during (prep.)

"in the time of, in the course of, throughout the continuance of," late 14c., duryng (earlier durand, mid-14c.), present participle of the long-obsolete verb duren "to last, endure, continue, be or exist" (mid-13c.), which is from Old French durer, from Latin durare "to harden," from durus "hard" (from PIE root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast"). During the day is "while the day endures," and the prepositional usage is a transference into English of a Latin ablative absolute (compare durante bello "during (literally 'enduring') the war").

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despotic (adj.)

"pertaining to or of the nature of a despot or despotism," 1640s, from French despotique (14c.), from Greek despotikos, from despotēs "absolute ruler" (see despot). By 1734, "unlimited, arbitrary, tyrannical." In 18c. also despotick. Related: Despotical; despotically.

Despotic monarchs sincerely anxious to improve mankind are naturally led to endeavour, by acts of legislation, to force society into the paths which they believe to be good, and such men, acting under such motives, have sometimes been the scourges of mankind. Philip II. and Isabella the Catholic inflicted more suffering in obedience to their consciences than Nero or Domitian in obedience to their lusts. [Lecky, "History of European Morals," 1869]
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superlative (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French superlatif "absolute, highest; powerful; best" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin superlativus "extravagant, exaggerated, hyperbolic," from Latin superlatus "exaggerated" (used as past participle of superferre "carry over or beyond"), from super "beyond" (see super-) + lat- "carry," from *tlat-, past participle stem of tollere "to take away" (see extol). Related: Superlatively; superlativeness.

The noun is attested from 1520s, originally in the grammatical sense, "a word in the superlative;" hence "exaggerated language" (1590s).
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apparent (adj.)
late 14c., "indisputable, clearly understood;" c. 1400, "easily seen or perceived," from Old French aparant "evident, obvious, visible," from Latin apparentem (nominative apparens) "visible, manifest," present participle of apparere "appear, come in sight" (see appear).

First attested in phrases such as heir apparent (see heir). Meaning "superficial, spurious" is from c. 1400; that of "appearing to the senses or mind but not necessarily real" is from 1640s. Apparent magnitude in astronomy (how bright a heavenly body looks from earth, as opposed to absolute magnitude, which is how bright it really is) is attested from 1875. Middle English had noun forms apparence, apparency, but both are obsolete from 17c.
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ours (pron.)

"that or those belonging to us," c. 1300, oures, a double possessive (with genitive suffix -s (1)), originating in northern England, it has taken over the absolute function of our (q.v.). In Middle English ourn, ouren also were used.

Ours is a later possessive form from our, and is used in place of our and a noun, thus standing to our in the same relation as hers to her, yours to your, mine to my .... [Century Dictionary]
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despot (n.)

"absolute ruler," 1560s, in Italian form dispotto (1580s as despot); from Medieval Latin despota, from Greek despotēs "master of a household, lord, absolute ruler," from PIE *dems-pota- "house-master," from the genitive of the root *dem- "house, household" + second element from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord." The compound might be prehistoric; compare Sanskrit dampati- "lord."

Originally in English in reference to Byzantine rulers or Christian rulers in Ottoman provinces and often neutral. But it had been faintly pejorative in Greek (ruler of an un-free people), and it was used in various languages for Roman emperors. It became fully negative with the French Revolution, where it was applied to Louis XVI. In English the sense of "one who governs according to his own will, under a recognized right but uncontrolled by constitutional restrictions or the wishes of his subjects" is by 1610s; by c. 1800 it was used generally for "a tyrant, an oppressor."

The Greek female equivalent was despoina "lady, queen, mistress," source of the fem. proper name Despina.

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tyrant (n.)

c. 1300, "absolute ruler," especially one without legal right; "cruel, oppressive ruler," from Old French tiran, tyrant (12c.), from Latin tyrannus "lord, master, monarch, despot," especially "arbitrary ruler, cruel governor, autocrat" (source also of Spanish tirano, Italian tiranno), from Greek tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler unlimited by law or constitution," a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor (probably Lydian); Klein compares Etruscan Turan "mistress, lady" (surname of Venus).

In the exact sense, a tyrant is an individual who arrogates to himself the royal authority without having a right to it. This is how the Greeks understood the word 'tyrant': they applied it indifferently to good and bad princes whose authority was not legitimate. [Rousseau, "The Social Contract"]

Originally in Greek the word was not applied to old hereditary sovereignties (basileiai) and despotic kings, but it was used of usurpers, even when popular, moderate, and just (such as Cypselus of Corinth), however it soon became a word of reproach in the usual modern sense. The unetymological spelling with -t arose in Old French by analogy with present-participle endings in -ant. Fem. form tyranness is recorded from 1590 (Spenser); Medieval Latin had tyrannissa (late 14c.).

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his (pron.)
Old English his (genitive of he), from Proto-Germanic *hisa (source also of Gothic is, Old Saxon is, German es). Originally also the neuter possessive pronoun, but in English it was replaced in that sense c. 1600 by its. In Middle English, hisis was tried for the absolute pronoun (compare her/hers), but it failed to stick. For dialectal his'n, see her.

In 16c.-17c. commonly used in place of a genitive inflection after nouns whose nominative ends in -s (for example, "When this Book became a particular book, that is, when Moses his book was divided into five parts, I cannot trace." [Donne, "Essayes in Divinity," "Exodus," 1651]). Here it is perhaps an expanded vocalized form of 's, originally -es. This tendency began in late Old English and was obsolete from c. 1750.
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relative (adj.)

early 15c., relatif, "having reference (to something), relating, depending upon," from Old French relatif and directly from Late Latin relativus "having reference or relation," from Latin relatus, used as past participle of referre "bring back, bear back" (see refer), from re- "back, again" + lātus "borne, carried" (see oblate (n.)).

Meaning "having mutual relationship, connected with each other" is from 1590s; that of "arising from or determined by relationship to something else" is from 1610s; that of "having or standing in a relation to something else" is from 1650s; that of "not absolute or existing by itself" is by 1704. In grammar, "referring to an antecedent," from 1520s.

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plurality (n.)

late 14c., pluralite, "state of being more than one; a number greater than one," from Old French pluralite (14c.), from Late Latin pluralitatem (nominative pluralitas) "the plural number," from Latin pluralis "of or belonging to more than one" (see plural). Meaning "fact of there being many, multitude" is from mid-15c. Church sense of "holding of two or more offices concurrently" is from mid-14c. Meaning "greater number, more than half" is from 1570s but is etymologically improper, perhaps modeled on majority. U.S. sense of "excess of votes for the candidate who receives the most over those of rival candidate(s)," especially when none has an absolute majority, is from 1828.

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