obsessed (adj.) Look up obsessed at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "tormented, obsessed," past participle adjective from obsess. Originally especially "possessed" by a devil, etc.
obsession (n.) Look up obsession at Dictionary.com
1510s, "action of besieging," from French obsession and directly from Latin obsessionem (nominative obsessio) "siege, blockade, a blocking up," noun of action from past participle stem of obsidere "to besiege" (see obsess). Later (c. 1600), "hostile action of an evil spirit" (like possession but without the spirit actually inhabiting the body). Transferred sense of "action of anything which engrosses the mind" is from 1670s. Psychological sense is from 1901.
obsessive (adj.) Look up obsessive at Dictionary.com
1911, from obsess + -ive. Related: Obsessively. Obsessive-compulsive is attested from 1927.
obsidian (n.) Look up obsidian at Dictionary.com
"dark, hard volcanic rock," 1650s, from Latin obsidianus, misprint of Obsianus (lapis) "(stone) of Obsius," name of a Roman alleged by Pliny to have found this rock in Ethiopia.
obsolesce (v.) Look up obsolesce at Dictionary.com
1801, from Latin obsolescere "to grow old, wear out, lose value, become obsolete," inchoative of obsolere "fall into disuse" (see obsolete). Related: Obsolesced; obsolescing.
obsolescence (n.) Look up obsolescence at Dictionary.com
1809; see obsolescent + -ence. Phrase Planned obsolescence coined 1932, revived as a disparaging term 1950s.
obsolescent (adj.) Look up obsolescent at Dictionary.com
1755, from Latin obsolescentum (nominative obsolescens), present participle of obsolescere "fall into disuse" (see obsolete).
obsolete (adj.) Look up obsolete at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Latin obsoletus "grown old, worn-out," past participle of obsolescere "fall into disuse, be forgotten about, become tarnished," which probably is from ob "away" (see ob-) + an expanded form of solere "to be used to, be accustomed" (see insolent).
obstacle (n.) Look up obstacle at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French obstacle, ostacle "opposition, obstruction, hindrance" (13c.) or directly from Latin obstaculum "a hindrance, obstacle," with instrumental suffix *-tlom + obstare "stand before, stand opposite to, block, hinder, thwart," from ob "in front of, against" (see ob-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
The lover thinks more often of reaching his mistress than the husband of guarding his wife; the prisoner thinks more often of escaping than the gaoler of shutting his door; and so, whatever the obstacles may be, the lover and the prisoner ought to succeed. [Stendhal, "Charterhouse of Parma"]
Obstacle course is attested from 1891.
obstetric (adj.) Look up obstetric at Dictionary.com
1742, from Modern Latin obstetricus "pertaining to a midwife," from obstetrix (genitive obstetricis) "midwife," literally "one who stands opposite (the woman giving birth)," from obstare "stand opposite to" (see obstacle). The true adjective would be obstetricic, "but only pedantry would take exception to obstetric at this stage of its career." [Fowler]. Related: Obstetrical.
obstetrician (n.) Look up obstetrician at Dictionary.com
1828, from Latin obstetricia "midwifery," from obstetricus (see obstetric) on model of physician.
obstetrics (n.) Look up obstetrics at Dictionary.com
"science of midwifery," 1819, from obstetric (adj.); also see -ics.
obstinacy (n.) Look up obstinacy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Medieval Latin obstinatia, from obstinatus (see obstinate).
obstinance (n.) Look up obstinance at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Medieval Latin obstinantia, from obstinantem, from obstinatus "resolved, determined, resolute" (see obstinate).
obstinate (adj.) Look up obstinate at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Latin obstinatus "resolute, resolved, determined, inflexible, stubborn," past participle of obstinare "persist, stand stubbornly, set one's mind on," from ob "by" (see ob-) + stinare (related to stare "stand"), from PIE *ste-no-, from root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Related: Obstinately.
obstipation (n.) Look up obstipation at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin obstipationem (nominative obstipatio), noun of action from *obstipare "action of blocking or stopping up," from ob "in front of; in the way of" (see ob-) + stipare "to press together, to pack" (see stiff (adj.)).
