late 14c., "supervisor, superintendent, one who looks over," agent noun from oversee (v.). Specifically, "one who superintends workmen;" especially with reference to slavery, "one who has charge, under the owner or manager, of the work done on a plantation."
"movable or removable cover for a pot, etc.," mid-13c., from Old English hlid "covering, opening, gate," from Proto-Germanic *hlidan "a cover," literally "that which bends over" (source also of Old Norse hlið "gate, gap," Swedish lid "gate," Old French hlid, Middle Dutch lit, Dutch lid, Old High German hlit "lid, cover"), from PIE *klito-, from root *klei- "to lean."
Meaning "eyelid" is from early 13c. Slang sense of "hat, cap" is attested from 1896. As a measure of marijuana, one ounce, 1967, presumably the amount of dried weed that would fit in some commercial jar lid. Slang phrase put a lid on "clamp down on, silence, end" is from 1906; many figurative senses are from the image of a pot boiling over.
1610s, "conveyance from one place to another," from Latin transmissionem (nominative transmissio) "a sending over or across, passage," noun of action from past-participle stem of transmittere "send over or across" (see transmit). The meaning "part of a motor vehicle that regulates power from the engine to the axle" is recorded from 1894.
early 15c., "one who feels," agent noun from feel (v.). Of animal organs, 1660s. Transferred sense of "proposal put forth to observe the reaction it gets" is from 1830. Related: Feelers.
"extremely wicked," 1540s, from Latin facinorosus, from stem of facinus "a deed," especially a bad one, from facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). "Very common in 17th c." [OED].
"to hear one who does not wish to be heard or what one is not meant to hear," 1540s, from over- + hear. The notion is perhaps "to hear beyond the intended range of the voice." Old English oferhieran (West Saxon), oferhēran (Anglian) also meant "to not listen, to disregard, disobey." Compare overlook (v.) for negative force of over; also Middle High German überhaeren, Middle Dutch overhoren in same sense. And Middle English had overheren "to hear fully or plainly" (c. 1300). The various senses reflect the wide range of over-. Related: Overheard; overhearing.
mid-14c., "civil or military official, governor, magistrate," from Old French prefect (12c., Modern French préfet) and directly from Latin praefectus "public overseer, superintendent, director," a title of certain magistrates, noun use of past participle of praeficere "to put in front, to set over, put in authority," from prae "in front, before" (see pre-) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
The spelling has been restored from Middle English prefet. The meaning "administrative head of the Paris police" is from 1800; the sense of "senior pupil designated to keep order in an English school" is by 1864. Related: Prefectorial; prefectoral.