late 14c., "act of obtaining," from Old French acquisicion "purchase, acquirement" (13c., Modern French acquisition) or directly from Latin acquisitionem (nominative acquisitio), noun of action from past-participle stem of acquirere "get in addition, accumulate," from ad "to," here perhaps emphatic (see ad-), + quaerere "to seek to obtain" (see query (v.)). Meaning "thing obtained" is from late 15c. The vowel change of -ae- to -i- in Latin is due to a phonetic rule in that language involving unaccented syllables in compounds.
1816, transitive, "make different; be what distinguishes between," from Medieval Latin differentiatus, past participle of differentiare, from Latin differentia "diversity, difference" (see difference).
Originally a mathematical term, "obtain the differential coefficient of;" intransitive sense of "acquire a distinct and separate character" is by 1874. Non-technical transitive sense of "discriminate between by observing or describing the difference between" is from 1876; earlier, difference had been used as a verb in this sense. Related: Differentiated; differentiating.
c. 1300, minen, "to dig a tunnel under fortifications to overthrow them," from mine (n.1) or from Old French miner "to dig, mine; exterminate," from the French noun. From mid-14c. as "to dig in the earth" (in order to obtain minerals, treasure, etc.). Figurative meaning "ruin or destroy by slow or secret methods" is from mid-14c. Transitive sense of "to extract by mining" is from late 14c. For the sense of "to lay (explosive) mines," see mine (v.2). Related: Mined; mining.
mid-13c., "to desire or wish for inordinately or without regard for the rights of others," from Old French coveitier "covet, desire, lust after" (12c., Modern French convoiter, influenced by con- words), probably ultimately from Latin cupiditas "passionate desire, eagerness, ambition," from cupidus "very desirous," from cupere "long for, desire" (see cupidity). From mid-14c. in a good sense, "desire or wish for eagerly, desire to obtain or possess." Related: Coveted; coveting.
1520s, "obtain as profit," from French gagner, from Old French gaaignier "to earn, gain; trade; capture, win," also "work in the fields, cultivate land," from Frankish *waidanjan "hunt, forage," also "graze, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *waithanjan "to hunt, plunder," from *waithjo- "pursuit, hunting" (source also of Old English waþ "hunting," German Weide "pasture, pasturage," Old Norse veiðr "hunting, fishing, catch of fish").
This is from PIE root *weie- "to go after, strive after, pursue vigorously, desire," with noun derivatives indicating "force, power" (related to *wi-ro- "man;" see virile). Cognates include Sanskrit padavi- "track, path, trail," veti- "follows, strives, leads, drives;" Avestan vateiti "follows, hunts;" Greek hiemai "move oneself forward, strive, desire;" Lithuanian vyti "to chase, pursue;" Old Norse veiðr "chase, hunting, fishing;" Old English OE wað "a chase, hunt."
Meaning "obtain by effort or striving" is from 1540s; intransitive sense of "profit, make gain" is from 1570s. Meaning "arrive at" is from c. 1600. Of timepieces by 1861. Related: Gained; gaining. To gain on "advance nearer" is from 1719. To gain ground (1620s) was originally military.
1888 as the name of a theater in Boston; by 1909 as "a motion picture theater," from nickel "five-cent coin" (the cost to view one) + -odeon, as in Melodeon (1840) "music hall," ultimately from Greek oideion "building for musical performances" (see odeon). Meaning "nickel jukebox" is first attested 1938.
The nickelodeon is the poor man's theater. An entire family can obtain from it a whole evening's amusement for what it formerly cost to get one poor seat at an inferior production. ["The Moving-Picture Show" in Munsey's Magazine, 1909]
Meaning "change from one state of existence to another" is from 12c. Older sense preserved in what has become of it? It drove out Old English weorðan "to befall." Meaning "to look well, suit or be suitable to" is early 14c., from earlier sense of "to agree with, be fitting or proper" (early 13c.).
early 15c., retreven, "find or discover again," originally in reference to dogs finding lost game, from retruev-, stem of Old French retreuver (Modern French retrouver) "find again, recover, meet again, recognize," from re- "again" (see re-) + trouver "to find," probably from Vulgar Latin *tropare "to compose," from Greek tropos "a turn, way, manner" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn").
Altered 16c. to retrive; modern form is from mid-17c. Specifically, of a dog, "to find and bring to hand game wounded or killed by a sportsman" is by 1856. The mental sense of "recall, recover by effort of memory" is from 1640s; computer sense of "obtain (stored information) again" is by 1962.