salvageable (adj.) Look up salvageable at
by 1915, from salvage (v.) + -able. Salvable is from 1660s in reference to souls; 1797 in reference to ships' cargoes.
salvation (n.) Look up salvation at
c. 1200, originally in the Christian sense, "the saving of the soul," from Old French salvaciun and directly from Late Latin salvationem (nominative salvatio, a Church Latin translation of Greek soteria), noun of action from past participle stem of salvare "to save" (see save (v.)). In general (non-religious) sense, attested from late 14c. Meaning "source of salvation" is from late 14c. Salvation Army is from 1878, founded by the Rev. William Booth.
salve (v.1) Look up salve at
Old English sealfian "anoint (a wound) with salve," from Proto-Germanic *salbojanan (source also of Dutch zalven, German salben, Gothic salbon "to anoint"), from the root of salve (n.). Figurative use from c. 1200. Related: Salved; salving.
salve (n.) Look up salve at
Old English sealf "healing ointment," from West Germanic *salbo- "oily substance" (source also of Old Saxon salba, Middle Dutch salve, Dutch zalf, Old High German salba, German salbe "ointment"), from PIE *solpa-, from root *selp- "fat, butter" (source also of Greek elpos "fat, oil," Sanskrit sarpis "melted butter"). The figurative sense of "something to soothe wounded pride, etc." is from 1736.
salve (v.2) Look up salve at
"to save from loss at sea," 1706, back-formation from salvage (n.) or salvable. Related: Salved; salving.
salver (n.) Look up salver at
1660s, "tray," formed in English on the model of platter, etc., from French salve "tray used for presenting objects to the king" (17c.), from Spanish salva "a testing of food or drink" to test for poison (a procedure known as pre-gustation), hence "tray on which food was placed to show it was safe to eat," from salvar "to save, render safe," from Late Latin salvare (see save (v.)).
salvia (n.) Look up salvia at
1844, from Latin salvia "the plant sage" (see sage (n.1)).
salvific (adj.) Look up salvific at
1590s, from Latin salvificus "saving," from salvus (see safe (adj.)).
salvo (n.) Look up salvo at
1719, alteration of salva (1590s) "simultaneous discharge of guns," from Italian salva "salute, volley" (French salve, 16c., is from Italian), from Latin salve "hail!," literally "be in good health!," the usual Roman greeting, regarded as imperative of salvere "to be in good health," but properly vocative of salvus "healthy" (see safe (adj.)). The notion is of important visitors greeted with a volley of gunfire into the air; applied afterward to any concentrated fire from guns.
SAM Look up SAM at
1958, acronym for surface to air missile.
Sam Browne Look up Sam Browne at
type of belt with shoulder strap, 1915, from Sir Samuel James Browne (1824-1901), British general who invented it.
Sam Hill Look up Sam Hill at
euphemism for "Hell," 1839, American English, of unknown origin.
samadhi (n.) Look up samadhi at
"intense esoteric meditation through yoga," 1795, from Sanskrit samadhi-, literally "a putting or joining together," from sam- "together" + a- "toward" + stem of dadhati "puts, places," from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put."
samara (n.) Look up samara at
dried fruit of certain trees, from Latin samara "the seed of the elm," variant of samera, perhaps from Gaulish.
Samaria Look up Samaria at
from Greek Samareia, from Aramaic (Semitic) Shamerayin, ultimately from Hebrew Shomeron, from Shemer, name of the owner who sold the site to King Omri (see I Kings xvi.24).
Samaritan (n.) Look up Samaritan at
Old English, "inhabitant of Samaria," a district of Palestine, from Late Latin Samaritanus, from Greek Samareia (see Samaria). A non-Hebrew race was settled in its cities by the king of Assyria after the removal of the Israelites from the country. They later adopted some Jewish ways, but largely remained apart. Figurative use with reference to the good Samaritan is first recorded 1630s, from Luke x.33. Related: Samaritanism.
Samarra Look up Samarra at
city in north-central Iraq; phrase an appointment in Samarra indicating the inevitability of death is from an old Arabic tale (first in English apparently in W. Somerset Maugham's play "Sheppey," 1933), in which a man encounters Death (with a surprised look on his bony face) one day in the marketplace in Baghdad; he flees in terror and by dusk has reached Samarra. Death takes him there, and, when questioned, replies, "I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."
samba (n.) Look up samba at
Brazilian dance of African origin, 1885, Zemba, from Portuguese samba, shortened form of zambacueca, a type of dance, probably altered (by influence of zamacueco "stupid") from zambapalo, the name of a grotesque dance, itself an alteration of zampapalo "stupid man," from zamparse "to bump, crash." As a verb from 1949.
sambo (n.1) Look up sambo at
"person of mixed blood in America and Asia," 1748, perhaps from Spanish zambo "bandy-legged," probably from Latin scambus "bow-legged," from Greek skambos. Used variously in different regions to indicate some mixture of African, European, and Indian blood; common senses were "child of black and Indian parentage" and "offspring of a black and a mulatto."
sambo (n.2) Look up sambo at
stereotypical name for male black person (now only derogatory), 1818, American English, probably a different word from sambo (n.1); like many such words (Cuffy, Rastus, etc.) a common personal name among U.S. blacks in the slavery days (first attested 1704 in Boston), probably from an African source, such as Foulah sambo "uncle," or a similar Hausa word meaning "second son."

