"place where refuse is dumped, pile or heap of refuse matter," 1865, originally of mining operations, from dump (v.). In reference to sites for discarding domestic trash by 1872. Dumping-ground is by 1857. Meaning "any shabby place" is from 1899. Military sense of "collection of ammunition, equipment, etc. deposited in a convenient place for later use" is by 1915. Meaning "act of defecating" is from 1942. Dump-truck is from 1930.
"pile of debris at the base of a cliff or steep mountainside," 1781, a back-formation from screes (plural) "pebbles, small stones," from Old Norse skriða "landslide." This is from the verb skriða "to creep, crawl;" of a ship, "to sail, glide," also "to slide" (on snow-shoes), from Proto-Germanic *skreithanan (source also of Old English scriþan "to go, glide," Old Saxon skridan, Dutch schrijden, Old High German scritan, German schreiten "to stride").
c. 1300, destruccioun "ruin;" early 14c., "act of destroying, devastation; state of being destroyed," from Old French destruction (12c.) and directly from Latin destructionem (nominative destructio) "a pulling down, destruction," noun of action from past-participle stem of destruere "tear down, demolish," literally "un-build," from de "un-, down" (see de-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread"). Meaning "cause of destruction" is from late 14c.
late 14c., construccioun, "act of construing; manner of understanding the arrangement of words in translation" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin constructionem (nominative constructio) "a putting or placing together, a building," noun of action from past-participle stem of construere "to pile up together, accumulate; build, make, erect," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + struere "to pile up" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread").
The oldest sense in English goes with construe, and led to the meanings "the construing, explaining, or interpreting of a text" (late 15c.) and "explanation of the words of a legal document" which endures in parliamentary language ("What construction do you put on this clause?"); also compare constructionist.
From early 15c. as "act of building or making;" 1707 as "way or form in which a thing is built or made;" 1796 as "that which is constructed, a structure." Related: Constructional; constructionally.
1610s, "to block or stop up with obstacles or impediments," a back-formation from obstruction or else from Latin obstructus, past participle of obstruere "build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder," from ob "in front of, in the way of" (see ob-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread"). Figurative sense of "to hinder, impede, retard, delay" (justice, the law, etc.) is by 1640s. Related: Obstructed; obstructing.
mythical bird of great beauty worshiped in Egypt, Old English and Old French fenix, from Medieval Latin phenix, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix. The bird was the only one of its kind, ans after living 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, "built for itself a funeral pile of spices and aromatic gums, lighted the pile with the fanning of its wings, and was burned upon it, but from its ashes revived in the freshness of youth" [Century Dictionary].
Ðone wudu weardaþ wundrum fæger
fugel feþrum se is fenix hatan
Compare Phoenician, which seems to be unrelated. Forms in ph- begin to appear in English late 15c. and the spelling was assimilated to Greek in 16c. (see ph). Figurative sense of "that which rises from the ashes of what was destroyed" is attested from 1590s.
The constellation was one of the 11 added to Ptolemy's list in the 1610s by Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) after Europeans began to explore the Southern Hemisphere. The city in Arizona, U.S., was so called because it was founded in 1867 on the site of an ancient Native American settlement.
"action of blocking up a way or passage, act of impeding passage or movement; fact of being obstructed," 1530s, from Latin obstructionem (nominative obstructio) "an obstruction, barrier, a building up," noun of action from past-participle stem of obstruere "build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder," from ob "in front of, in the way of" (see ob-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread"). Figurative use is by 1650s.