late 14c., sesounen, "improve the flavor of by adding spices," from season (n.) and from Old French saisonner "to ripen, season" (Modern French assaisoner), from seison, saison "right moment, appropriate time" on the notion of fruit becoming more palatable as it ripens.
Figurative use by 1510s. Of timber, etc., "bring to maturity by prolonged exposure to some condition," by 1540s; hence in extended sense "bring to the best condition or use; of persons "fit to any use by time or habit," c. 1600. In 16c., it also meant "to copulate with." Intransitive sense of "become mature, grow fit for use" is by 1670s.
In the timber regions of the American West, skids laid down one after another to form a road were "a poor thing for pleasure walks, but admirably adapted for hauling logs on the ground with a minimum of friction" ["Out West" magazine, October 1903]. A skid as something used to facilitate downhill motion led to figurative phrases such as hit the skids "go into rapid decline" (1909), and see skid row.
Sense focused in Middle English from "make ready" (mid-13c.) to "prepare timber for building" (late 14c.). Meaning "compose, devise" is first attested 1540s. The criminal slang sense of "blame an innocent person" (1920s) is probably from earlier sense of "plot in secret" (1900), perhaps ultimately from meaning "fabricate a story with evil intent," which is first attested 1510s. Related: Framed; framing.
"barrel or cask for soap or liquor; iron vessel," according to Century Dictionary ranging from 72 to 120 gallons, c. 1400, from Old French ponchon, ponson "wine vessel" (13c.), of unknown origin.
Formally identical with puncheon (n.2) "pointed tool for punching or piercing," "but connexion of sense has not been found" [OED] and the best guess at it seems to be from the stamp or imprint impressed on the barrel via a puncheon. Uncertain connection with another puncheon "short slab of timber, strut, vertical wooden beam used as a support in building" (mid-14c., from Old French ponson, ponchon), which Middle English Compendium regards as identical. Punch (n.2) in the drink sense is too late to be the source of the "cask" sense.
mid-14c., "having a defect or flaw of any kind, inferior, in bad condition," from Old French défectif (14c.) and directly from Late Latin defectivus "imperfect," from defect-, past-participle stem of deficere "to desert, revolt, fail," from de "down, away" (see de-) + combining form of facere "to do, make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
[D]efective generally takes the sense of lacking some important or essential quality; deficient, that of lacking in quantity: as defective teeth, timber, character; deficient supplies, means, intellect. The same difference is found between deficiency and defectiveness. [Century Dictionary]
In grammar, "wanting some of the usual forms of declension or conjugation" (late 15c.). Used in the sense of "mentally ill" from 1854 to c. 1935; as a noun, "person wanting in some physical or mental power," by 1869. Related: Defectively; defectiveness.
late Old English pil "sharp stake or stick," also, poetically, "arrow, dart," from Latin pilum, the name of the heavy javelin of the Roman foot soldier (source of Old Norse pila, Old High German pfil, German Pfeil "arrow"), a word of uncertain origin. De Vaan finds the identification of it with the pilum that means "pestle, pounder" (from *pis-tlo-, from the root of pinsere "to crush, pound;" see pestle) to be defensible.
In engineering and architecture, "a heavy timber beam, pointed or not, driven into the soil for support of a structure or as part of a wall." It also has meant "pointed head of a staff, pike, arrow, etc." (1590s) and the word is more or less confused with some of the sense under pile (n.1).
Meaning "bag or hollow vessel filled with heated air or (later) hydrogen or helium so as to rise and float in the atmosphere" is 1784, after the Montgolfier brothers' flights. As a toy air- or gas-filled inflatable bag, from 1858; as "outline containing words in a comic engraving" it dates from 1844. Balloon-frame (n.) "structure of light timber fitted together to form the skeleton of a building" is from 1853.
Old English beam originally "living tree," but by late 10c. also "rafter, post, ship's timber," from Proto-Germanic *baumaz "tree" (source also of Old Frisian bam "tree, gallows, beam," Middle Dutch boom, Old High German boum, German Baum "tree," and perhaps also (with unexplained sound changes) Old Norse baðmr, Gothic bagms), which is of uncertain etymology (according to Boutkan probably a substrate word). The shift from *-au- to -ea- is regular in Old English.
Meaning "ray of light" developed in Old English, probably because beam was used by Bede to render Latin columna (lucis), the Biblical "pillar of fire." Meaning "directed flow of radiation" is from 1906. To be on the beam "going in the right direction" (1941) originally was an aviator's term for "to follow the course indicated by a radio beam." Nautical sense of "one of the horizontal transverse timbers holding a ship together" is from early 13c., hence "greatest breadth of a ship," and slang broad in the beam, by 1894 of ships, of persons, "wide-hipped," by 1938.
Old English upriht "erect, face-upward;" see up (adv.) + right (adj.1). Similar compounds are found in other Germanic languages (Old Frisian upriucht, Middle Dutch oprecht, Old High German ufreht, German aufrecht, Old Norse uprettr). Figurative sense of "good, honest, adhering to rectitude" is first attested 1520s.
As an adverb, Old English uprihte. As a noun, 1560s in the sense "a vertical front;" c. 1700 as "a vertical timber in framing;" 1742 in the sense "something standing erect." Meaning "an upright piano" is from 1860.
THREE-PENNY UPRIGHT. A retailer of love, who, for the sum mentioned, dispenses her favours standing against a wall. ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1811]
The bent-over rear-entry posture they are talking about, of course, is kubda, the three-obol position at the bottom-end of a prostitute's price-range. [James N. Davidson, "Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens," 1997]
c. 1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s.
The meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" is attested by 1510s; it is a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantle-tree" (late 15c.) "beam of oak or some other hard wood above a fireplace or oven" (with tree in the now-obsolete sense of "beam"). But the exact meaning of mantle in that had become obscure by the 19c.
In a fire-place, the mantle or mantlepiece, may have been either a covered or chimney-piece; or the part below it to which a hanging, for the sake of making a flue for the wind to draw up the fire, was attached. The details, however, of this are uncertain. [Robert Gordon Latham, "A Dictionary of the English Language," 1882]
Mantel-clock "clock intended to sit on a mantle-shelf," is by 1824.