Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)

Page 111

Backrack, Backrag

Back"rack (?), Back"rag (?), n. See Bacharach.


Backs (?), n. pl. Among leather dealers, the thickest and stoutest tanned hides.


Back"saw` (?), n. [2d back,n.+ saw.] A saw (as a tenon saw) whose blade is stiffened by an added metallic back.


Back"set` (?), n. [Back, adv. + set.]

1. A check; a relapse; a discouragement; a setback.

2. Whatever is thrown back in its course, as water.

Slackwater, or the backset caused by the overflow. Harper's Mag.


Back"set`, v. i. To plow again, in the fall; -- said of prairie land broken up in the spring. [Western U.S.]


Back"set"tler (?), n. [Back, a. + settler.] One living in the back or outlying districts of a community.
The English backsettlers of Leinster and Munster. Macaulay.

Backsheesh, Backshish

Back"sheesh`, Back"shish` (?), n. [Pers. bakhshīsh, fr. bakhshīdan to give.] In Egypt and the Turkish empire, a gratuity; a tip".


Back"side` (?), n. [Back, a. + side. ] The hinder part, posteriors, or rump of a person or animal. &hand; Backside (one word) was formerly used of the rear part or side of any thing or place, but in such senses is now two words.


Back"sight` (?), n. [Back, adv. + sight. ] (Surv.) The reading of the leveling staff in its unchanged position when the leveling instrument has been taken to a new position; a sight directed backwards to a station previously occupied. Cf. Foresight, n., 3.


Back`slide" (?), v. i. [imp. Backslid (?); p.p. Backslidden (?), Backslid; p. pr. & vb. n. Backsliding. ] [Back , adv.+ slide.] To slide back; to fall away; esp. to abandon gradually the faith and practice of a religion that has been professed.


Back"slid"er (?), n. One who backslides.


Back"slid"ing, a. Slipping back; falling back into sin or error; sinning.
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord. Jer. iii. 14.


Back"slid"ing, n. The act of one who backslides; abandonment of faith or duty.
Our backslidings are many. Jer. xiv. 7.


Back"staff` (?), n. An instrument formerly used for taking the altitude of the heavenly bodies, but now superseded by the quadrant and sextant; -- so called because the observer turned his back to the body observed.

Back stairs

Back" stairs`. Stairs in the back part of a house, as distinguished from the front stairs; hence, a private or indirect way.

Backstairs, Backstair

Back"stairs`, Back"stair`, a. Private; indirect; secret; intriguing; as if finding access by the back stairs.
A backstairs influence. Burke.
Female caprice and backstairs influence. Trevelyan.


Back"stay` (?), n. [Back, a. orn.+ stay.]

1. (Naut.) A rope or stay extending from the masthead to the side of a ship, slanting a little aft, to assist the shrouds in supporting the mast. [ Often used in the plural.]

2. A rope or strap used to prevent excessive forward motion.


Back"ster (?), n. [See Baxter.] A backer. [Obs.]


Back"stitch` (?), n. [Back, adv. + stitch.] A stitch made by setting the needle back of the end of the last stitch, and bringing it out in front of the end.


Back"stitch`, v. i. To sew with backstitches; as, to backstitch a seam.


Back"stress (?), n. A female baker. [Obs.]


Back"sword` (?), n. [2d back,n.+ sword.]

1. A sword with one sharp edge.

2. In England, a stick with a basket handle, used in rustic amusements; also, the game in which the stick is used. Also called singlestick. Halliwell.

Backward, Backwards

Back"ward (?), Back"wards (?), adv. [Back, adv. + -ward.]

1. With the back in advance or foremost; as, to ride backward.

2. Toward the back; toward the rear; as, to throw the arms backward.

3. On the back, or with the back downward.

Thou wilt fall backward. Shak.

4. Toward, or in, past time or events; ago.

Some reigns backward. Locke.

5. By way of reflection; reflexively. Sir J. Davies.

6. From a better to a worse state, as from honor to shame, from religion to sin.

The work went backward. Dryden.

7. In a contrary or reverse manner, way, or direction; contrarily; as, to read backwards.

We might have . . . beat them backward home. Shak.


