methane (n.)
"inflammable colorless and odorless gas, marsh gas," 1867, coined from chemical suffix -ane + syllable abstracted from methyl.
methanol (n.)
"methyl alcohol," 1892 (adopted that year by the international scientific community), from methyl + -ol, suffix denoting "alcohol."
methaqualone (n.)
hypnotic sedative drug, 1961, from meth(o)- + connecting particle -a- + qu(in)a(zo)lone.
Methedrine (n.)
1939, proprietary name of a brand of methamphetamine (by Wellcome Ltd.); slang abbreviation meth is attested from 1967.
methinks (v.)
Old English me þyncð "it seems to me," from me (pron.), dative of I, + þyncð, third person singular of þyncan "to seem," reflecting the Old English distinction between þyncan "to seem" and related þencan "to think," which bedevils modern students of the language (see think). The two thinks were constantly confused, then finally merged, in Middle English. Related: Methought.
method (n.)
early 15c., "regular, systematic treatment of disease," from Latin methodus "way of teaching or going," from Greek methodos "scientific inquiry, method of inquiry, investigation," originally "pursuit, a following after," from meta- "after" (see meta-) + hodos "a traveling, way" (see cede). Meaning "way of doing anything" is from 1580s; that of "orderliness, regularity" is from 1610s. In reference to a theory of acting associated with Russian director Konstantin Stanislavsky, it is attested from 1923.
methodical (adj.)
1560s, with -al (1) and methodic (1540s), from Middle French methodique, from Late Latin methodicus, from Greek methodikos, from methodos (see method). Related: Methodically.
Methodist (n.)
"One of a new kind of puritans lately arisen, so called from their profession to live by rules and in constant method" [Johnson]. Protestant religious sect founded 1729 at Oxford University by John and Charles Wesley, took that name almost from inception, but it had been used since at least 1686 for various new methods of worship. Related: Methodism.
methodize (v.)
"to make methodical," 1580s, from method + -ize. Related: Methodized; methodizing.
methodological (adj.)
1828, from methodology + -ical. Related: Methodologically.
methodology (n.)
1800, from French méthodologie or directly from Modern Latin methodologia; see method + -ology.
Methusela
also Methuselah, son of Enoch in the Old Testament, he was said to have lived 969 years, the oldest lifespan recorded in Old Testament. Used from late 14c. as the type of a very long life or long-lived person. The name is Hebrew Methushelah, which appears to be "man of the dart," from singular of methim "man" + shelah "dart."
methyl (n.)
univalent hydrocarbon radical, 1840, from German methyl (1840) or directly from French méthyle, back-formation from French méthylène (see methylene).
methylene (n.)
1835, from French méthylène (1834), coined by Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas (1800-1884) and Eugène-Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek methy "wine" (see mead (n.1)) + hyle "wood" + Greek name-forming element -ene. So called because detected in wood alcohol. "The breakdown of methylene into methyl and -ene, and the identification of the last syllable of methyl with the general suffix -ly, led to the use of meth- as a separate combining-element, as, for example, in methane, methacrylic" [Flood].
metic (n.)
"resident alien in an ancient Greek state," 1808, from Late Latin metycus, from Greek metoikos, literally "one who has changed his residence," from meta- "change" (see meta-) + -oikos "dwelling," from oikein "to dwell" (see villa).
meticulous (adj.)
1530s, "fearful, timid," from Latin meticulosus "fearful, timid," literally "full of fear," from metus "fear, dread, apprehension, anxiety," of unknown origin. Sense of "fussy about details" is first recorded in English 1827, from French méticuleux "timorously fussy." Related: Meticulosity.
meticulously (adv.)
1680s, from meticulous + -ly (2).
meticulousness (n.)
1862, from meticulous + -ness. Earlier in the same sense was meticulosity (1650s).
metier (n.)
"skill, talent, calling," 1792, from French métier "trade, profession," from Old French mestier "task, affair, service, function, duty," from Gallo-Roman *misterium, from Latin ministerium "office, service," from minister "servant" (see minister (n.)).
Metis
first wife of Zeus, from Greek Metis, literally "advice, wisdom, counsel; cunning, skill, craft," from PIE root *me- "to measure" (see meter (n.2)).
metis (n.)
"person of mixed parentage," especially French Canadian and North American Indian, from French métis, from Late Latin mixticus "of mixed race," from Latin mixtus "mixed," past participle of miscere "to mix, mingle" (see mix (v.)). Compare mestizo.
metonym (n.)
1788; see metonymy.
metonymy (n.)
1560s, from French métonymie (16c.) and directly from Late Latin metonymia, from Greek metonymia, literally "a change of name," related to metonomazein "to call by a new name; to take a new name," from meta- "change" (see meta-) + onyma, dialectal form of onoma "name" (see name (n.)). Figure in which the name of one thing is used in place of another that is suggested by or associated with it (such as the Kremlin for "the Russian government"). Related: Metonymic; metonymical.
metre (n.)
chiefly British English spelling of meter (n.); for spelling, see -re.
metric (adj.)
