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 |



A small vermin that lies under stones and tiles. – Skinner.

CHESS, n.1 [Fr. echecs. See Check.]

An ingenious game performed by two parties with different pieces,on a checkered board, that is, a board divided into sixty-four squares or houses. The success of the game depends almost entirely on skill. Each gamester has eight dignified pieces, called a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, and two rooks or castles; also eight pawns. The pieces of the parties are of different colors. – Encyc.

CHESS, n.2 [I do not find this word in any English dictionary; nor do I know its origin or affinities. In Persian, خَّسْ chas or gas, signifies evil, depraved, and a useless weed.]

In New England, the Bromus Secalinus, a grass which grows among wheat, and is supposed to be wheat degenerated or changed, as it abounds most in fields where the wheat is winter-killed. It bears some resemblance to oats. This fact is mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist lib. 18, ca. 17. “Primum omnium frumenti vitium avena est; et hordeum in eam degenerat.” This change of wheat and barley into oats, he ascribes to a moist soil, wet weather, bad seed, &c. This opinion coincides with observations in America, as wheat is most liable to perish in moist land, and often in such places, almost all the wheat is killed, and instead of it chess often appears. But this change of wheat into chess is now denied, and the common opinion is affirmed, by the ablest botanists, to be erroneous.


A species of wild service.


The board used in the game of chess, and from the squares of which chess has its name.


A piece or puppet, for the game of chess.


Mellow earth. – Bacon.


One who plays chess; one skilled in the game of chess.


In ships, a piece of wood bolted perpendicularly on the side to confine the clews of the main sail.

CHEST, n. [Sax. cest or cyst; L. cista; W. cist; Ir. cisde; Gr. κιστη; G. kiste; D. kist; Sw. kista; Dan. kiste. See Chestnut.]

  1. A box of wood or other material, in which goods are kept or transported. It differs from a trunk in not being covered with skin or leather.
  2. The trunk of the body from the neck to the belly; the thorax. Hence, broad-chested, narrow-chested, having a broad or narrow chest.
  3. In commerce, a certain quantity; as, a chest of sugar; a chest of indigo; &c. Chest of drawers is a case of movable boxes called drawers.

CHEST, v.t.

To reposit in a chest; to hoard. – Johnson.


Having a chest, as in thick chested; narrow chested.


A disease in horses, like the pleurisy or peripneumony in the human body. – Farrier's Dict.


Being of the color of a chestnut; of a brown color. It is perhaps rarely used as a noun.

CHEST'NUT, n. [Sax. cystel, and the tree in Sax. is cystbeam or cystenbeam; L. castanea, the tree and the nut; Fr. chataigne; Arm. gistenen, or gestenen; W. castan; Sp. castaña; Port. castanha; It. castagna; G. kastanie; Sw. Dan. kastanie; from Welsh cast, envelopment, the root of castle, from separating, defending; so named from its shell or cover. It is often written chesnut.]

The fruit, seed or nut of a tree belonging to the genus Castanea. It is inclosed in prickly pericarp, which contains two or more seeds.


Castanea vesca; the tree which produces the chestnut. This tree grows to a great size, with spreading branches. It is of the most valuable timber trees, as the wood is very durable, and forms in America the principal timber for fencing. The timber is also used in building, and for vessels of various kinds. Dwarf-chestnut, or chinkapin, is another species of Castanea. Horse-chestnut, is a tree of the genus Æsculus. The common tree of this sort is a native of the north of Asia, and admired for the beauty of its flowers. It is used for shade and ornament, and its nuts are esteemed good food for horses. The scarlet-flowering horse-chestnut is a native of Carolina, Brazil and the East, and is admired for its beauty. The Italian Rose-chestnut, of the genus Mesua, bears a nut, roundish, pointed, and marked with four elevated longitudinal sutures. – Encyc. Fam. of Plants.


A species of plum. – Johnson.


The hunting leopard of India; the Felis jubata.


An expedition with cavalry. [Not used.] – Chaucer.

CHEV-AL-DE-FRISE, n. [Generally used in the plural, Chevaux de frise, pronounced shevo de freez. Fr. cheval, a horse, and frise, any thing curled, rough, entangled; the horse of frise, or frizzled horse. Hence called also turnpike, tourniquet.]

  1. A piece of timber traversed with wooden spikes, pointed with iron, five or six feet long; used to defend a passage, stop a breach, or make a retrenchment to stop cavalry.
  2. A kind of trimming.

CHEV-A-LIER', n. [Fr. from cheval, a horse; Sp. caballero. See Cavalry.]

  1. A knight; a gallant young man. – Shak.
  2. In heraldry, a horseman armed at all points. – Encyc.

CHEV'EN, n. [Fr. chevesne.]

A river fish, the chub.

CHEV'ER-IL, n. [Fr. chevreau, a kid, from chevre, a goat, L. caper, W. gavar, Arm. gavricq, gavr.]

A kid, or rather leather made of kid-skin; [used as a noun or adjective.] – Shak.


To make as pliable as kid-leather. – Montagu.

CHEV'I-SANCE, n. [s as z. Fr. chevir, to come to the end, to perform, to prevail, from chef, the head, literally the end. See Chief and Achieve.]

  1. Achievement; deed; performance; enterprise accomplished. [Obs.] – Spenser.
  2. In law, a making of contracts; a bargain. – Stat. 13 Eliz. 7.
  3. An unlawful agreement or contract. – 21 Jam. 17.
  4. An agreement or composition, as an end or order set down between a creditor and his debtor. – Encyc.