English dictionary words starting with W from page 17651 to 17700


Word, v. i.

Defn: To use words, as in discussion; to argue; to dispute. [R.]


Word, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Worded; p. pr. & vb. n. Wording.]

1. To express in words; to phrase.

The apology for the king is the same, but worded with greater

deference to that great prince. Addison.

2. To ply with words; also, to cause to be by the use of a word or

words. [Obs.] Howell.

3. To flatter with words; to cajole. [Obs.] Shak. To word it, to

bandy words; to dispute. [Obs.] “To word it with a shrew.”



Word”book`, n. Etym: [Cf. D. woordenboek, G. wörterbuch.]

Defn: A collection of words; a vocabulary; a dictionary; a lexicon.


Word”-catch`er, n.

Defn: One who cavils at words.


Word”er, n.

Defn: A speaker. [Obs.] Withlock.


Word”i*ly, adv.

Defn: In a wordy manner.


Word”i*ness, n.

Defn: The quality or state of being wordy, or abounding with words;

verboseness. Jeffrey.


Word”ing, n.

Defn: The act or manner of expressing in words; style of expression;


It is believed this wording was above his known style. Milton.


Word”ish, a.

Defn: Respecting words; full of words; wordy. [R.] Sir P. Sidney.

 — Word”ish*ness, n.

The truth they hide by their dark woordishness. Sir K. Digby.


Wor”dle, n.

Defn: One of several pivoted pieces forming the throat of an

adjustable die used in drawing wire, lead pipe, etc. Knight.


Word”less, a.

Defn: Not using words; not speaking; silent; speechless. Shak.


Word method. (Education)

Defn: A method of teaching reading in which words are first taken as

single ideograms and later analyzed into their phonetic and

alphabetic elements; — contrasted with the alphabet and sentence



Word”play`, n.

Defn: A more or less subtle playing upon the meaning of words.


Words”man, n.

Defn: One who deals in words, or in mere words; a verbalist. [R.]

“Some speculative wordsman.” H. Bushnell.


Word”y, a. [Compar. Wordier; superl. Wordiest.]

1. Of or pertaining to words; consisting of words; verbal; as, a

wordy war. Cowper.

2. Using many words; verbose; as, a wordy speaker.

3. Containing many words; full of words.

We need not lavish hours in wordy periods. Philips.



Defn: imp. of Wear.



Defn: imp. of Ware.


Work, n. Etym: [OE. work, werk, weork, AS. weorc, worc; akin to

OFries. werk, wirk, OS., D., & G. werk, OHG. werc, werah, Icel. & Sw.

verk, Dan. værk, Goth. gawaúrki, Gr. verez to work. Bulwark, Energy,

Erg, Georgic, Liturgy, Metallurgy, Organ, Surgeon, Wright.]

1. Exertion of strength or faculties; physical or intellectual effort

directed to an end; industrial activity; toil; employment; sometimes,

specifically, physically labor.

Man hath his daily work of body or mind Appointed. Milton.

2. The matter on which one is at work; that upon which one spends

labor; material for working upon; subject of exertion; the thing

occupying one; business; duty; as, to take up one’s work; to drop

one’s work.

Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand That you yet know not of. Shak.

In every work that he began . . . he did it with all his heart, and

prospered. 2 Chron. xxxi. 21.

3. That which is produced as the result of labor; anything

accomplished by exertion or toil; product; performance; fabric;

manufacture; in a more general sense, act, deed, service, effect,

result, achievement, feat.

To leave no rubs or blotches in the work. Shak.

The work some praise, And some the architect. Milton.

Fancy . . . Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams. Milton.

The composition or dissolution of mixed bodies . . . is the chief

work of elements. Sir K. Digby.

4. Specifically: (a) That which is produced by mental labor; a

composition; a book; as, a work, or the works, of Addison. (b)

Flowers, figures, or the like, wrought with the needle; embroidery.

I am glad I have found this napkin; . . . I’ll have the work ta’en

out, And give ‘t Iago. Shak.

(c) pl.

Defn: Structures in civil, military, or naval engineering, as docks,

bridges, embankments, trenches, fortifications, and the like; also,

the structures and grounds of a manufacturing establishment; as, iron

works; locomotive works; gas works. (d) pl.

Defn: The moving parts of a mechanism; as, the works of a watch.

5. Manner of working; management; treatment; as, unskillful work

spoiled the effect. Bp. Stillingfleet.

6. (Mech.)

Defn: The causing of motion against a resisting force. The amount of

work is proportioned to, and is measured by, the product of the force

into the amount of motion along the direction of the force. See

Conservation of energy, under Conservation, Unit of work, under Unit,

also Foot pound, Horse power, Poundal, and Erg.

Energy is the capacity of doing work . . . Work is the transference

of energy from one system to another. Clerk Maxwell.

7. (Mining)

Defn: Ore before it is dressed. Raymond.

8. pl. (Script.)

Defn: Performance of moral duties; righteous conduct.

He shall reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi. 27.

Faith, if it hath not works, is dead. James ii. 17.

Muscular work (Physiol.), the work done by a muscle through the power

of contraction.

 — To go to work, to begin laboring; to commence operations; to

contrive; to manage. “I ‘ll go another way to work with him.” Shak.

 — To set on work, to cause to begin laboring; to set to work.

[Obs.] Hooker.

 — To set to work, to employ; to cause to engage in any business or



Work, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Worked, or Wrought (; p. pr. & vb. n.

Working.] Etym: [AS. wyrcean (imp. worthe, wrohte, p. p. geworht,

gewroht); akin to OFries. werka, wirka, OS. wirkian, D. werken, G.

wirken, Icel. verka, yrkja, orka, Goth. waúrkjan. *145. See Work, n.]

1. To exert one’s self for a purpose; to put forth effort for the

attainment of an object; to labor; to be engaged in the performance

of a task, a duty, or the like.

O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work, To match thy goodness


Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you.

Ex. v. 18.

Whether we work or play, or sleep or wake, Our life doth pass. Sir J.


2. Hence, in a general sense, to operate; to act; to perform; as, a

machine works well.

We bend to that the working of the heart. Shak.

3. Hence, figuratively, to be effective; to have effect or influence;

to conduce.

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.

Rom. viii. 28.

This so wrought upon the child, that afterwards he desired to be

taught. Locke.

She marveled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him.


4. To carry on business; to be engaged or employed customarily; to

perform the part of a laborer; to labor; to toil.

They that work in fine flax . . . shall be confounded. Isa. xix. 9.

5. To be in a state of severe exertion, or as if in such a state; to

be tossed or agitated; to move heavily; to strain; to labor; as, a

ship works in a heavy sea.

Confused with working sands and rolling waves. Addison.

6. To make one’s way slowly and with difficulty; to move or penetrate

laboriously; to proceed with effort; — with a following preposition,

as down, out, into, up, through, and the like; as, scheme works out

by degrees; to work into the earth.

Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportioned to each kind.


7. To ferment, as a liquid.

The working of beer when the barm is put in. Bacon.

8. To act or operate on the stomach and bowels, as a cathartic.

Purges . . . work best, that is, cause the blood so to do, . . . in

warm weather or in a warm room. Grew.

To work at, to be engaged in or upon; to be employed in.

 — To work to windward (Naut.), to sail or ply against the wind; to

tack to windward. Mar. Dict.


Work, v. t.

1. To labor or operate upon; to give exertion and effort to; to

prepare for use, or to utilize, by labor.

He could have told them of two or three gold mines, and a silver

mine, and given the reason why they forbare to work them at that

time. Sir W. Raleigh.

2. To produce or form by labor; to bring forth by exertion or toil;

to accomplish; to originate; to effect; as, to work wood or iron into

a form desired, or into a utensil; to work cotton or wool into cloth.

Each herb he knew, that works or good or ill. Harte.

3. To produce by slow degrees, or as if laboriously; to bring

gradually into any state by action or motion. “Sidelong he works his

way.” Milton.

So the pure, limpid stream, when foul with stains Of rushing torrents

and descending rains, Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines,

Till by degrees the floating mirror shines. Addison.

4. To influence by acting upon; to prevail upon; to manage; to lead.

“Work your royal father to his ruin.” Philips.

5. To form with a needle and thread or yarn; especially, to

embroider; as, to work muslin.

6. To set in motion or action; to direct the action of; to keep at

work; to govern; to manage; as, to work a machine.

Knowledge in building and working ships. Arbuthnot.

Now, Marcus, thy virtue’s the proof; Put forth thy utmost strength,

work every nerve. Addison.

The mariners all ‘gan work the ropes, Where they were wont to do.


7. To cause to ferment, as liquor. To work a passage (Naut.), to pay

for a passage by doing work.

 — To work double tides (Naut.), to perform the labor of three days

in two; — a phrase which alludes to a practice of working by the

night tide as well as by the day.

 — To work in, to insert, introduce, mingle, or interweave by labor

or skill.

 — To work into, to force, urge, or insinuate into; as, to work

one’s self into favor or confidence.

 — To work off, to remove gradually, as by labor, or a gradual

process; as, beer works off impurities in fermenting.

 — To work out. (a) To effect by labor and exertion. “Work out your

own salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil. ii. 12. (b) To erase;

to efface. [R.]

Tears of joy for your returning spilt, Work out and expiate our

former guilt. Dryden.

(c) To solve, as a problem. (d) To exhaust, as a mine, by working.

 — To work up. (a) To raise; to excite; to stir up; as, to work up

the passions to rage.

The sun, that rolls his chariot o’er their heads, Works up more fire

and color in their cheeks. Addison.

(b) To expend in any work, as materials; as, they have worked up all

the stock. (c) (Naut.) To make over or into something else, as yarns

drawn from old rigging, made into spun yarn, foxes, sennit, and the

like; also, to keep constantly at work upon needless matters, as a

crew in order to punish them. R. H. Dana, Jr.


Work”a*ble, a.

Defn: Capable of being worked, or worth working; as, a workable mine;

workable clay.


Work”a*day`, n.

Defn: See Workyday.


Work”bag`, n.

Defn: A bag for holding implements or materials for work; especially,

a reticule, or bag for holding needlework, and the like.


Work”bas`ket, n.

Defn: A basket for holding materials for needlework, or the like.


Work”bench`, n.

Defn: A bench on which work is performed, as in a carpenter’s shop.


Work”box`, n.

Defn: A box for holding instruments or materials for work.


