Dictionary: PORT-REVE – POSS

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PORT-REVE, n. [The modern orthography of portgreve, – which see.]

The chief magistrate of a port or maritime town.


A rope to draw up a portlid. – Mar. Dict.


A tadpole; a young frog. [Not used.] – Brown.

POR-Y, a. [from pore.]

Full of pores or small interstices – Dryden.

POSE, n.1 [s as z. See the Verb.]

In heraldry, a lion, horse or other beast standing still, with all his feet on the ground. – Encyc.

POSE, n.2 [s as z. Sax. gepose.]

A stuffing of the head; catarrh. [Obs.] – Chaucer.

POSE, v.t. [s as z. W. posiaw, to pose, to make an increment, to gather knowledge, to investigate, to interrogate; pos, a heap, increment, growth, increase; posel, curdled milk, posset; Sax. gepose, heaviness, stuffing of the head. The primary sense is to set or fix, from thrusting or pressing, L. posui, Sp. posar, Fr. poser; hence the sense of collecting into a lump or fixed mass, Ch. and Syr. חבץ, to press, compress, collect, coagulate. Class Bs, No. 24. See also Ar. No. 21, 31, and No. 32, 33, 35, and others in that class.]

  1. To puzzle, [a word of the same origin;] to set; to put to a stand or stop; to gravel. Learning was pos'd, philosophy was set. – Herbert. I design not to pose them with those common enigmas of magnetism. – Glanville.
  2. To puzzle or put to a stand by asking difficult questions; to set by questions; hence, to interrogate closely, or with a view to scrutiny. – Bacon.

POS-ED, pp.

Puzzled; put to a stand; interrogated closely.

POS-ER, n.

One that puzzles by asking difficult questions; a close examiner.

POS-ING, ppr.

Puzzling; putting to a stand; questioning closely.

POS'ING-LY, adv.


POS'IT-ED, a. [L. positus, from pono, to put; perhaps however, pono is a different root, and positus from the root of pose.]

Put; set; placed. – Hale.

PO-SI'TION, n. [L. positio, from positus. See Pose and Posited.]

  1. State of being placed; situation; often with reference to other objects, or to different parts of the same object. We have different prospects of the same thing according to our different positions to it. – Locke.
  2. Manner of standing or being placed; attitude; as, an inclining position.
  3. Principle laid down; proposition advanced or affirmed as a fixed principle, or stated as the ground of reasoning, or to be proved. Let not the proof of any position depend on the positions that follow, but always on those which precede. – Watts.
  4. The advancement of any principle. – Brown.
  5. State; condition. Great Britain, at the peace of 1763, stood in position to prescribe her own terms. – Ames.
  6. In grammar, the state of a vowel placed between two consonants, as in pompous, or before a double consonant, as in axle. In prosody, vowels are said to be long or short by position.


Respecting position. [Not used.] – Brown.

POS'I-TIVE, a. [It. positivo; Fr. positif; Low L. positivus.]

  1. Properly, set; laid down; expressed; direct; explicit; opposed to implied; as, he told us in positive words; we have his positive declaration to the fact; the testimony is positive.
  2. Absolute; express; not admitting any condition or discretion. The commands of the admiral are positive.
  3. Absolute; real; existing in fact; opposed to negative, as positive good, which exists by itself, whereas negative good is merely the absence of evil; or opposed to relative or arbitrary, as beauty is not a positive thing, but depends on the different tastes of people. – Locke. Encyc.
  4. Direct; express; opposed to circumstantial; as, positive proof. – Blackstone.
  5. Confident; fully assured; applied to persons. The witness is very positive that he is correct in his testimony.
  6. Dogmatic; over-confident in opinion or assertion. Some positive persisting fops we know, / That, if once wrong, will needs be always so. – Pope.
  7. Settled by arbitrary appointment; opposed to natural or inbred. In laws, that which is natural, bindeth universally; that which is positive, not so. – Hooker. Although no laws but positive are mutable, yet all are not mutable which are positive. – Hooker.
  8. Having power to act directly; as, a positive voice in legislation. – Swift. Positive degree, in grammar, is the state of an adjective which denotes simple or absolute quality, without comparison or relation to increase or diminution; as, wise, noble. Positive electricity, according to Dr. Franklin, consists in a superabundance of the fluid in a substance. Others suppose it to consist in a tendency of the fluid outward. It is not certain in what consists the difference between positive and negative electricity. Positive electricity being produced by rubbing glass, is called the vitreous; negative electricity, produced by rubbing amber or resin, is called the resinous. – Encyc.


  1. What is capable of being affirmed; reality. – South.
  2. That which settles by absolute appointment. – Waterland.
  3. In grammar, a word that affirms or asserts existence. – Harris.


  1. Absolutely; by itself, independent of any thing else; not comparatively. Good and evil removed may be esteemed good or evil comparatively, and not positively or simply. – Bacon.
  2. Not negatively; really; in its own nature; directly; inherently. A thing is positively good, when it produces happiness by its own qualities or operation. It is negatively good, when it prevents an evil, or does not produce it.
  3. Certainly; indubitably. This is positively your handwriting.
  4. Directly; explicitly; expressly. The witness testified positively to the fact.
  5. Peremptorily; in strong terms. The divine law positively requires humility, and meekness. – Sprat.
  6. With full confidence or assurance. I can not speak positively in regard to the fact. Positively electrified, in the science of electricity. A body is said to be positively electrified or charged with electric matter, when it contains a superabundance of the fluid, and negatively electrified or charged, when some part of the fluid which it naturally contains, has been taken from it. – Franklin. According to other theorists, when the electric fluid is directed outward from a body, the substance is electrified positively; but when it is entering or has a tendency to enter another substance, the body is supposed to be negatively electrified. The two species of electricity attract each other, and each repels its own kind.


  1. Actualness; reality of existence; not mere negation. The positiveness of sins of commission lies both in the habitude of the will and in the executed act too; the positiveness of sins of omission is in the habitude of the will only. – Norris.
  2. Undoubting assurance; full confidence; peremptoriness; as, the man related the facts with positiveness. In matters of opinion, positiveness is not an indication of prudence.


Peremptoriness. [Not used.] – Watts.

POS'I-TURE, n. [For Posture, is not in use. See Posture.]

POS'NET, n. [W. posned, from posiaw. See Pose.]

A little basin; a porringer, skillet, or saucepan. – Owen.


Pertaining to posology.

PO-SOL'O-GY, n. [Gr. ποσος, how much, and λογος, discourse.]

In medicine, the science or doctrine of doses. – Amer. Dispensatory.


A kind of militia in Poland, consisting of the gentry, who in case of invasion, are summoned to arms for the defense of the country. – Care.

POSS, n.

A waterfall. [Local.]