pitiable (adj.) Look up pitiable at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "merciful, compassionate," from Old French piteable "compassionate, merciful, pious" (13c.; Modern French pitoyable), from piteer "to pity" (see pity). Meaning "deserving pity" is recorded from late 15c. Related: Pitiably.
pitiful (adj.) Look up pitiful at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "merciful, compassionate" (implied in pitifully), from pity + -ful. Sense of "exciting or deserving pity" is from mid-15c.; that of "mean, wretched, contemptible" is 1580s. Related: Pitifulness.
pitiless (adj.) Look up pitiless at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from pity + -less. Related: Pitilessly; pitilessness.
piton (n.) Look up piton at Dictionary.com
1898, from French piton "hook, peak of a mountain, piton, eyebolt," in Old French "nail, hook," from Vulgar Latin root *pitt- "point, peak" [Barnhart].
pits (n.) Look up pits at Dictionary.com
"the worst," by 1953, U.S. slang, said to be a shortened form of armpits.
pittance (n.) Look up pittance at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "pious donation to a religious house or order to provide extra food; the extra food provided," also "a small portion, scanty rations," from Old French pitance "pity, mercy, compassion; refreshment, nourishment; portion of food allowed a monk or poor person by a pious bequest," apparently literally "pity," from pitié (see pity). Meaning "small amount, portion" first recorded 1560s.
pituitary (adj.) Look up pituitary at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin pituitarius "mucous," from pituita "clammy moisture, phlegm, mucus, slime," possibly from PIE root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (see pine (n.)). Taken as the name for the gland because it was believed that it channeled mucus to the nose. As a noun by 1899.
pity (n.) Look up pity at Dictionary.com
early 13c., from Old French pite, pitet "pity, mercy, compassion, care, tenderness; pitiful state, wretched condition" (11c., Modern French pitié), from Latin pietatem (nominative pietas) "piety, loyalty, duty" (see piety). Replaced Old English mildheortness, literally "mild-heartness," itself a loan-translation of Latin misericordia. English pity and piety were not fully distinguished until 17c. Transferred sense of "grounds or cause for pity" is from late 14c.
pity (v.) Look up pity at Dictionary.com
"to feel pity for," late 15c., from Old French pitier and from pity (n.). Related: Pitied; pitying.
Pius Look up Pius at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Latin pius "dutiful, pious" (see pious).
pivot (n.) Look up pivot at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French pivot, from Old French pivot "hinge pin, pivot" (12c.), also "penis," of uncertain origin. Figurative sense of "central point" is recorded from 1813.
pivot (v.) Look up pivot at Dictionary.com
by 1841, from French pivoter and from pivot (n). Related: Pivoted; pivoting.
pivotal (adj.) Look up pivotal at Dictionary.com
1844, in figurative sense, from pivot (n.) + -al (1).
pix (n.) Look up pix at Dictionary.com
variant of pics, 1930 (see pic).
pixel (n.) Look up pixel at Dictionary.com
1969, coined to describe the photographic elements of a television image, from pix + first syllable of element.
pixelation (n.) Look up pixelation at Dictionary.com
also pixellation, graphics display effect, 1991, from pixel + -ation.
pixie (n.) Look up pixie at Dictionary.com
c.1630, of obscure origin, perhaps from or related to Swedish dialect pyske "small fairy," but West County origin suggests ultimate source in Cornwall and thus something Celtic. Earliest references were in pixy-path "bewilderment," literally "path on which one is led astray by pixies," and pixie-led "lost."
pixilated (adj.) Look up pixilated at Dictionary.com
"mildly insane, bewildered, tipsy," 1848, pix-e-lated, from pixie + -lated, as in elated, etc., perhaps influenced by or a variant of pixie-led. A New England dialect word popularized 1936 by its use in movie "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."
pixilation (n.) Look up pixilation at Dictionary.com
"creation of the effect of animation in live actors," 1947, from pixilated. Also see pixelation.
pizazz (n.) Look up pizazz at Dictionary.com
also pizzaz; pizzazz, 1937, probably originally college or show-biz slang.
