Etymology
Advertisement
agate (n.)
variety of banded, colored quartz, 1560s, from French agate, from Latin achates, from Greek akhates, the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were found (Pliny). But the river could as easily be named for the stone.

Earlier in English as achate (early 13c.), directly from Latin. The Elizabethan sense of "a diminutive person" is from the small figures cut in agates for seals, etc., and the notion of smallness is preserved in typographer's agate (1838), the U.S. name of the 5.5-point font called in Great Britain ruby. Meaning "toy marble made of glass resembling agate" is from 1843 (colloquially called an aggie). Related: Agatine.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
quadrillion (n.)

1670s, from French quadrillion (16c.) from quadri- "four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four") + (m)illion. Compare billion. In Great Britain, the fourth power of a million (1 followed by 24 zeroes); in the U.S., the fifth power of a thousand (1 followed by 15 zeroes).

Thomas Hope, first of the family to possess the Deepdene, was the author of "Anastasius," a book of the same class as Beckford's "Vathek." In each case a millionaire (we shall soon have billionaires, trillionaires, quadrillionaires) fettered, imprisoned, by abject opulence, strove to reveal himself to the world through a romance. [Mortimer Collins, "A Walk Through Surrey," Temple Bar, August 1866]
Related entries & more 
narrow (adj.)

Middle English narwe, from Old English nearu "of little width, not wide or broad; constricted, limited; petty; causing difficulty, oppressive; strict, severe," from West Germanic *narwaz "narrowness" (source also of Frisian nar, Old Saxon naru, Middle Dutch nare, Dutch naar) which is not found in other Germanic languages and is of unknown origin.

In reference to railroads, narrow-gauge (also narrow-gage) is by 1841, originally of those less than the standard of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. The narrow seas (mid-15c.) were the waters between Great Britain and the continent and Ireland, but specifically the Strait of Dover.

Related entries & more 
grandee (n.)
1590s, from Spanish grande "nobleman of the first rank," originally an adjective, "great," from Latin grandis "big, great" (see grand (adj.)).
Related entries & more 
maharajah (n.)

also maharaja, a title born by some Indian princes who ruled extensive realms, 1690s, from Hindi, "great king," from Sanskrit maha "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + rajan "king" (see rajah). The fem. equivalent is maharani (1855).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
bleu 
French form of blue (1), used from c. 1890 in names of various French blue cheeses (French fromage bleu) marketed in Britain and U.S.
Related entries & more 
maximum (n.)

"the greatest amount, quantity, or degree," 1740, from French maximum and directly from Latin maximum (plural maxima), neuter of maximus "greatest," which is superlative of magnus "great, large, big" (of size), "abundant" (of quantity), "great, considerable" (of value), "strong, powerful" (of force); of persons, "elder, aged," also, figuratively, "great, mighty, grand, important," from PIE *mag-samo-, superlative form of root *meg- "great."

Related entries & more 
magnum (n.)

Latin for "great, large, big" (of size), "great, considerable" (of value), "strong, powerful" (of force); of persons, "elder, aged," also, figuratively, "great, mighty, grand, important," neuter singular of magnus, from suffixed form of PIE root *meg- "great."

From 1788 in English as "large wine-bottle," usually containing two quarts. As the name of a powerful type of handgun, registered 1935 by Smith & Wesson Inc., of Springfield, Massachusetts. Magnum opus "masterpiece, a person's greatest work," is literally "great work" (see opus). 

Related entries & more 
magnification (n.)

early 15c., magnificacioun, "act or state of making larger," from Old French magnificacion and directly from Late Latin magnificationem (nominative magnificatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of magnificare"esteem greatly, extol, make much of," from magnificus "great, elevated, noble," literally "doing great deeds," from magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). 

Related entries & more 
viper (n.)

early 15c., from Old French vipere, earlier in English as vipera (c. 1200), directly from Latin vipera "viper, snake, serpent," contraction of *vivipera, from vivus "alive, living" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + parire "bring forth, bear" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, bring forth"). In common with many snake species in cooler climates, in most cases the viper's eggs are kept inside the mother until hatching.

Applied to persons of spiteful character at least since 1590s. The only venomous snake found in Great Britain, but not especially dangerous. The word replaced native adder. "The flesh of the viper was formerly regarded as possessing great nutritive or restorative properties, and was frequently used medicinally" [OED]; hence viper-wine, wine medicated with some kind of extract from vipers, used 17c. by "gray-bearded gallants" in a bid "to feele new lust, and youthfull flames agin." [Massinger]

Related entries & more 

Page 5