the summit of the pistil. The stigmatic 
surface, or that of the stigma, is not covered 
by the epidermis occurring on the rest of the 
pistil, and so absorbs the pollen shed upon 
it. Some stigmatiferous (stig ma tif ' er us, 
adj.) styles, that is, styles bearing stigmas, 
have the stigma on the side instead of on the 
top, and are distinguished as stigmatose 
(stig' ma tos, adj.) styles. 

Through- L. from Gr. = puncture, brandmark, 
from stizein (for stig-yem) to prick. See stick. 
SYN. : Brand, characteristic, spiracle, stain. 




stile (stil), n. A series of steps, or other 
means, by which one may get over or through 
a fence or wall. (F. echalier, echalis.) 

Stiles are designed to allow people to 
pass from field to field, without offering 
cattle a means of escape. An act of kindness 
to a person in need is sometimes described 
as helping a lame dog over a stile. 

A.-S. stigel, from stlgan (G. steigen] to climb. 

stiletto (sti let 7 6), n. A small, awl-like 
dagger ; a pointed instrument used for 
making eyelet-holes, v.t. To stab with a 
stiletto, pi. stilettos (sti let 7 6z), or 
stilettoes (sti let' 6z). (F. stylet, poincon; 

The stiletto is an Italian weapon with a 
needle-like point. Some types had a double 
blade controlled by springs so that it could 
be expanded sideways in the stilettoed 
person's body. 

Ital. dim. of stilo, L. stilus, styles a^ bodkin^ 
like writing tool. .,,) , . . 

still [i] (stil), adj. Motionless or almost 
without motion ; silent ; hushed ; quiet ; 
calm; of wines, not sparkling, n. Deep 
silence; calm; stillness. adv. At .rest ; 
without change of attitude opposition ; ../QOW 
or then as previously ; at present > as '. ,v;et ; 
now in contrast to the future ; .in 'addition-; 
yet ; even then ; all the same ; nevertheless, 
v.i. To calm or quiet ; to silence ; to 
appease. (F. immobile, silencieux,. tranquille, 
non mousseux ; silence, calme, repps; en 
repos, cependant, encore, toujours, toutefois ; 
calmer, faire taire, apaiser.) 

Still. Thr on denes Church at Harstad, Norway, 
reflected in the still water of the lake. 

A pool of still water is one unbroken by 
ripples. The night is still when all the sounds 
of daytime activities are hushed, and the 
movements of things are scarcely perceptible. 
We might speak of the dead still of night, 
but the noun, as used here, is a more or less 
poetical word. After the tumult and agitation 
of city life, the stillness (stir nes, n.) or tran- 
quillity of a summer evening in the country 
is a refreshing quality, and one finds pleasure 
in the stillness, or motionlessness of the trees. 

When the word still is used to describe 
the manner of sitting, .standing, or lying it 
is regarded as an adverb, but in such phrases 
as " keep still," or " keep your feet still," 
it is an adjective. The adverb is often used 
with the comparative forms of adjectives, as 
when we say that Manchester is large, but 
London is still, or even, larger. 

A man who is still young, is even now young. 
When we declare that, in spite of advice to 
the contrary, we still intend to do something, 
we mean that our intentions are unchanged 
after or in spite of the advice. 

A person stills his conscience when he 
quiets it ; we should still, or allay, our 
desire for some pleasure if it will do harm to 
others or ourselves 

A painting of inanimate things, such as 
fruit, flowers, vases, dead game, etc., is 
described as a still life (n.), a word also used 
to describe the subjects of the picture. Jean 
Chardin (1699-1779), the French artist, was 
an outstanding still life painter. The word 
stilly (stir li, adv.), meaning in a still 
manner, quietly, is seldom used. It may have 
suggested the word stilly (adj.), meaning 
marked by stillness, as in the well-known 
lyric by Thomas Moore (1779-1852), which 
begins '' Oft in the stilly night." 

A'.-S. siiile; cp. Dutch stil, G. still; properly 
resting in a place, cp. E. stall and G. stelle place. 
SYN. : adj. Hushed, motionless, noiseless, placid, 
serene, v. Allay, assuage, quiet, relieve. ANT. : 
adj. Agitated, disturbed, noisy, restless, turbulent. 
v. Arouse, provoke, stir. 

still [2] (stil), n. An apparatus used in 
distillation, especially of spirituous liquors. 
v.t. To distil. (F. alambic; distiller.) 

A still consists of a boiler, some kind of 
condensing tube enclosed in a cooling system, 
and a receiver to hold the condensed liquid. 
It may vary in size from the small glass 
apparatus used for experimental work in 
laboratories to the large stills with a 
capacity of thousands of gallons used by 
spirit distillers and refiners. 

The department of a factory which 
contains the stills is known as the still-room 
(n.), a name given also to a store-room for 
liquors, preserves, etc., in a private house. 
Early still-rooms had a still for distilling 
cordials and perfumes. 

From L. stilldre to drip, to cause to drip ; 
or possibly short for distil. See distil. 

stallage (stir ij), n. A stand for a cask ; 
a low frame or bench for keeping articles from 
the floor while draining or awaiting packing. 
Stilling (stir ing, n.} and stillion (stir i 
on, n.) have the same meaning. (F. chantier, 

Probably Dutch stellag(i}e, from stellen to place 
and suffix -age. 

stillness (stir nes). For this word and 
stilly see under still [i]. 

stilt (stilt), n. A long pole, with a pro- 
jecting foot-rest, used in pairs for raising the 
user above the ground while walking ; a 




long-legged, three-toed, wading bird, re 
sembling the plover. (F. echasse.) 

The upper part of each stilt is either bound 
to the legs, or held in the hand. Walking on 
stilts is chiefly a form of amusement, but in 
the Landes, "France, stilts were formerly 
used by the natives for travelling over the 
marshy country. The name stilt, stilt-bird 
(n.), or stilt-plover (.), is applied to marsh 
birds of the genus Himantopus from their 
long, slender legs. The word stilted (stilt' ed, 
adj.) means raised artificially, as on stilts. 

Mediaeval buildings often 
have stilted arches, that is, 
arches that spring from 
upright pieces of masonry 
resting on the imposts. In 
a figurative sense, a pom- 
pous or inflated literary style 
is said to be stilted. An 
author is said to write stiltedly 
(stilt' ed li, adv.) when his 
work is marked by stiltedness 
(stilt' ed ties, n.), or affected 

M.E. stilte ; cp. Swed. stylta, 
Dutch stell, G. stelze. See stout. 

Stilton (stir ton), n. A 
rich cheese, originally largely 
sold at Stilton, Huntingdon- 
shire. A coaching stage on 
the Great North Road. 

stimulant (stim' u lant), 
adj. Producing a rapid tem- 
porary increase of energy or 
activity, n. Something that 
rouses or excites, especially 
an alcoholic drink ; in 
medicine, an agent or sub- 
stance that temporarily 
excites an organ to increased activity. 

The adjective is seldom used, except in 
connexion with medicine. Smelling-salts, 
hot strong coffee, sal volatile, and brandy 
are stimulants often used for medical pur- 
poses to stimulate (stim' u lat, v.t.) the system 
or excite it to increased activity, a process 
known as stimulation (stim u la' shim, n.). 
Encouragement and praise may stimulate, 
or rouse, a person to action. The one who 
encourages him, and so gives the stimulus 
(stim' ii liis, n.) pi. stimuli (stim' u li) 
or incitement may be termed a stimulator 
(stim' u la tor, .). 

A stimulating (stim' ii lat ing, adj.) speech 
is one that incites us to mental or emotional 
activity. It is stimulative (stim' u la tiv, 
adj.) of the response it arouses, that is, has 
the property of stimulating it. Snakes 
are drowsy when kept in cages at a low 
temperature. They become active under the 
stimulus, or rousing effect, of warmth. Pinch- 
ing is termed a mechanical stimulus, because 
it irritates the nerves and causes muscular 
action by an external and machine-like 

Stilt. Men, mounted on stilt 
work in a hop-field. 


In natural history a sting or stinging hair 
is occasionally termed a stimulus, and a 
nettle, for instance, described as 
stimulose (stim' u 16s, adj.), that is, covered 
with stinging hairs. 

From L. stimulans (ace. -ant-em) pres. p. 
stimulare to urge on. incite, from stimulus goad, 
sting, incentive. 

stimy (str mi). This is another form of 
stymie. See stymie. 

sting (sting), v.t. To pierce or wound with 
a sting ; to cause acute physical or mental 
pain to ; to goad. v.i. To 
have a sting ; to be able to 
sting ; to have an acute or 
smarting pain. n. A sharp- 
pointed organ, usually con- 
nected with a poison sac, 
used by some animals as a 
means of defence or attack ; 
a. hair for secreting poison, 
projecting from the surface 
of certain plants ; the act of 
stinging ; the wound caused 
by a sting ; a severe ache, 
pain or smart of mind or 
body ; an acute stimulus. 
p.t. and p.p. stung (stung). 
(F. ptquer, piquer au vif, 
aiguillonner ; aiguillon, dard, 
piquant, piqure, angoisse.) 

Bees often sting people 
who disturb them ; they also 
use their stings for killing 
off unwanted members of 
the hive. Drones, however, 
are stingless (sting' les, adj.), 
that is, without stings. We 
may speak, too, of humour 
that hurts nobody's feelings 
as being stingless. 
In an extended sense of the word, we say, 
tor instance, that iodine stings when applied 
to a cut, and also that the cut stings under 
the treatment. A sluggish person may be 
stung, or driven, into action by taunts. St. 
Paul, in a famous passage in I Corinthians 
(xy, 55) asks: "O death, where is thy 
sting ? " In other words, where is the 
anguish of death? 

Certain fish have the power ot inflicting 
so-called stings. The best known, perhaps, is 
the sting-ray (n.), a name sometimes cor- 
rupted to stingaree (sting' ga re, .). It has 
a long saw-like barb projecting from its 
whip-like tail. With this it can give severe 
wounds. Most of the sting -rays are tropical 
fish, but one species (Trygon pastinaca) is 
found in British seas. 

The designations sting-bull (n.) and sting- 
fish (n.) are applied to the weever (Trackings), 
a small sea-fish with numerous sharp spines 
along its back. Slime is introduced into 
wounds inflicted by these weapons and gives 
rise to inflammation. 

The common stinging- nettle (n.)-Urtica 
dioica is a weed that flourishes in waste 
ground. Its stem and leaves are covered with 




snarp, hollow hairs through which an acrid 
burning fluid flows when the tip is broken off: 

A.-S. stingan ; cp. O. Norse and Swed. stinga, 
Dan. s tinge \ possibly akin to stick. SYN. : n. 
Ache, smart, stimulus, v. Smart. , 

stingy (stin' ji), adj. Mean; 
niggardly. (F. ladre, avare, 
chic he.) 

A miser is stingy and has 
the quality of stinginess (stin ' 
ji nes, n.), meanness or close- 
fistedness. He pays his 
servants stingily (stin 7 ji li, 
adv.), that is, in a niggardly 
way, or else stingily does with- 
out all domestic help. 

Formerly in sense of stinging, 
ill-humoured ; from sting and -y. 
SYN. : Close-fisted, parsimonious. 
ANT. : Generous, munificent, open- 

stink (stingk), v.i. To have 
or .give out a very offensive 
smell ; to possess an evil reputation, v.t. 
To annoy or drive (out) with a foul 
smell. n. A strong offensive smell, p.t. 
stank (stangk) and stunk (stungk) ; p.p. stunk 
(stungk). (F. puer, etre mat vu; empester ; 

Sting. Stinging hairs of the 

nettle, as seen under the 


stintless (stint' les, adj.) or unstinted services. 
The bird called the little stint (Tringa 
minutd) is about the size of a sparrow. It 
frequents British shores in the spring and 
autumn, and has mottled 
plumage of brown and black. 
A.-S. styntan to blunt, from 
stunt dull-witted ; cp. O. Norse 
stytta to stunt. See stunt [i]. SYN.: 
y. Limit, restrict, .n.. Limit, re- 

stipate (str pat), adj. In 
botany, close set ; crowded. (F. 
r amass d, serr6.) 

From L. silpdtus, p.p. of stlpare 
to crowd together. 

stipe (st Ip), n. In botany 
and zoology, a stalk, stem, or 
stem-like support. Another 
form is stipes (str pez), with 
pi. stipites (stip 7 i tez). (F. 
stipe, pedicule.) 

The stem bearing the cap 
of a mushroom is termed a stipe, and so 
is the stalk of the frond of a fern or 
seaweed. Neither is a true stalk like that 
of a leaf or a flower. Sepals furnished with 
stipites are stipitate (stip 7 i tat, adj.). The 
trunks of certain palm-trees are said to be 

A smell may be either pleasant or the stipiform (str pi form, adj.) or stipitiform 
reverse, but a stink is always unpleasant. (stip 7 it i form, adj.), that is, having the form 
The skunk stinks, or gives out a stinking of a stipe. A stipel (sti 7 pel, n.) is a small, 
(stingk 7 ing, adj.), or repulsive, odour when secondary stipule, occurring at the base of 
;4 . ; ^^^^A A ,,4.:~i /+; i,/ A- - \ the leaflets of a compound leaf. Leaflets 

furnished with stipels are said to be stipel - 
late (sti pel' at, adj.). 

F., from L. stipes stem, akin to stlpare to crowd 
stipend (str pend), n. A fixed, periodical 
payment for services rendered, especially 
the salary of a clergyman. (F. honoraires, 

it is attacked." A stinker (stingk 7 er, n.) 
or stinkard (stingk 7 ard, n.) is an animal 
that stinks, especially the teledu, or Malay 
badger. In a figurative sense, the name 
of an evil person may be said to stink in 
the nostrils of, or be offensive to, decent 

The stink-horn (n.) Ithyphallus impudicus appointements.) 
is a fungus growing in the form of a white, Although any person in receipt of a stipend 

spongy pillar with a conical top. It secretes may be called a stipendiary (sti pend ' i a ri, 

a green slime with an atrocious smell that 
attracts flies. Stink-stone (n.) is a kind of 
limestone that smells unpleasantly when 

The missile called a stink-ball 

n.), this word generally denotes a paid 
magistrate as distinguished from an unpaid 
justice of the peace. Stipendiaries or 
stipendiary (adj.) magistrates are appointed 
in London and other large towns where the 

stink-pot (n.), is a vessel containing "a com- work is too heavy or too complicated for the 
bustible mixture, which generates noxious available justices to perform unaided. They 

are trained lawyers and give their whole 
time to the work. 

From L. stlpendium wages, pay, from stips 
gift, and pendere to weigh out, pay. 

stipes (sti 7 pez). For this word, 
stipiform. etc., see under stipe. 

stipple (stip 7 1), v.t. and i. To engrave, 
draw, or paint in dots instead of lines, n. 
This method ; work produced thus. (F. 
pointiller ; pointille. ) 

House decorators sometimes stipple large 
expanses of paintwork, in order to break the 
monotony of the unrelieved surface of colour. 
Engravers use a tool with a point bent 
downwards, called a stipple-graver (.),' 
when they produce stipple or dotted work. 
One who stipples is a stippler (stip' ler, n.). 

From Dutch stippelen, frequentative of stippen 
to prick, from stip dot, speck. 


vapours when exploded. It is used for 
military purposes. 

A.-S. stincan ; cp. Dutch and G. stinken, 
Dan. stinke, Swed. stinka. SYN. : n. Stench 
v. Reek. 

stint (stint), v.t. To supply grudgingly 
or scantily with food ; to give or allow 
scantily or grudgingly, n. A limit or restric- 
tion ; an allotted quantity, amount, etc., of 
work ; the dunlin or other small shore bird 
of the plover tribe. (F. lesiner sur, restreindre ; 
lesine, manque, restriction, part, becasseau.) 

A mean person stints himself in small 
luxuries and pays others stintingly (stint' 
ing li, adv.) for services they render him. 
An enthusiast labours without stint, or 
without sparing his efforts, for a cause in 
which he is interested. We may speak of his 




stipulaceous (stip u la' shus). For this 
word, stipular, etc., see under stipule. 

stipulate (stip 7 u lat), v.t. To lay down 
or specify as necessary to an agreement. 
v.i. To demand something as part of a 
bargain ; in Roman law, to settle the terms 
of a contract orally. (F. stipuler.) 

The purchaser of some article in a shop 
may stipulate that it shall be exchanged if it 
proves unsatisfactory. The stipulator (stip' 
u la tor, wJ thus avoids the risk of being 
obliged to keep a defective article, provided,' 
of course, that the shopkeeper agrees to the 
stipulation (stip u la' shim, n.) or condition! 

A clause of limitation in a document may 
also be called a stipulation. In Roman law, 
contracts could be made orally, if certain 
legal forms of question and answer were 
adopted. The process of making an agree- 
ment in this way is referred to as stipulation. 

From L. stipulatus p.p. of stipular I to covenant, 
make conditions, from O.L. stlpulus firm. 

stipule (stip' ul), n. A small leaf-like 
outgrowth from a leaf, usually at the base 
of the leaf-stalk. (F. stipule.} 

Stipules are present usually in pairs on the 
leaves of certain plants. The stipules of the 
rose are united to the stem for the greater 
part of their length, and are said to be 
adnate. In other stipulate (stip' u lat, adj.) 
or stipule-bearing plants, such as the willow, 
the stipules stand out free of the stem. 
Some plants have stipulary (stip' u la ri, 
adj.) tendrils, which occupy the place of 
stipules, and are stipulaceous (stip u la' 
shus, adj.) or of the nature of stipules. 

The beech and the oak have stipular (stip' 
u lar, adj.) buds, which are enclosed and 
protected by scale-like stipules. These fall 
off when the buds open. Unlike the forms of 
stipulation (stip u la' shun, n.), that is, the 
arrangement and structure of stipules, 
mentioned above, these stipules do not 
resemble leaves. A stipuliform (stip' yu 
li form, adj.) part is one that is shaped like a 

From L. stlpula, dim. of stipes. See stipe. 

stir (ster), v.t. To cause to move, or keep 
in motion ; to move vigorously ; to excite ; 
to rouse (up) ; to bestir (oneself), v.i. To 
move ; to begin to move ; to be in motion. 
n. Agitation ; a commotion ; bustle ; excite- 
ment ; sensation ; the act of stirring. (F. 
remuer, agiter, troubler, mettre en mouvement, 
s'empresser ; bouger, se remuer ; tumulte, 

Porridge becomes lumpy if it is not stirred 
while cooking. Cattle wading in a pool 
stir up or disturb the mud. There is not a 
stir, or not the slightest movement, on the 
surface of absolutely still water. An exciting 
event is said to create a stir. The stir or 
bustle of city streets is confusing to some 
country folk. Lazy people do not stir or 
leave their beds in winter until the fires are 
lighted and breakfast is nearly ready. We 
give the fire a stir when we poke it. 

A stirring (ster' ing, adj.) story is one that 
stirs up our emotions, especially when it is 
related stirringly (ster' ing li, adv.), or in a 
rousing or stimulating way. A stirabout (ster' 
a bout, adj.) person is active or bustling. A 
cook who stirs a stew may be called a stirrer 
(ster' er, n.). Sometimes the name of 
stirabout (*.) is given to porridge. The 
leaves of trees are stirless (ster' les, adj.), 
or motionless, when -there is no wind. 

A.-S. styrian ; cp. Dutch sloven, G. storen, 
Swed. star a to disturb. See storm. SYN. : 
v. Animate, excite, inflame, move, rouse, n. 
Activity, agitation, bustle, movement. ANT. : 
n. Quiet, rest, stillness, tranquillity. 

, stirrup (stir' up), n. A horseman's foot- 
rest, usually an iron 
loop flattened at the 
base ; this loop and 
its leather support ; 
a rope with an eye 
for supporting the 
foot-rope beneath 
the yards of a ship. 
(F. etrier.) 

The stirrup, or 
stirf up-iron (n.), 
hangs by means of 
a strap, called a 
stirrup-leather (.) 
or stirrup-strap (.), 
from an iron attach- 
ment let into the saddle, and known as a 
stirrup-bar (n.). 

A drink given to a horseman as he sits on 
his horse ready to 
start is called a 
stirrup-cup (n.). 
Carpenters describe 
a hanging support 
as a stirrup-piece 
(n.). In anatomy, 
the word stirrup-r 
bone (n.) denotes a 
stirrup-shaped bone 
found in the human 
ear, etc. To be 
stirrupless (stir' up 
les, adj.) is to be with- 
out stirrups. 

A.-S. sti(g)Yap, from 

Stirrup. A horseman'* 
foot rests in the stirrup. 

Stirrups. Short ropes 

supporting the foot-rope 

below a yard of a ship 

are called stirrups. 

stigan to mount, rap rope ; cp. G. stegreif. 

stitch (stich), n. A single turn of the wool 
or cotton round the needles in knitting, or 
round the hook in crocheting ; the loop thus 
made ; a single complete pass of the threaded 
needle through cloth, etc., in sewing ; the 
link of thread thus inserted ; a sharp pain 
in the side. v.t. and i. To sew. (F. pointe de 
couture, point de cote ; coudre.) 

A knitter is said to drop a stitch when the 
loop of wool or silk about to be formed 
drops off the end of the needle and leaves a 
gap in the fabric. Varied forms of stitches are 
used in embroidery. A surgeon is said to put 
stitches in a wound when he stitches it up, or 
sews the edges together with wire, gut, or 




silk. A tear or rent in cloth can be stitched up 
or mended by stitching. A dressmaker has to 
be an expert stitcher (stich' er, n.). 

The hedgerow plant called stitch wort 
(stich' wert, n.) Stellaria Holostea is a 
kind of chickweed with white, star-like 
flowers, and an erect, jointed stem. It was 
once believed to cure a stitch in the side. 
This acute, internal pain is sometimes 
experienced by runners, but it soon passes 
off, and is in no way serious. 

A.-S. slice a pricking, from stician to prick ; 
cp. Swed. stick a stab, G. stick a sting. See stick. 

stiver (sti' ver), n. Any small coin ; a 
thing of little or no value. (F. denier, rond.) 

A former Dutch silver coin, worth about a 
penny, was the original stiver. 

Dutch stuiver. 

stoa (sto' a), n. A porch or portico in 
ancient Greek buildings. (F. portique.) 

Gr. = portico, colonnade; cp. Low G. stu} 
stumpy. See Stoic. 

stoat (stot), n. A common British 
carnivore, Mustela erminea, of the weasel 
family also called ermine, especially when in 
its winter coat. (F. hermine.) ; 

M.E. stot. 

Stock*. The stocks in which offenders were punished 
at Kelvedon Hatch, Essex. 

stock (stok), n. The trunk or main 
stem of a tree, or other plant ; a stump, 
a post ; a dull, stupid person ; the handle 
of a gun, tool, or implement; any main 
supporting or holding part ; the body of a 
plane ; the cross-bar of an anchor ; a die- 
stock for cutting screws ; the source of a 
family or breed ; a race or family of specified 
character ; a line of descent ; a distinct 
group of languages ; in biology, a colony, 
or group organism (of polyps, etc.) ; the 
beasts and implements of a farm ; a store of 
goods kept for sale or use ; the liquor from 
stewed meat, bones, etc., kept for making 
soups and gravies ; any of several varieties of 
cruciferous plants with stout stems, hoary 
leaves, and fragrant flowers ; a band of silk, 
etc., worn as a cravat ; money lent to a 
government or municipality and represented 
by certificates entitling the holders to a fixed 
interest ; the capital of a company divided 
into shares, entitling the holders to a pro- 
portion of the profits ; (pi.) the shares of 
such capital ; a wooden frame with holes 
for the feet, etc., formerly used for imprison- 
ing petty offenders in a sitting position ; the 
framework in which a ship is supported while 
being built ; superior bricks for the outside 

faces of walls, adj. Kept regularly in stock 
for sale ; habitually used ; perpetually 
repeated ; hackneyed, v.t. To provide with 
goods, farm animals, or other requisites ; 
to keep (goods) in stock ; to fit a stock to 
(a gun, etc.). v.i. To take in supplies ; of 
plants, to tiller. (F. tronc, poteau, buche, 
crosse, hampe, manche, fut, j as, filler e, souche, 
famille, race, betail, marchandises en magasin, 
consomme, col-cravate, fonds, stock, actions, 
bloc, chantier ; pourvoir, fournir, appro- 
visionner, monter.} 

There are many people of original Puritan 
stock or ancestry in Boston, U.S.A. They 
are descendants of the original settlers. The 
stems of plants kito which a shoot is grafted 
are termed stocks. Idols, and also senseless 
people are contemptuously called stocks and 
stones. A person becomes a laughing-stock 
or butt for ridicule among his friends by 
repeatedly acting in a foolish way. 

Studious folk acquire a great stock, or 
store, of knowledge. Its value depends upon 
their ability to use it. A standing argument, 
or one that is constantly used by people is 
also known as a stock argument. 

The housewife stocks, or supplies, her 
larder with food for the household. Stock 
sizes in clothes are those that fit the average 
person, and are usually kept in stock, or 
available for immediate sale, by the out- 
fitter. A ship is on the stocks when being 
built. In an extended sense something that is 
in course of preparation is also said to be on 
the stocks. Shopkeepers and others have 
to take stock at intervals, that is, to make 
lists of all goods remaining in stock, so that 
they may renew their stock or lay in a stock 
of articles likely to be wanted. 

The process of doing this is called stock- 
taking (n.). Records of goods received and 
disposed of are kept in a stock-book (n.). 
In a figurative- sense, to take stock of one's 
prospects is to make a survey of them, and 
to take stock of a person is to form an 
estimate of his character or capacity. 

Cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, and poultry 
make up the live stock on a farm. Imple- 
ments used on a farm, and its produce, are 
known collectively as dead stock. A stock- 
breeder (n.) or stock-farmer (n.) is one who 
breeds or raises live stock on a stock-farm 
(n.), a farm devoted to this work, which is 
called stock-raising (.). In Australia a farm 
hand, called a stock-man (n.), is employed 
to look after the stock. On unfenced stations 
in Australia, a mounted herdsman, called 
a stock-rider (n.), has the work of rounding 
up cattle. He uses a long-lashed whip with 
a short handle, named a stock-whip (n.). 
A stock-yard (n.) is an enclosure into which 
cattle are herded for sorting, etc., and a 
stock-car (n.) is a cattle-truck. 

Financial stocks and shares are bought and 
sold on commission for clients by a stock- 
broker (n.), whose business is termed stock- 
broking (n.). When commissioned to buy or 
sell stocks, he goes to a stock-exchange (n.), 




a building in which stocks and shares are 
bought and sold. There he does his business 
with a stock-jobber (n.}, a person who is 
engaged in stock-jobbing (n.), or stock- 
jobbery (n.), that is, buying stocks and shares 
from brokers in the hope of selling them at a 
profit to others. The London Stock Exchange, 
and that of New York, are the most import- 
ant markets of this kind, and wield a great 
influence over the finance of the world. 

A stock-holder (n.) is a person who owns 
stock. A stock-list (n.) is a list, published daily 
or at intervals by a stock exchange, giving 
the prices at which stocks are changing 
hands. It shows the current value of stock 
in the stock-market (n.), which means the 
stock exchanges collectively, as well as the 
business done in them. A 
cattle-market is also called 
a stock-market. 

The stockdove (n.) 
Columba oena s is a 
European wild pigeon 
common in Britain. It is 
smaller and more uniform 
in colour than the wood 
pigeon. Cod, hake, had- 
dock, ling, and other fish 
of the same class are con- 
verted into stockfish (n.) 
by being split open and 
dried in the sun, and so 
preserved without the use 
of salt. 

The plant called the 
stock originally bore the 
name of stock-gillyflower 
(n.), from the fact that it 
has a stouter stock, or 
stem than the clove- 
gillyflower or pink. It be- 
longs to the genus of herbs and shrubby plants 
known to botanists as Matthiola. Many 
cultivated varieties are familiar in gardens, 
including the Brompton stock (M. incana), 
the ten-week stock (M. annud), and the 
night-scented stock (M. odoratissima) . 

Stock for soup is made in a vessel called a 
stock-pot (n.). To stand stock-still (adv.) is to 
stand motionless, like the stock of a tree. 

An anchor is stockless (stok' les, adj.) if it 
has no stock or cross-bar at the top ; a shop- 
keeper is stockless when his stock-in-trade 
(n.), that is, his supply of goods for sale, is 
exhausted. A workman's or manufacturer's 
stock-in-trade consists of tools, appliances, 
and materials needed in his trade. In a 
figurative sense we say that a few worn-out 
jokes are the stock-in-trade, or equipment, 
of an inferior comedian. 

A stocky (stok' i, adj.) man is short and 
thickly built. He may be described as a 
stockily (stok' i li, adv.) built person. We 
may also speak of the stockiness (stok' i nes, 
n.), or stocky quality, of short, sturdy horses. 

A:-S. stocc ; cp. Dutch and Dan. stok, G. and 
Swed. stock. SYN. : n. Family, lineage, store, 
stump, supply, v. Keep, store, supply. 

Stocking. A 
terested in the contents of a stocking. 

stockade (stok ' ad), n. A line or enclosure 
of upright, stout posts for purposes of 
defence ; an arrangement of piles, serving as 
a breakwater, etc. v.t. To surround or fortify 
with a stockade. (F. palissade ; palissader.) 

The mounds on which early Norman 
castles were built were usually stockaded, or 
provided with stockades. In modern warfare, 
the stockade is used only as a defence against 
wild tribes. 

From Span, estacada from estaca stake. See 
stake. SYN. : n. Palisade. 

stockinet (stok i net'), n. An elastic 
knitted fabric, used for under-garments, 
etc. (F. coutil.) 

Probably a corruption of stocking-net. 
stocking (stok' ing), n. A tight knitted 
or woven covering for the 
foot and leg, reaching to 
or above the knee ; an 
elastic surgical appliance 
resembling this, used for 
supporting the leg, etc. ; 
the lower part of an 
animal's leg when coloured 
differently from the rest. 
(F. bos.) 

This word is used chiefly 
in the plural, because a 
normal person wears a 
pair of stockings. If we 
take off 'our boots before 
having our height measured 
we shall know how high 
we stand in our stock- 
ings or stockinged (stok' 
ingd, adj.) feet. 

At the seaside children 
like to run about stocking- 
less (stok' ing les, adj.) or 
without stockings on their 
feet. Some brown horses have white stock- 
ings, that is, the lower parts of their legs 
are white. A stocking-frame (n.), stocking- 
loom (n.), or stocking-machine (n.), is a 
machine on which stockings are knitted. 

Verbal n. from the v. stock in the obsolete 
sense to attach stocks (shortened from nether- 
stocks, that is, stockings) to the breeches. Stock 
here means piece cut off, the earlier hose having 
been divided at the knee into breeches and 

stockily (stok' i li) . For this word, stocky, 
etc., see under stock. 

stodgy (stoj' i), adj. Heavy; stiff; 
indigestible ; crammed, bulging ; weighed 
down with facts ; dull ; lacking lightness 
or interest. (F. lourd, indigeste, bourre, 
bonde, assommant.} 

Heavy suet pudding is stodgy, and has 
the quality of stodginess (stoj' i nes, n.}. A 
person with a taste for the lighter forms 
of fiction would find an encyclopaedia 
stodgy reading. Stodgy people are dull and 

Cp. E. dialect stog to stick in the mud. SYN. : 
Filling, heavy, indigestible, lumpy, matter-of- 
fact. ANT. : Digestible, light. 




stoep (stoop), . An open, roofed 
platform outside a South African house. 
Another form is stoop (stoop). 

South African Dutch, akin to E. step. 

Stoic (sto' ik), n. A member of a school 
of philosophers of ancient Greece who 
held that virtue was the highest good, 
and that men should despise both pain 
and pleasure ; a person indifferent to pain 
and pleasure ; one who has great self- 
control, adj. Relating to or characteristic 
of the Stoic philosophy. (F. stoicien ; stoique.) 

The Stoic school of philosophy was founded 
'n Athens about 310 B.C. by Zeno of Citium, 
Cyprus. This Zeno was a merchant who, 
after suffering loss by shipwreck, settled in 
Athens and devoted his life to study. His 
disciples were called Stoics from the stoa, 
or porch, in which Zeno lectured. 

We say that a man is stoical (sto' ik al, 
adj.) when he endures hardship bravely 
and patiently, or has perfect control over 
his feelings, or lives a severely simple and 
self-denying life. Such people act stoically 
(sto' ik al li, adv.) and possess the quality 
of stoicism (sto' i sizm, n.). When the 
word Stoic and its derivatives refer to the 
school of philosophy they are usually spelt 
with a capital 5. 

See stoa. SYN. : adj. Calm, impassive, im- 
perturbable, unemotional. ANT. : adj. Emo- 
tional, excitable, impulsive, passionate. 

stoke (stok), v.t. To look after or 
tend (a fire or furnace) ; to look after 
the furnace of ; to take (food) into 
the mouth like fuel into a furnace ; 
to feed (a person) in this way. v.i. 
To look after a fire or furnace ; 
to take in food like fuel for a 
furnace. (F. attiser, fourgonner.) 

One of the most arduous duties 
in a steamship is the stoking of the 
engines. If this does not go on 
regularly the ship will never reach 
her destination. The stoker (stok' 
er, n.), or man who does this 
work, toils in the stokehold (stok' hold, n.}, 
a compartment far down in the vessel, con- 
taining the furnaces. There are also various 
kinds of mechanical stokers. 
On land stoking is necessary in 
order to keep blast-furnaces in 
operation. A stoke-hole (n.) is 
a space in front of a furnace 
where the stokers stand, or an 
opening through which the fire is 
fed and stirred, or a hole in a ship's 
deck to admit fuel for storage. 

Brewing term from Dutch stoken, 
from stok a stick. 

Stokes mortar (stoks mor' tar), n. 
A light trench-mortar used during the 
World War (1914-18). 

The Stokes mortar could be fired very 

Stoker. The badge 

of a chief stoker in 

the British Navy. 


Stoker. The badge 

of a stoker in the 

British Navy. 

stole [i] (stpl), n. An ecclesiastical 
vestment consisting of a long narrow strip 
of silk or linen ; a strip of fur or feathers 
worn by women over the shoulders with 
the ends hanging down ; loosely, a long 
robe or gown. (F. etole, tour de cou.) 

The stole worn by priests and bishops 
passes round the back of the neck and 
hangs down in front on both sides to below 
the loiee. A deacon's stole is worn over his 
left shoulder only. 

L. stola, Gr. stole robe, from stellein to array. 
stole [2] (stol). This is another form 
of stolon. See stolon. 

stole [3] (stol). This is the past tense and 

stolen the past participle of steal. See steal. 

stolid (stol' id), adj. Impassive ; dull ; 

hard to move or arouse ; obstinate ; dogged. 

(F. impassible, -insensible, obstine.) 

A stolid expression on a person's face 
is a dull, almost meaningless look. Stolidity 
(sto lid' i ti, n.) or stolidness (stol' id 
nes, n.) also denotes stubbornness of 
purpose. It was a great day for Britain 
when her soldiers stood stolidly (stol' id li, 
adv.) before the attacks of the Germans in 
the World War (1914-18). 

L. stolidus dull, brutish. SYN. : Apathetic, 
dogged, impassive, phlegmatic, stubborn. ANT. : 
Emotional, excitable, lively, vivacious. 

stolon (sto' Ion), n. A trailing or 
prostrate branch that takes root at the 
tip, thus producing a new plant ; in mosses 
an underground shoot that develops 
leaves ; a root-like creeping growth 
in coral and other compound 
organisms. (F. stolon.) 

A growth produced by a stolon 
or having a stolon is stolonate (sto' 
Ion at, adj.). The strawberry is 
stoloniferous (sto 16 nif ' er us, adj.), 
that is, it produces stolons. 

L. stolo (ace. -on-em) sucker, shoot. 
stoma (sto' ma), n. A minute 
opening in an animal body or in 
the epidermis or outer cell layer of 
plants, pi. stomata (sto' ma ta). (F. stomate.) 
The most familiar of stomatiferous (sto 
ma tif er us, adj.), or stomata-bear- 
ing, objects are the leaves of 
plants. Through their stomata 
leaves take in gases from the air 
and give out gases and water. 
Other examples of stomata are the 
spiracles, or breathing pores, of 
insects. The prefix stomato-, mean- 
ing having to do with the mouth, 
occurs in a number of scientific 
terms. For instance, the term 
stomatogastric (stom a to gas ' trik, 
adj.) means relating to or connected with the 
mouth and the stomach. 
Gr. = mouth. 
stomach (stum' ak), n. A cavity in 

rapidly, and was most useful in destroying the body where food is digested ; in certain 

the nests of machine-guns installed by the 
Germans. It was invented by Sir Wilfrid 
Stokes in 1915. 

animals, one of several such cavities ; 
loosely, the lower front part of the body ; 
appetite ; relish ; inclination, v.t. To put 




up with ; to tolerate. (F. estomac ; endurer, 

In man the stomach is a pear-shaped 
enlargement of the alimentary canal. 
Ruminants, that is, animals that chew the 
cud, have four stomachs. 

The name stomacher (stum' ak er, n.} was 
given to an ornamental covering for the 
chest worn by women under the lacing of 
the bodice from the fifteenth to the seven- 
teenth century, and also to a kind of waist- 
coat for men. Anything that concerns the 
stomach is stomachal (stom' ak al, adj.) or 
stomachic (sto mak' ik, adj.). A medicine 
that is good for the stomach is a stomachic 
(n.). A stomach-pump (n.) is a suction 
pump used in cases of poisoning for empty- 
ing the stomach. Apoplexy in horses, 
caused by paralysis of the stomach, is 
called stomach-staggers (n.). 

Through L. stomachus, from Gr. stomakhos 
gullet, dim. of stoma mouth. 

stomata (sto' ma ta). For this word, 
stomatic, etc., see under stoma. 

stone (ston), n. A small or moderate- 
sized piece of rock ; a pebble ; a piece of 
rock used or capable of being used for a 
particular purpose ; rock or pieces of rock 
for paving, road-making, or building ; a 
gem ; a hard seed or kernel in a plum or 
other fruit ; a small hard body formed in 
the kidney, bladder, or other organs ; the 
disease in which this occurs ; a measure of 
weight of fourteen pounds, adj. Made of 
stone ; paved with stone, v.t. To pelt with 
stones ; to pave or face with stones ; to 
remove stones from (fruit or ground). (F. 
pierre, caillou, gres, pierre taillee, pierre 
precieuse, noyau, pepin, calcul, stone; de 
pierre, en pierre ; lapider, garnir de pierres, 

The word stone occurs in many common 
expressions. To leave no stone unturned 
means to do everything possible to achieve 
an end. In a figurative sense, to cast 
stones at a person means to speak evil 
of him. 

The term Stone Age (n.) is used of the 
period of man's history before bronze or 
iron had been discovered, when tools, 
weapons, and implements were made of 
stone. A stone-axe (n.) is a kind of hammer 
with two blunt edges used for hewing and 
dressing stones. 

The word stone, used as an adverb and 
meaning completely or quite, is sometimes 
joined by a hyphen to other words, as in 
stone-blind (adj.), stone-cold (adj.), stone- 
dead (adj.), stone-deaf (adj.) and stone-still 
(adj.). A primitive method of boiling water 
was by the process known as stone-boiling 
(n.), that is, by dropping red-hot stones 
into it. A stone-borer (n.) or stone-eater 
(n.) is a name applied to certain shell-fish 
which bore into stones or rocks. 

Stone-break (n.) is the name saxifrage 
in more English guise. Granite and other 

kinds of stone are broken into small pieces 
for road-making and concrete with a power- 
ful machine called a stone-breaker (n.). 
This usually has two fluted jaws, set at a 
small angle to one another, one of which 
is moved to and fro slightly. 

The stonechat (n.) is a small British 
bird of the thrush family, with a cry 
suggesting the striking together of two 
stones. In many parts of the world, as at 
Stonehenge, may be seen what is called a 
stone circle (n.). This is a series of great 
stones set up in prehistoric times, arranged 
either in a circle or oval. Sometimes there 
is a system of several circles. 

Stonechat. The stonechat, a British bird, so named 
from its peculiar cry. 

Anthracite coal is sometimes called stone- 
coal (n.) on account of its hardness. A 
stone-coral (n.) is coral which occurs in large 
masses, more or less smooth on the outside, 
as distinguished from branched coral. 

Stonecrop (n.) is the popular name for 
various creeping plants of the genus Sedum 
much grown in rock gardens and borders. 
The stone-curlew (n.), also known as the 
stone-plover (n.), Norfolk Plover, and the 
thick-knee (Oedicnemus scolopax) is a bird 
that frequents waste stony places. 

A person whose occupation is the shaping 
of stone for building or other purposes is 
called a stone-cutter (n.) or stone-dresser (n.). 
A stone-mason (n.) both shapes stones and 
uses them in building. The process of 
stone-cutting (n.) is carried out both by 
hand and with machines. 

The name of stone-fern (n.) is given to 
the fern Asplenium Ceterach and to other 
ferns that grow in stony places. A stone- 
fly (n.) is an insect of the family Perlidae, 
the larva of which, found in water under 
stones, is used as bait for trout. Any 
fruit with a soft pulp covering a seed en- 
closed in a hard shell such as the cherry, 
plum, and apricot, is a stone-fruit ~ (n.). 
For the stone-lily (n.) see under entrochite. 
A stone-man (n.) is a pile of stones raised 
as a landmark. 

Some tribes in the Pacific Islands made 
ujse of stone-money (n.) in the form of great 
disks like millstones, weighing 'in some 
cases several tons. By the term stone 
monuments ( archaeologists mean the 
prehistoric monuments of unhewn stone 




dating from the Stone Age. They include 
menhirs, dolmens, cromlechs, and stone 
circles, such as Stonehenge, in Wiltshire. 

The names of stone-parsley (n.) and stone- 
wort (ston' wert, n.) are given to various 
wild plants resembling parsley in form, 
especially to Sison Amomurn. 

The stone-pine (n.) of Italy is a species 
of pine which bears nut-iike fruit and has 
branches spreading out like an umbrella. A 
stone-pit (n.) is a quarry or hole in the 
ground from which stone is got for any 
purpose. The stone-rag (n.) is a kind of 
lichen. The stone-snipe (.)'. * s a large 
American snipe. When we say that one 
object is a stone's throw (n.), or to use 
an older term a stone-cast (n.) or stone's 
cast (n.), away from another, we mean 
that only a short distance such as a stone 
can be thrown separates them. 

In cricket, to stonewall (v.i.) is to bat 
stolidly with little or no attempt to score 
runs. This style of play is called stone- 
walling (n.). By stone-ware (n.) is meant 
a rough kind of non-transparent porcelain 
that is glazed with salt. Mason's work 
carried out in stone is stone-work (n.). 

Land in which no stones are to be found 
is stoneless (ston' les, adj.), and ground 
covered with stones is stony (ston' i, adj.). 
In a figurative sense, stony means hard or 
pitiless. A stony-hearted (adj.) man is 
one with no feelings of compassion. To 
stare stonily (ston' i li, adv.) at a person 
means to stare hard at him without giving 
any sign of recognition, or to stare very 
unsympathetically at him. The stoniness 
(ston' i nes, n.) of a thing is its state or 
quality of being stony in any sense of the 

Common Teut. word. A.-S. stdn ; cp. Dutch 
steen, G. stein, O. Norse stein-n, Goth, slain-s, 
akin to Rus. stiena wall, Gr. stia stone. 

stood (stud). This is the past tense and 
past participle of stand. See stand. 

stook (stuk), n. A group of sheaves 
v.t. To arrange in stocks. 

ME. stowk ; cp. Low G. stuke ; akin to stack. 

Stook. A woman harvester setting up sheaves of 
grain into stooks. 

stool (stool), n. A . seat without back 
or arms for one person ; a low bench for 
the feet or for kneeling ; any low stool-like 
support ; a decoy-bird or the piece of wood 
to which it is fastened ; the stump oi a 
tree, especially one from which shoots 
emerge ; a plant or stock from which young 
plants are produced, v.t. To send out 
shoots. (F. tabouret, escabeau, leurre, souche, 
plante mere; pousser des rejetons.) 

The first stools were made by fitting 
three or four legs to a stout piece of wood. 
The three-legged stool, used for milking, 
is frequently seen. 

In Scotland it was usual to make women 
who had committed certain offences sit 
in church on the stool of repentance (n.), 
or cutty-stool, while the minister publicly 
rebuked them. A stool-pigeon (n.) is a 
pigeon used as a decoy. 

In the old English game ol stool-ball (n.) 
one person stood in front of a stool set on 
the ground, and tried to prevent his opponent 
from hitting it with a ball thrown at it. It is 
supposed to be the ancestor of cricket. The 
game has been revived in a modified form. 

A.-S. siol : cp. Dutch stoel, G. stuhl ; akin to 

stoop [i] (stoop), v.i. To bend the body 
forward and downward ; to stand or walk 
with the head and shoulders bent forward ; 
to bend down ; to slope ; to bring oneself 
down (to) ; to condescend ; of a bird of 
prey, to swoop, v.t. To cause to stoop ; 
to bow (the head, shoulders, knee, etc.) ; 
to deign to apply (thoughts, etc.). n. 
An act of stooping ; an habitual bending 
forward of the head and shoulders. (F. 
s'incliner, se vouter, se pencher, pencher, 
s'abaisser, daigner, condescendre , s'abattre, 
fondre ; indiner, pencher; inclination, 

Drill is useful for correcting a tendency to 
stoop. A soldier never stoops, because he has 
been trained to stand upright. In very old 
people stooping is natural, though now 
and again we see an old man or woman 
every bit as upright as a young one. In 
the title of Oliver Goldsmith's ever-popular 
comedy, " She Stoops to Conquer," the word 
is used in its figurative sense, of a giri 
putting herself on a level with an inferior. 

A.-S. stupian ; cp. M. Dutch stuypen, O. Norse 
stupa to stoop ; akin to steep. SYN. : v. Bend, 
condescend, deign. 

stoop [2] (stoop). This is another form 
of stoep. See stoep. 

stoop [3] (stoop). This is another torrn 
of stoup. See stoup. 

stop (stop), v.t. To close by filling or 
blocking up ; to prevent passage through ; 
to obstruct ; to plug ; to stanch ; to 
prevent the carrying out of ; to prevent 
payment of ; to cause to cease ; of musical 
instruments, to press (a string), close (a 
hole, etc.), in order to alter the pitch ; to 
produce (a note) thus ; to use (a finger, 
etc.) for this purpose ; to provide with 




punctuation marks ; to lash with thin 
rope. v.i. To halt ; to cease ; to cease 
working ; to stay ; to remain, n. The act 
of stopping ; a pause ; an obstruction ; a 
punctuation mark ; a pin or other device 
for stopping motion, fastening, etc. ; a set 
of pipes in an organ having a special tone ; 
the knob or handle which controls this ; 
the pressing down of a string or closing of a 
hole in a musical instrument in order to 
alter the pitch ; a device for effecting this ; 
the part of the finger-board where pressure 
is made ; a mode of speech assumed to 
produce a special effect ; a disk with a hole 
in the middle to regulate the amount of 
light passing through a lens ; a mute 
consonant. (F. boucher, fermer, obturer, 
obstruer, etancher, arreter, empecher, sus- 
pendre, faire cesser, presser, ponctuer ; 
s' arreter, cesser, s'en tenir let, rester ; arret, 
halte, pause, obstacle, signe de ponctuation, 
point d'arret, jeu, trou, diaphragme.) 

A policeman stops the traffic by holding 
up his hand. A dentist stops a tooth, that 
is, fills up a hole in it, with a stopping (stop' 
ing, n.) of gold, cement, amalgam, or other 
material. Our watch will probably stop 
if we forget to wind it. A workman may 
have his wages stopped in certain circum- 
stances. We stop a cheque by instructing 
our banker not to cash it. 

Some trains stop at every station. If 
we miss the last train home we may have 
to stop in town. We cry " Stop, thief ! " 
when we see a pickpocket running off with 
somebody's watch. The comma, semi-colon, 
colon, and full stop are the chief stops used 
in punctuation. 

The flow of liquid through a pipe is con- 
trolled by a stop-cock (n.) or tap. A stop- 
gap (n.) is anything used in the place of 
something else for the time being. For the 
very latest news we look to the stop-press 
(adj.) items in a newspaper those added 
after the printing has actually begun. In 
lawn-tennis, a volley made by holding the 
racket still and allowing the ball to strike 
it is called a stop-volley (n.). This stroke 
is usually played close up to the net. 

Races are timed with a stop-watch (n.), 
a watch with a long seconds-hand travelling 
round the dial, which is marked in fifths 
or tenths of a second. The hand can 
be stopped at any point by pressing a 

The word stoppage (stop' aj, n.) means 
the act of stopping or the state of being 
stopped. There is . a stoppage of work 
when a factory shuts down. Frost-bite is 
due to stoppage of the circulation in the 
part affected. 

A stopper (stop' er, n.) is a person or, 
more often, a thing that stops. A glass 
stopper is a glass plug closing a bottle. 
A tobacco stopper is a device for pressing 
down the tobacco into a pipe-bowl. On 
board ship a stopper is a device for checking 
the motion of a rope or cable or for making 

it shorter. To stopper (v.t.) a can or bottle 
is to close its neck with 'a plug. 

A stopple (stop' 1, n.} is the same as a 
stopper, and to stopple (v.t.} a thing is to 
stopper it. These words are not often used. 

A.-S. -stoppian, L.L. stuppdre to stop with 
tow, from L. stiipa, G. stype tow ; cp. Dutch 
stoppen, G. stopfen. SYN. : v. Block, discontinue, 
hinder, impede, obstruct, stay. n. Check, inter- 
ruption, pause. ANT.: v. Continue, facilitate, help. 

Stop. A sentry stops the further progress of a civilian 
along a pathway. 

stope (stop), n. In mining, a space dug 
or cut out between two horizontal galleries 
in a more or less vertical seam of ore, to 
remove the ore. v.t. To dig or cut out (ore, 
etc.) in stopes. v.i. To dig or cut out ore, etc., 
thus. (F. gradin ; exploiter en gradins.} 

In making stopes the material is cut away 
in a series of steps either from below or from 

Perhaps akin to step. 

stopple (stop 7 1). For this word see 
under stop. 

storage (stor' aj). For this word see 
under store. 

storax (stor' aks), n. A vanilla-scented 
gum-resin, used in medicine, and in making 
incense. (F. storax, sty rax.] 

The fragrant balsam obtained from 
Styrax officinalis, a small tree found in the 
Levant, was kaiown to the ancients. The 
liquid storax of commerce is obtained from 
Liquidambar orientate, a tree that grows in 
Cyprus and Anatolia. 

JL., from Gr. styrax the tree whence storax 
is derived. 

store (stor), n. . A plentiful supply ; 
abundance ; a stock or hoard for future use ; 
a place where things are kept ; a warehouse 
or shop ; a pig, sheep, or other animal kept for 
fattening ; (pi.) a large shop where articles 
of many' different kinds can be bought; 
supplies of provisions, and other things for 
naval, military, or , household purposes. 
v.t. '-To -Stock or furijish ; to lay up for future 
use; to place jn a 'warehouse for safe keep- 
ing ; to have accommodation for. (F, , pro- 
vision, abondance, reserve, entrepot, depot, 
magasin, munitions, vivres ; approvisionner, 
amasser, emmagasiner.} 




We speak of a well-stored memory and cf 
a mind stored with* facts. Good housewives 
keep a watchful eye on their stores, to see 
that they do not get low. Before settling 
down in a new house we sometimes have to 
store our furniture. To set store or great 
store by a thing is to value it highly, and to 
be in store is to be reserved, ready for use. 

A place where things are stored is a 
storehouse (n.), and a book full of valuable 
information is a storehouse of knowledge. 
A storer (stor' er, n.} is one who, or that 
which, stores away goods. Not all goods are 
storable (stor' abl, adj.), that is, fit to be, 
or capable of being, stored. Many houses 
possess a store-room (n.). where articles that 
are not wanted can be put. 

To soldiers and sailors stores are the food 
and other articles they need. These must be 
taken out according to a regular system, and 
the store-keeper (n.) must only let them go 
out of his possession in the recognized way. 
A supply-ship for the navy is called a store- 
ship (n.). Storage (stor' ij, n.) means the 
act of storing or warehousing, and also the 
price paid for warehousing. A storage- 
battery (n.), or accumulator, consists of a 
number of cells in which electricity is stored. 

From O.F. estor, L.L. (r,i)staurum, from L. 
instaurare to renew. See restore. SYU.- : n. 
Accumulation, plenty, stock, warehouse. v. 
Accumulate, hoard, keep, supply. 

storey (stor' i). This is another form of 
story. See story [2]. 

storiated (stor' i ated). This is a shortened 
form of historiated. See under history. 

storied (stor' id). For this word see 
under story [i] and story [2]. 

storiology (stor i ol ' 6 
ji). For this word see 
under story [i]. 

stork (stork), n. One 
of a family of large wading 
birds with long beaks and 
long legs, belonging to the 
heron tribe. (F. cigogne.) 

The best known of the 
storks is the white stork 
(Ciconia alba). It usually 
builds its nest among the 
abodes of man, on house- 
tops or church towers. 
Except for black feathers 
on the wings and back, its 
plumage is white, and the 
beak and legs are red. 
The stork's-bill (n.) is a 
plant whose seed-cases 
resemble in shape a stork's 

A.-S. store ; cp. Dutch, 
Swed., Dan., stork, G. storch, 
O. Norse stork-r ; perhaps akin to Gr. torgos 

storm (storm), n. A violent disturbance 
of the atmosphere, attended by wind, rain, 
snow, hail, or thunder and lightning ; a 

Stork. The white stork, a large wading 
bird of the heron tribe. 

violent disturbance in human affairs ; unrest ; 
commotion ; an outbreak of applause, 
indignation, etc. ; a passionate display of 
feeling ; a heavy shower of blows, missiles, 
etc. ; a direct assault on a fortified place ; 
capture of a place by this means, v.i. To 
rage ; to blow hard ; to rave ; to bluster. 
v.t. To take by storm. (F. tempete, orage, 
commotion, desordre, tumulte, assaut ; faire 
de I 'orage, tempeter, s'emporfer ; prendre 

This word is used figuratively just as 
often as in its literal sense. We speak of a 
new play being received with a storm of cheers 
or hisses, as the case may be. A man beside 
himself with rage may storm at anyone who 
is near him. A storm in a teacup is a 
great commotion about a trifling matter. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century 
a movement was set on foot in Germany by 
a school of young writers who defied literary 
and social conventions/ arid wrote in a spirit 
of passionate revolt. . From the title of a 
drama written by one of their number, F. 
M. von Klinger (1752-1831), the movement 
was called storm and stress (n.). This phrase 
is now often used of any period of seething 
revolt and unrest in the life of a person or a 
nation of other community. 

