1540s, figurative, "destruction, overthrow;" 1610s, literal, "action of pulling down or destroying (a structure); fact of being demolished," from French demolition "demolition; defeat, rout" (14c.), from Latin demolitionem (nominative demolitio), noun of action from past-participle stem of demoliri "to tear down," from de "down" (see de-) + moliri "build, construct," from moles (genitive molis) "massive structure" (see mole (n.3)).
Mencken noted demolition engineer for "house-wrecker" by 1936. Demolition derby is recorded from 1956, American English, defined by OED as "a contest in which old cars are battered into one another, the last one running being declared the winner."
c. 1300, rehersen, "to give an account of, report, tell, narrate (a story); speak or write words;" early 14c., "repeat, reiterate;" from Anglo-French rehearser, Old French rehercier (12c.) "to go over again, repeat," literally "to rake over, turn over" (soil, ground), from re- "again" (see re-) + hercier "to drag, trail (on the ground), be dragged along the ground; rake, harrow (land); rip, tear, wound; repeat, rehearse;" from herse "a harrow" (see hearse (n.)).
The meaning "to say over again, repeat what has already been said or written" is from mid-14c. in English; the sense of "practice (a play, part, etc.) in private to prepare for a public performance" is from 1570s (transitive and intransitive). Related: Rehearsed; rehearsing.
Old English tæppe "narrow strip of cloth used for tying, measuring, etc.," of uncertain origin; perhaps [Klein] a back-formation from Latin tapete "cloth, carpet," compare also Old Frisian tapia, Middle Low German tapen "to pull, pluck, tear." The original short vowel became long in Middle English.
Adhesive tape is from 1885; also in early use sometimes friction tape. Tape recorder "device for recording sound on magnetic tape" first attested 1932; from earlier meaning "device for recording data on ticker tape" (1892), from tape in the sense of "paper strip of a printer" (1884). Tape-record (v.) is from 1950. Tape-measure is attested from 1873; tape-delay is from 1968.
"thin piece of wood, wooden tile for roofing," also one used as a writing tablet, late Old English scincle, scingul, variants of scindel, from Late Latin scindula (also the source of German Schindel), from Latin scandula "roof tile," from scindere "to cut, rend, tear asunder, split; split up, part, divide, separate" (from PIE *skind-, from root *skei- "to cut, split"). The form of Late Latin noun likely was altered by influence of Greek skhidax "split wood, piece of wood, lath."
The meaning "small signboard" especially one announcing a profession, is attested by 1842. The sense of "woman's short haircut" is by 1924; the verb meaning "to cut the hair so as to give the impression of overlapping shingles" is by 1857.
"to split, part or divide by force," Old English cleofan, cleven, cliven "to split, separate" (class II strong verb, past tense cleaf, past participle clofen), from Proto-Germanic *kleuban (source also of Old Saxon klioban, Old Norse kljufa, Danish klöve, Dutch kloven, Old High German klioban, German klieben "to cleave, split"), from PIE root *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave."
Past tense form clave is recorded in Northern writers from 14c. and was used with both verbs (see cleave (v.2)), apparently by analogy with other Middle English strong verbs. Clave was common to c. 1600 and still alive at the time of the KJV; weak past tense cleaved for this verb also emerged in 14c.; cleft is still later. The past participle cloven survives, though mostly in compounds.
[payment for use of property], mid-12c., in a legal sense, "compensation made periodically, with reference to time of possession and use of property," from Old French rente "payment due; profit, income" and Medieval Latin renta, both from Vulgar Latin *rendita, noun use of fem. past participle of *rendere "to render" (see render (v.)).
It came into English earlier in a more general, and now obsolete, sense of "income, revenue" (late Old English). The sense in political economy, "what is left from the produce of the soil after deducting what is necessary to support the producers, interest, seed-corn, etc.," is by 1815. Rent-free is attested from 1630s.
Rents (to think how much of evil there is in the two senses of that four-lettered word ! In the two methods of intonation of its synonym, Tear !) [Ruskin, "Fors Claveriga"]
late Old English, "act of giving way and falling down" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin ruina "a collapse, a rushing down, a tumbling down" (source also of Old French ruine "a collapse," Spanish ruina, Italian rovina), which is a derivative of ruere "to rush, fall violently, collapse" (from PIE *reue- (2) "to smash, knock down, tear out, dig up;" see rough (adj.)).
The sense of "descent from a state of prosperity, degradation, downfall or decay of a person or society" is from late 14c. The general meaning "violent or complete destruction" (of anything), "a profound change so as to unfit a thing for use" (of one's principles, one's shirt, etc.) is by 1670s; the sense of "that which causes destruction or downfall" is from early 15c. The meaning "dishonor," of a woman, is from 1620s. Ruins "remains of a decayed building or town" is from mid-15c.; the same sense was in the Latin plural noun.
"series of people or things in a more or less straight line," Middle English reue, from late Old English reawe, rewe, earlier ræw "a row, line; succession, hedge-row," probably from Proto-Germanic *rai(h)waz (source also of Middle Dutch rie, Dutch rij "row;" Old High German rihan "to thread," riga "line;" German Reihe "row, line, series;" Old Norse rega "string"), which is possibly from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (source also of Sanskrit rikhati "scratches," rekha "line").
The meaning "a number of houses in a line" is attested from mid-14c., according to OED chiefly Scottish and northern English. The meaning "line of seats in a theater" is by 1710. The meaning "line of plants in a field or garden" is by 1733, hence the figurative phrase hard row to hoe attested from 1823, American English.
"exceed in any excess of evil," from Shakespeare's it out-Herods Herod in Hamlet's instruction to the players in "Hamlet" Act III, Scene II. Shakespeare used the same construction elsewhere ("All's Well that Ends Well" has out-villain'd villany). The phrase reflects the image of Herod as stock braggart and bully in old religious drama. The form of the phrase was widely imitated 19c. and extended to any excessive behavior.
Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. ["Hamlet"]
[to sway, move backward and forward] Middle English rokken "rock (a cradle), cause to sway back and forth; rock (someone) in a cradle," from late Old English roccian "move a child gently to and fro" in a cradle, which is related to Old Norse rykkja "to pull, tear, move," Swedish rycka "to pull, pluck," Middle Dutch rucken, Old High German rucchan, German rücken "to move jerkily."
The earliest associations of the word were with slumber, rest, security. The sense of of "sway to and fro under some impact or stress" is from late 14c., especially of vessels in the waves (1510s); hence rock the boat in the figurative sense "stir up trouble" (1914). The sense of "swing to and fro in or as in a rocking chair" is by 1795.