c. 1400, sent, "a smell, what can be smelled" (especially a trace left by an animal in passing used as a means of pursuit by a hound), also "perception, sensation" (the etymological sense); from scent (v.). Often figurative, of pursuits or inquiries of any kind. Almost always applied to agreeable odors; the meaning "a perfume, fragrant liquid distilled from flowers, etc." is by late 15c. (Caxton).
migratory wild duck, 1510s, perhaps from a northern variant of French vigeon, which some trace to Latin vipionem (nominative vipio), "a kind of small crane," a Balearic word, perhaps imitative, with an evolution of form similar to that which produced pigeon. But the French word is later than the English one, and OED finds all this "very dubious." Applied to different species in Europe and America.
1784, "descent of a Hindu deity to earth in an incarnate or tangible form," from Sanskrit avatarana "descent" (of a deity to the earth in incarnate form), from ava- "off, down" (from PIE root *au- (2) "off, away") + base of tarati "(he) crosses over" (from PIE root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome").
The meaning "concrete embodiment of something abstract" is from 1815. In computer use, it seems to trace to the novel "Snowcrash" (1992) by Neal Stephenson.
early 13c., pouren, "gaze intently, look with close and steady attention or examination," a word of unknown origin, with no obvious corresponding word in Old French. Perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *purian, suggested by spyrian "to investigate, examine" (cognate with Old Norse spyrja) and spor "a trace, vestige." Especially, but not originally, "to read something with steady perseverance" (late 14c.), with on or over. Related: Pored; poring.
Old English swæð, swaðu "track, footstep, trace, scar, vestige," from Proto-Germanic *swathan, *swatho (source also of Old Frisian swethe "boundary made by a scythe," Middle Dutch swade, Dutch zwade, German Schwad "a row of cut grass"); of uncertain origin. Meaning "a mown crop lying on the ground" is from early 14c.; that of "space covered by the single cut of a scythe" emerged late 15c., and that of "a strip, lengthwise extent" is from c. 1600.
"wooden model of a human foot used by shoemakers," from Old English læste "shoemaker's last," earlier last "track, footprint, footstep, trace," from Proto-Germanic *laisti- (source also of Old Norse leistr "the foot," Middle Dutch, Dutch leest "form, model, last," Old High German leist "track, footprint," German Leisten "last," Gothic laistjan "to follow"), related to Old English læran "to teach," from PIE root *lois- "furrow, track."
"a taste, flavor, savor" especially a slight flavor that suggests something, from Old English smæc "taste; scent, odor," from Proto-Germanic *smakka- (source also of Old Frisian smek, Middle Dutch smæck, Dutch smaak, Old High German smac, German Geschmack, Swedish smak, Danish smag), from verb *smakjanan, from a Germanic and Baltic root meaning "to taste" (source also of Lithuanian smaguriai "dainties," smagus "pleasing"). Meaning "a trace (of something)" is attested from 1530s.
"trace, impression," Old English mearc (West Saxon), merc (Mercian) "boundary, limit; sign, landmark," from Proto-Germanic *markō (source also of Old Norse merki "boundary, sign," mörk "forest," which often marked a frontier; Old Frisian merke, Gothic marka "boundary, frontier," Dutch merk "mark, brand," German Mark "boundary, boundary land"), from PIE root *merg- "boundary, border." Influenced by, and partly from, Scandinavian cognates. The Germanic word was borrowed widely and early in Romanic (compare marque; march (n.2), marquis).
The primary sense "boundary" had evolved by Old English through "pillar, post, etc. as a sign of a boundary," through "a sign in general," then to "impression or trace forming a sign." Meaning "any visible trace or impression" is recorded by c. 1200. Meaning "a cross or other character made by an illiterate person as a signature" is from late Old English. Sense of "line drawn to indicate the starting point of a race" (as in on your marks..., which is by 1890) is attested by 1887.
The Middle English sense of "target" (c. 1200) is the notion in marksman and slang sense "victim of a swindle" (1883). The notion of "sign, token" is behind the meaning "a characteristic property, a distinctive feature" (1520s), also that of "numerical award given by a teacher" (by 1829). To make (one's) mark "attain distinction" is by 1847.
In medieval England and in Germany, "a tract of land held in common by a community," hence Mark of Brandenburg, etc.
late 14c., referren, "to trace back (a quality, etc., to a first cause or origin), attribute, assign," from Old French referer (14c.) and directly from Latin referre "to relate, refer," literally "to carry back," from re- "back" (see re-) + ferre "to carry, bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children").
The meaning "to commit to some authority for consideration and decision" is from mid-15c.; sense of "to direct (someone) to a book, etc." for information is from c. 1600. Related: Referred; referring.
any tree of the genus Citrus, or its fruit, 1825, from the Modern Latin genus name, from Latin citrus "citron tree," the name of an African tree with aromatic wood and lemon-like fruit, the first citrus fruit to become available in the West. The name, like the tree, is probably of Asiatic origin [OED] or from a lost non-IE Mediterranean language [de Vaan]. But Klein and others trace it to Greek kedros "cedar," perhaps via Etruscan (a suggested by the change of -dr- to -tr-).