there (adv., conj.) Look up there at
Old English þær "in or at that place, so far as, provided that, in that respect," from Proto-Germanic *thær (source also of Old Saxon thar, Old Frisian ther, Middle Low German dar, Middle Dutch daer, Dutch daar, Old High German dar, German da, Gothic þar, Old Norse þar), from PIE *tar- "there" (source also of Sanskrit tar-hi "then"), from root *to- (see the) + adverbial suffix -r.

Interjectional use is recorded from 1530s, used variously to emphasize certainty, encouragement, or consolation. To have been there "had previous experience of some activity" is recorded from 1877.
thereabouts (adv.) Look up thereabouts at
early 15c., "in that area, around there; mid-15c., "near to that time, approximately thence," from Old English þær onbutan "about that place" + adverbial genitive -es; see there + about.
thereafter (adv.) Look up thereafter at
Old English þær æfter; see there + after. Similar formation in Dutch daarachter, Swedish derefter.
thereby (adv.) Look up thereby at
Old English þærbig "thus, by means of or because of that;" see there + by. Similar formation in Old Frisian therbi, Middle Low German darbi, German dabei, Dutch daarbij.
therefor (adv.) Look up therefor at
"for this, for that," Middle English variant spelling of therefore (q.v.); in modern use perhaps perceived as there + for.
therefore (adv.) Look up therefore at
Old English þærfore; from there + fore, Old English and Middle English collateral form of for. Since c. 1800, therefor has been used in sense of "for that, by reason of that;" and therefore in sense of "in consequence of that." Similar formation in Dutch daarfoor, German dafür, Danish derfor.
therefrom (adv.) Look up therefrom at
mid-13c., there from. One word from 17c.; see there + from.
therein (adv.) Look up therein at
"in that place, time, or thing," Old English þærin; see there + in. Similar formation in German darin.
theremin (n.) Look up theremin at
1927, from the name of its inventor, Russian engineer Léon Thérémin (1896-1993).
thereof (adv.) Look up thereof at
"of that, of it," Old English þærof; see there + of. Similar formation in Swedish, Danish deraf.
thereon (adv.) Look up thereon at
Old English þæron; see there + on. Similar formation in German daran.
Theresa Look up Theresa at
also Teresa, fem. proper name, from French Thérèse, from Latin Therasia, apparently from Greek Therasia, name of two volcanic islands, one near Sicily, one near Crete. In the top 50 most popular names for girls born in the U.S. from 1953 to 1969.
thereto (adv.) Look up thereto at
Old English þærto "to it, in that place, for that purpose, belonging to;" see there + to. Similar formation in Old Saxon tharto, Old High German darazuo, German dazu.
thereunder (adv.) Look up thereunder at
Old English þærunder; see there + under. Similar formation in Old Frisian therunder, German darunter.
thereupon (adv.) Look up thereupon at
late 12c., þer uppon; see there + upon.
therewith (adv.) Look up therewith at
c. 1200, "along with, in company with," from there + with. Old English þær wiþ meant "against, in exchange for." Similar formation in Swedish dervid, Danish derved.
thermal (adj.) Look up thermal at
1756, "having to do with hot springs," from French thermal (Buffon), from Greek therme "heat, feverish heat," from PIE root *gwher- "to heat, warm." Sense of "having to do with heat" is first recorded 1837. The noun meaning "rising current of relatively warm air" is recorded from 1933.
thermo- Look up thermo- at
before vowels therm-, word-forming element meaning "hot, heat, temperature," used in scientific and technical words, from Greek thermos "hot, warm," therme "heat" (from PIE root *gwher- "to heat, warm").
thermochemistry (n.) Look up thermochemistry at
also thermo-chemistry, 1840, from thermo- + chemistry.
thermocline (n.) Look up thermocline at
1897, from thermo- + -cline, from Greek klinein "to slope," from PIE root *klei- "to lean."
thermocouple (n.) Look up thermocouple at
also thermo-couple, 1862, from thermo-electric + couple (n.).
thermodynamic (adj.) Look up thermodynamic at
1849, from thermo- + dynamic (adj.).
thermodynamics (n.) Look up thermodynamics at
theory of relationship between heat and mechanical energy, 1854, from thermodynamic (adj.); also see -ics. "The consideration of moving forces, though suggested by the form of the word, does not enter into the subject to any considerable extent" [Century Dictionary].
