Adrastea Look up Adrastea at
"nemesis," daughter of Zeus, distributor of rewards and punishments, from Greek Adrasteia, literally "she from whom there is no escape," from adrastos "not running away," from a- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + stem of drasmos "a running away," related to dromos "course" (see dromedary).
adrenal (adj.) Look up adrenal at
"of or near the kidneys," 1866, Modern Latin, from ad- + renalis "of the kidneys," from Latin renes "kidneys" (see renal). Adrenal gland is from 1875.
adrenaline (n.) Look up adrenaline at
also Adrenalin (trademark name), coined 1901 by Japanese chemist Jokichi Takamine (1853-1922), who discovered it, from Modern Latin adrenal (see adrenal) + chemical suffix -ine (2). Adrenaline rush was in use c. 1970.
Adrian Look up Adrian at
masc. proper name, from Latin Adrianus, properly Hadrianus, literally "of the Adriatic" (see Adriatic). A name taken by several popes, including the only English pontiff, Nicholas Brakespear (died 1159).
Adriatic Look up Adriatic at
sea east of Italy, from Latin Adriaticus, properly Hadriaticus, from town of Atria/Hatria (modern Adria) in Picenum, near Venice, once a seaport but now more than 12 miles inland. The name is perhaps from atra, neuter of atrum "black," hence "the black city;" or else it represents Illyrian adur "water, sea."
adrift (adv.) Look up adrift at
"floating at random, at the mercy of currents," 1620s, from a- (1) "on" + drift (n.). Figurative use by 1680s.
adroit (adj.) Look up adroit at
1650s, "dexterous," originally "rightly," from French adroit, which by Old French had senses "upright (physically and morally); able, clever, skillful; well-formed, handsome; on the right-hand side; veritable," from adverbial phrase à droit "according to right," from Old French à "to" (see ad-) + droit, dreit "right," from Late Latin directum "right, justice," accusative of Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). It expresses prominently the idea of a trained hand. Related: Adroitly; adroitness.
adsorb (v.) Look up adsorb at
1882, transitive (intransitive use attested from 1919), back-formation from adsorption "condensation of gases on the surfaces of solids" (1882), coined in German from ad- + -sorption, abstracted from absorption and representing Latin sorbere "to suck" (see absorb). Related: Adsorbent; adsorption.
adulate (v.) Look up adulate at
"flatter slavishly," 1777, back-formation from adulation. Related: Adulated; adulating.
adulation (n.) Look up adulation at
"servile or insincere praise," late 14c., from Old French adulacion, from Latin adulationem (nominative adulatio) "a fawning; flattery, cringing courtesy," noun of action from past participle stem of adulari "to flatter, fawn upon."

This is usually said to be from ad "to" (see ad-) + a stem meaning "tail," from a PIE *ul- "the tail" (source also of Sanskrit valah "tail-hair," and a supposed but ill-attested Lithuanian valai "horse's tail"). The original notion would be "to wag the tail" like a fawning dog (compare Greek sainein "to wag the tail," also "to flatter;" also see wheedle). But de Vaan finds phonetic problems with these and concludes the etymology is uncertain, though he proposes a connection with avidus "eager," via *adulo- "who is eager toward something," hence "a flatterer." Adulation may proceed from true blind worship or be insincere, from hope of advantage.
adult (n.) Look up adult at
"adult person," 1650s, from adult (adj.).
adult (adj.) Look up adult at
1530s (but not common until mid-17c.) "grown, mature," from Latin adultus "grown up, mature, adult, ripe," past participle of adolescere "grow up, come to maturity, ripen," from ad "to" (see ad-) + alescere "be nourished," hence, "increase, grow up," inchoative of alere "to nourish," from a suffixed form of PIE root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish."

Meaning "mature in attitude or outlook" is from 1929. As a euphemism for "pornographic," it dates to 1958 and does no honor to the word. In the old British film-rating system, A indicated "suitable for exhibit to adult audiences," and thus, implicitly, unsuitable for children (1914).
adulterant (n.) Look up adulterant at
"that which adulterates," 1735, from Latin adulterantem (nominative adulterans), present participle of adulterare (see adulteration).
adulterate (v.) Look up adulterate at
"debase by mixing with foreign or inferior material, make corrupt," 1530s, back-formation from adulteration, or else from Latin adulteratus, past participle of adulterare "to falsify, corrupt," also "to commit adultery." Earlier verb was adulter (late 14c. in the sense "make impure"), directly from the Latin verb, but this English verb also carried the sense "commit adultery." Related: Adulterated; adulterating.
adulteration (n.) Look up adulteration at
"act of adulterating," c. 1500, from Latin adulterationem (nominative adulteratio), noun of action from past participle stem of adulterare "corrupt, falsify; debauch; commit adultery," from ad "to" (see ad-) + alterare "to alter" (see alter), though Watkins explains it as ad alterum "(approaching) another (unlawfully)." Meaning "a result of adulterating" is from 1650s.
