hare (v.) Look up hare at Dictionary.com
"to harry, harass," 1520s; meaning "to frighten" is 1650s; of uncertain origin; connections have been suggested to harry (v.) and to hare (n.). Related: Hared; haring.
Hare Krishna Look up Hare Krishna at Dictionary.com
1968, title of a Hindu chant or mantra, from Hindi hare "O God!" + Krishna, name of an incarnation of the god Vishnu.
hare-brained (adj.) Look up hare-brained at Dictionary.com
also harebrained, 1550s, from hare-brain "giddy or reckless person" (1540s), probably from hare, on notion of "flighty, skittish."
harem (n.) Look up harem at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Turkish harem, from Arabic haram "wives and concubines," originally "women's quarters," literally "something forbidden or kept safe," from root of harama "he guarded, forbade."
hark (v.) Look up hark at Dictionary.com
late 12c., from Old English *heorcian, perhaps an intensive form from base of hieran (see hear). Compare talk/tale. Cognate with Old Frisian harkia "listen," Middle Dutch horken, Old High German horechon, German horchen. To hark back (1829) originally referred to hounds returning along a track when the scent has been lost, till they find it again. Related: Harked; harking.
harken Look up harken at Dictionary.com
variant of hearken.
Harleian Look up Harleian at Dictionary.com
1744, from Latinized form of surname of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford (1661-1724) and his son Edward, in reference to the library of books and MSS they collected and sold in 1753 to the British Museum.
Harlem Look up Harlem at Dictionary.com
Manhattan district, used figuratively for "African-American culture" from 1934. The N.Y. community was founded 1658 and originally named Nieuw Haarlem for Haarlem in Netherlands, which probably is from Dutch haar "height" + lem "silt," in reference to its position on a slight elevation on the banks of the Spaarne River.
Harlemite Look up Harlemite at Dictionary.com
1890, from Harlem + -ite (1).
harlequin (n.) Look up harlequin at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Middle French harlequin, from Old French Herlequin, Hellequin, etc., leader of la maisnie Hellequin, a troop of demons who rode the night air on horses. He corresponds to Old English Herla cyning "King Herla," mythical character sometimes identified as Woden; possibly also the same as the German Erlkönig "Elf King" of the Goethe poem. Sometimes also associated with Herrequin, 9c. count of Boulogne, who was proverbially wicked. In English pantomime, a mute character who carries a magic wand. His Italian form, arlecchino, is one of the stock characters of commedia del'arte. From his ludicrous dress comes the English adjective meaning "particolored" (1779).
Harley Look up Harley at Dictionary.com
type of motorcycle, by 1968, short for Harley-Davidson motorcycle manufacturer founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., 1905 by engine designer William S. Harley (1880-1943) and Arthur Davidson. The surname Harley is attested from mid-12c., literally "dweller at the hares' wood." Harley Street in London from the 1830s was associated with eminent physicians and used metonymically for "medical specialists collectively."
harlot (n.) Look up harlot at Dictionary.com
c.1200 (late 12c. in surnames), "vagabond, man of no fixed occupation, idle rogue," from Old French herlot, arlot "vagabond, tramp" (usually male in Middle English and Old French), with forms in Old Provençal (arlot), Old Spanish (arlote), and Italian (arlotto); of unknown origin. Used in both positive and pejorative senses by Chaucer; applied in Middle English to jesters, buffoons, jugglers, later to actors. Sense of "prostitute, unchaste woman" probably had developed by 14c., certainly by early 15c., but this was reinforced by use as euphemism for "strumpet, whore" in 16c. translations of the Bible. The word may be Germanic, with an original sense of "camp follower," if the first element is hari "army," as some suspect.
harlotry (n.) Look up harlotry at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "loose, crude, or obscene behavior; sexual immorality; ribald talk or jesting," from harlot + -ry.