Ships exposed to storms are storm-beat 
(adj.), or storm-beaten (adj.). A storm-belt 
(n.) is a 'region where storms are frequent. 
The worst storm-belts are in the tropics. 

The storm-bird (n.), storm-finch (n.), or 
stormy - petrel (.), called by sailors Mother 
Carey's chicken, is a small, black sea-bird, 
common in the North Atlantic. 

Ships are storm-bound (adj.) when, unable 
to leave port on account 
of rough weather. A wind- 
storm usually blows in a 
circle round a point called 
a storm-centre (n.), a term 
which is used figuratively 
for the seat of disease, 
rebellion, etc., the point 
round which a storm of 
any kind rages. 

The mistle-thrush is 
sometimes called the storm- 
cock (n.) because it has a 
habit of singing in squally 
weather. The green wood- 
pecker goes by the same 
name in some parts, as its 
cry is looked upon as 
heralding a rain-storm. 

When a storm is ex- 
pected the meteorological 
office warns the signal 
stations round the coasts, 
which raise the storm-cone 
(n.,) a cone of canvas three feet high and 
three feet across at the base, as a storm- 
signal (n.). 

A storm-glass (n.) is a sealed glass tube 
containing a solution of camphor, which 




thickens when the temperature falls and is 
supposed in this way to denote the approach 
of a storm of rain or snow. We call a 
building storm-proof (adj.) if it is able to 
withstand storms and keep out rain. A storm- 
sail (n.) is a small and specially strong sail 
used in stormy weather. 

A person who storms in any sense of the 
word is a stormer (storm 7 er, n.). A stormful 
(storm' ful,.adj-.) region is one abounding 
in storms. The stormfulness (storm' ful nes, 
n.), or stormy nature, of the ocean round 
Cape Horn is notorious. An assault on a 
fortress is led by a storming-party (n.), a body 
of troops provided with scaling-ladders and 
other special equipment. 

Storm. The lifeboat, braving the storm, goes to the 
From the painting by B. F. Gribble. 

The Pacific Ocean was so named by the 
Portuguese navigator, Magellan, who was the 
first European to enter it in 1520 because 
at the time it was stormless (storm' les, adj.) 
that is, free from storms. But this peaceful 
ocean can at times be very stormy (storm' 
i, adj.), or tempestuous ; indeed, the winds in 
it can blow so stormily (storm' i li, adv.), or 
violently, as to make its storminess (storm' 
i nes, n.), or stormy quality, quite belie its 

A.-S., also in Dutch, Swed., Dan. ; cp. G. sturm, 
akin to stir. SYN. : n. Gale, hurricane, out- 
burst, tempest, tumult, v. Assault, bluster, rage, 
rave. ANT. : n. Calm, peace, quiet, stillness.. 

Storthing (stor' ting), n. The Norwegian 
Parliament. Another form is Storting (stor' 
ting). (F. Storthing.) 

The Storthing consists of one hundred and 
twenty-six members, elected for three years. 

Norw. stor great, t(h)ing assembly. See ttiing. 

story [i] (stor' i), n. A recital or narrative 
of real or imaginary events ; the events 
forming the material of such a narrative'; 
such narratives collectively ; a tale'; ' a 
legend ; a myth ; an anecdote ; a series of 
specially interesting facts connected with a 
person, place, institution, etc. ; the account 
given of an incident ; the plot of a novel, 
play, or the like ; a term used to or among 
children for a falsehood. (F. histoire, conte, 

Among the most popular collections of 
stories are those of Hans Andersen and the 
Brothers Grimm, and " The Arabian Nights' 
Entertainments." If we see a forbidding- 
looking house in a desolate spot we wonder 
what its story is, what strange events have 
taken place in it. The witnesses in a law-suit 
may each tell a different story. 

A story-book (n.) is a book containing 
stories, especially stories for children. 
Story-telling (n.) is a difficult art, and story- 
tellers ( and story-writers ( have 
to be very clever to make their stories 
interesting. In the East there are professional 
story-tellers whose business it is to recite 
legendary and romantic tales. A storiette 
(stor i et', n.), or story ette (stor i 
et', n.), is a very short story. 
One who makes a special study 
of popular legends and tales is a 
storiologist (stor i ol' 6 jist, n.), 
or storyologist (stor i ol' 6 jist, n.), 
and the subject of his study is 
called storiology (stor i ol' 6 ji, 
n.) or storyology (stor i ol' 6 ji, n.). 
A work of art adorned with 
scenes from well-known stories, 
or a person, place, or thing cele- 
brated in history or story, is 
sometimes said to be storied 
(stor 'id, adj.). 

M.E. stone, O.F. [estoire, from L. 
and Gr. historia narrative, report, 
from his tor learned, versed. See 
history. SYN. : Account, legend, 
myth, narrative, tale. 

story [2] (stor' i), n. A group of rooms on 
the same floor ; anything compared to such 
an arrangement ; each of a number of rows 
or tiers of windows, columns, etc., arranged 
horizontally one above the other, pi. stories 
(stor' iz). Another form is storey (stor' i) ; 
pi. storeys (stor' iz). (F. Jtage.) 

In England it is unusual to see a house with 
more than four stories, but business buildings 
and blocks of flats often have more. In New 
York and other American cities there are 
buildings with forty or more stories, and in 
London there are a number with over ten. 
The word storied (stor' id, adj.) or storeyed 
(stor' id, adj.) is generally used in combina- 
tion. Thus we speak of a two-storied or 
three-storied house. A story-post (n.) is 
an upright that supports a beam on which a 
floor or wall rests. 

An'glo-L. historia, properly history (see story 
[i]), hence perhaps tier of painted windows, or 
of statues in a fagade. SYN. : Floor. 

stoup (stoop), n. A drinking cup; a 
basin for holy water, especially one near the 
entrance of a Roman Catholic Church. (F. 
coupe, flacon, benitier.) 

From O. Norse staup, large cup ; cp. Dutch 
stoop, G. dialect stauf. See steep [a]. 

stout (stout), adj. Strong ; sturdy ; 
resolute ; fat or tending to fatness, n. A 
variety of dark beer. (F. robuste, hardi, gros ; 




A stout cloth is one that is strong in 
material and firmly woven. A stout staff is 
a sturdy one. A stout ship is one that can 
bear rough weather. A stout resistance is a 
determined one. If a person's stoutness 
(stout' nes, n.) is not very noticeable we may 
call him stoutish (stout '' ish, adj.). 

The word stout-hearted (stout hart' ed, 
adj.) means courageous, not to be daunted. 
Stout-heartedness (stout hart' ed nes, n.), or 
courage, excites our admiration, as when 
soldiers stoutly (stout' li, adv.), or stout- 
heartedly (stout hart' ed li, adv.), stand up 
to the enemy. 

O.F.estout, estult,oi Teut. origin ; cp. M. LowG. 
stolt, G. stolz proud ; perhaps akin to E. stilt, or 
from L. stultus, foolish, foolhardy. SYN. : adj. 
Bulky, corpulent, resolute, sturdy. ANT. : adj. 
Feeble, thin, weak. 

stove [i] (stov), n. An apparatus for 
heating, cooking, etc., wholly or partly 
closed, and burning gas, oil, or other fuel ; 
the metal structure of a fireplace ; a drying 
room for explosives, etc. ; a hot-house for 
plants ; an oven for heating the blast of a 
blast-furnace, v.t. Tp dry, heat, or force 
in a stove ; to disinfect with sulphur or 
similar fumes. (F. poile, fourneau, etuve, serre ; 
chauffer au four, Ztuver.) 

Stove. A slow combustion stove for heating (left), 
and a gas stove. 

Stoves are made of metal, brick, tile, 
stone, and other materials. They are often 
named from the purpose for which they are 
used, such as cooking stove, or from the fuel 
they burn, as gas stove, anthracite stove. 

A stove-pipe (n.) is a pipe that takes smoke 
from a stove to a chimney. In America a tall 
hat is sometimes called a stove-pipe hat (n.). 

Earlier, hot-room of a bath ; probably from 
M. Dutch stove ; cp. Dutch stove hot-house, G. 
stube room, A.-S. stofa, O. Norse stufa heated 
bath-room. See stew. 

stove [2] (stov). This is one of the forms 
of the past tense and past participle of 
stave. See stave. 

stow (sto), v.t. To pack away, store, or 
place neatly or in the proper place or order ; 
to furl (a sail) ; to pack compactly with 
articles. (F. mettre en place, arranger, 
arrimer, ferler, serrer.) 

Cargo is stowed on a vessel in such a way 
that it can easily be got at when wanted for 
unloading. A good deal of skill and knowledge 
is necessary to make a man a good stower 
(sto' er, n.}. Stowage (sto' aj, n.} means 
both the act of stowing and the money paid 
for stowing. A stowaway (sto' a wa, .) is a 
person who hides on a ship in order to get a 
free passage. 

M.E. stowen, from A.-S. stow place. SYN. : Fill, 
pack, store. 

strabismus (stra biz' mus), n. The 
scientific term for squinting or a squint. 
(F. strabisme.) 

Strabismus is sometimes cured by dividing 
one or more of the muscles of the eye. This 
operation is known as strabotomy (stra bot' 
6 mi, n.). 

Latinized form of Gr. strabismos from strabos 
squinting, from strephein to turn, twist. 

straddle [i] (strad' 1), v.i. To walk, 
stand, or sit with the legs apart ; to sprawl ; 
to sit astride ; of the legs, to stand far 
apart ; in U S.A. to hesitate between two 
courses of action ; to hedge, v.t. To stretch 
(the legs) far apart ; to stride across ; to 
bestride ; in poker, to double (a stake), n. 
The act of straddling ; the distance between 
the legs of a person straddling ; in poker, 
a doubling of the stake ; on the Stock 
Exchange, a contract which gives the holder 
the right of calling for stock or delivering 
it at an agreed price. (F. marcher les jambes 
ecarquillees, s'etaler, s'asseoir a califourchon, 
ecarter les -jambes, hesiter, parier pour et 
contre ; enfourcher, enjamber, se mettre a 
calif ouvchon sur ; ecartement.} 
. We straddle a gate when we have a leg 
on either side of it. We straddle a horse 
when we sit astride it. A straddle-legged 
(adj.) position is one with the legs wide apart. 
A straddler (strad ' ler, n.) is a person or thing 
that straddles. 

Modified frequentative (earlier strtddle) of 
stride. SYN. : v. Sprawl, stride. 

straddle [2] (strad' 1), v.t. To fire shots, 
first beyond and then short of (a ship, etc.), 
so as to get the range, n. A shot of this kind. 

This is a term used in the Navy. Bracket is 
the corresponding term in the Army. 

See straddle [ij. 

Stradivarius (strad i var' i us; strad i 
var' i us), n. A violin, violoncello, or viola 
made by Antonio Stradivari. An abbreviated 
form is Strad (strad). (F. stradivarius.) 

Latinized form of the maker's name. 

strafe (straf), v.t. Slang term, meaning to 
punish harshly ; to do an injury to ; to curse. 

G. = " may He punish " from straf en to 
chastise. The term arose in the World War 

straggle (strag' 1), v.i. To stray from the 
main body or from the usual way ; to 
spread out in irregular fashion ; to become 




dispersed ; to wander aimlessly ; to occur 
here and there. (F. s'eparpiller, se disperse?, 

After the Lord Mayor's Show the crowds 
straggle about the street. The word is used 
specially of a soldier who strays from his 
company or from the line of march, of a sailor 
who is absent from his ship without leave, or 
of a ship that strays from the line of battle. 

A straggler (strag' ler, n.) is a person or 
thing that straggles. A plant growing apart 
from others of its kind, or a migratory bird 
found outside its usual range, is a straggler. 
Plants that grow stragglingly (strag ' ling li, 
adv.), or in straggly (strag' li, adj.) fashion, 
are a great trouble to the tidy gardener. 

Etymology doubtful ; possibly frequentative 
of M.E. straken to wander. See stretch. SYN. : 
Ramble, stray, wander. 

straight (strat), adj. Not bent, curved, or 
crooked ; honest ; trust- 
worthy ; steady ; candid ; 
uninterrupted ; level ; in 
the right order or place ; 
direct from the source, n. 
The condition of being 
straight ; a straight or even 
piece of anything ; a 
sequence at poker, adv. 
In a straight line ; directly ; 
with good aim; at once. 
(F. droit, fidele, sincere, 
constant, uni, exacte, direct ; 
tout droit, sur le champ, 

A straight line is one ffl 
that lies evenly throughout 
its extent, or, in other 
words, is the nearest 
distance between two 
points. A straight back is 
one that is erect. Straight 
hair is hair that is not 
curly, waved, or frizzy. A straight talk is 
a piece of plain speaking. We say a man is 
straight when he is honest and upright in 
all his dealings. To put things straight 
is to put them in order. It is always better 
to go straight to the fountain-head for in- 
formation. In lawn-tennis a player who 
wins a match without losing a set is said to 
win in straight sets ( 

We all trust a straightforward (strat for' 
ward, adj.) man, for we know. that he will 
act straightforwardly (strat for' ward li, adv.), 
and not deceive us. Straightforwardness 
(strat for' ward nes, n.) is always appreciated. 
A straightforward task is one that presents 
no difficulties or complications. 

It is important that certain things, such as 
measures used by surveyors and architects, 
shall be perfectly straight. If an architect 
finds that one of his rulers lacks straightness 
(strat' nes, n.), he should not use it. 

A straight-edge (n.) is a strip of metal or 
wood with one edge straight, used as a ruler, 
or to test surfaces and edges. To do a thing 
straightway (strat' wa, adv.) is to do it at 

Straight. A ploughman, as is his wont, 
intent on ploughing a straight furrow. 

once. To straighten (strat ' en, v.t. and i.) 
means to make straight, or to become 
straight, and a straightener (strat' en er, n.) 
is a person who straightens, or an appliance 
used for straightening. 

A.-S. streht p.p. of streccan to stretch. SYN. 
adj. Even, fair, honest, level, upright, adv. 
Immediately. ANT. : adj. Crooked, shifty, 

strain [i] (stran), v.t. To stretch 
tightly ; to exert as much as possible ; 
to overtax ; to injure or distort by undue 
exercise, effort, stretching, etc. ; to force 
beyond the recognized limits ; to force the 
meaning or intention of (words, rules, etc.) ; 
to embrace or press closely ; to make 
uneasy or artificial ; to purify by passing 
through a filter or similar medium ; to 
clear (solids) out of a liquid, v.i. To strive 
intensely ; to pull (at) ; to be filtered ; to 
trickle, n. An act of strain- 
ing ; a violent or excessive 
effort; a pull; an injury 
or change of structure 
caused by violent or ex- 
cessive effort, pull, or force ; 
a song; a tune; a definite 
part of a piece of music ; 
a passage of poetry ; style 
of expression ; drift or 
tendency. (F. tendre, forcer, 
surcharger, outrer, etreindre, 
server, passer,filtrer, tamiser; 
se forcer, faire des grands 
efforts, se filtrer ; effort, 
tension, entorse, foulure, 
chant, essor.) 

A railway porter can 
carry very heavy weights 
without straining himself. 
In mechanics, strain means 
the change in the form of 
a structure caused by a 
load or other force, and stress means any 
force that produces a strain. We strain a 
point when we do more than we are entitled 
to do or more than we are bound to do in 
the circumstances. 

A strainer (stran' er, n.) is a utensil or 
device used for straining, either in the sense 
of filtering or tightening. 

From O.F. estraindre (stem eslreign-), L. 
stringer e. See stringent. SYN. : v. Constrain, 
distort, filter, force, overtax, n. Over-exertion, 
pressure, style, tension. 

strain [2] (stran), n. A race or stock ; 
a breed ; an inherited quality or tendency ; 
an addition of some racial or family element. 
(F. race, lignage.) 

Many families in England are proud to 
possess a strain of Huguenot blood in their 
veins. Owners of racehorses and hounds 
endeavour to secure animals of a good 
strain. There may be a savage strain or 
there may be an artistic strain in a person's 

A.-S. streon gain, begetting, whence strlenan 
to acquire, beget. SYN. : Breed, race, stock. 





strait (strat), adj. Narrow or restricted ; 
strict, n. (Usually pi.} a narrow belt of 
water between two larger ones; a difficult 
position; distress. (F. dtroit, serve ; detroit, 

The adjective is seldom used nowadays, 
except in allusion to the strait gate (Matthew 
vii, 13) and the straitest sect (Acts xxvi, 5). 
To straiten (strat ' en, v.t.) means to make 
narrow, to restrict, to subject or reduce to 
hardship or distress. A person who has not 
enough to live upon can be said to be in 
straitened circumstances. A strait - laced 
(adj.) person is one who is very precise and 
Puritanical in matters of conduct. A strait- 
jacket (n.), or strait-waistcoat (n.), is a 
garment used for lunatics or prisoners when 
they are violent, and to strait-waistcoat (v.t.) 
a person is to confine him in such a garment. 

O.F. estreit, estroit, from L. strictus p.p. of 
stringer e to draw tight. See strain [i], strict. 

strake (strak), n. A line of planking 
or plates extending the length of a ship 
or boat ; the iron rim of a cart-wheel ; one 
of the plates forming this. (F. gabord.) 

The strake of a 
boat corresponds to a 
course of bricks in 
a wall. In clinker- 
bui It boats the 
strakes overlap like 
weather-boarding ; in 
carvel-built boats 
they make a smooth 
joint, giving a level 

Akin to stretch. 

strain i n e o us 
(stra min' e us), adj. 
Like or coloured like 
straw; worthless. 
(F. de paille, leger comme la paille.) 

From L. stramineus from strdmen (gen. -min-is) 
straw, from stra-tus p.p. of sterner e to strew! 

stramonium (stra mo' ni um), n. A 
drug prepared from the thorn-apple, used 
in the treatment of asthma. See datura; (F.' 

Modern L., perhaps from Tatar. 

strand [i] (strand), n. The shore of a 
sea ; the side or bank of a lake or river. v.t. J 
To run aground, v.i. To be driven ashore. 
(F. cote, rivage ; faire echouer ; echouer.) 

One of the most important thoroughfares 
in London is the Strand, which got its 
name because at one time it was the strand 
or shore by the side of the Thames. A 
sailor who runs his ship aground is said to 
strand her ; sometimes a whale is stranded, 
or thrown uj) high and dry on the beach 
by wind and waves. A person who is 
left without money, or who is placed in 
some other awkward position, is said to 
be stranded, the past participle only being 
used in this sense. 

A.-S., also Dutch, G., Swed., and Dan. ; origin 
obscure. SYN. : n. Bank, beach, margin, 

Strake. Part of a boat, 
showing the skrakes. 

strand [2], n. One of the strings or 
wires of which rope is made. v.t. To break 
a strand. (F. toron, fil de caret.) 

Rope, whether made of fibre or of wire, 
is composed of a 
number of strands 
which are twisted 
together. When rope 
is to be spliced the 
strands are unlaid or 
untwisted. When a 
rope is worn through 
in one or more 
strands and is likely 
to break it is said to 
be stranded. 

Perhaps O.F. estran ; 
cp. G. strdhne. 

Strange (Stranj), Strand. A three-strand 

adj. Alien ; foreign ; r i> e (WO. and a 8tranded 
unfamiliar; not well 

known (to) ; not one's own ; novel ; unusual ; 
eccentric, awkward ; surprising ; unexpected ; 
unacquainted. (F. etranger, inconnu, singu- 
lier, bizarre, extraordinaire, dtrange, embar- 
rassant, surprenant.) 

When we visit a strange or foreign land 
we may find many things that are strange 
to us, and strike us strangely (stranj ' li, 
adv.), by their novel and unusual appearance 
or character. Even common things have 
strangeness (stranj ' nes, n.) or peculiarity. 

One who is new to a place is a stranger 
(stranj ' er, n.) to it. In a neighbouring 
county one may feel a stranger. 

O.F. estrange, L. extrdneus foreign, from extra 
without. SYN. : Alien, foreign, novel, peculiar, 
unexpected. ANT. : Familiar, usual. 

strangle (strang ' gl), v.t. To choke or 
throttle ; to kill by squeezing the windpipe ; 
to stifle or suppress. (F. etrangler, etouffer, 
supprimer.) . 

In some countries murderers and other 
evil-doers were put to death by strangling, 
which was carried out by a professional 
strangler (strang' gler, .). We sometimes 
talk of a movement being strangled when 
it is suppressed or hindered, and not allowed 
to develop. Strangles (strang ' glz, is 
an infectious catarrh which affects animals. 
O.F, estr angler, L. str angular e to strangle, 
Gr. stranggaldn ; cp. stranggos twisted. SYN. : 
Choke, suppress, throttle. 

strangulate (strang ' gu lat), v.t. To 
strangle ; in pathology, etc., to compress 
(a blood-vessel, etc.) so as to stop circulation. 
(F. etrangler.) 

The state in which a vein .or intestine 
is strangulated is known as strangulation 
(strang gu la/ shun, n.). 

From L. stranguldre (p.p. -atus) to throttle. 

strap (strap), n. A band, of leather or 
other flexible material, used to form a 
fastening, or to hold things together ; a 
strip of metal to connect or fasten parts 
together ; in botany, a part of a corolla 
shaped like a strap, v.t. To fasten with a 
strap ; to thrash with a strap ; to strop 




or sharpen ; in surgery, to close (a cut) with 
adhesive plaster. (F. courroie, lien, bande ; 
sangler, cingler, Her, donner les etrivieres a, 

The leather or webbing strap is usually 
fitted with a buckle. Two used with a 
holder form a rug strap, or pair of straps. 
Straps also form part of the harness of a 
horse. /=*;- . . 

Metal straps are used to connect and 
secure timbers, as in roof principals, where 
straight or forked ones are employed. In 
machinery a connecting rod is fastened by 
a strap of iron, which passes round its end, 
as in the rod connecting crank and treadle 
of a lathe. A strapper (strap' er, n.) is one 
who straps. We sometimes refer to a 
strong man as a strapping (strap' ing, adj.) 
fellow, or call him a strapper. A thrashing 
with the strap is facetiously called strap- 
oil (n.). 

Ornamentation, in the form of crossed or 
interlacing bands, is known as strap-work 
(n.). The edges of wounds are strapped or 
brought together by a strapping (n.) of 
plaster. In tramcars and some railway 
coaches looped straps of leather are used 
as hand-holds for standing passengers, and 
one for whom there is no seating accommo- 
dation is called a strap-hanger (n.). 

A.-S. stropp, from L. struppus, stroppus ; 
cp. Gr. strophos band, rope, from strephein to 
twist. SYN. : n. Band, strip, thong, v. Fasten. 

strappado (stra pa/ do), n. A punish- 
ment or torture inflicted by 
fastening a person's hands, etc., 
with a rope, lifting him up, and 
letting him fall to the length of 
the rope. v.t. To punish w r ith 
the strappado. (F. estrapade ; 
soumeitre a I'eslrapade.) 

Ital. strappata, from p.p. of 
strappare to tug, haul, with suffix 
altered to Span, form -ado ; said 
to be related to Dutch straffen, 
G. strafen to punish, and Dutch 
straf, G. straff taut, tight. 

strapper (strap' er). One 
who straps ; a strong, lusty 
person. See under strap, 

strata (stra' ta), This 
is the plural of stratum. See 

stratagem (straf a jem), n. 
A trick or ruse used in warfare to 
deceive an enemy ; an artifice. 
(F. stratageme, ruse, artifice.) 

By stratagem, or the use of tricks or 
manoeuvres designed to deceive and mislead 
an enemy, a commander may mask a move- 
ment he wishes to conceal, or divert the 
attention of his opponent. 

In Athens the strategus (stra te' gus, n.) 
pi. strategi (stra te' jl) or general, was one 
of the officials, appointed annually, who 

an army or of a campaign. A general who 
is a good strategist (straf e jist, n.) seeks to 
place his own men and material so that an 
enemy is put at a disadvantage, and fights 
under conditions least favourable to his 
success at times and places imposed upon 
him by the strategist. 

A commander must possess a thorough 
knowledge of strategics (stra te' jiks ; stra 
tej' iks, n.), and be able to make sound 
strategic (stra te' jik ; stra tej' ik, adj.] or 
strategical (stra te' jik al ; stra tej' ik al, 
adj.) plans. By directing his men strate- 
gically (stra te' jik al li ; stra tej' ik al li, 
adv.) or to the best possible advantage, he 
may gain a victory. Tactics, often men- 
tioned in conjunction with strategy, means 
the handling of forces actually in touch 
with the enemy, and the conduct of a battle. 

Gr. slrategema, from strategein to hold command 
of an army, hence to plan a campaign, from 
strategos a general, from stratos army, agein 
to lead. SYN. : Artifice, ruse, trick. 

strath (strath), n. A broad valley; a 
river-course with high ground on each side. 

The Scottish dance known as the strath- 
spey (strath spa', n.) gets its name from 
Strathspey, that is, the strath of the Spey, 
where apparently it originated. It is slower 
than the reel, and, unlike the reel, abounds 
in jerky movements. The music for the 
dance is also called a strathspey. 

Gaelic srath ; cp. Welsh ystrad flat valley ; 
akin to L. and E. stratum. 

Strath. The famous strath of Craig o' Leakie, near Invercauld, 

Aberdeenshire. The straths of Scotland are broad stretches of low* 

lying ground, generally traversed by a single large river and its 


stratify (straf i fl), v.t. To form or 
arrange in strata. (F. stratifier.) 

The deposits of mud, sand, etc., at the 
mouth of a river are stratified, or laid down 
in strata, by the water. The greater part 
of the earth's surface is stratified, consisting 
of layers of different rocks. 

The sea deposits various strata on the 

commanded the army in turn. Strategy beaches, and stratification (strat i n ka' 

(straf e ji, n.) means the science or art of 
conducting war, and the management of 

shun, n.) is clearly visible in chalk cliffs, 
where successive layers of chalk, sand, 




pebbles, etc., are often to be seen. Rocks 
that are arranged in a number of thin layers 
are said by geologists to be straticulate 
(stra tik' u lat, adj.}. 

From L. stratum neuter p.p. of sternere to lay 
down, spread out, and -ficdre compounding form 
of facer e to make, to do. 

stratigraphic (strat i graf ' ik). For this 
word, stratigraphy, etc., see under stratum. 

sir ato -cirrus (stra/ to sir" us). This 
is another form of cirro-stratus. See under 

stratocracy (stra tok' ra si), n. Mili- 
tary rule ; dominion or government by 
military men. (F. stratocratie, regime 

Gr. stratos army and E. -cracy. 

stratum (stra/ turn), n. A layer or 
coat ; in geology, a layer or bed of material 
spread out more or less horizontally, espe- 
cially one deposited by water. pi. strata 
(stra'ta). (F. couche.) 

This word is used by geologists to mean 
a set or series of layers considered as a 
whole, or any one of the laminae or layers 
which compose the set. The sedimentary 
strata of the earth's crust were laid down 
in the distant past on the beds of. seas, 
oceans, and lakes then existing. Among 
such rocks are the sandstones, slates, lime- 
stones, and chalk. 

The coal-measures are stratiform (strat' i 
form, adj.), taking the form of strata. The 
branch of geology called stratigraphy (stra 
tig' ra n, n.) deals with the arrangement 
of these layers and their successive order of 
deposition. A stratigraphic (strat i graf 
ik, adj.) or stratigraphical (strat i graf ik 
al, adj.) diagram represents strata as they 
lie one on another. At a geological museum 
may be seen maps in which the composition 
of many regions of the earth is depicted 
stratigraphically (strat i graf ik al li, adv.). 

L. neuter p.p. of sternere to lay down, spread 
out. SYN. : Bed, layer, thickness. 

str ato -cumulus (stra' td ku' mu his). 
This is another form of cumulo-stratus. 
See under cumulus. 

stratus (stra/ tus), n. A cloud - form 
which has a great extension horizontally 
and a low altitude, pi. strati (stra/ ti). 
(F. stratus.} 

Meteorologists distinguish kinds of clouds 
according to altitude and other circum- 
stances. A stratus is one that lies between 
two thousand and seven thousand feet above 
the earth, and is spread out in a continuous 
sheet horizontally. It is seen usually at 
morning and evening, especially in autumn. 

L. p.p. of sternere to spread out. 

straw (straw), n. The dry, ripe stalks 
of wheat, rye and other kinds of grain ; a 
piece or single stalk of this ; a trifle or 
worthless thing ; a straw hat. (F. paille, 
Hard, chapeau de paille, canotier.} 

Straw, the stalks from grain which has 
been threshed, is extremely useful for many 
purposes. Cottages and ricks are thatched 

with it ; the farmer uses it as bedding for 
his beasts, and it is strewn on the earth to 
protect young plants from the cold. 

Few fruits are more popular or more 
succulent than the strawberry (straw' ber i, 
n.} which grows on a low stemless plant 
throwing out runners. A tint resembling 
that of the pulpy fruit when crushed is 
known as crushed strawberry. The leaf 
of a strawberry plant is the emblem of a 
duke, his coronet being ornamented with 
a representation of eight such leaves. The 
strawberry-tree (n.) is an evergreen arbutus 
that bears a fruit resembling the strawberry. 

A pale yellow, of the colour of straw, 
is known as straw-colour (n.), and material 
of this hue is said to be straw-coloured (adj.). 
Straw-board (n.) is a brittle yellow pulp 
board much used for making boxes and 
for the covers of books ; it is so called because 
it is made of straw, which is pulped and then 
spread out in a layer of the desired thickness. 
The caddis-worm is called the straw-worm 
(n.) ; anything resembling or made of straw 
is strawy (straw' i, adj.). A straw-hat (n.) 
is one made of plaited or woven straw, 
and is sometimes called a straw. 

A.-S. streaw ; cp. Dutch stroo, G. stroh ; akin 
to L. sternere (p.p. strdt-um), E. strew. 

Strawberry. Picking cultivated strawberries, two of 
which are shown in the inset. 

stray (stra), v.i. To deviate from the 
right or proper way ; to wander ; to lose 
the way ; to go wrong, n. A straggler ; a 
domestic animal that has strayed, adj. 
Straggling ; strayed ; wandering ; sporadic. 
(F. erver, devier, se- fourvoyer, s'egarer; bete 
epave ; egare, vagabond, fugilif.} 

Cattle which stray, and are found straying 
or wandering on the roads, are placed in 
a pound by the police. When the owner 
seeks to reclaim the strays he must pay a 
fine, and also the expenses of feeding the 
stray beasts while in the pound. 

Those also who wander from the path 
of duty or from the right way of life 
are said to stray. When a hen misses one 




oi her brood she goes anxiously alter the 
strayer (stra' er, .), or straggler, calling to 
it in her way. 

O.F. estraier, Irom L. ex tra vagdrl to wander 
outside. See extravagant. SYN. : v. Err, 
wander, n. Truant, wanderer, adj. Occasional, 

streak (strek), n. A long narrow 

members in order that they may offer the 
least resistance to currents. 

In hydrodynamics, stream-line means the 
line of flow of particles in a stream, or 
a path free from eddies taken by a fluid 
round a solid object. The fish has developed 
such a stream -line (adj.) form rather blunt 
in front, and tapering gradually aft ; as it 

irregular mark or band different in colour swims the water can close in behind it without 
from its ground, u.t. To mark with streaks. eddies, which cause dragging and loss of 

(F. rait; rayer.) 

Sunset clouds are streaked with orange 
or crimson, and golden streaks of light may 
announce the sunrise. 

We may say of a person, perhaps, that he 
has a streak, or element, of humour in his 
character. Bacon, when cut, may have 


Men have learned co stream-line (v.t.) 
submarine boats, the underwater parts of 
ships, the envelopes of airships, the body, 
wings, and spars of an aeroplane, and the 
body of a racing motor-car. 

A.-S. stream ; ' cp. Dutch stroom, G. strom. 

streaky (strek' i, adj.] look it may SYN. : n. Brook, current, flow, river, rivulet. 

consist of alternating streaks of fat and 

lean ; some people prefer it when 

it possesses this streakiness (strek ' 

i nes, n.). Streakily (strek' i li, 

adv.) means irregularly, or in a 

streaky manner. 

A.-S. strica stroke ; cp. G. slrtch ; 
akin to E. strike. SYN. : n. Smear, 
stripe, vein. 

stream (strem), n. A body 
of flowing water ; a brook ; a 
river ; a flow of liquid ; a current, 
or steady flow ; the direction of 
this ; a large quantity of some- 
thing flowing ; a mass that moves 
onward continually ; a moving 
throng, v.i. To move or flow in 
or as in a stream ; to run or 
flow out in abundance ; to run 
with liquid ; to hang or float in 
the wind. v.t. To pour out 
(liquid) in abundance. (F. flcuve, 
torrent, ruisseau, riviere, courant, 
cours d'eau, /lot; couler, jaillir, ruisseler, 
flatter; repandre.) 

The waters of many streams help to 
swell the flow, or stream, of a large river. 

Windows stream or run with rain in a 

v. Flow, gush, issue, pour, wave. 

Stream. A pastoral scene, " The Stream." From the painting by 
J. C. Hook, R.A. 

street (stret), n. A road in a village 
or town, usually flanked by houses, etc. ; 
this together with such houses. (F. rue.) 

Certain old Roman roads are still named 
street for example, Stone Street and 

storm, and the gutter-spouts stream out Watling Street but in modern usage a 
water. Crowds stream into our railway street means a short road in a village or 
stations at holiday time, and there is a other populated place. A road is usually 

longer than a street and leads very often 
from one town to another. 

The fronts of most houses look street- 
ward (stret ' ward, adv.), or towards the 

continual . stream of people to the 

A streamlet (strem ' let, n.) is a little stream. 
A district that is without streams or rivers 

is streamless (strem' les, adj.), but one in street, although there are exceptions when 
which they are plentiful may be called the rear is the streetward (adj.) side. 

streamy (strem ' i, adj.), to use a rare word. 
This last word also means like, or flowing 

A street-sweeper (.) is a man who is 

employed to keep the streets clean ; it is 

in, a stream. To hang in the wind, as a also the name of a machine used for the 

banner does, is to stream, and a long narrow same purpose. A scavenger, or cleaner 

.flag or a pennon is called a streamer (strem' of the streets, is sometimes called a street - 

er, n.). Another streamer is the column orderly (n.). A street-arab (n.) means a 

of light that shoots across the sky, as in child of the gutter, or a vagrant, who has 

the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. no settled home. 

In the science of aerodynamics stream- A.-S. straet, from L. strata, from stratus p.p. 

line (n.) means the direction or course taken of sternere to lay down, to spread, hence to pave, 

by air currents as they impinge on the strength (strength), n. The state or quality 

body, planes, etc., of an aircraft, and also of being strong ; muscular force ; capacity 

the shape given to such a body or its for exertion or endurance ; the capacity of 




a body to withstand or sustain force or strain 
without yielding or breaking ; power of 
resistance ; the degree in which a person or 
a body is strong ; solidity ; tenacity ; 
vigour ; intensity ; power ; potency ; force 
measured in numbers, of an army, ships, 
etc. ; the proportion of a whole number 
present, mustered, etc. (F. force, puissance, 
resistance, solidite, vigueur.) 

There is something very attractive about 
the possession of physical strength, and people 
are always willing to read or hear about feats 
of strength. But enviable as strength of 
this kind may be, strength of character, too, 
is desirable. The tensile strength of a wire, 
rope, etc., is measured by the breaking strain. 

During an armed conflict much may de- 
pend on the relative strengths or numbers 
of the various battalions, divisions, and 
armies, as well as of the squadrons and fleets 
of ships or aeroplanes. ^_^___-__ 

To strengthen (strength' 
en, v.t.) a building is to 
make it stronger. A sapling 
strengthens (strength' enz, 
v.i.) as it grows ; an athlete 
as he acquires more 
strength and stamina. 
Anything which imparts 
strength is a strengthener 
(strength ' en er , n . ) . In the 
case of the athlete, his 
training may have been 
the strengthener, without 
which he might well be 
comparatively strengthless 
(strength' les, adj.) or 

A.-S. strengthu, from strung 
strong. SYN. : Force, might, 
power, tenacity, vigour. ANT.: 
Feebleness, weakness. 

strenuous (stren' u us), 
adj. Vigorous ; energetic ; 
zealous ; persistent. (F. energique, assidu, 

Football is a strenuous game, played 
vigorously, or strenuously (stren' u us li, 
adv.). A former president of the United 
States Theodore Roosevelt urged people 
to. live more strenuous or energetic lives. 
There is much to be said for his advice, and 
if Great Britain is to hold her place in the 
world her young people must take their 
careers seriously and show as much 
strenuousness (stren' u us nes, n.) in their 
work, whatever it is, as they display in games 
and sports. 

From L. strenuus active ; cp. Gr. strenes strong ; 
E. suffix -ous. SYN. : Ardent, keen, zealous. ANT. : 
Inert, lazy, lethargic slack. 

strepitoso (strep i to' so), adv. In music, in 
a noisy or impetuous manner. (F. strepitoso.) 
Ital. = clattering. 

stress (stres), n. Constraining force ; 
tension ; pressure ; strain ; in mechanics, 
force exerted between or upon bodies or 

parts ; weight ; emphasis ; accentuation ; 
importance, v.t. To subject to stress ; to lay 
stress on. (F. force, pression, charge, poids, 
accent, accentuation; charger, appuyer sur, 

Driven by stress of weather, a trawler 
may leave her nets and make for the nearest 
safe anchorage. Masts and spars are con- 
structed to withstand stress and strain, but 
they may snap under stress in a bad 

In mechanics, a stress is a force, or com- 
bination of forces, which causes a strain. A 
thrust stress produces a compression strain ; 
a pulling stress causes the strain named 
tension. A clock-spring when wound up is 
in a state of stress, and exerts a stress or 
reaction in its uncoiling. 

Every English word of more than one 
syllable has one syllable stressed, or empha- 
sized, while the others are 
left stressless (stres' les, 
adj.), that is, without 
emphasis. One who writes 
a message may underline 
some words to stress their 

Shortened from distress, 
influenced by O.F. estrece 
from L. sir ictus. SYN .: Im- 
portance, pressure, tension, 
urgency, v. Emphasize. 

stretch (strech), v.t. To 
tighten ; to make taut ; to 
draw out; to straight ten; 
to extend or cause to 
extend in any direction ; 
to draw out to the .full 
length ; to reach out (a 
hand, etc.) ; to place some- 
where in a taut, extended, 
or outspread state ; to 
strain ; to expand or 
distend; to lay out (a 
person) with a blow ; to 
strain; to do violence to; to distort, v.i. 
To be extended or expanded ; to extend 
one's limbs ; to reach ; to have a specified 
extension; to admit of being drawn out. 
n. An act of stretching; a state of being 
stretched ; a continuous line, tract, or 
expanse ; a continuous spell ; the distance 
a ship sails on the same tack. (F. tendre, 
etirer, allonger, deploy er, coucher, exagerer; 
s'etendre, setirev, s'elargir; tension, etendue, 

One can stretch a strand of elastic rubber 
to several times its original length without 
breaking it, but there is a point at which it 
will cease to stretch, and will snap. Gloves 
which are tight when first worn may stretch 
with longer use. We stretch out a limb by 
extending it to its full length. Railways now 
stretch across all civilized countries. 

Telegraph lines are tightly stretched 
between their posts, the lineman using a vice 
with a ratchet by means of which the wire 
is stretched and made taut. 

display of strength 
woman of Japan. 




People have been known to fast for several 
weeks at a stretch, or on end. In most 
trades men work continuously for a stretch, 
or spell, of eight hours. Anything which 
stretches, or serves to stretch, is a stretcher 
(strech' er, n.). An injured person is carried 
on a kind of litter called a stretcher. 

In brickwork a stretcher is a brick placed 
lengthwise in the direction of a wall, one 
laid crosswise being known as a header. A 
wall made up entirely of stretchers so laid is 
said to be built with stretcher-bond (n.}, 
each course being a stretcher-course (n.), and 
the joints of one course being opposite the 
centres of the bricks in the courses next 
above and below it. 

An elastic substance, or one that stretches 
much, is said to be stretchy (strech' i, adj.). 

A.-S. streccan , cp. Dutch strekken, G. strecken ; 
perhaps akin to E. stark. SYN. : v. Elongate, 
extend, lengthen, strain, tighten. n. Expanse, 
extent, span, spell, tract. ANT. : v. Compress, 
contract, loosen, shorten. 

strew (stroo), v.t. To scatter ; to spread 
about or cover by scattering, p.p. strewn 
(stroon), or strewed (strood). (F. semer, 
eparpiller, couvrir.) 

Floors were formerly strewed, or covered, 
with rushes. On the first Palm Sunday the 
people strewed branches in the path of 
Christ, as he entered Jerusalem. 

A.-S. streawian ; cp. G. streuen. See straw. 
SYN. : Scatter, spread. 

Striated. Skin of the African scaly ant-eater, show- 
ing the striated surface of the scales. 

stria (strl' a), n. A strip or streak ; a 
small groove or furrow running parallel to 
others, pi. striae (strl' e). (F. strie.) 

To striate (strl' at, v.t.) is to mark with 
striae. Ordinary muscle tissue is striate 
(strl' at, adj.), and the striated fibres which 
compose it have both lengthwise and trans- 
verse markings on them. Some rocks exhibit 
striation (strl a' shim, n.), the surface being 
marked with fissures caused ages ago by the 
passage of a glacier. 

L. = furrow, groove. 

stricken (strik' en). This is a form 01 
the past participle of strike. See strike. 

strict (strikt), adj. Exactly or precisely 
defined ; governed by exact rules ; accurate ; 
rigorous ; severe ; not lax ; not admitting of 
deviation or exception. (F. strict, precis, 
exact, rigoureux.) 

In wartime, the discipline of soldiers, at 
all times strict, or characterized by strictness 
(strikt' nes, n.), becomes more stringent 
still. Any violation of the strict rules and 
regulations is severely punished. Civilians 
who accompany an army are amenable to 
military law, and must obey orders strictly 
(strikt' li, adv.), or precisely. 

A stricture (strik' chur, n.) is a censure, or 
a severe criticism of conduct. In pathology, a 
stricture means a contraction of a duct or pass- 
age in the body, which when thus contracted 
is said to be strictured (strik' churd, adj.). 

From L. strictus p.p. of stringere to strain. 
SYN. : Accurate, exact, precise, rigid, rigorous. 
ANT. : Inaccurate, lax, slack. 

stride (strid), v.i. To walk with long steps. 
v.t. To bestride ; to cover in a single step. 
p.t. strode (strod) ; p.p. stridden (strid' en), 
or strid (strid). n. A long step or pace ; 
the distance covered by such a step. (F. 
marcher a grandes enjambees; enfourcher, 
enj amber; enjambee.) 

Soldiers march with a regulator measured 
stride, at an even pace or stride. We may 
roughly measure a plot of land by pacing 
or striding along its margins. If in striding 
through a country lane we have to cross a 
puddle we may take it in our stride, striding 
or stepping over the obstacle. 

A.-S. strldan ; cp. Low G. strlden to strive, 
stride, Dutch strijden, G. straiten to contend. 
SYN. : v. Bestride, pace, step, straddle, walk. 
n. Pace, step. 

strident (strl' dent), adj. Sounding harsh 
and loud. (F. strident.} 

Bolts and hinges which have grown rusty 
with disuse creak in a strident manner 
when one attempts to move them. Some 
persons have. harsh, metallic voices, and are 
then said to talk stridently (strl' dent li, adv.). 

The harsh creaking noise made by cicadas, 
crickets, and some other insects is called a 
stridor (strl' dor, n.). Such insects stridulate 
(strid' u lat, v.i.), or make this stridulous 
(strici' u lus, adj.) noise by rubbing the hard 
parts of their body together. The stridula- 
tory (strid' u la to ri, adj.) organ is usually 
the wing-case, or the femur, each of which is 
provided with a roughened, file-like surface. 
The grasshopper is a stridulator (strid' u la 
tor, n.), which makes its chirp by rubbing 
wing and femur together, but the stridulation 
(strid u la' shun, n.) of the cricket is produced 
by the wings alone. 

L. strldens (ace. -ent-em), pres. p. of strldere to 
creak. SYN. : Grating, harsh. 

strife (strif), n. Conflict ; contention ; 
hostile struggling ; contest undertaken in 
emulation or rivalry. (F. lutte, contention, 




An agitator endeavours to sow strife and 
dissension among people. Athletes compete 
in friendly strife. 

O.F. estrif, O. Norse strith (cp. Dutch strijd, 
G. streit], or from source of G. streben to 
endeavour. See strive. SYN. : Contention, 
contest, dispute, struggle. ANT. : Amity, concord. 

striga (stri' ga), n. In botany, a short, 
stiff hair or hair-like scale, pi. strigae 
(stri' ji). 

Botanists describe the surface of a leaf 
or stem that is covered with strigae as strigose 
(stri' gos, adj.], or strigous (stri' gus, adj.}. 
These words also mean of the nature of 

L. striga a row of corn or hay cut down, perhaps 
from stringer e to press together ; cp. stria. 

Strike. Driving a wedge into a piece of tree trunk 
by striking it with a heavy hammer. 

strike (strlk), v.t. To hit; to deliver a 
blow or blows upon ; to drive or send with 
a blow ; to collide with ; to cause to pene- 
trate ; to thrust (into) ; to secure (a hooked 
fish) by jerking the line upwards ; to cause 
(an hour) to sound by beats on a bell, etc. ; 
to stamp or mint (a coin) ; to ratify (a 
bargain) ; to arrive at (an average) ; to 
determine (a balance) ; , to assume (an 
attitude) dramatically ; to cause to become 
(blind, etc.) ; to affect or impress mentally ; 
to arrest the attention of ; to afflict ;* to 
cause (a match) to ignite ; to light upon 
suddenly ; to occur to suddenly ; to level 
off (a joint in masonry) ; to level (a measure of 
grain, etc.) by scraping off the surplus ; to 
lower (a flag or sail) ; to take down (a tent) ; 
to cease (work) as a protest against low 
wages, etc. v.i. To hit ; to deliver a blow 
or blows (upon) ; to dash (against, upon, 
etc.) ; to run aground or against rocks ; 
to sound the time ; to cease work as a 
protest ; to enter or turn (into a track, etc.) ; 
to diverge (to) ; to arrive suddenly ; to 
take root ; to jerk fishing tackle so as to 
secure the hook in a fish's mouth ; to lower 
nags or sails as a sign of surrender ; in 

geology, to extend in a specified direction 
(of strata), n. The act of striking, especially 
a massed refusal to work until a grievance is 
remedied ; a discovery (of minerals) ; the 
jerk by which an angler secures a hooked 
fish ; a straight rule for levelling grain, etc., 
in a measure ; a rod or narrow board for 
levelling a surface ; in geology, the horizontal 
direction of a bed of rock. p.t. struck (struk); 
p.p. struck (struk) or stricken (strik' en). 
(F. assener, frapper, heurter, percer, sonner, 
ratifier, ttablir, saisir, allumer, rencontrer, 
araser, amener, plier, faire greve ; frapper, 
heurter, dchouer, sonner, se mettre en greve, 
prendre racine, baisser pavilion, amener les 
voiles; greve, regie, radoire, inclinaison de 

It is unpleasant to strike one's elbow 
accidentally against a sharp object. We 
strike a match by rubbing it against the 
side of the matchbox. If the match strikes, 
or gives a light by being struck, we succeed 
in striking, or producing, a light. The 
executioner of mediaeval times struck off 
the heads of, or beheaded, his victims with 
an axe. An idea strikes one when it occurs 
to one by chance. 

Coins are said to be struck, because they 
are shaped and impressed by stamping. 
Similarly, a printer is said to strike off, or 
print, a number of posters. To strike a 
person off a list, however, is to remove his 
name from it. 

People are said to strike out, or make 
vigorous strokes of various kinds, when 
boxing, swimming, or skating. We strike 
out a line of action for ourselves when we 
make a plan and follow it. Steel strikes sparks 
out of flint, that is, produces them by striking. 
A writer strikes out misspelt words when 
he deletes them, or draws pen or pencil 
lines through them. 

To strike up a tune is to begin to sing or 
play it, and to strike up a friendship or 
conversation with a person is to enter into 
it without formalities. 

The Biblical expression " well stricken in 
years " means aged. To be stricken with 
fever is to be affected by it. A pitched 
battle is sometimes called a stricken field. 
Many people use a strike-a-light (n.), which is 
a mechanical lighter containing a flint, to 
light their pipes, etc. 

A small money allowance, called strike-pay 
(n.), is made by his trade union to a striker 
(strik' er, n.), that is, a workman on strike, 
to prevent him from starving, owing to the 
stoppage of his wages. A strike in which 
workmen of many trades take part is called 
a general strike. 

A blacksmith's striker is an assistant 
who wields a heavy hammer. The striker 
of a gun or rifle is a part which flies forward 
when the trigger is pulled. It has a pointed 
part which indents and explodes the cap 
or the cartridge. In lawn-tennis, the player 
who receives the service is called the receiver 
or striker-out (n.). 




A striking (strlk' ing, adj.] picture is one 
that strikes our attention by being out of the 
common. Some persons have a striking, 
or impressive, manner, that strikes, or arrests, 
us. Others are strikingly (strlk' ing li, adv.], 
that is, very noticeably, handsome. Others 

A piece of music in sonata form for such 
a group is also called a string quartet. 

A string-board (n.) or string-piece (n.) is 
one of the side pieces of a wooden staircase 
which supports the ends of the steps. A 
string-course (n.) is a horizontal band or 

gain charm those who meet them by the course projecting from a wall, to break up 

(-ilj't'ri rrt-*ie>c> / OT-T-I \r i Ti rr floe /w I TrOT- to -rho /- * , , * 

strikingness (strlk ' ing nes, n.), that is, the 
striking quality, of their conversation. 

A.-S. strican to go, flow, stroke , cp. Dutch 
strijken, G. streichen to stroke ; akin to L. 
stringere to graze. See stroke [i] and [2]. SYN. : 
v. Beat, buffet, hit, knock, smite. 

string (string), n. Twine, or thin cord ; a 
long strip of this, or of leather, or other 
material, used for tying up, lacing together, 
or fastening objects ; a string-like fibre, etc. ; 
a stretched wire or piece of twisted gut in a 
musical instrument, yielding a tone or tones 
when vibrated ; a number of objects 
threaded on a string ; a series of things 
fastened together in line ; a number of 
persons or things of one kind following one 
another in close succession ; in billiards, a 
scoring board having button indicators 
sliding on wires ; the score marked with this ; 
(pi.) a body of stringed musical instruments. 
/;./. To furnish with a string or 
strings ; to thread on a string ; 
to fasten the string on (a bow) ; 
to strip the hard edge-fibres off 
(beans) ; to make (nerves) tense. 
v.i. To become stringy ; in 
billiards, to decide who shall 
begin a game by making pre- 
liminary strokes, p.t. and p.p. 
strung (strung) . (F. corde, ficelle, 
cordon, lacet, filandres, chapelet, 
serie ; garnir de cordes, mettre 
une corde a; devenir filandreux.} 

Ordinary string is thicker than 
thread, but finer than cord. 
Certain items of clothing are 
fastened with strings, such as 
shoe-strings, apron-strings, and 
bonnet-strings. Onions are tied 
in strings for keeping. We also 
speak of a string of sausages, 
when they are linked together in 
a line. A puppet is usually worked by 
strings attached to its limbs. Hence, when 
one person controls or influences the actions 
of others, he is said to pull the strings. 

The mediaeval archer carried a spare 
string for use if the one on his bow should 
break. In a figurative sense a person is said 
to have two strings to his bow when he has 
an alternative course in reserve in case the 
one he is following should fail. One's nerves 
are said to be strung up when one is excited 
or keyed up for some effort. Highly-strung 
people are over sensitive. 

A string-band (n.}, or string-orchestra (n.}, 
consists only of players on stringed (stringd, 
adj.] musical instruments, especially violins, 
violas, violoncellos, and double-basses. A 

a flat, uninteresting surface. 

The twitching of a horse's hind legs in 
walking is known as string-halt (n.). 

The gut meshing of a lawn-tennis racket is 
called the stringing (string' ing, n.), a term 
also applied to the fixing of the gut into the 
frame of the racket. 

A stringer (string' er, n.) may be a person 
who strings or fits the strings on a piano 
or tennis racket, or who strings beads, etc. 

A violin lacking its strings is a stringless 
(string' les, adj.) instrument. A small gauge 
used by violinists and others for measuring 
the thickness of their strings is called a 
string-gauge (n.). Runner beans become 
stringy (string' i, adj.), or fibrous, when old. 
In Australia the name of stringy-bark (n.) 
is given to several species of eucalyptus, 
or gum-tree, the bark of which is remarkable 

String. Girl gardeners stringing crocuses to protect thei 
damage by birds. 


for its stringiness (string' i nes, n.), that is, 
its stringy or fibrous nature. 

A string-board is sometimes called a 
stringer ; so also is a horizontal timber or 
girder running lengthwise in a building or 
other structure. The stringer of a boat is a 
narrow plank running fore-and-aft inside the 
ribs. In a steel ship, the stringers are hori- 
zontal metal girders riveted to the frames 
inside to keep them the right distance apart, 
and to stiffen the sides. On railway bridges 
longitudinal sleepers, named stringers, are 
sometimes used instead of cross-sleepers. 

A.-S. streng ; cp. Dutch streng, G. strang ; akin 
to strangle. SYN. : Cord, leash, line, thread, train. 

stringendo (strin jen' do), adv. In 
music, hastening ; in quicker time and louder. 

string quartet (n.) is a group of four players, (F stringendo, en pressant le temps.} 
usually two violinists, a violist, and a 'cellist. Ital., from stringere, strignere to press. 




stringent (strin' jent), adj. Of rules, 
rigid or strict ; tight or binding ; con- 
vincing ; compelling assent. (F. strict, 
obligatoire, convaincant.} 

Stringent restrictions leave no loophole 
for the person who is bound by them to 
use his own discretion. They are drawn up 
stringently (strin' jent li, adv.], that is, 
strictly and precisely, and have the quality 
of stringency (strin' jen si, n.), that is, rigour 
or strictness. The money-market is said 
to be stringent when money is scarce, and 
financiers find difficulty in carrying out their 
operations owing to its stringency. 

