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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 [reptile]

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reptile

REP'TILE, a. [L. reptilis, from repo, to creep, Gr. See Creep.]

1. Creeping; moving on the belly, or with many small feet.

2. Groveling; low; vulgar; as a reptile race or crew; reptile vices.

REP'TILE, n.

1. An animal that moves on its belly, or by means of small short legs, as earth-worms, caterpillars, snakes and the like.

In zoology, the reptiles constitute an order of the class Amphibian, including all such as are furnished with limbs or articulated extremities, as tortoises, lizards and frogs.

2. A groveling or very mean person; a term of contempt.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [reptile]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

REP'TILE, a. [L. reptilis, from repo, to creep, Gr. See Creep.]

1. Creeping; moving on the belly, or with many small feet.

2. Groveling; low; vulgar; as a reptile race or crew; reptile vices.

REP'TILE, n.

1. An animal that moves on its belly, or by means of small short legs, as earth-worms, caterpillars, snakes and the like.

In zoology, the reptiles constitute an order of the class Amphibian, including all such as are furnished with limbs or articulated extremities, as tortoises, lizards and frogs.

2. A groveling or very mean person; a term of contempt.

REP'TILE, a. [Fr. from L. reptilis, from repo, to creep, Gr. ερπω; It. rettile; Sp. reptil. See Creep. The primary sense is probably to rub or scrape, or to seize.]

  1. Creeping; moving on the belly, or with small feet.
  2. Groveling; low; vulgar; as, a reptile race or crew; reptile vices. – Burke.

REP'TILE, n.

  1. An animal that moves on its belly, or by means of small short legs, as snakes, lizards, tortoises, and the like. In zoology, the reptiles constitute a class or order, including all such animals as are cold blooded, vertebrated, and breathe air; as tortoises, lizards, frogs, etc. Bell has separated the batrachians from this class, and arranges them under the denomination of Amphibia, because they breathe water in the tadpole state.
  2. A groveling or very mean person; a term of contempt.

Rep"tile
  1. Creeping; moving on the belly, or by means of small and short legs.
  2. An animal that crawls, or moves on its belly, as snakes,, or by means of small, short legs, as lizards, and the like.

    An inadvertent step may crush the snail
    That crawls at evening in the public path;
    But he that has humanity, forewarned,
    Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
    Cowper.

  3. Hence: Groveling; low; vulgar; as, a reptile race or crew; reptile vices.

    There is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution, but of fear. Burke.

    And dislodge their reptile souls
    From the bodies and forms of men.
    Coleridge.

  4. One of the Reptilia, or one of the Amphibia.

    * The amphibians were formerly classed with Reptilia, and are still popularly called reptiles, though much more closely allied to the fishes.

  5. A groveling or very mean person.
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Reptile

REP'TILE, adjective [Latin reptilis, from repo, to creep, Gr. See Creep.]

1. Creeping; moving on the belly, or with many small feet.

2. Groveling; low; vulgar; as a reptile race or crew; reptile vices.

REP'TILE, noun

1. An animal that moves on its belly, or by means of small short legs, as earth-worms, caterpillars, snakes and the like.

In zoology, the reptiles constitute an order of the class Amphibian, including all such as are furnished with limbs or articulated extremities, as tortoises, lizards and frogs.

2. A groveling or very mean person; a term of contempt.

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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

jenny

JEN'NY, n. A machine for spinning, moved by water or steam and used in manufactories.

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