captivate (v.)
1520s, "to enthrall with charm," from Late Latin captivatus, past participle of captivare "to take, capture," from captivus (see captive). Literal sense (1550s) is rare or obsolete in English, which uses capture (q.v.). Latin captare "to take, hold" also had a transferred sense of "to entice, entrap, allure." Related: Captivated; captivating; captivatingly.
captive (adj.)
late 14c., "imprisoned, enslaved," from Latin captivus "caught, taken prisoner," from captus, past participle of capere "to take, hold, seize" (see capable). As a noun from c.1400; an Old English noun was hæftling, from hæft "taken, seized."
captivity (n.)
late 14c., Old French *captivite or directly from Latin captivitatem (nominative captivitas), from captivus (see captive (n.)). An Old English cognate word for it was gehæftnes (see haft).
captor (n.)
1680s, from Latin captor "a catcher," agent noun from captus, past participle of capere "to take" (see capable). Earlier it meant "censor" (1640s). Fem. form captress recorded from 1867.
capture (n.)
1540s, from Middle French capture "a taking," from Latin captura "a taking" (especially of animals), from captus (see captive).
capture (v.)
1795, from capture (n.); in chess, checkers, etc., 1820. Related: Captured; capturing. Earlier verb in this sense was captive (early 15c.).
Capuchin (n.)
1520s, from Middle French capuchin (16c., Modern French capucin), from Italian capuccino, diminutive of capuccio "hood," augmentative of cappa (see cap (n.)). Friar of the Order of St. Francis, under the rule of 1528, so called from the pointed hoods on their cloaks. As a type of monkey, 1785, from the shape of the hair on its head, thought to resemble a cowl.
caput (n.)
"head," in various senses, from Latin caput (see capitulum).
capybara (n.)
South American rodent, 1774, from some Tupi (Brazilian) native name.
car (n.)
c.1300, "wheeled vehicle," from Anglo-French carre, Old North French carre, from Vulgar Latin *carra, related to Latin carrum, carrus (plural carra), originally "two-wheeled Celtic war chariot," from Gaulish karros, a Celtic word (compare Old Irish and Welsh carr "cart, wagon," Breton karr "chariot"), from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- "to run" (see current (adj.)).

"From 16th to 19th c. chiefly poetic, with associations of dignity, solemnity, or splendour ..." [OED]. Used in U.S. of railway carriages by 1826; extension to "automobile" is by 1896. Car bomb first 1972, in reference to Northern Ireland. The Latin word also is the source of Italian and Spanish carro, French char.
car-pool (n.)
also carpool, 1942, American English, from car + pool (n.2). As a verb from 1962. Related: Carpooled; carpooling.
carabineer (n.)
"mounted soldier armed with a carbine," 1670s, from French carabinier (17c.), from carabine "carbine" (see carbine). Italian carabinieri "soldiers serving as a police force" is the same word.
carabinieri (n.)
"Italian police" (plural), from Italian carabinieri, plural of carabiniere, from French carabinier (see carabineer).
carafe (n.)
1786, from French carafe (17c.), from Italian caraffa (or Spanish garrafa), probably from Arabic gharraf "drinking cup," or Persian qarabah "a large flagon."
caramba
exclamation of dismay or surprise, 1835, from Spanish, said to be a euphemism for carajo "penis," from Vulgar Latin *caraculum "little arrow."
caramel (n.)
1725, from French caramel "burnt sugar" (17c.), via Old Spanish caramel (modern caramelo), ultimately from Medieval Latin cannamellis, traditionally from Latin canna (see cane (n.)) + mellis, genitive of mel "honey" (see Melissa). But some give the Medieval Latin word an Arabic origin, or trace it to Latin calamus "reed, cane."
caramelize (v.)
1837, from caramel + -ize. Earlier was past participle adjective carameled (1727). Related: Caramelized; caramelizing.
carapace (n.)
