after (prep.) Look up after at
Old English æfter "after, next, throughout, following in time, later," from Old English of "off" (see of) + -ter, a comparative suffix; thus the original meaning was "more away, farther off." Compare Old Norse eptir "after," Old High German aftar, Gothic aftra "behind." Cognate with Greek apotero "farther off."

After hours "after regular working hours" is from 1861. Afterwit "wisdom that comes too late" is attested from c. 1500 but seems to have fallen from use, despite being more needed now than ever. After you as an expression in yielding precedence is recorded by 1650.
after-dinner (adj.) Look up after-dinner at
1730, from after + dinner.
afterbirth (n.) Look up afterbirth at
also after-birth, 1580s, from after + birth.
afterglow (n.) Look up afterglow at
also after-glow, 1829, from after + glow (n.).
afterlife (n.) Look up afterlife at
1590s, "a future life" (especially after resurrection), from after + life.
aftermarket (adj.) Look up aftermarket at
1940, American English, of automobile parts, from after + market.
aftermath (n.) Look up aftermath at
1520s, originally a second crop of grass grown after the first had been harvested, from after + -math, a dialectal word, from Old English mæð "a mowing, cutting of grass" (see math (n.2)). Figurative sense by 1650s. Compare French regain "aftermath," from re- + Old French gain, gaain "grass which grows in meadows that have been mown," from Frankish or some other Germanic source similar to Old High German weida "grass, pasture"
afternoon (n.) Look up afternoon at
c. 1300, from after + noon. In 15c.-16c., the form was at afternoon; from c. 1600 it has been in the afternoon. Middle English also had aftermete "afternoon, part of the day following the noon meal," mid-14c.
aftershock (n.) Look up aftershock at
also after-shock, 1894, from after + shock (n.1).
afterthought (n.) Look up afterthought at
1660s, from after + thought.
afterward (adv.) Look up afterward at
Old English æftanweard, from æftan "after" (see aft) + -weard suffix indicating direction (see -ward); nautical use as aftward, then expanded by influence of after; variant afterwards shows adverbial genitive.
afterwards (adv.) Look up afterwards at
c. 1300, from afterward (q.v.) + adverbial genitive -s; originally a Northern form.
afterword (n.) Look up afterword at
1890, a Saxonist subsitute for epilogue; from after + word (n.).
ag (n.) Look up ag at
abbreviation of agriculture, attested from 1918, American English.
aga (n.) Look up aga at
title of rank, especially in Turkey, c. 1600, from Turkish agha "chief, master, lord," related to East Turk. agha "elder brother."
again (adv.) Look up again at
late Old English agan, from earlier ongean "toward, opposite, against, in exchange for," from on "on" (see on) + -gegn "against, toward," compounded for a sense of "lined up facing, opposite," and "in the opposite direction, returning." For -gegn, compare Old Norse gegn "straight, direct;" Danish igen "against;" Old Frisian jen, Old High German gegin, German gegen "against, toward," entgegen "against, in opposition to."

In Old English, eft was the main word for "again" (see eftsoons), but this often was strengthened by ongean, which became the principal word by 13c. Norse influence is responsible for the hard -g-. Differentiated from against 16c. in southern writers, again becoming an adverb only, and against taking over as preposition and conjunction, but again clung to all senses in northern and Scottish dialect (where against was not adopted).
against (adv.) Look up against at
early 12c., agenes "in opposition to," a southern variant of agen "again" (see again), with adverbial genitive. The parasitic -t turned up mid-14c. and was standard by early 16c., perhaps from influence of superlatives.
Agamemnon Look up Agamemnon at
king of Mycenae, leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War, his name perhaps represents Greek Aga-medmon, literally "ruling mightily," from agan "very much" + medon "ruler" (see meditation).
agape (n.) Look up agape at
c. 1600, from Greek agape "brotherly love, charity," from agapan "greet with affection, love," which is of unknown origin. Agape was used by early Christians for their "love feast" held in connection with the Lord's Supper. In modern use, often in simpler sense of "Christian love" (1856, frequently opposed to eros as "carnal or sensual love").
agape (adv.) Look up agape at
1660s, from a- (1) + gape (v.).
agate (n.) Look up agate at
1560s, from Middle French agathe (16c.), from Latin achates, from Greek akhates, the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were found (Pliny). But the river could as easily be named for the stone.

