milkman (n.)
1580s, from milk (n.) + man (n.).
milksop (n.)
"effeminate spiritless man," late 14c., attested as a (fictional) surname mid-13c.; also applied in Middle English to the infant Christ. Literal sense "piece of bread soaked in milk" attested late 15c.; see milk (n.) + sop (n.).
milktoast (n.)
also milk-toast, "toast softened in milk," 1831, from milk (n.) + toast (n.). Figurative of softness or innocence by 1859.
milkweed (n.)
1590s, from milk (n.) + weed (n.); used in reference to various plants whose juice resembles milk.
milky (adj.)
late 14c., from milk (n.) + -y (2). Related: Milkily; milkiness.
milky way (n.)
late 14c., loan-translation of Latin via lactea. See also galaxy.
mill (n.1)
"building fitted to grind grain," Old English mylen "a mill" (10c.), an early Germanic borrowing from Late Latin molina, molinum "mill" (source of French moulin, Spanish molino), originally fem. and neuter of molinus "pertaining to a mill," from Latin mola "mill, millstone," related to molere "to grind," from PIE *mel- (1) "soft," with derivatives referring to ground material and tools for grinding (source also of Greek myle "mill;" see mallet).

Also from Late Latin molina, directly or indirectly, are German Mühle, Old Saxon mulin, Old Norse mylna, Danish mølle, Old Church Slavonic mulinu. Broader sense of "grinding machine" is attested from 1550s. Other types of manufacturing machines driven by wind or water, whether for grinding or not, began to be called mills by early 15c. Sense of "building fitted with industrial machinery" is from c.1500.
mill (n.2)
"one-tenth cent," 1786, an original U.S. currency unit but now used only for tax calculation purposes, shortening of Latin millesimum "one-thousandth," from mille "a thousand" (see million). Formed on the analogy of cent, which is short for Latin centesimus "one hundredth" (of a dollar).
mill (v.2)
"to keep moving round and round in a mass," 1874 (implied in milling), originally of cattle, from mill (n.1) on resemblance to the action of a mill wheel. Related: Milled.
mill (v.1)
"to grind," 1550s, from mill (n.1). Related: milled; milling.
mill-race (n.)
late 15c., from mill (n.1) + race (n.1) in the "current" sense.
mill-wheel (n.)
Old English mylnn-hweol; see mill (n.1) + wheel (n.).
millage (n.)
1871, from mill (n.2) + -age.
millenarian (n.)
1550s, "one who believes in the coming of the (Christian) millennium," from Latin millenarius (see millennium) + -ian. As an adjective, "pertaining to the millennium," from 1630s. Related: Millennarianism.
millenary (adj.)
"consisting of a thousand," 1570s, from Latin millenarius (see millennium).
millennia (n.)
plural of millennium.
millennial (adj.)
1660s, "pertaining to the millennium," from stem of millennium + -al (1). Meaning "pertaining to a period of 1,000 years" is from 1807. As a noun from 1896, originally "thousandth anniversary." From 1992 as a generational name for those born in the mid-1980s and thus coming of age around the year 2000.
millennialism (n.)
1906, from millennial + -ism.
millennium (n.)
1630s, from Modern Latin millennium, from Latin mille "thousand" (see million) + annus "year" (see annual); formed on analogy of biennium, triennium, etc. For vowel change, see biennial. First in English in sense of "1,000-year period of Christ's anticipated rule on Earth" (Rev. xx:1-5). Sense of "any 1,000-year period" first recorded 1711. Meaning "the year 2000" attested from 1970.
miller (n.)
mid-14c. (attested as a surname by early 14c.), agent noun from mill (v.1). The Old English word was mylnweard, literally "mill-keeper" (preserved in surname Millward, attested from late 13c.).
millet (n.)
cereal grain, c.1400, from Middle French millet, diminutive of mil "millet," from Latin milium "millet" (see mallet). Cognate with Greek meline, Lithuanian malnus (plural) "millet."
word-forming element meaning "thousandth part of a metric unit," from comb. form of Latin mille "thousand" (see million).
milliard (n.)
"one thousand million," 1793, from French milliard (16c.), from million (see million) with change of suffix. A word made necessary by the double meaning of billion.
milligram (n.)
also milligramme, 1802, from French milligramme; see milli- + gram.
milliliter (n.)
also millilitre, 1802, from French millilitre; see milli- + liter.
millimeter (n.)
also millimetre, 1802, from French millimetre; see milli- + meter (n.2).
milliner (n.)
mid-15c., "vendor of fancy wares, especially those made in Milan," Italian city, famous for straw works, fancy goods, ribbons, bonnets, and cutlery. Meaning "one who sells women's hats" may be from 1520s, certainly by 18c. (it is difficult in early references to know whether the word means a type of merchant or "a resident of Milan" who is selling certain wares).
millinery (n.)
