synopsis (n.) Look up synopsis at
1610s, "a general view, an outline," from Late Latin synopsis "a synopsis," from Greek synopsis "a general view," literally "a seeing altogether, a seeing all at once," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + opsis "sight, appearance," from PIE root *okw- "to see."
synoptic (adj.) Look up synoptic at
1763, "pertaining to synopsis," from Modern Latin synopticus, from Late Latin synopsis (see synopsis). Greek synoptikos meant "taking a general or comprehensive view," and the sense "affording a general view" in English emerged by mid-19c. Specifically of the first three Gospels from 1841, on notion of "giving an account of events from the same point of view." Related Synoptical (1660s).
synovial (adj.) Look up synovial at
1756, "pertaining to the synovia," albuminous fluid secreted by certain glands, from Modern Latin sinovia (16c.), probably coined by Paracelsus and apparently an invented word. With -al (1).
syntactic (adj.) Look up syntactic at
1771, from Modern Latin syntacticus, from Greek syntaktikos "a joining together, a joining in order," from syntassein "put in order" (see syntax).
syntactical (adj.) Look up syntactical at
1570s; from Latin stem of syntax + -ical. Related: Syntactically.
syntagmatic (adj.) Look up syntagmatic at
1937, from French syntagmatique (de Saussure), from Greek syntagma "that which is put together in order," from syntassein (see syntax).
syntax (n.) Look up syntax at
c. 1600, from French syntaxe (16c.) and directly from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek syntaxis "a putting together or in order, arrangement, a grammatical construction," from stem of syntassein "put in order," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + tassein "arrange" (see tactics).
synthesis (n.) Look up synthesis at
1610s, "deductive reasoning," from Latin synthesis "collection, set, suit of clothes, composition (of a medication)," from Greek synthesis "composition, a putting together," from syntithenai "put together, combine," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + tithenai "to put, to place," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." From 1733 as "a combination of parts into a whole." Earlier borrowed in Middle English as sintecis (mid-15c.). Plural syntheses.
synthesise (v.) Look up synthesise at
chiefly British English spelling of synthesize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Synthesised; synthesising.
synthesize (v.) Look up synthesize at
"combine or bring together" (two or more things), 1825, from synthesis + -ize. A correct formation would be *synthetize. Related: Synthesized; synthesizing.
synthesizer (v.) Look up synthesizer at
1869, agent noun from synthesize. As a type of instrument for generating musical or vocal sounds from 1909; the electronic version is from 1950s.
synthetic (adj.) Look up synthetic at
1690s, as a term in logic, "deductive," from French synthétique (17c.) and directly from Modern Latin syntheticus, from Greek synthetikos "skilled in putting together, constructive," from synthetos "put together, constructed, compounded," past participle of syntithenai "to put together" (see synthesis). From 1874 in reference to products or materials made artificially by chemical synthesis; hence "artificial" (1930). As a noun, "synthetic material," from 1934. Related: Synthetical (1620s in logic).
syphilis (n.) Look up syphilis at
infectious venereal disease, 1718, Modern Latin, originally from the title of a poem, "Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus" "Syphilis, or the French Disease," published 1530, by Veronese doctor Girolamo Fracastoro (1483-1553), which tells the tale of the shepherd Syphilus, supposed to be the first sufferer from the disease. Fracastoro first used the word as a generic term for the disease in his 1546 treatise "De Contagione." Why he chose the name is unknown; it may be intended as Latinized Greek for "Pig-lover," though there was also a Sipylus, a son of Niobe, in Ovid.
syphilitic (adj.) Look up syphilitic at
1786, from Modern Latin syphiliticus, from syphilis (see syphilis). As a noun from 1881.
Syracuse Look up Syracuse at
city in Sicily, founded as a Corinthian colony, and with a name traceable to 8c. B.C.E., from a pre-Hellenic word, perhaps Phoenician serah "to feel ill," in reference to its location near a swamp. The city in New York, U.S., was named 1825 for the classical city.
