susceptibility (n.) Look up susceptibility at
1640s, from Medieval Latin susceptibilitatem (nominative susceptibilitas), from Late Latin susceptibilis, or else a native formation from susceptible + -ity.
susceptible (adj.) Look up susceptible at
c. 1600, from Late Latin susceptibilis "capable, sustainable, susceptible," from Latin suscept-, past participle stem of suscipere "to take, catch, take up, lift up; receive, admit; submit to; sustain, support, bear; acknowledge, accept," from sub "up from under" (see sub-) + capere "to take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." Susceptive in the same sense is recorded from early 15c. Related: Susceptibly.
susceptive (adj.) Look up susceptive at
early 15c., "having the quality of taking something in, receptive, capable of admitting," from Medieval Latin susceptivus, from suscept-, stem of suscipere (see susceptible). Related: Susceptively; susceptiveness; susceptivity.
suscitate (v.) Look up suscitate at
"stir up, excite," 1520s, from Latin suscitatus, past participle of suscitare (see resuscitate). Related: Suscitated; suscitating; suscitation.
sushi (n.) Look up sushi at
1893, from Japanese, where it is said originally to refer to the vinegared rice, not the raw fish.
suspect (n.) Look up suspect at
"a suspected person," 1590s, from suspect (adj.). Earlier as a noun it meant "a suspicion, mistrust" (late 14c.).
suspect (v.) Look up suspect at
mid-15c. (implied in suspected), from suspect (adj.) and in part from Middle French suspecter or directly from Latin suspectare "to mistrust," frequentative of suspicere. Related: Suspecting.
suspect (adj.) Look up suspect at
early 14c., "suspected of wrongdoing, under suspicion;" mid-14c., "regarded with mistrust, liable to arouse suspicion," from Old French suspect (14c.), from Latin suspectus "suspected, regarded with suspicion or mistrust," past participle of suspicere "look up at, look upward," figuratively "look up to, admire, respect;" also "look at secretly, look askance at," hence, figuratively, "mistrust, regard with suspicion," from assimilated form of sub "up to" (see sub-) + specere "to look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). The notion behind the word is "look at secretly," hence, "look at distrustfully."
suspend (v.) Look up suspend at
c. 1300, "to bar or exclude temporarily from some function or privilege;" also "to set aside (a law, etc.), to cause to cease for a time," from Old French sospendre "remove from office; hang up" (12c.), or directly from Latin suspendere "to hang up, kill by hanging; make uncertain, render doubtful; stay, stop, interrupt, set aside temporarily," from assimilated form of sub "up from under" (see sub-) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). In English, the literal sense of "to cause to hang by a support from above" is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Suspended; suspending.
suspended (adj.) Look up suspended at
1530s, "temporarily deprived of privilege," past participle adjective from suspend. Meaning "delayed" is from 1782, first attested in suspended animation. Meaning "hung from something" is from 1796. In law, suspended sentence attested from 1833.
suspenders (n.) Look up suspenders at
"straps for holding up trousers, etc.," 1806, American English, plural agent noun from suspend (v.).
suspense (n.) Look up suspense at
c. 1400, "abeyance, temporary cessation; state of not being carried out" (of legal matters), from Anglo-French suspens (in en suspens "in abeyance," c. 1300), Old French sospense "delay, deferment (of judgement), act of suspending," from Latin suspensus, past participle of suspendere "to hang up; interrupt" (see suspend). Meaning "state of mental uncertainty with more or less anxiety" (mid-15c.) is from legal meaning, perhaps via notion of "awaiting an expected decision," or from "state of having the mind or thoughts suspended." As a genre of novels, stories, etc., attested from 1951.
suspenseful (adj.) Look up suspenseful at
1630s, from suspense + -ful. Related: Suspensefully.
suspension (n.) Look up suspension at
early 15c., "a temporary halting or deprivation," from Latin suspensionem (nominative suspensio) "the act or state of hanging up, a vaulting," noun of action, from past participle stem of suspendere "to hang up, cause to hang, suspend," from assimilated form of sub "up from under" (see sub-) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Suspension of disbelief is from Coleridge:
A semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith. ["Biographia Literaria," 1817]
Meaning "action of hanging by a support from above" is attested from 1540s. Meaning "particles suspended in liquid without dissolving" is from 1707. Suspension-bridge first recorded 1819 (earlier suspended bridge, 1796).
