BAILIFF, b[=a]l'if, _n._ formerly any king's officer, e.g. sheriffs, mayors, &c., but applied specially to the chief officer of a hundred, still the title of the chief magistrate of various towns (e.g. High-bailiff of Westminster, cf. Bailiff of Dover Castle, also the _bailly_ or first civil officer of the Channel Islands: a sheriff's officer: an agent or land-steward.--_n._ BAIL'IWICK, the jurisdiction of a bailiff. [O. Fr.
_baillif_--Low L. _bajulivus_--_bajalus_, carrier, administrator. See BAIL.]
BAIRAM, b[=i]'ram, _n._ the name of two Mohammedan festivals--the _Lesser Bairam_ lasting three days, after the feast of Ramadan, and the _Greater Bairam_ seventy days later, lasting four days. [Pers.]
BAIRN, b[=a]rn, _n._ (_Scot._) a child.--_adj._ BAIRN'-LIKE.--_ns._ BAIRN'TEAM, BAIRN'TIME, brood of children. [A.S. _bearn_--_beran_, to bear.]
BAISEMAIN, b[=a]z'mang, _n._ (_obs._) mostly in _pl._, compliment paid by kissing the hand. [Fr. _baiser_, to kiss, and _main_, hand.]
BAIT, b[=a]t, _n._ food put on a hook to allure fish or make them bite: any allurement or temptation: a refreshment taken on a journey, or the time taken up by such.--_v.t._ to set food as a lure: to give refreshment on a journey: to set dogs on a bear, badger, &c.: to worry, persecute, harass.--_v.i._ to take refreshment on a journey. [M. E. _beyten_--Scand.
_beita_, to make to bite, causal of _bita_, to bite.]
BAIZE, b[=a]z, _n._ a coarse woollen cloth with a long nap, used mainly for coverings, linings, &c., but in some countries for clothing. [Fr. _baies_, _pl._ of _bai_--L. _badius_, bay-coloured.]
BAJAN. See BEJAN.
BAKE, b[=a]k, _v.t._ to dry, harden, or cook by the heat of the sun or of fire: to prepare bread or other food in an oven: to harden as by frost.--_v.i._ to work as a baker: to become firm through heat.--_pa.p._ baked (b[=a]kt); _pr.p._ b[=a]k'ing.--_ns._ BAKE'HOUSE, a house or place used for baking in; BAKE'MEAT (_B._), pastry, pies.--_pa.p._ BAK'EN = _baked_.--_ns._ BAK'ER, one who bakes bread, &c.--(_obs._) BAX'TER; BAK'ERY, a bakehouse; BAKE'STONE, a flat stone or plate of iron on which cakes are baked in the oven; BAK'ING, the process by which bread is baked: the quantity baked at one time. [A.S. _bacan_; cog. with Ger. _backen_, to bake, Gr. _phog-ein_, to roast.]
BAKSHEESH. See BACKSHEESH.
BALAAM, b[=a]'lam, _n._ a prophet who strives to mislead, like Balaam in Numb. xxii.-xxiv.: unimportant paragraphs kept in readiness to fill up a newspaper.--_ns._ B[=A]'LAAM-BOX, or -BAS'KET, a place in which paragraphs such as the foregoing are kept in readiness; B[=A]'LAAMITE.--_adj._ B[=A]LAAMIT'ICAL.
BALANCE, bal'ans, _n._ an instrument for weighing, usually formed of two dishes or scales hanging from a beam supported in the middle: act of weighing two things: equality or just proportion of weight or power, as the balance of power: the sum required to make the two sides of an account equal, hence the surplus, or the sum due on an account: what is needed to produce equilibrium, a counterpoise: (_watchmaking_) a contrivance which regulates the speed of a clock or watch.--_v.t._ to weigh in a balance: to counterpoise: to compare: to settle, as an account, to examine and test accounts in book-keeping, to make the debtor and creditor sides of an account agree.--_v.i._ to have equal weight or power, &c.: to hesitate or fluctuate.--_p.adj._ BAL'ANCED, poised so as to preserve equilibrium: well arranged, stable.--_ns._ BAL'ANCER, an acrobat; BAL'ANCE-SHEET, a sheet of paper showing a summary and balance of accounts; BAL'ANCE-WHEEL, a wheel in a watch or chronometer which regulates the beat or rate. [Fr.--L. _bilanx_, having two scales--_bis_, double, _lanx_, _lancis_, a dish or scale.]
