"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.
"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.
1570s, "affinity between certain things," from French sympathie (16c.) and directly from Late Latin sympathia "community of feeling, sympathy," from Greek sympatheia "fellow-feeling, community of feeling," from sympathes "having a fellow feeling, affected by like feelings," from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + pathos "feeling" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer").
In English, almost a magical notion at first; used in reference to medicines that heal wounds when applied to a cloth stained with blood from the wound. Meaning "conformity of feelings" is from 1590s; sense of "fellow feeling, compassion" is first attested c. 1600. An Old English loan-translation of sympathy was efensargung.
also coenobite, "member of a communal religious order," 1630s, from Church Latin coenobita "a cloister brother," from coenobium "a convent," from Greek koinobion "life in community, monastery," from koinos "common" (see coeno-) + bios "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live." Related: Cenobitic; cenobitical.
c. 1300, "the people of a country, a community," from Old French comunalte, from comun (see common (adj.) as if from Medieval Latin *communalitas. A respelling of commonalty (late 13c.). Meaning "the common people" is attested from 1580s; that of "state or quality of being shared" is from 1954.