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Wednesday - November 13, 2019

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 [whether]

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whether

WHETHER, pronoun or substitute. [L. The sense seems to be what, or which of two, referring either to persons or to sentences.]

1. Which of two.

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? Matthew 21/

Here whether is a substitute for one of two, and signifies which; which of the two; but in this sense it is obsolete.

2. Which of two alternatives, expressed by a sentence or the clause of a sentence, and followed by or. Resolve whether you will go or not; that is, you will go or not go; resolve which.

[Note. IN the latter use, which is now most common, whether is called an adverb. This is a mistake. It is the same part of speech as in the former example. The only difference is that in the former example it represents or refers to a noun, and in the latter to a sentence or clause.]



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [whether]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

WHETHER, pronoun or substitute. [L. The sense seems to be what, or which of two, referring either to persons or to sentences.]

1. Which of two.

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? Matthew 21/

Here whether is a substitute for one of two, and signifies which; which of the two; but in this sense it is obsolete.

2. Which of two alternatives, expressed by a sentence or the clause of a sentence, and followed by or. Resolve whether you will go or not; that is, you will go or not go; resolve which.

[Note. IN the latter use, which is now most common, whether is called an adverb. This is a mistake. It is the same part of speech as in the former example. The only difference is that in the former example it represents or refers to a noun, and in the latter to a sentence or clause.]

WHETH'ER, pron. [or substitute; Sax. hwæther. This word seems to be connected with what and the L. uter, the latter not being aspirated. The sense seems to be what, or which of two, referring either to persons or to sentences.]

Which of two. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? Matth. xxi. Here whether is a substitute for one of two, and signifies which; which of the two; but in this sense it is obsolete. Which of two alternatives, expressed by a sentence or the clause of a sentence, and followed by or. "Resolve whether you will go or not;" that is, you will go or not go; resolve which. Note. In the latter use, which is now most common, whether is called an adverb. This is a mistake. It is the same part of speech as in the former example. The only difference is that in the former example it represents or refers to a noun, and in the latter to a sentence or clause.


Wheth"er
  1. Which (of two); which one (of two); -- used interrogatively and relatively.

    [Archaic]

    Now choose yourself whether that you liketh. Chaucer.

    One day in doubt I cast for to compare
    Whether in beauties' glory did exceed.
    Spenser.

    Whether of them twain did the will of his father? Matt. xxi. 31.

  2. In case; if; -- used to introduce the first or two or more alternative clauses, the other or others being connected by or, or by or whether. When the second of two alternatives is the simple negative of the first it is sometimes only indicated by the particle not or no after the correlative, and sometimes it is omitted entirely as being distinctly implied in the whether of the first.

    And now who knows
    But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
    Shak.

    You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge. Shak.

    For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. Rom. xiv. 8.

    But whether thus these things, or whether not;
    Whether the sun, predominant in heaven,
    Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun, . . .
    Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid.
    Milton.

    Whether or no, in either case; in any case; as, I will go whether or no. -- Whether that, whether. Shak.

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

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Whether

WHETHER, pronoun or substitute. [Latin The sense seems to be what, or which of two, referring either to persons or to sentences.]

1. Which of two.

WHETHER of them twain did the will of his father? Matthew 21:31/

Here whether is a substitute for one of two, and signifies which; which of the two; but in this sense it is obsolete.

2. Which of two alternatives, expressed by a sentence or the clause of a sentence, and followed by or. Resolve whether you will go or not; that is, you will go or not go; resolve which.

[Note. IN the latter use, which is now most common, whether is called an adverb. This is a mistake. It is the same part of speech as in the former example. The only difference is that in the former example it represents or refers to a noun, and in the latter to a sentence or clause.]

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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

fairystone

FA'IRYSTONE, n. A stone found in gravel pits.

The fossil echinite, abundant in chalk pits.

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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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary

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