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It has appeared to the writer of the following pages that occasion has long existed for a new book on the Synonyms of the English Language, which should be written in some respects from fresh points of view, and should be of a fuller character than commonly belongs to works on this subject.

The present edition has been rerised, and considerably enlarged.

The Author feels bound specially to acknowledge material aid in his labours derived firom the latest edition of M. Guizot's " Die- tionnaire Universel des Synonymea de la langue Fran9aise," from which, bearing in mind the differences between the genius of the French and the English, he has extracted much valuable matter. He has also analyzed and assimilated the observations of previous writers on EngUsh Synonymy a branch of literature which has hitherto borne very scanty fruit in our own country. Such writers are Crabbe, Taylor, Graham, and the late Archbishop Whately.

While he has exercised his own independent judgment and ori- ginal thought, he has not scrupled to incorporate views of other writers where he beheved that he might do so with advantage. His object has been neither a display of originality on the one hand, nor a servile compilation on the other, but such a combina- tion of his own ideas with those of valued authorities as might tend to produce a useful work on the subject in hand. It would be needless to say to how great an extent any writer on English Synonyms must at present be thrown on his own resources.

He must acknowledge also invaluable help, in the quotations from Dr. Hichardson's "English Dictionary," which, from the comprehensive range of authors quoted, will in many cases be found to famish, as it were, a literary biography of the words in question. The arrangement of their meanings in Webster has also been occasionally of good service.

The list of words noticed has been purposely made as ample as possible; for observation has taught him that our acquaintance


with the distinctive force even of familiar words is often less accu- rate than we are apt to imagine ; besides which, the requirements of foreign students of our language seemed in a pecuHar way to claim his sympathy and consideration.

He has been careful to give the derivations of the words ana- lyzed, so far as this was necessary for a fundamental conception of the nature of the words themselves ; and in this department he has sought the guidance and corroboration only of advanced and scientific etymologists. On the otlier hand he has striven to avoid the temptation of undue amplification on these points, feeling himself bound to keep steadily in view the distinction between a Philological Treatise and a Dictionary of Synonyms.

In regard to the quotations, he has endeavoured to make them as illustrative as possible of the observations which have gone before, by selecting passages in which they are employed with charaderistic force by leading writers of the language. It would have swollen the book to unwieldy dimensions, and have been altogether alien to its character and object, had he given quota- tions of the words under every sense in which they might have been employed, or treated them in all cases as Words and not as Synonyms.

An Index has been added to the present edition. This will serve not only as a guide to the Synonyms as arranged, but also will enable the reader to institute independent comparisons of the words, if he should desire to do so.

The Author, at the time of his death, had already put together a large amount of material for a new edition, for which he had also written the above Preface. My own work has been simply such revision as was necessary while the Dictionary was passing through

the press.

H. P. S.



The etymological force of Abandon (Fr. {JknuUmner. a handon, at liberty; feudal Lat. bandumf an order, decree ; see Bbachet) has well-ziigQ disap- peared from this word. To emhaadon or abandon was, primarily, to bring under the power of another ; and as this would miply the surrender of all control on the part of the orig^mal pos- seisor, it is easy to see how the con- sequential idea has in modem £nglish become the primary, and then the ex- clusive, meaning. To abandon is now, in the most comprehensiye sense, to gire up Jinally aaidabiolutely, whether with or without transference of the thing abandoned to some person or power external to ourBelves. A trace of the old meaning, that of placing beyond jurisdiction and so disclaiming poMessum, appears in Shakespeare : "Madam wife, thej aej that I have

dreamed And slept alone lome fifteen yean or more. Lady. Aye, and the time seems thirty

onto me. Being all thia time abandoned from Toor


Spenser used the Ibrm aband.

