1660s, risque, "hazard, danger, peril, exposure to mischance or harm," from French risque (16c.), from Italian risco, riscio (modern rischio), from riscare "run into danger," a word of uncertain origin.
The Englished spelling is recorded by 1728. Spanish riesgo and German Risiko are Italian loan-words. The commercial sense of "hazard of the loss of a ship, goods, or other properties" is by 1719; hence the extension to "chance taken in an economic enterprise."
Paired with run (v.) from 1660s. Risk aversion is recorded from 1942; risk factor from 1906; risk management from 1963; risk-taker from 1892.
Old armies spent winters in quarters and took to the "open field" to seek battle in summer. Generalized to "continued or sustained aggressive operations for the accomplishment of some purpose" (1790); in U.S., especially "political activity before an election, marked by organized action in influencing the voters" [DAE], attested from 1809.
mid-15c., "act of granting or yielding" (especially in argumentation), from Old French concession (14c.) or directly from Latin concessionem (nominative concessio) "an allowing, conceding," noun of action from past-participle stem of concedere "to give way, yield," figuratively "agree, consent, give precedence," from con-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + cedere "to go, grant, give way" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").
From 1610s as "the thing or point yielded." Meaning "property granted by government" is from 1650s. Sense of "grant of privilege by a government to individuals to engage in some enterprise" is from 1856, from a sense in French. Hence the meaning "grant or lease of a small part of a property for some specified purpose" (1897), the sense in concession stand "snack bar, refreshment stand."
1854, "condition of having capital;" from capital (n.1) + -ism. Meaning "political/economic system which encourages capitalists" is recorded from 1872, originally used disparagingly by socialists. Meaning "concentration of capital in the hands of a few; the power or influence of large capital" is from 1877.
"Capital" may be most briefly described as wealth producing more wealth; and "capitalism" as the system directing that process. This latter term came into general use during the second half of the 19th century as a word chiefly signifying the world-wide modern system of organizing production and trade by private enterprise free to seek profit and fortune by employing for wages the mass of human labour. There is no satisfactory definition of the term, though nothing is more evident than the thing. [J.L. Garvin, "Capitalism" in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1929]
1890, "arrangement," from the verbal phrase set up, which is attested from c. 1200 as "place in an erect position, place upright, make ready for use;" from set (v.) + up (adv.). From 19c. also "a favorable arrangement of the balls in billiards, etc., especially when left by one player for the next."
The verbal phrase is from 1520s as "begin business or enterprise." It also can or once could mean "to establish, found" (early 15c.), "make (a hawk) perch upright" (late 15c.), and "put (drinks, etc.) before customers or other patrons as a treat" (1880).
It is attested from 1950 (originally in pugilism) as "to bring (someone) to a vulnerable position, put (someone) in a position to be knocked down." It is attested by 1965 as "to contrive, plot." To set (someone) up "provide (someone) with means" is from 1520s. The adjective set-up "established" is attested by c. 1600.
1590s, from star (n.) + spangle (v.); Star-Spangled Banner "United States flag" is 1814, from Francis Scott Key's poem (printed in the "Baltimore Patriot" Sept. 20), in reference to the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore overnight Sept. 13-14.
The Stars and Stripes developed from the striped flag of Boston's Sons of Liberty, and the blue and white star-spangled standards of George Washington's army. It involved the advice of a Quaker seamstress, the prompting of an American Indian, the timely intervention by Pennsylvania politicians, the inspiration of Francis Hopkinson, and a resolution of the Continental Congress.
These Americans were part of a process of mixed enterprise that combined public effort and private initiative in a way that was typical of the new republic. An American Indian was not reluctant to instruct the rulers of the Colonies on what should be done, and they were quick to respond to his suggestion. A Philadelphia seamstress did not hesitate to criticize the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and he was open to her advice. The Continental Congress accepted these contributions in the spirit of the open society that America was becoming. [David Hackett Fischer, "Liberty and Freedom"]
late 14c., "pertaining or belonging to oneself, not shared, peculiar to an individual only;" of a thing, "not open to the public, for the use of privileged persons;" of a religious rule, "not shared by Christians generally, distinctive;" from Latin privatus "set apart (from what is public), belonging to oneself (not to the state), peculiar, personal," used in contrast to publicus, communis.
