c. 1600, "group of students," in U.S. especially "number of pupils in a school or college of the same grade," from French classe (14c.), from Latin classis "a class, a division; army, fleet," especially "any one of the six orders into which Servius Tullius divided the Roman people for the purpose of taxation;" traditionally originally "the people of Rome under arms" (a sense attested in English from 1650s), and thus akin to calare "to call (to arms)," from PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout." In early use in English also in Latin form classis.
Meaning "an order or rank of persons, a number of persons having certain characteristics in common" is from 1660s. School and university sense of "course, lecture" (1650s) is from the notion of a form or lecture reserved to scholars who had attained a certain level. Natural history sense "group of related plants or animals" is from 1753. Meaning "high quality" is from 1874. Meaning "a division of society according to status" (with upper, lower, etc.) is from 1763. Class-consciousness (1903) is from German Klassenbewusst.
The fault, the evil, in a class society is when privilege exists without responsibility and duty. The evil of the classless society is that it tends to equalize the responsibility, to atomize it into responsibility of the whole population—and therefore everyone becomes equally irresponsible. [T.S. Eliot, BBC interview with Leslie Paul, 1958]
"part of a public building where people gather to hear speeches, etc.," 1727, from Latin auditorium "a lecture-room," literally "place where something is heard," in Medieval Latin especially "a reception room in a monastery," noun use of neuter of auditorius (adj.) "of or for hearing," from auditus, past participle of audire "to hear" (from PIE root *au- "to perceive"); also see -ory. Earlier in English in the same sense was auditory (late 14c.), and Latin auditorium was glossed in Old English by spræchus ("speech-house").
"to make fun of, to banter," 1845 (intransitive), 1852 (transitive), American English; according to "Dictionary of American Slang," the earliest example is capitalized, hence it is probably from the familiar version of the proper name Joshua. Perhaps it was taken as a typical name of an old farmer.
If those dates are correct, the word was in use earlier than the career of U.S. humorist Josh Billings, pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885), who did not begin to write and lecture until 1860; but his popularity after 1869 may have influence that of the word, or even re-coined it, as it does not seem to have been much in print before 1875.
About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment. ["Josh Billings"]
Related: Joshed; joshing.
1540s, "belief, faith," from French crédit (15c.) "belief, trust," from Italian credito, from Latin creditum "a loan, thing entrusted to another," neuter past participle of credere "to trust, entrust, believe" (see credo).
The commercial sense of "confidence in the ability and intention of a purchaser or borrower to make payment at some future time" was in English by 1570s (creditor is mid-15c.); hence "sum placed at a person's disposal" by a bank, etc., 1660s. From 1580s as "one who or that which brings honor or reputation to." Meaning "honor, acknowledgment of merit," is from c. 1600.
Academic sense of "point awarded for completing a course of study" is by 1904 (short for hour of credit (1892), given for satisfactory completion of one lecture, etc., a week, usually one hour in length). Movie/broadcasting sense "acknowledgement and naming of the individual contributors" (in plural, credits) is by 1914.
Credit rating is from 1958; credit union "cooperative banking society" is 1881, American English.
OED points out that "the context shows that [Aschenwall] did not regard the term as novel," but current use of it seems to trace to him. Sir John Sinclair is credited with introducing it in English use. Meaning "numerical data collected and classified" is from 1829; hence the study of any subject by means of extensive enumeration. Abbreviated form stats first recorded 1961.
[place of instruction] Middle English scole, from Old English scol, "institution for instruction," from Latin schola "meeting place for teachers and students, place of instruction;" also "learned conversation, debate; lecture; disciples of a teacher, body of followers, sect," also in the older Greek sense of "intermission of work, leisure for learning."
This is from Greek skholē "spare time, leisure, rest, ease; idleness; that in which leisure is employed; learned discussion;" also "a place for lectures, school;" originally "a holding back, a keeping clear," from skhein "to get" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold") + -olē by analogy with bolē "a throw," stolē "outfit," etc.
The basic sense of the Greek word is "leisure," which passed to "otiose discussion" (in Athens or Rome, the favorite or proper use of free time), then it came to be used for the place for such discussion.
The Latin word was widely borrowed (in addition to Old French escole, French école, Spanish escuela, Italian scuola; Old High German scuola, German Schule, Swedish skola, Gaelic sgiol, Welsh ysgol, Russian shkola).
The meaning "students attending a school" in English is attested from c. 1300; the sense of "school building" is by 1590s. Sense of "people united by a general similarity of principles and methods" is from 1610s; hence school of thought (by 1848). As an adjective by mid-18c., "pertaining to or relating to a school or to education."
School of hard knocks "rough experience in life" is by 1870; to tell tales out of school "betray damaging secrets" is from 1540s. School-bus is from 1908. School days is from 1590s. School board "local committee of education" is by 1836; school district "division of a town or city for the management of schools" is by 1809.