Etymology
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stratosphere (n.)
1908, from French stratosphère, literally "sphere of layers," coined by French meteorologist Léon-Philippe Teisserenc de Bort (1855-1913) from Latin stratus "a spreading out" (from past participle stem of sternere "to spread out," from PIE root *stere- "to spread") + French -sphère, as in atmosphère (see sphere).

The region where the temperature increases or remains steady as you go higher. An earlier stratosphere, attested in English 1908 and coined in German 1901, was a geological term for part of the Earth's crust. It is now obsolete. Related: Stratospheric.
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periphery (n.)

late 14c., periferie, "atmosphere around the earth," from Old French periferie (Modern French périphérie) and directly from Medieval Latin periferia, from Late Latin peripheria, from Greek peripheria "circumference, outer surface, line round a circular body," literally "a carrying around," from peripheres "rounded, moving round, revolving," peripherein "carry or move round," from peri "round about" (see peri-) + pherein "to carry," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry."

In geometry, the meaning "outside boundary of a closed figure," especially the circumference of a circle, is attested in English from 1570s; the general sense of "boundary, surface" is from 1660s.

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precipitation (n.)

late 15c., precipitacioun, "a casting down" (of the evil angels from heaven), also, in alchemy "separation of a solid substance from a solution," from Old French precipitation (15c.) and directly from Latin praecipitationem (nominative praecipitatio) "act or fact of falling headlong, haste," noun of action from past-participle stem of praecipitare "to throw or dive headlong; be hasty," from praeceps (genitive praecipitis) "steep, headlong, headfirst," from prae "before, forth" (see pre-) + caput "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head").

The meaning "sudden haste" is from c. 1500. The meaning "act of falling from a height" is attested from 1610s. The meteorological sense of "rain, snow, dew, frost, hail, etc.; moisture from the atmosphere deposited on the earth's surface" is from 1670s.

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storm (n.)
Old English storm "violent disturbance of the atmosphere, tempest; onrush, attack, tumult; disturbance," from Proto-Germanic *sturmaz "storm" (source also of Old Norse stormr, Old Saxon, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch storm, Old High German sturm, German Sturm), from PIE *stur-mo-, from root *(s)twer- (1) "to turn, whirl." Old French estour "onset, tumult," Italian stormo "a fight" are Germanic loan-words. Figurative (non-meteorological) sense was in late Old English.

Storm-wind is from 1798. Storm-door first recorded 1872; storm-water is from 1847; storm-window is attested from 1824. Storm surge attested from 1872. Adverbial phrase _______ up a storm is from 1946.
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lift (n.)
mid-14c., "a man's load, as much as a man can carry;" late 15c., "act or action of lifting," from lift (v.). Figurative use from 1620s. Meaning "act of helping" is 1630s; that of "cheering influence" is from 1861. Sense of "elevator, hoisting machine to raise or lower between floors of a building" is from 1851; that of "upward force of an aircraft" is from 1902. Meaning "help given to a pedestrian by taking him along his way in a vehicle" is from 1712. As a dance move, from 1921. Sense of "heel-lift in a boot or shoe" is from 1670s.

The word once had a twin, Middle English lift "the air, the atmosphere; the sky, the firmament," from Old English lyft "air" (see loft (n.)).
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balloon (n.)
1570s, "a game played with a large inflated leather ball tossed, batted, or kicked back and forth," also the ball itself (1590s), from Italian pallone "large ball," from palla "ball," from a Germanic source akin to Langobardic palla (from Proto-Germanic *ball-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell") + -one, suffix indicating great size. Perhaps also borrowed in part from French ballon (16c.), altered (after balle) from Italian pallone. Also see -oon.

Meaning "bag or hollow vessel filled with heated air or (later) hydrogen or helium so as to rise and float in the atmosphere" is 1784, after the Montgolfier brothers' flights. As a toy air- or gas-filled inflatable bag, from 1858; as "outline containing words in a comic engraving" it dates from 1844. Balloon-frame (n.) "structure of light timber fitted together to form the skeleton of a building" is from 1853.
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lift (v.)
c. 1200, "elevate in rank or dignity, exalt;" c. 1300, "to raise from the ground or other surface, pick up; erect, set in place," also intransitive, "to rise in waves;" early 14c., "remove (someone or something) from its place," from Old Norse lypta "to raise" (Scandinavian -pt- pronounced like -ft-), from Proto-Germanic *luftijan (source also of Middle Low German lüchten, Dutch lichten, German lüften "to lift"), a Proto-Germanic verb from the general Germanic noun for "air, sky, upper regions, atmosphere" (see loft (n.)), giving the verb an etymological sense of "to move up into the air."

Intransitive sense of "to rise, to seem to rise" (of clouds, fogs, etc.) is from 1834. Figurative sense of "to encourage" (with up) is mid-15c. The meaning "steal, take up dishonestly" (as in shoplift) is 1520s. Surgical sense of "to raise" (a person's face) is from 1921. Middle English also had a verb liften (c. 1400). Related: Lifted; lifting.
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rain (n.)

Middle English rein, from Old English regn "rain, descent of water in drops through the atmosphere," from Proto-Germanic *regna- (source also of Old Saxon regan, Old Frisian rein, Middle Dutch reghen, Dutch regen, German regen, Old Norse regn, Gothic rign "rain"), with no certain cognates outside Germanic, unless it is from a presumed PIE *reg- "moist, wet," which may be the source of Latin rigare "to wet, moisten" (see irrigate).

Rain dance "dance performed by a tribal group in hope of summoning rain" is from 1867; rain date in listings for outdoor events, giving an alternative date should rain interrupt them on the intended day, is from 1948. To know enough to come in out of the rain (usually with a negative) "take ordinary measures for one's protection" is from 1590s. Rain-shower is Old English renscur. Rain-gauge "instrument for collecting and measuring the amount of rainfall at a given place" is by 1769.

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meteor (n.)

late 15c., "any atmospheric phenomenon," from Old French meteore (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin meteorum (nominative meteora), from Greek ta meteōra "the celestial phenomena, things in heaven above," plural of meteōron, literally "thing high up," noun use of neuter of meteōros (adj.) "high up, raised from the ground, hanging," from meta "by means of" (see meta-) + -aoros "lifted, lifted up, suspended, hovering in air," related to aeirein "to raise" (from PIE root *wer- (1) "to raise, lift, hold suspended").

Specific sense of "fireball in the sky, shooting star" is attested from 1590s. Atmospheric phenomena were formerly classified as aerial meteors (wind), aqueous meteors (rain, snow, hail), luminous meteors (aurora, rainbows), and igneous meteors (lightning, shooting stars). All the other senses have fallen away. When still in space beyond the atmosphere it is a meteoroid; when fallen to earth it is a meteorite. A periodically recurring fall of them (usually associated with a comet) is a meteor shower (by 1853).

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cafeteria (n.)

1839, "cafe," American English, from Mexican Spanish cafeteria "coffee store," from café "coffee" (see coffee) + Spanish -tería "place where something is done" (usually business). Sense shifted by 1890s to "self-service dining establishment." The ending came to be understood popularly as meaning "help-yourself" and was extended to new formation with that sense from c. 1923.

Examples of the thing itself date to 1885, but they seem to have become established first in Chicago in the early 1890s by social and philanthropic organizations (such as the YWCA) to offer working girls affordable, fast, light meals in a congenial atmosphere. Their popularity waned after c. 1926, eclipsed by coffee shops, lunch counters, and sandwich shops. Industrial plants began to add them in 1915; schools and colleges followed.

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