An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language by John Wilkins ...
Wilkins, John, 1614-1672., Wilkins, John, 1614-1672. Alphabetical dictionary.


THose kinds of Natural innate Qualities,*whereby things are rendred able or unable to act or resist, according to their peculiar natures, are styled

  • NATURAL POWERS, Faculty, Capacity, Endowment, Talent, Gift, Abi∣lity, Strength, Energy, Force, Virtue, may, can.
  • IMPOTENCIES, Disability, Incapacity, invalid, unable, weak, infirm, lame, dead.

These Natural Powers may be distributed into such as are

  • More particular; viz. the Faculties that are
    • RATIONAL. I.
    • Sensitive.
      • INWARD. II.
      • OUTWARD. III.
  • More general; being either
    • Corporeal; relating to the good of the
      • INDIVIDUUM. V.
      • SPECIES. VI.

I. Those Faculties whereby we are inabled to apprehend and compare the general natures of things as to Truth and Falshood, Good and Evil,*and to demean our selves accordingly towards them, are styled

  • RATIONAL, Reasonable, Ratiocination.
  • IRRATIONAL, Vnreasonable, brutish.

These may be distinguished into

  • Apprehensive; whereby we are rendred able or unable to
    • Know and apprehend knowable things, Generals as well as Particu∣lars, respecting in them Truth and Falshood.
      • UNDERSTANDING, Intellect, Mind, mental, apprehend, compre∣hend, perceive, conceive, reach, resent, Sentiment.
      • IDIOTICALNESS, being as a natural Fool, Changeling, Innocent
    • Compound and compare Notions together, so as to make a right esti∣mate of things and consequences.
      • JUDGMENT, Iudicious.
      • INIUDICIOVSNESS, Simple, Silly.
    • Apply general Principles to particular cases, being a kind of practical Judgment or Memory relating to matters of Duty.
      • VNCONSCIONABLENESS, Searedness, Profligateness, moral, Insen∣sibility.
  • Motive; whereby we do rationally follow any thing as good, or fly it as evil: or being without any such motion.
    • WILL, Desire, List, Option, Vote, Wish, Mind, Pleasure, covet, volun∣tary.
    • LISTLESNESS, no mind to.

Page  196II. INTERNAL SENSES are so styled, because they belong to the interiour parts,* and are conversant about internal and absent as well as pre∣sent things. Whether there be any such real Faculties in the Soul as are mentioned under this and the preceding Head, is not here to be debated. 'Tis sufficient that common experience doth acquaint us with such various operations of the Mind, and that general custom hath agreed upon such names for the expressing of them.

These are likewise distinguishable into

  • Apprehensive; whereby we are rendred able or unable for the
    • Receiving of impressions from the outward Senses.
      • COMMON SENSE, perceive, discern, apprehend, Sentient, resent, conceive, discover, find.
      • STVOR, Numness, amaze, astonish, narcotic, amuze, asleep, set on edge.
    • Compounding and comparing what is communicated from the outward Senses.
      • PHANSIE, Imagination, Conceit, fantastical, capricious, Phantasm.
      • DOTAGE, Delirium, Dizzard, Sot, besot.
    • Retaining such impressions.
      • MEMORY, recollect, re-call, commemorate, remember, call or come to mind, put in mind▪ suggest, record, recount, con over, getting by heart, by rote, without book, at ones fingers end, memorable, memorial, Memorandum, mindful.
      • FORGETFVLNESS, Oblivion, Vnmindfulness, overslip.
  • Motive; whereby, in order to our own Conservation, we follow or fly what is by the judgment of the Senses represented as good or evil.
    • APPETITE, Desire, Inclination, Concupiscence, Stomach, Longing, Lust, having a mind to.
    • LOATHING, fulsome, nauseate, glut, cloy, go against, queasie, squea∣mish, wambling, qualm, detest.

