Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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Welcome to Wisdom4Today’s online library resource of the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. We have provided this page as a resource to help the student of God’s Word to understand the definitions and origins of words as they were known in the times of America’s founding and the years immediately following.  We believe this is important because many words, which are in use today have lost their original meaning and in many cases have come to mean something totally different from their grammatical and historical origins.

As we refer to each word in the text of articles, pages, and multimedia presentations on this site, we will add the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary reference to this library. Likewise, any words not mentioned here can be found at our resource site : The ARTFL Project, The University of Chicago Department of Romance Languages and Literature, which can be accessed at .

The reason we chose the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is because the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary was the first dictionary in American that was created to standardize the spelling and definitions of words. Likewise, the dictionary often references Bible verses as examples of the words used in context. The following information about Noah Webster is an excerpt from http://noahwebsterhouse.org:

Noah Webster was born on October 16, 1758 in the West Division of Hartford, Connecticut (now West Hartford). Webster grew up in an average colonial family – his father farmed and worked as a weaver, while his mother worked at home. At the time, few people went to college, but Webster enjoyed learning so much that his parents sent him to Yale, Connecticut’s first college.

During his years as a student and then as a schoolteacher, Webster realized the American education system needed to be updated. Children of all ages were crammed into one-room schoolhouses with no desks, poor books, and untrained teachers. Although this was after the American Revolution, their books came from England, often pledging their allegiance to King George. Webster believed that Americans should learn from American books, so in 1783, he wrote his own textbook: A Grammatical Institute of the English Language. It earned its nickname, the “Blue-Backed Speller”, because of its characteristic blue cover. For over 100 years, Webster’s book taught children to read, spell and pronounce words. It was the most popular American book of its time, selling nearly 100 million copies.

In 1801, Webster started working on defining the words that Americans use. He did this because Americans spoke and used words differently than the English, and to help people who lived in different parts of the country to speak and spell the same way.

In his dictionary, Webster used American spellings like “color” instead of the English “colour” and “music” instead of “musick”. He also added American words that weren’t in English dictionaries like “skunk” and “squash.” His first edition, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1806. This book offered brief definitions of about 37,000 words. It took him 22 more years to finish his American Dictionary of the English Language. When he finished in 1828, at the age of 70, Noah’s dictionary defined over 65,000 words.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary Word List

Webster's 1828 Dictionary