sunflower (n.)
1560s, "heliotrope," from sun (n.) + flower (n.). In reference to the Helianthus (introduced to Europe 1510 from America by the Spaniards) it is attested from 1590s, so called from the appearance of the heads.
a past tense and past participle of sing (v.).
sunglasses (n.)
glasses with darkened lenses to protect one's eyes while observing the sun, also sun-glasses, 1878, from sun (n.) + glasses. In popular (non-astronomy) use from 1916. Earlier sunglass (1804) meant a burning glass.
a past tense and past participle of sink (v.).
sunken (adj.)
late 14c., past participle adjective from sink (v.).
sunless (adj.)
1580s, from sun (n.) + -less.
sunlight (n.)
c.1200, from sun (n.) + light (n.). Compare Dutch zonlicht, German sonnenlicht.
sunlit (adj.)
1822, from sun (n.) + lit (adj.).
Sunni (n.)
1620s, from Arabic, "adherent of the Sunnah; Muslim who accepts the orthodox tradition as well as the Quran," from Sunna "traditional teachings of Muhammad" (not, like the Quran, committed to writing, but preserved from his lips by his disciples or founded on his actions), literally "way, custom, course, tradition, usage." Related: Sunnite.
sunny (adj.)
"full of sun," early 14c., from sun (n.) + -y (2). Compare Dutch zonnig, German sonnig. Figurative sense of "cheerful" is attested from 1540s. Sunny side in reference to optimistic outlook is from 1831. Eggs served sunny side up first attested 1887, in lunch counter slang, in reference to appearance when served.
Young Man (in Park Row coffee-and-cake saloon)--Waiter, I want a beefsteak, unpeeled potatoes, and a couple of eggs fried on one side only!
Waiter (vociferously)--"Slaughter in the pan," "a Murphy with his coat on," an' "two white wings with the sunny side up!" ["Puck," April 27, 1887]
Related: Sunnily; sunniness. As a noun meaning "sunfish" from 1835.
sunrise (n.)
mid-15c., from sun (n.) + rise (v.); perhaps it evolved from a Middle English subjunctive, such as before the sun rise. Earlier in same sense were sunrist (mid-14c.); sunrising (mid-13c.). Compare sunset.
sunroof (n.)
of a car, by 1957, from sun (n.) + roof (n.). Originally on European models.
sunscreen (n.)
1738 as an object to block the sun's rays, from sun (n.) + screen (n.). As a type of lotion applied to the skin, by 1954.
sunset (n.)
late 14c., from sun (n.) + set (v.). Perhaps from a Middle English subjunctive such as before the sun set. Old English had sunnansetlgong "sunset," while sunset meant "west." Figurative use from c.1600. To ride off into the sunset (1963) is from the stereotypical ending of cowboy movies.
sunshade (n.)
1842, from sun (n.) + shade (n.). Old English had sunsceadu "veil."
sunshine (n.)
mid-13c., from sun (n.) + shine (n.). Old English had sunnanscima "sunshine;" while sunscin meant "a mirror, speculum." Meaning "happy person who brightens the lives of others" is from 1942. Sunshine law in reference to U.S. open-meeting legislation is recorded from 1972, from the notion of shining the light of public access on deliberations formerly held behind closed doors. Related: Sunshiny.
sunspot (n.)
also sun-spot, 1849, in astronomy, from sun (n.) + spot (n.). Earlier "a spot on the skin caused by exposure to the sun" (1818).
sunstroke (n.)
1807, from sun (n.) + stroke (n.); translating French coup de soleil. Related: Sun-stricken; sunstruck.
suntan (v.)
also sun-tan, 1821, from sun (n.) + tan (v.). Related: Suntanned; suntanning. As a noun from 1904.
sup (v.1)
"eat the evening meal," c.1300, from Old French super, soper "dine, sup, dip bread in soup or wine, sop up" (Modern French souper), which probably is from soupe "broth" (see soup), until recently still the traditional evening meal of French workers.
sup (v.2)
"to sip, to take into the mouth with the lips," Old English supan (West Saxon), suppan, supian (Northumbrian) "to sip, taste, drink, swallow" (strong verb, past tense seap, past participle sopen), from Proto-Germanic *supanan (cognates: Old Norse supa "to sip, drink," Middle Low German supen, Dutch zuipen "to drink, tipple," Old High German sufan, German saufen "to drink, booze"), from PIE *sub-, possibly an extended form of root *seue- (2) "to take liquid" (cognates: Sanskrit sunoti "presses out juice," soma; Avestan haoma, Persian hom "juice;" Greek huetos "rain," huein "to rain;" Latin sugere "to suck," succus "juice, sap;" Lithuanian sula "flowing sap;" Old Church Slavonic soku "sap," susati "suck;" Middle Irish suth "sap;" Old English seaw "sap").
assimilated form of sub- before -p-.
super (adj.)
"first-rate, excellent," 1837, from prefix in superfine (1680s), denoting "highest grade of goods," from Latin super "above, over, beyond" (see super-). Extended usage as a general term of approval is 1895 slang, revived by 1967. Rhyming reduplication form super-duper first attested 1940. Super Bowl attested from 1966; Super Glue from 1975; as a verb by 1983.
word-forming element meaning "above, over, beyond," from Latin super-, from adverb and preposition super "above, over, on the top (of), beyond, besides, in addition to," from *(s)uper-, variant form of PIE *uper "over" (cognates: Sanskrit upari, Avestan upairi "over, above, beyond," Greek hyper, Old English ofer "over," Gothic ufaro "over, across," Gaulish ver-, Old Irish for), comparative of root *upo "under" (see sub-). In English words from Old French, it appears as sur-. The primary sense seems to have shifted over time from usually meaning "beyond" to usually meaning "very much," which can be contradictory. E.g. supersexual, which is attested from 1895 as "transcending sexuality," from 1968 as "very sexual."
super-ego (n.)
also superego, "that part of the psyche which controls the impulses of the id," 1924, as a translation of German über-Ich; see super- and ego.
superable (adj.)