1836, from French carapace "tortoise shell" (18c.), from Spanish carapacho or Portuguese carapaça, of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow from Latin capa (see cape (n.1)).
carat (n.)
also karat, mid-15c., from Middle French carat "measure of the fineness of gold" (14c.), from Italian carato or Medieval Latin carratus, both from Arabic qirat "fruit of the carob tree," also "weight of 4 grains," from Greek keration "carob seed," also the name of a small weight of measure (one-third obol), literally "little horn" diminutive of keras "horn" (see kerato-).

Carob beans were a standard for weighing small quantities. As a measure of diamond weight, from 1570s in English. The Greek measure was the equivalent of the Roman siliqua, which was one-twentyfourth of a golden solidus of Constantine; hence karat took on a sense of "a proportion of one twentyfourth" and became a measure of gold purity (1550s). Eighteen carat gold is eighteen parts gold, six parts alloy. It is unlikely that the classical carat ever was a measure of weight for gold.
caravan (n.)
1580s, from Middle French caravane, from Old French carvane, carevane "caravan" (13c.), or Medieval Latin caravana, picked up during the Crusades from Persian karwan "group of desert travelers" (which Klein connects to Sanskrit karabhah "camel"). Used in English for "vehicle" 17c., especially for a covered cart. Hence, in modern British use (from 1930s), often a rough equivalent of the U.S. mobile home.
caravansary (n.)
alternative spelling of caravanserai.
caravanserai (n.)
1590s, carvanzara, "Eastern inn (with a large central court) catering to caravans," ultimately from Persian karwan-sarai, from karwan (see caravan) + sara'i "palace, mansion; inn," from Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (see seraglio).
caravel (n.)
1520s, from Middle French caravelle (15c.), from Spanish carabela or Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo "small vessel," from Late Latin carabus "small wicker boat covered with leather," from Greek karabos, literally "beetle, lobster" (see scarab). Earlier form carvel (early 15c.) survives in carvel-built (adj.).
caraway (n.)
late 13c., from Old Spanish alcarahuaya, alcaravea, from Arabic al-karawiya, of unknown origin but suspected to be somehow from Greek karon "cumin." Also as Anglo-Latin carvi, Old French carvi.
carb (n.)
1942 as an abbreviation of carburetor; c.2000 as short for carbohydrate.
carbide (n.)
compound formed by combination of carbon and another element, 1848, from carb-, comb. form of carbon + chemical suffix -ide. The earlier word was carburet.
carbine (n.)
short rifle, 1580s, from French carabine (Middle French carabin), used of light horsemen and also of the weapon they carried, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Medieval Latin Calabrinus "Calabrian" (i.e., "rifle made in Calabria"). A less-likely theory (Gamillscheg, etc.) connects it to Old French escarrabin "corpse-bearer during the plague," literally (probably) "carrion beetle," said to have been an epithet for archers from Flanders.
carbo-
before vowels carb-, comb. form meaning "Carbon," abstracted 1810 from carbon.
carbohydrate (n.)
1851, from carbo-, comb. form of carbon, + hydrate (n.), denoting compound produced when certain substances combine with water, from Greek hydor "water" (see water (n.1)).
The name carbohydrate was given to these compounds because, in composition, they are apparently hydrates of carbon. In structure, however, they are far more complex. [Flood]
carbolic (adj.)
1836, from carb-, comb. form of carbon + -ol "oil" + -ic.
carbon (n.)
non-metallic element, 1789, coined 1787 in French by Lavoisier as charbone, from Latin carbonem (nominative carbo) "a coal, glowing coal; charcoal," from PIE root *ker- (4) "heat, fire, to burn" (cognates: Latin cremare "to burn;" Sanskrit krsna "black, burnt," kudayati "singes;" Lithuanian kuriu "to heat," karštas "hot," krosnis "oven;" Old Church Slavonic kurjo "to smoke," krada "fireplace, hearth;" Russian ceren "brazier;" Old High German harsta "roasting;" Gothic hauri "coal;" Old Norse hyrr "fire;" Old English heorð "hearth").

