Sense of "freethinker" is first recorded 1560s, from French libertin (1540s) originally the name given to certain pantheistic Protestant sects in France and the Low Countries. This sense partakes more of liberty and liberal than of the classical meaning (in Old French, libertin meant "Saracen slave converted to Christianity"). Meaning "dissolute or licentious person, man given to indulgence of lust" is first recorded 1590s; the darkening of meaning being perhaps due to misunderstanding of Latin libertinus in Acts vi:9. For "condition of being a libertine" 17c English tried libertinage; libertinism (from French libertinisme).
late 14c., plesire, "source of enjoyment, pleasing quality or thing, that which pleases or gratifies the senses or the mind," from Old French plesir, also plaisir "enjoyment, delight, desire, will" (12c.), from noun use of infinitive plaisir (v.) "to please," from Latin placere "to please, give pleasure, be approved" (see please (v.)).
Also from late 14c. as "discretion, will, desire, preference," as in at (one's) pleasure "when one wishes." From mid-15c. as "gratification; feeling of enjoyment, liking." The meaning "sensual gratification" is from early 15c. That of "indulgence of the appetites as the chief object of life" is attested from 1520s. The ending was altered in Middle English by influence of words in -ure (measure, etc.).
1660s, "state of being unmarried, voluntary abstention from marriage," formed in English, with abstract noun suffix -cy + Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from PIE *kaiwelo- "alone" + lib(h)s- "living." De Vaan suggests as an alternative PIE *kehi-lo- "whole," which would relate it to health (q.v.): "[I]f this developed to 'unboundness, celibacy', it may explain the meaning 'unmarried' of caelebs-."
Originally and through the 19c. celibacy was opposed to marriage, and celibacy, except as a religious vow, often was frowned upon as leading to (or being an excuse for) sexual indulgence and debauchery among bachelors. By 1950s it was being used sometimes in a sense of "voluntary abstinence from sexuality," without reference to marriage.
c. 1200, pacience, "quality of being willing to bear adversities, calm endurance of misfortune, suffering, etc.," from Old French pacience "patience; sufferance, permission" (12c.) and directly from Latin patientia "the quality of suffering or enduring; submission," also "indulgence, leniency; humility; submissiveness; submission to lust;" literally "quality of suffering." It is an abstract noun formed from the adjective patientem (nominative patiens) "bearing, supporting; suffering, enduring, permitting; tolerant," but also "firm, unyielding, hard," used of persons as well as of navigable rivers, present participle of pati "to endure, undergo, experience," which is of uncertain origin.
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]
Meaning "quiet or calmness in waiting for something to happen" is from late 14c. Meaning "constancy in labor or exertion" is attested from 1510s. Meaning "card game for one person" is from 1816.
Middle English pleie, from Old English plega (West Saxon), plæga (Anglian) "quick motion; recreation, exercise, any brisk activity" (the latter sense preserved in swordplay -- Old English sweordplegan -- etc.), from or related to Old English plegan (see play (v.)).
By early Middle English it could mean variously, "a game, a martial sport, activity of children, joke or jesting, revelry, sexual indulgence." Of physical things, "rapid, brisk, or light movement," by 1620s.
Meaning "dramatic performance" is attested by early 14c., perhaps late Old English. Meaning "free or unimpeded movement, liberty and room for action," of mechanisms, etc., is from 1650s. The meaning "activity, operation" (1590s) is behind expressions such as in full play, come into play. The sporting sense of "the playing of a game" is attested from mid-15c.; that of "specific maneuver or attempt" is from 1868.
The U.S. slang meaning "attention, publicity" is by 1929. To be in play (of a hit ball, etc.) is from 1788. Play-by-play in reference to running commentary on a game is attested from 1927. Play on words "pun" is from 1798. Play-money is attested from 1705 as "money won in gambling," by 1920 as "pretend money."
early 14c., wan-towen, "resistant to control; willful," from Middle English privative word-forming element wan- "wanting, lacking, deficient," from Old English wan-, which was used interchangeably with un- (1), and is cognate with Dutch wan- (as in wanbestuur "misgovernment," wanluid "discordant sound"), Swedish and Danish van-, from Proto-Germanic *wano- "lacking," from PIE *weno-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Common in Old and Middle English, still present in 18c. glossaries of Scottish and Northern English; this word is its sole modern survival.
Second element is Middle English towen, from Old English togen, past participle of teon "to train, discipline;" literally "to pull, draw," from Proto-Germanic *teuhan (source also of Old High German ziohan "to pull," from Proto-Germanic *teuhan; see tug (v.)). The basic notion perhaps is "ill-bred, poorly brought up;" compare German ungezogen "ill-bred, rude, naughty," literally "unpulled." Especially of sexual indulgence from late 14c. Meaning "inhumane, merciless" is from 1510s. Related: Wantonly; wantonness.
As Flies to wanton Boyes are we to th' Gods, They kill vs for their sport. [Shakespeare, "Lear," 1605]
c. 1300, pardoun, "papal indulgence, forgiveness of sins or wrongdoing," from Old French pardon, from pardoner "to grant; forgive" (11c., Modern French pardonner), "to grant, forgive," and directly from Medieval Latin perdonum, from Vulgar Latin *perdonare "to give wholeheartedly, to remit," from Latin per "through, thoroughly" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + donare "give as a gift," from donum "gift," from PIE *donum "gift," from root *do- "to give."
Meaning "a passing over of an offense without punishment" is from c. 1300, also in the strictly ecclesiastical sense; the sense of "pardon for a civil or criminal offense; release from penalty or obligation" is from late 14c., earlier in Anglo-French. Weaker sense of "excuse for a minor fault" is attested from 1540s. To beg (one's) pardon "ask forgiveness" is by 1640s.
Strictly, pardon expresses the act of an official or a superior, remitting all or the remainder of the punishment that belongs to an offense: as, the queen or the governor pardons a convict before the expiration of his sentence. Forgive refers especially to the feelings; it means that one not only resolves to overlook the offense and reestablishes amicable relations with the offender, but gives up all ill feeling against him. [Century Dictionary]
"in a state of decline or decay (from a former condition of excellence)," 1837 (Carlyle), from French décadent, back-formation from décadence (see decadence). In reference to literary (later, other artistic) schools that believed, or affected to believe, they lived in an age of artistic decadence, 1885 in French, 1888 in English. Usually in a bad sense:
Bread, supposedly the staff of life, has become one of our most decadent foods — doughy, gummy, and without the aroma, flavor, texture, taste and appearance that is typical of good bread. ["College and University Business" 1960]
Beckoning sense of "desirable and satisfying to self-indulgence" begins c. 1970 in commercial publications in reference to desserts.
As a noun, "one whose artistic or literary work is supposed to show marks of decadence," 1889 (from 1887 as a French word in English), originally in a French context.
On the subject of poetry I am bound to signalize one of those grotesque, unexpected apparitions which would appear to be constitutional to our country [i.e. France] .... I refer to the recent appearance of a literary clique of madmen or idlers, the self-named décadents. I own I am almost ashamed to occupy your time with this unworthy subject, which I should not have thought fit to introduce had not our newspapers and even our reviews taken the décadents to task, and were it not that they have furnished chroniqueurs short of copy with matter for articles, and that the serious Temps itself has taken up their trashy nonsense. [The Athenaeum, Jan. 1, 1887]