Etymology
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revolutionize (v.)

1797, "to cause (a state, etc.) to undergo a (political) revolution, effect a change in the political constitution of;" see revolution + -ize. Transferred sense of "change a thing completely and fundamentally, effect radical change in" is by 1799. Related: Revolutionized; revolutionizing.

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red (adj.2)

"Bolshevik, ultra-radical, revolutionary," 1917, from red (adj.1), the color they adopted for themselves. The association in Europe of red with revolutionary politics (on notion of blood and violence) is from at least 1297, but got a boost 1793 with adoption of the red Phrygian cap (French bonnet rouge) as symbol of the French Revolution. The first specific political reference in English was in 1848 (adj.), in reports of the Second French Republic (a.k.a. Red Republic).

Red Army is from 1918;  Red China is attested from 1934. Red-baiting is attested by 1929. The noun meaning "a radical, a communist" is from 1851.

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mercuric (adj.)

1828, in chemistry, "relating to or containing mercury," from mercury + -ic. Specifically applied to compounds in which each atom of mercury is regarded as bivalent. Mercurous (1840) is applied to those in which two atoms of mercury are regarded as forming a bivalent radical.

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westernization (n.)

also westernisation, 1873, noun of action from westernize (v.). Earliest reference is to Japan.

[The mikado's] late rapid and radical progress in westernization (to evolve a word that the Japanese will need) justifies great expectations of him. [Coates Kinney, "Japanning the English Language," The Galaxy, July-Dec. 1873]
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cyanide (n.)

a salt of hydrocyanic acid, 1826, from cyan-, used in science as a word-forming element for the carbon-nitrogen compound radical, + chemical ending -ide, on analogy of chloride. The best-known is potassium cyanide, bitter-tasting and extremely poisonous but formerly used in photography, electro-metallurgy, etc.

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bromide (n.)

compound of bromine and another metal or radical, 1836, from bromine, the pungent, poisonous element, + -ide. Used medicinally as a sedative; figurative sense of "dull, conventional person or trite saying" popularized by U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess in his book "Are You a Bromide?" (1906). Related: Bromidic.

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loco-foco (n.)
also locofoco, American English, said to date from 1834 in the sense "self-igniting cigar or friction match," of obscure origin. The first element is apparently a misapprehension of the loco- in locomotive ("a word just then becoming familiar" [Century Dictionary]) as "self-, self-moving-." The second element is perhaps a jingling reduplication of this, or somehow from Spanish fuego "fire."

Better remembered, if at all, as a political term: During a heated Democratic party meeting in Tammany Hall c. 1835, the opposition doused the gaslights to break it up, and the radical delegates used loco-foco matches to relight them. When it was publicized, the name loco-foco entered U.S. political jargon (by 1837) and down to the Civil War was applied, usually disparagingly, to a radical faction of the Democratic Party (but by the Whigs to all Democrats).
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acrylic (adj.)
1843, "of or containing acryl," the name of a radical derived from acrolein (1843), the name of a liquid in onions and garlic that makes eyes tear, from Latin acer "sharp" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + olere "to smell" (see odor) + -in (see -ine (2)). With adjectival suffix -ic. Modern senses often short for acrylic fiber, acrylic resin, etc.
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biennial (adj.)

1620s, "lasting for two years;" 1750, "occurring every two years," from Latin biennium "two-year period," from bi- "two" (see bi-) + annus "year" (see annual (adj.)). The vowel change is "due to the Latin phonetic law according to which the unaccented and closed radical syllable of the second element of compounds, original -ă- becomes -ĕ-" [Klein]. The noun meaning "a biennial plant" (which requires two seasons of growth to produce flowers and fruit and dies the next) is attested by 1770. Related: Biennially.

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acetylene (n.)

gaseous hydrocarbon, 1860, from French acétylène, coined by French chemist Pierre Eugène Marcellin Berthelot from chemical ending -ene + acetyl, which was coined from acetic + -yl in 1839 by German chemist Justus von Liebig. Liebig's coinage was in reference to a different radical; acetyl was transferred to its current sense in 1850s, but Berthelot's coinage was based on the original use of acetyl.

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