olfactory (adj.) Look up olfactory at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Latin olfactorius, from olfact-, past participle stem of olfacere "to get the smell of, sniff," from olere "emit a smell, give off a smell of" (see odor) + facere "make" (see factitious).
Olga Look up Olga at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Russian, probably from Norse Helga, literally "holy," from Proto-Germanic *haliaga, from PIE *kailo- (see health). The masc. form is Oleg.
oligarch (n.) Look up oligarch at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Middle French olygarche, oligarque, from Greek oligarkhes, related to oligarkhia (see oligarchy).
oligarchic (adj.) Look up oligarchic at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Greek oligarkhikos, from oligarkhos, related to oligarkhia (see oligarchy). Related: Oligarchical.
oligarchy (n.) Look up oligarchy at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Middle French oligarchie (14c.), from Greek oligarkhia "government by the few," from stem of oligos "few, small, little" (see oligo-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon).
oligo- Look up oligo- at Dictionary.com
before vowels olig-, word-forming element meaning "few, the few," from comb. form of Greek oligos "few, scanty, small, little," in plural, "the few;" of uncertain origin.
Oligocene (adj.) Look up Oligocene at Dictionary.com
1856, "pertaining to the Tertiary period between the Eocene and the Miocene," coined in German (1854) by Heinrich Ernst von Beyrich, from oligo- "small, little, few" + -cene. So called because few modern fossils were found in Oligocene rocks.
oligopolistic (adj.) Look up oligopolistic at Dictionary.com
1939, from oligo- "little, small," in plural, "few" + -poly, from Greek polein "to sell" (see monopoly).
oligopoly (n.) Look up oligopoly at Dictionary.com
1887, from Medieval Latin oligopolium, from Greek oligos "little, small," in plural, "the few" (see oligo-) + polein "to sell" (see monopoly).
oligotrophy (n.) Look up oligotrophy at Dictionary.com
1928, from oligo- "small, little" + -trophy "food, nourishment." Related: Oligotrophic.
oliguria (n.) Look up oliguria at Dictionary.com
1843, from oligo- "small, little," + -uria, from Greek ouron "urine" (see urine).
olio (n.) Look up olio at Dictionary.com
medley dish of Iberian origin, 1640s, from Spanish olla, Portuguese olha, both from Vulgar Latin olla "pot, jar." Sense transferred to "any mixture or medley."
oliphant (n.) Look up oliphant at Dictionary.com
obsolete form of elephant, c.1200; also used in Middle English with sense "ivory horn."
olive (n.) Look up olive at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "olive tree," from Old French olive "olive, olive tree" (13c.) or directly from Latin oliva "olive, olive tree," from Greek elaia "olive tree, olive," probably from the same Aegean language (perhaps Cretan) as Armenian ewi "oil." Applied to the fruit or berry of the tree in English from late 14c. As a color from 17c. Olive branch as a token of peace is from early 13c.
Oliver Look up Oliver at Dictionary.com
masc. personal name, in medieval lore the name of one of Charlemagne's peers, friend of Roland, from French Olivier, from Middle Low German Alfihar, literally "elf-host, elf-army," from alf "elf" (see elf) + hari "host, army" (see harry (v.)). Cognate with Anglo-Saxon name Ælfhere. Form influenced in Old French by olivier "olive tree."
Olivetti Look up Olivetti at Dictionary.com
brand of typewriters manufactured by company founded in 1908 near Turin, Italy; named for founder, Camillo Olivetti.
Olivia Look up Olivia at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Italian Olivia, from Latin oliva "olive" (see olive).
Olmec Look up Olmec at Dictionary.com
ancient people and civilization of Mexico, 1787, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) Olmecatl (plural Olmeca), literally "inhabitant of the rubber country."
Olympiad (n.) Look up Olympiad at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "period of four years" (between Olympic games), from Old French olimpiade "period of four years," from Latin Olympiadem, from Greek olympiados, genitive of Olympias (see Olympic). Used by ancient Greeks as a unit in computing time. Revived in modern usage with revival of the games, 1896.
Olympian (adj.) Look up Olympian at Dictionary.com
"of or belonging to Olympus," c.1600; see Olympic + -ian. The noun meaning "a great god of ancient Greece" is attested from 1843, from Late Latin Olympianus, from Greek Olympios "pertaining to Olympus;" sense of "one who competes in the (modern) Olympic Games" is from 1976.
Olympic (adj.) Look up Olympic at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "of or in reference to Mount Olympos, also to Olympia (khora), town or district in Elis in ancient Greece, where athletic contests in honor of Olympian Zeus were held 776 B.C.E. and every four years thereafter; from Greek Olympikos, from Olympos, of unknown origin. The modern Olympic Games are a revival, begun in 1896. Not the same place as Mount Olympus, abode of the gods, which was in Thessaly.
Olympus Look up Olympus at Dictionary.com
high mountain in Thessaly, abode of the gods, from Greek Olympos, of unknown origin. The name was given to several mountains, each seemingly the highest in its district.
om Look up om at Dictionary.com
mystical word in Hinduism, Buddhism; an utterance of assent, 1788.
Omaha Look up Omaha at Dictionary.com
Siouan Indians of northeastern Nebraska, 1804, perhaps from Omaha umaha, perhaps literally "upstream (people), against the flow."
