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The Home Cyclopedia Of General Information | by Charles Morris



Alphabetically arranged, telling just the things about everyday subjects in science, art, mechanics and about common objects everyone needs to know, giving derivations of foreign words, etc. An indispensable help for young and old, and especially for the writer of essays and articles. A ready reference on a thousand subjects. Encyclopedic dictionary of common things and other useful information

TitleThe Home Cyclopedia Of General Information
AuthorCharles Morris
PublisherW.E. Scull
Year1902
Copyright1902, W.E. Scull
AmazonHome Cyclopedia of Necessary Knowledge
The Home Cyclopedia: Book Cover

Book I

The Home Cyclopedia Of General Information

Carefully Prepared

By The Eminent Specialists

Professor Charles Morris

The Noted Historian and Biographer

Miss Alice Johnson Mrs. Jeannette Mckenzie Hill

Of Draxel Institute, Philadelphia Editor Boston Cooking School Magazine

Dr. Henry Hartshorne

Professor of Hygiene in University of Pennsylvania

Entered according to Act of Congress In the year 1902 by W. E. SCULL. in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. D. C.

All Rights Reserved.

-Abbreviations
The following are the most common abbreviations used in this book : Arab. or Ar..........Arabic. AS..............Anglo Saxon. Braz.............Brazilian. Celt.............Celtic. Chin...............
-Abdomen
[L. abdomen.] In the human body the trunk is divided by the diaphragm into two cavities - the upper being the thorax or chest, and the lower the abdomen or belly. The abdomen contains the stomach, liv...
-Acacia
A genus of plants of the Pulse family, including the catechu and gum-arabic trees. The species are numerous, are frequently thorny, and grow mostly in warm countries. Nearly 300 species are Australian...
-Accordion
A small musical instrument, with keys and bellows, the tones of which are produced by the vibration of metallic springs, occasioned by a current of air rushing from the bellows through valves attached...
-Acetic Acid
[L. aceium, vinegar; acidus,sonr.] The most common of the vegetable acids, familiar to all as the sour principle in vinegar. It occurs in the juice of many plants, and in some animal secretions; but o...
-Acetylene
[L. acetum, vinegar.] A substance composed of carbon and hydrogen and of remark-able powers. It is not a new discovery but has only lately been produced in large quantities from carbide of calcium, a ...
-Achromatic
[Gk. achromatos, colorless.] Free from color (applied to lenses, telescopes and microscopes); transmitting light without decomposing it into its primary colors. - Achromatic lens, a combination of two...
-Acid
[L. acidus, sour.] A general term used in chemistry to designate a special group of sub-stances, mostly, but not always, oxygen compounds. The chief distinguishing property of acids, and one which is ...
-Acorn
[AS. acern, from acer, a field.] The seed or fruit of the oak, growing in a woody cup. Acorns contain starch and oil, and generally have a bitter taste. They are eaten freely by swine, while the fruit...
-Adder
[AS.] A name often applied to the common viper, as well as to other kinds of venomous reptiles or serpents. In North America the term adder is commonly applied to several harmless snakes. ...
-Adulteration
[L. adulteratio, corruption.] The mixing of foreign substances with articles of food and drugs, of water with milk, etc., for the purpose of defrauding customers. This is a very common practice, and o...
-Aeolian Harp
[L. AEolus, the god of the wind.] A box of very thin wood, with strings of catgut or other vibratory material stretched across it, and sounding holes cut in the top. When placed in a current of air, a...
-Aeroiite
[Gk. aer, air, and lithos, a stone.] A meteoric stone that comes into the atmosphere from space and falls to the earth. It is of the same nature as the shooting stars, small particles, which become so...
-Afterglow
The brilliant twilight colors often seen after sunset. These are of red and yellow tints and sometimes are very lasting. If seen before sunset they are called foreglows. ...
-Agate
[L,. achates; so called from the name of the river Achates in Sicily, where it was first found.] A variety of quartz, found in loose rounded pieces in rocks, or as loose pebbles in beds of rivers or g...
-Agave
The name of a genus of plants growing in tropical America. The principal species is known as the American Aloe, or century plant, under the idea that it blooms but once in a hundred years. This is a m...
-Ague
[L,. acutus, sharp.] An intermittent fever, consisting of hot and cold stages in succession, with an intermediate period. It comes on at fixed periods, one, two, three, or more days apart. It is now g...
-Air
[Fr., from Gk. air, air; aein, to blow.] The gaseous fluid which we breathe and which surrounds the earth. It is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, with a small amount of carbon dioxide, the average pr...
-Air Bladder Or Swim Bladder
A membranous sac found in most fish, which contains a quantity of gas, and is thought to help the fish to rise and sink in the water. It is very small in some fish, quite large in others, and wanting ...
-Air-Brake
A brake now used on railroad cars and engines, invented in 1869, by George West-inghouse, of Pittsburg. Air is compressed by the steam of the engine boiler, and carried in tubes to the car wheels, whe...
-Air-Gun
A gun which uses compressed air instead of gunpowder to drive out the bullet. There is a piston to force the air into a cavity, and a valve opened by the trigger, which lets the air out against the bu...
-Air-Pump
An instrument for the withdrawal of air from a closed vessel, producing an empty space or vacuum; in ordinary air-pumps the vacuum is very far from complete, and in the most perfect of them some air r...
-Alabaster
[Gk. alabastros.] A fine-grained whitish limestone or marble. It is of two kinds, one of which is a carbonate of lime, the other a sulphate of lime or gypsum, and to the latter the term is now general...
-Albatross
[Span.] A genus of large, web-footed, aquatic birds, allied to the gulls. They are the largest of sea-birds, capable of long-continued flight, and are often seen hundreds of miles from land. They are ...
-Albumen Or Albumin
[L,. albus, white.] A nutritive substance found in animals; also a supply of nourishing matter within the integuments of the seed in many plants, external to the embryo or germ in some, and within it ...
-Alchemy
[Ar. Alkimia.] A pretended art arising from chemistry, by which it is sought to make gold or silver out of baser materials, or to produce a universal medicine. The conversion into gold was to be effec...
-Alcohol
[Fr., from Arab.] A volatile organic substance produced during the fermentation of vegetable juices which contain sugar. It is a colorless, limpid liquid, possessing an agreeable smell and burning tas...
-Aider
[AS. air or aler, L. alnusJ] A genus of plants, consisting of trees and shrubs, growing chiefly in moist soils. The wood is used by turners, and is very valuable for mill-wheels and other wood-work un...
-Ale
[AS.] A liquor made from an infusion of pale malted barley by fermentation with a bitter, usually hops. (See Beer.) ...
-Algebra
[Arab, al-jebr, reduction of parts to a whole.] A sort of universal arithmetic, in which the unknown terms are expressed by letters of the alphabet, and dealt with as if known. By this means very intr...
-Alizarine
[Fr. alizarine.] A peculiar coloring principle obtained from madder, and now produced artificially from the coal-tar product anthracene. It is the coloring matter used in the dyeing of Turkey red. ...
-Alkali
[Arab.] The name applied in chemistry to a class of bodies possessing the following common properties: - (I) They have the power of turning vegetable blue colors green, and vegetable yellows brown ; (...
-Alligator
[Span, el legarto, the lizard.] A large American reptile of the Crocodile family. It has a shorter and broader snout than the crocodile, and the large teeth of the lower jaw fit into pits in the edge ...
-Alloys
[Fr. a lot, from L. ad legem, according to rule.] The name given to the mixtures which result from fusing different metals with each other. Both gold and silver when pure are too soft for the manufact...
-Allspice
From a tree of the Myrtle tribe, a native of the West Indies, allspice, or Jamaica pepper, is obtained. Allspice is the dried berry; it is so called because it is considered to have the flavor of clov...
-Almanac
A book or pamphlet telling the divisions of the year into months, weeks, and days, the times of rising and setting of the sun and moon, movements of the tides, eclipses, and other information about th...
-Almond
[Fr., from Gk. amygdalon.] The fruit of the almond tree, a native of the East and of Africa, grown in the countries around the Mediterranean, and of late years produced in large quantities in Californ...
-Aloe
[L. aloe.] A genus of succulent trees and shrubs of many species, but the greater number having the habit and appearance of evergreen herbaceous plants. They are natives of warm climates, and flower o...
-Alpaca
An animal of Peru, having long, fine, woolly hair; a species of llama (q. v.). The thin cloth called alpaca is woven out of alpaca wool, mixed with silk or cotton. ...
-Alphabet
[Gk. Alpha and Beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.] The name given to the series of letters of which the words of any language are made up. Alphabets are very ancient, and every civiliz...
-Alum
[L,. alumen.] A white saline compound used in dyeing and many other industrial processes. Chemically it is known as a double sulphate of potassium and aluminium. It has an astringent and sweetish tast...
-Aluminium
[L. alumen.] A white metal, somewhat like silver in appearance. It occurs chemically combined in all the older rocks and in clay. It is very malleable, and therefore capable of being hammered into thi...
-Amalgam
[Fr., from Gk. malagma, a plaster.] An alloy of mercury with another metal or metals. Amalgams are largely made use of in the arts. Metals are sometimes gilded by washing them with an amalgam of gold ...
-Amber Arab
A hard, yellow, translucent resin, found as a fossil in beds of lignite, in alluvial soils, and on sea-coasts, especially the Prussian coast of the Baltic. It takes a fine polish, and is much used for...
-Ambergris
[Fr. ambre gris, gray amber.] A substance found floating in the sea or thrown upon the coasts in warm climates, and also in the intestines of the sperm whale, which is believed to be in all cases its ...
-Amethyst
[I,, amethystus, from Gk. amethys-los, without drunkenness, because the ancients believed that liquor drunk out of cups made of amethyst would not intoxicate.] A variety of rock-crystal or quartz, of ...
-Ammonia
[Gk. Ammon, a name of Jupiter.] A chemical compound of hydrogen and nitrogen, containing three atoms of the former to one of the latter. It is an alkaline substance ; but as it differs from the other ...
-Amulet
[L. amuletum.] An ornament or any object which is worn as a safeguard against enchantment, disease, or ill fortune. It is generally inscribed with mystical characters. ' Amulets were greatly used in t...
-Anatomy Comparative
[Gk. anatome, dissection.] The study of the structure of animals, and comparison of their various organs with one another and with those of man. It is by this study that animals are separated into fam...
-Anaesthetic
[Gk. an, in- ; aisthesis, sensibility.] A chemical substance capable of producing insensibility, much used to prevent pain in surgical operations. Nitrous oxide was first used in tooth drawing in 1844...
-Anehovy
[Span. anchova.] A small fish of the Herring family, but not more than three inches long, caught in vast numbers in the Mediterranean, and pickled for exportation. The fishermen go out during the nigh...
-Anemometer
[Gk. anemos, wind ; and metron, a measure.] A wind-measurer, to show both the pressure and the velocity of the wind. A pressure anemometer measures the force of the wind on a plate one foot square att...
-Anemone
[Gk. anemos, the wind.] So named because the flower was thought to open only when the wind blows. A genus of plants belonging to the Buttercup family. There are several species, one of which has a flo...
-Aniline
[Ar. annil, for alnil, the indigo plant.] Aniline was first prepared from indigo in 1826, and takes its name from anil, the Portuguese word for indigo. It is now derived from the distillation of coal-...
-Animal
[L. animal, a living being; anima, breath.] A living being with an organized material body, and endowed with the powers of sensation and voluntary motion. All animals are classed together in one great...
-Ant
[Contracted from the Saxon word emmet.] An insect of the family Form.icidce, which embraces between two and three thousand different forms, widely distributed in temperate and tropical countries. Ants...
-Antelope
[Gk. anthein, to flower or shine ; and ops, the eye.] A genus of ruminating animals, intermediate between the deer and the goat. Their horns are hollow and permanent, not annually renewed ; those of t...
-Antennae
[L. antenna, sail-yard.] Slender articulated organs on the head of insects and Crustacea. There are two in the former, and usually four in the latter. They are used as organs of touch, and in insects ...
-Anthrax
[Gk. coal.] This was the name formerly given to the painful swelling or eruption now called carbuncle. It is now used for a disease often fatal to sheep and cattle, and occasionally attacking man. It ...
-Anthracite
[Gk. anthrax, coal.] A species of hard mineral coal or carbon, of a metallic lustre, containing little or no bitumen. It is difficult to ignite, but burns with intense heat, and nearly without smell, ...
-Anthropology
[Gk. anthropos, man ; logos, a discourse.] The science of man. It includes the study of man as an animal and as a thinking being, and ethnology, or the study of race divisions. It includes, in short, ...
-Antimony
[L, antimonium.] A metal of a bright bluish - white color and crystalline structure. When strongly heated it burns with a white flame, giving off the fumes of flowers of antimony, a compound with ox...
-Antiseptics
[Gk. anti, against, septikos, putrefying.] Substances which act to prevent decay or putrefaction of organic materials. Among the many antiseptics may be named sugar, alcohol, carbolic acid, charcoal, ...
-Anvil
[AS. on; and fyllan, to strike.] An iron block, usually with a steel face and a pointed end, upon which metals are hammered and shaped. Anvils are of various sizes, from the small steel ones used by g...
-Ape
[AS. apa.] A term generally applied to the monkeys, though by some the Anthropoids, or highest forms, are not included in the apes. Others consider these the only apes. They usually dwell in trees, wh...
-Aphis
The plant louse ; a kind of insect which is parasitic upon plants, injuring them by sucking their juices. They are extremely prolific and very injurious. They exude a sweet, viscid fluid known as hone...
-Appendicitis
[L. appendix.] This is a name given of late years to inflammation of the vermiform appendix, a small, finger-shaped tube, depending from the large intestine. Many deaths in the past whose cause was un...
-Apricot
[Fr. abricot, from L. precox, early ripe.] A stone fruit, belonging to the same genus as the plum, but resembling a peach, being of an orange color, oval shape and delicious taste. The tree grows wild...
-Aquarium
[L. aqua, water.] An artificial pond, or a globe or tank (usually with glass sides), for containing and showing aquatic animals and plants and their modes of living. Small aquariums are now often kept...
-Aqueduct
[L. Aqua, water, and ductus, passage.] An artificial channel to convey water for city supply and other pur-poses. The Romans had great stone aqueducts, in some places raised on high arches, in others ...
-Arch
[L. arcus. Fr. arche.] A self-sustaining structure, usually of a curved form, made up of separate wedge-shaped solids, with the joints between them disposed in the direction of the radii of the curve,...
-Archaeology
[Gk. archaios, ancient.] The study of the ancient relics of human art. These are very numerous, and are found in all parts of the earth, advancing from the rough tools and weapons of the stone-age to ...
-Archery
[L. arcus, bow;] The art of shooting with a bow and arrow. This was in very common use before the invention of firearms, and archery is still practiced as an amusement. The bow is usually made of yew ...
-Argon
A gas existing in the atmosphere, first discovered in 1895 by Lord Ragleigh and William Ramsay. It is heavier than nitrogen and occurs in a very minute quantity. The discoverers were rewarded by the S...
-Armor
A protection worn in ancient time consisting of helmet, body armor, and limb atmor, though varying at different periods in the amount of the body covered. The shield served as a moveable piece of armo...
-Armor-Plate
The larger and more powerful warships are in these times covered with a strong armor made of thick plates of steel, in some cases from 16 to more than 20 inches thick. The steel is often alloyed with ...
-Arrowroot
A kind of starch used as food, obtained principally from the root of a West India plant now cultivated in many warm countries, and from some other plants. It is said that the Indians used the root to ...
-Arsenic
[Gk. arsen, a male (on account of its strength).] A metallic element, seldom found free in nature, but frequently found in combination with Other elements, such as sulphur, iron, cobalt, and nickel. T...
-Art
An art is something performed by man through the instigation of the mind. In use the word is divided into the Common and the Fine Arts. A common art is something done for the benefit of man, such as t...
-Artery
[Gk. arteria, the windpipe ; a blood-vessel.] One of the vessels or tubes which carry.arterial blood from the heart throughout the body, and venous blood from the heart to the lungs. They have thicker...
-Artesian Wells
In nature it often happens that a layer of water collects between two strata, such as clay, through which water cannot penetrate. If the ground from which the water has been gathered is high, the pres...
-Artichoke
[Ital.] A plant like the thistle, but having large, scaly heads like the cone of the pine tree. It is cultivated in the south of Europe, and is much esteemed as an article of food. The unripe flower-h...
-Artillery
[Fr., from Low L., artillare, to make machines.] Weapons of war; large ordnance, including guns, howitzers, mortars, rockets, and engines of war of all kinds, with their carriages, ammunition, and app...
-Asbestos
[Gk. asbestos, that cannot be quenched.] A mineral substance, unaffected by fire, occurring in long and delicate fibres, or in fibrous masses or seams, usually of a white, gray, or green-gray color. T...
-Ash
[AS.] A genus of trees of the Olive family, mostly natives of Europe and of North America. There are about fifty species. The common ash is a beautiful and umbrageous tree, highly ornamental in parks,...
-Asp
[Fr., from Gk. aspis, an asp.] A small, hooded, poisonous serpent of Egypt and Libya, whose bite is often fatal. ...
-Asparagus
[Gk. asparagos.]A plant grown in gardens for the sake of its young and tender shoots, which form a valuable and well-known article of food. The plants have erect, many-branched stems, and very slender...
-AsPen
[AS. Bot. name Papulus tremula.]A species of poplar tree growing in Europe and in Siberia. It has received the specific name tremula, from the trembling of its leaves, which move with the slightest im...
-Asphalt Or Asphaltum
[Gk. asphaltos, bitumen.] A kind of mineral pitch or compact native bitumen, found on the surface and shores of the Dead Sea, which is therefore called As-phaltites, or the Asphaltic Lake. It is found...
-Ass
[L. asinus.] An animal closely allied to the horse, inhabiting the mountainous deserts of Tartary and other parts of Asia. It is smaller than the horse, and has long ears, an upright mane, a tufted ta...
-Asteroid
[Gk. aster, a star, and eidos, form.] The asteroids are a group of very small planets between the planets Jupiter and Mars. Ceres, the first known of these, was discovered on January 1, 1801, the firs...
-Astrology
[Gk. aster, a star, and logos, a discourse.] The name of a system based on the science of astronomy, in which it is claimed that future events, and the coming fortune of any man, can be told from a st...
-Astronomy
[Gk. astron, a star; and nomos, a law.] In its widest sense, it includes everything that is known concerning the heavenly bodies. It treats of their motions, relative positions, distances, magnitudes,...
-Atmosphere
[Gk. atmos, vapor , and sphaira, sphere.] The name of the great body of gaseous substance which surrounds the earth. The atmosphere consists essentially of two gases, oxygen and nitrogen, with a small...
-Atom
[L. atomus.] The smallest particle into which matter is considered to be divided. Atoms are inconceivably small, and are supposed to combine into molecules - containing two or more - which form the sm...
-Auger
[AS.] A tool for boring holes, larger than those made by a gimlet. It has a handle placed crosswise, by which it is turned with both hands. The pod-auger and the screw-auger are the two principal kind...
-Automobile
[Gk. autos, self; L. mobilis, movable.] A self-moving carriage, distinguished at first as a horseless carriage. Steam and gasoline engines and electric storage batteries are used as propelling powers,...
-Avalanche
[Fr. from L. ad valient, to the valley.] A vast body of snow, ice, earth, rocks, etc., sliding swiftly down a mountain side or falling down a precipice. ...
-Axe
[AS.] An instrument of steel or iron, with a steel edge or blade, for felling trees, hewing timber, chopping and splitting wood, etc. The handle of an axe is called the helve, the thick metal part the...
-Baboon
[Fr. babouin, and babines, large lips.] A kind of monkey with a short tail, very fierce and dangerous, and not so often tamed as others of the Monkey tribe. It is found in the hottest parts of Africa ...
-Backgammon
[AS. or Dan.] A game of chance and skill played by two persons on a board with dice and fifteen pieces or men each. The board is divided into tables, each table being marked with six points colored ...
-Bacon
[Fr.] The back and sides of a pig salted. The hair is singed instead of being scalded, and the meat is separated from the shoulder-blade and bones, and cured by salting and drying. ...
-Bacteria
[Gk. baktron, a rod or stick.] The name of a family of extremely minute plants, consisting of a single cell, and only visible under a high power of the microscope. They are found almost everywhere, an...
-Badger
[Probably from badge and ard, in reference to the white spot on its forehead.] A car-niverous quadruped of the Weasel family. It has a broad, flat body, short tail, and long tapering head. It is a qui...
-Bagpipe
A musical instrument made of a leather bag, filled with wind by a tube blown by the player. There are other three or four tubes, one a chanter with eight holes.. G-clef is the only scale used. It is a...
-Baking-Powders
Chemical substances used instead of yeast in bread-making, their action being to give off carbonic acid gas, which puffs up the dough, or causes the effect called rising. They are usually composed o...
-Balance
[L. bis, double ; and lanx, a dish.] A machine used for weighing. The common balance consists of a beam supported at its middle point, having two scale-pans of equal weight hung from its extremities. ...
-Balloon
[Fr. ballon.] A large bag made of silk, and filled with light gas, coal gas being now generally used. It rises in the atmosphere, because its weight is less than the weight of air which it displaces. ...
-Bamboo
[Malay.] This is the giant of grasses. It is a most useful and graceful plant. Its stem is hollow, and at intervals it forms joints or knots; and its flower is enclosed in scales, as in the common gra...
-Banana
[Span.] The fruit of a tree of the same name, belonging to the same family as the plantain. Its leaves are about 6 feet long, and its fruit grows in great bunches and is a most important food in hot c...
-Bandana
[Hind.] A red or colored silk or calico handkerchief with patterns or white spots. The handkerchiefs are pressed between hydraulic plates with holes or patterns, and the bleaching fluid poured into th...
-Banyan
[Bot. name, Ficus Indica.] The sacred tree of India, and one of the wonders of the vegetable world. It is of the Fig family, and is called the Indian fig. Its seeds carried by the wind or dropped by b...
-Baobab
A tree of tropical Africa ; known also as the monkey-bread tree. Its size is gigantic, and it lives to a great age. Its trunk does not usually exceed 40 feet in height, but its girth sometimes reaches...
-Barberry
[L. berberis.] A shrub which grows wild in northern Europe and Asia and in parts of the United States. In Italy it grows to the height of a plum tree, and is very ornamental when covered with its brig...
-Barium
[Gk. barys, heavy.] One of the metallic elements, first isolated by Sir H. bavy, from whom it received its name. It occurs in heavy spar (sulphate of barium) and in baryta (a compound with oxygen). So...
-Bark
[Dan.] The exterior covering of the trunk and branches of exogenous trees, the endogens and the ferns having no true bark. Some barks are very thin and others thick ; those of the giant trees of Calif...
-Barley
[AS.] A plant of the Grass family, cultivated for its seeds, which are a valuable grain used for food. It is hardier than wheat, maize, or oats, and is grown in northern countries like Russia, Norway,...
-Barnacle
A genus of ocean animals, called also acorn shells. These belong to the order of the crustaceae, swim when young, but afterwards attach themselves to rocks, ships, sea plants, etc., develop a shell, a...
-Barometer
[Gk. baros, weight; and metron, measure.] An instrument for measuring the pressure of the atmosphere. Barometers are divided into two classes, cistern and siphon; and in each of these classes there ar...
-Barque Or Bark
Any small ship, but especially a vessel, small or large, with three masts, the fore and main of which are rigged as in a ship, but the mizzen is rigged fore and aft. ...
-Barrel
A cylindrical receptacle made of grooved staves bound together by hoops, and with heads fastened by dowels. The staves are planed, bent, and grooved by machinery. The name barrel includes keg, cask, p...
-Basalt
[L. basaltes.] A rock of igneous origin, occurring chiefly in the ancient trap series of rocks. Basaltic rocks are composed of feldspar, augite, and magnetic iron, and other minerals, such as olivine....
-Base-Ball
An athletic game, which takes the place in the United States that cricket holds in England. It is played on a square area, whose corners are called bases. The ball is struck by a bat, and the batsman ...
-Basket
The weaving of wicker work is one of the oldest arts known to man. The shoots of the willow or osier are mostly used. Ash, elm, and birch shoots are also used. Baskets are made of a great variety of s...
-Bass
[A corruption of barse.] A spiny-finned kind of perch used for food. There are many kinds, including the black and rock bass and sea bass of America, the common European bass, the striped bass, the wh...
-Bat
[O. E.] An animal with wings of a thin membrane of skin. The finger bones are very Jong and slender, and the membrane is stretched between them and extends from the arms to the legs. It is filled with...
-Baths
[AS.] Places for washing in, either for cleansing the skin or strengthening the body. For cleansing, tepid or warm baths are most effective; but being relaxing, they should not be used too often. The ...
-Battleship
This term refers to a heavily armored ship of war, carrying immense guns, which are placed in revolving armor turrets. One of these ships is like a floating fortress. They differ from the cruiser, whi...
-Battery Leyden
An electric battery, consisting of a number of jars joined together in such a manner that they act like a single large jar. The jars are placed side by side in a box or tray lined with tin-foil, which...
-Bayonet
[Fr. bayonnette.] A sharp, straight, tapering steel pike or sword, capable of being fastened to the muzzle of a musket or rifle. It is named from Bayonne in France, where the first was made about 1640...
-Beads
[AS.] Perforated balls of glass, porcelain, or gems worn for ornament; also a small ball for counting prayers. The glass houses of the island of Murano, near Venice, have been, from a remote period, a...
-Beacon
A signal fire, or an erection at the entrance of a river or harbor, to give warning of dangerous navigation. Beacon fires are of great antiquity, and by their use news were quickly flashed from hill t...
-Beak
The point of anything ; the bill of a bird. The beak is a conspicuous feature in all birds, and consists of an upper and lower half. The upper half is commonly articulated with the skull in a more or ...
-Bean
[AS.] The seed of various pod-bearing plants used for food. The two principal field beans are the Scotch or horse bean, and the tick bean. There are also many varieties of garden beans, such as the lo...
-Bear
[AS.] A large carnivorous animal, with a rough, shaggy coat and a peculiar gait. It walks on the sole of the foot (plantigrade.) It has five toes on each foot, and when fighting stands nearly erect on...
-Beaver
[AS. L. fiber.] An interesting rodent animal, valued for its fur. Formerly abundant in North America, it is now scarce, and found only inhabiting the banks of rivers in wild parts. The hind feet are w...
-Bed
[AS.] Something to rest or sleep on. Many substances have been used for this purpose, such as'skins, heath and rushes, straw, etc. Feathers have long been used. The East Indians lie on the floor on li...
-Bee
[AS.] A family of membrane-winged insects, of which the best known are the honey or hive bee and the humble or bumble bee. The hive bee is a busy and curious honey-gatherer, which lives in communities...
-Beech
[AS.] A tree of the Fagus family, growing in Europe and America to a large size. It has a smooth bark and thick foliage, and bears triangular nuts which yield an oil. These nuts are used to feed swine...
-Beef
[Fr.] The flesh of an ox or cow when slaughtered for food. Beef contains fibrin and albumen, which are good flesh-forming materials, and the value of meat is chiefly due to the presence o f these two ...
-Beer As
beor; Ger. bier.] Under this name may be included beer,. ale, and porter. The process of making beer is called brewing. Barley is soaked in water and kept in a warm place until it begins to sprout. D...
-Beet
[AS.] A biennial vegetable plant which produces an edible root the first year and seed the second year. There are many varieties ; the red is used for the table, the mangel-wurzel for feeding stock, a...
-Beetle
[AS.] Any insect of the order Coleoptera (or wings in a sheath), having four wings, the outer pair being stiff cases for covering the others when folded up, and defending them from hard substances und...
-Begonia
[From Michael Begon, a botanist.] A species of plants grown as ornamental plants. The leaves are curiously one-sided and often exhibit brilliant colors. ...
-Bell
[AS.] A hollow metallic vessel shaped like a cup, with a wide mouth containing a clapperor tongue, and giving forth a musical sound when struck. Bells are made of various metals, but the best are made...
-Belladonna
[Bot. name ,Atropa belladonna,.]. A herbaceous plant with reddish bell-shaped flowers and shining black berries. Both plant and fruit are poisonous, and used as powerful medicinal agents. Also called ...
-Bellows
[AS.] A flat, round, double utensil, which by the rise and fall of the top part draws in air through a valve and expels it through a tube. Useful for blowing fires, ventilating mines, and filling the ...
-Benzene
[Arab. from benzoin.] A compound of carbon and hydrogen discovered by Faraday. It occurs amongst the products of the distillation of many organic bodies, but its chief source is coal-tar. It is a thin...
-Benzine
A substance derived from petroleum, which is much used as a substitute for turpentine and for dissolving oils and fats. ...
-Benzoin
[Arab.] A vegetable substance obtained by drying the juice of the benzoin tree. It is brought from Siam and the islands of the Indian Archipelago. It is used in perfumery and as incense, being fragran...
-Bergamot
[It. bergatnotta ; prob. from Turk. beg armudi, a lord's pear.] A tree of the Orange family, having a pear-shaped fruit, from the rind of which is extracted an essential oil with a delicious and much-...
-Beryl
[Gk. beryllos.] A mineral found in granite together with topaz. It is of a light-green color. It crystallizes in six-sided prisms ; is very hard and difficult to fuse unless mixed with some other subs...
-Betel
[Tamil.] A climbing pepper, the leaves of which, mixed with lime and areca-nut, are chewed by the inhabitants of the East Indies, and the Malays. It stains the lips red and teeth black. ...
-Bevel Wheels
Wheels the axes of which are not parallel, but inclined at a certain angle to one another. When the axes of the two wheels are at right angles they are called mitre wheels. ...
-Bicycle
[L. bis, twice ; and Gk. kyklos, a circle.] A two-wheeled velocipede propelled by treadles attached to cranks or levers. It has become a favorite vehicle, both in Europe and the United States, from it...
-Billiards
[Fr.], The king of indoor games. It is played with balls and a cue on a table, with pockets at the sides and corners. The player seeks to impel his ball to strike or cannon two other balls, or drive a...
-Biograph
[Gk. bios, life ; graphein, to write.] An instrument for the reproduction from photographs of seemingly living forms. The photographs are taken on a film in such rapid succession that every phase of m...
-Birch
[AS.] A tree of several species belonging to the genus Betula-as the white or common birch - the most widely diffused, the dwarf birch, the paper or canoe birch, the yellow birch, and the black or che...
-Bird
[AS.] A winged vertebrate animal covered with feathers. Birds easily mount up into the air, their bones being of all animals largest in proportion to their weight, and the quills of their feathers fil...
-Bird Of Paradise
A perching bird allied to the bower-birds. It has wonderfully beautiful plumage and remarkable tail-feathers, which are much prized for ladies' hats. There are twenty kinds. They live only in New Guin...
-Biscuit
[Fr. bis cuit, twice baked.] Originally biscuits, which belong to the class of unfer-mented bread, were deprived of their moisture by being twice baked ; but although that process is no longer employe...
-Bismuth
[Ger.] One of the metallic elements. It is found in small quantities, in the native state, in Cornwall, France, Germany, Peru, and Siberia, but is chiefly prepared from its ores, which are found in Sa...
-Bison
A large animal of the Ox family, of which only two species remain, one in America and one in Europe. Its most striking difference from the ox is in the bump behind the neck, the longer limbs and shagg...
-Bittern
A wading bird of the Heron family, now very scarce in England. It has a booming cry, which when heard at night sounds so dismally that the bird has been named the night raven. The American bittern is ...
-Bitumen
[L.] A combustible mineral which emits a strong odor when burning. It is supposed to have been produced by the action of heat on coal, and is essentially the same as petroleum and naphtha. ...
-Blackberry
The fruit of the prickly bramble bush, called in England the brambleberry. The plant is of the same family as the raspberry. It grows all over Europe and Asia, and is abundant in North America. In the...
-Blackbird
A singing bird which is a species of thrush. In England it is sometimes known as the merle, and its fine note makes it a favorite ; but not with the gardener, who blames it for its fruit-eating propen...
-Black-Lead
The substance called by this name has no lead in its composition, but consists of graphite or plumbago, one of the forms of carbon. It gets its name from the mark it makes on paper, like that made by ...
-Black-Snake
A species of snake common in the United States and one of the largest found there, measuring sometimes over six feet in length- It is of a leaden color, is very swift in its movements, and readily cli...
-Blanket
[Fr.] A heavy, loosely-woven stuff, usually of wool, and having a nap, used in bed-clothing, as a robe, or as a cover for a horse. ...
-Blast-Furnace
A furnace for smelting ores into which air is forced by pressure. The terms hot blast and cold blast are used to indicate whether the current is heated or not heated before entering the furnace. ...
-Blasting
The blowing asunder of rocks or other hard material by means of explosives. In this work gunpowder is now largely displaced by the more powerful dyna-m ite or other newly-discovered explosives. Blasti...
-Bleaching
[Fr.] The process of removing the color from textile fabrics and from many other materials used in the arts, such as oil, wax, and the various substances used in paper-making. The old method of bleach...
-Blood
[AS.] The vital fluid of animals, which circulates through tubular vessels known as arteries and veins. This fluid is largely water, but contains the nutriment derived from the food we eat. The arteri...
-Blizzard
A winter storm common on the western plains of the United States, its characteristic being a strong and very cold wind and fierce blinding snow. It usually appears in the Canadian plains, following a ...
-Block-System
A system for the control of railroad trains so as to avoid collisions. Block stations are placed a few miles apart, connected by telegraph lines, and provided with signal boards or lights. The rule is...
-Blowpipe
A tube for blowing a jet of air into the flame of a lamp, a fire, or a gas-jet, in order to obtain a high temperature by rapid combustion. It is used in glass-blowing, in soldering metals, and in anal...
-Bluebird
A small song-bird very common in spring in the United States. It lays five or six pale-blue eggs, and hatches several broods in a season. ...
-Bluefish
A large voracious fish, valued for food, and widely found on the American coast. It is called there the horse mackerel. ...
-Boa Constrictor
[X.] A large and powerful serpent of tropical America, some-times twenty or thirty f ee t long. It has a succession of spots, alternately black and yellow, along the back. It kills its prey by winding...
-Bobbin
[Fr.] A spool or reel, of bone or wood, with a head at one or both ends, and a hole bored through its length. It is used to hold yarn or thread in a shuttle, as in spinning or warping machines, looms,...
-Body
[AS.] The material part of a living being. In the higher animals it is composed of a head, a central part or trunk, and four limbs. When the human body is dissected, or taken to pieces, there is found...
-Blowing-Machine
An apparatus to produce a blast of air. The blacksmith's bellows is one of the earliest forms of these. Various machine-blowers are now in use, which give a very powerful blast, some of them being rot...
-Boar
The wild form of the common hog. It is a large and strong beast, of four feet or more in length, while the male has dangerous canine teeth. It hides by day and roams at night, doing great damage to cr...
-Bog
A tract of land covered with peat, which holds much water and converts it into a kind of quagmire. It is sometimes called Peat-bog, Peatmoss, or Moss, to distinguish it from other kinds of swamp. Bogs...
-Boiler
A vessel in which water is boiled to produce steam, for engine purposes. It is usually a large, cylindrical receptacle of iron, though boilers are frequently made of tubes, where rapid steam-making is...
-Boomerang
A peculiar missile used by the savages of Australia in war or the chase. It consists of a piece of hard wood of a bent form and about two feet long. One side is flat, the other convex in shape. When t...
-Boiling
When water or any other liquid is heated in the open air, its temperature rises. After a time bubbles of vapor are formed and reach the surface, and at this stage boiling or ebullition has begun. The ...
-Bolt
[AS.] A strong pin of iron or other material used to hold something in its place, often having a head at one end and a screw thread cut on the other, on which a movable piece called a nut is screwed. ...
-Bone
[AS.] A firm, hard substance, of a white or pale rose color, composing the skeleton or firmer part of the body. There are 246 bones in the human body. They give shape and firmness to the body, protect...
-Borax
A compound of boron with sodium and oxygen, is obtained chiefly from Tuscany, and is found also in Tibet, China, Nevada, and California. It is used in soldering gold and other metals, and in the arts ...
-Bore
[Icel.] A tidal flood which rushes into certain rivers of peculiar configuration, and is dangerous to shipping, as at the mouth of the Amazon, the Hoogly, and the Tsien-tang; also the flow of the tide...
-Boulder
[Dan. buldre.] A mass of rock chiefly rounded, that has been transported by the action of ice and other natural agencies from its native bed. Boulder clay is the unstratified clay deposit of the glaci...
-Bow
[AS.] Anything bent in the shape of a curve, as a rainbow. A weapon made of wood or elastic material, with a cord connecting the two ends, by means of which an arrow is propelled. ...
-Box
[AS.] A tree or shrub which grows in various parts of the world. The common box has two varieties. The dwarf box is used as an edging for gardens. The wood of the tree kinds is hard and smooth. It is ...
-Brace
[Fr.] A cord, ligament, or rope for holding anything tightly. Any piece of matieral used to transmit or change the direction of a weight or pressure. In the plural, straps to sustain trousers. ...
-Bradawl
[AS.] A straight awl with chisel edge, used to make holes for brads, or thin nails with a slight projection at the top instead of a head. ...
-Brain
[AS.] The brain is the principal nerve centre, and occupies the whole cavity of the head. It is carefully enclosed by membranes, its upper part beirig called the cerebrum, and its lower part the cereb...
-Brake
[AS.] A mechanism for retarding or stopping motion through friction by the pressure or rubbing against wheels, or of clogs or ratchets against a rail, or of a pivoted lever against a wheel or drum in ...
-Brandy
[Ger. branntwein.] A strong alcoholic liquor, distilled chiefly in France from wine. When wine is heated in a close vessel, the alcohol arises out of it as vapor. If the vapor be made to pass through ...
-Brass
[AS.] An alloy of two parts of copper and one of zinc. Prince Rupert's metal, used in jewelry, has from 75 to 80 per cent, of copper. The alloy used in Dutch metal has 85 per cent. of copper. It is mu...
-Brazil-Nut
The fruit of a large tree, found on the Orinoco River, South America. The nuts, which are known commonly as Cream Nuts, are three-sided, with hard shells, and white meat which is very good when fresh,...
-Brazil-Wood
A red dye-wood, brought from Brazil, and used in dyeing silks, the dye being got from the wood by boiling. Brazil got its name from this wood, which the Portuguese called braza, or glowing embers, fro...
-Bread
[AS.] An important article of food made from the flour of wheat or other grains. In the process of bread-making from 50 to 60 per cent of water is added to the flour, in which yeast or other leavening...
-Bread-Fruit Tree
A native of the South Sea Islands which bears a large, nearly round fruit the size of a child's head. The pulp, when not quite ripe, is white and mealy, and is baked for food. It has little taste, but...
-Breakwater
A bank of stones or a structure of timber, built to break the violence of the sea before its entrance into a roadstead or harbor. A great quantity of large stones are usually sunk, and the bank which ...
-Breathing
The act of respiration. The organs concerned in breathing are the nostrils, the wind-pipe and the lungs. The wind-pipe is a stout tube, divided below into two tubes, one of which goes to the right and...
-Brick
[Fr.] A mass of clay which is converted into building material by burning. The clay is dug up, exposed to the air and frost, and kneaded or mixed with water until it is a thick paste, and then moulded...
-Bridge
[AS.] A roadway over a stream, valley, or low ground. Viaduct is applied to bridges over which a road or railway passes; and aqueduct is applied to those for carrying a canal or water. They are made o...
-Britannia Metal
[From I,. Britannia, Great Britain.] An alloy of tin, antimony, and copper. It varies in composition, but in general it contains from 80 to 90 per cent, of tin, with varying proportions of the other t...