*III. EXTERNAL SENSES are so styled, because they reside in the exteriour parts of the body, and do apprehend only external present things; which common opinion hath determined to the number of Five: amongst which some are said to be

  • Commodious
    • For Discipline; whereby we discern
      • Light and Colour.
        • SIGHT, Vision, View, ken, Optic, descry, discern, espie, spie, peep, prie, see, perceive, look upon, behold, Glimpse, Spectacle, Spectator, Inspe∣ction, Revise, Prospect, first blush, visible, conspicuous.
        • BLINDNESS, Dimness, dark, poreblind, put out ones eyes.
      • Sounds.
        • HEARING, attend, hearken, listen, give ear, audible.
        • DEAFNESS, surd.
    • For the trial of our Food at a distance.
      • SMELL, Odor, Savour, Sent, Pomander, Perfume.
  • Necessary for the
    • Immediate trial of our Food.
      • TAST, Gust, Savour, Relish, Smack, Smatch, Tang, toothsom.
    • Perception of tangible things.
      • TOUCH, feel, contact, tactile, palpable, grope.
      • NVMNESS, Stupor, dead, torpid, asleep.

Though common Language have not affixed particular names to the impotencies of some of these, yet they ought to be provided for as well as the rest.

Page  197IV. Those natural Habitudes of the Soul or Spirit which render it fit or unfit for its proper functions,* are styled by that general name of TEM∣PER -ature, -ament, Disposition, Spirit, Genius, Fancy, Humor, Vein, Qua∣lity, Condition, Constitution, Nature.

These may be distinguished into such as are more

  • General; chiefly of moral disposition, denoting ‖ the goodness: or badness of it.
    • INGENUITY, Good nature, Candor, candid, free, liberal, clear.
    • DISINGENVITY, Ill nature, Perverseness, thwart, cross, froward, unto∣ward, wayward, awkward, refractory, untractable, wilful, stubborn, sul∣len, dogged, sturdy, stiff, restif.
  • Particular; as to
    • Action; denoting
      • Ability, or disability; aptitude, or ineptitude for it.
        • SPRIGHTLINESS, Wit, Vivacity, ingenious, brisk, lively, quick, acute, sharp, debonair, Mercurial, pregnant, presentness of mind.
        • DVLNESS, Stupidity, gross witted, hard-headed, torpid, soft, thick, heavy, dazle, dolt, Block-head, Logger-head, Dunce, Sot, indocil, dreaming.
      • Attention: or levity of mind in it.
        • SERIOUSNESS, earnest, grave, sober, staid, sad, substantial, so∣lemn.
        • WANTONNESS, lightness, aiery, playward, gamesom, dallying sportful, trifling, lascivious, giddy, petulant, skittish, toying, Ramp, Gigg, Rigg, Gambol
      • Aptitude or Ineptitude to moderate the
        • Irascible appetite.
          • GENTLENESS, Tameness, Mildness, Meekness, Lenity, break, reclaim, tame, come to hand.
          • FIERCENESS, Wildness, Haggard, Savage, barbarous, curstness, surly, eager, furious, dire, fell, grim, rough, source, keen, un∣tamed.
        • Concupiscible appetite.
          • OPPOSITE TO RAPACITY, not rapacious.
          • RAPACITY, ravenous, voracious, greedy, Harpy, devour, preying.
      • Ability or disability to attempt or resist difficulties.
        • STOUTNESS, Boldness, manful, redoubted, daring, sturdy, stre∣nuous.
        • LAZINESS, sluggish, lither, lurden, Drone, dull, soft.
    • Action and Passion, denoting an ability or disability to endure and hold out both in acting and suffering.
      • HARDINESS, Tolerance, strenuous, robust, stout, sturdy, indu∣strious, painful.
      • NICENESS, Softness, Tenderness, Delicateness, Curiosity, fine, squeamish, effeminate, finical, dainty.

Page  198*V. Those CORPOREAL HABITUDES, whereby things are ren∣dred able or unable to act or resist for the good of the INDIVIDUUM, are usually styled by those general names of Temper, Complexion, Frame, State, Constitution, Disposition, Nature.

