Etymology
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secretariat (n.)

"office or official position of a secretary" in the administrative and executive sense, 1811, from French secrétariat, from Medieval Latin secretariatus "the office of a secretary," from secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant" (see secretary). Meaning "division of the Central Committee of the USSR" (with capital S-) is from 1926, from Russian sekretariat.

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Amerind (n.)

1899, coined by Maj. John Wesley Powell at the Bureau of American Ethnology, where he was director, from American + Indian.

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civil service (n.)

"the executive branch of the public service," as distinguished from the military, naval, legislative, or judicial, 1765, originally in reference to non-military staff of the East India Company, from civil in the sense "not military." Civil servant is from 1792.

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shiftless (adj.)

"wanting in resources or energy and ability to shift for oneself, deficient in organizing or executive ability," 1580s, from shift (n.1) in the sense "resources" + -less. Also compare shift (v.). Related: Shiftlessly; shiftlessness.

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maestro (n.)

"master of music, great teacher or composer," 1797, from Italian maestro, literally "master," from Latin magistrum, accusative of magister "chief, head, director, teacher," contrastive adjective ("he who is greater") from magis (adv.) "more," from PIE *mag-yos-, comparative of root *meg- "great." Applied in Italian to eminent musical composers. Meaning "conductor, musical director" is short for maestro di cappella (1724), literally "master of the chapel" (compare German kapellmeister).

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seismograph (n.)

"instrument for measuring the motions of an earthquake," 1858, from seismo- + -graph. Based on Italian sismografo, coined and invented by Luigi Palmieri (1807-1896), director of meteorological observation on Mount Vesuvius. Related: Seismographic; seismographer; seismography (1865).

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magistral (adj.)

1570s, "forming part of the accepted course of teaching," a sense now obsolete, from Latin magistralis "of a master," from magister "chief, director" (see master (n.)). Meaning "authoritative; of, pertaining to, or befitting a master" is from c. 1600. In pharmacy, of a remedy, etc., "devised by a physician for a particular case, prepared for the occasion" (c. 1600).

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precentor (n.)

"a leader or director of a church choir or congregation in singing," 1610s, from Late Latin praecentor "a leader in singing," from Latin praecantare "to sing before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + canere "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing"). For change of vowel, see biennial.

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pin-stripe (adj.)

"fine stripe repeated as a figure on cloth," 1882, from pin (n.), on the notion of long, slender, and straight, + stripe (n.1). Characteristic of the uniforms of many baseball teams from 1907 and after. Suits of pin-stripe cloth being the conventional garb of the mid-20c. businessman, the word came to be figurative of "executive" by 1958.

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sexist (adj.)

1965, from sex (n.) on model of racist, coined by Pauline M. Leet, director of special programs at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S., in a speech which circulated in mimeograph among feminists. It was popularized by use in print in Caroline Bird's introduction to "Born Female" (1968), which also introduced sexism.

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