-Bronze
[Fr.] An alloy of copper and tin, with a small quantity of zinc added. Bronze is used for statues, ornaments, bells, cannon, coin, etc. Turkish gongs and cymbals are made of a bell-metal plunged while...
-Broom
[AS.] A low shrub with long, straight, green angular branches, minute leaves, and yellow flowers. The twigs, when tied together, are suitable for making brooms to sweep with. ...
-Brussels-Sprouts
A plant of the Cabbage family, which produces in the axils of the upright stems numerous small green heads or sprouts, each a cabbage in miniature. ...
-Buckwheat
[Buck, a beech tree ; and wheat.] A plant of a family which includes knot-weed, called also Saracen wheat, with a triangular seed shaped like beech-nuts; when ground it is used in America for griddle ...
-Bud
[AS.] The rudiment of a branch, a leaf, or a flower. In biennial and perennial plants buds are formed towards the close of the growing season in the axils of the leaves. Terminal buds are those at the...
-Buffalo
[Span.J a ruminant animal of the Ox family, found in Southern Asia and Europe and in South Africa. The buffalo of Asia is a nation of the East Indies, but has been introduced into other countries as f...
-Bug
[Celt.] A general name applied to various insects, as squash-bug; but specially also the bed-bug. Also, loosely, any beetle, such as lady-bug, potato-bug, etc. ...
-Bugle
[Fr.] A copper musical instrument for calling hounds or for summoning soldiers, first made from the horn of a wild ox. In bands the bugle is now superseded by the cornet. ...
-Bullfinch
A European cage bird allied to the grossbeak, with the breast and neck red, It may be easily taught to whistle correctly musical airs ...
-Bullfrog
The largest of the frogs, it being generally 6 to 8 inches long, and 4 inches broad. It is very common in the United States, especially in the South, and derives its name from its loud call, which res...
-Bunion
[Fr.] A swelling usually on the first joint of the great toe, caused by continued pressure of tight boots. ...
-Bunsen Burner
This burner consists of an ordinary gas-jet over which is placed a metal tube about 5 inches long, perforated with holes at the bottom. When the gas is lighted, air is drawn through the holes, and mix...
-Buoy
[Du. bote, a chain.] A floating mark or beacon to point out a shoal or danger, usually chained to its place. Life buoy, a float intended to keep from sinking. Bell-buoy, a buoy with bells rung by the ...
-Burdock
A rough wild plant, very common in Europe and the United States. It is about a yard high, has large coarse leaves and purplish flowers, and bears prickly seed burs, which catch on clothing, the wool o...
-Bushel
[Fr.] A measure of capacity of 4 pecks or 8 gallons or 32 quarts. The English imperial bushel contains 80 lbs. of water at 620 F. The United States bushel contains 77.6274 lbs. of water at 39.8 F...
-Bustard
A bird, native to Europe and Asia, where it inhabits dry open plains. It has large wings, but rises in the air only at times. When on the wing, its flight is strong and sustained. It generally runs al...
-Buttercup
[AS.] A kind of crowfoot with bright-yellow flower. It is the cuckoo-bud of Shakespeare. (See Flower.) ...
-Butterfly
The most beautiful of insects, having wings covered with colored dust, which is really fine, shiny, iridescent scales. The butterfly is therefore called a scale-winged insect. Young caterpillars are h...
-Cabbage
[O.E., or L,. caput.] An esculent vegetable with a foot-stalk, short, strong, and fleshy, which runs as a great rib to the point of the blade, while smaller ribs run from it to the edges. The common ...
-Cabinet
[Fr.] A safe place for jewels or paper; usually a set of drawers or a cupboard closed with doors. Cabinet. A private room in which consultations are held. Monarchs formerly consulted with their counci...
-Cable
[Fr.] A strong chain or rope for fastenings ships or other purposes. Telegraph cable is a rope of gutta-percha, yarn, and iron wire, in the centre of which are copper conducting wires to be laid under...
-Cactus
[L.] A kind of plant like the prickly pear, found in tropical America, usually with leafless stems and branches, and sometimes clustered thorns. (See Cochineal.) ...
-Caddy E
Ind.; from Malay, kati, a weight of 1 1/2 lbs.] A small box for holding tea. ...
-Caffein
[Fr.] A white, bitter, crystallizable substance obtained from coffee. ...
-Caisson
[Fr.] An apparatus used in laying the foundation of bridges under water. One form is an inverted water-tight hollow box with iron-bound edges, in the bottom of which some masonry has been constructed....
-Cake
[Scand., or L. coquere, to cook.] A mass of dough, made palatable by the addition of sugar, eggs, fruit, and other materials, and baked in the oven; or made into a batter and baked on a griddle. It di...
-Calabash
[Span.] A tree found in tropical America, the gourd-like fruit of which has a soft pulp, and its shell is made into drinking-cups and bottles. ...
-Calamus
[L. Accrus calamus.] The Sweet-Flag, a plant found in ditches and by the side of ponds in Asia, Europe, and North America. The root-stock yields an aromatic stimulant and tonic, much used as a medicin...
-Calculating Machine
An instrument in which, by the movement of keys, acting upon an intricate mechanism, arithmetical calculations may be made. The Babbage machine was capable of performing remarkable operations, but was...
-Calf
[AS.] The young of the cow and of some animals; also leather for bookbinding made from calf-skin. The flesh of calves is called veal. Calf-foot jelly is the gelatine of the feet of the calf, extracted...
-Calico
[E. Ind.] Fine white cotton cloth, with special names, as super calicoes, shirting calicoes, unbleached calicoes. Also cotton (q.v.) cloth with a figured pattern. ...
-Calipers
A kind of compasses with curved legs for measuring the diameter of round bodies. ...
-Calomel
[Gk.] A compound of chlorine and mercury, which is found native as horn quick-silver in Bavaria, Bohemia, and Spain. It is of great value in medicine, being one of the mildest and most frequently used...
-Caloric Engine
A form of air engine, invented by John Ericsson, which is in considerable use for light machinery. In its working parts it resembles the steam engine, but is operated by the expansive power of hot air...
-Calyx
[Gk.] The outer covering of a flower. It is usually green and leafy, but in such flowers as the anemone is delicate and resembles the petals. Each leaf of the calyx is a sepal. (See Flower.) ...
-Cam
[Dan.] A turning or sliding piece of machinery, which, by the side of its face or a groove on its surface, changes the motion of another piece against which it acts. Cams are used in the pin-machine, ...
-Cambric
A kind of fine thin white linen, first made at Cambray in Flanders. Cambric muslin is thin white cotton. ...
-Camel
[L. camelus.] A most useful ruminating animal, which for centuries has been used as a beast of burden or ship of the desert on the sandy plains of Africa and Arabia. It is well adapted by nature for ...
-Camellia
[Probably named after Kamel, a Jesuit, who first brought the plant from the East.] An Asiatic shrub with shining green leaves and showy flowers. In China oil is pressed from its seeds. ...
-Cameopard
[Gk. kamelos, camel; and pardos, a leopard.] An old name of the giraffe, arising from the idea that it was an offspring of the camel and the leopard. ...
-Cameo
[Ital.] A precious stone, as an onyx or sardonyx, having a figure carved in relief on the surface. ...
-Camera Obscura
[L.] An optical instrument. In its simplest form it consists of a rectangular box fitted at one end with a lens and at the other end with a plane mirror, inclined at an angle of 45 to the horizo...
-Camomile
[Gk. chamai, on the ground; and melon, an apple.] A bitter herb used as a medicine. Its flowers have a strong and fragrant smell, with an aromatic taste. Its volatile oil is used as a carminative. ...
-Camphor
A white resinous substance existing in many plants, but mainly obtained from the camphor laurel, grown in China, Formosa, and Japan. The Borneo or Sumatra camphor, highly esteemed in China, is obtaine...
-Canal
[L. canalis, a pipe.] A waterway made for boats or ships or for irrigation. The barrier which confines the water is called the weir or guard-lock, and the enclosure with gates at each end to raise or ...
-Canary
A cage bird about the size of a sparrow, which is found wild in the Madeira and the Canary Islands. Great quantities of tame birds are raised in Germany. In its wild state it is generally of a dusky g...
-Candle
[L. candela, a (white) light made of wax or tallow ; from candere, to be white.] A twist of threads surrounded by tallow or wax which gives light when lit. Common candles are made of tallow. Lumps of ...
-Cane Sugar
The variety of sugar obtained from the sugar-cane and the sugar-beet, as distinguished from grape-sugar, which is obtained from maize and some other plants. (See Sugar.) SUGAR CANE. ...
-Canister
[L. canistrum.] A basket of reeds, or a small box for holding tea or coffee. - Canis-ter shot, or case shot, a kind of shot with a number of lead or iron balls enclosed in a case which bursts when fir...
-Cannel Coal
A hard, jet-black variety of coal which burns with a bright white flame. The gas yielded by this coal has nearly three times the illuminating power of that obtained from common coal. It is hard enough...
-Cannon
[Fr. canon; from L. canna, reed, pipe, tube.] Apiece of ordnance or artillery. The large cannon now in use consists of a forged steel tube strengthened with massive steel rings shrunk upon it. Howitze...
-Canoe
[Span. canoa.] A boat made of the trunk of a tree hollowed, or of bark or skins. It is propelled by a paddle or sails, and has no rudder. ...
-Canteen
[F. cantine, bottle case.] A refreshment house in a fort or barracks for the use of soldiers, where they can purchase food and other necessaries, and intoxicating liquors under certain restrictions. A...
-Canvas
[Fr. from Gk. kannabis, hemp.] A coarse cloth for sieves, sails, and sacks, made from hemp, flax, or cotton , the cloth on which a picture is painted. ...
-Caoutchouc
[Ind. pronounced koo'chook.] The elastic gum of several trees in South America, Africa, and Asia. It is impervious to liquids and gases, and is much used in the arts and manufactures. (See India-rubbe...
-Capercailzie
[Celt.] A kind of large grouse with a fine flavor found in Scotland and in Northern Europe,especially Norway and Sweden, and known under the name cock of the woods. ...
-Capillary
[L. capillus, a hair.] A tube with a hair-like bore ; a minute blood-vessel. ...
-Capillary Force
The force by which water ascends in wood, sponge, blotting-paper, and other porous bodies. By the same action the flame of a lamp is fed with oil. The wick is a bundle of threads whose surfaces are ne...
-Capital
[Fr.] The head of a column, and consisting of abacus, bell, and necking. The Greeks used three orders-Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Romans added Tuscan and Composite. Other orders in use are Byzan...
-Capitol
Originally the great national temple of Rome. A modern Capitol now stands on its site. The name has been applied to the building in which the United States Congress holds its sessions; also to the leg...
-Caps Tan
[Fr.] A vertical drum revolving on an upright spindle with a drum-head, in which are sockets for bars or levers. It is used on board ship to raise weights by means of a rope, and is worked either by s...
-Capsule
[L. capsa, a chest.] A seed-vessel of a plant containing many parts or carpels, as the flax, the poppy, and the lily ; a metallic seal or cover for closing a bottle; also in medicine a gelatinous enve...
-Car
[Fr.] A frame on wheels for carrying persons or loads. In the United States the word is applied to vehicles used on railroads or for street travel. Railroad cars are called carriages in England, excep...
-Carat
[Fr.] A weight of 31/6 grains Troy, divided into four parts or carat grains, for weighing gold, diamonds, or precious stones; the twenty-fourth part of any quantity of pure gold. Goldsmiths' standard ...
-Caravan
[Per. karwanJ] A company of merchants, pilgrims, or travelers, joined together for mutual safety and protection, in Asia and Northern Africa, with camels as the usual means of conveyance. A large cove...
-Carway
[Bot. name Carum carvt.] The seed of a plant like a carrot, of the Parsley order, grown in Holland ; used in confectionery and as a carminative. ...
-Carbide Of Calcium
A product of the electric furnace, consisting in a compound of calcium and carbon. It is of interest from the fact that when met it yields in abundance acetylene gas, remarkable for its illuminating p...
-Carbolic Acid
An organic compound derived from coal-tar. When pure it is a white crystalline substance, possessing a burning taste and the odor of creosote. In the crude form it is largely used as a disinfectant. I...
-Carbon
A non-metallic element known only in the solid form and very widely distributed. It enters into the composition of all organic structures, whether animal or vegetable. It is found in all the animal ti...
-Carbonic Acid
One of the products of the combustion of carbon, also known as carbon dioxide. When coal or wood burns brightly in the fire, carbonic acid is produced, and it may be prepared artificially by acting on...
-Carboniferous System
In geology the system of Primary rocks overlying the Devonian. It takes its name from the extensive coal-beds which it contains. In the system there are two well-marked sub-divisions-the lower section...
-Carborundum
A compound of carbon and silicon, produced in the electric furnace. It was discovered in 1890 in an effort to make artificial diamonds, in which bright blue crystals hard enough to cut precious stones...
-Carbuncle
[L. cardunculus, a small coal.] A precious stone of a fiery-red color, found in the East Indies-a ruby, sapphire, or garnet. A hard and painful swelling on the skin on the trunk or back of the neck, l...
-Card
[L. carduus, a thistle.] A comb with bent wire teeth set in leather to smooth and arrange the fibres of cotton, flax, wool. ...
-Cardinal Bird
An American song bird or finch, with bright-red feathers and a high-pointed crest. ...
-Caret
[L. carere, to want.] A mark (a) on a line of print or writing to show that something wanting and interlined or on the margin ought to be inserted. ...
-Carmine
[Fr. carmin.] A rich red or crimson color with a purple shade, prepared from cochineal, and having acid properties. ...
-Carp
[Dan.] A fresh-water fish, originally from Asia, but now in Europe, reared in artificial ponds, and latterly also introduced into America, he leather carp is almost wanting in scales, and the mirror c...
-Carpentry
[L,. carpentum, a coach.] A work in wood for the construction of buildings. A carpenter frames and puts together roofs, partitions, and floors of buildings; a joiner makes the doors, shutters, stairs,...
-Carpet
[Fr. carpette.] A thick covering or the floor, usually of wool, but also of cotton, hemp, and straw, and made in breadths to be sewed together and nailed on the floor. Brussels carpet is made of worst...
-Carriage
Motor. (See Automobile.) ...
-Carrier-Pigeon
A variety of domestic pigeon used to convey letters from a distant point to its home. It has been used in war. ...
-Carronade
[From Carron in Scotland, where first made during the Peninsular War.] A short cannon without trunnions, but supported on its carriage by a bolt. ...
-Carrot
[Bot. name Daucus carota.] A biennial plant with a long tapering spindle-shaped root of a red color. It is used in soups and stews, and highly valued as a food for cattle. ...
-Cart
[Celt.] A frame on two or more wheels for carrying loads. In excavating sand, gravel or earth, one-third cubic yard of material before it is loosened is a cart-load. ...
-Cartridge
[Fr. cartouche.] A case of paper or metal containing powder and sometimes shot for a gun. Ball cartridge contains a projectile, and blank cartridge is without one. ...
-Casein
[L. cdseus, cheese.] An albuminous sub-stance contained in milk, and forming the principal constituent of cheese. The casein in milk is not coagulated by boiling, like albumen ; but rennet, or an acid...
-Cassia
[Semitic] The pulp of the pods of a leguminous shrub in the East Indies ; also the bark of Chinese cinnamon, imported as cassia and sold as cinnamon, from which oil of cinnamon is extracted. ...
-Cast-Iron
Iron that is cast into pigs or moulds. It contains more carbon than steel, is brittle in character, but is used for many purposes. (See Iron.) ...
-Castor Oil
A mild cathartic oil got from the castor-oil plant(Ricinus communis), and usedas a medicine. It is colorless, but possesses a nauseous taste. In India it is obtained in such abundance as to be used fo...
-Cat
[L. catus.] A small domestic animal, of the same family as the lion, tiger, leopard, etc. The cat is a flesh-eater, and is fond of birds and mice. It has a fur coat, smooth and glossy and soft as sil...
-Catacombs
[Gk. kata, downward; kymbe, cavity.] Great excavations in the vicinity of ancient Rome, used for burial by the early Christians. They are cut in a soft volcanic material, and the total length of their...
-Caterpillar
[Fr.] The larval state of a butterfly or moth. True caterpillars have three pairs of true legs and several pairs of fleshy legs armed with hooks. They usually feed on leaves, fruit, and vegetables. So...
-Catfish
A common American fish, with naked skin and eight fleshy.barbules on the head. It is from 7 to 9 inches long, and is a favorite food-fish. The Great Lake Catfish, found in Lakes Erie and Ontario, is f...
-Catgut
A cord of great toughness made from the intestines of animals, especially of sheep, and used for musical instruments. Cat'kin [O.E.] The flowers of willow, poplar, and some other trees. It consists o...
-Catnip Or Catmint
[L. Mentha cataria.] A plant common in the United States, of whose leaves cats are very fond. They have a sharp and bitter taste. A tea made from them is sometimes used as medicine. ...
-Catseye
A very precious stone which, when cut in a certain way, presents different colors, like the opal. It is so named because the eye of the cat has a similar power. ...
-Cattle
A term denoting all animals of the ox kind. [See Cow] ...
-Cauliflower
[Fr.] A variety of cabbage with a cluster of flower stalks and buds. It is more delicate in taste than the ordinary cabbages, and much esteemed as food. ...
-Caustic
[Fr. from Gk. kaiein, to burn.] A substance that burns the flesh. Caustic lime is slaked lime, also quicklime. Caustic potash and soda are the hydroxides, Caustic silver or lunar caustic is nitrate of...
-Cave Or Cavern
[L. cavus, hollow.] A hollow place underground. Among the most interesting caves are the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky ; Fingal's Cave, a basaltic cave in Staffa, Scotland; the Adelsburg caves, in Carniola...
-Cedar
[L.] An evergreen tree with spreading branches and hard red wood with a fragrant smell. The chief varieties are the cedar of Lebanon, the white cedar, the American red cedar, the Spanish cedar. Cedar ...
-Celandine
[Fr. from Gk. chelidon, a swallow.] A plant like a poppy, with yellow flowers, supposed to come and go with the swallows. It is used as a medicine in jaundice and for warts. ...
-Celery
[Fr.] A vegetable of the Parsley family of which the blanched leaf-stalks are used as a relish for food. ...
-Cell
[L-], One of the smallest parts of a plant or animal. All cells have their origin in the primary cell from which the organism was developed. Also in electricity ajar or vessel, or a division of a vess...
-Celluloid
An ivory-like compound of camphor and collodion. It is made into knife handles, pianoforte keys, billiard balls, shirt collars and cuffs, and many other things, and used instead of glass for photograp...
-Cellulose
A substance which is the basis of almost all vegetable fabrics. It has recently come into use as a lining for war ships to prevent the inflow of water through shot holes. It does this by swelling when...
-Cement
The best-known cements are Portland and Roman cements, and are distinguished from mortar by hardening quickly, while mortar hardens slowly. Portland and Roman cements both set or harden under water ; ...
-Centipede Or Centiped
[L. centum, a hundred ; pes, foot.] An animal with one hundred feet or with many feet. They are also many-jointed. Large, flat-headed, venomous kinds live in tropical countries. ...
-Centre Of Gravity
The point in a body at which we may suppose the whole weight of the body to be collected; and therefore so long as this point is supported the body will rest indifferently in any position. ...
-Chaffinch
[O.E.] An English song bird, said to like chaff, and valued as a cage-bird. (See Finch.) ...
-Chalk
[AS.; L. calx.] A form of soft limestone, widely spread in parts of Europe ; not found in ...
-America
I n southeast England it forms a bed nearly one thousand feet thick. If w e pour a drop of vinegar on a lump of chalk, there is a bubbling up, or effervescence, which is due to carbonic acid gas escap...
-Chameleon
[L.] An animal of the Lizard tribe which has the power of changing its color at will. In a dark place it is white or grayish, but when light is admitted its color changes to red, green, or brown, in a...
-Champagne
[Fr.] A light wine, of several kinds, originally made in Champagne, France. This wine contains much carbonic acid gas, which causes effervescence when poured out. ...
-Charcoal
[AS.] The most common form of carbon. The purest form is animal charcoal, called also bone black and ivory black. It is prepared by heating bones in a vessel nearly closed ; the volatile matters are d...
-Chart
[L., charla, paper.] A map especially for. the use of seamen. Heliographic, of the. sun; selenograpic, of the moon. ...
-Cheese
[AS., from I,. caseus, cheese] Curd of milk pressed hard. By adding rennet to milk, the nitrogenous substance called casein is made to curdle or coagulate ; and it is separated from the whey by strain...
-Chemistry
[Gk.] The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were acquainted with many of the sub-stances known to us at the present day, and also with the method of their preparation ; but among those nations nothing was...
-Cheroot
[Tamil.] A kind of cigar originally made in Manilla ; now a cigar of inferior or adulterated tobacco. ...
-Cherry
[Fr.,from Gk. kerasos] A tree of the Prune or Plum family bearing a red stone-fruit, which is much esteemed for dessert purposes and for conserves. There are several hundred varieties of the common ga...
-Chess
[Fr., from Pers. shah, a king.] A game played by two persons on a board divided into squares. Each player has a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, two castles, and eight pawns. The king, when ma...
-Chestnut
[Fr., from Gr. kastanon, a chestnut.] A tree with white or red flowers like spikes, and a fruit of a reddish-brown color, enclosed in a green prickly husk, the nuts being covered by a thick firm skin...
-Chickweed
The name of several weeds, especially Stellaria media, the seeds and buds of which are a favorite food of small birds. ...
-Chicory
[L. cichorium.] A common European plant, known also as succory. It is somewhat like the dandelion, and a substitute for coffee is obtained from its root by roasting and grinding. It is mixed with coff...
-Chilblain
[AS.] A swelling produced by the exposure of the hands or feet to cold and sudden heat. ...
-Chimpanzee
[Fr.] A West African ape which is more like man in some ways than any other ape. When full grown it is 4 feet high. It has no hair on the hands and face, and none on its large rounded ears. Its arms a...
-China
A fine kind of ware first made in China, and first brought from China in the seventeenth century. (See Porcelain.') China ink is India ink. ...
-Chinchilla
A South American rodent like a squirrel, with five-toed fore feet and four-toed hind feet, and a large bushy tail. Its soft fleecy fur is much valued. It is a shy animal, with nocturnal habits. ...
-Chine
[Fr.] A piece of the backbone and surrounding flesh of an animal cut for cooking. ...
-Chintz
[Hind.] Cotton clotb printed with colored patterns, and often glaied. (See Cotton.') Chintz is used for bed-hangings and to cover furniture. ...
-Chipmunk
A small American squirrel, marked with black stripes on a yellowish-brown skin ; thence called striped squirrel; also ground squirrel, since it lives in the ground, in which it burrows arid makes its ...
-Chloral
[Gk.] A chemical substance prepared by acting on pure alcohol with dry chlorine gas. It is a limpid, colorless liquid. With water it forms chloral hydrate, a crystalline substance, largely used for th...
-Chlorides
[Gk.J Salts formed when chlorine gas unites with metals. The only chloride which occurs plentifully in nature is sea, or rock-salt, which is a chloride of sodium. ...
-Chlorine
[Gk. chloros, light green.] One of the non-metallic elements, discovered by Scheele in 1774. It is prepared from common salt by the action of sulphuric acid on manganese dioxide. It is a transparent g...
-Chloroform
[Gk. chloros, light-green, and/or-myl. A heavy, colorless volatile liquid, possessing an agreeable odor, like ether; it has a sweet though acid taste ; it is only slightly soluble in water ; it dissol...
-Chlorophyl
[Gk. chloros, light-green; phylion, leaf.] The substance which gives plants their green color. It is a resinous substance, whose chemical composition is not exactly known. ...
-Chocolate
[Span. or Aztec] A sweetmeat made from cocoa. (See Cocoa.) ...
-Cholera
An epidemic intestinal disease, which seems native to Southern Asia, and has at various times swept with terrible destruction of life over Europe and America. It produces severe and painful cramp, oft...
-Chough
[AS.] A bird of the Crow family, of a black color, and with a long, slender, curved bill and red legs. The Cornish chough is the sea-swallow. ...
-Chrome Or Chromium
[Gk.] A hard, fusible, and brittle metal. Potassium chromate and lead chromate (chrome red) are used in dyeing and calico-printing. Chrome yellow is used by painters. Pure chromium is the most difficu...
-Chronometer
[Gk. chronos, time; and metron, a measure.] An instrument for the exact measurement of time. The name is commonly applied to a portable time-keeper, in opposition to a clock, which is stationary. In c...
-Chrysalis
[Gk. chrysos, gold.] The pupa or yellow form which many insects take before they get their wings. When the larva of the butterfly leaves off eating, it enters the chrysalis state. Wrapped in a dry ski...
-Chrysanthemum
[Gk. chrysos, gold; anthemon, flower.] A family of perennial plants, consisting of the ox-eye daisy, feverfew, but chiefly the garden chrysanthemum, of which there are 1,500 varieties, some of them of...
-Cider
[Fr.] A drink made from the juice of apples. Besides being used as a beverage, it is used for making vinegar and cider-brandy. ...
-Cigar
[Span.] A small roll of dried tobacco leaves for smoking. Originally a kind of tobacco made in Havana, Cuba, where he finest are made. In the United States very many million cigars are made annually, ...
-Cigarette
[Fr.] A roll of jloose fine tobacco rolled in paper for smoking. ...
-Cinchona Or Cascarilia
A tree growing in the Andes and in the East Indies, from the baik of which is procured Peruvian bark, which yields quinine, a substance of great medicinal value in fevers. In the 17th century the wife...
-Cinnabar
[L,. cinnabarisJ] Red sulphide of mercury, or vermilion. It occurs as crystals. It is used as a paint and in medicine. Cinnabar grecorum is a red resin used for coloring varnishes, and known as dragon...
-Cinnamon
[Heb. cinnamon.] The bark of a kind of laurel tree found in Ceylon. It is aromatic, pungent, and used as a cordial. With cassia it yields the oil of cinnamon. Cinnamon is used in medicine, cooking, an...
-Circle Iv
circus.] A piane figure contained by one line called the circumference, and such that all straight lines drawn front a point within the figure, called the centre, to the circumference are equal. Any s...
-Circulation
The movement of the blood through, the vascular organs of animals. In birds and mammals, the air-breathing animals, the circulation is double (pulmonary and systemic), and is carried on through the he...
-Cisterns
[L. cisterna ; from cista, box, chest.] Receptacles for water. They are generally square or round in shape, and are commonly lined with lead. Soft water acts upon lead, dissolving it and forming carbo...
-Citric Acid
An acid which is found in lemon juice, and which also occurs along with tartaric and malic acids in many other fruits-such as oranges, cherries, currants, garden rhubarb, etc. It is prepared from lemo...
-Citron
A fruit of the same family as the lemon and orange, and of the shape of a lemon, but larger and rougher, while its juice is not so sour. It is a native of the south of Europe and Asia. A favorite conf...
-Clam
A bivalve shell-fish found in many seas, one species being the common edible clam abundant in the United States, and much used as food. There are many varieties-as long clam, round clam, sea clam, lit...
-Claret
[Fr., from L. clarus, clear.] A wine of a red color; first applied to Medoc wines, and then to red Bordeaux wines. ...
-Clarinet Or Clarionet
[Fr.] A wind instrument blown by a single reed, and usually a leading instrument in a military band. ...
-Clarion
[Fr.] A trumpet with a loud, clearsound. ...
-Claw
[AS.] The toe nail of a beast or bird. The claw of the lion may be unsheathed or put out, and withdrawn or sheathed. The claws of the dog, which catches its prey with its teeth, are blunt, and cannot ...
-Clay
[AS.] A fine-grained, sandy substance, derived from the decay of aluminium silicates. It is white when pure, but it is generally mixed with impurities which impart to it various shades of gray, brown,...
-Clematis
A climbing plant of many kinds, found in most temperate regions, with beautiful flowers, having feathery styles that enlarge in the fruit. ...
-Clock
[Celt.] A machine for measuring time, with wheels moved by weights or springs. It is usually made so as to tell the hour by the stroke of a hammer on a bell. An alarm clock has a mechanism to ring a g...
-Clouds
When vapor is condensed high up in the air, it receives the name of cloud. The three fundamental forms are - cirrus, cumulus, and stratus. The cirrus consists of fibrous, wispy, or feathery clouds, pl...
-Cloves
[Ft.] The clove tree is of the Myrtle order, and is a native of the Spice Islands, but is now cultivated in Zanzibar and the West Indies and other tropical countries. It resembles the laurel, and grow...
-Coal
[AS.] A black substance (consisting mainly of carbon), dug out of the earth, which burns and gives heat. Coal is of compact but brittle structure, and found in seams and beds, and is the remains of a ...
-Coal-Tar
A thick black liquid, obtained during the distillation of coal for the manufacture of illuminating gas. This substance yields madder, a coloring substance formerly obtained from the roots of a plant. ...
-Coat
[Fr.] An outer garment for the upper part of the body, chiefly worn by men. - Coat arms (translation of cotte d'armes, small coat worn over armor), the heraldic bearings of any one. ...
-Cobalt
[Ger. kobalt; from kobold, a goblin.] A reddish-white metal, very tenacious, and very difficult to fuse; occurs in small quantities in meteoric stones, and is usually found combined with arsenic and s...
-Cobra De Ca-Pello
[Port.] The hooded snake, a very venemous serpent found in India. Its hood is formed by the skin of its neck, which it can draw over its head. Ordinarily it is like other snakes, but when going to str...
-Cochineal
[Span.] A dye got from the dried bodies of insects found on a cactus in Mexico, Central America, etc., and yielding carmine red. ...
-Cock
The male of a hen, particularly of domestic fowls ; also a valve for drawing liquids ; and a small pile of hay. Weathercock is a vane in the shape of a cock. ...
-Cockatoo
[Malay.] A bird of the Parrot family, having a short, strong, and much-curved beak and crested head. Among the many varieties are the sulphur-crested, broad-crested, and the great black cockatoo of Au...
-Cockchafer
A beetle; called also may-bug or dor-beetle. (See Beetle.) ...
-Cockle
[Celt.] A kind of shell-fish, a bivalve with radiating ribs, used in Europe as food ; also a weed among corn - applied to the corn-rose and darnel. ...
-Cockroach
An insect of the straight winged family, of which there are many species, some living in the woods under stones, leaves and rotten logs; others, infesting houses, where they eat both animal and vegeta...
-Cocoa
The product of the fruit of chocolate tree, a native of Mexico, Central America and Brazil. It is a handsome tree, 10 to 20 feet high, and is sheltered when growing by larger trees. It commences to be...
-Cocoa-Nut
The nut of the cocoa-palm. The tree grows in tropical countries to a height of from 60 to 80 feet, and is without branches, the leaves and clusters of nuts being at the top. The nut has a milky fluid,...
-Cocoon
[Fr.] The case spun by insects to cover them, especially the oblong case of the silkworm in its chrysalis state, which is formed of threads of silk spun by the insect in its larval state, and from whi...
-Cod
[Goth.] An important sea-fish, used as food, and taken in immense quantities on the northern coasts of Europe and North America. It is very abundant and large on the Banks of Newfoundland. There ar...
-Coffee
The fruit of a tropical evergreen tree from whose beans is prepared a favorie beverage. In its wild state the coffee tree grows from 20 to 30 feet high, but when cultivated is not allowed to grow more...
-Cog
[Celt.] A tooth or cam on the rim of a gear-wheel for imparting or receiving motion. A cog-wheel is a gear-wheel with cogs or teeth. ...
-Cognac
A kind of French brandy, so named from the town Cognac. ...
-Coin
[Fr., from L. cuneus, a wedge.] A piece of metal stamped to be used for money. It is round, flat, bright, hard, and durable. Alloys of the metals are generally used. They are melted into ingots, rolle...
-Coke
[O. E.] Mineral coal from which bitumen, sulphur, or gas has been extracted by roasting in a kiln or oven, or by distillation, as for gas. It is smokeless, and is largely used in steel works and in f...
-Cold Storage
A method of preserving food substances by keeping them in a low temperature. Freezing machines are used to chill the air for this purpose. This system has come widely into use, cold storage rooms bein...
-Cold Wave
The name given in the United States to spells of severe depression in temperature, usually the effect of anti-cyclonic conditions arising in the great plains of western Canada. ...
-Collie
A Scotch shepherd dog remarkable for its intelligence. There are two breeds, rough-haired and smooth-haired. ...
-Collodion
[Gk. kolla, glue ; and eidos, like.] A substance formed when gun-cotton is dissolved in a mixture of alcohol and ether. It is used in photography for the purpose of forming a thin film on the glass wh...
-Cologne Or Cologne Water
A perfume made of alcohol flavored with essential oils. The oils of many flowers are used, though much of the cologne sold is a cheap imitation of the real article. It was named from the city of Colog...
-Colon
[Gk.] The mark (:) used at the end of a clause complete in itself and nearly independent. Semicolon, the mark (;) used to indicate a separation more distinct than the comma. ...
-Color
[L.] The term used to express the different sensations which are produced when light of different kinds enter the eye. When ordinary white light is passed through a prism (q.v.), it is decomposed into...
-Column
[L.] A long round piece of stone, wood, or metal set on end to hold up or adorn a building. It is usually ornamented, and composed of base, shaft, and capital. A clustered column is a column composed ...
-Comets
[Gk. kome, hair.] A wandering class of heavenly bodies. As seen through a powerful telescope, a comet consists of an ill-defined mass of light called the head, which is much brighter towards the centr...
-Common
[Fr.] A piece of land to which all have right for pleasure or pasturage. ...
-Compass Mariners
A magnet (q.v.), when suspended horizontally, always points in a direction nearly north and south, and on this principle has been constructed the mariner's compass, an instrument of great value to sai...
-Compressed Air
One of the first important uses of compressed air as a source of power was in the excavation of the Mount Cenis and the Hoosac Mountain railroad tunnels, in which air compressed by water power was con...
-Concertina
[Ital.] A small musical instrument like an accordion, with bellows, having reeds inside and keys and handles on each of two six-sided heads. ...
-Concrete
[L.] A hard building material made of gravel, pebbles, sand, and pieces of stone held together by cement (q.v.), or tar, used for side-walks, foundations, and submarine structures. ...
-Condor
[Span.] The largest of known vultures. It is of the vulture kind, and lives on the highest Andes, building its nest 15,000 feet above the level of the sea. In winter these birds descend in groups to f...
-Cone
[Fr.] A figure with a round base tapering to the top or vertex. Also the fruit of firs, cedars, and other trees known as conifers, composed of woody scales, each of which has one or two seeds at its b...
-Congou
[Chin.] Black tea of higher grade, finer leaf, and less dusty than, bohea. It means well worked. In the United States it is called Eng-glish breakfast tea. ...
-Constellation
(X. con; and stella, a star.] The name given to the artificial groups of stars. The figures of men and animals were of old supposed to be outlined in the sky, and mythological names were given to them...
-Convolvulus
[L.] A monopetalous plant with twining stems, including the bindweed, with flowers beautifully colored. Morning glory, and sweet potato belong to the same family, and are first cousins to convolvulus....
-Cony
[O.E.] A kind of rabbit. The cony of Scripture is the daman or rock-rabbit. ...
-Coot
[Du.] A short-tailed water bird. It is the common mud-hen of the marshes, and is interesting because of its lobed foot, which has flaps on the sides of the toes. The European coot is named the bald co...
-Copal
[Span.] A resinous substance consisting of the dried juice of various trees growing in Zanzibar, Madagascar, India, and South America. In Africa also it is dug from the earth where forests once stood....
-Copper
[O.E.] A metal, so called from the island of Cyprus, where the Greeks and Romans obtained it. Metallic copper is found in the United States, but it is generally prepared from its ores, of which there ...
-Copper-Plate
A plate of copper on which pictures or writing are engraved. In printing from copper the lines are filled with ink, the surface is wiped clean, and the impression taken by pressing paper under the rol...
-Coral
[Animal.] A minute creature, of low organization, which builds itself a framework of carbonate of lime, which is lined with the fleshy body of the living animal. Corals live in colonies in the warm se...
-Corduroy
[Fr.] A thick cotton cloth with the surface in ridges. ...
-Cork
[Span.] The bark of a tree similar to the oak in appearance. The trees grow for 15 years before the cork is gathered, and some trees live over 150 years. They are found in Spain, Italy, and Portugal. ...
-Cormorant
[Fr., from L. corvus marinus, or sea-crow.] A sea-bird which greedily devours fish. It is about the size of a goose, and has a yellowish skin, which, hanging loosely under its bill, forms a wide pouch...
-Cornet
[Fr.] A wind instrument made of brass, furnished with valves moved by small pistons or sliding rods, and used in bands and orchestras. ...
-Corolla
[L.] The colored envelope of a flower which surrounds the organs of fructification, consisting of one or more leaves called petals. ...
-Cotton
[Fr.] The cotton plant is an annual, and belongs to the same order as the marsh-mallow and the hollyhock. Originally it was a native of Asia, but it is now cultivated in almost all warm countries, esp...
-Cotton-Seed Oil
The seeds of the cotton plant, which are left in large quantities after the extraction of the cotton fibre, have become valuable as a source of oil, which, when clarified, is of a clear golden-yellow ...
-Cow
[O.E.] A hoofed, herbivorous animal, which is one of the most useful of all animals to man. It is somewhat smaller than the horse, has long, smooth horns, large, gentle eyes, and a tufted tail. Its ho...
-Cougar
A large American animal of the cat family, resembling the panther but smaller. It is often called panther (or painter). It is also called the puma, and formerly was known as the catamount, or mountain...
-Cowry
[Hind.] A small sea-shell, somewhat like a coffee berry and used as money in Siam and Africa. The shell is produced by the mollusc, and the spots on its surface are made by a coloring matter secreted ...
-Cowslip
[AS.] A kind of primrose with several flowers on one stalk appearing early in the spring. ...
-Cow-Tree
[Span.] An evergreen tree found in Venezuela, first discovered by Humboldt. The sap flows freely when the bark is wounded ; and it is safe to drink freely, for the fluid, which has the color and taste...
-Crab
[AS.] A shell-fish with strong claws, and a tail tucked underneath its body. The eyes of crabs are on long stalks, and may be turned about or folded back into little grooves in the shell. Crabs breath...
-Cranberry
[AS.] A red berry with a sour taste, growing on a stalk like the neck of a crane. It is cultivated in Europe and the United States, the American plant bearing larger berries. It is used in tarts, and ...
-Crane Bird
[AS.] A long-legged, long necked wading-bird. Cranes are either white or brown, and \xc without crest plumes on their heads, except the African crowned crane, which has an upright tuft on its head. Th...
-Crane
A machine for lifting and lowering weights, and, while holding them suspended, carrying them a short distance to the side. ...
-Crank
[O.E.] A bent portion of an axle or shaft or an arm keyed at right angles to the end of a shaft, by which motion is directed or received. THE CRANK. ...
-Crayon
[Fr.] A pencil of colored chalk. A pencil of carbon used in producing electric light. ...
-Cream
[Fr.] Cream is milk-fat, and rises above the watery particles of the milk. When cream is examined with a microscope, it is seen to be composed of very small balls of fat, each of which has a skin or c...
-Cream Of Tartar
An alkaline tartrate, known as the bitartrate of potash. As prepared from argol- a deposit from grape-juice-it is a white crystalline substance, and the crystals, when reduced to powder, form the crea...
-Crematory
Within recent times burning instead of burying dead bodies has come into use to some extent, and is growing in popularity. Crematories or furnaces for this purpose exist in several of our large cities...
-Creamery
A factory for the production of butter. Creameries are now widely in use in the United States, their effect being cheapness in production and a better and more uniform quality of butter than that made...
-Creosote
One of the substances derived from the tar obtained from the distillation of wood. It differs chemically from the creosote obtained by distilling coal-tar. Wood creosote coagulates albumen, but does n...
-Cress
[AS.] A plant which grows in moist places, used as a salad. The leaves have a pungent taste, and are anti - scorbutic. ...
-Cricket
[Fr.] An insect with a sharp voice found under the floors of houses in Europe. Whatever is moist they seek for, and they will eat yeast, crumbs, milk, or kitchen refuse. The noise of the cricket is pr...
-Cricket, the Game
[AS. crook, a small staff.] A game played with bat and ball and wickets. It is the favorite game in England and the British Colonies. In the colleges and cities of the Eastern States it has become pop...
-Crochet
[Fr.] Knitting by a hooked needle with cotton, worsted, or silk. ...
-Crocodile
[Gk.] A large and fierce animal found in the Nile and other rivers of Africa, also in Asia and America. It grows to 16 or 18 feet in length. The mouth of the crocodile has no lips to cover its strong ...
-Crocus
[L.] A flower white in color in wild state; cultivated forms are yellow or purple; rising from the bulb, blossoming early in spring. One species, the saffron, blossoms in autumn. ...
-Cross
[Fr., from L.] Two pieces of wood laid one across the other, either simple cross T, or St. Andrew's Cross X, or St. Anthony's Cross T, or the Latin Cross . ...
-Crow
[AS.] A genus of birds, related to the magpies, nutcrackers, jays, and other forms. The Crows have long, strong, and compressed bills, with the ridge of the mandible more or less curved, and the tip n...
-Crown
