1610s as the name of an Italian and Turkish gold coin, from French sequin (17c.), from Italian zecchino, the name of a gold coin minted by the Venetian Republic, from zecca "a mint" (13c.), which is from Arabic sikka "a minting die," hence, by extension, "coined money, coinage."
The meaning "ornamental disc or spangle" is by 1852 in fashion articles, also in descriptions of the attire of women in the Orient, who wore the Venetian coins perforated as earrings or necklaces. The Ladies' Department of "The Genesee Farmer" reports in November 1865 that "Head dresses are all in the Greek style, either fillets of velvet studded with beads, or stars of gilt silver, silver, or steel, or else they are hung with chains of gilt sequins." The past-participle adjective sequined is by 1889.
"devotee," 1889, American English, originally of baseball enthusiasts, probably a shortening of fanatic, but it may be influenced by the fancy, a collective term for followers of a certain hobby or sport (especially boxing); see fancy (n.). There is an isolated use from 1682, but the modern word likely is a late 19c. formation. Fan mail attested from 1920, in a Hollywood context; Fan club attested by 1930.
Before the close of the republic, an enthusiastic partisan of one of the factions in the chariot races flung himself upon the pile on which the body of a favourite coachman was consumed, and perished in the flames. [W.E.H. Lecky, "A History of European Morals," 1869]
late 14c., "laborious, subordinate, appropriate to a servant or to the class of slaves," originally in reference to work that it is forbidden to do on the Sabbath, from Latin servilis "of a slave" (as in Servile Wars, name given to the slave revolts in the late Roman Republic), also "slavish, servile," from servus "slave" (see serve (v.)). Related: Servilely.
By mid-15c. as "of the rank of a servant; of or pertaining to servants;" the sense of "cringing, fawning, mean-spirited, lacking independence" is recorded from c. 1600 The earliest sense in English was Church-legal, servile work being forbidden on the Sabbath. The phrase translates Latin opus servilis, itself a literal translation of the Hebrew words.
"the Indian subcontinent, central Asia south of the Himalayas," formerly sometimes used generally for "Asia;" since 1947 specifically in reference to the Republic of India, Old English India, Indea, from Latin India, from Greek India "region of the Indus River," later used of the region beyond it, from Indos "Indus River," also "an Indian," from Old Persian Hindu, the name for the province of Sind, from Sanskrit sindhu "river."
The more common Middle English form was Ynde or Inde, from Old French (hence Indies). The form India began to prevail again in English from 16c., perhaps under Spanish or Portuguese influence.
late 14c., dictatour, "Roman chief magistrate with absolute authority," from Old French dictator and directly from Latin dictator, agent noun from dictare "say often, prescribe," frequentative of dicere "to say, speak" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").
In Latin, a dictator was a judge in the Roman republic temporarily invested with absolute power; this historical sense was the original one in English. The transferred sense of "absolute ruler, person possessing unlimited powers of government" is from c. 1600; that of "one who has absolute power or authority" of any kind, in any sphere is from 1590s.
1839 in South African English, rant, "rocky ridge overlooking a river valley," from Afrikaans, from Dutch rand "edge, margin, rim," from Proto-Germanic *randaz "edge, rim, crust" (source also of Old English rand "brink, bank," Old High German rant "border or rim of a shield," German Rand "edge, border, margin," Old Norse rönd "shield-rim, shield," Swedish rand "stripe, edge, verge").
As a unit of currency, adopted by the Republic of South Africa in 1961 (see Krugerrand). Johnson's dictionary has rand "Border; seam: as the rand of a woman's shoe." The Old English cognate survived into Middle English as rand "strip or border of land."
"day on which a memorial is made," by 1819, of any anniversary date, especially a religious anniversary; see memorial (adj.). As a specific end-of-May holiday commemorating U.S. war dead, it began informally in the late 1860s and originally commemorated the Northern soldiers killed in the Civil War. It was officially so called by 1869 among veterans' organizations, but Decoration Day also was used. The Grand Army of the Republic, the main veterans' organization in the North, officially designated it Memorial Day by resolution in 1882:
That the Commander-in-Chief be requested to issue a General Order calling the attention of the officers and members of the Grand Army of the Republic, and of the people at large, to the fact that the proper designation of May 30th is Memorial Day and to request that it may be always so called. [Grand Army Blue Book, Philadelphia, 1884]
The South, however, had its own Confederate Memorial Day, and there was some grumbling about the apparent appropriation of the name.
The word "Memorial" was adopted by the Maryland Confederates shortly after the war, and has been generally used throughout the South. It is distinctively Confederate in its origin and use, and I would suggest to all Confederate societies to adhere to it. The Federals' annual day of observance is known as "Decoration Day," having been made so by an act of Congress, and the 30th day of May named as the date. In Maryland there is annually a Decoration Day and a Memorial Day. The two words are expressive not only of the nature of the observance, but also of the people who participate therein. [Confederate Veteran, November 1893]
Italian family that ruled Florence during the 15c., originally the plural of medico "a physician," from Latin medicus (see medical (adj.)). Related: Medicean.
[A]n illustrious family of Florence, appearing first as merchants of the medieval republic, and at the dawn of the Renaissance, in the fifteenth century, raised to supreme power through their liberality and merit. From this time on for three centuries, amid fortunes of varying brilliancy, this family produced popes, sovereigns, and tyrants, and it occupies a large place in the history of Europe. In the fine arts and literature the epithet has particular reference to Cosimo dei Medici, known as Cosimo the Elder, and to Lorenzo the Magnificent. [Century Dictionary]
"of or pertaining to marriage or the wedding ceremony," late 15c., from French nuptial, or directly from Latin nuptialis "pertaining to marriage," from nuptiae "a wedding," from nupta, fem. past participle of nubere "to marry, get married, wed, take as a husband," which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps it is from a PIE root *sneubh- "to marry, wed" (source also of Old Church Slavonic snubiti "to love, woo," Czech snoubiti "to seek in marriage," Slovak zasnubit "to betroth"). De Vaan finds the old theory that the verb nubere is literally "to cover, veil oneself" (as a bride) semantically attractive but unproven (compare Latin obnubere "to veil, cover the head," from nubes "cloud"). Related: Nuptially.
Nuptial number, a number obscurely described at the beginning of the eighth book of the "Republic" of Plato, and said to preside over the generation of men. The number meant may be 864. [Century Dictionary]
c. 1500, "typical, common;" 1640s, in geometry, "standing at a right angle, perpendicular," from Late Latin normalis "in conformity with rule, normal," in classical Latin "made according to a carpenter's square," from norma "rule, pattern," literally "carpenter's square," a word of unknown origin (see norm). Meaning "conforming to common standards or established order or usage, regular, usual" is attested from 1828 but probably is older than the record [Barnhart].
Meaning "heterosexual" is by 1914. As a noun meaning "usual state or condition," from 1890 (in geometry as "a perpendicular" from 1727). Sense of "a normal person or thing" is attested by 1894. Normal school "training college for teachers" (1835) is a translation of French école normale (1794), a creation of the French Republic; the notion is of "serving to set a standard." The U.S. city of Normal, Illinois, was named 1857 for the normal school established there.