Etymology
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pacification (n.)

"a setting at peace," mid-15c., pacificacioun, from Old French pacification "act of making peaceful" (15c.) and directly from Latin pacificationem (nominative pacificatio) "a peace-making," noun of action from past-participle stem of pacificare "to pacify" (see pacify). As "military operation designed to secure local cooperation in an area where enemy forces are thought to be active," by 1946.

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magic (n.)
Origin and meaning of magic

late 14c., magike, "art of influencing or predicting events and producing marvels using hidden natural forces," also "supernatural art," especially the art of controlling the actions of spiritual or superhuman beings; from Old French magique "magic; magical," from Late Latin magice "sorcery, magic," from Greek magike (presumably with tekhnē "art"), fem. of magikos "magical," from magos "one of the members of the learned and priestly class," from Old Persian magush, which is possibly from PIE root *magh- "to be able, have power."

The transferred sense of "legerdemain, optical illusion, etc." is from 1811. It displaced Old English wiccecræft (see witch); also drycræft, from dry "magician," from Irish drui "priest, magician" (see Druid). Natural magic in the Middle Ages was that which did not involve the agency of personal spirits; it was considered more or less legitimate, not sinful, and involved much that would be explained scientifically as the manipulation of natural forces.

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privateer (n.)

1660s, "private man of war, armed vessel owned and officered by private persons, usually acting under commission from the state," from private (adj.), probably on model of volunteer (n.), buccaneer. From 1670s as "one commanding or serving on a privateer." As a verb, 1660s (implied in privateering) "to cruise on a privateer, to seize or annoy an enemy's ships and commerce."

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prickly (adj.)

1570s, "spiny, full of sharp points, armed with prickles" (originally of holly leaves), from prickle (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense of "irritable, quick to anger" is recorded by 1862. Prickly heat "inflammatory disorder of the sweat glands" is from 1736, so called for the sensation; prickly pear, of the fruit of a certain cactus, is from 1760 (earlier prickle pear, 1610s). Related: Prickliness.

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retiary (adj.)

1640s, of spiders, "spinning a web," from Latin retiarius, from rete "a net" (see rete). From 1650s as "net-like."

In Roman history, a retiarius was a gladiator who wore only a short tunic and carried a trident and a net. "With these implements he endeavored to entangle and despatch his adversary, who was armed with helmet, shield, and sword." [Century Dictionary].

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roughshod (adj.)

also rough-shod, late 15c., "shod with shoes armed with points or calks," from rough (adv.) "in a rough manner" (late 14c.; see rough (adj.)) + shod. Originally of horses shod with the nail-heads projecting from the shoe to prevent slipping on roads. To ride roughshod over something figuratively is by 1861 in that wording.

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buffer (n.1)
"something that absorbs a blow, apparatus for deadening the concussion between a moving body and that against which it strikes," 1835, agent noun from obsolete verb buff "make a dull sound when struck" (mid-16c.), from Old French bufe "a blow, slap, punch" (see buffet (n.2)). Figurative sense of "anything that prevents impact or neutralizes the shock of impact of opposing forces" is from 1858.
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torsion (n.)

early 15c., "wringing pain in the bowels," from Old French torsion "colic" (early 14c.), from Late Latin torsionem (nominative torsio) "a wringing or gripping," from Latin tortionem (nominative tortio) "torture, torment," noun of action from past-participle stem of torquere "to twist, distort, torture" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist"). Meaning "act or effect of twisting as by opposing forces" is first recorded 1540s.

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man-of-war (n.)

late 14c., "a soldier;" see man (n.) + war (n.). Meaning "armed ship, vessel equipped for warfare" is from late 15c. Man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c. in combinations (such as merchantman). The sea creature known as the Portuguese man-of-war (1707) is so called for its sail-like crest. The great U.S. thoroughbred race horse was Man o' War (1917-1947).

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mechanical (adj.)

early 15c., "of or pertaining to tools and their use," from mechanic (adj.) + -al (1). By 1570s as "of or pertaining to machines and their use." Of persons or human actions, "resembling machines, automatic, lacking spirit or spontaneity," from c. 1600. Scientific sense of "of or pertaining to the material forces of nature acting on inanimate bodies," from 1620s. Related: Mechanically. Mechanical-minded is recorded from 1820.

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