nostalgia (n.) Look up nostalgia at Dictionary.com
1770, "severe homesickness considered as a disease," Modern Latin, coined 1668 in a dissertation on the topic at the University of Basel by scholar Johannes Hofer (1669-1752) as a rendering of German heimweh (for which see home + woe). From Greek algos "pain, grief, distress" (see -algia) + nostos "homecoming," from PIE *nes- "to return safely home" (cognate with Old Norse nest "food for a journey," Sanskrit nasate "approaches, joins," German genesen "to recover," Gothic ganisan "to heal," Old English genesen "to recover"). French nostalgie is in French army medical manuals by 1754.

Originally in reference to the Swiss and said to be peculiar to them and often fatal, whether by its own action or in combination with wounds or disease. By 1830s the word was used of any intense homesickness: that of sailors, convicts, African slaves. "The bagpipes produced the same effects sometimes in the Scotch regiments while serving abroad" [Penny Magazine," Nov. 14, 1840]. It is listed among the "endemic diseases" in the "Cyclopaedia of Practical Medicine" [London, 1833, edited by three M.D.s], which defines it as "The concourse of depressing symptoms which sometimes arise in persons who are absent from their native country, when they are seized with a longing desire of returning to their home and friends and the scenes their youth ...." It was a military medical diagnosis principally, and was considered a serious medical problem by the North in the American Civil War:
In the first two years of the war, there were reported 2588 cases of nostalgia, and 13 deaths from this cause. These numbers scarcely express the real extent to which nostalgia influenced the sickness and mortality of the army. To the depressing influence of home-sickness must be attributed the fatal result in many cases which might otherwise have terminated favorably. ["Sanitary Memoirs of the War," U.S. Sanitary Commission, N.Y.: 1867]
Transferred sense (the main modern one) of "wistful yearning for the past" first recorded 1920, perhaps from such use of nostalgie in French literature. The longing for a distant place also necessarily involves a separation in time.
nostalgic (adj.) Look up nostalgic at Dictionary.com
1806, from nostalgia + -ic. Related: Nostalgically.
Nostradamus Look up Nostradamus at Dictionary.com
"a prophet, seer, a fortune-teller," 1660s, from Latinized name of Michel de Nostredame (1503-1566), French physician and astrologer, who published a collection of predictions in 1555.
Nostratic (adj.) Look up Nostratic at Dictionary.com
1966 (Nostratian is from 1931), from Latin nostras "our countrymen."
nostril (n.) Look up nostril at Dictionary.com
Old English nosþyrl, nosðirl, literally "the hole of the nose," from nosu "nose" (see nose (n.)) + þyrel "hole" (see thrill (v.)).
nostrum (n.) Look up nostrum at Dictionary.com
"quack medicine," c.1600, from Latin nostrum remedium "our remedy," presumably that prepared by the person offering it, from Latin nostrum, neuter of noster "our," from nos "we," from PIE *nos (see us).
nosy (adj.) Look up nosy at Dictionary.com
also nosey, 1610s, "having a prominent nose," from nose (n.) + -y (2). Earlier in this sense was nasee (mid-14c.), from Anglo-French, from Old French nasé, ultimately from Latin nasus "nose." Sense of "inquisitive" first recorded 1882. Nosey Parker as a name for an inquisitive person is from 1907.
not Look up not at Dictionary.com
negative particle, mid-13c., unstressed variant of noht, naht "in no way" (see naught). As an interjection to negate what was said before or reveal it as sarcasm, it is first attested 1900; popularized 1989 by "Wayne's World" sketches on "Saturday Night Live" TV show. To not know X from Y (one's ass from one's elbow, shit from Shinola, etc.) was a construction first attested c.1930. Double negative construction not un- was derided by Orwell, but is persistent and ancient in English, popular with Milton and the Anglo-Saxon poets.
nota bene Look up nota bene at Dictionary.com
"mark well, observe particularly," c.1721, from Latin nota, second person singular imperative of notare "to mark" (see note (v.)) + bene "well" (see bene-). Often abbreviated N.B.
notabilia (n.) Look up notabilia at Dictionary.com
"notable things," from Latin notabilia, neuter plural of notabilis (see notable).
notability (n.) Look up notability at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French notabilite, from Medieval Latin *notabilitatem (nominative *notabilitas), from Latin notabilis (see notable).
notable (adj.) Look up notable at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French notable "well-known, notable, remarkable" (13c.) and directly from Latin notabilis "noteworthy, extraordinary," from notare "to note" (see note (v.)). The noun meaning "a person of distinction" is first recorded 1815. Related: Notably; notableness.
