1775, "what is stated," from state (v.) + -ment. From 1789 as "action of stating;" 1885 in the commercial sense "document displaying debits and credits."
Synonyms: declaration, account, announcement, speech, proclamation, testimonial, avowal, testimony, assertion
Old English ofer "beyond, above, upon, in, across, past; on high," from Proto-Germanic *uberi (source also of Old Saxon obar, Old Frisian over, Old Norse yfir, Old High German ubar, German über, Gothic ufar "over, above"), from PIE *uper (see super-). As an adjective from Old English uffera. As an adverb from late Old English. Sense of "finished" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "recovered from" is from 1929. In radio communication, used to indicate the speaker has finished speaking (1926). Adjective phrase over-the-counter is attested from 1875, originally of stocks and shares.
Synonyms: throughout (prep.), around, round, across, the length and breadth of, all around, all across
Definite article, late Old English þe, nominative masculine form of the demonstrative pronoun and adjective. After c.950, it replaced earlier se (masc.), seo (fem.), þæt (neuter), and probably represents se altered by the th- form which was used in all the masculine oblique cases (see below).
Old English se is from PIE root *so- "this, that" (source also of Sanskrit sa, Avestan ha, Greek ho, he "the," Irish and Gaelic so "this"). For the þ- forms, see that. The s- forms were entirely superseded in English by mid-13c., excepting a slightly longer dialectal survival in Kent. Old English used 10 different words for "the" (see table), but did not distinguish "the" from "that." That survived for a time as a definite article before vowels (that one or that other).
Adverbial use in the more the merrier, the sooner the better, etc. is a relic of Old English þy, the instrumentive case of the neuter demonstrative (see that).
Synonyms: none found
Adverbial use in the more the merrier, the sooner the better, etc. is a relic of Old English þy, the instrumentive case of the neuter demonstrative (see that).
Synonyms: none found
Old English gear (West Saxon), ger (Anglian) "year," from Proto-Germanic *jeram "year" (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German jar, Old Norse ar, Danish aar, Old Frisian ger, Dutch jaar, German Jahr, Gothic jer "year"), from PIE *yer-o-, from root *yer- "year, season" (source also of Avestan yare (nominative singular) "year;" Greek hora "year, season, any part of a year," also "any part of a day, hour;" Old Church Slavonic jaru, Bohemian jaro "spring;" Latin hornus "of this year;" Old Persian dušiyaram "famine," literally "bad year"). Probably originally "that which makes [a complete cycle]," and from verbal root *ei- meaning "to do, make."
Synonyms: ages, centuries, eons, donkey’s years, a month of Sundays, an age, an inordinate length of time
Old English we, first person plural pronoun, "I and another or others," from Proto-Germanic *wiz (source also of Old Saxon wi, Old Norse ver, Danish vi, Old Frisian wi, Dutch wij, Old High German and German wir, Gothic weis "we"), from PIE *we- (source also of Sanskrit vayam, Old Persian vayam, Hittite wesh "we," Old Church Slavonic ve "we two," Lithuanian vedu "we two").
The "royal we" (use of plural pronoun to denote oneself) is at least as old as "Beowulf" (c.725); use by writers to establish an impersonal style is also from Old English; it was especially common 19c. in unsigned editorials, to suggest staff consensus, and was lampooned as such since at least 1853 (see wegotism).
Synonyms: none found
Old English habban "to own, possess; be subject to, experience," from Proto-Germanic *haben- (source also of Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbjan, Old Frisian habba, German haben, Gothic haban "to have"), from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." Not related to Latin habere, despite similarity in form and sense; the Latin cognate is capere "seize.
Sense of "possess, have at one's disposal" (I have a book) is a shift from older languages, where the thing possessed was made the subject and the possessor took the dative case (as in Latin est mihi liber "I have a book," literally "there is to me a book"). Used as an auxiliary in Old English, too (especially to form present perfect tense); the word has taken on more functions over time; Modern English he had better would have been Old English him (dative) wære betere.
To have to for "must" (1570s) is from sense of "possess as a duty or thing to be done" (Old English). Phrase have a nice day as a salutation after a commercial transaction attested by 1970, American English. Phrase have (noun), will (verb) is from 1954, originally from comedian Bob Hope, in the form Have tux, will travel; Hope described this as typical of vaudevillians' ads in "Variety," indicating a willingness and readiness to perform anywhere.
Synonyms: consume, take, partake, eat, drink, devour
past participle of be. Dismissive slang phrase been there, done that attested from 1994 (been there "had the experience," usually of something disreputable, is from 1880s).
Synonyms: remained, stayed, be situated, be located, be present, be there
1650s, "unroll, unfold," from French développer, replacing English disvelop (1590s, from Middle French desveloper), both from Old French desveloper "unwrap, unfurl, unveil; reveal the meaning of, explain," from des- "undo" + veloper "wrap up," which is of uncertain origin, possibly Celtic or Germanic. Modern figurative use is 18c. The photographic sense is from 1845; the real estate sense is from 1890.
suffix attached to verbs to mean their action, result, product, material, etc., from Old English -ing, also -ung, from Proto-Germanic *-unga-, *-inga- (cognates: Old Norse -ing, Dutch -ing, German -ung). In early use often denoting completed or habitual action; its use has been greatly expanded in Middle and Modern English.
