late 14c., "self-restraining, temperate, abstemious," especially "abstaining from or moderate in sexual intercourse," from Old French continent and directly from Latin continentem (nominative continens) "holding together, continuous," present participle of continere "to hold back, check," also "hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). In reference to bladder control, 1899. Related: Continently.
Old English milde, of persons, powers, or dispositions, "possessing softness or gentleness, good-tempered, merciful," from Proto-Germanic *milthjaz- (source also of Old Norse mildr (which also contributed to the English word), Old Saxon mildi, Old Frisian milde, Middle Dutch milde, Dutch mild, Old High German milti, German milde "mild," Gothic mildiþa "kindness"), from PIE *meldh-, from root *mel- (1) "soft," which is the source also of Latin mollis "soft."
Of weather, "not rough or stormy," late 14c. Of medicine, etc., "gentle or moderate in force, operation, or effect," c. 1400; of disease from 1744. Of rule, punishment, etc., "moderate in quality or degree, of mitigated force, not hard to endure," by 1570s. It was also used in Old English as an adverb, meaning "mercifully, graciously."
Mild goes further than gentle in expressing softness of nature; it is chiefly a word of nature or character, while gentle is chiefly a word of action. [Century Dictionary]
1530s, "proper to one's station or rank," also "tasteful, proper with regard to modesty or social standards," from French décent, or directly from Latin decentem (nominative decens) "becoming, seemly, fitting, proper," present participle of decere "to be fitting or suitable" (from PIE *deke-, from root *dek- "to take, accept"). Related: Decently.
Meaning "kind, pleasant" is from 1902. Meaning "moderate, respectable, good enough" is by 1711. Are you decent? "are you dressed?" (1949) was originally backstage theater jargon.
early 15c., moderacioun, "quality of being moderate or temperate; a lessening of rigor or severity," from Old French moderacion (14c.) "alteration, modification; mitigation, alleviation" and directly from Latin moderationem (nominative moderatio) "a controlling, guidance, government, regulation; moderation, temperateness, self-control," noun of action from past-participle stem of moderari "to regulate, mitigate, restrain, temper, set a measure, keep (something) within measure," from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures." Meaning "act of moderating or restraining" is from 1520s.
1530s, "freedom from exaggeration, self-control," from French modestie or directly from Latin modestia "moderation, sense of honor, correctness of conduct," from modestus "moderate, keeping due measure, sober, gentle, temperate," from modus "measure, manner" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). Meaning "quality of having a moderate opinion of oneself, retiring demeanor, disinclination to presumption, unobtrusiveness" is from 1550s; that of "womanly propriety, purity or delicacy of thought or manner" is from 1560s.
In euery of these thinges and their semblable is Modestie; whiche worde nat beinge knowen in the englisshe tonge, ne of al them which under stode latin, except they had radde good autours, they improprely named this vertue discretion. [Sir Thomas Elyot, "The Boke Named The Gouernour," 1531]
La pudeur donne des plaisirs bien flatteurs à l'amant: elle lui fait sentir quelles lois l'on transgresse pour lui;(Modesty both pleases and flatters a lover, for it lays stress on the laws which are being transgressed for his sake.) [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
The pride which masks as modesty is the most perverse of all. [Marcus Aurelius]
"mountain, lofty hill, elevation of land," late Old English, from Anglo-French mount, Old French mont "mountain;" also perhaps partly from Old English munt "mountain;" both the Old English and the French words from Latin montem (nominative mons) "mountain," from PIE root *men- (2) "to stand out, project." "From the 17th c. in prose used chiefly of a more or less conical hill of moderate height rising from a plain; a hillock" [OED]. Archaic or poetic only by late 19c. except as part of a proper name.
type of tree of rapid growth and moderate size, noted for light, soft wood and often planted for shade or ornament, mid-14c., from Anglo-French popler, from Old French poplier (13c., Modern French peulplier), from Latin pōpulus "poplar" (with a long "o;" not the same word that produced popular), which is of unknown origin, possibly from a PIE tree-name root *p(y)el- (source also of Greek pelea "elm"). Italian pioppo, Spanish chopo, German pappel, Old Church Slavonic topoli all are from Latin. The tall, columnar or spire-shaped variety are Lombardy poplars.