Etymology
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puzzle (v.)

1590s, pusle "bewilder, confound, perplex with difficult problems or questions," possibly frequentative of pose (v.) in obsolete sense of "perplex" (compare nuzzle from nose). To puzzle (something) out "resolve or discover by long cogitation or careful investigation" is by 1781. Related: Puzzled; puzzling.

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ferret (v.)

early 15c., "hunt with a ferret," from ferret (n.) or from Old French verb fureter, in reference to the use of half-tame ferrets to kill rats and flush rabbits from burrows. The extended sense of "search out, discover," especially by perseverance and cunning, usually with out (adv.), is from 1570s. Related: Ferreted; ferreting.

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penetrating (adj.)

1630s, "touching the feelings intensely," figurative present-participle adjective from penetrate (v.). It was used earlier in a literal sense (early 15c.). The sense of "acute, discerning, quick to discover or recognize" is from 1670s. An earlier adjective was penetrative (late 14c., penetratif), in reference to medicines, from Medieval Latin penetrativus. Related: Penetratingly.

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detector (n.)

1540s, "one who detects," from Latin detector "uncoverer, revealer," agent noun from detectus, past participle of detegere "to uncover, expose," figuratively "discover, reveal, disclose" (see detect). From 1833 as "instrument or device for indicating the presence or state of a thing," originally an arrangement in a lock supposed to indicate attempts to tamper with it.

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detection (n.)

early 15c., "accusation," from Late Latin detectionem (nominative detectio) "an uncovering, a revealing," noun of action from past-participle stem of detegere  "uncover, expose," figuratively "discover, reveal, disclose," from de "un-, off" (see de-) + tegere "to cover," from PIE root *(s)teg- "to cover." From 1610s as "discovery, finding by search or observation," especially "act of finding out and bringing to light."

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inventor (n.)

c. 1500, "a discoverer, one who finds out" (now obsolete), from Latin inventor (fem. inventrix, source of French inventeur (15c.), Spanish inventor, Italian inventore) "contriver, author, discoverer, proposer, founder," agent noun from past-participle stem of invenire "to come upon, find; find out; invent, discover, devise; ascertain; acquire, get earn," from in- "in, on" (from PIE root *en "in") + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Meaning "one who contrives or produces a new thing or process" is from 1550s.

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inventory (n.)
early 15c., from Old French inventoire "detailed list of goods, a catalogue" (15c., Modern French inventaire), from Medieval Latin inventorium, alteration of Late Latin inventarium "list of what is found," from Latin inventus, past participle of invenire "to find, discover, ascertain" (see invention).

The form was altered in Medieval Latin by influence of words in -orium, which became very common in post-classical and Christian use. It properly belongs with words in -ary, and French has corrected the spelling. Related: Inventorial; inventorially.
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try (v.)
c. 1300, "examine judiciously, discover by evaluation, test;" mid-14c., "sit in judgment of," also "attempt to do," from Anglo-French trier (13c.), from Old French trier "to pick out, cull" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *triare, of unknown origin. The ground sense is "separate out (the good) by examination." Sense of "subject to some strain" (of patience, endurance, etc.) is recorded from 1530s. To try on "test the fit of a garment" is from 1690s; to try (something) on for size in the figurative sense is recorded by 1946. Try and instead of try to is recorded from 1680s.
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retrieve (v.)

early 15c., retreven, "find or discover again," originally in reference to dogs finding lost game, from retruev-, stem of Old French retreuver (Modern French retrouver) "find again, recover, meet again, recognize," from re- "again" (see re-) + trouver "to find," probably from Vulgar Latin *tropare "to compose," from Greek tropos "a turn, way, manner" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn").

Altered 16c. to retrive; modern form is from mid-17c. Specifically, of a dog, "to find and bring to hand game wounded or killed by a sportsman" is by 1856. The mental sense of "recall, recover by effort of memory" is from 1640s; computer sense of "obtain (stored information) again" is by 1962.

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maieutic (adj.)

"pertaining to the Socratic method of assisting a person, by questions, to discover conceptions latent in his mind," 1650s, from Greek maieutikos, a figurative use in philosophy of a word meaning literally "obstetric," from maieuesthai "act as a midwife," from maia "midwife" (see Maia).

By putting leading questions on general or well-known facts, Socrates, by easy steps, to the surprise and delight of his subject, would bring him to the enunciation of some principle hitherto unknown or undeveloped in his mind. This is called his Maieutic: a term which Socrates himself suggested, likening his relation to the development and birth of ideas in the mind to that mid-wife office which his mother performed for the body. Both this feature and the illustration afforded fine material for jest to Aristophanes, who, in his usual comic way, proceeded to literalize the metaphor. [Samuel Ross Winans, "Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates," Boston: 1890]
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