"surmountable," 1620s, from Latin superabilis "that may be overcome," from superare "to overcome, surmount, go over, rise above," from super "over" (see super-) + -abilis (see -able). The negative formation insuperable is older and more common and superable may be a back-formation from it.
superabundance (n.)
early 15c., superaboundance, from Late Latin superabundantia, from present participle stem of Latin superabundare, from super (see super-) + abundare (see abound). Related: Superabundant; superabound.
superannuate (v.)
1640s, "render obsolete," back-formation from superannuated. Meaning "impair or disqualify by old age" is from 1690s. Related: Superannuating.
superannuated (adj.)
1630s, "obsolete, out of date;" 1740, "retired on account of old age," from Modern Latin superannuatus, alteration (perhaps by influence of annual) of Medieval Latin superannatus (which meant "more than a year old" and was used of cattle), from Latin super "beyond, over" (see super-) + annus "year" (see annual (adj.)). Earlier in same sense was superannate (c.1600), from Medieval Latin superannatus. Compare French suranner.
superannuation (n.)
1650s, noun of action from superannuate.
superb (adj.)
1540s, "noble, magnificent" (of buildings, etc.), from Latin superbus "grand, proud, splendid; haughty, vain, insolent," from super "above, over" (see super-). The second element perhaps is from PIE root *bhe- "to be." General sense of "very fine" developed by 1729. Related: Superbious (c.1500); superbly.
from song in 1964 Disney movie version of "Mary Poppins;" subject of a lawsuit based on earlier song title "Supercalafajalistickexpialadojus" (1949), but other versions of the word also were in circulation.
supercede (v.)
see supersede. Related: Superceded; superceding.
supercharge (v.)
1919, originally of internal combustion engines, from super- + charge (v.). Related: Supercharged (1876); supercharger; supercharging.
superciliary (adj.)
1732, from Modern Latin superciliaris, from supercilium (see supercilious).
supercilious (adj.)
1520s, "lofty with pride, haughtily contemptuous," from Latin superciliosus "haughty, arrogant," from supercilium "haughty demeanor, pride," literally "eyebrow" (via notion of raising the eyebrow to express haughtiness), from super "above" (see super-) + second element akin to cilium "eyelid," related to celare "to cover, hide," from PIE root *kel- (2) "to conceal" (see cell).
Since cilium is more recent than supercilium, the former can be interpreted as a back-formation to the latter .... If indeed derived from the root *kel- 'to hide', we must still assume that a noun *kilium 'eyelid' existed, since the eyelid can 'hide' the eye, whereas the eyebrow does not have such a function. Thus, supercilium may originally have meant 'what is above the cilium'. [Michiel de Vaan, "Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages," Leiden, 2008]
Related: Superciliously; superciliousness.
supercilium (n.)
the eyebrow, 1670s, from Latin supercilium "an eyebrow; a ridge, summit;" figuratively "haughtiness, arrogance, pride" (see supercilious).
supercomputer (n.)
1966, from super- + computer.
superconductor (n.)
1913, translation of Dutch suprageleider, coined by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853-1926). See super- + conductor.
supercontinent (n.)
1963, from super- + continent (n.).
supererogation (n.)
1520s, "performance of more than duty requires," in Catholic theology, from Late Latin supererogationem (nominative supererogatio) "a payment in addition," noun of action from past participle stem of supererogare "pay or do additionally," from Latin super "above, over" (see super-) + erogare "pay out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + rogare "ask, request" (see rogation).
supererogatory (adj.)
1590s, from Medieval Latin supererogatorius, from supererogat-, stem of supererogare "pay or do additionally" (see supererogation).
superficial (adj.)
late 14c., in anatomical and mathematical uses, "of or relating to a surface," from Late Latin superficialis "of or pertaining to the surface," from superficies "surface, upper side, top," from super "above, over" (see super-) + facies "form, face" (see face (n.)). Meaning "not deep, without thorough understanding, cursory, comprehending only what is apparent or obvious" (of perceptions, thoughts, etc.) first recorded early 15c. (implied in superficially "not thoroughly").
superficiality (n.)
1520s, from superficial + -ity.
superfluity (n.)
late 14c., from Old French superfluite "excess" (12c.), from Medieval Latin superfluitatem (nominative superfluitas), from superfluus (see superfluous).
superfluous (adj.)
early 15c. (earlier superflue, late 14c.), from Latin superfluus "unnecessary," literally "overflowing, running over," from superfluere "to overflow," from super "over" (see super-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Related: Superfluously; superfluousness.
superfly (adj.)
"excellent, superior," 1971, originally U.S. black slang, from super- + slang sense of fly (adj.).
supergiant (n.)
1927, from super- + giant (n.).
superheat (v.)
1827 (implied in superheated) "to heat to a very high degree," specifically of steam until it resembles a perfect gas, from super- + heat (v.). Related: Superheating.
superhero (n.)
1908 (in a translation of Nietzsche), from super- + hero. Used in 1930 of Tarzan; modern use is from 1960s.