From the Making of America collection comes a link to An elementary dictionary of the English language. By Joseph E. Worcester, LL. D. (1865).
I love old dictionaries. The actual wordstuff for this one begins at page 31, after all the frontal matter regarding pronunciation and all that.
Seeing how a word was used in 1865 gives one a glimpse at how the current day definition evolved. Some words in Worcester’s dictionary have evolved beyond recognition. Some no longer exist.
e.g. p 168 (lacerable – lapful)
laconism – pithy phrase or expression
Lady-Day – 25th March. The Annunciation.
laic- a layman; — opposed to clergyman.
lamantine – an animal; manatee or sea-cow.
lambative – a medicine taken by licking
laniate – to tear in pieces; to lacerate
lanuginous – downy; covered with soft thin hair
Some of those words are still in use today, although perhaps not in as common use as they were 142 years ago. “lanuginous” was used in the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee finals.
Fun stuff, words.