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ASCERTAIN, as-s[.e]r-t[=a]n', _v.t._ to determine: to obtain certain knowledge of: (_rare_) to insure, certify, make certain.--_adj._ ASCERTAIN'ABLE.--_n._ ASCERTAIN'MENT. [O. Fr. _acertener_. See CERTAIN.]

ASCETIC, as-set'ik, _n._ one who rigidly denies himself ordinary sensual gratifications for conscience' sake, one who aims to compass holiness through self-mortification, the flesh being considered as the seat of sin, and therefore to be chastened: a strict hermit.--_adjs._ ASCET'IC, -AL, excessively rigid: austere: recluse.--_adv._ ASCET'ICALLY.--_n._ ASCET'ICISM. [Gr. _ask[=e]tikos_ (adj. _ask[=e]t[=e]s_), one that uses exercises to train himself--_askein_, to work, take exercise, (_eccles._) to mortify the body.]

ASCIAN, ash'yan, _n._ name given to the inhabitants of the torrid zone, who are shadowless at certain seasons, from the sun being right over their heads. [Gr. _askios_, shadowless--_a_, neg., _skia_, a shadow.]

ASCIDIANS, a-sid'i-anz, a group belonging to the tunicate Mollusca, forming a class of degenerate survivors of ancestral vertebrates, asymmetrical marine animals with a tubular heart and no feet, of a double-mouthed flask shape, found at low-water mark on the sea-beach.--_n._ ASCID'IUM, a genus of Ascidians: (_bot._) a pitcher-shaped, leafy formation, as in the _Nepenthes_. [Gr. _askidion_, dim. of _askos_, a leathern bag, wine-skin.]


ASCLEPIAD, as-kl[=e]'pi-ad, ASCLEPIADIC, as-kl[=e]-pi-ad'ik, _n._ in ancient prosody, a verse consisting of a spondee, two (or three) choriambi, and an iambus: [-- -uu- -uu- u- ]--_adj._ ASCLEPIAD'IC. [_Asclepiad[=e]s_, a Greek poet.]

ASCLEPIADS, as-kl[=e]'pi-adz, an order of Greek physicians, priests of Asclepius or aesculapius, the god of medicine. [Gr. _askl[=e]pius_, Asclepius.]

ASCLEPIAS, as-kl[=e]'pi-as, _n._ a genus of plants, native to North America, giving name to the natural order of the Asclepidaceae, and containing the milk-weed, swallow-wort, &c.

ASCRIBE, a-skr[=i]b', _v.t._ to attribute, impute, or assign.--_adj._ ASCRIB'ABLE.--_n._ ASCRIP'TION, act of ascribing or imputing: any expression of ascribing, or any formula for such, like the one ascribing glory to God repeated at the end of a sermon. [L. _ascrib[)e]re_, _-scriptum_--_ad_, to, _scrib-[)e]re_, to write.]

ASEITY, a-s[=e]'i-ti, _n._ self-origination. [L. _a_, from, _se_, self.]

ASEPTIC, a-sep'tik, _adj._ not liable to decay or putrefaction.--_n._ ASEP'TICISM. [From Gr. _a_, neg., _s[=e]ptos_, _s[=e]pomai_, to decay.]

ASEXUAL, a-seks'[=u]-al, _adj._ without sex, once applied to cryptogams--agamic. [Gr. _a_, neg., and SEXUAL.]

ASGARD, as'gard, _n._ the heaven of Norse mythology, abode of the twelve gods and twenty-six goddesses, and of heroes slain in battle. [Ice.

_asgardhr_, _[=a]ss_, a god, _gardhr_, an enclosure.]

ASH, ash, _n._ a well-known timber tree, or its wood, which is white, tough, and hard, much used in carpentry and wheel-work: the ashen shaft of a spear, or a spear itself.--_adj._ ASH'EN.--_n._ GROUND'-ASH, or ASH'-PLANT, an ash sapling.--MOUNTAIN ASH, the rowan-tree; QUAKING ASH, the aspen. [A.S. _aesc_--Ger. _esche_, Ice. _askr_.]

ASHAKE, a-sh[=a]k', _adv. phrase_, shaking. [Prep. _a_, and SHAKE.]

ASHAMED, a-sh[=a]md', _adj._ affected with shame (with _of_ for the cause of shame; _for_, the person).--_v.t._ and _v.i._ ASHAME', to feel shame: to put to shame.--_n._ ASHAMED'NESS.--_p.adj._ ASHAM'ING. [Pa.p. of old verb _ashame_.]

ASHES, ash'ez, the dust or remains of anything burnt: the remains of the human body when burnt: (_fig._) a dead body: used to express pallor, from the colour of wood-ashes, as in 'pale as ashes,' 'ashy-pale.'--_n._ ASH'-BUCK'ET, a box or bucket in which house-ashes and general refuse are collected for removal.--_adjs._ ASH'EN, ASH'EN-GRAY.--_ns._ ASH'ERY, a place where potash or pearl-ash is made; ASH'-HEAP, a heap of ashes and household refuse; ASH'-LEACH, a tub in which alkaline salts are dissolved from wood-ashes; ASH'-PAN, a kind of tray fitted underneath a grate to receive the ashes.--_adjs._ ASH'Y, ASH'Y-GRAY.--TO LAY IN ASHES, to destroy utterly by burning. [A.S. _asce_; Ice. _aska_.]

ASHET, ash'et, _n._ (now only _Scot._) a large flat dish in which meat is served. [Fr. _assiette_.]

ASHIVER, a-shiv'[.e]r, _adv. phrase_, quivering.

ASHKENAZIM, ash-k[=e]-naz'im, the Polish and German Jews, as distinguished from the _Sephardim_, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. [Heb.

