missile (n.)

"thing thrown or discharged as a weapon for the purpose of hitting something," 1650s, from missile (adj.), 1610s, "capable of being thrown," chiefly in phrase missile weapon, from French missile and directly from Latin missilis "that may be thrown or hurled" (also, in plural, as a noun, "weapons that can be thrown, darts, javelins"), from missus "a throwing, hurling," past participle of mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission). Sense of "self-propelled rocket or bomb" is first recorded 1738; in reference to modern rocket-propelled, remote-guidance projectiles by 1945.

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message (n.)

c. 1300, "a communication transmitted via a messenger, a notice sent through some agency," from Old French message "message, news, tidings, embassy" (11c.), from Medieval Latin missaticum, from Latin missus "a sending away, sending, dispatching; a throwing, hurling," noun use of past participle of mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).

The Latin word is glossed in Old English by ærende. Specific religious sense of "divinely inspired communication via a prophet" (1540s) led to transferred sense of "the broad meaning (of something)," which is attested by 1828. To get the message "understand" is by 1960.

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mass (n.2)

"eucharistic service," Middle English messe, masse, from Old English mæsse, from Vulgar Latin *messa "eucharistic service," literally "dismissal," from Late Latin missa "dismissal," fem. past participle of mittere "to let go, send" (see mission).

Probably so called from the concluding words of the service, Ite, missa est, "Go, (the prayer) has been sent," or "Go, it is the dismissal." The Latin word sometimes was glossed in Old English as sendnes "send-ness." Meaning "musical setting of certain parts of the Catholic (or Anglican) liturgy" is by 1590s.

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demise (n.)

mid-15c., "transference of property, grant of land for life or a period of years," via Anglo-French from Old French demis, fem. past participle of desmetre "dismiss, put away" (Modern French démettre), from des- "away" (from Latin dis-) + metre "put," from Latin mittere "let go, send" (see mission).

Originally especially "a conveyance of an estate by will or lease," then "transfer of sovereignty," as by the death or deposing of a king (1540s). The sense was transferred to "death" (as the occasion of such a transfer) by 1754, at first especially the death of a sovereign or other important person, but also as a euphemism for "death."

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promise (n.)

c. 1400, promisse, "a solemn pledge; a vow; a declaration in reference to the future made by one person to another, assuring the latter that the former will do, or not do, a specified act," from Old French promesse "promise, guarantee, assurance" (13c.) and directly from Latin promissum "a promise," noun use of neuter past participle of promittere "send forth; let go; foretell; assure beforehand, promise," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).

Sense of "that which affords a basis for hope or expectation of future excellence or distinction" is by 1530s.

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premise (n.)

late 14c., in logic, "a previous proposition from which another follows, a judgment causing another judgment," from Old French premisse (14c.), from Medieval Latin praemissa (propositio or sententia) "(the proposition) set before," noun use of fem. past participle of Latin praemittere "send forward, put before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + mittere "to send" (see mission).

In legal documents it meant "matter previously stated" (early 15c.), which in deeds or wills often was a description of a house or building, hence the extended meaning "house or building, with grounds" (1730).

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compromise (n.)
Origin and meaning of compromise

early 15c., "a joint promise to abide by an arbiter's decision," from Old French compromis (13c.), from Late Latin compromissus, past participle of compromittere "to make a mutual promise" (to abide by the arbiter's decision), from com "with, together" (see com-) + promittere "to send forth; let go; foretell; assure beforehand, promise," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).

The sense of "a coming to terms, a settlement of differences by mutual concessions" (mid-15c.) is from extension to the settlement itself. The meaning "that which results from such an agreement" is from 1510s.

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dismiss (v.)

early 15c., dismissen, "release from court restraint or legal charges;" late 15c., "remove from office, service, or employment," apparently from Latin dimissus, past participle of dimittere "send away, send different ways; break up, discharge; renounce, abandon," from dis- "apart, away" (see dis-) + mittere "send, let go" (see mission). Meaning "send away, order or give permission to depart" is from 1540s.

The prefix was altered by analogy with many dis- verbs. Middle English also had dismit, in the same sense (late 14c.), with altered prefix but directly from the Latin verb, and dimit. Related: Dismissed; dismissing.

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intermission (n.)

early 15c., "fact of intermitting, temporary pause," from Latin intermissionem (nominative intermissio) "a breaking off, discontinuance, interruption," noun of action from past participle stem of intermittere "to leave off, leave an interval," from inter "between" (see inter-) + mittere "let go, send" (see mission). Meaning "lapse of time between events" is from 1560s; specifically of performances (originally plays, later movies, etc.) from 1854.

Intermission is used in U.S. for what we call an interval (in a musical or dramatic performance). Under the influence of LOVE OF THE LONG WORD, it is beginning to infiltrate here and should be repelled; our own word does very well. [H.W. Fowler, "Modern English Usage," 1926]
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commit (v.)
Origin and meaning of commit

late 14c., "to give in charge, entrust," from Latin committere "to unite, connect, combine; to bring together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).

The evolution of the modern range of meanings in English is not entirely clear. Sense of "to perpetrate (a crime), do, perform (especially something reprehensible)" was ancient in Latin; in English it is attested from mid-15c. Meaning "consign (someone) to custody (of prison, a mental institution, etc.) by official warrant" is from early 15c.

From 1530s as "trust (oneself) completely to;" from 1770 as "put or bring into danger by an irrevocable preliminary act." The intransitive use (in place of commit oneself) first recorded 1982, probably influenced by existentialism use (1948) of commitment to translate Sartre's engagement "emotional and moral engagement."

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