infiltration (n.) Look up infiltration at
early 15c., "a knitting together," noun of action from infiltrate. In physics, from 1796. Figurative sense of "a passing into" (anything immaterial) is from 1840; military sense of "stealthy penetration of enemy lines" dates from 1930.
infinite (adj.) Look up infinite at
late 14c., "eternal, limitless," also "extremely great in number," from Old French infinit "endless, boundless," and directly from Latin infinitus "unbounded, unlimited," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + finitus "defining, definite," from finis "end" (see finish (v.)). The noun meaning "that which is infinite" is from 1580s.
infinitely (adv.) Look up infinitely at
early 15c., from infinite + -ly (2).
infinitesimal (adj.) Look up infinitesimal at
1710 (1650s as a noun), "infinitely small," from Modern Latin infinitesimus, from Latin infinitus "infinite" (see infinite) + -esimus, as in centesimus "hundredth." Related: Infinitesimally.
infinitive (n.) Look up infinitive at
"simple, uninflected form of a verb," 1510s (mid-15c. as an adjective), from Late Latin infinitivus "unlimited, indefinite," from Latin infinitus (see infinite). "Indefinite" because not having definite person or number.
infinitude (n.) Look up infinitude at
1640s, from Medieval Latin *infinitudo, from Latin infinitus on model of multitudo, magnitudo; see infinite. Perhaps modeled on French infinitude (1610s).
infinity (n.) Look up infinity at
late 14c., from Old French infinité "infinity; large number or quantity" (13c.), from Latin infinitatem (nominative infinitas) "boundlessness, endlessness," from infinitus boundless, unlimited" (see infinite). Infinitas was used as a loan-translation of Greek apeiria "infinity," from apeiros "endless."
infirm (adj.) Look up infirm at
late 14c., "weak, unsound" (of things), from Latin infirmus "weak, frail, feeble" (figuratively "superstitious, pusillanimous, inconstant"), from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + firmus (see firm (adj.)). Of persons, "not strong, unhealthy," first recorded c. 1600. As a noun from 1711.
infirmary (n.) Look up infirmary at
mid-15c., "sick bay in a monastery," from Medieval Latin infirmaria "a place for the infirm," from Latin infirmus "weak, frail," (see infirm). The common name for a public hospital in 18c. England.
infirmity (n.) Look up infirmity at
late 14c., "disease, sickness; lack of capability, weakness," from Latin infirmitatem (nominative infirmitas) "want of strength, weakness, feebleness," noun of quality from infirmus (see infirm). Perhaps in part from Middle French infirmité, Old French enfermete.
inflame (v.) Look up inflame at
mid-14c., "make (someone) ardent; set (the spirit, etc.) on fire" with a passion or religious virtue, a figurative sense, from Old French enflamer, from Latin inflammare "to set on fire, kindle," figuratively "to rouse, excite," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + flammare "to flame," from flamma "a flame" (see flame (n.)). Literal sense of "to cause to burn" first recorded in English late 14c. Meaning "to heat, make hot, cause inflammation" is from 1520s. Related: Enflamed; enflaming. Also enflame, but since 16c. the spelling with in- has predominated. Related: Inflamed; Inflaming.
inflammable (adj.) Look up inflammable at
early 15c., in medicine, "liable to inflammation," from Middle French inflammable and directly from Medieval Latin inflammabilis, from Latin inflammare (see inflame). As "able to be set alight," c. 1600. Related: Inflammability.
inflammation (n.) Look up inflammation at
"excessive redness or swelling in a body part," early 15c., from Middle French inflammation and directly from Latin inflammationem (nominative inflammatio) "a setting on fire," noun of action from past participle stem of inflammare (see inflame). Literal sense in English from 1560s.
inflammatory (adj.) Look up inflammatory at
1680s (n.), from Latin inflammat-, past participle stem of inflammare (see inflame) + -ory. As an adjective, "tending to rouse passions or desires," 1711; from 1732 in pathology.
inflate (v.) Look up inflate at
early 15c., "cause to swell," from Latin inflatus, past participle of inflare "to blow into, inflate" (see inflation). Economics sense from 1844. In some senses a back-formation from inflation. Related: Inflatable; inflated; inflating.
inflation (n.) Look up inflation at
mid-14c., "swelling caused by gathering of 'wind' in the body; flatulence;" figuratively, "outbursts of pride," from Latin inflationem (nominative inflatio) "a puffing up; flatulence," noun of action from past participle stem of inflare "blow into, puff up," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + flare "to blow" (see blow (v.1)). Monetary sense of "enlargement of prices" (originally by an increase in the amount of money in circulation) first recorded 1838 in American English.
inflationary (adj.) Look up inflationary at
1916, from inflation + -ary.
inflect (v.) Look up inflect at
early 15c., "to bend inward," from Latin inflectere (past participle inflexus) "to bend in, bow, curve," figuratively, "to change," from in- "in" (see in- (1)) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible). Grammatical sense is attested 1660s; pronunciation sense (in inflection) is c. 1600. Related: Inflected; inflecting.
inflection (n.) Look up inflection at
early 15c., from Middle French inflexion and directly from Latin inflexionem (nominative inflexio) "a bending, inflection, modification," noun of action from past participle stem of inflectere (see inflect). For spelling, see connection. Grammatical sense is from 1660s.
inflexibility (n.) Look up inflexibility at
1610s, from inflexible + -ity.
inflexible (adj.) Look up inflexible at
late 14c., "incapable of being bent, physically rigid," also figuratively, "unbending in temper or purpose," from Middle French inflexible and directly from Latin inflexibilis, from inflexus, past participle of inflectere (see inflect). In early 15c. an identical word had an opposite sense, "capable of being swayed or moved," from in- "in, on." Related: Inflexibly.