The earlier English form of the word, achate (early 13c.), was directly from Latin. Figurative sense of "a diminutive person" (c. 1600) is from the now-obsolete meaning "small figures cut in agates for seals," preserved in typographer's agate (1838), the U.S. name of the 5.5-point font called in Great Britain ruby. Meaning "toy marble made of glass resembling agate" is from 1843 (colloquially called an aggie).
Agatha Look up Agatha at
fem. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Agathe, fem. of agathos "good," which is of unknown origin. Never a popular name in U.S., and all but unused there since 1940.
agathism (n.) Look up agathism at
the doctrine that all things tend toward the good, 1830, from agathist + -ism.
agathist (n.) Look up agathist at
1816, from Greek agathos "good" (see Agatha) + -ist.
Doctor Kearney, who formerly, with so much reputation, delivered lectures in this place on the history of Rome, observed to me once, that he was not an optimist, but an "agathist"; that he believed that every thing tended to good, but did not think himself competent to determine what was absolutely the best. The distinction is important, and seems to be fatal to the system of Optimism. [George Miller, "Lectures on the Philosophy of Modern History," Dublin, 1816]
agave (n.) Look up agave at
American aloe plant, 1797, from Latin Agave, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at," from gaiein "to rejoice, exult," with intensive prefix a-. The name seems to have been taken generically by botanists, the plant perhaps so called for its "stately" flower stem.
age (n.) Look up age at
late 13c., "long but indefinite period in human history," from Old French aage (11c., Modern French âge) "age; life, lifetime, lifespan; maturity," earlier edage, from Vulgar Latin *aetaticum (source of Spanish edad, Italian eta, Portuguese idade "age"), from Latin aetatem (nominative aetas), "period of life, age, lifetime, years," from aevum "lifetime, eternity, age," from PIE root *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity" (see eon). Meaning "time something has lived, particular length or stage of life" is from early 14c. Used especially for "old age" since early 14c. Expelled native eld.
age (v.) Look up age at
"to grow old," late 14c., from age (n.). Meaning "to make old" is early 15c. Related: Aged; aging.
age-group (n.) Look up age-group at
1904, originally a term in the science of demographics, from age (n.) + group (n.).
age-old (adj.) Look up age-old at
1896, from age (n.) + old.
aged (adj.) Look up aged at
"having lived long," mid-15c., past participle adjective from age (v.). Meaning "having been allowed to get old" (of cheese, etc.) is by 1873. Meaning "of the age of" is from 1630s. Aged Parent is from "Great Expectations" (1860-61).
ageism (n.) Look up ageism at
"discrimination against people based on age," coined 1969 by U.S. gerontologist Dr. Robert N. Butler, from age + -ism, on pattern of racism, sexism. Related: Ageist.
ageless (adj.) Look up ageless at
1650s, from age + -less. Related: Agelessly; agelessness.
agency (n.) Look up agency at
1650s, "active operation," from Medieval Latin agentia, abstract noun from Latin agentem (nominative agens) "effective, powerful," present participle of agere "to drive, conduct" (see act (n.)). Meaning "establishment where business is done for another" first recorded 1861.
agenda (n.) Look up agenda at
1650s, from Latin agenda, literally "things to be done," neuter plural of agendus, gerundive of agere "to do" (see act (n.)). Originally theological (opposed to matters of belief), sense of "items of business to be done at a meeting" first attested 1882. "If a singular is required (=one item of the agenda) it is now agendum, the former singular agend being obsolete" [Fowler].
agent (n.) Look up agent at
late 15c., "one who acts," from Latin agentem (nominative agens) "effective, powerful," present participle of agere "to set in motion, drive, lead, conduct" (see act (n.)). Meaning "any natural force or substance which produces a phenomenon" is from 1550s. Meaning "deputy, representative" is from 1590s. Sense of "spy, secret agent" is attested by 1916.
agent (adj.) Look up agent at
1610s, from agent (n.).