From L. stringens (ace. -ent-em) pres. p. of 
stringer e to draw tight ; akin to E. string. SYN. : 
Binding, hampered, precise, tight, unaccom- 
modating. ANT. : Accommodating, loose, un- 

stringer (string' er). For this word, 
stringless, etc., see under string. 

strip [i] (strip), v.t. To remove the cover- 
ing from ; to skin, peel, or husk ; to plunder ; 
to deprive (of) ; to remove (clothes, bark, 
rigging, etc.) ; to milk (a cow) to the last 
drop ; to tear off (the thread) 
from a screw, v.i. To undress ; 
to come away in strips ; of a 
projectile, to be fired without 
spin ; of a screw, to have the 
thread torn off. (F. depouiller, 
peler, devaliser, traire a sec, 
arracher le filet de ; se deshabiller, 
tomber par rubans.) 

A house is stripped when all 
its furniture and fittings are 
removed ; a ship when it is dis- 
mantled ; and a tree when its 
fruit is all gathered, or all its 
branches are sawn or broken off. 
Bathers strip, or take off their 
clothes, before entering the water. 
The thread of a bolt is sometimes 
stripped when the unit is screwed 
on too tightly. One who strips 
bark from trees, shoddy from a 
carding machine, etc., is known 
as a stripper (strip' er, n.), and so 
is a machine or appliance used for this or 
similar work. Strip-leaf (n.) is a kind of 
tobacco with the stems of the leaves removed. 

A.-S. -strypan ; cp. Dutch stroopen. G. streifen. 
SYN. : Denude, despoil, undress. 

strip [2] (strip), n. A long, narrow band 
or piece of anything. (F. bande.} 

A strip may be of any size, provided that it 
is long in proportion to its width. It may be 
as small as a strip or band of paper used to 
make a spill, or as large as the strip of land in 
South-west Africa, the Caprivi enclave, about 
eighteen thousand square miles. 

Probably akin to E. strap, strop, or to stripe. 

stripe (strip), n. A long narrow band of a 
distinctive colour or material ; a chevron ; 
a blow with a cane, whip, scourge, etc. 
v.t. To mark with stripes. (F. raie, bande, 
chevron, galon, coup de fouet ; rayer, barrer, 

A stripe differs in texture or colour from 
the surface on which it occurs. Evening 
dress trousers, for instance, usually have a 
stripe of braid clown the side seams. Tigers and 
many other animals are striped or have their 
fur banded with stripes of different colours. 
The zebra, in particular, is a, very stripy 
(strip' i, adj.) beast, that is, one having, or 
marked with, stripes. The stripiness (strip' 
i nes, n.), or stripy character, of so'me fabrics, 
is very pleasing, but loud or obtrusive stripes 
are unsuitable for clothing. 

Probably a weaver's term from M. Dutch 
stripe ; cp. G. streif, with third sense cp. Dutch 
strippen to whip. SYN. : . Band, strip. 

stripling (strip' ling), n. A youth or 
lad whose figure is not yet mature and filled 
out. (F. petit jeune homme.) 

Dim. of E. stripe or strip [2], implying an 
undeveloped youth all length and no breadth. 

strive (striv), v.i. To try or work hard ; 
to vie ; to struggle, or contend ; to quarrel 
(with each other), p.t. strove (strov) ; p.p. 
striven (striv' en). (F. faire tous ses efforts, 
rivaliser, lutter, se disputer.} 

Strive. Pelicans engaged in a battle on land, each striving to 
secure the coveted piece of food. 

We should all strive to do our work as 
well as possible, if only for the sake of our 
own self-respect. The striver (striv' er, n.} 
against misfortunes stands a better chance 
of overcoming them than the person who 
bears them passively. 

O.F. estriver from the source of estrif strife. See 
strife. SYN. : Contend, emulate, endeavour., 
tight, struggle. 

strobile (strob' il ; stro' bil), n. A fir- 
cone or similar fruit. Another form is 
strobilus (stro bi' liis) ; its pi. is strobili 
(stro bi' 11). (F. strobile.) 

F., from Gr. strobilos spinning top, hence (from 
shape) a fir cone, from strephein to whirl. 

strode (strod). This is the past tense of 
stride. See stride. 

stroke [i] (strok), n. A blow; the shock, 
impact, or noise of a blow ; a sudden attack 
(of illness, etc.) ; a single effort ; a skilful or 




successful effort ; one of a series of repeated 
movements, as of an oar, piston, etc. ; the 
rate, length, or manner of such movements ; 
a mark made by a single sweep in one 
direction of a pen, pencil, or brush ; a stroke- 
oar, v.t. To act as stroke for (a crew or boat). 
(F. coup, attaque, trait, coup de maitre, coup 
d'aviron, trait de plume, coup de pinceau, 
chef de nage ; gouverner la nage.} 

At some schools boys are punished with 
strokes of the cane. A striking clock sounds 
the hours by strokes on a bell or coil of wire. 
In the tropics Europeans sometimes suffer 
from heat-stroke, a violent form of sun-stroke, 
producing insensibility and convulsions. A 
swordsman gives his opponent a finishing 
stroke when he suddenly ends the combat 
by killing him. Any highly original or apt 
idea may be described as a stroke of genius. 
A good stroke of business is a profitable 

The stroke or stroke-oar 
(n.) of a rowing crew is 
said to stroke the boat. 
He sits nearest the stern, 
and sets the time of the 
stroke, or the rate at 
which the rest of the crew 
pull their oars. 

In cricket, the different 
ways of hitting the ball 
are called strokes, each 
having a special name, as 
the cut, drive, glide, pull, 
square cut, etc. The term 
is also used in other sports 
for the act of hitting the 
ball, and, in a special 
sense, in golf, for a point 
or unit of scoring. 

M.E. stroc, from A.-S. 
sir lean. See strike. SYN. : 
n. Blow, hit, impact, shock. 

stroke [2] (strok), v.t. 
To rub gently in one 
direction ; to pass the hand caressingly over. 
n. The act of stroking ; a spell of stroking. 
(F. caresser, passer la main sur ; caresse.} 

An animal's hair or fur becomes ruffled up 
if it is stroked in the opposite direction to 
that in which it lies. To stroke a person 
the wrong way thus means to ruffle his temper 
or annoy him. The hand of the stroker (strok' 
er, n.) is passed strokingly (strok' ing li, adv.], 
that is, in a stroking manner, over a cat's 
back when he gives it a stroke. 

A.-S. stracian, from strican to flow, stroke. See 
stroke [i] and: strike. SYN. : v. Caress, fondle. 

stroll (strol), v.i. To walk in a leisurely 
way ; to go. for a short saunter. -v:t. To walk 
slowly along (a road) or about (a place), n. 
A leisurely walk ; a saunter ; a ramble. 
(F. se balader, faire un tour; parcourir a 
loisir; balade.) 

On public holidays, many people may be 
seen strolling in the parks. A stroller (strol 7 
er, n.) merely saunters along ; he is not a 
strenuous walker. In former times, an 

Strong. A strong man holding a heavy 
bar-bell above his head. 

actor who belonged to a troupe that travelled 
from place to place, on foot or otherwise, 
giving performances in villages, private 
houses, and towns, etc., was called a strolling 
player (n.) or stroller. The miniature play 
performed before the king in " Hamlet " 
(iii, 2) is presented by a strolling company (n.), 
or party of itinerant actors. 

Perhaps obsolete G. strolchen, stro lien, to 
wander as a tramp (strolch vagabond). SYN. : v. 
arid n. Ramble, saunter. 

stroma (stro' ma), n. The framework or 
support of tissue forming the chief mass of a 
bodily organ ; the cell body of a red blood 
corpuscle, pi. stromata (stro' ma ta). 

Doctors describe an inflammation of the 
stroma as stromatic (stro mat' ik, adj.}. 
Gr. = bedding, from stronnynai to strew. 
strong (strong), adj. Possessing or able 
to exert great force ; powerful ; muscular ; 
capable; vigorous; ener- 
getic; having power of 
resistance or endurance ; 
healthy ; tough ; solid ; 
not easily broken, worn, 
captured, etc. ; having 
great numbers, resources, 
or great naval or military 
power ; wealthy ; having 
a specified number of men, 
etc. ; affecting the senses 
powerfully ; loud and 
penetrating ; pungent ; in- 
toxicating ; ill-smelling ; 
glaring ; vivid ; convinc- 
ing ; bold ; stressed; 
accented ; in grammar, 
forming the different parts 
of speech by changes of 
the stem-vowel, and not 
by the addition of a con- 
sonant. (F.fort,musculeux, 
capable, vigour eux, ener- 
gique, resistant, puissant, 
penetrant, piquant, enivrant, puant, eclatant.} 
Hercules and Samson are traditional types 
of the strong man one of superior physical 
development, capable of exerting great 
muscular force. People who are not liable to 
illness and who are able to overcome the 
effects of disease, are said to have strong 

A strong force, that is to say, one large 
in numbers, is needed to capture a strong, 
or well-fortified, position. A troop of boy 
scouts, thirty strong, is one numbering 
thirty members. 

We should make a strong, or emphatic, 
protest when treated unfairly or unjustly. 
In the law courts, a strong case is one well 
supported by evidence. Strong colours are 
intense ; strong outlines are such as are 
boldly defined. 

When we hear a person speak with a strong, 
or broad, Scottish accent, we may safely 
guess his nationality. In music, the strongest 
accent falls on the first beat of the bar. 




Every bank has a strong-room (.), that is, strove (strov). This is the past tense of 

a specially built, fire-proof and burglar-proof strive. See strive. 

chamber in which valuables are kept. It is 
built of steel and concrete, and, in effect, 
is a very large, fixed safe. A receptacle 
for valuables that is difficult to break open 
is known as a strong box (n.) 

struck (struk). This is the past tense 
and past participle of strike. See strike. 

structure (struk' chur), n. The manner in 
which a building, organism, or other com- 
plete whole is constructed or organically 

In the Middle Ages, the robber baron formed ; the arrangement of parts or organs 

depended largely for security upon his 
stronghold (n.), or fortress. Any secure place 

in a complex whole ; construction ; a com- 
bination of parts, as a building, machine, 

of refuge may also be called a stronghold. or organism, especially the supporting frame- 
People, especially women, with strong, work or all the essential parts. (F. cow- 
vigorous minds, capable of reasoning clearly 
and soundly, are said to be strong-minded 
(adj.). This word was once used .in a dis- 
paraging sense of supporters of feminism. 

A strongish (strong' ish, adj.) smell is one 
that is somewhat strong. The word strongly 
(strong' li, adv.) means in a strong manner, 
in many of the senses of the adjective. A 

struction, distribution, edifice.) 
Anatomy is the science of the structure 
of organisms. In comparative anatomy we 
learn of the structural (struk' chur al, adj.) 
similarities and differences, that is, as regards 
structure, between the lower animals and 
man. A skyscraper may be described as a 
towering structure, or building. Sentences 

strongly-accented line of verse is one with having a simple structure, or arrangement of 

heavily marked stresses. words, are easier to understand than involved 

A.-S. strung ; cp. O. Norse strang-r, Dutch, sentences. 

G. streng strict ; akin to L. stringer e to strain. Modern steel bridges are very strong 

SYN. : Energetic, firm, forcible, hardy, powerful. structurally (struk' chur al li, adv.], that is, 

ANT. : Delicate, feeble, infirm, powerless, weak. as regards their construction, unless they 

strontia (stron' shi a), n. An oxide of happen to contain structural defects, or 

strontium. Another less common form is defects in their structure. Minerals are 
strontian (stron' shi an). (F. strontiane. 

The hard, malleable, 
yellowish-white metallic ele- 
ment called strontium (stron ' 
shi um, n.} belongs to the 
same group as calcium and 
barium. It occurs in nature 
chiefly in the form of stron- 
tianite (stron' shi an it, n.}, 
which is a carbonate of the 

From Strontian in Argyll- 
shire, Scotland, where it was 
first found. 

strop (strop), n. A strip 
of leather or canvas on which 
razors are sharpened ; an 
apparatus for the same pur- 
pose ; in nautical use, a ring 
or closed band of hide, rope, 
or iron, attached to a yard, 
pulley, block, etc., as a pur- 

Strop. Various forms of rope and 
iron strops attached to blocks. 

structureless (struk' chur les, adj.) in the 
sense that they lack organic 
structure, but we may speak 
of the structure of certain 
igneous rocks, for instance, 
as being chiefly crystalline. 

F., from L. struct ur a fitting 
together, adjustment, from 
struere (p.p. structus) to pile 
up, arrange. 

struggle (strug' 1), v.i. To 
make violent movements ; to 
make great or determined 
efforts, especially against 
difficulties ; to strive hard 
(to) ; to contend ; to make 
one's way (along, etc.) 
against difficulties, etc. n. 
An act or spell of struggling ; 
a strenuous effort of body or 
mind under difficulties ; a 
hard contest; a fight of a 

chase for tackle, etc. v.t. To sharpen on or confused character. (F. se debattre, lutter, se 

with a strop. (F. cuir a rasoir, cuir a 
repasser, estrope ; repasser sur le cuir.} 
A.-S. strop, olden form of strap. See strap. 

strophe (strof i ; stro' n), n. The first 
part of an ode recited by the chorus in ancient 
Greek drama ; one of two or more sections 
of a lyric poem that correspond exactly in 
metre ; a stanza. (F. strophe.} 

In the ancient Greek theatre, there was a 
dramatic convention for the chorus to turn 
from right to left when they chanted the 
strophe, or first section of the choral ode, and 
then from left to right for the antistrophe. 
The strophic (strof ik, adj.) metres, or those 
of the strophe, were repeated exactly in the 

Gr. strophe, from strephein to turn. 

demener ; effort, lutte, rixe.} 

A trapped animal struggles to escape from 
the trap. Many people have to struggle 
against adversity, and find life a hard 
struggle. It is sometimes a struggle or efforl 
to get on to a crowded vehicle, but the 
thoughtless struggler (strug' ler, n.}, whc 
forces his way on at the expense of old and 
infirm people has cause to be ashamed ol 
himself. In a figurative sense, a gleam oi 
sunlight may be said to struggle through 
the clouds. 

A struggling (strug' ling, adj.) artist i? 
one who finds it difficult to earn a living 
from the sale of his pictures, or to win a 
reputation for himself. A person may be 
said to climb strugglingly (strug' ling li, adv.), 




or with struggles, up a steep and slippery 

M.E. strogelen ; perhaps a frequentative akin 
to O. Norse strug-r ill-will, Swed. dialect strug, 
strife. SYN. : v. Contend, endeavour, labour, strive. 
n. Contest, endeavour, jostling, labour, melee. 

Struldbrug (struld' 
brug), n. One of the 
unfortunate inhabi- 
tants of Luggnagg, in 
Swift's " Gulliver's 
Travels," who were 
incapable of dying, 
and lingered on sup- 
ported by a miserable 
pittance from the 

This word is some- 
times used allusively, 
as when an old man, 
who lives on an in- 
sufficient pension, is 
described as having become a Struldbrug. 

Name invented by Swift. 

strum (strum), v.t. To play (a piano, 
banjo, etc.), monotonously or unskilfully ; 
to play (a tune) in this way. v.i. To perform 
on an instrument thus. n. The sound made 
by playing in this way. (F. tapoter, massacrer.) 

Variant of thrum with s prefixed. See thrum. 

struma (stroo' ma), n. Another name for 
scrofula or tuberculosis ; a cushion-like 
swelling on a plant, pi. strumae (stroo' me). 

A person affected with struma can be 
described as strumous (stroo' mus, adj.), a 
a word that can also be applied to any 
condition caused by or of the nature of struma. 
The alternative form strumose (stroo' mos, 
adj.) is used in botany to describe a part that 
has a struma or strumae. 

L. slriima tiimour, from struere to heap. 

strung (strung). This is the past tense 
and past participle of string. See string. 

strut [i] (strut), v.i. To walk in a pompous 
or an affected manner, n. Such a gait. (F. 
se pavaner ; demarche altiere.} 

Some people who affect superiority parade 
about with a strut, taking stiff, dignified 
steps, and holding their heads erect. Cocks, 
turkeys, and peacocks also strut or walk 
about struttingly (strut' ing li, adv.}. 

M.E. strouten to protrude ; cp. Dan. strutte to 
strut, G. strotzen to bulge. See strut [2]. 

strut [2] (strut), n. A piece of wood or 
timber in a structure, resisting pressure or 
thrust along its length ; an oblique brace. 
v.t. To support or strengthen with struts. 
(F. entretoise, etai ; entretoiser, etayer.} 
" Cp. Low G.~ strutt rigid. See strut [i], 

struttingly (strut' ing li). For this word 
see under strut [i]. 

strychnine (strik' nin ; strik' nin), n. A 
highly poisonous alkaloid drug obtained 
from nux vomica, etc. (F. strychnine.} 

Strychnine is a colourless crystalline 
substance with an exceedingly bitter taste. 
It is used in medicine in minute quantities 
as a nerve stimulant. Strychnine poisoning, 

Struggle. Fox terriers engaged in a playful but 
determined struggle for a piece of sacking. 

which is accompanied by spasms known 
as strychnic (strik' nik, adj.} convulsions, 
resembling the symptoms of tetanus, is also 
called strychninism (strik' nin izm, n.} or 
strychnism (strik' nizm, n.}. 

L. strychnos, Gr. strykhnos nightshade, and 
E. chemical suffix -ine. 

stub (stub), n. The 
projecting stump of 
a tree, tooth, etc. ; a 
stump, end, or remnant 
(of a cigar, pencil, 
etc.). v.t. To clear 
(land) of stubs, trees, 
etc., by uprooting 
them ; to grub (stubs) 
up by the roots ; to 
knock (one's foot) 
against a stub or pro- 
jection. (F. troncon, 
chicot, bout; deblayer, 
deraciner, donner du pied contre.} 

The stubs of felled trees send out shoots 
and fresh leaves if they are left in the ground. 
They have to be stubbed up before the land 
in which they are growing can be cultivated. 
It is difficult to write with a stub of pencil, or 
c~e that is stubby (stub' i, adj.}, that is, 
short and thick like a stub. Some dogs' 
tails are cut very short and have the quality 
of stubbiness (stub' i nes, n.}. 

A.-S. stubb ; cp. Dutch stobbe, O. Norse slubb-r ; 
also Gr. stypos stem, stump. SYN. : n. End, 
fag-end, remnant, stump. 

stubble (stub' 1), n. Stumps of corn, etc., 
left in the ground after harvesting ; a field 
covered with stubble ; short, bristly growth 
of hair. (F. chaume, eteule.} 

Stubble has to be ploughed in before 
another crop can be sown. Sometimes 
cattle are put out to graze on grass or clover 
growing among the stubble. They are then 
said to be stubble-fed (adj.}. It is uncomfort- 
able to walk in thin shoes over a stubbly 
(stub' li, adj.} field, that is, one covered with 
stubble. A man gets a stubble of short, 
stiff hairs on his chin if he delays shaving. 
His chin becomes stubbly, or like stubble. 

O.F. estuble, L.L. stupula, L. stipula, dim. of 
stipes stem, post. 

stubborn (stub' orn), adj. Unyielding ; 
inflexible ; unreasonably obstinate ; not to 
be persuaded ; difficult to deal with. (F. 
inflexible, entete, opinidtre, tetu, refractaire.} 

Donkeys and mules are stubborn animals. 
Facts are said to be stubborn things; they 
cannot be ignored and they sometimes 
spoil our fancies and theories. People with 
stubborn wills behave stubbornly (stub' 
orn li, adv.}, that is, in an obstinate manner. 
They have the quality of stubbornness (stub' 
orn nes, n.}. 

Perhaps from A.-S. stubba. See stub. SYN. : 

Inflexible, intractable, obdurate, refractory. 

ANT. : Accomodating, docile, flexible, tractable. 

stubby (stub' i). For this word see undev 





stucco (stuk' 6), n. A fine plaster used for 
coating walls, or moulding into decorations 
in relief ; a coarse plaster or cement used 
for coating the outsides of buildings, adj. 
Made of stucco ; ornamented with decora- 
tions in stucco ; coated with stucco, v.t. To 
coat with stucco, pi. stuccoes (stuk' 6z). 
(F. stuc ; enduire de sine.} 

A stucco composed of lime and powdered 
marble is used for cornices and mouldings. 
Some houses have stuccoed outer walls, 
coated with a stucco containing a large 
proportion of sand. 

Ital., of Teut. origin; cp. O.H.G. stucchi 
crust, G. stuck piece. See stick. 

stuck (stuk). This is the past tense and 
past participle of stick. See stick. 

stud [i] (stud), n. An ornamental boss, 
knob, or large-headed nail , one of the round, 
projecting pieces of leather fixed to the soles 
of football boots ; a kind of two-headed 
button used for fastening a collar or shirt- 
front ; a rivet ; a cross-piece in a link of 
chain-cable ; a small pin or spindle on which 
a lever or wheel is pivoted ; a stud-bolt ; a 
cross-piece of wood in a partition to carry 
laths for plastering ; any short upright piece 
of timber in a roof, bridge, etc. v.t. To orna- 
ment or set with studs ; to bestrew. (F. 
bossette, bouton, clou bouton, rivet, montant ; 
clouter, semer.} 

Many old church doors are studded with 
large, square-headed nails, the heads of which 
project from the wood-work. In a figurative 
sense, the sky is said to be studded or thickly 
set with stars. A stud-bolt (n.) is a bolt with 
a thread cut on each end. One end is screwed 
into a fixed part, such as a cylinder ; . the 
other receives a nut to hold on the removable 
piece in this instance, the cylinder head. 

In Rugby football, 
the studs on a 
player's boots may 
not be more than 
three-quarters of an 
inch in length, 
measured from the 
sole of the boot, and 
not less than three- 
quarters of an inch 
in diameter at the 
base and half-an-inch 
at the top. Not fewer 
than three nails, 
driven in flush with 
the base of the stud, 
may be used. In Association football, the 
studs may not be less than half an inch in 
diameter nor project more than half an inch. 
In no case may they be pointed or conical, 
and no nails may project. 

A.-S. studu post ; cp. G. stutze prop, Dan. 
stod stub. 

stud [2] (stud), n. A number of horses 
kept for breeding, racing, hunting, etc. ; the 
place where they are kept. (F. haras.} 

A breeder of pedigree horses and cattle 
keeps a stud-took (n.), which is a register of 

Stud. Three different 
kinds of studs. 

Studding sail. The stud- 

ding sails are those set 

outside the square sails. 

the pedigrees of his animals. Horses are bred 
on a stud-farm (.). A stud-horse (n.} is a 
stallion. The term stud is also used of cattle, 
dogs, etc. 

A.-S. stod ; cp. G. gestut, O. Norse stoth. 
Dan. stod ; akin to stand. 

studding sail (stun' si), n. A small sail 
forming an extension 
to a square sail. (F. ! 
bonnette a etui.} 

Studding sails are 
set upon light spars 
attached to the main 

Perhaps from Dutch. 

student (stu' 
dent), n. A person 
receiving instruction 
at a college, univer- 
sity, or other teach- 
ing institution ; one 
engaged in study ; a 
studious person ; a 
close observer ; a 
person assisted by grants from a foundation 
to carry out study or research. (F. etudiant, 
eleve, personne studieuse, boursier.} 

Anyone pursuing studies at a technical 
school, training college, or other place of 
higher education, is a student in the general 
sense of the word. The student of botany 
is engaged in the study of that branch of 
knowledge ; he is not necessarily attending 
an institution to receive instruction in it. 
Any person of a studious nature may be 
described as a student. 

The word studentship (stu' dent ship, 
n.} may mean the condition or fact of being 
a student, or else a fellowship or scholarship, 
carrying a grant that enables the holder to 
follow out some line of study. At Christ 
Church, Oxford, senior members of the 
foundation are called students. They corres- 
pond to fellows of other colleges. 

From L. studens (ace. -ent-em) pres. p. of 
studere to apply oneself to, be zealous for. 

studiedly (stud' id li). For this word see 
under study. 

studio (stu' di 6), n. The workroom of 
a sculptor, painter, or photographer. (F. 

Studios often have skylights, or windows 
placed in a north light, so that the artist 
may work in suitable conditions. 

Ital., from L. studium zeal, application, hence 
a work-room, study. 

studious (stu'dius), adj. Given to study ; 
eager to get knowledge from books ; pains- 
taking ; anxious (to do something) ; careful 
or observant (of). (F. studieux, diligent, 
applique, soigneux^ attentif.} 

Some people are studious in the sense of 
being fond of learning. Beethoven shaped 
and reshaped his melodies with studious, 
or assiduous, care. To be studiously (stu' 
di us li, adv.} polite is to be polite in a careful 
and painstaking way ; to be studiously 
inclined is to have a bent for learning. The 




state or quality of being studious is studious- 
ness (stu' di us nes, n.}. 

L. studiosus zealous. See student, studio, 
study. SYN. : Assiduous, attentive, contem- 
plative, diligent, solicitous. ANT. : Careless, 
idle, inattentive, indifferent. 

study (stud" i), n. The giving of time and 
thought to acquiring knowledge, especially 
from books ; the pursuit of a branch of 
learning ; something that is studied or is 
worthy of study ; a sketch or model made for 
practice or as a preliminary design for a 
painting, statue, etc. ; a musical composition 
for developing, testing, or displaying the 
performer's skill ; a learner of theatrical 
parts ; a room used for studying or doing 
literary work, etc. ; a fit of musing ; close 
attention ; earnest .endeavour ; the object 
of such attention or endeavour, v.t. To devote 
time or thought to investi- 
gating or acquiring know- 
ledge of ; to make a study 
of ; to scrutinize ; to con- 
s i d e r attentively ; t o 
commit to memory ; to 
take pains to bring about 
(a desired result) ; to be 
zealous for ; to humour (a 
person). v.i. To apply 
oneself to study, especially 
to reading; to follow a 
course of studies (under a 
master, etc.); to try 
deliberately or earnestly 
(to do something). (F. 
etude, cabinet d' etude, 
reverie, application, soin ; 
etudier, scruter, s'occuper 
de.. menager ; etudier, 

Knowledge is gained by 
study, or mental applica- 
tion, and the boy who 
wishes to get on in the 
world must devote part of his time to 
studying the theoretical side of the work 
he is taking up. At school our studies are 
pursued in the form of lessons. Artists 
often make studies, or preliminary sketches, 
to help them in the production of important 

In music, a study is really an extended 
exercise, and is generally based upon one 
particular difficulty of technique. Many 
works of this kind are written for the piano- 
forte. In some cases such studies are display 

An actor is said to be a quick study if he 
learns his parts with ease, and a slow study 
if he takes a long time to memorize them. 
Actors study their parts when they learn 
by heart the words they have to speak and 
adapt themselves to the characters they have 
to assume. A room in a house used for 
literary work or the transaction of business 
is often called a study, although the user of it 
may be engaged in no special studies. A 
brown study, is a reverie, or day-dream. 

Study. A young 
study o 

We should endeavour to study, or consider, 
the interests of others, and study, or be on 
the watch, to avoid hurting their feelings. 
It is rude to study, or examine closely, a 
stranger's face, and we behave with studied 
(stud' id, adj.], or deliberate, rudeness, if we 
slight an acquaintance in a noticeable and 
intentional manner. On the other hand, to 
be studiedly (stud' id li, adv.] polite is to be 
deliberately and even exaggeratedly so. 

O.F. estudie (F. etude), L. studium, from, 
studere to be eager, busy oneself. SYN. : n. 
Consideration, endeavour, examination, investi- 
gation, research. v. Consider, investigate, 

stuff (stuf), n. The material of which any- 
thing is made or can be made ; a woven 
fabric, especially one of wool ; any textile 
fabric ; trash ; nonsense, v.t. To pack or 
cram full (with) ; to fill 
(up) ; to insert seasoning 
or stuffing in (a fowl, etc.) 
before cooking; to fill the 
skin of (a dead animal) so 
as to restore its original 
shape ; to fill (a person's 
head) with ideas, nonsense, 
etc. v.i. To feed greedily ; 
to gorge. (F. matiere, etoffe, 
fadaise ; bourrer, bonder, 
farcir, empailler ; s'empif- 
frer, goinfrer.} 

Food-stuffs are articles 
used as food, such as 
green-stuff, or vegetable 
produce. A man is said to 
have good stuff in him if 
he shows sterling qualities. 
Carpenters describe 
boarding an inch thick as 
one-inch stuff ; thick stuff 
is planking more than 
four inches thick. House- 
hold stuff is an archaic 
expression meaning furniture. A barrister 
who has not taken silk wears a stuff 
gown (n.). 

Cushions are stuffed with soft materials 
by a stuff er (stuf' er, n.). Another kind of 
stuffer is the taxidermist who prepares and 
mounts the skins of animals and birds, so 
that they resemble the living forms. Any 
substance used to stuff a receptacle or fill it 
tightly may be called stuffing (stuf ing, n.). 
A cook uses stuffing consisting of minced 
herbs and other materials as a filling for 
the carcass of a turkey. Upholstered chairs, 
couches, and settees contain a stuffing of 
wool or hair. 

The piston-rod of a steam-engine or pump 
passes through a chamber, called a stuffing- 
box (n.), packed with material which prevents 
the escape of steam or water, but allows the 
rod to move freely. If the windows are kept 
tightly shut a room soon becomes stuffy 
(stuf' i, adj.), that is, close and fusty, and the 
air in it stuffy, or hard to breathe in. The 
stuffiness (stuf' i nes, n.), that is, the state of 

n the 





being stuffy, of ill-ventilated rooms is far 
more dangerous to the health than a con- 
tinuous current of cool clean air. A cold 
may give rise to a stuffy feeling in one's 
chest, that is, a sensation of obstruction. 
A stuffy conversation is one that lacks 

O.F. estoffe material, furniture ; cp. Ital. stoffa 
piece of rich fabric, Prov., Span, estofa. cloth. 

stultify (stur ti fl), v.t. To render absurd 
or useless ; to cause or prove to be self- 
contradictory, inconsistent, or foolish ; to 
make a fool of ; in law, to allege or prove 
(a person) to be mentally incapable of 
performing an act. (F. tourner en ridicule, 
bafouer, declarer fou.) 

A person who preaches generosity and is 
himself mean, stultifies his own teaching, 
or makes it absolutely inconsistent, and also 
stultifies himself, or exhibits himself in a 
ridiculous aspect. The foolishness and 
prejudices of others may stultify or nullify 
the efforts of a reformer, or bring about their 
stultification (stul ti fi ka' shun, n.}, or 

From L. stultificdre, from stultus foolish, 
-ficdre compounding form of facere to make. 
SYN. : Neutralize, nullify. 

stum (stum), n. Unfermented grape-juice. 
v.t. To prevent (wine) from fermenting ; to 
stop (wine) from fermenting further, by 
adding chemicals. (F. mout, rape.} 

Dutch stomm dumb, quiet ; cp. G. stumm 

stumble (stum' bl), v.i. To lurch forward 
after making a false step ; to trip in walking, 
through striking the foot against something, 
and be in danger of falling ; to act, move, or 
speak in a blundering way ; to fall into 
error ; to come by chance (upon) ; to feel 
scruples or hesitate (at), n. An act of stum- 
bling ; a blunder. (F. trebucher, broncher, 
tituber, bredouiller, se fourvoyer, rencontrer ; 
faux pas.} 

It is easy to stumble when running up an 
unfamiliar staircase in the dark, or to 
stumble over unseen obstacles in one's 
path. A horse that is a stumbler (stum' bier, 
n.}, or given to stumbling, is a danger to its 

An obstacle or circumstance of any kind 
that causes one to hesitate or experience 
difficulty in carrying out a plan or adopting 
an opinion is known, figuratively, as a 
stumbling-block (.). In the dark one 
walks stumblingly (stum' bling li, adv.), that 
is, with stumbles, over rough ground. 

M.E. stomblen, stumlen, frequentative (with 
euphonic b) from a stem found in obsolete E. 
stummer to stumble ; cp. Norw. stumla : ckin to 
stammer. SYN. : v. Blunder, err, trip. 

stump (stump), n. The part of a felled 
tree left in the ground ; the remnant of a 
limb, tooth, or other object from which part 
has been cut, broken, or worn away, etc. ; a 
stub ; a pointed roll of paper or leather used 
for lines, etc., in pencil or crayon drawings ; 

in cricket, any one of three uprights forming 
the wicket ; (pi.) the legs. v.i. To walk 
stiffly, clumsily, or heavily, as if on wooden 
legs ; to make, or go about giving, stump- 
speeches, v.t. To rub down (a line, drawing, 
etc.) with a stump ; to tour (a district) 
making political speeches ; in cricket, tc 
put out (a batsman) by dislodging a bail- 
while he is out of his crease ; to puzzle ; 
to remove (tree-stumps) from land. (F. 
souche, troncon, moignon, chicot, bout, estompe, 
guichet, gigue; .clopiner, faire des discoun 
aux carrefours ; estomper, haranguer, mettrt 
a quia, deraciner.) 

In newly-settled districts in America 
where tree-stumps were plentiful, a stump 
was often chosen by a political speaker as a 
convenient, ready-made platform. Hence, 
people who go about making public speeches 
at election times are said to go stumping. 
In England, the word is often used in a 
contemptuous or depreciatory sense. Thus it 
is that a political ranter is called a stump- 
orator (n.) or stump-speaker (n.). Stump- 
oratory (n.) is speechmaking of the kind 
suited to elections and agitations, and a 
bombastic speech on electioneering matters 
is known as a stump-speech (n.). 

The dentist removes stumps of teeth by 
means of an instrument called a stump- 
extractor (n.). People are said to stump about 
when they walk heavily and noisily. 

The stumps in cricket are each twenty- 
seven inches high, and each set of three, 
when placed in position, must be eight inches 
wide. To stump a batsman, the wicket- 
keeper, who is sometimes called the stumper 
(stump' er, n.), must dislodge one or both 
bails while the batsman is out of his crease in 
playing the ball. The ball must not be taken 
from in front of the wicket. In a colloquial 
way, a question that stumps, or is too hard 
for, a person is called a stumper. A stumpy 
(stump' i, adj.) person is short and thick-set. 

Cp. Dutch stomp, G. stump f blunt, a stump ; 
cp. E. stub. SYN. : n. Butt, remnant, stub. 
v . Pose, puzzle. 

Stump. The stump-tailed lizard is found 
in Western Australia. 

stun (stun), v.t. To render senseless with 
a blow ; to deafen temporarily with noise ; 
to daze or bewilder ; to stupefy with horror, 
etc. (F. assommer, etourdir, abasourdir, 

Travellers who approach near Niagara 
Falls are stunned by the unceasing roar of the 




waters. In another sense we may be stunned 
or dazed with astonishment by a piece of 
unexpected good fortune. 

Shortened irom O.F. estoner (F. etonner), 
assumed L.L. extonare to thunder out. See 
astonish. SYN. : Bewilder, confuse, overpower. 

Stundism (stoon' dizm), n. The doctrines 
of a dissenting religious body that arose in 
south Russia in the later half of the nine- 
teenth century. 

The publication of the translation of the 
Bible into modern Russian in 1861, and the 
influence of German Protestant settlers led 
to the rise of Stundism. The Stundist (stoon' 
dist, n.}, or adherent of this movement, 
rejected the ceremonies, doctrines, and 
authority of the Orthodox Church. 

From G. stunde hour, lesson, probably used by 
German settlers as a name for the religious 
ineetings, and E. n. suffix -ism, 

stung (stung). This is the past tense 
and past participle of sting. See sting. 

stunk (stungk). This is a past tense 
and the past participle of stink. See stink. 

stunsail (stun' si). This is a contracted 
form of studding sail. See studding sail. 

stunt (stunt), v.t. To check the growth 
of ; to dwarf ; to cramp, n. A check in 
growth. (F. rabongrir, rapetisser ; rabou- 
grissement, rebougri.) 

The Japanese are very clever at stunting 
trees. They confine the roots of very young 
shoots in small pots and give the trees very 
little water and light. In this way they pro- 
duce dwarf trees many years old but only a 
few inches high. Lack of the proper kind of 
nourishment is a cause of stuntedness (stunt' 
ed nes, n.), that is, the state of being stunted, 
in human beings. 

From A.-S. stunt foolish, probably short 
(witted), akin to O. Norse stott-r short. SYN. : 
v. Check, cramp, dwarf. 

stupe (stup), n. A piece of cloth dipped 
in a liquid, wrung, and used as a fomentation. 
v.t. To foment ; to treat with a stupe. (F. 
fomentation ; bassiner.) ' 

L. stitpatow. See stop." 

stupefy (stu' pe fl), v.t. To make stupid, 
dull, or senseless ; to deprive of sensibility. 
(F. hebeter, stupefier.} 

A person who is dead drunk is stupefied 
with drink. Great sorrow sometimes stupe- 
fies emotional people, producing stupefaction 
(stu pe fak' shun, n.}, that is, numbness or 
torpor, whether of body or mind. Narcotic 
drugs are said by doctors to have a stupe- 
f active (stu 7 pe fak tiv, adj.] effect, that is, 
they reduce the taker to insensibility, or 
produce stupor. The word stupefier (stu' pe 
f I er, n.) is seldom used. It means a medium 
that stupefies a patient. 

F. stupefier from L. stupefacere, from stupere to 
be numbed, struck senseless, and facere to make. 
SYN. : Benumb, deaden, drug, numb. 

stupendous (stu pen' dus), adj. Astound- 
ing, marvellous, or astonishing in size, 
height, degree, etc. ; prodigious. (F. 
tionnant, prodigieux.} 

The national debt of Britain represents 
a stupendous sum of money. The Nile dam 
is regarded as a stupendous feat of engineer- 
ing. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, strikes one 
as a stupendously (stu pen' dus li, adv.], or 
astoundingly, high structure. Visitors to 
New York are sure to be impressed with the 
stupendousness (stu pen' dus nes, n.) of 
American skyscrapers. 

From L. stupendus gerundive of stupere to be 
struck senseless, to be astonished at; E. adj. 
suffix -ous. See stupid. SYN. : Amazing, mar- 
vellous, surprising, prodigious, wonderful. ANT. : 
Commonplace, natural, normal, ordinary, usual. 

Stupendous. Visitors to Paris marvel at the stupendous 
height of the Eiffel Tower. 

stupeous (stu' pe us), adj. In natural 
history, having tufts of hair or filament, 
or long, loose scales, like tow. stupose, 
(stu' pos; stu pos.) has the same meaning. 
' From L. stupeus adj. from stupa tow ; E. -ous. 
' stupid (stu' pid), adj. Slow-witted ; dull 
in understanding ; in a state of stupor ; 
senseless ; nonsensical ; uninteresting. (F. 
stupide, bete, engourdi, insense, absurde.} 

Stupid people lack ordinary activity of 
mind. They are slow to grasp the meaning 
of anything that is at all complex, and they 
are sometimes guilty of stupid, or foolish, 
actions. Their stupidity (stu pid' i ti, n.}, 
that is, the state or quality of being stupid, is 
sometimes very provoking. Some comic 
songs that amuse us very much when sung 
by a clever comedian have very stupid 
or foolishly dull words. A bewildered person 
may behave stupidly (stu' pid li, adv.}, or in 
a manner showing stupidity, in a crisis. 

L. stupidus from stupere to be stunned. SYN. : 
Dull, foolish, insensible, obtuse, senseless. ANT. : 
Bright, clever, intelligent, perceptive, quick. 

stupor (stu' por), n. A dazed condition ; 
a trance-like state ; to'rpor ; lethargy. 
(F. stupeur.} 





A state of apathy accompanied by drowsi- 
ness is known to doctors as stupor, and is 
described as a stuporous (stu' por us, adj.) 
state. A very deep stupor, from which the 
patient cannot be roused, is called coma. 

L. = insensibility, stupefaction. SYN. : Stupe- 
faction, torpidity. 

stupose (stu'pos; stupes'). This word 
means the same as stupeous. See stupeous. 

sturdy [i] (ster' di), adj. Robust ; 
strong ; hardy ; vigorous ; resolute. (F. 
robuste, fort, hardi, vigour eux, resolu.) 

Healthy, well-built children have sturdy 
limbs and walk sturdily (ster' di li, adv.), or 
in a sturdy manner. Their parents have 
reason to be proud of the sturdiness (ster' di 
nes, n.), or robustness and vigour, of such 

In former times an able-bodied vagabond, 
given to using violence, was called a sturdy 
begger (n.). 

Originally meant " giddy," hence " reckless " 
from F. estourdi,p.p. of estourdirto stun. SYN. : 
Firm, lusty, robust, stalwart, strong. ANT! : 
Ailing, delicate, feeble, weakly. 

sturdy [2] (ster' di), n. A brain-disease of 
sheep, caused by the presence of a species 
of tape-worm in the brain. (F. tournis.) 

A sturdied (ster' did, adj.) sheep, that is, 
one affected with sturdy, turns round and 
round as if giddy. 

See sturdy [i], 

sturgeon (ster' jon), n. A large fish of the 
genus Acipenser, with a mailed head and body 
and a projecting snout. (F. esturgeon.) 

Sturgeon. The sturgeon, the roe of which is a table 
delicacy called caviare. 

By an Act of Edward II, all sturgeon 
caught in England belong to the king. This 
fish has a gristly skeleton, and its elongated 
body is protected and strengthened by hard, 
bony scales. The upper lobe of the tail is 
much longer than the lower. The largest 
species of sturgeon (Acipenser huso) occurs 
in the Danube, the Caspian and Black 
Seas, and the Sea of Azov. Other species 
are found in coastal waters on both sides of 
the North Atlantic. 

The roe of sturgeon, when salted, pressed, 
and dried, is known as caviare. Isinglass 
is made from its air-bladder. 

O.F. esturgeon, L.L. sturio (ace. -on-em), of 
Teut. origin, cp. O.H.G. sturjo. 

sturnoid (ster' noid), adj. Like a starling ; 
belonging to the family Sturnidae, which 
contains the starlings. 

From L. sturnus starling and E. suffix -oid. 

stutter (stufer), v.i. To speak hesitatingly 
with spasmodic repetitions of sounds or 
syllables, v.t. To utter thus. n. The act or 

habit of stuttering. (F. balbutier, begayer ; 

A stutter usually consists of continued 
and involuntary repetitions of the initial 
consonants of words. The stutterer (stuf 
er er, n.} speaks stutteringly (stuf er ing li, 
adv.], or with a stutter, owing to excitement, 
fear, or some nervous affection, and not be- 
cause of any defect in his organ of speech. 
Thus a person who stutters when speaking 
can often sing without showing any trace 
of stuttering (stuf er ing, n.}, because he 
then gives all his attention to vocalization. 

Frequentative of obsolete E. stut ; cp. Dutch 
stotteren, G. stottern to stutter, G. stossen to 

sty [i] (sti), n. A pen for pigs ; a mean or 
filthy house, v.t. To place in or as if in a sty. 
v.i. To live in or as if in a sty. (F. porcherie, 
taudis ; mettre dans une liable a cochons.) 

A.-S. stl, perhaps = stig hall (see steward) ; 
cp. O. Norse stla, stl, Dan. sti, Swed. stia. 

sty [2] (sti), n. , A small inflamed swelling 
on the edge of the eyelid. Another form is 
stye (sti). (F._.orgelet, compere-loriot.} 

The doctor's name for a sty in one's eye 
is hordeolum. 

Probably from A.-S. stlgan (G. steigen) to rise. 

. Stygian (stij ' i an), adj. Of or resembling 
the River Styx, or the infernal regions 
through which it flowed ; gloomy. (F. 
du Styx, d'enfer, sombre, profond, te'ne'breux .) 

Stygian darkness is a gloominess or black- 
ness suggestive of the infernal regions of 
classical mythology, or of the Stygian river, 
the Styx. 
From Gr. Styx (ace. Styg-em) from stygein to hate. 

style [i] (stil), n. A pointed instrument 
with which the ancients wrote on wax- 
coated tablets ; a graving-tool, etching- 
needle, or other sharp-pointed instrument 
or object ; in anatomy, the styloid process ; 
manner of writing or speaking ; the form in 
which thoughts are expressed ; the manner of 
doing a thing, as distinguished from what is 
done ; the general or collective character- 
istics of literary or artistic expression, or mode 
of decoration, distinguishing a person or 
people, a school or period, etc. ; a superior or 
fashionable manner or form ; distinction ; 
fashion ; pattern ; shape ; mode of address ; 
method of reckoning time. v.t. To term ; to 
designate ; to describe formally by name and 
title. (F. style, pointe a graver, maniere, ton, 
facon, mode, Elegance, genre, litre; donner 
le litre de, qualifier, appeler.} 

The style with which a Roman gentleman 
wrote had a blunt top end, which was used 
for erasing words by smoothing out the wax. 
In the course of time a piece of writing was 
termed a style a now obsolete meaning and 
eventually style came to denote the manner 
in which words were put together, especially 
in regard to clearness, effectiveness, and 
beauty of language. 

Thus it is that we speak of the epic style 
or mode of writing characteristic of heroic 
poetry, of the various architectural styles, 




or modes of building and decoration, and of 
a work of art its form and the way the 
artist has expressed his ideas, as dis- 
tinguished from the matter expressed. 

In a more general and colloquial sense, 
we say that a commonplace person lacks 
style or distinction. We dp a thing in style, 
or in good style, when it is done in a 
superior or fashionable manner. Shoes 
are made in different sizes and styles, or 

In sport, style is a general 
term applied to a player's 
game, as good style, easy 
style, or bad style. 

Until the year 1752 the 
Julian Calendar was used 
in Great Britain (see 
calendar). Then the New 
or Gregorian calendar was 
introduced, eleven days 
being cut out of that year 
in order to make the 
calendar correct by solar 
time. Consequently, dates 
were said to be in the new 
style (n.) abbreviated to 
N.S. if in agreement with 
the Gregorian Calendar, 
and in the old style (n.) 
abbreviated to O.S. if 
reckoned according to the 
Julian calendar. 

In Scots law the formal 
wording of a document 
is termed its style, and from this sense 
the word has come to be used generally 
for legal technicality, as when a lawyer 
speaks of words of style. Thus it is that a 
person's legal or official title is known as his 

The Roman writing implement, or style, 
was sometimes used as a dagger. Instru- 
ments, tools, and other objects resembling 
it are also called styles. Examples are, the 
graver used in engraving, a probe with a 
blunt point used by surgeons, and the needle 
used in etching. In natural history and 
anatomy, processes and parts of animal 
bodies are said to be styliform (stu" i form, 
adj.), or shaped like a style, such as the styles 
or bristles of the antennae of flies, and the 
styles of sponges, which are spicules pointed 
at one end. 

Clothes are stylish (stil' ish, adj.) if they 
are smart and in accordance with the pre- 
vailing fashions. A woman wearing them is 
stylishly (stir ish li, adv.) dressed, and shows 
stylishness {stil' ish nes, n.), the quality or 
state of being stylish, in her dress. 

A writer who has a good or highly elabor- 
ated literary style is a stylist (stil' ist, n.). 
There are stylistic (sti lis' tik, adj.) differences, 
or ones pertaining to literary style, between 
the " Lucy " poems of Wordsworth, and 
" The Prelude." The first mentioned works, 
exemplified by " The Education of Nature," 
are stylistically (sti lis' tik al li, adv.] simple, 

Style. Henry James (1843.1916), the 

Anglo-American novelist, whose literary 

style showed great subtlety. 

that is, simple as regards style, the second 
is lofty and impassioned. 

O.F. stile, style, L. stilus writing (or graving) 
tool, confused with Gr. stylos column. SYN. : n. 
Diction, fashion, manner, name, title, v. Entitle, 
designate, name, term. 

style [2] (stil), n. The gnomon or metal 
upright on a sundial, which casts the shadow ; 
in botany, the narrowed extension of the 
ovary, in many flowers, which supports the 
stigma. (F. style.) 

The style of a flower con- 
nects the ovary, or egg- 
case, with the stigma. 
Tubes growing from the 
pollen grains travel down 
it, and fertilize the ovules, 
or convert them into seeds. 
Gr. stylos pillar. 
stylet (stil 7 et), n. A 
small, slender, pointed in- 
strument ; a stiletto ; a 
graving tool ; a form of 
pencil used by the blind ; 
in surgery, a wire stiffen- 
ing for a tube ; a slender 
probe. (F. stylet.) 
F., from Ital. stiletto. 
stylish (stir ish). For 
this word, stylist, etc., see 
under style [i]. 

Stylite (str lit), n. A 
mediaeval hermit living on 
the top of a pillar. (F. 

St. Simeon Stylites was the first and most 
famous of the pillar-saints, or Stylites. He 
lived in the fifth century, and spent thirty 
years of his life on the top of a- high pillar 
near Antioch. 

From Gr. stylos pillar and E. suffix -ite. 
stylo-. This is a prefix meaning styloid, 
used in anatomy in the formation of the 
names of muscles connected with the styloid 
bone in the skull. 

stylobate (sti' 16 bat), n. A continuous 
base supporting a row or rows of columns. 
(F. stylobate.) 

The stylobate was a feature of ancient 
Greek temples. Just as a pillar stands on a 
pedestal, so a row of pillars stands on the 
stylobate. This consisted sometimes of two 
or three massive steps, and, in other cases, of 
a lofty, solid wall. 

F., from Gr. stylobates from stylos pillar and 
bainein to step, stand. 

stylograph (str 16 graf), n. A pen with a 
conical, finely-perforated point, supplied 
with ink from a reservoir in the handle. 
(F. stylographe.) 

The stylograph, or stylographic (sti 16 
graf ik, adj.) pen has a fine wire almost 
filling the hole in the point. As one writes 
stylographically (sti 16 graf ik al li, adv.), 
that is, with a stylograph, the tip of this wire 
shakes and allows the ink to run out on to 
the paper. 

From E. style TI] and suffix -graph. 




styloid ; (stl' loid), adj. In anatomy, 
shaped like a column, n. The styloid process. 
(F. styloide.} 

In many cases a part of a bone of a 
slender, tapering or pointed shape is known 
as a styloid process, especially the slender 
spike of bone projecting downwards and 
forwards from the base of the temporal bone. 

From Gr. stylos column and E. suffix -old. 

stylus (stf lus), n. The style used by the 
ancients for scratching letters on wax- 
coated tablets ; a smooth-pointed instrument 
for tracing or impressing writing through 
carbon paper. (F. style.) 

L. stilus. See style [i]. 

stymie (stl' mi), n. In golf, the position 
when a player's ball lies in the line of an 
opponent's putt, the two balls being more 
than six inches apart, v.t. To hinder (an 
opponent) in this way. Another form is 
stimy (str mi). 

Sc., perhaps dim. of styme glimpse, a little bit. 

styptic (stip' tik), adj. That checks 
bleeding. n. A styptic preparation. (F. 

Barbers use alum as a styptic. 

From F. styptique, through L. from Gr. 
styptikos, from styphein to contract. 

styrax (stl' raks), n. A genus of trees 
and shrubs, yielding valuable gums, and 
containing the storax. (F. styrax.} 

L., and Gr. styrax. 

Styrian. A Styrian landscape : a bird's-eye view of Graz and the 
River Mur, in Styria, a province of the Austrian Republic. 

Styrian (stir' i an), adj. Of or belonging 
to Styria, a province of the Austrian 
Republic. (F. styrien.) 

Styria is on the borders of Yugo-Slavia. 
The Styrian Alps are those ramifications of 
the Alpine chain that traverse all parts of 

Styx (stiks), n. In classical mythology, 
the river encircling. Hades. (F. Styx.) 

According to ancient myths, the spirits 
of the dead were ferried across the Styx 

by Charon. When a person dies, he may be 
said to cross the Styx. 

Gr. Styx, from stygein to hate. See Stygian. 
Suabian (swa' bi an). This is another 
form of Swabian. See Swabian. 

suable (su' abl), adj. Capable of being 
sued ; liable to be sued. (F. passible de 
poursuite judiciaire, sujet a proces.) 

A person who refuses to pay his debts is 
suable, and has suability (su a oil' i ti,n.), that 
is, liability to be proceeded against in court. 
From E. sue and -able. 
suasion (swa' zhun), n. Persuasion or 
influencing by argument or advice. (F. 

Moral suasion is the persuasion exercised 
by one's conscience, or by an appeal to 
the conscience, The conscience has a 
suasive (swa/ siv, adj.) influence or one 
tending to persuade. When a person appeals 
to us suasively (swa/ siv li, adv.), or so as to 
persuade, we are inclined to do as he wishes. 
From L. sudsio (ace. -on-em) from suddere to 
persuade, advise. See suave. SYN. : Persuasion. 
ANT. : Compulsion. 

suave (swav ; swav), adj. Bland, pleasant 
in manner ; mollifying ; polite. (F. suave.) 
A suave person has a blandly polite 
manner ; his suave politeness is almost too 
agreeable to be natural or sincere. He 
behaves suavely (swav' li, adv.), or with 
suavity (swav' i ti, n.), that is, the quality 
of being agreeably polite: Polished and 
.^, urbane actions or speeches are 
sometimes described as suavities. 
F. , from L. sudvis sweet, pleasant, 
for suddu-i's, akin to E. sweet . See 
suasion. SYN. : Agreeable, bland, 
polite, soothing, urbane. ANT. : 
Blunt, impolite, irritating, provok- 
ing, rough. - 

sub (sub), n. A colloquial 
abbreviation for several words 
beginning with this prefix, such 
as subaltern, sub-editor, subscrip- 
tion, v.i. To act as substitute, 
or as a sub-editor. 

sub-. Prefix meaning under, 
below, lower in position, degree 
or rank, inferior, secondary, 
partial ; rather, approaching, 
bordering on ; slight ; also de- 
noting addition, support, close- 
ness, covertness. In mathematics 
the prefix denotes the inverse of 
a ratio. (F. sous-, sub-.) 

Parts or organs situated under 
or beneath the abdomen are said to be sub- 
abdominal (sub ab dom' i nal, adj.). Subacid 
(sub as' id, adj.) means mildly or slightly acid. 
In pathology a disease in which symptoms 
are of a less acute kind than normal is des- 
cribed as subacute (sub a kut', adj.). 

In geology, modification and ^alterations 
affecting the earth's surface, or those which 
take place in the open air, are said to be 
subaerial (sub a er' i al, adj.). This word 
is opposed to submarine or subterranean. 




Frost, wind and driving sand produce 
changes subaerially (sub a er' i al li, adv.}. 
One who ascribes the configuration of the 
earth's surface to such agencies has been 
called a subaerialist (sub a er' i al ist, .). 

A subagent (sub a' jent, n.) is one who is 
employed by an agent ; his office or position 
is a subagency (sub a/ jen si, n.). 

subahdar (soo ba dar'), n. In India, 
the chief native officer in a company of sepoys. 
The subahdar is a commissioned officer, 
and ranks next above a jemadar. 