suspicion (n.) Look up suspicion at
c. 1300, "act of suspecting; unverified conjecture of wrongdoing; mistrust, distrust," from Anglo-French suspecioun, corresponding to Old French suspicion, sospeçon "mistrust, suspicion" (Modern French soupçon), from Late Latin suspectionem (nominative suspectio) "mistrust, suspicion, fear, awe," noun of state from past participle stem of Latin suspicere "look up at" (see suspect (adj.)). Spelling in English influenced 14c. by learned Old French forms closer to Latin suspicionem. Used as a verb meaning "to suspect," it figures in literary representations of U.S. Western (Kentucky) slang from 1830s.

"Suspicion" words in other Indo-European languages also tend to be words for "think" or "look" with prefixes meaning "under, behind;" such as Greek hypopsia (hypo "under," opsis "sight"), hyponoia (noein "to think"); Lettish aizduomas (aiz "behind," duomat "think"); Russian podozrenie (Slavic podu "under," Old Church Slavonic zireti "see, look"); Dutch achterdocht (achter "behind," denken "to think").
suspicious (adj.) Look up suspicious at
mid-14c., "deserving of or exciting suspicion," from Old French sospecious, from Latin suspiciosus, suspitiosus "exciting suspicion, causing mistrust," also "full of suspicion, ready to suspect," from stem of suspicere "look up at" (see suspect (adj.)). Meaning "full of suspicion, inclined to suspect" in English is attested from c. 1400. Poe (c. 1845) proposed suspectful to take one of the two conflicting senses. Related: suspiciously; suspiciousness.
suspiration (n.) Look up suspiration at
late 15c., from Latin suspirationem (nominative suspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of suspirare (see suspire).
suspire (v.) Look up suspire at
mid-15c., "to sigh," from Old French souspirer (Modern French soupirer), or directly from Latin suspirare "to draw a deep breath, heave a sigh," from assimilated form of sub "under" (see sub-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Related: Suspired; suspiring; suspiral; suspirious.
Susquehanna Look up Susquehanna at
river through Pennsylvania, named for a native people who lived along the southern reaches of it at the time of European contact, "An Algonquian name for an Iroquoian people; it has been translated as 'people at the falls' or 'roily water people'" [Bright].
suss (v.) Look up suss at
"to figure out, investigate and discover," 1966, earlier "to suspect" (1953, police jargon), a slang shortening of suspect (v.). Related: Sussed.
Sussex Look up Sussex at
Old English Suþ Seaxe "(land of the) South Saxons;" see south + Saxon.
sustain (v.) Look up sustain at
c. 1300, "give support to," from stem of Old French sostenir "hold up, bear; suffer, endure" (13c.), from Latin sustinere "hold up, hold upright; furnish with means of support; bear, undergo, endure," from assimilated form of sub "up from below" (see sub-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Meaning "continue, keep up" (an action, etc.) is from early 14c. Sense of "endure without failing or yielding" is from c. 1400. Related: Sustained; sustaining.
sustainability (n.) Look up sustainability at
1907, in reference to a legal objection, from sustainable + -ity. General sense (in economics, agriculture, ecology) by 1972.
Sustainability is defined as a requirement of our generation to manage the resource base such that the average quality of life that we ensure ourselves can potentially be shared by all future generations. ... Development is sustainable if it involves a non-decreasing average quality of life. [Geir B. Asheim, "Sustainability," The World Bank, 1994]
sustainable (adj.) Look up sustainable at
1610s, "bearable," from sustain + -able. Attested from 1845 in the sense "defensible;" from 1965 with the meaning "capable of being continued at a certain level." Sustainable growth is recorded from 1965. Related: Sustainably.
sustenance (n.) Look up sustenance at
c. 1300, "means of living, subsistence, livelihood," from Old French sostenance "support, aid" (Modern French soutenance), from Late Latin sustinentia "endurance," from present participle stem of Latin sustinere (see sustain). Meaning "action of sustaining life by food" is from late 14c. Sense of "nourishment" is recorded from late 15c. Related: Sustenant.