adulterer (n.) Look up adulterer at
early 15c., agent noun from obsolete verb adulter "commit adultery; adulterate, make impure, pollute" (late 14c.), from Latin adulterare "to corrupt" (see adulteration). The earlier form in Middle English was avouter (c. 1300), avoutrer (late 14c.), "person (usually a man) guilty of adultery," from Old French avoutrier, from the Latin verb, or from Latin adulter "adulterer, seducer," noun use of an adjective.
adulteress (n.) Look up adulteress at
also adultress, an early 17c. substitution for earlier avoutresse (late 14c.), agent noun in fem. form from obsolete verb adulter "commit adultery" (see adulterer), with fem. ending -ess.
adulterous (adj.) Look up adulterous at
c. 1600, a classical correction (replacing earlier avoutrious "addicted to adultery," c. 1400), from obsolete verb adulter (see adulterer) + -ous. Related: Adulterously. Adulterine (1640s, from Latin adulterinus) was used in the sense "pertaining to adultery, born of adultery."
adultery (n.) Look up adultery at
"voluntary violation of the marriage bed," c. 1300, avoutrie, from Old French avouterie (12c., later adulterie, Modern French adultĕre), noun of condition from avoutre, from Latin adulterare "commit adultery; corrupt," from ad "to" (see ad-) + alterare "to alter" (see alter). Compare adulteration. The spelling was corrected toward Latin from early 15c. in English, following French (see ad-).

In Middle English, also "sex between husband and wife for recreational purposes; idolatry, perversion, heresy." As a crime, formerly classified as single adultery (with an unmarried person) and double adultery (with a married person). The Old English word was æwbryce "breach of law(ful marriage)" (similar formation in German Ehebruch). In translations of the 7th Commandment it is understood to mean "lewdness or unchastity" of any kind, in act or thought.
adulthood (n.) Look up adulthood at
1850, from adult (adj.) + -hood. Adultness is attested from 1731.
adumbrate (v.) Look up adumbrate at
1580s, "to outline, to sketch," from Latin adumbratus "sketched, shadowed in outline," also "feigned, unreal, sham, fictitious," past participle of adumbrare "cast a shadow over;" in painting, "to represent (a thing) in outline," from ad "to" (see ad-) + umbrare "to cast in shadow," from PIE root *andho- "blind; dark" (see umbrage). Meaning "to overshadow" is from 1660s in English. Related: Adumbrated; adumbrating.
adumbration (n.) Look up adumbration at
1550s, "faint sketch, imperfect representation," from Latin adumbrationem (nominative adumbratio) "a sketch in shadow, sketch, outline," noun of action from past participle stem of adumbrare "to cast a shadow, overshadow," in painting, "represent (a thing) in outline," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + umbrare "to cast in shadow," from PIE root *andho- "blind; dark" (see umbrage).
advance (n.) Look up advance at
c. 1300, "boasting, ostentation" (now archaic), from advance (v.). Early 15c. as "advancement in rank, wealth, etc.;" physical sense of "state of being in front" is from 1660s; that of "a move forward or toward the front" is from 1670s. Commercial sense of "something given beforehand" is from 1680s (earlier in this sense was advancement, 1640s). Meaning "military signal to advance" is by 1849. Also "an act of approach" (1670s), hence advances "amorous overtures" (1706).
advance (v.) Look up advance at
mid-13c., avauncen (transitive), "improve (something), further the development of," from Old French avancir, avancier "move forward, go forward, set forward" (12c., Modern French avancer), from Vulgar Latin *abanteare (source of Italian avanzare, Spanish avanzar), from Late Latin abante "from before," composed of ab "from" (see ab-) + ante "before, in front of, against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead"). Compare avant.

The unetymological -d- was inserted 16c. on mistaken notion that initial syllable was from Latin ad-. From c. 1300 as "to promote, raise to a higher rank." Intransitive sense "move forward, move further in front" is mid-14c.; transitive sense "bring forward in place, move (something) forward" is from c. 1500. Meaning "to give (money, etc.) before it is legally due" is first attested 1670s. Related: Advanced; advancing. The adjective (in advance warning, etc.) is recorded from 1843.
advanced (adj.) Look up advanced at
1530s, "far ahead in the course of actions or ideas, being beyond others in attainment, degree, etc.," past participle adjective from advance (v.). Of studies, from 1790. Of age, by 1713. In late 19c. used especially in reference to views on women's equality.
advancement (n.) Look up advancement at
c. 1300, avauncement, "a raising to a higher rank," also "promotion, assistance," from Old French avancement "advancement; profit, advance payment," from avancir "move forward" (see advance (v.)). Meaning "act of helping to move something forward" is from 1550s. The unetymological -d- is from 16c.
advantage (n.) Look up advantage at
early 14c., avantage, "position of being in advance of another," from Old French avantage "advantage, profit; superiority" (12c.), from avant "before," probably via an unrecorded Late or Medieval Latin *abantaticum, from Latin abante "from before," composed of ab "from" (see ab-) + ante "before, in front of, against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead"). Compare advance (v.).