thermograph (n.) Look up thermograph at
"automatic self-registering thermometer," 1881, from thermo- + -graph "instrument for recording; something written." Related: Thermographic.
thermography (n.) Look up thermography at
1840, "method of writing which requires heat to develop the characters," from thermo- + -graphy.
thermometer (n.) Look up thermometer at
1630s, from French thermomètre (1620s), coined by Jesuit Father Jean Leuréchon from Greek thermos "hot" (see thermal) + metron "measure" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure"). An earlier, Latinate form was thermoscopium (1610s). The earliest such device was Galileo's air-thermometer, invented c. 1597. The typical modern version, with mercury in glass, was invented by Fahrenheit in 1714. Related: Thermometric; thermometrical.
thermonuclear (adj.) Look up thermonuclear at
1938 with reference to stars, 1953 of weapons (technically only to describe the hydrogen bomb), from thermo- + nuclear.
thermoplastic (adj.) Look up thermoplastic at
1870, see thermo- + plastic (adj.). As a noun from 1929.
Thermopylae Look up Thermopylae at
narrow land passage along the Malian Gulf in ancient Greece, from Greek thermos "hot" (from PIE root *gwher- "to heat, warm") + pylai, plural of pyle "gate; mountain pass, entrance into a region" (see pylon). In reference to nearby hot sulfur springs. Often simply hai pylai "the gates." Figurative of heroic resistance against overwhelming numbers since the battle fought there between the Greeks and Persians in 480 B.C.E.
Thermos (n.) Look up Thermos at
trademark registered in Britain 1907, invented by Sir James Dewar (patented 1904 but not named then), from Greek thermos "hot" (from PIE root *gwher- "to heat, warm"). Dewar built the first one in 1892, but it was first manufactured commercially in Germany in 1904, when two glass blowers formed Thermos GmbH. Supposedly the company sponsored a contest to name the thing, and a Munich resident won with a submission of Thermos.
thermosphere (n.) Look up thermosphere at
1924, from thermo- + sphere.
thermostat (n.) Look up thermostat at
automatic instrument for regulating temperature, 1831, from thermo- + -stat.
Theropoda (n.) Look up Theropoda at
order of dinosaurs, Modern Latin, from Greek elements: ther "wild beast, beast of prey" (from PIE root *ghwer- "wild beast") + podos genitive of pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). So called because the structure of the feet resembled quadrupeds rather than birds. Related: Theropod.
thesaurus (n.) Look up thesaurus at
1823, "treasury, storehouse," from Latin thesaurus "treasury, a hoard, a treasure, something laid up," figuratively "repository, collection," from Greek thesauros "a treasure, treasury, storehouse, chest," related to tithenai "to put, to place," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." The meaning "encyclopedia filled with information" is from 1840, but existed earlier as thesaurarie (1590s), used as a title by early dictionary compilers, on the notion of thesaurus verborum "a treasury of words." Meaning "collection of words arranged according to sense" is first attested 1852 in Roget's title. Thesaurer is attested in Middle English for "treasurer" and thesaur "treasure" was in use 15c.-16c.
these (pron.) Look up these at
Old English þæs, variant of þas (which became those and took the role of plural of that), nominative and accusative plural of þes, þeos, þis "this" (see this). Differentiation of these and those is from late 13c. OED begins its long entry with the warning, "This word has a complicated history."
Theseus Look up Theseus at
legendary hero-king of Athens; the name is of uncertain origin.
thesis (n.) Look up thesis at
late 14c., "unaccented syllable or note," from Latin thesis "unaccented syllable in poetry," later (and more correctly) "stressed part of a metrical foot," from Greek thesis "a proposition," also "downbeat" (in music), originally "a setting down, a placing, an arranging; position, situation," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Sense in logic of "a formulation in advance of a proposition to be proved" is first recorded 1570s; that of "dissertation presented by a candidate for a university degree" is from 1650s.
thespian (adj.) Look up thespian at
1670s, "of or pertaining to tragedy or dramatic acting," from Greek Thespis, semi-legendary 6c. B.C.E. poet of Icaria in Attica, often called the Father of Greek Tragedy. The literal meaning of the name is "inspired by the gods."
thespian (n.) Look up thespian at
"an actor," 1827, from thespian (adj.). Short form thesp is attested from 1962.
