Etymology
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acrylic (adj.)

1843, "of or containing acryl," the name of a radical derived from acrolein (1843), the name of a liquid in onions and garlic that makes eyes tear, from Latin acer "sharp" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + olere "to smell" (see odor) + -in (see -ine (2)). With adjectival suffix -ic. Modern senses often short for acrylic fiber, acrylic resin, etc.

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slat (n.)

late 14c., earlier sclat (c. 1300), "a roofing slate, a thin, flat stone," from Old French esclat "split piece, chip, splinter" (Modern French éclat), back-formation from esclater "to break, splinter, burst," probably from Frankish *slaitan "to tear, slit" or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German slizan, Old English slitan; see slit (v.)). Meaning "long, thin, narrow piece of wood or metal" attested from 1764.

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destruction (n.)

c. 1300, destruccioun "ruin;" early 14c., "act of destroying, devastation; state of being destroyed," from Old French destruction (12c.) and directly from Latin destructionem (nominative destructio) "a pulling down, destruction," noun of action from past-participle stem of destruere "tear down, demolish," literally "un-build," from de "un-, down" (see de-) + struere "to pile, build" (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- "to spread"). Meaning "cause of destruction" is from late 14c.

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spastic (adj.)

1744, in medicine, "pertaining or relating to spasm; spasmodic," from Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos "afflicted with spasms," also "pulling in, slurping in;" etymologically "drawing, pulling, stretching," from span "to draw (a sword, etc.), pull out, pluck; tear away, drag; suck in; slurp down; contract violently" (see spasm (n.)).

The noun meaning "a person affected with spastic paralysis" is attested from 1896, used insultingly by 1960s. Related: Spastically; spasticity.

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lacrymatory (n.)

"small, slender glass vessel," of a type found in ancient sepulchers, 1650s, from Medieval Latin lacrimatorium, noun use of neuter of adjective lacrimatorius "pertaining to tears," from Latin lacrima "a tear" (see lachrymose). "It seems established that in some of them, at least, the tears of friends were collected to be buried with the dead" [Century Dictionary]. As an adjective 1849; the older adjective is lacrymary "designed to contain tears" (1705).

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rife (adj.)

Old English rife "abundant, of common occurrence, prevalent," often of hurtful or obnoxious things, from Proto-Germanic *rif- (source also of Old Norse rifr, Swedish river, Norwegian riv, Middle Dutch riif, Middle Low German rive "abundant, generous"), said to be from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut." "The prevalence of the word in early southern texts is in favour of its being native in English, rather than an adoption from Scandinavian." [OED]

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spasm (n.)

late 14c., "sudden violent muscular contraction," from Old French spasme (13c.) and directly from Latin spasmus "a spasm," from Greek spasmos "a spasm, convulsion; wincing; violent movement," from span "draw (a sword, etc.), pull out, pluck; tear away, drag; suck in; slurp down; contract violently," which is perhaps from a PIE *(s)peh- "to draw, set in motion (violently)," hence "to stretch." The figurative sense of "a sudden convulsion" (of emotion, politics, etc.) is attested by 1817.

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cleft (n.)

1570s, alteration (by influence of cleft, new weak past participle of cleave (v.1)), of Middle English clift "fissure, rift, space or opening made by cleaving" (early 14c.), from Old English geclyft (adj.) "split, cloven," from Proto-Germanic *kluftis (compare Old High German chluft, German Kluft, Danish kløft "cleft, fissure, gap"), from PIE root *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave." In Middle English anatomy, it meant "the parting of the thighs" (early 14c.).

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abscissa (n.)
Origin and meaning of abscissa

1798 in Latin form, earlier Englished as abscisse (1690s), from Latin abscissa, short for abscissa (linea) "(a line) cut off," or (recta ex diametro) abscissa "(a line) cut off (from the diameter)," fem. of abscissus "cut off," past participle of abscindere "to cut off, divide, part, separate," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + scindere "to cut, rend, tear asunder, split; split up, part, divide, separate" (from PIE *skind-, from root *skei- "to cut, split"). The Latin word translates Greek apolambanomene.

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clove (n.2)

"slice or small bulb forming together a large bulb, as of garlic," Old English clufu "clove (of garlic), bulb, tuber," from Proto-Germanic *klubo "cleft, thing cloven" (source also of Old High German chlobo, Old Norse klofi), from PIE root *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave."

Its Germanic cognates mostly lurk in compounds that translate as "clove-leek," such as Old Saxon clufloc, Old High German chlobilouh. Dissimilation produced Dutch knoflook, German Knoblauch.

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