harm (n.) Look up harm at Dictionary.com
Old English hearm "hurt, evil, grief, pain, insult," from Proto-Germanic *harmaz (cognates: Old Saxon harm, Old Norse harmr, Old Frisian herm "insult; pain," Old High German harm, German Harm "grief, sorrow, harm"), from PIE *kormo- "pain."
harm (v.) Look up harm at Dictionary.com
Old English hearmian "to hurt" (see harm (n.)). It has ousted Old English skeþþan "scathe" in all but a few senses. Related: Harmed; harming.
harmful (adj.) Look up harmful at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from harm (n.) + -ful. Related: Harmfully.
harmless (adj.) Look up harmless at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "uninjured," from harm (n.) + -less. Meaning "undamaged" is from late 14c. Related: Harmlessly; harmlessness.
harmonic (adj.) Look up harmonic at Dictionary.com
1560s, "relating to music;" earlier (c.1500) armonical "tuneful, harmonious," from Latin harmonicus, from Greek harmonikos "harmonic, musical, skilled in music," from harmonia (see harmony). Meaning "relating to harmony" is from 1660s. The noun, short for harmionic tone, is recorded from 1777.
harmonica (n.) Look up harmonica at Dictionary.com
1762, coined by Ben Franklin as the name for a glass harmonica, from Latin fem. of harmonicus (see harmonic); modern sense of "mouth organ" is 1873, American English, earlier harmonicon (1825).
harmonics (n.) Look up harmonics at Dictionary.com
1709, from harmonic; also see -ics.
harmonious (adj.) Look up harmonious at Dictionary.com
1540s, in music, from French harmonieux (14c.), from harmonie (see harmony). In nonmusical use from 1630s. Related: Harmoniously; harmoniousness.
harmonium (n.) Look up harmonium at Dictionary.com
keyboard instrument, 1847, from French harmonium, from Greek harmonia (see harmony). Invented c.1840.
harmonization (n.) Look up harmonization at Dictionary.com
1772, from harmonize + -ation.
harmonize (v.) Look up harmonize at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "play or sing in harmony," from French harmoniser (15c.), from Old French harmonie (see harmony). Meaning "be in harmony" is from 1620s; that of "bring into agreement" is from 1727. Related: Harmonized; harmonizing.
harmony (n.) Look up harmony at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French armonie "harmony," also the name of a musical instrument (12c.), from Latin harmonia, from Greek harmonia "agreement, concord of sounds," also as a proper name, the personification of music, literally "means of joining," used of ship-planks, etc., also "settled government, order," related to harmos "fastenings of a door; shoulder," from PIE *ar-ti-, from *ar- "to fit together" (see arm (n.1)). Musical sense is oldest in English; that of "agreement of feeling, concord" is from late 14c.
harness (n.) Look up harness at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "personal fighting equipment, body armor," also "armor or trappings of a war-horse," from Old French harnois "arms, equipment; harness; male genitalia; tackle; household equipment," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Norse *hernest "provisions for an army," from herr "army" (see harry) + nest "provisions" (see nostalgia). Non-military sense of "fittings for a beast of burden" is from early 14c. German Harnisch "harness, armor" is the French word, borrowed into Middle High German. The Celtic words also are believed to be from French, as are Spanish arnes, Portuguese arnez, Italian arnese. Prive harness (late 14c.) was a Middle English term for "sex organs."
harness (v.) Look up harness at Dictionary.com
"to put a harness on a draught animal," c.1300, from Old French harneschier, from harnois (see harness (n.)); figurative sense is from 1690s. Related: Harnessed; harnessing.
