c. 1300, "institution of higher learning," also "body of persons constituting a university," from Anglo-French université, Old French universite "universality; academic community" (13c.), from Medieval Latin universitatem (nominative universitas), "the whole, aggregate," in Late Latin "corporation, society," from universus "whole, entire" (see universe). In the academic sense, a shortening of universitas magistrorum et scholarium "community of masters and scholars;" superseded studium as the word for this. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish universidad, German universität, Russian universitet, etc.
"the general body of people constituting a nation, state, or community; the nation or state," 1610s, from public (adj.); the meaning "people in general" is from 1660s. In public "in open view, publicly, before the people at large" is attested from c. 1500.
mid-15c., pardounen, "to forgive for offense or sin," from Old French pardoner and Medieval Latin perdonare (see pardon (n.)).
'I grant you pardon,' said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; 'but I also pardon whoever will kill you.' [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon me as a phrase used when making apology is by 1764; pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is by 1895.
"person who rules or sways a community or society by virtue of his wealth; person possessing power or influence solely or mainly on account of his riches," 1838, a back-formation from plutocracy. Related: Plutocratic (1843); plutocratical (1833).
late 13c., "officer who makes public pronouncements in a court of justice," agent noun from cry (v.). From early 13c. as a surname. Meaning "one appointed by a town or community to utter public proclamations" (the town crier sense) is from late 14c.