hilarity (n.)

mid-15c., from Latin hilaritatem (nominative hilaritas) "cheerfulness, gaiety, merriment," from hilaris "cheerful, merry," from Greek hilaros "cheerful, merry, joyous," related to hilaos "graceful, kindly," hilaskomai "to propitiate, appease, reconcile,"and probably from a suffixed form of a PIE root *selh- "reconcile" (source also of Latin solari "to comfort").

In ancient Rome, Hilaria (neuter plural of hilaris) were a class of holidays, times of pomp and rejoicing; there were public ones in honor of Cybele at the spring equinoxes as well as private ones on the day of a marriage or a son's birth.

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accommodate (v.)

1530s, "fit one thing to another," from Latin accomodatus "suitable, fit, appropriate to," past participle of accomodare "make fit, make fit for, adapt, fit one thing to another," from ad "to" (see ad-) + commodare "make fit," from commodus ""proper, fit, appropriate, convenient, satisfactory," from com-, here as an intensive prefix (see com-), + modus "measure, manner" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures").

From late 16c. as "make suitable," also "furnish (someone) with what is wanted," especially "furnish with suitable room and comfort" (1712). Related: Accommodated; accommodating.

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convenience (n.)

late 14c., "agreement, conformity, resemblance, similarity," also "state or condition of being suitable, adaptation to existing conditions," from Latin convenientia "a meeting together, agreement, harmony," from convenien-, present-participle stem of convenire "to come together, meet together, assemble; unite, join, combine; agree with, accord; be suitable or proper (to)," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + venire "to come" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").

Meaning "that which gives ease or comfort; a convenient article or appliance" is from 1670s. Sense of "quality of being personally not difficult" is from 1703. Convenience store attested by 1965.

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brace (v.)

mid-14c., "to seize, grasp, hold firmly," also "wrap, enshroud; tie up, fetter," from Old French bracier "to embrace," from brace "arms" (see brace (n.)). The meaning "make tense, render firm or steady by tensing" is from mid-15c., it is attested earlier in the figurative sense of "strengthen or comfort" someone (early 15c.), with a later extension to tonics, etc. that "brace" the nerves (compare bracer "stiff drink").

To brace oneself "place oneself in the position of a brace" (in anticipation of some shock or impact) is by 1805, perhaps c. 1500. To brace up "increase the tension or vigor of" is from 1809. Related: Braced; bracing.

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cushion (n.)

"bag-like case of cloth, etc., stuffed with soft material and used as a support or for comfort for some part of the body," c. 1300, quishin, from Anglo-French quissyn, Old French coissin "seat cushion" (12c., Modern French coussin), cognate with Medieval Latin cossinus, probably a variant of Vulgar Latin *coxinum, from Latin coxa "hip, thigh," or from Latin culcita "mattress." Someone has counted more than 400 spellings of the plural of this word in Middle English wills and inventories, including quessihon, quoshin, whishin, cuishun, kuchin, koshen. Also from the French word are Italian cuscino, Spanish cojin. Figurative sense of "something to absorb a jolt, shock, etc." is by 1860.

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ancient name for the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers north of Babylon (in modern Iraq), from Greek mesopotamia (khōra), literally "a country between two rivers," from fem. of mesopotamos, from mesos "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + potamos "river" (see potamo-).

In 19c. the word sometimes was used in the sense of "anything which gives irrational or inexplicable comfort to the hearer," based on the story of the old woman who told her pastor that she "found great support in that comfortable word Mesopotamia" ["Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable," 1870]. The place was Mespot (1917) to British soldiers serving there in World War I. Related: Mesopotamian.

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margin (n.)

mid-14c., "edge of a sea or lake;" late 14c., of a written or printed paper, "space between a block of text and the edge of a leaf or sheet;" from Old French margin and directly from Latin marginem (nominative margo) "edge, brink, border, margin," from PIE root *merg- "boundary, border."

The general sense of "bordering space, boundary space, rim or edge" is from late 14c. Meaning "comfort allowance, cushion, scope, range, provision for enlarged or extended action" is by 1851; margin of error is attested by 1889. Stock market sense of "sum deposited with a broker to cover risk of loss" is from 1848. Related: Margins.

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rambunctious (adj.)

1834, of persons, "arrogantly boisterous, careless of the comfort of others," earlier rumbunctious, 1824, probably altered (by influence of ram) from rumbustious. Compare rantankerous "contentious" (Bartlett), a mid-19c. U.S. colloquial variant of cantankerous.

In all this bisnes the gineral was cute as a rasor. It needed somethin more than a cods-hed tu manage, with sich leger-de-main and hocus pocus, an affair requirin so much dexterity, every scrimptius bit on't havin tu be worked with master skill, with a set of rambunctious fellers who, findin themselves comin out second best warn't never out of the tantrums tu the eend on't. ["Major Jack Downing," "Life of Andrew Jackson," Philadelphia: 1834]
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match (n.2)

"one of a pair, an equal." Middle English macche, from Old English mæcca "companion, mate, one of a pair, wife, husband, one suited to another, an equal," from gemæcca, from Proto-Germanic *gamakon "fitting well together" (source also of Old Saxon gimaco "fellow, equal," Old High German gimah "comfort, ease," Middle High German gemach "comfortable, quiet," German gemach "easy, leisurely"), from PIE root *mag- "to knead, fashion, fit."

Meaning "person or thing that exactly corresponds to another" is from c. 1400. Middle English sense of "matching adversary, person able to contend with another" (c. 1300) led to sporting meaning "contest," which is attested from 1540s. Meaning "a matrimonial compact" is from 1570s.

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relieve (v.)

late 14c., releven, "alleviate (pain, etc.) wholly or partly, mitigate; afford comfort; allow respite; diminish the pressure of," also "give alms to, provide for;" also figuratively, "take heart, cheer up;" from Old French relever "to raise, relieve" (11c.) and directly from Latin relevare "to raise, alleviate, lift up, free from a burden," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + levare "to lift up, lighten," from levis "not heavy" (from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight").

The notion is "to raise (someone) out of trouble." From c. 1400 as "advance to the rescue in battle, bring help to a besieged place;" also "return from battle; recall (troops)." Meaning "release from duty" is from early 15c. Related: relieved; relieving.

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