void (v.)
"to clear" (some place, of something), c. 1300, from Anglo-French voider, Old French vuider "to empty, drain; to abandon, evacuate," from voide (see void (adj.)); meaning "to deprive (something) of legal validity" is attested from early 14c. Related: Voided; voiding.
void (adj.)
c. 1300, "unoccupied, vacant," from Anglo-French and Old French voide, viude "empty, vast, wide, hollow, waste, uncultivated, fallow," as a noun, "opening, hole; loss," from Latin vocivos "unoccupied, vacant," related to vacare "be empty," from PIE *wak-, extended form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Meaning "lacking or wanting" (something) is recorded from early 15c. Meaning "legally invalid, without legal efficacy" is attested from mid-15c.
voidable (adj.)
late 15c., from void (v.) + -able.
voila (interj.)
1739, French voilà, imperative of voir "to see, to view" (from Latin videre "to see;" see vision) + la "there" (from Latin ille "yonder;" see le).
voile (n.)
thin material used for women's dresses, 1889, from French voile "veil" (see veil (n.)).
voir dire
1670s, from Old French voir "true" (from Latin verus "true," from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + dire "to say" (from Latin dicere "speak, tell, say," from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").
voivode (n.)
local or provincial ruler in Transylvania, Moldavia, etc., 1560s, from Russian voevoda, originally "leader of the army," from Old Church Slavonic voji "warriors" + -voda "leader." Compare Hungarian vajvoda (later vajda), Serbian vojvoda, Polish wojewoda.
volant (adj.)
"flying," c. 1500, from Middle French volant "able to fly," from Latin volantem (nominative volans), present participle of volare "to fly," of unknown origin. French voler, literally "to fly," in 16c. acquired a sense of "to steal," via the transitive meaning "to make fly."
Volapuk (n.)
artificial language invented 1879 by Johann Martin Schleyer (1831-1912) based on English, Latin, and German, Volapük volapük, literally "world-speech."
volar (adj.)
1809, from Latin vola "the hollow of a hand or foot" + -ar.
volatile (adj.)
1590s "fine or light," also "evaporating rapidly" (c. 1600), from Middle French volatile, from Latin volatilis "fleeting, transitory; swift, rapid; flying, winged," from past participle stem of volare "to fly" (see volant). Sense of "readily changing, flighty, fickle" is first recorded 1640s. Volatiles in Middle English meant "birds, butterflies, and other winged creatures" (c. 1300).
volatility (n.)
1620s, noun from volatile (adj.).
volcanic (adj.)
1774, from French volcanique, from Italian vulcanico, from vulcano (see volcano). Figurative sense of "prone to explosive activity" is attested from 1854.
volcanism (n.)
1819, from French volcanisme, from volcan (see volcano).
volcano (n.)
1610s, from Italian vulcano "burning mountain," from Latin Vulcanus "Vulcan," Roman god of fire, also "fire, flames, volcano" (see Vulcan). The name was first applied to Mt. Etna by the Romans, who believed it was the forge of Vulcan. Earlier form in English was volcan (1570s), from French.
vole (n.)
1828, short for vole-mouse (1805, in an Orkneys book), literally "field-mouse," with first element probably from Old Norse völlr "field," from Proto-Germanic *walthuz (source also of Icelandic völlr, Swedish vall "field," Old English weald; see wold).
volition (n.)
1610s, from French volition (16c.), from Medieval Latin volitionem (nominative volitio) "will, volition," noun of action from Latin stem (as in volo "I wish") of velle "to wish," from PIE root *wel- (2) "to wish, will" (see will (v.)). Related: Volitional.
volkslied (n.)
"folk-song," 1858, from German Volkslied, from Volk "people" (see folk (n.)) + Lied "song" (see laud (v.)).
volley (n.)
1570s, "discharge of a number of guns at once," from Middle French volee "flight" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *volta, fem. noun from Latin volatum, past participle of volare "to fly" (see volant). Sporting sense of "a return of the ball before it hits the ground" (originally in tennis) is from 1851, from notion of hitting the ball in flight.
volley (v.)
1590s, "discharge in a volley," from volley (n.). Sporting sense (originally in tennis) of "to return the ball before it has hit the ground" is from 1819. Related: Volleyed; volleying.
volleyball (n.)
1896, from volley (n.) in the sporting sense + ball (n.1). So called because the ball must be returned before it hits the ground.
in reference to Prohibition legislation in U.S., 1920, from U.S. Rep. Andrew J. Volstead (1860-1947), Republican of Minnesota, who introduced the bill in 1919 that prohibited the manufacture, transportation, and sale of beverages containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol.
volt (n.)
unit of electromotive force, 1873, back-formation from voltaic.
West African river, from 15c. Portuguese Rio da Volta, literally "river of return" (perhaps because it was where ships turned around and headed for home) or "river of bend," in reference to its course.
voltage (n.)
"electromotive force reckoned in volts," 1882, from volt + -age.
voltaic (adj.)
1813, designating electricity produced by chemical action, formed in recognition of Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), who perfected a chemical process used in electrical batteries, + -ic.
name taken from 1718 by French author François Marie Arouet (1694-1778) after his imprisonment in the Bastille on suspicion of having written some satirical verses; originally de Voltaire. The signification is uncertain.
a reversal of opinion, 1819, French (17c.), from Italian volta faccia, literally "turn face," from volta, imperative of voltare "to turn" (from Vulgar Latin *volvita, from Latin volvere "to roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve") + faccia (see face).
voltmeter (n.)
instrument for measuring the difference of potentials in volts, 1882, from volt + meter (n.3).
volubility (n.)