"pertaining to the system of measures based on the meter," 1855, from French métrique, from mèter (see meter (n.2)). In this sense, metrical is attested from 1797.
metric (n.)
"science of versification," 1760, from Greek he metrike "prosody," plural of metron "meter, a verse; that by which anything is measured; measure, length, size, limit, proportion" (see meter (n.2)).
metrical (adj.)
"pertaining to versification," early 15c., from Latin metricus "metrical," from Greek metrikos "of or for meter, metrical," from metron "poetic meter" (see meter (n.2)). Old English had meterlic in this sense.
metricize (v.)
"convert to the metric system," 1873, from metric (adj.) + -ize. Related: Metricized; metricizing. Earlier, "to convert to poetic meter" (1850; see metric (n.)).
metrics (n.)
"study of meter," 1892, variant of metric (n.); also see -ics.
Metro (n.)
Paris underground, 1904, from French abbreviation of Chemin de Fer Métropolitain "Metropolitan Railway" (see metropolitan (adj.)). French chemin de fer "railroad" is literally "iron road."
Metroliner (n.)
U.S. high-speed inter-city train, 1969, from metropolitan + liner.
metronome (n.)
mechanical musical time-keeper, 1815, coined in English from comb. form of Greek metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)) + -nomos "regulating," verbal adjective of nemein "to regulate" (see numismatic). The device invented 1815 by Johann Maelzel (1772-1838), German civil engineer and showman. Related: Metronomic.
metronymic (adj.)
"derived from the name of a mother or maternal ancestor," 1881, from Late Greek metronymikos "named for one's mother," from meter (genitive metros) "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + onyma (see name (n.)). Related: Metronymically (1822).
metropolis (n.)
"seat of a metropolitan bishop," 1530s, from Late Latin metropolis; see metropolitan. Meaning "chief town or capital city of a province" is first attested 1580s, earlier metropol (late 14c.).
metropolitan (n.)
early 15c., "bishop having oversight of other bishops," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolis "mother city" (from which others have been colonized), also "capital city," from meter "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + polis "city" (see polis).

In Greek, "parent state of a colony;" later, "see of a metropolitan bishop." In the West, the position now roughly corresponds to archbishop, but in the Greek church it ranks above it.
metropolitan (adj.)
1540s, "belonging to an ecclesiastical metropolis," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolites "resident of a city," from metropolis (see metropolitan (n.)). Meaning "belonging to a chief or capital city" is from 1550s. In reference to underground city railways, it is attested from 1867.
metropolitanism (n.)
1855, from metropolitan (adj.) + -ism.
metrosexual (adj.)
by 2001, from metropolitan + -sexual, ending abstracted from homosexual, heterosexual.
mettle (n.)
1580s, variant spelling of metal, both forms used interchangeably (by Shakespeare and others) in the literal sense and in the figurative one of "stuff of which a person is made" (1550s) until the spellings and senses diverged early 18c.
mettlesome (adj.)
1660s, from mettle + -some (1).
mew (v.)
"make a sound like a cat," early 14c., mewen, of imitative origin (compare German miauen, French miauler, Italian miagolare, Spanish maullar, and see meow). Related: Mewed; mewing. As a noun from 1590s.
mew (n.1)
"seagull," Old English mæw, from Proto-Germanic *maigwis (cognates: Old Saxon mew, Frisian meau, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German mewe, Dutch meeuw "gull"), imitative of its cry. Old French moue (Modern French mouette) and Lithuanian mevas are Germanic loan-words.
mew (n.2)
"cage," c.1300, from Old French mue "cage for hawks, especially when molting," from muer "to molt," from Latin mutare "to change" (see mutable).
mewl (v.)
"to cry feebly," c.1600, imitative. Related: Mewled; mewling.
mews (n.)
"stables grouped around an open yard," 1630s, from Mewes, name of the royal stables at Charing Cross, built 1534 on the site of the former royal mews (attested from late 14c.), where the king's hawks were kept (see mew (n.2)). Extended by 1805 to "street of former stables converted to human habitations."
Mexican
c.1600 (n.); by 1640s (adj.), from Mexico + -an.
Mexico
from Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) mexihco, the name of the ancient Aztec capital.
The etymology of this is opaque. Because of the difference in vowel length, it cannot be derived from ME-TL 'maguey.' The sequence XIH also differs in vowel length from XIC-TLI 'navel,' which has been proposed as a component element. The final element is locative -C(O). [Kartunnen]
mezuzah (n.)
1640s, from Hebrew, literally "doorpost."
mezzanine (n.)
1711, "a low story between two tall ones in a building," from French mezzanine (17c.), from Italian mezzanino, from mezzano "middle," from Latin medianus "of the middle," from medius (see medial (adj.)). Sense of "lowest balcony in a theater" first recorded 1927.
mezzo (adj.)
"half, moderate," Italian mezzo, literally "middle," from Latin medius (see medial (adj.)). Also used in combinations such as mezzo-soprano (1753) and mezzotint (1738).