Work”day`, n. & a. Etym: [AS. weorcdæg.]

Defn: A day on which work is performed, as distinguished from Sunday,

festivals, etc., a working day.


Work”er, n.

1. One who, or that which, works; a laborer; a performer; as, a

worker in brass.

Professors of holiness, but workers of iniquity. Shak.

2. (Zoöl.)

Defn: One of the neuter, or sterile, individuals of the social ants,

bees, and white ants. The workers are generally females having the

sexual organs imperfectly developed. See Ant, and White ant, under



Work”fel`low, n.

Defn: One engaged in the same work with another; a companion in work.


Work”folk`, n.

Defn: People that labor.


Work”ful, a.

Defn: Full of work; diligent. [R.]


Work”house`, n.; pl. Workhouses. Etym: [AS. weorch.]

1. A house where any manufacture is carried on; a workshop.

2. A house in which idle and vicious persons are confined to labor.

3. A house where the town poor are maintained at public expense, and

provided with labor; a poorhouse.



Defn: a & n. from Work.

The word must cousin be to the working. Chaucer.

Working beam. See Beam, n. 10.

 — Working class, the class of people who are engaged in manual

labor, or are dependent upon it for support; laborers; operatives; —

chiefly used in the plural.

 — Working day. See under Day, n.

 — Working drawing, a drawing, as of the whole or part of a

structure, machine, etc., made to a scale, and intended to be

followed by the workmen. Working drawings are either general or

detail drawings.

 — Working house, a house where work is performed; a workhouse.

 — Working point (Mach.), that part of a machine at which the effect

required; the point where the useful work is done.


Work”ing-day, a.

Defn: Pertaining to, or characteristic of, working days, or workdays;

everyday; hence, plodding; hard-working.

O, how full of briers in this working-day world. Shak.


Work”ing*man, n.; pl. Workingmen (.

Defn: A laboring man; a man who earns his daily support by manual



Work”less, a.

1. Without work; not laboring; as, many people were still workless.

2. Not carried out in practice; not exemplified in fact; as, workless

faith. [Obs.] Sir T. More.


Work”man, n.; pl. Workmen. Etym: [AS. weorcmann.]

1. A man employed in labor, whether in tillage or manufactures; a


2. Hence, especially, a skillful artificer or laborer.


Work”man*like`, a.

Defn: Becoming a workman, especially a skillful one; skillful; well



Work”man*ly, a.

Defn: Becoming a skillful workman; skillful; well performed;



Work”man*ly, adv.

Defn: In a skillful manner; in a manner becoming a skillful workman.



Work”man*ship, n.

1. The art or skill of a workman; the execution or manner of making


Due reward For her praiseworthy workmanship to yield. Spenser.

Beauty is nature’s brag, and must be shown . . . Where most may

wonder at the workmanship. Milton.

2. That which is effected, made, or produced; manufacture, something

made by manual labor.

Not any skilled in workmanship embossed. Spenser.

By how much Adam exceeded all men in perfection, by being the

immediate workmanship of God. Sir W. Raleigh.


Work”mas`ter, n.

Defn: The performer of any work; a master workman. [R.] Spenser.


Workmen’s compensation act. (Law)

Defn: A statute fixing the compensation that a workman may recover

from an employer in case of accident, esp. the British act of 6 Edw.

VII. c. 58 (1906) giving to a workman, except in certain cases of

“serious and willful misconduct,” a right against his employer to a

certain compensation on the mere occurrence of an accident where the

common law gives the right only for negligence of the employer.


Work”room`, n.

Defn: Any room or apartment used especially for labor.


Work”ship, n.

Defn: Workmanship. [R.]


Work”shop`, n.

Defn: A shop where any manufacture or handiwork is carried on.


Work”ta`ble, n.

Defn: A table for holding working materials and implements; esp., a

small table with drawers and other conveniences for needlework, etc.


Work”ways`, Work”wise`, adv.

Defn: In a working position or manner; as, a T rail placed workwise,

i.e., resting on its base.


Work”wom`an, n.; pl. Workwomen (, n.

Defn: A woman who performs any work; especially, a woman skilled in



Work”y*day`, n. Etym: [See Workday, Workingday.]

Defn: A week day or working day, as distinguished from Sunday or a

holiday. Also used adjectively. [Written also workiday, and

workaday.] [Obs. or Colloq.]

Prithee, tell her but a workyday fortune. Shak.


World, n. Etym: [OE. world, werld, weorld, weoreld, AS. weorold,

worold; akin to OS. werold, D. wereld, OHG. weralt, worolt, werolt,

werlt, G. welt, Icel. veröld, Sw. verld, Dan. verden; properly, the

age of man, lifetime, humanity; AS. wer a man + a word akin to E.

old; cf. AS. yld lifetime, age, ylde men, humanity. Cf. Werewolf,


1. The earth and the surrounding heavens; the creation; the system of

created things; existent creation; the universe.

The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are

clearly seen. Rom. 1. 20.

With desire to know, What nearer might concern him, how this world Of

heaven and earth conspicuous first began. Milton.

2. Any planet or heavenly body, especially when considered as

inhabited, and as the scene of interests analogous with human

interests; as, a plurality of worlds. “Lord of the worlds above.” I.


Amongst innumerable stars, that shone Star distant, but high-hand

seemed other worlds. Milton.

There may be other worlds, where the inhabitants have never violated

their allegiance to their almighty Sovereign. W. B. Sprague.

3. The earth and its inhabitants, with their concerns; the sum of

human affairs and interests.

That forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world,

and all our woe. Milton.

4. In a more restricted sense, that part of the earth and its

concerns which is known to any one, or contemplated by any one; a

division of the globe, or of its inhabitants; human affairs as seen

from a certain position, or from a given point of view; also, state

of existence; scene of life and action; as, the Old World; the New

World; the religious world; the Catholic world; the upper world; the

future world; the heathen world.

One of the greatest in the Christian world Shall be my surety. Shak.

Murmuring that now they must be put to make war beyond the world’s

end — for so they counted Britain. Milton.

5. The customs, practices, and interests of men; general affairs of

life; human society; public affairs and occupations; as, a knowledge

of the world.

Happy is she that from the world retires. Waller.

If knowledge of the world makes man perfidious, May Juba ever live in

ignorance. Addison.

6. Individual experience of, or concern with, life; course of life;

sum of the affairs which affect the individual; as, to begin the

world with no property; to lose all, and begin the world anew.

7. The inhabitants of the earth; the human race; people in general;

the public; mankind.

Since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that

the world can say against it. Shak.

Tell me, wench, how will the world repute me For undertaking so

unstaid a journey Shak.

8. The earth and its affairs as distinguished from heaven; concerns

of this life as distinguished from those of the life to come; the

present existence and its interests; hence, secular affairs;

engrossment or absorption in the affairs of this life; worldly

corruption; the ungodly or wicked part of mankind.

I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for

they are thine. John xvii. 9.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any

man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all

that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the

eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the

world. 1 John ii. 15, 16.

9. As an emblem of immensity, a great multitude or quantity; a large

number. “A world of men.” Chapman. “A world of blossoms for the bee.”


Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company. Shak.

A world of woes dispatched in little space. Dryden.

All . . . in the world, all that exists; all that is possible; as,

all the precaution in the world would not save him.

 — A world to see, a wonder to see; something admirable or

surprising to see. [Obs.]

O, you are novices; ‘t is a world to see How tame, when men and women

are alone, A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew. Shak.

— For all the world. (a) Precisely; exactly. (b) For any


 — Seven wonders of the world. See in the Dictionary of Noted Names

in Fiction.

 — To go to the world, to be married. [Obs.] “Thus goes every one to

the world but I . . . ; I may sit in a corner and cry heighho for a

husband!” Shak.

 — World’s end, the end, or most distant part, of the world; the

remotest regions.

 — World without end, eternally; forever; everlastingly; as if in a

state of existence having no end.

Throughout all ages, world without end. Eph. iii. 21.


World”li*ness, n.

Defn: The quality of being worldly; a predominant passion for

obtaining the good things of this life; covetousness; addictedness to

gain and temporal enjoyments; worldly-mindedness.


World”ling, Etym: [World + -ling.]

Defn: A person whose soul is set upon gaining temporal possessions;

one devoted to this world and its enjoyments.

A foutre for the world and worldlings base. Shak.

If we consider the expectations of futurity, the worldling gives up

the argument. Rogers.

And worldlings blot the temple’s gold. Keble.


World”ly, a. Etym: [AS. woroldlic.]

1. Relating to the world; human; common; as, worldly maxims; worldly

actions. “I thus neglecting worldly ends.” Shak.

Many years it hath continued, standing by no other worldly mean but

that one only hand which erected it. Hooker.

2. Pertaining to this world or life, in contradistinction from the

life to come; secular; temporal; devoted to this life and its

enjoyments; bent on gain; as, worldly pleasures, affections, honor,

lusts, men.

With his soul fled all my worldly solace. Shak.

3. Lay, as opposed to clerical. [Obs.] Chaucer.


World”ly, adv.

Defn: With relation to this life; in a worldly manner.

Subverting worldly strong and worldly wise By simply meek. Milton.


World”ly-mind`ed, a.

Defn: Devoted to worldly interests; mindful of the affairs of the

present life, and forgetful of those of the future; loving and

pursuing this world’s goods, to the exclusion of piety and attention

to spiritual concerns.

 — World”ly*mind`ed*ness, n.


World”ly*wise`, World”ly`-*wise`, a.

Defn: Wise in regard to things of this world. Bunyan.


World”-wide`, a.

Defn: Extended throughout the world; as, world-wide fame. Tennyson.


Worm (wûrm), n. Etym: [OE. worm, wurm, AS. wyrm; akin to D. worm, OS.

& G. wurm, Icel. ormr, Sw. & Dan. orm, Goth. waúrms, L. vermis, Gr.

Vermicelli, Vermilion, Vermin.]

1. A creeping or a crawling animal of any kind or size, as a serpent,

caterpillar, snail, or the like. [Archaic]

There came a viper out of the heat, and leapt on his hand. When the

men of the country saw the worm hang on his hand, they said, This man

must needs be a murderer. Tyndale (Acts xxviii. 3, 4).

‘T is slander, Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue

Outvenoms all the worms of Nile. Shak.

When Cerberus perceived us, the great worm, His mouth he opened and

displayed his tusks. Longfellow.