sustentation (n.) Look up sustentation at
late 14c., from Anglo-French, Old French sustentacion, sostentacion "sustaining of life," from Latin sustentationem (nominative sustentatio) "maintenance," noun of action from past participle stem of sustentare "hold upright, hold up; feed, nourish, support; hold out, endure, suffer," frequentative of sustinere (see sustain).
susurrant (adj.) Look up susurrant at
1791, from Latin susurrantem (nominative susurrans), present participle of susurrare "to hum, murmur" (see susurration). Susurrous (adj.) is from 1824.
susurration (n.) Look up susurration at
"a whispering, a murmur," c. 1400, from Latin susurrationem (nominative susurratio), from past participle stem of susurrare "to hum, murmur," from susurrus "a murmur, whisper," a reduplication of the PIE imitative base *swer- (2) "to buzz, whisper" (source also of Sanskrit svarati "sounds, resounds," Greek syrinx "flute," Latin surdus "dull, mute," Old Church Slavonic svirati "to whistle," Lithuanian surmo "pipe, shawm," German schwirren "to buzz," Old English swearm "a swarm").
susurrus (n.) Look up susurrus at
1809, earlier as a medical Latin word in English, from Latin susurrus, literally "a humming, muttering, whispering" (see susurration).
Among the diseases of the ear, one of the most prevalent is the Paracusis imaginaria, to which both sexes are equally liable; and another variety of the same tribe, more frequent among female patients, called the Susurrus criticus, or Scandal-buzz. ["The Lounger," Dec. 23, 1786]
sutile (adj.) Look up sutile at
"done by stitching," 1680s, from Latin sutilis "sewed or bound together," from sut-, past participle stem of suere "to sew" (from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew").
sutler (n.) Look up sutler at
formerly also suttler, "person who follows an army to sell food to soldiers," 1580s, from Middle Dutch soeteler "small tradesman, peddler, victualer, camp cook" (Dutch zoetelaar), cognate with Middle Low German suteler, sudeler "person who performs dirty tasks," Middle High German sudelen "to cook badly," Middle Dutch soetelen "to cook badly." Probably also related to Dutch zieder, German sieden "to seethe," from Proto-Germanic *suth-, from PIE root *seut- "to seethe, boil" (see seethe).
sutra (n.) Look up sutra at
in Buddhism, "series of aphorisms" concerning ceremonies, rites, and conduct, 1801, from Sanskrit sutram "rule," literally "string, thread" (as a measure of straightness), from sivyati "sew," from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew." Applied also to rules of grammar, law, philosophy, etc., along with their commentaries.
suttee (n.) Look up suttee at
"self-cremation of a Hindu widow on her husband's funeral pyre," 1786, from Hindi, from Sanskrit sati "virtuous woman, faithful wife," used also of the burning, fem. of sat "good, wise, virtuous, true," literally "existing," present participle of asmi "I am" (from PIE root *es- "to be"). Properly, the word for the woman who does so. The custom was abolished in British India in 1829.
suttle (v.) Look up suttle at
"carry on the business of a suttler," 1640s, perhaps a back-formation from suttler, variant of sutler. Related: Suttled; suttling.
suture (v.) Look up suture at
1777, from suture (n.). Related: Sutured; suturing.
suture (n.) Look up suture at
early 15c., "surgical stitching of a wound, etc.," from Latin sutura "a seam, a sewing together," from sutus, past participle of suere "to sew" (from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew"). Meaning "a seam, a line of joining or closure" is from 1570s.
SUV Look up SUV at
by 1988, abbreviation of sport/utility vehicle (itself attested from 1982).
suzerain (n.) Look up suzerain at
"sovereign, ruler," 1807, from French suzerain (14c., Old French suserain), noun use of adjective meaning "sovereign but not supreme," from adverb sus "up, above," on analogy of soverain (see sovereign (adj.)). Old French sus is from Vulgar Latin susum, from Latin sursum "upward, above," contraction of subversum, from subvertere (see subvert).
suzerainty (n.) Look up suzerainty at
late 15c., "supremacy," from Old French suserenete "office or jurisdiction of a suzerain," from suserain (see suzerain).
