sententious (adj.) Look up sententious at
mid-15c., "full of meaning," from Middle French sententieux, from Latin sententiosus "full of meaning, pithy," from sententia "thought; expression of a thought" (see sentence (n.)). Meaning "addicted to pompous moralizing" first recorded 1590s. Related: Sententiously; sententiousness.
sentience (n.) Look up sentience at
1817, "faculty of sense; feeling, consciousness;" see sentient + -ence. Related: Sentiency (1796).
sentient (adj.) Look up sentient at
1630s, "capable of feeling," from Latin sentientem (nominative sentiens) "feeling," present participle of sentire "to feel" (see sense (n.)). Meaning "conscious" (of something) is from 1815.
sentiment (n.) Look up sentiment at
late 14c., sentement, "personal experience, one's own feeling," from Old French sentement (12c.), from Medieval Latin sentimentum "feeling, affection, opinion," from Latin sentire "to feel" (see sense (n.)).

Meaning "what one feels about something" (1630s) and modern spelling seem to be a re-introduction from French (where it was spelled sentiment by 17c.). A vogue word mid-18c. with wide application, commonly "a thought colored by or proceeding from emotion" (1762), especially as expressed in literature or art. The 17c. sense is preserved in phrases such as my sentiments exactly.
sentimental (adj.) Look up sentimental at
1749, "pertaining to or characterized by sentiment," from sentiment + -al (1). At first without pejorative connotations; meaning "having too much sentiment, apt to be swayed by prejudice" had emerged by 1793 (implied in sentimentalist). Related: Sentimentally.
sentimentalism (n.) Look up sentimentalism at
1801, from sentimental + -ism.
sentimentalist (n.) Look up sentimentalist at
1768, from sentimental + -ist.
sentimentality (n.) Look up sentimentality at
1768, from sentimental + -ity.
sentimentalize (v.) Look up sentimentalize at
1764, intransitive, "indulge in sentiments," from sentimental + -ize. Meaning "to make sentimental" (transitive) is from 1813. Related: Sentimentalized; sentimentalizing.
Think on these things, and let S______ go to Lincoln sessions by himself, and talk classically with country justices. In the meantime we will philosophize and sentimentalize;--the last word is a bright invention of the moment in which it was written, for yours or Dr. Johnson's service .... [Laurence Sterne, letter to William Combe, Esq., dated Aug. 5, 1764, published 1787]
sentinel (n.) Look up sentinel at
1570s, from Middle French sentinelle (16c.), from Italian sentinella "a sentinel." OED says "No convincing etymology of the It. word has been proposed," but perhaps (via a notion of "perceive, watch"), from sentire "to hear," from Latin sentire "feel, perceive by the senses" (see sense (n.)).
sentry (n.) Look up sentry at
1610s, originally "watchtower;" perhaps a shortened variant of sentinel, which had a variant form centrinel (1590s); or perhaps worn down from sanctuary, on notion of "shelter for a watchman." Meaning "military guard posted around a camp" is first attested 1630s. Sentry-box is from 1728.
Seoul Look up Seoul at
South Korean capital, from Korean soul, literally "capital." It was the national capital from 1392 until Japanese annexation in 1910.
sepal (n.) Look up sepal at
"leaf of the calyx," 1821, from French sépal, from Modern Latin sepalum (H.J. de Necker, 1790), coined from Latin separatus "separate, distinct" (see separate (v.)) + petalum "petal" (see petal).
separable (adj.) Look up separable at
late 14c., from Latin separabilis, from separare (see separate (v.)). Related: Separability.
separate (v.) Look up separate at
late 14c., from Latin separatus, past participle of separare "to pull apart," from se- "apart" (see secret) + parare "make ready, prepare" (see pare). Sever (q.v.) is a doublet, via French. Related: Separated; separating.
separate (adj.) Look up separate at
"detached, kept apart," c. 1600, from separate (v.) or from Latin separatus. Separate but equal in reference to U.S. segregation policies on railroads is attested from 1888. Separate development, official name of apartheid in South Africa, is from 1955. Related: Separately (1550s); separateness.
