Dictionary: E – EAR'A-BLE

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the second vowel and the fifth letter of the English alphabet, seems to be the ancient Phenician and Hebrew › inverted, corresponding nearly with the Chaldaic and later Hebrew ה. Its long and natural sound in English coincides with the sound of i in the Italian and French languages, and is formed by a narrower opening of the glottis than that of a. It has a long sound, as in here, mere, me; a short sound, as in met, men; and the sound of a open or long, in there, prey, vein. As a final letter, it is generally quiescent; but it serves to lengthen the sound of the preceding vowel, or at least to indicate that the preceding vowel is to have its long sound, as in mane, cane, plume, which, without the final e, would be pronounced man, can, plum. After c and g, the final e serves to indicate that c is to be pronounced as s, and g as j. Thus without the final e, in mace [mase,] this word would be pronounced mac [mak,] and rage [raj] would be pronounced rag. In a numerous class of words, indeed in almost every word, except a few from the Greek, the final e is silent, serving no purpose whatever, unless to show from what language we have received the words, and in many cases, it does not answer this purpose. In words ending in ive, as active; in ile, as futile; in ine, as in sanguine, examine; in ite, as in definite; e is, for the most part, silent. In some of these words, the use of e is borrowed from the French; in most or all cases, it is not authorized by the Latin originals; it is worse than useless, as it leads to a wrong pronunciation; and the retaining of it in such words is, beyond measure, absurd. When two of this vowel occur together, the sound is the same as that of the single e long, as in deem, esteem, need; and it occurs often with a and i, as in mean, hear, siege, deceive, in which cases, when one vowel only has a sound, the combination I call a digraph [double written.] In these combinations, the sound is usually that of e long, but sometimes the short sound of e, as in lĕad, a metal, rĕad, pret. of rēad, and sometimes the sound of a long, as in reign, feign, pronounced rane, fane. Irregularities of this kind are not reducible to rules. As a numeral, E stands for 250. In the calendar, it is the fifth of the dominical letters. As an abbreviation, it stands for East, as in charts; E. by S., East by South.

EACH, a. [Scot. eik. This word is either a contraction of the Sax. ælc, elc, D. elk, or the Ir. ceach, or gach, Basque gucia, Fr. chaque, with the loss of the first articulation. With the Celtic corresponds the Russ. kajdei, each. I am inclined to believe both the English and Scottish words to be contractions of the Celtic ceach.]

Every one of any number separately considered or treated. The emperor distributed to each soldier in his army a liberal donative. To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment. Gen. xlv. And the princes of Israel, being twelve men, each one was for the house of his fathers. Numb. i. Simeon and Levi took each man his sword. Gen. xxxiv. To each corresponds other. Let each esteem other better than himself. It is our duty to assist each other; that is, it is our duty to assist, each to assist the other.


Every where. [Obs.]

EAD, or ED, n.

In names, is a Saxon word, signifying happy, fortunate; as in Edward, happy preserver; Edgar, happy power; Edwin, happy conqueror; Eadulph, happy assistance; like Macarius and Eupolemus in Greek, and Fausta, Fortunatus, Felicianus, in Latin. Gibson.

EA'GER, a. [Fr. aigre; Arm. egr; W. egyr; It. agro; Sp. agrio; L. acer, fierce, brisk, sharp, sour. If r is radical, this word belongs to Class Gr. Ir. gear, geire, sharp; Ger. gier. Otherwise, it coincides with L. acus, Eng. edge, Sax. ecg.]

  1. Excited by ardent desire in the pursuit of any object; ardent to pursue, perform or obtain; inflamed by desire; ardently wishing or longing. The soldiers were eager to engage the enemy. Men are eager in the pursuit of wealth. The lover is eager to possess the object of his affections.
  2. Ardent; vehement; impetuous; as, eager spirits; eager zeal; eager clamors.
  3. Sharp; sour; acid; as, eager droppings into milk, [Little used.] Shak.
  4. Sharp; keen; biting; severe; as, eager air; eager cold. [Little used.] Shak. Bacon.
  5. Brittle; inflexible; not ductile; as, the gold is too eager. [Local.] Locke.

EA'GER-LY, adv.

  1. With great ardor of desire; ardently; earnestly; warmly; with prompt zeal; as, he eagerly flew to the assistance of his friend.
  2. Hastily; impetuously.
  3. Keenly; sharply.


