wampum (n.) Look up wampum at Dictionary.com
string of seashell beads used as money by Native Americans, 1630s, shortened from New England Algonquian wampumpeag (1620s), "string of white (shell beads);" said to be compounded from wab "white" + ompe "string" + plural suffix -ag.
wan (adj.) Look up wan at Dictionary.com
Old English wann "dark, dusky, lacking luster," later "leaden, pale, gray," of uncertain origin, and not found in other Germanic languages. The connecting notion is colorlessness. Perhaps related to wane. Related: Wanly; wanness.
wand (n.) Look up wand at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from Old Norse vondr "rod, switch" (cognate with Gothic wandus "rod," Middle Swedish vander), from Proto-Germanic *wend- "to turn," see wind (v.)). The notion is of a bending, flexible stick. Compare cognate Old Norse veggr, Old English wag "wall," Old Saxon, Dutch wand, Old High German want, German Wand "wall," originally "wickerwork for making walls," or "wall made of wattle-work" (an insight into early Germanic domestic architecture). Magic wand is attested from c.1400 and shows the etymological sense of "suppleness" already had been lost.
wander (v.) Look up wander at Dictionary.com
Old English wandrian "move about aimlessly, wander," from West Germanic *wandran "to roam about" (cognates: Old Frisian wondria, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wanderen, German wandern "to wander," a variant form of the root represented in Old High German wantalon "to walk, wander"), from PIE root *wendh- "to turn, wind, weave" (see wind (v.1)). In reference to the mind, affections, etc., attested from c.1400. Related: Wandered; wandering. The Wandering Jew of Christian legend first mentioned 13c. (compare French le juif errant, German der ewige Jude).
wanderlust (n.) Look up wanderlust at Dictionary.com
1902, from German Wanderlust, literally "desire for wandering" (see wander + lust).
wane (v.) Look up wane at Dictionary.com
Old English wanian "make or become smaller gradually, diminish, decline, fade," from Proto-Germanic *wanen (cognates: Old Saxon wanon, Old Norse vana, Old Frisian wania, Middle Dutch waenen, Old High German wanon "to wane, to grow less"), from *wano- "lacking," from PIE *we-no-, from root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out" (see vain). Related: Waned; waning; wanes.
wang (n.) Look up wang at Dictionary.com
"penis," 1933, slang, probably from whangdoodle, an earlier term for "gadget, thing for which the correct name is not known." Many such words (thingy, dingus, etc.) have been used in slang for "penis," not because the actual name was unknown, but because it was unmentionable. Another possibility is that the slang word is a variant of whang "large, thick slice" (1630s), which earlier was used in the sense of "thong" (1530s) and is itself a variant of thwang, an alternative form of thong (see thong). In Old English, wang meant "cheek, jaw," hence wangtoð "cheek-tooth, molar."
wangle (v.) Look up wangle at Dictionary.com
"obtain something by trickery," 1888, originally British printer's slang for "fake by manipulation;" perhaps an alteration of waggle, or of wankle (now dialectal) "unsteady, fickle," from Old English wancol (see wench (n.)). Brought into wider use by World War I soldiers.
waning (adj.) Look up waning at Dictionary.com
Old English wanunge, wonunge, present participle of wanian (see wane).
wank (n.) Look up wank at Dictionary.com
"act of (male) masturbation," 1948, slang. As a verb, from 1950. Related: Wanked; wanking.
