early 15c., assercioun, "a declaration, confirmation" from Old French assercion (14c.) or directly from Late Latin assertionem (nominative assertio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin asserere/adserere "to claim, lay claim to, appropriate," from ad "to" (see ad-) + serere "join together, put in a row" (from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up"). By "joining oneself" to a particular view, one "claimed" or "maintained" it. Attested from mid-15c. as "an unsupported statement."
mid-15c., from Middle English astouned, astoned (c. 1300), past participle of astonen, astonien "to stun" (see astonish), with more of the original sense of Vulgar Latin *extonare. The unusual form is perhaps because the past participle was so much more common that it came to be taken for the infinitive, or/and by the same pattern which produced round (v.) from round (adj.), or by the intrusion of an unetymological -d as in sound (n.1). Related: Astounded; astounding.
"very venomous snake of Egypt," 1520s, earlier aspis (mid-14c.), from Old French aspe "asp" (13c.) or directly from Latin aspidem (nominative aspis), from Greek aspis "an asp, Egyptian viper," literally "a round shield;" the serpent so called probably in reference to its neck hood. As to the etymology of the Greek word, Beekes finds that "No remotely convincing suggestions have been made." The name was subsequently applied to the common vipers and adders of Europe, which however are only slightly venomous.
Obsolete in its original sense; the transferred sense of "suffocation, extreme condition caused by lack of oxygen in the blood" is from 1778, but it is a "curious infelicity of etymology" [OED] because victims of suffocation have a pulse for some time after breathing has stopped. Formerly sometimes nativized as asphyxy. Related: Asphyctic; asphyxial.
French astronautique (adj.) had been coined 1927 by "J.H. Rosny," pen name of Belgian-born science fiction writer Joseph Henri Honoré Boex, on model of aéronautique, and Astronaut was used in 1880 as the name of a fictional spaceship by English writer Percy Greg in "Across the Zodiac."
sprinkling ritual of the Catholic church, also an antiphon intoned or sung during this, 1550s, from Late Latin asperges, noun use of second-person singular future indicative of Latin aspergere "to scatter, strew upon, sprinkle," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "to sprinkle" (see sparse).
The word is taken from the phrase Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor, from the 51st Psalm (Vulgate), sung during the rite of sprinkling a congregation with holy water. Old English used onstregdan as a loan-translation of Latin aspergere.
c. 1300, astonien, "to stun, strike senseless," from Old French estoner "to stun, daze, deafen, astound," from Vulgar Latin *extonare, from Latin ex "out" (see ex-) + tonare "to thunder" (see thunder (n.)); so, literally "to leave someone thunderstruck." The modern form (influenced by English verbs in -ish, such as distinguish, diminish) is attested from 1520s. The meaning "amaze, shock with wonder" is from 1610s.
No wonder is thogh that she were astoned [Chaucer, "Clerk's Tale"]
Related: Astonished; astonishing.
late 14c., an astrological term, "relative position of the planets as they appear from earth" (i.e., how they "look at" one another); also "one of the ways of viewing something," from Latin aspectus "a seeing, looking at, sight, view; countenance; appearance," from past participle of aspicere "to look at, look upon, behold; observe, examine," figuratively "consider, ponder," from ad "to" (see ad-) + specere "to look" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").
The meanings "the look one wears" and "the appearance of things" are attested by early 15c. The sense of "a facing in a given direction" is from 1660s.