No praise or blame is absolutely ex- pessed by the term abandon, which IS one of the widest in the lang^uage, though it has a tendency to imply blame when used of persons without qualification. So to abandon friends ■ounds blameworthy, because under this simple expression the mind con- template nothing^ but a deserted friendship. Yet it is right to abandon friends, if they betake themselves to what IS dishonest or disgraceful. We may abandon persons or things ; in particular, places, positions, ideas,

, opinions, hopes, expectations, offices^ I possessions, good or evil habits, as the j case may foe. But that which is i abandoned is alwajrs a thing of con* sideration, not a thing of little value I or a matter of netty detail. We may abandon wealtn, but not a purse. I Where loss or injury is entailed on , the person abandoned, or the abandon- ! ment is a dereliction of duty, this moral colouring belongs not to the ', force of the term, which is essentially ; no more than that of Jinal leaving or \ surrender, but to the circumstances of , the case. It is only when all efforts 1 to save his ship are hopeless that the I captain abandons her to the rocks and I waves. In times of early Christianity I men were called upon to abandon I houses, lands, and relatives in such a way as would be now not onlv un- <»llea for, but an unjustifiable aeser- tion of them. We may observe that a twofold idea seems inherent in aban- donment. We may abandon directly or indirectly, either by actively trans- farring, or by avoiding and taking ourselves off. The former force was the predominant in the old English, the latter in the new.

*' See how he lies at random earelesalv dif-

fnaed As one past hope abandoned^ And by himself given o'er." Milton.

Forsake \b the A. S. for-sacany meaning orig. to oppose, object (Bos- worth). In usage it implies some degree of antecedent habituation or association which is given up. We forsake relatives to whom we were naturally bound, friends with whom we once associated, habits which we had contracted, opinions which we had entertained, places which we used



to frequent. The caude of fonakinff is altered taste or habit, rariation of castom, alienated, or abated attach- ment. So, rhetoricallv, "the blood forsook his cheek," that is, left its wonted place. The term does not go berond this breaking off of previous habit or association, the making that a matter of neglect or avoidance which before was matter of inclination and aeekinff : and. like abandon, implies in itselr neither praise nor blame, which depend on the circumstances of the forsBKing. Inasmuch as there is implied in forsake a former personal connexion with ourselves, we are not aaid to forsake abstract forms of good. We forsake houses, lands, friends, possessions, not w<Mdth, station, or rank. These we are said to abandon or renounce. Persons on being for- aaken by those who once loved them have sometimes abandoned themselves to despair.

** For wele or wo she nill him not/orsnAtf." CHAUcaa.

To Desert (Lat. di$l6r)tn; to for- take or abandon ; de and tertre, to Join cr bind togetheVf as opposed to auerere^ tofatttu ftsten hana to hand and so atsert a claim) is applicable to per- sons, places, causes, principles, or un- dertakings in conjunction with others. We abandon but do not desert efforts or undertaking^ which are purely our own, and in which we owe no obliga- tion or allegiance to others. The term desert always implies blame except when used of loealitiet. To desert a person, a principle, or a cause, e.g. , is by the force of the term blame- worthy ; for it iuTolves the abandon- ment of sympathy, help, countenance, protection, effort, where these were our bounden duty, and where the contrary involves a breach of trust, fidelity, honor, or natural obligation. Not so to desert a locality, which may be indifferent, justifiable, or com- pulsory. It was from overlooking the fact that placet might be deserted that some have laid it down that all desertion is disgraceful. " A deserted fortress," a " deserted village." On the other hand it is opprobnousin the following, where the word land meana more than locality :

" No more exciises or deUys. I stand Id arms, prepared to combat hand to osnd, The base deterter of his native land/*

DatDBzr. Like forsake, desert implies some de- gree of previous haoituation and association, but the bond broken in forsaking is that of attachment, in deserting duty; hence we are not said to desert what there was no moral obligation to adhere to, as, e.g., a statement, an expression, or a mere opinion; but prmciples which we were bound to support as being pledged to maintain tnem. Desertion mvolves the withdrawal of active co- operation, forsaking of sympathetic association. Desert is more purely voluntaiT than forsake. We may for- sake unaer a feeling of imperative dut^, our inclinations giving way to motives which our reason (ures not discard ; but we desert when we dis- like our duty, or are prevailed upon by some external preference or allure- ment to escape from it.