Agent Orange (n.) Look up Agent Orange at
powerful defoliant used by U.S. military in the Vietnam War, attested from 1971, said to have been used from 1961; so called from the color strip on the side of the container, which distinguished it from Agent Blue, Agent White, etc., other herbicides used by the U.S. military. Banned from April 1970.
aggie (n.1) Look up aggie at
"college student studying agriculture," by 1880, American English college slang, from agriculture + -ie.
aggie (n.2) Look up aggie at
type of toy marble, by 1905, American English, colloquial shortening of agate (q.v.).
Excited groups gather about rude circles scratched in the mud, and there is talk of "pureys," and "reals," and "aggies," and "commies," and "fen dubs!" There is a rich click about the bulging pockets of the boys, and every so often in school time something drops on the floor and rolls noisily across the room. When Miss Daniels asks: "Who did that?" the boys all look so astonished. Who did what pray tell? ["McClure's Magazine," May 1905]
agglomerate (v.) Look up agglomerate at
1680s, from Latin agglomeratus, past participle of agglomerare "to wind or add onto a ball," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + glomerare "wind up in a ball," from glomus (genitive glomeris) "ball of yarn," from PIE root *glem-. Related: Agglomerated; agglomerating.
agglomeration (n.) Look up agglomeration at
1774, "action of collecting in a mass," from Latin agglomerationem (nominative agglomeratio), noun of action from past participle stem of agglomerare (see agglomerate). In reference to a mass so formed, it is recorded from 1833.
agglutinate (v.) Look up agglutinate at
1580s (from 1540s as a past participle adjective), from Latin agglutinatus, past participle of agglutinare (see agglutination). Related: Agglutinated; agglutinating.
agglutination (n.) Look up agglutination at
1540s, from Latin agglutinationem (nominative agglutinatio), noun of action from past participle stem of agglutinare "fasten with glue," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + glutinare "to glue," from gluten "glue," from PIE *glei- (see glue (n.)). Philological sense first recorded 1650s, in agglutinative.
agglutinative (adj.) Look up agglutinative at
1630s, in a medical sense, from Latin agglutinat-, past participle stem of agglutinare (see agglutination). Philological sense is from 1650s.
aggrandisement (n.) Look up aggrandisement at
chiefly British English spelling of aggrandizement. See -ize.
aggrandize (v.) Look up aggrandize at
1630s, "to make larger, increase," from French agrandiss-, present participle stem of agrandir "to augment" (16c.), ultimately from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + grandire "to make great," from grandis (see grand (adj.)). The double -g- spelling in English is by analogy with Latin words in ad-. Related: Aggrandized; aggrandizing.
aggrandizement (n.) Look up aggrandizement at
1650s, from French agrandissement, noun of action from agrandir (see aggrandize).
aggravate (v.) Look up aggravate at
1520s, "make heavy, burden down," from past participle adjective aggravate "burdened; threatened" (late 15c.), from Latin aggravatus, past participle of aggravare "to render more troublesome," literally "to make heavy" (see aggravation). Earlier in this sense was aggrege (late 14c.). Meaning "to make a bad thing worse" is from 1590s; that of "exasperate, annoy" is from 1610s.
To aggravate has properly only one meaning -- to make (an evil) worse or more serious. [Fowler]
Related: Aggravated; aggravating. Phrase aggravating circumstances is recorded from 1790.
aggravated (adj.) Look up aggravated at
1540s, "increased, magnified," past participle adjective from aggravate. Meaning "irritated" is from 1610s; that of "made worse" is from 1630s. The earlier adjective was simply aggravate (late 15c.).
aggravation (n.) Look up aggravation at
late 15c., from Middle French aggravation, from Late Latin aggravationem (nominative aggravatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin aggravare "make heavier," figuratively "to embarrass further, increase in oppressiveness," from ad "to" (see ad-) + gravare "weigh down," from gravis "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). Oldest sense is "increasing in gravity or seriousness;" that of "irritation" is from 1610s.