abominate (v.)
1640s, back-formation from abomination or from Latin abominatus, past participle of abominari (see abomination). Related: Abominated; abominating.
abomination (n.)
early 14c., "abominable thing or action;" late 14c., "feeling of disgust, hatred, loathing," from Old French abominacion "abomination, horror, repugnance, disgust" (13c.), from Latin abominationem (nominative abominatio) "abomination," noun of action from past participle stem of abominari "shun as an ill omen," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + omin-, stem of omen (see omen). Meaning intensified by folk etymology derivation from Latin ab homine "away from man," thus "beastly."
Doubtless, the life of an Irregular is hard; but the interests of the Greater Number require that it shall be hard. If a man with a triangular front and a polygonal back were allowed to exist and to propagate a still more Irregular posterity, what would become of the arts of life? Are the houses and doors and churches in Flatland to be altered in order to accommodate such monsters? [Edwin Abbot, "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions," 1885]
aboriginal (adj.)
1660s, "first, earliest," especially in reference to inhabitants of lands colonized by Europeans, from aborigines (see aborigine) + -al (1); specific Australian sense is from 1820. The noun is attested from 1767. Related: Aboriginally.
aborigine (n.)
1858, mistaken singular of aborigines (1540s; the correct singular is aboriginal), from Latin Aborigines "the first ancestors of the Romans; the first inhabitants" (especially of Latium), possibly a tribal name, or from ab origine, literally "from the beginning." Extended 1789 to natives of other countries which Europeans have colonized. Australian slang shortening Abo attested from 1922.
aborning (adv.)
1893, American English, from a- (1) + born + -ing (2).
abort (v.)
1570s, "to miscarry," from Latin abortus, past participle of aboriri "to miscarry" (see abortive); 1610s as "to deliberately terminate" anything, but especially a pregnancy, which seems to be the literal sense. Transitive meaning "to cause a woman to miscarry" is recorded from 1933. Related: Aborted; aborting.
abortifacient (n.)
1875, noun and adjective, from Latin abortus (see abortive) + facientem "making," related to facere "do" (see factitious). An earlier word for this in the noun sense was abortive (1640s).
abortion (n.)
1540s, originally of both deliberate and unintended miscarriages; from Latin abortionem (nominative abortio) "miscarriage; abortion," noun of action from past participle stem of aboriri (see abortive).

Earlier noun in English was simple abort (early 15c.) "miscarriage." In 19c. some effort was made to distinguish abortion "expulsion of the fetus between 6 weeks and 6 months" from miscarriage (the same within 6 weeks of conception) and premature labor (delivery after 6 months but before due time). The deliberate miscarriage was criminal abortion. This broke down late 19c. as abortion came to be used principally for intentional miscarriages, probably via phrases such as procure an abortion.

