early 14c., "to gather by acquisition, scrape together," especially grains left in the field after harvesting, but the earliest use in English is figurative, from Old French glener "to glean" (14c., Modern French glaner) "to glean," from Late Latin glennare "make a collection," of unknown origin. Perhaps from Gaulish (compare Old Irish do-glinn "he collects, gathers," Celtic glan "clean, pure"). Figurative sense was earlier in English than the literal one of "gather grain left by the reapers" (late 14c.). Related: Gleaned; gleaning.
1570s of armies; from 1882 in field sports; by 1905 in the political sense (compare left wing). Right-winger is attested by 1919 in U.S. politics; 1895 in sports.
late 14c., remaindre, in law, a right of ownership designed to devolve upon a second party, from Anglo-French remeinder, Old French remaindre, noun use of infinitive, a variant of Old French remanoir "to stay, dwell, remain; be left; hold out," from Latin remanere "to remain, to stay behind; be left behind; endure, abide, last" (source also of Old Spanish remaner, Italian rimanere).
The general meaning "that which remains, anything left over after separation, removal, etc." is by 1550s. In mathematics from 1570s. Specifically in publication, "what remains of an edition the sale of which has practically ceased and is sold at a reduced price" (1757).
"opposite of left," early 12c., riht, from Old English riht, which did not have this sense but meant "good, proper, fitting, straight" (see right (adj.1)). It is a specialized development of the adjective that apparently began in late Old English on the notion of the right hand as normally the stronger of the two, or perhaps the "correct," hand. By c. 1200 this was extended to that side of the body, then to its limbs, clothing, etc., and then transferred to other objects.
The usual Old English word for the opposite of left was swiþra, literally "stronger." "The history of words for 'right' and 'left' shows that they were used primarily with reference to the hands" [Buck]. Similar sense evolution in Dutch recht, German recht "right (not left)," from Old High German reht, which meant only "straight, just." Compare Latin rectus "straight; right," also from the same PIE root.
The usual PIE root (*deks-) is represented by Latin dexter. Other derivations on a similar pattern to English right are French droit, from Latin directus "straight;" Lithuanian labas, literally "good;" and Slavic words (Bohemian pravy, Polish prawy, Russian pravyj) from Old Church Slavonic pravu, literally "straight" (from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first, chief").
The political sense of "conservative" is recorded by 1794 (adj.), 1825 (n.), a translation of French Droit "the Right, Conservative Party" in the French National Assembly (1789; see left (adj.)).
"diminutive, tiny," literally "pertaining to Lilliput," the fabulous island whose inhabitants were six inches high, a name coined by Jonathan Swift in "Gulliver's Travels" (1726). Swift left no explanation of the origin of the word.
1560s, "pertaining to or situated on the right hand," from Latin dexter "on the right hand" (source also of French dextre, Spanish diestro, Italian destro), from PIE root *deks- "right, opposite of left; south." The Latin form is with the comparative suffix -ter, thus meaning etymologically "the better direction." Middle English dester meant "right hand," and compare destrier. In heraldry, the part of the shield which is to the right when fitted on the arm, hence the side of the field to the left of the spectator.
"Smithsonian Institute," named for English scientist and philanthropist James Smithson (1765-1829), who left a legacy to the U.S. government to found it. The mineral smithsonite also is named for him.
1620s, "to drive aground on a shore," from strand (n.1); figurative sense of "leave helpless," as of a ship left aground by the tide, is first recorded 1837. Related: Stranded; stranding.
mid-15c., "make clean," from clean (adj.). Related: Cleaned; cleaning. From clean out "clean by emptying" comes sense of "to leave bare" (1844); cleaned-out "left penniless by losses" is from 1812.