Etymology
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pejorative (adj.)

"depreciative, disparaging, giving a low or bad sense to," 1888, from French péjoratif, from Late Latin peiorat-, past-participle stem of peiorare "make worse," from Latin peior "worse," perhaps originally "stumbling," from PIE *ped-yos-, suffixed (comparative) form of *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair," from root *ped- "foot." As a noun, "a word that depreciates the sense," from 1882. English had a verb pejorate "to worsen" from 1640s.

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detriment (n.)

early 15c., "incapacity;" mid-15c., "any harm or injury," from Old French détriment or directly from Latin detrimentum "a rubbing off; a loss, damage, defeat," from past-participle stem of detere "to wear away," figuratively "to weaken, impair," from de "away" (see de-) + terere "to rub, wear" (from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn"). Meaning "that which causes harm or injury" is from c. 1500.

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mar (v.)

Middle English merren "to deface, disfigure; impair in form or substance" (early 13c.), from Old English merran (Anglian), mierran (West Saxon) "to waste, spoil," from Proto-Germanic *marzjan (source also of Old Frisian meria, Old High German marren "to hinder, obstruct," Gothic marzjan "to hinder, offend"), from PIE root *mers- "to trouble, confuse" (source also of Sanskrit mrsyate "forgets, neglects," Lithuanian miršti "to forget"). For vowel change, see marsh. Related: Marred; marring.

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hinder (v.)
Old English hindrian "to harm, injure, impair, check, repress," from Proto-Germanic *hinderojan (source also of Old Norse hindra, Old Frisian hinderia, Dutch hinderen, Old High German hintaron, German hindern "to keep back"), derivative verb from a root meaning "on that side of, behind" (see hind (adj.)); thus the ground sense is "to put or keep back," though this sense in English is recorded only from late 14c. Related: Hindered; hindering.
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corrupt (v.)

mid-14c., "deprave morally, pervert from good to bad;" late 14c., "contaminate, impair the purity of; seduce or violate (a woman); debase or render impure (a language) by alterations or innovations; influence by a bribe or other wrong motive," from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere "to destroy; spoil," figuratively "corrupt, seduce, bribe" (see corrupt (adj.)).

Intransitive sense of "putrefy, change from a sound to a putrid state" is from late 14c. Related: Corrupted; corrupting. In Middle English also corrumpen (mid-14c., along with corrumpcioun), from Old French corompre, from Latin corumpere.

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derogate (v.)

early 15c., transitive, "impair (authority); disparage (reputation)," a sense now obsolete, from Latin derogatus, past participle of derogare "to take away, detract from, diminish," also "repeal partly, restrict, modify," from de "away" (see de-) + rogare "ask, question; propose," apparently a figurative use of a PIE verb meaning literally "to stretch out (the hand)," from root *reg- "move in a straight line."

Intransitive sense of "take away a part, make an improper or injurious abatement" is from 1560s; that of "do something that tends to lessen one's honor or rank" is from 1610s.

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blemish (v.)

mid-14c., "to disparage, dishonor, impair morally;" late 14c., "to damage or spoil, disfigure," from Old French blemiss- "to turn pale," extended stem of blemir, blesmir "to make pale; stain, discolor," also "to injure" (13c., Modern French blêmir), probably from Frankish *blesmjan "to cause to turn pale," or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *blas "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn," also "shining white."

From mid-15c. as "mar the beauty or soundness of." Usually in reference to something that is well-formed or otherwise excellent. Related: Blemished; blemishing.

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pessimism (n.)

1794 "worst condition possible, point of greatest deterioration" (a sense now rare or obsolete), borrowed (by Coleridge) from French pessimisme, formed (on model of French optimisme) from Latin pessimus "worst," perhaps originally "bottom-most," from PIE *ped-samo-, suffixed (superlative) form of *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair," from root *ped- "foot." Compare Latin pessum "downward, to the ground."

As a name given to the metaphysical doctrines of Schopenhauer, Hartmann, etc., that this is the worst possible world, or that everything tends toward evil, it is recorded in English by 1835, from German pessimismus (Schopenhauer, 1819). As "tendency to exaggerate in thought the evils of life or to look only on the dark side," by 1815. The attempt to make a verb of it as pessimize (1862) did not succeed.

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peccadillo (n.)

"slight sin, petty crime or fault," 1590s (earlier in corrupt form peccadilian, 1520s), from Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado "a sin," from Latin peccatum "a sin, fault, error," noun use of neuter past participle of peccare "to miss, mistake, make a mistake, do amiss; transgress, offend, be licentious, sin," a word of uncertain origin.

Watkins traces it to PIE *ped-ko-, suffixed form of *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair," from root *ped- "foot." But de Vaan is suspicious: "there is no reference to feet in the meaning of peccare. And to 'make a faux pas' ... would hardly be rendered by the word for 'foot', but rather by 'walking.' " He finds a derivation from the root *pet- "to fall" via *pet-ko- "a fall, error" to be "better semantically, but the addition of *-ko- to the bare root seems strange."

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shake (v.)
Old English sceacan "move (something) quickly to and fro, brandish; move the body or a part of it rapidly back and forth;" also "go, glide, hasten, flee, depart" (related to sceacdom "flight"); of persons or parts of the body, "to tremble" especially from fever, cold, fear" (class VI strong verb; past tense scoc, past participle scacen), from Proto-Germanic *skakanan (source also of Old Norse, Swedish skaka, Danish skage "to shift, turn, veer"). No certain cognates outside Germanic, but some suggest a possible connection to Sanskrit khaj "to agitate, churn, stir about," Old Church Slavonic skoku "a leap, bound," Welsh ysgogi "move."

Of the earth in earthquakes, c. 1300. Meaning "seize and shake (someone or something else)" is from early 14c. In reference to mixing ingredients, etc., by shaking a container from late 14c. Meaning "to rid oneself of by abrupt twists" is from c. 1200, also in Middle English in reference to evading responsibility, etc. Meaning "weaken, impair" is from late 14c., on notion of "make unstable."

To shake hands dates from 1530s. Shake a (loose) leg "hurry up" first recorded 1904; shake a heel (sometimes foot) was an old way to say "to dance" (1660s); to shake (one's) elbow (1620s) meant "to gamble at dice." Phrase more _____ than you can shake a stick at is attested from 1818, American English. To shake (one's) head as a sign of disapproval is recorded from c. 1300.
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