cordillera (n.)
1704, from Spanish, "mountain chain," from cordilla, in Old Spanish "string, rope," diminutive of cuerda, from Latin chorda "cord, rope" (see cord).
cordite (n.)
smokeless explosive, 1889, from cord + -ite (2); so called for its "curiously string-like appearance" in the words of a newspaper of the day.
cordon (v.)
1560s, "to ornament with a ribbon;" 1891 as "to guard with a cordon;" from cordon (n.). Related: Cordoned; cordoning.
cordon (n.)
mid-15c., "cord or ribbon worn as an ornament," from Middle French cordon "ribbon," diminutive of Old French corde "cord" (see cord). Sense of "a line of people or things guarding something" is 1758. Original sense preserved in cordon bleu (1727) "the highest distinction," literally "blue ribbon," for the sky-blue ribbon worn by the Knights-grand-cross of the Holy Ghost (highest order of chivalry); extended figuratively to other persons of distinction, especially, jocularly, to a first-rate cook. Cordon sanitaire (1857), from French, a guarded line between infected and uninfected districts.
cordovan (n.)
1590s, "fine Spanish leather," from adjective Cordovan, from Spanish cordovan (modern cordoban), from cordovano (adj.) "of Cordova," the Spanish city, former capital of Moorish Spain; a later adoption of the same word that became cordwain (see cordwainer). The city name is from Phoenician qorteb "oil press."
corduroy (n.)
1780, probably from cord + obsolete 17c. duroy, name of a coarse fabric made in England, which is of unknown origin. Folk etymology is from *corde du roi "the king's cord," but this is not attested in French, where the term for the cloth was velours à côtes. Applied in U.S. to a road of logs across swampy ground (1780s) on similarity of appearance.
CORDUROY ROAD. A road or causeway constructed with logs laid together over swamps or marshy places. When properly finished earth is thrown between them by which the road is made smooth; but in newly settled parts of the United States they are often left uncovered, and hence are extremely rough and bad to pass over with a carriage. Sometimes they extend many miles. They derive their name from their resemblance to a species of ribbed velvet, called corduroy. [Bartlett]
cordwainer (n.)
"shoemaker, leatherworker," c. 1100, from Anglo-French cordewaner, from Old French cordoan "(leather) of Cordova," the town in Spain whose leather was favored by the upper class for shoes. Compare cordovan, a later borrowing directly from Spanish.
core (v.)
mid-15c., from core (n.). Related: Cored; coring.
core (n.)
late 14c., probably from Old French coeur "core of fruit, heart of lettuce," literally "heart," from Latin cor "heart," from PIE root *kerd- "heart." Nuclear reactor sense is from 1949.
corgi (n.)
1926, from Welsh corgi, from cor "dwarf" + ci "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog").
coriander (n.)
late 14c., from Old French coriandre (14c.), from Latin coriandrum, from Greek koriannon, often said by botanists to be related to koris "bedbug" from the bad smell of the unripe fruit, or perhaps a non-Indo-European word conformed to the Greek insect name.
Corinna
fem. proper name, from Latin Corinna, from Greek Korinna, diminutive of kore "maiden," also an epithet of Persephone; see Kore.
Corinth
city in Greece, from Latin Corinthus, from Greek Korinthos, from Pelasgian *kar- "point, peak." The -nthos identifies it as being from the lost pre-IE language of Greece.
Corinthian
1650s as an architectural order, from Corinth, the ancient Greek city-state. In classical times Corinth was notorious for its luxury and licentiousness among the Greek states (and for not scorning trade and profit); hence Corinthian, noun and adjective, in various slang or colloquial sense in English, especially "a swell, a man about town" (early to mid-19c. but especially in the 1820s).
Coriolis effect (n.)
1969 (earlier Coriolis force, 1923, and other references back to 1912), from the name of French scientist Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis (1792-1843) who described it c. 1835.
corium (n.)
1650s, from Latin corium "skin, hide, leather," related to cortex "bark," scortum "skin, hide," from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut" (compare Sanskrit krtih "hide;" Old Church Slavonic scora "skin," Russian skora "hide," kora "bark;" Welsh corwg "boat made with leather skins," all from the same root). Related: Coriaceous.
cork (v.)
