sanhedrin (n.) Look up sanhedrin at
see sanhedrim.
sanitarium (n.) Look up sanitarium at
1829, literally "place dedicated to health," from neuter of Modern Latin *sanitarius, from Latin sanitas "health," from sanus "healthy; sane" (see sane). Compare sanatarium.
sanitary (adj.) Look up sanitary at
1823, "pertaining to health," from French sanitaire (1812), from Latin sanitas "health," from sanus "healthy; sane" (see sane). In reference to menstrual pads, first attested 1881 (in sanitary towel).
sanitation (n.) Look up sanitation at
1848, irregularly formed from sanitary. Figurative use from 1934. As a euphemism for garbage (as in sanitation engineer) first recorded 1939.
sanitize (v.) Look up sanitize at
1836, from stem of sanitary + -ize. Metaphoric sense is from 1934. Related: Sanitized; sanitizing.
sanitizer (n.) Look up sanitizer at
1950, agent noun from sanitize.
sanity (n.) Look up sanity at
early 15c., "healthy condition," from Middle French sanité "health," from Latin sanitatem (nominative sanitas) "health, sanity," from sanus "healthy; sane" (see sane). Meaning "soundness of mind" first attested c. 1600.
sank Look up sank at
past tense of sink (q.v.).
Sanka (n.) Look up Sanka at
brand of decaffeinated coffee, by 1913, abstracted from French sans caffeine (see sans + caffeine).
sans (adv.) Look up sans at
early 14c., from French sans, Old French sen, sens (with adverbial genitive) "without, except, apart, not counting," cognate with Provençal senes, Old Catalan senes, Old Spanish sen (Spanish sin), Old Italian sen, from Vulgar Latin *sene, from Latin sine "without," enlarged form of sed, se "without," from PIE root *sen(e)- "apart, separated" (see sunder). In reference to fonts, 1927, short for sans-serif.
sans souci (adv.) Look up sans souci at
"without care or concern," French. Name of Frederick the Great's royal palace at Potsdam.
sans-culotte (n.) Look up sans-culotte at
also sansculotte, "lower-class republican of the French Revolution," 1790, from French, literally "without breeches;" see sans + culottes. Usually explained as referring to the class whose distinctive costume was pantalons (long trousers) as opposed to the upper classes, which wore culottes (knee-breeches), but this is not certain. Related: Sans-culottes; sans-culotterie.
sans-serif Look up sans-serif at
also sanserif, 1830, from French sans "without" (see sans) + English serif, from earlier ceref, perhaps from Dutch schreef "a line, a stroke," related to schrijven "to write," from Latin scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").
sansei (n.) Look up sansei at
"American born of nisei parents; third-generation Japanese-American," 1945, from Japanese san "three, third" + sei "generation."
Sanskrit (n.) Look up Sanskrit at
1610s, from Sanskrit samskrtam "put together, well-formed, perfected," neuter of samskrta, from sam "together" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with") + krta- "to make, do, perform," from PIE *kwer- "to make, form" (see terato-). "so called as being the cultivated or literary language, distinguished from the vulgar dialects, or, some say, because regarded as a perfect language, the speech of the gods, formed by infallible rules" [Century Dictionary].
Santa (n.) Look up Santa at
1893 as a shortened form of Santa Claus.
Santa Claus (n.) Look up Santa Claus at
1773 (as St. A Claus, in "New York Gazette"), American English, from dialectal Dutch Sante Klaas, from Middle Dutch Sinter Niklaas "Saint Nicholas," bishop of Asia Minor who became a patron saint for children. Now a worldwide phenomenon (Japanese santakurosu). Father Christmas is attested from 1650s.
santeria (n.) Look up santeria at
Afro-Cuban religion, 1950, from Spanish, literally "holiness, sanctity."
sap (n.1) Look up sap at
"liquid in a plant," Old English sæp, from Proto-Germanic *sapam (source also of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch sap, Old High German saf, German Saft "juice"), from PIE root *sab- "juice, fluid" (source also of Sanskrit sabar- "sap, milk, nectar," Irish sug, Russian soku "sap," Lithuanian sakas "tree-gum"). As a verb meaning "To drain the sap from," 1725.