Pizazz, to quote the editor of the Harvard Lampoon, is an indefinable dynamic quality, the je ne sais quoi of function; as for instance, adding Scotch puts pizazz into a drink. Certain clothes have it, too. ["Harper's Bazaar," March 1937]
pizza (n.) Look up pizza at Dictionary.com
1935, from Italian pizza, originally "cake, tart, pie," of uncertain origin. The 1907 "Vocabolario Etimologico della Lingua Italiana" reports it is said to be from dialectal pinza "clamp" (from Latin pinsere "to pound, stamp"). Klein suggests a connection via loan-translation with Medieval Greek pitta "cake, pie," from Greek pitta "pitch" (cognate with Latin adjective piceus "of pitch"). See also pita.
pizzeria (n.) Look up pizzeria at Dictionary.com
1943, likely in use in American English in restaurant names by 1930, from pizza with ending as in cafeteria.
pizzicato (n.) Look up pizzicato at Dictionary.com
1845, from Italian pizzicato "plucked," past participle of pizzicare "to pluck (strings), pinch," from pizzare "to prick, to sting," from Old Italian pizzo "point, edge," from Vulgar Latin *pits-, probably of imitative origin. As an adjective from 1880.
pizzle (n.) Look up pizzle at Dictionary.com
"penis of a bull used as a flogging instrument," 1520s, from Low German pesel or Flemish pezel, diminutive of root of Dutch pees "sinew," from Old Low German root *pisa.
placable (adj.) Look up placable at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "pleasing," from Middle French placable "forgiving, conciliatory" and directly from Latin placabilis "easily appeased or pacified," from placare "to appease" (see placate). From 1580s as "capable of being pleased." Related: Placably; placability.
placard (n.) Look up placard at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "formal document authenticated by an affixed seal," from Middle French placquard "official document with a large, flat seal," also "plate of armor," from Old French plaquier "to lay on, cover up, plaster over," from Middle Dutch placken "to patch (a garment), to plaster," related to Middle High German placke "patch, stain," German Placken "spot, patch." Meaning "poster" first recorded 1550s in English; this sense is in Middle French from 15c.
placate (v.) Look up placate at Dictionary.com
1670s, a back-formation from placation or else from Latin placatus "soothed, quiet, gentle, calm, peaceful," past participle of placare "to calm, appease, quiet, soothe, assuage," related to placere "to please" (see please). Related: Placated; placating; placatingly.
placation (n.) Look up placation at Dictionary.com
1580s, from French placation (16c.), from Latin placationem (nominative placatio) "an appeasing, pacifying, quieting," noun of action from past participle stem of placare (see placate).
placatory (adj.) Look up placatory at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Latin placatorius "pertaining to appeasing," from placat-, past participle stem of placare "to appease" (see placate).
place (n.) Look up place at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "space, dimensional extent, room, area," from Old French place "place, spot" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin placea "place, spot," from Latin platea "courtyard, open space; broad way, avenue," from Greek plateia (hodos) "broad (way)," fem. of platys "broad" (see plaice).

Replaced Old English stow and stede. From mid-13c. as "particular part of space, extent, definite location, spot, site;" from early 14c. as "position or place occupied by custom, etc.; position on some social scale;" from late 14c. as "inhabited place, town, country," also "place on the surface of something, portion of something, part," also, "office, post." Meaning "group of houses in a town" is from 1580s.

Also from the same Latin source are Italian piazza, Catalan plassa, Spanish plaza, Middle Dutch plaetse, Dutch plaats, German Platz, Danish plads, Norwegian plass. Wide application in English covers meanings that in French require three words: place, lieu, and endroit. Cognate Italian piazza and Spanish plaza retain more of the etymological sense.

To take place "happen" is from mid-15c. To know (one's) place is from c.1600; hence figurative expression put (someone) in his or her place (1855). Place of worship attested from 1689, originally in official papers and in reference to assemblies of dissenters from the Church of England. All over the place "in disorder" is attested from 1923.
place (v.) Look up place at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "to determine the position of;" also "to put (something somewhere)," from place (n.). In the horse racing sense of "to achieve a certain position" (usually in the top three finishers; in U.S., specifically second place) it is first attested 1924, from earlier meaning "to state the position of" (among the first three finishers), 1826. Related: Placed; placing. To take place "to happen, be accomplished" (mid-15c., earlier have place, late 14c.), translates French avoir lieu.
place-holder (n.) Look up place-holder at Dictionary.com
also placeholder, 1550s, from place (n.) + holder (n.).
place-kick (n.) Look up place-kick at Dictionary.com
1845, originally in rugby, from place + kick (n.). Related: Place-kicking.
place-mat (n.) Look up place-mat at Dictionary.com
1949, from place (n.) + mat (n.).
place-setting (n.) Look up place-setting at Dictionary.com
1939, from place (n.) + setting (n.).
