1690s, "an act of driving, the action of driving," from drive (v.). Sense of "course upon which carriages are driven" is from 1816 (hence its use in road and street names). Meaning "an excursion by vehicle" is from 1785.
Golfing sense of "forcible blow" is from 1836; in cricket from 1827, later also in baseball. Meaning "organized effort to raise money" is by 1889, American English. Sense of "dynamism" is from 1908. As a motor engine transmission lever position, by 1963. The computing sense "location capable of storing and reading a disk, etc." is by 1963.
"period of four years" (between Olympic games), late 14c., from Old French olimpiade "period of four years," from Latin Olympiadem, from Greek olympiados, genitive of Olympias "Olympian, of or pertaining to Olympus," an epithet of the muses, as a noun, "the Olympic games; a victor at Olympia; the space of four years between the celebrations of the Olympic games"(see Olympic). Used by ancient Greeks as a unit in computing time. Revived in modern usage with revival of the games, 1896. Related: Olympiadic.
To turn an Olympiad into a year B.C, multiply by 4, add the year of the Olympiad less 1, and subtract from 780. [Century Dictionary]
late 14c., informacion, "act of informing, communication of news," from Old French informacion, enformacion "advice, instruction," from Latin informationem (nominative informatio) "outline, concept, idea," noun of action from past participle stem of informare "to train, instruct, educate; shape, give form to" (see inform). The restored Latin spelling is from 16c.
Meaning "knowledge communicated concerning a particular topic" is from mid-15c. The word was used in reference to television broadcast signals from 1937; to punch-card operating systems from 1944; to DNA from 1953. Information theory is from 1950; information technology is from 1958 (coined in "Harvard Business Review"); information revolution, to be brought about by advances in computing, is from 1966. Information overload is by 1967.
early 14c., rekening, "a narration, account," verbal noun from reckon (v.). The meaning "a settling of accounts" is from mid-14c.; that of "act of counting or computing, a calculation" is from late 14c. as is the sense of "a bill of charges" (in an inn, tavern, etc.). Compare Dutch rekening "a bill, account, reckoning," Old High German rechenunga, German rechnung, Danish regning "a reckoning, computation."
The general sense is "a summing up," whether in words or numbers. In nautical use from 1660s: "Calculation of the position of a ship from the rate as determined by the log and the course as determined by the compass." Day of reckoning is attested from c. 1600; the notion is of rendering an account of one's life and conduct to God at death or judgment.
c. 1300, devis, "intent, desire; an expressed intent or desire; a plan or design; a literary composition," from Old French devis "division, separation; disposition, wish, desire; coat of arms, emblem; a bequest in a will, act of bequeathing," from deviser "arrange, plan, contrive," literally "dispose in portions," from Vulgar Latin *divisare, frequentative of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).
The basic sense is "method by which something is divided," which arose in Old French and led to the range of modern meanings via the notion of "something invented or fitted to a particular use or purpose," hence "an invention; a constructed tool; inventiveness; a contriving, a plan or scheme."
In English from c. 1400 as "artistic design, work of art; ornament," hence especially "a representation of some object or scene, accompanied by a motto or legend, used as an expression of the bearer's aspirations or principles." Also from c. 1400 as "mechanical contrivance," such as a large crossbow fitted with a crank. From mid-15c. as "a bequest in a will." Since c. 1996 the word has come to be used especially for "hand-held or mobile computing or electronic instrument."
We live in a kind of world and in an age of the world where devices of all sorts are growing in complexity, where, therefore, the necessity for alertness and self-mastery in the control of device is ever more urgent. If we are democrats we know that especial perils beset us, both because of the confusion of our aims and because it is easier for the mob than for the individual to mistake appetite for reason, and advantage for right. [Hartley Burr Alexander, "'Liberty and Democracy,' and Other Essays in War-Time," 1918]