style (n.) Look up style at
early 14c., stile, "writing instrument, pen, stylus; piece of written discourse, a narrative, treatise;" also "characteristic rhetorical mode of an author, manner or mode of expression," and "way of life, manner, behavior, conduct," from Old French stile, estile "style, fashion, manner; a stake, pale," from Latin stilus "stake, instrument for writing, manner of writing, mode of expression," perhaps from the same source as stick (v.)). Spelling modified incorrectly by influence of Greek stylos "pillar," which probably is not directly related. As distinguished from substance, 1570s. Meaning "mode of dress" is from 1814.
stylet (n.) Look up stylet at
1690s in surgical and scientific senses, from French stylet, from Italian, from Latin stylus (see style (n.)).
stylish (adj.) Look up stylish at
"conformable to approved fashion or taste," 1795, from style (n.) + -ish. Good is understood. Related: Stylishly; stylishness.
stylist (n.) Look up stylist at
1795 of writers distinguished for excellence or individuality of style; 1937 of hairdressers, from style (n.) + -ist.
stylistic (adj.) Look up stylistic at
"of or relating to style," 1843; see style (n.) + -istic.
stylite (n.) Look up stylite at
ascetic living on the top of a pillar, 1630s, from Ecclesiastical Greek stylites, from stylos "pillar," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
stylize (v.) Look up stylize at
1894 (implied in stylized), from style (n.) + -ize. Perhaps a translation of German stilisieren.
stylus (n.) Look up stylus at
1728, "stem-like part of a flower pistil," alteration of Latin stilus "stake, stylus;" spelling influenced by Greek stylos "pillar." Meaning "instrument for writing" is from 1807.
stymie (v.) Look up stymie at
1857, in golf, from stymie (n.) "condition in which an opponent's ball blocks the hole" (1834), perhaps from Scottish stymie "person who sees poorly," from stime "the least bit" (early 14c.), of uncertain origin. General sense of "block, hinder, thwart" is from 1902. Related: Stymied.
styptic (adj.) Look up styptic at
c. 1400, from Old French stiptique or directly from Latin stypticus "astringent," from Greek styptikos, from styphein "to constrict, draw together." As a noun, c. 1400, from Late Latin stypticum. Related: Styptical.
styrene (n.) Look up styrene at
colorless hydrocarbon, 1885, from Styrax, name of a genus of trees (the chemical is found in their resin), 1786, from Latin styrax, from Greek styrax, the tree name, of Semitic origin (compare Hebrew tsori "terebinth resin"). Form influenced by Greek styrax "shaft of a lance."
Styrofoam (n.) Look up Styrofoam at
1950, trademark name (Dow Chemical Co.), from -styr- (from polystyrene) + connective -o- + foam (n.).
Styx Look up Styx at
late 14c., the Greek river of the Underworld, literally "the Hateful," cognate with Greek stygos "hatred," stygnos "gloomy," from stygein "to hate, abominate," from PIE *stug-, extended form of root *steu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat." Oaths sworn by it were supremely binding and even the gods feared to break them. The adjective is Stygian.
suasion (n.) Look up suasion at
late 14c., from Old French suasion (14c.) and directly from Latin suasionem (nominative suasio) "a recommending, advocacy, support," noun of action from past participle stem of suadere "to urge, incite, promote, advise, persuade," literally "recommend as good" (related to suavis "sweet"), from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant" (see sweet (adj.)). Survives chiefly in phrase moral suasion (1640s). Latin Suada was the goddess of persuasion.
suasive (adj.) Look up suasive at
c. 1600, from Middle French suasif, or else formed in English from Latin suasus (see suasion) + -ive. Related: Suasively; suasiveness.
suave (adj.) Look up suave at
early 15c., "gracious, kindly, pleasant, delightful," from Latin suavis "agreeable, sweet, pleasant (to the senses), delightful," from PIE root *swad- "sweet, pleasant" (see sweet (adj.)). In reference to persons, sense of "smoothly agreeable" first recorded 1815 (implied in suavity). Related: Suavely.
suavity (n.) Look up suavity at
c. 1400, "pleasantness, delightfulness; kindness, gentleness," from Latin suavitatem (nominative suavitas) "sweetness, agreeableness," from suavis (see suave). Some later senses are from French suavité, from Old French soavite "gentleness, sweetness, softness," from the Latin word.
sub (n.) Look up sub at
shortened form of substitute (n.), 1830; the verb in this sense is from 1853. Related: Subbed; subbing. From 1917 as short for submarine (n.).
sub judice Look up sub judice at
Latin, literally "under a judge," from ablative singular of iudex "judge," from iudicare "to judge" (see judge (v.)). "Under judicial consideration," hence not yet decided.
sub rosa (adv.) Look up sub rosa at
"privately, secretly," Latin, literally "under the rose," which was regarded as a symbol of secrecy.
sub voce Look up sub voce at
Latin, literally "under the word or heading." A common dictionary reference, usually abbreviated s.v.
sub- Look up sub- at
word-forming element meaning "under, beneath; behind; from under; resulting from further division," from Latin preposition sub "under, below, beneath, at the foot of," also "close to, up to, towards;" of time, "within, during;" figuratively "subject to, in the power of;" also "a little, somewhat" (as in sub-horridus "somewhat rough"), from PIE *(s)up- (perhaps representing *ex-upo-), a variant form of the root *upo "under," also "up from under." The Latin word also was used as a prefix and in various combinations.

