Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to lead, pass over." A verbal root associated with *per- (1), which forms prepositions and preverbs with the basic meaning "forward, through; in front of, before," etc.
It forms all or part of: aporia; asportation; comport; deport; disport; emporium; Euphrates; export; fare; farewell; fartlek; Ferdinand; fere; fern; ferry; firth; fjord; ford; Fuhrer; gaberdine; import; important; importune; opportune; opportunity; passport; porch; pore (n.) "minute opening;" port (n.1) "harbor;" port (n.2) "gateway, entrance;" port (n.3) "bearing, mien;" port (v.) "to carry;" portable; portage; portal; portcullis; porter (n.1) "person who carries;" porter (n.2) "doorkeeper, janitor;" portfolio; portico; portiere; purport; practical; rapport; report; sport; support; transport; warfare; wayfarer; welfare.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit parayati "carries over;" Greek poros "journey, passage, way," peirein "to pierce, pass through, run through;" Latin portare "to carry," porta "gate, door," portus "port, harbor," originally "entrance, passage," peritus "experienced;" Avestan peretush "passage, ford, bridge;" Armenian hordan "go forward;" Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd "ford;" Old Church Slavonic pariti "to fly;" Old English faran "to go, journey," Old Norse fjörðr "inlet, estuary."
In some senses the English word is a back-formation from initiation. Related: Initiated; initiates; initiating; initiator.
Transitive and intransitive in Latin; in French intransitive only. From c. 1300 in English as "join or engage in: (an activity);" late 14c. as "penetrate," also "have sexual intercourse" (with a woman);" also "make an entry in a record or list," also "assume the duties" (of office, etc.). Related: Entered; entering.
type of strong, sweet white wine, c. 1400, from Provençal malmesie or Middle Dutch malemesye, both from Medieval Latin malmasia, from Medieval Greek Monembasia "Monemvasia," a town in the southern Peloponnesus that was an important center of wine production in the Middle Ages. The town is joined to the mainland by a causeway, and its name is literally "(town of the) one entrance," from monos "alone, only" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + embasis "entering into," from en- "in" + basis "a going, a stepping, a base" (see basis).
vpon that hyll is a cyte called Mal[v]asia, where first grewe Malmasye and yet dothe; howbeit hit groweth nowe more plentuously in Cadia and Modona, and no where ellys. [Sir Richard Guylforde, "Pylgrymage," 1506]
The wine later was made in the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands, but the name remained. Another form of it in Middle English was malvesy, from Old French malvesie, from Italian malvasia, the Italian form of the Greek town name.
1620s, "uttered by the mouth or in words;" 1650s, "of or pertaining to the mouth," from Late Latin oralis, from Latin os (genitive oris) "mouth, opening, face, entrance," from PIE *os- "mouth" (source also of Sanskrit asan "mouth," asyam "mouth, opening," Avestan ah-, Hittite aish, Middle Irish a "mouth," Old Norse oss "mouth of a river," Old English or "beginning, origin, front").
Os was the usual word for "mouth" in Latin, but as the vowel distinction was lost it became similar in sound to os "bone" (see osseous). Thus bucca, originally "cheek" but used colloquially as "mouth," became the usual word for "mouth" (see bouche).
The psychological meaning "of the mouth as the focus of infantile sexual energy" (as in oral fixation) is attested from 1910. The sex-act sense is first recorded 1948, in Kinsey. As a noun, "oral examination," attested from 1876. Related: Orally (c. 1600); orality.
late 13c., "a beginning, act or fact of coming into existence," from Old French comencement "beginning, start" (Modern French commencement), from comencier "to begin, to start" (see commence).
Meaning "school graduation ceremony" attested by 1850, American English, originally in colleges, in reference to the ceremonies by which members of the graduating class are made ("begin to be") bachelors, masters, etc. (commencement in the sense of "entrance upon the privileges of a master or doctor in a university" is from late 14c.) ; thence extended to graduation ceremonies of academies and lower schools.
I know what you are thinking of — the class members grouped in a semicircle on the stage, the three scared boys in new ready-made black suits, the seventeen pretty girls in fluffy white dresses (the gowns of the year), each senior holding a ribbon-tied manuscript bulging with thoughts on "Beyond the Alps Lies Italy," "Our Ship is Launched — Whither Shall it Sail?" and similar topics. [Charles Moreau Harger, "The Real Commencement," New Outlook, May 8, 1909]
1540s, "tending to make peace, concillatory," from French pacifique, from Latin pacificus "peaceful, peace-making," from pax (genitive pacis) "peace" (see peace) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Meaning "peaceful, characterized by peace or calm" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Pacifical (mid-15c., "of a peaceful nature"); pacifically.
Pacific, making or desiring to make peace; peaceable, desiring to be at peace, free from the disposition to quarrel; peaceful, in a state of peace. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
The Pacific Ocean (1660 in English) was famously so called in 1519 by Magellan when he sailed into it and found it calmer than the stormy Atlantic, or at least calmer than he expected it to be. According to an original account of the voyage by an Italian named Pigafetta, who was among the adventurers, Magellan gave the entrance to what Pigafetta calls "the South Sea" the Latin name Mare Pacificum. The U.S. Pacific Northwest is so called by 1889.
c. 1300, "made of gold," from gold (n.) + -en (2); replacing Middle English gilden, from Old English gyldan. Gold is one of the few Modern English nouns that form adjectives meaning "made of ______" by adding -en (as in wooden, leaden, waxen, olden); those that survive often do so in specialized senses. Old English also had silfren "made of silver," stænen "made of stone," etc.
From late 14c. as "of the color of gold." Figurative sense of "excellent, precious, best, most valuable" is from late 14c.; that of "favorable, auspicious" is from c. 1600. Golden mean "avoidance of excess" translates Latin aurea mediocritas (Horace). Golden age "period of past perfection" is from 1550s, from a concept found in Greek and Latin writers; in sense of "old age" it is recorded from 1961. San Francisco Bay's entrance channel was called the Golden Gate by John C. Fremont (1866). The moralistic golden rule earlier was the golden law (1670s).
Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them [Matthew vii.12]
Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. [George Bernard Shaw, 1898]
"a bay, cove, inlet, or recess of a large body of water where vessels can load and unload and find shelter from storms; a harbor, whether natural or artificial," Old English port "a port, harbor, a place where there is a constant resort of vessels for the purpose of loading and unloading;" also "a town, market town, city," reinforced by Old French port "harbor, port; mountain pass." The Old English and Old French words both are from Latin portus "a port, harbor," figuratively "haven, place of refuge, asylum" (in Old Latin also "a house;" in Late Latin also "a warehouse"), originally "an entrance, a passage," akin to porta "a city gate, a gate, a door" (from PIE *prtu- "a going, a passage," suffixed form of root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over").
[I]in law, a place where persons and merchandise are allowed to pass into and out of the realm and at which customs officers are stationed for the purpose of inspecting or appraising imported goods. In this sense a port may exist on the frontier, where the foreign communication is by land. [Century Dictionary]
The figurative sense "place, position, or condition of refuge" is attested in English from early 15c.; phrase any port in a storm, indicating "any refuge is welcomed in adversity," is by 1749. A port of call (1810) is one paid a scheduled visit by a vessel in the course of its voyage. The verb meaning "to carry or bring into a port" is by 1610s.