surroundings (n.) Look up surroundings at
"environment," 1857, plural verbal noun from surround (v.).
surtax (n.) Look up surtax at
"extra tax," 1834, from French surtaxe, from Old French sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + taxe "tax" (see tax (n.)).
surveil (v.) Look up surveil at
1904, back-formation from surveillance. Sometimes also surveille. Related: Surveilled; surveilling.
surveillance (n.) Look up surveillance at
1802, from French surveillance "oversight, supervision, a watch," noun of action from surveiller "oversee, watch" (17c.), from sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + veiller "to watch," from Latin vigilare, from vigil "watchful" (see vigil). Seemingly a word that came to English from the Terror in France ("surveillance committees" were formed in every French municipality in March 1793 by order of the Convention to monitor the actions and movements of suspect persons, outsiders, and dissidents).
survey (v.) Look up survey at
c. 1400, "to consider, contemplate," from Anglo-French surveier, Old French sorveoir "look (down) at, look upon, notice; guard, watch," from Medieval Latin supervidere "oversee" (see supervise). Meaning "examine the condition of" is from mid-15c. That of "to take linear measurements of a tract of ground" is recorded from 1540s. Related: Surveyed; surveying; surveyance (late 14c.).
survey (n.) Look up survey at
late 15c., survei, "oversight, supervision," from survey (v.). The meaning "act of viewing in detail" is from 1540s. Meaning "systematic collection of data on opinions, etc." is attested from 1927.
surveyor (n.) Look up surveyor at
early 15c. (late 14c. as a surname), from Anglo-French surveiour "guard, overseer," Old French sorveor, from Old French verb sorveoir "to survey" (see survey (v.)).
survivability (n.) Look up survivability at
1881, from survivable + -ity.
survivable (adj.) Look up survivable at
"capable of being survived," 1961, of automobile wrecks, from survive + -able. Earlier "capable of surviving," 1879.
survival (n.) Look up survival at
1590s, "act of surviving; continuation after some event," from survive + -al (2). Phrase survival of the fittest (1864) was used by Spencer in place of Darwin's natural selection.
survivalist (n.) Look up survivalist at
from 1882 in various senses, from survival + -ist. As "one who practices outdoor survival skills" (often in anticipation of apocalypse or in fear of government), attested by 1981.
survive (v.) Look up survive at
mid-15c. (implied in surviving), "to outlive, continue in existence after the death of another," originally in the legal (inheritance) sense, from Anglo-French survivre, Old French souvivre (12c., Modern French survivre), from Latin supervivere "live beyond, live longer than," from super "over, beyond" (see super-) + vivere "to live" (see vivid). Intransitive sense "to live on" is from late 15c. Related: Survived; surviving.
surviver (n.) Look up surviver at
c. 1600, rare nativized agent noun from survive.
survivor (n.) Look up survivor at
early 15c. in the legal sense of "one who outlives another," agent noun from survive. Meaning "one who has a knack for pulling through adversity" is attested from 1971. Survivor syndrome is first recorded 1968.
sus- Look up sus- at
assimilated form of sub- before -s-.
Susan Look up Susan at
fem. proper name, from French Susanne, from Late Latin Susanna (see Susanna). A top-10 name for girls born in the U.S. 1945-1968 (peaking at #2 from 1957-60).
Susanna Look up Susanna at
also Susannah, fem. proper name, from Latin Susanna, from Greek Sousanna, from Hebrew Shoshannah, literally "a lily." One of the women that attended Jesus in his journeys. Greek also borrowed the Semitic word in its literal sense as souson "lily."
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" (see capable). 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 (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" (see scope (n.1)). The notion behind the word is "look at secretly," hence, "look at distrustfully."
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.
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 "cause to hang, weigh" (see pendant). 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" (see suspend). 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 (see suspicion). 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 sub "up from below" (see sub-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). 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" (cognates: 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" (see 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;" cognate with Latin suere "to sew" (see 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" (cognate with Latin esse; see essence). Properly, the word for the woman who does so. The custom was abolished in British India in 1829.