Earlier, governor of a subah or province. 
Hindustani fiibahdar. Pers. dar master. 

subaltern (sub' al tern), adj. Subordin- 
ate ; of inferior rank ; in logic, particular, 
in relation to a universal, n. In the army, a 
commissioned officer of lower rank than a 
captain. (F. subalferne.) 

First-lieutenants and second-lieutenants 
in the army are subaltern officers, or, shortly 

F. subalterne, from L.L. subalternus (sub under, 
alternus alternate). SYN. : adj. Junior, lower, 
subordinate, n. Junior, subordinate. 

Sabapennine. A typical view in the subapennine region of Italy, 
showing characteristic rocky country. 

subapennine (sub ap' e nm), adj. 

habits, are described as subaquatic (sub a 
kwat' ik, adj.). The word subaqueous (sub 
a/ kwe us, adj.) is used of rocks, such as 
chalk and limestone, formed beneath the 
water. It also means done, used or found 
under water. The regions bordering just 
south of the Arctic Circle are known as 
subarctic (sub ark' tik, adj.) regions. 

subaudition (sub aw dish' un), n. 
The mental act of supplying words omitted ; 
the understanding of more than is actually 
expressed. (F. subaudition.) 

When we read between the lines, as the 
saying goes, or gather from the expression 
of a person's face more than his mere words 
express, we perform an act of subaudition. 
A subaudition is something implied but not 

sub-base (sub' bas), n. The lowest 
section of a base ; an auxiliary base. 

In architecture, a sub-base is the lowest 
division of a base having more than one 
layer. The word is used also of a base or 
support placed under a machine. A second- 
ary base of supplies, such as that made by 
an explorer, is also known as a 

subcaudal (sub ka w' dal), -adj. 
Situated under or near the tail. 
(F. subcaudal.) 

This word is used of snakes. 
The subcaudal plates or bones are 
those at the tail of the animal. 

The subcentral (sub sen' tral, 
adj.) parts of the earth are those 
near its centre ; a subcentral 
support is one beneath the 
centre of the thing -supported. 

A subclass (sub'klas, n.) of 
animals or plants is a group form- 
ing a sub-division of a class. 

The subclavian (sub kla' vi an, 
adj.) arteries are those situated 
under the clavicle or collar-bone ; 
subclavicular (sub kla vik' u lar, 
adj.) is another word used to 
describe parts or organs in this 
A subcommission (sub ko mish/'un, 

In geology, denoting or characteristic of n.) is a group of people, forming part of a 
strata such as those occurring typically commission, appointed to give attention to a 
on the flanks of the Apennine mountains in 
Italy. (F. subapennin.) 

This word is applied to a series of rocks, 
now some four thousand feet above sea 

special part of the commission's work. A 
member of it is a subcommissioner (sub ko 
mish' un er, n.). Similarly, a subcommittee 
(sub ko mit' i, n.), is an under-committee, or 

level, containing fossils of marine animals a section of a committee. A surface is sub- 

similar to those now living in the Mediter- 
ranean. From the character of the fossil 
remains geologists conclude that the sub- 
apennine rocks have been raised to their 
present location in relatively recent times. 

concave (sub kon' kav, adj.) if slightly 
concave ; a body is siibconical (sub kon ' ik 
al, adj.) if it tapers slightly. 

Ideas which have passed from our memory 
or conscious mind may still be present in 

The word subapostolic (sub ap 6s tol' ik, the subconscious (sub kon' shus, n.) or the 

adj.) is used of events happening in, or 
matters relating to, the period about A.D. 
50- 1 50 which followed immediately that 
in which the apostles of Jesus lived. 

subconscious (adj.) mind, and may be 
recalled to memory by association. Im- 
pressions of which we are not conscious 
may be received subconsciously (sub kon' 

Animals, like the otter and the wading shus li, adv.). Subconsciousness (sub kon' 
birds, which are partially aquatic in their shus nes, n.) is used to mean a state of 




imperfect or lowered consciousness, and also 
the contents of the mind not at the moment 
within the field of consciousness. 

A sub-continent (sub kon' ti nent, n.) is 
a great area of land smaller than a continent, 
or a large part of a continent. The word 
is used specially of South Africa. 

A large contract is often split up into 
parts, each called a subcontract (sub kon' 
trakt, n.) and undertaken by a subcontractor 
(sub kon trakt ' or, n.), who is responsible 
to the contractor-in-chief. The latter is 
said to sublet or subcontract (sub kon trakt', 
v.t.) the work given out, and one who under- 
takes it to subcontract (v.i.) for it. 

The subcostal (sub kos' tal, adj.) muscles 
are those upon the deeper part of the ribs. 
The subcostal arteries are situated below 
the ribs. A subcrystalline (sub kris' ta 
lin ; sub kris' ta lin, adj.) substance is 
a substance imperfectly crystallized. The 
subcutaneous (sub ku ta' ne us, adj.) tissue 
is that lying just under the skin. An 
injection is made subcutaneously (sub ku 
ta' ne us li, adv.) when the fluid is squirted 
under the skin. The true skin, the dermis, 
is subcuticular (sub ku tik' u lar, adj.), or 
situated below the cuticle, or scarf-skin. 
Subcylindrical (sub si lin' dri 
kal, adj.) means imperfectly 

A sub-deacon (sub de' kon, 
n.) in the Roman Catholic 
Church belongs to the order next 
below that of deacon. A sub- 
dean (sub' den, n.) is an assistant 
dean, holding an office named a 
subdeanery (sub den' er i, n.). 
A subdecuple (sub dek' upl, adj.) 
ratio expresses the proportion 
i : 10, or one part of ten, the 
inverse of that expressed by 
decuple, which is 10 : i. The 
word subdermal (sub der' mal, 
adj.) has the same meaning as 
subcutaneous, namely, beneath 
the skin. 

subdivide (sub di vid'), v.t. 
and i. To divide again into 
smaller parts. (F. subdiviser.) 

England is divided territorially into 
counties, and these are subdivided into 
hundreds. A hundred is therefore a sub- 
division (sub di vizh' un, n.). Some animal 

church, the amen is often sung to, or accom- 
panied by, a subdominant chord followed 
by a tonic or key chord. 

Formed from subdominans (ace. -ant-em) pres. 
p. of assumed L. subdomindre, from sub under, 
not entirely, domindrl to be lord, dominate, from 
dominus lord, master. 

sub dor sal (sub dor' sal), adj. Of fins, 
etc., situated near the back. 

From L. sub under, close to, dorsum back, 
with suffix -al (L. -dlis.) 

sub double (sub dub' 1), adj. Having 
the ratio of one to two. 

From E. sub- and double. 

subdue (sub du'), v.t. To conquer ; 
to reduce to subjection by superior force ; 
to overcome ; to tame ; to tone down ; 
to make less vivid or glaring. (F. vaincre, 
subjugUer, dompter, modifier.) 

The Roman legions under Caesar subdued 
Gaul and made its people subject to Rome. 
Among the tribes Caesar subdued were the 
Belgae. Pompey grew jealous of the 
conqueror, or subduer (sub du' er, n.}, how- 
ever, and recalled Caesar. The latter, 
marching into Italy, made himself master 
of Rome, and seized the treasury, subduing 
all resistance, and putting Pompey to* flight. 

Subdue. Thusnelda, wife of Arminius, brought before Tiberius by 
Germanicus, who had subdued some German tribes. 

Nations are subduable (sub du'abl, adj.), 
or capable of being beaten, only by force of 
arms, but the subdual (sub du' al, n.), or 
subduement (sub du' ment, n.), of a fierce and 

cells multiply by subdividing into two spirited animal, which means the process of 

taming it, can best be effected by kindness. 

The lighting of a room is given subdued- 
ness (sub dud' nes, .), the condition of 
being subdued, when it is reduced in degree, 
as by lowering blinds, or turning down 
lamps. Colours are said to be subdued 
when they are moderated or toned down. 
M.E. sodewen (later through L. influence 

portions, each subdivision later subdividing 
in turn. Anything which can be divided 
and then divided again is subdivisible (sub 
di viz' ibl, adj.). 

L.L. subdividere, from L. sub under, diwidere 
to divide. 

subdominant (sub dom' i nant), n. 

The fourth note above the key-note of a fj " ^ n '* i latc 

^l* nJi Of or ^IO-H *X ti? subdewe), O.F. sodmre to deceive, seduce, L. 

scale, adj. Of or relating to this. 

The subdominant of C major is F. 
is the note below the dominant, G. 


subducere to draw up, withdraw. The E. mean- 
ing is due to L. subdere to put under, subdue. 
SYN. : Conquer, moderate, overcome, subjugate, 




subduple (sub' dupl), adj. Containing 
one part of two. (F. sous-double.} 

The ratio i : 2 is a subduple ratio, whereas 
2 : i is a duple ratio. The term subduplicate 
(sub du' pli kat, adj.), which is also used of 
ratios, means expressed by the square root. 
The subduplicate ratio of a : b is v / a : J b. 

A sub-editor (sub ed' it or, n.) is an under- 
editor, or assistant to an editor ; he prepares 
and arranges copy for the press, subject 
to the supervision of the editor. To per- 
form work of this nature is to sub-edit 
(sub ed' it, v.t.) copy, or to sub-edit (v.i.). 

Sub-editor. Sub-editors at work sub-editing copy for a daily paper. 
A messenger is seen waiting. 

The pigment cells of the skin are sub- tenure. 
epidermal (sub ep i der' mal, adj.), situated 
immediately beneath the epidermis or cuticle. 
A triangle is subequilateral (sub e kwi lat' 
er al, adj.) if its three sides are of almost 
the same length, and a plant's stem is 
suberect (sub e rekt', adj.) if not quite 

suberic (su ber' ik), adj. Of or per- 
taining to cork ; derived from cork ; of 
the nature of cork. (F. subereux.) 

Cork contains a peculiar waxy compound 
of cellulose which is known as suberin 
(su' ber in, n.). Suberic acid is formed 
by treating cork with nitric acid. Suberose 
(su' be ros, adj.) and suberous (su'beriis, adj.) 
mean corky, and are used of substances 
possessing the nature or texture of cork. 

From L. sub BY cork-tree, cork, and E. suffix ic. 

subfamily (sub fam' i li), n. In the 
classification of plants or animals, a primary 
subdivision of a family. 

Undergraduates at Oxford are required 
to wear clothes which are subfusc (sub 
fusk', adj.), or subfuscous (sub fus' kiis, 
adj.), that is, of darkish hue, on certain 
occasions. A substance is subgelatinous 
(sub je lat' i mis, adj.) if somewhat like 
gelatine in character. 

A subgenus (sub je' mis, n.) is a subdivision 
of a genus. The azaleas compose a sub- 
generic (sub je ner' ik, adj.) group of the 

rhododendron genus. An orange is sub- 
globular (sub glob' u lar, adj.), or nearly 
globular. A subgranular (sub gran' u lar, 
adj.) substance is one somewhat granular 
in form. In classifying animals and plants, 
a group is sometimes divided into smaller 
groups, each called a sub-group (sub groop', 
n.). A newspaper article is often subdivided 
into parts, each with its own sub-head 
(sub hed', n.), or sub-heading (sub hed' ing, 
n.), a minor heading at the top. Branches 
of the portal vein, which carries blood away 
from the liver are subhepatic (sub he pat' ik, 
adj.), situated beneath the liver. 
The sub-Himalayan (sub hi ma' 
la yan, adj.) regions of India lie 
somewhat south of the main 
range of the Himalayan moun- 
tains. Subhuman (sub hu' man, 
adj.), means less than human, or 
else almost human, like the 

In the development changes 
of some insects for example, 
the ephemerae a stage preceding 
the imago is called the sub-imago 
(n.). In this stage the wings are 
expanded, but the body is still 
enclosed within its pellicle. In 
feudal times subinfeudation (sub 
in fu da' shun, n.) signified the 
granting of land by an inferior 
lord to a dependant. It also 
denoted an estate or fief so 
granted, and this system of 
A subinspector (sub in spek' tor, 
n.) is an official of lower rank than, and an 
assistant to, an inspector. 

subjacent (sub ja' sent), adj. Situated 
beneath ; lying under ; in a lower position. 
(F. sous-jacent, subjacent.) 

A subjacent stratum is one underlying 
another formation. A valley, such as the 
beautiful Wye valley, is subjacent to the hills 
surrounding it. 

F., from L,. subjacens (ace. -ent-em), pres. p. 
of subjacerc to lie under. SYN. : Underlying. 

subject (sub' jekt, adj . and n. ; sub jekt', v.), 
adj. Under the control of another; de- 
dependent ; liable or prone (to) ; exposed (to) ; 
conditional, n. One under the political rule 
of a person or state ; that which is to be dealt 
with ; one owing allegiance to a sovereign ; 
a matter treated of or to be treated 
of in discussion or representation ; a theme 
or motif ; a circumstance which furnishes 
or serves as a cause or occasion for an action 
or feeling specified ; in logic, that part of a 
proposition about which something is pre- 
dicated ; in grammar, a noun or its equiva- 
lent ; the nominative of a sentence ; the 
ego ; the conscious self ; the substance or 
substratum of a thing, as distinguished 
from its attributes, v.t. To subdue ; to 
make liable ; to expose. (F. assujetti a, 
sujet a, expos6 a, sous la condition de ; sujet, 
theme, motif, soi-meme> substance; assujettir, 
soumettre, exposer.) 




All British subjects are subject to the 
law of Great Britain. Subjects of the King, 
when they visit or settle in other parts of 
the Empire, enjoy privileges denied to sub- 
jects of another state, and are not subjected 
to the restrictions imposed upon the latter, 
who are subject to special regulations as 
to registration, etc. Britons are encouraged 
to emigrate to our Overseas Dominions, and 
their settlement and welfare form the sub- 
ject of many schemes devised by the home 
and colonial governments jointly ; any 
grievances they may suffer may become 
the subject of discussion in Parliament 
or in the press. 

A subject state is one in subjection (sub 
jek' shun, n.) to another, the latter being 
called a sovereign state. We are all taught 
to keep our passions in subjection, or under 

Subject. The famous artist, Landseer, as a boy, 
making a sketch, the subject being a cow. 

The subject of a book, play, picture or 
debate is that which forms its main topic 
or subject-matter (n.). In an index or a 
catalogue, those items treating of a similar 
subject may be arranged under one subject- 
heading (n.), usually printed in more 
conspicuous type, for ease of reference. 
Subjectless (sub' jekt les, adj.) means having 
no subject. 

In grammar, the noun or other word 
which stands for that about which we are 
speaking is called the subject, and is in 
the nominative case. A proposition in logic 
consists of subject, copula, and predicate, 
and the first is that term about which 
something is affirmed or denied. 

Philosophers use the word subject for 
the ego, or thinking individual. That which 
occurs within his mind is subjective (sub 
jek' tiv, adj.), everything outside it being 

objective. There are philosophers who state 
that all knowledge is subjective, and that 
truth cannot be proved objectively, or 
outside our own minds. This theory is 
known as subjectivism (sub jek' tiv izm, n.), 
and one who upholds it is a subjectivist 
(sub jek' tiv ist, n.). 

In art, the term subjective is applied to 
works in which the individuality of the 
artist or composer is very prominent, his 
point of view being unduly emphasized. 
The word also means illusory or fanciful. 

Subjectivity (sub jek tiv' i ti, n.), or sub- 
jectiveness (sub jek' tiv nes, n.) is the quality 
or state of being subjective. In a work of 
art, subjectivity is that quality which is 
peculiar to the individual author or artist, 
and also means the undue emphasis or 
expression of this. A composer's character 
may be expressed subjectively (sub jek' 
tiv li, adv.) by his work. 

O.F. suget, from L. subjectus, p.p. of subjicere, 
subicere to throw or place under. Subjectus 
is used as n. in the sense of subject, one under- 
neath or inferior, subjectum (neuter) being used 
of a grammatical subject or the subject of a 
preposition. SYN. : adj. Liable, prone, sub- 
sidiary, tributary, n. Matter, motif, substance, 
theme, topic, v. Expose, subdue. ANT. : adj. 
Independent, sovereign. n. Object, ruler, 

subjoin (sub join'), v.t. To add at the 
end ; to append ; to affix. (F. aj outer.} 

P.F. subjoindre, from L. subjungere to add, 
annex, from sub under, close to, jungere to join. 

subjugate (sub' ju gat), v.t. To sub- 
due ; to bring into subjection ; to enslave. 
(F. subjuguer, asservir.) 

The Romans subjugated Gaul, Caesar 
himself, the subjugator (sub' ju ga tor, n.), 
remaining as the governor of the province. 
In ancient days subjugation (sub ju ga' 
shun, n.), which is the process of subjugating, 
or the state of being subjugated, often 
meant slavery for the vanquished, for the 
conqueror carried off many of the inhabi- 
tants to his own country. 

L. subjugdtus, p.p. of subjugdre to put under 
the yoke, from' sub under, jugum yoke. SYN. : 
Conquer, subdue, vanquish. 

subjunctive (sub jungk' tiv), adj. 
Of or relating to the mood of a verb used 
to express doubt or condition, hypothesis, 
etc. n. The subjunctive mood. (F. sub- 

The subjunctive mood expresses doubt, 
possibility, supposition, consequence, or 
wish, and is the mood used in a sentence 
subjoined to a principal sentence. 

A subjunctive clause is introduced by a 
conjunction. In the following example the 
words after " lest " form a subjunctive 
clause : "I will make a note of the date 
lest it should slip my memory." 

The subjunctive does not express a fact 
directly, but only subjunctively (sub jungk' 
tiv li, adv.), that is, in a manner which 
shows the relation of the fact to the mind 
of the speaker. In the two following 




sentences the verbs " be " and " were " 
are in the subjunctive : "If the king be 
taken our cause is lost ; " " were he the 
offender, I should punish him severely." 

L. subjunctlvus connecting, from subjunctus, 
p.p. of subjungere to subjoin, and suffix -ivus 
(F. -if, E.-ive.) 

subkingdom (sub king' dom), n. One 
of the chief or primary divisions of animals 
or plants. 

Plants are divided into two subkingdoms, 
the flowering plants, or phanerogams, and the 
so-called flowerless plants, or cryptogams. 

A sublanceolate (sub Ian' se 6 lat, adj.) 
leaf is one somewhat lanceolate in shape. 
Sublapsarian (sub lap sar' i an, n.) is the name 
applied to one who believed that God 
permitted the fall of man, and then decreed 
his redemption. See infralapsarian. 

From E. sub and kingdom. 

sublate (sub lat'), v.t. In logic, to deny, 
or regard as false. 

Logicians use this verb as the opposite 
of posit. They posit a proposition and 
sublate its opposite. The latter process is 
sublation (sub la/ shun, n.). 

L. subldtus, used as p.p. of toller e 
to take up, from sub from under, 
lotus, as p.p. of ferre to bear, 
remove. See collate. SYN : Deny. 
ANT. : Affirm, posit. 

sublease (sub les', v. ; sub' 
les, n.), v.t. To grant an under- 
lease of. n. A lease granted to 
a tenant by the original lessee 
and not by the owner. (F. 
relouer, sous-louer ; sous-bail.) 

A person who leases a build- 
ing from its owner sometimes 
subleases part or the whole of it 
to another person. Thus the 
original lessee becomes a sub- 
lessor (sub les' or, n.), and the 
person who takes the property 
on a sublease is a sublessee (sub 
les e', n.). Should one underlet a 
building or part without a lease 
he is said to sublet (sub let', 
v.t.) it. 

In the navy, a midshipman who qualifies to 
become a lieutenant is rated as a sub- 
lieutenant (sub lu ten' ant, n.), a rank which 
corresponds to that of a lieutenant in the 
army. An illustration of the badge of rank 
borne on his sleeve by a sub-lieutenant is 
given on page 2525. 

sublimate (sub' li mat), v.t. To sublime ; 
to convert (a solid substance) by heat into 
a state of vapour, and to solidity again by 
cooling, without apparent liquefied action at 
an intermediate stage ; to purify ; to refine. 
(F. sublimer.) 

Arsenic, camphor, and other substances 
are capable of sublimation (sub li ma' shun, 
n.), and are prepared commercially in this 
way. Sublimated (sub' li mat ed, adj.) 
sulphur is sold as flowers of sulphur, and 
mercuric chloride as corrosive sublimate. 

L. subllmatus, p.p. of subllmdre to raise, lift 
on high, perhaps from sub up to close to, llmen 

sublime (sii bllm'), adj. Of the highest, 
noblest or loftiest nature ; exciting feelings 
of awe ; grand ; noble ; exalted, v.t. To 
elevate or exalt ; to make sublime ; sub- 
limate, v.i. To become elevated or exalted ; 
to be sublimated. (F. sublime, noble ; ennoblir, 
clever; s' ennoblir.) 

This word is applied to anything which by 
its grandeur or nobility appeals strongly to 
our better emotions. Thus we speak of 
sublime heroism or love, of the sublime 
genius of a poet or painter, and of the sublime 
beauty of a scene. Things which inspire awe, 
wonder, reverence, are said to show sublime- 
ness (su bllm' nes.-w.), or sublimity (sii blim' 
i ti, n.). Sublimely (su blim' li, adv.) means 
with sublimity, or in an exalted manner. 
The peaks of a" great mountain chain may be 
said to tower sublimely, or loftily, above us. 
The word sublime is also used ironically. We 
sometimes talk of a person's sublime 
ignorance or conceit. 

The former government of the Turkish 

Sublime Porte. The Sublime Porte, the building at Constantinople 
which housed the principal government departments of the former 
Turkish Empire. 

Empire was known as the Sublime Porte (n.), 
as was also its central office. It is said that 
this title is derived from a lofty gate at 
the entrance of the building housing the 
government departments. 

Sulphur a solid when being distilled 
in a purifying plant, vaporizes and then 
recondenses in solid form. Any substance 
which behaves thus is said to sublime, or to 
sublimate. Sublimed sulphur in this powdered 
form is known as flowers of sulphur. 

F., from L. subllmis. See sublimate. SYN. : 
adj. Awe-inspiring, elevated, lofty, noble, v. 

subliminal (sub lim'i nal), adj. Pertaining 
to subconsciousness ; not perceived by con- 
sciousness. (F. subliminal). 

This word is used of mental processes 
regarded as lying below the threshold of 




normal consciousness, or appertaining to a 
supposed subconscious or subliminal self. 

The two sublingual (sub ling' gwal, adj.) 
glands are situated under the tongue, on the 
floor of the mouth, and secrete saliva. 
Deposits lying near or below a shore line are 
sublittoral (sub lit' oral, adj.). The word 
sublunary (sub lu' na ri, adj.) means beneath 
the moon, or, in other words, on the earth ; 
worldly or mundane matters are sometimes 
described as sublunary ones. 

submarine (sub ma ren'.. adj. ; sub' ma 
ren, n. and v.), adj. Situated, growing, or 
moving under the surface of the sea. n. A 
submarine boat. v.t. To sink or attack with 
a submarine boat. (F. sous-marin.) 

Submarine telegraph cables are laid on the 
beds of seas and oceans ; submarine tunnels 
are those passing under salt water. A 
submarine mine (n.) is an explosive mine 
laid in the sea to damage or sink a ship which 
may strike it ; a system of sending sound 
signals through water is known as submarine 
signalling (n.). 

Submarine. The British submarine "Odin 
water just after the vessel was 

on the surface of the 

The history of submarine navigation may 
be said to date from near the end of the 
eighteenth century, when Fulton experi- 
mented with a boat which could be sub- 
merged. The modern submarine boat (n.) is 
a warship which can be completely sub- 
merged, and is able to remain under water 
for long periods, whether moving or at rest. 
The chief function of a submarine is to dis- 
charge torpedoes at an enemy warship, first 
approaching unperceived to within a short 
distance. Some submarines are provided with 
apparatus for laying mines. 

To submerge a submarine, water is ad- 
mitted into its ballast tanks until the buoy- 
ancy is almost destroyed. A horizontal 
rudder at the stern and two hydroplanes 
near the bows are then brought into use to 
make the vessel dive as it moves forward, 
and to keep it at any required depth. 

From L. sub under, and marine (L. marlnus 
of the sea) . 

submaxillary (sub maks il' a ri), adj. 
Situated under the lower jaw. (F. sous- 

A large part of the saliva is secreted by 
the two submaxillary glands, one under each 
side of the jaw, below the inferior maxilla. 
The ducts from these open into the mouth 
under the tip of the tongue. Submental 
(sub men' tal, adj.) parts or organs are those 
situated under the chin, such as, for instance, 
the submental artery. 

submerge (sub merj'), v.t. To put under 
water, or other liquid ; to inundate : to 
plunge, or sink in water, etc. ; to overwhelm. 
v.i. To sink under water, etc. (F. submerge*, 
inonder, plonger, accabler ; couler.) 

Off the shores of England in many places 
there are submerged forests which have 
been put under water by the sinking of our 
coasts. Their present position, therefore, is 
the result of submergence (sub mer' jens, 
n.) as this sinking is called. Figuratively, 
;i debtor hopelessly insolvent is 
said to be submerged in debt. 

A submarine vessel which can 
travel on the surface and, when 
desired, can sink and proceed 
under water, is submergible (sub 
merj' ibl, adj.) or submersible 
(sub mers' ibl, adj.) at will, by 
taking in water-ballast. The 
process of thus sinking in the 
water is called submersion (sub 
mer' shun, n.), and the boat is 
said to submerge, when she sinks 
below the surface. 

When it is desired to submerge, 
or to submerse (sub mers', v.t.) 
such a vessel so that, in a 
submerged state, she may travel 
along concealed, her periscopes 
may be projected above the 
water, thus enabling those within 
the vessel to view objects on 
the surface. Submersed (sub 
merst', adj.) is used of plants 
growing under water. 

O.F. submerge?, from L. submergere, from sub 
under, mergere to plunge, sink. SYN. : Inun- 
date, overflow, sink. 

submission (sub mish' un). For this 
word : submissive, etc., see under submit. 

submit (sub mit'), v.t. To surrender 
(oneself) ; to put under the control of; to 
subject ; to offer for consideration ; to urge 
with deference, v.i. To yield ; to give in ; 
to be submissive. (F. soumettre, proposer ; 
se soumettre, se rendre, se resigner.) 

When a beaten army yields, its com- 
mander submits or puts forward his willing- 
ness to submit the terms which the victors 
may see fit to impose upon the vanquished. 
Napoleon III submitted himself to the 
Germans after the- ill-fated battle of Sedan, 
surrendering personally to the victorious 
commander. We may describe any act 




of yielding or surrender as one of submission 
(sub mish' un, n.), and he who performs it is 
submissive (sub mis' iv, adj.), that is, ready 
to give way, or accept commands meekly. 

As a token of submissiveness (sub mis' iv 
nes, n.) or obedience, the burghers of Calais 
were required by Edward III, when they 
brought him the keys of the city, to comport 
themselves most abjectly or submissively 
(sub mis' iv li, adv.), each burgher having 
a rope round his neck. But for the pleading 
of Queen Philippa, each submitter (sub 
mit' er, n.) would have met a speedy death. 

FromJL. submittere, summittere, (p.p. submissus) 
to let down, put under, submit, from sub under, 
mittere to send. SYN. : Offer, present, refer, 
surrender, yield. ANT. : Oppose, resist. 

Submit. An appeal being submitted to the Witan, the 
of the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot or parliament. 



submontane (submon'tan), adj. Situated 
at the foot of a mountain, or range of 

A submontane region is one lying about the 
lower slopes of a mountain, or about the 
foot-hills of a range. 

The number nine is a submultiple (sub null/ 
tipl, n.} of sixty-three, being contained in it 
exact number of times seven times, 
bbacco is subnarcotic (sub nar kot' ik, adj.], 
that is, mildly narcotic. The rate of the pulse 
is said to be subnormal (sub nor' mal, adj.) 
if below the normal, or usual, rate. The 
suboccipital (sub 6k sip' i tal, adj.) nerves 
are situated under the occiput. 

There are many suboceanic (sub 6 she 
an' ik, adj.) mountains, covered by the waters 
of the oceans. 

The ratio 3 : 24 is suboctuple (sub ok' tupl, 
adj.), that is, in the proportion of i to 8. 
The eye is directed downwards by a sub- 
ocular (sub ok' u lar, adj.) muscle one 
attached under the eye. The bone under an 
eye is suborbital (sub or' bit al, adj.), that is, 
below the orbit or eye-socket. 

A suborder (sub or' der, n.) of plants or 
animals is a division of an order, and may 
be called also a subordinal (sub or' di nal, 
adj.) group. 

subordinate (su bor' di nat, adj. and n. ; 
su bor' di nat, v.), adj. Below or inferior in 
importance or rank; subject or subsidiary 
(to), n. A person who works under another 
or who is lower in rank or status, v.t. To 
make lower or inferior ; to treat as of less 
importance ; to make subject to. (F. 
subordonne, accessoire ; subordonne ; subor- 
donner, assujettir.) 

A captain in the army is subordinate in 
rank to a major, and a lieutenant is the 
subordinate of a captain. In grammar a 
subordinate clause is generally in the 
subjunctive mood. 

The head of every great business has a 
number of subordinates, or persons who 
carry out his orders, and the 
subordination (su bor di na' shun, 
n.) of one person to another is 
essential if the business is to be 
carried on properly. In team- 
work the members subordinate 
their individual interests and 
aims to those of the team. Those 
low in rank or position, although 
at the time acting subordinately 
(su bor' di nat li, adv.) may one 
day rise to have many sub- 
ordinates themselves. 

In theology, the doctrine of 
the priority of the First Person 
of the Trinity over the Second 
and Third is called subordina- 
tionism (su bor di na' shun izm, 

L.L. subordindtus , p.p. of subor- 
dindre to place below, from L. sub 
under, below, ordindre to put in 
order. SYN. : adj. ' Lower, sub- 
n. Inferior. ANT. : adj. Higher, 
i. Superior. 

suborn (su born'), v.t. To induce or pro- 
cure (a person) to commit perjury, or other un- 
lawful act; to procure (such act), (^.suborner.) 
In reports of trials we sometimes hear of a 
person trying to bribe a witness to swear to 
false evidence. One who thus attempts to 
suborn a perjury is severely punished, and if 
the suborner (sii born' er, n.) is successful in 
his subornation (sub or na' shun, n.), so that 
a witness gives untrue testimony, he may 
be sent to prison for a long term. 

F. suborner, from L. suborndre to equip or 
incite secretly, from L. sub- under, secretly, 
orndre to adorn, supply, furnish. 

sub oval (sub 6' val), adj. Nearly oval. 
(F. subovale.) 

This word and subovate (sub 6' vat, adj.) 
are applied to objects roughly elliptical or 
somewhat like an egg in shape. 

L. sub- somewhat, nearly, ovum egg, with 
E. suffix -al (L. -dlis.) 

subpoena (sub pe' na; su pe' na), n. A 
writ, commanding the attendance of a 
witness or defendant at a court of justice, v.t. 
To serve with such a writ. (F. citation; citer.) 
L. sub poena under a penalty. The v. is 
derived from the n. 





subpolar (sub po' lar), adj. Near one of 
the poles ; in astronomy, lying directly under 
one of the celestial poles. 

Subpolar countries are those near the Polar 
regions. A sub-prefect (sub pre' fekt, n.) in 
France is an official who assists a prefect, the 
head of a district called a department. His 
office is a sub-prefecture (sub pre' fek chur, 
.). The subprior (sub prl' or, n.) of a 
priory ranks next to the prior. 

A subquadrate (sub kwod' rat, adj.) surface 
or object is one nearly square. A sub- 
quadruple (sub kwod' ru pi, adj.) ratio is one 
of i : 4 ; a subquadruple solution of a 
chemical contains one part out of four of that 
chemical. Similarly, a subquintuple (sub 
kwin' tu pi, adj.) ratio is one of i : 5, and a 
subquintuple solution contains one part out 
of five. 

A subregion (sub re" jun, n.) is a division 
of a region one of the great districts into 
which the earth's surface is divided by 
botanists and zoologists. 

Subpolar. A magnificent waterfall in Iceland, an 
island in the subpolar region. 

subreption (sub rep 'shim), n. The act of 
obtaining something by fraudulent repre- 
sentation or by surprise ; a deceitful repre- 
sentation, or an inference drawn from it. 
(F. subreption.) 

In its first sense a subreption means 
especially the concealment of facts so as to 
obtain a dispensation or a faculty. The term 
is used in ecclesiastical law. 

F., from L. subreptio, surrcptio (ace. -on-em) 
stealing, from subreptus, surreptus, p.p. of 
subripere, surripere, from sub- secretly, rapere to 

subrogation (sub ro ga' shun), n. The 
substitution of one person for another, with 
the succession to the latter's rights as 
creditor, etc. (F. subrogation.) 

Subrogation occurs when one person 
takes the place of another, and succeeds 

to the latter's rights in respect of a debt, etc. 
In the insuring of ships the underwriter 
indemnifies the insurer against loss, but is 
himself entitled to claim, in the insurer's 
name, any sum the latter might have 
recovered from a third party. 

That portion of the body which is sub- 
sacral (sub sa' kral, adj.) is situated under the 
sacrum, the lower part of the vertebral 
column. Subscapular (sub skap' u lar, adj.) 
means situated beneath the scapula. 

subscribe.(siib skrib'), v.t. To write (one's 
name, etc.) at the end of a document; to 
sign ; to attest ; to contribute or promise 
to contribute (a donation), v.i. To sign; to 
assent ; to enter one's name in a list of 
contributors ; to make or promise a contri- 
bution ; to undertake to purchase a news- 
paper, book, etc. (F. souscrire, signer, 
attester ; signer, souscrire, s'abonner.) 

A person's signature subscribed below an 
appeal for donations denotes his willingness 
to subscribe the amount he indicates. A 
legal document is subscribed or attested 
by those who witness the signatures of the 
contracting parties. 

A subscriber (sub skrl' ber, n.) to an 
opinion is one who assents to it ; to a benevo- 
lent institution, one who contributes sums 
for its support ; to a periodical, or book, 
one who agrees to purchase it. A signature 
at the foot of a letter, etc., is a subscription 
(sub skrip' shun, n.), but this word is used 
chiefly of a money gift or payment or of a 
contract to purchase a book, journal, etc. A 
subscription to a society or fund is distin- 
guished from a donation in being periodical. 

A subscript (sub' skript, adj.) letter is one 
written below another. In certain Greek 
words the letter iota (i) is written under 
other vowels, and is called iota subscript. 

L. sitbscrlbere, from sub under, scrlbere to write. 

subsection (sub sek' shun), n. A division 
of a section. (F. subdivision.) 

From L. sub under, and section. 

subsellium (sub sel' i um), n. A small 
ledge on the underside of a hinged seat which 
acted as a support to one leaning against 
it when the seat was turned up. pi. 
subsellia (sub sel' i a). (F. misericorde.) - 

A subsellium is also called a misericord ; 
it relieved the weariness of standing for long 
periods during worship. For illustration 
see page 2789. 

Things below the reach of the senses are 
subsensible (sub sen' sibl, adj.). A subseptuple 
(sub sep' tupl, adj.) ratio is one of i 17; 
6 : 42 ; and so on. A subseptuple share is 
one part out of seven. 

subsequent (sub' se kwent), adj. Follow- 
ing immediately, in order, time, or place ; 
later ; succeeding after. (F. subsequent.) 

The subsequent career of a boy when he 
leaves school may depend very largely upon 
himself. Education has prepared him to enter 
upon it, and the subsequent years will prove 
his mettle. That which follows an event 




occurs subsequently (sub' se kwentli, adv.] to 
it, and is an example of subsequence (sub' se 
kwens, n.). 

L. subsequens (ace. -ent-em), pres. p. of subsequl 
to follow soon after, from sub under, after, 
sequl to follow. SYN. : Following, succeeding. 
ANT. : Antecedent, preceding. 

subserve (sub serv'), v.t. To serve as 
means for promoting (an end). (F. subvenir 
a, aider a, contribuer a.) 

The end which good government should 
subserve is the happiness and prosperity 
of a people. Proper recreation subserves 
the health of school children ; hence playing 
fields and opportunities for games are 
provided for them. Subservient (sub ser' 
vi ent, adj.) means serving or adapted to 
promote some end, and the word is used 
also in the sense of obsequious or servile ; 
subservience (sub ser' vi ens, n.) and sub- 
serviency (sub ser' vi en si, n!) are used 
chiefly of slavish or cringing service. One 
who acts thus is said to behave subserviently 
(sub ser' vi ent li, adv.}. 

L. subservire, from sub under, servlre to serve. 

subsextuple (sub seks' .tupl), adj. In 
the proportion of i : 6. 

The numbers 12 and 72 are in subsextuple 

Subside. The remains of a garden which subsided. 
The lorry is tipping material into the hole made. 

subside (sub sid'), v.i. To fall in level ; 
to settle down lower ; to sink ; to cave 
in ; to become tranquil ; to abate. (F. 
s'affaiser, se tasser, couler a fond, s'effondrer, 

The ground above a tunnel may cave in 
or subside, and its subsidence (sub si' dens ; 
sub' si dens, n.) may cause neighbouring 
buildings also to settle down lower, or 

As floods subside or fall to a lower level, 
the mud, etc., held in suspense, settles or 
subsides, so that a thick sediment is left 
on the land which was inundated. 

As a storm subsides or becomes tranquil 
the tumult of the wind lessens or subsides. 

L. subsldere to sink or settle down, from sub 
under, sldere to settle, akin to seder e to sit. 
SYN. : Abate, settle, sink. 

subsidiary (sub sid' i a ri), adj. 
Auxiliary ; supplementary ; serving to aid 
or supplement ; subsidized, n. A helper 
or auxiliary ; an accessory. (F. subsidiaire, 
auxiliaire ; auxiliaire, aide.} 

Every large manufacturing industry gives 
employment to other subsidiary ones, which 
furnish supplies needed by the former. A 
tributary is subsidiary to a river. Sub- 
sidiarily (sub sid' i a ri li, adv.} means 
secondarily, or subordinately. 

L. subsididrius of a reserve. See subsidy. SYN.: 
Auxiliary, supplementary. ANT. : Chief, main. 

subsidy (sub' si di), n. Aid in money, 
granted by a government. (F. subvention, 

A subsidy meant once a sum of money 
granted by a parliament to the sovereign, 
or a tax imposed to raise it. 

One country may subsidize (sub' si diz, 
v.t.}, or pay a subsidy to, another country 
in return for assistance in war, or for a 
friendly neutrality. Subsidies are granted 
by governments to certain shipping lines 
which carry the mails under a contract. 

Another kind of subsidy, also called a 
bounty, is granted to industries, held to 
be of national importance, such as that of 
sugar-beet growing, to enable them to 
establish themselves or keep going. 

O.F. subsid(i)e, from L. subsidium auxiliary 
forces in reserve, help, relief, from subsldere to 
settle down, remain. See subside. SYN. : 
Bounty, grant. 

subsist (sub sist'), v.i. To exist ; to 
continue to exist ; to live ; to support 
life ; to find sustenance, v.t. To maintain. 
(F. exister, subsister, vivre ; faire subsister, 

A thing may be said to exist for any time, 
however short, whereas to subsist is to con- 
tinue to be, to maintain existence. A beggar 
subsists, or ekes out a bare subsistence (sub 
sist' ens, n.} on the doles of the charitable. 
We subsist on the necessaries of life, air, 
food and shelter. Under the Poor Law, 
institutions are provided for unfortunate 
people who have no means of subsistence. 

Subsistence money is that which is paid 
before the regular pay-day to workmen, 
soldiers, etc., to supply their temporary 

F. subsister, from L. subsistere to take up a 
position, remain, continue, from sub under, 
sistere to cause to stand, stand, sistere being 
properly the causal of stare. SYN. : Continue, 
exist, live, support. ANT. : Cease, end, perish. 

subsoil (sub' soil), n. The layer of 
earth just below the surface-soil. (F. sous- 




The subsoil may be rich in chemical 
constituents, but is generally poor in that 
organic matter which supports life, and is 
found in the surface soil. A farmer some- 
times uses a subsoil plough, which breaks 
up the subsoil without bringing it to the top. 

A subspecies (sub spe' shez, n.) of plants 
is a division of a species of greater import- 
ance than a variety. Differences which 
mark off one subspecies from another are 
subspecific (sub spe sif ik, adj.). 

The earth is subspherical (sub sfer" ik al, 
adj.), that is, almost spherical, being flat- 
tened at the poles. To the substage (sub' 
staj, n.) of a microscope, a fitting below 
the stage, are attached the condenser and 

substance (sub' stans), n. That of 
which a thing consists ; matter ; material 
as opposed to form ; essence ; the essential 
nature of a thing ; gist ; purport ; mean- 
ing ; that which has reality ; firmness ; 
solidity ; possessions ; real worth. (F. 
substance, matiere, essence, sens, rtalite, bien, 

The images seen in a mirage have form 
but not substance. 

Lead is a dense, heavy substance, pumice 
a light porous substance. A spendthrift is 
said to waste his substance, and so he soon 
becomes one who is no longer a man of 
substance. A student makes notes of the 
pith or substance of a lecturer's remarks. 

We contrast substance and shadow ; if 
the sun goes in the latter may disappear, 
but the body which casts it remains, and is 
therefore substantial (sub stan' shal, adj.], 
a word used also for solid or durable. A 
substantial reward is one of considerable 
value, its receiver is substantially (sub 
stan' shal li, adv.) or liberally rewarded. 
To prove something true is to substantiate 
(sub stan' shi at, v.t.) it, and the act of doing 
so is substantiation (sub stan shi a' shun, n.). 
One who makes a charge against another 
is expected to substantiate his statement, 
or give sufficient ground for it. 

In metaphysics substance means the 
essence which underlies a phenomenon. 
Substantialism (sub stan' shal izm, n.) is the 
name of a form of philosophy, the upholders 
of which, called substantial ists (sub stan' 
shal ists,, maintain that all pheno 
mena are based upon substantial realities, 
or that they have substantiality (sub stan 
shi al' i ti, n.), that is, reality. To sub- 
stantialize (sub stan' shal Iz, v.t.) anything 
is to make it substantial, or to give reality 
to it. 

F., from L. substanlia being, essence, from 
substans (ace. -stant-em), pres. p. of substare to 
exist, from sub under, stare to stand. SYN. : 
Essence, matter, possessions, reality, solidity. 

substantive (sub' stan tiv), adj. Ex- 
pressing existence ; real ; substantial ; in- 
separately existent ; not 
or implied ; not sub- 
servient, n. A noun. (F. substantif.) 

In grammar a substantive is a word which 
can be used as the name of a person, thing, 
or idea. Such words are said to be sub- 
stantival (sub stan ti' val, adj.) or to be used 
substantively (sub' stan tiv li, adv.) or 
substantially (sub stan tiv' al li, adv.). 

In public business a substantive motion 
is an independent proposal, as compared 
with the amendments or alterations sug- 
gested to it. An army officer who holds a 
certain real or substantive rank may be 
promoted temporarily to one of higher 
degree. If his promotion is confirmed and 
made permanent, the new appointment 
becomes substantive. 

F. substantif, from L.L. substantlvus sell- 
existent, substantial, from L. substantia. See 
substance. SYN. : adj. Real, permanent, sub- 
stantial, n. Noun. 

substation (sub' sta shun), n. A 
subsidiary station. (F. sous -station.) 

Substations play an important part in 
the transmission of electrical energy from 
a main station, or source of supply, to the 
places where it is to be made use of. In 
the substation the type of the electrical 
current or its Voltage may be changed so 
as to fit it for transmission, or for the 
specific needs of the district to be supplied 
with energy. 

From E. sub- and station. 

dependently and s 
merely inferential 

Substitute. 1 Drawing water from a stand-pipe, a 
substitute for the regular water supply. 

substitute (sub 7 sti tut), n. A person 
or thing which serves for or takes the place 
of another, v.t. To cause to fill the place, 
or perform the function of another ; to put 
in place of. (F. snbstitut. remplafant ; 
substituer, remplaccr.) 

If a player in a team is prevented from 
taking part in a game another may be 
deputed to act as his substitute. Margarine 
may be usefully substituted for butter for 
many purposes. To guard the public against 
its fraudulent substitution (sub sti tu' shun, 
.). however, wrappers in which it is sold 




must bear the name " margarine." Any- 
thing taking the place of something else is 
substitutional (sub sti tu' shun al, adj.], or 
substitutionary (sub sti tu' shun a ri, adj.). 
To prevent its substitutive (sub' sti tu tiv, 
adj.] use in beverages, methylated alcohol 
not subject to the same heavy excise duty 
as ordinary alcohol is given a distinctive 
colour and an unpleasant taste. 

In some countries where compulsory 
military service was the rule a man might 
formerly be hired to serve substitutionally 
(sub sti tu' shun al li, adv.), or in place of 

O.F. substitut, from L. substitutus, p.p. of 
substituere to place under, instead of, from sub 
under, in place of, statuere to place, set. 

substratum (sub stra' turn), n. That 
which underlies ; a layer or stratum lying 
under another ; a ground or basis, pi. 
substrata (sub stra/ ta). (F. fond, base, 
couche inferieure, substratum.} 

The fertile, mellow top soil of a garden 
may have a substratum of heavy clay 
beneath it. A statement which is largely 
false may have a substratum of truth. 

L. = neuter of substrdtus, p.p. of substernere 
to spread under, used as a noun (= something 
spread under). 

substructure (sub struk' chur), n. 
A foundation ; an under-structure. (F. 
substruction, fondation.) 

The foundations of a building Slf 
form its substructure, as opposed 
to the superstructure erected 
upon them. 

F., from L. substructio (ace. 
-on-em), from substructus, p.p. of 
substruere to build under, from sub 
under, struere to erect, build. 

subsume (sub sum'), v.t. 
To include in a more general 

If we say all dogs are animals, 
we make a subsumption (sub 
sump' shun, n.} or a subsumptive 
(sub sump 7 tiv, adj.) statement, 
because we include the class of 
dogs in the larger class of 

Modern L. subsiimere, from L. 
sub under, sumere to take. 

sub-temperate (sub tern' per at), adj. 
Situated in the colder parts of the tem- 
perate regions. 

The sub-temperate regions of the earth 
are those near the temperate zones and on 
the polar side of them. 

A subtenant (sub' ten ant, n.) is a person 
who rents a property or part of it, from one 
who is himself a tenant. His mode of 
holding, or his tenure, is a subtenancy (sub' 
ten an si, n.} 

subtend (sub tend'), v.t. In geometry, to 
be opposite to. (F. sous-tendre .) 

This is a word used in geometry of a 
chord, or the side of a triangle. The 
hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is 
the side that subtends the right angle. A 

chord of an arc of a circle is its subtense 
(sub tens', n.) the line which subtends it. 
L. subtendere, from sub under, tendere to 

subter-. This is a Latin prefix meaning 
under, less than. 

subterfuge (sub'ter fuj), n. Prevarica- 
tion, shift, or artifice employed to escape 
blame or, in argument, to evade an issue ; 
the use of such a shift, etc. (F. subterfuge, 
evasion, ruse.} 

A wrongdoer sometimes has to resort to 
subterfuge in order to avoid punishment, 
or to conceal his misdeeds. A mob orator, 
faced with a question difficult to answer, 
may try to divert his opponent to a side 
issue, as a subterfuge. Or he may employ 
a subterfuge of another kind an untrue 
or misleading statement, calculated to 
silence his questioner. 

F., from L.L. subterfugium, from L. subter- 
fugere, from subter- secretly, fugere to flee, take 
refuge. SYN. : Evasion, prevarication, shift. 

subterposition (sub ter po zish' un), n. 
The state of being under something else ; 
this position. (F. subterposition.} 

Geologists say that a stratum is in subter- 
position when it is under another stratum. 
The opposite is superposition. 

L. subter under, and E. position. 

Subterranean. A subterranean motor 
accomplishes a very strange journey, its 
main sewers. 

train in Paris, which 
course lying through the 

subterranean (sub te ra' ne an), adj. 
Underground ; belonging to the underworld ; 
working secretly, subterraneous (sub te ra' ne 
us) has the same meaning. (F. souterrain.} 

The mole spends most of its life in sub- 
terranean runs, since it hunts its food 
subterraneously (sub te ra' ne us li, adv.}, 
that is, below the surface of the ground, 
subterrestrial (sub te res' tri al, adj.} is a 
rare word having the same meaning as 

From L. subterrdneus , from sub under, terra the 
earth, and E. adj. suffix -an (L. -anus}. SYN. : 
Secret, underground. 

sub' til), adj. Thin; 
finely woven. (F. rare, 

subtile (suf il 
tenuous ; delicate ; 

tenu, fin, subtil.} 




This is an older form of the word subtle, 
and is now used rather of things than of 
mental characteristics, for which the later 
form is to be preferred. The ether is a very 
subtile or tenuous medium. Subtility (sub 
til' i ti, n.) has the same meaning as sub- 
tlety. To subtilize (suf il iz, v.t.) an argu- 
ment or to subtilize (v.i.) is to introduce 
into it very fine distinctions to split hairs 
as one says. 

A variant spelling of subtle. See subtle. 
SYN. : Tenuous, thin. ANT. : Coarse, dense, 

sub-title (sub 7 ti tl), n. A secondary 
title to a book or other composition ; a 
half-title. (F. sous-litre.} 

Scott's " Guy Mannering " has the sub- 
title of " The Astrologer." The second 
kind of sub-title is usually printed two 
pages before the title-page, and gives the 
short title of the book in question. 

E. sub- and title. 

subtle (suf 1), adj. Tenuous ; rarefied ; 
evasive ; difficult to grasp or trace ; making 
fine distinctions ; acute ; discerning ; in- 
genious ; insidious ; crafty ; cunning. (F. 
tenu, rarefie, evasif, subtil, perspicace, in- 
genieux, ruse, fin.) 

Penetrating or pervasive odours are 
sometimes said to be subtle, and the word 
is used of thin delicate fabrics, but except 

(sub trak' shun, n.) we find the difference 
between two numbers or quantities. By a 
subtractive (sub trak' tiv, adj.) operation 
we may determine that number which must 
be added to the lesser of two given numbers 
so that both these shall be equal. The 
quantity or number that has to be taken 
away from another is the subtrahend (sub' 
tra hend, n.). 

L. subtractus, p.p. of subtrahere to draw away 
from under, from sub under, traherc to draw. 
SYN. : Deduct. ANT. : Add. 

subtriangular (sub tri ang' gu lar), 
adj. Imperfectly triangular. 

A subtriangular figure is one approxi- 
mately triangular in shape. In ethnology a 
subtribe (sub 7 trib, n.) is a division split 
off from a tribe. The ratio of i : 3. or 
any other in like proportion, is a subtriple 
(sub' tripl, adj.) ratio. A subtriplicate (siib 
trip' li kat, adj.) ratio is one expressed in 
cube roots. The ratio \Ja : \Jb is the 
subtriplicate ratio of a : b, 

The subtropic (sub trop' ik, adj.) or sub- 
tropical (sub trop' ik al, adj.) regions, called 
also the subtropics (sub trop' iks,}, 
are near the tropics ; a subtropical climate 
is cooler than tropical, but warmer than 

subulate (su' byu lat), adj. In botany 
and zoology, long, narrow, and tapering 

in poetical language the latter use of the to a point ; awl-shaped. Subuiiform (sTf 

word is rare. 

A subtle stratagem is one subtly (suf li, 
adv.) conceived, which shows cunning or 
craft in its planning. A subtle mind is a 
keen one ; able to make fine or 
subtle distinctions. A too subtle 
argument may be so complicated 
as to be extremely difficult to 
follow. Subtlety (suf 1 ti, n.) 
is the quality of being subtle, 
in any of its senses. 

M.E. sutil, sotel (and other 
spellings), from O.F. s(o)util, subtil, 
from L. subtllis fine, slender, precise, 
subtle ; perhaps from s^^b- close 
beneath tela web, that is, finely 
woven. SYN. : Acute, crafty, fine, 
ingenious, insidious. ANT. : Guile- 
less, simple, straightforward. 

subtonic (sub ton' ik), n. 
In music, the note a semitone 
below the tonic or key note. 
(F. note sensible.} 

The note B natural is the subtonic of 
the scale of C. The subtonic is commonly 
called the leading note. 

L. sub under, below, and tonic. 

byu li form, adj.} has the same meaning. 
(F. subule.) 

Modern L. silbuldtus (p.p. form), from L. subula 
awl, from suere to sew. 

Suburb. The entrance to the town of Bry-sur-Marne. a suburb of 
the city of Paris. 

suburb (sub' erb), n. An outlying part 
of a town or city. (F. faubourg.) 

As a city grows many who find occupa- 
tion in it make their homes in the outlying 

subtract (sub trakf), v.t. To take districts, villages once isolated becoming 

linked up with the metropolis as suburbs. 
New suburbs are made by building houses 
on a suitable site adjacent usually to a 
railway line, a station springing up later 
for the convenience of the suburban (su' 
berb' an, adj.) dwellers. In the plural the 
suburbs mean the environs of a town. 

O.F. suburbe, from L. suburbium, from sub 
under, close to, urbs city, town. 

away (a part), quantity, etc., from a whole 
or from a greater quantity ; to deduct. 
(F. soustraire, retrancher.) 

In arithmetic a lesser number is sub- 
tracted from a greater number. Since 
algebra deals with minus as well as plus 
quantities, a greater quantity may be sub- 
tracted from a smaller one, the remainder 
being a negative quantity. By subtraction 




subvention (sub ven 7 shun), n. A 
grant of money in aid ; a subsidy or bounty. 
(F. subvention.} 

F., from L. subventio (ace. -on-em), from sub- 
venire to assist, from sub up to, venire to come. 

subvert (sub vert'), v.t. To overturn ; 
to upset ; to destroy. (F. renverser, boule- 
verser, detruire.) 

During the " Terror " the French revolu- 
tionaries, having already subverted the 
monarchy, and overthrown the entire social 
edifice, tried to subvert or destroy Christi- 
anity, endeavouring to set up in its place 
another system of worship, with every tenth 
day as a rest day. Doctrines adverse to 
religion or morality, aiming at their sub- 
version (sub ver 7 shun, n.}, have been pro- 
mulgated by other revolutionary bodies, 
as in Russia, where subversive (sub ver 7 siv, 
adj.) laws forbad Christian practices. 

F. subvertir, from L. subvertere to overturn, 
from sub from under, vertere to turn. SYN. : 
Destroy, overturn, upset. 

Subway. The Holland Tunnel, a subway under the Hudson River, 
New York, U.S.A. 

