Dictionary: AD – AD-ARBIT'RIUM

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AD, prep.

A Latin preposition, signifying to. It is probably from Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. Eth. אתה, Ar. أَتَي, to come near, to approach; from which root we may also deduce at. In composition, the last letter is usually changed into the first letter of the word to which it is prefixed. Thus for adclamo, the Romans wrote acclamo; for adgredior, aggredior; for adfirmo, affirmo; for adlego, allego; for adpono, appono; for adripio, arripio; for adscribo, ascribo; for adtineo, attineo. The reason of this change is found in the ease of pronunciation, and agreeableness of the sounds. Ad hominem, to the man, in logic, an argument adapted to touch the prejudices of the person addressed. Ad inquirendum, in law, a judicial writ commanding inquiry to be made. Ad libitum, at pleasure. Ad valorem, according to the value, in commerce and finance, terms used to denote duties or charges laid upon goods, at a certain rate per cent, upon their value, as stated in their invoices; in opposition to a specific sum upon a given quantity or number.

A-DAC'TYLE, n. [Gr. α, privative and δακτυλος, a digit.]

In zoology, a locomotive extremity without digits. – Brande.

AD'AGE, n. [L. adagium, or adagio; It. adagio.]

A proverb; an old saying, which has obtained credit by long use; a wise observation handed down from antiquity.

AD-A'GI-O, n. [It. adagio, a compound of ad and agio, leisure; Sp. and Port. ocio; L. otium; Fr. aise; Eng. ease.]

In music, a slow movement. As an adverb, slowly, leisurely, and with grace. When repeated, adagio, adagio, it directs the movement to be very slow.

AD'AM, n.

In Heb. Ch. Syr. Eth. Ar., Man; primarily, the name of the human species, mankind; appropriately, the first Man, the progenitor of the human race. The word signifies form, shape, or suitable form; hence, species. As a verb, the word signifies, in Ethiopic, to please or be agreeable; in Arabic, to join, unite, or be accordant, to agree. It is evidently connected with דמה, Heb. Ch. Syr., to be like or equal, to form an image, to assimilate. Whence the sense of likeness, image, form, shape; Gr. δεμας, a body, like. [See Man.] Adam's apple, a species of citron, [see Citron;] also the prominent part of the throat. Adam's needle, the popular name of the yucca, a plant of four species, cultivated in gardens. Of the roots, the Indians make a kind of bread. [See Yucca.]

AD'A-MANT, n. [Gr. αδαμας; L. adamas; a word of Celtic origin; W. ehedvaen, a lodestone, from ehed, to fly or move, and vaen, or maen, a stone. Chaucer uses adamant for the lodestone. Romaunt of the Rose, lin. 1182. Ger. diamant, is adamant and diamond; Sp. diamante; Sw. damant; Fr. aimant, lodestone. See Diamond.]

A very hard or impenetrable stone; a name given to the diamond and other substances of extreme hardness. The name has often been given to the lodestone; but in modern mineralogy it has no technical signification.


Hard as adamant. – Milton.


Made of adamant; having the qualities of adamant; that cannot be broken, dissolved, or penetrated; as, adamantine bonds, or chains. Adamantine Spar, a genus of earths, of three varieties. The color of the first is gray, with shades of brown or green; the form, when regular, a hexangular prism, two sides large and four small, without a pyramid; its surface striated, and with a thin covering of white mica, interspersed with particles of red felspar; its fracture, foliaceous and sparry. The second variety is whiter, and the texture more foliaceous. The third variety is of a reddish brown color. This stone is very hard, and of difficult fusion. – Encyc. A variety of corundum. – Cleaveland.

AD'AM-IC, a.

Pertaining to Adam. Adamic earth, is the term given to common red clay, so called by means of mistaken opinion, that Adam means red earth.


In Church history, a sect of visionaries, who pretended to establish a state of innocence, and, like Adam, went naked. They abhorred marriage, holding it to be the effect of sin. Several attempts have been made to revive this sect; one as late as the 15th century. – Encyc.


Like the Adamites. – Taylor.


Ethiopian sour gourd, monkey's bread, or African calabash-tree. It is a genus of one species, called baobab, a native of Africa, and one of the largest of the vegetable kingdom. The stem rises not above twelve or fifteen feet, but is from sixty five to seventy eight feet in circumference. The branches shoot horizontally to the length of sixty feet, the ends bending to the ground. The fruit is oblong, pointed at both ends, ten inches in length, and covered with a greenish down, under which is a hard ligneous rind. It hangs to the tree by a pedicle two feet long, and contains a white spongy substance. The leaves and bark, dried and powdered, are used by the negroes as pepper on their food, to promote perspiration. The tree is named from M. Adanson, who has given a description of it.

AD'A-PIS, n.

An animal of the pachydermatous order, somewhat resembling a hedge-hog; now extinct. – Buckland.

A-DAPT', v.t. [Sp. adaptar; It. adattare; L. ad and apto, to fit; Gr. απτω.]

To make suitable; to fit or suit; as, to adapt an instrument to its uses; we have provision adapted to our wants. It is applied to things material or immaterial.


The quality of being capable of adaptation.


That may be adapted.


The act of making suitable, or the state of being suitable, or fit; fitness.

A-DAPT'ED, pp.

Suited; made suitable; fitted.


State of being adapted; suitableness.

A-DAPT'ER, n. [See A-DOPT'ER, in chimistry.]

A-DAPT'ING, ppr.

Suiting; making fit.


Adaptation; the act of fitting. [Little used, and hardly legitimate.]


A state of being fitted. [Not used.] – Newton.

A'DAR, n.

A Hebrew month, answering to the latter part of February and the beginning of March, the 12th of the sacred and 6th of the civil year; so named from אדר, to become glorious, from the exuberance of vegetation, in that month, in Egypt and Palestine. – Parkhurst.

AD-ARBIT'RIUM, adv. [Ad arbit'rium. L.]

At will or pleasure.