Etymology
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instant (adj.)

mid-15c., "now, present, of the moment, current," from Old French instant "near, imminent, immediate, at hand; urgent, assiduous" (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin instantem (nominative instans), in classical Latin "present, pressing, urgent," literally "standing near," present participle of instare "to urge, to stand near, be present (to urge one's case)," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

Sense of "immediate, done or occurring at once" is from 1590s. Of processed foods, by 1912; instant coffee is from 1915. Televised sports instant replay attested by 1965. Instant messaging attested by 1994.

The word was used 18c.-19c. in dating of correspondence, meaning "the current month," often abbreviated inst. Thus 16th inst. means "sixteenth of the current month" (compare proximo, ultimo).

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pike (n.2)

early 13c., pik, pyk, "pointed tip or spike on a staff, pole, weapon, etc.," collateral (long-vowel) form of pic (source of pick (n.1)), from Old English piic "pointed object, pickaxe," which is perhaps from a Celtic source (compare Gaelic pic "pickaxe," Irish pice "pike, pitchfork"). The word probably has been influenced by, or is partly from, Old French pic "sharp point or spike," itself perhaps from Germanic (see pike (n.1)), Old Norse pic, and Middle Dutch picke, pecke. Pike, pick (n.1), and pitch (n.1) formerly were used indifferently in English.

From c. 1400 as "a sharp, pointed mountain or summit." The pike position in diving, gymnastics, etc., is attested by 1928, perhaps on the notion of "tapering to a point."

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catholic (adj.)

mid-14c., "of the doctrines of the ancient Church" (before the East/West schism), literally "universally accepted," from French catholique, from Church Latin catholicus "universal, general," from Greek katholikos, from phrase kath' holou "on the whole, in general," from kata "about" + genitive of holos "whole" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").

Medieval Latin catholicus was practically synonymous with Christianus and meant "constituting or conforming to the church, its faith and organization" (as opposed to local sects or heresies). With capital C-, it was applied by Protestants to the Church in Rome by c. 1554, after the Reformation began in England. The general sense of "embracing all, universal" in English is from 1550s. The meaning "not narrow-minded or bigoted" is from 1580s. The Latin word was rendered in Old English as eallgeleaflic.

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censor (n.)

1530s, "Roman magistrate of 5c. B.C.E. who took censuses and oversaw public manners and morals," from French censor and directly from Latin censor, from censere "to appraise, value, judge," from PIE root *kens- "speak solemnly, proclaim" (source also of Sanskrit amsati "recites, praises," asa "song of praise").

They also had charge of public finances and public works. The transferred sense of "officious judge of morals and conduct" in English is from 1590s. Latin censor had also a transferred sense of "a severe judge; a rigid moralist; a censurer."

From 1640s as "official empowered to examine books, plays (later films, etc.) to see they are free of anything immoral or heretical." By the early decades of the 19c. the meaning of the English word had concentrated into "state agent charged with suppression of speech or published matter deemed politically subversive." Related: Censorial; censorian.

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size (n.)

c. 1300, "quantity, length, stature; manner, method, custom; a decision, a stipulated reward," from Old French sise, shortened form of assise "session, assessment, regulation, manner," noun use of fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere/adsidere "to sit beside" (and thus to assist in the office of a judge), "sit with in counsel or office," from ad "to" (see ad-) + sedere "to sit," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." The French word is probably a misdivision of l'assise as la sise.

The sense of "extent, amount, volume, magnitude" is from the notion of regulation (of weights, food portions, etc.) by fixing the amount of it. The specific sense of "one of a set of regularly increasing dimensions of a manufactured article for sale" is attested from 1590s (in reference to shoes). Figurative use of the sales clerk's try (something) on for size (to see if it "fits") is by 1956.

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proud (adj.)

late Old English prud, prute "excellent, splendid; arrogant, haughty, having or cherishing a high opinion of one's own merits; guilty of the sin of Pride," from Old French prud, oblique case of adjective prouz "brave, valiant" (11c., Modern French preux; compare prud'homme "brave man"), from Late Latin prode "advantageous, profitable" (source also of Italian prode "valiant"), a back-formation from Latin prodesse "be useful."

This is a compound of pro- "before, for, instead of" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first, chief") + esse "to be" (from PIE root *es- "to be"). Also see pride (n.), prowess. "The -d- in prodesse is probably due to the influence of forms like red-eo-, 'I go back,' red-imo- 'I buy back,' etc." [OED]. The Old English form with -te probably is from or influenced by pride (Old English pryto).