Synonyms: emergent, evolving, unindustrialized
indefinite article, form of an used before consonants, mid-12c., a weakened form of Old English an "one" (see an). The disappearance of the -n- before consonants was mostly complete by mid-14c. After c. 1600 the -n- also began to vanish before words beginning with a sounded -h-; it still is retained by many writers before unaccented syllables in h- or (e)u- but is now no longer normally spoken as such. The -n- also lingered (especially in southern England dialect) before -w- and -y- through 15c.
It also is used before nouns of singular number and a few plural nouns when few or great many is interposed.
Synonyms: none found
early 15c., practise, "practical application," originally especially of medicine but also alchemy, education, etc.; from Old French pratiser, from Medieval Latin practicare (see practice (v.)). From early 15c. often assimilated in spelling to nouns in -ice. Also as practic, which survived in parallel into 19c.
Synonyms: custom, tradition, way, system, routine, procedure, ritual, manner, praxis, method
Old English þæt, "that, so that, after that," neuter singular demonstrative pronoun ("A Man's a Man for a' that"), relative pronoun ("O thou that hearest prayer"), and demonstrative adjective ("Look at that caveman go!"), corresponding to masc. se, fem. seo. From Proto-Germanic *that, from PIE *tod-, extended form of demonstrative pronominal base *-to- (see -th (1)). With the breakdown of the grammatical gender system, it came to be used in Middle English and Modern English for all genders. Germanic cognates include Old Saxon that, Old Frisian thet, Middle Dutch, Dutch dat "that," German der, die, das "the."
Generally more specific or emphatic than the, but in some cases they are interchangeable. From c. 1200 opposed to this as indicating something farther off. In adverbial use ("I'm that old"), in reference to something implied or previously said, c. 1200, an abbreviation of the notion of "to that extent," "to that degree." Slang that way "in love" first recorded 1929. That-a-way "in that direction" is recorded from 1839. "Take that!" said while delivering a blow, is recorded from early 15c.
Synonyms: none found
1831, back-formation from evaluation, or else from French évaluer, back-formation from évaluation. Originally in mathematics. Related: Evaluated; evaluating.
Synonyms: assesses, appraises, gages, gauges, estimates, calculates, weighs, values, prices, weigh up
Old English and, ond, originally meaning "thereupon, next," from Proto-Germanic *unda (source also of Old Saxon endi, Old Frisian anda, Middle Dutch ende, Old High German enti, German und, Old Norse enn), from PIE root *en "in;" thus cognate with Latin ante, Greek anti (see ante-).
Introductory use (implying connection to something previous) was in Old English. To represent vulgar or colloquial pronunciation often written an', 'n'. Phrase and how as an exclamation of emphatic agreement dates from early 1900s.
Synonyms: plus, in addition to, as well as, along with, coupled with, combined with, with
also re-organize, 1680s, from re- "again" + organize (v.)
Synonyms: rearranges, restructures, adjusts, changes, reschedules, alters, sort out, tidy up, change around
mid-14c., "intimate, very friendly, on a family footing," from Old French famelier "related; friendly," from Latin familiaris "domestic, private, belonging to a family, of a household;" also "familiar, intimate, friendly," dissimilated from *familialis, from familia (see family). From late 14c. as "of or pertaining to one's family." Of things, "known from long association," from late 15c. Meaning "ordinary, usual" is from 1590s.
The noun meaning "demon, evil spirit that answers one's call" is from 1580s (familiar spirit is attested from 1560s); earlier as a noun it meant "a familiar friend" (late 14c.). The Latin plural, used as a noun, meant "the slaves," also "a friend, intimate acquaintance, companion."
Synonyms: customary, accustomed, habitual, usual, recurring, everyday, typical, frequent, regular, time-honored, traditional, estabilished, wonted, well-known, recognizable, common
c. 1200, from Old English conjunction oþþe "either, or," related to Old Frisian ieftha, Middle Dutch ofte, Old Norse eða, Old High German odar, German oder, Gothic aiþþau "or." This was extended in early Middle English (and Old High German) with an -r ending, perhaps by analogy with "choice between alternative" words that ended thus (such as either, whether), then reduced to oþþr, at first in unstressed situations (commonly thus in Northern and Midlands English by 1300), and finally reduced to or, though other survived in this sense until 16c.
The contraction took place in the second term of an alternative, such as either ... or, a common construction in Old English, where both words originally were oþþe (see nor).
Synonyms: before, or else, otherwise
1868, in reference to the raising of plants or animals, from Latin cultura "tillage" (see culture (n.)) + -al (1). In reference to the cultivation of the mind, from 1875; hence, "relating to civilization or a civilization." A fertile starter-word among anthropologists and sociologists, for example cultural diffusion, in use by 1912; cultural diversity by 1935; cultural imperialism by 1937; cultural pluralism by 1932; cultural relativism by 1948.
suffix forming adjectives from nouns and meaning "having qualities of, appropriate to, fitting;" irregularly descended from Old English -lic, from Proto-Germanic *-liko- (Old Frisian -lik, Dutch -lijk, Old High German -lih, German -lich, Old Norse -ligr), related to *likom- "appearance, form" (Old English lich "corpse, body;" see lich, which is a cognate; see also like (adj.), with which it is identical).
