"apt or dexterous, subtly clever or skillful," mid-15c., from Old English gedæfte, which meant "mild, gentle, simple, meek," but which splintered into different forms and senses in Middle English, yielding this word and also daft (q.v.). In Middle English it also could mean "well-mannered, gentle, modest, mild," and "dull, uncouth, boorish." Cognate with Gothic gadaban "to be fit," Old Norse dafna "to grow strong," Dutch deftig "important, relevant," from Proto-Germanic *dab-, which has no certain IE etymology and is perhaps a substratum word. Related: Deftness.
early 15c., "relieve (pain); make mild or more tolerable; reduce in amount or degree," from Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare "soften, make tender, ripen, mellow, tame," figuratively, "make mild or gentle, pacify, soothe," ultimately from mitis "gentle, soft" + root of agere "to do, perform" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). For mitis de Vaan suggests cognates in Sanskrit mayas- "refreshment, enjoyment," Lithuanian mielas "nice, sweet, dear," Welsh mwydion "soft parts," Old Irish min "soft," from a PIE *mehiti- "soft." Related: Mitigated; mitigating; mitigates.
mid-14c., pesible, "mild, gentle, peace-loving; characterized by peace, untroubled, not warlike," from Old French paisible "peaceful" (12c.), from pais (see peace). Meaning "restrained in conduct, civil, not violent, quarrelsome, or boisterous" is from early 15c. Related: Peacably; peaceableness.
1784; see Scandinavia + -ian. As a noun, from 1766 of the languages, 1830 of the people; by 1959 in reference to styles of furniture and decor. In U.S. colloquial use sometimes Scandihoovian, Scandiwegan, etc. (OED dates both of those to 1929, used in sea slang, "generally in mild contempt"). Alternative adjective Scandian (1660s) is from Latin Scandia.