early 15c., "consisting of four parts," from Latin quaternarius "of four each, containing four," from quaterni "four each, by fours," from quater "four times," related to quattuor "four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four"). Also as a noun, "the number four" (mid-15c.), from Latin quaternarius.
In geological sense, with capital Q-, attested from 1843 in English, proposed 1829 by French geologist Jules Pierre François Stanislas Desnoyers (1800-1887) as name for "the fourth great epoch of geological time," but because it comprises only the age of man (now reckoned as the last 2.6 million years), and the other epochs are reckoned in the tens of millions of years, not all accepted it. Compare Tertiary.
c. 1300, "throne of a bishop, archbishop, or pope," also "throne of a monarch, a goddess, the Antichrist, etc.," from Old French sie "seat, throne; town, capital; episcopal see," from Latin sedem (nominative sedes) "seat, throne, abode, temple," related to sedere "to sit" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit").
Attested by early 14c. as "administrative center of a bishopric;" c. 1400 as "province under the jurisdiction of a bishop." In Middle English also sometimes simply "place to sit, a chair" (late 14c.).
It differs from diocese, however, in that diocese represents the territorial province for the care of which the bishop is responsible (that is, where his duties lie), whereas see is the local seat of his authority, dignity, and episcopal privileges. [Century Dictionary]
Old English Cantware-buruh "fortified town of the Kentish people," from Cant-ware "the people of Kent" (see Kent). The Roman name was Duroverno, from Romano-British *duro- "walled town."
Pope Gregory the Great intended to make London, as the largest southern Anglo-Saxon city, the metropolitan see of southern England, but Christianity got a foothold first in the minor kingdom of Kent, whose heathen ruler Ethelbert had married a Frankish Christian princess. London was in the Kingdom of Essex and out of reach of the missionaries at first. Therefore, in part perhaps to flatter Ethelbert, his capital was made the cathedral city. Related: Canterburian. The shrine of Thomas à Becket, murdered there 1170, was a favorite pilgrimage destination.
1817, "the doctrine of negation" (in reference to religion or morals), from German Nihilismus, from Latin nihil "nothing at all" (see nil), coined by German philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819). In philosophy, an extreme form of skepticism (1836). The political sense, "rejection of fundamental social and political structures," was first used c. 1824 by German journalist Joseph von Görres (1776-1848). Turgenev used the Russian form of the word (nigilizm) in "Fathers and Children" (1862) and claimed to have invented it. With a capital N-, it refers to the Russian revolutionary anarchism of the period 1860-1917, supposedly so called because "nothing" that then existed found favor in their eyes.
late 14c., recapitulacioun, "a short summary; process or act of summarizing," from Old French recapitulacion (13c.) and directly from Late Latin recapitulationem (nominative recapitulatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of recapitulare "go over the main points of a thing again," literally "restate by heads or chapters."
This is from re- "again" (see re-) + capitulum "main part," literally "little head," diminutive of caput "head," also "leader, guide, chief person; summit; capital city; origin, source, spring," figuratively "life, physical life;" in writing "a division, paragraph;" of money, "the principal sum" (from PIE root *kaput- "head").
The Latin word is technically, a loan-translation of Greek anakephalaiōsis. In biology, in reference to evolutionary stages and the growth of the individual young animal, by 1875. Music sense is by 1879. Related: Recapitulative; recapitulatory.
capital of Italy; seat of an ancient republic and empire; city of the Papacy, Old English, from Old French Rome, from Latin Roma, a word of uncertain origin. "The original Roma quadrata was the fortified enclosure on the Palatine hill," according to Tucker, who finds "no probability" in derivation from *sreu- "flow," and suggests the name is "most probably" from *urobsma (urbs, robur) and otherwise, "but less likely" from *urosma "hill" (compare Sanskrit varsman- "height, point," Lithuanian viršus "upper"). Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Etruscan (compare Rumon, former name of Tiber River).
Common in proverbs, such as Rome was not buylt in one daye (1540s); for when a man doth to Rome come, he must do as there is done (1590s); All roads lead to Rome (1795).
in Roman religion, "spirits of the dead considered as tutelary divinities of their families," from Latin manes "departed spirit, ghost, shade of the dead, deified spirits of the underworld," usually said to be related to Latin manus "good," thus properly "the good gods," a euphemistic word. De Vaan cites cognates Old Irish maith, Welsh mad, Breton mat "good." The ultimate etymology is uncertain (compare mature).
Three times a year a pit called the mundus was officially opened in the comitium of the Roman Forum, to permit the manes to come forth. The manes were also honored at certain festivals, as the Parentalia and Feralia; oblations were made to them, and the flame maintained on the altar of the household was a homage to them. [In this sense often written with a capital.] [Century Dictionary]
sauce made from egg yolks and salad oil, beaten together with vinegar or lemon juice to the consistency of thickened cream and seasoned, 1815, from French sauce mayonnaise (1806), said by French sources to be corrupted from mahonnaise and to have been named in recognition of Mahon, seaport capital of the island of Minorca, captured by France in 1756 after the defeat of the British defending fleet in the Seven Years' War. The sauce is said to have been introduced either in commemoration of the victory, which was led by Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (1696–1788), or because it was brought to France from there by him. But unless there is a gap in the record, the late date of appearance of the word make all this doubtful. An inferior sort of Miracle Whip.
late 14c., "the direction east; the part of the horizon where the sun first appears," also (now with capital O-) "the eastern regions of the world, eastern countries" (originally vaguely meaning the region east and south of Europe, what is now called the Middle East but also sometimes Egypt and India), from Old French orient "east" (11c.), from Latin orientem (nominative oriens) "the rising sun, the east, part of the sky where the sun rises," originally "rising" (adj.), present participle of oriri "to rise" (see origin).
Meaning "a pearl of the first water" is by 1831, short for pearl of the Orient (late 14c.) originally meaning one from the Indian seas. Hence also the meaning "a delicate iridescence, the peculiar luster of a fine pearl" (1755). The Orient Express was a train that ran from Paris to Istanbul via Vienna 1883-1961, from the start it was associated with espionage and intrigue.
1820 in the political sense, "local attachment as opposed to national unity," from provincial + -ism. Meaning "a certain narrowness of localism of thought or interest; lack of polish or enlightenment," reflecting manners or modes of a certain province or of provinces generally (as opposed to the big city or the capital) is by 1836. Sense of "a local word or usage or expression" is from 1770.
To me provincialism stood, and stands, for the sum-total of all false values; it is the estimation of people for what they have, or pretend to have, and not for what they are. Artificial classifications, rigid lines of demarkation that bear no relation whatsoever to intrinsic merit, seem to belong to its very essence, while contempt for intelligence, suspicion and fear of independent thought, appear to be necessary passports to provincial popularity. [Vera Brittain, "Testament of Youth"]