c. 1200, pacience, "quality of being willing to bear adversities, calm endurance of misfortune, suffering, etc.," from Old French pacience "patience; sufferance, permission" (12c.) and directly from Latin patientia "the quality of suffering or enduring; submission," also "indulgence, leniency; humility; submissiveness; submission to lust;" literally "quality of suffering." It is an abstract noun formed from the adjective patientem (nominative patiens) "bearing, supporting; suffering, enduring, permitting; tolerant," but also "firm, unyielding, hard," used of persons as well as of navigable rivers, present participle of pati "to endure, undergo, experience," which is of uncertain origin.
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]
Meaning "quiet or calmness in waiting for something to happen" is from late 14c. Meaning "constancy in labor or exertion" is attested from 1510s. Meaning "card game for one person" is from 1816.
mid-13c., aquiten, "repay, reciprocate, reward or retaliate for" (a good or bad deed); c. 1300 as "satisfy a debt; redeem (a pledge)," from Old French aquiter, acquiter "pay, pay up, settle a claim" (12c., Modern French acquitter), from a- "to" (see ad-) + quite "free, clear," from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet"). Also in part from Medieval Latin acquitare.
From mid-14c. as "relieve (someone) of an obligation, release from a pledge," hence the meanings "set (an accused person) free from charges, pronounce not guilty," and "discharge one's duty; behave or conduct oneself" (for better or worse), all of which date to the late 14c. The notion in the word is "to release or discharge," from an obligation or from accusation, guilt, censure, or suspicion. Related: Acquitted; acquitting.
1550s, "mildness or gentleness shown in exercise of authority," from Latin clementia "calmness, gentleness," from clemens "calm, mild," related to clinare "to lean," often said to be from PIE root *klei- "to lean" + participial suffix -menos (also in alumnus). For sense evolution, compare inclined in secondary meaning "disposed favorably." But de Vaan is dubious on phonological grounds.
Clemency is exercised only toward offenders, being especially the attribute of those in exalted places having power to remit or lighten penalty. [Century Dictionary]
Earlier in same sense was clemence (late 15c.). Meaning "mildness of weather or climate" is 1660s (a sense also in Latin); clement (adj.) is older in both senses (late 15c. and 1620s respectively) but now is used only in negation and only of the weather.
c. 1200, quiten, "to repay, discharge" (a debt, claim, etc.), from Old French quiter "to clear, establish one's innocence;" also transitive, "release, let go; absolve, relinquish, abandon" (12c., Modern French quitter), from quite "free, clear, entire, at liberty; discharged; unmarried," from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet").
Meaning "to reward, give reward, repay" is from mid-13c., that of "take revenge; to answer, retort" and "to acquit oneself" are late 14c. From c. 1300 as "to acquit (of a charge), declare not guilty."
Sense of "to leave, depart from, go away from" is attested by late 14c.; that of "stop, cease" (doing something) is from 1640s. Meaning "to give up, relinquish" is from mid-15c. Related: Quitted; quitting. Quitting time "time at which work ends for the day" is from 1835.
Old English efen "level," also "equal, like; calm, harmonious; equally; quite, fully; namely," from Proto-Germanic *ebna- (source also of Old Saxon eban, Old Frisian even "level, plain, smooth," Dutch even, Old High German eban, German eben, Old Norse jafn, Danish jævn, Gothic ibns). The adverb is Old English efne "exactly, just, likewise." Modern adverbial sense (introducing an extreme case of something more generally implied) seems to have arisen 16c. from use of the word to emphasize identity ("Who, me?" "Even you").
Etymologists are uncertain whether the original sense was "level" or "alike." Used extensively in Old English compounds, with a sense of "fellow, co-" (as in efeneald "of the same age;" Middle English even-sucker "foster-brother"). Of numbers, from 1550s. Sense of "on an equal footing" is from 1630s. Rhyming reduplication phrase even steven is attested from 1866; even break (n.) first recorded 1907. Even-tempered from 1712. To get even with "retaliate upon" is attested by 1833.