Synonyms: socially, ethnically, customarily, traditionally, racially, in cultural terms, artistically, aesthetically, creatively
early 15c., "resume possession of land," back-formation from recognizance, or else from Old French reconoiss-, stem of reconoistre "to know again, identify, recognize," from Latin recognoscere "acknowledge, recall to mind, know again; examine; certify," from re- "again" (see re-) + cognoscere "to get to know, recognize" (see cognizance). Meaning "know again, recall or recover the knowledge of, perceive an identity with something formerly known or felt" first recorded 1530s.
common termination and word-forming element of English adjectives (typically based on verbs) and generally adding a notion of "capable of; allowed; worthy of; requiring; to be ,,,,,,ed," sometimes "full of, causing," from French -able and directly from Latin -abilis. It is properly -ble, from Latin -bilis (the vowel being generally from the stem ending of the verb being suffixed), and it represents PIE *-tro-, a suffix used to form nouns of instrument, cognate with the second syllables of English rudder and saddle (n.)
A living element in English, used in new formations from either Latin or native words (readable, bearable) and also with nouns (objectionable, peaceable). Sometimes with an active signification (suitable, capable), sometimes of neutral signification (durable, conformable). It has become very elastic in meaning, as in a reliable witness, a playable foul ball, perishable goods.
To take a single example in detail, no-one but a competent philologist can tell whether reasonable comes from the verb or the noun reason, nor whether its original sense was that can be reasoned out, or that can reason, or that can be reasoned with, or that has reason, or that listens to reason, or that is consistent with reason; the ordinary man knows only that it can now mean any of these, & justifiably bases on these & similar facts a generous view of the termination's capabilities; credible meaning for him worthy of credence, why should not reliable & dependable mean worthy of reliance & dependence? [Fowler]
In Latin, infinitives in -are took -abilis, others -ibilis. Hence the variant form -ible in Old French, Spanish, English. In English, -able tends to be used with native (and other non-Latin) words, -ible with words of obvious Latin origin (but there are exceptions). The Latin suffix is not etymologically connected with able, but it long has been popularly associated with it, and this probably has contributed to its vigor as a living suffix.
Synonyms: familiar, identifiable, decipherable, detectible, detectable, distinguishable, perceptible, noticeable
mid-14c., "support, base," from Old French sourse "a rising, beginning, fountainhead of a river or stream" (12c.), fem. noun taken from past participle of sourdre "to rise, spring up," from Latin surgere "to rise" (see surge (n.)). Meaning "a first cause" is from late 14c., as is that of "fountain-head of a river." Meaning "person or written work supplying information or evidence" is by 1777.
Synoyms: bases, foundations, causes, fonts, springs, birthplaces, cradles, homes, starting place
Old English þæs, variant of þas (which became those and took the role of plural of that), nominative and accusative plural of þes, þeos, þis "this" (see this). Differentiation of these and those is from late 13c. OED begins its long entry with the warning, "This word has a complicated history."
Synonyms: none found
early 15c., "to shut (someone or something) in materially, enclose, imprison, confine," also "to have (something) as a constituent part," from Latin includere "to shut in, enclose, imprison, insert," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). The alleged Sam Goldwyn-ism "Include me out" is attested from 1937.
Synonyms: comprise, contain, embrace, take in, consist of, take account of
"to gather in a mass" (intransitive), 1560s, from mass (n.1) or from French masser.
early 15c., "develop, proceed, extend," from Latin producere "lead or bring forth, draw out," figuratively "to promote, empower; stretch out, extend," from pro "before, forth" (see pro-) + ducere "to bring, lead," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead." Sense of "bring into being" is first recorded 1510s; that of "put (a play) on stage" is from 1580s. Related: Produced; producing.
Synonyms: manufactures, processed, churn out, turn out, knock out, spit out
late 14c., "tangible thing, something perceived or presented to the senses," from Medieval Latin objectum "thing put before" (the mind or sight), noun use of neuter of Latin obiectus "lying before, opposite" (as a noun in classical Latin, "charges, accusations"), past participle of obicere "to present, oppose, cast in the way of," from ob "in front of, towards, against" (see ob-) + iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Sense of "thing aimed at" is late 14c. No object "not a thing regarded as important" is from 1782. As an adjective, "presented to the senses," from late 14c. Object lesson "instruction conveyed by examination of a material object" is from 1831.
Synonyms: thing, article, item, body, piece
early 15c., "mathematical quantity obtained by multiplication," from Medieval Latin productum, in classical Latin "something produced," noun use of neuter past participle of producere "bring forth" (see produce (v.)). General sense of "anything produced" is attested in English from 1570s.
Synonyms: creations, produces, inventions, merchandises, artefacts, artifacts, manufactured goods, item for consumption, manufactured article
early 13c., "skill as a result of learning or practice," from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft," from PIE *ar-ti- (source also of Sanskrit rtih "manner, mode;" Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare;" Latin artus "joint;" Armenian arnam "make;" German art "manner, mode"), from root *ar- "fit together, join" (see arm (n.1)), which makes art etymologically akin to Latin arma "weapons."
In Middle English usually with a sense of "skill in scholarship and learning" (c. 1300), especially in the seven sciences, or liberal arts. This sense remains in Bachelor of Arts, etc. Meaning "human workmanship" (as opposed to nature) is from late 14c. Meaning "system of rules and traditions for performing certain actions" is from late 15c. Sense of "skill in cunning and trickery" first attested late 16c. (the sense in artful, artless). Meaning "skill in creative arts" is first recorded 1610s; especially of painting, sculpture, etc., from 1660s.
Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truths, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned. The revolt of individualism came because the tradition had become degraded, or rather because a spurious copy had been accepted in its stead. [William Butler Yeats]
Expression art for art's sake (1824) translates French l'art pour l'art. First record of art critic is from 1847. Arts and crafts "decorative design and handcraft" first attested in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London, 1888.
Synonyms: painting, drawing, sculpture, fine art, graphic art
through (prep., adv.)
late 14c., metathesis of Old English þurh, from Proto-Germanic *thurkh (source also of Old Saxon thuru, Old Frisian thruch, Middle Dutch dore, Dutch door, Old High German thuruh, German durch, Gothic þairh "through"), from PIE root *tere- (2) "to cross over, pass through, overcome" (source also of Sanskrit tirah, Avestan taro "through, beyond," Latin trans "beyond," Old Irish tre, Welsh tra "through"). Not clearly differentiated from thorough until early Modern English. Spelling thro was common 15c.-18c. Reformed spelling thru (1839) is mainly American English.
Synonyms: via, because of, owing to, due to, out of, by way of, by means of, as a result of
Old English of, unstressed form of æf (prep., adv.) "away, away from," from Proto-Germanic *af (source also of Old Norse af, Old Frisian af, of "of," Dutch af "off, down," German ab "off, from, down"), from PIE *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Primary sense in Old English still was "away," but shifted in Middle English with use of the word to translate Latin de, ex, and especially Old French de, which had come to be the substitute for the genitive case. "Of shares with another word of the same length, as, the evil glory of being accessory to more crimes against grammar than any other." [Fowler]
Also from 1837 a non-standard or dialectal representation of have as pronounced in unstressed positions (could of, must of, etc.)
Synonyms: none found
c. 1300, "earth, air, fire, or water; one of the four things regarded by the ancients as the constituents of all things," from Old French element (10c.), from Latin elementum "rudiment, first principle, matter in its most basic form" (translating Greek stoikheion), origin and original sense unknown. Meaning "simplest component of a complex substance" is late 14c. Modern sense in chemistry is from 1813, but is not essentially different from the ancient one. Meaning "proper or natural environment of anything" is from 1590s, from the old notion that each class of living beings had its natural abode in one of the four elements. Elements "atmospheric force" is 1550s.
Synonyms: components, parts, sections, divisions, portions, groups, constituents
c. 1200, "to rebuke," from Old French chalongier "complain, protest; haggle, quibble," from Vulgar Latin calumniare "to accuse falsely," from Latin calumniari "to accuse falsely, misrepresent, slander," from calumnia "trickery" (see calumny).
From late 13c. as "to object to, take exception to;" c. 1300 as "to accuse," especially "to accuse falsely," also "to call to account;" late 14c. as "to call to fight." Also used in Middle English with sense "claim, take to oneself."
Synonyms: dispute, contest, question, oppose, argue, object of, argue with
word-forming element meaning "before," from Old French pre- and Medieval Latin pre-, both from Latin prae (adverb and preposition) "before in time or place," from PIE *peri- (source also of Oscan prai, Umbrian pre, Sanskrit pare "thereupon," Greek parai "at," Gaulish are- "at, before," Lithuanian pre "at," Old Church Slavonic pri "at," Gothic faura, Old English fore "before"), extended form of root *per- (1) "beyond, forward, through" (see per).
The Latin word was active in forming verbs. Also see prae-. Sometimes in Middle English muddled with words in pro- or per-.
1550s, "to write on or in" (something durable and conspicuous), from Latin inscribere "to write in or on," (see inscription). Meaning "to dedicate (by means of an inscription)" is from 1640s. Form inscriven is from late 14c.
Synonyns: engraved, carved, etched,cut, scratched, incised, marked, printed, penned, wrote, written, imprinted, chiseled, impressed
"a tale, story," 1560s, from Middle French narrative and from narrative (adj.).
Synonyms: tales, accounts, descriptions, chronicles, histories, plots, storylines, sequence of events, story line
late 14c., from Latin creatus, past participle of creare "to make, bring forth, produce, beget," related to crescere "arise, grow" (see crescent).
Synonyms: making, generating, producing, fashioning, forming, crafting, building, constructing
Old English neowe, niowe, earlier niwe "new, fresh, recent, novel, unheard-of, different from the old; untried, inexperienced," from Proto-Germanic *newjaz (source also of Old Saxon niuwi, Old Frisian nie, Middle Dutch nieuwe, Dutch nieuw, Old High German niuwl, German neu, Danish and Swedish ny, Gothic niujis "new"), from PIE *newo- "new" (source also of Sanskrit navah, Persian nau, Hittite newash, Greek neos, Lithuanian naujas, Old Church Slavonic novu, Russian novyi, Latin novus, Old Irish nue, Welsh newydd "new").
The adverb is Old English niwe, from the adjective. New math in reference to a system of teaching mathematics based on investigation and discovery is from 1958. New World (adj.) to designate phenomena of the Western Hemisphere first attested 1823, in Lord Byron; the noun phrase is recorded from 1550s. New Deal in the FDR sense attested by 1932. New school in reference to the more advanced or liberal faction of something is from 1806. New Left (1960) was a coinage of U.S. political sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962). New light in reference to religions is from 1640s. New frontier, in U.S. politics, "reform and social betterment," is from 1934 but associated with John F. Kennedy's use of it in 1960.
