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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 [countenance]

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countenance

COUNTENANCE, n. [L., to hold.]

1. Literally, the contents of a body; the outline and extent which constitutes the whole figure or external appearance. Appropriately, the human face; the whole form of the face, or system of features; visage.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. Proverbs 15.

Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. Matthew 6.

2. Air; look; aspect; appearance of the face; as in the phrase, to change or alter the countenance.

3. The face or look of a beast; as a horse of a good countenance.

4. Favor; good will; kindness.

Thou hast made him glad with thy countenance. Psalm 21.

Hence in scriptural language, the light of Gods countenance is his smiles or favorable regards, his favor and grace; and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids. So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns. Psalm 80.

This application of face or countenance, which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal; a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would of course express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner; the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence,

5. Support; aid; patronage; encouragement; favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause.

It is the province of the magistrate, to give countenance to piety and virtue.

Let religion enjoy the countenance of the laws.

Give no countenance to violations of moral duty.

6. Show; resemblance; superficial appearance.

The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.

7. In law, credit or estimation.

To keep the countenance, is to preserve a calm, composed or natural look, unruffled by passion; to refrain from expressing laughter, joy, anger or other passion, by an unchanged countenance.

In countenance, in favor; in estimation.

If the profession of religion were in countenance among men of distinction, it would have a happy effect on society.

To keep in countenance, to give assurance or courage to; to support; to aid by favor; to prevent from shame or dismay.

To put in countenance, to give assurance; to encourage; or to bring into favor; to support.

Out of countenance, confounded; abashed; with the countenance cast down; not bold or assured.

To put out of countenance, to cause the countenance to fall; to abash; to intimidate; to disconcert.

COUNTENANCE, v.t.

1. To favor; to encourage by opinion or words.

The design was made known to the minister, but he said nothing to countenance it.

2. To aid; to support; to encourage; to abet; to vindicate; by any means.

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. Exodus 23.

3. To encourage; to appear in defense.

He countenanced the landing in his long boat.

4. To make a show of.

Each to these ladies love did countenance.

5. To keep an appearance.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [countenance]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

COUNTENANCE, n. [L., to hold.]

1. Literally, the contents of a body; the outline and extent which constitutes the whole figure or external appearance. Appropriately, the human face; the whole form of the face, or system of features; visage.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. Proverbs 15.

Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. Matthew 6.

2. Air; look; aspect; appearance of the face; as in the phrase, to change or alter the countenance.

3. The face or look of a beast; as a horse of a good countenance.

4. Favor; good will; kindness.

Thou hast made him glad with thy countenance. Psalm 21.

Hence in scriptural language, the light of Gods countenance is his smiles or favorable regards, his favor and grace; and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids. So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns. Psalm 80.

This application of face or countenance, which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal; a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would of course express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner; the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence,

5. Support; aid; patronage; encouragement; favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause.

It is the province of the magistrate, to give countenance to piety and virtue.

Let religion enjoy the countenance of the laws.

Give no countenance to violations of moral duty.

6. Show; resemblance; superficial appearance.

The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.

7. In law, credit or estimation.

To keep the countenance, is to preserve a calm, composed or natural look, unruffled by passion; to refrain from expressing laughter, joy, anger or other passion, by an unchanged countenance.

In countenance, in favor; in estimation.

If the profession of religion were in countenance among men of distinction, it would have a happy effect on society.

To keep in countenance, to give assurance or courage to; to support; to aid by favor; to prevent from shame or dismay.

To put in countenance, to give assurance; to encourage; or to bring into favor; to support.

Out of countenance, confounded; abashed; with the countenance cast down; not bold or assured.

To put out of countenance, to cause the countenance to fall; to abash; to intimidate; to disconcert.

COUNTENANCE, v.t.

1. To favor; to encourage by opinion or words.

The design was made known to the minister, but he said nothing to countenance it.

2. To aid; to support; to encourage; to abet; to vindicate; by any means.

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. Exodus 23.

3. To encourage; to appear in defense.

He countenanced the landing in his long boat.

4. To make a show of.

Each to these ladies love did countenance.

5. To keep an appearance.

COUN'TE-NANCE, n. [Fr. contenance, from contenant, containing, from contenir, to contain, L. contineo; con and teneo, to hold.]