placebo (n.) Look up placebo at Dictionary.com
early 13c., name given to the rite of Vespers of the Office of the Dead, so called from the opening of the first antiphon, "I will please the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm cxiv:9), from Latin placebo "I shall please," future indicative of placere "to please" (see please). Medical sense is first recorded 1785, "a medicine given more to please than to benefit the patient." Placebo effect attested from 1900.
placement (n.) Look up placement at Dictionary.com
1835, from place (v.) + -ment.
placenta (n.) Look up placenta at Dictionary.com
1670s of plants, 1690s of mammals, from Modern Latin placenta uterina "uterine cake" (so called 16c. by Italian anatomist Realdo Colombo), from Latin placenta "a cake, flat cake," from Greek plakoenta, accusative of plakoeis "flat," related to plax (genitive plakos) "level surface, anything flat," from PIE *plak- (1) "to be flat" (cognates: Greek plakoeis "flat," Lettish plakt "to become flat," Old Norse flaga "layer of earth," Norwegian flag "open sea," Old English floh "piece of stone, fragment," Old High German fluoh "cliff"), extended form of root *pele- (2) "flat, to spread" (see plane (n.1)). So called from the shape.
placental (adj.) Look up placental at Dictionary.com
1808, from Modern Latin placentalis, from placenta (see placenta).
placid (adj.) Look up placid at Dictionary.com
1620s, from French placide (15c.) and directly from Latin placidus "pleasing, peaceful, quiet, gentle, still, calm," from placere "to please" (see please). Related: Placidly; placidness.
placidity (n.) Look up placidity at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin placiditatem (nominative placiditas), from placidus (see placid).
plagal (adj.) Look up plagal at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Medieval Latin plagalis, from plaga "the plagal mode," probably from plagius, from Medieval Greek plagius "plagal," in classical Greek "oblique," from plagos "side" (see plagio-).
plage (n.) Look up plage at Dictionary.com
"a region," late 14c., from Old French plage (13c.), from Late Latin plagia "a plain, shore," noun use of adjective (plagia regio), from plaga "a region, stretch of country" (see pelagic). Astronomical sense is from 1949.
plagiarise (v.) Look up plagiarise at Dictionary.com
alternative (chiefly British) spelling of plagiarize. Related: Plagiarised; plagiarising.
plagiarism (n.) Look up plagiarism at Dictionary.com
1620s, from -ism + plagiary (n.) "plagiarist, literary thief" (1590s), from Latin plagiarius "kidnapper, seducer, plunderer, one who kidnaps the child or slave of another," used by Martial in the sense of "literary thief," from plagiare "to kidnap," plagium "kidnapping," from plaga "snare, hunting net," perhaps from PIE *plag- (on notion of "something extended"), from root *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta).
plagiarist (n.) Look up plagiarist at Dictionary.com
1670s, from plagiary "plagiarist" (see plagiarism) + -ist. Related: Plagiaristic.
plagiarize (v.) Look up plagiarize at Dictionary.com
1716, from plagiary "plagiarist" (see plagiarism) + -ize. Related: Plagiarized; plagiarizing.
plagio- Look up plagio- at Dictionary.com
before vowels plagi-, word-forming element meaning "slanting, oblique," from comb. form of Greek plagios "oblique, slanting," from plagos "side," from PIE *plag- "flat, spread," from *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta).
plagioclase (n.) Look up plagioclase at Dictionary.com
"triclinic feldspar," 1868, from German, coined 1847 by German mineralogist Johann Friedrich August Breithaupt (1791-1873) from plagio- + Greek klasis "fracture," from stem of klan "to break" (see clastic). Related: Plagioclastic.
plague (n.) Look up plague at Dictionary.com
late 14c., plage, "affliction, calamity, evil, scourge;" early 15c., "malignant disease," from Old French plage (14c.), from Late Latin plaga, used in Vulgate for "pestilence," from Latin plaga "stroke, wound," probably from root of plangere "to strike, lament (by beating the breast)," from or cognate with Greek (Doric) plaga "blow," from PIE *plak- (2) "to strike, to hit" (cognates: Greek plazein "to drive away," plessein "to beat, strike;" Old English flocan "to strike, beat;" Gothic flokan "to bewail;" German fluchen, Old Frisian floka "to curse").

The Latin word also is the source of Old Irish plag (genitive plaige) "plague, pestilence," German Plage, Dutch plaage. Meaning "epidemic that causes many deaths" is from 1540s; specifically in reference to bubonic plague from c.1600. Modern spelling follows French, which had plague from 15c. Weakened sense of "anything annoying" is from c.1600.