late 14c., "self-restraining, temperate, abstemious," especially "abstaining from or moderate in sexual intercourse," from Old French continent and directly from Latin continentem (nominative continens) "holding together, continuous," present participle of continere "to hold back, check," also "hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). In reference to bladder control, 1899. Related: Continently.
"small portion of one country which is entirely surrounded by the territory of another," 1868, from French enclave, from Old French enclaver "enclose, comprise, include" (13c.), from Late Latin inclavare "shut in, lock up," from Latin in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + clavis "key" (from PIE root *klau- "hook"). Enclaved "surrounded by land owned by another" is attested in English from mid-15c., from Old French enclaver.
1610s, "occurring at the end," from French conclusif, from Late Latin conclusivus, from conclus-, past participle stem of Latin concludere "to shut up, enclose," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + -cludere, combining form of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). Meaning "definitive, decisive, convincing, being so forcible as not to admit of contradiction" (on the notion of "leading to a logical conclusion," and thus putting an end to debate) is from 1640s. Related: Conclusiveness.
A self-addressed envelope is one on which is written or printed the writer's address. A letter in which the writer asks for a reply for his own exclusive benefit should enclose a self-addressed envelope. ["Smithdeal's Practical Grammar, Speller and Letter-writer," 1894]
1550s, "continuous tract of land," from continent land (mid-15c.), translating Medieval Latin terra continens "continuous land," from Latin continens "continuous," present participle of continere "to hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").
As "one of the large land masses of the globe" from 1610s. As "the mainland of Europe" (from the point of view of Britain), from c. 1600.
early 15c., "to rest or be satisfied; to give satisfaction to," from Old French contenter (from content (adj.) "satisfied") and Medieval Latin contentare, both from Latin contentus "contained; satisfied," past participle of continere "to hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").
Sense connection of "contained" and "satisfied" probably is that the contented person's desires are bound by what he or she already has. Related: Contented; contenting.
1520s, "to enclose with stakes, fence in" (a sense continued in specialized uses into 19c.), from French empaler or directly from Medieval Latin impalare "to push onto a stake," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + Latin palus "a stake, prop, stay; wooden post, pole" (from PIE *pak-slo-, from root *pag- "to fasten"). Sense of "pierce with a pointed stake" (as torture or capital punishment) first recorded 1610s. Related: Impaled; impaling.
1620s, "state of being confined; any restraint by force, necessity, or obstacle," from French confinement (16c.; the Old French word was confinacion), from confiner "to border; to shut up, enclose" (see confine).
As "restraint from going abroad by childbirth," perhaps a euphemism for childbed it dates from 1774 (the Middle English expression was Our Lady's bands). To be confined "be unable to leave the house or bed from sickness or childbirth" is attested from 1772.
mid-15c., cohercen, "restrain or constrain by force of law or authority," from Old French cohercier, from Latin coercere "to control, restrain, shut up together," from assimilated form of com- "together" (see co-) + arcere "to enclose, confine, contain, ward off," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane). The unetymological -h- was perhaps by influence of cohere. Related: Coerced; coercing. No record of the word between late 15c. and mid-17c.; its reappearance 1650s is perhaps a back-formation from coercion.