Meaning "elated by some act, fact, or thing" is from mid-13c. The sense of "of fearless or untamable spirit" is by c. 1400; that of "ostentatious, grand, giving reason for pride" is by mid-14c. To do (someone) proud is attested by 1819. The surname Proudfoot is attested from c. 1200 (Prudfot). A Middle English term for "drunk and belligerent" was pitcher-proud (early 15c.).

The sense of "having a high opinion of oneself," not found in Old French, might reflect the Anglo-Saxons' opinion of the Norman knights who called themselves "proud." Old Norse pruðr, either from the same French source or borrowed from Old English, had only the sense "brave, gallant, magnificent, stately" (compare Icelandic pruður, Middle Swedish prudh, Middle Danish prud).

Likewise a group of "pride" words in the Romance languages — such as French orgueil, Italian orgoglio, Spanish orgullo — are borrowings from Germanic, where they had positive senses (Old High German urgol "distinguished").

Most Indo-European languages use the same word for "proud" in its good and bad senses, but in many the bad sense seems to be the earlier one. The usual way to form the word is by some compound of terms for "over" or "high" and words for "heart," "mood," "thought," or "appearance;" such as Greek hyperephanos, literally "over-appearing;" Gothic hauhþuhts, literally "high-conscience." Old English had ofermodig "over-moody" ("mood" in Anglo-Saxon was a much more potent word than presently) and heahheort "high-heart."

Words for "proud" in other Indo-European languages sometimes reflect a physical sense of being swollen or puffed up; such as Welsh balch, probably from a root meaning "to swell," and Modern Greek kamari, from ancient Greek kamarou "furnish with a vault or arched cover," with a sense evolution via "make an arch," to "puff out the chest," to "be puffed up" (compare English slang chesty).

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cabinet (n.)

1540s, "secret storehouse, treasure chamber; case for valuables," from French cabinet "small room" (16c.), diminutive of Old French cabane "cabin" (see cabin); perhaps influenced by (or from) Italian gabbinetto, diminutive of gabbia, from Latin cavea "stall, stoop, cage, den for animals" (see cave (n.)).

The meaning "case for safe-keeping" (of papers, liquor, etc.) is from 1540s, gradually shading to mean a piece of furniture that does this. The sense of "private room where advisers meet" (c. 1600) led to the modern political meaning "an executive council" (1640s); perhaps originally short for cabinet council (1620s); compare board (n.1) in its evolution from place where some group meets to the word for the meeting group. From 1670s also "building or part of a building set aside for the conservation and study of natural specimens, art, antiquities, etc."

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garage (n.)

1902, from French garage "shelter for a vehicle," a specific use of a word meaning generally "place for storing something," from verb garer "to shelter," also "to dock ships," from Old French garir "take care of, protect; save, spare, rescue," from Frankish *waron "to guard" or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German waron "take care"), from Proto-Germanic *war- "to protect, guard," from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover." Garage-sale (n.) first attested 1966.

Influenced no doubt by the success of the recent Club run, and by the fact that more than 100 of its members are automobile owners, the N.Y.A.C. has decided to build a "garage," the French term for an automobile stable, at Travers Island, that will be of novel design, entirely different from any station in the country. [New York Athletic Club Journal, May 1902]
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rack (n.3)

[clouds driven before the wind], c. 1300, rak, "movement, rapid movement," also "rush of wind, collision, crash," originally a northern word, possibly from Old English racu "cloud, storm" (or an unrecorded Scandinavian cognate of it), reinforced by Old Norse rek, *rak "wreckage, jetsam," or Old English wræc "something driven," both of which would be from Proto-Germanic *wrakaz, from PIE root *wreg- "to push, shove, drive" (see urge (v.)).

From late 14c. as "rain cloud." Often confused with wrack (n.) "destruction," especially in the phrase rack and ruin (1590s), which perhaps is encouraged in that case by the visual alliteration. Rack is "fragments of raggy clouds;" wrack is, in its secondary sense, "seaweed cast up on shore." Both probably come, ultimately, from the same PIE root, as does wreak.

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utopia (n.)

1551, from Modern Latin Utopia, literally "nowhere," coined by Thomas More (and used as title of his book, 1516, about an imaginary island enjoying the utmost perfection in legal, social, and political systems), from Greek ou "not" + topos "place" (see topos). The current (since c. 1960) explanation of Greek ou "not" is an odd one, as it derives the word from the PIE root *aiw- "vital force, life; long life, eternity." Linguists presume a pre-Greek phrase *(ne) hoiu (kwid) "(not on your) life," with ne "not" + *kwid, an "emphasizing particle" [Watkins]. The same pattern is found elsewhere.

Extended to any perfect place by 1610s. Commonly, but incorrectly, taken as from Greek eu- "good" (see eu-) an error reinforced by the introduction of dystopia (by 1844). On the same model, Bentham had cacotopia (1818).

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