[Fr.] An ornamental head-dress for a king or queen. Nobles wear coronets, the pope a triple crown or tiara. The crown of England is a circle of gold with crosses, fleur-de-lis, and imperial arches, en...
-Crucible
A vessel or pot for the melting of glass or metals. It is made of some substance which will stand a great heat, usually clay mixed with black-lead, sand, or other refractory sub-stance. For the use of...
-Cruiser
In modern navies a cruiser is a ship-of-war, armored or unarmored, designed for cruising, and lighter in armament than the battleship, while higher in speed. ...
-Crystals
[Gk.] The term applied in chemistry and mineralogy to those bodies which have assumed a regular geometrical form, in contradistinction to those substances which are amorphous. Although there are numer...
-Cuckoo
[O.E] A climbing and perching bird,. about twice the size of a lark, which feeds on caterpillars, grubs, and insects. The cuckoo does not build a nest, but places her eggs in the nests of other birds....
-Cucumber
[L.] A creeping plant, with fruit of a long and usually curved shape, used for salads, either fresh or pickled. ...
-Curacoa
A liqueur or cordial, flavored with orange-peel, cinnamon, and mace ; first made at the island of Curacoa, in the Dutch West Indies. ...
-Curds
[Celt.] The thickened part of milk. If a weak acid be added to milk, solid whitish lumps of curd separate from a watery liquid called whey. If, instead of a weak acid, an acid fluid obtained by soakin...
-Curlew
[Fr.] A sea-bird which neither swims nor dives, and leaves the shore in summer for the inland country, where it nests and rears its young. In the autumn and winter months flocks of curlews may be seen...
-Currant
[Fr., from Gk. korinthos.] A small seedless raisin from Corinth; the fruit of several shrubs, as common red-currant, white currant, and black currant, used for jams or jellies; also the flowering cur...
-Current Electric
A quantity of electrical force conveyed along a wire, from an electric machine, a galvanic battery, or a dynamo, and employed for producing sparks, operating motors, etc. ...
-Cutlery
All kinds of table, hunting, butchers' and cooks' knives and forks; razors, pocket-knives, scissors, and shears. Also surgical, dissecting and dental instruments are sometimes included. ...
-Cuttie-Fish
A form of mollusc, without an external shell, somewhat like the octopus, but with two tentacles longer than the arms and with club-shaped ends and curious suckers. There are also narrow fins at the si...
-Cyclone
[Gk.] A great storm moving in a circle or spiral, which may be less than 500 or more than 2,000 miles in diameter. It is attended with violent winds and heavy rains, and sometimes does immense damage....
-Cylinder
[Gk.] A long, round body, the ends of which are equal circles opposite to each other. ...
-Cymbal
[Gk.] A musical instrument formed of two metal plates, which are clashed together. ...
-Cypress
[L.] An evergreen tree, often planted in grave-yards. Its wood is remarkable for great durability, and yields a healing balsam. ...
-Dace
A small fish of the Carp family, found in clear and quiet streams in Europe. It makes good sport for the angler, and its flesh is preferred to that of the roach, but is not highly esteemed. ...
-Dado
[Ital. a cube.] The solid part of the pedestal of a statue ; the lower part of the wall of a room when ornamented with mouldings or differently from the rest. ...
-Daffodil
[Fr.] A kind of lily or narcissus, with a bulbous root and beautiful flowers, usually yellow ; called daffadowndilly. ...
-Daguerreotype
The predecessor of the photograph ; the method of printing pictures of natural objects discovered by Louis Daguerre, and made known in 1839. The images were impressed on a silver plate, made very sens...
-Dahlia
[Swed. A. Dahl, a botanist.] A tuberous plant, with a large and beautiful single or double flower. It is a native of Mexico and Central America ; but the cultivated varieties are numerous - more than ...
-Dairy
[Scand.] A place for keeping milk and making butter and cheese. A dairy should be lofty, well built, and roofed with slate, the windows covered with gauze wire, the floors and walls overlaid with smoo...
-Dapsy
[AS., day's eye.] A small wild flower, with a white rim of petals arranged like a star, and a yellow centre. The flower is held in a green cup, on a short, wiry stalk rising from thick green leaves. I...
-Damask
[Damascus.] Cloth of silk, linen, or wool, with figures woven on it by different directions of thread without change of color, first made at Damascus. Damask is woven with a twill, in which the weft t...
-Eastern Dancers
Young women of the Eastern countries noted in the dance for their graceful and rhythmic movements. EASTERN DANCERS. ...
-Dandelion
[L. dens leonis, a lions tooth.] An herb common in Europe and the United States, with large yellow compound flowers, and leaves with jagged or notched edges. The root is mixed with coffee, and is a us...
-Darwinian Theory
The theory of natural selection, advanced in 1859 by Charles Darwin, which maintains that all species of animals and plants are derived from older species by a process of survival of the individuals b...
-Date
[Fr.] The date palm-tree and its fruit. The fruit is shaped like an olive, is sweet and wholesome, and has a hard kernel. It is the chief article of food of the natives of Arabia and North Africa, and...
-Davit
[Fr.] A piece of timber used for keeping the anchor clear of the ship's side when being hoisted ; pl.y arms of iron over a ship's side or stern from which a boat is hung, ready to be let down or to be...
-Day
[AS.] A word originally used to indicate tne period of time during which it was light, in contrast to night or the period of darkness. This usage still exists, but a day in its civil or legal sense, i...
-Deacon
A person in the lowest degree of holy orders. In the Roman Catholic Church the deacon acts as an assistant to the priest, and may preach and baptize with the permission of the bishop. In the Church of...
-Decanter
[Fr.] A large glass or bottle for holding liquor free from sediment, from which drinking glasses are filled. ...
-Deck
[Du.] The upper floor or covering of a ship. The name, however, in a large vessel is applied to the beith-deck, where the sailors' hammocks are hung ; the gun-deck ; half-deck, the part below the spar...
-Deep Sea Exploration
Dredging the ocean depths to discover the conditions there existing. Many expeditions have been sent out for this purpose, the most interesting discovery being the fact that numerous animals, of pecul...
-Deer
[AS.] A family of ruminating animals, with slender limbs, and large antlers or horns on the head of the male animal. These are solid, and are shed annually in the spring; but new ones grow rapidly and...
-Degree
[Fr.] The 360th part of a circle; 60 geographical miles ; the unit of measure for arcs and angles; divided into 60 minutes, and each of these into 60 se'conds; also a distinction conferred on graduate...
-Delf
A kind of earthenware made at Delft, in Holland ; also any glazed earthenware for table use made in imitation of that. ...
-Denudation
The removal of solid matter by the flow of water in streams, or the action of the waves and currents of the seas. The process is continuous in regions of plentiful rainfall, the surface layers of the ...
-Devil-Fish Or Octopus
A highly organized mollusc without an external shell, and sometimes of great size. Its head has large staring eyes, and its eight arms or feet have two rows of suckers, which adhere to animals or obje...
-Dew
[AS.] The name given to the drops of water which are seen on the leaves of plants on bright mornings, more especially in the spring and autumn. The air contains aqueous vapor, and the amount of vapor ...
-Dewberry
An American species of blackberry, with prostrate stems, abundant in dry, stony fields from Canada to Virginia. Its fruit is of large size and delicious taste, being much superior to the high blackber...
-Dial
[L. dies, a day.] An instrument constructed to show the hour of the day from the position of the shadow of a style cast by the sun on the face of a dial-plate. It consists of a straight rod or style a...
-Diamond
[Fr., from Gk. adamanlos.] The hardest and next to the ruby the most valuable of gems. Chemically, it is pure, crystallized carbon, its crystalline form belonging to the regular or cubic system, havi...
-Diaper
[Fr., corrupted from Gk. iaspis, jasper.] Linen or cotton cloth or towelling, woven with constantly-repeated figures like jasper. (See Damask.) ...
-Diaphragm
[Gk.] A muscle crossing the body, separating the chest from the abdomen, and forming a movable partition between these two cavities, its most important office being connected with the function of resp...
-Diatoms
The name of a family of minute plants, inhabiting seas and rivers, each consisting of a single organic cell, inclosed in a double case of silica, the two halves fitting together like a box and its lid...
-Die
[F.] A stamp, often one of a pair, used in marking coins, in forging metals, and in striking sheet metal. Dies are always made of the finest steel, and the figures on the die are cut by small steel to...
-Digestion
[L.] The power of dissolving and distributing food over the body. All vertebrates have a mouth, which is generally furnished with teeth. The food is mostly cut and divided in the mouth and mixed with ...
-Digitalis
A genus of plants of which the best known species is the common foxglove, which bears handsome flowers-large, rosy, spotted within with white and purple, and hanging gracefully. The leaves have an acr...
-Dike
[AS.] Earth dug out and raised up in a bank ; also a wall of turf or stone. In geology, a volcanic rock filling up fissures in the strata. ...
-Dimity
[L.] A cotton cloth used for curtains. It is plain or twilled, sometimes in colors. ...
-Diphtheria
A very malignant disease of the throat, mainly attacking children, and often fatal. It is a contagious disease, due to the presence of noxious bacteria, and has been successfully treated by inoculatio...
-Dipping-Needle
An instrument for measuring the dip or inclination of the compass needle to the horizon, and from this fact it is also termed the inclination compass. It consists of a magnetic needle very accurately ...
-Disc Or Disk
[AS., from Gk.] The round surface of a plate or star. In owls, the space around the eyes. A disc engine is a kind of rotary engine. ...
-Disinfectant
An agent for destroying the germs of infectious diseases, or for removing by oxidation the organic matter i n which germs develop. Some of the substances used for this purpose are sulphurous acid, obt...
-Distillation
This process consists in boiling a liquid and condensing the vapor which is formed. The liquid, which we may suppose to be water, is heated in a vessel. The steam or vapor, as soon as it is formed, is...
-Diving-Bell
An apparatus in which persons may be let down and remain for a considerable time under water without much inconvenience or danger. It is a large vessel, closed at the top and sides, but open at the bo...
-Dock
[Du.] An artificial place with gates, for ships being loaded or unloaded. The dockyard is the place near the dock where stores for ships are kept. A dry dock is one from which the water has been pumpe...
-Dog
[O-E.] The dog is a carnivorous quadruped, and belongs to the same family as the fox, the wolf, and the jackal. It has long been domesticated, and is the faithful companion of man, having followed him...
-Dogfish
A small shark of many kinds. The European spotted dogfish is abundant; the American dogfish is sometimes called the blue dogfish; the common dogfish, both in America and Europe, is horned. ...
-Dogstar
Sirius, the brightest of the fixed stars in the Canis Major or Greater Dog constellation. The conjunction of the rising of the dogstar with the rising of the sun was thought by the ancients to be the ...
-Dogwood
The American dogwood is a small but very ornamental tree, bearing flowers surrounded with large white bracts, and scarlet berries in winter. The bark is a useful febrifuge. The European dogwood is a s...
-Doliar
[Sax.] A silver coin of different value in different countries. In the United States the silver dollar weighs 4121/2 grains. The name is an abbreviation of Joachim's thaler, first coined in 1518 in St...
-Dorphin
[Fr.] A mammal smaller than the true whale, and common in all seas. It is more elegant than the porpoise, and is distinguished by its long snout. Dolphins follow vessels in companies, leaping out of t...
-Domino
[Ital.] A kind of hood worn by the canons of a cathedral; a mask. Also a small piece of wood, bone, or ivory marked by from one to six dots, or blank, for playing the game of dominoes. The game is pla...
-Dormouse
A small rodent animal that sleeps in winter. It lays up a winter store of nuts, and does not bury them, but prefers to hide them in the tree, which serves for a home. It weaves a nest of grass blades,...
-Dove
[AS.] A bird of the genus Columba. It is the same as the pigeon, there being no distinction in the terms. The European turtle-dove has a sweet plaintive note ; the ring-dove is the largest; the sea-do...
-Dovetail
[O.E.] The ends of two boards fitted into each other by one being cut the shape of a dove's tail. The one is called a tenon, and the other the mortise or socket. ...
-Dragon
[Fr., from Gk., a serpent.] A fabuloua winged serpent; a small tree-lizard or flying-lizard of several kinds found in the East Indies and Southern Asia. Five or six of the hind ribs on each side are p...
-Dragon-Fly
An insect with a large head and great eyes, and a white, scarlet, blue, and green long sharp body, and four strong gossamer-like wings. It preys on flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and butterflies. It lives ...
-Dragoon
[Span.] A soldier who used to fight either on foot or horseback, with a musket carved with dragons; a horse-soldier with a helmet. ...
-Drain
LAS.] An arrangement of channels for draining off water from houses or fields. House-drains are glazed and water-tight. ...
-Drainage-Tubes
A recent appliance used in surgery. The tubes are of india-rubber, perforated with numerous holes, and are introduced into chronic abscesses and large wounds to draw off the pus as formed. In some cas...
-Draughts
A game for two persons, each with twelve round pieces of different colors, played on a board marked with black and white squares. ...
-Dredge
[Fr., from Du.] A scoop for bringing up mud from the bottom so as to deepen rivers or docks ; also a drag-net to sweep the bottom of streams or seas for other purposes. ...
-Drill
[Du.] An instrument for boring, usually with an edged or pointed end, and cutting by revolving. Diamond drill is a rod set with diamonds for boring rock. ...
-Dromedary
[Low L.] The African or Arabian camel, which has but one hump. (See Camel.) ...
-Dross
[AS.] The impure portion or dregs which sinks to the bottom, or the scum which rises to the top, especially from metals when ore is smelted. ...
-Drug
[Fr., or from dry.] Something dried to make a medicine. Applied to medicinal agents used in the treatment of disease, or more generally the crude substances which, after they have undergone preparati...
-Drugget
[Fr.] A coarse cloth dyed of one color, made of wool, to protect carpets. ...
-Drum
[O.E.] A large tube with tight skins over the ends, beaten to accompany music - a kettledrum has a metallic hemisphere, and a single piece of skin to be beaten ; the tympanum or stretched membrane in ...
-Drying Machines
Machines for the rapid drying of fabrics or other materials by centrifugal force. They revolve so rapidly that the water is thrown off from the enclosed substance. The centrifugal process is also used...
-Duck
[O.E.] A well-known swimming-bird, whose boat-shaped body and long neck and webbed feet adapt it to live in the water. Its body is covered with a thick and close plumage ; its coat of down is very thi...
-Dyeing
[AS.] A process consisting in fixing the color in cloth and other materials by immersing them in a prepared bath containing coloring substances. Dyes are obtained from animals, vegetables, and mineral...
-Dynamite Gk
dynamis], or Giant Powder. The general name for various explosives, prepared by mixing nitro-glycerine with some absorbing substance which prevents leakage. The materials used for this purpose are saw...
-Dynamo
[Gk.] A machine used for generating a current of electricity by the rotation of coils of wire with iron cores between the poles of a powerful electro-magnet. When any conductor of electricity is moved...
-Eagle
[Fr., from L. aquila.\ A large vertebrate bird of prey of the Falcon family, with a short, sharp, hooked beak; short, strong feet; very strong, sharp, hooked claws (q.v.); and a long tail. It has kee...
-Ear
[AS.] The mechanism through which sound reaches the brain. In man and the higher vertebrates the ear is divided into three parts the outer opening, or meatus ; the middle ear, o r tympanum or drum; th...
-Earth
[AS.] One of the planets of the solar system, coming next to Mercury and Venus in the order of distance from the sun. The principal motions of the earth are (1) its daily revolution on its axis; (2) i...
-Earthquake
A movement or shaking of some part of the surface of the earth, resulting from a shock inflicted on a solid portion of the earth at some point below the surface. Earthquakes occur with most frequency ...
-Ebony
[Fr., from Heb.] A kind of wood, usually black, hard, and heavy, which can take on a fine polish. The finest is the heart wood of a tree found in Mauritius. Other trees in Ceylon and the East Indies a...
-Eccentric
[Fr., from Gk.] A wheel or revolving disk, whose axis of motion is not in its centre. By its use circular motion can be converted into intermittent motion. Eccentrics are used to work the valve-gear o...
-Echo
[Gk.] A sound reflected back to the ear. It is caused by the sending back from a reflecting surface of the undulations which produce the sound. The most remark-able echoes are one at Lurlei on the Rhi...
-Eclipses
[Gk. ekleipsis, a failing.] When a body which does not allow light to pass through it (an opaque body) is exposed to the light of the sun or of any other luminous body it casts a shadow behind. An ecl...
-Eel
[AS.] A kind of fish with a strong smooth skin, a vast quantity of small scales, and a long thin body. Though it has the head of a fish it has no gill covers, but only a small hole. Its dorsal and ana...
-Egg
[AS.] A roundish or oval-shaped body laid by birds and other animals, and from which their young come forth. The egg of the bird consists of a yolk with a germ-cell, which is surrounded by white album...
-Eider Duck
[Scand.] A sea-bird, which spends the winter on the Arctic seas, and when spring comes swims with its mates to the shore. The female makes a large, loose nest of dry grass, and lines it with a thick l...
-Elder
[AS.] A small tree or shrub with soft pith, white flowers, and black, red, or purple berries. The berries are diaphoretic and aperient. Elder-flower water, made from the flowers, is a perfume...
-Electricity
[Gk.] This name was originally applied to certain attractions and repulsions, but the subject has gradually widened so as to include various chemical heating, luminous, magnetic, and mechanical effect...
-Current Electricity
A galvanic or voltaic cell or battery is an arrangement in which electricity is yielded by chemical action. Such electricity is named current, because it is continuous while the chemical action lasts,...
-Electric Light
Two forms of electric light are used - the arc and the incandescent. When a strong current passes between two carbon points which have been first in contact and are afterwards separated a short distan...
-Electric Telegraph
A system of conveying intelligence to a distance by means of signals produced by aid of the electric current. The two stations, which may be several thousand miles apart, are connected by a wire along...
-Electrometallurgy
The art of depositing metals-such as gold, silver, copper, etc.,-from their solutions by a slow current of electricity, I, Ebonite plate; B and P, upper and lower plates of brass; R, insulating han...
-Electrophorous
An apparatus for generating factional or statical electricity. By striking or rubbing the ebonite with dry flannel and then placing thereupon the upper plate of metal and touching the upper and lower ...
-Electrometer
An instrument for measuring the foree or power of an electric current. ...
-Electroscope
An instrument for measuring or detecting pressure of electric current. By rubbing a glass rod with a piece of silk and touching the knob w, the strips of gold leaf will part indicating pressure of ele...
-Elements
[L.] Substances which cannot be decomposed by chemical action, and which seem to be unit forms of matter, as distinguished from comp ounds. They are roughly divided into two great classes - the metals...
-Elephant
[Heb. aleph, an ox.] . The largest and most powerful of four-footed animals. It is clumsy and thick-skinned, but has a lithe and agile trunk. Some elephants have been found 12 feet high and over five ...
-Elevator
[L.] A machine for raising grain, etc., to a higher floor-usually an endless chain with a series of scoops or buckets; also, a cage or platform or hoist for hoisting persons or goods. The passenger el...
-Elk
[Scand.] A large species of deer. The European elk has long, fiat horns, and is closely allied to the moose. The American elk is known as the wapici, and is of large size, being about as large as the ...
-Ellipse
[Gk.] A curve of such form that every point on it has the sum of its distances from two fixed points always the same. The two points are called the foci. The orbits of the planets are ellipses, with t...
-Elm
[AS.] A large and graceful forest tree with thick foliage of dark-green leaves. It has smooth bark on the branches, but a rugged trunk. Its flowers are dark red, and bear an oval green pod with one se...
-Embryology
The science of the development of the animal body from the germ to the mature state. It has been discovered that man, in the embryo-growth, assumes conditions like those of some of the lower animals. ...
-Emerald
[Fr., from Gk.] A variety of the mineral beryl, of a beautiful green color; when transparent it is much prized as a gem. The finest stones come from Colombia, in South America, and fine ones are found...
-Emery
[Gk. sman, to rub.] A variety of corundum, occurring in grains or powder, and very hard. It is glued on cloth, paper, or the rim of a wheel, and used for grinding and polishing hard substances. It is ...
-Emu Or Emeu
[Port.] An Australian bird related to the cassowary and ostrich, and, next to the ostrich, the largest of birds. It cannot fly, but runs swiftly. The emu kicks backward or sideways, while the ostrich ...
-Enamel
[Fr., from Ital.] In pottery, a substance of a vitreous nature applied as a coating to the surface of pottery or porcelain. It is a fusible kind of glass, and is either transparent or opaque, and when...
-Endogen
[Gk.] A plant that grows by adding new wood to the interior of the stem, as a palm, rush or orchid. Opposed to exogen (q.v.). The leaves have usually parallel veins, and their flowers are in three or ...
-Engine
[Fr., from L- ingenium.] A machine fitted to do work or set machinery in motion. There are various kinds - steam-engine, air-engine, fire-engine, pumping engine, and donkey-engine. Military engineerin...
-Ensigns
[L. insignis.] The flags of a regiment, usually two, and referred to as colors. In America they are carried by color-sergeants. The rank of ensign, formerly used in the British army, was abolished in ...
-Epaulet
[Fr., from L,. spatula.] A mark of an officer, naval or military, worn on the shoulder, formerly used. ...
-Epsom Salts
The ordinary name for sulphate of magnesium ; so called because it occurs in a spring at Epsom in Surrey, from the water of which it was originally prepared. It is now manufactured from mountain limes...
-Ermine
[Fr.] An animal like a weasel, having a thick, valuable fur, worn by judges and royalty as emblem of authority. In summer it is brown, but in winter it is white. The tail is always black; and these ta...
-Escape Ment
[Fr.] The means in a clock or watch by which the force of the weights or spring is checked and regulated by the motion of the pendulum, or balance acting on a wheel with sharp teeth. They are known as...
-Essence
[I. essentia, being.] The volatile matter forming a perfume. Essential oils, extracted from various plants, fruits, and flowers are used in essences and perfumery. ...
-Etching
[Du.] A picture made from an etched plate, chiefly copper. In etching, the plate is covered or dabbed with a varnish, and is scored or scratched with a needle, so as to form the drawing; it is then co...
-Ether
[Gk. upper air.] A medium of extreme tenuity, which is assumed to pervade all space, and the interstices between the molecules of all bodies, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous. It is the medium by mea...
-Eucalyptus
[Gk.] An Australian evergreen tree like the myrtle, which grows to a great height, and yields resins, oils, tars, and tannin. The leaves are rigid, with one edge turned to the zenith. They are called ...
-Exogen
[Gk.] A plant that grows by adding its new wood round the outside of the stem, under the bark, as is done by most forest trees of the temperate zones. The leaves are usually net-ted-veined, and the nu...
-Eye
[AS.] The human eye is a nearly spherical ball, which in an adult is about nine-tenths of an inch in diameter. The external coating, known in common language as the white of the eye, is a tough, horny...
-Fakir
A member of an order of penitents or mendicants of Oriental lands, particularly India. Some of them live in communities, others wander about, makings.unpleasant displays of self-torture and mortificat...
-Fairy
A fay; an imaginary being of tiny human form, supposed to dance in meadows, steal infants, and play a variety of pranks. They are regarded as sometimes benevolent, sometimes malicious, and to concern ...
-Fahrenheit
A method of marking thermometers (q.v.) so called from the inventor, G. D. Fahrenheit. Its freezing-point is 32, and boiling-point 2120. This thermometer is in common use in England and in the Un...
-Faith-Cure
A system in which it is claimed that the sick can be cured without medicine, needing only faith in certain persons or objects to produce this effect. Christian Science and some other systems seem base...
-Farcon
[L. falx, a reaping-hook.] A bird of prey with claws like a hook. This bird used to be trained to catch other birds for hunters. Eagles, buzzards, and hawks, and most birds of prey, belong to the clas...
-Falling Stars
The flashing meteors which dart across the sky at night and quickly disappear. At certain periods of the year they are seen in large numbers, and yield the impression of stars falling from their place...
-Fallow Deer
[AS.] A deer of a fallow or pale yellowish-brown color, smaller than the red deer. In summer both sexes are spotted with white. It is a native of Persia, but is now domesticated in Europe. ...
-Fan
[AS., from L.] An instrument for blowing away chaff, or for moving the air to cause coolness, or to blow a fire. Ladies' French fans are made of ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, bone, gauze, or...
-Farina
[L. farina, meal.] Ground corn or fine meal made from cereal grains or from the starch extracted from vegetables, and used in cookery. - Farinaceous food, food consisting of meal or flour. ...
-Fat
[AS.] The soft, oily part of an animal's body. Carbonaceous foods act both to yield animal heat and to form fat, which is of use to the animal in protecting it from the cold and forming a store of foo...
-Feather
[AS.] A stalk of horn, hollow at the lower end or quill and filled with pith, and fringed at the other end, forming part of a bird's wing or the covering of its body. Birds are the only animals that a...
-Felt
[O.E] Cloth made of the shortest fibres of wool, or of wool and fur of hares and rabbits, not woven but mixed with thin glue, and rolled or pressed together. After being switched up into fluff by bowi...
-Fermentation
[L,. fermentation A change which many organic liquids are capable of undergoing in the presence of certain substances termed ferments. The decompositions which take place are different from ordinary c...
-Fern
[AS.] An order of plants belonging to the class of acrogens. They are usually found in moist soil, sometimes they grow as parasites on trees, and in the tropics reach so large a size as to be called t...
-Ferret
[Fr.] An animal of the weasel kind about 14 inches long, used for hunting rats ana rabbits out of their holes. It is like the weasel in form, has red eyes, and its fur is of a light brown, pale yellow...
-Fever
[Fr.] An illness causing great heat in the body and quick action of the heart. Remittent fevers subside at intervals; intermittent fevers entirely cease at intervals; continued fevers neither abate no...
-Fibre
[Fr., from l^-fibra, a thread.] The threadlike parts in the flesh of animals; also those in the stalks of such plants as hemp, flax, agave, jute, cotton, etc., from which thread, string, rope, and pap...
-Fibrin
A substance which separates in a solid state from blood after it leaves the body. It is a white, stringy snbstance, which may be readily obtained by stirring newly-shed blood. It is tasteless, insolub...
-Fife
A small wind instrument used with the drum for military music. It is a short tube closed at one end, with holes in the side. It is very ancient, having been used by the old Greeks, ...
-Fig
[Fr., from h-fcx?, a fig-tree.] A small fruit-tree of from 12 to 20 feet high, with large leaves. The fig is a native of Syria, and grows wild on the Mediterranean coast. It bears two crops annually ,...
-File
[AS,] A piece of steel made rough for smoothing wood or metal. A file differs from a rasp in having the furrows made by straight cuts of a chisel, either single or crossed, while the rasp has coarse s...
-Filigree
[Span.] Fine thread-like work of arabesque pattern, made of gold or silver wire or wire used in decorating gold or silver. It is made mostly in India, Turkey, Italy, and Malta. ...
-Filter
[From root of Felt.] Any substance, as charcoal, sand, or felt, through which liquid passes, and by which it is cleared of foreign sub-stances. Filters are much used for obtaining pure drinking water,...
-Fine Arts
The arts designed to appeal to the artistic taste and give pleasure to observers, as distinguished from the useful arts, designed to benefit mankind. They are usually restricted to the arts of paintin...
-Fins
[AS., from root of L. penna, a feather.] The parts of a fish by which it balances itself and moves forward in the water. The paired fins on the opposite sides of the body are the true limbs of the fis...
-Finch
[AS] The name of a family of song-birds, as chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch. Many of the finches are beautiful singers, and others are prized for their delicate flesh. They frequent fields, groves, he...
-Fir
[AS.] The name of several kinds of coniferous trees, producing valuable timber or resin. Firs, such as the balsam fir, the silver fir, and the red fir, are large in. size and elegant in shape, and bel...
-Fire-Engine
A machine by means of which water can be thrown to a great height for the purpose of extinguishing fires. The principle of its action is the same as that of the force-pump (q.v.); but in a force-pump ...
-Firefly
A small insect which gives out a bright light in the dark. All glowworms are called fireflies or firebeetles, but the American firefly, which generally sparkles in humid districts, is called Photinus,...
-Fireworks
Preparations of gunpowder, sulphur, metallic filings, and salts, to be set on fire. The most common form of firework is a pasteboard tube filled with these explosive materials. A number of these tubes...
-Fish
[AS.] A vertebrate animal covered with scales that lives almost entirely in water, has no lungsr and breathes through gills. It lays eggs, and, having a heart with only two chambers, its blood is cold...
-Fishculture
A method now widely adopted of planting the eggs of fish and guarding the young against their enemies. In this way many millions of young fish are raised and placed in the streams annually. The United...
-Fishhawk
The American fishhawk or osprey is found over nearly the whole country. It is a large bird, looking much like the eagle, some of them measuring over five feet across the wings. It lives on fish, darti...
-Flag
[Scand. to hang loosely.] That which flies or flutters loosely in the wind, but more especially a banner bearing a device or devices, and used to indicate nationality or to give information. Flag of t...
-Flame
[Fr., from I.] The illumination given by burning gas. Heat is produced by the chemical action which takes place during combustion, the temperature of the burning material being raised sufficiently hig...
-Flamingo
A wading-bird of several species. It is of a brilliant red, and has a long neck and legs. In feeding, the head is bent downward and I inward so as to reverse the position of the upper mandible. The ne...
-Flax
[AS.] A plant about two or three feet in height, with small pointed leaves and blue flowers. The stems are hollow, and covered with fibrous material. The flowers grow in clusters at the top of the sta...
-Flea
[AS.] A small insect without wings that moves by leaping, and whose bite is troublesome because slightly poisonous. The human-flea is abundant in Europe, but rare in America, where the dog-flea takes ...
-Flints
[AS., a hard stone.] Amorphous lumps of dark silica which occur in nodular sheets in chalk and other limestones. They often enclose such organisms as shells and sea-urchins; spicules of sponges abound...
-Flounder
[Du.] A flat fish found near the mouths of rivers. There are many different kinds both in Europe and America. ...
-Flour
[Fr., from L. flos, flower.] The finest part of meal or corn ground into fine powder. In milling, meal is separated into flour and bran, the meal being afterwards separated from the bran by bolting th...
-Flower
[Fr., from L. .flos, flower.] The part of a plant destined to produce seed. The flower is easily seen in such plants as the rose and the buttercup in which it is large and brightly colored ; but grass...
-Fluid
[Fr., from L. fluidus, flowing.] A sub-stance; whose particles possess perfect freedom of motion among themselves, so that any force applied to it will, if not resisted, produce a change of shape. The...
-Fluorine
[L.] A non-metallic element, never met with in nature in the uncombined state. It is the only element which does not combine with oxygen. It is most frequently found combined with calcium in the miner...
-Fluor-Spar
A mineral found in veins, very often accompanying lead ore. It occurs both crystallized and massive. The crystals belong to the cubic system, and are either colorless, green, purple, or yellow. When h...
-Fly
[AS.] A name applied to many of the winged insects, but scientifically restricted to the sub-order Diptera, which have two wings and whose mouth-parts are converted into a sucker, used for taking up f...
-Flying-Fish
A fish that can leap into the air with a spring of its tail, and keep itself up by its fins for a time as if flying. Its pectoral fins are developed so as to act like wings. It can fly for hundreds of...
-Fly-Wheel
A contrivance for regulating the driving power of a machine. In the steam-engine the power of the connecting rod to turn the crank varies with their relative position. When the rod is at right angles ...
-Fog
[Celt.] When the vapor in the air reaches the point of saturation (see Dew) it condenses, and assumes the form of very small drops, which constitute fog if they are present in the lower regions of the...
-Folk-Lore
The study of ancient legends, rustic tales, superstitions, etc. This term has been used since 1846, and great collections of the beliefs, customs, and popular tales handed down from the far past have ...
-Food
[AS.] All substances used for purposes of nutrition. The useful constituents of all foods - animal, vegetable, and mineral - are classified as (1) nitrogenous, including the animal and vegetable album...
-Foolscap
A size of paper 16 by 13, which used to have as its water-mark a fool's cap and bells. ...
-Foot
[AS.] That part of the body. on which animals stand and walk. There are 26 bones in the foot and ankles of man. To these are fastened a great number of ligaments and muscles, by which their movements ...
-Football
A game of kicking a ball with the foot between goals. The ball is usually made of India-rubber or a bladder, and is enclosed in a leather cover. ...
-Foot-Rule
A measure of a foot, or 12 inches, in length. It differs in length in different countries. In Britain and the United Stales it is .3048 metre. ...
-Force-Pump
A pump having a solid piston for drawing or forcing liquids like water through the valves. The force-pump delivers the water a considerable height above the pump. It is useful in draining cellars or l...
-Forecastle
[Pronounced by sailors foksl.] An upper deck before the foremast in a war-ship, which formerly had a turret near the prow or the front part of the ships where are the sailors' berths. ...
-Forest
[Fr., from L.foris, out of doors.] A large piece of country covered with trees, or an unenclosed, uncultivated land on which wild animals are hunted. Forest-tree is a tree of the forest, grown for its...
-Forge
[Fr.] The furnace in which a smith heats the iron to be hammered. A portable forge is a light and compact blacksmith's forge, with bellows, etc., that may be moved from place to place. In large forges...
-Forget-Me-Not
A small plant of the genus My-osolis, with blue flowers, used as a sign of friendship and fidelity. ...
-Formic Acid
[L. formica, ant.] A sharp acid occurring naturally in ants, nettles, etc., and produced artificially in several ways. It is the first member of the fatty acids in the paraffin series, and is similar ...
-Fort
[Fr., from L. fortis, strong.] A strong-hold. Usually a small fortified place, occupied by troops, and surrounded with a ditch, rampart, and parapet, or with palisades or stockades. ...
-Fossils
[Fr., from L. fossus, dug.] Hardened remains of animals or plants found in rocks which have been dug out of the earth. Most fossils belong to extinct species, but many of the later ones belong to spec...
-Fowl
[AS.] A farm-yard bird used as food, as cock or hen, turkey or duck. Hens feed on grain and seeds, and also worms, flies and beetles. Farm-yard cocks and hens are a mixture of breeds. Game fowls are s...
-Fox
[AS.] A carnivorous wild animal belonging to the Dog tribe, famous for its cunning. It has a fine coat of reddish-brown fur, low forehead, ears pointed, and wide at the base, and a splendid bushy tail...
-Fox-Glove
[AS.] A large plant with beautiful purple or white bell like flowers, spotted i n -side. The common European plant is a handsome perennial or biennial, whose leaves are so useful in medicine, chiefly ...
-Franc
[Fr.] A coin used in France worth a little less than 20 cents. It has been used as the unit of French coinage since 1795. It is divided into one hundred centimes. ...
-Freezing Mixture
When a substance changes from the solid to the liquid, or from the liquid to the gaseous state, heat is required to effect the change; and when heat is not supplied from without to produce the change,...
-Freezing-Point
That degree of a thermometer at which a fluid begins to freeze. Applied to water, the freezing-point is 320 F. and zero or 0 C. Mercury freezes at 39F. below zero. ...
-Fretwork
Work adorned with figures cut out by a fine saw. Fillets intersecting each other at right angles are classic designs, and those at oblique angles are often based on Oriental art. Fret-saw or scroll-sa...
-Friction
[L.] The rubbing of one body against another. It may be caused by a sliding motion or a rolling motion. Friction clutch or coupling is an engaging or disengaging gear for revolving shafts, pulleys, et...
-Frieze
[Fr.] Coarse woolen cloth with a nap on one side, used for outer garments ; also the flat band between the cornice and the architrave of a pillar, usually covered with carving. ...
-Frigate
A ship of war having two gun-decks, and carrying from 20 to 50 guns; classed between a sloop-of war and a line-of-battle ship. The term frigate has nearly disappeared, being replaced by cruiser in nav...
-Frigate Bird
[Fr.] A web-footed bird, called also man-of-war bird or frigate-pelican. Its beak and wings are long, and its power of flying very great. It feeds on fish, which it takes from gulls, terns, and other ...
-Fringe
[Fr.] A border or edge of loose threads of wool, silk, or linen ; originally consisting of the ends of the warp projecting beyond the woven fabric, but now made separately and sewed on. ...
-Frog
[AS.] A small vertebrate animal, with a broad, squat body without a tail, that lives both on land and water. It has a smooth, slimy skin of a greenish-brown or reddish color ; it has teeth on the uppe...
-Frost
[AS.] When the temperature falls below 320 F., all superficial moisture changes into ice, and we have frost. Frost is one of the agents which play an important part in moulding the surface of the land...
-Fruit
[Fr., from L. fructus.] The matured seed vessel and its contents. Thus the ears are the fruit of the corn plant, nuts are the fruit of the hazel tree, pods the fruit of the bean or pea, and the acorn ...
-Fungus
[L.] An order of soft plants, including truffles, toadstools, and mushrooms. More particularly the growth on an anima1 or plant caused by decay or disease, as mildew. Some kinds of fungi are used for ...
-Fur
[Fr.] The fine hairy covering of certain animals found in cold regions. In the hairy covering of the cat two kinds of hair grow - one short, soft, silky, and barbed lengthwise, which is the fur; and l...
-Furnace
[Fr., from L. fornax, oven.] A close fireplace for melting metals, baking bricks, etc. In air or wind furnaces the fire is urged by the natural draught; in a blast-furnace a forcible current of air is...
-Furniture
[Fr.] Things supplied or needed for any purpose, as sails, tools, and fittings, and more particularly the articles needed to fit a house for being lived in. Certain articles, a3 kitchen-ranges, cupboa...
-Fuse Cr Fusee
[L. fusus, poured.] A tube filled with explosives, used for firing mines, etc. Fusee also means a match for lighting a pipe or cigar. ...
-Fusee
[L. fusus, spindle.] The cone-like wheel in a watch for the chain to be rolled on, in such a manner that the diameter of the wheel at the point where the chain acts may correspond with the degree of t...
-Fusel-Oil
[Ger.] An acid volatile oil obtained in the manufacture of potato brandy and whiskey. Its chief constituent is amyl alcohol. It has a powerful and suffocating odor, and is supposed to be a product of ...
-Gadfly
[O.E. gad, sting.] An insect that deposits itsyoung in the nostrils of sheep; a species infests cattle, depositing its eggs on the skin and causing sores; another kind produces intestinal parasites in...
-Qaiter
[Fr.] A covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and the instep, or for the leg from the knee to the instep, fitting down on the boot or shoe. ...
-Galaxy
The Milky Way, or zone of milky light which is seen in the sky on clear nights, and is made up of millions of stars. The term is also used for any assemblage of splendid things or persons, as a galaxy...
-Gall
[AS.] A fluid of a greenish-yellow color, and very bitter, found in the gall-bladder beneath the liver, and consisting of bile mixed with the secretion of the mucous membrane of the gall-bladder. ...
-Gall-Nuts
Nuts produced by small insects which puncture the bark of the Lusitanian oak in Southern Europe and Western Asia, and lay their eggs in the wounds. They contain much tannin and are used in making tann...
-Gallon
[Fr.] The standard unit of cubic measurement. The British gallon contains 277.274 cubic inches, and a gallon of distilled water weighs 10 lbs. (avoir.). The gallon of the United States is the stand...
-Galvanic Battery
[Ital., from Galvani, the discoverer in 1791.] It consists of a number of zinc and copper plates connected together, their purpose being the production of a current of electricity. These are arranged ...
-Galvanized Iron
The name given to sheets of iron which have been coated with zinc. True galvanized iron is first coated with tin by a galvanic process, and afterwards with zinc by immersing it in a bath of melted zin...
-Galvanometer
An instrument for measuring the strength of an electric current by means of the deflection which it produces in a magnetized needle. The galvanometer is constructed by using a coil of insulated copper...
-Gamboge