It could be used without conscious racism or contempt until circa World War II. When the word fell from polite usage, collateral casualties included the enormously popular children's book "The Story of Little Black Sambo" (by Helen Bannerman), which is about an East Indian child, and the Sambo's Restaurant chain, a U.S. pancake-specialty joint originally opened in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1957 (the name supposedly from a merging of the names of the founders, Sam Battistone and Newell "Bo" Bohnett, but the chain's decor and advertising leaned heavily on the book), which once counted 1,200 units coast-to-coast. Civil rights agitation against it began in 1970s and the chain collapsed, though the original restaurant still is open. Many of the defunct restaurants were taken over by rival Denny's.
sambuca (n.) Look up sambuca at
Italian liqueur resembling anisette, 1971, from Italian, from Latin sambucus "elder tree."
same (adj.) Look up same at
perhaps abstracted from Old English swa same "the same as," but more likely from Old Norse same, samr "same," both from Proto-Germanic *samaz "same" (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic sama, Old High German samant, German samt "together, with," Gothic samana "together," Dutch zamelen "to collect," German zusammen "together"), from PIE *samos "same," from suffixed form of root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with."

Old English had lost the pure form of the word; the modern word replaced synonymous ilk. As a pronoun from c. 1300. Colloquial phrase same here as an exclamation of agreement is from 1895. Same difference curious way to say "equal," is attested from 1945.
same-sex (adj.) Look up same-sex at
with reference to homosexuality, 1981, from same + sex (n.).
sameness (n.) Look up sameness at
1580s, from same + -ness.
Samhain (n.) Look up Samhain at
1888, from Irish samhain (Gaelic samhuinn), from Old Irish samain, literally "summer's end," from Old Irish sam "summer" (see summer (n.1)) + fuin "end." Nov. 1, the Celtic festival of the start of winter and of the new year.
Sami (n.) Look up Sami at
native name for "Lapp," 1797, from the Lapp self-designation; of uncertain origin.
samisen (n.) Look up samisen at
Japanese three-stringed instrument, 1610s, from Chinese san-hsien, literally "three-strings," from san "three" + hsien "string."
samite (n.) Look up samite at
type of rich silk cloth, c. 1300, from Old French samit, from Medieval Latin samitum, examitum, from Medieval Greek hexamiton (source of Old Church Slavonic oksamitu, Russian aksamit "velvet"), noun use of neuter of Greek adjective hexamitos "six-threaded," from hex "six" (see six) + mitos "warp thread" (see mitosis). The reason it was called this is variously explained. Obsolete c. 1600; revived by Tennyson. German Sammet "velvet" is from French.
samizdat (n.) Look up samizdat at
"illegal and clandestine copying and sharing of literature," 1967, from Russian samizdat, literally "self-publishing," from sam "self" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with") + izdatel'stvo "publishing" (from iz "from, out of," from PIE *eghs; see ex-; + dat' "to give," from PIE root *do- "to give"). Said to be a word-play on Gosizdat, the former state publishing house of the USSR. One who took part in it was a samizdatchik (plural samizdatchiki). Later and less common was tamizdat "writings published abroad and smuggled back into the USSR," from tam "there."
Sammy (n.) Look up Sammy at
British slang for "U.S. soldier in World War I," 1918, a reference to Uncle Sam.
A Sammie may be defined as an American soldier as he appears in an English newspaper or a French cinema. It is a name he did not invent, does not like, never uses and will not recognize. ["Stars & Stripes," March 29, 1918]
Samnite (n.) Look up Samnite at
member of an ancient people who inhabited Samnium in Italy, late 14c., from Latin Samnites (plural), from Samnium, probably related to Sabine (q.v.).
Samoa Look up Samoa at
an indigenous name, said to be from the name of a Polynesian chieftain, or else meaning "place of the moa." Related: Samoan (1846, noun and adjective).
Samos Look up Samos at
Greek island in the Aegean, from Old Greek samos "a height, dune, seaside hill." Many references to it are as the birthplace of Pythagoras. Related: Samian.
