Etymology
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wizen (v.)

Old English wisnian, weosnian "to wither, dry up, waste away," from Proto-Germanic *wisnon (source also of Old Norse visna "to wither," Old High German wesanen "to dry up, shrivel, wither;" German verwesen "to decay, rot"). Related: Wizened.

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sanitation (n.)

1848, "practical and scientific methods of preservation of health and promotion of sanitary conditions," irregularly formed from sanitary. The somewhat euphemistic use in reference to garbage and domestic waste disposal is (as in sanitation engineer) is by 1916 (sanitation man).

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profusion (n.)

1540s, "extravagance, expenditure, prodigality, waste," from French profusion (16c.) and directly from Late Latin profusionem (nominative profusio) "a pouring out," noun of action from past-participle stem of profundere "to pour forth" (see profuse). Meaning "abundance, superfluity" is from 1705.

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littering (n.)
1540s, of animals, "process of bringing forth young in a single birth," verbal noun from present participle of litter (v.). Meaning "act of furnishing with bedding" is from c. 1600. That of "act of dropping disordered waste matter" is from 1900.
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desertification (n.)

"process of becoming or making into a desert," especially "the turning of fertile land into arid waste as a result of human activity," 1973, from desert (n.1) + -fication "a making or causing." In French, désertisation is attested from 1968.

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decrement (n.)

1620s, "act or state of decreasing;" 1660s, "quantity lost by gradual waste," from Latin decrementum "diminution," from stem of decrescere "to grow less, diminish," from de "away from" (see de-) + crescere "to grow" (from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow").

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chaffinch (n.)

Fringilla cælebs, common European bird "with pretty plumage and pleasant short song" [OED], Old English ceaffinc, literally "chaff-finch," so called for its habit of eating waste grain among the chaff on farms in winter. See chaff + finch.

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depredate (v.)

1620s, "consume by waste;" 1650s, "consume by pillage or plunder," from Latin depredatus, past participle of depraedare "to pillage, ravage," from de- "thoroughly" (see de-) + praedari "to plunder," literally "to make prey of," from praeda "prey" (see prey (n.)).

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devastate (v.)

1630s, "lay waste, ravage, make desolate," perhaps a back-formation from devastation. Apparently not common until 19c.; earlier verb form devast is attested from 1530s, from French devaster, from Latin devastare. Figurative use is by 1856. Related: devastated; devastating.

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disposal (n.)

1620s, "power to make use of, right to dispose of or control;" see dispose + -al (2). Meaning "a disposing" (of a daughter by marriage, of money by a will, of an estate by sale, etc.) is from 1650s; of waste material, from c. 1960, originally in medical use.

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