(Cambodia, in Asia.] A reddish-yellow gum used for coloring and in medicine. It is got from several trees in Siam, Malabar, and Ceylon. It is brought in masses from Cambodia. The best kind is of ...
-Game
[AS.] Sport of any kind ; animals kept or hunted for sport. In Europe game includes grouse, black game, pheasants, partridges, and hares, ptarmigans, quails and larger game as the moose and wild boar....
-Games
[AS., games, joy, pleasure.] A term applied to certain physical exercises and mental recreations, distinguished as games of chance and games of skill. The physical games are such as cricket, football,...
-Gangrene
A term applied to the first stage of mortification of the flesh. It may result from severe cold, from violent inflammation, erysipelas, and other causes, or may attack open wounds or ulcers. The part ...
-Gamut
[Gk. letter gam ma; and L. ut.] The notes of the musical scale, arranged by Guido d'Arezzo in the tenth century, with ut and gamma at the ends. The sol-fa words were taken by D' Arezzo from the first ...
-Gannet
[AS.] A web-footed sea-bird, found in Europe and America, and also called the solan goose. It is a bird of passage, and is very strong on the wing. The gannet follows shoals of herring, on which it fe...
-Garbage
Kitchen refuse. In small towns and rural districts this is fed to swine, but in large cities it is difficult to dispose of. In Philadelphia and some other cities it is burned in close furnaces. In oth...
-Gargoyie
[Fr.] A projecting spout for carrying off water, often cut grotesquely into human and other figures. ...
-Garlic
[AS.] A bulbous plant with a strong smell and spear-shaped leaves, used as seasoning. Each root is composed of several smaller bulbs, cloves of garlic, enclosed in a common membranous coat. ...
-Garnet
[Fr.] The name of a mineral ispecies which includes numerous varieties, differing in composition, color, and fusibility. It is hard, brittle, and more or less transparent. The red variety is the most ...
-Garter
The band to prevent tne stocking from slipping down; the badge of the highest order of knighthood in Britain, instituted by Edward III. ...
-Gas
[Du.] Matter is capable of existing in the three forms known as solid, liquid, and gaseous. The gaseous condition of matter is defined as that which is capable of unlimited expansion -that is to say, ...
-Gas-Engine
An engine in which the piston is worked by the alternate admission and condensation of gas in the cylinder. When a mixture of coal-gas and common air or of oxygen and hydrogen is used, condensation is...
-Gas-Meters
As coal-gas enters each house it is made to pass through an iron box called a gas-meter. Within this box are wheels, which are turned by the gas; and connected with the wheels, but on the outside of t...
-Gastric Juice
The thin watery fluid, with an acid reaction, secreted by a set of glands in the mucous membrane of the stomach. It is the most important digestive fluid in the body. ...
-Gauge
[Fr.] A class of measuring instruments, whereof each has a specific name to indicate the kind of measurement for which it is to be used. Instruments of this nature are used for a variety of purposes, ...
-Gauze
[Fr.] A fine, thin silk cloth first brought from Gaza ; cloth of linen, cotton, fine wire, or thin fabric like silk gauze. There is a flannel called gauze flannel. ...
-Gazelle
[Fr., from Arab.] A small, beautiful and graceful kind of antelope found chiefly in Arabia and Syria, also in Africa, with black, incurved lyre-shaped horns, and soft eyes. They roam in herds, and are...
-Geisslers Tube
A glass tube in which an almost perfect vacuum is produced, and through which an electrical current is sent. In passing through the vacuum it yields a soft light. These tubes, as modified by Sir Willi...
-Gelatine Or Gelatin
[Fr., from L. gelatus, frozen.] An animal substance of a nitrogenous nature, supposed to be closely connected with the albuminous substances. It does not exist already formed in the animal tissues, bu...
-Gemsbok
A South African antelope with long, sharp and nearly straight horns. ...
-Geology
[Gk.] The science which treats of the history and structure of the earth. The rocks which compose the crust of the earth have not all been formed in the same way. Some have cooled from a state of fusi...
-Geranium
[Gk. geranos, a crane.] A genus of plants with seed-vessels like a crane's bill. Most of them have showy flowers and a pungent odor. This group includes the commonly cultivated geraniums (Pelargoni...
-German Silver
An alloy of zinc, nickel, and copper. It is used in the manufacture of numerous articles, such as spoons, forks, jugs, teapots, dish-covers, salvers, etc. The proportion of eactt ingredient is differe...
-Geyser
[Icel. geyser, from geysa, to gush.] The name applied to hot springs, such as were first observed in Iceland, which eject hot water violently either at irregular intervals or periodically. The Great G...
-Gila Monster
A large lizard found in the sandy deserts of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. It is covered with scales of brilliant orange and jet-black hues, is one of the largest of North American lizards, and has ...
-Gill
[Scand.] The opening by which fishes breathe (q.v.), and the flap which covers it. Gills are usually thin fringes or plates, through which the blood circulates, and in which it is exposed to the actio...
-Gimlet
[Fr.] A small instrument, with a cross handle, grooved body, and a sharp screw at the point, used for boring holes. ...
-Gimp
A kind of trimming used on dresses, curtains, and furniture. It is made of silk, wool, or cotton, stiffened by a fine wite or cord twisted among the threads. ...
-Gin
[Contraction of juniper.] A liquid distilled from fermented wort and flavored with juniper berries. Often called hollands because greatly made in Holland. Common gin is flavored with turpentine. ...
-Ginger
[Fr., from L. Zingiber.] The root-stock of a plant which grows in the East Indies, Africa, and the West Indies. The finest ginger is from Jamaica. Ginger is useful for headaches and asthma, and for fl...
-Gingerlaquobread
Sweet bread seasoned with ginger. There is a palm in Egypt called the ginger-bread tree, because its bark looks like ginger-bread. ...
-Gingham
[Fr.] A kind of cotton cloth made in Guingamp. in Brittany. Some ginghams are of one color, but others are woven in stripes or checks. The origin of gingham is also given as from a Javanese word, and ...
-Giraffe
[Fr., from Arab.] A ruminant animal with permanent horns in both sexes, and distinguished by the length of its legs and the remarkable length of its neck. It has points of affinity with the deer, the ...
-Girder
[AS.] A strong beam in a building, supported at both ends, for binding the others together. Half-lattice girder, a girder consisting of horizontal upper and lower bars connected by a series of diagona...
-Girdle
A narrow band of cloth or leather for the waist. Venus girdle is a long, flat, ribbon-like, transparent, comb-like marine animal which lives in the open sea. ...
-Gizzard
[Fr.] A bird's stomach. A hen swallows food without chewing, which is at once stored in the crop, where it remains till it is softened. The food then passes into the gizzard, where it is rubbed and gr...
-Glacial Age
A geological period of late date in which low temperature continued for many centuries and vast glaciers made their way down-wards from the polar regions into the temperate zone, leaving their marks i...
-Glaciers
[Fr., from L., glacies, ice.] Slow-moving rivers of ice, which derive their origin from the snow which falls on the higher slopes of lofty mountains. As the snow accumulates on the steep slopes, it ac...
-Gland
[Fr., from L. glans, acorn.] A knot of nerves, blood-vessels, and flesh in the body for drawing off certain substances from the blood. Each of the thousands of pores of the skin is really an outlet of...
-Glass
[AS.] A substance composed of a mixture of two silicates-one being a silicate of an alkali metal, and the other a silicate of an alkaline earth. There are four different kinds of glass, each of which ...
-Glass-Sponge
A sponge which forms a frame-work of spicules of silica, which, when the fleshy parts are washed away, looks like the finest spun glass. One species is the handsome Venus flower-basket, another is the...
-Globe
[Fr., from L. globus, ball.] A round body imitating the earth and made of some light material. At two opposite points are fixed two pins, round which it turns ; these are called the poles. The two pin...
-Glove
[AS.] A covering for the hand, with a separate place for each finger. Gloves are made of worsted, cotton, silk, or of different skins. The finest kid gloves are made from skins of kids, but coarser ki...
-Glow-Worm
[AS.] An insect that gives out light in the dark. The female is without wings, and emits the light to attract the male, which is winged. To keep the light bright, this insect has a brush attached to i...
-Glucose
[Gk. glykys, sweet] or Grape Sugar. A kind of sugar found in grapes, less sweet than cane sugar. In the United States it is chiefly prepared from corn starch, where the syrup is known commercially as ...
-Glue
[Fr., from L. gluten, glue.] A sticky animal substance or kind of impure gelatine, hard, and of a bright brown color. When melted it is adhesive and tenacious. It is made from the horns, hoofs, and si...
-Gluten
[L.] A mixture of various vegetable albuminous substances found in the flour of wheat and other grains. It is a very tenacious substance, and contributes much to the nutritive properties of flour. ...
-Glycerine
[Gk. glykys, sweet.] A colorless, inodorous, syrupy liquid, having a very sweet taste, soluble in water and alcohol, but insoluble in ether and chloroform. It is obtained from fats. It has numerous us...
-Gnat
[AS.] A small insect with a sting ; a bloodsucking fly which undergoes changes of form in water. The females have a needle-shaped proboscis for penetrating the skin of plants and animals. The mosquito...
-Gneiss
[Ger.] The name of a species of rock closely resembling granite. Like granite, it is composed Of mica, quartz, and feldspar, but in separate layers. Its texture varies from a fine-grained rock up to a...
-Gnu
A singular kind of antelope, sometimes called the horned horse, and found in South Africa. It is about the size of a half-grown colt. It has short brown hair and a white tail, and a mane on its neck. ...
-Goat
[AS.] A hoofed animal, closely related to the sheep, and found either wild or tame in almost every part of the world. It is easily tamed, and is a hardy, healthy animal. Its horns curve outward, its c...
-Gold
[AS.] A precious metal, one of the metallic elements. It is distinguished by its bright-yellow color, its great ductility and malleability. It is nearly as soft as lead. It has always been highly priz...
-Goldfinch
A beautiful song-bird of Europe, with gold-colored' wings, and known as the yellow-bird. It has a black cap and wings, and is some times called American canary. (See Finch.) ...
-Gold-Fish
A small domesticated fish of reddish-golden color, kept in ponds or in glass jars. It is a native of China, and was introduced into Europe in 1691. Many varieties are known. A monstrous variety of gol...
-Gold-Leaf
This is gold hammered until it forms a very thin leaf. It can be beaten so thin that it would take a pile of 200,000 leaves to make an inch in height. It is used for gilding, by spreading it on wood a...
-Golf
[Du.] A game played with a variety of clubs and a ball, the object being to drive the ball into each of a number of holes (usually nine or eighteen) with the fewest strokes of the club. It is a Scotch...
-Gong
[Malay.] A round piece of bronze, with a rim round the edge, giving a loud sound when struck. Gong-metal is 78 parts of copper and 22 of tin. ...
-Goose
[AS.] A swimming-bird of the same family as the swan and duck. It is common in most parts of the world. The gander is usually white and the female gray. The goose is larger than the duck. It feeds chi...
-Gooseberry
[Fr. grose, meaning curled or hairy.] A fruit or berry, often rough with hairs, growing on a bush with sharp prickles. ...
-Gorilla
[African.] A remarkable animal; the largest of the ape or monkey tribe. It has immense canine teeth, powerful muscles, and great strength, and does not hesitate to attack the lion, yet it is a vegetar...
-Gossamer
[O.E., goose summer, or Mary's yarn or threads.] Thin webs or threads of webs floating in the air, specially in fine weather o: in the autumn. ...
-Gourd
The family of plants which includes the pumpkin, squash, melon, cucumber, etc. The bottle or calabash gourd, growing wild in Asia and Africa, bears a fruit like a water-bottle, whose rind is very hard...
-Governor
An instrument used to regulate the supply of steam to the cylinder of a steam-engine. It consists of two heavy balls at the end of two rods, whose other ends are jointed to a shaft, turned by a strap ...
-Graft
[Fr.] A bud or branch of one tree put into another, the stock of which is to support and nourish it. There are various kinds of grafting - cleft, rind, saddle, side, skin, splice, root, and tongue. ...
-Grain
[Fr., from L. granum.] A single hard seed of corn. The lines of fibres running along the length of a piece of wood. The grain is the unit of the English system of weights. The pound avoirdupois is 7,0...
-Gramme
The weight of one cubic centimetre of distilled water at the temperature of 40 C. (39.20 F.), weighed at Paris. It is the unit of weight in the metric system. ...
-Gramophone
A kind of phonograph invented by E. Berliner about 1895. It has a circular plate of metal covered with a thin film of grease, which the tracing point scratches in a sinuous spiral line. The record is ...
-Granite Ital
from L. granum.] A crystalline rock composed of mica, quartz, and feldspar. In granite each of these minerals is in fragments large enough to be recognized by the naked eye. It occurs in large masses,...
-Grape
[Fr. from O. Ger.,a hook or cluster.] The berry or fruit of the vine (as one of a cluster). The berries are smooth-skinned, and have a juicy pulp, and are grown for table use and for making wine and r...
-Hope And Other Countries
The grapes of Greece and Asia Minor are made into raisins. Grape Sugar, (See Glucose.) ...
-Graphite
Native carbon in six-sided crystals or in granules, with a black color and metallic lustre. It is used for pencils, for crucibles, and as a lubricator. ...
-Graphophone
A modification of the phonograph, which uses, instead of tin-foil, a mixture of wax and paraffine spread upon paper. For commercial purposes this instrument may take the place of the stenographer, cor...
-Grass
[A.S.] Herbage; green fodder; the plant which forms the food of cows, horses, and other hoofed animals; also the class of grain plants with narrow leaves and hollow stems, as wheat, oats, barley, rice...
-Grasshopper
[A.S.] A small insect that hops among and feeds on grass in summer. Most grasshoppers are colored like the leaves and grasses on which they feed. They do not move in flocks, and are more active at nig...
-Grate
[Low L. a framework of bars.] A set of bars within which the fire burns. In ordinary fire-places most of the heat goes up the chimney, and to prevent this the back and sides of the grate are lined wit...
-Gravel
[Fr.] Loose, rounded, water-worn fragments of rock in which the pebbles range in size from a pea to a walnut. When smaller, they form sand ; and when larger, shingle. Gravel is formed by the action of...
-Gravitation
The name given by Sir Isaac New-ton to his law of attraction, by which every atom in the universe attracts every other atom, with a force varying with distance. It is this force which holds the heaven...
-Grebe
A crested swimming-bird about the size of a duck. When swimming it steadies its legs at the rear end of its body, and paddles with its lobate toes in the water. Its nest is a light raft, and floats on...
-Grouse
[Fr.] A game-bird that lives among heather on hills. It inhabits Europe, Asia; and North America. It has a plump body, strong, well feathered legs, and mottled plumage. Among the varieties are the red...
-Grub
[AS.] A worm or larva produced from the eggs of moths, beetles, etc. Grubber is a machine or tool for uprooting stumps or breaking roots. ...
-Guano
[Span.] The dung of a sea-fowl, used as a manure, because it contains an abundance of the silicious skeletons of animalcules, and is rich in phosphates and ammonia. Guano was first brought to Liverpoo...
-Guillemot
[Fr.] One of several northern sea-birds allied to the auk. It has short legs placed far back, and is expert at diving and swimming. The common guillemot or murre is abundant on the northern coasts of ...
-Guillotine
[Fr.] An instrument with an upright frame and a heavy axe, used in France for executions; also a paper-cutting machine with descending knife worked by hand or steam. ...
-Guinea
[African.] A coin first made in 1663 of gold from Guinea in Africa, worth 21s. No guineas have been coined since 1817. ...
-Guinea-Fowl Or Guinea-Hen
A bird somewhat like a turkey, of a dark-gray colo: and with white spots. Its neck is long, and its head has a top-knot, and a fleshy horn on each side. It is noisy and quarrelsome in the farm-yard, b...
-Guinea-Pig
A small rodent animal from South America, somewhat like a pig, but also like a rabbit. It has short glossy fur, dark brown or white, with black, white, or yellow patches, or tortoise-shell colors. It ...
-Guitar
[Fr., from Gk.] A musical instrument with six strings, the three highest of which are of catgut, and the three lowest of silk covered with silver wire. ...
-Gulf Stream
A great ocean current of warm witer, which flows in the Atlantic from the equatorial region, through the Gulf of Mexico, and along the eastern coast of the United States at so ne distance from land. I...
-Gull
[Colt.] A web-footed sea-bird. Gulls live upon fish, bat many follow ships for long distances to pick up the pieces of food thrown overboard. Tuey also rob weaker birds of their food, and have been kn...
-Gum
[Fr., from Gk. kommi.] The sticky or adhesive juice of certain trees or plants. Vegetable resins are insoluble in water, but soluble in spirits. Gum resins are soluble in either water or spirits. Gum ...
-Gun
An instrument made of a hollow tube for firing shots by means of explosives. The word is applied to the ordinary musket and rifle, and also to cannon of all sizes. Guns increased enormously in size du...
-Gun-Cotton
An explosive prepared by steeping cotton-wool in a mixture of equal volumes of strong nitric and sulphuric acids. The cotton, after drying, is not perceptibly altered in appearance, but its weight has...
-Gun-Metal
A bronze usually composed of nine parts of copper and one of tin, used for cannon. ...
-Gunny
A cloth made of jute fibre. Gunny cloth is a coarse bagging in which pepper, ginger, sugar, etc., are shipped from India. It is also brought to the United-States and used to cover cotton bales. ...
-Gunpowder
A well-known explosive, consisting of an intimate mixture of nitre, charcoal and sulphur. In the manufacture of gunpowder the ingredients selected must be perfectly pure, and they must be reduced to p...
-Gurnet And Gurnard
[Fr., from L. grunnire, to grunt.] A kind of marine fish, supposed to make a grunting noise when taken out of water by the vibration of the muscles of its air-bladder. It has a large and spiny head, w...
-Gusset
[Fr., from Ital. guscio, a husk or pod.] A small piece of cloth let into a garment for strengthening or widening it, especially under the arm-hole of a shirt. ...
-Gutta-Percha
[Malay.] The hardened juice or gum of a tree called percha, common in the Malay Islands. (See Caoutchouc and India Kubber.) ...
-Gymnastics
[Gr.] A series of exercises arranged according to method for developing and strenghtening the muscles and bodily organs. These include work with dumb-bells, Indian-clubs, wands etc. GYMNASTICS. ...
-Gypsum
[Gk. gypsos, chalk.] Sulphate of lime a common mineral, of which there are large beds in many parts of the United States. When burned and ground it becomes plaster of Paris. Ground gypsum is often use...
-Gyroscope
[Gk. gyros, a circle; and skopein, to see.] An apparatus consisting of a heavy rotating disk mounted on gimbals, so that it can turn in any direction. When rotating it will constantly point to the sam...
-Haddock
(Gadus ceglefinus.) A food fish of the Cod family, found in large shoals not far from the shore. It weighs from 2 to 4 lbs., and is distinguished by a large black spot on each side, fabled to be the p...
-Hail
[AS. hagel.] Frozen water falling from the clouds. There are two kinds of hail, the small grains, which often fall in winter, and generally come before snow; and larger hail, which falls usually in ho...
-Hair
A fine thread-like substance, of various forms and colors, developed from the outer skin of mammals. Each hair consists of a shaft and root. The shaft or part above the skin does not grow, but the bul...
-Halibut
[O.E. Halt, holy ; and butte, flounder.] A large, flat sea-fish eaten on holidays. It weighs from 100 to 400 lbs., and is caught by hook and line from Spitzbergen to Iceland, and from Finland and Scan...
-Hallow-Even Or Halloween
This is the evening of the 31st of October, so called as being the eve of All-Hallows, or festival of All-Saints, which falls on the 1st of November. It is a night on which spirits, good and evil, are...
-Halo
[Gk. halos a round threshing-floor.] A white or colored circle of light round the sun or moon. These circles are due to the presence of ice crystals in the air. In paintings, the heads of holy persons...
-Hammer
[Sax. hamer.] A well-known tool used for driving nails, beating metals, etc. Hammers are of various sorts, but nearly all consist of an iron head fixed crosswise to a handle of wood. Almost every kin...
-Hammock
[Span. hamaca.] A kind of hanging bed, chiefly used by sailors. It consists of a piece of hempen cloth or of strong netting, 6 feet long, and 4 feet wide, gathered together at each end and hung to hoo...
-Hand
The extremity of the arm, consisting of the palm and fingers, connected with the arm at the wrist. In all there are 27 bones in the hand. Eight of these are carpal bones, and form the wrist; 5 are met...
-Handicapping
A term used in various sports and games to indicate the position of competitors, so that all shall have as nearly as possible an equal chance of winning. In horse-racing, weights are put upon horses n...
-Hanging Garden
A series of magnificent gardens laid out on elevated terraces at Babylon. They were said to be 400 feet square, thus containing nearly four acres, and over 300 feet high. Water was forced up fom the E...
-Hansom
A low two wheeled cab closed in front by a lid-like apron and having a driver's seat perched back of the top. It is drawn by one horse and used extensively in large cities to convey passengers from on...
-Harbor
[Sax. here-berga.~] A port or haven for ships. A general name given to any bay or inlet affording ships protection from the wind and sea. Some of these are natural, but many are constructed by breakwa...
-Hardpan
A stratum of hardened clay, sand, or gravel, from one to three feet under the soft soil, which it serves as a foundation. ...
-Hare
(epus.) [Sax. hara.]A well-known animal, with long ears, a short tail, soft hair, and a divided upper lip. Hares are found almost all over the world. They differ from rabbits chiefly in their habits. ...
-Hariequin
The name of one of the characters in a pantomime ; of Italian origin. The harlequin is the trickster and the wit of the play, and commits all sorts of knavish acts. ...
-Harmonium
A musical keyed instrument in which the tones are produced by forcing air by means of a bellows so as to cause the vibration of free metallic reeds. The first instrument of a really useful kind was th...
-Harness
[Fr. harnois.] The trappings of a draught-horse, whether for a wagon, coach, gig, etc. It may be said to consist of four parts: (1) the driving part, or bridle and reins ; (2) the drawing part, consis...
-Harp
[Sax. hearpa.] A musical stringed instrument. It was very much esteemed by the ancients, and is pictured on the Egyptian monuments. The modern harp is in form nearly triangular, and the wires stretch ...
-Harpoon
[Fr. harpon.] A spear or javelin used for the capture of whales and other large fish. It is made of iron, about 5 feet long, with a sharp flat point with barbs. The edges of the point are made sharp, ...
-Harrow
[Sw. harf.] An implement of agriculture chiefly used for breaking up lumps of earth and smoothing ploughed land, and for covering the seeds previously sown. It consists of a frame of varied form, now ...
-Hat
[Sax. hcet.] The principal outdoor covering for the head. Hats are chiefly made of felt, silk, or straw. For felt hats the fur of rabbits and hares is used, and for commoner kinds sheep's wool. Silk h...
-Hawk
[Sax. hafoc.] A name common to many species of birds of prey belonging to the Falcon family. Hawks differ from true falcons by having shorter wings and an unnotched bill. (See Sparrow Hawk.) HAWK....
-Hawking
The art of training and flying hawks, to capture other birds. This practice, called falconry, is of high antiquity, and in old times was a favorite amusement with the rich, and to some extent with the...
-Hawthorn
[Sax. haegthorn.] A shrub or small tree which bears the haw. It is a native of Europe, Siberia, and the north of Africa. In Britain it is largely planted both for hedges and for ornament. ...
-Hay
[Sax. heg, hig.] The stems and leaves of grasses cut and dried for fodder. After being mown, the grass is shaken up and spread abroad evenly over the ground, to be dried by the sun. This is continued ...
-Hay Fever
A warm weather disease; its symptoms are those of common catarrh, yet very difficult to cure, and recurring annually at a fixed time. It is thought to be due to the pollen of certain plants. Some pers...
-Hazel
[Sax. haesel.] A genus of nut-bearing plants or small trees of the order Coryleae. The hazel is a native of all the temperate parts of Europe and Asia. It is also common in North America. In England t...
-Heart
[Sax. heort.] A hollow muscular organ, with four chambers, in the higher animals. It is the centre of the blood's motion in an animal body, and is situated in the thorax. The blood flows from the vein...
-Heat
A force in nature known by its effects in fusion and evaporation. Formerly it was. supposed to be a subtle fluid, which was known as caloric. It is now regarded as a kind of motion, being in general a...
-Heath
[AS. hoeth.] A genus of narrow leaved evergreen shrubs of many species (from 400 to 500 are known). Over a dozen inhabit Europe, and have small pink flowers; the remainder are natives of South Africa,...
-Hedge
[AS. hege.] A fence of thorn bushes or other shrubs or small trees planted round a field, or in rows to separate the parts of a garden. Hedges are very common in many parts of Britain and Italy, but c...
-Hedgehog
[L. Erinaceus.] An insectivorous animal, with the power of rolling itself into a ball, and with its hairs developed into sharp, strong spines. Few animals care to attack it, and those that do are usua...
-Helmet
[AS. helan, to cover.] A head covering formerly largely in use as a defensive armor. It is now chiefly used for ornament, but firemen wear it as a protection from falling materials at fires, and in ho...
-Hematite
An abundant and valuable ore of iron, the sesqui-oxide. Vast quantities of it exist in the United States, especially in Michigan and Missouri. In the latter, two mountains, Pilot Knob and Iron Mountai...
-Hemlock
[A S. hemleac.] A plant of the genus Coniutm, whose leaves and root are poisonous. The common or spotted hemlock is from 2 to 7 feet in height, and grows by waysides and on heaps of rubbish. It is com...
-Hemp
[AS. henep.] A fibrous plant of the genus Cannabis. It is cultivated in many parts of the world, but most largely in Poland and in the centre and south of European Russia. Hemp varies from 4 to 12 fee...
-Herb
A plant with a soft stalk, and which bears flowers and fruit only once, and then dies. Some live one year only, others two or more years. ...
-Herbarium
[L. herba, a plant.] A collection of specimens of plants, carefully dried and preserved. These collections are. very valuable for the scientific study of plants, and there are some in existence which ...
-Heron
[Fr.] The name of a large tribe of wading birds found in almost every part of the globe. The body is small in proportion to the length of the neck and the legs. The legs are very long and slender, and...
-Herring
(Clupea harengus.) [AS. haering, from the root here, an army.] A well-known sea food-fish. Herrings are found on the shores of the North Sea, the North Atlantic, the Baltic, and the White Sea. They ap...
-Hickory
A tree belonging to the Walnut family, found only in North America. The wood is tough and elastic, and is largely used to make hoops for casks. Handspikes, carriage shafts, wheel spokes, handles of ax...
-Hieroglyphics
The name applied to the ancient Egyptian writing, in which the forms of animals and natural objects stand for words, and sometimes for syllables or letters. Chinese writing is similar in character, an...
-Hippopotamus
[Gk. hippos, a horse ; and pota-mos, a river.] A large animal about 12 feet in length and 5 feet high at the shoulders, with short legs and four toes on each foot, a skin on the back and sides more th...
-Hive
[AS. hyfe.] See Bee. ...
-Hog
The common name of the animal also called pig, and collectively swine. The eyes of the hog are very small and sunken, his nose is mobile, his form without beauty, his motions clumsy, and his appearanc...
-Hogshead
Formerly a measure of capacity in use in England, containing 63 wine gallons and 54 ale gallons. In the United States the measure is still in use, and the term there signifies a large cask containing ...
-Holly
[AS ] A shrub or tree with shining, prickly, and smooth and wavy leaves and scarlet berries. The common holly grows in Europe, and in some parts of Asia. It is largely used for hedges, and forms an ex...
-Hollyhock
[AS. holihoc] A well-known hardy plant, the Althczae rosea, cultivated in gardens for its spikes of large and beautiful flowers. It is called also rose-mallow. ...
-Hominy
[W. Ind.] Maize hulled and crushed; prepared for food by boiling in water. ...
-Hone
[AS. han.]A hard stoneo f verv finegrit, used in sharpening knives, razors, and various sharp-edged tools. The best stone for hones is found in Arkansas and Turkey, and when in use is wet with oil. Co...
-Honey
[AS. humg.] A very sweet substance collected by honey-bees from the juices in the flowers of plants, and deposited in the cells of the honeycomb. Heather honey is of a rich, yellow color. Narbonne hon...
-Honeysuckle
A genus of flowering and climbing plants or shrubs, often planted in shrubberies and trained against walls on account of the beauty and delicious fragrance of their flowers. ...
-Hoof
[AS. hof.] The horny substance which incases the feet of horses, cows, sheep, etc. Horses' hoofs, which are harder, are made into glue and ground up for artificial manure. Prussiate of potash, used fo...
-Hop
[Du. hop.] A well-known climbing plant, very extensively cultivated in the south-east of England. It is a native of Europe, and is now grown in the United States and in Australia and New Zealand. It i...
-Horehound
[AS. harhune.] A small plant with whitish stem and flowers. It has an aromatic smell, and is a popular remedy in cases of coughs and asthma. ...
-Horizon
[Gk. horizon.] A circular line touching the earth, and formed by the apparent meeting of the earth and sky. This is called the visible or sensible horizon, while the great circle parallel to the sens...
-Horn
[AS.] A hard substance, usually of considerable length, growing on the heads of some animals, and also as the hoofs, claws, or nails of animals generally. The horns of the Ox family are never shed ; t...
-Hornbill
A bird of ungainly appearance, with large bill, helmet crowned, and found in India and Africa. By curious habit the male bird plasters the female in the hole of a hollow tree during nesting time. ...
-Horn Or French Horn
One of the most important of wind musical instruments, much used in orchestral music and in military bands. It gets its name from the first horns having been made of the horns of animals. It produces ...
-Hornblende
A tough mineral of black coloi, due to a large percentage of oxide of iron. It forms part of several rocks, as trap, syenite, and hornblende slate, which is excellent for flagstone purposes. ...
-Hornet
An insect belonging to the Wasp family, but much larger and stronger than the ordinary wasp, and whose sting gives severe pain. It is fully an inch in length. It forms its nest of a kind of paper-work...
-Hornpipe
An instrument of music formerly very common in Wales. It is also the name of a characteristic lively British dance much in favor among sailors. ...
-Horse
[AS. hors.] A beautiful animal, useful for canying loads or drawing wagons. It is a most intelligent animal, knows its master well, and if kindly treated will always do its work willingly ...
-Horse-Chestnut
A large and ornamental tree, with large compound leaves, and bearing white flowers and a fruit or nut with a prickly shell. The nuts have a bitter taste, and are sometimes used as food for cattle. In ...
-Horse-Radish
A small plant with a stem about two feet high, but having a deeply penetrating root, for which it is chiefly cultivated, and from which a highly valuable seasoning, of strongly acrid taste, is obtaine...
-Horse-Shoe
A shoe for horses, consisting of a plate of iron of a circular form. Horse-shoes are necessary as a protection to the foot on stony or hard roads, and they vary in size, shape, and strength according ...
-Hosiery
A name given to hose or stockings, and used now to include all kinds of knitted articles. Stocking-knitting was all done by the hand, until William Lee, of Woodbridge, in Nottinghamshire, invented a k...
-Hopital
[Fr., from L. hospitalia, apartments for strangers.] A building used for the reception of sick persons, or for those who are unable to supply their own wants. Some hospitals are set apart entirely for...
-Hostage
[Fr. Otage.] A person left with an enemy or hostile power as a pledge to secure the performance of the articles or conditions of a treaty. ...
-Hothouse
A building warmed by stoves or furnaces for rearing exotics or tender plants. A hot-bed is a garden bed covered with glass, to rear plants early in the season by the heat of the sun. ...
-Hound
[AS.] A dog used for hunting. The bloodhound, staghound, and foxhound hunt only by scent, and may be termed true hounds. To this class may be added the harrier and the beagle ; but the greyhound and t...
-Hour
[Fr., from L. hora, an hour.] . A space of time equal to 60 minutes, or to I-24th part of a day. The hours of the civiliday begin at midnight. Since 1885 the hours of the astronomical day begin at mid...
-Hourglass
A kind of chronometer or instrument for measuring intervals of time. It is constructed of glass, and consists of two bulbs, one above the other, connected by a narrow neck. The time is measured by the...
-Huckaback
A kind of linen with raised figures on it, used for table-cloths and towels. ...
-Huckleberry
A shrub of the Heath family which grows wild over most of the United States, and yields a palatable berry. There are several kinds, some being lowbushes,while the swamp blueberry grows several feet hi...
-Hummingbird
The smallest and most beautiful of all birds, found only in America, and almost exclusively tropical. They get their name from the peculiar humming noise made by the rapid vibration of their wings. Th...
-Hurdle
[AS. hyrdel.] Twigs, osiers, and sticks woven together; a frame of split timber or sticks for gates and fences. ...
-Hyacinth
[Gk. hyakinthos, an iris.] A plant with a large rounded root and a beautiful flower of different colors. ...
-Hydraulics
. The science of fluids in motion. Of its applications may be named the hydraulic ram, which pumps water by the force derived from a moving stream ; the hydraulic or hydro-static press, in which the p...
-Hydrogen
[Gk. hydor, water; and the root of gennao, to produce.] The lightest of the chemical elements. Hydrogen is a colorless and, when pure, tasteless gas. It is very inflammable, gives little light, but it...
-Hydrometer
[Gk. hydor, water; and metrom, a measure.] An instrument for measuring the weight of a liquid as compared with an equal amount of water. ...
-Hyena
[L. hyena.] A genus of carniverous quadrupeds, about the size of a large dog, and of fierce and almost untamable character. The back and neck of the hyena are covered with coarse, shaggy hair, forming...
-Hydropathy
[Gr. hydor, water ; and paskein, to suffer.] A mode of curing disease by the application of water. This is applied in various forms of the bath, also by enveloping the patient in a wet sheet. It has a...
-Hydrophobia
[Gr. hydor, water ; fobos, fear.] A disease caused by the bite of a rabid animal, and so called from the great dread which those who suffer from it have of water. Some doctors say that no such disease...
-Hypnotism
[Gr. hypnos, sleep.] The science of what was once called mesmerism and animal magnetism. The subject in a hypnotic state comes under the sole control of the operator, and acts under his suggestions, w...
-Ice
[AS. is, isa.] Water freezes into ice when its temperature falls to the freezing-point, which is 320 on the Fahrenheit thermometer, and zero on the Centigrade. Ice forms on the surface of water, which...
-Ichneumon
An animal of the Civet family, though it closely resembles the weasels in form and habits. It is about 18 inches long and very slender. It feeds on birds, rats, reptiles, etc., and, though destructive...
-Iguana
A reptile abundant in South America and the West Indies, of about 5 feet in length. It is of a green color with a bright yellow crest along the back. Though formidable in appearance, it is very timid,...
-Incense
[L. incensum.] The perfume produced by the burning of spices and gums. It is the symbol of prayer in churches. The powder, made up of benzoin, storax, and other resins, cascarilla bark, etc., is place...
-Inclined Plane
A sloping surface up which a weight can be pushed or rolled that could not be easily lifted. It is believed that the pyramids of Egypt were built by the use of great inclined planes, up which their he...
-Incubator
[L. Incubo.] An apparatus for the artificial hatching of eggs, heat being applied instead of the natural warmth of the body. Several hundred eggs may be hatched in a single incubator. ...
-India-Rubber
The hardened juice of several kinds of trees, It is also known by the names caoutchouc and elastic gum or resin. The india-rubber of commerce conies chiefly from Mexico, South America, Madagascar, and...
-Indian Summer
A term applied in the United States to the period of mild weather which nearly always comes at the close of October, extending sometimes to the middle of November. It is rainless and the atmospere is ...
-Indigo
[L. indicum, from India.] A well-known and beautiful blue vegetable dye, obtained from the leaves of several species of plants which grow in the East and West Indies, India, Ceylon, Mexico, Brazil, E...
-Induction
An important electrical phenomenon, in which a charged conductor causes unlike electricity to appear in an insulated conductor on the end near it, and like electricity on the other end. In the same wa...
-Ink
[Fr. encre.] A liquor or substance used for writing or printing. Writing ink is made of gall-nuts, sulphate of iron, gum, and water. Copying ink has more gum than writing ink; while blue ink is made o...
-Inlaying
The art of ornamenting flat surfaces with pieces of wood, ivory, pearl, precious metals, etc., by inserting them into spaces cut out of the body of the substance in which they are to be inlaid. ...
-Insectivorous Plants
A name given to various plants whose leaves are developed into traps for catching insects, upon whose juices the plant seems to feed. Well known forms of these are the Venus fly-trap, the sundew, and ...
-Insects
[L. insectus, cut into.] In point of number and variety of species by far the largest class of animals. The body, made up of a number of rings or segments, is divided into three parts - the head, form...
-Iodine
[Gk. ion, a violet; and eidos, form.] A simple substance obtained from the ashes of seaweed ; its vapor is of a rich violet color. Though an irritant poison, it is used medicinally in small doses. ...
-Ipecacuanha
[Peruvian ipi, root; and Cacuanah, the district from which it was first obtained.] A plant found in the forest6 of Brazil, the root of which is used as an emetic. ...
-Iron
[AS. iren.] The most common and most important of all metals. Iron possesses properties so varied and useful as to give it the highest rank among the mineral productions of the earth. 'It is very hard...
-Iron Ores
- Iron is found chiefly in the earth's crust in combination with oxygen. There are several kinds of ores from which iron is made, but the most important are the various oxides, the carbonates, and the...
-Irrigation
The watering of the earth to increase its fertility. The word is applied to flooding fields directly from streams, and to the digging of long canals and ditches tospread the waters of a stream over a ...
-Isinglass Or Fish-Glue
[Corrupted from Du. huizenblas, the bladder of the sturgeon.] A substance consisting chiefly of gelatine, prepared from the sounds or air bladders of certain freshwater fishes. The finest is obtained ...
-Isothermal
Having equal heat or temperature. Isothermal lines are those which pass through points of equal annual temperature upon the earth's surface. They are irregular in shape, the temperature of a place bei...
-Ivory
{Fr., from L. ebur, ivory.] The hard, fine-grained substance of a fine white color obtained from the tusks and teeth of the elephant. The name is also given to the tusks and teeth of certain other ani...
-Ivy
[AS. ifig.] An evergreen plant of the genus Hedera, which creeps along the ground or climbs trees, rocks, walls, etc. Its leaves are very pretty, of a dark-green color, smooth and shiny. It is found a...
-Jack
A hoisting or lifting device, consisting of a screw arrangement by which a heavy weight may be lifted with small power. The hydraulic jack is the most powerful of lifting machines. In its use water is...
-Jackal
This animal belongs to the genus Canis, and has a close resemblance to the dog and the fox. The common jackal is of a grayish-yellow color, about 3 feet in length and 14 inches in height, with short e...
-Jackdaw
[Jack and daw.] A bird of the crow kind, smaller than the rook and carrion crow, in length about 12 inches. Its plumage is of a glossy black, and it has a short black bill and black legs. It is common...
-Jack Plane
A Carpenter's cutting and surface smoothing tool, from 12 to 17 inches in length and used to take off the roughtest surface of the board. JACK PLANE. ...
-Jaconet
A lightsoft muslin, used for dresses neckcloths, etc. ...
-Jade
[Span. ijada, flank.] A mineral, called also oxstone, of a greenish color, compact, and with a fatty lustre. It was believed to cure pain of the side, hence its name. Chinese jade is wrought into beau...
-Jaguar
A large and ferocious animal, of the cat family, found chiefly in South America, and often called the American tiger. It is found in North America as far north as the borders of Texas. It is larger th...
-Jalap Or Julep
[So called from Jalapa in Mexico.] (Rose-water.) The root of a plant much used in medicine as a purgative. ...
-Japanning
The art of covering wood, metal, leather, paper, etc., with a thick coating of colored varnish. It was first practised by the Japanese, hence the name. Tea-trays, tin canisters, cash-boxes, coal-boxes...
-Jasmine
A genus of long twining shrubs, bearing sweetly-scented flowers. ...
-Jasper
[Gk. iaspis.] A hard precious stone of various colors (usually red or brown), which takes on a high polish, and is used for rings, seals, vases, and other ornaments, and also for the decoration of cos...
-Jaundice
[Fr. jaunisse.] A disorder of the liver, causing bile to mix with the blood, when the skin becomes yellow. ...
-Jay
(Garrulus.) A genus of short-winged birds of the Crow family. The jay frightens small birds with its cry, and robs nests of their eggs. The European jay is of a yellowish-brown color, and resembles an...
-Jelly
A translucent juice which thickens when cold into a soft and trembling mass. The juice of currants and some other fruits thickens to jelly after boiling with sugar. A jelly is also made from Iceland m...
-Jelly-Fish
(Medusce.) Soft-bodied ocean animals, which form a disk of an umbrella shape, with a mouth in its centre, opening downwards, and long tentacles surrounding the mouth or depending from the margin of th...