Frequently the colored coach is little better than a cattle car. Generally one half the smoking car is reserved for the colored car. Often only a cloth curtain or partition run half way up separates this so-called colored car from the smoke, obscene language, and foul air of the smokers' half of the car. All classes and conditions of colored humanity, from the most cultured and refined to the most degraded and filthy, without regard to sex, good breeding or ability to pay for better accommodation, are crowded into this separate, but equal (?) half car. [Rev. Norman B. Wood, "The White Side of a Black Subject," 1897]
separated (adj.) Look up separated at
1530s, past participle adjective from separate (v.). In reference to married couples deciding to live apart, from 1878.
separates (n.) Look up separates at
"articles of (women's) clothing that may be worn in various combinations," 1945, from separate (adj.). As a noun, separate is attested from 1610s in the sense "separatist."
separation (n.) Look up separation at
c. 1400, from Old French separacion (Modern French séparation), from Latin separationem (nominative separatio) noun of action from past participle stem of separare (see separate (v.)). Specific sense of "sundering of a married couple" is attested from c. 1600. Sense in photography is from 1922. Separation of powers first recorded 1788, in "Federalist" (Hamilton), from French séparée de la puissance (Montesquieu, 1748). Separation anxiety first attested 1943.
separationist (n.) Look up separationist at
1831, from separation + -ist.
separatism (n.) Look up separatism at
1620s, from separate + -ism. First used in a denominational religious sense; from 1866 in a political sense.
separatist Look up separatist at
c. 1600, from separate + -ist. First used in a denominational religious sense; of political separations from 1871.
separator (n.) Look up separator at
c. 1600, "separatist," agent noun from separate (v.). As a mechanical device for separating, from 1831.
separatrix (n.) Look up separatrix at
line or hooked line used to separate printed figures, originally with numerals and used where modern texts use a decimal point, also in other specialized senses, from Late Latin (linea) separatrix, feminine agent noun from separare (see separate (v.)).
Sephardim Look up Sephardim at
plural of Sephardi "a Spanish or Portuguese Jew" (1851), from Modern Hebrew Sepharaddim "Spaniards, Jews of Spain," from Sepharad, name of a country mentioned only in Obad. v:20, probably meaning "Asia Minor" or a part of it (Lydia, Phrygia), but identified by the rabbis after the Jonathan Targum as "Spain." Related: Sephardic.
sepia (n.) Look up sepia at
"rich brown pigment," 1821, from Italian seppia "cuttlefish" (borrowed with that meaning in English by 1560s), from Latin sepia "cuttlefish," from Greek sepia "cuttlefish," related to sepein "to make rotten" (see sepsis). The color was that of brown paint or ink prepared from the fluid secretions of the cuttlefish. Meaning "a sepia drawing" is recorded from 1863.
sepoy (n.) Look up sepoy at
"native of India in British military service," 1717, from Portuguese sipae, from Urdu sipahi, from Persian sipahi "soldier, horseman," from sipah "army." The Sepoy Mutiny was 1857-8.
sepsis (n.) Look up sepsis at
1876, "putrefaction," from Modern Latin sepsis, from Greek sepsis "putrefaction," from sepein "to rot," of unknown origin.
sept (n.) Look up sept at
1540s, "enclosed area," from Latin septum (see septum). As "division of a nation or tribe," 1510s, "prob. a var. of sect" [OED].
sept- Look up sept- at
see septi-.
septangle (n.) Look up septangle at
1550s, from Late Latin septangulus, from Latin sept- "seven" (see septi-) + angulus "angle" (see angle (n.)). Related: Septangular.
septem- Look up septem- at
word-forming element meaning "seven," from Latin septem-, from septem "seven" (see seven).
September Look up September at
late Old English, from Latin September (also source of Old French Septembre, Spanish Setiembre, Italian Settembre, German September), from septem "seven" (see seven). So called because it was the seventh month of the old Roman calendar, which began the year in March; Julian calendar reform (46 B.C.E.) shifted the new year back two months. For -ber suffix, see December. Replaced Old English hærfestmonað, haligmonað. Related: Septembral.
Septembrist (n.) Look up Septembrist at
1798 in reference to French history, a participant in the massacre of the political prisoners in Paris, Sept. 2-5, 1792. In French, Septembriseur, hence English Septembriser (1797). Hence also septembrize "assassinate while in custody" (1793).
septemdecimal (adj.) Look up septemdecimal at
"of seventeen years," in reference to cicadas, 1885, from Latin septemdecim "seventeen" ((see seven, ten) + -al (1). Related: Septemdecimally.
septentrion (n.) Look up septentrion at
"the Big Dipper;" Middle English septentrioun (1530s in reference to the star pattern; late 14c. as "the North," and septentrional "northern," in reference to the sky, is attested from late 14c.), from Latin septentriones, septemtriones (plural) "the Great Bear, the seven stars of the Big Dipper;" also figuratively "the northern regions, the North;" literally "seven plow oxen," from septem "seven" (see seven) + trio (genitive triones) "plow ox," from stem of terere (past participle tritus) "to rub" (see throw (v.)). Also see Charles's Wain.
septet (n.) Look up septet at
1828, from German Septett, from Latin septem "seven" (see seven).
septi- Look up septi- at
before vowels sept-, word-forming element meaning "seven," from Latin septem (see seven).
septic (adj.) Look up septic at
c. 1600, from Latin septicus "of or pertaining to putrefaction," from Greek septikos "characterized by putrefaction," from sepein "make rotten or putrid, cause to rot" (see sepsis). Septic tank is attested from 1902.
septicemia (n.) Look up septicemia at
1857, Modern Latin septicæmia, from French septicoemi, coined irregularly by French physician Pierre-Adolphe Piorry (1794-1879) in 1837 from Greek septikos (see septic) + haima "blood" (see -emia).
