Cleopatra Look up Cleopatra at Dictionary.com
common name of sister-queens in Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The name is Greek, probably meaning "key to the fatherland," from kleis "key" (see clavicle) + patris, genitive of pater "father" (see father (n.)). The famous queen was the seventh of that name.
clepe (v.) Look up clepe at Dictionary.com
"to call; to name" (archaic), from Old English cleopian, clipian "to speak, call; summon, invoke; implore."
clepsydra (n.) Look up clepsydra at Dictionary.com
"ancient Greek water clock," 1640s, from Latinized form of Greek klepsydra, from stem of kleptein "to steal, to hide" (see kleptomania) + hydor "water," from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet."
cleptomaniac (n.) Look up cleptomaniac at Dictionary.com
Latinized variant of kleptomaniac. Related: Cleptomania.
clerestory (n.) Look up clerestory at Dictionary.com
early 15c., probably from clere "clear," in a sense "light, lighted" (see clear (adj.)), and story (n.2), though this sense of that word is not otherwise found so early. Originally the upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a large church; so called because pierced with windows. Related: Clerestorial.
clergy (n.) Look up clergy at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, clergie "office or dignity of a clergyman," from two Old French words: 1. clergié "clerics, learned men," from Medieval Latin clericatus, from Late Latin clericus (see clerk (n.)); 2. clergie "learning, knowledge, erudition," from clerc, also from Late Latin clericus. Meaning "persons ordained for religious work" is from c. 1300.
clergyman (n.) Look up clergyman at Dictionary.com
1570s, from clergy + man (n.).
clergywoman (n.) Look up clergywoman at Dictionary.com
1670s, a nun, from clergy + man (n.). Not seriously as "woman pastor" until 1871; in between it was used humorously for "old woman" or "domineering wife of a clergyman." Compare clergyman.
cleric (n.) Look up cleric at Dictionary.com
1620s (also in early use as an adjective), from Church Latin clericus "clergyman, priest," noun use of adjective meaning "priestly, belonging to the clerus;" from Ecclesiastical Greek klerikos "pertaining to an inheritance," but in Greek Christian jargon by 2c., "of the clergy, belonging to the clergy," as opposed to the laity; from kleros "a lot, allotment; piece of land; heritage, inheritance," originally "a shard or wood chip used in casting lots," related to klan "to break" (see clastic).

Kleros was used by early Greek Christians for matters relating to ministry, based on Deuteronomy xviii.2 reference to Levites as temple assistants: "Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance," kleros being used as a translation of Hebrew nahalah "inheritance, lot." Or else it is from the use of the word in Acts i:17. A word taken up in English after clerk (n.) shifted to its modern meaning.
clerical (adj.) Look up clerical at Dictionary.com
1590s, "pertaining to the clergy," from cleric + -al (1), or from French clérical, from Old French clerigal "learned," from Latin clericalis, from clericus (see cleric). Meaning "pertaining to clerks" is from 1798.
clerihew (n.) Look up clerihew at Dictionary.com
humorous verse form, 1928, from English humorist Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956), who described it in a book published 1906 under the name E. Clerihew.
clerisy (n.) Look up clerisy at Dictionary.com
1818, on model of German clerisei, from Late Latin clericia, related to clericus (see cleric); coined by Coleridge "to express a notion no longer associated with CLERGY" [OED].
clerk (v.) Look up clerk at Dictionary.com
"act as a clerk," 1550s, from clerk (n.). Related: Clerked, clerking.
clerk (n.) Look up clerk at Dictionary.com
"man ordained in the ministry," c. 1200, from Old English cleric and Old French clerc "clergyman, priest; scholar, student," both from Church Latin clericus "a priest," noun use of adjective meaning "priestly, belonging to the clerus" (see cleric).

