methodical (adj.) Look up methodical at
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.) Look up Methodist at
"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.) Look up methodize at
"to make methodical," 1580s, from method + -ize. Related: Methodized; methodizing.
methodological (adj.) Look up methodological at
1828, from methodology + -ical. Related: Methodologically.
methodology (n.) Look up methodology at
1800, from French méthodologie or directly from Modern Latin methodologia; see method + -ology.
Methusela Look up Methusela at
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.) Look up methyl at
univalent hydrocarbon radical, 1840, from German methyl (1840) or directly from French méthyle, back-formation from French méthylène (see methylene).
methylene (n.) Look up methylene at
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.) Look up metic at
"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" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan").
meticulous (adj.) Look up meticulous at
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" [Fowler attributes this use in English to "literary critics"], from the Latin word. Related: Meticulosity.
meticulously (adv.) Look up meticulously at
1680s, from meticulous + -ly (2).
meticulousness (n.) Look up meticulousness at
1862, from meticulous + -ness. Earlier in the same sense was meticulosity (1650s).
metier (n.) Look up metier at
"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 (n.) Look up metis at
"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.
Metis Look up Metis at
first wife of Zeus, from Greek Metis, literally "advice, wisdom, counsel; cunning, skill, craft," from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure."
metonym (n.) Look up metonym at
1788; see metonymy.
metonymy (n.) Look up metonymy at
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.) Look up metre at
chiefly British English spelling of meter (n.); for spelling, see -re.
metric (adj.) Look up metric at
"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.) Look up metric at
"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" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure").
metrical (adj.) Look up metrical at
"pertaining to versification," early 15c., from Latin metricus "metrical," from Greek metrikos "of or for meter, metrical," from metron "poetic meter" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure"). Old English had meterlic in this sense.
metricize (v.) Look up metricize at
"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.) Look up metrics at
"study of meter," 1892, variant of metric (n.); also see -ics.
Metro (n.) Look up Metro at
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.) Look up Metroliner at
U.S. high-speed inter-city train, 1969, from metropolitan + liner.
metronome (n.) Look up metronome at
mechanical musical time-keeper, 1815, coined in English from Greek metron "measure" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure") + -nomos "regulating," verbal adjective of nemein "to regulate" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). The device invented 1815 by Johann Maelzel (1772-1838), German civil engineer and showman. Related: Metronomic.
metronymic (adj.) Look up metronymic at
"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 "name" (see name (n.)). Related: Metronymically (1822).
metropolis (n.) Look up metropolis at
"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 (adj.) Look up metropolitan at
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.
metropolitan (n.) Look up metropolitan at
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.
metropolitanism (n.) Look up metropolitanism at
1855, from metropolitan (adj.) + -ism.
metrosexual (adj.) Look up metrosexual at
by 2001, from metropolitan + -sexual, ending abstracted from homosexual, heterosexual.
mettle (n.) Look up mettle at
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.) Look up mettlesome at
1660s, from mettle + -some (1).
mew (v.) Look up mew at
"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) Look up mew at
"seagull," Old English mæw, from Proto-Germanic *maigwis (source also of 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) Look up mew at
"cage," c. 1300, from Old French mue "cage for hawks, especially when molting," from muer "to molt," from Latin mutare "to change" (from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change").
mewl (v.) Look up mewl at
"to cry feebly," c. 1600, imitative. Related: Mewled; mewling.
mews (n.) Look up mews at
"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 Look up Mexican at
c. 1600 (n.); by 1640s (adj.), from Mexico + -an.
Mexico Look up Mexico at
from Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) mexihco.
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.) Look up mezuzah at
1640s, from Hebrew (Semitic), literally "doorpost."
mezzanine (n.) Look up mezzanine at
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 (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Sense of "lowest balcony in a theater" first recorded 1927.
mezzo (adj.) Look up mezzo at
"half, moderate," Italian mezzo, literally "middle," from Latin medius (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Also used in combinations such as mezzo-soprano (1753) and mezzotint (1738).
mezzo-soprano (n.) Look up mezzo-soprano at
1753; see mezzo + soprano.
mezzotint (n.) Look up mezzotint at
1738; see mezzo + tint. As a verb, from 1827.
MGM Look up MGM at
abbreviation of Metro Goldwyn-Mayer, attested from 1933.
MI5 Look up MI5 at
1939, from abbreviation of Military Intelligence, followed by the department number.
MIA Look up MIA at
also m.i.a., initialism (acronym) of missing in action, attested from 1919 (see missing).
Miami Look up Miami at
place name in U.S.; the one in Florida is of unknown origin, attested in Spanish as Maymi (1566), Mayaimi (1575). The one in Ohio is from the Miami, native people there, attested from 18c., apparently from a native word /myaamiwa "downstream person."