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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [battle]

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battle

BAT'TLE, n. [See Beat.] Owen supposes the Welsh batel, to be from tel, tight, stretched, compact, and the word primarily to have expressed the drawing of the bow. This is probably an error. The first battles of men were with clubs, or some weapons used in beating, striking. Hence the club of Hercules. And although the moderns use different weapons, still a battle is some mode of beating or striking.]

1. A fight, or encounter between enemies, or opposing armies; an engagement. It is usually applied to armies or large bodies of men; but in popular language, the word is applied to an encounter between small bodies, between individuals, or inferior animals. It is also more generally applied to the encounters of land forces than of ships; the encounters of the latter being called engagements. But battle is applicable to any combat of enemies.

2. A body of forces, or division of an army.

The main body, as distinct from the van and rear.

To give battle, is to attack an enemy; to join battle, is properly to meet the attack; but perhaps this distinction is not always observed.

A pitched battle is one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces.

To turn the battle to the gate, is to fight valiantly, and drive the enemy, who hath entered the city, back to the gate. Is.28.

BAT'TLE, v.i. To join in battle; to contend in fight; sometimes with it; as, to battle it.

BAT'TLE, v.t. To cover with armed force.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [battle]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

BAT'TLE, n. [See Beat.] Owen supposes the Welsh batel, to be from tel, tight, stretched, compact, and the word primarily to have expressed the drawing of the bow. This is probably an error. The first battles of men were with clubs, or some weapons used in beating, striking. Hence the club of Hercules. And although the moderns use different weapons, still a battle is some mode of beating or striking.]

1. A fight, or encounter between enemies, or opposing armies; an engagement. It is usually applied to armies or large bodies of men; but in popular language, the word is applied to an encounter between small bodies, between individuals, or inferior animals. It is also more generally applied to the encounters of land forces than of ships; the encounters of the latter being called engagements. But battle is applicable to any combat of enemies.

2. A body of forces, or division of an army.

The main body, as distinct from the van and rear.

To give battle, is to attack an enemy; to join battle, is properly to meet the attack; but perhaps this distinction is not always observed.

A pitched battle is one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces.

To turn the battle to the gate, is to fight valiantly, and drive the enemy, who hath entered the city, back to the gate. Is.28.

BAT'TLE, v.i. To join in battle; to contend in fight; sometimes with it; as, to battle it.

BAT'TLE, v.t. To cover with armed force.


BAT'TLE, n. [Fr. bataille; W. batel, a drawing of the bow, a battle; Sp. batalla; It. battaglia, from beating. See Beat. Owen supposes the Welsh batel, to be from tel, tight, stretched, compact, and the word primarily to have expressed the drawing of the bow. This is probably an error. The first battles of men were with clubs, or some weapons used in beating, striking. Hence the club of Hercules. And although the moderns use different weapons, still a battle is some mode of beating or striking.]

  1. A fight, or encounter between enemies, or opposing armies; an engagement. It is usually applied to armies or large bodies of men; but in popular language, the word is applied to an encounter between small bodies, between individuals, or inferior animals. It is also more generally applied to the encounters of land forces than of ships, the encounters of the latter being called engagements. But battle is applicable to any combat of enemies.
  2. A body of forces, or division of an army. – Bacon. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear. [Obs.] – Hayward. To give battle, is to attack an enemy; to join battle, is properly to meet the attack; but perhaps this distinction is not always observed. A pitched battle, is one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces. To turn the battle to the gate, is to fight valiantly, and drive the enemy, who hath entered the city, back to the gate. – Is. xxviii.

BAT'TLE, v.i. [Fr. batailler; Sp. batallar.]

To join in battle; to contend in fight; sometimes with it; as, to battle it. – Addison.


BAT'TLE, v.t.

To cover with armed force. – Fairfax.


Bat"tle
  1. Fertile. See Battel, a.

    [Obs.]
  2. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement; a combat.
  3. To join in battle] to contend in fight; as, to battle over theories.

    To meet in arms, and battle in the plain.
    Prior.

  4. To assail in battle; to fight.
  5. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of life.

    The whole intellectual battle that had at its center the best poem of the best poet of that day.
    H. Morley.

  6. A division of an army; a battalion.

    [Obs.]

    The king divided his army into three battles.
    Bacon.

    The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action.
    Robertson.

  7. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear; battalia.

    [Obs.] Hayward.

    * Battle is used adjectively or as the first part of a self- explaining compound; as, battle brand, a "brand" or sword used in battle; battle cry; battlefield; battle ground; battle array; battle song.

    Battle piece, a painting, or a musical composition, representing a battle. -- Battle royal. (a) A fight between several gamecocks, where the one that stands longest is the victor. Grose. (b) A contest with fists or cudgels in which more than two are engaged; a mêlée. Thackeray. -- Drawn battle, one in which neither party gains the victory. -- To give battle, to attack an enemy. -- To join battle, to meet the attack; to engage in battle. -- Pitched battle, one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces. -- Wager of battle. See under Wager, n.

    Syn. -- Conflict; encounter; contest; action. Battle, Combat, Fight, Engagement. These words agree in denoting a close encounter between contending parties. Fight is a word of less dignity than the others. Except in poetry, it is more naturally applied to the encounter of a few individuals, and more commonly an accidental one; as, a street fight. A combat is a close encounter, whether between few or many, and is usually premeditated. A battle is commonly more general and prolonged. An engagement supposes large numbers on each side, engaged or intermingled in the conflict.

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Battle

BAT'TLE, noun [See Beat.] Owen supposes the Welsh batel, to be from tel, tight, stretched, compact, and the word primarily to have expressed the drawing of the bow. This is probably an error. The first battles of men were with clubs, or some weapons used in beating, striking. Hence the club of Hercules. And although the moderns use different weapons, still a battle is some mode of beating or striking.]

1. A fight, or encounter between enemies, or opposing armies; an engagement. It is usually applied to armies or large bodies of men; but in popular language, the word is applied to an encounter between small bodies, between individuals, or inferior animals. It is also more generally applied to the encounters of land forces than of ships; the encounters of the latter being called engagements. But battle is applicable to any combat of enemies.

2. A body of forces, or division of an army.

The main body, as distinct from the van and rear.

To give battle is to attack an enemy; to join battle is properly to meet the attack; but perhaps this distinction is not always observed.

A pitched battle is one in which the armies are previously drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the forces.

To turn the battle to the gate, is to fight valiantly, and drive the enemy, who hath entered the city, back to the gate. Isaiah 28:6.

BAT'TLE, verb intransitive To join in battle; to contend in fight; sometimes with it; as, to battle it.

BAT'TLE, verb transitive To cover with armed force.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

underlay

UNDERLA'Y, v.t. To lay beneath; to support by something laid under.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

First dictionary of the American Language!

Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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