BALANUS. See ACORN-SHELL.
BALAS, bal'as, _n._ a variety of the spinel ruby. [O. Fr. _balais_ (It.
_balascio_)--Low L. _balascus_--Pers. _Badakhsh[=a]n_, a place near Samarcand where they are found.]
BALATA, bal'a-ta, _n._ the gum of the bullet or bully tree of South America, used as a substitute for gutta-percha in insulating telegraph-wires.
BALBUTIENT, bal-b[=u]'shi-ent, _adj._ stammering. [L.
_balbutiens_--_balb[=u]t[=i]re_, to stutter.]
BALCONY, balk'on-i (18th c., bal-k[=o]'ni), _n._ a stage or platform projecting from the wall of a building within or without, supported by pillars or consoles, and surrounded with a balustrade or railing: in theatres, usually the gallery immediately above the dress circle.--_n._ BAL'CONETTE, a miniature balcony.--_adj._ BAL'CONIED. [It.
_balc[=o]ne_--_balco_, of Teut. origin; Old High Ger. _balcho_ (Ger.
_balken_), Eng. BALK.]
BALD, bawld, _adj._ without hair (feathers, &c.) on the head (or on other parts of the body): bare, unadorned, destitute of literary grace: paltry, trivial: undisguised.--_ns._ BALD'-COOT, popular name for the coot, from its pure white wide frontal plate: a monk--also BALD'ICOOT; BALD'-EA'GLE, a common but inaccurate name for the American white-headed eagle, used as the national emblem.--_adj._ BALD'-FACED, having white on the face, as a horse.--_n._ BALD'HEAD, a person bald on the head.--_adjs._ BALD'-HEADED; BALD'ISH, somewhat bald.--_adv._ BALD'LY.--_ns._ BALD'NESS; BALD'PATE, one destitute of hair: a kind of wild-duck.--_adjs._ BALD'PATE, BALD'PATED, destitute of hair. [Orig. 'shining,' 'white,' Ir. and Gael. _bal_, 'white'
spot; but perh. conn. with _ball_ in the sense of 'rounded,' whence 'smooth,' 'hairless.']
BALDACHIN, bal'da-kin, _n._ silk brocade: a canopy, either supported on pillars, or fastened to the wall, over a throne, pulpit, or altar, &c.: in R.C. processions, a canopy borne over the priest who carries the Host. [It.
_baldacchino_, Fr. _baldaquin_, a canopy, from It. _Baldacco_, Bagdad, whence was brought the stuff of which they were made.]
BALDERDASH, bawl'd[.e]r-dash, _n._ idle senseless talk: anything jumbled together without judgment: obscene language or writing. [Ety. dub.; but cf.
the prov. Eng. _balder_, to use coarse language, Dut. _balderen_, to roar.
Some adduce Welsh _baldorrdus_--_baldordd_, idle noisy talk.]
BALDMONEY, bawld'mun-i, _n._ popular name for several kinds of Gentian.
[Ety. quite unknown.]
BALDRICK, bawld'rik, _n._ a warrior's belt or shoulder-sash: (_Spens._) the zodiac, being regarded as a gem-studded belt. [O. Fr. _baldrei_ (Mid. High Ger. _balderich_, girdle)--Low L. _baldringus_, perh. from L. _balteus_.]
BALE, b[=a]l, _n._ a bundle, or package of goods: (_obs._) the set of dice for any special game.--_v.t._ to make into bales. [M. E. _bale_, perh. from O. Fr. _bale_--Old High Ger. _balla_, _palla_, ball. See BALL.]
BALE, b[=a]l, _v.t._ to throw out water [See BAIL.]
