Sustainability is defined as a requirement of our generation to manage the resource base such that the average quality of life that we ensure ourselves can potentially be shared by all future generations. ... Development is sustainable if it involves a non-decreasing average quality of life. [Geir B. Asheim, "Sustainability," The World Bank, 1994]
late 14c., "statement, belief, or practice handed down from generation to generation," especially "belief or practice based on Mosaic law," from Old French tradicion "transmission, presentation, handing over" (late 13c.) and directly from Latin traditionem (nominative traditio) "a delivering up, surrender, a handing down, a giving up" (also "a teaching, instruction," and "a saying handed down from former times"). This is a noun of action from past-participle stem of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans- "over" (see trans-) + dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). The word is a doublet of treason (q.v.). Meaning "a long-established custom" is from 1590s. The notion is of customs, ways, beliefs, doctrines, etc. "handed down" from one generation to the next.
Tradition is not solely, or even primarily, the maintenance of certain dogmatic beliefs; these beliefs have come to take their living form in the course of the formation of a tradition. What I mean by tradition involves all those habitual actions, habits and customs, from the most significant religious rite to our conventional way of greeting a stranger, which represent the blood kinship of 'the same people living in the same place'. ... We become conscious of these items, or conscious of their importance, usually only after they have begun to fall into desuetude, as we are aware of the leaves of a tree when the autumn wind begins to blow them off—when they have separately ceased to be vital. Energy may be wasted at that point in a frantic endeavour to collect the leaves as they fall and gum them onto the branches: but the sound tree will put forth new leaves, and the dry tree should be put to the axe. [T.S. Eliot, "After Strange Gods"]
1560s, "to cause to multiply by natural generation or reproduction" (transitive), from Latin propagatus, past participle of propagare "set forward, extend, spread, increase; multiply plants by layers, breed," from propago (genitive propaginis) "that which propagates, offspring," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + -pag, from PIE root *pag- "to fasten," source of pangere "to fasten" (see pact). Intransitive sense "reproduce one's kind" is from c. 1600. The meaning "spread from place to place or person to person" (of a belief, doctrine, etc.) is from c. 1600. Related: Propagated; propagating.
1726, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + describable. Related: Indescribably; indescribability (1797). In same sense, Old English had unasecgendlic. Indescribables for "trousers" (1819) was colloquial in England for a generation or so.
We cannot omit here to state, that, some years since, we recollect a rumour in the gallery [of the House of Commons], that Madame de Staël was sitting, en habit d'homme, in a surtout and military indescribables, listening to the debate, under the protection of Sir J. Macintosh. ["Privileges of Women," in Retrospective Review, London, 1824]
late 14c., neutre, in grammar, of nouns, pronouns, etc., "neither masculine nor feminine in gender," also of verbs, "having middle or reflexive meaning, neither active nor passive," from Latin neuter "of the neuter gender," literally "neither one nor the other," from ne- "not, no" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + uter "either (of two)" (see whether). The Latin word is probably a loan-translation of Greek oudeteros "neither, neuter." From 1520s it also had the sense of "taking neither side" which now generally goes with neutral (adj.).
As a noun from mid-15c., "the neuter gender;" by 1797 of certain animals (among bees, ants, etc.) that are of neither sex and incapable of generation.
"relating to muscular motion," 1841, from Greek kinetikos "moving, putting in motion," from kinetos "moved," verbal adjective of kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion").
Buster Keaton's subject was kinetic man, a being he approached with the almost metaphysical awe we reserve for a Doppelgänger. This being was, eerily, himself, played by himself, then later in a projection room, watched by himself: an experience never possible to any generation of actors in the previous history of the world. [Hugh Kenner, "The Counterfeiters," 1968]
From 1855 as "causing motion." Related: Kinetical; kinetically.
by 1936; popular from 1969 (with added pig (n.) by 1970); a specialized use of chauvinism, which in late 19c. international Communist Party jargon was extended to racism and in the next generation to sexism:
In this era, inspired by the CP's struggle against racism, women in the CP coined the term male chauvinism, in a parallel with white chauvinism, to derogate the conviction of men that they were better than women. [Jane Mansbridge and Katherine Flaster, "Male Chauvinist, Feminist, and Sexual Harassment, Different Trajectories in Feminist Linguistic Innovation," "American Speech," vol. lxxx, no. 3, Fall 2005]
Related: Male-chauvinism (1969).
1650s, "distinctive of either sex, of or pertaining to the fact of being male or female," from Late Latin sexualis "relating to sex," from Latin sexus "a sex, state of being either male or female, gender" (see sex (n.)).
The meaning "pertaining to copulation or generation" is from 1766, on the notion of "done by means of the two sexes;" hence also "pertaining to erotic appetites and their gratification" and "peculiar to or affecting the organs of sex, venereal" (1799). The phrase sexual intercourse is attested by 1771 (see intercourse), sexual orientation by 1967, sexual harassment by 1975. Sexual revolution is attested by 1962. Sexual politics is from 1970. Related: Sexually.
c. 1300, seculer, in reference to clergy, "living in the world, not belonging to a religious order," also generally, "belonging to the state" (as opposed to the Church), from Old French seculer, seculare (Modern French séculier) and directly from Late Latin saecularis "worldly, secular, pertaining to a generation or age," in classical Latin "of or belonging to an age, occurring once in an age," from saeculum "age, span of time, lifetime, generation, breed."
This is from Proto-Italic *sai-tlo-, which, according to Watkins, is PIE instrumental element *-tlo- + *sai- "to bind, tie" (see sinew), extended metaphorically to successive human generations as links in the chain of life. De Vaan also connects it with "bind" words and lists as a cognate Welsh hoedl "lifespan, age." An older theory connected it to words for "seed," from PIE root *se- "to sow" (see sow (v.), and compare Gothic mana-seþs "mankind, world," literally "seed of men").
The ancient Roman ludi saeculares was a three-day, day-and-night celebration coming once in an "age" (120 years). Ecclesiastical writers in Latin used it as those in Greek did aiōn "of this world" (see cosmos). It is the source of French siècle "century." The meaning "of or belonging to an age or a long period," especially occurring once in a century, was in English from 1590s.
From mid-14c. in the general sense of "of or belonging to the world, concerned in earthly more than in spiritual, life;" also of literature, music, etc., "not overtly religious." In English, in reference to humanism and the exclusion of belief in God from matters of ethics and morality, from 1850s. Related: Secularly.
late 14c., "of comedy in the classical sense, pertaining to comedy as distinct from tragedy," from Latin comicus "of comedy, represented in comedy, in comic style," from Greek komikos "of or pertaining to comedy," from komos (see comedy). Meaning "intentionally funny, raising mirth" is first recorded 1791, and comedic (1630s) has since picked up the older sense of the word.
Speaking of the masters of the comedic spirit (if I call it, as he does, the Comic Spirit, this darkened generation will suppose me to refer to the animal spirits of tomfools and merryandrews) .... [G.B. Shaw, 1897]
Something that is comic has comedy as its aim or origin; something is comical if the effect is comedy, whether intended or not. Comic relief is attested from 1817.