Etymology
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*stegh- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to stick, prick, sting." It forms all or part of: stag; sting; stochastic.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek stokhos "fixed target, erected pillar for archers to shoot at;" Lithuanian stagaras "long, thin stalk of a plant;" Old English stagga "stag," stingan "to sting;" Old Danish stag "point;" Old Norse stong "stick, pole."

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sprout (v.)

Old English -sprutan (in asprutan "to sprout"), from Proto-Germanic *sprut- (source also of Old Saxon sprutan, Old Frisian spruta, Middle Dutch spruten, Old High German spriozan, German sprießen "to sprout"), from PIE *spreud-, extended form of root *sper- "to strew" (perhaps also the source of Old English spreawlian "to sprawl," sprædan "to spread," spreot "pole;" Armenian sprem "scatter;" Old Lithuanian sprainas "staring, opening wide one's eyes;" Lettish spriežu "I span, I measure"). Related: Sprouted; sprouting.

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impale (v.)

1520s, "to enclose with stakes, fence in" (a sense continued in specialized uses into 19c.), from French empaler or directly from Medieval Latin impalare "to push onto a stake," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + Latin palus "a stake, prop, stay; wooden post, pole" (from PIE *pak-slo-, from root *pag- "to fasten"). Sense of "pierce with a pointed stake" (as torture or capital punishment) first recorded 1610s. Related: Impaled; impaling.

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lodestar (n.)

late 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), "a star that leads or serves to guide," an old name for the pole star as the star that "leads the way" in navigation; from lode (n.) "a way, a course, something to be followed" (a Middle English variant spelling of load (n.) that preserved the original Old English sense of that noun) + star (n.). Figurative use from late 14c. Compare lodestone. Similar formation in Old Norse leiðarstjarna, German Leitstern, Danish ledestjerne.

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polemic (n.)

1630s, "controversial argument or discussion, a controversy," from French polémique (16c./17c.), noun use of adjective meaning "disputatious, controversial" (see polemic (adj.)). From 1670s as "a disputant, one who writes or argues in opposition to another."

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polecat (n.)

"small, dark-brown, northern European predatory quadruped of the weasel family," noted as a chicken-thief and for its strong, offensive smell, early 14c., pol-cat, from cat (n.); the first element is perhaps Anglo-French pol, from Old French poule "fowl, hen" (see pullet (n.)); so called because it preys on poultry [Skeat]. The other alternative is that the first element is from Old French pulent "stinking." Originally the European Putorius foetidus; the name was extended to related North American skunks by 1680s.

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polemarch (n.)

"commander of the army," a title of certain officers in Greek history, 1570s, from Greek polemarkhos "one who begins or leads a war," from polemos "war" (a word of unknown origin) + arkhos "leader, chief, ruler" (see archon).

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polemicist (n.)
Origin and meaning of polemicist

"one given to controversy," 1859, an American English formation parallel to polemist (1825), from Greek polemistēs "a warrior," from polemizein "to wage war, to make war," from polemos "war," a word of unknown origin.

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polemic (adj.)

"of or pertaining to controversy," 1640s, from French polémique "disputatious, controversial," or directly from Greek polemikos "of war, warlike, belligerent; skilled in war, fit for service; like an enemy, stirring up hostility," from polemos "war," a word of unknown origin. Related: Polemical (1630s); polemically.

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polemology (n.)

"the study of war," 1870, from Greek polemos "war," a word of unknown origin, + connective -o- + -logy.

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