late 14c. (from c. 1100 as a surname), "a worker in any sort of lead" (roofs, gutters, pipes), from Old French plomier "lead-smelter" (Modern French plombier) and directly from Latin plumbarius "worker in lead," noun use of adjective meaning "pertaining to lead," from plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)). The meaning focused 19c. on "workman who installs pipes and fittings" as lead pipes for conveying water and gas became the principal concern of the trade.
In U.S. history, in the Nixon administration (1969-74), it was the name of a special unit for investigation of "leaks" of government secrets.
early 15c., politike, "pertaining to public affairs, concerning the governance of a country or people," from Old French politique "political" (14c.) and directly from Latin politicus "of citizens or the state, civil, civic," from Greek politikos "of citizens, pertaining to the state and its administration; pertaining to public life," from polites "citizen," from polis "city" (see polis).
It has been replaced in most of the earliest senses by political. From mid-15c. as "prudent, judicious," originally of rulers: "characterized by policy." Body politic "a political entity, a country" (with French word order) is from late 15c.
"steward," Middle English reve, refe, reive, rive, from Old English gerefa "king's officer," an Anglo-Saxon official of high rank, having local jurisdiction under a king, usually charged with administration of the affairs of a town or district. A word of unknown origin and with no known cognates, it is not considered to be connected to German Graf (see margrave). Compare sheriff. In Middle English also of manorial managers (c. 1300), an agent or steward of God (late 14c.). The mid-15c. "Life of St. Norbert" calls the Devil a wikkid reue. Related: Reeveship.
late 14c., "having a commanding quality," from Old French imperial, emperial "imperial; princely, splendid; strong, powerful" (12c.), from Latin imperialis "of the empire or emperor," from imperium "empire" (see empire).
Meaning "pertaining to an empire" (especially Rome's) is from late 14c.; by 1774 of Britain's. Meaning "of imposing size or excellence" is from 1731. Imperial presidency in a U.S. context traces to Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s book on the Nixon administration (1974). Related: Imperially. The noun is from 1520s as "member of the emperor's party;" 1670s as the name of gold coins issued by various imperial authorities.
"booty, goods captured in time of war," mid-14c., spoils (collective singular), from spoil (v.) or else from Old French espoille "booty, spoil," from the verb in French, and in part from Latin spolium. Also from the Latin noun are Spanish espolio, Italian spoglio.
Transferred sense of "that which has been acquired by special effort" is from 1750. Spoils has stood cynically for "public offices, etc." since at least 1770. Spoils system in U.S. politics attested by 1839, commonly associated with the administration of President Andrew Jackson, on the notion of "to the victor belongs the spoils."
title of a county or municipal officer with certain duties, mid-14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), corouner, from Anglo-French curuner, from Anglo-Latin custos placitorum coronae (late 12c.), originally the title of the officer with the duty of protecting the private property of the royal family, from Latin corona, literally "crown" (see crown (n.)).
In the Middle English period an elected county or borough officer charged with the supervision of pleas of the Crown and the administration of criminal justice. The duties of the office gradually narrowed and by 17c. the chief function was to determine the cause of death in cases not obviously natural.
from Latin Palestina (name of a Roman province), from Greek Palaistinē (Herodotus), from Hebrew Pelesheth "Philistia, land of the Philistines" (see Philistine). In Josephus, the country of the Philistines; extended under Roman rule to all Judea and later to Samaria and Galilee.
Revived as an official political territorial name 1920 with the British mandate. Under Turkish rule, Palestine was part of three administrative regions: the Vilayet of Beirut, the Independent Sanjak of Jerusalem, and the Vilayet of Damascus. In 1917 the country was conquered by British forces who held it under occupation until the mandate was established April 25, 1920, by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers at San Remo. During the occupation Palestine formed "Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (South)," with headquarters at Jerusalem.
late 14c., revengen, "avenge oneself," from Old French revengier, revenger, variants of revenchier "take revenge, avenge" (13c., Modern French revancher), from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + vengier "take revenge," from Latin vindicare "to lay claim to, avenge, punish" (see vindication). Transitive sense of "take vengeance on account of" is from early 15c. Related: Revenged; revenging; revengement.
To avenge is "to get revenge" or "to take vengeance"; it suggests the administration of just punishment for a criminal or immoral act. Revenge seems to stress the idea of retaliation a bit more strongly and implies real hatred as its motivation. ["The Columbia Guide to Standard American English," 1993]
early 15c., "a calling up or driving out of evil spirits," from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkismos "administration of an oath," in Ecclesiastical Greek, "exorcism," from exorkizein "exorcise, bind by oath," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + horkizein "cause to swear," from horkos "oath," which is of uncertain origin. Some linguists propose a connection with herkos "fence," "in which case it would properly denote the oath as the bounds that one assumes, a restriction, tie, or obligation" or "a magical power that fences in the swearer" [Beekes], but this is not accepted by all. Earlier in the same sense was exorcization (late 14c.).
1795, "to bring to a center, draw to a central point;" 1800, "come to a center," from central + -ize, on model of French centraliser (1790). A word from the French Revolution, generally applied to the transferring of local administration to the central government. Related: Centralized; centralizing.
Government should have a central point throughout its whole periphery. The state of the monthly expences amounted to four hundred millions; but within these seven months, it is reduced to one hundred and eighty millions. Such is the effect of the centralization of government; and the more we centralize it, the more we shall find our expenses decrease. [Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, "Discourse on the State of the Finances," 1793]