BALE, b[=a]l, _n._ evil, injury, mischief: misery: woe.--_adj._ BALE'FUL, full of misery, destructive: full of sorrow, sad.--_adv._ BALE'FULLY.--_n._ BALE'FULNESS.--BLISS AND BALE are often alliteratively opposed; also BOOT AND BALE. [A.S. _bealu_; Old High Ger. _balo_; Ice. _bol_.]
BALE, b[=a]l, _n._ (_arch._--_Morris_) a fire, funeral pyre: (_Scot._) a beacon-fire.--_n._ BALE'-FIRE, a blazing fire: a beacon-fire: a bonfire.
Spenser confounds with BALE, woe. [A.S. _bael_; Scand. _bal_; cog. with Gr.
_phalos_, bright. See BELTANE.]
BALEEN, b[=a]-l[=e]n', _n._ the whalebone of commerce. [Fr.--L. _balaena_, whale.]
BALISTRARIA, bal-is-tr[=a]r'i-a, _n._ an aperture or loophole in the wall of a fortification through which crossbowmen might discharge their bolts.--_n._ BAL'ISTER (_obs._), name for an arbalester or crossbowman, also an arbalest or crossbow itself. [Low L. _ballistrarius_, _balistra_, a variant form of _ballista_, a crossbow.]
BALK, BAULK, bawk, _n._ a ridge left unploughed, intentionally or through carelessness: (_obs._) an omission: squared timber: a tie-beam of a house, stretching from wall to wall, esp. when laid so as to form a loft, 'the balks:' (_obs._) the beam of a balance: the rope by which fishing-nets are fastened together: a hindrance or disappointment.--_v.t._ to ignore, pass over: refuse: avoid: let slip: to check, disappoint, or elude: to meet arguments with objections.--_v.i._ to swerve, pull up: (_Spens._) lie out of the way.--_n._ BALK'-LINE, in billiards, a line drawn across the table 28 inches from the face of the bottom cushion--a ball is said to be in balk when within this space. [A.S. _balca_, ridge; Old High Ger. _balcho_.]
BALL, bawl, _n._ anything round: any celestial body, esp. the 'globe:' the golden orb borne with the sceptre as the emblem of sovereignty: a globular body to play with in tennis, football, golf, billiards, &c.: any rounded protuberant part of the body: a bullet, or any missile thrown from an engine of war: a rounded mass of anything: a throw or delivery of the ball at cricket: a well-known game played with a ball.--_v.i._ to gather itself into a ball, become clogged.--_ns._ BALL'-CART'RIDGE, a cartridge containing both powder and ball [BALL and CARTRIDGE]; BALL'-COCK, the stopcock of a cistern, attached to one end of a lever, at the other end of which is a hollow metal ball which rises and falls with the [Illustration]
water, thus regulating the supply; BALL'-FLOW'ER, an ornament of the decorated style of Gothic architecture, resembling a ball placed in a circular flower.--_adj._ BALL'-PROOF, proof against balls discharged from firearms.--BALL AND SOCKET, a joint formed of a ball partly enclosed in a cup, thus insuring great strength; BALL OF THE EYE, the eye within the lids and socket.--NO BALL, a ball unfairly bowled.--THREE GOLDEN or BRASS BALLS, the sign of a pawnbroker.--TO HAVE THE BALL AT ONE'S FEET, to have a thing in one's power; TO KEEP THE BALL UP or ROLLING, to keep from flagging; TO TAKE UP THE BALL, to take one's turn in anything.--WIDE BALL, one out of the batsman's reach. [M. E. _bal_, Scand. _bollr_; cog. with Old High Ger.
BALL, bawl, _n._ an entertainment of dancing.--_n._ BALL'ROOM.--TO OPEN THE BALL, to begin the dancing, to begin operations. [O. Fr. _bal_, _baller_, to dance--Low L. _ballare_, referred by some to Gr. _ballizein_.]