Back"ward, a.

1. Directed to the back or rear; as, backward glances.

2. Unwilling; averse; reluctant; hesitating; loath.

For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves. Pope.

3. Not well advanced in learning; not quick of apprehension; dull; inapt; as, a backward child. The backward learner." South.

4. Late or behindhand; as, a backward season.

5. Not advanced in civilization; undeveloped; as, the country or region is in a backward state.

6. Already past or gone; bygone. [R.]

And flies unconscious o'er each backward year. Byron.


Back"ward, n. The state behind or past. [Obs.]
In the dark backward and abysm of time. Shak.


Back"ward, v. i. To keep back; to hinder. [Obs.]


Back`war*da"tion (?), n. [Backward, v.i.+ -ation.] (Stock Exchange) The seller's postponement of delivery of stock or shares, with the consent of the buyer, upon payment of a premium to the latter; -- also, the premium so paid. See Contango. Biddle.


Back"ward*ly (?), adv.

1. Reluctantly; slowly; aversely. [Obs.] Sir P. Sidney.

2. Perversely; ill.[Obs.]

And does he think so backwardly of me? Shak.


Back"ward*ness, n. The state of being backward.


Back"wash` (?), v. i. To clean the oil from (wood) after combing.


Back"wa`ter (?), n. [Back, a. or adv. + -ward. ]

1. Water turned back in its course by an obstruction, an opposing current , or the flow of the tide, as in a sewer or river channel, or across a river bar.

2. An accumulation of water overflowing the low lands, caused by an obstruction.

3. Water thrown back by the turning of a waterwheel, or by the paddle wheels of a steamer.


Back"woods" (?), n. pl. [Back, a. + woods.] The forests or partly cleared grounds on the frontiers.


Back"woods"man (?), n.; pl. Backwoodsmen (). A men living in the forest in or beyond the new settlements, especially on the western frontiers of the older portions of the United States. Fisher Ames.


Back"worm` (?), n. [2d back,n.+ worm. ] A disease of hawks. See Filanders. Wright.


Ba"con (?), n. [OF. bacon, fr. OHG. bacho, bahho, flitch of bacon, ham; akin to E. back. Cf. Back the back side.] The back and sides of a pig salted and smoked; formerly, the flesh of a pig salted or fresh. Bacon beetle (Zoöl.), a beetle (Dermestes lardarius) which, especially in the larval state, feeds upon bacon, woolens, furs, etc. See Dermestes. -- To save one's bacon, to save one's self or property from harm or less. [Colloq.]


Ba*co"ni*an (?), a. Of or pertaining to Lord Bacon, or to his system of philosophy. Baconian method, the inductive method. See Induction.


Bac*te"ri*a (?), n.p. See Bacterium.


Bac*te"ri*al (?), a. (Biol.) Of or pertaining to bacteria.


Bac*te"ri*ci`dal (?), a. Destructive of bacteria.


Bac*te"ri*cide (?), n. [Bacterium + L. caedere to kill] (Biol.) Same as Germicide.


Bac*te"ri*o*log`ic*al (?), a. Of or pertaining to bacteriology; as, bacteriological studies.


Bac*te"ri*ol`o*gist, n. One skilled in bacteriology.


Bac*te"ri*ol`o*gy (?), n. [Bacterium + -logy. ] (Biol.) The science relating to bacteria.


Bac*te`ri*o*scop"ic (?), a. (Biol.) Relating to bacterioscopy; as, a bacterioscopic examination.


Bac*te`ri*os"co*pist (?), n. (Biol.) One skilled in bacterioscopic examinations.


Bac*te`ri*os"co*py (?), n. [Bacterium + -scopy ] (Biol.) The application of a knowledge of bacteria for their detection and identification, as in the examination of polluted water.


Bac*te"ri*um (?), n.; pl. Bacteria (#). [NL., fr. Gr., , a staff: cf. F. bactérie. ] (Biol.) A microscopic vegetable organism, belonging to the class Algæ, usually in the form of a jointed rodlike filament, and found in putrefying organic infusions. Bacteria are destitute of chlorophyll, and are the smallest of microscopic organisms. They are very widely diffused in nature, and multiply with marvelous rapidity, both by fission and by spores. Certain species are active agents in fermentation, while others appear to be the cause of certain infectious diseases. See Bacillus.

