also V.I.P., 1933, initialism (acronym) for very important person or personage; not common until after World War II.
At most, the greatest persons, are but great wens, and excrescences; men of wit and delightfull conversation, but as moales for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world, that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole. [John Donne, letter to Sir Henry Goodere, Sept. 1608]
before a vowel cosm-, word-forming element from Latinized form of Greek kosmos (see cosmos). In older use, "the world, the universe;" since 1950s, especially of outer space. Also cosmico-.
"body louse," 1917, British World War I slang, earlier in nautical use, said to be from Malay (Austronesian) kutu, the name of some parasitic, biting insect.
"confine in a cloister or convent," c. 1400 (implied in cloistered), from cloister (n.). Figurative use, "shut up in retirement from the world," is from c. 1600. Related: Cloistered; cloistering.