Old English stille "motionless, stable, fixed, stationary," from Proto-Germanic *stilli- (source also of Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stille, Dutch stil, Old High German stilli, German still), from PIE *stel-ni-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place. Meaning "quiet, calm, gentle, silent" emerged in later Old English. Euphemistic for "dead" in stillborn, etc. Still small voice is from KJV:
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. [I Kings xix.11-13]
Used as a conjunction from 1722.
1540s, "tending to make peace, concillatory," from French pacifique, from Latin pacificus "peaceful, peace-making," from pax (genitive pacis) "peace" (see peace) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Meaning "peaceful, characterized by peace or calm" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Pacifical (mid-15c., "of a peaceful nature"); pacifically.
Pacific, making or desiring to make peace; peaceable, desiring to be at peace, free from the disposition to quarrel; peaceful, in a state of peace. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
The Pacific Ocean (1660 in English) was famously so called in 1519 by Magellan when he sailed into it and found it calmer than the stormy Atlantic, or at least calmer than he expected it to be. According to an original account of the voyage by an Italian named Pigafetta, who was among the adventurers, Magellan gave the entrance to what Pigafetta calls "the South Sea" the Latin name Mare Pacificum. The U.S. Pacific Northwest is so called by 1889.
"water vapor deposited from the atmosphere by condensation, especially during the night," Middle English deaw, deu, from Old English deaw, from Proto-Germanic *dawwaz (source also of Old Saxon dau, Old Frisian daw, Middle Dutch dau, Old High German tau, German Tau, Old Norse dögg "dew"), perhaps from PIE root *dheu- "to flow" (source also of Sanskrit dhavate "flows, runs").
Used figuratively of something refreshing (late Old English), or suggestive of morning and youthful freshness (1530s). As a verb, "to wet with or as with dew," Old English deawian.
The formation of dew is explained by the loss of heat by bodies on the earth's surface through radiation at night, by which means they and the air immediately about them are cooled below the dew-point ....Dew is thus deposited chiefly on bodies which are good radiators and poor conductors of heat, like grass; hence also it appears chiefly on calm and clear nights--that is, when the conditions are most favorable for radiation. It never appears on nights both cloudy and windy. In winter dew becomes hoar frost. [Century Dictionary]
c. 1500, "without speech, silent, not speaking," from Latin silentem (nominative silens) "still, calm, quiet," present participle of silere "be quiet or still" (see silence (n.)). Meaning "free from noise or sound" is from 1580s.
Of letters, c. 1600; of films, 1914. In the looser sense "of few words," from 1840. Phrase strong, silent (type) is attested from 1905. Silent majority in the political sense of "mass of people whose moderate views are not publicly expressed and thus overlooked" is first attested 1955 in a British context and was used by John F. Kennedy but is most associated in U.S. with the rhetoric of the Nixon administration (1969-74).
It is time for America's silent majority to stand up for its rights, and let us remember the American majority includes every minority. America's silent majority is bewildered by irrational protest. [Spiro T. Agnew, May 9, 1969]
In Victorian use, the phrase meant "the dead" (1874; compare Roman use of the noun plural of "silent" to mean "the dead"). Silence is golden (1831) is Carlyle's translation ["Sartor Resartus"] of part of the "Swiss Inscription" Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden. In one 14c. text Latin "one who is silent" is translated by a beere stille.
c. 1200, "at ease, having ease, free from bodily discomfort and anxiety," from Old French aisie "comfortable, at ease, rich, well-off" (Modern French aisé), past participle of aisier "to put at ease," from aise (see ease (n.)). Sense of "not difficult, requiring no great labor or effort" is from late 13c.; of conditions, "offering comfort, pleasant," early 14c. Of persons, "lenient, kind, calm, gentle," late 14c. Meaning "readily yielding, not difficult of persuasion" is from 1610s. The concept of "not difficult" was expressed in Old English and early Middle English by eaþe (adv.), ieþe (adj.), apparently common West Germanic (compare German öde "empty, desolate," but of disputed origin.
Easy Street is from 1890. Easy money attested by 1889; to take it easy "relax" is from 1804 (be easy in same sense recorded from 1746); easy does it recorded by 1835. Easy rider (1912) was African-American vernacular for "sexually satisfying lover." The easy listening radio format is from 1961, defined by William Safire (in 1986) as, "the music of the 60's played in the 80's with the style of the 40's." Related: Easier; easiest.