Dictionary: H – HAB'IT-ANT

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is the eighth letter of the English Alphabet. It is properly the representative of the Chaldee, Syriac and Hebrew ח, which is the eighth letter in those alphabets. Its form is the same as the Greek Η eta. It is not strictly a vowel, nor an articulation; but the mark of a stronger breathing than that which precedes the utterance of any other letter. It is pronounced with an expiration of breath, which, preceding a vowel, is perceptible by the ear at a considerable distance. Thus harm and arm, hear and ear, heat and eat, are distinguished at almost any distance at which the voice can be beard. H is a letter sui generis, but as useful in forming and distinguishing words as any other. In our mother tongue, the Anglo-Saxon, and other Teutonic dialects, h sometimes represents the L. c, and the Gr. κ; as in horn, L. cornu, Gr. κερας; hide, G. haut, Sw. hud, D. huid, Dan. hud, L. cutis; Sax. hlinian, L. clino, Gr. κλινω, to lean; L. celo, to conceal, Sax. helan, G. hehlen, Dan. hæler. In Latin, h sometimes represents the Greek χ; as in halo, Gr. χαλαω; hio, χαω. In the modern European languages, it represents other guttural letters. In English, h is sometimes mute, as in honor, honest; also when united with g, as in right, fight, brought. In which, what, who, whom, and some other words in which it follows w, it is pronounced before it, hwich, hwat, &c. As a numeral in Latin, H denotes 200, and with a dash over it {H with super-macron} 200,000. As an abbreviation in Latin, H stands for homo, hæres, hora, &c.


an exclamation, denoting surprise, joy or grief. With the first or long sound of a, it is used as a question, and is equivalent to “What do you say?” When repeated, ha, ha, it is an expression of laughter, or sometimes it is equivalent to “Well! it is so.”

HAAF, n.

Shetland fishing ground.

HAAK, n.

A fish. Ainsworth.

HABEAS-CORPUS, n. [Habeas corpus; L. have the body.]

A writ for delivering a person from false imprisonment, or for removing a person from one court to another, &c. Cowel.

HAB'ER-DASH-ER, n. [perhaps from G. habe, D. have, goods, and G. tauschen, to barter, to truck. If not, I can give no account of its origin.]

A seller of small wares; a word little used or not at all in the United States.


The goods and wares sold by a haberdasher.


A dried salt cod. Ainsworth.

HAB'ER-GE-ON, n. [Fr. haubergeon; Norm. hauberiom; Arm. hobregon. It has been written also haberge, hauberk, &c., G. halsberge; hals, the neck, and bergen, to save or defend; It. usbergo.]

A coat of mail or armor to defend the neck and breast. It is formed of little iron rings united, and descended from the neck to the middle of the body. Encyc.


Fit; proper. [Not in use.] Spenser.

HA-BIL'I-MENT, n. [Fr. habillement, from habiller, to clothe, from L. habeo, to have.]

A garment; clothing; usually in the plural, habiliments, denoting garments, clothing or dress in general.

HA-BIL'I-TATE, v.t. [Fr. habiliter.]

To qualify. [Not used.] Bacon.


Qualification. [Not in use.] Bacon.


HAB'IT, n. [Fr. habit; Sp. habito; It. abito; L. habitus, from habeo, to have, to hold. See Have.]

  1. Garb; dress; clothes or garments in general. The scenes are old, the habits are the same / We wore last year. Dryden. There are among the statues, several of Venus, in different habits. Addison.
  2. A coat worn by ladies over other garments.
  3. State of any thing, implying some continuance or permanence; temperament or particular state of a body, formed by nature or induced by extraneous circumstances; as, a costive or lax habit of body; a sanguine habit.
  4. A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits. Frequent drinking of spirits leads to a habit of intemperance. We should endeavor to correct evil habits by a change of practice. A great point in the education of children, is to prevent the formation of bad habits. Habit of plants, the general form or appearance, or the conformity of plants of the same kind in structure and growth. Martyn.

HAB'IT, v.t.

To dress; to clothe; to array. They habited themselves like rural deities. Dryden.

HAB'IT, v.t.

To dwell; to inhabit. [Obs.] Chaucer.


Habitableness. Buckland.

HAB'IT-A-BLE, a. [Fr. from L. habitabilis, from habito, to dwell.]

That may be inhabited or dwelt in; capable of sustaining human beings; as, the habitable world. Some climates are scarcely habitable.


Capacity of being inhabited. More. Ray.

HAB'IT-A-BLY, adv.

In such a manner as to be habitable. Forsyth.


A dwelling. [Not used.]


Dwelling; abode; residence. [Not now used.] Spenser.


Legal settlement or inhabitancy. [See Inhabitancy.] Belknap.

HAB'IT-ANT, n. [Fr. from L. habitans.]

An inhabitant; a dweller; a resident; one who has a permanent abode in a place. Milton. Pope.