late 15c., recitacion, "account, description, act of detailing, recital," from Old French récitation (14c.) and directly from Latin recitationem (nominative recitatio) "public reading, a reading aloud of judicial decrees or literary works," noun of action from past-participle stem of recitare "read out, read aloud" (see recite).
Meaning "act of repeating aloud what has been committed to memory" is from 1620s; that of "repetition of a prepared lesson" by a pupil or students is by 1770, American English.
c. 1200, "virtuous, pure from unlawful sexual intercourse" (as defined by the Church), from Old French chaste "morally pure" (12c.), from Latin castus "clean, pure, morally pure" (see caste).
Transferred sense of "sexually pure" is by 15c., perhaps by influence of chastity, though chaste as a noun meaning "virgin person" is recorded from early 14c. Of language, etc., "free from obscenity," 1620s. Of artistic or literary style, "severely simple, unadorned," 1753. Related: Chastely.
"hoarfrost, white frost," Old English hrim, from Proto-Germanic *khrima- (source also of Old Norse hrim, Dutch rijm, German Reif). Old French rime is of Germanic origin. Rare in Middle English and usually there as rime-frost; after c. 1500 it seems to have survived mainly in Scottish and northern English until it was revived in literary use in late 18c. Related: Rimy.
early 15c. (of church buildings) "set apart and consecrate to a deity or a sacred purpose," from Latin dedicatus, past participle of dedicare "consecrate, proclaim, affirm, set apart," from de "away" (see de-) + dicare "proclaim" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly," and see diction).
General sense of "devote with solemnity or earnest purpose" is from 1550s. Meaning "ascribe or address (a literary or musical composition) to someone or something" is from 1540s. Related: Dedicated; dedicating.
"in a state of decline or decay (from a former condition of excellence)," 1837 (Carlyle), from French décadent, back-formation from décadence (see decadence). In reference to literary (later, other artistic) schools that believed, or affected to believe, they lived in an age of artistic decadence, 1885 in French, 1888 in English. Usually in a bad sense:
Bread, supposedly the staff of life, has become one of our most decadent foods — doughy, gummy, and without the aroma, flavor, texture, taste and appearance that is typical of good bread. ["College and University Business" 1960]
Beckoning sense of "desirable and satisfying to self-indulgence" begins c. 1970 in commercial publications in reference to desserts.
As a noun, "one whose artistic or literary work is supposed to show marks of decadence," 1889 (from 1887 as a French word in English), originally in a French context.
On the subject of poetry I am bound to signalize one of those grotesque, unexpected apparitions which would appear to be constitutional to our country [i.e. France] .... I refer to the recent appearance of a literary clique of madmen or idlers, the self-named décadents. I own I am almost ashamed to occupy your time with this unworthy subject, which I should not have thought fit to introduce had not our newspapers and even our reviews taken the décadents to task, and were it not that they have furnished chroniqueurs short of copy with matter for articles, and that the serious Temps itself has taken up their trashy nonsense. [The Athenaeum, Jan. 1, 1887]
c. 1500, "a literary work (originally in verse) intended to ridicule prevailing vice or folly by scornful or contemptuous expression," from French satire (14c.) and directly from Latin satira "satire; poetic medley," earlier satura, in lanx satura "mixed dish, dish filled with various kinds of fruit," literally "full dish," from fem. of satur "sated" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy").
The word acquired its literary sense, in Latin, in reference to a collection of poems in various meters on a variety of subjects by the late republican poet Ennius. The little that survives of his verse does not now seem particularly satiric, but in classical Latin the word was used especially of a poem which assailed various vices one after another.
In modern general use, "a denouncing or deriding speech or writing full of sarcasm, ridicule, irony, etc." (all of which can express satire). The broader meaning "fact or circumstance that makes someone or something look ridiculous" is by 1690s.
Satire, n. An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are 'endowed by their Creator' with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim's outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]
Proper satire is distinguished, by the generality of the reflections, from a lampoon which is aimed against a particular person, but they are too frequently confounded. [Johnson]
[I]n whatever department of human expression, wherever there is objective truth there is satire [Wyndham Lewis, "Rude Assignment," 1950]
"short club, heavy stick with one end thicker than the other,:" 1730, of unknown origin.
A plausible conjecture connects it with D[utch] blusden, blusten bruise, beat .... The E. word, if from this source may have been introduced as a cant term in the Elizabethan period, along with many other cant terms from the D[utch] which never, or not until much later, emerged in literary use. [Century Dictionary]