Harold Look up Harold at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, Old Norse Haraldr, Old Danish, Old Swedish Harald, from Proto-Germanic *harja-waldaz "army commander." For first element, see harry; second element is related to Proto-Germanic *waldan, source of Old English wealdan (see wield). It shares an etymology with herald.
harp (n.) Look up harp at Dictionary.com
Old English hearpe, from Proto-Germanic *harpon- (cognates: Old Saxon harpa "instrument of torture;" Old Norse harpa, Dutch harp, Old High German harpfa, German Harfe "harp") of uncertain origin. Late Latin harpa, source of words in some Romanic languages, is a borrowing from Germanic. Meaning "harmonica" is from 1887, short for mouth-harp. The harp seal (1784) is so called for the harp-shaped markings on its back.
harp (v.) Look up harp at Dictionary.com
Old English hearpian; see harp (n.). Cognate with Middle Dutch, Dutch harpen, Middle High German harpfen, German harfen. Figurative sense of "talk overmuch" (about something) first recorded mid-15c., originally to harp upon one string. Related: Harped; harping.
harper (n.) Look up harper at Dictionary.com
Old English hearpere, agent noun from harp (v.). As a surname, from late 12c.
harpist (n.) Look up harpist at Dictionary.com
1610s, a hybrid from harp (n.) + -ist.
harpoon (v.) Look up harpoon at Dictionary.com
1774, from harpoon (n.). Related: Harpooned; harpooning. For agent-noun forms, harpooner is from 1726; harpooneer from 1610s.
harpoon (n.) Look up harpoon at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French harpon, from Old French harpon "cramp iron, clamp, clasp" (described as a mason's tool for fastening stones together), from harper "to grapple, grasp," possibly of Germanic origin; or from Latin harpa- "hook" (related to harpagonem "grappling hook"), from Greek harpe "sickle," from PIE root *serp- (1) "sickle, hook." Earlier harping-iron (mid-15c.). Sense and spelling perhaps influenced by Dutch (Middle Dutch harpoen) or Basque, the language of the first whaling peoples, who often accompanied English sailors on their early expeditions. Also see -oon.
harpsichord (n.) Look up harpsichord at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French harpechorde "harp string," from Modern Latin harpichordium (source also of Italian arpicordo), from harpa (see harp (n.)) + chorda "string" (see cord). The -s- is unexplained, but it is attested in the earliest English forms.
harpy (n.) Look up harpy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French harpie (14c.), from Greek Harpyia (plural), literally "snatchers," probably related to harpazein "to snatch" (see rapid). Metaphoric extension to "greedy person" is c.1400.
In Homer they are merely personified storm winds, who were believed to have carried off any person that had suddenly disappeared. In Hesiod they are fair-haired and winged maidens who surpass the winds in swiftness, and are called Aello and Ocypete; but in later writers they are represented as disgusting monsters, with heads like maidens, faces pale with hunger, and claws like those of birds. The harpies ministered to the gods as the executors of vengeance. ["American Cyclopædia," 1874]
harridan (n.) Look up harridan at Dictionary.com
1700, "one that is half Whore, half Bawd" ["Dictionary of the Canting Crew"]; "a decayed strumpet" [Johnson], probably from French haridelle "a poore tit, or leane ill-favored jade," [Cotgrave, 1611], in French from 16c., of unknown origin.
harrier (n.) Look up harrier at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Middle English hayrer "small hunting dog" (c.1400), possibly from Middle French errier "wanderer" [Barnhart], or associated with hare, which they would have hunted. The hawk genus (1550s) is from harry (v.), which also is a candidate for the source of the dog name.
Harriet Look up Harriet at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, the English equivalent of French Henriette, fem. diminutive of Harry.
