sappy (adj.)
"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.)
"bacteria or fungus that grows on decaying organic matter," 1867, from French, from Greek sapros "putrid" + phyton "plant" (see phyto-). Related: Saprophytism.
saprophytic (adj.)
1872; see saprophyte + -ic.
Sara
fem. proper name, alternative spelling of Sarah.
Saracen (n.)
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
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
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
U.S. trademark name for PVC used as a cling-film, 1940, by Dow Chemical Company.
Saratoga
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.)
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" (cognates: Avestan thwares "to cut"). Current form of the English word is from 1610s. For nuances of usage, see humor.
sarcastic (adj.)
1690s, from sarcasm, perhaps on the model of enthusiastic. Related: Sarcastical (1640s); sarcastically.
sarco-
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.)
1841, from sarco- + -oid. As a noun from 1875.
sarcoidosis (n.)
1936, from sarcoid + -osis.
sarcoma (n.)
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.)
plural of sarcophagus (q.v.).
sarcophagus (n.)
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" (see -phagous). 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."
sardine (n.)
early 15c., from Latin sardina, from Greek sardine, sardinos, often said to be from Sardo "Sardinia" (see Sardinia), the Mediterranean island, near which the fish probably were caught and from which they were exported. But Klein writes, "It is hardly probable that the Greeks would have obtained fish from so far as Sardinia at a time relatively so early as that of Aristotle, from whom Athenaios quotes a passage in which the fish sardinos is mentioned." Colloquial phrase packed like sardines (in a tin) is recorded from 1911.
Sardinia
large island west of Italy, Latin, from Greek Sardo; perhaps named for the local Iberian people who settled there; the original form and meaning of the name is lost. A Punic (Phoenician) stelle from 7c. B.C.E. refers to it as Shardan. The oblique cases are sometimes Sardonos, etc., as if from *Sardon. Related: Sardinian.
sardonic (adj.)
"apparently but not really proceeding from gaiety," 1630s, from French sardonique (16c.), from Latin sardonius (but as if from Latin *sardonicus) in Sardonius risus, loan-translation of Greek sardonios (gelos) "of bitter or scornful (laughter)," altered from Homeric sardanios (of uncertain origin) by influence of Sardonios "Sardinian," because the Greeks believed that eating a certain plant they called sardonion (literally "plant from Sardinia," see Sardinia) caused facial convulsions resembling those of sardonic laughter, usually followed by death. For nuances of usage, see humor. Earlier in same sense sardonian (1580s), from Latin sardonius. Related: Sardonically.
sargasso (n.)
"seaweed," 1590s, from Portuguese sargasso "seaweed," perhaps from sarga, a type of grape (on this theory, the sea plant was so called from its berry-like air sacs), or from Latin sargus, a kind of fish found in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic, from Greek sargos. Sargasso Sea attested from 1819.
sarge (n.)
representing the pronunciation of the familiar shortening of sergeant, by 1867.
sari (n.)
also saree, long, wrapping garment of silk or cotton worn by Hindu women, 1785, from Hindi sari, from Prakrit sadi, from Sanskrit sati "garment, petticoat."
sarin (n.)
type of odorless nerve gas, 1945, from German, but the name is of unknown origin. Other phosphorous compounds known in Germany by the end of World War II were called Tabun, soman, Diglykol.
sark (n.)
"shirt, body garment of linen or cotton for either sex," late Old English serc "shirt, corselet, coat of mail," surviving as a Scottish and northern dialect word, from Old Norse serkr, cognate with Old English serk (see berserk). But Gordon lists it as a loan-word from Latin sarcia; other sources are silent on the point. Lithuanian sarkas "shirt," Old Church Slavonic sraka "tunic," Russian soročka, Finnish sarkki "shirt" perhaps are all from Germanic.
Sarmatia
Latin Sarmatia, from Greek Sarmates, name of an ancient tribe which wandered the plains of eastern Europe west of the Volga; later poetically identified with Poland. Related: Sarmatian.
sarong (n.)
skirt-like garment, the Malay national garment, 1834, from Malay sarung "sheath, covering." OED traces it to "some mod. form of Skr. saranga "variegated."
SARS (n.)
by 2003, acronym from severe acute respiratory syndrome.
sarsaparilla (n.)
tropical American plant, 1570s, from Spanish zarzaparrilla, from zarza "bramble" (from Arabic sharas "thorny plant" or Basque sartzia "bramble") + parrilla, diminutive of parra "vine," which is of unknown origin. Hence, also, "a medicinal preparation of sarsaparilla" (1570s). In 16c.-17c. the dried roots were held to be efficient in treatment of syphilis.
sarsen (n.)
"large sandstone boulder," 1640s, properly sarsen stone, i.e. "Saracen stone," from Saracen in the old sense of "pagan, heathen." The same word was applied to the ancient leavings outside Cornish tin mines, also known as Jews' pits, those being the terms that came to mind once to describe any ancient features, based on the Bible.
sarsenet (n.)
also sarcenet, type of fine soft silk fabric, late 14c., from Anglo-French sarzinett (Old French sarrasinet), probably a diminutive (with -et) of Sarasin, Sarazin "Saracen," meaning Turkish or Arab (see Saracen). Compare Old French drap sarrasinois, Medieval Latin pannus saracenius.
sartorial (adj.)
