"check in growth, dwarf," 1650s, earlier "bring to an abrupt halt" (c. 1600); "provoke, anger, irritate" (1580s), from obsolete Middle English adjective stunt "foolish, stupid; obstinate," from Old English stunt "stupid, foolish" (as in stuntspræc "foolish talk"), from Proto-Germanic *stuntaz "short, truncated" (source also of Middle High German stunz "short, blunt, stumpy," Old Norse stuttr (*stuntr) "scanty, short"), an adjective which stands in gradational relationship to stint (v.).
The modern sense of the English word is from influence of the Old Norse word. The Middle English adjective is attested from mid-15c. in the sense "of short duration." Related: Stunted; stunting.
early 15c., countrollen, "to check the accuracy of, verify; to regulate," from Anglo-French contreroller "exert authority," from Medieval Latin contrarotulus "a counter, register," from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + rotulus, diminutive of rota "wheel" (see roll (n.)). The word apparently comes from a medieval method of checking accounts by a duplicate register.
Un contrerollour qui doit contre roller au tresorere de la garderobe toutz lez receitez. [Household ordinances of Edward II, c. 1310]
Sense of "dominate, direct, exercise control over" is from mid-15c. Related: Controlled; controlling. Control group in scientific experiments is attested from 1952 (from a sense of control attested since 1875).
early 14c. as a verbal phrase, "lift and take with the fingers," from pick (v.) + up (adv.). From 1510s as "take or get casually, obtain or procure as opportunity offers." Meaning "take (a person found or overtaken) into a vehicle or vessel," is from 1690s, also, of persons, "make acquaintance or take along" (especially for sexual purposes). Intransitive meaning "improve gradually, reacquire vigor or strength" is by 1741. Sense of "tidy up" is from 1861; that of "arrest" is from 1871; meaning "gain speed" is from 1922; meaning "to pay" (a check, tab, etc.) is from 1945. Pick-me-up "stimulating alcoholic drink" is attested from 1867.
"weary by too much, fill to loathing, surfeit," 1520s, from Middle English cloyen "hinder movement, encumber" (late 14c.), a shortening of accloyen (early 14c.), from Old French encloer "to fasten with a nail, grip, grasp," figuratively "to hinder, check, stop, curb," from Late Latin inclavare "drive a nail into a horse's foot when shoeing," from Latin clavus "a nail" (from PIE root *klau- "hook").
Accloye is a hurt that cometh of shooing, when a Smith driveth a nail in the quick, which make him to halt. [Edward Topsell, "The History of Four-footed Beasts," 1607]
The figurative meaning "fill to a satiety, overfill" is attested for accloy from late 14c. Related: Cloyed; cloying.
late 14c., nippen, "to pinch sharply; to bite suddenly," probably from or related to Middle Low German nipen "to nip, to pinch," German nippen, Middle Dutch nipen "to pinch," Dutch nijpen, Old Norse hnippa "to prod," but the exact evolution of the stem is obscure. Related: Nipped; nipping.
Meaning "break off the tip by pinching" is from c. 1400. Sense of "blast as by frost, check the growth or vigor of" is from 1580s. To nip (something) in the bud in the figurative sense of "kill or destroy in the first stage of growth" is recorded from c. 1600. Slang nip in, nip out, etc., in which the sense of the verb is "move rapidly or nimbly" is attested from 1825.
"to cut or sever with a sharp instrument," c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse klippa, Swedish klippa, Danish klippe "clip, shear, cut"), which is probably echoic. Related: Clipped; clipping.
Meaning "to pronounce words in a shortened form" is from 1520s. The verb has a long association with shady activities, originally especially in reference to cutting or shaving metal from coins (c. 1400), but later extended to swindles from the sense "to shear sheep," hence clip-joint "place that overcharges outrageously" (1933, American English, a term from Prohibition).
To clip (someone's) wings, figuratively, "put a check on one's ambition" (1590s) is from the method of preventing a captive bird from flying.
late 14c., "give up (something), surrender, abandon, submit; relinquish (an office, position, right, claim)," from Old French resigner "renounce, relinquish" (13c.), from Latin resignare "to check off, annul, cancel, give back, give up," from re-, here perhaps denoting "opposite" (see re-), + signare "to make an entry in an account book," literally "to mark," from Latin signum "identifying mark, sign" (see sign (n.)).
The notion is of making an entry (signum) "opposite" — on the credit side — balancing the former mark and thus canceling the claim it represents. The specific meaning "give up a position" also is from late 14c. The sense of "to give (oneself) up to some emotion or situation" is from 1718. Related: Resigned; resigning.
c. 1300, "to put, place (somewhere)," verbal use of Old English noun stow "a place, spot, site, locality" (common in place names), from Proto-Germanic *stowo- (source also of Old Frisian sto "place," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stouwen, Dutch stuwen "to stow," Old High German stouwen "to stop, check," German stauen "to stow, pack; bring to a halt, hem in"), from PIE *stau- "stout, standing, strong," extended form of root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm" (source also of Old Church Slavonic stavljo "to place," Lithuanian stoviu, stovėti "to stand"). The nautical sense of "put away to be stored, pack" (1550s) was enforced by Dutch stouwen "to cram, pack up close." Related: Stowed; stowing.
"action of holding back (action or motion); that which restrains, a check, hindrance," early 15c., restreinte, from Old French restreinte, noun use of fem. past participle of restraindre (see restrain).
Specifically in reference to refractory prisoners or dangerous lunatics by 1829. The sense of "reserve, repression of extravagance in manner or style" is from c. 1600. Phrase restraint of trade is by 1630s.
Wherever thought is wholly wanting, or the power to act or forbear according to the direction of thought ; there necessity takes place. This, in an agent capable of volition, when the beginning or continuation of any action is contrary to that preference of his mind, is called compulsion ; when the hindering or stopping any action is contrary to his volition, it is called restraint. [Locke, "Of Human Understanding"]
Old English guttas (plural) "bowels, entrails," literally "a channel," related to geotan "to pour," from Proto-Germanic *gut-, from PIE root *gheu- "to pour." Related to Middle Dutch gote, Dutch goot, German Gosse "gutter, drain," Middle English gote "channel, stream." Meaning "abdomen, belly" is from late 14c. Meaning "narrow passage in a body of water" is from 1530s. Meaning "easy college course" is student slang from 1916, probably from obsolete slang sense of "feast" (the connecting notion is "something that one can eat up"). Sense of "inside contents of anything" (usually plural) is from 1570s. To hate (someone's) guts is first attested 1918. The notion of the intestines as a seat of emotions is ancient (see bowel) and probably explains expressions such as gut reaction (1963), gut feeling (by 1970), and compare guts. Gut check attested by 1976.