Carbon 14, long-lived radioactive isotope used in dating organic deposits, is from 1936. Carbon dating (using carbon 14) is recorded from 1958. Carbon cycle is attested from 1912. Carbon footprint was in use by 2001. Carbon paper (soon to be obsolete) is from 1895.
carbon copy (n.)
1895, from carbon (paper) + copy (n.). A copy on paper made using carbon paper. The figurative sense is from 1944. Also as a verb, "send a carbon copy (of something)," and as such often abbreviated c.c.
carbon dioxide (n.)
1869, so called because it consists of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. The chemical was known since mid-18c. under the name fixed air; later as carbonic acid gas (1791). "The term dioxide for an oxide containing two atoms of oxygen came into use in the middle of the 19th century." [Flood].
carbon monoxide (n.)
1869, so called because it consists of one carbon and one oxygen atom (as opposed to carbon dioxide, which has two of the latter). An older name for it was carbonic oxide gas.
carbonate (n.)
1794, from French carbonate "salt of carbonic acid" (Lavoisier), from Modern Latin carbonatem "a carbonated (substance)," from Latin carbo (see carbon).
carbonate (v.)
1805, "to form into a carbonate," from carbonate (n.) by influence of French carbonater "transform into a carbonate." Meaning "to impregnate with carbonic acid gas (i.e. carbon dioxide)" is from 1850s. Related: Carbonated; carbonating.
carbonated (adj.)
"containing carbon dioxide," 1858, past participle adjective from carbonate (v.).
carbonation (n.)
1881, from carbonic acid, an old name for carbon dioxide (see carbonate (n.)) + -ation.
Carboniferous (adj.)
1830 with reference the geological period, from a word formed in English in 1799 to mean "coal-bearing," from Latin carbo (genitive carbonis) "coal" (see carbon) + -ferous "producing, containing, bearing," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). The great coal beds of Europe were laid down during this period. As a stand-alone noun (short for Carboniferous Period) from 1940s.
Carborundum (n.)
silicon carbide used as an abrasive, (reg. trademark U.S. June 21, 1892, by Carborundum Co. of Monongahela City, Pa.), from carbon + corundum.
carboy (n.)
"large globular bottle covered with basketwork," 1753, probably ultimately from Persian qarabah "large flagon."
carbs (n.)
see carb.
carbuncle (n.)
early 13c., "fiery jewel," from Old North French carbuncle (Old French charbocle, charboncle) "carbuncle-stone," also "carbuncle, boil," from Latin carbunculus "red gem," also "red, inflamed spot," literally "a little coal," from carbo (genitive carbonis) "coal" (see carbon). Originally of rubies, garnets, and other red jewels; in English the word was applied to tumors from late 14c.
carbuncular (adj.)
1737, from Latin carbunculus (see carbuncle) + -ar.
carburetor (n.)
device to enhance a gas flame, 1866, from carburet "compound of carbon and another substance" (1795, now displaced by carbide), also used as a verb, "to combine with carbon" (1802); from carb-, comb. form of carbon, + -uret, an archaic suffix formed from Modern Latin -uretum to parallel French words in -ure. Motor vehicle sense is from 1896.
carcass (n.)
late 13c., from Anglo-French carcois, from or influenced by Old French charcois (Modern French carcasse) "trunk of a body, chest, carcass," and Anglo-Latin carcosium "dead body," all of uncertain origin. Not used of humans after c.1750, except contemptuously. Italian carcassa probably is a French loan word.
carceral (adj.)
"pertaining to prisons or a prison," 1570s, from Latin carceralis, from carcer "prison, jail; starting place in a race course" (see incarceration).
carcinogen (n.)
"cancer-causing substance," 1853, from carcinoma + -gen.
carcinogenic (adj.)
1926, from carcinogen + -ic.
carcinoma (n.)
"malignant tumor," 1721, from Latin carcinoma, from Greek karkinoma "a cancer," from karkinos "cancer," literally "crab" (see cancer) + -oma.