notarize (v.) Look up notarize at Dictionary.com
1935, from notary + -ize. Related: Notarized; notarizing.
notary (n.) Look up notary at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "clerk, secretary," from Old French notarie "scribe, clerk, secretary" (12c.) and directly from Latin notarius "shorthand writer, clerk, secretary," from notare, "to note," from nota "shorthand character, letter, note" (see note (v.)). Meaning "person authorized to attest contracts, etc." is from mid-14c.; especially in notary public (late 15c.), which has the French order of subject-adjective. Related: Notarial.
notate (v.) Look up notate at Dictionary.com
1922, from Latin notatus, past participle of notare (see note (v.)). Related: Notated; notating.
notation (n.) Look up notation at Dictionary.com
1560s, "explanation of a term," from Middle French notation and directly from Latin notationem (nominative notatio) "a marking, notation, designation; etymology; shorthand; explanation," noun of action from past participle stem of notare "to note" (see note (v.)). Meaning "note, annotation" is from 1580s. Meaning "system of representing numbers or quantities by signs or symbols" is attested from 1706. Related: Notational.
notch (n.) Look up notch at Dictionary.com
1570s, probably a misdivision of an otch (see N for other examples), from Middle French oche "notch," from Old French ochier "to notch," of unknown origin. Said to be unconnected to nock.
notch (v.) Look up notch at Dictionary.com
1590s, from notch (n.). Earlier verb (before misdivision) was Middle English ochen "to cut, slash" (c.1400). Related: Notched; notching.
note (v.) Look up note at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "observe, take mental note of, mark carefully," from Old French noter "indicate, designate; take note of, write down," from Latin notare "to mark, to note, to make a note," from nota "mark, sign, note, character, letter" (see note (n.)). Meaning "to set in writing" is from early 14c. Related: Noted; noting.
note (n.) Look up note at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "a song, music, instrumental music; a musical note," from Latin nota "letter, character, note," originally "a mark, sign, means of recognition," which is perhaps related to notus, past participle of noscere (Old Latin *gnoscere) "to know" (see know). Meaning "notice, attention, reputation" is early 14c. Meaning "brief writing" is from 1540s.
note-paper (n.) Look up note-paper at Dictionary.com
1848, from note (n.) + paper (n.).
notebook (n.) Look up notebook at Dictionary.com
1570s, from note + book (n.).
noted (adj.) Look up noted at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "observed," past participle adjective from note (v.). Meaning "observed for some special quality" is from 1590s. Related: Notedness.
notepad (n.) Look up notepad at Dictionary.com
1907, from note (n.) + pad (n.).
noteworthy (adj.) Look up noteworthy at Dictionary.com
1550s, from note (v.) + worthy. Related: Noteworthiness.
nother Look up nother at Dictionary.com
word formed from misdivision of another as a nother (see N for other examples), c.1300. From 14c.-16c. no nother is sometimes encountered as a misdivision of none other or perhaps as an emphatic negative; Old English had noðer as a contraction of ne oðer "no other."
nothing (n.) Look up nothing at Dictionary.com
Old English naþing, naðinc, from nan "not one" (see none) + þing "thing" (see thing). Meaning "insignificant thing" is from c.1600. As an adverb from c.1200. As an adjective from 1961.
nothingness (n.) Look up nothingness at Dictionary.com
"nonexistence," 1630s, from nothing + -ness.
notice (n.) Look up notice at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "information, intelligence," from Middle French notice (14c.), and directly from Latin notitia "a being known, celebrity, fame, knowledge," from notus "known," past participle of (g)noscere "come to know, to get to know, get acquainted (with)," from PIE *gno-sko-, a suffixed form of root *gno- (see know). Sense of "formal warning" is attested from 1590s. Meaning "a sign giving information" is from 1805.
notice (v.) Look up notice at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to notify," from notice (n.). Sense of "to point out" is from 1620s. Meaning "to take notice of" is attested from 1757, but was long execrated in England as an Americanism (occasionally as a Scottishism, the two offenses not being clearly distinguished). Ben Franklin noted it as one of the words (along with verbal uses of progress and advocate) that seemed to him to have become popular in America while he was absent in France during the Revolution. Related: Noticed; noticing.
noticeable (adj.) Look up noticeable at Dictionary.com
1796, "worthy of notice," from notice (n.) + -able. Meaning "capable of being noticed" is from 1809. Related: Noticeably.