Bacteroid, Bacteroidal

Bac"te*roid (?), Bac`te*roid"al (?), a. [Bacterium + -oid.] (Biol.) Resembling bacteria; as, bacteroid particles.


Bac"tri*an (?), a. Of or pertaining to Bactria in Asia. -- n. A native of Bactria. Bactrian camel, the two-humped camel.


Bac"ule (?), n. [F.] (Fort.) See Bascule.


Bac"u*line (?), a. [L. baculum staff.] Of or pertaining to the rod or punishment with the rod.


Bac"u*lite (?), n. [L. baculune stick, staff; cf. F. baculite.] (Paleon.) A cephalopod of the extinct genus Baculites, found fossil in the Cretaceous rocks. It is like an uncoiled ammonite.


Bac`u*lom"e*try (?), n. [L. baculum staff + -metry] Measurement of distance or altitude by a staff or staffs.


Bad (?), imp. of Bid. Bade. [Obs.] Dryden.


Bad (?), a. [Compar. Worse (?); superl. Worst (?). ] [Probably fr. AS. bæddel hermaphrodite; cf. bædling effeminate fellow.] Wanting good qualities, whether physical or moral; injurious, hurtful, inconvenient, offensive, painful, unfavorable, or defective, either physically or morally; evil; vicious; wicked; -- the opposite of good; as a bad man; bad conduct; bad habits; bad soil; bad health; bad crop; bad news. Sometimes used substantively.
The strong antipathy of good to bad. Pope.
Syn. -- Pernicious; deleterious; noxious; baneful; injurious; hurtful; evil; vile; wretched; corrupt; wicked; vicious; imperfect.


Bad"der (?), compar. of Bad, a. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Bad"der*locks (?), n. [Perh. for Balderlocks, fr. Balder the Scandinavian deity.] (Bot.) A large black seaweed (Alaria esculenta) sometimes eaten in Europe; -- also called murlins, honeyware, and henware.


Bad"dish, a. Somewhat bad; inferior. Jeffrey.


Bade (?). A form of the pat tense of Bid.


Badge (?), n. [LL. bagea, bagia, sign, prob. of German origin; cf. AS. beág, beáh, bracelet, collar, crown, OS bg- in comp., AS. bgan to bow, bend, G. biegen. See Bow to bend.]

1. A distinctive mark, token, sign, or cognizance, worn on the person; as, the badge of a society; the badge of a policeman. Tax gatherers, recognized by their official badges. " Prescott.

2. Something characteristic; a mark; a token.

Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge. Shak.

3. (Naut.) A carved ornament on the stern of a vessel, containing a window or the representation of one.


Badge (?), v. t. To mark or distinguish with a badge.


Badge"less, a. Having no badge. Bp. Hall.


Badg"er (?), n. [Of uncertain origin; perh. fr. an old verb badge to lay up provisions to sell again.] An itinerant licensed dealer in commodities used for food; a hawker; a huckster; -- formerly applied especially to one who bought grain in one place and sold it in another. [Now dialectic, Eng.]


Badg"er, n. [OE. bageard, prob. fr. badge + -ard, in reference to the white mark on its forehead. See Badge,n.]

1. A carnivorous quadruped of the genus Meles or of an allied genus. It is a burrowing animal, with short, thick legs, and long claws on the fore feet. One species (M. vulgaris), called also brock, inhabits the north of Europe and Asia; another species (Taxidea Americana or Labradorica) inhabits the northern parts of North America. See Teledu.

2. A brush made of badgers' hair, used by artists. Badger dog. (Zoöl.) See Dachshund.


Badg"er, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Badgered ();p. pr. & vb. n. Badgering.] [For sense 1, see 2d Badger; for 2, see 1st Badger.]

1. To tease or annoy, as a badger when baited; to worry or irritate persistently.

2. To beat down; to cheapen; to barter; to bargain.


Badg"er*er (?), n.

