reverse (v.) Look up reverse at
early 14c. (transitive), "change, alter;" early 15c. (intransitive), "go backward," from Old French reverser "reverse, turn around; roll, turn up" (12c.), from Late Latin reversare "turn about, turn back," frequentative of Latin revertere (see revert). Related: Reversed; reversing.
reversible (adj.) Look up reversible at
1640s, from reverse (v.) + -ible. As a noun, of garments, from 1863. Related: Reversable (1580s).
reversion (n.) Look up reversion at
late 14c., from Old French reversion, from Latin reversionem (nominative reversio) "act of turning back," noun of action from past participle stem of revertere (see revert).
revert (v.) Look up revert at
c. 1300, "to come to oneself again," from Old French revertir "return, change back," from Vulgar Latin *revertire, variant of Latin revertere "turn back, turn about; come back, return," from re- "back" (see re-) + vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Of position or property from mid-15c.; application to customs and ideas is from 1610s.
revetment (n.) Look up revetment at
1779, from French revêtement, Old French revestiment, from revestir (Modern French revêtir), from Late Latin revestire "to clothe again," from re- (see re-) + Latin vestire "to clothe" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress").
review (v.) Look up review at
1570s, "examine again," from re- + view (v.). Meaning "look back on" is from 1751; that of "consider or discuss critically" is from 1781. Related: Reviewed; reviewing.
review (n.) Look up review at
mid-15c., "an inspection of military forces," from Middle French reveue "a reviewing, review," noun use of fem. past participle of reveeir "to see again, go to see again," from Latin revidere, from re- "again" (see re-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Sense of "process of going over again" is from 1560s; that of "a view of the past, a retrospective survey" is from c. 1600. Meaning "general examination or criticism of a recent work" is first attested 1640s.
reviewer (n.) Look up reviewer at
1610s, "one who reviews" (in any sense), agent noun from review (v.). Specifically, "one who critically examines and passes judgment on new publications or productions; a writer of reviews" is from 1650s.
revile (v.) Look up revile at
c. 1300, from Old French reviler "consider vile, despise, scorn," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + aviler "make vile or cheap, disesteem," from vil (see vile). Related: Reviled; reviling.
revilement (n.) Look up revilement at
1580s, from revile + -ment.
revise (v.) Look up revise at
1560s, "to look at again," from Middle French reviser (13c.), from Latin revisere "look at again, visit again, look back on," frequentative of revidere (past participle revisus), from re- "again" (see re-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Meaning "to look over again with intent to improve or amend" is recorded from 1590s. Related: Revised; revising.
revised (adj.) Look up revised at
past participle adjective from revise. Revised Version of the Bible was done 1870-84; so called because it was a revision of the 1611 ("King James") translation, also known as the Authorized Version.
revision (n.) Look up revision at
1610s, "act of revising," from French révision, from Late Latin revisionem (nominative revisio) "a seeing again," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin revidere (see revise). Meaning "a product of revision" is from 1845.
revisionism (n.) Look up revisionism at
1903, from revision + -ism. Originally in Marxist jargon, "rejection of gradual introduction of socialism." Revisionist is from 1850 (adj.); 1854 (n.); in the historical sense from 1934, originally with reference to the causes of World War I.
revisit (v.) Look up revisit at
1520s, from Middle French revisiter, from re- (see re-) + visiter "to visit" (see visit (v.)). Related: Revisited; revisiting.
revitalization (n.) Look up revitalization at
1869, noun of action from revitalize.
revitalize (v.) Look up revitalize at
1840, from re- "back, again" + vitalize. Related: Revitalized; revitalizing.
revival (n.) Look up revival at
1650s, "act of reviving;" 1660s, "the bringing of an old play back to the stage," from revive + -al (2). First in sense "general religious awakening in a community" by Cotton Mather, 1702; revivalist is first attested 1812.