sap (n.2) Look up sap at
"simpleton," 1815, originally especially in Scottish and English schoolboy slang, probably from earlier sapskull (1735), saphead (1798), from sap as a shortened form of sapwood "soft wood between the inner bark and the heartwood" (late 14c.), from sap (n.1) + wood (n.); so called because it conducts the sap; compare sappy.
sap (v.1) Look up sap at
"dig a trench toward the enemy's position," 1590s, from Middle French saper, from sappe "spade," from Late Latin sappa "spade" (source also of Italian zappa, Spanish zapa "spade"). Extended sense "weaken or destroy insidiously" is from 1755, probably influenced by the verb form of sap (n.1), on the notion of "draining the vital sap from." Related: Sapped; sapping.
sap (n.3) Look up sap at
"club, stick for hitting," 1899, from shortening of sapwood (see sap (n.2)) or sapling.
sap (v.2) Look up sap at
"hit with a sap," 1926, from sap (n.3). Related: Sapped; sapping.
sapid (adj.) Look up sapid at
1630s, from Latin sapidus "savory, having a taste," from sapere (see sapient). Its opposite is insipid.
sapience (n.) Look up sapience at
late 14c., "wisdom, understanding," from Old French sapience, from Latin sapientia "good taste, good sense, discernment; intelligence, wisdom," from sapiens (see sapient).
sapient (adj.) Look up sapient at
"wise," late 15c. (early 15c. as a surname), from Old French sapient, from Latin sapientem (nominative sapiens), present participle of sapere "to taste, have taste, be wise," from PIE root *sep- (1) "to taste, perceive" (source also of Old Saxon an-sebban "to perceive, remark," Old High German antseffen, Old English sefa "mind, understanding, insight").
sapling (n.) Look up sapling at
early 14c., from sap (n.1) + diminutive suffix -ling. This probably is the source of American English slang sap (n.3) "club, short staff" (1899) and the verb sap (v.2) "to hit (someone) with a sap" (1926).
saponification (n.) Look up saponification at
1801, from French saponification, from saponifier, from Modern Latin saponificare, from sapon- "soap" (see soap (n.)) + -ficare, comb. form of Latin facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
saponify (v.) Look up saponify at
1821, from French saponifier (see saponification). Related: Saponified; saponifying.
sapper (n.) Look up sapper at
1620s, in a military context, "soldier employed in building fortifications," agent noun from sap (v.1).
Sapphic (adj.) Look up Sapphic at
c. 1500, "of or pertaining to Sappho," from French saphique, from Latin Sapphicus, from Greek Sapphikos "of Sappho," in reference to Sappho, poetess of the isle of Lesbos c. 600 B.C.E. Especially in reference to her characteristic meter; sense of "pertaining to sexual relations between women" is from 1890s (compare lesbian).
sapphire (n.) Look up sapphire at
"precious stone next in hardness to a diamond," mid-13c., from Old French saphir (12c.) and directly from Latin sapphirus (source also of Spanish zafir, Italian zaffiro), from Greek sappheiros "blue stone" (the gem meant apparently was not the one that now has the name, but perhaps rather "lapis lazuli," the modern sapphire being perhaps signified by Greek hyakinthos), from a Semitic source (compare Hebrew sappir "sapphire"), but probably not ultimately from Semitic. Some linguists propose an origin in Sanskrit sanipriya, a dark precious stone (perhaps sapphire or emerald), literally "sacred to Saturn," from Sani "Saturn" + priyah "precious." In Renaissance lapidaries, it was said to cure anger and stupidity. As an adjective from early 15c. Related: Sapphiric; sapphirine.
Sapphism (n.) Look up Sapphism at
"homosexual relations between women," 1890; see Sapphic + -ism.
sappy (adj.) Look up sappy at
"full of sap," Late Old English sæpig, from sæp (see sap (n.1)). Figurative sense of "foolishly sentimental" (1660s) may have developed from an intermediate sense of "wet, sodden" (late 15c.). Earlier, now obsolete, figurative senses were "full of vitality" (1550s) and "immature" (1620s).
saprophyte (n.) Look up saprophyte at
"bacteria or fungus that grows on decaying organic matter," 1867, from French, from Greek sapros "putrid" + phyton "plant" (see phyto-). Related: Saprophytism.
saprophytic (adj.) Look up saprophytic at
1872; see saprophyte + -ic.