This is a past-participle adjective from the verb privare "to bereave, deprive, rob, strip" of anything; "to free, release, deliver" from anything, from privus "one's own, individual," from Proto-Italic *prei-wo- "separate, individual," from PIE *prai-, *prei- "in front of, before," from root *per- (1) "forward." The semantic shift would be from "being in front" to "being separate."
Old English in this sense had syndrig. Of persons, "not holding public office or employment," recorded from early 15c. Of communications, "meant to be secret or confidential," 1550s. In private "privily" is from 1580s. Related: Privately.
Private school "school owned and run by individuals, not by the government, and run for profit" is by 1650s. Private parts "the pudenda" is from 1785 (privete "the sexual parts" is from late 14c.; secret parts in the same sense is from 16c.).
Private property "property of persons in their individual, personal, or private capacity," as distinguished from property of the state or public or for public use, is by 1680s. Private enterprise "business or commercial activity privately owned and free from direct state control" is recorded by 1797; private sector "part of an economy, industry, etc. that is free from state control" is from 1948.
Private eye "private detective, person engaged unofficially in obtaining secret information for or guarding the private interests of those who employ him" is recorded from 1938, American English (Chandler). Private detective "detective who is not a member of an official police force" is by 1856.
Old English freo "exempt from; not in bondage, acting of one's own will," also "noble; joyful," from Proto-Germanic *friaz "beloved; not in bondage" (source also of Old Frisian fri, Old Saxon vri, Old High German vri, German frei, Dutch vrij, Gothic freis "free"), from PIE *priy-a- "dear, beloved," from root *pri- "to love."
The sense evolution from "to love" to "free" is perhaps from the terms "beloved" or "friend" being applied to the free members of one's clan (as opposed to slaves; compare Latin liberi, meaning both "free persons" and "children of a family"). For the older sense in Germanic, compare Gothic frijon "to love;" Old English freod "affection, friendship, peace," friga "love," friðu "peace;" Old Norse friðr "peace, personal security; love, friendship," German Friede "peace;" Old English freo "wife;" Old Norse Frigg, name of the wife of Odin, literally "beloved" or "loving;" Middle Low German vrien "to take to wife," Dutch vrijen, German freien "to woo."
Meaning "clear of obstruction" is from mid-13c.; sense of "unrestrained in movement" is from c. 1300; of animals, "loose, at liberty, wild," late 14c. Meaning "liberal, not parsimonious" is from c. 1300. Sense of "characterized by liberty of action or expression" is from 1630s; of art, etc., "not holding strictly to rule or form," from 1813. Of nations, "not subject to foreign rule or to despotism," recorded in English from late 14c. (Free world "non-communist nations" attested from 1950 on notion of "based on principles of civil liberty.") Sense of "given without cost" is 1580s, from notion of "free of cost."
Free even to the definition of freedom, "without any hindrance that does not arise out of his own constitution." [Emerson, "The American Scholar," 1837]
Free lunch, originally offered in bars to draw in customers, by 1850, American English. Free pass on railways, etc., attested by 1850. Free speech in Britain was used of a privilege in Parliament since the time of Henry VIII. In U.S., in reference to a civil right to expression, it became a prominent phrase in the debates over the Gag Rule (1836). Free enterprise recorded from 1832; free trade is from 1823; free market from 1630s. Free will is from early 13c. Free school is from late 15c. Free association in psychology is from 1899. Free love "sexual liberation" attested from 1822 (the doctrine itself is much older), American English. Free and easy "unrestrained" is from 1690s.