late 14c., "in a distinct manner, not confusedly or obscurely," from distinct + -ly (2). Hence, "without a doubt, obviously" (1858).
[D]istinctly, in the sense really quite, is the badge of the superior person indulgently recognizing unexpected merit in something that we are to understand is not quite worthy of his notice. [Fowler]
early 15c., decoracioun, "the covering of blemishes with cosmetics;" 1580s, "action of adorning with something becoming or ornamental," from Medieval Latin decorationem (nominative decoratio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin decorare "to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify," from decus (genitive decoris) "an ornament; grace, dignity, honor," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept" (on the notion of "to add grace"),
Meaning "that which decorates" is from 1670s. As "a badge or medal worn as a mark of honor" (often in plural, decorations), also "the conferring of a badge or medal of honor," by 1816. In U.S., Decoration Day (by 1870) was another old name for Memorial Day (q.v.), when the graves of the Civil War dead from the North were decorated with flowers.
"clasp, button, etc. used to secure the cock of a hat," hence "any knot or badge worn on a hat," especially as a sign of political adherence, 1709, earlier cockard (1650s), from French cocarde (16c.), fem. of cocard (Old French cocart) "foolishly proud, cocky," as a noun, "idiot, fool;" an allusive extension from coq (see cock (n.1)).
1520s, "deck with something becoming or ornamental, adorn, beautify," from Latin decoratus, past participle of decorare "to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify," from decus (genitive decoris) "an ornament; grace, dignity, honor," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept."
Earlier was decoren (early 15c.) with past-participle adjective decorat. Meaning "confer distinction upon by means of a badge or medal of honor" is from 1816. Related: Decorated; decorating.
early 15c. as the national emblem of England (St. George's Cross), also the badge of the Order of the Temple. Hence red-cross knight, one bearing such a marking on shield or crest. In 17c., a red cross was the mark placed on the doors of London houses infected with the plague. The red cross was adopted as a symbol of ambulance service in 1864 by the Geneva Conference, and the Red Cross Society (later also, in Muslim lands, Red Crescent) philanthropic organization was founded to carry out the views of the 1864 conference as well as other works of relief.
pungent bulbous culinary herb of the genus Allium, related to the onion, long the national badge of the Welsh, Old English læc (Mercian), leac (West Saxon) "leek, onion, garlic," from Proto-Germanic *lauka- (source also of Old Norse laukr "leek, garlic," Danish løg, Swedish lök "onion," Old Saxon lok "leek," Middle Dutch looc, Dutch look "leek, garlic," Old High German louh, German Lauch "leek"). No certain cognates outside Germanic; Finnish laukka, Russian luk-, Old Church Slavonic luku are said to be from Germanic. Also the final element in garlic.
"to attack persistently, worry, pester," 1790, from badger (n.), based on the behavior of the dogs in the medieval sport of badger-baiting, still practiced in late 19c. England as an attraction to low public houses. Related: Badgered; badgering.
A badger is put into a barrel, and one or more dogs are put in to drag him out. When this is effected he is returned to his barrel, to be similarly assailed by a fresh set of dogs. The badger usually makes a most determined and savage resistance. [Century Dictionary]
early 15c., "a token, sign, symbol; badge of office, mark or insignia of authority or rank;" also "battle flag, flag or banner of a ship or troop of soldiers," via Scottish, from Old French enseigne (12c.) "mark, symbol, signal; flag, standard, pennant," from Latin insignia (plural); see insignia, which is a doublet of this word. As the word for the soldier who carries the flag, 1510s. U.S. Navy sense of "commissioned officer of the lowest rank" is from 1862. French navy had rank of enseigne de vaisseau at least since early 18c. Until 1871 one of the lowest grades of commissioned officers in a British army infantry regiment, also a rank in the American Revolutionary army.
late 14c., filaterie, philateria, "small leathern box or badge containing four Old Testament texts, worn by Jews on the arm or forehead as a reminder of the obligation to keep the Law," from Old French filatiere (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin philaterium, from Late Latin phylacterium "reliquary," from Greek phylacterion "safeguard, amulet; a post for watchmen," noun use of neuter of adjective phylaktērios "serving as a protection," from phylaktēr "watcher, guard," from phylassein "to guard or ward off," from phylax (genitive phylakos) "guardian, watcher, protector," a word of unknown origin; Beekes writes that, based on the suffix -ax, "the word may well be pre-Greek." The custom of wearing it is based on a literal reading of scripture:
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. [Deuteronomy xi.18]
Old English steorra "star," from Proto-Germanic *sternan- (source also of Old Saxon sterro, Old Frisian stera, Dutch ster, Old High German sterro, German Stern, Old Norse stjarna, Swedish stjerna, Danish stierne, Gothic stairno). This is from PIE root *ster- (2) "star."
Astrological sense of "influence of planets and zodiac on human affairs" is recorded from mid-13c., hence "person's fate as figured in the stars" (c. 1600; star-crossed "ill-fated" is from "Romeo and Juliet," 1592). Meaning "lead performer" is from 1824; star turn is from 1898. Stars as a ranking of quality for hotels, restaurants, etc. are attested from 1886, originally in Baedecker guides. Sticker stars as rewards for good students are recorded from 1970s. Brass star as a police badge is recorded from 1859 (New York City). Star-cluster is from 1870. To see stars when one is hit hard on the head is from 1839.