in ancient Roman mythology, one of the three chief divinities (with Jupiter and Juno), a virgin goddess of arts, crafts, and sciences; wisdom, sense, and reflection (later identified with Greek Athene), late 14c., Mynerfe, minerve, from Latin Minerva, from Old Latin Menerva, from Proto-Italic *menes-wo- "intelligent, understanding," from PIE root *men- (1) "to think, remember," with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (see mind (n.)). Compare Sanskrit Manasvini, name of the mother of the Moon, manasvin "full of mind or sense." Related: Minerval.
Minerva Press, a printing-press formerly in Leadenhall Street, London; also a class of ultra-sentimental novels, remarkable for their intricate plots, published from about 1790 to 1810 at this press, and other productions of similar character. [Century Dictionary]
mid-15c., "sphere, globe, something spherical or circular, orbit of a heavenly body," from Old French orbe "orb, globe" (13c.) and directly from Latin orbem (nominative orbis) "circle, disk, ring, hoop, orbit," probably related to orbita "wheel track, rut," a word of unknown and much-disputed origin. Watkins suggests a connection with the root of orchid. De Vaan suggests *horbi- "turning thing."
A three-dimensional extension of a word originally describing two-dimensional shapes. The ancient astronomical sense is in reference to the hollow "spheres" that carried each of the planets and the stars through their heavenly motions in the Ptolemaic system. Used poetically of the earth, sun, or moon from 1590s; used rhetorically of the eye from 1650s. As a verb from c. 1600.
Orb-weaver in reference to spiders that make webs formed of lines radiating from a central point (as distinguished from tube- or tunnel-weavers) is recorded from 1889.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "light, brightness."
It forms all or part of: allumette; elucidate; illumination; illustration; lea; leukemia; leuko-; light (n.) "brightness, radiant energy;" lightning; limn; link (n.2) "torch of pitch, tow, etc.;" lucent; lucid; Lucifer; luciferase; luciferous; lucifugous; lucubrate; lucubration; luculent; lumen; Luminal; luminary; luminate; luminescence; luminous; luna; lunacy; lunar; Lunarian; lunate; lunation; lunatic; lune; lunette; luni-; luster; lustrum; lux; pellucid; sublunary; translucent.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit rocate "shines;" Armenian lois "light," lusin "moon;" Greek leukos "bright, shining, white;" Latin lucere "to shine," lux "light," lucidus "clear;" Old Church Slavonic luci "light;" Lithuanian laukas "pale;" Welsh llug "gleam, glimmer;" Old Irish loche "lightning," luchair "brightness;" Hittite lukezi "is bright;" Old English leht, leoht "light, daylight; spiritual illumination," German Licht, Gothic liuhaþ "light."
silver-white fluid metallic element, late 14c., from Medieval Latin mercurius, from Latin Mercurius (see Mercury). Prepared in ancient times from cinnabar, it was one of the seven metals (bodies terrestrial) known to the ancients, which were coupled in astrology and alchemy with the seven known heavenly bodies. This one probably was associated with the planet for its mobility. The others were Sun/gold, Moon/silver, Mars/iron, Saturn/lead, Jupiter/tin, Venus/copper.
The Greek name for it was hydrargyros "liquid silver," which gives the element its symbol, Hg. Compare quicksilver, which is its popular name. It has a freezing point of -39° C. The use of the word in reference to temperature or state of the atmosphere (by 1756) is from its use in thermometers and barometers.
Old English full "containing all that can be received; having eaten or drunk to repletion; filled; perfect, entire, utter," from Proto-Germanic *fullaz "full" (source also of Old Saxon full, Old Frisian ful, Dutch vol, Old High German fol, German voll, Old Norse fullr, Gothic fulls), from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill." Related: Fuller; fullest.
The adverb is Old English ful "very, fully, entirely, completely" and was common in Middle English (full well, full many, etc.); sense of "quite, exactly, precisely" is from 1580s. Full moon, one with its whole disc illuminated, was Old English fulles monan; first record of full-blood in reference to racial purity is from 1812. Full house is 1710 in the theatrical sense, 1887 in the poker sense (three of a kind and a pair, earlier full-hand, 1850). Full-dress (adj.) "appropriate to a formal occasion" is from 1761, from the noun phrase.
This is from calare "to announce solemnly, call out," as the priests did in proclaiming the new moon that marked the calends, from PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout." In Rome, new moons were not calculated mathematically but rather observed by the priests from the Capitol; when they saw it, they would "declare" the number of days till the nones (five or seven, depending on the month). The word was taken by the early Church for its register list of saints and their feast days. Meaning "list of documents arranged chronologically" is from late 15c.
