1570s, "bottom or foundation" (of something material), from Latin basis "foundation," from Greek basis "a going, a step; a stand, base, that whereon one stands," from bainein "to go, walk, step" (from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come"). The transferred and figurative senses (of immaterial things) are from c. 1600.
late 14c., from Old French veler, voiller (12c.), from Latin velare "to cover, veil," from velum "a cloth, covering, curtain, veil," literally "a sail" (see veil (n.)). Figurative sense of "to conceal, mask, disguise" (something immaterial) is recorded from 1530s. Related: Veiled; veiling.
1520s, "seize and hold fast," originally in reference to a ship, by means of a grapple, from grapple (n.). Extended sense of "battle, struggle in close contact" (usually with with) is from 1580s of persons, 1630s of immaterial things. Related: Grappled; grappling. Grappling hook is from 1620s.
1610s, "pertaining to giants," from Latin gigant- stem of gigas "giant" (see giant) + -ic. Replaced earlier gigantine (c. 1600), gigantical (c. 1600), giantlike (1570s). The Latin adjective was giganteus. Of material or immaterial things, actions, etc., "of extraordinary size or proportions," by 1797.
"vast, far-reaching;" c. 1600 of immaterial, c. 1700 of material things; from Late Latin extensivus, from extens-, past-participle stem of Latin extendere "to stretch out, spread" (see extend). Earlier in a medical sense, "characterized by swelling" (early 15c.). Related: Extensively; extensiveness.
early 15c., "spiritual, immaterial," with -al (1) and Late Latin incorporeus "without body," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + adjective from corpus (genitive corporis) "body" (from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance"). The Old French adjective was incorporel. Glossed in Old English as lichhaemleas (see lich).
"action or process of infiltrating," in physics, 1796, noun of action from infiltrate. Figurative sense of "a passing into" (anything immaterial) is from 1840; military sense of "stealthy penetration of enemy lines" dates from 1930. The same word had been used earlier in a medical sense of "a knitting together" (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin infiltratio.
in grammar, "a name; word that denotes a thing (material or immaterial)," late 14c., from Anglo-French noun "name, noun," from Old French nom, non (Modern French nom), from Latin nomen "name, noun" (from PIE root *no-men- "name"). Old English used name to mean "noun." In old use also including adjectives (as noun adjective). Related: Nounal.
1560s, "immaterial," from un- (1) "not" + touchable (see touch (v.)). Meaning "that legally cannot be interfered with" is recorded from 1734. Meaning "too loathsome or defiling to be touched" is recorded from 1873. The noun, in reference to a hereditary low caste of India, is attested from 1909; the term and the restrictions were made illegal in India in 1947.