Wankel (n.) Look up Wankel at Dictionary.com
type of rotary internal combustion engine, 1961, from name of German engineer Felix Wankel (1902-1988).
wanker (n.) Look up wanker at Dictionary.com
1940s, "masturbator," British slang, from wank "to masturbate," of unknown origin. General sense of "contemptible person" is attested from 1972. Compare sense evolution of jerk (n.).
wanna (v.) Look up wanna at Dictionary.com
representing the casual pronunciation of want to, by 1896.
wannabe (n.) Look up wannabe at Dictionary.com
1981, originally American English surfer slang, from casual pronunciation of want to be; popularized c.1984 in reference to female fans of pop singer Madonna.
want (v.) Look up want at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "to be lacking," from Old Norse vanta "to lack, want," earlier *wanaton, from Proto-Germanic *wanen, from PIE *we-no-, from root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out" (see vain). The meaning "desire, wish for, feel the need of" is recorded by 1706.
want (n.) Look up want at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "deficiency, insufficiency, shortage," from want (v.) and from Old Norse vant, neuter of vanr "wanting, deficient;" related to Old English wanian "to diminish" (see wane). Meaning "state of destitution, poverty" is recorded from early 14c. Meaning "thing desired, that which is lacking but needed" is from 1560s. Phrase for want of is recorded from c.1400. Newspaper want ad is recorded from 1897. Middle English had wantsum (c.1200) "in want, deprived of," literally "want-some."
wanted (adj.) Look up wanted at Dictionary.com
1690s, "lacking;" 1812, "sought by the police;" past participle adjective from want (v.). Wanted poster attested by 1945.
wanting (adj.) Look up wanting at Dictionary.com
early 14c., wantand, "deficient, lacking," present participle adjective from want (v.). Modern spelling from 16c.
wanton (adj.) Look up wanton at Dictionary.com
early 14c., wan-towen, "resistant to control; willful," from Middle English privative word-forming element wan- "wanting, lacking, deficient," from Old English wan-, which was used interchangeably with un- (1), and is cognate with German wahn- (as in wahnglaube "superstition," wahnschaffen "misshapen," wahnwitzig "mad, foolish"), Dutch wan- (as in wanbestuur "misgovernment," wanluid "discordant sound"), Swedish and Danish van-, from Proto-Germanic *wano- (see wane). Common in Old and Middle English, still present in 18c. glossaries of Scottish and Northern English; this word is its sole modern survival.

Second element is Middle English towen, from Old English togen, past participle of teon "to train, discipline;" literally "to pull, draw," from Proto-Germanic *teuhan (cognates: Old High German ziohan "to pull;" see tug (v.)). The basic notion perhaps is "ill-bred, poorly brought up;" compare German ungezogen "ill-bred, rude, haughty," literally "unpulled." Especially of sexual indulgence from late 14c. Meaning "inhumane, merciless" is from 1510s. Related: Wantonly; wantonness.
As Flies to wanton Boyes are we to th' Gods, They kill vs for their sport. [Shakespeare, "Lear," 1605]
wanton (n.) Look up wanton at Dictionary.com
"one who is ill-behaved," mid-15c., especially "lascivious, lewd person" (1520s), from wanton (adj.).
wanton (v.) Look up wanton at Dictionary.com
"to revel, frolic unrestrainedly," 1580s, from wanton (adj.). Related: Wantoned; wantoning.
wap (n.) Look up wap at Dictionary.com
"a hit, a blow," late 14c., probably of imitative origin. The verb (late 14c.) originally meant "to throw quickly or with violence," and in slang c.1560-1730 it meant "to copulate." Related: Wapped; wapping.
wapentake (n.) Look up wapentake at Dictionary.com
division of certain English counties (equivalent to a hundred in other places), Old English wæpengetæc "division of a riding," from Old Norse vapnatak, from vapna, genitive plural of vapn "weapon" (see weapon) + tak "a touching, a taking hold, a grasping," from taka "to take, grasp," from Proto-Germanic *tak- (see take (v.)). Perhaps it originally was an armed muster with inspection of weapons, or else an assembly where consent was expressed by brandishing swords and spears.
war (n.) Look up war at Dictionary.com
late Old English wyrre, werre "large-scale military conflict," from Old North French werre "war" (Old French guerre "difficulty, dispute; hostility; fight, combat, war;" Modern French guerre), from Frankish *werra, from Proto-Germanic *werz-a- (cognates: Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, German verwirren "to confuse, perplex"), from PIE *wers- (1) "to confuse, mix up". Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion."

Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian guerra also are from Germanic; Romanic peoples turned to Germanic for a word possibly to avoid Latin bellum because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful." There was no common Germanic word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. Old English had many poetic words for "war" (wig, guð, heaðo, hild, all common in personal names), but the usual one to translate Latin bellum was gewin "struggle, strife" (related to win (v.)).

First record of war time is late 14c. Warpath (1775) is originally in reference to North American Indians, as are war-whoop (1761), war-paint (1826), and war-dance (1757). War crime first attested 1906 (in Oppenheim's "International Law"). War chest is attested from 1901; now usually figurative. War games translates German Kriegspiel (see kriegspiel).
war (v.) Look up war at Dictionary.com
"to make war on," mid-12c.; see war (n.). Related: Warred; warring.
War of 1812 Look up War of 1812 at Dictionary.com
In reference to the conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain, so called in U.S. by 1815.
war-path (n.) Look up war-path at Dictionary.com
also warpath, 1775, in reference to North American Indians, from war (n.) + path (n.).
war-song (n.) Look up war-song at Dictionary.com
1757, from war (n.) + song (n.).
war-time (n.) Look up war-time at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from war (n.) + time (n.).
warble (v.) Look up warble at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old North French werbler "to sing with trills and quavers" (Old French guerbloiier), from Frankish *werbilon (cognate with Old High German wirbil "whirlwind," German Wirbel "whirl, whirlpool, tuning peg, vertebra," Middle Dutch wervelen "to turn, whirl"); see whirl (v.). Related: Warbled; warbling. The noun is recorded from late 14c.
warbler (n.) Look up warbler at Dictionary.com
1610s, agent noun from warble (v.). Applied to Old World songbirds by 1773 and to North American birds that look like them but sing little by 1783.
warcraft (n.) Look up warcraft at Dictionary.com
"military science," c.1400, from war (n.) + craft (n.).
ward (n.) Look up ward at Dictionary.com
Old English weard "a guarding, protection; watchman, sentry, keeper," from Proto-Germanic *wardaz "guard" (cognates: Old Saxon ward, Old Norse vörðr, Old High German wart), from PIE *war-o-, from root *wer- (4) "perceive, watch out for" (cognates: Latin vereri "to observe with awe, revere, respect, fear;" Greek ouros "a guard, watchman," and possibly horan "to see;" Hittite werite- "to see"). Used for administrative districts (at first in the sense of guardianship) from late 14c.; of hospital divisions from 1749. Meaning "minor under control of a guardian" is from early 15c. Ward-heeler is 1890, from heeler "loafer, one on the lookout for shady work" (1870s).
ward (v.) Look up ward at Dictionary.com
Old English weardian "to keep guard, watch, protect, preserve," from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard" (cognates: Old Saxon wardon, Old Norse varða "to guard," Old Frisian wardia, Middle Dutch waerden "to take care of," Old High German warten "to guard, look out for, expect," German warten "to wait, wait on, nurse, tend"), from PIE *war-o- (see ward (n.)). French garder, Italian guardare, Spanish guardar are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "to parry, to fend off" (now usually with off) is recorded from 1570s. Related: Warded; warding.
warden (n.) Look up warden at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "one who guards," from Old North French wardein, from Frankish *warding- (which became Old French guardenc), from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to watch, guard" (see ward (v.)). Meaning "governor of a prison" is recorded from c.1300.
warder (n.) Look up warder at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "guardian of an entrance," from Anglo-French wardere, wardour "guardian, keeper, custodian" (Old French gardeor), agent noun from Old North French warder "to guard, keep, maintain, uphold" (Old French garder), from Frankish *wardon, from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard" (see ward (v.)).
Wardour-street (n.) Look up Wardour-street at Dictionary.com
"affected pseudo-archaic diction of historical novels," 1888, from street in London lined with shops selling imitation-antique furniture.