-Jerboa Or Jumping Mouse
(Dipus.) , A genus of rodent mammals allied to the mouse, having very short fore legs and remarkably long hind ones, and noted for their power of jumping by the aid of a long muscular tail. The averag...
-Jerusalem Artichoke
[Jerusalem, corruption of Ital. girasole, or sunflower.] A plant whose root is sometimes used for food. ...
-Jet
[From Gagas, a town in Asia Minor.] A hard black mineral, easily cut and carved, and capable of receiving a very beautiful polish. Jet appears to be a kind of bituminous coal, but much harder and smoo...
-Jewel
[Fr.] Any ornament cf precious stone, metal, or other valuable material. A diamond or other stone in a watch on which the pivot turns. ...
-Jewsharp
A simple instrument of music, made of metal, and shaped like a harp. When played it is placed between the teeth, and by means of a little spring, which is made to vibrate by being struck with the fing...
-Johannisberger
The finest kind of Rhine wine, made at Johannisberg monastery. ...
-John-Dory
[John, and Fr. dorer, to gild.] A flat sea-fish of a golden-yellow color, with a small round spot on each side; hence called St. Peter's Fish. ...
-Joists
[Fr.,tolie.] Pieces of timber, laid horizontally in parallel rows, resting on walls and girders, and sometimes on both, and to which the boards of a floor or the laths of a ceiling are nailed. ...
-Jollyboat
A small boat belonging to a ship. ...
-Journal
[Fr. journal.] A diary ; a book containing an account of daily transactions and events ; a business book in which every particular article or charge is entered ; a paper published daily or at regular ...
-Jujube
The name of a small tree or shrub and of its fruit, sometimes called lotus. The tree is a native of Syria, and is now cultivated in many parts of Asia and in Europe, chiefly for its fruit, which is dr...
-Juniper
[L. juniperus.] A hardy evergreen tree or shrub, with dark-purple berries, which have a strong and peculiar flavor, and are much used for flavoring gin. The common juniper is found in Europe, the nort...
-Jupiter
The largest planet of the solar system. It is about 88,000 miles diameter, eleven times that of the earth, and rotates in less than 10 hours, its surface at the equator moving 28 times as fast as the ...
-Jute
The fibre of the inner bark of two plants, which are very extensively cultivated in India, especially in Bengal. Both plants are annuals, in height from 10 to 14 feet, with yellow flowers and smooth l...
-Kaleidoscope
[Gk. kalos, beautiful; eidos, a form; and skopein, to see.] An optical instrument invented by Sir David Brewster in 1817. It consists of a tube' containing two glass mirrors, making an angle of 60...
-Kangaroo
An animal belonging to the Marsupial order of mammals, and found only in Australia, New Guinea, and the neighboring islands. Its distinguishing features are very short fore legs, which are not used fo...
-Kaolin
A pure white clay, resulting from the decomposition of felspar in granite rocks. The finer kinds of porcelain are made from it. ...
-Kelp
A dark-gray powder or ash, got by burning seaweed, used chiefly in the manufacture of iodine, and formerly of glass. ...
-Kestrel
A small bird of the genus Falco or hawk kind, like the sparrow-hawk. ...
-Kidneys
Two peculiarly-shaped glands which secrete the urine from the blood and send it into the bladder. In the human body they are situated one on each side of the abdominal cavity, and are spoken of as the...
-Kindergarten
[Ger. kind-er, children ; and garten, a garden.] A school or training-place for young children, in which instruction is given by means of games and other amusements ; so called because first carried o...
-Kinetoscope
An apparatus for taking and afterwards exhibiting a rapid series of photographs of moving scenes. By its use life-like pictures can be displayed. Various names have been given to modifications of this...
-Kingbird
Also known as the Tyrant Fly-catcher and Bel-martin. It is found only in America east of the Rocky Mountains, and during the nesting season is very fierce. It will attack the largest bird that comes t...
-Kingfisher
A genus of perching birds noted for their brilliant plumage. The kingfisher is usually found alone, perched on the bough of a tree on the banks of rivers. Here it will sit for hours watching for fish....
-Kite. Cyta
[AS. cyta.] The name of a very active bird of the genus Falco or hawk. Its bill is short and strong, its wings are long, powerful, and pointed, and its tail is forked. The kite spends the greater part...
-Kite
A light frame of wood and paper constructed for flying in the air, chiefly for amusement. Kites get their name from the kind of hawk called kite, which has just been described, and which is often seen...
-Kittiwake
A bird of the gull kind. ...
-Knife
[AS. cnif.] Primitive men used shells, flints, and sharp-edged stones for knives. These vere followed by bronze knives made of copper and tin; but knives made of iron and steel gradually took their pl...
-Knight
A title of honor, originally adopted during the feudal system, and given to soldiers of courage and experience. The knight took the title of Sir before his name. Knighthood was conferred of old by lay...
-Knot
In nautical language a division of the log-line serving to measure the rate of a vessel's motion. The log-line is divided by knots into sections, and the number of sections which run off in half a min...
-Kodak
A form of photographic camera adapted to take instantaneous negatives by the snapshot process. It is. made id the form of a small box, with a lens and shutter on one side, and a reflector on top to ...
-Koumiss
A fermented drink made from mare's milk originally, though it may be made from the milk of any animal. The article usually sold under this name is made from cow's milk, yeast being used to cause it to...
-Label
A narrow slip of silk, paper, metal, or parchment, containing a name or title, and affixed to anything, to tell what or whose the thing is. ...
-Laburnum
A small tree, a native of the Alps, much planted in shrubberies and pleasure-grounds on account of its glossy leaves and clusters of beautiful yellow flowers. The laburnum is a very hardy tree, and th...
-Labyrinth
A building or ground space full of winding passages, which are very difficult to traverse. There were three famous ones in ancient history. One at Arsinoe in Egypt had 3,000, apartments, half of them ...
-Lac
A resinous substance found on certain trees in different pacts of the East. Indies. It is produced by punctures made by a very small insect called Coccus lacca. These insects live on the sap of the tr...
-Lace
[Fr., from L. laqueus, a noose.] A fabric formed of threads of cotton, wool, flax, silk, silver, or gold, used chiefly for ornamenting dresses. Lace is made either by hand or machine. To that made by ...
-Lacquer
[From lac, a gum or resin.] A varnish composed of shell-lac dissolved in alcohol with gamboge, and used for coating metals, chiefly polished brass, to which it gives a golden bronze color, preserves t...
-Lady-Bird
[Coccinella.) A small kind of beetle of a brilliant red, orange, or yellow color, with black spots, or sometimes black with white, yellow, or red spots. It lays its eggs in little collections under th...
-Lamp
[Gk. lampas.] A vessel used for giving light by means of a wick dipped in oil and lighted. In ancient times lamps were simply flat vessels made of earthenware or stone. Specimens of these have been fo...
-Lampblack
A fine soot formed by burning resin, petroleum, pitch, tar, and oils and fats in close iron vessels. During combustion the dense smoke passes into a chamber covered with a coarse woolen cloth, and a t...
-Lamprey Or Rock-Sucker
A species of fish somewhat resembling the eel in form. Its body is destitute of the paired fins'found in most other fishes, is without scales, and covered with a glutinous mucus. The mouth is circular...
-Lance
[L- lancea.] A weapon much used by the ancients, consisting of a long shaft witn a sharp point. It was an important weapon of war in the Middle Ages, and though now differing in form is still used by ...
-Lance Wood
The wood of a tree found in the West Indies, chiefly in Jamaica, of which it is a native, and possessing great toughness and elasticity. It is used by coach-builders for shafts and carriage poles. , ...
-Land-Crab
Land-dwelling crabs, of which there are many species. The Black or Mountain Crab of the West Indies lives from one to three miles from the sea, to which it travels, in immense numbers, in April or May...
-Lapis Lazuli
[L., azure stone.] The name of a mineral of a rich blue color, consisting chiefly of silica and alumina, with sulphates of soda, and iron in spots or veins. It is found in Persia, China, Chili, and Si...
-Lapwing
A bird of the Plover family, with long, broad wings, which from their regular, slow flapping have gained for it the title Lapwing. It is also known by the name Peewit, from its peculiar cry. Lapwings ...
-Larch
[L. larix.] A cone-bearing tree, common in Europe, Asia, and North America. The European larch attains a height of from 60 to 100 feet, with a trunk of from 3 to 4 feet in diameter. The larch grows ra...
-Lard
[Fr. lard.] The fat of the hog after being separated from the flesh and melted. It is largely used for culinary purposes. Lard consists chiefly of stearin, which is a solid and o lei n , which is a li...
-Lark
[AS. laferc or laverock.] A well-known bird of the family Al-auda. The best-known species is the skylark, a familiar songster, remarkable as one of the very few birds which sing freely while on the wi...
-Larynx
[Gk. larynx.] The upper part of the windpipe or trachea forming the organ of voice. It is situated between the windpipe and the base of the tongue, at the upper and front part of the neck, and opens a...
-Lasso
[Span. lazo.] A rope or long thong of leather with a running noose, used for catching horses, cattle, etc. ...
-Lathe
A machine by which wood, ivory, metals, and other materials are turned and cut as they revolve by a tool held in the hand or fixed in a slide-rest. All the rounded parts of furniture, such as legs of...
-Laths
The name given to thin, narrow strips of wood, rarely longer than four feet, used for nailing to the uprights of partition walls, and to the rafters of ceilings. They are placed slightly apart to rece...
-Latitude
Distance from the equator north or south towards the poles. Lines of latitude are imaginary lines which surround the earth, parallel to the equator, diminishing in length until they reach the poles, w...
-Lattice
[Fr. lattis, lath-work.] Any work made by crossing laths, rods, or bars of wood or iron, and forming open squares like network; a window made in this way. ...
-Laurel
[L. laurus.] The name given to a genus of plants, consisting of trees and shrubs, whose leaves and fruit are bitter, astringent, and aromatic, and were formerly much used in medicine. Laurel or bay le...
-Lava
[It. laua.] The name given to the melted matter which bursts or is thrown from the mouth of a volcano. It flows like melted glass or iron down the sides of the mountain, but speedily cools and hardens...
-Lavender
{Lavandula.) A delightfully fragrant plant, much used in making perfumes. The leaves and flowers of lavender are said to have been used by the ancients to perfume their baths ; hence the name Lavandul...
-Lawn Tennis
A favorite ball game, played on a smooth surface divided by a net. The ball is sent by use of a racket, effort being made to return it over the net as often as possible. ...
-Lead
[AS. lad.] A well-known metal of a bluish-white color, very heavy, easily melted and cut, and which may be hammered or rolled out into sheets and drawn into wire. It has been used from very early time...
-Leaf
A flat, expanded organ of a plant, varying in shape, and situated usually at the extremity of the twigs. It is employed in elaborating the plant food. The crude sap enters the leaf, where it receives ...
-League
[L. leuca, a Gallic mile.] A measure of distance of ancient origin. The Roman league was equal to 1,500 paces, each of 5 feet. The league is used as a nautical measure, and signifies the 1-2oth part o...
-Leather
[AS. lether.] The hides or skins of animals dressed and prepared for use by tanning and otherwise. The most important leather-making hides are those of oxen, but various kinds of leather are made from...
-Leech
[AS. Iaccan.] A worm-like animal possessing one or two sucking discs. It is found in fresh and salt water, and sometimes on land. The medicinal leech is from 2 to 3 inches in length, with a minutely-r...
-Leek
[AS. leac.] The Allium porrum, a plant allied to the onion and used in soup. ...
-Legion
The name given to a division of the Roman army, which corresponded to a brigade in modern armies. The legion - 3,000 and afterwards 6,000 strong - was divided into centuries or companies of 100 men 'e...
-Lemming
A small animal of the rat family, found in Scandinavia and Finland. It is a vegetable feeder, and is remarkable for its occasional migrations, in which bands of immense multitudes pass from the mounta...
-Lemon
The name of a tree (Citrus limonum) and its fruit; a native of Southern Asia, but now cultivated in the south of Europe, especially in Sicily, in the West Indies, and in California and Florida. It for...
-Lemur
A family of arboreal animals bearing some resemblance to the monkeys in their mode of progression and their opposable thumbs and great toes. They are much less active and intelligent than the monkeys....
-Lens
[L. lens, a lentil seed, which is much like the shape of a convex lens.] A piece of glass or other transparent substance, which may be spherical on both sides, or one side may be spherical and the oth...
-Lentil
[Fr. lentille.] An annual plant not unlike the bean, a native of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, and cultivated from the earliest times. It is now grown in many parts of Europe and Asia,...
-Leopard
[L. leo, and pardus.] A rapacious quadruped of the genus Felis or Cat group, found chiefly in Africa, though not uncommon in some parts of Asia. In general appearance it resembles the tiger, though no...
-Leprosy
A so far incurable skin disease, in which scaly patches, circular in form, appear on the skin and gradually spread. Its progress is very slow and those attacked by it may live for years. It is contagi...
-Lettuce
[Fr. from L. lactuca, which is from lac, milk, the plant having a milky juice.] An annual plant, supposed to be a native of the East Indies ; cultivated from remote antiquity, and now grown all over t...
-Level
An instrument by which to find or draw a horizontal line in setting buildings. The spirit-level has a bubble of air on the surface of spirits of wine enclosed in a glass tube. In water-levels water is...
-Lever
[Fr. levier.] One of the mechanical powers. It consists of a bar of wood or metal, supported by and movable at some point of its length round a prop, called the fulcrum, while at the other points are ...
-Leyden-Jar
[Invented in Leyden, Holland.] An instrument used to accumulate electricity. It is made of glass, covered on both sides with tin-foil nearly to the top, and for the purpose of charging it a brass knob...
-Lichens
[Gk. leichen.] These are flowerless plants, without separate stems or leaves, found on rocks, trunks and branches of trees, walls and fences, and on barren soil. They are common everywhere and at all ...
-Lifeboat
A boat constructed for saving persons in cases of shipwreck. Its chief qualities are strength, to resist the violence of waves, a rocky beach, or collision with the wreck ; buoyancy, to avoid founderi...
-Light
[AS. leoht, liht.] The agent which produces vision and thereby enables us to see objects. Light comes to us from self-luminous bodies in the heavens - such as the sun, the fixed stars, nebulae, and so...
-Lighthouse
A tower or building erected on headlands along the coast, and on rocks in the sea and in rivers, and at the entrance to harbors, from which a light is shown at night to guide mariners in navigating sh...
-Lightning
The vivid flash of light which accompanies a sudden discharge of atmospheric electricity. It occurs in three distinct forms - namely, forked lightning, sheet lightning, and ball-lightning. In forked l...
-Lignum-Vitae
[L. lignum, wood; and vitae, of life.] The name of the wood of the guaiacum tree, which grows in the West Indies and South America. The wood is very heavy, hard, close-grained, and tough, and is used ...
-Lilac
[Sp. lilac] A beautiful and fragrant flowering shrub, a native of Persia, brought to Vienna about three hundred years ago, and now cultivated as a familiar garden ornament throughout Europe and North ...
-Lily
{Lilium.) The popular name of a family of plants of many species, producing flowers of great beauty and variety of colors. The root is a scaly bulb, the stem herbaceous and simple, sometimes several f...
-Lime
[AS. lim.] An alkaline earth, found as a carbonate in chalk, marble and limestone. Quick lime is obtained by heating pure carbonate of lime to full redness in limekilns, when the carbonic acid is expe...
-Limelight
A light of great brilliancy, also called Drummond light, from its inventor. It consists of a burning jet of oxygen and hydrogen directed upon a cylinder of lime. This becomes white hot and yields an i...
-Limpet
[L. lepas.] A small shell-fish which forms a vacuum under its shell, and adheres to rocks, being pressed by the weight of the atmosphere. ...
-Linden Or Lime
A large and beautiful tree, of which the American linden often grows to the height of 80 feet, and to 2 or 3 feet diameter. The leaves are large and serrated. The wood is white and soft, much used for...
-Linen
[L. tinum, flax.] A cloth very much used, made of flax, which is woven into such goods as tablecloths, cambric, lawn, shirting, sheeting, towels, etc. Linen is manufactured in the British Islands, and...
-Ling
A fish resembling the cod in form, but. longer and more slender. ...
-Linnet
[Fr. linot.] A well-known song-bird, widely distributed in Europe and in the northwest of Africa. It is barely 6 inches in length, feeds on soft seeds, and forms its nest of soft stems and moss, lined...
-Linoleum
A kind of floor-cloth made of ground cork and oxidized linseed-oil spread on jute canvas, with oil-paint coated on the back. It was invented by Walton in i860. ...
-Linseed
[AS. lin, flax; and seed, seed.] The seed of flax, largely used for making linseed-oil and oil-cake. In making oil the seeds are bruised or crushed, then ground and pressed in a hydraulic or screw-pre...
-Lint
[AS. linet.] Linen cloth or rags scraped so as to form a soft material suitable for dressing wounds and sores. ...
-Lion
[Fr., from L. leo.] 1 he largest representative of the Felidce or Cat family. Its distinctive features are the large size of its head ; the great mane, which covers the head, neck, and shoulders of th...
-Liquid
[L. liauidus.] A fluid or flowing sub-stance, distinguished from a solid by yielding laterally to pressure It always returns to the same level. ...
-Liquid Air
Air reduced by great pressure and intense cold to the liquid state. This process, of recent discovery, can now be performed with ease and rapidity, large quantities being produced at a low cost. Effor...
-Liquorice
The word liquorice means sweet root. The liquorice plant has stems 3 to 4 feet high, with small blue, violet, or white flowers, and the roots are sometimes half an inch thick and a yard long. It is ...
-Lithography
[Gk. lithos, a stone; and graphein, to write.] The art of tracing letters, figures, and other designs on stone, and of transferring them to paper by impression. It was invented in 1796 by Alois Senefe...
-Liver
[AS. lifer.] In man the largest gland in the body, situated in the right upper side and towards the front of the abdominal cavity, measuring about 12 inches from side to side, and weighing from 50 to ...
-Lizard
[Fr., from L. lacerta, a lizard.] A term applied to an order of reptiles found in almost all countries, but most plentiful in warm climates. They include the gecko, monitor, dragon, frilled lizard, ch...
-Llama
A most useful South American animal, somewhat like a camel, but smaller and without a hump. The llama lives in flocks among the Andes, and feeds mostly on coarse grasses, mosses, lichens, and shrubs. ...
-Load Stone Or Magnetic Iron Ore
A hard reddish-black or grey mineral, found in various countries. (See Magnet.) ...
-Lobster
A well known crustacean, much esteemed for food. Lobsters are found all round the coasts of Europe, and along the Atlantic coast of the United States north of New York. Immense quantities are sent fro...
-Lock
[AS. loc or loce.] A well-known instrument for fastening doors, drawers, chests, etc., generally opened by a key. The chief parts of a lock are the bolt or part which locks, and the staple into which ...
-Locomotive Steam-Engine
The traction engine used on railroads for drawing cars. The first effective locomotive, the Rocket, was invented by George Stephenson in 1829, though others had been made earlier. Since then immense...
-Locomobile
An automobile or motor carriage moved by steam. ...
-Locust
[L. locusta.] An insect somewhat like a grasshopper in shape, but with shorter antennae or feelers and stouter legs. Its hind legs are very strong, enabling it to make long leaps ; and its wings are b...
-Log
A part of the apparatus for measuring the rate of a ship's motion through the water, consisting of a flat piece of wood, usually in the form of a quadrant, loaded with lead at its circular edge to mak...
-Logwood
[So called because it was brought to Europe in logs.] A tree which grows in Central America, on the Bay of Campeachy, and some of the West India islands. The wood, sometimes called Campeachy wood, is ...
-Longitude
The lines of longitude are a series of imaginary lines which surround the earth at right angles to the equator and pass through the poles. Longitude is measured along the equator east or west from a s...
-Lumbering
The cutting of forest timber for commercial use. This has become an immense industry in the United States, more than 24,000,-000,000 feet being cut annually for various purposes. The white pine has lo...
-Lungs
[AS. lungen.] The lungs are the organs of respiration. In man the lungs lie in the thorax or chest on each side of the heart- -the right lung being a little shorter and broader than the left lung. The...
-Lute
An ancient musical instrument, of the guitar kind. It somewhat resembles the pear in shape, and was played by striking the strings with the fingers. It was in common use till the end of the 17th centu...
-Lynx
[L. lynx.] An animal resembling the common cat, but with longer ears and a shorter tail. It preys on small quadrupeds and birds, and in pursuit of prey frequently climbs to the tops of tall trees. Lyn...
-Macadam
Broken stones, about from 2 oz. to 6oz. in weight each, used as road metal; invented about 1810 by Macadam, a Scottish road contractor. ...
-Macaroni
[Ital. maccheroni, from maccare, to bruise or crush.] A kind of food made from the paste or dough of fine wheat flour, formed in small tubes or pipes. It forms a favorite article of food among Italian...
-Macaroon
A favorite cake or biscuit, composed chiefly of the meal of sweet almonds, whites of eggs, and sugar. ...
-Macaw
A race of beautiful birds found in the tropical regions of America, and included in the Parrot family. ...
-Mace
A staff with an ornamental head, carried before officers of state and magistrates as an emblem of authority; a well-known spice, which forms the inner envelope of the growing nutmeg. It occurs as a fi...
-Mackerel
[Fr., from L. macula, a spot.] A well-known salt-water fish,marked with spots on its sides, and much used for food. They move about in vast shoals, and visit the British and American coasts in summer,...
-Madder
[AS. maeddere.] The name of a very useful red dye obtained from the roots of the madder plant, which is found in the warm parts of the Old and New Worlds. Madder is used by dyers to make a great varie...
-Magic-Lantern
An optical instrument which, by means of lenses and a lamp or lime-light, enlarges small figures painted with transparent varnish on sides of glass, and exhibits them on a white screen in a darkened r...
-Magnesium
A metal of asilver-white color, found in many minerals. It is got by fusion from magnesium chloride. It is very light, easily tarnished, and when lighted burns with a brilliant glow. It may be drawn i...
-Magnet
[L. magnes, from Magnesia.] An ore of iron, the loadstone, first found at Magnesia, a city in Lydia ; now found in different parts of the world, especially in Sweden and in the States of New York ...
-Magnolia
[Magnol, a professor rf botany at Montpelier, died 1715.] The name of a tree, a native of North America, India, Shina and Japan, now very widely cultivated, and much admired on account of...
-Magpie
{Mag, short form of Margaret; and pie, from L. pica, a. magpie.] A bird of the Crow tribe, distinguished from the true crows by its small size, short wings, long tail, and variegated plumage. It is no...
-Mahogany
The wood of a tree of the same name, a native of Central America and the West Indies. It is a beautiful tree, from 80 to 100 feet high, the trunk being often 5 feet in circumference. The wood is heavy...
-Maidenhair
A species of fern, so called because of its very fine hair-like fronds. ...
-Maize Or Indian Corn
An important grain of American origin, distinguished by the peculiar arrangement of its large seeds on a long cylindrical cob. It grows on a stalk resembling that of the sugar cane, varying from 5 to ...
-Malachite
A mineral of a dark and emerald-| green, color; a carbonate of copper, much used for ornamental purposes. ...
-Malaria
[Ital. mala, bad ; and aria, air.] A poisonous condition of the air most powerful near marshes, producing certain kinds of low fever. It is found to be due to a bacterial microbe, probably largely dis...
-Mallet
[Fr. maillel.] A wooden hammer for beating lead, etc., for driving wooden pins, or for using with chisels. ...
-Mallow
A plant common throughout Europe and in Britain, on waysides and heaps of rubbish. Its soft downy leaves are sometimes used to allay external inflammation. ...
-Malmsey
[From Malvasia, in the south of Greece.] The name of a sweet wine, or the grape from which it is made ; originally exported from Malvasia, but now made in other places. WINE SKIN BOTTLES. ...
-Malt
[AS. mealt.] Barley or other grain steeped in water until it begins to germinate, and then dried to stop the growth, thus converting the Starch of the grain into sugar. It is used in brewing and disti...
-Mammals
[L. mamma.] The highest class of vertebrate or backboned animals; so called because they all feed their young with milk formed in their own bodies. In mammals the heart is divided into four chambers, ...
-Man
[AS. man.] Man is the chief of mammals, the superior of all animals, the only one which walks erect, and the only one which talks. He excels all other animals not only in body, but in mind. This enabl...
-Manakin
The name applied to a race of birds common in the tropical parts of South America, of very small size, and noted for the beauty of their plumage. ...
-Manchinel
[L. mancanilla.] A tree which grows in the West Indies and tropical America, noted for its poisonous fruit and poisonous milky juice. The Indians use it for poisoning their arrows. The wood is of fi...
-Manatee
A genus of marine, plant-eating mammals, known as cow whales or sea-cows, found in the coast waters and river mouths of Africa and South America. They include the Manatee and the Dugong. ...
-Manganese
A metal closely allied to iron. The important manganese ores are black oxide, brown oxide, and bog manganese. Large deposits exist in Spain, Portugal, and the United States. In Nova Scotia there is an...
-Mango
[Malay.] The fruit of the mango tree, which grows in India and the East and West Indies. It is very nutritious, and is used as a dessert in hot countries. The green fruit is pickled in the East Indies...
-Mangold Or Mangel-Wurzel
[Ger. mangold, beet; and wurzel, root] A plant resembling beet, but larger and coarser, extensively cultivated as food for cattle. ...
-Mangrove
[Malay.] This tree grows on muddy shores and river-banks in tropical countries. It sends down shoots from its branches, which take root and form new stems. ...
-Manila-Hemp
[From Manila, in the Philippine Islands.] The material obtained from the thread-like fibres of a kind of banana-tree which grows in the Philippine Islands, and largely used for making cables, ropes, a...
-Map
[Fr., from L. mappa, a napkin.] A drawing or representation on paper or other material of the surface of the earth or part of it, showing the shape and position of the countries, seas, rivers, etc. ...
-Maple
[AS.] A tree with a great variety of species, many of them found in North America, some in Europe and Asia, and a few in Japan. Some are small shrubs and others are large trees. The red maple, the sug...
-Marble
[Fr., from L. marmor.] Certain varieties of limestone, of sufficiently compact texture to admit of a polish, are known by the name of marble. It is a beautiful stone, usually white, but frequently col...
-Marigold
A well-known annual plant, bearing a large yellow flower, a native of France and the southern parts of Europe. The French marigold and the African marigold, both Mexican species, have brilliant flower...
-Marjoram
[Fr.] A genus of plants of the natural order Labiatae. The most common kind is the sweet marjoram, which diffuses a sweet and pleasant odor, and is much used in cookery for seasoning. ...
-Marl
A mixture of clay and carbonate of lime, found in Europe, and along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey southward. It is used as a fertilizer. ...
-Marmalade
[Portuguese marmelada; from marmelo, a quince.] A preserve made by boiling fruits, such as oranges, pine-apples, and quinces. The most common kind of marmalade is made from bitter or Seville oranges. ...
-Marmoset
A small kind of monkey, found only in South America. ...
-Marmot
An animal nearly allied to the squirrels, but in form and habits more closely resembling rats and mice. Marmots are natives of the higher parts of the Alps and Pyrenees, and of Central Asia and North ...
-Marrow
[AS.] Fatty matter contained in the hollow parts of the large bones of animals. The whale, the skate, and the turtle have no cavities in their bones. ...
-Mars
The smallest of the planets except Mercury, and the nearest to the earth of the outer planets. It is of nearly 5,000 miles diameter, and about 142,000,000 miles from the sun. It is the only planet the...
-Marsupials
An order of mammals distinguished by the fact that the young are born in the embryo state, and are carried for a time in a peculiar pouch in the abdomen of the mother. ...
-Marten
[Fr. marie.] A genus of carnivorous quadrupeds, belonging to the Weasel family. The body is elongated and slim, the ears larger than in the weasel, the tail bushy, the legs short, and the feet have fi...
-Margin
A genus of birds of the Swallow family. The best known of the American species is the purple martin. It will readily nest in a bird-box, near houses. ...
-Massage
A system of medical treatment by kneading, rubbing, and stroking the muscles, used especially for nervous diseases. ...
-Mastiff
A large dog, noted for its strength and courage, often used for watching houses. ...
-Mastodon
A kind of large animal allied to the elephant, but larger and with tusks of great length. It was formerly abundant in the United States, and probably lived in the early human period, but is now only f...
-Match
A small splint of wood, tipped with some very inflammable composition, which bursts into flame upon friction. The first used were brimstone matches, tipped with sulphur. In 1829 an English chemist dis...
-Mattock
[AS. mattuc, a shovel.] A tool of husbandry, used for digging and grubbing up roots of trees and weeds. ...
-Mattress
[O.F. materas.] A quilted bed, stuffed with hair, wool, or other soft material, instead of feathers. ...
-Mavis
[Fr. mativis.] A thrush ; properly the song-thrush, not the screech-thrush. ...
-Medal
A circular piece of metal stamped or engraved with a head or design upon it and issued usually to celebrate or mark some great event. ...
-Meerschaum
[Ger. meer, the sea; and schaum, foam.] A light, soft magnesian mineral, used in Turkey and Germany in the manufacture of tobacco-pipes. ...
-Melon
[Fr., from L. melo.] A plant of the Gourd family, to which the cucumber also belongs. It is an annual, with trailing stems, angular leaves, yellow flowers, and bearing a large juicy fruit, which posse...
-Membrane
[Fr. membrane.] A thin organ, resembling a supple elastic web, serving to secrete a fluid, or to separate, envelop, and form other organs. ...
-Mercury
[L. mercurius.] A metal of a silvery-white color, also known by the name of quick-silver. It is a liquid at ordinary temperatures, becomes solid at 39 below zero F. and boils at 6620 F. Small dro...
-Mercury Planet
The smallest planet, and the one nearest to the sun ; its distance being 36,000,000 miles. It is 2,992 miles in diameter, and moves around the sun at the speed of105,000 miles an hour, its year being ...
-Meridian
[L. meridies, mid-day.] A great circle thought of as passing through the North and South Poles, and also through any place on the earth's surface. Thus every place has its own meridian, and it is mid...
-Merino
[Span.] A breed of sheep with fine wool; originally in Spain, now largely raised in the United States and Australia ; also the name of a cloth made from this wool. ...
-Merry-Thought
A forked bone between the neck and breast of a fowl; so called from being that which two persons pull at in play. The one who breaks off the longer part has the omen of being first married. Also calle...
-Metals
[L,. metallum.] Minerals having certain properties, the chief of which are - 1. They are a:l opaque, and they all have a shiny surface known as the metallic lustre. 2. They are good conductors of heat...
-Meteor
[Fr. meteore.] Any natural phenomenon in the atmosphere or clouds; applied particularly to a fiery or luminous body occasionally seen moving rapidly through the atmosphere, and to a fireball; called a...
-Metre
[Fr. metre.] Unit of the metric system of length, equal to 39.37 English inches. ...
-Mica
[L. mica, a small bit.] A mineral found in granite and most of the other primary rocks. It easily divides into glittering plates of great thinness. It is so transparent that it is used in Siberia, Chi...
-Microphone
An apparatus for magnifying very faint sounds, by variation of electrical resistance. It forms the basic principle of the carbon telephone transmitter. ...
-Microscope
[Gk. mikros, small; and skopein, to see.] An instrument for viewing objects which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. A simple microscope consists of a tube having one convex lens, which magn...
-Mignonnette
[Fr. mignonnette.] An annual plant and flower prized for its delicate and agreeable fragrance. ...
-Milk
[AS.] A white fluid secreted in the mammary glands of the females of all mammals. When examined under the microscope, milk is seen to consist of a clear fluid, filled with round floating balls of fat ...
-Millet
[Fr., from L. milium.] The name of several kinds of grasses bearing a great number of small round seeds used as food. The common millet is a native of the East Indies, but is also cultivated in the wa...
-Milkweed
A family of plants found in North and South America, which are full of milky juice. The seeds are covered with a silky down, which has been mixed with cotton and woven into cloth. The root is used in ...
-Milky Way
A broad, luminous belt encircling the sky, and shown by the telescope to be made up of a countless multitude of suns, so immensely . distant as to be very dimly visible. There are probably more than a...
-Mimosa
[Gk. mimos, imitator.] A genus of leguminous plants, including among its species the sensitive plant, so called from its seeming to imitate the sensibility of animal life. ...
-Mine
[Fr. mine.] A subterraneous work or excavation for obtaining metals, metallic ores, or other mineral substances. The deepest mine is the Spensenberg, near Berlin, 4,175 feet. ...
-Mineral
[It. minerale.] A natural body destitute of organization or life; a substance found in or on the earth which is neither animal nor vegetable. ...
-Mineral Waters
Waters or springs impregnated with mineral substances. ...
-Mink
A quadruped of the Weasel tribe, often called minx, and valued for its fur, which is of a chestnut-brown color. It is found in the cold parts of North America, Europe and Asia, Jiving on the banks of ...
-Minnow
[Fr. menu,small.] The name applied to several species of very small fishes found in fresh-water ponds and rivers. Minnows average from 2 to 3 inches in length, and feed on aquatic plants, worms, insec...
-Mint
[AS., from L. mentha.] The name of a strongly-smelling plant, with flowers in whorls. Numerous species are known, widely distributed over the world, but the most important are spearmint and peppermint...
-Mirage
An optical illusion often seen in hot climates, especially in deserts. Travelers apparently see a broad lake with surrounding trees, where only desert sand exists. It is a phenomenon of refraction. ...
-Mirror
[Fr. miroir.] A plate of glass lined at the back with a brilliant metal, so as to reflect the image of any object placed before it. Mirrors are made by coating the back of a sheet of plate-glass with ...
-Mist
[AS.] Moisture visible in the air ; rain in very fine and almost imperceptible drops. (See Fog.) ...
-Mistletoe
[AS. mistelta.] An evergreen plant that grows on the branches of many kinds of trees. In winter it is covered with small white berries. This plant was held in great veneration by the Druids and is now...
-Mitre
[Fr., from Gk. mitra.] A crown or head-dress worn by archbishops and bishops during solemn church services. ...
-Mitrejoint
The joint made by the ends of two pieces of wood fitted together at a right angle, as in the corners of a picture-frame. The mouldings are usually sawn in a mitre-box, the sides of which have saw-cuts...
-Moccasin
A venomous snake of the United States, resembling the rattlesnake, but without a rattle. The name is sometimes given improperly to the copperhead. Also the shoe of buck skin formerly worn by the India...
-Mocking-Bird
A bird which gets its name from its habit of imitating the songs of other birds. It is a kind of thrush, found only in North and South America and the West Indies. Its form is graceful, but its plumag...
-Mohair
[Fr. moire.] The hair of a kind of goat found in the neighborhood of Angora, in Asia Minor, and now also at the Cape and in California. The covering of this goat is a long, soft, silky, pure white hai...
-Molasses
[L. mellaceus, honey-sweet.] The thick liquid of the juice of the sugar-cane, which separates from it in the process of manufacture. (See Cane Sugar.) ...
-Mole
[O.E. mold warp = thrower-up of mould or earth.] The mole is found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America ; but is not found in Ireland or in the Western Isles of Scotland. From its habits and mod...
-Mollusca
[L. mollis, soft.] The animals included in this group have soft, inarticulated bodies, usually inclosed in a shell, the body covered with a sensitive contractile skin, kept moistened by a viscid fluid...
-Money
[L. tnoneta.] Stamped metal, generally of gold, silver, or copper, used in traffic, or as the measure of price. The term money is now applied to whatever serves as a circulating medium, including bank...
-Monkey
[Ital. monicchio.] The name of a family of animals found in the tropical parts of America, Asia, and Africa. They resemble man more than any other animals, both in their outward form and in their skel...
-Monogram
[Gk. monos, alone ; and gramma, a letter.] Que, two, or more letters interwoven as a cipher or abbreviation of a name, and used in seals, coats of arms, etc. ...
-Monsoon
[Ital. from Arab. =a time or season.] The wind that blows over the Indian Ocean from the north-east from October to April, and in the opposite direction during the rest of the year. ...
-Month
[AS. monadh, from mona, the moon.] The twelfth part of the calendar year - popularly the space of four weeks. The calendar month has 30 or 31 days, except February, which has 28, and in a leap year 29...
-Moon
[AS. mona.] The globe or satellite which moves round the earth and reflects the light of the sun upon it. In form it is an almost perfect sphere of 2,163 miles in diameter, and revolves at a mean dist...
-Moose
The largest of the Deer family, equal in size to the horse, and standing very high. Its broad antlers weigh from 50 to 70 pounds. It is found in northern New England and Canada, and closely resembles ...
-Mordant
[Fr.,from 1. mordere, to bite.] A substance, such as alum, for making colors firm and permanent. In gilding, the size used to make gold-leaf adhere. ...
-Morocco
[Morocco, in North Africa.] A fine kind of leather made from goat-skin. It includes imitation French kid, brush kid, glazed kid, pebbles, straight-grained goat, and oiled goat. (See Leather.) ...
-Mortar
[L. mortarium.] Sand with slaked lime and water, mixed thoroughly into a paste, and put between stones and bricks to fasten them together. (See Cement.) ...
-Mortise
[Fr. mortaise.] A hole or hollow cut in one piece of timber to receive the end of another piece made to fit, called the tenon. The junction of the two pieces is called a mortise-joint, and is much use...
-Mosaic
[L. musivum opus, mosaic work.] Ornamental work formed of small pieces of colored marble, precious stones, or glass, laid in figures or patterns, attached by being bedded in cement. ...
-Mosquito
[Span., from L. musca, a fly.] A species of gnat that abounds in marshes and woods, and whose sting is very painful. They are very widely distributed, being found in the coldest as well as in the hott...
-Mosses
(Musci.) A class of small flowerless plants, with simple branching stems and numerous narrow leaves. There are about 3,000 species, growing chiefly in cool and rocky regions, and also in bogs and swam...
-Moth
[AS.] An insect like a butterfly, but without thickenings on its antennae, seen mostly flying about at twilight or during night. There are many kinds, and they vary in form, size, and color. The cloth...
-Mother Of Pearl
The hard, silvery, brilliant substance, called nacre, which forms an internal layer in several kinds of shells. Most of it is got from the shells of the pearl oyster, brought in considerable quantitie...
-Mound Builders
The ancient Indians who erected the earth-mounds, so common in the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. They are thought to have been the ancestors of some of the present tribes, especially those of the Sout...
-Mouse
[L. mus.] A small and well-known quadruped, found in almost all countries, and infesting dwelling-houses, granaries, and fields. The common house-mouse is a timid and harmless animal, but often does m...
-Mulet
[Fr., from L. mullus] A fish, often found in river-mouths and near the coast, which eats mud for the organic debris it contains, and is highly esteemed as food. The chief kinds are the red mullet and ...
-Mulberry
[AS.] A genus of trees bearing a succulent mass of fruit of a purplish-black color and fine aromatic flavor. The fruit is much esteemed for dessert, and a pleasant light wine and an excellent preserve...
-Mule
[AS., from L. mulus.] An animal which is a half-breedb etween the male ass and female horse. The head, ears, and tail resemble those of the ass, but in bulk and height the mule is nearer the horse. It...
-Mullion
[Fr. moulure.] The upright bar or division between the lights of windows, screens, and panels in Gothic architecture. ...
-Mummy
The preserved body of a human being or animal. In Egypt the bodies were preserved by a process of embalming; and multitudes of mummies exist thousands of years old. In ancient Peru the same effect was...
-Muscle
[Fr., from L. musculus.] The fleshy parts of the body, which have the power of contracting and of moving the joints with which they are connected. Muscles are striated and voluntary, or non-striated a...
-Mushroom
[Fr. mousseron.] A fleshy plant belonging to the fungi, with a short white stalk and a flat or rounded head, umbrella-shaped, which grows up in pasture-fields sometimes in a single night. Many kinds c...
-Musk
[L. muscus.] A substance with a strong and persistent odor, obtained from the male of the musk-deer, which inhabits the mountainous parts of Central Asia. Musk is one of the strongest of all perfumes,...
-Musket
[Fr. mousquet.] The name formerly given to the common gun in the hands of soldiers, which was then discharged by means of a lighted match, but in which a spring-lock is now employed. (See Rifle.) ...
