1610s, "involving apoplexy," from French apoplectique (16c.), from Latin apoplecticus, from Greek apoplektikos "disabled by a stroke, crippled, struck dumb, senseless; crippled, palsied," extended form of apoplektos, verbal adjective of apoplessein "strike down and incapacitate" (see apoplexy). The meaning "showing symptoms of apoplexy" (1721) gradually shaded into "enraged, very angry" by early 19c. The noun meaning "one suffering apoplexy" is from 1660s.
early 15c., palpitacioun, "rapid movement, trembling or quivering motion," from Latin palpitationem (nominative palpitatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of palpitare "to throb, to flutter, to tremble, to quiver," frequentative of palpare "touch gently, stroke; wheedle, coax" (see palpable). Specifically of unnatural rapid beating or pulsation of the heart (excited by emotion, disease, etc.) by c. 1600.
1864, from Spanish, metathesis of Catalan title, from vernacular form of Medieval Latin titulus "stroke over an abridged word to indicate missing letters," a specialized sense of Latin titulus, literally "inscription, heading" (see title (n.)). The mark itself represents an -n- and was used in Medieval Latin manuscripts in an abridged word over a preceding letter to indicate a missing -n- and save space.
late 14c., "to settle a dispute, determine a controversy," from Old French decider, from Latin decidere "to decide, determine," literally "to cut off," from de "off" (see de-) + caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. Sense is of resolving difficulties "at a stroke." Meaning "to make up one's mind" is attested from 1830. Related: Decided; deciding.
"killing, manslaughter, carnage; butchery of animals," now obsolete (OED's last entry is c 1610), the native cognate of slaughter (q.v.). From Old English sliht, sleht, slieht "stroke, slaughter, murder, death; animals for slaughter;" as in sliehtswyn "pig for killing." Cognate with Old Saxon slahta, Old Frisian slaehte, Old High German slahta, German Schlacht "battle."
also quarter-staff, 1540s (quarter-stroke "stroke with a quarterstaff" is attested from early 15c.), an old weapon formed from a stout pole, six to eight feet long (six-and-a-half sometimes is given as the standard length), tipped with iron, formerly a weapon characteristic of the English peasantry. From staff (n.); the quarter in it is of uncertain signification. According to one theory, favored by fencing manuals, etc., it likely is in reference to operation of the weapon:
It was grasped by one hand in the middle, and by the other between the middle and the end. In the attack the latter hand shifted from one quarter of the staff to the other, giving the weapon a rapid circular motion, which brought the ends on the adversary at unexpected points. [Century Dictionary]
Linguists tend to prefer an explanation from woodcutting, perhaps a reference to a cut of lumber known as a quarter, but contemporary evidence is wanting for either conjecture.
"obvious exaggeration in rhetoric," early 15c., from Latin hyperbole, from Greek hyperbole "exaggeration, extravagance," literally "a throwing beyond," from hyper- "beyond" (see hyper-) + bole "a throwing, a casting, the stroke of a missile, bolt, beam," from bol-, nominative stem of ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). Rhetorical sense is found in Aristotle and Isocrates. Greek had a verb, hyperballein, "to throw over or beyond."
"decorated screen behind an altar; brick or stone back of a fireplace," late 14c., rere-dose, from Anglo-French rere-, an archaic combining form of rear (n.), + dos "back" (see dossier). But Klein's sources suggest it is aphetic of Anglo-French areredos, from Old French arere "at the back" (Modern French arrière). For rere-, compare rere-main "a backhand stroke" (c. 1300), rere-supper "a late supper after the ordinary meal."
1707, in fencing, "a quick thrust made after parrying a lunge," from French riposte, etymologically, "a response," by dissimilation from risposte (17c.), from Italian risposta "a reply," noun use of fem. past participle of rispondere "to respond," from Latin respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return" (see respond). Sense of "sharp retort; quick, sharp reply," is attested by 1865, on the notion of "a counter-stroke." As a verb, by 1851.
"heavy hammer," formerly the largest hammer used in forges or by smiths, typically requiring two hands to wield, Middle English slegge, from Old English slecg "hammer, mallet," from Proto-Germanic *slagjo- (source also of Old Norse sleggja, Middle Swedish sleggia "sledgehammer;" German Schlage "tool for striking"), which is related to slege "beating, blow, stroke" and slean "to strike" (see slay (v.)). Sledgehammer is pleonastic.