lymphatic (adj.) Look up lymphatic at
1640s, from Latin lymphaticus, from lympha (see lymph). Also sometimes used in the classical Latin sense "mad, frenzied," which was the primary sense of lymphaticus in Latin: OED reports this "difficult to account for," but perhaps due to association of lympha with nymphe; compare Greek nymphian "to be frenzy-stricken."
lymphocyte (n.) Look up lymphocyte at
cell found in the lymph, 1890, from Latin lympho- (see lymph) + -cyte (see cyto-).
lymphoma (n.) Look up lymphoma at
plural lymphomata, 1867, from lymph + -oma.
lynch (v.) Look up lynch at
1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Virginia, who c. 1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-1796) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his district c. 1782, but the connection to him is less likely. Originally any sort of summary justice, especially by flogging; narrowing of focus to "extralegal execution by hanging" is 20c. Lynch mob is attested from 1838. The surname is perhaps from Irish Loingseach "sailor." Compare earlier Lydford law, from a place in Dartmoor, England, "where was held a Stannaries Court of summary jurisdiction" [Weekley], hence:
Lydford law: is to hang men first, and indite them afterwards. [Thomas Blount, "Glossographia," 1656]
Related: Lynched; lynching.
lynx (n.) Look up lynx at
mid-14c., from Latin lynx (source of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian lince), from Greek lyngz, perhaps from PIE *leuk- "light" (see light (n.)), in reference to its gleaming eyes or its ability to see in the dark.
If that men hadden eyghen of a beeste that highte lynx, so that the lokynge of folk myghte percen thurw the thynges that withstonden it. [Chaucer's "Boethius," c. 1380]
Compare Lithuanian luzzis, Old High German luhs, German luchs, Old English lox, Dutch los, Swedish lo "lynx."
Lyons Look up Lyons at
city in France at the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône, from Gallo-Latin Lugudunum, literally "fort of Lug." The adjectival form is Lyonnaise.
lyre (n.) Look up lyre at
harp-like instrument, c. 1200, from Old French lire "lyre," from Latin lyra, from Greek lyra, a foreign word of uncertain origin.
lyric (n.) Look up lyric at
"a lyric poem," 1580s, from Middle French lyrique "short poem expressing personal emotion," from Latin lyricus "of or for the lyre," from Greek lyrikos "singing to the lyre," from lyra (see lyre). Meaning "words of a popular song" is first recorded 1876. Related: lyrics.
lyrical (adj.) Look up lyrical at
1580s, from lyric (n.) + -al (1). Related: Lyrically.
lyricism (n.) Look up lyricism at
1760, from lyric + -ism.
lyricist (n.) Look up lyricist at
1832, "one skilled in lyric composition;" from lyric + -ist. Meaning "one who writes lyrics" is from 1908.
Lysander Look up Lysander at
masc. proper name, from Greek Lysandros, literally "releasing men," from comb. form of lyein "to release" (see lose) + -andros "man" (see anthropo-).
lyse (v.) Look up lyse at
1927, back-formation from lysis.
lysergic (adj.) Look up lysergic at
1934, from -lys- in hydrolysis + first syllable of ergot + -ic.
lysis (n.) Look up lysis at
"dissolution of cells, bacteria, etc.," 1902, from Latin lysis, from Greek lysis "a loosening," from lyein "to unfasten, loose, loosen, untie" (see lose).
lyso- Look up lyso- at
word-forming element indicating "loosening, dissolving, freeing," before vowels lys-, from comb. form of Greek lysis "a loosening" (see lyse).
lysol (n.) Look up lysol at
brown oily coal-tar solution used as a disinfectant, 1890, coined, perhaps in German, from Greek lysis "dissolution" (see lysis) + -ol, element indicating "oil."
lysosome (n.) Look up lysosome at
1955, from lyso- + -some (3).
lysozyme Look up lysozyme at
1922, from lyso- + suffix from enzyme.
lytic (adj.) Look up lytic at
"pertaining to lysis," 1889, from Greek lytikos "able to loose, loosing," from lytos "loosed," verbal adjective of lyein "to unfasten, loose, loosen, untie" (see lose). Related: Lytically.