-Musk-Ox
A ruminating animal, between the sheep and the ox in character, found in the northern parts of America and even in the northernmost part of Greenland. Warmth is obtained from its very thick hair. When...
-Musk-Rat
The name of two distinct species of animals, one found only in America, much hunted for the sake of its fur, from 400,000 to 500,000 skins being annually imported into Britain ; the other \ common in ...
-Muslin
[Fr. mousseline, from Mosul in Asiatic Turkey, where this cloth was first made.] A fine, thin kind of cotton cloth, of a light and soft texture, and not woven so compactly as calico. ...
-Mussel
[L. musculus.] The name applied to several common bivalve shell-fish, of which the common sea-mussel is the most important, and is largely used as bait for deep-sea fishing. In some districts of Europ...
-Mustang
The name given to the small wild horses of Texas, California, Mexico, etc. ...
-Mustard
[L. mustum.] The seeds of the mustard plant ground to powder and used as a seasoning for meat. The mustard plant is an annual. about 3 feet high, with sweet-smelling yellow flowers and seeds in little...
-Myrrh
[L. myrrha.]A pleasant-smelling gum-resin obtained from the sap of the myrrh-tree, which grows in Arabia and Abyssinia. It is used in medicine as a tonic for disorders of the digestive organs, to clea...
-Myrtle
[L. myrtus.] A tree or evergreen shrub, with beautiful white flowers, shining leaves, and pleasant smell. The ancients considered it sacred to Venus, and her temples were surrounded by groves of myrtl...
-Nail. Naegel
[AS. naegel.] A pointed piece of metal, with a round or flattened head, used for driving into wood or other material for the purpose of holding separate pieces together. Formerly nails were mad...
-Nail
The horny scale on the fingers and toes of man. (See Hoofs and Claw.) ...
-Nankeen
[Nankin, in China.] A brownish-yellow cotton cloth made from a kind of cotton which grows in China. Imitations of this cloth are made in Great Britain and America, and are dyed yellow instead of being...
-Nap
[AS. hnoppa.] The soft downy surface of cloth ; so called because, before it is dressed, it is composed of many little loops or knobs, which are afterwards cut and smoothed. ...
-Naphtha
[Pers. nafata, to exude.] A volatile bituminous liquid, of a strong peculiar smell, and very easily set on fire. When occurring naturally it is called rock oil or crude petroleum, and it is also obtai...
-Napkin
[Fr. nappe, a tablecloth; and -kin, little.] A small cloth ; a cloth used for wiping the fingers and mouth at table. ...
-Narcissus
[Gk. narkissos.] A class of bulbous plants to which daffodils belong, cultivated for the sake of their fragrant and beautiful cup-shaped flowers, which possess narcotic properties. ...
-Narwhal
A marine mammal belonging to the Dolphin family, chiefly found in the Arctic seas. It is generally from 20 to 30 feet long, and is armed with a horny projection from the upper jaw, 6 to 10 feet long, ...
-Nasturtium
[L, nasus, the nose ; and torqueo, to twist, in allusion to its pungent taste causing pain.] A plant cultivated both for ornament and use. It is a kind of cress, with white or yellowish flowers and a ...
-Nautilus
[Gk. nautilos, sailor, or shell-fish supposed to have a membrane which served as a sail.] A genus of shell-fish having a spiral shell, chambered with simple partitions perforated in the centre, concav...
-Nebula
A vapory patch of seemingly gaseous matter seen in the heavens among the stars, and sometimes of immense dimensions. Many of the supposed nebulae have been shown to be clusters of very distant stars, ...
-Needle
[AS. naedle.] The sewing-needle is a small instrument of fine steel wire, pointed at one end, with an eye at the other to receive a thread. In needles for sewing-machines the eye is at the pointed end...
-Neptune
The planet most distant from the sun, its distance being about 2,746,000,000 miles. Its diameter is about 37,300 miles, and its year equals 164.6 of our years. It has one known satellite, which revolv...
-Nerves
[L. nervus.] All the organs of the body are connected by nerves - each a bundle of nerve fibres enclosed in a special sheath - either with a great mass of nervous matter called the brain, or with a lo...
-Net
[AS.] A fabric made of hemp, flax, or jute twine, and sometimes of cotton and other materials, worked into open meshes, and used in capturing fish, birds, butterflies, and small quadrupeds. Many kinds...
-Nettle
[AS. netele.] A genus of plants covered with extremely fine, sharp hairs, which pierce the skin when touched, and inject into the wounds an acrid juice, often causing much inflammation and pain. The f...
-Newel
The upright post about which the steps of a circular staircase wind; hence, in stairs having straight flights, the principal post at the foot of a staircase, or the secondary ones at the landings. ...
-Newt
Any one of the several species of small aquatic salamanders ; but the term is more commonly applied to the animals which inhabit ponds, wet ditches, and other damp places. ...
-Nickel
A metal discovered in 1751. It is of a silvery-white color, ductile, malleable, stronger than iron, and almost as hard to melt. Nickel is found in Russia, Norway, Germany, New Caledonia, Canada, and t...
-Nightengale
[AS. nihtegale.] A small European bird, rather larger than thehedge-sparrow, of a rich russet-brown color, and noted for its vocal powers. It sings in the evening, and the sweetness of its song is cel...
-Nitre
[Fr. nitre.] Saltpetre. A white crystalline salt, of a cooling, slightly bitter taste, unalterable in the air, and insoluble in alcohol. It is used in the manufacture of gunpowder, in the production o...
-Nitric Acid
The most important oxide of nitrogen. Its chemical formula is N2 O5. It forms valuable compounds with most of the bases, and is useful also for its powerful oxidizing properties. ...
-Nitrogen
[Gk. nitron, nitre; and gennao, I produce.] The gaseous element which forms nearly four-fifths of the atmosphere. When alone or uncombined it does not possess any very active properties. In the air it...
-Nitro-Glycerine
A liquid appearing like a heavy oil, colorless or yellowish, and consisting of a mixture of several glycerine salts. It is produced by the action of nitric acid on glycerine in the presence of sulphur...
-Nut
The fruit of certain trees consisting of a hard shell enclosing an edible kernel, differing in size from the beech-nut to the cocoanut - a piece of metal with a grooved hole, screwed upon the end of a...
-Nutmeg
[Nut, and L. muscus, musk.] The kernel of the nut of a tree which grows in the East Indies, much used in cookery because of its pleasant taste and smell. ...
-Oak
[AS.] The name of a noble genus of trees, sometimes styled the monarch of the woods. A large proportion of forest trees are oaks, of which there are about 300 different kinds, spread over nearly the w...
-Oats
[AS. ate.] The grain of a corn-producing grass, which differs from wheat and barley in the loose arrangement of its spikelets on the stalk, forming what is termed a panicle. The oat is a hardy plant, ...
-Obelisk
A tall, tapering, four-sided pyramid, cut off at the top in the form of a flat pyramid. Obelisks, made from single stones, of great height, stood before the temples of Egypt, their sides closely carve...
-Ocean
The great body of water which occupies five-sevenths of the area of the earth's surface, and surrounds all the continents. It is divided into the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic ocean...
-Ocelot
A member of the cat family, smaller than the leopard and the ounce. It is about 3 feet long, and is found in America from Texas to Brazil, and in Sumatra. It climbs trees and feeds on birds and small ...
-Oil Well
A well sunk to underground beds of petroleum. It consists of iron pipes sunk into the earth, following a drill which cuts an opening downward. Some of these wells are sunk to a great depth, the total ...
-Oils
[Fr., from L. oleum.] Greasy substances expressed or drawn from various animal, vegetable, and mineral bodies, as olive oil, whale oil, rock oil, etc. They are used for food, for solvents, for anointi...
-Olive
[L. oliva.] A tree or shrub with small oblong leaves, of which there are several species, the most important being the common olive, long cultivated in the south of Europe and Asia for its fruit. The ...
-Omelet Or Omelette
[Fr. omelette.] A food compound, made with eggs beaten up with flour, etc., and fried in a pan. ...
-Onion
[Fr., from L, unio.] A genus of plants, which includes also the garlic, leek, and shallot. The onion is very extensively cultivated, and grows best in a rich and rather moist soil. Its root bears a ro...
-Opera-Glass
A small double telescope, with concave lenses of low powers, for seeing clearly rather than magnifying objects at no great distance, such as scenery and buildings, and the interiors of operas, theatre...
-Opium
[L. opium, Gk. opion, poppy-juice.] A vegetable extract which is the most active of all narcotics, and a valuable medicine. It is obtained from the dried juice of the opium-poppy, which grows wild in ...
-Opossum
The name of several kinds of marsupial animals, found only i n America. The b est known is the common Virginia opossum, found all over the United States. In size it is about as large as a cat, but in ...
-Orange
[Fr. and Ital., from Pers. naranj, with n dropped.] An evergreen tropical and semi-tropical tree, seldom rising above 25 feet in height. The fruit is usually round, and consists commonly of ten pulpy ...
-Orangoutang
[Malayan = man of the woods.] An animal of the ape kind, found in Borneo, Sumatra, and Malacca. It is over 4 feet high, is reddish-brown and closely resembles man in many respects. It dwells only in f...
-Orchid
A family of plants, distinguished by the singular forms of their flowers, which in some cases resemble a bird or an insect. They are prized for their beauty, fragrance and singularity. ...
-Ore
The mineral from which metals are extracted: Metals usually exist in combination with oxygen, sulphur, or other elements; often with other metals. They are extracted from those compounds by the use of...
-Osmose
The process which takes place when two fluids of different densities are separated by an animal membrane or by unglazed earthenware. They pass through the partition and mingle with each other, through...
-Osprey
[L. ossifraga ; os, a bone; and frango, to break.] A bird of the family Falconidae, the bald buzzard, fishing-eagle, or fish hawk, a large bird of prey, living upon fish, which it takes by. darting up...
-Ostrich
[Fr., from L. avis, a bird ; and struthio, an ostrich.] The largest of all birds, attaining an average height of from 6 to 8 feet. It is a native of the sandy plains of Africa and Arabia. It has long ...
-Otter
[AS. oter.] A genus of carnivorous aquatic quadrupeds, included in the Weasel family. This animal is larger than others of that family, being often 4 feet long, and differs from them in living mostly ...
-Owl
[AS. ula.] A raptorial bird that howls or hoots at night. The owl has a short, stout form, downy feathers, and a large head with a flat face. The eyes are round and staring, and have a fringe of stiff...
-Oxygen
[Gk. oxus, acid; and gennein, to make.] A gas without color, taste, or smell, forming that part of the air which supports life and flame. It is also the principal component part of water. Oxygen readi...
-Oyster
[Fr. huitre, from Gk. ostreon.] A genus of bivalve molluscs, much esteemed for food. Oysters are distributed very widely, and principally in the seas of warm and temperate climates. They are found on ...
-Pace
[Fr., from L. passus, a step.] The distance passed over in walking one step, estimated at 21/2 feet, but in measuring distances by stepping it is extended to 3 feet. ...
-Padlock
A hanging lock with a clasp which turns on a hinge at one end, and, passing through a staple or link, receives the bolt through an opening in its other end. ...
-Paint
[Fr., from L. pingere, to paint.] All paints are made up of the substance which gives the color, usually called the pigment, and that with which the color is mixed. Pigments are mostly made from miner...
-Palanquin
A covered litter used in China, India, etc., borne on the shoulders of men. PALANQUIN. ...
-Palette
[Fr., from L. paletta, dim. of pala, a spade or shovel.] A little thin, oval board, or slab of ivory or porcelain on which a painter mixes his colors, and which he holds by a thumb at one end. ...
-Palm
[L.palma.] The name of about 1,000 species of plants growing in warm climates. Their stems are erect and slender, often lofty, and generally without branches, crowned at the summit with a tuft of larg...
-Palmetto
The common name of the palm trees which grow in the southern United States. There are several kinds, but the cabbage palmetto, extensively cultivated in the south-eastern States, is the principal on. ...
-Pampas Grass
A tall grass which covers much of the pampas, or great plains of South America. Its leaves, 6 or 8 feet long, hang gracefully over, while from the centre arises the flower-stems, 10 to 14 feet high. I...
-Pannier
[Fr., from L. panarium, a breadbasket.] A wicker basket; one of a pair of baskets slung over a horse's back, for carrying fruit or other light articles. ...
-Panty
[Fr. pensee.] A name applied to the varieties of Viola tricolor, etc., cultivated in gardens under the name of heart's-ease. (See Violet.) ...
-Pantaloon
One of the chief actors in a panto-mine, who plays the part of a clown. He dresses in wide, long, garments-a kind of close long trousers, worn by males, extending from the waist to the feet. ...
-Panther
[Gk. panther.] A fierce flesh-eating African quadruped of the size of a large dog, spotted like a leopard, but darker in color. The Puma is often called the American Panther. (See Leopard.) ...
-Pantomine
A theatrical exhibition in which there is no conversation, the plot being indicated by gestures and scenic effect. Its characters are taken by adepts in mimicry and gesticulation. ...
-Papaw
A small fruit tree of the south and south-west United States. Its fruit is a pod 3 or 4 inches long and an inch thick, with two rows of large flat seeds. It has a yellow skin when ripe, and looks some...
-Paper
[L. papyrus.] Paper may be described as thin layers of fine vegetable fibre. It is made from the following materials : linen and cotton rags, refuse flax and hemp, jute, esparto grass, straw, soft woo...
-Papier-Mache
[Fr. papier, paper; and mache, mashed or chewed.] Paper mashed into pulp, and after being mixed with size or glue formed into various shapes by molds-as tea-boards, trays, and ornamental articles-and ...
-Parachute
[Fr. parer, to guard; a, against; and chute, a fall.] An instrument in the form of an umbrella, which enables a person, by its resistance to the air, to drop down safely from a balloon. ...
-Paraffin
Fr., from L. parum, little ; and affinis, related to.] A white substance of the nature of wax. It is got from shale, coal-tar, petroleum, etc., and is unattached (hence its name) by such powerful oxid...
-Parchment
[Fr., from L. pergamena ; Perga-mos, in Asia Minor, where it was first made about B.C. 190.] The skin of a sheep or goat dressed and prepared for writing on. Parchment used for covering drums is made ...
-Parrot
[Fr. perroquet.] The type of a large group of tropical birds, of numerous species, noted for their beautiful color and powerful hooked and projecting bill, which is used for crushing seeds and fruits....
-Parsley
[Fr., from Gk. petros, rock; and selinon, a kind of parsley.] An aromatic herb, with finely-divided leaves, used for seasoning soups and for dressing dishes. It is a native of the south of Europe. ...
-Parsnip Or Parsnep
[L. pastinaca.] An aromatic herb, cultivated for the sake of its root, which resembles a carrot, and is highly nutritious. The flesh of cattle fed on parsnips is excellent, and the butter of da...
-Partridge
[Fr., from Gk. perdix.] A family of birds which includes also the quail. The common or gray partridge is found throughout Europe. Its flesh is much liked, and the bird is the delight of the sportsman....
-Passion-Flower
A beautiful climbing plant, remarkable for the elegance and singular form of its flowers, which resemble a crown of thorns. The roots and leaves are noxious, and are used in medicine. ...
-Pea
[AS., from L, pisum, a pea.] A garden and field plant of many varieties, with a papilionaceous or butterfly flower, and fruit in a legume or pod. It is supposed to belong to the south of Europe, and h...
-Peach
[Fr., from L. Persicus = Prunus Persica, the Persian tree.] A well-known tree and its fruit, a native of Persia, largely cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. The peach tree is of medium...
-Peacock
[AS., L. pavo, a peacock.] One of the most beautiful of birds, of a nature similar to the pheasant, with a tail of very long, bright feathers. It is elegant in form and graceful in its movements, with...
-Peanut
The fruit of a leguminous plant growing in warm countries-also called ground nut and earth nut. The plant is a trailing vine, with small yellow flowers. . After the flowers fall the stem lengthens, be...
-Pear
[AS., from L. pirus, a pear-tree.] The pear-tree is very largely cultivated for the sake of its fruit. The tree grows wild in many parts of Europe, and is now cultivated in all temperate climates. It ...
-Pearl
[O.E. perle.] A white, hard, smooth, shining substance, found in some shell-fish, especially in the pearl - oyster, river-mussel, and certain univalves. It is highly valued for its beauty, and ased as...
-Peat
[For beat; AS. betan, to make better, to mend (a fire). Same root as better.] A vegetable substance found amidst much moisture, as in marshes and morasses, and made up of roots, stems, and fibres in e...
-Peccary
An American animal allied to the hog, but smaller. There are two species. One-about 3 feet long-extends from Arkansas to Patagonia, the other from Central America to southern Brazil. The latter is ext...
-Pelican
[L. pelicanus.] A large web-footed water-bird, remarkable for its long, large, flattened bill, to which is attached a bag or pouch for holding the fish taken for food. Pelicans live along the shores o...
-Pen
[L. penna, a feather.] An instrument for writing with a fluid ink. In ancient times, pens were made out of reeds ; but after paper came into use they were made from quills, generally those of the goos...
-Pencil
[L. penicillus, a small tail or brush.] A pointedstrip of black lead, colored chalk, or slate, usually enclosed in a slight rod of wood, for drawing and writing ; but the term is also applied to small...
-Pendulum
[L. pendulus.] An instrument consisting of a weight suspended from a fixed point, and free to swing to and fro by the alternate force of momentum and gravity. It is used to regulate the movements of c...
-Penguin
A genus of swimming birds included in the Auk family. Penguins exist in large numbers in the Antarctic seas, and along the southern coasts of Africa and South America. Their front wings, whi...
-Penny
[AS.] An English coin, formerly of copper, now of bronze, worth one-twelfth of a shilling. In the New Testament a silver coin of the value of about 71/2d. In the United States the name penny is often ...
-Pennyroyal
A kind of mint found in Europe and very fragrant. The United States pennyroyal is not a mint, but its scent is like that of the European plant and it has the same uses. A tea is sometimes made from it...
-Pepper
[AS., from L. piper,.] A common kind of spice, the dried berry of a climbing shrub which grows wild in the East Indies, but is now cultivated in most hot countries. The peppers of Malacca, Java, and e...
-Peppermint
A small herb, of a strong spicy odor, much used for flavoring. This, with the spearmint and the pennyroyal, is used in medicine for its stimulant and carminative properties. Others of the mint family ...
-Pepsin
[Gk. pepsis, cooking ; peptein, to digest.] The active agent in the gastric juice of many animals. For use in drugs it is obtained from the glandular layers of pigs' or calves' stomachs. ...
-Perambulator
An instrument for measuring distances, made up of a wheel with an apparatus of clock-work, and a dial-plate upon which the distances traveled are shown by an index ; also the name given to a child's c...
-Perch
[Fr., from Gk. perke.] The, name of several species of fishes of the genus Perca, frequenting the fresh waters and coasts of temperate and tropical regions. The fresh-water perch is widely distributed...
-Perfumes
[Fr., from L. per, through; and fumare, from fumus, smoke.] Scents made from sweet-smelling substances. They are obtained chiefly from plants, but some are got from animals. Vegetable perfumes are mad...
-Periwinkle
[AS. pinewincla.] A sea-snail or small shell-fish, found in abundance between tide-marks on rocks or adhering to sea-weeds. Periwinkles feed on sea-weeds, and are often collected and boiled in their s...
-Perry
The fermented juice of pears, prepared in the same way as cider, and used as a beverage. ...
-Persimmon
A tree bearing a small, rounded fruit in the United States; also in Japan. The fruit is yellow and pulpy, and when unripe is highly astringent, but is sweet and palatable after being frosted. A kind o...
-Petrel
[Perhaps from the apostle Peter's walking on the sea.] A genus of sea-birds allied to the gulls. The best-known spe-cies is the stormy petrel, well known to seamen as Mother Carey's chicken. The appea...
-Petroleum
[L, from Gk. petra, a rock; and oleum, oil.] Rock-oil, an inflammable liquid which exudes from the earth in various parts of the world. Petroleum has been known since the most ancient times, but it is...
-Pewter
[Ital. peltro.] A common and very useful alloy, consisting mainly of lead and tin, improved in hardness and color by the addition of a little antimony, bismuth, and zinc. Britannia metal is a kind of ...
-Pheasant
[L. phasianus.] The name of a family of birds, natives of Asia. The common pheasant, has been domesticated, but not successfully in this country. Some species are remark-able for their great beauty of...
-Phlox
A very ornamental North American genus of plants, bearing handsome flowers, of which many attractive varieties have been produced by the florist. ...
-Phoenix
A fabulous bird of antiquity, eagle-like in form, and with gold and crimson plumage. It was said to live 500 years in the desert, then return to Egypt and build a nest. In this it was consumed, and a ...
-Phonograph
[Gk. phone, a sound ; and graph-ein, to write.] The phonograph, invented by Mr. Edison in 1877, is an instrument which mechanically records and reproduces articulate human speech, song, etc. Speaking ...
-Phosphate Rock
A mineral, of organic origin, found in South Carolina and Florida, and to a smaller extent in other parts of the world. It is dug up and ground, and used for a fertilizer, it being rich in fertilizing...
-Phosphorus
[Gk. phos, light; and phoros, bringing.] A yellowish element resembling fine wax, which must be preserved under water. It is easily set on fire, and gives out a faint light in the dark. It is used for...
-Photography
[Gk. phos, light; and graphein, to write.] The science or art of taking representations of objects by the action of light on a prepared surface. The surface, consisting of metal, glass, paper, or othe...
-Photometer
An instrument for measuring the relative intensity of light, or for comparing the intensity of two lights. The unit is the light of a candle. The incandescent electric light is measured in this way, a...
-Physalia
The Portuguese man-of-war, a singular ocean animal, consisting of a pear-shaped air-sac, with a handsome crest, -which floats on the surface, and from which depend a large number of long tentacles. Th...
-Physics
The class of sciences which include the forces or properties of matter and motion, as electricity, magnetism, light, heat, and gravitation. ...
-Pianoforte
A musical instrument consisting of a number of tightened wires of different lengths and thicknesses, struck with small hammers worked by keys; so called because it can produce both soft and loud tones...
-Pigeon
[Fr.] A genus of birds found in all parts of the world, there being nearly 500 different kinds. Their wings are strong, and they can fly great distances. The wild pigeon, or passenger pigeon, is about...
-Pike
The common name of a family of well-known fresh-water fish, abundant in the temperate parts of Europe, Asia, and America. They are strong fish, rapid swimmers, and the most voracious of fresh-water fi...
-Pilchard Or Sardine
A fish resembling the herring, but smaller, thicker, and rounder, found in abundance off the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, England. Most of the pilchards landed there are salted and sent to Spain, Ita...
-Pile
[AS. from L. pilutn, a pike.] A large pointed log of wood driven into the earth to sup-port the foundations of a building, or used in engineering operations, such as making drains, bridges, and roads....
-Pin
Pins were formerly made by hand, and the heads were put on separately, but solid-headed pins are now made by machines. The pin-machine, an American invention, patented in England in 1824, makes the wh...
-Pine
[AS. pin, from L. pinus.] The name of a family of cone-bearing trees, found in Europe, Asia, and America, growing chiefly in mountainous or other exposed situations. Their leaves are needle-shaped, gr...
-Pine-Apple
The fruit of a plant of the same name, a native of tropical America, now largely cultivated in most hot countries. The plant has many long, stiff, sharp-pointed leaves, from the middle of which grows ...
-Pink
[Dianthus = the flower of Jove, cr God's own flower.] The garden pinks and carnations, so varied in form and coloring, are supposed to have descended from a single species, known in Europe as clove pi...
-Pinnace
[Fr.,fromL. pinus, a pine tree.] A small ship, having sails and oars, used as a tender to a larger vessel, and chiefly employed to obtain intelligence and to land men ; also a man-of-war's boat. ...
-Pipe
[AS.] A tube made of various materials- as earthenware, wood, metal, leather, guttapercha, etc. - for the conveyance of water, steam, gas, or other fluid; used for a great variety of purposes in the a...
-Pistol
[Fr., from Ital. Pistola, a town in Italy, now Pistoja.] A small fire-arm that can be held in one hand while being fired ; said to have been first made at Pistoja. (See Revolver.) the hunter is near e...
-Poison
[Fr., from L. potio, a drink.] Any sub-stance or matter which, when introduced into the body in any way, can destroy life by its own inherent qualities without acting mechanically. Poison usually deno...
-Volecat
An animal of the Weasel tribe that is highly destructive to poultry. It possesses glands which secrete a fluid of a very offensive odor. This it gives off when pursued, thus checking dog or man until ...
-Pomade Or Pomatum
[Fr., from L. pomum, an apple ; pomade being formerly made by boiling apples in fat.] Ointment made of some fine inodorous fat, such as lard or suet, and used instead of liquid oil for dressing the ha...
-Pomegranate
[Fr., from L. pomum; and granatus, grained, having many grains or seeds.] A tropical shrub or small tree and its fruit, which is red, as large as an orange, and has a thick, leathery skin containing a...
-Poplar
[Fr., from L. populus, a poplar.] A tall tree of thesame family as the willow, of rapid growth, and having soft wood, capable of many uses. About twenty species are known, growing chiefly in mild and ...
-Poppy
[AS. popig.] A herbaceous plant be longing to the genus Papaver, and bearing large, showy, but short-lived flowers. The most important species is that known as the opium or oil-poppy. It is extensivel...
-Porcelain
[Fr., from Ital. porcellana, the porcelain or Venus shell: L. parcus, a pig.] A fine kind of earthenware, first made in China and Japan ; so called from its likeness in color to the Venus shell, which...
-Porcupine
[Fr., from L. porcus, a hog; and spina, a thorn. ] A nocturnal rodent quadruped, about two feet long, having on the head and neck a crest of long hairs, very short hair on the legs and muzzle, and the...
-Porphyry
[Fr., from Gk.porphyrites : porphyra, purple.] A hard, finely-grained stone or rock, having a compact felspathic base, through which are scattered distinct crystals of one or more minerals. Porphyry m...
-Porpoise
[Fr., from L. porcus, a hog; and piscis, fish.] This animal be-longs to the same genus as whales, and i s the smallest and most familiar of the cetacean mammalia. it is from 4 to 6 feet in length, of ...
-Potash
[Pot, and ashes, prepared by evaporating in iron pots the lixivium of the ashes of wood.] An alkali much used in the arts. It is an oxide of potassium, though the potash of commerce, usually called cr...
-Potassium
A metal of a bright silver-white color, derived in 1807 by Sir Humphrey Davy from potash. It is prepared by heating together potash and carbon to a high temperature in an iron retort. It is lighter th...
-Potato
[Span. patata, potato, from the native American word (probably batata) in Hayti.] Next to the cereals or grains, the potato is the most valuable of all plants used for food. It is a native of South Am...
-Pottery
[Fr. poterie.] The term applied to all objects made out of baked clay. The art of forming utensils of clay is of very ancient origin, extending back to the early days of mankind. Its rudimentary cond...
-Prairie
[Fr., from Low L. prataria; L. pratum, a meadow.] A large level tract of country, bare of trees, covered with coarse grass, and generally of a fertile soil. This name is applied to the treeless plains...
-Prairie-Dog
A small rodent animal, allied to the marmot, and found in the prairies west of the Mississippi. It is gregarious in habit, dwells in largely arid districts, makes deep burrows in the earth, and throws...
-Precious Stones
Minerals which are used in jewelry on account of their rarity and beauty. They include the diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and many others. ...
-Primrose
[Old Fr. primerole, from L. primula; corrupted in spelling as if from L. prima rosa.] A beautiful early-flowering plant, closely allied to the cowslip, common in meadows and on the banks of streams of...
-Printing
The art of producing impressions on paper. It is divided into the printing of books and newspapers from movable type, and from stereotype or electrotype plates. Printing was known to the Chinese as ea...
-Prism
[Gk. prisma, something sawn off; prizein = priein, to saw.] A piece of wood, metal, glass, etc., the ends of which are parallel, and equal in size and shape, and the sides parallelograms. Prisms of di...
-Privet
[From primet, perhnps from prim, because cut and trimmed.] An ornamental European shrub, much used in hedges. (Ligustrum.) ...
-Propeller
A contrivance for propelling a steamship, usually consisting of a screw placed in the stern, and made to revolve under the water by an engine. ...
-Prune
[Fr., from L. prunum, a plum.] A dried plum, much used in cookery. The best prunes come from France, where several kinds of plums are raised for making prunes. Great quantities are also exported from ...
-Ptarmigan
The white grouse, a bird found in northern Europe and America. Its color in summer is a pale-brown or ash, with wings and under-plumage white. In winter its plumage changes in color to a pure white. ...
-Puffin
An arctic sea-bird allied to the auks, so called from its short, thick, swollen beak and rounded belly. It is also known by the names of bottle-nose, cockandy, coulterneb, mormon, pope, and sea-parrot...
-Pulley
[Fr., from pull, or from Low L. pullanus, a colt.] One of the mechanical powers, consisting of a wheel called the sheave, movable about an axis, and having a groove cut in its circumference, over whic...
-Pumice
A porous mineral thrown out from volcanoes. It is a spongy lava, so light that it will float on water. It is powdered and used as a polishing material. . ...
-Pump
A hydraulic machine, variously constructed, for raising water and other liquids. The common or suction pump is constructed as follows :-The lower end of a long, narrow, vertical pipe, called the sucti...
-Pumpkin
The fruit of a plant allied to the squash, and belonging to the gourd family. The plant is a running vine, the fruit a large oblong globe, of orange color when ripe, and sometimes of immense size. It ...
-Purse
[Fr., from Low L. bursa, a purse: Gk. byrsa, a hide.] A small bag for money, generally made of skin or leather ; a small bag or pouch, the opening of which is made to draw together closely. ...
-Putty
[Fr., from potee, from pot, pot; what was formerly called putty being a substance resembling what is now called putty powder, and in part made of the metal of old pots.] A mixture of whiting or soft c...
-Pyramid
A solid body whose base is a square, triangle, or polygon, and its sides plane triangles, meeting at top in one common point. Architecturally, it applies to the great mounds of stone or brickwork foun...
-Pyrometer
[Gk. pyr, fire ; and metron, a measure.] An instrument for measuring heat too high in temperature to be measured by common thermometers, as the heat of furnaces. ...
-Pyx
[Gk. pyxis, a box ; pyzos, box-wood.] The sacred box in the Roman Catholic Church in which the host is preserved ; the box at the Mint which holds the sample coins that have been tested for the weight...
-Quadrant
[L. quadrans, a fourth part.] An instrument used in astronomy, navigation, surveying, and gunnery, for measuring altitudes and determining angular measurements. It generally consists of a brass limb, ...
-Quagga
An animal of the Horse tribe, found in southern Africa. It strongly resembles the zebra, though of smaller size. It is social in habit, lives in large troops, and is more easily tamed than the zebra. ...
-Quail
[Fr., from Low L. quaquila; from Old Du. root of quack, because of its cry.] A bird of passage, the smallest of the Partridge family, common in the south of Europe, and in Asia, Africa and North Ameri...
-Quarrantine
[Fr. quarante, forty; L. quad-raginta.] The space of time, formerly forty days, but now variable in length, during which a ship suspected of having infectious disease on board is obliged to forbear a...
-Quart
[L. quarlus, fourth.] A measure of capacity, in dry and in liquid measure, equal to two pints, or the fourth part of a gallon. The English quart contains 69.32 cubic inches ; the United States dry qua...
-Quartz Ger
quarz.] The common name of silicon oxide or silica, the most abundant of all minerals, being one of the constituents of granite, gneiss, mica slate, etc. It forms quartz rock and sandstone, and makes ...
-Quassia
[Named from a negro, Quassy, who first made known the medicinal virtues of one of the species.] A genus of tree belonging to the tropical parts of South America. The wood of the root is intensely bitt...
-Quay
[Fr. guai.] A bank or wharf constructed toward the sea or at the side of a harbor, river, or other navigable water, for convenience in loading and unloading vessels. ...
-Quicklime
A white, caustic, infusible powder, obtained in a state of purity by heating pure carbonate of lime to full redness; so called because when wet it develops great heat. The quicklime of commerce is obt...
-Quicksilver
[Quck and silver. Mercury ; so named for the great mobility of its globules, and its resemblance in color to silver. (See Mercury.) ...
-Quilt
[L. culcita, a bed, a cushion.] A cover or coverlet made by stitching one cloth over another, with some soft substance, such as wool, cotton, etc., between them. ...
-Quince
[Fr. coing, from 1. cydonius, a quince tree; so called from the town of Cydonia, in Crete, which was noted for its quinces.] The fruit of a shrub which grows in mild climates, and belongs to the same ...
-Quinine
[Fr.] An alkaloid obtained from the bark of different species of cinchona trees, originally known in Peru, but now transplanted to Java and India. It has a bitter taste, and forms the base of certain ...
-Quire
[Fr. cahier, a book of loose sheets.] Twenty-four sheets of paper of the same size and quality, unfolded or having a single fold; one-twentieth part of a ream. ...
-Rabbit
A small rodent quadruped of the Hare family, living chiefly in large colonies called warrens, in burrows dug deep into the ground. They are not much seen during the day, but come out at night to eat, ...
-Raccoon
[Fr. raton, a little rat.] A carnivorous animal of the Bear family inhabiting North America. Its body is gray, varied with black and white. The average length of the raccoon is about two feet from the...
-Radish
[Fr., from L. radix, a root.] A garden plant, cultivated for its pungent fleshy root, which is eaten raw for salad. ...
-Raft
[Scand.] A float consisting of logs, boards, or other pieces of timber fastened together, either to serve as a support in conveying other things, or for their own collective conveyance on the water. ...
-Rail
[Fr. raler, to rattle in the throat.] Numer-ous species of birds prized as game birds. The common European land-rail is usually known as the corncrake. It has a grating cry, familiar in summer. The wa...
-Railway Or Railroad
A road or way of parallel iron or steel rails on which the wheels of carriages, run, and supported on a bed or structure. Railway is the usual word in England, but railroad is common in the United Sta...
-Rain
[AS. regent Water falling from the clouds in drops. This is the chief source of water-supply. By the heat of the sun water is evaporated from the surfaces of the seas and oceans and transported as wat...
-Rainbow
[AS.] A bow or arch in the sky opposite to the sun in time of rain, caused by the rays of light breaking up into their seven separate colors as they fall on the' rain-drops. (See Prism, Spectrum, Ligh...
-Raisin
[Fr., from L. racemus.] A ripe grape dried in the sun or by artificial heat. (See Grape.) Raisins are dried either with the stalk cut nearly into two and left to dry on the vines, or with the branch w...
-Ramic
The fibres from the bark of the tamie plant, a native of India, now grown in the United States. The fibre is strong and lustrous, but the difficulty of separating it from the bark has proved a check t...
-Rape
[L. rapa.] A root plant with a leaf like that of a swede turnip and a stem resembling that of a cabbage. It is sown in rows and hoed out like turnips. The plant grows rapidly, and its roots penetrate ...
-Raspberry
A kind of shrub with a thimble-shaped fruit, dark-red, large grained, and covered with a thick bloom. Like the strawberry it belongs to the Rose family; but, unlike the blackberry of the same family, ...
-Rat
[AS. rat.] A gnawing or rodent animal like the mouse, but larger and more destructive. It has sharp chisel-shaped teeth, with which it gnaws holes through wood-work, and with its claws it burrows unde...
-Ratchet-Wheel
A toothed circular wheel acted on by a bar or catch. The wheel moves forward by a reciprocating lever, and cannot be reversed until a ratchet or click for preventing backward motion is removed or lift...
-Rattan
The long, slender stem of a species of calamus and other allied species of palms, which are among the most useful plants of Malaysia. These stems are largely used for cane-work, and also for making wa...
-Rattlesnake
[O.E.] A poisonous snake of America, with horny interlocking joiuts at the end of its tail with which it makes a rattling sound before striking its prey. The rattle is composed of a number of horny, b...
-Raven
[AS. hraefen.] (Corvuscorax.) A bird like the crow, but larger, with a croaking voice and thievish habits as regards trinkets and food. It was once plentiful in England, but is now rare. Its color, th...
-Ray
[Fr.] A flat kind of fish with ray-like fins on its breast. It has eyes on the upper surface, which is the back of the animal, and not the side, as in ordinary flat-fishes. The mouth is large, and the...
-Razor-Bill Or Common Auk
A sea-bird allied to the great auk, which is now extinct. It has wings large in proportion to its size. It is 17 or 18 inches long, and its wing is 7 or 8 inches, and when extended the wings are 27 in...
-Razor-Fish
A long, slender, and brittle mollusc that abounds on all sandy shores. The shell has delicate tints of rose and violet, covered by a brown epidermis. By means of its muscular foot it digs a deep hole,...
-Ream
[Fr., from Arab, rizmat, bundle.] A quantity of paper, consisting of 20 quires or 480 sheets. A common practice now is to count 500 sheets to the ream. ...
-Reaumur
A thermometer with zero as the melting-point of ice, and 8o the boiling-point of water. Four degrees of Reaumur are equal to 5 degrees Centigrade and 9 degrees Fahrenheit. The Reaumur thermometer...
-Reed
[AS.] A thick, coarse grass, with hollow, jointed stalks, growing in or near water. The common reed grows in Europe and North America. The bamboo is a useful reed. The papyrus is often called the Egyp...
-Reef
[Du. rif, a rift.] A line of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water. Any large vein of auriferous quartz or rock yielding Ore is called a reef. ...
-Reflection
The effect produced upon light by a smooth surface. Part of the light enters the body, part is thrown back or reflected at an angle opposite to that made by the incident ray. This is the principle of ...
-Reindeer
[Scand. from Lappish.] A kind of deer with branching horns found in the extreme north parts of Europe and America. Reindeer are gregarious and herd together. The full-grown bucks shed their horns. The...
-Remora
A fish possessed of a structure which enables it to cling to foreign bodies. This is a modification of the dorsal fin, which becomes a flattened disk covering the top of the head, and acts as a sucker...
-Rennet
[AS.] A. preparation of the inner lining of the fourth stomach of a calf, used to curdle milk. ...
-Reptile
[Fr., from L. repere, to creep.] Reptiles form the first class of the higher vertebrata, or of those which never breathe by gills, like the amphibians. Their blood is cold, and they closely resemble b...
-Resin
[Fr., from L. resinaJ] A half liquid substance, that flows from trees. Resins are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and are probably the essential oils of the plants oxidized by the oxygen of t...
-Retina
[L. rete, a net.] A fine net-like coating at the back of the eye, made up of the optic nerves which carry the sense of sight to the brain. The optic nerve and retinal blood-vessels spread out on the f...
-Retort
[L. retort us, twisted back.] A vessel with a long bent tube used by chemists in decomposing substances or in distilling. For distilling liquids a glass retort is employed. Metal retorts are used in d...
-Retriever
[Fr.] A dog trained to find and bring back game that has been shot or wounded. ...
-Revolver
A pistol with several chambers revolving on an axis, that can be fired one after another by the same trigger through the same barrel. ...
-Rhea
The American ostrich. This is scarcely more than half the size of the African species, and differs from it in having the head feathered. It is gray in color, and has none of the beauty of the true ...
-Rheostat
A resistance box in the path of an electric current, for the purpose of increasing the general resistance to the current flow. The box contains coils of wire made of a metal that is a poor conductor o...
-Rhinoceros
[Gk. rhis, rhinos, the nose; and keras, a horn.] A hoofed animal with a horn, and next in size to the elephant. Its horn is placed upon the skin behind the nostrils. It is not unlike whalebone, and is...
-Rhododendron
[Gk. rhodon, a rose; and den-dron, a tree.] A kind of shrub of the Heath family, with evergreen leaves and large, showy flowers like roses. No other shrub equals it for beauty of form and foliage and ...
-Rhubarb
[L. Rha, Volga; barbarus, foreign.] A plant (Rheum rhaponticum) brought from the banks of the Volga, the stalks of which are used as food. The stalk is large and fleshy, and very juicy ; the blade is ...
-Ribbon Or Riband
[Celt.] A long, narrow web of silk or other material used for trimming dresses. Ribbons are chiefly made at St. Etienne in France, Basle in Switzerland, Coventry in England, Crefeld in Prussia, and Pa...
-Rice
[Fr., from Gk. oryza] A grain grown in warm countries, and forming a food for three-fourths of the human race. Rice is a kind of grass, having a stalk with several stems, each of which bears a cluster...
-Rifle
[Dan., to make grooves in.] A gun, or small-arm, the inside of whose barrel is rifled, that is, has spiral grooves cut in it. The effect of the grooves is to send the balls swifter and straighter. The...
-Rinderpest
A malignant contagious fever, which attacks cattle and other ruminants. It came originally from Asia, and has very often appeared in Russia, from which it made its way over Europe, probably as early a...
