1704, of a letter, "capital;" 1738 as a noun, "a capital letter," from French majuscule (16c.), from Latin maiuscula (littera), fem. of maiusculus "somewhat larger, somewhat greater," diminutive of maior (see major (adj.)).
Lebanese capital, from Hebrew, literally "the wells," from be'erot, plural of be'er "well."
Cambodian capital, literally "mountain of plenty," from Cambodian phnom "mountain, hill" + penh "full."
"large block of mountains, more or less distinctly defined; a central mountain mass, the dominant part of a range of mountains," 1885, from French massif "bulky, solid" (see massive), also used as a noun in French, as in Massif Central, name of the plateau in the middle of southern France.
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]
1970 in reference to a febrile disease of tropical Africa, from Lassa, name of a village in northeastern Nigeria.
black African community outside Johannesburg, South Africa, formed from first letters of South Western Townships. Related: Sowetan.
Swahili word for "lion," also figuratively "a warrior, a leader;" it enters into English writings in Africa.