To Relinquish (LtX,rHmqu}hr«) is to give up under some influence, power, or physical compulsion. We relinquish as an act of prudence, judg- ment, or necessity that which, had we been left to ourselves, we should have continued to hold. The act of relin- quishment may of course prove sub- sequently to have been necessary or unnecessary, wise or unwise. A wounded hand may be oompelUd to relinc^uish its grasp. In matters moral I relinquish my scheme on finding it impracticable, or my opinion on find- ing it untenable, or my hope on find- ing it vain. Some degree of previous struggle with ourselves is gone through before we fiually resolve to relinquish, or some external influence is brought to bear upon us which in- duces us to do so.

"The Diadaine met him, and brought to him from her Majesty letters of revoca- tion with commandment to relrnqvuh for hii own part the intended attempt." ~ Hakluyt.

It may be observed that abandon and desert express more positive acts of the mind than forsake and relinquish. He who abandons has finally resolved, he who forsakes has undergone change of mind, he who deserts has sacrificed

{abandoned] discriminated.

principle or duty, he who relinquishes hss ccataed to hope or to endearour. As the others are applies ble both to things and persons, so relinquish be- longs to thmpi alone. In troublous times men have sought to preserve their treuMire by concealing it under the earth ; i^ after a while, it should he discovered by another, the law will not allow him to assume on the part of the original owner an intention to Abandon it^ Prosnerity quickly raises about us a crowd of flatterers, who would be the first to forsake us in time of adversity. It is an aggravation of misfortune, if one who had long pro- fessed attachment should not only capriciously forsake us but also de- sert us in a moment of difficulty and danger. How often do we engage •ourselves in pursuits which bring us far more anzietjr and labour than profit or pleasure, which yet from habit or some other cause we cannot persuade ourselves to relinquish.

ABANDONED. Propligatb. Reprobate. Unprinciplbo. De-


Abandonbd (see Abandon) is strictly a part, jpasaire of the verb abandouy thoueh used as an inde- pendent adj. in the former capacity It follows, of course, all the meanings of its verb. As an adj. it has the meaning of Belf-abandoned,and that to yioe; ibr the ways of wickedness are easy, and not to struggle is to sink. It IS used of persons snd chsracter, and 80, by association, of life and con- duct. It is a Yoluntary surrender of self to the temptation of self-indol- |[enoe; self-control and the estima- tion of othen being disregarded and •defied. The abanooned man is em- phatically not the misguided, seduced. or orerbome man. The aoandonea man is impatient of discipline and even of reflexion ; he is wanting in virtuous ambition ; he is without as- piration, and has nothing worthy to be called belief. Pleasure and ease sre his only happiness, and all else is either a labour or a dream. His social nature seeks relief in the com- nnionship of others like himself. This systematic character renders the'

term inappUoable to single aota, how- ever atrociously bad.

" Nor let her tempt that deepaor SBake the

■hore Where oar abtrndontd yoath ehe sees Shipwrecked in Inziuy sod loit in esae.*' Paioa.

Reprobate (Lat. rtjn'^ibatusj tritd and rejected) expresses that character in which a course of self-abandonment to vice results ; one cast away with- out hope of recovery, the very desire and recognitbn of good being lost, all repentance cast off, the bitter be- coming sweet and the light darkness, by a confirmed blunting of the moni perception. The reprobate is regarded as one whom it would be fruiUess to attempt to reclaim. This state the abandoned may not yet have reached.

" And strength and art are eesilr ontdone By spirits reprobate," Milton.

