Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

1. When all the leading terms relating to the same general subject are collected together, duly arranged, and appropriately defined, the definitions taken collectively constitute a brief treatise on that particular subject, and lend to each other a mutual interest which would be lost if the same definitions were disjoined by the artificial arrangement of an alphabetical vocabulary

2. The association of words, according to their affinities of meaning, or according to their common relation to the same central idea, assists the memory, so that a collection of kindred words, with their definitions, will be more easily remembered than the same number of words and definitions that have no bond of mutual connection. Let, for instance, the various English terms that relate to the idea of Light be collected, arranged, and defined, the student will thereby be enabled to treasure up, in the space of an hour or two, a stock of information which would have required years to accumulate by consulting a dictionary, as the terms might occur from time to time in the course of his reading Other subjects, as those of Color, Sound, Form, Number, Time, etc., might be mastered with a like facility; and in the course of a few months the learner might, in this manner, gain some knowledge of a large proportion of the inore useful terms of the language.

3. A topical classification of words necessarily brings synonyms, or words of similar meaning, in juxtaposition. Now, it is much easier 'to learn to discriminate between words separated only by slight shades of difference in their meaning when they are defined and studied in connection with each other, than when they are considered separately.

4. The topical classification of words brings together the different terms derived froin the same root. Now, the definition of a Latin or Greek root will frequently shed such a light upon a number of English terms derived from this root, as to render it unnecessary to define the derivatives separately, and thus an important saving of time and labor to the student is effected. The association of the derivatives with their root also aids the memory in retaining the entire family; for any one of the derivatives will suggest the idea of the root, and the recollection of the root will suggest all the derivatives with their significations. Another advantage of studying words in connection with their roots is, that this connection often gives a force and beauty to the meaning of the derivatives, whicb.would be entirely lost in any definition that disregarded this connechior

Nearly all the Latin and Greek roots from which important English words have been derived will be found in the present work, the most of hiem cccairing more than once. The study of this volume may

therefore serye, in some degree, as a substitute for the study of the Latin and Greek languages:

The guthat would claim the following as points of special merit in his work, as compared with most other works analogous in their nature to the present:

1. The connection between the meaning of roots and that of their de rivatives, has, in most instances, been clearly exhibited.

2. The connection between the primary and the secondary meanings of the same word has generally been traced, and the process by which one meaning has grown out of another has been pointed out.

3. The faulty method of defining by synonyms has been avoided, each definition being given in the form of a single short sentence, descriptive of the meaning of the word defined.

4. A large proportion of the definitions are illustrated by sentences and phrases, showing the proper manner of using the words defined.

5. The present is a readable book of definitions, a claim which can be made in behalf of no other work extant, since no dictionary or definer, in which the words are arranged alphabetically, can be used in any other way than as a book of reference. The man who undertook to read the dictionary through thought that the subject changed too frequently and too abruptly, and soon abandoned the enterprise. The young lady who undertook to read the same book, found the stories too short to be interesting.. The topical arrangement of the present work gives connection and continuity to the subjects, and weaves the young lady's very short stories into entertaining tales of a respectable length.

6. A common dictionary may be compared to a cabinet of minerals, in which the specimens are arranged according to their shape, size, or color, and not according to their chemical nature. The object of the present undertaking is to sort the specimens, and to arrange them according to their natural affinities, assigning to the earths, the metallic ores, and the precious stones distinct compartments, and appropriating a separate shelf to each species, with its several varieties.

In conclusion, the author would say, that if the present volume shall be found adapted to give interest to what has hitherto been regarded by most persons as a dry branch of learning, and to induce a more general attention to the all-important but much-neglected study of words, the object which prompted the preparation of the volume will have been attained.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

EXPLANATION.

43. Tur character * indicates that the word to which it is prefixed has a significa

tion directly opposite to that of the word which has just been defined.

[blocks in formation]

CONTRACTIONS. Lit., literal, or literally.

Freq., frequentative. Fig., figurative, or figuratively. Dim., diminutive.

|

THE TOPICAL LEXICON.

OF LIGHT.

1. Terms significant of the various ble and unsteady light, like the flame

modifications of Light. of an expiring lamp. LIGHT is the agent which renders

To TWINKLE is to shine with a objects visible.

small intermitting light. Light, in a figurative sense, is the

NOTE.- Twinkle is a modification of winkle, information which enables us to ap- When, therefore, we say that the stars twinkle,

which is a diminutive and frequentative of wink. prehend the true nature and rela- we compare them to little eyes that open and tions of things.

shut with great rapidity. NOTE 1.-There are two theories in regard to

To SPARKLE is to shine with a rethe nature of light. The one theory supposes semblance of sparks. A collection light to be a material fluid, emanating in minute of small diamonds sparkles. Spanparticles from luminous bodies. the other theory, the sensation of light is pro- gles of frost sparkle in the sunlight. duced by the undulations of a subtle ether act- A SPANGLE is, 1. A small plate or ing on the organs of sight, in a manner analo. acting on the organs of hearing, produce the thing that is very bright and sparkgous to that in which the undulations of the air, boss of shining metal. 2. Any little sensation of sound. The latter of these theories ling. is generally received by scientific men of the present day.

