1961, "comedy that deals in themes and subjects usually regarded as serious or taboo," from black (adj.), in a figurative sense of "morbid," + comedy. Compare French pièce noire, also comédie noire "macabre or farcical rendering of a violent or tragic theme" (1958, perhaps the inspiration for the English term) and 19th-century gallows-humor. In a racial sense, from 1921.
"involving many parts or relations; consisting of more than one complete individual," 1640s, from French multiple (14c.), from Late Latin multiplus "manifold," from Latin multi- "many, much" (see multi-) + -plus "-fold" (see -plus).
The noun is from 1680s in arithmetic, "a number produced by multiplying another by a whole number," from the adjective. Multiple choice in reference to a question in which the subject selects an answer from several options is attested by 1915. Multiple exposure "repeated exposure of the same frame of film" is recorded by 1891. In psychology, multiple personality is attested by 1886. The chronic, progressive disease multiple sclerosis is so called by 1877, because it occurs in patches (see sclerosis).
1510s, "a single volume of a multi-volume work," from French tome (16c.) or directly from Latin tomus "section of a book, tome," from Greek tomos "volume, section of a book," originally "a section, piece cut off," from temnein "to cut," from PIE root *tem- "to cut." Sense of "a large book" is attested from 1570s.
1868, adj. and noun, as a racial designation, literally "resembling the Mongols," from Mongol + -oid. Compare Mongolian. In reference to the genetic defect causing mental retardation (mongolism), by 1899, from the typical facial appearance of those who have it. See Down's Syndrome. Such people were called Mongolian from 1866.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "strong, great." It forms all or part of: ameliorate; amelioration; meliorate; melioration; meliorism; multi-; multiform; multiple; multiply; multitude. It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek mala "very, very much;" Latin multus "much, many," melior "better."
1738 (adj.) "pertaining to Mongols;" 1839 (n.) "the language of the Mongols," 1846 "a native of Mongolia;" from Mongol + -ian. As a racial classification for Asiatic peoples (including Chinese, Japanese, Turks, Vietnamese, Lapps, Eskimos, etc.) "belonging to the yellow-skinned straight-haired type of mankind" [OED] in J.F. Blumenbach's system, it is attested in English by 1825 in translations of his works.
type of cotton twill cloth, 1943 (chinos, in reference to clothing made of this), from American Spanish chino, literally "toasted;" so called in reference to its usual color. Earlier (via notion of skin color) chino meant "child of one white parent, one Indian" (fem. china), perhaps from or altered by influence of Quechua čina "female animal, servant." Sources seem to disagree on whether the racial sense or the color sense is original.
in music, "passage or movement of a light and playful character," 1852, from Italian scherzo, literally "sport, joke," from scherzare "to jest or joke," from a Germanic source (compare Middle High German scherzen "to jump merrily, enjoy oneself," German scherz "sport"), from PIE *(s)ker- (2) "leap, jump about." Especially the lively second or third movement in a multi-movement musical work. Scherzando in musical instruction is the Italian gerund of scherzare.