Old English deore (Anglian diore, West Saxon dyre), "precious, valuable; costly, expensive; glorious, noble; loved, beloved, regarded with affection" from Proto-Germanic *deurja- (source also of Old Saxon diuri "precious, dear, expensive," Old Norse dyrr, Old Frisian diore "expensive, costly," Middle Dutch diere "precious, expensive, scarce, important," Dutch duur, Old High German tiuri, German teuer), a word of unknown etymology. Finnish tiuris, tyyris is from Germanic.
The old sense of "precious, valuable" has become obsolete, but that of "characterized by a high price in consideration of scarcity, absolutely or relatively costly" lingers, though it is perhaps archaic. Used interjectorily (oh, dear; dear me, etc.) indicating pity, surprise, or some other emotion since 1690s, but the intended sense is not clear. As an affectionate address (my dear, father dear), mid-13c. As a polite introductory word to letters, it is attested from mid-15c. The military man's dreaded Dear John letter is attested from 1945. As a noun, from late 14c., perhaps short for dear one, etc.
"unexcelled, distinguished for superior merit of any kind, of surpassing character or quality, uncommonly valuable for any reason, remarkably good," mid-14c., from Old French excellent "outstanding, excellent," from Latin excellentem (nominative excellens) "towering, prominent, distinguished, superior, surpassing," present participle of excellere "surpass, be superior; to rise, be eminent," from ex "out from" (see ex-) + -cellere "rise high, tower," related to celsus "high, lofty, great," from PIE root *kel- (2) "to be prominent; hill." Related: Excellently.
late 14c., dragme, "ancient Athenian coin," the principal silver coin of ancient Greece; mid-15c. as the name of a coin used in Syria, from Old French dragme, from Medieval Latin dragma, from Latinized form of Greek drakhme, an Attic coin and weight, probably originally "a handful" (of six obols, the least valuable coins in ancient Athens), akin to drassesthai "to grasp," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps Pre-Greek. Arabic dirham, Armenian dram are from Greek.
Middle English also used the word in the "weight" sense, as a unit of apothecary's weight of one-eighth of an ounce, which became dram.
valuable precious gem, in modern understanding a clear, rich-red variety of corundum, c. 1300, rubi, rubie (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French rubi (12c.), from Medieval Latin rubinus lapis "red stone" (source also of Italian rubino), from Latin rubeus "red," which is related to ruber (from PIE root *reudh- "red, ruddy").
As a name for a pure or somewhat crimson-red color, from 1570s. As an adjective from late 15c., "made from or with rubies;" c. 1500 as "of a ruby color." Modern French rubis is not explained; Klein suggests a plural mistaken for singular.
Old English weorþ "significant, valuable, of value; valued, appreciated, highly thought-of, deserving, meriting; honorable, noble, of high rank; suitable for, proper, fit, capable," from Proto-Germanic *wertha- "toward, opposite," hence "equivalent, worth" (source also of Old Frisian werth, Old Norse verðr, Dutch waard, Old High German werd, German wert, Gothic wairþs "worth, worthy"), which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps a derivative of PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." Old Church Slavonic vredu, Lithuanian vertas "worth" are considered to be Germanic loan-words. From c. 1200 as "equivalent to, of the value of, valued at; having importance equal to; equal in power to."
1812, "dullness, insipidity of thought, triteness," from French platitude "flatness, vapidness" (late 17c.), from Old French plat "flat" (see plateau (n.)); formed on analogy of latitude, etc. Meaning "a flat, dull, trite, or commonplace remark," especially a truism uttered as if it were a novelty, is recorded from 1815. Related: Platitudinous (1862). Hence platitudinarian (n.) "one who indulges in platitudes," 1855; platitudinize (1867).
A commonplace is a thing that, whether true or false, is so regularly said on certain occasions that the repeater of it can expect no credit for originality ; but the commonplace may be useful.
A platitude is a thing the stating of which as though it were enlightening or needing to be stated convicts the speaker of dullness ; a platitude is never valuable. [Fowler]
"take goods or valuable forcibly from, take by pillage or open force," 1630s, from German plündern, from Middle High German plunderen "to plunder," originally "to take away household furniture," from plunder (n.) "household goods, clothes," also "lumber, baggage" (14c.; compare Modern German Plunder "lumber, trash"), which is related to Middle Dutch plunder "household goods;" Frisian and Dutch plunje "clothes." A word said to have been acquired by neighboring languages from German during the Thirty Years' War, "in which many foreign mercenaries were engaged, and much plundering was done" [Century Dictionary]. Applied in native use after the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. Related: Plundered; plundering. Plunderbund was a U.S. colloquial word from 1914 referring to "a corrupt alliance of corporate and financial interests," with German Bund "alliance, league."
c. 1400, "a rebellion, a rising up in opposition;" mid-15c., "place elevated above the common level, piece of rising land;" from rise (v.). General sense of "upward movement" is by 1570s; more specific sense of "vertical height of an object or surface, elevation, degree of ascent" is from 1660s.
Of heavenly bodies, "appearance above the horizon," by 1590s. The meaning "spring, source, origin, beginning" is from 1620s. As "an advance in wages or salary" by 1836 (compare raise (n.)).
The phrase on the rise originally meant "becoming more valuable" (1808). The sense in give rise to "to occasion, cause, bring about" (1705) is the otherwise obsolete meaning "an occasion, a ground or basis" (1640s), which OED writes was "Common c 1650-90." The phrase get a rise out of(someone), by 1829, seems to be a metaphor from angling (1650s) in reference to the action of a fish in coming to the surface to take the bait.