. subway (sub' wa), n\ - An underground 
conduit, passage, or tunnel.; (F. souterrain.) 

succeed (suk sed 7 ), v.t. To follow : to 
come after (in order or time) ; to take the 
place previously occupied by ; to be heir or 
successor to. v.i. To follow in time or order ; 
to be heir, or successor (to an office, estate, 
etc.) ; to have success ; to attain a desired 
object ; to end successfully or prosperously. 
(F. suivre, succeder, remplacer, heriter ; 
succeder, reussir.) 

At the death of a king his heir succeeds 
to the throne, and becomes his successor 
(suk ses 7 or, n.). A period of calm succeeds a 
storm ; bud, flower, and fruit succeed one 
another in a plant's development. 

O.F. succeder, from L. succeder e to go from 
under or near, follow after, result, succeed, 
prosper, from sue- = sub under, cedere to go. 
SYN. : Flourish, follow, prosper, thrive. ANT. : 
Antedate, anticipate, fail, precede. 

succentor (suk sen 7 tor), n. A deputy pre- 
centor ; the leading bass singer in a choir. 
L.L. = one who accompanies in singing, from 
L. succinere to sing to, from sue- = sub under, 
canere to sing (centor is modified 
form of cantor}. 

success (suk ses'), n. The act 
of attaining a desired object; a 
favourable result ; the attain- 
ment of worldly prosperity, fame, 
or position ; a thing or person 
that succeeds. (F. succes.) 

We speak of. the success of a 
plan that is brought to a favour- 
able issue. .'-X book is a success 
if it is read "and'liked by many 
people. The writer of it is also 
a success. 

A play is successful (suk ses 7 
ful, adj.), or is "attended by 
success, when it attracts large 
audiences. Its popularity is a 
measure of its successfulness (suk 
ses 7 ful nes, n.), or successful 
quality. A successful tradesman 
is one who has achieved success 
in his business. A boy who comes through 
an examination successfully (suk ses 7 ful li, 

Subways are made under pavements of adv.) does so with success in other words, 

city streets to carry gas and water pipes, 
electric cables, telegraph and telephone 
wires, and so on. Subways for foot- 
passengers are built between railway stations, 
and at points under a road where traffic is 

sue-. This is a form of the prefix sub- 
used before c. See sub- 

succades (su kadz 7 ), Candied 
fruits preserved in syrup. 

O.F., from L. suc(c)us juice, and suffix -ade. 

succedaneum (suk se da 7 ne um), n. 
A substitute, pi. succedanea (suk se da 7 
ne a)^ (F. succedane.) 

This word is used chiefly of things, rarely of 
persons. Succedaneous (suk se da 7 ne us, adj.) 
matter acts as a succedaneum or substitute. 
Neither of these words is in ordinary use. 

L. succeddneus (neuter -um), from succeder e to 
follow after. See succeed. 

his papers satisfy the examiners and he 
succeeds in passing. 

O.F. succes, from L. successus, from p.p. of 
succedere advance, succession, happy issue, 
success. See succeed. 

succession (suk sesh 7 un), n. A following 
in order ; a series of things or persons 
following in order ; the act or right of 
succeeding to an office or inheritance ; the 
order in which persons having this right 
succeed ; a set of persons succeeding 
thus ; in biology, the order of descent in the 
development of species. (F. suite, succession.) 

A succession of failures, that is, failures 
coming one after another without any inter- 
vening success, is disheartening, but we 
should remember that a run of bad luck is 
often followed by a run of good luck. The 
eldest son of an earl succeeds to the title, 
the next in age is second in the succession. 





and will succeed if the heir dies. Events 
follow in rapid succession when they occur 
immediately one after another. The rotation 
of crops is sometimes termed the succession 
of crops. When a plant blooms several times 
after the first crop of flowers dies, it is said 
to produce successional (suk sesh' un al, 
adj.) flowers, that is, flowers occurring in 
succession, succession duty (n.) is a tax 
paid by an heir on succeeding to property. 

Things that follow one another in un- 
interrupted sequence are successive (suk ses' 
iv.,.adjt), andoeeur successively (suk ses' iv li, 
adv.), or in succession, successiveness (suk 
ses' iv nes, n.) is the state or quality of 
following in order. 

F., from L. successio (ace. -on-em). See succeed, 
success. SYN. : Descent, 
rotation, sequence, series. 

successor (suk ses' 
or). For this word see 
under succeed. 

succinct (suk singkt'), 
adj. Expressed in few 
words. (F. succinct, 
concis, laconique.} 

A succinct narrative 
contains no unnecessary 
words, yet all the essen- 
tial details are given 
succinctly (suk singkt 'li, 
adv.), or with brevity 
and conciseness. Pro- 
verbs and maxims have 
the quality of succinct- 
ness (suk singkt' nes, n.), 
for at their best they 
contain much wisdom 
in a few words. 

L. succinctus, p.p. ot 
succingere to gird below, 
tuck up, from sue- = sub, 
cingere to gird. SYN. : 
Brief, concise, condensed, pithy, terse. ANT. : 
Lengthy, involved, prolix, verbose, wordy. 

succory (suk' 6 ri). This is another name 
for chicory. See chicory. 

succose (suk' 6s), adj. In botany, sappy ; 
juicy. (F. seveux, juteux.) 

L. suc(c)us juice, and E. suffix -ose (L. -osus). 

succour (suk' or), v.t. To come to the 
aid of ; to help or relieve in distress or 
difficulty, n. Aid in time of difficulty or dis- 
tress. (F. secourir ; secours, aide, assistance.) 

Help or assistance may be given to anyone. 
Succour is aid given to the helpless, to 
fugitives, refugees, etc. Formerly a military 
force was said to succour a town when it 
drove away a besieging enemy. People 
are succourless (suk' or les, adj.) when they 
are destitute or else without help. 

O.F. sucorre, soscorre, from L. succurrere to run 
to the assistance of, from sue- = sub under, to, 
currere to run. SYN. : v. Assist, help, relieve. 
. Aid, assistance, help, relief. 

succulent (suk' u lent), adj. Juicy; in 
botany, thick and fleshy ; of plants, having 
thick, juicy stems and leaves. (F. succulent, 
juteux, charnu.) 

Succulent. A negro boy of Virginia, U.S.A., 

enjoying an enormous slice of melon, a very 

succulent fruit. 

Meat is said to be succulent when it yields 
plenty of gravy, and, in an extended sense 
of the word, a person might be said to give 
a succulent, or luscious, smile. Oranges are 
succulent fruit, and are succulently (suk' u 
lent li, adv.) inviting to a hot and thirsty 

The succulence (suk' u lens, n.) } that is, 
the succulent quality of the cactus, agave, 
and other succulent plants, enables them to 
survive long periods of drought. Their thick, 
fleshy stems and leaves are stored with water 
in the form of sap. 

L. suc(c}ulentus full of juice, Irom suc(c)u- 
combining form of suc(c)us juice, and adj. suffix 
-lentus. SYN. : Juicy, luscious, rich. 

succumb (su kum'), v.i. To cease to 
resist ; to give way (to) ; 
to submit ; to die owing 
to disease, wounds, etc.; 
to die. (F. ceder, se 
soumettre, succomber, 

This word is used 
chiefly of persons and 
communities. A nation 
may succumb, or be 
forced to yield, to a 
powerful invader. Thus 
Rumania succumbed, or 
was overcome, in 1917. 
A person succumbs to 
a temptation when he 
ceases to offer resistance 
to it. When people 
succumb to an operation, 
they die from the effects 
of it. 

L. succumbere to lie 
under, sink down, yield, 
from sue- = sub under, 
cumbere (a form of cubdre 
to lie). SYN. : Die, submit, surrender, yield. 

succursal (su ker' sal), adj. Auxiliary ; 
subsidiary. (F. succursale.) 

This word is used chiefly in connexion 
with religious buildings and offices. A 
succursal chapel is a chapel-of-ease, which is 
dependent upon a parish church. 

From L.L. succursale subsidiary branch, from 
succursus help, and L suffix -dlis. See 

such (such), adj. Of that kind ; of the 
same or like kind or degree (as) ; similar ; 
the previously mentioned (person or thing) ; 
having a particular quality or nature as 
specified, or previously indicated ; having the 
same quality or nature ; so great, adv. 
So. pron. Such a person, persons, or things ; 
the same. (F. tel, pareil, semblable ; tant ; 

This is a word used in making comparisons, 
for the purpose of indicating the quality 
or quantity of a thing. Sometimes the thing 
with which the comparison is made is not 
expressed but is merely implied, purposely 
left vague, or is regarded as understood by 
the speaker or hearer. We may say, for 




instance, that such earthquakes as that of 
Tokyo in 1923 are, fortunately, rare, when we 
mean earthquakes like the one at Tokyo. 
When speaking of the world's great scientists 
we may not wish to give a long or complete 
list of the people we have in mind, and so 
we say : " Scientists such as Newton and 
Einstein." It is then clear that the com- 
parison is extended to other scientists of 
the same high standing. 

A person may be startled by our sudden 
entrance into a room, and declare __..____.._ 
colloquially that we gave her 
such, or so great, a fright. The 
word " such " is often used in 
sentences where " so " would be 
a better word. For instance, we 
say that we never saw such a 
short man as Tom Thumb, when 
we mean a man so short as this 

A desert becomes such, or be- 
comes a desert, through the 
action of natural forces. Here 
the word is a pronoun. The 
archaic expression " such as " in 
the sense of " those who " occurs 
in the Bible (Psalm cvii, 10) : 
" Such as sit in darkness and the 
shadow of death." 

To select such and such 
articles in a shop is to choose 
certain ones, or some. Such-like 
(adj.] people are those of such a kind as have 
already been mentioned. Most of us dislike 
snails, slugs, and such-like (pron.}, that is, 
things like them. This word, however, is a 

M.E. swulc(h), swilc, A.-S. swylc, swelc ; cp. 
Dutch zulk, G. solch, O. Norse slik-r, Goth. 
swaleik-s ; = so like, originally meaning of such 
a shape or form. See so, like [i]. 

suck (suk), v.t. To draw (liquid) into the 
mouth by suction ; to drink in ; to acquire 
(knowledge, etc.) ; to absorb ; to draw (in or 
down) ; to engulf ; to draw liquid, etc., 
from, as with the mouth ; to dissolve in this 
way. v.i. To draw liquid, etc., in by suction ; 
to draw in milk or nourishment thus ; to 
make a noise as of sucking, n. An act or spell 
of sucking ; a pull caused by suction ; the 
noise of swirling water having a sucking 
action. (F. sucer, absorber, avaler, engloutir ; 
sucer, Uter ; suction.) 

We suck lemonade through straws by 
making a partial vacuum in the mouth with 
our lips. Eddies on the surface of flowing 
water suck down small floating objects. 

Animals that give suck to their young are 
described as mammals. A sucking (suk' 
ing, adj.) mammal, or one in the early stage 
of its life, when it feeds by sucking, is some- 
times called a sucker (suk' er, n.). The word 
is used in this sense especially of a new-born 
whale and a sucking-pig (n.), that is, a pig 
before it is weaned. 

Certain kinds of fish that suck in food, or 
else have organs called suckers on their 

heads or bodies, are given the names of 
sucker and sucking-fish (n.). The sucker, or 
sucking-disk (n.), with which fish of the latter 
kind are provided, is a flat or concave surface 
adhering to objects by means of suction. 
The sucking-fish, of which lumpsucker is an 
example, is thus able to attach itself to other 
fish, to rocks, and even to ships. 

There are many suckers, used for grasp- 
ing prey, on the tentacles or arms of the 

Suck. Lambs on Saltholm Island, near Copenhagen, vigorously 
sucking milk from bottles. 

In gardening, a shoot of a shrub or tree 
is called a sucker when it is sent up from 
the root, from an extension of the root, or 
from the bole at ground level. The piston 
of a suction-pump is also known as a sucker.. 
Shopkeepers sometimes attach small articles 
to their show-windows by means of a hook 
fixed to a circle of rubber which clings to 
the glass when wetted and pressed against 
it. A device of this kind is also called a 

M.E. suken, souken, A.-.S. sucan, sugan ; cp. 
Dutch zuigen, G. saugen, O. Norse siiga, L. sugere, 
suc(c}us juice. SYN. : v. Acquire, imbibe. 

sucrose (sii' kros), n. Cane sugar, or any 
compound sugar of the same chemical 
composition and properties. (F. saccharose.} 

F. sucre (sugar) and E. suffix -ose. 

suction (suk' shun), n. The act or process 
of sucking ; the production of a partial 
vacuum so as to draw in a fluid, or cause 
a body to adhere, through external atmo- 
spheric pressure. (F. suction.} 

When the nozzle of a garden syringe is 
dipped in water and the piston is drawn 
up a partial vacuum is created inside the 
tube. Air cannot enter the nozzle to relieve 
the vacuum, and the water is forced up by 
the pressure of the air outside. This is a 
simple example of suction. 

The common pump which raises liquids 
by suction is called a suction-pump (ft.). A 
suction-pipe (n.} is a pipe leading from a 
pump of this kind to the reservoir from which 
the water, etc., is to be drawn. Liquid is 




sucked up this pipe into the suction-box (n.), 
suction-chamber (n.), or barrel of the pump. 

Many gas-engines are run on suction-gas 
(n.) which is gas that is drawn or sucked into 
the cylinder from a kind of furnace 
called a gas-producer. 

The humming-bird has a suctorial (suk 
tor' i al, adj.) beak, that is, one adapted for 
sucking honey from flowers. The remora 
is one of the suctorial fishes which are 
equipped with a suctorial organ called a 
sucking-disk. Other animals that have 
mouths used for sucking in food are also said 
to be suctorial. 

O.F., fromL. suctio, (ace. -on-em], iromsuctus, 
p.p. of sugere to suck. 

Sudanese (soo da nez'), adj. Of or 
belonging to the Sudan, a region to the south 
of Egypt, n. An inhabitant of the Sudan. 
Another spelling is Soudanese (soo da nez'). 
(F. soudanien, soudanais.) 

The Sudanese inhabiting the north of 
the Sudan are mostly Hamites and Arabs, 
but those of the south are negroid, and from 
these the country received its Arabic name, 
Beled-es-Sudan, which means the land of 
the Blacks. 

Sudanese. A native Sudanese musician with his 
curious stringed instrument and bow. 

sudarium (su dar' i um), n. A napkin 
or cloth for wiping the face, especially that of 
St. Veronica, which, according to legend, 
became miraculously stamped with the 
portrait of Christ ; any miraculous portrait 
of Christ ; the napkin on Christ's head in the 
sepulchre, pi. sudaria (su dar' i a). 

There is a mediaeval legend that when 
Christ was on His way to Calvary, St. 
Veronica handed Him her kerchief to wipe 
the sweat from His brow. When Christ 
returned the cloth or sudarium it bore a 
perfect likeness of His features. 

In ancient Roman baths, a room heated 
with hot-air or steam, and called a sudatorium 
(su da tor' i um, n.) pi. sudatoria (su 
da tor' i a) was used to produce sweating. 

L., from sudare to sweat. See sweat. 

sudd (sud), n. A floating mass of vege- 
tation impeding navigation of the White 
Nile ; a temporary dam built across a river. 

The foundations of the Nile dam were 
built between sudds or embankments raised 
to shut out water from the site. 

Arabic sudd obstruction, barrier. 

sudden (sud 'en), adj. Happening without 
warning ; made, done, or come upon 
unexpectedly; instantaneous; abrupt; rapid. 
(F. imprdvu, inopine, immediat, subit, rapids.} 

Sudden death takes place instantly, as 
when a soldier is killed by the sudden 
explosion of a bomb. A path is said to take a 
sudden turn when it bends abruptly. We 
come to a sudden determination when we 
make up our minds to do something without 
waiting to think the matter over. 

Things happen all of a sudden (adv.) when 
they occur suddenly (sud' en li, adv.), that is, 
without preparation or warning. The archaic 
expression on a sudden (adv.) has the same 
meaning. An unexpected gunshot may 
make one jump by its. suddenness (sud' en 
nes, n.), that is, its quality of being sudden. 

M.E. and O.F. sodain, from L. subitdneus, 
enlarged form of subitus sudden, p.p. of sublre 
to steal upon, from sub- secretly, lye to go. SYN. : 
Abrupt, hasty, quick, rapid, unexpected. ANT. : 
Anticipated, deliberate, expected, gradual, slow. 

sudoriferous (su do rif' er us), -adj. In 
anatomy, conveying perspiration ; of glands, 
causing or secreting perspiration. (F. 
sudorifere , sudorifique . ) 

The skin is pitted all over with millions 
of tinysudofiferous glands, which produce or 
secrete sweat. This reaches the surface of the 
skin -through the sudoriferous canals. A 
sudorific (su do rif ik; n.) or sudorific (adj.) 
medicine is one that promotes perspiration. 
- L.L; sudorifer (F. sudorifere), from L. sudor 
(ace. -or-em) sweat, and -fer from ferre to carry. ., 

Sudra (soo' - dra)y w. f A member of the 
lowest of the four great Hindu c'astes iri 
India. (F. foudra.) 

Sansk. sudra, perhaps the name of a con- 
quered tribe. 

suds (sudz), Soapy water forming 
a frothy mass ; soapsuds ; froth or foam. 
(F. eau de savon, ecume.) 

Originally either dregs, filth, or flood water, 
fen water ; cp. M. Dutch sudde marsh, bog. 

sue (su), v.t. To prosecute (a person) in 
a law-court ; to make application to (for 
damages, etc.) ; to entreat or petition, v.i. 
To take legal proceedings (for) ; to make 
entreaty (to or for). (F. poursuivre, solliciter.} 

When a man suffers loss, because another 
has broken a contract made with him, he 
may sue or prosecute the offender in a 
court of law and recover damages. The 
person who sues is called the plaintiff, and 
the person whom he sues is the defendant. 
To sue out a writ or pardon is to petition 
for and obtain it in a court of law. A man 
sues for mercy when he begs for mercy. 

O.F. sevre, suir, assumed L.L. sequere (L. sequl) 
to follow. SYN. : Beg, entreat, petition, pray, 

suede (swad), n. Undressed kid leather, 
used for gloves and shoes ; the colour of this. 
adj. Made of suede. (F. peau de Suede.} 




Suede or suede leather has a rough surface 
and will not take a polish. 
F. de Suede ot Sweden. 

suet (su' et), n. The hard fat obtained 
from the kidneys and loins of sheep and oxen. 
(F. suif.) 

Chopped or grated suet is much used in 
cooking, especially to make suet-pudding (n.). 
The mixture of which it is made is suety (su ' 
e ti, adj.), or contains suet. Suety fat, how- 
ever, is hard fat, resembling' suet. 

Dim. from O.F. seu, L. sebum tallow, suet, 

suf-. This is a form of the prefix sub- 
used before/. See sub-. 

suffer (suf er), v.t. To undergo (some- 
thing painful or disagreeable) ; to ex- 
perience (an injustice) ; to put up with ; 
to endure (without flinching, etc.) ; to 
tolerate ; to allow, v.i. To endure pain, 
grief, etc., to be executed. (F. souffrir, 
subir, eprouver, permettre ; souffrir.} 

Suffer. Judas suffers remorse, from the painting, II 

of Judas," by E. Armitage, R.A., in the Tale Gallery, London. 

Things are said to suffer injury when 
they are damaged or broken. When a 
house is burned down the owner suffers 
a loss unless the house is fully insured. 
Hot-tempered people find it difficult to 
surfer or put up with an affront. 

The word sufferable (suf er abl, adj.), 
which means endurable or bearable, is 
used chiefly with a negative. We may 
say, for instance, that a certain person's 
manners are not sufferable when we mean 
that we cannot suffer or tolerate them, 
sufferance (suf er ans, n.) is a more or less 
archaic word, once used in the senses of 
suffering, forbearance, or submissiveness. 
It survives in the expression " on suffer- 
ance," which means " by virtue of tolera- 
tion, though not of actual consent." Thus 
a person may continue to occupy a house, 
when the lease expires, if the landlord raises 
no objection. We then say that the tenant 
is there on sufferance, that is, by the implied 
consent of his landlord. 

A sufferer (suf' er er, n.} is one who suffers, 
especially physical pain or injury, suffering 

(suf er ing, n.) is either a pain endured, or , 
the bearing of pain. 

M.E. suffren, soffren, from O.F. sufrir, sofrir,\ 
assumed L.L. suffer ire = sufferre, from suf- = sub 
under, ferre to bear, endure. SYN. : Allow,, 
bear, experience, let, permit. ANT. : Deny, , 
forbid, refuse, resist. 

suffete (suf et), n. One of the two chief/ 
magistrates of ancient Carthage. (F. suffete.) { 
L. suffes (ace. etem) from Phoenician ; cp/ 
Heb. shophet judge. 

suffice (su fls'), v.i. To be enough ; _ 
to be adequate or sufficient, v.t. To satisfy ; 
to be enough for. (F. suffire ; contenter, " 
satisfaire, suffire a.) 

It is ridiculous to make a great deal of i 
fuss about a mistake when a few words ' 
will suffice to put things right. We may 
round off a story of our misadventures during , 
a journey by remarking " Suffice it to Say > 
that we arrived in time." Four or five I 
hours of sleep suffice some people : others ; ; 
require eight or nine hours, and declare i 
that a shorter rest will not ' 
suffice to refresh them. 

A sufficiency (sii fish' en si, 
n.) of anything is a large enough 
supply of it to meet our needs. 
A sufficiency also means a com- 
petence, that is, sufficient (su 
fish' ent, adj.), or enough, wealth 
to live in easy circumstances. 
A sufficient reason is one that 
serves to justify an action. 
When asked if we would like 
another helping of food at table 
we may reply that we have had 
sufficient (n.). This is a colloqui- 
alism, meaning a- sufficient or 
adequate quantity. 

A matter is made sufficiently 
(su fish' ent li, adv.) clear if 
explained in a manner that 
suffices to make it understandable. Some- 
times the purpose to which this word 
relates is merely implied, as when we say; 
that a person is not sufficiently or adequately ' 
clad. This means that he is not wearing 
sufficient clothes to go out without endanger- 
ing his health. Food is sufficingly (su fis' 
ing li, adv.) nourishing, if satisfyingly so. 

F. suffisant, pres. p. of suffire, from L. sufficere 
to supply, be supplied thoroughly, suffice, from 
suf- = sub under, to a certain degree, facere to 

suffix (suf iks), n. A letter or syllable 
added to the end of a word, or to a root, 
to form a new word. v.t. To add as a 
suffix in the formation of a word. (F. suffixe ; 
aj outer a la fin.) 

L. suffixus, p.p of suffigere to fasten, from 
suf- = sub under, close after, figere to fix, add to. 
ANT. : Prefix. 

suffocate (suf 6 kat), v.t. To choke ; 
to kill by stopping respiration ; to smother ; 
to cause difficulty in breathing to. v.i. To 
become choked or stifled ; to feel suffocated. 
(F. suffoquer, etouffer ; suffoquer, s' etouffer.) 




There is a tradition that Edward V (1470- 
1483) of England, and his younger brother 
were suffocated or smothered to death in 
the Tower of London by the orders of their 
uncle, who became Richard III. 

A room is said to be suffocatingly (suf 
6 kat ing li, adv.] hot when the air in it is 
overheated and difficult to breathe. Drown- 
ing, strangling, and the breathing of gas 
containing insufficient or no oxygen, are 
all causes of suffocation (suf 6 ka' shun, n.), 
which means the process and also the act of 

L. suffocdtus, p.p. of suffocdre to choke, from 
suf- = sub under, fauces (pi.) the throat. SYN : 
Choke, smother, stifle. 

suffragan (suf ra gan), adj. Of a 
bishop, assisting, n. A suffragan or assistant 
bishop. (F. suffraganf.) 

In a special sense a suffragan is a bishop 
consecrated to assist a diocesan bishop. 
His work is to manage a part of the diocese 
and his seat or district is known as his 
suffraganate (suf ra gan at, n.). In a 
general sense all bishops are suffragan 
bishops to the archbishop of the province 
in which their dioceses are situated. 

L.L. suffragdneus helping, assisting, from L. 
suffrdgdri to vote for, help. See suffrage. 

suffrage (suf rij), n. A vote ; consent 
or approval shown by voting ; the right 
to vote, especially in parliamentary elections ; 
a short petition said by a con- 
gregation, as a response to the ] 
priest, as in the litany. (F. j 
suffrage, voix, votes.} 

The Reform Acts of 1832, 1867, '' 
and 1885 were important steps 
towards democratic government 
in the United Kingdom, for they 
extended the suffrage, and gave 
a much larger number of men 
the right of voting for members 
of Parliament. Until 1918, the 
suffrage was confined to adult 
males, and was termed manhood 
suffrage. But from the early 
years of the twentieth century, 
until the World War there was a 
great deal of agitation in Britain 
for woman suffrage, entitling all 
adult females to vote. 

A woman who took a leading 
part in this demand was jocu- 
larly known as a suffragette (suf 
ra jet', n.), and a male sup- 
porter of the movement was termed a 
suffragist (suf ra jist, n.), a word which 
also means one advocating an extension of 
the suffrage. Woman suffrage in Britain 
was partly achieved by Act of Parliament 
in 1918, and finally extended to all adult 
females in 1928. 

The word suffrage is also used in other 
senses, as when we say that the electors 
of the United States gave their suffrages 
or supporting votes for prohibition. In 
an extended sense a person may be said 

to have our suffrage for an appointment 
when we prefer him to all other applicants. 
F., from L. suffrdgium ; a suggested derivation 
is from suf- = sub under and frag-, root .of, 
frangere to break, from a broken tile or potsherd 
being used as a voting tablet. SYN. : 
Franchise, vote. 

suffuse (su fuz'), v.t. To overspread, as 
if coming from within, and colour or moisten 
(the cheeks, etc.). (F. couvrir.) 

A blush is said to suffuse a girl's cheeks. 
Tears suffuse the eyes when they well up 
in them. In an extended sense, the sky 
is suffused with the red of dawn. The act 
or process of suffusing, or the state of being 
suffused, is termed suffusion (su fu' zhiin, n.). 
' L. suffusus, p.p. of suffundere to pour on 
something below, from suf- = sub under, fundere 
to pour. 

sugar (shug' ar), n. A sweet crystalline 
substance obtained from the juice of various 
plants, especially the sugar-cane and the 
beet ; in chemistry, one of certain soluble 
and fermentable carbohydrates with a sweet 
taste, including ordinary sugars., glucose and 
dextrose ; any substance having a sweet 
taste ; nattering or cajoling words, especially 
when serving to reconcile a person to some- 
thing unpleasant, v.t. To sweeten, cover, or 
sprinkle with sugar ; to mitigate, disguise 
or render palatable by flattery, soft words, 
etc.- (F. sucre; sucrer, adoucir, amorcer.} 

Sugar-cane. Negro worker* in a typical plantation of sugar-cane 
in the island of Barbados, West Indies. 

The two chief sources of the sugar bought 
at the grocers are the sugar-cane (n.), a 
tall grass growing in tropical countries, 
and the sugar-beet (n.), a variety of the 
common beet (Beta vulgaris). which grows 
in temperate climates. 

The sugar-cane (Saccharum officinarum) is 
allied to corn and maize. It grows to a 
height of from six to fourteen feet, and 
takes about nine months to mature. After 
being cut off close to the ground, the stalk 
is taken to a sugar-house (.) or place 




where raw sugar is made, and passed between 
the rollers of a sugar-mill (.), which crushes 
the cane and squeezes out the juice. A 
sugar-planter (.) is a person who owns 
or manages a plantation on which sugar- 
cane is grown. 

Beet sugar is extracted from the sliced-up 
roots of the vegetable by soaking them in 
hot water. Both cane-juice and beet- 
juice are treated with lime ; and the non- 
sugars in them are caused to be precipitated. 
Water is evaporated from the mixture in 
vacuum pans, leaving a semi-solid mass of 
sucrose crystals and syrup. Finally the 
syrup is separated from the crystals in 
centrifugal machines. 

The resulting raw 
sugar is sent to a sugar- 
refiner (n.), one who 
refines sugar, to have 
certain impurities re- 
moved from it in an 
establishment called a 
sugar-refinery (n.}. Here 
it is washed, dissolved, 
filtered, and purified. In 
some cases the natural 
colouring matter is also 
removed before the 
sugar is again crystal- 
lized by evaporation. 

In France and other 
European countries, the 
native sugar-beet in- 
dustry was enabled to 
compete with cane sugar 
in the world's markets, 
by the aid of a grant 
of public money, known 
as a sugar-bounty (n.). 

The sugar-bean (n.} is a variety of kidney- 
bean, especially Phaseolus saccharatus. 
sugarberry (n.) is another name for the 
hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) , a North 
American tree with a sweet cherry-like fruit 
also called a sugarberry. The Australian 
sugar-gum (n.) is a large eucalyptus tree 
with leaves having a sweet flavour. 

Maple-sugar is obtained from the sap 
of the sugar-maple (n.) or sugar- tree (n.) 
A cer saccharinum a North American tree. A 

frove or small plantation of such trees is 
nown in America as a sugar-orchard (n.). 

Sugar boiled and allowed to harden for 
use as a confection is known as sugar-candy 
(n.) or, simply, candy. Refined sugar 
moulded into the form of a large cone is a 
sugar-loaf (n.). The sugar-mite (n.) Tyro- 
glyphus sacchari is a mite that infests 
unrefined sugar. A small sweetmeat con- 
sisting of sugar rolled into a ball is called a 
sugar-plum (n.). sugar-tongs ( are 
a pair of small tongs used for taking lumps 
of sugar from a sugar-bowl (n.) or dish 
in which sugar is served at table. 

A person who is employed by a confec- 
tioner to sprinkle or decorate pastries, etc., 
with sugar is called a sugarer (shug' ar er, n.). 

Sugar-mill. A Cuban sugar-mill, which crushes 
the cane and squeeze* out the juice. 

Many people prefer their tea to be sugar- 
less (shug' ar les, adj.), or without sugar. 

A sugary (shug' a ri, adj.) substance 
abounds in or resembles sugar ; sugary 
words are flattering or honeyed words. 
The quality or condition of being sugary 
is sugariness (shug' a ri nes, n.). 

O.F. sukere, chucre, etc. (F. sucre), L.L. suc- 
carum, Sansk. sarkara, Arabic sukkar ; cp. Pers. 
shakar, L. saccharum, Gr. sakkharon. 

suggest (su jest'), v.t. To cause (an 
idea, etc.) to arise in the mind ; to call up 
in the mind by association of ideas ; to 
hint ; to propose as a solution or explana- 
tion ; to put forward for consideration. (F. 
suggfrer, inspirer, pro- 

When a friend is in 
difficulties we may be 
able to help him by 
suggesting a suitable 
course of action. Some- 
times, however, the right 
idea will not suggest 
itself, or present itself to 
the mind at the oppor- 
tune moment. The 
elaborate organization 
of a termitary, or nest 
of white ants, suggests 
or evokes the thought of 
a system of civilization 
in which life is regulated 
with mechanical per- 

William Willett, a 
London builder, sug- 
gested the adoption of 
summer time in England . 
This suggestion (su jes' 
chun, n.), or proposal, became law in 1916 
the year after its suggester (su jest' er, 
n.) died. The insinuation of an idea, 
belief, plan, or impulse, into the mind is 
also known as suggestion. In an extended 
sense of the word, we may say that a 
sea-green frock contains a suggestion or hint 
of blue. 

Doctors have been able to cure certain 
nervous diseases by suggestion, that is, by 
the introduction into the patient's mind of 
ideas of well - being. People who yield 
readily to suggestion while under the in- 
fluence of hypnotism are said to be very 
suggestible (su jest' ibl, adj.) subjects. 
Such people when hypnotized will accept 
fantastic ideas, suggested to them by the 
hypnotist, at which they would laugh when 
in a normal state. Certain forms of mad- 
ness are due to self-suggestion or auto- 
suggestion. There is no suggestible remedy 
for a complaint when there is none that can 
be suggested. 

A speech or sermon is suggestive (sii 
jes' tiv, adj.) if it tends to suggest ideas 
for us to think over. To act or speak 
suggestively (su jes' tiv li, adv.) is to act or 
speak in a way which suggests something 




not actually done or said. The action or 
words then have suggestiveness (su jes' 
tiv nes, n.), the quality of being suggestive. 

L. suggestus, p.p. of suggerere to put under, 
furnish, suggest, from sug- sub under, gerere 
to bear, bring. SYN. : Allude, hint, intimate, 

ordinary daily wear : a dress suit is a 
formal set of black clothes worn in the 
evening at social gatherings, etc. Cloth 
having a loud pattern, such as that used for 
some sports suits, does not suit or befit 
many types of men. Sometimes women's 
costumes are called two-, or three-piece suits, 

suicide (su' i sid), n. ' The taking of according to the number of garments they 

one's own life purposely ; a person who 
kills himself intentionally ; an act that 
has a disastrous effect upon the doer. (F. 

In law, suicide is self-murder by a person 
who has reached years of discretion and is 
of sound mind. Attempted suicide is a 
punishable offence. A person may be said 
to commit social suicide when he performs 
some act that places him outside the pale. 
A suicidal (su i sid' al, adj.) risk is one that 
endangers the life of the person concerned. 
Some mad people are suicidally (su i sid' 
al li, adv.) inclined, or have suicidal ten- 
dencies, that is, they are liable to commit 
suicide if not watched carefully. 

F., from Modern L. sulcldium, suiclda, from 
sui of oneself, -cldium a slaying, clda slayer, 
from caedere to kill, as in homicide, matricide, 
parricide, regicide. SYN. : Felo-de-se. 

suint (swint ; su' int), n. The natural 
grease containing potash salts, present in 
the fleeces of sheep. (F. 

Suint washed from 
sheep's wool is used as a 
source of potash in some 
European .countries. 

O.F. suint, from suer to 

suit (sut), n. The act 
of suing ; a request ; an 
action in a court of law 
to enforce a right or 
claim ; courtship ; a set 
of man's outer clothes, 
usually a jacket, waist- 
coat and trousers or 
breeches, especially when 
made of the same cloth ; 
one of the four sets in a 
pack of playing - cards ; 
those cards belonging to 
one of these, dealt to a 
player ; a set (of sails or 
other articles) used at one 
time. v.t. To fit ; to 
adapt ; to make appro- 
priate or fitting (to) ; to 
satisfy ; to meet the wishes of ; to agree 

Suit. A finely decorated suit of armour, 
probably made in the sixteenth century. 

comprise. A suit-case (n.) is a. large, oblong 
case, with a single handle, in which clothes 
may be carried when travelling. 

In whist a player is said to have a long 
suit when he holds more than three cards 
of a suit, and a short suit when he has less 
than four. In this and other card games 
it is necessary, if possible, to follow suit, 
that is, play a card of the same suit that 
has been led. When a person follows the 
example of a friend .and adopts tennis as a 
recreation, he is said to follow suit. 

When a man proposes marriage to a 
woman after courting her for some time, 
he may be said to press or push his suit. 
A person who fulfils a promise or threat 
immediately after making it is said to suit 
the action to the word. If a certain item 
of food does not agree with us we may 
say that it does not suit us. 

A composer sets the words of a song to 
suitable (sut' abl, adj.) music when the 
tune and accompaniment that he provides 
are well suited to the spirit 
jjjjjgjjjgjjjgj^ o f the words. A suitable 
occasion is a convenient or 
proper one. The quality 
or state of being suitable 
is suitability (sut a bil' i ti, 
n.) or suitableness (sut 7 abl 
nes, n.). 

People are suitably (sut' 
ab li, adv.) clothed if their 
clothes are appropriate to 
the occasion or conditions 
prevailing when they are 
worn. A suitor (su' tor, n.) 
is a petitioner or plaintiff in 
a lawsuit, or the wooer of a 

O.F. suite, from sivre to 
follow (F.' suite from suivre) ; 
perhaps from assumed L.L. 
sequlta = secuta, variant of 
secta a following, sect, from 
L. sequl (p.p secutus) to follow. 
SYN. : n. Application, court- 
ship, entreaty, petition. v. 
Adapt, agree. ANT. : v. Clash, 
disagree, dissatisfy. 
suite (swet), n. The retinue of a 

with ; to be appropriate to. v.i. To agree or sovereign, ambassador, or other great 
correspond (with) ; to be convenient. (F. person ; a set of rooms or furniture ; in 
requete, cour, complet, couleur, jeu de voiles; music, a set or a series of contrasted pieces, 

formerly always in the same key. (F. suite, 
cortege, ameublement complet, serie.) 

The musical suite originally consisted 
of dance tunes in contrasted styles, such 
as the saraband, gavotte, and others. The 
keyboard suites are important works of 

ajuster, assortir, satis/awe, alter a ; convenir a, 
s'accorder avec.) 

A suit of armour consists of those items 
of armour that are worn at one time. 
Suits of clothes are designed for various 
purposes. A lounge suit is intended for 




this kind. Modern orchestral suites, such 
as " The Planets " by Gustav Hoist, are 
on a much more elaborate and extensive 
scale, and their different movements are 
seldom in the same key. 
F. = a following. See suit. 

Suite. The bed-room of a private suite of rooms in the Cunard 
liner "Aquitania." 

suitor (su ' tor) . For this word see under 

suivez (swe' va). In music, direction 
to continue to play in the same style or 
to adapt the playing (of a musical accom- 
paniment) to the soloist's style. (F. suivez.} 

F. = continue, second pi. imperative of suivre 
to follow, keep on. 

sulcate (sul' kat), adj. In botany and 
anatomy, grooved, fluted ; having length- 
wise furrows, or channels. (F. si/lonne, 

L. sulcdtus, p.p of sulcare to furrow, from 
sulcus furrow. 

sulk (sulk), v.i. To be silently or inactively 
resentful or ill-tempered, sulks, A 
fit of sulkiness. (F. bonder; bouderie.) 

Ill-temper or resentment causes a person 
to sulk or adopt a sulky (sulk' i, adj.] attitude, 
or remain obstinately ill-humoured. The 
sulky person, or one who behaves sulkily 
(sulk' i li, adv.], refuses to speak, or respond 
to well-meaning people who try to cheer him 
up. He is said to be in the sulks, or to suffer 
from sulkiness (sulk' i nes, n.), that is, the 
state or quality of being sulky. 

A kind of light, two-wheeled, horse-drawn 
vehicle, sometimes without a body, is called 
a sulky (n.), because it is an unsociable 
means of conveyance, having room for only 
one passenger. Sulkies are used chiefly for 
driving trotting-horses in speed trials. 

Cp. A.-S. d-solcen sluggish, indifferent ; North 
Frisian sulke to sulk. 

sullen (stir en), adj. Silently and persist- 
ently resentful or unforgiving ; obstinately 
ill-humoured ; unsociable ; dismal ; for- 
bidding, sullens, A sullen state of 
mind. (F. morose, renfrogne, insociable, triste, 
sombre, mauvaise humeur.} 

A sullen, or heavy and sour-tempered face 
betrays the feelings of its owner. He is to be 
pitied, because sullenness (sul' en nes, n.), 
the quality or condition of being sullen, is a 
gloomy, unresponsive state of mind. It is a 
persistent form of sulkiness, whereas sulki- 
ness is merely a passing fit of 
the sullens. 

Dark rain-clouds may be said 
to lower sullenly (sul' en li, adv.), 
or gloomily, overhead. They 
are as depressing as the person 
who stares sullenly, or dismally 
and morosely, at those who try 
to put him in a better frame of 

M.E. soletn singular, lonely, O.F. 
solain, assumed L.L. soldnus soli- 
tary, from L. solus alone. SYN. : 
Cross, gloomy, ill-natured, morose, 
sulky. ANT. : Bright, cheerful, 
good-tempered, happy, merry. 

sully (sul' i), v.t. To soil ; to 
lessen the purity or magnifi- 
cence of ; to disgrace. (F. 
souillev, ternir.) 

This word is used chiefly in 
poetry and poetical prose, 
usually in a figurative sense. 
Ignoble acts may be said to sully a person's 
character. The detractors of a great man 
endeavour to sully his reputation. 

O.F. soillier (F. souiller) to soil, perhaps in- 
fluenced by M.E. sulien, A.-S. sylian, from sol 
mire ; cp. G. suhle mire, Swed. sola to bemire. 
See soil [2], which is a doublet. SYN. : Defile, 
soil, stain, taint, tarnish. 

sulph- . A prefix used before a vowel in 
chemical terms to indicate that sulphur is an 
ingredient of a compound, or that sulphur 
has been substituted for oxygen, or that a 
compound has been derived from an acid 
containing the radical SCXOH. Another 
form, used before consonants, is sulpho-. 
(F. sulf-, sulfo-.) 

Examples are sulphamic (sul fam' ik, adj.) 
and sulphocyanic (sul fo si an' ik, adj.). 
Often the prefix thi-, thio- is used in place 
of sulph- or sulpho-. 

A salt of sulphuric acid is a sulphate (sul' 
fat, n.), and a salt .of sulphurous acid a 
sulphite (sul' fit, n.). Sodium sulphate 
(Glauber's salts) and magnesium sulphate 
(Epsom salts) are two common sulphates. 
The waters of many springs and wells are 
sulphatic (sul fat' ik, adj.), that is, contain 

A compound of sulphur with an element 
or a radical, with the exception of the gaseous 
and halogen elements, is known as a sulphide 
(sul' fid, n.). Many of the sulphide! are 
important industrial chemicals. Sodium 
sulphide, for example, is used in the bleaching 
and dyeing industries. 

The white crystalline compound known as 
sulphonal (sul' fo nal, n.) is used as an 
hypnotic and anaesthetic. A sulphone (sul' 
fon, n.) is any one of the group of compounds 




containing the radical SO 2 united to two 
hydrocarbon radicals. A sulphonic (sul fon' 
ik, adj.) acid is one containing the radical 
SO 2 OH, this radical being known as the 
sulphonic radical or sulphonic group. 

Modern combining form of L. sulphur. See 

sulphur (sul' fur), n. A pale greenish- 
yellow, non-metallic element, which occurs 
naturally in large quantities, both in the free 
and combined states ; a name given to 
various pale yellow butterflies. adj. Pale 
yellow with a greenish tint. (F. soufre ; 
jaune soufre.} 

Sulphur, also called brimstone, is found 
in the free state in many parts of the world, 
chiefly in volcanic districts. It also occurs in 
metallic sulphides, usually called pyrites, 
and in sulphates, such as heavy spar (barium 
sulphate) and gypsum (calcium sulphate). 
Iron pyrites is also known as sulphur-ore (n.). 
The chemical symbol of sulphur is S. 

A spring of water containing sulphur or a 
sulphide is known as a sulphur-spring (n.}. 
Such springs occur at Harrogate and else- 
where. The sulphur-charged water of a 
sulphur-spring can be described as sulphur- 
eous (sul fur' e us, adj.), a word also meaning 
sulphur-coloured and of the blue colour of 
the flame with which sulphur burns. This 
sulphureousness (sul fur' e us nes, n.) gives 
the water an unpleasant taste and often a 
sulphury (sul' fur i, adj.) odour, making the 
air smell sulphureously (sul fur' e us li, adv.). 

Sulphur candles are often used to sulphur- 
ate (sul' fu rat, v.t.) or sulphurize (sul' fu rlz 
v.t.) a room which has been occupied by a 
person suffering from an infectious disease, or 
to clear a room of insect pests. The sulphura- 
tion (sul fu ra' shim, n.), or burning of the 
sulphur, is carried out in a sulphurator 
(sul' fu ra tor, n.), and the sulphuretted (sul 
fu ret' ed, adj.) air quickly kills the disease 
germs or the pests. Sulphuretted hydrogen, 
or hydrogen sulphide, is a colourless gas 
smelling like rotten eggs. 

sulphuric (sul fur' ik, adj.) acid, or oil of 
vitriol, is one of the most important heavy 
chemicals, and millions of tons are made each 
year. There is hardly an industry in which 
the acid is not used. 

sulphurous (sul fur' us ; sul' fur us, adj.) 
acid is obtained by bubbling sulphur dioxide 
through water. Many salts of this acid, which 
are known as sulphites, are of commercial 
importance. Speech or writing that is heated 
or profane may be described as sulphurous. 

L. sulphur, sulfur ; cp. Sansk. fitlvari. 

sultan (sul' tan), n. A Mohammedan title 
meaning sovereign or ruler ; ar= absolute ruler ; 
a tyrant ; a breed of white-crested domestic 
fowl, which came originally from Turkey ; 
a popular garden flower. (F. sultan.) 

The title of Sultan was applied specially 
to the ruler of the Turkish Empire. There 
are other sultans, such as those of Zanzibar, 
Morocco, and Johore. 

The flower sultan, usually known as 
sweet sultan, is purple, white, or yellow, 
sultan-pink (adj.) and sultan-red (adj.) mean 
respectively rich dull pink and rich dull red. 

The wife, mother, or daughter of a sultan 
is a sultana (sul ta' na, n.), or to use an 
old-fashioned word sultan ess (sul' tan es, n.). 
The sultana, or sultana raisin, is a small seed- 
less kind grown in Asia Minor. The name 
sultana-bird (n.) is given to the purple water- 
hens, handsome birds with blue and purple 
plumage, shaded with green, brown, and 
black. They are found in most of the warm 
regions of the Old World. 

The word sultanate (sul' tan at, n.) means 
either the same as sultanship (sul' tan ship, 
n.), that is, the office or dignity of a sultan, 
or the territory ruled over by a sultan. 
sultanic (sul tan' ik, adj.) means of, relating 
to, or characteristic of, a sultan, despotic, 
arbitrary ; and rule or conduct like that 
of a sultan is sultanism (sul' tan izm, n.). 

F., from Arabic sultan victorious, king, the 
original meaning being territory, that over 
which one rules. 

Sultan. Flowers of the sultan, or sweet sultan, a 
member of the cornflower genus. 

sultry (sul' tri), adj. Of atmosphere or 
weather, hot and close. (F. suffocant, 

Before a thunderstorm the atmosphere is 
often sultry ; in the stifling air we long for a 
breeze to cool us. The sultriness (sul' tri 
nes, n.) usually passes when the storm is 
over. A very close, oppressive day may 
be described as sultrily (sul' tri li, adv.] 

From obsolete E. suiter to swelter. See 
swelter. SYN. : Close, heavy, oppressive. ANT. : 
Breezy, cool, fresh. 

sum (sum), n. The total amount resulting 
from the addition of numbers or quantities ; 
a particular amount of money ; a brief 
statement or expression, taking details into 
account, but not dwelling on them ; sum- 
mary ; substance ; a question or problem in 
arithmetic, v.t. To add together ; to combine 
or express as one total or whole ; to express 
in a few words, v.i. To go over the chief 
points again. (F. total, somme, resume, calcul, 
probleme ; additionner, resume r, recapituler.) 

The answer of an addition sum is called the 
sum ; of a subtraction sum, the remainder ; 




of a multiplication sum, the product ; and 
of a division sum, the quotient. The sum 
of one and two is three. 

The verb is generally used with the word 
up. A judge is said to sum up when he 
goes over the most important parts of the 
evidence and arguments for the benefit of the 
jury. A poet might refer to the stars as 
sumless (sum' les, adj.], that is, incapable of 
being counted, without number. The adding 
together of numbers is summation (sum a' 
shun, n.), and so is the summing up of a 
person's character. 

M.E. summe, O.-F. sume, from L. summa chief 
part, amount, fern, of summus highest, chief, 
a superlative from sup(er) above. SYN. : n. 
Aggregate, essence, gist, total, whole. 

sumach (su ' mak ; shoo ' mak) , n . A genus 
of poisonous trees or shrubs, some of which 
are used in tanning and dyeing ; a prepara- 
tion of sumach leaves, etc. Another form 
is sumac (su' mak; shoo' mak). (F. sumac.) 

The most important sumach of commerce 
is Rhus coriaria, cultivated for its leaves, 
which are dried and powdered for use in 
tanning. From the Venetian sumach (R. 
coiinus) comes the dye-stuff known as young 
fustic. Japanese lacquer is made from the 
varnish-tree, R. vernicifera. 

F. sumac (Span, zumaque), from Arabic summdq. 

summary (sum' a ri), adj. Reduced to a 
few words ; condensed ; done quickly or 
without formality or ceremony. n. A 
condensed statement. (F. abrege, succinct, 
sommaire; resume.) 

A summary statement, or summary, of a 
matter is one expressed in the fewest words 
possible, without giving any unnecessary 
details. A magistrate has summary juris- 
diction in regard to some offences ; he can 
punish them summarily (sum' a ri li, adv.), 
that is, in a summary manner, or at once, 
instead of referring the case to a higher court. 

Some newspapers summarize (sum' a riz, 
v.t.), that is, print a summary, or condensed 
account, of the news contained in each issue. 
The British Broadcasting Corporation sum- 
marizes the day's news in its daily news- 
bulletins. A summarist (sum' a rist, n.) is 
one who summarizes, or makes a short or 
condensed statement out of a longer one. 

F. sommaire (n. and adj.) ; adj. from assumed 
L. summarius pertaining to the sum, substance, or 
chief thing (L. summa) ; n. from L. summdrium, 
neuter of assumed summarius used as n. SYN. : 
adj. Brief, compendious, concise, short, succinct. 
n. Abridgment, abstract, compendium, epitome, 
precis. ANT. : adj. Diffuse, lengthy, prolix. 

summation (sum a 'shun). For this word 
see under sum. 

summer [i] (sum' er), n. The second or 
warmest season of the year ; (pi.) years of 
age or life. adj. Relating to, used in, or 
suitable for, summer, v.i. To pass the summer. 
v.t. To feed (cattle) during the summer ; to 
provide summer pasture for (cattle). (F. 
ete ; d'e'te, estival ; passer I'&te ; estiver.) 

In Britain June, July, and August 
are popularly regarded as the summer 

months. A spell of warm weather that some- 
times comes about St. Luke's Day (October 
i8th) is called St. Luke's summer (n.), or 
St. Luke's little summer (n.). A warm spell 
about the time of St. Martin's Day (November 
nth) is 'called St. Martin's summer (n.), or 
St. Martin's little summer (n.), a term 
sometimes applied to a season of prosperity 
after misfortune. Indian summer (n.) is a 
term used in America for a period of mild 
weather in the autumn or the early part of 
the winter. 

Summer-house. A summer-house is a very delight- 
ful addition to a garden. 

In many gardens there is a summer-house 
(n.), a sort of rustic hut, generally open in 
front, used for sitting in during the summer. 
What is called summer-lightning (n.) is 
sheet lightning without thunder, often seen 
in the summer. 

The word summering (sum' -QT ing, n.) is 
used to denote spending the summer, 
pasturing cattle in the summer, and the 
summer treatment of hunters. In some 
country parts very early apples or pears are 
called summerings. 

A summerless (sum' er les, adj.) year is one 
in which the summer is wet and cold. This 
lack of a proper summer may be partly 
made up for by summerly (sum'er li, adj.) or 
summery (sum'er i, adj.), that is, summer-like 
(adj.) weather in the autumn. 

summer-time (n.) is the season of summer. 
By summer time (n.) without a hyphen is 
meant the official time one hour ahead of 
Greenwich time, used from a certain date in 
April until the first Sunday in October, with 
a view to saving daylight. See under day. 

A.-S. sumer, sumor ; cp. Dutch zomer, G. 
sommer, O. Norse sumar, Sansk. samd half-year. 
ANT. : n., adj., and v. Winter. 

summer [2] (sum' er), n. A term used in 
various connexions for a framework or 
support, and especially for a horizontal 
beam supporting the joists of a floor or roof. 
(F. poutre de plancher.) 

When on the face of a building, a summer 
is called a breastsummer, or bressummer. 

O.F. somier pack-horse, beam. L.L. saumdrius 
for sagmdrius, from Gr. sagma saddle. 




summering (sum' er ing). For this 
word, summerless, etc., see under summer [i]. 

summersault (sum ' er sawlt) . This word 
is another spelling of somersault. See somer- 

summit (sum' it), n. The highest point 
or degree ; the highest peak or ridge. (F. 
sommet, time, apogee, zenith.} 

The Himalayas contain the loftiest 
mountain summit in the world, Mount 
Everest, whose summit is twenty-nine 
thousand and two feet above sea-level. We 
speak of a man reaching the summit of his 
ambition when he has attained the highest 
degree of knowledge, power, fame, or of 
whatever he set out to achieve. 

The summit-level (n.) of a railway, road, 
or canal is its highest point. summitless 
(sum' it les, adj.) means without a summit. 

F. sommet, dim. of O.F. som top, from L. 
sitmmum (neuter of summus). SYN. : Acme, 
apex, peak, vertex, zenith. ANT. : Base, bottom, 

Summit. A building on the summit of Harney 
Peak, Harney National Forest, South Dakota, U.S.A. 

summon (sum' on), v.t. To command to 
appear at a stated time and place, especially 
in a court of law ; to call upon (to surrender, 
etc.) ; to send for ; to call into action. (F. 
citer, sommer, mander, faire appel a.) 

We summon a servant by ringing the bell. 
We summon or summon up our courage 
or resolution when we have a task to perform. 
A summoner (sum' on er, n.) is one who 
summons, and especially one who takes out 
a summons (sum' onz, n.) pi. summonses 
(sum' onz ez) a notice to a person ordering 
him to appear in court at a certain specified 
time as a juror, or to answer a certain 
charge, or to give evidence. In ordinary 
language to summons (v.t.) a person means 
to cite him before a court or to serve with 
a summons. 

From pres. stem of O.F. somondre, semondre, 
L.L. summonere to summon, in L. to warn 
privately, give a hint, from sum- = sub secretly, 

monere to warn, remind. SYN. : Assemble, bid, 
call, cite, convoke. 

sump (sump), n. A pit, well, or chamber, 
in which liquid is collected. (F. puisard.) 

The sump of a mine is a pit at the lowest 
point of the mine, below the working levels, 
into which the water of the mine drains. 
The sump of a motor-car engine is a chamber 
in the bottom of the crank-case, used as a 
reservoir for lubricating oil. In a metal 
furnace a pit for collecting the metal when 
it is fixed for the first time is called a sump. 

Low G. or M. Dutch sump ; cp. G. sumpf 
swamp, Swed. sump, akin to E. swamp. 

sumpitan (sum' pi tan), n. A long blow- 
pipe used by the Dyaks of Borneo for 
shooting arrows. See under blow-pipe. 

The arrow used with the sumpitan is 
sometimes incorrectly called a sumpit 
(sum' pit, n.). 

Malay word. 

sumpter (sump' ter), n. A beast of 
burden. (F. bete de somme.) 

