Middle English pilche "garment made from the skin or fur of animals," usually an outer garment, from Old English pilece, from Medieval Latin pellicea "a furred garment," fem. of Latin pelliceus "of fur or skin," from pellis "skin, pelt" (from PIE root *pel- (3) "skin, hide"). Later, "triangular wrapper for an infant, worn over the diaper" (1670s).
late Old English, "small piece, small quantity or amount; a short time; unimportant persons," from little (adj.). Little by little is from late 15c. (litylle be litille). Old English had also lytling "little one, infant child; unimportant person."
1690s, "eating to excess," medical Latin, from Greek polyphagia "excess in eating," from polyphagos "eating to excess," from polys "much" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + phagein "to eat" (from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share"). Attested from 1890 in the sense of "feeding on various kinds or many different kinds of food." Nativized as polyphagy (1802). Related: Polyphagic; polyphagous.
1660s, "process of suckling an infant," from French lactation, from Late Latin lactationem (nominative lactatio) "a suckling," noun of action from past-participle stem of lactare "to suckle," from lac (genitive lactis) "milk" (from PIE root *g(a)lag- "milk"). Meaning "process of secreting milk from the breasts" first recorded 1857. Related: Lactational.
in various usages, from the gentle boy hero of Frances Hodgson Burnett's popular novel "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1885). The family name is recorded from mid-13c., literally "son of the king" (Anglo-French Le Enfant le Roy), from faunt, a Middle English variant of enfaunt (see infant). Middle English had also fauntekin "a little child" (late 14c.).
1777, "subject to its own laws" (in translations of Montesquieu); 1780, "pertaining to autonomy;" from Greek autonomos "having one's own laws," of animals, "feeding or ranging at will," from autos "self" (see auto-) + nomos "law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). Compare privilege. Used mostly in metaphysics and politics; see autonomic. Related: Autonomously.