The Propuoate man (Lat. proflv- garey to doth down) is he who nas thrown away, and becomes more and more ready to throw away, all that the good and wise desire to retain, aa principle, honour, virtue, possessions. Hence it follows that the rery poor or obscure man, though he might be abandoned and even reprobate, could not be profligate. For profligacy is a vice ot the great, the poweniil, and the rich. We speak of a profligate monarch, nobleman, court, ministry, aristocracy ; of a corrupt or demora- lized, but not profligate, peasantry. Profligacy is characterized oy shame- lessness and a defiant disregard of morals. The old physical use of the term has disappeared, as in Bishop Hall's letter to the Pope:—

" Is it for thee to excite Christian Princes, already too mnch gorged with blood, to the pro/tigation and fearftil slsnghter of their own snbjecta P **

The modern use of it appears in the following :

" Hitherto it has been thought the highest pitch of profiigacy is to own in- stead of concealing crimes, and to take pride in them instead of being ashamed of them." ^BouNeaaoKB.

The Unprincipleo man is not necessarily abandoned to ways of licentious self-indulgence, orprofligate of expenditure. He may, in ue anin

of ieoAial enjojment, be eren abste- mioQS, and in those of expenditure penuriouB. Bat as the abandoned man sins against self-control and the profli^te against sobriety, so the un- principled against justice and integ- rity. The abandoned man injures himself primarily and others only indirectly; the unprincipled is x«ady to erect bis own interests on the ruins of the interests of others. The term unprincipled, not an ancient one in our language, has a twofold mean- ing ; first, wanting in good principle, or conspicuously marked by an absence of it; in which sense it is, negatiyely, applicable to acts, plans, or proceed- ings; and secondly, not acting on good principle or acting upon the oontruy toward others ; in which sense it is applicable to persons only. The first employment appears in the following:—

"Whilst the moaarchies tabsisted this ynprindpled oesuoo wm what the inflnenee of the elder branch of the Houm of Bour- bon nerer dared to attempt on the jonnger.'^^Boauk

The second in the following : "Others betake themselves to State aflHirs with sonls so wgnindjUed in Tirtne and tme generons breeding, that flattery, and conrtships, and tjnrannoQS aphorisms appear to them the highest points of wis- dom."—Miltok.

Depraved is a term which points to external circumstances or continued practices which have gradually per- verted the nature. (Lat. depravar$y to pervert^ eUttort.) Depravity is perversion of the standard of right, and the term is employed not only of morals, but also of manners, taste, and the arts; and in a peculiar physical sense (which however is technical) of the humours of the body ; a phrase which illustrates the radical meaning of the term, corruptly departing from a state of wholesome function. De- pravity involves the substitution of false for true principles, or the less worthy for the more worthy, the pretentious for the meritorious, the showy for the intrinsically Bolidf and valuable, the meretricious for the chaste ; that which attracts the admi- ration of the ignorant and vulgar for that which will bear the test of

STNONTMS [abase}

exact criticism ; a conventional stan- dard of morality for the true, the vir- tuous, and the right. It is that de- fisctive. estimation which follows the assumption of a corrupt test.

" When Reason and understanding are- dtpraved, and as Hx eorrnpted as the very DMsions of the heart— when then the blind lead the blind, what else can we ex^ pect than that both fall into the ditch! **— rasaLoca.

By the constant keeping of evil company a man s taste and character will of necessity become depraved. There is danger that he may grow un- principUd in uis dealings, ttiat he may abandon himself to allurements and temptations, that he may go on to ex- hibit an open projiigaeif of conduct, and finally sink into the condition of a reprobate, whom conscience ceases to encourage or to warn. In old English the yerb deprave was often usea in the sense of to malign.

ABASE. HuMBLB. Degrade. Dis- GRACE. Debase. Humiliate. Dis- honour. Depose. Depress. Lower.