Synonyms: novel, new-fangled, newfangled, original, innovative, fresh, different, first-hand, firsthand
early 13c., "body of persons living under a religious discipline," from Old French ordre "position, estate; rule, regulation; religious order" (11c.), from earlier ordene, from Latin ordinem (nominative ordo) "row, line, rank; series, pattern, arrangement, routine," originally "a row of threads in a loom," from Italic root *ord- "to arrange, arrangement" (source of ordiri "to begin to weave;" compare primordial), of unknown origin.
Meaning "a rank in the (secular) community" is first recorded c. 1300; meaning "command, directive" is first recorded 1540s, from the notion of "to keep in order." Military and honorary orders grew out of the fraternities of Crusader knights. Business and commerce sense is attested from 1837. In natural history, as a classification of living things, it is first recorded 1760. Meaning "condition of a community which is under the rule of law" is from late 15c.
Phrase in order to (1650s) preserves etymological notion of "sequence." The word reflects a medieval notion: "a system of parts subject to certain uniform, established ranks or proportions," and was used of everything from architecture to angels. Old English expressed many of the same ideas with endebyrdnes. In short order "without delay" is from 1834, American English; order of battle is from 1769.
Synonyms: organizations, methods, regulations, uniformities, regularities, symmetries, orderliness, neatness, tidiness
the modern verb is a merger of two related Old English words, in both of which the first letters sometimes switched places. The first is intransitive rinnan, irnan "to run, flow, run together" (past tense ran, past participle runnen), cognate with Middle Dutch runnen, Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic rinnan, German rinnen "to flow, run."
The second is Old English transitive weak verb ærnan, earnan "ride, run to, reach, gain by running" (probably a metathesis of *rennan), from Proto-Germanic *rannjanan, causative of the root *ren- "to run." This is cognate with Old Saxon renian, Old High German rennen, German rennen, Gothic rannjan.
Both are from PIE *ri-ne-a-, nasalized form of root *reie- "to flow, run" (see Rhine).
Of streams, etc., from c. 1200; of machinery, from 1560s. Meaning "be in charge of" is first attested 1861, originally American English. Meaning "seek office in an election" is from 1826, American English. Phrase run for it "take flight" is attested from 1640s. Many figurative uses are from horseracing or hunting (such as to run (something) into the ground, 1836, American English).
To run across "meet" is attested from 1855, American English. To run short "exhaust one's supply" is from 1752; to run out of in the same sense is from 1713. To run around with "consort with" is from 1887. Run away "flee in the face of danger" is from late 14c. To run late is from 1954.
Synonyms: proceed, proceeded, happen, happened, go, gone, progress, progressed, pass, passed, move along, move forward, go by, pass by, move forwards
in (adv., prep.)
a Middle English merger of Old English in (prep.) "in, into, upon, on, at, among; about, during;" and Old English inne (adv.) "within, inside," from Proto-Germanic *in (source also of Old Frisian, Dutch, German, Gothic in, Old Norse i), from PIE *en "in" (source also of Greek en, Latin in "in, into," Old Irish in, Welsh yn, Old Church Slavonic on-). The simpler form took on both senses in Middle English.
Sense distinction between in and on is from later Middle English, and nuances in use of in and at still distinguish British and American English (in school/at school). Sometimes in Middle English shortened to i.
The noun sense of "influence, access (to power or authorities)," as in have an in with, is first recorded 1929 in American English. to be in for it "certain to meet with something unpleasant" is from 1690s. To be in with "on friendly terms with" is from 1670s. Ins and outs "intricacies, complications of an action or course" is from 1660s. In-and-out (n.) "copulation" is attested from 1610s.
Synonyms: inside, withing, during, into, around
1540s, from Middle French parallèle (16c.) and directly from Latin parallelus, from Greek parallelos "parallel," from para allelois "beside one another," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + allelois "each other," from allos "other" (from PIE root *al- (1) "beyond"). As a noun from 1550s. Parallel bars as gymnastics apparatus are recorded from 1868.
Synonyms: similar, equivalent, corresponding, analogous, matching, comparable
Old English to "in the direction of, for the purpose of, furthermore," from West Germanic *to (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian to, Dutch toe, Old High German zuo, German zu "to"), from PIE pronominal base *do- "to, toward, upward" (source also of Latin donec "as long as," Old Church Slavonic do "as far as, to," Greek suffix -de "to, toward," Old Irish do, Lithuanian da-), from demonstrative *de-.
Not found in Scandinavian, where the equivalent of till (prep.) is used. In Old English, the preposition (go to town) leveled with the adverb (the door slammed to) except where the adverb retained its stress (tired and hungry too); there it came to be written with -oo (see too).
The nearly universal use of to with infinitives (to sleep, to dream, etc.) arose in Middle English out of the Old English dative use of to, and it helped drive out the Old English inflectional endings (though in this use to itself is a mere sign, without meaning).
Commonly used as a prefix in Middle English (to-hear "listen to," etc.), but few of these survive (to-do, together, and time references such as today, tonight, tomorrow -- Chaucer also has to-yeere). To and fro "side to side" is attested from mid-14c. Phrase what's it to you "how does that concern you?" (1819) is a modern form of an old question:
Huæd is ðec ðæs?
[John xxi:22, in Lindisfarne Gospel, c.950]
Synonyms: toward, towards, near, in the direction of, on the way to, on the road to, just before, headed for
c. 1600, from French exister (17c.), from Latin existere/exsistere "to step out, stand forth, emerge, appear; exist, be" (see existence). "The late appearance of the word is remarkable" [OED].
