shave (v.)

Middle English shaven, from Old English sceafan (strong verb, past tense scof, past participle scafen), "to scrape, shave, or pare away; to polish," from Proto-Germanic *skaban (source also of Old Norse skafa, Middle Dutch scaven, German schaben, Gothic skaban "scratch, shave, scrape"), from PIE *skabh-, collateral form of root *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (for which see scabies).

Related: Shaved; shaving. Original strong verb status is preserved in past tense form shaven. As "remove the hair or beard of with a razor" from mid-13c. Intransitive sense of "shave oneself, remove the beard with a razor" is by 1715. The sense of "remove by slicing or paring action of a keen-edged instrument" is from late 14c., as is the general sense of  "cut down gradually by taking off thin pieces." Figurative sense of "to strip (someone) of money or possessions" is attested from late 14c.

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masterful (adj.)

late 14c., maisterful, "fond of being a master, high-handed, despotic, controlling, imperious, overbearing, tyrannous," from master (n.) + -ful. Sense of "competent, masterly, expressing or indicating mastery" is from early 15c. That of "characterized by a master's skill" is from 1610s. Related: Masterfully. Compare Dutch meesterlijk, German meisterlich, Danish mesterlig.

masterful) (masterly. Some centuries ago both were used indifferently in either of two very different senses: (A) imperious or commanding or strong-willed, & (B) skilful or expert or practiced. The differentiation is now complete, -ful having the A & -ly the B meanings; & disregard of it is so obviously inconvenient, since the senses, though distinct, are not so far apart but that it may sometimes be uncertain which is meant, that it can only be put down to ignorance. [Fowler, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," 1926]
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flute (n.)

early 14c., from Old French flaut, flaute (musical) "flute" (12c.), from Old Provençal flaut, which is of uncertain origin; perhaps imitative or from Latin flare "to blow" (from PIE root *bhle- "to blow"); perhaps influenced by Provençal laut "lute." The other Germanic words (such as German flöte) are likewise borrowings from French.

Ancient flutes were direct, blown straight through a mouthpiece but held away from the player's mouth; the modern transverse or German flute developed 18c. The older style then sometimes were called flûte-a-bec (French, literally "flute with a beak"). The modern design and key system of the concert flute were perfected 1834 by Theobald Boehm. The architectural sense of "furrow in a pillar" (1650s) is from fancied resemblance to the inside of a flute split down the middle. Meaning "tall, slender wine glass" is from 1640s.

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level (v.)

mid-15c., "to make level" (transitive), from level (n.). From c. 1600 as "to bring to a level." Intransitive sense "cease increasing" is from 1958. Meaning "to aim (a gun)" is late 15c. Slang sense of "tell the truth, be honest" is from 1920. To level up "to rise" is attested by 1863.

A word here as to the misconception labored under by our English neighbor; he evidently does not understand the American manner of doing things. We never level down in this country; we are always at work on the up grade. "Level up! Level up!" is the motto of the American people. [James E. Garretson, "Professional Education," in "The Dental Cosmos," Philadelphia, 1865]

Modern use is mostly from computer gaming (2001). To level off "cease rising or falling" is from 1920, originally in aviation. Related: Leveled; leveling.

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deed (n.)

"that which is done, acted, or performed, whether good or bad, great or small," Old English dæd "a doing, act, action; transaction, event," from Proto-Germanic *dethi- (source also of Old Saxon dad, Old Norse dað, Old Frisian dede, Middle Dutch daet, Dutch daad, Old High German tat, German Tat "deed, thing done," Gothic gadeþs "a putting, placing"), from PIE *dheti- "thing laid down or done; law; deed" (source also of Lithuanian dėtis "load, burden," Greek thesis "a placing, setting"), suffixed form of root *dhe- "to set, place, put" (compare do).

In law, "written document authenticated by seal of the person whose will it declares, especially for the purpose of conveying real estate" is from early 14c. As a verb, "convey or transfer by deed," 1806, American English. Related: Deeded; deeding.

