Dictionary: CAM-PAN'U-LA – CAN

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


CAM-PAN'U-LA, n. [L.]

The bell-flower.

CAM-PAN'U-LATE, a. [L. campanula, a little bell.]

In the form of a bell. – Botany.


A boy that serves in a camp. – Dwight.


from Campeachy in Mexico. [See Logwood.]

CAM-PES'TRAL, or CAM-PES'TRI-AN, a. [L. campestris, from campus, a field.]

Pertaining to an open field; growing in a field or open ground. – Mortimer.


In law writers, a trial by duel, or the legal combat of two champions, for the decision of a controversy. [Camp in W. is a game, and campiaw is to contend.]

CAM'PHENE, n. [A contraction of camphogen, from καμφορὰν, or καμφορὰ, camphor, and γενναω, to produce, because by combination with a certain definite quantity of oxygen, camphogen becomes camphor.]

A name recently proposed for pure oil of turpentine, (commonly called spirit of turpentine,) and lately much used, in order to disguise the nature and character of the substance, when it is to be sold for burning in lamps.

CAM'PHOR, n. [properly Cafor. Low L. camphora; Fr. camphre; It. canfora; Sp. alcanfor; Port. canfora; D. and G. kamfer; Ar. كَافٌورٌ kafor, kaforon, from كَفَرَ kafara, Heb. Ch. and Syr. כפר kafar, to drive off, remove, separate, wipe away; hence, to cleanse, to make atonement. It seems to be named from its purifying effects, or from exsudation. It will be seen that the letter m in this word is casual.]

A solid concrete substance, from the Laurus Camphora, or Indian laurel-tree, a large tree growing wild in Borneo, Sumatra, &c. It is a whitish translucent substance, of a granular or foliated fracture, and somewhat unctuous to the feel. It has a bitterish aromatic taste, and a very fragrant smell, and is a powerful diaphoretic. – Encyc. Lunier. Aikin.

CAM'PHOR, v.t.

To impregnate or wash with camphor. [Little used.]


Of the nature of camphor partaking of camphor. – Barton.


Pertaining to camphor, or impregnated with it.


In chimistry, a compound of the acid of camphor, with different bases.


To impregnate with camphor.


Impregnated with camphor.


Pertaining to camphor, or partaking of its qualities.




The tree from which camphor is obtained. According to Miller, there are two sorts of trees that produce camphor; one, a native of Borneo, which produces the best species; the other, a native of Japan, which resembles the bay-tree, bearing black or purple berries. But the tree grows also in Sumatra. The stem is thick, the bark of a brownish color, and the ramification strong, close and extended. The wood is soft, easily worked, and useful for domestic purposes. To obtain camphor, the tree is cut down, and divided into pieces, and the camphor taken out; it being found in small whitish flakes, situated perpendicularly, in irregular veins, in and near the center of the tree. It is then repeatedly soaked and washed in soapy water, to separate from it all extraneous matter. It is then passed through three sieves of different texture, to divide it into three sorts, head, belly and foot camphor. Camphor oil is camphor, before the operations of nature have reduced it to a concrete form; and concrete camphor may be reduced to oil, by nitric acid. – Asiat. Res. iv. 1.


A plant of a new genus, used by dyers. – Asiat. Res.


A playing at football. – Bryant.

CAMP'ING, ppr.



A plant, the popular name of the Lychnis.

CAM'US, or CAM'IS, n. [L. camisa.]

A thin dress. [Not English.] – Spenser.


A tropical wood used in dyeing; said to be the produce of a species of Tepesia, a genus nearly allied to Cæsalpinia.

CAN, n. [D. kan; Sax. canna; G. kanne; Dan. kande; Sw. kanna; Corn. hannath; Sans. kundha; probably from holding, containing; W. cannu or ganu, to contain, gan, capacity, a mortise; Eng. gain, in carpentry. Hence, W. cant, a circle, a hoop, a fence round a yard, a hundred; L. centum; Teut. hund, in hundred. See Cent and Hundred, and Can, infra.]

