"frosty, frozen," archaic (but found in poetry as late as Keats), c. 1200, from Old English froren, past participle of freosan (see freeze (v.)). Related: Froren, which would be the title of the Anglo-Saxon version of Disney's movie.
late 14c., "an observer of the stars," from astrology + -er (1). It drove out French import astrologein, which, had it survived, probably would have yielded *astrologian, as in Chaucer's "The wise Astrologen." Also in Middle English in reference to cocks as announcers of sunrise.
The narrowed meaning "one who professes to determine the influence of planets on persons and events" is from c. 1600, however during the early Modern English period when astrologer and astronomer began to be differentiated, "the relation between them was at first the converse of the present usage" [OED]. Shakespeare used astronomer where we would write astrologer.
"bone of the spine," early 15c., from Latin vertebra "joint or articulation of the body, joint of the spine" (plural vertebræ), perhaps from vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend") + instrumental suffix -bra. The notion would be the spine as the "hinge" of the body.
in biology, "division of a cell nucleus," 1905, from Greek meiosis "a lessening," from meioun "to lessen," from meion "less," from PIE root *mei- (2) "small."
Earlier (1580s) it was a rhetorical term, a figure of speech "weak or negative expression used for a positive and forcible one, so that it may be made all the more emphatic," as when one says "not bad" meaning "very good" or "don't mind if I do" meaning "I really would like to," or this example from "Mark Twain":
"YOUNG AUTHOR." — Yes Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. So far you are correct. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat,—at least, not with certainty. If the specimen composition you send is about your fair usual average, I should judge that perhaps a couple of whales would be all you would want for the present. Not the largest kind, but simply good, middling-sized whales.
Related: meiotic; meiotically.
late Old English cachepol "tax-gatherer," from Old North French cachepol (Old French chacepol), from Medieval Latin cacepollus "a tax gatherer," perhaps literally "chase-chicken." For first element see chase (v.), for second see pullet. The explanation would be that, in lieu of taxes they would confiscate poultry. Later in English more specifically as "a sheriff's officer whose duty was to make arrests for debt" (late 14c.). Compare Old French chacipolerie "tax paid to a nobleman by his subjects allowing them and their families to shelter in his castle in war-time." The connection of poll (n.) "head" with taxes is from 17c. and too late to be involved in this word.
"room appropriated for the reception of company," 1640s, short for withdrawing room (16c.; see withdraw), into which ladies would retire after dinner. Earlier in the sense of "private room" as draw-chamber (mid-15c.); drawyng chaumber (early 15c.).
"social censorship of personal conduct in the name of conventional propriety," 1836, from Mrs. Grundy, prudish character in Thomas Morton's 1798 play "Speed the Plow," play and playwright otherwise now forgotten, but the line "What would Mrs. Grundy say?" became proverbial.
"mode of living," especially a working agreement between contending parties, 1844, Latin, literally "way of living or getting along" (see modus).
Modus vivendi is any temporary compromise that enables parties to carry on pending settlement of a dispute that would otherwise paralyse their activities. [Fowler]
U.S. state, 1777, based on French words for "Green Mountain," but perhaps was formed by one with limited knowledge of French, where the correct form would be Mont Vert (as in the village of Pont-de-Montvert). Related: Vermonter.