1. One who badgers.

2. A kind of dog used in badger baiting.


Badg"er*ing, n.

1. The act of one who badgers.

2. The practice of buying wheat and other kinds of food in one place and selling them in another for a profit. [Prov. Eng.]


Badg"er-legged` (?), a. Having legs of unequal length, as the badger was thought to have. Shak.


Bad`i*a"ga (?), n. [Russ. badiaga.] (Zoöl.) A fresh-water sponge (Spongilla), common in the north of Europe, the powder of which is used to take away the livid marks of bruises.


Ba"di*an (?), n. [F.badiane, fr. Per. bādiān anise.] (Bot.) An evergreen Chinese shrub of the Magnolia family (Illicium anisatum), and its aromatic seeds; Chinese anise; star anise.


Ba*di"geon (?), n. [F.] A cement or paste (as of plaster and freestone, or of sawdust and glue or lime) used by sculptors, builders, and workers in wood or stone, to fill holes, cover defects, or finish a surface.


Ba`di`nage" (?), n. [F., fr. badiner to joke, OF. to trifle, be silly, fr. badin silly.] Playful raillery; banter. He . . . indulged himself only in an elegant badinage." Warburton.

Bad lands

Bad" lands" (?). Barren regions, especially in the western United States, where horizontal strata (Tertiary deposits) have been often eroded into fantastic forms, and much intersected by canons, and where lack of wood, water, and forage increases the difficulty of traversing the country, whence the name, first given by the Canadian French, Mauvaises Terres (bad lands).


Bad"ly, adv. In a bad manner; poorly; not well; unskillfully; imperfectly; unfortunately; grievously; so as to cause harm; disagreeably; seriously. &hand; Badly is often used colloquially for very much or very greatly, with words signifying to want or need.


Bad"min*ton (?), n. [From the name of the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in England.]

1. A game, similar to lawn tennis, played with shuttlecocks.

2. A preparation of claret, spiced and sweetened.


Bad"ness, n. The state of being bad.


Bæ"no*mere (?), n. [Gr. to walk + -mere.] (Zoöl.) One of the somites (arthromeres) that make up the thorax of Arthropods. Packard.


Bæ"no*pod (?), n. [Gr. to walk + -pod.] (Zoöl.) One of the thoracic legs of Arthropods.


Bæ"no*some (?), n. [Gr. to walk + -some body.] (Zoöl.) The thorax of Arthropods. Packard.


Baff (?), n. A blow; a stroke. [Scot.] H. Miller.


Baf"fle (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Baffled (); p. pr. & vb. n. Baffling ().] [Cf. Lowland Scotch bauchle to treat contemptuously, bauch tasteless, abashed, jaded, Icel. bāgr uneasy, poor, or bāgr, n., struggle, bægja to push, treat harshly, OF. beffler, beffer, to mock, deceive, dial. G. bäppe mouth, beffen to bark, chide.]

1. To cause to undergo a disgraceful punishment, as a recreant knight. [Obs.]

He by the heels him hung upon a tree, And baffled so, that all which passed by The picture of his punishment might see. Spenser.

2. To check by shifts and turns; to elude; to foil.

The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim. Cowper.

3. To check by perplexing; to disconcert, frustrate, or defeat; to thwart. A baffled purpose." De Quincey.

A suitable scripture ready to repel and baffle them all. South.
Calculations so difficult as to have baffled, until within a . . . recent period, the most enlightened nations. Prescott.
The mere intricacy of a question should not baffle us. Locke.
Baffling wind (Naut.), one that frequently shifts from one point to another. Syn. -- To balk; thwart; foil; frustrate; defeat.


Baf"fle, v. i.

1. To practice deceit. [Obs.] Barrow.

2. To struggle against in vain; as, a ship baffles with the winds. [R.]


Baf"fle, n. A defeat by artifice, shifts, and turns; discomfiture. [R.] A baffle to philosophy." South.


Baf"fle*ment (?), n. The process or act of baffling, or of being baffled; frustration; check.


Baf"fler (?), n. One who, or that which, baffles.