As a corrective punishment, the discipline of the stepping mill has had a most salutary effect upon the prisoners, and is not likely to be easily forgotten, while it is an occupation which by no means interferes with, nor is calculated to lessen the value of, those branches of prison regulation which provide for the moral and religious improvement of the criminal. ["Description of the Tread Mill Invented by Mr. William Cubitt of Ipswich for the Employment of Prisoners," London, 1822]
By later generations regarded as a path to physical fitness.
*melə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to crush, grind," with derivatives referring to ground or crumbling substances and crushing or grinding instruments.
It forms all or part of: amyl; amyloid; blintz; emmer; emolument; immolate; maelstrom; mall; malleable; malleolus; mallet; malleus; maul; meal (n.2) "edible ground grain;" mill (n.1) "building fitted to grind grain;" millet; mola; molar (n.); mold (n.3) "loose earth;" molder; ormolu; pall-mall.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek mylos "millstone," myle "mill;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu, malti "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer."
"small mill for grinding" (grain, pepper, mustard, etc.), Middle English querne, from Old English cweorn "hand-mill, mill," from PIE *gwere-na- "millstone" (source also of Old Norse kvern, Old Frisian quern, Old High German quirn, Gothic quirnus; Sanskrit grava "crushing stone;" Lithuanian girna "millstone," girnos "hand mills;" Old Church Slavonic zrunuvi "mills;" Welsh brevan "hand mill"), suffixed form of root *gwere- (1) "heavy."
"excuse for being," 1864, first recorded in letter of J.S. Mill, from French raison d'être, literally "rational grounds for existence."
1610s, "pertaining to connotation," from Medieval Latin connotativus, from past-participle stem of connotare "to signify in addition to the main meaning;" see connotation. Meaning "implying an attribute while denoting a subject" is from 1829 (J.S. Mill).