Syria Look up Syria at
from Latin Syria, from Greek Syria, from Syrioi "the Syrians," a name given originally to the Assyrians (Herodotus vii.63), a shortened form of Assyrioi "Assyrians" (see Assyria). Related: Syrian.
Syriac (adj.) Look up Syriac at
c. 1600, from Latin syraicus, from Greek syraikos "Syrian, of or pertaining to Syria," (see Syria). As the name of an ancient Semitic language, from 1610s.
syringe (n.) Look up syringe at
"narrow tube for injecting a stream of liquid," early 15c. (earlier suringa, late 14c.), from Late Latin syringa, from Greek syringa, accusative of syrinx "tube, hole, channel, shepherd's pipe," related to syrizein "to pipe, whistle, hiss," from PIE root *swer- (see susurration). Originally a catheter for irrigating wounds; the application to hypodermic needles is from 1884. Related: Syringeal.
syrinx (n.) Look up syrinx at
tubular instrument, c. 1600, the thing itself known from 14c. in English, from Late Latin syrinx, from Greek syrinx "shepherd's pipe" (see syringe). Used of vocal organs of birds from 1872.
syrup (n.) Look up syrup at
late 14c., "thick, sweet liquid," from Old French sirop "sugared drink" (13c.), and perhaps from Italian siroppo, both from Arabic sharab "beverage, wine," literally "something drunk," from verb shariba "he drank" (compare sherbet). Spanish jarabe, jarope, Old Provençal eissarop are from Arabic; Italian sciroppo is via Medieval Latin sirupus. In English, formerly also sirup, sirop.
syrupy (adj.) Look up syrupy at
1707, from syrup + -y. Related: Syrupiness.
systaltic (adj.) Look up systaltic at
"alternately contracting and dilating," 1670s, from Late Latin systalticus, from Greek systaltikos "drawing together," from stem of systellein, related to systole (see systole).
system (n.) Look up system at
1610s, "the whole creation, the universe," from Late Latin systema "an arrangement, system," from Greek systema "organized whole, a whole compounded of parts," from stem of synistanai "to place together, organize, form in order," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + root of histanai "cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

Meaning "set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc." first recorded 1630s. Meaning "animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism" is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one's system (1900). Computer sense of "group of related programs" is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program. The system "prevailing social order" is from 1806.
systematic (adj.) Look up systematic at
1670s, "pertaining to a system," from French systématique or directly from Late Latin systematicus, from Greek systematikos "combined in a whole," from systema (genitive systematos); see system. From 1789 as "methodical," often in a bad sense, "ruthlessly methodical." Related: Systematical (1660s); systematically.
systematise (v.) Look up systematise at
chiefly British English spelling of systematize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Systematised; systematising; systematisation.
systematization (n.) Look up systematization at
1811, noun of action from systematize.
systematize (v.) Look up systematize at
"make into a system," 1764, from French systématiser or a native formation from system (Greek stem systemat-) + -ize. Related: Systematized; systematizing.
systemic (adj.) Look up systemic at
1803, irregularly formed from system + -ic; used in medicine and biology for differentiation of meaning from systematic. Related: Systemically.
systole (n.) Look up systole at
"periodic contraction of the heart and arteries," 1570s, from Greek systole "a drawing together, contraction," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + stem related to stellein "to bring together, draw in; to put, set, place" (see diastole).
systolic (adj.) Look up systolic at
1690s, from Modern Latin systolicus, from Greek systole "a drawing together, contraction" (see systole).
syzygy (n.) Look up syzygy at
"conjunction or opposition of a heavenly body with the sun," 1650s, from Late Latin syzygia, from Greek syzygia "yoke of animals, pair, union of two, conjunction," from syzygein "to yoke together," from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + zygon "yoke" (from PIE root *yeug- "to join"). Related: Syzygial; Syzygiacal; Syzygetic.
Szechwan Look up Szechwan at
also Szechuan, place name, said to mean "four rivers," from Chinese si "four" + chuan "river."