c. 1500, "pleasing, agreeable" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French placable "forgiving, conciliatory" and directly from Latin placabilis "easily appeased or pacified," from placare "to calm, appease, quiet, soothe, assuage," causative of placere "to please" (see please). From 1580s as "capable of being pleased or pacified, easily appeased, willing to forgive." Related: Placably; placability.
mid-15c., propicious, "inclined to grant favor, disposed to pardon or forgive," from Anglo-French propicius, Old French propicius "gracious, favorable, useful" (12c., Modern French propice) and directly from Latin propitius "favorable, kind, gracious, well-disposed" (see propitiation). The earlier English form was propice, from Old French propice. The meaning "boding well" is from 1580s; that of "affording favorable conditions or circumstances" is by c. 1600. Related: Propitiously; propitiousness.
mid-15c., pardounen, "to forgive for offense or sin," from Old French pardoner and Medieval Latin perdonare (see pardon (n.)).
'I grant you pardon,' said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; 'but I also pardon whoever will kill you.' [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon me as a phrase used when making apology is by 1764; pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is by 1895.
1510s, "a talk," from Latin sermocinationem (nominative sermocinatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of sermonari "talk, discourse, harangue," from sermo (see sermon). From 1753 in rhetoric. Related: Sermocinator, agent noun; sermocinatrix "a female talker" (1620s); sermocinate (1620s).
A form of prosopopoeia in which the speaker, having addressed a real or imaginary hearer with a remark or especially a question, immediately answers for the hearer: as, "Is a man known to have received foreign money? People envy him. Does he own it? They laugh. Is he formally convicted? They forgive him." [Century Dictionary]
1857, "to forgive or pardon" (something wrong), especially by implication, from Latin condonare "to give up, remit, permit," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + donare "give as a gift," from donum "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give").
It is attested from 1620s, but only as a dictionary word. In real-world use originally a legal term in the Matrimonial Causes Act, which made divorce a civil matter in Britain (see condonation). General sense of "tolerate, sanction" is by 1962. Related: Condoned; condoning.
late 14c., remitten, "to forgive, pardon," from Latin remittere "send back, slacken, let go back, abate," from re- "back" (see re-) + mittere "to send" (see mission). Secondary senses predominate in English.
From c. 1400 as "refer for consideration or performance from one person or group to another;" early 15c. as "send to prison or back to prison." The meaning "allow to remain unpaid, refrain from exacting" (penalty, punishment, etc.) is from mid-15c. Meaning "send money (to someone) in payment" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Remitted; remitting.
mid-13c., "attempt to clear (someone) from blame, find excuses for," from Old French escuser (12c., Modern French excuser) "apologize, make excuses; pardon, exonerate," from Latin excusare "excuse, apologize, make an excuse for, plead as an excuse; release from a charge; decline, refuse, excuse the refusal of" (source also of Spanish excusar, Italian scusare), from ex "out, away" (see ex-) + causa "accusation, legal action" (see cause (n.)).
Sense of "forgive, pardon, accept another's plea of excuse" is from early 14c. Meaning "to obtain exemption or release from an obligation or duty; beg to be excused" is from mid-14c. in English, as is the sense "defend (someone or something) as right." Sense of "serve as justification for" is from 1530s. Related: Excused; excusing. Excuse me as a mild apology or statement of polite disagreement is from c. 1600.
c. 1300, relēsen, "to withdraw, revoke (a decree, etc.), cancel, lift; remit," from Old French relaissier, relesser "to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit," variant of relacher "release, relax," from Latin relaxare "loosen, stretch out" (from re- "back" (see re-) + laxare "loosen," from PIE root *sleg- "be slack, be languid"). Latin relaxare is the source also of Spanish relajar, Italian relassare, and English relax, and the uncle of relish.
Meaning "alleviate, ease" is mid-14c., as is sense of "set free from (duty, etc.); exonerate." From late 14c. as "grant remission, forgive; set free from imprisonment, military service, etc." Also "give up, relinquish, surrender." In law, c. 1400, "to grant a release of property." Of press reports, attested from 1904; of motion pictures from 1912; of music recordings from 1962. As a euphemism for "to dismiss, fire from a job" it is attested in American English since 1904. Related: Released; releasing.
"an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture," 1976, introduced by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in "The Selfish Gene," coined by him from Greek sources, such as mimeisthai "to imitate" (see mime (n.)), and intended to echo gene.
We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene'. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory', or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with 'cream'. [Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene," 1976]
Digital Age sense of "an image or snippet of video or text considered witty or incisive that is spread widely and rapidly by internet users" is by 1997.
late 12c., "God's forgiveness of his creatures' offenses," from Old French mercit, merci (9c.) "reward, gift; kindness, grace, pity," from Latin mercedem (nominative merces) "reward, wages, pay, hire" (in Vulgar Latin "favor, pity;" in Medieval Latin "thanks; grace"), from merx (genitive mercis) "wares, merchandise" (see market (n.)). In Church Latin (6c.) it was given a specific application to the heavenly reward earned by those who show kindness to the helpless and those from whom no requital can be expected.
Meaning "disposition to forgive or show compassion" is attested from early 13c. Sense of "an act or exercise of forbearance or good will" is from c. 1300. As an interjection, attested from mid-13c. (short for may God have mercy, have mercy on me, etc.). Many of the English senses are found earlier in French, but in French the word largely has been superseded by miséricorde except as a word of thanks. Sense of "discretionary action" (as in at (one's) mercy) is from mid-14c. Seat of mercy "golden covering of the Ark of the Covenant" (1530), hence "the throne of God," is Tyndale's loan-translation of Luther's gnadenstuhl, an inexact translation of Latin propitiatorium, ultimately a rendering of Hebrew kapporeth, literally "propitiatory."