  1. Literally, the contents of a body; the outline and extent which constitutes the whole figure or external appearance. Appropriately, the human face; the whole form of the face, or system of features; visage. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. – Prov. xv. Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. – Matth. vi.
  2. Air; look; aspect; appearance of the face; as in the phrase, to change or alter the countenance.
  3. The face or look of a beast; as, a horse of a good countenance.
  4. Favor; good will; kindness. Thou hast made him glad with thy countenance. – Ps. xxi. Hence in Scriptural language, the light of God's countenance is his smiles or favorable regards, his favor and grace; and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids. So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns. – Ps. lxxx. This application of face or countenance, which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal; a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would of course express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner; the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence,
  5. Support; aid; patronage; encouragement; favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause. Let religion enjoin the countenance of the laws. Give no countenance to violations of moral duty. It is the province of the magistrate, to give countenance to piety and virtue. – Atterbury.
  6. Show; resemblance; superficial appearance. The election being done, he made countenance of great content thereat. – Ascham.
  7. In law, credit or estimation. – Cowel. To keep the countenance, is to preserve a calm, composed or natural look, unruffled by passion; to refrain from expressing laughter, joy, anger, or other passion, by an unchanged countenance. In countenance, in favor; in estimation. If the profession of religion were in countenance among men of distinction, it would have a happy effect on society. To keep in countenance, to give assurance or courage to; to support; to aid by favor; to prevent from shame or dismay. To put in countenance, to give assurance; to encourage; or to bring into favor; to support. Out of countenance, confounded; abashed; with the countenance cast down; not bold or assured. To put out of countenance, to cause the countenance to fall; to abash; to intimidate; to disconcert.

COUN'TE-NANCE, v.t.

  1. To favor; to encourage by opinion or words. The design was made known to the minister, but he said nothing to countenance it. – Anon.
  2. To aid; to support; to encourage; to abet; to vindicate, by any means. Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. – Ex. xxiii.
  3. To encourage; to appear in defense. He countenanced the landing in his long boat. – Wotton.
  4. To make a show of. Each to these ladies love did countenance. – Spenser.
  5. To keep an appearance. – Shak.

Coun"te*nance
  1. Appearance or expression of the face; look; aspect; mien.

    So spake the Son, and into terror changed
    His countenance.
    Milton.

  2. To encourage] to favor; to approve; to aid; to abet.

    This conceit, though countenanced by learned men, is not made out either by experience or reason.
    Sir T. Browne.

    Error supports custom, custom countenances error.
    Milton.

  3. The face; the features.

    In countenance somewhat doth resemble you.
    Shak.

  4. To make a show of; to pretend.

    [Obs.]

    Which to these ladies love did countenance.
    Spenser.

  5. Approving or encouraging aspect of face; hence, favor, good will, support; aid; encouragement.

    Thou hast made him . . . glad with thy countenance.
    Ps. xxi. 6.

    This is the magistrate's peculiar province, to give countenance to piety and virtue, and to rebuke vice.
    Atterbury.

  6. Superficial appearance; show; pretense.

    [Obs.]

    The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.
    Ascham.

    In countenance, in an assured condition or aspect; free from shame or dismay. "It puts the learned in countenance, and gives them a place among the fashionable part of mankind." Addison. -- Out of countenance, not bold or assured; confounded; abashed. "Their best friends were out of countenance, because they found that the imputations . . . were well grounded." Clarendon. -- To keep the countenance, to preserve a composed or natural look, undisturbed by passion or emotion. Swift.

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Countenance

COUNTENANCE, noun [Latin , to hold.]

1. Literally, the contents of a body; the outline and extent which constitutes the whole figure or external appearance. Appropriately, the human face; the whole form of the face, or system of features; visage.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance Proverbs 15:13.

Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance Matthew 6:16.

2. Air; look; aspect; appearance of the face; as in the phrase, to change or alter the countenance

3. The face or look of a beast; as a horse of a good countenance

4. Favor; good will; kindness.

Thou hast made him glad with thy countenance Psalms 21:6.

Hence in scriptural language, the light of Gods countenance is his smiles or favorable regards, his favor and grace; and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids. So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns. Psalms 80:16.

This application of face or countenance which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure and refusal; a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would of course express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner; the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence,

5. Support; aid; patronage; encouragement; favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause.

It is the province of the magistrate, to give countenance to piety and virtue.

Let religion enjoy the countenance of the laws.

Give no countenance to violations of moral duty.

6. Show; resemblance; superficial appearance.

The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.

7. In law, credit or estimation.

To keep the countenance is to preserve a calm, composed or natural look, unruffled by passion; to refrain from expressing laughter, joy, anger or other passion, by an unchanged countenance

In countenance in favor; in estimation.

If the profession of religion were in countenance among men of distinction, it would have a happy effect on society.

To keep in countenance to give assurance or courage to; to support; to aid by favor; to prevent from shame or dismay.

To put in countenance to give assurance; to encourage; or to bring into favor; to support.

Out of countenance confounded; abashed; with the countenance cast down; not bold or assured.

To put out of countenance to cause the countenance to fall; to abash; to intimidate; to disconcert.

COUNTENANCE, verb transitive

1. To favor; to encourage by opinion or words.

The design was made known to the minister, but he said nothing to countenance it.

2. To aid; to support; to encourage; to abet; to vindicate; by any means.

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. Exodus 23:3.

3. To encourage; to appear in defense.

He countenanced the landing in his long boat.

4. To make a show of.

Each to these ladies love did countenance

5. To keep an appearance.

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Words have always fascinated me. I am saddened by the the deteriorating language of our country. Language is such a gift, such a tool. As a born again Christian, the original Biblical definitions of words is extremely important.

— Jo (Conesville, OH)

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

amended

AMEND'ED, pp. Corrected; rectified; reformed; improved, or altered for the better.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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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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