2. Any small creeping animal or reptile, either entirely without

feet, or with very short ones, including a great variety of animals;

as, an earthworm; the blindworm. Specifically: (Zoöl.)

(a) Any helminth; an entozoön.

(b) Any annelid.

(c) An insect larva. (d) pl.

Defn: Same as Vermes.

3. An internal tormentor; something that gnaws or afflicts one’s mind

with remorse.

The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul! Shak.

4. A being debased and despised.

I am a worm, and no man. Ps. xxii. 6.

5. Anything spiral, vermiculated, or resembling a worm; as:

(a) The thread of a screw.

The threads of screws, when bigger than can be made in screw plates,

are called worms. Moxon.

(b) A spiral instrument or screw, often like a double corkscrew, used

for drawing balls from firearms.

(c) (Anat.) A certain muscular band in the tongue of some animals, as

the dog; the lytta. See Lytta.

(d) The condensing tube of a still, often curved and wound to

economize space. See Illust. of Still.

(e) (Mach.) A short revolving screw, the threads of which drive, or

are driven by, a worm wheel by gearing into its teeth or cogs. See

Illust. of Worm gearing, below. Worm abscess (Med.), an abscess

produced by the irritation resulting from the lodgment of a worm in

some part of the body.

 — Worm fence. See under Fence.

 — Worm gear. (Mach.) (a) A worm wheel. (b) Worm gearing.

 — Worm gearing, gearing consisting of a worm and worm wheel working


 — Worm grass. (Bot.) (a) See Pinkroot, 2 (a). (b) The white

stonecrop (Sedum album) reputed to have qualities as a vermifuge. Dr.


 — Worm oil (Med.), an anthelmintic consisting of oil obtained from

the seeds of Chenopodium anthelminticum.

 — Worm powder (Med.), an anthelmintic powder.

 — Worm snake. (Zoöl.) See Thunder snake (b), under Thunder.

 — Worm tea (Med.), an anthelmintic tea or tisane.

 — Worm tincture (Med.), a tincture prepared from dried earthworms,

oil of tartar, spirit of wine, etc. [Obs.] — Worm wheel, a cogwheel

having teeth formed to fit into the spiral spaces of a screw called a

worm, so that the wheel may be turned by, or may turn, the worm; —

called also worm gear, and sometimes tangent wheel. See Illust. of

Worm gearing, above.


Worm, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wormed; p. pr. & vb. n. Worming.]

Defn: To work slowly, gradually, and secretly.

When debates and fretting jealousy Did worm and work within you more

and more, Your color faded. Herbert.


Worm, v. t.

1. To effect, remove, drive, draw, or the like, by slow and secret

means; — often followed by out.

They find themselves wormed out of all power. Swift.

They . . . wormed things out of me that I had no desire to tell.


2. To clean by means of a worm; to draw a wad or cartridge from, as a

firearm. See Worm, n. 5 (b).

3. To cut the worm, or lytta, from under the tongue of, as a dog, for

the purpose of checking a disposition to gnaw. The operation was

formerly supposed to guard against canine madness.

The men assisted the laird in his sporting parties, wormed his dogs,

and cut the ears of his terrier puppies. Sir W. Scott.

4. (Naut.)

Defn: To wind rope, yarn, or other material, spirally round, between

the strands of, as a cable; to wind with spun yarn, as a small rope.

Ropes . . . are generally wormed before they are served. Totten.

To worm one’s self into, to enter into gradually by arts and

insinuations; as, to worm one’s self into favor.


Wor”mal, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: See Wormil.


Worm”-eat`en, a.

1. Eaten, or eaten into, by a worm or by worms; as, worm-eaten


Concave as a covered goblet, or a worm-eaten nut. Shak.

2. Worn-out; old; worthless. [R.] Sir W. Raleigh.

 — Worm”-eat`en*ness, n. [R.] Dr. John Smith.


Wormed, a.

Defn: Penetrated by worms; injured by worms; worm-eaten; as, wormed



Worm”hole`, n.

Defn: A burrow made by a worm.


Wor”mi*an, a. (Anat.)

Defn: Discovered or described by Olanus Wormius, a Danish anatomist.

Wormian bones, small irregular plates of bone often interposed in the

sutures between the large cranial bones.


Wor”mil, n. Etym: [Cf. 1st Warble.]

1. (Zoöl.)

Defn: Any botfly larva which burrows in or beneath the skin of

domestic and wild animals, thus producing sores. They belong to

various species of Hypoderma and allied genera. Domestic cattle are

often infested by a large species. See Gadfly. Called also warble,

and worble. [Written also wormal, wormul, and wornil.]

2. (Far.)

Defn: See 1st Warble, 1 (b).


Worm”ling, n.

Defn: A little worm.

O dusty wormling! dost thou strive and stand With heaven’s high

monarch Sylvester.


Worm”seed`, n. (Bot.)

Defn: Any one of several plants, as Artemisia santonica, and

Chenopodium anthelminticum, whose seeds have the property of

expelling worms from the stomach and intestines. Wormseed mustard, a

slender, cruciferous plant (Erysinum cheiranthoides) having small

lanceolate leaves.


Worm”-shaped`, a.

Defn: Shaped like a worm; as, a worm-shaped root.


Worm”-shell`, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: Any species of Vermetus.


Wor”mul, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: See Wornil.


Worm”wood, n. Etym: [AS. werm, akin to OHG. wermuota, wormuota, G.

wermuth, wermut; of uncertain origin.]

1. (Bot.)

Defn: A composite plant (Artemisia Absinthium), having a bitter and

slightly aromatic taste, formerly used as a tonic and a vermifuge,

and to protect woolen garments from moths. It gives the peculiar

flavor to the cordial called absinthe. The volatile oil is a narcotic

poison. The term is often extended to other species of the same


2. Anything very bitter or grievous; bitterness.

Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood.

Deut. xxix. 18.

Roman wormwood (Bot.), an American weed (Ambrosia artemisiæfolia);


 — Tree wormwood (Bot.), a species of Artemisia (probably Artemisia

variabilis) with woody stems.

 — Wormwood hare (Zoöl.), a variety of the common hare (Lepus

timidus); — so named from its color.


Worm”y, a. [Compar. Wormier; superl. Wormiest.]

1. Containing a worm; abounding with worms. “Wormy beds.” Shak.

2. Like or pertaining to a worm; earthy; groveling.



Defn: p. p. of Wear. Worn land, land that has become exhausted by

tillage, or which for any reason has lost its fertility.


Wor”nil, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: See Wormil.


Worn”-out`, a.

Defn: Consumed, or rendered useless, by wearing; as, worn-out



Wor”ral, Wor”rel, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: An Egyptian fork-tongued lizard, about four feet long when full



Wor”ri*er, n.

Defn: One who worries.


Wor”ri*ment, n. Etym: [See Worry.]

Defn: Trouble; anxiety; worry. [Colloq. U. S.]


Wor”ri*some, a.

Defn: Inclined to worry or fret; also, causing worry or annoyance.


Wor”rit, v. t.

Defn: To worry; to annoy. [Illiterate]


Wor”rit, n.

Defn: Worry; anxiety. [Illiterate]


Wor”ry, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Worried; p. pr. & vb. n. Worrying.] Etym:

[OE. worowen, wirien, to strangle, AS. wyrgan in awyrgan; akin to D.

worgen, wurgen, to strangle, OHG. wurgen, G. würgen, Lith. verszti,

and perhaps to E. wring.]

1. To harass by pursuit and barking; to attack repeatedly; also, to

tear or mangle with the teeth.

A hellhound that doth hunt us all to death; That dog that had his

teeth before his eyes, To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood.


2. To harass or beset with importunity, or with care an anxiety; to

vex; to annoy; to torment; to tease; to fret; to trouble; to plague.

“A church worried with reformation.” South.

Let them rail, And worry one another at their pleasure. Rowe.

Worry him out till he gives consent. Swift.

3. To harass with labor; to fatigue. [Colloq.]


Wor”ry, v. i.

Defn: To feel or express undue care and anxiety; to manifest

disquietude or pain; to be fretful; to chafe; as, the child worries;

the horse worries.


Wor”ry, n.; pl. Worries (.

Defn: A state of undue solicitude; a state of disturbance from care

and anxiety; vexation; anxiety; fret; as, to be in a worry. “The whir

and worry of spindle and of loom.” Sir T. Browne.


Wor”ry*ing*ly, adv.

Defn: In a worrying manner.


Worse, a., compar. of Bad. Etym: [OE. werse, worse, wurse, AS.

wiersa, wyrsa, a comparative with no corresponding positive; akin to

OS. wirsa, OFries. wirra, OHG. wirsiro, Icel. verri, Sw. värre, Dan.

värre, Goth. waírsiza, and probably to OHG. werran to bring into

confusion, E. war, and L. verrere to sweep, sweep along. As bad has

no comparative and superlative, worse and worst are used in lieu of

them, although etymologically they have no relation to bad.]

Defn: Bad, ill, evil, or corrupt, in a greater degree; more bad or

evil; less good; specifically, in poorer health; more sick; — used

both in a physical and moral sense.

Or worse, if men worse can devise. Chaucer.

[She] was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. Mark v. 26.

Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse. 2 Tim. iii. 13.

There are men who seem to believe they are not bad while another can

be found worse. Rambler.

“But I love him.” “Love him Worse and worse.” Gay.


Worse, n.

1. Loss; disadvantage; defeat. “Judah was put to the worse before

Israel.” Kings xiv. 12.

2. That which is worse; something less good; as, think not the worse

of him for his enterprise.


Worse, adv. Etym: [AS. wiers, wyrs; akin to OS. & OHG. wirs, Icel.

verr, Goth, waírs; a comparative adverb with no corresponding

positive. See Worse, a.]

Defn: In a worse degree; in a manner more evil or bad.

Now will we deal worse with thee than with them. Gen. xix. 9.


Worse, v. t. Etym: [OE. wursien, AS. wyrsian to become worse.]

Defn: To make worse; to put disadvantage; to discomfit; to worst. See

Worst, v.

Weapons more violent, when next we meet, May serve to better us and

worse our foes. Milton.


Wors”en, v. t.

1. To make worse; to deteriorate; to impair.

It is apparent that, in the particular point of which we have been

conversing, their condition is greatly worsened. Southey.

2. To get the better of; to worst. [R.]


Wors”en, v. i.

Defn: To grow or become worse. De Quincey.

