late 12c., mēl, "an occasion of taking food, a feast, a supply of food taken at one time for relief of hunger," also (c. 1200) "an appointed time for eating;" from Old English mæl, Anglian mēl, "fixed time, occasion; a meal," from Proto-Germanic *mela- (source also of Old Frisian mel "time;" Middle Dutch mael, Dutch maal "time; meal;" Old Norse mal "measure, time, meal;" German Mal "time," Mahl "meal;" Gothic mel "time, hour"), from PIE *me-lo-, from root *me- (2) "to measure."
Original sense of "time" is preserved in English in piecemeal; compare Middle English poundmele "by pounds at a time; generously." Meals-on-wheels for a social service offering home delivery of food to persons unable to purchase or prepare their own is attested by 1952 (from 1947 as a mobile food delivery service without reference to social services). Meal ticket first attested 1865 in literal sense of "ticket of admission to a dining hall;" figurative sense of "source of income or livelihood" is from 1899.
c. 1200, "the universe, the world" (but not popular until 1848, when it was taken as the English equivalent to Humboldt's Kosmos in translations from German), from Latinized form of Greek kosmos "order, good order, orderly arrangement," a word with several main senses rooted in those notions: The verb kosmein meant generally "to dispose, prepare," but especially "to order and arrange (troops for battle), to set (an army) in array;" also "to establish (a government or regime);" "to deck, adorn, equip, dress" (especially of women). Thus kosmos had an important secondary sense of "ornaments of a woman's dress, decoration" (compare kosmokomes "dressing the hair," and cosmetic) as well as "the universe, the world."
Pythagoras is said to have been the first to apply this word to "the universe," perhaps originally meaning "the starry firmament," but it later was extended to the whole physical world, including the earth. For specific reference to "the world of people," the classical phrase was he oikoumene (ge) "the inhabited (earth)." Septuagint uses both kosmos and oikoumene. Kosmos also was used in Christian religious writing with a sense of "worldly life, this world (as opposed to the afterlife)," but the more frequent word for this was aiōn, literally "lifetime, age."
The word cosmos often suggested especially "the universe as an embodiment of order and harmony."
early 15c., "existing apart, independent, not together," a sense now obsolete, also "a small number of; particular, special;" from Anglo-French several, from Old French seperalis "separate," from Medieval Latin separalis "separable," from Latin separ "separate, different," a back-formation from separare "to pull apart," from se- "apart" (see secret (n.)) + parare "make ready, prepare" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").
Compare Anglo-Latin severalis, a variant of separalis. The meaning "various, diverse, different" (as in went their several ways) is attested from c. 1500; that of "more than one" is from 1530s, growing out of legal meanings of the word, "belonging or assigned distributively to certain individuals" (mid-15c.), etc. Also used by mid-17c. as "a vague numeral" (OED), in which any notion of "different" appears to have been lost. Related: Severalty; severality; severalfold. Jocular ordinal form severalth is attested from 1902 in colloquial American English (see -th (2)).
Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurled
By dreams, each one into a several world
1610s, "made by ones own actions or efforts," from self- + made. Self-made man is attested from 1826, American English; the notion is "having attained material success in life without extraneous advantages."
This expression, in the sense in which I here use it, is perhaps peculiar to our own country ; for it denotes a class of men to be found in no other part of the world. It is true, that in Europe there have been those, who, having a bent of the mind, or a genius, as it is called, for some particular employment, have by their own unassisted, persevering efforts, risen to eminence in their favorite pursuit. But the self-made men of our country differ much from these. Genius in them is sterling common senses ; and their object was not the gratification of the mind in some strong predilection for a favorite employment, but rather the attainment of those intellectual habits and resources, which might prepare them for usefulness, and give them influence and eminence among their fellow men. [Samuel P. Newman, "Address Delivered Before the Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College, Tuesday Evening, Sept. 5, 1826"]
late 13c., "musical instrument, mechanical apparatus for producing musical sounds," from Old French instrument, enstrument "means, device; musical instrument" (14c., earlier estrument, 13c.) and directly from Latin instrumentum "a tool, an implement; means, furtherance; apparatus, furniture; ornament, dress, embellishment; a commission, authorization; a document," from instruere "arrange, prepare, set in order; inform, teach," literally "to build, erect," from in- "on" (from PIE root *en "in") + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread").
The word in other Germanic languages also is from French. In English the meaning "a means, an agency" is from mid-14c. The sense of "hand-tool, implement, utensil, something used to produce a mechanical effect" is from early 14c. "Now usually distinguished from a tool, as being used for more delicate work or for artistic or scientific purposes" [OED]. The legal meaning "written document by which formal expression is given to a legal act" is from early 15c. Formerly also used of body parts or organs with special functions.
In wyfhode I wol vse myn Instrument As frely as my makere hath it sent. [Chaucer, "Wife of Bath's Prologue"]
Old English hætu, hæto "heat, warmth, quality of being hot; fervor, ardor," from Proto-Germanic *haita- "heat" (source also of Old Saxon hittia, Old Norse hiti, Old Frisian hete, German hitze "heat," Gothic heito "fever"), from the same source as Old English hat "hot" and hæða "hot weather" (see hot).
