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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 [sinister]

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sinister

SIN'ISTER, a. [L. Probably the primary sense is weak, defective.]

1. Left; on the left hand, or the side of the left hand; opposed to dexter or right; as the sinister cheek; or the sinister side of an escutcheon.

2. Evil; bad; corrupt; perverse; dishonest; as sinister means; sinister purpose. He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts.

3. Unlucky; inauspicious.

4. Sinister aspect, in astrology, an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs; as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [sinister]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

SIN'ISTER, a. [L. Probably the primary sense is weak, defective.]

1. Left; on the left hand, or the side of the left hand; opposed to dexter or right; as the sinister cheek; or the sinister side of an escutcheon.

2. Evil; bad; corrupt; perverse; dishonest; as sinister means; sinister purpose. He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts.

3. Unlucky; inauspicious.

4. Sinister aspect, in astrology, an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs; as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini.

SIN'IS-TER, a. [L. Probably the primary sense is weak, defective.]

  1. Left; on the left hand, or the side of the left hand; opposed to dexter or right; as, the sinister cheek; or the sinister side of an escutcheon.
  2. Evil; bad; corrupt; perverse; dishonest; as, sinister means; sinister purpose. He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts. – South.
  3. Unlucky; inauspicious. – B. Jonson. Sinister aspect, in astrology, an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs; as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini. Encyc.

Sin"is*ter
  1. On the left hand, or the side of the left hand; left; -- opposed to dexter, or right.

    "Here on his sinister cheek." Shak.

    My mother's blood
    Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister
    Bounds in my father's
    Shak.

    * In heraldy the sinister side of an escutcheon is the side which would be on the left of the bearer of the shield, and opposite the right hand of the beholder.

  2. Unlucky; inauspicious; disastrous; injurious; evil; -- the left being usually regarded as the unlucky side; as, sinister influences.

    All the several ills that visit earth,
    Brought forth by night, with a sinister birth.
    B. Jonson.

  3. Wrong, as springing from indirection or obliquity; perverse; dishonest; corrupt; as, sinister aims.

    Nimble and sinister tricks and shifts. Bacon.

    He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts. South.

    He read in their looks . . . sinister intentions directed particularly toward himself. Sir W. Scott.

  4. Indicative of lurking evil or harm; boding covert danger; as, a sinister countenance.

    Bar sinister. (Her.) See under Bar, n. -- Sinister aspect (Astrol.), an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs, as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini. -- Sinister base, Sinister chief. See under Escutcheon.

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Sinister

SIN'ISTER, adjective [Latin Probably the primary sense is weak, defective.]

1. Left; on the left hand, or the side of the left hand; opposed to dexter or right; as the sinister cheek; or the sinister side of an escutcheon.

2. Evil; bad; corrupt; perverse; dishonest; as sinister means; sinister purpose. He scorns to undermine another's interest by any sinister or inferior arts.

3. Unlucky; inauspicious.

4. sinister aspect, in astrology, an appearance of two planets happening according to the succession of the signs; as Saturn in Aries, and Mars in the same degree of Gemini.

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— Heather (Katy, TX)

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

polyscope

POL'YSCOPE, n. [Gr. many and to view.] A glass which makes a single object appear as many.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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