1670s; see milliner + -y (1).
milling (n.)
"act or business of grinding in a mill," mid-15c., verbal noun from mill (v.1).
million (n.)
late 14c., from Old French million (late 13c.), from Italian millione (now milione), literally "a great thousand," augmentative of mille "thousand," from Latin mille, which is of uncertain origin. Used mainly by mathematicians until 16c. India, with its love of large numbers, had names before 3c. for numbers well beyond a billion. The ancient Greeks had no name for a number greater than ten thousand, the Romans for none higher than a hundred thousand. "A million" in Latin would have been decies centena milia, literally "ten hundred thousand." Million to one as a type of "long odds" is attested from 1761. Related: Millions.
millionaire (n.)
1821, from French millionnaire (1762); see million. The first in America is said to have been John Jacob Astor (1763-1848).
1721, from million + -fold.
millionth (adj.)
1670s, from million + -th (1).
millipede (n.)
also millepede, c.1600, from Latin millepeda "wood louse," a type of crawling insect, from mille "thousand" (see million) + pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)). Probably a loan-translation of Greek chiliopous.
millisecond (n.)
"one thousandth of a second," 1922, from milli- + second (n.).
millstone (n.)
Old English mylenstan, from mill (n.1) + stone (n.). Figurative sense of "a burden" (1720) is from Matt. xviii:6.
millstream (n.)
Old English mylestream; see mill (n.1) + stream (n.).
millwork (n.)
1770, from mill (n.1) + work (n.).
millwright (n.)
late 15c., from mill (n.1) + wright.
milquetoast (n.)
"timid, meek person," 1938, from Caspar Milquetoast, character created by U.S. newspaper cartoonist H.T. Webster (1885-1952) in the strip "The Timid Soul," which ran from 1924 in the "New York World" and later the "Herald Tribune." By 1930 the name was being referenced as a type of the meek man. The form seems to be milktoast with an added French twist; also see milksop.
milt (n.)
Old English milte "spleen," from Proto-Germanic *miltjo- (cognates: Old Frisian milte, Middle Dutch milte, Dutch milt "spleen, milt of fish," Old High German milzi, German milz, Old Norse milti). Meaning "fish sperm" is late 15c.
mime (n.)
c.1600, "a buffoon who practices gesticulations" [Johnson], from French mime (16c.) and directly from Latin mimus, from Greek mimos "imitator, mimic, actor, mime, buffoon," of unknown origin. In reference to a performance, 1640s in a classical context; 1932 as "a pantomime."
mime (v.)
1610s, "to act without words," from mime (n.). The transferred sense of "to imitate" is from 1733 (Greek mimeisthai meant "to imitate"). Meaning "to pretend to be singing a pre-recorded song" is from 1965. Related: mimed; miming.
mimeograph (n.)
1889, "copying machine" (invented by Edison), from Greek mimeisthai "to mimic, represent, imitate, portray," in art, "to express by means of imitation," from mimos "mime" (see mime (n.)) + -graphos, from graphein "to write" (see -graphy). A proprietary name from 1903 to 1948. The verb meaning "to reproduce by means of a mimeograph" is first attested 1895. Related: Mimeographed; mimeographing.
mimesis (n.)
1540s, in rhetoric, from Greek mimesis "imitation, representation, representation by art," from mimeisthai "to imitate" (see mimeograph).
mimetic (adj.)
1630s, "having an aptitude for mimicry," from Greek mimetikos "imitative, good at imitating," from mimetos, verbal adjective of mimeisthai "to imitate." Originally of persons, attested of animals or plants from 1851. Related: Mimetical (1610s); mimetically.
mimic (n.)
1580s, "a mime," from Latin mimicus, from Greek mimikos "of or pertaining to mimes," from mimos "mime."
mimic (v.)
1680s, from mimic (n.). Related: Mimicked; mimicking.
mimic (adj.)
1590s, from Latin mimicus, from Greek mimikos "of or pertaining to mimes," verbal adjective from mimeisthai "to mimic, imitate, portray by means of imitation" (see mimeograph).
mimicry (n.)
1680s, from mimic + -ry. Zoological sense is from 1861.