In Latin assimilated to following -c-, -f-, -g-, -p-, and often -r- and -m-. In Old French the prefix appears in the full Latin form only "in learned adoptions of old Latin compounds" [OED], and in popular use it was represented by sous-, sou-; as in French souvenir from Latin subvenire, souscrire (Old French souzescrire) from subscribere, etc.

The original meaning is now obscured in many words from Latin (suggest, suspect, subject, etc.). The prefix is active in Modern English, sometimes meaning "subordinate" (as in subcontractor); "inferior" (17c., as in subhuman); "smaller" (18c.); "a part or division of" (c. 1800, as in subcontinent).
sub-acute (adj.) Look up sub-acute at
also subacute, 1752, from sub- + acute.
sub-aqueous (adj.) Look up sub-aqueous at
also subaqueous, 1670s, from sub- + aqueous.
sub-arctic (adj.) Look up sub-arctic at
1834, from sub- + arctic.
sub-atomic (adj.) Look up sub-atomic at
also subatomic, 1874, from sub- + atomic. Sub-atom is attested from 1868.
sub-category (n.) Look up sub-category at
also subcategory, 1855, from sub- + category (n.).
sub-deb (n.) Look up sub-deb at
"girl who will soon 'come out;'" hence, "girl in her mid-teens," 1917, from sub- + deb.
sub-giant (n.) Look up sub-giant at
also subgiant, in astronomy, of stars, 1937, from sub- + giant (n.).
sub-machine gun (n.) Look up sub-machine gun at
"light, portable machine gun," 1926, from sub- + machine gun.
sub-Saharan (adj.) Look up sub-Saharan at
1955, from sub- + Saharan (see Sahara).
subaltern (n.) Look up subaltern at
"junior military officer," 1680s, earlier more generally, "person of inferior rank" (c. 1600), noun use of adjective subaltern "having an inferior position, subordinate" (1580s), from Middle French subalterne, from Late Latin subalternus, from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + alternus "every other (one), one after the other" (from PIE root *al- (1) "beyond").
subclass (n.) Look up subclass at
also sub-class, 1802, from sub- + class (n.).
subcommittee (n.) Look up subcommittee at
also sub-committee, c. 1600, from sub- + committee.
subconscious (adj.) Look up subconscious at
1823, "not wholly conscious, feebly conscious" (implied in subconsciously), from sub- + conscious. First attested in De Quincey. The noun, in the psychological sense ("mental processes taking place without consciousness"), is attested from 1886, from adjectival sense "occurring in the mind, but not in consciousness;" earlier noun was subconsciousness (1845).
subcontinent (n.) Look up subcontinent at
also sub-continent, 1845, from sub- + continent (n.). Related: Subcontinental.
subcontract (n.) Look up subcontract at
also sub-contract, "contract for carrying out all or part of a previous contract," 1817, from sub- + contract (n.). As a verb from 1828 (in Shakespeare it means "be betrothed again"). Related: Subcontracted; subcontracting.
subcontractor (n.) Look up subcontractor at
1810, from sub- + contractor, or else an agent noun from subcontract.
subculture (n.) Look up subculture at
1886, in reference to bacterial cultures, from sub- + culture (n.). From 1922 in reference to human cultures.
subcutaneous (adj.) Look up subcutaneous at
also sub-cutaneous, "under the skin," 1650s, from sub- + cutaneous. Related: Subcutaneously.
subdenomination (n.) Look up subdenomination at
also sub-denomination, 1620s, from sub- + denomination.
subdivide (v.) Look up subdivide at
early 15c. (transitive), from Late Latin subdividere from sub in the sense of "resulting from further division" (see sub-) + Latin dividere (see division). Intransitive sense is from 1590s.
subdivision (n.) Look up subdivision at
early 15c., "process of dividing into smaller parts;" mid-15c., "portion of land that has been divided," noun of action from subdivide. Sense of "plot of land broken into lots for housing development" is from 1911.
subdominant (n.) Look up subdominant at
also sub-dominant, 1793, in music, from sub- + dominant (n.).
subduce (v.) Look up subduce at
mid-15c., "to delete;" 1540s, "to withdraw oneself" (from a place, allegiance, etc.), from Latin subducere "to draw away, withdraw, remove," from sub "under, below" (see sub-) + ducere "to lead," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead." Related: Subduced; subducing.
subduct (v.) Look up subduct at
1570s, "subtract," from Latin subductus, past participle of subducere "to draw away, take away" (see subduce). Geological sense is from 1971, a back-formation from subduction. Related: Subducted; subducting.
subduction (n.) Look up subduction at
early 15c., "withdrawal, removal" (originally of noxious substances from the body), from Latin subductionem (nominative subductio) "a withdrawal, drawing up, hauling ashore," noun of action from past participle stem of subducere "to draw away, take away" (see subduce). Geological sense is attested from 1970, from French (1951).
subdue (v.) Look up subdue at
late 14c., "to conquer and reduce to subjection," from Old French souduire, but this meant "deceive, seduce," from Latin subducere "draw away, lead away, carry off; withdraw" (see subduce). The primary sense in English seems to have been taken in Anglo-French from Latin subdere and attached to this word. Related: Subdued; subduing. As an associated noun, subdual is attested from 1670s (subduction having acquired other senses).
subdued (adj.) Look up subdued at
c. 1600, "subjugated," past participle adjective from subdue. Meaning "calmed down, reduced in intensity" is recorded from 1822.
subfusc (adj.) Look up subfusc at
"moderately dark, brownish," 1710, from Latin subfuscus, variant of suffuscus, from sub "under" (see sub-) + fuscus "dark, dusky" (see obfuscate). Related: Subfuscous "dusky."