obstreperous (adj.) Look up obstreperous at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Latin obstreperus "clamorous," from obstrepere "drown with noise, make a noise against, oppose noisily," from ob "against" (see ob-) + strepere "make a noise," from PIE *strep-, said to be imitative (compare Latin stertare "to snore," Old Norse þrapt "chattering," Old English þræft "quarrel"). Related: Obstreperously; obstreperousness.
obstruct (v.) Look up obstruct at Dictionary.com
1610s, a back-formation from obstruction or else from Latin obstructus, past participle of obstruere "build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder," from ob "in front of, in the way of" (see ob-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread"). Related: Obstructed; obstructing.
obstruction (n.) Look up obstruction at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin obstructionem (nominative obstructio) "an obstruction, barrier, a building up," noun of action from past participle stem of obstruere "build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder," from ob "in front of, in the way of" (see ob-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread").
obstructionism (n.) Look up obstructionism at Dictionary.com
1868, from obstruction + -ism.
obstructionist (n.) Look up obstructionist at Dictionary.com
1846, from obstruction + -ist.
obstructive (adj.) Look up obstructive at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin obstruct-, past participle stem of obstruere (see obstruction) + -ive.
obtain (v.) Look up obtain at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French obtenir "acquire, obtain" (14c.), from Latin obtinere "hold, hold fast, take hold of, get possession of, acquire," from ob "in front of" (though perhaps intensive in this case; see ob-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Related: Obtained; obtaining.
obtainable (adj.) Look up obtainable at Dictionary.com
1610s, from obtain + -able. Related: Obtainability.
obtrude (v.) Look up obtrude at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Latin obtrudere "to thrust into, press upon," from ob "in front of; toward" (see ob-) + trudere "to thrust," "to thrust, push," from PIE *treud- "to press, push, squeeze" (see threat). Related: Obtruded; obtruding.
obtrusion (n.) Look up obtrusion at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Latin obtrusionem (nominative obtrusio), noun of action from past participle stem of obtrudere (see obtrude).
obtrusive (adj.) Look up obtrusive at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Latin obtrus-, past participle stem of obtrudere (see obtrude) + -ive. Related: Obtrusively; obtrusiveness.
obtund (v.) Look up obtund at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, (transitive) "to render dead, make dull," used occasionally in English, especially in medical jargon; from Latin obtundere "to blunt, make dull, weaken, exhaust," literally "to beat against" (see obtuse). Related: Obtundation; obtunded.
obtuse (adj.) Look up obtuse at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "dull, blunted," from Middle French obtus (fem. obtuse), from Latin obtusus "blunted, dull," also used figuratively, past participle of obtundere "to beat against, make dull," from ob "in front of; against" (see ob-) + tundere "to beat," from PIE *(s)tud-e- "to beat, strike, push, thrust," from root *(s)teu- "to push, stick, knock, beat" (source also of Latin tudes "hammer," Sanskrit tudati "he thrusts"). Sense of "stupid" is first found c. 1500. Related: Obtusely; obtuseness.
obverse (adj.) Look up obverse at Dictionary.com
"turned toward the observer, frontal," 1650s, from Latin obversus "turned against, directed toward," past participle of obvertere "to turn toward or against," from ob "toward" (see ob-) + vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). According to OED, not in common use until the end of the 18th century. The noun, in reference to coins, medals, etc. (opposite of reverse), is attested from 1650s. Related: Obversely.
obviate (v.) Look up obviate at Dictionary.com
1590s, "to meet and do away with," from Late Latin obviatus, past participle of obviare "act contrary to, go against," from Latin obvius "that is in the way, that moves against," from obviam (adv.) "in the way," from ob "in front of, against" (see ob-) + viam, accusative of via "way" (see via). Related: Obviated; obviating.
obviation (n.) Look up obviation at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Medieval Latin obviationem (nominative obviatio), noun of action from past participle stem of obviare (see obviate).
obvious (adj.) Look up obvious at Dictionary.com
1580s, "frequently met with," from Latin obvius "that is in the way, presenting itself readily, open, exposed, commonplace," from obviam (adv.) "in the way," from ob "in front of, against" (see ob-) + viam, accusative of via "way" (see via). Meaning "plain to see, evident" is first recorded 1630s. Related: Obviously; obviousness.
oc- Look up oc- at Dictionary.com
assimilated form of ob- before -c-.
ocarina (n.) Look up ocarina at Dictionary.com
1877, from Italian ocarina, diminutive of oca "goose" (so called for its shape), from Vulgar Latin *auca, from Latin avicula "small bird," diminutive of avis "bird" (see aviary).