Dr. Piorry, in a second communication, insists upon the fact, that in a great number of cases the decaying contents of the uterus, and the putrid infection of the blood from this source, constitute the so-called puerperal fever, and he thinks that the discussion in the Academy is only a fight about words, as the different speakers agree, without knowing it themselves, upon the nature of the disease. He proposes the name of septicemia, as best designating the sources of the disease, viz., from putrid infection from the uterus, and by the respiration of an atmosphere pregnant with septic particles. ... The admission of this septicemia explains the putrid accidents, as observed in men, the foetus, and wounded persons during a puerperal epidemic. [E. Noeggerath and A. Jacobi, "Contributions to Midwifery," New York, 1859]
septillion (n.) Look up septillion at
1680s, from sept- (see septi-) + (m)illion. Compare billion.
septuagenarian (adj.) Look up septuagenarian at
"of age 70, seventy-year-old," 1793, from Latin septuagenarius "containing seventy," from septuageni "seventy each," related to septuaginta "seventy" (see Septuagint). Noun meaning "a 70-year-old person" first recorded 1805. As an adjective, septuagenary is recorded from c. 1600.
Septuagint (n.) Look up Septuagint at
"Greek version of the Old Testament," 1630s, earlier as the word for the translators collectively (1570s), from Late Latin septuaginta (interpretes) "seventy (interpreters)," from Latin septuaginta "seventy," from septem "seven" (see seven) + -ginta "tens, ten times," from PIE *dkm-ta-, from *dekm- "ten" (see ten).

So called in reference to the (incorrect) tradition that the translation was done 3c. B.C.E. by 70 or 72 Jewish scholars (in Middle English, the Seuenty turneres) from Palestine and completed in 70 or 72 days. The translation is believed now to have been carried out at different times by an undetermined number of Egyptian Jews. Often denoted by Roman numerals, LXX. Related: Septuagintal.
septum (n.) Look up septum at
"partition between the nostrils," 1690s, Modern Latin, from Latin saeptum "a fence, enclosure, partition," from neuter past participle of saepire "to hedge in," from saepes "hedge, fence." Related: Septal.
sepulchral (adj.) Look up sepulchral at
1610s, "pertaining to a burial or place of burial," from Latin sepulcralis "of a tomb, sepulchral," from sepulcrum (see sepulchre) + -al (1). Transferred sense of "gloomy" is from 1711. Related: Sepulchrally.
sepulchre (n.) Look up sepulchre at
also sepulcher, c. 1200, "tomb, burial place," especially the cave where Jesus was buried outside Jerusalem (Holy Sepulcher or Saint Sepulcher), from Old French sepulcre "tomb; the Holy Sepulchre" (11c.), from Latin sepulcrum "grave, tomb, place where a corpse is buried," from root of sepelire "to bury, embalm," originally "to perform rituals on a corpse," from PIE *sep-el-yo-, suffixed form of root *sep- (2) "to handle (skillfully), to hold (reverently);" cognates: Sanskrit saparyati "honors." No reason for the -ch- spelling, which dates to 13c. Whited sepulchre "hypocrite" is from Matt. xxiii.27.
sepulture (n.) Look up sepulture at
"burial, interment," late 13c., from Old French sepulture, sepoutre "tomb, coffin" (12c.), from Latin sepultura "burial, funeral obsequies," from sepult-, past participle stem of sepelire "to bury" (see sepulchre).
sequacious (adj.) Look up sequacious at
"given to following leaders," 1630s, from Latin sequac-, stem of sequax "that follows, following, seeking after," from sequi "to follow" (see sequel) + -ous. Related: Sequaciously; sequaciousness; sequacity (1620s).
sequel (n.) Look up sequel at
early 15c., "train of followers," from Old French sequelle (14c.), from Late Latin sequela "that which follows, result, consequence," from sequi "to follow, come after, follow after, attend, follow naturally," from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow" (cognates: Sanskrit sacate "accompanies, follows," Avestan hacaiti, Greek hepesthai "to follow," Lithuanian seku "to follow," Latin secundus "second, the following," Old Irish sechim "I follow"). Meaning "consequence" is attested from late 15c. Meaning "story that follows and continues another" first recorded 1510s.
sequela (n.) Look up sequela at
plural sequelae, 1793, originally in pathology, from Latin sequela "that which follows, consequence" (see sequel).