1744, in medicine, "pertaining or relating to spasm; spasmodic," from Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos "afflicted with spasms," also "pulling in, slurping in;" etymologically "drawing, pulling, stretching," from span "to draw (a sword, etc.), pull out, pluck; tear away, drag; suck in; slurp down; contract violently" (see spasm (n.)).
The noun meaning "a person affected with spastic paralysis" is attested from 1896, used insultingly by 1960s. Related: Spastically; spasticity.
type of ancient stringed instrument, the accompanying instrument for psalms, c. 1300, sautrie, from Old French psalterie (12c.) and directly from Latin psalterium "stringed instrument," from Greek psaltērion "stringed instrument," from psallein "play on a stringed instrument, pull, pluck" (see psalm).
From c. 1200 in English in Latin form salteriun. It was similar to a harp, but of different shape and means of obtaining resonance (having a sound-board behind and parallel with the strings). Related: Psalterial; psalterian.
early 13c., picken "to peck;" c. 1300, piken "to work with a pick, to dig up," probably representing a fusion of Old English *pician "to prick," (implied by picung "a piercing, pricking," an 8c. gloss on Latin stigmata) with Old Norse pikka "to prick, peck," both from a Germanic root (source also of Middle Dutch picken, German picken "to pick, peck"), perhaps imitative. Influence from Middle French piquer "to prick, sting" (see pike (n.1)) also is possible, but that French word generally is not considered a source of the English word. Related: Picked; picking.
Meaning "to pluck with the hand or fingers, gather, break off, collect" (fruit, etc.) is from early 14c.; that of "to prick or pierce with a pointed instrument" also is from early 14c. The meaning "to choose, sort through carefully in search of valuable material" emerged late 14c., from the earlier meaning "to pluck with the fingers." The sense of "to rob, plunder" (c. 1300) weakened to a milder sense of "steal petty things, filch or pilfer from" by late 14c. Meaning "to eat with small bites" is from 1580s.
Of locks, etc., "probe or penetrate with a pointed tool," early 15c. The meaning "to pluck (a banjo, etc.) with the fingers" is recorded from 1860. To pick a quarrel, fight, etc. is from mid-15c.; to pick at "annoy with repeated fault-finding" is from 1670s. To pick on "single out for adverse attention" is from late 14c. Also see pick up.
To pick off "shoot one by one" is recorded from 1810; baseball sense, of a pitcher or catcher, "to put out a runner caught off base" is by 1939. To pick and choose "select carefully" is from 1660s (choose and pick is attested from c. 1400). To pick (one's) nose is by mid-15c.
formerly also teaze, Old English tæsan "pluck, pull, tear; pull apart, comb" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *taisijan (source also of Danish tæse, Middle Dutch tesen, Dutch tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," Old High German zeisan "to tease, pick wool").
The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers. The figurative sense of "vex, worry, annoy" (sometimes done in good humor) emerged 1610s. For similar sense development, compare heckle. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957. Related: Teased; teasing; teasingly.
late 14c., "to pull or gather up," earlier "to pluck, stretch" (implied in tucker "one who finishes clothes by stretching them on tenters, late 13c. as a surname), probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch tucken "pull up, draw up, tug" (cognate with Old English tucian "mistreat, torment," and related to Old English togian "to pull," German zucken; see tow (v.)). Sense of "thrust into a snug place" is first recorded 1580s. Slang meaning "to consume, swallow, put into one's stomach" is recorded from 1784. Related: Tucked; tucking.
early 13c., pinchen, "to pluck (an eyebrow);" mid-14c. "compress between the finger and thumb or some device, squeeze between two hard, opposing bodies," from Old North French *pinchier "to pinch, squeeze, nip; steal" (Old French pincier, Modern French pincer), a word of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *punctiare "to pierce," which might be a blend of Latin punctum "point" + *piccare "to pierce."
From mid-14c. as "to pain, torment." Of tight shoes, from 1570s. Meaning "to steal" in English is from 1650s. Sense of "to be stingy" is recorded from early 14c. Related: Pinched; pinching.
late 14c., "act of plundering" (especially in war), from Old French pilage (14c.) "plunder," from pillier "to plunder, loot, ill-treat," possibly from Vulgar Latin *piliare "to plunder," probably from a figurative use of Latin pilare "to strip of hair," perhaps also meaning "to skin" (compare figurative extension of verbs pluck, fleece), from pilus "a hair" (see pile (n.3)).
Pillage and spoil especially suggest the great loss to the owner, completely stripping or despoiling them of their property ; plunder suggests the quantity and value of that which is taken : as, loaded with plunder; booty is primarily the spoils of war, but also of a raid or combined action, as of pirates, brigands, or burglars .... [Century Dictionary]
Old English feohtan "to combat, contend with weapons, strive; attack; gain by fighting, win" (intransitive; class III strong verb; past tense feaht, past participle fohten), from Proto-Germanic *fe(u)hta (source also of Old High German fehtan, German fechten, Middle Dutch and Dutch vechten, Old Frisian fiuhta "to fight"), probably from PIE *pek- (2) "to comb, to pluck out" wool or hair (source also of Lithuanian pėšti"to pluck," Greek pekein "to comb, shear," pekos "fleece, wool;" Persian pashm "wool, down," Latin pectere "to comb," Sanskrit paksman- "eyebrows, hair"). Apparently the notion is "pulling roughly," or "to tear out one another's hair." But perhaps it is from the source of Latin pugnus "fist."
Spelling substitution of -gh- for a "hard H" sound was a Middle English scribal habit, especially before -t-. In some late Old English examples, the middle consonant was represented by a yogh. Among provincial early Modern English spellings, Wright lists faight, fate, fecht, feeght, feight, feit, feyght, feyt, feort, foight.
From c. 1200 as "offer resistance, struggle;" also "to quarrel, wrangle, create a disturbance." From late 14c. as "be in conflict." Transitive use from 1690s. To fight for "contest on behalf of" is from early 14c. To fight back "resist" is recorded from 1890. Well figt þat wel fligt ("he fights well that flies fast") was a Middle English proverb.
Old English tæppe "narrow strip of cloth used for tying, measuring, etc.," of uncertain origin; perhaps [Klein] a back-formation from Latin tapete "cloth, carpet," compare also Old Frisian tapia, Middle Low German tapen "to pull, pluck, tear." The original short vowel became long in Middle English.
Adhesive tape is from 1885; also in early use sometimes friction tape. Tape recorder "device for recording sound on magnetic tape" first attested 1932; from earlier meaning "device for recording data on ticker tape" (1892), from tape in the sense of "paper strip of a printer" (1884). Tape-record (v.) is from 1950. Tape-measure is attested from 1873; tape-delay is from 1968.
Old English greot "sand, dust, earth, gravel," from Proto-Germanic *greutan "tiny particles of crushed rock" (source also of Old Saxon griot, Old Frisian gret, Old Norse grjot "rock, stone," German Grieß "grit, sand"), from PIE *ghreu- "rub, grind" (source also of Lithuanian grūdas "corn, kernel," Old Church Slavonic gruda "clod"). Sense of "pluck, spirit, firmness of mind" first recorded American English, 1808.
If he hadn't a had the clear grit in him, and showed teeth and claws, they'd a nullified him so, you wouldn't have see'd a grease spot of him no more. [Thomas Chandler Haliburton, "Sam Slick in England," 1843]