Etymology
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pat (adv.)

1570s, "aptly, suitably, at the right time," perhaps from pat (adj.) in sense of "that which hits the mark," a special use from pat (n.) in the sense of "a hitting" of the mark. The modern adjective meaning "that is exactly to the purpose, suitable for the occasion" is 1630s, from the adverb.

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abortifacient (n.)

1853, noun ("that which causes miscarriage") and adjective ("producing abortion"), from Latin abortus (see abort) + facientem "making," related to facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). An earlier noun for this was abortive (1640s), also a special use of an adjective.

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decentralization (n.)

"act or principle of removing local or special functions of government from immediate control of central authority," 1839, from de- + centralization. Decentralisation is attested by 1835 in German, in reference to France, but the word does not seem to appear in French before the earliest English dates.

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nave (n.1)

"main part of a church," the middle part, lengthwise, extending typically from the main entrance to the choir or chancel, 1670s, from Medieval Latin navem (nominative navis) "nave of a church," a special use of Latin navis "ship" (from PIE root *nau- "boat"), on some fancied resemblance in shape.

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wither (v.)

1530s, alteration of Middle English wydderen "dry up, shrivel" (late 14c.), intransitive, apparently a differentiated and special use of wederen "to expose to weather" (see weather (v.)). Compare German verwittern "to become weather-beaten," from Witter "weather." Transitive sense from 1550s. Related: Withered; withering; witheringly.

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stratum (n.)

"horizontal layer," 1590s, from Modern Latin special use of Latin stratum "thing spread out, coverlet, bedspread, horse-blanket; pavement," noun uses of neuter of stratus "prostrate, prone," past participle of sternere "to spread out, lay down, stretch out," from nasalized form of PIE root *stere- "to spread."

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polygenesis (n.)

"plurality of origins," in biology, "generation or origination from several separate and often independent germs; as a doctrine, equivalent to special creation; originally and often specifically in reference to the view that the human race consists of several distinct species, 1858, from poly- + -genesis "birth, origin, creation." Also see polygeny.

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characterize (v.)

1590s, "engrave, write," a back-formation from characterization, or else from Medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharaktērizein "designate by a characteristic mark," from kharaktēr (see character). The meaning "describe the qualities of" is recorded from 1630s; the sense of "be characteristic of" is from 1744; that of "impart a special stamp or character to" is from 1807. Related: Characterized; characterizing.

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trusty (adj.)

early 13c., "trusting," from trust (n.) + -y (2). Old English expressed this idea by treowful. Meaning "reliable, to be counted on" is from early 14c. The noun meaning "trustworthy person" is from 1570s; specifically as "a prisoner granted special privileges as reward for good conduct" by 1855.

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property (n.)

c. 1300, properte, "nature, quality, distinctive character always present in an individual or class," later "possession, land or goods owned, things subject to ownership" (early 14c., but this sense is rare before 17c.), from an Anglo-French modification of Old French proprete, "individuality, peculiarity; property" (12c., Modern French propreté) and directly from Latin proprietatem (nominative proprietas) "ownership, a property, propriety, quality," literally "special character" (a loan-translation of Greek idioma), noun of quality from proprius "one's own, special" (see proper). Compare propriety, which is another form of the same French word.

For "possessions, private property" Middle English sometimes used proper goods. Hot property "sensation, a success" is from 1947 in stories in Billboard magazine.

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