no-fault (adj.) Look up no-fault at
as a type of U.S. motor vehicle insurance, 1967, from no + fault (n.).
no-frills (adj.) Look up no-frills at
1957, from no + frills. The expression no thrills meaning "without extra flourishes or ornamentation" is in use from 1870s; the original notion probably is of plain clothing.
Man with no frills (American) a plain person, a man without culture or refinement. An amiable term to express a vulgar fellow. [Albert Barrere and Charles G. Leland, "A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant," Ballantyne Press, 1890]
no-go (adj.) Look up no-go at
with sense "where it is forbidden to go," 1971, from no + go (v.). Earlier it was a noun phrase for an impracticable situation (1870).
no-good (adj.) Look up no-good at
1908, from phrase no good "good for nothing." As a noun, first recorded 1924; variant no-goodnik (see -nik) first attested 1960.
no-hitter (n.) Look up no-hitter at
baseball term for a baseball game in which one side fails to make a hit, 1939, from no + hit (n.).
no-man's-land (n.) Look up no-man's-land at
also no man's land, "terrain between front lines of entrenched armies," 1908, popularized in World War I; in use from at least early 14c. as Nonemanneslond, an unowned waste ground outside the north wall of London, site for executions. No man (Old English nanne mon) was an old way of saying "nobody."
no-name (adj.) Look up no-name at
1978, "not having made a name in one's profession," originally American English sporting jargon, from no + name (n.).
no-no (n.) Look up no-no at
1942, from reduplication of no.
no-nonsense (adj.) Look up no-nonsense at
"not tolerating foolishness, businesslike," 1928," from phrase to stand no nonsense, which is attested from 1821, originally in sporting slang.
no-parking (adj.) Look up no-parking at
1956, from the wording of the sign designating a place where vehicles may not be parked (1946); see no + parking.
no-place (n.) Look up no-place at
also noplace, "place which does not exist," 1929, from no + place (n.).
no-show (n.) Look up no-show at
also no show, "someone who fails to keep an appointment," 1941, from no + show (v.), in the "show up, appear" sense. Originally airline jargon.
no-smoking (adj.) Look up no-smoking at
1905; the sign wording itself is attested by 1817.
Smoking is a vice to [sic] -- and a national one, of such magnitude that railroad corporations throughout all their routes in the United States, have a special command in large letters, conspicuously placed at depots and inside of the cars -- "No smoking allowed here." ["The Sailor's Magazine," December 1840]
no-win (adj.) Look up no-win at
1962, in reference to a situation where victory is impossible, from no + win.
No. Look up No. at
as an abbreviation meaning (and pronounced) "number," 1660s, from Latin numero, ablative singular of numerus (see number (n.)).
Noah Look up Noah at
masc. proper name, from Hebrew Noah, literally "rest." Phrase Noah's ark attested from 1610s. The adjective Noachian, in reference to the flood legend, is from 1670s.
nob (n.) Look up nob at
"head," c. 1700, slang variant of knob (q.v.).
Nobel Look up Nobel at
1900, in reference to five prizes (in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace) established in the will of Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), Swedish chemist and engineer, inventor of dynamite. A sixth prize, in economics, was added in 1969. Related: Nobelist.
nobelium (n.) Look up nobelium at
1957, named for Alfred Nobel (q.v.). With metallic element ending -ium.
nobility (n.) Look up nobility at
mid-14c., "quality of being excellent or rare," from Old French nobilite "high rank; dignity, grace; great deed" (12c., Modern French nobilité), and directly from Latin nobilitatem (nominative nobilitas) "celebrity, fame; high birth; excellence, superiority; the nobles," from nobilis "well-known, prominent" (see noble (adj.)). Meaning "quality of being of noble rank or birth" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "noble class collectively" is from 1520s.
noble (n.) Look up noble at
"man of rank," c. 1300, from noble (adj.). The same noun sense also is in Old French and Latin. Late 14c. as the name of an English coin first issued in reign of Edward III.
noble (adj.) Look up noble at
c. 1200, "illustrious, distinguished; worthy of honor or respect," from Old French noble "of noble bearing or birth," from Latin nobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth," earlier *gnobilis, literally "knowable," from gnoscere "to come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know." The prominent Roman families, which were "well known," provided most of the Republic's public officials.

Meaning "distinguished by rank, title, or birth" is first recorded late 13c. Sense of "having lofty character, having high moral qualities" is from c. 1600. A noble gas (1902) is so called for its inactivity or intertness; a use of the word that had been applied in Middle English to precious stones, metals, etc., of similar quality (late 14c.), from the sense of "having admirable properties" (c. 1300).
nobleman (n.) Look up nobleman at
c. 1300, from noble (adj.) + man (n.). Noblewoman is from 1570s.
noblesse (n.) Look up noblesse at
early 13c., "noble birth or condition," from Old French noblece "noble birth, splendor, magnificence" (Modern French noblesse), from Vulgar Latin *nobilitia, from Latin nobilis (see noble (adj.)). French phrase noblesse oblige "privilege entails responsibility" is attested in English first in 1837.
nobly (adv.) Look up nobly at
c. 1300, "valorous, courageous, spirited," from noble (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "of or befitting noble birth or descent, of high ancestry" is from 1590s.