We think that gentlemen lose a particle of their respect for young ladies who allow their names to be abbreviated into such cognomens as Kate, Madge, Bess, Nell, &c. Surely it is more lady-like to be called Catharine, Margaret, Eliza, or Ellen. We have heard the beautiful name Virginia degraded into Jinny; and Harriet called Hatty, or even Hadge. [Eliza Leslie, "Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book," Philadelphia, 1839]
Harris Look up Harris at Dictionary.com
popular surname, attested from c.1400, from Harry, popular medieval pronunciation of Henry. As a type of tweed (1892), it is from the name of the southern section of the island of Lewis with Harris in the Outer Hebrides; originally it referred to fabric produced by the inhabitants there, later a proprietary name. That place name represents Gaelic na-h-earaidh "that which is higher," in comparison to the lower Lewis. Harrisburg, capital of Pennsylvania, is named for ferryman John Harris (1727-1791), son of the original European settler.
harrow (n.) Look up harrow at Dictionary.com
agricultural implement, heavy wooden rake, c.1300, haru, from Old English *hearwa, apparently related to Old Norse harfr "harrow," and perhaps connected with Old English hærfest "harvest" (see harvest). Or possibly from hergian (see harry).
harrow (v.) Look up harrow at Dictionary.com
"to drag a harrow over," especially in harrowing of Hell in Christian theology, early 14c., from hergian (see harry). In the figurative sense of "to wound the feelings, distress greatly" it is first attested c.1600 in Shakespeare. Related: Harrowed; harrowing.
harrowing (adj.) Look up harrowing at Dictionary.com
"extremely distressing, painful," 1799 (implied in harrowingly), from present participle of harrow (v.).
harrumph Look up harrumph at Dictionary.com
representing the sound of clearing the throat or a disapproving noise, 1918, imitative. Related: Harrumphed; harrumphing.
harry (v.) Look up harry at Dictionary.com
Old English hergian "make war, lay waste, ravage, plunder," the word used in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" for what the Vikings did to England, from Proto-Germanic *harjon (cognates: Old Frisian urheria "lay waste, ravage, plunder," Old Norse herja "to make a raid, to plunder," Old Saxon and Old High German herion, German verheeren "to destroy, lay waste, devastate"), from *harjaz "an armed force" (cognates: Old English here, Old Norse herr "crowd, great number; army, troop," Old Saxon and Old Frisian heri, Dutch heir, Old High German har, German Heer "host, army," Gothic harjis), from PIE root *koro- "war" also "war-band, hose, army" (cognates: Lithuanian karas "war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" Old Church Slavonic kara "strife;" Middle Irish cuire "troop;" Old Persian kara "host, people, army;" Greek koiranos "ruler, leader, commander"). Weakened sense of "worry, goad, harass" is from c.1400. Related: Harried; harrying.
Harry Look up Harry at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, a familiar form of Henry. Weekley takes the overwhelming number of Harris and Harrison surnames as evidence that "Harry," not "Henry," was the Middle English pronunciation of Henry. Compare Harriet, English equivalent of French Henriette, fem. diminutive of Henri. Nautical slang Harriet Lane "preserved meat" (1896) refers to a famous murder victim whose killer allegedly chopped up her body.
harsh (adj.) Look up harsh at Dictionary.com
originally of texture, "hairy," 1530s, probably from harske "rough, coarse, sour" (c.1300), a northern word of Scandinavian origin (compare Danish and Norwegian harsk "rancid, rank"), related to Middle Low German harsch "rough, raw," German harst "a rake;" perhaps from PIE root *kars- "to scrape, scratch, rub, card" (cognates: Lithuanian karsiu "to comb," Old Church Slavonic krasta, Russian korosta "to itch," Latin carduus "thistle," Sanskrit kasati "rubs, scratches"). Meaning "offensive to feelings" is from 1570s; "disagreeable, rude" from 1610s.
harshly (adv.) Look up harshly at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from harsh + -ly (2).
harshness (n.) Look up harshness at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from harsh + -ness.
hart (n.) Look up hart at Dictionary.com
Old English heorot "hart, stag, male deer," from Proto-Germanic *herutaz (cognates: Old Saxon hirot, Old Frisian and Dutch hert "stag, deer," Old High German hiruz, Old Norse hjörtr, German Hirsch "deer, stag, hart"), perhaps from PIE *keru-, extended form of root *ker- (1) "horn" (see horn (n.)). Now, a male deer after its fifth year.