seasonable (adj.) Look up seasonable at
"suitable as to the time or season," late 14c., from season (n.) + -able. Related: Seasonably; seasonableness.
seasonal (adj.) Look up seasonal at
"pertaining to the seasons; relating to a season," 1829, from season (n.) + -al (1). Of workers or employment, from 1904. Related: Seasonally.
seasoned (adj.) Look up seasoned at
mid-15c., "flavored, spiced," past participle adjective from season (v.). Meaning "fit for use" is from 1540s; that of "acclimatized, accustomed" is from 1640s.
seasoning (n.) Look up seasoning at
"act of adding flavor," 1510s; "something added to a dish to impart flavor," 1570s, verbal noun from season (v.).
seat (n.1) Look up seat at
"thing to sit on; act of sitting," c. 1200, from Old Norse sæti "seat, position," from Proto-Germanic *sæt- (cognates: Old High German saze, Middle Dutch gesaete "seat," Old High German gisazi, German Gesäß "buttocks"), from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sit). Meaning "posterior of the body" (the sitting part) is from c. 1600; sense of "part of a garment which covers the buttocks" is from 1835. Seat belt is from 1915, originally in airplanes.
seat (n.2) Look up seat at
"residence, abode, established place," late 13c., extended use of seat (n.1), influenced by Old French siege "seat, established place," and Latin sedes "seat." Meaning "city in which a government sits" is attested from c. 1400. Sense of "right of taking a place in a parliament or other legislative body" is attested from 1774. Old English had sæt "place where one sits in ambush," which also meant "residents, inhabitants," and is the source of the -set in Dorset and Somerset.
seat (v.) Look up seat at
1570s, "to be in a certain position" (implied in seated), from seat (n.2). Of diseases, in the body, from 1610s (hence deep-seated). Meaning "to cause to sit in a seat" is from 1610s, from seat (n.1). Related: Seated; seating.
SEATO Look up SEATO at
1954, acronym for Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.
Seattle Look up Seattle at
city founded 1853, named for Seatlh (c. 1790-1866), native chief who befriended white settlers. His name is in the Salishan tongue.
seavy (adj.) Look up seavy at
"overgrown with rushes," 1680s, from seave "rush" (c. 1400), from Old Norse sef.
seaweed (n.) Look up seaweed at
1570s, from sea + weed (n.). An Old English word for it was sæwar; also fleotwyrt ('float-wort').
seaworthy (adj.) Look up seaworthy at
1807, "in fit condition to encounter heavy weather at sea," from sea + worthy. Related: Seaworthiness. Old English had særof "hardy at sea."
sebaceous (adj.) Look up sebaceous at
1728, "secreting sebum," from Latin sebaceus "of tallow," from sebum "tallow, grease" (see sebum). Meaning "oily, greasy, fatty" is from 1783.
Sebastian Look up Sebastian at
masc. proper name, from Latin Sebastianus, from Greek Sebastianos, "man of Sebastia," a city in Pontus that was named for Augustus Caesar, first Roman emperor, from Greek sebastos "venerable," a translation of Latin augustus, the epithet of Caesar.
seborrhea (n.) Look up seborrhea at
also seborrhoea, "discharge of sebaceous matter, especially as a scalp condition," 1849, coined in Modern Latin as a hybrid, from sebo-, used as comb. form of Latin sebum "tallow, suet, grease" (see sebum) + Greek hroia "flow, flux," from rhein "to flow" (see rheum)
sebum (n.) Look up sebum at
secretion of the sebaceous glands, 1728, from medical use of Latin sebum "sebum, suet, grease," probably related to sapo "soap" (see soap (n.)).
sec (n.) Look up sec at
1956, conversational shortening of second (n.).
sec (adj.) Look up sec at
of wine, "dry," French sec (10c.), from Latin siccus "dry" (also source of Italian secco); see siccative.
