mid-14c., "one whose profession is to plead cases in a court of justice," a technical term from Roman law, from Old French avocat "barrister, advocate, spokesman," from Latin advocatus "one called to aid (another); a pleader (on one's behalf), advocate," noun use of past participle of advocare "to call (as witness or adviser), summon, invite; call to aid; invoke," from ad "to" (see ad-) + vocare "to call," which is related to vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak").
Also in Middle English as "one who intercedes for another," and "protector, champion, patron." Feminine forms advocatess, advocatrice were in use in 15c.; advocatrix is from 17c. Old English glossed Latin advocatus with þingere (see thing).
early 14c., condempnen "to blame, censure;" mid-14c., "pronounce judgment against," from Old French condamner, condemner "to condemn" (11c.) and directly from Latin condemnare, condempnare "to sentence, doom, blame, disapprove," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + damnare "to harm, damage" (see damn (v.)). Replaced Old English fordeman.
From late 14c. as "hold to be reprehensible or intolerable," also "afford occasion for condemnation, bear witness against." From 1705 as "adjudge or pronounce as forfeited" (as a prize of war, etc.); from 1833, American English, in the sense of "to judicially take (land, etc.) for potential public use." From 1745 as "judge or pronounce (a building, etc.) to be unfit for use or service." Related: Condemned; condemning.
1550s, "affirm, acknowledge openly;" 1590s, "make good, answer for," from French avochier "call upon as authority," in Old French "call (to court), advocate, plead (a case)," from Latin advocare "call to" as a witness (see advocate (n.)).
Avouch, which is no longer in common use, means guarantee, solemnly aver, prove by assertion, maintain the truth or existence of, vouch for .... Avow means own publicly to, make no secret of, not shrink from admitting, acknowledge one's responsibility for .... Vouch is now common only in the phrase vouch for, which has taken the place of avouch in ordinary use, & means pledge one's word for .... [Fowler]
Related: Avouched; avouching.
c. 1300, "put (someone) to question in regard to knowledge, competence, or skill, inquire into qualifications or capabilities;" mid-14c., "inspect or survey (something) carefully, scrutinize, view or observe in all aspects with the purpose of forming a correct opinion or judgment," from Old French examiner "interrogate, question, torture," from Latin examinare "to test or try; consider, ponder," literally "to weigh," from examen "a means of weighing or testing," probably ultimately from exigere "demand, require, enforce," literally "to drive or force out," also "to finish, measure," from ex "out" (see ex-) + agere "to set in motion, drive, drive forward; to do, perform" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Legal sense of "question or hear (a witness in court)" is from early 15c. Related: Examined; examining.
late 14c., "relation of incidents" (true or false), from Old French estoire, estorie "story; chronicle, history" (12c., Modern French histoire), from Latin historia "narrative of past events, account, tale, story," from Greek historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry; an account of one's inquiries; knowledge, account, historical account, record, narrative," from historein "be witness or expert; give testimony, recount; find out, search, inquire," and histōr "knowing, expert; witness," both ultimately from PIE *wid-tor-, from root *weid- "to see," hence "to know."
It is thus related to Greek idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." Beekes writes of histōr that "The word itself, but especially the derivations ... that arose in Ionic, have spread over the Hellenic and Hellenistic world together with Ionic science and philosophy."
In Middle English, not differentiated from story (n.1); sense of "narrative record of past events" probably first attested late 15c. Meaning "the recorded events of the past" is from late 15c. As a branch of knowledge, from late 15c. Meaning "a historical play or drama" is from 1590s. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1560s) is now obsolete except in natural history (as late as the 1880s published county histories in the U.S. routinely included natural history chapters, with lists of birds and fishes and illustrations of local slugs and freshwater clams). Meaning "an eventful career, a past worthy of note" (a woman with a history) is from 1852. To make history "be notably engaged in public events" is from 1862.
History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us. [Johan Huizinga, "The Task of the Cultural Historian"]
History is more or less bunk [Henry Ford, Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1916]
One difference between history and imaginative literature ... is that history neither anticipates nor satisfies our curiosity, whereas literature does. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts," 1996]
also brain-storm, by 1861 as a colloquial term for "fit of acute delirious mania; sudden dethronement of reason and will under stress of strong emotion, usually accompanied by manifestations of violence," from brain (n.) + figurative use of storm (n.).
The sense of "brilliant idea, mental excitement, fit of mental application," is by 1934 and seems to have evolved from the earlier sense:
Modern radio broadcasting is replete with examples of the resourcefulness, daring and hair-trigger thinking of the men who handle the big news breaks and special programs for the networks — the "brainstorm boys" the announcers and engineers call them. Eye-witness accounts of federal agents surrounding a gang lair, word pictures of dust storms, stratosphere flights, floods and fires — these are but a few of the programs brought to radio audiences by the brainstorm squad. [Popular Mechanics, July 1936]
The verbal meaning "make a concerted attack on a problem, involving spontaneous ideas," is by 1947. Related: Brainstormed; brainstorming.
1580s, "act of referring" (some matter, to someone for consideration), from refer + -ance, or else from French référence, from Medieval Latin *referentia, from Latin referentem (nominative referens), present participle of referre.
Meaning "direction to a book or passage" where certain information may be found is recorded from 1610s. By 1837 as "one who or that which may be referred to." The meaning "testimonial" is from 1895. Reference book , a dictionary, encyclopedia, or similar book intended to be consulted as occasion requires, dates from 1808; reference library is by 1834. Phrase in reference to is attested from 1590s. "By slipshod extension, the word is often now made to mean a person to whom r[eference] is permitted as a witness to character, & even a written testimonial" [Fowler, 1926]. The earlier word for "one who gives characters for people seeking employment" was referee (1862) but this word had a bad savor, of literate accomplices of professional beggars and thieves.
1570s, "come side-by-side or face-to-face with," for any reason, from French accoster "move up to, come alongside" (Old French acoster), from Late Latin accostare "come up to the side," from assimilated form of Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + costa "a rib, side" (see coast (n.)). Now usually in the sense "approach and speak to" (1610s). Also picked up as the verb for a prostitute's solicitation of a customer (1812). Related: Accosted; accosting.
Infamous houses, he states, are in all parts of the metropolis, but most numerous in small streets, leading from public thoroughfares. "Some of them adjoin churches, chapels, and even the courts of law. There is one locality in which vicious women accost persons as they issue from the door of a chapel on the Sabbath. In another situation, the officiating clergyman while in the pulpit, is in a position to witness the proceedings in a contiguous brothel." [Michael Ryan, M.D., "Prostitution in London," 1839]
late Old English, "intentionally untrue, lying," of religion, "not of the true faith, not in accord with Christian doctrines," from Old French fals, faus "false, fake; incorrect, mistaken; treacherous, deceitful" (12c., Modern French faux), from Latin falsus "deceptive, feigned, deceitful, pretend," also "deceived, erroneous, mistaken," past participle of fallere "deceive, disappoint," which is of uncertain origin (see fail (v.)).
Adopted into other Germanic languages (cognates: German falsch, Dutch valsch, Old Frisian falsk, Danish falsk), though English is the only one in which the active sense of "deceitful" (a secondary sense in Latin) has predominated. From c. 1200 as "deceitful, disloyal, treacherous; not genuine;" from early 14c. as "contrary to fact or reason, erroneous, wrong." False alarm recorded from 1570s. False step (1700) translates French faux pas. To bear false witness is attested from mid-13c. False prophet "one who prophecies without divine commission or by evil spirits," is attested from late 13c.