Oman Look up Oman at Dictionary.com
coastal nation in Arabia, supposedly named for its founder. Recorded from Roman times (Omana, in Pliny). Related: Omani.
ombre (n.) Look up ombre at Dictionary.com
card game popular early 18c., from French hombre, from Spanish hombre "man" (see hombre). So called from an expression (translatable as "I am the man") spoken in the course of the game.
ombudsman (n.) Look up ombudsman at Dictionary.com
1959, from Swedish ombudsman, literally "commission man" (specifically in reference to the office of justitieombudsmannen, which hears and investigates complaints by individuals against abuses of the state); cognate with Old Norse umboðsmaðr, from umboð "commission" (from um- "around," see ambi-, + boð "command," see bid (v.)) + maðr "man" (see man (n.)).
omega Look up omega at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from Medieval Greek omega, from classical Greek o mega "big 'o' " (in contrast to o micron "little 'o' "); so called because the vowel was long in ancient Greek. From mega (see mega-). The final letter of the Greek alphabet, hence used figuratively for "the last, final" of anything (as in Rev. i:8),
omelet (n.) Look up omelet at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French omelette (16c.), metathesis of alemette (14c.), from alemele "omelet," literally "blade (of a knife or sword)," probably a misdivision of la lemelle (mistaken as l'alemelle), from Latin lamella "thin, small plate," diminutive of lamina "plate, layer" (see laminate). The food so called from its flat shape. The proverb "you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" (1859) translates French On ne saurait faire une omelette sans casser des oeufs. Middle English had hanonei "fried onions mixed with scrambled eggs" (mid-15c.).
omen (n.) Look up omen at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Latin omen "foreboding," from Old Latin osmen, of unknown origin; perhaps connected with the root of audire "to hear" [OED] or from PIE *o- "to believe, hold as true" (cognates: Greek oiomai "I suppose, think, believe").
omer (n.) Look up omer at Dictionary.com
Hebrew measure of capacity (a little over 5 pints), from Hebrew 'omer.
omerta (n.) Look up omerta at Dictionary.com
1909, from dialectal form of Italian umilta "humility," in reference to the code of submission of individuals to the group interest, from Latin humilitas (see humility).
omg Look up omg at Dictionary.com
Internet chat abbreviation of oh my God, by 1994. (Earlier in computerese it meant Object Management Group, 1989, a consortium which helped pave the way for the modern Internet.)
omicron Look up omicron at Dictionary.com
15th letter of the Greek alphabet, literally "small 'o,' " from Greek (s)mikros "small," from PIE *smik-. Because the vowel was "short" in ancient Greek. Compare Omega.
ominous (adj.) Look up ominous at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Latin ominosus "full of foreboding," from omen (genitive ominis) "foreboding" (see omen). Related: Ominousness.
ominously (adv.) Look up ominously at Dictionary.com
1590s, from ominous + -ly (2). In earliest use, "of good omen, auspicious;" meaning "of evil omen" first attested 1640s, in Milton.
omission (n.) Look up omission at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin omissionem (nominative omissio) "an omitting," noun of action from past participle stem of omittere (see omit). Related: Omissible.
omit (v.) Look up omit at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin omittere "let go, let fall," figuratively "lay aside, disregard," from assimilated form of ob (here perhaps intensive) + mittere "let go, send" (see mission). Related: Omitted; omitting.
omittance (n.) Look up omittance at Dictionary.com
"omission," c.1600, perhaps coined by Shakespeare, who used it in wordplay ("Omittance is no quittance"), from omit + -ance.
omni- Look up omni- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "all," from Latin omni-, combining form of omnis "all, every, the whole, of every kind," of unknown origin, perhaps literally "abundant," from *op-ni-, from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance" (see opus).
omnibus (n.) Look up omnibus at Dictionary.com
1829, "four-wheeled public vehicle with seats for passengers," from French (voiture) omnibus "(carriage) for all, common (conveyance)," from Latin omnibus "for all," dative plural of omnis "all" (see omni-). Introduced by Jacques Lafitte in Paris in 1819 or '20, in London from 1829. In reference to legislation, the word is recorded from 1842. Meaning "man or boy who assists a waiter at a restaurant" is attested from 1888 (compare busboy). As an adjective in English from 1842.
omnidirectional (adj.) Look up omnidirectional at Dictionary.com
1927, from omni- + directional (see direction).
omnifarious (adj.) Look up omnifarious at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Late Latin omnifarius "of all sorts," from Latin omnifariam "on all places or parts," from omnis "all" (see omni-) + -fariam "parts" (compare multifarious). Related: Omnifariously; omnifariousness.
omnipotence (n.) Look up omnipotence at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., omnipotens, from Middle French omnipotence, from Late Latin omnipotentia "almighty power," from Latin omnipotentem "omnipotent" (see omnipotent). Related: Omnipotency (late 15c.).
omnipotent (adj.) Look up omnipotent at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French omnipotent "almighty, all-powerful" (11c.) or directly from Latin omnipotentem (nominative omnipotens) "all-powerful, almighty," from omnis "all" (see omni-) + potens (genitive potentis) "powerful" (see potent). Strictly only of God or a deity; general sense of "having absolute power or authority" is attested from 1590s.
omnipresence (n.) Look up omnipresence at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Medieval Latin omnipraesentia, from omnipraesens, from Latin omnis "all, every" (see omni-) + praesens "present" (see present (adj.)).
omnipresent (adj.) Look up omnipresent at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Medieval Latin omnipraesentem (nominative omnipraesens); see omnipresence. Related: Omnipresently.
omniscience (n.) Look up omniscience at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Medieval Latin omniscientia "all-knowledge," from Latin omnis "all" (see omni-) + scientia "knowledge" (see science).
omniscient (adj.) Look up omniscient at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Modern Latin omniscientem (nominative omnisciens), back-formation from Medieval Latin omniscientia (see omniscience). Related: Omnisciently.
omnisexual (adj.) Look up omnisexual at Dictionary.com
by 1959, from omni- + sexual. Earliest application is to Walt Whitman.