Etymology
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tea party (n.)

1772, from tea + party (n.). Political references to tea party all trace to the Boston tea party of 1773 (the name seems to date from 1824), in which radicals in Massachusetts colony boarded British ships carrying tea and threw the product into Boston Harbor in protest against the home government's taxation policies. It has been a model for libertarian political actions in the U.S. (generally symbolic), including citizen gatherings begun in early 2009 to protest government spending.

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maulstick (n.)

"light stick used by painters to support the painting hand," 1650s, from Dutch maalstok, literally "painting stick," from mallen "to paint," from Proto-Germanic *mal- (source also of Old Norse mæla, Old High German malon "trace, draw, paint," German malen "to paint"), from mal "spot, mark, stain," perhaps from the same root as Greek melas "black" (see melano-), but the original sense is not color but marking. With stock "stick" (see stock (n.1)).

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smack (n.1)

"a taste, flavor, savor" especially a slight flavor that suggests something, Middle English smakke, from Old English smæc "taste; scent, odor," from Proto-Germanic *smakka- (source also of Old Frisian smek, Middle Dutch smæck, Dutch smaak, Old High German smac, German Geschmack, Swedish smak, Danish smag), from verb *smakjanan, from a Germanic and Baltic root meaning "to taste" (source also of Lithuanian smaguriai "dainties," smagus "pleasing").

The transferred meaning "a trace (of something)" is attested from 1530s.

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tang (n.)

mid-14c., "serpent's tongue" (thought to be a stinging organ), later "sharp extension of a metal blade" (1680s), from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse tangi "spit of land; pointed end by which a blade is driven into a handle," from Proto-Germanic *tang-, from PIE *denk- "to bite" (see tongs). Influenced in some senses by tongue (n.). Figurative sense of "a sharp taste" is first recorded mid-15c.; that of "suggestion, trace" is from 1590s. The fish (1734) so called for their spines.

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tract (n.1)

"area," mid-15c., "period or lapse of time," from Latin tractus "track, course, space, duration," lit, "a drawing out or pulling," from stem of trahere "to pull, draw," from PIE root *tragh- "to draw, drag, move" (source also of Slovenian trag "trace, track," Middle Irish tragud "ebb;" perhaps with a variant form *dhragh-; see drag (v.)). The meaning "stretch of land or water" is first recorded 1550s. Specific U.S. sense of "plot of land for development" is recorded from 1912; tract housing attested from 1953.

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caramel (n.)

1725, "burnt sugar," from French caramel "burnt sugar" (17c.), from Old Spanish caramel (modern caramelo), which is of uncertain origin, probably ultimately from Medieval Latin cannamellis, which is traditionally from Latin canna (see cane (n.)) + mellis, genitive of mel "honey" (from PIE root *melit- "honey"). But some give the Medieval Latin word an Arabic origin, or trace it to Latin calamus "reed, cane."

The word was being used by 1884 of a dark-colored creamy candy and by 1909 as a color-name.

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describe (v.)

mid-13c., descriven, "interpret, explain," a sense now obsolete; c. 1300, "represent orally or by writing," from Old French descrivre, descrire (13c.) and directly from Latin describere "to write down, copy; sketch, represent," from de "down" (see de-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").

From late 14c. as "form or trace by motion;" c. 1400 as "delineate or mark the form or figure of, outline." Reconstructed with Latin spelling from c. 1450. Related: Described, describes, describing.

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hegemony (n.)

1560s, "preponderance, dominance, leadership," originally of predominance of one city state or another in Greek history; from Greek hēgemonia "leadership, a leading the way, a going first;" also "the authority or sovereignty of one city-state over a number of others," as Athens in Attica, Thebes in Boeotia; from hēgemon "leader, an authority, commander, sovereign," from hēgeisthai "to lead," perhaps originally "to track down," from PIE *sag-eyo-, from root *sag- "to seek out, track down, trace" (see seek). In reference to modern situations from 1850, at first of Prussia in relation to other German states.

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foil (v.1)

c. 1300, foilen "to spoil a trace or scent by running over it" (more commonly defoilen), irregularly from Old French foler, fuler "trample on, injure, maim; ill-treat, deceive, get the better of" (13c., Modern French fouler), from Vulgar Latin *fullare "to clean cloth" (by treading on it), from Latin fullo "one who cleans cloth, a fuller," which is of unknown origin. Compare full (v.).

Hence, "to overthrow, defeat" (1540s; as a noun in this sense from late 15c.); "frustrate the efforts of" (1560s). Related: Foiled; foiling. Foiled again! as a cry of defeat and dismay is from at least 1847.

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Afghan 

native or inhabitant of Afghanistan, 1784, properly only the Durani Afghans; a name of uncertain origin. It is first attested in Arabic in al-'Utbi's "History of Sultan Mahmud" written c.1030 C.E. and was in use in India from 13c. Old Afghan chronicles trace the name to a legendary Afghana, son of Jeremiah, son of Israelite King Saul, from whom they claimed descent.

In English, attested from 1833 as a type of blanket or wrap (short for Afghan shawl); by 1877 as a type of carpet; by 1895 as a breed of hunting dog; by 1973 as a style of sheepskin coat.

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