Advantage is the possession of a good vantage-ground for the attainment of ulterior objects of desire .... [Century Dictionary]
The unetymological -d- is a 16c. intrusion on the analogy of Latin ad- words. Meaning "any condition favorable to success, a favoring circumstance" (the opposite of a disadvantage) is from late 15c. Tennis score sense is from 1640s (in the writings of John Milton). Phrase to take advantage of is from late 14c. as "avail oneself of," also "impose upon." To have the advantage of (someone) "have superiority over" is from 1560s.
advantageous (adj.) Look up advantageous at
1590s, "furnishing advantages," formed in English from advantage + -ous, modeled on French avantageux (15c.). Related: Advantageously; advantageousness.
advent (n.) Look up advent at
"important arrival," 1742, an extended sense of Advent "season preceding Christmas" (in reference to the "coming" of Christ), late Old English, from Latin adventus "a coming, approach, arrival," in Church Latin "the coming of the Savior," from past participle stem of advenire "arrive at, come to," from ad "to" (see ad-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Related: Adventual.
Adventist (n.) Look up Adventist at
"one of a religious denomination that believes in or looks for the early second coming of Christ to establish a personal reign," 1843; see advent + -ist. In Church Latin adventus was applied to the coming of the Savior, both the first or the anticipated second, hence Adventist was applied to millenarian sects, especially and originally the Millerites (U.S.). By the end of the 19c. there were three main divisions of them; the Seventh-Day Adventists so called for their observation of Saturday as the Sabbath.
adventitious (adj.) Look up adventitious at
"of the nature of an addition from without, not from the essence of the subject; accidentally or casually acquired," c. 1600, from Medieval Latin adventitius "coming from abroad, extraneous," a corruption of Latin adventicius "foreign, strange, accidental," from advent- past participle stem of advenire "to arrive at, reach, come to" (see advent). Related: Adventitiously; adventitiousness.
adventure (v.) Look up adventure at
c. 1300, aventuren, "to risk the loss of," from Old French aventurer (12c.) "wander, travel; seek adventure; happen by chance," from aventure (n.); see adventure (n.). Meaning "take a chance" is early 14c. Related: Adventured; adventuring.
adventure (n.) Look up adventure at
c. 1200, aventure, auenture "that which happens by chance, fortune, luck," from Old French aventure (11c.) "chance, accident, occurrence, event, happening," from Latin adventura (res) "(a thing) about to happen," from fem. of adventurus, future participle of advenire "to come to, reach, arrive at," from ad "to" (see ad-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come."

Meaning developed through "risk; danger" (a trial of one's chances), c. 1300, and "perilous undertaking" (late 14c.) to "novel or exciting incident, remarkable occurrence in one's life" (1560s). Earlier it also meant "a wonder, a miracle; accounts of marvelous things" (13c.). The -d- was restored in English 15c.-16c.; attempt was made about the same time to restore it in French, but there it was rejected. Venture is a 15c. variant. German Abenteuer is a borrowing of the French word, apparently deformed by influence of Abend "evening."
adventurer (n.) Look up adventurer at
late 15c., "one who plays at games of chance," agent noun from adventure (v.). Meaning "one who undertakes commercial ventures" is from c. 1600. Meaning "one who seeks adventures" is from 1660s. Often in a bad sense, "seeker of fortune by rash or underhanded means;" hence adventurism (1843, in early 20c. a term in communist jargon). Fem. form adventuress attested by 1754.
adventuresome (adj.) Look up adventuresome at
1731, "bold, daring," from adventure + -some (1). Related: Adventuresomeness.
adventurous (adj.) Look up adventurous at
mid-14c., "hazardous;" late 14c., "occurring by chance" (senses now obsolete), from Old French aventuros "chance, accidental, fortuitous;" of persons, "devoted to adventure" (Modern French aventureux), from aventure (see adventure (n.)). In English the sense of "rash, risk-taking" is from c. 1400, thence "daring, fond of adventure" (mid-15c.). Related: Adventurously; adventurousness.
