"device that emits a signal when activated by a telephone call," 1968, agent noun from page (v.1).
Middle English beken, from Old English beacen "sign, portent, lighthouse," from West Germanic *baukna "beacon, signal" (source also of Old Frisian baken, Old Saxon bokan, Old High German bouhhan); according to Watkins it is probably from Proto-Germanic *baukna- "beacon, signal," from suffixed form of PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine." The figurative use is attested from c. 1600.
in visual arts, "arrangement of a figure so that the action of the upper body is strongly contrasted with that of the lower," 1903, from Italian contrapposto, past participle of contrapporre, from Latin contraponere "to place opposite, to oppose to" (see contraposition).
mid-15c., probabilite, "likelihood of being realized, appearance of truth, quality of being probable," from Old French probabilite (14c.) and directly from Latin probabilitatem (nominative probabilitas) "credibility, probability," from probabilis (see probable).
Meaning "something likely to be true" is from 1570s; mathematical sense is from 1718, "frequency with which a proposition similar to the one in question is found true in the course of experience."
In weather forecasting, probabilities was used in U.S. from 1869 and adopted in the official weather forecasts of the United States Signal Service; hence Old Probabilities, a humorous name for the chief signal officer of the Signal Service Bureau (by 1875).
"a slight push with the elbow," 1787, from nudge (v.). Figurative sense of "a signal or hint intended to call attention, remind, etc." is by 1831.
1805, from telegraph (n.). Figurative meaning "to signal one's intentions" is first attested 1925, originally in boxing. Related: Telegraphed; telegraphing.
early 15c., from the expression cry havoc "give the signal to pillage" (Anglo-French crier havok, late 14c.). Havok, the signal to soldiers to seize plunder, is from Old French havot "pillaging, looting" (in crier havot), which is related to haver "to seize, grasp," hef "hook," probably from a Germanic source (see hawk (n.)), or from Latin habere "to have, possess." General sense of "devastation" first recorded late 15c.
Egyptian goddess, from Greek Isis, from Egyptian Hes, female deity identified by the Greeks with Io. She is distinguished in visual representations by the solar disc and cow horns on her head.
1620s, "action, state, or condition of touching," from Latin contactus "a touching" (especially "a touching of something unclean, contamination"), from past participle of contingere "to touch, seize," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tangere "to touch," from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle."
The figurative sense of "a connection, communication" is attested from 1818. The meaning "a person who can be called upon for assistance" is attested by 1931. As a call to the person about to spin an aircraft propeller to signal that the ignition is switched on, contact was in use by 1913.
To make contact (1860) originally was in reference to electrical circuits. Contact lens " thin artificial lens placed directly on the surface of the eye to correct visual defects" is first recorded 1888, in a translation of an article published in Zurich in 1887 by A. Eugen Fick; contacts for "contact lenses" is from 1957. Contact sport, for one involving bodily contact, is attested from 1922.