desert (n.2)

c. 1300, "fact of deserving a certain treatment (for good or ill) for one's behavior," from Old French deserte "merit, recompense," noun use of past participle of deservir "be worthy to have," ultimately from Latin deservire "serve well," from de- "completely" (see de-) + servire "to serve" (see serve (v.)). Meaning "suitable reward or punishment, what one deserves" (now usually plural and with just), is from late 14c.

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pharmacy (n.)
Origin and meaning of pharmacy

late 14c., farmacie, "a medicine that rids the body of an excess of humors (except blood);" also "treatment with medicine; theory of treatment with medicine," from Old French farmacie "a purgative" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Greek pharmakeia "a healing or harmful medicine, a healing or poisonous herb; a drug, poisonous potion; magic (potion), dye, raw material for physical or chemical processing."

This is from pharmakeus (fem. pharmakis) "a preparer of drugs, a poisoner, a sorcerer" from pharmakon "a drug, a poison, philter, charm, spell, enchantment." Beekes writes that the original meaning cannot be clearly established, and "The word is clearly Pre-Greek." The ph- was restored 16c. in French, 17c. in English (see ph).

Buck ["Selected Indo-European Synonyms"] notes that "Words for 'poison', apart from an inherited group, are in some cases the same as those for 'drug' ...." In addition to the Greek word he has Latin venenum "poison," earlier "drug, medical potion" (source of Spanish veneno, French venin, English venom), and Old English lybb.

Meaning "the use or administration of drugs" is from c. 1400; the sense of "art or practice of preparing, preserving, and compounding medicines and dispensing them according to prescriptions" is from 1650s; that of "place where drugs are prepared and dispensed" is recorded by 1833.

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allopathy (n.)

1836, "treatment of disease by remedies that produce effects opposite to the symptoms," from German Allopathie (Hahnemann), from Greek allos "other" (from PIE root *al- "beyond") + -patheia, "suffering, disease, feeling" (see -pathy). It is the term applied by homeopathists to traditional medicine. A word unloved by classicists; it is malformed and the equivalent Greek compound had a different sense and was used in grammar, etc.

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retaliate (v.)

"requite, repay, or return in kind," 1610s, from Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare "pay back in kind," from re- "back" (see re-) + Latin talio "exaction of payment in kind," from or influenced by talis "suchlike" (see that). Originally of kindness, civility, etc., but by 1630s of injury, ill-treatment, etc. (now the usual sense). Intransitive sense is from 1650s. Related: Retaliated; retaliating.

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medicine (n.)

c. 1200, "medical treatment, cure, healing," also (early 14c.) "substance used in treatment of a disease, medicinal potion or plaster," also used figuratively of spiritual remedies, from Old French medecine (Modern French médicine) "medicine, art of healing, cure, treatment, potion" and directly from Latin medicina "the healing art, medicine; a remedy," also used figuratively.

This is perhaps originally ars medicina "the medical art," from fem. of medicinus (adj.) "of a doctor," from medicus "a physician" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"); though OED says evidence for this path is wanting and suggests derivation directly from medicus. The sense of "practice, theory, or study of curing, alleviating, or preventing disease in humans" is from mid-14c.

The figurative phrase take (one's) medicine "submit to something disagreeable" is recorded by 1865; that of dose of (one's) own medicine is by 1894. Medicine show "traveling show meant to attract a crowd so patent medicine can be sold to them" is American English, 1938. Medicine ball "stuffed leather ball used for exercise" is from 1889.

It is called a "medicine ball" and it got that title from Prof. [Robert J.] Roberts, now of Springfield, whose fame is widespread, and whose bright and peculiar dictionary of terms for his prescription department in physical culture is taught in every first-class conducted Y.M.C.A. gymnasium in America. Prof. Roberts calls it a "medicine ball" because playful exercise with it invigorates the body, promotes digestion, and restores and preserves one's health. [Scientific American Supplement, March 16, 1889]
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duress (n.)

early 14c., "harsh or severe treatment," from Old French duresse, durece, from Latin duritia "hardness," from durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." For Old French -esse, compare fortress. Sense of "coercion, compulsion" is from early 15c.; in law, "actual or apprehended physical constraint so great as to amount to coercion" (early 15c.).

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asperity (n.)

c. 1200, asprete "hardship," from Old French asperité "difficulty, painful situation, harsh treatment" (12c., Modern French âpreté), a figurative use, from Latin asperitatem (nominative asperitas) "roughness," from asper "rough, harsh," which is of unknown origin. The Latin adjective was used also of sour wine, bad weather, and hard times. The figurative meaning "harshness of feeling" in English is attested from 1660s; the literal sense of "roughness of surface" is from early 15c.

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allegory (n.)

"figurative treatment of an unmentioned subject under the guise of another similar to it in some way," late 14c., allegorie, from Old French allegorie (12c.), from Latin allegoria, from Greek allegoria "figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another," literally "a speaking about something else," from allos "another, different" (from PIE root *al- (1) "beyond") + agoreuein "speak openly, speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly" (see agora). Related: Allegorist.

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sarsaparilla (n.)

tropical American plant, also its root used as a medicinal preparation, 1570s, from Spanish zarzaparrilla, from zarza "bramble" (from Arabic sharas "thorny plant" or Basque sartzia "bramble") + parrilla, diminutive of parra "vine," which is of unknown origin.

In 16c.-17c. the dried roots were held to be efficient in treatment of syphilis. From mid-19c. applied to a sweet soft drink made with the root extract (originally with suggestion of medicinal benefit).

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attract (v.)

early 15c., attracten, "draw (objects or persons) to oneself," also a medical term for the body's tendency to absorb fluids, nourishment, etc., or for a poultice treatment to "draw out" diseased matter; from Latin attractus, past participle of attrahere "to draw, pull; to attract," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Of physical forces (magnets, etc.), from 17c. The figurative sense of "be attractive, draw to oneself the eyes or attentions of others" is from 1690s. Related: Attracted; attracting.

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