Etymology
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lick (v.2)

"to beat, surpass, overcome" 1530s, perhaps from figurative use of lick (v.1) in the Coverdale bible that year in a sense of "defeat, annihilate" (an enemy's forces) in Numbers xxii.4:

Now shal this heape licke up all that is about vs, euen as an oxe licketh vp the grasse in the field.

But to lick (of) the whip "taste punishment" is attested from mid-15c.

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corner (v.)

late 14c., "to furnish with corners; bring to a point by convergence," from corner (n.). Meaning "to turn a corner," as in a race, is from 1860s. Meaning "drive or force (someone) into a corner," also figuratively, "force into a position where defeat or surrender is inevitable," is American English from 1824; commercial sense "monopolize the market supply of a stock or commodity" is from 1836. Related: Cornered; cornering.

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bistro (n.)
1906, from French bistro (1884), originally Parisian slang for "little wineshop or restaurant," which is of unknown origin. Commonly said to be from Russian bee-stra "quickly," picked up during the Allied occupation of Paris in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon; but this, however quaint, is unlikely. Another guess is that it is from bistraud "a little shepherd," a word of the Poitou dialect, from biste "goat."
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conquest (n.)

early 14c., "the defeat of an adversary;" mid-14c., "subjugation or conquering by an armed force," from Old French conquest "acquisition" (Modern French conquêt), and Old French conqueste "conquest, acquisition" (Modern French conquête), also from Medieval Latin conquistus, conquista, all ultimately from the past participle of Vulgar Latin *conquaerere "to search for, procure by effort, win" (see conquer). From late 14c. with specific reference to the acquisition of power in England by William Duke of Normandy.

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hiding (n.2)
"a flogging," 1809, from hide (n.1), perhaps in reference to a whip or thong made of animal hide, or of "tanning" someone's "hide." Old English had hyde ðolian "to undergo a flogging," and hydgild "fine paid to save one's skin (from a punishment by flogging)." The English expression a hiding to nothing (by 1905) referred to a situation where there was disgrace in defeat and no honor in victory.
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loser (n.)
mid-14c., "a destroyer" (a sense now obsolete), agent noun from lose (v.). Sense of "one who suffers loss" is from 1540s; meaning "horse that loses a race" is from 1902; "convicted criminal" is from 1912; "hapless person, one who habitually fails to win" is by 1955 in U.S. student slang. Bad loser (also poor, sore, etc.) "one who takes defeat with bad grace" is by 1892.
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concede (v.)

1630s, "to make a concession of, yield up" (transitive), from French concéder or directly from Latin concedere "give way, yield, go away, depart, retire," figuratively "agree, consent, give precedence," from con-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + cedere "to go, grant, give way" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").

From 1640s as "to admit as true." Intransitive sense "accept a disputed point, yield" is from 1780; especially "admit defeat" in an election (1824). Related: Conceded; conceding.

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towel (n.)
mid-13c., from Old French toaille (12c.), from Frankish *thwahlja, from Proto-Germanic *thwahlijan (source also of Old Saxon thwahila, Middle Dutch dwale "towel," Dutch dwaal "altar cloth," Old High German dwehila "towel," German dialectal Zwehle "napkin"); related to German zwagen, Old English þwean "to wash." Spanish toalla, Italian tovaglia are Germanic loan-words. To throw in the towel "admit defeat" (1915) is from boxing.
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mat (adj.)
1640s, "lusterless, dull" (of a color or surface), from French mat "dull, dead surface," from Old French mat "beaten down, withered, afflicted, dejected; dull," which is perhaps from Latin mattus "maudlin with drink," from madere "to be wet or sodden, be drunk," from PIE root *mad- "to be wet, drip" (see mast (n.2)). Or the French word might represent a transferred use from chess of mater "to checkmate, defeat," from Arabic (see mate (v.2)).
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hammer (v.)

late 14c., "deal blows with a hammer or axe;" mid-15c., "to produce (something) by blows with a hammer," from hammer (n.). Also sometimes in Middle English the verb to describe how Christ was crucified. Figurative meaning "work (something) out laboriously" recorded from 1580s. Meaning "beat or drive with or as if with a hammer" is from 1640s; that of "to defeat heavily" is from 1948. Old English had hamorian "to beat out, forge." Related: Hammered; hammering.

Crist, as he was ruthfully hamerd apon the croce, Songe to his fadire of heven.
["The Mirror of Man's Salvation," 15c.]
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