Dictionary: NIN'NY-HAM-MER – NI'TRI-FY

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A simpleton. [Little used.] Arbuthnot.

NINTH, a. [Sax. nigetha, nigotha; but ninth in English, is formed directly from nine; Sw. nijnde.]

The ordinal of nine; designating the number nine, the next preceding ten; as, the ninth day or month.


In music, an interval containing an octave and a tone.

NIP, n.

  1. A seizing.
  2. A pinch with the nails or teeth. Ascham.
  3. A small cut, or a cutting off the end.
  4. A blast; a killing of the ends of plants; destruction by frost.
  5. A biting sarcasm; a taunt. Stepney.
  6. A sip or small draught; as, a nip of toddy. [G. nippen, Dan. nipper, to sip.]

NIP, v.t. [D. knippen, to nip, to clip, to pinch; Sw. knipa; G. kneif, a knife, a nipping tool; kneifen, to nip to cut off, to pinch; kniff; a pinch, a nipping; knipp, a fillip, a snap; W. cneiviaw, to clip. These words coincide with knife, Sax. cnif, Fr. ganif or canif.]

  1. To cut, bite, or pinch off the end or nib, or to pinch off with the ends of the fingers. The word is used in both senses; the former is probably the true sense. Hence,
  2. To cutoff the end of any thing; to clip, as with a knife or scissors; as, to nip off a shoot or twig.
  3. To blast; to kill or destroy the end of any thing; hence, to kill; as, the frost has nipped the corn; the leaves are nipped; the plant was nipped in the bud. Hence, to nip in the bud, is to kill or destroy in infancy or youth, or in the first stage of growth.
  4. To pinch, bite or affect the extremities of any thing; as, a nipping frost; hence, to pinch or bite in general; to check growth.
  5. To check circulation. When blood is nipt. [Unusual.] Shak.
  6. To bite; to vex. And sharp remorse his heart did prick and nip. Spenser.
  7. To satirize keenly; to taunt sarcastically. Hubberd.

NIP'PED, or NIPT, pp.

Pinched; bit; cropped; blasted.


  1. A satirist. [Not used.] Ascham.
  2. A fore tooth of a horse. The nippers are four.


A small cup.


Small pinchers.

NIP'PING, ppr.

Pinching; pinching off; biting off the end; cropping; clipping; blasting; killing.


With bitter sarcasm. Johnson.

NIP'PLE, n. [Sax. nypele; dim. of nib, neb.]

  1. A teat; a dug; the spongy protuberance by which milk is drawn from the breasts of females. Ray. Encyc.
  2. The orifice at which any animal liquor is separated. Derham.


A plant of the genus Lapsana.

NIS'AN, n.

A month of the Jewish calendar, the first month of the sacred year and seventh of the civil year, answering nearly to our March. It was originally called Abib, but began to be called Nisan after the captivity. Encyc.


In law, a writ which lies in cases where the jury being impanneled and returned before the justices of the bench, one of the parties requests to have this writ for the ease of the county, that the cause may be tried before the justices of the same county. The purport of the writ is, that the sherif is commanded to bring to Westminster the men impanneled at a certain day, before the justices, nisi prius, that is, unless the justices shall first come into the county to take assizes. Hence the courts directed to try matters of fact in the several counties are called courts of Nisi Prius, or Nisi Prius courts. In some of the United States, similar courts are established, with powers defined by statute.

NIT, n. [Sax. hnitu; G. niss; D. neet; Sw. gnet; Dan. gnid; W. nezen, nêz.]

The egg of a louse or other small insect. Derham.

NI'TEN-CY, n. [from L. niteo, to shine.]

  1. Brightness; luster. [Lattle used.]
  2. [L. nitor, to strive.] Endeavor; effort; spring to expand itself. [Little used.] Boyle.

NI'TER, or NI'TRE, n. [Fr. nitre; Sp. and It. nitro; L. nitrum; Gr. νιτρον; Heb. and Syr. נתר; Ar. نِطْرُونَ nitrona. In Hebrew, the verb under which this word appears signifies to spring, leap, shake, and to strip or loose; in Ch. to strip or to fall off; in Syriac, the same; in Sam. to keep, to watch or guard; in Ar. the same; in Eth. to shine.]

A salt, called also salt-peter, [stone-salt,] and in the modern nomenclature of chimistry, nitrate of potassa. It exists in large quantities in the earth, and is continually formed in inhabited places, on walls sheltered from rain, and in all situations where animal matters are decomposed, under stables and barns, &c. It is of great use in the arts; is the principal ingredient in gunpowder, and is useful in medicines, in preserving meat, butter, &c. It is a white crystaline salt, and has an acrid, bitterish taste. Hooper. Fourcroy.

NITH'ING, n. [Sax.]

A coward; a dastard; a poltroon. [See Niding.]

NIT'ID, a. [L. nitidus.]

  1. Bright; lustrous; shining. Boyle.
  2. Gay; spruce; fine; applied to persons. [Little used.] Reeve.


A salt formed by the union of the nitric acid with a base; as, nitrate of soda. Lavoisier. Fourcroy.


Combined with nitric acid.


Impregnated with nitric acid. Nitric acid is composed of oxygen and nitrogen or azote, in the proportions of five equivalents of the former, to one of the latter.


The process of forming or converting into niter.

NI'TRI-FY, v.t. [niter and L. facio.]

To convert into niter.