late 14c., "barb of an arrow," from Old French barbe "beard, beard-like appendage" (11c.), from Latin barba "beard," from Proto-Italic *farfa- "beard," which might be from a common PIE root *bhardhā- "beard" (source also of Old Church Slavonic brada, Russia boroda, Lithuanian barzda, Old Prussian bordus), but according to De Vaan the vowel "rather points to a non-IE borrowing into the European languages."
1701, especially with reference to the system of Hebrew vowel points first established by the Masora (also Massorah), "the tradition by which Jewish scholars endeavor to fix the correct text of the Old Testament and preserve it from corruption," also "a book or marginal notes which preserve the results of the effort," from Hebrew, literally "tradition." One who studies Masora is a Masorete (1580s) or Masorite.
before a vowel, anthrop-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to man or human beings," from Greek anthrōpos "man; human being" (including women), as opposed to the gods, from andra (genitive andros), Attic form of Greek anēr "man" (as opposed to a woman, a god, or a boy), from PIE root *ner- (2) "man," also "vigorous, vital, strong."
Anthropos sometimes is explained as a compound of anēr and ops (genitive opos) "eye, face;" so literally "he who has the face of a man." The change of -d- to -th- is difficult to explain; perhaps it is from some lost dialectal variant, or the mistaken belief that there was an aspiration sign over the vowel in the second element (as though *-dhropo-), which mistake might have come about by influence of common verbs such as horao "to see." But Beekes writes, "As no IE explanation has been found, the word is probably of substrate origin."
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.
"to soak stems of fibrous plants (flax, hemp, jute, etc.) to soften them," mid-15c., probably from Middle Dutch roten (or an unrecorded cognate Old Norse word that is related to Norwegian røyta, Swedish röta, Danish røde); the group is considered to be related to Old English rotian "to rot" (see rot (v.)), but the vowel is difficult. The process partially rots the stems so the workers may better get the fibers.
early 14c., "alphabetic element other than a vowel," from Latin consonantem (nominative consonans) "sounding together, agreeing," as a noun, "a consonant" (consonantem littera), present participle of consonare "to sound together, sound aloud," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + sonare "to sound, make a noise" (from PIE root *swen- "to sound").
Consonants were thought of as sounds that are produced only together with vowels. Related: Consonantal.
suffix used to form the present participles of verbs and the adjectives derived from them, from Old English present-participle suffix -ende, from PIE *-nt- (cognates: German -end, Gothic -and, Sanskrit -ant, Greek -on, Latin -ans, -ens). The vowel weakened in late Old English and the spelling with -g began 13c.-14c. among Anglo-Norman scribes who naturally confused it with -ing (1).
"one of the external openings of the nose, a nasal orifice," late 14c., nostrille, from Old English nosþyrl, nosðirl, literally "the hole of the nose," from nosu "nose" (from PIE root *nas- "nose") + þyrel "hole" (from PIE root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome"). For metathesis of -r- and vowel, see wright. After the second element became obsolete as an independent, its form was corrupted in the compound.