Etymology
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*gwere- (1)

gwerə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "heavy."

It forms all or part of: aggravate; aggravation; aggrieve; bar (n.4) "unit of pressure;" bariatric; baritone; barium; barometer; blitzkrieg; brig; brigade; brigand; brigantine; brio; brut; brute; charivari; gravamen; grave (adj.); gravid; gravimeter; gravitate; gravity; grief; grieve; kriegspiel; guru; hyperbaric; isobar; quern; sitzkrieg.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit guruh "heavy, weighty, venerable;" Greek baros "weight," barys "heavy in weight," often with the notion of "strength, force;" Latin gravis, "heavy, ponderous, burdensome, loaded; pregnant;" Old English cweorn "quern;" Gothic kaurus "heavy;" Lettish gruts "heavy."

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aggravate (v.)

1520s, "make heavy, burden down," from Latin aggravatus, past participle of aggravare "to render more troublesome," literally "to make heavy or heavier, add to the weight of," from ad "to" (see ad-) + gravare "weigh down," from gravis "heavy" (from PIE root *gwere- (1) "heavy").

The literal sense in English has become obsolete; the meaning "to make a bad thing worse" is from 1590s; the colloquial sense of "exasperate, annoy" is from 1610s. The earlier English verb was aggrege "make heavier or more burdensome; make more oppressive; increase, intensify" (late 14c.), from Old French agreger.

To aggravate has properly only one meaning — to make (an evil) worse or more serious. [Fowler]
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semi- 

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "half," also loosely, "part, partly; partial, almost; imperfect; twice," from Latin semi- "half" (before vowels often sem-, sometimes further reduced to se- before m-), from PIE *semi- "half" (source also of Sanskrit sami "half," Greek hēmi- "half," Old English sam-, Gothic sami- "half").

The Old English cognate, sam-, was used in such compounds as samhal "in poor health, weakly," literally "half-whole;" samsoden "half-cooked" ('half-sodden'), figuratively "stupid" (compare half-baked); samcucu "half-dead," etymologically "half-alive" (see quick (adj.)); and the lingering survivor, sandblind "dim-sighted" (q.v.).

The Latin element was common in formations from Late Latin, as in semi-gravis "half-drunk," semi-hora "half hour," semi-mortuus "half-dead," semi-nudus "half-naked," semi-vir "half-man, hermaphrodite."

The Latin-derived form in English has been active in forming native words since 15c. Semi-bousi "half-drunk" ('semi-boozy'), now obsolete, was among the earliest (c. 1400). As a noun, semi has variously been short for semi-detached house (by 1912), semi-trailer (by 1942), semi-final (by 1942).

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