Indifferent health, which seemed rather to worsen than improve.



Wors”er, a.

Defn: Worse. [R.]

Thou dost deserve a worser end. Beau. & Fl.

From worser thoughts which make me do amiss. Bunyan.

A dreadful quiet felt, and, worser far Than arms, a sullen interval

of war. Dryden.

Note: This old and redundant form of the comparative occurs

occasionally in the best authors, although commonly accounted a

vulgarism. It has, at least, the analogy of lesser to sanction its

issue. See Lesser. “The experience of man’s worser nature, which

intercourse with ill-chosen associates, by choice or circumstance,

peculiarly teaches.” Hallam.


Wor”ship, n. Etym: [OE. worshipe, wuredhscipe, AS. weoredhscipe;

weoredh worth + -scipe -ship. See Worth, a., and -ship.]

1. Excellence of character; dignity; worth; worthiness. [Obs.] Shak.

A man of worship and honour. Chaucer.

Elfin, born of noble state, And muckle worship in his native land.


2. Honor; respect; civil deference. [Obs.]

Of which great worth and worship may be won. Spenser.

Then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat

with thee. Luke xiv. 10.

3. Hence, a title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates

and others of rank or station.

My father desires your worships’ company. Shak.

4. The act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; religious

reverence and homage; adoration, or acts of reverence, paid to God,

or a being viewed as God. “God with idols in their worship joined.”


The worship of God is an eminent part of religion, and prayer is a

chief part of religious worship. Tillotson.

5. Obsequious or submissive respect; extravagant admiration;


‘T is your inky brows, your black silk hair, Your bugle eyeballs, nor

your cheek of cream, That can my spirits to your worship. Shak.

6. An object of worship.

In attitude and aspect formed to be At once the artist’s worship and

despair. Longfellow.

Devil worship, Fire worship, Hero worship, etc. See under Devil,

Fire, Hero, etc.


Wor”ship, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Worshiped or Worshipped; p. pr. & vb.

n. Worshiping or Worshipping.]

1. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence. [Obsoles.]


Our grave . . . shall have a tongueless mouth, Not worshiped with a

waxen epitaph. Shak.

This holy image that is man God worshipeth. Foxe.

2. To pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and

veneration; to perform religious exercises in honor of; to adore; to


But God is to be worshiped. Shak.

When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones. Milton.

3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission, as a lover;

to adore; to idolize.

With bended knees I daily worship her. Carew.


 — To adore; revere; reverence; bow to; honor.


Wor”ship, v. i.

Defn: To perform acts of homage or adoration; esp., to perform

religious service.

Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem

is the place where men ought to worship. John iv. 20.

Was it for this I have loved . . . and worshiped in silence



Wor`ship*a*bil”i*ty, n.

Defn: The quality of being worthy to be worshiped. [R.] Coleridge.


Wor”ship*a*ble, a.

Defn: Capable of being worshiped; worthy of worship. [R.] Carlyle.


Wor”ship*er, n.

Defn: One who worships; one who pays divine honors to any being or

thing; one who adores. [Written also worshipper.]


Wor”ship*ful, a.

Defn: Entitled to worship, reverence, or high respect; claiming

respect; worthy of honor; — often used as a term of respect,

sometimes ironically. “This is worshipful society.” Shak.

[She is] so dear and worshipful. Chaucer.

— Wor”ship*ful*ly, adv.

 — Wor”ship*ful*ness, n.


Worst, a., superl. of Bad. Etym: [OE. werst, worste, wurste, AS.

wyrst, wierst, wierrest. See Worse, a.]

Defn: Bad, evil, or pernicious, in the highest degree, whether in a

physical or moral sense. See Worse. “Heard so oft in worst extremes.”


I have a wife, the worst that may be. Chaucer.

If thou hadst not been born the worst of men, Thou hadst been a knave

and flatterer. Shak.


Worst, n.

Defn: That which is most bad or evil; the most severe, pernicious,

calamitous, or wicked state or degree.

The worst is not So long as we can say, This is the worst. Shak.

He is always sure of finding diversion when the worst comes to the

worst. Addison.


Worst, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Worsted; p. pr. & vb. n. Worsting.]


[See Worse, v. t. & a.]

Defn: To gain advantage over, in contest or competition; to get the

better of; to defeat; to overthrow; to discomfit.

The . . . Philistines were worsted by the captivated ark. South.


Worst, v. i.

Defn: To grow worse; to deteriorate. [R.] “Every face . . .

worsting.” Jane Austen.


Worst”ed, n. Etym: [From Worsted, now spelled Worstead, a town in

Norfolk, England; for Worthstead. See Worth, n., and Stead.]

1. Well-twisted yarn spun of long-staple wool which has been combed

to lay the fibers parallel, used for carpets, cloth, hosiery, gloves,

and the like.

2. Fine and soft woolen yarn, untwisted or lightly twisted, used in

knitting and embroidery.


Wort, n. Etym: [OE. wort, wurt, AS. wyrt herb, root; akin to OS.

wurt, G. wurz, Icel. jurt, urt, Dan. urt, Sw. ört, Goth. waúrts a

root, L. radix, Gr. root, n. Cf. Licorice, Orchard, Radish, Root, n.,

Whortleberry, Wort an infusion of malt.]

1. (Bot.)

Defn: A plant of any kind.

Note: This word is now chiefly used in combination, as in colewort,

figwort, St. John’s-wort, woundwort, etc.

2. pl.

Defn: Cabbages.


Wort, n. Etym: [OE. worte, wurte, AS. wyrte; akin to OD. wort, G.

würze, bierwürze, Icel. virtr, Sw. vört. See Wort an herb.]

Defn: An infusion of malt which is unfermented, or is in the act of

fermentation; the sweet infusion of malt, which ferments and forms

beer; hence, any similar liquid in a state of incipient fermentation.

Note: Wort consists essentially of a dilute solution of sugar, which

by fermentation produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.


Worth, v. i. Etym: [OE. worthen, wurÞen, to become, AS. weorthan;

akin to OS. werthan, D. worden, G. werden, OHG. werdan, Icel. vertha,

Sw. varda, Goth. waírpan, L. vertere to turn, Skr. vrt, v. i., to

turn, to roll, to become. *143. Cf. Verse, -ward, Weird.]

Defn: To be; to become; to betide; — now used only in the phrases,

woe worth the day, woe worth the man, etc., in which the verb is in

the imperative, and the nouns day, man, etc., are in the dative. Woe

be to the day, woe be to the man, etc., are equivalent phrases.

I counsel . . . to let the cat worthe. Piers Plowman.

He worth upon

[got upon]

his steed gray. Chaucer.


Worth, a. Etym: [OE. worth, wurÞ, AS. weorth, wurE; akin to OFries.

werth, OS. werth, D. waard, OHG. werd, G. wert, werth, Icel. verthr,

Sw. värd, Dan. værd, Goth. waírps, and perhaps to E. wary. Cf.

Stalwart, Ware an article of merchandise, Worship.]

1. Valuable; of worthy; estimable; also, worth while. [Obs.]

It was not worth to make it wise. Chaucer.

2. Equal in value to; furnishing an equivalent for; proper to be

exchanged for.

A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats. Shak.

All our doings without charity are nothing worth. Bk. of Com. Prayer.

If your arguments produce no conviction, they are worth nothing to

me. Beattie.

3. Deserving of; — in a good or bad sense, but chiefly in a good


To reign is worth ambition, though in hell. Milton.

This is life indeed, life worth preserving. Addison.

4. Having possessions equal to; having wealth or estate to the value


At Geneva are merchants reckoned worth twenty hundred crowns.


Worth while, or Worth the while. See under While, n.


Worth, n. Etym: [OE. worth, wurÞ, AS. weorth, wurth; weorth, wurth,

adj. See Worth, a.]

1. That quality of a thing which renders it valuable or useful; sum

of valuable qualities which render anything useful and sought; value;

hence, often, value as expressed in a standard, as money; equivalent

in exchange; price.

What ‘s worth in anything But so much money as ‘t will bring


2. Value in respect of moral or personal qualities; excellence;

virtue; eminence; desert; merit; usefulness; as, a man or magistrate

of great worth.

To be of worth, and worthy estimation. Shak.

As none but she, who in that court did dwell, Could know such worth,

or worth describe so well. Waller.

To think how modest worth neglected lies. Shenstone.


 — Desert; merit; excellence; price; rate.


Worth”ful, a.

Defn: Full of worth; worthy; deserving. Marston.


Wor”thi*ly, adv.

Defn: In a worthy manner; excellently; deservedly; according to

merit; justly; suitably; becomingly.

You worthily succeed not only to the honors of your ancestors, but

also to their virtues. Dryden.

Some may very worthily deserve to be hated. South.


Wor”thi*ness, n.

Defn: The quality or state of being worthy; desert; merit;

excellence; dignity; virtue; worth.

Who is sure he hath a soul, unless It see, and judge, and follow

worthiness Donne.

She is not worthy to be loved that hath not some feeling of her own

worthiness. Sir P. Sidney.

The prayers which our Savior made were for his own worthiness

accepted. Hooker.


Worth”less, a. Etym: [AS. weorthleás.]

Defn: Destitute of worth; having no value, virtue, excellence,

dignity, or the like; undeserving; valueless; useless; vile; mean;

as, a worthless garment; a worthless ship; a worthless man or woman;

a worthless magistrate.

‘T is a worthless world to win or lose. Byron.

— Worth”less*ly, adv.

 — Worth”less*ness, n.


worthwhile, adj.

Defn: Worth the time or effort spent. See worth while. worthy.

 — worthwhileness.


Wor”thy, a. [Compar. Worthier (; superl. Worthiest.] Etym: [OE.

worthi, wurÞi, from worth, wurÞ, n.; cf. Icel. verthugr, D. waardig,

G. würdig, OHG. wirdig. See Worth, n.]

1. Having worth or excellence; possessing merit; valuable; deserving;

estimable; excellent; virtuous.

Full worthy was he in his lordes war. Chaucer.

These banished men that I have kept withal Are men endued with worthy

qualities. Shak.

Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be. Milton.

This worthy mind should worthy things embrace. Sir J. Davies.

2. Having suitable, adapted, or equivalent qualities or value; —

usually with of before the thing compared or the object; more rarely,

with a following infinitive instead of of, or with that; as, worthy

of, equal in excellence, value, or dignity to; entitled to; meriting;

— usually in a good sense, but sometimes in a bad one.

