Etymology
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pustule (n.)

"small, inflammatory sore or tumor containing pus," late 14c., from Old French pustule (13c.) and directly from Latin pustula "blister, pimple" (from PIE imitative root *pu- (1) "blow, swell," on notion of "inflated area;" source also of Sanskrit pupphusah "lung," Greek physa "breath, blast, wind, bubble," Lithuanian pučiu, pūsti "to blow, swell," Old Church Slavonic puchati "to blow"). Compare emphysema. Related: Pustulant; pustulate; pustulation.

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fume (n.)

late 14c., "vapor, odorous vapor; exhalation," from Old French fum "smoke, steam, vapor, breath, aroma, scent" (12c.), from Latin fumus "smoke, steam, fume, old flavor" (source also of Italian fumo, Spanish humo), from PIE root *dheu- (1) "dust, vapor, smoke."

In old medicine, an "exhalation" of the body that produces emotions, dreams, sloth, etc; later especially of smokes or vapors that go to the head and affect the senses with a narcotic or stifling quality.

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pant (v.)

mid-14c., panten, "breathe hard or rapidly," perhaps a shortening of Old French pantaisier "gasp, puff, pant, be out of breath, be in distress" (12c.), which is probably from Vulgar Latin *pantasiare "be oppressed with a nightmare, struggle for breathing during a nightmare," literally "to have visions," from Greek phantasioun "have or form images, subject to hallucinations," from phantasia "appearance, image, fantasy" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine"). Related: Panted; panting.

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mahatma (n.)

title applied to an adept in Brahmanism, literally "great-souled," from Sanskrit mahatman, from maha "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + atman, "soul, principle of life," properly "breath" (see atman). In esoteric Buddhism, "a person of supernatural powers." In common use, as a title, a mark of love and respect. Said to have been applied to Gandhi (1869-1948) in 1915, perhaps by poet Rabrindranath Tagore. The earliest use of the word in English, however, is among the theosophists, who applied it to certain imaginary beings with preternatural powers (1884).

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deer (n.)

Old English deor "wild animal, beast, any wild quadruped," in early Middle English also used of ants and fish, from Proto-Germanic *deuzam, the general Germanic word for "animal" (as opposed to man), but often restricted to "wild animal" (source also of Old Frisian diar, Dutch dier, Old Norse dyr, Old High German tior, German Tier "animal," Gothic dius "wild animal," also see reindeer).

This is perhaps from PIE *dheusom "creature that breathes," from root *dheu- (1) "cloud, breath" (source also of Lithuanian dusti "gasp," dvėsti "gasp, perish;" Old Church Slavonic dychati "breathe"). For possible prehistoric sense development, compare Latin animal from anima "breath").

The sense specialization to a specific animal began in Old English (the usual Old English word for what we now call a deer was heorot; see hart), was common by 15c., and is now complete. It happened probably via hunting, deer being the favorite animal of the chase (compare Sanskrit mrga- "wild animal," used especially for "deer"). 

Deer-lick "salty spot where deer come to lick," is attested by 1778, in an American context. The deer-mouse (1840) is so called for its agility.

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breathable (adj.)
"that can be breathed," 1731, from breathe + -able.
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baby (n.)

late 14c., babi, "infant of either sex," diminutive of babe (see babe) with -y (3). Meaning "childish adult person" is from c. 1600. Meaning "youngest of a group" is by 1897. As a term of endearment for one's lover it is attested perhaps as early as 1839, certainly by 1901 (OED writes, "the degree of slanginess in the nineteenth-century examples is not easily determinable"); its popularity perhaps boosted by baby vamp "a popular girl" (see vamp (n.2)), student slang from c. 1922.

