late 14c., "man-like or heroic woman, woman of extraordinary stature, strength and courage," from Latin virago "female warrior, heroine, amazon," from vir "man" (from PIE root *wi-ro- "man"). Ælfric (c. 1000), following Vulgate, used it in Genesis ii.23 as the name Adam gave to Eve (KJV = woman):
Beo hire nama Uirago, þæt is, fæmne, forðan ðe heo is of hire were genumen.
1831, "heavyweight horseman," later "boxer or wrestler of a certain weight" (1896), from earlier welter "heavyweight horseman or boxer" (1804), possibly from welt (v.) "beat severely" (c. 1400).
... but at the end of the first German mile, Nature gave way, and this excellent mare was obliged to "knock under" to the extraordinary exertions she had made, and to the welter weight she carried, upwards of 13 stone. [The Sporting Magazine, September 1831]
late 14c., "follower of Epicurus," a Latinized form of Greek Epicouros (341-270 B.C.E.), Athenian philosopher who taught that pleasure is the highest good and identified virtue as the greatest pleasure; the first lesson recalled, the second forgotten, and the name used pejoratively for "one who gives himself up to sensual pleasure" (1560s), especially "glutton, sybarite" (1774). Epicurus's school was opposed by the stoics, who first gave his name a reproachful sense. Non-pejorative meaning "one who cultivates refined taste in food and drink" is from 1580s.
mechanical musical time-keeper, 1815, coined in English from Greek metron "measure" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure") + nomos "regulating," verbal adjective of nemein "to regulate" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). The device was patented in England in 1815 by Johann Maelzel (1772-1838), German-born civil engineer and showman, who gave it its modern name, but he incorporated the ideas of a device invented in Amsterdam in 1814 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel (1777-1826). Related: Metronomic.
1540s, "steady or firm adherence to or continuance in a state, course of action, or pursuit that has been entered upon, especially if more or less obstinate," from French persistance, from persistant "lasting, enduring, permanent," from Latin persistentem (nominative persistens), present participle of persistere (see persist). In 16c. often spelled persistance, but the classical spelling prevailed. Meaning "continuance of an effect after the cause which gave rise to it is removed" is from 1862. Related: Persistency.
Clerk of the Weather, I deplore
That all thy greatness is no more,
As should a gentle bard;
That Nature, or that Nature's law
When you politely called for thaw,
Gave frost was rather hard.
[from "Consolatory Address to Mr. Murphy, the Weather Prophet," Colburn's New Monthly Magazine, 1838]
"the act of removing (a kernel, seed, tumor, etc.) from its cover or capsule," 1640s, noun of action from verb enucleate (1540s), from Latin enucleatus "pure, clean," past participle of enucleare "to lay open, explain in detail," literally "to remove the kernel from" (see ex- + nucleus). Mostly figurative in Latin (the notion is of getting at the "core" of some matter), and usually figurative in English until mid-19c. advances in science and medicine gave it a new literal sense.
1590s, in reference to the medieval romance cycle, "one of the twelve knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne and accompanying him to war," from French paladin "a warrior" (16c.), from Italian paladino, from Latin palatinus "palace official;" noun use of palatinus "of the palace" (see palace).
The Old French form of the word was palaisin (which gave Middle English palasin, c. 1400); the Italian form prevailed because, though the matter was French, most of the poets who wrote the romances were Italians. Extended sense of "a heroic champion" is by 1788.