To Spangle, or to Bespangle, is to NOTE 2-Light is propagated through space adorn with spangles. in right lines, at the rate of 192,000 miles per The spacious firmament on high, second.

With all the blue, ethereal sky, To Shine is either to emit inherent And spangled heavens, a shining frane, light, as the sun; or to reflect bor

Their great Original proclaim.-Addisou. rowed light, as the moon.

To GLIMMER is to shine with a faint A SHEEN is a reflected shining.

and tremulous light. Dying embers And the sheen of their spears was like stars on

glimmer on the hearth.

The early

dawn glimmers in the east. When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Gali- To GLEAM is to shoot forth small lee-Byron.

streams of light. Bright, either emitting or reflect. The meek-eyed morn appears, mother of dews, ing light freely. The sun is bright, At first faint gleaming in the dappled east.

Thomson as is likewise the piece of polished steel that reflects his brightness.

Figuratively, we speak of a gleam Dim, either emitting or reflecting a

of hope. faint light

To GLITTER is to shine with an unThe stars shall die, tho sun grow dim with

steady and irregular emission or reage.-Addison.

flection of light. The stars glitter, How is the gold become dim !-Lam. iv. The diamond on a lady's ring glitters. Dull, deficient either in native or

To GLISTER is to shine with a keen borrowed brightness. A lamp that and sparkling light. needs trimming gives a dull light. A

Pleasant the sun, key that is not used becomes dull. When first on this delightful land he spreads

His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, To FLICKER is to shine with a fee-Glistering with dew.-Yillon.

the sea,

a

Gloss is the reflection of light understood; as a lucid arrangement. from a smooth surface; as, the gloss 2. Illuminated by the light of reason. of silk.

Lunatics sometimes enjoy lucid inTo GLISTEN is to shine with a re-tervals. flection of light from a glossy surface. Elucidate, lit., to place in a clear A well-polished boot glistens. A light. Hence, to render intelligible; tear-drop glistens in the eye. as, to elucidate an obscure passage.

To Glow is to shine with heat. A Translucent, transmitting light, but bar of iron glows when it is first not transparent. A cup of Chinawithdrawn from the furnace of a ware, or a vase of alabaster is transsmith's forge.

lucent. (trans, through.) To Glow also signifies to shine LUCIFER, light-bearing; as, lucifer without heat. Certain insects glow matches. (L. fero, to bear.) in the dark.

Lucifer, the Morning Star; so To Flare is to shine with a wa- called because this star precedes vering light, as the flame of a lamp the sun, and bears, or brings in, the when it is agitated by the wind. light of day.

To Flash is to send forth a sudden Lucifer, Satan. and momentary light.

NOTE.-In Isaiah xiv, 11, the king of Babylon To CORUSCATE is to send forth is thus addressed: “How art thou fallen from flashes of light. Lightning corus- Heaven, o Lucifer, Son of the morning!" Ter.

tullian and Gregory the Great understood this cates.

of the fall of Satan, and from this circumstance To Blaze is to shine with a broad the name Lucifer has since been applied to Sa

tan.--Robinson's Calmet. and flame-like light. To Dazzle is to overpower the eye

LUMEN, light (L.) Hence, with light.

We are dazzled by the Luminous, emitting light; as brightness of the sun.

luminous body. TO GLARE is to shine with a strong Luminary, a body that emits light. and offensive light.

Illuminate, to enlighten, (or to Here in a grotto, sheltered close from air,

cast light upon.) (il for in, upon.) And screened in shades from day's detested glare, Illume and Illumine, poetic forms She sighs forever.- Pope.

of illuminate. To GLARE is also to look with fierce, Relume, or Relumine, to light or piercing eyes.

kindle again; as to relume a dying NOTE.—The glaring of the eyes depends upon

lamp. (re, again.) a vivid reflection of light.

Nore.- Relume and Relumine are also poetical To Beam is to send forth a strong terms. and steady light; as, the beaming SPLENDEO, to shine with a strong

and vivid light. (L.) Hence, A GLIMPSE is, 1. A weak, faint light;

Splendid, very bright, either literas, scarce a glimpse of light.-— Milton. ally or figuratively; as a splendid 2. A flash of light.

luminary; a splendid equipage; a Swift as the lightning's glimpse they ran.

splendid achievement.

Splendor, great brightness, both 3. A transient luster.

lit. and fig.; as, the splendor of the One glimpse of glory to thy issue give.-- Dryden. sun; the splendor of noble deeds. 4. A short, transitory view.

Resplendent, shining with a brilBRILLER, to sparkle (Fr.) Hence, liant reflection of light. (re, back.)

Brilliant, sparkling ; as a brilliant Resplendence or Resplendency, a gem.

brilliant reflection of light. Lux, light; and LUCEO, to shine Fulgeo, to shine with great bright(L.) Hence,

ness. (L.) Hence, Lucid, bright; as, the lucid orbs Refulgent, reflecting light with of heaven. Fig 1. Clear and easily Igreat brilliancy. (re, back.)

sun.

Millon.

« ForrigeFortsett »