mid-14c., "an outcast;" mid-14c., "a rejected thing, waste material, trash," from Old French refus "waste product, rubbish; refusal, denial, rejection," a back-formation from the past participle of refuser "reject, disregard, avoid" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *refusare, frequentative form from past participle stem of Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour"). As an adjective in English from late 14c., "despised, rejected;" early 15c., "of low quality."
mid-13c., "deserted, uncultivated, waste, barren, unproductive," from Old French desert and Latin desertum (see desert (n.1)). Meaning "pertaining to or belonging to a desert" is from 1630s. Desert island, one that is uninhabited, is from c. 1600.
c. 1200, destruien, later destroien, "to overthrow, lay waste, ruin," from Old French destruire "destroy, ravage, lay waste" (12c., Modern French détruire), from Vulgar Latin *destrugere (source of Italian distruggere), refashioned (influenced by destructus), from Latin destruere "tear down, demolish," literally "un-build," from de "un-, down" (see de-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread").
From c. 1300 as "to kill, slay," also "to pull down, demolish" (what has been built); also "bring to naught, put an end to." Related: Destroyed; destroying.
late 15c., reclamacion, "a revoking" (of a grant, etc.), from Old French réclamacion and directly from Latin reclamationem (nominative reclamatio) "a cry of 'no,' a shout of disapproval," noun of action from past participle stem of reclamare "cry out against, protest" (see reclaim). From 1630s as "action of calling (someone) back" (from iniquity, etc.); meaning "action of claiming as a possession something taken away" is from 1787. Of waste land from 1848; the notion is "action of subduing to fitness or use;" of used or waste material or objects, by 1937.
1660s, from French toxique and directly from Late Latin toxicus "poisoned," from Latin toxicum "poison," from Greek toxikon (pharmakon) "(poison) for use on arrows," from toxikon, neuter of toxikos "pertaining to arrows or archery," and thus to a bow, from toxon "bow," probably from a Scythian word that also was borrowed into Latin as taxus "yew." Watkins suggests a possible source in Iranian taxša- "bow," from PIE *tekw- "to run, flee." As a noun from 1890. Toxic waste is by 1888 in medicine, "toxin;" by 1955 as "chemical or radioactive waste."