Occam's razor Look up Occam's razor at Dictionary.com
when two competing hypotheses explain the data equally well, choose the simpler. Or, as Sir William Hamilton puts it, "Neither more, nor more onerous, causes are to be assumed, than are necessary to account for the phenomena." Named for English philosopher William of Ockham or Occam (c. 1285-c. 1349), who expressed it with Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter neccssitatem.
So called after William of Occam (died about 1349): but, as a historical fact, Occam does not make much use of this principle, which belongs rather to the contemporary nominalist William Durand de St. Pourçain (died 1332). [Century Dictionary]
occasion (v.) Look up occasion at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "to bring (something) about," from occasion (n.), or else from Old French occasionner "to cause," from Medieval Latin occasionare, from Latin occasionem (see occasion (n.)). Related: Occasioned; occasioning.
occasion (n.) Look up occasion at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "opportunity; grounds for action, state of affairs that makes something else possible; a happening, occurrence," from Old French ochaison, ocasion "cause, reason, excuse, pretext; opportunity" (13c.) or directly from Latin occasionem (nominative occasio) "opportunity, appropriate time," in Late Latin "cause," from occasum, occasus, past participle of occidere "fall down, go down," from ob "down, away" (see ob-) + -cidere, combining form of cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). The notion is of a "falling together," or juncture, of circumstances.
occasional (adj.) Look up occasional at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "occurring now and then," from occasion (n.) + -al (1). Meaning "casual" is 1560s. Meaning "happening on or pertaining to a particular occasion" is from 1630s. Of furniture, etc., from 1749.
occasionally (adv.) Look up occasionally at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "happening on some particular occasion," also "sometimes, happening as occasion presents itself, without regularity," from occasional + -ly (2).
Occident (n.) Look up Occident at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "western part" (of the heavens or earth), from Old French occident (12c.) or directly from Latin occidentem (nominative occidens) "western sky, sunset, part of the sky in which the sun sets," noun use of adjective meaning "setting," from present participle of occidere "fall down, go down" (see occasion (n.)).
occidental (adj.) Look up occidental at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Old French occidental (14c.) and directly from Latin occidentalis "western," from occidentem (see occident). As a capitalized noun meaning "a Western person" (opposed to Oriental) from 1857.
occipital (adj.) Look up occipital at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Middle French occipital, from Medieval Latin occipitalis, from Latin occiput (genitive occipitis) "back of the skull," from assimilated form of ob "in the way of, against," thus here with a sense of "in back of" (see ob-) + caput "head" (see capitulum).
Occitan (n.) Look up Occitan at Dictionary.com
"Old or modern Provençal; langue d'Oc," 1940, also "the northern variant of modern Provençal;" from French oc (see Languedoc).
occlude (v.) Look up occlude at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin occludere (past participle occlusus) "shut up, close up," from assimilated form of ob "in front of, against" (see ob-) + claudere "to shut, close" (see close (v.)). Of teeth, 1888 (also see occlusion). Related: Occluded; occluding.
occlusion (n.) Look up occlusion at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Medieval Latin occlusionem (nominative occlusio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin occludere (see occlude). Dentistry sense is from 1880.
occlusive (adj.) Look up occlusive at Dictionary.com
1867, from Latin occlus-, past participle stem of occludere (see occlude) + -ive.
occult (adj.) Look up occult at Dictionary.com
1530s, "secret, not divulged," from Middle French occulte and directly from Latin occultus "hidden, concealed, secret," past participle of occulere "cover over, conceal," from assimilated form of ob "over" (see ob-) + a verb related to celare "to hide," from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save." Meaning "not apprehended by the mind, beyond the range of understanding" is from 1540s. The association with the supernatural sciences (magic, alchemy, astrology, etc.) dates from 1630s.
occultation (n.) Look up occultation at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "disguise or concealment of identity," from Latin occultationem (nominative occultatio), noun of action from past participle stem of occultare "to hide, conceal," frequentative of occulere (see occult).
occultism (n.) Look up occultism at Dictionary.com
1870, from occult + -ism. Related: Occultist.