c. 1600, North African dish originally made from crushed durum wheat, from French couscous (16c.), ultimately from Arabic kuskus, from kaskasa "to pound, he pounded."
"kind of fodder plant, vetch," c. 1300, perhaps cognate with or from Middle Dutch tarwe "wheat," from a Germanic source perhaps related to Breton draok, Welsh drewg "darnel," Sanskrit durva "a kind of millet grass," Greek darata, daratos "bread," Lithuanian dirva "a wheat-field." Used in 2nd Wyclif version (1388) of Matthew xiii.25 to render Greek zizania as a weed among corn (earlier darnel and cockle had been used in this place); hence figurative use for "something noxious sown among something good" (1711).
"husks of wheat, oats, or other grains," Old English ceaf "chaff," probably from Proto-Germanic *kaf- "to gnaw, chew" (source also of Middle Dutch and Dutch kaf, German Kaff), from PIE root *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (see jowl (n.1)). Used figuratively for "worthless material" from late 14c.
name of flowering weeds that grow in wheat fields, Old English coccel "darnel," used in Middle English to translate the Bible word now usually given as tares (see tare (n.1)). It is in no other Germanic language and may be from a diminutive of Latin coccus "grain, berry." A Celtic origin also has been proposed.
1630s, "a sticky substance," from French gluten "sticky substance" (16c.) or directly from Latin gluten (glutin-) "glue" (see glue (n.)). Used 16c.-19c. for the part of animal tissue now called fibrin; used since 1803 of the nitrogenous part of the flour of wheat or other grain; hence glutamic acid (1871), a common amino acid, and its salt, glutamate.
1550s "massive monumental stone structure of polygonl plan, the sides of which slope in planes to a common apex," also a geometrical solid resembling this, (earlier in Latin form piramis, late 14c., or nativized in Middle English as piram), from French pyramide (Old French piramide "obelisk, stela," 12c.), from Latin pyramides, plural of pyramis "one of the pyramids of Egypt," from Greek pyramis (plural pyramides) "a pyramid," which is apparently an alteration of Egyptian pimar "pyramid."
Greek pyramis also meant "kind of cake of roasted wheat-grains preserved in honey," and in this sense is said to derive from pyros "wheat" on the model of sesamis. According to some old sources the Egyptian pyramids were so called from their resemblance to the form of the cake, but Beekes points out that "the form of the cake is actually unknown."
Figurative of anything with a broad base and a small tip. Financial senses are by 1911. Related: Pyramidal (late 14c., piramidal).