Emily Dickinson Lexicon
Lexicon: alloy – alms
alloy (-s), v. [Mod Fr. < L. alligā-re, combine.] (webplay: gold).
Mix; combine; blend; [irony] decrease or increase the quality of a less valuable substance by adding a more valuable one; [fig.] temper; modify; strengthen or weaken; [NW says: alloying reduces the purity of silver or gold by mixing it with a metal that is less valuable, but Dickinson reverses the meaning by implying that “our firmer moments” may also increase in value when alloyed with the “severest gold” of memories.]
allude (-d), v. [L. allūd-ěre, to play with, joke, jest at, touch lightly upon a subject.]
Phrase. “Allude to”: suggest; imply; indicate; mention; hint at; refer to.
allure (-d, -s), v. [OFr. alure-r, attract, captivate < lure, orig. a falconry term.]
Bait; captivate; charm; enchant; entice; draw; invite; lure; seduce; tantalize; tempt.
ally (allies), n. [see ally, v.]
Partner; friend; one united by bond; member of an alliance.
ally (allied), v. [OFr a-lier < L. ad + ligāre, bind, fasten.]
Form a bond; contract a marriage; join in companionship; belong to naturally.
almanac (-s), n. [L.] (webplay: moon, sun, wood).
- Astrological chart of the sun, moon, and stars; [NW says: small book, or table, containing a calendar of days, weeks and months, with the times of the rising sun and moon … The Baltic nations formerly engraved their calendars on pieces of wood … Many of these are preserved in the cabinets of the curious.]
- Timetable; calendar; diary.
Almighty, adj. [OE; see all, adv. and mighty, adj.] (webplay: God).
Omnipotent; totally powerful; sovereign; supreme; absolute; matchless (see Genesis 17:1); [the first part of a title for Deity: “Almighty God”.]
Almighty, n. [see Almighty, adj.] (webplay: God, power, supreme).
Phrase. “The Almighty”: God; Lord; Heavenly Father (see Job 31:35); [a title or metonymy for Deity.]
almost, adv. [OE; see all, adv. and most, adj.] (webplay: all, most, present).
- Essentially; practically; nearly all; for the greatest part.
- All but; very nearly; well nigh but not quite.
alms, n. [OE ælmysse < Gk eleos, mercy, compassion.] (webplay: England, people, to ask an alms).
- Donation; contribution; freewill offering; financial aid for the needy; gratuitous gift for the poor; (see Acts 3:2-3); [fig.] kindness; favor; blessing; service.
- Petition; appeal; entreaty; plea; supplication; request for a favor.