No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway. Shak.

The merciless Macdonwald, Worthy to be a rebel. Shak.

Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. Matt. iii. 11.

And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know More happiness.


The lodging is well worthy of the guest. Dryden.

3. Of high station; of high social position. [Obs.]

Worthy women of the town. Chaucer.

Worthiest of blood (Eng. Law of Descent), most worthy of those of the

same blood to succeed or inherit; — applied to males, and expressive

of the preference given them over females. Burrill.


Wor”thy, n.; pl. Worthies (.

Defn: A man of eminent worth or value; one distinguished for useful

and estimable qualities; a person of conspicuous desert; — much used

in the plural; as, the worthies of the church; political worthies;

military worthies.

The blood of ancient worthies in his veins. Cowper.


Wor”thy, v. t.

Defn: To render worthy; to exalt into a hero. [Obs.] Shak.



Defn: 2d pers. sing. pres. of Wit, to know. [Obs.] Spenser.



Defn: 1st & 3d pers. sing. pres. of Wit, to know. See the Note under

Wit, v. [Obs.]

Brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it. Acts iii. 17.


Wot”est, Wot”test,

Defn: 2d pers. sing. pres. of Wit, to know. [Obs.]


Wot”eth, Wot”teth,

Defn: 3d pers. sing. pres. of Wit, to know. [Obs.] “He wotteth

neither what he babbleth, nor what he meaneth.” Tyndale.


Woul, v. i.

Defn: To howl. [Obs.] Wyclif.


Would, imp. of Will. Etym: [OE. & AS. wolde. See Will, v. t.]

Defn: Commonly used as an auxiliary verb, either in the past tense or

in the conditional or optative present. See 2d & 3d Will.

Note: Would was formerly used also as the past participle of Will.

Right as our Lord hath would. Chaucer.


Would, n.

Defn: See 2d Weld.



Defn: ‘ (as, a would-be poet.


Would”ing, n.

Defn: Emotion of desire; inclination; velleity. [Obs.] Hammond.


Would”ing*ness, n.

Defn: Willingness; desire. [Obs.]


Woulfe” bot`tle, n. (Chem.)

Defn: A kind of wash bottle with two or three necks; — so called

after the inventor, Peter Woulfe, an English chemist.



Defn: imp. & p. p. of Wind to twist, and Wind to sound by blowing.


Wound, n. Etym: [OE. wounde, wunde, AS. wund; akin to OFries. wunde,

OS. wunda, D. wonde, OHG. wunta, G. wunde, Icel. und, and to AS.,

OS., & G. wund sore, wounded, OHG. wunt, Goth. wunds, and perhaps

also to Goth. winnan to suffer, E. win. *140. Cf. Zounds.]

1. A hurt or injury caused by violence; specifically, a breach of the

skin and flesh of an animal, or in the substance of any creature or

living thing; a cut, stab, rent, or the like. Chaucer.

Showers of blood Rained from the wounds of slaughtered Englishmen.


2. Fig.: An injury, hurt, damage, detriment, or the like, to feeling,

faculty, reputation, etc.

3. (Criminal Law)

Defn: An injury to the person by which the skin is divided, or its

continuity broken; a lesion of the body, involving some solution of


Note: Walker condemns the pronunciation woond as a “capricious

novelty.” It is certainly opposed to an important principle of our

language, namely, that the Old English long sound written ou, and

pronounced like French ou or modern English oo, has regularly

changed, when accented, into the diphthongal sound usually written

with the same letters ou in modern English, as in ground, hound,

round, sound. The use of ou in Old English to represent the sound of

modern English oo was borrowed from the French, and replaced the

older and Anglo-Saxon spelling with u. It makes no difference whether

the word was taken from the French or not, provided it is old enough

in English to have suffered this change to what is now the common

sound of ou; but words taken from the French at a later time, or

influenced by French, may have the French sound. Wound gall (Zoöl.),

an elongated swollen or tuberous gall on the branches of the

grapevine, caused by a small reddish brown weevil (Ampeloglypter

sesostris) whose larvæ inhabit the galls.


Wound, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Wounded; p. pr. & vb. n. Wounding.]


[AS. wundian. *140. See Wound, n.]

1. To hurt by violence; to produce a breach, or separation of parts,

in, as by a cut, stab, blow, or the like.

The archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 1 Sam.

xxxi. 3.

2. To hurt the feelings of; to pain by disrespect, ingratitude, or

the like; to cause injury to.

When ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience,

ye sin against Christ. 1 Cor. viii. 12.


Wound”a*ble, a.

Defn: Capable of being wounded; vulnerable. [R.] Fuller.


Wound”er, n.

Defn: One who, or that which, wounds.


Wound”i*ly, adv.

Defn: In a woundy manner; excessively; woundy. [Obs.]


Wound”less, a.

Defn: Free from wound or hurt; exempt from being wounded;

invulnerable. “Knights whose woundless armor rusts.” Spenser.

[Slander] may miss our name, And hit the woundless air. Shak.


Wound”wort`, n. (Bot.)

Defn: Any one of certain plants whose soft, downy leaves have been

used for dressing wounds, as the kidney vetch, and several species of

the labiate genus Stachys.


Wound”y, a.

Defn: Excessive. [Obs.]

Such a world of holidays, that ‘t a woundy hindrance to a poor man

that lives by his labor. L’Estrange.


Wound”y, adv.

Defn: Excessively; extremely. [Obs.]

A am woundy cold. Ford.


Wou”ra*li, n.

Defn: Same as Curare.


Wou”-wou`, n. Etym: [So called from its cry.] (Zoöl.)

Defn: The agile, or silvery, gibbon; — called also camper. See

Gibbon. [Written also wow-wow.]



Defn: p. pr. & rare vb. n. of Weave.



Defn: p. p. of Weave. Woven paper, or Wove paper, writing paper

having an even, uniform surface, without watermarks.


Wowe, v. t. & i.

Defn: To woo. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wowf, a.

Defn: Disordered or unsettled in intellect; deranged. [Scot.] Sir W.



Wowke, n.

Defn: Week. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wow”-wow”, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: See Wou-wou.


Wox, obs.

Defn: imp. of Wax. Gower.


Wox”en, obs.

Defn: p. p. of Wax. Chaucer.


Wrack, n.

Defn: A thin, flying cloud; a rack.


Wrack, v. t.

Defn: To rack; to torment. [R.]


Wrack, n. Etym: [OE. wrak wreck. See Wreck.]

1. Wreck; ruin; destruction. [Obs.] Chaucer. “A world devote to

universal wrack.” Milton.

wrack and ruin

2. Any marine vegetation cast up on the shore, especially plants of

the genera Fucus, Laminaria, and Zostera, which are most abundant on

northern shores.

3. (Bot.)

Defn: Coarse seaweed of any kind. Wrack grass, or Grass wrack (Bot.),



Wrack, v. t.

Defn: To wreck. [Obs.] Dryden.


Wrack”ful, a.

Defn: Ruinous; destructive. [Obs.]


Wrain”-bolt`, n.

Defn: Same as Wringbolt.


Wraith, n. Etym: [Scot. wraith, warth; probably originally, a

guardian angel, from Icel. vörthr a warden, guardian, akin to E.

ward. See Ward a guard.]

1. An apparition of a person in his exact likeness, seen before

death, or a little after; hence, an apparition; a specter; a vision;

an unreal image. [Scot.]

She was uncertain if it were the gypsy or her wraith. Sir W. Scott.

O, hollow wraith of dying fame. Tennyson.

2. Sometimes, improperly, a spirit thought to preside over the

waters; — called also water wraith. M. G. Lewis.


Wran”gle, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wrangled; p. pr. & vb. n. Wrangling.]

Etym: [OE. wranglen to wrestle. See Wrong, Wring.]

1. To argue; to debate; to dispute. [Obs.]

2. To dispute angrily; to quarrel peevishly and noisily; to brawl; to

altercate. “In spite of occasional wranglings.” Macaulay.

For a score of kingdoms you should wrangle. Shak.

He did not know what it was to wrangle on indifferent points.



Wran”gle, v. t.

Defn: To involve in a quarrel or dispute; to embroil. [R.] Bp.



Wran”gle, n.

Defn: An angry dispute; a noisy quarrel; a squabble; an altercation.


 — Altercation; bickering; brawl; jar; jangle; contest; controversy.

See Altercation.


Wran”gler, n.

1. An angry disputant; one who disputes with heat or peevishness.

“Noisy and contentious wranglers.” I. Watts.

2. One of those who stand in the first rank of honors in the

University of Cambridge, England. They are called, according to their

rank, senior wrangler, second wrangler, third wrangler, etc. Cf.



Wran”gler*ship, n.

Defn: The honor or position of being a wrangler at the University of

Cambridge, England.


Wran”gle*some, a.

Defn: Contentious; quarrelsome. [Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.


Wran”nock, Wran”ny, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: The common wren. [Prov. Eng.]


Wrap, v. t. Etym: [A corrupt spelling of rap.]

Defn: To snatch up; transport; — chiefly used in the p. p. wrapt.

Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves. Beattie.


Wrap, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wrapped or Wrapt; p. pr. & vb. n.

Wrapping.] Etym: [OE. wrappen, probably akin to E. warp. *144. Cf.


1. To wind or fold together; to arrange in folds.

Then cometh Simon Peter, . . . and seeth . . . the napkin that was

about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped

together in a place by itself. John xx. 6, 7.

Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down

to pleasant dreams. Bryant.

2. To cover by winding or folding; to envelop completely; to involve;

to infold; — often with up.

I . . . wrapt in mist Of midnight vapor, glide obscure. Milton.

3. To conceal by enveloping or infolding; to hide; hence, to involve,

as an effect or consequence; to be followed by.

Wise poets that wrap truth in tales. Carew.

To be wrapped up in, to be wholly engrossed in; to be entirely

dependent on; to be covered with.

Leontine’s young wife, in whom all his happiness was wrapped up, died

in a few days after the death of her daughter. Addison.

Things reflected on in gross and transiently . . . are thought to be

wrapped up in impenetrable obscurity. Locke.


Wrap, n.

Defn: A wrapper; — often used in the plural for blankets, furs,

shawls, etc., used in riding or traveling.


Wrap”page (; 48), n.

1. The act of wrapping.

2. That which wraps; envelope; covering.


Wrap”per, n.