-Rivet
[Fr., from Scand., to fasten.] A pin or bolt of metal passed through two flat pieces of metal, wood, etc., and fastening them together by its being hammered flat at both ends.-Butt riv~ eting. The end...
-Roach
[AS.] A European fresh-water fish of the Carp family, to which the dace and chub belong, of silver-white color, with a greenish back. The scales of this fish and the bleak are said to be employed in t...
-Robin
[From Robert.] A name given to red-breasted birds of different countries belonging to the thrush family. The robin of the United States is a common and favorite bird, its song being among the sweetest...
-Rocket
[Ital., from rock, a distaff] A fire-work sent up through the air and used as a signal. The rocket is projected by the force of expanded gases liberated by the combustion of such ingredients as nitre,...
-Rococo
A florid style of ornamentation which was common in Europe in the latter part of the eighteenth century. ...
-Rodent
[L. rodens, gnawing.] A gnawing mammal, as a mouse or rat. They are all small, but very prolific, so that no mammalia are so generally distributed. Their teeth are peculiar and of two kinds-incisors a...
-Roe
[Scand.] The spawn or eggs of fishes and amphibians, especially when enclosed in a membrane. ...
-Roe Deer
[AS.] The smallest kind of European deer. Its antlers are small, with three short branches. It remains faithful to one partner for life. ...
-Roentgen Ray
On December 4, 1895, Professor Roentgen, of Wurzburg, Prussia, published a description of a remarkable new ray of light he had discovered, which he called the X-ray. This light flows from a Crookes ...
-Rook
[AS.] A bird like the crow, but smaller, with the base of its beak bare of feathers and quite white, and with a harsh, croaking voice. It feeds on grubs and worms, but will pull up new grass and potat...
-Rosary
A series of prayers marked by beads, consisting of fifteen decades, each containing ten avemarias, a.paternoster, and a gloriapatri. SIGNET RINGS. ...
-Rose
[L. rosa.] A shrub, usually with prickly stems, and large, beautiful, and sweetly-smelling flowers. The varieties of roses are generally classed as damasks, banksia, noisette, perpetuals, French, Chin...
-Rosemary
[L. ros, dew ; and marinus, belonging to the sea.] A small shrub, with narrow grayish leaves, a fragrant smell, and bitter taste. It is an emblem of constancy. This shrub grows wild along the Mediterr...
-Rosewood
A leguminous wood of a dark-red color streaked with black, with a faint smell like-that of the rose. The finest rosewood comes from South America, especially from Brazil, but also from Jamaica, New So...
-Rosin
The hard amber-colored resin left after distilling the volatile oil of turpentine. ...
-Rostrum
[L. rostrum, a beak.] The platform in the Roman Forum from which orators spoke to the people; so called because it was near where the beaks of ships taken in war were fixed. Also now any platform for ...
-Rowan Tree
[Scand.] The mountain ash, related to the apple, with pinnate leaves and small white flowers, followed by little bright-red berries. ...
-Rubble
[Old Fr.] Rough stones from the quarry, or stones broken or worn with water, used for coarse building. ...
-Rubric
[L. rubric, red chalk.] A part written or printed in red to distinguish it from the rest on a page. ...
-Ruby
[Fr., from L. rubeus, red.] A precious stone of a blood-red color, ranking in hardness next to the diamond. It is a red crystallized variety of corundum. The finest are Oriental rubies brought from Bu...
-Rum
A kind of spirit made from the juice of the sugar-cane or molasses. It is largely made in the West Indies and New England. Jamaica rum is colored reddish brown with caramel. Rum is sometimes flavored ...
-Ruminant
[L. ruminatus.] An animal that chews the cud. (See Digestion.) Ruminant animals include the camel, deer, antelope, goat, sheep, and cattle. ...
-Rupee
[Sans., silver.] An Indian silver coin worth 16 annas, the value of which varies with the price of silver. ...
-Rush
[AS.] A plant of many varieties, with a round poi n ted stem and no leaves, \ which grows in moist ground. Before carpets came into use, the floors of houses were strewn with rushes, ana the wicks of ...
-Rust
[AS.] Blight, mildew, and rust are names given to diseases which attack the stems and leaves of cereals and other plants. They first appear as small discolored patches, and gradually spread over the e...
-Rye
[AS.] A kind of grain, and the hardiest of the cereals cultivated in the British Isles. It looks like wheat, but its ears are bearded like those of barley, but not quite so long. The grain is brown, a...
-Sable
[Fr., from Russian.] A small flesh-eating animal akin to the weasel, found in Siberia and northern countries, and valued for its glossy fur, which consists of a soft under-wool over-topped with longer...
-Sabre
[Fr., from Ger.] A sword with a broad heavy blade, thick at the back,and curved slightly toward the point, used by cavalry. ...
-Saccharin Or Saccharine
[Fr., from L. sac charum, sugar.] Saccharin is a product of coal-tar, and it is said to be three hundred times sweeter than sugar It is a valuable therapeutic, and has been recently used in the preser...
-Saddle
[AS., from root of sit.] A seat generally made of leather, fastened on a horse's back. The frame of the saddle is usually of wood and iron, made to fit the horse's back, and is called the tree. In the...
-Safe
[Fr., from L., salvus, safe.] A strong room or box for keeping money and valuables safe from fire and thieves. Safes are double wrought-iron chests, with plaster of Paris and mica or alum to resist he...
-Safetylamp
A lamp for giving light in mines, covered with wire-gauze, to prevent the light from setting fire to explosive gas; called also Davy lamp. (See Lamp.) ...
-Safety-Valve
A valve in a steam engine arranged to permit the steam to escape when it exceeds a certain pressure. The valve is held in place by a weight attached to the end of a lever, and so adjusted that a fixed...
-Saffron
A yellow coloring matter, obtained from the stigma, or flower centre, of a species of crocus. It is costly on account of the labor of picking the small stigmas. It has a pleasant perfume, and is used ...
-Sage
[Fr., from L. salus.] A grayish-green herb much used in cookery and medicine; so called from its supposed healing powers. It has a sweet smell and a bitter taste. The scarlet sage and Mexican red and ...
-Sago
[Malay.] The prepared pith of a tree called the sago-palm, which grows in China, Japan, and the East Indies. The tree is cut down when fourteen or fifteen years old, the trunk split open, and the pith...
-Salad
[Fr., from Ital. sal-ata, salted.] Raw herbs cut up and dressed with salt, vine-gar, oil, etc., as a relish for food. ...
-Salamander
[Fr.,from L. or Gk.] A kind of reptile with four feet, long body, and long tail, but without scales. It is related to the frog, and was; once supposed to be able to live in fire. ...
-Saliva
[L.] A liquid of an alkaline re-action which, secreted by the salivary glands from the blood, moistens the mouth and mixes with the food to help digestion. The salivary glands are excited to pour out ...
-Salmon
[L. salmo.] A large fish much valued as food. Its color is bluish-gray, shading into a silvery-white underneath, and marked with black spots on the upper part of the body. Salmon are found on the Euro...
-Salt
[AS.] A substance found in the earth, and very abundant in sea-water, used for seasoning and preserving food. It is composed of sodium combined with chlorine. Salt is important as an article of food, ...
-Saltpetre, Nitre Or Rock-Salt
[Salt; and Gk. petra, a rock.] A kind of whitesalt made up of nitric acid and potash, often found oozing from rocks. It is bitter in taste, and is called potassium nitrate. It is found in caves or got...
-Salts
Salts, in chemistry, are the neutral or other compounds formed by the union of an acid and a base. ...
-Sand
[AS.] Fine particles of stone on the seashore or in deserts, made by the wearing out of rocks, especially of quartz, silica, or flint. River-sand and sand from pits are usually sharper than sea-sand. ...
-Sandalwood
[Fr., from Sans., and wood.] A yellowish heart wood of trees in the East Indies and the Hawaiian and South Sea islands. It has a pleasant smell. SANDALS. ...
-Sandpiper
A numerous family of game birds living on the sea-shore. The European kinds include the common sandpiper, called also summer-snipe, the dunlin, the knot, and the ruff. Some small plovers are called sa...
-Sand Stone
A rock of sand pressed together. Old and New Red Sandstone are two extensive series of British rocks, the one below and the other above the coal-measures. The terms Permian and Triassic have taken the...
-Sandwich
Two thin slices of bread with meat, cheese, or butter between them ; first used by the Karl of Sandwich in the 18th century so that he need not leave the gaming-tables. ...
-Santalin
A substitute for butter extracted from suet. ...
-Sap
[AS., saep.\ The fluid which flows through plants. The raw or crude sap consists of much water, with plant-food dissolved in it, entering through the roots. It rises through the outer part of the stem...
-Sapphire
[Fr., from Gk., from Heb.] A precious stone of a bright-blue color, next in hardness to the diamond, and next to the ruby in value. It is composed ofalumina, colored differently. The red sapphire is t...
-Sardine
[Fr., from L. sardina.] A small pilchard or herring found near the island of Sardinia, and preserved in oil for food. It has a slim body, and is greenish blue on the back and silvery white below. It i...
-Sarsaparilla
The dried roots of several American climbing evergreens, reaching from Mexico to South America. It is much used as a medicine. There is none of it in the sarsaparilla syrup drank in soda water. ...
-Sassafras
[Cor. from saxifrage, which now denotes a different kind of plants.] A kind of tree or plant, with aromatic properties, of the laurel kind, and allied to cinnamon, cassia, and camphor. Every part of t...
-Satin
[Fr., from L. seta, silk.] A kind of closely-woven silk cloth with a glossy surface. It is an elegant material. The woof, or crosswise threads, passes over several threads of the warp at a time. The f...
-Satin-Wood
A hard fragrant wood like yellow ma hogany, from the East and West Indies. It takes a lustrous finish, and is used in cabinet-work. ...
-Saturn
The planet next beyond Jupiter, and almost twice as distant, it being 875,000,000 miles from the sun. In size it comes next toJupiter, its diameter being 73,000 miles. Its year is equal to nearly 291/...
-Savannah
An extensive open grassy plain in the Southern States. (See Prairie.) ...
-Sauer-Kraut
A salted preparation of cabbage much esteemed in Germany, and largely used in the United States. It is thought to be very wholesome and easily digested, and is prepared in large quantities for winter ...
-Savoy
[Fr.] A kind of cabbage with curled leaves, originally from Savoy, much cultivated for winter use. ...
-Saw
[AS. saga, from L. secare, to cut.] A thin steel blade with sharp teeth on its edge for cutting wood, etc. The chief kinds are the hand-saw, the cross-cutting saw, and the circular-saw, which is worke...
-Saxifrage
[L. saxum, stone ; and frangere, to break.] A kind of plant growing in the crevices of rocks or on high hills, once supposed to have the power of dissolving or breaking stone in the bladder. They are ...
-Fish Scale
[AS. shell or husk.] One of the thin plates covering the body of a fish or of a reptile. Ganoid scales of fish' like the gar and sturgeon are an inner layer of bone and an outer layer of shining ename...
-Scale
[L. scala, a ladder.] A scale in music, is a series of tones from the keynote to the octave. A chromatic scale includes 8 tones and 5 salf-tones. A diatonic or major or minor scale has eight sounds or...
-Scallop
[Old Fr.] A shell-fish radially ribbed, and having the edges of its two-valved shell formed into a series of small curves. The shell is light, and the fish has a little air-bag which enables it to flo...
-Scarlet-Runner
A bean-plant with scarlet flowers which clings to and runs up any support it can reach. ...
-Schooner
[AS., to glide.] A vessel with two or more masts, fore and-aft rigged, or square-rigged on the fore-mast top-sail. The first schooner is said to have been built in Massachusetts in 1713. ...
-Scissors
[Old Fr.] A pair of blades movable on a pin through the middle of both, which cut when the sharp edges are pressed together. The best are made of cast steel or shear steel. Often called a pair of scis...
-Scorpion
[L.] An arachnidan somewhat like a lobster, having a poisonous sting in its tail. It has a flattened body, and a long, slender lower abdomen, formed of six movable segments, the last of which ends in ...
-Screech-Owl
An owl which utters a shrill cry, and is also called the barn-owl. The screech-owl is small, and of a gray or reddish color. ...
-Screw
[Old Fr.] A round piece of wood or metal with a sloping ridge called a thread running round it for fastening things together. As a mechanical power the screw is a modification of the inclined plane. T...
-Screw-Driver
A tool for driving in screws It has a thin end to enter in the slot or nick in the head of the screw. ...
-Scuttle
[AS , from L, sculella, a tray.] A broad basket or a vessel for holding coals. In nautical phrase, a small opening or hatchway in the deck of a ship large enough to admit a man. ...
-Scythe
[AS.] A large curved blade fastened to a long handle, for cutting grass, corn, or crops on small farms. Scythe-blades are forged, and then ground on grindstones. The haft is made of bent wood, with tw...
-Sea
[AS.] A large body of salt water smaller than an ocean, though the term is often applied to the whole ocean. The ocean covers nearly 8-nths of the area of the globe, and its depth averages 2,000 fatho...
-Sea-Anemone
(Actinozoa, or ray-like animals.) A soft, pulpy polyp with a flower-like or ray-like fringe of tentacles, in the middle of which is the mouth, leading into a hollow sac or stomach. It is of the shape ...
-Seal
[AS.] A flesh-eating animal found in great numbers lying on the icebergs or swimming in the waters of both north and south polar regions. Their sharp-pointed teeth enable them to catch the slippery fi...
-Sealing-Wax
Wax used for sealing letters or for being marked with a seal. Gummed envelopes have almost taken the place of wax for closing envelopes. Wax is made of lac mixed with turpentine and resin ; black wax ...
-Sea Nettle
A jelly-fish or medusa. ...
-Sea Urchin
(Echinus.) A kind of shell-fish or sea-egg covered with prickles like a chestnut bur, and closely related to the star-fish. The shells are of the thickness of egg-shells, and have rows of dots or knob...
-Search-Light
An electric arc-light of great candle-power, used with a parabolic projector which throws its rays for many miles. It is of great importance on a naval vessel, in enabling the captain to discover an a...
-Secretary Bird
The crane-vulture of South Africa and the West Indies. It is easily tamed, but attacks and kills poisonous snakes. Its tail is very long, with two long middle feathers. It has a crest on the back of i...
-Secretion
A substance separatecLby any one of the glands from the blood, either to be used for some purpose in the body or to be discharged as useless and detrimental. Some of the secretions are sweat, saliva, ...
-Sedan
[From Sedan, a town in France.] A covered chair for one person, carried by two bearers on poles with the hands, and differing from palanquins, which are carried on the shoulders. There are no carriage...
-Sedge
[AS.] A kind of coarse grass with blades shaped like swords, and found in swampy ground. It has a triangular jointless stem, spiked inflorescence, and long leaves, rough on the margin and mid-rib. The...
-Seed
[AS.] The part from, which a new plant grows, consisting of one or more coats or skins and the kernel, which is made up of the embryo and albumen to feed the embryo. Some albumen often forms a part of...
-Seidlitz
[From Seidlitz, in Bohemia.] A natural mineral water ; also a powder having the same effect. The seidlitz owes its aperient property to the presence of Epsom salts (q.v.) and a little lime. Seidlitz p...
-Seltzer
[Setters.] A mineral water from Setters, in Nassau, Germany. Its chief character is a large amount of carbonic acid in combination with alkaline carbonates, and also some common salt. It is useful for...
-Semaphore
[Gk.] A means of signaling invented by Chappe in 1793. Formerly in railway signaling there were three positions: at right angles meant stop; at half a right angle, go slowly; hanging down, that the li...
-Senna
[Arab.] The dried leaves of a kind of cassia used in medicine as a valuable purgative. It grows abundantly in North Africa, in the West Indies, and in India. Egyptian senna has a high reputation. The ...
-Sensitive Plant
The mimosa, a small plant with leaves which collapse and fold up when touched. It is a native of the American tropics, and is about a foot and a half high. ...
-Sepia
The cuttle-fish, a family of naked molluscs, with an oval body and with eight short arms surrounding the head, also two long arms or tentacles. It has an internal shell or plate along the back, known ...
-Sequoia
The giant trees of California. They belong to the family of the pines, and are distinguished by their enormous dimensions, one of them having measured 112 feet in circumference and supposed to have be...
-Serge
[Fr., from L. sericus, silken.] A kind of twilled cloth, first made of silk, now chiefly of wool, used for garments. ...
-Serpent
[L. serpens, creeping.] An animal that creeps or winds about on the ground. They are divided into two classes - poisonous, as vipers and rattlesnakes ; and snakes that are not poisonous, as boas, pyth...
-Serpentine
A magnesian rock, usually of a greenish color, sometimes spotted like a serpent's skin. Precious serpentine is translucent, and of a rich oil-green color. It is really chrysolite altered. ...
-Setter
A dog taught to set or crouch when it sees the game. Originally it was a cross between a spaniel and a pointer. ...
-Sewer
[Fr.] A drain or passage to carry off sewage in cities. In Paris the sewers contain telegraph and telephone wires, compressed air or gas-pipes, etc. The ancient sewer (Cloaca Maxima) of Rome was large...
-Sewing-Machine
A machine for sewing, of which the first effective one was introduced by ...
-Elias Howe In 1846
The Howe machine has a needle with an eye near the point. The thread carried through the cloth by this needle forms a loop under the cloth through which a shuttle passes. The shuttle contains a bobbin...
-Sextant
[L. sextans, a sixth part.] An instrument for measuring angles, mounted on a frame, and marked with degrees, minutes, etc. It is constructed on the same optical principle as Hadley's quadrant. ...
-Shad
A fish of the Herring family, but, unlike the herring, with a deep notch on the middle of the upper jaw, and without teeth on the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The Chinese shad is an esteemed food...
-Shaddock
A fruit of the Orange and Lemon family, but much larger. It is native to China and India, but is now grown in the West Indies. It is better for preserving than eating, though now, under the name of gr...
-Shagreen
A kind of leather made from the skins of horses, wild asses, and camels, and so grained as to leave on it little grains or pimples. These are caused by forcing into the moist skin the hard seeds of an...
-Shale
[Gen, akin to scale.] A rock easily split into slabs. Bituminous shale is impregnated with bitumen, and often accompanies coal. ...
-Shamrock
[Celt.] A three-leaved plant like clover; the national emblem of Ireland. ...
-Shark
A large, fierce, and powerful fish, called the tiger of the ocean. It sometimes reaches a length of 35 feet. It has a strong, stout body, and a tail of irregular shape, its upper section being longer ...
-Shawl
[Per.] A woven or knitted covering for the shoulders, of wool, cotton, silk, or other textile material. India shawls are made from the wool of the Cashmere goat. ...
-Shears
A large pair of scissors used for cutting wool from sheep or their skins, also the nap of cloth. Shear steel is prepared from blistered steel by repeated heating, rolling, and tilting to increase its ...
-Sheep
[AS.] A most useful ruminant animal, bearing wool, and valued for its flesh. The domestic sheep is gregarious and very timid. Among fine wool sheep are the merino, the French, the Saxon, and Silesian;...
-Shell
[AS.] The outer part of an egg or nut, the pod of peas, and the hard covering of some kinds of ocean animals, Shell-fish are usually uni valves, having one part;' or bivalves, having two parts joined ...
-Shellac
[Lac, gum.] Lac or gum hardened and cut into thin plates. (See Lac.) ...
-Sherry
A kind of light-colored wine, chiefly got from Xeres in Spain. It is colored a straw color or amber color by mixing cheap wine and boiling it down. ...
-Shield
[AS.] A frame covered with skin or metal, worn on the left arm to keep off blows ; also the escutcheon or field on which are placed the bearings in coats of arms. ...
-Shilling
[AS.] A silver coin of the value of 12 pence or twentieth part of a pound. ...
-Shingle
[Cor. from L. scindula, a wooden tile.] A thin piece of pine, cypress, cedar, or oak used as a roof tile ; loose stones on the sea-shore or in the bed of a river. ...
-Shingles
[L. cingulum, a girdle.] A disease which spreads round the body like a girdle. ...
-Ship
A large sea-going vessel with masts and sails, particularly one with three masts rigged with square sails. It is made up of hull, deck (q. v.), masts, yards, bow-sprit and rigging, ropes and chains. T...
-Shipworm
A mollusc of unusual shape, whose scientific name is the Teredo. It looks like a worm, being long and slender in body. It bores with its cutting shell into wood, and often so riddles ship timbers with...
-Shoddy
A fibrous fabric made of material obtained by tearing refuse woollen goods, stockings, rags, or druggets. ...
-Shoe
[AS.] A covering for the foot, usually of leather. Fine shoes are made by the hand and shaped on a last, or are made by machinery. ANCIENT SHOES OR SANDALS. Shoes are largely made by machinery i...
-Shot
[AS.] Bullets or small pellets of lead shot from a gun. In war, some are composed of lead, wrought iron, or cast iron ; they are spherical or oblong, and include hollow, solid, and case-shot. Chain-sh...
-Shovel
[From shove.] A broad, slightly-hollowed blade with a handle for lifting and throwing earth, coal, grain, or other loose substances. A steam-shovel is a machine with a scoop or scoops, worked by a ste...
-Shrew-Mouse
An animal brown in color, and very like a common mouse, except that the nose is much longer and more pointed, the stomach is white, and the tail is square instead of round. These little creatures are ...
-Shrimp
[O.E.] A small crustacean, used as food, with a thin body, long feelers, and 38 legs of different lengths. Between its head and tail it has thin shells in six parts, jointed, and each working into it...
-Shrub
[AS.] A tree-like plant or bush with no trunk but with several stems branching directly from one root. ...
-Shuttie
[AS.] That by which the weaver shoots or throws the thread from one side of the web to the other. The shuttle race is a shelf in the loom beneath the warp along which the shuttle passes. ...
-Shuttlecock
A cork with feathers, driven back wards and forwards by a light bat in the game of shuttlecock and battledore. ...
-Sickle
[AS.] A curved steel knife for cutting grain. The sickle has one side of the blade notched, so as always to sharpen with a serrated edge. The reaping-machine has now taken its place in harvesting oper...
-Sienna
A reddish-brown pigment made from earth got from Sienna in Tuscany. This clay is colored by the oxides of iron and manganese. Burnt sienna is the same clay made redder by the action of fire. ...
-Sieve
[AS.] A vessel with small holes in the bottom for separating fine particles from coarse ones. It is usually shallow, with the bottom made of wire, hair, or woven into meshes. ...
-Silica
[L.] The substance of which flint, sand, and sandstone are chiefly composed. It is the oxide of the element silicon, and is very abundant in the form of quartz. Silicates are salts of silica or silici...
-Silk
[AS., from L. sericum, silk.] Fine threads spun by silk-worms, but especially the Bombyx mori. The silk-worm was first kept in China for the purpose of manufacturing silk. From silk-worms' eggs, in ab...
-Silk-Worm
The worm which spins or produces silk threads. For thousands of years the Chinese would not allow the eggs of the silk-worm to go out of the country. About 550, two monks are said to have brought to E...
-Silver
[AS.] A soft, white, shining metal which takes on a bright polish. It is found in combination as sulphurets and oxides, and with other metals. It is widely diffused. Of mineral ores associated only 1 ...
-Siphon
[Gk.] A bent tube, with one arm longer than the other, for drawing off a liquid from one vessel to another at a lower level, the shorter arm being inserted in the liquid at the higher level. ...
-Skate
[Scand.] A large flat fish more or less square in form, and the thinnest of ray fishes in proportion to its bulk. It is the largest of ray fishes. The European blue or gray skate is used as food, and ...
-Skeleton
[Gk. skeletos, dried.] The bony framework of an animal body. That of the human body is composed of 246 separate bones. At the joints the bones are joined together by bands of a sub-stance like gristle...
-Skin
[Scand.] The natural covering of animals and plants. The thickness of the skin varies in different parts of the human body, from one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch. On the hands and feet it becomes t...
-Skull
[Scand.] The bony case which encloses the brain, and with the bones of the face and mouth gives shape to the head. It is rounded on the top somewhat like the large end of an egg, and in front and on t...
-Skunk
. [Ind.] An animal of the Weasel family, found only in America. There are eighteen species, of which the common skunk is found in the rocky parts of North America. It defends itself by giving out liqu...
-Skyark
A bird which nests in the grass, but rises high in the air, singing as it rises. (See Lark.) The Australian skylark is a pipit, and though it rises it lacks the song of the true lark. ...
-Slag
[Scand.] The dross of melted mineral, or cinders from a volcano. ...
-Slate
[Fr.] A kind of rock which splits into thin layers very readily. The largest slate quarries in the world are in Wales. Welsh slates are lightest and best. They are used for covering roofs, for cistern...
-Sling
[VS.] A strip of leather, having a cord attached to each end, for throwing stones by rapidly whirling round the head and suddenly letting one of the ends go ; also a bandage hung from the neck to supp...
-Sloe
[AS.] A small bitter wild plum, the fruit of the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa); also the tree itself. ...
-Sloop
[Du.] A one-masted ship with fore-and-aft sails. The typical sloop has a fixed bowsprit, top-mast, and standing rigging, but those of a cutter can be rapidly shifted. ...
-Slot-Machine
An ingenious instrument so arranged that its machinery is set in motion by the weight of a cent, a half-dime or other small coin. Slot-machines in great variety have been made, some adapted to set in ...
-Sloth
[AS] This is a curious creature without. fore teeth and canines. It is a native of Central and South America. Its shape is very different from that of gnawing animals, for its front legs are longer th...
-Slug
A land-dwelling mollusc, without a shell, except a small internal one which protects the heart. The slugs are the pests of gardens and cultivated places, and give much trouble to gardeners. ...
-Sluice
[Old Fr., from exclusa, shut out.] A door or gate, sliding in a frame, for shutting off or regulating the flow of water; also a long box used in washing for gold. ...
-Smelt
[AS.] A small salmonoid fish which ascends rivers to spawn, much esteemed for food. It has a peculiar odor.-Candle fish is a kind of smelt found on the North Pacific coast, and is so oily that it may ...
-Snail
[AS.] A soft slimy land mollusc, usually protected by a spiral shell. Besides long tentacles tipped with black eye-specks, snails have a shorter pair, which are organs of smell. There are over 2,000 s...
-Snake
[AS. snaca, creeper.] A creeping reptile, whose gliding motion is due to having the vertebrae jointed with ball-and-socket joints. On each vertebra is a pair of ribs which are used as legs, working th...
-Snapping-Turtle
The common name of a family of reptiles, comprising turtles with the body high in front, low behind, large head, long neck, powerful jaws, tail long and strong. If assailed they raise themselves on th...
-Snipe
The common name of a large family of birds, found in many parts of the world. The common snipes of Europe and America are much alike in size and plumage, being about 17 inches in total length, of whic...
-Snow
[AS.] Frozen moisture falling in soft white flakes. It is not produced, like hail, by the freezing of rain-drops, but formed by the direct passage of the vapor into the solid state. It falls to the ea...
-Snowbunting
An American bird, common in summer in the Arctic regions and in winter in the United States. It resembles the lark in its habits, and is generally very fat and much esteemed for the table. ...
-Snow-Drop
A small bulbous plant, with white dropping or hanging flowers, often appearing while the snow is on the ground. ...
-Snow-Line
The line on a mountain above which snow never melts. The lowest limit of perpetual snow in the Alps is at 9,000 feet above sea-level, and in the Andes, at the equator, 16,000 feet Snow-shoe. A flat sh...
-Snuff
[Du.] Tobacco or stalks of tobacco finely powdered taken into the nose. It is scented with essential oils or otherwise. It was formerly much used, but is now very little. ...
-Soap
[AS., akin to L. sapo.] A mixture of oil or fat with soda or potash for washing. Since the cheapening of caustic soda by the Le Blanc process, soda is chiefly used instead of potash as the alkali of s...
-Soda
[Ital.] A substance formerly got from sea-weeds, and in 1791 it was produced from common salt by Le Blanc. In this process salt is transformed into sodium sulphate by adding sulphuric acid ; then by m...
-Soda-Water
Water mixed with a little soda and carbonic acid; a beverage consisting of water highly charged with carbonic acid, to which fruit syrups are usually added. ...
-Sodium
A common metallic element of the alkali group, always found combined, as in common salt. When isolated it is a soft, waxy white metal, so readily oxidized that it combines with water and must be prese...
-Soil
[Fr., from L. solum, ground.] Earth in which plants grow. Soil consists of a mixture of earthy materials resulting from the disintegration of the rocks by natural agencies, and a deposit of organic ma...
-Solan Goose
[Scand., sula.] The gannet (q.v.). ...
-Solar Spectrum
[L.] The spectrum of solar light, characterized by numerous dark lines, called Fraunhofer lines, from being observed by a German physicist of that name. [See Spectrum.] ...
-Solar System
[L.] The sun, with the bodies revolving round it, and receiving from it their light and heat, and held by its attraction. It includes eight planets with twenty-two satellites, of which the Earth has o...
-Solder
[Fr., from L. solidus.] Melted metal used for fastening pieces of metal together. Hard solder, for fusing at red heat, is composed of zinc and copper or silver and copper. Soft solder, for low tempera...
-Sole
[L.] A kind of flat-fish of the genus Solea. The common sole of Europe is much used for food. Lemon or French sole is another species. The megrim is the British smooth sole or scald fish. ...
-Solstice
[Fr., from L. solstitium.] The point in the ecliptic at which the sun is farthest from the equator, either north or south, and at which it seems to stand still. The 21st of June is the summer, and 21s...
-Soot
[AS.] The loose black particles from smoke in' chimneys disengaged from the fuel in process of combustion, consisting chiefly of carbon, and the result of imperfect combustion. ...
-Sorrel
[Fr.] A plant like the dock, whose leaves have a sour taste. Mountain sorrel has rounded kidney-formed leaves. Red sorrel is found in the West Indies, and the calyxes and capsules are used for making ...
-Sound
[Fr., from L. sonare.] That which can be heard. In physics, it is applied to the external cause which produces the sensation. In this sense the word sound stands either for the vibrations of the sound...
-Soup
[Fr.] Water with meat or vegetables boiled in it and used for food. Soup maigre is made chiefly from vegetables or fish, with a little butter and a few condiments. ...
-Sovereign
[Fr.,from L. supremus.] A British gold coin worth twenty shillings, ...
-Spade
[AS.] An instrument for digging, having a broad oblong and nearly rectangular flat blade, usually of iron, with a wooden handle. ...
-Spanker
[AS.] A fore-and-aft sail on the mizzen-mast attached to a boom and gaff. ...
-Sparrow
[AS] The Sparrow family is a numerous one of perching birds. They help the farmer by keeping down caterpillars, grubs, and insects, which would otherwise overrun the fruits and crops; but they are ver...
-Sparrow-Hawk
A small hawk which preys on sparrows and other small birds. It is the most pernicious of hawks, feeding on, pigeons, partridges and young fowls. It is bluish gray in color, with a cream-colored breast...
-Spear
[AS.] A long shaft of wood, with a sharp iron point, used in fighting, hunting, or in catching fish. ...
-Spearfisli
A large, powerful fish found in the Mediterranean, related to and somewhat like the sword-fish. It has scales and ventral fins. ...
-Specific Heat
The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of a substance one degree, taking as a unit of measure the freezing point quantity required to raise one pound of water at one degree....
-Spectacles
[L.] Two glasses set in a light frame to help weak sight. They were invented by an Italian in the thirteenth century. For short-sighted eyes,spectacles with concave lenses are used, which form an imag...
-Spectroscope
[L. spectrum-; and Gk. skopeo, I see.] An instrument consisting of a telescope with a prism for separating the rays of light proceeding from the sun and stars or from burning substances, so that, by t...
-Spectrum
A ray of light separated by a prism or otherwise into the colors of which it is composed. There are seven different bands of color -red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The spectrum o...
-Speculum
[L.] A piece of polished metal which acts like a mirror, as in a reflecting telescope. Silvered glass mirrors being lighter and more easily made, have taken the place of metallic mirrors. ...
-Spermaceti
[L. sperma, seed; and cetus, a whale.] A kind of fat from the head of the sperm whale used in making candles, ointments, and cosmetics. It is a semi-fluid substance which, on being taken from the anim...
-Sperm Oil
Oil got from the sperm whale. It is a thin and valuable oil, and, like spermaceti, is used in ointments and medicine. It is slightly pressed from the other matters with which it is mixed, and one anim...
-Sperm Whale
A kind of whale called also cachalot, from which sperm oil and spermaceti are obtained. Sperm whales frequent tropical seas and live in groups or shoals. They have large, square heads, with a single b...
-Sphere
[Fr., from Gk. sphaira, a ball.] A round body ; also the apparent surface of the heavens, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere equally distant, in which the heavenly bodies appear to have t...
-Sphinx
A fabulous monster of classic lore, with the head and bust of a woman, the body of a dog, wings of a bird, and tail of a serpent. The Egyptian sphinx was a winged lion with a human head and bust. This...
-Spice
[Fr., from L, species. ] A vegetable production, with a strong, sweet smell and sharp taste, used as a seasoning by mixing with food. The chief spices are ginger, cinnamon, nutmegs, cloves, allspice, ...
-Spicules
Needle-shaped objects in sponges, which retain the shape of the sponge when the flesh is removed. Flints (q.v.) are filled with fossil spicules. ...
-Spider
[AS., from spin.] An animal allied to the insects, which spins a web in order to catch flies for food. There are two divisions in the spider's body. The upper, or head part has a horny covering, and i...
-Spike
[L. spica, an ear of corn.] A piece of pointed iron or an ear of corn.-Oil of spike is a colorless or yellowish aromatic oil from broad-leaved lavender, used as varnish and as medicine. ...
-Spinach
[Ital. from L. spina, a thorn, or His-pania.] A vegetable used for food, some varieties having thorny or prickly leaves, belonging to the Goosefoot family, grown in almost every country. It is (also) ...
-Spinal Cord
A long, round mass of nervous matter situated in the cavity of the spinal column. The brain is a soft mass of gray and white nerve-matter, about three pounds in weight, which fills the interior of the...
-Spinning
[AS.] Drawing out and twisting fibres into threads. Long threads are spun by mule spinning-machines, which carry hundreds of spindles. The spindles are set and run swiftly in one long straight row on ...
-Sponge
[Fr., from the Gk.] The animal occupy -ing the lowest rank among the many celled animals, and next above the Protozoa, or single-celled animals. It consists of a network of horny or fibrous substance,...
-Spoonbill
A long-legged wading bird akin to the heron, having a bill like a spoon. Its bill is wide and flattened at the tip, and it scoops up its prey. Like the heron it fishes, and like the duck it searches f...
-Sprat
[Du.] A small fish somewhat like young herring or the pilchard. The sprat is marked by a deeply-serrated abdomen, while the young herring is without this. Sometimes called a garvie. (See Whitebait.) ...
-Spring
[AS.] An outflow of water from the ground. The water of springs consists of rain-water which has soaked into the ground and percolated through the rocks, sometimes for a distance of several miles. Wat...
-Springbok
[Du.] A South African gazelle, noted for its swiftness, springing action, and graceful form. It has a white stripe on the back and tail. ...
-Spring Tide
The highest tide at or soon after new and full moon. It rises higher than the average tide. (See Tides.) ...
-Spruce Fir
[From Prussia.] A kind of fir, but unlike firs in having pendent cones with per-sistent scales and leaves arranged round the shoots. The sprouts are used to flavor 1 spruce been and the wood is used f...
-Square
[Fr., from Ital.] Having four equal side and four right angles. In carpentry, the square has at least one right angle and two or more straight edges. It includes a carpenter's square L, a T square, an...
-Squash
The fruit of a species of the gourd plant to which the pumpkin and melon also belong It was grown in America by the Indians before the whites came; also in Europe in early times It is smaller than the...
-Squid
Any one of numerous species of cephalo-pods with ten arms, a long, tapering body, and a caudal fin on each side. The squid is abundant in the North Atlantic, and is used as bait in cod-fishing. It is ...
-Squirrel
[Low L., from Gk.] A beautiful little gnawing animal, of different colors and sizes found in all parts of the world except Australia The tail is not only the squirrel's greatest orna-ment, but is of t...
-Stag
[Scand.] The male of the red deer of Europe. Its horns are long and branching, and when of full growth will often weigh twenty-four pounds. When the horns carry twelve points or tines the stag is a ro...
-Stalactite
[Gk., to drop.] A stalk of lime hanging from a limestone cave. It is due to water carrying lime which makes its way through the cave roof, and evaporates, leaving the lime hanging like an icicle. Stal...
-Stamen
[L., a thread.] One of the thread-like pollen-bearing stalks in the centre of a flower. ...
-Star
[AS.] One of the bright bodies seen in the sky at night, whose distance is so great that as seen from the earth they appear only as points of light. By astronomers the stars are looked upon as the sun...
-Starch
[AS.] One of the main constituents of plants. It is composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, the last two in the proportions required to form water. It is near to sugar in chemical composition and is...
-Star-Fish
A star-shaped sea animal which creeps over rocks and sand, feeding on mussels and shellfish. The five rays are made of limestone plates, joined by a tough membrane. Under each ray is a groove with hun...
-Starling
[AS.] A small greenish-black British song-bird, which can be taught to whistle tunes and sometimes to speak a few words. It builds in church steeples, in ruins, or on rocks. The food of the starling c...
-Steam
[AS.] Water in the gaseous state. The clouds of vapor which are seen to issue from a kettle of boiling water are also popularly called steam ; but these white clouds consist chiefly of condensed s...
-Steam-Engine
An engine worked by steam. The chief parts are the piston,cylinder, and valve gear. The piston works in a cylinder, to which steam is admitted by the action of the valve gear, causing the piston to mo...
-Steam-Turbine
A new form of steam motor, in which the steam is thrown against the valves of a turbine-wheel, which it causes to turn with great rapidity. These machines develop great power in small space. They have...
-Stearin
[Gk. stear, tallow.] A constituent of animal fats, as beef and mutton suet; and some vegetable fats as of cocoa. It is remarkable for its solidity, and raises the melting-point of fat. It is prepared ...
-Steel
[AS.] A hard metal made by heating iron with charcoal. Steel is the form of iron in which the amount of carbon is intermediate between that contained in cast iron and in wrought iron. In steel, the ca...
-Stencil
A thin plate of metal or other material with letters or a pattern cut through it. It is laid flat on a surface, a brush dipped in paint or ink rubbed over it, and the letters or pattern thus transferr...
-Steppe
The vast, low plains of Europe and Asia, extending from Holland to Russia and thence through Siberia and Mongolia. The name is specially applied to the broad and largely arid pasture lands north and e...
-Stereoscope
[Gk.] An optical instrument of magnifying-glasses, with a slide for two slightly different pictures of the same thing, which when looked through throws both pictures into one, and gives the figures th...
-Stereotype
[Gk.] A metal plate, being an exact copy in a solid form of a page of type. Stereotyping by plaster of Paris was discovered by Ged in the eighteenth century. Electrotypes have now taken the place of s...
-Stethoscope
[Gk.] A medical tube used for listening to the beating of the heart or the sound of the lungs in breathing. ...
-Stickleback
[AS.] A very small fish with two or more prickles on its back. It builds a nest somewhat like that of a bird. The male gathers weeds and erects a barrel-shaped house. He secretes in his body a sticky ...
-Sting
[AS.] The sharp point with which bees, wasps, etc., defend themselves. The sting of a female bee is a dart with barbs at the end of the abdomen connected with a poison gland; and the sting is sometime...
-Stone
[AS.] A piece of rock, or the hard centre of fleshy fruits. Building stones are natural or artificial. Natural stones are chiefly granite, marble, limestones, sandstones, and also slates. The hard sto...
-Stone-Age
The era of primitive man, when his only tools and weapons were made of stone. In the old stone-age rudely chipped stone implements were used ; in the new stone-age the implements were smoothed and pol...
-Stork
[AS.] A wading bird of the family Ciconidae, nearly allied to the heron, with long slender legs and rather thick neck. The bill is as long as the head, and tapers to a point. In Holland, storks give u...
-Stove
[Du.] A kind of box, generally made of iron, which stands in some part of the room, supplied with fuel from time to time through a door Stoves are more economical than grates, since less of the heat p...
-Straw
[AS.] The stalks or stems of wheat, rye, and other cereal grasses, after the grain has been thrashed. It is woven into hats, and made into boards and paper. Chip hats are not made out of straw, but fr...
-Strawberry
A widely cultivated perennial plant, having a red, small berry, with delicious taste. In cultivation its runners spread along the ground. The flowers have five petals, and are mostly white, seated on ...
-Strychnine
[L., from Gk. strychnos, nightshade.] A strong poison got from the seeds of nux vomica. It is obtained as a white crystalline substance, and has a bitter, acrid taste. It is insoluble in water, but di...
