"fall into disuse, grow obsolete," 1801, from Latin obsolescere "to grow old, wear out, lose value, become obsolete," inchoative of obsolere "fall into disuse" (see obsolete). Related: Obsolesced; obsolescing.
late 16c., "to float or be driven along by a current," from drift (n.). Transitive sense of "to drive in heaps" is from 1610s. Figurative sense of "be passive and listless" is from 1822. Related: Drifted; drifting. To drift apart "gradually lose mutual affection" is by 1859.
children's game, from plural of marble (n.); the game is recorded by that name by 1709 but is probably older (it was known in 13c. German as tribekugeln). It originally was played with small balls of polished marble or alabaster, later of clay. Glass marbles with the colored swirl date from the 1840s.
Meaning "mental faculties, common sense" (as in to lose or not have all one's marbles) is by 1927, American English slang, perhaps [OED] from earlier slang marbles "furniture, personal effects, 'the goods' " (1864, Hotten), a corrupt translation of French meubles (plural) "furniture" (see furniture).
mid-15c., discoragen, "deprive of or cause to lose courage," from Old French descoragier "dishearten" (Modern French décourager), from des- "away" (see dis-) + coragier, from corage "spirit" (see courage). Meaning "express disapproval or opposition, dissuade or hinder from" is from 1640s. Related: Discouraged; discouragement; discouraging.
"despondent condition, a sinking or dejection of spirit from loss of hope or courage in affliction or difficulty," 1670s, from Latin despondentem (nominative despondens), present participle of despondere "to give up, lose, lose heart, resign," also "to promise in marriage" (especially in phrase animam despondere, literally "give up one's soul"), etymologically "to promise to give something away," from de "away" (see de-) + spondere "to promise" (see sponsor (n.)).
Despondency is a loss of hope sufficient to produce a loss of courage and a disposition to relax or relinquish effort, the despondent person tending to sink into spiritless inaction. Despair means a total loss of hope; despondency does not. [Century Dictionary, 1897]