Etymology
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polymath (n.)

"person of various learning," 1620s, from Greek polymathēs "having learned much, knowing much," from polys "much" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + root of manthanein "to learn" (from PIE root *mendh- "to learn"). Related: Polymathy "acquaintance with many branches of learning" (1640s, from Greek polymathia "much learning"); polymathic.

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seance (n.)

1789, "a sitting, a session," as of a learned society, originally in French contexts, from French séance "a sitting," from seoir "to sit," from Latin sedere "to sit" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"). Meaning "spiritualistic session in which intercourse is alleged to be held with ghosts of the dead" is recorded by 1845.

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cunning (adj.)

early 14c., conning, "learned, skillful, possessing knowledge," present participle of connen, cunnen "to know," from Old English cunnan (see can (v.1)), from PIE root *gno- "to know." Also compare cun (v.). Sense of "skillfully deceitful, characterized by crafty ingenuity" is probably by late 14c. Related: Cunningly.

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natal (adj.)

late 14c., "of or pertaining to birthdays;" mid-15c., "of or pertaining to one's birth," from Latin natalis "pertaining to birth or origin," from natus, past participle of nasci "to be born" (Old Latin gnasci), from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget." It is the learned form of Noel, which was the French vernacular word.

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learn (v.)

Old English leornian "to get knowledge, be cultivated; study, read, think about," from Proto-Germanic *lisnojanan (cognates: Old Frisian lernia, Middle Dutch leeren, Dutch leren, Old High German lernen, German lernen "to learn," Gothic lais "I know"), with a base sense of "to follow or find the track," from PIE root *lois- "furrow, track." It is related to German Gleis "track," and to Old English læst "sole of the foot" (see last (n.1)).

From c. 1200 as "to hear of, ascertain." Transitive use (He learned me (how) to read), now considered vulgar (except in reflexive expressions, I learn English), was acceptable from c. 1200 until early 19c. It is preserved in past-participle adjective learned "having knowledge gained by study." Old English also had læran "to teach" (see lere). Related: Learning.

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pn- 

consonant sound in some English words derived from Greek. The p- typically is silent in English but pronounced in French, German, Spanish, etc.

It is to be desired that it were sounded in English, also, at least in scientific and learned words; since the reduction of pneo- to neo-, pneu- to new-, and pnyx to nix, is a loss to etymology and intelligibility, and a weakening of the resources of the language. [OED]
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literate (adj.)

"educated, instructed, having knowledge of letters," early 15c., from Latin literatus/litteratus "educated, learned, who knows the letters;" formed in imitation of Greek grammatikos from Latin littera/litera "alphabetic letter" (see letter (n.1)). By late 18c. especially "acquainted with literature." As a noun, "one who can read and write," 1894.

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sage (adj.)

"wise, judicious, prudent," c. 1300 (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French sage "wise, knowledgeable, learned; shrewd, skillful" (11c.), from Gallo-Roman *sabius, from Vulgar Latin *sapius, from Latin sapere "have a taste, have good taste, be wise" (from PIE root *sap- "to taste;" see sap (n.1)). Originally of persons, but that use is now poetic only or archaic; of advice, etc., "characterized by wisdom" is from 1530s. Related: Sageness.

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massive (adj.)

c. 1400, massif, "forming or consisting of a large mass, having great size and weight or solidity," from Old French massif "bulky, solid," from masse "lump" (see mass (n.1)). Of immaterial things, "substantial, great or imposing in scale," 1580s. Related: Massively; massiveness.

U.S. Cold War deterrent strategy of massive retaliation "threat of using thermonuclear weapons in response to aggression against the United States or its allies by the Soviet Union," whether nuclear or conventional, was introduced by Secretary of State J.F. Dulles in a speech on Jan. 12, 1954.

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typhoid (adj.)

1800, literally "resembling typhus," from typhus + -oid. The noun is from 1861, a shortened form of typhoid fever (1845), so called because it originally was thought to be a variety of typhus. Typhoid Mary (1909) was Mary Mallon (d.1938), a typhoid carrier who worked as a cook and became notorious after it was learned she unwittingly had infected hundreds in U.S.

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