Etymology
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mallet (n.)

"small wooden hammer," chiefly used for driving another tool, late 14c., from Old French maillet "mallet, small wooden hammer, door-knocker," diminutive of mail, from Latin malleus "a hammer, mallet," from Proto-Italic *molalo-, *molklo- "hammer," from PIE *molkh-tlo- "crushing instrument," source also of Russian molot, Czech mlat "hammer," from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." It is wielded with one hand, while the heavier mall or maul requires both.

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emolument (n.)

mid-15c., "the profit arising from office or employment, that which is given as compensation for services," from Old French émolument "advantage, gain, benefit; income, revenue" (13c.) and directly from Latin emolumentum "profit, gain, advantage, benefit," perhaps originally "payment to a miller for grinding corn," from emolere "grind out," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + molere "to grind" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind"). Formerly also "profit, advantage, gain in general, that which promotes the good of any person or thing" (1630s).

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grind (v.)

Old English grindan "to rub together, crush into powder, grate, scrape," forgrindan "destroy by crushing" (class III strong verb; past tense grand, past participle grunden), from Proto-Germanic *grindanan (source also of Dutch grenden), related to ground (v.), from PIE *ghrendh- "to grind" (source also of Latin frendere "to gnash the teeth," Greek khondros "corn, grain," Lithuanian grendu, gręsti "to scrape, scratch"). Meaning "to make smooth or sharp by friction" is from c. 1300. Most other Germanic languages use a verb cognate with Latin molere (compare Dutch malen, Old Norse mala, German mahlen).

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mull (v.1)

"ponder, turn over in one's mind," 1873, perhaps from a figurative use of mull (v.) "grind to powder" (which survived into 19c. in dialect), from Middle English mullyn, mollen "grind to powder, soften by pulverizing," also "to fondle or pet" (late 14c.), from Old French moillier and directly from Medieval Latin molliare,mulliare, from Latin molere "to grind," from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind."

Of uncertain connection to the mull (v.) defined in Webster's (1879) as "to work steadily without accomplishing much," and the earlier identical word in athletics meaning "to botch, muff" (1862). Related: Mulled; mulling.

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toil (n.1)
"hard work," c. 1300, originally "turmoil, contention, dispute," from Anglo-French toil (13c.), from toiler "agitate, stir up, entangle, writhe about," from Old French toeillier "drag about, make dirty" (12c.), usually said to be from Latin tudiculare "crush with a small hammer," from tudicula "mill for crushing olives, instrument for crushing," from Latin tudes "hammer," from PIE *tud-, variant of *(s)teu- "to push, stroke, knock, beat" (see obtuse). Sense of "hard work, labor" (1590s) is from the related verb (see toil (v.)).
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bruise (v.)

Old English brysan "to crush, pound, injure by a blow which discolors the skin," from Proto-Germanic *brusjan, from PIE root *bhreu- "to smash, cut, break up" (source also of Old Irish bronnaim "I wrong, I hurt;" Breton brezel "war," Vulgar Latin *brisare "to break"). Merged by 17c. with Anglo-French bruiser "to break, smash," from Old French bruisier "to break, shatter," perhaps from Gaulish *brus-, from the same PIE root. Of fruits from early 14c. Intransitive sense "become bruised" is by 1912. Related: Bruised; bruising.

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pestle (n.)

"club-shaped instrument used for pounding and breaking materials in a mortar," mid-14c. pestel, (as a surname late 13c.), from Old French pestel and directly from Latin pistillum (Medieval Latin pestellum) "pounder, pestle," related to pinsere "to pound," from PIE *pis-to-, suffixed form of root *peis- "to crush" (source also of Sanskrit pinasti "pounds, crushes," pistah "anything ground, meal," Greek ptissein "to winnow," Old Church Slavonic pišo, pichati "to push, thrust, strike," pišenica "wheat," Russian pseno "millet").

Also in old use "the leg of certain animals used for food" (14c.), hence pestle of a lark "a trifle, an unimportant matter" (1590s).

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meal (n.2)

"the edible part of ground grain;" Middle English mēle, from Old English melu, from Proto-Germanic *melwan "grind" (source also of Old Frisian mele "meal," Old Saxon melo, Middle Dutch mele, Dutch meel, Old High German melo, German Mehl, Old Norse mjöl "meal;" literally "what is ground;" Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic malan, German mahlen "to grind"), from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." The verb form is not found in Old English. Forms with an -a- begin in late Middle English. "Now commonly understood to exclude the product of wheat (this being called FLOUR)" [OED].

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confound (v.)

c. 1300, "to condemn, curse," also "to destroy utterly;" from Anglo-French confoundre, Old French confondre (12c.) "crush, ruin, disgrace, throw into disorder," from Latin confundere "to confuse, jumble together, bring into disorder," especially of the mind or senses, "disconcert, perplex," properly "to pour, mingle, or mix together," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").

From mid-14c. as "to put to shame, disgrace." The figurative sense of "confuse the mind, perplex" emerged in Latin, passed into French and thence to English by late 14c. The Latin past participle confusus, meanwhile, became confused (q.v.). The meaning "treat or regard erroneously as identical" is from 1580s.

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oppression (n.)

mid-14c., oppressioun, "cruel or unjust use of power or authority," from Old French opression (12c.), from Latin oppressionem (nominative oppressio) "a pressing down; violence, oppression," noun of action from past-participle stem of opprimere "press against, press together, press down;" figuratively "crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly" (in Late Latin "to rape"), from assimilated form of ob"against" (see ob-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").

Meaning "action of weighing on someone's mind or spirits" is from late 14c. Sense of "whatever oppresses or causes hardship" is from late 14c. In Middle English also "rape."

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