There was a time when the word abate (Fr. abatsfsr, boj. bw) was used, in a purely physical sense, as by Shakespeare :

'* And will she yet abate her eyes oa meP"

To abase is now only applied to- persons. It is to bring low or to> lower in such a way as that the per- son lowered shall be deeply conscioos of the lowering. But this is not of ne- cessity on account of great guilt or disgraceful conduct. That of which the person abased is primarily con- scious is unworthiness m reference to others' estimation of him or to his- own. In abasement we suffer a con- tradiction off or voluntarily forego, as- the case may be, our own peculiar pretensions. It may even be merito- rious to abase or humble one's self (of these two abase is the stronger term). This could never be said of demde or disgrace. The penitent man humbles himself, the remorseful penitent abases himself. In either case a conquest is gained over pride, arrogance, or self-will. He is abased who suffers a diminution of his dig- nity, merit, or repute.


AbKffbed in that immenaity I s««, I sbnok aboMtd, udyetwpiTe to Thee/* CowrKB.

To Humble (Lat. hUmtUs^ low), tlioagh not in one way so strong a term as abase, has a fnller moral meaning. He who is abased is brought low, be who is humbled recognises the light of being so brought It bears reife- rence to some former condition of ex- altation or estimate of self, as the proud man may be humbled by the reverses of fortune. He who suffers no more than orerwhelming shame in his reTerses or change of condition is abased without being humbled. He as humbled, who is torced to become ■acquainted with those vicissitudes of nature or fortune, to which hitherto he had been blinded by unreflectiveness or pride. He is abased, whom con- science oar circumstances have unde- oeived in his claims to moral or social superiority.

"The plMD meaaing of the Apoatle is to dedare in one oontinned aentence that ■Christ when He was in the form of Qod humhUd Himself by condescending to take «pon Him the form of man, and not only so bnt bnmbled Himself yet farther by ooa- d«i8eendinff to die eren the death of a maJe- factor. " ^Clarkk.

Degrade (Lat. <ie, <2oum,and/rrtf^tu, •a step) bears reference to some stan* dard or level, moral or social, below which the person degpraded or who has degraded himself is supposed to have fallen. Unlike abase and hum- ble, which belong to sentient beings, •degrade is not confined to persons, but is applicable to anything capable <rf'an accession or dimmution ot dig- nity. Art is degraded when it is treated only as a trade. The higher the social position, or the moral re- sponsibility of the person, the more degrading is the dereliction. The higher the standard to which persons may reasonably be expected to con- fcMm, the more degradmg is the for- feiture of self-respect. Sensuality, for instance, is peculiarly degrading in those who have great powen of mmd, meanness of deuin^ in the affluent, low companionship m the nobly born.

'* Moments there mnst be when the sin- A«r b sensible of the degradation of his slate, when he feels with pain the slavish


dependence ander which he is faronght to fortune and the world, to violent passions and settled habits, and to faars ana upre- hensiotts arising tnm consdons gmlt.**— BiAia.

Disgrace is to deprive of respect (O. Fr. diMpraee. dU- and fracs, Lat. gratia, ^aooitr). He who (usgraces another deprives him of such social regard as would otherwise belong to him. He who disgraces himself deprives him- self of the respect of othen. Disgrace is to the feeling of respect what Dis- HONou R is to its outward token. Hence disgrace is rather in a man*s self, dis- honour depends rather upon othen. While conscience may excite in us a feeling of disgrace, we can have none ofdishonour except it be inflicted upon us by othen. Yet in the term dis- grace there seems to be a blending of the two ideas of the Latin gratia and the English grace, namely, internal oomelioess ana external fiivour. The minister who is capriciously dismissed by his sovereign is said to be dis- graced. Yet it is plain that he is in no other sense so than as being mere- ly thrown out of favour, while as re- eards his own character he is rather aishonoured than disgraced. The general who is taken captive after a gallant resistance never could be dis- graced, though he might, by an un- ^nerous victor, be aishonoured or msulted. Dishonour may be only for a moment, disgrace is more perma- nent. We have an exemplification in the following of the twofold idea of grace, from which the double as- pect of disgrace arises :

"And with sharp quips joy'd others to

deface. Thinking that their dxagradng did him

grace" SpxirsxB.

** He that walketh uprightly is secure as to his honour and credit ; he is sure not to come off disgracefully either at home in his own apprehensions, or abroad in the estimation of men."— Babbow.

