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]
As a noun, "the thick part" (of anything), from mid-13c. Phrase through thick and thin, indicating rough or smooth going, hence "unwaveringly," is in Chaucer (late 14c.); thick-skinned is attested from 1540s; in figurative sense from c. 1600. To be in the thick of some action, etc., "to be at the most intense moment" is from 1680s, from a Middle English noun sense.
1530s, "act of moving on water in ships or other vessels," from French navigation (14c.) or directly from Latin navigationem (nominative navigatio) "a sailing, navigation, voyage," noun of action from past-participle stem of navigare "to sail, sail over, go by sea, steer a ship," from navis "ship" (from PIE root *nau- "boat") + root of agere "to set in motion, drive, drive forward" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Meaning "science or art of directing the course of vessels as they sail" is from 1550s.
The management of the sails, etc., the holding of the assigned course by proper steering, and the working of the ship generally pertain rather to seamanship, though necessary to successful navigation. The two fundamental problems of navigation are the determination of the ship's position at a given moment, and the decision of the most advantageous course to be steered in order to reach a given point. [Century Dictionary]
"to recover or recall knowledge of, bring back to the mind or memory," 1550s, from Latin recollectus, past participle of recolligere "to take up again, regain," etymologically "to collect again," from re- "again" (see re-) + colligere "gather" (see collect (v.)). Related: Recollected; recollecting. In form and origin identical with re-collect, but the pronunciation and sense depend upon the noun recollection.
Remember implies that a thing exists in the memory, not that it is actually present in the thoughts at the moment, but that it recurs without effort. Recollect means that a fact, forgotten or partially lost to memory, is after some effort recalled and present to the mind. Remembrance is the store-house, recollection the act of culling out this article and that from the repository. He remembers everything he hears, and can recollect any statement when called on. The words, however, are often confounded, and we say we cannot remember a thing when we mean we cannot recollect it. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
umbelliferous European plant long cultivated as food, 1660s, sellery, from French céleri (17c., originally sceleri d'Italie), said by French sources to be from Italian (Lombard dialect) seleri (singular selero), from Late Latin selinon, from Greek selinon "parsley" (in Medieval Greek "celery"), a word of uncertain origin. The c- spelling, attested by 1719 in English, is from French. Middle English words for "wild celery" were acheand selinum.
[O]ne day, in a weak and hungry moment, my roommate and I succumbed to a bit of larceny. A greengrocer's truck had parked down the street and was left unattended. We grabbed the first crate we could off the back. It turned out to be celery. For two days we ate nothing but celery and used up more calories chewing than we realized in energy. "Damn it," I said to my roommate, "What're we going to do? We can't starve." "That's funny," he replied. "I thought we could." [Chuck Jones, "Chuck Amuck," 1989]