c. 1600, "attentive in perceiving or taking notice, characterized by good powers of observation," also "attentive in observing what is prescribed or required" (a law, custom, etc.), from observe + -ant, or else from French observant, past participle of observer (see observance). In reference to Judaism, "strict in acting in accordance with precepts," from 1902. As a noun from late 15c. Related: Observantly; observantness.
"star that suddenly increases in brightness then slowly fades," 1877, from Latin nova, fem. singular adjective of novus "new" (see new), used with stella "star" (a feminine noun in Latin) to describe a new star not previously known (Tycho Brahe's published observation of the nova in Cassiopeia in 1572 was titled De nova stella). Not distinguished from supernovae until 1930s (Tycho's star was a supernova). The classical plural is novae.
1650s, "preliminary observation," especially "a learned preamble or introductory discourse prefixed to a book," from Greek prolegomenon, noun use of neuter passive present participle of prolegein "to say beforehand," from pro "before" (see pro-) + legein "to speak" (from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')") + suffix -menos (as in alumnus). The same sense is in preface (n.). Related: Prolegomenary; prolegomenous. Plural prologomena.
late 14c., "careful observation of one's surroundings, attention to details and probable consequences" (with a view to choosing the safest course), from Old French circumspection (Modern French circonspection), from Latin circumspectionem (nominative circumspectio) "a looking around; foresight, caution," noun of action from past participle stem of circumspicere "to look around," from circum "around, round about" (see circum-) + specere "to look" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").
Of persons, "having an honest reputation" from 1755; the sense of "moderately well-to-do and deserving respect for morality; occupying a fairly good position in society" is by 1800. From 1755 as "considerable in size or number;" from 1775 as "not too big, tolerable, fair, mediocre." Related: Respectably.
"arranger of sexual liaisons, one who caters for the lusts of others," 1520s, "procurer, pimp," from Middle English Pandare (late 14c.), used by Chaucer ("Troylus and Cryseyde"), who borrowed it from Boccaccio (who had it in Italian form Pandaro in "Filostrato") as name of the prince (Greek Pandaros), who procured the love of Cressida (his niece in Chaucer, his cousin in Boccaccio) for Troilus. The story and the name are medieval inventions. The name turns up in ancient Greek, but without the story; in Homer he is a Lycian participant in the Trojan War. The name is thus perhaps non-Greek. Spelling in English was influenced by the agent-noun suffix -er.
mid-14c., "action of observing or testing; an observation, test, or trial;" also "piece of evidence or empirical proof; feat of magic or sorcery," from Old French esperment "practical knowledge, cunning; enchantment, magic spell; trial, proof, example; lesson, sign, indication," from Latin experimentum "a trial, test, proof, experiment," noun of action from experiri "to try, test," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + peritus "experienced, tested," from PIE *per-yo-, suffixed form of root *per- (3) "to try, risk."
1590s, "reflect upon, ponder, study, view mentally, meditate," from Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari "to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate," originally "to mark out a space for observation" (as an augur does), from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + templum "area for the taking of auguries" (see temple (n.1)).
From c. 1600 as "to view or observe with continued attention." From 1816 as "to intend, have in view as a future act." Related: Contemplated; contemplating.
late 14c., "calculation and foretelling based on observation of heavenly bodies," from Latin astrologia "astronomy, the science of the heavenly bodies," from Greek astrologia "astronomy," literally "a telling of the stars," from astron "star" (from PIE root *ster- (2) "star") + -logia "treating of" (see -logy).
Originally identical with astronomy and including scientific observation and description. The special sense of "astronomy applied to prediction of events" was divided into natural astrology "the calculation and foretelling of natural phenomenon" (tides, eclipses, dates of Church festivals, etc.), and judicial astrology "the art of judging occult influences of stars and planets on human affairs."
In Latin and later Greek, astronomia tended to be more scientific than astrologia. In English, the differentiation between astrology and astronomy began late 1400s and by late 17c. this word was limited to the sense of "reading influences of the stars and their effects on human destiny."
And consequently, an Astrology in the World before Astronomy, either in Name or Science. so that (Non obstante whatever any Astronomer shall oppose to the contrary) Astrology hath the right of Primogeniture. And all the Sober and Judiciously Learned must needs acknowledge the Truth hereof.—Howbeit, it were to be wished that the Astrologer understood Astronomy, and that the Astronomer were acquainted with Astrology: Although I do in truth despair of ever finding many to be so happily Accomplished. [John Gadbury, introduction to "Ephemerides of the Celestial Motions," London, 1672]
It is ... an extremely just observation of M. Comte, that [the study of astrology] marks the first systematic effort to frame a philosophy of history by reducing the apparently capricious phenomena of human actions within the domain of law. It may, however, I think, be no less justly regarded as one of the last struggles of human egotism against the depressing sense of insignificance which the immensity of the universe must produce. [W.E.H. Lecky, "History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe," 1866]