early 15c., "thicken, make more dense or compact" (implied in condensed), from Old French condenser (14c.) or directly from Latin condensare "to make dense," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + densare "make thick," from densus "dense, thick, crowded," a word used of crowds, darkness, clouds, etc. (see dense).
Sense in chemistry and physics, "to reduce to another and denser form" (as a gas or vapor to a liquid) is from 1660s. Intransitive sense "become denser" is from 1650s. Related: Condensed; condensing.
late 13c., straunge, "from elsewhere, foreign, unknown, unfamiliar, not belonging to the place where found," from Old French estrange "foreign, alien, unusual, unfamiliar, curious; distant; inhospitable; estranged, separated" (Anglo-French estraunge, strange, straunge; Modern French étrange), from Latin extraneus "foreign, external, from without" (source also of Italian strano "strange, foreign," Spanish extraño), from extra "outside of" (see extra-). In early use also strounge. The surname Lestrange is attested from late 12c. Sense of "queer, surprising" is attested from c. 1300, also "aloof, reserved, distant; estranged." In nuclear physics, from 1956.
late 14c., "a bit or fragment, small part or division of a whole, minute portion of matter," from Latin particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). In grammar, "a part of speech considered of minor consequence or playing a subordinate part in the construction of a sentence" (1530s). Particle physics, which is concerned with sub-atomic particles, is attested from 1969. In construction, particle board (1957) is so called because it is made from chips and shavings of wood.
seventh letter of the alphabet, invented by the Romans; a modified gamma introduced c. 250 B.C.E. to restore a dedicated symbol for the "g" sound. For fuller history, see C.
Before the vowels -e-, -i-, and -y-, Old English initial g- changed its sound and is represented in Modern English by consonantal y- (year, yard, yellow, young, yes, etc.). In get and give, however, the initial g- seems to have been preserved by Scandinavian influence. As a movie rating in the U.S., 1966, standing for general (adj.). Standing for gravity in physics since 1785.
Meanings "power to convince the mind" and "power exerted against will or consent" are from mid-14c. Meaning "body of armed men, a military organization" first recorded late 14c. (also in Old French). Physics sense is from 1660s; force field attested by 1920. Related: Forces.
1610s, "sum, amount," from Latin quantum (plural quanta) "as much as, so much as; how much? how far? how great an extent?" neuter singular of correlative pronominal adjective quantus "as much" (see quantity).
The word was introduced in physics directly from Latin by Max Planck, 1900, on the notion of "minimum amount of a quantity which can exist;" reinforced by Einstein, 1905. Quantum theory is from 1912; quantum mechanics, 1922. The term quantum jump "abrupt transition from one stationary state to another" is recorded by 1954; quantum leap "sudden large advance" (1963), is often figurative.
late 14c., "not empty or hollow," from Old French solide "firm, dense, compact," from Latin solidus "firm, whole, undivided, entire," figuratively "sound, trustworthy, genuine," from PIE *sol-ido-, suffixed form of root *sol- "whole."
Meaning "firm, hard, compact" is from 1530s. Meaning "entirely of the same stuff" is from 1710. Of qualities, "well-established, considerable" c. 1600. As a mere intensifier, 1830. Slang sense of "wonderful, remarkable" first attested 1920 among jazz musicians. As an adverb, "solidly, completely," 1650s. Solid South in U.S. political history is attested from 1858. Solid state as a term in physics is recorded from 1953; meaning "employing printed circuits and solid transistors" (as opposed to wires and vacuum tubes) is from 1959. Related: Solidly.
family name attested from early 12c., an Anglo-French form of the place name Grantham (Lincolnshire). In reference to crackers, bread, etc., made from unsifted whole-wheat flour, 1834, American English, from Sylvester Graham, U.S. dietetic reformer and temperance advocate. Related: Grahamism. Graham's law in physics (1845) is a reference to Scottish chemist Thomas Graham. Graham Land in Antarctica was named 1832 by English explorer John Biscoe in honor of Sir James Graham, first lord of the Admiralty; the U.S. name for it was Palmer Peninsula in honor of American explorer Nathaniel Palmer, who had led an expedition there in 1820. The rival names persisted until 1964.
"the science of quantity; the abstract science which investigates the concepts of numerical and spatial relations," 1580s; see mathematic (the older form of the word in English, attested from late 14c.) + -ics. Originally one of three branches of Aristotelian theoretical science, along with first philosophy (or metaphysics) and physics (or natural philosophy).
Mystical doctrines as to the relation of time to eternity are also reinforced by pure mathematics, for mathematical objects, such as numbers, if real at all, are eternal and not in time. Such eternal objects can be conceived as God's thoughts. [Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy"]
c. 1300, "connected series of links of metal or other material," from Old French chaeine "chain" (12c., Modern French chane), from Latin catena "chain" (source also of Spanish cadena, Italian catena), which is of unknown origin, perhaps from a PIE root *kat- "to twist, twine" (source also of Latin cassis "hunting net, snare").
As a type of ornament worn about the neck, from late 14c. As a linear measure ("a chain's length") from 1660s. From 1590s as "any series of things linked together." Meaning "a series of stores controlled by one owner or firm" is American English, 1846. Figurative use "that which binds or confines" is from c. 1600.
Chain-reaction is from 1916 in physics, specific nuclear physics sense is from 1938; chain-mail armor is from 1795, from mail (n.2). Before that, mail alone sufficed. Chain letter is recorded from 1892; at first usually to raise money; decried from the start as a nuisance.
Nine out of every ten givers are reluctant and unwilling, and are coerced into giving through the awful fear of "breaking the chain," so that the spirit of charity is woefully absent. [St. Nicholas magazine, vol. xxvi, April 1899]
Chain of command is from 1915. Chain-lightning, visible as jagged or broken lines, is from 1834. Chain-smoker, one who smokes one after another, lighting the next from the stump of the last, is attested from 1885, originally of Bismarck (who smoked cigars), thus probably a loan-translation of German Kettenraucher. Chain-smoking (n.) is from 1895.