  1. Ardent desire to do, pursue or obtain any thing; animated zeal; vehement longing; ardor of inclination. Men pursue honor with eagerness. Detraction is often received with eagerness. With eagerness the soldier rushes to battle. The lover's eagerness often disappoints his hopes.
  2. Tartness; sourness. [Obs.]

EA'GLE, n. [Fr. aigle; Sp. aguila; It. aquila; L. aquila. Qu. from his beak, Ch. Heb. עקל, to be crooked, (see Buxtorf,) or Pers. اِجْل.]

  1. A rapacious fowl of the genus Falco. The beak is crooked and furnished with a cere at the base, and the tongue is cloven or bifid. There are several species, as the bald or white-headed eagle, the sea eagle or ossifrage, the golden eagle, &c. The eagle is one of the largest species of fowls, has a keen sight, and preys on small animals, fish, &c. He lives to a great age; and it is said that one died at Vienna, after a confinement of a hundred and four years. On account of the elevation and rapidity of his flight, and of his great strength, he is called the king of birds. Hence the figure of an eagle was made the standard of the Romans, and a spread eagle is a principal figure in the arms of the United States of America. Hence also in heraldry, it is one of the most noble bearings in armory.
  2. A gold coin of the United States, of the value of ten dollars, or forty-five shillings sterling.
  3. A constellation in the northern hemisphere, having its right wing contiguous to the equinoctial. Encyc.


  1. Sharpsighted as an eagle; having an acute sight. Dryden.
  2. Discerning; having acute intellectual vision.


Flying like an eagle; mounting high.


Having acute sight. Shak.


Swiftness like that of an eagle. Pope.


A female or hen eagle.


Etite, a variety of argillaceous oxyd of iron, occurring in masses varying from the size of a walnut to that of a man's head. Their form is spherical, oval or nearly reniform, or sometimes like a parallelopiped with rounded edges and angles. They have a rough surface, and are essentially composed of concentric layers. These nodules often embrace at the center a kernel or nucleus, sometimes movable, and always differing from the exterior in color, density and fracture. To these hollow nodules the ancients gave the name of eagle-stones, from an opinion that the eagle transported them to her nest to facilitate the laying of her eggs. Cleaveland.


A young eagle or a diminutive eagle.


Having the wings of an eagle; swift as an eagle. Milton.

EA'GRE, n.

A tide swelling above another tide, as in the Severn. Dryden.


EAME, n. [Sax. eam.]

Uncle. [Obs.] Spenser.

EAN, v.t. [or i.]

To yean. [See Yean.]


A lamb just brought forth. [Not used.]

EAR, n. [Sax. ear, eare; D. oor; Sw. öra; Dan. öre; G. ohr or öhr; L. auris, whence auricula, Fr. oreille, Sp. oreja, Port. orelha, It. orecchio. The sense is probably a shoot or limb. It may be connected with hear, as the L. audio is with the Gr. ους, ωτος.]

  1. The organ of hearing; the organ by which sound is perceived; and in general, the external and internal part is understood by the term. The external ear is a cartilaginous funnel, attached, by ligaments and muscles, to the temporal bone. Encyc.
  2. The sense of hearing, or rather the power of distinguishing sounds and judging of harmony; the power of nice perception of the differences of sound, or of consonances and dissonances. She has a delicate ear for music, or a good ear.
  3. In the plural the head or person. It is better to pass over an affront from one scoundrel, than to draw a herd about one's ears. L'Estrange.
  4. The top, or highest part. The cavalier was up to the ears in love. [Low.] L'Estrange.
  5. A favorable hearing; attention; heed; regard. Give no ear to flattery. He could not gain the prince's ear. I cried to God – and he gave ear to me. Ps. lxxvii.
  6. Disposition to like or dislike what is heard; opinion; judgment; taste. He laid his sense closer – according to the style and ear of those times. Denham.
  7. Any part of a thing resembling an ear; a projecting part from the side of any thing; as, the ears of a vessel used as handles.
  8. The spike of corn; that part of certain plants which contains the flowers and seeds; as, an ear of wheat or maiz. To be by the ears, or To fall together by the ears, or To go together by the ears, to fight or scuffle; to quarrel. To set by the ears, to make strife; to cause to quarrel. An ear for music, an ear that relishes music, or that readily distinguishes tones or intervals.

EAR, v.i.

To shoot, as an ear; to form ears, as corn.

EAR, v.t. [L. aro.]

To plow or till. [Obs.]


Used to be tilled. [Obs.] Barret.