Dictionary: HER-PET'IC – HES-PE'RI-AN

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Pertaining to the herpes or cutaneous eruptions; resembling the herpes, or partaking of its nature; as, herpetic eruptions. Darwin.


Pertaining to herpetology.


A person versed in herpetology or the natural history of reptiles.

HER-PE-TOL'O-GY, n. [Gr. ερπετος, a reptile, λογος, discourse.]

A description of reptiles; the natural history of reptiles, including oviparous quadrupeds, as the crocodile, frog and tortoise, and serpents. The history of the latter is called ophiology.

HER'RING, n. [Sax. hæring; Fr. hareng; Arm. harincq; G. hering; D. haring; It. aringa; Sp. arenque; Port. id.]

A fish of the genus Clupea. Herrings, when they migrate, move in vast shoals, and it is said that the name is formed from the Teutonic here, heer, an army or multitude. They come from high northern latitudes in the spring, and visit the shores of Europe and America, where they are taken and salted in great quantities.


The fishing for herrings, which constitutes an important branch of business with the English, Dutch, and Americans.

HERRN'HU-TER, n. [Ger.]

One of a sect established by Nicholas Lewis, count of Zinzendorf; called also Moravians.

HERS, pron.

[hurz; pron. fem. possessive; as, this house is hers, that is, this is the house of her. But perhaps it would be more correct to consider hers as a substitute for the noun and adjective, in the nominative case. Of the two houses, hers is the best, that is, her house is the best.

HER'SCHEL, n. [her'shel.]

A planet discovered by Dr. Herschel, in 1781.

HERSE, n. [hers; Fr. herse, a harrow, a portcullis, probably from cross-work; radically the same word as harrow, – which see.]

  1. In fortification, a lattice or portcullis in the form of a harrow, set with iron spikes. It is hung by a rope fastened to moulinet, and when a gate is broken, it is let down to obstruct the passage. It is called also a sarrasin or cataract, and when it consists of straight stakes without cross-pieces, it is called orgues. Herse is also a harrow, used for a chevaux de frise, and laid in the way or in breaches, with the points up, to obstruct or incommode the march of an enemy. Encyc.
  2. A carriage for bearing corpses to the grave. It is a frame only, or a box, borne on wheels.
  3. A temporary monument set over a grave. [Unusual and not legitimate.] Weever.
  4. A funeral eulogy. [Not used.] W. Browne.

HERSE, v.t. [hers.]

  1. To put on or in a herse. Shak. Chapman.
  2. To carry to the grave.

HER-SELF', pron. [her and self.]

  1. This denotes a female, the subject of discourse before mentioned, and is either in the nominative or objective case. In the nominative it usually follows she, and is added for the sake of emphasis, or emphatical distinction; as, she herself will bear the blame. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself. Exod. ii.
  2. Having the command of herself; mistress of her rational powers, judgment or temper. The woman was deranged, but she is now herself again. She has come to herself.
  3. In her true character; as, the woman acts like herself.

HERSE'LIKE, a. [hers'like.]

Funereal; suitable to funerals. Bacon.

HERS'IL-LON, n. [from herse.]

In the military art, a plank or beam, whose sides are set with spikes or nails, to incommode and retard the march of an enemy. Encyc.

HER'Y, v.t. [Sax. herian.]

To regard as holy. [Obs.] Spenser.

HES'I-TAN-CY, n. [See Hesitate.]

A doubting; literally, a stopping of the mind; a pausing to consider; dubiousness; suspense. The reason of my hesitancy about the air is – Boyle.


Hesitating; pausing; wanting volubility of speech.


With hesitancy or doubt.

HES'I-TATE, v.i. [s as z. L. hæsito; Fr. hesiter; from hæsi, pret. of L. hæreo, to hang.]

  1. To stop or pause respecting decision or action; to be doubtful as to fact, principle or determination; to be in suspense or uncertainty; as, he hesitated whether to accept the offer or not. We often hesitate what judgment to form. It is never transitive, unless by poetic license. Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike. Pope.
  2. To stammer; to stop in speaking.


Stopped; paused; doubted.


Doubting; pausing; stammering.


With hesitation or doubt.


  1. A pausing or delay in forming an opinion or commencing action; doubt; suspension of opinion or decision, from uncertainty what is proper to be decided. When evidence is clear, we may decide without hesitation.
  2. A stopping in speech; intermission between words; stammering. Swift.

HES-PE'RI-AN, a. [L. hesperius, western, from hesperus, vesper, the evening star, Venus, Gr. εσπερος.]

Western; situated at the west.


An inhabitant of a western country. J. Barlow.