Etymology
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fleeting (adj.)
early 13c., "fickle, shifting, unstable," from Old English fleotende "floating, drifting," later "flying, moving swiftly," from present participle of fleotan "to float, drift, flow" (see fleet (v.)). Meaning "existing only briefly" is from 1560s. Related: Fleetingly.
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plankton (n.)

"organism that lives in a large body of water and is unable to swim against the current," 1891, from German Plankton (1887), coined by German physiologist Viktor Hensen (1835-1924) from Greek plankton, neuter of planktos "wandering, drifting," verbal adjective from plazesthai "to wander, drift," from plazein "to drive astray," from PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike." Related: Planktonic.

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fleet (v.)
Old English fleotan "to float; drift; flow, run (as water); swim; sail (of a ship)," from Proto-Germanic *fleutan (source also of Old Frisian fliata, Old Saxon fliotan "to flow," Old High German fliozzan "to float, flow," German fliessen "to flow, run, trickle" (as water), Old Norse fliota "to float, flow"), from PIE root *pleu- "to flow."

Meaning "to glide away like a stream, vanish imperceptibly" is from c. 1200; hence "to fade, to vanish" (1570s). Related: Fleeted; fleeting.
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stray (v.)
c. 1300, a shortening of Old French estraier "wander about, roam, drift, run loose," said of animals, especially a horse without a master, also of persons, perhaps literally "go about the streets," from estree "route, highway," from Late Latin via strata "paved road" (see street). On another theory, the Old French word is from Vulgar Latin *estragare, a contraction of *estravagare, representing Latin extra vagari "to wander outside" (see extravagant). Figurative sense of "to wander from the path of rectitude" is attested from early 14c. Related: Strayed; straying.
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foreplay (n.)

by 1921 in sexual sense, from fore- + play (n.); Freud's Vorlust was translated earlier as fore-pleasure (Brill, 1910). A more direct translation from the German would be thwarted by the sense drift in English lust (n.). Earlier as a theatrical term:

In fact the poem which Mr. Brooks has translated is but the "prologue to the swelling theme," the fore-play to the actual drama of Faust. [The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany, Jan.-May 1857]
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Lemuria 
1864, name given by English zoologist Philip L. Sclater (1829-1913) to an ancient continent or land bridge, now sunk in the Indian Ocean, connecting Africa, Madagascar, India, and Southeast Asia, which he hypothesized to explain the geographical distribution of mammals around it, especially the lemur, hence the name (with -ia). The premise was considered scientifically untenable by 1880 and the phenomena now are accounted for otherwise, but Lemuria in some ways by chance anticipated Gondwanaland (1896) in the continental drift model.

Earlier Lemuria was the name of the Roman feast of the Lemures, evil spirits of the dead in Roman mythology. The head of each household ritually exorcised them every 9th, 11th, and 13th of May. Related: Lemurian
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tenor (n.)
c. 1300, "general meaning, prevailing course, purpose, drift," from Old French tenor "substance, contents, meaning, sense; tenor part in music" (13c. Modern French teneur), from Latin tenorem (nominative tenor) "a course," originally "continuance, uninterrupted course, a holding on," from tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." The musical sense of "high male voice" is attested from late 14c. in English, so-called because the sustained melody (canto fermo) was carried by the tenor's part. Meaning "singer with a tenor voice" is from late 15c. As an adjective in this sense from 1520s.
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vogue (n.)

1570s, the vogue, "height of popularity or accepted fashion," from French vogue "fashion, success;" also "drift, swaying motion (of a boat)" literally "a rowing," from Old French voguer "to row, sway, set sail" (15c.), probably from a Germanic source. Compare Old High German wagon "to float, fluctuate," literally "to balance oneself;" German Woge "wave, billow," wogen "fluctuate, float" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move").

Perhaps the notion is of being "borne along on the waves of fashion." Italian voga "a rowing," Spanish boga "rowing," but colloquially "fashion, reputation" also probably are from the same Germanic source. Phrase in vogue "having a prominent place in popular fashion" first recorded 1643. The fashion magazine began publication in 1892.

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float (v.)

late Old English flotian "to rest on the surface of water" (intransitive; class II strong verb; past tense fleat, past participle floten), from Proto-Germanic *flotan "to float" (source also of Old Norse flota, Middle Dutch vloten, Old High German flozzan, German flössen), from PIE *plud-, extended form of root *pleu- "to flow."

Meaning "drift about, hover passively" is from c. 1300. Transitive sense of "to lift up, cause to float" (of water, etc.) is from c. 1600; that of "set (something) afloat" is from 1778 (originally of financial operations). Of motion through air, from 1630s. Meaning "hover dimly before the eyes" is from 1775. Related: Floated; floating. A floating rib (by 1802) is so called because the anterior ends are not connected to the rest.

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swivel (n.)
c. 1300, "coupling device that allows independent rotation," from frequentative form of stem of Old English verb swifan "to move in a course, revolve, sweep" (a class I strong verb), from Proto-Germanic *swif- (source also of Old Frisian swiva "to be uncertain," Old Norse svifa "to rove, ramble, drift"), from PIE root *swei- (2) "to turn, bend, move in a sweeping manner."

Related Middle English swive was the principal slang verb for "to have sexual intercourse with," a sense that developed c. 1300. This probably explains why, though the root is verbal, the verb swivel is not attested in Modern English until 1794. Compare Middle English phrase smal-swivinge men "men who copulate infrequently."
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