Synonyms: current, present, prevailing, standing, remaining, surviving, in effect
c. 1200, from Old English an (adjective, pronoun, noun) "one," from Proto-Germanic *ainaz (source also of Old Norse einn, Danish een, Old Frisian an, Dutch een, German ein, Gothic ains), from PIE *oi-no- "one, unique" (source also of Greek oinos "ace (on dice);" Latin unus "one;" Old Persian aivam; Old Church Slavonic -inu, ino-; Lithuanian vienas; Old Irish oin; Breton un "one").
Originally pronounced as it still is in only, atone, alone, and in dialectal good 'un, young 'un, etc.; the now-standard pronunciation "wun" began c. 14c. in southwest and west England (Tyndale, a Gloucester man, spells it won in his Bible translation), and it began to be general 18c. Use as indefinite pronoun influenced by unrelated French on and Latin homo.
One and only "sweetheart" is from 1906. One of those things "unpredictable occurrence" is from 1934. Slang one-arm bandit "a type of slot machine" is recorded by 1938. One-night stand is 1880 in performance sense; 1963 in sexual sense. One of the boys "ordinary amiable fellow" is from 1893. One-track mind is from 1927. Drinking expression one for the road is from 1950 (as a song title).
Synonyms: unique, single, solitary, lone, individual, one and only
Old English þis, neuter demonstrative pronoun and adjective (masc. þes, fem. þeos), probably from a North Sea Germanic pronoun *tha-si-, formed by combining the base *þa- (see that) with -s, which is probably identical with Old English se "the" (representing here "a specific thing"), or with Old English seo, imperative of see (v.) "to behold." Compare Old Saxon these, Old Frisian this, Old Norse þessi, Middle Dutch dese, Dutch deze, Old High German deser, German dieser.
Once fully inflected, with 10 distinct forms (see table below); the oblique cases and other genders gradually fell away by 15c. The Old English plural was þæs (nominative and accusative), which in Northern Middle English became thas, and in Midlands and Southern England became thos. The Southern form began to be used late 13c. as the plural of that (replacing Middle English tho, from Old English þa) and acquired an -e (apparently from the influence of Middle English adjective plurals in -e; compare alle from all, summe from sum "some"), emerging early 14c. as modern those.
About 1175 thes (probably a variant of Old English þæs) began to be used as the plural of this, and by 1200 it had taken the form these, the final -e acquired via the same mechanism that gave one to those.
Synoyms: none found
early 15c., "regular, systematic treatment of disease," from Latin methodus "way of teaching or going," from Greek methodos "scientific inquiry, method of inquiry, investigation," originally "pursuit, a following after," from meta "in pursuit or quest of" (see meta-) + hodos "a method, system; a way or manner" (of doing, saying, etc.), also "a traveling, journey," literally "a path, track, road," a word of uncertain origin. Meaning "way of doing anything" is from 1580s; that of "orderliness, regularity" is from 1610s. In reference to a theory of acting associated with Russian director Konstantin Stanislavsky, it is attested from 1923.
Synonyms: system, logic, structure, sense, reasoning, approach
early 14c., allouen, "to commend, praise; approve of, be pleased with; appreciate the value of;" also, "take into account or give credit for," also, in law and philosophy, "recognize, admit as valid" (a privilege, an excuse, a statement, etc.). From late 14c. as "sanction or permit; condone;" in business use from early 15c.
The Middle English word is from Anglo-French alouer, Old French aloer, alloiier (13c.) "place, situate, arrange; allot, apportion, bestow, assign," from Latin allocare "allocate" (see allocate). This word in Old French was confused and ultimately merged with aloer; alloer "to praise, commend, approve," from Latin allaudare, adlaudare, compound of ad "to" (see ad-) + laudare "to praise" (see laud).
Between the two primary significations there naturally arose a variety of uses blending them in the general idea of assign with approval, grant, concede a thing claimed or urged, admit a thing offered, permit, etc., etc. [OED].
From the first word came the sense preserved in allowance "money granted;" from the second came allowance "permission based on approval." Meaning "assert, say," 19c. U.S. colloquial, also was in English dialect and goes back to 1570s.
Synonyms: lets, permits, agrees, consents, tolerates, countenances, sactions, agree to, consent to
mid-15c., "action or process of building or construction;" 1610s, "that which is constructed, a building or edifice;" from Latin structura "a fitting together, adjustment; a building, mode of building;" figuratively, "arrangement, order," from structus, past participle of struere "to pile, place together, heap up; build, assemble, arrange, make by joining together," related to strues "heap," from PIE *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out."
The widespread descendants of this ancient root are believed to include: Sanskrit strnoti "strews, throws down;" Avestan star- "to spread out, stretch out;" Greek stronymi "strew," stroma "bedding, mattress," sternon "breast, breastbone;" Latin sternere "to stretch, extend;" Old Church Slavonic stira, streti "spread," strama "district;" Russian stroji "order;" Gothic straujan, Old High German strouwen, Old English streowian "to sprinkle, strew;" Old English streon "strain," streaw "straw, that which is scattered;" Old High German stirna "forehead," strala "arrow, lightning bolt;" Old Irish fo-sernaim "spread out," srath "a wide river valley;" Welsh srat "plain."