inflexion (n.) Look up inflexion at
see inflection; also see -xion.
inflict (v.) Look up inflict at
1560s, from Latin inflictus, past participle of infligere "to strike or dash against," from in- "on, against" (see in- (2)) + fligere (past participle flictus) "to dash, strike" (see afflict). You inflict trouble on someone; you afflict someone with trouble. Shame on you.
infliction (n.) Look up infliction at
1530s, from Late Latin inflictionem (nominative inflictio) "an inflicting, a striking against," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin infligere (see inflict).
inflight (adj.) Look up inflight at
also in-flight, "during a flight," 1945, from in + flight.
inflorescence (n.) Look up inflorescence at
1760, from Modern Latin inflorescentia, from Late Latin inflorescentem (nominative inflorescens) "flowering," present participle of Latin inflorescere "to come to flower," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + florescere "to begin to bloom" (see flourish).
inflow (n.) Look up inflow at
1839, from in + flow (n.).
influence (n.) Look up influence at
late 14c., an astrological term, "streaming ethereal power from the stars acting upon character or destiny of men," from Old French influence "emanation from the stars that acts upon one's character and destiny" (13c.), also "a flow of water," from Medieval Latin influentia "a flowing in" (also used in the astrological sense), from Latin influentem (nominative influens), present participle of influere "to flow into," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Meaning "exercise of personal power by human beings" is from mid-15c.; meaning "exertion of unseen influence by persons" is from 1580s (a sense already in Medieval Latin, for instance Aquinas). Under the influence "drunk" first attested 1866.
influence (v.) Look up influence at
1650s, from influence (n.). Related: Influenced; influencing.
influent (adj.) Look up influent at
mid-15c., "abundant," in reference to occult power of the stars, etc., also of grace, from Latin influentem (nominative influens), present participle of influere “to flow in” (see influence).
influential (adj.) Look up influential at
"powerful," 1650s, from Medieval Latin influentialis, from influentia (see influence). Earlier in an astrological sense (1560s).
influenza (n.) Look up influenza at
1743, borrowed during an outbreak of the disease in Europe, from Italian influenza "influenza, epidemic," originally "visitation, influence (of the stars)," from Medieval Latin influentia (see influence). Used in Italian for diseases since at least 1504 (as in influenza di febbre scarlattina "scarlet fever") on notion of astral or occult influence. The 1743 outbreak began in Italy. Often applied since mid-19c. to severe colds.
influx (n.) Look up influx at
1620s, from French influx (1540s) or directly from Late Latin influxus "a flowing in," from past participle stem of influere "to flow in" (see influence). Originally of rivers, air, light, spiritual light, etc.; used of people from 1650s.
info (n.) Look up info at
1906, short for information.
info- Look up info- at
word-forming element abstracted from information.
infomercial (n.) Look up infomercial at
1983, from info- + commercial. Before infomercial was the print form, advertorial (1961).
inform (v.) Look up inform at
early 14c., "to train or instruct in some specific subject," from Old French informer "instruct, inform, teach," and directly from Latin informare "to shape, form," figuratively "train, instruct, educate," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + formare "to form, shape," from forma "form" (see form (n.)). Varied with enform until c. 1600. Sense of "report facts or news" first recorded late 14c. Related: Informed; informing.
informal (adj.) Look up informal at
mid-15c., "lacking form; not in accordance with the rules of formal logic," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + formal. Meaning "irregular, unofficial" is from c. 1600. Sense of "done without ceremony" is from 1828. Related: Informally.
informality (n.) Look up informality at
1590s, from informal + -ity.
informant (n.) Look up informant at
1660s, "someone or something that supplies information," from Latin informantem (nominative informans), present participle of informare (see inform). Meaning "one who gives information to the authorities, informer" is from 1783. As an adjective from 1890. The older noun was informer.
informatics (n.) Look up informatics at
1967, translating Russian informatika (1966), from information; also see -ics.
information (n.) Look up information at
late 14c., "act of informing," from Old French informacion, enformacion "information, advice, instruction," from Latin informationem (nominative informatio) "outline, concept, idea," noun of action from past participle stem of informare (see inform). Meaning "knowledge communicated" is from mid-15c. Information technology attested from 1958. Information revolution from 1969.
informative (adj.) Look up informative at
"instructive," late 14c., "formative, shaping, plastic," from Medieval Latin informativus, from Latin informatus, past participle of informare (see inform). Related: Informatively.
informer (n.) Look up informer at
late 14c., enfourmer "instructor, teacher," native agent noun from inform and also from Old French enformeor. Meaning "one who gives information against another" (especially in reference to law-breaking) is c. 1500.
infotainment (n.) Look up infotainment at
1983, from info- + entertainment.
infra (adv.) Look up infra at
"under, below, further on," from Latin infra (see infra-).
infra dig. Look up infra dig. at
1824, colloquial abbreviation of Latin infra dignitatem "beneath the dignity of."
infra- Look up infra- at
word-forming element from Latin infra (adv., prep.) "below, underneath, beneath; later than, smaller, inferior to," from PIE *ndher "under" (cognates: Sanskrit adnah "below," Old English under "under, among;" see under). Opposed to super-. Its use as a prefix was rare in Latin.
infra-red Look up infra-red at
also infrared, 1881 (noun and adjective), from infra- + red.
infraction (n.) Look up infraction at
mid-15c., "the breaking of an agreement," from Middle French infraction and directly from Latin infractionem (nominative infractio) "a breaking, weakening," noun of action from past participle stem of infringere "to break, crush" (see infringe).