Etymology
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coerce (v.)

mid-15c., cohercen, "restrain or constrain by force of law or authority," from Old French cohercier, from Latin coercere "to control, restrain, shut up together," from assimilated form of com- "together" (see co-) + arcere "to enclose, confine, contain, ward off," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane). The unetymological -h- was perhaps by influence of cohere. Related: Coerced; coercing. No record of the word between late 15c. and mid-17c.; its reappearance 1650s is perhaps a back-formation from coercion.

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wardrobe (n.)

early 14c., "room where wearing apparel is kept," earlier "a private chamber" (c. 1300), from Old North French warderobe, wardereube (Old French garderobe) "dressing-room, place where garments are kept," from warder "to keep, guard" (from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard," from suffixed form of PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for") + robe "garment" (see robe (n.)). Meaning "a person's stock of clothes for wearing" is recorded from c. 1400. Sense of "movable closed cupboard for wearing apparel" is recorded from 1794. Meaning "room in which theatrical costumes are kept" is attested from 1711. Wardrobe malfunction is from 2004.

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warden (n.)

c. 1200, "one who guards," from Old North French wardein, from Frankish *warding- (which became Old French guardenc), from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to watch, guard," from PIE *war-o-, suffixed form of root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for." Meaning "governor of a prison" is recorded from c. 1300.

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warder (n.)

c. 1400, "guardian of an entrance," from Anglo-French wardere, wardour "guardian, keeper, custodian" (Old French gardeor), agent noun from Old North French warder "to guard, keep, maintain, uphold" (Old French garder), from Frankish *wardon, from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard," from PIE *war-o-, suffixed form of root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for."

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Wardour-street (n.)

"affected pseudo-archaic diction of historical novels," 1888, from street in London lined with shops selling imitation-antique furniture.

This is not literary English of any date; this is Wardour-Street Early English — a perfectly modern article with a sham appearance of the real antique about it. [A. Ballantyne, "Wardour-Street English," Longman's Magazine, October, 1888]
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spar (v.)

late 14c., "go quickly, rush, dart, spring;" c. 1400, "to strike or thrust," perhaps from French esparer "to kick" (Modern French éparer), from Italian sparare "to fling," from Latin ex- (see ex-) + parare "make ready, prepare," hence "ward off, parry" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Etymologists consider a connection with spur unlikely. Used in 17c. in reference to preliminary actions in a cock fight; figurative sense of "to dispute, bandy with words" is from 1690s. Extension to humans, in a literal sense, with meaning "to engage in or practice boxing" is attested from 1755. Related: Sparred; sparring.

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prophylactic (adj.)

1570s, of medicines, "that tends to prevent or defend from disease," from French prophylactique (16c.) and directly as a Latinized borrowing of Greek prophylaktikos "precautionary," from prophylassein "keep guard before, ward off, be on one's guard," from pro "before" (see pro-) + phylassein, Ionic variant of phylattein "to watch over, to guard," but also "cherish, keep, remain in, preserve," from phylax "guard," a word of unknown origin.

The noun is first recorded 1640s, "a medicine or treatment to prevent or defend against disease;" meaning "condom" is from 1943, replacing earlier preventive (1822), preventative (1901). Condoms originally were used more to thwart contagious disease than to prevent pregnancy. Related: Prophylactical.

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amethyst (n.)

violet-colored quartz, late 13c., amatist, from Old French ametiste (12c., Modern French améthyste) and directly from Medieval Latin amatistus, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos "amethyst," noun use of an adjective, literally "not intoxicating; not drunken," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + methyskein "make drunk," from methys "wine," from PIE root *medhu- "honey; mead" (see mead (n.1)).

The stone had a reputation among the ancients for preventing drunkenness; this was perhaps sympathetic magic suggested by its wine-like color. Beekes writes that the stone "was named after its color: the red of wine diluted with water such that it is no longer intoxicating." When drinking, people wore rings made of it to ward off the effects. The spelling was restored in early Modern English.

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watch (n.)

Old English wæcce "a watching, state of being or remaining awake, wakefulness;" also "act or practice of refraining from sleep for devotional or penitential purposes;" from wæccan "keep watch, be awake," from Proto-Germanic *wakjan, from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively."

From c. 1200 as "one of the periods into which the night is divided," in reference to ancient times translating Latin vigilia, Greek phylake, Hebrew ashmoreth. From mid-13c. as "a shift of guard duty; an assignment as municipal watchman;" late 13c. as "person or group obligated to patrol a town (especially at night) to keep order, etc."

Also in Middle English, "the practice of remaining awake at night for purposes of debauchery and dissipation;" hence wacches of wodnesse "late-night revels and debauchery." The alliterative combination watch and ward preserves the old distinction of watch for night-time municipal patrols and ward for guarding by day; in combination, they meant "continuous vigilance."

Military sense of "military guard, sentinel" is from late 14c. General sense of "careful observation, watchfulness, vigilance" is from late 14c.; to keep watch is from late 14c. Meaning "period of time in which a division of a ship's crew remains on deck" is from 1580s. The meaning "small timepiece" is from 1580s, developing from that of "a clock to wake up sleepers" (mid-15c.).

The Hebrews divided the night into three watches, the Greeks usually into four (sometimes five), the Romans (followed by the Jews in New Testament times) into four. [OED]
On þis niht beð fowuer niht wecches: Biforen euen þe bilimpeð to children; Mid-niht ðe bilimpeð to frumberdlinges; hanecrau þe bilimpeð þowuene men; morgewile to alde men. [Trinity Homilies, c. 1200]
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cure (v.)

late 14c., "to restore to health or a sound state," from Old French curer and directly from Latin curare "take care of," hence, in medical language, "treat medically, cure" (see cure (n.1)). In reference to fish, pork, etc., "prepare for preservation by drying, salting, etc.," attested by 1743. Related: Cured; curing.

Most words for "cure, heal" in European languages originally applied to the person being treated but now can be used with reference to the disease. Relatively few show an ancient connection to words for "physician;" typically they are connected instead to words for "make whole" or "tend to" or even "conjurer." French guérir (with Italian guarir, Old Spanish guarir) is from a Germanic verb stem also found in in Gothic warjan, Old English wearian "ward off, prevent, defend" (see warrant (n.)).

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