"pertaining to a tailor," 1807, from Modern Latin sartorius, from Late Latin sartor "tailor" (source also of French sartre "tailor"), literally "patcher, mender," from Latin sart-, past participle stem of sarcire "to patch, mend," from PIE root *serk- "to make whole." Earlier in English in same sense was Related: sartorian (1660s). Sartorius as the name of the long leg muscle is because it is used in crossing the legs to bring them into the position needed to sit like a tailor. Related: Sartorially.
sash (n.1)
strip of cloth, 1590s, originally in reference to Oriental dress, "strip of cloth twisted into a turban," from Arabic shash "muslin cloth." Meaning "strip of cloth worn about the waist or over the shoulder" first recorded 1680s.
sash (n.2)
framed part of a window, 1680s, sashes, mangled Englishing of French châssis "frame" of a window or door (see chassis). French word taken as a plural and -s trimmed off by 1704. Sash-weight attested from 1737.
sashay (v.)
1836, mangled Englishing of French chassé "gliding step" (in square dancing), literally "chased," past participle of chasser "to chase," from Old French chacier "to hunt," from Vulgar Latin *captiare (see capable, and compare chase, catch). Related: Sashayed; sashaying. The noun is attested from 1900.
sashimi (n.)
"thin slices of raw fish," 1880, from Japanese, from sashi "pierce" + mi "flesh."
Saskatchewan
Canadian province, named for the river running through it, from Cree kis-si-ska-tches-wani-sipi "rapid flowing river."
sasquatch (n.)
1929, from Halkomelem (Salishan), a native language of the Pacific Northwest, sæsq'ec, one of a race of huge, hairy man-monsters supposed to inhabit the Pacific northwest woods in American Indian lore and also known as bigfoot.
sass (n.)
"impudence," 1835, back-formation from sassy. The verb is first recorded 1856, from the noun. Related: Sassed; sassing. Sass (n.) as a variant of sauce is attested from 1775.
sassafras (n.)
small flowering tree of North America, 1570s, from Spanish sasafras, perhaps an adaptation of saxifraga "saxifrage," from Late Latin saxifragia, variant of saxifraga (see saxifrage). But the connection of the plants is difficult to explain, and the word perhaps represents a lost Native American name that sounded like Spanish saxifraga and was altered to conform to it. The tree supposedly was discovered by the Spanish in 1528.
Sassanid
dynasty that ruled the Persian Empire 211-651 C.E., 1776, from Medieval Latin Sassanidæ (plural), from Sasan, grandfather of Ardashir I, who founded the dynasty.
Sassenach (n.)
Gaelic for "English person," 1771, Sassenaugh, literally "Saxon," from Gaelic Sasunnach, from Latin Saxones, from a Germanic source (such as Old English Seaxe "the Saxons;" see Saxon). The modern form of the word was established c.1814 by Sir Walter Scott, from Scottish Sasunnoch, Irish Sasanach, Welsh Seisnig.
sassy (adj.)
1833, American English, alteration of saucy. Related: Sassily; sassiness.
SAT (n.)
1961, initialism (acronym) for Scholastic Aptitude Test.
Satan (n.)
proper name of the supreme evil spirit in Christianity, Old English Satan, from Late Latin Satan (in Vulgate in Old Testament only), from Greek Satanas, from Hebrew satan "adversary, one who plots against another," from satan "to show enmity to, oppose, plot against," from root s-t-n "one who opposes, obstructs, or acts as an adversary."

In Septuagint (Greek) usually translated as diabolos "slanderer," literally "one who throws (something) across" the path of another (see devil (n.)), though epiboulos "plotter" is used once.
In biblical sources the Hebrew term the satan describes an adversarial role. It is not the name of a particular character. Although Hebrew storytellers as early as the sixth century B.C.E. occasionally introduced a supernatural character whom they called the satan, what they meant was any one of the angels sent by God for the specific purpose of blocking or obstructing human activity. [Elaine Pagels, "The Origin of Satan," 1995]
satanic (adj.)
1667 (in "Paradise Lost"), "pertaining to Satan," from Satan + -ic. Meaning "diabolical" is from 1793. Related: Satanical (1540s).
Satanism (n.)
1560s, "satanic disposition," from Satan + -ism. Applied 1820s-30s to the poetry of Byron, etc. Meaning "worship of Satan" dates from 1895, with reference to France, where it was said to be active at that time.
Satanist (n.)
1550s, from Satan + -ist. Ppplied by their enemies to Protestant sects. Meaning "Satan-worshipper" is from 1896.
Satanophobia (n.)
"morbid dread of Satan," 1860, from Satan + -phobia, with connective -o-.
satay (n.)
1934, from Malay or Javanese satai.