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.
aggregate (adj.) Look up aggregate at
c. 1400, from Latin aggregatus "associated," literally "united in a flock," past participle of aggregare "add to (a flock), lead to a flock, bring together (in a flock)," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + gregare "herd" (see gregarious).
aggregate (v.) Look up aggregate at
c. 1400, from Latin aggregatum, neuter past participle of aggregare (see aggregate (adj.)). Related: Aggregated; aggregating.
aggregate (n.) Look up aggregate at
"number of persons, things, etc., regarded as a unit," early 15c., from noun use of Latin adjective aggregatum, neuter of aggregatus (see aggregate (adj.)).
aggregation (n.) Look up aggregation at
early 15c., from Middle French agrégation or directly from Medieval Latin aggregationem (nominative aggregatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin aggregare (see aggregate (adj.)).
aggress (v.) Look up aggress at
"attack," 1714, back-formation from aggression, but used earlier with a sense of "approach" (1570s) and in this sense from French aggresser, from Late Latin aggressare, frequentative of Latin aggredi "to approach, attack." Related: Aggressed; aggressing.
aggression (n.) Look up aggression at
1610s, "unprovoked attack," from French aggression (16c.), from Latin aggressionem (nominative aggressio) "a going to, an attack," noun of action from past participle stem of aggredi "to approach; attack," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + gradi (past participle gressus) "to step," from gradus "a step" (see grade (n.)). Psychological sense of "hostile or destructive behavior" first recorded 1912 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud.
aggressive (adj.) Look up aggressive at
1791, from Latin aggress-, past participle stem of aggredi "to approach, attack" (see aggression) + -ive. In psychological use from 1913, first in translations of Freud. Related: Aggressively; aggressiveness.
aggressor (n.) Look up aggressor at
1670s, from Latin aggressor, agent noun from aggredi "to approach, attack" (see aggression).
aggrieve (v.) Look up aggrieve at
early 14c., from Old French agrever "make worse; become worse," from Latin aggravare "make heavier" (see aggravation). Related: Aggrieved; aggrieving.
aggrieved (adj.) Look up aggrieved at
"oppressed in spirit," mid-14c., past participle adjective from aggrieve. The legal sense of "injured or wronged in one's rights" is from 1580s.
aghast (adj.) Look up aghast at
c. 1300, agast, "terrified," past participle of Middle English agasten "to frighten" (c. 1200), from a- intensive prefix + Old English gæstan "to terrify," from gæst "spirit, ghost" (see ghost). The -gh- spelling appeared early 15c. in Scottish and is possibly a Flemish influence, or after ghost, etc. It became general after 1700.
agile (adj.) Look up agile at
1580s, from Middle French agile (14c.) and directly from Latin agilis "nimble, quick," from agere "to move, drive" (see act (n.)). Related: Agilely.
agility (n.) Look up agility at
early 15c., from Old French agilité (14c.), from Latin agilitatem (nominative agilitas) "mobility, nimbleness, quickness," from agilis, from agere "to move" (see act (n.)).
agism (n.) Look up agism at
alternative spelling of ageism.
agitate (v.) Look up agitate at
1580s, "to disturb," from Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare "to put in constant motion, drive onward, impel," frequentative of agere "to move, drive" (see act (n.)). Literal sense of "move to and fro, shake" is from 1590s. Related: Agitated; agitating.
agitated (adj.) Look up agitated at
1610s, "set in motion," past participle adjective from agitate (v.). Meaning "disturbed" is from 1650s; that of "disturbed in mind" is from 1756. Meaning "kept constantly in public view" is from 1640s.
agitation (n.) Look up agitation at
1560s, "mental tossing to and fro," from French agitation, from Latin agitationem (nominative agitatio) "motion, agitation," noun of action from past participle stem of agitare "move to and fro," frequentative of agere in its sense of "to drive" (see act (n.)).
agitator (n.) Look up agitator at
1640s, agent noun from agitate (v.); originally "elected representative of the common soldiers in Cromwell's army," who brought grievances (chiefly over lack of pay) to their officers and Parliament.

Political sense is first recorded 1734, and negative overtones began with its association with Irish patriots such as Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847). Historically, in American English, often with outside and referring to people who stir up a supposedly contented class or race. Latin agitator meant "a driver, a charioteer."
agitprop (n.) Look up agitprop at
also agit-prop, 1938, from Russian agitatsiya "agitation" (from French agitation; see agitation) + propaganda, from German (see propaganda).
Aglaia Look up Aglaia at
one of the Graces, Greek, literally "splendor, beauty, brightness," from aglaos "splendid, beautiful, bright," which is of unknown origin, + abstract noun ending -ia.
agleam (adj.) Look up agleam at
1854, from a- (1) + gleam.
aglow (adj.) Look up aglow at
1817 (in Coleridge), from a- (1) + glow. Figurative sense of "flushed with pleasurable excitement" is from 1830.
Agnes Look up Agnes at
fem. proper name, mid-12c., from Old French Agnes, from Greek Hagne "pure, chaste," from fem. of hagnos "holy," from PIE *yag- "to worship, reverence" (see hagiology). St. Agnes, martyred 303 C.E., is patron saint of young girls, hence the folk connection of St. Agnes' Eve (Jan. 20-21) with love divinations. In Middle English, frequently phonetically as Annis, Annys. In U.S., among the top 50 names for girls born between 1887 and 1919.
agnostic (n.) Look up agnostic at
1870, "one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known" [Klein]; coined by T.H. Huxley (1825-1895), supposedly in September 1869, from Greek agnostos "unknown, unknowable," from a- "not" + gnostos "(to be) known" (see gnostic). Sometimes said to be a reference to Paul's mention of the altar to "the Unknown God," but according to Huxley it was coined with reference to the early Church movement known as Gnosticism (see Gnostic).
I ... invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic,' ... antithetic to the 'Gnostic' of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. [T.H. Huxley, "Science and Christian Tradition," 1889]
The adjective is first recorded 1870.
agnosticism (n.) Look up agnosticism at
1870, from agnostic + -ism.
The agnostic does not simply say, "I do not know." He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. [Robert G. Ingersoll, "Reply to Dr. Lyman Abbott," 1890]
Agnus Dei Look up Agnus Dei at
Latin, literally "lamb of God." Latin agnus is from PIE *agwh-no- "lamb" (see yean) For deus "god," see Zeus.
ago (adj.) Look up ago at
early 14c., shortened form of Old English agan, agone "departed, passed away," past participle of an obsolete verb ago "to go forth," formed from a- "away" (perhaps here used as an intensive prefix) + gan "go" (see go (v.)). Agone remains a dialectal variant.
agog (adj., adv.) Look up agog at
"in a state of desire; in a state of imagination; heated with the notion of some enjoyment; longing" [Johnson], c. 1400, perhaps from Old French en gogues "in jest, good humor, joyfulness," from gogue "fun," which is of unknown origin.
agonist (n.) Look up agonist at
1876, in writings on Greek drama, from Greek agonistes, literally "combatant in the games" (see agony).
agonize (v.) Look up agonize at
1580s, "to torture," from Middle French agoniser or directly from Medieval Latin agonizare, from Greek agonizesthai "contend in the struggle" (see agony). Intransitive sense of "suffer physical pain" is recorded from 1660s; that of "to worry intensely" is from 1853. Related: Agonized; agonizing.
agony (n.) Look up agony at
late 14c., "mental suffering" (especially that of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane), from Old French agonie, agoine "anguish, terror, death agony" (14c.), and directly from Late Latin agonia, from Greek agonia "a (mental) struggle for victory," originally "a struggle for victory in the games," from agon "assembly for a contest," from agein "to lead" (see act (n.)). Sense of "extreme bodily suffering" first recorded c. 1600.
agora (n.) Look up agora at
"assembly place," 1590s, from Greek agora "open space" (typically a marketplace), from ageirein "to assemble," from PIE root *ger- "to gather" (see gregarious).
agoraphobia (n.) Look up agoraphobia at
"fear of open spaces," 1873, from German Agorophobie, coined 1871 by Berlin psychiatrist Carl Westphal (1833-1890) from Greek agora "open space" (see agora) + -phobia "fear." Related: Agoraphobe; agoraphobic.
agrarian (adj.) Look up agrarian at
1610s, "relating to the land," from Middle French loy agrarienne "agrarian law," corresponding to Latin Lex agraria, the Roman law for the division of conquered lands, from agrarius "of the land," from ager (genitive agri) "a field," from PIE *agro- (source also of Greek agros "field," Gothic akrs, Old English æcer "field;" see acre). Meaning "having to do with cultivated land" first recorded 1792.
agree (v.) Look up agree at
late 14c., "to be to one's liking;" also "to give consent," from Old French agreer "to receive with favor, take pleasure in" (12c.), from phrase a gré "favorably, of good will," literally "to (one's) liking," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + gratum "pleasing," neuter of gratus (see grace (n.)); the original sense survives best in agreeable. Meaning "to be in harmony in opinions" is from late 15c. Related: Agreed; agreeing.
agreeable (adj.) Look up agreeable at
late 14c., "to one's liking," from Old French agreable (12c., Modern French agréable) "pleasing, in agreement, consenting, thankful," from agreer "to please" (see agree). Related: Agreeably. To do the agreeable (1825) was to "act in a courteous manner."
agreeance (n.) Look up agreeance at
1530s, from Middle French agréance, noun of action from agréer (see agree).
agreement (n.) Look up agreement at
c. 1400, "mutual understanding" (among persons), also (of things) "mutual conformity," from Old French agrement, noun of action from agreer "to please" (see agree).
agribusiness (n.) Look up agribusiness at
1955, compound formed from agriculture + business.
agricultural (adj.) Look up agricultural at
1776, from agriculture + -al (1). Related: Agriculturally; agriculturalist.
agriculture (n.) Look up agriculture at
mid-15c., from Late Latin agricultura "cultivation of the land," compound of agri cultura "cultivation of land," from agri, genitive of ager "a field" (see acre) + cultura "cultivation" (see culture (n.)). In Old English, the idea could be expressed by eorðtilþ.
agriology (n.) Look up agriology at
study of prehistoric human customs, 1878, from agrio-, from Greek agrios "wild," literally "living in the fields," from agros "field" (see acre) + -logy. Related: Agriologist (n.), 1875.
agro- Look up agro- at
word-forming element meaning "pertaining to agriculture or cultivation," from Greek agro-, comb. form of agros "field" (see acre).
agronomy (n.) Look up agronomy at
"science of land management for crop production," 1814, from French agronomie, from Greek agronomos "overseer of land," from agros "field" (see acre) + -nomos "law or custom, administering," related to nemein "manage" (see numismatic). Related: Agronomist; agronomic.