Etymology
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massif (n.)

"large block of mountains, more or less distinctly defined; a central mountain mass, the dominant part of a range of mountains," 1885, from French massif "bulky, solid" (see massive), also used as a noun in French, as in Massif Central, name of the plateau in the middle of southern France.

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stymie (v.)

1857, in golf, from stymie (n.) "condition in which an opponent's ball blocks the hole" (1834); of uncertain origin, perhaps from Scottish stymie "person who sees poorly," from stime "the least bit" (early 14c.), itself of uncertain origin. General sense of "block, hinder, thwart" is from 1902. Related: Stymied.

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skid (v.)
1670s, "apply a skid to (a wheel, to keep it from turning)," from skid (n.). Meaning "slide along" first recorded 1838; extended sense of "slip sideways" (on a wet road, etc.) first recorded 1884. The original notion is of a block of wood for stopping a wheel; the modern senses are from the notion of a wheel slipping when blocked from revolving.
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stolon (n.)

"a shoot, sucker," c. 1600, from Latin stolonem (nominative stolo) "a shoot, branch, sucker," cognate with Greek stēlē "standing block," stelekhos "trunk, stem, log;" from PIE *stol-on-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place.

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cantilever (n.)
"projecting block or bracket from a building supporting a molding, balcony, etc.," 1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c. 1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can "dog," architect's term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.
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insulate (v.)
1530s, "make into an island," from Late Latin insulatus "made like an island," from insula "island" (see isle). Sense of "place in an isolated situation, cause (someone or something) to be detached from surroundings" is from 1785. Electrical/chemical sense of "block from electricity or heat" (by interposition of a non-conductor) is from 1742. Related: Insulated; insulating.
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monolith (n.)

"monument consisting of a single large block of stone," 1829, from French monolithe (16c.), from Latin monolithus (adj.) "consisting of a single stone," from Greek monolithos "made of one stone," from monos "single, alone" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + lithos "stone" (see litho-). Transferred and figurative use in reference to a thing or person noted for indivisible unity is from 1934.

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bullion (n.)
mid-14c., "uncoined gold or silver," from Anglo-French bullion, Old French billon "bar of precious metal," also "place where coins are made, mint," from Old French bille "stick, block of wood" (see billiards), influenced by Old French boillir "to boil," from Latin bullire "boil" (see boil (v.)), through the notion of "melting."
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estop (v.)
in law, "to bar, prevent, preclude," 1530s, from Anglo-French estopper "to stop, bar, hinder" (especially in a legal sense, by one's own prior act or declaration), from Old French estoper "plug, stop up, block; prevent, halt" (also in obscene usage), from estope "tow, oakum," from Latin stuppa "tow" (used as a plug); see stop (v.).
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dam (n.1)

"barrier across a stream of water to obstruct its flow and raise its level," c. 1400 (early 13c. in surnames), probably from Old Norse dammr or Middle Dutch dam, both from Proto-Germanic *dammaz (source also of Old Frisian damm, German Damm), which is of unknown origin. Also perhaps in part from or reinforced by Old English verb fordemman "to stop up, block."

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