1560s, "study and description of natural objects, natural philosophy" (a sense now obsolete), from French physiologie (16c.) or directly from Latin physiologia "natural science, study of nature," from Greek physiologia "natural science, inquiry into nature," from physios "nature" (see physio-) + logia "study" (see -logy). Meaning "science of the normal function of living things" is attested from 1610s. Related: Physiologic; physiologist.
The two words [physics/physiology] had once the same wide meaning of natural science or natural philosophy. They have now been narrowed & differentiated, physics retaining only the properties of matter & energy in inorganic nature, & physiology only the normal functions & phenomena of living beings. [Fowler, 1926]
1857, "mathematical condition of being at right angles, state or fact of being normal in geometry," from normal + -cy. The word has been associated since 1920 with U.S. president Warren G. Harding (who campaigned that year under the slogan "Return to Normalcy," meaning pre-World War I conditions). Previously normalcy was used mostly in the mathematical sense and the word preferred by purists for "a normal situation" is normality. Harding's use of it was derided during his administration as an example of his much-belittled incompetence with the language (Democratic politician William G. McAdoo Jr. called Harding’s speeches "an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea").
America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality. [Harding, "Readjustment" speech, May 24, 1920]
"distorted projection or drawing" (one that looks normal from a particular angle or with a certain mirror), 1727, from Greek anamorphōsis "transformation," noun of action from anamorphoein "to transform," from ana "up" (see ana-) + morphōsis, from morphē "form," a word of uncertain etymology. In botany, "monstrous development of a part" (1830); in evolutionary biology, "gradual change of form in a species over time" (1852).
1590s, "a wandering, act of straying," from Latin aberrationem (nominative aberratio) "a wandering," noun of action from past-participle stem of aberrare "to wander out of the way, lose the way, go astray," literally and figuratively, from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + errare "to wander, stray, roam, rove" (see err). Meaning "deviation from the normal type" is attested by 1735.
also auto-immune, "arising from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part," 1952, from auto- + immune. Related: Autoimmunity, attested by 1903 as "immunity, natural or acquired, effected by the unaided powers of the organism, independent of external agencies." Modern sense of "immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues" is from 1950s.
Hyperaesthesia, then, is the peculiar state in which the absolute sensibility is increased—the minimum of stimulation needed to excite perception being less than normal. Hyperalgesia is where stimuli which normally cause only a slight sensation give rise to pain in consequence of the lowering of the pain minimum. [The Medical Record, April 1, 1867]
"normal rhythmic relaxation of the heart" (alternating with the systole), 1570s, from medical Latin diastole, from Greek diastole "drawing asunder, dilation," from diastellein, from dia "through; thoroughly, entirely" (see dia-) + stellein "to set in order, arrange, array, equip, make ready," from PIE *stel-yo-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place. Related: Diastolic.
in architecture, "an S-shaped molding," 1670s, said to be from a corruption of French ogive "diagonal rib of a vault" of a type normal in 13c. French architecture, earlier augive, a word of unknown origin. According to Watkins, in part from Latin via "way, road" (see via). Related: ogival. Middle English had ogif (late 13c.) "a stone for the diagonal rib of a vault," from the French word and Medieval Latin ogiva.