The -ar spelling in English is 17c. to differentiate it from the now-obscure calender "cloth-presser." Related: Calendarial; calendary.
Old English wucu, wice, etc., from Proto-Germanic *wikō(n)- (source also of Old Norse vika, Old Frisian wike, Middle Dutch weke, Old High German wecha, German woche), probably originally with the sense of "a turning" or "succession" (compare Gothic wikon "in the course of," Old Norse vika "sea-mile," originally "change of oar," Old English wican "yield, give way"), from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind." The vowel sound seems to have been uncertain in Old and Middle English and -e-, -i-, -o-, -u-, -y-, and various diphthongs are attested for it.
"Meaning primarily 'change, alteration,' the word may once have denoted some earlier time division, such as the 'change of moon, half month,' ... but there is no positive evidence of this" [Buck]. No evidence of a native Germanic week before contact with the Romans. The seven-day week is ancient, probably originating from the 28-day lunar cycle, divisible into four periods of seven day, at the end of each of which the moon enters a new phase. Reinforced during the spread of Christianity by the ancient Jewish seven-day week.
As a Roman astrological convention it was borrowed by other European peoples; the Germanic tribes substituting their own deities for those of the Romans, without regard to planets. The Coligny calendar suggests a Celtic division of the month into halves; the regular Greek division of the month was into three decades; and the Romans also had a market week of nine days. Phrase a week, as in eight days a week recorded by 1540s; see a- (1).
Greek planetary names [for the days of the week] ... are attested for the early centuries of our era, but their use was apparently restricted to certain circles; at any rate they never became popular. In Rome, on the other hand, the planetary names became the established popular terms, too strongly intrenched to be displaced by the eccl[esiastical] names, and spreading through most of western Europe. [Carl Darling Buck, "A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages," 1949]
Old English hærfest "autumn," as one of the four seasons, "period between August and November," from Proto-Germanic *harbitas (source also of Old Saxon hervist, Old Frisian and Dutch herfst, German Herbst "autumn," Old Norse haust "harvest"), from PIE root *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest."
In Old English and Middle English it was primarily a season name, with only an implied reference to the gathering of crops. The meaning "the time of gathering crops" is attested by mid-13c., and the sense was extended to the action itself and the product of the action (after c. 1300). After c. 1500 these were the main senses and the borrowed autumn and repurposed fall (n.) supplied the season name.
The figurative uses begin by 1530s. As an adjective, from late 14c. Harvest home (1570s) was a festive celebration of the bringing home the last of the harvest; harvest moon (1704) is that which is full within a fortnight of the autumnal equinox.
c. 1300, "a fixed time for meals;" late 14c., "fact or action of putting (something) in a place or position; a placing, a planting," also "a place, location, site; the manner or position in which anything is fixed," verbal noun from set (v.).
The surgical sense, with reference to broken bones, etc., is from early 15c. (Chauliac). In reference to the sinking of the sun, moon, or other heavenly bodies below the horizon, from c. 1400. Also in Middle English "act of creation; thing created" (c. 1400). In reference to mounts for jewels, etc. from 1815; the meaning "background, history, environment" is attested from 1841. By 1871 as "act, result, or process of fitting to music." The theatrical sense of "the mounting of a play or opera for the stage" is by 1841. The meaning "set of cutlery, crockery, or both for a single place at table is by 1952.
"change of residence or habitat, removal or transit from one locality to another, especially at a distance," 1610s, of persons, 1640s of animals, from Latin migrationem (nominative migratio) "a removal, change of abode, migration," noun of action from past-participle stem of migrare "to move from one place to another," probably originally *migwros, from PIE *(e)meigw- (source of Greek ameibein "to change"), which is an extended form of root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move" or perhaps a separate root. As "a number of animals migrating together" by 1880.
That European birds migrate across the seas or to Asia was understood in the Middle Ages, but subsequently forgotten. Dr. Johnson held that swallows slept all winter in the beds of rivers, while the naturalist Morton (1703) stated that they migrated to the moon. As late as 1837 the "Kendal Mercury" "detailed the circumstance of a person having observed several Swallows emerging from Grasmere Lake, in the spring of that year, in the form of 'bell-shaped bubbles,' from each of which a Swallow burst forth ...." [The Rev. F.O. Morris, "A History of British Birds," London, 1870]