Dictionary: AS-TRO-THE-OL'O-GY – A-TEL'LAN

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AS-TRO-THE-OL'O-GY, n. [L. astrum, a star, and theologia, divinity.]

Theology founded on the observation of the celestial bodies. – Derham.

A-STRUT', adv. [See Strut.]

In a strutting manner.

AS-TUTE', a. [L. astutus, from astus, craft, subtility; Ir. aisde, aiste, ingenuity.]

Shrewd; sharp; eagle-eyed; critically examining, or discerning. – Sandys.


Shrewdness; cunning.

A-SUND'ER, adv. [Sax. asundrian, to divide. See Sunder.]

Apart; into parts; separately; in a divided state. The Lord hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. – Ps. cxxix.

A-SWOON', adv.

In a swoon. [Obs.] – Gower.

A-SY'LUM, n. [L. from Gr. αςυλον, safe from spoil, α and συλη, spoil, συλαω, to plunder.]

  1. A sanctuary, or place of refuge, where criminals and debtors shelter themselves from justice, and from which they cannot be taken without sacrilege. Temples and altars were anciently asylums; as were tombs, statues, and monuments. The ancient heathens allowed asylums for the protection of the vilest criminals; and the Jews had their cities of refuge.
  2. Any place of retreat and security.

A-SYM'ME-TRAL, or A-SYM-MET'RIC-AL, a. [See Symmetry.]

Not having symmetry. [Little used.] More.

A-SYM'ME-TRY, n. [Gr. α privative and συμμετρια, symmetry, of συν, with, and μετρεω; to measure.]

The want of proportion between the parts of a thing. It is also used in mathematics for incommensurability, when between two quantities there is no common measure. – Johnson.

AS'YMP-TOTE, n. [Gr. α privative and συν, with, and πτοω, to fall; not meeting or coinciding.]

A line which approaches nearer and nearer to some curve, but though infinitely extended, would never meet it. This may be conceived as a tangent to a curve at an infinite distance. Chambers.


Belonging to an asymptote. Asymptotical lines, or curves, are such as continually approach when extended, but never meet.

A-SYN'DE-TON, n. [Gr. α privative and συνδεω; to bind together.]

In grammar, a figure which omits the connective; as, veni, vidi, vici. It stands opposed to polysyndeton, which is a multiplication of connectives. – Campbell.

AT, prep. [Sax. æt; Goth. at; L. ad. At, ad, and to, if not radically the same word, often coincide in signification. In W. at is to, and in Danish, it is the sign of the infinitive mode; in Amh. od, or ud, is toward. The word at is doubtless the Oriental אתא, אתה, Ch. and Heb. to come, to approach. Hence it primarily denotes presence, meeting, nearness, direction toward.]

In general, at denotes nearness or presence; as, at the ninth hour, at the house; but it is less definite than in or on; at the house, may be in or near the house. It denotes also toward, versus; as, to aim an arrow at a mark. From this original import are derived all the various uses of at. At the sight, is with, present, or coming the sight; at this news, present the news, or with the approach or arrival of this news. At peace, at war, in a state of peace or war, peace or war existing, being present; at ease, at play, at a loss, &c. convey the like idea. At arms, furnished with arms, bearing arms, present with arms; at hand, within reach of the hand, and therefore near; at my cost, with my cost; at his suit, by or with his suit; at this declaration, he rose from his seat, that is, present, or coming this declaration; whence results the idea in consequence of it. At his command, is either under his command, that is, literally, coming or being come his command, in the power of, or in consequence of it. He is good at engraving, at husbandry; that is, in performing that business. He deserves well at our hands, that is, from us. The peculiar phrases in which this word occurs, with appropriate significations, are numerous. At first, at last, at least, at best, at the worst, at the highest or lowest, are phrases in which some noun is implied; as, at the first time or beginning; at the last time, or point of time; at the least or best degree, &c.; all denoting an extreme point or superlative degree. At all, is in any manner or degree. At is sometimes used for to, or toward, noting progression or direction; as, he aims at perfection; he makes or runs at him, or points at him. In this phrase, he longs to be at him, at has its general sense of approaching, or present, or with, in contest or attack.

AT'A-BAL, n. [Sp.]

A kettle drum; a kind of tabor. – Dryden.


A muriate of copper.

AT'A-GAS, n.

The red cock, or moor game. – Coxe.


A species of the genus Amaryllis.

AT'A-RAX-Y, n. [Gr. αταραχος, of α privative and ταραχη, tumult.]

Calmness of mind; a term used by the stoics and skeptics to denote freedom from the emotions which proceed from vanity and self-conceit. – Encyc.

A-TAX'Y, n. [Gr. α privative and ταξις, order.]

Want of order; disturbance; irregularity in the functions of the body or in the crises and paroxysms of disease. – Coxe. Encyc.

AT-CHE, n.

In Turkey, a small silver coin, value about six or seven mills. – Encyc.

A'TE, n. [a'ty. Gr. ατη, mischief; αταω, to hurt. Ate is a personification of evil, mischief, or malice.]

In pagan mythology, the goddess of mischief, who was cast down from heaven by Jupiter. – Pope's Hom. Il.

ATE, v.

the preterit of eat; which see.

AT'E-LENE, a. [Gr. ατελης, imperfect.]

In mineralogy, imperfect; wanting regular forms in the genus. – Shepard.


A mineral, crystaline in structure, resembling sphene.


Relating to the dramas at Atella, in Italy. – Shaftesbury.