early 15c., sisamie, "annual herbaceous plant cultivated primarily for its seeds," probably from Latin sesamum (nominative sesama), from Greek sēsamon (Doric sasamon) "seed or fruit of the sesame plant," a very early borrowing via Phoenician from Late Babylonian *shawash-shammu (compare Assyrian shamash-shammu "sesame," literally "oil-seed"). Medieval Latin had it as sisaminum; Old French as sisamin.
It first appears in English as a magic charm in a 1722 translation of Galland's "Mille et une nuits," where it causes the door of the thieves' den in "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" to fly open. It began to be used in contexts outside the Tales by 1790s.
A warehouse, a shop, or more generally a stable, is under every private dwelling-house. When you ring the bell, the door is opened by a long string from above ; like the "Open Sesame," in the Arabian Tales. [Southey, "Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal," 1799]
"the act of removing (a kernel, seed, tumor, etc.) from its cover or capsule," 1640s, noun of action from verb enucleate (1540s), from Latin enucleatus "pure, clean," past participle of enucleare "to lay open, explain in detail," literally "to remove the kernel from" (see ex- + nucleus). Mostly figurative in Latin (the notion is of getting at the "core" of some matter), and usually figurative in English until mid-19c. advances in science and medicine gave it a new literal sense.
word-forming element in scientific compounds meaning "cartilage," from Latinized form of Greek khondros "cartilage" (of the breastbone), also "grain, grain of salt, seed, barley-grain," of uncertain origin. This is sometimes said to be from the PIE root meaning "to grind" which is the source of English grind (v.), but there are serious phonological objections and the word might be non-Indo-European [Beekes, "Etymological Dictionary of Greek"]. The body material so called for its gristly nature.
late 14c., "type of facial ulcer, lupus," Latin, literally "touch me not," from noli, imperative of nolle "to be unwilling" + me (see me) + tangere "to touch" (from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle"). Used over the years of various persons or things that must not be touched, especially "picture of Jesus as he appeared to Mary Magdalene" (1670s, see John xx.17) and "plant of the genus Impatiens" (1560s, so called because the ripe seed pods burst when touched).
type of annual leguminous plant, also its edible seed, mid-13c., from Old French lentille "lentil," also "a freckle" (12c.), from Latin lenticula, diminutive of Latin lens (genitive lentis) "lentil plant, a lentil," cognate with Greek lathyros "pulse;" Old High German German linsa, German linse "a lentil;" Old Church Slavonic lęšta, Russian ljač.
The similarity between Slavic, Gm. and Latin seems too great to be coincidental, but a common preform cannot be reconstructed. Like other agricultural terms, 'lentil' may have been borrowed from a non-IE language in Europe. [de Vaan]
"waxy, fatty stuff in the head of certain whales," late 15c., from Medieval Latin sperma ceti "sperm of a whale" (it has when fresh something of the appearance of sperm), from Latin sperma "seed, semen" (see sperm) + ceti, genitive of cetus "whale, large sea animal" (see Cetacea). The substance in olden times was credited with medicinal properties, as well as being used for candle oil.
Use ... Sperma Cete ana with redd Wyne when ye wax old. [Sir George Ripley, "The Compound of Alchemy," 1471]
Scientists still are not sure exactly what it does. Sperm whale, short for spermaceti whale, is from 1830.
c. 1300, seculer, in reference to clergy, "living in the world, not belonging to a religious order," also generally, "belonging to the state" (as opposed to the Church), from Old French seculer, seculare (Modern French séculier) and directly from Late Latin saecularis "worldly, secular, pertaining to a generation or age," in classical Latin "of or belonging to an age, occurring once in an age," from saeculum "age, span of time, lifetime, generation, breed."
This is from Proto-Italic *sai-tlo-, which, according to Watkins, is PIE instrumental element *-tlo- + *sai- "to bind, tie" (see sinew), extended metaphorically to successive human generations as links in the chain of life. De Vaan also connects it with "bind" words and lists as a cognate Welsh hoedl "lifespan, age." An older theory connected it to words for "seed," from PIE root *se- "to sow" (see sow (v.), and compare Gothic mana-seþs "mankind, world," literally "seed of men").
The ancient Roman ludi saeculares was a three-day, day-and-night celebration coming once in an "age" (120 years). Ecclesiastical writers in Latin used it as those in Greek did aiōn "of this world" (see cosmos). It is the source of French siècle "century." The meaning "of or belonging to an age or a long period," especially occurring once in a century, was in English from 1590s.
From mid-14c. in the general sense of "of or belonging to the world, concerned in earthly more than in spiritual, life;" also of literature, music, etc., "not overtly religious." In English, in reference to humanism and the exclusion of belief in God from matters of ethics and morality, from 1850s. Related: Secularly.
well-known plant of the daisy family found in Europe, Asia, and North America, with a tapering, milky root, producing one large, yellow flower, late 14c., a contraction of dent-de-lioun, from Old French dent de lion, literally "lion's tooth" (from its toothed leaves), a translation of Medieval Latin dens leonis. From Latin dens (genitive dentis) "tooth," from PIE root *dent- "tooth" + leonis, genitive of leo "lion" (see lion).
Other folk names, like tell-time refer to the custom of telling the time by blowing the white seed (the number of puffs required to blow them all off supposedly being the number of the hour), or to the plant's regular opening and closing with daylight. Other names refer to its diuretic qualities (Middle English piss-a-bed, French pissenlit).
plant of the genus papaver, having showy flowers and milky juice with narcotic properties, from late Old English popig, popæg, from West Germanic *papua-, probably from Vulgar Latin *papavum, from Latin papaver "poppy," perhaps a reduplicated form of imitative root *pap- "to swell."
Associated with battlefields and war dead at least since Waterloo (1815), an association cemented by John McCrae's World War I poem, they do not typically grow well in the soil of Flanders but were said to have been noticeably abundant on the mass graves of the fallen French after 1815, no doubt nourished by the nutriments below. Poppy-seed is from early 15c.; in 17c. it also was a small unit of length (less than one-twelfth of an inch).
late 13c., conceiven, "take (seed) into the womb, become pregnant," from stem of Old French conceveir (Modern French concevoir), from Latin concipere (past participle conceptus) "to take in and hold; become pregnant" (source also of Spanish concebir, Portuguese concebre, Italian concepere), from con-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + combining form of capere "to take" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp").
Meaning "take into the mind, form a correct notion of" is from mid-14c., that of "form as a general notion in the mind" is from late 14c., figurative senses also found in the Old French and Latin words. Related: Conceived; conceiving.
Nearly all the senses found in Fr. and Eng. were already developed in L., where the primary notion was app. 'to take effectively, take to oneself, take in and hold'. [OED]