"put a ring on" (late 14c.); "make a circle around" (c. 1500); from ring (n.1) and probably in part from Old English ymbhringan "surround, encircle," from the root of ring (n.1). Related: Ringed; ringing. Compare Frisian ringje, Middle Dutch and Dutch ringen, Old High German ringan, German ringen, Old Norse hringa, hringja.
The intransitive sense of "gather in a ring" is attested by mid-15c. The sense of "provide or attach a ring or rings, affix a ring to" is from late 14c.; that of "adorn with rings" is from 1550s. The meaning "move in a circle around" is from 1825. The meaning "cut out a ring of bark from (a tree) to obstruct the flow of sap" is by 1800. It also meant "put a ring in the nose of (swine, cattle) to keep them from rooting or violence" (1510s), and this was used figuratively in 17c.-18c.
I apprehend also, that the wife, when she found she was to be rung, very wisely made a virtue of necessity, and added jewels to the ring .... ["Adam Fitz-Adam," "The World," Edinburgh, 1776]
"pressed close together, compacted in regular lines," 1667 (in "Paradise Lost"), probably a past-participle adjective from serry "to press close together" (1580s), a military term, from French serre "close, compact" (12c.), past participle of serrer "press close, fasten," from Vulgar Latin *serrare "to bolt, lock up," from Latin sera "a bolt, bar, cross-bar." It would be a parallel verb, based on a noun, to classical Latin serere "attach, join; arrange, line up," and, presumably, like it, from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up."
Later use of serried is due to Scott, who linked it with phalanx.
The stubborn spearmen still made good
Their dark impenetrable wood,
Each stepping where his comrade stood,
The instant that he fell.
No thought was there of dastard fight ;
Link'd in the serried phalanx tight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,
As fearlessly and well ;
[from "Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field"]
late 14c., "set (one's eyes or mind) on something" (a figurative use), probably from Old French verb *fixer, from fixe "fixed," from Latin fixus "fixed, fast, immovable; established, settled," past-participle adjective from figere "to fix, fasten, drive, thrust in; pierce through, transfix," also figurative, from PIE root *dheigw- "to pierce, stick in;" hence "to fix, fasten."
Sense of "fasten, attach" is c. 1400; that of "to make (colors, etc.) fast or permanent" is from 1660s. The meaning "settle, assign" evolved into "adjust, arrange" (1660s), then "to repair" (1737), but this sometimes was objected to (see below). Sense of "tamper with" (a fight, a jury, etc.) is from 1790. As euphemism for "castrate a pet" it dates from 1930. Related: Fixed; fixing.
To fix is to make fast, or permanent; to set immoveably, &c.: hence, to fix a watch, is to stop it, or prevent it from 'going;' which, it must be admitted, is a very unsatisfactory mode of repairing that article. [Seth T. Hurd, "A Grammatical Corrector; or, Vocabulary of the Common Errors of Speech," 1847]
c. 1300, fysike, phisike, "a healing potion;" early 14c., "natural science;" mid-14c. "healthful regimen;" late 14c., "the art of healing, medical science or theory;" from Old French fisike "natural science, art of healing" (12c.) and directly from Latin physica (fem. singular of physicus) "study of nature," from Greek physikē (epistēmē) "(knowledge) of nature," from fem. of physikos "pertaining to nature," from physis "nature," from phyein "to bring forth, produce, make to grow" (related to phyton "growth, plant," phylē "tribe, race," phyma "a growth, tumor") from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."
The English spelling with ph- is attested from late 14c. (see ph). The meaning "medicine that acts as a laxative" is from 1610s. The obsolete verb meaning "to dose with medicine, administer medical treatment to" is attested from late 14c. (phisiken).
Physics, in Aristotle, is the science of what the Greeks called 'phusis' (or 'physis'), a word which is translated "nature", but has not exactly the meaning which we attach to that word. ... 'Phusis' has to do with growth; one might say it is the 'nature' of an acorn to grow into an oak, and in that case one would be using the word in the Aristotelian sense. The 'nature' of a thing, Aristotle says, is its end, that for the sake of which it exists. [Bertrand Russell, "History of Western Philosophy"]