Etymology
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court (v.)
Origin and meaning of court

1570s, "endeavor to gain the favor of by amorous attention," also "solicit, seek to win or attract," from court (n.), based on the sorts of behavior associated with royal courts. Related: Courted; courting.

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lucrative (adj.)

"yielding gain, highly profitable," early 15c., from Old French lucratif "profitable" and directly from Latin lucrativus "gainful, profitable," from lucratus, past participle of lucrari "to gain, win, acquire," from lucrum "gain, profit" (see lucre). Related: Lucratively; lucrativeness.

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romp (v.)

1709, "to play rudely and boisterously, sport, frolic," perhaps a variant of ramp (v.); but also see romp (n.). Meaning "to win (a contest) with great ease" is attested by 1888, in early use often in horse-racing. Related: Romped; romping.

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capture (v.)

"take or seize by force or stratagem," 1779, from capture (n.); in chess, checkers, etc., "win by ingenuity or skill," 1819. Related: Captured; capturing. Earlier verb in this sense was captive (early 15c.).

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regain (v.)

1540s, "gain again, recover," as what has escaped or been lost, from French regaigner (Modern French regagner), from re- "again" (see re-) + gaginer, from Old French gaaignier "to earn, gain; trade; capture, win" (see gain (v.)). Meaning "arrive at again, return to" is from 1630s. Related: Regained; regaining.

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double-cross (n.)

"act of treachery," 1834, from double (adj.) + cross (n.) in the sense of "pre-arranged swindle or fix." Originally to win a race after promising to lose it (to cheat in cheating, hence the double). As a verb from 1903, "to cheat," American English. Related: Double-crossed; double-crosser; double-crossing.

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breadwinner (n.)
also bread-winner, "one who supplies a living for himself and others," especially a family, 1821, from the noun bread (probably in a literal sense) + winner, from win (v.) in its sense of "struggle for, work at." Attested slightly earlier (1818) in sense "skill or art by which one makes a living." Not too far removed from the image at the root of lord (n.).
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loser (n.)
mid-14c., "a destroyer" (a sense now obsolete), agent noun from lose (v.). Sense of "one who suffers loss" is from 1540s; meaning "horse that loses a race" is from 1902; "convicted criminal" is from 1912; "hapless person, one who habitually fails to win" is by 1955 in U.S. student slang. Bad loser (also poor, sore, etc.) "one who takes defeat with bad grace" is by 1892.
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inveigle (v.)
Origin and meaning of inveigle

formerly also enveigle, etc., late 15c., "to blind (someone's) judgment," apparently an alteration of French aveugler "delude, make blind," from Vulgar Latin *aboculus "without sight, blind," from Latin ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + oculus "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). The Latin word is a loan-translation of Greek ap ommaton "without eyes." Meaning "to win over by deceit, seduce" is 1530s. Related: Inveigler; inveiglement.

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ambitious (adj.)
late 14c., "craving, yearning, overambitious," from Latin ambitiosus "eager for public office, eager to win favor, ingratiating," from ambitio "a going around (to solicit votes)," noun of action from past participle stem of ambire "to go around, go about," from amb- "around" (from PIE root *ambhi- "around") + ire "go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). Meaning "springing from ambition" is from 1751. Related: Ambitiously; ambitiousness.
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