Foeticide (n.) appears 1823 as a forensic medical term for deliberate premature fatal expulsion of the fetus; also compare prolicide. Abortion was a taboo word for much of early 20c., disguised in print as criminal operation (U.S.) or illegal operation (U.K.), and replaced by miscarriage in film versions of novels.
abortionist (n.)
1872, from abortion + -ist.
abortive (adj.)
late 14c., "born prematurely or dead," from Latin abortivus "pertaining to miscarriage; causing abortion," from abort-, past participle stem of aboriri "disappear, miscarry," from ab- "amiss" (see ab-) + oriri "appear, be born, arise" (see orchestra); the compound word used in Latin for deaths, miscarriages, sunsets, etc. The Latin verb for "to produce an abortion" was abigo, literally "to drive away." Not originally used to imply forced or deliberate miscarriage; from 14c.-18c. stillborn children or domestic animals were said to be abortive. Also see abortion. Related: Abortiveness.
abound (v.)
early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab- "off" (see ab-) + undare "rise in a wave," from unda "water, wave" (see water (n.1)). Related: Abounded; abounding.
abounding (adj.)
1630s, present participle adjective from abound; originally "affluent;" sense of "overflowing" is recorded by 1680s.
about (adv.)
Old English abutan, earlier onbutan "on the outside of," from on (see on) + be "by" (see by) + utan "outside," from ut (see out (adv.)). By 13c. it had forced out Old English ymbe, ymbutan for meaning "in the neighborhood of." Abouts, with adverbial genitive, still found in hereabouts, etc., probably is a northern dialectal form. About face as a military command (short for right about face) is first attested 1861, American English.
above (adv.)
Old English abufan, earlier onbufan, from on (see on) + bufan "over," compound of be "by" (see by) + ufan "over/high," from Proto-Germanic *ufan- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German oban, German oben), from PIE root *upo (see up (adv.)). Meaning "in addition" first corded 1590s.
aboveboard (adj.)
1610s, from above and board (n.1). "A figurative expression borrowed from gamesters, who, when they put their hands under the table, are changing their cards." [Johnson]
abovementioned (adj.)
1707, from above and past tense of mention. Above-named is recorded from c.1600.
abracadabra
magical formula, 1690s, from Latin (Q. Severus Sammonicus, 2c.), from Late Greek Abraxas, cabalistic or gnostic name for the supreme god, and thus a word of power. It was written out in a triangle shape and worn around the neck to ward off sickness, etc. Another magical word, from a mid-15c. writing, was ananizapta.
abrade (v.)
1670s, from Latin abradere "to scrape off" (see abrasion). Related: Abraded; abrading.
Abraham
masc. proper name, name of the first of the patriarchs in the Old Testament, from Hebrew Abraham "father of a multitude," from abh "father" + *raham (cognate with Arabic ruham "multitude"); the name he altered from Abram "high father," from second element ram "high, exalted." Related: Abrahamic.
abrasion (n.)
1650s, from Medieval Latin abrasionem (nominative abrasio) "a scraping," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin abradere "to scrape away, shave off," from ab- "off" (see ab-) + radere "to scrape" (see raze).
abrasive (n.)
"an abrasive substance," 1853, from abrasive (adj.).
abrasive (adj.)
1805, from Latin abras-, past participle stem of abradere (see abrasion) + -ive. Figurative sense of "tending to provoke anger" is first recorded 1925. Related: Abrasively; abrasiveness.
abraxas
Cabalistic word, 1738, of uncertain origin.
abreast (adv.)
mid-15c., on brest, from a- (1) + breast (n.); the notion is of "with breasts in line." To keep abreast in figurative sense of "stay up-to-date" is from 1650s.
abridge (v.)
c.1300, abreggen, "to make shorter, to condense," from Old French abregier "abridge, diminish, shorten," from Late Latin abbreviare "make short" (see abbreviate). The sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- is paralleled in assuage (from assuavidare) and deluge (from diluvium). Related: Abridged; abridging.
abridgement (n.)
late 15c., from Old French abregement "shortening, abbreviation," from abregier (see abridge).
abroad (adv.)
mid-13c., "widely apart," from Old English on brede, which meant something like "at wide" (see broad (adj.)). The sense "out of doors, away from home" (late 14c.) led to the main modern sense of "out of one's country, overseas" (mid-15c.).
abrogate (v.)
1520s, from Latin abrogatus, past participle of abrogare "to annul, repeal (a law)," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + rogare "propose a law, request" (see rogation). Form abrogen, from Old French abroger, is recorded from early 15c. Related: Abrogated; abrogating.
abrogation (n.)
1530s, from Latin abrogationem (nominative abrogatio) "repeal of a law," noun of action from past participle stem of abrogare (see abrogate).
abrupt (adj.)
1580s, from Latin abruptus "broken off, precipitous, disconnected," past participle of abrumpere "break off," from ab- "off" (see ab-) + rumpere "break" (see rupture (n.)). Related: Abruptly; abruptness.
abs (n.)
colloquial shortening of abdominals, by 1992.
abs-
form of ab- before -c-, -q- or -t-.
Absalom
masc. proper name, King David's son in the Old Testament, often used figuratively for "favorite son," from Hebrew Abhshalom, literally "father is peace," from abh "father" + shalom "peace."
abscess (n.)
1610s, from Latin abscessus "an abscess" (Celsus), literally "a going away," from stem of abscedere "withdraw," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + cedere "to go" (see cede). The notion is that humors "go from" the body through the pus in the swelling.
abscessed (adj.)
1846, in medicine, from abscess (n.).
abscind (v.)
1650s, from Latin abscindere "to cut off" (see abscissa). Related: Abscinded; abscinding.
abscissa (n.)
1690s, from Latin abscissa (linea) "(a line) cut off," from fem. past participle of abscindere "to cut off," from ab- "off, away" (see ab-) + scindere "to cut" (see shed (v.)).
abscission (n.)
"removal or cutting away," early 15c., from Latin abscissionem (nominative abscissio) "a cutting off," noun of action from past participle stem of abscindere (see abscissa).
abscond (v.)
1560s, from Middle French abscondre and directly from Latin abscondere "to hide, conceal, put out of sight," from ab(s)- "away" (see ab-) + condere "put together, store," from com- "together" (see com-) + dere "put," from PIE *dhe- "to put, place, make" (see factitious). The notion is of "to hide oneself," especially to escape debt or the law. Related: Absconded; absconder; absconding.
absence (n.)
late 14c., from Old French absence (14c.), from Latin absentia, noun of state from absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + esse "to be" (see essence).
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
[Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839) "Isle of Beauty"]
absent (adj.)
late 14c., from Middle French absent (Old French ausent), from Latin absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent" (see absence). Related: Absently; absentness.
absent (v.)
"to keep away" (from), c.1400, from Middle French absenter, from Late Latin absentare "cause to be away," from Latin absentem (see absent (adj.)). Related: Absented; absenting.
absent (prep.)
"in the absence of," 1944, principally from U.S. legal use, from absent (v.).
absentee (n.)
1530s, from absent (v.) + -ee.
absenteeism (n.)
1829, from absentee + -ism; originally in reference to landlords, especially in Ireland (absentee in this sense is in Johnson's dictionary); reference to pupils or workers is from 1922.
absentminded (adj.)
also absent-minded, "preoccupied," 1810, from absent + minded. Related: Absentmindedly; absentmindedness.
absinthe (n.)
also absinth, alcoholic liqueur distilled from wine mixed with wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), 1842, from French absinthe, "essence of wormwood," from Latin absinthum "wormwood," from Greek apsinthion, perhaps from Persian (compare Persian aspand, of the same meaning). The plant so called in English from c.1500 (Old English used the word in the Latin form).
absit omen
Latin, literally "may this omen be absent."
absolute (adj.)
late 14c., "unrestricted; complete, perfect;" also "not relative to something else" (mid-15c.), from Middle French absolut (14c., Old French asolu, Modern French absolu), from Latin absolutus, past participle of absolvere "to set free, make separate" (see absolve).

Most of the current senses also were in the Latin word. Sense evolution was "detached, disengaged," thus "perfect, pure." Meaning "despotic" (1610s) is from notion of "absolute in position." Absolute monarchy is recorded from 1735 (absolute king is recorded from 1610s); scientific absolute magnitude (1902), absolute value (1907) are from early 20c. In metaphysics, the absolute "that which is absolute" is from 1809.
absolute zero (n.)
the idea dates back to 1702 and its general value was guessed to within a few degrees soon thereafter, but not precisely discovered until Lord Kelvin's work in 1848. It was known by many names, such as infinite cold, absolute cold, natural zero of temperature; the term absolute zero was among them by 1806.