Dictionary: PE-NULT' – PEP'PER-ING

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PE-NULT', n. [L. penultimus; pene, almost, and ultimus, last.]

The last syllable of a word except one.

PE-NULT'I-MATE, a. [supra.]

The last but one; a word used of the last syllable of a word except one. It may be sometimes used as a noun.

PE-NUM'BRA, n. [L. pene, almost, and umbra, shade.]

  1. In astronomy, a partial shade or obscurity on the margin of the perfect shade in an eclipse, or between the perfect shade, where the light is entirely intercepted, and the full light. – Cyc.
  2. In painting, the point of a picture where the shade blends with the light. – Elmes.

PE-NU'RI-OUS, a. [It. penurioso, from L. penuria, scarcity, want; Gr. πενης, poor, σπανος, rare.]

  1. Excessively saving or sparing in the use of money; parsimonious to a fault; sordid; as, a penurious man. It expresses somewhat less than niggardly.
  2. Scanty; affording little; as, a penurious spring. – Addison.


In a saving or parsimonious manner; with scanty supply.


  1. Parsimony; a sordid disposition to save money. – Addison.
  2. Scantiness; not plenty.

PEN'U-RY, n. [L. penuria, from Gr. πενης, needy.]

Want of property; indigence; extreme poverty. All innocent they were exposed to hardship and penury. – Sprat.

PE'ON, n.

  1. In Hindoostan, a foot soldier, or a footman armed with sword and target; said to be corrupted from piadah. [Qu. L. pes, pedis.] Hence,
  2. In France, a common man in chess; usually written and called pawn.

PE'ON-Y, n. [L. pæonia; Gr. παιωνια, from παιων, Apollo.]

A plant and flower of the genus Pæonia. It is written also piony, but incorrectly.

PEO-PLE, n. [Fr. peuple; L. populus; W. pawb, pob, each, every one; poblac, common people; G. pobel; Ir. pupal, pobal; Sp. pueblo; Russ. bobiel, a peasant. This word coincides in elements with babe and pupil; and perhaps originally signified the children of a family, like gens.]

  1. The body of persons who compose a community, town, city or nation. We say, the people of a town; the people of London or Paris; the English people. In this sense, the word is not used in the plural, but it comprehends all classes of inhabitants, considered as a collective body, or any portion of the inhabitants of a city or country.
  2. The vulgar; the mass of illiterate persons. The knowing artist may judge better than the people. – Walter.
  3. The commonalty, as distinct from men of rank. Myself shall mount the rostrum in his favor, / And strive to gain his pardon from the people. – Addison.
  4. Persons of a particular class; a part of a nation or community; as, country people.
  5. Persons in general; any persons indefinitely; like on in French, and man in Saxon. People were tempted to lead by great premiums and large interest. – Swift.
  6. A collection or community of animals. The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. – Prov. xxx.
  7. When people signifies a separate nation or tribe, it has the plural number. Thou must prophesy again before many peoples. – Rev. x.
  8. In Scripture, fathers or kindred. – Gen. xxv.
  9. The Gentiles. To him shalt the gathering of the people be. – Gen. xliv.

PEO-PLE, v.t. [Fr. peupler.]

To stock with inhabitants. Emigrants from Europe have peopled the United States.


Stocked or furnished with inhabitants.


Stocking with inhabitants.


Vulgar. – Chaucer.

PE-PAS'TIC, n. [Gr. πεπαινω, to concoct or mature.]

A medicine used to promote proper suppuration and granulation in wounds not healed by the first intention, and in ulcers.


A volcanic conglomerate.

PEP'PER, n. [L. piper; Sax. peppor; D. peper; Sw. peppar; G. pfeffer; Dan. peber; Fr. poivre; It. pepe; Gr. πεπερι; Hindoo, pipel; Sanscrit, pipali; Pers. pilpil.]

A plant and its fruit, of the genus Piper, of which there are very numerous species. The stem of the black pepper plant is a vine requiring a prop, which is usually a tree. The leaves are oval and the flower white. We have four kinds of pepper, the black, the white, the long, and cubebs. The black pepper is the produce of Java, Sumatra, Ceylon, and other Asiatic countries; the white pepper is the black pepper decorticated; the long pepper is the fruit of a different species, also from the East Indies. It consists of numerous grains attached to a common footstalk. Cubebs are brought from Java, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and the Isle of France. Pepper has a strong aromatic smell and a pungent taste. – Asiat. Res. Encyc.

PEP'PER, v.t.

  1. To sprinkle with pepper.
  2. To beat; to pelt with shot; to mangle with blows. – Shak.


A small box with a perforated lid, used for sprinkling pulverized pepper on food.


A kind of spiced cake or gingerbread.


  1. The berry or fruit of the pepper plant.
  2. Something of inconsiderable value; as, lands held at the rent of a pepper-corn.


Sprinkled with pepper; pelted; spotted.


A kind of cake made in England.


A plant of the genus Pilularia; also, a plant of the genus Lepidium.


  1. Sprinkling with pepper; pelting.
  2. adj. Hot; pungent; angry. – Swift.