notification (n.) Look up notification at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French notificacion (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin notificationem (nominative notificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin notificare "to make known, notify" (see notify).
notify (v.) Look up notify at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French notefiier "make known, inform, apprise" (13c.), from Latin notificare "to make known, notify," from Latin notus "known" (see notice (n.)) + root of facere "make, do" (see factitious). Related: Notified; notifying.
notion (n.) Look up notion at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin notionem (nominative notio) "concept, conception, idea, notice," noun of action from past participle stem of noscere "come to know" (see know). Coined by Cicero as a loan-translation of Greek ennoia "act of thinking, notion, conception," or prolepsis "previous notion, previous conception."
notional (adj.) Look up notional at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to notions," 1590s, from notion + -al (earlier nocional, late 14c., from Medieval Latin notionalis). Meaning "full of whims" is from 1791. Grammatical sense is from 1928 (Jespersen); economics use is from 1958.
notions (n.) Look up notions at Dictionary.com
"miscellaneous articles," 1805, American English, from notion with the idea of "clever invention."
notochord (n.) Look up notochord at Dictionary.com
1848, coined in English by English anatomist Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892) from chord + comb. form of Greek noton "back," from PIE *not- "buttock, back" (cognates: Latin natis "buttock," sopurce of Italian, Spanish nalga, Old French nache "buttock, butt").
notoriety (n.) Look up notoriety at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French notoriété or directly from Medieval Latin notorietatem (nominative notorietas), from notorius "well-known" (see notorious).
notorious (adj.) Look up notorious at Dictionary.com
1540s, "publicly known," from Medieval Latin notorius "well-known, commonly known," from Latin notus "known," past participle of noscere "come to know" (see know). Negative connotation arose 17c. from frequent association with derogatory nouns. Related: Notoriously.
notwithstanding (prep.) Look up notwithstanding at Dictionary.com
late 14c., notwiþstondynge, from not + present participle of the verb withstand. A loan-translation of Medieval Latin non obstante "being no hindrance," from ablative of obstans, present participle of obstare "stand opposite to" (see obstacle). As an adverb and as a conjunction from early 15c.
nougat (n.) Look up nougat at Dictionary.com
"sweetmeat of almonds and other nuts," 1827, from French nougat (18c.), from Provençal nougat "cake made with almonds," from Old Provençal nogat "nutcake," from noga, nuga "nut," from Vulgar Latin *nucatum (nominative *nuca), from Latin nux (genitive nucis) "nut," from PIE *kneu- "nut" (see nucleus).
nought (n.) Look up nought at Dictionary.com
Old English nowiht "nothing," variant of nawiht (see naught). Meaning "zero, cipher" is from early 15c. Expression for nought "in vain" is late 13c. To come to nought is from 1590s.
noumenal (adj.) Look up noumenal at Dictionary.com
1803, from noumenon + -al (1).
noumenon (n.) Look up noumenon at Dictionary.com
1796, "object of intellectual intuition" (opposed to a phenomenon), term introduced by Kant, from Greek noumenon "that which is perceived," neuter passive present participle of noein "to apprehend, perceive by the mind" (from noos "mind"). With passive suffix -menos.
noun (n.) Look up noun at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French noun "name, noun," from Old French nom, non (Modern French nom), from Latin nomen "name, noun" (see name (n.)). Old English used name to mean "noun." Related: Nounal.
nourish (v.) Look up nourish at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "to bring up, nurture" (a child, a feeling, etc.), from Old French norriss-, stem of norrir "raise, bring up, nurture, foster; maintain, provide for" (12c., Modern French nourrir), from Latin nutrire "to feed, nurse, foster, support, preserve," from *nutri (older form of nutrix "nurse"), literally "she who gives suck," from PIE *nu- (from root *(s)nau- "to swim, flow, let flow," hence "to suckle;" see nutriment) + fem. agent suffix. Related: Nourished; nourishing.
nourishing (adj.) Look up nourishing at Dictionary.com
late 14c., past participle adjective from nourish (v.).
nourishment (n.) Look up nourishment at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "food, sustenance," from Old French norissement "food, nourishment," from norrir (see nourish). From c.1300 as "fostering."
nous (n.) Look up nous at Dictionary.com
slang for "intelligence, common sense," 1706, from Greek nous, Attic form of noos "mind, intellect," which was taken in English in philosophy 1670s.
nouveau riche Look up nouveau riche at Dictionary.com
1813, French, literally "new rich." Opposite noveau pauvre is attested from 1965. Ancient Greek had the same idea in neo-ploutos "newly become rich."