secant (n.) Look up secant at
1590s, from Latin secantem (nominative secans) "a cutting," present participle of secare "to cut" (see section (n.)). First used by Danish mathematician Thomas Fincke in "Geometria Rotundi" (1583).
secateurs (n.) Look up secateurs at
pruning shears, 1881, from French sécateur, ultimately from Latin secare "to cut" (see section (n.)).
secede (v.) Look up secede at
1702, "to leave one's companions," from Latin secedere "go away, withdraw, separate; rebel, revolt" (see secession). Sense of "to withdraw from a political or religious alliance of union" is recorded from 1755, originally especially in reference to the Church of Scotland. Related: Seceded; seceding; seceder.
secession (n.) Look up secession at
1530s, from Latin secessionem (nominative secessio) "a withdrawal, separation; political withdrawal, insurrection, schism," noun of action from past participle stem of secedere "secede," from se- "apart" (see secret) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Originally in a Roman historical context, "temporary migration of plebeians from the city to compel patricians to address their grievances;" modern use in reference to religious or political unions dates from 1650s.
secessionist (n.) Look up secessionist at
1860, first recorded in U.S. context, from secession + -ist (colloquial short form secesh, noun and adjective, is attested from 1861); the earlier noun had been seceder, but this had religious overtones, especially in reference to Scottish Church history.
seclude (v.) Look up seclude at
mid-15c., "to shut up, enclose, confine," from Latin secludere "shut off, confine," from se- "apart" (see secret) + -cludere, variant of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). Meaning "to remove or guard from public view" is recorded from 1620s. Related: Secluded; secluding.
secluded (adj.) Look up secluded at
c. 1600, of persons; in reference to places, 1798, past participle adjective from seclude (v.). Earlier secluse (1590s).
seclusion (n.) Look up seclusion at
1610s, from Medieval Latin seclusionem (nominative seclusio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin secludere (see seclude).
seclusive (adj.) Look up seclusive at
1743, from Latin seclus-, past participle stem of secludere (see seclude) + -ive. Related: Seclusively; seclusiveness.
Seconal Look up Seconal at
1935, U.S. proprietary name (Eli Lilly & Co.), from Secon(dary) Al(lyl).
second (adj.) Look up second at
"next after first," c. 1300, from Old French second, secont, and directly from Latin secundus "following, next in time or order," also "secondary, subordinate, inferior," from root of sequi "follow" (see sequel). Replaced native other in this sense because of the ambiguousness of the earlier word. Second sight is from 1610s; an etymologically perverse term, because it means in reality the sight of events before, not after, they occur. Second fiddle first attested 1809:
A metaphor borrowed from a musical performer who plays the second or counter to one who plays the first or the "air." [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
second (n.1) Look up second at
"one-sixtieth of a minute of degree," also "sixtieth part of a minute of time," late 14c. in geometry, from Old French seconde, from Medieval Latin secunda, short for secunda pars minuta "second diminished part," the result of the second division of the hour by sixty (the first being the "prime minute," now called the minute), from Latin secunda, fem. of secundus (see second (adj.)). The second hand of a clock is attested from 1759.
second (v.) Look up second at
1580s, "to support or represent in a duel, fight, etc.," from Middle French seconder, from Latin secundare "to assist, make favorable," from secundus "assisting, favorable, following, second" (see second (adj.)). The parliamentary sense is first recorded 1590s. Related: Seconded; seconding.
second (n.2) Look up second at
"assistant, supporter," 1580s, from second (v.).
second nature (n.) Look up second nature at
late 14c., from Latin secundum naturam "according to nature" (Augustine, Macrobius, etc.), literally "following nature;" from medieval Aristotelian philosophy, contrasted to phenomena that were super naturam ("above nature," such as God's grace), extra naturam ("outside nature"), supra naturam ("beyond nature," such as miracles), contra naturam "against nature," etc.
second-class (adj.) Look up second-class at
1833, from noun phrase (1810), from second (adj.) + class (n.). Phrase second-class citizen is recorded from 1942.
