"reliance on direct experience and observation rather than on theory;" 1650s, originally in a medical sense, from empiric + -ism. The original medical sense was depreciative: "quackery; the pretension of an ignorant person to medical skill." The depreciative quality carried over later into the general sense of "reliance on direct observation rather than theory," especially an undue reliance on mere individual experience. In reference to a philosophical doctrine which regards experience as the only source of knowledge from 1796.
Were I obliged to give a short name to the attitude in question, I should call it that of radical empiricism, in spite of the fact that such brief nicknames are nowhere more misleading than in philosophy. I say 'empiricism' because it is contented to regard its most assured conclusions concerning matters of fact as hypotheses liable to modification in the course of future experience; and I say 'radical,' because it treats the doctrine of monism itself as an hypothesis, and, unlike so much of the half way empiricism that is current under the name of positivism or agnosticism or scientific naturalism, it does not dogmatically affirm monism as something with which all experience has got to square. The difference between monism and pluralism is perhaps the most pregnant of all the differences in philosophy. [William James, preface to "The Sentiment of Rationality" in "The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy," 1897]
hydrocarbon radical occurring in many compounds, 1835, from French méthylène (1834), coined by Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas (1800-1884) and Eugène-Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek methy "wine" (see mead (n.1)) + hylē "wood" (which is of uncertain etymology) + Greek name-forming element -ene. So called because it was detected in wood alcohol.
"The breakdown of methylene into methyl and -ene, and the identification of the last syllable of methyl with the general suffix -yl, led to the use of meth- as a separate combining-element, as, for example, in methane, methacrylic" [Flood]. The color methylene-blue (1880) was derived from dimethylanaline.
c. 1300, parlur, "apartment in a monastery for conversations with outside persons," earlier "window through which confessions were made" (c. 1200), from Old French parleor "courtroom, judgment hall, auditorium" (12c., Modern French parloir), from parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)).
The sense developed by late 14c. to "room off a main hall offering some privacy," by early 15c. to "public room of a private house," by 16c. to "the ordinary sitting room of a family." The meaning "show room for a business" (as in ice cream parlor) is by 1884. As an adjective, "advocating radical views from a position of comfort" (as in parlor socialist) is by 1900.
Old English sealt "salt, sodium chloride, abundant substance essential to life, used as a condiment and meat preservative," from Proto-Germanic *saltom (source also of Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old Frisian, Gothic salt, Dutch zout, German Salz), from PIE root *sal- "salt."
Applied from early 14c. to various substances resembling common salt. Modern chemistry sense "compound of an acid radical with a base radical" is from 1790; as an ultimate element in alchemy from 1580s. Meaning "experienced sailor" is attested by 1840 (Dana), probably a reference to the salinity of the sea. By 1570s as "that which gives piquancy to discourse or writing or liveliness to a person's character."
Salt long was regarded as having power to repel spiritual and magical evil. Many metaphoric uses reflect that this was once a rare and important resource, such as worth one's salt "efficient, capable" (1830), salt of the earth "persons of worthiness" (Old English, after Matthew v.13). Belief that spilling salt brings bad luck is attested from 16c. To be above (or below) the salt (1590s) refers to customs of seating at a long table according to rank or honor, and placing a large salt-cellar in the middle of the dining table.
Salt-shaker is from 1882. Salt-and-pepper (adj.) "of dark and light color" is by 1915 (pepper-and-salt, 1774, was an old name for a kind of cloth made from dark and light colored wools woven together). To take something with a grain of salt "accept with a certain amount of reserve" is from 1640s, from Modern Latin cum grano salis. The notion is perhaps "modification," hence "allowance, abatement, reserve."
mid-14c., regeneracioun, "act of regenerating or producing anew," originally spiritual, also of the Resurrection, from Old French regeneracion (Modern French regénération) and directly from Late Latin regenerationem (nominative regeneratio) "a being born again," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin regenerare "make over, generate again," from re- "again" (see re-) + generare "bring forth, beget, produce," from genus "race, kind" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).
Originally theological, "radical spiritual change in an individual accomplished by the action of God;" of animal tissue, "power or process of growing again," early 15c.; of forests, 1888.
A big fire devoured a street; "It will make work," I heard my father say; a ship was lost at sea laden with silk, and leather, and cloth; "It will make work," said my father; a reservoir broke jail, and swept the heart of the town away. "It will make work," my mother said; so all human calamities were softened blessings to me; they made "work," and work made wages, and wages made bread and potatoes, and clothes for me. ["The Radical Review," Chicago, Sept. 15, 1883]
late 15c., from French esclicier, from Old French escliz (see slice (n.)). Golfing sense is from 1890. Related: Sliced; slicing. Sliced bread is attested from 1929 and was touted in advertisements; greatest thing since ... first attested 1969.
With the advent of ready sliced bread the bread board, the bread knife and the slicing machine pass out of the picture. Sliced bread is a radical departure in the baking industry and although the Weber Baking Company will continue to supply the trade with unsliced loaves, the company anticipates an unusual run on the ready sliced loaf. [Western Hospital Review, vol. xiv, 1929]
No matter how thick or how thin you slice it it's still baloney. [Carl Sandburg, "The People, Yes," 1936]
also antisemitism, 1881, from German Antisemitismus, first used by Wilhelm Marr (1819-1904) German radical, nationalist and race-agitator, who founded the Antisemiten-Liga in 1879; see anti- + Semite.
Not etymologically restricted to anti-Jewish theories, actions, or policies, but almost always used in this sense. Those who object to the inaccuracy of the term might try Hermann Adler's Judaeophobia (1881). Anti-Semitic (also antisemitic) and anti-Semite (also antisemite) also are from 1881, like anti-Semitism they appear first in English in an article in The Athenaeum of Sept. 31, in reference to German literature. Jew-hatred is attested from 1881. As an adjective, anti-Jewish is from 1817.
c. 1300, from Old Norse veikr "weak," cognate with Old English wac "weak, pliant, soft," from Proto-Germanic *waika- "yield" (source also of Old Saxon wek, Swedish vek, Middle Dutch weec, Dutch week "weak, soft, tender," Old High German weih "yielding, soft," German weich "soft"), from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind."
Sense of "lacking authority" is first recorded early 15c.; that of "lacking moral strength" late 14c. In grammar, denoting a verb inflected by regular syllabic addition rather than by change of the radical vowel, from 1833. Related: Weakly. Weak-kneed "wanting in resolve" is by 1856; older in a literal sense.