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BIRTH'PLACE, n. [birth and place.]

The town, city or country, where a person is born; more generally, the particular town, city, or other local district.

BIRTH'RIGHT, n. [birth and right.]

Any right or privilege to which a person is entitled by birth, such as an estate descendible by law to an heir, or civil liberty under a free constitution. Esau, for a morsel, sold his birthright. – Heb. xii. It may be used in the sense of primogeniture, or the privilege of the first born, but is applicable to any right which results from descent.


A song sung at the birth of a person.

BIRTH'-STRAN-GLED, a. [birth and strangle.]

Strangled or suffocated in being born. – Shak.

BIRTH'WORT, n. [birth and wort.]

A genus of plants, Aristolochia, of many species. – Encyc.

BIS, adv.

In music, denotes repetition of a passage.

BI'SA, or BI'ZA, n.

A coin of Pegu, of the value of half a ducat; also, a weight. – Encyc.

BIS'CO-TIN, n. [Fr.]

A confection, made of flour, sugar, marmelade and eggs.

BIS'CUIT, n. [bis'kit; Fr. compounded of L. bis, twice, and cuit, baked; It. biscotto; Sp. bizcocho.]

  1. A kind of bread, formed into cakes, and baked hard for seamen.
  2. A cake, variously made, for the use of private families. The name, in England, is given to a composition of flour, eggs, and sugar. With us the name is given to a composition of flour and butter, made and baked in private families. But the compositions under this denomination are very various.
  3. The body of an earthern vessel, in distinction from the glazing. – Thomson.

BI-SECT', v.t. [L. bis, twice, and seco, sectum, to cut. See Section.]

To cut or divide into two parts. In geometry, one line bisects another when it crosses it, leaving an equal part of the line on each side of the point where it is crossed.


Divided into two equal parts.


Dividing into two equal parts.


The act of cutting into two equal parts; the division of any line or quantity into two equal parts.

BI-SEG'MENT, n. [bis and segment.]

One of the parts of a line, divided into two equal parts.

BI-SE'TOSE, or BI-SE'TOUS, a. [L. setosus.]

Having two bristles.


Consisting of both sexes. – Brown.


In botany, being of both sexes, as a flower containing both stamens and pistils within the same envelop.

BISH'OP, n.1 [L. episcopus; Gr. επισκοπος, of επι, over, and σκοπος, inspector, or visitor; σκοπεω, to view or inspect; whence, επισκεπτομαι, to visit or inspect; also, επισκοπεω, to view. This Greek and Latin word accompanied the introduction of Christianity into the west and north of Europe, and has been corrupted into Saxon biscop, bisceop, Sw. and Dan. biskop, D. bisschop, Ger. bischof, It. vescovo, Fr. evêque, Sp. obispo, Port. bispo, W. esgob, and Ir. easgob. In Ar. and Pers. اُسْقُفْ oskof. This title the Athenians gave to those whom they sent into the provinces subject to them, to inspect the state of affairs; and the Romans gave the title to those who were inspectors of provisions.]

  1. An overseer; a spiritual superintendent, ruler or director: applied to Christ. Ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned to the shepherd and bishop of your souls. – 1 Pet. ii.
  2. In the primitive Church, a spiritual overseer; an elder or presbyter; one who had the pastoral care of a church. The same persons are in this chapter called elders or presbyters, and overseers or bishops. – Scott. Comm. Acts xx. Till the churches were multiplied, the bishops and presbyters were the same. – Ib. Phil. i. 1.; 1 Tim. iii. 1; Titus. i. 7. Both the Greek and Latin fathers do, with one consent, declare, that bishops were called presbyters, and presbyters bishops, in apostolic times, the name being then common. – Whitby.
  3. In the Greek, Latin, and some Protestant churches, a prelate, or person consecrated for the spiritual government and direction of a diocese. In Great Britain, bishops are nominated by the king, who, upon request of the dean and chapter, for leave to elect a bishop, sends a congé d'elire or license to elect, with a letter missive, nominating the person whom he would have chosen. The election, by the chapter, must be made within twelve days, or the king has a right to appoint whom he pleases. Bishops are consecrated by an archbishop, with two assistant bishops. A bishop must be thirty years of age; and all bishops, except the bishop of Man, are peers of the realm. – Blackstone. By the canons of the Protestant Episcopal church in the United States, no diocese or state shall proceed to the election of a bishop, unless there are at least six officiating presbyters residing therein, who shall be qualified, according to the canons, to vote for a bishop; a majority of whom at least must concur in the election. But the conventions of two or more dioceses, or states, having together nine or more such presbyters, may join in the election of a bishop. A convention is composed of the clergy, and a lay delegation, consisting of one or more members from each parish. In every state, the bishop is to be chosen according to such rules as the convention of that state shall ordain. The mode of election, in most or all of the states, is by a concurrent vote of the clergy and laity, in convention, each body voting separately. Before a bishop can be consecrated, he must receive a testimonial of approbation from the General Convention of the church; or if that is not in session, from a majority of the standing committee in the several dioceses. The mode of consecrating bishops and ordaining priests and deacons, differs not essentially from the practice in England. – Bishop Brownell.

BISH'OP, n.2

  1. A cant word for a mixture of wine, oranges, and sugar. – Swift.
  2. A part of a lady's dress.

BISH'OP, v.t.

  1. To confirm; to admit solemnly into the church. – Johnson.
  2. Among horse-dealers, to use arts to make an old horse look like a young one, or to give a good appearance to a bad horse. – Ash. Encyc.


Jurisdiction of a bishop.






Resembling a bishop; belonging to a bishop. – Fulke.

BISH'OP-LY, adv.

In the manner of a bishop. – Hooker.