"distinguished woman singer, prima donna," 1864, from Italian diva "goddess, fine lady," from Latin diva "goddess," fem. of divus "a god, divine (one)," related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god").
member of an ancient people (an offshoot of the Sabines) who inhabited Samnium in Italy, late 14c., from Latin Samnites (plural), from Samnium, which probably is related to Sabine (q.v.). The class of gladiators (distinguished by their oblong shield) was so-called because they were armed like the natives of Samnium.
in rhetoric, "comparison, metaphor," according to Century Dictionary, "especially a formal simile, as in poetry or poetic prose, taken from a present or imagined object or event: distinguished from a paradigm, or comparison with a real past event," 1580s, from Greek parabolē "comparison" (see parable).
c. 1600, "attending, incidental," also "derived from circumstances," from Latin circumstantia (see circumstance) + -al (1). Related: Circumstantially. Legalese circumstantial evidence "evidence from more or less relevant circumstances bearing upon a case," as distinguished from direct testimony, is attested by 1691.
The distinction of form and sense (councilor, one of a council, counselor, one who counsels) is modern; there is no OF. or L. form corresponding to councilor (L. as if *conciliarius) as distinguished from counselor (L. consiliarius). [Century Dictionary]
1560s, from hard (adj.) + wood (n.). That from deciduous trees, as distinguished from that from pines and firs. Bartlett ("Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848) defines it as "A term applied to woods of solid texture that soon decay, including generally, beech, birch, maple, ash, &c. Used by shipwrights and farmers in Maine, in opposition to oak and pine."
"one mad for books, an enthusiastic collector of rare or unusual books," 1811; see bibliomania. Earlier was bibliomane (1777), from French.
A bibliomaniac must be carefully distinguished from a bibliophile. The latter has not yet freed himself from the idea that books are meant to be read. [Walsh]