Suzie Look up Suzie at
also Susie, familiar form of fem. proper name Susan, Susanna. Suzie Wong is in reference to "The World of Suzie Wong," 1957 novel by R.L. Mason featuring a Hong Kong prostitute. Susie Q as the name of a popular dance is from 1936.
svelte (adj.) Look up svelte at
"slender, lithe," 1817, from French svelte "slim, slender" (17c.), from Italian svelto "slim, slender," originally "pulled out, lengthened," past participle of svellere "to pluck or root out," from Vulgar Latin *exvellere, from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + vellere "to pluck, stretch," from PIE *wel-no-, suffixed form of root *wel- (4) "to tear, pull."
Svengali Look up Svengali at
"one who exerts controlling or mesmeric influence on another," 1914, from hypnotist character of that name in the novel "Trilby" (1894) by George Du Maurier.
swab (v.) Look up swab at
1719, possibly a back-formation from swabber (see swab (n.)). Related: Swabbed; swabbing. Related: Swabification "mopping" (1833).
swab (n.) Look up swab at
1650s, "mop made of rope or yarn," from swabber (c. 1600) "mop for cleaning a ship's deck," from Dutch zwabber, akin to West Frisian swabber "mop," from Proto-Germanic *swabb-, perhaps of imitative origin, denoting back-and-forth motion, especially in liquid.

Non-nautical meaning "anything used for mopping up" is from 1787; as "cloth or sponge on a handle to cleanse the mouth, etc.," from 1854. Slang meaning "a sailor" first attested 1798, short for swabber "member of a ship's crew assigned to swab decks" (1590s), which by c. 1600 was being used in a broader sense of "one who behaves like a low-ranking sailor, one fit only to use a swab."
Swabia Look up Swabia at
former duchy in central Germany, from Medieval Latin Suabia (German Schwaben), named for the Germanic tribe called by the Romans Suebi, said to be from Proto-Germanic *sweba, perhaps ultimately from PIE root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence), also used in forms denoting the speaker's social group, "(we our-)selves."
Swabian Look up Swabian at
1785; see Swabia + -an. The Swabian emperors (1138-1254) were so called because the founder of the line was duke of Swabia.
swaddle (v.) Look up swaddle at
"bind with long strips of cloth," late 15c. alteration of Middle English swathlen (c. 1200), probably a frequentative form of Old English swaþian (see swathe). Related: Swaddled; swaddling. Phrase swaddling clothes is from Coverdale (1535) translation of Luke ii.7.
Young children ... are still bandaged in this manner in many parts of Europe to prevent them from using their limbs freely, owing to a fancy that those who are left free in infancy become deformed. [Century Dictionary, 1891]
Wyclif uses swathing-clothes (late 14c.).
swag (n.) Look up swag at
1650s, "a lurching or swaying," from swag (v.). Meaning "ornamental festoon" (1794) is said to be probably a separate development from the verb (but see swage). Swag lamp attested from 1966.

Colloquial sense of "promotional material" (from recording companies, etc.) was in use by 2001; swag was English criminal's slang for "quantity of stolen property, loot" from c. 1839. This might be related to earlier senses of "round bag" (c. 1300) and "big, blustering fellow" (1580s), which may represent separate borrowings from the Scandinavian source. "The primary meaning was 'a bulging bag'" [Klein].
swag (v.) Look up swag at
"to move heavily or unsteadily," 1520s, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse sveggja "to swing, sway," from the same source as Old English swingan "to swing" (see swing (v.)). Related: Swagged; swagging.
swage (v.) Look up swage at
"to shape or bend by use of a tool," 1831, from swage (n.), also swedge, "tool or die for bending cold metal" (1812), from French suage, according to Century Dictionary from suer "to sweat." Uncertain connection to swage "ornamental moulding" (late 14c.), from Old French souage (Modern French suage), which, according to Klein, is from soue "rope," from Vulgar Latin *soca, probably of Gaulish origin (compare Breton sug "cord").