When a man is so humbled that his state becomes extemallv manifest or conspicuous, and is reflected in tlie condition and circumstances of the person humbled, he may further be said to be Humiuatsd, that is, brought to a condition and a sense of humility. So strong a part does this


eztenud element play in the word, that one who is only self-conceitea may be humiliated b^ beinff thrown suddenly into an undignified and lu- diorous position. The proud man is humbled, the vain humiliated. He who humbles himself endeavours to cherish a feeling of humility^ he who humiliates himself places himself in the attitude of humility. Hence we are seldom said to humiliate ourseWes. Persons or circumstances may humble us; but itisoircumstancesi commonly speaking, that humiliate us. The case is a little different with the noun humiliation, which is the only sub- stantive form of the verb to humble, whose meaning tiierefore it follows. Yet in such a phrase as a '* Day of Fasting and Humiliation^" the term conyeys the idea of both internal and external self-humbling.

'* The fonnflr wu » hMmiUatum of Deitj, the Utter a humiUatum of manhood."


To Dbbabe (De and £ne. bam)^ though of the same etymology as abase, is to deteriorate or make base not the position but the internal nature as regards worth, or essential purity. Debased coin is so mixed with alloy as to have lost much of its intrinsic value. A debased style of architecture has become corrupt by deviation from the type and principles of the pure. In all thingps debased a normal condition, form, character, principles, or model is implied which has been forgotten, deserted, or vio- lated. The systematic deviation from the standard of virtue leads to moral debasement, from the standard of cor- rect rule and pure taste to artistic debasement.

'* The neat mesten of composition know reiy well that many an elegant word be- comes improper for a poet or an orator, when it has been debased by vnlgar use.**— Addisor.

Depose (Fr. deooter) expresses the formal act of autiiority or of a supe- rior, and is a complete taking away ofthe office, or dignity; while deg^ra^ may express a partial lowering in rank, or removal to an inferior grade.

" A tyrant orer his snbjects, and there- ibire worthy to be depottdr—^vrssm.


Depress (LAt. dtpi^trej part, di'- Tpreuus, to preti down) is physical and analogous. It denotes the exercise of some uniform influence to lower permanently. Hie muazle of a (piii< is depressed which is kept pointing towards the flnround, the mind is de- pressed which is weighted by some Durden of thought or reflexion. He is depressed whose merits, though they entitle him to promotion, are stifled by the jealousy of superiors. " The Gods with ease flrail Man demreu or raise." Pope.

Lower, formed from the adj. low,, follows the various meanings of that adj. Its forces are in the main three : 1, to reduce in physical elevation, as: to lower a fla^ ; t, to abate the feel- ing of exaltation, as to lower pride ; 3, to bring down in value, amount^ rank, dignity or estimation, as the- price of goods, the rate of interest, professional position, or the respect of individuals, or of the public. Like the simpler and Saxon words gene> rally, its application in proportion to- its extensiveness is weak specilicall^p^. It stands opposed to ''raise," and is- as comprehensive and no more pointed in its force.


An idea of deg^dation common to> these two terms makes them syno- nyms; but they have strong diffe- rences. Abasement (Fr. abaittery to lower) expresses the act of bringing low or the state consequent upon this, and always implies a former state more- elevated. Lowvess (allied to lie and lay) expresses simply the condition of that which is low in any of the numerous senses ofthe word low,such as physical depression, meanness ot condition or character, absence of sublimity, meekness, mental depres- sion, an inferiority of degree, a deep pitch or inaudible character of sound. The physical meanings of lo wness are- not m modem English shared by abasement, which has only a moral application. Abasement is a condi- tion of inferiority bearing reference to our own possible position, lowness or in^ori^ to others. Abasement is moral or social degradation, and by an extension of meaning the painful