The adventurous man incurs risks from love of the novel, the arduous, and the bold, trusting to escape through the use of his bodily and mental powers; he would measure himself against difficult things. When this spirit does not go so far as to deserve the name of rashness or foolhardiness, it is considered a manly trait. [Century Dictionary]
adverb (n.) Look up adverb at
late 14c., from Late Latin adverbium "adverb," literally "that which is added to a verb" (to extend or limit its meaning), from ad "to" (see ad-) + verbum "verb, word" (from PIE root *were- (3) "to speak;" see verb). Coined by Flavius Sosipater Charisius as a translation of Greek epirrhema "adverb," from epi- "upon, on" + rhema "verb."
adverbial (adj.) Look up adverbial at
1610s, "pertaining to adverbs;" earlier it meant "fond of using adverbs" (1590s), from Late Latin adverbialis, from adverbium "an adverb" (see adverb). Related: Adverbially (mid-15c.).
adversarial (adj.) Look up adversarial at
"involving adversaries," by 1892, from adversary (n.) + -al (1). The older adjective was simply adversary (late 14c.), but the tendency to confuse it with the noun of the same form probably led to the creation of fresh adjectives (earlier examples are adversative, 1530s; adversarious, 1826). Related: Adversarially.
adversary (n.) Look up adversary at
"unfriendly opponent, enemy" (originally especially of Satan as the enemy of mankind), mid-14c., aduersere, from Anglo-French adverser (13c.), Old French adversarie (12c., Modern French adversaire) "hostile opponent, enemy," or directly from Latin adversarius "an opponent, rival, enemy," noun use of adjective meaning "opposite, hostile, contrary," literally "turned toward one," from adversus "turned against, turned toward, fronting, facing," figuratively "hostile, adverse, unfavorable," past participle of advertere "to turn toward," from ad "to" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed" (see versus). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by wiðerbroca.
adverse (adj.) Look up adverse at
late 14c., "contrary, opposing," from Old French advers, earlier avers (13c., Modern French adverse) "antagonistic, unfriendly, contrary, foreign" (as in gent avers "infidel race"), from Latin adversus "turned against, turned toward, fronting, facing," figuratively "hostile, adverse, unfavorable," past participle of advertere "to turn toward," from ad "to" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn, turn back; be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). For distinction of use, see averse. Related: Adversely.
adversity (n.) Look up adversity at
c. 1200, aduersite "condition of misfortune, hardship, difficulty, distress," from Old French adversite, aversite (Modern French aversité) "adversity, calamity, misfortune; hostility, wickedness, malice" (Modern French adversité), from Latin adversitatem (nominative adversitas) "opposition," from adversus "turned against, hostile" (see adverse).
advert (v.) Look up advert at
mid-15c., averten "to turn (something) aside" (the mind, the attention, etc.), from Old French avertir (later advertir) "to turn, direct; turn aside; make aware, inform" (12c.), from Latin advertere "turn toward, turn to," from ad "toward" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). The -d- was restored in English 16c. Especially in speaking or writing, "turn to (a topic) abruptly and plainly" (18c.). Related: Adverted; adverting.
advert (n.) Look up advert at
"paid public notice," by 1860, colloquial shortening of advertisement, from the print abbreviation, which is attested by 1855.
advertence (n.) Look up advertence at
late 14c., "attention, heed, act of calling attention to," from Old French avertence, avertance, from Late Latin advertentia "attention, notice," abstract noun from past participle stem of advertere "direct one's attention to; give heed," literally "to turn toward" (see advertise).
advertique (n.) Look up advertique at
a collector's word for old advertisements, by 1974, from advertisement + antique.
advertise (v.) Look up advertise at
early 15c., "to take notice of" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French advertiss-, present participle stem of advertir (earlier avertir) "make aware, call attention, remark; turn, turn to" (12c.), from Latin advertere "to direct one's attention to; give heed," literally "to turn toward," from ad "to, toward" (see ad-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus).

Transitive sense "give notice to others, inform, warn" (late 15c.) by influence of advertisement; specific meaning "to call attention to goods for sale, rewards, etc." emerged by late 18c. Original meaning remains in advert (v.) "turn (someone's) attention to." Related: Advertised; advertising.
advertised (adj.) Look up advertised at
late 15c., "informed;" 1780s, "publicly announced," past participle adjective from advertise.
advertisement (n.) Look up advertisement at
early 15c., "written statement calling attention to (something), public notice" (of anything, but often of a sale); from Old French avertissement (15c., later respelled pedantically as advertissement, a change rejected in French but accepted in English), from stem of avertir "to turn, direct, make aware" (see advertise). Meaning "public notice (usually paid) in a newspaper or other publication," the main modern sense, emerged 1580s and was fully developed by 18c.; later extended to Web sites.
Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetick. Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement. I remember a washball that had a quality truly wonderful--it gave an exquisite edge to the razor! ... The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement. [Johnson, "The Idler," Jan. 20, 1758]
advertiser (n.) Look up advertiser at
1560s, "one who notifies," agent noun from advertise (v.). From 1712 as "one who issues public notice," hence its use as a name for newspapers or journals (1769).