crystallized pyrite, early 15c., originally in medicine and alchemy, from Medieval Latin marchasita (c. 1200 in translations from Arabic), from Arabic marqashīthā "iron sulfide" (though OED doubts this), attested from 9c.; perhaps ultimately from Persian marquashisha [Klein]. "This name has been used for a number of substances but mainly for iron pyrites and especially for the crystalline forms used in the 18th century for ornaments." [Flood]
late 14c., basken "to wallow" (especially in warm water or blood, of unknown etymology. The Middle English Compendium rejects the derivation from Old Norse baðask "to bathe oneself" (with loss of middle syllable), reflexive of baða "bathe" (see bathe) + Proto-Germanic *-sik "one's self" (source also of German sich; see -sk).
Meaning "soak up a flood of warmth" is apparently due to Shakespeare's use of the word in reference to sunshine in "As You Like It" (1600). Related: Basked; basking.
in chemistry, word-forming element used to form the names of salts from acids in -ic; from Latin -atus, -atum, suffix used in forming adjectives and thence nouns; identical with -ate (1).
The substance formed, for example, by the action of acetic acid (vinegar) on lead was described in the 18th century as plumbum acetatum, i.e. acetated lead. Acetatum was then taken as a noun meaning "the acetated (product)," i.e. acetate. [W.E. Flood, "The Origins of Chemical Names," London, 1963]
"propel (a vessel) with oars or paddles," Middle English rouen (mid-14c.), from Old English rowan (intrans.) "go by water, row" (class VII strong verb; past tense reow, past participle rowen), from Proto-Germanic *ro- (source also of Old Norse roa, Dutch roeien, West Frisian roeije, Middle High German rüejen), from PIE root *ere- "to row." The figurative phrase row against the flood "attempt what is difficult" is from mid-12c. The muscle-building rowing-machine is attested by 1848.
greenish-blue precious stone, 1560s, from French, replacing Middle English turkeis, turtogis (late 14c.), from Old French fem. adjective turqueise "Turkish," in pierre turqueise "Turkish stone," so called because it was first brought to Europe from Turkestan or some other Turkish dominion. Cognate with Spanish turquesa, Medieval Latin (lapis) turchesius, Middle Dutch turcoys, German türkis, Swedish turkos. As an adjective, 1570s. As a color name, attested from 1853. "Chemically it is a hydrated phosphate of aluminum and copper" [Flood].
general name for a group of organic compounds consisting of carbon atoms in multiples of 6 and hydrogen and oxygen in the proportion of water, 1851, from carbo-, combining form of carbon, + hydrate (n.), denoting compound produced when certain substances combine with water, from Greek hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet").
The name carbohydrate was given to these compounds because, in composition, they are apparently hydrates of carbon. In structure, however, they are far more complex. [Flood]
early 15c., surrounden, "to flood, overflow," from Anglo-French surounder, Old French soronder, suronder "to overflow, abound; surpass, dominate," from Late Latin superundare "overflow," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + undare "to flow in waves," from unda "wave" (from PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet;" compare abound). Sense of "to shut in on all sides" first recorded 1610s, influenced by figurative meaning in French of "dominate," and by sound association with round, which also influenced the spelling of the English word from 17c. Related: Surrounded; surrounding.
hydrocarbon radical occurring in many compounds, 1835, from French méthylène (1834), coined by Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas (1800-1884) and Eugène-Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek methy "wine" (see mead (n.1)) + hylē "wood" (which is of uncertain etymology) + Greek name-forming element -ene. So called because it was detected in wood alcohol.
"The breakdown of methylene into methyl and -ene, and the identification of the last syllable of methyl with the general suffix -yl, led to the use of meth- as a separate combining-element, as, for example, in methane, methacrylic" [Flood]. The color methylene-blue (1880) was derived from dimethylanaline.
"disaster," 1848, from French débâcle "downfall, collapse, disaster" (17c.), a figurative use, literally "breaking up (of ice on a river) in consequence of a rise in the water," extended to the violent flood that follows when the river ice melts in spring; from débâcler "to free," earlier desbacler "to unbar," from des- "off" (see dis-) + bacler "to bar," from Vulgar Latin *bacculare, from Latin baculum "stick" (see bacillus).
The literal sense is attested in English from 1802, in geology, to explain the landscapes left by the ice ages. Figurative sense of "disaster" was present in French before English borrowed the word.