This word is seldom used by itself, being 
usually joined to the name of the animal. 
A sumpter-horse (n.) or sumpter-mule (n.) 
is one used for carrying packs on its back, 
as distinguished from one used for riding. 

O.F. sommetier the driver of a packhorsc ; 
(cp. O.F. ' sommier packhorse), from assumed 
L.L. sagmatarius (L. sagmdriuss), from sagma 
packsaddle (L.L. = load, pack, burden), from 
Gr. sattein to pack, load. Cp. E. dialect seam a 
horse-load measure, and summer [2] beam (so 
called from bearing a heavy weight). 

sumption (sump' shun), n. The major 
premise of a syllogism. 

L. sumptio (ace. -on-em) a taking, from sump- 
tus, p.p. of siimere to take. 

sumptuary (sump' tu a ri), adj. Serving 
to or intended to regulate expenditure. 
(F. somptuaire.) 

In England at one time it was thought 
necessary to pass sumptuary laws enacting 
that persons should not spend more than a 
certain amount of money on dress, or wear 
very fine clothes, or eat very rich food, and so 
forth. Most of these laws were repealed early 
in the seventeenth century. Modern equiva- 
lents of sumptuary laws were the luxury 
taxes suggested and in a few cases instituted 
during and after the World War (1914-18). 

L. sumptudrius, from sumptus expense, p.p. 
of sumere to take, use, spend, from sub under, 
emere to take, buy. 

sumptuous (sump' tu us), adj. Rich and 
costly ; splendid ; luxurious. (F. somptueux, 
magnifique, luxueux.} 

The emperors and nobles of ancient Rome 
spent huge sums on very sumptuous feasts, 
and, like Dives, the rich man of the parable 
(Luke xvi, 19-31), fared sumptuously (sump' 
tu us li, adv.) every day. Oriental princes 
are noted for the sumptuousness (sump' tu 
us nes, n.), or magnificence, of their apparel. 

F. somptueux, from L. sumptuosus, from 
sumptus expense. See sumptuary. SYN. : 
Gorgeous, magnificent, rich, splendid. ANT. : 
Mean, plain, poor, simple. 





The Great Heavenly Body which is Ninety-three Million Miles Away 

sun (sun), n. The great heavenly body 
round which the earth revolves, and from 
which it gets warmth and light ; a fixed star 
which is the centre of a system ; the light and 
heat of the sun ; a place so warmed or lighted ; 
a brilliant or magnificent object ; a source of 
splendour, honour, or inspiration, v.t. To 
expose to the sun. v.i. To sun oneself. (F. 
soleil ; exposer au soleil ; se chauffer au soleil.} 

This enormous body, without which life 
as we know it would be impossible, is distant 
about ninety-three million miles from the 
earth, and is eight hundred and sixty-four 
thousand miles in diameter. 

The officers of a ship use I 
a sextant to take the sun, 
which means to find its I 
angle above the horizon, 
in order to determine 
longitude and latitude. 
For sun-and-planet gear, 

A sunbeam (n.) is a ray 
of the sun. When water is 
sprayed from a hose, a 
kind of small rainbow, 
called a sun-bow (n.), may 
be seen in the spray. Ex- 
posure to a hot sun causes 
sunburn (n.), a darkening 
of the skin. We return 
from a summer holiday at 
the seaside more or less 
sunburned (adj.) or sun- 
burnt (adj.), that is, tanned 
by the sun. A sun-burner 
(n.) is a circle of gas or 
electric lights under a circular reflector, 
throwing a strong light downwards. 

When the sun shines out suddenly, we call 
the flood of light a sun-burst (n.) The sun- 
dial (n.), an instrument which shows the time 
by casting a shadow on a graduated dial, is 
a very old invention, sun-dog (n.) is a 
name applied to a fragment of a rainbow and 
also to a mock sun or parhelion (which see). 

At sundown (n.), sunset (n.), or sunsetting 
(n.), the sun sinks below the horizon. 
Australians describe as sundowner (sun' 
doun er, n.) a tramp who arranges so that 
he reaches a house about sundown, and thus 
makes sure of a night's lodging. Meat, fish, 
and fruit are sun-dried (adj.) if preserved by 
being dried in the heat of the sun. 

By sunlight (n.) we mean either daylight, 
or else the bright unobscured rays of the sun 
which make a landscape sunlit (adj.), and are 
called sunshine (n.). The absence of clouds 
gives us sunshiny (adj.) weather. 

At sunrise (n.), sunrising (n.), or, as it is 
called in America, sunup (n.), the sun rises 
above the horizon in the east. A sunspot (n.) 
is a dark spot on the surface of the sun. When 

Sun-fish. The short sun-fish, a large fish 
of remarkable shape. 

such spots are seen on the sun there may be 
magnetic storms on the earth. A variety of 
translucent feldspar which gives out brilliant 
red flashes is called sunstone (n.). 

Power obtained directly from the heat 
of the sun is called sun-power (n.). It 
has been used on a small scale to raise 
Steam in special boilers on which the heat 
of the sun is concentrated by reflectors. 
A sun-recorder (n.) is an apparatus which 
records the duration and strength of 
sunlight. This instrument burns a line 
on a card, or discolours a photographic 
paper, or controls an 
electrically- worked pen. 

A day is sunless (sun' les, 
adj.) if it is without sun- 
shine. Unbroken clouds 
cause sunlessness (sun' les 
nes, n.), the state or quality 
of being sunless. A light 
is sunlike (sun' Ilk, adj.) 
if its brilliancy suggests 
that of the sun. A sunny 
(sun' i, adj.) room is one 
that gets plenty of sun- 
shine ; a sunny person is 
one with a bright, cheerful 
disposition, who often 
smiles sunnily (sun' i li, 
adv.), that is, brightly. 
The state of being sunny 
in either sense is sunniness 
(sun' i nes, n.). The sun- 
ward (sun' ward, adj.) side 
of a house is that which 
faces the sun. The earth 
moves sunward (adv.) or sunwards (sun' 
wardz, adv.) during part of the year, and 
away from it at other times. 

Certain animals and plants are named 
after the sun. The name sun-bird (n.) is 
given to the beautiful little birds forming 
the family Nectariniidae, of which there are 
many species. They have long beaks and 
bright plumage, much like that of the 
humming-birds. They are found in Africa, 
southern Asia, the East Indies, and 
Australia. The sun-bittern (n.) Eurypyga 
helias is a crane-like bird found in Brazil 
and Guiana. Its plumage is boldly 
striped with white, black, and brown. 
For the remarkable plant known as the 
sundew, see sundew. 

The sun-fish (n.} is a huge fish with a 
very short, deep body and short tail. Its 
scientific name is Orthagoriscus. Other fishes 
are called sun-fish. The sunflower (n.) with 
its huge yellow-pet ailed flowers, is a well- 
known garden favourite (see helianthus). 
The sun-rose (n.), or rock- rose, is a trailing 
shrub with yellow flowers, known to 
botanists as Helianthemum. 




Exposing the naked body to the rays of 
the sun is called taking a sun-bath (.). 
A sun-blind (n.) is a canopy outside a window 
to keep out the sun. A sun-bonnet (n.), 
like a sun-hat (n.) or sun-helmet (n.}, is 
worn to protect the head from the sun. 
It is more or less sun-proof (adj.], that is, 
capable of resisting the sun's heat. The 
term sunshade (n.) is applied to a parasol 
and also to a sun-blind. The use of such 
protections lessens the risk of sunstroke (n.), 
a brain affection due to excessive heat (see 
under heliosis). A person suffering from 
sunstroke is sun-stricken (adj.] or sunstruck 

Sunshade. Baby with a sunshade, enjoying herself 
in a Devon wheat-field. 

The sun has been worshipped as a sun- 
god (n.) in many parts of the world. A 
person devoted to this form of religion, 
called sun-worship (n.) see heliolatry is a 
sun-worshipper (n.). A sun-myth (n.)', more 
often called a solar myth, is a myth or 
legend the hero of which represents the sun 
in one or more of its various aspects. 

M.E. sonne, A.-S. sunne ; cp. Dutch zon, 
G. sonne, O. Norse, akin to sunna, L. sol. 

sundae (sun' de), n. An ice-cream 
containing crushed fruit or flavoured with 

Sunday (sun 7 da ; sun' di), n. The 
first day of the week ; the Christian day of 
worship and rest. (F. dimanche.) 

Sunday is set aside by Christians for 
worship and rest in memory of the resur- 
rection of Christ. 

An event is said to be unlikely to occur 
in a month of Sundays if there is no prospect 
of its happening for a very long time to 
come. What is called colloquially a person's 
Sunday best (n.) is his or her best clothes, 
worn on Sundays. The term Sunday- 
closing (n.) means the closing on Sunday 
of places in which trade of any kind is 
done. In a more limited sense it signifies 
the compulsory closing of inns and other 
places where intoxicating liquor is sold. 

Robert Raikes (1735-1811), a Gloucester 

newspaper proprietor, is regarded as the 
founder of the Sunday-school (n.), a school 
in which religious subjects are taught on 

A.-S. sunnan-daeg ; cp. Dutch zondag, G. 
sonntag, O. Norse sunnu-dag-r, after L.L. dies 
solis day of the sun. 

sunder (sun'der), v.t. To separate, or keep 
separate ; to sever ; to split, v.i. To be 
separated. (F. separer, fendre; se separer. 

This word is commoner in books than in 
speaking. In conversation we should not 
say that the Straits of Dover sunder 
England and France. The rather rare phrase 
in sunder (adv.] means asunder, apart. 
The act of sundering, or the state of being 
sundered, is sunderance (sun' der ans, n.}. 

A.-S. sundrian from sundor apart ; cp. G. 
sonder separate (adj.), without (prep.) O. Norse 
sundr asunder. SYN. : Disjoin, divide, separate, 
sever, split. ANT. : Attach, bind, join, unite. 

sundew (sun' du), n. A hairy insect- eating 
plant of the genus Drosera. (F. drosere.} 

The sundews get their name from the 
tiny drops of clear liquid with which the 
upper surface of the leaves is covered, and 
which glisten in the sun like dew. This 
sticky secretion is poured out by hairs, 
which are really so many tiny glands. 
When small insects touch these hairs they 
are not only held fast, but all their soft 
parts are gradually digested by the plant 
and absorbed as food. 

The plants grow in damp places. The 
common or round-leaved sundew (Drosera 
rotundifolia] is the best known. 

From sun and dew. 

sundown (sun' doun). For this word, 
sundowner, etc., see under sun. 

sundry (sun' dri), adj. Several ; various. Oddments ; articles of a miscellaneous 
kind ; items not needing special mention. 
(F. plusieurs, divers; menus frais, objets 
depareilles, articles diver ses. 

In book-keeping, various unimportant 
items are sometimes grouped together as 
sundries, to avoid unnecessary detail. The 
expression all and sundry means everybody 
collectively and individually, each and all. 

A.-S. syndrig, from sundor apart, asunder, 
severally. See sunder. SYN. : adj. Several, 

sung (sung). This is the past participle 
of sing. See sing. 

sunk (sungk). This is the past participle 
of sink and sunken the participial adjective. 
See sink. 

sunless (sun' les). For this word, sun- 
light, etc., see under sun. 

sunn (sun), n. A pod-bearing plant 
cultivated in southern Asia for its fibres ; 
the fibre it produces. Another form is 
sunn-hemp (sun' hemp). 

This plant is a native of India and Ceylon. 
It has long narrow leaves and yellow flowers. 
The fibre, from which cordage, sacking, etc., 
are made, comes from the inner bark. The 
plant is called Crotalaria juncea. 

Hindi san, Sansk. sdna of hemp. 




Sunna (sun' a), n. The traditional part 
of the Mohammedan law, regarded by 
orthodox Mohammedans as having equal 
authority with the Koran. 

The Sunna is ba-ed on the traditional 
sayings and deeds of Mohammed. A Sunni 
(sun' i, n.) or Sunnite (sun' It, n.) is one who 
accepts both the Sunna and the Koran. 
The Sunnite (adj.) view is opposed to that 
of the Shiites, who accept the Koran only. 

Arabic sunna tradition. 

sunny (sun' i). For this word, sunrise, 
sunshine, etc., see under sun. 

sup (sup), v.t. To drink a little at a 
time, as when using a spoon ; to sip ; 
to provide supper for. v.i. To take supper. 
n. A mouthful or small quantity (of liquor, 
broth, porridge, etc.) ; a sip. (F. siroter, 
humer a petites gorgees, donner a souper a ; 
souper. bouchee, gorgee.) 

A cat sups milk when it laps it. To have 
had neither bite nor sup means to have 
had nothing to eat or drink. 

M.E. soupen, A.-S. supan : cp. Dutch zuipen, 
G. saufen, O. Norse supa. 

sup-. This is the form of the prefix 
sub- used before a p. See sub-. 

super (su' per). This is a shortened 
form of supernumerary, applied especially 
to an actor not belonging to the regular 
company, who appears on the stage but 
has no words to speak. It is also an abbre- 
viation used by bee-keepers for a super- 
hive, a story added to a hive. 

super-. This is a prefix meaning above, 
beyond, over, in a higher degree, in addition, 
in excess, exceeding ; in chemistry, present 
in large quantities. (F. super-, sur-.) 

L. super, comparative form akin to Gr. hyper, 
Sansk. upari, E. over, up. 

super able (su' per abl), adj. Capable 
of being overcome. (F. surmontable.} 

Most of the ordinary difficulties of life are 
superable, in other words, they can be 
surmounted with a little determination, 
superably (su' per ab li, adv.] means so as 
to be superable. 

L. superabilis, from superdre to get above, 
surmount, from super above. SYN. : Con- 
querable, surmountable. ANT. : Insuperable, 
unconquerable, unsurmountable. 

superabound (su per a bound'), v.i. 
To abound exceedingly ; to be too abundant : 
to be more abundant. (F. sumbonder.) 

The writings of Sir James Barrie super- 
abound in whimsical and delicate fantasy. 
Very few people possess a superabund- 
ance (su per a bun' dans, n.) of wealth or 
fortune. A person who is very much alive 
is said to have superabundant (su per a 
bun' dant, adj.) vitality. Another person 
may be superabundantly (su per a bun' 
dant li, adv.) blessed with good health. 

Sometimes one number or thing is added 
to another, and then something else is 
added to the result. This is to superadd 
(su per ad', v.t.) it, or make a superaddition 
(su per a dish' un, n.). A superaltar (su 

per awl' tar, n.) is a portable slab of stone 
consecrated for use on an unconsecrated 
altar ; also a reredos or a retable. A sup- 
angelic (su per an jel' ik, adj.) being is one 
who is more than angelic. 

superannuate (su per an' u at), v.t. 
To pension or cause to retire on account 
of age ; to disqualify or incapacitate on 
account of age. (F. retraiter, mettre d la 

Some large business concerns have funds 
to which the employees and the firm contri- 
bute certain sums of money, and in this 
way an employee, when he reaches a certain 
age, is enabled to retire with a pension or 
superannuation (su per an ii a' shun, n.). 
Superannuation also means the act of 

Altered from L.L. superanndtus one who has 
lived beyond the year, from super beyond, annus 
year. SYN. : Pension, retire. 

Superb. A view of Grindelwald and the massive 
Matter-Horn, a superb scene in Switzerland. 

superb (su perb'), adj. Grand, magnifi- 
cent ; splendid ; imposing ; majestic. (F. 
tnagnifique, superbe, imposant, majestueux.} 

Anything of impressive beauty, such as 
a noble building, a glorious view, or a 
stately piece of prose or verse, may be 
described as superb. Jewels attract by 
the superbness (su perb' nes, n.} of their 
colour and brilliance. A house set in 
superb natural surroundings is superbly 
(su perb' li, adv.] situated. 

F. superbe, from L. superbus, for superfuos, 
proud ; from super above, and stem fu- to be ; 
cp. fui I was, Gr. hyperphyes of extraordinary 
growth. SYN. : Grand, imposing, magnificent, 
majestic, stately. ANT. : Ignoble, mean, poor. 
. super-calendered (su per kal' en 
derd), adj. Of paper, highly finished. (F. 
de haute calandre.) 

41 67 



Super-calendered paper gets its high finish 
by being passed between highly polished 
rollers. A supercanopy (su per kan' 6 pi, 
n.) is an arch or gable over a smaller one. 
The person in a merchant ship who looks 
after the sale, etc., of the cargo is called a 
supercargo (s LI per kar' go, n.). A super- 
celestial (su per se les' ti al, adj.) being is 
one which exists above the firmament or 
great vault of heaven, and anything super- 
celestial is more than heavenly. 

superciliary (su per sir i a ri), adj. 
Relating to the eyebrows ; situated over 
the eyebrows ; having a marking over the 
eyebrows, n. A ridge or marking over the 
eyebrows. (F. sourcilier.) 

L. supercilium eyebrow, from super above, 
cilium eyelid, and E. suffix -ary (L. -drius). 

supercilious (su per sir i us), adj. 
Disdainful ; contemptuous ; overbearing ; 
haughty. (F. dedaigneux, mdprisant, arro- 
gant, hautain.) 

When a person is in a supercilious mood 
he often raises his eyebrows, as if with 
contempt or surprise. To show supercilious- 
ness (su per si!' i us nes, n.) or to act super- 
ciliously (su per sil' i us li, adv.) is a sign of 
arrogance, and it is a bad thing for anyone 
to get a reputation for being supercilious. 

L. supercili-um eyebrow, raised to express 
haughtiness, and E. suffix -ous (L. -osus). - SYN.' : 
Arrogant, contemptuous, disdainful, haughty, 

supercivilized (su per siv' i lizd), adj. 
Excessively civilized ; too sophisticated. 

If one of our early ancestors were to 
come to life again he would probably think 
we were living in a supercivilized age, com- 
pared with the one he knew. In the 
classification of animals a superclass (su' 
per klas, n.) is a group comprising more 
than one class. The placing of one order 
of columns over another is an example of 
what is called supercolumniation (su per 
kd him ni a' shun, n.) or supercolumnar 
(su per ko lum' nar, adj.) arrangement. To 
cool a liquid in such a way as to make its 
temperature go below freezing-point, without 
letting the liquid become solid, is to supercool 
(su per kool', v.t.) it. In geology, super- 
cretaceous (su per kre ta' shus, adj.) strata 
are strata situated above the cretaceous. 

A person who is eminent above the usual 
run is supereminent (su per em' i nent, 
adj.). We could refer to his supereminence 
(su per em' i nens, n.), and say that he 
towers supereminently (su per em' i nent li, 
adv.) above others. 

supererogation (su per er 6 ga' 
shun), n. Doing more than is required 
by duty or by the circumstances. (F. 

It would be a work of supererogation 
to dig wells in a region abounding in streams. 
In the Roman Catholic Church works of 
supererogation are good works over and 
above those strictly required by the 

commandments of God. Such good works 
can be said to be supererogatory (su per e 
rog' a to ri, adj.). 

L.L. supererogdtio (ace. -on-em) excess work or 
payment, from supererogdre to pay out beyond 
what is due, from super above, e- out, rogdre 
to ask. 

super-ethical (su per eth' ik al), adj. 
Above the sphere of ethics. 

Love of parents for their children is 
super-ethical ; it is not a question of ethics, 
or right and wrong, but is instinctive. A 
superexcellent (su per eks' e lent, adj.) clock 
is one that is particularly excellent ; it shows 
its superexcellence (su per eks' e lens, n.), or 
quality of being superexcellent, by keeping 
time very accurately. 

In the classification of animals a super- 
family (su per fam' i li, n.) is a group of more 
importance than a family, but below a 
suborder. Soap is said to be superfatted 
(su per fat' ed, adj.) if it contains a higher 
proportion of fats than ordinary soap. 

Super-ethical. "Mother's Darling," a painting by 

Joseph Clark. The subject, which is motherly love. 

is super-ethical. 

superficial (su per fish' al), adj. Re- 
lating to, forming, or situated on the sur- 
face ; not deep ; shallow. (F. superficiel, 
pen pro fond.} 

A wound is superficial when it goes very 
slightly below the surface. Superficial know- 
ledge is knowledge that has no depth. A 
writer who deals with a subject superficially 
(su per fish' al li, adv.) does not go deeply 
into it, but merely skims the surface. 
Friendship that is shallow or lacks sincerity 
has superficiality (su per fish i al' i ti, n.) 
or superficialness (sti per fish' al nes, n r ), 
the quality or state of being superficial. A 
surface is a superficies (su per fish' i ez, n.) 
pi. superficies (su per fish' i ez.) 




L.L. superficialis, .from L. superficies surface, 
from super above, "over, fades face. SYN. : 
Shallow, trivial. ANT. : Deep, penetrating, 

superfine (su' per fin), adj. Of extra 
fine quality ; over-refined. (F. surfin, 
superfin, recherche.} 

Superfine cloth is cloth made of the best 
material by the best methods. Superfine 
manners are manners that are so refined 
as to be almost ridiculous. The 
state of being superfine is super- 
fineness (su' per fin nes, n.). 

From E. super- above, excessively, 
and fine. 

superfluous (su pr' floo us), 
adj. More than is needed ; un- 
necessary. (F. superflu.) 

Poor people have no super- 
fluous money, or, in other words, 
no superfluity (su per floo' i ti', 
n.} of money ; they have none 
beyond what they need for 
actual necessities. Things that 
are not necessities are super- 
fluities. To a traveller in the 
tropics a fur coat would be a 
superfluity : its superfluousness 
(su per' floo us nes, n.}, or 
quality of being superfluous, is 
obvious. To be superfluously 
(su per' floo us li, adv.] clad is to 
have too many clothes on. 

L. superfiuus overflowing, from 
super- above, to excess, fluere to 
flow, and E. adj. suffix -ous. SYN. : Excessive, 
needless, redundant, unnecessary. AN.T. : Essen- 
tial, necessary. 

superheat (su per het'), v.t. To over- 
heat ; to heat (steam) above boiling-point 
out of contact with water. (F. sur chauffer .) 

Steam in a boiler is saturated steam it 
contains a quantity of moisture. If it is 
passed well away from the water into a 
chamber heated from outside, called a 
superheater (su per het' er, n.}, the moisture 
in it can be evaporated by heating it still 
further, and superheated steam, which is 
water in gas form, is produced. 

A superhive (su' per hlv, n.}, or super, as 
it is usually called by bee-keepers, is a story 
added to a hive. Strength, bravery, or 
endurance is superhuman (su per hu'"man, 
adj.) if far above what men ordinarily show. 
A man may become superhumanly (su per 
hu' man li, adv.) strong in a time of great 
danger. A superhumeral (su per hu' mer al, 
n.) is a term for a vestment worn over the 
shoulders, such as an amice or a pallium. 

In colour-printing, printers sometimes 
superimpose (su per im poz', v.t.) colours, 
that is, place one on top of another. The 
act of superimposing and the state of being 
superimposed are superimposition (su per 
iferpo zish' un, n.). The word superincum- 
bent (su per in kum' bent, adj.) means lying 
or resting on something else. To super- 
induce (su per in dus', v.t.) anything is to 

bring it in or develop it as an addition, and 
the action of so doing is superinduction 
(su per in diik' shun, n.). The institution 
of an incumbent to a benefice to which 
another clergyman has already been insti- 
tuted is a super- institution (su per in sti tu' 
shim, n.). 

superintend (su per in tend'), v.t. To 
have the management of ; to direct. (F. 
surveiller, regir.) 

Boys directing a hose while an officer of the 
Fire Brigade superintends. 

Any person who superintends is a super- 
intendent (su per in ten' dent, n.), and holds 
a superintendent (adj.) position. The word 
is used especially of a person' who presides 
over a Sunday-school, of a Wesleyan 
Methodist minister who has control- over a 
circuit, and of a Lutheran minister in 
charge of a district. The post of superin- 
tendent is a superintendentship (su per in 
ten' dent ship, n.). A building is generally 
erected under the superintendence (su per in 
ten' dens, n.), or supervision, of an architect. 

O.F. superintendant, from L.L. superintendens 
(ace. ent-em), pres. p. of superintended to super- 
intend, from super over, intendere to give 
attention to. SYN. : Control, direct, manage, 
oversee, supervise. 

superior (su per' i or), adj. Higher in 
position, rank, dignity, quality, or degree ; 
of a quality above the average ; not to 
be influenced ; arrogant or disdainful, n. 
One higher than another in rank or other 
respect ; a thing of higher value or quality 
than another ; the head of a monastery, 
convent, or other religious house. (F. 
supcrieur, plus etendu, arrogant; superieur.) 

Leather is superior to canvas as a material 
for shoes, because it lasts longer. A superior 
person is one who claims to be better than 
the general run. In the classification of 
animals and plants a genus is superior to 
a species, for it may include many species. 
The captain of a company is his lieutenant's 





superior officer. An honest man is superior 
to bribery he is above taking or receiving 

A superioress (su per' i or es, n.) is the 
head of a religious house for women. We 
should endeavour to prove our superiority 
(su per i or' i ti, n.) by our conduct rather 
than by talking about it. superiorly (su 
per 7 i or li, adv.] means in a superior manner. 

Earlier super iour, O.F. super ieur, from L. 
superior (ace. or-erri) higher, comparative of 
superus one who is above (super}. SYN. : adj. 
Better, excellent, higher, predominant, upper. 
ANT. : adj. Inferior, lower, poor, subordinate, 

superjacent (su per ja 7 sent), adj. 
Lying on or above. (F. superposed) 

This word is chiefly in scientific use. 

L. super above, and jacens (ace. -ent-erri), 
pres. p of jacere to lie. 

Superlative. The stately Taj Mahal near Agra, a 
superlative example of Indian architecture. >'* ) 

superlative (su per 7 la tiv), adj. Surpassing 
all others ; supreme ; of an adjective or 
adverb, expressing the highest or utmost 
degree of quality, quantity, etc. n. The 
superlative degree ; a word expressing this 
degree ; (pi.} exaggerated language. (F. 
superieur, supreme, superlatif; superlatif, 

When an adjective or adverb consists of 
one syllable and sometimes when it has two 
syllables, we form the superlative by adding 
-est to the positive. Otherwise the super- 
lative is formed by placing the adverb most 
before the positive. We say fullest, happiest, 
merriest, but most splendid, most beautiful. 
People who are given to exaggeration are 
said to talk or write in superlatives. 

Helen of Troy, according to the legend, had 
superlative beauty ; Cleopatra was super- 
latively (su per 7 la tiv li, adv.} fascinating ; 
and there is no question as to the superlative- 
ness (su per 7 la tiv nes, .), that is, the 
brilliant quality, of Napoleon's generalship. 

F. superlatif, L. super lativus, from superlatus 
carried beyond, excessive, used as p.p. of 

super-ferre, -tollere, from super beyond, ferre to 
bear, tollere to raise, bear. SYN. : adj.. Con- 
summate, supreme. 

superman (su 7 per man), n. An imaginary 
superior human being. (F. surhomme.) 

As imagined by the. German philosopher, 
F. W. Nietzsche (1844-1900), the superman 
will be a ruthless being developed from the 
normal human type, uninfluenced by the 
usual religious, moral, social, or political 

The word supermedial (su per me 7 di al, 
adj.) means situated over the middle. A 
number of molecules combined together and 
acting as a physical unit form a super- 
molecule (su per mol 7 e kul, n.). Desires are 
supermundane (su per mun 7 dan, adj.) which 
relate to things above those of this world. 

The word supernaculum (su per nak 7 u lum, 
adv.) is a modern Latin rendering of the 
German aufden nagel, on to the nail. A person 
drinking supernaculum emptied the last 
drain from his cup on to his thumb-nail. 
If there was more than a drop, the liquor 
ran off, and he had to drink again. A super- 
naculum (n.}, or a supernacular (su per nak 7 
u lar, adj.] wine, means a wine that one drinks 
to the last drop, that is, a very fine one. 

supernal (su per 7 nal), adj. Heavenly ; 
divine ; lofty. (F. celeste, divin.) 

Q.F. superkel, 'from L. supernus above, upper, 
with E. suffix -al (L. -dlis). 

supernatant (su per na' tant), adj. 
Floating on the surface. (F. qui surnage.) 

This word is used especially to describe 
a liquid that floats on the surface of a 
heavier one. 

L. supernatans (ace. -tant-em) pres. p. of 
supernatdre to swim, float above, from super 
above, natdre to swim. 

supernatural (su per nach 7 ur al ; su per 
nat 7 yural), adj. Pertaining to powers above 
the forces of nature ; outside the sphere of 
natural laws- ; .miraculous ; out of the natural 
or ordinary course of things ; abnormal, n. 
That which is supernatural. (F. surnaturel.) 

By the word supernaturalism (su per nach ' izm ; su per riat 7 yiir al izm, n.) is meant 
either supernatural character, a system of 
supernatural events; or belief in the super- 
natural. One who believes in the super- 
natural is a supernaturalist (su per nach/ ur 
al ist ; su per nat 7 yur al ist, n.). According 
to the supernaturalistic (su per nach ur a lis 7 
tik ; su per nat yur a lis 7 tik, adj.) view 
miracles are explained fas being due to the 
divine power of God. The rationalist, on the 
other hand, refuses to supernaturalize (su 
per nach 7 ur a llz ; su per nat 7 yur a Hz, 
v.t.) them, that is, to regard them as having 
supernaturalness (su per nach 7 ur al nes ; 
su per nat 7 yur al nes, n.}, the quality of being 
supernatural, or of having been performed 
supernaturally (su per nach 7 ur al li ; su 
per nat' yur al li, adv.}. 

If a man is deaf in one ear his power 
of hearing with the other ear may be 
supernormal (su per norm 7 al, adj.], that is, 
above the normal. This word is also used 




by those interested in psychical research for superscribe (su' per skrib, v.t.} our address 
phenomena, which are quite different from and the date, that is, write them at the head 

those of ordinary everyday life. A super- 
numerary (su per nu' mer a ri, adj.] clerk, 
or supernumerary (n.), is an extra clerk. 

of our letters, or that we superscribe our 
letters with our address and the date. The 
term superscription (su per skrip' shun, n.} 

At a theatre a supernumerary usually is used chiefly for a piece of writing at the 

called a super is a person employed in 
addition to the regular company, who 

head of a document, such as a doctor's 

appears on the stage but has no speaking supersede (su per sed'), v.t. To put in 
part. Super-nutrition (su per nu trish' un, n.) p i ace o f ; to set aside ; to take the place of. 

means over-feeding or extra feeding. 

The superoctave (su per ok 7 tav, n.) of an 

(F. supplanter, remplacer.) 

A remarkable feature of the modern age 

organ is a stop which sounds two octaves is the way in which the motor has super- 
above the principal stop. Superorder (su' seded the horse. To such a degree has this 
per or der, n.} is a term used by biologists for supersession (su per sesh' un, n.), or to use 
a 'group of animals coming above an order two uncommon words supersedence (su per 
but below a class ; superordinal (su per or' sed' ens, n.) or supersedure (su per se' dyur, 

di nal, adj.) means relating to such a division. 
A superordinary (su per or' din a ri, adj.) 

n.), been carried that it is now very 
unusual' to see any large amount of horse 

thing is one above the ordinary. The soul traffic on the roads. Supersedeas (su per 
of man is superorganic (su per or gan' ik, se' de as, n.) is the name given to a writ, 
adj.), that is, something above his quality the object of which is to stay proceedings 
of being an animal organism. By the in a court of law. 
superoxygenation (su per oks i je na' shun, 
n.) of air is meant giving it more oxygen 
than it has naturally. 

A superparasite (su per par' a sit, n.) is a 
parasite that lives on 

another parasite ; its 
existence can be de- 
scribed as superparasitic 
(su per par a sit' ik, adj.). 
A superphosphate (su 
per fos' fat, n.) is a 
phosphate containing 
the largest possible 
amount of phosphoric 
acid. Superphosphate 
of lime is a valuable 
fertilizer. A super- 
physical (su per fiz' ik al, 
adj.) happening is one 
that cannot be explained 
by the known laws of 

To superpose (su per 
poz', v.t.) is to place on 
or over. To superpose 
a triangle on another 
means to suppose it to 
be placed on another, 
especially in such a way 
that the superposition 
(su per po zish' un, n.), 

Superstitious. A shrine in the Solomon Islands 
behind which the superstitious natives never pass. 

Anything that is supersensible (su per 
sen' sibl, adj.), supersensual (su per sen' shu 
al ; su per sen' su al, adj.), or supersensuous 
(su per sen' su us, adj.) is beyond the reach 
of the senses. A person 
who is extremely or 
excessively sensitive is 
said to be supersensitive 
(su per sen' si tiv, adj.). 
Supersolar (su per so' 
lar, adj.) means above 
the sun. A supersolid 
(su per sol' id, n.) is a 
solid of more than three 
dimensions. It is exceed- 
ingly difficult, if not 
impossible, to imagine 
such a figure, but its 
properties can be ascer- 
tained by means of 
mathematics. A person 
thought too spiritual is 
called superspiritual (su 
per spir' i tu al, adj.), 
and shows superspiritu- 
ality (su per spir i tu al' 
i ti, n.) 

superstition (su per 
stish 'un), n. Unreason- 
able belief in or fear of 

that is, the act of superimposing, makes the supernatural, the mysterious, or the 

the two triangles coincide exactly. 

unknown; a religion, practice, or notion 

A super-royal (su per roi' al, adj.) sheet founded on such. (F. superstition.) 

of paper is one larger than the size called 

Belief in witchcraft was once a very 

A part of the body above the sacrum stitious (su per stish' us, adj.) if it results 
bone is supersacral (su per sa' kral, adj.). from, involves, or savours of superstition, 
To supersaturate (su per sat' u rat, v.t.) 
water with salt, as much salt as it will take 

common superstition. A practice is super- 
stitious (su per stish' us, adj.) if it results 
from, involves, or savours of superstition, 
and a person is superstitious if he is inclined 

up is dissolved in it, while cold, and then 

to believe in or attach importance to super- 

r more salt is added while it is heating. The Many people are superstitiously (sii per 

water is then in a state of supersaturation stish' us li, adv.) afraid of sitting down 

(su per sat u ra y shim, n.), and will deposit thirteen at a table, walking under a ladder, 

some salt as it cools. We may say that we spilling salt, and of doing many things that 




are considered unlucky. Others show their above or transcending time. Superterrene 

superstitiousness (su per stish 7 us nes, n.) by 
wearing so-called lucky stones, and so on. 

F. from L. superstitio (ace. (on-em) lit. stand- 
ing above or near a thing in fear or wonder, 
especially anything divine or supernatural, from 
super above, statum supine of stare to stand. 

superstratum (su per stra/ turn), n. A 
stratum or layer resting on another, pi. 
superstrata (su per stra 7 ta). (F. couche 

This word is used chiefly in geology. In 
some districts the prevailing soil is chalk 

with a superstratum of gravel. The super- sequence or contrast ; 
structure (su per struk' chur, n.) of a bridge 
is the part of it above the foundations or 
piers. Its roadway is a superstructural (su per 
struk' chur al, adj.) part, that is, belongs to 
and forms part of the superstructure. The 
word supersubstantial (su per sub stan' shal, 
adj.), as used of God, means above or 
transcending material substance. It i& also 
applied to the eucharistic bread. A dis- 
tinction is supersubtle (su per sut' 1, adj.), 
and has the quality of supersubtlety (su per 
sut 7 1 ti, n.) t if it is too subtle. ! 

(su per ter 7 en, adjj and superterrestrial 
(su per te res 7 tri al, adj.) have the same 
meaning as supertelluric, and also mean 
heavenly. The supertonic (su per ton 7 ik, n.) 
of a musical scale is the note next above the 
tonic or fundamental note, as D in the scale 
of C. One sometimes sees supertuberation (su 
per tu ber a 7 shun, n.) in potatoes, which is 
the forming of new tubers on other tubers. 

supervene (su per ven 7 ), v.i. To come as 
something additional ; to follow as a con- 
to follow closely. 

Superstrata. Cliffs of the island of Heligoland, showing super- 
strata, several layers, or strata, resting one upon the other. 

supertax (su 7 per taks), n. A tax levied 
in addition to ordinary income-tax on in- 
comes over a certain figure. 

The supertax was first put into force in 
1909, at the rate of sixpence in the pound 
on incomes over ^5,000, the first ^3,000 not 
being counted. In April, 1914, it was applied 
to all incomes over ^3,000, and on a scale 
which rose with the size of the income. 
During and after the World War (1914-18) 
it was greatly increased. A supertax-payer 
(n.) is one who has to pay supertax. 

From E. super and tax. 

supertelluric (su per tel ur 7 ik), adj. 
Above the earth. 

This word is not often used. The super- 
temporal (su per tern 7 por al, adj.) parts of 

If a man is badly bruised in falling from 
his horse, fever may supervene, and the 
injury may prove fatal. Supervention (su 
per ven 7 shun, n.) is the act or fact of 

; L. super venire. to come after something else, 
from super beyond, venire to come. > > , 

supervise (su per viz 7 ), v.tsTo direct or 
watch over with authority ; to superintend. 
('F.. surveiUer.) 

A -headmaster's work consists chiefly in 
, . supervising he has the general 
supervision (su per vizh 7 un, n.) 
of the work done at his school. 
\ A supervisor (su ' per viz or, n.) 
is one who supervises, an in- 
spector or superintendent. His 
duties are supervisory (su per vl 7 
zo ri, adj.), that is, concerned 
with supervising. 

L.L. supervlsus, p.p. of supervidere 
to oversee, from super over, videre 
to see. SYN. : Control, direct, 
manage, oversee, superintend. 

supinate (su' pi nat), v.t. To 
turn the palm (of the hand) 

The forearm contains two 
muscles whose work is to 
supinate the hand, or perform 
the act "of supination (su pi na 7 
shun, n.). Each of these muscles 
is a supinator (su' pi na tor, n.). 
L. suplndtus, p.p. of supinare to bend back- 
wards, from suplnus on one's back. See supine. 
ANT. : Pronate. 

supine (su pin 7 , adj. ; su 7 pin, n.), adj. 
Lying on the back with the face upwards ; 
without energy ; lethargic ; lazy. n. In 
Latin grammar, a verbal noun, formed from 
the stem of the past participle, and having 
the accusative ending in -um and the ablative 
in -u. (F. couche sur le dos, nonchalant, 
paresseux ; supin.) 

The hand is supine when supinated or 
turned palm upwards. A person is supine 
in the literal sense of the word when lying 
flat on his back, face upwards. This is the 
reverse of being prone. In a figurative sense, 
a supine person is one who is disinclined to 

the skull are those .in the upper part of the exert himself, especially to look after his own 
temporal region, that is, the region about 
the temples. Supertemporal also means 

interests. One cannot feel much sympathy 
for those who meet difficulties supinely 




(su pin' li, adv.), or in a supine manner, and 
display supineness (su pin' nes, n.), that is, 
lethargy or indolence, when energy is needed. 

L. supinus. lying on one's back, hence, lazy, 
from assumed sup = sub under, up to. The 
grammatical supine is said to be so called 
because, although it resembles a noun in its 
terminations, it depends on the verb. SYN. : 
adj. Apathetic, idle, indolent, listless, torpid. 
ANT. : adj. Active, alert. 

supper (sup 7 er), n. A meal taken at the 
end of the day, unless late dinner is the last. 
(F. souper.) 

To be supperless (sup'er les, adj.) is to have 
no supper. 

M.E. and O.F. soper, super, originally in- 
finite = to sup, take a meal or soup, from Low 
G. sup en. See sup. 

Supper. Jesus and His disciples at the Last Supper, as represented 
on the reredos of Durham Cathedral. 

supplant (su plant'), v.t. To oust, or 
take the place of, especially by craft or 
treachery ; to supersede. (F. supplanter, 

On Canadian farms, large mechanical 
reapers and binders are now supplanting, 
or taking the place of, the older harvesters. 

Jacob is a famous example of a supplanter 
(su plant' er, n.}, one who displaces or dis- 
possesses another by underhand means. In 
Genesis (xxvii, 15-29) we read how he im- 
personated and supplanted his brother Esau. 

F. supplanter, from L. supplantdre to trip up, 
put something under the sole of the foot, from 
sup- = sub under, planta the sole of the foot. 

supple (sup' 1), adj. Easily bent ; pliant ; 
submissive ; flattering ; fawning, v.t. To 
make supple, v.i. To become pliant. (F. 
souple, flexible, soumis, servile; assouplir ; 

The leather used for boots requires to be 
very supple ; stout, stiff footwear can, 
however, be suppled by use. Physical drill 
keeps the limbs supple, and five-finger 
exercises on the piano supple the fingers. 
In a figurative sense, a person who is artfully 
accommodating, or who behaves obsequiously 
to serve his own ends, is said to be supple ; 
sb also is one who yields readily to persuasion. 

Various climbing shrubs with tough but 
supple stems have been given the name of 
supple-jack (n.), including a species of 

clematis (Clematis aristata] growing in 
Australia, and certain South American 
climbers of the genus Paullinia and allied 
genera. From the latter, walking-sticks also 
known as supple-jacks are sometimes made. 

Fishing-rods require great suppleness (sup' 
1 nes, .) that is, pliancy. Cats move 
supply (sup' li, adv.) or supplely (sup' 1 li, 
adv.), that is, in a supple or lissom manner. 

F. souple, from L. supplex bending (the knees) 
under, submissive, from sup- = sub under. 
plicdre to fold. SYN. : adj. Flexible, lissom, 
lithe, pliable, pliant. ANT. : Rigid, stiff, 
stubborn, unbending, 

supplement (sup' le ment, n. ; sup le 
ment', v.), n. Something added to supply 
deficiencies ; an additional number or part 
of a periodical, or book, etc. ; 
the angle that added to another 
makes the sum of two right 
angles, v.t. To make additions 
to ; to complete by additions. (F. 
supplement ; aj outer, supplier a.) 
The leading newspapers some- 
times issue special supplements, 
complete in themselves, and 
additional to the regular pub- 
lication. Some people supple- 
ment their incomes by doing 
work in their spare-time. 

A supplemental (sup le men' 
tal, adj.) or supplementary (sup 
le men' ta ri, adj.) volume of a 
book is one that contains matter 
that extends the -scope of, or 
completes, some publication pre- 
viously issued. The supplementation (sup le 
men ta' shun, n.) of missing wgrds in an in- 
scription is the act of supplementing them, or 
adding them to complete the wording of it. 
F., from L. supplementum, from suppler e to 
fill up, from sup- = sub up, and plere to fill, with 
suffix -mentum. 

suppleness (sup' 1 nes). For this word 
see under supple. 

suppliant (sup' li ant), adj. Entreating ; 
beseeching humbly ; expressing supplication. 
n. A humble petitioner. (F. suppliant.} 

One of the most moving scenes in the plays 
of Shakespeare occurs in " Coriolanus " 
(v, iii). The banished Roman returns with 
an army of Volsces, determined to bring 
about the destruction of the city that treated 
him unjustly. In his tent in the Volscian 
camp, Coriolanus is visited by his mother, 
his wife, and his son. They come before him 
suppliant, kneel suppliantly (sup' li ant li, 
adv.] or beseechingly at his feet, and beg him 
to be faithful to his country. Although 
Coriolanus remains obdurate, and the 
suppliants return without success to the city, 
he is eventually softened by their prayers, 
and Rome is saved. The word suppliance 
(sup' li ans, n.} means the action of a suppliant 
or the state of being suppliant. 

F. pres. p. of supplier to entreat humbly, from 
L. supplicdre. See supplicate. SYN. : adj. 
Begging, entreating, supplicating. 




supplicate (sup' li kat), v.t. To beg or 
ask earnestly and humbly for ; to address 
in prayer, v.i. To make a humble petition 
(for). (F. supplier, implorer ; supplier, faire 
des supplications.} 

When Calais surrendered through starva- 
tion to Edward III in 1346, his queen, 
Philippa of Hainault, supplicated him, or 
besought him supplicatingly (sup' li kat ing li, 
adv.], that is, in a supplicating manner, not 
to destroy the town as he had threatened. 
Touched by her supplication (sup li ka' shun.. 
n.), or earnest petition, he spared the city and 
incidentally avoided a brutal act that would 
have been greatly to his discredit. Any 
humble prayer addressed to God is a suppli- 
cation. A supplicatory (sup' li ka to _ri,, 
adj.] request is one expressing supplication. 

L. supplicdtus, p.p. of supplicdre to beseech, 
from L. supplex (ace. -plic-em). See supple. 
SYN. : Beg, crave, implore, petition. 

Supply. Natives of Mozambique, a seaport of Portuguese East 
Africa, bringing a supply of ground maize into camp. 

supply [i] (sii pi I'), v.t. To provide with 
what is wanted ; to furnish (with) ; to 
serve instead of ; to fill (a vacancy, 
etc.) as a substitute ; to make up for (a 
deficiency), n. The act of supplying things 
needed ; that which is supplied ; a stock 
or sufficiency ; one who acts as substitute ; 
(pi.) necessary stores, provisions, etc. ; money 
voted by Parliament for cost of govern- 
ment ; a money allowance. (F. Journir, 
pourvoir, remplacer, remplir ; provision, 
materiel, remplafant, vivres, subsides.) 

The service-pipe of a house supplies 
the house with water from the main. The 
water-supply of London is greatly superior 
to that of many European cities. A thing 
is said to supply a need if it meets it. A 
householder lays in a good supply of coal 
before winter comes. An army is at a great 
disadvantage if it runs short of supplies 
food, guns, ammunition, clothes, etc. 

A school-teacher who is kept available 
to fill temporary vacancies in different 
schools is said to be on supply, and is known 
as a supply. 

Early in each year the House of Commons 
considers the estimates of expenditure for 
the various public services, and for the 
navy and army. When engaged on this 
work the House is known as a Committee 
of Supply. 

Trading is based upon the economic 
law of supply and demand, which is the 
chief factor in regulating prices. Supply 
means the quantity of goods or material 
for sale at a certain price, and demand the 
readiness of people to pay that price. If 
supply increases and demand decreases, 
prices fall ; but a decrease in supply and 
an increase in demand send prices up. 

A supplier (sii pli'er, n.) is one who supplies 
or provides what is needed. 

J3.F. suppleier, soupleer, supplier, from L. 
suppler e. See supplement. SYN. : v. Afford, 
furnish,' give, provide, yield. ANT. : v. With- 
draw, withhold. 

; supply [2] (sup'li). For this 

word see under supple. 

support (sii port'), v.t. To 
bear the weight of ; to hold up ; 
to keep from yielding or giving 
way ; to give strength or en- 
durance to ; to supply with 
necessaries ; to provide for ; to 
aid (a friend or party) ; to back 
up ; to speak on behalf of ; 
to tend to. establish (a state- 
ment) ; to endure (pain, distress) 
without yielding ; to actor sus- 
'tain (a part) ; to carry on (a war, 
argument), n. The act of sup- 
porting ; the state of being 
supported ; a person or thing 
that supports ; a prop ; assist- 
ance ; subsistence. (F. soutenir, 
supporter, appuyer, entreienir, 
venir en aide a, endurer, jouer 
le role de ; support, soutien, 
secours, subsislance.) 

Foundations of great strength are needed 
to support a New York skyscraper. A life- 
buoy supports a non-swimmer until he is 
rescued. The arches of a bridge support 
the roadway and are themselves supported 
by towers. Witnesses are called to support 
evidence given in court. Men support or 
keep their families by working for them. 
Proper nourishment is needed to support 
life. A person is said to be without visible 
means of support if he is apparently destitute. 
Grief is made more supportable (sii port' 
abl, adj.), that is, able to be borne, by the 
sympathy of friends. A statement is not 
supportable if it cannot be maintained or 
proved. We might say that an engine 
whistle is just supportably (sii port' ab li, 
adv.) shrill, that is, its shrillness is barely 

A supporter (sii port' er, n.) is one who, 
or a thing which, gives support in various 
senses of the word. In heraldry a supporter 
is a figure shown at the side of a shield as 
if supporting or guarding it. A person or 




thing is supportless (su port' ies, adj.) i 
without any support, or unsupported. 

F. supporter, from L. supportare to convey, 
in L.L. to sustain, endure, from L. sup- = sub 
under, portdre to carry. SYN. : v. Assist, bear, 
confirm, endure, tolerate. ANT. : v. Abandon, 
betray, desert, drop, overthrow. 

suppose (su poz'), v.t. To assume to 
be true ; to lay down without proof ; to 
imagine; to believe; to take for granted ; to 
accept as probable ; to require or involve as 
a condition. (F. supposer, croire, etre per- 
suade de.) 

For purposes of argument, it is sometimes 
necessary to suppose that 
certain things are true in 
order to keep the discussion 
within reasonable limits. 
We may suppose or pre- 
sume the existence of life 
on Mars, but we have no 
justification for supposing 
that its inhabitants are 
like human beings. When 
we ask a friend what he 
supposes will happen in 
certain circumstances we 
want to know what he 
thinks will happen. 

Sometimes the word is 
used simply as a means of 
introducing a proposal, as 
when someone says " sup- 
pose we go for a drive." 
Its present participle is 
also used in the sense of 
" if " : for example, sup- 
posing it rains we shall 
have to stay indoors. 

The statement that creation supposes or 
implies a Creator arises out of our conception 
of the nature of creation. 

A supposable (su poz' abl, adj.) case is 

Suppress. Sir James Brooke (1803-68), 

who suppressed a rebellion in Sarawak 

and was given the title of Rajah. 

supposititious (su poz i tish' us), adj. 
Substituted for the real thing ; not genuine. 
(F. pretendu, suppose.} 

Supposititious writings, or spurious ones, 
are sometimes attributed to celebrated 
authors. Such works are suppositiously (su 
poz i tish' us li, adv.] produced, and have 
the quality of supposititiousness (su poz i 
tish' us nes, n.). 

L. suppositUius fraudulently substituted, 
from sup- = sub- under, secretly, by trickery, 
ponere (p.p. posit-us), to put, place, and suffix 
-it-ious. See suppose. 

suppositive (su poz' i tiv), adj. Of 
the nature of, or based on 
supposition ; supposed. (F. 

F. suppositif, from L.L. 
suppositivus, from L. sup- 
positus, p.p. of supponere, 
from sup- = sub under, ponere 
to place. 

suppress (su pres'), v.t. 
To subdue ; to put down ; 
to overcome ; to keep in or 
back ; to restrain ; to con- 
ceal ; to withhold or with- 
draw from circulation. (F. 
subjuguer, reprimer, retenir, 
cacher, etouffer, supprimer.} 
Sir James Brooke (1803- 
1868), better known as 
Rajah Brooke of Sarawak, 
led a most adventurous life 
in the Eastern Archipelago. 
He was very successful in 
suppressing piracy, and 
also had some success as 
the suppressor (su pres' or, 
n.) of head-hunting. The latter offence he 
made punishable by death, and showed that, 
however deeply rooted the custom was, 
it was nevertheless suppressible (su pres' 

one that is imaginable, presumable, or that ibl, adj.) or capable of being suppressed, 
may be assumed for the sake of argument. 
We may introduce a theory by saying " it 
is supposable that the facts are thus." 
The supposed Prester John is a romantic 
character, who is thought to have existed, 
but, as we show by using this qualifying 
word, with no real certainty. A supposed 
Old Master is one that is possibly a fake. 
It is supposedly (su poz' ed li, adv.), the 
work of some great painter, that is, it is 
considered to be his work by way of sup- 
position (sup 6 zish' un, n.), which means 
the action of supposing. A supposition is 
something supposed or implied, or an 
uncertain belief, that may be false or 
mistaken. Statements are suppositional 
(sup 6 zish' un al, adj.), and are made sup- 
positionally (sup 6 zish' un al li, adv.), if 
put forward as mere suppositions. 

F. supposer, from L. sup- = sub under, F. 
.^poser to put, place, influenced by L. supponere 
(p.p. -posit-us) with same meaning. See com- 
pose, pose. SYN. : Conjecture, fancy, imagine, 
presume, surmise. ANT. : Know. 

His attempts at the suppression (su presh' 
un, n.), or putting down, of opium-smuggling, 
were vigorously resisted by the Chinese. 
Brooke, however, defeated them on several 
occasions, and, as a result of these and 
other reforms, he greatly increased the 
prosperity and welfare of Sarawak. 

We endeavour to suppress or repress our 
feelings when it is inappropriate to give 
vent to them. A suppressed laugh, however, 
is a subdued one : it is audible, although 
the attempt is made to stifle it. In countries 
not enjoying freedom of the press, a book 
unfavourable to the government is instantly 
suppressed or prevented from being published. 
Much military and naval news was suppressed 
in Great Britain during the World War. 

An advocate of suppression in the above 
senses may be called a suppressionist (su 
presh' un ist, .). Such people favour 
suppress* ve (su pres' iv, adj.) measures or 
those which tend to suppress. In botany, 
the absence of an organ or part normally 
present in a plant is termed suppression. 




L. suppressus, p.p. or supprimere, from sup- = 
sub under, premere to press. SYN. : Check, 
overpower, quell, repress, stifle. ANT. : , En- 
courage, express, free, reveal, show. 

suppurate (sup 7 u rat), v.i. To fester ; 
to form pus. (F. suppurer.) 

authority, power, or rank is known as 
supremacy (su prem' a si, n.). 

We may speak of the supremacy of a 
great athlete, that is his supreme position 
by reason of outstanding achievements 
over other athletes. Reason may be said 

A boil suppurates when it comes to a to have supremacy over superstition, for 

head, by generating pus a process known 
as suppuration (sup u ra' shun, n.). A 

it is a superior quality of the mind. 
We are supremely (su prem 7 li, adv.] 

suppurative (sup 7 u ra tiv, adj.} preparation happy when we experience happiness in 
or a suppurative (n.) is one that causes w h a t seems the highest possible degree 

suppuration. A suppurative affection, how- * tmxt&iX r , , - - 

ever, is one attended by suppurating. 

From L. suppuratus, p.p. of suppurdre to 
suppurate, fester underneath, from sup- = sub 
underneath, and pus (gen. pur-is) matter. 

supra-. This is a prefix meaning higher unrivalled. ANT. : adj Inferior, minor seconl 
than, over, above ; before, beyond, besides. dary, subordinate, 
more than. (F. supra-.) 

A supremely inefficient person lacks efficiency 
to a supreme extent. 

F. from L. supremus, superlative ot superus 
above, upper, from super above, higher. SYN. : 
adj. Foremost, highest, paramount, peerless, 

This prefix is used in 
the formation of a very 
large number of ana- 
tomical words, in the 
same way as the prefix 
super-. The supraclavic- 
ular (su pra kla vik' u 
lar, adj.) muscles, for 
instance, are situated 
immediately above the 
clavicle or collar-bone. 