Meaning "a single course in a race," especially a horse race, is from 1660s, perhaps from earlier figurative sense of "violent action; a single intense effort" (late 14c.), or the meaning "run given to a horse to prepare for a race" (1570s). The latter word over time was extended to "division of a race or contest when there are too many contestants to run at once," the winners of each heat then competing in a final race.
Meaning "sexual excitement in animals" is from 1768, especially of females, corresponding to rut in males. Meaning "trouble with the police" attested by 1920. Heat wave "period of excessive hot weather" first attested 1890; earlier in reference to solar cycles. Heat-stroke is from 1858. Heat-seeking (adj.) of missiles, etc., is by 1955. Red heat, white heat are in reference to the color of heated metals, especially iron.
late 13c., "to rub down a horse," from Anglo-French curreier "to curry-comb a horse," from Old French correier "put in order, prepare, curry," from con-, intensive prefix (see com-), + reier "arrange," from a Germanic source (see ready). Related: Curried; currying.
To curry favor "flatter, seek favor by officious show of courtesy or kindness" is an early 16c. folk-etymology alteration of curry favel (c. 1400) from Old French correier fauvel "to be false, hypocritical," literally "to curry the chestnut horse," chestnut horses in medieval French allegories being symbols of cunning and deceit. Compare German den falben (hengst) streichen "to flatter, cajole," literally "to stroke the dun-colored horse."
Old French fauvel (later fauveau) "fallow, dun," though the exact color intended in the early uses is vague, is a diminutive of fauve "fawn-colored horse, dark-colored thing, dull," for which see Fauvist. The secondary sense here is entangled with similar-sounding Old French favele "lying, deception," from Latin fabella, diminutive of fabula (see fable (n.)). In Middle English, favel was a common name for a horse, while the identical favel or fauvel (from Old French favele) meant "flattery, insincerity; duplicity, guile, intrigue," and was the name of a character in "Piers Plowman."
mid-14c., "territory subject to an emperor's rule;" in general "realm, dominion;" late 14c. as "authority of an emperor, supreme power in governing; imperial power," in Middle English generally of the Roman Empire.
From Old French empire "rule, authority, kingdom, imperial rule" (11c.), from Latin imperium "a rule, a command; authority, control, power; supreme power, sole dominion; military authority; a dominion, realm," from imperare "to command," from assimilated form of in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + parare "to order, prepare" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").
Not etymologically restricted to "territory ruled by an emperor," but used that way. The Empire, meaning "the British Empire," first recorded 1772 (it officially devolved into "The Commonwealth" in 1931); before that it meant the Holy Roman Empire (1670s).
[P]roperly an empire is an aggregate of conquered, colonized, or confederated states, each with its own government subordinate or tributary to that of the empire as a whole. [Century Dictionary]
Empire as the name of a style (especially in reference to a style of dresses with high waistlines) is by 1860, in reference to the affected classicism prevailing in France during the reign of Napoleon I (1804-15). Second Empire is in reference to the rule of Napoleon III of France (1852-70). New York has been called the Empire State since 1834.
Old English weder "air, sky; breeze, storm, tempest," from Proto-Germanic *wedra- "wind, weather" (source also of Old Saxon wedar, Old Norse veðr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch weder, Old High German wetar, German Wetter "storm, wind, weather"), traditionally said to be from PIE *we-dhro-, "weather" (source also of Lithuanian vėtra "storm," Old Church Slavonic vedro "good weather"), suffixed form of root *we- "to blow." But Boutkan finds this "problematic from a formal point of view" and finds only the Slavic word a likely cognate.
Greek had words for "good weather" (aithria, eudia) and words for "storm" and "winter," but no generic word for "weather" until kairos (literally "time") began to be used as such in Byzantine times. Latin tempestas "weather" (see tempest) also originally meant "time;" and words for "time" also came to mean weather in Irish (aimsir), Serbo-Croatian (vrijeme), Polish (czas), etc. Weather-report is from 1863. Weather-breeder "fine, serene day which precedes and seems to prepare a storm" is from 1650s.
Surnames Fairweather, Merriweather probably reflect disposition; medieval lists and rolls also include Foulweder, Wetweder, Strangweder.
late 14c., in the most basic sense, "to make fit for eating by the action of heat," but especially "to prepare in an appetizing way by various combinations of material and flavoring," from cook (n.).
Old English had gecocnian, cognate with Old High German cochon, German kochen, all verbs from nouns, but the Middle English word seems to be a fresh formation from the noun in English. The figurative sense of "to manipulate, falsify, alter, doctor" is from 1630s (phrase cook the books is attested by 1954). Related: Cooked, cooking. Phrase what's cooking? "what's up, what's going on" is attested by 1942. To cook with gas "do well, act or think correctly" is 1930s jive talk.
The expression "NOW YOU'RE COOKING WITH GAS" has bobbed up again — this time as a front page streamer on the Roper Ranger, and as the banner line in the current advertising series of the Nashville (Tenn.) Gas and Heating Company, cleverly tying gas cooking to local food products and restaurants. "Now you're cooking with gas" literally took the gas industry by the ears around December 1939 — Remember? — when it flashed forth in brilliant repartee from the radio programs of the Maxwell Coffee Hour, Jack Benny, Chase and Sanborn, Johnson Wax, Bob Hope and sundry others. [American Gas Association Monthly, vol. xxiii, 1941]