of this. Jems Christ WHS willing to he horn in a condition of weaknen and ahasement. Ahase- ment is Tohintary or involuntaiy. Voluntaiy ahaaement is a Tirtuons act of the soal. hy which it seeks to ODunteract ana reprem the natural tendency to pride. A low disposition on the other hand is incompatihle with hononr, and hegets contempt. The low is opposed to the bfty in principle and sentiment, and the re- fined in taste and manners. A low character is one which might he ex- pected to associate and sympathize with the basest of mankind, a low style is such as would commend itself to the ▼ulgar. That abasement which is the result of misfortune does not forfeit the right to consideration. Lowness is not desery in g of consider- ation. Virtuous sentiment may re- concile the ambitious to a low estate in life, and assure them that by itself it inTolyes no abasement, while yet it is a legitimate object of effort to ex- change a lower condition for a higher, if it be done by just and honest

" Tis unmorUlity, 'tis that alone. Amidst life*a pains, abaaemfnts, emptineM, The Sool eaa comfort." Youvo.

Lowness consists in want of birth, merit, fortune, or condition. It may be observed that the noun lowness has not the strong character of diB- psragement which belongs to the adjective low. The latter is always derogatoxy except when employed either physically or of social infe- riority of rank.

ABASH. CoNrouND. CoNrvss.

To be Abashed is the O. Ft, EabahiTf to agtonigky pert, ubahisstttit ; connected with the English bay, to gape, whence to stand at bay.

To be abashed is to be under the influence of shame, and therefore will vary according to the degree and character of tne shame felt. The over-modest are abashed in the pre- sence of superiors, the guilty at the detection of rice or misconduct. Abase stands to the reason and the itudgment as abash to the feelings. The former implies a sentence of un-

worthiness felt to be passed a^nst one's self, the latter shows itself m the downward look, the blushing cheek, or the confused manner, and may even be the pure effect of natural modesty. "Bat when he Yeans view'd wfthoot

diagniw. Her shining neck beheld, and radiant c^es. Awed and abtuh'd he tnm'd his head aside. Attempting with his robe his (kce to hide." ConoRsra.

To be Confused (Lat. eonjundere ; part. eonf'muSf to pour togetfitry to perplex) aenotes a state in which the Acuities are more or less beyond con- trol, when the speech falters and thoughts lose their consisteQcy. This may be from a varie^ of causM, as fiiiiure of memory, conflicting feelings, a bewildered judgment, over-modesty, shame, surprise, a sense of detection to one s dishonour. It is an embarras- sing self consciousneM accompaoied by a humiliating sense of shortcoming. We have formed our plan and ar- raiised our materials; the former is perhaps forestalled, the latter by some accident disordered. We are thrown into disturbance, the time is lost, whither shall we look for help T

"Till I saw thoee eyes I was bat a lamp i a chaos of oot^aediuse dwelt in me.*'-- BxACMOirr aitd Flktchxr.

To be Confounded, though another form of the same word, is far stronger, denoting an utter inability to exercise to any practical purpose the power of thought and speech, the reason being overpowered oy the shock of Argu- ment testimony, or detection. To confuse is in its primary and simpler sense a milder term than confound* Things are confused, when they are in a state ofpromiscuous disorder. They are confounded, when they are so mixed up together that they become undistinguished and indistinguish- able, their individuality being lost.

** So spake the Son of God, and Satan stood A while as mote, confownded what to say/* MiLTOzr.

ABATE. Lessen. Diminish. De- crease.

With the exception of the last^ these synonyms are employed gram- matically as both transitive and in- transitive verbs. The simplest and


therefore the least specifically charac- teristic is Lessen (A. S. limif adj. leu), meaning to make or to give less, as m force, bulk, number, quantity, or ralue.

" St. Paol ehoM to mAgniiy hii oOee, whan all men oonipired to le$aen it."— At- ntaBCET.

DxHiNiSH (Lat. dimtnUhref mXnut, iett) \Bthe exact Latin equivalent of the Saxon lessen, but is commonly substituted for lessen in the intransi- tive sense. The receding object di- minishes rather than lessens. There IS hardly a shadow of difference be- tween the terms, except that the Saxon one is the more conversational, the Latin more likely to be emploved in rhetorical, or scientific phraseology. " Hide their diminUhed heada."


