also count-down, "the counting down of numerals in reverse order to zero before a significant event," also the preparations made during this time, 1953, American English, in early use especially of launches of rockets or missiles, from the verbal phrase (attested by 1954); see count (v.) + down (adv.).
mid-12c., adopted in Anglo-French for "the wife of an earl," from Medieval Latin cometissa, fem. of Latin comes "count" (see count (n.1)). Also used to translate continental titles equivalent to the fem. of earl.
1875, "body of companions or attendants," Latin collective of comes, comitem "a companion, an associate" (see count (n.1)). In posse comitatus it means "of a county."
1630s, "determine by calculation," from French computer (16c.), from Latin computare "to count, sum up, reckon together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + putare "to reckon," originally "to prune," from PIE root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp." A doublet of count (v.). Related: Computed; computing.
mid-14c., "a shire, a definite division of a country or state for political and administrative purposes," from Anglo-French counte, from Late Latin comitatus "jurisdiction of a count," from Latin comes (see count (n.1)). It replaced Old English scir "shire."
From late 14c. as "the domain of a count or earl." County palatine, one distinguished by special privileges (Lancaster, Chester, Durham) is from mid-15c. County seat "seat of the government of a county" is by 1848, American English.
late 14c., "official in charge of accounts in a king's household," from Anglo-French contrerolleour (late 13c.), Old French contrerelleor (Modern French contrôleur), from Medieval Latin contrarotulator, agent noun from *contra-rotulare (see control (v.)).
Broader sense of "officer who examines accounts and manages finances of a corporation or institution" is from c. 1400. The first syllable was confused with count (v.), Latin comptus (hence comptroller). Mechanical sense "that which governs or restrains" is from 1867.