1. One who, or that which, wraps.

2. That in which anything is wrapped, or inclosed; envelope;


3. Specifically, a loose outer garment; an article of dress intended

to be wrapped round the person; as, a morning wrapper; a gentleman’s



Wrap”ras`cal, n.

Defn: A kind of coarse upper coat, or overcoat, formerly worn.


Wrasse, n. Etym: [W. gwrachen.] (Zoöl.)

Defn: Any one of numerous edible, marine, spiny-finned fishes of the

genus Labrus, of which several species are found in the Mediterranean

and on the Atlantic coast of Europe. Many of the species are bright-


Note: Among the European species are the ballan wrasse (Labrus

maculatus), the streaked wrasse (L. lineatus), the red wrasse (L.

mixtus), the comber wrasse (L. comber), the blue-striped, or cook,

wrasse (see Peacock fish, under Peacock), the rainbow wrasse (L.

vulgaris), and the seawife.


Wras”tle, v. i. Etym: [OE. wrastlen. See Wrestle.]

Defn: To wrestle. [Obs. or Prov. Eng. & Colloq. U.S.]

Who wrastleth best naked, with oil enoint. Chaucer.


Wrath, n. Etym: [OE. wrathe, wraÞ\’ede, wrethe, wræ\’ebthe, AS.

wræ\’ebtho, fr. wra\’eb wroth; akin to Icel. reithi wrath. See Wroth,


1. Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; rage; fury;


Wrath is a fire, and jealousy a weed. Spenser.

When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased. Esther ii. 1.

Now smoking and frothing Its tumult and wrath in. Southey.

2. The effects of anger or indignation; the just punishment of an

offense or a crime. “A revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth

evil.” Rom. xiii. 4.


 — Anger; fury; rage; ire; vengeance; indignation; resentment;

passion. See Anger.


Wrath, a.

Defn: See Wroth. [Obs.]


Wrath, v. t.

Defn: To anger; to enrage; — also used impersonally. [Obs.] “I will

not wrathen him.” Chaucer.

If him wratheth, be ywar and his way shun. Piers Plowman.


Wrath”ful, a.

1. Full of wrath; very angry; greatly incensed; ireful; passionate;

as, a wrathful man.

2. Springing from, or expressing, wrath; as, a wrathful countenance.

“Wrathful passions.” Sprat.


 — Furious; raging; indignant; resentful.

 — Wrath”ful*ly, adv.

 — Wrath”ful*ness, n.


Wrath”i*ly, adv.

Defn: In a wrathy manner; very angrily; wrathfully. [Colloq.]


Wrath”less, a.

Defn: Free from anger or wrath. Waller.


Wrath”y, a.

Defn: Very angry. [Colloq.]


Wraw, a. Etym: [Cf. dial. Sw. vrå willful, disobedient.]

Defn: Angry; vexed; wrathful. [Obs.]

With this speech the cock wex wroth and wraw. Chaucer.


Wraw”ful, a.

Defn: Ill-tempered. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wrawl, v. i. Etym: [Cf. Dan. vraale, Sw. vråla to brawl, to roar,

Dan. vraal a bawling, roaring, vræle to cry, weep, whine.]

Defn: To cry, as a cat; to waul. [Obs.] Spenser.


Wraw”ness, n.

Defn: Peevishness; ill temper; anger. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wray, v. t. Etym: [AS. wr to accuse. See Bewray.]

Defn: To reveal; to disclose. [Obs.]

To no wight thou shalt this counsel wray. Chaucer.


Wreak, v. i.

Defn: To reck; to care. [Obs.] Shak.


Wreak, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Wreaked; p. pr. & vb. n. Wreaking.]


[OE. wrek to revenge, punish, drive out, AS. wrecan; akin to OFries.

wreka, OS. wrekan to punish, D. wreken to avenge, G. rächen, OHG.

rehhan, Icel. reka to drive, to take vengeance, Goth. wrikan to

persecute, Lith. vargas distress, vargti to suffer distress, L.

urgere to drive, urge, Gr. Urge, Wreck, Wretch.]

1. To revenge; to avenge. [Archaic]

He should wreake him on his foes. Chaucer.

Another’s wrongs to wreak upon thyself. Spenser.

Come wreak his loss, whom bootless ye complain. Fairfax.

2. To execute in vengeance or passion; to inflict; to hurl or drive;

as, to wreak vengeance on an enemy.

On me let Death wreak all his rage. Milton.

Now was the time to be avenged on his old enemy, to wreak a grudge of

seventeen years. Macaulay.

But gather all thy powers, And wreak them on the verse that thou dost

weave. Bryant.


Wreak, n. Etym: [Cf. AS. wræc exile, persecution, misery. See Wreak,

v. t.]

Defn: Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment. [Obs.] Shak.



Wreak”en, obs.

Defn: p. p. of Wreak. Chaucer.


Wreak”er, n. Etym: [See Wreak.]

Defn: Avenger. [Obs.]

The stork, the wrekere of avouterye [adultery]. Chaucer.


Wreak”ful, a.

Defn: Revengeful; angry; furious. [Obs.] — Wreak”ful*ly, adv. [Obs.]


Wreak”less, a.

Defn: Unrevengeful; weak. [Obs.]


Wreath, n.; pl. Wreaths. Etym: [OE. wrethe, AS. wræedh a twisted

band, fr. wriedhan to twist. See Writhe.]

1. Something twisted, intertwined, or curled; as, a wreath of smoke;

a wreath of flowers. “A wrethe of gold.” Chaucer.

[He] of his tortuous train Curled many a wanton wreath. Milton.

2. A garland; a chaplet, esp. one given to a victor.

Conquest doth grant He dear wreath to the Grecian combatant. Chapman.

Far back in the ages, The plow with wreaths was crowned. Bryant.

3. (Her.)

Defn: An appendage to the shield, placed above it, and supporting the

crest (see Illust. of Crest). It generally represents a twist of two

cords of silk, one tinctured like the principal metal, the other like

the principal color in the arms.


Wreathe, v. t. [imp. Wreathed; p. p. Wreathed; Archaic Wreathen; p.

pr. & vb. n. Wreathing.] Etym: [See Wreath, n.] [Written also


1. To cause to revolve or writhe; to twist about; to turn. [Obs.]

And from so heavy sight his head did wreathe. Spenser.

2. To twist; to convolve; to wind one about another; to entwine.

The nods and smiles of recognition into which this singular

physiognomy was wreathed. Sir W. Scott.

From his slack hand the garland wreathed for Eve Down dropped.


3. To surround with anything twisted or convolved; to encircle; to


Each wreathed in the other’s arms. Shak.

Dusk faces with withe silken turbants wreathed. Milton.

And with thy winding ivy wreathes her lance. Dryden.

4. To twine or twist about; to surround; to encircle.

In the flowers that wreathe the sparkling bowl, Fell adders hiss.



Wreathe, v. i.

Defn: To be intewoven or entwined; to twine together; as, a bower of

wreathing trees. Dryden.


Wreath”en, a.

Defn: Twisted; made into a wreath. “Wreathen work of pure gold.” Ex.

xxviii. 22.


Wreath”less, a.

Defn: Destitute of a wreath.


Wreath”-shell`, n. (Zoöl.)

Defn: A marine shell of the genus Turbo. See Turbo.


Wreath”y, a.

Defn: Wreathed; twisted; curled; spiral; also, full of wreaths.

“Wreathy spires, and cochleary turnings about.” Sir T. Browne.


Wrec”che, n.

Defn: A wretch. [Obs.]


Wrec”che, a.

Defn: Wretched. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wreche, n.

Defn: Wreak. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wreck, v. t. & n.

Defn: See 2d & 3d Wreak.


Wreck, n. Etym: [OE. wrak, AS. wræc exile, persecution, misery, from

wrecan to drive out, punish; akin to D. wrak, adj., damaged, brittle,

n., a wreck, wraken to reject, throw off, Icel. rek a thing drifted

ashore, Sw. vrak refuse, a wreck, Dan. vrag. See Wreak, v. t., and

cf. Wrack a marine plant.] [Written also wrack.]

1. The destruction or injury of a vessel by being cast on shore, or

on rocks, or by being disabled or sunk by the force of winds or

waves; shipwreck.

Hard and obstinate As is a rock amidst the raging floods, ‘Gainst

which a ship, of succor desolate, Doth suffer wreck, both of herself

and goods. Spenser.

2. Destruction or injury of anything, especially by violence; ruin;

as, the wreck of a railroad train.

The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds. Addison.

Its intellectual life was thus able to go on amidst the wreck of its

political life. J. R. Green.

3. The ruins of a ship stranded; a ship dashed against rocks or land,

and broken, or otherwise rendered useless, by violence and fracture;

as, they burned the wreck.

4. The remain of anything ruined or fatally injured.

To the fair haven of my native home, The wreck of what I was,

fatigued I come. Cowper.

5. (Law)

Defn: Goods, etc., which, after a shipwreck, are cast upon the land

by the sea. Bouvier.


Wreck, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Wrecked; p. pr. & vb. n. Wrecking.]

1. To destroy, disable, or seriously damage, as a vessel, by driving

it against the shore or on rocks, by causing it to become

unseaworthy, to founder, or the like; to shipwreck.

Supposing that they saw the king’s ship wrecked. Shak.

2. To bring wreck or ruin upon by any kind of violence; to destroy,

as a railroad train.

3. To involve in a wreck; hence, to cause to suffer ruin; to balk of

success, and bring disaster on.

Weak and envied, if they should conspire, They wreck themselves.



Wreck, v. i.

1. To suffer wreck or ruin. Milton.

2. To work upon a wreck, as in saving property or lives, or in



Wreck”age (; 48), n.

1. The act of wrecking, or state of being wrecked.

2. That which has been wrecked; remains of a wreck.


Wreck”er, n.

1. One who causes a wreck, as by false lights, and the like.

2. One who searches fro, or works upon, the wrecks of vessels, etc.

Specifically: (a) One who visits a wreck for the purpose of plunder.

(b) One who is employed in saving property or lives from a wrecked

vessel, or in saving the vessel; as, the wreckers of Key West.

3. A vessel employed by wreckers.


Wreck”fish`, n. Etym: [So called because it often comes in with

wreckage.] (Zoöl.)

Defn: A stone bass.


Wreck”ful, a.

Defn: Causing wreck; involving ruin; destructive. “By wreckful wind.”