These are distinguishable into such as concern,

  • The just number of the parts; ‖ having all: or wanting some.
    • WHOLENESS, Intireness, perfect, safe and sound, tite, consolidate, of one piece.
    • MVTILOVSNESS, maimed, mangle, lame, lopped, crippled.
  • The nature of the whole or parts; being either
    • Negative or Positive of
      • Corruption.
        • SOUNDNESS, Sanity, Healthiness, hail, heal, whole, clearness.
        • ROTTENNESS, Putridness, Corruption, purulent, tainted, unsound, moulder, festered, addle, Matter, rankle, suppurate▪ putrefie, Carrion
      • Trouble to the sense of Feeling.
        • INDOLENCE, Ease, lenitive, relaxation, clearness, lighten.
        • PAIN, Ach, smart, ail, anguish, grief, ill at ease, sore, pang, thro, tor∣ment, torture, ake, excruciate, twing, twitch, fret, gripe, gird, racking.
    • Positive or Negative;
      • General; relating to the state of the body, ‖ good: or ill.
        • VIGOR, Vivacity, thriving, vegetous, flourishing, lusty, lively, sprightly, florid, quick, fresh, in heart, in good plight, in proof, pert, smart, crank, sturdy, revive.
        • DECAYING, consume, wear, wast, drooping, fading, out of heart, flagging, languish, break, fail, going down, fall away, bring down or low, decline, impair, quail, abate, molder, pine, wither, perish, spend, corrupt.
      • Special; respecting the
        • Plight of the fleshy parts, ‖ full: or sparing.
          • FATNESS, plump▪ pampered, burly, corpulent, gross, foggy, pursie, battle.
          • LEANNESS, macilent, meagre, Starveling, flue, poor, bare, spare, thin, lank, gaunt, Rascal, scraggy, ghastly, pine, emaciate, fall away, Carrion, skin and bone.
        • Figure and colour of the external parts, ‖ right: or wrong.
          • BEAUTY -fulness, Handsomness, Pulchritude, Comeliness, Ele∣gance, Decency, fair, goodly, well-favoured, seemly, polite, quaint, pretty, graceful, lovely, personable.
          • DEFORMITY, unhandsome, ill-favoured, ugly, uncomely, misbe∣coming, Indecorum, absurd, unseemly, mishapen, foul, squalid, Hagg, deface, disfigure.
        • Ability, or disability for Action or Passion.
          • STRENGTH, Force, Might, Validity, Puissance, robust, strenuous, stout, sturdy, in heart, main, corroborate, fortifie, recruit.
          • WEAKNESS, Feebleness, Debility, Imbecillity, Infirmity, disa∣bled, faint, languid, dead, frail, out of heart, heartless, flag∣ging, invalid, small, bring down or low, enervate, decline, en∣feeble.
        • Page  199Aptitude or ineptitude for Motion,
          • In a place.
            • AGILITY, Nimbleness, Activity, Lightness, Volubility, quick, dexterous, Mercurial, restive, handy, man of his hands.
            • LVMPISHNESS, Vnweildiness, dulness, gross, heavy, pursie▪ Lob, Lubber, Slugg, Lozel.
          • To a place.
            • SWIFTNESS, Fleetness, Celerity, Speed, fast, apace, sodain, quick, rapid, hurry, accelerate, hasten, cursory, hy, expedite, run, send, whisk, post.
            • SLOWNESS, Heaviness, slackness, dull, Slug, tardy, leisurely, softly, dilatory, retard, foreslow, delay, Lob, Lubber, lumpish, Lurdan, torpid, unwieldy, gingerly.

VI. Such corporeal Habitudes as do concern the Propagation of the Species,* do refer either to the

  • Kinds of things apt for Propagation, according to the
    • General name.
      • 1. SEX, Kind, Gender, Epicene, Hermaphrodite.
    • Particular distribution into ‖ more, or less noble.
      • MALE, masculine, Buck, Bore, Dog, Gib, Cock, Milter, He.
      • FEMALE, feminine, Doe, Sow, Bitch, Hen, Spawner, She.
  • Disposition of things ‖ for, or against Propagation.
    • FRUITFULNESS, fertile-ity, foecund, prolifi•••• fructifie, rank, produce fruit.
    • BARRENNESS, Sterility, Vnfruitfulness, infertile, blasting, blite.
  • State of things generated, when they ‖ have attained the perfection they ought to have: or else are in a state of imperfection, by reason of ex∣cess, or defect.
    • RIPENESS, Maturity, mellow, Precocity, stale, hatch.
      • OVER-RIPENESS, fading, decaying, withering.
      • VNRIPENESS, immature, green.