_Ashkenaz_, the name of a northern people in Gen. x., located in Arabia, by later Jews identified with Germany.]

ASHLAR, ash'lar, ASHLER, ash'l[.e]r, _n._ hewn or squared stone used in facing a wall, as distinguished from rough, as it comes from the quarry--also in ASH'LAR-WORK, as opposed to _Rubble-work_.--_p.adj._ ASH'LARED.--_n._ ASH'LARING. [O. Fr. _aiseler_--L. _axillaris_, _axilla_, dim. of _axis_, _assis_, axle; also plank (cf. Fr. _ais_, It. _asse_.]

ASHORE, a-sh[=o]r', _adv._ on shore. [Prep. _a_, and SHORE.]

ASH-WEDNESDAY, ash-wenz'd[=a], _n._ the first day of Lent, so called from the Roman Catholic custom of sprinkling ashes on the head.

ASIAN, [=a]zh'yan, or [=a]sh'i-an, ASIATIC, [=a]-zhi-at'ik, or [=a]sh-i-at'ik, _adj._ belonging to Asia: florid in literature or art.--_n._ ASIAT'ICISM, imitation of Asiatic or Eastern manners.

ASIDE, a-s[=i]d', _adv._ on or to one side: privately: apart.--_n._ words spoken in an undertone, so as not to be heard by some person present, words spoken by an actor which the other persons on the stage are supposed not to hear: an indirect effort of any kind.--_adj._ private, apart.--TO SET ASIDE, to quash (a judgment).

ASINEGO, as-i-n[=e]'go, _n._ (_Shak._) a stupid fellow.--Also ASINI'CO.

[Sp. _asnico_--dim. of _asno_, L. _asinus_, ass.]

ASININE, as'in-[=i]n, _adj._ of or like an ass.--_n._ ASININ'ITY. [See ASS.]

ASK, ask, _v.t._ to seek: to request, inquire, beg, question, invite.--_v.i._ to request: to make inquiry (with _about_ and _for_--as to ask one _after_ or _for_ another). [A.S. _ascian_, _acsian_; Ger.

_heischen_, Ice. _aeskja_, Sans. _esh_, to desire.]

ASKANCE, a-skans', ASKANT, a-skant', _adv._ sideways: awry: obliquely: with a side glance, or with a side meaning.--_v.t._ (_Shak._) to turn aside.--TO EYE, LOOK, or VIEW ASKANCE, to look at with suspicion. [Ety. very obscure; perh. conn. with It. _a schiancio_, slopingly, or with Ice. _a-ska_, as in ASKEW.]

ASKEW, a-sk[=u]', _adv._ obliquely: aside: awry. [See ASKANCE.]

ASLAKE, a-sl[=a]k', _v.t._ (_arch._) to slake: to mitigate. [Prep. _a_, and SLAKE.]

ASLANT, a-slant', _adj._ or _adv._ obliquely.--Also ASKLENT' (_Scot._).

ASLEEP, a-sl[=e]p', _adj._ or _adv._ in sleep: sleeping: in the sleep of death, dead. [Prep. _a_, and SLEEP.]

ASLOPE, a-sl[=o]p', _adj._ or _adv._ on the slope.

ASMOULDER, a-sm[=o]l'der, _adv. phrase_, smouldering.

ASNORT, a-snort', _adv. phrase_, snorting. [Prep. _a_, and SNORT.]

ASP, asp, ASPIC, asp'ik, _n._ a popular name applied loosely to various genera of venomous serpents--now chiefly to the _Vipera aspis_ of Southern Europe. Cleopatra's asp was probably the small _Vipera hasselquistii_, or horned viper: the biblical asp (Heb. _pethen_) was probably the Egyptian juggler's snake (_Naja haje_). [L.--Gr. _aspis_.]

ASPARAGUS, as-par'a-gus, _n._ a plant cultivated for its young shoots, esteemed as a table delicacy.--_n._ ASPAR'AGINE, a nitrogenised crystallised substance found in asparagus and other vegetables.--_Sparrow-grass_ was long the form of the word in English.

[L.--Gr. _asparagos_.]

ASPECT, as'pekt (in _Shak._ and elsewhere, as-pekt'), _n._ look: view: appearance, also applied figuratively to the mind: position in relation to the points of the compass: the situation of one planet with respect to another, as seen from the earth.--_v.i._ (_obs._) to look at.--_adj._ AS'PECTABLE, visible, worth looking at. [L. _aspectus_--_ad_, at, _spec[)e]re_, to look.]

ASPEN, asp'en, _n._ the trembling poplar.--_adj._ made of or like the aspen: tremulous: timorous.--_adj._ AS'PEN-LIKE. [A.S. _aespe_, Ger.


ASPER, as'p[.e]r, _n._ a small silver Turkish coin.


ASPERGES, as-per'jes, _n._ a short service introductory to the mass, so called from the words _Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor_ (Ps. li.).

ASPERGILL, -UM, as'p[.e]r-jil, -um, _n._ a kind of brush used in R.C.

churches for sprinkling holy water on the people.--Also ASPERGE', ASPER'SOIR. [L. _asperg[)e]re_, to sprinkle, and dim. suffix.]

ASPERGILLUM, as-p[.e]r-jil'um, _n._ a remarkable genus of boring Lamellibranch Molluscs, in which the shell has the form of an elongated cone, terminating at the lower end in a disc, pierced by numerous small tubular holes.--_n._ ASPERGIL'LUS, the name of a genus of minute fungi or moulds occurring on decaying substances of various kinds.

ASPERITY, as-per'i-ti, _n._ roughness: harshness: bitter coldness. [L.

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