"highest point," 1560s, from Greek akmē "(highest) point, edge; peak of anything," hence "prime (of life, etc.), the best time" (from PIE *ak-ma-, suffixed form of root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce"). In English it was written in Greek letters until c. 1620. The U.S. grocery store chain was founded 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"government by the rabble," 1580s, from French ochlocratie (1560s), from Greek okhlokratia (Polybius) "mob rule," the lowest grade of democracy, from kratos "rule, power, strength" (see -cracy) + okhlos "(orderless) crowd, multitude, throng; disturbance, annoyance," which is probably literally "moving mass," from PIE *wogh-lo-, suffixed form of root *wegh- "to go, move." "Several possibilities exist for the semantic development: e.g. an agent noun *'driving, carrying, moving', or an instrument noun *'driver, carrier, mover'. ... An original meaning 'drive' could easily develop into both 'stirred mass, mob' and 'spiritual excitement, unrest'" [Beekes]. For sense development, compare mob (n.). Related: Ochlocrat, ochlocratic; ochlocratical. Greek also had okhlagogos "mob-leader, ochlagogue."
Old English eorþe "ground, soil, dirt, dry land; country, district," also used (along with middangeard) for "the (material) world, the abode of man" (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from Proto-Germanic *ertho (source also of Old Frisian erthe "earth," Old Saxon ertha, Old Norse jörð, Middle Dutch eerde, Dutch aarde, Old High German erda, German Erde, Gothic airþa), perhaps from an extended form of PIE root *er- (2) "earth, ground."
The earth considered as a planet was so called from c. 1400. Use in old chemistry is from 1728. Earth-mover "large digging machine" is from 1940.
mid-15c., appesement, "pacification," from Old French apaisement "appeasement, calming," noun of action from apaisier "pacify, make peace, placate" (see appease). First recorded 1919 in the international political sense; it was not pejorative until the failure of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy toward Germany in 1939 (methods of appeasement was Chamberlain's description of his policy).
c. 1600, "belonging to the earliest age or stage," from Medieval Latin primalis "primary," from Latin primus "first" (see prime (adj.)). Psychological sense, in reference to Freud's theory of behaviors springing from the earliest stage of emotional development, is attested from 1918. Primal scream in psychology is from a best-selling book of 1971 (Arthur Janov, "The Primal Scream. Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis"). Related: Primality.
"right of succession of the first-born, descent to the eldest son," c. 1600, from French primogeniture and directly from Medieval Latin primogenitura, from Late Latin primogenitus "first-born," from Latin primo (adv.) "first in order of time," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). Earlier in English it meant simply "fact or state of being first-born among children of the same parents" (1590s).
c. 1300, "main, principal, chief, dominant, largest, greatest, most important;" also "great, large," from Old French principal "main, most important," of persons, "princely, high-ranking" (11c.) and directly from Latin principalis "first in importance; original, primitive," from princeps (genitive principis) "first man, chief leader; ruler, sovereign," noun use of adjective meaning "that takes first," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + root of capere "to take" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp").
1670s, from French hygiène, ultimately from Greek hygieine techne "the healthful art," from hygies "healthy, sound, hearty," literally "living well" (personified as the goddess Hygieia), from PIE *eyu-gwie-es- "having a vigorous life," from root *aiw-, *ayu- "vital force, life, long life, eternity; in the prime of life, young" (source of Latin aevus, English ever). The Greek adjective was used by Aristotle as a noun meaning "health." The difficult spelling in English is a relic of the struggle to render the Greek vowels into French.
also primadonna, 1782, "principal female singer in an opera," from Italian prima donna "first lady," from Latin prima, fem. of primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + domina "lady" (see dame). Extended meaning "temperamental person" is attested by 1834.
The erroneous form premadonna (or pre-madonna) is attested from at least 1950s and increasingly after 1990s. Not to be confused with the adjective pre-Madonna (by 1991), in reference to popular music before the rise to stardom of Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone), c. 1985.
late 14c., "being or pertaining to the source or beginning," from Late Latin primordialis "first of all, original," from Latin primordium "a beginning, the beginning, origin, commencement," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + stem of ordiri "to begin" (see order (n.)). The sense of "first in order, earliest, existing from the beginning" is from 1785. Related: Primordially. Primordial soup as the name for the conditions believed to have been present on Earth circa 4.0 billion years ago, and from which life began, in J.B.S. Haldane's theory, is by 1934.