A cup or vessel for liquors, in modern times made of metal; as, a can of ale.

CAN, v.i. [pret. could, which is from another root. See Could. Can is from the Sax. cennan, to know, to bear or produce; Goth. kunnan; Sax. cunnan, to know, to be able; cunnian, to try, to attempt, to prove; cind, cyn, gecynd, kind; L. genus; D. kunnen to know, to understand, to hold, to contain, to be able, like the Fr. savoir; Dan. kan, to be able; kiender, to know; Sw. känna, to know; kunna, to be able; G. kennen, to know; können, to be able. Hence cunning, that is, knowing, skillful, experienced; G. können, a being able, ability, knowledge; kund, public; kunde, knowledge, acquaintance. The Teutonic and Gothic words unite with the Greek γενναω, to beget, as a male, and to bear, as a female, which is connected with γινομαι, to be born or produced. Can, cennan, and γενναω, are probably the same word; and the Sax. ginnan, in the compounds aginnan, beginnan, onginnan, to begin, is from the same root. The primary sense is, to strain, to stretch, to urge or thrust with force, which gives the sense of producing, and of holding, containing, which is the primary sense of knowing, comprehending; and straining gives the sense of power. The Sax. cunnian, to try, is to strain. See Ken. Ar. كَانَ kauna, to be, the substantive verb; also, to become, to be made, to endure; also, to create, to generate, to form; قَنِنَ kanina, to know; Heb. and Ch. כון, to fit or prepare, to form or fashion; whence right, fit; as we have right; Sax. reht; L. rectus, from rego, to rule, that is, to strain, stretch, make straight; Syr. ܟܢ‎ kan, to begin to be, and its derivatives, to plant or establish, to create, to be prepared; Eth. ከወነ kun, to be, to become, to be made; Ch. and Sam. as the Hebrew. See Class Gn, No. 29. 38, and 58, 42, 45, &c. Can, in English is treated as an auxiliary verb, the sign of the infinitive being omitted, as in the phrases, I can go, instead of, I can to go; thou canst go; he can go.]

  1. To be able; to have sufficient strength or physical power. One man can lift a weight which another can not. A horse can run a certain distance in a given time.
  2. To have means, or instruments, which supply power or ability. A man can build a house, or fit out a ship, if he has the requisite property. A nation can not prosecute a war, without money or credit. I will lend you a thousand dollars if I can.
  3. To be possible. Nicodemus said, How can these things be? – John iii.
  4. To have adequate moral power. A man can indulge in pleasure, or he can refrain. He can restrain his appetites, if he will.
  5. To have just or legal competent power, that is right; to be free from any restraint of moral, civil or political obligation, or from any positive prohibition. We can use a highway for travel, for this is permitted by law. A man can or can not hold an office. The Jews could not eat certain kinds of animals which were declared to be unclean. The House of Commons in England can impeach, but the House of Lords only can try impeachments. In general, we can do whatever neither the laws of God nor of man forbid. How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God. – Gen. xxxix. I can not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. – Num. xxii.
  6. To have natural strength, or capacity; to be susceptible of; to be able or free to undergo any change, or produce any effect, by the laws and constitution of nature, or by divine appointment. Silver can be melted, but can not be changed into gold. Can the rush grow without mire? – Job viii. Can the fig-tree bear olive berries? – James iii. Can faith save him? – James ii.
  7. To have competent strength, ability, fortitude, patience, &c., in a passive sense. He can not bear reproof. I can not endure this impertinence. This is a hard saying; who can hear it. – John vi.
  8. To have the requisite knowledge, experience or skill. Young men are not admitted members of college, till they can translate Latin and Greek. An astronomer can calculate an eclipse, though he can not make a coat.
  9. To have strength of inclination or motives sufficient to overcome obstacles, impediments, inconvenience or other objection. I have married a wife, and therefore I can not come. – Luke xiv. I can not rise and give thee … yet because of his importunity, he will rise and give him. – Luke xi.
  10. To have sufficient capacity; as, a vessel can not hold or contain the whole quantity.