late 14c., necessarie, "needed, required; essential, indispensable; such as must be, that cannot be otherwise; not voluntary or governed by chance or free will," from Old French necessaire "necessary, urgent, compelling" (13c.), and directly from Latin necessarius "unavoidable, indispensable, necessary," from necesse "unavoidable, indispensable," originally "no backing away," from ne- "not" (from PIE root *ne-) + cedere "to withdraw, go away, yield" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").
The etymological sense is of that from which there is no evasion, that which is inevitable. Necessary house "privy" is from 1610s (compare Medieval Latin necessarium "a privy"). Necessary evil is from 1540s (the original reference was to "woman").
mid-15c., "hermit, recluse, one who withdraws from the world for religious reasons," especially in reference to the Christian hermits of the Eastern deserts in the two centuries after c. 300 C.E., from Medieval Latin anchorita, Late Latin anchoreta, from Greek anakhorētēs, literally "one who has retired," agent noun from anakhorein "to retreat, go back, retire (from battle, the world, etc.)," from ana "back" (see ana-) + khorein "withdraw, give place," from khoros "place, space, free space, room" (from PIE root *ghē- "to release, let go; be released"). It replaced Old English ancer, from Late Latin anchoreta. Related: Anchoritic.
[bend the body] Middle English bouen, from Old English bugan "to bend, become bent, have or assume a curved direction; to bow down, bend the body in condescension or reverence, to submit," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, past participle bogen), from Proto-Germanic *bugon (source also of Dutch buigen, Middle Low German bugen, Old High German biogan, German biegen, Gothic biugan "to bend," Old Norse boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE root *bheug- "to bend." Related: Bowed; bowing. To bow out "withdraw" is from 1942, from the notion of "exit with a bow or bows."
1630s, "to yield, give way," from French céder or directly from Latin cedere "to yield, give place; to give up some right or property," originally "to go from, proceed, leave" (from Proto-Italic *kesd-o- "to go away, avoid," from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").
The original sense in English is now archaic; the transitive meaning "yield or formally surrender (something) to another" is from 1754. The sense evolution in Latin is via the notion of "go away, withdraw, give ground." Related: Ceded; ceding.
"grammatical case denoting removal or separation," late 14c. as an adjective; mid-15c. as a noun (short for ablative case, originally in reference to Latin), from Old French ablatif and directly from Latin (casus) ablativus "(case) of removal," expressing direction from a place or time, coined by Julius Caesar from ablatus "taken away," past participle of auferre "to carry off or away, withdraw, remove," from ab "off, away" (see ab-) + the irregular verb ferre (past participle latum; see oblate) "to carry, to bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children"). The "from" case, the Latin case of adverbial relation, typically expressing removal or separation, also "source or place of an action." Related: Ablatival.
c. 1300, "to plunge into" (transitive); mid-14c., "to suddenly go under water and immediately withdraw" (intransitive); from a presumed Old English *ducan "to duck," found only in derivative duce (n.) "duck" (but there are cognate words in other Germanic languages, such as Old High German tuhhan "to dip," German tauchen "to dive," Old Frisian duka, Middle Dutch duken "to dip, dive," Dutch duiken), from Proto-Germanic *dukjanan.
The sense of "to lower or bend down suddenly, stoop quickly," as in dodging, is recorded by 1520s. Related: Ducked; ducking. The noun is attested from 1550s in the sense of "a quick stoop;" meaning "a plunge, a dip" is from 1843.
1640s, "act of receding, a going back," from French récession "a going backward, a withdrawing," and directly from Latin recessionem (nominative recessio) "a going back," noun of action from past-participle stem of recedere "to go back, fall back; withdraw, depart, retire," from re- "back" (see re-) + cedere "to go" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").
The sense of "temporary decline in economic activity" was a fall-of-1929 coinage, probably a noun of action from recess (v.):
The material prosperity of the United States is too firmly based, in our opinion, for a revival in industrial activity — even if we have to face an immediate recession of some magnitude — to be long delayed. [Economist, Nov. 2, 1929]
Ayto ("20th Century Words") notes, "There was more than a hint of euphemism in the coining of this term."
late 14c., "shun (someone), refrain from (something), have nothing to do with (an action, a scandal, etc.), escape, evade," from Anglo-French avoider "to clear out, withdraw (oneself)," partially Englished from Old French esvuidier "to empty out," from es- "out" (see ex-) + vuidier "to be empty," from voide "empty, vast, wide, hollow, waste," from Latin vocivos "unoccupied, vacant," related to vacare "be empty" (from PIE *wak-, extended form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out").
In Middle English with a wide range of meanings now obsolete: "to empty, rid, take out, remove, discharge from the body, send away; eject or banish; destroy, erase; depart from or abandon, go away." The current sense corresponds to Old French eviter with which it perhaps was confused. Related: Avoided; avoiding.
1650s, from hand in cap, a game whereby two bettors would engage a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands — hands full meaning that they accepted the odds and the bet was on, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. If both agreed either on forfeiting or going ahead with the wager, then the umpire kept the money as payment. The custom, though not the name, is attested from 14c. ("Piers Plowman").
Reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890. The main modern sense, "a mental or physical disability," is the last to develop, early 20c.
c. 1300, relēsen, "to withdraw, revoke (a decree, etc.), cancel, lift; remit," from Old French relaissier, relesser "to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit," variant of relacher "release, relax," from Latin relaxare "loosen, stretch out" (from re- "back" (see re-) + laxare "loosen," from PIE root *sleg- "be slack, be languid"). Latin relaxare is the source also of Spanish relajar, Italian relassare, and English relax, and the uncle of relish.
Meaning "alleviate, ease" is mid-14c., as is sense of "set free from (duty, etc.); exonerate." From late 14c. as "grant remission, forgive; set free from imprisonment, military service, etc." Also "give up, relinquish, surrender." In law, c. 1400, "to grant a release of property." Of press reports, attested from 1904; of motion pictures from 1912; of music recordings from 1962. As a euphemism for "to dismiss, fire from a job" it is attested in American English since 1904. Related: Released; releasing.