Etymology
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pedantic (adj.)

"making an undue or inappropriate display of learning, absurdly learned," formed in English c. 1600, from pedant + -ic. The French equivalent is pédantesque. Perhaps first attested in John Donne's "Sunne Rising," where he bids the morning sun let him and his love linger in bed, telling it, "Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schooleboyes." Related: Pedantical (1580s); pedantically.

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clerisy (n.)

1818, on model of German clerisei, from Late Latin clericia, related to clericus (see cleric); apparently coined by Coleridge, who used it to mean "the learned men of a nation, its poets, philosophers, and scholars," "to express a notion no longer associated with CLERGY" [OED]. But since the 1840s it has since sometimes been used in the sense "the clergy," as distinguished from the laity.

The clerisy of the nation (a far apter exponent of the thing meant, than the term which the usus et norma loquendi forces on me), the clerisy, I say, or national church, in its primary acceptation and original intention comprehended the learned of all denominations;—the sages and professors of law and jurisprudence; of medicine and physiology; of music; of military and civil architec[t]ure; of the physical sciences; with the mathematical as the common organ of the preceding; in short, all the so called liberal arts and sciences, the possession and application of which constitute the civilization of a country, as well as the Theological. [Coleridge, "On the Constitution of the Church and State," 1830]
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negative (n.)

late 14c., "a prohibition" (a sense now obsolete), also "absence, nonexistence; opposite," from Old French negatif and directly from Latin negativus (see negative (adj.)).

Meaning "a negative statement" is from 1560s. Sense of "that side of a question which denies what the opposite side affirms" is from 1570s. Meaning "the right or power of refusing assent" is from 1610s. Meaning "a negative quality" is from 1640s. In mathematics, "a negative number," from 1706. Photographic sense of "image in which the lights and shades are the opposite of those in nature" is recorded by 1853. As a response, "I refuse, disagree, no," from 1945, originally in radio communication. 

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nigra (n., adj.)

by 1944, American English, reflecting a white Southern U.S. pronunciation of Negro, but it was held to be a compromise made by those whites who had learned to not say nigger but could not bring themselves to say Negro, and it was thus deemed (in the words of a 1960 slang dictionary) "even more derog[atory] than 'nigger.' "

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subtile (adj.)

c. 1300, sotil; modern form from late 14c., "clever, dexterous, crafty; not dense, thin, rarefied," from Old French subtil (14c.), a learned Latinized reformation of earlier sotil (12c.), source of subtle (q.v.). Still used in some Bible translations in Genesis iii.1, and it survived after 17c. as a parallel formation to subtle in some material senses ("fine, delicate, thin"). Related: Subtilly.

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scientific (adj.)

1580s, "concerned with the acquisition of accurate and systematic knowledge of principles by observation and deduction," from French scientifique, from Medieval Latin scientificus "pertaining to science," from Latin scientia "knowledge" (see science) + -ficus "making, doing," from combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). The Latin word was used originally to translate Greek epistēmonikos "making knowledge" in Aristotle's "Ethics."

By 1670s as "guided by the principles of science," hence "learned, skillful;" by 1722 as "of, pertaining to, or used in science." By 1794 as "according to the rules of science."

Sciential (mid-15c., sciencial, "based on knowledge," from Latin scientialis) is the classical purists' choice for an adjective based on science. Scientic (1540s) and scient ("learned" late 15c.) also have been used. Scientistic (1878), however, is depreciative, "making pretentions to scientific method but not right."

The phrase scientific revolution for "rapid and widespread development of science" is attested from 1803; scientific method is by 1835; scientific notation is from 1961. Related: Scientifical; scientifically.

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replication (n.)

late 14c., replicacioun, "an answer, a verbal response;" also, specifically in law, "a rejoinder, legal reply" (third step in the pleadings in a common-law action), from Anglo-French replicacioun, Old French replicacion "reply, answer," from Latin replicationem (nominative replicatio) "a reply, repetition, a folding back," noun of action from past-participle stem of replicare "to repeat, reply.

This is etymologically "to fold back," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait"). The meaning "a copy, reproduction" is recorded by 1690s. The sense of "process by which genetic material copies itself" is from 1948.

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anthem (n.)

Middle English anteme, from Old English ontemn, antefn, "a composition (in prose or verse) sung in alternate parts," from Late Latin antefana, from Greek antiphona "verse response" (see antiphon).

The sense evolved to "a composition (usually from Scripture) set to sacred music" (late 14c.), then "song of praise or gladness" (1590s). It came to be used in reference to the English national song (technically, as OED points out, a hymn) and extended to those of other nations. The modern spelling is from late 16c.; perhaps it is a mistaken attempt to restore a Greek original, but the -th- is unetymological.

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vitamin (n.)

1920, originally vitamine (1912) coined by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967), from Latin vita "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + amine, because they were thought to contain amino acids. The terminal -e formally was stripped off when scientists learned the true nature of the substance; -in was acceptable because it was used for neutral substances of undefined composition. The lettering system of nomenclature (Vitamin A, B, C, etc.) was introduced at the same time (1920).

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almah (n.)

in reference to Egypt and other nearby regions, "dancing-girl, belly-dancer," 1814, perhaps from Arabic almah (fem. adjective), "learned, knowing," in reference to their training, from alama "to know." Or perhaps from a Semitic root meaning "girl" (source also of Hebrew alma "a young girl, a damsel"). Her occupation was performance to amuse company in wealthy private homes and to sing at funerals, with higher status than the ghawazee (dancing girls), but the word was used broadly in English.

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