Synonyms: construction, assembly, building, edifice, erection, arrangement, organization, construction, configuration, make-up, makeup, constitution,formation, composition
1650s, "that which is taken," from take (v.). Sense of "money taken in" by a single performance, etc., is from 1931. Movie-making sense is recorded from 1927. Criminal sense of "money acquired by theft" is from 1888. The verb sense of "to cheat, defraud" is from 1920. On the take "amenable to bribery" is from 1930.
Synonyms: income, revenue, gross, yield, receipts, takings, earnings, proceeds, profits, returns
Old English on, unstressed variant of an "in, on, into," from Proto-Germanic *ana "on" (source also of Dutch aan, German an, Gothic ana "on, upon"), from PIE root *an- (1) "on" (source also of Avestan ana "on," Greek ana "on, upon," Latin an-, Old Church Slavonic na, Lithuanian nuo "down from"). Also used in Old English in many places where we would now use in. From 16c.-18c. (and still in northern England dialect) often reduced to o'. Phrase on to "aware" is from 1877.
Synonyms: atop, sitting on, on top of, resting on, lying on
"of or pertaining to the side," early 15c., from Olde French latéral (14c.) and directly from Latin lateralis "belonging to the side," from latus (genitive lateris) "the side, flank; lateral surface" (see latero-). Specific sense "situated on either side of the median vertical longitudinal plane of the body" [Century Dictionary] is from 1722. As a noun, from 1630s, "a side part;" as a type of pass to the side in U.S. football, it is attested from 1934 (short for lateral pass).
Synonyms: cross, adjacent, sideways, crosswise, horizontal, on the side, imaginative, creative, tangential, agile, unfettered, unencumbered
late 14c., "contemplative," also "purely scientific, in theory only" (opposed to practical), from Old French speculatif "worth great attention; theoretical," or directly from Late Latin speculativus, from past participle stem of speculari (see speculation). Meaning "given to (financial) speculation" is from 1763.
Synonyms: speculative, notional, theoretical, academic, abstract, projected, dicey, risky, dangerous, unpredictable, uncertain, tentative, approximate, rough, exploratory, provisional
1530s, "one's proper work or purpose; power of acting in a specific proper way," from Middle French fonction (16c.) and directly from Latin functionem (nominative functio) "a performance, an execution," noun of action from funct-, past participle stem of fungi "perform, execute, discharge," from PIE root *bheug- (2) "to use, enjoy" (see brook (v.)). Meaning "official ceremony" is from 1630s, originally in church use. Use in mathematics probably was begun by Leibnitz (1692). In reference to computer operations, 1947.
Synonyms: purpose, meaning, role, job, occupation, task, utility
late 14c., from while (q.v.) with adverbial genitive -s-, and unetymological -t (see amidst).
Synonyms: at the same time as, even as
late 14c., "hold back, restrain;" c. 1400, "continue keeping, keep possession of," from Old French retenir "keep, retain; take into feudal service; hold back; remember" (12c.), from Latin retinere "hold back, keep back, detain, restrain," from re- "back" (see re-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Meaning "keep (another) attached to one's person, keep in service" is from mid-15c.; specifically of lawyers from 1540s. Meaning "keep in the mind" is from c. 1500.
Synonyms: recalling, recollecting, remembering, holding, keep in mind, keeping, preserving, maintaining, saving, keep hold of, hold on to, hang on to
late 14c., "pertaining to form or arrangement;" also, in philosophy and theology, "pertaining to the form or essence of a thing," from Old French formal, formel "formal, constituent" (13c.) and directly from Latin formalis, from forma "a form, figure, shape" (see form (n.)). From early 15c. as "in due or proper form, according to recognized form," As a noun, c. 1600 (plural) "things that are formal;" as a short way to say formal dance, recorded by 1906 among U.S. college students.
Synonyms: official, proper, prescribed, recognized, strict, ceremonial, correct, reserved, stiff, prim, starched, decorous, correct, smart, conventional, prim and proper
mid-15c., "act of organizing," from Middle French organisation and directly from Medieval Latin organizationem (nominative organizatio), noun of action from past participle stem of organizare, from Latin organum "instrument, organ" (see organ). Meaning "system, establishment" is from 1873. Organization man is from title of 1956 book by American sociologist William H. Whyte (1917-1999).
Synonyms: arrangement, configuration, design, format, composition, constitution, makeup, make-up, pattern, structure
"cast off," Old English sceadan, scadan "to divide, separate, part company; discriminate, decide; scatter abroad, cast about," strong verb (past tense scead, past participle sceadan), from Proto-Germanic *skaithan (source also of Old Saxon skethan, Old Frisian sketha, Middle Dutch sceiden, Dutch scheiden, Old High German sceidan, German scheiden "part, separate, distinguish," Gothic skaidan "separate"), from *skaith "divide, split." According to Klein's sources, this probably is related to PIE root *skei- "to cut, separate, divide, part, split" (see schizo-).
In reference to animals, "to lose hair, feathers, etc." recorded from c. 1500; of trees losing leaves from 1590s; of clothes, 1858. This verb was used in Old English to gloss Late Latin words in the sense "to discriminate, to decide" that literally mean "to divide, separate" (compare discern). Hence also scead (n.) "separation, distinction; discretion, understanding, reason;" sceadwisnes "discrimination, discretion." A shedding-tooth (1799) was a milk-tooth or baby-tooth.