Defn: a. & n. from Wreck, v. Wrecking car (Railway), a car fitted up

with apparatus and implements for removing the wreck occasioned by an

accident, as by a collision.

 — Wrecking pump, a pump especially adapted for pumping water from

the hull of a wrecked vessel.


Wreck”-mas`ter, n.

Defn: A person appointed by law to take charge of goods, etc., thrown

on shore after a shipwreck.


Wreke, Wreeke, v. t.

Defn: See 2d Wreak. [Obs.]


Wren, n. Etym: [OE. wrenne, AS. wrenna, wrænna, perhaps akin to wr


1. (Zoöl.)

Defn: Any one of numerous species of small singing birds belonging to

Troglodytes and numerous allied of the family Troglodytidæ.

Note: Among the species best known are the house wren (Troglodytes

aëdon) common in both Europe and America, and the American winter

wren (T. hiemalis). See also Cactus wren, Marsh wren, and Rock wren,

under Cactus, Marsh, and Rock.

2. (Zoöl.)

Defn: Any one of numerous species of small singing birds more or less

resembling the true wrens in size and habits.

Note: Among these are several species of European warblers; as, the

reed wren (see Reed warbler (a), under Reed), the sedge wren (see

Sedge warbler, under Sedge), the willow wren (see Willow warbler,

under Willow), the golden-crested wren, and the ruby-crowned wren

(see Kinglet). Ant wren, any one of numerous South American birds of

the family Formicaridæ, allied to the ant thrushes.

 — Blue wren, a small Australian singing bird (Malurus cyaneus), the

male of which in the breeding season is bright blue. Called also

superb warbler.

 — Emu wren. See in the Vocabulary.

 — Wren babbler, any one of numerous species of small timaline birds

belonging to Alcippe, Stachyris, Timalia, and several allied genera.

These birds are common in Southern Asia and the East Indies.

 — Wren tit. See Ground wren, under Ground.

 — Wren warbler, any one of several species of small Asiatic and

African singing birds belonging to Prinia and allied genera. These

birds are closely allied to the tailor birds, and build their nests

in a similar manner. See also Pincpinc.


Wrench, n. Etym: [OE. wrench deceit, AS. wrenc deceit, a twisting;

akin to G. rank intrigue, crookedness, renken to bend, twist, and E.

wring. Wring, and cf. Ranch, v. t.]

1. Trick; deceit; fraud; stratagem. [Obs.]

His wily wrenches thou ne mayst not flee. Chaucer.

2. A violent twist, or a pull with twisting.

He wringeth them such a wrench. Skelton.

The injurious effect upon biographic literature of all such wrenches

to the truth, is diffused everywhere. De Quincey.

3. A sprain; an injury by twisting, as in a joint.

4. Means; contrivance. [Obs.] Bacon.

5. An instrument, often a simple bar or lever with jaws or an angular

orifice either at the end or between the ends, for exerting a

twisting strain, as in turning bolts, nuts, screw taps, etc.; a screw

key. Many wrenches have adjustable jaws for grasping nuts, etc., of

different sizes.

6. (Mech.)

Defn: The system made up of a force and a couple of forces in a plane

perpendicular to that force. Any number of forces acting at any

points upon a rigid body may be compounded so as to be equivalent to

a wrench. Carriage wrench, a wrench adapted for removing or

tightening the nuts that confine the wheels on the axles, or for

turning the other nuts or bolts of a carriage or wagon.

 — Monkey wrench. See under Monkey.

 — Wrench hammer, a wrench with the end shaped so as to admit of

being used as a hammer.


Wrench, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Wrenched; p. pr. & vb. n. Wrenching.]

Etym: [OE. wrenchen, AS. wrencan to deceive, properly, to twist, from

wrenc guile, deceit, a twisting. Wrench, n.]

1. To pull with a twist; to wrest, twist, or force by violence.

Wrench his sword from him. Shak.

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched With a woeful agony.


2. To strain; to sprain; hence, to distort; to pervert.

You wrenched your foot against a stone. Swift.


Wrest, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Wrested; p. pr. & vb. n. Wresting.]


[OE. wresten, AS. wr; akin to wr a twisted band, and wri to twist.

See Writhe.]

1. To turn; to twist; esp., to twist or extort by violence; to pull

of force away by, or as if by, violent wringing or twisting. “The

secret wrested from me.” Milton.

Our country’s cause, That drew our swords, now secret wrests them

from our hand. Addison.

They instantly wrested the government out of the hands of Hastings.


2. To turn from truth; to twist from its natural or proper use or

meaning by violence; to pervert; to distort.

Wrest once the law to your authority. Shak.

Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor. Ex. xxiii. 6.

Their arts of wresting, corrupting, and false interpreting the holy

text. South.

3. To tune with a wrest, or key. [Obs.]


Wrest, n.

1. The act of wresting; a wrench; a violent twist; hence, distortion;

perversion. Hooker.

2. Active or moving power. [Obs.] Spenser.

3. A key to tune a stringed instrument of music.

The minstrel . . . wore round his neck a silver chain, by which hung

the wrest, or key, with which he tuned his harp. Sir W. Scott.

4. A partition in a water wheel, by which the form of the buckets is

determined. Wrest pin (Piano Manuf.), one of the pins around which

the ends of the wires are wound in a piano. Knight.

 — Wrest plank (Piano Manuf.), the part in which the wrest pins are



Wrest”er, n.

Defn: One who wrests.


Wres”tle, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wrestled; p. pr. & vb. n. Wrestling.]

Etym: [OE. wrestlen, wrastlen, AS. wr, freq. of wr to wrest; akin to

OD. wrastelen to wrestle. See Wrest, v. t.]

1. To contend, by grappling with, and striving to trip or throw down,

an opponent; as, they wrestled skillfully.

To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit, and he that escapes me

without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Shak.

Another, by a fall in wrestling, started the end of the clavicle from

the sternum. Wiseman.

2. Hence, to struggle; to strive earnestly; to contend.

Come, wrestle with thy affections. Shak.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Eph. vi. 12.

Difficulties with which he had himself wrestled. M. Arnold.


Wres”tle, v. t.

Defn: To wrestle with; to seek to throw down as in wrestling.


Wres”tle, n.

Defn: A struggle between two persons to see which will throw the

other down; a bout at wrestling; a wrestling match; a struggle.

Whom in a wrestle the giant catching aloft, with a terrible hug broke

three of his ribs. Milton.


Wres”tler, n. Etym: [AS. wræstlere.]

Defn: One who wrestles; one who is skillful in wrestling.


Wres”tling, n.

Defn: Act of one who wrestles; specif., the sport consisting of the

hand-to-hand combat between two unarmed contestants who seek to throw

each other. The various styles of wrestling differ in their

definition of a fall and in the governing rules. In Greco-Roman

wrestling, tripping and taking hold of the legs are forbidden, and a

fall is gained (that is, the bout is won), by the contestant who pins

both his opponent’s shoulders to the ground. In catch-as-catch-can

wrestling, all holds are permitted except such as may be barred by

mutual consent, and a fall is defined as in Greco-Roman style.

Lancashire style wrestling is essentially the same as catch-as-catch-

can. In Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling the contestants stand

chest to chest, grasping each other around the body. The one first

losing his hold, or touching the ground with any part of his body

except his feet, loses the bout. If both fall to the ground at the

same time, it is a dogfall, and must be wrestled over. In the

Cornwall and Devon wrestling, the wrestlers complete in strong loose

linen jackets, catching hold of the jacket, or anywhere above the

waist. Two shoulders and one hip, or two hips and one shoulder, must

touch the ground to constitute a fall, and if a man is thrown

otherwise than on his back the contestants get upon their feet and

the bout recommences.


Wretch, n. Etym: [OE. wrecche, AS. wrecca, wræcca, an exile, a

wretch, fr. wrecan to drive out, punish; properly, an exile, one

driven out, akin to AS. wræc an exile, OS. wrekkio a stranger, OHG.

reccheo an exile. See Wreak, v. t.]

1. A miserable person; one profoundly unhappy. “The wretch that lies

in woe.” Shak.

Hovered thy spirit o’er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life’s

journey just begun Cowper.

2. One sunk in vice or degradation; a base, despicable person; a vile

knave; as, a profligate wretch.

Note: Wretch is sometimes used by way of slight or ironical pity or

contempt, and sometimes to express tenderness; as we say, poor thing.

“Poor wretch was never frighted so.” Drayton.


Wretch”ed, a.

1. Very miserable; sunk in, or accompanied by, deep affliction or

distress, as from want, anxiety, or grief; calamitous; woeful; very

afflicting. “To what wretched state reserved!” Milton.

O cruel! Death! to those you are more kind Than to the wretched

mortals left behind. Waller.

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore . . .

2. Worthless; paltry; very poor or mean; miserable; as, a wretched

poem; a wretched cabin.

3. Hatefully contemptible; despicable; wicked. [Obs.] “Wretched

ungratefulness.” Sir P. Sidney.

Nero reigned after this Claudius, of all men wretchedest, ready to

all manner [of] vices. Capgrave.


Wretch”ed*ly, adv.

Defn: In a wretched manner; miserably; despicable.


Wretch”ed*ness, n.

1. The quality or state of being wretched; utter misery. Sir W.


2. A wretched object; anything despicably. [Obs.]

Eat worms and such wretchedness. Chaucer.


Wretch”ful, a.

Defn: Wretched. [Obs.] Wyclif.


Wretch”less, a. Etym: [See Reckless.]

Defn: Reckless; hence, disregarded. [Obs.] — Wretch”less*ly, adv.

[Obs.] — Wretch”less*ness, n. [Obs.] Bk. of Com. Prayer.

Your deaf ears should listen Unto the wretchless clamors of the poor.

J. Webster.


Wrey, v. t.

Defn: See Wray. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wrie, a. & v.

Defn: See Wry. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Wrig, v. i.

Defn: To wriggle. [Obs.] Skelton.


Wrig”gle, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wriggled; p. pr. & vb. n. Wriggling.]

Etym: [Freq. of wrig, probably from OE. wrikken to move to and fro;

cf. LG. wriggeln, D. wrikken, Sw. vricka, Dan. vrikke.]

Defn: To move the body to and fro with short, writhing motions, like

a worm; to squirm; to twist uneasily or quickly about.

Both he and successors would often wriggle in their seats, as long as

the cushion lasted. Swift.


Wrig”gle, v. t.

