c. 1200, feolahschipe "companionship," from fellow + -ship. Sense of "a body of companions" is from late 13c. Meaning "spirit of comradeship, friendliness" is from late 14c. As a state of privilege in English colleges, from 1530s. In Middle English it was at times a euphemism for "sexual intercourse" (carnal fellowship).
To fellowship with is to hold communion with; to unite with in doctrine and discipline. This barbarism now appears with disgusting frequency in the reports of ecclesiastical conventions, and in the religious newspapers generally. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
But Chaucer and Wyclif used it as a verb in Middle English, "to have fellowship with."
1540s, "rigorous in condemnation or punishment," from French severe (12c., Modern French sévère) or directly from Latin severus "serious, grave, strict, austere," which is of uncertain origin, but de Vaan supports the theory (also in Watkins) that it probably is a suffixed form PIE root *segh- "to have, hold," on the notion of "steadfastness, toughness."
It is attested by 1560s of looks and demeanor, of law or punishment ("unsparing"), also "extremely strict in matters of conduct or self-discipline." It is attested by 1660s with reference to styles or tastes, "chaste, restrained, shunning florid ornament." On the notion of "sharp, distressing, violent" it is attested by 1670s in reference to weather or winter, by 1725 of illness or disease, by 1742 of pain and suffering.
"assembly of persons for consultation, deliberation or advice," early 12c., originally in the Church sense, "assembly of prelates and theologians to regulate doctrine and discipline," from Anglo-French cuncile, from Old North French concilie (Old French concile, 12c.) "assembly; council meeting; body of counsellors," from Latin concilium "a meeting, a gathering of people," from PIE *kal-yo-, suffixed form of root *kele- (2) "to shout." The notion is of a calling together. The tendency to confuse it in form and meaning with counsel has been consistent since 16c.
In English, of rules, discipline, etc., from mid-15c. Related: Laxly; laxness. A transposed Vulgar Latin form yielded Old French lasche, French lâche. The laxists, though they formed no avowed school, were nonetheless condemned by Innocent XI in 1679.
late 14c., mortifien, "to kill, destroy the life of," from Old French mortefiier "destroy, overwhelm, punish," from Late Latin mortificare "cause death, kill, put to death," literally "make dead," from mortificus "producing death," from Latin mors (genitive mortis) "death" (from PIE root *mer- "to rub away, harm," also "to die" and forming words referring to death and to beings subject to death) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
Religious sense of "subdue the flesh by abstinence and discipline" is attested from early 15c. Sense of "humiliate, chagrin, vex" is recorded by 1690s (compare mortification). Related: Mortified; mortifying.
mid-13c., observaunce, "act performed in accordance with prescribed usage," especially a religious or ceremonial one; late 14c., "care, concern, act of paying attention (to something)," from Old French observance, osservance "observance, discipline," and directly from Latin observantia "act of keeping customs, attention, respect, regard, reverence," from observantem (nominative observans), present participle of observare "watch over, note, heed, look to, attend to, guard, regard, comply with," from ob "in front of, before" (see ob-) + servare "to watch, keep safe," from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect." Observance is the attending to and carrying out of a duty or rule. Observation is watching, noticing.
c. 1300, penaunce, "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin; sorrow for sin shown by outward acts under authority and regulation of the Church," from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from Latin pænitentia "repentance," noun of condition from pænitentum (nominative pænitens) "penitent," present participle of pænitere "cause or feel regret," probably originally "is not enough, is unsatisfactory," from pæne "nearly, almost, practically," which is of uncertain origin. Transferred sense of "repentance, contrition" is recorded from c. 1300. A popular Old French form, later ousted by the clerical pénitence, which preserves more of the Latin word.
late 14c., communioun, "participation in something; that which is common to all; union in religious worship, doctrine, or discipline," from Old French comunion "community, communion" (12c.), from Latin communionem (nominative communio) "fellowship, mutual participation, a sharing," used in Late Latin ecclesiastical language for "participation in the sacrament," from communis "common, general" (see common (adj.)).
Used by Augustine, in belief that the word was derived from com- "with, together" + unus "oneness, union." In English, from mid-15c. as "the sacrament of the Eucharist," from c. 1500 as "act of partaking in the sacrament of the Eucharist." From 1610s as "intercourse between two or more."
late 14c., "government, rule, authority, control," a sense now obsolete, from Old French regiment "government, rule" (14c.), from Late Latin regimentum "rule, direction," from Latin regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").
The military meaning "unit of an army" is recorded by 1570s, from a sense in French; the reference in the word originally was to permanent organization and discipline. The exact number of soldiers in a regiment has varied widely over time and place.