Etymology
Advertisement
pluck (v.)

Middle English plukken, "pull (something) off or out from a surface" (especially hair or feathers, but also teeth), from late Old English ploccian, pluccian "pull off, cull," from West Germanic *plokken (source also of Middle Low German plucken, Middle Dutch plocken, Dutch plukken, Flemish plokken, German pflücken). This is perhaps from an unrecorded Gallo-Roman or Vulgar Latin *piluccare (source of Old French peluchier, late 12c.; Italian piluccare), a frequentative, ultimately from Latin pilare "pull out hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). But despite the similarities, OED finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence. From late 14c. as "to pull sharply with a sudden jerk or force (of the strings of a bow, harp, etc.). Related: Plucked; plucking.

To pluck a rose, an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden. [F. Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]

This euphemistic use is attested from 1610s. To pluck up "summon up" (courage, heart, etc.) is from c. 1300.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
caterpillar (n.)

"larva of a butterfly or moth," mid-15c., catyrpel, probably altered (by association with Middle English piller "plunderer;" see pillage (n.)) from Old North French caterpilose "caterpillar" (Old French chatepelose), literally "shaggy cat" (probably in reference to the "wooly-bear" variety), from Late Latin catta pilosa, from catta "cat" (see cat (n.)) + pilosus "hairy, shaggy, covered with hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)).

Compare also French chenille "caterpillar," literally "little dog." A Swiss German name for it is teufelskatz "devil's cat." "The caterpillar has in many idioms received the name of other animals" [Kitchin, who cites also Milanese cagnon "little dog," Italian dialectal gattola "little cat," Kentish hop-dog, hop-cat, Portuguese lagarta "lizard."] Compare also American English wooly-bear for the hairy variety. An Old English name for it was cawelworm "cole-worm." Caterpillar tractor, one which travels on endless steel belts, is from 1908, so called from its way of moving.

Related entries & more 
constructor (n.)

"a builder," 1751, from Medieval Latin constructor, agent noun from Latin construere "to pile up together, accumulate; build, make, erect," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + struere "to pile up" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread").

Related entries & more 
construct (v.)

1660s, "put together the parts of in their proper place and order," from Latin constructus, past participle of construere "pile up together, accumulate; build, make, erect," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + struere "to pile up" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread"). Sense of "to devise and form in the mind" is from 1755. Related: Constructed; constructing.

Related entries & more 
construe (v.)

late 14c., "to arrange the words of (a translation) in their natural order," hence "to interpret, explain, understand the meaning of," from Late Latin construere "to relate grammatically," in classical Latin "to build up, pile together," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + struere "to pile up" (from PIE root *stere- "to spread").

Specific sense in law, "to explain or interpret for legal purposes," is from 1580s. Compare construction and construct (v.), which is a later doublet. Related: Construed; construing; construal.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
peel (n.1)

"piece of rind, bark, or skin," especially of a citrus fruit, 1580s, from earlier pill, pile (late 14c.), from the source of peel (v.).

Related entries & more 
exaggerate (v.)
Origin and meaning of exaggerate
1530s, "to pile up, accumulate," from Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare "heighten, amplify, magnify," literally "to heap, pile, load, fill," from ex, here probably "thoroughly" (see ex-), + aggerare "heap up, accumulate," figuratively "amplify, magnify," from agger (genitive aggeris) "heap," from aggerere "bring together, carry toward," from assimilated form of ad "to, toward" (see ad-) + gerere "carry" (see gest). Sense of "overstate" first recorded in English 1560s. Related: Exaggerated; exaggerating.
Related entries & more 
pilaster (n.)

"a square column or pillar," 1570s, from French pilastre (1540s), from Italian pilastro, from Medieval Latin pilastrum (mid-14c.), from pila, "buttress, pile" (from Latin pila, see pillar) + Latin -aster, suffix "expressing incomplete resemblance" [Barnhart].

Related entries & more 
bing (n.)
"heap or pile," 1510s, from Old Norse bingr "heap." Also used from early 14c. as a word for bin, perhaps from notion of "place where things are piled."
Related entries & more 
terry (n.)
"loop raised in pile-weaving, left uncut," 1784, of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of French tiré "drawn," from past participle of tirer "draw out" (compare German gezogener Sammet "drawn velvet").
Related entries & more 

Page 3