1570s, "to put a cork sole on a shoe," from cork (n.)). Meaning "to stop with a cork" is from 1640s. Related: Corked; corking.
Cork
place in Ireland, Englished from Irish Corcaigh, from corcach "marsh."
cork (n.)
c. 1300, from Spanish alcorque "cork sole," probably from earlier Spanish corcho, from Latin quercus "oak" (see Quercus) or cortex (genitive corticis) "bark" (see corium).
corker (n.)
1837, slang, something that "settles" a debate, discussion, conflict, etc.; hence "something astonishing" (1880s). Probably an agent noun from cork (v.) on the notion is of putting a cork in a bottle as an act of finality.
corkscrew (n.)
1720, from cork (n.) + screw (n.). Given various figurative or extended senses from c. 1815; the verb is attested from 1837.
corky (adj.)
early 17c., "light, buoyant" (as cork is), hence, figuratively, of persons "lively;" from cork (n.) + -y (2). Of bottled liquors or wine, "having a flavor of cork," from 1889.
corm (n.)
1570s, from French corme, from Latin cornum "cornel-cherry" (but applied to service-berries in French); see cornel.
cormorant (n.)
early 14c., from Old French cormarenc (12c., Modern French cormoran), from Late Latin corvus marinus "sea raven" + Germanic suffix -enc, -ing. The -t in English probably is from confusion with words in -ant. It has a reputation for voracity.
corn (n.1)
"grain," Old English corn, from Proto-Germanic *kurnam "small seed" (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon korn "grain," Middle Dutch coren, German Korn, Old Norse korn, Gothic kaurn), from PIE root *gre-no- "grain." The sense of the Old English word was "grain with the seed still in" (as in barleycorn) rather than a particular plant.

Locally understood to denote the leading crop of a district. Restricted to the indigenous "maize" in America (c. 1600, originally Indian corn, but the adjective was dropped), usually wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland, while Korn means "rye" in parts of Germany. Maize was introduced to China by 1550, it thrived where rice did not grow well and was a significant factor in the 18th century population boom there. Cornflakes first recorded 1907. Corned beef so called for the "corns" or grains of salt with which it is preserved; from verb corn "to salt" (1560s).
corn (n.2)
"hardening of skin," early 15c., from Old French corne (13c.) "horn (of an animal)," later, "corn on the foot," from Latin cornu "horn," from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head."
corn row (n.)
also cornrow, 1769 as "a row of corn," by 1971 as a style of hair braids. The verb in this sense also is from 1971.
cornea (n.)
late 14c., from Medieval Latin cornea tela "horny web or sheath," from Latin cornu (genitive cornus) "horn," from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head." So called for its consistency. Related: Corneal.
cornel (n.)
a type of tree or shrub with an edible fruit, 1550s, from German cornel-baum, from Old High German cornul, from Medieval Latin cornolium, from French cornouille, from Vulgar Latin *cornuculum, from Latin cornum "cornel-cherry," perhaps related to Greek kerasos "cherry." Old English also had borrowed the Latin word, in corntreow. The plant was noted for its hard wood, which was favored by the ancients for making shafts of spears and arrows.
cornelian (n.)
"red variety of chalcedony," a variant of corneline (c. 1400), from Old French corneline (Modern French cornaline), diminutive of corneola, probably from Vulgar Latin *cornea, from Latin cornus, name of a type of berry (see cornel).
Cornelius
masc. proper name, from the name of a Roman gens.
corner (v.)
late 14c., "to furnish with corners," from corner (n.). Meaning "to turn a corner," as in a race, is 1860s; meaning "drive (someone) into a corner" is American English from 1824. Commercial sense is from 1836. Related: Cornered; cornering.
corner (n.)
late 13c., from Anglo-French cornere (Old French corniere), from Old French corne "horn, corner," from Vulgar Latin *corna, from Latin cornua, plural of cornu "projecting point, end, horn," from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head." Replaced Old English hyrne. As an adjective, from 1530s. To be just around the corner in the extended sense of "about to happen" is by 1905.
cornerstone (n.)
late 13c., from corner (n.) + stone (n.). The figurative use is from early 14c.