Abate ^Fr. ahattrt, to heat dovni) refers tojftmx. and never to size, or anything in wuich the idea of force is not more or less implied. A storm, pain, mental emotion or excitement, the vigour of youth, and the like, abate. Of old the verb had a strong transitive force in a physical applica- tion, as to abate, that is, beat down the walls of castles. This active force is still preserved, but not in its physical apphcation. The term has grown milder. We speak of abating pride, seal, expectation, hope, ardour, a de- mand or claim ; and m legal language {though this is of course techniod) of abating a writ, a nuisance, or a tax, tlie idea being that of annulling va- hditv or le^ force. The word is employed with sin^plar appropriate- ness in the followmg passage from Paley's Moral Philosophy.

" The greatest tTrants hare been those whoee titlee were the moat nnqnestioned. Whenerer the opinion of right becomee too Dredominant and •nperstitioaa, it ia abaUd 07 breaking the eoatom."

Decrease (Lat. dccreu^trt ds, down, and crescttn, to grow) differs from diminish in denoting a more gradual and sustained process. We might eveji speak of an instantaneous di- minution, but not of an instantaneous decresse. To decrease is gradually to lessen or diminish. Yet we use the term decrease in some cases to express


more strongbr the idea of diminution by inherent force, or from an internal oause, as distinguished trom external and more palpable influences ; at least when speaking of physical matter or subject^ as the cold decreases through the season of the year. Property is diminished by extravagance. To de- crease is relatively to diminish abso- lute and positive. Things diminish which are umply made less through any cause. Tnings decrease which exist in varying degrees of less or more. Of the nouns, diminution ex- prenes a state, decrease a process. A diminution in the rate of mortaliQr is the result of the decrease of an epi- demic. The cause which produces diminution, as it is more external, so is commonly more traceable than that which produces decrease. The royal authority may be diminished by a specific revolution, having such di- minution for its object. It may de- crease as the result of a variety of causes, s.^., the tendency of subse- quent legislation, the <&vek>pment among the people of the sense and the claim of self-government. " The olire-leaf which certainly them told The flood deereaeed.*' Dbatton .

ABERRANT. Abnormal. Ec- centric. Exceptional. Erratic.

Aberrant (LaL dberrarey to winder away) denotes that which deviates un- accountably from the uniform law of operation or procedure.

" They not only swarm with errors, hot vices depending thereon. Thvs they com- monly alfect no man any farther than he deserts his reason or complies with their ad«rrancMs/'— Bbown*8 Vulgar Brron.

The term is i^lied to natural devia- tion from the type of a class or order, as an aberrant animal or vegetable form ; while as regards the actions of responsible agents, or the thoughts of reflecting bemgs, it denotes a depar- ture from the une of sober conduct, or consistent thought : so moral and intellectual aberrations. That is ab- normal in outward nature which ex- hibits a structure opposed to the usual structure; and generally speaking, that which exemplifies procedure contrary to the received rule, law, or system.


Ecce.vulic (Lat. ex, out, and cm- tntm, a efntrt; Gr. in and nirrpn) de- notes that which is a depaTture^ or aniklogoas to it, from moTement in a njtnral orbit.

ExcEKTioNAL (Lat. ext^vcn, part. sxeeptuty to except) is appliea generally to anjthing which strikes common obserration as anlike what is familiar in similar cases. Of these, the two first are terms enlisted into modem science, while eccentric and excep- tional are applicable to other and un- scientific matters. The former of these vaa astronomical before it became moral or descriptiTe. In its technical use, an eccentric body is one which moTes in a circle, which, though coinciding in whole or in part with soother in area or volume, has not the tame centre ; hence deviating from ordinary methods or usual appearance or practice. It is technicallj opposed to concentric. The primary and se- condary ideas appear combined in the &Ilowmg : " For bad I power like that which bends

the spheres