Defn: To move with short, quick contortions; to move by twisting and

squirming; like a worm.

Covetousness will wriggle itself out at a small hole. Fuller.

Wriggling his body to recover His seat, and cast his right leg over.



Wrig”gle, a.

Defn: Wriggling; frisky; pliant; flexible. [Obs.] “Their wriggle

tails.” Spenser.


Wrig”gler, n.

Defn: One who, or that which, wriggles. Cowper.


Wright, n. Etym: [OE. wrighte, writhe, AS. wyrtha, fr. wyrcean to

work. sq. root145. See Work.]

Defn: One who is engaged in a mechanical or manufacturing business;

an artificer; a workman; a manufacturer; a mechanic; esp., a worker

in wood; — now chiefly used in compounds, as in millwright,

wheelwright, etc.

He was a well good wright, a carpenter. Chaucer.


Wright”ine, n. (Chem.)

Defn: A rare alkaloid found in the bark of an East Indian

apocynaceous tree (Wrightia antidysenterica), and extracted as a

bitter white crystalline substance. It was formerly used as a remedy

for diarrhoea. Called also conessine, and neriine.


Wring, v. t.

[imp. & p. p. Wrung, Obs. Wringed (; p. pr. & vb. n.


Etym: [OE. wringen, AS. wringan; akin to LG. & D. wringen,

OHG. ringan to struggle, G. ringen, Sw. vränga to distort, Dan.

vringle to twist. Cf. Wrangle, Wrench, Wrong.]

1. To twist and compress; to turn and strain with violence; to

writhe; to squeeze hard; to pinch; as, to wring clothes in washing.

“Earnestly wringing Waverley’s hand.” Sir W. Scott. “Wring him by the

nose.” Shak.

[His steed] so sweat that men might him wring. Chaucer.

The king began to find where his shoe did wring him. Bacon.

The priest shall bring it [a dove] unto the altar, and wring off his

head. Lev. i. 15.

2. Hence, to pain; to distress; to torment; to torture.

Too much grieved and wrung by an uneasy and strait fortune.


Didst thou taste but half the griefs That wring my soul, thou couldst

not talk thus coldly. Addison.

3. To distort; to pervert; to wrest.

How dare men thus wring the Scriptures Whitgift.

4. To extract or obtain by twisting and compressing; to squeeze or

press (out); hence, to extort; to draw forth by violence, or against

resistance or repugnance; — usually with out or form.

Your overkindness doth wring tears from me. Shak.

He rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and

wringed the dew out of the fleece. Judg. vi. 38.

5. To subject to extortion; to afflict, or oppress, in order to

enforce compliance.

To wring the widow from her ‘customed right. Shak.

The merchant adventures have been often wronged and wringed to the

quick. Hayward.

6. (Naut.)

Defn: To bend or strain out of its position; as, to wring a mast.


Wring, v. i.

Defn: To writhe; to twist, as with anguish.

‘T is all men’s office to speak patience To those that wring under

the load of sorrow. Shak.

Look where the sister of the king of France Sits wringing of her

hands, and beats her breast. Marlowe.


Wring, n.

Defn: A writhing, as in anguish; a twisting; a griping. [Obs.] Bp.



Wring”bolt`, n. (Shipbuilding)

Defn: A bolt used by shipwrights, to bend and secure the planks

against the timbers till they are fastened by bolts, spikes, or

treenails; — not to be confounded with ringbolt.


Wring”er, n.

1. One who, or that which, wrings; hence, an extortioner.

2. A machine for pressing water out of anything, particularly from

clothes after they have been washed.



Defn: a. & n. from Wring, v. Wringing machine, a wringer. See

Wringer, 2.


Wring”staff`, n.; pl. Wringstaves (. (Shipbuilding)

Defn: A strong piece of plank used in applying wringbolts.


Wrin”kle, n.

Defn: A winkle. [Local, U.S.]


Wrin”kle, n. Etym: [OE. wrinkil, AS. wrincle; akin to OD. wrinckel,

and prob. to Dan. rynke, Sw. rynka, Icel. hrukka, OHG. runza, G.

runzel, L. ruga.

1. A small ridge, prominence, or furrow formed by the shrinking or

contraction of any smooth substance; a corrugation; a crease; a

slight fold; as, wrinkle in the skin; a wrinkle in cloth. “The

wrinkles in my brows.” Shak.

Within I do not find wrinkles and used heart, but unspent youth.


2. hence, any roughness; unevenness.

Not the least wrinkle to deform the sky. Dryden.

3. Etym: [Perhaps a different word, and a dim. AS. wrenc a twisting,

deceit. Cf. Wrench, n.]

Defn: A notion or fancy; a whim; as, to have a new wrinkle. [Colloq.]


Wrin”kle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wrinkled; p. pr. & vb. n. Wrinkling.]

1. To contract into furrows and prominences; to make a wrinkle or

wrinkles in; to corrugate; as, wrinkle the skin or the brow. “Sport

that wrinkled Care derides.” Milton.

Her wrinkled form in black and white arrayed. Pope.

2. Hence, to make rough or uneven in any way.

A keen north wind that, blowing dry, Wrinkled the face of deluge, as

decayed. Milton.

Then danced we on the wrinkled sand. Bryant.

To wrinkle at, to sneer at. [Obs.] Marston.


Wrin”kle, v. i.

Defn: To shrink into furrows and ridges.


Wrin”kly, a.

Defn: Full of wrinkles; having a tendency to be wrinkled; corrugated;

puckered. G. Eliot.

His old wrinkly face grew quite blown out at last. Carlyle.


Wrist, n. Etym: [OE. wriste, wrist, AS. wrist; akin to OFries.

wriust, LG. wrist, G. rist wrist, instep, Icel. rist instep, Dan. &

Sw. vrist, and perhaps to E. writhe.]

1. (Anat.)

Defn: The joint, or the region of the joint, between the hand and the

arm; the carpus. See Carpus.

He took me by the wrist, and held me hard. Shak.

2. (Mach.)

Defn: A stud or pin which forms a journal; — also called wrist pin.

Bridle wrist, the wrist of the left hand, in which a horseman holds

the bridle.

 — Wrist clonus. Etym: [NL. clonus, fr. Gr. Clonic.] (Med.) A series

of quickly alternating movements of flexion and extension of the

wrist, produced in some cases of nervous disease by suddenly bending

the hand back upon the forearm.

 — Wrist drop (Med.), paralysis of the extensor muscles of the hand,

affecting the hand so that when an attempt is made to hold it out in

line with the forearm with the palm down, the hand drops. It is

chiefly due to plumbism. Called also hand drop.

 — Wrist plate (Steam Engine), a swinging plate bearing two or more

wrists, for operating the valves.


Wrist”band, n.

Defn: The band of the sleeve of a shirt, or other garment, which

covers the wrist.


Wrist”er, n.

Defn: A covering for the wrist.


Wrist”let, n.

Defn: An elastic band worn around the wrist, as for the purpose of

securing the upper part of a glove.


Writ, obs.

Defn: 3d pers. sing. pres. of Write, for writeth. Chaucer.


Writ, archaic

Defn: imp. & p. p. of Write. Dryden.


Writ, n. Etym: [AS. writ, gewrit. See Write.]

1. That which is written; writing; scripture; — applied especially

to the Scriptures, or the books of the Old and New testaments; as,

sacred writ. “Though in Holy Writ not named.” Milton.

Then to his hands that writ he did betake, Which he disclosing read,

thus as the paper spake. Spenser.

Babylon, so much spoken of in Holy Writ. Knolles.

2. (Law)

Defn: An instrument in writing, under seal, in an epistolary form,

issued from the proper authority, commanding the performance or

nonperformance of some act by the person to whom it is directed; as,

a writ of entry, of error, of execution, of injunction, of mandamus,

of return, of summons, and the like.

Note: Writs are usually witnessed, or tested, in the name of the

chief justice or principal judge of the court out of which they are

issued; and those directed to a sheriff, or other ministerial

officer, require him to return them on a day specified. In former

English law and practice, writs in civil cases were either original

or judicial; the former were issued out of the Court of Chancery,

under the great seal, for the summoning of a defendant to appear, and

were granted before the suit began and in order to begin the same;

the latter were issued out of the court where the original was

returned, after the suit was begun and during the pendency of it.

Tomlins. Brande. Encyc. Brit. The term writ is supposed by Mr. Reeves

to have been derived from the fact of these formulæ having always

been expressed in writing, being, in this respect, distinguished from

the other proceedings in the ancient action, which were conducted

orally. Writ of account, Writ of capias, etc. See under Account,

Capias, etc.

 — Service of a writ. See under Service.


Writ`a*bil”i*ty, n.

Defn: Ability or capacity to write. [R.] Walpole.


Writ”a*ble, a.

Defn: Capable of, or suitable for, being written down.


Writ”a*tive, a.

Defn: Inclined to much writing; — correlative to talkative. [R.]



Write, v. t.

[imp. Wrote; p. p. Written; Archaic imp. & p. p. Writ;

p. pr. & vb.
n. Writing.]

Etym: [OE. writen, AS. writan; originally,

to scratch, to score; akin to OS. writan to write, to tear, to wound,

D. rijten to tear, to rend, G. reissen, OHG. rizan, Icel. rita to

write, Goth. writs a stroke, dash, letter. Cf. Race tribe, lineage.]

1. To set down, as legible characters; to form the conveyance of

meaning; to inscribe on any material by a suitable instrument; as, to

write the characters called letters; to write figures.

2. To set down for reading; to express in legible or intelligible

characters; to inscribe; as, to write a deed; to write a bill of

divorcement; hence, specifically, to set down in an epistle; to

communicate by letter.

Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves.


I chose to write the thing I durst not speak To her I loved. Prior.

3. Hence, to compose or produce, as an author.

I purpose to write the history of England from the accession of King

James the Second down to a time within the memory of men still

living. Macaulay.

4. To impress durably; to imprint; to engrave; as, truth written on

the heart.

5. To make known by writing; to record; to prove by one’s own written

testimony; — often used reflexively.

He who writes himself by his own inscription is like an ill painter,

who, by writing on a shapeless picture which he hath drawn, is fain

to tell passengers what shape it is, which else no man could imagine.


To write to, to communicate by a written document to.

 — Written laws, laws deriving their force from express legislative

enactment, as contradistinguished from unwritten, or common, law. See

the Note under Law, and Common law, under Common, a.

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