Etymology
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optative (n.)

mid-15c., optatif, "the optative mood," in grammar, a form of a verb expressing wish or desire, from Old French optatif (15c.), from Late Latin optativus, from Latin optatus "wished, desired, longed for," past participle of optare "to choose, wish, desire" (see option). Also mid-15c. as an adjective, "expressing wish or desire by a distinct grammatical form." The general adjectival sense of "expressing or expressive of desire or wish" is by 1610s.

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denominative (adj.)

1610s, "having the quality of naming," from Late Latin denominativus, from Latin denominat-, past-participle stem of denominare "to name," from de- "completely" (see de-) + nominare "to name," from nomen "name" (from PIE root *no-men- "name"). Of words, "constituting a distinct appellation," 1630s. As a noun, 1580s, "that which denominates or describes;" in grammar, 1630s, "word formed or derived from a noun."

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metathesis (n.)

1570s, in grammar, "transposition of letters in a word;" c. 1600, "rhetorical transposition of words," from Late Latin metathesis, from Greek metathesis "change of position, transposition, change of opinion," from stem of metatithenai "to transpose," from meta "change" (see meta-) + tithenai "to place, to set," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Plural is metatheses. Related: Metathetic; metathetical.

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recessive (adj.)

1670s, "tending to recede, going backward," from Latin recess-, past-participle stem of recedere "to go back, fall back" (see recede) + -ive. Linguistics sense in ancient Greek grammar is from 1879; in genetics, of a hereditary trait present but not perceptibly expressed in the individual organism, 1900, from German recessiv (Mendel, 1865). Related: Recessively; recessiveness.

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floccinaucinihilipilification (n.)

"action or habit of estimating as worthless," in popular smarty-pants use from c. 1963; attested 1741 (in a letter by William Shenstone, published 1769), a combination of four Latin words (flocci, nauci, nihili, pili) all signifying "at a small price" or "for nothing," which appeared together in a rule of the well-known Eton Latin Grammar + Latin-derived suffix -fication "making, causing."

[F]or whatever the world might esteem in poor Somervile, I really find, upon critical enquiry, that I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money. [Shenstone, letter, 1741]

The kind of jocular formation that was possible among educated men in Britain in those days. Just so, as in praesenti, the opening words of the mnemonic lines on conjugation in Lilley's 16c. Latin grammar, could stand alone as late as 19c. and be understood to mean "rudiments of Latin."

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elide (v.)

1590s, a legal term, "to annul, do away with," from French elider (16c.), from Latin elidere "strike out, force out," in grammar "suppress (a vowel)" from ex "out" (see ex-) + -lidere, combining form of laedere "to strike" (see collide). The Latin word in grammatical use translates Greek ekthlibein. Phonological sense "slurring over a sound or part of a word" in English is first recorded 1796. Related: Elided; eliding.

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definitive (adj.)

late 14c., "ending, determining, conclusive," from Old French definitif (12c.), from Latin definitivus "explanatory, definitive," in Late Latin "definite," from definit-, past-participle stem of definire "to limit, determine, explain," from de "completely" (see de-) + finire "to bound, limit," from finis "boundary, end" (see finish (v.)). As a noun, in grammar, "a defining or limiting word," by 1751. Related: Definitively; definitiveness.

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self-addressed (adj.)

by 1865, "addressed to oneself;" by 1880, of envelopes, "with the address written on it by the intended recipient" (often with stamped); see self- + address (v.).

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]
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deponent (adj.)

mid-15c., originally in Latin grammar (of verbs passive in form but active in sense), from Latin deponentem "putting down or aside," present participle of deponere "lay aside, put down, deposit," also used of births and bets, from de "away" (see de-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position (n.)). As a noun, "a deponent verb," 1520s; as "one who makes a deposition," especially under oath, from 1540s.

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prothesis (n.)

a Greek word used in various senses in English; from Greek prothesis "a putting, a placing before, a placing in public," from pro "before" (see pro-) + thesis "a placing" (from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). In the ecclesiastical sense ("preparation of the eucharistic elements before the liturgy in the Greek Church") from 1670s; grammatical sense ("addition of one or more sounds or letters at the beginning of a word") is by 1870. Related: Prothetic (1835 in grammar); prothetical; prothetically.

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