I endorse without reserve the much abused sentiment of Governor M'Duffie, that "Slavery is the corner-stone of our republican edifice;" while I repudiate, as ridiculously absurd, that much lauded but nowhere accredited dogma of Mr. Jefferson, that "all men are born equal." No society has ever yet existed, and I have already incidentally quoted the highest authority to show that none ever will exist, without a natural variety of classes. [James H. Hammond, "Letter to an English Abolitionist" 1845]
cornet (n.)
c. 1400, "A wind instrument made of wood and provided with six finger holes" [Middle English Dictionary], from Old French cornet (14c.) "a small horn," diminutive of corn "a horn," from Latin cornu "horn," from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head." Modern use is short for cornet-à-pistons "cornet with pistons."
The quality of the tone is penetrating and unsympathetic, by no means equal to that of the trumpet, for which it is commonly substituted. ["cornet" entry in "Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia," 1902]
cornfield (n.)
late 13c., from corn (n.1) + field (n.).
cornhole (v.)
synonymous with "do anal intercourse" by 1930s, apparently the reference is to a game played in the farming regions of the Ohio Valley in the U.S. from 19c., in which players take turns throwing a small bag full of feed corn at a raised platform with a hole in it; from corn (n.1) + hole (n.).
cornice (n.)
1560s, from Middle French corniche (16c.) or directly from Italian cornice "ornamental molding along a wall," perhaps from Latin coronis "curved line, flourish in writing," from Greek koronis "curved object" (see crown). Perhaps influenced by (or even from) Latin cornicem, accusative of cornix "crow" (compare corbel).
Cornish (adj.)
from first element of Cornwall + -ish.
cornmeal (n.)
1782, from corn (n.1) + meal (n.2).
cornucopia (n.)
c. 1500, from Late Latin cornucopia, from Latin cornu copiae "horn of plenty," originally the horn of the goat Amalthea, who nurtured the infant Zeus. See horn (n.) and copious.
Cornwall
Old English Cornwalas (891), Cornubia (c.705), "the Corn Welsh," from original Celtic tribal name, *Cornowii, Latinized as Cornovii, literally "peninsula people, the people of the horn," from Celtic kernou "horn," hence "headland," from PIE *ker- (1) "horn; head, uppermost part of the body" (see horn (n.)), in reference to the long "horn" of land on which they live. To this the Anglo-Saxons added the plural of Old English walh "stranger, foreigner," especially if Celtic (see Welsh).
corny (adj.)
1570s, "full of corn, pertaining to corn, from corn (n.1) + -y (2). Chaucer used it of ale (late 14c.), perhaps to mean "malty." American English slang "old-fashioned, sentimental" is from 1932 (first attested in "Melody Maker"), perhaps originally "something appealing to country folk" (corn-fed in the same sense is attested from 1929). Related: Cornily; corniness.
There's an element of truth in every idea that lasts long enough to be called corny. [attributed c. 1962 to songwriter Irving Berlin (1888-1989)]
corolla (n.)
1670s, "crown," from Latin corolla, diminutive of corona "crown, garland" (see crown (n.)). Botanical use is from 1753.
corollary (n.)
late 14c., from Late Latin corollarium "a deduction, consequence," from Latin corollarium, originally "money paid for a garland," hence "gift, gratuity, something extra;" and in logic, "a proposition proved from another that has been proved." From corolla "small garland," diminutive of corona "crown" (see crown (n.)).
corollate (adj.)
1864, "having a corolla," from corolla + -ate.
corona (n.)
1650s, from Latin corona "crown, garland," from suffixed form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."
coronal (adj.)
1540s, "pertaining to a crown" (or, later, to one of the extended senses of Latin corona), from French coronal (16c.), from Latin coronalis, from corona (see crown (n.)).
coronary (adj.)
c. 1600, "suitable for garlands," from Latin coronarius "of a crown," from corona "crown" (see crown (n.)). Anatomical use is 1670s for structure of blood vessels that surround the heart like a crown. Short for coronary thrombosis it dates from 1955. Coronary artery is recorded from 1741.
coronation (n.)
late 14c., from Late Latin coronationem (nominative coronatio) "a crowning," from past participle stem of Latin coronare "to crown," from corona "crown" (see crown (n.)).