Thessaly Look up Thessaly at
district south of Macedonia and east of Epirus, from Greek Thessalia (Attic Thettalia), an Illyrian name of unknown origin. Related: Thessalian. The city of Thessalonika on the Thermaic Gulf was ancient Therme, renamed when rebuilt by the Macedonian king Cassander, son of Antipater, and named in honor of his wife, Thessalonica, half-sister of Alexander the Great, whose name contains the region name and Greek nike "victory." The adjectival form of it is Thessalonian Related: Thessalonians.
theta (n.) Look up theta at
eighth letter of the Greek alphabet; in ancient Greece, from Hebrew teth; originally an aspirated -t- (see th). Written on ballots to indicate a vote for a sentence of "death" (thanatos), hence occasional allusive use for "death."
Thetis Look up Thetis at
name of a sea goddess in Greek mythology, mother of Achilles by Peleus. Since Roman times, sometimes, in poetry, "the sea personified."
theurgy (n.) Look up theurgy at
1560s, "white magic," from Late Latin theurgia, from Late Greek theourgia "a divine work, a miracle, magic, sorcery," from theos (genitive theou) "a god" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts) + -ergos "working" (from PIE root *werg- "to do"). From 1858 as "the working of divine forces in human affairs." Related: Theurgical.
thew (n.) Look up thew at
Old English þeaw "usage, custom, habit;" see thews.
thews (n.) Look up thews at
Old English þeawes "customs, habit, manners; morals, conduct, disposition, personal qualities," plural of þeaw "habit, custom," from Proto-Germanic *thawaz (source also of Old Saxon thau "usage, custom, habit," Old High German thau "discipline"). According to OED, with no certain cognates outside West Germanic and of unknown origin. Meaning "bodily powers or parts indicating strength, good physique" is attested from 1560s, from notion of "good qualities." Acquired a sense of "muscular development" when it was revived by Scott (1818).
they (pron.) Look up they at
c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source (Old Norse þeir, Old Danish, Old Swedish þer, þair), originally masculine plural demonstrative pronoun, from Proto-Germanic *thai, nominative plural pronoun, from PIE *to-, demonstrative pronoun (see that). Gradually replaced Old English hi, hie, plurals of he, heo "she," hit "it" by c. 1400. Colloquial use for "anonymous people in authority" is attested from 1886. They say for "it is said" is in Milton.
The most important importation of this kind [from Scandinavian to English] was that of the pronomial forms they, them and their, which entered readily into the system of English pronouns beginning with the same sound (the, that, this) and were felt to be more distinct than the old native forms which they supplanted. Indeed these were liable to constant confusion with some forms of the singular number (he, him, her) after the vowels has become obscured, so that he and hie, him and heom, her (hire) and heora could no longer be kept easily apart. [Jespersen, "Growth and Structure of the English Language"]
thiamin (n.) Look up thiamin at
also thiamine, alternative name for vitamin B1, 1937, coined by U.S. chemist Dr. Robert R. Williams (1886-1965) from thio-, indicating the presence of sulfur, from Greek theion "sulfur," + amine, indicating the amino group. Or the second element might be from vitamin.
thick (adj.) Look up thick at
Old English þicce "dense, viscous, solid, stiff; numerous, abundant; deep," also as an adverb, "thickly, closely, often, frequently," from Proto-Germanic *thiku- (source also of Old Saxon thikki, Old High German dicchi, German dick, Old Norse þykkr, Old Frisian thikke), from PIE *tegu- "thick" (source also of Gaelic tiugh). Secondary Old English sense of "close together" is preserved in thickset and proverbial phrase thick as thieves (1833). Meaning "stupid" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Thickly.

As a noun, "the thick part" (of anything), from mid-13c. Phrase through thick and thin, indicating rough or smooth going, hence "unwaveringly," is in Chaucer (late 14c.); thick-skinned is attested from 1540s; in figurative sense from c. 1600. To be in the thick of some action, etc., "to be at the most intense moment" is from 1680s, from a Middle English noun sense.
thicken (v.) Look up thicken at
late 14c. (transitive), 1590s (intransitive), from thick + -en (1). Related: Thickened; thickening. An earlier verb was Middle English thick, Old English þiccian "to thicken, to crowd together."
thickening (n.) Look up thickening at
"substance used to thicken something," 1839, verbal noun from thicken.