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page (n.1)

"sheet of paper, one side of a printed or written leaf of a book or pamphlet," 1580s, from French page, from Old French pagene "page, text" (12c.), from Latin pagina "page, leaf of paper, strip of papyrus fastened to others," related to pagella "small page," from pangere "to fasten" (from PIE root *pag- "to fasten").

Earlier pagine (c. 1200), directly from Old French or Latin. The word is usually said to be from the notion of individual sheets of paper "fastened" into a book. Ayto and Watkins offer an alternative theory: vines fastened by stakes and formed into a trellis, which led to sense of "columns of writing on a scroll." When books replaced scrolls, the word continued to be used. Related: Paginal.

Page-turner "book that one can't put down" is from 1974; earlier (by 1959) an apparatus or person who turns the pages of an open book, as for a performing musician.

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refrain (v.)

mid-14c., refreinen, transitive, "exercise control over, restrain; hold (someone or something) back from action," senses now obsolete, also "exercise control over" (thoughts, desires, feelings, vices, etc.); from Old French refraigner, refrener, refreiner "restrain, repress, keep in check" (12c., Modern French réfréner).

This is from Latin refrenare "to bridle, hold in with a bit, check, curb, keep down, control," from re- "back" (see re-) + frenare "restrain, furnish with a bridle," from frenum "a bridle," a word of uncertain etymology (de Vaan supports a theory that it is connected to fretus "relying on").

The classical spelling was restored in French but not in English. In Middle English chiefly transitive. Intransitive sense of "forbear, keep oneself (from)" is from mid-15c. Reflexive sense of "control oneself, put restraint upon oneself" is from late 14c. Related: Refrained; refraining.

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litter (n.)

c. 1300, "a bed," also "bed-like vehicle carried on men's shoulders" (early 14c.), from Anglo-French litere "portable bed," Old French litiere "litter, stretcher, bier; straw, bedding" (12c.), from Medieval Latin lectaria "litter," from Latin lectus "bed, lounge, sofa, dining-couch," from PIE *legh-to-, suffixed form of root *legh- "to lie down, lay."

Altered in French by influence of lit "bed." The meaning was extended early 15c. to "straw used for bedding" (this sense is early 14c. in Anglo-French) and by late 15c. to "offspring of an animal at one birth" (that is, in one bed). Litter by 19c. had come to mean both the straw bedding and the animal waste in it after use. The sense of "scattered oddments, disorderly debris" is first attested 1730 and probably is from litter (v.) "provide with bedding" (late 14c.) and sense extended from the image of strewing straw.

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rush (v.)

mid-14c. (implied in rushing), "to drive back or down," from Anglo-French russher, from Old French ruser "to dodge, repel," which is from Latin recusare"make an objection against; decline, refuse, reject; be reluctant to" (see recuse; also compare ruse).

The meaning "do something quickly" is from 1650s, hence "to move or act with undue eagerness or without deliberation or preparation;" the transitive sense of "to hurry up (someone or something), cause to go swiftly" is from 1850. The sporting sense in U.S. football originally was in rugby (1857).

The fraternity/sorority sense is by 1896 (originally it was what the fraternity did to the student); from 1899 as a noun in this sense, "entertainment for prospective pledges." Earlier it was a name on U.S. campuses for tests of strength or athletic skill between freshmen and sophomores as classes (1860).

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set-up (n.)

1890, "arrangement," from the verbal phrase set up, which is attested from c. 1200 as "place in an erect position, place upright, make ready for use;" from set (v.) + up (adv.). From 19c. also "a favorable arrangement of the balls in billiards, etc., especially when left by one player for the next."

The verbal phrase is from 1520s as "begin business or enterprise." It also can or once could mean "to establish, found" (early 15c.), "make (a hawk) perch upright" (late 15c.), and "put (drinks, etc.) before customers or other patrons as a treat" (1880).

It is attested from 1950 (originally in pugilism) as "to bring (someone) to a vulnerable position, put (someone) in a position to be knocked down." It is attested by 1965 as "to contrive, plot." To set (someone) up "provide (someone) with means" is from 1520s. The adjective set-up "established" is attested by c. 1600.

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