fem. proper name, from Greek opheleia "help, aid," from ophelein "to help, aid, assist," ophelos "advantage, help," from PIE root *obhel- "to avail" (source also of Armenian avelum "increase, abound").
in reference to the competitive sport of finding one's way in the wild with the aid of a map and a compass, 1948, from orient (v.).
c. 1400, resorten, "advance, proceed; come or go; return (to a subject or topic); go to (someone) for aid, turn to for protection, mercy, etc.," from Old French resortir "recourse, appeal" (Modern French ressortir), from resort "resource, a help, an aid" (see resort (n.)). Related: Resorted; resorting.
late 14c., "that to which one has recourse for aid or assistance, source of comfort and solace," from Old French resort "resource, a help, an aid, a remedy," back-formation from resortir "to resort," literally "to go out again," from re- "again" (see re-) + sortir "go out" (see sortie).
The meaning "place people go for recreation" is recorded by 1754. Phrase in the last resort "ultimately" (1670s) translates French en dernier ressort, originally a last court of legal appeals.
1590s in the surgical sense of "soft mass of linen or other cloth to press against some part of the body (with the aid of a bandage)," from compress (v.).