revive (v.) Look up revive at
early 15c., "return to consciousness; restore to health," from Middle French revivre (10c.), from Latin revivere "to live again," from re- "again" (see re-) + vivere "to live" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). Meaning "bring back to notice or fashion" is from mid-15c. Related: Revived; reviving.
revocable (adj.) Look up revocable at
late 15c., from Old French revocable or directly from Latin revocabilis "that may be revoked," from revocare (see revoke). Alternative revokable attested from 1580s.
revocation (n.) Look up revocation at
early 15c., from Old French revocacion or directly from Latin revocationem (nominative revocatio) "a calling back, recalling," noun of action from past participle stem of revocare (see revoke).
revoke (v.) Look up revoke at
mid-14c., from Old French revoquer (13c.), from Latin revocare "rescind, call back," from re- "back" (see re-) + vocare "to call" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Related: Revoked; revoking.
revolt (v.) Look up revolt at
1540s, from Middle French revolter (15c.), from Italian rivoltare "to overthrow, overturn," from Vulgar Latin *revolvitare "to overturn, overthrow," frequentative of Latin revolvere (past participle revolutus) "turn, roll back" (see revolve). Related: Revolted; revolting.
revolt (n.) Look up revolt at
1550s, from Middle French révolte (c. 1500), back formation from revolter (see revolt (v.)), or else from Italian rivolta.
revolting (adj.) Look up revolting at
1590s, "that revolts, given to revolt, rebellious," present participle adjective from revolt (v.). Sense of "repulsive" is from 1806. Related: Revoltingly.
revolution (n.) Look up revolution at
late 14c., originally of celestial bodies, from Old French revolucion "course, revolution (of celestial bodies)" (13c.), or directly from Late Latin revolutionem (nominative revolutio) "a revolving," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin revolvere "turn, roll back" (see revolve).

General sense of "instance of great change in affairs" is recorded from mid-15c. Political meaning "overthrow of an established political system" first recorded c. 1600, derived from French, and was especially applied to the expulsion of the Stuart dynasty under James II in 1688 and transfer of sovereignty to William and Mary.
revolutionary (adj.) Look up revolutionary at
1774; see revolution + -ary. As a noun, from 1850 (cf revolutionist).
revolutionist (n.) Look up revolutionist at
1710; see revolution + -ist.
revolutionize (v.) Look up revolutionize at
1797, "to cause to undergo a (political) revolution;" see revolution + -ize. Transferred sense of "to change a thing completely and fundamentally" is first recorded 1799. Related: Revolutionized; revolutionizing.
revolve (v.) Look up revolve at
late 14c., "to change direction, bend around, turn (the eyes) back," from Old French revolver and directly from Latin revolvere "roll back, unroll, unwind; happen again, return; go over, repeat," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + volvere "to roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." In 15c., "to turn over (in the mind or heart), meditate." Meaning "travel around a central point" first recorded 1660s (earlier "cause to travel in an orbit around a central point," mid-15c.). Related: Revolved; revolving.
revolver (n.) Look up revolver at
type of pistol, 1835, agent noun from revolve. So called by U.S. inventor Samuel Colt (1814-1862) for its revolving chamber cylinder.
revolving (adj.) Look up revolving at
1690s, present participle adjective from revolve (v.). Revolving door attested from 1856 in industrial processes, 1896 in buildings.
revue (n.) Look up revue at
1872, "show presenting a review of current events," from French revue, from Middle French, literally "survey," noun use of fem. past participle of revoir "to see again" (see review (n.)). Later extended to shows consisting of a series of unrelated scenes.
revulsion (n.) Look up revulsion at
1540s, as a medical term, from Middle French revulsion (16c.) or directly from Latin revulsionem (nominative revulsio) "a tearing off, act of pulling away," noun of action from past participle stem of revellere "to pull away," from re- "away" (see re-) + vellere "to tear, pull," from PIE *wel-no-, suffixed form of root *wel- (4) "to tear, pull" (see svelte). The meaning "sudden reaction of disgust" is first attested 1816.