This is not literary English of any date; this is Wardour-Street Early English -- a perfectly modern article with a sham appearance of the real antique about it. [A. Ballantyne, "Wardour-Street English," Longman's Magazine, October, 1888]
wardrobe (n.) Look up wardrobe at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "room where wearing apparel is kept," earlier "a private chamber" (c.1300), from Old North French warderobe, wardereube (Old French garderobe) "dressing-room, place where garments are kept," from warder "to keep, guard" (see ward (v.)) + robe "garment" (see robe (n.)). Meaning "a person's stock of clothes for wearing" is recorded from c.1400. Sense of "movable closed cupboard for wearing apparel" is recorded from 1794. Meaning "room in which theatrical costumes are kept" is attested from 1711. Wardrobe malfunction is from 2004.
ware (n.) Look up ware at Dictionary.com
"manufactured goods, goods for sale," Old English waru "article of merchandise," also "protection, guard," hence probably originally "object of care, that which is kept in custody," from Proto-Germanic *waro (cognates: Swedish vara, Danish vare, Old Frisian were, Middle Dutch were, Dutch waar, Middle High German, German ware "goods"), from PIE *wer- (4) "to perceive, watch out for" (see ward (n.)). Usually wares, except in compounds such as hardware, earthenware, etc. Lady ware was a jocular 17c. euphemism for "a woman's private parts," and Middle English had ape-ware "deceptive or false ware; tricks" (mid-13c.).
ware (v.) Look up ware at Dictionary.com
"to take heed of, beware," Old English warian "to guard against, beware; protect, defend," from Proto-Germanic *waraz (cognates: Old Frisian waria, Old Norse vara), from PIE *war-o- "to guard, watch," from root *wer- (4) "to perceive, watch out for" (see ward (n.)).
warehouse (n.) Look up warehouse at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from ware (n.) + house. Compare Dutch warenhuis, German warenhaus. Meaning "large impersonal institution" is American English colloquial, first attested 1970.
warehouse (v.) Look up warehouse at Dictionary.com
1799, "deposit or secure in a warehouse," from warehouse (n.). In the colloquial sense, especially of mentally disabled persons, from 1972. Related: Warehoused; warehousing.
warf Look up warf at Dictionary.com
see Warfarin.
warfare (n.) Look up warfare at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from war (n.) + fare (see fare (n.)).
Warfarin (n.) Look up Warfarin at Dictionary.com
1950, from WARF, acronym from Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation + -arin, from Coumarin. The organization describes itself as "an independent, nonprofit foundation chartered to support research at the U[niversity of] W[isconsin]-Madison and the designated technology transfer organization for the university."
warhead (n.) Look up warhead at Dictionary.com
also war-head, 1898, "explosive part of a torpedo," from war (n.) + head (n.). Later transferred to any missile (1944).
warhorse (n.) Look up warhorse at Dictionary.com
also war-horse, 1650s, "powerful horse ridden into war," from war (n.) + horse (n.). Figurative sense of "seasoned veteran" of anything is attested from 1837. In reference to women perceived as tough, by 1921.
Waring Look up Waring at Dictionary.com
brand name of a type of food blender, 1944, manufactured by Waring Products Corp., N.Y., U.S.
warlike (adj.) Look up warlike at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from war (n.) + like (adj.).
warlock (n.) Look up warlock at Dictionary.com
Old English wærloga "traitor, liar, enemy, devil," from wær "faith, fidelity; a compact, agreement, covenant," from Proto-Germanic *wera- (cognates: Old High German wara "truth," Old Norse varar "solemn promise, vow"), from PIE *were-o- "true, trustworthy" (see very, also Varangian). Second element is an agent noun related to leogan "to lie" (see lie (v.1); and compare Old English wordloga "deceiver, liar").

Original primary sense seems to have been "oath-breaker;" given special application to the devil (c.1000), but also used of giants and cannibals. Meaning "one in league with the devil" is recorded from c.1300. Ending in -ck (1680s) and meaning "male equivalent of a witch" (1560s) are from Scottish. Related: Warlockery.