Dictionary: PSIL'O-THON – PUB'LIC

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PSIL'O-THON, n. [Gr. from ψιλοω, to strip or peel.]

A depilatory; a medicine or application to take off the hair of an animal body.

PSO'AS, n. [Gr.]

The name of two inside muscles of the loins.

PSO'RA, n. [Gr.]

The itch. Also any cutaneous disease.


Pertaining to psychology.


Pertaining to a treatise on the soul, or to the study of the soul of man. – Literary Mag.


One who is versed in the nature and properties of the soul, or who writes on the subject.

PSY-CHOL'O-GY, n. [Gr. ψυχη, soul, and λογος, discourse.]

A discourse or treatise on the human soul; or the doctrine of the nature and properties of the soul. – Campbell.

PSY-CHOM'A-CHY, n. [Gr. ψυχη and μαχη.]

A conflict of the soul with the body.


Divination by consulting the souls of the dead.

PSY-CHROM'E-TER, n. [Gr. ψυχρος, cool, and μετρον.]

An instrument invented by Prof. August of Berlin, for measuring the tension of the aqueous vapor in the atmosphere. – Brande.


A fowl of the genus Tetrao, the lagopus or white game. The color of the plumage is a pale brown or ash, elegantly crossed or mottled with dusky spots and minute bars; the belly and wings are white. This fowl is seen on the summits of mountains in the north of England and of Scotland. – Encyc.

PTER-I-PLE-GIS'TIC, a. [Gr. πτερον and πλησσω.]

Relating to fowling or shooting birds.

PTER'O-DAC-TYL, n.1 [Gr. πτερον, a wing, and δακτυλος, a finger.]

A saurian reptile; the wing-toed or flying lizard, of singular formation, now extinct. – Cuvier.


A remarkable animal, which had an extremely long neck, and the second toe of the fore foot excessively elongate. It is found only fossil. [1841 Addenda only.]

PTER'O-PODE, n. [Gr. πτερον, a wing, and ποδα, feet.]

An animal having fins or processes resembling wings on each side of the mouth, as the Clio Borealis of the north seas. – Bell.

PTIS-AN, n. [tiz'an; L. ptisana; Gr. πτισανη, from πτισσω, to pound.]

A decoction of barley with other ingredients. – Encyc. Arbuthnot.

PTOL-E-MA'IC, a. [from Ptolemy, the geographer and astrologer.]

Pertaining to Ptolemy. The Ptolemaic system, in astronomy, is that maintained by Ptolemy, who supposed the earth to be fixed in the center of the universe, and that the sun and stars revolve around it. This theory was received for ages, but has been rejected for the Copernican system.

PTY'A-LISM, n. [Gr. πτυαλισμος, a spitting, from πτυαλιζω, to spit often.]

In medicine, salivation; a morbid and copious excretion of saliva. – Coxe. Encyc.

PTYS'MA-GOGUE, n. [Gr. πτυσμα, saliva, and αγω, to drive.]

A medicine that promotes discharges of saliva. – Dict.


Pertaining to puberty.

PU'BER-TY, n. [L. pubertas, from pubes.]

The age at which persons are capable of procreating and bearing children. This age is different in different climates, but is with us considered to be about fourteen years in males, and twelve in females.

PU'BES, n. [L.]

In botany, the down of plants; a downy or villous substance which grows on plants; pubescence. – Martyn.

PU-BES'CENCE, n. [L. pubescens, pubesco, to shoot, to grow mossy or hairy.]

  1. The state of a youth who has arrived at puberty; or the state of puberty. – Brown.
  2. In botany, the downy substance on plants.


  1. Arriving at puberty. – Brown.
  2. In botany, covered with pubescence, as the leaves of plants.

PUB'LIC, a. [L. publicus, from the root of populus, people; that is, people-like; Sp. publico; It. pubblico; Fr. publique; W. pobyl, people; pob, pawb, each, every, every body.]

  1. Pertaining to a nation, state or community; extending to a whole people; as, a public law, which binds the people of a nation or state, as opposed to a private statute or resolve, which respects an individual or a corporation only. Thus we say, public welfare, public good, public calamity, public service, public property.
  2. Common to many; current or circulated among people of all classes; general; as, public report; public scandal.
  3. Open; notorious; exposed to all persons without restriction. Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her public example, was minded to put her away privily. – Matth. i.
  4. Regarding the community; directed to the interest of a nation, state or community; as, public spirit; public mindedness; opposed to private or selfish. – South.
  5. Open for general entertainment; as, a public house.
  6. Open to common use; as, a public road.
  7. In general, public expresses something common to mankind at large, to a nation, state, city or town, and is opposed to private, which denotes what belongs to an individual, to a family, to a company or corporation. Public law, is often synonymous with the law of nations.