also nymphet, nymphete, "sexually attractive young girl," 1955, introduced by Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) in his novel "Lolita" to describe an alluring (in the minds of some men) girl age 9 to 14; from nymph + diminutive suffix. Nymphet was used from 17c. in sense "a little nymph," but this was poetic only by late 19c.
inert gaseous element, 1898, coined by its discoverers (Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers) from Greek krypton, neuter of adjective kryptos "hidden" (see crypt); so called because it remained undiscovered for so long and was so difficult to find. Scientific American (July 9, 1898) announced it as "the discovery of yet another element."
"9 times ten; the number which is one more than eighty-nine or 10 less than one hundred; a symbol representing this number;" Middle English nīntī (late 13c.), from Old English nigontig, from nine + -tig "group of ten" (see -ty (1)). Cognate with Old Frisian niontich, Middle Dutch negentich, Dutch negentig, German neunzig, Old Norse nintigir.
c. 1400, promisen, "make a promise of," from promise (n.). Meaning "afford reason to expect" is from 1590s. Related: Promised; promising. In Middle English also promit (promitten), from the Latin verb. The promised land (1530s, earlier lond of promission, mid-13c.; province of promissioun, late 15c.) is a reference to the land of Canaan promised to Abraham and his progeny (Hebrew xi:9, etc.; Greek ten ges tes epangelias).
"1 more than eighteen, nine more than ten; the cardinal number composed of 10 and 9; a symbol representing this number;" Middle English nīntene, from late Old English nigontene (Anglian), nigontyne (West Saxon); see nine + -teen. Cognate with Old Saxon nigentein, Old Frisian niogentena, Dutch negentien, Old High German niunzehan, German neunzehn, Old Norse nitjan, Danish nitten.
1550s, "of or pertaining to a polity, civil affairs, or government;" from Latin politicus "of citizens or the state" (see politic (adj.)) + -al (1). Meaning "taking sides in party politics" (usually pejorative) is from 1749. Political prisoner first recorded 1860; political science is from 1779 (first attested in Hume). Political animal translates Greek politikon zōon (Aristotle, "Politics," I.ii.9) "an animal intended to live in a city; a social animal."
"execution by electricity," 1889, American English; noun of action from electrocute. Meaning "any death by electricity" is from 1897.
Electrocution, unless better performed than in the first instance, is a retrograde step rather than the contrary. The preliminary arrangements: the shaving of the head, the cutting of the clothing, the strapping in a chair, add much to the horror of the occasion. It is safe to say that electrocution is not the coming method of execution. [The Medical Era, vol. vii, no. 9, Sept. 1890]
early 13c., name given to the rite of Vespers of the Office of the Dead, so called from the opening of the first antiphon, "I will please the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalms cxvi.9, in Vulgate Placebo Domino in regione vivorum), from Latin placebo "I shall please," future indicative of placere "to please" (see please).
Medical sense is recorded by 1785, "a medicine given more to please than to benefit the patient." Placebo effect is attested from 1900.