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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 [ichneumon]

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ichneumon

ICHNEU'MON, n. [L. from the Gr. to follow the steps, a footstep; a follower of the crocodile.]

An animal of the genus Viverra, or weasel kind. It has a tail tapering to a point, and its toes are distant from each other. It inhabits Egypt, Barbary and India. It destroys the most venomous serpents, and seeks the eggs of the crocodile, digging them out of the sand, eating them and destroying the young. In India and Egypt, this animal is domesticated and kept for destroying rats and mice.

Ichneumon-fly, a genus of flies, of the order of hymenopters, containing several hundred species. These animals have jaws, but no tongue; the antennae have more than thirty joints, and are kept in continual motion. The abdomen is generally petiolated, or joined to the body by a pedicle. These animals are great destroyers of caterpillars, plant-lice and other insects, as the ichneumon is of the eggs and young of the crocodile.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [ichneumon]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

ICHNEU'MON, n. [L. from the Gr. to follow the steps, a footstep; a follower of the crocodile.]

An animal of the genus Viverra, or weasel kind. It has a tail tapering to a point, and its toes are distant from each other. It inhabits Egypt, Barbary and India. It destroys the most venomous serpents, and seeks the eggs of the crocodile, digging them out of the sand, eating them and destroying the young. In India and Egypt, this animal is domesticated and kept for destroying rats and mice.

Ichneumon-fly, a genus of flies, of the order of hymenopters, containing several hundred species. These animals have jaws, but no tongue; the antennae have more than thirty joints, and are kept in continual motion. The abdomen is generally petiolated, or joined to the body by a pedicle. These animals are great destroyers of caterpillars, plant-lice and other insects, as the ichneumon is of the eggs and young of the crocodile.


ICH-NEU'MON, n. [L. from the Gr. ιχνευμων, from ιχνευω, to follow the steps, ιχνος, a footstep; a follower of the crocodile.]

An animal of the genus Viverra, or Mangusta. Its body is dotted equally all over; dirty yellow and slate color, each hair being annulated alternately with these tints; paws and muzzle black; tail long and terminated by a diverging tuft. Inhabits Egypt. It feeds on the eggs of the crocodile, mice, and all sorts of small animals. It is domesticated. Its native name is Nems. Ichneumon-fly, a genus of flies, of the order of hymenopteras containing several thousand species. The abdomen is generally petiolated, or joined to the body by a pedicle. These animals are great destroyers of caterpillars, plant-lice and other insects, as the ichneumon is of the eggs and young the crocodile. Encyc.


Ich*neu"mon
  1. Any carnivorous mammal of the genus Herpestes, and family Viverridæ. Numerous species are found in Asia and Africa. The Egyptian species (H. ichneumon), which ranges to Spain and Palestine, is noted for destroying the eggs and young of the crocodile as well as various snakes and lizards, and hence was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. The common species of India (H. griseus), known as the mongoose, has similar habits and is often domesticated. It is noted for killing the cobra.
  2. Any hymenopterous insect of the family Ichneumonidæ, of which several thousand species are known, belonging to numerous genera.

    * The female deposits her eggs upon, or in, the bodies of other insects, such as caterpillars, plant lice, etc. The larva lives upon the internal tissues of the insect in which it is parasitic, and finally kills it. Hence, many of the species are beneficial to agriculture by destroying noxious insects.

    Ichneumon fly. See Ichneumon, 2.

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Ichneumon

ICHNEU'MON, noun [Latin from the Gr. to follow the steps, a footstep; a follower of the crocodile.]

An animal of the genus Viverra, or weasel kind. It has a tail tapering to a point, and its toes are distant from each other. It inhabits Egypt, Barbary and India. It destroys the most venomous serpents, and seeks the eggs of the crocodile, digging them out of the sand, eating them and destroying the young. In India and Egypt, this animal is domesticated and kept for destroying rats and mice.

Ichneumon-fly, a genus of flies, of the order of hymenopters, containing several hundred species. These animals have jaws, but no tongue; the antennae have more than thirty joints, and are kept in continual motion. The abdomen is generally petiolated, or joined to the body by a pedicle. These animals are great destroyers of caterpillars, plant-lice and other insects, as the ichneumon is of the eggs and young of the crocodile.

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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

rubellite

RU'BELLITE, n. [from L. rubeus, red.] A silicious mineral of a red color of various shades; the red shorl; siberite. It occurs in accumulated groups of a middle or large size, with straight tubular-like stria. In a red heat, it becomes snow-white and seems to phosphoresce.

Rubellite is red tourmaline.

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