Dictionary: K – KAYLE

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the eleventh letter of the English Alphabet, is borrowed from the Greeks, being the same character as the Greek kappa, answering to the Oriental kaph. It represents a close articulation, formed by pressing the root of the tongue against the upper part of the mouth, with a depression of the lower jaw and opening of the teeth. It is usually denominated a guttural, but is more properly a palatal. Before all the vowels, it has one invariable sound, corresponding with that of c, before a, o and u, as in keel, ken. In monosyllables, it is used after c, as in crack, check, deck, being necessary to exhibit a correct pronunciation in the derivatives, cracked, checked, decked, cracking, for without it, c, before the vowels e and i, would be sounded like s. Formerly, k was added to c, in certain words of Latin origin, as in musick, publick, republick. But in modern practice, k is very properly omitted, being entirely superfluous, and the more properly, as it is never written in the derivatives, musical, publication, republican. It is retained in traffick, as in monosyllables, on account of the pronunciation of the derivatives, trafficked, trafficking, and in frolick. K is silent before n, as in know, knife, knee. As a numeral, K stands for 250; and with a stroke over it, thus, K̅ for 250,000. This character was not used by the ancient Romans, and rarely in the later ages of their empire. In the place of k, they used c, as in clino, for the Greek κλινω. In the Teutonic dialects, this Greek letter is sometimes represented by h. [See H.]


A bird, a species of starling, found in China.


A fish of a brown color, without scales.

KAF'FER, or CAF'FER, n. [Arabic. Whence Caffraria in Africa.]

An unbeliever; a name given to the Hottentots, who reject the Mohammedan faith.

KALE, n. [L. caulis; W. cawl.]

Sea-cale, an esculent plant of the genus Crambe.

KAL-EID-O-SCOPE, n. [Gr. καλος, beautiful, ειδος, form, and σκοπεω, to see.]

An instrument which exhibits an infinite variety of beautiful colors and symmetrical forms of its contents – an invention of Dr. Brewster.



A sort of dervise.

KA'LI, n. [Ar. قَاِي kali, the ashes of the Salicornia, from قَاَي kalai, to fry.]

A plant, a species of Salsola, or glass-wort, the ashes of which are used in making glass. Hence Alkali, – which see.

KA'LIF, n. [See CALIF.]

KAL'MI-A, n.

The name of a genus of evergreen shrubs, natives of North America, sometimes incorrectly called laurel, ivy-bush, and also calico-bush, &c.


KAN, or KAUN, n. [or KHAN.]

In Persia, an officer answering to a governor in Europe or America. Among the Tartars, a chief or prince. [See Khan.]


A singular animal found in New Holland, resembling in some respects the opossum. It belongs to the genus Kangurus. It has a small head, neck and shoulders, the body increasing in thickness to the rump. The fore legs are very short, useless in walking, but used for digging or bringing food to the mouth. The hind legs, which are long, are used in moving, particularly in leaping. – Encyc.


Relating to the doctrines or philosophy of Kant. As a noun, a follower of Kant.


The doctrines or theory of Kant, the German metaphysician.


A disciple or follower of Kant.

KA'O-LIN, n.

A species of earth or variety of clay, used as one of the two ingredients in the Oriental porcelain. The other ingredient is called in China petunse. Its color is white, with a shade of gray, yellow or red. – Encyc. Cleaveland.


A species of gray fox found in the Russian empire. – Tooke.

KARPH'O-LITE, n. [Gr. καρφος, straw, and λιθος, a stone.]

A mineral recently discovered. It has a fibrous structure and a yellow color. – Werner. Cleaveland.

KA'TA, n.

In Syria, a fowl of the grous kind.

KAW, n.

The cry of the raven, crow or rook. – Dryden.

KAW, v.i. [from the sound.]

To cry as a raven, crow or rook. – Locke.

KAWN, n.

In Turkey, a public inn.

KAYLE, n. [Fr. quille, a nine-pin, a keel.]

  1. A nine-pin, a kettle-pin; sometimes written keel. – Sidney. Carew.
  2. A kind of play in Scotland, in which nine holes ranged in threes, are made in the ground, and an iron ball rolled in among them. – Johnson.