late 14c., "group of people, animals, etc.; kind or variety of person or animal," from Old French sorte "class, kind," from Latin sortem (nominative sors) "lot; fate, destiny; share, portion; rank, category; sex, class, oracular response, prophecy," from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up."
The sense evolution in Vulgar Latin is from "what is allotted to one by fate," to "fortune, condition," to "rank, class, order." Later (mid-15c.) "group, class, or category of items; kind or variety of thing; pattern, design." Out of sorts "not in usual good condition" is attested from 1620s, with literal sense of "out of stock."
early 15c., "partner" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French consort "colleague, partner," consorte "wife" (14c.), from Latin consortem (nominative consors) "partner, comrade; brother, sister," in Medieval Latin, "a wife," noun use of adjective meaning "having the same lot, of the same fortune," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + sors "a share, lot" (from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up").
Sense of "husband or wife" ("partner in marriage") is from 1630s in English. A prince consort (1837) is a prince who is the husband of a queen but himself has no royal authority (the most notable being Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria; the initial proposal in Parliament in 1840 was to call him king-consort); queen consort is attested from 1667. Related: Consortial.
The husband of a reigning queen has no powers, he is not king unless an act of parliament makes him so. Philip of Spain, Mary's husband, bore the title of king, Anne's husband was simply Prince George of Denmark. Queen Victoria's husband was simply Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until 1857 when the queen conferred on him the title of Prince Consort. [F.W. Maitland, "The Constitutional History of England," 1908]
"fate, destiny," 1834, from Turkish qismet, from Arabic qismah, qismat "portion, lot, fate," from root of qasama "he divided."
From a nation of enthusiasts and conquerors, the Osmanlis became a nation of sleepers and smokers. They came into Europe with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other: were they driven out of their encampment, it would be with the Koran in one hand and the pipe in the other, crying: 'Kismet! Kismet! Allah kehrim!' (God hath willed it! God is great!) [Dr. James O. Noyes, "The Ottoman Empire," "The Knickerbocker," October 1858]
Popularized as the title of a novel in 1877.