Etymology
Advertisement
binge (n.)

1854, "drinking bout," also (v.) "drink heavily, soak up alcohol;" dialectal use of binge "soak" (a wooden vessel). Said to have been originally as a dialect word. Binge is noted in Evans' "Leicestershire Words, Phrases and Proverbs" (London, 1848) as a dialect verb for "To soak in water a wooden vessel, that would otherwise leak," to make the wood swell. He adds that it was extended locally to excessive drinking ("soaking").

The sense was extended c. World War I to include eating as well as drinking. Binge-watching is from 1996. Related: Binged; bingeing.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
extravagant (adj.)

late 14c., in constituciouns extravagaunt, a term in Canon Law for papal decrees not originally included or codified in the Decretals, from Medieval Latin extravagantem (nominative extravagans), present participle of extravagari "wander outside or beyond," from Latin extra "outside of" (see extra-) + vagari "wander, roam" (see vague).

In 15c. it also could mean "rambling, irrelevant; extraordinary, unusual." Extended sense of "excessive, extreme, exceeding reasonable limits" first recorded 1590s, probably via French; that of "wasteful, lavish, exceeding prudence in expenditure" is from 1711. Related: Extravagantly. Wordsworth ("Prelude") used extravagate (v.).

Related entries & more 
free verse (n.)

1869; Englishing of vers libre.

But it is possible that excessive devotion to rhyme has thickened the modern ear. The rejection of rhyme is not a leap at facility; on the contrary, it imposes a much severer strain upon the language. When the comforting echo of rhyme is removed, success or failure in the choice of words, in the sentence structure, in the order, is at once more apparent. Rhyme removed, the poet is at once held up to the standards of prose. Rhyme removed, much ethereal music leaps up from the word, music which has hitherto chirped unnoticed in the expanse of prose. [T.S. Eliot, "Reflections on Vers libre," New Statesman, 3 March 1917]
Related entries & more 
fastidious (adj.)

mid-15c., "full of pride," from Latin fastidiosus "disdainful, squeamish, exacting," from fastidium "loathing, squeamishness; dislike, aversion; excessive nicety," which is of uncertain origin; perhaps from *fastu-taidiom, a compound of fastus "contempt, arrogance, pride," and taedium "aversion, disgust." Fastus is possibly from PIE *bhars- (1) "projection, bristle, point," on the notion of "prickliness" (Watkins) or "a semantic shift from 'top' to 'haughtiness' which is conceivable, but the u-stem is not attested independently" [de Vaan], who adds that "fastidium would be a tautology." Early use in English was both in passive and active senses. Meaning "squeamish, over-nice" in English emerged 1610s. Related: Fastidiously; fastidiousness.

Related entries & more 
mirage (n.)

"optical illusion of objects reflected in a sheet of water in hot, sandy deserts," 1800, in translations of French works, from French mirage (1753), from se mirer "to be reflected," from Latin mirare (see mirror (n.)). Or the French word is from Latin mirus "wonderful" (see miracle). The similarity to Arabic mi'raj has been noted, but the usual sense of that word is "ladder, stairs; climb, ascent," and the resemblance appears to be coincidental. The standard Arabic for "a desert mirage" is sarāb. The figurative sense of "deceptiveness of appearance, a delusive seeming" is by 1812. The phenomenon is produced by excessive bending of light rays through layers of air of different densities, producing distorted, displaced, or inverted images.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
superstition (n.)

early 13c., "false religious belief; irrational faith in supernatural powers," from Latin superstitionem (nominative superstitio) "prophecy, soothsaying; dread of the supernatural, excessive fear of the gods, religious belief based on fear or ignorance and considered incompatible with truth or reason," literally "a standing over," noun of action from past participle stem of superstare "stand on or over; survive," from super "above" (see super-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

There are many theories to explain the Latin sense development, but none has yet been generally accepted; de Vaan suggests the sense is "cause to remain in existence." Originally in English especially of religion; sense of "unreasonable notion" is from 1794.

Related entries & more 
muliebrity (n.)

"womanhood, state of puberty in a woman," corresponding to virility in men, 1590s, from Late Latin muliebritatem (nominative muliebritas) "womanhood," from Latin muliebris "of woman, womanly," from mulier "a woman," which is traditionally said to be comparative to the stem of mollis "soft, weak;" there are phonetic objections, but no better theory has come forward.

Hence also mulier, in old law language "a woman; a wife," as an adjective, "born in wedlock." Also muliebral "of or pertaining to a woman" (1650s); muliebrious "effeminate" (1650s); mulierosity "excessive fondness for women." In old anatomy and medical writing pudenda muliebria was euphemistic for "vagina."

Related entries & more 
enthusiasm (n.)
Origin and meaning of enthusiasm

c. 1600, from French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "divine inspiration, enthusiasm (produced by certain kinds of music, etc.)," from enthousiazein "be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by a god," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + theos "god" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). It acquired a derogatory sense of "excessive religious emotion through the conceit of special revelation from God" (1650s) under the Puritans; generalized meaning "fervor, zeal" (the main modern sense) is first recorded 1716.

Related entries & more 
rococo (adj.)

1836, "old-fashioned," from French rococo (19c.), apparently a humorous alteration of rocaille "shellwork, pebble-work" from roche "rock," from Vulgar Latin *rocca "stone." Specifically of furniture or architecture of the time of Louis Quatorze and Louis Quinze, from 1841. If this etymology is correct, the reference likely is to the excessive use of shell designs in this lavish style. For differentiation, see baroque. The general sense of "tastelessly florid or ornate" is from 1844. As a noun, "rococo ornamentation or style," by 1840.

Much of the painting, engraving, porcelain-work, etc., of the time has, too, a real decorative charm, though not of a very high order in art. Hence rococo is used attributively in contempt to note anything feebly pretentious and tasteless in art or literature. [Century Dictionary, 1897] 
Related entries & more 
prude (n.)

1704, "woman who affects or upholds modesty in conduct and thought in a degree considered rigid and excessive," from French prude "excessively prim or demure woman," first recorded in Molière.

Perhaps it is a false back-formation or an ellipsis of preudefemme "a discreet, modest woman," from Old French prodefame "noblewoman, gentlewoman; wife, consort," the fem. equivalent of prudhomme "a brave man" (see proud (adj.)). Or perhaps the French noun is from the French adjective prude "prudish," from Old French prude, prode, preude, which however is attested only in a laudatory sense, "good, virtuous, modest," a feminine form of the adjective preux. Also occasionally as an adjective in English 18c.; the application of the noun to a man was still considered rare at the end of 19c.

Related entries & more 

Page 12