1570s, from Middle French volubilité (16c.) or directly from Latin volubilitatem (nominative volubilitas) "a rapid turning," figuratively "fluency (of speech)," from volubilis (see voluble).
voluble (adj.)
early 15c., "liable to constant change," from Middle French voluble, from Latin volubilis "that turns around, rolling, flowing," figuratively (of speech) "fluent, rapid," from volvere "to turn around, roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." Meaning "fluent, talkative" first recorded 1580s. Related: Volubly.
volume (n.)
late 14c., "roll of parchment containing writing; a bound book," from Old French volume "scroll, book; work, volume; girth, size" (13c.) and directly from Latin volumen (genitive voluminis) "roll (of a manuscript); coil, wreath," literally "that which is rolled," from volvere "to turn around, roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." Meaning "book forming part of a set" is 1520s in English, from that sense in French. Generalized sense of "bulk, mass, quantity" (1620s) developed from that of "bulk or size of a book" (1520s), again following the sense evolution in the French word.
volumetric (adj.)
1854, from volumeter "instrument for measuring the volume of liquids and gases" (1827) + -ic. Related: Volumetrical (1853).
voluminous (adj.)
1610s, "forming a large mass," also "full of turnings and windings," from Late Latin voluminosus, from Latin volumen (genitive voluminis) "volume" (see volume). Related: Voluminously; voluminousness.
voluntarism (n.)
1838, "theory or principal of using voluntary action rather than coercion (in politics, religion, etc.), from voluntary + -ism. (Voluntaryism in the religious sense, as opposed to establishmentarianism, is recorded from 1835.) In philosophy, "theory that the will is the basic principle," 1896, from German Voluntarismus (Tönnies, 1883).
voluntary (adj.)
late 14c., from Latin voluntarius "willing, of one's free will," from voluntas "will," from the ancient accusative singular present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). Originally of feelings, later also of actions (mid-15c.). Related: Voluntarily.
volunteer (n.)
c. 1600, "one who offers himself for military service," from Middle French voluntaire, "one who volunteers," also as an adjective, "voluntary," from Latin voluntarius "voluntary, of one's free will," as a plural noun "volunteers" (see voluntary). Non-military sense is first recorded 1630s. As an adjective from 1640s. Tennessee has been the Volunteer State since the Mexican War, when a call for 2,800 volunteers brought out 30,000 men.
volunteer (v.)
1755, from volunteer (n.). Related: Volunteered; volunteering (1690s as a verbal noun).
volunteerism (n.)
1844, with reference to armed forces; from volunteer + -ism. In reference to volunteer labor in community activities, by 1977.
c. 1600 (noun and adjective), from French voluptuaire and directly from Latin voluptuarius, earlier voluptarius "of pleasure, giving enjoyment; devoted to pleasure, luxurious," from voluptas "pleasure" (see voluptuous).
voluptuous (adj.)
late 14c., "of or pertaining to desires or appetites," from Old French voluptueux, volumptueuse and directly from Latin voluptuosus "full of pleasure, delightful," from voluptas "pleasure, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction," from volup "pleasurably," perhaps ultimately related to velle "to wish," from PIE *wel- (2) "to wish, will" (see will (v.)). Meaning "addicted to sensual pleasure" is recorded from mid-15c. Sense of "suggestive of sensual pleasure" is attested from 1816 (Byron); especially in reference to feminine beauty from 1839. Related: Voluptuously; voluptuousness.
volute (n.)
1690s, "spiral ornament on an Ionic capital," from French volute (16c.), from Italian voluta, from Latin voluta "a spiral scroll," noun use of fem. past participle of volvere "to turn around, roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." Extended 1756 to any spiral thing or part. As a type of spiral seashell, it is attested from 1753.
volvox (n.)
genus of fresh-water algae, 1798, from Latin volvere "to roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." So called from their motion.
volvulus (n.)
knotting of the bowels, 1670s, medical Latin, from Latin volvere "to turn, twist," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." Compare ileus, from Greek, from the same root and meaning the same thing.
vomit (n.)
late 14c., "act of expelling contents of the stomach through the mouth," from Anglo-French vomit, Old French vomite, from Latin vomitus, from vomitare "to vomit often," frequentative of vomere "to puke, spew forth, discharge," from PIE root *weme- "to spit, vomit" (source also of Greek emein "to vomit," emetikos "provoking sickness;" Sanskrit vamati "he vomits;" Avestan vam- "to spit;" Lithuanian vemiù "to vomit," Old Norse væma "seasickness"). In reference to the matter so ejected, it is attested from late 14c.
vomit (v.)
early 15c., from Latin vomitus, past participle of vomitare (see vomit (n.)). Related: Vomited; vomiting.
vomitorium (n.)
1754, "passage or opening in an ancient amphitheater, leading to or from the seats," from Latin (Macrobius, Sat., VI.iv), from vomitare (see vomit (n.)) + -orium (see -ory). Meaning "place where ancient Romans (allegedly) deliberately vomited during feasts" is attested by 1869.
German, "of, from."
voodoo (n.)
religious witchcraft of Haiti and Southern U.S., ultimately of African origin, 1850, from Louisiana French voudou, from a West African language (such as Ewe and Fon vodu "spirit, demon, deity," also Vandoo, supposedly the name of an African deity, from a language of Dahomey). Compare vodun "fetish connected with snake worship in Dahomey," said to be from vo "to be afraid," or vo "harmful." The verb is attested from 1880.
German, "before, in front of" (see fore).