-Stucco
[Ital., from a Ger. root of stuck, a piece.] A kind of plaster made of lime, sand, and finely - crushed marble, for ornamenting walls. ...
-Sturgeon
[Old Fr.] A long, narrow freshwater fish, the roe of which is made into caviare, and the air-bladder into isinglass. It has free gills, and its body is more or less covered with bony plates, in five l...
-Sucker
A fish of the carp family, many kinds of which are found in the rivers and lakes of the United States. It has no teeth, its lips being formed for sucking. It is found in the rivers in early spring, an...
-Sugar
[Fr. from Arab.] The sweet juice of the sugar-cane and other plants pressed out and dried. It is soluble in water, generally cry stall iz-able, neutral to vegetable colors, and is an organic chemical ...
-Sulphur
[L.] A yellow mineral, occrring in large quantities either as pyrites (sulphides), gypsum (sulphates), or native, mixed with gyp-sum. It is found in volcanic regions. It is purified by distillation, a...
-Sumach
A genus of small trees and shrubs, having numerous species, found in all parts of the world except Australia and the polar regions. The leaves of a kind grown in America are used by the Indians for to...
-Sun
[AS.] The body in the heavens that gives light and heat, and round which the earth and planets revolve. (See Solar System.) It is about 92 1/2 million miles distant from the earth, and its diameter is...
-Sundial
An apparatus in common use as a time-keeper when clocks and watches were scarce and costly. It consisted of an upright style whose, shadow was thrown by the sun on a plate of metal. As the day went on...
-Sun-Fish
A genus of fishes with short, rounded, and flattened bodies. There are small species in many streams, and the great sunfish of the Atlantic grows to the length of 4 feet and the weight of over 500 pou...
-Sunflower
A tall plant, a. native of America, having large marginal ray flowers with yellow rings. The seeds are used as food for cattle and poultry, and yield an excellent oil. The flowers abound in honey, and...
-Swamow
[AS.] A small bird, with small legs and weak feet, but with long, pointed wings and a forked tail, which are both favorable to switf flying. It flies at a rate of from 60 to 90 miles an hour, and deli...
-Swan
[AS.] The largest and most graceful of all swimming birds. When full-grown its feathers are white, but when young they are bluish-gray. Its feathers are thick and oily, and cast off water. Its feet ar...
-Sweet-Bread
Part of the inside of an animal, with a sweet taste and a likeness to bread, used as food. The thymus gland is called neck or throat sweet-bread, and the pancreas the belly sweet-bread. ...
-Sweet Flag
A kind of reed which flourishes along the banks of rivers or grows in swamps and ponds. It is found in the cooler sections of Europe and North America, also in some parts of Asia. Confectioners use it...
-Sweet-Pea
An annual plant, Lathyrus odora-tus, or its many-colored sweet-scented blossoms. ...
-Sweet-Potato
A plant which is not allied to the white potato, but belongs to the morning-glory family. It is a creeping vine, bearing long root tubers of sweet taste. It was probably of American origin, but is now...
-Swees William
A kind of pink of many different colors and varieties. ...
-Swift
[AS.] A quickly-flying bird of the Swallow family. Its form and habits resemble those of the swallow. It has a shorter bill, but it has no complex vocal muscles. It nests in church steeples and under ...
-Sword-Fish
A large fish with the upper jaw long and pointed like a sword, which pierces four or five inches of solid wood. Its dorsal fin is high, and ventral fins are absent. It swims very fast, and is one of t...
-Sycamore
[Gk.] A kind of fig-tree in Egypt and Syria; the great maple in Europe and the plane tree in America. ...
-Syringe
[Gk.] A tube fitted with a piston for sucking up and squirting out water and other liquids, used for injecting them into wounds or openings of the animal body, or in gardens for throwing liquids upon ...
-Tack
[Celt.] A small nail with a broad, flat head ; also the direction of a ship in regard to the trim of her sails - the starboard tack when close hauled with the wind on her starboard side, the port tack...
-Tackle
[Scand.] Ropes and pulleys for lifting weights. Ground-tackle are anchors, cables, etc.; gun-tackle, the apparatus for hoisting cannon. ...
-Tadpole
A frog (q. v.) in its youngest state. In this stage it breathes by means of external or internal gills, and has a fin-like tail. ...
-Tail
[AS] The long flexible part of an animal that terminates its body behind. It contains a series of movable vertebrae, and is covered with flesh and hairs or scales. The tail of birds consists of fused ...
-Tailorbird
An Asiatic or East Indian bird that makes its nest by sewing together the leaves of trees, and in doing so uses its beak and claws instead of a needle. ...
-Tallow
[AS. or Scand. talg.] The fat of animals of the ox or sheep kind. Its solidity is due to the large amount of stearin it contains. It is used to make candles (q. v.). - The Tallow-tree grows in China, ...
-Tamarind
[Arab.] A lofty, wide-spreading tree in the Indies, with flowers in racemes, pinnate leaves, and pods abounding in acid pulp of cooling and laxative qualities. West Indian tamarinds are preserved in s...
-Tamarisc
[L. tamariscus.] A tree or shrub with small scale-like leaves and clusters of white or pink flowers. Its bark is used as an astringent, and the ashes of the plant yield sulphate of soda. am'bourine. A...
-Tanager
A group of American birds conspicuous for their brilliant colors. They represent the finches of Europe and Asia. The most beautiful of them, the scarlet tanager, comes from Mexico to the United States...
-Tannic Acid
Acid derived from tannin, which is the astringent principle of oak-bark or gall-nuts, and is used in tanning and as an astringent. It is the basis of common ink. It is sometimes used to describe all a...
-Tanning
[Fr. tanner, from Armorican tann, oak-bark.] The turning of skins into leather (q. v.) by steeping in water mixed with oak-bark. ...
-Tape
[AS., from L. tapete, cloth for hangings.] A narrow woven band used for tying and binding. - Tape-worm, along, flat, parasitical worm. with small head, no mouth, but having suckers and sometimes hooks...
-Tapestry
[Fr. tapisserieJ] Cloth of wool and silk, covered with woven or sewed figures, for hanging on walls. Tapestry carpet resembles Brussels carpet in having the colors of the warp printed before weaving. ...
-Tapioca
[Braz.] A granular substance got by heating the manioc root. The manioc or cassava root is bitter, and has a poisonous sap, which by grating, pressing, and baking is lost. It is grown in the West Indi...
-Tapir
[Braz.] An animal with a thick skin, short ears, short neck, and long prehensile upper lip. It is between three and four feet high and from five to six feet long, and in general form reminds us of the...
-Tar
[AS.] A black, sticky liquid, distilled from pine trees and from coal. When charcoal is produced, an arrangement is made for collecting far. From wood tar is distilled wood-vinegar or pyro-lignean aci...
-Tarantula
A poisonous spider found near Taren-tum, in South Italy : others are found in Texas. (See Spider.) ...
-Tare
[O.E.] The vetch or tare somewhat resembles the pea. The winter vetch is sown in autumn, and is cut in May ; spring vetches are sown in February. The vetch likes clayey or marly soil, and is cut lit...
-Tarpaulin Or Tarpauling
A piece of coarse canvas covered with tar to keep out wet. ...
-Tartan
Woolen cloth woven in stripes or checks, formerly much worn by Scottish Highlanders, whose clans were known by the different-colored tartans. Trews are trousers made of tartans. ...
-Tea
[Chin.] The leaves of the tea-plant. The tea-plant, cniefly cultivated in China and in Assam, is a low bushy shrub, bearing a small white flower, and having leaves with saw-like edges, like those of t...
-Teak
[Malabar.] A tree found in India, the East Indies, and in Africa, the wood of which is very hard and durable. It is used in ship-building, and in the construction of buildings. ...
-Teal
[O.E.] A small fresh-water duck. The male is handsomely colored, and has a bright green or blue patch on the wings. In America teals are valued as game birds. ...
-Telegraph
[Gk. tele, far; and graphein, to write.] Stretched wires along which messages are sent by electricity. (See Electric Telegraph.) The messages are given by a pointer in the Wheatstone, by a fillet of p...
-Telepathy
[Gr. tele., far; pathos, feeling with.] The supposed transfer of thought from mind to mind without speech or other physical communication. It is claimed that the thought of one person has been recogni...
-Telpherage
[Gr. tele., far; pherein, to carry.] A method of conveying goods along a suspended wire by aid of an electric motor. It has been used to carry ore from a mine and to convey logs from a forest. ...
-Telephone
[Gk. tele, far; and phone, a sound.] An instrument which enables persons to talk to each other at considerable distances by electric wires. In its use a thin sheet of metal is set in Line-tvirt NS, N...
-Telescope
[Gk. tele, far; and skopein, to see.] An instrument consisting of a tube and magnifying glasses for seeing things at a distance. In reflecting telescopes the image is formed by one or two concave mirr...
-Temperature
[L.] The amount or degree of heat in any person, place, or thing ; the condition which indicates whether heat will flow from one body to another, the body parting with heat being said to have a higher...
-Tendril
[Fr. from L. tener, tender.] The long, slender, leafless shoot of a plant by which it clings to a support. They are the ends of stems, as in the grape vine; axillary branches in the passion flower, or...
-Tentacle
[L.] A kind of arm or fleshy process attached to the head or body of some insects and other animals, by which they feel, grasp, or move. ...
-Terra-Cotta
[L. terra, the earth ; coda, baked.] A kind of pottery or baked red clay. (See Brick.) ...
-Terrier
[Fr. terre, the earth.] A small dog that burrows into holes in the earth after rabbits, rats, etc. The Skye has long hair and dropping ears. English and black and tan have short, close, smooth hair an...
-Thatch
[AS.] A covering of straw, reeds, or rushes for roofs of buildings or stacks of hay or grain. Palm leaves are used in the West Indies for thatching. ...
-Thermometer
[Gk. thermos, hot; and metron, measure.] An instrument for measuring changes of temperature by the contraction or expansion of a liquid or a gas. The three scales at present in use are - (1) the Fahre...
-Thimble
(From thumb.) A sheild for the finger, used in sewing. It is usually made of metal, and has on the outer surface small pits to catch the head of the needle. A machine-made silver thimble takes more th...
-Thistle
[AS.] A plant with prickles along the stalks and leaves. There are many varieties. The cotton thistle, the musk thistle, and the bull or spear thistle are used as national emblems of Scotland. Seeds o...
-Thrush
A large family of insect-eating birds, found in nearly all parts of the world. The wood-thrush is one of the most abundant American species, and is noted for the beauty of its song. The hermit-thrush ...
-Thunder
[AS.] The loud noise which follows lightning. The rattle of a discharge of atmospheric electricity. ...
-Tnyme
[Gk.] A pungent, sweet-smelling plant, much used to give a relish to seasoning and soups. Oil of thyme, distilled from it, is used in liniments. ...
-Tick
A species of insect parasites which are often very annoying. They are of minute size and have the mouth shaped like a sucker. They are found in thick woods on plants, and attach themselves to any anim...
-Tides
[AS.] The rising and falling of the sea, caused by the moon's action. Owing to gravity, the moon exerts an attraction on every part of the earth, whether liquid or solid, but only the liquid parts whi...
-Tiger
[Gk.] A carnivorous-quadruped, like the lion in all its habits, except that it roams about by day as well as by night. In color it is yellow, with black stripes across the body. Its body is longer and...
-Tile
[AS. tigel.J A piece of baked clay of a curved or flat shape used in roofing houses or for drains. (See Brick.) ...
-Tin
[AS.] A metal white, like silver, easily melted or beaten out. Owing to the fact that it does not tarnish either in dry or moist air, it is much used for cooking-vessels, especially in the form of tin...
-Tin-Plate
The name given sheet-iron coated with tin. It is largely manufactured in South Wales, and of late years in the United States. The plates are dipped in acid and afterwards washed in water to insure the...
-Tinsel
[Fr.] A thin kind of cloth interwoven with gold or silver threads, or thin metal covered thinly with gold or silver. ...
-Tint
[Fr.] A shade of a color. Red and black make brown ; red and yellow, orange ; blue, black, and red, olive ; blue and lead, pearl; blue, white, and lake, purple ; blue, white, and black, pearl gray ; w...
-Titmouse
[O.E.] A little song bird which feeds on insects. The blue, marsh, crested, and long-tailed titmice are the best known European species. The chickadee or black cap tit is a common American species, an...
-Toad
[AS.] A crawling animal like the frog, but without teeth, and more terrestrial in its habits. It has a, thick and heavy body, covered with wart-like glands, which secrete an acid fluid. The tongue is ...
-Tobacco
[Span., from Ind.] A plant of the Nightshade family, the leaves of which when dried are used for smoking. It was found in America-in use among the Indians-by the Spanish discoverers. The plant is four...
-Toboggan
An Indian sledge, made of a piece of birch-bark, with the front end turned up, and a rope attached to drag it over the snow. This became much used by the white settlers in Canada, and is now employed ...
-Tomato
[Span.] An annual plant of the Nightshade family ; also its fruit, which was formerly called love apple. It is of a red or yellow color. The tomato is of South American origin, but is now an important...
-Tongue
[A.S.] The fleshy movable organ of the mouth, used to taste or speak. In some insects, as the butterfly,it is a very curious organ. TONGUE AND EYE OF BUTTERFLY. ...
-Tooth
[AS.] A small, hard body in the jaws, used for biting and chewing food. Like the nails and hair, teeth may really be considered as portions of the skin made compact and dense by the deposit of various...
-Topaz
A mineral ranked among the precious stones. It is found in Scotland, Cornwall, Saxony, Siberia, the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. The finest varieties are found in Brazil and the Ural Mountains, ...
-Torpedo
[L.] A kind of fish related to the rays, with the power of giving an electric shock ; also an explosive below the water to explode an enemy'sship when touched or fired by electricity, or a submarine b...
-Torpedo Boat
A recent form of naval vessel used to discharge torpedoes against a hostile vessel for the purpose' of destroying it. These vessels are small and very swift, some of them making over 30 knots an hour....
-Tortoise
[Fr., from L. tortus, twisted.] A creeping and swimming animal (so called from its crooked feet) covered with a hard shell, with openings for the head, legs, and tail. The tortoise is also called turt...
-Toucan
[Braz.] A fruit-eating bird, with a very large but light and thin beak, often as long as the body of the bird. It is brightly colored. ...
-Tourmaline
A mineral found frequently in granite, gneiss, and mica schist. Some varieties are more or less transparent, others opaque. The transparent colored kinds are used as jewels, and prisms of tourmaline a...
-Towner
[Fr. from L. Tunis.] A building of considerable height used for observations or for architectural effect. Gay-Lussac's and Glover's lowers are used in making sulphuric acid. The Tower of London is fam...
-Trade-Winds
Persistent winds which rise in the torrid and lower temperate zones and blow steadily towards the equator, being deflected westwardly by the earth's rotation, so that they become northeast or southeas...
-Tramway
[E. tram, a bar; and way.] The English term for a street railway; a road laid with beams or rails, on which wagons or carriages can run easily. ...
-Transit Instrument
An instrument for detecting the time of transit of a star across the meridian. It consists of a telescope mounted on a horizontal axis. ...
-Trap
[AS.] A contrivance to prevent the passage of offensive gases along a drain. The siphon trap, which is perhaps the best and simplest, is merely a bend in the pipe, which remains filled with water. The...
-Trapeze
[Gk.] A swinging bar, hung from a roof, on which athletes perform. ...
-Trawl
[Fr.] A net like a bag used for catching fish. It is attached to a beam with iron frames at its end, and is dragged at the bottom of the sea. ...
-Treacle
[Fr., from Gk. theriaka, drugs for healing the bites of wild beasts.] Molasses drained from sugar-refining molds. ...
-Trefoil
[Fr.,from L.tres, three; and folium, leaf.] A three-leaved ornament, like the three-leaved clover. ...
-Trellis
[Fr., from L. trichila, an arbor.] A kind of network made by crossing strips of wood or iron, for supporting climbing plants.orasascreen. ...
-Trepan
To take out a portion of the skull in case of injury to the head or disease of the brain. This is done by means of a small circular saw, which cuts out a round piece of the bone. In healing, the bone ...
-Trichina
A minute worm which infests the intestinal canal of certain animals, including man and the hog. This is in the adult procreative state. The young, larval trichinae bury themselves in the muscles, wher...
-Trout
[AS., from Gk. trogein, to eat.]. A beautiful silvery fresh-water fish of the genus Salmo, very much prized for food, and a favorite fish for anglers. The most important are the brown-trout and the sa...
-Tridacna
The largest of the bivalve molluscs. A single shell has been known to weigh more than 500 pounds. The valves are deeply furrowed and handsomely grooved, and are used as ornaments for grottoes and foun...
-Trilobite
A fossil crustacean belonging to the primary geologic age. There are numerous species in the Silurian and Devonian periods and a few in the coal strata, - named from their three-lobed bodies. Their ne...
-Trolley
Formerly a small truck or set of wheels carrying a box or car-body. Now a grooved wheel which rolls in contact with an electric wire, and takes off the current to transmit it to the motor of an electr...
-Trumpet
A wind musical instrument with a clear and ringing tone. Its scale in the lower octaves is limited to the first natural harmonics, but by valves or pistons trumpets can produec every note in their com...
-Tsetse Fly
An African insect, whose bite is harmless to man, but nearly always fatal to the ox, horse, or dog. It is about the size of the common house-fly, and lives by sucking blood. It is thought to transmit ...
-Tube-Rose
A variety of the primrose, cultivated in gardens for its vari-colored, gay-looking flowers. ...
-Tulip
[Fr., from Per., a turban.] A garden plant growing from a bulb, and so called because of its supposed likeness to a turban. In the seventeenth century the cultivation of tulips in Holland became a man...
-Tulle
[Fr.] A kind of thin silk or muslin netting for veils ; so called from Tulle, a town in France. ...
-Tumbler
A large drinking-glass, formerly so made that it could not be set down without tumbling over, and thus requiring the liquid to be finished at one draught; a kind of pigeon which tumbles when flying. ...
-Tuning-Fork
An instrument of steel like a fork, which when struck gives out a fixed tone taken as a key-note. ...
-Tunnel
[Fr.] A passage underground or through a hill. The St. Gothard tunnel is 91/2 miles long (48,840 feet); that of Mont Cenis, 39,840 feet; Hoosac, 25,080 feet; that under the Mersey 41/2 miles, includin...
-Tunny
[Gk., to dart along.] A large fish of the Mackerel kind, found in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. ...
-Turbine
[L.] A water-wheel with curved floats or buckets, against which the water acts either from above downward or from below, or inward from an external casing. ...
-Turbot
[Fr., from L. turbo, a whipping top.] A large, round flat-fish of the Flounder kind, used for food. The upper side is brownish and lower side white. It is voracious and feeds on other fishes. It is ab...
-Tureen
[Fr., from L. terra, earth.] A large, deep dish of earthenware in which soup is served. ...
-Turnkey
A large scratching fowl, which received its name because it was by some supposed to come from Turkey, but really a native of North America. It is now bred in many countries. The tame turkey is duller ...
-Turmeric
The root of an East Indian ginger-like plant. It is used as a curry, to give color to varnishes, to dye silks and woolens yellow, and as a test for alkalies. ...
-Turnip
[Fr. tour, a turn; and AS. naep, a turnip.] A plant with a large round root, tapering downwards. A native of Europe and the temperate parts of Asia. It is a common garden vegetable, and in many countr...
-Turpentine
[Gk. terebinthos.] The oily resin of the terebinth and some kinds of larch, fir, and pine. A cut is made through the bark of the tree, and the sap flows into jars. This is viscous like honey, and is c...
-Turquoise Turkois
[Same word as Turkish.] A precious stone of bluish-green or sky-blue color, brought from Persia. It is a phosphate of aluminium, its color beingdue to the presence of iron or copper. ...
-Turtle
[From Span, for tortoise.] A reptile enclosed in a double shield or shell, from which the head, legs, and tail are protruded, but under which they can be drawn. The shell is an expansion of the verteb...
-Tusk
[AS.] A very long, pointed tooth on each side of the mouth, found in certain wild animals, as wild boars, elephants, etc. ...
-Twilight
[AS. twi, double; and light.] The dim, faint light before sunrise or after sunset. It is produced when the sun is 180 below the horizon by the reflection of the sun's light from the higher regions of ...
-Type
(Gk. typtein, to strike.] A letter cast in metal in a mold or cut in wood for printing. Including fancy types, some three or four hundred varieties of face are made. Besides ordinary Roman and Italic,...
-Typewriter
A machine which is used t o print Roman letters in place of script writing - for all work usually done with a pen. There are many kinds, but most of them have key boards; by depressing these types are...
-Typhoon
A ferocious whirlwind or tornado, common in the China seas, and of irresistible violence. ...
-Umber
[Fr., from L. umbra, shade.] A brown or reddish kind of earth, consisitng of clays mixed with oxides of iron and manganese. It is used in oil and water-color painting. ...
-Umbrella
[L. umbra, shade.] A shade or screen used as a protection from the rays of the sun or from rain. It is formed of strips of whalebone or steel fastened to a stick or hollow iron rod and covered with si...
-Univalve
A mollusc whose shell consists of only one piece, as distinguished from the bivalve, or double-shelled molluscs, like the oyster. The univalves are the most numerous of the molluscs, and differ very g...
-Upas
[Malay.] A poison, used to poison arrows, contained in the upas trees, a native of Java and Borneo. It was formerly supposed to have fatal effects, from its severe narcotic properties, to all animals ...
-Uranium
[From the planet Uranus, discovered about the same time.] A metal discovered in 1789, as a constituent of several minerals. It is a very hard metal, resembling nickel and iron in appearance. Peroxide ...
-Uranus
The planet next beyond Saturn, and supposed to be the outermost until the discovery of Neptune. Its distance from the sun is 1,771,000,000 miles ; its diameter 31,700 miles ; its year 84 earthly years...
-Uric Acid
A crystalline body present in the urine of man and of most mammals, and sometimes called lithic acid, because of its presence in calculus. ...
-Ursa
[L.] The Bear-a name given to two groups of stars near the north' polar star, he Ursa Minor, or Lesser Bear, contains the pole star. The Ursa Major, or Great Bear, consists of a group of seven bright ...
-Vaccination
[L. vacca, a cow.] Jenner in 1796 noticed that persons who had much to do with cows, and who had caught from these animals a mild disease known as cow-pox, did not afterwards catch small-pox. The lymp...
-Vacuum
A space devoid of matter. The term is ordinarily applied to the results of the exhaustion, of air from a chamber of glass or other substance. The vacuum produced by the air pum p is far from perfect, ...
-Valance
[Fr. Valence, a town near Lyons.] The hangings round a window or the lower part of a bed. ...
-Valve
[L. valva, the leaf of a folding door.] A kind of flap or lid in a pipe or a blood-vessel which allows a fluid or gas to flow only in one direction, as in the common pump. There are a flap-valve, pupp...
-Vanilla
A climbing plant, native of Mexico and tropical America, with long pod-like capsules and a delicate odor. From it is extracted an oil used in confectionery and perfumery. The pods are cut and ground.a...
-Varnish
[Fr., from L. vitrum, glass.] A liquid laid on a surface to make it glossy. According to the solvents used, varnishes are divided into spirit, turpentine, and oil varnishes. The chief resins used in v...
-Vaseline
A yellowish, translucent, and odorless substance, obtained in the purifying of crude petroleum, used as an ointment and in the arts. ...
-Vault
[Fr., from L. volutus, rolled.] A roof or ceiling in the form of an arch, or an underground room with arched roof. A groined vault has the roof groined, or with different cylindrical surfaces intersec...
-Vegetable
[L.] A plant grown for food, as the cabbage, potato, turnip, etc. The vegetable kingdom is the primary division of living things, which includes all plants, and is divided into Phanerogamia, or plants...
-Vegetation
The growth of plants. Vegetation occurs over the whole globe under the most opposite conditions. Plants flourish in the bed of the ocean as well as on land; under the extremes of cold and heat in the ...
-Vellum
[L. vitulus, a calf.] Calf-skin prepared for writing, and finer kinds of parchments. ...
-Velvet
[Ital. velluto.] A pile formed of silk, or a mixture of silk and cotton, by short pieces of thread crowded together, or woven with a third set of threads so closely that they stand up and hide the war...
-Veneer
[Fr.] A thin slice of wood of one kind glued on the surface of another to give it a good appearance. (See Wood.) ...
-Venus
The second planet in order from thesun, from which it is 67,000,000 miles distant, and around which it revolves in nearly 225 days. Its diameter is about 7,760 miles, very near to that of the earth. T...
-Veranda
[Port.] A kind of covered gallery or balcony in front of a house. ...
-Verbena
[L.] A herbaceous plant with beautiful flowers. Essence of verbena is prepared from the lemon verbena, a plant with a lemon flavor. ...
-Verdigris
[L., green of brass.] Acetate of copper; poisonous green rust formed on brass or copper. It is used for making green paint and for dyeing wool black, in gilding and in calico printing. ...
-Vermicelli
[Ital., from L. vermis, worm.] Dough of wheat flour forced through small pipes or holes into worm-like threads. Macaront is made through larger tubes. ...
-Vermillon
[Fr., from L, vermis, worm.] A bright scarlet color got from the cochineal worm or insect. The vermilion of commerce is got by heating sulphur and mercury, and also by electricity. It is used in paint...
-Vernier
A small scale made to slide along the edge of a larger one, 10 divisions of the smaller being equal to 9 or 11 of the larger. Invented by Pierre Vernier to measure tenth and hundredth parts. ...
-Vertebra
[L., a joint.] One of the twenty-six separate bones, called vertebrae, firmly united together to form the spinal column or backbone (q.v.) in man and the higher animals. ...
-Vice
[Fr. vis, a screw.] An instrument with two strong jaws, closed by a screw, lever, or cam, for holding things firmly when being filed. In the blacksmith's vice the front jaw reaches down further than i...
-Vine
[Fr., from L, vinum.] A climbing plant bearing grapes from which wine is made. All the European varieties are supposed to belong to one species, Vitis vinifera. The chief districts are France, Spain,...
-Vinegar
[Fr;] A sour liquid, used as a relish for food, made from wine, cider, beer, malt, etc. The sourness is due to the presence of acetic acid, and of this there is from 3 to 5 per cent. ...
-Violet
[Fr., from L. viola.] A low creeping plant with a small flower, having a delicate fragrance. Sweet violet is the Viola odorata. Pansy is the Viola tricolor, and is also called heart's-ease. ...
-Violin
[Fr.] A musical instrument with four strings, played with a bow. Its tones are brilliant and of great power and variety, and in the orchestra it is the leading and most important instrument. - Viola, ...
-Viper
[Fr., from L, vivus, living; and pareo, I beget.] A poisonous serpent; so named because it was the only serpent that was supposed to bring forth its young alive. The varieties include the common viper...
-Vitascope
A moving series of photographs, giving the appearance of a living picture. Various names are given to the different forms of this, as biograph, mutascope, etc. ...
-Vitriol
[Fr., from L. vitrum, glass.] A glassy-looking substance consisting of sulphur and copper or zinc. Also the popular name for sulphuric acid (q. v.). Blue vitriol is sulphate of copper; green vitriol i...
-Volcano
[Ital., from L. Vulcanus, god of fire.] A burning mountain, with an opening at the top called a crater, from which fire, steam, lava, cinders, etc., are thrown up. ...
-Vulcanite
India-rubber (q. v.), or similar sub-stance, hardened by heating with sulphur, and made into combs, buttons, etc. ...
-Vulure
[L.] An important family of birds of prey. The neck of the vulture is bare, but at the lower part there is a loose fold of skin covered with feathers under which it draws its head to keep it warm. Vul...
-Wafer
[Fr. from Ger.] A thin cake of paste used in closing letters. - A thin cake or piece of ground bread used in the mass. This is usually unleavened, circular, and stamped with a crucifix or monogram. ...
-Wagtail
A small song-bird belonging to the genus Motacilla, and so called because it jerks its tail up and down. The common water wagtail is also called the pied wagtail. It is mixed white and black in color,...
-Wainscot
A boarding or lining of oak or other timber in panels. ...
-Wall-Flower
A perennial plant with sweet-smelling flowers, growing in old walls and among ruins. It varies in color from yellow to orange and deep red. ...
-Walnut
[AS.] A tree of large size, with alternate, pinnate leaves, found chiefly in North America. The black walnut is a beautiful timber tree found in the United States, with a heart-wood of a warm brown co...
-Walrus
[Du., from Scand., the whale-horse.] A large polar animal allied to the seal - also named Morse. Two of its upper teeth are prolonged into huge tusks, which measure from one to two feet, and weig...
-Warp
[AS.] The threads running the long way way of the loom and crossed by the woof. (See Spinning, Weft.) ...
-Wart
[AS.] A small, hard growth on the skin, generally on the hands. - Wart-hog is a large African wild hog with large fleshy tubercles or warts behind the tusks, and a second pair behind the eyes, and wit...
-Wasp
[AS] An insect somewhat like the bee but its wings when at rest are laid over the body, and it has a deep division between the thorax and abdomen. Some live in colonies and some alone. When win...
-Watch
[AS.] A pocket timepiece. The train of wheels is the same as in a clock, but the main-spring and balance take the place of the weight and the pendulum in a clock. Watches are made mostly in Switzerlan...
-Water
[AS.] The fluid which falls in rain ana forms rivers and seas. Like air, water was formerly considered a simple substance; but about a century ago the compound nature of water was discovered. Now it i...
-Watermelon
A fruit of a species of the genus cucumis, to which the cucumber also belongs, also the common musk-melon or cantaloupe. The watermelon plant is a running vine that bears a very large, round fruit, wi...
-Water-Gas
A kind of gas made by forcing steam over glowing coke. This yields a heat-giving mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is charged with carbon and made suitable for illuminating purposes by pa...
-Waterspout
A whirling storm at sea, similar in appearance to a tornado on land. From a dense cloud descends a conical pillar, of funnel-shape, under which the sea is violently disturbed, rising in a cone. Someti...
-Water Wheel
A wheel turned by flowing or falling water and setting machinery in motion. There are three kinds, over-shot, undershot, and breast wheels, named from the level at which the water strikes their float ...
-Wave
[AS.] A moving ridge or swell on the surface of water. Waves in deep water move onward, but the water of which they are composed is continually changing. Scoresby gave 600 feet as the maximum length o...
-Wax
[AS.] A thick sticky stuff of a yellowish color made by bees (q. v.) to form cells for honey, and used in making sealing-wax (q. v.), in modeling and in making wax-cloth or floorcloth. Mineral wax is ...
-Weasel
[AS.] A small flesh-eating animal with red and white soft silky fur. Its body is about seven inches long, its legs are short, and it has five claws on each foot. Its head is round, its muzzle sharp, i...
-Weather
The state of the air at any time as regards heat, moisture, wind, rain, clouds, and electricity. The pressure of the atmosphere is an important factor in bringing about atmospheric changes, because ai...
-Weaver-Bird
A bird like a finch or sparrow, found in Asia and Africa, with hanging nest composed of interlaced grass. Some make their nests in the shape of a retort, with the opening at the bottom of the tube. I ...
-Wedge
[AS.] A piece of wood or metal, thick at one end and thin at the other, for splitting or fastening. The wedge is one of the six mechanical powers. ...
-Weed
[AS.] Wild plants in cultivated ground. Weeds injure crops in several ways. They absorb some of the plant-food which has been prepared for the crop, and they keep air and sunlight from the cultivated ...
-Weft
[ VS.] The cross threads of a web carried by the shuttle from selvage to selvage, woven into the warp. ...
-Well
[AS.] A deposit of water reached by a hole sunk in the earth. The water in wells is of the same nature as that of springs. Many towns are supplied with water from deep wells which reach beds of sandst...
-Whale
[AS.] A large swimming animal. The whale is not a fish, for its young are born alive, and are suckled, instead of coming out of eggs as young fishes do. Seals have feet that are more fitted for moving...
-Wheat
[AS.] One of the cereal plants from whose seeds bread is made. After Indian-corn, it is the most important of American food plants, and is widely grown in the temperate regions of the remainder of the...
-Wheel
[AS.] A circular frame turning round on an axle. The radii are spokes which are fixed in the nave or hub, through which is inserted the axle.- Wheel and axle, one of the six simple machines or mechani...
-Whelk
[AS.] A shell-fish with a spiral shell, belonging to the genus Buccinum. It is common on the coasts of Europe and North America, and is used for food. ...
-Whey
[AS. ] The watery part of milk separated from the curd in making cheese. The greater part of the whey is water; but in this water are dissolved the milk-sugar and the mineral matter of the milk; the m...
-Whip-poor-Will
A North American bird of the Goatsucker or Nightjar family. It takes its name from its loud and plaintive nocturnal cry. Some regard it as a bird of ill omen. ...
-Whirlpool
A body of water whirling in a circle, and drawing into its centre whatever enters its waters. Whirlpools are situated in channels similar in configuration and in tidal phenomena. Chary bdis is in the ...
-Whiskey
[Celt. wisge, water.] Spirit distilled from grain, potatoes, etc. Scotch or malt whiskey has the malt dried over a peat fire ; Irish or grain whiskey is made from raw barley. ...
-Whist
[From hush.] A game of cards for four, in which each person holds thirteen cards, and when these are played out the cards are shuffled and again given out. In short whist five points make the game, an...
-Whitebait
A small fish of the Herring kind, prized for food. It is supposed to be the fry of both herrings and sprats, the proportion of the latter being greaterin winter, while the herrings are more numerous i...
-Whortleberry
[Cor. of myrtillus.] A plant which grows abundantly in heaths and woods, and bears evergreen leaves, and a blue berry which may be eaten; also the bilberry, and in America the huckleberry. The cowberr...
-Willow
[AS.] A tree whose branches are slender and easily bent, used for basket making and wicker-work. The Weeping willow is a very ornamental species of Chinese origin, and has long slender branches that h...
-Wincey
A cloth made of linen and wool mixed. Also called linsey-woolsey. ...
-Winds
Currents of air having their origin in the different pressures which exist in various regions of the atmosphere. Since the sun is shining more powerfully upon the equatorial than upon the more norther...
-Wine
[AS., from L. vinum.] A drink made from the sweet juices of fruits, which are pressed allowed to fermeut, and then bottled. Grapes are chiefly used for wine-making. Sherry and port are made in Spain a...
-Wing
[Scand.] The appendage of the body of a bird or insect, by means of which it flies. The framework of the bird's wing is formed of a set of bones corresponding to those of the human arm and hand, but h...
-Witch
A woman supposed to have a compact with the devil or with evil spirits, and given the power to perform supernatural acts. A man with similar power is called a wizard. Supposed witches have been persec...
-Wintergreen
A common American plant, about 4 or 5 inches high, with small whitish flowers and red berries. It is also known as partridge-berry, checker-berry, mountain tea, and by other names. The plant has a ple...
-Wireless Telegraphy
A newly invented method of sending electric telegraph messages without the aid of wires. The best-known invention is that of Marconi, an Italian electrician, the message being sent by the use of a pow...
-Wolf
[AS.] A carnivorous animal of the Dog family. It is very cruel, fierce, and destructive, but is capable of great affection. In many respects it is like a neglected savage dog. It does not bark, but gi...
-Wood
[AS.] The solid part of trees; trees cut down and sawn into boards. The wood used in the construction of houses is chiefly obtained from pine and from fir trees, the wood of both being called pine-woo...
-Woodbine
[AS.] A climbing plant with sweet-smelling flowers; the honeysuckle. ...
-Woodchuck Or Ground-Hog
An American species of the Marmots, a genus of rodents. This animal, from 15 to 18 inches long, burrows in the earth, and often commits great havoc in fields of clover, of which it is very fond. The p...
-Woodcock
A bird allied to the snipe, frequenting woods, and considered as game. It is nocturnal in its habits. The little woodcock is the snipe. ...
-Woodpecker
A bird having a hard pointed bill for pecking holes in trees, and a long tongue for drawing out insects from holes or crevices. This tongue is armed near the end with sharp barbs, pointed backward lik...
-Wood-Pulp
A fibrous material prepared from wood by grinding or by chemical means, and used, soaked in water, for making printing and other paper, and for various small wares, such as plates, basins, and pails. ...
-Wool
[AS.] The natural covering of certain animals, the best known of which is the sheep. The sheep is a tame or domestic animal, but in certain countries, as Asia, North America, and in parts of Europe (S...
-Worm
[AS. wyrm, a worm or snake.] Earth-worms are humble animals, yet they are valuable aids to the agriculturist. On making a section down through the earth for several feet, there will be found innumerab...
-Worsted
[From Worsted or Worstead, a village in Norfolk.] Wool twisted into thread used for knitting stockings. Long yarn is made by drawing, gilling, and combing. Short wools are first carded and afterwards ...
-Wort
[AS.] A plant of the Cabbage kind ; also the sweet liquor obtained by steeping crushed grain in hot water, which ferments and forms beer {q.v.). ...
-Wren
[AS.] A small brown bird having active and lively habits. It has a domed nest needlessly large for the size of the bird, and near an occupied nest are generally one or more nests unfinished. It is ext...
-Yacht
[Du.] A swift, light boat fitted up for pleasure-sailing or for racing. Yacht-racing dates from the beginning of the nineteenth century, during which it was greatly developed. Important international ...
-Yak
[Tibetan.] A large ox, very sure-footed, found in the plains of Central Asia. It is like the long-horned Scottish cattle, but more strongly built. In color it is black, and it has long hair, especiall...
-Yam
A large plant, with roots somewhat like the potato, grown in warm countries. The clusters of flowers are separately small, but together are showy. Most yams contain an acrid matter which is lost in co...
-Yarn
[AS.] The fibre of cotton, flax, hemp, silk, or wool spun into threads. Throughout all the changes of modern yarn-spinning, the rotating spindle continues to be the chief implement. ...
-Yawl
[Du.] A small ship's boat rowed with four or six oars. ...
-Year
[AS.] The time which the earth takes to go round the sun. The tropical year is the interval between two successive passages of the sun through the first point of Aries. Its mean length is 365 days 5 h...
-Yeast
[AS.] The froth that rises on the top of liquors in the process of fermentation; or the substance used for raising dough to be baked into bread (q. v.). Although yeast looks like a liquid to the naked...
-Yellow Bird
This bird is known as the American Gold-finch or Thistle-bird. It is generally distributed over North America. The male is bright yellow, with black tail and wings marked with white and with black on ...
-Yellow-Hammer
A British song-bird with yellow feathers. This bird breeds late, and continues to sing until late in the year. ...
-Yew
[AS.] An evergreen tree like the pine used either in hedges or separately. Its wood is hard and close-grained, and its young branches owing to their toughness, were formerly mud used for bows. Old yew...
-Yucca
[Span.] A kind of lily peculiar to North America. Some kinds have underground stems and dagger-like leaves; others have palm-like stems crowned with dense tufts of leaves. They yield coarse fibres use...
-Yule
[AS.] The old English word for Christmas still used in provincial parts of England. The bringing in of the Yule log, for burning on the Christmas hearths, was a festive ceremony. ...
-Zebra
[Port.] A kind of wild as3, of the genus Equus, perhaps the most beautiful animal of this tribe. It is pale yellow or white in color, with black or brown stripes. It lives in large herds in the mounta...
-Zebu
[Fr.] A variety of the Ox family with short horns, long ears, and a large hump over the shoulders, found in India and the Asiatic islands, and along the east coast of Africa. Some are of large size an...
-Zenith
[Fr., from Arab.] The point in the celestial sphere which a person standing on the earth at any point sees directly overhead; directly opposite to the nadir. ...
-Zinc
A metal of a bluish-white color, having a crystalline structure. It is brittle at ordinary temperatures, but when heated it becomes malleable, and does not lose this quality when cooled. If raised to ...
-Zodiac
A broad belt running round the heavens parallel to the ecliptic, and extending about 8 on each side of it. It is the area within which the motions of the sun, moon, and the greater planets lie. T...
-Zodiacal Light
A remarkable luminous appearance in the sky, seen in the west after sunset, and in the east before sunrise, at certain seasons of the year. It is a triangle of light, of greatest intensity within the ...
-The Home Circle Made Happy
THE HOME CIRCLE MADE HAPPY The Twentieth Century Home is a measure of the advance made by modern civilization over that of all previous centuries. Music, art and literature contribute their best t...

The Home Cyclopedia Of Necessary Knowledge

Embracing Five Books In One Volume

Book I. The Home Cyclopedia Of General Information

Book II. The Home Cyclopedia Of Business

Book III. The Home Cyclopedia Of History

Book IV. The Home Cyclopedia Of Cooking And Housekeeping

Book V. The Home Cyclopedia Of Health And Medicine










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