The Negro recognizes that he is a second-class citizen and that status is fraught with violent potentialities, particularly today when he is living up to the full responsibilities of citizenship on the field of battle. [Louis E. Martin, "To Be or Not to Be a Liberal," in "The Crisis," September 1942]
second-guess (v.) Look up second-guess at
1941, back-formation from second-guesser (1937), American English, originally baseball slang for a fan who loudly questions decisions by players, managers, etc.; perhaps from guesser in the baseball slang sense of "umpire."
second-hand (adj.) Look up second-hand at
also secondhand, late 15c., from second (adj.) + hand (n.).
second-rate (adj.) Look up second-rate at
1660s, originally of ships; see rate (n.).
secondary (adj.) Look up secondary at
late 14c., from Latin secundarius "pertaining to the second class, inferior," from secundus (see second (adj.)). Of colors, from 1831; of education, from 1809. Of sex characteristics from 1780. Opposed to primary or principal. Related: Secondarily.
secondly (adv.) Look up secondly at
late 14c., from second (adj.) + -ly (2).
secondment (n.) Look up secondment at
1897, from second (v.) + -ment.
seconds (n.) Look up seconds at
"articles below the first quality," c. 1600, plural of second (n.) "that which is after the first" (early 14c.), from second (adj.); originally attested in this sense in a Shakespeare sonnet. Meaning "second helping of food at a meal" is recorded from 1792.
secrecy (n.) Look up secrecy at
1570s, from secretee, "quality of being secret" (early 15c.), from Old French secré, variant of secret (see secret (n.)) + -ty (2). Form altered on model of primacy, etc.
secret (v.) Look up secret at
"to keep secret" (described in OED as "obsolete"), 1590s, from secret (n.). Related: Secreted; secreting.
secret (n.) Look up secret at
late 14c., from Latin secretus "set apart, withdrawn; hidden, concealed, private," past participle of secernere "to set apart, part, divide; exclude," from se- "without, apart," properly "on one's own" (see se-) + cernere "separate" (see crisis).

As an adjective from late 14c., from French secret, adjective use of noun. Open secret is from 1828. Secret agent first recorded 1715; secret service is from 1737; secret weapon is from 1936.
secretaire (n.) Look up secretaire at
cabinet for private papers, 1771, from French secrétaire (13c.), from Medieval Latin secretarius (see secretary). Englished form secretary is attested in this sense from 1803.
secretarial (adj.) Look up secretarial at
1801, from stem of secretary (Medieval Latin secretarius) + -al (1).
secretariat (n.) Look up secretariat at
"office of secretary," 1811, from French secrétariat, from Medieval Latin secretariatus, from secretarius (see secretary). Meaning "division of the Central Committeee of the USSR" is from 1926, from Russian sekretariat.
secretary (n.) Look up secretary at
late 14c., "person entrusted with secrets," from Medieval Latin secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant," a title applied to various confidential officers, noun use of adjective meaning "private, secret, pertaining to private or secret matters" (compare Latin secretarium "a council-chamber, conclave, consistory"), from Latin secretum "a secret, a hidden thing" (see secret (n.)).

Meaning "person who keeps records, write letters, etc.," originally for a king, first recorded c. 1400. As title of ministers presiding over executive departments of state, it is from 1590s. The word also is used in both French and English to mean "a private desk," sometimes in French form secretaire. The South African secretary bird so called (1786) in reference to its crest, which, when smooth, resembles a pen stuck over the ear. Compare Late Latin silentiarius "privy councilor, 'silentiary," from Latin silentium "a being silent."
secrete (v.) Look up secrete at
1707, back-formation from secretion. Related: Secreted; secretes; secreting.
secretion (n.) Look up secretion at
1640s, "act of secreting;" 1732, "that which is secreted," from French sécrétion, from Latin secretionem (nominative secretio) "a dividing, separation," noun of action from past participle stem of secernere "to separate, set apart" (see secret (n.)).