The upper jaw-bone is 
termed the supramaxil- 
lary (su pra maks 7 il a ri, 
adj.) bone or supramax- 
illary (n.). 

The prefix supra- is 
also used in the sense 
of beyond. It is the 
reverse of infra-. Many 
of the words in which 
it occurs have a more 
usual alternative form in 
which the prefix super- 
is employed. Thus supra- 
mundane (su pra miin' dan, adj.) means the 
same as super-mundane, that is, superior 
to, or above, the world. 

L. supra, lor sup era, ablative fern, of superus 
above (with parte part understood). 

Photo: Vandyk. 

Supreme. King George V, the supreme ruler 
of a mighty Empire. 

sur- . This is a prefix, 
used chiefly with words 
of French origin, mean- 
ing above, over, extra, 

F. sur. L. super See 

sura (soo' ra), n. A 
chapter of the Koran. 
Another spelling is surah 
(soo 7 ra). (F. sur ate.) 

Arabic = step, degree. 

surah (sii' ra), n. A 
soft, twilled silk fabric. 
(F. surah.} 

The flimsy material 
known as surah was for- 
merly used for women's 

Perhaps from Surat in 

surat (su rat 7 ), n. A 
kind of coarse, short 
cotton grown in the 
Bombay Presidency, 
India ; a coarse cotton 
cloth woven from this, 
and usually uncoloured. (F. toile de Surate.) 
See surah. 

surcease (ser ses'), n. ' Cessation, v.i. 
To cease. (F. cessation ; cesser.) 

We might say that a true enthusiast shows 

supreme (su prem'), adj. Highest in no surcease of fervour, and pursues his 

authority, power, degree or importance ; 
utmost ; extreme ; greatest possible ; final. 
n. The highest amount or degree (of) ; a 
title of God. (F. supreme.) 

God is called the Supreme Being, or the 

life's work without surcease. 

O.F. sursis, fern, sursise, p.p. of surseotr to 
suspend, defer, delay, also as noun = delay, 
from L. super sedere. Not connected with E. 
cease. See supersede. 

surcharge (sur charj 7 ), v.t. To over- 

, .. 

Supreme, because He is omnipotent or i oa d ; to overburden ; to overcharge ; to 
supreme m power. The supreme Pontiff subject to an extra charge; to impose 
is a title of the Pope. The greatest artists, payment of (a sum) or on (a person), especi- 
musicians, and writers are the supreme or a n y o f an additional charge for making 
highest exponents of their art. 

The Supreme Court of Judicature is the 
highest court of law for England and Wales. 

a false income-tax return, etc. ; to show 
an omission of credit in an account ; to 
saturate or fill to excess ; to overprint a 

b consists of the Court of Appeal, the fresh value, etc., on the face of (a postage-.. 
High Court of Justice. The chief court stamp, etc.) n. An overload ; an over- ;i 
in the United States is also called the charge ; an additional charge made as a 

Supreme Court. 
The condition 

of being supreme in 

fine for false returns of taxable property ; the 
showing in an account of an omission for 




which credit has not been given ; an amount 
to be refunded by a person through being 
disallowed in an official account ; a value 
printed on a postage-stamp, etc., differing 
from its original value. (F. surcharger, 
saturer; surcharge, excedent.} 

If a letter is not stamped sufficiently, 
the receiver of it is surcharged. He has to 
make up the proper value of the postage, 
and also pay a surcharge equal to the amount 
that was short. 

If an invoice shows ^5 to be due for 
goods, and does not allow for certain of 
them having been returned, there is a sur- 
charge or overcharge, and an accountant 

(serd' i ti, n.) is a scientific term for 

L. surdus deaf, noiseless, hence deaf to reason, 
irrational. The mathematical sense is explained 
as due to a mistranslation of Gr. alogos without 
speech, without reason. 

sure (shoor), adj. Certain ; having no 
doubts (of); confident; positive; trusting 
confidently (that) ; reliable ; safe ; trusty ; 
unfailing ; certain to find or keep (success, 
etc.). adv. Surely. -(F. sur, assure, certain, 
confiant, positif, loyal, infaillible, assuremeni.} 

We should be sure of a person's honesty 
before trusting him with large sums of 
money. When we feel sure of success we 

examining it would surcharge it with the are confident of gaining it. A sure victory 

value of the returned goods. 

When there is a shortage of postage- 
stamps of a particular value, a government 
may surcharge a number of stamps of 
another value, so that they can be used in 
the place of those that are exhausted until 
new supplies of the latter are available. 
Some stamps with 
surcharges are very 

F. from sur ( = L. 
super] over, above, and 
charge load. See charge. 

surcingle (ser' 
sing gl), n. A girth or 
belt to put round the 
body of a horse, etc., 
for holding a blanket 
or cloth on its back ; 
the girdle of a cas- 
sock, v.t. To gird or 
fasten with a surcingle. 
(F. surfaix, sangle, 
ceinture ; sangler.} 

O.F. sursangle, sur- 
cengle girth, from sur = 
L. super above, and 
L. cingulum belt, girdle. 

surcoat (ser' kot), n. A loose garment 
worn over armour ; an outer jacket worn 
by women from the fourteenth to the six- 
teenth century. (F. cotte d'armes, surcot.} 

A knight's surcoat often had emblazoned 
on it his own arms or those of his order. 
The Crusader's surcoat had a red cross. 

O.F. surcote, from sur (= L. super] above, over 
and cote coat. 

surd (serd), adj. In mathematics ; 
irrational; in phonetics, sounded with the 
breath and not with the voice, n. A con- 
sonant uttered in this way ; an irrational 
number. (F. irrationnel, sour A ; quantite. 
irrationnelle, consonne sourde.] 

Surd consonants, such :as p, j, s, are 
uttered with the breath without vibration 
of the vocal chords, and not with the voice 
as are the sonant consonants or voiced 
sounds b, v, z. In mathematics, a surd 
quantity is one that cannot be expressed 
in rational numbers. A radical sign, in- 
dicating that the root of a given number 
is to be extracted, is required in some cases 
to determine the value of a, surd. Surdity 

Surcoat. The surcoat as worn (left) by a soldier 
and (right) as a woman's garment. 

is one that is certain to be achieved. .An 
accurate marksman is sometimes described 
as a sure shot To be sure that a thing is 
right is to be positive of it. 

If we have been out expecting to meet a 
friend, and return to say that he was there 
sure enough, we mean that he was actually 
there, in reality and 
not in mere expecta- 
tion. In conversa- 
tional language we 
sometimes say "to be 
sure " instead of "of 
course," or " without 
doubt." The old 
proverb, " look before 
you leap," bids us to 
make sure, that is, to 
find out exactly what 
things are, before we 
take an important 

Mules and goats are 
very sure-footed (adj.} 
animals, that is, they 
are able to keep their 
foothold in very diffi- 
cult places. A mountain goat plants its 
feet surely (shoor' li, adv.], that is, securely, 
or without risk of slipping, on rocky ledges. 
To say to a person, " surely you are wrong," 
is to imply that, according to one's own 
knowledge or belief, there is a probability 
that he has made a mistake. 

The state or quality of being sure or 
certain is known as sureness (shoor' nes, n.) 
or surety (shoor' ti, n.}. A person who makes 
himself responsible for another in some way 
is said to be or stand surety for that person 
if he goes bail for him, or guarantees that 
the other will pay a sum of money or perform 
an engagement. The pledge is also called a 
surety, and the state of being a surety, or 
the obligation of a surety, is suretyship 
(shoor' ti ship, n.}. 

O.F. segur, seur, from L. securus. See secure, 
a doublet of sure. SYN. : Confident, infallible, 
positive, stable, trustworthy. ANT. : Doubtful, 
fallible, uncertain, unstable, untrustworthy. 

surf (serf), n. The swell of the sea break- 
ing on a beach or rocks, etc. ; the foam of 
this. (F. ressac.] 




The surf is very heavy on sloping shores 
directly exposed to great ocean rollers. 
The disturbed and surging state of the water 
makes it impossible for passengers to be 
landed from ships in ordinary boats. In 
such circumstances, passengers are fetched off 
in a surf-boat (n.), which is a large, strong, 
and very buoyant open boat. The surf- 
boatman (n.) is experienced in handling 
boats in surfy (serf 7 i, adj.) water. 

The sport called surf-riding (n.) comes from 
the South Sea Islands, and is popular among 
bathers in places where a heavy surf breaks 
on the beach. The person taking part in it 
swims out to sea with a large flat board. On 
this he then stands, kneels, or lies, and is 
carried ashore on the crest of a wave. 

The surf -bird (n.) Aphriza 
virgata is related to the 
turnstone and sandpiper, 
and frequents the western 
shores of America. 

Formerly spelt suffe, both 
forms in reference to the coast 
of India, but perhaps the same 
as sough. See sough. 

surface (ser' fas), n. The 
outside part of anything that 
has length and breadth ; any 
of the boundaries of a 
material body ; such a 
boundary considered in 
regard to its texture, etc. ; 
in geometry, that which lias 
length and breadth, but not 
thickness ; outward appear- 
ance, v.t. To put a smooth or 
polished surface on (paper, 
etc.) ; to plane. (F. surface, dehors ; calendrer, 
degauchir, r abater, taquer.) 

Most roads and railways are constructed 
on the surface of the ground. A diver comes 
to the surface when he rises to the top of the 
water. Granite has a rough surface. Many 
articles which are good on the surface, that 
is, at first view, are really of poor quality. 

In mining, a surface-man (n.) is a work- 
man employed at the surface, that is, above 
ground or in the open air. A railway surface- 
man keeps the permanent way in order. 
Printing from a raised surface, such as 
ordinary type and wood-blocks in relief, is 
called surface-printing (n.), as opposed to 
printing from plates that hold the ink in 
lines engraved into them. 

A drop of water retains its form owing to 
the surface-tension (n.) of the liquid, which is 
a condition of the surface molecules, causing 
them to act together as a stretched elastic 
membrane. This tends to contract to its 
minimum area and so holds together the 
interior molecules. 

Rain-water collecting on the surface of the 
ground is called surface-water (n.). The word 
surfaced (ser' fast, adj.) is used only in com- 
bination with qualifying words, as smooth- 
surfaced, or rough-surfaced, to indicate the 
kind of surface possessed by an object. 

Surf- boat. A Chinese surf- boat, 

designed to pass safely through 

the surf. 

F. = upper face, from sur ( = L. super) 
above, face ( = L. facies) face. The same as L. 
and E. superficies. SYN. : n. Appearance, aspect, 
exterior, face, outside. ANT. : . Inside, interior. 

surfeit (ser' fit), n. Excess, especially in 
eating or drinking ; a feeling of oppression 
resulting from this ; satiety, v.t. To feed 
to excess ; to overload ; to satiate with ; 
to cloy. v.i. To overfeed. (F. exces, rassasie- 
ment ; rassasier, souler, saturer ; se gorger.) 
An old chronicler states that King Henry I 
(1068-1135), a son of William the 
Conqueror, died of a surfeit of lampreys. 
People who neglect to take recreation 
sometimes surfeit themselves with work. 

O.F. surfait, sorfait excess, p.p. of sorfaire to 
do or make too much, from sor- = sur- = L. 

super- above, to excess, faire = 

L. facere to make. : SYN. : n. 

Excess, glut, nausea, satiety. 

v. Cram, gorge, satiate. 

surfy (serf i). For this 
word see under surf. 

surge (serj), v.i. To move 
up and down or to and fro ; 
to heave, n. A large rolling 
wave ; a swell ; waves ; the 
heaving motion imparted by 
waves to a ship. (F. s'enfler, 
se soulever, tanglier; lame, 
houle, on de s, tang age.) 

A crowd of people surges 
forward when it moves in a 
great wave. Emotions surge 
up in, or surge through, one's 
mind when one experiences 
a surge, or wave, of strong 
feeling. A sweep of liquid from one side of 
a tank to the other is called a surge. 

O.F. surgir, from L. surgere to rise, from 
sur- = sub- up, from under, -rigere regere to 
direct. See source. 

surgeon (ser' jon), n. A medical man who 
treats injuries, deformities, and diseases by 
performing manual operations on those 
affected ; a medical practitioner holding the 
diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
but not the degree of M.D. ; a general 
practitioner ; a medical officer of the navy, 
the army, or a military hospital ; a surgeon- 
fish. (F. chirurgien.) 

The work of a surgeon, in the strict sense 
of this word, is known as surgery (ser' jer i, 
n.), which is the department of medicine in 
which operative or manipulative treatment 
is employed in checking and curing disease. 
The consulting-room of a general prac- 
titioner, as well as that of a surgeon, is 
called a surgery. Some surgical (ser' jik al, 
adj.) operations require great surgical skill, 
that is, skill on the part of the surgeon. 

A surgical fever sometimes follows an 
operation and is caused by sepsis, due to 
surgery. Many internal complaints are now 
treated and cured surgically (ser' jik al li, 
adv.}, that is, by means of surgery, which 
were thought in former times to be incurable. 




The surgeon-fish (n.), or surgeon (Acron- 
urus), is a sea-Ash haying a sharp, lancet- 
shaped spine on each side of its tail. It 
frequents coral reefs and islands and feeds 
on polyps and vegetable substances. 

Contraction -of chirurgeon (no longer in use), 
as O.F. surgien of chirurgien, from Gr. kheirourgia 
handiwork, from kheir hand, ergon work, ergein 
to work; F. suffix -en, L. -anus. 

suricate (sur' i kat), n. A small South 
African mammal resembling the weasel. (F. 
suricate, surikate.} 

The suricate (Suricata tetradactyla) is a 
slender, graceful little animal, allied to the 
civets, with long, soft, grey 
fur. In South Africa it is 
often kept as a pet, and is 
a good mouser. 

Probably a native name, 
confused with Dutch katje, 
dim. of kat cat. 

Surinam toad (su ri 
nam' tod), n. A large 
South American species of 
toad, whose young are 
nursed in the back of the 

The Surinam toad (Pipa 
americana) frequents the 
damp forests of Brazil and 
Guiana, the Dutch part of 
which is known as Surinam. 
The animal is chiefly re- 
markable for the way in 
which the eggs are carried 
and hatched. The female 
first deposits them in the 
water, in the usual way. 
Then the male toad places 
them one by one on the 
female's back, which 
becomes soft at spawning 
time. The eggs sink into 
separate cells in her skin, 
which grows over them. 
There they are hatched, 
develop into tadpoles, and 
finally, as perfectly formed 
through the skin and escape, 
then sheds her skin. 

Surinam toads spend most of their lives 
in the water. During the dry season, they 
sleep, or aestivate, buried in the mud. 

surlily (ser ' li li) . For this word see under 

surloin (ser' loin). This is an old form of 
sirloin. See sirloin. 

surly (ser' li), adj. Churlish; displaying 
an unfriendly temper; uncivil. (F. maussade, 

Surly people answer questions surlily 

(ser' li li, adv.), or in a rude, grudging 

.manner. A display of surliness (ser' li nes, 

.) the quality of being surly, does not 

encourage friendliness on the part of others. 

M.E. serly,syrly ; -ly = A.-S. -Itclike ; the first 
element has been explained as (i) sir-, sir-like = 
like a sir or lord, haughty, (2) A.-S. sur sour = 

Suricate. The suricate, a small weasel- 
like animal found in South Africa. 

toads, burst 
The mother 

sourish, ill-tempered. SYN. : Gruff, ill-tempered, 
rude, sullen. ANT. : Civil, friendly, gay, good- 

surmaster (ser' mas ter), n. A master 
next in rank to the headmaster in some 
schools. (F. surveillant general.} 

The second master at St. Paul's School, 
London, is called the surmaster. 

From sur- L. super over, and master. 
surmise (sur mlz'), n. A supposition on 
evidence ; a suspicion of the existence of 
something, or a guess as to its nature ; a 
conjecture. i(.t. To guess or imagine with little 
evidence; to conjecture; to suppose, v.i. To 
make a guess or conjecture 
on slight evidence. (F. 
conjecture, soupcon ; se 
d outer de, s'imaginer, 
conjecturer, soupcon ner.) 

In a famous sonnet, " On 
First Looking into Chap- 
man's Homer," John Keats 
(1795-1821) compares his 
emotions with those of the 
Spanish adventurers who 
first set eyes upon the 
Pacific, and : 

Look'd at each other 
with a wild surmise 
Silent, upon a peak in 


Anyone who first takes 
up the " Iliad," or the 
" Odyssey," may rightly 
surmise that there is a feast 
of adventure awaiting him. 
Whatever is surmised, how- 
ever, is merely a suspicion, 
for we marke a surmise 
only when our knowledge 
is too small to form a defi- 
nite opinion about a thing. 
Most results are surmisable 
(sur mlz' abl, adj.), for 
they can be conjectured, or 
guessed, but few can be 
predicted with certainty. 
O.F. = accusation, fern, of surmis, p.p. of 
surmettre to put upon, accuse of, from sur = L. 
super above, F. mettre to put, L. mittere to send, 
put. SYN. : n. Conjecture, supposition, suspicion. 
v. Conjecture, divine, guess, infer. ANT. : n. 
Certainty, conviction, knowledge, v. Know. 

surmount (sur mount'), v.t. To overcome ; 
to lie or be on the top of ; to be above. 
(F. maitriser, surmonter.} 

Courage and determination will help us to 
surmount, or get over, most difficulties, 
provided, of course, that they are surmount- 
able (sur mount' abl, adj.), or capable of 
being overcome. There are many mountain 
peaks surmounted or capped with snow 
in Norway. In heraldry, an ordinary is said 
to be surmounted by another, when the 
other ordinary is situated above it. 

O.F. surmonter, from sur (= L. super) above, 
monter to mount (from L. mons, ace. mont-em 
mountain). SYN. : Cap, conquer, overcome, 




surmullet (sur mul' et), n. A species of 
red mullet. See under mullet. (F. surmulet, 

F. surmulet, from saur(e) brownish-yellow, red- 
dish and mulet mullet. See mullet, sorrel. 

surname (ser' nam), n. A descriptive 
name formerly given in addition to a 
baptismal or personal name ; a person's 
family name. v.t. To give a surname to ; to 
call by a surname. (F. surnom, nom de 
famille ; surnommer.) 

Formerly, the various Johns, say, in a 
community were distinguishes from one 
another by descriptive or allusive surnames, 
which were often mere nicknames. John, 
the blacksmith, would be called John Smith. 
A very tall John came to be known as John 
Longfellow. Most surnames commemorate 
the occupation, residence, father's Christian 
name, or a peculiarity of some ancestor. 

F. sur ( = L. super) over and above, and 
nom (L. women), altered to E. name. 

surpass (sur pas'), v.t. To excel in size, 
amount, or quality ; to outdo. 
(F. surpasser, I'emporter sur.} 

The greatness of the Roman 
Empire is surpassed, or exceeded, 
by that of the British Empire. 
When we meet with a success 
that surpasses our expectations, 
we experience one that goes 
beyond anything we anticipated. 

The rose is hardly surpass- 
able (sur pas' abl, adj.), cap- 
able of being surpassed, in sweet- 
ness of scent. The Taj Mahal, 
near Agra, in India, is a build- 
ing of surpassing (sur pas' ing, 
adj.), that is, extraordinary, 
beauty. People have to play 
surpassingly (sur pas' ing li, adv.), 
or exceedingly, well to become 
renowned as musicians. 

F. surpasser, from sur ( = L. 
super) above, beyond, passer to pass. 
See pass. SYN. : Exceed, outdo, outstrip. 

surplice (ser' plis), n. A loose, white 
linen vestment, with full sleeves, worn at 
divine service by clergy and choristers, 
usually over a cassock. (F. surplis.) 

A surplice may reach to the hips, the 
knees, or the ankles. A surplice-choir (n.) 
is one that is surpliced (ser' plist, adj.), or 
dressed in surplices. A fee paid to a clergy- 
man for baptisms, funerals, and other 
occasions on which he has to don his surplice 
specially, is called a surplice-fee (n.). 

O.F. surpliz, surplis, from L.L. superpelliceum, 
from super above, over, pelliceum fur coat, 
made of skin (L. pellis). See pelisse. 

surplus (ser' plus), n. That which remains 
over when needs have been satisfied ; what 
is not required for the purpose at issue ; a 
balance after all debts have been paid ; an 
excess. (F. surplus, excedent.} 

A skilled tailor's cutter uses his cloth so as 

to leave little surplus. The surplus of an 
estate is the residue, or amount remaining, 
after all debts and legacies have been paid. 
A Chancellor of the Exchequer plans his 
budget so that it will yield enough revenue 
to leave a surplus, or surplusage (ser' plus 
ij, n.}, when all national expenditure has 
been met. 

F., from L.L. superplus, from L. super above, 
over, plus more. SYN. : Excess, overplus, re- 
mainder, residue. ANT. : Deficit, lack, shortage. 

surprise (sur prlz'), n. The act of attack- 
ing or assailing unawares ; the feeling aroused 
by something sudden or unexpected ; aston- 
ishment ; something that causes astonish- 
ment ; something unexpected, v.t. To take 
unawares ; to come upon suddenly ; to 
capture by sudden and unexpected attack ; 
to strike, with wonder, astonishme'nt, or dis- 
gust ; to be contrary or different from what 
is expected ; to lead or drive unawares 
(into doing something). (F. coup de main, 
surprise, etonnement; surprende, prendre au 
depourvu, etonner.} 

Surprise. One of the methods of training police horses not to take 
fright when surprised. 

An important part of the art of war is 
the taking of the enemy by surprise, or when 
they are unprepared. An unexpected present 
is a pleasant surprise, and the recipient 
shows that he is full of surprise. It is some- 
times possible to surprise a dishonest 
person into an admission of guilt by suddenly 
accusing him of his crime. 

A person who is shocked by some action 
of a friend may declare that he is surprised 
at his friend's behaviour. To be surprised 
in the act is to be caught unawares while 
doing something. A fancy dish designed to 
arouse surprise is often known as a surprise. 

A surprisal (sur prlz' al, n.) is an act of 
surprising, but this word is seldom used. 
A surprising (sur prlz' ing, adj.) event gives } 
rise to wonder or astonishment. Dogs are 
sometimes surprisingly (sur prlz' ing li, adv.) 
intelligent, that is, so intelligent as to cause 




O.F. fern, of surpris, p.p. of surprendre to sur- 
prise, take unawares, from sur ( L. super) 
upon, prendre (L. prehendere) to take, seize. 
SYN. : n. Amazement, astonishment, shock, 
wonder, v. Amaze, astonish. 

surrebut (sur e but'), v.i. In law, to reply 
to a defendant's rebutter. (F. tripliquer.} 

A plaintiff surrebuts when he returns a 
surrebutter (sur e but' er, n.}, or reply to 
the defendant's rebutter. 

From F. sur ( = L. super] upon, in answer to, 
and rebut. See rebut. 

surrejoin (sur re join'), v.i. In law, 
to reply to a defendant's rejoinder. (F. 

When a plaintiff replies to a defendant's 
rejoinder, he surrejoins, or delivers a 
surrejoinder (sur re join' der, .). 

From F. sur ( = L. super) upon, in answer to 
and rejoin. See rejoin \i\. 

Surrender. " Hands up ! " A body of Germans surrendering to the 

Cameron Highlanders near Langemarck during the World War 


surrender (sii ren' der), v.t. To give up 
possession of, especially on demand or under 
compulsion ; to give over to the power or 
control of another ; to give (oneself) up to 
an influence, emotion, etc. v.i. To give one- 
self up or to yield something into the power 
of another ; to accept a demand for sub- 
mission from an enemy ; to appear in court 
at the appointed time after being allowed 
bail. n. The act of surrendering ; the state of 
being surrendered. (F. rendre, livrer, s'aban- 
donner ; se rendre; reddition, capitulation^ 

In 1871 the French had to surrender Paris 
to the Germans citer a long siege. Some 
pessimistic people surrender, or abandon 
themselves, to despair very easily. A prisoner 
let out on bail has to be surrendered by his 
surety when the time of tne bail expires. He 
then surrenders to bail. The surrender of 
an insurance policy is the giving up of claims 
to benefit on it for an agreed sum. 

O.F. surrendre, from sur ( = L. super) above, 
over, rendre (L. reddere) to give back. See 
render. SYN. : v. Abandon, deliver, yield. ANT. : 

Oppose, resist. 

surreptitious (sur ep tish' us), adj. 
Done by stealth or fraud : kept secret. (F. 

A surreptitious act is one done on the sly. 
Surreptitious glances are made surreptitiously 
(sur ep tish' us li, adv.], that is, stealthily, 
or even craftily. 

L. surreptltius, -tlcius, irom surreptus, p.p. 
of surripere, from sur- = sub- secretly, Vapere to 
snatch, seize. SYN. : Clandestine, crafty, sly, 
stealthy, underhand. ANT. : Frank, obvious, 

surrogate (sur' 6 gat), . A deputy, 
especially of a bishop or his chancellor ; a 
substitute. (F. delegue.} 

An ecclesiastical surrogate is appointed 
by a bishop to grant marriage licences and 
probates. His office is called a surrogateship 
(sur ' 6 gat ship, n.). 

L. surrogatus, p.p. of surrogare to substitute, 
put in someone else's place, from 
sur- = sub- instead of, rogdre to 
ask, propose, choose. 

surround (su round'), v.t. 
To lie or be situated all round ; 
to encircle ; to invest, n. The 
bare part of a floor round a 
carpet, frequently stained and 
polished. (F. environnev, 
entourer, cerner.} 

Besiegers surround a town 
when they set up their siege- 
works all round it, and cut 
off its communications. The 
environs of a place are the 
surrounding parts. English 
fields are usually surrounded, 
or enclosed, by "hedges. The 
pleasantness of a" house as a 
residence depends largely on 
its surroundings (su round' 
ingz, n.pL], that is, the build- 
ings or grounds situated round 
people are affected by their sur- 
roundings, or the external influences that 
come into their lives. 

O.F. suronder to overflow, from L.L. super- 
unddre, from L. super over, unddre to flow, from 
undo, wave. The modern sense is due to confusion 
with round. SYN. : v. Encircle ; enclose, en- 
compass, environ, invest. 

surtax (ser' taks, n. ; ser taks', v.), n. 
An additional tax ; a supertax, v.t. To put 
a surtax on. (F. surtaxe.} 

From sur = L. super above, in addition, and tax. 
surtout (ser' too), n. A man's overcoat, 
especially of frock-coat shape. 
F. = over all. 

surveillance (sur va' lans ; sur va' 
lyans), n. A close watch; supervision. (F. 

F., from surveiller to watch over, from sur = 
L. super over, veiller = L. vigildre to watch, from 
vigil awake. SYN. : Inspection, invigilation, 

survey (sur va', v. ; ser' va, n.), v.t. To 
look over ; to take a general or compre- 
hensive view of ; to form a general idea of 

it. Most 




the outstanding features and arrangement 
of ;. to examine and determine the condi- 
tion, value, etc., of ; to make accurate 
observations and measurements of . the 
boundaries, size, position, contours, etc., of 
a country, coast, etc.). n. The act or 
process of surveying ; a general view ; an 
official inspection (of stores, buildings, 
roads, etc.) ; the operations involved in 
surveying land, etc. ; a map or plan show- 
ing results of this ; the persons or a depart- 
ment carrying on such work. (F. inspecter, 
examiner, expertiser, arpenter ; examen, ex- 
pertise, arpentage, plan, agent voyer.} 

When we look at a scene from a command- 
ing position we may be said to survey it. 
Often we have cause to take a mental survey 
of a series of incidents. 

Surrey. An explorer using a theodolite in making 
a survey. 

A scene may be said to be surveyable 
(sur va/ abl, adj.], or capable of being sur- 
veyed, from a height. 

Until recently surveying (sur va/ ing, n.}, 
that is, the process or art of making surveys 
of the earth's surface, was always carried out 
with tapes and chains, and with instru- 
ments measuring angles. Surveys are now 
also made from aeroplanes, a series of 
aerial photographs being taken of a district 
and joined together to form a map. A 
surveyor (sur va/ or, n.} is one who surveys, 
or inspects, especially a person professionally 
engaged in land-surveying. An ordnance 
survey may mean a government map of 
a district, or else the surveying, or observa- 
tion and measurement, on which it is based. 
Surveyors of taxes are officials who super- 
intend their collection. A surveyorship (sur 
va/ or ship, n.} is the office of surveyor. 

O.F. surveoir, surveeir, from L.L. supervidere 
to look over, supervise, from L. super over, 
vi'dere (p.p. vls-us] to see. SYN. : v. Contemplate, 
examine, inspect, superintend, view. n. 
Contemplation, inspection, supervision. 

survive (sur vlv'), v.t. To outlast or 
outlive ; to live through ; to continue to 
live or exist in spite of. v.i. To remain 
alive; to continue to exist. (F. surpasser 
en duree, survivre a; survivre, vivre} 

When a man lives longer than his friends 
he is said to survive them. Noah and his 
family survived the deluge, for they remained 
alive after it had passed. In adventure 
story-books, the hero always survives the 
worst perils, that is, he comes safely through 
them. Many old customs have survived, 
or lasted on, in spite of changing fashions. 
One such survival (sur vlv' al, n.} is the 
holiday, called Furry Day, which is still 
observed at Helston, in Cornwall. 

In biology, the process or result of natural 
selection is termed the survival of the fittest. 
Those forms of , life that are best adapted 
to their surroundings are preserved ; those 
less well suited become extinct. 

When only one person is saved from a 
fire or shipwreck he is termed the sole 
survivor (sur vi' vor, n.}, that is, one who 
survives. In law, the survivor of a joint 
tenancy or other interest, and who is 
entitled to take over the whole tenancy, 
is said to possess a right termed survivor- 
ship (sur vi ' vor ship, n.}, which also means 
the fact of one person surviving another. 

F. survivre, from sur ( = L. super) over, 
beyond, and vivre ( L. vlvere] to live. SYN. : 
Continue, outlast, outlive, persist. ANT. : 
Disappear, predecease. 

susceptible (su sep' tibl), adj. Capable 
of being influenced or affected ; sensitive 
or impressionable ; admitting (of) ; liable 
(to). (F. susceptible, passible, sujet a, 
expose a.} 

A susceptible person is readily affected 
by some emotion. His disposition or ten- 
dency to respond to outside influences is 
termed his susceptibility (sii sep ti bil' i ti, n.}, 
susceptiveness (sii sep' tiv nes, n.}, or sus- 
ceptivity (sus sep tiv' i ti, n.}. We should 
avoid offending the susceptibilities, or sen- 
sitive feelings, of our neighbours. 

An artistic person is susceptibly (su sep' 
tib li, adv.], or in a susceptible manner, 
interested in some object of great beauty. 
Children are said to be susceptible to, or 
susceptive (su sep' tiv, adj.] of, measles, for 
they are subject to that disease. Our work 
is susceptible of improvement if it is capable 
of being improved. 

F., from L.L. susceptibilis, from susceptus, 
p.p. of suscipere to take up, from sus- = sub- 
under, up, capere to take, and suffix -ibilis. SYN. : 
Impressionable, sensitive, susceptive, touchy. 
ANT. : Insensitive, insusceptible, unimpression- 

suslik (soos' lik). This is another 
spelling of souslik. See souslik. 

suspect (sus pekt', v. ; sus' pekt or siis 
pekt', adj. and n.}, v.t. To think to exist ; 
to be inclined to think (that) ; to have 
an impression of the presence of, but 
without certainty ; to believe to be guilty, 




but without certainty ; to doubt or mis- 
trust, v.i. To be suspicious, adj. Sus- 
pected ; subject to suspicion ; suspicious ; 
doubtful, n. A person believed to be guilty 
of an offence. (F. se douter de, soupconner, 
suspecter, se mefier ; avoir des soupcons ; 
suspect, douteux ; personne suspecte.} 

When the police have to deal with a 
person suspected of crime they keep the 

an object or apparatus from which some- 
thing is suspended. For instance, a device 
gripping round the leg, etc., and attached 
to the top of a sock in order to keep it up, 
is called a suspender. In this sense, the 
word is commonly used in the plural. In 
shops, braces are sometimes termed sus- 
penders. Particles of matter are suspensible 
(sus pen" sibl, adj.] in water if they are 

suspect under surveillance in the hope capable of being suspended in it. They 

that some careless action will afford proof 
of his guilt. It is a good rule to be slow 
to suspect people, for suspicions that are 
unfounded do a great deal of harm. It 
is better to suspect, or mistrust, the genuine- 
ness of insinuations made against others 
until we have actual proof of their truth, 
suspectable (sus pekt' abl, adj.] evidence 
is open to suspicion. 

F., from L. suspectus, p.p. of suspicere to look 
up from, under, mistrust, from sus- = sub under, 
specere to look. SYN. : v. Believe, conjecture, 
distrust, doubt, surmise. ANT. : v. Know, 

then have suspensibility (siis pen si bil' i ti, 
n.}, that is to say, the capability of being 

F. suspendre, from L. suspendere, from SMS- = 
sub under, pendere to hang. SYN. : Adjourn, 
defer, hang, postpone, stop. 

suspense (sus pens'), n. A state of 
doubt, uncertainty, waiting, or anxious 
expectation ; in law, the temporary cessa- 
tion of a right. (F. incertitude, suspens, 

A really good adventure story keeps the 
reader in suspense until the very end. In 
other words, he remains full of expectance, 

suspend (sus pend'), v.t. To hang up, and rather apprehensive as to what will 

by attaching to some 
support above ; to 
sustain particles, etc. 
in a fluid ; to cause 
to cease for a time ; 
to keep undecided, or 
put in abeyance tem- 
porarily ; to defer ; 
to debar temporarily 
from an office or 
privilege, or from 
taking part in some 
activity ; in music, 
to prolong (one or 
more notes of a chord) 
into the chord that 
follows. (F. pendre, 
surseoir, differer, 

When a sunbeam 
penetrates a darkened 
room, countless par- 
ticles of dust, sus- 
pended in the air, are 
revealed by its light. 
Eventually this dust 
settles and can be 
swept up. A stationary 
airship may be said to 
be suspended in mid-air. A meeting is sus- 
pended when it is adjourned. A judge 
suspends judgment when he defers his 
decision. A bank is said to suspend pay- 
ment . when it cannot meet the calls made 
upon it and has to close its doors. 

In some sports, players are sometimes 
punished for breaking rules by being 
debarred or suspended from taking part 
in the game for certain periods of time. 

A person or circumstance that puts a 
stop to something, especially for a time 

Suspend. A Great Western Railway locomotive 

suspended by chain tackle from a powerful 

hundred-ton overhead crane. 

finally happen. Less 
pleasant is the sus- 
pense, or mental state 
of anxiety, that one 
experiences when 
awaiting news of a 
friend who is ill. 

The act of suspend- 
ing or the condition 
of being suspended 
is termed suspension 
(sus pen 7 shun, n.)., 

The waters of some 
rivers carry a great 
deal of silt in sus- 
pension. When this is 
deposited it forms 
banks and shallows, 
which obstruct navi- 

In music, a discord 
produced by holding 
on a note from a pre- 
vious chord is termed 
a suspension. Usually 
the suspended note 
then proceeds to a 
note consonant with 
the new chord, and 
so is resolved. The suspension, or prolonging 
in this way, of whole chords is a feature of 
modern music. 

A bridge having its roadway suspended 
from wire cables passing over towers and 
anchored in the ground at each end is called 
a suspension-bridge (n.). Such a bridge 
has no supports underneath its span. 

In law, a suspensive (sus pen 7 siv, adj.) 
condition is one whose operation is sus- 
pended until the occurrence of some event. 
It is suspensively (sus pen' siv li, adv.) 

only, may be called a suspender (sus pend' er, conditional. A suspensive veto applies for 
n.). This word, however, generally means a time only. In surgery, a bandage that 




acts as a support for a diseased or injured endure; to give strength to; to maintain; 
part is known as a suspensory (sus pen' so to uphold ; to establish by evidence ; to 
ri, adj.) bandage or as a suspensory (n.). 

F. suspense, fern. p.p. of suspendre.irom L. 
suspensus uncertain, doubtful, p.p. of suspendere. 
See suspend. SYN. : Anxiety, apprehension, 

expectation, indetermination, uncertainty. ANT. : 
Decision, determination, execution, finality, 

Suspense. A faithful hound anxiously awaiting his master's arrival. 
From the painting, "Suspense." by Sir Edwin Landseer. 

suspicion (sus pish' un), n. The act 
or feeling of one who suspects ; being 

corroborate ; to confirm ; to keep up (a 
part or character) ; to experience. (F. 
appuyer, etayer, supporter, entretenir, sou- 
tenir, corrobover, confirmer, eprouver.) 

This word is now seldom used in the 
literal sense of support, although it is 
common in its figurative senses. 
We may say, however, that a 
globe of glass is capable of sus- 
taining or bearing great pressure. 
r - A person is said to sustain 
injuries when he experiences 
them. Some people can sustain 
or stand great cold. An argu- 
ment is sustainable (sus tan' 
1 abl, ddj:} if it can be sustained, 
or shown to be sound 'or correct, 
by its sustainer (sus tan'er, n.}, 
or the one who supports it. 

We all require food to sustain 
us or keep us going. Thus it is 
that food and nourishment, or 
the means of sustaining life, 
are known as sustenance (sus' 
te nans, n.). 

The maintenance or upkeep 
of an institution or establish- 
ment is termed its sustentation 
(sus ten ta' shun, n.). A sus- 
tentation fund (n.) is a fund for 
assisting poor clergy. 

M.E. susteinen, sustenen, from O.F. sus-, 

suspected ; a partial belief that someone sous-, sos-tenir from L. sustinere to hold up, 

is guilty, or that something is wrong ; 
mistrust ; doubt ; a very slight amount. 
(F. soup f on.) 

A suspected person is under suspicion. 
Perhaps his guilt shows itself in his actions, 

from sus- = sub- from under, tenere to hold. 
SYN. : Encourage, strengthen, substantiate, 
support, uphold. ANT. : Drop, weaken, yield. 
susurrant (su sur' ant), adj. Rustling ; 
whispering ; murmuring. Another form is 

which may then be said to arouse suspicion! susurrous (su sur' us). (F. qui murmure.) 

If we think that an opponent is cheating , L - susurrans (ace. -ant-em), pres.p. of susurrdre 

we should obtain some definite proof of our urn 

suspicion before accusing him. An honest sutler (sut er) n One who follows 

or trusted friend is above suspicion, or too an army and sells food and drink to the 

obviously honourable to deserve it. A salad soldiers. (F. vivandier, cantimer.} 

may be said to contain a suspicion of garlic , Formerly an army on the march had 

if it is very slightly flavoured with that to rel y very largely on sutlers for its pro- 

*' xrioi/-\r^o I\/I ^~vHi=if-n r*r\n r\ t T-I r\n o *~\T xiroi-TOfja m*ilrA 


visions. Modern conditions of warfare make 

Policemen are on the watch for people rt impossible for these camp-followers to 
behaving in a suspicious (sus pish' us, adj.) P arr y n the }f. operations and sutlery (sut' 
manner or suspiciously (sus pish' us li leri, ^.), as this business of supplying troops 

adv.), that is, in a way that excites sus- 

with food and wine was called, is now a 

picion. Suspicious circumstances are such thm g of the past. In olden days many a 
as to justify suspicion. Some people are man spent a comfortable old age on the 

suspicious or mistrustful when we offer Ps of his sutlership (sut ler ship, n.). 

to do them a kindness, others are suspicion- Of Dutch origin. O. Dutch soetalaar, Dutch 

less (sus pish'un l,s, adj.) or f unsuspecting ^^^^^^^i. ^ 

A disposition to suspect others is called menial office . y cp G sudeln to do dirty work> 

suspiciousness (sus pish' us nes, .). 

O.F. suspecion, souspefon, from L. suspicio 
(ace. -on-em), from L. suspicere. See suspect. 
SYN. : Distrust, doubt, mistrust, soup9on. 
ANT. : Certainty, conviction, knowledge. 

mess, cook messily, akin to E. suds. 

sutra (soo' tra), n. One of a collection of 
short rules for ritual, etc., in Sanskrit litera- 
ture. (F. soutra.) 

The books of rules and religious teachings 

sustain (sus tan'), v.t. To hold up or of the Brahmins are called Sutras, 
keep from falling ; to bear the weight of ; Sansk. sutra thread, string ; cp. L. suere to 
to bear up against or under ; to enable to sew. 




suttee (su te"), n. The Hindu custom 
whereby a widow burned herself on the 
funeral pyre with the body of her husband; 
such a widow. (F. suttee, suttie, sdti.) 

The Government of India made suttee 
illegal in 1829 after it had been followed for 
many centuries. Under sutteism (sii te" izm, 
n.}, or the custom of suttee, the widow was 
believed to make atonement for the sins of 
her husband and attain reunion with him in 
another world. 

Sansk. satl true or faithful wife, fern, of 
sat being, real, true, pres. p. of as to be, exist. 

suture (su' chur), n. The immovable 
junction of two parts as if by sewing ; the 
line formed by the cohesion of two parts 
or bones ; the pulling together of the edges 
of a wound by stitching, v.t. To unite by 
a suture, (F. suture; suture r.} 

The sutures of the skull are the lines of 
junction of the bones of which it is composed. 
Surgeons have to suture, or stitch together, 
the wounds caused by operations. For 
internal wounds catgut is generally used as 
the sutural (su' chur, al, adj.] , material, 
because it is gradually ab.sor.bed. Silkworm 
gut is used for the .suturation (su .cha^ra' 
shun, n.) of a surface .wound. -: Peas and 
beans may be said to be sutured (su ' churd, 
adj.), the pods of each being divided sutur- 
ally (su' chur al li, adv.), that is, by a suture, 
or seam. Vi'.y/ii : - V ? ./ 

F., from L. sutura, from :sutiis,-p.p. of suere 

tO Sew. ;, ; >.-;;. :; ~ L' .<' .',' 

suzerain (su ' ze .ran ; v - su ' . ze . ren) ; n. 
A ruler with supreme' : power ; a feudal 
lord ; a sovereign, or r a; : state exercising 
authority over another! (F. suzerain.) 

In the Middle Ages this term was applied 
to the vassals-in-chief who held their land 
directly from the king.- and" in turn had 
sub- vassals holding of them. To-day, cer- 
tain atates, though having tlieir own govern- 
ment, are unable to act independently of a 
suzerain, or supreme state 
which controls their policy, 
Great Britain exercises this 
kind of suzerainty (su' ze 
ran ti ; su' ze ren ti, n.) over 
the native states of India. 

F. from sus above, L. su(r)- 
sum, from sub under and 
versum neuter p.p. of vertere to 
turn, that is, turned upwards, 
above, superior ; formed on the 
analogy of F. souverain. SYN. : 
Overlord, sovereign. ANT. : 
Dependant, vassal. 

svelte (svelt),adj. Supple; 
lissom; slender. (F. svelte, 

A woman with a graceful 
willowy figure is svelte. 

F., from Ital. svelto loose, 
slender, p.p. of svellere to uproot. 

swab (swob), n. A mop for cleaning 
floors, ships' decks, or like surfaces ; a 
small piece of cotton-wool or sponge used 

Swab. A deck swab made of old 
rope yarns. 

to absorb moisture ; a clumsy, unmannerly 
person, v.t. To clean, mop, or wipe with a. 
swab or mop. (F. fauber, faubert, tampon, 
lourdaud ; fauberter.) 

If a doctor thinks a child has diphtheria, 
he will rub the inside of its throat with a 
small cotton-wool swab, which he will place 
immediately in a plugged tube. This swab 
will then be sent to a competent authority, 
such as the local medical officer of health, 
and will be examined for germs of the 

Formerly the sailor of low rank, whose 
work it was to swab, or clean, the decks, was 
called a swabber (swob' er, n.}. Now the 
terms swab and swabber are sometimes 
applied to a person who has rough and clumsy 
ways, like a sailor who has not been long 

Of Dutch or Low G. origin, perhaps imitative. 
Dutch zwabben to swab, G. 'sivabben, Low G. 
schwappen to splash", Swed. svabla ; also Swed. 
svabb a mop, a dirty person. 

Swabian (swa' bi an), adj. Of or 
relating to Swabia, a mediaeval German 
duchy. <n. An inhabitant of Swabia. Another 
form iS'Suabian (swa' bi an). (F. souabe.} 
-The Swabian. lands lay along the upper 
courses of both the Rhine and the Danube, 
taking in the eastern and northern parts 
of what is now Switzerland. 

From L.L. Suabia, G. Schwaben ; cp. L Suebl. 

swaddle (swod' 1), v.t. To wind or 
swathe in bandages, wraps, or clothes. (F. 
ernmailloler.) ' \ 

It was once an almost \ universal custom 
to swaddle new-born babies with many 
yards of material in order to prevent them 
using their arms and legs. This unhealthy 
practice has now been given up in most 
civilized countries. In a figurative sense, 
to swaddle is to restrict. 

When the Three Wise Men came to see 
Lord they found Him in a manger 
wrapped in swaddling-clothes 
(, sometimes called 
swaddling-bands ( Fig- 
uratively, we may speak of 
a young inexperienced person 
or some very new thing or 
idea as being still in swad- 
dling clothes. 

Frequentative or dim. from 
swathe ; cp. A.-S. swethel swad- 
dling-band. See swathe. SYN. : 
Enwrap, swathe, wrap. 

swag (swag), n. Stolen 
booty ; dishonest gains ; a 
pack or bundle ; cheap trashy 
goods ; a festoon. (F. butin, 
paquet, feston.) 

The proceeds of a burglary 
and also a bribe or other 
unlawful money payment 
are sometimes spoken of as swag. In 
Australia the same term is applied to the 
bundle of clothes which a tramp or miner 




N 7 



in search of work carries on his journey 
through the bush. A swagman (swag' 
man, n.) may be either a tramp or one who 
keeps a swag-shop (n.), where he trades in 
swag or trashy articles. 

Probably of Scand. origin ; cp. O. Norse 
sveigja to bend, swing about, Norw. svagga, 
E. sway It probably means a bundle that is 
made unsteady through its weight. SYN. : 
Baggage, haul, loot, plunder, spoil. 

swage (swaj), n. A tool used for 
shaping iron or other metal under the 
hammer, v.t. To shape with a swage. 
(F. etampe ; Stamper.) 

A swage is a die in two pieces. One of 
them fits into the anvil, and the other is 
mounted on a handle. The metal to be 
shaped is laid on the bottom swage, and the 
top swage is then laid on the metal and 
struck with a. sledge-hammer. A black- 
smith uses a swage-block (n.), which is a 
massive cast-iron block with holes through 
it, and grooves of different sizes and shapes 
round the edges. 

M.E. swage ornamental moulding or border, 
from O.F. souage, F. suage moulding round the 
base of a column, etc., from O.F. seue rope. 

swagger (swag'er), v.i. -To strut about 
in a vain or defiant manner ; to brag ; to 
bluster, v.t. To bluff (a person) into doing 
something, n. A swaggering walk or 
speech ; dash ; a self-confident manner.- adj. 
Smart; fashionable. (F. plastronner.crdner; 
bluffer; rodomontade, suffisance ; chic.} 

A person may swagger, or behave in an 
insolent overbearing way, 
in order to conceal his real 
nervousness. Children 
love to see a regiment of 
Guards in their swagger 
uniforms, and we all rather 
admire these smart 
soldiers, who walk with a 
slight swagger, throwing 
out their chests and sway- 
ing their shoulders. 

A person who talks 
swaggeringly (swag' er ing 
li, adv.], or boastfully, is 
despised by his fellows, and 
such a swaggerer (swag' er 
er, n.} seldom gets the envy 
or admiration which he 
hopes to gain by his self- 
confident ways. 

Of Scand. origin. Fre- 
quentative of swag (v.i.) to 
sway. See swag, sway. SYN. : 
v. Boast, brag, strut. . 
Bravado, dash, gasconade. 

swagman (swag' man). 
For this word and swag- 
shop see under swag. 

Swahili (swa he' li), n. A mixed Arab and 
Bantu race living in the island of Zanzibar 
and on the adjoining mainland ; the 
language spoken by this'race. 

Swahili. The wife of & wealthy Swahili 
trader of Zanzibar. 

Swahili is now spoken in a large part of 
Africa, having become a sort of universal 
tongue among many different races. It 
contains a great number of Arabic, Indian, 
and European expressions. 

Arabic suwahili belonging to the coasts. 

swain (swan), n. A country lad or lover ; 
a male lover. (F. pastoureau, galant.) 

This word originally meant a servant 
attending on a knight. In the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries it was a common term 
in pastoral poetry for a shepherd or country 
boy. In this sense it is still used by poets, 
and we often speak humorously of any lover 
as his lady's swain. 

Of Scand origin. O. Norse, svein-n boy, 
servant ; cp. Swed. sven swain, youth, O.H.G. 
swein swine-herd, A.-S. swan herdsman, swine- 
herd, E. boatswain, coxswain. SYN. : Gallant, 
sweetheart, wooer. 

swallow [i] (swol' 6), n. A small, 
migratory, long-winged bird of the genus 
Hirundo. (F. hirondelle.) 

The swallow, a yearly visitor to our 
country, is known by its forked tail, its 
steely-blue back, and reddish throat. Its 
note is a low musical twitter. Early in April 
pairs or small nights arrive from Africa, 
etc., and in May the birds begin to build 
their cup-shaped nests. 

The swallow- fish (.), or sapphirine gur- 
nard (Trigla hirundo}, owes its name to its 
large pectoral fins. Swallow- wort, (n.) is 
the popular name for the greater celandine 
(Chelidonium majus) and certain American 
perennial plants of the 
genus Asclepias. 

When we speak of a 
swallow-tail (n.), we mean 
a deeply-forked tail, or 
anything that has this 
characteristic. The name 
is applied to a variety of 
humming-bird, to various 
species of butterfly, to a 
kite with its tail cut in this 
way, a flag or pennon 
with a two-pointed end, 
often called a burgee, and 
also the coat of a man's 
dress suit. Anything of 
this shape is swallow-tailed 

M.E. swalewe, A.-S. sweal- 
(e)we ; cp. Dutch zwaluw, 
G. schwalbe, O. Norse svala. 

swallow [2] (swol' 6), 
v.t. To take into the 
stomach ; to suck in ; to 
engulf ; to overwhelm ; 
to accept (statements, 
opinions, etc.) eagerly or 
without examination ; to 
accept (an affront or slight) ; 
to retract or take back. v.i. To perform the 
act of swallowing, n. The gullet ; the 
amount taken at once; a swallow-hole. (F. 
avaler engloutir, gober ; gosier, gorgee.) 




We swallow when we receive food as 
nourishment into the stomach through the 
mouth and the alimentary canal. An earth- 
quake may swallow, or erigulf, a whole city. 
The expenses of an illness may swallow up, or 
use up, a person's savings. When Napoleon I 
was at the height of his power, France seemed 
likely to swallow up all the other states of 
western Europe. 

A stupid person will usually swallow any 
improbable rumour, and a person with 
no courage or pride will swallow an insult ; 
such a one will swallow, or recant, his own 
expressed opinion rather than offend an 
influential friend. 

One who swallows in any sense in which 
the verb is used is a swallower (swol' 6 er, n.), 
and anything that can be swallowed is 
swallowable (swol' 6 abl, adj.}. A swallow- 
hole (n.), or swallet (swol' et, n.}, is an 
opening in limestone into which a stream 
disappears from sight. 

M.E. swelwen, swelghen, A.-S. swe(o)lgan to 
swallow, absorb, devour ; cp. Dutch zwelgen, 
G. schwelgen, O. Norse, svelga. SYN. : v. 
Absorb, consume, devour, engross, recant. 

swam (swam). This is the past tense of 
swim. See swim. 

swamp (swomp), n. A tract ot land 
saturated with water, v.t. To cause (a boat) 
to fill with water ; to plunge in or as in a 
swamp ; to overwhelm with superior num- 
bers, troubles, or difficulties, v.i. To be filled 
with water ; to be submerged. (F. marais, 
marecage , faire couler, enfoncer dans uw 
marais, accabler ; s'emplir d'eau.) 

Swamps are usually unhealthy places, 
breeders of disease. A heavy sea may 
swamp a vessel, and houses on a river bank 
are often swamped by a rising tide. Many 
kinds of trees, as, for example, mangroves 
and willows, grow in swampy (swomp' i, 
adj.) land. One political party is said to 
swamp another when it gains a very large 
majority of seats at an election. 

Cp. A.-S. swamm, G. schwamm, Dutch zwam, 
O. Norse, svopp-r, Swed. svamp, all meaning 
sponge, fungus, or both ; also Gr. somphos 
spongy. See sump. SYN Marsh, morass, 

swan (swon), n. A large web-footed, 
long-necked water bird belonging to the genus 
Cygnus ; the northern star-group Cygnus ; 
figuratively, a poet or a singer. (F. cygne.) 

The tame swan (Cygnus olor), ... with 
its spotless white plumage, and reddish 
bill, surmounted by a black knob at the 
base of the upper mandible, is the mute 
swan ; the wild swan (Cygnus musicus), 
also white, but with a lemon-yellow bill, 
is the whistling swan or whooper. A male 
swan is a cob-swan ; a female swan is a ten. 

There is no truth in the old belief that the 
swan sings before its death, but we still 
speak of the last or dying work of a poet or 
other artist as a swan-song (n.), and the poet 
hnnself as a swan ; Shakespeare is often 

spoken of as the Swan of Avon. Fn old folk- 
legends we read of swan-maidens (, 
who, by means of magic robes of swans' 
feathers, were able to take the form of 

Because of the swan's graceful carnage 
in the water, swanlike (adj.) has come to mean 
having grace of movement. The word swan- 
necked (adj.) means long-necked. A swan- 
neck (ii.j is a pipe or rail curved like a swan's 
neck. Natural swansdown (swonz' doun, n.) 
is the soft under-plumage of the bird, but 
the name is also given to thick, soft, woollen 
cloth, and to a thick, cotton cloth with a nap 
on one side. Swanskin (n.) may be either a 
swan's skin with the feathers, or a soft, 
fine-twilled flannel. 

Swan. A pair of swans building their large nest 
at the water's edge. 

The place where swans breed is a swannery 
(swon' er i, n.), and part of the duty of the 
swanherd (n.), who has charge of the swans, is 
to attend to the swan-marks (, which 
usually take the form of a notch on the upper 
bill, by which the owner of the swan is 
known. Some public bodies appoint an 
official swan-marker (n.) to mark the young 
swans each year. Swan -marking (n.) is 
sometimes called swan-upping (n.), or, 
incorrectly, swan-hopping (n.). Swan-shot 
(n.) are about the size of buck-shot. 