reward (n.) Look up reward at
mid-14c., "a regarding, heeding, observation," from Anglo-French and Old North French reward, back-formation from rewarder (see reward (v.)). Meaning "repayment for some service" is from late 14c. Sense of "sum of money in exchange for capture" is from 1590s.
reward (v.) Look up reward at
c. 1300 "to grant, bestow;" early 14c. "to give as compensation," from Old North French rewarder "to regard, reward" (Old French regarder) "take notice of, regard, watch over," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + warder "look, heed, watch," from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for"). Originally any form of requital. A doublet of regard. Related: Rewarded; rewarding.
rewind (v.) Look up rewind at
also re-wind, 1717, from re- "back, again" + wind (v.1). Noun meaning "mechanism for rewinding film or tape" is recorded from 1938. Related: Rewound; rewinding.
reword (v.) Look up reword at
"to express in other words," c. 1600, from re- "back, again" + word (v.). Related: Reworded; rewording.
rework (v.) Look up rework at
1842, from re- + work (v.). Related: Reworked; reworking.
rewrite (v.) Look up rewrite at
"to write again," 1560s, from re- "back, again" + write (v.). Related: Rewrote; rewritten; rewriting. Journalistic rewrite man is recorded from 1901. As a noun from 1926.
rex (n.) Look up rex at
"a king," 1610s, from Latin rex (genitive regis) "a king," related to regere "to keep straight, guide, lead, rule," from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule" (source also of Sanskrit raj- "king;" Old Irish ri "king," genitive rig).
Reykjavik Look up Reykjavik at
capital of Iceland, literally "bay of smoke," from Old Norse reykja "to smoke" (see reek (n.)) + vik "bay" (see viking). So called from the natural hot springs there. Settlement said to date from 9c., but not established as a town until 1786.
Reynard (n.) Look up Reynard at
quasi-proper name for a fox, c. 1300, from Old French Renart, Reynard name of the fox in Roman de Renart, from Old High German personal name Reginhart "strong in counsel," literally "counsel-brave." The first element is related to reckon, the second to hard. The tales were so popular that the name became the word for "fox" in Old French. Old French also had renardie "craftiness."
Reynold Look up Reynold at
masc. proper name, from Old French Reinald (Modern French Renaut, Latinized as Reginaldus), a popular name among the Normans, from Old High German Reginald, the first element related to reckon, the second to Old English wealdan "to rule" (from Proto-Germanic *waldan, from PIE root *wal- "to be strong"). Related: Reynolds.
RFD Look up RFD at
also R.F.D.; 1882, American English, it stands for rural free delivery.
Rh factor Look up Rh factor at
1942, from the first letters of rhesus; so called because the blood group, and its effects, were discovered in the blood of rhesus monkeys (1941).
rh- Look up rh- at
consonantal digraph used in Latin (and thus in English words from Latin) to represent Greek initial aspirated -r-.
rhabdomancy (n.) Look up rhabdomancy at
1640s, "use of divining rod" (especially to discover ores or underground water), from Greek rhabdos "rod, wand; magic wand; fishing rod; spear-shaft; a staff of office; a rod for chastisement; twig, stick" + manteia "divination, oracle" (see -mancy). Greek rhabdos is from PIE *wer- (2), base of roots meaning "to turn, bend" (source also of Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod," Latin verbena "leaves and branches of laurel"). The Greek noun was used to represent Roman fasces. Related: Rhabdomantic
Rhadamanthus (n.) Look up Rhadamanthus at
1580s, from Latinized form of Greek Rhadamanthos, one of the judges of the lower world (son of Zeus and Europa); used allusively of inflexible judges. Related: Rhadamantine.
Rhaetian (n.) Look up Rhaetian at
c. 1600, from Latin Rhætia, ancient name of a district in the Alps and of a Roman province between the Rhine, Danube, and Po; from Rhaeti, Raiti, name of a native people. Hence Rhaeto-Romanic (1867), Rhaeto-Romance, language of the Tyrol and southern Switzerland.