the surname (also Munroe, etc.) is said to be ultimately from the River Roe in Derry, Ireland. James Monroe (1758-1831), the fifth U.S. president, was in office from 1817 to 1825. The Monroe Doctrine (so called from 1848) is a reference to the principles of policy contained in his message to Congress on Dec. 2, 1823. Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, also was named for him at its founding in 1822 by the American Colonization Society.
In terms of national psychology, the Monroe Doctrine marked the moment when Americans no longer faced eastward across the Atlantic and turned to face westward across the continent. [Daniel Walker Howe, "What Hath God Wrought"]
late 14c., sesounen, "improve the flavor of by adding spices," from season (n.) and from Old French saisonner "to ripen, season" (Modern French assaisoner), from seison, saison "right moment, appropriate time" on the notion of fruit becoming more palatable as it ripens.
Figurative use by 1510s. Of timber, etc., "bring to maturity by prolonged exposure to some condition," by 1540s; hence in extended sense "bring to the best condition or use; of persons "fit to any use by time or habit," c. 1600. In 16c., it also meant "to copulate with." Intransitive sense of "become mature, grow fit for use" is by 1670s.
"inhabitant of the southern part of a country," late 15c., variant (originally Scottish and northern English) of southren (late 14c.), on analogy of Briton, Saxon, from Old English suðerne or Old Norse suðrænn "southern" (see southern). Popularized in English by Jane Porter's enormously popular historical novel "Scottish Chiefs" (1810), and adopted in U.S. by many in the Southern states. She also used it as an adjective. Old English had suðmann "Southman."
But the moment I heard he was in arms, I grasped at the opportunity of avenging my country, and of trampling on the proud heart of the Southron villain who had dared to inflict disgrace upon the cheek of Roger Kirkpatrick. [Jane Porter, "Scottish Chiefs," 1809]
It is clear that none of the unfortunate people, perhaps at this moment on board, can stand upright, but that they must sit down, and contract their limbs within the limits of little more than three square feet, during the whole of the middle passage. I cannot compare the scene on board this vessel, to any other than that of a pen of sheep; with this difference only, that the one have the advantages of a wholesome air, while that, which the others breathe, is putrid. [Thomas Clarkson, "An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species," 1788]
early 15c., "a temporary halting or deprivation," from Latin suspensionem (nominative suspensio) "the act or state of hanging up, a vaulting," noun of action, from past-participle stem of suspendere "to hang up, cause to hang, suspend," from assimilated form of sub "up from under" (see sub-) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Suspension of disbelief is from Coleridge:
A semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith. ["Biographia Literaria," 1817]
Meaning "action of hanging by a support from above" is attested from 1540s. Meaning "particles suspended in liquid without dissolving" is from 1707. Suspension-bridge is recorded by 1819 (earlier suspended bridge, 1796).
c. 1300, manacen, "to threaten, express a hostile intention toward," from Old French menacier "to threaten; urge" (11c.), Anglo-French manasser, from Vulgar Latin *minaciare "to threaten," from minacia "menace, threat" (see menace (n.)). Intransitive sense of "to be threatening, pose a threat of danger or harm" (of abstractions or objects) is from mid-14c. Related: Menaced; menacing.
Threaten is of very general application, in both great and little things: as, to be threatened with a cold; a threatening cloud; to threaten an attack along the whole line. Threaten is used with infinitives, especially of action, but menace is not; as, to threaten to come, to punish. Menace belongs to dignified style and matters of moment. [Century Dictionary]
1520s, native or inhabitant of Parthia (ancient kingdom northeast of Persia in western Asia), from Old Persian Parthava- "Parthian," dialectal variant of the stem Parsa-, source of Persia. Partienes (plural) "Parthians" is attested from c. 1300.
As an adjective, "of or pertaining to the Parthians," by 1580s. The phrase Parthian shot is a figurative reference to their horsemen, who were expert at racing forward, turning, and shooting arrows backward at the moment of retreat. The exact phrase is attested by 1832; the image itself was in use long before (for example Parthian fight, 1630s).
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight ["Cymbeline," Act I, Scene VII]
Generalized sense of "anything that urges on, stimulus," is from late 14c. As a sharp projection on the leg of a cock, from 1540s. Meaning "a ridge projecting off a mountain mass" is recorded from 1650s. Of railway lines from 1837. "Widely extended senses ... are characteristic of a horsey race" [Weekley]. Expression on the spur of the moment (1801) preserves archaic phrase on the spur "in great haste" (1520s). To win one's spurs is to gain knighthood by some valorous act, gilded spurs being the distinctive mark of a knight.
mid-15c., "now, present, of the moment, current," from Old French instant "near, imminent, immediate, at hand; urgent, assiduous" (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin instantem (nominative instans), in classical Latin "present, pressing, urgent," literally "standing near," present participle of instare "to urge, to stand near, be present (to urge one's case)," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
Sense of "immediate, done or occurring at once" is from 1590s. Of processed foods, by 1912; instant coffee is from 1915. Televised sports instant replay attested by 1965. Instant messaging attested by 1994.
"a military watchword, a signal given to a soldier on guard, with orders to let no one pass who does not first give that signal," 1590s, from French contresigne, from contre- "against" (see contra-) + signe "sign" (see sign (n.)).
COUNTERSIGN. A watchword used by military bodies as a precaution against an enemy or enemies. The countersign may be changed at any moment, or any number of times, but is usually altered each twenty-four hours. It is given primarily to commanders of guards, and outposts and their sentries, to reconnoitring and visiting patrols, and to the field and regimental officer of the day. All others desiring to pass through the lines must first be supplied with the countersign, which is thus a guard against spies, strangers, and surprise. ["New International Encyclopaedia," 1906]