A.-S. ; cp. Dutch zwaan, G. schwan, O. Norse 
svan-r, perhaps akin to L. sonus, E. sound, L. 
sonare, Sansk. svan to. resound. 

swap (swop), v.t. and i. To exchange ; 
to barter, n. An exchange. (F. echanger, 
troquer ; e change, troc.) 

Most boys and girls love to collect some- 
thing, whether they are interested in postage- 
stamps, cigarette pictures, or birds' eggs. 
The great fun of collecting is that it is 
usually, possible to swap duplicate specimens 
with friends, and everybody knows the joy 
of securing a bargain by means of a swap. 
Although this word is now very colloquial, 
it has long been in use. 

M.E. swappen to strike, move quickly, probably 
imitative ; cp. Low G. swaps the noise of a slap, 
and for the sense cp. E. strike a bargain, 
attitude. SYN. : v. and n. Barter, exchange. 




sward (sword), n. Land covered with 
short grass ; turf. (F. gazon, pelouse.) 

Swarded (sword' ed, adj.], or swardy 
(sword' i, adj.], means grassy or turfy. 

A.-S. swear d hide, rind, skin (the original 
meaning), covering ; cp. Dutch zwoord, G. 
schwarte, O. Norse svorth-r skin of the head, 
surface or covering of the earth. 

sware (swar). This is the archaic past 
tense of swear. See swear.. 

swarm [i] (sworm), n. A large body of 
insects, small animals, or people, particularly 
when moving about in a disorderly .way ; 
a cluster of bees leaving a hive for a new 
home, under the direction of the queen ; a 
great number of people or things, v-.i. To 
collect together in readiness for something ; 
to throng or crowd together ; to be very 
numerous ; to leave the hive in a swarm. 
(F. foule, nuee, essaim, multitude ; grouiller, 
s'attrouper, fourmiller, essaimer.} 

Swarm. A swarm of bees from a hive building 
combs in the open, which is very unusual. 

During a hot summer English gardens are 
often infested by swarms, or large numbers, 
of ants, and we often read of the damage 
done by swarms of locusts. Every bee- 
keeper knows the curious habit bees have of 
leaving the hive with their queen and re- 
maining hanging in a swarm until a new home 
is found for them. The Roman Empire 
fell to pieces in the fifth century A.D., because 
the Emperor's troops were not strong enough 
to withstand the swarms of barbarians, who 
never ceased to swarm over the frontiers. 

In biology, a swarm-cell (.), or swarm- 
spore (n.), is a spore having independent 
motion ; it is also called a zoospore. 

A.-S. swearm ; cp. Dutch zwerm, G. schwarm, 
O. Norse svarm-r ; perhaps from root swer to 
hum, cp. G. schwirren to buzz, Sansk. svar to 
sound Some connect it with swerve to move 
wildly. SYN. : n. Crowd, mass, multitude, 
throng, v. Cluster, congregate, mass. 

swarm [2] (sworm), v.t. To climb (a tree 
or post) by clinging to it with arms and legs. 
v.i. To climb in this manner. (F. grimper.) 

Sometimes at country fairs a prize is 
given to anyone who can swarm or climb 
up a greasy pole and fetch down something 
hanging at the top. 

Cp. obsolete E. swarve to climb = swerve. 

swarthy (swor' thi), adj. Dark ; dusky ; 
having a dark complexion. (F. brun, basand.} 

Oriental people usually have swarthy 
complexions, and so, in a less degree, have 
the inhabitants of certain parts of the south 
of Europe. Bright sunshine colours even 
a fair complexion swarthily (swor' thi li, adv.], 
and at the end of a hot summer many people 
show a degree of swarthiness (swor' thi nes, 
h.), which they lose in the winter. 

Altered from swarty a derivative of M.E. 
swart, A.-S. sweart black ; cp. Dutch zwart, G. 
schwartz, O.- Norse svart-r, L. sordes dirt, sordidus 
dirty. SYN. : Dark, dusky. 

swash (swosh), v.i. To make a noise as of 
water washing about ; to splash about ; 
to bluster, v.t. To strike violently, n. A 
washing or splashing of water ; bluster ; 
a shoal in a tideway at the mouth of a river. 
(F. clapoter, 6clabousser, fanfaronner ; frapper 
fort; clapotis, fanfaronnade.) 

On some coasts the sea swashes continually 
against the foot of the cliffs. Fighting men 
of olden times were apt to swash, or lash out, 
with their swords on all occasions, and the 
air was often rent with the swashing of a 
sword against an opponent's buckler. Such 
swaggering bullies or bravos were known 
as swashbucklers (swosh' buk lerz,}. 

Some machines have a rod moved up and 
down by a swash-plate (n.}, which is a 
circular plate mounted slantwise on a re- 
volving shaft. 

Imitative ; cp. Swed. dialect svasska, Norw. 
svakka to make a swashing noise, Swed. 
svassa to use bombastic language. See swish. 

swastika (swas' ti ka), n. A primitive 
symbol in the form of a cross with all its ends 
continued at right angles. (F. svastika.) 

The origin of the swastika-^whlch is also 
known as the fylfot and the gammadion is 
uncertain. It has been found on ancient 
remains in Asia Minor, China, Mexico, Peru, 
and India, and may be connected with sun 
worship. It appears in mediaeval ecclesi- 
astical art and in heraldry. 

Sansk., belonging to svasti good fortune. 

swath (swawth), n. A line or ridge of 
grass or grain, cut and thrown together by a 
scythe or mowing-machine ; the track cut 
by a scythe or mowing-machine in one 
course. (F. andain.) 

This word is not often used to-day, but 
in Shakespeare's " Troilus and Cressida," 
Nestor describes the " strawy Greeks " as 
falling before the sword of Hector " like the 
mower's swath " (v, 5). 

A.-S. swaeth, swathu footprint, track ; cp. 
Dutch zwad, G. schwad. The original meaning 
was perhaps a shred. See swathe. 




swathe (swath], v.t. To bind or wrap in a 
bandage, cloth, or the like. n. A bandage ; 
a band ; a wrapping. (F. emmailloter ; 

A.-S. swathian, from swath- bandage, shred, 
piece of cloth. SYN. : v. Envelop, enwrap, 
swaddle, n. Baniage, fold. 

sway (swa), v.i. To 
move backwards and 
forwards ; to swing ; to 
waver or be unsteady. 
v.t. To cause to waver or 
swing ; to direct the 
course of ; to control ; to 
influence; to prejudice. 
n. Rule or control ; the 
act of swinging or sway- 
ing. (F. osciller, balancer, 
vaciller ; . ballotter, bran- 
ler, gouverner, r eg i r , 
influencer ; empire, oscil- 

The sway, or rule, of 
the King extends all 
over the British Empire. 
Trees sway when there is 
a strong wind blowing, 
and sometimes we are 
swayed, or led to alter 
our opinions, by the talk 
of a friend. 

A horse that has 
its back hollowed or 
strained by carrying too 
heavy a load is de- 
scribed as being sway- 
backed (adj.}, or swayed (swad, adj.}. 

Perhaps Low G. swajen. See swag. SYN. : 
v. Fluctuate, .influence, oscillate, vacillate, n. 
Authority, dominion, influence, suzerainty. 

swear (swar), v.i. To affirm or make a 
solemn declaration with an appeal to God 
or some sacred being in confirmation ; to 
take an oath ; to give evidence on oath ; to 
promise on oath ; to use profane language. 
v.t. To affirm, declare, or promise with an 
oath or a solemn appeal to God for the 
truth of what is said ; to cause to take an 
oath ; to bind by an oath ; to utter pro- 
fanely, p.t. swore (swor) archaic, 
(swar); p. p. sworn (sworn). (F.jurer, prefer 
serment, sacrer ; jurer, assermenter.} 

Witnesses in a court of law are required 
to swear that their evidence is " the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." 
A person telling an unlikely tale may be 
asked if he will swear, or make a solemn 
declaration, as to its truth. In early feudal 
times every vassal was required to swear 
allegiance to his lord before taking possession 
of his lands, and, having sworn, was obliged 
to support his lord, even against the king. 

It is the custom to-day to swear in, that is, 
administer an oath to, 'all sailors, soldiers, 

Swathe. A woman of Brittany, France, hold- 
ing her baby, swathed like a papoose. 

confidence. A person swears off bad habits 

if he states solemnly that he gives them up. 

One who swears, in any sense, is a swearer 

(swar' er, n.), but more especially this word 

means one given to the use of bad language. 

A.-S. swerian ; cp. Dutch zweren, G. schworen, 

O. Norse sverja. The original sense seems to 

have been to speak (cp. 

answer] ; perhaps akin to 


sweat (swct), n. A 
moisture given off from 
the skin of an animal 
body ; moisture forming 
on cold surfaces ; the 
act of sweating ; toil or 
exertion ; a state of 
anxiety or panic, v.i. 
To give off moisture 
from the pores of the 
skin ; to give off mois- 
ture ; to toil ; to be in 
a state of anxiety or 
panic, v.t. To cause to 
sweat ; to ooze ; to 
make (people) work for 
miserably low wages ; 
to subject (people) to 
extortion; to join 
(soldered parts) by heat- 
ing ; to ferment (hides, 
tobacco, etc.). (F. sueur, 
peine, transe ; transpirer, 
suer, suinter, trimer ; faire 
suer, exploiter, souder, 
faire fermenter.} 
All healthy persons sweat when heated by 
exertion. Fear sometimes makes us break 
out in a cold sweat. The walls of a new house 
often sweat, or give off moisture, some 
months after the plaster is seemingly dry. 
Dishonest people sweat coins by shaking 
them in a greased leather bag. The particles 
of metal chipped off stick to the grease and 
are melted out of it. If we are asked to under- 
take a specially difficult or hard task we 
may say it is a great sweat. 

One who or that which sweats or causes to 
sweat in any sense of the word is a sweater 
(swef er, n.}. Of recent years laws have been 
passed to ensure the payment of a fair wage 
to workers in most trades, and sweaters of 
labour are now happily rare. The garment 
called a sweater is a woollen jersey worn 
before and after games to prevent chills. 
A vapour-bath for causing profuse sweat 
is sometimes called a sweating-bath (n.}. 
In a Turkish bath a sweating-room (n.} is a 
room heated with hot air so as to cause 
sweat ; in a cheese* factory it is a room for 
sweating the moisture from cheeses. A 
sweating-iron (n.) is an instrument used for 
scraping the sweat from horses. 

An epidemic form of malaria that appeared 

airmen, and magistrates and most public first in England in 1485, was called the 

officials, before they enter on their duties. 
A man may be said to swear by people, firms, 
and articles in which he expresses great 

sweating- sickness (77.). The same name is 
now given to an epidemic which occurs in 
India, allied to the worst form of cholera. 




A life of ease and idleness may be said to 
be sweatless (swef les, adj.). Hard, physical 
exercise usually makes us sweaty (swef i, 
adj.). To work sweatily (swef i li, adv.) is to 
work so as to be moist with sweat. A 
person in a state of sweatiness (swef i nes, 
n.) should always rub himself down with a 
rough towel to avoid getting a chill. 

A.-S. swaetan (v.), from swat (n.) ; cp. Dutch 
sweet, G. schweiss, O. Norse sveiti, L. suddre (v.), 
Gr. idiein (v.), Sansk. svid (v.). SYN. : n. Fatigue, 
heat, labour, perspiration, v. Exude, ooze, 

Swede (swed), n. A native of Sweden ; 
swede, a Swedish turnip. (F. suedois, rutabaga.} 

Swedes, or Swedish turnips, are largely 
cultivated in England for cattle-food, and 
are sometimes served as a table vegetable. 

From Swed. Svi-ar ; the d is explained by A.-S. 
Sweo-theod, O. Norse Svl-thjoth Swedish people ; 
cp. Dutch Zweed, G. Schwede, F. Sue'dois. 

Swedenborgian (sweden bor'ji an), adj. 
Of or relating to the teachings of Emanuel 
Swedenborg. n. A follower of his teaching. 
(F. swedenborgien.) 

Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a celebrated 
Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian. 
He claimed that God had commissioned him 
to disclose the spiritual sense of the Scriptures 
by a reconciliation of natural and spiritual 
things. He also stated that his soul had 
been allowed to enter heaven, hell, and the 
intermediate state between them. 

The New Jerusalem Church, which accepts 
Swedenborgianism (swe den bor' ji an izm, 
n.) as Swedenborg 's religious teaching is 
called, was started in 1787, and has grown 
steadily, especially in America. 

Swedish (swe' dish), adj. Of or relating 
to Sweden and its people, n. The language 
of that country. (F. suedois.} 

From E. Swede and suffix -ish ', cp. G. 

Sweep. Sweeps are used mainly for guiding a 
vessel when drifting with the tide. 

sweep (swep), v.i. To clean away dirt 
and dust with a broom or brush ; to pass 
swiftly over or along ; to extend in an 
unbroken line or slope ; to move in a stately 
manner ; of the eyes, to range over a view or 
sight, v.t. To clean with a broom .or 
brush ; to traverse swiftly and powerfully ; 
to carry away or along with violence ; to 
range over ; to survey quickly with the 
eye ; to rake with gun- or rifle-fire ; to 

drive or push in front ; to touch in passing ; 
to propel with sweeps or oars. p.t. and p.p. 
swept (swept), n. An act or motion of 
sweeping ; a curving stretch of road or 
beach ; a wide expanse ; the range or 
compass of anything with a sweeping 
motion ; violent destruction or riddance ; 
a long oar used to move barges or small 
ships in a calm ; a pump-handle ; a sweep- 
stake ; one who sweeps chimneys. (F. balayer, 
voler, s'6tendre, se pavaner ; balayer, ramoner, 
parcourir, enlever, embrasser du regard, 
enfiler, chasser, effleurer, mener a I'aviron; 
balayage, cours, etendue, aviron de galere, 
brimbale, poule, ramoneur.) 

A strong wind sweeps over a plain ; a 
swollen river often sweeps over its bed and 
floods the surrounding country. An aval- 
anche sweeps all before it, and an epidemic 
may sweep off thousands of the population 
of a country. An officer directing artillery 
fire will first sweep the district with his 
eyes through his glasses, and then order 
his men to sweep the enemy's lines with 

Butterfly hunters use one kind of sweep- 
net (n.) ; poachers drag another kind over 
the ground to catch partridges. Fishermen 
use a third kind, also called a sweep-seine (n.}, 
which is a very long kind of seine. 

People who take part in a sweepstake 
(swep' stak, n.}, which is a method of 
gambling, put their money into a common 
pool and draw numbered tickets. All the 
money is divided among those who draw 
the tickets bearing the winning names. 

A sweeper (swep' er, n.} is one who sweeps, 
or a machine for sweeping, such as a road- 
sweeper or carpet-sweeper. A scythe makes 
a sweeping (swep' ing, adj.}, in the sense 
of a circular, movement. A sweeping state- 
ment is comprehensive and general and 
covers many points. Things swept up by 
a broom, brush, or sweeper are sweepings 
( ; we often use this word to mean 
refuse or litter. The sweepings of a popu- 
lation are its dregs or worst elements. 
Some people express their opinions too 
sweepingly (swep' ing li, adv.), or widely, 
giving them too much sweepingness (swep' 
ing nes, .), the quality or state of being 
comprehensive or general. 

Probably from A.-S. swdep- modified stem of 
' swap an ; cp. G. schweifen to ramble, sweep along, 
O. Norse sveipa. See swipe, swoop. SYN. : v. 
Brush, clean, dust, rake. n. Clearance, curve, 
reach, space. 

sweet (swet), adj. Tasting like sugar 
or honey ; not sour, bitter or stale ; 
having a pleasant smell or sound ; attractive 
to the eye ; fresh and wholesome ; pleasing 
to the mind ; agreeable ; charming ; pretty. 
n. A dish having a sweet taste ; a sweet 
person or thing ; (pi.) confectioneries ; 
pleasures ; pleasant experiences. adv. 
Sweetly. (F. sucre, doux, agreable, frais, 
c harm ant ; entremet doux, mignon, sucrerie, 
agrement ; doucement.) 



Most people like to listen to a sweet singer, 
that is, one with a sweet, or melodious, 
voice. Rest is sweet, or delightful, after a 
hard day's work, although work in which 
we are interested is itself sweet, or pleasant. 
Little children with agreeable manners are 
sometimes said to be sweet and are often 


A sweet-tempered (adj.) person is good- 
tempered and lovable. Sugar is used in 
enormous quantities to sweeten (swef en, 
v.t.) food, that is, make it sweet. Fruits 
sweeten (v.i.), or become sweet, as they ripen. 
In old days honey was used as a sweetener 
(swef en er, n.), or sweetening (swef en 

given sweets. Most of them have a sweet ing, n.), that is, a substance which gives 

rOOT.h Tna.r IS rhP\7 IllrA C-7P><^-f-_-f-ac-fi-nrr /liol-./~,o ^-.r^^-t--.^^,^. .*. 1 A. -A. i . i 

tooth, that is, they like sweet-tasting dishes 
better than savoury ones. Quite small children 
often call a sweet a sweety (swef i, n.}. 
A sweetmeat (swef met, n.) may be either 
an ordinary lollipop, a sweet made almost 
entirely of sugar, a chocolate, a sugar plum, 
a fruit candied with sugar, etc. 

The sweet potato (n.) is 
the root of a climbing y : 
American plant (Batatas I 
batatas) ; the sweet-root I 
(n.) is better known as 
iiquorice-root ; the sweet- 
sop (n.) is a kind of 
custard-apple. The sweet- 
water (n.) is a variety of 
white grape with a sweet, 
watery juice; the sweet- 
lime (n.) is the fruit of an 
Asiatic tree of the Citrus 
family ; and the sweeting 
(swef ing, n.), is a sweet 
and very juicy variety of 

Many plants are sweet- 
scented (adj.), that is, give 
out a pleasant smell from 
their flowers, leaves, stems, 
or roots. Among them is 
the rose called sweet-brier 
(n.) on account of the 
fragrance of its leaves. 
The sweet- flag (n.), or 
sweet- rush (n.), has a 
fragrant root, which is used in medicine 
and confectionery. The sweet-gale (n.), also 
called sweet- willow (n.) and bog myrtle, 

Sweet. An out-of-doors sweetmeat seller 
in a town of Syria. 

sweetness to what it is mixed with. 

Carrots have a sweetish (swef ish, adi.}, 
that is, a rather sweet, taste; and there is 
a sweetishness (swef ish nes, n.), which is 
the quality of being sweetish, about the 
flavour of a ripe tomato. 

Birds sing sweetly (swef li, adv.), that is, 
in sweet tones, in the spring, 
and fill our gardens and 
woods with the sweetness 
(swef nes, n.), which is 
the sweet nature, of their 
songs. The sweetness of 
an article of food generally 
means its sugar-like taste, 
but may mean freshness. 

Common Indo - European 
word. M.E. swete, also s(w)ole, 
A.-S. swete (for swoti-) ; cp. 
Dutch zoet, G. suss, Goth. 
sut-s, O. Norse soet-r, L. sudvis 
(for suadvis), Gr. hedys (for 
swadys), Sansk. svddu, from 
svad to taste, please, sweeten. 
SYN. : adj. Amiable, dulcet, 
fragrant, fresh, wholesome. 
ANT. : adj. Acid, discordant, 
displeasing, fetid, stale, un- 

swell (swel), v.i. To 
grow larger ; to dilate ; to 
expand ; to- increase by 
addition ; to rise above 
the surrounding level ; to 
heave ; to be puffed out ; to bulge ; to 
become larger in amount ; figuratively, to 
show elation, or to be inflated with rage. v.t. 

is valuable for its fragrant leaves. The To increase the size, bulk or strength, 

sweet- John (n.) is a narrow-leaved variety 
of the sweet-william (n.), a perennial plant, 
called by scientists Dianthus barbatus, which 
gardeners love on account of the sweet 
scent of its flowers. 

In almost every garden is found the 
sweet-pea (n.), which produces beautiful 
flowers of many colours, and is related to 
the garden pea. In the spring we eagerly 
gather the sweet-violet (n.), or wood- violet. 
The sweet- wood (n.), is the true laurel (Laiirus 
nobilis), which gives out a peculiar odour 
when crushed. The same name is some- 
times applied to other * trees and shrubs 
of the same family. 

The sweetbread (swef bred, n.), which is 
the pancreas of a calf or sheep, is eaten as 
a delicacy. The word sweetheart (swef 
hart, n.) means a lover, either male or 

numbers, or intensity of; to inflate, n. The 
act of swelling ; gradual increase ; dilation ; 
elevation ; rise ; the heave of the sea after 
a storm ; a billow ; increase of power or 
intensity ; an increase of sound followed 
by a decrease ; a swell-organ ; a bulging 
part in a surface ; a dandy ; a person of 
importance, adj. Showy ; dandified ; dis- 
tinguished ; fashionable, p.p. swollen (swo' 
len) or swelled (sweld). (F. s'enfler, se 
dilater, augmenter, s'elever, se gonfler, faire 
saillie, grandir, bouffir d'orgueil, bouffir de 
colere ; agmndir, enfler ; gonflement, accroisse- 
ment, elevation, houle, renflement, bombement, 
gandin, gros bonnet; voyant, elegant, fashion- 

Rivers swell after heavy rain or snow ; 
sails swell in a wind ; our hearts may swell, 
that is, feel like bursting, with anger or 

female ; and to sweetheart (v.i.) is to indulge pride. Extravagance swells expenditure, 
in love-making. The sweet-oil (n.) used and immigration swells the population of a 
for salads is olive oil. country. 




A boy who gets his cap for cricket or 
football at school is considered a swell. 
Such a one may probably show his import- 
ance by wearing swellish (swel' ish, adj.), 
that is, somewhat dandified, clothes and bv 
putting on a swagger. 

One section of a large organ called the 
swell-organ (n.) is enclosed in a case named 
the swell-box (.) The front of the box 
is made up of a number of pivoted shutters, 
each of which is a swell-blind (n.). These, 
when closed, make the sound of the pipes 
inside almost inaudible. The organist can 
open them and so increase the volume of sound 
by pressing on a pedal. 

The swell mob (n.) i 
means well - dressed I 
swindlers or pick- 
pockets, and swelldom 
(swel' dom, n.) means 
swells, in the sense of 
dandies, collectively, or 
the fashionable world. 

A heavy blow on the 
body causes a swelling 
(swel' ing, n.), that 
is, a swollen condition, 
in the part struck. 

A.-S. swellan ; cp. Dutch zwellen, G. schwellen, 
O. Norse svella, also Swed. svall swell of the sea, 
disturbance. The sense well-dressed r or im- 
portant person is derived from the idea of swell- 
ing or being puffed up with pride. SYN. : v. 
Augment, distend, enhance, inflate, magnify, 
wax. ANT. : v. Abate, decrease, diminish, sub- 
side, wane. 

swelter (swel' ter), v.i. To be oppressed 
and faint with heat ; to sweat profusely ; 
of the weather, to cause oppression, languor, 
or faintness. v.t. To cause to faint ; to 
overpower (as with heat), n. A hot or 
sweltering condition. (F. Give excede de 
chaleur, ruisseler de siteur ; accabler de 
chaleur ; chaleur ttouffante.) 

We swelter if we have to wear heavy- 
clothes in hot weather, but blazing 
sunshine which swelters us 
delights our visitors from India 
and other hot countries. The 
air just before a heavy thunder- 
storm is usually sweltry (swel'tri, 
adj.), or oppressively hot. English 
people who go to live in the 
tropics must be prepared to live 
swelter ingly (swel' ter ing li, adv.) 
most of the year. 

Frequentative of M.E. swelten to 
die, A.-S. sweltan to die ; cp. O. Norse 
svelta, Goth, swiltan to die, O.H.G. 
schwelzan to burn. 

swept (swept). This is the 
past tense and past participle of sweep. 
See sweep. 

swerve (swerv), v.i. To turn to one 
side ; to leave the regular or proper course. 
v.t. To cause to diverge, n. The act of 
swerving. (F. faire un ecart ; Barter ; ecart.) 

A motor-car sometimes swerves suddenly 
to avoid a collision. A person swerves from 

Swift. The common swift, a bird like the swallow, 
but related anatomically to the humming-birds. 

Swifter. A swifter fixed 
round a boat. 

the right path when he does something 

In cricket some bowlers are able to make 
the ball swerve in the air. A ball that does 
this is called a swerver (swerv' er, n.). In 
Rugby football, a player who suddenly 
changes his direction to avoid being tackled, 
is said to swerve, and the act is a swerve. 

A.-S. sweorfan to scrub, file (hence to turn 
aside rapidly) ; cp. Dutch swerven to swerve, rove. 
Dan. svirre to whirl round, Icel. sverfa to file. 
Swed. svarfva to turn. SYN. : v. Deviate, diverge. 
swift (swift), adj. Moving with great 
speed ; rapid ; fleet ; quick ; ready ; 

_ prompt ; coming or 

passing quickly ; brief. 
adv. Swiftly. n. A 
swallow-like bird be- 
longing to the genus 
Cypselus, especially 
the common swift (C. 
apus) ; a genus of swift- 
flying moths. (F. 
rapide, vite, vif, 
prompt, soudain ; vite ; 
martinet, hepiale.) 

The race is not always 
to the swift, staying 
power and perseverance being sometimes as 
valuable as swiftness (swift/ nes, n.), or 
fleetness. So swift is the greyhound that 
it can outrun a hare, swift-heeled (adj.) or 
speedy as the latter may be. Swift trial 
and punishment are meted out to the spy 
caught in war-time. In James (i, 19), the 
apostle writes : " let every man be swift 
to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." 

One of our kings, the son of Canute, was 
called Harold Harefoot because he ran so 
swiftly (swiff li, adv.), or was swift-footed 
(adj.). Swift-winged (adj.) or swift-handed 
(adj.) vengeance is that which speedily 
overtakes its victim, and, in poetical language, 
swift-winged nights are those which pass 

The bird known as a swift 
gets its name from the rapidity 
of its flight, a small species being 
called the swiftlet (swiff let, 
n.). The quick-flying moths 
that belong to the genus 
Hepialus are popularly called 
swifts. One kind, the ghost- 
moth, is noted for hovering and 
swaying over one spot. 

Sailors give the name of swifter 
(swiff er, n.) to a rope used to 
fasten, hold, or tighten something, 
and to a fender round a boat. 

A.-S. swift, from swlfan to move 
quickly ; cp. O. Norse svlfa to sweep, turn, rove, 
E. sweep, swoop. Final/ is an adj. suffix. SYN. : 
adj. Prompt, quick, rapid, ready, speedy. ANT: : 


adj. Slow, tardy. 

swill (swil), v.t. To rinse ; to flush 
(out) ; to cause water to flow over ; to 
drink greedily, v.i. To run freely ; to flow 
over a surface ; to drink to excess, n. 



Swimmer. The twelve swimmers illustrated are as follows : 1. Manatee. 2. Hammer-headed shark. 

3. Edible frog. 4. Darter, seen below the surface. 5. Darter following its prey. 6. Otter. 7. Trout. 

8. Red-breasted merganser. 9. Sea-lion. 10. Sea-horse. 11. Polar bear. 12. Moose. 

-Facina Page 4193. 



Hog-wash ; semi-liquid food for animals, Many people learn how to swim by taking 

especially swine. (F. rincer, laver a grande lessons in a swimming-bath (n.), which is a 
eau, wonder, boire avidement ; couler, dd- pool, either under cover or in the open, large 

border, s'enivrer; lavure d'dcuelles.) 

enough to swim in. Some may be glad of 

Dishes after being washed are rinsed or the aid of a swimming-belt (n.), which 

swilled in cold water. The sink may be serves to keep them afloat. Affairs go on 

swilled out when the task is finished by swimmingly (swim' ing li, adv.) when they 

letting water from the tap swill or flow go forward easily, 
over it. 

Kitchen slops or refuse, known as swill or 

swillings (swil' ingz,}, are often collected 

A.-S. swimman ; cp. Dutch zwemmen, O.H.G. 
swimman, G. schwimmen, O. Norse svimma. For 
the sense of being giddy ; cp. A.-S. swlma 

and used, mixed with meal, for pig-food. A dizziness, giddiness, Dutch zwijm, G. schwindel 
person who swills, or guzzles, drinking dizziness, schwinden to disappear, O. Norse 
grossly and greedily, may be described as 
a swiller (swir er, n.). 

A.-S. swillian to wash ; cp. swill swillings, 
hogwash (hence to drink like a pig), also an 
excessive amount of liquor. SYN. : v. Pour 
rinse, wash. 

swim (swim), v.i. To float on or in 
a liquid ; to move 
through the water by 
making strokes with 
arms and legs, tail, 
fins, wings, etc. ; to 
go along smoothly 
or glidingly ; to be 
drenched or flooded 
(with liquid) ; to 
appear to whirl ; to 
have a reeling sen- 
sation ; to feel dizzy. 
v.t. To traverse or 
accomplish by swim- 
ming ; to compete thus 
in (a race) ; to compete 
with thus ; to cause (a 
horse, etc.) to swim ; 

svimi dizziness, svina to subside, disappear. In 

this sense the word is perhaps of different origin. 

SYN. : v. Float. ANT. : v. Sink. 

swindle (swin 7 dl), v.t. and i. To 

defraud or cheat grossly, n. A fraudulent 

scheme ; the act of swindling ; a deception. 

(F. escroquer ; escroquerie.) 

^^^^^ This word is used 

"-^fc-"' for those who cheat 

people by tricks or 
by misrepresentations, 
swindling money out 
of them perhaps by 
selling them articles 
that are worthless. 
Fraudulent aclvertise- 
ments, by which dis- 
honest people sought 
to swindle the public, 
were once not infre- 
quent. Reputable ad- 
vertisers and the news- 
papers have combined 

Swim. A swimmer swimming in the sea. to make things hard 

for those who thus 

to float (a ship, etc.). n. A spell of swim- sought to obtain money by a swindle, or 

ming ; a part of a stream where fish are swindlingly (swin 7 dling li, adv.], so that a 

numerous; the main current of business, swindler (swin 7 dler, n.) of this kind is now 

public affairs, etc. p.t. swam (swam) ; p.p. seldom met with. 

swum (swum). (F. flatter, nager, filer, fare G. schwindeln to be dizzy, act recklessly, 
trempe, avoir des vertiges, tourner ; traverser swindle, schwindler swindler, from O.H.G. suintan 

a la nage, faire nager, lancer; tour de to waste away. See swim. SYN. : v. Cheat, 

natation, mouvement des affaires. 

defraud, n. Cheat, deception, fraud. 

Horses and dogs swim with their limbs ; swine (swin), n. A pig ; a hog ; any 

fishes with their fins and tails. Certain flat- animal belonging to the family Suidae, 

fish swim along by moving the body with especially to the genus Sus ; a greedy, 

a curious undulating motion. Some birds bestial person, pi. swine (swin). (F. pore, 

use their wings when swimming under pourceau, cochon.) 

water. When a horseman swims his horse Swine may be described as omnivorous 

across a stream he may swim beside it. animals, since they feed on substances of 

Emotion makes the eyes swim with tears. a varied nature and are not disposed to be 

Weakness may cause the head to swim, so dainty or particular in their food. Swine 

that one feels dizzy, and has a whirling or are turned into beech or oak forests to feed 

reeling sensation, things appearing to swim O n the mast or acorns. A person who tended 

before one's eyes. 

The swim-bladder (n.), or sound, of a fish 
is an air-bladder which enables it to rise 

swine was called a swine-herd (n.). 

People of piggish or gluttonous habits 
are said to be swinish (swm 7 ish, adj.), or 

or sink in the water. Some streams are to behave swinishly (swin' ish li, adv.) ', con- 

swimmable (swim 7 abl, adj.), or capable ol duct of this kind is described as swinishness 

being swum, only by a powerful swimmer (swin 7 ish nes, n.). 

(swim 7 er, n.). A "swimmeret (swim 7 er et, n.) Swine are apt to suffer from an infectious 
of a crustacean is one of several members with disease of the lungs, called swine-fever (n.) 
which it propels itself through the water. or swine-plague (n.) ; the disease known 
A jelly-fish swims by opening and closing its as swine -pox (ft.) is a form of chicken- 
conspicuous umbrella-like swimming-bell (n.). pox. The truffle is called swine-bread (n.) 




move with 

or sow-bread, because greatly relished by overhead, in which a pair of persons swing 
swine ; the dandelion is called swine's- themselves by pulling alternately at ropes. 

One type of bridge, called a swing-bridge 
(n.), is pivoted at one end, and is free to 
swing horizontally through a quarter-circle. 
When swung across a waterway, road 
vehicles may use it ; when it swings back 
to allow ships to pass gates swing to and 
bar the roadway. A swing-plough (.) is 

_j a plough without wheels. 

A swinger (swing' er, n.) 
is one who swings himself 
or another, or who causes 
things to swing or oscillate. 
Children like to swing from 
the handles of a giant 
stride, or swing one another 
in a swing rigged up for 
them. A song goes swing- 
ingly (swing' ing li, adv.), 
that is, with a swing, when 
sung in a lively way, in 
good time ; a vigorous 
walker goes along swing- 

snout (n.) from the shape of the receptacle 
to which its plumed seeds are attached. 

A.-S. swln (sing, and pi.) ; cp. Dutch zwijn, G. 
schwein, O. Norse svin, originally an adjective 
form, akin to L. sulnus pertaining to swine, 
from sits pig. See sow [2]. SYN. : Hog, pig. 

swing (swing), v.i. To 
an oscillating or to-and- 
fro motion when suspended 
or fixed by a point or 
side ; to sway ; to oscillate ; 
to rock ; to wheel ; to hang 
so as to be free to sway 
or oscillate ; to turn about | 
a centre ; to use a swing ; 
to move with an easy, 
swaying gait. v.t. To cause 
to move to and fro, oscil- 
late, sway, or vibrate ; to 
suspend ; to wheel (a com- 
pany, etc.) ; to cause to 
turn as on a pivot or about 
a centre ; to wave ; to 
brandish ; to cause to 
move to and fro while 
seated in a swing; to 
dangle (the legs, etc.). p.t. 
swung (swung) or, rare, 
swang (swang) ; p.p. swung. 
n. The act of swinging ; 
an oscillation ; a swinging 
movement ; the extent or 
duration of this; a 
pendulum-like tendency to alternation of 
movement, vacillation ; free course ; a 
swaying gait ; a seat slung on ropes ; a spell 

Swing. A girl enjoying herself on a 
swing erected in a garden. 

A.-S. swingan to scourge, 
flutter ; cp. G. schwingen to 
soar, swing, brandish, Swed. 
svinga to swing, whirl. SYN. : 
v. Hang, oscillate, suspend, 
sway, vibrate, n. Oscillation, 

swinge (swinj), v.t. To 
strike hard ; to beat. (F. 
cingler, etriller.) 
This word is an old-fashioned word, not 
often used nowadays. We sometimes talk, 
in a colloquial way, of a swingeing (swinj' 

of swinging in this. (F. se balancer, osciller, ing, adj.), or thumping victory, and a jury 

in a libel case is said to award swingeing 
damages to a plaintiff when they award 
him a large sum. 

A.-S. swengan to shake, causal of swingan 
to swing. See swing. 

swingingly (swing' ing li), adv. t In a 
swinging manner : liltingly ; easily. See 
under swing. 

swingle (swing' gl), n. A wooden instru- 
ment used to beat flax and separate the fibre 

vibrer, pendiller, tournoyer ; faire osciller, 
faire vibrer, tonrner, agiter, brandir, se 
balancer; balancement, oscillation, va et 
vient, courbe decrite, vacillation, balancoire.) 

A pendulum of just over 39 inches in 
length swings once a second. Its swing 
may be made long or short in sweep, but 
the duration is not affected. A pendulum 
is swung or suspended by a flexible spring. 

A ship swings at her anchor when she 

moves round it with the tide or current. from the woody part. v.t. To clean (llax) 

A good walker swings along at four miles 
an hour, and swings his arms rhythmically 
as he goes. An officer wheels or swings 
his company into line, the company swinging 
or wheeling round to face the new direction. 
A factory is said to be in full swing when 
all sections of it are working. 

In golf, the to-and-fro movement of 
the club in preparing to strike the ball 

by beating it with a swingle. (F. battre 
le lin.) 

The swingle was a sword-shaped imple- 
ment with which the workman beat the 
flax when swingling it. The coarser part of 
the flax fibre obtained by swingling is called 
swingling-tow (n.). This process is now 
carried out by machinery. 

The swingle-bar (n.) or swingle-tree (n.) of 

is called swing, a term also applied to a a cart or of a plough is a cross-bar, pivoted at 
similar movement of the bat or racket in 
other sports. 

The swing-back (n.) of a camera is an 
arrangement which enables the plate to 
be kept upright when the lens is pointed 
upwards or downwards. Many visitors to 
fairs take a ride in a swing-boat (n.), a 
boat shaped carriage swinging from a frame 

the middle, to which the traces are attached. 

M.E. swingle, M. Dutch suringhel ; cp. A.-S. 
swingele whip, instrumental n. from swing. 

swinish (swln' ish). For this word, 
swinishness, etc., see under swine. 

swipe (swfp), v.t. To give a very hard 
or reckless hit at (a cricket ball, etc.) ; to 
slog ; of anchors, to raise or drag up ; to 




drink greedily or at a gulp. v.i. To make 
such a hit ; to slog. n. A very hard or 
reckless hit or endeavour to hit (at cricket, 
etc.) ; a slog. 

This word is used chiefly in cricket. 
Swipes (swlps,} is a term for inferior 
beer, or for beer generally. 

A.-S. swipian to beat, akin to sweep. SYN. : 
v. and n. Slog. 

swirl (swerl), v.i. To form eddies ; to 
whirl about, v.t. To carry (along, etc.) with 
an eddying motion, n. An eddy ; a whirling 
motion ; the swift rush of a fish, or a vessel, 
through water ; the disturbance so caused; 
(F. tourbillonner, tournoyer ; emporter en tour- 
billon; tourbillon, tournoiement.) 

In his " Water Babies," Kingsley speaks 
of fish swirling or rushing at a fly as an oar- 
blade swirls in a boat-race. At the foot of a 
waterfall, or where currents meet, swirls or 
eddies are formed in the water, and objects 
are swirled round or swirled down stream by 
the current. 

Of Sc. origin. Cp. Norw. svirla to 
whirl, frequentative of sverra, Swed. 
svirra, G. schwirren to whiz, whirr. 
SYN. : v. Eddy, whirl, n. Eddy. 

swish (swish), v.i. To make 
a whistling or rustling noise in 
cutting the air ; to move with 
such a noise, v.t. To make this 
movement with (a cane, etc.) ; 
to cut (off) with such a move- 
ment ; to flog with the birch. 
n. A whistling sound of, or as of, 
a cane or lash passing swiftly 
through the air ; a stroke with 
a birch, cane, etc. (F. siffler ; 
faire siffler, cingler, fouetter ; 
sifflement, coup de verges.} 

In the days when corporal 
punishment was more frequent 
boys were swished with the birch, 
and the swish or noise made by its passage 
through the air, like the swish of the cane 
in use to-day, made its hearers flinch. 


Swiss (swis), adj. Of or relating to 
Switzerland, n. A native or inhabitant of 
Switzerland ; the people of that country. 
pi. Swiss (swis). (F. suisse ; Suisse.) 

Switzerland, 'the territory of the Swiss, is 
a mountainous country lying between France, 
Germany, Italy and Austria, with an area 
of about sixteen thousand square miles. The 
Swiss Confederation comprises twenty-two 
cantons, or states, and the languages spoken 
vary in different districts, so that a Swiss 
may speak German, French, or Italian. 

Swiss soldiers were formerly employed as 
body-guards to various European courts. 
The Papal Guard, or Swiss Guard, at the 
Vatican consists of Swiss officers and men. 

F. Suisse, M.H.G. Swiz, from the canton 

switch (swich), n. A pliant twig or shoot 
cut from a tree ; a tapering rod ; an artificial 
tress of hair tied at one end and used in 

hairdressing ; a device used to connect and 
disconnect railway lines, etc., and so divert 
trains from one track to another ; a device 
for completing or breaking an electric circuit, 
or for transferring current from one circuit 
to another, v.t. To beat with a switch ; to 
whisk or snatch ; to turn or swing round 
suddenly ; to divert (a train) from one track 
on to another ; to turn (on or off) or transfer 
to another circuit with a switch, v.i. In 
telephoning, to cut off connexions. (F. 
baguette, tresse, aiguille, commutateur ; fouetter, 
enlever vitement, tourner vitement, aiguiller', 
garer ; couper.) 

One who drives cattle may cut a switch 
from the hedge with which to urge them on. 
Children are switched, or punished by blows 
from a switch, or thin stick. A woman who, 
through illness, is obliged to have her tresses 
cut, may get them made up by a hairdresser 
into a switch, which she can use until her hair 
grows long again. We switch on electric 

Switch-board. The high-frequency switch-board of the powerful 
broadcasting station at Zeesen, near Berlin, Germany. 

light or power by a turn of the switch, or 
switch on our wireless apparatus. 

At a telephone exchange each group of 
lines is connected to a switch-board (n.), 
so that the operator may interconnect one 
subscriber's line with another, switching on 
a user to the person with whom he desires to 
converse, and switching him off when he 
has completed his conversation. Switch- 
boards of special construction are used in 
power stations. A cow switches or whisks 
its tail to and fro to switch away flies. 

One of the chief attractions at some 
amusement fairs is the switchback (swich' 
bak, n.), which is an elevated train that 
travels by its own momentum in a series 
of dips and inclines. 

Railway tracks are provided with switches 
at cross-overs and sidings. Switches or 
points are manipulated by a switch-man (n.), 
or pointsman. 

Of Flem. or Low G. origin ; cp. M. Dutch swick 
whip, Low G. swutsche, zwukse a thin rod, 
zwuksen to swish. See swish, twitch. SYN.: n. 
Rod, shoot, tress, twig. v. Divert, turn. 





swivel (swiv' 1), n. A device comprising 
a ring and pivot, or other mechanism, used 
to connect two parts in such a way that one 
can revolve freely ; a support allowing free 
motion horizontally, v.t. and i. To turn on 
or as on a swivel. (F. tourniquet; pivoter.} 

In a common type of swivel a 
link is furnished with a headed 
pin or stud, which passes through 
a loop of the adjacent link. The 
hook on a dog-lead is connected 
with the strap by a swivel, so that 
the hook may be revolved with- 
out twisting the strap. 

A turn-table swivels round its 
central support, and rowlocks are 
often made to swivel or turn on 
a pivot. A swivel-gun (n.) is a 
gun mounted in a pivoted crutch, 
which allows it to be swivelled 
or turned in any direction. A gun 
of this kind is used in wild-fowl 
shooting on our rivers and broads. 

Most cranes lift their loads with a swivel- 
hook (n.), the shank of which turns in an eye 
attached to the lifting rope or chain ; a 
swivel- joint (n.) between two parts allows 
one to turn while the other is stationary. 

A.-S. swlfan to move rapidly, to revolve ; cp. 
Icel. sveifla to spin round. Akin to swift. 

swob (swob). This is an old spelling 
of swab. See swab. 

swollen (swo' len). This is the 
participle of swell. See swell. 

swoon (swoon), v.i. To sink into a faint- 
ing fit. n. A faint; syncope. (F. s'evanouir; 
evanouissement, syncope.} 

M.E. swounen, swoghenen, from A.-S. geswogen 
senseless (from a swoon) p.p. of swogan to move 
noisily, sough, sigh. See sough. SYN. : v. and 
n. Faint. 

swoop (swoop), v.i. To come (down) 
with a rush, as a bird of prey ; to descend 
or rush swiftly upon prey ; to make a sudden 
attack from a distance, v.t. To dash upon and 
seize while on the wing ; to snatch (up). 
n. A swooping movement ; a sudden attack ; 
a sudden snatching or carrying off of many 
things at once. (F. s'abattre, fondre ; happer 
au vol ; action de fondre, coup.} 

A peregrine will sometimes swoop upon a 
grouse or pheasant which has been wounded 
by a sportsman, and carry it away. In 
Shakespeare's " Macbeth " (iv, 3), Macduff 
laments that he has lost his wife and children 
at one fell swoop, slaughtered by Macbeth's 

A.-S. swdpan to sweep along ; cp. G. schweifen 
to rove, ramble, O. Norse sveipa to swoop, sweep. 
See sweep. SYN. : v. and n. Plunge, pounce, snatch. 

swop (swop). This is another form of 
swap. See swap. 

sword (sord), n. A weapon of offence, 
consisting of a sharp-edged blade of metal 
set in a hilt, and used for cutting or thrusting, 
or both ; military power ; sovereignty ; 
destruction by the sword ; war ; death. 
(F. epee, glaive.} 

Swords are among the most ancient of 
weapons, and are of many shapes. Bronze 
Age swords were leaf-shaped, with a small 
grip. Those of the ancient Greeks and Romans 
were short, straight, and double-edged 
weapons, adapted for thrusting. 

Modern swords include the scimitar, a 
curved Eastern weapon with its cutting edge 
on the convex part, and the sabre, a heavy 
cavalry weapon having a blade with a strong 
back, adapted both for thrusting and cutting. 
The court sword of to-day is a rapier. 

The sword was at one time the most 
important weapon of the soldier. It is a 
symbol of military might and power, the 
emblem of judicial authority, and also of 
sovereign power vested in the king. 

On the dome of the Central Criminal Court, 
London, stands a great gilded figure of 
Justice holding up in her right hand the 
sword of justice. 

The Lord Mayor of London, the chief 
City magistrate, has his sword-bearer (n.}, 
who, with the bearer of the mace, precedes 
him when he attends the sessions. A sword 
of state is borne before a sovereign on 
ceremonial occasions. 

The expression, fire and sword, means 
rapine, or the destruction wrought by 
invaders. In the fierce and bloodthirsty 
warfare of long ago, many of the populace, 
together with captured soldiers, were put to 
the sword, or slaughtered, by victors, 
especially if a lengthy resistance had been 
made by the vanquished. Since a sword 
is usually wielded in the right hand, the 
sword-arm (n.) means the right arm, and the 
sword-hand (n.) the right hand. 

Sword. A bride and bridegroom cutting their 
wedding-cake with a sword. 

A sword-bayonet (n.} is a bayonet with a 
sword-shaped blade. A sword is hung from 
a sword-belt (n.) ; its blade is a sword-blade 
(n.) ; a cut made with a sword, or the scar 
it leaves, is a sword-cut (n.). The hand of 
one who uses a sword is protected by a 
sword-guard (n.) on the hilt ; a knot or tassel 
of ribbons attached to the hilt is called a 
sword-knot (n.). A sword-cane (n.), or 
sword-stick (n.}, is a cane, hollow for the 




greater part of its length, enclosing and 
serving as a sheath for a long, pointed blade. 

Fencing with swords is sword-play (n.) ; 
one who takes part in it is a sword-player (n.), 
or swordsman (sordz' man, n.) ; and the 
skill with which he handles his weapon is 
swordsmanship (sordz' man ship, n.). 
Figuratively a smart interchange of repartee 
or argument is called sword-play. 

A person carrying or armed with a sword 
is sworded (sord' ed, adj.). Modern soldiers 
are for the most part swordless (sord' les, 
adj.), that is, without swords, though they 
carry a more or less swordlike (sord' Ilk, 
adj.) bayonet. The armour worn by knights 
was designed to be swordproof (sord' proof, 
adj.) that is, able to resist cuts or thrusts 
from a sword. 

One kind of sword-dance (n.) is a dance 
performed by one or two people over two 
swords laid crosswise on the ground. Another 
is a dance in which the male dancers clash 
their swords together. 

A South American species of humming- 
bird is called the sword-bill (n.), on account 
of its long sword-shaped (adj.) bill. 

One of the most 
formidable of sea-fish 
is the sword-fish (n.), 
which has its upper 
jaw lengthened into a 
smooth, horny spike, 
sometimes three feet 
long. The European 
species, Hippias gla- 
dius, is occasionally 
taken in British 
waters. Whales and 
large fish form the 
prey of the sword-fish, 
these being pierced 
and killed by its 
swordlike weapon. 

Among plants 
named after the sword are the sword-flag 
(n.) the yellow flag or marsh flag and the 
sword-lily (n.), or gladiolus. Sword-grass 
(n.) is a name given to sedges and other 
plants with sword-shaped leaves ; the. sword- 
bean (n.) Canavalia ensiformis is a 
climbing leguminous plant with curved 
scimitar-shaped pods about a foot long. It 
grows in tropical countries. 

A.-S. sweord ; cp. Dutch zwaard, G. schwert, 
O. Norse sverth. SYN. : Blade, brand, death, 

swore (swor). This is the past tense and 
sworn (sworn) the past participle of swear. 
See swear. 

swum (swum). This is the past participle 
of swim. See swim. 

swung (swung). This is the past tense 
and past participle of swing. See swing. 

Sybarite (sib' a rit), n. An inhabitant of 
Sybaris, an ancient Greek colony in south 
Italy, noted for the effeminacy and luxury 
of its people ; (sybarite) an effeminate and 
luxurious person. (F. sybarite.) 

Sword-fish. With its long and spiky upper jaw a 
sword-fish will attack a whale. 

Sybaris, situated on the Gulf of Tarentum, 
was founded by emigrants from Greece in 
the eighth century B.C. ; the city was famed 
for its luxury and riches. 

One who is effeminate and leads a life of 
luxury is now called a sybarite, or said to 
be sybaritic (sib a rit' ik, adj.] in his ways, 
this manner of life being described as 
sybaritism (sib' a rit izm, n.). 
L. Sybarlta, Gr. Sybarites. 
sybil (sib' il). This is an incorrect form 
of sibyl. See sibyl. 

sycamine (sik' a min), n. The black 
mulberry-tree (Morus nigra). (F. murier 

L. sycamlnus, Gr. sykamlnon, probably from 
Heb. shiqmah (pi . shiqmlm) sycamore. 

sycamore (sik' a mor), n. A bushy fig-tree 
(Ficus sycomorus) of Egypt and Syria ; a 
timber tree, Acer pseudoplatanus, allied to 
the maple. (F. sycamore, faux platane.) 

The Egyptian sycamore, or sycamore-fig 
(n.), is a tree common in Palestine. Its 
fruit is inferior in flavour to and is smaller 
than that of the common fig. 

The British tree known as the sycamore, 
or sycamore - maple 
(n.), is a fairly large 
one, with a straight, 
smooth trunk and 
spreading branches. 
Its leaves have five 
lobes. The wood, 
which is firm and of a 
fine grain, takes a high 
polish, and is used for 
cabinet work ad 
many other purposes. 

Formerly sycamore. 
L. sycomorus, Gr. 
sykomoros, as if fig- 
mulberry (from sykon 
fig, moron mulberry) , 
but probably of Semitic 
origin, as sycamine. 
syce (sis), n. In India, a groom. 
Hindustani from Arabic sais. 
sycee (si se"), n. Ingots of silver used in 
China as a medium of exchange. 

Sycee or to use the full name, sycee 
silver (n.) bears the stamp of an assayer or 
banker, denoting its weight and purity. Its 
value is reckoned in Chinese taels, and 
varies with the current price of silver. 

Chinese sai sze fine silk, because when pure it 
can be drawn out into fine threads. 

sychnocarppus (sik no kar' pus), adj. 
In botany, bearing fruit several times before 
dying ; perennial. 

From Gr. sykhnos frequent, karpos fruit ; E-ows. 

syconium (si ko' ni um ; si ko' ni um), n. 

A multiple fruit, like that of the fig. pi. 

syconia (si ko' ni a ; si ko' ni a), syconus 

(si ko'mis; siko'nus) pi. syconi (si ko' ni ; 

si ko' ni) has the same meaning. (F. sycone.) 

This type of fruit consists of a hollow 

receptacle containing a number of very 

small flowers which produce tiny ovaries. 

Modern L. from Gr. sykon fig. 




sycophant (sik 7 6 fant), n. A flatterer; a 
parasite ; a toady. (F. sycophanie, flagorneur, 

In ancient Greece the word sycophant 
was used of a person who gave information 
against people who broke the laws of the 
state, and so came to have its later 
meaning of one who seeks to gain favour. 
Sycophancy (sik 7 6 fan si, n.) means flattery 
or toadying. Meanly obsequious or cringing 
flattery is said to be sycophantic (sik 6 fan' 
tik, adj.), or sycophantish (sik 7 6 fan tish, 
adj.) behaviour. 

L. sycophanta, Gr. sykophantes, from sykon fig, 
phainein to show, but no certain explanation of 
the name has been suggested. It has possibly 
something to do with the sacred fig-trees. SYN. : 
n. Flatterer, toady. 

syenite (si'enit), n. A granular crystalline 
rock, composed of feldspar, hornblende, and 
often mica, with or without quartz. (F. 

The granite from Syene in Upper Egypt, 
which contains hornblende, was originally 
called syenite, but the name is now applied 
to igneous rocks, consisting essentially of 
dominant feldspar, which are commonly 
classed, as syenitic (si e nit' ik, adj.}. 

syl-. This is a form of the prefix syn. 
See syn-. 

syllable (sir abl), n. , 
A single sound forming 
a word or part of a word 
and containing a vowel 
sound with or without 
consonants ; the smallest 
particle or least amount 
of speech, v.t. To pro- 
nounce by syllables ; to 
utter. (F. syllabe; 

A syllable must con- 
tain a vowel or vowel 
sound, as /, but need not 
contain a consonant, 
although many syllables 
consist of a vowel and 
one or more conson- 
ants. It is sometimes 
said of someone who 
will not divulge informa- 
tion that we cannot get 
a syllable from him. 
Syllabled (sil'abld, adj.) 
means having syllables. 
The words /, at and 
strength are one-sylla- 
bled, or mono-syllabic. 

To pronounce or arti- 
culate by syllables is 
to syllabize (sir a biz, v.t.) this action or 

Process being called syllabification (si lab i 
ka 7 shim, n.). Syllabic (si lab 7 ik, adj.) 
means consisting of a syllable or syllables, 
and is opposed to alphabetic. Our language 
is alphabetic, but Chinese is syllabic. A 
mono-syllabic word is one consisting of one 
syllable. To utter words in a syllabic 


tlrtlisti Museum 

Syllabary. A Babylonian syllabary, or list 
of characters representing syllables. 

manner, or syllabically (si lab' ik al li 
adv.) is to articulate or pronounce each 
syllable distinctly. A syllabary (sil 7 a ba ri, 
n.) is a list of characters representing 
syllables. In some languages a syllabary 
serves as an alphabet. 

O.F. sillabe, L. syllaba, Gr. syllabe that which 
holds or is taken together and for