Samothrace Look up Samothrace at
Aegean island, from Samos + Thrace, representing the sources of two waves of settlers who came to the island in ancient times.
samovar (n.) Look up samovar at
1830, from Russian samovar, literally "self-boiler," from sam "self" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with") + varit "to boil" (from Old Church Slavonic variti "to cook," from PIE root *wer- "to burn"); but this is perhaps folk-etymology if the word is from Tatar sanabar "tea-urn."
Samoyed (n.) Look up Samoyed at
Siberian Mongolian people, 1580s, from Russian samoyed (11c.), traditionally literally "self-eaters," i.e. "cannibals" (the first element cognate with same, the second with eat), but this might be Russian folk etymology of a native name:
The common Russian etymology of the name Samoyed, meaning "self-eater," deepened the Russians' already exotic image of far-northerners. The most probable linguistic origin of Samoyed, however, is from the Saami -- saam-edne, "land of the people" [Andrei V. Golovnev and Gail Osherenko, "Siberian Survival: The Nenets and Their Story," Cornell University, 1999]
Which would make the name a variant of Suomi "Finn." The native name is Nenets. As the name of a type of dog (once used as a working dog in the Arctic) it is attested from 1889.
sampan (n.) Look up sampan at
light Chinese boat, 1610s, from Chinese san pan, literally "three boards," from san "three" + pan "plank."
sample (v.) Look up sample at
"to test by taking a sample," 1767, from sample (n.). Earlier "to be a match for" (1590s). Related: Sampled; sampling.
sample (n.) Look up sample at
c. 1300, "something which confirms a proposition or statement," from Anglo-French saumple, a shortening of Old French essample, from Latin exemplum "a sample" (see example). Meaning "small quantity (of something) from which the general quality (of the whole) may be inferred" (usually in a commercial sense) is recorded from early 15c.; sense of "specimen for scientific sampling" is from 1878. As an adjective from 1820.
sampler (n.) Look up sampler at
"embroidery specimen by a beginner to show skill," 1520s, from sample (n.); earlier "pattern, model, example to be imitated" (early 14c.). The connecting notion is probably "piece of embroidery serving as a pattern to be copied, or to fix and retain the pattern." As "a collection of samples" from 1912.
samsara (n.) Look up samsara at
"endless cycle of death and rebirth, transmigration of souls," 1886, from Sanskrit samsara "a wandering through," from sam-, prefix denoting completeness (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with"), + sr- "to run, glide," from PIE verbal stem *ser- "to flow" (see serum).
Samson Look up Samson at
masc. proper name, Biblical strong-man (Judges xiii-xvi), from Late Latin, from Greek Sampson, from Hebrew Shimshon, probably from shemesh "sun." As a generic name for a man of great strength, attested from 1565. Samsonite, proprietary name for a make of luggage, is 1939, by Shwayder Bros. Inc., Denver, U.S.
Samuel Look up Samuel at
masc. proper name, Biblical judge and prophet, from Late Latin, from Greek Samouel, from Hebrew Shemiel, literally "the name of God," from shem "name" + El "God."
samurai (n.) Look up samurai at
1727, from Japanese samurai "warrior, knight," originally the military retainer of the daimio, variant of saburai, nominal form of sabura(h)u "to be in attendance, to serve."
san Look up san at
Japanese honorific title, 1878, short form of more formal sama.
San Francisco Look up San Francisco at
city in California, U.S., named in Spanish for St. Francis of Assisi; the name first recorded in reference to this region 1590s, reinforced by long association of the area with the Franciscan order.
sanatorium (n.) Look up sanatorium at
1839, Modern Latin, noun use of neuter of Late Latin adjective sanitorius "health-giving," from Latin sanat-, past participle stem of sanare "to heal," from sanus "well, healthy, sane" (see sane). Latin sanare is the source of Italian sanare, Spanish sanar.
sanctification (n.) Look up sanctification at
1520s, from Church Latin sanctificationem, noun of action from past participle stem of sanctificare (see sanctify).
sanctify (v.) Look up sanctify at
late 14c., seintefie "to consecrate," from Old French saintefier "sanctify" (12c., Modern French sanctifier), from Late Latin sanctificare "to make holy," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Form altered in English c. 1400 to conform with Latin. Meaning "to render holy or legitimate by religious sanction" is from c. 1400; transferred sense of "to render worthy of respect" is from c. 1600. Related: Sanctified; sanctifying.
sanctimonious (adj.) Look up sanctimonious at
c. 1600 (in "Measure for Measure," with the disparaging sense "making a show of sanctity, affecting an appearance of holiness"), from sanctimony + -ous. The un-ironic, literal sense was used occasionally in English from c. 1600 to c. 1800. Related: Sanctimoniously; sanctimoniousness.