1670s, "belief in a deity or deities," (as opposed to atheism); by 1711 as "belief in one god" (as opposed to polytheism); by 1714 as "belief in the existence of God as creator and ruler of the universe" (as opposed to deism), the usual modern sense; see theist + -ism.
Theism assumes a living relation of God to his creatures, but does not define it. It differs from deism in that the latter is negative and involves a denial of revelation, while the former is affirmative, and underlies Christianity. One may be a theist and not be a Christian, but he cannot be a Christian and not be a theist. [Century Dictionary]
Middle English bireven, from Old English bereafian "to deprive of, take away by violence, seize, rob," from be- + reafian "rob, plunder," from Proto-Germanic *raubōjanan, from PIE *runp- "to break" (see corrupt (adj.)). A common Germanic formation (compare Old Frisian biravia "despoil, rob, deprive (someone of something)," Old Saxon biroban, Dutch berooven, Old High German biroubon, German berauben, Gothic biraubon).
Since mid-17c., mostly in reference to life, hope, loved ones, and other immaterial possessions. Past tense forms bereaved and bereft have co-existed since 14c., now slightly differentiated in meaning, the former applied to loss of loved ones, the latter to circumstances.
"government by a protector," 1690s, in reference to the government by the Cromwells as Lords Protector (1653-59), from protector + -ate (1). Protectorship was used in 1456 in reference to the office of the Duke of York as protector during the mental incapacity of Henry VI.
From 1795 as "occupied territory of another nation;" by 1836 as "a relation assumed by a stronger nation (generally European) toward a weak one," "whereby the former protects the latter from hostile invasion or dictation, and interferes more or less in its domestic concerns" [Century Dictionary]. Extended by 1860 to "state or territory (usually tribal) placed under the protection of a major power."
c. 1600, "profaneness, quality of being profane, profane language or conduct," from Late Latin profanitas "profaneness," from Latin profanus (see profane (adj.)). Extended sense of "foul language" is from Old Testament commandment against "profaning" the name of the Lord. Apparently a rare word before 19c.
Blasphemy, Profanity, agree in expressing the irreverent use of words, but the former is the stronger, and the latter the wider. Profanity is language irreverent toward God or holy things, covering especially all oaths that, literally interpreted, treat lightly the attributes or acts of God. Blasphemy is generally more direct, intentional, and defiant in its impiety, and is directed toward the most sacred things in religion. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
"moral misgiving, pang of conscience," late 14c., scrupul, from Old French scrupule (14c.), from Latin scrupulus "uneasiness, anxiety, pricking of conscience," also, literally, "small sharp stone," a diminutive of scrupus "sharp stone or pebble," used figuratively by Cicero for a cause of uneasiness or anxiety, a word of unknown etymology.
Probably the notion in the image is of a pebble in one's shoe. The word in the classical Latin sense of "smallest unit of weight or measurement" also is attested in English from late 14c., and was given various extensions: "one minute of arc, one minute of an hour," etc. The Latin words commonly are regarded as identical, with sense development of the latter from "small pebble" to "small weight."
c. 1300, "the unicorn," from Old French monoceros "unicorn," from Latin monoceros, from Greek monokerōs, from monos "single" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + keras "horn of an animal," from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head." The constellation below the Twins and the Crab is recorded by this name in English by 1797. Probably it owes its origin to Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius in the 1590s.
This is a modern constellation, generally supposed to have been first charted by Bartschius as Unicornu; but Olbers and Ideler say that it was of much earlier formation, the latter quoting allusions to it, in the work of 1564, as "the other Horse south of the Twins and the Crab"; and Scaliger found it on a Persian sphere. [Richard Hinckley Allen, "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]
late 14c., "containing nerves; affecting the sinews" (the latter sense now obsolete); from Latin nervosus "sinewy, vigorous," from nervus "sinew, nerve" (see nerve (n.)). The meaning "of or belonging to the nerves" in the modern anatomical sense is from 1660s.
From 1630s it was used (of writing style, etc.) in the sense of "possessing or manifesting vigor of mind, characterized by force or strength." But the opposite meaning "suffering disorder of the nervous system" is from 1734, hence the illogical sense "restless, agitated, lacking nerve, weak, timid, easily agitated" (1740). This and its widespread popular use as a euphemism for mental forced the medical community to coin neurological to replace nervous in the older sense "pertaining to the nerves." Nervous wreck first attested 1862; nervous breakdown 1866. Related: Nervously; nervousness.
Old English wæter, from Proto-Germanic *watr- (source also of Old Saxon watar, Old Frisian wetir, Dutch water, Old High German wazzar, German Wasser, Old Norse vatn, Gothic wato "water"), from PIE *wod-or, suffixed form of root *wed- (1) "water; wet."
To keep (one's) head above water in the figurative sense is recorded from 1742. Water cooler is recorded from 1846; water polo from 1884; water torture from 1928. Linguists believe PIE had two root words for water: *ap- and *wed-. The first (preserved in Sanskrit apah as well as Punjab and julep) was "animate," referring to water as a living force; the latter referred to it as an inanimate substance. The same probably was true of fire (n.).
mid-15c., nebule "a cloud, mist," from Latin nebula, plural nebulae, "mist, vapor, fog, smoke, exhalation," figuratively "darkness, obscurity," from PIE root *nebh- "cloud."
Re-borrowed from Latin 1660s in sense of "cataracts in the eye;" astronomical meaning "luminous cloud-like patch in the heavens" is from c. 1730. As early as Herschel (1802) astronomers realized that some nebulae were star clusters, but the certain distinction of relatively nearby cosmic gas clouds from distant galaxies (as these are now properly called) was not made until the 1920s, when the latter were resolved into individual stars (and nebulae) using the new 100-inch Mt. Wilson telescope.