Sara Look up Sara at
fem. proper name, alternative spelling of Sarah.
Saracen (n.) Look up Saracen at
Old English, "an Arab" (in Greek and Roman translations), also, mid-13c., generally, "non-Christian, heathen, pagan," from Old French saracin, from Late Latin saracenus, from Greek sarakenos, usually said to be from Arabic sharquiyin, accusative plural of sharqiy "eastern," from sharq "east, sunrise," but this is not certain. In medieval times the name was associated with that of Biblical Sarah (q.v.).
Peple þat cleped hem self Saracenys, as þogh þey were i-come of Sarra [John of Trevisa, translation of Higdon's "Polychronicon," 1387]
The name Greeks and Romans gave to the nomads of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. Specific sense of "Middle Eastern Muslim" is from the Crusades. From c. 1300 as an adjective. Related: Saracenic; and compare sarsen.
Sarah Look up Sarah at
fem. proper name, Biblical wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac, from Hebrew, literally "princess," from sarah, fem. of sar "prince," from sarar "he ruled," related to Akkad. sharratu "queen." Popular as a name for girls born in U.S. in 1870s and 1978-2000.
Sarajevo Look up Sarajevo at
capital of Bosnia, founded 15c. and named in Turkish as Bosna-Saray, "Palace on the (River) Bosna," from saray (see caravanserai); the modern name is a Slavic adjectival form of saray.
Saran Look up Saran at
U.S. trademark name for PVC used as a cling-film, 1940, by Dow Chemical Company.
Saratoga Look up Saratoga at
in reference to a kind of large trunk, 1858, so called because it was much used by ladies traveling to the summer resort of Saratoga, N.Y. The name, early recorded as saraghtogo, apparently is from an Iroquoian language, but it is of unknown origin.
sarcasm (n.) Look up sarcasm at
1570s, sarcasmus, from Late Latin sarcasmus, from late Greek sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," literally "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (genitive sarkos) "flesh," properly "piece of meat," from PIE root *twerk- "to cut" (source also of Avestan thwares "to cut"). Current form of the English word is from 1610s. For nuances of usage, see humor (n.).
sarcastic (adj.) Look up sarcastic at
1690s, from sarcasm, perhaps on the model of enthusiastic. Related: Sarcastical (1640s); sarcastically.
sarco- Look up sarco- at
before vowels sarc-, word-forming element meaning "flesh, fleshy, of the flesh," from Latinized form of Greek sark-, comb. form of sarx "flesh" (see sarcasm).
sarcoid (adj.) Look up sarcoid at
1841, from sarco- + -oid. As a noun from 1875.
sarcoidosis (n.) Look up sarcoidosis at
1936, from sarcoid + -osis.
sarcoma (n.) Look up sarcoma at
1650s, "fleshy excrescence," Medical Latin, from Greek sarkoma "fleshy substance" (Galen), from sarkoun "to produce flesh, grow fleshy," from sarx (genitive sarkos) "flesh" (see sarcasm) + -oma. Meaning "harmful tumor of the connective tissue" first recorded 1804.
sarcophagi (n.) Look up sarcophagi at
plural of sarcophagus (q.v.).
sarcophagus (n.) Look up sarcophagus at
c. 1600, "type of stone used for coffins," from Latin sarcophagus, from Greek sarkophagos "limestone used for coffins," literally "flesh-eating," in reference to the supposed action of this type of limestone (quarried near Assos in Troas, hence the Latin lapis Assius) in quickly decomposing the body, from sarx (genitive sarkos) "flesh" (see sarcasm) + phagein "to eat" (from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share"). Related: Sarcophagal.

The "stone" sense was the earliest in English; meaning "stone coffin, often with inscriptions or decorative carvings" is recorded from 1705. The Latin word, shortened in Vulgar Latin to *sarcus, is the source of French cercueil, German Sarg "coffin," Dutch zerk "tombstone."