Modern bureaucratic usage is a reminder of the dark ages when clergy alone could read and write and were employed for that skill by secular authorities. In late Old English the word can mean "king's scribe; keeper of accounts;" by c. 1200 clerk took on a secondary sense in Middle English (as the cognate word did in Old French) of "anyone who can read or write." This led to the sense "assistant in a business" (c. 1500), originally a keeper of accounts, later, especially in American English, "a retail salesman" (1790). Related: Clerkship.
cleromancy (n.) Look up cleromancy at Dictionary.com
"divination by dice," c. 1600, from French cléromancie, from Latinized form of Greek kleros "lot" (see clerk (n.)) + manteia "oracle, divination" (see -mancy).
Cleveland Look up Cleveland at Dictionary.com
city in Ohio, U.S., laid out 1796 by Gen. Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806) and later named for him. His descendants included U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908). The family name is from place names in England based on Middle English cleove, a variant of cliff.
clever (adj.) Look up clever at Dictionary.com
1580s, "handy, dexterous," apparently from East Anglian dialectal cliver "expert at seizing," perhaps from East Frisian klüfer "skillful," or Norwegian dialectic klover "ready, skillful," and perhaps influenced by Old English clifer "claw, hand" (early usages seem to refer to dexterity). Or perhaps akin to Old Norse kleyfr "easy to split" and from a root related to cleave "to split." Extension to intellect is first recorded 1704.
This is a low word, scarcely ever used but in burlesque or conversation; and applied to any thing a man likes, without a settled meaning. [Johnson, 1755]
The meaning has narrowed since, but clever also often in old use and dialect meant "well-shaped, attractive-looking" and in 19c. American English sometimes "good-natured, agreeable." Related: Cleverly; cleverness.
clevis (n.) Look up clevis at Dictionary.com
"U-shaped iron bar with holes for a bolt or pin, used as a fastener," 1590s, of unknown origin, perhaps from the root of cleave (v.2). Also uncertain is whether it is originally a plural or a singular.
clew (n.) Look up clew at Dictionary.com
"ball of thread or yarn," northern English and Scottish relic of Old English cliewen "sphere, ball, skein, ball of thread or yarn," probably from West Germanic *kleuwin (source also of Old Saxon cleuwin, Dutch kluwen), from Proto-Germanic *kliwjo-, perhaps from a PIE *gleu- "gather into a mass, conglomerate," from the source of clay (q.v.).
cliche (n.) Look up cliche at Dictionary.com
1825, "electrotype, stereotype," from French cliché, a technical word in printer's jargon for "stereotype block," noun use of past participle of clicher "to click" (18c.), supposedly echoic of the sound of a mold striking molten metal. Figurative extension to "trite phrase, worn-out expression" is first attested 1888, following the course of stereotype. Related: Cliched (1928).
click (n.) Look up click at Dictionary.com
1610s, from click (v.). Click-beetle attested from 1830.
click (v.) Look up click at Dictionary.com
1580s, of imitative origin (compare Dutch and East Frisian klikken "to click; Old French clique "tick of a clock"). The figurative sense, in reference usually to persons, "hit it off at once, become friendly upon meeting" is from 1915, perhaps based on the sound of a key in a lock. Related: Clicked; clicking.
click-bait (n.) Look up click-bait at Dictionary.com
internet content meant primarily to lure a viewer to click on it, by 2011, from click (n.) + bait (n.).
client (n.) Look up client at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French clyent (c. 1300), from Latin clientem (nominative cliens) "follower, retainer," which is probably from clinare "to incline, bend," from suffixed form of PIE root *klei- "to lean." The notion apparently is "one who leans on another for protection." In ancient Rome, a plebeian under protection of a patrician (called patronus in this relationship; see patron); in English originally "a lawyer's customer," by c. 1600 extended to any customer.
clientele (n.) Look up clientele at Dictionary.com
1560s, "body of professed adherents," from French clientèle (16c.), from Latin clientela "relationship between dependent and patron, body of clients," from clientem (nominative cliens; see client). Meaning "customers, those who regularly patronize a business or professional" is from 1857, perhaps a reborrowing from French (it was used in English in italics as a foreign word from 1836).
cliff (n.) Look up cliff at Dictionary.com
Old English clif "rock, promontory, steep slope," from Proto-Germanic *kliban (source also of Old Saxon clif, Old Norse klif, Middle Dutch klippe, Dutch klip, Old High German klep, German Klippe "cliff, promontory, steep rock").

Clift has been a variant spelling since 15c. and was common in early Modern English, influenced by or merged with clift, a variant of cleft (n.). Cliff-dweller first attested 1889, American English.
cliff-hanger (n.) Look up cliff-hanger at Dictionary.com
also cliffhanger, "suspenseful situation," 1937, in reference to U.S. cinema serials, agent noun from cliff + agent noun from hang (v.). In some cases, especially Westerns, the hero or heroine literally was dangling from a cliff at the end of an episode.
climacteric Look up climacteric at Dictionary.com
c. 1600 (adj.), 1620s (n.), from Latin climactericus, from Greek klimakterikos "of a critical period," from klimakter "rung of a ladder" (see climax (n.)). A critical stage in human life, a period supposed to be especially liable to change. By some, held to be the years that are multiples of 7 (7, 14, 21, etc.), by others only the odd multiples (7, 21, 35, etc.), and by still others the multiples of 9. The Great Climacteric was the 63rd year (7x9), supposed to be especially critical.
climactic (adj.) Look up climactic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to a climax," 1832, from climax, apparently on the analogy of syntax/syntactic. Related: Climactical.
climate (n.) Look up climate at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "horizontal zone of the earth," Scottish, from Old French climat "region, part of the earth," from Latin clima (genitive climatis) "region; slope of the Earth," from Greek klima "region, zone," literally "an inclination, slope," thus "slope of the Earth from equator to pole," from a suffixed form of PIE root *klei- "to lean."

