Dictionary: TER'ROR-LESS – TES'TA

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Free from terror.


Smitten with terror. Coleridge.


Stricken with terror.

TERSE, a. [ters; L. tersus, from tergo, to wipe.]

Cleanly written; neat; elegant without pompousness; as, terse language; a terse style. Diffus'd yet terse, poetical, though plain. Harte.

TERSE'LY, adv. [ters'ly.]


TERSE'NESS, n. [ters'ness.]

Neatness of style; smoothness of language. Warton.

TER-TEN'AN'T, n. [Fr. terre, and tenant.]

The occupant of land.


In ornithology, feathers near the junction of the wing with the body.

TER'TIAN, a. [L. tertianus, from tertius, third.]

Occurring every other day; as, a tertian fever.


  1. A disease or fever whose paroxysms return every other day; an intermittent whose paroxysms occur after intervals of a little less than forty-eight hours. Cyc. Coxe.
  2. A measure of 81 gallons, the third part of a tun. [Obs.]


Third; of the third formation. Tertiary mountains are such as result from the ruins of other mountains promiscuously heaped together. Kirwan. Tertiary formation, in geology, a series of horizontal strata, more recent than chalk beds, consisting chiefly of sand and clay, and frequently embracing vast quantities of organic remains of the larger animals. It comprehends the alluvial formation, which embraces those deposits only which have resulted from causes still in operation; and the diluvial formation, which is constituted of such deposits as are supposed to have been produced by the deluge. D. Olmsted.

TER'TIATE, v.i. [L. tertius, third; tertio, to do every third day.]

  1. To do any thing the third time. Johnson.
  2. To examine the thickness of the metal at the muzzle of a gun; or in general, to examine the thickness to ascertain the strength of ordnance.


Done the third time.

TERTIUM-QUID, n. [Tertium quid. L.]

A third something.

TER-ZET'TO, n. [It.]

In music, a composition in three parts.


Formed in squares.

TES'SEL-ATE, v.t. [L. tessela, a little square stone.]

To form into squares or checkers; to lay with checkered work.


  1. Checkered; formed in little squares or mosaic work; as, a tesselated pavement.
  2. In botany, spotted like a chess board; as, a tesselated leaf. Martyn.


Forming in little squares.


Mosaic work, or the operation of making it. Forsyth, Italy.

TES-SE-RA'IC, a. [L. tessera, a square thing.]

Diversified by squares; tesselated. Atkyns.

TEST, n.1 [L. testa, an earthen pot; It. testa or testo; Fr. tĂȘt.]

  1. In metallurgy, a large cupel, or a vessel in the nature of a cupel, formed of wood ashes and finely powdered brick dust, in which metals are melted for trial and refinement. Cyc.
  2. Trial; examination by the cupel; hence, any critical trial and examination. Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune / Like purest gold. Addison.
  3. Means of trial. Each test and every light her muse will bear. Dryden.
  4. That with which any thing is compared for proof of its genuineness; a standard. Life, force and beauty must to all impart, / At once the source, the end and test of art. Pope.
  5. Discriminative characteristic; standard. Our test excludes your tribe from benefit. Dryden.
  6. Judgment; distinction. Who would excel, when few can make a test / Betwixt indifferent writing and the best? Dryden.
  7. In chimistry, a substance employed to detect any unknown constituent of a compound, by causing it to exhibit some known property. Thus ammonia is a test of copper, because it strikes a blue color with that metal, by which a minute quantity of it can be discovered when in combination with other substances. D. Olmsted.

TEST, n.2 [L. testis, a witness, properly one that affirms.]

In England, an oath and declaration against transubstantiation, which all officers, civil and military, are obliged to take within six months after their admission. They were formerly obliged also to receive the sacrament, according to the usage of the Church of England. These requisitions are made by Stat. 25 Charles II. which is called the test act. The test of 7 Jac. I. was removed in 1753. Blackstone.

TEST, v.t.

  1. To compare with a standard; to try; to prove the truth or genuineness of any thing by experiment or by some fixed principle or standard; as, to test the soundness of a principle; to test the validity of an argument. The true way of testing its character, is to suppose it [the system] will be persevered in. Edin. Review. Experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution. Washington's Address. To test this position. Hamilton, Rep. In order to test the correctness of this system. Adams' Lect. This expedient has been already tested. Walsh, Rec.
  2. To attest and date; as, a writing tested on such a day.
  3. In metallurgy, to refine gold or silver by means of lead, in a test, by the destruction, vitrification or scorification of all extraneous matter.

TES'TA, n.

In botany, the integuments of a seed.