Meaning "minute reflection of oneself seen in another's eyes" is from 1590s (compare pupil (n.2)). As an adjective by 1750. Baby food is from 1833. Baby blues for "blue eyes" recorded by 1892 (the phrase also was used for "postpartum depression" 1950s-60s). To empty the baby out with the bath (water) is attested by 1909 (in G.B. Shaw; compare German das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten, attested from 17c.). A baby's breath was noted for sweet smell, which also was supposed to attract cats, hence baby's breath as the name of a type of flower, attested from 1897. French bébé (19c.) is said to be from English, but there were similar words in the same sense in French dialects.

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animism (n.)
"attribution of living souls to inanimate objects," 1866, reintroduced by English anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Taylor (1832-1917), who defined it (1871) as the "theory of the universal animation of nature," from Latin anima "life, breath, soul" (from PIE root *ane- "to breathe") + -ism.

Earlier sense was of "doctrine that animal life is produced by an immaterial soul" (1832), from German Animismus, coined c. 1720 by physicist/chemist Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734) based on the concept of the anima mundi. Animist is attested from 1819, in Stahl's sense. Related: Animisic.
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spirit (n.)
Origin and meaning of spirit

mid-13c., "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from Anglo-French spirit, Old French espirit "spirit, soul" (12c., Modern French esprit) and directly from Latin spiritus "a breathing (respiration, and of the wind), breath; breath of a god," hence "inspiration; breath of life," hence "life;" also "disposition, character; high spirit, vigor, courage; pride, arrogance," related to spirare "to breathe," perhaps from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (source also of Old Church Slavonic pisto "to play on the flute"). But de Vaan says "Possibly an onomatopoeic formation imitating the sound of breathing. There are no direct cognates."

Meaning "supernatural immaterial creature; angel, demon; an apparition, invisible corporeal being of an airy nature" is attested from mid-14c.; from late 14c. as "a ghost" (see ghost (n.)). From c. 1500 as "a nature, character"; sense of "essential principle of something" (in a non-theological context, as in Spirit of St. Louis) is attested from 1680s, common after 1800; Spirit of '76 in reference to the qualities that sparked and sustained the American Revolution is attested by 1797 in William Cobbett's "Porcupine's Gazette and Daily Advertiser."

From late 14c. in alchemy as "volatile substance; distillate;" from c. 1500 as "substance capable of uniting the fixed and the volatile elements of the philosopher's stone." Hence spirits "volatile substance;" sense narrowed to "strong alcoholic liquor" by 1670s. This also is the sense in spirit level (1768). Also from mid-14c. as "character, disposition; way of thinking and feeling, state of mind; source of a human desire;" in Middle English freedom of spirit meant "freedom of choice." From late 14c. as "divine substance, divine mind, God;" also "Christ" or His divine nature; "the Holy Ghost; divine power;" also, "extension of divine power to man; inspiration, a charismatic state; charismatic power, especially of prophecy." Also "essential nature, essential quality." From 1580s in metaphoric sense "animation, vitality."

According to Barnhart and OED, originally in English mainly from passages in Vulgate, where the Latin word translates Greek pneuma and Hebrew ruah. Distinction between "soul" and "spirit" (as "seat of emotions") became current in Christian terminology (such as Greek psykhe vs. pneuma, Latin anima vs. spiritus) but "is without significance for earlier periods" [Buck]. Latin spiritus, usually in classical Latin "breath," replaces animus in the sense "spirit" in the imperial period and appears in Christian writings as the usual equivalent of Greek pneuma. Spirit-rapping is from 1852.

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puff (v.)

Old English pyffan, *puffian "to blow with the mouth," of imitative origin. Compare pouf, from French. Especially "to blow with quick, intermittent blasts" (early 14c.). Meaning "pant, breathe hard and fast" is from late 14c.

The meaning "to fill, inflate, or expand with breath or air" is by 1530s. The intransitive sense, in reference to small swellings and round protuberances, is by 1725. The transitive figurative sense of "exalt" is from 1530s; shading by early 18c. into the meaning "praise with self-interest, give undue or servile praise to." Related: Puffed; puffing.

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