BALLAD, bal'lad, _n._ a simple spirited narrative poem in short stanzas of two or four lines, in which a story is told in straightforward verse, often with great elaborateness and detail in incident, but always with graphic simplicity and force--a sort of minor epic: a simple song, usually of a romantic or sentimental nature, in two or more verses, each sung to the same melody, as in the so-called Ballad Concerts: any popular song, often scurrilous.--_ns._ BAL'LADIST, a writer or singer of ballads; BAL'LAD-MONGER, a dealer in ballads. [Fr. _ballade_, from _ballare_, to dance, being orig. a song sung to the rhythmic movement of a dancing chorus--a dramatic poem sung or acted in the dance, of which a shadow survives in the ring-songs of our children.]
BALLADE, ba-lad', _n._ a poem of one or more terns or triplets of seven or eight lined stanzas, each ending with the same line as refrain, and usually an envoy: now frequently used of any poem in stanzas of equal length.--BALLADE ROYAL, stanzas of seven or eight lines of ten syllables--called also _Rime_ or _Rhythm royal_. [An earlier spelling of BALLAD.]
BALLADINE, bal'a-d[=e]n, _n._ a female public dancer. [Fr.]
BALLAST, bal'last, _n._ heavy matter employed to give a ship sufficient immersion in the water, to insure her safe sailing with spread canvas, when her cargo and equipment are too light: that which renders anything steady.--_v.t._ to load with ballast: to make or keep steady: (_Shak._) load.--_n._ BAL'LAST-HEAV'ER. [Probably the Old Sw. _barlast_--_bar_, bare, and _last_, load, the mere load.]
BALLERINA, bal-ler-[=e]n'a, _n._ a female dancer:--_pl._ BALLERINE (bal-ler-in'), BALLERIN'AS. [It.]
BALLET, bal'l[=a], _n._ a theatrical exhibition composed of dancing, posturing, and pantomimic action: (_obs._) a dance. [Fr.; dim. of _bal_, a dance.]
BALLISTA, BALISTA, bal-lis'ta, _n._ a Roman military engine in the form of a crossbow, which, like the _catapulta_ and the _onager_, propelled large and heavy missiles, chiefly through the reaction of a tightly twisted rope, or else by a violent movement of levers.--_adj._ BALLIS'TIC, projectile.--_ns._ BALLIS'TIC-PEN'DULUM, an instrument for ascertaining the velocity of military projectiles; BALLIS'TITE, an improved kind of gunpowder. [L.--Gr. _ballein_, to throw.]
BALLIUM, bal'li-um, _n._ the Low L. form of BAILEY.
BALLOON, bal-l[=oo]n', _n._ an inflated air-tight envelope of paper or silk, constructed to float in the air and carry a considerable weight when filled with heated air or light gas: anything inflated, empty: (_obs._) a game played with a large inflated ball.--_v.i._ to ascend in a balloon: to puff out like a balloon.--_n._ BALLOON'IST, an aeronaut. [It. _ballone_, augmentative of _balla_, ball.]
BALLOT, bal'ut, _n._ a little ball or ticket used in voting: a method of secret voting by putting a ball or ticket into an urn or box.--_v.i._ to vote by ballot: to select by secret voting (with _for_): draw lots for:--_pr.p._ bal'loting; _pa.p._ bal'loted.--_ns._ BAL'LOTAGE, in France, the second ballot to decide which of two candidates has come nearest to the legal majority; BAL'LOT-BOX, a box to receive balls or tickets when voting by ballot. [It. _ballotta_, dim. of _balla_, ball. See BALL.]
BALM, bam, _n._ an aromatic substance: a fragrant and healing ointment: aromatic fragrance: anything that heals or soothes pain: a tree yielding balm: name of some fragrant garden herbs.--_v.t._ (_arch._) to embalm: (_Shak._) to anoint with fragrant oil: (_arch._) to soothe.--_n._ BALM'INESS.--_adj._ BALM'Y, fragrant: mild and soothing: bearing balm.--BALM, or BALSAM, OF GILEAD, the resin of the tree _Balsamodendron Gileadense_, formerly esteemed as an antiseptic, the name originating in the belief that this is the substance mentioned in the Bible as found in Gilead, and called in the English translation 'balm.' [O. Fr. _basme_--L.
_balsamum_. See BALSAM.]