"process of reasoning, mental process of passing from the cognition of premises to the cognition of the conclusion," 1520s, from Latin ratiocinationem (nominative ratiocinatio) "a reasoning, calm reasoning," noun of action from past-participle stem of ratiocinari "to reckon, compute, calculate; to deliberate, meditate; to reason, argue, infer." This is a compound of ratio "reckoning, calculation," also "judgment, reason" (see ratio) + -cinari, which probably is related to conari "to endeavor, to try," from PIE *kona-, from root *ken- "to hasten, set oneself in motion" (see deacon).
Most writers make ratiocination synonymous with reasoning. J.S. Mill and others hold that the word is usually limited to necessary reasoning. [Century Dictionary]
late 14c., "peaceable, being in a state of rest, restful, tranquil, not moving or agitated," from Old French quiet and directly from Latin quietus "calm, at rest, free from exertion," from quies (genitive quietis) "rest" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet").
From 1510s as "peaceable, not turbulent, characterized by absence of commotion." By 1590s as "making no noise." From 1570s as "private, secret." As an adverb from 1570s. Quiet American, frequently meaning a U.S. undercover agent or spy, is from the title of Graham Greene's 1955 novel. Related: Quietly; quietness.
mid-14c., "fact of being present, state of being in a certain place and not some other," also "space before or around someone or something," from Old French presence (12c., Modern French présence), from Latin praesentia "a being present," from praesentem (see present (adj.)).
From late 14c. as "state of being face to face with a superior or great personage." The meaning "carriage, demeanor, aspect" (especially if impressive) is from 1570s; that of "divine, spiritual, or incorporeal being felt as present" is from 1660s. Presence of mind (1660s) "calm, collected state of mind, with the faculties ready at command," is a loan-translation of French présence d'esprit, Latin praesentia animi.
In Middle English, used of the weather. Current sense of "easily flexible" is from c. 1300. Related: Litheness. Old and Middle English had the related verb lin "to cease doing (something)," also used of the wind dying down.
Smooth-bore in reference to guns is from 1812. smooth talk (v.) is recorded from 1950. A 1599 dictionary has smoothboots "a flatterer, a faire spoken man, a cunning tongued fellow." The usual Old English form was smeðe, and there is a dialectal smeeth found in places names, such as Smithfield, Smedley.
1550s, "kind of low shoe or slipper without fasteners, for wearing indoors," a word of unknown origin, perhaps echoic of the sound made when walking in them, or perhaps from Dutch pampoesje, from Javanese pampoes, which is said to be of Arabic origin. Klein's sources propose a connection with pomp (n.). Related: pumps.
The word soon was applied to a shoe of the same character, with a very low heel, convenient in situations where freedom of movement was required, thus favored by "dancers, couriers, acrobats, duellists, etc." [OED]. The 19c. phrase keep your toes in your pump was dialectal for "stay calm, keep quiet, don't get excited."
"long wooden lever for propelling a boat," Middle English or, from Old English ar, from Proto-Germanic *airo (source also of Old Norse ar, Danish aare, Swedish åra), a word of unknown origin. Apparently unrelated to the IE root that is the source of Latin remus "oar," Greek eretēs "rower," eretmos "oar," English row (v.) and rudder. As "oar-like appendage of an animal," 1580s.
A long oar, used occasionally to assist a vessel in a calm, is a sweep, and is operated by two or more men. Small oars are sculls; one rower wielding a pair, sitting midlength of the thwart. ["Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary," 1884]
late 14c. (early 14c. as an Anglo-French surname), "calm, settled;" of persons, "sober, grave, serious," from an Anglo-French extended form of Old French meur "mature, fully grown, ripe," hence "discreet" (Modern French mûr), from Latin maturus "mature" (see mature (v.)). The de- in this word is of uncertain meaning and origin. Barnhart suggests the Anglo-French word is from Old French demore, past participle of demorer "to stay," and influenced by meur. Klein suggests Old French de (bon) murs "of good manners," from murs (Modern French moeurs).
Now usually meaning "affectedly decorous, reserved, or coy" (1690s). Related: Demurely; demureness.