Synonyms: discards, drops, casts, get rid of, cast off
"to shed light; to set on fire," late Old English lihtan (Anglian), liehtan (West Saxon), originally transitive, "to ignite, set on fire," also in a spiritual sense, "to illuminate, fill with brightness." It is common Germanic (cognates: Old Saxon liohtian, Old High German liuhtan, German leuchten, Gothic liuhtjan "to light"), from the source of light (n.).
Meaning "furnish light for" is from c. 1200; sense of "emit light, shed light, shine" is from c. 1300. Buck writes that light is "much more common than kindle even with fire, and only light, not kindle, with candle, lamp, pipe, etc." To light up is from c. 1200 as "give light to" (a room, etc.); 1861 in reference to a pipe, cigar, etc.
Synonym: bright, sunny, sunlit, well-lit
late 14c., "a difficult question proposed for solution," from Old French problème (14c.) and directly from Latin problema, from Greek problema "a task, that which is proposed, a question;" also "anything projecting, headland, promontory; fence, barrier;" also "a problem in geometry," literally "thing put forward," from proballein "propose," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
Meaning "a difficulty" is mid-15c. Mathematical sense is from 1560s in English. Problem child first recorded 1920. Phrase ,,,,,,, problem in reference to a persistent and seemingly insoluble difficulty is attested at least from 1882, in Jewish problem. Response no problem "that is acceptable; that can be done without difficulty" is recorded from 1968.
word-forming element used to make verbs, Middle English -isen, from Old French -iser, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached.
English picked up the French form, but partially reverted to the correct Greek -z- spelling from late 16c. In Britain, despite the opposition to it (at least formerly) of OED, Encyclopaedia Britannica, the "Times of London," and Fowler, -ise remains dominant. Fowler thinks this is to avoid the difficulty of remembering the short list of common words not from Greek which must be spelled with an -s- (such as advertise, devise, surprise).
Synonym: none found
c. 1400, "deciding by one's own discretion, depending on one's judgment," from Latin arbitrarius "of arbitration," hence "depending on the will, uncertain," from arbiter (see arbiter). The meaning in English gradually descended to "capricious, ungoverned by reason or rule, despotic" (1640s).
Synonym: random, chance,subjective, uninformed, illogical, capricious, indiscriminate, haphazard
late 14c., from Old French construction or directly from Latin constructionem (nominative constructio), from construct-, past participle stem of construere "pile up together, accumulate; build, make, erect," from com "with, together" (see com-) + struere "to pile up" (see structure (n.)).
Synonym: interpretation, understanding, comprehension, meaning, spin, explanation
"column consisting of a single large block of stone," 1848, from French monolithe (16c.), from Latin monolithus (adj.) "consisting of a single stone," from Greek monolithos "made of one stone," from monos "single, alone" (see mono-) + lithos "stone." Transferred and figurative use is from 1934.
Middle English -ik, -ick, word-forming element making adjectives, "having to do with, having the nature of, being, made of, caused by, similar to," from French -ique and directly from Latin -icus or cognate Greek -ikos "in the manner of; pertaining to." From PIE adjective suffix *-(i)ko, which also yielded Slavic -isku, adjectival suffix indicating origin, the source of the -sky (Russian -skii) in many surnames. In chemistry, indicating a higher valence than names in -ous. Variant forms in -ick (critick, ethick) survived in English dictionaries until early 19c.
Synonym: colossal, monumental, massive, huge, uniform, gigantic, immovable, solid
1610s, "the whole creation, the universe," from Late Latin systema "an arrangement, system," from Greek systema "organized whole, a whole compounded of parts," from stem of synistanai "to place together, organize, form in order," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + root of histanai "cause to stand" from PIE root *stā- "to stand" (see stet).
Meaning "set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc." first recorded 1630s. Meaning "animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism" is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one's system (1900). Computer sense of "group of related programs" is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program. The system "prevailing social order" is from 1806.
Synonym: schemes, organizations, arrangements, classifications, structures, organisms, coordination
late 14c., informacion, "act of informing, communication of news," from Old French informacion, enformacion "advice, instruction," from Latin informationem (nominative informatio) "outline, concept, idea," noun of action from past participle stem of informare "to train, instruct, educate; shape, give form to" (see inform). The restored Latin spelling is from 16c.
Meaning "knowledge communicated concerning a particular topic" is from mid-15c. The word was used in reference to television broadcast signals from 1937; to punch-card operating systems from 1944; to DNA from 1953. Information theory is from 1950; information technology is from 1958 (coined in "Harvard Business Review"); information revolution, to be brought about by advances in computing, is from 1966. Information overload is by 1967.
Synonym: info, data, gen, material, evidence, statistics, facts, figures
early 12c., cnawlece "acknowledgment of a superior, honor, worship;" for first element see know (v.). The second element is obscure, perhaps from Scandinavian and cognate with the -lock "action, process," found in wedlock.
From late 14c. as "capacity for knowing, understanding; familiarity;" also "fact or condition of knowing, awareness of a fact;" also "news, notice, information; learning; organized body of facts or teachings." Sense of "sexual intercourse" is from c. 1400. Middle English also had a verb form, knoulechen "acknowledge" (c. 1200), later "find out about; recognize," and "to have sexual intercourse with" (c. 1300); compare acknowledge.
Synonym: information, data, gen, facts, wisdom, learning, education, intelligence, erudition