The angle of sun on the slope of the Earth's surface defined the zones assigned by early geographers. Early references in English, however, are in astrology works, as each of the seven (then) climates was held to be under the influence of one of the planets. Shift from "region" to "weather associated with a region" perhaps began in Middle English, certainly by c. 1600.
climate change (n.) Look up climate change at Dictionary.com
1983, in the modern "global warming" sense.
climatic (adj.) Look up climatic at Dictionary.com
1828, from climate + -ic. There is a 1650 citation for climatical in OED. Related: Climatically.
climatography (n.) Look up climatography at Dictionary.com
1813, from combining form of climate + -graphy. Related: Climatographic.
climatological (adj.) Look up climatological at Dictionary.com
1827, from climatology + -ical. Related: Climatologically.
climatologist (n.) Look up climatologist at Dictionary.com
1844, from climatology + -ist.
climatology (n.) Look up climatology at Dictionary.com
"scientific study of climates," 1803, from climate + -ology.
climax (v.) Look up climax at Dictionary.com
1835, "to reach the highest point," from climax (n.). Related: Climaxed; climaxing.
climax (n.) Look up climax at Dictionary.com
1580s, in the rhetorical sense (a chain of reasoning in graduating steps from weaker to stronger), from Late Latin climax (genitive climacis), from Greek klimax "propositions rising in effectiveness," literally "ladder," from suffixed form of PIE root *klei- "to lean."

The rhetorical meaning evolved in English through "series of steps by which a goal is achieved," to "escalating steps," to (1789) "high point of intensity or development," a usage credited by the OED to "popular ignorance." The meaning "sexual orgasm" is recorded by 1880 (also in terms such as climax of orgasm), said to have been promoted from c. 1900 by birth-control pioneer Marie Stopes (1880-1958) and others as a more accessible word than orgasm (n.).
climb (n.) Look up climb at Dictionary.com
1580s, "act of climbing," from climb (v.). Meaning "an ascent by climbing" is from 1915, originally in aviation.
climb (v.) Look up climb at Dictionary.com
Old English climban "raise oneself using hands and feet; rise gradually, ascend; make an ascent of" (past tense clamb, past participle clumben, clumbe), from West Germanic *klimban "go up by clinging" (source also of Dutch klimmen "to climb," Old High German klimban, German klimmen). A strong verb in Old English, weak by 16c. Most other Germanic languages long ago dropped the -b. Meaning "to mount as if by climbing" is from mid-14c. Figurative sense of "rise slowly by effort" is from mid-13c. Related: Climbed; climbing.
climbable (adj.) Look up climbable at Dictionary.com
1610s, from climb (v.) + -able.
climber (n.) Look up climber at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "one who climbs," agent noun from climb (v.). Of plants, from 1630s.
clime (n.) Look up clime at Dictionary.com
1540s, shortening of climate (or a nativization of Latin clima). It might usefully take up the old, abandoned "horizontal region of the earth" sense of climate, but it is used chiefly by the poets and with no evident agreement on just what they mean by it.
clinch (v.) Look up clinch at Dictionary.com
1560s, "clasp, interlock," especially with a bent nail, variant of clench. The sense of "settle decisively" is first recorded 1716, from the notion of "clinching" the point of a nail to keep it fast. Boxing sense is from 1860. Related: Clinched; clinching.
clinch (n.) Look up clinch at Dictionary.com
1620s, "method of fastening," from clinch (v.). Meaning "a fastening by bent nail" is from 1650s. In pugilism, from 1875.
clincher (n.) Look up clincher at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "person or thing that clinches" (i.e., secures nails by bending down or riveting the pointed end), late 15c. as a class of shipyard worker; agent noun from clinch (v.). As a type of nail, from 1735; as a conclusive statement, argument, etc., 1737.
cline (n.) Look up cline at Dictionary.com
1938, in biological use, back-formation from incline or from a latinized form of Greek klinein "to slope, to lean," from PIE root *klei- "to lean." Middle English had clinen (v.) "to bend, bow," from Old French cliner, from Latin clinare.
cling (v.) Look up cling at Dictionary.com
Old English clingan "hold fast, adhere closely; congeal, shrivel" (strong verb, past tense clang, past participle clungen), from Proto-Germanic *klingg- (source also of Danish klynge "to cluster;" Old High German klinga "narrow gorge;" Old Norse klengjask "press onward;" Danish klinke, Dutch klinken "to clench;" German Klinke "latch").

The main sense shifted in Middle English to "adhere to" (something else), "stick together." Of persons in embrace, c. 1600. Figuratively (to hopes, outmoded ideas, etc.), from 1580s. Of clothes from 1792. Related: Clung; clinging.
clingstone (n.) Look up clingstone at Dictionary.com
"fruit having the pulp adhering firmly to the stone," 1722, from cling (v.) + stone (n.). Also as an adjective.
clingy (adj.) Look up clingy at Dictionary.com
1680s, of things, from cling + -y (2). Of persons (especially children) from 1969, though the image of a "clingy vine" in a relationship goes back to 1896. Related: Clinginess.