a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


DIL'A-TO-RI-NESS, n. [from dilatory. The quality of being dilatory or late; lateness; slowness in motion; delay in proceeding; tardiness.]

DIL'A-TO-RY, a. [Fr. dilatoire; It. dilatorio; Low L. dilatorius, from differo, dilatus. See Delay, and Dilate.]

  1. Literally, drawing out or extending in time: hence, slow; late; tardy; applied to things; as, dilatory councils or measures.
  2. Given to procrastination; not proceeding with diligence; making delay; slow; late; applied to persons; as, a dilatory messenger. A man is dilatory when he delays attendance, or performance of business, beyond the proper time.
  3. In law, intended to make delay; tending to delay; as, a dilatory plea, which is designed or which tends to delay the trial of a cause. – Blackstone.

DI-LEC'TION, n. [L. dilectio.]

A loving. – Martin.

DI-LEM'MA, n. [Gr. διλημμα, a syllogism which strikes on each side; δις and λημμα, an assumption, from λαμβανω, to take.]

  1. In logic, an argument equally conclusive by contrary suppositions. A young rhetorician said to an old sophist: “Instruct me in pleading, and I will pay you, when I gain a cause.” The master sued for the reward, and the scholar endeavored to elude the claim by a dilemma. If I gain my cause, I shall withhold your pay, because the award of the judge will be against you. If I lose it, I may withhold it, because I shall not yet have gained a cause.” The master replied: “If you gain your cause, you must pay me, because you are to pay me, when you gain a cause; if you lose it, you must pay me, because the judge will award it.” – Johnson.
  2. A difficult or doubtful choice; a state of things in which evils or obstacles present themselves on every side, and it is difficult to determine what course to pursue. A strong dilemma in a desperate case! / To act with infamy, or quit the place. – Swift.

DIL-ET-TAN'TE, n. [It.]

An admirer or lover of the fine arts; one who delights in promoting science or the fine arts. – Burke.

DIL'I-GENCE, n. [L. diligentia, from diligo, to love earnestly; di and lego, to choose.]

  1. Steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth; due attention; industry; assiduity. Diligence s the philosopher's stone that turns every thing to gold. Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure. – 2 Pet. i.
  2. Care; heed; heedfulness. Keep thy heart with all diligence. – Prov. iv.
  3. The name of a stage-coach, used in France.

DIL'I-GENT, a. [L. diligens.]

  1. Steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduous; attentive; industrious; not idle or negligent; applied to persons. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings. – Prov. xxii.
  2. Steadily applied; prosecuted with care and constant effort; careful; assiduous; as, make diligent search. The judges shall make diligent inquisition. – Judges xix.


With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God. – Deut. vi.

DILL, n. [Sax. dil, dile; Sw. dill; Dan. dild; D. dille; G. dill.]

An annual plant of the genus Anethum, the seeds of which are moderately warming, pungent and aromatic.

DI-LU'CID, a. [L. dilucidus.]

Clear. [Not in use.]


To make clear. [Not in use. See Elucidate.]


The act of making clear.

DI-LU'CID-LY, adv.


DIL'U-ENT, a. [L. diluens. See Dilute.]

  1. Making liquid or more fluid; making thin; attenuating.
  2. Weakening the strength of, by mixture with water.


  1. That which thins or attenuates; that which makes more liquid.
  2. That which weakens the strength of; as water, which, mixed with wine or spirit, reduces the strength of it.

DI-LUTE', a.

Thin; attenuated; reduced in strength, as spirit or color. – Newton.

DI-LUTE', v.t. [L. diluo, dilutus; di, dis, and lavo, luo, to wash, contracted from lago or lugo. See Deluge.]

  1. Literally, to wash; but appropriately, to render liquid, or more liquid; to make thin, or more fluid. Thus sirup or melasses is made thin or more liquid by an admixture with water; and the water is said to dilute it. Hence,
  2. To weaken, as spirit or an acid, by an admixture of water, which renders the spirit or acid less concentrated. Thus, we dilute spirit, wine or a decoction, by adding to it water.
  3. To make weak or weaker, as color, by mixture. – Newton.
  4. To weaken; to reduce the strength or standard of; as, to dilute virtue. – Milner.

DI-LUT'ED, pp.

Made liquid; rendered more fluid; weakened, made thin, as liquids.

DI-LU'TED-LY, adv.

In a diluted form.


That which makes thin, or more liquid.

DI-LUT-ING, ppr.

Making thin or more liquid; weakening.


The act of making thin, weak, or more liquid. Opposite to dilution is coagulation or thickening. – Arbuthnot.

DI-LU'VIAL, or DI-LU'VI-AN, a. [L. diluvium, a deluge, from diluo. See Dilute.]

  1. Pertaining to a flood or deluge, more especially to the deluge in Noah's days.
  2. Effected or produced by a deluge, particularly by the great flood in the days of Noah. Buckland.


One who explains geological phenomena by the deluge. – Lyell.

DI-LU'VI-ATE, v.t.

To run as a flood. [Not much used.] – Sandys.