Nobodaddy (n.) Look up Nobodaddy at
c. 1793, William Blake's derisive name for the anthropomorphic God of Christianity.
nobody (n.) Look up nobody at
mid-14c., no body "no person noone," from Middle English no (adj.) "not any" + bodi (see body (n.)). Written as two words 14c.-18c.; hyphenated 17c.-18c. Incorrect use with their is attested from 1540s. Meaning "person of no importance" is from 1580s.
nociceptive (adj.) Look up nociceptive at
1904, from Latin noci-, comb. form of nocere "to do harm" (from PIE root *nek- (1) "death") + second element from receptive.
nock (n.) Look up nock at
"notch on a bow," late 14c., of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source (such as Swedish nock "notch"), but compare Low German nokk, Dutch nok "tip of a sail." Perhaps connected to nook.
nock (v.) Look up nock at
"fit (an arrow) to a bowstring," 1510s, from nock (n.). Related: Nocked; nocking.
nocturn (n.) Look up nocturn at
a division of the office of matins, early 13c., from Old French nocturne "evening service; curfew," from Medieval Latin nocturna, "group of Psalms used in the nocturns," from Latin nocturnus (see nocturnal).
nocturnal (adj.) Look up nocturnal at
late 15c., from Old French nocturnal "nightly, nocturnal," or directly from Late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus "belonging to the night," from nox (genitive noctis) "night," cognate with Old English neaht (see night) + -urnus, suffix forming adjectives of time. Nocturnal emission "involuntary ejaculation during sleep" first recorded 1813.
nocturne (n.) Look up nocturne at
1851, "composition of a dreamy character," from French nocturne, literally "composition appropriate to the night," noun use of Old French nocturne "nocturnal," from Latin nocturnus (see nocturnal). The style and the name are said to have originated c. 1814 with Irish-born composer John Field (c. 1782-1837), who wrote many of them, in a style that Chopin mastered in his own works, which popularized the term. But his work seems to have been appreciated in German and French publications before it came to attention in England in 1851.
nocuous (adj.) Look up nocuous at
1630s, "noxious, harmful," from Latin nocuus "harmful," from stem of nocere "to hurt, injure, harm" (from PIE root *nek- (1) "death").
nod (v.) Look up nod at
"to quickly bow the head," late 14c., of unknown origin, probably an Old English word, but not recorded; perhaps related to Old High German hnoton "to shake," from Proto-Germanic *hnudan. Meaning "to drift in and out of consciousness while on drugs" is attested from 1968. Related: Nodded; nodding. A nodding acquaintance (1711) is one you know just well enough to greet with a nod.
nod (n.) Look up nod at
mid-15c., from nod (v.). Land of Nod "sleep" is a pun on the biblical place name (Genesis iv.16).
nodal (adj.) Look up nodal at
1831, from node + -al (1). Related: Nodality.
node (n.) Look up node at
early 15c., "a knot or lump," from Latin nodus "knot" (from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie"). Originally borrowed c. 1400 in Latin form, meaning "lump in the flesh." Meaning "point of intersection" (originally of planetary orbits with the ecliptic) first recorded 1660s.
nodular (adj.) Look up nodular at
1794, from nodule + -ar. Related: Nodularity.
nodule (n.) Look up nodule at
early 15c., from Latin nodulus "small knot," diminutive of nodus "knot" (from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie"). Related: Nodulated; nodulous; nodulation.
Noel (n.) Look up Noel at
late 14c., nowel "feast of Christmas," from Old French noel "the Christmas season," variant of nael, from Latin natalis (dies) "birth (day)," in Church Latin in reference to the birthday of Christ, from natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci), from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget." The modern word in English, with the sense "a Christmas carol" (1811) probably is a separate borrowing from French. As a masc. proper name, from Old French, probably literally "of or born on Christmas."
noesis (n.) Look up noesis at
1820, from Greek noesis "intelligence, thought," from noein "to have mental perception," from noos "mind, thought."
noetic (adj.) Look up noetic at
"pertaining to the intellect," 1650s, from Greek noetikos "intelligent," from noesis (see noesis).
nog (n.) Look up nog at
1690s, "old, strong type of beer brewed in Norfolk," of unknown origin. Also see egg-nog.
noggin (n.) Look up noggin at
1620s, "small cup, mug," later "small drink" (1690s), of unknown origin, possibly related to Norfolk dialectal nog "strong ale." Informal meaning "head" first attested 1866 in American English.
Noh Look up Noh at
traditional Japanese masked drama, 1871, from Japanese, literally "ability, talent, function." Dramatic form also known as nogaku, with gaku "music."
nohow (adv.) Look up nohow at
"not at all," 1775, American English, from no + how, on model of nowhere.
noise (n.) Look up noise at
early 13c., "loud outcry, clamor, shouting," from Old French noise "din, disturbance, uproar, brawl" (11c., in modern French only in phrase chercher noise "to pick a quarrel"), also "rumor, report, news," apparently from Latin nausea "disgust, annoyance, discomfort," literally "seasickness" (see nausea).

Another theory traces the Old French word to Latin noxia "hurting, injury, damage." OED considers that "the sense of the word is against both suggestions," but nausea could have developed a sense in Vulgar Latin of "unpleasant situation, noise, quarrel" (compare Old Provençal nauza "noise, quarrel"). Meaning "loud or unpleasant sound" is from c. 1300. Replaced native gedyn (see din).
noise (v.) Look up noise at
late 14c., "to praise; to talk loudly about," from noise (n.). Related: Noised; noising.
noiseless (adj.) Look up noiseless at
c. 1600, from noise (n.) + -less. Related: Noiselessly; noiselessness.