"pretense or evasive story to avoid doing something," 1812, from earlier sense "thief's assistant" (1590s, also staller), from a variant of stale "bird used as a decoy to lure other birds" (mid-15c.), from Anglo-French estale "decoy, pigeon used to lure a hawk" (13c., compare stool pigeon), literally "standstill," from Old French estal "place, stand, stall," from Frankish *stal- "position," ultimately from Germanic and cognate with Old English steall (see stall (n.1)). Compare Old English stælhran "decoy reindeer," German stellvogel "decoy bird." Figurative sense of "deception, means of allurement" is first recorded 1520s. Also see stall (v.2).
The stallers up are gratified with such part of the gains acquired as the liberality of the knuckling gentlemen may prompt them to bestow. [J.H. Vaux, "Flash Dictionary," 1812]
mid-14c., embushen, enbushen,inbuchen, "to hide in ambush," from Old French embuschier (13c., Modern French embûcher) "to hide, conceal, lay an ambush," from en- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + busch "wood," which is apparently from Frankish *busk "bush, woods," or a similar Germanic source (see bush (n.)). The notion probably is "hide in the bush," or "lure into the bush." Related: Ambushed; ambushing.
"to procure unlawfully, to bribe to accomplish a wicked purpose," especially to induce a witness to perjury, "to lure (someone) to commit a crime," 1530s, from French suborner "seduce, instigate, bribe" (13c.) and directly from Latin subornare "employ as a secret agent, incite secretly," originally "equip, fit out, furnish," from sub "under; secretly" (see sub-) + ornare "equip," related to ordo "row, rank, series, arrangement" (see order (n.)). Related: Suborned; suborning.
c. 1300, "delightful to the senses, pleasing in the highest degree" (implied in deliciously), from Old French delicios (Modern French délicieux), from Late Latin deliciosus "delicious, delicate," from Latin delicia (plural deliciae) "a delight, allurement, charm," from delicere "to allure, entice," from de- "away" (see de-) + lacere "to lure, entice," which is of uncertain origin.
Especially, but not exclusively, of taste. Related: Deliciously. As a name of a type of apple, attested from 1903, first grown by Jesse Hiatt of Iowa, U.S.A. Colloquial shortening delish is attested from 1920.
1660s, "lure with flattery and fondling," also in early use "treat endearingly" (1580s); "make a fool of, impose upon" (1670s), probably derived from slang phrases such as make a coax of, from noun coax, cox, cokes "a fool, ninny, simpleton" (1560s), which is of obscure origin, perhaps related to cock (n.1) in some sense. OED speculates that the verb was in vulgar use long before it appeared in writing, thus the order of appearance of the senses is not that of the sense development. Meaning "to manage or guide carefully" is from 1841. Related: Coaxed; coaxing.
Said to be so called from "the manner of its flight" [OED] "in reference to its irregular flapping manner of flight" [Barnhart], but the lapwing also flaps on the ground pretending to have a broken wing to lure egg-hunters away from its nest, which seems a more logical explanation. Its Greek name was polyplagktos "luring on deceitfully."
late 14c., of persons, "self-indulgent, loving ease;" also "sensitive, easily hurt, feeble;" of things, "delightful," from Latin delicatus "alluring, delightful, dainty," also "addicted to pleasure, luxurious, effeminate," in Medieval Latin "fine, slender;" related to deliciae "pleasure, delight, luxury," and delicere "to allure, entice," from de "away" (see de-) + lacere "to lure, entice," which is of uncertain origin. Compare delicious, delectable, delight.
Meaning "so fine or tender as to be easily broken" is recorded from 1560s. Meaning "requiring nice and skillful handling" is by 1742. Sense of "exquisitely adjusted in construction" is from 1756. Related: Delicateness.
1610s, "a swindler;" 1650s, "anything intended to lead (someone) into a snare;" 1660s, "a lure employed in enticing game into a snare or within range of a weapon;" perhaps from Dutch kooi "cage," used of a pond surrounded by nets, into which wildfowl were lured for capture, from West Germanic *kaiwa, from Latin cavea "cage" (from cavus "a hollow" (from PIE root *keue- "to swell," also "vault, hole").
The first element is possibly the Dutch definite article de, mistaken in English as part of the word. If this is right, the later sense in English is the etymological one. But decoy, of unknown origin, was the name of a card game popular c. 1550-1650, and this may have influenced the form of the word.