late 14c., "inhabitant of Asia (Minor)," from Latin Asianus (adjective and noun, "belonging to the province of Asia;" "an inhabitant of Asia"), from Greek Asianos "Asiatic," from Asia (see Asia). Ousted Asiatic as the preferred term mid-20c.
The term "Asiatic" has come to be regarded with disfavour by those to whom it is applied, and they feel entitled to be brought into line with usage in regard to Europeans, Americans and Australians. [Times Literary Supplement, Feb. 6, 1953]
As an adjective in English, "of or pertaining to Asia," from 1560s; common from c. 1930. Related: Asianic (1879).
Narrowed meaning "one who professes to determine the influence of planets on persons and events" is from c. 1600, however during the early Modern English period when astrologer and astronomer began to be differentiated, "the relation between them was at first the converse of the present usage" [OED]. Shakespeare used astronomer where we would write astrologer.
The Greek word was applied by the stoics to the controlling of the appetites and passions as the path to virtue and was picked up from them by the early Christians. Figurative sense of "unduly strict or austere" also is from 1640s. Related: Ascetical (1610s).
c. 1300, "a gathering of persons, a group gathered for some purpose," from Old French as(s)emblee "assembly, gathering; union, marriage," noun use of fem. past participle of assembler "to assemble" (see assemble). Meaning "a gathering together" is recorded from early 15c.; that of "act of assembling parts or objects" is from 1914, as is assembly line.
Perhaps the most interesting department in the whole factory, to the visitor, is the final assembly. In this division, all the assembled units meet the assembly conveyor at the point where they are needed. At the start of the track a front axle unit, a rear axle unit and a frame unit are assembled. This assembly is then started in motion by means of a chain conveyor, and as it moves down the room at a constant speed of eight feet per minute, each man adds one part to the growing chassis or does one operation, which is assigned to him, so that when the chassis reaches the end of the line, it is ready to run on its own power. ["The Story of an Automobile Factory," in "Universal Book of Knowledge and Wonders," 1917]
School sense, "gathering of all students for a presentation" is from 1932. From mid-14c. as "a gathering for deliberation," hence it is the name of the lower house in state (earlier colonial) legislatures in America (1680s). In 17c.-18c. assemblies "dancing balls 'among polite persons of both sexes,' often paid for by subscription of the participants" were a prominent feature of social life.
Asceticism goes beyond austerity, being more manifestly excessive and more clearly delighting in self-mortification as a good in itself ; it also generally includes somewhat of the disposition to retire from the world. [Century Dictionary]